Let the Easter Crafts Begin!

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Reagan had a blast creating this bunny! Her fine motor skills were put to good use and she was loving the fact that the cotton balls were super sticky because of the glue! We obviously used washable paint when creating our pink nose, trust me that was the messiest part. Reagan was able to do most of this craft independently. I assisted in cutting and twisting the pipe cleaner, along with squeezing the glue. The first of many Easter crafts, I’m sure:)

Materials
Paper plate
Cotton balls
Scissors
Pipe cleaner ( I’m sure black and pink would be more appropriate, but we didn’t have those colors, so we used purple and red)
Pink Pom Pom ball ( again, a pink ball would be ideal, but we only had white, so we painted ours pink!)
Glue
White construction paper
Pink Marker or crayon
Black marker or crayon
Two google eyes

Directions

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If you don’t have a pink pom pom ball, squeeze a small amount of pink paint onto a plate and have your child roll the white pom pom ball around until it is covered in pink paint.

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Assist your child in squeezing the glue bottle to cover your paper plate in swirls of glue. Stick cotton balls onto plate, covering entire plate.

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Glue on google eyes.

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Glue pink pom pom down as nose.
Cut black pipe cleaner, or whatever color pipe cleaner that you’re using for whiskers, in half. Draw 4 lines with the glue. Place pipe cleaners on-top of traced glue line.

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Cut the pink pipe cleaner, or whatever color pipe cleaner you’re using for the mouth, in half and then cut another half inch or so off of each piece. Twist the top of the two pieces of pink pipe cleaner together and hook the bottoms. Glue below nose.

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Fold a white piece of construction paper in half and cut out the shape of a bunnies ear. Draw, on each ear in black marker, the inside of the bunnies ear. I free handed the cutting and the inside lines- they don’t have to be perfect;)
Using pink marker or crayon, color the inside of the bunnies ears. Glue ears to the back side of the paper plate.

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Happy Crafting!!

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a couple of new throws…

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It’s big girl bed time for Reagan! After several missed attempts at climbing out, Reagan finally climbed out, err…fell out, of her crib.  She’s a pillow lover, so I wanted to find a few extra special pillows for her new setup.

Clockwise from the top:

Sequin Cutwork Pillow from West Elm / Love You Linen Pillow from Layla Grayce / All You Need Pillow from One Kings Lane  / Moon and Back pillow from One Kings Lane / Schoolhouse Letter Pillow from Serena & Lily / Dwellstudio Kids Boudoir Pillow from Layla Grayce

Spotlight On: Favorite Apps 2nd Edition

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Even with thousands of apps out there, I only end up using a select few on a regular basis.  After sharing some of my favorites I wanted to add some others that have been topping the list lately.

Tripit: This app syncs with your email account to make travel much more seamless.  It logs all your reservations/flights/hotels and any other type of confirmation that comes into your inbox into an organized list and it will also automatically update any changes in your reservations.  With a busy year coming up with lots of events to keep track of, this app is a dutiful assistant.

justWink: I love snail mail and handwritten cards more than most but sometimes in a pinch you need to send a forgotten birthday message or last minute good luck wishes, this app has a selection of e-cards that can be texted or emailed on the go.  You can also upload your own photos before you send off that instant love note or congratulations!

Mint: this site and app has completely altered the way I look at spending since I signed up three months ago.  It links to all of your accounts (bank, credit cards, loans, 401k) and tracks them all.  You can set budgets for different categories and even create your own then it will alert you when you are approaching or over budget in individual categories.  The “ordering in”, “weekday breakfast” and “clothing” budgets were the ones that I hadn’t realized how much all the little things add up and it has really curbed my spending in those as well as other areas.

What are you some of your favorites?

Super Soft Rainbow

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Reagan’s been on a rainbow kick lately, so this super cute craft was right up her alley. Color identification and fine motor skills are put to good use throughout this activity!

Materials

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Glue
Cotton balls
Paper plate
Various colors of construction paper
Markers in corresponding colors to construction paper
Hole punch
Scissors

Directions

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Cut several strips of paper- I eyeballed while cutting- ours were not much smaller than an inch wide. Cut the paper the long way and keep the length to the strips. Reagan decided to color the strips; such a great addition!

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Cut the paper plate in half and punch a hole, in the plate, towards the top/center.

center

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Swirl glue, covering plate. Cover plate with cotton balls, pressing firmly. Reagan and I talked about the shape of the cotton balls, the color, how they felt and what they were representing within our project.

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Squeeze a line of glue towards the cut edge of the paper plate. Reagan picked the order of the strips, lined them up and pressed firmly for them to stay. We talked about the colors and came up with various things that were the same color as our strips- i.e. Green- grass, yellow- sun flower, red-grandmas lipstick and so on. ( the strips are glued on the opposite side of the plate from where the cotton balls were glued)

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Cut string or yarn to the length that you want and thread through punched hole, tie ends to secure.

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Hang for all to see!

Creamy Tomato & Spinach Pasta

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I adore simple recipes. And I love them even more, on days that my daughter doesn’t nap. BudgetBytes has been a lifesaver over the past few weeks.

Ingredients
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried basil
pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
freshly cracked pepper to taste
½ tsp salt
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 oz. cream cheese
¼ cup grated Parmesan
½ lb. penne pasta ( i used almost a full box, minus around 15 pieces)
½ (9 oz.) bag fresh spinach ( I used 6 ounces)

Directions
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender (7-10) minutes. Drain the pasta in a colander.

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While waiting for the pasta to cook, dice the onion and mince the garlic. Cook both in a large skillet with the olive oil over medium-low heat until softened and transparent (about 5 minutes).
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Add the diced tomatoes (with juices), oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper to the skillet with the onions and garlic. Stir to combine. Add the tomato paste and a ½ cup of water to the skillet and stir until the tomato paste is dissolved into the sauce.

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Turn the heat down to low. Cut the cream cheese into a few pieces and then add them to the skillet with the tomato sauce. Use a whisk to stir the sauce until the cream cheese has fully melted in and the sauce is creamy. Add half of the Parmesan to the skillet and whisk until it is melted in. Add the remainder of the parmesan and whisk until melted in again.

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20140318-212758.jpgAdd the fresh spinach and gently stir it into the sauce until it has wilted (3-5 minutes). Add the pasta and stir until it is well coated in the creamy tomato sauce. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm. Reagan ate around the spinach…but she ate;)