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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STRONG LIKE MOM

#StronglikeMom
Guess what we found at Target yesterday! These super cute shirts that read… STRONG LIKE MOM.

I am SUCH a fan of the new Cat and Jack line at Target. The clothes are totally on trend for kids with great graphic tees. I grabbed one of these shirts for Thomas this past week and he wore it to school today! When he asked what was written on his shirt, i said – STRONG LIKE MOM. And he immediately showed me his strong muscles… like mom!

The Strong Like Mom phrase is significant because it has an empowering message. Words have power and attaching words like strong to women changes the overall social dialogue about women and girls. I don’t want to get into any gender specific debates but I do appreciate this word ” STRONG” when used to describe us… moms!

Usually I see words like  sweet and beautiful and pretty when referring to campy phrases about Moms. While words like “strong” are saved for the Dads. These words are so important, especially these days where the sexist divide is so deep.

Thomas thinks I’m the strongest person he’s ever met. We call ourselves ‘The Fast Guys”…. we break all the rules! He has even changed the words to “Bob the Builder’ to sing – ‘Mommy, Mommy, can she fix it. Mommy, Mommy yes she can’ ! 

This is awesome!!!  Go grab yours at Target before they are gone!!

 

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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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Little Messes, Big Lives

Glitter glue marks are all over my freshly cleaned bathroom faucets. I look in the tub and there are little globs of slime, putty or whatever other science project is going on. In the kitchen there is Kinetic Sand all over the floor by the toy kitchen. Paint splatter adorns the side of the wall in another corner and something odd is growing on the kitchen window sill… could be a crystal, a borax project or a fairy garden with fungus. The little space between our kitchen cabinets and the floor plays host to dinosaurs, hot wheels and a myriad of tiny toys, I almost trip on a skateboard as I try to head out the door, the family room is cluttered with an unfinished puzzle, paper boats, Lego set that might get done soon, trains, marble runs and homemade putty or slime. Under the sheets of my bed, at any given moment, lives a dinosaur, a toy rat or a choo choo that “needs his mommy’.

This is our messy life.

In a particular moment of clarity – rare, very rare moment of clarity, I realized that these little messes all over the house are actually great big signs of a life well lived.

I get really teary when I think about the kids growing up. I love them being who they are right now in this time and space and I love how they interact with me, each other and the world around them. I love that every single one of our bathrooms is a fully functioning science lab with something growing, bubbling or waiting to hatch at all times. I love the neon pink glitter Kinetic Sand all over the kitchen floor because that was actually the food being made for the mermaids or some such tale.

I love it.

Yes, there are days where these messes only add to the clutter in my mind, the stress of raising a toddler and a tween, the fog of the life you are in when raising young kids, being in jobs where you are not valued for your worth… and it’s part of the daily never-ending routine of this messy life. Yes, I have those days. But then within the moments of clarity, I realize that my little messes are really signs of big lives being lived out loud.

These messes are short-lived. I am not looking forward to the days without science experiments in my bathroom, without putty and slime bowls on every surface, and days where conversations with dinosaurs are not a priority.

Hold em tight you guys… it really does go by too fast.

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#YouthMarchTogether

#YouthMarchTogetherLike many of you, we, in this house, are feeling out of sorts and at times hopeless. This is something that our kids perceive and understand. The question I have myself as a mom is, do I want my kids to think that hopelessness wins or do I give them some tools for not just coping, but for being part of a movement that stands for something different.
What kids really need to know now…

they need to know they are Safe

they need to know they are Loved

they need to know they are Accepted

they need to know that GOOD WINS

Kids need hope, they want to be involved, and kids need concrete action. I’ve been going back and forth about how Lily, my 11 YO, can feel involved in this current climate. She feels the unease and asks questions, observes harsh words being tossed around at her school and wants to do something. But what?


Your news feed is being filled with plans of people who will march this weekend, in DC, in NYC, in states all across this country. Some of us won’t be able to make these marches and most kids won’t be there. So how do kids, our youth, who are so very effected by this electoral outcome and the conflicting environment, how do our youth participate in this, how do they get involved?

I suggest a project.

This is for our youth. YOU are the future change-makers, YOU will make a difference, YOU will ensure that kindness and good will win and YOUR VOICE is POWER!

To YOU marching this weekend… our kids, young people, our youth stand with YOU… the millions marching this weekend… we stand with you and this is how we will show our support.


Use the reach of social media to get the message out. I encourage you to write #YouthMarchTogether on the palm of your hand and share an image via your social channels.

Tag @YouthMarchTogether on Insta!

We are all in this TOGETHER. We MARCH forward TOGETHER.

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New Year, Clean Home

Photo Via Unsplash

I love to start off the new year with a clean house, clean inbox, clean closet… just a nice fresh start. The freshness of the new year gives me permission to delete things, toss clothes, items, clutter and do a deep clean.

We’ve had a few gorgeous snow days here in New York and I took full advantage of being stuck inside and … cleaned!

I have a few simple tips to get your house in tip-top shape for the what the new year brings… these tips are especially great if you have a giant dog that sheds everywhere!

  1. Bedroom – Clean sheets on all the beds and as a bonus, I like to buy new pillows for all the beds… your pillows have been on the bed for 12 months. Time to change them.
  2. Wash your shower curtain, bath mats, and all towels – bath, kitchen, bar and guest towels. Throw out your shower liner and bathmats. Just throw them away. Don’t bother washing them.
  3. Clean your baseboards – it really makes a difference. I use a dryer sheet to get rid of the static dog hair and them wipe down with a wash cloth and warm water.
  4. Clean out your car. Do it… start anew!! You can do this yourself or treat your car to a yearly full-detail at your local car wash.
  5. Vacuum. Dedicate a half day to moving furniture, taking cushions off couches, getting behind and under things and vacuum the entire house. Good luck!
  6. Wipe down your light switch plates and doors. Have you noticed how dirty they get. Our doors are all white and so are out light switch plates… filthy little dirty finger marks all over these surfaces. A simple dishcloth and warm water does the trick… or you can use a disinfectant spray.
  7. Drop a few drops of a lavender, lemon or jasmine oil on your heater coils to let the scent drift throughout the house.
  8. Clean out the fridge. I found a nasty tub of rice pudding from last summer deep in there. Clean that out, start the new year with a shiny fridge!
  9. Deep clean your kitchen… the heart of the house. Spend an entire day scrubbing this room down. All appliances, floor, stack of clutter papers in the corner…get this done!
  10. Plant some flowers or succulents. Fill the bird feeders. Start the new year with new life and nature.

Happy 2017 everyone!

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Happy Birthday Jonah

“Once you have had a wonderful dog, a life without one, is a life diminished.”

Dean Koontz

My sweet Jonah turned 8 this week. The kids and I haven’t had a party for him yet… although everyday in this house seems to be a party…. that I’m always crashing! We are planning a weekend party with homemade doggies treats and kiddie treats.

Jonah is my sweet baby boy. He’s my constant. Dogs are pretty amazing people and I am pretty sure we have the best one of all.

Our daily routine is pretty much the same , the days I’m home.

//We are all up so very early in the morning and Jonah is right there in the midst of it all, having his breakfast, giving out morning kisses, chasing out whatever animal has been resting overnight in the yard and sending everyone off for the day. When things settle down – Lily is off at 6:45am – he immediately hops on her bed for his morning nap. //Next it’s Thomas turn to get out the door – 9am drop off. Thomas has second breakfast… and so does Jonah. Thomas usually drops a few bits of food here and there and Jonah is ready and willing to clean it up. After Thomas is dropped off… he hops on Thomas bed for his second nap of the morning. I settle into work or head off to the local coffee shop to get things done. When I return… he’s on my bed part two of his second nap. //We usually snuggle in the mid morning, he lies on my legs or leans his head on my shoulder while I work. There is some chasing of birds and squirrels, staring down the mailman who tosses him a treat. The UPS guy walks to the front door and Jonah gets his belly rubs and treats from him too. So much for a killer St. Bernard. //Lily comes home from school at 2:30pm… and Jonah is right at the door waiting for her. Tail a wagging round and round in circles, he greets her with kisses and sometimes knocks her to the floor for more. Oh! that was a lot… nap time again. //Next, I pick up Thomas from school and we get back around 3:15pm – more kisses. Everyone – kids and beast all have snacks… and head out to play. //This nap eating schedule basically goes on until bedtime when he sits in each child’s room for bedtime stories, tucks them in and meets me to watch some TV.

He spends his days sitting outside staring at everyone who walks past. Sometimes he barks at his favorite doggie friends but most of time he sits still… just observing. What a noble beast!

Jonah is an important part of this family. His sweet heart knows no offense and forgives like none other. His soft eyes, deep and soulful are ready to take on the weight you carry, his body ready for providing comfort and warmth and his sweet selfless demeanor melts this cold heart of mine.

Happy Birthday Sweet Jonah. I can’t imagine our lives without this big beast of ours.

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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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#LoveYourHair with Dove

#LoveYourHair
#LoveYourHair

As Lily gets older, parenting takes on a new strategy. Instead of slaying dragons and knock-knock jokes, we are now handling mood swings, cell phones privileges and navigating social lives. One thing that I have enjoyed with the tween-dom is getting my hair done. Lily is really into discovering new ways of braiding hair or curling it and I am only too happy to be her ever ready hair model.

Lily is in middle school and any parent of a child in middle school will tell you that these years are full of navigating social norms, mood swings and how one looks! I try to encourage positive body image and hair image any way I can and one of the most simplest and effective ways is through words. I encourage Lily to let her hair just flow naturally. She has thick brown hair that straightens out really well and holds a great curl so her hair issues are nowhere near as major as my curly frizzy hair!

Hair can be a pretty defining part of our overall image. While I never thought much about my hair, except the occasional complaint about frizz, it wasn’t until my pregnancy that I realized the impact my hair had on my overall identity.

My long thick black hair lost most of its volume during pregnancy and it wasn’t until almost 3 years later that it started to grow back to its full thickness.  The hair came back in full force…along with a few straggly greys that stick straight up from my scalp. I mean… not fun!

Lily and I both share the same adventurous spirit and our hair certainly reflects that… and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I am excited to be part of Dove’s #LoveYourHair campaign to celebrate all types of hair. What do you love about your hair? I encourage you… dear reader… to make your own 3 second video of you and your daughter and tell us why you Love Your Hair! Be sure to use #LoveYourHair and use this link to make your own quick snap! http://bit.ly/2gHGfgi

*This post is sponsored. All opinions are mine*

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Celebrating This Perfectly Messy Life with Bounty

 

Life with kids is messy… and Bounty is here to help clean up those little messes.

Life is messy and life with kids is messier. Remember those early days when the little dragons were sweet cherubs sent from the gods up above to enrich your life in ways you could never imagine. Remember how you looked at them and their sweet faces, thinking “you are the best thing ever”. Their gross spit ups or diaper blowouts… disgusting as they were can be described as a cute mess to non kid having friends. When flinging spaghetti across the room was a picture perfect moment, well those moments still happen just not as cute the third, fourth, millionth time….

We only celebrate the first messes. And while parenting is messy… would we ever have it any other way? Not me. I’m perfectly happy with my perfectly messy life.

I’m working with Bounty to talk about the little messes of life. With Bounty Paper Towels, parents can enjoy these moments while the Quicker Picker Upper does the work.

bounty-messy-firsts

I spent an evening with Mother and Author Kristin Cavalleri and chatted toddler messes. She shared a few of her tips.

Tips for Avoiding Messy Mealtime Madness.

  • Stop Playing Fetch – don’t pick up everything as kids throw them on the floor, clean up at the end of the meal with Bounty Paper Towels.
  • Practice Patience with Utensils – try sticky foods that will be easier to be scooped up by utensils – Oatmeal and yogurt are two faves.
  • Peace of Mind Placemats – Clean up will be so much easier with makeshift placemats made from bounty paper towels
  • Set a Good Example – Eat Healthy and exhibit positive eating habits for the kids.
  • Avoid High Chair Messes – Place a paper towel in your child lap this way all the run away food gets caught in the bounty paper towel and it’s a simple clean up when done eating.
  • Have Them Help You – encourage kids to help clean up so they learn to tidy up early on!

This post is sponsored by Bounty. Thanks for stopping by and checking out The New York Mom and learning a bit more about the sponsors.

 

 

 

 

 

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