Friday, August 31, 2012

sports themed garland.

one of emery's favorite buddies turned 1 the other day. we absolutely love him and his family and were super excited to celebrate such a big occasion with them! 

when his mom, kim, told me what she had in mind for his party, i was even more excited! she took the idea from the sewn garland post and gave it a sports twist! i love everything about this party!

she made a sewn garland with his 
name and little footballs!

she created all the circles into different
sports balls before sewing them together!
she used a few extra balls as
labels around the drink table
she filled this with
ice and water bottles

one of my favorite tricks i
learned from my aunt -
draw different pictures
on the caps of water bottles
so you can tell drinks apart!
with 40+ people at a party,
this comes in handy!

the birthday boy!
kim made tommy this super cute sports shirt!
time for cake!

love and first birthdays,

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

letter R sensory bucket.

i love looking back on my life and seeing all the ways God directed me exactly where i needed to be, even before i was a believer. working at the preschool taught me so much and prepared me in so many ways for being a mom. the biggest bonus - all the stuff i bought for my classroom when i was single and had the cash to do it. i saved all of it for my future kids and am sooo thankful to have activities on hand! 

whenever we get bored, i tell emery we're going to pick something out of the super secret special activity room {also known as a closet in the basement}. i think it's her favorite room in the house!
toddler/preschooler activity: Letter R Sound Box

at the preschool, every week was devoted to a different letter. we would read a book specific to that letter, do an art project about the letter, and i would create centers themed around the letter. One of my centers for letter R was an R Sound Box...

  • small rubbermaid container {i got this at the dollar store, but they also have them in sets of 5 at target.}
  • rice {or if you  do a different letter, pick something else, like confetti for C, pebbles for P, sand for S, etc.}
  • a few objects that start with your letter. i choose a ruler, rose, red ribbon, race car, ring, rooster, and rock. most of these i got at the dollar store.

obviously emery isn't learning what starts with what yet, but it's a fun sensory bucket just the same. I still talked with her about everything like she was 4, but she mostly just wanted to throw rice on the floor. all in all, it was a good day!

she loved finding all the treasures and she loved making a mess! 
i don't mind her doing it, as long as it's supervised and structured!

burying mommy's hand in the rice
love and the alphabet, 

PS - this post was featured on Creative Christian Mama's Linky Party! i'm more than a little pumped!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

throw it out thursday: eye make up remover.

when i ran out of eye make up remover a few months ago, we were in an unexpected financial bind. i didn't want to spend any extra money until i knew what was going to happen {long story} so i hopped on pinterest and started searching. 

i found TONS of eye make up remover recipes, but they were all AWFUL! maybe i was just spoiled with the effectiveness of the brand i had been using, but the recipes i was finding took 2-3 cotton rounds, burning eyes, and gobs of remover to get my eyes completely make up free. not cool.

i have also been on an insane blog kick - subscribing to tons of blogs through facebook and email so that i have to do less work when finding healthy alternatives - the research now comes to me! anyways, a few weeks before this, i had signed up for emails from the wonderful lady read my mind and sent out an email about all natural face wash and eye make up remover. she only briefly mentioned that she used EVOO as eye make up remover, so i thought i would share what i did and give all the credit to her! the best part is the ingredient list: 

  • EVOO
that's it. {maybe crunchy betty is crazy...surely there's more to it!?}

  • eye dropper {i got this one for under $3 at whole foods}
  • cotton round 


  • i find this works best right after i've gotten out of the shower, or if i've held a hot wash cloth over my face for a minute, to soften the mascara.
  • soak the cotton round with water. squeeze out all excess. {i cannot stress how important this is. when i first tried EVOO as eye make up remover, i HATED it because i didn't do this. somehow it helps the olive oil spread better and not get globs in your eyes - which BURNS}
  • fill dropper all the way with EVOO, squirt evenly over cotton round. use fingers to spread it out more. 

  • remove eye make up as usual.

love and less chemicals,

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

how to quickly cut a watermelon.

a few years ago i was over at my husband's aunt house and as usual, she was working in the kitchen. i pretty much always sit at the counter and watch her work because i always learn something new at her house!

i dont even know that she knows this, but one particular day i'm pretty sure my eyes were bugging out of my head and my jaw was on the floor {but i think i was trying to play it cool because she was telling me story}

as a little background to this event - i got married when i was 19. i was super insecure in pretty much everything homemaking related and was pretty positive everyone out there knew exactly what they were doing except me. being 25 now and having talked with many married friends, i now know this isn't true. there are tons of homemakers out there that are totally winging it! i'm not alone!

so, back to my story. i went on with my life for years assuming everyone else knew this trick but me until just a few weeks ago my mom needed to cut up a watermelon and i offered to do it for her. she went upstairs for a few minutes and when she came back down, i was done. i'm pretty sure her eyes were bugging out of her head and her jaw was on the floor. she wanted to know how in the heck it didn't take me 14 hours to wrestle with and conquer the watermelon.

this, dear people, is the answer:

get yourself a watermelon.
and a knife.
and a cutting board.
cut the beast into 4 sections.
from the back of the rind
to the front of the fruit,
cut even sections.
then, coming down from the top,
cut from rind to rind
to make bite sized chunks.
then, going from front to back,
make the final cut, separating the chunks
from the rind and rest of the watermelon.
as you loosen a section,
keep the chunks on the knife,
secure them with your hand,
and dump them in the bowl.
pour the juice from the rind
into a glass and drink it!
have flashbacks to my honeymoon in mexico.
sit back and enjoy the fact
that you did that wicked fast.
if you're looking for something to do with all the watermelon you  bought and cut just to try out this trick, i have a solution. last night we made this amazing watermelon and arugula salad from the Whole Foods website. i left out the red onion cause we were going to someone's house and wanted to be able to talk to them after dinner, but you can leave it in if you don't mind onion breath. 

hopefully this helped some newbie 19 year old wife out there...if not, at least my mom now has photos to go along with my verbal explanation.

love and watermelon juice,

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

balloon sensory matching.

i wouldn't change my job title for anything. being a wife and mom is the BEST! emery's curiosity is my daily reward for staying home - we have the best adventures and she makes everything so much fun. yesterday wasn't any different...

toddler activity: balloon sensory matching

when i worked at the preschool, one of my all time favorite themes was the week devoted to the 5 senses. one of the center time activities was a matching game. I filled balloons with various things and created cards with pictures of each thing. the kids got to squish, poke, and prod and then lay the balloons on the card they thought was the right match.

i know emery isn't there yet, but i keep seeing sensory balloons on pinterest and thought i'd make them again! i still have the cards, so for the sake of the post, i thought i'd fill them with what's in the pictures, even though it wont matter for her right now!
all you need is a funnel {for some things},
the balloons, and various items
that are different sizes and textures.
feeling the rice balloon!
she loved watching mommy 

use the funnel to fill it!
things got a little messy...
corn through our
funnel was a no go.
so we put them in ourselves.

she wanted in that flour bag so bad!
funneling the sand.
we also did shampoo and marbles.
honestly, i was surprised
how much she loved these -
i didn't think they would
last that long, but she
loved picking them up
one by one and squishing them!

in a few years, i'll add in the cards and i wont let her help me fill them so she wont know what's in what!

i just found the pictures on google images, printed them off, traced a balloon image, and laminated them {which definitely isn't necessary, i just had access to one at the preschool and with 12 new kids every year, i needed them to last!}

{marbles, corn, rice.}
{flour, shampoo, sand.}

love and guessing games,

PS - Creative Christian Mama  and One Creative Mommy featured this post in their weekly linky parties! check out their blogs!