A Mom’s Day Gift Your Preschooler Can Help Make

I saw a cute tutorial on Pinterest last week – I quickly glanced in our cabinets and realized we had all of the supplies on hand for this really sweet and simple Mother’s Day Gift (original directions HERE). This Homemade Citrus Sugar Scrub is the perfect Preschool DIY Gift! 

Sugar ScrubThe Sugar Scrub recipe calls for: 1.5C sugar, 1/4C olive oil, 5-6 drops essential oil, 4 (4oz) mason jars . (Note: We used Citrus essential oil, but I think Lavender would be fantastic too!)

Your child can help;

– measure the ingredients

– mix them up in a bowl

– scoop the ingredients into the mason jars

– print and punch out the awesome printable labels (available HERE)

– screw on the mason jar lids (We simply taped the labels to the circular lid and then screwed the ring on.)

Sugar Scrub2I love projects like this that the kids can take ownership of! What kid-made Mother’s Day Gifts are you planning to make this year? 

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At the Craft Table | Using Natural Indoor Light in a Tight Space

The other day the kids and I whipped up this super-simple dough recipe: 

1C inexpensive conditioner (use scented for added sensory fun) + 2.5C cornstarch

It was awesome because the three of us could mix it up in one bowl, with our hands, no heaps of dirty dishes required (though Little Brother did manage to get cornstarch all over the bottom of his feet and left little powdery footprints all around the house). We plan to do this again next week as a cupcake invitation to play activity, so stay tuned if  you’re interested!

The point of this post is to share a few thoughts on photographing the kids at their craft table in a tight space, with limited natural light. It was midday and the kids were at a table right next to a West-facing window. I turned off the overhead lights in order to have only one light source, the window….

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Having one light source from the side (rather than overhead) highlights the texture of the dough and the kids’ features, which I love. Our dining room table is located in the center of the room, further away from the window. So, we often use this small craft table, close to the window light. A small craft table makes for easier clean up too!

Do you love taking photos of your kids engaged in a craft activity? If so, do you ever turn off all indoor lights and take advantage of the natural window lighting instead? I think you’ll love it!

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Let Sleeping Babies Lie | A Few Thoughts on Photographing Your Sleeping Kids

His Big Sister is a deeeep sleeper…I mean, you could pick her up and twirl her around and move her to another bed and maybe even dance and sing while you do it, and she wouldn’t wake up. This Little Guy, on the other hand, wakes up soooo easily! And I so desperately wanted sweet sleeping pictures of him. With my heavy-sleeper, I would usually go in at naptime and open the blinds and move myself around until I got a good angle and was able to zoom in on the details as I liked, etc. With a light-sleeper, even opening the blinds would wake him. So, one time he fell asleep in our bed with the bedside lamp on and I snapped a few photos. I wanted to share with anyone interested in photographing their kids at home. If you’re using only lamp-light, you can easily adjust the color casts afterwards. Here, I think we had a couple of light sources making the images pretty funny in terms of color. So, I just processed them all as Black and White…Poof! I’m so happy to finally have some sleepy pictures of this amazing little Man. What are some of your favorite tips for catching sweet, sleepy photos of your kids? 
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A Food Gift your Child can Help Make | Houston Mom Photographer

Warning…Here is my first EVER…(shameless!) repost of a Christmas DIY Food Gift I posted about two. years. ago…..kind of a long time. A whole new baby has blossomed into a rambunctious toddler in the meantime. And, alas, I still love this Kid-Friendly Christmas-Craft, so here it is…a festive little Blast from the Past!…

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I saw this fantastic idea for making chocolate-pretzel trees on The Artful Parent last week (and, by the way, this blog is AMAZING…a veritable treasure trove of craft ideas for small children). I won’t show detailed photos of the process, because the original post has excellent photos and instructions. I just wanted to share a few photos of O happy at work, making her own version of the craft…

She looks quite serious when she’s focused (…in this case, focused on eating all the sprinkles…)

This was such an easy food-craft for young children. At 2, O was really able to participate and enjoy this. We picked out the supplies together before-hand and I think that also made it fun for her.

Yep, look out, Family…You’re probably getting these in your Christmas Stockings…

Mmmm…sprinkles!…

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Here is what we ended up doing with the pretzel trees that year…

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Around 4 of them per cello bag, with a cardstock free printable gift tag in the cello bag (facing outward, so that if you flip the bag over you see the front of the gift tag), tied with baker’s twine and served up in an Anthropologie “Latte” bowl among a few other homemade goodies. 

Fuzzy photos, but perhaps a fun idea, if you’re looking to make some easy homemade goodies with your kiddos! (Looking at these old photos makes me realize that we should do this with Little Brother too!…Or maybe we’ll make these or these instead!) 

What are you making or enjoying this Holiday Season?

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Halloween | Handmade Costumes, Family & Friends

Let me go ahead and post some Halloween photos right after Thanksgiving!;-)  Really though, I just wanted to share these…A few pics from Halloween Night…

Behold, one of the cutest babies in the world, dressed in her Mama’s vintage “Lochness Monster” costume, with a Cookie Monster Hat. Check out that little tail with a bell…so precious!

Halloween - 0And O with one of her BFF’s, “E”. E’s Mom is incredibly crafty. She sewed the dress using a “Simplicity” pattern, added the stockings and purchased the ears and hands. Incredible! E’s Mom also had the brilliant idea of bringing glow-stick necklaces for the kids, which proved to be very handy after sunset!

O’s Grammy (my Mother-in-Law) made her this very special “Lady Bug Fairy” costume! O had this very specific idea of being a lady bug fairy and I can’t believe how well Grammy interpreted that into an actual costume! It’s incredibly durable, as O uses it for dress-up all the time, proudly running around, proclaiming, “I’m a Lady Bug Fairy! Poof!”.  This was the first year that O (just turning 4 at the time) was old enough to have a strong opinion about what she wanted to dress up as. It is so special (thank you, Grammy!). Halloween - 1Z’s costume is a refurbished version of O’s original Octopus Costume. I just had to dye a new onesie and hat (since the old ones were too small for Z), and I used the same leggings. Unfortunately, I think Z looked a tad feminine (maybe because the legs looked like a skirt) and a few people asked me what “her” name was.;-)Pretty Funny! Next year, Z, I promise, you’ll get your own costume! haha.Halloween - 2

And, can you get a load of little “Daisy Duck” in these pictures? That’s E’s little sister, “A”. Her Mom made her costume too and I love it, right down to the eyelashes on her cap!Halloween - 3My Parents came over for Trick-or-Treating, which was so wonderful! I love this pic of my Mom and O crossing the street on Halloween Night…
Halloween - 4 Group pic on a neighbor’s doorstep!…Halloween - 5As you can see, we stayed out past dark! I could hardly believe it myself. The girls were just loving it! Z tuckered out early with his Nonno. Though still to this day, weeks later, he occasionally knocks on the doors in our house and says, “Tricka-tee”, perhaps expecting candy!;-)IMG_9074-webWhat a wonderful night with fabulous friends & family! And what wonderful costumes, everyone!!

Here are a few pics from a fall festival we attended before Halloween Night… 

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And since I’m posting these right after Thanksgiving, it only feels right to talk about how Thankful I am for living near so many of our Family Members & Friends, for being able to get together on short notice for special occasions like this, for crafty loved ones & handmade costumes, for the chance to see Holidays through the eyes of Little Ones, and so much more!

I hope that you are having a wonderful Thanksgiving Weekend! XX

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