Monday, April 22, 2013

SMMART MUSIC: 50 States that Rhyme

AaaaalaaaaBAMA and Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas...

Found this darling 50 States that Rhyme Song and have been trying to sing it with my girls by reading it off my smartphone.  I finally decided that printing the words would work better for us to learn it.  But what about my little ones who cannot read?  I found this image of the states in alphabetical order.  Put them together and we have a little song sheet to learn the 50 states.  Once the 50 States Rhyme Song and shapes are learned, we can sing the song while we point to the states on a map.

The 50 States That Rhyme Song
Tune: Turkey in the Straw

Alabama, and Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas
California, Colorado, Co-nnecticut and more
Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho
Illinois, Indi-a-na, I-o-wa ...35 to go...

Kansas, and Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine
Maryland, Massachusetts and good old Michigan
Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, and Montana
Nebraska's 27, number 28's Nevada

Next, New Hampshire, and New Jersey, and way down, New Mexico
There's New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio
Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, now let's see
Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee

Texas and there's Utah, Vermont, I'm almost through
Virginia and there's Washington, and West Virginia, too
Could Wisconsin be the last state or is it just 49?
No, Wyoming is the last state in The 50 States That Rhyme!

Monday, April 15, 2013

SMMART TIME-OUT FOR MOM: Spa Ideas with Michelle (Guest Post)

Beautify Your Skin in Time for Spring
Spring is a time for new beginnings such as the grass starting to turn green, flowers and shrubbery blooming and the warmth of the sun breaking through the clouds. Glimpses of the sun are often rare during the winter months in central NY making most long for the warmer days ahead. Unfortunately, one of the deterrents many individuals find as they head into spring is that they have to unveil their worn, tired, dry and lifeless skin that they’ve kept covered all winter long.

Dry skin is often our spa’s primary focus this time of year when winter’s wrath has left one feeling weathered and chapped. Here you’ll find a natural blend of ingredients that includes organic products and fresh herbs used to refresh, cleanse and moisturize your skin, exfoliate dry elbows and feet and relieve chapped hands. Many of the products that we use at the spa can be found conveniently at home or via a quick trip to the local grocery store.

The following is a simple list of ingredients designed to help you get ready for spring. With this DIY body scrub, you’ll feel confident showing off your skin in a tank top, shorts, sundress and even sandals.


1 c. White or Organic Granulated Sugar
½ c. Almond Oil
4-5 drops Lemon Essential Oil


Place the sugar in a bowl and slowly begin to add the oils to the sugar mixture. Depending on the consistency, you may need to reduce or add more oil as you go. You’ll need to be careful not to get your sugar scrub mixture too loose and soupy however.

It’s as simple as that. The sugar scrub mixture should be applied in the shower to warm, clean skin, while focusing on areas such as your arms, back, torso, legs and neck. Since the sugar scrub is course, you may want to avoid sensitive areas such as your face.

Sugar scrubs are simple to make and can be used throughout the year, especially during wintertime when your skin is at its driest. Try incorporating different essential oils with the granulated sugar to achieve the ideal scent of your choosing such as lavender, eucalyptus and peppermint.


“Hello everyone, my name is Michelle Pino, I work at the spa at Turning Stone Resort and Casino. It’s a privilege and pleasure to go to work every day knowing that I am able to positively affect the lives of so many! I am equally excited to be able to share my knowledge with tips and tricks for all of you to enjoy in the comfort of your own home!”


Monday, April 8, 2013

SMMART SCIENCE: Make your own Agars

Agars, oh how I've missed you... My university days were filled with sterlizing the tips of metal loops over a bunsen burner and swabbing blood agar with bacteria to grow.  Funny story - for Valentines Day I gave the boy I was dating a blood red agar with an outline of my lips.  It actually worked!  I kissed the agar and incubated it and after a few days...there those bacteria lips were!  Complete with a sharpie written note on the agar lid: "Just want you to know what you're kissing...Happy Valentines Day!"  Side note:  He never did ask me to marry him.
So, instead of purchasing agar for science experiments, we set out to make them for ourselves!  We basically followed the package from the back of a Knox Gelatin box and used the Knox plain gelatin and some boullion to feed bacteria. 

 Make boullion gelatin agar cups for the bacteria to grow on:  Place 1 cup cold water in a mixing bowl and sprinkle 4 envelopes of unflavored gelatin powder over the water.  Let it sit for 1 minute.  Pour in 3 cups hot water and stir with a spoon until the gelatin completely dissolves, about 5 minutes.  Stir in 3 Tb bouillon.  Pour ¼ cup of gelatin liquid into a short clear cup.  Repeat 14 times so you have 15 clear cups filled with gelatin.  Cover each cup with plastic wrap to keep out bacteria.  Place the cups in the refrigerator for 3 hours.
Sit the plastic cups on the counter for a while, with the plastic wrap still on top, so the gelatin comes to room temperature before you use the agars. 

You can make up a batch of agars and then test to see what types of things prevent bacterial growth the best.  Swab separate agars with hand sanitizer, vinegar, lysol, bleach, or whatever else you can think of that might prevent bacteria from growing. 
Have your child use a Q tip to dip in a household substance.  Swab it across the firm gelatin in a “Z” shape down, then rotate the cup 90 degrees and swab from top to bottom across the length of the cup back and forth until the whole surface is swabbed.  Label the agar cup with a sharpie so you know what substance you used and let the agar sit out on the counter for a few days. 

Have your child record her observations each day.  What substances keep the bacteria away the longest?  Moms, be sure that when you see bacteria start to grow that you just chuck the agars.  We don't want any little ones getting into the bacteria or otherwise effected.
Happy growing!


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