Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Durham Museum: Mummies and trains

Pin It This weekend the family visited the Durham Museum in Omaha, Nebraska.  We heard that it had an exhibit on Ancient Egypt and since my 11 year old has been interested in Ancient Egypt for years, it looked like a fun way to escape the heat while still leaving the house.

Omaha, NE

The museum is located in Omaha's 1931 Union Station, which is according to my History Here App, "one of the finest examples of Art Deco architecture in the country."

Omaha, NE

It was designed by Gilbert Stanley Underwood who also designed for the National Park Service.

There are sculptures of train riders of the 1940s scattered in the great open hall on the first floor.

Omaha, NE
On our way to the temporary exhibit on Ancient Egypt and the methods that archaeologists use to study Egypt, we moved through a train exhibit that not only had old cars that the kids could climb in but also small scale exhibits for the kids to learn how a steam train worked.

Omaha, NE

Omaha, NE

One of the great parts of this museum are all the hands on exhibits and that continues through the Egypt exhibit.

Omaha, NE

We were not able to take pictures beyond this fabulous photo op on a camel but the exhibit was educational for us adults and fun for all of the kids.

There were many hands on stations where the kids learned how archaeologists sift through bones, pottery and other artifacts and as they put together the pieces of the pottery, they put together the story of a civilization and daily lives of individuals.

Omaha, NE

At the end of the exhibit, there was a play area where kids could color Egyptian themed coloring sheets, play with Play-mobile versions of the Sphinx, and sculpt with sand.

If you are in the Omaha area between now and September 6th, I highly recommend planing on a couple hours at this exhibit.

We ended our time by stopping at the old fashion soda fountain for lunch.  mmmm...

Omaha, NE

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Monday, July 27, 2015

Downtown Anchorage, Alaska

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family travel in Alaska

Downtown Anchorage, Alaska has a distinctly small town feel with a decent amount of city amenities. If you are staying downtown, which I recommend, you can walk just about anywhere you need to go in the city. Then, you will have to arrange transportation to go out and see the greater Anchorage sights like Turnagain Arm, charter fishing tours, or glacier hikes. And, there are a couple parks for the kiddos to get their wiggles out while you enjoy the view.

Lining Anchorage’s streets are several kitschy stores with Alaskan made souvenirs and some with some very beautiful items. Several have life-sized stuffed bears outside the store entrances. The kids love to give them “bear hugs” and get pictures taken with them. Places we have loved eating at are Orso, Glacier Brewery, and Ginger. Humpy’s is a great place but not necessarily for families. And if you do have access to a car, some of the best pizza ever is served at Moose’s Tooth.

The Anchorage museum has lots of interesting and kid friendly exhibits.
Art in front of the museum.

If you like street food, then there are several vendors for you along the main drag. From them you can buy reindeer hotdogs that are quite tasty and kind of a fun ‘treat’ for the kids. And while you are eating Donner, wander over to a park and there may be out door music being performed. During the summer, there are frequently artists performing in several parks downtown.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

City Girl top

Pin It A while back I posted about some cute and super comfortable pants to try out the leisure wear trend that is going so strong right now.  (Fancy sweat pants) The top I made originally to go with those pants was the City Girl by See Kate Sew.

I enjoyed sewing this top up and it was very easy.

See Kate Sew pattern

I like the cowl neckline a lot, but am not as much thrilled with the amount of volume below the bust.

And, my fabric choice could be better.  I just don't think this knit had enough stretch for optimal comfort.

This was my first woman's pattern by See Kate Sew. I have sewn her children patterns and loved them.  The only complaint I have had with them is the size range ... I want them to come in tween sizes.

I think I will be making another one of these in a sweater knit come this fall.

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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Bold flowers and floaty dress

Pin It I love to have a new dress for Easter and I managed to squeeze in making me one despite the fact that I have been super busy and thought I would just be able make outfits for the girls.

I choose a dress pattern and fabric that I have had mixed feelings about.   The fabric is some a friend gave me, so it was free and that is great.  I completely have flip flopped about it.  On one day, I would love the bright colors and big floral prints.  On another day, I thought it looked garish and thought it would overwhelm my short frame.

I had similar thoughts about my the dress pattern.  It was part of a package of floral themed patterns by burdastyle (affiliate link) that I bought in the Spring of 2014.  (03/2013#113) This particular dress was my least favorite of the bunch but when I went to actually sew a dress this Spring, it is the one that stuck in my mind.

Dress as styled by Burda

So, I started working on the dress.  I taped the pattern and read the instructions and again started having second thoughts.  I was not sure about the gathers up the front and the shape seemed odd.  And as I worked with the fabric, I was impressed with the way it felt but still was quite intimidated by those giant bright flowers.

sewing burda

I kept on going.  I did not have time to start a different dress and decided to press on.

However, I did no fittings.  None.  My measurements put me squarely in a size 40, so I did not think it was too risky and I just did not have the heart to try it on and find out it was ugly.  Only once did I check things out by putting the dress on my dress form to check the zipper.  (The pattern called for an invisible zipper which I normally would love but I went with a standard zipper because it is what I had on hand.)

sewing burda

So on Easter morning, I showered and put on my dress ... for the first time.  And when my husband walked in he said, "You look beautiful.  I love the new dress."

sewing burda

Yea!  I guess it was a success and now I have a nice floaty dress for the warmer weather.

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