DIY: Toddler “Dirt” Pit / Sandbox Alternative

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Louisiana is quite literally being flooded away right now. Our home is, very fortunately, not in a badly hit zone, but we are still being trapped inside all weekend by the constant showers. Which means, cabin fever. And cabin fever + small children means hell.

Luckily, I just happened to finish this little DIY project for Hudson last weekend and it has turned out to be the perfect lifesaver for a rainy day. Heres, how it came to fruition…

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Right outside our balcony door there is a large opening under the railing that is just big enough for a baby or dog to crawl under. And it opens to a 12 foot drop off, leading right down to a hard cement floor. For the last three years, this opening has driven me crazy with worry. We tried covering it with plants and other odds and ends but nothing felt secure enough. So this weekend I finally put my mind to it and used all of my handy man prowess to build…. A BOX! Ha. It was quite easily one of the most simple carpentry projects there is. Four sides and a bottom. But, I was still extremely proud of myself. After all, there was an electric saw involved. And screws. And measurements. And Stains. And Paints. You get the point. I’m basically a DIY Genius, is what I’m getting at here.

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We just happened to have a lot of excess wood lying around from past projects. So, I measured that pesky opening in the stair rail and cut the wooden boards down to make a rectangular box that would cover it perfectly. Screwed all of the pieces together. Covered the holes with some wood putty. And Stained and Painted some cute stripes on it. Finally I sealed it with a polyurethane spray to protect it from the elements.

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My original plan was to make it into a flower bed. But, I have whatever the opposite of a green thumb is. And I knew my son would inevitably dig in the dirt and ruin it anyway. So, with that in mind, I decided to scratch the live plants idea and fill it with rubber mulch. It’s fairly inexpensive, relatively un-messy (compared to actual dirt) and perfect for your truck obsessed little ones to plow and dig in for hours of fun.

Hudson and Holland have both used it daily since we introduced them to it and I no longer worry about impending doom from falling off of the balcony. It’s a win win! This idea is also a wonderful alternative to a sand box, in my opinion! Let me know if you give it a try!

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Cute and Easy St. Patrick’s Day Treat

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I started making these Lucky Charm Treats a couple of years ago for our Annual St. Patrick’s Day Party, after seeing them on Pinterest. They are the easiest thing to make and people will always think that you put way more thought and effort into them than you actually did! Plus they’re delicious.

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp of Butter or Margarine
2 1/2 Cups of Marshmallows
5 Cups of Lucky Charms
(I never said they were healthy…)

Directions:

Grease 9×9 Pan
Melt Butter and Marshmallows
Stir Cereal into Butter and Marshmallows until all of the cereal is well covered in mixture.
Fold into Pan. (It helps to use a non-stick silicone spatula for this. Or just use your hands with a little bit of butter on them.)

Put in refrigerator to make them set faster.
And Voila.

It is seriously one of the easiest things to make.
Enjoy!

Oh, The Clutter!!

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“…my experiences show that after a certain point, material objects have a tendency to crowd out the emotional needs they are meant to support.” – Graham Hill

One of my biggest desires is to sell everything I own and move far away from every modern distraction. No reality tv, fast food, malls, or traffic. Just my family, a few select friends and whatever we need to live a simple, clean existence. As you may have gathered from my post yesterday, my life is feeling just a tad bit cluttered.  And as the old adage goes “A cluttered space is a cluttered mind“.

Well, it was a very welcome surprise on my instagram feed this morning to discover Ann Marie of White House Black Shutters’ 40 DAYS 40 BAGS project. It is a 40 day commitment of de-cluttering, that falls in line with the Lenten season. Today, being Ash Wednesday, marks the first day! A quick summary of how it works is; for every day in the Lenten season (excluding Sundays) pick just one area of your home and fill up a garbage bag of things you don’t need anymore. You can donate them, toss them, or reorganize the pieces in a more appropriate place in your home. Ann offers printables galore on her blog to help with the process. And she has organized a community of followers on Instagram and Facebook alike, to offer support.

I personally plan to kick things off with our Wet Bar area, which has become the grave yard of random things that have no place in our home. Wish me luck! And I would love to hear about it if you decide to join in!

Valentine’s Day on a Budget

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Hat: Baby Gap (Similar Here)
Onesie: Carter’s (Similar Here)
Moccs: Happy and the Hectic


Since my husband and I made resolutions to live this year frugally, we are doing Valentine’s on a budget.
So gifts for friends and family this year will include these amateur V Day Photos of Hudson. And lots of homemade treats.


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And, If you happen to still be on the hunt for some last minute Valentine’s Day ideas on the cheap, I’ve been  Pinning up a storm on my
 Valentine’s Day Board.

Valentine’s Crafting With a Toddler

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Hudson and I decided to get creative yesterday in the name of St. Valentine. And when I say “Hudson and I” decided, I obviously mean I forced him to do this. But he still enjoyed it, I promise.

I decided to make some heart shaped Salt Dough ornaments, because they were free and easy. They’re also good for making keepsake imprints of little baby hands and feet!

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I can not take credit for this recipe, because I believe it’s been around forever. And you can find a million variations by Googling salt dough. But we used:

1 Cup Salt
1 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Water

Mix all the ingredients.
Roll out onto wax paper and cut out whatever shapes you would like.
We made a lot of little hearts and used a chop stick to make wholes in them for hanging.

Then Bake at 300 Degrees F for about 30 minutes.
(This recipe is not fool proof, as I found out. A few of them may bubble depending on thickness. The thinner the better. But, either way i suggest making multiple hearts in case there are a few messed up ones.)

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When they came out of the oven, we let them cool.
Then I painted them white and let them dry so Hudson would have a prettier base to work on.

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We chose to make edible paints again, because everything still finds a way into his mouth. If you have an older child and would like a more polished final product, I would go with regular store bought paint.

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Voila! We are going to tie these to treat bags for friends and family. But you could make them into necklaces, glue them on valentine’s cards, hang them on your wall. Whatever your little heart desires.

DIY Paper Cloud Mobile Tutorial

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Lately I’ve been perusing Etsy for cute mobiles to put in baby’s room. The paper ones really appeal to me because I don’t want anything heavy and potentially dangerous hanging over the little guy’s head at night.

When I came across some cute Cloud themed ones I decided they fit our theme and color scheme perfectly. However, before I spent $30 on something that seemed like a relatively simple DIY, I thought I would give it a go, myself.
Turns out it only took about $7 and a little over an hour of my time.
Just another reason I love crafting!

Here are the supplies needed and steps I took, if you’d like to try this project yourself.

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Supplies:
Card Stock
Scissors
Needle and White Thread
Monofilament Illusion Cord (basically fishing wire)
Ceiling Hook (For hanging)

Step 1) Cut out cloud templates in various sizes.
You’ll need 2 of the largest cloud and depending on how many smaller hanging clouds you’d like, you’ll need 3 template cut outs per cloud (in order to make them 3 dimensional).

Large Cloud Template:
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Small Cloud Template:
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(Side Note: the smaller clouds in my mobile almost look a little like flowers, because they have a rounder shape than the top cloud. If you would like to avoid that, you can print smaller versions of the large cloud template, above.)

Step 2) Once you have all of your templates cut out… Place the two large clouds on top of each other and fold down the middle, back and forth, in both directions. This will make it easier for you to fan the cloud out after the next step.
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Step 3) Sew the clouds together directly down the fold you just made.
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Step 4) Fan each side out.
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Your biggest cloud and the top of your mobile is done! 

Step 5) Repeat these steps to make your small clouds using 3 cut outs per cloud instead of 2.

Step 6) 
Poke a hole in the top and center of each small cloud with your needle. Slip the clear chord through and tie a knot. (Make sure to tighten the knot slowly. Using too much force can dent or tear a slit through the top of your paper.)
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You will do this with each of your small clouds making the chord lengths slightly different for each cloud. I had to play around with mine for a bit to figure out exactly how I wanted the mobile to look.

Step 7) Use the needle to poke holes in the bottom of your large cloud to connect the chords from your smaller clouds. (Make sure to keep them somewhat evenly spaced out so your mobile will not be heavier on one side than the other.)

Step 8) Now just make a whole in the top of your big cloud for the chord you’ll be hanging from the ceiling hook.

And VOILA!
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For more updates about our family and new, fun recipes and DIY’s come check us out at our new space http://www.BrittComeaux.com! See you there!