Saturday, October 27, 2012

Calendar for the Kids - Free Printables

For some reason many of my most vivid memories from my early years in elementary school center around the "circle time" calendar.  You know, the one with the interchangeable dates, months, seasons, and weather cards.  Remember those?

When my son started home-based public education (via I knew I wanted one as part of our daily routine.  I looked around at some of those offered through educational/office supply stores, but they always seemed really gaudy and kind of obnoxious looking (if that makes any sense, ha!).  I wanted something slightly more aesthetically pleasing and customized with only the elements I wanted. 

So I decided to make my own.  The items I purchased were one 20"x30" foam core board, 1/8" and 1/4" chart tape (optional), and self-adhesive velcro.  Materials I had on hand were printer paper and ink, colored cardstock, colored pencils, laminating sheets, a black marker, ribbon, and page protectors.

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I began by using my big metal square to draw the large rectangle for the calendar, one inch in from the left side and one inch up from the bottom. The rectangle measures 15" high x 19.25" wide. Then I marked off measurements for the small interior squares, vertically every 2.5" and horizontally every 2.75", then drew lines across.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Aqua and Orange Toddler Birthday Party

Lately I've been tending to go pretty low-key for my kids' birthday parties.  Like I said in my other party post, I usually have to do everything solo, so I don't want to wear myself out so much in preparation that I can't enjoy the moment during the party itself.

For my daughter's birthday last year, which was our first year in a small apartment since moving from the house out of state, I decided to have two different gatherings; one for family and one for friends her age.  I decided to just go with colors instead of worrying about a theme, which ended up saving me a lot of time.

I had a few decorations including the über trendy tissue paper pouf thingys (which I totally love).

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For the kids gathering I just had a few snacks for them, pretty-fied water bottles and whole wheat carrot cake cupcakes (which were heavenly, if I do say so myself). I dyed paper doilies and cut them out with a cupcake liner template.

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For an activity, besides just playing with the toys in my kids' room (which seems to be what they want to do the most), the kids made macaroni necklaces with pasta that I had dyed different colors.

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And finally, as part of the goodie bags I sent them away with some homemade playdough.

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Simple, yet the kids enjoyed it, so I consider it another success. :)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Is Facebook Showing You Everything You Want to See?

Yes, it is a bit whiny to complain about a service that's offered for free, but I'm going to take a moment to complain about Facebook fan pages.  Did you know that when you like a page, you aren't always shown their posts?  That's even if you want to see them.  In the past Facebook has shown posts to about 40% of fans.  Just recently they changed things again and now only 10-15% fans are seeing posts from the pages they like.  Of course it's based on complicated algorithms that take into account interaction with the posts, but still... So frustrating!  Personally I think it would be nice if they would just default to showing everything and then people could opt out of seeing what they didn't want to see. 

You may have already heard about the way around this, but in case you haven't, here's what you need to do:  (Thanks to the talented people over at MCP Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets for this)

Click on the image to enlarge
Hope that helps you stay up to date with all your favorite people and companies!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Fashion Museum Tour - Information and Inspiration

Have you checked out the website for the Metropolitan Museum of Art?  It's awesome!  There are so many subjects with photographs and historical information, it's almost like a mini trip to the museum.  One of the departments is called The Costume Institute.  They have a lot of photographs of (and background about) clothing from different designers and periods of time.  I love looking at clothing from the past.  It's interesting to see the influence it often has on the clothing of today and how certain shapes and styles repeat themselves throughout history.  If you're interested in clothing and fashion I would definitely suggest going to check it out (the name above is a link).  Here are a few of my favorites:

Emilio Schuberth, 1952
The ombre effect is so trendy right now, but here's a beautiful example from the early 50's!

Charles Frederick Worth, 1880s-90s
"Coco" Chanel, 1938
Madeleine Vionne, 1938
Christian Dior, 1949
Tangent: Here's a wedding cake inspired by this dress --
Madame Grès
I hope you enjoyed the little fashion museum tour.  Where do you go to find inspiration (whether for clothing, art, food, or anything else)?

I'm linking up to:
While He Was Napping
Thirty Handmade Days 
The 36th Avenue 
Under the Table and Dreaming
My Girlish Whims 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Toddler Puppy Birthday Party

Is everyone excited and getting ready for Halloween? Every day my kids have different ideas about what they want to dress up as, so while I wait for them to make up their minds I thought I would post about some other things.

My daughter's fourth birthday is coming up in November. I'm not sure what I'm going to do this year, but I wanted to share what I did the past two years. I usually have to do everything by myself, so my kids' parties tend to be pretty low-key. Plus, when they're so young I don't feel like it's necessary to go all out.

For my daughter's second birthday I decided on a puppy dog theme, with light pink and lavender as the colors, since she was/is pretty much obsessed with dogs. She loves to pretend she's a dog and has done it since before she could talk.

The invitations were a simple folded cardstock with torn scrapbook paper and a simple silhouette of a dog's head on the front.

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I used vinyl paw prints on the walkway and door, with balloons for a little decor outside.

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Our [rental] house at the time was a cute 1940s bungalow painted white with yellow shutters.  So fun!

Inside I set up a table with some finger foods for the kids (with more balloons and vinyl paw prints for decoration). We had grapes, string cheese, carrots, cucumbers, olives, homemade graham crackers in the shape of dog bones, and homemade apple chips.

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I also added vinyl paw prints to plain white cups.

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The cake I made was a two-layer sheet cake (homemade, 100% whole wheat, and tasted great, by the way) that I cut into the shape of a bone and frosted white. (But I won't be posting a photo of it because when I sent my husband to the store to get whipping cream he came home with the canned variety which does NOT work for frosting a cake, just FYI. So, it turned out looking horrible and since I did the cake day of the party instead of the day before like I should have, there was no time to fix it. :)

The party favors consisted of a few dog-themed items in "doggy bags".

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For activities the kids decorated the dog tags with stick-on jewels and pushed the inflatable balls around an obstacle course using the dog nose/mask. Other than that the kids just wanted to play with toys in my kids' room, and I wasn't about to fight that. :)

All in all it was a good time and my daughter loved it. That's what counts to me.

I'll be linking up to these fabulous link parties:

Monday -  Craft o Maniac Monday -- Craftastic Monday -- Amaze Me Monday -- Make it Great Monday -- Polly Want 2 Party  --  Tuesday -  Get Your Craft On -- Sew Cute Tuesday -- Upcycled Awesome -- Tip Me Tuesday -- Tuesday Talent Show --  Wednesday -  Seven Thrity Three -- Wallet-Friendly Wednesday -- Create and Share -- Whatever Goes Wednesday --  Linkin’ with Lil’ Luna -- Thursday -  Strut your Stuff Thursday -- Transformation Thursday -- Thrilling Thursday -- House of Hepworths -- Friday -  Remodelaholic Friday -- Flaunt it Friday -- Frugal Friday -- Weekend Wander -- Show and Share Day -- It's Fun to Craft! -- Tickled Pink Fridays -- Weekend Wrap-up Party -- Catch as Catch Can -- Friday Flair -- Feature Yourself Friday -- Simply Link {Party} -- Pity Party -- Design Dazzle --  Saturday - Saturday Spotlight --  Sunday -  The DIY Showoff Project  Parade --  Sunday Showcase Party -- Creative Bloggers Party -- I Heart Naptime -- Think Pink Sundays
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