I Flubber You: Valentine for Kids (& a Printable!)

***Originally posted February 12, 2014***

It’s a last-minute post, but I *just* figured out how to package this up. You’ve probably seen “Flubber recipes” all over Pinterest. The basic idea is to mix Elmer’s glue, warm water, and food coloring in one bowl, and water and Borax in another bowl. When you combine the two, you get Flubber! We made some over the summer, and the kiddo LOVED it. We had it in a tupperware container, and it lasted for months.

As you’ve seen before, I’m a fan of simple gifts that aren’t necessarily food when giving gifts to classmates. I’m just wary of dietary issues, and creating the expectation that all celebrations have to involve sugary treats! (What a party pooper!) But really, I want to give things that kiddo can help make, and that are an alternative to the inevitable influx of candy. (Trust me, I LOVE the candy…) So I thought giving out homemade flubber would be a great gift for 2-3 (or 4 or 5 or 6) year-olds.

Kids love flubber

Who doesn’t love playing with goop?

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DIY: A Roaring 20s Headband

Last night was a dear friend’s 30th birthday party. The theme was “Saying Goodbye to Her Roaring 20’s,” which meant figuring out a little themey dress-up! I did some hunting around Pinterest for inspiration, and realized quickly that if I wanted to do finger waves, I was going to need a lot of time and practice. And long clips, which I don’t have. So I decided to just use hot rollers and whip together a headband. Easy-peasy!

I did a search on Pinterest for “20s headband,” and these popped up:

20s DIY Headband Inspiration

Sparkles, feathers, and leaves are the main ingredients!

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Makeover Monday: Making A Dated Mirror Modern

I love the look of ornate frames, but I VERY STRONGLY DISLIKE the typical aged-bronzey goldish finish. Case in point:

Bronze mirror before.

A bronze mirror, begging for a makeover.

However, it’s a super easy fix. Hint: it rhymes with “Schpray Schraint.”

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Makeover Monday: DIY Greeting Cards a Toddler Can Make

I’ve been meaning to post these a while back, but I figure since Mother’s Day is coming up (hint…hint), I figured this would be a timely post!

I figured out an easy way for your young’n to help make a legible greeting card for any occasion, and it’s quick! You don’t need any artistic skill whatsoever, just a little patience to let the paint dry. The pictures are from a farewell gift for one of my daughter’s teachers. She was wonderful, and was leaving daycare to pursue her advanced degree.

Tutorial: DIY Greeting Cards

Even very young children can make a legible card!

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Makeover Monday: Taming a Jungle

I’ve posted about our crazy garden before. The previous homeowners were very conscientious organic gardeners and had worked their way up to a self-sustaining edible and flowering garden. It was amazing when we first saw the house, then it quickly became a tangled, invasive jungle. I mean, kale growing 6′ tall. Bushels of flowering broccoli (aka, beyond edible). And then the morning glory, wisteria, alstrumeria, Chilean jasmine, midnight berries, and others that were just TAKING OVER. (Doesn’t it sound like I know something about plants? I don’t. I just fake it.)

I thought I could handle it myself. So I pulled, chopped, yanked for about 12 hours straight. And managed to tweak my neck to immobility for a week. Fail. Oh, and all that overgrowth came back in a few weeks! Plus some!

First attempt at taming the jungle.

Thankfully the City allows free yard waste disposal.

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Makeover Monday: An “Under the Sea” 3rd Birthday Party

It’s been birthdaymania at our house this month. My husband and I celebrate birthdays 3 days apart, then 2 weeks later, we have the kiddo’s big day. In my life, birthdays have always been a Very. Big. Deal. My mom would bring us McDonald’s at school to have a special lunch with us on the day, and she always planned fun parties for us, regardless of our age. In fact, I just found the tape (yes, cassette) of MY 4th birthday party, where our favorite kidertainer, Audrey, brought her guitar and sang to us. Unfortunately, I need to hunt down a cassette player to hear it, but how cool is that?

On top of wanting to make it a special day, we weren’t able to have a 2nd birthday because kiddo came down with some mysterious contagious rash/virus thing that caused a 1 1/2-week quarantine. We still baked cupcakes together and opened presents, but there’s something about having friends over, singing over candles, and just making the birthday girl feel special. So this year, I wanted to incorporate some of her favorite things into the party: the ocean, the color purple, and chocolate cake.

I did a lot of digging around and couldn’t actually find much information on activities for a 3rd birthday party. There’s a ton of inspiration out there (ahem, Pinterest) on setting a pretty snack table, but little kids don’t eat a lot, so putting that much effort into overdone treats didn’t seem worth it. So I’ll share our experience and hope it helps you plan your party for your little one(s).

First step: Design the invitation

3rd birthday party invitation

Teal, purple, and ocean for a little girl’s 3rd birthday!

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Makeover Monday: Shade Upgrade

I’ve mentioned before that we moved into a 107 year old house last summer, right? Well, the family who lived there before did a renovation in the late 1990’s…and that’s where the house has stayed since. I’m hesitant to embark on any major updates since we’re planning to do some renovations and upgrades soon and I don’t want to make anything that will end up being ripped out in a couple of months, but there are a few things on the list that can become a project. Mostly because they irritate the hell out of me, but partly because they might end up being part of the new design. The biggest constraint is to keep the budget small…as in, miniscule. So this week’s project was a small one, but kind of fun because I got to whip out my paints and experiment….

Upgrade the Shade

Our kitchen is pretty dark and has one small window facing North. The roller shade on it fits well and does the job to give us privacy from the next door neighbors but it was NASTY. Decades of dirty dish water spray and kitchen gunk discolored it. Plus, it was  a country-cottage style that I’m not terribly fond of. So, I decided to touch it up.

Roller shade DIY: before

Years of grime and exposure yellowed the bottom half. There’s no explanation for the design, though.

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