Monday, June 30, 2014

Artworks: DIY Chalkboard Tag Notebooks

A few weeks ago, we had our very first kiddo book club with a group of friends. Our core group included kids ranging from rising pre-K to rising-1st graders, but a few younger siblings were included, too. To help keep everyone focused (or occupied) during our discussion, we made these super cute chalkboard tag notebooks.

Here's the deal -- you'll need:

- hardcover cardboard notebook (we bought some cute bold graphic patterned ones from Target -- they were under $2 each);
- chalkboard paint (a little can like this will do);
- painter's tape; and
- a foam craft brush

If you want a super clean tag and/or are trying to cover up something on the front of the notebook (we were doing both), have a parent help you outline your painting area with the painter's tape. If you want to do it free form, you likely don't need any help.

Paint thin coats (we did 5 coats) of the chalkboard paint with your craft brush -- allowing each coat to dry sufficiently in between.

Once dry, carefully peel off tape, prime it a bit by rubbing with chalk, and write your name!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Your Dough is My Dough: Frozen Playdough

We realized recently that the last time we made playdough was for St. Paddy's Day! How sad is that!? It makes mom feel like we're getting so old -- we used to make several different batches a week. In any event, we listed some new and creative playdough on our bucket list and when we spotted some recipes for frozen play dough on Pinterest, we knew we had to try it.

And we loved Growing A Jeweled Rose's idea of turning it into ice cream! Such a great way to cool off in the summer. We highly suggest playing with it outside. In bathing suits. Near a hose to spray everything and everyone down after! To make ours, you'll need:

- shaving cream (we used almost 2 cans to make 7 colors);
- gel food coloring (it blends easily without making the shaving cream melt);
- baking extracts (we used vanilla, almond, orange, and peppermint);
- containers;
- ice cream accessories (we used scoops, real toppings, and ice cream cones); and
- freezer space (for a few hours at least).

Let the kiddos spray the shaving cream into containers. Mix in a few drops of food coloring and extracts (FYI, we found that the extracts gave a little scent, but it still smelled like shaving cream!). Put the mixed cream into the freezer for at least a few hours. Once frozen, set up a little ice cream shop and go to town!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Miscellaneous Madness: A Day in the Life (June 2014)

Well, mom did a great job with last month's 12 in 12. And then promptly forgot this month. Just for a day, though. She remembered early the morning of the 13th and mostly made up for it. Friday the 13th. The end of our first week of summer break and the day before we left for a family vacation to Jamaica. Needless to say we were both tired and excited, and mostly hung out at the house prepping and packing for our trip. AND did lots and lots of crafting for our first ever kids book club that we hosted that evening, obviously (more to come on that soon). Hope everyone else's summer is off to a great start! Don't forget to pop over to No Monsters in My Bed and Where the Watermelons Grow to see what they were doing in June.

7.30 am -- mom comes downstairs to find that Kane set up almost all of his "guys" in an epic battle in the living room. He was still in technical compliance with her demand to "keep his room picked up."

8 am -- Cam has her morning juice at the window {with some "guys"}.

9 am -- we make mom birthday cards and she pretends not to know.

10.15 am -- our kids book club read The Magic Treehouse's "Abe Lincoln at Last," which involves giving Abe hope with a feather. So we cut out colorful feathers to use in a club "hope jar."

11 am -- Kane works on the book club "ballot box" -- for voting on our club name, of course.

12.15 pm -- we get a show while mom gets a shower.

1.05 pm -- we decide to run a few errands just as the skies about open up.

2 pm -- lunch at Busboys & Poets -- the rain is relentless, so we stick around for apple pie.

3 pm -- Cam helps pack for vacaye by trying on all her vacation clothes. Super, super helpful.

4.45 pm -- book club set up.

7.15 pm -- Cam helps with a photoshoot for an AFL guest post.

8 pm -- bathtime -- Cam insists on still using her baby bath towel. It's so cute, we let her.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Miscellaneous Madness: Family Photos

Given the number of photos mom and dad take of us on a daily basis, it's hard to believe that we've never had photos of our entire family taken before. But we hadn't. We'd even scheduled them several times, but it never worked out. So this year mom put it on our bucket list and this past Mother's Day mom insisted that we get our stuff together long enough to get the job done. And smartly hired a photographer who could handle the outspoken, rambunctious, giggly bunch that is our family: Darcy Troutman (you surely know her from No Monsters in My Bed). Darcy proposed doing a "storytelling" photo shoot -- where we'd show her around our house and neighborhood, sharing all our favorite things (and hopefully forgetting someone was photographing us in the process). It worked! We love all of the photos and would happily share all 109 of them with you, but we're guessing that's probably an overshare. Here are a few of our most favorites! (check it, Summer Bucket List).