DIY Yeast Inflated Balloon Science Experiment

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We love hands on projects here in the Divine household! Science, crafts, wood-working, art. You name it, we like doing it! Creating things, especially together as a family, is tons of fun! Little Divine and I have had a lot more time recently so we’ve been looking for more hands on learning activities to go along with her homeschooling. I bake bread so yeast is a common ingredient in our house. This project seems to be a popular one online with the kids and adults alike! (^.^)

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First things first! You need 1 empty water bottle of whatever size you choose. You will also need yeast, 1 non-inflated balloon, sugar, and warm water. We mixed in 2 tablespoons of yeast into hot water and mixed it well. Then we poured it into our water bottle using a funnel. We added 4 tablespoons of sugar to give it some extra to eat off of! We gently swirled the mixture around inside of the bottle and then put our red balloon over the top of it.

Almost immediately we saw results! Our balloon slowly started inflating before our eyes! Little Divine was thrilled and thanks to Mr. Divine making homemade mead, she could tell us all about why the balloon was inflating and what was causing it. (^.^)

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We spent the next 2 hours checking on our balloon as it grew and grew! It actually got pretty big! We were all very impressed with our project and it was a lot of fun. Plus it was simple to put together and didn’t require expensive ingredients. That’s always good! If you try this experiment, let me know what you think!

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Coconut Milk Ice Cubes For Coffee

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I love my morning coffee. I start my day with a glass of water, or warm water with lemon, to jump-start my body and give it a little cleansing. After that I have tea or coffee depending on the day and season. We’ve been trying new coffees in the Divine household and it’s been really fun… and sometimes gross! Ah the joys of trying coffee you’ve never tasted before!

I am one of those folks who doesn’t want to wait for my coffee to cool, but I also don’t want to sip it while it’s burning hot. I’m looking for just the right temperature so I can drink it and not scald my insides. This is hard to achieve as I don’t use creamers with the exception of a little full fat canned organic coconut milk, and I don’t use enough to cool it much. The bad thing about using canned coconut milk is that it goes bad in the fridge very quickly. I’ve emptied a can into a glass jar and had it go bad in the fridge after just 2 days! That is a waste and I really, really, really do not like wasting food products. So many people are starving all over the world and we have a huge epidemic of food wastefulness, especially in the US. I try very hard to not waste food and drinks because of this.

I really enjoy cold coconut milk in my coffee though! It gives my coffee a yummy flavor, especially with a little maple syrup stirred in as well. Heaven! ❤ I got a random idea last week to use tiny storage containers to make coconut milk ice cubes while pondering how to fix my coffee/milk dilemma. I have no idea if this has been done before, but I was excited to give it a go! Thankfully Amazon sells everything and with Prime shipping I get things at my door very fast.

I worry about just pouring milk into an ice-cube tray and leaving it open on top where things can get in it, so I decided to get a set of 10 small round food storage containers with lids. This way I could stack them and get more than a typical ice-cube worth of milk at a time. I figured I’d experiment with it to find what works the best. I poured organic coconut milk into each container evenly so all 10 had milk in them. I had a few extra square containers that I put milk in as well because I had a little left in my fridge that I didn’t want to go bad.

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This morning I got up and brewed a cup of coffee with excitement in heart to try out my coconut milk ice cubes! Yes, this is what excites me in life. It’s the small things people! ❤ I ran the closed containers under hot water to loosen them up enough to pop out and dump into my hot coffee. I added a little maple syrup and stirred. Success!

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The coconut milk ice cubes melted into yumminess and helped cool my coffee down so it was drinkable! I had a very nice cup of tasty deliciousness while I worked on prints this morning! (^.^) I will fill the containers a little bit less next time as it was a pretty big cube, but other than that I have no complaints.

I have a friend whose husband is severely allergic to coconut milk so I wanted to mention that this can be done with other milks as well! If you are dairy free like our family is, give it a try with rice or soy milk, or something else you enjoy! Don’t feel you have to use the exact milk we do. 🙂

If you try out milk ice cubes leave a comment and let me know what you thought!

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Water Beads Glitter Bottle Project

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These are Water Bead/Jelly Beadz/Water Beadz. They are tiny little balls of excitement! As I mentioned in my original review of them, we discovered these through a friend of ours who had added some to a water bottle for her baby to look at and be fascinated by. I ordered a set of 10,000 beads for my kiddos to try out as well and they loved them! We added them a water filled container and they played with them for hours. (^.^)

I decided to do a project with them similar to our DIY Glitter Bottles because those were such a hit! I took 2 full water bottles, cut off the labels, added 1 drop of food coloring to each bottle, and then added the fun! I added 4 pinches of Water Beads to each bottle, and added 20 small plastic fake diamonds to each bottle. Lastly, we added glitter! I have an excess of fun colored nail glitter that we used, though I really need glitter that sinks for these kind of projects. A lot of our glitter floats at the top instead of sinking to the bottom.

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The bottles were a huge success! ❤ The kids love them! Each bottle shimmers in the sunlight and looks so neat! It was a very simple project that took all of 10 minutes to complete. I did soak the water beads in the water bottles overnight, though they started puffing up after just a few minutes. I think they should be good to go after 2 hours in water.

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These are a super cheap for of entertainment for kids, especially during hot months. There are tons of ways to use them! And you get so many in a package that they last a long time. I am still very happy with this buy because the kids adore these Water Beads! This is something that would make a great gift as well! If you package doesn’t include instructions, you can print out a little tag with instructions and ideas to go with it. (^.^) I may add that to my present list this Christmas season!

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Glutino Favorite Sandwich Bread Review

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Image from Amazon.com

I am always on the lookout for really yummy gluten free bread because that seems to be one of the hardest things to find that taste really good. I have tried a lot of pre-made breads but I have an issue with the fact that you get half a loaf and they charge you $6 for it! I decided to try a couple of bread mixes instead and see if they were work the cost. I was really excited by the fact that I’d get a decent size loaf if I was lucky.

I tried Glutino Favorite Sandwich Bread today. The process to make it was very simple, though I did change the recipe a little. Instead of 2 eggs I used 3, and I added an extra couple tablespoons of butter, hoping that they would add more flavor. Gluten free bread is known for it’s bland and cardboard like taste. Often they are super dry as well. I added 1/4 cup of ground flaxseed to our mix as well, for extra nutritional value and digestion ease. And lastly, I let the yeast packet activate in the milk for 10 minutes before adding it to the mix. I always activate my yeast first, even when the recipe says not to. I feel I get better baked goods that way. I heated the milk for the recipe up enough for my yeast to activate in. Other than those changes I left the recipe as listed on the box.

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I let the bread sit on my warm stove for closer to an hour instead of their suggested 30 minutes, so it would have a chance to rise really well. I had to bake mine for 40 minutes, the last 10 minutes was done with foil over the top to keep it from getting super brown. It turned out very pretty!

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I made this loaf especially for making sandwiches because we had leftover chicken from last night’s dinner, and I had my appetite set on chicken sandwiches for lunch today. When I tried a piece of it plain, I found it to still be lacking in some flavor. I don’t know what exactly could be added to give it more flavor, but it is definitely something you could experiment with!

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For sandwiches it worked pretty well. My whole family enjoyed the flavor and had no hesitation with eating their sandwiches. (^.^) It also held up really well, it didn’t crumble or fall apart, and it stayed very moist which I was very surprised at. A lot of pre-made breads are very dry and fall apart, and they taste super dry. That is not appetizing.

I am excited to see how the bread holds up over the week. As with anything you make yourself, it will likely go bad quicker so you will need to eat it right away or store it in the freezer. I’m planning to try this bread toasted with jam, and possibly as french toast if there is any left by the weekend! Mr. Divine really liked it as a sandwich bread so I may treat him to sandwiches to take to work this week. Normally we do those very rarely because tasty bread is hard to find and it costs so much.

Glutino products do contain soy, which is something I don’t like. I’m not crazy about eating or drinking a bunch of soy in general, but soy also has a tendency to irritate my stomach. I was very thankful this bread did not bother my stomach much at all! I don’t enjoy getting sick from my food so it was nice to have a sandwich lunch that didn’t bother me at all. (^.^)

If you are looking for a pretty good GF bread and are okay with soy, give Glutino Favorite Sandwich Bread a try! If you do try it, please let me know what you think!

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DIY Glitter Bottle For Kids

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I found a fantastic online article this morning from Mindful.org about the benefits of a glitter jar for children. The author gave great examples for kids to use their glitter jars to help with behavioral issues by comparing the glitter to overwhelmed minds. He said that he asks kids to think of the glitter swirling around as all the thoughts going through their heads that distract them and keep them from focusing. He feels it’s a useful tool with children of all ages, not just small children. I wanted to give it a try because one kiddo I watch has a lot of concentration and behavioral issues, and Little Divine gets distracted easily sometimes while she’s doing school work.

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We started off with supplies from our local Dollar Tree. I figured if we needed more advanced supplies we’d go to Hobby Lobby. I decided against glass jars as they can get broken easily by kiddos. These hand sanitizer bottles were the perfect size and made of plastic. We picked up glitter and used glitter I had for nail polish. I figured the combo of glitter should assure a pretty bottle!

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I peeled the labels off the bottles and emptied the sanitizer out. We added water and 1 drop of food coloring to the bottles. Any more than that would have made it too hard to see in it. We added as much glitter as the kids asked for! After I shook them up and they were satisfied with the results, I super-glued the lids on the bottles. I then cut thin strips of fun colored duct tape to cover the tops just to ensure they stayed on and closed!

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The results were fabulous! We did have glitter settling at the top, not just at the bottom, but the kids didn’t mind. (^.^) They love the result! We talked about the bottle representing our minds, and the glitter being all the many thoughts and feelings we have each day. I told them that all their feelings are okay, and we don’t want them to go away, but we do want to find a way to calm our minds so we can focus during the day. We talked about breathing slowly and deeply to calm our minds while we watch the glitter fall and settle in our bottles.

I’m really hoping these are a big help for the kids! Little Divine is 10 so I feel she can better understand how to use her bottle in a calming way, and remember to do her breathing to settle her mind. This was a fantastic project for $2.14 and they turned out very pretty! ❤

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Homeschooling Families Should Support Each Other

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I started my morning off today like I usually do – I got up, made coffee, and got started on all the things on my to do list. I check my email and Facebook to see what needs my attention while I drink my coffee and get started on my day. Sadly this morning I saw a Facebook post that put a sour taste in my mouth.

A homeschooling mom, just starting out, asked for advice in a group because her son was flying through his Kindergarten level workbooks and they were too easy for him. I completely related to this as Little Divine flew through hers too and I moved her onto First Grade early on because she wasn’t being challenged. I work in childcare so Little Divine had learned all the things they teach in grade K long before she started it. I was excited to see that I could offer her a little first hand advice so I scrolled through the comments to see what else had been shared.

Several women had the nerve to tell this woman in a rude manner that workbooks are not meant to be a full curriculum and that’s why her son was flying through them. (o.O) Uhmm, ANYTHING can be a full curriculum. THAT IS THE WHOLE POINT OF HOMESCHOOLING! Homeschooling is giving your child the best possible education that works for them and your family. If Unschooling is a complete curriculum, so is using workbooks. I do not say that in a way to put down unschooling, I am simply trying to show that if  people who don’t use any school books to educate kids do so successfully, why are we trying to say using a type of school books isn’t enough?? Why do we have to question what others choose to do anyway??

Homeschooling is supposed to be a tailor-made education for your child. Children are supposed to get something different and unique compared to the public and private education systems. It is supposed to be something that you choose based on your children and family alone. How you homeschool is your business and no one has the right to put someone down for schooling differently than they do.

I am tired of seeing people in communities tear each other down. We are in a COMMUNITY! We should be lifting each other up and offering support. We should be giving advice when it’s asked for, offer helpful tips and tricks, and share great resources. We should encourage all those in our community and be supportive even when they do things the complete opposite of how we do them. The world is full of people who tear others down. Can we please stop contributing to it??

When I first started homeschooling Little Divine 5 year ago, I didn’t know anyone who homeschooled. The first woman I met was a nightmare. She was what we all do not want to be – a homeschooling Nazi who happily put others down for not doing things the way she did. She acted appalled that Little Divine didn’t know how to read at 5. Really?? Many kids don’t learn to read until 7 or 8! But I didn’t know that at the time so I rushed her into learning how to read because this woman made me feel I was failing as a homeschooling mom. She also put my down for buying workbooks from the dollar store and local thrift stores, telling me my daughter COULD NOT get a good education with those materials. I turned to a friend with much younger kids who was so livid at the other woman’s hate. She assured me Little Divine WOULD get a fantastic education because I loved her and would always do my best to educate her well! ❤

I eventually cut ties with that woman. I was disgusted by her behavior and actions. She didn’t even work, yet used her husband’s hard-earned money to put others down who couldn’t afford the things she could. I have no problem with stay at home moms, but I DO have a problem when they use their spouse’s money to put others down and hurt them. It’s not okay to put others down AT ALL.

I don’t care how you educate your children! I support each and every one of you! ❤ You are a rock star for putting your child’s education first and taking a front seat in it! You are amazing! Don’t ever let anyone tell you differently! It is time we stop attacking, belittling, and putting other homeschooling parents down for how they teach their children. It is time we step up to support each other and learn from all the families who school differently. WE ARE A COMMUNITY and we should be acting like it!

I left a comment on the young woman’s post today making it very clear that ANY way of schooling can be a complete curriculum and no one should be criticizing anyone else. I wanted her to see that others will stand up for her and how she was treated was wrong. We all should speak up if we see homeschooling folks putting each other down. Set the better example and show people that we are a community trying to support each other! ❤

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