Pumpkin Painting: Toddler Edition

Painting pumpkins is something that was pretty high on my fall bucket list this year. Carved pumpkins and Hawaii don’t really mix (hello, mold) but I didn’t want Lyla to miss out on a bit of Halloween fun so yesterday I whipped out some paint and a couple of tiny pumpkins and we got to painting. 

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, right? Well then, this post is worth…err…a lot of words. (math is not my strong point)

For the record: I insisted on the overalls, she insisted on the upside down hair bow. You win some, you lose some. 

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DIY Corn Husk Dolls

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I didn’t play with a ton of dolls when I was younger but I do have a pretty vivid memory of playing with a corn husk doll that I made at school. I wasn’t very attached to it, and I’m sure she found a place in the trash can not longer after I brought her home, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the simplicity of a good corn husk doll today. 

Call me old fashioned, but the idea of Lyla playing with simple, handmade toys like these makes me all kinds of giddy. I love being able to create things for her that bring her joy which is why I added it to our fall bucket list

There just happened to be 8 ears of corn in the produce box that we picked up at the Farmer’s Market last week so I set them aside while I cooked dinner and quickly got to doll making! 

To make a corn husk doll you need: green corn husks, string and a pair of scissors. That’s it!

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[1] Start with 4-5 fresh corn husks. Lay them flat on top of each other and tie together with small piece of string. 

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[2] Flip upside down and pull each husk down. 

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[3] Using another piece of string, tie a piece around the top of the husks to form the head. 

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[4] Grab another husk, lay flat and roll tightly to form the arms. Secure each end with string. 
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[5] Place the arms between the long “body” husks, just below the neck. Secure with piece of string to form the waist. 

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[6] Take another husk and cut in half. Drape pieces over the body in a criss-cross pattern to form the shoulders and secure with string. 

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[7] Take a few more long husks and gather around body to form the skirt. I tied this part with baker’s twine to add a little color ’cause my doll is fancy 😉

You could easily turn these into “boy” dolls by gathering half of the long skirt husks and tying them together at the end to form feet. I left my doll out to dry for a few days before giving it to Lyla to play with and ended up having to tighten up some of the string since the husks shrink when drying. 

Now that we have started crossing things off of our list, I am in full on fall mode. This week I’ve teamed up with Jenna from A Savory Feast as well as some other awesome bloggers to share our favorite posts about fall and to give you a chance to win some cool prizes. The giveaway ends tomorrow so make sure to get your entries in today! 

Happy crafting 🙂

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We are so excited about the arrival of Fall, so we are celebrating with a giveaway! Enter to win this fun prize pack filled with all sorts of Fall-themed goodies and a Starbucks gift card. Bring on the Pumpkin Spice Lattes!

Fall Welcome Week Hosts
To Travel and Beyond // The Beauty Section // Back to Carolina //

Yellow Dog Pink Pig // Natasha Byrd // Glitz & Gritz // Set Free // Mandy Living Life

Wetherills Say I Do // Life w/ Mrs. G. and the Artist // The Gift of Gab

Sustaining the Powers // Bright Green Door // A Savory Feast // No Small Life

Giveaway is open to US residents 18 years of age and older. Entries will be accepted via the Rafflecopter below from 9/23/2015 to 9/30/2015 at 11:59 PM EST. Winner will be randomly selected and will be verified. Winner will be emailed and must respond with a mailing address within 48 hours to claim their prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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DIY Ocean Sensory Bottle

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

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“The days are long, but the years are short.” 

I have been hearing that saying for as long as I can remember, but never has it been so true than at this stage in my life. At sixteen months, Lyla is busier than ever. She has developed a full personality, knows what she likes/dislikes and isn’t afraid to let us know. Most of the time, she is the sweetest of sweeties but some days she decides that the best use of her time would be to see how crazy she can make me (half-kidding).

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To help combat those long days, I try to come up with different activities for us to do together. Sometimes we find ourselves at the park or the zoo, other times we pile up on the floor to build puzzles and read her favorite books. 

Every once in a while I like to switch things up and try something new. This time, that something new was a DIY ocean sensory bottle. Sensory bottles have been popping up in my Pinterest feed like crazy lately thanks to the “picked-for-you” option so I figured the internet world was trying to tell me something and I gathered the materials to make our own. 

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To make our sensory bottle I used water, baby oil, blue food coloring, glitter and some sea shells/beads. I went with the ocean theme because the ocean is one of Lyla’s favorite places but it would be really easy to customize your bottle to fit other interests. 

Assembly was quick and easy – we just poured equal parts water and baby oil into an empty water bottle, shook in a few drops of food coloring, dropped in our ocean-themed treasures and were good to go! 

As always, the hardest part of this activity was clean up. By the time we are done with our activities Lyla is immediately ready to move on to the next thing so, usually, I am torn between cleaning up our mess or chasing her tiny tornado of a self. This time I was determined to clean up, so I came prepared with every moms secret weapon: food. 

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Last time we were at Walmart I picked up some of these Dannon Danimals Smoothies for us Lyla to try. There are the perfect size for an afternoon snack and for little hands to hold while mommy’s are busy cleaning up. 

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Not only are Dannon Danimals perfect for fueling Miss Lyla’s adventure time with mama, but they are a nice option for older kids as well. I have a feeling the Strawberry/Cotton Candy flavor packs are a big hit right now (and only available for a limited time at select Walmarts). Pack them as part of their lunch, have them ready for an afternoon snack, or bring them along to any of their extra-curricular activities and your children are sure to be fueled up and ready to tackle anything. 

Speaking of tackling, there is an awesome contest going on right now that gives your child the chance to win a Play 60 Field Day with NFL Pros for their entire school. All they have to do is find the hidden “Golden Bongo” pouch in specially-marked Danimals packages. Pretty cool, right?

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As it turns out, I was too busy snapping photos of my sweet girl and giggling with my husband to get the cleaning done right away however I am totally ok with that because even though these days are long, the years are so SO short and I don’t want to miss a second of them. 

I’ve shared how we fuel our adventures – what are some ways that you fuel yours?!

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DIY Photo Strip Bookmarks

As the summer starts winding down, so does the busy wedding season which is always a bummer because I love weddings. I also love photo booths. So when the bride and groom bring a photo booth to their wedding, I am one happy camper.

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The photo strips are such a fun souvenir but I never really knew what to do with them once we got home. Do I hang them on the fridge? Put them in a frame? Cut them up into wallet photos?! After our friend’s wedding last weekend, I brought home our photo strips and was determined to figure out a creative way to keep them displayed. 

Enter the photo strip bookmark. 

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These were insanely easy to make and I can’t believe I hadn’t thought of it before! If you have any fun photo strips laying around, I highly suggest you make these ASAP!

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SUPPLIES || single-hole punch, scissors, heavy card stock, glue, photo strips and embellishments (I used embroidery floss and some seashell pendants but you could substitute with your favorite ribbon, beads, feathers, etc)

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STEP 1 || Glue your photo strips onto your heavy cardstock. Once dry, cut to size. 

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STEP 2 || Punch a hole into the top of your photo strip while ignoring my poor, neglected nails. 

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STEP 3 || String your embellishments through the punched hole.

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STEP 4 || Insert bookmark into your favorite book and enjoy!

 Insanely easy, right? I told you! What is your favorite wedding souvenir?

Shoutout to my girl, Ali, for originally featuring this on her blog. Check out A Dream Crafter for some fun back to school project tutorials and an awesome tic-tac-toe game . Happy crafting!

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DIY Summertime Placemat

This week flew by, didn’t it? I thought time was supposed to move slower on vacation. Rude.

Anyways, our time in Michigan is wrapping up so if you need me I’ll be fishing, picking strawberries, riding 4-wheelers, listening to grandpa’s stories and smelling the basement (yes, smelling the basement – my cousins can vouch for me, it is one of the best smells ever). 

While I’m busy doing Michigan things, take a peek at my tutorial for a summertime placemat over on Simply Liv. 

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Up next for the Byrds, California! 

 

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diy stuffed toy holder

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

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As Lyla becomes more verbal and expressive, Alex and I are making a conscious effort to help her connect her feelings and emotions to words. We feel that by teaching her how to express her emotions, we will help her develop social skills that will lead to a happy, healthy childhood. 

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This is where, I think, parenthood gets hard. We are responsible for raising well-adjusted humans that are going to enter society someday. Our children are going to need to be able to communicate and function within the world around them. That is just mind blowing to me. Thankfully, we aren’t totally on our own and there are tons of tools (books, toys, movies, etc.) out there that are available to assist us. 

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To help Lyla discover her emotions, I picked up a set of Inside Out plush characters from Walmart and put together a fun plush holder. I think it’s pretty obvious that she was a big fan from the get-go. As soon as I got the set into the cart, she immediately started having conversations with all of them. Fear seemed to be her favorite – she was probably afraid I was going to embarrass her with more pictures 😉

While we were in the toy aisle, I also made sure to pick up plastic sand pails in the Inside Out plush characters colors. Don’t you just love the bright colors that are so synonymous with Disney-Pixar? I wasn’t able to find either a yellow or purple pail so I swung by the home improvement section and grabbed a couple of cans of spray paint. 

Once home, I took a pallet remnant that we had laying in the garden and arranged the pails on top. If you don’t have a pallet, any thin piece of wood will do. Or, if you have space, (and don’t mind holes in the walls) you could hang the pails right on the wall in your child’s playroom! 

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When I had the pails arranged in an order I liked, I commissioned my husband to screw the pails onto the board. Nothing like a little manual labor on what seemed to be the hottest day ever. Thanks, babe! 

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With all of the pails in place, I grabbed some paint from my craft supply stash and labeled the future homes of our new plush pals, let it dry and then I was done! 

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I’m so happy with the way this DIY stuffed toy holder turned out. Not only can we use our new Inside Out friends to talk about emotions with Lyla, but we can also work on her color recognition and practice putting the toys inside their respective holders. Also, having the pails set up on a board like this makes it totally portable which I love since I can bring it outside on these hot summer days when I can’t stand another minute in the house with no AC (being pregnant in the summer is no joke!)

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We haven’t seen the movie yet but are hoping to soon – I’m hoping it pops up on the weekly “Crybaby Matinee” list since I’m not sure how Lyla will do in a theatre. If not, Alex and I will have to sneak out for a date night soon. That will bring us both joy. (see what I did there?)

Have you seen Inside Out yet? What did you think? How old were your kids when you took them to see their first movie?

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