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.