Some days as Moms, we have an "A-ha!" moment. That instant when we see something in our child that reveals their deep need or their strong fear.
I don't talk about our son as often as I talk about our girls. For one, he is more private, and I respect that. And two, well, he is in the middle. He is easy-going, sweet as can be (no really, I have never met a sweeter boy), hard working, loyal, thoughtful, eager to please... seriously a delightful 12 year old. He is also brilliant, literal, and very black and white. He can talk your ear off, and it's usually to analyze something that he has seen, done or heard. But he loves to be on his own, quiet and lost in his thoughts, toys or task. He loves the Lord and all things doctrine, and loves his sisters practically and sweetly. I tell you all this to give you some insight into my incredible boy.
My four-year-old celebrated her birthday this year with all the fanfare and a party, a Superhero-Mermaid birthday party to be exact. She loves celebrations, having her friends over to play, and parties that sparkle as much as her personality. Now that she's four, she has lots of ambitions to do big girl activities; she learned how to ride her bike in a matter of 30 minutes thanks to the hours she spent practicing on her Strider balance bike. My daughter loves baking and helping mommy cook in the kitchen. She loves painting and doing crafts. My 4-year-old is also an amazing older sister to her two younger siblings. With all the activity in our house, it can be challenging to come up with activities for her to do. Here are some of the fun kids' crafts we've done recently that are perfect for toddlers and kids!
Let's talk about water beads! Have you every heard of them or used water beads for anything? These delightful little squishy balls of water absorbing polymer (they look like Jello marbles) offer endless ways to entertain, soothe, educate and stimulate little ones in fun sensory play. There are also lots of cool ways you can also decorate with water beads too. I thought I would share with you some fun uses for water beads to inspire you to try something new with your kids this summer!
Can you believe the summer is almost over? We are already gearing up for back to school with some awesome ideas for moms to use in your office or kitchen work space! We are also stoked to bring you a huge Back to School Giveaway that could help you buy some of your school supplies! Spruce up your work space with a fun and creative pencil holder, custom fabric covered notebook, or washi tape keyboard that you can design to match your own style. Whether you are a teacher, homeschool mom, or just revitalizing your office, many of these projects will make starting a new fall schedule a little more fun. After all, fun "school supplies" aren't just for kids! Don't miss entering our Back to School Giveaway below too!
My daughter somehow heard about the tooth fairy, possibly from an older friend or cousin. Since then, she's been eagerly anticipating her first tooth falling out. I told her she may have a few years to wait, being only 4 years old. Nevertheless, that doesn't mean we can't have some tooth fairy inspired fun! These tooth fairy coins are a fun way to use old coins. I'm not sure who carries pennies anymore, since they seem to be obsolete even at garage sales. We found a few around the house that served perfectly for our tooth fairy coins! Using foreign coins would also work well, since many other currencies include tiny coins, perfect for this tooth fairy currency project! The daintier the coin the better!
My little girls love playing together and discovering new ways to have fun. This week we went to the splash pad, ran around the yard, made some yummy snacks, and enjoyed the awesome summer weather. It's been the perfect summer temperature this week; not too hot and not too cold. We live in smaller town and some of our extended family has property; my girls love helping to feed the chickens and running around open fields. One of this week's highlights was shooting some pics for Matilda Jane. Matilda Jane Clothing makes lots of darling outfits that mix and match, and many styles grow with your child such as dresses that can also be worn as tops as a girl gets older. I'll be posting a full Matilda Jane photoshoot soon, so stay tuned! In the meantime, how much do you love this hair bow?! My little girl is sweet and sassy, she's just beginning to find her words and share the thoughts that are behind her big blue eyes. I'm loving watching my kids' personalities develop and discovering their interests and personal styles.
Homemade crayon shapes are fun for kids to make and color with afterwards. Making chunky crayon shapes are easier for kids to grasp with their little hands and they won't break as easily as regular crayons. We made a variety of crayon shapes using melted crayons and small cookie cutters. We even experimented with making layered colored crayon shapes! DIY shaped crayons is a fun afternoon creative project to do with kids.
Life with kids changes a lot, which you know if you have them yourself. I no longer can run out to do a quick errand without extensive planning and packing for the occasion. Each child usually needs diapers, snacks, and an extra change of clothes, and the day I forget to bring an extra shirt for one of the kids is usually the day I need one. I even ran home from church today because our 2-year-old somehow escaped the house covered in yogurt. Life with kids also includes fun times such as doing creative crafts and watching them learn new things. I love the cozy moments with my kids before bedtime with a book and a favorite stuffed animal. This weekend we ventured out to a local botanical garden, which is always really fun to walk around and enjoy the sunshine. Botanical gardens always have lots of beautiful flowers that sometimes change depending on which season it is when you visit. Our kids love running through the grass and exploring the various trails and avenues throughout the beautiful curated gardens.
Do you have a little princess in your home? These DIY lace crowns made out of stiffened lace are SO fun to design and pretty easy to make! I made these glittery lace crowns for a birthday party and as a fun photography accessory. I expected them to be more challenging, but all you need are the right materials and a warm, sunny afternoon to air dry your homemade crowns. DIY lace crowns are beautifully intricate and delicate looking, and they are completely customizable! You can use wide or thin lace, vintage or modern lace designs, and pointed or rounded lace. I've seen lace crowns with roses around the bottom and other silk flower embellishments. Take your crowns a step further with rhinestone and feather detailing. For my project, I make simple glittery lace crowns with a touch of color and glamour.
Summer can bring changes in schedules and lots of time spent outdoors. As a mom of 3 kids ages baby to preschooler, I know it can be tricky to get outside with enough clothes, snacks and gear for everybody. Just the basics include extra diapers, one outfit change per kid, bottles and formula, sippy cups, and snacks. We usually end up bringing ALOT more with us. Here are some of my favorite products designed for moms and families that have really helped us enjoy the summer that much more.
Sweet Tea whipped body polish is perfect for summer pampering after a long day. Swipe a dab of this luxurious body polish onto your loofa for a soothing experience in the shower. This whipped body polish from Farmhouse Fresh Goods smells just like sweet tea and is infused with peach, ginger, orchid and white tea. Sugar grains and peach stone powder exfoliates the skin without causing it to feel tight, dry or stripped of natural oils. It also contains Shea butter which hydrates and provides a healthy glow. Sweet Tea Shea Sugar Whipped Body Polish is 90% natural and paraben & sulfate free.
Yogurt popsicles are easy to make and fairly healthy too! All you need is several flavors of yogurt to layer inside a popsicle mold and freeze. We made popsicles with 3 flavors each, although you could make them single-flavored or any combination you choose! For an ultra-healthy version, use plain Greek yogurt sweetened with honey.
When we moved into our new home last year along with the house we inherited a stack of old tires. We found out it actually costs money to have them properly disposed of or recycled and so they ended up sitting there as an unsightly stack in our backyard. Recently I got inspired to find some creative uses for old tires and it turns out there are all kinds of way you can re-purpose old tires! Here are some of my favorite creative uses for tires. Check out these fun ways to use tires and maybe you'll find your next summer project!
Sometimes you just need a custom made sign. My darling Happy Heart wood wall art started out as an old cabinet door, transformed into a beautiful focal point on my wall. I have a lot of ideas for DIY wooden signs but I had to come up with a way to easily make them. I tossed around the idea of buying a vinyl cutter to make custom stencils but the start-up cost for the plotting machine and the vinyl adhesive material is pretty high. ...Someday, maybe. Anyway, I did find a pretty easy solution to make DIY die-cut stencils for painted wood signs using printer paper, spray adhesive, and contact paper. I'm sure there are lots of ways to accomplish making homemade stencils for painting; this is just the route I went.
Summer is full of fun and excitement for families and this summer Disney offers a bunch of new movies that would be great fun for a family outing. Around here we have a double screen drive-in movie theater where I am hoping to catch a few of these Disney summer releases. Since I have a toddler who loves fish (and water for that matter) I am especially looking forward to seeing the first movie on this list!
Washing dishes. I'm going to be honest. Doing the dishes is high on my list of "most dreaded household chores." As soon as you get your counter top and sink sparkly clean, someone walks over and dumps another dirty plate in your sink. The dirty dishes do not end. Ever. And the longer I put it off, the worse it gets. However I have been reminded that a sink full of dirty dishes means that you have plenty to eat, and the more dishes there are means the more people you have to share it with! So there is something to be thankful for. Two more things I am thankful for are the invention of the dishwasher and this recipe for what I consider the Best Homemade Dishwasher Detergent!
Summer with kids can be super fun, unless your kids are super bored; then summer days can feel like they last forever! I have 3 kids of my own ranging from ages 4 down to 6 months. I'm pretty limited when it comes to getting out of the house, so we have to think up things we can do in between nap times and mealtimes. Here are some fun preschool activities for keeping kids busy during the summer.
Get ready for the most delicious snack ever! Combine two of America's most popular snacks, and what do you get? Chocolate covered goldfish! Make these chocolate-dipped goldfish for your kids, or for yourself. Granted, moms will probably eat most of them. All you need is melted chocolate (in a pot or microwave, take your pick) and a handful of goldfish. Dip each goldfish cracker in melted chocolate, let it dry, and enjoy!
One of my favorite things about having daughters are the many opportunities for spontaneous dress up and accessorizing. My girls couldn't be more girly. They love all things glittery, pink, scented, and furry. Even my 18-month-old has shown a specific delight in shoes. I love accessorizing my girls, while remembering to remind them to value their inner beauty. Nevertheless, dress up is always lots of fun, even for moms! The other day my daughter wanted to make a crown out of roses. She helped cut them from our rather out of control front rose bush and watched with anticipation as I crafted her rose crown. This DIY homemade rose crown was surprisingly easy to make! We designed this crown of real roses just for fun, but this would be stunningly beautiful for accessorizing a flower girl or birthday girl on her special day. Of course, my daughter was over the moon to be able to wear "real roses" on her head!
A lot of things are about to change for our family this fall as I am thrilled to announce we are expecting a new baby girl! There is a lot to do as far as setting up a nursery and making arrangements to make the transition from one to two kids as smooth as possible. I have been putting together a little “New Baby Wish List” as I consider what items I'll need for our new baby girl! A lot of things will be re-used from her older brother but there are some items I'll need to re-stock and other items I'll want to have new and just for her (especially since she'll need some sweet pink in her life!). Here are a few of my favorite must have baby items for my new baby to give you some ideas for your own baby wishlist or baby registry!
Mommy Life can be all consuming and very rewarding as we navigate life with our precious little ones. Especially during the baby and toddler years, mealtimes take on entirely new meanings, getting out of the house can become mission impossible, and feeding, dapering, nurturing, cuddling, and disciplining can leave little time for much else. Mommy Life is a short and yet very demanding stage of a woman's life. I have 3 kids from preschooler to baby; I'm living a life defined by kids activities and feeding schedules. I'm lucky if I get my makeup on or eat a well rounded meal but it's worth it to give my kids the structure and security that each of us moms strive to provide. Check out our video #MommyLife Episode 1 - Cuddles, Messes & Giggles. Mommy Life is so busy but so worth it!