Tried & True  DIY Sideboard with Metallic Spray Paint Accents

Hello, and Happy Spring!  During spring cleaning I visited some of the treasures in my basement–diamonds in the rough that just need a little TLC to have a new life. Today my grandparents’ cabinets are coming upstairs for some new paint and sparkle!  

Well, OK, maybe you can see how my husband might want these out on the curb…




Tried & True  DIY With Kids: Minecraft Birthday Party

Another year, and my boys are still in love with Minecraft!  As much as I struggle with the screen time, it has been incredible to see how they love to play, plot and plan their Minecraft adventures together like the best of friends.


This year we are gathering ideas for my son’s Minecraft birthday party, with a special focus on not buying a lot of commercial junk (if that is possible!).  So, as usual I look to Etsy for great ideas and inspiration!  We need decorations, party favors, a cake and activities…



Tried & True  DIY Festive Flower Garland

This Easter we had fun decorating with Mexican paper flowers.  I want to share this little DIY project with you because it is so easy and totally versatile for any kind of party.  I think I will keep these up for a while just to color and life back into our home after a long winter!



Here is what you need to make your own paper flowers:

  • tissue paper in a variety of colors
  • yarn or pipe cleaners
  • scissors, pinking shears




Tried & True  Origami Easter Crafts for Kids

We love origami projects at our house, and there are so many fun spring and Easter designs to choose from!  They make adorable place setting treats for your Easter table, and a very fun way to channel all of that sugar energy!  Here are some of our favorites:




Tried & True  DIY Star Wars Party Favors!

These light saber party favors were a huge hit at my son’s Star Wars birthday party.  I got this idea from a friend a few years ago, and only improved on it by giving each guest two light sabers, so they could take them home and play with their siblings.  This is easy and inexpensive, and perhaps the most popular party favor of the year!



Tried & True  Make Your Own Super-Big Banner

Here is an inexpensive and fun way to make an oversized banner for a party or special event!  By designing your own banner at home, you can upload it to your local printer (we used FedEx Kinkos) and request it be enlarged and printed on oversized paper. Then it is up to you to make it colorful and festive. DIY-banner-poster


All you need to do is create a document on your computer (or even directly on paper) that contains the black and white images and text that you want to use.   (more…)  

Tried & True  Kids in the Kitchen: Authentic Soft Pretzels



Who knew “artisinal” soft pretzels were trending? I had an incredible soft pretzel at the famous beer bar, the Ginger Man, in NYC recently, and learned that much like bread pudding and cup cakes, soft pretzels are HOT!  Being of German descent, and always looking for kiddo activities, my boys and could not resist this snow day challenge! (more…)  

Tried & True  DIY: Your Own Buche de Noel for the Holidays

My eight year old loves to make elaborate cakes, but he rarely gets me to join in because I am terrified of baking!  He has been asking to make a Buche de Noel cake ever since he saw a picture in Joanne Chang’s flour, too cookbook, that he gave me last spring.  I figured there is no better time than Christmas to take the challenge, so we did our best to make this amazing dessert to have on Christmas night. Joanne-Chang-Flour-Too

Now, as you can see, ours is not perfect, but it was so much fun to make together, and it tastes amazing!  The whole process is a little daunting because the recipe is three pages long, but we took it in stages over a few days and it was manageable and fun.  I do not have much experience baking—so if we can do it,  anyone can! (more…)  

Tried & True  DIY: Holiday Decorating With Kiddos

My boys and I love to kick off the holiday season by decorating with greens. This is the perfect Thanksgiving day activity for the kids, while the grown-ups are busy cooking! wreath-diy

The kids really enjoyed having their own pine swag to decorate using the pine cones we collected on a hike.  We rolled the pine cones in glue and then in different colored glitters, which is always fun, and always messy (do this outside if you can!).  Then using wire, we attached them to the swag, along with some colorful balls and glittery birds.  I had several kinds of ribbon to choose from, pipe cleaners, and variety of inexpensive colorful ornaments so they could really make them special.  Everyone went home with their own door decoration, and it was a great start to the season! (more…)  

Tried & True  DIY: Egg Carton Critters

This is a fun DIY project that is perfect for a rainy day activity with kiddos.  I am not sure who had more fun when my boys and I made these woodland critters—it is usually me!  I swear, the more you stare at an egg carton, the more things you begin to see.  You will see faces in the egg cups—every way you turn them—more faces!  Do you think I sound a little crazy?  Try it!



My boys and I saw owls and foxes in our egg cartons, which felt very fallish, so that is what we decided to make.  If you have ever made a flower wreath from egg cartons, you know that they are really fun and easy to work with–and pretty much everything looks great when painted! (more…)