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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Easter Buckets

Easter BucketWhen thinking about Easter baskets this year, I did some matching items, but I also got coordinating things that were not exactly the same. I also did hardly any candy, because while searching for their Easter buckets, I found this:

Easter basketLast year’s candy!! How did this happen??

With that idea in mind I bought only three candy items for each boy:

Easter baskets Easter basket

I thought of what A and J’s interests are and then created the bucket items accordingly:

J: Bubbles, funny socks, stuffed bunny, DVD Springtime for Roo, seeds to plant, 3 candy items.

A: Bubbles, little Minecraft set, funny socks, tennis balls, seeds to plant, 3 candy items

And I got Star Wars mini figures (an idea I snagged from my sister) to fill their eggs:

Easter BucketsHappy Easter bucket creating!

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Garage Re-Organization

I feel like our extra bay in our garage is that closet in Monica’s apartment on Friends, that nobody really knows about, but then when they find it our true messy nature comes through. HA! We don’t have a lot of storage in our house and I have seriously maxed out every space of our available in house storage. And our attic is filled with boxes upon boxes of old baby clothes, toys, etc.

Garage Re-OrganizationI usually clean out this area once a year during the spring, but it has clearly gotten way beyond what I can clean without some massive overhaul.Garage Re-OrganizationInsert B, who has taken an interest in helping me organize it since he figured out he cannot reach his lawnmower or any of his yard tools.

He has been planning and budgeting of what we can do to make storage easier and more efficient. I had one request which was that we had some sort of project table that I could use for canvas drying and wrapping paper storage.

So here is our storyboard as it stands now…

Garage Re-Organization Storyboard[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13]

You can reach each of the items sites by following the numbered links, however here is a bit of commentary on some of the items:

More wall organization to get a lot of the yard tools from being stacked in the corner (1-4). We like the fast track system because it is very durable and can hold anything from yard rakes to bicycles and ladders.

A project area with outdoor friendly containers (5-9). I am planning a DIY for the project table because the bedford inspiration is not in our budget. My main concern is finding bins that will work with the cubes, but are also sealed (I don’t really want to reach into a box for tissue paper and find a spider, yikes!).

New and coordinating tool storage for B (11 & 13). B has a small tool box, but it is full. A coordinating lower storage box and a wall peg board will help to make tools easily accessible (though I’m not sure why he minds having two jump over two cardboard boxes, a lawnmower, edger, and lawnmower bag to get to things…).

Sturdier outdoor products and paper product storage (12 & 14). We have several hand-me-down plastic storage racks that we will probably still use, but would like to upgrade with a few sturdier pieces. I would especially like a locked storage cabinet for items that need a bit more temperate climate and we don’t want out in the open garage.

*As a side note (and as always) I’m not endorsed by any company for these products. In our searching for items we have found the greatest variety of storage items at our Lowe’s, however your area’s home improvement store may have similar items.

Our first step is getting the entire area cleaned out of all the random items, and then we will move on to start re-organizing it. It’ll be several months, but I’ll be sure to share when we finish re-organizing it!

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Heart-filled Valentine’s

When I asked A how he wanted to decorate his Valentine mail box he said he wanted to paint a Minecraft and hearts theme. Since J wanted to participate as well (and did not have a mailbox to paint), I got out a blank canvas for him and my homemade heart “stamps” for painting.

IMG_7706 IMG_7707 IMG_7709 IMG_7710After looking through these pictures to post them on the blog, I couldn’t believe how grown-up the boys looked. I also could not believe how impossibly straight the lines were of the hearts J was creating. Don’t worry, eventually his true Pollock nature shown through and he didn’t leave it like that:

IMG_7747Definitely heart filled.

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