Red, white, & blue stars

This is a beyond simple craft, perfect to do during one of the hit or miss showers today or tomorrow! We gathered plain craft glue, glitter, and chipboard stars from Hobby Lobby.

Then we painted our stars with glue:

Applied glitter:

And then let the stars sit and dry:

Then I shook off the excess glitter (and poured it back in the jars to save for another project):

Then we set them up to display with our other Fourth of July decorations! So fun and simple!

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Driveway painting activity

As the boys are getting older they are playing more on their own, creating their own games and adventures. We don’t do summer activities quite as much as we used to, but when we do I look for ones that the boys are able to do a majority of the steps, as they get bored quickly if it takes awhile to set-up. They also tend to like ones that involve either painting or cooking. A chalk paint activity fits into the create and paint category.

The boys started out by scooping the cornstarch and water into muffin cups and then adding food coloring to each:

Then they mixed up the colors (green was a favorite, ha!):

Then they started painting:

J created this sweet cross:

And when they got bored I dumped everything out and they painted with that:

And then they were done and off to ride bikes after we cleaned up! An activity that was more time doing than setting up was perfect for a summer morning!

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Bunny masks

In the freezing cold of the first three days of Spring Break the boys and I were searching for something to do and they really wanted to create a project. They were inspired by the first episode of Spring Baking Championship (it featured bunny cakes), so they wanted to make something bunny themed. I rummaged through my craft box and came up with paper plates, cotton balls, pom poms and pipe cleaners. And I came up with bunny masks.

The boys began coloring and cutting out ears, while I put holes for eyes in the paper plates:

And then we attached the ears:

And added a whole bunch of cotton balls attached with glue:

And then we added whiskers and a nose:

 

Easy bunny craft for the win!

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A tour of our Christmas decor

Join me around our house! I’ve been steadily adding to our Christmas decorations each year, and I’m loving how everything turned out this year. I’m not the best at decorating, but I’m learning slowly (layering, creating visual points, etc.). The boys’ excitement over the decorations make it worth while. Oh and if you need help decorating quickly, have J come over. He will bustle behind you until you are finished, saying things like “why are you sitting down?” and “keep decorating!!”

First up, our entry way!

I love the idea of combining what you have already with some Christmas updates…

holiday decor

And I was beyond thrilled to find these cotton stems from one of my favorite local shops (Mint Julep Marketplace), to include in the Target vase I had been eyeing:

Holiday Decor

And then we dressed up our little reading nook in the living room:

Reading nook

And our mantel is fresh and new with accents from Kirklands (that mirror was 20 dollars!!):

Mantel DecorMantel Decor Mantel DecorThe bottle brush trees are from Hobby Lobby and I’m going to tell you, they are a glittery mess. But they look awesome!

And here is a close-up of our tree. Take a good look, because this guy is about to be replaced. We have to string lights that work around the middle of the tree because the pre-lit portion stopped working. Last year. No judgement.

Christmas Tree

The layering detail was a tip I picked up from the mantel link I posted with my Friday Favorites two weeks ago:

Stocking layering

And this year we added in a fox to our random lighted animal collection:

Christmas DecorI cannot even express to you the hilarity of this set-up. The Bible does discuss behemoth animals, so I’m pretty sure this is what they were talking about.

Let’s move on to the kitchen, shall we?

Immediately upon posting this, I noticed that one of my candle wraps has slipped down, and my A-typeness cannot handle that, so I’m fixing it now…

Christmas Decor

I love the incorporation of the metal canvas with the cookie print that’s a staple in our house.

Holiday Decor

And our Christmas card holder is ready to go…

img_0923

And my wall swag:

Christmas Decor

And my wreath that I made a few years ago with my sister and Mom:

Christmas Decor

And our cookie holder and Christmas countdown snowman:

Cookies & Counting

And that’s it! I’ve got my eye on these pieces from Anthropologie to complete a few areas:

Christmas Extras

And then it’s on to wrapping presents! Happy decorating!

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Painted snowflakes

While at Target insisting we “NEEDED” more holiday decorations, J found large wooden snowflakes and declared that they would be perfect for his and A’s doors. A agreed they were a great idea and I set them up one evening with their wooden snowflakes and a host of acrylic paints:

Painted Snowflakes

I love that they rarely go for typical Christmas colors. They wanted every primary color, silver, bronze, white, and black:

Painted snowflakes

Ten minutes later, they were all done!

Painted Snowflakes

After leaving them to dry overnight, I added them to their door with the included twine, and a little monogram ornament over the top. Perfection!

Painted snowflakes

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Valentine’s Decor

Christmas is our decorating holiday and this year we invested in new lights, mantel decorations, and a friendly little T-Rex. The rest of the year I keep decorating pretty minimal, but I’m working on developing a set of timeless decorations that I can bring out each year. I always remember very specific decorations that my Mom had for each holiday (the door signs were my favorite), so I think along those lines.

First, I decorate our hutch with a few fun items and prints. The puppy salt and pepper shakers are left overs from J’s birthday, but I love them! They match with the ABC heart print, and the little wood canvas I picked up from Hobby Lobby:

Valentine's DecorThen I set out two plastic heart shaped bowls for the boys to store their Valentine candy in. Thankfully, J has finally reached the stage where we don’t have to hide candy because he throws a fit and wants to eat it all immediately: Valentine's DecorAnd then I have a little line up of heart ramekins and decorations at the top (the plate design I made for J’s first birthday): Valentine DecorAnd this year after reading Momfessionals Valentine’s post I purchased these latte bowls from Anthropologie. I love them already because they are perfect for ice cream and cereal.

Valentine DecorFor the table I picked up a couple of little candles and some sour gummy hearts (the boys love these). I’m in the process of testing out candles to see if I can find one that doesn’t give B a headache.  Valentine DecorI invested in new Valentine plates for the boys (Pottery Barn), and fun robot placemats. I also picked up a little table runner from Target (again, I don’t get to put girly stuff up very often): Valentine DecorI also decorated the boys’ doors (because how many years will I get to do that before they start complaining?):

Valentine DecorAnd I have two different banners:

valentines-day-canvas-painted-heart-garland-o(From Pottery Barn…I waited for it to go on sale and so it hasn’t arrived yet…hence the stock photo)

BannerMy sister and I each made one of these heart banners about five years ago. I love it, but it’s definitely starting to show wear and tear, so I may need to make a new one next year.

And finally I picked up a stack of goodies to put at their table on Sunday morning.

Valentine DecorJ’s stuff is on the left and A’s is on the right. B also picked up A a Harry Potter Pop character that’s not pictured. This probably seems pretty unconventional for Valentine’s items, but I always think of it as little happy items. For example, A is always looking for yarn to make lanyards and signs, so I figured he needed his own. I think the boys will be quite excited!

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Creating shadows

Groundhog craftDo people celebrate groundhog day besides those in Punxutawney, PA? The boys love making shadows and we were in need of a downtime activity on Sunday, so I pulled together this little craft and book to read.  Groundhog craft Groundhog craftAll you need is dark colored cardstock, popsicle sticks or dowels, and tape! Then we just drew, cut, and they were ready to go! Groundhog DIY Groundhog DIY Groundhog DIYAfter some initial shenanigans of trying to take a picture, then we made lots of shadows! A determined that the groundhog will always see his shadow, and J determined that the groundhog was nice in the story and the pig was not nice. Good lessons. HA!

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Halloween Extravaganza

This past weekend myself and two of my friends hosted a Halloween extravaganza for A’s class and his BFF’s class. They did the bulk of the decorating and work, I was mainly in charge of cupcakes and games, so I felt like I had the much easier end of the hosting responsibilities! Here are all the great decorations and some of the fun!

A quick pic of the hostesses and A’s wonderful teacher:

Halloween extravaganzaB and I were Where’s Waldo and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego:

Halloween ExtravaganzaI originally borrowed a terrific red coat (because Carmen Sandiego is usually in red), but it was so hot, I had to go with my thinner black coat. Almost 80 in October!

So on to the decor:

Halloween Extravaganza Halloween Extravaganza Halloween Extravaganza Halloween Extravaganza Halloween ExtravaganzaAnd now some of the party game set-up…

Halloween ExtravaganzaHalloween Extravaganza Halloween ExtravaganzaWe did a pin the spider on the web, a candy corn guessing game, a ring toss, and a pumpkin run with spoons. I learned some things if we ever do another party (number the spiders, get smaller pumpkins for the spoons, and make sure the kids don’t pick all the same number for guessing the candy corn). The kids had a lot of fun, but the saving grace of the games was three tubes of glow bracelets that one of the hostesses brought. Genius!

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Fourth of July Canvases

Fourth of July CanvasI picked up two 8 x 10 canvases at Hobby Lobby the other week (for 3.99 a two pack!), and came up with a quick and simple Fourth of July art project for the boys.

All I did was paint the canvases white and then let it dry for about two hours (you can do this in advance, like a day or two before). Then I applied painter’s tape (I actually ran out and had to use masking tape for A’s) to the canvases:

Fourth of July CanvasesAnd then the boys painted them red. J painted the whole thing (sides included), while A kept his sides white:

Fourth of July CanvasesAnd then we let the red paint dry for several hours. Then in the afternoon when the boys needed something to do, we stamped on our stars:

Fourth of July CanvasJ did just a couple stars, while A wanted lots and lots of stars. After they dried we displayed them with the rest of our Fourth of July decorations:

Fourth of July CanvasesYou can find the framed print here. The canvases are a cute & simple way to celebrate the holiday!

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Dollar Section Pick Me Ups

This is a reason to browse the 1-3 dollar section at Target:

Dollar Section FindsMy sister clued me in to the great single alphabet stamps at Target’s dollar section. For less than 15 dollars you can get a great little stack of note supplies, perfect for a teacher appreciation gift, a kiddo who loves creating notes with office supplies, or just to have on hand for your own notes. So fun!

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