Danielle, Author at A Crafty Spoonful

How Plant Tape Can Change Farming in California

Today we’re sharing how Plant Tape can change farming in California. This sponsored post is in partnership with the California Farm Water Coalition.

When I was growing up most of the produce I ate came from cans. And the only lettuce we ate was iceberg. As I got older and started to expand my palate, I realized how many fruits and veggies were out there to enjoy. I have to wonder if the lack of veggies in my life were due to the availability or my family.

Last month I was able to get an inside peek into the world of farming and produce in California thanks to the California Farm and Water Coalition. I was able to walk through and see for myself how hard the owners and laborers on our California farms work. And was able to hear first hand what challenges they’re facing in today’s world of farming.

Innovation and Technology in Agriculture

At each of the farms we toured there was one thing in common. Lack of laborers. With today’s political climate and the difficulty of getting enough H-2A visas (not to mention the cost) farms are seeing less and fewer workers show up each day to pick the crops. And unpicked crops means wasted food. Laborers don’t just pick the crops, they also help plant the crops as well.

In an effort to come up with a solution to the labor shortage, Tanimura & Antle turned to innovation and technology in the agricultural world to help aid in their crop planting. Did you know that seedlings need to be placed in the right direction or else they won’t grow? With most technology today, the one underlying problem was the inconsistency of the placement of the seedlings. Enter Plant Tape and Tanimura & Antle have seemingly found the solution they were looking for.

The Power of Plant Tape

Originally developed in Spain, PlantTape was acquired by Tanimura & Antle in 2014 for technical development and commercialization in the United States. The PlantTape automated transplanting system is ideal for farmers wh are looking to increase efficiency and productivity for their crops. This system is more efficient than conventional transplanting methods.

PlantTape offers a fully integrated system from sowing the tape, to germination and nursery care, to transplanting in the field. PlantTape is commercially used to plant lettuces, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, onions, tomatoes, cabbage. Other crops are currently on trial.

8 Reasons Why Plant Tape Is Changing the Agricultural Future

1. Less Plant Stress  

Plants are germinated in the nursery under ideal conditions and then transplanted in the field at optimal spacing without causing stress or damage to the plants or the planting beds.

2. Greater Plant Density

PlantTape provides a greater density of plants per tray than the standard plug system to maximize efficiencies.

3. Reduced Seed Cost

Due to the controlled nature of this process, fewer seeds are wasted through misplanting, blowing away, etc. This lowers the cost of seeds per crop.

4. Reduced Labor

The automated transplanter minimizes the need for additional labor in the field and allows farms to focus on utilizing their workers in other aspects of farming.

5. Transplant Flexibility

PlantTape seedlings can be transplanted at nearly any stage of maturity, from a few days after germination to fully developed seedling plants. This provides tremendous flexibility with logistics and planting schedules.

6. Sustainability

PlantTape uses less peat than conventional transplanting plugs and all of the PlantTape materials are biodegradable. There are also water conservation advantages with less irrigation needed in the field.

7. High Quality Crops

Plants are germinated in the nursery under ideal conditions and then transplanted in the field at optimal spacing without causing stress or damage to the plants or the planting beds. The result? A uniform and high quality crop.

Want a peek at the process? Check out more here.

In addition to innovation and technology in the agricultural world, we also learned quite a bit about the farming process, the packaging process, and the challenges our farmers face in the world today. We’ll be sharing more of our experience with California farms soon to continue the conversation.

But for now, check out these posts from my influencer friends who joined me on this trip to learn more: 

13 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Produce 

Have you toured a farm? What did you learn?

Love this post? Check out these articles!

Basics to Growing Sugar Snap Peas

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Will My Kids Love Ant-Man and The Wasp?

There have been quite a few big movies this summer already, so does Ant-Man and the Wasp deserve your family’s time? Yes it does. A solid follow up that continues the story of Ant-Man in a fun and exciting adventure.

Ant-Man and the Wasp picks up the clues laid out in the first film and focuses on finding the mom and wife of Hope (the new Wasp) and Dr Pym. Along the way several obstacles get in the way and must be dealt with before the rescue attempt can be made. One of the obstacles is a new quasi-villain called Ghost. She phases in and out and can pass through materials effortlessly. She is not an evil villain, but is self-serving with her own motives that are at odds with the Pym’s efforts. In this film Ant-Man gets caught up in the middle of trying to help the Pym family while still trying to lie low and not draw any law enforcement attention because of his involvement with the Avenger’s Civil War.

All of the action you saw in the first film is repeated here. Shrinking and growing combat style. along with lots of ants. This is all done with the humor that previous Marvel films and Ant-Man have established.

It is pretty safe to say if you liked the first Ant-Man you will like this sequel too. It was very entertaining and an enjoyable film. The film’s story is crafted well enough that it moves along in a way that makes sense and flows well. Really, it is a good summer diversion.

I walked away having enjoyed Evangeline Lilly’s performance as Hope. Paul Rudd delivered again as Ant-Man in a satisfying way. There were a lot of big names in this movie that were great to see, but the supporting characters, like Michael Pena, who plays Ant-Man’s roommate and business partner were excellent as well.

This film has lots of action and a few fight scenes, but it is all pretty clean. Most tense scenes get diffused with humor shortly after. This film would be okay for a 7 year old or older. Ant-Man and the Wasp is definitely worth a viewing this summer.

Want a peek into the movie? Check out this “Who is the Wasp?” featurette!

Corn on the Cob with Herb Butter

BBQ corn on the cob with herb butter

Is there an item of food that just screams summer to you? For me, it’s corn on the cob. Every year my mouth starts to water as I think of the delicious ears of corn we’ll be eating come summer. And now we’ve taken it a notch higher with this corn on the cob with herb butter.

It’s so easy to just throw some corn husks into a pot, soak them, and then grill them up while grilling our favorite kabobs or steaks. And we don’t even have to bother with plates because the husks provide a great handle as we eat the corn.

The kids share our love of corn on the cob and as soon as they see in the store they start jumping up and down asking if they can put some in the cart.

Here’s the best way we’ve found to make the perfect barbecued corn and the best way to take the flavor up a notch… with herb butter!corn on the cob with herb butter - soak cornCorn on the Cob with Herb Butter

What you’ll need: 

What you do: 

1. Rinse off corn. If there are many layers of husk, remove a few of the outer layers. Make sure to leave most of the layers on the corn.

2. Soak the corn in a large pot of water for at least 15- 30 minutes.

3. Shake off excess water and hrow the ears of corn on the grill with whatever else you’re grilling.

corn on the cob with herb butter - cooked on the barbecue4. Grill the corn on medium heat (about 350) and rotate corn so that it’s charred evenly on each side.

5. Once the corn has been seared, remove from direct heat and place on indirect heat – like the top shelf of your grill. Allow to cook for 15 more minutes.

6. Using an oven mit, remove the corn and set on a tray to serve.corn on the cob with herb butter roasted corn7. When you’re ready to eat, peel back the husks and remove all silk from the corn. Discard the silk.

8. Slather with herb butter and enjoy!

corn on the cob with herb butter ready to eatThe corn will be hot so you may want to let it cool down a bit before letting the kids go crazy. My kids can hardly contain themselves once we take the corn off the grill.

Can you tell she loves it?

corn on the cob with herb butter eating

 What’s your favorite summer food?

The Perfect Herb Butter for Corn on the Cob

Herb Butter for Corn

I love the chance to spice up any food or side dish we’re going to serve at a party and after enjoying a deliciously barbecued ear of corn from the fair I knew we could make more of our favorite summer food.

With the 4th of July coming up I decided to throw together an herb butter to go with the corn we were bringing with us to the party.

What better than a tasty, flavorful butter to slather all over the hot, barbecued corn? So good! And so easy too. Herb butter for corn on the cob is not only tasty but very easy to whip up!Herb Butter for Corn ingredientsHerb Butter for Corn

What you’ll need: 

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon sage
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 2 tablespoons basil
  • salt and pepper

Herb Butter for Corn mix

What you do: 

Mix together the herbs and salt & pepper with the butter until well blended.

Place butter in a dish and chill until ready to serve.

Slather onto a deliciously hot piece of corn and enjoy!

corn on the cob with herb butter ready to eat

 How do you spice up your favorite side dishes?

Basics to Growing Sugar Snap Peas

We love being able to grow new things each season. And this season we’re learning the basics to growing sugar snap peas! If you are looking for a great plant for kids to get involved in, you have to try growing sugar snap peas.

Peas are one of the easiest vegetables to grow from seed that you can choose from, and they constantly give you something to harvest. As long as you provide peas with the things that they need anyone can be a pro at growing peas. There are a few basics that hold true for every variety of pea plant that you are interested in growing, so as soon as you understand those basics you can begin growing your own pea crop.

Once you have decided what type of pea plants to grow, from snap to snow to vine to bush, learn these basics and get started.

Basics to Growing Sugar Snap Peas

Start From Seed

Peas are best grown from seed, so it is always the best idea to decide where you are going to plant and grow your peas and then stick to that site. Pea plants do not do well with transplanting, so it is essential that the garden space or container that they are in is able to provide for their growing and nutrient needs. Do not plant all the seeds that you purchase at once, but just a few at a time so that you can replant in rounds throughout the growing season and always have plants at different stages of growth to harvest from.

Provide For Pea Plant Basic Needs

Sugar snap peas require full sun, well-worked soil that is organic-rich soil and space to spread out. Vine varieties of peas need to be planted next to a trellis, fence or stakes so that they have something to grab onto as they climb. Bushy varieties need space to spread out because they form clumps that do not like being crowded. As long as you can provide these three key needs and regular waterings, peas should be able to thrive in your garden with minimal attention.

Thinning Peas

Sugar snap peas should be planted 1 to 2 inches apart and then thinned out to 3 to 4 inches apart, so if you have a very successful show of seedlings, you will have to thin them out more than average. Use garden scissors to thin out your seedlings, or pinch them close to the soil, so that you do not uproot pea seedlings nearby.

Harvesting Your Peas

Pea pods will begin to appear on your plants about 6-8 weeks into their growing season, depending on variety. Do not wait for the pea pods to begin splitting and showing the peas inside, pick them before this happens when they have reached their final length. Pea pods will show bumps from the peas inside, but you do not want them to be bulging open. As long as you harvest early, your plants should give you another crop or two before the plant is entirely spent.

What are you growing in your garden right now?

Looking to grow more in your garden? Try these kid-friendly crops!

DIY Indoor Hanging Herb Garden Ideas

Creating a Beautiful Butterfly Garden

How to Grow Carrots with Kids

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Disney’s DuckTales Destination: Adventure + DuckTales Activity Sheet Download

Does your family have a favorite TV show? You know, one you all enjoy watching together and talking about? For our family, it’s DuckTales.

I’m not sure about you but my husband and I talked about some of the fun things we’d share with our kids when they were old enough. Trips to Disneyland, beach outings, camping, etc. But surprisingly, one of the top things my husband got excited about sharing with them first were his favorite cartoon shows from his childhood.  And that included DuckTales.

I can’t lie. It was one of my childhood favorites too. Who doesn’t love a classic episode of Scrooge McDuck and his grand-nephews getting into some sort of shenanigans and watching them pull out of it with the help of their friends? So when DuckTales relaunched with their new spin-off from the classic version, my husband was the first to take note of the release date. And my middle child got hooked on that first episode. So imagine her surprise when she received the new Disney’s DuckTales Destination: Adventure in the mail…

If you want a peek into how excited your kids will be, take a look at my daughter’s reaction:

Disney’s DuckTales Destination: Adventure

The latest DVD just hit store shelves on June 5th everywhere! If you want to get your fix of Huey, Dewey, Louie, and Webby, you need to check out this latest adventure in Disney’s DuckTales Destination: Adventure.

An ancient tomb in Toth-Ra, the mountain peak of Mt. Neverrest, a vacation island for Greek gods… global expeditions await! Thanks to Huey, Dewey, Louie, and Webby, trillionaire Scrooge McDuck is back in action, leading the way to death-defying exploits stretching all the way from Duckburg to legendary destinations around the world.

This DVD includes the following NEW DuckTales episodes:

  • The Beagle Birthday Breakout!
  • The Living Mummies of Toth-Ra!
  • The Impossible Summit of Mt. Neverrest!
  • The Spear of Selene!
  • The Missing Links of Moorshire!
  • Beware the B.U.D.D.Y. System!*

Plus a bonus of 2 Classic DuckTales Episodes:

  • New Gizmo-Kids on the Block
  • Ducky Mountain High

FREE DuckTales Activity Sheet Download Below

Looking for some fun activities to do with the kids either before or after your binge fest on these episodes? Check out this fun activity packet! It includes a coloring page, maze, crossword puzzle, and spot the difference game. Just click on the button below to download. Let the greatest family adventures begin!

Who’s your favorite DuckTales character?

Love family fun? Check out these posts:

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Ways to Save at the San Diego County Fair

Ways to Save at the San Diego County Fair

The fair opens this week, Friday June 1st and runs until Wednesday, July 4th and my family couldn’t be happier to once again attend the fair and make awesome memories. But with so many things going on right now, and so many other activities happening, we have to be frugal when we think of the activities we’re doing over the summer. And that means looking for some great deals and ways to save at the San Diego County Fair.

Luckily I’m a pro at this by now with experiences from past fairs since having kids. And I’ve gotten a little savvy on ways to save and maximize my fair-going experience without shelling out big bucks. Here are a few great ways to save at the San Diego County Fair without skimping out on the fun stuff… or the food!

San Diego County Fair Carousel 2013

Ways to Save at the San Diego County Fair

Buy a Costco Fair Pack

For around $75 we picked up a San Diego County Fair package. It included the following:

  • 4 admission tickets
  • 1 free Passport to Savings book coupon
  • 1 parking pass
  • 4 2-for-1 drink coupons
  • 50 ride tickets

We always purchase one of these so that we can go to the fair on a weekend – crazy busy! – or one of my husband’s off Friday’s and not have to worry about taking the bus in or spending a whole lot on food because we have the coupons. It also gives the kids just enough ride tickets to satiate their need for carnival attractions while distracting them from the carnies who try to lure them into tossing rings or darts in an attempt to get a 25 cent stuffed animal.

Some years we do purchase additional tickets there because 2 kids go through 50 tickets quite quickly! Most rides average between 3-6 tickets each. And that includes adults as well if you have to ride with your child.

Get the Best Pass Ever!

You know you can’t see everything at the Fair in just one day, so here’s your opportunity for big savings with the Best Pass Ever! Just $28 buys one person admission to all 26 days of the Fair; regularly $19 each day (adult admission). On sale online, at the Fairgrounds, or at San Diego County Albertsons and Vons stores, now through June 30. For more info see the Best Pass Ever page.

Kids Free Tuesdays at the San Diego County Fair - Ways to Save At the San Diego County Fair
Ways to Save At the San Diego County Fair selfie sticks

Take Advantage of Kids Free Tuesdays

Children 5 and younger are admitted free every day and do not require tickets. However, if you have kids older than 5, Kids’ Day will be June 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29; children 12 and younger are admitted free. You can check out all of the activities for kids by checking out the links on this page here. (Admission for ages 6-12 other days is $12.)

Free Kids Tickets for Reading Logs
Children 12 and younger who read 10 or more books, verified by a teacher or librarian, get free admission any day of the Fair. (Regular child’s admission is $12.) Download your Reading Certificate [PDF] before school gets out!

Discount tickets at Albertsons and Vons

Albertsons | Vons $5 Fair Days — Come to the Fair for just $5.00 on Friday, June 1; Saturday, June 2; and Wednesday, June 6, 2018. These tickets are available only at San Diego County Albertsons and Vons stores with a $10 minimum purchase. They are not sold at the Fairgrounds.

Save on 20% adult admission tickets: Discount adult admission tickets for $15 (save $3.00 off the regular adult admission price) are available at Albertsons and Vons stores. Albertsons and Vons also will have senior ($11.00; 62 and older) and children’s ($11.00, ages 6-12) tickets for sale so you can purchase for the whole family.

The nearest stores to the Fairgrounds are Vons at 2606 Del Mar Heights Road (one exit south of the Fairgrounds) and Vons at 931 Lomas Santa Fe Drive in Solana Beach (one exit north).  And remember – there is a $10.00 minimum purchase required.

Ways to Save At the San Diego County Fair - save money on food at the fair with Taste of the Fair Tuesdays
Ways to Save At the San Diego County Fair - kids meal deals

Save Money On Food

Taste of The Fair Thursdays

On Thursdays, from 12noon until 5:00PM, you can buy $3.00 taste-sized portions of some of your favorite Fair foods, such as corn dogs, fudge, fish tacos and cinnamon rolls, on Taste of the Fair Thursdays. So many choices! You guys… it’s the PERFECT way to sample everything you love in little bites. Especially if you’re like me and your husband won’t share 5 different dishes at one time and suggests you choose only 1-2 treats.

Kids Meal Deals
Look for the Kids’ Meal Deal signs throughout the Fair at participating food booths. The meal includes an entrée, side dish, and drink, plus a free child’s admission, with paid adult admission, to 10 local attractions, for $5.99 or less.

Ways to Save At the San Diego County Fair - ride tickets packages and other discounts

Get Bussed In or Take Mass Transit!

Save On Parking And Transportation

You can find free parking at the off-site lots and then get bussed into the fair to save money on parking. Find out more information in the Transportation section of the website.

Get a discount on Fair admission if you’re a regular transit rider. Find out more information in the Transportation section of the website.

Ride the train, take the bus, save money!: During the Fair, shuttles transport bus and train passengers from the Solana Beach train station to the Fair’s West Gate (you must present a train or bus ticket to board the shuttle). You can buy the Fair Tripper, a Fair admission-and-public-transportation-fare package; or present a same-day transit ticket or monthly pass at the West Gate window for an admission discount on adult, senior or child admission.

Ways to Save At the San Diego County Fair - teachers and educators discount

Are you a Teacher/Educator?

School Staff Appreciation Days presented by Mission Federal Credit Union
Everyone who helps to educate the next generation are all VIPs in our book, so we want to reward your dedication with a discount day at the San Diego County Fair.

Head to any San Diego County Mission Federal Credit Union branch (starting June 1), and receive four free tickets from any San Diego County Mission Federal Credit Union branch* when you present your school employment ID.

Bonus! In 2018, these Fridays also are Kids’ Day, when children 12 and younger receive free admission, and we have lots of fun, special things for them to do. So use your free tickets for the “big kids!”

School Staff Appreciation Days

Friday, June 15
Friday, June 22
Friday, June 29

Tickets are available ONLY at the 27 Mission Federal branches, while supplies last. These tickets will not be available at the Fairgrounds. Find the Mission Federal branch closest to you

Saving on Multiple Trips

Free Return Ticket 
Every year we’ve been able to receive a free return ticket back to the Fair just by completing a survey while there. You also get a free return ticket in your Passport to Savings book. So here’s what we do! I go for the Albertson’s $5 day with the kids. Then I turn in my coupon from the Costco pack for the Passport to Savings when I’m there and I take the survey.

That means I have a return ticket for me and the coupon for a return ticket in the Passport to Savings. Then I have my kids’ teachers sign off on his Reading Log to get free admission so everyone in the family can go again before we even use our Costco passes! That’s 3 trips to the fair in one season. Pretty awesome deal!

There are also a few other ways to save that you can find on the Fair’s website here.

Ways to Save At the San Diego County Fair - enjoying the fair skyline

Are you going to the fair this year?

Upcycled Container Gardens: Housing Your Herbs

Upcycled Container Gardens Housing Your Herbs

Around this house, we try to repurpose and upcycle as many things as we can. If it can’t be composted or turned into something else, we try to donate. So very rarely do we end up with things that go in the trash. This makes for a great assortment of containers to be used in the garden.

When we picked up our chicks I knew we’d need a little home for them until they were big enough to go straight into our coop. At 3 weeks old they’d need to stay warm indoors so I picked up a metal bucket at our local hardware store.

Since I knew I would only be using the bucket for a short period of time I already had it earmarked for a project I’d wanted to do for quite a while… a stand alone herb garden!

Growing Chicks
I’m not sure if you know this but chicks, like children, grow like weeds! Seriously.

I turned around for a second and these cute little baby chicks are almost chickens at 2 months! But we still have 4 more months until they’re actually laying eggs (so I’m told).

Upcycled Container Gardens - growing seedlings

With so many things growing in our raised beds (like the broccoli that’s sprouting from our DIY K-Cup Seed Starters) we didn’t have any more room for the herbs I love to have on hand for cooking.

So it just made sense to have a container garden on the patio. What’s a better green work of art than a container garden?

Our next step will be to build a stacked container garden to house the strawberries we’ll be planting soon! How awesome does that sound? It’s as simple as taking this idea and stacking a few smaller containers on top of one another. Then planting in each tier.

Upcycled Container Gardens - cleaning out the container

 

Because our tub housed the chicks, I wanted to make sure that I cleaned the container very well before putting the soil and plants inside.

While some might question why I would clean out the container first – don’t people buy chicken manure? – the chicken poo that may be on the container hasn’t been composted yet. And I don’t want any bacteria that may have been left in the container to contaminate my plants.

But more on composting chicken poo later! Let’s get to this herb garden. First up – the chalkboard label.

Upcycled Container Gardens - DIY Chalkboard Label

 Upcycled Container Garden Chalkboard Label

What you’ll need:

  • 2 paper towels (can also use newspaper)
  • painters tape
  • chalkboard spray paint
  • metal container

What You Do:

1. Wipe down the area you wish to put the chalkboard paint on with an all-purpose cleaner. Then rinse the container out with water and let dry.

2. Grab two paper towels and cut each in half (4 half sheets). Then cut one-half sheet in half again. You’ll have 3 half sheets and 2 quarter sheets.

3. Using the painter’s tape and the paper towel pieces, create a square or rectangle space to spray paint the chalk onto.

4. Put extra paper towels under the container to protect the table underneath from paint.

5. Using the chalkboard spray paint, spray on two coats of chalkboard paint onto the container. Wait about 20 minutes in between each coat to allow them to dry.

6. Remove the paper towels and tape to reveal your chalkboard label. Write on it with chalk and display for all to see!

Upcycled Container Gardens - variety of herbs

Tips for Planting Herbs in a Container Garden

  1. Use good soil – find a soil that’s good for growing vegetables or use a good blend of soil and compost
  2. Depending on where you’re putting your container garden, consider the height each herb/plant gets and plant taller herbs in the back
  3. Plant what you know you already use now in the kitchen
  4. Make sure you are also giving your herbs vegetable food (found at any garden center)
  5. Place the container garden in a spot that will receive direct sunlight and make sure to water!

Upcycled Container Gardens with Chalkboard Label

What’s your favorite way to upcycle old containers?

Solo: A Star Wars Story is a Must See For Any Star Wars Fan

First things first – this movie is based off my two favorite characters: Han Solo and Lando Calrissian. So it is a real treat to have an official origin story that brings these two together in such an enjoyable way. These types of films are tricky, mainly because we already know how the story turns out and who survives. But I think that it speaks highly to the film’s ability to entertain and surprise the viewer. This Star Wars film slots fairly high amongst my favorite Star Wars films! 

An Origins Story

In the beginning of the film, we meet Han as a young scrappy man surviving on the streets of Corellia, a very industrial area known for it’s ship building. Most of its inhabitants are supporting the building efforts – willingly or unwillingly. Because of this, the dream of a better life is the motivation for Han to learn how to be a pilot and escape his current life.

Eventually, he joins on with a band of mercenaries in the quest to turn a profit and secure a ship. Well, as it turns out in Star Wars, there is always a bigger fish. Han finds himself getting tangled up with an even bigger crime syndicate. Of course along the way we meet Chewbacca and Lando.

But Is There More Than What The Trailers Share?

The trailers do a good job of basically telling you what the story will be. This made me a little nervous that there would not be much more to tell other than a few filler details. As the film progresses I was pleasantly surprised to find that there were a good bit more detail and twists. The characters we meet are pretty good.

The sidekick characters are especially good and memorable. L3 is Lando’s co-pilot and “it” is a hoot! Lando was amazing and well portrayed. I had no problem with continuity between the two actors (Bill De Williams and Donald Glover). Side note: I’ve been a fan of Donald Glover (any Troy and Abed fans out there?) and didn’t have any doubts that he’d be the perfect Lando.

The portrayal of Han worked well. I was not sure how I would feel about Alden Ehrenreich based on what I saw in the trailers – as he does not really look like Harrison Ford – but it was not a problem as the movie went on. The introduction of Chewbacca was clever, but later I wondered if his character would have done the things implied. What was really cool is that scenes in this film actually make some scenes in the original trilogy a little better, more meaningful.

The last thing I will say is that there is a pretty big reveal towards the end of the movie and even as I write this I am not entirely sure what that means for what comes next…

Who Can Watch? Kids or No Kids?

This movie is a little dark and earns a PG-13 rating. There is no blood or curse words that I can recall. People do get wounded and bruised up and there are some pretty intense scenes around a war set on the front line with a few creatures. Most tense scenes are diffused with humor as is the standard formula these days. A 7+ year old that can distinguish fantasy live action from real life would probably be okay seeing this.

Definitely check out Solo: A Star Wars Story, it is a must-see for any Star Wars fan!

Haven’t seen the trailers yet (gasp!)? Watch here:

Read more great Star Wars articles:

Star Wars Rogue One Perler Bead Templates

DIY Rogue One Night Light

5 Reasons Why Star Wars Lovers Should Visit Legoland California

Kid Friendly Baked Caprese Chicken With Fresh Herbs from the Garden

This post was sponsored by Culligan Water as part of an Integrated Program for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

This baked caprese chicken is full of fresh flavor straight from the garden! And our 3-year-old helped prepare the dish from start to finish. Read on to find out how you can get your kids interested in dinner again!

Remember a few weeks ago when we were talking all things herbs and I showed how we made an indoor hanging herb garden? Well, our herbs reacted so well to our new Culligan Water filtration system that we’ve been able to utilize fresh herbs in the recipes we’ve been making.

Since my youngest has become obsessed with all things gardening, I thought it’d be fun to have her help me make a meal from start to finish wiht a few of the fun things we’re growing in both our hanging herb garden and outside raised beds. And this baked caprese chicken dish includes so many wonderful elements from what we’ve grown so far. 

Speaking of elements, we couldn’t be happier with our experience with the Culligan Water system. It’s gone above and beyond our expectations so far. 

One of the best parts about our new Culligan Water filtration system is the fact that it’s so easy to utilize. Not only can the kids go to the sink to get filtered water to drink, they can fill up the watering cans and water the garden so that our plants are getting the full benefits of Culligan Water as well.

And the plants aren’t the only ones perking up with the new reverse osmosis water filtration system! The kids are actually going over and filling up their reusable water bottles and cups throughout the day without hesitation. No more asking for juice or complaining that there’s only water in the house to drink. When I asked them about it, they said that the water tastes better now. I’ll take that as a win in my book!

I haven’t even gotten to the details of the water softening system and its effects on our soap usage! Did you know that by using a water softening system, you don’t have to use as much soap in your washer (dish or laundry)? Even in the shower? And without the harsh effects of the hard water we have here in San Diego, the girls’ skin seems to be seeing a benefit to having the new system in place.

Did you know that Culligan Water is a world leader in innovative water filtration systems not only in homes but in offices as well? We’ve found that Culligan Water is able to provide water solutions for our whole home by identifying the water issues we have. Those include everything from hard water to the taste of our water.

We’re lucky that Culligan Water’s goal is to provide the best possible customer service experience and have experienced this first hand! In addition to leaving users with water we can trust, they also ensure customers can provide the best in our homes for ourselves and loved ones.

With Culligan Water products every day is a “good water day.” Now let’s get to that delicious baked caprese chicken recipe!

Kid Friendly Baked Caprese Chicken Printable Recipe

Baked Caprese Chicken

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut in half
  • 1/2 cup fresh mozzarella
  • 6 hothouse tomatoes, sliced
  • 9-12 leaves fresh basil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  1. Lay chicken breast pieces in an oven safe dish and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Let your kids layer the salt and pepper, cheese, tomatoes, and basil over chicken.
  3. Bake chicken for 25 minutes or until bubbly and slightly golden on the top and chicken fully cooked.

Want to learn more about how you can be a bit more water wise?

Here are some more water-wise resources!

DIY Indoor Herb Garden

Water Conservation Tips: What Can You Do? 

Adding Desert Plants to Your Garden

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