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Archive for September, 2006

How to make your own play dough

Play DoughMy kids love play dough. It provides hours of entertainment and it’s excellent for developing their gross motor skills. With this in mind, why not try making your own? It is something fun that you and the kids can do together (maybe on a rainy day).

Here is the recipe.

1 cup flour
1 cup water
1/2 cup salt
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tbsp. cooking oil
food coloring

In a saucepan, mix dry ingredients. Add oil, water, and food coloring. Cook three minutes over medium/low heat, or until mixture pulls away from sides of pan. Remove from pan and knead until blended smooth. Place in plastic bag or airtight container when cooled. It should last a long time. has a handful of variations on this recipe, some are even edible.

And here are some ideas for your play dough.

  • Add cinnamon or peppermint extract to give the play dough a nice scent.
  • Give it as a birthday gift or party favor along with the recipe, a child size rolling pin, and some cookie cutters.
  • Make a larger batch (by doubling or quadrupling the recipe) to have as a birthday party activity.

However you decide to make it, the end result is always the same: kids having hours of fun.

Add comment September 20th, 2006

A list of my son’s favorite books

Over the last year, my son has read a lot of books (almost one a day). I’m so proud of him, can you tell? Anyway…
Here is a list of his favorites, broken down by category.

For the early reading days, I found the Scholastic Reading Program box sets very helpful. These are the book sets my son liked, because of the familiar characters.

  1. Clifford the Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell
  2. Dora the Explorer
  3. Spongebob Squarepants

Once my son became more comfortable with reading, he started on the young reader books. This is a small list of his favorite books.

  1. “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” by Laura Joffe Numeroff
  2. “My Senator and Me: A Dog’s Eye View of Washington, D.C.” by Edward Kennedy
  3. “The Adventures of Taxi Dog” by Debra Barracca and Sal Barracca
  4. “Is Your Mama a Llama?” by Deborah Guarino
  5. “Martha Blah Blah” by Susan Meddaugh
  6. “You Can’t Eat Your Chicken Pox, Amber Brown” by Paula Danziger
  7. “Sammy the Seal” by Syd Hoff
  8. “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” by Judith Viorst
  9. “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak
  10. “Dectective Dinosaur Lost and Found” by James Skofield

Now, my son (he’s in first grade) is enjoying certain authors and character based books. Here are some examples.

  1. Dr. Seuss
  2. P.D. Eastman
  3. The Curious George Library by Margaret & H.A. Rey
  4. The Amelia Bedelia Series by Peggy Parish and Herman Parish
  5. The Henry and Mudge Series by Cynthia Rylant

If you are looking for more recommendations, here are a couple of helpful resources. has a Kid’s Catalog with a Best Stories Section. It is broken down by these catagories and sub-categories.

  • Awards – Young Reader’s Choice, National Book Award, and 31 other sub-categories
  • Picture Books – Stories for Boys, Stories for Girls, and 34 other sub-categories
  • Beginning Readers – Starting to Read, Reading More, and True Stories
  • Chapter Books – Stories for Boys, Stories for Girls, and 21 other sub-categories
  • Young Adult (Jr. High level) – Biographies, Mysteries, and 22 other sub-categories

Barnes & has a Children’s Books Section with a Book Browser button that offers 5 categories. (Each category level allows you to narrow down your results by choosing from various selections.) The categories are as follows:

Good Luck and Good Reading!

1 comment September 19th, 2006

Some of my favorite places to eat

After reviewing my last post (September 16, 2006), I decided I would put together a list of South Florida restaurants I like.

Dales Bar-B-Q – Best BBQ, fries, and sweet tea. Two Locations in Ft. Pierce (One located on Okeechobee Road and another on US 1). They have two websites, here they are Dales Bar-B-Q West and Dales Bar-B-Q South.

Hot Dog Heaven – They make some seriously good hot dogs and fries too. Location in Ft. Lauderdale (Sunrise Blvd).

J. Alexander’s – Awesome steaks, salad, everything. And the atmosphere is casual and contemporary. Locations in 12 states, but locally Boca Raton (Glades Road), Plantation (Broward Blvd), and Ft. Lauderdale (Federal Highway).

Ole Ole – Mexican restaurant with addictive salsa, ice cold beer in frosted mugs, and delicious margaritas. Locations in Plantation (Broward Blvd) and Ft Lauderdale (Las Olas Riverfront).

Randy’s – Fresh subs, basil vinegarette, big chocolate chip cookies, brownies and they cater. Location in Hollywood (46th Ave).

Sonny’s Famous Steak Hoagies – Best steak hoagies around. Location in Hollywood (66th Ave).

Stevie B’s Rib Cafe – The ribs and chicken have great flavor. The sweet corn nuggets, mozzarella sticks, and salad are some tasty starters. Locations in Pembroke Pines (Flamingo Road), Weston (Indian Trace Road), and Boca Raton (Glades Road).

If you’re looking for more options, has a dining section with an article, Your Top Picks, that lists local restaurants by specialty. Each restaurant listed offers restaurant details, reviews, and allows you to leave your own review.

Add comment September 18th, 2006

Sonny’s Famous Steak Hoagies

My husband and I went to Sonny’s for dinner last night. I love their #95 (steak hoagie with marinara sauce) with cheese. I’ve been ordering it for 15 years, not every day of course. Every once in a while, I’ll order the sausage hoagie with marinara, peppers, and onions or an italian hoagie. And, they even bake their own hoagie bread. But whatever I order, it’s always great. It’s comfort food. So, if you’re ever in Hollywood, Florida and want a steak hoagie, this is the place (at least in my opinion).

Add comment September 16th, 2006

Our new swimming pool

On August 17, 2006, our brand new pool was ready to be used. At 4:30 pm, the kids and I jumped in with great excitement. We had been waiting for this day since February 22, 2006. That was the day we signed a contract to have our pool built. The journey was exciting! On the Pool Page, I will walk you through the whole process and include some great pictures.

1 comment September 15th, 2006


Welcome! This is the first post I’ve ever written, so here goes. My name is Dawn and my husband suggested that I start a blog. I’ve been reading, researching, and brainstorming on how to make this happen. As a newcomer, I have a big learning curve ahead of me. Therefore, please preview with this in mind.

Thanks and enjoy.

5 comments September 14th, 2006

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