Browsing Tag


Tropical Paper Chain Countdown

Tropical Paper Chain Countdown

We obviously love paper chain countdowns in our house. We make them for everything and the kids and I love them. Before our Hawaii trip  I had been thinking that a tropical themed countdown would be fun and I knew pineapples and flowers would be perfect.

Tropical Paper Chain Countdown

I figured I would check Pinterest first to see if anyone else had done something similar and came across the cutest pineapple countdown by Short Stop Designs. I downloaded her free printable (you can too by clicking the link to her blog) and we made pineapples, but I still wanted to add some flowers into the mix. I found a free flower printable on Pinterest and used that too. I still felt it needed a bit more, so I cut out a smaller pink center for my flowers and made a stem using a snowflake punch and orange construction paper. To add these to your flowers, CLICK HERE to download my free printable. You can just print them out directly onto pink and orange construction paper, then cut them out and glue them to the center of your flowers.

Tropical Paper Chain Countdown

I then used the Simple Stories Wish You Were Here Digital Collection to make the countdown sign. I let the boys cut the 1.5″ inch paper strips and they helped staple them together. Didn’t it turn out so cute?! I actually kept “forgetting” to have the boys pull chains off the countdown because I loved looking at it so much.

Tropical Paper Chain Countdown

*This free printable from is for personal use only, you may not sell, share or link directly to this file.

Tropical Paper Chain Countdown
Tropical Paper Chain Countdown
Tropical Paper Chain Countdown


turkey handprint craft

Fall Fun

We have been having so much fun celebrating the fall season. In past years, we have kind of gone straight from Halloween to Christmas and skipped over fall, so we are really enjoying all the fall activities this year. Here are some of the fun things we have done:

Turkey Playdoh

turkey playdoh invitation to play


– Play doh in brown, red, orange, and yellow

– Feathers (you could also collect leaves to use as the turkey’s feathers)

– Orange Pipe Cleaner cut into small pieces

– Googly eyes

turkey playdoh activity

Fall Leaves Playdoh Mat

fall leaves playdoh mat is a fun fall activity

I also printed out and laminated a fall playdoh mat from Tot Schooling. We had a lot of fun making leaves for our tree. We even made a game out of it by each selecting a play doh color and seeing who could make and place the most leaves on the tree. This site had tons of other fun playdoh mats so we will definitely be making more next fall. Plus since they are laminated, they are something we can use year after year.

Turkey Counting and Color Matching Activities

turkey counting playdoh activity

color sorting turkey feathers

I used printables from A Little Pinch of Perfect to set up a few different, fun activities for the boys. We used the turkey feathers for some color matching. We also used some playdoh and did some counting activities while making turkeys. The kids had a lot of fun with these educational printables.

Handprint Turkeys

turkey handprint craft

turkey handprint art

I am a sucker for handprint art, so I really wanted to make handprint turkeys with the boys. I found so many options on Pinterest, but the handprint feather one was my favorite. I made a few changes and love how it turned out. While we had the paint out, I couldn’t help but make the single hand turkeys as well. I made these with the boys on each of their first Thanksgivings and thought it would be so fun to compare the size of their hands now to the baby handprints.

Feed the Turkey

feed the turkey is a fun activity that helps with counting and fine motor skills

feed the turkey is a fun activity that helps with counting and fine motor skills

feed the turkey is a fun activity that helps with counting and fine motor skills

My boys loved this activity from Busy Toddler. I used a milk jar from the dollar section of target, some construction paper and googly eyes to make my turkey. Then placed a bag of pom poms into a bowl. We used our handy helper tongs I bought at Walmart and borrowed a spinner from a board game (you could also use dice). The boys took turns spinning the spinner, picking up that number of pom poms and placing them into the turkey. They both had so much fun with this activity!

Turkey Thankful For You Cards

thankful turkey craft

thankful turkey craft

thankful turkey craft

thankful turkey craft

thankful turkey craft

Luc begs to water color and color every single day, so when Ashley from The Littles and Me posted this project I knew I wanted to do it. The boys had so much fun using watercolors and kwikstix to paint and color their turkeys and feathers. Hudson even cut his feathers out and both boys glued the feathers to the turkeys. These will make the perfect gift for Luc’s Grandma and Nonna on Thanksgiving.

Fall Leaf Banner

DIY Fall Leaf Garland - inexpensive and easy to make - perfect to add a touch of fall to your decor

This was the perfect activity for my water color loving little boy. For all the details, check out this post.

Thankful Tree

thankful tree - paint leaves then each member of the family writes what they are thankful for

We had so much painting our leaves to make fall banners that we had a few leaves left over. I used the extra leaves and our black Halloween tree to make a thankful tree. We have spent a few evenings talking about what we are thankful for and writing those things on our leaves. It has been a lot of fun to hear what the kids are thankful for (things like snacks and toys, hehe). I can’t wait to add the leaves to my scrapbook after we are done admiring our tree.

Mini Pumpkin Pies

mini pumpkin pies - so cute, perfect Thanksgiving dessert and a fun baking activity with kids

It wouldn’t be fall without some baking. For all the details on these fun, mini pumpkin pies, check out this post.

Fall Shelfie

best books for fall and a cute way to display them

We have had so much fun reading books about Autumn, being thankful, turkeys and Thanksgiving. For all the details on our fall shelfie, check out this post.

Playing in the Leaves

playing in the leaves is the perfect fall activity

Since we live in Southern California, we don’t really get the full fall experience like most people do, but we do have a few trees near our house that change colors and lose their leaves. We have taken a few walks to play in the leaves and it is so fun. Even I wanted to pick up a pile and throw them in the air. There is just something about playing in leaves that truly makes it feel like fall.


kid tested and approved fun fall activities. Tons of Pinterest' best activities and art projects for fall and Thanksgiving

These activities were all pretty easy and lots of fun. I hope they inspire you to have some fall fun with your family.

bat treat holders- easy diy bat containers that can be filled with candy or small toys, stickers and spiders.

Bat Treat Holder

At the She Loves Color event a few weeks ago we made the cutest and easiest little treat holders. My mind immediately began spinning with ideas and I decided that it would be really cute to make little bats using the same concept. At the event we put m&ms in the containers, but for Luc’s preschool we are asked to bring non-food treats, so I bought some bubbles, spider rings, Halloween stickers and tattoos to put inside. Luc helped me fill the bats and attach their googly eyes. Didn’t they turn out so cute?! Luc loves them and keeps asking when he gets to take them to school so he can give them to all his friends. 🙂

bat treat holders- easy diy bat containers that can be filled with candy or small toys, stickers and spiders.

bat treat holders- easy diy bat containers that can be filled with candy or small toys, stickers and spiders.

bat treat holders- easy diy bat containers that can be filled with candy or small toys, stickers and spiders.

To make these you will need the following:

  • Black Construction Paper
  • Paper Trimmer
  • Scissors
  • Double-sided Tape (I tried 3 different tapes before having success with Tombow XTreme Permanent Adhesive)
  • White Construction Paper
  • Craft eyes (we bought the ones with adhesive on them already, but any will work)
  • Star Punch (Optional, you could also just free hand the fangs, but this is a nice little shortcut)
  • Bat wing template


  1. Download, print and cut bat wing template.
  2. Trace bat wings onto black construction paper and cut out.
  3. Use a star punch and white construction paper to make fangs (each point of the star is a fang) or just cut the fangs yourself.
  4. Cut the construction paper into 4.25″x5.5″ rectangles.
  5. Add tape to one short side and both long sides of paper.
  6. Roll over and tape together forming a tube.
  7. Pinch the bottom with the seam in the middle.
  8. Fill with candy or small treats
  9. Pinch the top closed in the opposite direction (the seam will be on one side of the crease)
  10. Tape the wings to the back overlapping slightly over the seam.
  11. Add googly eyes and fangs.

bat treat holders step by step directions - easy diy bat containers that can be filled with candy or small toys, stickers and spiders.

I hope you enjoy these fun little treat bags.

bat treat holders- easy diy bat containers that can be filled with candy or small toys, stickers and spiders.

For another Fang-Tastic candy-free Halloween classroom treat, check out this fun idea and free printable that I made for Hudson’s class treats last year.

cute and easy non-food halloween card printable with vampire fang whistle

let's get wild party animals birthday party. Lots of great diy ideas for a safari or jungle themed party

Let’s Get Wild! Party Animals Birthday Party

We threw the boys a combined birthday party last weekend (this was their second combined party – last year they had a Finding Dory Party) to celebrate Hudson turning 5 and Luc turning 3. Since the boys’ birthdays are only two weeks apart and they are so close in age, it just makes sense to combine their parties. It saves me a lot of money and effort and they love it, so it’s a win-win. This year, we had the party at Scooter’s Jungle, an awesome indoor play place, which made the event even less stressful. I went with a wild/party animals/jungle theme because I knew the party room would already be decorated for that theme so I figured why fight it?

let's get wild party animals birthday party. Lots of great diy ideas for a safari or jungle themed party - dessert table

I had invitations made by Cute Party Dash.

wild party animals birthday party. Lots of great diy ideas for a safari or jungle themed party

I then used the same images, which can be purchased from Paper Sphinx to make a Watering Hole drink station sign and a thank you sign to put next to our favors.

let's get wild party animals birthday party. Lots of great diy ideas for a safari or jungle themed party - watering hole - jungle juice (jamba juice smoothies), water with zebra duct dape, coffee

wild party animals birthday party. Lots of great diy ideas for a safari or jungle themed party

While looking through Pinterest, I came across a party image and became obsessed with it. Normally, I pin hundreds of images and sort of take my favorite aspects of each party and create my own thing, but I just couldn’t get this party out of my head, so I copied it. It was a bit challenging because the pinned image didn’t link to anything, but after some detective work, I found the original post. You can check it out here for some beautiful party inspiration.

let's get wild party animals birthday party. Lots of great diy ideas for a safari or jungle themed party

One of the biggest challenges of hosting a party at a venue instead of at home is that I had limited time for set-up (only 15 minutes before the guests entered) and quite a few rules and restrictions to follow. In order to make my dessert table vision come to life, I had to get creative. I bought two 28 x 40 tri-fold poster boards and overlapped them to make a large backdrop. I used this template and this template for the leaves. I folded a lot of the leaves in half and lightly taped them on so they would have some dimension. I bought the WILD balloons from Amazon (thank goodness for 2 day shipping and good customer service because the first order I received a V instead of an L!). This backdrop was surprisingly easy to put together, it was easy to transport and it was the best way to achieve the look I was going for given the restrictions I had.

wild party animals birthday party. Lots of great diy ideas for a safari or jungle themed party

Another challenge was that the venue didn’t allow any glass. All of my cake stands and serving platters are glass, so I had to do a little shopping. I found the white cakestand on Amazon. The gold cakestand was from Kirkland’s. The large white trays were from Ikea (I already had them) and the clear candy jar type dishes were from Walmart (They might be an in store only purchase because I couldn’t find them on-line).

wild party animals birthday party. Lots of great diy ideas for a safari or jungle themed party

Our party started at 9am, so we decided to serve Luc’s favorite food: donuts. We also got our go-to party food/drink: Jamba Juice smoothies (Jungle Juice). We had two large travel containers of coffee from Starbucks, mini water bottles with zebra print duct tape on them, a veggie tray, a fruit tray, and animal crackers.

wild party animals birthday party. Lots of great diy ideas for a safari or jungle themed party

For dessert, my very talented friend, Jessica Soumah, made delicious cupcakes and the most gorgeous cake! I ordered cupcake wrappers from Amazon, which were perfect. I also ordered gold glittery candles from Amazon. I cut way back on my dessert making this year and only made rice krispy treats, but even with those, I cheated and used store bought treats. I cut some straws in half, stuck them in the treats and dipped them in candy melts. I did half of them in white with a black drizzle to look like zebras and the other half I dipped in green then sprayed with gold mist to match the cake. (*tip – to get the streaks of gold instead of an all over mist, spray the gold Color Mist onto wax paper then use your finger to apply).

wild party animals birthday party. Lots of great diy ideas for a safari or jungle themed party

I got plain white table cloths from Walmart, Striped and Tropical Leaf plates from Amazon, decorated the tables with palm leaves from Amazon.

wild party animals birthday party. Lots of great diy ideas for a safari or jungle themed party

For favors, I just ordered adorable monkeys from Scooter’s Jungle.

let's get wild party animals birthday party. Lots of great diy ideas for a safari or jungle themed party - monkey favors

It was so much fun (even us adults were having a blast riding the jumbo slide). All the decorations, food and drinks were relatively easy, but still looked so cute. The kids had a great time and I would definitely consider the party a success!

wild party animals birthday party. Lots of great diy ideas for a safari or jungle themed party

let's get wild party animals birthday party. Lots of great diy ideas for a safari or jungle themed party

shark week playdate - free banner printable, chumming for sharks yogurt recipe, shark bait recipe, link to popcorn bucket printable and tons of other shark week ideas

Shark Week Playdate and Free Printables

We had our friends over for a playdate during shark week, so I of course used it as an excuse to have a fun, shark themed get together. I love little events like this because it allows me to be crafty and creative without all the work and stress of a full-blown party. I didn’t start making stuff or preparing until Monday (our friends came over on Wednesday) so this is totally do-able for busy or last-minute moms. 🙂


I started out like I always do, searching Pinterest for ideas and free printables. I found some really cute stuff to use as well as some fun ideas. I didn’t see anything I could use for a banner though, so I made one myself. I think it turned out really cute and I always feel like a banner makes the table look complete. You can download the free banner printable by clicking HERE. Just cut it out, punch holes in the corners and run string through it. Lately I have been using blue painters tape to hang up my banners then covering the tape up with cute washi.

shark week letterboard idea

I also used my letterboard for the occasion. It was a bit of a challenge creating the shark fin, but I love how it turned out.


Chumming for Sharks Yogurt

chumming for sharks yogurt - perfect healthy snack or breakfast for shark week or a shark birthday

I wanted to have a few snacks with at least one healthy option, but most of the ideas on Pinterest were not very healthy. Usually I am all about desserts, but we have been making an effort to eat healthier lately so I came up with my own snack idea by combining a few ideas from Pinterest. We ended up making chumming for sharks yogurt. The kids helped me make these, which was a lot of fun. To make these you will need the following:

  • Granola (optional)
  • Greek Yogurt (we used vanilla)
  • Blue food coloring (you only need a few drops)
  • Frozen Strawberries in Sugar (we bought this from the frozen section of the grocery store)
  • Plastic Cups
  • Mini spoons
  • Grey construction paper (to make shark fins)
  • Glue gun

We added a little bit of granola to the bottom of the cups, put a few drops of blue food coloring into the yogurt, scooped the yogurt into the cup, then topped it with the chum (the frozen strawberries). I explained to the boys that chum is what they dump in the water to attract sharks and then what do you know, a few sharks showed up and jumped right into our bowls. 😉 The kids loved it! I free hand cut out shark fins out of grey construction paper and glued them onto mini spoons. I also used a few sharks left over from the adorable popcorn buckets I made using a printable from My Printly.

Shark Bait

shark bait popcorn snack is easy, delicious, and perfect for shark week or a shark party

Of course, I had to do one sweet treat, so I made shark bait. It was so delicious and all the little sharks ate it up super fast! I spent Tuesday night driving from store to store searching for shark gummies. I feel like I always see them until the time I need them, then they vanished. I found gummy bears, worms, snakes, octopus, frogs, dinosaurs, alligators and lions! Literally every gummy animal ever made except sharks! Then I thought, why would sharks want to eat sharks, and decided that putting them in my shark bait didn’t make sense anyways. That is when I came up with the goldfish idea. Sharks love eating fish, especially delicious sweet ones. They have so many fun flavors now too that you could use, but I must say, the s’mores goldfish were perfect in this recipe. To make the shark bait you will need the following:

  • Sea Salt Air Popped Popcorn
  • Ghiradelli White Chocolate Chips
  • Blue M&Ms
  • S’mores Goldfish Crackers

I put wax paper on a cookie sheet, spread out my popcorn, sprinkled in goldfish and m&ms, then drizzled the melted white chocolate over it. I put it in the fridge until it cooled then broke it apart and put it in the cutest popcorn buckets from My Printly. These were so perfect for our playdate and I have been refilling the containers with shark bait all week so the boys can munch on it while watching Shark Week.

Ocean Water

ocean water - blue gatorade with a swedish fish makes an easy and fun drink for shark week or a shark party

For drinks, I kept it simple with blue Gatorade and a swedish fish on each straw.


Shark Sensory Bin

shark sensory bin

I set up a shark sensory bin. What I love most about sensory bins is that they don’t always have to be fancy. I didn’t have time to buy anything (and to be honest didn’t really want to spend a bunch of money) so I just used what we already had. A bag of glass circle vase fillers, water and plastic sharks. That’s it! And you know what, the kids loved it and played with it for quite a while. Sometimes, I think we as moms get caught up in making everything Pinterest worthy, but kids don’t need much to have fun. They were getting so creative and having the best time! When you give kids water activities, you usually can’t go wrong.

Shark Slime

shark slime - perfect activity for shark week

We also made shark slime. For our first attempt, the day before the playdate, we tried to use a non-borax recipe, but the slime was so sticky. I watched a bunch of you tube videos and started adding everything they recommended for sticky slime, but nothing helped. So my hubby bought borax and like magic our sticky bowl of blue goop turned into slime. When our friends came over, we made a second batch using the borax recipe and it worked great. The kids loved playing with their sharks in the slime! I used this recipe to make the slime.

Shark Play Doh Mats

shark week playdoh mats free printables

I also had a little play doh station with our shark week playdoh mats, some playdoh and some cutters. My boys had already done this activity earlier in the week and the kids were all having so much fun with the other activities that we didn’t get to this. You can check the play doh mats out here.

Shark Cutting and Tracing Activity

free printable - shark cutting and tracing practice

I also made a fun little printable for Hudson. I printed one out and had it laminated so it could be used as a tracing exercise. Both boys had fun with that. Then I printed one out on regular paper so Hudson could also use it for cutting. Hudson loves cutting so this was perfect for him. You can get the printable HERE. *Graphics were purchased from Prettygrafik Design.


I had a few crafts to do that I found on Pinterest, but we didn’t get to those either. Good thing shark week lasts an entire week so we can fit in all the fun we planned.

Clothespin Sharks

clothespin shark craft for shark week

I let each of the kids select one craft from Pinterest. Hudson chose clothespin sharks from Kix. This wasn’t an ideal craft for my kids’ ages so I pretty much ended up making these, but the kids did love playing with them.

Toilet Paper Roll Sharks and Paper Towel Roll Hammerhead Sharks

Luc chose to make paper toilet roll sharks. The one he selected was a regular shark, but his favorite shark is the hammerhead so I got really excited when I found a paper towel roll hammerhead shark on Pinterest. We are planning to make both, but so far have only completed phase one. I will update this once we finish the project.

Shark Hats

shark hats perfect for shark week

I was also planning to make shark hats, but the hats we selected required an obscure paper size in numerous colors that was not readily available (please tell me I am not the only one who spends tons of time driving from store to store looking for seemingly basic craft supplies that are actually impossible to find). Luckily, one of my friends, Danielle, from Mama Life Inspiration, who is an awesome blogger, posted an adorable shark hat idea. So we ended up making those instead and the boys had tons of fun finger painting their shark fins and tails. Of course they also loved running around in their shark hats. For more details on the hats and for the link to the shark fin hat template click here. Danielle also has a bunch of other fun shark week ideas on her blog so be sure to take a look.

As you can see, we squeezed a whole lot of Shark Fun into one week. My boys just love sharks so much that I couldn’t help myself and went a little overboard. You could easily pick just a few of these ideas to make your shark week a bit more fun.

I hope you have a fin-tastic Shark Week!!

free printable teacher appreciation card

Dandelion Teacher Appreciation Card – Free Printable

I’ve always loved the idea of a homemade card as part of a teacher appreciation gift. I think it is extra special and a sweet way to show your teacher how much you appreciate her (or him).  Since I was out-of-town this past weekend, I needed something quick and easy. I had seen a few cute crafts with dandelions on Pinterest and knew something similar would make a perfect card. I found a quote that I love and created a card that is available as a free printable at the bottom of this post.

free printable teacher appreciation card


Paper trimmer (optional – scissors could also be used)

Score Board and bone folder (optional – you could just fold in half with your hands)

Stamp Pads (I used my Tim Holtz distress inks that I have for scrapbooking, but any stamp pads will work)

free printable teacher appreciation card - use a score board to make the cards look professional


1.Print out the free printable on cardstock.

2. Cut it along the dotted lines (I always use my paper trimmer so the edges are straight – it should end up being about 7×10).

3. Use a  score board to make a crease right at 5 inches and fold the card in half using a bone folder. This step can be done with just your hands, but this tool gives the card that crisp, professional look.

4. Pick out a few stamp colors and have your child stamp thumbprints on the card. (Hudson decorated three cards in no time and with almost no involvement from me. By the third card he told me that it had gotten really windy and put thumbprints all over. I just love his imagination.)

5. Then you or your child can write a message on the inside and your child can sign it (or scribble if they can’t write yet)

free printable teacher appreciation card

Click here to get your free printable.

These cards were so easy to make and they turned out beautiful. This year, our school asked that everyone donate money towards a teacher breakfast instead of individual gifts, but you could easily put a gift card inside or pair this card with a plant or some flower seeds and gardening tools. This card printable makes it easy for a young child to be part of the process and make something really special for their teacher. *Hudson’s teacher’s are all female so that is why I made the wording that way. I know there are also male teachers so if I get enough requests, I can make a male teacher version. Enjoy and an extra special thank you to all teachers who help to shape and mold our children.

free printable teacher appreciation card

free printable - party with your peeps photo booth sign - perfect for Easter

Peeps Party Photo Booth Printable

My friend dropped off supplies for me to make an adorable Peeps bunny banner yesterday and the wheels in my head immediately started turning (did that make anyone else start singing Journey? Just me? Ok. I’m a little sleep deprived this week, haha). Anyways, we have friends arriving Saturday from Australia and I wanted to make the day fun for them, without overwhelming them as they will have been traveling for a long time with two little kids. Without going too overboard (thankfully that is hard to do when you have two little kids and only one day to plan) I wanted to have a Party with our Peeps. 😉 I figured a few cute treats, a couple of fun activities and our go-to photobooth would be perfect.

free printable - party with your peeps photo booth sign - perfect for Easter

I bought adorable props for a few bucks at Target, made a fun photobooth sign and set-up our DIY Photobooth. It was really easy and I know we will have so much fun taking pictures with our peeps this weekend!

If you would like to create your own Photobooth, check out this post for all the info.

To download the Photobooth sign, click here.

free printable - party with your peeps photo booth sign - perfect for Easter

free printable - party with your peeps photo booth sign - perfect for Easter
DIY floral bunny headband how to

DIY Floral Bunny Ears

I have never made anything with fake flowers before and one of my worst talents is arranging flowers so if I can do this I think anyone can. I saw something similar to this on instagram. They were made by a professional florist who was holding live auctions to sell her creations. I don’t have a daughter and buying items in a competitive setting stresses me out so I just decided to let it go. Then a few days later, I saw the same wire bunny ears at Target for $2 a piece so I figured it would be fun to attempt to make my own. I bought a few bunny ears then went to Michaels to pick out some fake flowers.

DIY floral bunny headband how to

When I got home, I  searched on-line to see if any tutorials already existed and a few did, but they kind of skipped over the attaching of the flowers part, or didn’t provide enough detail for someone like me to figure out what the heck to do, or a few suggested hot gluing the flowers on, which may also work, but I felt that wasn’t the best option. So I played around a bit, looked up basic instructions for working with fake flowers and just started creating. I’ll admit, they may not be boutique quality, but once on they look great.

DIY floral bunny headband how to


Wire Bunny Ears

Fake Flowers (I just picked out a few small to medium-sized flower stems from Michaels)

Floral Wire

Floral Tape

Wire Cutters

First, I pulled the flowers off the stems and designed my headbands. Then I started attaching the leaves with the wire.

DIY floral bunny headband how toNext, I cut a strip of floral wire and bent it in half. I placed it up into the center of the flower then secured it by wrapping the floral tape around the base of the flower bud and down the wire. This created a bendable stem.

DIY floral bunny headband how to

Once you do that for all your flowers, you just start in the center and attach the flowers one by one by wrapping the stems around the headband. That’s it. Very easy, quick and cute! 🙂

DIY floral bunny headband how to

Here is what they look like on (I was hoping Luc would model them so you could see how they would work on a toddler or kid, but no such luck, hehe.

DIY floral bunny headband how to

DIY floral bunny headband how to


>diy floral bunny ears how to
valentine craft ideas - keepsake handprint crafts and fun crafts for kids

Valentine’s Day Crafts

I kind of have an obsession with hand print (and footprint) art. There is just something so special about capturing those tiny little hands and feet that has me hooked. Throughout Hudson’s first year, I was constantly making prints of his hands. I had plans to turn each hand print into a cute animal or holiday themed pinterest project, but sadly, didn’t finish most of them. Once Luc came along, the hand print captures became even more infrequent (those two kicked my butt the first two years!). One thing I did, that I will suggest is to at least capture the prints occasionally in those first few years because you can always go back and finish a project, but you can’t go back and capture those tiny hands and feet again. I’ve actually had “finish Valentine’s Day artwork” on my to-do list for over a year now, so thank you to this blog for pushing me to finally finish them. 🙂

On Hudson’s first Valentine’s Day, we did a family hand print. We put heart stickers on our hands to make the prints extra festive. I love seeing how small his hand looks next to ours.

valentine craft idea-put heart stickers on hands before stamping onto paper

I totally dropped the ball the next year (I’m going to have to blame the first trimester of pregnancy for that one) and apparently didn’t do any Valentine themed art projects. I was creating a baby though, so I’ll cut myself some slack. 😉

In 2015, I used a printable I found on Pinterest to make an adorable Valentine decoration capturing Luc’s baby feet. Click here to check out the original post and grab your own free printable.

love footprints with cute poem and link to free printable

That same year, I used another fun Pinterest idea to make a cute heart hand print keepsake of Hudson’s hand prints. Check out the original post here.

handprint art in the shape of a heart with a cute poem

In addition to the hand print crafts, which are obviously more for me, we also enjoy doing regular crafts together. Last year, the boys made a stained glass heart with our Mom’s Club group that was a lot of fun for the kids. You can check out all the details in this post.

stained glass heart craft

stained glass heart craft for valentines day

This year, I threw this craft together to give the kids something to do while we were locked up in the house with hand, foot mouth. You can check out the original post here. I am terrible at drawing (yes, even things as simple as hearts) and I hate my writing, so I quickly made a printable to use instead. You can grab one for free here. 🙂 The kids really enjoyed this one – I cut the squares for Luc and he glued them on, while Hudson did all the cutting and gluing for his himself.

i heart you to pieces valentine craft with free printable




planes birthday party - free printable for propeller cake pops and tons of fun ideas

Planes Birthday Party

planes birthday party - free printable for propeller cake pops and tons of fun ideas

One day while we were driving in the car, I asked Hudson if he knew what theme he wanted for his upcoming birthday party. I threw out a few options and out of the blue he said Planes. I thought it was kind of funny, because while he does love planes, that wasn’t one of his favorite movies. I waited a few days, asked again and got the same answer. By about the 5th time, I decided to commit and dove into planning his 3rd birthday party. It ended up being a really fun theme with a cute color scheme of blue, orange and some red. We had the party at My Gym which made things much easier (set start and end time and they did all the entertaining). This was great because Luc’s 1st birthday party was only a few weeks later so I had a lot on my plate. I also had to keep in mind the fact that everything would need to be transported to the event location and we only had a limited amount of time for set-up, which forced me to minimize decorations and keep the food on the easier side. All in all, it was a pretty simple, low-key party that everyone had a blast at. The only real downside was that it went by so fast, we didn’t really get great pictures of everything.

planes birthday party family picture

Since the party was in the morning, I went the breakfast route. We served donuts “spare tires” which were literally just packaged chocolate and powdered sugar donuts on a platter with a few racing flags.

planes birthday party donut spare tires

A fruit platter of “plane parts” with a cream cheese dip “fluffy cloud dip” To make the dip, I just combined one 8 ounce package of softened cream cheese with one 15 ounce jar of marshmallow cream. It is so easy and so delicious, especially with an assortment of fruit.

planes birthday party fruit plane parts and fluffy cloud dip

We picked up a coffee traveler from Starbucks for our adult “fueling station”. That couldn’t be a more accurate description of coffee for parents, right?

planes birthday party - free printable for propeller cake pops and tons of fun ideas

We had Jamba Juice drinks  and water for the kid friendly “jet fuel”.

planes birthday party fuel up water bottles

The Jamba Juice drinks were perfect because they were dairy free so Hudson could have them and they were just easy for the kids to grab and drink. They were so popular in fact, that I think they may become a party staple.

planes birthday party jet fuel jamba juice smoothies are perfect for young kid's parties

We also had a bunch of “in-flight snacks” like chips and cookies.

planes birthday party chips and cookies for in-flight snacks

For desserts, we had propeller oreo cake pops, cloud rice krispy treats, marshmallow propeller pops, planes cookies and dusty cupcakes.

planes birthday party - free printable for propeller cake pops and tons of fun ideas

I made oreo pops using this recipe from Bakerella, then made little propellers to attach. A link to the free printable is at the end of this post. I just cut them out, punched a hole in the center with a hole punch and slid them on. They were really easy and super cute.

planes birthday party - free printable for propeller cake pops and tons of fun ideas

I used a cloud cookie cutter to cut out the rice krispy treats (I used the dairy free recipe listed here).

planes birthday party cloud rice krispy treats

For the propeller marshmallows, I made the propellers using candy melts on wax paper (I just free-handed the propeller shape), dipped half of the marshmallows into candy melts, then attached the hardened/cooled propellers.

planes birthday party marshmallow propeller pops

I ordered the plane cookies from Dainty Cakes by Andrea on etsy and they were so detailed and a big hit with everyone.

planes birthday party sugar cookies

I absolutely loved the Dusty cupcakes, they turned out so cute and were a huge hit with the kids. Sadly, the company I ordered the cupcake wrappers from is no longer in business, which is a huge bummer because these are brilliant. It is so much easier to hand each kid a cupcake, especially at a party like this, and every kid was ecstatic to get their own Dusty! Hudson’s face when he first saw the cupcakes was priceless and they were pretty easy to make (just took a few nights of cutting and taping). In case you love this idea as much as I do, I did find Planes Fire and Rescue cupcake wrappers by Printamajig on etsy.

planes birthday party dusty cupcakes using cupcake wrappers

I bought the tablecloths, plates, napkins, goody bags and balloons from Party City. I ordered the flags and Hudson’s t-shirt from Amazon. Luc’s wingman t-shirt was from Target. The Planes movie characters were a gift, from the Disney store, that doubled as decorations. I made my own invitations inspired by this design by PartyInnovations09. I used water bottle wrappers and cupcake toppers (for the adult cupcakes) from Homeketeers (I’ve linked to their homepage, but was unable to find the printables so they may no longer be offering them). I made personalized wings for each kid by making a printable, printing the wings on cardstock, cutting them out and attaching pins like these to the back. The kids thought these were really cool.

planes birthday party personalized wing pins

I also made the Happy Birthday Banner (you can find a similar one here),  the food labels, and the gift bag tags. We filled the goody bags with some fun planes themed items from Party City and everyone collected them from Baggage Claim before they left.

planes birthday party thank you for flying by goody bags at baggage claim

That was pretty much it. Like I said, I really kept this one fairly simple (for me, lol).

planes birthday party - free printable for propeller cake pops

To get your own free propeller printable, click here. For more inspiration, check out my Pinterest board.