February 28, 2011

Chalkboard Decals

I've been eyeing these for my playspace....but I found this!

Land of Nod Chalkboard It Up
Four panels for $58
(19" x 24.5" each)

One Step Ahead Peel and Stick Chalkboard Panel
9" x 12" panels (two-pack) for $9.95
25" x 38" (one panel) for $24.95

Either one would be a great addition to our playspace...how about you?!

February 22, 2011

Hot Chocolate Bar

I love this idea from Mommyapolis!  A hot chocolate bar with lots of embellishments for everyone to create their own custom hot chocolate.

I think the next chance I get, I am going to incorporate this into our entertaining!  Its sure to be a hit!

February 21, 2011

Favorites - Bath Products for Kids

We are snowed in today in the valley, so the boys at a bath at 11 am.  It was great fun and a great way to spend some time on a day when we're stuck inside.  Plus, these boys are the cleanest they have ever been: two baths in 15 hours!  Ha!  While the boys were splish-splashing, I snapped this photo to share our favorite bath products with you.

Our favorite bath products for the little ones are Burt's Bees.  We love them all.  We use these three every day.  We started using them when our first son was a baby because they are PABA and phalate-free, and all Burt's Bees products are 97%+ certified organic.  Plus...you can't beat the sweet smell of the freshly bathed babes.

I buy my Burt's Bees at Target, but Festival also carries a great range of their products!

February 18, 2011

Add a little sparkle

When I was on my sunny vacation, I saw a mama wearing these adorable TOMS:

Silver Glitter TOMS

I instantly loved them!  What a great little bit of sparkle.  So...I got my own pair.  

I love TOMS.  This is why:

So simple.  So great...

(and you should see their new styles!)

Perk up and buy some...because soon (well, soon-ish) the weather will be nice enough to sport some sparkle in the valley!

February 17, 2011

Little House Tour

I'm a little surprised that I'm doing this, but I thought I would give you a little house tour.  Now, I'd like to mention that I'm not so delusional that I really think you care about seeing my house.  Nor am I so delusional that I really think our house is that great.  There, I said it.

A couple weeks ago, we showed our house to an interested buyer.  The kicker is that our house is not for sale...yet.  At some point, we can see ourselves moving to another home - which is why we jumped at the chance to show our house when someone asked to see it.  We just thought "what do we have to lose?" and "maybe this could be the start of something".  Alas...it wasn't really the start of anything because the buyer said that though they really liked the house, they are looking for new space.  And, the only thing I had to lost was my sanity for 24 hours while I cleaned up the house like crazy on a day's notice.

I had the foresight to take some photos before the showing...just in case.  (In case what??  I really don't know...I guess I just thought after all that cleaning and organizing in a short period of time, I should have photos to prove that the house looked good.)

So...here goes...

Living Room

Kitchen and Dining Area

Dining Area

Upstairs Bathroom (could use a little something...don't you think?!)

Big Boy Bedroom

Little Boy Bedroom

Our Bedroom (eekkk...a little cluttered looking.)

Downstairs Bathroom (yikes...my bathrooms are so stark looking.)

Play Area

Family Room (can you see the vacuum cord???!)

Ta-da!  That's all folks.  No photos of the laundry because though it was somewhat picked up, that reveal is for another day.  And, good thing I took the photos because about 30 minutes after we arrived home after the showing, the house was a disaster area.  Again.  So is life...as a mama.

February 14, 2011

Love, Hearts, and Cake Pops

Valentine's Day is a holiday we don't celebrate too much around this house.  I'm not a fan of the holiday because I feel that flowers are too expensive and the reason to express your love on a "Hallmark Holiday" shouldn't be more than any other day.  Then I saw this commercial while I was at the gym...it changed my mind, a little.

I had more fun decorating this year.  We had some hearts hanging around and a few other things to help us enjoy the "love" holiday.  I found some free printable typography and printed some of those, put them in frames around the house.  I have even more ideas for next year after browsing blogland.  Of course.

A few of the easy ways we celebrated Valentine's day this year:

Heart shaped pizzas for the kids, made my my fabulous friend, Mollie!

We had some fun this year with my son's Valentine's celebration at school.  I made a box for him to take to school for Valentine exchanges.  He wasn't interested in participating in my original idea, so I decided to take matter into my own hands and go for something a little more interesting...

Logan's Valentine Express

Original inspiration and tutorial from Tangled and True.  Easy.

Then since I am in charge of the class snack for the preschool Valentine party, I decided it was a good time to try to make Cake Pops.  My sister made some cute cake pops last year and I have been dying to try it, but a little scared, too.  If you have never visited Bakerella.com, I recommend checking it out!  Fun, inspirational, and sometimes easy baking ideas!

I learned that cake pops are not really too difficult, they just take some time and patience...

and a big mess!

I had about fourteen extra hands helping me with these cake pops, so I am not going to take much credit.  All our college aged friends came over to help with the process and they were Ah-Maze-Ing!  We used all peanut-free ingredients (school rules) and added sprinkles and tags for extra-festive-fun.  To see an informative video on how to make cake pops, click here.

We woke up today and the boys had a little scavenger hunt to find their silly present...
they loved finding their clues, following directions, and eating candy at 7am.  Ha!

Happy LOVE Day to you and ALL those you LOVE, mamas!

February 9, 2011

Two Finished Projects!

If you are like me, you probably have lots of started projects, not a lot of finished projects.  I think that is just the nature of being a mama.  I don't let it get me down...I just relish in the projects when they are finally finished!  Between Sunday and Monday this week, I was able to finish up the teacher valentine gifts and make the dish mat I've been coveting!

I found a set of six valentine-y pencils at Michaels for $1 and bought the cutest candy I could find: salt water taffy.  I bagged up the candy, added the pencils and a valentine card in the bag.  Then, I tied the bag with ribbon from the Target Dollar Spot and voila!  Finished product!  Cute, handmade-ish teacher gift that is sure to be somewhat original (I think) for only about $3 each.

As for the dish mat, I needed serious help from my crafty family.  I don't sew, but I think this is my biggest attempt at sewing so far.  I attempted pillows a while back, but I enlisted more help for those.  The dish mat was a lot of seaming and measuring.  In fact, it was kinda a lot of work for this non-sewer. It made me not want to sew...I thought I was ready to dive into sewing, but this project reminded me that I probably don't have the time or patience at this point.  But...

I do love the finished product!  My dish mat is about 24" x 16".  I would suggest making it a little smaller.  This size serves me well, but I have a large space on my counter.  I think a smaller size would serve any kitchen well!  I hope to make a couple more because I have more fabric.  I will definitely make them smaller and I think I will skip the piecing fabric and just make them cute fabric on one side and terrycloth on the other.  (I was going to use an old towel on the back side, but ended up cutting a piece of terrycloth to fit.)

For the tutorial, click here.  Hers looks so sophisticated with her cute bowl and glasses resting on it.  Mine speaks differently, but truthfully about my life: full of craziness and kidstuff!

February 4, 2011

(Un)Crafty - Easy Notebooks

Valentine's Day is just around the corner and I wanted to make something unexpensive, but cute for my big boy's preschool teachers.  This is just the thing!  I made boring old notebooks into cute.  I will pair them with cute pencils or pens and a little bit of something sweet.  Voila!

Supplies you will need:
1. scrapbook paper of your choice
2. mini-legal size notepads
3. paper glue (or probably any old glue would work just fine!)
4. scissor or paper cutter

I found these notebooks (a set of 6) at Wal-Mart.  They were so cheap!

I measured the binding of the notebook and cut cute scrapbook paper to fit.

My choice of paper glue for all of my paper crafts is this Zip Dry Paper Glue.  It dries fast with no bubbles or waves in the paper.  I found it at Michaels.

Here's the finished product.  It was so fast and easy that I wished I had more so I could keep on going.  Total time: about 5 minutes.  No kidding.  No creativity needed!  

Since I had lots more paper and about another 5 minutes until the kids finished their snack, I decided to keep on crafting...

I cut more strips of paper (1inch) and stapled the ends to make hearts.

Then I took some clear thread and hung them over the dining table for a little Love Day decor.

February 3, 2011

kristy.makes: glitter cup.

I love this idea for a cute, fast, cheap teacher gift!

kristy.makes: glitter cup.: "so. where to begin? how 'bout i just show you a picture & we get to work? work for you? 'kay. here we go :) oh. but first you should ..."