How To Make Fun Labels

I love to decorate for parties, holidays and my classroom. When it came time to make labels for my classroom and fun signs for my daughters birthday party I turned to pinterest. I always thought, “I can do that!” So I started learning how to make those cute signs all on my own. I’m still learning more everyday but I can at least make a simple cute one whenever I need too. Below you will find a video of me showing you how to make a super easy cute label.

This is the cute label I will show you how to make.

This is the cute label I will show you how to make in the video.

 

Check out this video below to find out how to make the cute sign above. This is my first time using this awesome program and making a video like this. I hope you find it useful and easy to understand. If you need any help or have any questions please leave a comment below.

How To Make Fun Labels

 

Slide1

 

 

Earth Day Activities

earthdayHappy Earth Day!!  We all know how important it is to take care of our environment not just for us but for our children and grandchildren and their grandchildren.  The phrase “earth day everyday” is such a great reminder that we have to instill a feeling of responsibility for the earth in our children, so here’s a great roundup of activities that doesn’t just do one thing to improve the environment, but when done repeatedly over time it becomes a habit and really creates a foundation for your children to build upon and grow to be environmentally conscious people.  So pick out a few of your favorite earth day activities and have a great day!

Earth Day Activities:

  • Plant a tree!  (one of the most obvious ones)
  • Set up a recycling station in your home and talk about how to tell what can and can’t be recycled.
  • Plan out (and start planting) your family vegetable garden.
  • Keep garbage bags in the car and go on a “litter scavenger hunt” before you leave any park.
  • Read the Dr Seuss book, The Lorax and discuss what the Onceler should have done differently.  Write down a plan for what you could do to start fixing the environment if that story was true.
  • Explain what a carbon footprint is in a way that kids will understand.  Livestrong.com has a great link HERE.
  • Make a plan for how to start reducing your family’s carbon footprint.

46395b994a1eab00dbfd791728874343

Earth Day Crafts:

studenteartMake an Earth Day Glyph like the ones at SweetTeaClassroom.com

earthstickyCreate a “Sticky Paper Earth” like they did at Frogs & Snails & Puppy Dog Tails and talk about what makes up the earth.  Stress the importance of keeping our waters clean when they (inevitably) notice how much blue is on our planet.

plantable-paper-earthStop by Modern Parents Messy kids and make these amazing plantable paper earths with flower seeds inside!  (This is the coolest thing EVER!)

6fce7a50a51a73883998774798fda834Make Earth Day Discovery Bottles with your little ones like they did at Teach Preschool.

ec3db144c4eafb79ad110dc8665b07e7Repurpose materials to make crafts like at Spoonful!

Whatever you decide to do to celebrate Earth Day with you family, we hope you have such a wonderful day honoring our planet that you’re inspired to continue throughout the year.  Happy Earth Day!

signaturesarah

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things……

favoritethings

 

Since I am relatively new to the “Mom and Pop Culture” family I thought I would share some of my favorite things!!

1

I love cute cups to drink out of!  It makes drinking my daily allowance of water alot easier if I want to carry the cup around.  I got this Tervis cup for Christmas, and it has become my favorite.  It doesn’t hurt that it features owls, which I loved long before they become a “thing”.  I guess that makes me a trend setter…..right???

 

2

I am desperately trying to give up soda!  However, I miss the little extra “jolt” of caffeine after my coffee in the morning.  I tried the Starbucks refreshers and loved them, but buying them in a can is awfully expensive! That is when I discovered these lovely little VIA packets.  I add them to plain seltzer water and it curbs my soda cravings, because I do love the bubbles, plus it is that little extra caffeine that I just can’t do without!

 

3

Oh how I love my kindle!!!  I never thought I would be one of those “electronic reader” types, but the convenience of this finally won me over!  I love my kindle fire!  Although I do find myself spending more money on books because it is so easy to download, and while I don’t mind, my darling hubby isn’t so pleased!

 

4I do love my wine, but I always hated opening a bottle, because while I would like to drink the whole bottle on some days, it isn’t the healthiest for me!  I used to scoff at box wine, but after multiple wine magazines gave this brand a high rating, my husband and I decided to try it.  It is now a staple in our house.  We usually have a red on the shelf, and a white in the fridge!!

5This is my favorite series EVER!!!  I grew up loving fairy tales, and these book remind me of that.  They are light reading, so nothing to serious, but the perfect books to read in a bubble bath!

 

6Keeping with the reading theme, Jen Lancaster is my favorite author!  Her memoirs are hilariously funny and I can read them over and over again!  They are written in a way that makes them easy to pick up and put down, and pick back up again, which is important in mommyhood!

7I don’t know how I lived before my KitchenAid mixer!  I can’t wait to upgrade the the heavy duty one!

da2Finally, I love my Crossfit Group.  I have never been an “exercise” person before, but there is something about lifting weights that makes me feel like I can conquer the world.  Like the Hulk, only less green!!

Hope this helps you get to know me a bit!!!

 

 

10 Signs That You’ve Embraced Motherhood

10signs     Admit it, long ago, before you had your children, (heck, maybe even before you even got pregnant), you had a preconceived (no pun intended) notion about what kind of mother you were going to be.  You’d still wear makeup and look cute every day, you’d fit into your pre-pregnancy jeans 6 weeks after giving birth, your children would never eat fast food, your kids would sleep through the night by 3 months, and you wouldn’t be one of those distracted moms who didn’t have time for friends.  Then you started having children and were slapped in the face by the reality of it.

It’s ok, this is a safe space, you can admit it, because we allllllll did it.  Maybe it’s Hollywood, maybe it’s just the fact that we have unrealistic expectations for ourselves, maybe we’re just nuts, but let’s get real.  That crap never happens.  Once kids come along life gets messy (along with our house, hair, and car), and even though we’ve all gone through phases of these moments (or, in my case, a constant decade long phase of all of them), it can be isolating.  So we’re here to show you that it’s OK!  We’ve all been there to varying degrees and it’s nothing to be ashamed of… it’s just motherhood.

Here’s our top 10 signs that you’ve embraced motherhood.

1.)  You’re A Mess.  You really enjoy the 3 minute shower you get once a week, it makes you feel JUST like an extra on Orange Is The New Black since it involves zero privacy and there’s another person trying to talk to you the entire time. (Extra points if you call your child Crazy Eyes.)  You live in pajamas / sweats /  yoga pants and when you’re feeling fancy you put on jeans.  You usually have various stains on your shirt and your hair hasn’t been styled in anything other than a pony tail since you were 10 centimeters dilated.

2.)  You’re Covered In Body Fluids.  Body fluids that aren’t even your own.  No… you’ve got your infant’s spit up down your back, your toddler’s boogers smeared across your pants from him crying into your legs, and probably even someone’s blood on you somewhere from a random injury that they felt the need to hold over.   Notice that I haven’t touched on drool yet….  that’s because you’re just pretending that it’s your new skin moisturizer, on your shirt, pants, in your hair, and wiped across your neck, arms, face, and any other exposed skin.  It’s like being at a Gallagher show, except instead of smashed watermelons, it’s just teething baby drool.

3.)  Your Kids Eat Off Of The Floor.  Ok ok, it’s not like you just throw some Purina Puppy Chow down for them and call it dinner, but you’re an absolute believer in the “5 second rule” in the case of dropped food, pacifiers, and basically anything else.  You rationalize this by reminding yourself that they’re going to have GREAT immune systems by the time they start school.

4.)  Your Purse Is A Treasure Trove Of Oddities.  For all women, their purse is “command central”, storing your wallet, lipstick, tampons, cell, and maybe some headache medicine.  One look in any mothers purse is likely to include the same wallet, cell, and headache medicine bottle, but the bottle is empty since you polished that off during the last 4 hour long sing-a-long of “Let It Go”.  You’ve got Cheerios, goldfish crackers, granola bars, and tiny boxes of raisens…usually opened up and spilled over the bottom of the bag.  There’s also used tissues, baby wipes, emergency diapers, plastic baby keys, rocks that your 4 year old asked you to hold, board books, mail that you keep meaning to open, and your secret stash of chocolate that you secretly eat when they’re not looking.

5.)  You’ve Given Up On Mt Laundry.  Leaky diapers, tiny divas with multiple costume changes, spilled food, spilled paint, spilled everything else;  you have a never ending pile of laundry hidden away somewhere in your house.  Laundry room, bedroom, whatever….we’ve all had this at some point, the insanely overflowing laundry basket that seems to NEVER get any less full.  It’s a testament to the durability of those laundry baskets, because mere plastic shouldn’t be able to contain that volume of clothing, and yet it does, and it will continue to until some day when you finally catch up on the mountain of  laundry.  Probably not until your last child leaves for college, though.

6.)  Your Pre-Pregnancy Pictures Make You Cry.  You may have even given up and hidden them since there’s no point in getting depressed looking at your smooth, slim, bikini clad body in that picture from your honeymoon.  Just tuck that in the back of your closet along with the pre-pregnancy jeans that make you sad to see in your dresser.  It’s ok to drown your sorrows in some Ben & Jerry’s.  They understand your pain.  At some point you may want to put down the spoon, ain’t nobody got time for diabetes, but until you’re ready, you just go ahead and cry into that pint of Chunky Monkey, darlin’.

7.)  You Survive On 20 Minutes of Sleep a Night.  Children must be masters at telapathically forming plans with one another, even before they can form words, because it always seems that they wake up repeatedly during the night, in shifts.  Kid A wakes up from midnight to 1am.  Kid B wakes up from 1:15am to 2:30am.  Kid A wakes back up at 3am…and so on and so forth.  You may have even found yourself Googling the phrase “how long can a person stay awake and not die”.  It’s really a mean trick that gets played on us when reading parenting books during our pregnancy since they all say “sleep when the baby sleeps”, but WHAT IF THE BABY NEVER SLEEPS?

8.)  You Can Never Finish A Sentence.  Remember fondly back to the days where you could complete a phone call or have a conversation with your husband… yeah, now that you’ve embraced motherhood you understand that every conversation will be heavily peppered with requests for snacks, tattled tales of mistreated siblings, and every other thought that goes through your children’s heads.  You frequently can’t even remember what general topic you were discussing by the time you’ve attended to them.

9.)  You Have No Shame.  You used to have modesty and a general concern with others not thinking that you’re a total lunatic.  Now you frequently hold another human being’s butt up to your face so you can smell it in order to detect poop.  And you’ve done this in public.  You’ve driven your kids to school in your pajamas, and only had a half second of debating whether or not you should stop for Starbucks still in those pajamas (yeah, caffeine always wins out, I know).  You genuinely get mad at how bossy Ruby is to Max and talk about their absentee bunny parents with the other moms at the playground.  You also know that all of these things are perfectly acceptable in Mother World.

10.)  You Don’t Judge Other Moms Anymore.  Yup, now when you see the mom with the crying baby and screaming toddler in Target, messy and smelling faintly of spit-up, you no longer judge her for her “unruly child” and unkempt appearance.  Instead you give her a sympathetic smile because you’ve been there too.  You understand that parenting is so much harder than you ever thought possible and that, while nothing will overshadow how much you love your kids, motherhood is frequently loud, disgusting, and exhausting.  You know that we’ve all been there and sometimes just a smile from another mom is enough to keep you from hitting the box of wine hard that night.  (You also understand that boxed wine is a parenting necessity.)

signaturesarah

Southwestern Green Chile Cornbread

photo 1 (1)

I love cornbread, but it’s so bland. This Southwestern Green Chile Cornbread makes a great side dish. Pair it with any chili, soup, or Southwestern style meal for a perfect dinner. It’s also relatively cheap to make, and I usually have all the ingredients in my fridge and cupboard.

photo 3

Ingredients:

1 box of Krusteaz Honey Cornbread Mix

1 egg

2/3 cup milk

1/3 cup vegetable oil or melted butter

1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies

Add Tabasco sauce to taste (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

 

photo 5

 Lightly grease a 8x8x2 baking pan.

photo 2

Mommy’s little helper

Stir together all the ingredients until well mixed.

Pour the batter into the baking pan, and place in oven. Cook for 25-30 minutes. If your cornbread isn’t done after 30 minutes, continue to bake it and recheck every 5 minutes until done. If you’re so inclined, you could even top your cornbread with extra cheese the last 5 minutes of baking.

photo 2 (1)

You’ll know the cornbread is done when a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean.

kelseysig

Practical Easter Basket Ideas

I am a practical mom.  Unfortunately for my toddler, I use gift-giving holidays to stock up her sock drawer, replenish her underwear supply and update her bookshelf choices.  There’s also that slim chance that my toddler turns in to a raging monster when she ingests too much sugar, which means I completely avoid typical, sugary goodness – but that chance is slim.

In the midst of stuffing Chloe’s basket full of goodies tonight, I decided some other procrastinating moms like me could possibly use some last minute ideas for Easter that didn’t include sugar, chocolate, or sugary chocolate.  So, without further ado, here’s some practical Easter basket ideas that will please your child while keeping them on the ground and not climbing the walls.

Bubble Bath

IMG_7745What kid doesn’t like a good bubble bath?  There’s hundreds of different types of bubble bath, including characters which go perfect with a themed Easter basket.  As a mom, I prefer Mr. Bubble, strictly because it’s a lot of bath time fun for just a little more than $1.  Since you aren’t paying for the character licensing, you can end up with just as many bubbly baths for insanely cheap.

Bubbles

IMG_7746Along with bubble baths fit.. well.. bubbles!  I picked up these travel size bottles of bubbles for less than $1 each.  Chloe loves bubbles and they make a cheap, entertaining day in the backyard.

Play-Doh

IMG_7749I may regret this decision as soon as she opens the container and smears and smooshes the Play-Doh in her hair and the carpet.  However, after the cute four-leaf clover she made with Play-Doh in daycare, I’ve been meaning to pick a few containers up for her.  Once again, cheap.  Easy.  Fun.

Big Kid Underwear

IMG_7744My two year old is officially potty trained, but still struggles with the occasional “OMGIWAITEDTOOLONGANDHAVETOGORIGHTNOW” accident or overnight bedwetting.  Holidays are the perfect time to replace undies in cute little prints so that she believes she really is getting the most awesome thing EVER.  Even though, in reality, they are just underwear.

Socks

IMG_7753Right up there with the excitement (for a child) of underwear are socks.  However, toddler socks are notorious for fun prints, which make them a little more bearable.  Chloe loves to mismatch socks, so the more prints to choose from in her sock drawer, the better.

Books

IMG_7759We normally steer clear of holiday themed gifts to prevent occurrences like Chloe still wearing her Christmas pajamas in April.  Books are the exception.  Most retail stores stock up on holiday themed books, so there are plenty to choose from.  Not by MY choice, Max & Ruby is one of Chloe’s current favorites, so a holiday character book is a great fit for her basket.

Dishes

IMG_7758Toddlers love independence and having their own stuff, dishes included.  We are currently transitioning completely off of zippy cups and in to regular tumblers.  I grabbed these cups for less then $1 each and they come in a variety of characters – boy, girl and gender neutral.

Summer Sandals

IMG_7747Along with Easter in the midwest comes warmer weather.  Chloe can’t grow out of clothing and shoes fast enough, so anything leftover from the last warm days we had definitely no longer fits.  An Easter basket is the perfect opportunity to grab a fancy new pair of sandals to welcome the warmer days.

(Kid Friendly) Nail Polish

IMG_7760Along with warmer weather and summer sandals come pedicures!  No little girl should have to walk around with unpolished toes hanging out of her sandals.  These scented nail polishes are rainbow colored and trial sized.  Perfect basket stuffers to get through the summer.

Snacks

IMG_7755Don’t you worry your pretty little heads – my child will be receiving some snacky goodness in her Easter basket.  Chloe loves to snack on marshmallows, so these vanilla flavored mallows are the perfect substitution for candy.

HAPPY EASTER!

1396637_10101493846576488_1027440012_n

 

 

 

Annie’s Playground In Fallston, Maryland

imageSpring is in the air FINALLY!!! Now it’s time to get outside and enjoy the fantastic weather while it lasts. One of our favorite local places to be outside is Annie’s Playground in Fallston, Maryland. There are activities there for kids of all ages. You can bring your pets too!

image

My toddler loves the ages 5 and under portion of the playground. This area has 3 toddler sized slides, tunnels, climbing areas, swings and many more activities. There is even a shaded pavilion with benches to park your strollers or just relax. We come out to play in any season as long as the sun is shining!

image

On the other side of Annie’s Playground there is a much larger section for older kids with big swings, tunnels and forts to climb in and big slides of all shapes and sizes. There is even an enclosed area to kick and throw balls around.

image

All of the surfaces that little hands will touch are made of composite wood so there is no risk of splinters. YAY! Making it even safer is the reclaimed tire, rubber mulch covering the entire playground area. Slips and falls no longer cause scraped hands and knees.

image

Just outside the main playground is a huge pavilion with plenty of picnic tables. We like to take a cooler or picnic basket lunch for days we spend a lot of time there.

image

For the more “mature” children, also known as adults, there is the Ma And Pa Trail that runs along the side of Annie’s Playground. We’ve enjoyed wagon rides with friends along the trail. Joggers, bikers, walkers and even dogs use this paved trail. The park and playground area are open all year round from dawn til dusk.

So get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather and all the fun activities that Annie’s Playground has to offer!
Jessica

With Easter being this Sunday I know chocolate is going to be in an abundance around our house.  And while I wouldn’t say I have a huge sweet tooth, if it is in the house I will eat it.

So to combat the Cadbury eggs, Snickers eggs, Reece’s eggs  ( you get the point)  I went on a search for something that would satisfy my cravings, but not ruin the progress I have made on getting a healthier lifestyle this year.

After doing extensive research on Pinterest (don’t laugh, you know you do the same thing when you need to research something), I combined a few recipes and come up with a chocolate pudding that is quite yummy.

pudding  The recipe is quite simple.

Ingredients:

1 banana

2 cups chocolate almond milk

1/2 cup of chia seeds

(I found them at Wegmans, Trader Joes as well as Whole Foods)

1 tsp salt (optional)

Whir the banana and almond milk in a blender till smooth.  Then add the chia seeds and blend them up.  Pour into a container, cover and chill.  Mine was ready in about 20 minutes.

Chia seeds do give it the consistency of tapioca pudding, just to let you know.  I topped mine with raspberries and slivered almonds, but feel free to top with anything!  It isn’t overly sweet so I would suggest you use some fruit to sweeten it a bit.

Hope this helps keep your Easter chocolate a little healthier!  (I do plan on having at least on Snickers egg because after all, it is Easter!)

 

signature

 

http://www.mompopculture.com/2014/04/4943/

DIY Nursing Tank

Let’s be upfront and honest – babies are expensive. One of the many great ways to try and save money is to nurse instead of formula feed, but even that comes with hidden costs. Nursing specific shirts are expensive, and even plain tanks are $20+. I also always hated that to have the support I needed I would have to wear a nursing bra along with a nursing tank. This time around I tried to be a little more money smart! My sister-in-law showed me these ingenious nursing tanks called Undercover Mama, but at $25 a pop and limited color choices I wasn’t 100% behind taking the plunge and buying them… but I was all about making my own!

What You’ll Need:

1 tank of your choosing (I got a bunch of $1.80 tanks from forever21)
1 pair of scissors
1 needle
1 spool of thread (I just used white, but you can find an exact match if you want)

IMG_6721

Step 1:
Cut the strap off the back.

IMG_6725

Step 2:
Cut the strap off the front, leaving about 1 ½ to 2 inches.

IMG_6730

Step 3:
Looping the strap around, stitch it into a tiny loop.

IMG_6733

Once you’re done stitching both sides the tank will look like this:IMG_6735

The loops attach to the front of any nursing bra with clips.IMG_6737

When you unhook the bra, the tank will go with it!IMG_6738

That’s it! A super quick and easy nursing tank for less than $2 each! You can wear it under any shirt, and just lift the over shirt up and you’re midsection will be covered.

Hope you enjoy saving money ;)

Celebrating Spring In A Messy Fun Way!

This week is our spring break.  Yesterday was a gorgeous day and we spent the day outside getting dirty and completely worn out!  Today, however, I woke up to this.

blog1Not exactly the weather I was hoping for!  I am helping a friend out this week and have a total of 6 children running around my house, so I knew I had to plan something to keep them occupied!

I decided to dye eggs.  Yes, you may think that I was crazy to attempt to dye eggs inside with 6 children age 1 year old to 10, but I am a firm believer in organization when it come to things like this.  So while they were enjoying watching Star Wars I got my act together.

This year I decided to forgo buying the easter egg kits at the store.  I really don’t use the wire egg thing, it doesn’t work well for me, so it was cheaper to use regular food coloring.

blog2After scouring Pinterest and finding the  “perfect” recipe, I realized it was the same recipe that is on the box of food coloring!

blog3

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had to get fancy and get the neon food coloring, cause who wants boring old colors when you can light up your life with neon!

I set up the station, taking care to cover the entire table with plastic.

DSC_0124

Then I let the kids go at it!  They had a blast, although what I thought would take about 30 minutes was done in 5!  Clean up wasn’t bad.  Make sure to keep baking soda on handy to get stains off of hands!!!

blog5

The colors turned out awesome!!!

After the eggs I decided to bring on an edible craft.

blog6When I was younger the only reason I liked having chow mein for dinner was being able to snack on the left over crunch noodles the next day!  All you need for this edible craft is a can of chow mein noodles, 1/2 cup of peanut butter, 1 lb melting chocolate (you can get it at Hobby Lobby or Michaels) and a bag of the mini cadbury eggs.

Melt the peanut butter and chocolate over a double boiler.  blog7  Keep the heat low and melt it till the chocolate is nice and shiny.  Once it is melted, turn off the heat and add in the chow mein noodles, stirring until  they are completely covered.

Now you can bring the kids in!!  Cover a mini muffin tin with saran wrap and let them use spoons (or their hands)  to form “nests” in the holes.  Let them add three eggs to each “nest”.  Put them aside to dry.

They may not look the nicest at this point.

blog9However, the kids had a blast, got to lick chocolate off their fingers and have a grand old time!  Plus when they cool and you take them out of the tins, they do look more like nests!

blog10

Now if only it were naptime now!!!

 

signature