Easter Neighbor Gifts {Thoughtful Thursday}

Thoughtful Thursdays on as Jules is going

If you've been here any time at all, you know we LOVE a good excuse to do something fun for our neighbors.

Bucket-O-Summer

This week, my kids were wanting to make "Easter baskets". I'd already been considering making something to celebrate summer for the neighbor kids around us who are almost out for break. With summer for school-aged kids still over a month away, we thought we'd try to do both mixed together.

Bucket-O-Summer contents bucket, shovel, bubbles, sunglasses, jumprope, germX, chalk

Buckets-O-Summer

Contents we used:

from the Dollar Tree

  • bucket and shovel
  • germX {pack of 3 Christmas themed- I pulled off the winter-esk sticker}
  • jump rope
  • sunglasses

from home {originally mostly from Wal-Mart}

  • sidewalk chalk in a large box
  • little bubbles that came in a pack of 8
  • assorted Easter grass
  • See Jane Work labels {on wicked sale at Office Depot}
  • blank note cards
  • post card invites to your Church's Easter service
  • pipe cleaners and rubber bands {we used the rubber bands to told the 7 pieces of chalk together in the shape of a flower and then made lil leaves around it}

How-to Make:

  1. collect bucket and gift items
  2. add grass to the bottom making it about 1/2 full
  3. place larger items in 1st
  4. mix in smaller items {dividing like colors from one another}
  5. *we color coordinated each bucket using ~2 colors for fun
    green and pink and purple and yellow for the neighbor girls and orange/red and blue for the boy
  6. create label {print our FREE LABEL here} using Avery Label Template 5450 in Word
    Bucket-O-Summer Label
  7. color in lettering for extra fun {sharpies worked the best without smearing the print}
  8. cover original cheap sticker on the bucket that wouldn't com off with new label
  9. write a cute little note about Easter linking items in the bucket {or print our cheesy FREE NOTE here}
    Easter Bucket-o-Summer
    I wrote out the note in yellow marker in a card and let my almost 6-year-old trace it {so it would all fit in the little cards we had}
  10. throw in a postcard invite to your church's Easter service hand-deliver with smiles :D

Delivering Neighbor Gifts

Happy Easter!!!

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Double Your Juice and Prevent Cavities {Thoughtful Thursday}

I have always heard you should dilute your kids juice to reduce the amount of sugar they're getting. Even all natural 100% fruit juice has lots of natural sugar that isn't good for their diet or their teeth. Since the first time my oldest had juice, we always done 50/50 water and juice. Starting them this way has always guaranteed they didn't know the difference. When my daughter had non-diluted juice for the first time she hated it and told me it was "spicy". On the other hand, the first time my niece had our diluted juice she was concerned and told me "Uhh, Aunt Julie. You juice has lost its flavor." LOL

Not only is this healthier for them but it double the juice and saves money! I use the large jugs to fill 1/2 way with water and then, most of the time, I combine different flavor juices to fill it the rest of the way. Turn

Double Your Juice and Prevent Cavities

Having always done this as well as fed them healthy diets and assisted them in brushing their teeth daily, I took my kids' for their first dentist visit feeling pretty confident about the condition of their teeth. Boy did I leave mortified. After the dentist let me know my 1st and 3rd had an embarrassing number of cavities and my 2nd had none, I talked with the dental hygienist for a long time trying to determine what made the difference. The conclusion?

Chugger vs Sippers

Yep, I always thought it was a good thing that my 1st and 3rd would slowly sip their drink throughout the day and it drove me nuts that my 2nd would chug the beverage like it was going out of style. Now, if you already knew this, please don't leave "duh" comments. I had never been told this and maybe someone else hasn't either.

Sipping on {even diluted} juice slowly throughout the day keeps a constant film of sugar on your teeth. Chugging it allows your natural saliva to "wash" off that film even if you're not brushing after each drink.

The new rule in our house is: the kids are allowed Milk and Juice at meal time only and they can drink as much Water as they want the rest of the day from the fridge door and are allowed to get themselves in their cool new {dollar spot} water bottles.

Prevent Cavities by giving littles their own water bottles and allowing them to get their own water

I am one of those parents who still has all of her children using sippy cups/lidded cups to cut down on the clean up during the day. I found these awesome water bottles in the Target dollar spot. I took Maggie to pick one as a reward for doing so well while they filled her first cavities and then Jamin. Izzie got to choose one as a reward for having NO cavities. Then the larger ones we got for my niece, nephew for a week with us during spring break.

The great thing about these water bottles are:

  • They are simple for them to pull the lid off to fill but easy to put back on to avoid spills.
  • They can tote them anywhere.
  • If they get left in get left in the car, there isn't soured juice or spoiled milk to stink up the car.
  • If they get messed up or lost, they only cost $1 each.
Do your kids love juice? Are they chuggers or sippers?
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Up-Cycled Wipe Containers {Thoughtful Thursday}

Drier Sheets Case

keep your drier sheets fresher in an up-cycled wipe box AND its cutera large box of drier sheets fits in this container, keeps them fresher, and is cuter than those lil cardboard ones

A large box of drier sheets fits in this container, keeps them fresher, and is cuter than those lil cardboard ones.

Keep Drier Sheets Fresher in an Up-Cycled Wipe Container

Travel Tissue Box

Travel Case of Kleenex made from an Up-Cycled Wipe Container

A small wipe case is the perfect size for a travel case of tissue and keeps it dry and clean.

Holds "Missing Pieces" for Board Games

Store Random Game Pieces in an Up-Cycled Wipe CaseStore random missing game pieces in an up-cycled wipe box

Its is nearly inevitable that kids will misplace a piece {or 8 aHem} to some board game. Rather than have them grouch and tear apart the game storage trying to return that piece when its finally found. This random game piece container allows them to store the piece by stuffing it in through the top or easy-open lid so the pieces are found quickly when playing a game with that missing piece.

Travel Crayon Case

You can fit a 24 package of crayons into 1 up-cycled wipe case for your traveling artist

You can fit a 24 package of crayons into 1 up-cycled wipe case for your traveling artist

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Easter Crafts with Littles {Thoughtful Thursdays}

Thoughtful Thursdays on as Jules is going

portrait of a happy young studentThis week I want to feature a guest post from Olivia Glendale, a a 20-something year old mother of two, both under 2 years. When she’s not busy soothing tantrums and changing diapers, you can find her blogging about home décor, organizing, and DIY projects at www.DIYMother.org. Today, she has super cute ideas for Easter crafts you can easily do with your littles!

My family has a tendency to get caught up in spring fever. My husband is a DIY addict like me, so springtime means outdoor projects every weekend: staining the deck! Cleaning the gutters! Yay!

I, on the other hand, prefer to garden and host gatherings with the extended family. And Easter is one of my favorite holidays to fill with family and fellowship. Because, really, what better way is there to celebrate a season of new life and growth than with the resurrection of our Lord?

This year will be the first year I can involve my 18-month old in Easter crafts. Naturally, I’ve been looking around for fun crafts to do with her, as well as all of her cousins on Easter Sunday. Here are a few of my favorite Easter crafts I’ve found. The links to the tutorials are listed below each photo.

Egg Carton Cross

Egg-Carton-Cross-10
From Housing A Forest

This is a great craft for the kids after church on Easter Sunday-especially if you have some cooking to do. It’s pretty simple: cut out 5 cups in a row and then 3 cups in a row from an empty egg carton, preferably the cardboard kind.

Glue the inside of the middle cup in the row of three and glue the cross together. Let the kids paint it, add glitter, beads, or cover them with fabric.

Rice Krispie Eggs

Easter-Egg-Rice-Krispie-Treats
From HTYM.com

I absolutely love this idea and cannot believe I’ve never done it. Prepare the Rice Krispie treats as your normally would; no need to go through the steps, we’re all parents here…we should be pro’s by now. Then wash and dry some plastic eggs and spray the insides with non-stick spray.

Push the Rice Krispies into each half of the plastic egg, working it up the sides. You want to create a cavity, so leave enough room to fit candy inside. Let the Rice Krispie mix set and gently slide them out of the plastic egg. Put a few pieces of candy inside (jelly beans, robin’s eggs, whatever you prefer) and press the egg halves together using a little bit of pressure. You can even decorate the Rice Krispie eggs with sprinkles or icing.

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Homemade Pretend Makeup {Thoughtful Thursday}

Thoughtful Thursdays on as Jules is going

Valentine's Day is coming and I love giving my littles gifts but don't want to spend a lot of money. A small, inexpensive, yet cute gift for little girls this year is homemade pretend makeup. This is also a cute gift for birthdays and there's no threat of messes that parents wouldn't be happy about.

Homemade Pretend MakeupWhat you'll need:

  • used makeup container(s)
  • fingernail polish

How to:

  1. clean out any remnants of the make over {I suggest a dry Q-tip}
  2. fill with your choice of fingernail polish {I chose neutral/actual make-up colors but fun colors would be cool especially for eye-shadows}
  3. let sit flat to dry at least 24 hours to harden completely
  4. add a pretend applicator- the original makeup brush cleaned out, new makeup sponge, or Q-tip
  5. gift it to your little princess and watch the fun begin
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