Easy DIY Fruit Bouquet

Have you ever seen a fruit bouquet? I think they are genius. Not only are they beautiful, but they are delicious to eat, and they are healthy! That is three wins.

Earlier this year I made this fruit bouquet for a friend. These can be made for any occasion, birthdays, holidays, thinking of you etc. And they are not that hard to make, the pineapples and melting the chocolate took the longest time. And that was not long at all.

Supplies for a fruit bouquet
  1. Fruit- I used pineapple, green and red grapes, and strawberries.
  2. Cookie cutter
  3. Skewers-I got these at my local grocery store meat department.
  4. Vase
  5. Tissue paper
  6. Foam or pool noodle to go inside
  7. Bow
  8. Simple syrup (water and sugar)
  9. Pastry brush
  10. Cookie sheet-can line with wax paper

Steps to Make a Fruit Bouquet
  1. Prepare the vase by putting the tissue paper in first, then put in the foam. Tie the bow around the vase.
  2. Wash all the fruit.
  3. Make a simple syrup, heat 1 part water with 1 part sugar until sugar is melted.
  4. Melt and temper chocolate using the double broiler method. Ie place a pan of water on the stove. On top of that place a heat resistant bowl. Heat water to a low boil or just below boiling. Melt chocolate in the bowl.
  5. Cut pineapple open. Slice in rectangles. Use the cookie cutter on the slices to make heart shapes or whatever shape is desired.
  6. Dip the strawberries in the chocolate. I did half and half to create a color differential on the arrangement.
  7. Place all fruit on the cookie sheet. Brush with the simple syrup. Let dry for a few minutes
  8. Place all the fruit on the skewers. This will be a little sticky depending on how dry the fruit is. The pineapples are the most tricky. They are slimy and like to fall off.
  9. Stick the skewers in the foam and arrange the fruit randomly.
That is all the steps to make the perfect Fruit Bouquet. Whoever gets it will love it! Let me know if you make one. I would love to see it.

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How to Organize Kids Toys Without Losing Your Mind

As my kids started getting older it seemed the number of toys in our house increased exponentially. Everywhere I looked there was toys. And then the toys started coming with lots of smaller parts. At first we put them in a big box.

But it got really frustrating trying to find the set of toys they wanted to play with. My kids would dump all the toys out and then there would be an even bigger mess.

One day I was at the library when a light bulb went off. The library stored all puzzles in plastic containers. I instantly knew this had to be my motto. I was going to buy a bunch of plastic containers for our toys.

I picked Sterilite containers to store our toys. I liked Sterilite containers because they came in all sizes, the mini clip box, small clip box, large clip box and deep clip boxes. These boxes store 90% of our toys. The other 10% of the toys, the train set, duplo blocks and cars get stored in larger Sterilite containers. The different sized boxes can be a little tricky to find. I found that plastic storage seems to be seasonal in stores. The best places to find them have been Target, Home Depot and Menards. But it really depends on the season. I have also found them online.

These containers stack on on another, the lids of the deep and large clip boxes are interchangable, and the containers fit really well in the space I have. They even fit in our Kid Craft kitchen. That is where we store our kitchen toys.

The rules for the boxes are all like toys get a specific box. We have a boxes for musical instruments, bugs, fluffs, legos, Lincoln logs, plastic kitchen tools, real life kitchen tools, Melissa and Doug Pizza and birthday cake sets, character figurines, Tinker Toys, animals, Minnie Mouse Toys, wooden blocks, puzzles, Lego Train etc. The best part about it is my kids know how to sort their own toys now. If my kids no longer want the toy set we can give that set away full and the container can be used for another set of toys. I always buy a few extra around the holidays to have the different sizes on hand for new toys we get.

At first my husband did not like the cost of containers and did not like how much longer it took to clean up, ie we had to organize instead of throwing in a box. But overtime he has come to see that the system works very well and has not said anything about it since. And now it does not take us very long to clean up because we know where everything goes. And the kids can play with a set of complete toys!

I loved this system so much that I incorporated it for my crayon collection, crafting supplies, and office supplies. I can keep like things with like things and find them really easily. It takes a little bit of startup cost, but it is totally worth it to see a clean and organized playroom. Let me know what you think. Would this system work for your house?

Here are some after pictures of my house.

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Everything You Need To Know About Lego Dimensions: Game Review

Lego Dimensions Game Review
Do your kids love Legos? My kids love all Legos. They love the Lego sets, Lego Movies and Lego Xbox games. To say they love Lego's is an understatement. We also have multiple sets of Legos and even bought a custom set so we would have even more Lego's to build with.

We also have a few Lego Games; Lego Jurassic Park, Lego Hobbit and Lego Lord of the Rings. They have also played Lego Harry Potter, and Lego Star Wars.

A while back we were shopping in Kansas City. We saw a great deal on the Lego Dimensions Xbox 360 game and had to get it (Yes it is the old Xbox). My kids love the game. It comes with three standard characters, Gandolf, Batman and Batmobile and Wyldstyle. More packs can be added to add even more characters to the game. We also bought Princess Unikitty, Legolas, Gimli, Chase McCain, Emmet, and Mr T.
These are the bottom tokens for each character.
Who can play Lego Dimensions? 
Lego Dimensions is available on many gaming system platforms; PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Wii U, Xbox One, Xbox 360. It is recommended for ages 10+. My kids are 4 and 6 and have no problem playing it.

How does it work?
Lego Dimensions is sold as a separate set for each gaming system, but the game is the same for each system. This unique disc is installed to the gaming system. There is a blue unassembled USB Lego Toy Pad that comes the basic set. There are three standard unassembled characters and one vehicle that come in the basic set;  Gandolf, Batman and Batmobile and Wyldstyle. These characters and their vehicles can be used in the game by placing them on the blue platform. There are 14 levels in the game based on different movies and shows and a new Lego Dimension world. The object of the game is to complete each level by completing tasks.

To add even more levels Story Packs, six levels and Level Packs, one level can be purchased. To use more characters/vehicles in the game character packs can be purchased. The Story and Level packs come with more characters. Characters are also sold separately with their own vehicles.

What are the levels and characters?
The games feature characters and settings from; The A-Team, Adventure Time, Back to the Future
DC Comics, Doctor Who, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters (2016), The Goonies, Gremlins, Harry Potter, Jurassic World, Knight Rider, Legends of Chima, The Lego Batman Movie, Lego City, The Lego Movie, The Lord of the Rings, Midway Arcade, Mission: Impossible, Ninjago, Portal 2, Scooby-Doo, The Simpsons, Sonic the Hedgehog and The Wizard of Oz

The levels take place in the following locations.
Follow the Lego Brick Road, the setting is the Wizard of Oz
Meltdown at Sector 7-6, the setting is the Simpsons and Doctor Who
Elements of Surprise, the setting is Lego Ninjago
A Dalektable Adventure, The setting is Doctor Who
Painting the Town Black, the setting is DC Comics
Once Upon A Time in the West, the setting is Back to the Future
GLaD to See You, the setting is Portal 2
Riddle-Earth, the setting is Lord of the Rings
The Phantom Zone, the setting is Ghostbusters
All Your Bricks Belong to Us, the setting is Midway Arcade games
Monster Mayhem Mash-Up, the setting is Schooby Doo
Prime Time, the setting is Lego Dimensions world and the Lego Movie
The End is Tri, The setting is Lord of the rings and Batman
The Final Dimension, the setting is Lego Dimensions world

What did we think?
My kids love the Lego games. I love the Lego games for them because they are generally very clean. They are a little sarcastic. Kids can work on; building skills, teamwork and following instructions when playing. They also get to play along with a fun story. I like that the game is a finite game unlike Minecraft which goes on forever. The only way to expand the game is to add more finite levels.

I love this game because it is expandable. More unique characters and levels can be added. I love that the game is the same for all the systems and a new base game does not need to be purchased to expand the levels. This saves space and money.

What would I change?
Because the game takes place in so many universes I would only change to have some of the levels optional. For example I would opt to not let my kids play in the Simpsons universe. I would love to have a kid version of the game where it was more centered on characters younger kids know. Then it would be perfect. I would love a Disney themed Lego Dimensions.

What is available in the Expansions?
Story Packs
Here are the story packs available. They come with 6 additional levels and characters.
Ghostbusters, Ecto-1, Zhu's Chinese Restaurant, and Abby Yates.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,  Niffler, MACUSA, and New Scamander.
The Lego Batman Movie, Batgirl, Robin, Batwing and Bat computer.

Lego Packs
Here are Lego Packs available. They come with 1 additional level and characters.
Back to the Future (Back to the Future Level), Marty McFly with DeLorean Time Machine and Hoverboard
Portal 2 (Apeture Science Level), Chel with Companion Cube and Sentry Turret
The Simpsons (The Mysterious Voyage of Homer Level), Homer with Homer's Car and Taunt-o-Vision
Doctor Who (The Dalek Extermination of Earth Level), Twelfth Doctor with TARDIS and K-9
Ghostbusters (Ghostbusters Level), Peter Venkman with Ecto-1 and Ghost Trap
Midway Arcade (Retro Wreckage Level), Gamer Ki with Arcade Machine and G-6155 Spy Hunter
Adventure Time (A Book and a Bad Guy Level) Finn the Human with Jakemobile and Ancient War Elephant
Mission: Impossible (Mission: Impossible Level), Ethan Hunt with IMFScrambler and IMF Sport Car
Sonic the Hedgehog (Sonic Dimensions Level), Sonic the Hedgehog with Sonic Speedster and The Tornado
The Goonies (The Goodnies Level), Sloth with One-Eyed Willy's Pirate Ship and Skeleton Organ

Team Packs
Here are the team packs. They come with 4 additional pieces, characters/vehicles and/or gadgets.
Jurassic World, Owen, ACU Trooper, Velociraptor, and Gyrosphere
Scooby-Do, Scooby-Doo, Shaggy with the Mystery Machine and Scooby Snack
Lego Ninjago, Kai, Cole, Blake bike and Blouder Bomber
DC Comics, The Joker, Harley Quinn, the Jocker's Chopper and Quinn-mobile
Adventure Time, Jake the Dog, Lumpy Space Princess, BMO and Lumpy Car
Harry Potter, Harry Potter, Lord Voldemort, Enchanted Car and Hogwarts Express
Gremlins, Gizmo, Sripe, R.C. Racer, and Flash 'n' Finish
The Powerpuff Girls, Blossom, Bubbles, Octi and PPG Smartphone
Teen Titans Go!, Beast Boy, Raven, Speelbook of Azarath, T-Car

Fun Packs
Here are the Fun Packs. They come with one pair.
The Lord of the Rings, Gollum and Shelob, Legolas and Arrow Launcher, Gimli and Axe Chariot
The Wizard of Oz, Wicked Witch and Winged Monkey
Lego Legends of Chima, Laval and Mighty Lion Rider, Cragger and Swamp Skimmer, Eris and Eagle Interceptor
The Lego Movie, Emmet and Emmet's Excavator, Bad Cop and Police Car, Benny and Benny's Spaceship, Unikitty and Cloud Cuckoo Car
Lego Ninjago, Ja and Storm Fighter, Nya and Samurai Mech, Zane and Ninja Copter, Sensei Wu and Flying White Dragon, Lloyd and Lloyd's Golden dragon
DC Comics, Wonder Woman and Invisible Jet, Cyborg and Cyber-Guard, Superman and Hover Pod, Aquaman and Aqua Watercraft, Bane and Drill Dirver
The Simpsons, Bar and Gravity Sprinter, Krusty and Clown Bike
Back to the Future, Doc Brown and Traveling Time Train
Doctor Who, Cyberman and Dalek
Ghostbusters, Stay Puft and Terror Dog, Slimer and Slime Shooter
The A-Team, B.A. Baracus and B.A's van
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Tina Goldstein and Swooping Evil
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, E.T. and Phone Home
Adventure Time, Marceline the Vampire Queen and Lunatic Amp
Knight Rider, Michael Knight and KITT
The Lego Batman Movie, Excalibur Batman and Bionic Steed
Lego City, Chase McCain and Police Helicopter
Harry Potter, Hemione Granger and Buckbeak
Beetlejuice, Betelgeuse and Saturn's Sandworm
The Powepuff Girls, Buttercup and Mega Blast Bot
Teen Titans Go!, Starfire and Titan Robot

There you go everything you need to know about the Lego Dimension game. I would highly recommend it. My kids have a lot of fun playing it.

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