DIY Alphabet Fridge Magnets

_MG_0039 I’ve been dying to get some of those alphabet magnets for Isaiah. But every time I got close, I just couldn’t stomach the bright colors. I mean, I know that colors can be fun. But when your house is your office, there’s only so much “Fisher-Price color scheme” you can take.

So when I saw this post about beautifully elegant magnet letters, it got my creative juices flowing.

I love the white-on-white trend.

Sometimes I even fantasize about an all white house, with white walls, white furniture, white floral arrangements, and cozy white cableknit throws casually strewn about. Probably because it’s the exact OPPOSITE of my reality with two young kids.

I digress.

Not everyone has a white fridge, I know. But I love ours (I’m so sick of stainless, lately). So I decided to take a can of white spray paint to our pack of old-school alphabet magnets. You could create the same look by painting them stainless metallic for a stainless steel fridge (or galvanized metallic for a galvanized magnet board).

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I purposefully did a light coat so the colors were exposed a little around the edges. (Hard to capture in a pic, but if you look closely you can see the original colors slightly glowing).

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I’m loving how they look beneath our fridge frames. And Isaiah is loving his new toys.

Plus, since they’re white, I can change them up in a few months as well. Maybe make them gold-dipped? Or neon inspired? We shall see, fridge magnets. We shall see.

We heart the Olympics

We LOVE the Olympics around here. You?

In fact, we’ve got a confirmed case of the flu in our household. But we weren’t going to let that keep us away from the first two nights of the Olypmics.

What did you think of the Opening Ceremony? Not my fav, I’ll be honest. And from what I’ve seen, I’m not the only one.

But really, did anyone else notice the extreme lack of GRACE surrounding the Ceremony???

What I mean is, I see the Olypmics as a time the world can come together…in peace. Sure there’s some healthy competition, but we want nothing for the best for all of the competitors. Am I right?

I was so disappointed at the amount of negativity, mostly from Americans, about the hosting country and the event itself. If you even search #Olypmics or #Sochi2014 you’ll see what I mean.

So what that the fifth ring didn’t work? We all know it was supposed to. Can we all just have a little grace for the pour soul who’s job it was to fix that glitch? Someone over there was mortified, as his/her mistake was broadcast around the world. Can we all just focus on the brilliance of the floor projection, and the feat of the suspended sets alone??? They nailed it.

Mistakes. We all make them. And shame on any of us who pretend we don’t. Let’s focus on the good, in the spirit of the Olympics.

There. I’ll step off my soapbox now.

We had a great time kicking off the games. We watched snowboarding and ice skating the first night. Isaiah insisted on having his own American flag to wave. (And I mean, INSISTED)

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He also may have a future in ice skating. Just sayin’…

We made this Olympic Torch for opening night… (just one sheet of 8.5×11 white cardstock, rolled up with a sheet of red, orange, and yellow tissue paper glued to the inside).

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And we’ve got some other Olympic tricks up our sleeves. More to come on that.

Basically, we heart the Olympics. But really, who doesn’t?

Happy watching!

DIY Valentine’s Instagram Art

We’re over at Modern Parents Messy Kids today, sharing a “how-to” on our Valentine’s Day Instagram Art. It’s one of my favorite decorations to-date. And it miiiiiiight be because of those sweet faces staring at me every time I walk by. :)

Hop on over and take a look. And make one of your own why don’tcha?

Hope everyone is having a fantastic week! 

February Calendar Art

We’ve been working on a few Valentine’s Day projects since our theme this month is Art. (I know, total FAIL for not sharing our theme so far this month. But we’re actually doing an art theme for the month of January AND February. So we’ll be sharing more on that later.)

I’ve been loving all of the “toilet paper roll stamping” projects on Pinterest, so we decided to make one of our own. We made an art piece that doubles as a February calendar, with a special nod to the 14th.

And yes, making the stamp is really as easy as it looks.

To make, just take a toilet paper roll (we used a paper towel roll) and make an crease at the end, making your heart. Then, holding in place, secure with a piece of tape across the top to hold the shape. That’s it.

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We used red finger paint and started making our masterpieces. Isaiah had a blast making his “abstract piece” and I went to work on our calendar.

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Twenty-eight hearts for twenty-eight days, and a special painted heart for Valentine’s Day. I decided against adding the month name, because I loved the minimal look. And the best part? The little imperfections, splatters, and smears are what make the art look unique! It’s now framed on our mantel, and makes the perfect holiday countdown.

Potty Training: What I learned (the hard way)

Hard to believe, but I potty trained Isaiah just over a month ago.

(It feels like a year ago)

He did such a great job, and I couldn’t be more proud of him. I did the training in one day, and it took him just about a week to get it down pat, with no accidents. He now goes completely on his own, with no help whatsoever. It’s crazy!

And while I’d love to go into super detail about our training, I wont do that here. Because while it’s true that this is my personal journal of sorts, it’s also true that some information should be left private to my boys. And the topic of using the potty falls into that category for me. I think it’s very important to evaluate the information we share, especially without our children’s permission. And since he’s too young to make that call, I’ll do it for him. ;)

What I will do, however, is share five important things that I wish I’d known. I’ve had so many friends ask me about training, since we were the first to go (no pun intended). So I thought long and hard about what I would tell them all, if I could. So here goes…

1. Understand what you are asking. Before you start your training, take a step back and assess what you are really asking your child to do. This is a life lesson, just like any other. It may seem like a simple task to us, but it’s daunting to them. Patience (which is hard to have when you are cleaning up poop), love, and encouragement will go a long way. And mistakes will happen. Yours and theirs (I’m still beating myself up for mistakes I made during training). When your child was learning to walk, did you scold them for falling down? Of course not. Take that same “can do” attitude along with respect for the issue at hand, and bring them both to your training. It will work wonders.

2. Go rogue. Every child is different. So no matter which training method you choose, one thing is for certain: you WILL go rogue. There is just no possible way for you to follow the book exactly. Now, I highly recommend following your chosen method as closely as possible. Just remember to give your child, and yourself, some grace when things don’t go exactly as planned. Be prepared to be unprepared.

3. Find what drives them. It may be M&M’s, it may be verbal praise (think potty dances) but chances are, you may not know what IT is until you begin training. For us, I was certain it was food. I even offered to make cupcakes at one point, which worked…for one day. I never would have guessed in a million years what would seal the deal in our house. Wait for it. Stickers. Once Isaiah could visually see the positive reinforcement and encouragement…he was in it to win it. The best thing to do is roll with it. Try different things until you’ve found the one thing that seals the deal. It may just be the last thing you expect.

4. Timing is everything. I really believe this. I wouldn’t even try to potty train until you are absolutely sure that your child is ready. I think one of the reasons Isaiah caught on so quickly was simply because of his age (one month shy of 3 years old). We weren’t fighting an uphill battle, so to speak. Check the usual signs of readiness, and be sure to work on things with them (like dressing themselves and your family’s preferred potty language) for a few weeks/months before.

5. Don’t give up. Look, this is a rough business. Isaiah only took one week, but I can guarantee you it felt like one year. And on day 6, I was reduced to tears and wondering if I should give up and try again in a few months. The very next morning was when it clicked. I’ve heard so many others say the very same thing. Honestly, I think it’s because you let go a little when you feel you’ve hit rock bottom. You relax, and in turn, your child relaxes. Don’t give up. They will get it. And you will, too.

Christmas Month: Pom Pom Snow Globe

Sorry about the lack of posts, folks. We’re in the middle of potty training over here. More on that soon…

But I wanted to share our Pom Pom Snow Globe!

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It was a great little morning craft activity, and Isaiah was super proud of it.

We started with cardstock paper in different colors: dark blue for the base, light blue for the globe, and two shades of green for the trees.

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I penciled in the shapes and cut them out, while Isaiah practiced his cutting on the scrap paper. Believe it or not it was his first time cutting. He loved it. ;)

Then I let him do the gluing all by himself. We glued the globe to the base, the trees to the globe, and the pom poms to make the snow.

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Oh, and this little cutie helped…

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It was so easy, and turned out so cute. I could just see a mantel filled with these, in all different shapes and sizes. Maybe we’ll add that to the list next year.

You could even make the snowflakes with white paint and fingerprints. AHH! Now I want to make another…

Christmas Month: Advent Candle

It’s Christmas Month! We always dedicate our December theme month to Christmas, of course. So we kicked things off today with our very own family Advent candle.

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A few days ago, Isaiah and I picked up a long candle from Target. Then we sat down for a little lesson. I explained that Advent is a season of waiting and preparation for Jesus. We also talked about how hard it can be to wait, sometimes. Especially for Mommy. ;)

Then we added, by hand, twenty-five days to our candle. It’s was so easy to make. I used a silver paint pen topped with a fine point sharpie. That’s all. It’s not is not perfect, by any means. But it’s ours. ;)

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Today we burned the first day, and said a little prayer about patience. Isaiah was so excited to light it himself. We actually watched it burn the entire time.

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And I’m not gonna lie…I may have been just as excited as my two-year-old.

It’s the little things.