Watercolor Coffee Filter Leaves | Fall Toddler Art Project

I really love Thanksgiving but I have to admit that I am more than ready to move on to Christmas this year. With every day that passes, it takes pretty much all of my self control to not bust out the Christmas decorations.

Last week, Lyla and I found ourselves strolling ever so slowly through the Christmas aisles at Target which did not help lower my Christmas-fever so I decided that we needed to do a fall-ish craft ASAP.

Enter these watercolor coffee filter leaves.

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The set up for this craft is super simple. While bean was taking her nap, I cut out some leaf shapes (alright, one shape over and over) from plain ol’ coffee filters and then drew on some leaf veins (is that what they are called?) with Elmer’s Glue. 

By the time she woke up, the glue was dried and we were ready to paint! I taped the leaves onto a paper folder that I had laying around, gave her some watercolors and a couple of brushes and let her at it! 

toddler-watercolor-artI let them air dry for a few hours (hello, Hawaii humidity levels) before attempting to remove them from the folder. They were still a little bit wet, so I hung them on the clothesline in our laundry room overnight. 

The next morning, they were dry but the tops of the leaves were funky from being clothes-pinned all night so I stuck them under a stack of books for a while. 
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The book-smashing did the trick and the leaves came out nice and flat. 

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The last step was to get those bad boys displayed. To do so, I simply strung a piece of baker’s twine through the top of each leaf and hung them in her play area. 

Quick, simple, and easy – just the way we like our toddler crafts (and as an added bonus, we crossed another thing off of our falloha bucket list!)

 

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Four Year Anniversary

Today, we have been married for 4 years. 

Today, we celebrate 208 weeks of laughter. 

Today, we celebrate 1,461 days of partnership. 

Today, we celebrate 35,064 hours of unconditional love and support. 

Today, we celebrate 2,103,840 minutes of us. 

Today, I celebrate the best 126,230,400 seconds of my life.  

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Thanks for doing life with me, babe. I love you. 

 

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Life Lately

Another week has flown by. I’ve been in total nesting mode and have been trying to get our house fully un-packed and (mostly) decorated before Simon gets here which is proving to be quite the challenge because every time turn around, I find a scene something like this…

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She did point at me in a picture this morning and said “mama” which was all sorts of heart melting. (She loves to call Daddy and Rocco “bocko” by name but not mama)

In between the nesting, I’ve also been trying to soak up these last few weeks of life as I know it – ’cause it’s a good one. 

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Fall Bucket List

Happy first day of fall, everyone! 

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Fall looks a little different here in Hawaii than it does in much of the country. We spend more time sweeping up sand than raking up leaves, there aren’t any apple orchards to explore on the weekends (at least on Oahu) and the temperatures don’t quite dip low enough to justify wrapping up in cozy sweaters and scarfs. Yep, fall in Hawaii is definitely different but it’s exciting and special and I love it. So much so that I’m giving it a pet name this year (cause that’s what you do with things you love right?!) – falloha. Fall + aloha. Get it? 😉

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^ “really, mom?!”

Falloha is definitely the busiest season for our little family. In the span of a few weeks we celebrate Alex’s birthday, our wedding anniversary and my birthday and then roll riiiiiight on into the holidays. This year, we will throw Simon’s arrival into the mix somewhere and I’m just a teensy tiny bit anxious about that. 

Oh, and by teensy tiny, I mean extremely. 

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Of course, like any good blogger fall fanatic, I had to put together a fall bucket list for our family:

|| IN THE KITCHEN ||

Make apple crisp, fall marshmallows, apple cider, pumpkin ravioli and try a new soup recipe.

|| AT HOME ||

Paint pumpkins, make corn husk dolls, watch a Halloween movie, do a fall kid craft.

|| OUT & ABOUT ||

Go on a hay ride, trick or treating, and to a football game. Bring donation to the local food bank. Visit the pumpkin patch. 

Hopefully we will be able to cross everything off of our list this year! 

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What is your favorite fall tradition? You can follow along with our falloha adventures here and on Instagram

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Special K Bars

I hope you all had an awesome Labor Day weekend. Things around here were busy but super productive. As I mentioned last week, we are moving back to Ewa Beach soon and I have been frantically getting us organized for that.

When we moved last year, we downsized majorly and gave away/sold a lot of our furniture so now we are on a quest to rebuild our inventory. New furniture is expensive and I can’t stomach paying full price for everything so we have been hitting up garage sales on weekends and I have been watching Craigslist like a crazy person. 

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It’s totally paying off in a we haven’t had to pay for hardly anything kind of way 😉

We’ve scored so many great pieces of furniture already and I can’t wait to get them into our new home. For now, they are squished into our little front room so I won’t be sharing any pictures of them quite yet.

Probably the Craigslist find I am most excited about is our new (to us) piano. It’s a beautiful freestanding oak piano that a hospital was donating and we were lucky enough to be the recipients. 

Two of my cousins and a couple of their buddies (all freshman at the University of Hawaii) volunteered to help Alex pick up the piano on Friday night with the promise of being paid in a homemade dinner. When they got here, we ate dinner and then I whipped out my Grandma’s Special K bars for dessert. Our whole family loves these bars and whenever we are in Michigan visiting my grandparents, Grandma always seems to have a pan ready for us. She’s the greatest.

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The recipe is super easy and perfect to make as a thank-you to a bunch of college boys that help you move heavy pianos, to pack in your kids’ lunch throughout the week, to bring to a potluck, to munch on while your baby naps, etc. Basically, they are perfect and delicious and you should make some now. 

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I am so thankful that these boys were able to help Alex pick up the piano this weekend and am extra thankful that they offered to help move it again when we head to Ewa next week. Alex says we will have to pay them a little better than just dinner. I’m thinking maybe two batches of Special K bars will do the trick 😉

Special K Bars
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup light corn syrup
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 1 cup peanut butter
  4. 6 cups crispy rice cereal
  5. 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  6. 1 cup butterscotch chips
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, mix together corn syrup and sugar
  2. When sugar is boiling, turn off heat and mix in peanut butter
  3. Add cereal and stir until completely mixed
  4. Press cereal mixture into greased 9x13 pan; let cool
  5. Melt together chocolate and butterscotch chips, pour over cereal mixture; let cool
  6. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. TIP: cut into serving sizes before bars are completely cool to make serving a little easier 🙂
BRINGING UP BYRDS http://www.natashabyrd.com/
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