Weekend Snapshot

weeekend-thanksgiving
This weekend marked the first Thanksgiving holiday spent in our new house, and despite our grill running out of gas mid-turkey and a visit to the urgent care center (double ear infection), I’m calling this year a success. And the best part: we’ve started decorating for Christmas! Here are a few scenes from our holiday weekend: (more…)

Countdown to Christmas: Teaching Kids to Give

Instead of an advent calendar, I'm sending my kids secret letters that will encourage them to give back this holiday season.

Now that Thanksgiving is a wrap, we’re turning our attention to Christmas, which immediately brings to mind the subject of advent calendars. While I love the way advent calendars weave holiday excitement into the month of December, I’ve never been a big fan of giving our children extra gifts leading up to a day full of even more gifts.

This year, I’m trying a new way of counting down to the big day – one that I hope will place more emphasis on giving than receiving. I’ll share the details of the plan on the Tiny Prints blog next week. In the meantime, I’ve posted a free editable Photoshop template here and be sure to check out the Tiny Prints holiday collection

Update 12/1/2014

Check out the Tiny Prints blog for more details on our approach to counting down to Christmas this year, including top ideas for getting your children involved in charitable giving. (more…)

Thanksgiving Table: Last-Minute Name Card Ideas

Simple last-minute place card ideas for your Thanksgiving table.

When I wrapped up this project for my recent guest post on Modern Parents, Messy Kids, I was feeling well ahead of the Thanksgiving curve. Our linens were hand-stamped, our turkey napkin holders were created, and we still had several weeks to wrap up any outstanding details.

Now we’re less than 2 days from Thanksgiving, and the possibility of my daughter creating place cards using post-it notes is becoming more likely. Sadly, it wouldn’t be the first time she made impromptu name cards with post-it notes.

To avoid this fate, I’ve assembled a few ideas for super simple place cards, all of which use easy-to-find materials. Now I just have to choose a favorite.

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

 

Holiday Gallery Wall

Add an easy-to-install / easy-to-remove gallery of Christmas Pasts with this simple tutorial. We do this every year.

Christmas Photo Cards are an annual tradition in our family. Last year I framed all of our past cards and displayed them in the kitchen during the holiday months (and maybe a few months after). This year, we’re continuing the tradition, but the addition of this year’s card caused us to exceed the wall space in the kitchen. Luckily we have a living room with completely bare walls just waiting to be filled. (more…)

Weekend Snapshot

It seems winter is already in full swing in Texas, and while I complain about the cold weather, I’m also enjoying being cooped up at home in front of the fire all day. We did almost nothing this weekend except build fires, watch movies and work on a few craft projects. The break from our hectic weekday schedule was just what I needed. Jenna, however, is already talking about all of the things she wants to do in summer.
weekend-nov

Technology and Tinkering

Some thoughts on kids, technology and the new Tinker Crates from Kiwi Crate.

I read quite a bit about children and technology. As someone who works in the tech industry, the contradiction between being a designer who is constantly seeking out ‘the latest’ and being a parent who is simultaneously sheltering my kids from this same tendency is something I think about almost daily.

While we have boundaries in place like most parents (though I’ve read that parents in the tech industry tend to be stricter about screen time and device usage), we still struggle with creating a balance between ‘real’ and digital experiences. And as my kids made me realize last weekend when I looked out my window and saw the scene above, they don’t seem aware of a difference between real and digital.  (more…)

Make Room for the Holidays: A Houseplant Update

 

Our houseplants have been thriving for nearly a year! Here's an update with links to helpful houseplant resources.

My decorating habits over the past few years have definitely followed a trend. Every holiday season, we fill our living room with a gigantic Christmas tree and other trimmings only to be struck by a sense of emptiness once said decorations are removed.  Every winter ends with me buying a large quantity of houseplants to fill in this void, and, by summer’s end, most of the plants have been moved to the curb. It’s a circle of life.

So when I wrote this post at the beginning of 2014, I had no idea that our plants would be doing so well by winter (more…)

Marble Paper Napkin Rings

napkinring-feature

Making my own marbled paper is something I’ve wanted to explore for awhile. I purchased a marbling paper kit for Jenna a couple of years ago and she absolutely loved it, but the primary colors included in the kit weren’t ideal for some of the decorative projects I had in mind.

After coming across a few posts about marbling with nail polish, I decided to experiment with marbling paper again. (more…)

A Pokemon Party

A Pokemon Birthday Party: Great Ideas for Party Activities and non-sugary foods to serve.

Last weekend we hosted Jason’s Pokemon Birthday Party. Prior to planning this party, I knew very little about Pokemon, but I think my research paid off and I pulled together the theme pretty well. Based solely on the fact that my daughter is now requesting a Pokemon party for her next birthday, I’m concluding that the party was a success by the kids’ measures as well. But that might have been the pinata envy talking. (more…)

Pokemon Trading Card Invitation Templates

Create Pokemon Trading Card birthday invitations for your child's birthday. These templates (front and back) are fully editable in Photoshop so you can incorporate your own text and images.

Jason requested a Pokemon-themed birthday party this year. It’s a hard theme for me to get excited about, mostly because I know very little about the game and even after watching an episode of the cartoon series, I still feel largely uninformed and uninspired. I’m trying to roll with it though, and so far, he seems pretty happy with our party planning.

Last week, I finished the invitations which are based on the design of the character trading cards. (more…)

Succulent Wreath Centerpiece

Step-by-step instructions for creating a succulent wreath. You can hang the wreath on a wall or use it as a centerpiece. I just made one this weekend and it was much easier than I expected.

This weekend I attended a succulent wreath-making class at the Arboretum taught by Cynthia Koogler of Flower Child Plants. Similar to the vertical succulent garden class I took in the spring, this class was lots of fun and resulted in a pretty awesome succulent arrangement. I hope to keep it alive, but I have a really bad track record with succulents. I should probably take a class dedicated to keeping succulents alive.  (more…)