My children’s school recently introduced a program into their curriculum that teaches the basics of programming in a fun, video-game-like manner. While the coding curriculum hasn’t reached Jason or Jenna’s classroom yet, I’m super excited for when it does. Like most kids their age, my children LOVE video games, especially with our recent purchase of the Nintendo 2DS. But they also talk at times of becoming game designers. I secretly love this idea, probably because I’m biased toward technology (a field in which my husband and I are both employed).
So when I was invited by Clever Girls Collective to review two new Nintendo games with my daughter, I jumped at the chance. It was the perfect opportunity to talk to her about game design – what makes a game fun, what makes her continue to play, how would she design it to make it even better?
Decorating gingerbread houses is an annual holiday tradition in our family. This year’s two-house event was definitely scaled down compared to last year’s village creation, but we still had a messy fun time and Jason’s house definitely achieved a new record of colorfulness. Before we began, I separated all of the green, red and white Jelly Bellies from the rainbow of colors … to maintain a common palette, of course. Somewhere along the way, however, Jason discovered the banned colors and covered his roof in them. And I have to admit, his house is my favorite one yet. (more…)
Every year around this time, I print a photo calendar for the upcoming year, using pictures from the previous year. I usually choose a standard monthly wall calendar, but this time, the design options seem to have exploded. Another great feature this time around: mobile apps that let you create a calendar directly from your phone. So many great calendar designs, so little time left to choose.
Above are a few of my favorite calendars for 2015, below are the calendar sources:
I decided at the last minute to bring something to a recent office holiday potluck and, after scouring Pinterest for easy holiday recipe ideas, I decided on this rosemary wreath from Sweet Paul. It was crazy easy to make, and the result was super festive. (more…)
Last year, I fell in love with the trend of displaying trees in woven baskets. This year, it’s trees in vintage crates. I love the rustic look of natural trees in wooden boxes – such a great idea for Christmas decorating. Here’s how to get the look in your holiday decor: (more…)
Last year, we visited relatives for Thanksgiving and my aunt had a perfect activity to involve my then-five-year-old daughter in the preparation of the Thanksgiving meal: making flower arrangements for the table. My first thought was, scissors, glass, water? Been around young children much? But then I watched my daughter carefully pour, cut, and arrange to her heart’s content. She loved creating the centerpieces, and it turned out to be a simple and easy way to involve her in what is often a hectic day of kitchen mayhem.
This Thanksgiving, I brought back the tradition of Jenna-created floral centerpieces. And it was such a hit, I think she’s officially in charge of all future floral arrangements chez Dyer. (more…)
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…)
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.
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.
Painting the brick wall in the room just off our kitchen has been something I’ve wanted to do since moving into our new home last year. I’m hoping by posting this as a “before” picture, I’ll feel compelled to create an “after” picture soon. (more…)
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…)
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.
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…)