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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Make a Cub Scout Belt Loop Display for $1.50

My son as been active with scouts since he was a Tiger Cub and is just getting ready to cross over to a Boy Scout.  In my search of getting all his belt loops, patches, pins and other awards together, I realized he has a ton of stuff.  One item that cub scouts work toward is belt loops.  In order to earn a belt loops, a cub scout must preform certain tasks associated with whatever belt loop they are trying to earn at the time.  Right now there is a total of 53 different belt loops a cub scout can earn but as of 2015, these belt loops will no longer be part of the cub scout activities.  My son is lucky to have earned most of them already and I wanted to come up with a way we could display them for years to come.  I also wanted an idea that would be easy enough for my Webelos II to complete as one of their Craftsman Activity Badges.  

I've been tossing the idea around to use rulers as a base because they seemed to be the right size and shape for what I had in mind.  When the schools supplies went on sale at Wal-mart, I grabbed up a few to see if my idea would work.

When I got home, I brought out my hot glue gun, sand paper and some old Java color stain left over from redoing my bathroom cabinets.  I decided to use the hot glue gun because I wanted something that would be fast drying so that the Scouts could complete the project all in one den meeting.  I also thought about tearing out the bendable paper holders in folders to stick through the holes but changed my mind at the last minute because of the extra two rulers and no wholes for them. 

Step One - Before you glue, you must first remove the plastic straight line edge attached to the ruler.  Save yourself some trouble and just use pliers.  I used my nails for the first two and it was a pain.  The pliers makes it very simple to remove.  

Step Two - Take your sandpaper and sand the ruler down.  To make this easier, hold the sandpaper and ruler in a way that you can sand both sides at once.  Keep stopping to check to see if the Belt Loops will slide on rather easy.  Keep in mind that if you are going to paint/stain the ruler then you will need to sand it a little more to allow the Belt Loops to fit once the paint/stain is on.

Step Three - Hot glue your ruler together, making sure each one is straight.  I matched the three up with the the holes from the back piece and then filled in the other two rules in the extra space.  Make sure that the glue drys before moving on.

Step Four - Paint/Stain the ruler and leave overnight. 

Step Five - I used thin cord to make a decorative X and to add extra support to the center.  

If you completely fill this up, it will hold a total of 50 Belt Loops.  Five per row and side.  For a total of $1.50 for 6 rulers and with the use of a few items I had on hand, this Belt Loop display turned out great and will be a huge hit for my next Webelos Den Meeting. 

If interested in a fun Boy Scout Activity, read about how to plan a Boy Scout Escape Room!  It was so much fun.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Kenwood Yulupa Cuvee Brut Sparkling Wine

Kenwood Yulupa Cuvee Brut
This summer, like most, has completely pasted me by in a blur.  Lots of fun in the sun and of course some great new wines that I have stumbled upon and need to write about.

This bottle, Kenwood Yulupa Cuvee Brut, was actually a gift from one of my favorite restaurants,  Tidewater Grill.  My date and I was having such a good time that the staff thought we were celebrating our anniversary and wanted to surprise us with a bottle of wine.  The surprise was actually on them when we spilled the beans that it was only our third date.  They took it in stride and gave us the bottle to wish us many more years together to come. 

If you have reviewed my other wine posts, you will have already figured out that I love a dessert wine or as my friends say "sugar water".  Call it what you will but I find them refreshing and very enjoyable.

I'm not much of a drinker but since it was a gift, I felt I had to drink at least one glass.  With the first taste of this wine, I was hooked.  I loved the light fruit flavor and citrus aromas.  I had no trouble drinking my first glass or the second.  It also went wonderful with my blackened chicken breast, steamed broccoli and rice pilaf; which you will have to ask for because Tidewater no longer has the blackened chicken on the menu.  Be warned before you get this dish because it is extremely spicy and you will want to have a huge glass of water while eating it.  If you love spicy food, then this is a must try if you ever find yourself in the area.  

Now that I have found the time to write this blog, I did a little research on how the wine is made and its makers.  Yulupa Cuvee Brut (a blend of Chenin Blanc, French Colmbard, Chardonnary and Pinot Noir) is a medium dry sparkling wine made in California from harvested grapes gently pressed (using traditional "whole cluster" system) before they reach full maturity.  Kenwood states that it's this gently pressing that helps the wine retain the fruit essence.  The wine ages for approximately 10 months in stainless steel tanks before 1.5% sugar (also known as "dosage") is added before it will be ready for bottling.  The alcohol volume is listed at 11% and a 750 ml bottle will run you about $10.00.

For any dessert wine drinking, I would suggest you give this bottle a try.  I will be adding it to my personal wine supply and look forward to my next glass soon.