Pastels and Usborne Playtime

lionpasteldrawingbook pastel4My kids and I love to draw and paint but sometimes it’s hard to be inspired. I bought these Usborne Playtime books a few years ago and we continue to use them often for inspiration. Today,  the girls wanted to use a new set of Alex Chalk Pastels my friend recently gifted to them and I took the books out and the girls spent a nice amount of time creating beautiful artwork! I think the girls would definitely enjoy I can cut and stick and I can crayon also by Usborne.

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Simple Paper Bag Puppets

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If you have small paper bags and colored construction paper, these little guys are super easy to make! The kids wanted to make some paper bag puppets so I simply googled paper bag puppets and found many ways to create one! We found a simple tutorial here for the puppy puppet and a simple tutorial here for the owl puppet here.

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Simple Felt Hair Clips

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heartclip IMG_3740These hair clips are so fun and simple to make. I got the cute and simple idea from mycakies.com. All you need is some felt, thread, a sewing needle and some hair clips. You can even use hot glue if you don’t know how to sew or just don’t feel like sewing! I also made some hair clips for the girls to wear on St. Patricks Day. I found some clover patterns here. I cut out the pattern and used it to cut out the green felt. Cut two pieces, sew or hot glue together and hot glue a clip and you’re done!

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Jan Bretts, The Mitten

mitten5We love reading any story by Jan Brett. Our family favorite is of course The Mitten. Our copy has literally had to be stapled and put back together several times. Not because the kids don’t take care of it but because we’ve handle the book so, so, so many times! I found this really simple and fun activity to go along with the story.  I had these printed and kept on hand for a snowy day, and lucky for me and the kids it SNOWED! Lots and lots of snow. It was fun to read the book and do the activity after hours of playing in the snow! You can find a pdf format Here. I’ve found lots of great resources and activities at www.janbrett.com.

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Finding a Baby Bird

baby bird. 05.10.14 Mothers Day Weekend 030 05.10.14 Mothers Day Weekend 021 05.10.14 Mothers Day Weekend 024 05.10.14 Mothers Day Weekend 026 05.10.14 Mothers Day Weekend 028baby birdThis time last year we found this sweet little baby bird right next to our garbage cans near our garage. It fell out of a nest high up in our garage. I had never in my life seen a brand new baby bird and was startled at the sight of it. I had no idea what I was supposed to do with it. It laid there so helpless, with it’s mouth open. My little pup was trying to lick him up! I had heard several times that if you touch a baby bird a mother would throw it out of it’s nest and not want anything to do with it.  But there was no way that I was going to just leave it there and let nature take its course. I went straight to google to find advice on what to do in this situation. I found this site and several others that gave me easy instructions on what to do. My girls were so concerned for the little guy. I asked them to prepare a box with a towel to keep it warm. Luckily we always have decorated boxes laying around and it was perfect for our little friend. I spent a long time trying to find a nature refuge to help this little baby out. They get so many calls and it takes a lot of dedication to nurse these little birds to the point where they can survive on their own. I finally did find a place late in the evening and I remember dropping everything to take the 45minute drive to save this little bird. My husband thought I was nuts!! I guess it was just motherly instinct! Any mom would have done it! The girls and I always wonder how the little bird is doing and if he’s some where flying around! Now I check the spot to make sure no little birds have fallen out of their nests!

One day I will learn to sew

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I Love fabric! I have a small drawer of fabric swatches that I purchase here and there for little projects or just because I like the design on the fabric. Sometimes I buy fabric and send a job over to my mom, like making little bags for the girls or making a pillow case for an old pillow. Sometimes I just take out all of my fabric just to look at it and I wish that I could do more with it! I’ve recently realized how easy it would be for me to actually try to learn instead of wishin! I can take a class or I can have my mom or even my mother- in- law teach me. My mom was a seamstress my whole life and it never dawned on me that I should have or even could have learned how to sew many years ago. Lately though the urge is greater than ever. Maybe because I have three beautiful daughters who constantly inspire me to be creative. It’s definitely on my list of goals for this year!  This is an old photo I found (not that old, maybe 2 years ago and wow our yard has changed since this photo!). The girls are just as crazy about fabric as I am! I have a bin of fabric  that my mom has given me through the years. I keep it in the playroom and every time they take it out it keeps them pretty busy and I’m always impressed with what they come up with!

A perfect egg coloring day!

easter eggs april2015 117  april2015 124  april2015 131 april2015 133 april2015 134 april2015 135You know your kids are getting big when you can all sit and decorate eggs without it becoming a complete stress fest! I think this is the first year I actually 100 percent enjoyed egg coloring season! In the past I enjoyed it about 75 percent, maybe? Having three kids so close in age there was always one, even two children who were too little to do it by themselves and too impatient to wait for help. But this year, it was just lovely and the girls were able to take their time and share the colors and I was even able to color a few myself! I’m not sure why but I didn’t take any pictures of what the girls did to their eggs! They added eyes and tails and glitter, they came out so cute! I could swear that I took a picture before we turned them into egg salad. Oh well! And Isabel, what happened to the picture of her!? Well, she was there! and her eggs were awesome!

Celebrating Passover

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passover passoverI can’t believe I’ve been celebrating Passover for 14 years now! Being born Catholic I had never celebrated the holiday before meeting my husband Amir. I have to admit it has become one of my favorite holidays and my in laws do such a beautiful Seder! The kids were so involved this year and so excited about it. They followed along with the Haggadah (the Seder prayer book which tells the story of the Jewish liberation from slavery in Egypt) they even sipped on juice or seltzer (instead of wine) and they loved the part where they were instructed to recline in their chairs. They especially loved being able to reenact the 10 plaques using their puppets! My in-laws always put together a very traditional Seder table with a Seder plate and the Elijah cup and a traditional meal which consists of Matzoh latke’s (my favorite) and my mother in-law’s amazing Matzoh ball soup, and of course a feast filled table! Although a handful of our favorite family members were not able to join us this year it still ended up being a very special passover. Thank you Ema and Aba!

Happy Passover! 10 Plague Puppets

The Ten Plagues is one of the most fun parts of the Passover Seder for me and the kids! My kids love acting out the plagues, and these quick and easy to assemble plague puppets are perfect to get them involved and help them (and myself) learn more about the Passover story. Last year we made these cute plague puppets for the kids to use during our Passover Seder. I had bought a set at Party City years ago and when I went to take it out I found that some pieces were missing (my youngest had gotten into the bag and well not sure what happened next but some pieces were torn and chewed up). Instead of buying a new set I decided to quickly make one. I found a cute printable set here and here. We printed them out, laminated them ( I actually used large clear tape to laminate them because I don’t have a laminator!) , and cut each one out and glued them to a straw (didn’t have Popsicle sticks!). I found a cute little shoe box and had the girls decorate it and we use it to store our plagues. I was so excited to find it in one piece and can’t wait to use it tonight! Happy Passover!

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PJ Library

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Our family is an interfaith one. My husband is Jewish and I’m Catholic. We are raising the girls Jewish, but are also teaching them about many of my Catholic traditions. In our home, it always seems like we are celebrating something! It’s been fun for me learning all of the wonderful Jewish traditions and holidays as I experience them with my husband and daughters. I am always looking for ways to incorporate Judaism into the girls daily lives. Being Catholic though, it doesn’t always come natural for me to teach them about Judiasm, but I do try in any way that I can. A few years ago my sister in law told us about this wonderful program Called PJ LIBRARY. They mail us free Jewish children’s books and music to families on a monthly basis. (you can go to pjlibrary.org to find out more) Every month we look forward to a new book or music CD. The books are usually sent in accordance with a holiday or tradition that we are celebrating! It’s been so great and helpful in teaching the girls more about their religion and holidays. And I have learned so much as well, even my husband enjoys reading them with the girls! It makes them feel connected and special when we receive the books! Signing up was so simple and since then we have received well over 24 books!!!!