Dec 182016
 

easy-diy-gingerbread-man-wine-glass-votive-holder

Over the summer, my parents cleaned out their basement and somehow, half of their crap stuff found it’s way to my house?  I’m still not sure exactly how that happened, but recently I decided to start going through some of it because I remember my dad saying that there were some Christmas decorations in there.  There were.  Plus about a thousand other things that I don’t need in my life.  One of the things that I found in the box was an old wine glass and since I already have more wine glasses than I need, I decided to upcycle it into a candle holder.

I wasn’t sure what to make exactly, but decided that a gingerbread man votive holder would go well with a lot of my current Christmas decorations, so that’s what I made.  It was really easy to make and it came out really cute.

Easy DIY Gingerbread Man Wine Glass Votive Holder

Here’s what you need:

  • Wine glass
  • Brown enamel craft paint
  • Extra fine silver glitter
  • Red, white, and black felt
  • White puffy paint
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue/hot glue gun

Continue reading »

Dec 042016
 

pokemon-elf-on-the-shelf-idea

This year marks the 4th year that our Elf on the shelf, Snowy,  has come to visit us. My oldest son (age 12) does not believe in any of the Christmas magic anymore….sigh, but my 9 year old does and I want to do as much as I can to keep the magic alive for him.

Back when I first got the EOTS (Elf on the Shelf) for our house, both of my boys were both believers and I thought it would be fun to have Snowy get into all sorts of shenanigans overnight while the boys slept.  They would wake up each morning in December anxious to see what kind of mischief that Snowy got into while they slept.  They loved every mess he made, but by the third year (last year), I was out of ideas.  My youngest made to to note that Snowy had sure gotten lame since his first year at our house.  Gee, thanks kid.

Anyhow, I am struggling yet again this year, but I was able to come up with this cute Pikachu idea since both of my boys were SO into Pokemon Go over the summer.  It only took me a few minutes and they both thought it was funny (even the non-believer).

Easy Elf on the Shelf Idea for Pokemon Fans

Here’s what you need:

  • Bunch of bananas
  • Red and black Sharpie markers
  • White puffy paint
  • Elf on the shelf

Continue reading »

Nov 082016
 

how-to-make-your-own-autumn-leaf-soap

Fall is my favorite season.  I love the colors, the big sweaters, the chill in the air and pumpkin flavored everything. With the fall season comes holidays and for me that means that some family will be coming from out of state to stay with us (yay!!). In addition to a good cleaning before they arrive, I like to have some fun decorative things around my house. This autumn leaf soap is a perfect way to welcome my guests to fall in my home and on top of that, it’s useful.  You can never have too much soap, right?

autum-leaf-soap10

Autumn Leaf Soap

Here’s what you need:

  • Shea butter melt and pour soap
  • Red and yellow soap colorant
  • Leaf soap mold
  • Pyrex glass measuring cup
  • Spray bottle of rubbing alcohol
  • Soap scent (I chose Apple)

Continue reading »

Nov 022016
 

Hello!!  As some of you may remember my daughter is on the dance competition team this year.  Yay!!!!   One of the things that makes life easier is a dance duffel bag with a clothes rack, so this dance mom started shopping.  And then had a heart attack at the prices!!!  There is basically one main company that makes these and this momma is not paying $150 or more for a bag!!!

So what’s a momma to do when buying does not work?  I make my own with the help of my dad 🙂

brandi1

This is the almost finished project.  I still need to paint the pvc pipe.  Notice our cat Sassy checking it out lol.

So the first thing I did was order a rolling duffel bag.  I ordered a 26 inch duffel bag.

Continue reading »

Oct 172016
 

dollar-store-diy-jack-olantern-treat-buckets

Like everyone’s kids, my boys each come home from trick or treating with a ginormous bag of candy.  Even after the parental candy tax, they still end up with more candy than they could ever possibly eat. Despite all that candy, every year I insist on getting them each a little sweet treat of my own.  I give it to them on Halloween morning and it’s always just been a fun little way to get them excited about trick or treating that night – especially when Halloween falls on a school night. It’s something that my mom always did for my brother, sister and me and we were kids and I have always made sure to carry on the tradition.

These Jack O’Lantern Treat Buckets are inexpensive, really easy to make and make a perfect little treat to give to your kids, neighbors, friends or even send in with your kids to school to give to their classmates.

Jack O’Lantern Treat Buckets

Here’s what you need:

  • 3pk small white metal buckets (Dollar Tree)
  • Green metallic ribbon
  • Black and orange craft paint
  • Paint brush
  • Paper plate

dollar-store-diy-jack-olantern-treat-buckets1

Continue reading »

Oct 042016
 

diy-teepee-craft

One of the reasons I love where I live is that it’s so rich in Native American culture here.  I live in a town adjacent to where it all began – Plymouth, MA (you know, where the first Thanksgiving took place).  Everywhere you go around here, there are reminders that the Native Americans left their footprint here first and I love finding ways to teach my kids about their culture.  While there are many tribes, the Wompanoags are most prominent in this area.

This DIY teepee craft is the perfect way to teach your kids about the Native American culture here in the US.  It’s easy to make & only needs a few supplies.

How to make a teepee kids craft:

Here’s what you need:

  • sticks of varying lengths but of similar thickness (average of 10 inches 10 1 ft. shown)
  • tape and glue to secure things to the tee pee
  • scissors
  • craft items to decorate your teepee such as various types of string and yarn, washi tape, fabric scraps, ribbon, construction paper, felt, feathers, etc.

diy-teepee-craft1

Instructions: Continue reading »

Oct 022016
 

candy-corn-play-dough-recipe

Did you know that you can make your own play dough?  My kids have always loved it and I make my own pretty regularly – for home and some to send into the kids classrooms. Recently I decided to make candy Corn play dough for my kids to play with here at home. What a fun fall craft!

The 2 main ingredients I used to make the playdoh were cornstarch and hair conditioner. I know it sounds unbelievable and I was definitely skeptical at first, but it really works!! Some of the recipes I have read about on play dough say to use 2 parts cornstarch to 1 part conditioner. I think that’s going to depend on what type of conditioner you use. I used the VO5 brand and I found that I needed close to 2 1/2 cups of cornstarch with 1 cup (8 oz.) of conditioner. So the exact measurements are going to depend on what type of hair conditioner you use. Just play around with your ingredients until you get your desired texture.

This recipe will yield approximately 3 cups of candy corn play dough.

Candy Corn Play Dough

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 parts cornstarch
  • 1 part hair conditioner
  • Yellow food gel
  • Orange food gel

candy-corn-play-dough14

Here’s what you do:
1. Add 2 cups of corn starch to a large mixing bowl. Pour 1 cup of hair conditioner into the bowl and stir with a spatula until the mixture forms into a ball. Continue reading »

Sep 202016
 

Fingerprint Pumpkin Craft

I got invited to a Halloween party this year and want to bring a little gift for the hostess.  I hate showing up to a party empty handed, so I ended up making this really easy fingerprint pumpkin for her.  It only took a few minutes to make and I think it came out really cute. I had most of the supplies to make it on hand, but if you don’t already have them around your house, you can pick up everything you need for just a few dollars.

I am actually so happy with the way it came out that I am considering making a few more for the kids to give to their grandparents this year. Nana and Papa always love homemade gifts like this.

Here’s what you need:

  • Orange craft paint or stamp pad
  • White card stock or craft paper
  • Small picture frame (You can get them at Michael’s for $1)
  • Pair of Googly eyes
  • Craft glue
  • Black marker
  • Green craft foam or green marker
  • Scissors

Continue reading »

Sep 132016
 

diy-pumpkin-spice-candle

Anyone who has ever been to my house knows that I almost always have a candle burning. With a house full of boys, sometimes there are not-so-great smells lingering in the air that just need to GO!  Candles are a quick solution for those yucky boy smells and they work fast, which is why I love them so much. Within a few minutes of lighting them, the smell is usually gone.

Now that the chilly weather has arrived here in New England, I have embraced all things pumpkin and decided that a pumpkin spice candle was just what my house needed.  Even better, I decided that I spend way too much money on candles and wanted to try my hand at making one myself.  So I did.

DIY Pumpkin Spice Candle

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 cups soy wax flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon liquid vanilla candle scent
  • 1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • Long waxed candle wick
  • 8oz Mason jar
  • Long wooden skewer or pencil
  • Glass measuring cup

diy-pumpkin-spice-candle1 Continue reading »

Sep 062016
 

Hello!!!!! It is September. What does that mean?? Fall is approaching, pumpkin spice everything, back to school and HELLO ALLERGIES. I do not know about you guys in Massachusetts, but in Illinois when September hits look out allergies!!!! And Literally on Sept. 1 my sons nose was turned on like a faucet.

So what does this all natural momma do. Break out her all natural remedies.

brandi1

How many people love this vapor bath stuff, whatever brand it may be that you use. Well I am one of those mommas, but since I am now and essential oil momma, I make it myself!!!!! Continue reading »

Aug 182016
 

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BTSSpirit #CollectiveBias

Homemade Slime #recipe #craft 1

Have you guys seen the new Ghostbusters movie yet?  I took my twelve year old and two of his friends to see it the weekend it came out and we loved it – not that I had any doubt that I would.  The original Ghostbusters (from the 80’s) is my ALL-TIME favorite movie, so there was no chance I was missing the new, updated version.  It has an awesome, and I do mean awesome, cast and definitely lived up to the hype – oh and I’ve seen it three times already.

Since we’re such big fans of Ghostbusters, I decided that I need to make some homemade ectoplasm (slime) for the kids to play with. Slime, goo, gunk, glop, ooze or whatever you’d like to call it, this creation will please boys (and girls) of all ages. It’s incredibly easy to make and only requires 3 ingredients!

The combination will create chemical reaction that can be fun for a hands-on educational experiment. Chemical bonds form as you mix the ingredients. The molecules stick together and become polymers which create the slimy texture. The formula is also non-toxic and, when kept in an air-tight container, it can last years. It’s not recommended for consumption, but it won’t harm those little ones who just can’t help but try and taste it.

You Will Need: Continue reading »

Jun 142016
 

Homemade Aloe Ice Cubes For Soothing Sunburn Relief

If you’ve ever gotten a sunburn, you know that they are really painful.  I’ve had my fair share of sunburns over the years, some worse than others, and they are no fun. And once you get a sunburn there is no way to cure it. Once the damage is done, it’s done.

Using aloe vera for sunburn relief is easy and popular home remedy to soothe some of the pain associated with the burn.

Aloe vera gel contains salicylic acid (which is also found in aspirin) which helps to relieve the pain and reduce swelling.  It also contains polysaccharides, which promote cell rejuvenation, vitamin E, which helps moisturize your skin and my favorite benefit of using Aloe vera gel is that it’s antibacterial, so it helps to keep you burned skin from getting infected.

If you’ve ever tried using Aloe gel on a sunburn you probably noticed the cooling sensation you got when you first put it on the burn. You can take that instant comfort to the next level by freezing some Aloe gel in ice cube trays.  It will help to numb the pain while the aloe does its magic.

Here’s What You Need to make your aloe ice cubes:

  • Aloe Vera gel
  • silicone star mold
  • Freezer

Homemade Aloe Ice Cubes For Soothing Sunburn Relief3

Here’s What You Do:

Continue reading »

Jun 072016
 

So lets talk laundry detergent… I don’t know about your house, but in ours we ALL have sensitive skin. Trying to find a laundry detergent that all of our skin agreed with was very painful to say the least. It can not have any scents or dyes added to it. No parabens or sulfates…. It is a headache to stand in an aisle and read label after label so I decided to make my own.

DIY Laundry Detergent

I started my research and asked some friends locally who made their own and what they liked. Right away I knew I did not want to mess with the liquid form. Seemed like a lot more work than I wanted to do. So powder it was. Now which of the thousands of recipes did I want to try.

My first recipe contained the Fels Naptha soap in it (picture below). With that recipe you had to shred the bar of soap into your laundry detergent….. So I grabbed the cheese grader…. And lost half of my knuckles I swear. This is a very tough hard bar of soap. But success, between me and my hubby we got 2 of them shredded. Mixed up the recipe and fail. The fels naptha did not dissolve in the water. Instead it stuck to the clothing and I had to run an extra rinse to get it all out. NOPE!! Back to the drawing board. Continue reading »

May 232016
 

Marshmallow Boo Boo Ice Pack

I am a boy mom and while they are not so little anymore (le sigh), boys are naturally prone to all sorts of cuts, scrapes and bruises. They love playing outside all summer long, so we definitely see our fair share of boo boos.  I have to bust out an ice pack at least once a day every day from the day they get out of school in June until they go back to school in September.  I’m not exaggerating at all.

The thing about ice packs is that they can be messy.  They drip everywhere once they start to melt and if one of the kids hurts someplace like their knee or elbow, ice packs aren’t flexible so they don’t really work well for jointed areas.  Well, here’s an awesome summer hack for you.  Make a cold pack out of marshmallows!  Yes, I said marshmallows.  Marshmallows get cold, but won’t be hard so they can mold to the body. Plus they are way more fun for the kids.

It only takes a few minutes to make and trust me, it will make the kids forget all about their boo boos in no time.

Here’s what you need:

  • Ziploc bag
  • 1 1/2 -2 cups of mini marshmallows (will depend on the size of your bag)
  • Food coloring in choice of color
  • Masking tape or washi tape (optional)
  • Bowl for mixing
  • Plate or cookie sheet

Continue reading »

Apr 242016
 

Homemade Cinnamon Play Dough

I’m sure you’ve heard by now that play dough is great for kids with sensory issues.  I happen to be the mom of a child with sensory issues and he absolutely loves to play with play dough.  As much as I love the smell of the store bought kind (and I really, really do), I tend to make my own.  The thing is when you make your own, you can get really creative with it. I have made dough in all sorts of colors, added sprinkles and my latest creation: Cinnamon Play Dough.  This recipe will yield 1 cup of all natural, edible cinnamon play dough and since May 5th is quickly approaching, it is a perfect Cinco de Mayo craft!

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 Tablespoon cream of tartar
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 cup boiling hot water

Continue reading »

Apr 182016
 

Easy DIY Resuable Swiffer Pads

If you are anything like me, your Swiffer is your best friend. I use mine every single day of my life.  Between the dust that my forced hot air heat blows out in the winter, the dog and the messes my boys track in – I would be completely lost without my Swiffer.  Ok, maybe not lost, but my house would be in a constant state of messiness.  Since I use my Swiffer daily, the disposable pads that are needed to clean with them were adding up fast. Even when I bought in bulk, I was spending tons on the disposable pads and since my house gets so dirty, there was no way I could use them more than once.

But I recently came up with the solution for that problem.  I made my own reusable pads to use and love all the money I am saving not buying the disposable pads.  The reusable pads are really easy to make and you can use any cute fabric you like to make them.

Here’s what you need to make your reusable Swiffer pads:

  • Any flannel fabric
  • Any cotton fabric
  • Sewing pins (optional)
  • Sewing scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Sewing machine

Continue reading »

Apr 102016
 

Hot Air Cold Air Science Experiment

Both of my boys are SO into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education) with a huge emphasis on the science part.   It’s funny because I hated Science class when I was in school.  Hated it! Now that I am an adult I have a whole new appreciation for it and am trying to catch up with a lot of what I missed while I was sleeping in class all those years ago.  Lucky for me, my boys love all things science related and get so excited when we do science experiments at home. This hot air/cold air experiment was a lot of fun to do with the kids and the results are absolutely fascinating.

Here’s what you need:

  • Two containers
  • Empty drink bottle
  • Large balloon
  • Ice cubes
  • Hot and cold water

**Note, there is no need for the stick, I just didn’t want my hands blocking your view. Continue reading »

Mar 202016
 

Easy Paper Plate Easter Egg Craft

If there is one thing that I remember from my childhood, it’s that my parents house was always decorated for every holiday imaginable.  Not only did my mom put out decorations she bought from Bradlees (remember Bradlees??), but she would always put my sister, brother and me to work crafting homemade decorations.  As a child I loved making Easter eggs out of paper plates and now that I have my own kids, they love making them, too.  They are incredibly easy to make and I love that they help bring out the kids creativity!  Plus, it’s pretty cool to walk into my house and see these cute Easter eggs everywhere.

Here’s what you need to make your paper plate eggs:

  • Paper plate platter
  • Green, blue, pink, and yellow craft paint
  • Paint brush
  • Plastic eggs

Here’s what you do:

Continue reading »