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simple keepsakes and gifts for busy moms

simple keepsakes and gifts for busy moms

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Cooking with Kids: Millefeuille

Have you ever made millefeuille? The name might be intimidating (it's French for "a thousand layers"), but this version of the dessert is so easy that even the littles can help with it! I got the idea here, and made a few changes since we had just gone blackberry picking.


First, start with a sheet of frozen puff pastry, following the instructions for thawing. Roll it out into a rectangle, and cut the rectangle into three equal pieces (I used a pizza cutter to make this easy). Put the pieces on a baking tray lined with parchment paper or a silicone sheet, and poke them all over with a fork to make sure they don't get too bubbly.

Sift powdered sugar on top to help them caramelize in the oven.

Bake them at 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until they're puffy and golden-brown.

Make a whipped cream (or use store-bought!) with whipping cream and powdered sugar. We also added blueberry nectar to make it a pretty lavender color! Layer the whipped cream on top of one of the pastries, and add whatever summer berry you'd like on top (we used blackberries). 

Stack the next pastry on top, and keep going! When you're done, sift some more powdered sugar on the top. The dessert is so fresh and light, and not overly sweet! And it looks much trickier than it really is, so it's a fun one to do with the kiddos for a party. 

I'm already dreaming about more flavor combinations! I think a Nutella-whipped cream with strawberries might be next for us. :)

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Friday, September 27, 2019

Colorful Coco Party

Have you seen Coco? I simply loved it - the loving message, the colors, and of course, the music! And I keep thinking of it as Halloween and Dia de los Muertos approach. I'm not the biggest fan of the creepy Halloween decorations, but decorations inspired by Coco? That, I could get behind!


A colorful table like this would be such a fun break from black and orange!

These banners can make even an indoor party more festive:

Of course, sugar skull cookies and vases make skeletons seem anything but scary:

These flower crowns would make little party guests very happy!

And I can't think of a sweeter party favor than these prints - after, that's the real message in the movie!


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Thursday, June 27, 2019

Nature Playgrounds

We're lucky to have lots of playgrounds in walking distance, but there's one that my kids would choose over the others 9 times out of 10. It doesn't have the biggest slide, and it's not the newest or fanciest. Instead, it's one with plenty of dirt, big logs and rocks to jump off, a tunnel that looks like a fallen tree, and a slide with fossils etched into it. In short, it's giving my city kids some of the nature they crave! (I spent most of my childhood in tree forts, so I get it. :) While it might not be feasible to dig out a mountain in your backyard, here are some ideas to embrace nature during playtime.






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Thursday, June 27, 2019

DIY Beach Glass Mobile

This project came from a recent treasure hunt at the beach, and I thought it could be the perfect summer decor addition! First, you want to gather beach glass, a piece of driftwood, small hair elastics, and some fishing line.

I laid out my beach glass in the patterns I wanted next:

I tried all sorts of ways to connect the glass: hot glue, tons of knots, etc! But eventually I tried some small hair elastics I had on hand, and it was so much easier! Just loop them over the glass, from top to bottom. The you can tie your fishing line to the elastics, which grip much better! I added a second elastic around the fishing line for extra strength, and it's still not too obvious, since it's transparent.

Then I tied the line at the top to the driftwood, again putting elastics on top to make it more secure. I did this trick on the ends too, making a big loop in the middle to hang it from:

And then I just hung it from a hook in the ceiling! I love how the fishing line makes it look like it's floating by itself, and the beach glass is light enough that a breeze makes it dance and twirl around.  It'd be the perfect addition to a nautical nursery!

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Thursday, June 06, 2019

DIY Tooth Fairy Peg Doll

I don't know how it happened, but my oldest just lost her first tooth, and it caught us both by surprise! When she started asking questions about the tooth fairy, I started scrambling. ;) I didn't want to deal with the extraction logistics of something that went under her pillow, so I thought that a little tooth fairy doll next to her bed could be a good variation. Here's what I made with materials I had on hand!

I started with a basic peg doll, and painted the body blue. This was when I was thinking that I could make a gender-neutral one that could eventually work for my son as well...and before the girls got involved with color requests. :)

I let them pick out a handful of colors of embroidery thread, which I then cut into three sections. I kept them fairly long, since I planned to cut them to a uniform length after attaching them to the doll.

Here's how she looks with her hair! I used a hot glue gun and glued the lengths of thread on diagonally, and overlapped them to try to give it some shape.

Next I raided my ribbon stash, and found some sheer, sparkly ribbon that I cut into these vaguely-petal shapes. I glued these onto the body as a skirt, overlapping them and letting them flare out at the bottom. And I found a glittery white ribbon that worked perfectly as wings - the ribbon that has wire in it to hold its shape works best for this!

The girls are requesting a whole family of fairies now, so I might add some tooth paraphernalia to tell this one apart! It would also be cute to attach it to a tiny box with a lid, so the tooth and surprise could be switched out. It was such a fun and easy project that we might set up a whole dental practice. :)

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