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

WE LOVE: THE 4TH OF JULY

4th of July

Why does the 4th have to come only once a year? We had a great 4th of July weekend! Per usual it was filled with great people, delicious BBQ, fireworks and a whole lot of fun. We went to my parents for the celebrations, they have the best outdoor space so we hung out in the backyard eating and playing and relaxing and eating. Seriously, so much fun.

4th of July!

Elliott had a blast with his pop-its! They were less fun to clean up up, but you know. It was really hot, so the boy played quite a bit in the hose, hence the wet shirt. 

Sparklers
Fireworks

And then there was fireworks. My parent's neighbors do their own show every year, so we bought some to do along with them and it was so fun! Having the fireworks burst right above you was both amazing and scary. Ha! Elliott thought it was the greatest thing and keeps asking us to go get more fireworks. It was a fantastic ending to an awesome 4th of July.

Jump!

Ok, so this didn't happen on the 4th, but I had to include it! On Saturday, we went to the pool and well, the photo explains it all. My boy overcame his fear and jumped off of the diving board! After he went the first time, that was it. He went over and over and over until the pool closed. It was awesome! I was one proud mama and I can't wait to go back and watching him do it again, and again. I hope you all had a wonderful Independence Day! 

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY WEEKEND!

Happy 4th Of July!

Do you have big plans for this holiday weekend? We are heading up to my parents to spend the day, BBQ, hang out in the hot tub and hopefully see some great fireworks. Elliott is pretty stoked to wear his new shirt. He loves bragging that he made it. Does a crafty mama's heart good. This picture was an outtake from the shirt DIY shoot. Elliott was saying "ok, mom. Just ONE more picture and then I'm done!" Ha! Poor kid. Don't worry, I pay him well in hugs, kisses and sweets. No matter what you are doing to celebrate this weekend, I hope you and your loved ones are safe and have an absolute blast! Happy 4th of July!

Now for a few links:

I think I need to make these before tomorrow.

Delicious, patriotic and fun. What more do you need?

Sparkler favors!

Love this idea. I think we need to make some!

One amazing lamp.

I guess I need to throw an ice cream party so I can use these ice cream cartons

EASY STARS T-SHIRT

Easy 4th of July shirt DIY
Easy 4th of July shirt DIY
Easy 4th of July shirt DIY

I wanted a super easy and quick t-shirt for Elliott to wear on the 4th and this is what I came up with! I used a t-shirt of his that may or may not have had some minor stains on it. Ha! He actually helped me make it, so of course he loves it. At first I was going to create a freezer paper stencil but I thought some hand-painted stars would look pretty cute. You could also add some hand-painted stripes too! It's all good. I always tell Preston that I am lucky the whole kid looking drawings style is popular, because that's kind of all I can do! If I can do it, you most definitely can do it. This shirt literally took five minutes, so if you are in a time crunch, it's perfect! 

Easy 4th of July shirt DIY

All you need to make your own is some fabric paint, a t-shirt, a paintbrush and some cardboard to stick inside to prevent the paint from seeping through. See? SO easy.

Easy 4th of July shirt DIY
Easy 4th of July shirt DIY

POP-ITS PARTY FAVORS

Pop-its party favors
4th of July party favors

I can't believe it's already July! We are getting geared up for the 4th this week as I am sure you are. If you are throwing any type of shin-dig or get together, you could probably use these. Pop-its were always my favorite firework type thing for the 4th of July. I was always afraid the sparklers and firecrackers would burn me (I was a paranoid child) so pop-its were right up my ally. They are so fun! Elliott has been having a blast throwing them around our feet. Little stinker. If your family loves pop-its like we do, then this is a printable you will love. Just print off the download onto sticker paper, cut them out and stick them onto some festive boxes or bags to hand out to the kids. It really couldn't be easier! Use them as party favors or just for the kids to play with during the festivities. Either way, they are sure to have a blast with them! 

Pop-its party favors for the 4th
Pop-its party favors (click through for the download!)
Pop-its party favors (click through for the download!)

PUPPET THEATER

Puppet theater DIY
Puppet theater DIY
Puppet theater DIY

Remember this puppet theater (when Elliott was bald!) we made a few years ago? Well, we loved it and no longer have it so we thought it was time for a new one. If any of you are familiar with Roxy Marj you are probably thinking "Um Kersey, you totally ripped her off. Those are her designs!" You're right. But! I designed it this way both for a DIY and to enter a rad contest she was having last week. So rest easy, friends. We had permission. We have used these puppets over the last few days and are loving them. Elliott has named them some pretty ridiculous things and has come up with really crazy background stories to go along with each one. I am probably having more fun than he is! The theater is super simple to make. The dots I made on ours took hours because they are hand drawn on with sharpies. Yes, plural. Two full, new sharpies! You can imagine the hand cramp that resulted. Totally worth it. To make your own, all you need is one of those tri-fold display boards we used for science fairs growing up. Yep, those. Then you can measure out and mark the opening you would like and cut it out with an X-acto knife on a cutting mat. After that all you have to do is decorate it! And if you are a really great parent and not controlling like me, then you might even let your kids design their own. Just a thought! I see many-a-day this summer of playing with this and coming up with new puppets. Maybe I'll let Elliott make his own puppets, how fun would that be? To make the puppets, I just drew the image onto card-stock, cut it out and taped it to a dowel rod. So stinkin' easy. Make your own and see! 

Puppet theater DIY
Puppet theater DIY

HAPPY WEEKEND + LINKS

Watermelon

Happy, happy friday! We're so happy to welcome the weekend. After Alt last week, this week has been work, work, work for me and I am so happy that is coming to an end! In between working, we have taken many breaks outside, playing in the sprinklers, blowing bubbles and eating large amounts of watermelon. And I am sure that will continue for the majority of the summer! This kid could eat his weight in watermelon. We have been trying out some new recipes around here too. Last night we made coconut flour fried chicken with baked sweet potato fries. It was so so good. Almost makes me with this was a food blog so I could share the recipe. Almost! If you are interested, feel free to email me. I love everything about summer and we are trying to take full advantage of all of those reasons! Are you enjoying your summer? Or are you already ready to be done with the heat? I say, bring it on nature. I hope you guys have a fantastic weekend! We will be back next week with some projects including one for the 4th of July. You can hardly wait, I know. Until then, happy weekend!

Favorite links this week:

Lego ghosts! I need them.

These look like a lot of fun!

Most colorful popsicles, ever. 

I wish this was real!

When life gives you lemons...

We're buying these and I think you should too.

Wallpaper I can get behind.

In love with this space.