She started going to Chinese school back in September of 2018 and it was a really rough go for her. Above is the picture I took of her first day at Chinese school. She struggled going to class because she didn’t understand what was being said to her.
In last week’s blog post, I discussed how expensive buying Christmas gifts can get and how you can save money. This blog post is kind of a continuation of that post of how you can create some great DIY activity kits for kids that won’t break the bank.
Last year, I was very ambitious and wanted to make a cake for my daughter’s birthday. I tried but fairly quickly realized that I suck at baking and following instructions. The hack I came up with last year was buying a plain cake from my local bakery and decorate it myself. My daughter loved her “Peppa jumping in muddy puddles with her family” cake last year. (She absolutely didn’t make it easy.)
I've been in my current home for over 10 years now. Honestly, I didn't initially buy it because I loved the house. I bought it because it is walking distance to my dad’s house. It was a huge fixer upper and we completed renovated it from top to bottom over the last ten yeas. I always love my home right after the renovations because it is so nice to see our hard work come to life.
Super late with this post because I had hoped to get more done on this project before posting. Oops.
Late last year, we were very lucky to have been gifted this well-loved playhouse. It was previously loved by our friend's kids for 7-8 years. It was a cedar playhouse originally purchased from Costco and looked like this:
Some of the most random DIY projects arise out of random requests by my daughter. One evening she requested to play fishing. Initially, we used pipe cleaners to make a fishing hook and fishes but she was not impressed at all. Then
Previously, I thought I found the perfect art storage solution by making a massive boxto store all of my daughter's many masterpieces. It was a less than perfect solution when I had another whole years worth of masterpieces.
Beauty of this project is the amount of crap you can reuse to make it when stuck indoors for long periods of time. (Think cold winters, sick days, etc.) This project started off with a paper tube I had in my office for months.
Some projects start off with the hopes of it being a hit and turns out to be a homerun! Some projects I am confident will be a hit and my daughter doesn't GAF. Here are the best DIY projects I made, she liked, and we got the best bang for our buck!
Two of my favorite things are jeans and old school toys. I grew up in a very different era where we didn't have the internet or very many toys. Most of my toys were even handmade by my mom. I never felt poor growing up and I still remember some of my favorite toys were the ones my mom made for me. Now that I have a daughter, I too want her to create handmade toys and for her to create her own special memories.
This project started off as a gallery wall but I changed it to an "inspiration" wall for two reasons:
1) It is in my home office and I need to reclaim it back as my office. Since my daughter turned one years old, she started to use my office for arts and crafts. While I love sharing the room with her, I'm hoping to occupy at least 50% of that room.
This year, I decided early on that I wasn't going to decorate pumpkins because it is a lot of work. I also didn't think my daughter really cared that much last year anyways. Obviously, things have changed from last year to this year because my daughter is now three years old and understands the concept of Jack-O-Lanterns. This was just great.
One evening, as I was staring at the closet in my office, I announced to my partner that I am going to create a "CRAFTER'S DREAM CLOSET." His reaction was: Whoa. Then I explained I needed a big name for this project to get me motivated. I know I have a lot of stuff in the closet that I need and hoard (I love boxes). I also know there are a lot of half done projects in there just dying to be completed; dying to be put out of their misery; or died already. (The photo above is a sock bunny. Obviously.)
This project started with a trip to Micheals because I had a 55% off coupon. As I told my partner, it was an EPIC coupon and I had to go. His response: I thought 50% off was an epic coupon. I told him: 50% off is epic. 55% off is EPIC. Seriously, why doesn't he get these things?!
Anywho, I went with my sister-in-law and we spent a considerable amount of time in the store.
This DIY was really born out of two things/reasons:
1) I wanted Grace to be able to entertain herself safely when I am cooking dinner at record speed like a crazy person during the week. I try my best to cook a fast dinner but unfortunately, there are always bumps along the way.
2) When I was at my happy place (Micheals), I found this scrapbook paper box on sale for $5. I figured I could surely do something with it.
This project got started because I had a massive bag of stuffing for 3 years (that was going to be for another project) that finally popped. All the stuffing was coming out of this bag because I guess it couldn't stand to be contained in a plastic bag anymore. Rather than put the bag in another bag, I decided I needed to do SOMETHING with this. Enough is enough. Well, actually, enough procrastination on my part.
It wasn't until I met my partner that I learned about all the different herbs you can cook with. Until then, I was cooking mostly Chinese cuisine and there aren't a lot of herbs used. I still don't know how to cook with most herbs but the recognition of them is even worse. I blame it on them all looking the same and lack of interest on my part.
One thing I keep reading about organization is to never buy storage bins and organizers. These products only add to the problem because you are now just finding ways to store more stuff. I kind of agree with this but at times it is so nice to have everything that matches and be able to stack them on top of one another.
As soon as I saw this craft apron pop up on my feed, I knew I had to make it for Grace. That was of course over a year ago. I waited this long because I had asked my partner for a pair of his old jeans and that never came through. He either thought his jeans were too good or the ones he gave me was too old/trashed. Then it dawned on me one day that I can buy a pair of used ones at Value Village. (Yes, took me over a year to have this "dawn" on me.)
I'm kind of embarrassed to say that (as a DIY fanatic) I have never used Mod Podge before. I hear about it a lot but I honestly didn't know what to do with it and just never bothered to try to learn about it. Then, one life changing moment occurred, I got a bottle of Mod Podge with my National DIY DAY Ambassador craft box! I was so excited that I ran to show my partner this bottle of Mod Podge. His reaction: I don't know what that is but I am happy that it makes you that happy. Indeed it did.
My daughter loves to color. It is her favorite hobby for the last six months. (As a 2.5 year old, this is a really long time for her.) When I came across a 3D coloring playhouse at Michaels, I knew she would absolutely love this. Who wouldn't really?! It is a 3D house you can color all sides of. Then, I looked at the price - $49.95. Seriously?! For paper?! Even with a 40% off coupon, I couldn't stomach it. I can afford it but can't bring myself to buying it.
Building Grace a play kitchen has been the best idea EVER and form of entertainment for her. When she was younger, she would pretty much just take everyone out of her cupboards and...leave them out. (Not exciting and slightly annoying as I now had two kitchens to keep tidy.) As she grew older, her "cooking" skills also grew and she would make soup, coffee and pizza in her little kitchen.
Obviously, I am biased but I think every piece of art or craft made by my daughter is a MASTERPIECE worthy of being in an art gallery. The thought of throwing away her early work made me cringe. I can't. I must save (some) of it...for...no...good...reason.
I wanted to buy her an art folder but really couldn't justify the price of over $30. This folder would hold her artwork at the end of the year and will likely be placed in storage.
I believe in collaboration over competition, and sharing over keeping things to ourselves. If you have a great products, service, or something that would benefit others, let’s chat and see how we can collaborate!