Tag Archives: fun

How to Beat the Cold Weather Boredom Blues

boredom
*Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. Miss Bean and I thank you for it! 

HOW TO BEAT THE COLD WEATHER BOREDOM BLUES

The cooler weather has arrived, and we’ve unpacked the sweaters, hoodies, and extra blankets. It is the perfect time for hot chocolate, extra snuggles, and movie marathons.

However, the extra chill in the air can also bring about the cold weather boredom blues.

When I hear that all too familiar, “Mom, I’m bored,” these are my favorite ways to help get out of that boredom rut.

PLAY INDOOR GAMESboredom

It might be too cold to escape boredom by heading outdoors, but you can still play some fun games in your own living room.

Of course puzzles, card, and board games are a great boredom buster, but there are also many other fun games that you can play while inside.

Need some inspiration? Check out the Indoor Games Handbook by Lisa Regan. We love to flip through it and choose one of the activities.

TURN YOUR KITCHEN INTO A SCIENCE LAB

Some time ago, I shared how to build a STEM kit.

It’s a great thing to have at home and it includes some suggestions on things to stock up on. It is super handy for those days that you feel like conducting experiments.

We also love the book, Kitchen Science Lab for Kids.


It is filled with a ton of fun and easy activities, that also explains the science behind them. Grab your lab coats, and notebooks, and conduct some experiments!

GET CRAFTY

This time of year I am reminded of why I save all those cardboard rolls, snippets of ribbon, trinkets, and stock up on fun paper and paints. When the stir-craziness sets in, raiding the arts and craft stash can be the perfect first stop.boredom

Since this week is Thanksgiving break, we are going to use these super cute Thanksgiving printables. They will be such a festive touch for our gathering.

After that, it’s time to start on making holiday gifts, and cards. I finally get some time to try some of the projects that I’ve saved on my Pinterest boards throughout the year.

COOK

boredomGet rid of the chill by heating things up in the kitchen. We love to head out to our local library in order to borrow some cookbooks. We enjoy flipping through them, and looking at the pictures, and choosing a few favorites to try. This winter, we are on a mission for some good pressure cooker and bread recipes.

If you like butternut squash, give my husband’s delicious recipe a try!

Not only is it a great boredom buster, cooking together is also a great family activity!

Do you have a favorite cold weather boredom buster? Be sure to share it with me in the comments.

xo, Melissa


P.S. Are you new here? Follow Disco Bumblebee on Pinterest and be sure to join my Facebook group for more journaling ideas, quick and easy crafts, and other lifestyle tips.


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Easy DIY Halloween Decorations: Cardboard Tube Candles

These candles might be one of my most favorite DIY Halloween decorations so far. Plus, they are incredibly easy to make!

Halloween

*Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. Miss Bean and I thank you for it! 


If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Part One in my Easy DIY Halloween Decorations series. You won’t want to miss out on the adorable pumpkin bowls!


You will need the following supplies to make these Halloween cardboard tube candles:

Cardboard tubes

Acrylic paint

Glue gun, and glue sticks

Small led tea lights

Masking tape

Glitter (optional)

Ribbon (optional)Halloween

First, let your glue gun start heating up, and then trim your cardboard tubes to be the height that you would like your candle to be.

Next, use the masking tape to make a little indentation for your tea light to sit inside the cardboard tube.HalloweenDon’t worry about it looking pretty, because you will be painting over it.

By now, your glue gun should be hot enough.

Use it to make “wax” drips at the top of the candle, and along the side.

Halloween

Once the glue cools off, use the acrylic paint to cover the whole surface of the cardboard tube, and then let it dry.

Halloween

I decided that I wanted to add a little sparkle to my candles since I believe that glitter can make anything awesome.

So, I used a little white paint and black glitter to paint over the wax drips, to give it a more melted wax look.

Add your LED tea light, and there you have it!

Halloween

I loved the black candles so much, that I had to make a few orange ones too.

Adding some seasonal ribbons helped to make them a bit fancier.

Halloween

I had no idea that it could be so easy to turn cardboard rolls into a neat candle!

Plus, it got bonus points since I was able to re-use items instead of throwing them away.

If you decide to make these  DIY cardboard tube candles, feel free to share them in my Facebook group, or tag me in your Instagram photo.

I will be back next week, with a new fun DIY Halloween decoration!

xo,

Melissa

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P.S. Are you new here? Follow Disco Bumblebee on Pinterest and be sure to join my Facebook group for more journaling ideas, quick and easy crafts, and other lifestyle tips.

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Easy DIY Halloween Decorations Part One: Pumpkin Bowl

I love to make DIY Halloween Decorations, and this year I was actually prepared and got some made ahead of time, and I will be sharing my favorites with you!

DIY Halloween decorations

*Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. Miss Bean and I thank you for it! 

It might be September, but Halloween is just around the corner. Every year I decide that I will be ahead of the game and make some decorations for the house.

Except, life happens, and I don’t get them done.

Until this year!

I set aside some time to look over my Pinterest board for the DIY Halloween decorations that I have saved over the years. Bean and I tested our favorites and I will share them over the next few weeks.

I do my best to use or re-use items that I have on hand in my craft stash. However, even with a trip to the store, most of these items are budget friendly. If I do have to run out, I always try the Dollar Store first. I can usually knock out most of my list there.

EASY DIY HALLOWEEN DECORATIONS PART ONE: PUMPKIN BOWL

This one is super easy, and a fun one for kids. It’s fun to see that thin tissue paper can turn into a pumpkin!

DIY Halloween decorations

SUPPLIES NEEDED

Balloons

Orange tissue paper

Mod Podge

Black Construction Paper

Paintbrush

Small bowl, or plastic container

 

HOW TO MAKE IT

First, tear up the tissue paper into small pieces. You will need quite a bit, so put on some fun spooky music while you work.

I didn’t have any orange tissue handy, but I did have leftover crepe streamers. It worked perfectly for this project!

Next, blow up your balloon, but keep it small, about three inches in diameter.

A small plastic container is helpful to hold the balloon while you work.

Grab your Mod Podge and use the paintbrush to put a layer on the surface of the balloon. You will want to cover about half of the balloon to make your bowl shape.

Then start putting a layer of tissue over the Mod Podge. Do not worry about pieces overlapping or looking messy, it does not have to be perfect.

 

DIY Halloween decorations

Next, cover the tissue paper layer with Mod Podge and add another layer of tissue.

Repeat that step a few times, you will want 3 or 4 layers to help make your bowl a bit sturdier.

DIY Halloween decorations

Once you make your layers, put one last coat of Modge Podge all over the tissue paper. It will look really messy, but just wait until it dries!

DIY Halloween decorations

Set the pumpkin aside and wait for it to dry. It was hard to wait, but we left ours overnight to be sure that it had enough time.

DIY Halloween decoration

Grab your scissors and black construction paper and cut out some jack o’ lantern eyes, a nose, and a mouth.

Use the Mod Podge to attach them to your pumpkin. Make sure you take the balloon out of the container and flip it over so that your face is not upside down.

The final step is the fun part.

Pop the balloon!!

Now you have a cute little pumpkin bowl. I did not mind the jagged edges of the paper, but you can also use scissors and carefully trim it up a little bit.

DIY Halloween decorations

We made a few so that we could put candy in some, and candles (LED ones for safety of course!) in the others.

Be sure to keep checking back for the next few DIY Halloween decorations posts – next up will be cardboard tube candles!

XO, Melissa

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P.S. Are you new here? Follow Disco Bumblebee on Pinterest and be sure to join my Facebook group for more journaling ideas, quick and easy crafts, and other lifestyle tips.

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We Tried It! How To Make DIY Seed Bombs

A few weeks ago, I saw a video for these adorable little diy seed bombs. I made sure to save it so that Miss Bean and I could make some of our own. We soon needed some gifts for a family gathering, and I decided that these would be the perfect solution.

SEED BOMBS

Luckily, we already had most of the supplies on hand. We just needed a packet of wildflower seeds. Funny enough, we had sent away for some seeds to help bring back the honey bees, and they just happened to arrive in our mailbox the exact day we needed them!

It was meant to be!

To make these seed bombs, you just need some paper, a muffin tin, a food processor, and some wildflower seeds.

I realize that you can just watch the video, but I broke down the steps here so you could see our results as well 🙂

First take your paper and tear it into tiny pieces. We filled a small bowl about halfway with our paper scraps.

seed bombs

Next, pour water to coat your paper pieces.

seed bombs

Let that sit for about 15 minutes.

seed bombs

Next, put the paper in a colander and use a sponge or a towel to help soak up the excess water.

seed bombs

Then, put your paper into the food processor, and grind them up into shredded pieces.

seed bombs

Aren’t all of the colors fun?!

Press and pack your shredded paper into muffin tins.

I just used basic muffin tins, but if you have some that are fun shapes, those will make your seed bombs look even cuter!

Pour your wildflower seeds over the top of each seed bomb, and then add the rest of your shredded paper as a top layer, and pack the paper down.

seed bombs

Then let them sit and dry for 24-48 hours.

Once they are dry, they are ready to go!

Since they were gifts and we needed to wrap them somehow, we made little baskets out of muffin liners and used pipe cleaners to make little handles.

seed bombs

Just drop them where you would like your flowers to grow and wait for the sprouts to happen!

 

seed bombs

These were fun and very easy to make. The hardest part was just waiting for them to dry!

My daughter really enjoyed helping to create such a fun gift, and it was easy on our budget.

She was especially happy to hear from her great grandmother that her seed bombs had already started to sprout!

Happy planting!

xo Melissa

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5 Ways To Use Glow Sticks For Your Next Family Night (Plus Giveaway!)

glow sticksDisclaimer: I received a set of glow sticks for free to test out, however all opinions here are my own. This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. Miss Bean and I thank you for it! ?

I am going to let you in on a little secret, I am a big fan of glow sticks. I feel that they can make anything exciting. They are great to have on hand for picnics, party favors, concerts, stocking stuffers, care packages, camping, night swimming, or even living room dance parties.

glow sticks

They are a wonderful way to add visibility to kids when they are out and about at night time.

Best of all they are very budget friendly, and an inexpensive way to have a little fun.

I received a set of glow stick bracelets from Lumistick to play with. They arrived in a tube of 100, with plastic connectors. There are 5 colors; pink, green, blue, yellow and orange, and are non-toxic.

glow sticks

We had a blast thinking of all the things that we could do with them.

Besides the obvious choice of wearing them as bracelets, what else can you do with glow sticks?


Here are 5 fun and different ways to use your glow stick bracelets:


Have an indoor glow stick dance party

This is definitely a favorite, as we love to have spontaneous dance parties. They always help cheer us up, and get us laughing. So, turn out the lights, put on some fun music and dance around with your glow-sticks.

glow sticks

Play tic-tac-toe with your glow sticks

Make a giant board by using the plastic pieces that join the bracelets together. Instead of X’s and O’s, we just used O’s, but two different colors to place into our board boxes.

 Play a game of glow ball or Frisbee

Change up your game and join a few glow-sticks together. Attach them to a frisbee, or put one inside a wiffle ball.

glow sticks

Use them in your hair

Put your hair up in a bun and add a glow stick bracelet for a little color fun. You could even leave them straight and use them like hair sticks!

Play ring toss

This is a fun one to do when camping or at an outdoor concert. Make some rings with your glow sticks and connectors, and then grab a stick and push it into the ground. Make it a competition and see how many rings you can land on the stick.

Have a glow in the dark picnic

Spread out a blanket and wrap your glow-sticks around some clear plastic cups. Pick out your favorite foods and dine by glowing light!

You can use connectors to create a glow ball lantern. They look so awesome, and would be a fun centerpiece to a glow picnic, or a even a dance party decoration.

(Want one of your own? Check out the giveaway at the bottom of this post)

glow sticks

Bonus: Relax in a glow in the dark bath

I realize this isn’t really a family night acitivty, but it is still a fun one for both kids and adults. Instead of candles to help calm you, fill up your tub and add your favorite glow-stick colors!

I hope this gives you some ideas on the different things that you can do with your glow-sticks. Check out the different sets on Amazon, choose one or two and you will have several options for some family night fun!


GIVEAWAY: It is fun to receive free stuff! Help me spread the word by sharing my post to enter your name to receive your own glow lantern set! Let me know in the comments how you shared it. If you would like a second entry, sign up for my mailing list in the sidebar! I will announce the winner on May 15th!

glow sticks

xo, Melissa

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How To Make Critter Bookmarks – A Quick and Easy Craft

This week Bean and I decided to play with paper and make some critter bookmarks.

For those of you new to the blog, I love crafts, but don’t have a ton of time. I love finding quick and easy projects that add a little fun to our day.


Think of Bean and I as your craft testers, our creations may not be the most perfect, but they are real and made with love.


BOOKMARKS
We do our best to find the easiest, cutest projects, and these critter bookmarks totally fit the description!

bookmarks

You don’t need much at all in the way of supplies. Grab some paper, scissors, a glue stick, markers and googly eyes.

bookmarks

Because who doesn’t love a reason to put fun eyes on things?!

Your paper to be in the shape of a square. We happened to have some origami paper on hand, so we used that, but you can easily use card stock or construction paper and just cut it into a square.

Here are the steps that you need to follow to make these super cute bookmarks:

  1. Fold your paper in half to create a triangle.

bookmarks

2. Fold the top point (just the front layer of paper) of the triangle down to meet the bottom edge of the paper.

bookmarks

3. Fold in the left and right corners in to meet the middle triangle fold.

bookmarks

bookmarks

4. Open up your side folds, so that they look like this:

bookmarks

5. Then fold both of those sides up, along your middle triangle fold.

bookmarks

bookmarks

6. Next, tuck in the two new folds that you just made into the middle fold.

bookmarks

bookmarks

7. Take a second piece of paper, and cut another square. It should be the same size as the square you just folded.

bookmarks

8. Then tuck that square into your folded paper, and secure it with a little glue.

bookmarks

9. Finally, glue on some googly eyes, and a little tongue.

bookmarks

There you have it! Your critter bookmark is ready to help keep your place in the books that you are reading.

bookmarks

bookmarks

bookmarks

Now, you don’t HAVE to make a frog. Bean had fun just making some little monster bookmarks and then decorating them. I also made a vampire one. Just pick your favorite critter and start creating!

bookmarks

I hope you found these critter book marks fun, and will give them a try the next time you are looking for a quick craft. I know the ones we made will definitely give some character to our reading time! <3

xo, Melissa

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How To Make Reading Wands – Another Quick and Easy Craft!

reading wands

We have been working very hard on learning to read in our homeschool classroom.

Sometimes, my daughter starts feeling overwhelmed, distracted or bored. She has trouble keeping her place while reading out loud.

To help combat this, I decided that we should make some magic reading wands with our craft sticks.

As you know I am a fan of quick and easy crafts, and this one doesn’t disappoint.

They are the perfect way to add a little excitement and sparkle to our reading practice.

To make these reading wands, you will need the following supplies:

reading wands

Modge Podge

Glitter

Medium Sized Craft Sticks

Buttons

Craft Glue

Paint brush

Sharpies (for decorating – opitional)

Washi Tape (for decorating – opitional)

*Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. Miss Bean and I thank you for it! 🙂

Reading Wand Instructions:

First, place some glitter in a small container to make it easier to paint on the craft sticks.

I have discovered that muffin liners are perfect for this purpose!

Dip your brush in a bit of modge podge, and then in the glitter, and paint onto your craft sticks. You can also dab the glitter to help get a good thickness so the reading wands are nice and sparkly.

Set aside and let it dry for a little bit.

reading wand

It is also fun to try a few different ways of decorating the reading wands.

Sharpies, stickers, washi tape, and paint, would all work. Just dig into your craft stash and see what you can find.

If you use sharpies to decorate your reading wands, I recommend painting a layer of modge podge on your craft stick first. It helps the ink not bleed into the wood.

reading wands

The final step is choosing the perfect button for the top of the wand. Use a little craft glue to secure them to the top of the wand.

If you don’t have buttons, but have craft jewels or foam stickers, those would also work as a good accent.

reading wands

Once the glue is dry, your reading wands are ready to help make reading time fun.

They are a great way to help keep young readers focused on keeping their place while reading.

Best of all, they are super easy to make!

reading wands

Happy reading!

xo Melissa

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How to Make a Puffy Heart Pin – Quick and Easy

Today I am going to show you how to make a puffy heart pin with felt.

puffy heart

I needed a cute, but quick craft for Valentine’s day because we had some unexpected medical stuff come up in our house that put me behind.

These little hearts fit my need perfectly, and I even had all the supplies on hand!

Of course February has Valentine’s day, but it is also heart month. I have always had a fondness for hearts, but they took on an additional special meaning when my daughter had open heart surgery.

I will proudly wear this pin, not just for the holiday, but to honor my strong heart warrior, Miss Bean.

puffyheart


To make these puffy hearts, you will need the following supplies:

puffy hearts

Felt

Scissors

Embroidery thread (or regular thread)

Safety pin

Polyfill stuffing


First, you need to cut a heart shape out of the felt.

puffy heart

I used a scrap piece of paper to create a pattern. Then I used it as a guide and cut two heart shapes out of my felt.

puffy heart

Next, cut a small rectangular piece of felt. This will be used to secure the safety pin to the back of your heart.

puffy heart

Place the felt piece over the base of the safety pin, but make sure that you can still open up the pin to secure it to your clothing.

Use your thread and stitch all the way around the small piece of felt. Now your pin is attached, and you are almost ready to wear your puffy heart.

puffy heart

Take your two hearts and place them together, with your safety pin at the back. Begin stitching the two pieces together.

Be sure to leave a little hole so that you can stuff it with the poly fill.

Fill your heart with the stuffing, and finish stitching it closed.

puffy heart

There you have it! It is a fast and easy craft, but is a perfect accessory for Valentine’s day. It would also make a great gift as well.

puffy heart front puffy heart

If you are feeling adventurous, try making other shapes. I made these cute cat pins with little beads for their eyes too.

puffy heart
Enjoy creating and spreading the puffy heart love!

Xo Melissa

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How to Make A Craft Stick Chalkboard

craft stick chalkboard

This month, as part of my series, I got out my craft sticks and made a few different chalkboards.

They all were quick and easy crafts to make, and I know that I will get good use out of them.


If you would like to make some, all you will need is:


 

Craft Sticks (large, medium and small)

Chalkboard Paint

Glue

Small piece of twine

Acrylic paints (if you want to paint the craft sticks)


Craft Stick Chalkboard Sign

For this chalkboard sign, you will need the large craft sticks.

First, line up seven sticks horizontally, and then with the glue, attach two more sticks on either side vertically.

craft stick chalkboard

Let the glue dry, and then spray paint the front surface with the chalkboard paint.

Once the paint is dry, attach a little bit of twine to the chalkboard so you can hang it up.

craft stick chalkboard

So far, we have used it to announce a stuffed animal tea party picnic, and a game night with friends. I also think it would be fun to hang one on the kids doorknob so that I can leave them special messages.

Craft Stick Miniature Chalkboard Easel

Once I finished the chalkboard sign, I was hooked. So I thought it might be fun to make little chalkboard easels.

To make these, you first need to form an upside down V out of two small craft sticks and then glue three more horizontally across the V.

craft stick chalkboard

Once the glue dries, tape off the top point of the easel, and the bottom part and paint the three horizontal sticks with the chalkboard paint.

When the paint is dry, glue another small craft stick at the back to create a tripod leg, so that the easel will stand up.

craft stick chalkboard

Aren’t they cute? I am going to make a few more so that I can use them to label place settings for dinner parties.

Craft Stick Chalkboard Garden Markers

Finally, I decided to make some plant markers for when we plant our seeds in our garden.

Here you use both the small and medium craft sticks.

Glue three small sticks horizontally across a vertical medium craft stick.

craft stick chalkboard

Let the glue dry and then tape off the top and bottom part of the vertical stick. Paint the three horizontal sticks with the chalkboard paint.

Chalk can be used to write the different seeds that are planted, but if it gets wet, it may wash off and leave you without knowing what you planted! Use modge podge to create a seal over the chalk, or use sharpie instead.

craft stick chalkboard

As you can tell, I am not the best at using fancy lettering and chalk. However, I can’t wait to put all of these mini chalkboards to use. I loved how fast it was to make them, and inexpensive too! Give it a try and let me know how it worked out for you 🙂

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Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. ? Full disclaimer information can be found here.

 

   

 

 

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How a Tea Party Gave me a Little Perspective

tea party perspective

This week, my daughter organized a tea party, and ended up giving me some important perspective.

This is how she did it.

This year, I had visions of a holiday season filled with baking, crafting, and decorating. I scoured Pinterest for ideas and made a checklist. I was ready to go!

However, the flu decided to make an appearance and work its way through my family. I had no choice but to put everything else on the back burner.

My blog, the crafts, the baking, were all replaced with what seemed like never ending loads of laundry, holding back hair, rubbing backs and disinfecting the house each time the flu hit another family member.

It. Was. Rough.

Once we were through it, my daughter Bean suggested that we have a tea party for her stuffed animals and dolls, because we missed out on so many festivities. Since we were all starting to feel human again, it seemed like the perfect way to ease back into things.

My brain started to plan out all the cute fancy things that we could make for our party. Tiny sandwiches, white and pink napkins, cupcakes, doilies, glitter, and fun punch to fill our tea cups. I was so excited to put together a perfect party for her.

But Bean had other plans.

She informed me that she wanted to make it a picnic tea party. Instead of white and pink, she wanted orange, yellow and maybe blue. She spoke of lanterns, invitations in the shape of tickets and immediately ruled out cupcakes.

I was tempted to take control and try to do it all myself. After all, I wanted it to be perfect and fancy for her. Just as I was getting ready to tell her how I thought we should do things, something inside me told me to be quiet.  I decided to stop, and listen to her specific vision.


In the end, instead of me trying to convince her to do it my way, I let her take the lead.

I followed her instructions and assisted her in writing out a to-do list. I pulled out the orange and yellow construction paper and helped cut out ticket shapes for her invitations. She carefully labelled each ticket with the news of her tea party, and even made a special one just for me! I could have made the lettering perfect, and uniform, but seeing her working so hard to write each letter so carefully was awesome. She put so much love into her work.

tea party perspective

Next came the decorations. We learned how to make paper lanterns to use as centerpieces. Once she figured out which stuffed animals and dolls would most like to attend her event, we made them paper name cards for their place settings. She was really excited when I remembered that I had a tablecloth with some of her color choices.

It was decided that the party also needed signs for decoration, so we made one out of popsicle sticks and chalkboard paint. It turned out so cute, and we can even use it for future parties.

tea party perspective

The final step was the menu. She reminded me that she doesn’t really like sandwiches and preferred to have ham rolled up and secured with toothpicks. Then, she filled bowls with blueberries, m&m’s, and pretzels and arranged some sugar cookies on a plate.

My only contribution, other than my help, were my special teacups and teapot from my collection.

tea party perspective

Finally it was time for the tea party!

As we sat on our tablecloth drinking tea with our pinkies up and talking in high pitched voices, Bean exclaimed,


“This is so FANCY mom! It is perfect!”


I looked around at the hodge podge of handmade decorations that were carefully arranged, the bright colors, her stuffed animal and doll guests, the interesting food assortment, and I smiled.

She was right.

tea party perspective

It WAS perfect.

I really needed that change in perspective, I so often get caught up in my own vision of how things should be, and it doesn’t often leave room for flaws.

Bean reminded me that there is more than one way to be fancy and perfect.

This is a lesson that I am going to try really hard to remember throughout this year, and the next time I need to plan a party, I know who to ask!

Happy New Year!

xo Melissa

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