Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spring/Easter "Mantle"

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I do not have a mantle in my home...GASP!!!  I do however have the top of my piano that I love to decorate for the seasons.

I love how this turned out.  I have gathered items over the years from the most unusual places.  The duck and the rabbit on the ends I found at Walgreens in their outdoor section 2 years ago.  The year before that the plant looking bunny I found at Target(I gave it some height using antique childrens books) .

The 2 bunny topiaries were easily made from 2 pots from the one spot at Target,I inserted the moss bunnies from Pier One into floral foam, topped with glass stones for weight and added a twine bow.

I typed up the subway art using a word document and printed off and added it to my frame (I rotate art into that frame for the different seasons the best thing is you can keep all the seasons stored right there in the frame). 

The wreath I found at Target in the One Spot as well hung with a leftover piece of burlap. 

The carrots are also a Pier One find.  The smaller carrots are actually a napkin ring and I simply placed them on top of candle holders I had.

The last thing I added was the bunny silhouettes across the mirror.  I debated over and over pink or black bunnies and opted for pinnk but that could change quite easily.

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Friday, March 25, 2011

PS on my Reading Treats

My children loved the book reading treats so much at school today they asked if we could make more when they got home(little did they know I had made extras).  Since we had extra supplies I saw no reason we couldn't make more but decided we had to make them for a reason not just to eat.  As we talked about it we decided to use them for reading incentives over spring break.  For every 20 minutes they read they get to grab a treat!!!  I am thrilled that they are excited to read and they are thrilled for the opportunity to earn a fun treat!!!


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Reading Treats

Today at school my children are having a read in.  This is very exciting for them they get to bring a pillow and blanket and their favorite books from home and some treats. 

 I decided to make these fun treats for them:

CHOCOLATE BOOKS
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(I will have  tutorial for this up today here)

BOOKWORMS

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ABC FUN

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The worms and ABC's were simple just add gummi worms and Alphabits t o  clearbags and add a bag topper with a fun saying. 



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Chocolate Book Treat Tutorial

You Need:
Dark colored card stock
double sided tape
thin red ribbon
hershey nuggets
white printer paper

To make:

You will start by cutting the card stock 1.5 X 2.25 inches, the white paper 1.25 X 2.75, and the ribbon 4 inches.  Now that you have all of that prepped you will take a piece of double sided tape and attach it to the ribbon like so:

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and place it into the middle of the black card stock with the ribbon laying flat off the top.  On top of the tape and ribbon you will center the 2 of the hershey nugget bars and it should look like this:
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Fold you white paper in half(as you can see I typed I love to read on mine you can leave it blank or add whatever you would like)
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 and add double sided tape to the backside of each end and attach it to the chocolate and it will look like this:

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The last step is pulling the ribbon over and attaching it to the front of the "book" with double sided tape and trim the ribbon to your prefered length.

You end up with this fabulous looking book and even better tasting one!!!

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Friday, March 18, 2011

Fun With Books: The Empty Pot, The Carrot Seed, and The Tiny Seed

 Unfortunately my yard is surrounded by trees(city trees which we can't trim or cut down) and there is no place in my yard that gets at least 6 hours of sunlight so luckily for me I am fortunate enough to #1 live in a city where they have a childrens gardening class  #2 live close enough to my mom who LOVES to garden and has a garden large enough to feed an army and #3 have an excellent farmers market 3 times a week. 

 This week in the mail we recieved our packet for gardening class and we need to choose which vegetables and herbs we would like to plant and that led to reading our favorite seed books:

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A wonderful story about a wind blown seed that finally finds its resting place.



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A boys patients pays off in  a BIG way!


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This is quite possibly my favorite of the 3 simply because it teaches a valuable lesson about honesty so this week to go along with these books we boiled some seeds and planted them and also planted unboiled seeds..we will see which ones grow?!?


We started this off with painting 10 flowers and 2 butterflies(I found popsicle sticks with flower shapes on the top at the $ store). I then programmed the flowers from 1-10. I also wanted to use these with my 1st grader and Kindergartner so I programmed the 2 butterflies with addition and subtraction signs.

Items needed are: the flowers and butterflies, 2 plastic flower pots, craft foam(for in 1 of the pots, cut it to size), and seeds(brown pompoms)

I use one of the pots to hold all the seeds and the other to insert the flowers.


Now for the fun...the children can insert the flowers to practice number recognition and counting by placing the correct number of seeds to grow the flower and for the older kids they can practice their addition skills.



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Fun with Books: Have You Filled a Bucket Today?

I am in love with this book!!!  More importantly I am love with the idea I came up with to go with the book!  When the squabbling a sibling rivalry have gone too far, this is my go to actvity.  First I read the following book(the premise of the book is we all have invisible buckets and when we are kind we fill eachothers buckets but when we are not we dip into others buckets and our own as well) :

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then the bucket comes out onto the counter or somewhere centerally located.
This bucket is full of hearts that we cut out of craft foam.  This is our family bucket.  When someone in the family dips into someone elses bucket they have to take out 2 hearts and has to do 2 nice things to fill the bucket back up.


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SO if you come to our home and the bucket is out you know what is going on around here!!!




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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Spring Cleaning Fun

My children don't have school on Monday and so we decided as a family that Monday would be the day we spring clean their rooms.  To make the cleaning a bit more fun we have Miss Sweepy, Mr. Bristles, and my favorite Super Dust Might!!!
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I found the small brooms with dust pans at Targets one spot and the duster at Staples in their $1 section.
It is amazing how hot gluing googly eyes to cleaning products makes cleaning automatically more fun!!!




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Liquid Gold or is it?

I made the labels for these drink boxes(juicy juice apple) using power point on my computer.  Printing them off on yellow paper, cutting them out, and using doublesided tape adhering them to black cardstock I had already cut to the exact size of the juice boxes.  I attached them to the boxes by using more double sided tape.

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What the Leprechaun's are going to leave?

We are making Leprechaun Traps early next week and I will post those when they are done but I do have what those clever little guys are going to leave behind when they escape our traps done.

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I found these cute little buckets at the dollar tree 3 for $1 and added glittery shamrock stickers to them.The whole bag of stickers from JoAnn's was $1.


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Then I added some foil wrapped chocolates(rolos) to them and they are ready to be dropped by the Leprechauns as they narrowly escape our traps.

*HINT  as you can see there are Green Rolos... I bought a couple of bags of Easter Rolos and picked all the green and gold ones out saving the other colors for when we fill easter eggs.



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St Patricks Day-You Are My Treasure Treat

I created these bag toppers using a word document on regular printer paper.

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Cut them to size, fold in half, and staple after the bags a filled of course.  I used Skittles here but M&Ms would work just as well.


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St Patricks Day Treat- You add Color

With next week being St Patricks Day I wanted to make some special treats for my children that I could sneak into their lunches or under pillows or just about anywhere a leprechuan might hide some fun treats.

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I made these bag toppers on a word document and printed them off on regular printer paper(I came to the realization the only one who really cares about these tags on top of th ebags is me so I have decided to keep them simple)


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I cut rainbow twizzlers in half and put them in bags added the tags with a stapler and they are ready to go and as added fun I found these cut little colored pencils.
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Dresser Redo

I found this on the side of the road and asked my DH to pick it up for me. He of course wanted to smash in to disrepair, if it wasn't almost there anyway, but I had a vision and he picked it up. It was missing 2 drawers and 1 was broken. I wish I took a picture of it when we first brought it home but this picture is after we fixed it and before the paint.

Before:



and After...




This has been perfect to store my childrens jammies and the baskets use to house pullups but we are past that now so I think I might start to store their slippers or their current books they are reading at night before bed.
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Friday, March 11, 2011

Fun With Books-Little Quack

I have not met a child yet who doesn't love Little Quack.  These books are fabulous from teaching them you can do anything even when you are afraid and anyone can be a friend even if they are different.

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I found these foam duck(for your own ducks you can cut them out of craft foam or if you have silhouette there is a duck shape there if neither of these options sound appealing to you there is this great die cut company called Punkydoodles that have diecuts you can order) there on clearance several years ago and programmed them with numbers so they could start to recognize the numbers and place them in order.  As my children have gotten older and still love Little Quack I cut lily pads out of green craft foam and programmed them with a +,-, and = sign and left one blank for lesser than and greater than.

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We also have imaginative play with this set pictured below(I found this here).  I also use them for story retelling.  I also ask questions like these:  Where did Piddle hide?  Did Waddle play in the mud or hop? to help them with comprehension.

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The company I ordered this from has a clearance section and when they get too much of something even if they are going to continue to carry it they will sell a portion of that item for almost nothing. As an example I bought the set above with a carrying case and all kinds of ideas as well for under $7.00 and for as much use as we have gotten out of it, it has been worth every penny!!


*the companies mentioned above did not pay me for there endorsement they are just fabulous resources I love!!!



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Thursday, March 10, 2011

DIY Tiered Fruit Stand

This is what I store fruit in on my counter it is usually pilling to the brim and what you can't see in this picture is it gets fingerprinty dirty everyday which makes me a bit crazy even though I am not a neat freak trust me. I needed to come up with a solution of more space to put fruit but not take more counter space and I didn't want it to have a big handle over the top or a hook to hang bananas from.  Who knew these requirements were going to cause problems in the finding of what I wanted. 

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Since I couldn't find what I wanted I decided to make it first I found these great baskets for $4.00.  Next how was going to make it tiered.  I started thinking about all the candle holders we received at gifts for our wedding.  The ones I couldn't part with because they came from Tiffanys, the ones shoved into a drawer for posterity collecting dust and taking up valuable space in a dresser yes those cande holders one of them would have to work.
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And it did!!!


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To make it I just inverted the candle holder and with some liquid nail glued it together using bananas for weight until it dries...




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