Thursday, July 28, 2011


this year, in "moments of creative expression" i've been doing some painting, and i've liked it much more than i did in school. above are my works from college... can you tell how miserable i was in that class? kinda dark self-portrait there, and my mom hates that last one. the teacher said it "wasn't turning out well" and so i went be-zerk and painted killer butterflies all over it... and got my first good grade of the class...whatever. anyway, oil painting was the only art class i ever got low marks for (i know, braggy-braggertons here), so that's why it's been more than 5 years since i've had the courage to give it another try. sorta. these are acrylics below actually, but you get the point. nothing show-stopping in my opinion, but the folks i made them for were quite happy, so i am too. the first one, "sunken sydney," was for my brother, and the second one, "plum sahara" was for my sister-in-law.

Friday, July 22, 2011

50+ Summer Activities and Ideas for Mommies, Daddies, and Kiddos

 "ma, i'm boooooooored." are you tired of hearing it yet? or maybe your little ones are too small to know how to express that they're tired of the back yard sandbox or doing bubbles and chalk.... again... and so (like mine) they just start going a bit bonkers for no particular reason? well, thanks to Crystal over at Crystal & Co. i've compiled a list of 50+ things to do with your kids this summer! i've changed some of hers and added a few of my own ideas, and of course if you have any ideas of things you like to do with your munchins in the hot months, pass 'em along! enjoy and don't forget the bug spray and sunscreen! (if that applies...)


  1. Go to the library once a week. Check out books, join story time, see if there is a reading club you can participate in.
  2. Go camping. Front yard, back yard, in the living room, or make it a weekend trip in another town.
  3. Go to your local recreation center in your city and see what activities or classes they offer for super cheap!
  4. Go to the park. Hello, that is hours of free entertainment. And at my favorite park, they have trails that we all love to walk after playing at the playground.
  5. Going on a road trip? Check out these road trip free printables for little ones.
  6. Go on a worm hunt.
  7. Go fishing.
  8. Go on a factory/plant tour.
  9. Go over to a neighbor's house and offer your helping hands.
  10. Go to your local home supply store or craft store and see if they are offering any free children’s clinics this summer.
  11. Go on a mall scavenger hunt. (my mom totally made up this idea for my 13th birthday)
  12. Go to the lake.
  13. Go to the creek and look for water life.


  1. Make your own kite. Here are 27 different kites you can make.
  2. Make things out of cardboard. Check out this awesome idea- filled- post on cardboard creativity 101. Then, hop over and check out Tip Junkie’s list of 32 things you can make with cardboard.
  3. Make your own slime using this recipe, which glows in the dark!
  4. Make homemade play dough.
  5. Make goop.
  6. Make S’Mores- go traditional or make these Owl S’Mores. So cute!
  7. Make homemade marshmallows.
  8. Make soap on a rope.
  9. Make these bird treats and hang them in a tree near a window so you can watch the birds enjoy.
  10. Make bathtub puff paint.
  11. Bake these Mommy Cookies together.
  12. Make this cherry cake recipe together.
  13. Make an obsticle course (or hold an olympics) in your backyard. So fun! You can make first place, second place, third place ribbons using construction paper and yarn.
  14. Make a fort. Go nuts.
  15. Make a time capsule.
  16. Make homemade ice cream. Here is a list of tips as well as five recipes you can make!
  17. Make homemade bubbles.
  18. Make liquid sidewalk chalk and then have a creativity contest.
  19. Make a pet rock. Pet him.
  20. Make homemade finger paint.
  21. Make your own felt play mat.
  22. Make a busy tray. Super smart and practical.
  23. Re-purpose broken crayons into your favorite mold shape and print some free color sheets.
  24. Make a lemonade stand. Keep it cheap, we're in a down economy, ya know.
  25. Make homemade pizza together. Here is a list of ways to make pizza un-boring.
  26. Make your own board game.
  27. Make sock puppets and have a sock puppet play.
  28. Make finger puppets. Here is a free download.
  29. Make your own stick horse.
  30. Make homemade popsicle. Here is a great list of popsicle recipes.
  31. Make something origami. Here is a site with a bunch of kid friendly origami ideas.
  32. Make an assortment of muffins together. Here are 28 muffin recipes you can indulge in.
  33. For your little toddler guys who want to be crafty, make ice paint. Pretty cool.

Play & Do:

  1. Skip rocks. Simple, free, fun, lost art.
  2. Have a bike parade.
  3. Have a day of watching movies. Utilize services like NetFlix or Redbox. You can even check them out for free at your local library.
  4. Fly a kite.
  5. Have a family board game party or game night.
  6. Feed the ducks.
  7. Shop garage sales. You can find board games, movies, etc for cheap, cheap!
  8. Have a picnic at the park, in your living room, or in your front yard.
  9. Host a parade.
  10. Backwards Day!
  11. Have a yard sale. Have your children help and learn the value of a dollar.
  12. Have a bon fire and cook dinner over it.
  13. Play in the water (sprinkler, slip and slide, kiddy pool, water balloons, spray bottles)
  14. Welcome the troops at the airport. I have been wanting to take the kids to do this for a long, long time.
  15. Play I Spy.
  16. Look into summer camps in your area.
  17. Host your own summer camp. Here is an e-book with practical ideas and suggestions for surviving the summer.
  18. Play frisbee.
  19. Volunteer some where as a family.
  20. Invent a new recipe together.
  21. Catch lightning bugs.
  22. Have a scavenger hunt.
  23. Play Mad Libs and share your stories. So fun! If you do not have a Mad Libs book, here is an online knock-off.
  24. Play kickball.
  25. Play dodgeball.
  26. Play tug-of-war.
  27. Put a puzzle together as a family.
  28. Play hide and go seek in the dark.
  29. Call local theatres and see if they offer free showings of kiddy movies in the summer. Some do- I promise.
  30. Build a clubhouse or a fort.
  31. Plant something. Anything. Just remember to water it.
  32. Become pen pals with someone.
  33. Start reading a classic as a family read 20-30 minutes of it out loud a day. Huck Finn, Little Women, Narnia, etc.
  34. Put on a magic show. Click the link for five easy and fun tricks your kids can do.
  35. Play dress up. You too Dad.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Crafty Clever Ideas

hello fellow...s

looking around the internetness, i've found some great craft/household/project tips that i've collected to share with y'all. if y'all have any helpful hints as well, i'd love to hear 'em! enjoy and happy craft-ivity...

- to sharpen dull scissors, cut sandpaper with them
- whenever you paint a room, put a small amount of the leftover paint in a small, airtight jar (baby-food jar etc) and store it somewhere in that room-then you can instantly paint over nicks or scuffs on the wall when they happen
- make sandpaper last 3x as long by putting duct tape on the back of it to strengthen it
- swap sticky scissors with rubbing alcohol on a q-tip (you shouldn't wash your scissors - rust)
- dab a little bit of Vaseline on the end of your glue gun to get rid of those long glue strings (brilliant)
- what's your tip or idea?