Posts Tagged ‘ getting your kids to do stuff ’

Use Your Noodle

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008


When people hear the words pasta crafts, they immediately think of retro macaroni necklaces that most moms wear with an bit of pride and a bit of, well, fashion hesitation.

Check out the September issue of Parents mag where we took pasta crafts to a new level. I mean, look at this train set—have you ever? These 6 ideas are great birthday party activities or simple, accessible rainy day crafts.

PS…For these projects we painted the noodles in the old-school way with tempera paint and a brush, but if you are mass producing pasta fashions, you may want to try dying your pasta in large batches, as seen on The Crafty Crow.

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Ambient 1: Music for Emilys

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

515sa8ved0l_sl500_aa240_ Our little Emily was wide awake last night after her "nighty night feeding." Mommy and Daddy, however, were ready to drop like a sack of lead bricks. So, I figured I’d try something that helped Daddy sleep during his caffeine-addled college years: Brian Eno’s Ambient 1: Music for Airports. Within minutes, Emily drifted into a sleepy baby coma.

Once we had her in the bassinet, I loaded Music for Airports into an iPod and brought it into the bedroom along with our iPod boombox. In order to test out my hypothesis, I’d leave it off and shortly afterward Emily got fussy. I turned it on, sweet blissful rest.

I don’t know if this will work for everyone—and it may not work long for us—but it seems to work now. Besides, if you’re into electronic music, this album is a pivotal one in the development of the genre. And even if you’re not into electronica, it’s nice to listen to when you need to chill out and you want something gentle in the background.

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What I Did on My Summer Vacation

Monday, June 9th, 2008

I am so lucky that crafting is my job. Literally, it is. So for me, work and fun are very often interchangeable. I just returned from a beach vacation with my boyfriend’s family in Hilton Head, SC. As always, it was hot and steamy every day, so there were definite needs for respite from the sun. Quinn (age 7 in blue shirt) came up with the genius idea to make dolls and puppets (a boy after my own heart), so we took a trip to Michael’s for our arsenal of supplies.  One full shopping cart later, we were set with everything we could possibly need.

Believe it or not, the beach (and bedtime) took a backseat to crafting (I was beaming with pride! My job here is done.). We spread out a big sheet and dubbed it the Craft Corner. We created a simple body template, sewed buttons for eyes, and combined felt, pom-poms, and bells for clothing. 5 days later, with some needle-threading help from the adults, 8 dolls, 3 fish, an ice cream cone, a tooth fairy pillow, a change pouch, and 1 Harry Potter head had come to life. (The littles ones of course needed some extra help but they were integral in choosing their fabrics and embellishments.) So this year, instead of a painful sunburn, Jordan, Grey, Quinn and Sidney left the beach with something a little happier.

0811858863_large (PS…If you are in need of a little extra guidance in the world of plush pals, check out The Softies Kit, an adorable all-in-one with everything you need to get started in making these precious little felt works of art. Each pattern is designed by professional softie creators and come with excellent instructions for the various stitches and detailed embellishments.)

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Pigging Out

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

DisplayimageIt’s time to retire that antiquated slot-in-the-back piggy bank—there’s a new hog in town. And this one moves. And oinks too.

Check this out—when you place a coin in the Hungry Bank‘s mouth, it’s detected by a built-in
motion sensor. The precious piglet begins to chew and
swallow your cash into it’s savings belly. And of course, it oinks and snorts
while munching away. Wanna see the pig in action? Click here. This would no doubt encourage your kids to save their coins away for a rainy day.

The Hungry Bank is available for sale here. Thanks to This Next for the link!

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Organization Inspiration

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

Img25lI haven’t done any spring cleaning yet (I always find something more fun to do instead…imagine that!). But I’m getting inspired thanks to Pottery Barn Teen, of all places. They’ve got some surprisingly sophisticated and pretty organization tools, like these sunburst canvas bins. I’m loving their dry-erase bins too. They’d be perfect for helping little kids learn to clean up: It’ll be easier for them to figure out where their things belong if you draw a picture of whatever type of toy is stored inside.

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These T-Shirts Rule!

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Mamasims_gear_mind_your_manners_tNow you can show your kid who’s boss—and look totally stylish doing it. Mamaisms Tees feature classic mom images and phrases like "Mind Your Manners" and "Look Both Ways." The tees are cut to flatter, come in a variety of colors and cost about $30. Browse, shop and learn about the moms behind the brand by clicking here

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Spankin’ New Headlines

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

News_image_newAs the recession looms, families are relying more on food banks, which are struggling to keep up with the need. Washington Post

Mind your manners! Do your kids need etiquette lessons? Boston Globe

What it’s like to be a successful mommy blogger. Wall Street Journal

How to get your infant started on good sleep habits. Time

One out of 15 hospitalized kids is affected by medication errors, new research finds. Yahoo! News

Original photo via

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Be In Parents: Tell Us Your Tricks For Dealing With Separation Anxiety

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

668326457_1d0f7e84cbIt’s a good sign that your baby is so terribly attached to you that she cries whenever you leave the room, much less drop her off at daycare. But when she’s screaming and you’re feeling guilty about trying to rush out, don’t you wish you had a magic wand that would make her calm down and forget about you for a moment?

So, we’re wondering: Do you have any clever methods for dealing with this stressful stage? Post a comment and you could be in an upcoming issue of Parents magazine!

Photo via

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