Friday, October 24, 2014

How Do You Make Time for Mom?

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Global Influence. All opinions expressed are my own.


I think moms deserve a spa trip at least once a month. Can I get an amen? I know that I feel blessed to be the primary caregivers of my adorable kids, but those adorable kids tend to leave me with less than enough sleep and food or snot or some other bodily fluid in my hair at all times. Unfortunately, for most of us, a trip to the spa is an occasion that definitely does not happen more than "every now and then." I think the last time I had a professional pedicure was when I was pregnant with Lincoln.

Since we can't all get professionally pampered constantly, I think it's so important to find a few minutes here and there that are just for mom. It's a necessity for those of us who are in the trenches of motherhood with very young kids at home. I hear stories from moms who say they haven't showered in several days. I'm not going to lie to you: I shower every single day, because I cannot function otherwise. I cannot. By the time I get out of the shower, someone is often screaming over a stolen toy, so I have to jump right back into "mom mode" - but that ten minutes alone is a highlight of my day. Very often, it's the only ten minutes I worry about myself in the entire day.

I may not have time to style my hair or put on makeup every morning, but at least I can start the day with my hair feeling clean. Even if I'm just throwing it up into a ponytail or a messy bun, knowing that I'm starting fresh keeps me just a little bit more sane.

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How do you find time to make time for you in the midst of all the craziness that comes with helping little ones learn and grow?

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Global Influence, but all opinions are my own. For more information, you can read my Disclosure Policy

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Easy Kid Craft: Autumn Falling Leaves Tree

Director Jewels: Easy DIY Kid Craft Tutorial: Autumn Falling Leaves Tree with Pom Poms and Pipe Cleaners

Before I was a mom, I assumed that my life with children would be a constant craft fest - glue and glitter everywhere, with a healthy collection of paints and markers at the ready for any given idea. Okay, so I have all the supplies. But crafting with toddlers is a little more trying than my pre-kid self anticipated. A lot of my grand ideas are on hold for a couple more years - until everyone decides that eating the supplies is unnecessary. But when I do take the time to create a simplified craft, I'm always amazed at how much fun we have making it! Thus, I bring you the Toddler Approved Easy Autumn Falling Leaves Tree Craft.

Director Jewels: Easy DIY Kid Craft Tutorial: Autumn Falling Leaves Tree with Pom Poms and Pipe Cleaners

This little project requires very few supplies - and that's the best news when you're crafting with littles!

Supplies Needed 
-Brown Pipe Cleaners (I used 4 for each tree, but you can use however many you desire)
-Red, Yellow, and Orange mini pom-poms
-Green Crayons
-Half Sheet of Cardstock
-Bottle of Children's Glue

Director Jewels: Easy DIY Kid Craft Tutorial: Autumn Falling Leaves Tree with Pom Poms and Pipe Cleaners

1. Color the "Grass." This could easily be done with paint, Easter grass, or any other green variation you can think of - I was keeping it simple, so I grabbed a couple of green crayons and let Lincoln and Addie color the "ground" of their projects as much (or as little) as desired.

Director Jewels: Easy DIY Kid Craft Tutorial: Autumn Falling Leaves Tree with Pom Poms and Pipe Cleaners

2. Create Your Tree. I used 4 pipe cleaners to make a spider shape, twisting them tightly together in the middle. Once they were connected, I pulled 6 ends to the top for branches and left 2 at the bottom to be the base of the tree.

Director Jewels: Easy DIY Kid Craft Tutorial: Autumn Falling Leaves Tree with Pom Poms and Pipe Cleaners

Next, I cut 2 sets of 2 slits in the paper "ground" and inserted the two tree legs, twisting them to make them stand (see below).

Director Jewels: Easy DIY Kid Craft Tutorial: Autumn Falling Leaves Tree with Pom Poms and Pipe Cleaners

The trees were a little wobbly, so I ended up using some Scotch tape to secure them (I covered the slits and pipe cleaners on the underside of the paper with a couple pieces of tape). 

Director Jewels: Easy DIY Kid Craft Tutorial: Autumn Falling Leaves Tree with Pom Poms and Pipe Cleaners

Director Jewels: Easy DIY Kid Craft Tutorial: Autumn Falling Leaves Tree with Pom Poms and Pipe Cleaners
Voila! Standing tree!

3. Decorate with Pom-Pom "Leaves." This was definitely the most popular part of our project! I had planned to use the glue to put all of the pom-poms on the tree branches. We did a few, but that ended up being too difficult for the kids to manage alone and they didn't want much help.

Director Jewels: Easy DIY Kid Craft Tutorial: Autumn Falling Leaves Tree with Pom Poms and Pipe Cleaners

Director Jewels: Easy DIY Kid Craft Tutorial: Autumn Falling Leaves Tree with Pom Poms and Pipe Cleaners

We ended up having most of the leaves be "fallen" to the ground, with dots of glue on the paper around the base of the tree. 

Director Jewels: Easy DIY Kid Craft Tutorial: Autumn Falling Leaves Tree with Pom Poms and Pipe Cleaners

Both Lincoln (3) and Addie (almost 2) thought this was the best idea ever. Lincoln wanted to put the spots of glue down himself, and they used almost the entire stash of red, orange, and yellow pom-poms to decorate their trees.

Director Jewels: Easy DIY Kid Craft Tutorial: Autumn Falling Leaves Tree with Pom Poms and Pipe Cleaners

Director Jewels: Easy DIY Kid Craft Tutorial: Autumn Falling Leaves Tree with Pom Poms and Pipe Cleaners

Director Jewels: Easy DIY Kid Craft Tutorial: Autumn Falling Leaves Tree with Pom Poms and Pipe Cleaners

Our little trees are happily on display and we'll use them in preschool to talk about the changing seasons and all of the different colors of leaves that we see outside!

Director Jewels: Easy DIY Kid Craft Tutorial: Autumn Falling Leaves Tree with Pom Poms and Pipe Cleaners

Like this craft? Make sure you check out our Apple Tree Preschool Math Game, too!

Monday, October 20, 2014

42/52




"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."
 
Lincoln - fearless.
Addie - not quite fearless.
 
Linking up at Practising Simplicity

$100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway

Yahoo! I love bringing you guys giveaways for things that I would love to win myself - like a $100 Visa Gift Card! What would you do with this prize if you're the winner? You can get started on your holiday shopping, spend a day at the spa or tuck it away for a rainy day. I've teamed up with a bunch of other great bloggers to give you a chance to put a little something extra in your pocket.

100 visa giveaway

The Prize: One (1) person will win a $100 Visa Gift Card

Details: Giveaway runs from October 20th through November 14th, 2014 (11:59 pm EST). Entries are open to US Residents who are 18 years of age or older at time of entry. Winner will be selected within 3 days of contest end date from all eligible entries on the Rafflecopter form below. Winner will be notified by the email they have provided and have 48 hours to respond and claim their prize or a new winner will be selected.

Organized By: Remaking June / Sponsored By: Courtney's SweetsThe Wait Is OverBeing AlisonAfropolitan Mom

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Currently // October 20, 2014


Doing //
...all the things. Seriously. SO. MANY. THINGS. I have lists coming out of my ears and I'm losing my mind just a little bit. Thankfully, over the weekend I had a couple of kid-free hours and my kitchen table no longer looks quite as bad as that photo above.

...some backyard therapy in an attempt for everyone to play happily while Mom gets some work done. It's been...reasonably successful so far.

...a lot of Etsy shop marketing. I think it may be working - I had four sales last week!


Planning //
...Addie's second birthday party. I've only started the initial planning stages for this, but since it's barely a month away, it seems likely that I should get busy.

Holiday Gift Guide arrivals! Oh, to be a blogger's child.

...the Holiday Gift Guide for the blog! I haven't done a gift guide since 2011, when I was a full-time coupon blogger. So this is fun (and a little overwhelming, since it's been three years)! If you own a business or an Etsy shop or anything like that, read more about how to be included in my guide!

...a mini vacation next month. We loved Silver Dollar City last Christmas and had so much fun exploring Branson as a family this summer that we just can't pass up the opportunity to go again.


Remembering // 

...to use my real camera sometimes. All the photos in this post are blurry because they were taken with my phone. I want to get back to keeping a daily Project Life scrapbook and I know that I will prefer "real" photos for that. I still think phone cameras are great. But expensive cameras are nice, too.


...that having a meal plan is helpful. I've done slightly better this past week at having some sort of intentions as far as dinner and even that has made life a little easier. If I actually cooked every night, wouldn't it be fantastic? Cooking is not my strong suit. There are so many other things I would rather be doing. I can't be the only one who feels like this, right?


Wishing //

...that I were planning a trip to Disney World. Hey, I can dream.

...for more hours in the day. I sort of feel like this is going to be a lifelong desire.



Loving //

...the way Lincoln and Addie actually play together sometimes. It was more than a little crazy having two kids under age two, but they are really starting to be able to entertain themselves and each other with imaginative games and giggling races. Now - just because they can entertain themselves does not mean that they always choose to do so. A lot of time is still spent fussing and whining in our home. Sigh. 


What are you up to this week? Hope you're having a happy Monday! Linking up with Hannah for Currently.
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