how will you be kind today?

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February is filled with hearts, candy and lots of talk about love and romance. We love to make Valentine’s Day fun for our kids with heart shaped treats, DIY valentines and decorations, but we also like to use this time of year to talk about kindness. There are a million ways to be kind, and even a small act can make a big impact. We are excited to partner with Primary to be part of their How Will You Be Kind Today? project. For the month of February they are focusing on small acts that equal big kindness.

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We asked our kids to think about acts of kindness they could do for neighbors, friends and family. We loved the things they said. “I will share my toys with my brother.” “I will help my mom put away the dishes.” “I will write a note to my grandmother.” “I will bring my teacher a flower.”  We cut out hearts on colored card stock using our heart template and asked our kids to write their acts of kindness.

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We have also found some great books that talk about kindness or illustrate acts of kindness in a ways that kids can understand. A few of our favorites include A Sick Day for Amos McGee, My Color is Rainbow, Pete the Cat Valentine’s Day is Cool, Little Blue Truck and The Little Engine that Could.

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Whether it’s saying something nice to a friend, helping around the house, or writing a thank you note; spreading a little love and kindness is always a good idea!

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Hallman + Ashley

 

Mia: Capri Leggings, Twirly Skirt, Long Sleeve Shirt Henry: Cargo Pants, HenleyHoodie Charlie: 4 Pocket Pants, Henley, Hoodie

 

i heart u card

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Who doesn’t just love opening the mail to find a handmade Valentine? No matter who the card is from, it can really brighten anyone’s day. While we think our kid’s DIY Valentines are almost too cute for words this year, we wanted to come up with a fun Valentine craft that could double as a card.  We created our own version of 3-D Valentine card the kids can help make. To make it even easier, we’ve created a printable valentines-day-card template for the “Be mine” card!

Supplies:

Start by printing our valentines-day-card template onto the card stock. Then cut out each card and fold them in half.

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Next, punch a hole on the outer edge of the front and back flap of the folded card. To get the small hole, we used a Martha Stewart hole punch, which we like because it has three different punch sizes, but you can use a regular hole punch if that’s what you already have.

Let the kids help make several large heart punches using the heart hole punch and pink card stock. Then cut several pieces of baker’s twine that are 12 inches long.

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Now you’re ready to make the “eye-heart-u” portion of the card. We started by placing the heart on the baker’s twine first because that made it easier to make sure the google eyes and letter U were placed in the right position. Let the kids place glue dots on one side of one of the heart punches. Then lay the baker’s twine on top of the glue dots, so that the heart is centered in the middle of he piece of twine. Next, place a second heart punch directly on top of the first.

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To attach the google eye, let the kids place glue dots on the back of one google eye. They lay the google eye on the table with the glue side up, and place the baker’s twine on top of it so that the google eye is bout 1/2 inch to the left of the heart. Then place a second google eye on top of the first google eye, sandwiching the google eyes between the twine.

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Lay a “U” sticker with the sticky side up o your work surface. Then place the baker’s twine on top too the “U” so that the “U” is 1/2 inch to the right of the heart. Place a second “U” sticker on top of the first.

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Open the Be mine card and place the “eye-heart-u” baker’s twine on top of the card. Tie the right side of the baker’s twine to the hole on the right side of the card so that the knot is about 1/2 inch from the “U”.

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Next, thread the left side of the baker’s twine through the hole on the left side of the card and then fold the card shut. To finish off the card, tie the two ends of twine together in a bow and place it in a festive colored envelope!

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For more Valentine’s Day craft ideas be sure to check out our kid’s Valentine themed crafts from last year and the year before. There are so many to choose from that you’ll be able to keep those little hands busy all week long!

Happy making!

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Ashley + Hallman

diy kid’s valentines

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Now that February is a mere 24 hours away, our kids are just itching to get started on their classroom Valentine’s cards. They love handing out their Valentine’s to friends, and get especially excited about the little party favor attached to each one. Our kids like to use anything from fun toys like silly straws, mini paint sets and bubbles to colorful lollipops. This year we found these lip whistles and we just knew they would make the perfect Valentine, and with our printable lip whistle template they are a cinch for anyone to make!

Supplies:

  • Lip Whistles (we found ours at Party City, but you can also find them on Amazon)
  • White card stock
  • Scissors
  • Glue Dots

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Start by printing our lip whistle Valentine template onto white card stock. Then cut out each card along the dotted line.

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Let you or your child write their names on the bottom line next to the heart.

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Secure a lip whistle to each card using a glue dot, and voila! Your classroom Valentine’s are ready to go! For more printable class Valentine templates and ideas feel free to check out our posts from last year and the year before.

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Ashley + Hallman

Our favorite posts of 2016

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What a year! This year has flown by in the blink of an eye. Before we get with new posts for 2017, we thought we would look back at some of our favorite posts of 2016.

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Jane Can Make

We love to DIY. This year one of our favorite posts was our DIY embroidered denim. We had so much fun adding monograms to our favorite jeans. We also loved making our moss wreath and are starting to think we need to bring some more green in our homes now that the holiday decorations are down.

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Jane Can Celebrate

Everyone knows how much we love a holiday. We love to decorate, make special treats and get crafty for every holiday. While you won’t be thinking about Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas for awhile, the Superbowl and Valentine’s Day are just around the corner.

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Jane Can Decorate

We have both been very focused on updating our homes this past year, so we are always looking for home ideas, from front doors to outdoor spaces to interiors. There is no such thing as too much home inspiration!

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Jane Can Cook

We tend to make a lot of special snacks for school and sweet treats for our kids. Our kids love to help whenever they can so the simpler the recipe the better. Our marshmallow pops have been one of our most popular post this year, because they truly are the easiest snack ever!

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Jane Can Play

Our No Carve DIY Pumpkins was one of our favorite posts this year. You probably won’t be making pumpkins for awhile, but you would have fun doing some of these washi tape projects.

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Viva Luxury

Jane Can Dress Up

If you are like us, we are always looking for style inspiration. We are still using our  All Dressed Up post outfit ideas until the weather starts to get warmer.

We are looking forward to new projects and new ideas in 2017. Thank you to everyone who has continued to follow along on our journey.

Here’s to a great year!

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Hallman + Ashley

 

 

Photos:

counting down the days until christmas

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The Christmas countdown has official begun, and our kids favorite way to tick off the days is with their Advent calendars. Each year we come up with a few fun new DIY advent calendars, and this year was no exception. This year we were inspired by one of our kids’ other favorite holiday traditions…Elf on the Shelf, so we decided to come up with our own little Christmas elf advent calendar.

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Supplies:

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Start by placing a small red circle sticker at the base of each cone for the elf’s nose. Then, using the 3/8″ paper punch, cut 48 circles out of the white sticker sheet to create the eyes. Place a small blue circle sticker on the bottom of each white sticker eye. Place two sticker eyes just above the red nose on each cone.

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Cut 8 circles out of the assorted red and white paper so that each circle is 6.5″ in diameter. We used a circle cutter, but you can also use a compass and pair of scissors. To make the circle 6.4″ in diameter, you will want to set the circle cutter or the compass to 3.25″.

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Using the scissors, cut each paper circle into three equal parts so that you have 24 wedges.

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Using the tape runner, place tape on the back side of a wedge of red and white paper. You will want to make sure that you place tape right along the edges of the paper so that it adheres to the paper cone. Then, with the tip of the wedge at the same side as the tip of the cone, wrap the paper wedge around the paper cone so that the base of the wedge sits over the elf’s eyes just a bit. Once the paper is wrapped around the cone, press down on the edge of the paper to make sure the tape is in place.

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Thread the yarn needle with a 2 foot length of white yarn and tie a knot at the end of the yarn. Run the needle through the cone from the base out though the tip. You will need to place the thimble on your finger in order to push the needle through the inside tip of the cone. Once the needle is through the tip, pull the needle so the yarn runs all the way through the cone until the knot stops the yarn from moving any further.

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Now thread the white pom pom onto the needle and pull the pom pom along the yarn until it stops at the top of the cone. Next, place the black number stickers, 1 through 24, onto the front of each elf hat.

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Print our advent calendar activities template and cut out each activity. Fold the activities in half and place one in each cone. Cut a stack of white tissue paper in half. Crumple a sheet of tissue paper and firmly press it into the base of the cone to hold the activity in place. If you’d like you can add a small treat, such as a Hershey’s kiss or small chocolate coin to the cone before you seal the cone with the tissue paper.

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Now your little elves are ready for the Christmas countdown! You can tie each elf to a long piece of yarn and hang them from your mantle like a garland, or tie them to a 12 inch embroidery hoop and hang the hoop from the ceiling like a mobile!

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Ashley + Hallman

thanksgiving kids’ table inspiration

The kids’ table is a Thanksgiving day institution. We love to come up with decorations, crafts and activities for the kids’ table each year, to keep the kids entertained and making Thanksgiving fun for everyone. This year, we picked a few of our favorite ideas for kids’ tables that are simple and will make everyone smile.

Be Thankful

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Cool Mom Picks

 Kids Table Decor

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Studio Life.Style. for  The LA Times

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The Celebration Shoppe

Legos, Crayons and More!

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Fresh Mommy Blog

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Paging Super Mom

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Project Nursery

Making a thankful tree, a gratitude wreath, thankful jar or a thankful garland are all great ways to focus the kids and the adults on the meaning of the day.

Gobble! Gobble!

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Hallman + Ashley

 no carve diy pumpkins

We started searching for no carve pumpkin decorating ideas when our kids were very young, but even now that they are older they love finding fun new ways to decorate pumpkins. Anything colorful or silly is sure to be a hit with your kids!  While all of these ideas work on real pumpkins, sometimes we like to use craft pumpkins so our creations will last a little longer. There are so many creative ways to DIY your pumpkins that you can do weekly pumpkin crafts with your kids until Halloween! The most important thing is to have fun!

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Emoji Pumpkins

Our kids have a slight obsession with emoji’s right now so it was only fitting that we created emoji pumpkins. First paint your pumpkins yellow with craft paint or spray paint in stages, letting it dry before you to turn them over. Cover the stem with painter’s tape if you do not not want it to to be yellow. While the pumpkins dry, cut out your emoji faces out of construction paper and attach the pieces with glue dots. We made most of our faces with circle punches and heart punches. There are so many possibilities with emoji pumpkins and they are sure to make you smile!

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Splatter Paint Pumpkins

We love splatter paint! Splatter painting pumpkins is super easy and really fun for kids. Splatter paint shows up best on white pumpkins, but use any color of pumpkins and paints that you like. Use a medium size, fluffy paint brush and cover it heavily in paint. Next hit the paint brush over your pointer finger and let the paint splatter all over the pumpkins without touching the brush to the pumpkin. With a clean brush, switch colors and repeat the process. Once you have made it through all the colors, let the paint dry. Once the paint is dry, flip the pumpkins over and splatter paint on the other side.

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Decoupage Pumpkins

We love decoupaging pumpkins because it is so simple and the possibilities for color and design are endless! It also lasts a very long time…in fact we have decoupage pumpkins from last year that we’ve brought out again. Start with a faux pumpkin, some Mod Podge and a brush. Have your kids cut out fun shapes from colored paper using scissors or hole punches, hold the shapes on the pumpkin and paint a thick layer of Mod Podge over the paper and pumpkin. Once the pumpkin is dry, paint a second coat on the pumpkin, let it dry again and you’re finished.

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Pumpkin Decorating Kits

There are so many cute pumpkin decorating kits out there that make the whole process so much easier. We made the Flamingo Pumpkin, a Pineapple Pumpkin, and the Spikey Pumpkins from Target. We also loved the Dinosaur, the BB8 Pumpkin and the Darth Vader Pumpkin. Most of these kits come with paint, but we found it easier to spray paint the pumpkin before we decorated it.

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Happy Crafting!

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Hallman + Ashley

diy halloween costumes

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Each year it seems our kids get more and more excited for Halloween and begin plotting their costumes months in advance. This year was no exception and our kids couldn’t wait for us to get started on their Superman, Pippi Longstocking and Flash costumes! Since neither one of us has a sewing machine or the know-how to sew a costume from scratch, we love to create “no-sew” costumes for our kids. Last year we found a brand of kids clothing called Primary, which allowed us to easily make colorful no-sew costumes for our kids. Primary has now become our go-to brand for kids’ costumes not only because they are comfortable, but they have a large assortment of styles in an endless array of colors. The fact that nothing is over $25 also sweetens the deal quite a bit!

 Superman

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For Henry’s Superman costume we started with the long sleeve pj top and the pj pant in Cobalt. For the Superman logos, we used red and yellow felt squares, and for his cape we used a 1 yard piece of red felt. We wanted to make our lives simple, so we used superhero stencils that we found on Max California. To use the stencils, we printed the artwork out on card stock at 71%, and then cut each template out with an X-Acto knife.

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To make Superman’s red S, we placed the S template upside down on the red fed and traced around it with a Sharpie. Then we traced the diamond template on the yellow felt. After we cut out the red S and yellow diamond, we glued them both together using felt glue. To finish off Henry’s shirt, we glued the Superman logo onto the front of the blue pajama top.

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To create our Superman belt, we drew a diamond shape for the front of the belt and then long narrow sides. We cut out the belt and glued it to the front of the pajama pants using felt glue. Then we cut a thin red strip of felt, the same width as the front belt, and glued it to the waist band on the back of the pajamas. We wanted to make sure we made the belt out of two pieces of felt fabric, that did not connect at the sides so that there was still some give in the waist band.

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No Superman would be complete without his cape! To make Henry’s Superman cape, we cut a long 2.5 foot trapezoid out of a 1 yard piece of red felt. We cut a half moon shape about 6 inches long, out of the top of the trapezoid so that the top of the cape would fit right along the neckline of the back of the pajama top. The logo on Henry’s cape is larger than the logo on his shirt, so we printed the Superman template onto white card stock at 100%. Then we traced the S template onto a yellow piece of felt, cut it out and glued it to the red cape with felt glue. We didn’t want to attach the cape permanently to the pajama top just in case Henry wanted to wear the costume without the cape later on, so we attached the cape using fashion tape.

Pippi Longstocking

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Mia’s Pippi Longstocking costume could not have been easier! We started with the Primary short sleeve dress in Cobalt and the sleeveless dress in Grass. Then we cut the hem from the bottom of the blue and green dresses in a haphazard way so that the hems looked more ragged. It’s important to cut the green dress shorter so that you can see the blue dress underneath. To make sure the sleeves of the blue dress matched the rest of the costume, we cut the hem off the short sleeves as well.

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To create the patches of Pippi’s dress, we cut several squares out of colorful bandanas that we found at Michaels. Then we glued them to the front and back of the green dress using felt glue.

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We wanted to make the patches on her dress look more authentic so we sewed large stitches around each patch using black embroidery floss. This step is by no means necessary so feel free to skip it.

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We wanted to give Mia braids that stuck out just like the real Pippi Longstocking, but we also wanted her to be comfortable for a full night of trick or treating. This meant we had to come up with a way to make her braids stick straight out that was more comfortable than using the traditional coat hanger trick. We started with an inexpensive plastic headband and hot glued four red pipe cleaners to the bottom 2 inches of the headband, on the outside of each end of the head band. Then we wrapped a red pipe cleaner around the four pipe cleaners on each side, hot gluing as we wrapped it around the base of each side of the headband.

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Once Mia was dressed in her costume, we placed the headband on her head and braided her hair around each end of the pipe cleaners. We secured the ends of her hair with rubber bands and then trimmed the ends of the pipe cleaners. Voila…stiff Pippi braids that she can wear all night long!

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Most pictures we found of Pippi Longstocking had her wearing mis-matched tights or socks. To create this look we bought a pair of red tights and a pair of red and white striped tights on Amazon. In order to make it look like Mia was wearing one red stocking and one striped stocking, we cut one leg off of the striped pair of tights and had her wear them over the red tights.

Flash

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Charlie decided to be Flash months ago because he loved his lightening bolts and super sonic speed! We started with Primary’s long sleeve pj top and pj pant in Cherry. We printed the flash logo templates we found on Max California onto card stock and traced the templates onto white and yellow felt. In order to get the logos just the right size, we printed the templates at 71%.

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Using the felt glue, we glued the smaller white circle on top of the larger yellow circle, and then glued the yellow lightning bolt on top of the white circle. Once all the pieces were in place we glued the logo to the front of Charlie’s shirt.

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To create the lighting bolts on Charlie’s arms and waist, we folded a piece of yellow felt in half and drew 2 long, narrow lightning bolt shapes on the yellow felt. Then we cut along the lines and unfolded the felt. Using felt glue, we glued one of the long narrow bolts to the front of Charlie’s shirt at the waist, and glued the second narrow lightning bolt to the back of Charlie’s shirt at the waist. It is important to make sure that the lightning bolts line up on the sides, but that they are not glued together so that the shirt can still stretch. For the sleeves, we folded another piece of yellow felt in half, drew 2 shorter lightning bolts and cut them out along the lines. We cut those lightning bolts in half to give us 4 bolts. Then we glued each lightning bolt to the front and back of Charlie’s sleeve, making sure that the ends of the bolts lined up on either side.

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Charlie’s Flash mask was a fun puzzle to solve! We hadn’t made a mask from scratch before, but with a little ingenuity we figured out an easy way to construct one.

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Starting with the lighting bolts on the side of the mask, we drew a lighting bolt template onto a piece of card stock and cut it out. Then we traced it onto the yellow felt to create four lightning bolts and cut each one out. We glued two lightning bolts together, making sure not to glue the last 1/2 inch together so that we could eventually open the ends and glue them to the mask.

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To create the mask shape, we traced a sleeping mask onto a piece of red felt. Then we drew a 2 inch wide and 3 inch long band at either side of the mask. Flash’s mask has points at the bottom, so we added points to the bottom of ours. Once our drawing was complete, we cut out the mask. We had Charlie place the mask over his eyes, then we gently drew ovals on the felt where his eyes were. We had him remove the mask and then we cut out the ovals to create holes for his eyes. Once the glue was dry on the lightning bolts we opened the un-glued ends and glued them to each side of the mask using the felt glue. To make sure the lighting bolts stayed in place while the glue dried, we placed a heavy book on top of the mask. Once the glue was dry we sewed elastic to the sides of the mask.

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The beauty of Primary’s clothing is that we were able to create Halloween costumes that will last far longer than any store bought ensemble, which means our kids can wear their costumes morning, noon and night…and anywhere in between! Knowing our kids that could mean they’ll be wearing these costumes until next Halloween!

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Ashley + Hallman

lunchbox inspiration

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Packing school lunches can be a challenge and we all need a little inspiration every now and then. A packed lunch can get boring very quickly, especially when you are busy and tired…as all parents are! Here a few of our favorite ways to bring a little variety to your lunchbox.

Pack Frozen Smoothies

Our kids love smoothies and it is a great way to sneak in extra fruits and vegetables! These colorful popsicle molds make it easy to  include them in a lunchbox. Modern Parents Messy Kids has some great tips and recipes for lunchbox smoothies and you can find more recipes here and here.

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Modern Parents Messy Kids

Pasta Make Everything Better

If your kids love pasta as much as our kids love pasta, then it can be a great base to add protein and vegetables for your kids’ lunchbox.

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Martha Stewart

Make Food Fun

There is nothing that will make your kids smile more than something silly or different in their lunchbox. Cookie cutters, candy google eyes and fun toothpicks are sure to be a hit with your kids. We also love to include these Lunchtime LOL notes each day to make our kids giggle. Here is a great source for lunchbox supplies to keep things fun.

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Land O’ Moms

Go Beyond Peanut Butter & Jelly

Kids can easily get bored with sandwiches. Mix it up with different fillings, different bread or even no-bread sandwiches. Our kids love when we include a bagel sandwich, a wrap or sandwich pinwheels.  These Apple Cheese Wraps from Weelicious are a great example of no-bread sandwiches. There are tons of creative ways to make a sandwich, these 10 sandwich recipes are a great place to start.

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Weelicious

Make Kabobs

Kids love kebobs! You can make kabobs with fruits, vegetables, meat, cheese and even mini sandwiches bites. Anything with a toothpick is fun for kids to eat.

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Following My Shoes, Make Ahead Lunchbox Ideas

Here’s a few more lunchbox tips  and our favorite printable lunchbox notes.

Happy Packing!

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Hallman + Ashley

fun with washi tape

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Replenishing our kids’ school supplies is definitely one of the highlights of the new school year. Our kids just love stocking up on brand new colorful pens, crayons and paper, and we always walk away with a few new supplies of our own. One item we are drawn to is Washi tape. The DIY, organization and crafting possibilities are endless and we just can’t help picking up a few new rolls each time we are in the craft store or Target. Now that our tape collection is suitably refreshed with a few new bright colors, we are on the look out for new, inspiring ways to get crafty.

Kid’s crafts

Whether it’s transforming an ordinary cabinet into a doll house or creating a race track for toy cars, kids love getting crafty with a few rolls of Washi tape, so let their imagination run wild!

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Ikea

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Le jardin de Juliette

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Amy Di Stasio

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City Mom

Decor

Washi tape is a colorful and inexpensive way to transform any room or fixture, but best of all it’s temporary so if you change your mind a few weeks down the road you can always take it down!

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Apartment Therapy

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IDA Interior Lifestyle

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I Spy DIY

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Design Sponge

Organization

We use Washi tape as labels to keep electronic chords and food items organized, but it also makes the perfect custom calendar or bookmark!

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Brit & Co

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The Chic Site

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HGTV

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Paper and Pin

Gift Wrap

We are always looking for creative, new ways to make our gift wrap extra special, and using Washi tape is a wonderful way to add a pop of color to any present.

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Lines Across

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Shari’s Berries

Happy taping!

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Ashley + Hallman