Monday, August 21, 2017

Eclipse and Space Themed Sensory Bottle

Eclipse Sensory Bottle

     Today was the big event everyone has been waiting for! The total solar eclipse 2017! We live in Charleston, SC and were at the very end of the path of totality.  Lilly is a newly turned two year old and I'm not sure she really got the whole thing, but she does know what the moon and sun are, so we gave an eclipse sensory bottle a try.

Eclipse Sensory Bottle

Materials used:

-Voss water bottle
-baby oil
-star sequins
-black glitter
-purple, blue, silver thicker glitter
-sparkly white and yellow large pom pom
-blue gel food dye

I had the glitter, food dye and bottle on hand. I bought the sequins, chunky glitter and pom poms at Michael's with my coupons. I found super inexpensive baby oil at the Family Dollar.

We used the entire container of baby oil and I added that first. Next, I had her add the sequins and the big pom poms. We dumped all the glitter in and filled the rest of the water with water with blue dye in it.  Put the lid back on, seal if you need to, and give it a shake. Easy as can be! My husband and I might have enjoyed this just as much as she did! 

Lilly had fun trying to find the sun and the moon in the bottle. We talked about how the moon would cover the sun during the eclipse.  She could say moon cover sun by the time we were done so I feel like that's a successful eclipse lesson! 

This would be fun to do any time of year though to talk about the moon, sun and planets. I think it would be fun to add pom poms that looked like the Earth and the other planets as well when talking about space and the solar system. Hope you enjoyed our sensory bottle, check out some of our other fun eclipse activities!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Construction Themed Sensory Sand Box

Construction Themed Sensory Sand Box

My daughter Lilly is obsessed with ROCKS! I mean it when I say obsessed, like take her to Disney World and she is more into the rocks in all the lines than the decorations and exciting details. She carries them around when she picks them up until her little hands can't hold anymore then insists we put them in our pockets so she can get more.  Lilly's fascination with rocks led us to make her a rock themed sensory bin with all types of rocks, construction vehicles, and some educational opportunities mixed in.

The materials:

Storage Bin-$7 at the Dollar General

Rocks-free to $1 a bag at the Dollar Tree

Construction Vehicles-$5 at Tuesday Morning

PVC tubes-$3 each at Lowes

Sand-$7 for 50lbs at Lowes

Sharpie and Modge Podge-Free, already in my art closet

Some people might already have a lot of this on hand or if you already have a sand pit or a sand box, you could add to what you have, we were starting from scratch though so we had to buy it all. Also, we live in a condo with a shared marsh area as our yard so we can't leave sand boxes out with the number of critters and the amount of flooding and rain we get.

I set the bin up while Lilly was napping and then led her outside to surprise her. I wrote the ABCs and the numbers on some of the rocks and used Modge Podge to seal them.  I poured the sand in the box, laid it all out arranged super Instagram worthy and took pictures before she did what she was going to do with it.  She was so excited when she saw it and immediately pulled the tunnels out and started pouring the rocks in and out.  We also brought it with us to my parents campsite and it was a HUGE hit! The little girls next to us claimed it was the coolest thing ever so I will for sure take that as a big win! All four girls including Lilly ranging in age from 1.5 to 8 were super into it! Here are some pictures of Lilly playing with it and the before pictures when it was arranged by Mom!

Hope you enjoyed this sensory bin and can have some fun making your own! There are so many ideas for them on Pinterest and Lilly comes up with new ways each week to use hers. I would love to see any bins you have made! Thanks for stopping in! 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Halloween Footprint and Handprint Art

Halloween Handprint and Footprint Craft
Lilly's first Halloween is coming up and we are so excited! She has lots of costumes and cute outfits to wear this month and I have lots of fun activities planned. Yesterday after a long day at the Pumpkin Patch, I decided to do a cute craft with her. I saw several cute handprint and footprint examples on Pinterest and decided to combine some of them. I bought the ribbon and the five pack of canvas at Michaels. The canvas pack was very reasonably priced and you can use a coupon on it. 

I painted the background of all the canvases before trying to do her handprints. To do the handprints and footprints it was a two person job. Ben held her arms and legs each time I painted her and then we positioned it over the canvas and pressed them down.  I touched them up a bit afterwards where some of the paint smeared. I also added eyes and mouths to the footprint and handprints. 

Once they were finished I sprayed them with Modge Podge sealer and let them dry. After they dried, I hot glued the ribbon pieces in between and made the bow for the top to hang. Don't forget to write their name and year on the back. 

We hung her canvases up and they look so cute in our kitchen! What Halloween crafts have you completed or have planned for this month?

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Swim Meet Treats Round 2

Swim Meet Treats Round 2

It's State Meet time again! Well, technically it is supposed to be this weekend but due to flooding, it has been moved to next weekend.  Our thoughts and prayers are with those in Columbia and throughout the state that were affected by this terrible flooding.  This year I tried to do some more noncandy items again mixed with a few candy treats! I'll also show you what I did for the first swim meet of the season for all 53 swimmers! Yes, 53, the most we have ever had! For State Meet, I made a total of 19 treats each day to include our seniors and everyone who had automatic and consideration times.  I'm pretty positive everything I used is peanut free if you need to worry about that as well. If you haven't checked out last years post with some more treat ideas, go check it out here!

First Meet Treats: "Good LUCK at your first meet!" Since I was making these for everyone and giving them to the swimmers right before a meet, I wanted to make as many in bulk while still being as healthy as possible. I decided to use Lucky Charms after seeing something similar on Pinterest.  I used snack size ziplock baggies from the Dollar Tree and bought big boxes of cereal on sale.  I printed out the tags and taped them onto the baggies. These were a huge hit and everyone loved eating them as a snack at the meet.

Here are each of the days treats:

Monday: "Blow away the competition at State Meet!" This day includes two pieces of bubble gum, a blow pop, and mini bubbles.  I picked up all the items at the Dollar Tree.  The bubbles came in 8 packs in the wedding section.  I also use pre curled ribbon that you can get on the gift wrap aisle marketed as bows, but they are held together with a single staple that comes out easily.  I use these for tying the bags.

Tuesday: "Pop, Lock & Drop...time at State Meet!" This day is popcorn day.  I used a graphic I found online, added the words in Photoshop, printed two to a page, and taped them on the bags.  Again, could be completed with all Dollar Tree products but I will be using Costco bags of popcorn to pop and put in them that I already have.  I use tape on the bags instead of glue so that none of the glue seeps into the inside of the bags.  I punched holes at the top and used curling ribbon to close them up.  I don't recommend putting the popcorn in super in advance because the popcorn grease tends to show on the bottom of the bag.

Wednesday: "Just keep swimming..." This day I used orange cups I found at the Dollar Tree and wrote on them.  I put little bags of Goldfish in each cup with some tissue paper.  The Goldfish I got on sale at Target for a better price per bag than at the Dollar Tree.

Thursday: "Shine bright like a diamond...at State Meet!" For this day, I used little bags from the Dollar Tree, Ring Pops from Target (they had the best price per ring), and spirit beads from Party City.  Some Dollar Trees have the necklaces in different colors, but mine didn't.  I would think they would be way cheaper than Party City on these if you can find them.

Friday: "Shave off lots of time at State Meet!" The last day I bought packs of razors from the Dollar Tree and shaving cream cans there too.  I used those handy precurled ribbons again and tied everything together.  Usually our team has a shaving party the night before State Meet at someone's house so they can use this stuff there.

So these are all the treats I made this season for my high school swimmers to enjoy.  What treats have you made for your children's sports teams? I would love to hear your ideas for future treats! If you liked these be sure to check out last years treats.  Some similar ideas and some different! Click this link to check them out: http://annaslifetravels.blogspot.com/2014/10/swim-team-pre-meet-treats.html

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Hospital Labor and Delivery Nurse Treat Bags

Hospital Labor and Delivery Nurse Treat Bags

With our due date fast approaching, I have been trying to check off the last few items on our ever growing to do list.  Yesterday I was able to check off make thank you treat bags for the L and D nurses.  My husband is an RN and did his clinical rotation in L and D. He helped pick out the treats to go in the bags.  He said their hands get dry after using so much hand sanitizer and soap all day and that any food would also be appreciated.

The bags all include:

Bath and Body Works Hand Cotton Lemonade Lotion (purchased during the semi-annual sale!)
Two Kashi Granola Bars
Lifesaver Mints
Trident Gum

The note was super easy to make on Photoshop and I just tied it to the bags with curling ribbon.  I asked for the bags when I bought the lotion at Bath and Body Works because they are a great size for small gifts.  I made three bags, he said there will be only 2-3 primary nurses helping during that time.  I might make a basket of candy to stick out in our recovery room for those helping us the rest of the stay.  I'll post pics of any of those I make.  If you would like a PDF emailed to you with your names inserted in any color you would like, let me know, its super quick to do!

What are your plans or what did you do for your Labor and Delivery nurses to show your appreciation?

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Beach Themed Lilly Pulitzer Baby Shower

Beach Themed Lilly Pulitzer Baby Shower

This past weekend, my family threw a super fun baby shower for Baby Lilly and myself.  I handled all the crafts and decorations for the shower since I haven't had work in a few weeks.  I decided to use the same colors and print from the nursery so the decorations could be reused after the shower.  So that meant the shower theme was pink and yellow, and based on the Lilly Pulitzer Sailor Valentine print.  

The invites I designed on Photoshop using the Lilly print and made matching thank you notes.  My friend Sam ordered the invites and matching envelope seals from Vistaprint and I love how they turned out! We also included a cute little card in each invite asking guests to bring a book instead of a card to the shower.

For the shower I decided instead of games, I would have a few activities for guests to do.  This included a guess the due date calendar for guests to stamp and a seahorse guest book for them to sign.  The guest book I got at a consignment shop near the beach for around $15, it was intended as a wooden cutting board.  I spray painted the seahorse pink and added the gold ribbon at the top. It already had a hole for hanging so it was perfect for the wall in the nursery as well.  I used a gold paint pen to write the date on the back and for guests to sign.  I also included one of our first ultrasound pics on this table in a cute "love at first sight" frame my Mom gave us.

Before picture of the seahorse cutting board

For the guess the due date, I did roughly two weeks before the week of the due date and two weeks after on a piece of scrapbook paper.  I found the frame at Michaels and put the glass behind the paper for guests to write on.  The stamp I ordered from Etsy in the BlossomStamps shop and was super pleased with the shell design. It was the perfect size for guests to stamp in the box on the calendar and still have room for them to write their name with a sharpie. It was fun to see what dates different people chose. Once she's born, I'll put a heart around the actual birth date and hang the calendar on the wall in the nursery.

The big activity station at the shower was a headband making station.  I prepped all the headband parts ahead of time.  I made the flowers and bows to go on the headbands, which I will do a separate post on, but they are super easy to make.  For the table, I have four hot glue guns plugged in, each with their own glass base to set them on when not in use, and their own mason jar of glue sticks.  Each guest picked a flower or bow and added the beads, pearls, feathers, or rhinestones they wanted.  Then they took the band and the decorated piece, and glued it together on the seam of the headband using the matching felt piece to attach it all.  Once they were done, they wrote their name on the tags I provided and pinned it to the headband.  We hung all the headbands on a twine line in the other room for all to see.  She now has a full drawer of all kinds of fun headbands to match every outfit possible.  Guests of all ages were able to participate in this station and it was really fun and social to sit around and make.  

 My Mom and I making the first one for Lilly.

We also had a mimosa bar for the shower with three types of juices and fruits.  We had champagne for anyone that wanted it, and sparkling grape juice for anyone that was pregnant or didn't drink.  I found the cute pink champagne flutes at Party City. Warning on these, the bases didn't want to stick to the flutes so I had to hit each one with a dab of hot glue to ensure they stayed together.  Everyone had fun trying different combos of fruit and juice with their mimosas and the little girls at the party thought it was cool using the grown up glasses for theirs.

Food! For the food, my wonderful step-grandmother had the shower catered.  There was a wide assortment of delicious food including, meatballs, crab dip, fruit with chocolate mousse, tea sandwiches, ham biscuits, and deviled eggs.  I loved how the crab dip was shaped like a fish and decorated with the lemon wedges.


I have to brag on my husband Ben for a bit when it comes to the cake.  He worked super hard to make sure I had a cake for the shower that would taste good, look super cute, and feed all 30 something guests.  For the cake, he made a strawberry batter layered with homemade buttercream icing.  He made three tiers and covered each tier with a layer of buttercream then white fondant icing.  The layers were all stacked then, the edges were trimmed in pearl Sixlets that we found at Party City.  The topper, I used two of the extra invites glued back to back with toothpicks stuck in between.  I used a razor blade to carefully cut out the script L to go on top.  Everyone was impressed with his cake skills and it tasted delicious too! He will be making lots more cakes in the future for Lilly's parties, I'm sure!

Decorations were super fun to make!  I made a wreath for the door which will also hang on the nursery door.  For this I made it the same way I made my other burlap wreaths which you can see here and here.  It takes no time and looks great.  The L I painted and hot glued on top of the burlap.  

For the signs outside the house in the planters, I used a trifold board from the Dollar Tree cut into the various shapes and painted with acrylic.  I added ribbon and a dowel rod I had leftover to each so they stuck into the plants.  I also tied bows on the light fixtures with ribbon I got for 20 cents a roll at Hancock on clearance after Easter.

The tables were decorated with pink table cloths I ordered online in a pink polyester material.  The table runners I made with yellow fabric from Walmart and Heat N Bond ironed edges.  The vases on the table were left over from Katie's Beach Themed Bridal Shower and you can see how to make them here.  Elaine did the flowers in the vases which made everything look super nice!

Around the house, I hung up two banners with Lilly on it.  The one banner was printed out and glued together with card stock.  The other banner I used little triangles of chalkboard material I found at Michaels and these awesome Chalkboard pens which I have fallen in love with! You can find these at Michaels in many different colors and they wipe write off with a wet paper towel.  I also used these on all the instruction frames set out around the various stations.  I will be coming up with things to use these pens on in the future.

I painted an L for the mimosa bar with the Lilly Pulitzer print. This will also be going on the wall in the nursery.  The chair I sat in was in our bedroom and I just made the Mom To Be sign to hang on it with some scrapbook paper.  The big flower L next to the chair was made out of foam core and tons and tons of fake flowers hot glued all over it.  This will sit atop the bookshelf in our nursery.  The footstool is the footstool to go with our glider in the nursery and was pink to start out with. I upholstered the lid using hot glue and the Lilly fabric stretched over the top.  

I made super cute pins for all the family members to wear! These were super easy to make, I used card stock and ribbon hot glued together.  I also hot glued the pin backs on, everyone was super excited to wear theirs.

The favors were super easy to do! I did the candles from Katie's Beach Themed Bridal Shower but in the pink shades to match the shower.  They are from Walmart, super inexpensive and I used the Sweet Pea and Rose scents.  It took buying out two separate Walmarts to get enough.  They go over really well with guests, and look great in a basket on the way out.  I used more of the Hancock Fabric Easter ribbon on the basket and glued a shell to the handle.

I had such a fun time at the shower and yes I kept those wedges on the entire time! Crazy right? My feet sure hurt the next day!  Baby Lilly was showered with love from everyone who came and those who couldn't that sent love from afar! We couldn't thank everyone enough for making it such an awesome day, now we are just waiting on her arrival! If you liked this shower and the decorations, be sure to check out the Bridal Shower I did two summers ago with the same theme!

Eclipse and Space Themed Sensory Bottle

Eclipse Sensory Bottle      Today was the big event everyone has been waiting for! The total solar eclipse 2017! We live in Charle...