Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

last minute gift ideas from kids.

My girls are working on these to give to their grandparents for Christmas. I am having them color pictures at the top. The calendar is a free download that you can print at home, mount on cardstock and use a jewel tone cd case turned inside out as a stand. The perfect desk calendar. Pattern found here.

I love this version of the handprint. Perfect for grandparents, aunts and uncles or yourself to document where they are this year. Instructions found here.

Or make your own custom silhouette. They are timeless and I can't think of anyone who wouldn't fall in love with these. Directions found here.

All these ideas and a great list of others found on the lovely craftpad blog.

Happy gift giving...

gift tags.

Free downloadable gift tags that will be adorning our gifts this year found here.

Friday, December 19, 2008

vanessa out

Thank you, Brittany, for having me guest post this week. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season! Stop by I Never Grew Up and say hello!

P.S. I really tried to get a good photo, but they were not having it today :)

P.P.S. I couldn't help myself with the title on this post, Tina Fey is my girl crush and I love when she says that on 30 Rock.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

the perfect doll

For the past month I have been searching for the perfect doll to give my niece this year for Christmas. Dolls are very special in my house, both of my daughters have a certain doll they sleep with every night and talk about throughout the day.
I wanted the doll to be unique, funky, cuddly, eco-friendly, handmade and colorful. To my surprise I found quite a few that fit all of the things I wanted.

Poot & Boogie dolls were my top pick, I fell in love them instantly. The dolls are individually handcrafted and prewashed and shrunk with 100% cotton and 100% wool materials, stuffed with Eco-friendly fiberfill derived from EcoCraft corn. They are “handcrafted with love and smiles” in a small house on a hobby farm in Aldergrove BC. They accept custom orders and you can purchase the dolls through Natural Pod for $34.95 each.

These Modern Rag Dolls from the Etsy shop IkdDesigns are being sold to raise funds for the owner’s upcoming Ethiopian adoption. I love how colorful and cuddly the dolls look, the owner has quite a collection of dolls that are priced at $40 each.
Here are just a few of the other wonderful dolls I found on Etsy:

Doodle Girls from Bit of Whimsyprims $32

1. Beth Ann from Madison’s Craft Nook $25
2. Fiona from Baby Bomb $35
3. Mermaid Dolls from Tiny Green Apples $30


For the past few months in our home we have been working on learning the ABCs. The first thing I did to introduce my daughter to the alphabet was read her numerous alphabet books. Our library has rows and rows of alphabet books. We checked out quite a few over a several weeks and soon found our favorites.

We liked Kippers A to Z: An Alphabet Adventure by Mick Inkpen so much we bought it online along with the book on tape so we could hear Kipper's cute British accent read it to us. :)

Each illustration in ABC: A Child's First Alphabet Book by Alison Jay will keep you entertained for quite awhile. Every page is dedicated to one letter and has many different obvious and not so obvious items in the picture beginning with the letter. If you pay attention closely while reading the book you will notice a love story unfold in the pictures.
Baby Einstein Alphabooks are perfect for when you decide to start introducing the alphabet to your kids. The box contains a book for each letter that has real life photos along with great works of art that go along with the letter. The box and little books are very durable by the way :) Eric Carle Alphabet Flash Cards are the best resource to review letters with your children and play fun games with. They are quite durable as well!

At my blog you can follow along with our Letter of the Day where we incorporate reading, music, art, gratitude, exercise, nature, touch, and a family activity into teaching the assigned letter.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

lucoo kids.

I love a little variety when it comes to childrens' clothing. Seeing the same crowns, hearts, butterflies, trucks and more can get a little old. That's why Lucoo kids is so refreshing. Robots for girls, a Sasquatch for your little boy, I fell in love. How could you not? The shirts are the highest quality, they are soft and bright and display characters you won't see every day. It's nice to liven up the wardrobe and add a little variety. The girls get a kick out the comments they receive when they're wearing a Lucoo shirt and I love to see them relishing in a little originality that doesn't break the bank: currently on sale for $20.

the arts

Taking time to appreciate the arts improves the mood in my home. I don't know where we would be without it.

My husband and I have extremely different tastes in music and the only artist we can agree on(which ends up being the only thing we listen to while driving together) is good ole Jack Johnson. However in the past six months I have found two children’s albums that every person in the family enjoys.

Elizabeth Mitchell has put out three records You Are My Flower, You Are My Sunshine and You Are My Little Bird. Everyone of them contains songs that have hints of folk music, reggae music, American blues, gospel, drum music and many more styles.

Baby Mine might be the most beautiful album on the planet. It has a collection of artists that have re-made classic lullabies. Here is where it is available for purchase and download.

For the past six months I have been teaching my daughter about an artist and accompanying it with an applicable art project. I had the author Mary Ann Kohl contact me a couple months ago who then sent me a copy of her book, Great American Artists for Kids. Now tons of my work has been cut out because I take almost all of our lessons from this book.

Pride (the good kind :) )
Whatever my daughters create I always try to instill a sense of pride and accomplishment in them. Their favorite place to hang their “masterpieces” is of course on the fridge for everyone to see many times a day.

Lindee Shoppe sells these adorable handmade marble magnets that are perfect to help showcase your children's art.

A fridge only holds so much so we have three different inspiration wires downstairs in the playroom where we hang up all of our beautiful creations. When it gets to full I scan or take a good picture of the “masterpiece” and add it to a book I am making from blurb. That way we can keep a record of all of their pieces of art in a neat little book instead of my home becoming over-run.

my weakness

Buying clothes for my girls is my weakness. But how can I help it, little kids look absolutely adorable in anything. They are too lucky :)

These are just a few of my favorite stores to buy their clothes from:

Tea Collection clothing is inspired by their travels around the world and the company helps give back by donating to The Global Fund for Children.

Chouju Hoodie

77kids is the new line for children from American Eagle and is fun, fun, fun! Every outfit is bright, fun, colorful and for the girls sparkly! Hopefully my daughter doesn't read this blog because this is what she is getting from me for Christmas.

Crazy 8 is owned by Gym-Mark Inc. who also owns Gymboree and Janie & Jack. The reason I like Crazy 8 more than the other two is because it is so much more affordable! Not to mention the clothes are so much more modern, colorful and unique.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

well rounded kids

There are so many things you can do to raise well rounded kids. These are three things I do with mine.

Creating as a family is something I try to do every day and for us lots of the time it comes out in cooking. The sense of pride and accomplishment they have when they create something from a few ingredients is priceless. Our favorite cookbook is The River Cottage Family Cookbook. The book itself is a piece of art with all of the beautiful photography it contains. The author takes time to explain why you do things a certain way while cooking and the recipes inside are excellent.

We also have a silly tradition of getting all dolled up before cooking, we put on our lip gloss and put on our prettiest aprons. Cottage Road Designs has the most beautiful aprons, we feel like princesses while we cook.

Every day no matter what the weather is we have a rule to spend time in nature. A quick walk to a hike to running up and down the street in the rain. We have been prepping our backyard for our fairy garden. We planted about 200 bulbs, bought a humming bird feeder and after the holidays we are going to start working on our fairy houses. Recycled Milk Glass Hummingbird Feeder at Uncommon Goods

I think it is really important for each child to have their special spot in nature and go there often. If you live in Utah I put together monthly nature days, be sure to contact me if you are interested in coming along with us!

Appreciating The Arts
Every week we take time to appreciate the arts in all of it's forms. My daughters and I host a monthly art group with eight of their friends which ends up being a fun time for them to pass along everything they have learned. We only hold them outside because I am not THAT brave to have eight kids creating art IN the house:) We have all the kids wear these cute art smocks from Jessica Leman’s Esty Shop.

help save handmade.

doll available at persimmonandpink.com

This may sound like an exaggeration, but due to the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act, in just two short months all small toy manufacturers, independent artisans, and crafters will be shut down and out of business, period. This represents a huge portion of companies that are featured here on T+T.

We are begging for your help, there is a very comprehensive article on Cool Mom Picks that explains the entire situation in great detail and will keep you updated on things you can do to help save handmade. Please do what you can. We greatly appreciate your time and your help!

papers' edge {winner!}

Congratulations Heather and Eryn! Please email me (tangledandtrue@gmail.com) with your choice of print and your shipping information by Wednesday morning in order to claim your prize.

To everyone who entered, today is the last day to order to receive your prints in time for Christmas, so HURRY!!!
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