May 21, 2015

Thirsty Thursday: Grown Up Root Beer Floats

I did something crazy and amazing at the same time. I mixed beer and ice cream. I know. Most of you think this is disgusting. However, for some of you, I have made all your dreams come true. 

Hear me out first. There is this amazing beer. It is beer, but it tastes like root beer. Like exactly like root beer. Not Your Father's Root Beer is manufactured by Small Town Brewery and it is a must have for summer! Beer drinkers like it because it has a lot of interest. Non beer drinkers will love it because it tastes like pop!

And if you do what I did, and make an decadent grown up version of an old time favorite with it, you'll have to keep some on hand at all times because your grown up friends will want you to serve up this treat all summer long!

Grown Up Root Beer Float (makes one)

1 bottle of Not Your Father's Root Beer (chilled)
chocolate syrup
vanilla ice cream

Drizzle the inside of a large glass with about one or two tablespoons of chocolate syrup.

Then, in the same glass, add two scoops of the ice cream.

Finally, carefully pour the chilled beer over the ice cream. The beer will foam like a regular root beer float, so this is where an extra large glass comes in handy.

Serve with a straw for sipping and a spoon for scooping the extra ice cream.

Sit outside and enjoy being a grown up, while having a taste of childhood.

For all things beverage related, check out the THIRSTY THURSDAY page for recipes for all kinds of drinks, cocktails, and all things drinkable!

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May 20, 2015

Penny Hockey: A DIY Birthday Surprise

Sometimes creating, or building, or making a gift for a friend is the best way to show how much to care. The kids' friend, and fellow hockey lover, recently turned 7 and we decided to build him his own Penny Hockey Game Board.

Now, I bet you're wondering: What is Penny Hockey? (Because I didn't know either). It is a table top game board similar to a hockey rink with holes (or goals) at either end which you can slide pennies (or pucks). Brian built one when he was in his first junior high shop class. The kids still play with it, and decided to build a larger version for their friend.

This post is long, but by the end you will be able to have an idea of how to build your own Penny Hockey game board. We think we are going to build another soon, but paint it green, with white lines and make it a soccer field.

The first thing we did, we of course go online and look at some photos. We used a few different ideas as a kind of example for how to make it like this one here

1/2" to 3/4" plywood cut into a 24" x 16" rectangle
1" x 2" cut into 2 - 24" chunks and 2 - 16" chances for rails
Wooden pegs (found at Michael's, but you could easily cut a thin dowel)
1" x 1" cut into 4- 1 1/2" chunks for feet
Nail gun (optional)
White craft paint
Red and blue paint pens
Paint brushes
Stain (optional)

The kids helped us do a bit of measuring.

Then, Brian cut the lumber into the desired sizes. This allowed us to begin sanding, painting and staining. Since this is a toy for kids, we wanted to make sure that everything was super smooth to the touch, so we sanded every piece of wood very carefully.

Once that was completed, we started painting the board. I taped the edges to avoid dripping as I had some helpers.

We painted the board with three coats of white craft paint. 

Then, carefully measuring and using a photo of a hockey rink, I drew out the regulation lines using red and blue paint pens.

NOTE: I did this BEFORE drilling the holes for the pegs (players) and the goals. I thought it would better determine where the pegs and goals would be placed, and would it was easier to paint over a smooth surface rather than over digits created by a drill.

Next, we stained the rails and the feet. This step is optional, but we thought it added a nice look to the overall product. We really didn't let our kids stain, but here is a picture of my middle guy wiping off some dust.

Now, it was time to put everything together. First, using some screws, Brian attached the feet in through the top of the game board. Then, with the help of some clamps and the use of a nail gun, he attached rails through the bottom. This way you didn't actually see any screws or nails.

Next, Brian drilled the holes for the pegs and the goals. He used a 1" spade drill bit for the goals and a standard drill bit for the pegs. 

The kids decided where they wanted the pegs to be.

Once we vacuumed up the mess...

Brian gently hammered in the pegs (gently is a relative term).

Then it was time to find some pennies and give our gift to our buddy.

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