Home | Sofa, So Good

June 26th, 2014 | Posted in home

1 - White couch

There are three kinds of people in this world: Continue Reading...

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Endless Summer Projects | Water Balloon Games

June 25th, 2014 | Posted in Endless Summer Projects

6 Backyard Water Balloon Games

The summer is heating up, and the kids are looking for something cool. Today, MJ has just the thing—6 water balloon games. I don’t know about you, but my kids are huge water balloon fans. I love them too because they’re an inexpensive and classic way to get kids playing outside.

So check out all six games. The kids will love them!

Just tuning in to the Endless Summer Projects Series? Here’s a quick recap…
Summer Banner | Large Scale Modern Art | Scavenger Hunt | Collapsible Cardboard House | Mid Century Modern Birdfeeder | Backyard Circus Stilts

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The Reading Nook | Classic Play Summer Book Club

June 24th, 2014 | Posted in The Reading Nook

classic play summer book club grades K-7

“School’s out for summer…” You’re singing it with me, right? A little air guitar? How about adding on “I’m here to help you…”- help you fight the summer slide that is. Our kids work hard during the school year – let’s help them stay ahead of the game over the summer break.

Here’s a list of recommended books for your kids. Although I’ve grouped them by grade, keep in mind your kids’ reading level. And don’t forget to read to them too.

Make a weekly trip to the library, take a few along on vacation, have a daily family half hour reading session – there are many opportunities to incorporate reading into your family’s life. We even made the kids a little sheet so they can keep track of what they read. Click here to print it out.

Ready? Let’s read… Continue Reading...

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Happy List

June 20th, 2014 | Posted in Features

summer!

I don’t know about you, but I am so glad summer is here. Dave and I were looking through photos the other day and noticed a good percentage of them involved ice cream. If someone were judging us solely on those images the only rational conclusion one could draw was that we had a serious ice cream problem.

But it’s summer, right? Ice cream seems only fitting. So here’s wishing you a weekend filled with ice cream and summery goodness…

Have you seen these new clutches? They’re made in small batches and they’re gorgeous. You’re going to love them

PrestoBingo Colors is here!

A reason to bust out the sewing machine

The thought of making these terrifies me, but holy moly do they look good!

Not your average portrait

psst! My side project is nearing its launch. I am so excited! You can follow along here or here to watch our progress and see when it launches. Eek!

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The Tween Years | One on One Dates with Your Tween

June 19th, 2014 | Posted in The Tween Years

the importance of spending time with your tween
Images by Josh Elliott

As a family grows, it’s quickly realized how precious one on time with children can become. My husband and I have three children, 12, 9, and 7. Some days we look at each other and all agree, there just isn’t enough hours in a day. How are we going to deal with this?

A few years ago I came up with an idea new to our family. My husband and I were going to date our children. We would each rotate through our three children, just one parent, one child. We didn’t set hard and fast limits on these dates, such as dates must happen once a month! We wanted this to be enjoyable for everyone, and not add any more stress or pressure. What we did agree on was that our kids wanted some alone time with each of their parents. And their parents really wanted alone time with their kids. Continue Reading...

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National Maker Day

June 18th, 2014 | Posted in Features

peggy li necklace

When my kids were little, very little, I ran a small toy company with my sister and mom. We were three women working together to create a line of toys we wished were on the market but weren’t.

My mom would sew and watch Ellie who was just 2 at the time and Jonah who was just a baby. My sister worked long hours; one hand cutting the other sewing. She created patterns and refined them until they were perfect. I helped design products and market the company. It was…nuts.

We had instant success and within a year and a half we had a contract to outsource our production. It cost a ton of money, but we told ourselves it was worth it. But we hadn’t accounted for the immediate loss of some of the product due to a first time run. And we couldn’t keep up with the orders. You’d think it’d be a great problem to have, but it was just stressful. We loved making original and innovative products, but the mass production was too much. It wasn’t right for us.

So we scaled back and got back to our original love—making. Continue Reading...

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Endless Summer Projects | Backyard Circus

June 18th, 2014 | Posted in Endless Summer Projects

Minted is the premier marketplace for independent design and art. They sell the best work of indie designers and artists as fine stationery, art, and party decor. Their newly-launched collection of birthday party invitations and party decor suites would be perfect for summer birthdays, fitting every theme from movie nights to pool parties!

backyard circus with handmade stilts

Come one, come all to the Backyard Circus. Be mesmerized by stilt walking giants. Marvel as the man with an iron stomach swallows blades of steel. Watch the world’s tiniest dog whirl and twirl. She never gets dizzy.

Anyone with kids will tell you, some days life feels like a three ring circus. This summer, celebrate the spectacle with a backyard gathering where the kids show off their skills with stilt walking.

We made these stilts in an afternoon and they have been a highlight of summer. It’s a project that will require a trip to the hardware store, but it’s totally worth the extra effort.

You’ll Need: Continue Reading...

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Family Ties | A Puppet Theater on the Fly

June 17th, 2014 | Posted in Arts & Crafts, Family Ties

quick on-the-fly puppet theater for summer fun

Summer is upon us, and my children have been home for one week already, and they are ready to be entertained! We decided, or, I decided, ahem, that they were ready to be their own entertainers this week. To bring that reality to life, we whipped up a super fast puppet theater and show that added a lot of laughs and drama (only the best kind) to our afternoons.

My summers as a child included a lot of time creating paper bag puppets and sock puppets, with my older brother and sister, weaving our stories through these characters. My mom is a master seamstress, and she always had fabric scraps sitting around, just waiting to be made into something new. My house is now full of its own set of possibilities – leftovers from art and craft projects – that are prime ingredients for a classic homemade puppet show. You can find materials all over your house, too, I’m sure. Check the recycling bin when in doubt. Continue Reading...

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