“I Totally Dig You!”

One of the best parts about Valentine’s Day has GOT to be the cheesy puns    🙂 The other best part is getting a little bit crafty and making Valentines for the kids’ school parties, and this year, I am pretty excited about what I’ve come up with for Liam. So excited, I thought you might love them too and I created a little tutorial for how to do this yourself.IMG_3756Liam’s love for all things “dinosaur” started last spring/summer. One of the coolest projects he did (pretty sure it got captured during Week in the Life) was a Dinosaur excavation kit. It kept him entertained for DAYS!! So I did a little searching and came up with our very own Dinosaur Dig kits for this year’s Valentines 🙂

IMG_3757Each kit includes a heart shaped “dig” block with the pieces to a dinosaur skeleton (and a heart shaped gem) inside, a wooden dowel and paintbrush for the “excavation”, a magnifying glass to inspect their find, a little plastic mounting stand for assembling and displaying the completed skeleton, and a 3×4 card with instructions as well as an image of the skeleton pieces.

IMG_3689I purchased the magnifying glasses ($5 for 12) and skeletons ($7 for 12) from the party store, the paintbrushes ($3 for 25) and wooden dowels ($1 for 12 – 12″ dowels, cut down to 4″ each) came from the dollar store and the digging blocks were a homemade concoction.

IMG_3677Supplies you’ll need to make the digging blocks are a nontoxic dry plaster mix, sand, water and some sort of disposable mold. I picked up the heart shaped tins from the dollar store ($1 for 24).

IMG_3656Mix together two parts sand, one part plaster mix, and one part water.


It only took a few seconds to mix it all together for an even consistency.


Pour 2 big teaspoons into the bottom of the molds and spread it evenly.


Scatter your “treasures” throughout the mix. When I first came up with this idea, I was planning on just digging for a variety of colourful gems…something along the lines of “You’re a gem valentine” or “I treasure you”. Coming across the dinosaur skeletons was pure luck! The digging for gems would ALSO be awesome, but Liam’s all about the dinosaurs, so that’s what I went with this time around.

IMG_3670Top them off with more of the sand/plaster/water mixture. You’ve got two options here…you can let them air dry, or you can speed things along a bit in a warm oven. I chose to use the oven at 275 degrees for about 15 minutes and it worked beautifully!


When they come out of the oven, they’ll look pretty much the same as when they went in, but dry 🙂


Let them cool just a few minutes and then you can feel free to slide them out of the molds. Ours came out really easily! Once they had cooled down, I wrapped them in plastic wrap and assembled the rest of the kit. The assembly for this project is pretty kid friendly if you’ve got a little helper in the house. Liam helped bury the skeletons and sort out all the pieces of the kits by colour (that was his call). I did up the packaging and he wrote his name on all of them.


He was dying to test one of them out and it was so awesome!! He was just as excited to uncover the bones in this little homemade kit as he was with the big project he worked on last summer. He tried out some of the tools from his previous excavation kits, but the dowel we included in our kit actually worked the best.IMG_3742This is definitely a project I would do again! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Our “Playhouse under the stairs”!

My hubby was doing some traveling for work over the last 2 weeks…so of course that  meant it was time to take on a new project! This time, I decided to finally convert the space under our basement stairs into a playhouse for Liam and Emily.  our playhouse!It’s something I’ve wanted to do for awhile now, and thanks to inspiration from Pinterest, my friend Janny, HGTV, and the wonders of Google and YouTube, I finally made it happen!! I think it’s genetic, taking on projects around the house with an independent spirit.  I remember a story of my dad falling asleep on the couch one afternoon and when he woke up, my mom had wallpapered the entire room around him…so there ya go, it clearly runs in the family 🙂

Here’s what the space looked like before (minus the expedit shelf that was in front)…Beforein the works part 1I started by taping out a rough idea of how I hoped the design would come together.  I tore down the existing drywall and put up some new framing for a  window and door, then put up some new drywall.work in progressLet’s just say, I won’t be offering my drywall services professionally anytime soon. But all in all, it’s “good enough” for our little playhouse. I would definitely try it again…practice makes perfect. in the works part2I covered the outside walls with inexpensive cedar shingles and stained them a dark brown.  I let Liam pick the colour…and man did I try hard to convince him that we should make it blue, but he was dead set on brown, saying “mom, it’s my FAVOURITE colour!”, which was news to me. The door was actually a 24″ standard door that my dad helped me cut down to about 54″ high.  I cut out a spot for the window and a mail slot, and added some trim.  My dad helped me put up an exterior light and worked on the electrical stuff. Inside, I painted the walls white and put down some vinyl wood flooring.  inside And here’s how my little project turned out! AfterWe’ve got some decorating to do inside (and a door knob and door bell for the outside)!  So far, it’s got our play kitchen, a toy workbench and all of our dress up costumes. It’s not perfect, but it’s still pretty awesome and the kids are having a lot of fun with it.  play3 playI can’t wait to put Christmas lights on it 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by today!


(the word art on the photos posted here are digital stamps by Ali Edwards, available here and here 🙂 )

Waiting for Parker!

Over the weekend, my mom and I headed down to Pennsylvania to visit my brother and sister-in-law, who are expecting their first baby mid-December.  To say I am excited about meeting this little guy would be an understatement. (I may have teared up a bit just thinking about him twice over the weekend!).  We attended the baby shower Sunday and it was really REALLY beautiful! The theme was “a little pumpkin is on his way”. Jessica’s mom totally outdid herself with the PERFECT décor…IMG_6144IMG_6159

Favor tags by me!

Favor tags by me!


In honor of this little man’s upcoming arrival, I made onesies to celebrate each month of his first year!onesie

I’ve seen the monthly onesie idea on Pinterest before and loved it, but I wanted to customize it a bit more for Parker (and Phil & Jess!). My brother just completed his degree in athletic training; sports are clearly going to be a big part of this family’s life. I found a font that reminded me of a vintage(ish?) sports jersey and varsity style numbers for the months 1-12. I printed them off onto iron-on transfers from Staples and used my Silhouette Cameo to cut them out, then ironed on following the transfer instructions.  onesie2Love the way they turned out (and I wish I had taken a picture of them all together!!! ah well, next time).

I was so flattered to be asked by Jess and Phil to take a few photos for them after the shower! These are some of my favourites 🙂IMG_6252-2IMG_6239-3IMG_6236-2It does not surprise me one bit that he’s already got his own hockey jersey 🙂 And see those awesome baseball doorknobs on the closet? My brother made them!!! I guess craftiness runs in the family!IMG_6260-2I cannot adequately express how excited I am to meet this little guy and welcome him into our family…IMG_6277And for these two! Love them 🙂IMG_6230-2