Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Organizing Cubes

I've had these wonderful shelving units with cubes/bins for over a year now. They are perfect for stashing anything and everything into. However, the kids never had any idea what was in them, so they would...
(a) go ignored (meaning toys were not played with) or
(b) get dumped out to see what was inside (meaning a nice big mess for me to clean up) or
(c) my lovely "helpful" husband would shove anything on the floor into any bin looked good that day (meaning yet another unorganized hidden mess).
A couple months ago I had the idea to take pictures of the inner contents. Great idea, right? Sure, but I couldn't come up with a way to attach the pictures with anything but packaging tape (too tacky, I wanted cute!). A couple nights ago it hit me: contact paper and ribbon! I put contact paper on both sides of the pictures, hole-punched, and tied ribbon to the handles of the cubes. It's cute, it's organized, and (everyone cross your fingers with me here) will help my kids play with and put away their toys!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

President's Day, by Anne Rockwell

We really enjoyed this book.

ABC Pretzels

Maybe I'm new, but I just found these at Meijer a couple days ago... ABC Pretzels. They are nothing short of fabulous. My kids love spelling names and words, looking for letters, playing "I Spy", etc. The novelty of the pretzel is back!

Last Minute V-Day Ideas

Jell-O with (frozen) raspberries in heart cups
(found these at JoAnn's - $6/12 cups)

Homemade pink mint ice-cream
(using same heart cups)

Heart Cake!
(1 cake mix, 9" square pan, 9" circle pan, conversation hearts)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine's Strawberry Brownie

This is what Jacob's preschool teacher is getting for Valentine's - an extra large heart shaped brownie, topped with pink frosting (8 oz cream cheese mixed with 1/2 cup jam and 1/2 cup pwd sugar) and decorated with candy hearts. I saw giant heart pans like this for $5.99 at Target this week - good for birthdays and "thinking of you" gifts, too.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Valentine's Breakfast

This is a picture from our breakfast on Valentine's two years ago - pancake mix with red food coloring thrown in and chocolate chips on top. I think I'm going for a repeat this year, with PINK MILK on the side.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Tic Tac Toe Hearts

Directions here.

Special thanks to Marie

Monday, February 2, 2009

Candy Bar Tarts

Oh my yummy goodness!
Directions here.

whose shoes?

Just a tip to help with the smooth running of your household...

My kids are all 17 months apart, and they are to the age where the difference in their sizes is shrinking, especially with shoes. So I adopted a little organizational strategy to help keep all of us sane: the dot strategy. Kylie is 1 dot, Stella is 2 dots, and Chasen is 3 dots (yes, birth order).

Let me demonstrate my favorite example...
This is what we see when it's time to put the kids' boots on. Kind-of hard to figure out whose is whose, right?

So on the bottom of the boots I put their personal dots...

Now, when it's time for the kids to put on their boots, they have no problems finding their own pair. Even Chasen (23 months) can find his own! And when Kylie outgrows her pair, I'll just add a dot, and poof! -Stella has a new pair of boots.

This works really well with practically anything that will get passed down through the kids, and let me tell you it makes sorting laundry a lot easier when I need help (like from the husband or grandparents) since the size doesn't always tell you who the shirt might belong to!

Art Gallery

My girls absolutely love to do art projects. They don't need anything fancy, sometimes just coloring or drawing keeps them happy. But they literally make about 5 "pieces of art" a day, some really cute, others kind of sloppy. I have a husband who adamently refuses to let me clutter the fridge or kitchen cabinets with the girls' "artwork", and after filling the stairway to the basement, I finally decided to make an Art Gallery for them to display their finest art to date. I love how the wall turned out... so much that I'm thinking of not only adding more frames to that wall, but finding more walls to turn into Art Galleries!

I started with ever-so-sweetly convincing Scott to build 4 frames. He used some cheap wood from Lowe's, cut to size, and drilled together.

The next step was for me to spray paint the frames black (note: spray paint goes everywhere and gets on everything and is best not to do in a finished basement, regardless of how cold it is outside!) .

I hung the frames where I wanted them on the walls, then lightly traced inside the frames with a pencil, taped just outside the lines, then painted the insides white (2 coats was all it took. Oh, and I used a small foam roller to keep it as smooth as possible).

Hang the frames again, and you have an art gallery just waiting to be filled! (for now I'm using blue painters tape to hang the artwork. I was going to do clips, but didn't want to be stuck with only being able to hang the pieces a certain way. That may change in the future, or if you have any ideas, please share!)

Introducing... Our Art Gallery!

Woven Hearts: 6 Ways

I can remember doing these when I was little! I'm so glad I found the template on maya*made, I was nervous I'd have to figure it out on my own, ha.

Instructions here.