Thursday, March 28, 2013

45 Non-Candy Easter Treats for Lil' Kids

When it comes to candy filled holidays I try to minimize the sugar levels and make up for it with other things that excite my children as well. My kids are only 1 and 3 and I hate to fill their unconditioned minds with candy. Of course I can't skip the candy completely (my husband would die, plus I'm okay with it on holidays), but at least this way the sugar rush can be minimized. Here are some ideas that I've come up with to avoid the intense sugar saturation. Not all the foods are healthy, but at least they are less sugary or vitamin fortified. And most of these are things my kids don't normally get, so anything new is exciting.

1. cartoon Band-Aids (my daughter needlessly goes through about one a day, so she'll love having her very own box!)
2. beef jerky (mini pouch or fill a plastic egg)
3. single serve popcorn bag
4. Horizon Organic chocolate milk or strawberry milk (single serving box) OR Carnation Instant Breakfast
5. Bunny Grahams (Annie's brand--perfect for Easter! fill plastic eggs)
6. Annie's Bunny Macaroni and Cheese (I never get mac & cheese for my kids, so this is a treat)
7. kid nail polish
8. chapstick or lip gloss (both my boy and girl love these)
9. dried fruit (dried cranberries are our favorite--put them in a plastic egg)
10. fresh fruit (blueberries are perfect in a plastic egg and my kids love them)
11. snack size chips
12. yogurt dipped granola bar
13. single serve Nutella and dipping sticks (I just saw these at the grocery store, so cute)
14. single serve crackers and cheese
15. mini hand sanitizer (they love to put it on, and it's good for everyone!)
16. bunny socks (the last 2 years Target has had them in the dollar bins)
17. bow-tie or necktie (also Target dollar bin this year)
18. hair clips or accessories
19. a new hair brush
20. juice box
21. Yakult (this is a probiotic drink in the yogurt section of your store, my kids beg for it every week)
22. cherry tomatoes (in a plastic egg, of course)
23. fruit cups (you know, the lunch pack type)
24. mini cereal box and single serve milk (a special sugar cereal treat in just their size)
25. fruit leather or fruit rope (like Cliff Kids, no added sugar I believe)
26. Go Go Squeeze apple sauce pouch (sweetened with juice)
27. markers, crayons, colored pencils
28. small notebook or drawing pad
29. coloring books or printed coloring pages (there are plenty circulating around the web)
30. watercolor paints and brush
31. silly twisty straws
32. any little toy from the $.25 machines at the grocery store
33. toy car
34. a new children's book
35. stickers
36. Annie's cheddar bunnies or Goldfish crackers
37. new cartoon covered toothbrush/toothpaste
38. red spatula or spoons (you might think I'm crazy, but every toddler I know loves to unload the serving-ware drawer in the kitchen)
39. travel size mini lotion (another thing my kids are always pulling out of my purse)
40. a pinwheel (you can make your own)
41. bubbles
42. a bath toy
43. freeze dried apples, bananas, strawberries (a box of individual pouches available at Costco)
44. sidewalk chalk
45. sunglasses

And here's a little candy trivia for you. Marshmallows (think chocolate covered mallow bunny) were originally made from the mallow plant which grew in marshes. Hence the name. I love those kinds of factoids.
Happy Easter! And don't let yourself forget the real reason for this beautiful season.

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Monday, March 18, 2013

DIY Duct Tape Child's Dress Form

You've probably seen these around. I wanted to create a dress form for my 3-year old so I could make sure things fit as I work on them. She's not much for trying things on or holding still. I thought this would be a great place to start. I started with this tutorial by Prudent Baby.
Attempt #1 wasn't so great. I put a t-shirt on her and then the duct tape, and it was too big. When I tried one of her skirts on it, it didn't fit. Too thick. So I started over. This time I put a too-small old t-shirt on her. Trying to get my ADHD child to hold still long enough to tape her up a second time was just asking too much. I put on her favorite show, but I still had to wrap it up a little sooner than I was ready.

I think that if I had immediately reinforced the form as soon as I cut it off of her, it might have held it's shape a little better. But instead, it took me several days to add tape to the inside (I didn't want it to end up too thick again, so I reinforced the inside mostly). I also thought it was still just too weak, so I added paper mache to the outside and the inside. I wanted it good and firm. Then I spray painted the whole thing.

As you look at the side views, you can see that the form slumped a little and became pretty sway-backed. But the size still works and the clothes don't hang too badly on it, so for now it will suffice. With how fast kids grow, I'll have to make a new one next year anyway. Here it is with one of her swimsuits on.

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Monday, March 11, 2013

Baby Shower Invitation

Recently my friend Camille and I threw a baby shower for a good friend of ours. I made these invitations for the event (with some name changes for the web).

She is having a hard time finding a name that she and her husband like, so I made this cloud decoration with paper rain drops for people to write name suggestions on.

 Camille has a "Midas touch" and everything she touches turns to gold. She made these darling paper strands and garland, and conveniently her walls even matched. (She just painted this fireplace white, isn't it fabulous?).

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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Polar Bear DIY Graphic T-shirt

I had a $4 red t-shirt for Ezra that needed some personality. I decided to try a 2-step 2 color process with the freezer paper stencil this time. And I will tell you, I didn't go very well. I managed to make it work with some touch up, but I probably won't be doing that again. And I forgot to put the middle in that back wheel, oh well. Its still better than it was as a plain red T-shirt.
I based this design loosely on a pen and ink illustration that I did a couple of years ago.

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