Scrapbook Paper Pumpkin Centerpiece & Tutorial

I love decorating for the holidays. I just can’t shake that ‘festive’ itch. When the mantle, walls, and doors are properly decorated, and only then, I get to the kitchen table. Afterall, I wouldn’t want it to feel any holiday-envy. Imagine trying to eat dinner at a grumpy table that had been left-out. It might just decide to leave me out of dinner. I can’t have that. Every available surface should be decorated equally.

This year though, I wanted to do something a little different for our Thanksgiving centerpiece. I opted for these adorable scrapbook paper pumpkins. They’re cute, easy, and quick. Is your table looking lonely? Trying to get it up to snuff for Thanksgiving dinner? Begin creating your own fun, festive table-scape with a scrapbook paper pumpkin today.

Scrapbook Paper Pumpkin Centerpiece & Tutorial

4 Sons 'R' Us: Scrapbook Paper Pumpkin Cneterpiece

  • circular item to trace, I made two sizes of paper pumpkins and used a cake pan for the large one and a bowl for the smaller
  • 8 or 16 pages of scrapbook paper, the large pumpkin only got one circle per page, the smaller got two
  • scissors
  • glue stick

Before I give you the verbal tutorial here are some step-by-step photos for you as well.

4 Sons 'R' Us

Directions

  1.  Trace and cut out 16 identical circles from scrapbook paper.
  2. Fold each circle in half with right sides together.
  3. Glue one side of the circle and place another circle patter on top of it until you have glued all the circles together.
  4.  Once you have glued all the circles together, you will have one stack of folded circles.  After the glue has dried, about 2-3 hours, unfold the circles and lay flat.  You will have two sides that have not been glued.  Glue them together so it creates an accordion.
  5. Decide which end of the pumpkin will be the bottom. Using an exacto knife or sharp scissors lay the pumpkin flat and cut a straight line about 1/4-1/2 inch from the bottom. This will enable it to ‘sit up’.
  6. Roll up a small piece of the scrap paper from where you cut out your circles to make a stem. Stick it into the tiny gap at the ‘top’ of your pumpkin.

Seriously, how cute are these little guys?!

4 Sons 'R' Us: scrapbook paper pumpkin

Constipation Candies

Do your little ones ever struggle with constipation? I know mine did, and occasionally still do, and it’s painful for both of us when it happens.

These little ‘constipation candies’ are a perfect solution, offering a gentle push in the right direction for their digestive tracts. All natural and inexpensive they’re easy to make ahead and keep on hand or whip up as needed.

Be warned though, these do taste like coconut, or more specifically coconut oil. I didn’t have any problems getting my kids to eat them, but the thought of eating coconut oil by the spoonful (essentially this is) made me cringe.

The Benefits of Using Constipation Candies For Relieving Constipation

The general idea is that because the type of triglycerides that make up coconut oil don’t cause a person to store fat, they have limited absorption in the small intestine and tend to pass right through you. 

Just two constipation candies and then anywhere between 8 to 18 hours later, total relief without tears.

You can use more if your little one doesn’t find relief, but I suggest starting with one and waiting several hours first to see if they find relief.

I’m not a medical professional by any means, just trying to share what worked for me and my son.

These are totally safe for both kids and adults. As for the dosage, for kids start with 2 and wait a day before increasing the amount given.

For adults, start with four and try adding an extra candy each day until you find what amount works best for your body.

In adults a daily regime of these candies could be beneficial to keep everything moving smoothly, even without having a prior problem as coconut oil is used both to treat, and to prevent constipation.

If you can get your kids to enjoy coconut oil by itself, it may be worth just trying to incorporate that into their diet by a teaspoon a day.

If your child is taste sensitive, you can add a couple melted chocolate chips to the recipe for a sweet taste they won’t resist.

Constipation Candies

4 Sons 'R' Us: Constipation Candy

If you’ve tried these CONSTIPATION CANDIES, or any other recipe on the site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers! You can also follow along with me on PINTERESTFACEBOOK, and INSTAGRAM to see more amazing recipes and whatever else we’ve got going on!

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Constipation Candies

Calories: 294kcal

Equipment

  • 2 trays of candy molds, or shaped silicone ice cube trays

Ingredients

  • 1 cup organic coconut oil melted
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp organic sugar honey, or maple sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt or sea salt

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor or with a handheld mixer.
  • Pour into the candy molds. As you pour you might have to stir several times. To set properly, the other ingredients need to be evenly combined with the coconut oil.
  • Taste it as you go along and make it as sweet or sour as you like.
  • Freeze the molds for at least an hour before popping the candies out.
  • They’ll keep fine in a home that’s 68/69 degrees or cooler, or to be on the safer side you can store them in the fridge so they won’t melt.

Notes

re

Nutrition

Calories: 294kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Sodium: 582mg | Potassium: 63mg | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin C: 24mg

*Take a minute to read this information from The Robyn’s Nest on the importance of not using over the counter products like Miralax as a constipation remedy for your children.

“Please don’t ever give your children Miralax for  constipation.  PEG was never meant for kids or to be taken more than occasionally, and can cause a host of health problems, not to mention make autism worse.”

DIY Boutique Style Hair Ties

In the past year I’ve seen fold over elastic hair ties for sale everywhere. Tons of Etsy shops, even larger, commercial retailers like Anthropologie are carrying them. When I first saw them in the store I had a moment. A serious, “Where have you been all my life?!’ moment. Then BOOM, I noticed the price tag they were toting. $12 for a set of 5. However, after looking at them (okay, okay…it was more like coveting) and their simplicity, I knew I could make my own. For pennies. A year later, I’m still in love with these bad boys. And I’m here today to share the love with you!

The Sunshine Shoppe has a great selection of fold over and regular elastic in a variety of colors (even glittery elastic! and let’s be honest, are you ever really too old for glittery accessories?) and they’re prices are great! Less than 50 cents a yard? Yes! The amount of hair ties a yard of elastic makes looks like a lifetime supply. Plenty to share with your children or your friends. Seriously, share the love. I used to use store-bought hair ties and even the ones without the metal bands still manage to catch and pull my hair. I haven’t lost a single hair, or shed a tear, with these wonderful homemade hair ties. Love them. A LOT. And I guarantee you will too.

These adorable ties are so easy to make and you don’t have to panic if you lose one. You can just cut out another. Hair ties. For pennies. Genius!

DIY Boutique Style Hair Ties

4 Sons 'R' Us: DIY Boutique Style Hair Ties

  • elastic, I used 5/8 fold over elastic and 3/8 regular elastic
  • scissors

Directions

  1. Begin by creating a ‘template’ piece of elastic. To do this, gently wrap the elastic around your wrist. You want it to fit just like a regular spare hair tie would. When you’ve gotten the length right, cut the elastic.
  2. Using your template piece as a pattern, cut out the desired number of elastic strips.
  3. To form the hair tie, knot the two ends together and pull tight.
  4. Finish off the ends of the hair ties by cutting them at a diagonal or with two points

4 Sons 'R' Us: DIY Boutique Style HairTies

Thank you to 2 sisters, 2 cities for introducing me to The Sunshine Shoppe!

Copy-Cat Vick’s Vapor Shower Disks

It’s that time of year again. The kids clamber up onto the big yellow bus. I do a little dance of joy. Then the kids come home…

Not only do they always manage to come home with homework for me, as well as for themselves, they also always manage to bring home some sort of cold. And of course, as the natural laws of the mommy-verse state. If one child gets it, every child gets it. And Mom.

These little babies are kept in my illness arsenal. Along with our cold medicine. And when your head is stopped up and you feel like banging it against a wall, or anything else equally painful just as long as it comes with some relief and the long-lost ability to breathe through your nose, these puppies are a God-send.

I used to buy them from the pharmacy down the street, and they cost me a pretty penny. However, they worked wonders and were worth it. I was sad to see when our local pharmacy stopped carrying them and they gradually disappeared from store shelves. I didn’t need to mourn their loss long because Sarah at Frugal By Choice, Cheap By Necessity provided me with a recipe for making my own batch.

When set they smell just like that familiar comforting aroma you’re used to apply under your nose and massaging into tiny little congested chests. While you’re enjoying a nice, hot shower these gradually melt away releasing the essential oils within and clearing out your congestion. Aside from congestion relief, these also help provide relief from similar allergy symptoms. The combined scents and steam help relax the cold (and symptoms) right out of you. It’s like watching your illness wash away down the drain. It’s positively glorious after a day filled with dragging yourself around from one sick bed to the next, all while being sick yourself.  I make these ahead, because I know getting sick is inevitable. So are son # 4’s allergies. I leave them in the wrappers until ready to use and store the whole batch in a large zip-locking bag. Low maintenance, and I don’t have to drag my derriere off to the drug-store when the sickies are storming the gates.

The moral of this tale? When showering sick, use a disk, especially before going to bed. You will actually find some relief and get a solid stretch of sleep.

Copy-Cat Vick’s Vapor Shower Disks

4 Sons 'R' Us: Copy-Cat Vick's Shower Disks

  • Baking Soda
  • Water
  • Essential Oils: Eucalyptus, Rosemary, and Lavender
  • Muffin/Cupcake Tin
  • Muffin/Cupcake Liners

Directions

  1. Add baking soda to a mixing bowl. I don’t really measure.  About 2-3 cups.
  2. Slowly add water, just a little at a time, until you’ve made a thick paste.  You’ll want the mix to feel like putty.
  3. Spoon in to a muffin tin, and let sit out for 12-18 hours overnight. Or, for a quicker set, you can bake them at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
  4. If using paper lines, as opposed to silicone, and baking make sure to remove the liners from the pan before it has completely cooled.
  5. Add 15 drops of each essential oil to every cooled, set puck.
  6. Remove from the liners and place in the bottom of the tub during shower. These typically last about 10-15 minutes in the shower, out of the direct spray of water.

{Easy} Homemade Baby Wipes

I’m convinced little boys are magnets. Pint-sized, powerful dirt magnets. I’m constantly going through wet wipes. In the house. In the car. In the store. Everywhere. There’s not a dust bunny, dirt speck, or food particle within a good mile radius that does not find it’s way onto their person. And by person, I meant their face, hands, shirt, etc. You name it, if they’ve been awake for 5 minutes, something has found them. Knowing this, I’m always armed with some handy-dandy wipes to scrub them down on the go. That leftover kool-aid mustache? Check. The hands that are now black from tracing every wall we’ve walked past for 5 minutes? Check.

About a year ago, I started to notice how many wipes we were going through and how the cost was really adding up. Being the fastidious penny-pincher that I am, I began to look for a way to make my own that were not only cheaper, but just as durable. Only a strong wipe can compete with my grubby boys and keep them as presentable as humanly possible until bath time. A friend of mine with a gaggle of her own children told me about this recipe that she swore by. I tried it, and from the very first swipe I was hooked!

As I’ve mentioned before, Son #4 struggles with eczema. We’re dealing with a very itchy bout of it now. These wipes are gentle enough to even use on his super-sensitive skin. Not only do they not cause any reaction or irritate his condition, they even seem to help soothe his itching. That alone would have sold me on these.

But there’s more…

One of the best things about these all-natural, homemade baby wipes is that they do not contain alcohol and are super gentle on those delicate areas, especially if you’re dealing with diaper rash. The tea tree oil, as well as the coconut oil have anti-microbial properties and protect against molding. Also, both the tea tree oil and coconut oil provide a multitude of skin benefits.

Start making your own wipes today. They blow all the store-bought competition out of the water. And, they’re cheaper! These, my friend, will totally ‘wipe’-out and reservations you may have.

{Easy} Homemade Baby Wipes

4 Sons 'R' Us: Easy Homemade Baby Wipes

  • 1 roll of Bounty paper towels (I found mine at the the Dollar Tree)
  • a very sharp knife, or an electric knife
  • 1 tbsp baby wash
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup hot water
  • tea tree oil
  • container to house the wipes in (the one pictured came from the Dollar Tree as well)

Directions

  1. Cut the roll of paper towels evenly in half. It will resemble two rolls of toilet paper at that point.
  2. Carefully remove the cardboard paper tube from inside the paper towels.
  3. In a bowl, mix the baby wash, oil, hot water, and 2-3 drops tea tree oil until evenly combined.
  4. Pour the mixture into the wipes container.
  5. Add the cut paper towels and let sit, for about an hour, until all the mixture has been soaked up and saturated throughout the towels.
  6. To use, pull wipes from the center.

The First Day of School

I’m thinking next year, I’m going to host a big brunch, with mimosas of course, so that all my fellow SAHM’s and myself can raise a glass and a toast to the fact that we all managed to retain our sanity throughout another entire summer, and of course that all children are still happy and healthy. While I love my boys, I’m always happy to see that first day of Summer Vacation, and I’m just as happy to see it go. Does it take anyone else an entire school year to recover?

First Day of School

No, I didn’t lose a son. Son # 1 was struggling to get out the door this morning and missed the group photo ops. It seems somebody was a little to used to secretly reading half the night, and didn’t realize how early 7am would come. The days of sleeping in until noon are over. At least until next Summer, or the weekend. Here are the bright eyed and bushy-tailed ones, ready to go. I found these free, printable grade signs, which I LOVE from Designs by Nicolina.

Now, let me introduce you to my latest idea. The Homework Caddy.

4 Sons 'R' Us: Homework Caddy

In an effort to cut down on wasted time, misplaced assignments and supplies, and mismanaged time all 3 big boys will be doing homework at our very large, and accommodating kitchen table this year. The homework caddy will be on-hand each day, smack dab in the middle of the table with all the supplies each boy could possibly need to complete their assignments. Best of all? There will be no reason, or excuse, for any of our homework supplies to be ‘walking off’ this year. Here’s to hoping this also prevents the over-used, ‘But Moooooom, I can’t do my homework because I don’t have…’.

Inside the caddy, which I found at Jo-Ann’s craft store, are 3 pint-sized Mason jars containing markers, sharpened pencils, and colored pencils. There’s plenty of loose-leaf tucked in the back, and even a pad of construction paper. Pens have been included and tucked away in the bottom is a pair of scissors, manual pencil sharpener, and two glue sticks. Did I manage to forget anything?

Make homework time just a little bit easier this year by making your own homework caddy today.

Oh, and fellow parents? We made it! Happy 1st Day of School 2013.

1, 2, 3 … Lollipop Tree

I love my sisters completely, but years into adulthood, I still have vague recollections of us disagreeing, and possibly fighting, throughout our childhood. I’m still convinced I’m imagining most of the excessive bickering though. We couldn’t have possible argued all the time. Right?!

Now that I have four boys, the oldest three of who are extremely close in age, I am plagued by bickering, tattle-tailing, ‘he-said/’she-said’ disputes, etc. Just bickering, over everything. Over anything. Sometimes…even over nothing. I love my boys to death, but I just can’t deal with constant, and needless conflict. I’ve had to get creative to not simply ‘cope’ with this sibling issue, but to combat it head-on. While my husband and I are no strangers to ‘consequences’ I do like to try an incentive or reward-based program first. The lollipop tree was something I had stumbled upon on Pinterest, as a party decoration, but I had other things in mind for this adorable little ‘plant’.

Our lollipop tree is used as a reward system for acts of kindness. Every time we witness an unprompted act of generosity, helpfulness, compassion…you name it. The kids get a lollipop. While I hoped this practice would work when I began it, I have to admit I was more than a little skeptical. However, after almost a year in action, I can definitely see the successes. Of course, being realistic, it hasn’t weeded out all the bickering and combativeness, but it has gone a long way to serve as a permanent, visual reminder to think about their actions, and even the consequences that may result from them.

1, 2, 3 … Lollipop Tree

4 Sons 'R' Us: 1,2,3...Lollipop Tree

  • small plant pot of your color, size, and choice
  • a Styrofoam ball that fits into the opening of your pot, and is snugly supported by it
  • an economy size bag of Dum-Dum lollipops

Directions

  1. Place the styrofoam ball on top of the plant pot.
  2. Start sticking your Dum-Dum lollipops into the styrofoam ball, keeping the lollipops close together.

4 Sons 'R' Us: Lollipop Tree

3. Continue sticking the lollipops in until you’ve filled up the entire part of the ball that is showing outside the plant pot.

lollipop tree

You’re done! How easy was that?!

And, I have to add that if I did have a daughter or an opportunity to plan a girl’s birthday party, this would be the perfect table decoration for any Candyland, or candy ‘themed’ party!

Summer Car Crayons

I can’t get a single thing by my youngest. At four, hell hath no fury like him discovering me throwing anything away, ever. I have to smuggle out crayons like a Mexican drug lord. While I really hate throwing things away that I can re-purpose, I can’t stand to see his tiny little hands cramped up, struggling to make the tiny broken bits of crayons create the perfect little pictures he has in mind. So yes, me, the meanest Mommy in the world, takes them away. Contrary to his belief I don’t actually throw them in the garbage though. I have accumulated quite a stock-pile in my craft bins. When I saw heard about this idea, I just knew that this was the reason I had held onto them. Now, using nothing more than the summer heat as a power source, we now have a whole new batch of fun crayons to create with. At his age, he thought it was magical as we periodically checked on the melting crayons and how they ‘transformed’ from something old and broken into something brand spankin’ new.

For my older boys, I used this as a teaching point and science experiment to help explain how truly hot the inside of a car gets on a typical summer day. When we did this it was only about 85 degrees out, and pretty comfortable outside. However, our car was sitting in direct sunlight and I think they finally saw why their are always ads on tv and the radio about not leaving your children or pets in the car. While comfortable outside, they watched as our car was transformed into a virtual oven.

Before this experiment, especially with the oldest two sons, I would face a chorus of complaints, and ‘but why‘s’ when they had to come into stores with me while I was out running my errands. Since the car crayons, not a single issue. Instead of spending time wasting my breath lecturing them on the potential ‘dangers’ (the eye rolls suggest they typically think I’m just being an over-protective mother), it was so much easier to simply show them.

Summer Car Crayons

4 Sons 'R' Us: Summer Car Crayons

  • old crayons, papers removed and broken into pieces
  • silicone baking mold, or silicone ice tray
  • your car
  • a hot summer day

4 Sons 'R' Us: Summer Car Crayons

 

  1. Add a variety of broken crayon bits into the molds. You can combine similar colors, or a mix and see what combinations you end up with.
  2. Place mold on a cookie sheet for stability and sit on the dash board of your vehicle.
  3. It will take about 2 hours for the crayons to melt all the way. Periodically, come out to check on them and view their progress.
  4. When fully melted, use pot holders to carry the cookie tray back inside.
  5. You can leave them to cool on their own, or place in the refrigerator to help speed up the cooling process.
  6. When completely cool, pop out your new crayons and get coloring.

DIY Tiki Torch

During the summer months, I love being able to sit out on my porch in the evenings and enjoy a good book, watch the kids play, and just take in the beautiful weather. I’ve always loved the look and feel of lit tiki torches on summer evenings. Something about it just totally sets the scene for me. There prices, however, horrified me.

I was so excited last summer, when I came across little globular tabletop torches in the store. For a great price!! I could totally envision the queenly atmosphere they would create. The part of my brain that logically rationed as Queen of my Castle I deserved to stoke my fairy-tale inspired fire, demanded their immediate purchase. I automatically saw my little piece of far, far away where I could decompress, and just lose myself for a few minutes each evening.

Naturally, I came home with a matching pair, assuming we’d live out the rest of our days creating beautiful, enchanted Summer memories together.  Unfortunately, my happily ever after just wasn’t meant to be.  Both pots (let’s face it, at this point their ambiance setting fairy God mother had abandoned them and, in my eyes, their clock had already struck twelve) leaked horribly. Despite my valiant husband’s best efforts, they just weren’t salvageable. For me, the whole affair was quite tragic. So much for my illusions of grandeur.

Ever my knight in shining armor, my husband came to my rescue! If I couldn’t buy the perfect table top torch, then he would make me one! This was his brain child.

This easy to make tiki torch was a roaring success. Using citronella infused torch fuel I’m able to keep the mosquitoes at bay, all while adding a little ‘enchantment’ to my evenings. My still full wallet was feeling pretty enchanted too!

DIY Tiki Torch

4 Sons 'R' Us: DIY Tiki Torch made out of an old Patron tequila bottle shown lit up

  • old, sturdy glass bottle
  • 2 washers that fit the lip of your bottle
  • 1 spacer
  • rubber grommet (make sure it will fit tightly down into your bottle creating an airtight seal that prevents the wick from moving around)
  • tiki torch fuel (I used one with citronella to keep the mosquitoes away)
  • tiki torch wicks

Directions

  1. Add fuel to your bottle. Be careful not to over fill.
  2. Place a wick into the bottle. Leave about 2 inches exposed above the lip of the bottle.
  3. Thread the end of the wick through the grommet, pushing the grommet towards the bottle opening. Force grommet down into the neck of the bottle, leaving it flush on top with the lip. Make sure to hold onto the end of the wick so it doesn’t also get pushed down into the bottle.
  4. Take one washer and thread it onto the wick, pushing it down until it rests on the top of the bottle. Make sure there’s not gap between the bottle and washer # 1.
  5. Thread a spacer onto the wick and push it down until it’s resting flush against washer # 1.
  6. Thread washer # 2 onto the wick, pushing down until it is resting firmly against the spacer. The washers will keep the flame away from the glass preventing it from getting hot, at all.
  7. Push the exposed wick down into the bottle, leaving only about 3/4 of an inch of wick exposed and ready to light.
  8. Allow the wick time to completely saturate with tiki torch fuel before lighting.

Lemon Rosemary Bath Salts

In the rush of everyday life with a large family, and four children, there isn’t always time for a lot of relaxation. Usually just stolen moments.

Even my showers have had to become ‘efficient’.

However, on the weekends when the kids are in bed, I love to enjoy a nice, long soak in the tub.

One of my creature comforts, despite budget constraints, has always been expensive bath products.

I frequently use scented ones to create my own little atmosphere of peace and tranquility.

It’s this wonderful little private bubble, where for a chunk of time, I don’t have any obligations or demands to meet. Something about the scented steam, just does it for me in the ‘reclaim a piece of my sanity’ department after a chaotic week.

While I used to frequent kitschy stores and purchase the latest fragrant combinations to induce my ‘me time’. I’ve gradually shifted to making more and more of my own bath products.

As I’ve found to be true with the majority of things, I like the results from this homemade version better than other’s I’ve purchased over the years toting the same ingredients.

These bath salts are a breeze to mix up, and are heavenly to use.

Just a few simple, common ingredients, and you can easily, and cheaply, produce your own affordable, quality bath salts.

Make your reservations today for a little ‘spa’ treatment in the comfort of your own home with a batch of these easy lemon rosemary bath salts.

Lemon Rosemary Bath Salts

lemon rosemary bath salts in a wide mouth glass mason jar with a dark background and the title displayed at the bottom

Print Recipe
No ratings yet

Lemon Rosemary Bath Salts

Ingredients

  • 2 cups epsom salts
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh rosemary; finely chopped
  • 6-8 drops lemon essential oil
  • 2-3 tbsp lemon zest optional

Instructions

  • In a bowl, combine epsom salts and baking soda.
  • Add in half of the essential oil drops, mix, then add in the remaining drops.
  • Mix in the chopped rosemary and lemon zest if you decide to use it until fully combined.
  • Store in an airtight container.
  • To use, add as much, or as little, as you'd like to hot bath water and stir around until dissolved.