Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Questions to Ask Grandparents Journal

I have the extreme fortune of having all four of my wonderful grandparents alive and well. They are some of the most incredible people I have ever met, and my life has been so blessed as a result of them and all that they have taught me. The stories that they have shared with me over the years are those of love, strife, perseverance and family. In order to ensure that I remember their stories long after they are gone and can share them with my children and my children's children, I have put together journals filled with questions that I had my grandparents each fill out (note: you could definitely complete the journal in an interview fashion where you write in the answers, but there is something about seeing my grandparents' handwriting that I truly will cherish forever).

I gathered some questions from various suggestions online, along with information I knew I wanted to gain more specific to my grandparents. Here is the list the questions I put together...

What is your birthdate/place?

What is your mother's full name? What are some details about her?

What is your father's full name? What are some details about him?

What are the names of your siblings?

What is your family origin?

What was/is your favorite color?

What were some of your activities in childhood?

Did you have any pets? What were they?

What were/are your hobbies then and now?

Where did you grow up?

What was your education?

What did you want to be when you grew up?

What are some of the jobs you've had?

How did the two of you meet?

When were you engaged? How did the proposal happen?

When were you married? Where? What was the wedding like?

Where was your honeymoon?

What countries have you visited?

Did you spend any time in the military?

What are your favorite foods?

What is your fondest memory of childhood?

What was life like when you were growing up?

What was your favorite toy to play with as a child?

How much did things cost when you were growing up?

Were you named after anyone?

What inventions do you remember growing up?

What did your parents do for a living?

How did you determine the names of your children?

As you look back on your life, what significant world events do you remember most?

What advice to you have to give to future generations?

My intent is to eventually copy these answers into a photo book, along with pics of my grandparents from birth to present for a family keepsake.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Number Recognition and Counting Activities

It is so hard to believe that we are half way through summer break (at least over here in Pennsylvania)! Prepare your little ones for their upcoming preschool and early elementary years using these fun and simple ways to identify numbers, put them in order, and begin to count!
Label Legos with numbers 1-20 (or as high as your little munchkins can go) and have your child stack them in order!
Use a cookie sheet (aka-instant magnet board) and write numbers 1-10 using a permanent marker. Match magnetic numbers found at your nearest dollar store with the written numbers for number id fun!
Use any type of envelopes labeled with numbers 1-10 to have your child count the correct number of popsicle sticks to place inside them!
Use a basic sorting tray marked with various numbers and encourage your child to sort index cards by number.

Activities like these are perfect for summer learning, as they are so simple to put together and super quick and fun for munchkins to complete that they won't even realize they're educational! Happy rest of summer!!!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Elmo Birthday Party

My baby girl is 2!!! How did that even happen?!?! When people tell you to cherish every moment because children grow up so quickly, I don't think I ever realized just how true that statement was until I had a child of my own! In celebration of the big day, we held a big, Elmo-themed party for family and friends in my mom's backyard. Here are some of the fun pics and projects created for the party...

The cake table, complete with delicious Elmo cake, party hats, piñata, favor bags and candy boxes

My sweet, birthday girl! I created an iron-on transfer that was placed onto a shirt she already had and added a cute little fabric flower for extra flair!

My husband won me this ginormous Elmo at Cedar Point when we were dating, so I decided to use it to welcome guests to the party!

Looove this Elmo wreath! Check out the tutorial to make one for yourself HERE!

A family friend created this absolutely adorable Elmo cake, which was devoured by party guests!

If I had a nickel for every white and orange circle I cut out in preparation for this party...haha! I added them to red bags I found at the Dollar Tree for favor bags...

...and these birthday hats, which were regular hats found at the Dollar Tree and covered in red construction paper...

...and this game of "Pin the Nose on the Elmo"...

...and these red cups!!!

Party City sells this adorable, pull-string, Elmo piñata---way more appropriate for a two-year-old's party than the typical whack-and-grab type!

The kiddos had a great time taking turns pulling the strings, beginning with the youngest first!

Chowing down on her birthday grub and modeling her Elmo hair clip, made using felt and pinking shears, google eyes and black, paint pen.

Love this little munchkin sooooo much! Bring on the terrible two's!!!!!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Elmo Birthday Wreath

In honor of my sweet munchkin's 2nd birthday party that we celebrated on Saturday (her big day is Tuesday, July 1st), I would love to be able to post complete party decòr and all of the themed paraphernalia used...but, quite frankly, I am just too stinking tired.! I promise I will post everything soon, but for now...enjoy the Elmo wreath I created to welcome guests to her (obviously) Elmo-themed party!


-1 1/2 rolls of red mesh ribbon
-wire wreath form
-GIANT google eyes
-orange felt
-10-12" of black ribbon (enough that it reaches from one side of the wreath to the other with some slack to form the mouth)
-wooden number (mine was 2", although I now wish I had used a larger size)
-washi tape
-leftover black ribbon or a 6" piece of ribbon
-glue gun/sticks


1. Weave mesh ribbon through the wreath form. Check out this awesome tutorial to see how!

2. Hot glue google eyes to the top of the wreath

3. Cut orange felt into a large circle and hot glue below the eyes, overlapping them slightly to get the "Elmo" effect

4. Glue long piece of ribbon on both ends and stretch from one end of the wreath (toward the bottom) to the other, giving some slack in the middle to make it look like a smile.

5. Wrap wooden number in washi tape and add a bow to the top. Glue the number to the wreath.

Happy 2nd birthday to my sweet Claire! Stay tuned for a birthday giveaway rolling out tomorrow!!!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Fourth of July Round-Up

Get your sparklers, grills, and picnic tables ready, folks! Independence Day is one week from today! Allow me to assist you in getting pumped up for the big day. The amazing Michele, of Shelstring Blog has put together a spectacular display of Fourth of July-inspired decòr, DIY projects, and food! Check them all out (the "Let Freedom Ring" printable was made by yours truly) and have a wonderful and safe Fourth of July holiday, everyone! God Bless America!!!

To start out, how about an example of an inviting front porch all decked out in our nations colors ?
Go check out Our Family Inspired Home for the details

Here is the ultimate stars and bunting banner to give an instantly festive look to any space. See how Karen put it all together at Dragonfly and Lily Pads
Going to be doing some grilling? My mouth is watering just looking at these delicious glazed fiery mango  shish-kabobs over at The Housewife in Training Files
How about getting a little more personal by marking your state on this patriotic wooden sign map by   Un-origional Mom 

Doesn't this beautifully arranged wreath just make you feel like you can almost breathe the air and feel the breeze of the sea? Made by The Silly Pearl

Here is the perfect centerpiece for the porch or, I'm thinking, the table by Written Reality
Written Reality has also made life simple by showing us how to make a reversable wreath that you can enjoy for the holiday, then flip around to celebrate summer. So clever!

This red, white and blue jello dessert looks like the perfect tasty treat by Koti Beth at 
Here is an all time favorite pinterest project of mine that I hope to do myself someday. See how Heather at Southern State of Mind adds a beautiful nautical twist to her Pallet American Flag.
No round-up would be complete without a project using book pages. Try making this festive 4th of July book page wreath over at 
Need to pull together a quick centerpiece? Use items you have around the house to make this 5 minute summer floral arrangement by Being Bianca
Have a table that needs some jazzing up? Run over and imitate this beautifully refinished Navy and White Striped Table over at Restoration Redoux

And talk about the perfect cool, no fail treat to enjoy. I'm sure you won't have leftovers from this  alluring treat by Crafts a la Mode

This Captain America Romper will be the envy of every little boy! Learn how to make it at 
I love a great chevron project. Add some fun pinwheels to a wreath for a fun spin, also at 
This tasty patriotic pudding parfait will also make an impressive display once again at the busy Mom blog, My Mom Made That
Word art is inspiring with it's familiar phrase all on it's own, why not put them on bottles you have on hand and make it extra impressive by following along at 
Ready for an easy project ready in no time flat? Click over and take advantage of this beautiful "Let Freedom Ring" printable over at HoyBy Crafts
Everyone who knows me is aware of my love for the rustic, so when I first saw this clever rustic flag my jaw just dropped. Learn how simple it was to make at House of Hawthornes
And finally, some of you may recognize this quilted flag wall hanging that was a lot simpler to make than it looks here at Shelstring
How's that for inspiration? I hope you found something that sparked your creative energies. The best about 4th of July projects is that they can be enjoyed throughout the year. 
Have a wonderfully creative 4th of July!