Elephant Toothpaste Science Experiment {as seen on Jacksonville Moms Blog}

Recently I wrote a post for the Jacksonville Moms Blog highlighting some of my favorite science experiments for big kids.  These were all done for the Mad Science Party we threw for Cole's 8th birthday.  Here are the details for the Elephant Toothpaste Experiment.

Elephant Toothpaste

Materials: Clean & empty soda or water bottle, Yeast, Warm Water, Food Coloring, Dish Soap, 6% Hydrogen Peroxide (you can find this online or at a beauty supply shop)

Directions: In a separate cup mix 1 teaspoon of yeast with 2 tablespoons of warm water. In your soda bottle mix together ½ cup of hydrogen peroxide, a squirt of dish soap and a few drops of food coloring. Swirl the soda bottle to mix slightly. Pour the contents of your yeast & water mixture into the soda bottle and watch your elephant toothpaste erupt.

Why it works: Hydrogen peroxide naturally breaks down into water and oxygen.  It is stored in opaque containers to help slow down this process.  Yeast speeds up the reaction.  Dish soap catches the oxygen and makes bigger bubbles and the food coloring makes it look cool.  The foam and bottle feel warm because the reaction is exothermic–it releases energy as heat.


Mentos & Diet Coke Science Experiment {as seen on Jacksonville Moms Blog}

Recently I wrote a post for the Jacksonville Moms Blog highlighting some of my favorite science experiments for big kids.  These were all done for the Mad Science Party we threw for Cole's 8th birthday.  Here are the details for the Mentos & Diet Coke Experiment.

Mentos & Diet Coke Explosion

Materials: Mentos Candy, Diet Coke (you don’t need to need name brand soda, the generic diet will work but it MUST be diet to create the explosion), Geyser Tube Cap (optional, but it’s really cool)

Directions: This is an easy experiment that the kids can do by themselves. Simply drop the Mentos into the diet soda bottle and watch it erupt. The geyser tube is an awesome addition to the experiment because it makes the stream shoot even higher in the air.

Why it works: It’s due to a process called nucleation, where the carbon dioxide in the soda is attracted to the Mentos. That creates so much pressure that the soda goes flying.


DIY Bathroom Plank Wall

I declared 2015 the year of the bathroom projects around here and I've started off with a bang.  My first DIY project was to install a plank wall in our downstairs bathroom.  I took no pictures during the project, because I wasn't really sure how it was going to turn out.  I'll post my steps down below, but if you want a more in-depth tutorial, I recommend this one from Life, Crafts & Whatever, and this one from This Nest is Blessed.  It was much easier than I expected and turned out phenomenal, in my opinion. 

Start at your local home improvement store (we went to Home Depot).  You'll need some sheets of plywood.  I opted for the "nicer" plywood that was a little more expensive, but in the end I think it turned out better than the cheaper stuff would have.  Ask a nice employee to cut it into strips on their gigantic saw.  I had them do 6 inch strips.  

My next step was to gather up any leftover paint, stain, etc. I could find in the garage.  Every single color you see was created with something I already owned.  I also left a few planks untreated.  My project covered a pretty small area so I painted 2 of each of my 6" strips in each different color.  Then I sanded and distressed the crap out of them.

Then it was time to start installing.  I was originally going to make the studs and nail the board onto the wall.  But I'm lazy so I just went and bought some liquid nails and used that to adhere them.  I started at the bottom, checking every few rows to see if they were level.  If you're off a little, you can use a coin in between rows to prop the boards up a little while the glue dries.  This make it easy to keep working and keep everything looking like it was spaced correctly.

The hardest part of this project was working around the small lip of the sink and cutting an areas for the light fixture.  I had to do all that with a small hacksaw and it took FOREVER.  When I reached the top I had a small section left so I also had to cut my boards length-wise to make them fit.  

I finished it off with a new frame for the mirror.  I made this myself using 4 pieces of wood and adhered it with liquid nails again.  We also sprung for a new industrial looking light fixture that I found on ebay.

Here are some of the side-by-side before and after pics I took so you can get the full effect.


My Favorite Mom Hack Ever {as seen on Jacksonville Moms Blog}

I did a post recently for the Jacksonville Moms Blog with some of our favorite Mom Hacks.  You can read them all over here on the blog, but I wanted to share my absolute favorite.  This hack comes from my sister and it is my all time favorite thing to show new moms.  You can read all about it here.


Free Valentine's Day Printable {Great Last Minute Gift Idea}

Here's a great free printable I posted a while back.  It makes an awesome last minute Valentine's gift for the whole family.  We have these hanging in our hallway and my kids love them.


thredUP {Great Deals On Clothes & $10 for New Members}

Do you know about thredUP?  Well, not only is it one of my favorite places to shop, but it's also one of my favorite ways to earn money on clothes that the kids have outgrown.  Right now you can earn $10 towards a future thredUP purchase when you sign up through my link.  {Full disclosure - I'll earn $10 too}  

Even if you're not interested in shopping right now, I would recommend that you sign up and request a clean out bag.  I make sure that I always have 1 in the kids' closets so that as they outgrow clothes I can just pack them away to send in. 

This year thredUP has invited me to be part of their ambassador program.  I'm excited to share my love of thredUP and even some tips & tricks on keeping those closets organized.


Loom Bracelet Valentine

Here's another great Valentine idea that we did last year.  You can read more about it here.


Free Valentine's Day Printable

This was a free printable I did a few years ago.  It's perfect for Hot Wheel's Cars or little trucks.  You can read more about it here and you can download the free printable by clicking here.


Elf on the Shelf - Operation: Nice List

I did a segment on our local news about my Elf on the Shelf - Operation: Nice List.  You can see it here.


Elf on the Shelf - Operation: Nice List {library surprise}

 This might be my favorite mission the kids have had to complete for Operation: Nice List.  Elfie left them each $10 and challenged them to hide the dollar bills in books at the library so other kids could find them when they were reading.  We had so much fun deciding which books to hide the dollars in.