A "Brush" with Nature!

Our local Arboretum to local artist annually. The artist set up throughout the arboretum to paint "plen aire" inspired by the lush surroundings. It's a wonderful multiday event. I have taken our littles every year and I am always amazed at what they discover.  This year we decided to head out not only as observers, but as paiters! 

All we needed:
- Our water colors
- A little water
- Paper


Patio Painting!

This project was inspired by our friends at Play-At-Home Mom's reusable drop cloth painting idea.  I love letting the little ones paint outside in the morning sun.  The colors are so vibrant and the environment (although weed field at our house) is equally stimulating.  I have been on the hunt for ways to involve the little ones in decorating their outdoor playroom.  The panel we made today is going to hang on the wall behind the art center.  :) 

The set up!

Here is what you need...
  1. 9 x 12 canvas drop cloth
  2. Paints
  3. Paint Brushes and Tools
  4. 2 Preschoolers and a Baby (or as many children as you have on hand)
It's super simple!  We purchased our canvas for under $10 at Home Depot.  I recommend setting up in a sunny spot close to shade on a flat surface.  For us that ended up being in our drive way fairly close to the house.  One of the coolest things that happened was watching the children notice the impact the houses shadow made on the canvas.

Next, we just let the little ones loose.  They loved painting with brushes, their hands & feet, sponges, and squeeze bottles.  They also loved chasing each other with loaded paint brushes.  Look closely at the finished canvas and you can clearly see some adorable foot prints!!


Our canvas is currently drying out back.  Once it is dry, I plan to add a coat of marine grade sealer to help maintain it's vibrancy.  If you aren't looking to make a permanent installation of this project leave it unsealed!  The canvas is machine washable so you can recreate the adventure whenever you wish!

My Cloth Diaper Conversion

When I gave birth to my first son, I had lofty goals of cloth diapering that I never really saw through.  I simply got overwhelmed thinking about having to figure it out all on my own.  I was already braving breastfeeding with very few breastfeeding resources available to me and I just didn't think I could tackle both.  So ... I focused on nursing and stuck with "responsible" disposable diapers.  I had a few cloth diapers that I used with him at home on occasion, but was terrified to travel him in cloth.  I have since learned I was doing a bunch of stuff that was making my cloth experience harder than it needed to be.  How did I discover this?  My first cloth diapering momma friend, Krista!  Yes, that is the same Krista who wrote an awesome cloth diapering article or two for this blog.

I decided when my second son was born that I was going to commit to changing 3 cloth diapers a day.  Much to my suprise it was easier than I anticipated.  The key to my new found success was a little bit of planning and commiting to the idea of making it work!  Now, we are full on cloth diaper family.  Although, I am FAR from a cloth expert, I wanted to blog about my experiences.  Frankly, if I can do it ... YOU can TOTALLY DO IT!!

Take a Peek @ My Cloth Articles ...

3 Things to Boost Cloth Diapering Success
8 Must Haves Before You Cloth Diaper
Cloth Diapers on the Go
My Biggest Mistakes with Cloth Diapers
The Cost of Cloth

3 Things To Boost Cloth Diapering Success

The first time I gave cloth diapering a try, I constantly second guessed myself and got de-railed.  The second time around I found much more success, far more quickly.  Here are the top three things that boosted my success story.
  • A Friend- Not everyone can find a friend that cloth diapers at home. But a good friend can make all the difference! Invest a little time at mom groups and playdates seeking out people that are successful already.  If you can't find a mom look around online for cloth blogging communities or support networks.  Having someone to call, text or email when you have a question is AWESOME.
  • A Retailer   The second time around, I found an awesome cloth business.  Why did this make a huge difference?  For me, it is all about having an expert with equal interest in several options working for you.  Because they offers such a variety of brands, I was able share my lifestyle needs and get a recommendation that worked.  They have a fantastic selection and everything I needed to get started.
  • A Plan- Before I jumped in second time around I thought out how I would set up my home for success, how I would travel and cloth diaper, the total cost of the whole experience, and what items where must haves.   That little bit of extra planning gave me the boost I needed to fully commit to the process!

Art and Signing

Use American Sign Language to enhance your communication and connection with your little one during art time!  This article offers easy and fun tips get your little ones talking about thier art!  :)


8 Must Haves Before You Cloth Diaper

1 - Pick A Diaper and Stick with It!
2 - All Natural Diaper Rash Creams
3 - A mini-shower for your toilet
4 - A Wet/Dry Bag
5 - Dry Diaper Pail Liner
6 - Cloth Diaper Detergent
7 - A Clothes Line or Drying Rack
8 - Cloth Diaper Liners

The Wasting Nothing Philosophy

Playing, cooking, reading, exploring, loving, laughing, and making a mess with your little one is NEVER a waste of time! It is priority one! It's not just about getting to know your little one. It's about letting your little one get to know you!