Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Year's Eve Kiddie Cocktails

As you might have noticed in our recent New Year's Eve Party Animal post, we love to party on in the new year. And what better way to do that than to whip up some festive kiddie cocktails?! From the simple to the more elaborate, we've rounded up fabulous mocktails to celebrate this New Year's Eve!

1 / I'd love to start off a party with a "confetti bar" and let the kids mix up their own sparkly concoction. Obviously not drinkable, but super festive.

2 / Cannot go wrong with a classic Shirley Temple. I finally let our kids try these recently and they are now obsessed!

3 / My guys always love cotton candy + lemonade. Try it with sparkling lemonade for a bubbly twist and make a rainbow of colors!

4 / Super sweet rock candy and gummy bears mixed with sparkling apple juice makes another pretty array of colors.

5 / Round out the night with a fun glass of sprinkled milk!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Everything! (and a holiday break)

We are taking a little time off for the holidays, all. And we hope you get to do the same. Here's to lots of family time, fun adventures, yummy food, and naps. We'll be back next week with tons of new ideas for the new year. Thanks so much to everyone for reading, commenting, and spurring us on to new shenanigans. Happy Holidays!!!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Weekend Makes

It's a Weekend Makes, Holiday Edition! We've kicked off our holidays with the start of Hanukkah this week and are ready to roll that right on in to Christmas and New Year's Eve. And we've got our favorite holiday makes pulled together to share. Happy holidays!

1 / I bet these mini kaleidoscopes would be fun with holiday lights.

2 / the kids would love this celebration playdough

3 / need to make some last-minute gift tags?

4 / love Taza's holiday pancakes are adorable.

5 / these monogram marshmallows would be perfect for Christmas morning hot chocolate. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Easiest Sufganiyot Ever

No lie. That is actually the "name" of the recipe I followed to make the easiest. sufganiyot. ever. Hanukkah means lots of yummy foods, especially those fried in oil like sufganiyot. I wanted to make some with the kids, but was looking for a super easy way to do it. By the time we get home from school during the week, there's little time left before dinner needs to get moving. So I was really excited when I found My Name is Yeh's recipe (plus, her blog and photos are gorgeous. our after sundown kitchen shots don't even come close). Happy Hanukkah!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Holiday Giveaway for the Procrastinators! (over)

You know who you are. Still need to pick up a few items for the holidays? Well we've got you covered with a little help from The Land of Nod. We're gearing up for the cold weather that's sure to come (although it was 55 in DC again today!) and arming ourselves with lots of indoor activities that still get the kids moving and keep their brains engaged! To help you do the same, one lucky reader will win BOTH the Beanbag Toss Up Game and Don't Let the Blocks Drop Game from The Land of Nod.

To be eligible to win, you must:

1. leave a comment on this blog post telling us who would be the lucky recipient of the games, and include your email so I can get ahold of you; AND

2. like Not-So-SAHM on Facebook (if you haven't already)

I will pick a winner on Friday, December 19th at 10 am EST. 

Good luck!!!

This giveaway has ended. Congrats to SugarB for winning the games! 

A Day in the Life (December 2014)

Our December 12th was a hot mess. It was the last business day of a loooong week in which I launched (with my mother's help, thank you!!!) the cleaning out, organizing and packing of our home. I ran around between appointments at the new house, school tours for Cameron, and scooping a sick Kane from school. An hourly photo shoot was just not going to happen. So, instead, I photographed this month's 12-in-12 on the 15th, which was slightly less hectic. After you get your fill of our day-to-day randomness, head over to No Monsters in My Bed and Where the Watermelons Grow to see what they're up to this time of year!

6.45 am -- Kane wakes up excited to show off the flowers they bought for me while I was out of town over the weekend.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

DIY Gifts: for kids, by kids

Our kids have very sweetly decided (on their own) to give each other holiday gifts this year. Cam picked out something for Kane, but Kane hasn't been able to decide what to get her. He started down the familiar path of wanting to ask her what she wanted, but still keep it a surprise. It cracks me up to watch him coyly try to figure out what's on her wish list -- sounds just like his dad! But then he recently decided he wanted to give her a "coupon" to take her ice skating and buy her hot chocolate. I was almost in tears from the cuteness, but then he upped himself by deciding to give her a coupon that gives her the power to tell him to do whatever she wants for an entire day. That's just crazy talk right there. And I love it.

But just in case your children are interested in making more level-headed holiday gift choices, I rounded up my favorite DIY holiday gifts that kids can make for other kids. These are on our lists too, so one might just be coming your way!

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

Friday, December 12, 2014

Weekend Makes

Lately it seems that we have had very little time to do much arting or crafting. I mean, we fit in our regular staples (Kane has been on a crazy drawing spree and Cam always loves to paint with her watercolors), but I guess I've not had much time to sit everyone down and try out new projects. And it  looks like that's going to be the case for a bit. That also means that my "to do list" of art and craft projects is growing longer and longer. So instead of running the risk that I'll forget about the things we want to make, I thought I'd try to do a weekly "weekend makes" feature sharing our most wanted projects of the week. Here's what I'm loving this week ... happy weekend!!!

1 / love these pretty coasters from Oh Joy! -- they'd be great presents for the kids to make for the holidays

2 / awesome lacing cards that would work great for ornaments or gift tags

3 / pantone playdough from Art Bar

4 / Studio DIYs colorful walnut garland

5 / these colorful crepe paper streamers look like so much fun

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

DIY Wrapping Paper

Now that you've purchased all those fabulous gifts for your littles from our gift guides, you're going to need some equally fabulous paper with which to wrap them. We've been making homemade wrapping paper for years -- generally some combo of kraft paper and artwork -- but I'm really excited to give some of these ideas a try. Yay for homemade holidays!

1 / I love how this momma used white paper (from IKEA -- one of my favorites), which really makes the watercolors pop!

2 / Have the kiddos cut images from magazines or use stamps to make silly faces on the packages.

3 / Make a pattern on an old rolling pin with foam stickers and let the kids have at it.

4 / Use a potato to make an endless variety of shapes and stamp away.

5 / These interactive wraps would be so much for kids to make for one another's presents. I love 'em all.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Holiday Gift Guides for Kiddos

I know, I know. In the blogging world, I'm technically late on sharing holiday gift ideas. But since I tend to think of purchasing everything in an Amazon Prime world, I still haven't finished my own holiday shopping yet. And I'm guessing most of you haven't either. There are plenty of super in-depth guides out there, but I thought I'd share with you a selection of gifts that fits a good variety of kids' personalities (namely, mine). Hanukkah starts next week, so I better get going!

The Little Artist -- this covers both of my kids, actually. We do lots of planned, larger art projects. But these are their current go-to supplies for day-to-day artwork they do at home. I keep back-ups in stock because they go through so many. We've personally tested out all of these supplies for your little artist.

1 / Djeco felt brush-tip markers -- Kane is obsessed with these markers, which have a fine and a broader tip on each color. The colors are brilliant and they are requested more than any other marker we have.

2 / IKEA watercolor box -- I haven't found another set of watercolors for kids that rival IKEA's vivid MALA set. And it's so easy to have everything come in one container. Plus, so reasonably priced.

3 / Kid Made Modern colored pencil set -- I've been disappointed by much of Todd Oldham's collection for Target. It looks cool, but the quality isn't always great. But these colored pencils (the larger and smaller versions) are easy for the kids to grip and the colors are great. And the sturdy storage container has held up much better than other flimsy boxes.

4 / IKEA fluorescent/glitter paint -- another IKEA favorite, my kids love these squeezable MALA paints. The bottle is a great size for little hands and easy to squeeze, which totally minimizes the mess as well. A great selection of bright colors and metallics.

5 / IKEA assorted paper -- we have plenty of fancy art paper for certain projects, but this reasonably-priced pack from IKEA allows my prolific artists to carry on without breaking the bank. I like that there are two sizes of white paper included as well as great, bright colors of actual paper (not construction paper).

The Young Historian -- both of my kids are big history buffs. We do lots of historical field trips, but actually don't have a lot of things supporting their interest. Some of the items on this guide we've got, but most of them are at the top of my holiday lists.

1 / Timeline Historical Events game -- we don't have this game, but it looks like an enticing way to learn some history while flexing your strategic muscles. It's listed for ages 8 and up, but I've found both of my kids are able to play games like this with parent involvement at this stage.

2 / Uncle Goose Presidential Blocks -- I love the quality of Uncle Goose blocks and these would be perfect for Kane who both loves history and building.

3 / National Park Service Passport and Junior Ranger Programs -- we purchased passports and kid companions last summer after our visit to Antietem National Battlefield and we all became quickly obsessed. The passport and companion contain a good deal of information about each park and allow kids to collect "cancellation stamps" from each park they visit. Additionally, at many parks, rangers make available an activity booklet for kids to complete before receiving a Junior Ranger badge. Both programs do a great job of involving kids in the history of the site.  

4 / Non-fiction and fictional books -- these are kind of obvious, but a must for young historians. We love all of the DK Eyewitness books for non-fiction and we've heard wonderful things about the Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales series.

5 / Extraordinary Women Card Game -- Cam can get frustrated when we play games a bit above her level, but this card game includes simple trivia, true or false, and multiple choice. Plus I find that we can simply read cards of this type as a different way to get factual info.

The Glam Girl -- It's obvious that we've got a girly girl on our hands (who also likes science, wrestling, and mudpies, btw) and we face a constant campaign for glam accessories. Here are some of my favorites.

1 / Drybar's Gold Mine Leave in Conditioner -- a favorite of Cameron's and it actually works, making hair combing more manageable and leaving a definite shine. It's not cheap, but we're still working on our first bottle and we've had it a year.

2 / Flash Tattoos Lena Metallic -- these are not cheap, but lots of competitors look cheap. I'd keep some for myself and save them for a special occasion for your girly girl.

3 / American Apparel Glitter nail lacquer -- love this gold glitter polish. Chock full of sparkle.

4 / PaperSource Donut Lip Gloss -- so, so cute.

5 / LUSH Shimmy Shimmy Body Lotion -- this packs serious sparkle and also lasts forever. Wait until your lady pairs it up with the Gold Mine spray. Glitter errrrrrywhere.

The Young Builder -- I know kids like basic building blocks, but I love beautiful, different sets that I don't mind seeing strewn about the house. You think they'd get sick of them at some point, but the more we get, the more they build. And we're ready to expand our building horizons a bit to incorporate other disciplines and learn some architectural principles. Here's what is topping my list this year.

1 / Playme Playful Math -- I'm always looking for new ways to approach math and this seems like a fun way to do so.

2 / Uncle Goose Groovie Blocks -- another lovely Uncle Goose set. These can be used by very young kids, but I think it would be another good way to work math in to our playtime. And they'd be fun for graphic design, too.

3 / Eames House of Cards -- from one of my favorite mid-century modern designers, this set of cards allows kids to build a myriad of structures from photographs of what the Eameses called "good stuff."

4 / Archidoodle Architect's Activity Book -- this activity book looks like a great interactive way for young builders to learn about architecture.

5 / Greater Pyramid Blocks -- I love the saturated colors and beautiful quality of Grimm's wooden blocks. This pyramid set from The Land of Nod are gorgeous and would provide endless building options.

Friday, December 5, 2014

New Year's Eve Party Animals!

Since we love to celebrate for no reason at all, it probably won't come as a surprise to you that we are all big fans of celebrating New Year's Eve. And nothing says New Year's Eve more than black + gold and glittering confetti. So I was in love with The Land of Nod's Meri Meri New Year's Eve party collection the moment I saw it. It's sophisticated, but still fun and would work equally well for a grown-up party as it did for my little party animals. Our early celebration is up over at Honest to Nod today -- go check it out!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Best Turkey Chili

Do your kids like to help cook? For a while, my guys were very into baking, but hadn't shown all that much interest in helping cook savory dishes. But recently they've both been popping around the kitchen asking if they can help. And, to be honest, since I'm not at all concerned with having perfect mise en place, they've actually been quite helpful getting everything prepped. I have a great set of nylon knives, which work on most veggies, so they've become my prep experts.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Winter Birthday Party Ideas

You totally thought this was going to be all about Frozen, didn't you? Sorry to tell you, but I'm over it. And it's fine if you're not. I know that I'm irrationally cranky about the whole thing. I recently got into it with the teenager Build-A-Bear employee who tried to insist that Cameron's newly-acquired Build-a-My-Little-Pony needed four Elsa shoes (at $8 a shoe) to really be an accurate Elsa. I somehow managed not to go off on a tangential rant about how today's MLPs aren't even the right ones anyway and, even if they were, how ponies don't wear shoes. So, when you really think about it, bud, Princess Twilight didn't need four pairs of shoes to accurately represent another cartoon character, to whom I have another whole slew of objections. But, I let it go.

In any event, I think I meant to write about joyous, happy birthdays!!! So, what about those littles who find themselves with a winter birthday and want something other than Frozen? Well I've rounded up five fabulous winter party ideas that have absolutely nothing to do with Elsa or Anna or whatever that snowman's name is (they had to go loop in that song about a snowman in summer just to cover themselves on summer birthdays as well! gah!). So if your life has been a series of Frozen in your face lately, take a look at these for winter party inspiration!

1 // This mod, geometric penguin party is right up my alley. 

2 // A backyard winter camping party would be perfect for friends living in warmer places than us! 

3 // Cam would love this modern Nutcracker themed bash. 

4 // Love this girly gingerbread decorating party

5 // A simple + sweet skating party.

Thursday, November 27, 2014


This past year has brought a lot of changes for us. Some sad things, but a lot of really great things for which we are incredibly grateful. Kane's new school does a terrific job of getting the kids (and in turn our whole family) to think about the things that are truly important in life, to be aware of how incredibly fortunate we are, and to think outside ourselves and about others who are not so fortunate. We've developed a new dinner time routine of having Kane announce a Quaker query (sometimes they are from his school, sometimes he makes them up), followed by a collective moment of silence, sharing our thoughts about the query, and then Cam rounds it out with a Jewish blessing. Hey, it works for us.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Hirshhorn Museum: At the Hub of Things

I couldn't wait to get the kids in school for longer periods of time and now it's driving me a bit mad that we have no time during the week to do anything. Especially since it's getting dark out so early. Granted, as soon as they're home for the summer, I'll be lamenting the loss of school time. But, that's just how it goes, I guess.

Friday, November 21, 2014

DIY Kids Silly Thanksgiving Hats

I'm a big fan of adding a little silly into holiday celebrations. And what better way to do that then by keeping your kiddos busy at the same time?! Enter DIY Thanksgiving hats. And I'm not talking the typical Pilgrim wear. I've always enjoyed stretching the traditional craft a bit. Circa 1987, I fashioned a 6-person Thanksgiving headdress and made my entire family wear it at one time. Jealous? So jealous, I can tell. You could try your hand at recreating that fine masterpiece, but I think these fabulous hats below would be a good second choice. Don't be at turkey -- get on it!

1 / OK, this slice (found on A Beautiful Mess) is for a pet. But dogs are kids too! And it's so absurdly cute.

2 / This awesome turkey hat is actually from a kit, but I think it'd be easy to make out of brown paper lunch bags you've already got.

3 / A pumpkin pie hat! from The House that Lars Built.

4 / I'm loving these fall leaf crowns from Handmade Charlotte.

5 / Cam would swoon over this candy cornucopia topper, also from The House that Lars Built

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Day in the Life: (November 2014)

I ran up a scary car mileage on November 12th. I think I drove back and forth from downtown DC to Bethesda twice, and sprinkled in several other trips in the middle. I'm trying to remain optimistic and keep things in perspective, but man, all this driving is bringing. me. down. I hate being sedentary for such long periods of time -- even though the kids and I have found fun, entertaining, useful things to do with our time in the car. It's meant a huge overall decrease in the amount of exercise I get and an increase in the dining out (or in the car). All of which is honestly making me really grumpy. That being said, we still had a pretty good day -- the increase in car time means more time to talk to each other, listen to audiobooks, and jam out together. And I'm still managing to fit in work, albeit a lot of it on the road. We even got in a family dinner before Joel headed out of town! I couldn't manage to lug around my good camera that day, so the iPhone pics will have to do.

After you've perused our life on the road, see what No Monsters in My Bed was up to that day!

8.08 am -- we were running late and had a worst/best of moment on the Parkway: getting stuck behind a cyclist and getting a glimpse of my favorite morning running group (they are FAST).

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Land of Nod Holiday GIVEAWAY: $50 Gift Certificate!!! (giveaway over!)

Congrats to LeeAnn for winning the Art Box last week!

The last holiday item up for grabs this season is a $50 gift certificate to The Land of Nod so you can pick whatever your little heart desires! In case you need some inspiration (or want to use the certificate to get me a present), I've rounded up my top 5 favorite Nod items from a variety of categories. I'm obviously in a metallic mood this season, but you can use the card to purchase whatever you'd like for whoever you'd like. Same general rules as last week -- to be eligible to win, you must:

1. leave a comment on this blog post telling us for what you'd use the gift card;
2. like Not-So-SAHM on Facebook (if you haven't already); and 
3. then enter to win via the Rafflecopter at the end of this post. 

I will pick a winner on Tuesday, November 25th at 9 pm EST.

Good luck!!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 17, 2014

DIY Kids Terrarium

One of the items at the top of our Summer Bucket List from this past summer was planting an herb garden on our front porch. Not only did we check that one off our list, but we even managed to (mostly) keep them alive all summer long. I loved having fresh herbs, but I also loved how much the kids loved taking care of the plants. In addition to our little garden, we planted several pots full of plants and flowers, including our beloved tropical palm, Ziggy (named after Ziggy Marley, of course). We let most of them go now that the weather has turned cold (except Ziggy), but I thought it would be super fun to have the kids make an indoor terrarium. I have fond memories of making them during my Michigan summers with family, and I think our kiddos would love it too.

There are so many cute options out there, though, that I'm having trouble deciding in which direction we want to go. What do you think?!

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

Friday, November 14, 2014

Winter Coat Faves

Brrrr! It's starting to get chilly out on the east coast! I swear, every year it feels like just as we've had a chance to break out our fall clothes, the temps really drop and we have to start thinking about winter already. I mean, it's snowing plenty of other places right now (SNOW!), so I should count us lucky. But, fortunately, cold weather also means that I get to go winter coat shopping and I LOVE picking out a variety of outerwear for the kids. Much like their fall favorites, each of our kids like to have several coats to wear throughout the winter season. And since they seem to be getting two years out of some coats (I try to buy the new ones a little on the big side and they last two years then), I don't mind getting them a few different styles. They generally each get a "puffy" coat (generally the warmest of the coats); a "dress" coat (Kane's favorite, obviously); and some kind of "novelty" style (Cam's go to). Here are my favorites of each!

Coats for Cam
1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Fall in Rock Creek Park

Remember our last after school visit to our Rock Creek spot? What a difference a few weeks makes! We've been loving our drives through the park the last week or so because the foliage has been bananas. And we're usually on the road as the sun is still getting it's start up and start down, so we get gorgeous light shining through. There have been days where I've found my mother's voice coming out of my mouth as I basically scream at the kids "LOOK at those leaves. They look like they are ON FIRE!" Now they automatically ooh and ahh and scream "GORGEOUS!" in defensive exaltation when we start the portion of that drive. I love it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Kids Hanukkah Table

When it's holiday time in our house, IT. IS. HOLIDAY. TIME., people. We celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas and the kids love every second of it. This year we put together a special kids Hanukkah table with their very own menorah from the Land of Nod and we're sharing it all over on Honest to Nod today.

One of my favorite holiday and party decorations is a block letter garland -- super easy and versatile! And I've included our Happy Hanukkah banner template free for you -- just click at the link at the bottom of this post. Simply print onto colored paper, cut out the letters and tape onto some baker's twine and you've got a great holiday message.

Get yourself ready to celebrate -- we are!


Disclosure: The Land of Nod provided us with the Whale Menorah, Plush Dreidel, and Felt Garland in exchange for this post. No other compensation was provided and all opinions herein are our own.

The Land of Nod Holiday GIVEAWAY: It's a Draw Art Box!!! (giveaway over)

Congrats to Margaret for winning the Greater Pyramid Block set last week!

The holiday giving continues this week with Land of Nod's awesome It's a Draw Art Box! This is the perfect present that will keep on giving through the cold winter months up ahead. Or at least might let you sleep in a bit one weekend morning -- just leave it out the night before! Same rules as last week -- to be eligible to win, you must:

1. leave a comment on this blog post telling us who'd you give this creative bundle to and why;
2. like Not-So-SAHM on Facebook (if you haven't already); and 
3. then enter to win via the Rafflecopter at the end of this post. 

I will pick a winner on Tuesday, November 18th at 9 pm EST.

Good luck!!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 10, 2014

Marble Painting

Have you ever tried marble painting? There are tons of different techniques, and we've only tried a few. But every time we do it, the kids (and me) get kind of obsessed with it and make stacks and stacks of marbled paper. It's the perfect paper to save for card making, wrapping paper, collage material, or backgrounds for a story. I will say that even though the shaving cream is popular for kiddos (you can see our stint here), I find the smell so bothersome that we haven't done a whole lot of it. But I've included five other ideas below! I think nail polish marbling is next up for us -- seems like a good way to use all that polish Cam insists I buy and we never use (because I CANNOT paint nails).

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Neo-Impressionism at The Phillips Collection

I love, love The Phillips Collection. Which is why it saddens me so that it persists in being one of the least kid-friendly art museums to which I've ever taken our kids. Ever. Yes, they have an amazing children's exploration activity packet. And yes kids are free. But is it entirely necessary to imply that I need to hold the hand of my incredibly well-behaved four-year-old right off the bat? Like before I even step foot on the exhibit floor? And the haughty looks and, I'm sorry, did I just see you literally recoil from my child who is quietly walking around? No lie. Cameron is most certainly better behaved than me (especially once you tick me off). She speaks more quietly and with far less curse words. She will sit and look at art carefully and she even tantrums with less fanfare than me. And guess what? It's not because you follow her around with a glaring eye. It's because she's her and she's been to 8,567 museums (exact total) and knows how to behave. She has her moments, but yesterday was not one of them. (I could kind of understand the stalking guards when she was 2 1/2, how fab was that bow shirt, btw, but this just seemed a little ridiculous).

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Thanksgiving Kids Table

As you saw yesterday, we've already got a jump start on holiday gifts. BUT don't forget that the turkey is up first this fall. Want a super simple, but pretty way to prepare a kids table for your Thanksgiving meal? Head on over to Honest to Nod today to check out our good friend Suzanne's ideas to help your kiddos get their gobble on. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Land of Nod Holiday GIVEAWAY: The Greater Pyramid Blocks! (giveaway over)

Oh heeeey ... it's November! And that means the holidays are coming and that means it's holiday giveaway time! It's no secret that we are big fans of The Land of Nod over here and have been blogging for them for a bit now (if you haven't stopped over to see their collaborative blog Honest to Nod, you'll want to make sure and check it out. lots of great ideas from all kinds of fabulous bloggers, uhemm, uhemm ....). I appreciate, especially at holiday gift-giving time, well-crafted handmade presents. Accordingly, I admire The Land of Nod's artisan partnerships, which create really unique products -- not just cookie-cutter items shipped from a factory.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Fall Leaf Arts and Crafts

Well, I had plans for today's post, but Kane and I have been trying to shake off a cold and it's not cooperating. Alas, we'll be making two doctor's office visits today. Hooray! And since we'll likely be hanging out inside the rest of the time, I'm thinking one of these fall leaf crafts with real leaves (unlike our wax ones above) is likely. Hope everyone else is having a good Monday!

- Deep Space Sparkles' Leaf Prints 

- Preserving Fall Leaves from No Monsters in My Bed

- Pictures with Leaves from The Crafty Crow

- Art Bar's round-up of Painted Leaf Projects 

- A Leaf Rubbing Mural from Meri Cherry

Friday, October 31, 2014

Easy DIY Halloween Activities

It's here, it's here! Happy Halloween!!! If your kids are anything like mine, their excitement for today has been building up for quite some time and they are all ready with their costumes, just waiting for the green light to trick-or-treat. I love the whole crazy thing, but then .... sugar crash city. The begging for more candy while melting down from the whirlwind. So I thought I'd pull together some super easy (FREE!) printable activities that you can have at the ready for the post-sugar crash lull before bedtime. Hope you and yours have a spooky, fun holiday!

5 / If you can't get this pin a bow tie on the skeleton game printed out ahead of time, just print out a regular size at home.

8 / Try these shadow makers in the glow of a jack o'lantern.

9 / A set of three Halloween Mad Libs. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

KID Museum at Davis Library

This past weekend marked the grand opening of the new KID Museum in Bethesda, an interactive "museum" for elementary and middle school-aged children. The event was well run, with stations clearly identified and lots of people to help direct various projects. But I was in a super cranky mood all weekend (exacerbated by the fact that I was parenting solo and a marathon reading of Gone Girl, which was both impossible to put down and very, very disturbing) and I was just not into being around crowds.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Spooky Science: DIY Fake Blood

Can you believe Halloween is almost here?! My kiddos are so excited that they've been asking for spooky activity upon spooky activity this week. You might recall that our entire family dressed up as vampires last year for the holiday and Kane was insistent on having realistic full make-up, including a constant reapplication of fake blood dripping from his fangs. It tasted disgusting, but he really wanted to go for the full effect. So I thought it would be fun to use one of his afternoons off this week (parent-teacher conferences!) to try our hand at a little gross and spooky science: DIY fake blood.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

DIY Lego Storage Box

In case you missed it, the super easy DIY lego storage box I made for Kane's birthday was up at The Land of Nod's Honest to Nod yesterday. I made the same thing, on a much smaller scale, for the favors. But once I did those, I knew Kane was going to need a bigger one. And he has played with it constantly since his birthday. And no excuses not to clean up -- it all fits right inside the great Nod Letter Box. Plus, I designed some free puzzle cards that you can download from Honest to Nod. Win-win!

Disclosure: The Land of Nod provided us with the Letter Box in exchange for this post. No other compensation was provided and all opinions herein are our own.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Spooky Halloween Treats

Our kids are in the stage where they looooove Halloween, but still don't like to be scared. Actually, I don't like to be scared. I still cannot understand why people voluntarily watch horror movies or subject themselves to haunted houses. I went to a haunted house once. I punched the first person who jumped out to scare me. Needless to say, we are heavy on the spook factor for the holiday, but stay away from scary. And that's one of the reasons I love our Jack O'Lantern macarons! Granted, those are still on the cutesy side. And our Pumpkin Pie Gelato Parfaits were delish, but in no way scary (until you run out, then things get scary. I promise). So I started looking for treat ideas to bump up the spook a bit and pulled together my favorite finds. I think those spooky ice cubes in a sweet cider are going to be a must make!

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9

Friday, October 24, 2014

The National Gallery of Art: Degas's Little Dancer (or I See Puppies!)

So yesterday was Cam's annual school field trip to the pumpkin patch, a trip I'm sure many of you are making right around this time as well. It's a great idea, but given that I've been spending so much time on the road in the car, I thought we'd have a more local field trip of our own. Cameron has been intermittently obsessed with ballet and even though she's not currently taking any classes, I thought a trip to see Degas's Little Dancer at the National Gallery would be a perfect girls' morning.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Beeswax Crayon Fall Leaves


Yay for fall! One of my all time favorite art projects growing up was making fall leaves with crayons and wax paper. Our kids are finally old enough to use the iron (with supervision!), so we recently made a gorgeous set using The Land of Nod's Beeswax Crayons. Head over to Honest to Nod today to check them out!

Disclosure: The Land of Nod provided us with the Beeswax Crayons in exchange for this post. No other compensation was provided and all opinions herein are our own.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Kids Desk Chairs

When I blogged over at A Feteful Life, we occasionally had people send in questions for us -- generally about seasonal handbags for some reason -- and we'd do some faux shopping and provide our favorite picks. A friend recently told me that they'd purchased a desk for their Kindergarten-aged daughter, C, but were having a hard time finding a desk chair that wasn't outrageously priced. And she asked whether I had any ideas of where to look. As we haven't purchased desks for our kids yet, I hadn't given it much thought. But she's right -- so, so many desk chairs "for kids" are obnoxiously expensive, especially given that they are sized smaller and certainly won't last until the kids go off to college.

Annoyed and determined, I did some faux shopping for a chair that would go with C's new desk -- the  Pottery Barn Kids Catalina. I'd generally describe Pottery Barn's style as slightly modern classic/country, but I like to balance those pieces out with something more streamlined. I'm not really into matchy matchy. I decided to look for chairs under $125 (for the most part) and while a lot of my picks are not necessarily "kid sized," they would still work well for kids, in my opinion. Your best bet is to stick to accent or dining chairs, which seem to be more reasonably priced than desk chairs and would work just as well, especially with a little pillow for a cushion. So, K, here you go -- hope one works out and that desk gets used for a little school work instead of just a fort!

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Kane's Favorite Fall Looks

I'm going to guess that it was super evident from my post on Cam's favorite fall looks that I've got a little shopper on my hands. But you might be surprised to hear that Kane's a decent shopping buddy as well. He's not quite as particular about what he wears as Cameron, but he definitely knows what he likes. And, much to his chagrin, one of his most long-standing unsuccessful negotiations has been his quest for a three-piece suit. He has tried every which way to get me to get him a suit, including trying to persuade a J.Crew saleswoman to give him a soon-to-be out of season suit on sale. I have a feeling it's somewhat more about getting his way than the actual suit, but he really does like to dress up. So here's what he's rockin' right now.

Everyday Brights -- Kane loves bright colors and stripes. So he basically has some variation of this on for school every day. Green is still his most favorite color, so he likes to work that in wherever he can (socks and shoes are a particularly fun spot to do that). And he has a similar jacket, which he will wear all day long (including inside or in 80 degree weather) in an attempt to prove to me he will wear a suit jacket if I buy it for him. 

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

It's Tailgate Time!

Fall is football season in our house and our kids LOVE it. It's really sweet to hear them ask Joel "is it football time, yet?" and to hear the Eagles fight song belted out over and over again. I also happen to love the game -- watching it, playing it, and partying with it. We love to take our kids to live sports games and the pre-game tailgating events, but we haven't yet felt comfortable that they are old enough for the not-always-family-friendly event that is live NFL football (although I've taken the kids to high school games and they loved it). So I'd love to bring some of that same spirit and goodies into our home for game time watching. Here's what I'm loving for a kid-friendly tailgate at home!

1 / my kids can eat their weight in peanuts. I'm still working on a less messy way to eat them at home, but when I do, I think these DIY bags would be so cute.

2 / gold foam fingers!?! Cam would be all over these.

3 / as they've inherited my love to decorate for any occasion, I think our kids would love to make these cute football lanterns.

4 / this football bingo was made especially for the Super Bowl, but I love the idea of using pictures and numbers for a kid-friendly game.

5 / I'd use these free football sheets from The Celebration Shoppe to make fun placemats for the kids, who love to nosh while watching the game.

6 / Frito Pie. It's a must.

7 / An edible pennant garland. Love.

8 / I think these DIY duct tape football mason jars would be super fun. Plus, I love a flagged striped straw.

9 / after peanuts, popcorn is the kids' next favorite game time snack. These football themed popcorn boxes make it even better.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Day in the Life (October 2014)

Sunday was the day after Kane's big birthday party, so we were all recovering a bit. We hung around most of the morning, reading new books, playing with new toys, and having brunch with family. But we saw sunshine starting to come out and, given the never-ending rain the previous day, we knew a good leg stretching was in order. Fortunately the Maryland Renaissance Festival was still in town, so we donned our best costumes and headed out to the forest. Awesome.

Don't forget to see what No Monsters in My Bed did with their sunny Sunday!

7.45 am -- Kane's new Egyptian Playmobil sets awaits playing.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Pumpkin Pie Gelato Parfaits


You all know how obsessed we were with gelato this past summer. Well, we weren't ready to give it up just yet. Head over to Honest to Nod today to checkout our super yummy Pumpkin Pie Gelato Parfaits!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Kane's "Everything is Awesome" Lego 6th Birthday Party!

I have a real love/hate relationship with legos. I love that they can inspire so much creative building, but I personally cannot stand putting together kits after they break apart time and time again. So I generally stick with the "free building" sets for our kids, but then you still have the super fun problem of stepping on those little suckers when they inevitably get scattered about the house, hiding in every nook and cranny just waiting for unsuspecting bare feet. Needless to say, when Kane said he wanted to have a lego birthday party, I knew it was not going to be at our house. And we've almost always held birthday parties at our house because we consider them a great occasion to get all of our family and friends together as well.