Friday, July 3, 2015

Minnie's Bowtique Birthday Party

I know I say this every year, but how in the world is my baby girl three years old?!?!? Seriously...where has the time gone??? Claire is the sweetest, spunkiest little girl ever and has taught me so much more than I can ever possibly imagine teaching her. She made me a mother and continues to make me strive to be a better human being every single day. Words will never be able to express my love and amazement for her! Ok, before I start bursting into tears, here are the details of her Minnie Mouse Bowtique-themed birthday party that we recently threw for her. Have I mentioned I love any excuse for a themed party???

I found the cutest, matching, Minnie outfits for Claire and her sister, but A- it was SO cold for our outdoor party (at the end of June, mind you), that we had to cover Claire's up with a hoodie and leggings and B-baby sister pooped all over her adorable outfit moments before the party began. Never a dull moment in my life! Thank goodness for the cute headbands!
No birthday is complete without a good, birthday banner! I used the Mickey Cricut cartridge for the bows and the Alphalicious cartridge for the letters. The bows were glued to purple ribbon and hung in front of the backdrop I purchased at Wal-Mart.


The Mickey Cricut cartridge came in handy tremendously for these gift bags, which I made using black bags purchased at Hobby Lobby and attached a bow and ears created by the Cricut. The hair bows were far too girly for the boys at this party, so I simply made theirs bowties and they got the "Mickey-version" gift bags.
My sister created the adorable Mickey heads using small and large Styrofoam balls, which I placed into cylinder vases with pink and purple paper shred. Word to the wise, do NOT try to spray paint Styrofoam!!! It will shrivel and die, which is no bueno! Instead, use a foam brush and acrylic paint. You won't regret it! I also used black and white, Gerber daisies and placed them in vases with paper shred for extra funsies!
How cute is this cake?!?! A friend of the family created this adorable confection of deliciousness for the big day!
I created this door hanger to greet party guests as they entered using a cardboard number, acrylic paint, and paper (and yes, the ears and bow were also created using the Mickey Cricut cartridge. Thanks so much for noticing!). And maybe its just the teacher in me, but I strongly think that chalkboards make everything better...Hence the chalkboard sign greeting guests as they entered the party!




 Happy 3rd birthday, my love!!!



Friday, June 26, 2015

Pom Pom Learning Activities

Now that we are finally getting into the swing of being a family of four (five if you count my crazy, toddler-like dog), I am finding a few moments here and there to update posts and add some new fun stuff to the blog. Bear with me, as its a very gradual process, but we'll get there, haha!
With that being said, in order to keep my almost-three-year-old busy at all times while I am feeding or changing or entertaining her baby sister, I have created some activities to occupy her hands and mind. As a teacher and giant arts and crafts nerd, I had an overabundance of pom poms in a variety of sizes and colors that I decided to use for some of those activities. Here are the activities that were simple to put together and promote academic AND fine motor skills...
Using three rectangular pieces of construction paper in different colors, I laminated the pieces and placed them in a bag, along with five of each color in corresponding pom poms. Perfect for a color sort activity that is easy to store.
Using another piece of construction paper, I drew a line across the middle and labeled the top "BIG" and the bottom "little," also providing a visual of a big and small circle as a frame of reference. The paper was laminated and placed in a large Ziploc with an assortment of big and little pom poms and Voila! (Note-you could also add a "medium" section when you think your munchkin is prepared) A fun and hands-on way to learn and differentiate size!

A final idea (and I'll add more as I think of them and as time allows, haha) is to create dots randomly on a piece of construction paper. Using glue and small pom poms, the child uses his or her fine motor skills to pick up the pom poms and glue them onto the dots. This is such an easy task to put together and little ones love any excuse to use glue. As a side note, if you're hoping to make this activity even more independent or avoid potential mess, use foam stickers so that the child can simply pull of the backing and stick them on the dots.
To be continued...

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Turn Leftover Valentines into Toddler Match Game

Ever wonder what to do with a ton of leftover valentines? Can't pass up a reason to buy heavily discounted valentines after Valentine's Day has passed? Fear not, my friends! If you've got a toddler always in need of something to keep his or her hands occupied (like I do), you're in luck. Here's how to turn those leftovers into a cute match game using a few materials and very little time...


-2 matching sets of valentines (my set had 8 different valentine options, so I used 16 valentines total)
-construction paper or cardstock
-laminator and laminating sheets


1. Cut characters out of two sets of valentines so that the words are no longer showing.

2. Place one set of valentines onto heavy cardstock.

3. Laminate cardstock and other set of loose characters and cut out. Place soft Velcro on each of the characters placed on cardstock. Place rough Velcro on the backs of the loose characters.

That's it! A few short steps lead you to a few brief but wonderful moments of free time while your tot enjoys his or her new, exciting match game!

Clothespin Panda Valentines

If you know me at all or have gotten a sense for the goofy things that make me laugh in reading this blog, you know I love a good, cheesy pun! Its one of the reasons I insist on having my daughter make her own valentines. That, and, I recently came across the valentine below in my local store and the grammar police inside of me went a little crazy! This year, we decided to channel our love for pandas into valentines for our cousins. While I'd love to say I came up with this adorable clothespin idea, I was actually inspired by these shark valentines and decided to use the same concept with pandas. The options are really limitless, as far as the animals you choose, and I'm actually hoping to try using pictures of the people I love to create the next set, so stay tuned...

Find out how you can make your very own panda valentines here...


-white cardstock
-panda images (I searched for "free clipart panda face" through Google images and copied and pasted onto a Word document)
-glue gun/glue sticks
-green cardstock
-fine point, permanent marker


1. Print out pandas onto white cardstock.

2. Cut out pandas. Then, cut across the face of each panda and around the mouth, creating two separate pieces.

3. Turning the clothespin on its side, use hot glue to adhere the top of the panda face to the side of the clothespin facing upward. Place the bottom half of the panda face into the bottom of the clothespin.

4. Using the green cardstock, cut out leaf shapes. Place your valentine message on the leaf using a fine point, permanent marker.

5. Clip the leaf in the clothespin and send the valentines off to your faves! We will also be adding a small bag of Valentine's Day treats to our valentines.

Wishing all of you a happy and cheesy, pun-filled Valentine's Day!!!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Magnetic Play and Decorate Snowman

Recently, I had the opportunity to be a guest host at My Craftily Ever After, where I shared a tutorial for this Magnetic Play and Decorate Snowman. Not only is it a great decoration to get you through the winter, but it also doubles to give your little ones the opportunity to manipulate its parts in any way they choose. If that's not enough, most of the materials used for this project can be found at home or purchased at your local dollar store. In fact, the entire project cost me under $3.00! Here's how you can make one of your very own...

-stove burner cover set (I found mine at my local Dollar Tree and got a 2 piece set for $1 in 8" and 10" diameters!)
-white, acrylic paint
-foam brush
-hot glue gun/glue sticks
-3-5 large buttons
-1 sheet of black foam
-felt sheets or scraps-orange (nose), red (trim of hat), black (eyes and mouth)
-material for scarf (approx. 18" in length)
-brown, pipe cleaners (3)
-magnetic strips or discs


1. Paint the insides of the burner covers with white paint (they actually are already off-white in color, so you could leave it as is, if you want. I chose to make them more of a snowy white).

2. Using black foam, cut out a top hat for your snowman. Embellish the hat with a strip of felt in any color your little heart desires.

3. Cut out a carrot nose using orange felt. Create eyes and a mouth out of black felt (or any color you'd like-Its your snowman, Go nuts!)

4. Cut two, brown, pipe cleaner in half. Wrap one half around the end of another pipe cleaner to create a branch-like arm. Repeat this step to create the opposite arm. Hot glue the arms to the front of the large, burner cover, placing felt scraps over the ends of the cleaners to adhere.

5. Place magnetic strip or discs on the backs of the carrot nose, eyes, buttons, and mouth with hot glue

6. Using hot glue, create a loop at one end of the ribbon and glue to the back of the felt hat. Below the hat, place hot glue on the ribbon and adhere the front of the smaller burner cover to it.

7. Below the small burner cover, tie the material around the ribbon to make it look scarf-like. Under the scarf, place hot glue on the ribbon and adhere the front of the larger burner cover to it. Trim any excess ribbon below the large burner cover.

8. Encourage your little ones to arrange the magnetic pieces to the snowman however their little hearts desire and hang to display!

Hope you've all enjoyed a wonderful, holiday season and are ready to begin a crafty, new year!!!