DIY Height Chart: They are Growing Like Weeds, Make Sure You Save Those Memories!

 

 

My brother and I lived in the same house for the first ten or so years of our lives. My dad had a door frame that he would mark our growth on our birthdays and sometimes after summers where we would hit one of those painful growth spurts. I can still feel my knees ache!

I remember trying to stand so tall to outdo my brother! Side note: we still do this. My brother is 5′ 11″ and I’m 5″10… but I’ve got the benefits of generally higher heels and hair that usually gives a bit of height. So the battle goes on.

Back to childhood and our door frame that held so much sentimental info-

We moved. And dad had to transfer all of our measurements onto a piece of paper kind of like a calculator tape. Then we moved again and again. He kept it rolled up carefully in his sock drawer. Knowing my life, I wanted to make sure that I had something a little bit more sturdy (especially given my track record of losing important pieces of paper) to keep track of my growing kidlets.

Height Chart 6.jpg.jpg

I decided to to use a thicker length of wood- a 1″ x 6″ x 6′ piece of mdf. We started 6″ from the floor and measured up from the floor to make sure the the measurements would remain correct. Also, this gives us a few inches above 6′ mark, just in case we end up with some basketballers on our little team!

I did experiment a bit in the process of creating this chart. After spraying the board with an off-white spray paint, I used permanent markers to do the inch marks and then sprayed it with a clear coat. DON’T DO THIS! Whatever combination I used ended up making the black lines run. Which was terrible after working so hard to make them exact.

So I started again. A new piece of wood and I sprayed it again with the off white. Using my well-worn sewing tape (well worn by my mom-not myself) I added my inch marks.

Height Chart 1.jpg

Now, here’s a secret that I learned from MUCH research on pinterest. Black nail polish! It’s not perfect-you can get little strips of black vinyl tape if you would like that-but I didn’t want to chance them coming off. So nail polish it was for my chart:

Height Chart 2.jpg

On my other board I did a lot of ornate painting, with multicolors and filled it with flowers and different finishes of paint. But after adding the heights that I have been keeping track of in a book, it was WAY too much. I needed to keep it a bit more conservative. So, I actually went with grey 6″ numbers and hit them with a light grit sandpaper.

height chart 10.jpg

The  paint was a light dove grey and a darker gunmetal grey around the edges of the numbers to add some dimension.

height chart 11.jpg

Then I pre-drilled holes on the top and bottom of the board for hanging.

Height Chart 4.jpg

 

And then we hung it on a stud in our bedroom. This chart will soon be full of names and dates. I can’t wait. Seeing my babies grow has been one of the most incredible experiences. Sometimes you don’t even notice until their socks are showing under their pants! I’m so happy to finally get this done. Tomorrow I will start adding all of the measurements we have written down over the years!

Height Chart 7.jpg

 

Do you have a height chart for your kids? Do you just measure on their birthdays or at random times during the years? Tell me what I can do to give my chart a tiny bit of “umpf” but not too much to make it cluttered when I finally get all three kids’ measurements up? Any ideas?

 

 

 

DIY Felted Wool Dryer Balls: Good for Your Family & the Environment!

Felted Wool Dryer Balls Main pic 2

So… dryer balls. Have you heard of these things? You use them in place of dryer sheets. I wasn’t so sure about this idea, so I did a little reading. Here are a few reasons why making a switch might be a good thing for your family:

Sure they smell amazing, but there are so many chemicals in traditional dryer sheets! A lot of the chemicals can affect our central nervous system. Scary stuff. Here is a list of the seven most common chemicals that can be found in dryer sheets. If you’re brave enough to read it, that is!

There has been this really great push encouraging us to use more recyclable materials, bring our own bags to the grocery store and to opt out of as much junk mail as we can. (Now if I could get them to stop sending me bills of any kind! :) )

Which brings me back to dryer balls. How do they compare?

I have only used mine for about two weeks now-and honestly there are some good parts and some drawbacks. First off, I love knowing that I’m not drying my kids off with towels that have been tumbled in chemicals. However, the wool balls will obviously not have that Spring-fresh scent. I read a few tutorials that said to add a few drops of essential oil, which I did. But I was too chicken to put them in with regular clothes because I didn’t want to risk oil marks. Our towels smelled awesome. I used an all natural lavender-a very calming scent.

I found that tumbling with dryer balls, no matter what load it was, seemed to make the clothes less wrinkly and much more soft. I’m definitely willing to trade silky feeling of dryer sheets for this just plain softness factor.

Some of the dryer ball articles said that they wouldn’t reduce absorbency of towels the way dryer sheets can do. And you can use them with cloth diapers. They also said that it decreased drying time which would mean saving on utility bills.

I do know that dryer sheets, especially the sensitive kind that I used to buy, were spendy. My three larger dryer balls cost a bit less than $6 to make.

Wool is a renewable resource and doesn’t add to the landfill.

So, if you want to give them a try you can either purchase them, or make them rather easily as I did.

DIY Felted Wool Dryer Balls

Here is what you need:

  • 100% Wool Yarn -Make sure you try to find something that is not washable-which would prevent the felting process. I found a skein that called for hand-washing. I did have to run mine through the washer & dryer a few times to get them to felt nicely.
  • Scissors
  • A pair of old pantyhose. I’m not much for pantyhose, but I found one of those mid-calf pantyhose-like socks
  • Essential Oil (optional)

felted wool balls 1

 Pretty self explanatory! Start with a little knot and just keep rolling. Mine ended up about 4″ across. When you get to where you want to stop, just tie it off using one of the other strings of yard already across the ball.

felted dryer balls

felted balls 2

Slip them into your pantyhose and tie off between each ball with left over yarn tidbits.

felted balls 3

Wash in warm/hot water, and dry on high (right in with your clothes is just fine! Like I said, I repeated this a few times until I was satisfied with the amount of felting. And when I started using them as dryer balls, they turned darker in color and the felting increased dramatically. I’m pretty happy with the results!

Felted Wool Dryer Balls Main Pic

Have you tried dryer balls? How did you think they measured up?

 

Thank You for Helping Me Grow Printable + 15 Teacher Appreciation Gifts

 

 

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 5th through the 9th and there are so many great ideas out there to help celebrate some of the most important people in your child’s life! My husband has two teachers that he sees at his school so I wanted to make sure they got something special. Since Spring is finally here, I’ve been loving seeing all the gorgeous flowers so I thought we would brighten their day with some too!

Thank You For Helping Me Grow Printable and Flowers

I was inspired by Pinterest of course, where you will find tons of great ideas for flowers and plants for teachers. I love the idea of painting a planter with chalkboard paint, but I was in a bit of a time crunch so I decided to grab some planters from Michael’s – only $3.99 each! – and some flowers from our local garden shop.

I made my own printable since I wanted it to look like a chalkboard tag. Making the plant stake is super easy! Just print the Thank You For Helping Me Grow printable directly onto cardstock, cut and then glue onto a wooden stake {also bought from Michael’s!}. Then, just stick in the dirt and you’ve got a perfect gift to thank your child’s teacher who helped them grow this school year!

Thank You Teacher Flowers

Click to Print!

Click to Print!

I’ve also got some more ideas for you too! These are some great and easy ideas for you to put together this week to let your child’s teacher know that you appreciate them!

Teacher Appreciation Gifts

Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas

- Crayon Picture Frame

- Target Tumbler

- Personalized Vinyl Tumblers

- Mason Jar Vase

- Crayon Vase

- Coffee Gift

- Summer Goodies Cup

- Apple Wreath

- Easy Teacher Appreciation Printables

- Mason Jar Gifts

- Fingerprint Tree

- Teacher Supply Holder and Magnets

- Keep Calm and Teach On Classroom Decor

- One in a Melon Printable

- Teacher Corsage

- Lucky Charms Teacher Gift

- DIY Sugar Scrub

 

Thank you to all the teachers out there! What are some of your ideas for a Teacher Appreciation gift?

Pinterest Fail: Rainbow Cake in a Mason Jar + Free Printable!

 

 

With St. Patrick’s Day coming up,I wanted to do something fun in the kitchen. When browsing Pinterest, I kept coming across these super cute Rainbow in a Jar recipes. I thought it would be so fun to make and how hard could it be? I even decided to make some printables for Hayden’s teachers that he could attach to the jars.

So I gathered up all the ingredients and supplies to make the Rainbow in a Jar. I followed the directions on a recipe I found on Pinterest. Now, this is where it all went wrong. I started this project while the girls were sleeping and about an hour before I would have to pick Hayden up from school. I wanted to pour the colored cake batter into icing bags so I could evenly layer the colors in the jar, but it was going to take me too long so I decided to spoon it in the jar – which got really messy.

Rainbow Cake Batter

 

Rainbow Cake in a Jar

This was definitely very pretty! So my other mistake was eyeballing it to fill it 3/4 full as directions stated. Since I was a little careless, the following happened.

Rainbow Cake Oven

Yup, overflow! It looks like a science experiment gone wrong. Once it was completely done baking though, I figured I would pull it out and I could salvage it somehow. So I had it baking for 45 minutes as directed. I should have been checking on it in those last few minutes, but I was getting ready to leave so I was distracted. When I went to pull it out of the oven after the timer went off, it was burnt in some parts. Another fail!

Well, maybe I could STILL salvage it. So, I let it cool, took some of the top off and added frosting. Then I went to print the cute printables I made. Yup, you guessed it. The way my day was going, my printer ran out of ink so the tag looked terrible for the picture.

Finished product?

Rainbow Cake in a Jar Pinterest Fail

So, I don’t want to even give you the recipes I followed, but I’ll give you a few tips so your Rainbow in a Jar doesn’t turn out like mine.

- Use GEL food coloring, not drops. This will give you a more vibrant cake batter. #WIN!

- It may say bake for 45 minutes. Set your timer for 35 minutes and take a look at it. Then hover outside the oven and keep peeking in through the glass.

- You may think the jar is not full enough. It is. Don’t add any more cake batter. That stuff will rise fast.

- I give up on my frosting. Why is it bubbly?!

- Make sure your printer has ink!!!

 

So yup, total Pinterest Fail. But if you happen to like the printable and are planning on making something cute for your child’s teachers, check it out below! Just click to print!

I'm So Lucky You're My Teacher Printables

DIY Reindeer Footprint {Great Craft for Little Ones!}

 

 

It’s that time of year again- the time for finding ways to capture every detail of our sweet littles and give unique, creative gifts without going crazy in the process. Fear not, fellow mommies, for today we are going to create a simple gift that you and your loved ones can cherish through the years. Behold, the reindeer footprint!

Reindeer Feet

This is the version I made to keep in my house and get all nostalgic over every year. Isaac and I also made gift versions for his grandmothers:

Reindeer Feet Gift

…and when my 6 year old niece came to visit at Thanksgiving, she helped me make one to give to her mom (call it the super-simplified and VERY festive version)-

6 Year Old Reindeer Feet

(big kid instructions will be marked with **)

Things you’ll need:

-a pencil

-a thing for decorating (I used a sheet of canvas from the pad pictured below; you can use any kind of canvas you like, or even construction paper!)

-brown acrylic paint

-a flat paintbrush for the feet

-red acrylic or Tulip paint or a red marker**

-a black permanent marker**, black acrylic paint, or black Tulip paint

-small round paintbrush for the dots and words (if you’re using acrylic paint instead of Tulip)

-template for your font, which you can find here (I used “Coventry Garden”): http://www.twotwentyone.net/2013/11/free-christmas-fonts/

-a stack of warm wet rags/paper towels and a plastic bag for easy cleanup

Supplies

If this is the kind of project you enjoy doing regularly, I highly recommend picking up an Acrylic Pad like the one in the pic. Michaels has them for cheap (especially if you have a coupon!) and you can cut the sheet to whatever size you need- which is what we did for the grandmas’ gifts.

Directions:

1. THE FOOTPRINT

-Gather your supplies

You’ll want your warm rags, plastic bag, paintbrush, and brown paint within reach.

-Strap that baby down (or have the big kid sit somewhere clear of debris)

My favorite place to do footprints of my extremely active 10 month old is his high chair. I can give him something to occupy his hands while I get to crafting.

**If you have an older child, set a chair in the middle of the room so if they get wiggly you won’t end up with any paint casualties. This is also why we use acrylic paint- it’s water based so it comes out of just about anything with a little warm water and soap.

-Paint the bottom of kiddo’s foot and DON’T LET GO

If you’re feeling especially jolly, you can use this as an interactive sensory learning experience with your little. Mine thought it was tickly so we turned it into a game the first time. The second time, not so much.

-Make the footprint

The key here is speed. If you’re using a canvas sheet, you’ll need to tape it to something hard (I just used the actual pad). Place the foot directly above the place you want it, then quickly smoosh it to the canvas and lift straight up. It doesn’t matter if you’re missing a toe or if it slides a little (I promise my kid doesn’t have one giant foot and one tiny one). If you really truly hate it, you can wipe the paint off the canvas and try again later.

**With a big kid the process is basically the same- give them as much control as you’re comfortable with but do not have them stand on the canvas as they will slide all over and make an enormous mess/terrible print/tears because it got messed up.

-Wipe off your kiddo

Get as much paint off the foot as you can and put your rags right into the bag. Acrylic paint is safe on baby’s skin so don’t stress out if there are a few spots that have to wait til bath time. If you use cloth instead of paper towels you can just throw them in the washer.

-Let dry

Acrylic paint dries fairly quickly but you definitely want to make sure you aren’t smudging brown everywhere when you do the cutesy part so give it a few hours to be safe.

 

2. THE WORDS, ANTLERS, AND EYES

- You can use any font/lettering you like- I chose Coventry Garden from the link above because a) it looks very Christmassy and b) is super duper easy to copy! If you find the handwriting part to be daunting, you can use construction paper for your craft and put it through the printer with your message.

-Write it with pencil first, then trace over with your marker/brush/Tulip paint. I used Tulip fabric paint because it’s easy to do letters (it has a small tip) and it looks really spiffy with the puffiness and shininess. I also find it’s easier to use the tube of paint rather than a brush.

For the antlers, just do a “Y” and add little lines off it. I liked my eyes down low for a squishy little face but you can put them anywhere you like!

**Let your biggie trace over the penciled words with a marker- or if they’re not quite old enough, you can hold the marker in their hand and trace together.

Keep in mind that Tulip paint takes around 4 hours to fully dry and doesn’t come out of anything, ever, so you’ll want to put this in a safe place (overnight if possible).

 

3. THE CUTESY STUFF AND NOSE

I used a paintbrush and acrylic paint because I was out of red Tulip paint. The dot clusters are something my mom always did when I was a kid so I wanted to use them for hers and really liked the way they looked- you could do big polka dots, swirls, etc. in any color you like.

If you’re circle challenged, grab anything that’s the size of the nose you want and trace around it with your pencil (measuring spoons can be great for this!), then fill in with red.

**My niece is an aspiring artist so she really enjoyed using a brush with a small cup of red acrylic paint (and an apron and several rags standing by). If you have a smaller kiddo you can still let them be creative- tape a piece of paper over the footprint area with plain scotch tape and give the biggie a washable marker (after you’ve covered the table).

Let that part dry and you have yourself a one of a kind inexpensive masterpiece to give to family and friends! The canvas sheets go a really long way with this kind of thing- I cut one in half to use for the grandmas’ since I only did one footprint, and used a whole sheet for the double prints and big kiddo. It also looks really pretty in a $4 Walmart frame!

Reindeer Foot Framed

 (santa pig not included)

Merry Christmas and a Crafty New Year!

 Breanna is mom to 10-month old Isaac. She and her husband Mike have lived in Florida all 5 years they’ve been married because they are wussies about cold weather.