Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Christmas Crafting with Kiddos: snow globe jars!

Baby, it is COLD outside in Texas, and so we have needed a few more indoor activities to get us through. I had seen these snow globe jars at Anthropologie and on pinterest, and thought they were too darn easy and cute to not do... and then I saw ALL the materials at The Dollar Store, which sealed the deal (wasn't going to drag 2 toddlers all over town in the cold).

Materials (The Dollar Store):

- jars (i got a few different sizes, but at least 5" tall)
- mini trees, accessories (carolers, snowmen, forest critters, ice skaters, street lights)
- white sand
- glue gun (not from The Dollar Store)


1) allow your kiddos to choose what they would like to include in their winter scene

2) allow them to scoop sand into their jar (like 1/4c)

3) hot glue the bottom of your items, and allow your child to place them on the inside of the lid

4) screw on the lid, tip over the jar and enjoy your little snow scene! The girls got to use these as decorations in their room, and think that they are super cool. Particularly, the snowmen:).

                         I did a few little scenes around the house too.  Aren't they kind of cute? Super easy, cheap, and adorable! No excuses, have fun :)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Road Trippin' with toddlers. what what

Welp, we just returned from a 12 hour road trip to St. Louis where we surprise visited my family! I was TERRIFIED to confine our family in a small space for that amount of time, but it was a great success!! So glad to have that under my belt. Here are some tips that worked for our family, and I hope they work for yours as well!

1- 6 days before: If you do not have a car dvd player, buy this. This iPad HOLDER was my lifeline. Make sure you purchase and FULLY download your movies/shows beforehand. Remember a power cord and car charger, and check to be sure the cord is long enough to reach the iPad- if not, order an extra long one. Power up!

2- 5 days before: NEW is key. Go to your public LIBRARY and get children's sound tracks and audio stories. I HIGHLY recommend choosing an artist who won't make you lose your mind (ie. Jack Johnson 'Curious George', Zooey Deschanel "Winnie the Pooh", definitely nothing with Elmo). Also, let them choose some board books to bring along.

3- 4 days before: Go to TARGET (obviously), and get stickers, coloring books, crayons, play doughs, and fun toys from the $1 section. Get a clip board (I got mine in $1 section) to color on. Don't let them see their new goodies until the trip! Keep the target bags and put them in the car for trash and whatever. I gave the girls a little stuffed animal when we got in the car to get them excited for the trip and they snuggled with it the whole time-- I pulled out maybe one more surprise toy when we started to go down hill (that's ok on a 12hr road trip, right? ;)). Also get the car shades- I didn't find them to be super effective, but at least you feel like you tried. My fav toddler blog, Love&Lion, also did a post on this and reminded me to put sunscreen on them and wear sunglasses if you're traveling during the day- great tip!

4- 2 days before: get lots of SNACKS. We loved wholes apples (keeps 'em occupied), bananas, Squishers, Craisins, nuts, and goldfish snack packs. Remember little baggies too to hand back. And a paper towel roll!

5- Maximize on SLEEP times. Obviously drive during nap times (keep blankies and lovies accessible), and also try to knock out a chunk later in the night or early morning if possible. We may or may not have given them a teeny 1/2 of a Melatonin gummy to help during sleep times (per a pro-mom friend's suggestion-- ps. they are really yummy and work and I am not a doctor and don't do this in real life :) ).

6- We found it really helpful to stop for a meal and get a good BREAK (I feel like their little tailbones get so sore in those carseats :( ). We even stopped at a real restaurant, which was fine because by the time I changed everyone's diaper, washed hands, cleaned out sippies, and cleaned trash out of the car, the food was there :).

7- Arrive and drink red WINE.

That's what I got! Yay, road trippin'.

GOOD LUCK! I hope this helps you, and I'd love to know your tips and tricks. XO

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Woodlands (what I've been up to)

In my little bits of free time the last couple months, I have enjoyed chipping away on my most recent "project", a baby shower for one of my favorite people, little Mrs Maggie! I was one of 6 co-hosts, and since she was not finding out the gender, so we wanted to keep it natural and neutral. We decided on Woodland. Im a fan of the non-shower shower (isn't every woman?? maybe not), and so we did 8pm, cocktails (and Izze soda), no games, and open gift display-aaaaand we had a grand ole time :). I got to do my favorite part of party planing- decor! Here are some pics, enjoy!

My lions love a party ;). We didn't have any shower games, so this was kind of a fun non-game. HE got the majority vote, and so Maggie wore a mustache pin all night :)
Kaye did this beautiful branch centerpiece
Hope tree centerpiece~ everyone wrote down their hopes for baby.
Kelly did this gorgeous pinecone cheese ball
Carrot Cake- that's woodlandish right? The stumps were from a friend who cut up some tree limbs :)
Twiggy baked apples by Diana

Pinecones the girls and I collected on our walks. Those little mushrooms have a wire that I attached through the burlap and dotted down the runner- thought they were too cute not to find a use for. Also did little bud vases of ferns from a friends garden.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Fall update

The Anderson family is doing great! RUF at TCU is so much fun. We are entering our 4th year and are settled in our house, in the city, and on campus. We know the rhythms of the school year well, and we will be seeing our freshmen graduate this year, which is unbelievable! We love working with college students, and the campus is all abuzz about our new relationship series! Check out Ryan's podcasts here.
 The girls are almost 2.5 years old, and we are at that point now where twins really are easier than having 2 singletons because we are not juggling 2 different stages & schedules, and also, they play together. They are so much fun! Evangeline loves to sing, twirl, wear her Elsa dress, climb, dig in the dirt, read, and do crafts. Audrey loves to paint, run, jump on the bed, take all the pillows off the couch, and talk about her feelings :). We started a little homeschool curriculum this fall called ABCJesuslovesme (free online) that we do a few times a week. The girls love it, and are learning a lot. We are working on potty training, letters, numbers, shapes, colors, manners, the creation story, and saying our name.
 In terms of lasting TTTS effects, praise God, we do not see anything, aside from the obvious 10 pound weight difference. It is hard for me to believe, after all they went through, that the size difference is the worst of it. If it is, that is absolutely miraculous! And maybe it's not…but whatever comes down the road, we continue to believe that God is good to us and will meet us and our children. We are so grateful, regardless.
The girls obviously love Frozen, so we had a few toddler girlfriends over (Anna Zane we missed you!) for dinner, and to meet Queen Elsa! Lucky for us, Megan is one of our TCU RUF students, who doubles as Queen Elsa for local Frozen parties in her spare time :).

Do you wanna build a snowman?
We were a little unsure of Miss Elsa.

Girls! It's ELSA, not the boringest person on Earth! Seriously!

movie time for princesses = cocktail time for mamas :)

Praise God for all these amazing blessings! We are so thankful for the big victories and the little joys.
Thank you for checkin in on us! XO

Monday, May 5, 2014

Noah's Ark 2x2 Twin Birthday Party!

I am SO thankful to have 2 healthy happy 2 year olds!! We all had an absolute blast at our birthday party. I loved doing it and am sad it's over!

I decided on a Noah's Ark 2x2 theme this year because our twins turned 2 and how perfect is that. Also, what two year old doesn't like animals, rainbows, and splashing! The story of Noah's ark is not a sweet nursery story by any means, but a good story of God's faithfulness to His unfaithful creation, and His refusal to give up on what he started. The rainbow is a sign of a promise he gave Noah after the flood, that He would never flood the Earth again, and He gives it to us to this day to remind us of His faithfulness. I am so grateful for His kindness and faithfulness to my family in the midst of my unfaithful heart to Him.

Tray (painted with chalk paint), napkins, cups, poms, plastic animals (spray painted gold, cut in half, hot glued on), cups, straws, all from The Dollar Store.

Rainbow cake (recipe here),  family recipe rainbow M&M cookies, gummie bear/fish/worm kabobs (for kids to make and hold on to), also had treat bags for animal crackers and goldfish (for the animal lids, I spray painted lids & animals, and hot glued on)

Noah board books are from The Dollar Store too, I watercolor painted rainbows on the tags and gave them as favors.

I had a few little activity stations for playdough, chalk, bubbles, and coloring.

My invitations were animal masks, I had 2 of each animal, and asked them to wear them to the party. As people arrived they had to find their match and get their picture taken by the rainbow.  I found these invites at Target on clearance for $3.29!

I loved that my sweet college friend, Lindy Lu came in for it!!

I mean….who knew sipping could be so sweet?!
The kids LOVED sipping their "flood water" (blue juice) through these straws (after spray painting animals, I drilled holes in them and stuck them through the straws)!

The rainbow party hats are from Target (left over from last year :D). After spraying animals, i cut them with scissors, and hot glued them to hats!

We love our Noah's Ark dresses that our sweet Mimi made!
He is faithful.

*I got a lot of my ideas on pinterest and from my sweet friend Leah, over at Love and Lion. Little disclaimer, I would hate if anyone felt burdened by this blog post. Party planning/crafting is a hobby that brings me life and joy and this year i was able to do it, and another year i may not be. But what is absolutely true, mommas, is that whether you do or don't chose to throw birthday parties for your children, it is in no way a reflection of your love for them as a parent.

Thanks for stopping by! To see our 1st birthday party, "It's Sweet to Turn One" click here