Take Advantage Of Spring Days AND Plan An Adventure

ESCAPADING INTO A NEW NORMAL

Soaking Up The Gifts Of Spring

Spring has sprung and it is absolutely imperative to get outside and immerse yourself in nature when we are given the gift of beautiful days where the temps are so comfortable and the sun is energizing the Earth. A lot of people have started their early gardening and spring cleaning but for some excellent exercise try seeking out your nearby nature trails. From someone that never hiked before in her life, something that the year 2020 has taught me is to appreciate nature. Getting out into nature and for walks was about one of the few things that got us through 2020. Not only does this help to stimulate healthy mental balance but easy complimentary exercise comes along with it.

Invest In Your Mind, Soul and Body

There are plenty of apps to utilize to find scenic trails not far from your own home to enjoy the beautiful views. I like checking up on nature, seeing what is blooming and what wildlife my children and I may spot. We just saw a beaver swimming in a stream just 2 days ago!

Seek Out State Parks Close To Your House

State Parks always have so much to offer and currently there is no charge to get in. State Parks usually have water views, nature trails and more. Some parks offer kayaking, paddle sports, trail running, wildflowers, and all kinds of classes. Birding is something interesting to look into – you can always order some birding books from the library to educate yourself and this way it doesn’t cost anything to learn and to go searching. There are apps to help assist you with your birding adventure. Photography is another great hobby to get into as you seek out such beauty.

The All Trails App

This app is super easy and accessible providing directions to whichever route you choose opening up into your apple maps on your iPhone. This app will give you ratings on each trail and you can filter your search results to your difficult level, views, if pets are allowed, bikes etc. I like to search out rail trails or “running” paths this way I know I am not climbing any mountains or hiking in the deep woods – although my boys would prefer the adventure of the deep woods. If you are able to bike maybe seek out all the bike paths near you to conquer.

I Prefer Trails With a Water View

I am the type of person who feels at peace when near water. When there is water you know you’re definitely going to see more wildlife happenings. We have even seen Bald Eagles during the winter when the rest of the birds are south. The sound of running water helps me feel calm and one with the earth. In late Spring and Summer we enjoy seeing picturesque landscapes of butterflies, wildflowers along with a plethora of different kinds of birds near trails with water views. I feel so fulfilled after visiting such tranquility.

Trail Link App

The Trail Link app will provide you with all rail trails – easier to walk or bike on without the worry of having to climb mountains or trek into the unknown of the deep woods. It is also pretty cool to be walking on what used to be a working railroad at one time.

Geocache App

My brother and his family really enjoy using the Geocache app and have been using it for years! You can decide on an area that you would like to explore and use the app to search for a Geocache (“treasure”) and find it there. You can put the treasure back where you found it or place something new in it’s spot. You can also create Geocaches and plant them in obscure places to make the hunt more interested but remember to post your coordinates. This is all completely free and so much fun.

What are you doing to enjoy the season?

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DIY Lego Birthday Lawn Signs

Pandemic Birthday Ideas

Going out of our way to make pandemic birthdays all the more special

In January when I realized my older son Mikey’s 13 birthday was just around the bend, I was trying to figure out how to make it all the more special especially since we have another year where we can’t have a nice family gathering like in past years. All the more special without spending a crazy amount of money. Mikey has always been a creative Lego builder so I wanted to bring that into play. During the winter I saw some friends who live in Florida celebrating their elderly Mother’s birthday, social-distance-style, with these beautiful lawn signs!

I am by no means this perfect, classy crafter designer that you see on YouTube and Instagram. I am not talented. This is real, down-to-earth decorating to liven up my son’s 13th birthday. I am here just trying to brighten up a not-so-bright world that we are living in at the moment. I don’t complain, I plan out exactly how to make it better.

In researching I found that Birthday Lawn Signs could get very pricey – and for something that may not last due to weather conditions, I really didn’t want to spend too much. I order a simple “Happy Birthday” lawn sign off of Walmart. com and decided I was going to create “Mikey” and “13” myself, with the help of my husband.

Walmart Sign

Making Mikey’s name plus the number 13 was a little more complicated but they are much easier to see from the road and much more vibrant!

Supplies You Will Need To Make Your Amazing Lawn Sign:

We needed 7 foam boards for M-I-K-E-Y and then 1 and 3. My husband was so good for bringing home the DeWALT Utility Knife to cut the foam boards into letters and the 13. He used an old piece of wood slap to cut over so to not destroy anything underneath. Each letter got its own board. My husband eyed it up on his own and used a pencil to trace where he wanted to cut.

Since my birthday kid is still very much into LEGO, I decided on using old LEGO plastic tablecloth as the design as opposed to painting. The end result was cute but the darker parts of the LEGO tablecloth blended in too much with our brick house so if I were to do this again, I would choose solid vibrant paint. Paint is also a much easier and neater option.

Thank Goodness The Snow Has Since Melted!

HEAD OUTSIDE TO COMPLETE THE REST

The remainder was to be done OUTSIDE, as the 3M Adhesive is toxic, flammable and should not be sprayed inside an enclosed non-ventilated area. I placed a letter over the table cloth and proceeded as if I was wrapping a giant Christmas gift. I cut off any extra to save for the remaining letters. I sprayed the 3M Adhesive all over the foam board and wrapped the table cloth around the letter/number as tightly as I could.

USE CLEAR PACKING TAPE TO WRAP IT UP

I used the retractable DeWALT knife to cut through any holes as well as any extra table cloth. After I completed all the letters I sprayed them with Scotch Guard. The only issue was, it prevented the duck tape from adhering to the letters and numbers. What worked best and mounting it to the landscaping spikes was wrapping the letters to the spikes with clear packing tape. I realized I needed to wrap each letter and number completely in the clear packing tape to secure it, as well as keep it safe. Even the little Happy Birthday sign from Walmart needed to have the backs of the letters taped to each other since the March winds have been wreaking havoc!

We have been lucky that all of the signs have not budged in these crazy North Jersey winds! I think the key is using the clear packing tape and wrapping them around the steaks tightly, which also seals up the letters. If I could do it again I would pick solid vibrant paints because I feel like it would be a little easier, less messier (perhaps lol) and more evident from afar. After it was all done, I took my jar of glitter, sprayed some 3M adhesive on top of each letter and threw glitter on top. Now they sparkle too!

Check out my post on the LEGO Harry Potter Diagon Alley

What are some of your ideas for making your loved ones birthdays more special?

What plans do you have for Easter?

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