Search Results for "Candy Leis Tutorial"

Candy Leis Tutorial

When I lived in Hawaii, we made candy leis a lot. Just about for any occasion worth celebrating. So this week being teacher appreciation week, we are showering Kaye’s teacher with love. We had a week’s worth of events planned out for her to make her feel appreciated. This was something quick and simple but turned out really cute. If I had more time I was going to add some flowers or yarn pom poms to add to the lei. You can get as creative as you want!

Supplies:

  • candy
  • plastic wrap
  • ribbon
1. Pull out a long piece of plastic wrap that is long enough to wrap around neck as a necklace and more. Place candy evenly spaced apart.

2. Wrap the plastic wrap around the candy so it is all the way wrapped.

3. Pinch the space between the candy because that is where the ribbon will tie.

4. Cut your ribbon and tie it between the candies.

5. The two open ends, put them together and twist. Tie a large ribbon into a bow. And done!

» Tell me… What are you doing for teacher appreciation week? What did you get your child’s teacher?

 

Marshmallow Candy Bracelet Tutorial

Happy Valentine’s Day! Yesterday, I had Nathan make these marshmallow bracelets as Valentine’s from dad to the girls. Boy will they be surprised. They love marshmallows. You can also do necklaces with them too. I didn’t want the girls to be that sugared up on Valentine’s Day, so we just did bracelets. And if you make something inspired by Simply Modern Mom, please upload pictures of it to our Flickr group to show it off to everyone. You may be featured on Simply Modern Mom.

Supplies:

  • strawberry heart marshmallows
  • regular white marshmallows (large or small)
  • candy bracelets or necklaces
  • string or thin elastic (for making jewelry)
  • large needle
  • any other candy or cereal for stringing, optional

1. Thread your needle. Cut the string the size of the wrist or around the neck with some room for the puffiness of the marshmallow and for tying.

2. Start stringing the candy onto the elastic or string.

3. Tie the two ends together to finish off.

» Tell me… Do you or your husband make something special for the children for Valentine’s Day? Any Valentine’s Day traditions?

Easter Candy Pouches Tutorial and Printable

I made these thinking it would be a fun craft to do with the kids. You know, cute little Easter chick and bunny candy pouches. Well, they were so much fun to make that I ended up doing them myself. I think I’ll save them as an Easter surprise for the kids. Or the kids can make some for his/her class at school and share them with their friends.

It’s so simple to make and you probably already have the supplies at home. And I made the pattern downloadable for you to print from your own printer. If you make something inspired by Simply Modern Mom, please upload pictures of it to our Flickr group to show it off to everyone. You may be featured on Simply Modern Mom.

Supplies:

  • construction paper
  • chick and bunny pattern (click to download)
  • yarn or string
  • scissors
  • small hole punch
  • candy
  • googly eyes
  • markers
  • large eye needle or tape

1. Print the chick and bunny egg pattern (click link to download) and cut out the pieces.

2. Use the pattern to trace two egg, two bunny ears, two feet and one beak onto construction paper. Cut out the pieces.

3. Match the front and back of the egg patterns then punch holes around the edges about 3/4-inch apart.

4. Stitch the egg pattern together using yarn, but leaving an opening at the top. I used a darning needle, but if you don’t have large eye needles, you can always tape the yarn end to help sew through the holes.

5. Glue chick and bunny parts to create a face. For the bunny’s face, I drew nose and mouth then colored the ears with thin markers. Attach the bunny ears and chick feet by gluing it to the back. And fold the beak in half (top point meeting the bottom) then apply glue to the back side of the beak.

6. Using the opening at the top, fill the pouch with candy. Hold the yarn ends while filling with candy so the stitching doesn’t come loose and the candy doesn’t fall out.

7. Pull the yarn tight. Then sew the remainder top of the egg and tie the ends together on the back. And done!

» Tell me… What kind of candy would you stuff these pouches with? What’s your favorite Easter candy?

Straw Knit Hawaiian Yarn Lei Tutorial

Due to a lack of tropical flowers growing anywhere near me, I am unable to make flower leis for May Day. Such a bummer because flower leis are gorgeous and smells wonderful. So I make due with yarn leis. A while ago, I did a tutorial on finger knit yarn lei. Today, I’m teaching you how to do a different kind of lei, still using yarn, but this time we’re using straws to knit it.

This is an easy enough craft where the older kids can make and keep their fingers busy for a while. And try it with lots of fun, bright colors for the summer. And a great thing to have at any Hawaii or luau party you will be participating in this season. If you make something inspired by Simply Modern Mom, please upload pictures of it to our Flickr group to show it off to everyone. You may be featured on Simply Modern Mom.

Supplies:

  • lots of yarn
  • 3 straws
  • tape

1. Cut the three straws each 3 inches off one end.

2. At one end of the longer part of the straw, cut a slit. It’s to hold the yarn in place.

3. Thread the yarn through the straw. If you are having a hard time, you can try to suck the yarn through the straw with your mouth.

4. Put the end of the yarn through the slit so it stays in place. Then measure the yarn length around the neck to see how long you would like it and add 5-6 inches to tie when finished.

5. Do steps 2-4 for the other two straw. Then tape the yarn tips down. This is an optional step, but I like to have it taped so the ends of the yarn doesn’t stick out while I’m knitting. When done, you should have 3 straws with 3 same length yarn (the length of your lei) through the straws.

6. Tape the ends to the table or something stationary so the knitting doesn’t fall off this end.

7. Tie the end of the remainder of the yarn spool over the 3 strands of yarn that’s in the straw. This is where you will use a ton of yarn, so make sure you have a large spool. So the strand that is tied is still attached to the remainder of the yarn spool. We’ll call this the knitting strand. Don’t cut this until the very end.

8. Take the knitting strand (the one that’s from the spool) and wrap it around each straw. The straws should be grouped together in a triangular shape (see picture below). Wrap the knitting strand counter clockwise once around straw 1, then do the same around straw 2 and 3. And you just do this over and over again for a long time.

 

9. Once you have quite a bit of the knitting gathered on the straw, slide it off the straw. And keep going with the wrapping around each straw. Until you have knitted enough to cover the length of the entire lei.

10. When the knitting covers the length of the entire lei, take the straws off one end and tape (that kept it stationary on the table) off the other end. Then tie the two ends together so it’s like a necklace. And done!

» Tell me… What do you think? Easy enough? Have you made leis before?

Don’t forget to check out The Salty Pineapple for more celebration of May Day.

 

Finger Knit Hawaiian Yarn Lei Tutorial

This is a fun summer luau tutorial, a yarn lei. I decided to tap into my Hawaii childhood and teach you to make a lei with something you can find in non-tropical locations. It’s one of those things that every child learns to do in Hawaii. And if you are thinking of doing a summer luau, this could be a fun activity for the children to do. It will keep their hands busy and out of trouble. If you made something inspired by Simply Modern Mom, please upload pictures of it in our Flickr group to show it off to everyone. You may be featured on Simply Modern Mom.

Supplies:

  • yarn
  • scissors

1. Take the tip from the ball of yarn and have it come from back to palm of your non-dominate hand. Don’t cut the yarn from the ball. You don’t know how much yarn you will need yet.

2. Wrap it around you fingers going from the back of your index finger (pointer finger) to the front of your middle finger. Then to the back of your ring finger and front of your pinky. At the pinky, you’ll loop it around to the back of it and wrap the other sides of all your fingers (except the thumb).

3. Take the yarn and wrap it around the palm of your hand by going back to front and leave the yarn dangling at the back of your hand placed between the thumb and index finger.

4. Lifting the straight line that is at the palm and going under it to pick up the yarn loop that is at the index finger. Pull it up enough to put your index finger through the loop.

5. Then do the same thing to the middle, ring and pinky finger.

6. Repeat step 3 through step 5 about 10 times. It should start gathering at the back and look like a huge lump. Take the opened end of the yarn and pull on it gently so the gather turn into the lei.

7. Repeat step 3 through 6 until you reach the desired length of your lei. Then cut the yarn from the ball of yarn about 5-6 inches out.

8. Take the newly cut end and pull it through the index finger loop from bottom up. And repeat to other fingers, always going from bottom up.

9. Once you have put the end through all the loops of the fingers, take off from the fingers and pull tightly on the end.

10. Tie the two ends together to make the lei. You can add a pom pom or a yarn wheel to where the two ends meet to cover it up better. To make the yarn wheel, you take a card about 4 inches in length. Wrap the yarn around that several times. The more you wrap the fuller the wheel. Then take a piece of yarn and tie the middle in the opposite direction of the rounded up yarn. To make the pom pom, do the same thing as the wheel, just cut the rounded yarn at middle of the loops then fluff. Aloha!

» Tell me… Have you been to Hawaii before? Which parts? Did you like it?

Aloha Shirt Freezer Paper Stencil Tutorial

I have done freezer paper stencil before with the hobo dance bag tutorial and loved it. It’s so much fun and easy to do. I wish I was better at coming up with designs for t-shirts then I would do this all the time. I thought these would be cute shirts for the girls since we will be going to the beach this summer. Unfortunately it won’t be the Hawaiian beaches. But a beach nonetheless.

If you are having a beach themed party, a luau or lucky enough to have a trip to Hawaii this year, you’ll want to use my patterns to make shirts for the kiddos. It’s a super cheap way to make your own shirts. I found these t-shirts at the Dollar Store, yes, they had toddler sized shirts. If you make something inspired by Simply Modern Mom, please upload pictures of it to our Flickr group to show it off to everyone. You may be featured on Simply Modern Mom.

Supplies:

1. Prewash shirts before painting them. Then print out the patterns you want to put on the shirts. I made three PDF patterns for you to use the island girl, island boy or aloha shirt.

2. Place a piece of freezer paper on top of the pattern (shiny side down and the dull side of the freezer paper up). Tape the freezer paper in place if you need to. Then trace the islands and words.

3. Place the freezer paper on top of the cutting board and cut out the islands and letters. Remember to save the little holes that are insides letters “A”, “D”, “G”, “O”, “B”. You will need to iron those parts on the shirt.

4. Place your stencil on top of the shirt centered. Have your iron on high/cotton without steam. Iron the stencil onto the shirt with the shiny, slick side of the freezer paper down. The stencil should stick to the shirt. Make sure you get the edges well so the paint doesn’t leak.

5. Place the holes inside those letters from step 3 and iron those in place.

6. Once all the ironing is done, paint with a foam brush. Read the paint instructions to see how many coats and how long to wait between coats. I usually do 3 good coats of paint and wait 20-30 minutes between coats. Then allow the shirt to dry overnight to 24 hours before sealing it.

7. Peel off the stencil, don’t forget the little pieces inside the letters.

8. To seal the paint, place a cloth on top of the shirts and iron over the paint on high heat with no steam. And done!

» Tell me… What kind of designs will you do with freezer paper stenciling?

Don’t forget to stop by The Salty Pineapple as Nikki has to tutorial on how to make candy leis for May Day! Can you tell we are both struggling to make leis without tropical flowers? Oh how I wished I still lived in Hawaii.


 

Ice Cream Piñata Tutorial

Kaye was set on having a piñata at her ice cream party. That was pretty much her only request for her party. The last time I made paper maché was in elementary school. But if elementary school age kids can do it, I was sure I could make one. Plus, this way I can have the colors match the party and stuff it with good candy that the kids will actually enjoy.

Tips about making a piñata: Start at least a week before the party. Just about each step requires about 24 hours of drying time. I did most of the paper maché at night so it can dry over night and through the next day. Remember, if you made something inspired by Simply Modern Mom, please upload pictures of it in our Flickr group to show it off to everyone. You may be featured on Simply Modern Mom.

Supplies:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup multipurpose glue
  • balloon
  • wax paper
  • packaging tape
  • poster board
  • newspaper
  • large masking tape
  • glue sticks
  • crepe paper
  • unbleached coffee filter
  • cord, rope, or string
  • exacto knife
  • candy or other fillers

1. Make your adhesive mixture by combining the flour, water and glue. Mix well and do your best to get as much of the lumps out.

2. Tear newspaper into 2-inch pieces. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

3. To make the cone of the piñata, get a poster board and cut the length in half. Then roll it to cone shape and tape together using packaging tape. Blow up the balloon and use that to measure the opening of the cone. Trim the top of the cone so that it is even.

4. Cover the cone in wax paper so the poster board cone and wax paper can be removed later. Tuck wax paper in the bottom and top of the cone.

5. Start the paper maché by dipping a piece of newspaper in the adhesive mixture. Stir often because the flour and glue settle. After you dip the paper, run the paper between 2 fingers to remove the excess. Cover the cone from top to bottom one layer at a time. Don’t do more than 3 layers. Any more than 3 layers will make it too hard for the kids to hit open.

6. Allow to dry for 24 hours then remove the poster board and wax paper from the inside of the cone. The wax paper should peel right off the paper maché.

7. Blow up the balloon and have it fit on top of the cone. Set the cone in something, like a large vase. Then paper maché the ice cream. Do 3 layers like you did with the cone. Paper maché over the cone to connect the ice cream with the cone. Allow to dry for at least 24 hours.

8. Once everything is dry, cut an opening flap with the exacto knife, only cutting 3 sides, on the ice cream part of the piñata. Make sure the opening is big enough for you to stick your hands through. As you cut the opening, that should pop the balloon. Remove the balloon.

9. Stuff the inside of the piñata with candy and crepe paper so all the candy doesn’t all settle at the bottom.

10. Using the knife again, cut an X at the top of the ice cream for the rope.

11. Thread the rope through the hole and tie a knot on the inside of the piñata. Make sure the knot is large enough that it doesn’t pull through the hole. You may need to double knot it. I used twine and braided it to make it stronger.

12. Tape the 3 sides of the opening with masking tape. I discovered that the clear packaging tape doesn’t stick to this surface.

13. Cut out the bottoms of the coffee filter so you only use the ruffled sides. Then use glue sticks (I used the strong permanent glue sticks) to glue the coffee filter to the cone part of the piñata. I found it easier to work the layers from the bottom up. I used unbleached coffee filter because I couldn’t find brown crepe paper.

14. Once you reach the ice cream portion of the piñata, start with the crepe paper. Also using the glue stick, work your way up to the rope. And done!

» Tell me… Do you make your own piñata or do your purchase them? What kind of candy to you like your children to eat?


Paper Ships For Thanksgiving… A Tutorial

Kaye’s class will be doing a Thanksgiving play and feast tomorrow. I am so excited. This will be her first play ever and I just know it will be cute. Come on. It’s a group of kindergarteners. What’s not to like about that? Being one of the room moms for her class, I have been coordinating the food for the feast and in charge of providing decorations. I thought it would be cute to make paper Mayflower ships for each of the kids.

And although I had to make 22 of them, it took no time at all since it was so easy. In fact, you could get your children to make them for you. These would work great on your Thanksgiving table as place settings. If you make something inspired by Simply Modern Mom, please upload pictures of it to our Flickr group to show it off to everyone. You may be featured on Simply Modern Mom.

Supplies:

  • brown paper
  • white printer paper
  • bendable white straws
  • stapler and staples
  • scissors/paper cutter
  • markers
  • tape
  • candy

1. Cut paper. I wanted it small so my brown paper was a 4-inch squares and the white sail was a 3-inch squares.

2. Bend the sail (white paper) in half to hole punch in the center (center of left and right). You should end up with two holes. Do not crease and press the sail in half when hole punching.

3. Write names in the center of the sail.

4. Bend the brown paper in half. Do not fold and crease. Staple the sides but leave a little opening at the bottom toward the bend. If you want something nicer than staples, you can stitch the sides with string or yarn. I did staples to make it fast and simple since I had 22 of them to make. Once stapled, press the center of the bend up toward the large opening to make the boat bottom. Crease the sides to help the ship stand a little better by creating a base.

5. Bend the straw at the accordion bend and tape the short end inside the ship.

6. Place the sail on by putting the straw through the two holes previously punched.

7. Place candy in the ship to weigh it down and help it stand. And done!

» Tell me… How are you decorating your Thanksgiving table?

 

Friday’s 5 at 5: Easter Ideas

 

While we have Easter on our minds, here are some other Easter ideas and tips for you from last year. And I have another idea for an Easter tutorial. I’m going to try it out this weekend. Hopefully it works then I can share it with you. Until then, here’s this…

  1. Egg dying techniques. Here are 5 simple ways dye and decorate Easter eggs. (Pictured above.)
  2. Easter basket fillers. Ideas for things to put in the Easter baskets this year.
  3. Egg fillers. Skip the candy and do these ideas instead.
  4. Easter scavenger hunt. Rather than doing a traditional egg hunt, try this scavenger hunt idea.
  5. Candy pouch. OK, this one was from this year. But so fun to make.

» Tell me… What are some new Easter crafts, activities or traditions you are trying out this year?

 

Batty Treat Holders By Paper Crave

Being a paper craft lover myself, I have been a follower of Kristen of Paper Crave for a long time. Her site is just full of paper goodies for the paper craft lover. And today’s tutorial from her shows exactly what I’m talking about. 

Supplies

  • black cardstock
  • printable batty treat holder template (click to download PDF)
  • scissors
  • X-ACTO knife
  • a white gel pen or marker (optional)
  • double-sided adhesive or glue dots
  • small sandwich bags
  • candy
  • ribbon

1. Print the bat treat template onto black cardstock, and cut out all of the template pieces. Use an X-ACTO knife to cut the slits for the wings. Write the name of the recipient on the front of the bat’s body (optional).

2. Insert the wing pieces into the slits, bending the tabs at the ends of the wings back toward the bat’s body. Adhere using double-sided adhesive or glue dots.

3. Using double-sided adhesive, adhere the two ends of the bat’s body together to create a cylinder for your candy.

4. Cut off the zip top of a small sandwich bag, and fill with a few pieces of candy. Turn the bag to an angle that allows the candy to drop to one of the bottom corners of the bag, and place corner side first into the cylinder. Add additional candy to the bag until the cylinder is filled to the top.

5. Tie the candy bag closed with ribbon, and trim off any excess plastic from top of the bag. Give as treats to all of the little ghosts and goblins in your neighborhood, or use as batty Halloween party favors.

Everything Origami Book Review

Roaming around the bookstore around Christmas time, I found Everything Origami in the clearance section. I have always enjoyed origami and thought it would be something fun for me to learn and maybe do with the children.

The book comes with a pack of origami paper in various sizes. And there are written instructions with illustrations. The instructions can be a little confusion in parts. But after reading it a couple times and looking at the illustrations I was able to get it. There are eight sections in this book with various categories of origami.

Some of you asked me about doing a tutorial for the lunch boxes that I used to contain the candies. I learned how to make it in this book. So if you want to learn how to make those boxes you’ll have to get this book.

» Tell me… What origami do you know to how to do?

How To Make Origami Cups

Here’s a simple tutorial on how to make origami cups to use at parties. I made four of these to put in the origami candy party pen pal kit.

Supplies:

  • square origami paper, scrapbook paper, cardstock

1. Have the paper on the table with the inside facing up in a diamond shape.

2. Fold in half (bottom corner matching top corner) so it turns into a triangle and the right side is up.

3. With the opening pointing up, take one of the side corners and match it to the opposite side.

4. Flip the paper over. Take the side corner that is still down and fold it to match the opposite side at the corner from the previous fold.

5. Take one of the opening top and fold down to make a horizontal crease.

6. Take that top fold and tuck it into the side folded triangle.

7. Flip the cup over to the other side and repeat steps 5 and 6. And done!

» Tell me… What ideas do you have for these origami cups?

The Procrastinator’s Halloweek: Decorations

halloweek

Yes, we are a bit over a week before Halloween and you know what? I don’t have a thing prepared. Nothing made. No decorations. Na-da. So this procrastinator’s week is actually for me. However, if you need ideas or encouragement… you came to the right place. Each day, we’ll focus on different parts of Halloween to get you ready for the big day 12 days away. Today is decorations. Tomorrow, kids’ crafts. Wednesday, costumes. Thursday, things to do with pumpkins. Friday’s 5 at 5, goodies to hand out other than candy.

A link round up of simple decorations. Just click on photos for more information and tutorials.

  1. Candied candles.
  2. Spooky photos.
  3. Window silhouettes.
  4. Mummy heads.
  5. Witch ornaments.
  6. Skull wreath.
{image by Country Living}
{image by Country Living}
{image by Good Housekeeping}
{image by Good Housekeeping}
{image by Parents Magazine}
{image by Parents Magazine}
{image by BHG}
{image by BHG}
{image by marthastewart.com}
{image by marthastewart.com}
{image by HGTV}
{image by HGTV}

Ice Cream Princess Castle Cake Tutorial

castle cake

Ice cream cake sounds good to eat in August, but it’s not as fun to make this time of year. But here it is, a simple ice cream cake tutorial. This was for Kaye’s 3rd birthday as she requested a pink castle cake with princesses on it. Luckily, my amazing friend, Julia, found Disney Princess cake toppers at the grocery store on clearance. She gave them to me, wouldn’t even let me pay her for it. What a dear friend.

I’m not a cake decorator by any means. So you’ll have to excuse my design. This is mainly a tutorial about how to make a layered ice cream cake. It’s easy, but time consuming because of the freezing and refreezing time. If you make something using this tutorial, please upload pictures of it in our Flickr group to show it off to everyone. You may be featured on Simply Modern Mom.

Ingredients:

1 boxed cake mix (with ingredients for the cake on the box)
1 box of ice cream for middle layer of cake (make sure it’s in a rectangular cubed paper box that can be ripped apart)
1 container of ice cream for frosting
(Optional) Cake decorations and toppings – ice cream cones, homemade/pre-made frosting, sprinkles, candy

cake batter

1. Make a cake. In my case, I used a boxed cake mix. Quick and easy. I divided the batter into two 8×8″ pans and baked as directed on the box. Make sure to grease and flour the pan before pouring in the batter.

little mixer

I had my assistant who came with her own equipment.

cake layers

2. After baking, allow cake to completely cool. Remove from pans and wrap each layer in wax paper. Freeze the layers for at least 2-3 hours. It makes it easier to trim the cake and insert the ice cream layer.

ice cream frosting

3. For a delicious frosting, I prefer vanilla ice cream. After you freeze the cake, prepare the frosting. Scoop the ice cream into a mixing bowl and mix with a mixer until ice cream is a frosting consistency. Careful not to mix too much where the ice cream turns soupy. In this instance, I put red food coloring in the ice cream to make it pink.

frosted

4. Trim the cake layers so both tops are flat.

5. Take your boxed ice cream and rip off the box. Cut slices of ice cream to lay on top of bottom layer of cake. My ice cream layer is usually about 1 1/2″. I like a lot of ice cream to balance out the two layers of cake.

6. Frost the cake with the ice cream frosting you made in step 3. Use it to fill in the discrepancy in the layers. Do it quickly as the ice cream will melt (especially in the summer). Refreeze the cake overnight (about 8 hours). You don’t need to cover it with anything.

draft cake

7. Sketch the designs with a toothpick. Then trace over with frosting.

refreeze

8. Decorate cake as desired. Refreeze until ready to serve.

This cake serves 16 since it’s so tall. Tastes best the first couple days of making the cake. This cake doesn’t keep longer than 3-4 days.

Washi Tape Gift Bag Tutorial From How About Orange

Even though Simply Modern Mom is a mom blog, I love to follow design blogs for inspirations and ideas. And one of my favorite design blogs is How About Orange by Jessica. She is amazing with her design and always have the best craft ideas. I love this simple packaging idea from Jessica. I love little packages and these are perfect for gift giving.

Here’s an easy way to make pretty gift bags from envelopes, using Japanese washi tape for decoration. These little sacks could be used to hold candy, party favors, or tiny presents. Coordinate the tape color with the contents or your party theme.

Supplies:

  • an envelope.  I used 4 3/8 x 5 3/4 inch envelopes, but any size will work.
  • decorative tape
  • scissors

1. Seal the envelope and trim off one of the short sides to make an opening.

2. Wrap tape around both sides of the envelope. No need to cover the last inch, since it will form the bottom of the bag.

3. Fold about one inch of each side of the bag toward the middle; then fold the bottom upwards, creasing your folds well. You can vary the width of these flaps depending on the proportion of the bag you want. Flip the bag over and reverse the folds along the same lines for easier shaping in the next step.

4. Put one hand inside the bag, and with the other, push the bottom fold down. This will leave the bottom corners of the bag standing up. Press each corner into a triangle.

5. Fold both triangles down and secure them with more tape, covering the bottom of the bag.

Sources of fancy Japanese washi tape include Happy Tape, Cute Tape, and Ginko Papers. Enjoy!

» Tell me… Do you have Japanese washi tape? I would love to have a collection of them because they are so adorable. What do you like to make with designed tapes?

Happy 2nd Birthday Simply Modern Mom!

Today is the day. And I’ve been so busy with summer that I didn’t really plan anything to celebrate Simply Modern Mom’s 2nd birthday today. But I thought I would take some time to blog about it and reflect where we’ve been together this past year.

First of all, thank you for your support, comments, tips, advice, emails, feedback and ideas for Simply Modern Mom. I love that it is such an active community of moms and the likes. Thank you for reading Simply Modern Mom. I started Simply Modern Mom because I love to write and craft. And because of you, it has grown tremendously.

If you would be so kind, go vote for me on Babble’s Top 50 Mom Blogs. I made it to page 2. So simply go there and click “like”.

Anyway, taking a look back, here are some of my favorite moments from the last year on Simply Modern Mom.

I’ve brought you along to some places I’ve been…

We’ve been busy sewing and crafting…

You helped me celebrated my daughter’s birthday with an ice cream party

We’ve eaten a lot of simple yet delicious foods…

I’ve made announcements and had some amazing experiences…

You watched the beginnings of making over the girls’ bedroom. More of this will be coming soon…

And one of my favorite things I started was the Adventures of Modern Mom series. I just had the best time reading about your mom experiences and relating to you.

Thanks for all the memories! Hope there are many more to come.

» Tell me… What was your favorite from SMM this year?

+ image by Call Me Cupcake!

20 Things To Do This Summer

If you haven’t noticed, this week has a bit of a summer theme to it. The summer luau with the yarn lei tutorial. Then the Be Out There intriguing site yesterday. And I’m here today with a list. You know how I love making lists. It’s been a while, so here I go with 20 things to do this summer…

  1. Play in the sprinklers. It waters your lawn and cools you off at the same time. Really. When was the last time you went down a slip ‘n slide? I think it’s time. And if you have a large trampoline in your backyard, put the sprinklers underneath as you jump. Now that’s fun.
  2. Visit a museum. Especially when it is way too hot to be outside. If you are a Bank of America member (bank account or credit card) you can visit local museums for free on the first full weekend (Saturday and Sunday) of each month. It’s their special program for members called Museum on Us. It’s fabulous. Visit their site to see which museums in your area are free.
  3. Sign up for local library’s summer reading program. Our local reading program gives out free kids meals at fast food restaurant to kids who read a certain number of books. You should check out your library to see what kind of reading programs they have for the kids, teens and adults.
  4. Have a yard sale, cupcake sale or lemonade stand. Make some money while you are at it.
  5. Visit a park and fly a kite. Check your local library for free park passes to state parks and historical sites. We check out this pass from our library to be tourists in our own state.
  6. Make popsicles. Here are a few awesome popsicle recipes to get you started.
  7. Make papaya milkshakes. My own recipe coming your way this Friday. So check back. You won’t want to miss this.
  8. Have a luau. Get all Hawaiian on summer and party island style. Play some island music, or you can always fall back on Bob Marley if you don’t have Hawaiian music. Eat lots of food. And make some leis.
  9. Create a play date group. Gather some moms with kids who are out of school and do a play date at the park or even in your backyard. It’s a great excuse for moms to have some girl time while the kids run amok. Rotate home or person in charge of play date ideas.
  10. Play in the dirt. Make mud pies or “chocolate milk” with dirt. Get down and dirty. Your kids will love it. Little Tykes has some great mud toys such as mud pie kitchen or mud pies kit.
  11. Hike and picnic. Use Be Out There to search for great hiking trails and other outdoor place to have picnics.
  12. Get crafty. Visit Michael’s or JoAnn on Saturdays they do free demos and crafts classes for kids. Good excuse to get out on Saturdays and learn something new.
  13. Build something at Home Depot and Lowe’s free workshops. My kids love these. What kid doesn’t like to use a hammer? Each first Saturday of the month for Home Depot. Lowe’s have them once or twice a month also on Saturdays. Check your local Lowe’s for workshop dates.
  14. Ice blocking. Freeze a large block of ice and find a hill. Sit your bum on that ice and down you slide. Bring a towel and maybe a change of shorts.
  15. Roam around in an antique store, farmer’s market or thrift store. This is my favorite thing on the list. I love supporting local vendors and eating farm fresh foods. You’ll find the most interesting things.
  16. Cheap or free summer movies. Check your local parks for outdoor movies. Regal movie theater has free summer family movies. AMC movie theaters offer $1 family movies every Tuesday at 10 a.m. And Carmike Cinemas also offer $1 Summer Kid Movies with $1 drink and $1 popcorn. Or get creative and plug your TV outside somewhere and get cozy.
  17. Plant herbs, a tree or a garden. Children will love watching plants grow and taking care of it. It’s like a pet, but without all the cleaning up after.
  18. Make dinner together as a family. When was the last time everyone participate in making dinner together? Even my 16-month-old loves to “help” in the kitchen. It’s more making a mess by flicking food everywhere rather than stirring. But I have to let that clean and orderly part of me go and just enjoy all of us accomplishing something together. Each person can pitch in whichever way they can.
  19. Geocaching. I’ve actually never done this before. But I would love to do this. It sounds so fun. A real live treasure hunt that everyone in the family can participate. Go to the geocaching website to find out all about it.
  20. Build a bon fire. Roast marshmallows. Get that smokey smell on your clothes and in your hair. Make some meals over an open fire. Just make sure you check your local burning and fire regulations before doing so.

» Tell me… What is something you are looking forward to doing this summer?

Bubbles Valentine’s Day Card Printable

This Valentine’s Day is a special one for Kaye. It’s her first time experiencing Valentine’s Day at school with her friends. She’ll find out what it’s like to exchange cute Valentines with her classmates. So I wanted to make a special one for her to hand out next Tuesday. I had extra bubbles from Elle’s birthday party so I created a Valentine’s Day card using the bubbles. I found these bubbles at Target, a pack of 12 for $2. But you can find these also in the wedding sections at craft stores.

You know me… totally simple but cute. So print it out and use it for your child’s Valentine’s. It is best if printed on thick (100 pound) card stock paper. And white card stock is the best since the font is really thin and the colors are light.

If you make something inspired by Simply Modern Mom, please upload pictures of it to our Flickr group to show it off to everyone. You may be featured on Simply Modern Mom.

To make this card just like mine, I made a little tutorial for you…

Supplies:

1. Once you download the card, cut on the lines to create 4 cards from one sheet.

2. Place the bubble on the card’s white space (left side) to get a feel for where you need to punch holes. Punch two holes for the strings to go through.

3. Place the double-sided adhesive squares in the middle of the holes punched in step 2. And stick the bubble to it.

4. Tie the tag to the bubble (optional) using baker’s twine.

5. String baker’s twine through the holes and tie a bow to keep the bubble in place. And done!

» Tell me… What is your favorite Valentine’s Day candy to receive?

Ice Cream Bar & Ice Cream Party Details

I hope you have been enjoying all the tutorials from Kaye’s ice cream party. I hope it at least gave you ideas to other things you can do at parties. I tried to keep Kaye’s party small and simple. So the schedule for the party went like this…

When the kids arrived, I had a little animal puppet craft for them to make on popsicle sticks. And of course the kids smothered themselves with toys in the playroom. Then lunch.

After lunch the kids went outside to hit the piñata. Once all the candy was cleared from ground, everyone came back in to escape the heat and for the gift opening. While Kaye opened gifts, I worked on setting up the ice cream bar.

The toppings were mini ice cream cones, syrups, Oreo cookies, baby gummi bears, mini M&Ms, sprinkles, waffers, white chocolate chips and chopped nuts. I made special signs for each topping using calligraphy and embossing. Then I taped them onto large popsicle sticks. Finally I made it stand by sticking the bottom end of the popsicle stick into white playdough.

I also decorated the ice cream bowls by using clear plastic cups and covering it with coffee filter that had the bottom of the filter cut out.

Next I used double-sided tape to keep the filter attached to the cup. Then used bakers twine to add a hint of color.

I also made some extra ice cream invitations without the birthday info and glued them back-to-back to make some ice cream hanging for decorations.

Lastly, the cake. I made cupcakes in ice cream cones. I make them in mini cones for the children and regular sized cones for the adults. The trick with these is to not fill them up too much. The cake will overflow the cones and make it mushy.

» Tell me… I want to know what kind of cake you have made for your child. Do you make your own or do you get the store bought? Do you make two cakes so they can mess one up then serve the second cake?