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Sunday, October 23, 2022

Easy Fall Dollar Tree Crafts for Mom and Toddler

 Happy Fall and Halloween Everyone!  I thought I would show everyone a few of the crafts that Finn and I have made for fall and Halloween.  All of these crafts are made from almost exclusively items that we got at The Dollar Tree. 

 The first one we did, was these cute little wine cork pumpkins.  I did actually get the corks on Amazon, a bag of 50 for various crafts.  I probably had enough but I wanted to be sure! These were so easy to do.  I had Finn help me with the painting, which I got at the Dollar Tree.  He dipped the ends in some paint and stamped them on a paper to take the excess off, which he obviously loved.
Some of the corks had wine stains on the ends and some were just plain cork, and I wanted to utilize this. I tried to randomly place the corks in pumpkin shape.  I did lines of 4-5-6-5-4 on the first pumpkin I did, and did the second one smaller, but you could make them as big or as small as you want.  I then used my glue gun to glue them all together.

I  took some leaves off some Dollar Tree picks for the top, and I used the little cut logs and ribbon from DT as well.  You could use a cork instead, or anything else you would like but I liked the size difference.  Again, I just glued everything on and tied the ribbon around.  I'm terrible at ribbons and will likely redo these.  These turned out so cute though!

I still have lots of corks left, so stay tuned for some Christmas Santas and snowmen.

Next we have a cute little centerpiece.  I got the ribbon, styrofoam ring, leaves, acorns and flowers at Dollar Tree, and the glass pumpkin I used was a hot seller in Bullseye's Playground at Target this year.  You could use a different kind of fake pumpkin or even a real pumpkin. 
I wrapped the burlap ribbon around the ring and secured it with some hot glue.  Then I had Finn help me pull some of the flowers off the picks.  I chose mostly sunflowers for this project, but use whatever you like. 
I put the acorns in the pumpkin and use some tiny pine cones that I picked up in Maine last fall as well. 
 I then clued down some of the burlap and gold leaves and put the flowers on top. I wrapped some cord around the top of the pumpkin and glued it in place too.  and Ta Da! a super cute Fall centerpiece. Idea credit to Krafts by Kaitlyn on Youtube.

The next one, our halloween craft, was the most fun, but the most learning curve as well.  Again, everything for this was from Dollar Tree, until we got to the glue part, but I'll go into that more later. I used DT pool noodles and cut them in to different lengths (tip: they cut really easily with a steak/serrated knife). Finn helped by using them as swords, and quality control on the little battery candles.

 I taped them together how I wanted them arranged then used my hot glue gun to glue them in place.

Now was the part that took some experimenting.  I started off thinking I would be able to just use white glue. I used ab out a whole regular size container of the glue, and when I first did it, it looked great.  I came back a couple hours later and the glue had completely melted off into a pool all over Josh's work bench.  So, I was back to the drawing board.  I initially though that my glue gun would work but I didn't think I wanted to waste all my glue sticks.  So I had josh did out some rubber cement.  It work, but not great, so I did a couple base layers of that and ended up using a ton of hot glue, but it worked great. Once it was all dry, I spray painted it with a matte black spray paint.  One coat worked well. 

 Once that was all dry, Finn and I got to work decorating and getting the lights in.  I had some white lights and some sparkly red ones.  I ended up spray painting the white ones black and left the red ones.  all of these lights are from the DT as well as the sparkly spiders, tarantula and the skull. 
The finished product, I absolutely love it!  It will be going on our candy table at Halloween. 

Friday, September 23, 2022

Family Pictures 2022

 While I work on a longer blog about our entire trip to Saskatchewan (really late as usual) this summer, please enjoy some of the pictures that we had taken by the fabulous Rachelle Hodgins Photography. It was so nice to have all of us together for some updated photos. It’s been a minute!

Friday, June 10, 2022

Mini Vacay to Tybee Island

A couple weeks ago, we packed up and headed north to Georgia.  We planned a nice little getaway to Tybee Island, off the coast of Savannah. One of Josh's best friends and his family live about 20 minutes from the island so it was perfect to get some family time and spend some time with friends.  

Tybee is absolutely beautiful.  A quaint little beach town, pretty isolated from the mainland, it has had a huge roll in American history since the country was first "discovered" in the 1400 and 1500s though the Revolutionary war, Civil War and everything in between. It is also a pretty popular party town, especially with Savannah locals but I really didn't see much of that myself, being in at 7pm everyday!

First stop, Dunkin and a Florida Citrus Center.

                                                Fun new train stuff to play with on the trip.

We rented the cutest airbnb, it was even better in person than on the listing.  and perfect location, like 3 blocks from the beach and downtown.  Finn liked it too.

After checking out our Airbnb we headed back into Savannah to Zach and Catherine's for dinner and a visit.  The boys wasted no time becoming friends. Adam is 4 and was so great putting up with Finn's 2 yr old shenanigans. They even rode in a jeep and went fishing.

We had a lovely dinner and Finn and I went back to Tybee for bedtime and Josh stayed out and had a little more fun.

Finn and I were up bright and early for some shelling and quiet beach time.  I went in to our trip with one goal. To find a Knobbed Whelk shell.  It is one (of many I'm sure) Florida shells that I did not have.  They are an Atlantic shell and I have never had any luck shelling on that side of the country.  Anyway, Finn and I were playing on the beach, keeping our distance from the massive waves that day, and watching the surfers, when I looked over and saw a wave bring in a 4-5 inch Knobbed Whelk and deposit it 5 feet from us.  I actually thought I was hallucinating!


                                                  Finn's first Low Country boil, he loved it!

Our rental cottage

                                                                  Party Time!


The crew came out and we went for ice cream and drinks at the Pier, followed by a quick dip in the ocean, then dinner.  


Tybee also has a lot of plant and animal life, including nesting sea turtles and birds.  The recently opened a beautiful science center  right on the beach with lots of creatures and things to learn.

                                                Saying goodbye to our new friend, Ike.

After the Science Center, we hit the family beach area.  The kids loved it and of course Finn was in heaven.


It was our last night, and we wrapped up our weekend at The Crab Shack, a huge Tybee "Must-see" The have live gators to feed, an aviary, waterfront dining, an arcade and lots of other fun stuff.  We got another Low Country Boil, oysters, crawfish and some yummy drinks.


                                                                  oops, outake.

We were up bright and early to head home the next morning but we made a stop at the Tybee Island Lighthouse.

We also stopped for a walk down River St. in Savannah.  Josh and I have been here several times before, and we love it, but man it was SO hot.  It always amazes me that Savannah is the hottest place I've ever been.

We stopped at the Savannah Candy Company for some treats and Black Rifle Coffee for a cold drink. Of course we had to watch the cargo ships go down the river, and go to the Waving Girl statue.

                                                     I just love this city, It's so gorgeous.

On our way home, there was miles nad miles of purple wildflowers through the Florida ditches.  We had a great trip and will be back soon!