We are so excited about these smoky witch cauldrons. My daughter and I just love how they came out. They are so magical, haunting, and perfect for Halloween. Create your own cauldron design or use our free printable templates to make this beautiful and witchy art.
We love to read books anywhere, anytime…
but our favorite books are the ones that rhyme.
Here’s a collection, some silly, some sweet…
some about giraffes, french toast, and even stinky feet.
Every Wednesday, my daughter and I have a wonderful routine of going to the library together. We will spend an hour or sometimes two exploring the books and looking for new favorites.
A funny thing happened at dinner out with my family last night. My daughter ordered a milk, which they served to her in a to-go cup. When she finished her milk, she asked me to take it home for her. “Mama, I can make a craft out of it.” This made my night. I did bring home the cup. We rinsed it out & set it aside to dry for another day.
We did not make our cup craft last night, but we did use our take-out container for a simple & fun art project.
Styrofoam printing is fun for kids & adults. We used a take-out container, but a Styrofoam plate would be perfect for this as well. Use a blunt tipped pencil and press into the Styrofoam to create a design. Press hard enough to create a good indent in your foam, but not too hard that it busts through. Once you have created your design, paint over your Styrofoam in a thin layer of paint & press onto a piece of paper. Press firmly all the way around & lift to reveal your print. It is that easy.
I was excited we were able to put our container to good use, now I can’t wait to see what kind of creation my daughter makes out of her cup. Stay tuned.
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Raising a child can be difficult. We are at that age with our daughter where she tries to challenge us at every turn. She does not understand why we don’t let her do certain things & thinks that we are unfair. I have been thinking about my own mother a lot during these trying moments.
I can remember being a difficult child. I can remember every eye roll and wise ass remark. I thought that my mother was so unfair & just enjoyed being a nag. Oh, how I wish I could go back & tell my young self that my mother was right about almost all of it.
Here are 10 times that my mother was right.
1. When you have kids of your own, you will understand. – This is ringing so true to me right now. A great deal of clarity comes with having a child of your own. You will never appreciate your mother more than when you have your own children.
2. Your Middle School boyfriend/girlfriend is not the only person you will ever love. – Can you remember being young & thinking that your crush was the beginning & the end of your life? For a few this might have been true, but for the majority of us, that “love” eventually passed & we crushed & were crushed several more times.
3. Study hard.- When you are young, you do not realize how important your studies will be for you when you grow up. Your parents do.
4. Wear your jacket. – If you drive by any bus stop with pre-teens or teens standing there, I am sure you will notice the lack of outerwear. It does not matter if there is a blizzard in the heart of the winter, it is just not cool to wear a jacket for some reason. We know that you are cold. Put on your jacket.
5. This too shall pass – It does not seem it at the time, but it will. As you get older, you will understand that some things are beyond your control. In time, heart aches & disappointments fade & later may even seem insignificant.
6. Just because all your friends jump off a bridge, it doesn’t mean that you have to. – A classic momism spoken by mothers for ages. This goes hand in hand with “If they don’t like you for who you are, they are not really your friend.” Mom was right. Be true to yourself. Those that like the real you will stick around.
7. Eat your vegetables. They will make you big & strong. – Food plays an important part in your all-over health. The right foods fight diseases, give you energy & just make you feel better. Mother want you to start a healthy lifestyle right from the beginning, so do them a favor, eat your broccoli.
8. Money doesn’t grow on trees. – How unfair it was of your parents not to buy you that new bike that you wanted. Why didn’t they spring for the brand name jeans? Because dear children, money really does not grow on trees. Life is expensive. This is an early lesson in financial responsibility & entitlement. You’re welcome.
10. Everything I do is because I love you. – Every decision that a mother makes, even the ones that turn out to be wrong, are because they think they are acting in your best interest. Mothers always worry. We will worry until the day we die & then we will continue to worry about you from above.
So the next time you are aimed with an eye roll or a snarky quip, remember that your mother is usually right. Listen to her.
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We just came home from a wonderful family vacation. While we were away I was surprised at how much our daughter missed our projects. Whenever we were back in the hotel room, Mai would want to make a craft. While I did not bring craft supplies, I did bring drawing materials to entertain her. These fulfilled her need to create.
Today was our first day home & Mai was eager to jump back into arts & crafts. She asked if we could make chameleons. My husband came up with a great idea to make our chameleons on wax paper,, so that they would actually work like a chameleon & change color with their environment. What a clever man I married.
Wax Paper Chameleon
We drew out the chameleon on a piece of wax paper. I have attached a traceable. You may put this under the wax paper & trace it out.
Cut out the wax tracing & place on a foam sheet. Trace around your cutout & cut out the middle portion of the tracing.
Glue a sheet of wax paper to the foam sheet & trim off any overlapping edges.
Use the original wax paper cutout to trace out the chameleon’s features. We used a Sharpie to trace & colored markers to add a bit of color.
Lay out different colored construction paper & place you chameleon over the top & roll over the different colors.
Vacationing with a child can be difficult & stressful. Before our daughter was born, my husband & I were big travelers. We wanted our travels to continue as a family after her birth. We have traveled by air, by ship & we have traveled by road as well. Road trips with a small child can offer some challenges, but they are possible & can be an enjoyable way to take your journey.
Our most recent trip was to the Kentucky Derby. My husband has a goal of completing a marathon in all 50 states, so we worked the Derby marathon into a fun filled vacation with the Kentucky Derby as our final destination. This trip spanned 2000 miles round trip. With that much driving time, it is important to make sure that you keep your young ones happy. Here are some tips for the road.
One of the advantages of road tripping is the ability to pack more freely. You don’t have to worry about the restrictions that come with commercial travel.
Pack all of your essentials. Check out our vacation & packing tips.
While most of your luggage stows away in trunk, there are many things that you should leave accessible for your travels.
Have snacks & drinks within arm’s reach.
Have a trash bag, hand wipes & napkins on hand to clean up spills & messes.
Leave out a change of clothes & diapers if still needed.
Pack books, IPads, movies & your child’s favorite blanket or toys to snuggle up with.
Itinerary & Timing
As they say, timing is everything. This is true with most things & especially when traveling with a small child.
If you are driving great distances that might require a full day of travel, traveling before their bedtime might help alleviate any travel disasters. Getting an early start or leaving at nap time will also take some stress off your journey. We had a 15 hour drive ahead of us. We woke our daughter early & let her sleep in the car for a couple of hours while we began our first leg.
Plan to stop at great points of interest along the way to break up your drive. Add this into your vacation plans.
We made an overnight pit stop in Niagara Falls en route to Kentucky.
Food & Drink
Stop for quick meals to stretch your legs & refuel. Eating on the run will work too if your child is content. Snacks will be your friend on a long trip. Just make sure to watch your child carefully when they are eating. Be sure to also have drinks on hand, but if possible try to limit their fluid intake while on the road to avoid frequent stops.
Our snack selection included:
Dry cereal (Fruit Loops & Cinnamon Toast Crunch)
Hershey Kisses for emergencies & a little bribery
It is your job to keep your little ones entertained. You might have to get creative.
I amused my daughter for a half an hour just by blowing bubble gum bubbles. If you find something that works for you, go with it.
Our daughter is a music lover. It was actually quite funny to hear our 3 year old request Matchbox 20 as we drove.
Climb in the back seat & read your kid/kids a book.
Play a game. Depending on your child’s age there are many fun games to play on the road. We played eye spy with cell phone towers & silos.
Talk to your child. Now is a great time to teach them things. Are they learning to count or their ABC’s? Point out animals & buildings along the way. There are many lessons that they can learn from the car seat.
I know many parents are not too keen on their children using electronics, but there are many wonderful learning apps for small children that will teach & entertain. An IPad can be a lifesaver on a long car ride. We saved this as a last resort, but it was successful in keeping Mai engaged on our full day’s journey home. Our daughter used a coloring & drawing app that had her talking and smiling for hours on the way home.
Our road trip went off without a hitch. Our little girl did great. We enjoyed every minute of our family time together. I can’t wait for our next trip. What are some of your best tricks for the road?
I keep my calm & don’t yell, even when we’re in a dispute
Some days I’m a lazy mom – I stop at Mickey D’s
I talk on the phone & sit around & park you in front of the tv
Some days I’m the funny mom – I am silly when I talk
You laugh at me when I tell jokes that begin with Knock Knock
Some days I’m the mean mom – I can’t help but scream & shout
You look at me with tears in your eyes when I send you to time out
Some days I’m a nurturing mom – I dry your every tear
I hold you close & comfort you & let you know that I am near
Some days I am the jealous mom – Tonight you like daddy more
I smile with a tinge of envy at the two that I most adore
Some days I am a patient mom – I answer every “Why?”
I take my time & carefully give you a well thought out reply
Some days I’m the frightened mom – I am scared almost every day
I ask God to please watch over you each & every night while I pray
Some days I’m the know-it-all & some I don’t know what to do
I am many different kinds of mother & all of them love you
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When I was a young, I was never what you would consider a popular girl. I wrestled with several social issues. As a child, I was taunted for being Asian. I was called every stereotypical ethnic slur that you could think of. I was a rather chubby child until I reached high school, so that gave the mean kids in my school more ammunition to use against me. When I reached high school my body changed, but unfortunately most of these people remained the same. Like many schools, ours had its fair share of cliques. I was often disliked or dismissed because I was not a part of any of these groups. High school was not a fun time for me.
Our daughter is an only child. I have tried to expose her to other children as often as possible for her to understand the importance of socialization, sharing & patience. Along with daycare, we have play dates, assorted classes & playgroups to assist with these. Much to my heartbreak, I have witnessed that exclusion, cruelty and bullying are not just reserved for teens.
Recently, my child was playing with an older group of already established friends. She approached them with her usual cheerful spirit & energy, filled with excitement to meet each & every one of them. As she was introducing herself, the foursome turned and walked away, leaving her standing there alone. I felt a stab in my heart as my sweet girl watched them walk away. Luckily being a resilient toddler, she quickly moved on to independent play. I was more wounded by this interaction than she was.
It made me look ahead. It made me scared for the future. It is a certainty that through the years that she will feel the pain of hurt feelings, exclusion and children’s cruelty. With any luck she will keep her resilience. She will understand that the opinions of others do not define her. My wish is that she never tries to conform to be accepted by others. As time goes on and she encounters this more and more, I hope that she keeps her same gentle spirit, that she does not give in to the taunting of others and that she is always true to herself. In the meantime, I will do my part to try to instill these values in her & pray that her adolescent pain is kept to a minimum.