Fall Playdough

A good blogger would have shared this with you a couple weeks ago. A good blogger wouldn't wait until the last minute to share what could be a sanity saving yet creative outlet for all the littles in your life waiting for their Thanksgiving a meal. That's what a good blogger would do.

I however, pride myself on being a mediocre blogger.

So there.

Like with the punkin painting activity I have been trying to do some Fall themed activities. Some sensory stuff. Playdough seemed like a no brainer and the blogger over at Mama.Papa.Bubba. has about a million playdough ideas. I love seeing them and thinking outside the box. I used this recipe for my playdough. It's seriously awesome. The coconut oil makes it!

So one day Millie and I whipped up some playdough. Then I wanted to make it "smell" like fall. So I used pumpkin pie spices. No pumpkin, just the spices. The pumpkin idea is out there but it weirds me out. We then used other mild spices for muted color. SO simple.

Then I was a super OCD mom and only let Millie play with one color at a time. For weeks. Because I worked hard on those colors. Because I knew what she would do to them. Because I have issues.

But finally on the day I decided to take pictures...I let her have it all. I just focused on capturing the moment and took deep breaths. 

This playdough has been a lifesaver. Seriously. For supper prep time I bring the highchair to the kitchen, plop the little girl down, and she plays.

I was thinking this would be a GREAT busy hands activity for Thanksgiving. Super easy and hours of fun and possibilities. Fake leaves, fall themed cookie cutters, cinnamon sticks...all great accessories. 

And see...I was right. This is what happened to all my pretty colors. It was good fun though and I guess that's what counts right?

Now almost time to go to Christmas themed....oh what fun!



Thrifty Thursday: DIY Art

Vintage Botanical Prints and Vintage Educational Posters are alll over the Pinterest scene. Well maybe not right Pinterest looks like the Holidays blew up on the screen but botanicals were all over my Pinterest and I decided I needed in on the action. At a thrifty, DIY, use what I've got price. 

I stumbled on Cavallini Wrapping Paper while in the big city over Memorial Day weekend. I'd seen it online but never had the pleasure of seeing and feeling them in person. They are fabulous quality with beautiful colors...too pretty to only wrap and rip open presents with-in my opinion. They are very reasonably priced when we are talking about using them for art, under $10!

So I picked a couple out. A garden print for the dining room and a Periodic Table of Elements for Jerrels office. I knew just what I was going to do with them. 

From what I understand vintage botanicals can be hard to get your hands on and come at a high price. They were used as teaching materials and now...everybody's gotta have them. So I wanted to mimic look. I had a couple dowels hanging around my craft closet from another project I didn't end up doing..oops. I had really large dowels and pretty small dowels I picked the smaller size and had my handy husband cut the dowels to the width of the paper plus 2 inches, for some wood on the ends of the paper. 

Then I snagged some stain from my parents and stained my dowels. 

I'm serious this project couldn't be any easier. 

Eye hooks have recently become my best friend. I had these little babies from another project as well and screwed them in the center end of my dowels. Next I hot glued the edge of the paper to my dowel. You could staple or superglue too. But my hot glue gun is my favorite tool. 

While hot gluing I would do a bead of glue and then "roll" into it with my dowel. I felt this gave it a more natural look. Not like I just hot glued a dowel on a piece of paper. It looked more like a scroll, I thought. Or I just told myself that to make me feel all warm and fuzzy. 

Next I decided on some string. I've got a lot of this kind of stuff around and I decided on some simple hemp cord that I had from Millie's birthday. It really seemed to fit with style of this project. I simply threaded the string through my eye hooks, tied it fairly tight, double knotted, and trimmed my ends. 


See! So easy and so pretty! All said and done, I would probably like a size or two larger dowels but these work. I had three pieces of art hanging in this spot and I was hankering for something simpler. This is just the ticket. Clean and simple. Because if you look below this pretty you know... where the toddler's not so clean and it's not so simple. 

There you have it. A DIY, Thrifty, use what ya got when ya got it art piece. All in cost? $7. Cavallini has so many pretty prints...I've got my eye on the chickens, the bees, the fruits and veggies, all the butterflies, the bird nests. Basically all of them and basically I have a problem.



Story Time

Story time is all the time these days in our home and I love it. Reading has been a love of mine for as long as I can remember and sharing this with my baby has been on the brain since dreaming about having a baby. But it's not new news that Millie is a busy little thing.

The one thing she slows down for though? Books. It's the most darling thing to watch her flip through her books and deliberately choose one. So I decided to share a couple of her favorites and a bit of two cents I've discovered while exploring the children's literature section in my adult years. 

For Millie's first birthday I harkened my own youth and favorite book and bought her Only the Cat Saw. I remember loving this book and it didn't disappoint when I shared it with our girl. It's a lovely quiet and slow paced book with full page pictures. Millie is fascinated with cats and so this book is a favorite. We read it twice a day at least.


Another reason I love this book? They have a picture of a nursing momma. It's important to us that Millie has biological norms in her media. Might seem strange to think about but when nursing is such a large part of our everyday life I want her to see it in other areas of her life as well. 

On our Colorado vacation I bought Brown Bear Brown Bear, What Do You See? A classic that had been on my list and being in the mountains it seemed appropriate. An instant favorite and great for talking about colors and learning more animals. 

Ahhh, If You Give A Mouse A Cookie. When we see this picture Millie says, "Uh OH" I guess leaning on a glass is a problem. Being a teacher I see all kinds of cause and effect future lessons and I'm always amazed at how focused she is while I'm reading this to her. To me is seems this would be a little above her understanding but she loves it and constantly is bringing it to be. Average 4 times a day. Seriously. I think I could recite it for you now actually. 

I just got Where The Wild Things Are out for Millie-bug last week. I was going through and picking some books that looked like fall. The colors in this spoke to me. And Millie was happy to see this book. Another classic with great full pages of illustrations and encouraging imagination. A fun book for a different pace. 

Daddies Do It Different. Jerrel is reading this to Millie as I write. This book is filled all kinds of stereotypes and gender roles but we still love it. And guess what? We don't get offended by said roles or stereotypes fitting us or not. In the end it's about Mommas and Daddies do one thing the same, love. This book is cute and fun and probably one of the few "modern" children's lit that I haven't been totally disappointed by. Other new works of the written word have just left me scratching my head and disappointed. For the most part I've decided to stick with classics and older publications. 

Other favorites we read daily:
Charlie The Ranch Dog
Charlie and the New Baby
Bear Says Thanks
---All modern now that I think of it. I'm just more picky of the newfangled stuff I guess. 

Now I better go Millie's checking out her books and I can just about tell where her fingers are going to land. I'll give you a hint...cookie. 



Punkin Crafting

This fall I decided to start looking for some seasonal activities for our Millie girl. Somethings that we could have very basic conversations about fall over. Things that she could associate with the season. So as any mother in this decade does, I headed to Pintrest. Finding projects a little tricker with Millie's age and attention span but I've figured a few things out. 

The first, Pumpkin painting. Millie loves painting, of all kind. We watercolor paint a couple times a week at her request. For this painting project though, I took one of our small pumpkins, that Millie helped grow and harvest, sliced it in half to make a stamp. I chose the colors this time, specifically choosing fall colors, showed her how to use a stamp and let her at it. 

And I love how her art turned out! I love how the colors mixed and she got the stamp thing down a couple times! 

We were able to chat about growing pumpkins, remembering the day we picked them, that they are picked in the fall. We also talked about how the leaves and plants turn the colors she is using. 

How much she absorbed this time-I don't know-but that's the thing. We don't know so we should keep on keeping on. Just because I *think* she can't grasp the concept I'm talking about doesn't mean I shouldn't at least expose her to said concept, no pressure. Just talk. Of course there are limits, I didn't mention photosynthesis...this time. 

And in true Millie fashion the activity was completed sans clothing. 

We set to work making paintings for Momma and Daddy and Grandmas and Grandpas all to be proudly displayed on refrigerators. Such an easy idea for 20 minutes of fun! Now that it's November I'm looking for some turkey or Thanksgiving crafts. If anyone has some clever ideas, I'd love to hear.




What does one say after an almost 3 months blog hiatus? What does one share? 

Maybe a picture of a pomegranate? A deliciously annoying fruit that is currently Millie's favorite. She makes me slave over one first thing in the morning so she can delight in day long snacking. First thing in the morning. I am not a morning person and I have come to believe that pomegranates are not morning fruits. 

Or maybe this picture of donkey hair in the sunset. The golden light was wonderful the night I took this photo and the donkey was cooperative. 

But really where have I been? What have I been doing? 

Well, I've been baking bread, doing laundry, reading, I took a photography class. But I haven't, I haven't been writing. Last week I looked around at all the busyness I have been filling my days with and it just wasn't working. It wasn't jiving. Something felt off, I couldn't place it though. Then I realized what I've been avoiding. Writing. One of the things that satisfies my soul. As the words form together into sentences they travel down my arms and settle in my hands. And as my hands hurriedly type or write them out I feel...

It just feels right. Like a breath of fresh air after a rain. Or a cool drink of water on a hot day. The wonky-ness of my day leaves, I get my jive back. Writing is my creative outlet. The thing I need to do. 

And I know that, but I haven't been respecting it. Instead I'd try one creative thing only to be disappointed and discouraged by the effort that seemed to be going no where. All because I just didn't want to take the time to let the words flow. I thought I was too busy. I'm seeing now though I must feed the thing that feeds the rest of my creativity. Does that make sense? 

So while my days are filled with busy-like any Momma's are, I know that my release doesn't come from eating a Little Debbie in the bathroom alone, reading a book in the quiet of nap time, sewing darling crafts for my littles or to sell on etsy, nor does it come from drinking a glass of whine after the house is dark and quiet. No, my release is found in this, weaving words to document our story. 

My release comes from picking my enormous mums and spending 10 minutes trying to get just the right picture to share with you. A picture I will try to caption cleverly until I share it with you. Because it's the words that are constantly filling my brain. I just love 'em. 

Romans 12 is one of my favorite chapters and in verse 5 it begins talking about our gifts and how as the body we all have been given different gifts. So I need to get back to using the gift. Tending to it with the mindfulness the Lord had when he instilled it in me. Using it to glorify. 

So I'm determined to make time again. And not just put it off until 10:30 pm when the man of the house is out and the baby finally in bed. During the day. When the light is bright and the day is going. Reflection after the day is nice sometimes but too often I get to the night and am just tired. I know you other Momma's understand that kind of tired. I'm determined to get around and post more often, to meet a goal I have yet to set. 

Posts that I've had stewing for a while. Posts I was maybe hesitant to put out. Posts that are nonsensical and whimsical, probably more nonsensical though. So please do check in, I'll be around. 

I'm also determined to not let this girl get too many "interesting" habits from her father...but it might be a little late for the whole "drinking the broth from the soup' thing. Momma tried.

See ya soon.