Little Projects

With the prospect of moving looming, it’s time to finish all those little house projects that seem to never get done. It’s a little strange; we’ve done massive, massive renovations, but somehow we just seem to stall out on the little finishing details. Like, we were able to complete an entire kitchen renovation in the first trimester of my pregnancy, and managed to get the whole thing done in time to host Thanksgiving – but two years later, we still hadn’t hung the door to the coat closet.


Well, tonight that changed.

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To-Do Wishlist

I have a lot of long-term projects, like everybody. Stuff I want to do, to get to, ‘eventually.’ I tend to get bogged down in everyday and shove it to the back burner, which is fine, but my problem is that when I do have time, all the things I wanted to do have slipped my mind. Which is why I spend a lot of time on Twitter and have very little to show for it.

To help myself remember to tackle all those things I want to do ‘someday,’ I decided I needed a To-Do Wishlist. Something that wasn’t my daily to-do list, but also wasn’t so far-reaching that it was a bucket list. I wanted something I could categorize, too; my projects tend to fall into difference spaces in my life. Some are parenting-related; some are writing-related; some are product designs that I’d like to get up and for sale. Each category has a list of stuff I’d like to get to, soonish.


So I designed myself a list. And even better, I laminated it, using my delightful new toy. Now, I can slip one or two into the pocket of my daily planner to remind myself of things I want to do in my spare time; or I can post some up on the wall above my desk as a running tally of work to do (this might be a ‘new house’ thing – right now, my desk has a big window over it and no wall space).

And, since I’m a generous soul, I thought I’d make my To-Do Wishlist available as a free printable.

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Personalized Signs for the Discerning Toddler

This isn’t so much a project or a tutorial as simply a set of links. If your toddlers like Mickey Mouse Clubhouse anywhere near as much as mine do, you’ve probably considered doing some sort of Mickey activity, whether for a birthday party or a more everyday thing.

clubhouseI’ll assume that most readers will probably put this to a more elegant, impressive use than I did: My son likes to hide and play in the niche between our bar cabinet and the kitchen wall. He spends so much time there that we’ve started calling it his clubhouse. I think you can see where this is going.

If you’d like to make your own sign, whether for somebody’s every day fort or for place holders at a birthday party or a door sign or whatever, here’s what I did.

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How To Make A Construction Cake

My husband’s first kid birthday cake was, I have to say, an unqualified success. Not only was it delicious – vanilla cheesecake mousse filling! – and decorated to the nines with tiny excavation equipment in a very realistic scene, but it had a major surprise inside.


The inside of the round part of the cake was diagonally striped in yellow and black, just like construction caution tape! It was a huge hit. I thought I’d do a quick writeup on how we did it.

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Baby’s First Christmas Ornament

Now that the holidays are over and everyone has opened their gifts, I can belatedly show you what we gave the grandparents – my mom and his parents – for Christmas this year. I wanted to do a ‘baby’s first ornament’ for each baby, but couldn’t find anything that wasn’t silly when I was shopping. So I started haunting Pinterest, like you do. There were a lot of recipes for salt dough. But then – lo! A really cute idea, from a fellow twin mom: photo block ornaments!

ornament 2Here, roughly, is what I did: I bought two-inch wooden blocks from Michaels and painted their edges with some spare black paint I dug up from one of the drawers in my craft room (I have started a LOT of projects, is all I’m saying). I found a representatively cute picture of each baby and sized it to 2×2 in Photoshop (if you don’t have Photoshop, everything I did is do-able in other programs, I promise). Then I hunted down some cute backgrounds and Christmas-y fonts – this was probably the most fun part and I might have downloaded way more fonts than I needed – and made some more 2×2 squares, one with each baby’s name and the year, and one with just each child’s initial. Finally, I scanned in their wee baby footprints from the hospital and sized them to 2×2 as well.

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