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Archive for the ‘parenting & family’ category

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

DIY Teacher Gifts

The end of the school year is here for some (and fast approaching for the rest) so it’s time to think about how to tell your child’s teacher just how special they are. Here is some great inspiration from Cool Mom Picks for finding or creating that perfect gift that shows your appreciation and documents the memorable moments from this school year.

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(image courtesy Cool Mom Picks)

Friday, March 7th, 2014

Creative Collaboration

I love the tradition this traveling dad has started… coloring in drawings his kids give him when he heads out of town, and then sharing the results when he gets home. Not only is it a great way for dad to stay connected to home; it’s also great to see the shared creativity. The kids can’t wait to see dad, and their drawings that have been brought to life!

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(via Visual News)

Friday, January 24th, 2014

Unfinished Business

I was over my neighbor’s house last weekend and she happened to share with me an incredible tradition that’s been going on for many years now.

Instead of plastering over a drywall section in their basement, they left it unfinished and encouraged their grandkids to draw and write on it. What started out as a way to entertain youngsters quickly turned into a tradition that continues to this day, now that the little grandkids are big grandkids in college and high school.

When you first glance at the wall, you’re overwhelmed with the collage of art and messages. There is hardly an open spot. As you study it closer, you see how handwriting improved over time and how the scale of the art grew to match the height of the kids.

What a fun tradition to uphold during each visit and what a great tribute to family, friends and pets. What my neighbor values more than anything? Overhearing her grandkids speak fondly of going to grandma’s and writing on the wall. Awesome!

carol_wall1 carol_wall2

Friday, January 10th, 2014

Winter Festivals

I’ll admit… in the dead of winter I’m not looking to spend a lot of time outside. Until now, that is, because I came across an article on winter festivals on

Check out the plethora of fun activities you can take part in, if you’re lucky enough to be near any of the 12 festivals mentioned. Race car sled races, snow sculptures, light shows, snow slides, fireworks, snow golf, torchlight parades, snowshoe softball and snow playgrounds… sign me up!

And if you can’t get to one of these awesome events, take some inspiration from them and plan something in your backyard. Savor the season!


(image courtesy de Quebec)

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

The Year of Awesomeness Jar

Happy new year, everyone!

I hope your holidays were fun and festive!

I wanted to share a new tradition we started this year called the Year of Awesomeness Jar. I actually had this in my brain last year but it didn’t find its way out until this year :)

First, you think about all the great things that happened to you and your family in the past year. The sky’s the limit here… did someone do great in school or sports? Did anyone volunteer? Was it a year of trying new things? Did your sports team rock it? Did you adopt new pets or did you keep the family fish alive for another year? Did you travel to favorite places or discover new ones? Were you eating homegrown tomatoes into November? You get the idea.

Then, typeset them on the computer or simply write them on paper. Then fold them in half and place in a jar or hat or any container. You can even add some confetti or streamers to liven up the presentation. Do it all yourself as a surprise to the family or have everyone contribute their own.

On New Year’s Eve, have each person take turns pulling one out and reading it aloud. It’s fun to be reminded of good things from the past year and how much awesomeness you have in your life, if you pause to recognize it.

 Thank you 2013, for all your moments of awesomeness. May 2014 follow in your footsteps!


Friday, December 20th, 2013

Design Mom: Living with Kids

If you find yourself with a few quiet moments over the holidays, check out the Living with Kids blog features on Design Mom. It’s a lovely idea that gives you glimpses into how other families live. Whether you’re looking for some design inspiration or a little reassurance that you’re not the only one with THAT issue, you’ve come to the right place.

It’s fun to peek inside the homes and see the wide range of self expression but I most love the questions asked. Not the introductory ones at the beginning, but the meaty ones at the end. Things like, What memories do you hope your son carries with him from this time in your life? What traditions are you trying to build for him and his future family? And the best for last: Please finish the sentence: I wish someone had told me…

The heartfelt and poignant answers are truly something to behold. And when you’re done reading each feature, you feel understood. And like you just had coffee and conversation with a new friend.

Happy Holidays!


(image courtesy Design Mom)

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Countdown to Christmas

I’m a huge fan of all kids of advent/countdown calendars and love the wide variety of ones you can buy or make. If you’re looking for an alternative to candy or trinkets, consider using ornaments that can be added to the tree each day.

Yes, it’s December 6th, but there’s still time to put together a 15 or 10-day countdown to the big day. Or even better, start today!


(image courtesy House and Home)

Saturday, November 23rd, 2013

Bye Bye Princess, Hello GoldieBlox

If you’re raising a tomboy like I am, you’ll smile while watching this video, and even if you can’t relate to it you’ll appreciate the clever ingenuity involved in making it.

The video was created by GoldieBlox, a company that claims to make “toys for future inventors.” In other words, ”disrupt the pink aisle” and “get girls building.” Its founder is Debbie Sterling, a Stanford-educated engineer whose ultimate goal is to bridge the gap of gender disparity in engineering. (According to the Association for Women in Science, women account for 24% of the science, technology, engineering and math work force.) Enjoy!

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Friday, November 1st, 2013

Maze Days

Ok, so there’s no shortage of leaves outside at the moment! If doing a little leaf raking is on your to-do list this weekend, why not add a little play to all the work? FamilyFun Magazine proposes in their current issue that before raking the leaves into a pile, you first use the rake to clear a pathway through the leaves. Use the stopwatch feature on your phone to time the kiddos and see who can dash through the course the fastest. Not a bad way for everyone to get a workout!


(image courtesy FamilyFun Magazine)

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

DIY Leaf Animals

Don’t stare at all those leaves outside as piles needing to be picked up; look at them as creatures waiting to be brought to life! All you need are flat, pressed leaves, black and white markers, and a little imagination!




(images courtesy Handmade Charlotte)