Rainy Day in a Box

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Kids, just like adults, have good days and bad. At our house, we call the bad days rainy days because they are the days when you have to open the umbrella, and wait for the storm to pass. Rainy days happen, we talk about it, and then we try to turn it into something positive.

While talking to my cousin, Mary, she told us about a tradition one of her friends started with her kids. We wish we thought of this because we loved it so much. We made our own version of Rainy Day in a Box. It’s a DIY box we made, and filled with trinkets and goodies to lift our kids spirits on days when they need an extra bit of love and distraction.

Our kids know it’s not an everyday treat, but on those rough days, they can reach their hands in the box for a special treat. We find that it has become a good opportunity to talk to our children about those tough days, and find simple ways to make them smile.

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Materials:

  • Wood box
  • Small gifts that will make your kids smile
  • Acrylic paint, Plaid Crafts

Directions:

Use a pencil to draw your design on the box. We traced 1/2 a bowl for the top arch, and then free-handed the rest. As you can see, it is somewhat wavy, and that’s the look we were going for. We used a PIEBOX. It’s sturdy, pretty enough to be on a shelf and large.

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Paint the design. We choose to paint a rainbow because rainbows represent the hope after a storm, and rainbows make us happy.

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Fill the box with goodies that will cheer up your son and daughter.

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DIY Watercolor Animal Cards

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Valentine’s Day is one of the top holidays when the puns just can’t help themselves! Some are cute, some are cheesy, some are just plain genius – all work because we become big piles of love mush {or love stinks grinches}, so on Valentine’s Day we eat them up {most of the time}.

An easy and pretty way to decorate a card for someone you love is with watercolors – you don’t need to have an ounce of artistry for this one – just add color to the paper. We hopped on the train of puns with these! Embrace your creative side, brainstorm the puns, get the kids messy in paint and send a little extra love in the mail this year.

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Materials:

  • Watercolor paper
  • Watercolor paints
  • Paintbrushes
  • Water
  • Blank fold-over notecards. If you don’t have any, cut card stock and fold them.
  • Elmer’s glue
  • Sharpie marker, thin tip

Directions:

Trace and cut out animal shapes on watercolor paper. You can find images online, trace and cut. We used our Silhouette electronic cutting machine to cut the animals for us. If you like to create, the machines are worth the investment. We love ours.

Paint the animals with watercolor paints. Let them dry.

Apply glue to the back of the animals, and stick them to the cards.

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Write your words with a thin black Sharpie marker.

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Painted Aloe Plant

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We have always had every reason to believe in love. This year our grandparents will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary {once celebrated by our other grandparent’s, also}. Our parents will celebrate 38 years together in August. We had an amazing childhood in a house full of love, and a large family that loved us unconditionally. We fell in love with and married our high school sweet hearts. Love was easy. Until it wasn’t. Love hurt us in 2015. It hurt us, particularly one of us, bad.

For the first time, love wasn’t enough. What? Love is always enough, isn’t it? Well, not when the person on the receiving end stomps on it, cheats on it, is reluctant to receiving it and lies through it without any remorse. Can you tell one of the high school sweet hearts wasn’t really sweet after all?

So, does love really just stink? Some of you may answer yes and some may answer no – either is ok and the answer is likely based on your current situation or your life’s circumstance thus far.

Well, we are not love experts, but we do know that love is complicated and hard, love is essential, love can unite, love can instigate change, love can cause heartbreak, love comes in many forms, love is passion and ultimately love heals.

We have a little aloe plant, also known for it’s healing properties, we lovingly named Hope. Hope because we are hopeful for all the wonderful things love will bring our way. And, because now she has LOVE HEALS and hearts written all over her! It’s a good, hopeful reminder for us all.

This is a 5-minute project anyone can do. And, it may just bring a little love to you.

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Materials:

  • Aloe plant
  • Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Pens

Directions:

All you have to do is draw. Sweet!

Give the DIY painted aloe plant as a gift this Valentine’s Day, or any day! Love isn’t just limited to one day in a calendar year – it lives in us 365 days a year – if we let it!

Maybe it’s not about the fairytale ending, it’s about the journey. Make love a part of your story, in whatever form it may be. There is no sense in living our lives without love.

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DIY Balloons to Celebrate the 4th of July

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Up, up and away! Wouldn’t it be fun if we could travel via balloons just like Carl did in Disney | Pixar’s Up? We’re not saying our fear of heights would totally subside, but the joy, color and adventure that a balloon adventure would bring could be worth all the helium and panic attacks.

Balloons are just all-around happy. Wouldn’t you agree? They make our kids smile. They embody childhood. Plus, they symbolize the word celebrate.

We recently had fun inside creating a simple balloon backdrop for the 4th of July during a rainy day. Kids explored their creativity with paint, and balloons as their canvas. And, we got some good photos for the memory books.

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Materials Needed:

  • Acrylic paint {red, white and blue}
  • Paintbrushes and roll brushes
  • Martha Stewart glitter
  • Tape
  • Balloons {helium or non-helium}

Directions:

  • Blow up balloons {of if you purchased helium balloon, pick up from the store}.
  • Paint. We painted our balloons with hand-drawn stars, fireworks and stripes.
  • For the stripes, we used a roll-on pattern brush. And, for the fireworks, we sprinkled glitter on the fireworks while the paint was still wet.
  • Add red and white striped twine to the balloons.
  • Tape to the wall. If your balloons have helium, tape them on the bottom of the wall so they don’t fly away.
  • Snap all the fun photos of your kids pretending to float up, up and away!

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easter baskets

We’ve gathered some of our favorite gifts for the kids Easter baskets this year. Hop to it!

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FOR THE PRETTY LITTLE LADIES
1. Pink Bunny Coin Purse, Paper-Source
2. Tropical Romper, The Children’s Place {I just bought this for my daughter – LOVE}
3. LIL tOOders Superhero Custom Cape – enter a giveaway for a free cape {including an Anna or Elsa cape from Frozen} here.
4. Melissa and Doug Bright Flashlight, Yo-Yo
5. Sunglasses, Gap
6. Melissa and Doug Watercolor Paint Set, Amazon
7. Bunny Jute Bin, Land of Nod
8. Frozen Snow Wand, Target

easter basket ideas for boys

FOR THE HANDSOME GENTS
1. Aviator Sunglasses, Gap
2. Swimways Torpedo Bandits, Amazon
3.  LIL tOOders Superhero Custom Cape – enter a giveaway for a free cape here.
4. Woosh Frisbee, Amazon
5. Green Puppet on a Stick Pen, Amazon
6. Galvanized Bucket, Pottery Barn
7. Melissa and Doug Habitats Reusable Sticker Pad, Amazon
8. A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee, Amazon

{images via The Children’s PlaceGap, Target, LIL tOOders, Amazon, Yo-Yo, Paper-Source, Pottery Barn, Land of Nod}