Weekend Crafts with the Kids

Happy Friday!I am prepping for the weekend and as always, I have something on my mind. What fun things can I do with the kids?

Because I spend a huge portion of my week commuting and at work, I try to make the most of my time with the kids when I am home. With Oaken going to kindergarten sooner than later, I am really trying to focus on the skills that kindergartners are supposed to have too, such as using glue and scissors.

Because of our bad history with scissors, (read here to learn more about our 3 year old daughter’s skullet hair cut), we have not spent much time with the kids with the use scissors. So, this weekend I do intend to spend some one-on-one craft time, with scissors, and my pre-kindergartner. Here are a few kid-friendly crafts that I have found recently that I plan to try out with my son this weekend.

Q-Tip Art 

Via La Classe della maestra Valentina.

Though this site is not in English, this project is still a wonderful idea. It’s not geared towards the use of scissors, but I do think this would be great to try with the kids. I was thinking of drawing a shape on paper and giving the kids some watered down food coloring and q-tips to create their design. Hopefully a lesson in trying to stay within the lines will be helpful!

Shredded Paper Snowman

Via Baby Center.

This project site calls for using paper straight from the paper shredder, but I think this provides a good opportunity to get some use out of those scissors. With a little help from mom (or dad) you could have some pretty cute snowman art on your hands. We have also been reading a snowman book before bed this week, so this is perfect for our family right now!

Children’s Art Mobile

Via Warm Hot Chocolate. 

Once you have had your kids create some beautiful art, why not put it on display in the form of a mobile? This is such a wonderful and unique idea! Even our little ones can take part in this particular activity. Maybe we could create some additional Q-Tip art and make this mobile too! Some assembly required by mom on this one. But if you have kids outside of the preschool age, I’m sure this is something that they could create on their own.

 Paper Heart Garland

Via Martha Stuart.

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, this is another great craft to get the kids involved in. This will be one that kids with a little more scissor and glue control should probably tackle. However, since this holiday is only a few weeks away, I had to throw it into the mix! Who doesn’t want to add a bit of festive Valentine’s garland to their fireplace mantel decorations?

We’ll post pictures after the weekend to show you how our projects turn out. I hope if you do any artsy or craftsy projects over the weekend that you are inspired by one of these.

Have a WONDERFUL weekend!!

If you have any other kid-friendly craft projects, please feel free to share!

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Kids Room Makeover: A Sneak Peak

Since the kids’ room is coming right along, I thought I would share a quick sneak peek with you!

Nope, it’s not done yet. We still have a few finishing touches to add, but I just couldn’t wait any longer to share something

That’s it for now! Is the anticipation driving you crazy?

We made names for both of the kids to help define their own space in their shared bedroom, which has also helped to fill some massive amounts of empty wall space. I traced out the letters onto some plywood, awesome hubs cut them out with a jigsaw, and we painted them with the same glossy trim paint that was used in the rest of the room. It was a somewhat crafty project that our son got to help out with while the girls were napping. In hindsight, try using primer first on plywood, the letters took about 10 coats of paint! Finally, we hung them with rental-friendly double-sided tape.

And here is another snap shot of Sky Bug hanging out before bed time, being a goof for the camera as usual. (She was supposed to be asleep….)

Maybe we can actually finish up the room this weekend? I sure hope so! I do promise to post finished pictures as soon as possible though.

Happy Thursday! 

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Bacon Mac Recipe

Keeping in theme with yesterday’s post about menus and dinners, I wanted to share with you one of our family’s favorite meals. This is a delicious, easy, creamy, mac and cheese recipe that you are sure to love!

Image via Food Network

Ingredients:

1/2 lb. bacon
1 box small shell pasta
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions:

1. Cook bacon until crispy. Chop and set aside for later.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
3. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add shell pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
4. In a 3 quart saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and toss in chopped onion. Saute until onion is tender.
5. Stir flour into saucepan with onions. Cook for about 1 minute, until smooth and bubbly; stirring occasionally. Mix in milk, cream cheese, salt, and pepper. Continue cooking until sauce is thickened. Add cheddar cheese and stir until melted. Stir in shell pasta.

6. Pour into 2 quart casserole dish. (Optional – top with additional shredded cheese.) Sprinkle cooked bacon on top. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and heated through.

That’s it!

After Christmas we had a ton of left over ham, so we even substituted the bacon topping for mixing in chopped ham. It was quite yummy as well, so feel free to mix it up a bit and enjoy!

What’s your family’s favorite dinner?

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Menu Board and Meal Planning

Today’s post is a quick one to provide a simple organizational tip for meal planning!

Every weekend, the hubs and I write out our dinner menu for the upcoming week before heading to the grocery store so that we only have to go once a week. Planning ahead saves on gas, and you will know exactly what you need for every meal in order to be more friendly to that food budget.

Every week, I used to write our weekly menu on the back-side of our grocery list and my hubs would continuously throw it away. This was a constant pet-peeve until I saw this on Pinterest:

via A Content Housewife

With a cheapo glass scrapbook frame, a piece of sparkly scrapbook paper left over from this project, and a white board marker, I was able to create my own version! Now if only I had nicer handwriting…

So now there’s no more question of “what’s for dinner?” We can pick an item off the list in the morning and know that we have the ingredients on hand already. No more stressing over dinner! (Or getting bent outta shape because hubs threw away the menu.)

Do you have any organizational dinner planning tips of your own?

And don’t forget to check out where Fab Fam Five was featured today! Shwin & Shwin’s weekly link party!

 

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Refashioned T-Shirt to Cute Shrug

First of all, Happy New Year everyone!

The holidays are over and now I can  get caught up on some posts that I have been so excited to share. Though the holidays were super busy, we were able to enjoy some much-needed family time and finally got some good pictures of the kids together!

I also got the sewing machine up and running, so I have been able to start on some projects I have been dying to do.

Number one on the list was to make a shrug that I had pinned on Pinterest a while back. We are fortunate enough to get a few hand me downs on occasion, and sometimes they have a few flaws, maybe a stain here or there? But I found this tutorial from Make It and Love It and was inspired to repurpose this t-shirt!

Yep, I had all of the necessary tools to get started! iPad with the tutorial handy, TV remote, seam ripper and other miscellaneous sewing supplies.

With a few modifications, I came up with this as a final result!


Not too shabby if I may say so myself! (Considering the fact that the last thing I made with a sewing machine was a pillow in 7th grade Home Ec.)

And while I had Skylar model the shrug, the other kids joined in on the photo shoot too…

Too cute 🙂

Moral of this story: Think twice before you donate or throw out clothes. Be creative and you can probably repurpose a clothing item too!

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Last Minute Wrapping Inspiration

I have been going through waves of panic and excitement preparing for Christmas this year. It all seems to relate directly to the length of the to-do list. When I check something off the list, I am excited for Christmas to come, but when I take another look at that still growing list, I get that panic feeling back.

And one of the things on the to-do list is wrapping presents! Up until a few years ago, I loved wrapping presents. However, I now have a family of 5 to wrap for and it has become quite the task.

So here’s a little motivation and some cool gift wrapping ideas to get you last minute gift wrappers (and me) out of procrastination mode!

Pretty Presents

Pinterest

Jones Design Company

Jones Design Company

The Haystack Needle

Country Living Holly Mathis Interiors

Gift Tags

Real Simple

Juhlat Kainuunkadulla


Etsy

Chalkboard Paint tag from Etsy
Make your own with this chalk paint recipe.

Printable Gift Tags
Jones Design Company – Click to print!

Bow Tutorials

Minimoz


The Kraft Journal

Nice Package

Paper Trunk

All of this gift wrap could easy be done by grabbing something you probably already have around the house. Take paper bags, stamps, a coffee filter, wax paper, scrapbook paper, paint chips, twine or newspaper and just get creative! And with that vintage look so in right now, you’re sure to have a showstopper.

I hope you are as inspired as I am! HAPPY WRAPPING!

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DIY Gift Ideas for the Kiddos

With Christmas fast approaching and needing to get the kids just a few more presents, I have found myself thinking about presents that I could possibly make. (Since I really don’t want to brave the mall with only 9 days left until the big day!) So, with that in mind, I have come across a few great tutorials for some super cool, kid friendly DIY gifts. I guess you could consider this my little DIY gift guide of sorts…

For Girls:

Magnetic Paper Dolls
This wonderful tutorial from one of my new favorite blogs, Make It and Love It, uses the basis of a simple play thing and transforms it into an ingenious gift idea. The tutorial even includes directions on how to make a cover for the set. Using a cookie sheet, a pre-cut paper doll set and some adhesive magnetic sheets, you can make one too!

I absolutely love the idea of being able to keep everything together in one place, as we are always losing pieces to toys. Looks like a wonderful gift for those traveling over the holidays as well! Check out the tutorial here.

Dolly Clothing
I don’t know why I never thought about making new clothes for the girls’ baby dolls before seeing this. Santa is bringing baby Clara her very own baby doll this year, and I was obsessing over how unattractive the clothing was on the dolls when we went to help Santa pick something out. This tutorial from Shwin & Shwin made me realize just how doable making something new for the baby doll would be.

There are plenty of adorable blog posts out there on this subject, but I thought this tutorial was the most simple and easy to understand. Check out the tutorial here.

No-Knit Scarf
For all you non-knitters out there, this is a how-to guide from Katie Did on making a super quick and easy scarf. You simply cut some strands of chunky yarn and run it under your sewing machine. My girls have been asking for weeks for a scarf, so I think I am definitely going to have to try this one out for them.

Check out the full how-to here. And for those of you who are knitters, there is another cute scarf how-to in that post as well!

Headbands
There are so many wonderful headband ideas and tutorials out here in blog world, that it was really hard for me to pick out just one to highlight today. But one just absolutely adorable headband from Sew.Craft.Create really stood out, and the tutorial is so easy to follow.

Like I mentioned here, we had a little hair incident with our daughter, Skylar, that we’re still working on creative solutions to cover up until her hair grows back. So, this is another one I am going to have to try as well! Check out the tutorial here.

For Boys:

Beanbag Chair
Now, tell me, who doesn’t love a bean bag chair? My kids sure do, and ours are looking a little sad. So I found this super easy tutorial that walks you through making your own at So You Think You’re Crafty. If I had known they were this easy, I would have made some a long time ago.
Check out the tutorial here. 

T-Shirt
This is another one from Make It and Love It. (I said it was one of my new favs, right?) This tutorial shows you how to re-purpose some old t-shirts into an adorable boys shirt. Even if you wanted to start with new fabric, the tutorial does a wonderful job at showing you just how to put it all together. Too. Cute. Check out the tutorial here. 
 
Minky Blanket
If the kiddo in your life is anything like my children are, they love soft blankets to snuggle with. Whether your gifting for a baby or for an older child, I think a cuddly blankie would be a hit. So, make your own with this awesome minky blanket tutorial from iCraft. Our son has been toting around the same Christmas blankets for years. Yes, Christmas blankets… year round. This year, I think it’s time for an upgrade! Check out the tutorial here.

Hat
I Am Momma Hear Me Roar posted this wonderful tutorial about creating an upcycled hat from t-shirts. Again, in the case that you want to start with new fabric, the tutorial and pattern layout are great to help you get started. I’m not a great sewer and this still made perfect sense to me! I do love the idea of upcycling and absolutely love this look! My kids love hats, and I think a hat made from favorite old t-shirts that no longer fit makes a wonderful personalized gift! Check out the tutorial here.

For those of you that still have some shopping to do, I hope one of these tutorials got you thinking about creating a homemade gift! (And happy shopping, crafting or sewing to you!)

Did you make any presents this year? (Or have any projects in the works?) If so, plase feel free to share!

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