Kid’s Canvas Art

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This article may contain affiliate links and may result in my compensation. All recommendations are products that I would or do already use. Thank you for your support.

I love canvas painting! Give me a blank canvas and some acrylic paint and I will be in heaven. There are endless possibilities for what you can do with it (even if you don’t consider yourself an artistic person). 

Since having my son I haven’t had much time to pursuer this hobby of mine (surprise, surprise). However, now that he’s 1 and showing interest in things like coloring, I figured it was time to introduce him to the big times.

So for my little Picasso in training, I bought a 5×7 canvas (most of the time you can find these in 2 packs so you’ll have one for yourself or if you have more than one little painter then it works out great!). I also picked up some paint MARKERS (non toxic and washable of course). I chose paint markers to avoid a large mess. A tiny mess I can handle, but putting a jar of paint and a cup of dirty paint water in front of my paint brush wielding toddler did not sound like a good time. Instead I went with the markers that were easy for him to grip and control while painting.


Now since I’m realistic I didn’t expect my 1 year old to do much more than scribble on the canvas (he’s smart but hasn’t quite mastered his shapes yet). However, the crafter in my needed to somehow help make the painting into something.

This part was simple. I took some masking tape from my husbands tool box and placed it onto the canvas in the shape of a “W” (for our last name).

Now it was ready for the little artist. All I had left to do was give it to C and let him go Wild. He loved mixing the colors and scribbling all over the canvas. It was especially fun when I had to convince him that it was okay to have paint on his hands…he didn’t believe me. 


So after pausing to wash his hands off every few minutes (hahaha what can I say, my kid likes to be clean) we made sure that all of the white canvas around the tape was colored. I (with the help of my apprentice painter), pulled the tape of to see our finished result!!


If you think your own little artist in training is ready for a project of their own try this one out!!


Supplies

5×7 canvas (Hobby Lobby Or Amazon)

Masking Tape

Non Toxic/Washable Paint Markers (Hobby Lobby or Amazon)

Directions

1. Choose a design (initials, shapes, numbers, etc.) then use the tape to create that design on the canvas.

2. Let your little one go to town on the canvas. Help guide at the end to make sure no more white is left visible.

3. Once dried, gently pull the tape off (my little one enjoyed helping with this part too).

4. Enjoy your little prodigy’s work of art!


Do you have a little artist in training at home? I’d love to hear what your little Picasso’s first art project was!

Upcycled Happy Planner Frame

This post may contain affiliate links that lead to my compensation. Each is an honest recommendation for products/service I would or do already use. Thank you for your support.

I recently caved and joined the Happy Planner craze. I’m a note taker and list maker (really I just like the feeling of acomplishment when I get to check things off!).


So I found a sale and got my first Happy Planner! It’s beautiful with flowers on the cover and pretty inspirational sayings on the inside, things like:

“Savor the small things.” And “Focus on the good.”

It’s even packed full of pages with fun and chic designs.


So each month as I went to empty out the previous section I found myself setting aside the decorative pages. The thrifty side of me said it would be a waste to throw such pretty pictures out. While the crafty side of me said there has to be SOMETHING I can do with these. Eventually I had a nice little pile sitting on my desk. My husband finally insisted that I stop hoarding them or finally do something with them.

I decided to start by upcycling an old picture frame using a quote and a design page together. This project is really so simple you’re going to think I’m crazy!

I began by gathering my supplies:

Glue, scotch tape, or scrapbook tape (depending on what you have laying around)

Scissors

Happy planner pages (1 quote, 1 design that compliment one another)

Dollar Tree Frame or any old Frame you have laying around


Directions:

1. Match a quote page with a patterned page. You want them to compliment eachother not clash of course. The pattern will be acting as your background.


2. Now, my Frame was a little big so I had to use black construction paper as a second background (to put the pattern on). This acted as a filler between the Happy Planner page and the Frame. If you use/buy a smaller frame this step won’t be necessary. You may also have to trim the construction paper to fit into the frame.


3. Trim your pattern page so the hole punched edge on the left is no longer there. Tape pattern page onto the middle of the construction paper.


4. Now you’re ready to trim down the quote page. I wanted a good portion of the pattern to show behind the quote so I cut close to the words. You can allow however much or little of the pattern page to show as you’d like.



5. Next you will want to position and tape the quote onto the pattern page. (If you’re not using glue or scrapbook tape, you’ll want to fold the scotch tape to be double sided..so it won’t be visible)

6. Last, place your newly designed, upcycled page in the frame and do what you’d like with it! I placed mine on the kitchen bar but you could hang yours in another room, give it away as a gift, or even do a few more and try to sell them on a craft page!

I often find that we buy things and let them go to waste but if you stop and think you will find ways to upcycle and reuse them! Be creative and make something beautiful.

What are some items around your house that you’ve successfully upcycled?

Date Night In: Subscription Box Review & Coupon Code 

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In exchange for my honest review I received the following box for free and may receive additional boxes through referrals. The experience and opinions in this article are my own. 

Attention: The following article contains Spoilers for the February subscription!

    Before having our son my husband and I had fabulous weekend long dates full of fun and adventure. Now that we have parental responsibilities (to a son that we absolutely love and adore), the date night thing can be tricky. Between finding the time in my husband’s busy work schedule  and coordinating with someone to watch the baby, date nights can easily turn into more work than play.

My husband and I try our best to go out at least once or twice a month but is that truly enough? Should intimacy be limited to one or two nights a month? Often times we try to set aside time to connect at home after the baby is asleep. This usually means Netflix and some ice cream, and often results in the two of us on our phones Candy Crushing or Facebooking.

So when I came across the Date Night In subscription box I was thrilled! The idea of someone preparing an intimate and creative date then delivering it to my door was a dream come true.
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The “Wild Ones”


There are the “terrible twos” then you have your “threenagers”, but nobody ever warns you about the “Wild Ones”. 

My son can’t even speak in full sentences yet but does that stop him from telling me off? Nope. He’ll baby babble at me until he’s blue in the face.

He’s only been walking for 6 months but has somehow mastered stomping and dramatically dropping to the ground for an oscar worthy tantrum. 

I never thought my son looked much like me (he’s the spitting image of my husband) but that look he just gave me when I said, “no more fruit snacks”, has me written all over it. Oh if looks could kill…

These are the “Wild Ones”; I don’t know where they came from and I don’t know when they’ll go away but I do know we (moms) can survive them.

Maybe this is God’s way of preparing me for the 2’s, 3’s, or worse..puberty! All I can do is stay strong and survive my 1 year old with the help of:

Coffee. I try to limit my caffeine intake to only one cup a day but some days (days when my son protests naptime like he’s fighting for world peace) I will have a second cup or a third…heck, I might even drink a fourth! And I’ll make it strong. 

Friends. I will call up a friend or two and invite them to my house (even if it looks like The Rolling Stones just passed through on tour). I will use adult contact to keep my sanity! Chances are she’s been there and knows just what I’m going through. 

My husband. There is no greater help than my husband. I depend on him as he does me. He understands better than anyone the joys and struggles of my daily life and does everything he can to help and support me. Especially if that means taking over bathtime!

Humor. Lastly, as my son is laying on the grocery store floor screaming because I insisted that he wears his left shoe, I will laugh (Of course I will do my best to do so where he can’t see me. We wouldn’t want to reinforce the bad behavior. But yes, I will turn and giggle or laugh in my head as we get dirty looks from strangers). I will do this because he is 1. He’s little and upset for a ridiculous reason. I will laugh because life (and his childhood) goes by fast and isn’t it better to spend it smiling rather than scowling? 

Image via some cards

Of course there are also many wonderful things about this stage of my son’s life. We have fun and laugh, learn and discover. We snuggle and sing, play and rejoice. The hard parts will pass. The tantrums, the fits…my son will grow out of it (with the right guidance and discipline of course). One day the “wild ones” will be a distant memory (one that I can remind him of as he calls me one day to complain about his own unruly 1 year old).


Until then, wish me luck. And remember, if you too are experiencing the “wild ones”, you’re not alone mama. Stay strong. 

Mission Valentine


 This post contains affiliate links and may result in my compensation. These links are true and honest recommendations for products that I would or do already use. Thank you so much for your support.

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching and your mission (should you choose to accept it) is to come up with a fun and creative date with your special someone.

Now I’m a sucker for a good spy movie, that’s why I thought creating a “Top Secret Mission” for my man would be a blast!

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Learning Through Everyday Activites

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One of my favorite parts of parenting is seeing my son learn and discover new things every single day. From puzzles to animal noises and even to learning how to brush his own teeth, my pride swells up with each new accomplishment.

Now I’m no professional educator, I’m completely winging it when it comes to motherhood. But I have found that being a stay at home mom has allowed me to find new ways to slip some learning into our normal everyday activities. Some of these I started without even realizing it was a “lesson” (I’m sure you can relate to the boredom that sometimes leads to you breaking out in “Head, shoulders, knees, and toes”).

Here are 5 of my favorites to do with my little one:

  1. Sing your ABC’s while brushing your teeth and while washing your hands. This will also prevent them from rushing through the activity itself. 
  2. Count stairs. Perfect if you have stairs in your house or live on the upper level of an apartment.
  3. Name body parts while getting dressed or washing in the bath. This one is easy to do and chances are you’ve already been doing it all a long!
  4. Make up your own songs. I don’t like things quiet so I find myself singing things like “Stir, stir, stir…stir, stir, stir,..stir your dinner..” to the beat of “Shake your body” by KC and the Sunshine Band. 
  5. Get on the floor with them. If they’re doing a puzzle on the floor, get off the couch and do it with them. If they’re watching TV, ask them questions or play along with the show. My son loves Sesame Street, so whenever the “Number of the Day” comes on I drop whatever I’m doing and stomp/count along with him and Count Dracula. If he is showing interest in something throughout the day, I do my best to support and encourage that. 

There are many more activities you can do with your little ones if you just look for the opportunity. Turn mundane activities into learning experiences and your little ones will be grateful for it. Days spent at the house can be boring, why not spice it up and have some fun? Even if my child doesn’t say his ABC’s at an advanced age, at least we had some fun while brushing our teeth. It’s the little things right?

What daily activities do you turn into learning experiences for your children?

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Meal Prep Must Haves

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This post contains affiliate links and may result in my compensation. These links are true recommendations for things that I would or do already use. Thank you so much for your support.

   For a busy mama, making breakfast and lunch day after day can be an exhausting and unnecessary task. To save time and energy throughout my week I have started meal prepping.

   I had seen multiple friends do it and thought about doing it for a while, so I finally made the decision to give it a shot. First things first, I needed the right tools to make this go as smoothly as possible (the goal is to make LESS work not more).

   Here is a compilation of my personal Go-To tools for meal prepping:

  1. Brownie Pan
    A muffin pan could work just as well but I personally prefer the brownie pan. The squares make for a pleasant presentation and I like the way it bakes the edges of whatever I’m cooking. Found at Amazon. There are a large variety of things you can prep using this: mini egg fritattas, banana bread squares, mini meatloaf, protein bars, etc. 
  2. Crock-pot or Instant Pot
    Perfect for making things like chicken in bulk. Shred the meat up and use in recipes such as: chicken fajita salad or chicken salad sandwiches. Also found on Amazon: crock-pot, instant pot.
  3. Microwavable Veggie Steamer
    This will allow you to make vegetables in bulk while freeing up your stove/oven for other prepping. I use Pampered Chef’s micro-cooker which can be found at Amazon or by contacting your local consultant.
  4. Meal Prep Containers
    At first I thought these wouldn’t be necessary since I own Tupperware. However, after finding that all of my Tupperware was going towards a weeks worth of prepped breakfasts/lunches, I had none left for anything else like dinner leftovers. Figuring out that I needed more containers, I took some recommendations from friends and found a variety of options through Amazon (for only $15.49!). They even had little separators (perfect for picky children, and husbands!).

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You may already have some of these items in your kitchen or you may find that certain substitutions work better for you and your family. Whatever you choose, I wish you luck on your healthy lifestyle endeavors! It is not easy to stay on track (especially when you’re a SAHM with a lot on your plate or a working mom with a jam packed schedule). I applaud you for all that you do while still putting in the effort to give your family a healthy lifestyle.

I’d love to hear about some of your favorite meal prep tools!

xoxo J.