DIY Mother’s Day Ideas

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Obviously your Mother’s Day gift is in the hands of your (hopefully) magnificent husband who has spent his entire week dedicated to making it a perfect day for you. *Clear Throat*. But you also have some fun things to do for your Mother, as well as Grandmas and Great Grandmothers. Here are a few things you can make at home with the kids to give all the women in your family a special day!

1) A Card – Obvious one here, but this year we opted for the famous “Butterfly Feet” card and it is so cute I can’t stand it. This one is in the beginning stages and we will be adding a few more decorations but you get the idea. It’s messy, it won’t always be perfect, but the Grandmas with LOVE it. They can even cut out the feet portion and frame it. I used water colors and card stock.

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2) A bookmark – This was hilarious. I haven’t finished it, I need to go tomorrow and buy a bookmark tassel to attach to the top, but this is the general idea. Have your little one stand with their hands up and snap a picture. Print the photo and cut around it. Glue the photo to colored construction paper and then cut around that. Hole punch the top where their hands are holding and tie in a bookmark tassel. The Grandmas will love this for their romance novels!!!! Just picture this example of 3 bookmarks with tassels and you will get the idea.

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Lastly – Here is a last one I didn’t find time for but looks so easy and you can find these wood pieces at Michaels. Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 3.20.37 PM

Wishing all you mommies out there an AMAZING Mother’s Day and hoping you get REST, breakfast in bed, a massage, a Starbucks, a cute card, a nap, lunch in bed, a movie, dinner, a foot rub, a glass of wine, a bubble bath, and any other indulgence that the female mind can possibly think up.

Amazing Toddler Activities for Learning

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Now that I have a three year old, the old games we have been using are old news. I can see it in his eyes every morning when he wakes up, this kid need to be stimulated. His brain is like a sponge needing to be filled with knowledge about the world around him. So, faced with the task of keeping him growing both in body and mind, I have tried several inventive activities (and am trying more every day) to keep him appeased. And of course I will let you in on my favorites AND least time consuming for mommies everywhere. And keeping up with my “use what you have in the home” theme, most of these you won’t send you out shopping….much.

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DIY Valentine’s Day Cards

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These funny cards are easy to make at home and will make everyone who gets one smile from ear to ear. Here’s how:

  1. Take a photo of your little one holding a pole that is white. Umbrella pole, mop, whatever you can find.
  2. Put the picture on the computer and add font and hearts through some kind of photo editor. I use Pixlr Express.
  3. Print in 4 x 6 on card stock paper
  4. Cut out photo
  5. Make a small hole in the top of the pole image and slide the lollypop stick through
  6. Glue the photo onto previously cut to size red or pink construction paper
  7. That’s all folks

Hope you enjoy and Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

DIY Mason Jar Christmas Decorating

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I love mason jars. We drink from them, we put flowers and plants in them, we store baby food in them, they are a staple in our home. Mostly because it is the one type of glassware we don’t break. Plus, it has a lid and looks really cute. So here are some ideas for the mason jar lover out there who feels like having some fun crafty time with the little ones.

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Homemade Bug Repellent that Works

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I am getting eaten alive. Summertime kills me every single year, and I am taking matters into my own hands. Store bought bug repellents are one of the most toxic chemical combinations you can buy to put on your skin. Like, really bad. Like you might as well just smoke a cigarette kind of bad. So I usually go with nothing and get massacred by any and all bugs. It doesn’t help that I am allergic and end up with tumor sized bites all over my body either, so brutal. But I digress. Here is a wonderful bug spray recipe that so far has worked for me and can be used in cream or spray form. If I get bit, I will follow this up with the all mighty powerful and not so great smelling alternative that will blow all the bugs (and husbands) out of the water. In a bad way.

Here is the yummy smelling version for now:

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Sensory Activities to keep your Toddler Busy

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Being a mother of one is the hardest job in the world. Being a mother of 2 really takes acquiring some kind of super powers. One day is fine, smooth, perfect. The next, you are a raging lunatic in a house filled with 2 more tiny little raging lunatics. I am on a quest to find ways to make things not only easier for ME, but also ways in which I don’t have to sit my toddler down to watch Thomas the Train every time I need time with the baby. I feel so bad resorting to t.v., so here are a few things I found which not only teach your child but give you free time as well. Here we go!

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Homemade Fun and Games

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It is a constant struggle to keep my almost 2 year old entertained, I give him a new toy and it lasts about 1 day before it is old news. But there are a few fail safe games he loves and if I put a new twist to them he gets re-interested and begins fresh again with renewed interest. But, I am still trying to think outside the box and switch things up, so here are a few of the homemade ideas that not only worked in our house but stand the test of time. Boys or girls alike will love each and every one of these games and I dare them to not stay interested. Here they are….

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Advent Calendar Obsession

I wrote a post last Christmas season about making your own advent calendar. It involved sewing, cutting, stitching, and about 2 weeks of hard work and labor. This year as I unpacked my Christmas decorations I found no advent calendar, and after inquiring and accusing right and left I am left empty handed. SO BUMMED! This was supposed to be the advent calendar that my children passed down to their children and so on and so on! Deep breath. I’m also feeling much more lazy than I was last year so there is no way in hell I am going to try to recreate it. Having said that I decided to research every idea of an advent calendar using things from around my house and I actually found some great ideas. Perks: They don’t take up space in my garage. They are festive and cheery. Jack can help make and decorate them which he loves. They are cheap. They won’t crush all your hopes and dreams if you lose them. AND they take 5 seconds to make. Here are my top picks for advent calendars this year!

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Toddler Busy Bags

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So now that I am the proud parent of an almost 2 year old, I find the challenges have shifted from lack of sleep and free time for mommy, to constantly keeping my child from running off mommy. This means in waiting rooms, grocery stores, sandwich shops, restaurants, long car rides, wherever. Jack is a mad man and zips off before I can even blink. If we are somewhere that I need to get something accomplished it can get a bit tricky and create tons of unwanted cardio for me. And now that I am expecting a new addition to the family I ask myself “How on earth am I going to do anything for the new baby when Jack needs me 24/7?”

So is this the be all end all solution I am presenting to you now? No. But it will bide some time which is all we can hope for as parents. The Busy Bag. This is a small bag you can take on the go or use at home. You can make one, you can make 20, either way it gives your child something to keep their attention and learn while you can handle your business. It’s wonderful for stimulating their minds and giving you a break at the same time. When you are ready to give full attention to your little one again, you simply put the bag back together again and move on with your day. So, here are some great ideas I’ve stolen from random Busy Bags around the globe. Also, if you are exhausted and don’t feel like making one of your own, Etsy has LOTS you can choose from pre-made and ready to go!

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Toys that your child will actually LIKE (For under $10)

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Since having Jack, I have learned one very important lesson: He goes through toys like the wind. I can buy him any gift in the world and with a few exceptions he will play with it for a day and then it’s old news. So now I have boxes and boxes of toys that he couldn’t care less about. It sucks. And to add salt to the wounds, people buy him new toys all the time. I mean, it’s so sweet, but all I think of is, “Well there is another piece of junk to add to the heaps of other junk.” It’s really is sad. Also, anyone who has kids will agree, kids always LOVE playing with things that aren’t toys, and they NEVER get tired of it. Things like kitchen bowls and spoons, measuring cups, straws, REMOTE CONTROLS, cell phones, you name it. So without droning on and on, I have recently retired all of Jack’s old toys to the garage/man cave (to my husbands dismay) and have started creating toys that keep Jack interested and can also help him learn and develop. Here are a few and I will add more when I can: Continue reading

Diaper Genie – With a Twist

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I didn’t go for the whole Diaper Genie at first. I was like, “Why do I need that? My small trash can with the lid works just fine! Yay me!” And then Jack became older and older and his poops started smelling worse and worse and finally I was like, “Dang boy!” and I buckled and bought one. First thing that came to my mind, besides that I wished I had thought of this genius invention myself and was making millions from it, was that it seemed very un-eco-friendly and that it also seemed a little expensive. I mean, the refills are like $16 (which means about $400-$500 a year), they only last a short time, and none of it is biodegradable. I bought one anyways because of the stink, but immediately worked on figuring a way around both the cost and the anti-earth friendly aspects of my new purchase. BOOM, done and done. Here is the skinny.

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Oversized Ruler Height Chart

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This is an easy and creative way to not only document the height of all your children, but if you ever should move, the height chart doesn’t have to stay behind! Your children can keep it until they have grown, and even use it for their children and their children’s children (and on and on). The best part is, you made it by hand for them to enjoy! Here is what I did. Continue reading