Welcome! I am a mom to two wonderful kids, a lovely retired greyhound, and a wife to a great husband. Needless to say, there are a lot of daily messes to clean up around our house. Daily Messes is my blog to share ideas on things to do with your kids, snack and meal ideas, crafts, and holiday fun. I hope you find something to enjoy!

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Valentine's Day is Coming Up!

It's hard to believe January is just about over and February is tomorrow. Valentine's Day is coming soon!  

I don't get any requests for homemade Valentines now that the kids are older. The older grades don't even trade Valentine's!

I still give them something small, usually candy or a book. 

If you need any ideas on home made Valentines or things to make it fun/special, my list of Valentines, Food, Crafts, Gift, and Activity ideas is below. 


  • Minecraft Valentine's Day Boxes 
  • Heart Crayon Valentines
  • Candied Popcorn Bags"I'm popping with happiness that you're my Valentine". One year I attached a Valentine themed bag full of candied popcorn to a store bought Valentine.
  • Use potato stamps to make a hearts on a homemade card. (Use a small heart cookie cutter to cut out the shape.)
  • Play-Doh Heart ornaments/necklaces
  • Make Heart Shaped Chalk
  • Hot Air Balloon: it could even have a picture of your child in the basket. "Your friendship lifts me up."
  • Butterfly Pencil
  • Bubbles with a Valentine's Day themed note like "Your friendship makes me bubbly".
  • S'more Kit (marshmallow, graham cracker squares, piece of chocolate), "Your friendship makes me feel mushy inside".
  • Goldfish or gummy fish in a fishbowl shaped baggie with a "school" type of message. The pre-made bags can be hard to find and making the bags can be a little time consuming (click for directions). If you use a regular bag, you can cut a bowl shape piece of paper, write the message and place behind the fish.
  • Other non-candy ideas: clementines, cars, glow sticks/bracelets/necklaces ("Your friendship brightens my day"). The dollar store or dollar bins at Target or Michael's are great to find little treasures in.
  • Hanging Stained Glass Card with "stained glass" made from wax paper and crayons.
  • Easy Stained Glass Heart with contact paper and tissue paper.
  • "I know I'll go far/succeed with you as my friend" type of message with a goodie bag of school gear: pencils, erasers, goldfish bag, ruler, markers, stickers, etc. The dollar store or dollar bins at Target or Michael's are great to find themed pencils and erasers.
  • The boys like to help make the Peanut Butter Pumpkin Dog Biscuits for our greyhound. We use heart, star, and pumpkin cookie cutters to make the shapes. 
  • Gift ideas for Pets
  • There are a lot of Valentine's Day gifts out there now for dogs, including this Valentine's Day heart shaped box of treats for dogs at Target ($9).  

What are some of your favorite homemade Valentines and treats?

*If you buy an item on Amazon using the links, I may receive a small commission for the referral. It does not affect your cost at all! If you want, you can read my Disclosure page for a little more information.

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Fall and Halloween Ideas

 It's October! It's going to be Halloween Time! I'm getting excited for Fall. 

Although we haven't Boo'd anyone yet, I do have the Boo Bag supplies ready! We found some fun things this year. We moved this summer into a house, so I am excited to see which of our new neighbors also love Halloween.

If it's cold and/or rainy/snowy, some of my past Halloween posts would be good for staying-home Halloween fun. 


  • Halloween Mazes:
    • Soccer: Split into two teams and create goals (small plastic cones work well). Have kids spider walk (aka crab walk) and kick the pumpkin soccer ball with their feet.
    • Bowling: Make pins from rolls of toilet paper.
      • Ghost pins: Decorate rolls with black paper eyes and mouth.
      • Mummy: Wrap a piece of toilet paper around a roll and add eyes.
      • Witch: Wrap in green tissue paper, add construction paper eyes/nose/mouth, and top with paper hat.
      • Vampire: Add fangs/mouth/eyes, and a black paper cape.
      •  Frankenstein: Wrap in green tissue paper, draw with a sharpie or add black paper stitch marks/scars. Add eyes/nose/mouth.



Some of my Fall Fun links work great for Halloween too!

OTHER FUN LINKS: (Links are external links, not to DailyMesses.)

What are some of your fun ideas/traditions for Halloween? Share in Comments!



*Post may contain Amazon Affiliate Links. If you buy an item from Amazon using my links, I may receive a small commission for the referral. It does not affect your cost at all! If you want more information, please visit my Disclosure page. 

Monday, September 5, 2022

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day! I hope you all are enjoying a day off of work and school with your kids!

When is Labor Day: Labor Day falls on the first Monday in September. This year Labor Day is today, 9/2/13.

What is Labor Day: Presently it is a day off of work and is seen as the last day of summer. However, it began as a day to celebrate different labor organizations' achievements and contributions to the economy and the nation.
  • "Labor Day differs in every essential way from the other holidays of the year in any country. All other holidays are in a more or less degree connected with conflicts and battles of man's prowess over man, of strife and discord for greed and power, of glories achieved by one nation over another. Labor Day...is devoted to no man, living or dead, to no sect, race, or nation." ~ Samuel Gompers, American Federation of Labor founder

History of Labor Day: Labor Day was first held in 1888. In 1894 it became a federal holiday. There are two people who are credited with beginning Labor Day; Matthew Maguire and Peter McGuire. There has been some documentation that leans towards Matthew Maguire starting Labor Day. September was chosen for a few reasons; one of which being that there was no holiday between the 4th of July and Thanksgiving!

How To Celebrate With Kids:
  • Attend a parade.
  • Talk about why we celebrate Labor Day.
  • Plan a family outing, BBQ, or last summer event.
  • Ask your kids to name all the jobs they can think of.
  • Make a few crafts:
    • Make your own bricks. Mix a little water with dirt in a bowl. You want to add just enough water that the dirt holds together, but not enough to make mud. Press the wet dirt into small containers (small juice or milk cartons, ice cube trays) and let dry for 10 days in a warm dry place. Once they are dry you can build your own houses and buildings.
    • Make your own candles. You can buy a candle-making kit at local craft stores or at Amazon (Beeswax Kit).
    • Bake your own bread. Check out my Soda Bread recipe for an easy to make bread!
  • Make thank you notes and give them out to your teacher(s), garbage person(s), mail delivery person(s), etc.
  • Have the kids dress up like their favorite profession.
Department of Labor

Here's a Labor Day-themed Word Find in honor of today.


Friday, April 29, 2022

Mother's Day

 Mother's Day is Sunday, May 8th! I have some gift/craft/food/fun/freebie ideas below! Just click on the links for the recipes or directions :) 



FUN: (To Print: Right click on image, Save As/Save to Computer, Print.)

  • Shutterfly: Free card with code CARD4U.
  • Zoo: There are a lot of zoos across the country offering free admission for moms on Mother's Day. Please call/check your local zoo's website or google before going.
  • TCBY: First 6 oz Free FROYO on Sunday 5/8.  
  • First Watch: I don't see a new blog post on their website, but for many years they have offered a freebie for Mother's Day. You may want to check with your local store to see if they are offering it again this year.
*Always check with your local store to make sure they are participating before you go!

If you know of any other freebies, please feel free to share in Comments!

Friday, April 8, 2022

Hiding Ducks

My oldest is in high school now. For the past two weeks someone has been hiding small plastic rubber ducks around the school. All the kids are having a blast finding these tiny ducks hiding around school.

My youngest is known for decorating his desk for the holidays: a tiny tree for Christmas, a gnome for St. Patrick’s Day, a mini bunny for Easter. He wanted to take the duck idea to his school, so we bought a pack of yellow and spring colored ducks (Amazon affiliate link to small resin ducks). They have been a huge hit. The teachers like them, the kids like them and are having fun finding and trading them.

(They could also be a fun way to lay a trail to hidden Easter baskets.)

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Tomorrow is April Fool's Day!

Here are a few ideas for fun, harmless pranks to play on your kids on April Fool's Day (which is actually tomorrow, April 1st).

  • Soap: I made dinosaur soap dispensers (trust me, these are super easy) to make hand washing more fun for the boys. For April Fool's Day, try using bugs and toy snakes!
  • Play hooky! Get the kids ready for school and pull into the school parking lot. Then tell them "April Fool's" and take them somewhere fun for the day (zoo, indoor play area, putt-putt, amusement park). In 2020, we were under a Stay-At-Home Order, so we took a break from schoolwork and played outside. We also had a quick video game and board game session!
  • Place plastic bugs, spiders or snakes in their lunch boxes/on their plates.
  • If you don't mind cleaning up a small mess, toilet paper their room while they sleep.
  • For older kids (or even hubby): safety pin the corners of all their underwear together. When they try to pull out one, they will get a whole string of underwear.
  • Fill their closet or armoire with balloons and wait until they open it!
  • Carefully unwind some of the toilet paper roll. Place a dollar on the roll and roll back up. First one up wins!
  • Serve jelly beans with their lunch, but have them be unexpected flavors. There are a lot of options for gross and unexpected flavors such as Harry Potter Bernie BottsBean BoozledBeerChili MangoTabasco flavored.
  • Place color fizz tabs in the faucets and/or bathtub (unscrew the faucet screen, place the tablet in, screw back on). When the water is turned on, it will be colored! (Don't use Easter egg dye tabs-this will dye things!) I saw this idea here, but don't have the right faucets for it. Let me know if you try it!
  • If you have the time in the morning, hide their tablet or school supplies. You can create a scavenger hunt or clues for them to find them. 
  • WORD HUNT (PDF link)
  • WORD FIND: See end of post for a jpg version, or click the PDF links below.
  • Egg Cupcakes: You may remember these from the Backward's Day post. These were a big hit with my kids. They are vanilla/white cupcakes topped with an egg. The egg is made out of candy!
  • Egg Candies: For a fun snack for their lunch, try making egg candies. Melt white chocolate chips and pipe onto wax paper. You want it to look like a fried egg shape. Before it hardens completely, place a yellow M&M on for the yolk. Let set.
  • Colored Milk: Add a few drops of food coloring to their morning milk.
  • Make them wormy apples for a snack. Use an apple corer or sharp knife to cut a hole in the side of an apple. Place a gummy worm in the apple.
  • Place the bags of cereal in different boxes!
  • Meatloaf Cupcakes: Make mini meatloaves in muffin pans. Pipe on mashed potatoes for 'frosting'. You could even add a little food coloring to the potatoes to make the frosting look more realistic.
  • Cut a pound cake into strips. Toast in the oven to make them look like fries. Serve with a side of red frosting. DM Tip: Broil cake for about 20 seconds to brown. Watch carefully so they don't burn. Flip and toast the other side.
  • Fly ice cubes. Freeze plastic or candy flies in ice cubes and serve in their drink at lunch or dinner. You could also use raisins for an entirely edible version.

To Print: Click on image. Right-click. Choose Open In New Tab/Window. Click Print. Or, click on image, right-click, choose Save Image As. Print saved image.


Sunday, March 27, 2022

Easter is April 17, 2022

 This year Easter is April 12. As always,  I am trying to come up with some new non-candy ideas for the boys' baskets. It's a little harder to find cool non-food items right now with our Shelter-In-Place order from the Governor. We have several people in our family with health conditions that place them at higher risk for Corona/Covid-19. I have been trying to do mostly online shopping and avoiding the stores to limit exposure in our family. (If you are going to order online, I would suggest that you place your order early as there have been a lot of delays with supplies/shipping!)

There are a few things that they always get: a small pack of jelly beans, a couple of Reese's eggs, and a book or two. Luckily, I have been able to buy most of these online. In the past, they have received soccer gear (although not this year as the season has been postponed indefinitely), books, art supplies, etc., which can all be found online! I have some of the food/craft/Easter basket and egg hunt ideas from the past couple of years below.

I wish you and your families a safe, healthy, and enjoyable Easter (and Spring!) season. Hopefully some of these ideas will help you celebrate your Easter! 

  • Egg dying and decorating: There are a lot of ways to decorate eggs, however we love to eat our eggs! So, I am only going to be doing ideas that leave the eggs edible.
    • Eggstravaganza (dying with food coloring, natural dyes, impression eggs, tissue paper, crayons, rubber bands, stickers, Diva Eggs, and Lady Bug Eggs)
    • Painted Eggs (fingerprint animals, bubble wrap, painted designs):
    • Crackle Eggs 
    • Space Invaders, Glitter, and Snorkle Eggs
    • Drip Art Eggs: These look fun, but we haven't tried them yet. Stand a hard-boiled egg upright over something that will not get ruined (like a plastic plate or bowl). Place a drop of food coloring on the top of the egg. Mist egg using a spray bottle. Add a drop of another color, mist again. Gently blow on the egg to make the colors move around.
    • Monster Eggs (using glue dots, pipe cleaners, and stickers)
    • Tattoo Eggs: Use temporary tattoos. Make sure egg is completely dry before following tattoo directions. 
    • Ombre Eggs: Place a bottle cap (flat side down) on the bottom of a wide glass (8-10 oz.). Set egg on bottle cap. Mix the dye (1 teaspoon vinegar, 40 drops food coloring, 1/2 cup boiling water). Pour dye into glass until 1/4 of the egg is covered. Let sit 5 minutes. Add plain warm water to the cup until 1/2 the egg is covered. Let set 3 minutes. Add more water to the desired level. Wait 2 minutes. Repeat if want additional stripes. Carefully remove with tongs and let dry.
  • Basket Filler Ideas:
    • Fun bookmarks. I just discovered these fun 3D bookmarks on Amazon. There is a crocodile, shark, Nessie, astronaut, dinosaur, gecko, etc.
    • New gear: soccer ball/cleats/shin guards/practice net, baseball cleats/balls/bats/bag/helmet/throw back, shoes: track/running, mouth guards, golf bag/balls/gloves/clubs, etc.
    • Vouchers: Vouchers can be for anything! Examples: extra hour of TV/Game time, stay up late, get out of 1 chore, money to spend at a store/amusement park/zoo/aquarium, etc. 
    • Star Wars Light Saber Popsicle Mold
    • Slinky's
    • Chocolate Maze
    • Reese's Giant Peanut Butter Egg. Amazon sells these sometimes, but I have found them cheaper at the grocery store and Target. It was $5.49 at my local store.
    • Large sized gummy treats. I found several at Target (gummy bunny 1.75 oz/$1.99), and Party City (Pizza, burger, sushi...$3.99). 

  • Lego's: Any fun looking set, mystery minifigure packs, Mixel's (Amazon, Lego). Lego usually has holiday-themed sets as well. (2020 has an Easter Sheep.)
  • New weapons/Lego figures/crates. We found BrickArms a couple of years ago and the boys love discovering new weapons and figures for their Lego collection. This year, we bought a few different packs and are mixing up the contents and putting them in several Easter Eggs.
  • Jelly Beans
  • Play-Doh Eggs (Amazon, grocery store)
  • Art/Office Supplies: pencils, pencil sharpeners, markers, tape, etc.
  • Fill eggs with coins.
  • Movie tickets.
  • DVDs. Half Price Books, Michael's Crafts, and Target often have cheaper movies.
  • Book store gift cards.
  • Hot Wheels. There are even some Hot Wheels that fit Lego figures!
  • Mad Libs
  • Mini nail polish, nail files, etc. 
  • Books. Sometimes I use Easter-themed books, sometimes just books in a series they love. My oldest is really into Uncle John's Bathroom Readers For Kids. It always surprises me when he says "Oh, I know this!", adds to our conversation, and says he learned it from his Bathroom Reader. They even have sets of paper placemats, if you are having an Easter party and need to keep the kids busy!
  • Craft kits: build a robot (Higgins got the crab robot for Christmas and loved it), origami, jewelry (necklace/braceletgrown own crystals and make jewelry...)
  • Amazon gift cards. 
  • Art supplies (pencils/markers/crayons, how-to books [there are a lot of instruction/how-to books for kids and adults from easier instruction books to how-to books for older kids]). 
  • Word Find  
  • Scavenger Hunt
  • Coloring Page
  • As I am writing this, many states are under a shelter in place/social distancing/physical distancing order. I do not know if communities will change how they do Easter egg hunts/events or if they will simply be canceled. Please check with your local communities! In the past, Ikea has had a free Easter Egg hunt. Many local parks and libraries had free Easter Egg Hunts and events as well last year. (Some were even for adult egg hunts!)