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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like...

...Christmas! No spring here, though it was getting close last week. Today I've spent the whole morning watching it snow. And snow. And it shows now sign of letting up. Ah well. Easter is still coming this weekend, with or without the snow. So I thought I'd share what the Bunny will be stuffing eggs with this year. You see, we have very enthusiastic families and this year my kids will be getting 4 (yes, FOUR) Easter Egg hunts (including the official one first thing Sunday morning). So I try to be creative every year with my egg stuffers. We still get candy (tons and tons of candy since I assigned the candy buying to my husband and he brought home 6 bags!) but I like to break it up a bit with other things.

I hit up the dollar store a few weeks ago and the dollar section at Target and this is what I brought home.
-character Post-It type notebooks
-mini gel pens
-rolling stamps
-character socks
-bath poufs (a frog and a duck) and foaming soap
-tiny egg shaped pots and flower seeds
-mini puzzles in tiny tins
-little cars
-powdered drink mix (the individual kind that you pour in water bottles. My kids love these)
-fruit snacks
-juice boxes
The drink mixes and fruit snacks fit inside regular eggs and I was able to fit most of the other stuff inside some XL ones I saved from last year (they had My Little Ponies, cars, and Fisher Price Little People in them from Target and WalMart). I overestimated sizes on some of them so the flower pots and the stamps will have to go in the baskets, but in general I think the kids are going to have some great fun opening eggs this year. I put stickers on some of them (trucks for Ty, butterflies for Kate) so the kids will be able to tell which things were intended specifically for them.
Other ideas from previous years include:
-rubber stamps
-small toys
-any kind of individually packed snacks

For the baskets the kids will each be getting a new soccer ball (Kaitlyn played her first soccer game last night!) some bubbles and giant bubble wands. I like to go with an outdoor theme to get them geared up for summer. This usually includes toys for the sandbox, rain boots, sidewalk chalk, kites, etc. Last year they also got beach towels and pool noodles. But this year I decided we had almost enough sand toys so I only got Tyler some trucks and tractors and went with an art kit and Pixos for Kaitlyn. (and I know my mom is getting them hula hoops, which are big on Kaitlyn's list this year)

So there you have it - in case you needed extra ideas for Easter this year. I'd love to hear if anyone has any other great ideas I may want to use next year.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tyler's Quilt

I did it! I finished his quilt! It took me one, maybe two WEEKS longer than I had hoped - because these things always take longer than I plan for. And because I got sick of the hand sewing part and procrastinated getting it finished - but it's done.

I pretty much just drew my inspiration from these great fabrics. I knew I wanted something bright, fun, and simple so I finally decided to go with strips and let the fabrics speak for themselves. I didn't want it to have a theme, but the cars are SO Ty. I think the combo of colors and patterns keeps it from looking too theme-y and more in line with what I had intended.

Then I spotted the oversized ric rac and HAD to add a few strips to it for dimension. Turns out, it's my favorite part.

My mom helped me with the sewing part. We split the duties - she runs it through the machine and I handle the cutting, planning, pressing, and making sure everything is in the right order. Then I did the hand quilting and the binding on my own.

To finish it off, I whipped up a matching pillow case (see, there's another strip of ric rac - love it!) and TaDa! I'm pretty happy. Just ignore the fact that we don't have a headboard (and probably won't for a good long while) and that the white dust skirt does absolutely nothing to set off the quilt. (Do you know how hard it is to find a decent dust skirt? They just aren't available and the ones that are, are the complete wrong colors!) I'm happy. And Tyler's very happy (when we had the fabric pieces all laid out on the floor he said "for MEEEEE?!!!" and got so excited. It was cute).

Now I have some ideas on what I want to do to make the whole room look finished...but that's another project (or two, or five) for another month.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Ideas and Plans

I'm an idea collector. I don't collect coins, or dolls, or stamps or anything. But I have files and files of photos and internet links for anything and everything that strikes my fancy - crafts, parties, holidays, creative things to do with the kids...
And the past week or so I've had such fun seeing all the fun St. Pat's Day crafts, traditions, and ideas popping up on my favorite blogs. My mom took Tyler for an hour or so this morning while Kaitlyn was in school and I decided to play Leprechaun. So fun! I love all the magic and happy surprises that go along with being young.

Here's my plan:
-the kids will be getting new shirts (Old Navy) from myself and Sam. We have to make sure they have green to wear on the big day, right? Though Katy's shirt only has a touch of green because in general she doesn't really like green. On the other hand, Ty's favorite color is green. Anyway - so this is the little presentation they will find on the kitchen table that morning. I also made Kaitlyn a hairbow to go along with it.

I made the little baggie to slip into Sam's bag next week - he's going to be out of town. Inside it is a handful of Rolos and a little "Kiss me I'm Irish" pin* I whipped up Super Fast, (I can't remember what cartoon that phrase is from but there's a little singsong voice that pops into my head every time I say it lol) which he may or may not decide to wear. I don't know if that's acceptible with the uniforms or if guys are into that :)
- And this is what the leprechaun is going to hide. I'm thinking it will be somewhere out of sight, with either tiny shamrocks or footprints or maybe a path of yarn leading to it.

A peek at what's inside: Lucky Charms (for breakfast), green bubble bath, green foaming bath soap, green tub tabs, tiny juice boxes, a little toy for each, and of course Rolos for the "gold." It looks like a lot of stuff. But I got most of it at the dollar store or the $1 section in Target so it was probably all under $10. The pot is what I use to hold the candy for Halloween.

-the leprechaun will also be turning things green and getting into a big of mischief. I'm sure he'll find the milk and maybe the toilet water with the food coloring, at the very least.
-breakfast will be the Lucky Charms with the green milk
-lunch will be green smoothies and leprechaun sandwiches. Or maybe smoothies and green MacNCheese. This recipe for smoothies uses bananas, peaches, yogurt, milk, ice and spinach and I'm excited to try it out on the kids. Yes I said SPINACH. I would love to find another way to work veggies into their diet and supposedly you can't taste it in the smoothie. (Having such picky eaters worries me sometimes.) Be sure to click on that link. She has ideas for all kinds of green food that sound like a lot of fun.
-still deciding on if I want to stop there or if I will have the energy for green themed dinner and dessert.

*I found the printable links for the pin and the tags on the shirts here. It's also where I found the link for these pillow boxes that the leprechaun put the cars and Pet Shop fish in before hiding them in the pot. I also printed off some little leprechaun clipart that is meant to be stuck on toothpicks and inserted in food. She has gathered lots of fun stuff at that site.

Other things that inspired me but didn't make the cut
-rainbow cupcakes from They also have a recipe on how to make any old cupcake into a 3-leaf-clover shape that was cute.
- Always a great source of inspiration. There's more than one post about parties and crafty decor.
-I loved this post (yes it's Secrets of a Super Mommy again - I love that site!) on fun ideas for St. Patrick's Day
-and my friend Dari had a really cute idea too. Every year she has her boys make a "leprechaun trap" (I just love that they get to use their imagination on this one) the day before. Then at some point on St Patrick's Day she sets off the trap (not always first thing in the morning) and leaves a chocolate coin or something small for the boys. She also wants to teach them stuff about Ireland and make them cabbage for dinner. That one's beyond me - I rarely go for the educational! lol
-I've been thinking about making a "lucky" sign (a board painted green with each letter cut out of different kinds of green patterned paper) too. But that always seems to be a project for another day so it's probably going to wait until next year.

And tacking this on at the end because I don't feel like it needs its own post.
Kaitlyn is in LOVE with Hello Kitty. She was given these cute earrings but lost one at the pool the VERY FIRST day she wore them. So sad. The single earring sat there all by itself for weeks until I was looking at hairbows and thought "hey! that would be a good way to use it." So while I had the glue gun out I whipped out a fabric flower and added Kitty to the center. Then I slipped it in Kaitlyn's mailbox for her to find when she got home from school. I just love surprises! :)