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Happy Halloween 2015

Our little pumpkin is going to be a big sister next April!

Pregnancy-Announcement-Pumpkin-Patch

More to come on this upcoming adventure! Happy Halloween!

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Toddler Pumpkins and Art Project Ideas

Olivia worked so diligently on a few Halloween greetings this year! Love how this simple art project was a great learning opportunity to discuss drawing circles and triangles. My sweet girl is a pro at making smiley faces! Here are here masterpieces:

Toddler-Pumpkins

The process in action:

Toddler-Pumpkin-Painting

After the paint was dry and the pumpkins were decorated, Olivia added stickers. It’s so fascinating to watch her decision process– the spiders, for example, needed to go in the corner upside down. The simple act of peeling stickers and placing images is a great way to strengthen her fine motor skills. I always like to ask her questions about the various images- silly animal faces or Halloween images are natural conversation starters!

There are so many great toddler pumpkin and art ideas floating on Pinterest. Here are some of my favorites:

We tucked one of Olivia’s pumpkin portraits into a special Halloween greeting for Olivia’s newest cousin.

Halloween-Greetings-for-Baby

My Mom has a collection of fun spider rings and Olivia has LOVED playing with them this year. We couldn’t resist sharing some spider bling with Adeline and her Mommy! We placed an orange and pink jeweled ring, along with pumpkin bubbles and stickers, into a spider silhouette box.

Spider-Silhouette-Gift-Box

I love this pattern- it cuts beautifully and comes together so easily for a unique and spooky gift!

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Halloween Lip Balm Card

Do you have a favorite lip balm? I do- it’s made with wild orange and peppermint essential oils. I surprised a few family members with this treat!

Halloween-Card-Idea

To make this card, I used Lori Whitlock’s Lip Balm Card Template. I added ghost and BOO medallion outlined in orange glitter to the front. Two small purple rhinestones served as the perfect pair of bat eyes! The ghost appears to be flying off the card thanks to a square piece of foam tape!

Halloween-Lip-Balm-Card-Construction

Inside, I placed a “Have a BOO-tiful Halloween” saying to tie everything together!

Halloween-Lip-Balm-Card

Here’s an alternate Halloween lip balm card that I love almost as much!

Halloween-Ghost-Card

What fun treats are you serving up for Halloween?

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You’ve Been Booed Gift

Olivia delivered little surprises to her buddies this week! I’ve loved looking at all the “You’ve Been Booed!” ideas floating on Pinterest lately. Here’s our homemade spin on this fun gift:

You've-Been-Booed-Ideas

These days, homemade gifts need to be quick AND engaging for a toddler! Olivia helped me put together a Frankenstein, pumpkin, black cat, and monster treat basket (found in the dollar bins at Target). Who knew that paper shreds could be so much fun for a 2.5 year old! We filled these bins with: 2 pencils, a pack of glow sticks, sticker boxes, a light-up ball, and some gummy treats!

You've-Been-Booed-Treats

Since we were delivering these surprises right before the Holiday, I didn’t want to use a traditional “You’ve Been Booed” card that instructs the recipient to keep the game going. These little treats were just for fun and not intended to add any more stress for the parents on such short notice! I opted to make my own handmade card using elements from Lori Whitlock’s Classic Halloween Element pack.

I took inspiration from TomKat Studio’s 2009 “You’ve Been Booed” version that utilizes a circle graphic and the Budmo font. Lori Whitlock’s BOO! ghost medallion fit perfectly above my text.

You've-Been-Booed-Card

To create this circle center graphic:

You've-Been-Booed-Ghost-Graphic

  • Select the black circle portion of the BOO! medallion.
  • Drag this portion onto Artisan Label 05 of the Artisan Label Templates pack by Crystal Wilkerson. Size it to fit inside the center green circle.
  • Hide the other layers of the tag so just the circle shapes are visible.
  • Adjust the colors (I changed green background to orange and the dashed circle outline to purple.)

On the back, I added a darling Halloween poem from the Classic Halloween Element pack using the print and cut feature of my silhouette. Olivia, of course, signed it “Bugs and Hisses!”

You've-Been-Booed-Card-Poem

There you have it… ideas for a fast and inexpensive gift that will scare up a bit of fun this Halloween!

You've-Been-Booed-Baskets

Looking for something quick and easy just to print? Here are a few of my favorite printable “You’ve Been Booed” designs:

TomKat Studios, Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores, Simply Kierste, Printabelle, and Anders Ruff.

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Halloween Mantel Ideas

For a peek at my Halloween mantel this year, check out my latest post on Snap Click Supply Co!

Halloween-Mantel-Ideas

I embellished a burlap banner from Target with darling paper embellishments from the Hocus Pocus digital collection. Hop on over to this post for 6 Halloween mantel ideas to celebrate the season. The final result = a personalized, one-of-a-kind decoration that is sure to brighten any space!

 

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Hello, Fall 2015

Fall is officially here! Who is excited for cooler temps, changing leaves, and Fall family traditions?! To help you document these precious memories, I recently shared a project over at Snap Click Supply Company:

Fall-Blessings-Layout-1

For the full scoop on how to put this Fall Scrapbook layout together, head over to this post. I just love the extra glitter sparkle on those leaves!

Fall-Blessings-Layout-2

P.S. I just heard about a wonderful tradition to celebrate the first day of Fall from our amazing family photographer and good friend Tiffany- their family celebrates by having dinner in a pumpkin! She used this recipe and said it was delicious!

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Gifts for Dad 2015

Father’s Day is right around the corner! What are you doing to celebrate Dad? It’s been so fun watching James and Olivia’s relationship blossom. Our toddler is quite the helper these days and very interested in Daddy’s house projects. I wanted our gift to him this year to capture a sense of “building” moments and memories.

I came across this PIN and absolutely fell in love with the concept! I bought a cheap hammer, found a Woodburner Pen (marked half off), and set to work!

Fathers-Day-Gifts-Building-Memories

Full project disclosure: Things didn’t quite go as planned. A quick and easy project quickly turned into 2 hours of fighting with the wood grain to make legible swirls. I wouldn’t chalk this up to a “Pinterest Fail,” but… man, oh man! I sanded. I retraced my outlines. And, I might have started to pull my hair out! I even burned my hand! (Thank goodness for lavender essential oil!) Believe me, I’m well aware that I’m missing a comma between “build” and “Daddy.” This project was definitely more time consuming than expected! But, I do think James will get a kick out the idea and effort that went into this handmade Father’s Day gift.

I paired this engraved hammer with a free template from Mr. Printables. I couldn’t be happy with how it came together. Check out the dimension! James always admires cards that have an “engineering” aspect to them, so I know he will love the stair-step effect created with this printable! You can grab your free copy HERE.

Need a little more Father’s Day inspiration? Check out this Pinterest Board for the perfect gifts for Dad and take a walk down memory lane with the following posts (click on the headings for links)!

Father’s Day 2014

Super Dad Book

Father’s Day 2013

Father's-Day-Ideas6

Father’s Day 2012

Father's Day Card 2

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St. Patrick’s Day Printable Placemats

Top of the Morning to You!

Here’s a fun tradition to start in honor of St. Patty’s Day:

Candice-Placemats-Pin

All you need to do is download the placemats, print, and set your breakfast table. It’s the perfect way to add a little charm to your morning! See my post on The Dating Divas for the full scoop:

Top of the Morning to You Printable Placemats

Candice-Placemats-Table

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Valentine Gifts & Activities 2015

This year, February 14th was filled with:

… Hearts galore.

Valentine-Gift-Detail-2015

… Quick and easy Valentine gifts. {Don’t you just love this free “Eyes on You” printable from Lil’ Luna? I also dressed up a white picture frame with a pink bow and sparkles.}

Valentine-Gift-2015

Valentines-Gift-Bag-2015

… 5 Sweethearts sporting cute heart glasses. {Olivia’s cousins were in town.}

Valentines-Day-2015

… and impromptu tea parties. {Plum tea and pie are Olivia’s fav!}

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All in all, pretty perfect!

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A Special Valentine Arrival

It seems as though an entire season of laughter, tears, and gratitude has elapsed between February 1 and today. It’s hard to believe that it’s already the middle of March. Last month, our dear friends welcomed a precious little boy into their lives. He was born at 33 weeks exactly. This type of news is always a mixed bag of emotions. On the one hand, you are thrilled for the new parents and their growing family. At the same time, your heart sinks because you are all too familiar with some of the challenges that come with prematurity… the uncertainty, the waiting, the back-steps, and so much more. Life is just so darn fragile!

Despite feeling overwhelmed and scared, I remember being in awe of Olivia’s tenacity to get better each day she was in the hospital. Her courage gave me strength- the human body and spirit are incredibly resilient, strong, and brave. As we celebrated each tiny milestone along Olivia’s journey, moments of heartache were slowly replaced with joy and gratitude.

Olivia made this Valentine card for her fellow 33-Week buddy, Owen:

Valentines-Card

I’m sure that Owen will continue teaching his parents life lessons as they all grow together. Right now, he is snuggled safely in his mama’s arms and thriving at home!

To all the mama’s of sweet preemies, I think YOU are amazing. You have been asked to find new depths of strength inside yourself and to search for the thread of love in even the most impossible situations. This Valentine’s Day, I am celebrating the fierce and unfailing love that we {as mama’s} have for our precious children.

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