Halloween DIY craft – Día de Muertos themed painted skulls

It’s halloween and while we have painted and glittered our share of pumpkins, Lily and I decided to do a little something different this season.

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We picked up cardboard skulls from Michaels Arts and Crafts and glittered a few but also gave some the Día de Muertos treatment. Día de Muertos. or Day of the Dead is a mexican holiday which is observered on Nov 1st and is a celebration of family and freinds who have died.

This is also celebrated in other cultures but I love the colors and design and kitchy factor that comes with Día de Muertos.

This is a super simple Halloween craft for kids and adults, while also being educational. So let’s get to it.

You will need:

  • Cardboard Skulls
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Paint brushes especailly tiny detailed bristles brushes
  • Glitter paint
  • Martha Stewart Liquid Gilding in gold

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DIY_Halloween.JPGSteps:

  1. Give your cardboard skull a full coat of paint. You can give it a double coat if you need.
  2. Start your detailed painting. I looked at images related to Día de Muertos and took inspiration and went for it.
  3. Martha Stewarts Liquid Gilding in Gold is one of my most fave paints ever! It gives a really shiny gold-like color and blings up your skull.
  4. After you have finished painting your skull, let it dry and then add a coat of the glitter paint on top of everything. The new York Mom.JPG

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The New York Mom.JPGSince this is acrylic paint, everything dries really quickly. like in minutes.

Done! That’s it!

These are super easy to make and the end result is really impressive don’t ya think!

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Enjoy! and be sure to share your painted skulls with me.

 

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Spring Flowers – Upcycled Craft for Preschoolers

Spring Upcycled Craft- The New York Mom

Happy First Day of SPRING everyone!!! We have been cusy making some Easter and spring crafts!

After a fairly short but cold winter, I am ready for flip-flops, flowers and dresses without boots!

There is still snow on the ground from the big snow storm last week… but we can hear the constant drip drip drip of the snow melting away as fast as it can to welcome SPRING!

The birds have been out and we even spotted a few young cardinals this morning.

Spring Upcycled Craft- The New York Mom

Thomas and I decided to welcome the season with one of our favorite upcycled crafts. Flowers! This project is so easy to do and the end result is seriously the cutest thing ever. There are also no rules to this project, you can paint, decoupage, glitter…whatever you find in your craft stash.

You need:

  • Cardboard Egg Carton
  • Scissors
  • Paint
  • Pipe cleaners – for stems
  • Stickers, glitter and anything else you want to add.

Next cut out the egg carton in individual sections.

Then start painting!!

Once you have painted them let them dry and once dry, poke a little hole right through the center of your cut out egg carton section. Weave a pipe cleaner through it… we choose glitter because it’s the best… and you are good to go!

Spring Upcycled Craft- The New York Mom

For bonus points, you can find an empty tin can and add stickers or paint to embellish it up.

Spring Upcycled Craft- The New York Mom

And that’s it! We love this craft, it’s also perfect for Mother’s Day. (HINT)

Thomas loves this craft and we do find ourselves making it pretty often. Next time we are going to collect all the googly eyes we can find and stick them on our flowers!

Happy Spring you guys! I am ready for the warmer weather and excited about the newness of the season!

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Art for Social Change -Upcycled DIY – Love Wins

When things get tough… we make art. This is the way of the word right? Art heals, The act of creating something is a powerful practice that often times goes neglected when layered deep underneath the stresses of daily life.  As a dancer… movement was my voice, and so is visual art. When stressed, I make art, when feeling hopeless, I make art and these days.. when feeling angry, sad, disgusted by the daily reports from our political “leaders”… I make art. So here ya have it – Art for Social Change -Upcycle DIY – Love Wins!

The kids are feeling this vibe as well. and I’m sure your kids are restless because the words and information they hear at school are not the full story.  I have been arming my 11YO – Lily- with FACTS.  Give them the facts… that is their armor… and ours against the “alternate facts’ people.

OMG, anyway… before I get on my soap box… let me actually tell you what we are doing here today.

The kids and I created an upcycled project to put more good and love into the world.

WE DO NOT SUPPORT this Muslim Ban. How in the world do you rejected an entire group/religion of people.

Again… I digress!

My gosh… let’s put some love into the world. Love and love and love. Let’s remind each other that in the end… LOVE WINS. LOVE is going to WIN!

Here is a quick little DIY for you to do with your kids, family, friends and community. Spread the love. Hang this little sign on trees in your neighborhood, place it in coffee shops and anywhere you want to spread the love.

…and remember… there are MORE OF US!

What You Need:

  • Cardboard – Cereal boxes will do just fine.
  • Paint
  • Wire or thread
  • Beads
  • Love for your fellow humans!

  • Cut up your cardboard into little squares.
  • Paint hearts on the squares.
  • Write a message in a contrasting color.
  • Create hanging handle loop with beads for extra flair.

Hang on trees, walls, coffee shops, libraries or where ever you feel like you want to hang it.

And always remember… that LOVE WILL WIN!

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D.I.Y. Upcycled Winter Snowflakes

​​Just because the Christmas season is over doesn’t mean that winter is over. Here in New York… winter is JUST beginning! We had a light dusting of snow today but most of the ponds have a decent layer of ice, the kids and I have been getting out ice skating, sledding, snow ball fight gear ready.

Believe it or not we craft in this house all day and erryday! This week we worked on one of my most favorite crafts ever! Paper Snowflake garlands. This is the best little winter snow day crafting activity and honestly. you don’t even have to do it with kids!!! I did some of this last night while watching “The Crown” on Netflix.

( The Crown) which BTW i highly recommend. yes its a bit slow… for our fast food media brains. But it’s really great acting and script and all those people are still alive!

Anyway… i digress. back to my Upcycled Snowflake Craft.

OK So first … do you get TONS of junk mail in your real life street address mailbox? yes, you do. Look at those envelopes… on the inside of those envelopes live gorgeous patterns to hide your secret info. Don’t throw those away because those gorgeous prints make for the perfect craft!!!

Lily and I discovered this ages ago and used to love to open junk mail just to discover the patterns. The BLUE ones are kinda rare but the RED patterns are super rare!!!

Thomas and I created a few snowflakes this week and I took the project over and made it a full decor thing.

Happy winter everyone… here is to 2 possible 3 freezing months!!! and hoping for lots and lots of snow days!!!

The details:

Your Supplies:

  • junk mail envelopes
  • thread
  • glue
  • a snowflake craft punch ( i should have already had an amazon affiliate account so I can make some money while you all go out and buy this! – but I encourage you to donate a portion of your AMAZON purchase to a worthy cause – the arts, health, science, environent, education.)

I made this funky video about the craft that will certainly help visual learners like myself. Excuse the reflective image of me in the upground… i’m getting there!

Steps… so easy!

  • Collect your junk mail envelopes
  • open them up to reveal the gorgeous patterns
  • use your snowflake craft punch to punk out the snowflake
  • glue two sides together around the thread
  • and keep going
  • done and done

So easy… so simple and it’s a great way to welcome the winter season.

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Craft Kits for Tweens and Teens

Craft Kits for Tweens and Teens
It’s almost time to have all your presents neatly wrapped under the tree. Are you done with all your shopping?? We aren’t! Thomas is super easy to shop for. As a newly minted 4-year-old, he loves anything and everything! Dinosaurs, Superheros, trains, trucks and paints.
Lily being a tween is tougher to shop for. As kids get older the choices dwindle down and gifting is a challenge.
I have found a few crafting lines that are perfect for the tween and teen set. They offer really unique craft kits like – foosball table kits or dream catchers and even a DIY speakers kit.
Here is a great list of 6 Craft Kits for Tweens and Teens.

This is a great gift for older kids. When finished this is one fully functioning foosball table!! Super fun!

Ukulele Kit Kid Made Modern
kidmademodern.com
For the music lover in your home, The Ukulele Kit from Kid Made Modern is a MUST. This kit comes with glitter stickers, paint and everything you need to make and decorate your Ukulele.

This dream catcher kit is easy to follow and comes with feathers, beads and the pom poms. This makes for very cool room decor.

Jam out to your music with speakers you made yourself! This kit comes with foldable speakers, paints stickers and basically everything for you to create you jammin boom box!

Journal Kit Kid Made Modern
kidmademodern.com
If you have a tween or teen you know that journaling is total THING! This journal kit includes a 250 page book paints, stickers, glitter tape and more. It’s a one stop journaling shop!

I have been a loyal follower of Handmade Charlotte and not their craft kits are available at Michaels Arts and Crafts. These unique crafts include everything from chandeliers, to framed art.
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Kid Made Modern – Craft Kits For All Ages

We’ve had a few snowy days up here in the suburbs of NYC and I for one love it. Snow days force us to slow down and take in the season. The kids are home from school and we spend our snowy days baking and crafting. ( in between the yelling and fit throwing) keepin it real yall!

We’ve been working with Kid Made Modern and testing out a few of their crafty kits and I have to report… we love them.What makes Kid Made Modern stand out from other craft kits is their attention to detail, their modern designs and the sense of unique whimsy.

This Winter WonderLand Kit was my favorite to work on. After the kids were in bed after a long day in the snow and friends coming over, I settled by the fire-place and caught up on my latest Netflix binge while painting away. I stayed fairly true to the shapes and tried my best to paint them in as they look, but Thomas, upon seeing them the next day, wanted to douse all the pieces in glitter! A kid after my own glitter lovin heart. Maybe they need an makeover!

While you are busy running around purchasing your Christmas gifts, I would like to suggest a crafty kit from Kid Made Modern. You can find a great selection at Target. We especially love the massive Arts and Crafts Library that comes with everything your little crafty heart desires! There are also gem shaped crayons, or the Ukulele Kit

Long after the holiday season is over… we still have a few months of winter! Making something fun and creating art is our go to boredom buster! You can swing by KID MADE MODERN to pick up a few sets of your own or swing by your local Target to grab them asap!

Happy Holidays everyone!!

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How to Create a Bullet Journal

 

One of the ways or probably THE way that I keep on top of things is my Bullet Journal. This is basically a journal that’s having an identity crisis and wants to be a journal, sketchbook, calendar, notepad… all in one! And that’s totally fine… we don’t have to be just one thing and neither does your journal.

If you read the last post on – Bullet Journal Essentials – then you have all your supplies.

I’m giving you a very tame version on how to get started because this can be super overwhelming if you just go for the gold right from the beginning. So like most things in life… take it slow and steady.

The first thing you want to do is start an index page – this index page is an ever-changing page as you add pages to your bullet journal. I just have the basics. I like to have a few reference pages right up front so i can access it easily. You can always add-on weekly calendars as you go. Just make sure to write down the page number so you can find it easily. *Note how the gel pen bleeds if you get impatient and don’t let it dry.*

My first page is the Birthday Page – It makes me happy, and reminds me of all these amazing people in my world. You can chart out your birthday page anyway you like… of course I created a dancer holding balloons.. from the looks of it.. my dancer has a little too much to drink the night before. Girl take it easy!

My Birthday Page is followed by an “important dates” page – Again this is your ‘year at a glance’ for important dates like spring break, holidays, travel dates, anniversaries…etc.

Next is a quick glance of the year ahead.

After this… you can go rogue with the way you want to put your journal together. Have a sketch page, idea page… whatever. I have a GOALS PAGE – and add to this anytime I have a new goal that comes to mind.

A MUST is your weekly calendar. This acts as my to-do list, meal planner, agenda and family tracker. Each family member gets a color- Lily is blue, Thomas Pink, I’m green and Matt is orange. This way you stay consistent through the year and don’t have to write names by tasks… etc.

That’s where I’m stopping for today. Let’s revisit this again and see what other pages you have added. There are tons of ideas on organizing and inspiring your life and we can add pages to get you there. The bullet journal is my go-to for everyday sanity!

Ok so here’s what… while my bullet journal looks like gel pens threw up all over the pages… Matt has a bullet journal going too and his has ONLY ONE COLOR!! and NO Doodles!! what!! I’ll share his with you soon so you can get an idea of the practical process as well.

I just love that my doodles and stationary habit has a place to live happily!

I would LOOOVE to see your bullet journals… please share!

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Bullet Journal Essentials

Bullet-Journal-Essentials- The-New-York-Mom
Be still my stationary loving heart!
Bullet journals are the big thing in pop culture right now and me and my Moleskine, gel pens and oodles of doodles are only too happy to shed some light about this journaling and organizing trend.
What is a Bullet Journal? It’s basically a notebook that you create that helps you track and organize your entire life. Pages of the journals include notes, dates, schedules, lists, to-do, goals, health all of it. It’s a sketch book, diary, address book, calendar and anything that need pen and paper. You can decorate your journal, you can embellish it with stickers or you can just bullet your thoughts down.
I’m working on a great new post about how to start your bullet journal. I can’t wait to share! But before you start your bullet journal… you need your supplies. Best part of any project… supplies. Crafting a bullet journal is really any stationary lovers dream!
  • First you will need a Notebook – I love the Moleskin Dotted Notebook.  You can choose the size of your notebook to fit your everyday lifestyle. I get the medium Moleskin Dotted Notebook – the small is too small for my entries and the large is too big for my bag!
  • The Faber Castell PITT Artist Pen is my absolute favorite for everyday writing. It has a gorgeous black india ink with a pointy tip and the ink dries so fast that it will not bleed through your thin moleskin pages. Get this pen!
  • Gel Yeah! – Grab some gel pens to decorate your bullet journals. Ok fine, this is where you can take creative liberty and skip the gel pen thing all together but then you won’t have neon gel pen details! I like the gel pens because it helps me categorize things – family lists, health lists, work…etc. So get the gel pens.
  • A metal ruler. – metal – not plastic. So much of bullet journaling is just a routine and ritual and you want good stuff to make it feel like a ritual and routine. So get a 6-inch stainless steel ruler.
  • Washi Tape – Maybe kinda like the neon gel pens… not REALLY necessary but oh so fun and colorful. Your journal will look like candy! I like the washi tape for headers and side notes or to ear mark important pages. Get the washi tape. You can grab any color you choose not just the crazy ones I like.
  • Finally – Stickers and Stencils! Ok fine… you don’t need the stickers but I usually have ‘event stickers’ that help me remember birthdays, grocery stuff, invoice days… etc. Stencils help me create headers with ease.
That’s it… you are ready to start your bullet journal. Go out and get your supplies and meet me back here later this week to start your journal. I’ll give you step by step notes on how to get yours set up. Don’t forget neon gel pens and stickers!
Yaay!
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HGTV Blogger Block Party! YOU are invited!

 

I’m thrilled to partner up with HGTV Magazine to invite YOU to the HGTV Blogger Block Party! I’m SUCH a fan of everything HGTV – all their home reno’s, DIY tips and tricks and house hunting shows. You know we just moved to our new house in the NYC suburbs and HGTV Magazine has been our go to resources for everything house!

So all you Makers, Design Lovers, DIYers… get ready! On August 22nd HGTV Magazine is having their 3rd annual Blogger Block Party and they want YOU to attend and be part of the fun. This all- day event is for you Makers and DIYers to meet your favorite HGTV celebs. There are tons of live demonstrations during the day and interactive participation opps!

The lineup is pretty exciting with appearances  by HGTV Magazine editor in chief Sara Peterson, Emily Henderson, John & Sherry Petersik of Young House Love, Genevieve Gorder, and Rachel Faucett of Handmade Charlotte!   Event Address: 404 10th Avenue, New York City Event Date & Time: August 22, 2016 at 12:00 pm – 8 pm Make sure to RSVP!!!

Here is YOUR personal invite… from me to you! Hope to can make it on August 22!!

http://www.hgtvmagonline.com/events

Thank you to HGTV Magazine for kindly sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own. #ad

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Cleaning Tips for NYC Apartment Dwellers

Summer is a time to hit a great big REFRESH button. The kids are out of school, we have summer Friday half days at work, people are on vacation and relaxed and things are just chill. When September hits… it’s game time. Fall season brings the activities in full overdrive – back to school, holiday parties, deadlines, end of the year recaps, new years… and you know how the rest goes… until summer again. So take time off this summer to do a full clean and purge of your stuff. Get rid of it, clean, and hit the REFRESH button. If you are like us… kids, work, life, adventure, giant beast… you need some help! And hiring someone to help you clean and stay on top of things is a great option for many busy families like ours. I’ve got some great cleaning tips for New York City apartment dwellers to fit your lifestyle!

The New York Mom

I’ve partnered with Busy Bee Cleaning Service to bring you some expert tips. Busy Bee offers commercial cleaning as well as residential cleaning services. All their employees have had extensive background checks and are trained to fit your exact needs. This service is specific to NYC residents and businesses.

This post is sponsored by Busy Bee Cleaning Service.

busy-bee

Sure we all clean our bathroom, but how often do you de-calcify your shower head? I didn’t even know that was a thing!  You clean your kitchen, but how often do you scrub those cabinets?Your small apartment can get overwhelmed with stuff easily… Busy Bee Cleaning Service can help.

You may not think anyone cares as long as the place is tidy, but those little details can make the difference between looking like you live in a small, cramped space and presenting your guests with a hip urban hideaway. Here are a few tips to help you tackle cleaning like a boss.

First, the checklist:

Summer time cleaning is the perfect time to take on tasks you just forget about when you’re just trying to tidy up and get your dishes done. Here are some of the tasks you should be thinking about with apartment cleaning:

• Remove stains on all faucets and shower heads.
• Clean cabinets, inside and out.
• Clean your hairbrushes and combs.
• Scrub down your bathroom tile and grout.
• Clean out your microwave.
• Clean your blinds or your curtains.
• Wipe down your walls and ceilings.
• Rent a carpet cleaner, or hire a carpet cleaning company.
• Clean your window screens.
• Dust your art and/or photographs.
• Take your books off your bookshelves. Dust them.
• Clean your oven, fridge, and dishwasher. 
• Clean your small appliances, like your toaster.
• Clean your baseboards.
• Give your furniture a good, thorough dusting or upholstery cleaning.
• Get all the dust out of your computer, and clean your keyboard.

Invest in great cleaning products.

While you’re doing your day to day cleaning you can get by with that knock-off, ubiquitous lemon cleaner. But right now you’re cleaning, so go all-out. Go ahead and replace those old sponges, rags, and scrubbers. Get a new broom and dustpan. Pick up some tools you might have fun using.

 Then, get really good, high-quality, powerful cleaning solutions that smell nice. This will mean your entire apartment gains a pleasant scent that you’ll really enjoy. You can also make these yourself, if you’re so inclined: baking soda, lemon, and vinegar are all extremely powerful cleaning solutions in their own right.  

In fact, it’s a good idea to do a really deep clean once per season. “Spring cleaning” brings images of opening all the windows and airing out your home while you break out the rug beater, but that’s not the reality for most NYC apartment dwellers.

You don’t have to do it all at once.

Tempted to just give up and watch some Netflix after reading the checklist above?  Getting overwhelmed is normal, but you don’t have to give in.

Instead, there’s nothing wrong with spreading out your  cleaning tasks over the course of a week or two. Assign yourself one or two tasks each day. Monday could be the day you go around scrubbing all your faucets and cleaning all your cabinets. Tuesday you could take on your microwave, stove, and dishwasher. By chunking it down into smaller tasks you’re a lot more likely to get the job done. 

Declutter, declutter, declutter.

This is a wonderful time to get rid of stuff you just don’t need. Sell it, give it away, or throw it away, but don’t keep it. The more you have the harder it is to organize a smaller space. Even Martha Stewart would struggle to keep four closet’s worth of items organized within a single closet.

Mindfully choose the things that you will live with every single day. As a bonus, this task makes it a lot easier to keep your home clean during the year, too.

Freshen up the décor. 

This is part motivation and part cleaning task. If your décor is boring and bland then this is the perfect time to step up your game. Get a new couch cover. Pick up some bright new throw pillows. Get rid of those mismatched old lamps and update your apartment’s look by buying a new set of decorative lamps that really speak to your personality.

You don’t have to go overboard here. Few people have the budget to simply give themselves a full, show-room ready apartment overhaul in a single month. However, even a few small changes can make you feel a lot more comfortable in your living space.

Get help if you have to! 

We’re all busy, and most people aren’t trained cleaning professionals. If you know you’d rather have a root canal than engage in any kind of spring cleaning activity, then you have an alternative. Get a quote for a quarterly cleaning service and find a company who will come in and take care of those deep cleans for you. Save up for them if you have to. Getting help is a great way to treat yourself.

Swing by BUSY BEE to learn more and get your apartment clean and shiny!

This post is sponsored by Busy Bee. All opinions are mine. Thanks so much for swinging by and checking out my sponsors. Happy Summer! 

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