How to Launch a Rocket with Baking Soda and Vinegar

Making a bottle rocket with baking soda and vinegar is always a fun and explosive (but safe) activity! When the baking soda reacts with the vinegar, it forms carbon dioxide and water. The carbon dioxide builds up inside the bottle until it launches into the air!

Here’s step-by-step directions to launch your own rocket:

Supplies:

Empty water bottle
4 Chopsticks
Tape
Paper
Scissors
Markers (or paint, crayons, etc.)
Vinegar
Baking Soda
Paper Towel
Cork

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First Make Your Rocket:

1- Take a sheet of paper and color one side. This will be your rocket decorations.

2- Cut out a circle, cut a slit halfway, wrap it to make a cone and tape it in place. This is the top of your rocket.

3- Tape three or four chopsticks to the upside down bottle, with a few inches extending past the top opening. This will be your rocket legs, so make sure they are even and the bottle can stand on its own.

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4- Wrap the decorated paper around the bottle, over the chopsticks and tape into place.

5- Tape your pointy cone to the top. You should now have something that resembles a rocket!

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It may not be very pretty, but it will still fly! lol

6- Wrap tape around a cork until you can plug the bottle easily but not too tightly. If it is too tight, it won’t shoot out.

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Prepare to Launch:

1- Take a square of paper towel and put about a tablespoon of baking soda in the center.

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2- Wrap it up to create a little baking soda packet. This delays the release of the baking soda and gives you time to put in the cork and get out of the way.

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3- Fill your bottle about 1/3 with vinegar

4- Find a nice flat surface outside where you don’t care about the splatter. It makes a big mess when it explodes, but it is all easily washed away with water.

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5- Push the baking soda packet into the bottle and VERY QUICKLY put in the cork. Make sure it is secure enough but not pushed in too far or it won’t pop out.

6- Give it a few shakes, flip it over and then RUN!

Summer Fun: Kids Bowl Free is Back Early

Last summer we signed up with Kids Bowl Free to bowl two free games a day, all summer long. This year we got a message saying the program was starting up in March, so we’ve signed on again. Read on for the details!

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What is it?

The Kids Bowl Free program is two free games a day for kids and you can add on a family pass for around $20 for up to four people over the qualifying age. Check with your center for age requirements. (Ours is ages 2 – 15.) It’s just a one-time fee, and it can be anyone, not just family members. Adults don’t have to bowl with the kids, so you can just let them bowl for free. Shoe rental is not included, but the younger kids won’t need to rent shoes.

Each week they will send you coupons by e-mail for your free games. You can also download their app and get your coupons that way.

How do I sign up?

Head to KidsBowlFree.com and look for your closest participating bowling center. Each center will also say the ages, times they honor the free passes and when they start the program. Then sign up! You can keep it totally free and just pay per game for yourself, or add on a family pass.

Plus, when you register please enter my email address candykay921@yahoo.com in the “Referred By” field on the registration page and we’ll both be entered to win some great prizes including Gas Cards, Amazon.com Gift Cards, Weekend Hotel Trips, Restaurant Gift Cards and more!

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A few tips

* If you have younger kids, you can ask them to pop up the bumpers so they won’t get a gutter ball.

* You can also ask for a ramp to help them roll the ball. Some places will give you one for free, but our center charges $2.

* If you plan to go a lot, you can save money by buying yourself bowling shoes. I got found a cute pair of bowling shoes on amazon for $35, but they even have cheaper used ones on eBay. They last forever and eventually pay for themselves.

* Don’t let them discover the game room too early. Once they go in there…they may not come back out to finish bowling! So also bring a couple dollars for quarters/tokens.

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We had a lot of fun with this program last year and I’m looking forward to going again!

I Got Trendy with Curtain Bangs

This week I updated my ‘do with a new set of curtain bangs. The funny thing is, anytime I’ve had bangs they’ve always been curtain bangs, I just didn’t know they had a fancy name! I have the kind of bangs that will do one thing only, and that’s split down the middle.

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Curtain bangs are usually a little longer and parted down the middle, framing your face on each side like a curtain. They have wispy ends rather than a blunt cut, giving them a laid-back relaxed look.

I was actually growing out my bangs a bit when a few rounds of bleached highlights led to some breakage in front and I started chopping bits off myself. So when necessity brought me to my hairstylist Georjie, the first thing she said is “Have you heard of curtain bangs?”

I said no, and told her to just go for it!

A few snips later and the damage was cut off and I was left with pretty face framing fringe that for once I wouldn’t have to fight with and try and tame into a side part or glue straight down. My hair just naturally want to part down the middle. And while the rest of my hair can be wavy and weird, my bangs have always been completely straight so this style totally works for me!

So now I’m feeling all trendy with the latest style in bangs. So if you are looking for a change that’s easy to wear- ask your stylist for curtain bangs on your next visit.

 

Real Mom Life, Making it Work

Being mom means being the ultimate multitasker, squeezing things in whenever you can, and trying to do most things with a companion of questionable temperament.

My friend Georjie snapped this pic while she was highlighting my hair one afternoon. It’s not exactly a glamorous shot, but it’s a little peek into daily “mom life.” Me trying to get things done with a little guy at my feet.

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I’m most likely checking an Instagram post while my son plays on the floor of the salon. We were lucky that it was empty that day because he didn’t want to sit quietly and watch TV or his iPad. And I was lucky to have met someone who worked at a cute little salon in the back of a boutique who was OK with having my son scurry around while she did my hair.

We made it work. That’s what moms do. All day, every day.

Do You Want to Play a Game?

Playing a game with a three-year-old is a unique experience. It takes a lot of patience, imagination and a complete lack of concern for following rules. We got this great set of games from Goliath Games and Pressman Toy Company and my son couldn’t wait to rip open the box and try every single toy, regardless of those pesky age recommendations.

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We got started with Googly Eyes, where you get to wear funny glasses and draw pictures while your team guesses what you are drawing. I can tell this one is going to be a lot of fun as soon as he can draw something more than a scribble. The glasses have three sets of lenses and we had fun trying them on and just trying to draw any kind of picture!

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Next up we gave Sequence a try. It’s a game of both strategy and luck, played with a board game, cards and chips. My son made up his own set of rules for this one involving the color-coded chips while I quietly snuck the cards out of view before they ended up all over the house. I thought this one looked like a good one to stash away until he’s a bit older.

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The last one we opened, and the one my son keeps pulling off the shelf to play again, is Rummikub. Must be something about all those little tiles. He’s convinced he’s quite the Rummikub champion and keeps telling me he’s winning every time he fills up one of the trays.

Another game of luck and strategy, players take turns placing numbered tiles in runs (consecutive numbers of the same color, like 2, 3, 4 in red) and groups (three or more of the same number in different colors, like a red 9, a blue 9 and a black 9), rummy style. The Joker tiles can be any color or number. The object is to be the first to play every tile on your rack. The “board” changes all the time as players adjust the tiles on the table.

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The next Rummikub champion

As much as my son loves trying to play all these games, his ultimate goal is to throw all the pieces everywhere and create as big of a mess as possible. So you can see why Sequence was hidden away with all its little pieces. But he’s quite attached to Rummikub so it’s a good thing all the little tiles are an easy clean-up. We even make a sort of game out of that part.

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Think your family would like a prize pack of these great games? Be sure to head to GeekMamas.com for this week’s giveaway! Starting Wednesday 2/20 and running until 3/4 you can enter to win.

Mogix Makes Portable Cell Phone Power that Fits in Your Pocket

In this era of cell phone dependability, we never want to get caught with a drained battery. Mogix makes it easy to avoid the dreaded dead phone experience with their ultra thin 5000mAh portable cell phone chargers that easily fit in your purse, baby bag, glove compartment or even your pocket.

Mogix sent me their Portable Power Bank in both black and white to try out for the blog, and I was immediately impressed by how slim and lightweight they were. The sleek design and 3.8 oz. weight make it easy to stash these in my “mom bag” without adding to its ever-growing bulk. Smaller than an iPhone, but powerful enough to charge any cell phone or small USB-friendly device in a matter of hours, this is definitely a handy little gadget.

The first thing I did was plug it in to make sure it had a full charge. It comes with a charging cable for the power bank, but you use your own regular phone charging cable to connect your phone. They recommend charging it about four hours or just leaving it plugged in overnight. Once the four little lights on the front are all lit, you are fully charged. You can check the amount of charge by pressing the little button on the front. For this particular charger, you can get one to three phone charges out of one battery charge and about 500 charges overall.

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All 4 lights lit, showing full battery

Once it was fully charged, I let my phone get down to around 8% left on my battery before I tested it. I used my usual phone cord and plugged it into the USB port on the Mogix charger. I checked it after about 30 minutes and I was already up to 45%.  After that, it took about two hours to get a full charge. The good thing is you can use the phone while it’s charging, so no need to wait around for it to finish. After it charged, the battery lights on the Mogix only went down to three, so it appears I could probably get a few charges out of it before needing to recharge.

The battery will shut off on its own and not keep charging, so your device is protected by an auto shut-off and temperature control system. The Mogix also comes with a 90 Day Satisfaction Guarantee and 18 Month Warranty.

It was easy to use, fast to charge and didn’t take up much space. I’ll definitely be keeping one of these stashed in our “go bag” that we take on our bike and park adventures!

Click here to shop for the Mogix portable charger on Amazon.

Book Review: P is for Poop by Ben Luster

My son has not been the most receptive little reader. In fact, he’s been downright combative at times, like when I tried to read him What’s Making Walter C. Laugh? and he threw a giant tantrum, and then there was the time he kept shoving poor Sgt. Stubby in the trash. It got to where I was hesitant to even suggest we try looking at a book together. Then Ben Luster sent us a book that involved poop and other gross things and I thought, maybe this book has a chance…

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P is for Poop is a funny, rhyming alphabet book that was inspired by the many diaper changes of a sleep-deprived parent. It started as a birthday gift for Ben’s daughter and was made public with the encouragement of his wife. Each page is dedicated to a letter of the alphabet and features a bright colorful illustration drawn by Sarah Walsh.

The story follows typical family shenanigans from A for awake to ZZZ for goodnight. And during that time, plenty of funny, silly and yes, sometimes stinky things happen. My son was captivated from pages 3 and 4, as soon as the cat pooped in the shoe. And guess what? The dog pooped there too!

No crying, no tearing the book out of my hands and throwing it in the trash. So there’s the secret- I just have to get him books about poop! Of course there’s more than just poop in there- the pages that speak to me the most are “M is for Memory, Mine is no more” and “N is for Nope, can’t remember what I came in here for.” Ben is talking to us parents too!

You can find P is for Poop on Amazon in paperback for $9.99  — (*links to amazon are affiliate links)

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The End!