pinned it + made it: teacher gift

Wow, it feels so nice to finish up a quick project! If anything is going to get done around here, it has to be quick. And I found some cute tiny succulents on sale at Walgreens of all places. Perfect.
Neon-dipped succulent pots. See the complete how-to at Armelle. (Although we skipped the masking tape step and just free-handed it.) This little guy is going to be a first-day-of-school gift for Lo's kindergarten teacher. Quick! Dip yourself some clay pots. So simple and your kids can help.

kid made modern: tape + book project

I just about flipped when I first saw all of the Kid Made Modern kits and art supplies at Target. (Did you, too?) I'm a big Todd Oldham fan. Also a huge fan of this book. And I couldn't wait to get my hands on some of this stuff.
Lo was super excited about the Diary Kit in particular, and I was stoked about the colorful paper tape. Amongst other things.
The diary kit is fantastic, by the way. It includes these great stamps and stamp pad, sticker sheets, markers, classic diary-style multi-colored pen, and of course, the diary itself. (That pen. I totally had one in junior high. Wrote all of my most important notes with it!) The solid tape set comes with 9 different colors. And we decided to cover the diary with the tape! This was tons of fun. Kids love tape. (Umm, I love tape.)
Word. It turned out so cool. This was such a great activity for us to work on when we were stuck indoors during the endless heat advisory we experienced last week. And I definitely want to do more crafts like this during our last days of summer vacation. Go pick up some of these great sets at Target! We're already working on something new with the Charlie Harper wooden bird set. So. Cool.

kid made modern: tape + book project

I just about flipped when I first saw all of the Kid Made Modern kits and art supplies at Target. (Did you, too?) I'm a big Todd Oldham fan. Also a huge fan of this book. And I couldn't wait to get my hands on some of this stuff.

Lo was super excited about the Diary Kit in particular, and I was stoked about the colorful paper tape. Amongst other things.
The diary kit is fantastic, by the way. It includes these great stamps and stamp pad, sticker sheets, markers, classic diary-style multi-colored pen, and of course, the diary itself. (That pen. I totally had one in junior high. Wrote all of my most important notes with it!) The solid tape set comes with 9 different colors. And we decided to cover the diary with the tape! This was tons of fun. Kids love tape. (Umm, I love tape.)
Word. It turned out so cool. This was such a great activity for us to work on when we were stuck indoors during the endless heat advisory we experienced last week. And I definitely want to do more crafts like this during our last days of summer vacation. Go pick up some of these great sets at Target! We're already working on something new with the Charlie Harper wooden bird set. So. Cool.

kindergarten: the lunch

Is anyone else out there sending a Kindergartener out into the world this fall? I've been spending this summer trying to prepare Lo as best I can for her first year of elementary, and our biggest focus has been on independence. I admit it: she's my first kid, and I may be guilty of babying her a tiny bit. Opening containers for her, cleaning up after her ... I'm always there to help. And so I do. Probably too much. I'm trying to learn to step back and let her do her thing.

And then it hits me. OMG. She has to survive an entire school day without me.

Academically and socially, Lo is ready. But there were a few things I decided we might need to practice before she went off to school to ease any first-day stress.
One of those things is lunch. Yes, we're practicing how to do lunch. And that might sound silly, but stick with me here because we learned some good stuff. I'm super guilty of the whole 'let me help you with that' thing. And I plan on using a bunch of different plastic bento boxes to pack her lunches. I had no idea if she could open all of the lids without assistance, so this was our chance to practice. (Good thing we did, because I discovered that the containers in this awesome Skip Hop bento mealtime set are super hard to open. Even for me! Bummer.)
I made it into a game, because I figured she'd be down with playing 'school.' I prepare a lunch and water bottle for her, pack up her lunchbox and put everything inside her backpack. Then I pretend to be her teacher and ask her to find her lunch in her cubby and bring it to the table in our 'lunchroom.' And then, I'm totally hands-off. She has to unzip and open every container by herself, and when she's finished, I ask her to (neatly) pack up whatever is left over into her lunchbox and zip it into her backpack. I also set a timer for 30 minutes. My kid is a painfully slow eater, and at home we let her graze. It's time to learn about time management!  :)
This little lunch game also gives me a chance to check my portions. She ate everything today and said she was full. This is good. I plan to send her Klean Kanteen bottle with water every day this year. Occasionally, we'll do juice or milk, but water is great. I will fill the bottle with ice cubes in the morning so it will stay cold until lunch time.
This is also great lunch-prep practice for me. I learned my bento-packing skills from my friend Wendy. I've read her blog for years and have taken lots of mental notes. For instance, I know that you can fit quite a bit of food in a pretty small container, and it's good to pack it nice and full and use extra bits of food to fill in the spaces so food doesn't shift during transport.
My favorite boxes to use are the smallish ones that are sandwich-shaped, and sometimes I'll add in another smaller container of fruit or carrot sticks or cheese/crackers. I also really like the small-sized bento boxes with two hinged side clips, like this one. They're easy for kids to open and food doesn't spill or leak all over the place. And my new favorite ice pack is this Thermos ice cube mat. They're inexpensive, flexible, and contain only purified water – none of the blue goo.
So yeah, I'm getting pretty stoked about Kindergarten. So is Lo. This lunch thing is fun. If you're a rookie like me, check out this super comprehensive list of lunch-box ideas over at Wendolonia. (It's printable!)

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Moop: seconds sale

You've heard me rave about my Moop bags before. (They're pretty much the only bags I carry.) Moop is having a rare Seconds Sale and you should jump over there right now to check it out. Quantities are limited and will not be restocked, so, go! :)

shoe surgery: studded-out Cons

I have had my eye on these Converse Joey's from Free People for awhile now, but they're a little bit out of my budget and I always figured that someday I could try to make them myself. I forgot about them for awhile and then saw that my friend Vee had studded a pair of hi-tops. So cool. I had to try.
Luckily, I already had a closet full of Cons to pick from. Way too many. It was hard to choose. So I just grabbed a basic black low-top pair and got them ready to bedazzle. Speaking of bedazzling, you don't need a 'Bedazzler' or any other special studding machine to do this. All you need are needle-nose pliers, an x-acto knife, studs and a lucky pair of kicks.
I already had a few bags of silver studs in various shapes and sizes, so I decided to use some of those first. I also purchased some super rad yellow hexagon studs here, but I haven't figured out what I'm going to do with them yet. (Maybe I'll use them on a pair of Lo's shoes.)
So anyway, as you can guess, this is pretty simple to do. You figure out where you want the studs to go. Push them in and then bend down the prongs with the pliers.
A few tips, should you give this a try:

Start by unlacing the shoes and push the tongue all the way forward so you have room to work.

This can be tough on your fingers. Make life easier and use an x-acto knife to cut notches into the canvas to fit the prongs into, especially toward the back part of the shoe where the canvas is thicker. My prongs weren't very sharp for some reason, so I had to cut notches each time. If yours are sharp, this won't be a problem.

Pinch the prongs all the way in with the pliers (so they bend inward) so they won't tear up your feet when you wear them. I was really nervous that the pointy edges of the prongs would be sharp if I wasn't wearing socks, but they're totally fine!

Don't accidentally step on one of the studs with bare feet. Ow. This may have happened to me. Twice.

And that's about it. I'm pretty proud of myself for not splurging on the Joey's and making an equally rad pair of shoes from supplies I already had. I think I'll wear them a lot. (But seriously. I didn't have to buy a thing! How great is that?) Let me know if you give this a try ... I definitely want to see your shoe surgeries. Cut them up. It's fun.