Let’s Paint! Preschool Edition






Oh happy Saturday with no obligations…what shall we do?  This morning, my 3 year old wanted to paint–one of her favorite, and most frequent, activities.  We keep lots of kid-friendly watercolors around.  My favorites are  Prang watercolors (the 8 color set is great for kids and mixes well even for adult painters, and the 16 count gives a few more color options), and this 36 color set, primarily because there are so many shades of pink for my little pink loving girl.  (This set is chalkier with less pigment, so lower quality than the Prang set and harder to achieve actual watercolor effects).


We started out with baking sheets and some painter’s tape, as well as this great kids’ watercolor paper.  I taped the paper to the baking sheet for less mess and to hold the paper still for painting and drying.  We wanted to make some pictures for my little one’s bedroom, so we chose a fun pink pig and a multicolored LOVE watercolor to create.

For the pig, I drew three ovals inside one another–piggy’s body, head, and nose, and let my little one paint it all pink!  Works well as a giant pig coming straight for us…


The LOVE print was lots of fun too.  We used blue painter’s tape to create the blocky letters, taped the paper in place, and then painted with lots of colors over the whole paper.

We took the tape off after the paint was dry, and we now have a fun piece of art that reminds us of our fun day together.  I’m sure we will be painting more soon…



Simplify 2017

For a few years, I’ve been reading about some of my favorite artists and bloggers picking a word of the year, a central idea or goal for the upcoming 12 months.  I’d never been able to come up with any unifying word or principle in years past, but wanted to keep this idea in mind and keep trying.
The end of 2016 was filled with an incredible amount of busy-ness…work was going a million miles an hour, planning for Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations, family reunions, and Christmas gifts and surprises for the kiddos took lots of time, and we were still getting used to all that came along with having our oldest in school for the first time. All great stuff, and yet  I felt like I was running from one activity to the next, and every minute of my day was double or triple booked.  Any alteration to the schedule meant that I couldn’t get it all done, and my stress level rose through the roof!  

I started reading a little book called Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist, and it really spoke to me.  Shauna describes how I was feeling perfectly:

“I feel like I’m driving a car 100 miles an hour with music blaring out the open windows.  I screech into the parking lot, throw the car in park, sprint into the 7-Eleven, and ….throw my head under the Slurpee machine, gulping and gulping…then race back for the car…”.  

“And what I want is one strawberry. In total silence”.

Have you been there?  What a perfect description!

How to do 2017 differently?  

My One Word kept coming to me in different ways.

From The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up to learning more about Mary Oliver’s poetry (this collection and others to my love for creating tiny, simple watercolors, 

the word that rose again and again was this:


  • Simplify my commitments:  Learn to say no for now, to make room for more yeses later.
  • Simplify my routines:  Look for opportunities to be closer to home more often, and for ways to streamline needed projects and tasks.
  • Simplify my stuff:  Give it away!  I don’t need 7 spatulas!  It is freeing to let go of the excess and have space for what I really want nearby.
  • Simplify my life—and have more time to focus on what brings me strength, peace, and joy in the new year.

Happy New Year, and may this year bring us all more of the joy we seek! ( I feel like I need to end this with a namaste!)