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