create

Apr 12

easter baskets

Easter Baskets this year were super fun to put together. Last year the kids were 6 months and 18 months old. They didn’t really know what was going on, so I just did one family basket for us to share. easter baskets easter baskets 2 easter baskets 3 This year they are 18 months and 2.5 years old. WAY more fun when it comes to giving Easter Baskets (among other things). So I set out to find some fun things for them. I went with a few things in mind. I knew I wanted some things for their church bags – as we are still training them to sit quietly – and we try to have new, fun things to help them do just that. I also knew I wanted sun glasses for each of them and a few yummy treats. Here’s what I came up with: Easter baskets 5

For Ruthie: easter baskets 6

sunglasses

her first little purse

princess crayons (that are sparkly)

sticker book

Hello Kitty magic marker coloring book

Annies Bunny fruit snacks

Annies Bunny crackers (they are going in the Easter eggs)

suckers

For Job:

easter baskets 8 easter baskets 7

sunglasses

wood trucks

Planes magic marker set + Hotwheels coloring pages

glow sticks (for bath time)

gum (it’s such a treat for Job to get gum and we usually save it for Worship Service. It’s a life saver when it comes to a 2.5 year old sitting quietly.)

Annies Bunny fruit snacks

Annies Bunny crackers (they’re going in the Easter eggs)

suckers

A few other ideas, maybe for next year:

bath crayons

bubbles

finger paints

playdough (I prefer homemade)

new sippy cups (maybe even monogramed)

Calico Critters

new books his and hers easter baskets 2

I already can’t wait for Easter next year with three little ones! I just love celebrating with my family and what better way to celebrate the Lord’s death and RESURRECTION than with fun gifts for each other. Afterall, we are celebrating the greatest gift – His life for ours – just as real and tangible as colored plastic eggs. But He not only has given us His only Son but showers loads of unnecessary happy things upon us. My hope is to reflect Him in this small way.

Next year I really hope to make this resurrection garden for our center piece for our Easter dinner table. What a fun way to get the kids involved with the planting and watering. I think it will really help the celebration of the empty tomb stick in their little brains.

happy easter all!

Tags: , , ,

create

Mar 25

fun in the sun

How is it already spring?! It’s hard to believe that just a few weeks ago we had a snow storm, and then an ice storm, and then freezing rain. Crazy NC weather. It still hasn’t landed on consistent spring weather here but we sure have had a few nice weekends in a row. I’ll take freezing rain and thunderstorms all week and then a nice weekend, any day.

Keeping the kids occupied has been interesting with all this inclement weather – maybe something we did will inspire you to have some fun with your kiddos as spring sneaks up on us!

fun in the snow 3 A few weeks ago, when we got crazy snow here, I decided to let the kids go out side and play in the snow while they waited for daddy to come home… Before I could even get out the door, Job had already done a full belly flop in the snow. I guess my ideas of just looking at the snow and maybe making a few “ice balls” (Job’s word for snowballs) was long gone. We ended up doing a full wardrobe change once we came in but some good times were had by all. fun in the snow LOOK AT THOSE CHEEKS!!! I could kiss them all day! fun in the snow2 And here we are just a few weeks later….
fun in the sun …helping daddy wash the cars.
fun in the sun 2 IMG_5222 Roo was supervising all the car washing! fun in the sun 7 And don’t forget the kids cars. As you can see he is “detailing” it. He likes to have things nice and clean.

fun in the sun 4 The following weekend was in the 70′s. I decided to let the kids play with water, bubbles, shaving cream, and Roos favorite- ice cubes. fun in the sun 5 I just filled some random disposable tins I had lying around and fill them up with some fun. I added a little food coloring to both the bubble water and the shaving cream. They loved it, to say the least. fun in the sun 6
They had an absolute blast out there. I think they would stay outside all day, everyday if I let them. Yay for nice crisp, warm days. We will enjoy the spring weather before the humidity of death comes.

Happy Spring!!!

Tags: , ,

create

Oct 9

cloth diaper care

I have tried lots of different ways to clean, fold, store, and care for my cloth diapers. I thought I would share my process with you and a few things that have helped me in this cloth diaper journey. I have been off the cloth diaper train for a little while but I am finally hopping back on, and loving it.

cloth-diaper-care-4 Just a little back story. I started using cloth diapers when my son was 6 weeks old. I used them all through his first year of life and loved it. It fit well into our weekly routine and I really enjoyed cloth diapering. Then when my son was just 13 months old, my daughter was born. I had every intent of using cloth on both of them and was anxious to try out all my new girly colors. I love pink. What can I say. With two in cloth diapers my excitement for the new colors was fading and I felt like I was doing laundry ALL the time. There were many weeks I would literally be buried in a pile of clean laundry on the couch just waiting to be folded. cloth-diaper-care-2 Something had to change. The easiest solution for the time being we putting cloth diapers aside. I didn’t use a single cloth diaper for about 8 months. It was a nice break. But with two in diapers our disposable diaper bill was thru the roof. Now, something else had to change. I came up with a great solution. I would cloth diaper one and use disposable on the other. It’s been a great compromise and has worked very well with our family. I am really hoping to potty train my 2 year old soon. Hopefully we will only have one in diapers in the near future. cloth-diaper-care-7 So in hopes to help someone out in their cloth diaper journey I will share how I take care of our diapers.

wet pail

put one scoop of oxiclean OR rockin green detergent + a few drops of lemon & tee tree oil

fill your pail half way with water (add more if needed as you add diapers)

pull diapers apart as you add them to the pail (taking out the inserts)

dry pail 

Place a planet wise diaper pail liner in your diaper pail or trash can. As you use your diapers, pull the diapers apart, separating the inserts from the covers.

You can choose to do either a wet pain or a dry pail. I have tried both and I think right now I like the dry pail better. We have hard water so it seems like not soaking them in hard water keeps them more absorbent. Try both and see what works better for you.

I keep a dry pail in the kids bedroom by the changing table for just wet diapers. When the diapers are poopy, I take them into the bathroom where I have another dry pail with a diaper sprayer (I actually have an off brand one and it works great!) hooked up to the toilet. I first separate the inserts from the covers and then spray the liners off and throw all of it into the dry pail.

washing 

dump entire wet or dry pail contents and wet pail liner (if applicable) into the washing machine

do 1-2 rinse cycles (cold water)

add 1-3 scoops of rockin green into the wash (hot water)

dry in dryer. I do a quick dry with the inserts and covers and then I take the covers out and finish off the inserts. I know this is a controversial thing (drying the covers) but again, this is what works for me. I have had no problems drying my covers and it’s just so much easier for me.

assembling 

place a large insert on top of the newborn liner  and stuff into diaper

place a diaper liner on top of the diaper + fold

 cloth wipes

fold wipes in half and place a few into the wipe container and add water to dampen. repeat with remaining wipes cloth-diaper-care-1

happy cloth diapering!

As shared on Frugally Sustainable .

 

Tags:

create

Sep 26

fingerprint painting

I finally did it. I finally broke down and bought our first set of finger paint and construction paper. It was the best $7 I have spent in a long time. Jobie loves it! I have been trying to find some more organized things for him to do. He does a great job at playing by himself and he is getting quite creative with his toys. I have just been wanting to add in a little more table/structured time into our day and this paint has done just that. fingerprint-painting For our first painting experience, we made a tree with fingerprint leaves. Job really enjoyed getting his fingers in the paint – which I was a little surprised by, since this boy doesn’t like to be dirty. But he does love playing in the dirt. Figure that one out.

Anyway back to the painting. I simply painted some branches on a piece of construction paper and let it dry for a minute or two. fingerprint-painting-1  Job dipped his little fingers in the colors of the fall leaves and scattered the foliage across the page like a kid who… loves to paint. fingerprint-painting-3 I did help him fill in the gaps a bit. He really liked switching paint colors – which meant wiping his fingers approximately every five seconds.  fingerprint-painting-4 He was so proud of his finished tree. He kept saying “Daddy! Daddy!” all day and pointing to the fridge, meaning he wanted to show Daddy his masterpiece when he returned home from work. fingerprint-painting-5 This paint set has already been used many times. It’s also been a good way for us to practice our colors. I am sure one day every color won’t be “boo” (blue, Job’s only known color). I guess we need to do some more painting so we can practice a bit.

This project was a great kick start to the fall season of cooler days and more fun, inside activities. All I need to do is go and light my favorite pumpkin brûlée candle and it will really be feeling like fall up in here. Happy painting y’all!

Tags: , ,

create

Aug 24

the wicker basket redo

I have had this basket of toys in the car for quite sometime now. It makes for easy access while still being contained. I can easily bring the basket into the house and switch out the toys in it. It really has been a great little system for us.

While I love the convenience of just throwing the toys in there for a quick clean up, I am not a big fan of wicker. So to solve my dilemma, I decided to spray paint it. A lot of boring or ugly things can be restored to beauty with a simple coat of paint. So without further ado, the wicker basket redo. PicMonkey Collage What you will need:

-not so cute wicker basket

-spray paint

-cardboard box (I used a cereal box)

Simply place your basket on the cardboard box outside and spray away. Follow the directions on your spray can for the distance to hold the can from the basket. Make sure to spray from all angles. Let it dry. Flip it over and spray all sides and surfaces from the bottom too. After that dries, do a light second coat. I like to leave about an hour between coats. IMG_1537 A few pointers and tips:

-The basket will be sticky for a day or so.

- For better results, use a spray paint that says “for wicker” on it. I have had great results with Krylon.

- Bring your basket inside to dry so you don’t have a million bugs on your finished product.

Now it’s a cute, convenient basket full of fun new toys. I know its super simple, but it’s easy to forget how simple things can bring joy to our lives and homes. So maybe its a wicker basket or maybe it’s a shelf or side table that needs a touch of happiness. Color can do a lot to brighten your home and bring a spark of inspiration to the room.

With my finished basket in hand, we are all ready for our road trip next weekend. More on that later. For now, I will just sit back and enjoy my cute basket of fun!

As shared on Frugally Sustainable.

Tags:

create

Aug 7

mustache party

Yesterday was Job’s second birthday! How is my baby already two? It’s strange because I can remember the day he was born like it was yesterday, yet it seems like he has been apart of our WHOLE lives. I love this boy so much. He is getting to be so sweet, a BIG helper, and super handsome, if you don’t mind me saying.

2 cake So to celebrate, we had ourselves a little mustache party. And boy did we PARTY – lots of gifts from grandparents, yummy cake and ice cream, and a whole lot of sprinkles.

mustache birthday mustache candle drink station I found these cute little mustache stickers at target for a dollar and I knew I had to get them. I am so glad I did. They add such a cute little touch and I loved that everyone had a different mustache on their cup.

striped paper straws

I also found these paper straws at target for two dollars. That was much cheaper then I could find online and the colors matched my washi tape bunting for the cake and chalkboard. It was a WIN WIN! IMG_0805 fruit kababs These fruit kababs were the easiest thing in the world to make and they were a HUGE hit with the kids. Between 6 adults and 5 kids we devoured a whole pineapple, a carton of strawberries, and a carton of blueberries. I think that’s quite impressive.

greek guacamole I love this greek guacamole I came up with. It has lemon juice, feta, garlic, salt, and pepper in it. I may have to post a recipe. It’s so yummy. I love greek food, so of course I loved it.
jobie and the cake
Job spent lots of the night smelling the cake and sweet baby Haddon. (Don’t you just love that name? I sure do!!!) He has an eye for sweet things and the cake and the baby are just that – sweet. the twins Okay, seriously, look how cute those girlies are!

eating the cake Jobie loved his little mustache cake, but I think Ruthie honestly ate more of it than him. She has become quite the food snacker these days. It was very cute watching her sneak the frosting from the corner of the plate.

gifts

This was the first time Job really understood opening presents. He loved opening them all up and checking out all of his new toys. They have provided HOURS of entertainment already.

It was such a fun night. Now, to recover and recoup from this party so I can begin planning and working on little Ruthie girls. Only 6 weeks until her one year birthday. We sure do love out sweet little blessings.

Tags: ,

create

Jul 10

play dough recipe

Monday was one of those crazy days filled with chores but we somehow managed to have a little fun in there too. I whipped up a batch of homemade play dough for the kids to play with, mostly Job, but we let Ruthie play a little too. They loved it. It provided lots of entertainment while I got some things done. IMG_9446 I found a great tutorial over at Skip to my Lou and with a few changes, this is what I came up with…

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tarter
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1/4 cup sea salt (really, any salt will do, that’s just what I had on hand)
  • gel food coloring (again, any food coloring will work, but the gel makes for much brighter colors)
  • glitter (optional)

In a medium sauce pan mix together all of your ingredients before putting it on the heat! This is were I messed up and as you can tell in the pictures, by dough turned out a little lumpy. You have to mix it together before adding it to the heat so you can stir it constantly once it is on the heat.

Once you have your ingredients mixed well in a sauce pan, put your pan over medium heat. Stir with a wooden spoon continuously. Keep stirring. It will begin to thicken, keep stirring. After about 2 minutes it should start to form into a ball (meaning sticking all together.) It will look lumpy, but once it starts to stick to the spoon, remove the pan from the heat.

IMG_9419 Let the dough cool a bit. Once you can handle it, knead it for a minute or two, just to smooth the dough out and then form it into a ball. Cut the ball into however many colors you want to make. I chose to make 4 colors with this batch, but you could do 3-5 and have a good amount of dough for each color.

IMG_9423 To color the dough simply add a little food coloring to the dough and knead it in. I would recommend using rubber gloves here is you have them or your hands will look like mine in the following picture. But its not too bad to have colorful hands for a day. IMG_9435 Once you have mixed in your food coloring, feel free to mix in a little glitter as well. Just knead in whatever glitter you have on hand. I used Martha Stewarts Yellow Gold glitter. It’s super fine and I love the color, but really, any old glitter with do. Look at that pretty play dough.  IMG_9516 This dough stores great in a mason jar for up to a month! Just make sure its sealed tight. It will get a little dry on the outside, but it get’s super soft again with just a little kneading.

IMG_9499 So next time you have 20 minutes to spare, whip up a batch of this play dough for your little ones. It is sure to please.

IMG_9469

As shared on Frugally Sustainable.

 

Tags:

create

Jul 2

fantastic fizzles

I have been in desperate search of things that Job can do, whether that be helping around the house or fun activities. I’ve found that the simplest things can bring the most joy. He seems to enjoy just being busy doing things so I’m trying to come up with more things for him to do. So in my desperate search I found this great activity involving baking soda and vinegar.

IMG_8411 IMG_8413 IMG_8429 All you need is a baking dish (I used an 9×9 pan), some empty travel shampoo containers, food coloring, baking soda, and white vinegar. All you do is put some baking soda in the pan and then put a few drops of food coloring into your empty shampoo container and mix in the vinegar. I started out by showing him how to shake the vinegar out, instead of squeezing it out. That made the vinegar last much longer. Let me tell you, once he figured out how to squirt it, the vinegar was gone in a moment. He was entertained for hours watching the bubbles pop. He absolutely loved it.  IMG_8437 IMG_8441 IMG_8443 IMG_8453 As you can tell from the different outfit, we did this more than once, and even more than once in the same day. It was a big hit and will most certainly be added to our activities list!

IMG_8473 IMG_8482 IMG_8485
As shared on Frugally Sustainable.

 

Tags:

create

Jun 7

washi tape + computer = happiness

The other day I set out to find myself some washi tape. I have been gawking at it for quite some time now and finally decided one day that I needed it! And I needed it RIGHT then. So I packed up the kids and began my hunt. I ended up finding some at Target and Michaels. And thanks to my Michaels 50% off coupon, I didn’t spend an arm and a leg for the stuff. Once I got home and the kids were down for their naps, I knew that I wanted to try it out. Lowe and behold, my happy, brightly colored keyboard. My hubby makes fun of me for it, but I don’t mind. It makes me happy. And that’s what matters right?

IMG_6028 IMG_6033

Tags: ,