Father’s Day scavenger hunt with Yoobi chalk

Truth be told, we aren’t huge on holidays or anniversaries around here (with the exception of Christmas—which we call XMAS XMAS!!!). But Father’s Day is this weekend, and I wanted to involve my kids in doing something special for Eric, who is truly a phenomenal dad. The trick: Their attention spans are short. Kiwi is a disaster with paint, which rules out most Father’s Day crafts. And they’re much more interested in doing stuff with their dad than spending an afternoon making him a photo frame out of popsicle sticks. So this year, we devised a Father’s Day scavenger hunt.

One reason I’m excited about a Father’s Day scavenger hunt is that it doesn’t take a ton of commitment or prepping. All I needed to do was take a few photos of the kids (which in itself is no small feat, considering their semi-disastrous history with photo shoots). The girls didn’t have to do a ton. They can save their Father’s Day enthusiasm for the day-of, when they’ll get to “help” their dad find his prize!

So if you’re looking for a last-minute Father’s Day gift, this scavenger hunt—made with just a few photos, lots of chalk and a little imagination—is the perfect way to tell dad “I love you!”

A great Father's Day gift: a scavenger hunt with the kids! Ten Thousand Hour MamaLooking for a quick + easy gift for Dad? This Father's Day scavenger hunt, complete w/ kids photos, is perfect! Ten Thousand Hour Mama A Father's Day scavenger hunt is a fun, easy and great last-minute gift idea for the kids to do for Dad. Ten Thousand Hour Mama

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Handmade Valentine’s Day cards & free download

Forget roses and prix fixe dinners. This February 14, I just want a few handmade Valentine’s Day cards.

And chocolate.

Because always chocolate.

Ever since I was a kid, Valentine’s Day has always meant friendship and platonic love. When I was in maybe 3rd grade, my younger sister lost all her valentines. All the tiny packs of candy, the Disney-themed cards, the hand-signed doilies—gone. She was heartbroken.

Later that night, I went through my own haul. I crossed off “Catherine” on every darn card and wrote in my sister’s name instead.

I then gave her a paper sack filled with cards from my classmates to cheer her up.

It should be no surprise, then, that when I think of Valentine’s Day, I don’t get goo-goo over the romantic aspects of the holiday. Instead, I melt at the memory of mailboxes made out of Kleenex boxes, carefully writing friends’ names on Ariel the Little Mermaid cards and the chalky taste of Sweethearts I choked down in the interest of reading the messages.

Now that I have kids, I get to relive the sweet, innocent side of the holiday—partly through crafting handmade Valentine’s Day cards.

Handmade Valentine's Day cards // Cute + easy crab valentines. Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

Merry Christmas 2016!

Merry Christmas 2016!

Merry Christmas 2016, everyone!

We are spending the holidays with family in Michigan. As I type this, downstairs I hear the rest of the jolly crew: 7 kids, 6 adults and 3 dogs. I’m taking the opportunity to curl up under a blanket and enjoy a few minutes to myself.

This morning I watched a bunch of kids tear through a roomful of gifts in a tornado of excitement. I had a mimosa. (Ok, two.) And I opened several presents that were brightly wrapped and thoughtful.

But the greatest gift of Christmas 2016 is seeing my girls together with their cousins.

Christmas 2016 Ten Thousand Hour Mama img_2290

The last time Peeper saw her five cousins was Christmas 2014; I was pregnant with Kiwi at the time, so Little Sis hasn’t met this crew.

They’ve been making up for lost time. Read more

DIY kids holiday gift: Glitter handprint craft

Y’all know how much I love glitter. So when I went to make a present for my mom, aka the girls’ grandmother and a Nana who has just about everything, I knew I wanted it to sparkle. So Peeper and I made this: a glitter handprint craft that will be a gorgeous, special and one-of-a-kind Christmas gift.

(Sorry, Mom, to spoil the surprise!)

We still have a few weeks until Christmas and other December holidays, but if you’re looking for a DIY kids craft to give as a gift, look no further than this fun, simple—and yes, sparkly—glitter handprint craft!

Glitter handprints are a beautiful - but easy - handmade holiday gift kids will love to make. Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

The spirit of Christmas

DSC_0980The other day Peeper and I shared a rare morning just the two of us: Eric and Kiwi were napping, so we headed downstairs to play out of earshot. It turned out to be the perfect time to get into the true spirit of Christmas.

After some jumping on the couch, reading books to dolls and building towers (then knocking them down, of course), I suggested we wrap some presents.

“These are for a little boy who doesn’t have any presents,” I explained to her. We are sponsoring a child whose parent is incarcerated, and I had bought him action figures, shoes and pants—his wish list items—earlier in the week. “Some children don’t have as many toys as you,” I added.

Christmas lessons in toddler-sized packages

Peeper chattered and jumped back and forth over the wrapping paper tubes as I cut, folded and taped. I unpeeled the backing from shiny bows, and she stuck them on the boxes.

I wanted to involve Peeper in our family giving this year. We have so much while others have so little, and I don’t want her growing up expecting that  abundance is the norm. Providing for others so their holiday is a little brighter is a family tradition, and Peeper is old enough to learn some of these lessons. Read more