Friday Freebie: 'I Spy' Book

Dylan loves I Spy books so when I saw the idea on Delia Creates blog for DIY I Spy Books, I knew I needed to make him one. He loves it especially since his toys are featured. He'll dig through his Duplo blocks to find the physical matching pieces as well as searching the photos. :)

Here's a peek at a few of the pages ...

The fun part? I'm sharing these pages with you. The alphabet find page is a bit different. It's 6 squares like the other search pages and features ABC instead of Dylan's name.

You can download the pages here. Please remember they are for personal use only. Thanks and enjoy!

The free I Spy pages today are in lieu of my typical monthly digital scrapbooking freebie. Find past Friday Freebies HERE and, don't forget to subscribe to my feeds so you won't miss future freebies!



One of those bittersweet moments in the past week, we took our final photo in front of the giraffe growth chart. I wasn't good about getting these on a monthly basis as I hoped, but we did take several over the last 3 years. Here are the first and last taken at 1 and 38 months respectively:

Supplies: Rocketman kit by Deena Rutter; Blossom kit by Karen Funk; In Stitches - Bright Basics by Robyn Meierotto; 2peas Island Style and Adobe Caslon Pro fonts. Scraplift of Playing Together by editorialdragon at DHD.

Why the giraffe is staying put and why we won't use vinyl wall decals in our next home here.


Moving Organization

This is it. The week of closings and moving. Here's how I've been getting us ready ...

Basket of moving supplies - I found this idea at A Bowl Full of Lemons and it's been so helpful! I used a small plastic crate we already owned from the Dollar Tree. In it, I placed a plastic cup to corral markers, pens & scissors; printed box labels (see next item); and assorted tapes (packing & painters). It's easy to move around the house, easy to spot in it's bright green color and keeps all our packing supplies at hand as we fill those boxes.

Box labels - These are a free printable from The Nest Effect. I simply bought Avery labels and printed them out. Then made notes of contents and smacked the label on the box. Simple as that.

Moving checklist - Good reminder list of all the little things to do before a move here.

Donations - I realized last year that I still had a small amount of neon 8.5x11 paper from college. This has been perfect for keeping track of donations. I use a sheet each time I prepare a box or bag for donating. At the top I note the store name and date of donation. I then list each item noting quality when necessary to help me when tax time comes around. After making the donation, I staple the receipt to the sheet so I have it ready. Each year I choose a different neon color (currently using green) - it makes the sheets very easy to spot amongst our other paperwork. We have quite the stack of these sheets this year as I have been donating a lot of items I don't feel are necessary any longer and I don't want to move!

Moving Binder - I saw this idea in numerous blog posts. It has been vital to keeping us organized. I actually found an empty binder and dividers when packing up items to put into storage. Inside I have sections for our schedule (calendar with notations of all appointments related to the move); inspection and repair notes for both houses; loan documents; utility information; reference sheet of important contacts.

Plastic Zipper Bags - Ok, so this is the least "green" part of our move, but oh so helpful. I'm using bags in a range of sizes (snack, sandwich, quart, gallon) to contain various items such as hardware for shelving we're taking with us.

Plastic Reusable Food Containers - You have to pack them anyway so why not use a few to help contain smaller items for the move? The uses are pretty much only limited to the size of the container. One of the best ideas I came up with (in my own humble opinion, of course) was to put kitchen utensils and gadgets in them. They were all headed to the same room and it kept these items clean during the move so I had less to wash when we arrived.

Big Blue Ikea Bag - hands down one of my best Ikea purchases was this bag. It's been used so many times. Currently, it's holding a few "need immediately" items that we'll take with us the moment we first have keys to the house. It's easy to continue to add to, easy to spot amongst all the boxes and easy to carry.

And with that, I'm back to packing boxes. A few more to go. The finish line is in sight.


NC Aquarium at Roanoke Island

The first of two pages detailing our fun at the NC Aquarium at Roanoke Island earlier in the month:

Supplies: Linen Line No 3 by Morjike & Agnes Biro; July Freebie by Anne Langpop; Recollect kit by Sara Schmutz; Nautical kit by Celeste Knight; Just the Way You Are and Caflisch Script Pro fonts. Scraplift of Aquarium page 2 by Jennifer Valencia.


Football Tee

A couple weeks ago I shared a birthday t-shirt I made for one of Dylan's friends. I had a creative spurt and couldn't stop there. She regularly tailgates (and attends a few games, I believe) with her parents before Duke football games so I made her this Pinterest inspired shirt as our gift:

Close-up shot:


Wordless Wednesday: Ocean Sunrise

Linking up to Wordless Wednesday and Sarah Halstead

This photograph is available for purchase in my Instcanv.as gallery here.


Toddler Moving Books

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

After a suggestion from a friend, I made a request from our library for a couple of age appropriate books about moving to read to Dylan. While we've been telling him for about it for a few months, taken him to see the new house several times, he's seen the boxes piling up, etc. - we don't fully expect him to understand the concept at age 3. He's enjoyed these two books and both have led to further conversation that I hope will help with the transition. So far he's been excited, but last night he did show concern that the moving truck would have spiders and didn't want his stuff in it! Where he got that idea I'm unsure, but I promised the truck would be clean and, regardless, his bed and toys would be moved in Mama's car. That seemed to help!

A Tiger Named Thomas - cute story about a boy that moves to his new neighborhood shortly before Halloween. He doesn't think the new neighbors will like him, but on Halloween he learns otherwise.

The timing of this book is perfect as we're moving into our new home at the very end of September and are already talking about Halloween with Dylan. It gave me an opportunity to remind him that we will meet some new friends in our new neighborhood and I also reinforced that we will still see our old friends that both live in our current neighborhood and elsewhere.

The Berenstain Bears' Moving Day - the story of Papa Bear, Mama Bear and Brother Bear moving from their home in the side of a mountain to their treehouse.

We already have a few Berenstain Bears books that Dylan loves. Having a father, mother and son moving were a good comparison to our family of 3. We discussed how all our belonging are being boxed up and will be loaded into a truck to move (it was after the 2nd reading of this he mentioned spiders in the truck. I'm not seeing any in the illustrations so I'm thinking they came from his imagination). Since Dylan will be staying with grandparents during the actual move, I promised to send him a few photos so he could see what is happening. He liked that idea. Thank goodness for the digital age!


Cape Hatteras

One of the two lighthouses we visited last week was Cape Hatteras. Dylan was so excited to see one in person. He, Trent, my mom & I all planned to climb to the top, but Dylan was just a few inches too short (small vertical photo on right). Nonetheless, we had fun on our adventure.

The rangers did let us in to look up (perhaps just as well we didn't climb - that's a lot of steps!) and Dylan & I got our cancellation stamps in our National Parks Passport books.

Supplies: Kindergarten Crafts kit by Miss Mint; In This Life kit by Karen Funk; Photomask Freebie by Ashalee Wall Designs; Weathered Frames 2 by Celeste Knight; Caflisch Script Pro and Just the Way You Are fonts.


from a toddler's view

While moving photos off my point & shoot camera after our vacation, I found a number of shots taken by a certain toddler. ;) I picked 8 to feature in this scrapbook page. Always fun to see a different perspective on our adventures.

Supplies: 8x8 Border Album, Page 5 template by Audrey Neal; 52 Templates No. 29 by Tiffany Tillman; Beach Ball papers by Robyn Meierotto; Just the Way You Are and Myriad Pro fonts.


Wordless Wednesday: Cows

See more of my CowParade photos here and find out more about the parade here.

Linking up to Wordless Wednesday and Sarah Halstead


OBX 2012

We were fortunate to spend the past week at the beach with friends and family. We had the same group from last year plus my mom and the mother of one of my friends (altogether 8 adults and 5 boys ages 3 and under).

Nags Head Fishing Pier
Nags Head Fishing Pier
With a hurricane out in the Atlantic stirring things up, the waves got more intense as the days passed. I took the above shot on a walk to the Nags Head Fishing Pier on Friday morning. It was amazing watching the waves crash and feeling them sway the pier under our feet!

4 of the 5 boys checking out the fish inside the aquarium entrance
Needless to say, we didn't spend much time in the ocean, but we did enjoy a lot of time playing in the sand and swimming in the pool. We also visited a number of attractions including the NC Aquarium at Roanoke Island, the Wright Brothers Memorial, lighthouses (Bodie Island and Cape Hatteras), Fort Raleigh, etc.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
And, Sarah Halstead and family drove over to spend some time with us last Monday. So fun to see her and her family again!


Princess "Three" Tee

The one girl in our playgroup of ten kids is turning 3 next week. I was honored when her mom asked my help in making the birthday t-shirt:

Looking forward to seeing her wearing this and celebrating the day in princess style. :)


Wordless Wednesday: Chalk Family

Mama, Dylan & Dada by Dylan


Pirate Spyglass

Dylan's imagination has grown in the last few months. He's really enjoying costumes and pretend play so much more that I've started expanding his costume collection. Most recently we added a pirate hat. Of course, all good pirates need a spyglass to help when searching for treasure so we dug around the house for supplies to create one. Here's how to make your own.

  • plastic or paper cup
  • toilet paper tube
  • aluminum foil
  • tape
  • glue (if desired)
  • scissors (adult use only!)
  • any decorative material you might like (stickers, buttons, etc) 

Start by cutting a hole in the bottom of the cup that is equal size to the toilet paper tube diameter. You can trace the tube outline to help. Note it doesn't have to be perfect.

Cut a few small slits along one end of the toilet paper tube. Have your child fold each of these sections outward.

Now slide the tube into the cup and out. Stop when the folded sections hit the bottom of the cup. Tape and/or glue in place.

Tear small sheets of aluminum foil. Wrap the tube and cup. Use tape and/or glue to adhere. We stuck entirely to tape using masking tape mainly in "hidden" areas and finishing off with black electrical tape. These could be decorated even further by adding stickers, gluing buttons or rhinestones, etc.

When complete, let your pirate imagination run wild as you search for treasure using your new spyglass! Dylan likes to do so from his Step2 Woodland Climber "ship" in the backyard as well as from various locations throughout the house. :)

A version of this post originally ran on August 22, 2012 for Arts & Crafts Thursday at Notes from a Mom in Chapel Hill blog here.