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5 Mother’s Day Gifts for $5

Mother’s day is this Sunday! It seems everywhere I look there are gift ideas with price tags in the triple digits. Just to prove that that you can show her you care with very little $, here are 5 extra budget-friendly Mother’s Day gift ideas for $5 or less, including a couple DIYs. But truly, a simple phone call can make a difference. Your mother is priceless, so be sure to take a few moments to tell her so.

Mother's Day Photo Cards from Target

1. Target Photo Greeting Card. For the same price as buying a traditional Mother’s Day card, you can create your own personalized 5×7 Photo Greeting Card for just $3.99! There are several nice designs to chose from. You know she’ll love it!

2. A Cheryl’s Cookie Greeting shipped straight to her door ($5 includes shipping). I can personally vouch that these butter cream cookies are delicious. Don’t you think it would be a cheerful treat for mom to find in her mailbox?

trader joes body butter

3. Trader Joe’s Coconut Body Butter ($4.99). Have you tried this yet? Super rich and creamy with a sweet coconutty fragrance. Lots of natural ingredients, too. Mom will love it after showering or before bedtime , especially for tired hands and feet.

DIY Wooden Popsicle Stick  Seed Plant Markers

4. Herb Garden Markers DIY. The things you can make with popsicle sticks! These garden markers are pretty and practical, and Lil Blue Boo has a great tutorial and a free download to show you how.

DIY Paperclip Earrings

5. DIY Paperclip Earrings. Learn how to make these unique paperclip and string earrings by Evie S. from her post called Art From Everyday Objects: Paperclips + String. Definitely unique!

 


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Easter Egg Hunt 2013

Nothing like the joy of a good Easter Egg Hunt! We’ve attended the same one every year since Chloe could walk. Its free, hosted by a local church, and starts off with a few crafts for the kids to do while they wait. This year was Leo’s first. You should have seen his eyes light up when he noticed the fields sparkling with colorful eggs!

Next year Chloe will be too old to hunt the same field as Leo, so I am glad I was able to get some photos of them together. By the end, Chloe had her basket filled literally to overflowing. So much fun, but unfortunately, over so quickly! More of our hunt photos can be seen here, and a special thanks to the kids’ aunt and uncle for providing them with such adorable, personalized baskets!

What about you? Do you have fond memories of egg hunts? Treat-filled Easter baskets? Pancakes shaped like bunnies?

 

 


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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Love and sweetness to you all on this day and everyday!

P.S. If you’re a donut and dark chocolate fan, then you’ve got to try Krispy Kreme’s current dark chocolate iced glazed. I ate it before I could take a picture (nor can I link to it because they aren’t featuring it on their site for some reason). Mmm! It’s sooo good!


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Flashlight Valentine Card: Making it your own

I’ve gotten several lovely comments on the Flashlight Valentine Card printable, including one from Melissa. She wrote:

These are so cute! I was sitting here trying to design my own cards for flashlights. Nothing was working so off to Google I went for new ideas and bam I found your post. Thanks for the download. You saved my afternoon.

Isn’t that so nice? So then, on a whim, I replied with my thanks and mentioned how I’d love to see her end result, if she felt like sharing. To my delight, she followed up soon after with these two photos and a reply:

Hi Emily.  Attached is a couple pictures of what we did.  I had found the flashlights in town.  Loved how cute your finger ones were.  The kids were so excited to give them to their friends – I have 3.  I had been struggling all week trying to find just the right font.  So I was very excited to find your printable.  I didn’t have white card stock since I had planned on printing the ones I created on a kraft colored paper.  The colors would have been more vibrant had I used white card stock.  But I still like how they turned out. Thanks again for sharing your work.

Well, those words made my day! And also, I found it very interesting to see how Melissa chose to use a hole punch and secure her mini-flashlights with curling ribbon. I think they turned out great! Neat!

Thanks again, Melissa, for taking the time to share your project and for allowing me to share it too! 🙂

 

 


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Light Up Valentines + Free Printable PDF

Chloe worked on her Valentine cards right after breakfast this morning. I had designed these cards a few weeks back, knowing I had a stash of tiny finger flashlights for her to give away. These super bright LED Finger Flashlights are about 20¢ each when you buy a set on Amazon. Keeping their size in mind, I made a similar-sized flashlight with a heart and then included the phrase “You Light Up My Life Valentine.” Interestingly, this is the first time I felt like typefaces failed me. None of them looked quite right, so I ended up handwriting it and then scanning it in. Much better!

Here’s what the cards look like freshly printed:

This is what the packages of finger flashlights look like:

If you decide to add a finger light onto a card, use an x-acto knife to cut a small tab near the middle of the printed flashlight, like shown. Then slide the elastic loop onto the tab. Like this:

Continue Reading →


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Christmas 2012 Recap

I am so proud of myself! I just realized that I had remembered to “lock” some photos to my camera before I downloaded and deleted the memory card in Colorado! I had transferred them to an SD card, but they weren’t there when I got home. Luckily, copies are still on my father-in-law’s computer, and he will send me a CD. Until then, I still have some of my favorites!

I often think how Chloe and Leo have no idea how lucky they are. After all, Santa and Mrs. Claus have come to visit them at their grandparent’s house for two years in a row. Can you imagine?! You can see Chloe’s expression when they came to the door here (if there is a next time, I’ll have to get it on video!). Leo, naturally, wasn’t quite as enthusiastic. However, it was great fun, and that night we had an amazing Osso Bucco dinner made by Grandma Sandy. And, as if on cue, we were surprised by the biggest group of neighborhood carolers I have ever seen later that night!

We also did some other fun “firsts” during our week in Colorado, including attending the children’s Christmas mass at the local Catholic church, had a very exciting visit to the North Pole Santa’s Workshop, a storybook-like theme park not far from Colorado Springs, AND went on our very first horse-drawn sleigh ride! Wow! It was crazy to get to play in the snow and go sledding one day and then turn around and hop a flight to Cancun the next.

It is tempting to think the rest of this year will be very boring in comparison, but somehow, I don’t think so…

More photos from this trip are on Flickr.


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Happy New Year from Cancun!

We just returned from an amazing two week adventure – first in snowy Colorado for sledding, sleigh rides and Christmastime, followed by a five-day once-in-a-lifetime stay at a resort in Cancun! Looking back, it almost seems too good to be true, but we all lived it and I have photos, too!

Since my card-reader is acting up, all I have right now are iPhone photos from Cancun to share. Here are some of my favorites with more on Flickr. We stayed at Barcelo Maya Palace which is an all-inclusive resort on the Riviera Maya, where we met up with David’s parents, his brothers and their families.

Chloe loved getting to spend time with everyone, especially her cousin Paolo. Leo, on the other hand, wanted to pretty much stick to me like a barnacle, although he loved the water and the sand every bit as much as his sister. For New Year’s Eve, grandma and grandpa watched the kids so the three couples could enjoy a peaceful five-course dinner and then ring in the New Year right on the beach.

There were a ton of activities available on the resort for both adults and kids, and because Chloe and Leo are still so young we stayed on the resort the entire time. My hope is that we”ll come back one day when the kids are older and see the famous sites like Tulum and Xel-ha and swim in a cenote (the third photo above is a tiny cenote they had on the property).

My very favorite thing, besides the sunshine, was holding hands while snorkeling with David. My least favorite thing was dining with the kids at the buffet, since neither could sit still for very long and Leo always seemed to make a mess. The food was incredible though. I tried a little bit of everything – duck, quail, rabbit, giant crayfish, crab, lobster and so many other fish and specialty dishes. And the desserts! More choices at one time than I’ll probably every see again in my life. Truly a vacation of a lifetime!

P.S. If you happen to choose a stay at any section of the Barceló Maya resort, we found this unnofficial web site to be really helpful.

 


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Christmas (Yuletide) Camellia

20121208-163043.jpg

Our christmas camellia is beginning to bloom! Must mean we’re getting closer to the big day! This is our first winter with this little bush – we bought it at a local nursery this summer for its glossy evergreen leaves. But seeing the little red beauties with their bright gold stamens pop open at this unexpected time of year is really a treat! Now I wish I had chosen one twice as big! Wouldn’t it be nice to someday dress a holiday table with fresh cuttings straight from the yard? Such a neat way to add to the holiday magic. 🙂

 


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Dear Chloe, Age 4

Dear Chloe,

You are now four years old! We celebrated your birthday yesterday at a local gymnastics academy. You had a wonderful time with your friends – running around, jumping on the trampoline and into the foam pit, and all around the inflatable bounce house and slide. You chose the chocolate cake with the rainbow on it and you also requested a pinata. You’ve been asking for a fairy pinata for months, but since we couldn’t find one you finally chose a butterfly instead. 🙂

..

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Now that you are four, I’ve decided we’ll join in on the popular new tradition of 20 questions. I hope that we’ll repeat this every year. Tonight, right before bedtime, I interviewed you. Here is what you said:

1. What is your favorite color? Blue and purple. First, I like blue.
2. What is your favorite toy? My Lalaloopsy doll
3. What is your favorite fruit? Grapes
4. What is your favorite tv show? My Big, Big Friend
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Pasta
6. What is your favorite thing to wear? My orange (sun) dress with the orange bloomers
7. What is your favorite game? Playing with you. Candyland and dress-up
8. What is your favorite snack? The chocolate cereal (Kellogg’s Krave)
9. What is your favorite animal?
A Butterfly
10. What is your favorite song? The lullaby we listen to in the car where the baby floats in the air (Rockabye baby in the tree top, when the wind blows the cradle will rock, when the bough breaks the cradle will fly, and up will drift baby into the sky…)
11. What is your favorite book? The Octonauts and the (Great) Ghost Reef
12. Who is your best friend? You. And I love Anjali. And Rosabelle and Hazel.
13. What is your favorite cereal? Marshmallow cereal (Mallow Oats by Mom’s Best Cereals). Chex.
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play in the sandbox and run
15. What is your favorite drink? Juice and milk
16. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas and Halloween and when I give out heart cards (Valentine’s Day).
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Backpack baby and (light-up) Ladybug
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Cereal (granola and/or corn flakes) with (vanilla) yogurt and milk
19. What is your favorite dinner? Meatballs and spaghetti
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? A mommy. I mean, a daddy. 🙂
I love you my little girl,
Forever and always,
Mama

Chloe’s 4-year specs – Height: 3′ 1.5″ (0.953m) (9.11%)  Weight: 29lbs (13.154kg) (5.56%)  BMI: 14.50 kg/m2


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Halloween

Are you ready to trick-or-treat? My preschooler sure is. For the past few weeks she’s wanted to wear the same mermaid costume as last year. Then yesterday on the phone with Grandma she said she was going to be Snow White! So this morning I hemmed up her Snow White dress (a Christmas gift from her Uncle AJ and Aunt Aundrea) from her dress up bin . I was going to top it off with a simple red headband, but Chloe pointed out that Snow White wears a red bow in her hair. Right! So I whipped one of those up during nap time. Now we’re ready to rock.

Oh, have you seen this skeleton maternity shirt? I totally love it and wish I had seen it while I was pregnant. So funny! Leo, who is almost 17 months, will be wearing a similar skeleton shirt (minus the fetus!) that glows in the dark. Happy Halloween!


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Halloween Activity Printables

We are preparing for a big trip next week. To help pass the time for Chloe, I’ve been printing some worksheets and activities. Education.com has lots of Halloween-themed printables (and other seasonal activities) that can be filtered by holiday and grade level. Here are a few samples:


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Free Halloween Wall Art Printables

Its October! Only 31 days until Halloween! My girl has been asking about it for months. She loves dress up and, of course, there is nothing like trick-or-treating. We’ve picked up a few things from the dollar store to decorate with, but here are three fun signs you can download and print right from your computer: Eat, Drink and Be Scary, I Love Halloween, and Trick or Treat.


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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Hi! I hope you are having a wonderful Valentine’s Day! I am happy to report that we got our valentine cards out in time this year (well… all but one. Sorry Great Grandma Vera, yours got stuck in the pile of extra envelopes and I didn’t see it until last night). We kept it simple and used foam and sparkle stickers on white card stock. I learned that Chloe finds 3-dimensional stickers on sheets to be easier to peel than stickers that are pre-punched out. I did a lot of pre-peeling just to keep things moving. Also, we worked on cards over several sittings, the length of each determined by Chloe’s attention span and interest.

This morning, David surprised me with a lovely card and a box of truffle-filled dark chocolate hearts. For him, I designed a card cover, and inside I included this pop-up pixelated heart in red. I think he really liked it. To surprise the kids, I picked up some helium foil valentine balloons from the dollar store while Chloe was in preschool.

One extra special something I got for Chloe is a hand-carved stamp with her name. She already recognizes and says the letters, but hasn’t learned to write it yet, though she tries. If only I had waited one more day before mailing her cards this would have come in handy! The artist kindly agreed to customize it with a little heart, which I love. Now I’m thinking Leo will need one too. 🙂

Want a stamp of your own? Lauren of Doodlebug Design  is offering a 10% discount to Paperseed readers. Just use code Doodlebug10 at checkout.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


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Fallen Angel / Dark Fairy / Witch

Chloe asked me if I was going to dress up for Halloween, and seemed quite disappointed when I replied no. After all, she LOVES dressing up. She already wore her Minnie Mouse outfit to dance class this morning and can’t wait to wear her mermaid costume this evening to trick-or-treat. She then told me I could be a witch, because she saw a black witch’s hat in our decorations box. So I said, okay, I’ll wear the hat. But now I’m thinking maybe I’ll take it a step further… maybe some face make-up, too. Then I found this awesome tutorial online. Yeah, I think I could rock that look… maybe. 🙂


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Halloween Pumpkins

Years ago, before we bought our house, we lived in a townhouse complex that had a pumpkin carving contest every year. David made an AWESOME pumpkin (like the one above in the lower right corner) by drilling holes and filling them with a string of electric lights (a la Martha Stewart “celestial” pumpkins). That year he won a $15 Starbucks gift card.

Just like last year, Chloe loves to spot pumpkins, and this year she knows what a jack o’lantern is, too. We are actually going to carve our pumpkins tonight, after dinner. Here are some images that I find inspirational this year:


Pretty Pumpkin


Lantern pumpkins


Skull jack-o’-lantern

 

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