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simple keepsakes and gifts for busy moms

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Easter Entertainment

Easter is almost here! I have to say, I like how late it is this year. Spring is in full swing, and the warmer temps definitely make it feel like it's time to celebrate! Here are a few ideas I found to make your Easter celebrations more festive:

Cute signs to add to the yard for your Easter egg hunt

Speaking of the hunt, I love the idea of including a special golden egg!

Bubbles are always a hit, and this simple carrot DIY is perfect for Easter!

Easter twist on a classic hit

This paint chip garland could be done ahead of time for decor, or saved as a project for the kids!

 

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Saturday, March 16, 2019

St. Patrick's Day Gold

I've got to say, when winter feels like it just keeps stretching on and on, I love that we have (at least) a holiday a month to keep us feeling festive! We definitely use holidays to add some fun to our normal play and craft times too - we can only do so much coloring! Here are some DIYs for St. Patrick's Day to make us all feel a little luckier. 

Super cute wreath with the best little gold details

An easy, free printable for a festive statement wall

Would this be about 200x the normal amount of luck you get from a penny?

Cute felt shamrock - in case you forget to wear some green!

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Thursday, January 24, 2019

Granola Goodness

Do you ever get in a rut with meal ideas? Lately breakfast has been seeming so repetitive and boring...maybe that has to do with if I get my coffee beforehand or not ;). Then I remembered that my kiddos don't care about their meals being fancy - sometimes they just want something different. Enter: yogurt and granola!

 

Now of course you can buy granola from the store and it'll be delicious, but I bet you have the ingredients to make it in your kitchen already, too! And then you can make as big a batch as you want...which is good, because any time I make this I find myself snacking on it all day long. 

 

I use Smitten Kitchen's  granola recipe for my base (that website is a goldmine, but this recipe is only in her cookbook):

Over time, I've tweaked it a bit for my family. So my ingredients look like this:

- 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

- 1 cup flaked coconut

- 1 cup chopped pecans

- 1/4 cup chia seeds

- 3 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)

- 2/3 cup maple syrup

- dash of salt

- dash of cinnamon

- 1 large egg white 

 

Combine all the ingredients but egg in a large bowl and mix completely. Now for her secret ingredient to make the granola into those big clumps - the egg! Whip the egg white well, and stir throughout the mixture. Spread the granola in a single layer on a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Bake at 300 degrees for about an hour (or until golden brown). Turn over half way through using a large, flat spatula, so that you break the granola up as little as possible - again, you want the nice big chunks at the end!

 

I like to eat this with yogurt and fresh berries...but I also have it in milk with chocolate chips after my kids go to bed - don't tell them! :)

 

 

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Thursday, January 17, 2019

Nautical Monogram DIY

I found these rope circles at the craft store months ago, and bought them without knowing exactly what I would do with them. Maybe back them with mirrors? Make them into a mobile? 

 

You can probably see where this is going...instead of doing either of those things, I just ignored them under my bed for months :). By the time I found them again, I wanted a project that I could finish that same day. The fact that I had three made me think of monograms - but a fun, nautical version!

 

First I traced the ropes on large watercolor paper. I painted the circles with lots of layers of blues, green, and black...just having fun and not trying to be too precise. 

When they were dry, I cut them out and used a hot glue gun to attach them to the ropes. Then I used a chalk pen to add the initials. I loved how the white was subtle, but still popped against the dark background!

For such a quick, easy, and almost free project, it makes quite a statement! Now I'm excited to decorate the rest of the room. :)

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Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Homemade Bird Feeder

Winter is such a good time to teach kids about taking care of others! Donating outgrown coats, buying extra hats and mittens to hand out, and working at a soup kitchen are all fantastic ways to keep others' needs in their minds.

 

But when you need something immediately to diffuse the whines and greediness that can come after a season of presents? I suggest feeding the birds :). You probably already have everything you need in your house, and this quick little project can be a great reset for focusing their attention on someone else!

 

You just need an apple or two, cut in half from top to bottom. Scoop out the inside - an ice cream scoop can help, but it doesn't have to look pretty! And fill the scooped-out spot with peanut butter (or any nut butter).

Tie twine or string vertically around the whole apple. You can add more peanut butter on top of it, if you want. Press bird seed into the peanut butter firmly, to make sure it sticks. 

Add in any "teachable moments" you might want here ;). Pick a tree that you can see from inside, and help the kids hang it up themselves. You can do it faster, but it's worth dragging a stool outside for them to have ownership of the project! 

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