Parenting & Family

Springtime Blooming Tree Kids Craft

Today I’m over at Oriental Trading Co. Blog, sharing this fun Springtime Blooming Tree Kids Craft. A fun project to do with kids on a rainy day or any day. This project is a great way to keep the kids busy without making the house a mess.


This project was so fun and easy. Especially if you use the free printable tree that is available over on the Oriental Trading blog.

Each child will shine through with this project. They are able to use their personal creativity to make a Springtime Blooming Tree that is just for them.


So if you are looking for a great way to keep your kids busy on a rainy day, or any day.





Father's Day Handprint Tree 2016 It seems like every year I get an email earlier and earlier to see if we are posting a new Father’s Day Handprint Tree. Well, no need to email or worry because here it is, Father’s Day Handprint Tree 2016.


All you’ll need is:


Begin by painting your child’s hand with the green paint of your choice. It’s tricky with little ones, so make sure you have wipes on hand.


Carefully place their hand on the tree and press gently on each finger so that the print is nice and shows up.


So cute huh! Since I have 3 girls, they each get a branch. If you have more kids, you can add more handprints and make a bigger tree. If you have less kids, have them do more hands.


I’m kinda in love with these and so are my girls. They love to give them as gifts. And I think the grandpa’s love them too.

Here’s another link to the download. Remember all printables are property of The Crafting Chicks, LLP. Please do not alter or claim as your own. It’s good karma to leave a comment when downloading.
Each download will open in a new window. You can print from that window, or save by right clicking and saving there.

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I scream, you scream, we all scream for ... Mini Donut Ice Cream Sundaes!!

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! And what is better than ice cream? Mini Donut Ice Cream Sundaes!!

Mini Donut Ice Cream Sundaes are the ultimate easy no bake dessert!


Hi Crafting Chicks fans! It’s Keri from Shaken Together and this month, I am sharing another easy, no bake dessert with you. No bake desserts are pretty much my jam. I love a good no bake cookie, a fun way to dress up store bought cupcakes or a quick dessert dip to wow your guests. These mini donut ice cream sundaes are the perfect way to say hello Summer, happy birthday or yay for Friday!!

I mean, when you start off with the most adorable sprinkle frosted donuts, the cute factor can only go up!

Mini Donut Ice Cream Sundaes are the cutest sprinkled no bake dessert perfect for Summer!

These sundaes are SO easy … just plop a scoop of ice cream on top of a mini donut, add sprinkles (or hot fudge, a whoosh of whipped cream or a drizzle of caramel), grab a spoon and dig in!

These Mini Donut Ice Cream Sundaes are the easiest, sprinklicious no bake dessert ever!

Want to know my secret for getting mini ice cream scoops for these mini sundaes? A cookie scoop! It makes the perfect mini sized scoop and the lever mechanism pops it right out on top of the donut.

The secret to mini scoops of ice cream for our Mini Donut Ice Cream Sundaes? A cookie scoop!

To make serving these mini donut ice cream sundaes easy (and not to mention adorable), I use colorful cupcakes papers. Each cupcake paper is the perfect size to hold one mini donut and catches any drips or crumbs!

Colorful cupcake papers are the easiest (and most adorable) way to serve our Mini Donut Ice Cream Sundaes!

Mini Donut Ice Cream Sundaes
  • Mini donuts
  • Ice cream
  • Your favorite ice cream toppings
  1. Place each mini donut in a cupcake paper.
  2. Just before serving, use a cookie scoop (or a spoon) to add a scoop of ice cream to the top of each donut.
  3. Garnish with hot fudge, caramel, whipped cream or sprinkles!
These mini donut ice cream sundaes are serious fun and since they are small – just a few bites each – they are easy to eat for little hands and provide just enough sugar to satisfy a sweet tooth! Wouldn’t it be fun to set up a mini donut ice cream sundae bar?! Cake donuts with birthday cake ice cream … coconut donuts with vanilla ice cream and caramel … powdered donuts with strawberry ice cream and fresh berries … the combinations are endless!

Mini Donut Ice Cream Sandwiches - top your favorite mini donut with a mini scoop of ice cream! They may be mini, but they pack BIG time fun!

If you are craving more easy no-bake desserts, take a peek at a few more of my favorites!

Banana Split Cookies from Shaken Together - no bake and SO fun!

Banana Split Cookies – topped with fruit, frosting & hot fudge!

Strawberry Marshmallow Dip from Shaken Together - just 2 easy ingredients!

Strawberry Marshmallow Dip – just 2 easy ingredients!

Cheesecake Banana Splits from Shaken Together - move over ice cream, cheesecake is here!

Cheesecake Banana Splits – move over ice cream, cheesecake is here!

Mother's Day Handprint Flower 2016

I’m a sucker for anything handprint from my girls. I love seeing the growth from year to year through their hands. You probably know this because I like to post project and gift ideas using handprints. Of course I had to make another Mother’s Day Handprint Flower Printable for 2016.

These always make a fun gift for grandmas too because it’s one of a kinda artwork from their favorite children.

They are quick but can be messy so I suggest having some wet wipes nearby. Also, clothes that are okay to have paint on them, and a surface that could get paint on it. 😉


Other then the suggestions above, you’re going to need the free printable, which you can download below, some paint, a paper plate to put the paint on, and a paint brush.


Paint your child’s hand so that you can control the amount. Then they can place the hand on a stem.


You can also let them use their creativity to make flowers with their fingers or thumbs.


This can get on the messy side so beware and have your wipes handy.


I loved watching how she made each flower.



A fun little action shot of her showing me her painted thumb.


And there you have it. You can have each child complete one page each, or have each child do only one flower. This project is so fun and each one is unique.

To download the 3 stem option click below

Download Black

And to download the 4 stem option click below

Download Black

All printables are property of The Crafting Chicks, LLP. Not for resale or commercial use. If posting please link back. And if you download it’s good karma to leave a comment.

How to edit your iPhone photos

Hello again! Michelle here and today I’m talking about Photography and making the most of your iPhone photos. I know that you probably have thousands of photos that mean the world to you on your phone right now… I currently have 11,244 photos and 525 videos!!! omgoodness and I have to admit that those are all from this past year!

I use two cameras every single day. My Canon 5D Mark iii and my iPhone 6 (I’m holding out for whatever amazing phone comes out this fall). There are so many apps and filters and resources for photography on the iPhones of today, but I wanted to share with you my process for my iPhone images. There is a fine line between being obsessed and taking 40 shots for that one awesome image… or just taking a couple good images and still being present and involved in the activity that is happening around you. My goal is to never become so involved in getting an image that I’m not present with my family. There is of course a time for both instances of course. There are times that I become a little crazy and my family lets me know. So….. what do I do from taking a photo to posting it on my Instagram account?

First and most importantly, come follow me on Instagram


I use the built in camera of the iPhone to take my photos. I use the “photo” setting. I’m a wide angle kind of girl and I love to get as much into the frame as I can. I feel like the square setting limits a lot of what I can pull into the frame. There are camera functions within many of the photography apps, like VSCO, Instagram and countless others that you can use as well.

Taking Your Images

I look for light when I’m going to take my photo. The most beautiful photos include natural light, whether they are outside or inside my home. Turn your subject so that the light is most flattering on them. Avoid very harsh light and raccoon shadows in the eyes.

Editing Images

I try to be spontaneous with my picture taking on my phone and not focus too much on editing them. I also keep my edits simple and clean. I have three favorite apps that I use for editing.

My first go to app is Photoshop Fix. I use this for the most irritating issue… that angry 11 between my eyebrows or a pimple, scratch, or jelly goo on one of the kids’ faces. Use the healing brush, click and poof it’s gone! If you are a Lightroom user, there is also a Lightroom app.

Next I use an app to edit the look of my image; color, contrast, brightness and sharpness, etc. My favorite app to use is VSCO. I use some of the VSCO presets in Lightroom when editing my photos from big girl camera, so there is some consistency when using the app. VSCO gives you a wide variety of tools to use for your images, including the vertical and horizontal tilt of your photos… for those people who for some reason can’t always take a photo straight. That would be me! Here are two examples and my settings in VSCO.

This morning we ventured to the awesome donut shop in town and this little guy was overwhelmed with the cookie monster in front of him.

How to edit your iPhone photos

All of my color images were edited with the A7 preset and I used the X2 preset for my black and white edit. Once I choose my preset or the filter that will be on the image, I then make the fine adjustments that are found under the tools. For the above two images I made the follow adjustments. Clarity +1, Shadow Save +1, Sharpen +1, Fade +1, Highlight Save +3, Tint +1, and Skin Tone +1.  Most of my adjustments were very minor. The only difference on the black and white version was a little added in grain of +2

How to edit your iPhone photos

This image is one that I used on Instagram to show what my car office looks like when I’m waiting for the kids at rehearsals and practices. This image was also the A7 preset with the following adjustments: Contrast +1, Highlights Save +3, Saturation +1, Sharpen +2, Clarify +2.

How to edit your iPhone photos

I’m a huge sucker for sun flare. Some avoid it like the plague, but I love love love a beautiful huge sun flare. This image was also done with the A7 preset. I went a little more drastic with my adjustments to bring out the sun flare more dramatically. Shadows Tint +7, Temperature +1, Highlights Save +6, Clarity +6 and Saturation +1.

I will also use Pic Tap Go for a quicker edit and also Instagram. In Instagram, I typically don’t use the filters at all but instead use the tools similar to VSCO to edit the images. In the end, the goal is to make your image look as close to real life colors as possible while adding a little extra oomph and interest. Avoid filters that make you look like an oompa loompa or an alien. Scroll through the multiple filters and find your favorites. Using consistent filters for editing will give your photography a consistent and clean look.


Since I have 11,244 images, backups are essential. Make sure that your iCloud is up to date and is backing up your images continuously. I’m terrified of a crash. I also use my external hard drives to periodically backup my images as well as an online backup system. I pay a small $3 fee each month with iCloud for an increased amount of storage.

I hope that you have fun doing quick and consistent edits of your iPhone images… and remember to be present and involved in the activities and get in those photos! Come visit me at Michelle Lea Creative.


How to edit your iPhone photos

This post may contain affiliate links.

Hello, if you are coming over from Skip to My Lou, please scroll down for the download!

Science Teacher Gift Idea - Periodic Element Thank You

Teacher Appreciation week is coming up and I’ve been trying to think of a thoughtful gift to give when I saw these Method Pink Grapefuit Cleaners caught. These are my all time favorite cleaner (they’re even on my Amazon subscribe and save). Nothing freshens up a room like a citrus scent! And well, kids are messy and smelly so I figured teachers will appreciate it as much as mom’s do. When giving teacher gifts I aim for a consumable, something they can enjoy and use up so it doesn’t create clutter. And I try to not give treats or food, unless I know what their favorites are.

Science Teacher Gift Idea - Periodic Element Thank You

Pick up a couple bottles of this, get one for you and one for the teacher! Download the printable of choice, I have a Thank You and a Best Teacher one to choose from, have your student write a sweet message, tape it on and your Periodic Element Teacher Appreciation Gift is ready to go!

Science Teacher Gift Idea - Periodic Element Thank You

The made up Periodic Elements go right along with the fun science pattern on the back and sides of the wrapper.

Science Teacher Gift Idea - Periodic Element Thank You

Download the Best Teacher Tag Below:

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Science Teacher Gift Idea - Periodic Element Thank You

Download the Thank You Element (as seen on Skip to My Lou below:

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Periodic Element Teacher Gift Idea - Scientific Thank You Printable

Find more teacher appreciation ideas below:

teacher appreciation

RedBox Teacher Gift

sm teacher kit pinnable

Teacher Emergency Kit

Pencil Posies Flower Topped Pencils

Your teacher will love this fun Mint Themed Teacher Gift - what a cute way to thank a teacher for a job well done!

Well, hello again! I’m Keri from Shaken Together and I love stopping by each month to share an easy recipe, a quick craft or a seasonal gift. With Teacher Appreciation Week and the end of another school year approaching, I thought I would share a thoughtful and inexpensive gift idea that is perfect for your favorite teachers!

Mint Themed Teacher Gift

Mint Themed Teacher Gift with a cute "I was Mint to be in Your Class" paper flag!

I love love love themed gift giving! Here are a few of my favorite ways to do a themed gift:

  1. Pick a Color – For example, I found all sorts of white items to tuck in our White Christmas Teacher Gift
  2. Pick a Cute Phrase – like “Thank you for the mark you make” I used for our Sharpie Teacher Gift
  3. Pick a season, event, word or uniting idea – One of my favorites was a basket full of pampering items for hands (lotion, nail polish, nail file, etc.) for our Hands Down We Have the Best Teachers Gift

Today, I got lucky and used a cute phrase and a color!! Bonus – this gift cost less than $10, so it is affordable even if you have multiple teachers to buy for!

To make our cute mint themed teacher gift, here is what you’ll need:

Hunting down all of the minty items to fill this bucket was the best part of this Mint Themed Teacher Gift!

  • Small metal bucket (or any other small basket or container)
  • Box of Junior Mints
  • Small packet of Mint Bath Soak
  • Minty gum
  • Tic Tacs
  • Mint green nail polish – This one from Sally Hansen is even called Mint Sorbet 🙂

Here are a few more mint themed items that you can use for a Mint Themed Teacher Gift:

  • Mint lip balm
  • Mint foot lotion
  • Mint chocolate candy or truffles
  • Mint colored office supplies
  • Mint colored socks
  • Mint hot chocolate packets

The hunt to find the minty things for this gift was my favorite part … I was wandering up and down the aisles of my local Target scoping out all of the fun finds! Once you’ve tracked down everything you are going to put in the gift, just tuck everything in the bucket.

Quick tip: place the biggest items standing up vertical in the back of the bucket to create some height and a foundation to lean and tuck the other items around.

Quick Tip when filling our Mint Themed Teacher Gift - tuck the larger items vertically in the back of the bucket to create height and a foundation for the other items!

All of the minty treats and treasures tucked in our Mint Themed Teacher Gift!

Once all of the mint items were tucked in the bucket, I thought it would be cute to add a stamped paper flag with the phrase “I was mint to be in your class!”

Stamp a paper flag with "I was Mint to be in your Class" for a cute touch for the Mint Themed Teacher Gift!

To make this cute paper flag, grab a piece of mint colored scrapbook paper cut as pictured below, a paper straw (or skewer or lollipop stick), washi tape and some bakers twine. Use the washi tape to attach the paper flag to the paper straw. Then, tie a small bow around the straw with a length of bakers twine.

A few basic craft supplies make a paper flag to tuck in our Mint Themed Teacher gift!

Finally, stamp or write your minty message on the paper flag:

  • I was MINT to be in your class
  • Thank you for your commit-MINT
  • Your’e worth a MINT
  • You MINT so much to me this year

Add the paper flag and this Mint Themed Teacher Gift is ready to give! SO cute, right?!

Our Mint Themed Teacher Gift is a thoughtful and inexpensive way to say thank you to a great teacher! Perfect for Teacher Appreciation Week!

Here are a few more great ideas for Teacher Gifts!

Orange You Glad It's Almost Summer Teacher Appreciation Gift from Shaken Together

Orange You Glad it’s Almost Summer Teacher Gift

Fruit Bowl Teacher Gift + Printable Tags from Shaken Together

Fruit Bowl Teacher Appreciation Gift + Printable Tags

Monogram Marquee

Monogram Marquee Teacher Gift

sm plant teacher gift 4

Plant Teacher Gift + Printable Poem

 See you all again next month!!

Spring Kid Activities - walking sticks, bird feeder, bubbles, sidewalk chalk paint, crafts, windsock, water games, and so much more!

The sun is shining and the flowers are coming up… it’s time to get outside!  We are so ready for Spring activities around here, how about you?  This roundup has a little something for everyone… little ones and big ones alike.

Spring Kid Activities

Spring Windsock from The Crafting Chicks

Spring Kid Activities - walking sticks, bird feeder, bubbles, sidewalk chalk paint, crafts, windsock, water games, and so much more!

Color Changing Flower Experiment from Go Science Girls

Spring Kid Activities - walking sticks, bird feeder, bubbles, sidewalk chalk paint, crafts, windsock, water games, and so much more!

Walking Sticks from The Crafting Chicks

Spring Kid Activities - walking sticks, bird feeder, bubbles, sidewalk chalk paint, crafts, windsock, water games, and so much more!

Noodle Sunflowers from Crafty Morning

Spring Kid Activities - walking sticks, bird feeder, bubbles, sidewalk chalk paint, crafts, windsock, water games, and so much more!

Patriotic Bike Flags from The Crafting Chicks

Patriotic Bike Flags

Q-Tip Painted Handprint Cherry Blossom Tree from Glued To My Crafts

Qtip handprint cherry blossom tree kid craft

Bubble Blower Painting from Childhood 101

Bubble Blower Painting

Thumbprint Flower Pot from Upstate Ramblings

DIY Tumbprint Flower Pot

Handprint Flower Bookmarks from Live.Craft.Love

Handprint Flower Bookmark

Grass Head Pots from Non Toy Gifts

Grass head flower pot

Squirt Gun Races from Made From Pinterest

Squirt Gun Races

Homemade Bird Feeders from Growing Family

Homemade Bird Feeder

Homemade Sidewalk Chalk Paint from A Little Pinch of Perfect

Homemade Sidewalk Chalk Paint

Spring Kid Activities - walking sticks, bird feeder, bubbles, sidewalk chalk paint, crafts, windsock, water games, and so much more!


Our Michael’s Makers challenge for the month was to create, or convince our husband and children to create, a Mother’s Day gift. I tried and tried to convince my husband that this would be a great project to tackle. But he didn’t bite. So, it was up to me to make something my mom would like for Mother’s Day. I’m pretty sure my mom loves her grandkids more than her own kids, so I made a Birthstone Locket with all 11 grandkids being represented by the birthstone of their birth month.

Birthstone Locket Mother's Day Gift Idea

I actually saw something similar to this being sold online a handful of years ago, but boy we’re they spendy! I’m sure they contained real jewels and precious metals, but they didn’t fit in our budget.

Birthstone Locket Mother's Day Gift Idea

So when I saw this line from Blue Moon Beads at Michaels I was excited. Now, in case the words “acrylic charms” don’t alert you, these are not real jewels. They are however inexpensive and when it takes 4 packages of birthstones to take care of all the grandkids you’ll be happy they don’t cost a ton.

Birthstone Locket Supplies

Birthstone Locket Mother's Day Gift Idea

This project is so easy that my kids, or husband, or kids and husband could handle it. The locket is magnetic, so begin by popping it open.

Birthstone Locket Mother's Day Gift Idea

Get the birthstones ready to go. My initial thought was to dump all the packages in a bowl, but then I realized that I don’t know what stone goes with what month. I also realized that I was going to have to write down all the kids and their birth month to keep them all straight.

Birthstone Locket Mother's Day Gift Idea Birthstone Locket Mother's Day Gift Idea

From there I started matching months to months and adding the little jewels. Once all were added, I snapped the locket back together and inserted the chain. If another grand baby is added to the family we can easily open the locket and add another jewel.

Birthstone Locket Mother's Day Gift Idea

Now Grandma can keep the grandkids close even when they live hours away! Happy Mother’s Day!

Be sure to check out the other Makers Mother’s Day ideas:

With bright eyes, a sweet pink nose and mischievous whiskers, these Bunny Face Strawberries are the cutest no bake Easter treat ever!

Bunny Face Strawberries! Dip bright ripe strawberries in white chocolate and create sweet faces with sprinkles! This is the cutest Easter dessert!

Hi everyone! If we haven’t had a chance to meet yet, I’m Keri from Shaken Together!

So, now that the introductions are out of the way – is anyone else sort of stunned that it is already March? And Easter is right around the corner? Well, if your life has been on fast forward like mine, then you will love this super easy Easter treat!

I mean … look at those sweet little faces?! Chocolate covered strawberries have never been cuter!

Bunny Face Strawberries

Bunny Face Strawberries are the cutest no bake Easter treat ever!

With a few supplies from your kitchen, you can make a whole herd of these Bunny Face Strawberries in no time! And just in case you are wondering, Google confirmed that a group of rabbits is called a herd 🙂

Anyway, here is what you need:

  • Ripe strawberries
  • Vanilla Candiquik or white candy melts
  • Flat candy sprinkles – blue and black for eyes
  • Chocolate jimmies – these are the whiskers
  • Mini pink Sixlets – or any other small pink candy for a nose
  • A large baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  • Food tweezers (optional but a set makes placing the sprinkles easier)

I like to set up a dipping station right on my baking sheet so everything is close at hand. It also helps keep drips on the parchment paper and makes clean up a breeze!

Set up a dipping station to make dipping strawberries (and clean up) easy while making Bunny Face Strawberries!

Once you have your dipping station ready and you have melted your Candiquik or candy melts according to package directions, get ready to dip!
Step by step instructions for making Bunny Face Strawberries from Shaken Together at The Crafting Chicks!

  1. Dip the strawberry in the melted Candiquik, allow some of the excess to drip off and move it to your parchment lined baking sheet.
  2. Allow the Candiquik to set just a bit and add the pink candy nose. You may need to hold it in place for a few seconds so it doesn’t slip down the strawberry.
  3. Add two flat sprinkles for eyes. I used both black and blue sprinkles.
  4. Use the tweezers to place three chocolate jimmies on either side of the nose to create whiskers.
  5. Allow the Bunny Face Strawberries to set. You can speed this up by popping them in the fridge.

These are best served within a day and can be stored in the fridge until you are ready to serve these sweet little berry bunnies. If you ask me, these Bunny Face Strawberries are almost too cute to eat.

Almost 😉

Bunny Face Strawberries are an easy no bake Easter treat that are almost too cute to eat ... almost!

How about a few more sweet treats for Easter?! Snack mix, cupcakes and cookies cups! 

Easter Bunny Snack Mix from Shaken Together

Easter Bunny Snack Mix

sm easter basket cupcakes header

Easter Basket Cupcakes

Carrot Cake Cookies Cups from Shaken Together

Carrot Cake Cookie Cups

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