Crafternoons {Duck Tape Key Chains}

Duck tape 10

Crafting with my teens at the library is kind of hit or miss.  Earlier this year I decided to make my monthly craft program, Crafternoons, drop in, meaning all the supplies are out and open for several hours to any teens that drop by our teen space. The only tricky part to anything “drop in” is that you never know how many kids to expect so I need to guesstimate my supplies. Oh. And the craft has to be boy/girl friendly. This month I decided to tackle Duck Tape key chains after coming across several pins on Pinterest. The project is fun, easy, and practical. I compiled a list of step by step instructions, but if I’m too hard to understand, check this video out here. (I would like to add, I am not as professional as this video. I don’t use Duck tape sheets and I don’t have a paper cutter.)

Let’s begin!

Duck tape 1

Supplies:

Duck Tape

Key ring

Velcro

Duck tape 2

Duck tape 3

Step 1: Cut a 14” piece of Duck tape. Begin by folding the tape into itself so that both sides meet in the middle.

Duck tape 4

Step 2: Once both sides are folded down you can trim the edges. (You should end up with a 12” or so piece.)

Duck tape 5

Duck tape 6

Step 3: Cut a thinner piece of Duck tape in a coordinating color. Place the Duck tape along the inside seam of your first piece.

Duck tape 7

Duck tape 8

Step 4: Place key ring at one end of the long piece of Duck tape. Fold the long Duck tape piece over and use the second color of Duck tape to tape the key ring into the loop.

Duck tape 9

Step 5: Trim the long piece of Duck tape to your desired length. Then, attach one side of Velcro to the top of the long piece and the other side of the Velcro to the bottom.

Duck tape 10

Step 6: And voila! Fold the Duck tape over to Velcro shut and enjoy!

Duck tape 11

I hope you all enjoyed this easy peasy Duck tape craft brought to you by Crafternoons at my library!  {Have a fun and gender neutral craft for teens? I would love to hear about it in the comments section!}

Best,

Christen


Leg Day

I am exhausted! Between the craziness that was yesterday and the physical activity from today I am ready for bed.  So on that note, here’s to the fastest post ever.

My husband is awesome:

1{These are stargazer lilies and irises. I was supposed to get them on Valentine’s Day, but because of snow, they were never delivered Friday.  After spending the weekend on a FedEx truck, they were delivered yesterday to my library. Of course, the library was closed because of the holiday, so my flowers spent the day and night outside of the building. Fingers crossed that the flowers bloom.}

2{He really does love me!}

3{I did NOT eat any of this. Day 2 of the BFL Challenge and I am going strong. WOOT!}

I went to the gym during my lunch break!  YAY!  When I checked in on foursquare I saw that it had been 5 weeks since my last gym check in. Booooo! But I’m back and I’m ready to do some damage.

4{Gym selfie.}

You can find the BFL exercise guide here if you are so inclined. Today was lower body and I did:

1a. Barbell squats

1b. Leg extensions

2a. Lying leg curls

2b. Dumbbell lunges

3a. Seated calf raises

3b. Standing heel raises

4a. Floor crunches

4b. Reverse crunches

Words cannot express my soreness and my exhaustion, but I am done, I am in bed, and I am about to go to sleep.

Good night and sweet dreams everyone!

~Christen

That day I started the Body For Life 12 Week Challenge…And didn’t go the gym…

I gained 80 pounds when I was pregnant with my son.  It wasn’t pretty.  However, with hard work and a little self control I was able to take that weight back off. Granted, I gained it in 9 months and it took me 18 months to lose, but whatever.  I still did it.  :) I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about where I want to go from here.  I lost the baby weight and I’m training for a half marathon, but it isn’t enough.  I want to be strong and decided to take part in the 2014 Body For Life 12 Week Challenge. It sounds easy enough.  I eat 6 healthy meals a day and exercise for 6 days straight. Day 7 is rest/cheat day.  I spent all last week figuring out my meals, talking myself into putting on a bikini for my “before” picture, and mentally preparing to lift weights at the gym. (I get so psyched out when I try to lift at the gym. We’ll discuss this more at a later date.) I woke up today feeling great and ready to go… And then I never made it to the gym. I hate excuses, but I’m a mom and sometimes my life is not always my own.

The morning started out promising.  I made myself my favorite breakfast.

photo 1{Two soft boiled eggs, two slices Ezekiel bread, organic butter, and a kick ass mug.}

Then my little dude decided that today was not going to be a good day.  He has been sick for 10 days now and I finally thought he was getting better.  I was off for Presidents’ Day and had big things planned. (Well, not really “BIG” things, but I was looking forward to leaving the house and maybe hitting up the running store.) Unfortunately my baby needed a trip to the pediatrician because of the mother of all diaper rashes. Our appointment wasn’t til 3:45 and I was determined to leave the house and do something.

photo 2{Loaded down with a super heavy diaper bag, blankie, Mr. Carrot, and Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. Not sure why we needed him, but we did.}

I got to the car thinking we could still hit up the running store, but one look in my rear view mirror told me that was probably my worst idea ever. So to Barnes & Noble we went.

Let me tell you a little something about B&N.  I call it the indoor park.  There’s a Thomas the Train set, Legos, all kinds of toys to look at it, and, of course, books to read. We love B&N and hang out at our local store at least once a week.

photo 3{Oh my god, mom. This thing SPINS!}

photo 4{Story time.}

photo 5{Melissa & Doug. I love you so.}

photo 6{Legos are even more fun when you can build them somewhere other than your house.}

After an hour at B&N, we headed home for some yummies and a quick nap before the pediatrician visit. (I had initially planned to hit the gym up in this time slot before I knew we would be spending the afternoon at the doctor’s office.)

photo 7{My son thinks this is the only good thing about the pedi.}

After a quick visit, we left with a prescription for a diaper rash cream. Unfortunately, our local pharmacist didn’t carry the cream… and neither did the 10 other pharmacies that she contacted on my behalf.

photo 8{It’s all good though because these baskets are awesome.}

The little dude and I went home to make dinner.  At this point I figured I would feed us all, ditch my husband and son after dinner, and drive over the gym. However, about 10 minutes into dinner prep my mom called to tell me that her local pharmacy carried the diaper rash cream that we needed, so at 7 o’clock (after dinner BTW. Nothing comes between me and dinner.), the toddler and I hopped in the car and drove the 40 minutes to my parents’s house to pick up the miracle butt cream.  

photo 9{This was dinner and it was amazing!  Another yummy Pinterest find.  You can grab the recipe here.}

photo 10{This was the miracle butt cream. $375 AMERICAN DOLLARS!!!  Thank all that is holy that I have kick ass insurance and this puppy only cost me $10.}

So yeah.  We picked up the magical diaper rash cream, drove the five minutes to my parents’ house, gave my son a shower, applied the previously mentioned butt miracle, played with mom mom and pop pop til 9, and then drove the 40 minutes back home.  And that is why I didn’t make it to the gym.

HOWEVER… I did take my “before” shots which I’m not ready to share.  I also took fully clothed pictures thinking I will take weekly pics in the same clothes and be madly impressed by my super fast transformation skills.  We’ll see. 

BFL Before{Eh. I actually think I look better in the bikini shots. Figures, right?}

Hopefully by next week we’ll see a little less love in my middle and maybe less back fat in the…well, you know… back.  And I pinkie swear that I will go to the gym tomorrow!

I hope you all had a great Presidents’ Day.

~Christen

 

Self Directed Programs

I recently gave a presentation at the 2013 New Jersey Fall Youth Services Forum entitled “Nothing Passive About It: Portable Programs for Teens on the Go”.  I work for a library that has a hard time attracting teens to “typical” library programs (book clubs, crafting events, movie tie in parties), so last year I decided to embrace the Self Directed Program.  Almost monthly I set up a “program” that my teens can take part in while stopping by the library.  They usually have to fill out a survey, take a quiz, cast a vote.  They always get candy for participating, and I like to have a Grand Prize for at least one winner per program.  I went through several of my more successful programs during this presentation and now I’m going to share them with all of you.  At the end of this post I will share a link to my “Nothing Passive About It” Dropbox folder.  Please feel free to borrow or recreate any of these ideas!

Fairy Tale{Fairy Tale Scavenger Hunt}

YA Book Brawl{YA Book Brawl}

Blind Date with a Book 2014{Blind Date with a Book}

Catching Fire Display{News from the Capitol- Catching Fire Movie Tie In}

No Shave November{No Shave November- I can’t take credit for this one. I told my supervisor I wanted to do this display, but didn’t have the time so she offered to do it for me. It came out fabulously!}

DIY to go{DIY To Go: Chevron Friendship Bracelets}

Garden State Teen Book Awards 2013{Garden State Teen Book Awards}

Round of 32

Winner{YA March Madness aka My FAVORITE Self Directed Program of all time!!}

I hope these pictures help inspire you to try out a self directed program at your library or classroom.  You can find all of my files here.  Please let me know if you have any questions or thoughts… and please feel free to share any successful Self Directed programs in the comments section below.

Happy Sunday,

~Christen


DIY Sensory Board

Sensory Board 2

My library is getting ready to host a community play date for toddlers and I am in charge of creating a sensory board for our littlest patrons.  While perusing Pinterest for the perfect inspiration, I came across this pin for a DIY Sensory Board.  I knew as soon as I saw the way the fabric was being displayed in the embroidery hoops that this was the sensory station for me.  That is, until I saw the totally amazeballs sensory board on MDF board.  That I had to have for my (almost two year old) son… and I had to have it STAT!  

I’m going to wait to elaborate more on this board after we get done making the second square, but in the meantime, please check out Fun at Home with Kids to see how Asia made her board for her children.  It is a brilliant idea and my son loves it!

sensory board 1

Thanks for reading…

~Christen

Long Time No Post

It’s been about 10 months since I posted anything to this blog.  ::sad face::  I like to think I’m still full of crafty ideas, but if I’m not working or chasing around my toddler, I’m probably sleeping (or running) and that has left little time to be a blogger.  If we’re going to keep it real, I’ve also tried to start a couple of other blogs over the last few months.  I feel like my interests have changed and there are other things I want to talk about… I’m just having trouble figuring out how I want to present myself. Do I want to be a blog about crafts? Being a mom? Being a mom focusing on fitness? Can I have a blog that incorporates all of that? Is anyone even reading this anyway?!

All of that said, I decided to just start posting what I want to post, and once I figure out where I’m going I’ll rebrand and move forward from there.

So if you’re still reading this blog (even after 10 months) I thank you.  Now let me catch you up with some pictures:

Image{I got married.}

5{My son needs two binks.}

6 {I do Pinterest-y things with my child.}

1 {I do Pinterest-y things with other people’s children.}

47   {I discovered posting “Transformation Tuesday” pictures on Instagram makes me verrrrrry happy!!}

2{I found my inner runner… and she’s kind of kick ass.}

Thanks for catching up!

xo,

Christen


DIY To Go….

Remember how I was just saying that I love me some self directed programs?  Well, I do!  I especially love self directed crafting programs.  And how’s this for an easy peasy teen program? 

Materials:

-Ziplock bags

-embroidery floss

-print out of instructions

-labels

-an accessible spot to put your super sweet DIY To Go kits for your tweens and teens

I stole borrowed some friendship bracelet instructions from online (I just C&P’d them into a Word document for easy printing), put them in a Ziplock bag with eight pieces of embroidery floss, slapped a branding sticker (DIY To Go…) on the front, and BOOM!  Instant self directed program.  I had 15 kits go in two days and I just added 20 more.

Feel free to steal borrow this idea for your library, teen space, et cetera.

~Christen


{Mom} {Librarian} {Runner} {Fauxtographer} {DIYista} {Pinterest Enthusiast}

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