Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Holding out Hope

This headline caught my eye and stopped my heart:


THANK YOU NYU Medical Center Scientists!!! Parents all over the world are breathing a sigh of relief knowing that your smarty pants brains are all over this. We believe in you! Keep up the good work!

PS - My Sidney is also allergic to dairy and eggs.  Her sister Clara is allergic to eggs too.  We don't think it's life-threatening, but I'd love to bake a giant, buttery, fluffy cookie for them with real butter and real eggs and milk chocolate chips. Or even just take them to a restaurant and order from the menu. I totally get that there are much bigger problems in the world than this.  Just if you get some extra time...maybe you could find a probiotic cure for that too ;)

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Top 10 Go-To Art Projects

We had such a fun and busy summer finding STL250 Cakes that we had no time to do art projects.  Now that Ava is back in school, the little girls are having a tough time adjusting to her being gone all day.  
On Ava's first full day of school, Sidney threw herself on the floor and said, 
"I just don't know how to play without Ava." 

Ava is the best play mate that Sidney and Clara could ask for and they are quickly finding out that Mom is not nearly as much fun!  So I've been searching through our art closet and looking online to come up with some ideas for when the kids are bored.

Painting with kids doesn't have to be messy.  Sometimes we get out all our paints and paint brushes and art smocks and go to town painting, and sometimes we just get out water color paints.  Even Clara (who is not yet 2) paints with water colors and doesn't require a huge clean up. Since school has started back up, the girls get out their watercolor paints almost every day!

If we have more time and I'm prepared for the girls to get a little messy, here are some more fun painting activities:

Also try combs, rocks, toilet paper rolls, etc.





Or make your own!








10.  CUT & GLUE



Welcome back to school!!

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Friday, August 22, 2014

STL 250 Cake Quest - Creve Coeur Park

I can't believe that we haven't spent more time at Creve Coeur Park. It has so much to offer! 

Here are some of the highlights:
- 320-acre lake with a sand beach along north-east shore and "Dripping Springs" waterfall along south east shore
- boat and bike rentals 
- fishing
- 4 playgrounds
- restaurant
- paved walking and cycling trail
- picnic pavilions
- athletic fields 
- Go Ape! Zip Lines

We started out by finding the cake, which was located by the entrance to Tremayne shelter near the boat ramp.  You can practically drive right up to it.

This is the map I used.
Click here for a printable PDF version.

We drove around and saw the four playground and the best one is located all the way at the end of Streetcar Drive (Location 2 on the map).

One of the best things about this playground is that it's really well shaded (at least it was when we went in the late afternoon).  It also has playground equipment for little kids and big kids.  And there is a sprayground although it was not working when we were there.  There are some playgrounds that I feel like I can't safely take all 3 kids to by myself.  This playground is totally manageable with all 3 kids.

PS - Click here to see some of our other STL 250 Cake Quests.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

STL 250 Cake Quest - N. Grand Blvd.

It was a seriously hot day but we decided to go look for cakes anyway. North Grand Blvd has 8 cakes within walking distance of each other, which made for a fun afternoon.
Click here for a printable PDF of this map.

St. Louis University
Founded in 1818, Saint Louis University, a Catholic, Jesuit institution, is the oldest university west of the Mississippi. SLU has campuses in St. Louis and Madrid, Spain.
 This is the most iconic intersection on SLU’s campus. The corner is home to one of the University’s distinctive fountains and in the shadows of the rising white steeple of St. Francis Xavier College Church as well as Jesuit Hall.

Centene Center for the Arts & Education
The Centene Center for the Arts & Education houses many cultural organizations including Arts and Education Council, African Musical Arts, aTrek Dance Collective, Bach Society of St. Louis, Cinema St. Louis, Circus Flora, Gateway Men's Chorus, HotCity Theatre, Jazz St. Louis, Prison Performing Arts and St. Louis ArtWorks (to name a few).

Big Brothers Big Sisters
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri is celebrating their 100th birthday this year. The headquarters is located in the Woolworth building, a historic location in St. Louis. During the turbulent 1960s this building was a site of historic civil rights pickets and protests.

Nine Network
Nine Network, one of the nation’s most watched public television stations, will mark its 60th birthday in 2014 with the opening of an innovative outdoor public media commons. The Public Media Commons is intended to become a major destination for engagement and creative activity with large-screen projections and high-tech interactivity. The site lies between the Nine Network and St. Louis Public Radio. The construction site is behind the fencing that is next to Tim.
In 1968, the Public Broadcasting Act had created the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to dispense annual federal appropriations for public television.  In 1970, when PBS began operation, the idea that television could help prepare children for school was innovative.  
In 1978, Channel 9 became one of the first PBS stations to receive programs via the Westar I Satellite.

Fabulous Fox Theatre
The Fabulous Fox Theatre opened on January 31, 1929 and was billed as “St. Louis’ largest and most magnificent temple of amusement”. After nearly 50 years, the theater closed in 1978. In 1981, the Fox was privately purchased by Fox Associates and an incredible one-year restoration project was launched. The Fox reopened its doors with the musical “Barnum” on September 7, 1982 to a capacity crowd of 4,500. Since 1982, more than 15 million people have passed through the brass doors of the Fox.
There are tons of shows in December for families.  Here are a few that I'm excited about:
Also, Cinderella is coming in January!

Powell Hall
Powell Hall, home of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, was built in 1925 as the St. Louis Theatre. It became known as Powell Hall in 1966, named for Walter S. Powell, a St. Louis shoe manufacturing executive whose widow gave the Symphony a charitable trust, helping to match a $2 million Ford Foundation grant.
The St. Louis Symphony has great concerts for families. I'm really excited about these concerts:
Friday, December 12, 7:30pm 
Saturday, December 13, 2:00pm & 7:30pm 

Friday, December 19, 2:00pm & 7:30pm
Saturday, December 20, 2:00pm & 7:30pm
Sunday, December 21, 2:00pm

Saturday, December 27, 7:30pm
Sunday, December 28, 2:00pm

Click here for more info on the family concert series and click here for the PDF brochure.

Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis
Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis was founded in response to the 1917 deadly race riot in East St. Louis where between 40 to 200 blacks were killed. The riots began when white East St. Louisans attacked black workers and migrants. During this time, thousands of black migrants traveled to East St. Louis, a predominately white city, seeking jobs. 
Today, the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis serves 80,000 residents with economic empowerment, meeting basic needs, educational quality and equality, civic engagement and social justice programs.

The Sheldon
The Sheldon opened in 1912 and is known around the world for its perfect acoustics. The Sheldon Art Galleries contain seven separate spaces devoted to rotating exhibits of St. Louis artists, photography, architecture, jazz history, emerging artists, and children’s art.
On Saturdays through August 9, 2014 from 10:30am - 12:30pm, kids can do crafts and a scavenger hunt in the galleries at the Sheldon ($3 / child donation for crafts).  We were the only ones there. Good thing because the table could only seat 4 people!
One of the exhibits, St. Louis at 250, is a culmination of a citywide photo contest. The contest garnered over 500 entries and 100 were selected for the exhibit. An accompanying book with all 100 photos was published by the Sheldon Art Galleries. We loved the exhibit so much that we purchased a book. As we were leaving the Sheldon, we met one of the photographers. Two of her photos were selected for the exhibit.  She offered to sign our book!

If you are interested in buying a book (above), click here to purchase on Amazon or click here for a mail order form. You can also purchase them at the Sheldon.

PS - Click here to see some of our other STL 250 Cake Quests.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

STL 250 Cake Quest - West County

There are several cakes scattered around West County.  It took us a few trips to see them all.  


Our destination for our first trip was the Museum of Transportation.  On the way, we stopped by the Manchester City Hall to see their cake too.
Manchester City Hall is located in the Lyceum Building constructed in 1894. Throughout the years, this building has been used as a tin shop, a grocery, an ice cream and soda parlor, a hardware store, an upholstery shop, a post office, a stable and a theater.  In 1979, the Lyceum was purchased by the City of Manchester for use as its City Hall.

We didn't make it in time to visit the Creation Station at the Museum of Transportation. But there was still plenty to do.

To find the cake, you need to take the tram up the hill.  There are two buildings - the first is the Automobile Center.  I don't know what the second building is called but it's on the porch right in front.
The Museum of Transportation houses what has been recognized as one of the largest and best collections of transportation vehicles in the world. The Museum was founded in 1944 by a group of citizens who had acquired the mule-drawn streetcar "Bellefontaine" and opened to the public in 1946.

Here are some upcoming events at the Museum of Transportation that you may be interested in:

Model Train Show
Sunday, August 24 @ 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

The Oldsmobile Fun Show
Sunday, September 28 @ 11:00 am to 3:30 pm

Go By Train! and the Brass and Nickel Car Show
Saturday, September 27 @ 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

Trick or Track (ages 10 and under)
Saturday, October 18 @ 11:00 am to 3:00 pm

Check the Creation Station website for holiday activities.

We stopped by the AKC Museum of the Dog in Queeny Park before heading to the playground.
The Museum of The Dog, located in Queeny Park, is the only art museum in the world dedicated to European and American paintings, sculptures, porcelains, drawings and items of dog from the 17th century to today. Among the galleries are those featuring the St. Louis County K-9 units and Hall of Fame, The Dogs of War and Sled Dogs of Alaska.

This was the girls first visit to the playground at Queeny Park.
 There weren't many other kids at the park as you can see from my pictures.  I'm guessing that the rock surface is a deterrent. I have to admit that the girls were constantly emptying their shoes and everyone was covered in dust/dirt from the rocks by the time we were done playing.  But the girls had a great time and took home a big rock collection!

Our destination for Day 3 was Laumeier Sculpture Park. On our way we stopped at The Lodge at Des Peres to see their cake.
The cake was moved to its current location at The Lodge at Des Peres (I'm not sure why) from it's previous location at Des Peres City Hall. The present Des Peres City Hall, built in 1936, was once the Lutheran Orphan Home. Three previous buildings were erected on the same site to accommodate the constantly increasing number of children. The city of Des Peres purchased the building in 1973 and converted it into City Hall.
Indoor pool at The Lodge at Des Peres - I am torturing my kids by only allowing them to look at pools this summer ;)

We drove to the Frank Lloyd Wright House next.
This house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright was completed in 1955 for Russell and Ruth Kraus. It is one of five buildings designed by Wright in Missouri. The house sits on 10.5 acres in the Sugar Creek Valley of Kirkwood. It is noted for its architectural integrity and original Wright-designed furnishings.

Finally!  We made it to Laumeier Sculpture Park!
It was hard to get the girls to sit still long enough to take this picture. They just wanted to run and play! Here's a better picture of the cake.  It's very creatively decorated with objects found in the park!
Laumeier opened in 1977 and has 105-acres and 300,000 visitors annually. 

Here are some upcoming events at Laumeier:

Feast in the Park 
Friday, September 5 @ 5-8pm @ The Way Field

Sunday, October 19 @ 11am-5pm @ The Way Field

PS - If you want to see some of our other STL 250 cake quests, click here.

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