Wednesday, July 29, 2015

National Picnic Month

Picnics are weird, right? We forego all advancements in food, willingly. We give up tables, walls and doors to keep out bugs, utensils (mostly), and formally cooked meals. We opt for raw foods, eaten with our hands, on a blanket, on the ground. Strange, but fun. No one doesn't have a great picnic memory. I suppose that's why we have an entire month- August- dedicated to picnics!

Usually our first awesome picnic memories are as kids, with family or friends. Now that we're adults (or look like them, at least), we have the opportunity to organize and enjoy our own picnics with our families and friends. We get to ensure our kids have great picnic memories to look back on fondly. 

Part of what makes a great picnic is what you take along. The blanket, the basket, the food... But also the people, and the photos taken to cement those memories. Whether your picnic is a simple get-together or a birthday party, here are the things you need to have to make sure it is beautiful and unique!

As usual, Adore by Nat has wonderful paper crafts for the event. Between the summer barbecue cupcake toppers and the ladybug birthday banner, your picnic can be decorated uniquely and perfectly themed. These are both available in her online store, as well as many other great ideas!

To outfit the little ones at the picnic, I couldn't recommend anyone more highly than Sweet Pea Designs by Dee and her great prints! Her adorable dresses, aprons, and bow tie and suspender sets, are available in a wide range of sizes, so you can clothe them all in one, great place. Specifically, this ruffle peasant set is playful and photogenic for a day picnicking!

To accessorize those kiddos, you've got to visit Weil'd Hair and Accessories. She's always got great styles and colors (and stuff for mom, too!) in a wide range of themes. For a picnic, nothing could be sweeter than this watermelon necklace! The bubblegum beads are perfectly matched to the juicy watermelon pendant, making for great photo opportunities. 

If you're throwing a picnic, or attending one and would like to get a little gift for the picnic host, Pelhauz has two great options! Butterflies and dragonflies are arguably the prettiest bugs, so why not offer one to the hostess, or make sure your accessories are perfectly on theme? With many, many other options in her shop, you're sure to find something that fits your outfit, and the event, elegantly. 

Finally, for washing up before or after the picnic, to bring with you to use in park restrooms, or to give as party favors, Shabby Chic Soap Company has wonderful citrus soaps that look as delicious as they smell! Her soaps are always totally luxurious, and she also offers a super wide range of options. These would be a hit for any outdoor event, but nothing could be more appropriate than a picnic!

Now get out there and picnic! August is National Picnic Month, so enjoy it before school starts and the rain falls ;) 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Parent's Day

Being a parent can be a thankless and exhausting job. Kids are demanding, and little ones have virtually no respect for asking for something. Lately my four-year-old has just been walking up to me and shouting his needs. Not angrily, or particularly enthusiastically, but certainly very loudly. "MILK." "POP TARTS." I, of course, do not accept his request until it is spoken kindly, with the word "please" in there somewhere, at a normal volume. But still, rude.

So, Parent's Day is this rare unicorn of a holiday that is devoted to (arguably (meaning I have no proof)) the largest population of under-appreciated individuals. And as such, you, as a parent, should enjoy it. If you're reading this and you're not a parent, I can guarantee you know at least one person who is a parent, and something as simple as "Hey, Happy Parent's Day" will be appreciated. 

So, as this holiday is approaching (it's on July 26), and since I am a parent who feels for other parents, I've put together this list (with the help of my fantastic handmade buddies) to give you ideas for fun things to force your children to do with you on Parent's Day, simply for your own crafty happiness.

The owner of Adore by Nat got her promises in writing, you guys. That's where the rest of us have been going wrong. Her child is now bound to his statements. Genius. "Make coffee", you say? Why yes, you can come live with me. But we'll need a notary real quick.

The owner of Shabby Chic Soap Company also found a great way to celebrate the day. The kids get to play in paint and have all kinds of messy fun (which they, of course, must clean up), and she gets a great memento of her kids all cute and little, with little feet. She even wrote you out these detailed instructions for how to make your own! *See photo below for instructions*

Canvas (11x14 works great)
Acrylic Paint

Brush or Sponge
Sealer (paint or spray)
Stencils (optional)
Stamps (optional)
Paint pen or Sharpie (optional)
Newspaper (optional)

1) Make sure to protect your workspace since your little one will have paint on their feet. The easiest way to do this is lay out some newpaper on the floor where you plan on working.
2) Using your brush or sponge, cover one of your little one's hands in paint and help them create a handprint just left of the middle of the canvas.
3) Then cover your little one's feet with paint. To create the "V", lightly press one foot at a time, at an angle on the canvas to the right of the "O" handprint. *NOTE* If you are using a wrapped canvas, do NOT have your child stand on the canvas as it will not support them. It's best to lift the canvas and press it to the foot instead.
4) Next, you want to paint the "L" and "E" on the canvas. You can free hand this, or use stencils. Just note that if you are using stencils, you should wait for the handprint and footprints to be dry before placing the stencil on the canvas to ensure they do not smear.
5) You can finish up by outlining the letters, handprint/footprints or add the date with stamps or painting freehand. Then once all the paint has dried use a sealer to protect your work. We used a spray paint sealer with glitter for a little extra fun.

Our resident bubblegum necklace maker over at Weil'd Hair and Accessories put a fun spin on the day, interviewing her kids with fun questions. Over the years, keep the different interview questions and answers on paper. This way, you can look back and see how much your child has changed, and possibly find a mildly embarrassing (and wildly hilarious) blip to show their first crush/middle school friends/first date to a dance/whoever floats your boat.

From the interwebs, PBS has some great crafts for kids listed here, but my favorite are these recycled plastic bottle flowers. Now, obviously these will take supervision with the younger kids (the plastic edges might be sharp), you could still find yourself with a no-waste, no-death, custom bouquet of flowers you can keep forever.

I may be the only parent that would enjoy making this, but it's too cute not to include. From, this little cardboard space ship would be super fun to make, and adorable to display! They're sized for peg dolls, which can be found custom made in many Etsy and Storenvy shops. Again, this will likely take some assistance, because spray paint and small, unsupervised children do not mix. 

From ActivityVillage.Co.Uk, there are a lot of cute ideas, but this clay frame definitely jumped out at me. It's a great gift for more holidays than Parent's Day. It would be great to work on with your kid, but if the child is old enough, they could totally make this without you! This tutorial even calls for air-hardening clay, so you don't even have to help them bake it!

I think you've got a good set of ideas, here. Go forth and conquering crafting with your kids! Enjoy it! You only get one Parent's Day per year- live it up. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Outdoor Handmade

Summer is in full swing, and most people are spending more time outside this month than any other month of the year (probably). To make your surroundings enjoyable while you're outside, we've put together a sample of some of the amazing outdoor handmade items available!

First up, we have Weil'd Hair and Accessories with her adorable Apple Picking Chunky Necklace. For parents/aunties/grandmas/uncles/grandpas that like taking photos of memorable family outings (such as apple picking), this necklace offers a great opportunity to accessorize the girlies without any effort!

Handmade Moms LLC always has beautifully simple wreaths available in her shop, year round. This one in particular is great for an adorable beach bungalow, or to make a normal house feel like one! It's simple enough to match with any color door and surrounding decorations, but has enough detail to really bring a theme together.

From Ky*Elle Kreations, we have a totally different theme of wreath! Although simple and stunning like the one above, this will provide a country feel to your home! The giant sunflower wreath is wonderfully neutral in color to match with your existing decor. 

While you're apple picking or admiring your beautiful new decorations, you could be drinking your tea or coffee in this adorable Hello Sunshine mug from Lucky Dog Access! It's so bright and sparkly, how could you not start your day right with this mug?

No matter what you choose to do this summer, enjoy it ;)