Spring Snack Container Made From Popsicle Sticks

Easter is just around the corner and one of our favorite ways to get ready for any holiday is to make crafts and homemade decorations. I thought it would be fun to make carrot shaped snack containers. They are perfect for parties, family movie nights or any time really!

They are easy and fun to make with the kids. First, you’ll want to gather the materials needed:

  • Popsicle sticks
  • Non-toxic orange paint w/ paintbrush OR orange marker
  • Green Easter grass
  • Piece of cardboard or heavy card stock
  • Non-toxic glue
  • Scissors
  • A snack to put in the container (like Goldfish crackers!)

Directions:

Cut a third of the popsicle sticks in half. (I broke them in half since I couldn’t find the adult scissors but that left sharp edges which you don’t want since kids will be holding this.)

Paint or color two of the long popsicle sticks and one of the half pieces orange and set aside to dry.

Glue 2 popsicle sticks on the cardboard in the shape of a “V” and put 1 half of a popsicle stick across the top to make it a triangle. Continue layering popsicle sticks by gluing them on top of each other until you have a deep enough container to hold your snacks. Glue the orange popsicle sticks on the top as your last layer. Then glue some of the Easter grass on the cardboard near the top of the triangle to make the carrot leaves.

Let the glue dry for a couple hours and then trim the excess cardboard from around the carrot shape.

Once the containers are ready, fill them with a snack. We chose to add our favorite snack, Goldfish crackers, to our carrot container.

Does your family make anything special for holidays or seasons? Get additional inspiration and ideas from Goldfish crackers on Pinterest!

Spring Portraits {Giveaway}

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post but all thoughts are my own.

Pictures are one of my favorite ways to keep memories alive so I’m excited to be working with Portrait Innovations again. We had a great experience at Portrait Innovations during the holidays when we took our family Christmas photos and I really loved how the pictures turned out so we went back last week to get spring pictures taken of the boys.

I liked that the photographer chose a few different backgrounds to photograph the boys in front of. The spring background with the flowers was my favorite because I thought it was perfect for seasonal pictures and made it seem like we had some outdoor shots taken.

One of my favorite things about Portrait Innovations is that the photographers try a lot of different poses so there are a variety of images to choose from. They also take multiple pictures of the same pose which is nice. There’s nothing worse than finding that one shot you love but then you notice that someone’s eyes are closed. With multiple images taken just seconds apart they are more likely to capture your children at the perfect moment, before they look away, make a funny face, or blink.

I also like that while my boys were getting their pictures taken, I never felt like the photographer was rushing through our session. At other studios, that have really short appointment windows, I tend to feel like we are being hurried through so they can get to their next appointment. The photographers at Portrait Innovations make getting great photos a priority, even if it takes a bit longer.

The best part is that beautiful photos of your family can be yours for a great price! Portrait Innovations always seems to have great coupons available.

Portrait Innovations is offering their best spring special ever. The Spring 24 Portrait Package is only $19.99 plus a Free $100 16×20 Canvas with this coupon!

Included in the portrait package is 1-10×13 Wall Portrait, 2-8x10s, 4-5x7s, 4-3x5s, 8-2x3s, and 5-5×7 cards, plus a high resolution CD with your favorite pose. And, you can save 20% on all additional purchases in studio. Portrait Innovations never charges sitting fees so bring the whole family. Appointments are limited so schedule your appointment today!

I’m also thrilled to be able to give away a 6-pose portrait package from Portrait Innovations! Enter via the form below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

DIY Decorative Jewelry Tray

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #StreakFreeShine #CollectiveBias

Spring is one of the most beautiful seasons. From budding flowers to pretty lace dresses to sparkling pastel colored jewels, beauty is all around us. As the weather starts to warm up and the sun starts shining a bit more, I love being able to admire the new growth of flowers and watch the birds sitting outside my window.

That very first sunny spring day though, when I open up my curtains, I am reminded of the one chore that gets a little neglected during the colder months- cleaning my windows. It’s amazing how dirty they get over the few months we are stuck inside while the sky is gray and the trees are barren. I grab my Windex® Original Glass Cleaner from under my kitchen sink and, as soon as I spray it on my windows, I start to see the dirt fading away. A couple swipes of a paper towel later and my windows are shiny clean and I can see the beautiful spring day through them.

I also like to bring the beauty of spring indoors and I do that by decorating my home with seasonal decor and fresh flowers. To bring a touch of spring into my bedroom I made a decorative jewelry tray to hold some of my favorite pieces. It was easy to make and doesn’t require a lot of materials so I wanted to share the tutorial so you could make your own.

Materials needed:

  • Round tray
  • Glass or mirror a little smaller than your tray
  • Glue or adhesive
  • Beaded necklaces made for craft projects

 Directions:

Put glue/adhesive in the middle of the tray, spreading it out the width of your mirror.

Place the glass or mirror piece in the middle of the tray and gently press it down to adhere it to the tray.

To see how long your string of beads will need to be you can put it along the bottom edge of your tray. You’ll want it long enough to go all around the bottom of your tray but not overlap. I had to tie two beaded necklaces together and then take some beads off the one end because, as you can see in the picture, it was too long.

Use your adhesive/glue to glue your beads onto the tray along the inner bottom edge of the tray. If you still have space between your beads and your mirror/glass, you can glue on a second string of beads.

This tray will get a lot of fingerprint smudges on it but it’s easy to clean with Windex® Original Glass Cleaner.

Windex® Original Glass Cleaner is my favorite product to use on glass because I know that it will always leave my glass surfaces with a streak-free shine. Thanks to its formulation with Ammonia-D®, it starts working on fingerprints, dirt, and other messes even before you wipe. Whether you need to clean the smudges on your bathroom mirror, your windows, or the glass of your jewelry tray, you can trust America’s #1 glass cleaner to get the job done!

I found Windex® Original Glass Cleaner and Windex® Vinegar Multi-Surface Cleaner in the cleaning aisle of my local Food4Less store.

Now you can see the beauty of spring outside (thanks to your clean windows) and inside, sitting on your jewelry tray.

What is your favorite thing about the spring season? Get more spring cleaning ideas here.

Spring Mini Pudding Pies

To celebrate National Pi Day today I wanted to share a super easy, fun snack for kids. This snack doesn’t require any baking and can be put together in just a couple minutes.

Ingredients needed:

  • 1 cup of premade vanilla pudding
  • Food coloring
  • Sprinkles
  • PEEPS
  • Mini pie crust
  • Whipped cream

Directions to make:

  • Add a few drops of food coloring to the vanilla pudding and stir to mix
  • Put vanilla pudding into the mini pie crust
  • Top with whipped cream, sprinkles and a PEEP

How are you celebrating National Pi day?

 Like this recipe? Check out my PEEPS nests featured in the Peeps-A-Licious cookbook.

30 Fun Outdoor Activities For Kids To Do This Spring

Spring is here and that means warmer weather and more time outside. I’ve rounded up 30 of our favorite activities to do outside in the Spring! The best part is that most can be done in your own backyard for free! Thanks to KEEN footwear for sponsoring this fun activities post and providing us with rain boots and shoes to keep Jake and Luke’s feet dry on Spring’s many rainy days.

SPRING OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

  • Go on a nature walk (don’t forget to bring your journal)
  • Practice animal yoga poses
  • Plant flowers
  • Draw on the sidewalk with chalk
  • Blow bubbles
  • Play baseball or soccer
  • Play hopscotch
  • Go on a scavenger hunt
  • Read books outside in the fresh air
  • Visit a new playground
  • Fly a kite
  • Ride a bike or scooter
  • Play a game of “follow the leader”
  • Have a picnic or outdoor tea party
  • Visit a zoo
  • Make and hang a bird feeder
  • Paint rocks to decorate your garden
  • Get a bucket of soapy water and sponge and have a toy wash
  • Play a game of tag
  • Take a family walk around the block
  • Make mud pies
  • Make homemade windchimes together
  • Go on a bug hunt and try to find worms, butterflies, and other bugs around your house
  • Go fishing with your family
  • Have a backyard campout
  • Make a “mess”terpiece fingerpainting with shaving cream or whipped cream
  • Hunt for four leaf clovers
  • Make nature prints
  • Play “I spy”
  • Jump in puddles

Don’t forget to get a good pair of rain boots for the season so your kid’s feet stay dry when they are puddle jumping! We’ve been loving the ones that KEEN sent us. Their Encanto 365 Boot keeps feet dry using a waterproof membrane and water-resistant materials, making it 50% lighter-weight than most heavier boots made with rubber. (That means your kids can actually run and jump and play in them!) Webbing loops make it easy for little kids to pull on the boot themselves and the adjustable bungee closes around the leg so kids can puddle-stomp all they want without water splashing into their boots. A protective toe-cap adds the durability KEEN is known for and the fun mix of colors will look cute paired with any outfit! 

KEEN also sent us a pair of Encanto Sneakers. These are great for little ones who are still working on putting on their own shoes.  The hook and loop strap with bungee laces makes it easy for toddlers to explore their independence, getting shoes on and off “all by myself”. The padded collar, foam footbed and breathable mesh lining show attention to detail and the reinforced toe area is perfect for kids who are rough on their shoes. These shoes go through size 13 so even younger grade school children can wear them. As an Autism parent I love that there are shoes Lucas can put on himself, as a 1st grader, that don’t look like “baby” shoes.

What is your favorite Spring activity?

 

New Spring Books

My favorite books to read are books that are themed for special holidays or seasons. I like them because I think they put into words what children are feeling at a certain time of the year. Harper Collins Publishers sent me a bunch of books and I wanted to share my favorite ones that are perfect for Spring. They bring the joy of the season to children.

Finding Spring by Carin Berger

Spring is all a little bear named Maurice can think about. He is impatient and curious and not at all sleepy so he sets out to find it but before he can find spring, he discovers something magical- winter! We loved the beautiful colors and images in this book.

Cat & Bunny by Mary Lundquist

This sweet story is about the magic of first friendships. I love this book because my boys are still developing friendship skills and while they do, I want them to learn the importance of including others. This book helps them see that others can join in and it makes games that much more fun.

Bunnies by Kevan Atteberry

This is a silly book about Declan, the friendliest sort of little monster, who was out for a walk when he sees some bunnies. My boys loved the images and the fun monster. There’s not really a storyline to this book but it’s enjoyable to read and the boys laughed throughout it as I made funny voices while reading it.

What new books have you discovered? I would love to hear about them!

 

 

Worry Free Outdoor Fun

This is a product-sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Puracyn® Plus Duo-Care™ Wound & Skin Cleanser. The opinions and text are all mine.

Today the temperature outside reached 64 in our Chicago suburb. This is very exciting for everyone, especially for active families that will be thrilled to go hiking and biking and play sports outside in the fresh air. For my family this means it is time for baseball, soccer and the playground. This also means it will be a time full of scrapes, cuts and bug bites. As a parent I know this is unavoidable and I hate to see my boys suffer.

To be truly prepared we always have a bag of a few essentials in our vehicles that can help in an emergency. Some of the best things to have in an emergency kit are an instant ice compress, bandages and band aids, extra mouth guards (for football), snacks and Puracyn® Plus Duo-Care™

To keep your team from getting sidelined new Puracyn® Plus Duo-Care™ Wound and Skin Cleanser, the easy first step in first aid that gently and effectively cleans and hydrates minor wounds, wants you to enter the Play to Win with #TeamPuracynPlus Giveaway for the chance to win a  Puracyn® Plus Duo-Care™ Emergency Kit, including a $50 gift card to a sporting goods store of your choice and  Puracyn® Plus Duo-Care™ product. One winner announced each Friday on March 13, 20, and 27. #TeamPuarcynPlus (3 winners total).  It will be the best way to kick start the outdoors activities season.

My kids both play soccer and baseball during which they both get scrapes and usually the scrapes are messy from the field. The easy to use, hands free spray application of  Puracyn® Plus Duo-Care™ thoroughly cleans minor cuts and wounds, eliminating the need for running water in the critical first moments of cleaning a wound.

I also like Puracyn® Plus Duo-Care™ because it is doctor tested and recommended for quick wound treatments and is free of alcohol and steroids. It is so safe that it will not bother them even if it accidentally gets in their eyes or ears. A 4oz bottle can be purchased at Rite Aid and Walgreens for $14.00. It is convenient to carry in your car kit so you will always have  Puracyn® Plus Duo-Care™ in stock for when you really need it.

To learn more about the brand visit www.puracynplus.com and follow the brand on facebook (facebook.com/puracyn) and Pinterest. Another product they have is the Puracyn Plus Foot Wash and Skin Cleanser, a highly effective cleansing solution for healthier feet and wound care. If you or a loved one have diabetes Puracyn Plus Foot wash is essential to help make foot care part of your daily health routine and self care.

We are ready for the warm weather and the outdoors and especially the fun that comes with it. Thanks to Puracyn® Plus Duo-Care™  we will be ready for anything that comes our way. So join in the fun and discover fearless life with Puracyn.

To learn more about the Puracyn® Plus Duo-Care™ , LIKE the brand on Facebook and follow the brand on Pinterest.

This is a product-sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Puracyn® Plus Duo-Care™ Wound & Skin Cleanser. The opinions and text are all mine.


Flower Themed Activities For Kids {HOP}

I’m really excited to be joining in as a host of the Hands-On Play Party with some fabulous bloggers. The linky will be posted each Tuesday. This week I’m sharing some of my favorite colorful sensory activities from bloggers that linked up to last week’s HOP linky.

Flower Math Game from Fun-A-Day

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Bottle Flower Stamp from DabblingMomma

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Paint Chip Color Match from Life With Moore Babies

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Flower Painting from Minne-Mama

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Visit my co-hosts!

Sight Words Egg Hunt from P is for Preschooler

Exploring Mirror Reflections Easter Eggs, Lights & Shiny Objects from Little Bins for Little Hands

Creating the Perfect Egg Drop Project from Lemon Lime Adventures

Sensory Play with Paper Pulp from Stir the Wonder

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Check out our Pinterest board!

HandsOnPinterest

Now it’s your turn! What fun hands-on play activities have you been creating at home? If you are a blogger you can link up your blog posts (no more than 3 please) or, if you don’t have a blog, share your activities on Facebook and leave a link in the comments below. Just looking for activity ideas? You can do that as well by clicking on images linked up below to view the full posts.

(Please note: If you are linking up below you give the hosts permission to use an image with a link back if you are featured in a future HOP post.)



Ten Spring Recipes I Can’t Wait To Try

(Click on a picture to be taken to the recipe page. This post is linked to Top 10 Tuesday at OhAmanda.)

Spring Omelet

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Spring Veggie Pizza

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Grilled Pork Tenderloin & Asparagus with Peanut Dipping Sauce

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Strawberry Mint Spring Rolls

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Tomato Feta Salad

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Moroccan Chicken Kebobs

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Sun-Dried Tomato & Feta Stuffed Artichokes

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Carrot Cake with Maple-Cream Cheese Icing

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Roast Side of Salmon with Mustard, Tarragon, and Chive Sauce

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And as a special treat…

 

My mom's lemon bars

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ENJOY! If you make one of these recipes I’d love to hear what you thought about it!

Top Ten Tuesday- Looking Forward To Spring

Today I walked outside and was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t too cold out… it  made me think about Spring and all the things I had to look forward to. I can’t wait for:

1) Warmer weather- Having to bundle up the kids to go outside is no fun. I can’t wait until a light jacket is all they need.

2) A lower gas bill!

3) Family walks- We moved to a new neighborhood this winter so I can’t wait to walk around and explore with the boys.

4) Opening the windows and letting the fresh air in

5) Starting a garden- Now that we have some outdoor space of our own I can’t wait to start a mini-garden with the boys. (Anyone have any suggestions on easy to care for plants?)

 

Can't wait for the boys to use their new gardening tools

 

6) Planning the boys’ birthday party- Jake turns 3 and Luke turns 2 in June so I need to start planning their birthday party in the next couple months.

7) Easter- I checked my calendar and it seems Easter will be later than usual this year. I can’t wait to dress the boys in matching outfits, tell them the Easter story, and go hunting for eggs.

8) Short sleeve shirts- Jacob chews on his sleeves when he wears long sleeve shirts and I have to constantly put new ones on him because he chews them so much and then says they are “icky”. It will be nice to be able to put him in short sleeves because then he can’t chew on the ends of them!

9) Getting outside to play- We have only played outside twice since we moved so it will be fun to play in the backyard.

10) No more snow! (ok, a girl can wish right?)

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I have linked up this post to Oh Amanda’s Top 10 Tuesday