Am I lame for admitting this?: I have a coupon folder. I keep it in my car console and grab ’em as I need them. Another truth is that I seem to only use the ones for Bed Bath and Beyond (because they never expire) and I’m sure I have a hundred of them. I pass them out to other customers as we wait in the check out line. Buuuut other coupons that I appreciate receiving are free 8″x8″ books from Shutterfly. They usually expire before I get around to making one, but not this last time! This time Mya and I had a plan: Mya chose what play things were special to her, we staged them, and she photographed them to make an “I Spy” (or in her case, a “Mya Spy”) book. And I love it so.
It is a smidge bit ridiculous how much I love this little project. From watching Mya intricately color each wooden bead to holding the tangible finished product in my hand, it is something that I will always cherish. I’ve never prayed on a rosary or used any string of beads in prayer, but holding these in my hands somehow makes me feel more focused and connected to my thoughts and thanksgivings.
Growing up, one thing that my Mom always had my brother and me do was write thank you’s. Initially, I thought it was a drag because there were soooo many to write after birthdays and Christmas. (I know, what a spoiled brat, right?!) But somewhere along the way I really liked the task because writing became therapeutic to me… and who loves getting snail mail?! The answer is everyone. When you open your mailbox and find something special in between the Aldi ad and the water bill, you most definitely smile.
I always want Mya to be grateful and aware of the thoughtfulness of each gesture and gift that comes her way. In an effort to achieve this, I have adopted my Mom’s thank you note philosophy. And thus far, Mya looooooves “making letters” for her special people. Last week, we made these simple and sweet ice cream thank you’s.
Confession: Everytime I was in the Home Depot hardware aisle, I had always wanted a reason to buy this Everbilt clear container. I was quite sure there were endless possibilities for its uses, but it wasn’t until the other day that I finally realized why I desperately needed it: a seek-n-find tube! Every kid needs a seek-n-find tube and this plastic hardware container definitely ups the cool factor.
A couple weekends ago, Mya had a 102 degree temperature and a faucet for a nose. (You’re welcome for that visual.) The weather was beautiful– a whopping 60-something degrees in February– and we all needed to get out of the house… even if it was just the back patio. So Derek set up a pretty stellar paint station and Mya– in between blowing her nose– worked her magic. If you only do one craft with your kid this year, THIS should be it. I can’t tell you how warm my creative heart was watching Mya paint a large scale piece of art. It is most definitely one of my favorite things we’ve done together. We’ve painted a lot, but never at this scale. It was so much fun seeing Mya go all out and all in on something so big. She felt pretty special doing it. And she was so proud of the final product that she insisted it be hung in her room.
We’re finally getting around to showing you Leah’s baby room! I took these pictures back in early November, but not much has changed since then… except now we actually get to enjoy baby girl’s room with her! There are still some small things left to do, but if I wait to reveal before every little thing is “finished”, you might not see it until 2017! And I’m just too excited not to share…
Never before has the number 4 seemed so much larger than the number 3. Since Leah joined our family unit just over a month ago, I have learned that little projects (or heck– even just the laundry!) are more tedious tasks than ever before. I have never felt more victorious than when I drove in the car with both girls weeks ago by myself to run errands. Extremely exhausted, yet victorious. Today’s errands consisted of two Leah blowouts, Mya constantly needing “more snacks!”, me not being able to collapse a double stroller in the parking lot, two Leah feedings, and a mysterious something sticky all over Mya’s pants… all within an hour and a half. I might never leave the house again. And yet the number 4 has never seemed so beautiful.
DISCLAIMER: This is a sponsored post brought to you by Darby Smart. The opinions are 100% my own.
My least favorite part of any project is gathering all the supplies. Don’t get me wrong– I love the weekly outings to the hardware store, but if it takes me more than one store to gather all supplies needed, the project quickly loses its luster. So when I found out about Darby Smart, a company that offers hundreds of creative craft ideas and then delivers the supplies to your door?… I became a super fan! “Yes, I want to make that. No, I don’t want to drive to three stores to get supplies. Yes, I want it delivered to my door like a spoiled warrior princess.” Enter Darby Smart!
I totally felt like a goober last year when some neighbors came by to drop off cookies for the holidays and I had nothing in return. I know they didn’t expect anything because that’s not what the holidays are all about, but how great would’ve it been to say “Oh! Hold on just a minute! We have something for you too!” Basically, I’m trying to redeem myself from last year… with some tiny clay pots, paint, and candy. And these cute little guys were so easy to make and super economical.
Mya and I love getting snail mail during the week. And since the holiday cards are already starting to come in, it has added even more excitement to her Christmas spirit. It’s also making me realize that some people seriously have their acts together if they’re sending out their holiday cards by early December. That is certainly not the case with us! I gave up on that a long time ago. And we send ours out for Valentines’ Day. Because it takes me that much longer… two more months. Womp womp. But I did want to somehow display everyone else’s cards; and with some already-owned supplies, it was super easy.
Let’s talk about side light blinds. But before you fall asleep promptly after reading that first sentence, let me assure you that it’s somehow going to be worth your time. And no, we are not the first people to install binds on side light windows; but we found a great, inexpensive product and I just feel morally obligated to share. Like I won’t be able to sleep tonight if you don’t obtain this valuable knowledge from me. So here it goes… I have been wanting some kind of privacy on our front entry side windows for. ev. er. I appreciate the light these two windows provide because they’re our only south-facing ones on the first floor, but we didn’t like that anyone could so easily see in to our house at night. Here they are with blinds installed… so
gorgeous nice and practical.
With little effort, these turned out pretty cool. I won’t lie, though: They sat on our counter for a good month before I finally sanded them down and drilled a hole in each. But hey, they’re done now and oh so colorful. They’re similar to the perler bead bowls that we did earlier this year, except they’re semi-transparent which makes for some great sun catchers!