October 9, 2014

Kid Friendly {and super fun} Gender Reveal

I am pregnant with my third baby and I had yet to do something fun like this for a gender reveal. With our first kid, we had the ultrasound tech put it in an envelope and we opened it for Christmas. Our second kid, we just had the ultrasound tech tell us during the ultrasound. But with #3 I wanted to do something fun, mainly because our two kids are old enough to get excited about it. So I came up with a modified version of a gender reveal that a friend of mine suggested.


I had the ultrasound tech, once again, write the baby’s gender down and put it in an envelope! Then on my way home, I stopped by a friends house and had her help me with the next part.


First project in this project! – SQUIRT BOTTLES. I turned these $.97 squirt bottles from Wal-Mart from clear to black ‘secret keepers’ {how to: sand the bottle a little, spray with primer, then black (maybe two coats just to be safe), done!}


The only other items I bought were blue & pink kool-aid packets = $.20 each, and a white shirt (to fit my husband) = $3 at Joanns.

When I stopped at my friends house on the way home, I handed over the squirt bottles, kool-aid, and the envelope with the gender in it. She hid in the kitchen and opened the envelope, then proceeded to fill the squirt bottles with the correlating kool-aid (and water). It’s was exciting to see how excited she was about it!! I carefully hid them from sight until my husband got home from work for the reveal. That was hard!!


With the white shirt, I used my silhouette to cut out ‘it’s a’ from heat press vinyl. It was a really easy shirt to make, but I did have the tools on hand. If you don’t have a silhouette or heat transfer you could always use a sharpie, or if you are really interested let me know. I can make more!!


Then came the fun & super-duper exciting part!! The reveal!

We went outside & gave each boy a squirt bottle. We told them what was up and what they had to do. I think they were more excited to spray their dad than care about the color/gender it was!!  


On the count of three, start spraying him (well…his shirt). 1……2……3!!!

  IMG_1654 IMG_1655 IMG_1659 IMG_1662

And if you couldn’t guess by the color…it’s a girl!!


Such a fun (and pretty easy) gender reveal. They boys loved squirting their dad, we loved the surprise of the color, I loved not getting squirted or eating cake (call me crazy)…and we’re all excited it’s a girl!


What you need for this gender reveal:

Squirt bottles (for however many kids/people you want in on the action) ----> $.97 each
Spray paint if you buy clear bottles like I did -----------------------------------> $4 each
Kool-aid packets (depending on how many squirt bottles you have) -----------> $.20 each
White shirt (with heat press vinyl) -------------------------------------------------> $3 on sale
A good friend to help you out --------------------------------------------------------> priceless ;)



October 7, 2014

G is for Gumballs {preschool}


What a fun group preschool we did at our home today! I got a lot of these ideas from my sister’s blog at Preschool Alphabet! We started off with a simple G letter tracing page (found here). Then I gave the preschoolers dot stickersthat the older preschoolers had to write ‘G’ and ‘g’ on the different dots. For the younger kids, I wrote the big & little G’s on the stickers. With those stickers they had to match the capital and lowercase G stickers (aka gumballs) to the capital and lowercase G’s on their gumball machine paper that I made. Those who finished faster, colored their gumball machine until everyone was done.


Since this is a Gumball preschool, we of course were going to pull out a gumball machine and play with it. But before we did that, they needed to get some money for the gumball machine. I didn’t take a before picture, but what I did was draw a big gumball machine on newsprint and hung it up on the wall. I put one penny inside 26 different colored water balloons (because they are smaller), blew them up & taped them on the gumball machine mural. Each penny I put inside the balloons had a sticker on it with a letter of the alphabet. The kids then took turns popping the gumball balloons (with a wooden skewer), found the penny that came out, took off the abc sticker & matched it to the right letter on a separate paper with the alphabet on it. They loved this game – popping balloons and money!!

20141007_120635[colored courtesy of my 4 year old]

With that money they found in the gumball balloons, I got out the gumball machineand let them each take a turn getting a gumball. I printed some gumball graph papers and they had to color a circle the same color as the gumball that came out. They put the actual gumball in these ice cube trayswhich are the perfect size for the little gumballs.We went around and around about 6 times until we had a bunch of different colored gumballs. Then we talked about which color had the most gumballs, and what colors had the least, etc. They got to eat one at the end of that.


I didn’t take a picture of our next activity, but the kids did some relays and games with the gumballs. One particular game, I gave them each a plastic spoon and a gumball. They had to try to walk around the couch without touching the gumball or dropping it. It was a lot harder than they thought it would be.

Our last activity was the gumball machine cupcake. When I found these I thought it was way too cute and had to try it! I made some red velvet mini cupcakes the night before and frosted them while they were finishing up the relays & games. They colored a paper plate to give me some more time to frost as well :) With the mini M & M’s they put “gumballs” in their gumball machine.


To finish the gumball cupcake, you use another cupcake with the top cut off, turned upside down. Put frosting on the bottom of it and lay the frosted & decorated cupcake on it’s side on top. Top it with half of a whopper candy and use a candy melt with 5 cents written on it with edible marker. They turned out pretty dang cute!

[front view & back/side view]

And the preschoolers LOVED them, of course ;)


G is for Gumballs!


September 10, 2014

How to make a kid-friendly schedule clock {C is for Clock}

I’m all about schedules. I don’t always stick to them as well as I’d like to, things come up…or I just get lazy :/ But I really do like a basic schedule that we follow daily, mainly because it helps the kids know what to expect throughout the day. So this is my version of a kid friendly schedule. Something easy for them to look at and understand what should be happening or what’s coming up in the day.


First I’ll give you the “how to” then I’ll tell you how it works.


I found a bunch of random clipart from doing a Google search (I don’t have any clipart credit, because honestly I didn’t think about it when I was making it). If you want to use the same clipart I used, you can get it HERE. The squares about about 3/4” square.

IMG_1380[top row L-R: quiet time/nap time, lunch, church, play with friends. 2nd row L-R: clean house, dinner, watch tv, play outside.
3rd row L-R: brush teeth, get dressed, eat breakfast, bedtime. last row L-R: library, grocery shopping, preschool, job chart.]

Print. Then I laminated. Not a must, but definitely keeps it nicer for longer (especially with the little sticky, dirty fingers that will be sure to grab them!). I love my laminator, which is Scotch brand and you can get it easily at Walmart or order it online from Amazon (don’t forget to throw in some laminating sheets).


Once laminated, cut them out and it’s time to assemble. I bought a $6 clock from Target and some Scotch branch velcro circles (5/8”).


To keep it really easy for the kids to read & figure out what is on the schedule, I put the velcro buttons (I used the hook side) on the clock on the hour (right by the number) and on the 1/2 hour (in between the numbers).


Then of course, put the opposite velcro on the back of the clipart squares (I used the loop side)


Then put them on the clock! At, or about, the time you plan on doing those things.


On the back of the clock I put the remaining velcro buttons so I could easily store the clipart squares I don’t need for the day.


Super easy to make!! Now I’ll tell you how it works, or at least how I use it in our house.


When the boys wake up, I tell them to look at the clock and see what the LITTLE hand is pointing at. Throughout the day I try to ask them only when it’s on the hour or half our, since that is how I set it up. They see what it’s pointing at and get to it. When there’s a big gap in the schedule it means that the particular activity/event will take that long until the next activity/event, or they can pick what they want to do during that time. Luckily they are only awake for 12 hours, so doing this clock schedule is perfect!


Because not every day is the same, I change things around the night before so that in the morning, they can jump right in. It’s pretty easy for the kids to get, and it helps them start figuring out how to use a clock & to stay on a schedule. Pretty soon I will need to add some new clipart squares, for all the random things they have to do like “doctor appt”, “dentist appt”, “soccer”, etc.


{C is for Clock}

I made this because I wanted to get on a better schedule, but also it was for our C is for Clock preschool day. My oldest boy (4 years old) now knows that when the big hand is at the 12, that you say it’s “something” o’clock. So when he looks at the schedule clock, he can tell me what we are doing and what the actual time is!


July 9, 2014

Doormat Makeover - take 2

About 4 months ago I made over my doormat for the first time. I used spray paint & in less than a couple months it was already worn off. Apparently spray paint doesn’t work so well, at least with this kind of doormat.

So I decided to give it another shot. This time I used actual paint (multipurpose paint) instead of spray paint. I wanted to go for some random colors, and I’ll be honest, I’m not the best at putting colors together. If I were to do it again, I’d go for different colors. I can’t decide what those colors would be just yet, but I know I would make it with a different color scheme.


I started with the previously made-over doormat, which was back to how it started…ugly brown, with a hint of turquoise paint from before. After doing my best to clean it out/off and blowing it out with the air compressor I started painting.


I went with a random vertical stripe pattern, using 4 different colors and a piece of cardboard to keep my lines {mostly} straight. I tried to make the lines about 1 1/4” – 1 1/2” wide.


These 4 paint tubes were the perfect amount of paint for this project. I probably had enough paint leftover for a few more lines, if I needed it. As you can see, they were Martha Stewart paints, but my main need in paint was multi-purpose/multi-surface paint. I went to Joann’s and they only had acrylic paints, but these promised to be multi-surface so I went with it (I was afraid acrylic would wear off just as fast as the spray paint). I did some research before I went to the store & oil-based paints would definitely work, but again, Joann’s didn’t have what I wanted. Crossing my fingers it will hold up!


I let it dry for a few hours and then it was ready to go. I’ve had it out for a few weeks and there is no sign of wear, like there was with the spray painted version.


Now I need to plant some yellow and red flowers in my log planters to match my doormat!


diy with kiley

June 26, 2014

DIY Stars – door décor, t-shirts, & popsicles

With Independence day not too far away, we’ve been trying to do some prep for the holiday. This post is all about the STAR projects we’ve done – Door décor, t-shirts & popsicles.


The star décor was my personal project, inspired by THIS PIN. I first drew some stars on a piece of paper and scanned in my favorite design on my computer. Then I printed 3 different sizes to use as a template for cutting them out of wood. The band saw was a lot of fun to use and was really fast cutting them out.


Then came the sanding and painting. I used Rustoleum double coverage spray paint – primer, apple red, navy, and white.


After a couple coats on both sides, and letting them dry, I sanded the edges for the rustic look. Then finished it off with a coat of gloss clear coat.


The complete finished look came after I drilled a hole through the top of each star and looped some rope through. I tied them (and glued them) together at the top, making sure their lengths varied, and hung it on the door. Pretty simple!

IMG_1038 IMG_1040

Or you could use that rope to tie them together and display on a table or shelf. Just as cute!


I found a different style of DIY star shirts by Erin at A Bird and a Bean. I adapted it since I couldn’t find colored shirts that fit the boys, just white ones. Instead of using bleach like she did, I bought some blue tie dye (I would have bought red too, but I could only find fuchsia). Both the tie dye & shirts I bought at Wal-Mart.


I cut out some stars on vinyl with my silhouette machine. Erin used freezer paper, which is a much cheaper choice, I just didn’t have any and forgot to buy some! After I applied the stars, I set up the painting area. I used some old camping chairs & garbage bags as the backdrop for the project, because, let’s face it, little boys & dye make for quite the mess!! Last, mix up the tie dye (super easy, just add water!). I made them wear “gloves”…plastic baggies…because the spray bottles leaked a little.

20140625_105529[spray bottles from Wal-Mart]

I then let them sit in the sun for about 5 hours, just to be sure. I don’t know if that was necessary, but I did it anyway. I rinsed, washed, dried and they wore them the next day. Personally I think it looks like fireworks & stars!! Perfect for the 4th!



This idea came from the book Wemberly’s Ice-Cream Star by Kevin Henkes.


I bought a BOX of ice-cream, which is apparently harder to come by these days. When I was growing up, I swear they were only sold in the quart boxes, but now it’s mostly the tubs. The box works A LOT better because you can peel down the sides and cut an inch or two sections. Which is what I did (no pictures!) and used a star cookie cutter & a popsicle stick. I refroze them for about an hour (should have been more) then pulled them out and topped with some magic shell. The boys LOVED them.


After a little while, they ended up melting and falling off the stick. So we did what Wemberly did in the book, we got a bowl and ate Ice-cream soup!

[We did the shirts & popsicles for a Star Preschool day.]

diy with kiley

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