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Wednesday
Jul092014

Homemade sensory board for curious little hands 

I live with two toddlers. That means four little curious hands. 20 little mischievous fingers. They want to touch, push, pull and turn everything. 

And that's okay. That's how humans learn. So learn away little ones. 

Jason and I made the boys this simple sensory board using items like a doorknob, hinges, locks, a light and a door stop. 

We purchased a wooden table top at Lowes. 

Then we purchased the items we wanted to go on the board, like hinges, door stops, a doorknob, a doorbell and a little light. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We screwed everything in place and used velcro to attach the light in the center. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Voila. Here is it (minus the light.)

The boys love it and it's hours of silent fun. 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you made any DIY toys? 


Wednesday
May282014

Cowboy birthday party on a BUDGET! And FREE invitation printable

Yesterday Issie was a year old. I wanted to share all about his birthday party. Or as I called it, his cowboy budget party!

From invitations to food to gifts, this party only cost us about $45 and it was so much fun! (Note: my mother provided homemade ice cream and sausage balls at no cost to me. Plus she had decorations we used.)

We had a cowboy party over mother's day weekend. We did this because Issie was being dedicated at church and all of our family was already going to be in town. 

Location: 

We had the party at "Nana and PawPaw's House" aka, my parents house. It was a great location because they have a big open porch (great since it rained) and a horse the kids could ride. 

The bonus is, my mom is a retired kindergarten teacher who has great party ideas and already had a ton of decorations left from her classroom. (Which she paid for herself as a teacher. If you see a teacher today give him or her a hug and then hand them a $20!)

This leads us to...

Decorations:

My mom decorated her dining table using these hats she got at the dollar tree a loooong time ago and some bandannas. I love that she put an old pair of red boots on the table. 

She had these old characters left over from a cowboy unit she did in her classroom. And my niece and nephew made this sign. So cute! 

Food: 

This is the only part of the party that matters, right? 

As I mentioned above my mother made some sausage and cheese biscuits that were delicious! She used this recipe from the Betty Crocker website. 

I also made a basic fruit salad of grapes, strawberries and pineapple. And that's it. Just real, fresh fruit- no pie filling or sugar added. 

And we didn't need any added sugar with the Whoopie Pies I made instead of traditional birthday cake. 

Issie got a small whoopie pie, which was clearly a hit! He had never had cake or really anything sugary before. I like this in lieu of a "smash cake." By the look on his face he LOOOOVED it. 

My mom also made the Pioneer Woman's ice cream. Have you ever had that stuff? Well don't, because you will just want more! 

Outfit:

In the south we have to have a special outfit for everything. My mom made the boys matching cowboy pants and shirts. How cute is that outfit?? 

Here is a closer look at Ryby's shirt. How cute is that? He loved it and wants to wear his cowboy pants all the time. 

Favors:

We didn't do any! The only children "guest" were my three nieces, my older son and my nephew. And trust me, their mothers did not want them sent home with more junk. (And one of my nieces is only three months old.) 

Invitations: 

I made this cute little invitation using PicMonkey. I made a "cow print" in the back ground. I created this generic one that you can print for free by clicking here

All in all it was a really fun party and I was so happy to pull of something simple. 

What are some fun frugal party ideas you've had? LEAVE A COMMENT!   BLURBFRIENDS

 

Tuesday
May132014

Ice Rescue Game for Toddlers 

We are loving the beautiful weather we have been having in South Alabama. Yes, it's getting hot. But it's only May. So we have a lot of heat left to go. 

The boys have loved playing in the little kiddie pool and the water table my parents got Issie for his birthday. But I also wanted some fun, structured activities for the kiddos. 

Like every other kid in America, Ry has become OBSESSED with frozen. Frozen! He love frozen. It's a cute movie and all. I like it. But enough is enough. No more "Let it Go." No more "Let it Go!!" 

Anyway- tangent avoided. On Monday, while the boys were napping I threw their little toy trains and figurines into cups of water and put them in the freezer. 

When Ry woke up I told him that Elsa had frozen his trains and he needed to thaw them out. He loved it. He got so excited. So outside we went with a dish detergent bottle filled with water. 

Ry squirted water on the frozen trains and giggled as it worked. It was so much fun for both of us, and like all great fun, was free. 

What activities are you planning for this summer? 

Friday
Apr182014

Creating Special Memories on a Budget

We are headed into the Easter weekend, which for me is an incredible time of worship and reflection upon the what my Savior has done for me. 

It is also a time of family, food and fun. We all want to create memories with our families during special times like this. I want to encourage you that memory making doesn't have to be expensive, in fact it doesn't have to cost anything!

Our family has committed to living a frugal and debt free life, and while I LOVE spending time with my kids and husband, I am not going to pressure myself into thinking spending time is spending money.

In fact, at my house, one of our favorite weekend activities is sitting on our front porch and waving at the cars as they drive by. My 2-year-old and I count the number of people who wave back, or better yet, toot their horn. 

It's really dorky, but it's sweet, simple, fun and free. 

So this Easter weekend we are keeping it simple while we enjoy family and going to church. 

We're going to play outside. Since it's Easter have an Easter egg hunt. I picked up some eggs at the Dollar Tree. I don't even fill them, I just hide them in the yard and Ry has the best time finding them. Then he "hides" them and I find them. 

We're going to laugh together. These little years can be tough, but they are so filled with joy. 

We are going to remember the season. My children are still so little that their comprehension of Easter is limited, but that doesn't stop us from talking about it. 

I found this great printable of ideas from Happy Home Fairy and we've had fun coloring, singing and playing games. 

Here are some free Easter basket ideas for young and older children!

How are you spending your Easter weekend? 

Thursday
Apr032014

Easy homemade baby food recipes 

Issie has at such a fun age. He is trying to walk, he laughs at everything and he is having a great time trying new foods. 

Seriously- look at those fat little short legs! 

 

A few months back I won a Baby Bullet (disclosure policy) from the awesome, awesome, awesome ladies of What's Up Mom's

I made baby food when Ry was a baby, but I used just my ordinary blender, which was hard to clean and had a lot of parts. But this baby bullet- man, it's a game changers. 

So Issie and I thought we would share some of our favorite baby food recipes. 

1. Bananas and Homemade Yogurt - I used one ripe banana and a half cup of yogurt. You can find my homemade yogurt recipe here, but store bought yogurt is perfect as well. 

I just put it all in the blender and blend until smooth. It's usually pretty liquidy so I either pour it in a sippy cup or thicken it with baby oatmeal. 

2. Spinach and apple sauce. Issie loves homemade apple sauce, he would eat apple sauce all day if I let him. But I do worry he isn't getting enough iron since he is still breastfed. So I throw some spinach in there with the apple sauce and he is good to go. He loves it. (That's what he is eating in the photo up there!) 

3. Green baby smoothie. This sort of combines the two recipes above.

I use one ripe banana, a handful of fresh spinach, some yogurt and a little breast milk or formula. I throw it all in the blender. 
If your child has lactose sensitivity and you don't want to use yogurt you can omit the yogurt completely an use a frozen banana and dilute it with a little water. You could also use coconut milk, almond milk or soy milk. And there is also kefir, which is lactose free.

 

4. Quinoa and blueberries. Okay, I know this sounds strange, but I promise babies love it. I use a cup prepared organic quinoa and some frozen organic blueberries, steamed. 

Then I combine them in the bullet with a little breast milk. 

I actually saw some quinoa and blueberry pouches at my local Target for $1.50 each. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? That's highway robbery. 

 

I purchased some of these BooginHead pouches from Amazon and I reused them over and over. (Affiliate link, here is my disclosure policy.)

Have you made your own baby food? It's so easy and will save you so much money!