As you all know, we’ve been snowed in practically forever (Check out Stay-at-Home Moms: I Salute You! ). Or so it seems. Between sickness and poor weather, we’ve seen nothing but the four walls of our tiny home for weeks.
So it was time to dig deep and hit the craft cabinet for a project. What is the craft cabinet? Well, in truth, it’s a cabinet and a drawer, but essentially, it’s a hot spot where I stash go to supplies, crayons, paper, Play-doh, and other quick attention getters. Here’s a pic.
Thanks to a very generous friend, Dana of CereusArt, our craft cabinet is super well-stocked with odds and ends. We’ve played with different little crafts here and there, and I discovered that a big favorite for the boys was gluing buttons on anything. So I decided to twist it up and go V-Day style on it.
First, I kept them occupied while I set up. (Quick tip – My husband brilliantly dumped the crayons onto a plate one night after 15 trips back and forth to the table to pick crayons off the floor. This plate idea has been a lifesaver! No crayons rolling away, easy clean up, works like a charm.)
This craft is beyond super easy. All you do is gather up some old buttons, a few pieces of paper and some Elmer’s glue. Draw a heart on the paper and you’re ready to go! We added paper hearts to our craft that I happened to have, but you could add stickers, color on it, etc. The sky is the limit.
Hand off to the kiddos and voila! Happy crafters for at least 15-25 minutes. I add glue as they need it, and they keep on sticking.
Guilty Pleasures to Indulge In When the Kids Are At School or Asleep
There’s no woman in this parenting world that doesn’t dream of having some time to indulge in some guilty pleasures of her own choice. It’s a necessity for every woman to put her own needs first from time to time and do some of the things other people find stupid or not cool or forbidden. And, she is right. She has the right to have a personal space and enjoy it as it suits her.
Today, every woman will look at you with disguise if she saw you eating a hamburger or chocolate. Exercising and eating healthy is trending, so junk food has become forbidden for the society. Well, if you’re on one of those days and you crave pizza, just go for it! A slice or two (or three) will do no harm in the long run, and you know you desperately need it right now.
Drinking a glass of wine or smoking a cigarette or two on a highly stressful day is no sin. We all need some sort of escape from everyday life and we all do it differently.
Or, some like to watch their favourite NFL team and in the meantime place a wager that the team will win (this season the New England Patriots are favourites to win the Super Bowl, source of the odds: redbet) or stop by the casino for a round of roulette. No one should blame you if you’re one of those people… Of course, as long as you do it moderately, once in a blue moon.
Enjoy Dumb Stuff
Non-intellectual TV and magazines describing the “real” life of celebrities is something you would never watch or read. But, at times, you want to sneak a peek while you’re resting at home. Sometimes you just want to play dumb and not think about anything too smart. Trash magazines are a great idea for that. We are pro-education, but come on… You don’t really want to be preached and smart all the time, right?
On that note, you could also indulge in a very stupid, naïve, unbearable-to-watch romantic comedy. Oh, yeah. Those are the best ones. You turn on the TV and you can immediately recognize its quality. But you still watch it. You know you do.
Out and About
Probably one of the greatest stereotypes about women is that we want to spend money and talk trash about other (close) women. Eh, sometimes we do confirm that stereotype. As soon as a woman walks through the front door, she starts thinking where to go or what to do to spend money. And as soon as she meets her bestie, they start talking. That talk is not for everyone’s ears.
And sometimes, you want to do it all at once. The best spent Saturday is: going shopping, then having a brunch with your gal and talking trash about some other women you two know not as well as you sound too. Now that’s what we call quality time, right?
DIY Handprint Family Tree
My boys recently turned 4 years old (WHAT?!) and given all of the changes our family has faced over the past year, I wanted their birthday to be extra special. I came up with this DIY Handprint Family Tree to visually capture how loved they are by their family and friends. I wanted them to know that even in the face of a divorce when it feels like your family is broken, your family goes so far beyond just Mommy, Daddy and Sissy. This handprint family tree was “signed” by everyone who attended the birthday party that day…beloved friends, Gramma & Grampa, Mommy, preschool teachers, favorite babysitters, loyal neighbors…all of the people who selflessly love on my children. Our family.
Thanks to my mastermind gal pal at CereusArt, their birthday party theme was “Picasso, Baby!” Hosted at our very own The Studio Hampton Roads, we decorated from top to bottom with little paint cans, brightly colored streamers, artists’ palette lollipops, paint splotch tablecloths and more. We had art projects on hand, along with little art aprons, for our tiny Picassos, who made face masks, applied paint splotch tattoos and got their faces painted by one very special Gramma, who was in absolute heaven doting on so many sweet kiddos.
The DIY handprint family tree was a perfect addition to our art-themed party. The supply list was a breeze:
- Large blank canvas
- Finger paint in several colors
- Makeup sponges
- Colored Sharpie markers
- Baby wipes
- Paper plates
I laid the canvas on a large table (The little drawing of the boys was done by Gramma! She’s the artist behind Rise Woman Rising.) with different color paints poured onto paper plates. Each party guest used makeup sponges to blot paint onto their hand. They then picked a spot and put their hand print on the canvas. They used the baby wipes to clean up and then signed their name or a special message next to their hand print with the Sharpie markers.
The finished product looked just as I had imagined. Each hand was a different size, color, texture. Some families intertwined their hands, some special friends overlapped. We even had a baby smudge for our resident little guy. It was like one giant colorful hug, one happy high five, one strong hand to hold. Our family. This year, we have so much to celebrate. I know my little dudes don’t even realize it, but I do. The gratitude I have for the many people in our lives who have stood by us (in truth, carried us) through the past year…it’s indescribable. Our handprint family tree doesn’t just remind my sons of how loved they are…it reminds me.
All Things Cupid – The Ultimate Valentine Resource List
If there is one holiday that sneaks up on me every year, it’s Valentine’s Day. I’d love to say this is because I’m single and wish the day would poof into non-existence fiery furnace “Worst Holiday Ever” status, but truthfully, this day was just as overlooked during my marriage as it will probably be for this first year of lone wolf status (hmmm…maybe that’s saying something…).
My list of Valentine transgressions doesn’t just end with my former spouse. I was most definitely that mom that forgot to bring a valentine for each kid in the class last year. In fact, it didn’t even occur to me to bring them in…is that because I have boys or because I block the day from memory?
As I try to incorporate more purposeful play into our busy days, I’m committing to tackling the big day of love this weekend. Ya know, planning in advance instead of hitting CVS next Friday morning before school. And since I hate to travel all over the interwebz to find what I’m looking for, I’ve built The Ultimate Valentine Resource List. Everything I might need this weekend, all in one happy place. Yup, this is pretty much my virtual to do list for the weekend. Enjoy!
Valentine’s Day Craft List
Valentine’s Day Activity List
Valentine’s Day Recipe List
Have a fun weekend prepping for the Global Day of Love! Even though I’m flying solo this year, I have to admit, I feel more loved now than I’ve ever felt before. I’ll be basking in the love of my kids, grateful for my loving family and loyal friends, and my heart will be full, even as I eye roll the incessant sweetness of this most horrible holiday. Best be sure I will be teaching my sons that while this day is fun, true love lies in making every day special and full of value for those special people in your life that captivate your heart.