Shark Week: Bait

If you are going to have a successful Shark Week party, you are going to need to put some creative effort into your food and drink options! A Shark Week party has to have fun, shark-themed food! And you will have so much fun planning your party menu with your kids!

We've done some of the leg work for you with our Pinterest board:


Use Your Noodle (Part 2)


We're back with more ways you can use your pool noodle in your aqua exercise routine! Pool noodles are such a fabulous way to incorporate exercise into your every summer day pool time. If you already have a pool noodle, great! If not, or if you plan on doing a lot of aqua exercise, consider getting a more durable noodle like this one from Amazon:


Give these exercises a try:


If you find that your feet are "slipping" on the noodle, put on a pair of aqua socks or water shoes. These will help keep you foot on the noodle! If you plan on doing any pool walking or running in the shallow end, aqua socks are the way to go if you don't want to slide around! We like these aqua socks from Amazon:


Looking for more exercises you can try in your pool? Check out all the ideas here:

Shark Week: Books for Kids!

Since it is Tuesday, that means we have a "Ten for Tuesday" list for you! Today we highlight ten shark themed books for young readers. There were so many to choose from, but we found ten good ones.

Remember, the local library is FULL of great books for kids about sharks! If you have a library card, it is FREE to check out shark books for your kids! From picture books to real shark stories, take your kids to the library before Shark Week so they can stock up on books about sharks!

If you can't find what you are looking for at the library, here are some top kid picks on Amazon for Shark Week--just click the image to follow the link:

As you can see, there are a lot of books about sharks for kids of all ages! Incorporate daily reading goals into your Shark Week activities! Make sure you tune in to the Discovery Channel starting on July 22nd for all the Shark Week 30th Anniversary shows!


Stop back tomorrow for some Shark Week adult reading selections!

Shark Week Party


No excuses needed to have a party during Shark Week! Celebrate a birthday or just celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Shark Week!

Here are 30 fun Shark Party ideas:

1. Create a list of 30 shark facts

2. Dress like sharks and minnows for your party

3. Show the movie Jaws at night and have a dive in pool party to watch it

4. Pin the fin on the shark game!

5. A shark book collection should be on display for little minds to check out

6. Play shark music

7. Stream Shark Week programming 

8. Buy lots of gummy sharks and use them in drinks and on cupcakes and cakes

9. Red kool-aid in the pool for blood

10. Have shark treats (see Pinterest board for ideas)

11. Cocktails and Mocktails with a shark theme (see Pinterest board)

12. Grill up some Mako Shark!

13. Serve Fish & Chips

14. Have a Shark Week Photo Booth 

15. Decorate shark cookies (find shark cookie cutter)

16. Hang jelly fish lights from the ceiling!

17. Dress like a shark!

18. Create Shark Signage: Beware of Sharks! No Sharks in the Pool! Shark Infested Water!

19. Hand out shark teeth necklaces!

20. Have a flipper party--everyone wears flippers! We've got flippers in stock!

21. Play Shark Trivia!

22. Play Shark Jeopardy! 

23. Watermelon carved like a shark!

24. Make ice cubes out of red punch and put a gummy shark in the ice cube squares

25. Decorate a fin contest!

26. Put lots of Landshark Beer on ice (and designate a driver)

27. Dive for sharks! Throw some plastic mini sharks in the pool!

28. Swedish Fish in dishes all around the pool!

29. Shark drawing contest!

30. Shark crafts!

We'll be back tomorrow with some Shark Week food ideas...


30th Anniversary of Shark Week


Shark Week 2018 begins on July 22nd!!! Are you ready? We are! All this month leading up until the debut on July 22nd, we will be posting Shark Week ideas for you to get your kids or your grandchildren having all kinds of shark fun in your backyard and pool!

Here are just a few ideas to get you thinking about Shark Week:


We'll be back tomorrow with some Shark Week Party Ideas!


Use Your Noodle (Part 1)


If you have a pool, chances are you have a pool noodle! A pool noodle can be one of the cheapest aqua exercising tools! We've gathered a whole bunch of ideas on how you can use your noodle in pool to strengthen muscles, promote balance and burn calories!

Pool noodles come in different sizes and can be made from different materials. If you are an average sized adult, go with the regular pool noodle that you can find online at Amazon or a local retailer. If you are on the tall and larger side, go with the larger, wider pool noodle. The larger noodle will also give you more resistance. If you are in shape and the regular pool noodle isn't cutting it, give this one a try! This is the size you will look for, it is often called a "jumbo" noodle:


Here are some you can get started with today--we'll have more next time:


Our Facebook Page has some water exercise videos you might want to watch--Henry posts a video every summer day at 2:00:

Remember to check with your doctor if you are at all uncertain about your physical ability to exercise in your pool! Start slowly and work your way into a regular routine!


Shower Outdoors


If you have a pool and kids, you need an outdoor shower! An outdoor shower is an essential ingredient to keeping mom happy! Think about all the dirt going into your pool because you don't have an outdoor shower...

Outdoor showers can be super luxurious and make you feel like you are on a desert island, or they can be simple and practical. If you are building a pool now, or plan to build one in the near future, consider incorporating an outdoor shower into your design. Run the plumbing for the shower when you run the pipes for the pool!

Here are just a few of the many outdoor shower ideas we have pinned for you:


Find more ideas to keep your kids clean and out of your inside bathroom here:

In the Spirit


Summer is in full swing and we have got some ways to usher it in with creative cocktails and poolside entertaining options! 


There are plenty of options these days for cocktail mixers. From organic specialty ingredients to ready to blend mixes, there are so many options that will help the bartender in you become the "mixologist" all of your friends will be raving about after your party!

Here are a few mixers that we thought were worth a try:

There are also many mixers that have few or no calories, something your guests will like if they are watching their weight this summer:

Using a variety of unique EP Henry pavers and hardscape materials, a built in kitchen with a bar is essential for your backyard paradise if you love to entertain! Your friends can pull up to the bar and socialize while you grill and prepare meals. With a built in sink, ice maker and fridge, there is really no need to keep going back into your house to prepare your meal! Keep in mind that if you are looking to renovate your pool area, Tim and our creative team can incorporate an outside bar area into your design. Check out these beautiful outdoor kitchens with a bar area:


No outdoor kitchen and bar area yet? Having a built in bar is not an option for everyone. No worries, here are a few temporary, portable options for all of your poolside entertaining--just click on the image to see it on Amazon:

Don't forget to always use plastic drinkware around your pool! Of course Amazon has so many to choose from, but we found quite a few unique options for using nonbreakable drinkware that still looks fun yet classy:

Don't forget the cocktail accessories:

Next time you have your friends gathered for a pool party, make sure you collect the car keys before you serve up any of these tasty cocktails! We've pinned some mocktails for the designated driver, too!

Check out all the cocktails and mocktails on our Pinterest board:

Poolside Listening (Part 1)


We love podcasts in our house! If we are in the car for more than 45 minutes, rest assured we have a podcast streaming in the car. Just as podcasts are great for longer car rides, podcasts can be a great part of your poolside relaxation this summer. 

Today, let's take a look at our favorite podcast, Stuff You Should Know. This is a fun listen for the whole family. You can find it for FREE if you go to the App store that comes with your phone or tablet. You can also listen via your computer if you follow the links below.

Our sons, Sam and Henry, couldn't ride in the car for more than 45 minutes without this podcast. Keep in mind that Sam is 13 and Henry is almost 12. The topics might be a little advanced for toddlers and early elementary aged kids.

Without question, this is our favorite podcast. We love it so much that both Sam and Henry are hoping Josh and Chuck make a stop in Pittsburgh or Philadelphia on an upcoming live tour so we can go see them! Yeah, we're kind of addicted to the "Stuff Guys." 


When we first started homeschooling, we quickly discovered that both our boys were audio learners. Once we had that figured out, we turned to podcasts to dive deep into history, science and everything in between. Chuck and Josh have kind of a cult following in the homeschool world, and with good reason! The boys have too many favorites to list them all, but these are no doubt some of the most entertaining episodes we've listened to (sometimes two and three times):

Who Killed JFK


My boys are all caught up on the grassy knoll and all the conspiracy theories...

North Korea: What's the Deal?


My boys had no idea what the deal was with North Korea. To be honest, I didn't  know enough to teach them. We all learned quite a bit about North Korea with this episode!

How Rodney Dangerfield Worked


Caddyshack is one our our family favorite movies. My boys know just about all the lines to the famous scenes, including many with Rodney Dangerfield. Note: There is some language in this episode that you might want younger kids not to hear.

How Meth Works


If you want your kids to learn all about the horrible things illegal drugs can do to their body and their life, listen to any of the SYSK podcasts like this one. Every time we listen to a podcast about drugs the boys remember vividly what each drug is and what it can do to them. 

How Guide Dogs Work


We love dogs! This podcast gave us a deeper appreciation for all the guide dogs we meet!

Is There Treasure on Oak Island?


My son, Henry, has a slight obsession with World War II and all things related to it. And Sam loves anything about treasure. This episode is one they both really enjoyed!

Living Underground in Bejiing


To say this was an unusally interesting episode is an understatement. 

How Poison Ivy Works


In our house poison ivy is a common problem. Boys who like to play in the woods means boys end up with poison ivy. This podcast helped ALL of us learn what to do and what NOT to do next time we get poison ivy. 

Two Times in the Seventies People Were Buried in Ferraris 


We all love podcasts about shipwrecks and this one was a good one!

The Simpsons Spectacular Parts 1 & 2


Henry loves The Simpsons so this special two-part episode was a real treat. We learned about the history of the show, from the writers to the characters and everything else you'd ever want to know about The Simpsons. If your family loves this show, this is a great listen!

Why can't we find Amelia Earhart?


History and plane mystery--a great combo! This is a great episode!

How Port-a-Potties Work


More than you ever need to know about the port-a-potty!

How the Negro Leagues Worked


With two baseball playing boys in the house at the time we listened to this episode, this was a home run!

How the Iditarod Works


As dog lovers we enjoyed this episode, but we have to admit that we felt sorry for the dogs :(

How the Great Train Robbery Worked


A famous bank robbery on the rails--this episode led us to watch a documentary about the Great Train Robbery on Netflix!

A Dry Look at Toilet Paper


The history of toilet paper? Yes! And it is very interesting! You'll really appreciate your Charmin! 

Who Gets to Name Continents?


We all love geography in our house, so this episode was a winner!

How Marajuana Works


This was another really important podcast for us in terms of teaching our kids about drugs. Chuck and Josh cover everything, including stuff we had no idea about. 


Podcasts can be an excellent source of learning and entertainment. Hook up your bluetooth speakers by your pool and listen as a family! Next time we will take a look at music streaming services!

Summer Reading: Not Just for Kids!

Reading over the summer isn't just a good idea for the kids! Parents and adults should have their own reading list! 

Websites like Goodreads are a great way to find out what is new, what is currently trending and what other people are saying about a book. We've put together a list of new releases and books that are on the NY Times Bestseller list. If you're lucky your local library will have a copy!

Do you read on a Kindle or tablet? Consider downloading the Overdrive App so you can borrow library e-books or audio books and get them delivered straight to your Kindle FOR FREE!!! But, if you do read with a tablet or phone of any kind, please make sure it is in a waterproof case before you start reading in the pool! Here's a few on Amazon--just click on the images:

Every Tuesday we'll post a "Ten for Tuesday" list! The list may be for books, but it could be a list of pool tunes, recipes, pool games or podcasts. Make sure you check back every Tuesday!

Here is a sampling of ten books we found trending on Goodreads and Amazon. Click on the book to go to the Amazon site where you can learn more about each book and purchase it if you want. We try and post links to Prime products! 

Next Tuesday we will have ten audio books worth a listen while you float in your pool!