Spring Update: Six Low-Light Houseplants

Six fool-proof, low-light houseplants.

Every year about this time, I go on a houseplant shopping spree. Last year, the living room was the primary recipient of the new greenery, and my selection of plants centered around easy-to-maintain varieties. Purchasing hard-to-kill plants paid off, as many of last year’s additions are still alive and well.  This year, I’m taking a similar approach but since most of the plants will be placed in my office, a dark room with dark wood panelling, I decided I needed plants that also thrive in low-light conditions. The windows in my office are southern facing with a tree just outside blocking much of the light for all but an hour or two or so each day. As a result, low-light plants were definitely the only option. (more…)

Four Fun Crafts for Valentine’s Day

Four DIY craft projects I'm hoping to tackle soon with the help of  my new neighborhood Michaels store. #madewithMichaels

A new Michael’s store is opening in my neighborhood this weekend, and last night I attended an opening event to preview the store. Wow. I definitely know what I’ll be doing this weekend and nearly every weekend after: crafting.

I’ve already started perusing my Pinterest boards for my next projects. Here are four craft ideas on my wish list, all of which would make perfect gifts for Valentine’s Day. (more…)

Lego Valentine’s: Free Printables

Lego Valentines: Free Printables for Classroom Valentine Cards

Last year at this time I hadn’t even started on the classroom Valentines until a couple of days before the parties, which resulted in a mad dash to cut, fold and stuff 20 Minecraft boxes on February 13th. This year, I’m way ahead of the game. Jason’s Lego-themed Valentines are complete, which might have something to do with my much simpler approach this time.

Jenna helped me write the phrases for the cards. “Never Lego My Heart” – that’s all her. “We Click” – that one’s mine, and Jenna assures me that it won’t make any sense to 2nd-graders. Oh well, I went with it anyway. (more…)

Valentine’s Stationery

Make-your-own Valentine's craft activity: this is a great, open-ended activity for children. Just gather a bunch of craft supplies, leftover paper, etc. and get creative.

My daughter often leaves me notes at night wishing me a good night’s sleep, telling me what a great day she’s had or planting an idea in my mind for something we can do the following day. Sometimes she gets more inventive, like the time I opened my bathroom drawer to find a note that simply said “you are going to be pritty!” How awesome is that? Now I return the favor with lunchbox letters and bedside good morning notes.

With Valentine’s Day coming up, I thought it would be fun to have a stash of Valentine’s cards on hand for our daily love notes, so last weekend I set up a make-you-own-Valentine’s craft table.  (more…)

Digital Image to Printed Page: Custom Journals for Kids

My process for creating awesome and inexpensive custom travel journals for my children - so easy to create these on your phone.

Remember in the 80s when you made collages out of cut-up magazines, stickers and other print ephemera? Maybe you don’t. Anyway, these days collaging has gone digital, and my children love taking photos and layering on all sorts of drawings, stickers, text and other digital effects.

As soon as I saw how much my daughter loved taking pictures with her new phone, I introduced her to A Beautiful Mess, an app that let’s you add doodles, text, filters and other effects to photos. Soon after, she introduced me to Pic Collage. It’s been photo-editing bliss ever since.

With all of the images we captured at Disneyworld recently, I decided to up our game in the photo documentation area and create journals for Jason and Jenna using some of my photos along with some of the photos they ‘enhanced’ in their favorite apps. (more…)

Wish List: Desk Lighting

Desks have been quite a focus at our house lately: we recently added a desk to Jenna’s room, Jason’s desk received a Lego makeover and my desk, well, let’s just say that you can finally see it. Spending so much time at our desks has made me realize that we’re incredibly lacking in the lighting department, especially when it comes to my own workspace. Maybe one of these will make an appearance soon:

Desk Lamps: My Top Picks

Sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

Weekend Snapshot

weekend snapshot

After weeks of gray skies, the sun finally made an appearance this weekend, and I spent much of my time soaking up evidence of the light with my camera. On a related note, I finally purchased a VSCO Film Pack, something I’ve wanted for quite awhile. The images in this weekend snapshot were all post-processed using VSCO Film 01, and I love the extra bit of drama it adds. (more…)

Mini Desk Makeover: Lego Style

A mini makeover of my son's desk including two super easy Lego DIY desk projects.

Recently both of my children have become focused on having desks in their rooms. I’d like to think it’s related to a desire to spend more time studying, but I know that’s not the case. Instead, I think they’ve taken an interest in defining their own space, and setting up desks for reading, drawing and placing their ‘stuff’ is just part of the process.

After the recent updates to Jenna’s room, I wanted to make some quick progress on Jason’s playroom (which we’ve already started calling his “office”). He already had a desk, but it was more of a surface for creating with Legos than it was a space for studying.

Over the weekend, I completely converted the space from Lego play table to Lego office space. And the best part: I did it using materials we already had on hand, without buying anything new. (more…)

Surprise, We’re Going to Disneyworld!

How to surprise your children with a trip to Disney: tips and a boarding pass template.

As I hinted in this post at the end of the year, we had a big surprise in the works for our children’s Christmas present. It was a crazy hard secret to keep over the 6+ months of planning. In the end, our pet fish nearly caused an unintended reveal on Christmas Eve. My daughter spotted my husband leaving the house to take the fish to a friend’s. I’m not sure how well his story about Jeremy wanting to “practice having a fish before buying one” covered our secret, but it was all he could think of at the moment. (more…)