Halloween decorations – cheap, easy ‘n fun!

First, thank you to my beautiful, talented friend Lindsey for the idea!  I love how easy it was to find all the materials (AC Moore) and how much fun Avery and I had putting these together.  They make such cute decorations for Halloween and are so easy to do!

Here is the original post on how to make them:

http://sweetbeangifts.blogspot.com/2011/10/halloween-on-budget.html

Materials you will need:

  • Mason jars
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paint brushes
  • A black Sharpie (for drawing a face on the outside of the jar)
  • LED tealight candles

We found all of these materials at AC Moore.  Tip: Don’t get a green that is too dark.  I did and it’s hard to see the face I drew on the outside.  Oh well, live and learn.

And here is Avery painting her jars!

Monster jar

Concentrating

Fun!

Daddy's old shirt is the perfect smock

Pumpkin jar almost done

Should have used a lighter green

Ta-da!

The face shows up more in person than it does in the picture on the monster jar .  I still wish I’d chosen a lighter shade but you actually can see the face I drew, so I’m happy overall.

Happy Halloween!

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Posted in Crafts | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

The most amazing day of my life

Happened 3 years ago.  I can’t even remember how many years I dreamed of having a daughter (golly, now I have two!) but I always assumed I would never be a mother at all. I’m not sure why.  In any event, as you can imagine, the day my first daughter was born was so wonderful I still choke up when I think about it.

About a second old

We were both pretty tired!

And here she is today, three years gone in a flash

Happy 3rd Birthday!

Since it’s Wednesday and raining, we spent the day opening presents and making vanilla cupcakes with lemon buttercream icing.  I can’t say enough good things about this combination and if I could let you reach into the screen and taste one, I would.  In fact, as soon as I finish this post I’m bringing some over to our lovely neighbors.  That’s the best I can do.  If you live next to me, you get a cupcake.

Lemon rind and juice

Patiently waiting for the mixer

Quality control

Almost ready

I can almost taste the lemon just looking at it!

She wanted edible hearts and pearls

Very girly cupcakes

Stars too

I do have another daughter. Here's proof.

In fact, she got a little present today too, which she loves.

Ta-da!

She can’t wait until after dinner to get her hot little hands on one of those cupcakes.  Did I say her?  I meant me.  As an aside, we gave her a LeapPad for her birthday and I have to say I’m really impressed with this tablet for kids so far.  She’s very into the story apps and the camera.  She’s taken many (unflattering) pictures of me.  That’s not the camera’s fault though, as much as I wish it were!

Playing with her LeapPad

Happy birthday, A.  We love you so much.

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A Challah bread kind of morning

Daughter A loooooves French toast for breakfast.  So does Daughter M, but she likes anything, and I mean anything for breakfast.

Back to Daughter A.  I try to make things she likes to eat because at almost 3 years-old, she is the pickiest eater on the block.  A couple of times a month I make a batch of pancakes or French toast and they both eat that for breakfast for the week.  Or I freeze some, depending.  They also like their fresh fruits for breakfast but this gives me a good jumping-off point for a meal.

A is very into helping in the kitchen so we got out our ingredients and went to town.  Here is what you will need:

1. Put M down for a nap, first and foremost.  One year-olds would like to help in the kitchen very very much, but the whole fire safety thing really eludes them.  The first thing she does when she is allowed in the kitchen is to stick her tiny little fingers right on the burners.  If you don’t have a little M, continue on to Step 2.

2. Slice your Challah bread.  Challah bread, I find, makes the absolute tastiest French toast.  I know, I know, there are a lot of cultures going on in this meal, but we’re a family of many cultures, so it is okay.

3. Get  your eggs, milk, vanilla extract and cinnamon.

4. Get a cute helper.

5. Cook it! (meanwhile, Helper A helpfully puts things away and/or plays with fridge magnets during this time)

6. Your finished loaf.  Eat immediately or save!

7. Proud helper

And there you have it.  All in a morning’s work!

Posted in Food | 6 Comments

Do You Suffer From Decision Fatigue? – NYTimes.com

Do You Suffer From Decision Fatigue? – NYTimes.com.

I found this article very interesting.  And yes, I do suffer from decision fatigue.  I can say that at 5:12am, you see.  Ask me again at 6pm and I might have a different answer.  Or I might not.  I don’t know yet!

Posted in Random | 2 Comments

More giveaways and some cuuuuute kids’ stuff!

Because anyone who knows me knows I can’t have enough cute things in my life (well, my kids are cute enough on their own, but you know….).

3 Little Monkeys Ottawa is hosting a giveaway for a Petunia Picklebottom Ergo!  Really…PPB + Ergo = perfect combo.  Like PB&J.  Or chocolate and chocolate.  Mmm, now I want chocolate.  They have some really adorable products, besides!

Go here to enter on their Facebook giveaway page:

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=148274375260296

And check our their blog right here!:

http://3littlemonkeysottawa.com/blog/

GOOD LUCK!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

LeapSchool Scavenger Hunt & $10,000 Scholarship Sweepstakes

LeapSchool Scavenger Hunt & $10,000 Scholarship Sweepstakes.

Contest begins September 1st.  Who couldn’t use 10K towards the college fund?  

I love LeapFrog.  And I’m not just saying that because I recently won this in another contest they sponsored:

 

Peek-A-Shoe Talking Octopus

 

http://shop.leapfrog.com/leapfrog/jump/Peek-a-Shoe%22-Talking-Octopus/productDetail/More-Toddler-Toys/MILESTONES19179/cat80052

My kids really like their stuff and I like that it seems to last. Win-win! 

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The importance of a ‘Mommy Arsenal’

Sounds a little dramatic at first, but let me explain.

Before I became a mother, I didn’t know what it was all about.  I’m sure most mothers would agree.  I thought I knew, sure.  I’d been around children my whole life and cared for many of them.  How much harder could it be to do that 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?

The answer is: HAHAHAHAHA!  You fool.

The problem, for me anyway, wasn’t the physical aspects of parenting that threw me for a loop.  Not to say that things like sleep deprivation, breast-feeding constantly at times, and having someone just on you for hours at a time isn’t exhausting because, well, it totally is.

It’s the emotional toll that is alarming.  Specifically though, the constant, never-ending, ceaseless, debilitating, all-consuming worry that comes with motherhood (and I’m sure fatherhood too but I’m talking about my sisters here right now).  That was the hardest difference between looking after someone else’s kid and trying to care for my own.

The closest anyone got to warning me about this was the whole, “You’ll never love anyone else as much as you love your children.”  Well, that may be true but it’s an entirely different kind of love.  The kind where you can’t breathe when you imagine something happening to them.  And you will imagine all the horrible things that could happen to them, as dark as that sounds, because you can’t help it.    The worrying never ends and it persists in little ways as I scan the floor constantly for lurking dangers, to the big ways when I think about illnesses and kidnappers and cars and natural disasters and household accidents.  It. is. exhausting.  Worrying constantly is exhausting.  But, you can’t shut it off.  So, you learn to live with it and just accept that you will be exhausted and you will worry until the day you die, because it doesn’t end when they leave the house.  Of this I am sure.

So, what’s a girl to do?  You’re tired, emotionally spent, insecure about your ability to do this thing properly, you name it.  I’ll tell you what I did.  I hopped on the internet to see if I was the only freak out there who felt this way and guess what?  I am not!  I found that my thoughts and worries were so common I was almost considered boring.

Without this group of women that I have become close with over the years (and it has grown to a very large number!) I probably would have: 1) Lost my mind, 2) Been in the emergency room every time my child sneezed, and 3) Probably be a little bit richer since we seem to encourage each other to shop.  A lot.  But hey, 9 times out of 10 it’s some sort of incredible sale or deal so it’s okay!

In all seriousness, I probably would have thought I was the worst mother in the world if it wasn’t for some very sage ladies in my mommy arsenal.  I appreciate them every day.

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