Birthday Wish List

Sunday, June 13, 2021

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I have to admit, I enjoy making these lists. It's not that I get everything I link (although I think it is helpful to have a visual aid when sending a list to my parents.) I just really love combing through all of my saved posts and pins and boiling everything down to what my favorite finds of my current season of life are.

1. Lava Lamp Tee from Camp Collection

2. Rover Pack Classic (Sage) from Topo Designs

3. Porter Mug (Terrazzo Cream) from W and P Design

4. PARKS Board Game from Parks Project

5. Firewood Rack found on Amazon

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DIY Recycled Fishing Game

Saturday, May 22, 2021

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I have no idea where my kid learned about fishing. We live in a river town so it really could have been anywhere, but for some reason it still surprised me when he came up to me with a stick and told me it was a fishing pole.
The other day he specifically wanted to play "fishing," but his original poles (about 5 feet of Hot Wheels tracks) needed an upgrade. I found some dowel rods and then while I was at it I decided every great fisherman needed one thing... fish. I had seen these amazing Koi fish they had made at Art Camp Studio and figured we could easily recreate them. With the addition of magnets, the set became a full fishing experience.

t.p. or paper towel rolls
staples and stapler
adhesive magnets (on Amazon)
small wooden dowel
magnetic hooks (on Amazon)
pen or marker

Step One: Cut out your fins and tail.
Make a pattern by folding some paper in half and drawing half of a fish tail (kind of a paisley shape with an added flat tab), then cutting it out. Refer to the above picture for an example. Make sure the square end of your tail fits into a squished t.p. roll. Cut down the length of a t.p. roll then lay it flat. Trace your pattern onto the roll then cut it out. You will also need two tear-drop-shaped pieces for fins. Fold your cardboard and cut two out at the same time to get similar shapes!

Step two: Staple everything on.
Fold your tube flat at one end. Insert the tail and staple along the edge of the tube. Make sure to do more than one staple so the fish keeps its shape. Pinch the fin to give it a bit of dimension, then place it about 1/3 down the tube and staple. Do the same for the other fin on the opposite side.

Step Three: Add Magnets.
Take the paper layer off of your magnets and stick them to the inside of the fish. I put them in the mouth, but the cardboard should be thin enough that anywhere will work. If you don't have magnets, you can substitute a row of staples for this step. Not as hidden, but it will work just as well!

Step four: Add a design to your fish!
The gaping mouth of these fish kinda reminds me of a Magicarp from Pokemon, so I kept with the theme and drew eyes that were a little silly. Add some scales and some lines on the fins and you've got yourself a pretty little fish!

Step 5: Make your fishing pole.
Use scissors to carve a small notch in your dowel.  Cut a length of string that is about 3 feet. Tie the string onto the stick with a knot, then test the length. When you are satisfied with your fishing line, add the magnet hooks with another knot at the other end of the string.

Now all you need to do is put out your "gone fishin'" sign and go have some fun!


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What YA Readin? Episode Three

Saturday, May 8, 2021

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So, first things first, our podcast has been re-named! We chose to rebrand after we found another awesome podcast with the name "YA Gotta Read This." Our new name reminds me of sitting next to my sister saying "What ya reaaaadin?" again and again and again... so very on brand for this podcast, really.

Episode Three: The One with the Darkling on

Onto the show notes! In this episode, we gushed over Leigh Bardugo's series "Shadow and Bone" which can now be found on Netflix! Here's a list of links to all the things we talk about.

Shadow and Bone Series on Netflix

Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows Duology by Leigh Bardugo

Article about the Darkling’s Name on Screen Rant

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YA Gotta Read This Episode Two: The Love Pentadecagon

Saturday, April 10, 2021

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The subject of this podcast is something my sister and I have discussed many times throughout the years. For a while love triangles were inescapable in YA literature.  We have finally gotten to a point where they aren't as common, so we realized it was high time we used science to decide once and for all what "Team" was the best team. Totally unbiased science. You are welcome.

Check out this podcast here:

The Hunger Games By Suzanne Collins

Boys Over Flowers, Vol. 1 by Yoko Kamio

The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Skyhunter by Marie Lu

The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones

And, because I promised, here is our teen heartthrob magazine!

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Magical Creatures Book Basket

Friday, February 26, 2021

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This book basket comes from the bottom of my fantasy adoring heart. It's a love letter to Dungeons & Dragons but in book basket format. Because the theme of this book basket? It's all magical creatures. 
Each of the books I selected for this basket features imaginative creatures: either from folklore or just plain made up. There are stories for a wide age range, and a few non-fiction books thrown in that just have really pretty pictures. 

The activity we did with this basket was to change some of our animal toys into magical creatures. With paper, tape, and pipe cleaners we gave a hippo a scorpion tail and an alligator a lion's mane. We also turned this giraffe/zebra into a winged beast, but let's be honest that one was kind of a magical creature before we started. Why does this zebra have such a long neck!?!

Books I included in this basket:

Not Pictured:

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Bathroom Refresh Mood Boards

Monday, February 1, 2021

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My bathroom is sooo close to being "finished." I really just need to add those last final touches. While on a hunt to find those last few perfect items, though, I fell down a rabbit hole of bathroom decor and found some seriously amazing decor pieces.

The idea behind these mood boards is that if you have a bathroom that is a neutral color (seafoam blue is a neutral color, right?) you can drastically change the feel by just switching up a few key items. All of the boards are a little funky and vintage-inspired while still being trendy.

This first board is the feel my bathroom has currently. It's such a warm and inviting vibe, and I've had a lot of fun thrifting little yellow trinkets to put on my shelves. That big yellow towel with those beautiful details is on my wish list for sure. It's practically a piece of art.

There's something about a cheeky bath mat that always gets me, and with this one's fun color palette I couldn't help but build a whole mood board around it. There's a huge trend of candles that look like Greek sculpture right now, and while I chose a head for this board you could easily swap it out with a body to contribute to the "cheeky" (ha!) feel.

I saved this last one's graphic as "chill Tiger King" because I felt like that encapsulated the mood. This board has more of a retro funky vibe, with the stars of the show being the simple but well-designed accessories that pack a big punch, like that candle and the soap dish.

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Knitting Book Basket

Monday, January 25, 2021

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Every January I question my choice to remain in Illinois. It's just so dang COLD. This year I told myself I would do everything I could to make my winter warmer. I bought slippers, a good coat, and tried to think of warm thoughts.

Keeping in the spirit of warm things and warm thoughts, when it was time to put together our next book basket I knew just what theme I wanted to use: knitting! I grabbed some props from around my house (knitting needles, yarn, small knitted objects) with the intent of giving Ronan some tactile examples of the things we were reading about.

For our activity, I put together a tp roll loom and made him a cute little bracelet! He liked watching the knitted cable come out the end of a tube. Here is a link to a tutorial so you can make your own!

I really loved the books I chose for this basket. They were sweet, silly, and inspirational. And they were especially beautiful. Jon Klassen, the illustrator for "Extra Yarn" is one of my favorite children's illustrators. Links for the books are below the pictures!

If you would like to find more book baskets check out the tag here!
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