A Year of Dates | Valentines Day Idea

 

***This is a recycled post from when only my mom and sister were reading my blog and III and I were still giving Valentine’s gifts :/ Now six years and two kids later, I’m realizing we need more date nights in our lives. Anyone want to come babysit our crazy crew for us?

These are good ideas though, so I wanted to share it with all of you who have joined in the journey lately Hope you don’t mind the recycle!

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III told me that I couldn’t spend a lot on our first married Valentine’s because he was planning on using ALL of the February gift budget….what fabulous anticipation this brought to my life! He has always been great at date creating, my favorite is when he gives clues that lead to the fun. I can’t wait!

Spending little money on 02.14 proposed a conundrum….so, I put on my creative hat and came up with this…

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I present… a bag full of dates!

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There are 12 of them. One for each month between now & next Valentine’s day. I put a personal spin on the dates, to make them special for us. None of them are very expensive, most involve food, and all include spending time doing things we love.

Here are a few of my ideas:

Creating a tent in the living room & roasting s’mores over a warm fire; movie night, Redbox anyone?; recreating our “first date” for our one seven year anniversary; going to the park to fly kites & wrapping up the day with a picnic; hiking a nearby mountain; March Maddness night…including all his favorite appetizers…

There are obviously a few more; I think I’ll have him open each month’s envelope on the first day of the month. It might look like this…

We’ll pick a date, & I’ll do all the work. It will be a nice change of pace since he is usually the planner in the date department. Hopefully, it will be a hit! Shhhh, don’t tell III!

Happy Valentine’s Day (a little early)!

 

Best Homemade Bubble Recipe

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Yall, we were running out of bubbles faster than Walmart runs out of bread and milk when it gets below 32 degrees down here in Georgia. Something had to be done. So I grabbed an empty juice bottle, a friend’s bubble recipe, and my favorite 2 (almost 3) year old. 

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I had no idea. Bubble making is so easy….everyone should do it. Let’s put the bubble makers out of business friends. 

So here are the instructions:

Mix 6 cups of water & 1/2 cup of light corn syrup until completely combined.

Then add 1 cup of liquid dish soap a little at a time and mix until blended.

Will last for a long time in an air tight container!

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Seriously, that’s it! We love these big bubble wands. Are actually giving away wands & this bubble recipe as a favor at Chickadee’s birthday party next week. How can she be three???????

Tips for Making Play-Doh FUN! (not stressful)

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In 1956 the wonderful world of Play-Doh began. Can you believe it’s been 60 years of squishing and squashing? So much creative fun has been had thanks to Play-Doh! Well, to celebrate Play-Doh is throwing a party and Chickadee & Sprout are loving partaking in the fun of World Play-Doh Day!! 

I first have to thank Play-Doh for sending over the PLAY-DOH TOWN 3 in 1 TOWN CENTER Playset and the PLAY-DOH ICE CREAM CASTLE Playset. They have been at our house a little over a week and Chickadee has played with them almost EVERY DAY!

We have so much fun playing with PLAY-DOH at our house, but I realized when a few friends came over last Friday that Play-doh causes a lot of stress for some moms :) Well, I am here to tell you that just shouldn’t be the case. And I have a few tips make sure creating with Play-Doh is a fun and enjoyable experience for everyone!

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1. My favorite tip when playing with Play-Doh is using a vinyl tablecloth on the floor as their play space. The rule is that all Play-Doh has to stay on the tablecloth. This way the kids aren’t walking all over the house with Play-Doh and potentially dropping/smashing it into the carpet. It also makes for easy cleanup. After putting all the Play-Doh and playsets away I simply dump the “crumbs” into the trash or outside for easy clean up!

2. Chickadee and Sprout are only allowed to use 2-3 colors at a time. This prevents a couple of stressful scenarios. First, it makes sure all the Play-Doh is being used and none is sitting around “drying out” because it was opened but not being played with. Also, it prevents mixing. After talking with my mom friends I found that when kids mix Play-Doh colors together it stresses them out and makes them want to put the Play-Doh away. Less colors…less mixing.

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3. They will still probably mix colors & IT IS OKAY. Sit back and let them create!

4. A toothpick is great for getting little bits of Play-Doh out of small holes and tubes in the playsets. 

5. When cleaning up, ball up the color you are cleaning up and use it as a “stamp” to pick up the other small pieces of that color.

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There are so many great creative and educational uses for Play-Doh. Sprout isn’t quite old enough to play independently with Play-Doh (he still finds it tasty). One thing he loves to do and pull off pieces and let me roll them into balls. We then count the balls as we put them back into the cup! Chickadee loves using cookie cutters when she plays with Play-Doh. Every now and then we’ll use the letter cutters and spell words.

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 So, why do you love Play-Doh? If it used to bring you stress do you promise to give it another go using a few of my stress-free tips? I promise it will be fun for everyone!

Happy 60th Birthday Play-Doh!!

I Spy Learning Bottle

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Every month or two we get together with a group in our neighborhood for a craft/family night. The moms & kids come over around 4:00 and we create something fabulous. Then the dads join us after work for dinner. It has been so much for getting to know our neighbors better and better. We have done everything from Christmas cookie decorating to shirt tie dying. So many great memories made.

We hosted this past Friday night and with the kids we made I Spy bottles. And Chickadee is obsessed. The picture gives it away, but basically trinkets hide in the rice inside a wide mouth clear bottle. Our family made three bottles…one to spy colors, one to spy letters, and one to spy the assorted trinkets Chickadee put inside. 

Here is a quick tutorial. 

Supplies: 20 ounce clear wide mouth bottle (Gatorade, Vitamin Water, etc), trinkets, charms, small animals, uncooked rice, hot glue

 After cleaning out and drying your bottle, remove the label. Then fill the bottle with the trinkets/charms of your choice. For this bottle I was making for Sprout I wanted to concentrate on colors. Whatever you decide to put inside I do suggest you writing it down so you can ask your toddler “Can you find the dolphin? color purple? etc.” 

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Using a funnel I poured in the rice. Make sure to leave about 1.5-2 inches empty at the top to give the rice room to move around while your little one is searching for the trinkets. 

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Last, squeeze a little hot glue on the inside rim of the top and screw on to keep the rice in the bottle & not all over your car or carpet :) I found it easiest to shake the bottle horizontally to move the trinkets around & “hide” them in the rice. Chickadee has been using her’s in the car when we have gone on short trips around town and is loving all the searching. Sprout is 17 months and so we usually look for the colors together. He LOVES shaking the rice around. These bottles have been fabulous. One of my favorite kid toys I’ve made in a while! 

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Enjoy!

Painting with Pom Poms

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I have a fun new painting technique to share with you and your toddlers! Chickadee loves painting both with her fingers and paintbrushes, but to be honest it always gets a little messy. Bring in the power of the pom pom. This new painting tool will add so much for to your next art time!

You will just need a few things. I used these pom poms, some clothespins, and these paints are my absolutely favorite!

I have two projects to share with you, both of which we used the pom pom painting technique. (“technique” doesn’t that make Chickadee sound like a true artist?) The first project was a little more guided. I used a Sharpie to draw pictures and to write out Happy Birthday for one of Chickadee’s friends. Then we just changed out pom poms as Chickadee changed colors. I really LOVE how these two pictures turned out.

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Don’t you love the speckled look? After seeing how this painting technique turned out I thought it would be perfect for Easter eggs. I found these awesome large Easter eggs in Target’s Dollar section the other day and grabbed one for Chickadee to paint.

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Don’t you love how it turned out!

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I noticed Amazon also had Crayola glitter paint…wouldn’t that look awesome. Do have you used any crazy painting techniques with your little one? I’d love for you to share!