Welcome! I am a mom to two wonderful kids, 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!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Egg Carton Flowers

Sorry for such a late post! Between the kids getting strep throat, the constant cleaning to keep everyone else from getting sick, and then getting back into the routine of school, homework, and activities, I did not finish the post until today.
These flowers are easy to make. You will need a cardboard type egg carton (or two), paint/paint brush, scissors for cutting out the flowers, hot glue, pipe cleaners for stems, small bells/buttons/pom poms for decorations (optional). These flowers are super versatile and can be made and used for Valentine's Day (individual flowers with a note, a bouquet of flowers), Easter, or even Mother's Day! These are just the styles I came up with, but there are so many ways to make the flowers, just use your imagination! If you want to leave your flower stemless, you can glue to a card, make a wreath, etc.!

I tried three different types of paint: acrylic craft paint, Crayola Washable Paint, and watercolors. The acrylic craft paint had a more vibrant color (the blue and red flowers, and the orange petals) and definitely dried the fastest. The Crayola paints did pretty well (yellow flower and the yellow petals), but took longer to dry. The watercolors took longer to paint (had to keep getting the paint pad wet, were a lighter color, and took the longest to dry (purple flower). The watercolor and Crayola washable paints were the easiest to wash off my hands. If you are in a time crunch, I would use the acrylic paint and wash hands before the paint dries on your skin. If you have more time and want less intense hand washing, the other paints might be better.

To start, cut (or rip) the lid of the egg carton off, you just want the bottom bumpy part that holds the eggs.

To make the flowers, you will cut out the shape of the flower from the egg carton. Paint and let dry completely. If you are using a stem, poke a hole through the center for the stem to slide through. Insert the stem. Bend the end of the pipe cleaner that is still inside of the flower. Place a dot of hot glue and attach the stem to the flower. You can leave this as a simple flower, add a button, pom pom, etc. in the center.

For the rose type of flowers (blue and yellow), you want the cup part of the carton. Cut petal shapes around the rim of the cup. Next, cut out a second cup. This will be the center of the rose. Cut out a triangle from the base (see Rose image below), to help fold the shape. Cut petal shapes around the rim of the cup. Paint the flower pieces. For the rose, I bent the edges of the petals over to give some curve to them. Let dry completely. Poke a hole through the center for the stem.

You will now form the stem and center petals. Take the rose piece that has the cut out on the bottom. Hot glue the end of the pipe cleaner to the edge of a petal. Wrap the flower piece around the pipe cleaner, making sure to glue as needed to keep the petals from unfolding. (See bottom of image below.) Next, place hot glue in the bottom of the rose base cup. Leave some space around the hole for the stem, or you may get hot glue on the pipe cleaner as it slides through. Poke the end of the pipe cleaner (the end without the flower attached) through the hole and pull through. I thought my rose looked a little skimpy, so I added another filler row of petals (between center and the rose base).

For the lily, you want the piece of the carton bottom that sticks up (see image below). I cut through the center of the cup part so I could get as many much petals as I could. Trim as needed. Paint, let dry. Decorate. For the purple lily, I made a ball at the end of the pipe cleaner and attached small pieces of yellow pipe cleaner to create a stamen. I placed hot glue on the bottom of the pipe cleaner ball, and slid it though the hole. I added a little more glue to the outside bottom of the lily. For the red lily, I used some craft berry/stamens that I had left over from making a Christmas wreath. I made a small knot with the pipe cleaner and threaded the stamen wires through. I placed a dot of hot glue to make sure they would stay. I then placed hot glue on the bottom of the pipe cleaner knot and threaded through the hole of the lily to form the stem.







Thursday, February 1, 2018

Valentine's Day

It's hard to believe January is already over and February is here. Valentine's Day is coming soon!  

I don't get as many requests for homemade Valentines now that the kids are getting older. However, they still enjoy the Valentine's Day treats I make them. So far, I've only made some cookies (and froze them), so I'm still trying to come up with more ideas. If you want any ideas, I have a list of Valentines, Food, Crafts, Gift, and Activity ideas below. If I come up with any new ones, I'll update the list!

HOMEMADE VALENTINE'S:

  • 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 premade 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.

CRAFTS:


ACTIVITIES:


FOOD:


GIFTS: (New updated ideas!)

What are some of your favorite homemade Valentines and treats?

Monday, January 22, 2018

Absence

Sorry I haven't been on much lately! We've been busy with school, activities, and the new dog. I will hopefully have some new stuff coming up soon. I've been trying some new recipes (even dog biscuits!) and have some fun ideas for Valentine's Day.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Elf Day 17-19

Back by popular demand (by Higgins), obstacles in the hallway! I didn't want a repeat Elf visit (last time was crepe paper), so this time I did paper chains of snowmen, penguins, and snowflakes.

To make the paper chains, I used a roll of banner paper, folded it over multiple times and cut out the shapes. It was pretty easy to do, although it was occasionally challenging to cut through so many layers of paper. You want to make sure your shape touches both sides of the folded over sides of paper. It is also much, much easier to sketch out the shape on the top of the folded paper than to cut free handed. Trust me. The piles near the elf are my Oops! piles.
Design touching the folded edges

I think next time, I would make it so the snowmen were touching by their hats or sides, not top to bottom. I also wanted to get more obstacle chains put up, but it was already midnight by the time I was done with these, so I called it a night.

I also made some faces on one of the sets of snowmen. I think I may later add a game to it, something along the lines of find which one is different (Find The Snowman with the...). I have some with glasses, some with buttons, some with only one button, nose and no nose.

Day 18: He was in our bedroom last night, near hubby's side.
Day 19: Hanging out in a robe in the kids' bathroom.

I am running out of ideas and time to do something crazy fun with the Elf this year. He has been pretty tame this time, except for a couple of fun visits. I'm hoping to be more on the ball next year.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Elf Day 14 to 16

Day 14: Higgins left his toy snake out last night. It seems like the Elf ran into a bit of trouble.

Day 15: Bernardo made such a mess of his desk, that our Elf decided to squeeze in and hide.

Day 16: Eugene hid on the railing this morning.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Elf Days 11-13

I've been wanting to put the Elf in a clear balloon for awhile. Our Elf has been really boring this year, so I finally decided to do it this year. I bought 18" clear balloons on Amazon. The balloons worked really well and the kids got a huge kick out the Elf Stuck in the Snow Globe.

Day 11: Snow globe
Day 12: Snow globe again. Kids had spent the night at Grandma's and the Elf didn't move.
Day 13: Bernardo had cleaned out his bookshelf and had put some books in a box to save for later. It was still in the hallway, so the Elf hid behind the box. Yes, my son may be a little bit like me and have a love for books. He labeled the box "Fragile".
Elf Snow Globe Directions: It was a little tricky to get the Elf inside the balloon. I would definitely recommend working with someone else, one person to hold the balloon open, one person to stuff the elf in. I tried using a glass to hold the balloon open and it broke the glass. Not fun! Once the Elf was in, I used a hole punch and made the snow for the globe and just placed inside the balloon. I cut a small piece of cardboard, wrote "Help! Stuck in a snow globe." and placed inside the balloon. I used a balloon pump to inflate the balloon. I found it pretty cheap at Target. I had crazy plans of making a type of seat for the Elf to be on inside the balloon (I had it set up as a soda bottle bottom, a bit of bating, and a white twist tie to keep the elf on the bottle bottom.) However, I did not manage to get it done by myself and I wanted to get it done before the kids got home from school. TIP: Do not inflate too much, the balloon may pop and it is really hard to tie! I used a styrofoam bowl, turned upside down, punched a hole in the center, and shoved the tied end of the balloon through. I placed a piece of packing tape over the end to help keep in place. I shook the balloon until I got the Elf close to where I wanted him in the globe. I then used a silver and red permanent marker to write on the bowl base of the snow globe.

There are also 36" clear balloons, if you wanted to go bigger or make it easier to get the elf inside the balloon.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Christmas Time Is Here Again!

Oh my gosh! Christmas is in a week! If you are running a little behind like I am, here is my list of Christmas themed fun, activities & crafts, food, elf, and gift ideas. I hope the Holiday season finds you all happy and well!

ACTIVITIES & FUN:


CRAFTS: 

ELF: Here is the link to my elf post. I update it when I get new ideas.

GIFTS:
  • St. Nick's Day was 12/6, but there are a lot of stocking stuffer ideas that will work great for Christmas!
  • You've Been Elf'd. Spread a little holiday cheer to your friends and neighbors. We also made and delivered cookies to our neighbors a few days before Christmas last year. They seemed to be a big hit! :)


FOOD:
     DRINKS:

     SNACKS & APPETIZERS:

      MEAL ITEMS:

      BREAKFAST:

   DESSERTS:

Friday, December 8, 2017

Elf 2017 Days 4 - 9

I may be a little behind updating the Elf. I am still baking lots and lots of cookies. We give them to the neighbors each year, hubby brings in platters to work, and we have them for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day events.

Eugene moved most days, although he forgot twice. He also hasn't been extremely exciting this year. I have a few ideas for him, but haven't been able to implement them yet.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Elf 2017, Days 2 and 3

This Elf is a little tired, so no crazy shenanigans the last couple of days. We're working on the crazy amount of Christmas cookies we make every year. I'm also having a little hard of a time being creative with spots so far this year.

Higgins has requested that Eugene make the crepe paper barricade again this year, so that may make an appearance again this year. Apparently, it was his favorite Elf event. 😊

Day 2: Eugene hid in Higgins' wrestling mask on his dresser.
Day 3: Hid in Bernardo's room by the mini Christmas tree, Harry Potter tin, and the Cyberman paper mache head I made for his Doctor Who birthday party a couple of years ago.


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Elf On The Shelf 2017

Eugene arrived ahead of schedule. He normally arrives on 12/6 for St. Nick's Day, which is his anniversary in our house. He normally likes to do something big for his yearly debut.

This year, he made a paper snowman on the boys' bathroom door. (He didn't want any fighting over whose door the elf should have made the snowman, so he picked a neutral door.)

If you have white doors, it's even easier. Use the whole door as the snowman body. Cut out the coal for eyes, mouth, and buttons. Tape to door (brown tape or painters tape works best). Add a scarf (paper like mine, or ribbon) and a hat. I used construction paper to make the decorations and a roll of banner paper for the snowman body.

Monday, December 4, 2017

It's Elf Time Again!

Our Elf is a little lazy and comes on St. Nicholas Day (tomorrow!), which is the day we originally got him. I am still coming up with this year's ideas for our elf Eugene. However, I do have some of his more exciting past adventures listed below. I'll update this post when I get new ones! (All of the Elf ideas, both boring and exciting, can still be found on the blog under Categories/Elf On The Shelf.)


Thursday, November 30, 2017

St. Nick's Day

I know it seems like we just celebrated Thanksgiving, but St. Nick's Day is Wednesday 12/6! I have a little history about St. Nick's Day and some Stocking Stuffer ideas below!

I used to love St. Nick's Day when I was a kid. I remember waking up on December 6th, excited to see what my stocking of goodies contained. I later learned that not everyone celebrates St. Nick's Day; it's popular in German and Dutch communities and in Europe. I grew up in a city with strong German roots and St. Nick's Day was always celebrated. My mom had never heard of it until she came here for college and they told her to put a shoe outside her door.

Who Was St. Nick?
St. Nicholas was basically the model for the jolly man himself (Santa Claus). St. Nicholas was from a wealthy family and would secretly give out gifts to people. The story I remember hearing was about a father who had three daughters. He was poor and could not afford dowries for the girls. Without the dowry the girls' future was bleak. Nicholas threw a bag of gold coins for each daughter into the house through a window at night. (Some accounts have it over 1 night, 3 nights, or even 3 years.)

How To Celebrate:
Growing up, we each had our own stocking that we put out the night before St. Nick's Day. My husband's tradition was to put his Christmas List in his stocking for Santa to pick up. However, other families put out shoes instead of stockings. The night of December 5th, place a stocking or shoe outside the children's door(s) and fill it with goodies. In the morning (on December 6th), open the stockings!


Ideas from years past. I find lots of great items in Target's dollar section. Michael's also has some fun stocking stuffers.
Stocking Stuffer Ideas:
  • "Gold" $1 coins in honor of the bags of gold coins St. Nicholas gave.
  • Candy (I just picked up cute soda flavored jelly beans in a small soda shaped bottle at Target.) My favorite is the Candy Cane Tootsie Pops.
  • Small games or deck of cards.
  • Books or Comic Books.
  • Small coloring books, crayons, colored pencils, markers, fun pens, etc. The coloring book link is to Amazon, but Target and Michael's often have these Grab & Go packs for $1.
  • Small stuffed animals.
  • Grab and Go games. These fit in stockings and are great for car rides or while sitting in restaurants. Some of our favorites are ClueConnect FourGuess Who, Battleship, and Trouble.
  • Barrettes, headbands.
  • Hot chocolate mix.
  • Lego's (There's so many kinds! Ninjago, a box of Lego's,  Nexo Knights, Minecraft, Friends.) Lego also has Ornaments: There are several to choose from. Kids build the Lego figure and place them inside a clear round ornament to hang on the tree. The boys loved them! The mini figure packs are also great stocking stuffers (Lego online or in stores carry these, as well as Amazon or Target. Sometimes even the grocery stores or Wal-Mart will have these.).
  • Small toys.
  • Art supplies (crayons, pencils, pens, drawing pads, paints, pencil sharpener, stickers...)
  • Special ornament (We get each kid an ornament every year. It has their name and the year on it. We try to make it special for that year. Examples include an apple/desk/pencil if they started school, a horse for their first horse ride, an ornament from vacation, a train if they took a train ride, etc.)
  • Pez Dispensers (I loved getting these every year. I used to have a small collection, but now I have no idea where it is. They come in so many varieties you are sure to find one everyone.) They have ChristmasStar WarsAvengersScooby Doo set, even Presidents, etc.
  • Flashlight.
  • Stickers.
  • Toothbrush.
  • Temporary tattoos.
  • For older kids: gift cards to a movie theater, laser tag, their favorite store, iTunes, Amazon, beef jerky, new phone case.
  • New earbuds for the computer, i-pod, etc.
  • Chapstick (or lip gloss).
  • Matchbox or Hot Wheels cars.
  • Small fruit (clementines, apples).
  • Hexbugs.
  • Gum.
  • Compass.
  • Small Nerf Guns.
  • DVD: Target's $5 movie rack is a great place to find these. The boys sometimes get a joint St. Nick gift of a DVD.
  • Elf On The Shelf. Eugene originally came to us on St. Nick's Day.
  • Advent Calendar. 
    • Kids: It's a little late, but they will like having a few days to open at one time! There is, of course, the normal chocolate calendar. (I found some at Michael's and at the grocery store.) There are also non-chocolate calendars: Lego, Lego Star Wars, Lego Friends, Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles, Hot Wheels, PlayMobil, Play-Doh, Minions, Disney (Tsum TsumOlaf/Frozen) and even a bead craft option. There are also simple countdown versions. Note: Last year I had a hard time finding the regular Lego calendar, it seemed to be sold out everywhere! Most of the online ones for sale were people reselling it for at least $10 more than the normal price. I finally found on at a local Barnes & Nobles bookstore. Check online and in stores early to make sure you get the one you want for the regular price.
    • Adults: There are lots of adult themed Advent Calendars available too! Master of Malt offers many different alcoholic (especially whiskey and scotch) calendars. I bought myself a nicer chocolate Advent Calendar with dark chocolates.
       
LINKS
St. Nicholas, Wiki
http://www.stnicksday.com/