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Crafts, Family

#ALWB – Memories

Technology seems like it changes almost daily. It’s unfathomable for my kids that I didn’t have a cell phone until I was 15. And I always shake my head when they pretend call someone. They hold their hand up flat and speak into their palm as opposed to holding their thumb and pinky out like I do when I play pretend phone.

There are many ways to take advantage of the many technological advances that have occurred since we grew up, but one that I especially love pertains to memory keeping. Like I’ve mentioned in my past posts, I am a sentimental person and maybe one of the most telling exhibits of that is my scrapbook collection. I started making a scrapbook in sixth grade and made at least one for each grade through my senior year of high school.


Read more on the Alabama Women Blogger’s Blog….

And if you’re interested in the rest of the post, here are links to my previous posts about Blurb.

Crafts, Gift Giving, Kid Activities

Keeping Your Kids Entertained In the Summer

Free trial 7-2014

If you’re like me you might be counting down the days until school starts. I never understood my Mom’s love of August until I had kids. Ha! Tomorrow I’m sharing some educational things that we’ve been doing recently but this afternoon I wanted to share a more creative way to keep your kids entertained.

I’ve shared about Kiwi Crate experience before.  I love that Kiwi Crate comes right to your door and has activities that keep the kids entertained while also letting them explore their creativity a little bit.

Kiwi Crate comes in subscriptions, single crates, and party favors and from now until July 31st they’re offering you the chance to try the Starlight Lantern Project for Free (you only pay $3.95 for shipping)!  If you’ve been thinking about trying Kiwi Crate this is a great chance to sample a project and see if it’s something that you want to introduce in your home more regularly.

Kiwi Crate is available in 3 Month, 6 Month, and 12 Month d subscriptions as well as single crates and party favors.  They’ve also partnered With Target and I’ve found that these projects are great for last minute birthday gifts!

Have you tried Kiwi Crate? I’d love to hear if your kids enjoyed it as much as mine!

*This post contains affiliate links but all opinions and reviews are my own.  Please see my link/review disclosures for more information.

Crafts, Entertaining, Kid Activities

A Snowy Spring Day – Frozen Birthday Party Crafts

We had planned Charlotte’s birthday party to be held at the local botanical garden so I just had a few crafts ready for the girls to do before playing.  But due to our change in venue due to the rain, we added other crafts to keep the girls occupied.  I’m glad that we ended up doing it at our house, otherwise there wouldn’t have been time to do the crafts that Charlotte had picked out plus played in the garden!

Place Setting - Detail

When the girls arrived they had printed Frozen coloring pages and crayons at their seat.  They colored while we waited on everyone to arrive.  Their seat also had a bottle of water and a party straw and the supplies for our next craft (ice bracelets) were also set out.

After everyone arrived we started to create Ice Bracelets!

web Tales of a Peanut - Ice Bracelets_2014 06 11_0011 copy

To create the ice bracelets, I purchased Sparkle elastic and faux clear and blue beads at Hobby Lobby.


I cut a piece of elastic about 15″ long and placed a piece of masking tape on the end of it to hold the beads on while the girls were stringing their bracelets.  I then stuck this piece of elastic and an assortment of beads in a small plastic cup at each place as well as placed extra beads around the table.


After the girls strung their beads and we estimated their length I triple knotted the elastic per the instructions on the back and stuck a dot of glue on the knot after cutting the extra string.  The girls loved their fancy new bracelets!

Between crafts we cut the Elsa Cake and had our Snowman Snacks!

Elsa Cake

As the girls were finishing their snacks and cake, we started working on Queen crowns.  I ordered purple glitter crowns from It’s Twinkle Time.  The crowns came in two pieces and with jewels for the girls to adorn their crowns.  I added some sparkly glitter glue from Hobby Lobby and the girls started making their own crowns!


Crown Supplies

C's 5th Bday Party_2014 04 29_0007_edited-1


Note: Lots of ideas originally came from Paging Supermom and these are just my interpretations of them!

Crafts, Entertaining, Kid Activities, TalesOfAPeanut

A Snowy Spring Day – Frozen Birthday Party Paper Goods

I had so much fun planning and preparing for Charlotte’s fifth birthday party.  I showed her lots of different ideas and only committed to the ones that she was really excited about.  I am excited to share all of our ideas from the party today!

(I was to preface all the details by saying that I did these things because Charlotte wanted to and I wanted to make this day special for her.  I am all about not overdoing things for your kids, especially birthday parties, although this post might make it seem like that wasn’t the case.  There’s a lot that we don’t do that other families do but, in this case, I enjoy crafting and making things and Charlotte and I were able to do a lot of the preparations together which made it even more fun.)

I’m going to start by sharing all of the paper goods that we used for the party.

Tales of a Peanut Frozen Invitation Front

Single Photo Etsy

I started my paper goods shop back when Charlotte was turning one and I designed her first birthday invitation.  Since then I’ve continued the tradition and this year was no different.  I like to include a picture of the birthday child on their invitation so that everyone can have a current picture of them also.  Charlotte worked with me to design this invitation just how she wanted it!

Melted Snowman - Single

I made water bottle labels with Olaf on them that said “Melted Snowmen”.  I set out a water bottle at each girls place but had the extras in a dough bowl on my kitchen island.

Melted Snowmen - Grouped

To make sure that everyone noticed the snow day connection, I created 3×3″ cards with Olaf on them that coordinated with the rest of the decor and wrote what each item was on it.  In addition to the “Melted Snowmen” water bottles we had “Snow Dip” (ranch dressing), “Snowman arms” (pretzels), “Snowman Noses” (carrots), and “Snowman Buttons” (grapes).

Tales of a Peanut Snow Dip

Tales of a Peanut Snowman Arms

Tales of a Peanut Snowman Buttons

Tales of a Peanut Snowman Noses

I sat the cards in a “snowball” made from styrofoam balls that I got from Hobby Lobby.  They were very easy to make (cut off one end to make it flat and then cut a slice in the top to stick the card).

Snowball Place Card Holder

For favors for the girls Charlotte and I made Olaf bags and attached a thank you card. (Directions and a template for the Olaf bag is coming next week.)

C's 5th Bday Party_2014 04 27_0012_edited-1



And after the party was over, Charlotte filled out her fill in the blank thank you notes and sent them to her friends!

Tales of a Peanut Frozen Thank You

If you’re interested in purchasing any of these items (all the text is fully customizable) you can check out my shop or see the links below for the individual listings.

Snow Queen invitations

Snow Queen Water Bottle Labels

Snow Queen Gift Tags/Place Card Holders

Snow Queen Plates (in stock, non customizable item)

Snow Queen Plates (customizable)

Snow Queen t-shirt

Snow Queen Thank You Notes

Note: Lots of ideas originally came from Paging Supermom and these are just my interpretations of them!

Charlotte, Crafts, Kid Activities

Personalizing Wooden Initials


Painted Wood Monogram

Wooden initials are all the rage right now.  You can find them in home stores around town or online.  (My favorite place to purchase them is from Mint Julep Monograms because I know the owner and know that she’s awesome.)  I purchased Charlotte’s monogram last fall and finally, on her birthday, we got around to making them special for her.  I started out by painting them with leftover Collonade Gray that we had on hand in our garage.  I then let Charlotte pick out some glitter so that we could make them special.  She, of course, chose purple!

Needed MaterialsMod Podge in Bowl

I first covered a bowl with aluminum foil.  I didn’t have any disposable bowls and figured that this would make it easy to roll up into a ball and toss when we were finished.  (I do this with grease when cooking also.)  It worked perfectly.  I poured some mod podge into the foil.

Glitter in Mod Podge

I then let Charlotte dictate how much glitter to mix into the mod podge.  We ended up using maybe about a fourth of the glitter container.  It was a very fine glitter and so took a lot.  If I do this again and am looking for sparkles I will probably go for a larger grain of glitter so that it shows up better.

Charlotte Painting Initials

Charlotte and I then set to work painting.  We used some foam sponge brushes that we had in the house and set the monogram on half of Easter eggs to keep it from sticking to the desk.  This is our craft desk so I wasn’t worried about the mess on the table, but if you want to protect yours you will need to put wax paper or newspaper down to protect your surface.  We just painted the glitter/mod podge on fairly thickly and tried to cover all of the surfaces.

Close Up of Initials

Close up of the painted initials when they were still wet.

Drying initials

As the initials were drying.  It’s hard to see the glitter since it’s so fine but it is there and does reflect in person when the light is bright.

In room

After the initials dried we used a few strategically placed nails to hang them on her wall.  She loves them and especially loves that she got to pick out the accents and help paint them!

Charlotte, Crafts, Mommy Advice

Baby steps towards reading

Despite the fact that Charlotte can sit and look at books for hours by herself and loves to have us read to her, she’s been reluctant to start working on reading.  I finally decided that it was due to her personality that doesn’t want attention (or excessive praise) shown to her.  Her typical reaction to us praising her effusively is to tell us that we’re “too excited” so I knew that a “typical” approach to learning to read that I would naturally lean toward probably wouldn’t work.

I knew that Charlotte tended to do better when she could see her progress and could mark it herself, without the pressure of a parent (or anyone) being overly effusive with the praise at her accomplishment.  I don’t understand it, but I get that that’s what Charlotte needs so I decided to try my best to accommodate her.

[Sidenote: For the record, I have no idea if this approach is even remotely close to how you’re “supposed” to start helping them learn to read, it’s just what we’re doing.  There was NO research done into what the best way to help your child learn to read.  I’m just winging it!]

In thinking about how to approach the problem, I remembered that I had bought two magnetic tiles from Target a while ago when they were on clearance.  They still weren’t hanging anywhere and I decided that making Charlotte a “Word Board” might be the push that she needed.  She hasn’t liked the “pressure” of sounding out letters yet (let me clarify that I promise we don’t pressure her, she just doesn’t like the attention) so I thought that we could start with some sight words.  You know, words that they basically memorize what the letters are and then can begin to pick those out of books?  I randomly chose the word “and” one day and we started pointing it out on the page and getting her to say the letters and recognize it.  And then I introduced the Word Board concept and you would have thought I hung the moon Charlotte was so excited!  In case you want to recreate, I’ve included steps below.

– Some type of board to put the words on.  I used the magnetic tiles shown below because I didn’t want her having push pins in her room for a bulliten board.  The Pinterest trick of using an old cookie sheet as a magnetic board might work too.  But the point is to create somewhere where they can see the words they know so they can be proud of themselves and can constantly see them and remember them!
– Note cards
– Magnets
– Pen/marker
– Sticky hooks (that’s what I hung the boards with on her doors so that they’re easy to get off when she tires of this)
Step 1. Hang your board somewhere at the kids eye level.
Step 2. Write the words that they can “read”/recognize on an index card and have them put them on the board.
Step 3. As they learn new words, add more cards!

As soon as we got this set up with the three words that Charlotte knew (And, I, Charlotte) she raced to find a book so that she could learn another word.  Now she’s constantly looking for new words that she can learn and even wrote out a card for the word “A” herself when we talked about how it’s a word that she knows too!  I know it’s just the start, but I’m excited about introducing her to the world of reading one word at a time!

– This magnetic board just happened to be something that I had laying around.  I wasn’t given it or compensated in any way for using it.