DIY Mother’s Day gift for a mom-to-be: Pregnancy journal

This DIY Mother's Day gift is great for pregnant moms! A pregnancy journal with prompts. Ten Thousand Hour Mama

When I was pregnant with Peeper, and then with Kiwi, I did my best to record my thoughts, feelings and hopes for them. My journaling success was hit or miss with them—some nights I wrote long entries about the fluttery feeling of a tiny baby moving inside me; some nights I was too exhausted to do anything beyond flopping into bed. This year, I wanted to make a DIY Mother’s Day gift for some friends who are expecting so they, too, could remember this incredible time.

After some thought, I made a DIY pregnancy journal for two friends who are expecting their second babies. I know from experience that when you’re pregnant with Baby #2, you’re just not as focused on the pregnancy—after all, you’re too busy memorizing Daniel Tiger songs and ensuring your little daredevil doesn’t dart into the street. So I came up with these 30+ journal prompts—questions that will encourage a mom-to-be to reflect on her hopes and thoughts during pregnancy.

A DIY pregnancy journal makes a personal gift for a baby shower or Mother's Day. Plus it takes less than $5 and 15 minutes to make! Free download. Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

10 fun egg carton crafts for kids: Friday Funday

Easter is coming up faster than I can hide the foil wrappers from all those chocolate eggs I’ve been eating. And if you’re anything like me, you make a lot of egg-heavy dishes—from deviled eggs to dyed Easter eggs to yummy breads and rolls—and end up with a lot of egg cartons. Lucky you: Now you have lots of recycled art supplies to make upcycled egg carton crafts with your kids!

I love that egg cartons are so easy to turn into a million different things. They can be used for sorting pom poms or can be turned into a no-mess paint pallet, or they can be turned into masks or butterflies.

Your kids will have a blast making these fun egg carton crafts! Here are 10 that are my favorites—or ones that I can’t wait to try.

Now, on to using up those eggs so I have more upcycled supplies!

10 upcycled egg carton crafts for kids // Ten Thousand Hour Mama Read more

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

Pretty Christmas cookies: Chocolate Candy Cane Pinwheels

Roughly 95% of the time I make cookies, I go for chocolate chip. They’re sure to please, I pretty much have the recipe memorized and I just drop scoops of dough onto a cookie sheet before—ta-da!—gooey chocolatey deliciousness. But for a Christmas cookie exchange party, I wanted to up my cookie game a bit. So I got all inspired and created these tasty, festive and pretty Christmas cookies: chocolate candy cane pinwheels!

Chocolate candy cane pinwheels are PRETTY Christmas cookies—and so festive! Ten Thousand Hour MamaVersion 2These chocolate candy cane pinwheels are festive, pretty Christmas cookies—perfect for a cookie exchange party! Ten Thousand Hour Mama

Dark chocolate, sugar cookie dough and candy cane chunks come together in something that tastes just right at the holidays.  Read more

Holiday gift guide: Best WAHM gifts

Chances are, you know a work at home mom: Almost a third of moms in the US do not work outside the home, and if the number of mom friends selling leggings, face wash and children’s books is any indication, a good chunk of these work at home (including me!). And I can guarantee these mamas could use a thoughtful present this holiday—that’s why I pulled together a list of the best WAHM gifts to spoil the working moms on your Christmas list.

Shopping for a work at home mom? This gift guide with the 10 best WAHM gifts has working mother-tested ideas and products. Ten Thousand Hour Mama 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

Stretch your holiday charitable giving: Donate on any budget

My family isn’t unlike yours, I bet: Our budget is always tight, especially during the holidays, when we face extra expenses like Christmas presents, travel and OH MY GOSH CANDY CANE JOE-JOES. (Don’t deny it; you stock up, too.) But that doesn’t mean we scrimp on our holiday charitable giving.

Generosity and a commitment to helping others are central family values in this house. For us, that means giving to nonprofits throughout the year, but we always increase our donations during the holidays. (The giving spirit is in the air—or wait, maybe that’s pumpkin spice and evergreen scent!)

When it comes to our holiday charitable giving this year, I want to get the most bang for my buck. I’m betting you do, too. So no matter if your budget is super tight or as expansive as Bill and Melinda Gates’, here’s how to make the biggest change with your money.

This Christmas, make sure every dollar makes the biggest impact with your holiday charitable giving. 10 tips to make generosity and charity possible for any budget. Read more