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Birthdays And Holidays Articles

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road trip!

Still uncertain how to handle Christmases on our own (we visited extended family for many years but have tried to do our own thing lately), this year—after floundering about and feeling like failures at the holiday thing—Tim and Reeve and I ended up doing one of those things we do best: running away. Yes. We rented a car yesterday and hit the road today. Four hundred miles later, we’re hoteled and heading to bed a few miles from the Grand Canyon, looking forward to checking it out in the daylight tomorrow. It’s been a really lovely (and memorable)... read more

For Valentine's Day: OMG Truffles

  And. . . we’re off! On the Mel and Laura’s Several Fabulous Things You Can Make for V-Day Project, that is.   First up: Truffles. And not just any truffles. These are dairy-free and nut-free, sure, but they don’t taste like they’re lacking a thing. Heavenly stuff. We made them recently for our March-April Peggy’s Kitchen article (which features special treats for kids with food sensitivities) and we could not believe how good these were.   Don’t be daunted by the photo. We’re here to tell you these are not hard to make. And once you’ve mixed up the ingredients and... read more

For Valentine's Day: Paper Doll Bookmarks (with fabulous hair)

    Next up in Mel and Laura’s Several Fabulous Things You Can Make for V-Day Project: paper dolls!   But not just any paper dolls. These paper people have long lovely locks like Rapunzel—or any number of pro football players these days—to help your favorite reader mark his or her place.     What you’ll need   scissors colored paper (card stock is preferable, needs to be sturdy enough to handle being handled a lot) hole-puncher (to make small round holes for yarn hair to go through) needlepoint needle (or one with a big eye, anyway) yarn glue stick   1.Print... read more

For Valentine’s Day: Love Poetry Magnet Kit

For Valentine's Day: Fun and Easy Felt Necklaces

  More from Mel and Laura’s Fabulous Crafty V-Day Undertaking: A quick and easy project for Valentines of all ages!   What you’ll need   •    scissors •    pieces of felt in a variety of colors (we used 9 x 12 inch sheets of basic felt) •    tacky glue •    yarn   What to do   1. Download and print out, or draw your own, Valentine's Day shapes.    2. Using pins or a stapler, attach the felt to the page containing the shape you want to cut out (so that it won’t slip when you cut it).   3. Cut out the shapes you want to use. (If you want to make a more complex... read more

For Valentine's Day: Sweets for your Sweetie

  Bag some sweets for your sweetie with these fun designs you can print out on small paper bags—plus a fabulous recipe for sea salt brownies!   What you’ll need • small paper bags (often sold as “lunch bags”) • a printer • pinking shears (optional, but they make for a nice-looking bag top) • treats to put in the bags (We highly recommend the sea-salt brownies below!)   What you do   1. Download and print a pattern, or create your own stencil, for your bag.    2. Print a test page onto paper, then hold the test page up to your paper bag to see where on the bag the... read more

For Valentine's Day: Cute thumbprint cards for your Valentines

  Remember the fun of exchanging those cute (and, well, corny) valentines in elementary school? Times have changed, but kids still love to swap valentines.   Here are some quick and easy ones for you to make. Just sketch out some simple designs with a pen or pencil (you can even use the designs above for inspiration) or use stencils to create the main design and customize them with a thumbprint to make them truly one of a kind.    What you’ll need • card stock (white or lightly colored) • a stamp pad •  thumbs • crayons, markers, paint, or glitter (optional)   •... read more

birthday buddies and a not-so-empty nest

I was born one minute after Christmas, and I’ve always felt special because of it.* So when, on my birthday six months after Tim and I got married, our nephew Nick was born, I suddenly had my own birthday buddy—somebody with whom I could share this specialness—as well as ensuing birthday celebrations. That was 24 birthdays ago, many of which Nick and I have celebrated together. The last two Decembers, though, he’s been on the other side of the planet in a tiny third-world village in Mali, and I’ve wondered when we’ll be in the same room for a birthday... read more

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