You want to make this beach sand souvenir for yourself. I know, because, well, if the amount of sand we shake out of our suitcases, vacuum out of the car and wash out of our hair every summer is any kind of indicator, then we are definitely a family of beachcombers.
And no matter whether we drive to a local lakeside beach or fly to a more far flung oceanside locale, our modus operandi is always the same: build sandcastles that never stay up, hunt for pretty shells/interesting rocks until sunset, and bring a little bit of beach sand home in a bucket.
It’s become a beloved family tradition, especially now that I figured out how to make beach sand keepsakes from our found treasures.
It takes less than 20 minutes to make a display-worthy beach sand souvenir that you’ll enjoy year round, and all you need are measuring cups and a few empty jars with tight-fitting lids. Plus your beach sand and little shells, of course!
Making sure your jar is clean and dry, start by pouring sand that you’ve already sieved (to remove bits of driftwood and seaweed) into the bottom until it’s filled about halfway. Gently shake to make the sand level, then layer … >> find out more...
When did you know your life’s passion? Is there something you loved, adored more than life itself, from the time you were a small child? I think if we all went back to that place of loving something completely, with a passion we forgot we had, and made it our life’s vocation, we’d all be happier people.
TMNT – Leonardo
There’s something beautiful about stepping outside your current world to discover a new one. I don’t think we do it often enough as adults, and we could all learn a little about passion from kids. Everyone comes to this earth being really excellent at one thing, at least one thing, even if it takes some of us longer than others to figure it out.
TMNT – Michelangelo
If you’re a parent, you know what I’m talking about. Kids show up on this earth hardwired to love certain things. Maybe you remember what it felt like the first time you read a novel, or danced on a stage, or took a gorgeous photo, and how it transformed the way you moved about the world.
My oldest child, my daughter, has been obsessed with words from the get-go. She started talking early, … >> find out more...
I’m saying thanks today. Thanks you, and you, and you in the corner. Thanks you, all of you, for everything.
For the last 5 months (it’s hard to write that, actually) we’ve been in absolute crisis mode at my house. In early March, my daughter started throwing up. And throwing up, and throwing up, and throwing up. I figured we were in the middle of a winter stomach flu, like every other kid we knew. From the time school starts in September to the time we finish in May, my kids always get at least one major flu. It’s just part and parcel of being a kid. But after a week of my Sofie throwing up around the clock, we went to see the pediatrician. The doctor ran a few tests and sent us home. It was the flu, we were told, so we went home to ride it out.
Halfway through week two of round-the-clock puking, we went to Instacare. Sofie was throwing up between 10 and 15 times a day. She had lost 10 pounds in 14 days, she was pale and listless, and I was officially worried.
The doctor at Instacare took 8 vials of blood, ran … >> find out more...
Kids can be tricky in the summertime. Believe me, I’m a work-at-home mom, which means summer is a blessing and a curse. I love having my kids home more than life itself, but keeping them intellectually challenged and busy 24/7 is a job in and of itself.
We started out the summer with Some Fun Summer Bags for Kids, and a couple weeks ago spent the weekend doing the Kids Adventure Games at Snowbird. We’ve done an Easy Summer Activity Book DIY, we’ve made an Ice Cream Sandwich Cake, and we’re getting ready to blow up an entire box of fireworks. But still, the children remain at home most of the time, imploring me to entertain them, as if I am their cruise director.
So I’m doing what any mom in her right mind would do, and I’ve signed them up for day camps.
My little guy is going to a school day camp wherein he will learn about oceanography for 2 weeks, and my daughter is about to start an app camp for kids, followed by a design camp, where she’ll learn basic graphic design and Adobe Illustrator. I’m teeming with jealousy. I would’ve … >> find out more...
This Summer activity book DIY might save my sanity for the next 9 weeks. I’m not really kidding. The month of May was so insanely over-scheduled and hectic it seemed the last day of school would never arrive. Then WHAM! The kids are home and it’s head first into swim team and t-ball and worrying about the infamous “Summer Slide”. It’s a thing, the “Summer Slide”, the thing where kids lose some of their academic skills over the summer. Turns out it’s legit–according to my resident expert and professional educator who happens to be my husband. The good news is a little bit of reading and writing over the summer can kick it to the curb.
So, school ended in a flury and frenzy and I realized I needed to come up with a strategy for keeping their brains busy and strong, not to mention keeping their mouths quite and bodies still for a precious few minutes. And I had to do it quick. Really quick. That’s how this no-frills, easy Summer activity book DIY was born. Or, rather, printed off, hole punched, and thrown in a binder. Made almost entirely of stuff I had on hand or could quickly … >> find out more...
4th of July, 4th of July! You know there’s nothing better than a summer holiday, right? For me, it’s the 4th of July. It’s my favorite holiday, hands down. The weather is gorgeous and hot, the pavement is baking, kids sit on the sidewalk eating dripping Popcicles, and fireworks end the day. It’s the most fun of the whole year, and that’s saying something.
I make my famous American flag cake. We sometimes run a 4th of July 5k and watch the early morning hot air balloons. There’s a parade in Provo, and we never miss it. There are afternoon naps, BBQ’s and frosty cold caffeinated beverages abound.
Cousins, adorable cousins come from near and far.
Sometimes there’s a baby or two, on a good year.
There’s grilled corn on the cob, and squirt gun fights and sparklers and a table full of desserts. There just isn’t a better holiday than the 4th of July.
I have a couple of favorite recipes for you, so you can whip up something red, white & blue for your own celebrations.
A yummy 4th of July dessert recipe made with the most American of ingredients: whipped cream + Jell-O. An American Flag … >> find out more...
My kids seem to be growing especially fast these days, so when I find a cute tee or dress on sale for a great deal, I usually buy their current size plus the size I know they’ll soon be fitting into. I found some bright neon shirts at Target a while back and bought a few colors, knowing they would be perfect for school and play time for my 9 year old. But when it came time to size up, I thought I’d make the tees a little more unique, and use up some sequins from my hoarded stash supplies. That’s how this sequin tee DIY was born.
You may recall I made some cute sequin bracelets a while back? Well, I still have several bags of sequins just hanging around, so inspired by the Crew Cuts catalog which offers a bunch of cute sequined embellished tees for a bajillion dollars, I decided to make my own. I ordered a bottle of glue especially made for this type of DIY, and got to work, creating a couple of cute tee options for my sweet little gal. I decided to start with an easy pattern, this Peter Pan version, and have … >> find out more...
Lots of news in the world today: Putin is still being the dictator he is and is escalating his crimes upon Ukraine (and most of the rest of the developed world, heaven help us all), there are 200 schoolgirls missing in Nigeria who’ve reportedly been kidnapped and sold into marriage, and on a less-serious-but-still-rather-heavy-for-my-heart-matter, David Beckham is still retired from the game of soccer. Why can’t he pull a Michael Phelps and (allegedly) come out of retirement already?
April has been a long, horrible month, and I’m really ready to move into May wherein there’s hope of a gentler future. I’m an eternal optimist, if nothing else. I haven’t talked about it much (at all) on the blog, but have shared tidbits of what’s going on behind the scenes at my house, over on Instagram, (I’m @petit_elefant).
My 14-year-old daughter has been super, super sick for almost 2 months and no one knows what’s wrong with her. Baby girl has been throwing up dozens of times a day (and sometimes more) for 7 weeks straight but no one seems to be able to fix her. We’ve been to the Emergency Room more times than we can count, and all sorts … >> find out more...
When Easter is over, as it is about to be, what do you do with all the leftover Easter baskets? In my house growing up, my mom would stash all 10 Easter baskets back under the stairs, grass and all, to wait it out until the following Easter holiday. I’m not quite as organized as my mother, maybe because I’m free to wing it with only 2 kids instead of 8, which means each year is different than the next. More often than not, I forget I even have Easter baskets under my stairs, or I’m lured into buying new ones every year both by the children and myself.
What does one do with all the baskets of the world flowing everywhere? I’ll tell you what I do: after Easter half the time I send them to a thrift store and the other half I re-purpose them into something useful for the remaining 11 months of the year.
This year my little guy (he’s still little to me) is getting an adorable little monster basket filled to the brim with Peeps and chocolate eggs. And when he’s all done using it I’m filling it with toy cars to sit … >> find out more...