3-Ingredient Natural Cleaners

Make your own natural cleaners

It’s Spring Break week in my home, which means it’s time for spring cleaning! In this post, I share my favorite 3-ingredient natural cleaners, including a rockin’ (and totally cheap!) DIY granite cleaner that will leave your countertops so clean they shine!

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Kids Can Help with Backyard Chores

picking up sticks

Spring has finally arrived, and with it came a muddy, thawing, messy yard! April is the perfect month to introduce backyard chores to kids. Backyard chores often invite important conversations regarding environmental stewardship, Earth Day, seasons, animals, and plants. Additionally, backyard chores gift children with fresh air, exercise, and a sense of pride, ownership, and responsibility.

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Papier-mâché Easter Eggs

papier mache easter eggs

Yesterday our family attended an Early Bird Easter Egg Hunt. My youngest left in tears . . . he didn’t find any eggs – what a bummer! Thankfully, Big Brother was happy to share his and I had prepared a Papier-mâché Easter Egg Craft for the afternoon. The eggs are beautiful and add a quirky flash of color to our kitchen table!

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Choosing What Matters

back to basics hands free mama

Steam swirls above my coffee mug as I sit at the kitchen table watching the early pink sun cast dappled shadows in melting snow. Birds flit to and from the feeder while black squirrels chase one another over the woodpile. My boys rest snuggled, arm in arm, in a handmade fleece blanket watching 1970s Hanna Barbera Super Friends episodes. It’s Saturday morning, and I haven’t felt so at peace in weeks.

It’s been a while since you’ve heard from me. I’d love to announce relief from a warm getaway somewhere sandy and salty. I want to tell you my blog absence was due to something – anything – extraordinary, but that would be a story. The truth is, I was just sitting in a sunny window with a magazine. Just relaxing with my husband on the couch. Just reading Elephant and Piggie books over and over again. Just playing Legos. Just working. Just being.

You see, lately I’ve felt disconnected. I’ve felt this way since September, as going back to work after two perfectly imperfect years at home with my children threw me off-balance. I miss them, and I miss who I was when I just had to be Mommy. So when my friend Rachel Macy Stafford of Hands Free Mama asked me to contribute to the blog book tour for her new book, Hands Free Mama, I eagerly accepted. Through her blog and book, Rachel shares her journey to become hands free to grasp what really matters in life, and I needed a healthy reminder of what did.

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Crafty Instruments

Image 1

Music provides many benefits for children. Not only does it increase academic achievement by stimulating the same parts of the brain responsible for language, math, and social-emotional development, but it can improve memory and confidence.

Giving children a musical edge doesn’t have to become a financial burden. To accompany a collection of high quality wooden instruments, children can create their own from recycled materials and everyday craft supplies.

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Lego Super Bowl with Folded Paper Footballs

Lego Super Bowl

So, the Super Bowl is this weekend . . . right? To be completely candid, I don’t know a thing, or even care, about football. I lack attention span for most sports, so it’s an amusing fact that I played one season of women’s lacrosse in college (I was the one distracted by cloud formations in the right defensive wing and getting hit in the head with the ball). But my boys are becoming interested in sports. Watching them race around the house cheering “Go Pack Go!” entertains me. Catching my oldest whisper questions to his Dad about football games charms me, and I can’t help but want to do something to join in the fun. (Other than make people snicker when I call a team’s uniforms “their costumes.”)

Lego Super Bowl with Folded Paper Footballs? Yes, this is more my speed! And the boys loved it too.

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Boredom Buster: Sticky Sand Sensory Experience

Sticky Sand Sensory Bin 1

Do the kids have the winter blues? Do they long for summer days, playgrounds, and sandboxes? If so, they might enjoy sinking their hands into a Sticky Sand Sensory Bin! Filled with traditional summer sand toys and scented with soft oil, this sensory experience may be exactly what they need to keep busy.

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Fresh Snow Slushies

Fresh Snow Slushies 1

This time of year in northern regions, it is common to awake to a thick layer of fresh, new snow on the ground. One of our favorite winter activities is bundling up to go outside for a treat usually reserved for summer – slushies. Using fresh snow to make slushies during cold winter months is a memory worth creating and one that children will think fondly of for years to follow!

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Free Valentine Printable: “Mustac-have” You as My Valentine!

Mustac-have you as my Valentine

This Valentine’s Day, many dear little friends of ours will receive one-of-a-kind, handmade Valentines from my boys. Our crayon mustaches are a “mustac-have” for celebrating with humor and love. Continue reading to gain exclusive reader access to the free printable and to learn how to create this fun Valentine’s Day surprise!

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Antiqued Wooden Heart

Antiqued Wooden Heart

Are you looking for a simple, inexpensive Valentine’s Day craft with very little preparation? If so, Antiqued Wooden Hearts may be just what you are looking for! They are colorful, rustic, and easy for children to create.

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Science and Sensory Activities for Cold Days

Science and Sensory Activities for Cold Weather

This past weekend, our region experienced extreme sub-zero temperatures that resulted in hundreds of school closings. With the kids home and schedules a little thrown off, simple science and sensory activities, like blowing frozen bubbles, can sure save the day! This week for Discover and Explore, I’m featuring 4 blogs that shared round-ups of their incredible science and sensory activities. I just know you’ll love them too!

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