How to Find a Smile Today … Capturing the Little Moments in Your Life

We saw a great article on the Today’s Mama site by Emily Falconbridge called Capturing the Little Things. We had to share this fun idea to help you get past the frustrations you may have about how cluttered your house looks or how you wish you had new furniture. Read it and see how she easily creates a photo book of the everyday beauty in her house that most of us don’t take the time to see and appreciate. She also create a fun book for her daughter with photos of her favorite things. See the photo below. Check out the article and let us know what you think. I’m going to work on one this weekend.

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Tags: Cool Finds · Ideas for family projects · Parenting Tips

Help Your Kids Conquer Their Fear of the Dark with Dream Cards

Another idea we have used at home to help our kids conquer their fear of the dark is to create Dream Cards. (You can see that fear of the dark and failure to fall asleep is a big issue in our house. I’ll try anything to get these kids to GO TO BED!) So here’s the thing … Wouldn’t it be cool if you could pick your dream ahead of time? Well, we used that thought as a springboard for our Dream Card ideas. One night we sat down and cut out playing card-sized pieces of thick paper. Everyone in the family then drew pictures of some dreams they wished they would have. Our daughter’s cards involved a lot of horses, picking roses in the clouds, and animals at tea parties. Our son’s cards seemed to have a lot of Star Wars, skiing, and pirates in them. He seems to find chaos and destruction calming before bedtime. Go figure.

When our deck of cards were made, we placed them next to our beds and every night before we went to bed, our kids would choose whichever dream they wanted. They put the card under their pillows and went to sleep imagining their dream. (One of my dream cards involved sleeping through the whole night without my kids waking me up. Ah! Bliss. The kids didn’t find it very amusing. My other dream card involved having my own cabana boy who would make me margaritas, but that’s not important. )

This worked for about a week but again, we had a blast one night spending time together as a family talking about our desired dreams and creating our Dream Cards. Try it one night and let me know how it works at your house.

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Tags: Help Kids Sleep Better · Ideas for family projects · Parenting Tips

Mother and Daughter Bonding – Easter Crafts

This Easter we decided not to travel and see family but stay home and relax. We invited some friends over for a non-traditional Easter dinner of Beef Tenderloin with Blue Cheese Breadcrumb Crust and Red Wine Sauce. If you read our post on 5 Easter Family Traditions to Start This Year you’ll know that one of our traditions is to try something new. No ham for us this year.

I asked my daughter, the artist in residence, if she would decorate the table for Easter. She loves to do this and since my mother, who is the master in table decorating, taught her how to do it well, she was thrilled. Did I mention that she is 6 and can decorate a dinner table better than I can? Anyway, she decided that we needed to make birds’ nests to complete her vision for the table. We found an idea in Family Fun Magazine.

Our blue Easter egg nest was very easy to make although neither of ours turned out looking as good as the magazine’s version. The suggested modeling clay wasn’t that great. I would probably use playdoh or some other softer modeling clay to get the shape right. The crayola stuff was not that pliable. We had plenty of sticks in the yards so I just used our gardening clippers to cut them down to size. The craft instructions say to use blue yarn inside the nest but we found a bag of blue feathers that worked better. Here is how our nests and the decorated table turned out. Click on the photos to see them larger.
Easter table decorations

Easter craft birds nest

My daughter and I had a lot of fun working together to make our nests. It had all the right ingredients for success – simple project, didn’t take a lot of time, only had to buy two materials, and we had a goal – decorate the Easter dinner table. Our colored eggs were displayed fabulously in our blue birds nests.

Tip: If you have cats, don’t put the nests out until right before dinner. Our indoor-only cats were extremely interested in the “live” twigs and proceeded to lay their fat down on top of our nests to be closer to nature, I guess. They also started chewing the twigs and pulling them out of the clay. Bad kitties!

Did you do any craft projects with your kids this Easter? If so, leave us a comment and please share!

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Tags: Family Celebrations · Ideas for family projects · Spring Family Fun Activities

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