17 July 2014

PEA IN A POD CRAFT

My kids love craft time, but honestly, we're running out of simple crafts for the kids.

The Disney Store Pea in a Pod plushies are on their want list so...It's no surprise when a request for a Pea in a Pod craft evolved into ME making little felt plushies for them. After this, I started pinning more simple crafts to add to the pool of options ;)























They turned out so cute though, so... well worth the time for the smiles in return. And they're a nice substitute until they can earn enough of their own money to buy them at the Disney Store. Or perhaps these will suffice and they'll cross that item off their list ;) That ever growing want list in their heads.

I opted to keep it simple and not make these with a zipper, but of course, you could do this any way you want, with or without a zipper. With or without a sewing machine. I chose to hand sew with embroidery thread.

SUPPLIES
Felt - Three different greens
Embroidery Thread - 1 green to match the peas, 1 green to match the pod, Black and pale pink
Needles
Stuffing
Pink Powdered Eye Shadow
Small Paint Brush
Zipper - To Match (optional)

PROCESS
1. Cut six circles all the same size out of the same color of green. These will be the three peas. I use the lighter green for the peas. I'm providing a template below, but FYI the peas are the same size as the inside circle of a mason jar lid.



























2. Cut the pods (2) in the same color. I use the mid tone green for the pod.
3. Cut the stems (2) in the same color. I use the darkest green for the stem.
*While cutting felt, I also made several circle templates on paper so my kids could draw the faces. This kept them involved in the craft for the first little while.

4. Once all of the pieces are cut, I drew in the faces slightly on the felt. It's hard for kids to draw in pencil on felt and you don't want pencil lines to show up so I just did this quickly.

5. EYES: Divide 1 piece of black embroidery thread into 3 strands, for the eyes (There are 6 to begin with, I used 3 strands), thread the needle, pull the ends together and knot. When I make eyes, I poke first from the backside, pull it through, knot and then embroider over the knot to give it some bulge. Be careful not to make it a nubby knot that is easy to pick off.

6. MOUTH: Divide 1 piece of pale pink embroidery thread into 3 strands, thread the needle, pull the ends together and knot. Poke from the backside on one end of the mouth and make small stitches close to each other. Each pea has a slightly different "smile" line.

7. PEAS: Divide 1 piece of green embroidery thread (to match the peas) into 2 strands, thread the needle, DON'T pull both ends together, just knot the longest end. Poke from the inside about 1/8" from the edge of one circle, then through the inside of the other circle... stitch along that line all the way around the circle, leaving about 1" opening. Put a small bit of stuffing inside and complete the stitching all the way around to close the pea.

8. POD: Divide 1 piece of green embroidery thread (to match the pod) into 2 strands, thread the needle, DON'T pull both ends together, just knot the longest end. Follow the starting point on the pattern, smaller end first, working around the bottom of the pod. When you get to the stem side of the pod, layer on the stem pieces, one on each side and sew through all four pieces of felt all the way around the stem. Make your final knot on the inside of the pod under the stem.
*I had my oldest try a little of the stitching and she did pretty good. For the most part though, this is a mom project.






































9. Add blush to the peas (optional) for little cheeks. I used some pink eyeshadow and a stiffer small paintbrush, dabbing a little bit at a time. Just below the eyes and out slightly.

In the end it's an open top pod to hold the three little peas. Happy Peas. Happy Kids.

























TEMPLATE
Print at 100% and cut each piece.














































14 July 2014

DISNEYLAND TRAVEL PACK FOR KIDS

We actually went to Disneyland back in February but truth be told, our computer overloaded with photos and I was behind on unloading the camera for months. No bother, EVERY SEASON IS DISNEY SEASON, right?
























I put this together for the flight to keep the kids entertained and it worked... for a good 2 hours. You can also see the purses and autograph books I made here.

EACH PACK INCLUDES:
Mini Suitcases - Target
Art Packet - Target
Vintage Disneyland Postcards + Postcard Stamps - handmade (see below)
Pencil Case - Dollar Store crayons, pens, and pencils
Snacks - fruit snacks, dumdum and raisins

Other fun ideas to add:
Disposable camera
Mini Play-dough
Colored pipe cleaners
Disneyland Map


POSTCARDS
Print on Cardstock, cut, fold and paste.



01 July 2014

PIRATE FAIRY PAPER DOLLS

I had a few requests for more paper dolls! When I first did these, they were for my daughter's Fairy Birthday Party.

Since then, The Pirate Fairy released. So we have to have Zarina. And sadly, last time, I wasn't able to do Vidia or Fawn, so those are added as well. Have fun!

FREE PRINTABLES
Print on 8.5"x11" and Cut

 


21 June 2014

PAINTED WOOD BEADS



SUPPLIES
Wood Beads
Variety of Acrylic Paints - Gold. Florescent.
Paint Brush
Masking Tape
Chopsticks (to put the bead on while painting)
Styrofoam (to stick the chopsticks in to dry)
Spray Sealant
String or Twine (to make a necklace or bracelet)

PROCESS
1. Put a bead on a chopstick end and paint it.
* If you'd like a clean edge or a pattern use masking tape to tape it off.
2. Keep it on the chopstick and poke the other end into a styrofoam piece to dry.
3. Repeat for the quantity of desired beads.
4. Once dry, spray with a clear matte sealant.
5. Once dry, thread beads and tie off at desired length.

WHAT CAN THEY BE USED FOR?
- Jewelry - They're fun necklaces and bracelets for girls parties.
- Key Chain - String a few on a strand of leather.
- Luggage Tag
- Kids Counting Games
- Party Decorations - String on gold thread and hang from the ceiling, String to create a garland, or put a bunch in clear glass containers.



16 June 2014

SHOULDER-STRAP PURSES FOR GIRLS

We went to Disneyland a while back... first timers. I wanted a purse that my girls could wear instead of carry. I shopped around but it proved a challenge to find one with a long strap and the right size to fit a notebook inside. So I made them.

I also made them a Golden Book Frozen covered notebook to collect princess autographs. My daughters found these little Frozen charms on our first day there (attached to the zipper pulls). And I wanted to use felt balls to make the zipper easier to pull.

I'm not even going to post a pattern because this was a last minute situation... and I fumbled through it. My first zippers and all. But they turned out cute, but let's be honest, anything made with Heather Ross fabric is bound to be cute. I'm a fan.

While we spent time in line and even at night before bed, our girls drew sweet little drawings of each princess to coordinating with their signatures. I loved that. It made for a good memory book for them.

































28 May 2014

I HEART MY TEACHER

My daughter was blessed with a fantastic teacher this year. On her last day of school, we wanted to give her a little thank-you-something. I actually put these together for her preschool teachers last year too. Rifle Paper Co. notebooks that are lovely and useful.

These come as a set of three for about $12. You can find them at Target, Urban Outfitters, Amazon, Paper Source... I also had some thank you cards on hand. I wrapped them up with craft paper, tied them with string and let my daughter write the thank you tag.

Many thanks to you Mrs. Fredrickson! We heart you!!


06 May 2014

FROZEN PARTY DIY TUTORIALS (cont.)

TASSEL GARLAND
My little artist loves to create booklets and drawings of Elsa (or whoever she's into at the moment) and wanted to be a part of the decorations for her party. So I hung up all of her artwork on a big bare wall and criss-crossed two tassel garlands above them.

You can find lots of tutorials for tassel garlands, I found a great one here but after making one myself, I have a few *tidbits to add.
* I wanted to use iridescent cellophane along with a couple of other colors. It's a material that promotes lots of static so it took some getting used to. It doesn't twist as well either.
* I also found that after twisting the top, a dab of hot glue is nice to ensure the twist stays together.
* I also didn't want the tassels to move around on strand so I hot glued them into place after spacing them.

SUPPLIES
Tissue Paper - I used three separate colors of 20"x20" sheets (the iridescent is slightly smaller). One sheet can make two (full) tassels or four (thinner) tassels. In the end I had 12 tassels to space out (roughly every 4") on the string.
String - I used a 4' long strand of iridescent string that was part of a Michael's $1 pack of trimmings. I found something similar here.
Scissors - P.S. those fringe scissors don't work for this. They do work if you want a short tassel, but the scissors only cut 2"-3" fringe so your tassel size will be about 4" in the end.
Hot Glue Gun
* Optional - washi tape

PROCESS
1. Fold one piece of tissue paper in half, fold it in half again, and a third time.






















2. Cut the fringe strips starting from the open bottom edge, each strip about 1/4" wide. Cutting almost to the top (about 1.5" from the folded top edge).
3. At this point you can get two-four pieces by cutting down the "long" folded sides (the long side is the fringe so you'd only be cutting through the 1.5" space.
4. Unfold and lay flat (top iridescent photo).
5. Roll the entire fringed sheet from the center. With the iridescent I glue to keep it rolled.
6. twist from the middle and create a loop around your finger. Glue to ensure the loop stays twisted.
7. *For an added decorative, you can use washi tape over the twist.
8. String onto string and space out. Glue to keep them in place if desired.

























































CAKE TOPPER NUMBER
I wanted a glittered #6. I noticed this on PInterest and tried it. Woop-woop it works.


SUPPLIES
Parchment Paper - Make sure you use parchment paper instead of wax paper.
Hot Glue Gun
Tooth Picks/Skewers - Depending on how tall you want it.
Sprinkles/Glitter/Confetti - Whatever material you want to cover your topper with.

PROCESS
1. Draw a shape or number with the hot glue gun right onto a sheet parchment paper.
2. Place the toothpick into the glue and redo the shape with glue. *If you want the stick to be a different color, dye the toothpicks first with food color dye.
3. Sprinkle glitter all over the glue. Let dry.
4. Gently peal from the parchment paper and turn it over.
5. Repeat the process on the back side so that glitter is on both sides. Let dry.


DIY BRACELET PACKET
Our girls birthday parties always include a craft of some kind. We've painted wood letters (that was messy), we've made wood peg dollies, and paper dolls (that was a hit). This little packet of beads was another hit. I gathered a variety of sparkly beads for them to make their own bracelets.


SUPPLIES
Variety of 16mm Beads - (here, here, here, and here)
Stretch String
Scissors
Washi Tape
Sharpie
Small Cello Baggies

PROCESS
1. Load each baggie with 13-14 beads.
2. Wrap 10" of stretch string into a circle around three of your fingers. Keep it together with a small bit of washi tape.
3. Fold baggie over and seal. Place a bit of washi tape over the seal.
4. Write each guests name on the washi tape.

All ready for each guest to make their own little bracelet. Keep the scissors handy, they'll need help tying a knot and cutting off.




28 April 2014

FROZEN PARTY DIY TUTORIALS

There were lots of hand made items in this party. All easy to do. Refer to the party plan posting for more details. Below is a more complete look at a few of the decorations and food that went into this party.

CREPE PAPER SWAGS
I taped three of these to the ceiling to provide some movement and icy color. I used another for a table runner.

























SUPPLIES
Crepe Paper Sheets
Food Coloring
Pie Tin (shallow) and Bowl (deep)
Water
Wax Paper
Scissors - I used Fringe Scissors

PROCESS
1. Unwrap one package but don't unravel the crepe paper. It will be roll folded, right out of the package.
2. Fill a pie tin with 1 inch of water and 1-2 drops of food coloring. I used blue for an icy effect.
3. Fill a deeper bowl (I used Easter egg bowls for dying eggs) with about 2-3" of water and add 1 drop of the same color. *You can color mix, depending on your party theme and color palette. I used blue again so that the shorter ends would be slightly darker than the extended color.
4. Dip one edge into the shallow pan, soak up some color and then dip that same edge into the deeper bowl.
5. Lay it flat onto a sheet of wax paper.
6. Repeat for the second package of crepe paper. *You may need to add more water/dye.
7. Repeat this for as many as packages that you have.
8. Go back to the first bundle and dip the other edge, first in the shallow and then in the deep. *Be careful to keep the dye from dripping into the middle.
9. Let all of the bundles dry completely.
10. Unroll each bundle, one at a time and fold in half.
11. Fringe cut the edges. I use Martha Stewart's Fringe scissors. They can't handle too many layers of crepe paper at one time, so that's why I fold it in half.
*If you use regular scissors, you could probably fold it a few times to cut down on the cutting.
























































BANNER
SUPPLIES
Computer and Printer
Illustrator
Xacto Knife and Cutting Board
Small Hole Punch
Glue
Glitter
Wax Paper
Ribbon
Hot Glue Gun and Glue

PROCESS
1. Create a pennant banner in Illustrator by forming a triangle and repeating it for each letter of your banner phrase.
2. Type out your phrase, outline it, ungroup it and separate each letter for each triangle.
3. Gang up your triangles and print. Generally, three fit on an 81/2"x11"
4. Cut each and lay them out, ready to string.
5. Take the first 3 letters and punch small holes into each of the top corners.
6. Repeat the process until all triangles have punches. I like to use the first one as a guide to keep the holes in the same place each time.
7. Carefully glue the long edges and place on wax paper, then cover the glue with glitter. Shake off the glitter and set aside to dry.
8. Repeat for all the letters.
9. Once they are completely dry, string them all together, going through the last letter (string into the top side first) and leaving about 10" of string at that end to tie a knot. *I string them so that the back shows the majority of the string.
10. When you get to the last letter, tie it off with a knot.
11. Space the letters and hot glue each of the backs to the string.
* If you don't have a computer with Illustrator, you can print this and hand write large letters on each triangle.


21 April 2014

FROZEN BIRTHDAY PARTY PLAN

The time has come. After seeing about three other friends have their Frozen Birthday parties, it was our daughter's turn. She invited just her girlie friends. They arrived in their dress ups, half were Elsa. They played together so well and got to make a craft, we had it late in the day so I planned for treats only. We also hired a local Elsa and Anna to come and play with them for a half our and take photos. That was a highlight for these girls. They were sold! They kept touching their dresses to be sure they were real.

When I throw a party, I always start with a party plan. I have a color palette, some decor ideas, a menu and activities. For my girls, that usually involves a craft. The weather was beautiful so they were able to play outside and really spread out.










































ACTIVITES
Play - The girls had about 20 minutes to play together before crafts.

Craft - Making bracelets. This consisted of stringing beads (here, here, here, and here) onto a stretch string and adults helping them knot and cut the string. Easy! Set up a craft area with tables, chairs, a tablecloth, and plates to contain the beads. I also opted to put their party favors on this table.

Anna & Elsa - They told the girls the Frozen story from their point of view, played a little game and took photos with each guest.

FOOD
Donut HoleTree - I got a stirofoam cone at Michaels, wrapped it in tinfoil, inserted toothpicks, then a donut, one at a time, one row at a time. I filled in the holes with little sprigs of tissue/wax paper sticks.

Cupcakes - This is something I order in advance and pick up morning of. I've learned from past experience to order mini cupcakes to cut down on mess.

Hot Pies - I made these a couple days in advance with this recipe, and the morning of, reheated at 350˚ Then frosted them. This was the last thing I did to keep them fresh. Some learning points, I would roll this out to 1/8" instead of 1/4" so they're not too thick, but rather thin and flaky. I also did mine in a circle with a snowflake cut in the center of the top layer so that the blueberry jam could ooze through a bit. Yum.

Popcorn Balls - I learned a popcorn trick here. Microwave four bags of popcorn, then melt 2 sticks of butter in a large pot on medium heat, add 1 1/2 bags of marshmallows, stir until melted and looks white and creamy, not buttery. Then transfer that to a separate bowl. Next put the popped popcorn (without seeds) two bags first, into the large pot, pour some marshmallow sauce on and stir. Keep adding popcorn one bag at a time and then sauce until all is blended well. Let that cool for a few minutes. Next start making balls (use vegetable oil on your hands to keep them lubed). Place finished balls on a sheet of wax paper then insert sticks. Completed balls then go into baggies and tie off with ribbon or a string.

Milk Jugs & Straws - I found these cute mini jugs here, with colored lids and straws to coordinate. I also had a pitcher of water and cups for the adults.

Snow Cones - My Father-In-Law is a huge snow cone connoisseur so I let him man the machine. He found one to borrow and even brought two flavors of syrup. I bought two bags of ice, cups and spoons. I opted for cups instead of the pointed cones, just so kids could set them down easily.

Candy Bowls - I had some colored gum balls and rock "ice" candy in bowls. I also put these in their party favor boxes.

DECORATION
This is where I tend to go a little nuts and spend too many weeks preparing. You can do all or non if you wish. You can also find more fun ideas I've researched or made on my Pinterest  pages: Party Plans and Victorious Blog are both loaded.

Crepe Paper Swags - I bought white crepe paper sheets here. First I dyed the edges while it was still folded, making sure to keep them flat so the dye wouldn't drip into the middle. Let it dry well, then unroll them and fringe cut the edges. Three of them made a good swooping ceiling backdrop for behind the banner.

Flowers - I cut branches from our trees and added a few yard flowers in the color palette. Not a lot of flowers because it's a frozen theme but I wanted a little bit of color.

Banner - I made a pennant banner in Illustrator, printed, cut, put it together and glitter glued the edges.

Art Wall - My daughter wanted to showcase her own art so I used one wall to put up our favorites of her her Elsa/Anna/Olaf drawings. Above that I strung two 4' strands of tassels made from tissue paper and iridescent wrap.

Food Table - I arranged gifts in the back with a tall vase of flowers and then food in front of all that. If the food is low for the kids they can come and take easily. If it's high on a countertop, I always have too many leftovers.

Countertop Decor - We have a wall that is straight in from our entryway that always needs some sort of decoration at partytime. I usually do something with levels of snacks and drop things from the ceiling. To mix it up, I didn't want this to be the main focus. Instead I made the craft and food tables the main focus. I used some of our Christmas decorations, white flocked and feather trees, glass drops and added some gem and ribbon garlands. I also dropped a few tissue poms and balloons from the ceiling.

PARTY FAVORS
I purchased clear boxes here, filled them with iridescent filler, pearly gumballs and rock "ice" candy from Zurchers. I found some cute snowflake ring toppers and photo snow globes and inserted up Elsa and Anna photos. I also hotglued some ribbon to the base of them snow globes and added more glitter before adding the distilled water. Each box was wrapped with curly ribbon and topped with a sparkle pencil and balloon.

Party photos and DIY Tutorials to come this week!






10 April 2014

KIDS & SIGHT WORDS

I'm new at this learning to read business. I feel for these little kids trying to learn the ins and outs of the unpredictable and tricky English language. My daughter is a thinker and quite intelligent but we could sense her struggling with reading early on. She wasn't excited about it and knowing her, it was because she wasn't getting it quickly enough so she was losing interest.

Here's the thing... SIGHT WORDS... they're everything. It's clear to me why they push them so hard in Kindergarten. Once they get sight words they are able to read sentences because these simple words are what make up most of our sentences!
He. Her. She. Him. In. Out. They. That. This... There are about 80 words that these kids are learning. So the trick to getting them down quickly is not flashcards, sorry teachers, that's not it. At least not for our stubborn little one. It needs to be a game.















































A friend had a recommendation that I have to pass on because it's truly brilliant. It has captured that excitement of learning, it has brought her up to speed quickly, and inspired further learning.

1. Cut out 3"x4" pieces of paper and write out the sight words on each piece.
2. Tape about 20 of them around your child's bedroom.
3. At night before bed, turn out the light and turn on a flashlight.
4. Point to a word with your flashlight and your child needs to say the word.

* Our daughter had all 20 within days.
5. Once your child has all of these words down, change up the game... Use the word in a sentence. (i.e. for THIS point to the word with a flashlight and they could say something like, "THIS game is so fun" or "Tomorrow let's play THIS again").

* Once this is easy to them, add more cards. I kept the first 20 up as well.

It's such a simple idea and I tell ya, it works. It takes away their frustration and makes it fun. After a couple of weeks, we noticed a huge difference in her ability to read. I've told a few friends and they have had the same experience.

So *disclaimer, I'm not a teacher, but I really think this is a great way to help inspire our little learners. And the added bonus is our daughter's little sister gets to play too and at 3 1/2 she's getting early exposure to these lessons.


Here are a few to start. Print at 100% on 8.5"x11"


08 April 2014

SCHOOL PHOTO PACKAGES




Instead of handing out school photos, I thought it might be fun to send them out as a little package.

These can be recreated for wallet sized photos by cutting the cards below and handwriting a message. They fit in an A2 envelope.


27 March 2014

PLAYROOM GALLERY WALL

More on the playroom...
The reading nook needed some color!



FRAMES
Mostly randoms from around the house supplemented with IKEA cheapies. Inserted are sunshine and rainy day images that we love.

LIGHTING
This IKEA light is, of course popular and well known. We've had it in this room for years. Still kicking and fits the look of this room.

PILLOWS
The blue heart is from Target's dollar section (love that!) The green pillow is made with fabric by Heidi Kenney called dandelions. It's so cute I couldn't bring myself to cut it so I just made one big pillow out of a fat quarter. It is backed with a yellow cozy plush fabric. The cloud, I used a white fluffy (ever so messy) fabric from Joann's and the teal cushion was originally made to sit on but I like it propped up against the wall.
 

RUG
From Target

CURTAINS
I used IKEA Vivian curtains for the window to block out some of the sun and IKEA Lill curtains next to the shelving to create a sheer division.

PLUSHIES
One handmade bunny and one blabla owl we named Olive.




















GALLERY WALL PROCESS
1. My process to do a gallery wall is fairly simple. First I lay out the frames with nothing in them on a flat surface. I tend to arrange things on an axis of some sort... a "+" that is slightly off.

2. Next, I put the artwork options on top of the frames and arrange those until they're visually appealing to me. Take a picture of the layout.

3. Next, I insert the artwork into each frame and prep the frames for hanging. Some may need arms taken off and hardware put on. If there's nothing on the back to hang with and the frame is light, I like to use 3M Command Velcro because it doesn't ruin walls and is easy to use.

4. Next I cut out paper pieces the same size as the frames. Place each one on top of its coordinating frame.

5. Number each piece of paper and take a photo of the numbered layout.

6. Tape the paper pieces to the wall until they are back in their designed layout, making sure they're centered in the space.

7. Now it's time to hang them up. I usually start in the largest in the middle. Nails, velcro... whatever means. I usually end up with a variety of hanging methods because my frames are a mix of new and old.

8. Take out the paper pieces after the frame is up if nails are used, but before if velcro is used.

That's it. Not too painful ;)


25 March 2014

PLAY TABLE, HOORAY!

I've wanted this table for far too long and when it showed up on gilt today, it officially became part of the playroom plan. It's coming together, people!


14 March 2014

THE SOMETIMES MAMA BLUES

Some days, being a mom makes me want to scratch my eyeballs out. Other days are filled with beautiful, lovely, shining, memory making moments.

Today is one of those eyeball-scratching-out-days. A day where bad decisions are made and wood floors are ruined. And then more bad decisions are made. And we spiral into a pit of despair that seems to never end.

On these days, I find that I need a small break in a room alone without anyone asking for sippies or a snack. A moment when I'm not cleaning up pee puddles (as if I own a dog). A moment when kids aren't giddily destroying the house. A moment without complaints or whining. A moment without blaming.

A while back my girlfriend emailed some inspiring thoughts that brought me much needed comfort today (Thank you Tia!). And I have to breathe deeply and remember that we can't be too hard on ourselves, that parenting these little ones can be a roller coaster of tough times and joyous times all within a matter of minutes.

I don't need to be rescued (this isn't an option anyway), we'll get through it. Then it's on to better days, hours, and minutes. We may even get one or two in today.

I have hope.

10 March 2014

ST. PATRICK'S DAY DECOR

Finally, my St. Patty's decorations are increasing. Last year I made a little felt ball and felt shamrock garland. I still use it, but I added some garlands from Dwell Studio (they were on sale;) I splurged because anything from Dwell is still a splurge even when it's on sale.

I also dug out anything gold and green from my party stash (mostly painted vases). I purchased some chocolate gold coins, some clover and daisies.

This isn't much, but it's enough to help our home feel like Spring is on the way. Hooray for that!


28 February 2014

KEEP ON PINNING

Pinterest. It can be overwhelming just as easily as inspiring.

Originally I started pinning to organize the heaps of design influence and ideas I'd come across while researching. That is all good and well, but I worry about the day when the links no longer have a route to the item of interest.

On the other hand, in my computer's filing system, sometimes I have images that I can no longer trace to an original source. Two different organization tools..... same issue.

Neither are ideal but both are helpful in the big picture, the NOW picture. There are reasons to keep both going.

One thing I've noticed since I've been pinning, I am able to decide what to DIY easily. It's all right there on my ever growing DIY board. For the most part, I pin items that I really do intend to make. I can also see which items to purchase rather than suffer through the material costs and time.

Below are four examples I've had in my computer files for far too long, most are on my Pinterest boards too. I have deep desires to create all of these things, but the reality is I know I can sew a clutch, I think I can make a wire wreath, I might be able to paint something, and I highly doubt I can make that dress! I know my limits.

All that said, thank you Pinterest for keeping my inspirations organized and my limits known. And an even bigger thanks to those out there that continually inspire all of us. Join me on Pinterest... your own personal inspiration meeting.






19 February 2014

ON THE ROAD WITH KIDS

We are novice road trippers. We recently upgraded to a vehicle with lower miles and instantly felt that a little road trip was doable. A six hour jig over Thanksgiving weekend was a good first try.

I put together little packages of fun and entertainment for our kids. Before they got in the car, I placed a starting kit in their car seats. One of the kids really made use of everything put before her. The other set each thing aside at first and looked out the window, but eventually got to the entertainment we provided ;)































TO START
They each received:
1. A new color/sticker book
2. A pencil case with crayons, scissors, gluestick, and pencils (nothing gooey)
3. A plastic enclosed clipboard that contained several travel bingo games (see below)
4. A small baking tray (stored in the seat back pocket) and magnets to hold their paper games on. The tray ridges are handy for coloring and keeping everything on their laps.
5. A magazine box full of library books
6. A snack kit (I used our Beaba Babycook freezer containers and refill as needed)

DURING THE DRIVE
I had planned to give them each five small ($1 store) gifts to open one each hour. Things like construction paper, window clings, small activity books, embellishments, post-its... anything to entertain! One of the gifts was for both of them, a DVD hoping to take up two hours. I kept these gifts in a bag at my feet so that I could distribute based upon their moods, temperament and boredom level instead of actually on the hour. We ended up with some leftover gifts that I used for Christmas stocking stuffers.

PRE-TRIP DILEMMA
a few weeks prior to our trip one of our kids started urinating too frequently. When I say too frequent, I mean 18+ times per hour, that's not right. It left is a quandary... should we postpone? Should we stop by the side of the road every ten minutes? After talking with her doctor, seeing a specialist, ruling out any serious diagnosis's and spending some time considering our options, we chose to put her in a pull up. We were concerned she might feel embarrassed but she was excited to pick some out at the store. It worked like a charm. She didn't feel the need to go as often. We made some stops but at least we weren't getting frustrated on the side of the road.

All in all, these kids didn't sleep at all during our drive. They played the games and used the crafts we had planned out, and it was enough to entertain them for twelve hours of driving. That's pretty good, I say!

ROAD TRIP BINGO PRINTABLES








16 February 2014

SICK OF FROZEN YET?... NOPE.

We had huge anticipation for this movie back in August. My daughter was Anna for Halloween before anyone knew about Frozen. Explaining over and over who she was.

Then we saw it Thanksgiving weekend. INSTANTLY Anna was no longer of interest in her mind. It was all about Elsa from that point on.









































The songs are sung in our car ALWAYS. Carpool = 3-7 kids yelling their little guts out, "Let it Go!"

We just got back from Disneyland and of course, top on the list was meeting Elsa and Anna. I stood in line for 2.5 hours for that sweet little moment. And I'm happy to report that Elsa was the one in there. We were two people away from meeting both of them, but honestly if it were only Anna in there, I think my husband and I would've thrown some punches. "Why can't you hire two Elsa's and two Anna's?" is his big (justified) complaint, "Rotate them!"

I feel like the only person that prefers Anna. Well, how can you compete with ice shooting from your finger tips and a sexy, slinky sheer dress, and a long braid of hair. Anna may be the hero, and hilarious, and carry the whole movie, but Elsa will always have her beat in my girls minds.

What does this all mean? An upcoming Frozen birthday party... AND the gears start to turn. I have two months to plan it out. In the mean time, we continue to sing the songs and build paper ice castles (compliments of daddy's craftiness) and see the movie over and over until we're all sleeping, eating, breathing and gagging on Frozen.

With all of that said, I have to confess, I'm not really sick of it. It's cute. I enjoy watching it with my little family, despite the fact that the parents die (thank you Disney, for that). Our girls are like Elsa and Anna in so many ways that it makes me cry when they stop playing together in the beginning and again when Anna sacrifices herself for her sister. And I'll always adore Olaf.

06 February 2014

KIDS VALENTINE CARDS



SUPPLIES
Bouncy Balls - Target (in the Valentine's section. They come in a bag of q15)
1" Hole Punch - Michael's
Printer
8.5"x11"Cardstock
Paper Cutter or X-acto
Cellophane Bags - (3.5"x8") Zurchers
Ribbon or Baker's Twine
Treats

PROCESS
1. Print out FREE "XOXO" PRINTABLE and cut the cards.
2. Punch the first "O" of the xoxo.
3. Have your child write their name or draw a heart below the "XOXO"
4. Gently place the bouncy ball in the cut out, matching the seam of the ball to the paper's edge. This helps keep it in place.
5. Place card in bag with other treats.
6. Close with a ribbon or string. To personalize, add a tag.

FREE "XOXO" PRINTABLE