BABY SHOWER IN A BOX

Baby shower in a box
Baby shower in a box

My good friend Melanie recently had a baby (huzzah!) and she asked me to put a little something together while she is on maternity leave. Of course I said yes! Since I live too far from her to throw her a real baby shower, I thought creating a mini version in a box would be the next best thing. If you have any gals in your life that are about to pop, this would be a perfect gift for them! Especially if you need to send it in the mail. Check out the full post including links on her site, You Are My Fave

Baby shower in a box

ALPHABET MAGNETS

DIY alphabet magnets

Why buy ugly alphabet magnets for the kiddos when you can make some pretty ones yourself?! These were so much fun to make, Elliott even helped me! And we have been loving playing with them ever since. I highly recommend them to any of you parents who might have a little one learning their letters or to put small words together. What words you ask? Oh, I don't know, maybe words like FUN! Check out the full tutorial over here on Handmade Charlotte and make your own.

KINDERGARTEN, HERE HE COMES

First day of school

Today was Elliott's first day of school. I can't believe my baby is in kindergarten! He was really nervous, and so was I. Neither of us could sleep and he had a hard time eating his breakfast before heading out. But as soon as we got to school, all of his worries seemed to melt away. He ran all around the classroom exploring the centers, toys and books. He insisted on bringing an apple for his teacher even though I told him kids don't really do that anymore. Of course his teacher and the other parents squealed at his cuteness. He was loving his first day. I was both proud and heart broken. It was so hard for me not to fall to the floor and cry. Instead I squeezed him, kissed his cheek and told him he was going to have a blast. Now I'm just counting down till I can go pick him up and hear all about his first day. I can't wait! I hope all of you moms are holding up with school back in session. Don't get me wrong, I am sure I will love the free time, but I sure do miss my little man. Happy first day!

STRAW PAPER PLANES

DIY Straw Paper Airplanes

I will admit it. I am no good at making paper airplanes. And Elliott has no reservations about letting me know of this serious flaw of mine. We were at the zoo a few weeks ago and they had a booth set up doing paper airplanes for the kids to race and they had something similar to these. It's genius! And perfect for any other moms out there who are suffering from a lack of paper plane making skills. It's seriously so easy to make and I am pretty sure you already have all that you need to make a whole fleet! Check out the tutorial I did over on Handmade Charlotte. Your kids will thank you.

ICE CREAM CONE SURPRISE BALLS

Ice cream cone surprise balls DIY
Ice cream surprise balls DIY

It's still summer and we are so happy it is! It's been a while since we had some surprise balls around here, so in the spirit of the best season, I present ice cream cone surprise balls! These would be so much fun to hand out as party favors and they are so very easy to make. Grab your favorite colors of folded crepe paper and follow these directions here. And to add the "sprinkles" I just covered the top half with double sided tape and rolled it in some confetti. Of course, after I saw how it turned out, I wanted to dip them all in "sprinkles"! For anyone who isn't familiar with a surprise ball, its like a bunch of gifts in one! You unravel it to reveal layer after layer of tiny gifts. Seriously, they are the best.

Ice cream surprise balls DIY
Ice cream surprise balls DIY
Ice cream cone surprise balls DIY
Ice cream cone surprise balls DIY

TOY GARAGE

Toy garage DIY
Toy garage DIY

Because the cars have to go somewhere! Elliott has never been super into cars, but he got this rad track and ever since we have had little toy cars underfoot EVER-Y-WHERE. I made him this little toy garage to help keep them stowed away and wouldn't you know it has worked like a charm! It's a lot of fun for him to use and my feet are thanking me. You can see all the details over here on Momtastic to make one of your own. Seriously easy and so worth it.

VACATION

Poolside popsicles

Last week we were "out of the office" and in the pool. On vacation! It was last minute and so much fun. We rented a house with some of my extended family and the number one priority was that it have a pool. We literally didn't do anything else but swim and we wouldn't have it any other way. My ghost white boy is now semi-tan boy and he learned a few tricks while we were there! My goal last week was to get him to be less afraid of the water and maybe even swim. We didn't bring his float he normally wears and uses as a crutch in the water. You'll just have to see the rest of the post to see how he did! Here are a few highlights from our trip. We swam, made popsicles, ate watermelon, and played lots of games. It was a blast and we decided that a family vacation to a rental home is going to be an annual thing. Huzzah!

summer
Flamingo coaster

Floating flamingo coasters? Yes! I saw these on Amazon and knew I had to have them. I mean, just look at it. 

My nephew. He's 9. We couldn't get over how much he was looking like a surfer not to mention 15 years old! 

My niece and her mad style.

Glow sticks in the pool

On the last night, we brought out some giant glow sticks and made a large glow hoop for the kids to play with. It was a blast! 

He swims! Not super well, and he still gets freaked out by the deep end, but I am one proud mama. I'd say this week was a total success. 

Road trip

The road trip home is less fun. 

TOY POPSICLES

Toy popsicle DIY
Toy popsicles DIY

These might not help you beat the heat, but they sure are fun to play with! Elliott and I made these popsicles on a day so hot, we didn't dare venture outside. They are really easy (and fun!) to make. I am thinking about turning our puppet theater into a temporary popsicle stand. Wouldn't that be fun? To make them I just used poster-board and duct tape, cut out the shapes, decorated and added some jumbo popsicle sticks tot he backs. We've had a blast playing with them, but now Elliott wants to make real popsicles. These would be great gift toppers too. Just a thought. Have fun and stay cool, friends!

Toy popsicles DIY
Toy popsicles DIY
Toy popsicles DIY
Toy popsicles DIY

HAPPY WEEKEND + SOME TREATS

Nestlé girl scout bars!

We are so excited for this weekend. Tonight we are going to a pool party - we seriously can't get enough pool time - and tomorrow we are having a much needed family day. In other words, I feel some overgramming coming on! I am also trying to figure out a way to go and see this with Preston. Anyone want to babysit? Ha! In other news, we recently teamed up with Nestlé over on Momtastic to do a little review of their line of Nestlé Crunch Girl Scout Candy Bars. If you haven't tried them, they are SO yummy! They have made for the perfect little treat this summer. 

Whatever you are up to this weekend, I hope it's a good one. We'll see you back here next week!

Nestlé Crunch Girl Scout Candy Bars

MINI TAXIDERMY PINS

Mini taxidermy pins DIY
Mini taxidermy pins DIY
Mini taxidermy pins DIY

I have thought about making these forever.  Like, years! Finally, here they are. This is a great way to re-use those old plastic animal toys your little one might not want anymore. Although, as soon as they see that you want them, they will want them again. But be tough! They will love what you make with them! These pins look so great on backpacks, hats or blazers. I wish Elliott had a blazer because I really, really want to pin one on to a lapel! Someday. You could also make them into some fun magnets for the fridge, or use bigger animal heads and mount them on the wall! Whatever you do, these will be a hit with the littles. Trust me on that. Now, let's make some!

Mini taxidermy pins DIY

First, let's decapitate our animals. Ha! I used an X-acto knife to get a clean cut.

Mini taxidermy pins DIY

Next, prime and paint! Definitely do this outside and make sure you cover the entire head with the paint. I used two coats on each head to get full coverage. 

Mini taxidermy pins DIY

Once your heads are dry, it's time to make the plaques! I used some cardboard and duct tape to make some simple shapes and designs. So easy. 

Mini taxidermy pins DIY

Then center the animal heads and use some super strong glue to glue them on. Wait for them to dry!

Mini taxidermy pins DIY

Now let's add the pins. Use that same strong glue and glue them onto the backs. Make sure they are totally and completely dry before you use them! Once they are dry, you are done!

Mini taxidermy pins DIY
Mini taxidermy pins DIY