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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Valentine Goody Bags

A and I spent yesterday afternoon in a little assembly line getting his Valentine goody bags ready for “mailing” at school. I always make sure that any goody bags we do are ones that A can help fill. Here is our assortment for this year:

Valentine Goody Bags1. Push up pencils (A’s favorite), 2. Small sticker sheets, 3. Lollipops that are certified nut free (for allergy purposes), 4. Cellophane bags (we actually found heart printed ones). All of our purchases were from the Valentine or dollar section at Target. And of course each bag had A’s little Minecraft cards slipped in.

After A filling and me folding the bags over and stapling them, an hour later we were all done! Sorted, stacked and ready to “mail”.

Valentine Goody Bags

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Duct tape banner

This is the simplest of banners, it just takes a little bit of patience. I made one for A’s birthday and he loved it so much he wanted it in his room after his party. I then ended up making one for J’s circus birthday and even though I was planning to get red and white stripe the boys convinced me to go in another direction…

Duct Tape Mustache BannerMustache duct tape was too hilarious to pass up.

As I said before this is a really easy banner to make, however, I have developed a little strategy to make it easier to put together and it all has to do with folding the tape.

Mustache tape foldingThe first time I tried to make A’s banner I first pulled all the tape I needed and then tried to fold it in half and it was a huge disaster. Then I wised up. If you fold it exactly in half to begin with and then slowly crease it as you pull the tape, it is MUCH easier. It takes a little bit of patience because if you try to pull out too much tape at once it will mess up the fold, and duct tape does not un-stick easily.

Once you have the length that you want simple snip the end and then I usually go back through and try to get rid of any air pockets. Then fold each end and make a small snip with your scissors and you can hang it on a command hook like I did for the boys’ birthday parties…

G.I. Joe Party ThemeMustache bannerAnd add pictures with little clothespins.

And then after the party I transferred it to their rooms using pins, but you could also use command hooks.

Duct Tape Banner Duct tape banner Duct tape banner Duct Tape BannerSimple and cute! And a great way to display pictures of the birthday kid!

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Hundred Days of School Project

A had to come up with a hundred days of school project, and knowing my nephews project from his kindergarten year I had visions of trying to fold a hundred paper airplanes in my head. After a lot of brainstorming together, A went from 100 ninja turtles (not happening) to 100 Legos (too breakable) to finally 100 robot erasers in the shape of a robot. We couldn’t find 100 robot erasers, so then A decided on 100 animal erasers in the shape of an animal (elephant). He liked the idea of gluing them on a canvas, so a trip to Hobby Lobby and a borrowed bottle of craft glue later, we were ready to start. I drew an elephant for him and then he first laid out all the erasers and then went back and glued them. This allowed him to do the project in spurts, he glued a few each day. While I think he got a bit bored gluing all those erasers, it was a great project for his age!

Here is the process in picture form…enjoy!

1. Trace animal on canvas.

IMG_7424-0012. Count out hundred erasers and then place them around tracing.

IMG_74223. Completed setting of animals.

IMG_7427

4. Use craft glue and apply it to the backs of each eraser and set (we use a bit in a bowl with a small paintbrush).

IMG_74305. Make sure all pieces are dry and secure and then you’re all done!

Hundred Days of School

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