It’s another beautiful day, friends. The scent of Autumn is in the air. The snow is starting to fall, one trickling snowflake at a time. It’s cold enough for hot drinks and cozy fires, a good novel on the couch. Time to tuck in with your favorite TV shows and hunker down for the Winter.
What are you watching, what are you reading? I’m reading romance novels, one after the other. Ones with totally implausible plot-lines and modern day, swashbuckling heroes. There’s always a firefighter or some other tough guy, with plenty of money and six-pack abs. And a damsel slightly in distress. It takes feminism back a solid half-century at least, but it’s mind numbing, and sometimes that’s what counts when it’s always dark outside.
I’m behind on life. I have an inbox jam-packed full of emails I need to return, and laundry that needs to be folded. Doctors to call, appointments to make, groceries to buy, posts to write, stairs that need vacuuming. But right now I’m spending a lot of time with my kids. They need me, I need them, and the house can wait. Hopefully the email and you guys and everything in-between can hang tight … >> find out more...
If you are looking for awesome DIY Halloween costumes for kids, stick around. Because Halloween is coming, friends. And you’re going to need some costumes. And you’re going to need them easy and you’re going to want them cheap. Maybe these 3 quick and painless ideas will inspire you. All of these costumes were pulled together using things we found already laying around in our closets & craft bin, with the exception of a few minor accessories to add a little zing here and there. No sewing required on any of them, and they are suitable for boys and girls both. Aiming for perfection here isn’t the key, aiming for fun and easy is. Best part of these DIY Halloween costumes is that my dashing little subjects were over-the-moon happy with each of these costumes.
Why it’s cool: The rodeo clowns are the real heroes of the rodeo. They dress funny, but they are just as brave as the cowboys riding the bulls. Maybe even a little tougher. And I love bandanas.
What we already had: denim cutoffs a few sizes too big, plaid shirt, long johns (optional–if you live in a warm climate, you can skip these) … >> find out more...
Do you have a very favorite smell? Like, you go into a bookstore and breathe in a huge, yoga type breath, and you’re transported by the smell of new books and coffee to a happy place? I have a few of those smells in my life. Apple scented candles transport me instantly to back-to-school time; something about apples being ripe and being canned in my mother’s kitchen when I was a child, right around the time I started school every Fall. Bookstores, coffee, libraries, they all evoke strong memories of happy times in my life.
But the best smell of all for me, of all time, is the ocean.
When I was little my family made a pilgrimage, almost annually, across the deserts of Utah, Nevada and California (and a couple times up the coast to Oregon, Washington and Canada) to reach the Pacific Ocean. My mother’s family is all from the San Francisco area, and there’s a love for the ocean in our family DNA that runs long and deep.
The first memory I have of the ocean is from the time my family spent two weeks in Monterey for Christmas vacation when I was 7. I remember … >> find out more...
Before you even read this, know that every comment and social media share on this post (and all #Blogust posts) is equal to a vaccine for children across the world. Please share and comment.
I’ve talked a bit about the very difficult year we’ve had at the Czarnecki household, and the profound effect it has had on our family. Our baby girl (she’s nearly 15) has been ill since last winter, and since then we’ve gone through every possible test, procedure, blood work, doctor and hospital available. In fact, recently Sofie and I made promises to each other in light of all we’ve been through together this year.
This sweet (and extra spicy) girl of mine has had to face some serious challenges, and overnight it seems, has grown in the face of darkness and heartbreak.
I wouldn’t wish that kind of education on anyone, anywhere. Ever. But it’s one of the first major life challenge for this girl of mine, who has never failed at anything in her life. Sofie has, quite literally, never failed at anything. Until this year, when she couldn’t make herself better no matter how hard she tried.
We’ve all hit a wall at … >> find out more...
This post is sponsored by Target. More Turtles, More Bold and Daring Fun: Blur the lines of fantasy and reality with your favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at Target.
Art is a part of my daily life. It just is. Remember how I told you my son’s life passions all lead back to art? Art, art projects, new ideas, and collections of a random assortment of feathers and rocks and random paraphernalia for new collaborations make their way into my house every single day. So I thought it would be fun to throw an art party for some kids, friends of my son, to celebrate some of his favorite artists. We held our party mid-summer, but this turned out so fun it would also be great for a birthday or end-of-summer bash.
We looked to the four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and the artists they represent, for inspiration for our art party. Also, they lend some serious street cred to the event. Michelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo, and Raphael, all artists of the Renaissance period in Europe.
I set up four different art stations so the kids could rotate through each one and try different techniques while learning a bit … >> find out more...
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...