Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Candy Birthday Card

This past weekend we celebrated my nephew's 18th birthday. I had no idea what to get him and I had a very limited budget. I wanted to do something fun and he would enjoy.

I had seen plenty of candy cards in my lifetime but I had never done one. I decided this would be an easy gift and fun to do. I took a trip to the Dollar Tree to see what they had to offer. I stood in the candy aisle for what seemed like hours trying to figure out what candy would work for a great card. I had my notebook out writing down different sentences with each candy title. I'm sure the people around me were wondering what I was doing.

I had a lot of fun putting it together and my nephew seemed to like it as well and my family members thought it was a cute idea.

If you have a birthday party coming up this is not very expensive to make and it just takes a little writing and rewriting to come up with your own version.

Here is what you need:

Poster Board
Packing Tape
Construction paper


Take your poster board and write out your note on it with pencil first. This will make it easier to place your candy and know how much room you will need.

Next take your marker and start going over your pencil marks. When it's time to add the candy use the packing tape to tape it on. Just take a piece and create a circle and stick it on the back of the candy.

You now have a great birthday card. You can also make this for other occasions too.

If you are using candy that you don't want letters to show or name use construction paper to cover up the unwanted letters. (See runts in the picture)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What a Summer!

Wow! It's finally over. The kids are back in school and I finally feel like I can breath a little. I loved the summer but I'm so glad it's over. I was running out of way to entertain the children.

I had a great summer. We went to Montana and just hung out around out great state. We had a ton of birthdays to celebrate. Three in June and six in August. We also had some sickness over the summer too.

I spent quite a bit of time crafting over the last couple of months as well. My sister and  I decided to start our own Etsy shop with hair accessories, bottle cap jewelry, journals, baby items and just a mixture of different things. We are still working on it. You can check it out on Etsy and Facebook.

The last thing that has kept me busy is my little boy. He turned one in August and it's been amazing to see his growth. He has learned how to crawl around the house, pull himself up and grow six teeth at one time. It's been fun watching him develop all these new skills.

Life around here has been crazy busy but it's been fun too. I guess now it's time to get back to a more scheduled life. I like the routine of kids in school. It's a lot easier for me to concentrate.

What was your summer like? Did you have fun? Learn anything new?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Back from Vacation

I finally returned from the beautiful mountains of Montana.

I am working in getting my things together to bring you more summer projects.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Summer Activities: I Spy Book

My son Mr. I loves I Spy books and I couldn't wait to come up with some way to keep him entertained with a cool book. I was so excited to come up with a way to make our own. 

I hope you have fun making one for your child. 


Card Stock 8x11



Laminating sheets


Hole punch

Ball keychain

Computer and printer (optional)


Take the cardstock and measure out four squares. You will need 7 squares. 

Take one square and make a cover. Come up with a title and use your computer to print it out or use your own handwriting. I used letter stickers and stars. 

Next think of a theme you would like each page to be. Cut out objects from magazines to complete a theme. You will need 6 themes.

Now organize all your clippings into categories.

Take a square and start organizing the pictures in a collage pattern. Once you get an idea of how you want it you can start gluing.

Glue all the pictures on your cardstock. 

Once you get all your squares covered it’s time to make a list of things you want to spy. Depending on the age of your child you may only want to do 3 to 5 things. 

Type the list on the computer like this:

I Spy

A Butterfly
Three Paw Prints
Five Animals with Fur
Five Insects and
Four things that Fly

Print out the lists. (Check your list 2-3 times before you print it out.)

Cut out the lists and glue them to the backside of the picture. 

Next laminate the pages so that the book can last a long time.

Punch holes in the top corner and put the keychain through them to keep it together. 

You now have a cool “I Spy" book. Take it along in the car for long drives and bring along a dry erase marker to circle the objects when you find them. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Planning for Trip

I'm sorry. I got super side tracked today with planning for my trip. I'm going to try to update everything tomorrow and have posts for you for the rest of the week.

I will be out all next week so I don't know if I'll have updates everyday next week or what. I will let you know for sure.

Thank you for stopping by and looking around. I appreciate all the visitors.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Summer Activities: Place Mats

Place Mats are a good thing to have if you have a messy child or if you are just trying to keep your kids entertained at the table, restaurant or their grandparents house.

Mr. I really likes to make food groups so for our place mat I drew the food plate from the and then we cut out food from magazines. You could do any theme you like or you could just draw a picture. It's really up to your child what they like the best. 





Markers, Crayons or Paints

Contact Paper 


Take the paper and make a design using writing utensils or gluing magazine clippings. 

When you are finished measure out some contact paper and cut. 

Remove the backing of the contact paper and put it on top of art work. Repeat on the back side. 

Cut off access contact paper. 

Display your play mat on your table or keep for visits. 

Here's another idea. Use draw erase markers to draw on them and wipe them off.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Summer Activities: Story Time

I've been told that children loose part of what they learned in school over the summer. In order for us to help our children keep their brains active and learning we need to feed them. Reading a great way for children to learn. 

I compiled a list of resources for reading whether it's story time at the local book store or swapping books online.

Story Times

Barnes and Noble – Check your local store for dates and times. 

Pottery Barn for Kids – Offers of weekly book club. Children will receive a gift after attending five story times. Check your local store for dates and times.  

Check your local library, malls and museums for more story times.

Online Story Time

Barnes and Noble – Offers a free online story time with authors and celebrities each month. 

Story Time for Me  - Get a free personalized book for your child and free online storybooks. Registration is free.

Storyline Online – Books are read by actors and actresses. Each books has activities and lesson ideas available. Books read by Camryn Manheim, Melissa Gilbert, Amanda Bynes, Betty White and many more. 

Book Swaps

Does your family like to read? Would you like to find new books without paying a lot of money? People around the world get rid of books everyday. Try some of these websites for getting new books.

Paper Back Swap - Membership is free, and the only cost is the shipping of the book to other members. In return other members send books to you. – This site is free to register and you can swap books and more through them. Swap local or across the world. – This site is a little different. You register your book and put it out somewhere in your neighborhood for someone else to find it. Track your book online to find out where it’s headed. There are books out hiding in different places maybe you can find one close to home. Registration is free.

Books Free Swap  - Registration is free, and recipient pays for postage.

Book Mooch – Register books you have and earn points for more books. You pay for shipping books to other members. Registration is free. – An online auction site. It’s free to register. Earn points for each book you auction off and use the points to get books. You can get books with free shipping or you can pay for shipping. There are also other things available on this site.

Free Books

Free Book downloads for your Kindle, Nook, IPhone, IPad, IPod Touch or Android devices. .

Amazon  - Find a ton of books available for free download. – Get unlimited reading from independent writers and rising authors. Registration is free. – Free registration. Over 21,282 eBooks.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Summer Activities: Sidewalk Chalk Paint


Chalk pieces
Rolling Pin or hammer
Plastic storage baggies


Gather all the chalk pieces and put into a zip-loc bag. Separated by color.

Next use a rolling pin to finely crush the chalk up. (Make sure children use a hammer with supervision)

Put 1 teaspoon of chalk dust into a small cup and add 2 teaspoons of water. Add more or less water and chalk dust to make yours darker or lighter.    

Next let your child use a paintbrush to paint with the new water colored chalks. 

You can also paint on paper or pine cones. 

Summer Activities Week 2:
Sunday: Sidewalk Chalk Paint
Monday: Story Time
Tuesday: Place mats
Wednesday: I Spy
Thursday: Websites for Kids
Friday: About Me Collage
Saturday: Celery Science Project 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Summer Activities: Pet Rocks

Rocks are neat. They come in many shape and sizes. The texture is different on each one. They make great pets and gifts.

Here's what you need to make your new friend. 



Google Eyes

Glue (hot glue optional)

Paint, markers or crayons


Give the rocks a good bath. Lay them outside to dry.

When the rocks are dry decorate them using paint, markers or crayons.

Let them dry. 

Glue on the eyes, if you are using them.

Put your friend in a special place. Pet rocks have fun playing in the garden, on your dresser or on top of your desk. You could make many rocks and give them to friends and family. Make your Dad or Mom one for their desk. A great paper weight. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Summer Activities: Root Beer Floats

Nothing says summer better than a root beer float. They are so cold and yummy. Perfect for a summer day.


Can of Root Beer

Vanilla Ice Cream

Frosty Mug



Take the frosty mug and put 2 scoops of ice cream or more if you like.

Pour the root beer in slowly. It makes a lot of foam.  

Put the straw in and enjoy.

Frosty Mug:
Take the mug and run it under the water. Don't shake the water off. Put it directly in the freezer and let it sit for about an hour. You got yourself a frosty mug. Don't have a mug use another glass.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Summer Activities: Binoculars

My son loves to explore. He looks for bugs, rocks, shells and pincones.  He also loves to look at the moon and stars. I decided since he loves to explore it was time to make some binoculars. It seemed like a fun way to make exploring even more exciting. 

Make your own pair of binoculars and start exploring.  Here's what you need. 


2 toilet paper rolls or paper towel roll cut in half

Paints, markers or crayons



Hole punch

Stickers (optional)


Take the rolls and decide how you want to decorate them. You can use paints, crayons or markers.

After the rolls are decorated glue them together side by side.

Next take a hole punch and punch one hole on both sides.

Measure the yarn around your neck making sure you have enough to make the binoculars hang like a necklace.

Use the yarn to string through the holes and tie a knot at the end to secure it. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Summer Activities: Summer Reading Programs 2012

PBS Kids and IVillage have a FREE six week reading program and a chance for you to win daily prizes for participation.

PBS Kids and JetBlue get a travel activity booklet and track your minutes. You can also send a postcard with Hooper.

Barnes and Noble – Read 8 books and get one FREE. Get a passport online. For grades 1-6.

Feed Your Brain – Half –Priced Books gives $5 for reading 300 minutes or more each month. For ages 14 and under.

Chuck E. Cheese – Read books for two weeks and redeem 10 tokens on your next visit.

Read for the World Record with Scholastic Books. Schools and Students help set a new world record. Sign up with your school or on our own. Keep a reading log online. Schools with the most minutes will be published in the 2013 Scholastic Book of World Records.

Sylvan Book Adventure – Children choose from a list of over 7,000 titles and take multiple choice quizzes and earn points. Redeem prizes with your points. For grades K-8.

Summer Break Reading Challenge Book It Program – Students can read 5 books and become eligible for a chance to win a prize package. For grades K-6. June 15 through August 15.

Pottery Barn for Kids Summer Reading Challenge – Read books from the list and track your progress. Enter for a chance to win a backpack full of books and receive a free book at your local store.

Check with your local library to find out what they are offering.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Summer Activities: Pet Store

The summer months bring us looking for activities that are free, cheap and fun for the whole family. This next activity is all of them.

A trip to the pet store, even if you don't have a pet it's a wonderful place to visit. A local pet store will provide lots of learning and your kids will see new animals. It's like going to the zoo but cheaper.

We have a couple of pet stores close to our house and we love seeing what animals they have available. Our pet stores have birds, cats, ferrets, hamsters, rats, fish, lizards, hermit crabs, snakes and turtles.

It's fun to see the animals interact with each other and find out new species of fish. My son likes to read all the signs in the store and try to figure out which fish is which. We also like to ask questions to learn more about the animals. The workers are usually very helpful and friendly.

On certain days the pets stores offer an adoption day and they allow you to pet some of the animals and get more close and personal. It's a wonderful opportunity to adopt a new pet and to help the local shelters.  Check with your local pet store to find out when they host adoptions.

Summer Activities: Local Library

A trip to the library is free and fun. It’s a great place to take your children this summer. They have tons of programs available for children of all ages and resources for everyone in the family.

Libraries are great places for everyone to learn about something new. Most libraries have  DVD’s, CDs, magazines, audio books, computer usage and more. Check your local library to see what they offer. 

 Our state has the Metropolitan Library System and each library is joined together so you can get resources from all of the libraries. If there is a book or something else that you want to check out and the current library doesn’t have it available, you can get it sent to your nearest library and pick it up a couple of days later. They can do this with almost any media they have.

Libraries offer programs for all ages. They have concerts, craft classes, animal classes and educational classes too. They are free to the community.

During the summer months the libraries offer a summer reading program for kids birth-teen. The children get rewarded for how many books they read and get entered into drawings for prizes. Over the years we have gotten coupons, trinkets and tickets to our local museums and sports games.

The library system also has an app that you can download on your smart phone to check out audio books. It’s a free app and free downloads. You check them out using your library card and listen to them and after the lending period is up they get check back in automatically. The app is called Overdrive. Download it to see if your local library is available.

If you haven’t been to your local library lately, check it out. It’s full of exciting things to learn about and I promise your kids will find something they like. If you have kids that don’t like to read the library offers comic books, craft books, magazines, art books and books on drawing. They are sure to find something fun.

What’s your favorite thing to do at your library? 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Summer Activities: Travel or Nature Journal

Here's the first installment of Summer Activities. I hope that you enjoy coming back everyday to find out what's new and follow me on Pinterest to see all the activities I have. 

This summer I plan on going to quite a few places around my city and nearby towns. We also have one big trip planned to Big Sky Montana too. It should be a lot of fun. I wanted to make sure my kids had something to write down their new discoveries and journal about their days. 

The little travel journals I made here are the done the same way just in a smaller size. I let the kids decorate them with letters and stickers.

 The Happy Gang with the Nature Journals

Here's this weeks line up.

Week 1:
Sunday: Travel/Nature Journals
Monday: Library Trip
Tuesday: Pet Store
Wednesday: Summer Reading
Thursday:  Binoculars
Friday: Root Beer Floats
Saturday: Pet Rocks

Friday, May 25, 2012

Summer Activities Coming Soon

I've been working hard on a list of Summer Activities and I'm almost done. I'll be posting the first week on Sunday and then sharing an activity everyday that you can do together. It could be crafts, cooking, going places or something else all together. 

I hope you will check back everyday for summer fun. It's going to be super exciting and I don't want you to miss out. 

Don't forget to follow me on Pinterest to keep updated.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Crafts: Sun Prints

Last summer I had my nephews over at my house and had them make sun prints. They really had fun making them and while we waited we had Popsicles. 

It was a great summer activity.

Here's my post on MetroFamily Magazine to find out how to make your own prints. 

Note: If you use scissors please supervise the children.

Here's our day of fun. 

Popsicle Time

Our Finished Prints


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Preparing for Summer

Today is our last day of school and I have been trying to prepare for the next 100 days together. I'm trying to schedule activities we can do at home and away. 

It's hard to prepare because my boys are so far apart in age and what one child likes the other does not. You would think I would be great at coming up with ideas since I write this blog but not so much. 

I started a list last night of different activities and I'm working on organizing it. When I'm finished I plan on posting it here for all of you to see. Hopefully it will give you something to do this summer with your kids. I'm also planning on starting a new board on my Pinterest for 100 Days of Summer. I think it would be cool to keep all the projects and activities together in one place. 

Give me a couple of days and I'll start the list. It's going to be super fun and I hope encouraging and inspiring. 

What are you doing this summer? What summer activities does your family like?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

10 Steps to Finger Weaving

I remember doing this when I was in grade school. My friends and I would set on the steps in front of the school and make a ton of bracelets and necklaces. One year my mom made me make some for our Christmas tree. It took forever to make it long enough but I did it and it made a nice addition to the tree.

Over the years I’ve made these with my nieces and taught them how to do it too.

Step 1
Wrap around your thumb about 3 times. Take the yarn and weave it in and out of each finger. Start behind your index finger and go back and forth. 

Step 2
Now take your yarn and go around back and wrap it around the front. Lay the yarn just above your bottom yarn. 

Step 3
Take the yarn from your middle finger and pick it up and go over the yarn above and put it over your finger. Do the same with your picky finger.  You should now have all four fingers wrapped. 

Step 4
Now take your yarn and go around back and to the front and over all four fingers. (like shown)

Step 5
Take the yarn from your index finger and pick it up and go over the yarn above and put over your finger. Continue until all fingers are done. (your fingers should look like what is shown)

Step 6
Continue Step 5 about 3 more times. Take yarn off thumb and pull the string to see the length. Continue step 5 until desired link. 

Step 7
When you reach your desired link stop. Take the yarn you are using to wrap around your fingers and this time take the very end of the yarn and put it through the bottom of your wrapped index finger. (like shown)

Step 8
Take the wrap off your finger and continue with the rest of your fingers. You should have nothing on your fingers when you’re finished. 

Step 9
Pull the string to make the end tight. Take other end and pull it too.  

Step 10
Take the ends and tie it together to make a bracelet, necklace or whatever you like. 

 Note: In case your wondering what happened to my hand, I fell on the floor furnace when I was about 1.  

Do you finger weave? What have you made with your finger weaves?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Kool-Aid Popsicles

I was thinking about my mother the other day and it reminded me of things she would do during the summer. She would make Kool-Aid Popsicles. When it was hot outside this was one of my favorite treats. It’s easy to do and it costs little money. If you have 7 kids like my mother you learn to be thrifty and creative.


Ice cube tray

Favorite flavor of Kool-Aid




Make Kool-Aid according to package.

Next pour Kool-Aid slowly into the ice cube tray.

Cover tray with foil.

After you get the tray covered. Take a toothpick and punch a hole inside each ice cube. 

Put the ice cube tray into the freezer. It will take about an hour or longer for ice cubes to form.

When the Kool-Aid freezes take cubes out and eat. Toothpicks can poke you a little when your eating so be careful and make sure to dispose of your toothpicks so no one gets hurt.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sidewalk Chalk Paint

Summer time is the best time to get out and play with chalk but what are you going to do with all those little pieces of chalk that end up in the bottom of the bucket? Don't throw them out instead turn them into something even more fun for the kids.

Sidewalk Chalk Paint

Click here for directions.

Most of the recipes I've seen tell you use cornstarch and other things but with this recipe all you need is chalk and water. 

What else can you do with your sidewalk paint? Paint pin cones or make a picture on paper.

Note: This is from my MetroFamily Magazine Craft Blog.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Family Game Night

Family time is so important. We enjoy playing together as a family. There are days when it’s not so easy, when one child doesn’t want to do what the other does but when it come together it’s magic.

I found the best way to work in family game time is by getting dinner done by 5pm. That gives us enough time to eat and play. Everything that needs to be cleaned up gets put on hold until after we are done playing. However, we do put the left over food away first. If this won't work for your family pick another time that does. It might be that a certain day or the weekend will work best.

One of the boys favorite things to do is throwing a ball around outside. We get out the football and chase each other around. The last couple of days have been great weather for getting out and playing. We also play basketball.

On those days we don’t feel like running around we will do something like sidewalk chalk drawings, nature walks or go to the park. 

When the weather doesn’t hold up and we are stuck inside we play board games. Board games are becoming a thing of the past but they are a wonderful resource for learning and having a good time together. There are so many board games out there that teach math skills, money saving, life lessons, spelling and creativity. 

We also like to play the Wii. There are some great family games out on the market. We like Wii Sports, Carnival Games, Rock Band, Just Dance and the Wii Fit. It’s been a good investment for our family because it gives us something to do together. My boys are 12, 5 and 9 months and finding something we can all do together is really hard. The Wii makes that possible. It can turn game time into something competitive and exciting. 

This is his bowling pose. 

Family Time doesn’t have to cost money it’s just takes time. Time is important for your FAMILY. Take the time to find things to do together and enjoy being with each other. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Quick Kids Trail Mix

This recipe is one I use with my family when we go on long car rides, a day at the park, hiking or going to the zoo. There is something for everyone to like about it. I love that it is simple to make. Just throwing some thing together and your done. 


2-3 cups Cheerios

Bag of Goldfish Crackers

1-2 cups M&M’s

½ package of Peanuts

1-2 cups Dried Cranberries (Craisins) or Raisins


Add all ingredients in a bowl and serve. This can be made with more or less of each ingredient. You can also add cut up beef jerky, semi-sweet chocolate chips and other kinds of nuts. Store in an air-tight container.