Flower Pot Costume DIY (Halloween 2017)

Happy Halloween! As every since our oldest was born, we had a family Halloween costume this year. A few months back, as we sat around the dinner table, the topic of what we should be for Halloween came up and the girls decided they wanted to be butterflies. We then thought my husband could be an entomologist (that studied butterflies, of course) and I would be a flower.

We’ve been talking a lot about pollinators in Girl Scouts and with the various flying insects that have been around our vegetable and wildflower garden this summer.

This costumes were a mix of store bought and DIY (mainly store bought pieces) this year that just needed a glue gun and duck tape. (See how I made my Ringmaster costume.)

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Butterflies – It was easy to find these cute butterfly costumes on Amazon. They came in different colors so the girls could choose their favorite and came with a mask and antenna. Next was picking up a black long sleeve t-shirt and leggings and adding a colored skirt because who doesn’t love a fluffy skirt? The butterfly pieces will go into the dress up box after Halloween and the clothes will go in to their wardrobes as layering pieces.

butterfly girls

Entomologist – My husband’s costume mostly came right out of his closet. We already had the pith hat from his “tiger tamer” costume from the circus Halloween and just picked up a bug net that the girls have been wanting anyways.

Flower Pot – Mine, was the costume that required the DIY this year (last year my costume was an Olaf onesie but I built my husband a Kristoff costume and the year before that I made Alice and Cheshire Cat costumes). I was planning on ordering a flower headband and calling it a day when, on a whim, I decided to see what the folks on Pinterest had to say on the matter and discovered the Flower Pot DIY.

It’s pretty easy and you can customize the container, flowers, etc. If you have a tub that has seen better days, this is a good way to repurpose it or I suppose you could use a large cardboard box. I ended up purchasing a plastic bin for this project and cut out the bottom, using a layer of duck tape to cover it the raw edge so I wouldn’t scratch my legs.

flower pot diy collage 2017

I raided the local dollar store for the flowers which I then cut off the bunches. Laying the bin on it’s side, I laid out a row of flowers then taped them down with duck tape. Once I went all the way around, I laid added a second row of duck tape to catch all the stem ends. We happen to have green bungee cords with hooks that I could use as suspenders.

I selected a few for the headband, which was purchased at the dollar store, and hot glued them on to make a flower crown. I tied on some ribbon since we were also going to a local Oktoberfest earlier this fall.

Wear the pieces over a green long sleeve t-shirt, jeans, and boots and I was done.

flower pot 2017

I didn’t feel as tired as I look in this picture from a trunk-or-treat event but I worked my flower pot into the theme for my trunk (rainy weather ended up making us take it inside).

What’s next?

I wonder if the girls will be on board with a family costume next year? Hopefully, we can come up with something that works for everyone but we’ll have to wait and see.

 

Looking for more Halloween fun? Check out these felt Monster Faces.

In Dayton, Ohio? Dayton Contemporary Dance Company is hosting its first Trunk-or-treat event! Oct 31, 6p-8p at 840 Germantown Street, Dayton, there will be a DJ, games, food trucks and candy outside plus dance demonstrations inside. Pick up a code for discounted tickets to the holiday performance, The Littlest Angel, in December 2017. Then, be sure to swing by the Stoddard Street Pumpkin Glow near Dayton Art Institute, a Dayton tradition.

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Disney On Ice Treasure Trove Follow Up

We had a great time at Disney On Ice presents Treasure Trove tonight! Disney ALWAYS puts on a great show. Here’s a little about some of our favorite moments.

We are all about Alice in Wonderland right now and my 4 year old was ecstatic when the Alice in Wonderland segment began.

2015_10_21_9999_44aThey enjoyed getting to see Tinkerbell and Peter Pan flying around, and of course defeating the mean Captain Hook!

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Of course, it isn’t a Disney production without an appearance by the Clubhouse gang – Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy came out for a bit to introduce some segments.

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Disney On Ice presents Treasure Trove will be in Dayton, Ohio at the Nutter Center from until October 25, 2015, weekday tickets are just $13 – No code needed! Family 4-pack offer: $119 includes 4 tickets, 4 popcorns and 4 lemonades! (Use code FAMD26.)

Purchase your tickets here. Visit and follow Disney On Ice to always know when they are coming to your town on Facebook and Twitter and check out the hashtag #DisneyOnIce

In my last Disney On Ice post, I mentioned that our family costume would be Alice in Wonderland themed. I made these two costumes from a few items I found at Goodwill – the blue dress was a juniors dress, the apron was a pillow case, and the whole cat costume came from a women’s top. While they aren’t without their mistakes, I impressed myself with actually completing them (with plenty of time) and they actually look pretty darn good.

alice and cat costumes

I also made a slipcover for my Catbird Baby Pikkolo carrier! I used this tutorial but made the shape according the contours of my brand of carrier.

slipcover Collage

Easy DIY Lemon Disposal Refreshers

This morning I was getting ready to participate in another freezer meal swap. We participated in our first a couple of months back and it was a good experience so we decided to try it again. Learn more about freezer swaps from our coordinators post on Dayton Moms Blog.

This will likely be the last one we participate in for a few months since between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we have a plan to stock the freezer.

For the last freezer swap, I went with Six Sister’s Stuff’s Chicken Cacciatore with a good helping of fresh veggies mixed right in and jars of sauce and pasta were $1 or less (yay for coupons!). This time I picked One Crazy House’s Lemon Pepper Chicken and Rice recipe since it seems pretty straight forward and I like that the whole meal is in the crockpot – just start it and walk away for the day. Here’s hoping it all goes to plan.

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The recipe calls for lemon slices to top the chicken so after preparing 8 meals, I had a bit of lemon ends left over. Whenever we end up with citrus peels, we put them down the garbage disposal with some ice for a little bit of help cleaning up the blades and to freshen things up.  As I sliced the lemons I started thinking that it may be too much to put down at once right then but what a waste to toss the rest.

That’s when I thought to grab my trusty ice cube tray! I cut up the peels and ends into chunks and put 1-2 in each section of the trays and topped with water. Once they freeze, I’ll move them to a baggie and, whenever we need it, we’ll have some lemon peel and ice all in one to toss into the garbage disposal. All natural and no throwing scraps away – win, win!

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Looking for some crockpot and freezer meal “pinspiration”? Check out my recipes board to get you started.

 

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Letters Make Words

LettersMakeWords

My 4 year old doesn’t turn until 5 until January so we have one more school year before Kindergarten. At daycare, she has been moved to a Pre-K class but even before this move, her teachers have been doing a great job of getting her interested in writing and reading more and more.

It still impresses me when she points to a word and can tell me what it is. Wasn’t she just learned how to walk yesterday?! I have been trying to work in ways to encourage her to practice identifying words at home.

When we were practicing recognizing letters I came up with this fishing game. I revisited the idea with words she knows. When she catches one, she has to say what it says, maybe find a matching fish, etc. I plan to make more of these using sight words to reinforce those as well.

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Words used: hat, bee, mop, pop, map, dog, top, fun, bat, log, tap, sun (Dr. Seuss’ Hop on Pop provided some inspiration on word choices.)

I was fortunate to get to review these Bath Toy Organizer with 36 Alphabet Letters and Numbers from Brilliant Babyz. Almost immediately, my 4 year old started trying to make words with the letters she was wading through and it has continued to be a popular activity.

In the video below, you can see what we talk through swapping letters out and sounding words out to get to a new word. My almost 2 year old participates in playing with the letters by putting them on and off the wall and I name the letters and numbers as she picks them up.

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The foam letters, once wet, stick right on to the shower wall and side of the tub without any damage to the wall grout, etc. The best part is the organizer it came with sticks right on to the wall so all the letters can dry out between uses. My girls can also put them away by themselves.

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You can see I am all about the bath toy storage. My Pinterest-y solution was putting a shower curtain rod across the back of the shower and attaching a couple of dollar store bins to it. They slide across, I can add more if I need it, and it only cost a couple bucks.

With summer, incorporating word practice into water activities has been an easy way to make it interesting. I’m going to have to work on some other ways as we head into the cooler months.

How do you encourage kids to practice letter recognition, letter sounds, and sight words?

*I received a product in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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Garden Fresh

Tis the season for fresh fruits and vegetables everywhere you look. Farmer’s markets, u-pick, farm stands – we are trying to make the most of what is seasonally available. We are still working on the first batch of ice cream I made in my new ice cream maker, Blueberry Ice Cream, and I just put another batch of popsicles in the freezer, Watermelon Mint.

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I have two recent posts on Dayton Moms Blog that I wanted to share with you. While there is some information local to Dayton, Ohio in them, but the ideas translate to where ever you happen to live.

Farmer’s Market Fun for Kids

That’s My Jam: Making Homemade Freezer Jam

I recommend exploring your area’s farmer’s markets. If you are near Shelbyville or Bedford County in Tennessee, check out Bedford County Locally Grown Farmers Market. My sister-in-law is one of the masterminds behind it and it is unique in that it lets you pick exactly what you want from the participating growers. They offer everything from produce, to eggs, to bread, to handmade soaps and you make one stop to pick them all up once a week.

In the Garden

This year we scaled back what we are growing in the garden. We wanted to keep the girls interested in the growing and caring for plants but honestly didn’t know how dedicated we would be able to be to it this year. With all the rain, we haven’t had to water the garden and the flowers too often, but it is a chore the girls enjoy in addition to pulling weeds and just digging in the dirt, just because. Besides, it turns out we are awesome at growing leaves.

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We had a good run of spinach at the beginning of the season and the kale is about ready to start getting picked regularly. We tried broccoli but it didn’t really seem to take. It’s still in the garden in the hopes it attracts butterflies and the girls still pick the little buds and eat them right off the plant.

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The herbs are doing well, as usual. The mint is huge and I am happy we decided to put it in its own container last year because it was the first thing to take off running this year. We got new basil and rosemary plants and they are doing great. The surprise of the season has been the dill Kelsey grew from a seed at a program at our local parks system last year. It came back on its own this year and has been an interesting addition. Although, we still haven’t really figured out anything to do with it.

What’s in your garden this year?

Getting Ready for Summer Fun (DIY Popsicles and Magnetic Screen Door Review)

POPSICLE HEADER Summer is upon us! I don’t know about your children, but mine could be outside all day long if I let them. If we are home, we are likely outside riding bikes, playing with water, tending to the gardening, or creating sidewalk art with chalk or paints. When the girls play in the backyard, I can work in the kitchen or sit at the table and work on something. We often have the windows open, weather permitting, and I love the idea of having the door open to see and hear them and allowing them to come in and out, but hate the thought of bugs getting in. I had the opportunity to review this Mega Mesh Premium Magnetic Screen Door and it has lived up to its expectations. It took minutes to install with no tools. The door so easily my 4 year old, 1.5 year old and large dog figured it out quickly and it even closes itself. I like that the mesh is fine enough to keep even the smallest bugs out but I can still clearly see through it and it lets air and sunshine in. It even comes with a 12 month money back guarantee so that gives me confidence that it will hold up against my children and animals. I will say that I wish it was a little wider as I think I have an average door and it fit perfectly into the inside frame. I also would enjoy if it had magnets or some other weight along the bottom as my cat quickly figured out to slide out under it. mesh collage All that playing outside gets my girls wanting something cold to enjoy. If you aren’t making popsicles at home, you are missing out on one of the easiest and healthiest dessert and snack options around. Even in the winter, I’ll make them with leftover smoothie so they’ll be ready to enjoy. Molds come in all shapes and sizes but I personally like molds with a little drip catcher and straw like this Ice Pop Maker Mold Set. popsicle names

** Check out my Heroes of the City Prize Pack Giveaway (thru 6/18/15) to learn more about Heroes of the City videos and crafting shows on YouTube! **

My 4 year old is still stuck on the “winter” setting and after playing outside for a while one morning she asked for hot chocolate. I decided to come up with a Frozen Hot Chocolate popsicle instead. They have a very creamy texture but still has that “hot cocoa” taste to it. These are definitely a dessert, but so yummy!

  • Frozen Hot Chocolate
    • Stir 1 Tablespoon Hershey’s cocoa powder, 1/2 cup white sugar together on the stove. Add 1/4 cup milk, and bring to a boil over medium high heat until smooth.
    • Lower heat then stir in an individual container of vanilla yogurt, 1 packet of hot cocoa mix, and 1/2 cup of milk.
    • Once it is smooth, pour into into molds and freeze.

Did you buy a little too much produce? Did you make a little too much of that last smoothie or puree? Using a few other simple ingredients, you can turn them into a delicious snack that keeps you in control of the ingredients.

  • Watermelon Cucumber – This was the result of too much seedless watermelon and too little time to eat it. We also had a portion of a huge cucumber left. I blended these together with a splash of vanilla simple syrup and splash of lime juice.
  • Iced Coffee – We had half a pot of good coffee left over that I really didn’t want to just pour down the drain. Thankfully, I also had some empty molds so I stirred in some milk and homemade vanilla syrup and poured it straight into the molds. These will be a nice pick-me-up for my husband and I on a hot afternoon.
  • Strawberry Yogurt – We had some strawberries on hand and my daughter recently starting requesting strawberry yogurt. This was about 2 cups of cut strawberries, 1 individual container of strawberry Greek yogurt, and a splash of berry blend juice combined in the blender until smooth. Yogurt in a popsicle is a great way to get kids that don’t usually like yogurt to eat it without a fuss and gives your popsicle a creamy, instead of icy, texture.

The great thing is that you don’t have to get fancy or even exact with recipes. Check out how happy popsicles make this little girl! popsicle laugh Collage *I was provided with a free product through Tomoson in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own. Post contains affiliate links.

DIY Office Redecorating

 

I started my job in October. At the time, I was one of three people in my office. By January, I was the only one still in this space. It felt a little lonely and like there was way too much furniture in the room. It took some brainstorming with a co-worker or two, but I finally decided that an office redecorating day was overdue.

Here is how it looked before. By this point I had moved from the smaller desk in the middle of the room to the larger desk in the corner for more work space but I didn’t like that people were already in the middle of the room before I could see them. It was kind of plain since a lot of the décor left with one of my former office mates. Then there was the vinyl decal that was too stark with the black on white but couldn’t be removed without taking the paint with it.

Office Before Collage

Here are the ways I wanted my office to function:

  • I wanted some color.
  • I wanted to be able to have interns working in my space.
  • I wanted somewhere for people to sit when they came in.
  • I wanted a surface for projects, or meetings, or for my kids to sit at when they came into the office.

I also knew I did not want to spend a lot to refresh the space. After assessing what I wanted to keep that was already in the office, I started by digging through some household items in the garage that hadn’t made it into our current house. I found pillow covers along with extra pillow forms that were sitting in a closet, fabric I had previously used as guest room wall décor, and signed items in frames from my former life as a dancer and dance teacher. I also now had somewhere to put the 12×12 canvas print I won from Printicular.

I also dug through the company storage area and found some large items to put on the wall plus a small table that was just holding up a box and a couple of chairs. Lastly, it gave me an excuse to visit the Base Thrift Store to see if I could find a few things. I found a candle display, some plain black frames, and a large canvas print.

I picked up the large canvas print with the intent of covering it in fabric, but needed to make just a little bit larger so I picked up some foam when I purchased the fabric – with coupons, of course. I just neatly wrapped the foam and canvas and stapled in on to the wooden frame portion on the back.

Office supplies Collage

After enlisting the help of a few coworkers to move some of the furniture around and giving everything a good wipe down and vacuuming, here is the final product.

Office After Collage

I don’t expect to win the designers reality TV contest, but it has been much more pleasant and functional. It’s kind of funny that no one used to really come into my office before but now people will walk in and sit at the little table and most people like the pops of blue in the room. I have also since added some flowers to the little table. Both the table and lining up the two smaller desks has been helpful when putting packets together or to plan out what needs to go to an event. My kids eat dinner here on the evenings that Kelsey has dance class plus they have a little bit of floor space to color or lay down. Even though there is more in the room, it actually feels bigger.

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I was happy to finally have somewhere to display some of my dance memorabilia and it has been a topic of conversation when people come in, especially since you can see the Lion King poster from the hallway. When I was living in a first floor apartment, a hurricane came through and dumped a lot of water and flooded my apartment. I had items on the lowest shelf that were destroyed including some books and other items that had autographs on them. After drying them out, my Mom had the idea to cut up the covers and autographs to keep at least. I could have gotten these custom framed but instead, I got some frames and cardstock and cut out the size I needed for each book.

I think I hit every thing on my wish list and, best of all, I barely spent anything to do it thanks to a little reusing and repurposing. If I am going to be somewhere most of the day, I might as well make it my own.

 

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