When I embarked on this craft adventure I thought it would simply be a fun, quick, and spring cleaning related activity to do with Penelope one quiet afternoon… in the end I myself had a blast, and at points found myself giddy as a school girl watching the transformation happen.
We were looking for a fun new playground to go to for Penelope’s Grandpa’s birthday (per his request) and I’d been meaning to go to Magic Mountain Playground at Coyote Point for ages, so the whole family loaded in Grandma and Grandpa’s van and we headed down to San Mateo. Turned off at first by the $6 parking fee just to enter the grounds, we approached the towering play structure in awe, and were not disappointed. The playground is split between a younger kids’ area and older kids’ area, and being quite a massive space it didn’t feel crowded despite it being the middle of a gorgeous Saturday. There are several different slides all over, climbing structures, swings, spring tables, balance beams, tunnels… all wrapped up in a castle and dragon theme.
I came across a pin of this craft on Pinterest a while back thinking it was really adorable and just logging it away for the right time. The first time my 2-year old daughter, Penelope, and I actually did it was when we were sending a package to her grandparents in Southern California. It seemed such a great impromptu project for that kind of moment because it allowed us to not only send them a special art project from Penny, but also shares with them how big she’s getting in a different way than just the Facebook pictures they’re used to seeing. Additionally, the process of making the “hug” gave Penny and me the opportunity to talk about Mamu & Grandpa and how we love them and they live far away and how nice it is to do special things to show people we love them. That is exactly why this project popped in to my head for Valentine’s Day. It is easy and quick, but fun to do, and the end result is something special for someone special.
Please don’t let the word “craft” scare you! This is EASY and truly takes only about fifteen minutes. The hardest part is vacuuming the glitter out of the rug if it dumps over (which it did for us). You may even have everything you need scrambled around your home right now.
Really it was synchronicity that brought Penelope and me to Twin Hill Ranch on a recent Monday in September. The fact that this Out & About deadline was coming up and that Penelope and I hadn’t had a day to ourselves in quite a while both contributed to my scouring the internet Sunday evening for something new and awesome to do in the area, when I came across an article at Red Tricycle about a handful of “u-pick” apple farms near the Bay Area. Just a day or two before an East Coast to West Coast transplant friend on Facebook had asked for advice about any drivable places to pick your own apples… cue dramatic “epiphany” sound effect… off to Sebastopol we went.
It’s April in San Francisco, which means you could be reading this on your tablet in the glow of the sun on a warm patch of green park grass, or in the darkness of the mid-afternoon while listening to a gloomy downpour outside your window. I love San Francisco despite the manic-depressive weather, and that means having the sand toys at the ready and having sanity saving solutions to spending the day inside as well. This “Out” & About is brought to you with the latter in mind.
Growing up in San Francisco the old California Academy of Sciences was one of my favorite places to go. Undoubtedly in part because it was the only place I knew of that sold Astronaut Ice Cream, but I have fond memories of the touch pool, the rickety shake table, and intensely staring at the earth’s rotation pendulum eagerly awaiting the next pin’s inevitable demise. As a mom now I love taking my daughter to CAoS and watching her develop her own preferences (we can’t leave without a stop to wave at the albino alligator) that I know she will remember fondly throughout her life.