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3 Life Lessons from just Blogging about Everything

Sometimes you just have to write in order to figure out what you want to write about…

Over 8 months, I have tried to blog once a week (not always successfully) but did not limit myself to a topic.  I tried quite a few topics everything from deep thoughts on corporate finance to not drinking alcohol for a month.

As many before me, I am climbing a steep hill by joining the world of blogging and trying to be heard.  On the other hand, I have learned important lessons by just blogging, no outline, just typing the keys.  Through these life lessons, I have discovered my writing #passion and the future of my blog.

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No Added Dye – 3 Color PokéBalls

DIY 3 color Pokemon PokeBalls, 3 cereals, no dye added

It has been a quest but last weekend’s Pokémon themed birthday party featured Rice Krispie PokéBalls.  We were able to make three colors without using any additional food dye. Disclaimer that the products themselves had food dye.

It all starts with The Best Rice Krispie Treat Recipe followed by some variation.

Three Color Products Needed

Even though the dye from Adding Color to Rice Krispie Treats worked okay, some color came out on our hands and some of the family could really taste the dye.

Our next experiment involved using three different colored cereals: regular Rice Krispies, Strawberry Rice Krispies and Cocoa Krispies.  You can find them at Amazon too. I have the pictures and links at the bottom of this post.

Forming the Semicircles

These PokéBalls were not perfect, there was no mold for making perfect semicircles. Instead, this was a family project done by hand, including small five year old hands.

First batch made into rough semicircles

36 tennis ball sized (approximately 2.5″ diameter) PokéBalls require one batch from each cereal made with The Best Rice Krispie Treat Recipe. It was a family assembly line so three separate batches were made and shaped in the span of 20 minutes.

Each semicircle was shaped with one flat edge against the pan and a rough round shape for the top.  The kids had fun and at the first stages of assembly, a perfect shape is not required.

SemiCircle Colors
First 2 colors ready for assembly into PokeBall

The next batch was made from the Strawberry Rice Krispies.  Same general philosophy, a flat edge with a rounded top.

The final batch made was the Cocoa Krispies and this is where assembly got to be really fun.

Final Assembly

The next step was to combine the three cereals into one PokéBall.  This was super fun.  After making the final batch of The Best Rice Krispie Treat Recipe with Cocoa Krispies, portion out about 2 tablespoons of the chocolate treat batch.  (Family friendly activity so it is okay to eyeball this.)

Smash down the chocolate with the white half that was made first.  This was the coolest half mixes with the hottest and sticks together well.  Then, smash the red half on the other side of the chocolate.  Take just a little of the chocolate batch to make the open button on the front of the PokéBall.  Roll it all together into a circle shape. There is a PokéBall, at least if you know it is supposed to be one.  🙂

Finished PokeBalls

(Quick note: muffin pans with cupcake holders might be a good option here.  Some of our PokéBalls flattened out during the final cool down process.)

Product Links:

Affiliate Links are listed below for the different types of cereals used in case of any questions.

Adding Color to Rice Krispie Treats

The Three Steps to Adding Color (Dye) to Rice Krispie Treats

How to Dye Rice Krispie

In the quest to make a great PokéBall shaped Rice Krispie Treat for a Pokémom theme birthday party, I started experimenting with coloring.

The most important starting point is the Best Rice Krispie Treat recipe.  After that it is a matter of playing with color.

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The Best Rice Krispie Treat Recipe

The quest for the perfect Rice Krispie Treat Recipe for making a sphere.

I am on a quest.  Part of that quest requires finding the perfect rice krispie recipe.

The quest: Pokémon themed, okay for most allergies, birthday treats

This is the tested, perfect Rice Krispie recipe for making great tasting treats malleable enough for molding into circles.

This is attempt 1 to make red PokéBalls but attempt 10 to make the perfect Rice Krispie treat that tastes delicious and is easily shaped into a ball.

Future iterations will be modified to better resemble Pokéballs.

Continue reading “The Best Rice Krispie Treat Recipe”

The Financial Value of Volunteers

25% of Americans Volunteer – How to increase?

Last night I was sitting in a PTA meeting with at least 25 other adults. We all gave 90 minutes of our life to sit in a meeting to talk about and think about how to improve the school. Even at just $15/hour (and I am sure several of the adults were worth more than that), $562.50 of people time was spent on that meeting.

I have been described as a serial volunteer. My mom worked closely with our school and church so I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t part of volunteer projects. I can remember being 6 and sorting food at Christmas time for food baskets. I remember organizing, painting and doing all kinds of odd jobs as a kid.

My first self-chosen volunteer job was to work at the LandTrust. I have also always been an introvert so I spent many hours walking the local trails so it made sense to volunteer to help clean them up. Which I did, but I spent more time helping in the office with fundraising mailers and calls.

So thinking about last night and then thinking about my experience, I wondered how many people volunteer. I found this article Stats reveal how many Americans volunteer @CNN. Bonus! 25% of survey respondents volunteer which correlates to some serious volunteer hours. Another 2016 article from Huffpost America Does Not Have Enough Volunteers, gives some great statistics on just what this means: 62 million volunteers and $184 billion in service hours.

Sadly, 75% choose not to volunteer. I get it. I have had periods where I volunteered to my heart’s content and others where I could barely give an hour a week. Life happens.

So what do we need to do to attract more volunteers? I believe a key for young professionals is making the tasks relevant to their career path. A key for mid-career is providing opportunities that let them use experience and providing it in bite size portions that can fit into a busy schedule.