Month: June 2020

Family Photo Album

Little One’s 2nd birthday was last week! Due to the COVID-19 situation we were not able to have a family birthday party like we normally would have…this virus has kept us from seeing those we love. While my husband and I are able to talk on the phone, it’s harder for Little One to make that connection. So for his 2nd Birthday, because his family couldn’t come to him, I decided to make a family photo album for him.

Like many homes, we have pictures of our family members around the house. Little One looks at these but has a hard time with the big group pictures telling each person apart. They are also attached to the wall out of his reach and out of his line of sight. We wanted to make a photo album with a picture of each family member so Little One could really get to know their faces and names.

 Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my readers best interest at heart.

Creating the Photo Book

Knowing me, I wanted to try to reuse as much as I could. I found a photo book like this one from Amazon. The one I used was one I picked it up at Walmart many years ago and now being repurposed. I have found that Little One is hard on the thin plastic pages and we have needed to tape a couple. A book like this might work a little better, but that is just a guess.

If able, getting a photo book printed might be the most durable. But again that is just a guess. I have gotten books printed before and have always been really happy with the results.

Whatever you decide to use to make your family photo album, just be sure that it will be okay for your kiddo to play with. The whole point of this to have pictures of your family members accessible to them!.

Getting Photos Printed

To create our family photo album, I asked each of our family members to send me a picture of just themselves. We had a lot of pictures of our family members, but not a lot of individual pictures of just them. Of course our family members were happy to snap off a picture and text it to me so I could print it out for the Little One.

I used Target Photos to print out all my pictures. I am working on getting a promo code for all of you…I’ll update this when I do!

Name Cards

One of the features I wanted to include in my photo book was to include name cards for each family member. I did this because I think having the names written out will help Little One with his language skills. I created a card in my edit program. You are in luck I have done the leg work for you. Available for download I have a blue and white version and a black and white version. They are also in two sizes one in 5*7 and 4*6.

Family Photo Book

Little One loves his family photo album. I often find him sitting in the living room flipping though the pages. We will talk about a family member and he will go get the family photo album. He will find the picture of the person we are talking about. He is slowly learning the names, he is better with some than others. Little One always knows who we are talking about.

July Bullet Journal

It’s mid-June and this month has been crazy already! There is a lot going on in both our home and in the world. If you noticed, I didn’t do a spread for June. I tried but it didn’t turn out well…sometimes that happens. I also found that I just didn’t need as much being that things are so up in the air right now. However, I have reorganized myself and created some spreads that I think will work for my July bullet journal.

This month is dedicated to the beautiful delphinium. As always I have taken inspiration from the very talented Shayda Campbell. I don’t think she has her July spread out yet, but when she posts it be sure to check it out!

I had a lot of fun creating this July bullet journal spread. The delphinium is such a delightful flower to draw. The grouping of little flowers and buds are easy and when clustered together creates a really nice effect. I chose to add water colors this month to add some pop. If you just use a pen, they still looked fantastic.

July Cover Page

July bullet journal cover page

This is the cover page for July.

July Calendar

July Bullet Journal monthly calendar

I switched things up for July and changed back to the bigger calendar. Since I am not doing weekly spreads like I was doing, I decided that I need more space in my calendar section for writing things down.

July Monthly Expenses

July bullet journal monthly expenses

My monthly expenses page has not changed much. I use this every month and it helps me track my purchases. This has been a game changer in helping us keep to our monthly budget!

July Spread

I have forgone my normal weekly spread for this month. I found that in June and May I didn’t use my weekly spreads very much. The parts that I really used were my blog engagement tracker and my meal planning. I also included a section for a to-do list. I will try out this method and see if it works well for me. Setting everything up on one page is going to make things a bit easier for me; now I don’t have to flip back and forth. I think just having a long to-do list is going to be helpful, too. As long as I get everything done, the particular day doesn’t matter as much. Summer Rules!

July Bullet Journal todo list

What do you think of the new July bullet journal layout? Have you been changing up your bullet journals to adjust to your new schedule? I would love to see your spreads! Let me know in the comments below or tag me on facebook.

DIY Sandbox

Now that summer weather has hit the North Shore and we have been spending so much time outside, Little One has been enjoying playing in the sandbox at daycare. I decided that it was time to make one at home, too. There are lots of designs to choose from. However, I decided to work with what I have and try making a DIY sandbox without purchasing anything.

Step One- Determining Location

My first step in creating a DIY sandbox was determining the location for it. We have this garden bed in our back yard. We have already let Little One have a bit of free reign on this garden bed. It is in need of a weeding and being under a tree, it is pretty much shaded most of the day. The soil is full of tree roots so it’s hard to grow flowers. My ultimate goal is to include the sandbox and make the other section a great interactive garden for Little One to plant in.

I love taking what I already have and creating something more useful. Using the garden bed, there are already three sides to hold in the sand. I will only have to create a separator in the garden. While the rocks are not ideal, I will try to rearrange them to make the sandbox more accessible.

Step Two-Creating the Sandbox

The first step in creating this sandbox was to dig! I first focused on trying to save any of the plants and transplanting them into the garden section. I put the rest of the dirt on a tarp to be taken to the dump later. I did manage to salvage some dirt for the garden. However, there were a lot of roots which didn’t make it useful. I dug down 5-6 inches, which should be more then enough digging room.

I managed to tackle this DIY sandbox during nap time, so it really didn’t take too long. That also included steps three and four…

DIY Sandbox

Step Three-Sandbox Foundation

The next step was creating the sandbox foundation. I wanted to include a good base for the sandbox or weeds and critters would try to make it home. Of course, I wanted to use recycled materials instead of buying new.

Did you know that cardboard works well as a weed barrier? I have seen them used in the bases of garden beds, so I thought it would work well for a sandbox, too. We had a bunch of it saved up because we haven’t been able to get to the recycle center.

I laid a layer of cardboard over the dirt, overlapping as I went. I then laid down a layer of plastic. I found this sheet of plastic in the garage that was used to wrap a package – I have held onto it all these years and it finally came in use! I tucked the plastic under the wood and the rocks. I left a good amount hanging for the bench I am going to make.

DIY sandbox

Step Four-Bench

For the separation between the sandbox and garden, I wanted to make a bench of sorts. I knew I would end up sitting in the sandbox playing with Little One, so I wanted to create something that would be more comfortable to sit on. There were some 2x12s left in my wood stash so I joined two pieces together using 45* angles to create the length I needed. I added a piece of 2×4 over the joint to stabilize it. I also used wood on each side of the 45* cut. Using my Kreg Jig, I drilled 4 holes in my two supporting lengths of 2×4. I attached them to my top piece using 2 1/2 inch screws.

I laid the bench in the sandbox. I used one of the legs to hold down the plastic. For the other one, I dug a trench in the dirt. This bench will not last forever, but I don’t need it to. A coat of polyurethane would help it last longer.

DIY sandbox bench

Step Five-Sand

The final step in creating this DIY sandbox was filling it with sand! I remember back in my home town there was a sand pit that we always got sand from. I asked around my new town if there was an area that people got sand from. One of my mom’s friends happened to live near one and helped us get some sand. It isn’t as smooth as the stuff from a bag, but Little One has fun all the same!

DIY sandbox

Little One is having so much fun playing in his new DIY sandbox. I’ve been using some recyclables as buckets for him, but I know Grandma is getting him sand toys for his birthday. I can’t believe he is going to be 2! Time is going by so fast.

If you make a DIY sandbox, let me know in the comments below. I would love to hear about your results!

Eco Conscious Fathers Day Gift Ideas

Father’s day is just around the corner and it’s time to start thinking about the special dad in your life! I have compiled a list of ideas for those dads who are more eco conscious and nature oriented. I see so many lists out there full of suggestions of goofy ties, drinking products, and golf. But I wanted to gather some ideas for the nature loving dads out there. So check out these Eco Conscious Fathers day gift ideas.

 Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my readers best interest at heart.

Water Bottle

Water bottles are a great way to reduce plastic waste. There are so many excellent water bottles out there. I personally love using bottles made of glass because I think the water tastes so much better in them. Check this one out that also has a shaker in it.

Bird Feeder

Bird feeders are excellent additions to your yard or garden. You can try this one from Amazon, but check out your local garden center or hardware store to find a nice wooden bird feeder.

Plant or Tree

Certain trees and plants are a wonderful addition to a yard or garden Try getting your dad his favorite plant or tree for his garden this year.

Books

Books are always great gifts. Check out your local book shop or try to find a second hand book in good shape. For the tech lovers out there, try Kindle Unlimited. Using this link, you can get your first month free!

Field Guides

I have found that wanting to be more eco friendly increases when I spend time in nature and learn more about it. Field guides are great to bring on hikes and adventures for this exact purpose. Try this tree or bird book to get started!

Straw Hat

It is important to shield one’s self from the sun when spending time outdoors. This straw hat is great for keeping the rays out of the face and it’s an all-natural material, too!

Electric Lawn Care

We spend so much energy and gas on mowing and caring for our lawns. An eco friendly upgrade from the gas guzzling yard appliances is an electric mower and/or weed whip. For the ambitious types, try a push lawn mower!

Subscription

Subscriptions are also great gifts! Try Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, or satellite radio.

Movie or DVD rental

Having a family movie night is really fun! Try your local move rental or a red box.

State Parks Pass

Getting outside is a great way to spend a day. This year get a parks pass as a gift to encourage outdoor adventures. Every state does things a little different so I found this great website that has information for all 50 states.

Zero Waste Personal Care

Switching to zero waste bathroom items can help cut out so much plastic waste. Try this Ethique sample pack of shampoo and conditioners. I have tried a couple of different shampoo bars and Ethique is hands down my favorite. My husband and I also love using felt soap. While I linked felt soap from Amazon, I purchase mine from a local woman who I met at the farmer’s market. As always, I encourage you to shop local when you can.

Reusable Coffee Filter, and Beans

Last but not least, consider these reusable coffee liners and dad’s favorite beans from a bulk bin.

I hope you found some ideas on this list that the father in your life would love. I tried to find some Eco Conscious Fathers Day gift ideas that were friendly to the environment and fun, too! Let me know what you think in the comments below!

For more eco friendly gifts check out my zero waste gift ideas!