Wednesday, June 10, 2015

A-maze your friends and neighbors with interactive sidewalk chalk art

Our apartment overlooks a sidewalk and I've thought it would be fun if to influence how people walk through the space and how they experience the space.  One day when my 3 year old and I wanted to get out the house, we drew a chalk path on a small stretch of the sidewalk.

As we created the path, some people walked through the path with a grin and others even with a thank you.  It actually felt powerful to put a smile on someone's face with something so simple in an environment where most people just ignore each other.

Other people weren't sure if it was ok to walk on the chalk and yet others were too cool for school and didn't want anything to do with the path, which was fine, too.  It was just a little wink on a piece of sidewalk.  You could take it or leave it. 

I didn't look to see if any people did the maze when my son and I were done and back home.  The next morning, though, when I poked my head out to see if the maze was still there,  I saw a young guy who was alone and he walked through the maze with some spring in his step.  That was fun to see.

It rained an hour later and our canvas was wiped clean for our next project.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Ahoy! Go Kayaking with the Statue of Liberty!

We're on a boat!  Sort of...

It's easy to live in New York and forget you're surrounded by water, so sometimes it's a good idea just to get into it.  You might get a staph infection, but it's worth it.

Red Hook Boaters offers free kayaking in the summer and we warmed up this kayak good as the first kayakers of this season as part of the Red Hook Fest. 

This is a fun thing to do with the kids!  You can make a day out of it...Go kayaking, eat at Hometown Barbecue (or another awesome restaurant in the neighborhood), get some pie at Steve's Authentic Key Lime Pies and then treat yo self to a $1.99 toilet brush at Ikea (or get someone else to do the boating by taking the New York Water Taxi, which is free on weekends)!  It's all within walking distance to each other, too.  Brooklyn!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Some ideas for having a fire safety conversation with your kids

Our fire safety floor plan
There have been some crazy house and building fires in New York recently and it prompted our family to have a meeting about fire safety and review what we would do in case of fire.  Since our kids are only 3 and 1.5 years old, they're not going to be able to do much on their own, but we thought it was important to introduce the idea of fire safety now and plan to have a meeting about it once a year and conversations about fire whenever it feels relevant.  

The basic idea for the kids was if there's smoke, stay low since smoke rises and close the door.  That's what a firefighter at our local firehouse said my 3 year old was capable of getting at this point.

But in addition to that, our family...
-Drew a fire safety floor plan that showed the two exits from each room as well as how to exit the apartment building
-Came up with a family meeting place in the case that we all had to leave our apartment
-Pointed out the smoke detectors and tested them and talked about how they work
-Talked about how a fire ladder and fire extinguisher works.  (We have this fire ladder since we live on the third floor of a condo building.  We have one of these fire extinguishers.)
-Watched a kids fire safety video we found online (below)

I don't know how much kids absorbed, but it felt good that we had talked about it. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

DIY simple, updated macrame plant holder

I never thought I'd want a macrame plant holder.  Those thick brown macrame holders from the 70s with earth tone wooden beads were the worst. 

Neon, however, gives macrame an updated feel. I've seen them online for sale and posted as tutorials.  After deciding it couldn't be hard to make my own, I found some neon rope at the dollar store. 

I followed this tutorial after searching around for the simplest explanation and the promise of a 10-minute project.

You can size your plant holder up or down by following the format discussed in the video. You could make a mini holder for a tiny container using twine.  That'd be cute. 

For my 50 cents of rope and just a little time, I'm pretty happy with this little holder that keeps my surfaces and floors clear.