Kale, White Bean & Sausage Soup

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bean-soup

When it’s cold outside you turn to soup. The next time you need to warm up make this Kale, White Bean & Sausage Soup that comes to us from Simran and Stacie at a Little Yumminess. The versatile and easy soup rocks the veggies and serves 12-14, which means there’s almost always leftovers to slurp up the next day.

Kale, White Bean & Sausage Soup adapted from Frances Mayes from Everyday in Tuscany (Zuppa di Cavolo Nero, Cannellini e Salsicce)

Serves 12 to 14 (half it if required)

Ingredients
2 Italian sausages, skins removed and meat crumbled
4 tbsps olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 quarts chicken stock
6 thyme sprigs
1 bunch of dinosaur kale
4 cups cooked cannellini beans (dried beans best but I often use canned)

Method
1. Saute the crumbled sausage in the olive oil till browned and remove from pan.
2. In the same pan, saute the onions, thyme and garlic until softened
3. Add the chicken stock to a big pot. Bring to a boil and add the kale and cover and simmer for 15 minutes
4. Add the cooked sausage and beans and simmer for another 15 minutes
5. Ta Da!

This is a guest post from our friends Simran and Stacie at a Little Yumminess. Photo courtesy of Little YumminessBe sure to visit their blog for more fab, kid-friendly recipes!

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It’s time to accept the fact that your wild pre-kids St. Patrick’s Day activities (think green beer and Bailey’s) have been traded for kid-friendly fun. We’ve gathered up a bunch of festive St. Patrick’s Day crafts and decorations that will get your crew excited about the holiday, whether you’ve got preschoolers (hello, St. Patrick’s Day coloring pages) or older kids (Shamrock slime, anyone?) Keep reading to find your favorite!  

Shamrock Puppets

Your kids will have a sham-rocking time making up stories about these happy shamrocks. Find out how to make a few of these cheerful characters over at Typically Simple

Shamrock Slime

It's icky, it's gooey, but it's also so pretty! This Shamrock Slime from As The Bunny Hops is bound to not only entice your neighborhood leprechaun but provide hours of fun, too. 

Rainbow Shaker Wand

St. Patrick's Day is all about enjoying rainbows and leprechauns! Help the kids craft this whimsical Rainbow Wand Shaker from Happy Mothering. Made with household supplies you probably already have lying around, this brightly colored (and noisy) project will keep your kids busy all afternoon.

Rainbow Bracelet

Whether your kiddo is looking to make a gift for a friend, or just expand their jewelry collection, this rainbow bracelet from Simple Everyday Mom is perfect. Brightly colored rainbow beads are strung up on stretchable cord, then attached to a cute, free printable!

Mosaic Paper Shamrocks

Let your kids get their craft on with these fun mosaic paper shamrocks from Happiness is Homemade. Simple paper shamrocks are covered in multi-colored squares for a handmade and unique craft that's perfect for St. Patty's.

Rainbow Preschool Craft

Perfect for little learners, this preschool rainbow craft from The Nerd's Wife is a great way to spend the afternoon. WIith just three supplies, this colorful DIY project is simple enough to avoid a trip to the craft store, but it still packs tons of fun.

Pots o' Gold and Rainbows

Hide pots of gold around the house with this cute craft from Willowday. All you need to pull it off is a paper cup and some colorful ribbons. Click here to get the scoop.

Handprint Rainbow Painting

Let your little leprechauns get messy with this cute creation from Kids Craft Room. They’ll have fun experimenting with paint colors and making different shapes. To get the scoop on how it’s done, click here.

Paper Plate Leprechaun Mask

If you’ve got paper plates and paint on hand, you’re all set to make a leprechaun mask like this one from Kids Craft Roo. Complete with a leprechaun’s signature hat and ginger beard, kids will have a blast wearing their creations around the house. To see the step-by-step instructions, click here.

Marzipan Rainbows

Chasing a rainbow is not as tricky as it seems, thanks to Craft Knife’s clever use of marzipan in place of clay to make lucky rainbows. Best part? They can actually eat their creations without getting sick. Learn more by clicking here.

photo: Sara Olsher

DIY Fairy Garden

The Irish have a long-standing relationship with The Little People of lore, and the leprechaun is one of the most famous this time of year. Craft a fairy garden for your little visitors using houseplants, doll furniture and more. Click here to learn how to DIY it for the wee folk.

Lucky Shirts

Use Multiples and More's idea to create special shirts just for St. Patrick's Day. Crafty kids can glue on sparkly rhinestones or use alphabet stamps to personalize their shirts. Click here to see the instructions.

Marshmallow Rainbow

Kids can make a sweet rainbow out of colorful mini marshmallows—and maybe snack on a few while they're at it. Head over to No Time for Flashcards to get the instructions.

Shamrock Suncatchers

Hands On As We Grow came up with this light-catching craft that's perfect for tiny tots. Kids can go wild arranging tissue paper and glitter, then just keep it in place with contact paper. Click here to see how it's done.

Toilet Paper Roll Leprechauns

How adorable is this little guy from Moments of Mommyhood? Put your old toilet paper rolls to good use by crafting wee leprechauns to display around the house. Click here to see the instructions.

Satin Shamrock Headbands

Your little girl can rock a St. Patrick's Day-appropriate hairstyle with this awesome idea from Club Chica Circle. Older kids can help burn the edges of the satin to give it a curled look, while younger ones can cut out the shamrock shapes and glue the pieces together. Get the how-to by clicking here.

DIY St. Patrick's Day Rainbow Wreath

Pump up your St. Patrick's Day decorations with this super cool DIY Rainbow Wreath! Jennifer Perkins finishes hers with some lucky coins, but you can definitely personalize it with your own touches. Grab your hot glue gun and check out her simple instructions here.

Rainbow Suncatcher

Brighten up your wintery scene with these beautiful rainbow sun catchers that are the perfect touch for your St. Patrick's Day celebrations. Melissa Lennig of Fireflies and Mudpies breaks it all down for you here

Rainbow Coloring Page

This simple St. Patrick's Day rainbow coloring page opens up a world of possibilities for your little artist! Sarah McClelland from Little Bins for Little Hands has it for you here, along with a great recipe for puffy paint!

 

 

—Katie Ludin, Susie Foresman, Amber Guetebier & Karly Wood

Featured image: wokandapic via Pixabay

 

RELATED STORIES:

8 St. Patrick’s Day Science Experiments for Kids

This Is How to Sham-Rock a St. Patrick’s Day Party

Irish Soda Bread Scones and A St. Patrick’s Craft Project

 

 

One Cool Thing: Make Your Own Bubbles

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blowing-bubbles

On our list of timeless traditions that never go out of style: sidewalk chalk art, jump rope, and blowing bubbles. Entertain your kids and teach them about the science of bubbles today. We found a great bubble recipe, which uses ordinary household items that you likely already have on-hand.

What You Will Need:

12 cups of water
1 cup dish soap
1 cup cornstarch
2 tbsp baking powder
1-2 wire coat hangers and a frying pan
1 6 pack plastic ring
Paper towel tube

How To Do It:

In a clean bucket or dishpan mix together ingredients in order. Keep a ladle or scoop in the bucket and stir occasionally making sure not to cause too much foam. Remove the excess foam as it appears. When the bucket is half empty add another cup of water.

No bubble wands handy? You can use a paper towel tube, plastic rings from a 6 pack and even those old wire hangers! Bend the coat hanger into the shape of a loop and dip into the frying pan letting the excess drip off before waving it through the air.

Bubble Tips:

We found that Joy and Dawn dish soap brands work the best. You can also use tear free baby shampoo if you have little ones around. While this bubble recipe is designed and tested to work in any weather, humidity really does matter. Warm and humid days will produce the best bubbles around. If you have a windy day, try blowing your bubbles downwind letting mother nature do the work for you! Make your bubble solution a couple of days beforehand and keep the extra. Solution that has marinated for a while produces the biggest bubbles of all.

Tell us if you have any tips for making homemade bubbles. 

photo courtesy of Humbert15 via creative commons

32 Crockpot Chicken Recipes for Lazy Nights

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If you’re having slow cooker envy, it ends here. From Cream of Mushroom chicken crockpot to chicken parmesan crock pot, we have easy, executable chicken crockpot recipes that you can brag about later. Consider us, and your crock pot, your best friends for making family meals that everyone will devour. Scroll through the below chicken crock pot recipes recipes to get your next meal plan.

Honey Garlic Chicken

Hello Spoonful's slow-cooker chicken takes just six ingredients and is pretty much fail-proof when you follow these simple instructions

Crock Pot Hawaiian Chicken

Cook up some tropical flavors to get you through the holidays with this sweet and sour chicken dish. Soy, honey and ginger are just some of the ingredients that go into creating a meal that keeps its flavor and works great for lunch and dinner. Head to Weelicious for the recipe.

Slow-Cooker Corn Chowder

There’s nothing better than a bowl of soup on a chilly day, and this corn chowder from The Seasoned Mom totally fits the bill. Filled with chicken, bacon and potato, it’s delicious and hearty enough to satisfy everyone in your crew. Click here for the full recipe. 

Classic Chicken Stew

There's something about the word "stew" that invokes chilly autumn nights and full tummies. This classic chicken stew recipe will is definitely on the top of the comfort foods list. Get the full recipe here

Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken

Get something fancy and protein-packed on the table with as little effort as possible with this delicious recipe from Queen of My Kitchen. Find out how to pull this off yourself here

Crock Pot Seasoned Chicken with Peppers & Onions

This slow cooker recipe from The Seasoned Mom is sure to find a place in your meal rotation. There are lots of ways to remix it—serve it with pasta or rice, or make it into a cheesy sandwich. Plus, if you’re an Instant Pot fan, it can be put to use with this recipe

Get the whole recipe here

Crock Pot Lemon Chicken

Spice up your usual chicken dinner with a super easy, no-stress lemon chicken recipe, which pairs perfectly with jasmine rice and sautéed veggies. You can even use the leftovers for sandwiches the next day! Get the recipe here

Honey Crispy Chicken

Skip the takeout the next time you’re craving Chinese food—this crispy chicken recipe from Crockpot Gourmet is much healthier, and it’s sure to be a hit with even picky kiddos.

Mushroom Chicken

For a simple but comforting meal, try this quick recipe, adapted from Easy Crock Pot Recipes:

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1/4 c flour (swap cornstarch for flour to make it gluten-free)

1 box of sliced mushrooms

Salt, pepper and paprika

Method:

1. Rinse chicken breasts. Sprinkle salt, pepper and paprika on BOTH sides. Place in crock pot.

2. Mix other ingredients together. Add to crock pot. Cook on LOW 6-8 hours.

3. Serve over pasta or rice if desired.

Crock Pot Chicken from Heaven

For an easy dinner, nothing beats relying on your crock pot. This crock pot dinner recipe—from Phyllis Good’s new book, Stock the Crock—is truly a slice of heaven. Convenient, delicious and adaptable to Paleo diets, we’re betting this recipe will soon become a part of your nightly rotation. Grab the recipe by clicking here.

Soy Sauce Chicken

This soy sauce chicken recipe couldn’t be simpler—you’ll only need five ingredients. Served with a side of rice and some broccoli, a delicious dinner will be on the table in the blink of an eye. Grab the recipe by clicking here.

Roasted Chicken

Believe it or not, you can roast an entire chicken in the crock pot, and it’s actually pretty easy. This recipe from Our Family Eats makes for a delicious and juicy chicken. Get the recipe by clicking here.

Chicken Posole

Treat the family's taste buds to a yummy batch of posole. The best part? The leftovers get better and better over the next few days (so making lunches will be a breeze!). To get the recipe, click here.

Chicken Teriyaki

Teriyaki is always a kid favorite, and this recipe from Our Little Acre is no exception. Made with just five ingredients, it’s easy to throw together in the crock pot. Snag the recipe by clicking here.

Lemon Chicken Pitas

Put anything in a pita, and our kids are on board. This Greek-inspired recipe from Leah’s Thoughts is bound to be a hit. Topped with tzatziki sauce, tomatoes and onion, you’ll be happy to come home to this meal. To get the recipe, click here.

Butter Chicken

Your littles will love this dairy-free butter chicken from One Lovely Life. The creamy, flavorful sauce, paired with rice or quinoa, is sure to have the whole fam asking for seconds. To snag the recipe, click here.

Taco Soup

Skip the tortillas and make this tasty taco soup to switch things up. Beans, veggies and chicken make up the base of the soup, and you can top it off with shredded cheese, chips or guacamole. To grab the recipe, click here.

Chicken and Dumplings

Southern-inspired chicken and dumplings make the perfect comfort food. This version is super easy to throw together, thanks to a refrigerated biscuit shortcut. To grab the recipe, click here.

Bacon-Wrapped Apple Barbecue Chicken

Just in case barbecue chicken wasn’t tasty enough already, this recipe from MomsWhoThink ups the ante by wrapping it in bacon and pairing it with apples. This one is bound to become a weeknight favorite. Click here to get the recipe.

photo: Erin Lem

Chicken Tacos

Make any night Taco Night! This recipe is foolproof, and kiddos can choose their own toppings, from sour cream to salsa to shredded cheese. Snag the recipe by clicking here.

Rosemary Chicken with Butternut Squash

There's nothing quite like the combo of butternut squash and rosemary to make a meal seem less than ordinary. The secret to making this savory dish from GI 365, is adding a can of soup to make it both creamy and satisfying without a lot of extra work. Click here to get the recipe.

Chicken Parmesan

This simplified take on chicken parm from Baking & Creating with Avril is bound to be a hit with picky kiddos. It skips the breading process, making it a healthier and quicker version than the original. To find out how it’s made, click here.

Honey Soy Chicken

For an instant family fave, make this Asian-inspired recipe from Shared Appetite. Savory soy sauce and tart pineapple juice come together to make a super tasty sauce for the chicken. Drooling yet? Grab the recipe by clicking here.

Tuscan Chicken and Beans

Served over rice or pasta, this recipe adapted from Moms with Crockpots makes for a lightning-fast weeknight meal. It’s a smart way to use those cans of beans and tomatoes hanging out at the back of your pantry, too. Click here to get the recipe.

Chicken Verde

For a Mexican-inspired dish that comes together in no time, you’ve got to try this chicken verde from A Little Yumminess. Tomatillo salsa is the secret ingredient here to add a hint of spiciness and give the chicken its green color. To grab the recipe, click here.

Gluten-Free Sweet and Sour Chicken

Instead of ordering takeout, try out The Family Chef’s gluten-free take on a favorite Chinese dish. There are veggies in the mix too, so you can just make a side of rice for a balanced and tasty meal. Get the recipe by clicking here.

Green Chicken Chili

For a fun twist on chili, try this fantastic recipe from Slow Cooker Gourmet. With salsa verde, fresh corn and white beans, it’s super hearty and delicious topped with sour cream or tortilla chips. Grab the recipe by clicking here.

Chicken and Gravy

This filling dish is more prep than fuss thanks to this foolproof recipe from Sarah Olson’s cookbook. Served on top of mashed potatoes and bread, it doesn’t get much more comfort food than this. Find out how it’s made by clicking here.

Chicken Ragu

Switch up your usual pasta dish by making this delish ragu from Whitney Bond. The sauce gets better and better as it simmers, making it the perfect slow cooker meal. Click here to get the recipe.

Chicken Pot Pie Stew

If you’re craving chicken pot pie but don’t have the time to whip up a pie crust, this genius recipe from Paper/Plates Blog is your solution. Filled with all the good stuff (think chicken thighs, veggies and lots of gravy), comfort food has never tasted better. To get the recipe, click here.

Chicken with Balsamic and Tomatoes

Pop some tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and chicken in the crockpot with a few herbs and you’ll come home to an amazingly hearty meal. We love this recipe from Mom’s Kitchen Handbook, and chances are your family will feel the same way. Click here to get all the details.

Chicken with Grapes

Chicken and grapes might sound like a strange combination, but this recipe from Dash marries the two perfectly. Add simmered tomatoes, chickpeas and butternut squash to the cumin-spiced chicken, and you’ve got a complex and delicious meal. Get the recipe by clicking here.

RELATED STORIES:

A Week’s Worth of Crock Pot Recipes You Haven’t Tried Yet

12 Easy Crock Pot Recipes to Try This Fall

17 Crockpot Chicken Recipes Fit for Summer

 

crock pot chicken recipes

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Pumpkin bread that’s moist, flavorful, and easy to make? Yep, it’s true! This pumpkin bread recipe is perfect for the festive holiday season, especially when your time is limited since there is very little prep time or dirty dishes involved. Try making the pumpkin bread in a regular loaf pan, or if you’re looking for a unique present, bake the bread in a coffee tin or in old soup cans. Then wrap it up with cellophane or tissue paper and you’ve got yourself a great (and delicious) gift. Once you make this amazing pumpkin bread, you’ll understand why this recipe is a favorite of our Editorial Director who actually makes it year-round for her family (just keep a few cans of pumpkin puree stocked in your pantry).

Ingredients: 
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
3 cups white sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger

**this recipe will yield three 7″ x 3″ loaf pans. We suggest cutting the recipe in half if you don’t want that large of a portion. If you do cut the recipe in half, it will make one regular loaf.

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 7×3 inch loaf pans.

2. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.

3. Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Recipe adapted from Allrecipes.com
Photo credit: Tasty Kitchen

20 Atlanta Mom Bloggers We Love

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Atlanta moms, we’d like to introduce you to your tribe. Bloggers from everything to DIY home projects to fashion to food—with a healthy dose of humor, local Atlanta flair, and parenting truths—these Atlanta moms are keeping it real while inspiring us to tackle something new. Keep reading for our favorite Atlanta mom bloggers and bestie candidates.

Photo: Aline Viana Prado via Pexels

Mimosas and Motherhood  Siobhán is an author of the lifestyle blog, a boy mama to her two under two, Archer and Grey, and wife to Matthew. Mimosas & Motherhood is a family and lifestyle blog, but not your typical mom blog! She created this blog as a way to encourage and uplift other women. She loves sharing much of her everyday life with you, and focus on motherhood (pregnancy, postpartum and parenting), easy recipes, fun DIY projects and more.

Handmade Charlotte Rachel and Jonathan Faucett live on a farm in Dallas, Georgia, have five children, and started an Etsy shop in 2009 that has turned into a collaboration with Anthropologie, and one of the nation’s top 20 most influential Pinterest accounts. Visit this site for eye-candy inspiration on crafts, games, and lifestyle ideas for fun.

Southern State of Mind Mom of three boys, Heather Metzler manages the chaos with class, bringing tips and inspo for fashion, home decor, and DIY projects to you in a fresh and creative blog.

City Peach When Atlanta native Mireille Beckwith moved home from New York, she brought a passion for helping others look chic on a budget. As a mom of two, she specifically focuses on helpings mom do what they do, but with some serious style. Even better? She dedicates posts to kids style, as well.

In Honor of Design Originally a graphic designer, mom of 6, Anna has a fresh take on style, motherhood, and home design. Spoiler alert: the family recently announced an upcoming move to Nashville, but you can still mine her blog for Atlanta insights.

Really, Are You Serious? Mom of three girls, Krystyn is a former chemist and current graphic designer–in addition to running the totally awesome Really, Are You Serious? This blog is a great resource for Mommy and Me outing ideas, giveaways, family events, and straight talk about life with young (and willful!) kids.

Field Trips with Sue Susan Rodman is the mother of three boys and her award winning blog is all about things to do with kids in and around metro Atlanta and the Southeast. In addition to tons of other awards, this blog is a Nickelodeon Parent’s Pick winner and a Parents.com award nominee. When Sue is not scouting new adventures, she works in marketing and public relations and serves on the marketing committee at Imagine It! The Children’s Museum of Atlanta.

Sweet Savant Demetra Overton is a food and travel blogger extraordinaire, and brings her skills as a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education and her experience at the likes of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Buckhead to a table set for families. Her recipes are soulful, sophisticated, and sometimes aspirational, but you can learn as much about cooking technique as you can about what to make for supper from her informative blog.

Mommy’s Hangout Mom Jen started her blog as a way to do her own sweepstakes and giveaways and to offer honest opinions and reviews on products her family has tried. Her blog also includes money and health tips and candid talk about parenting.

Awed by Monica Fashionistas, this one’s for you! Monica Awe-Etuk sums up her philosophy better than we can: “Fashion is important because we live in a society that judges women based on appearance. Unfortunately, that will never change. I have noticed that when people look good, they actually feel great. If we have more people feeling great about themselves, the world can be a better place.” Check out her blog for tips on how to elevate your mommy uniform game.

The Divine Miss Mommy Stacie Haight Connerty, a self professed tech geek, foodie and social media junkie  is the mother of three children ages 9, 7 and 5. On her fab blog, you can find the latest products reviews, giveaways, and stories about her family plus information about their latest travels.

Domestic Superhero What started as cooking for the 4 children she nannied for in New York has turned into a passion for creating elegant meals in a short amount of time (because, well, kids). In addition to recipes and meal ideas, Allyson posts about DIY home projects and travel.

JaMonkey Meghan Cooper, the voice behind JaMonkey, blogs about things like pregnancy, parenting, recipes, crafting, product reviews, and life as a suburban hippy.  She is also the creator of Yeah Let’s Go Atlanta.

Atlanta on the Cheap This blog is a fantastic resource for families looking for free things to do in Atlanta. Mom Jennifer scours the ‘net to find the best deals, discounts, and coupons for the city’s attractions, theatre, restaurants and bars.

Yeah Let’s Go Atlanta This mom-written local blog covers local family and parent-only events for metro Atlanta. You’ll find everything there is to know about local festivals, zoos, museums, and more.

My Atlanta Mommy This a family friendly blog that helps families save money on groceries, green living, kid-friendly events, eating out, and tons more. You will also find great posts on kid-friendly contests, giveaways, and pay it forwards.

Mamalicious Maria Maria Smith is an on the go “stay at home” mother of 4 kids under the age of 6. In her pre-baby life, she was a TV producer at Oprah, and she has been featured as a “mom” expert on ABC World News, CBS and NBC affiliates, and in Ladies Home Journal, Women’s Day, and The Nest. She blogs about fashion, food, events around town, and more.

Turning the Clock Back This fab blog is devoted to teaching people to go green, get healthy and simplify their lives through recipes, shopping tips, and more. Mom blogger Diane has worked in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology, among other things. With her blog, she hopes to create a down to earth guide to going green and getting healthy one baby step at a time.

Coupons Are Great The title of this blog says it all–and it truly is a great resource for all things thrifty. In addition to freebies, deals, and coupons, the site also has fun craft ideas. The mom behind it all, Leandrea, also loves to explore the Atlanta area with her two daughters.

Toulouse and Tonic Toulouse—a stay at home mom of 2 boys–works hard to increase her mothering skills by writing about parenting ups and down, stalking other mothers on facebook, and tweeting funny bon mots on twitter. She’s so funny and relatable that Toulouse & Tonic is a Circle of Moms Top 25 Funny Moms blog for 2013.

Jumpin Beans In addition to being an army wife, blogger Noelle is mom to a preschooler and several stepsons in their tweens/teens. On her blog, she offers great giveaways, reviews of kids products, advice for busy parents, and more.

—Shelley Massey

10 Simple, Fun & Crazy Hat Ideas

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Halloween isn’t the only day for dressing up. Tap into your creative side any time of year by making a hat. They make great additions to your costume box because they can serve as a full costume on their own—no snaps, zippers, buttons, tight leotards or confusing ties to figure out. With that in mind, we’ve dug up some simple, fun and totally crazy hat ideas that’ll make your day.

Paper Sailor Hat

Ahoy, matey! This is one of the easiest hat crafts of them all—a paper sailor hat. You'll need newspaper, and, if you want to get fancy, scotch tape. Head over to How Stuff Works to get the details. 

Cretaceous Crown

They're already obsessed with Jurassic World everything, so up your pretend play game with this adorable DIY paper dinosaur hat. It's easy to make, and you already have everything you need. Stomp over to Cutting Tiny Bites to learn how to cut, glue and assemble your way to your very own spiked dino hat.

Medieval Crown Craft

This craft from First Palette is fit for the pint-sized royalty in your life. With construction paper, crepe paper, and as much sequin bling as you can find, you'll have a new addition to the dress-up bin. Head here for the full instructions.

photo: Gabby Cullen

A cool cowboy hat

This cowboy hat is an easy craft you can make with your kids. Say giddy up and grab the tutorial by clicking here.

A Hat That's a Mask

Make a hat that also doubles as a mask. Use construction paper to create your top hat, and cut out glasses, nose and a mouth. Affix it all together with glue or tape. Lastly, you'll need something sturdy to hold up your mask hat.

Bunny Hat

Your kids will be hoppin' around in no time with this super simple craft. Directions from our friend Alpha Mom call for scissors, one pink marker, and one paper plate. The site offers other great ideas for paper plate hats like decorative crowns and heart hats so check it out.

Octopus Hat

Next time you get a package that has bubble wrap save it and use it to make this eight-legged sea creature. Peering through the pink legs, your kiddo will drift off into her own little world under the sea! All you need is paper, glue, bubble wrap, googly eyes and paint. Special thanks to Sarah from Pencils & Glue for this great idea. 

Rainbow Hat from Egg Carton

Rainbow Queens? Rainbow Fishies? Flowers? Make these colorful egg carton crowns and see how they brighten up your kiddos' day. Having Fun at Home has the 411 on how to make this colorful hat—all you need is paint, an egg carton, and a ribbon for the tie.

Shark Attack Hat

For the shark and sea monster enthusiast that wishes he could breathe underwater, this hat's for you. There is a lot of scissor work involved so be prepared to help a bit if your kid isn't an expert cutter. All you need is blue construction paper, markers, glue, and a stapler. Head over to Tippytoe Crafts for the tutorial.

Crab Hat

Even though the summer is far far away, the kids can still imagine that they're rollin' in the waves enjoying the warm weather. All you need for this crab hat is red construction paper, paper bowl, clothespins, red paint, black construction paper for the smile (or just a black marker), and foam balls for the eyes. Find out how to make your own by clicking here.

Ladybug Hat

You need black and white paint for this ... oh, and a red baseball cap but the good news is that you can get one on Amazon for just $3.99! And why not ... it's so cute and it's durable! See the tutorial over at Crafts by Amanda.

Snowflake Hat

There are simple templates for this winter crown and all you need is blue construction paper, two white pipe cleaners, a pencil, scissors, tape, white tissue paper, and white thread. Optional craft supplies are stickers, markers, glitter or gel pens to decorate! See the how-to over at DLTK

Cute Baby Moose

This is for the crafty mom who is good with needle and thread. Transform an old sweatshirt or winter hat into a moose costume and let your little one explore his wild side. You will need stuffing and some cheap white gloves! Get the directions over at The Dragons Fairy Tail

Are your kids into hat crafts? Share with us in a comment below. 

RELATED STORIES:

How to Celebrate Make a Hat Day

12 Stylish Summer Hats

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—Parham B

Feature photo: Personal Creations via Flickr 

 

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Union Market has catered to DC’s food-loving hipsters for several years now, and Eastern Market still sells old-school meats and meals. Now several new suburban food halls have opened up, and Maryland and Virginia diners have their own great options for family-friendly dining. Asian food—highlighted at the Spot and the Block—is often a fairly easy sell for cautious young diners; noodles, soups, and rice are universally comforting and hard to resist. The best thing about bringing little ones to a food hall? Nobody will complain if they make a little noise or even need to run around the room a bit.

Photo: William Y. via Yelp

The Spot
This charming Asian-themed mini hall sits just to the north of Rockville Town Center. Outdoor seating is available in nice weather; one corner features low tables and floor cushions for kids to crawl and sprawl, while a full bar at the other end of the space lets adults partake. Parents seeking lighter fare will love this outpost of local chain PokiDC, with offerings like salmon or spicy tuna (and even steak or chicken for the raw-fish-averse) atop brown or white rice or greens, with a multitude of toppings and dressings. Cheers Cut serves up all kinds of fried foods, accompanied by rice and steamed vegetables—sure to appeal to the chicken-tenders crowd. The staff at Mian entertain curious onlookers (of all ages) as they hand-pull noodles for ramen and other soups. And you can finish it all of with a sweet bubble tea from Gong Cha or a sculpted ice-cream creation from Alpaca Dessert.

255 N. Washington St. (Rockville, MD)
Online: thespotdmv.com

Photo: Xuannie via Yelp

The Block
The Block is NOVA’s own Asian-style space, with sky-blue picnic-style tables and an industrial-chic vibe. Balo Kitchen offers modern-inflected Vietnamese sandwiches like banh mi and French dip, along with chicken nuggets and French toast for the younger, less adventurous crowd. There’s PokeWorks, another chain serving the healthy, satisfying Hawaiian-inspired fish-on-rice-or-salad that’s so trendy right now. Munch ice cream surprises with flavors like Ash and Matcha Oreo…alongside Fruity Pebbles. SnoCream shaved ice gets extra-rich when topped with condensed milk or caramel. And—as at the Spot—Block Bar has a full bar as well as more sophisticated small plates.

4221 John Marr Drive (Annandale, VA)
703-942-7056
Online: theblockfoodhall.com

Photo: Ballston Quarter

Quarter Market
Quarter Market, in the newly rejuvenated Ballston neighborhood of Arlington, has only a few vendors open as of late March 2019, but they’re a departure from the Asian fare of the Block and the Spot. So far the two savory stalls that have opened—Copa for tapas and Hot Lola’s for fried chicken that’s a mashup of Nashville and Sichan heat—aren’t the easiest sell for fussy young eaters…unless they like their nuggets on the spicy side. But there’s Ice Cream Jubilee to (literally) cool down any cranky customer. And outposts of BarTaco and Timber Pizza are slated to join the lineup with family-friendly tacos and pies.

4238 Wilson Blvd. (Arlington, VA)
Online: quartermarket.com

—Nadya Sagner

 

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They may not be able to partake in the tastings, but that doesn’t mean kids can’t enjoy a trip to Napa. As long as you limit the number of stops (always a good idea when carpooling a load of little ones, obviously) and throw in a few activities just for them, the whole family can enjoy a day or a vacation in wine country. See our favorite places below.

THINGS TO DO

At the base of the valley lies Napa itself, a former drive-by town that in recent years has transformed into a destination in itself. Downtown’s best stops are clustered around a bend in the river, so take a walk along the paths or over the bridges to stretch the legs after the first bit of driving. You may even want to duck into one of downtown’s tasting rooms (we love Bounty Hunter, as well as the bargains at the Oxbow Wine Merchant to get the day started off right.

If you’re going to ask kids to sit in the car and then behave at the wineries while you try a wine or two, they’re going to have to run off some energy first. A stop at the Calistoga Petrified Forest offers trails through a redwood forest that’s hard as a rock. Thanks to a volcano eruption 3.4 million years ago when weird winged creatures roamed the earth, all redwoods you’ll see have been turned to stone.

Another great option is to pile the family onto the luxurious Napa Wine Train and take the driving out of the equation. The three-hour roundtrip journey flies by while you enjoy gourmet lunch or dinner (and local wines for the grownups) in the vintage dining or domed cars. Kids can get fresh air waving out the back of the train at the cars crawling up and down the valley.

If you want to avoid excessive sun or rain, take the kids to Scientopia Discovery Center. This children’s museum and playspace offer all-day admission, so you can drop in both on your way up and down the valley and enjoy the exhibits on bubbles, magnets, scents, wind, and much more. TIP: The vending machine stocks healthy snacks, but it’s more fun to pack your own picnic to enjoy in the snack room.

If the grown-ups have their hearts set on doing some tasting, there are a few wineries up here that cater to kiddos. At Sterling Vineyards, kids enjoy a tram ride with great views at the top. The ultra-romantic Castello di Amorosa resembles a medieval Italian castle and provides grape juice for children to sip on while their parents taste the real deal.  And for really fantastic wines in a classic Silverado Trail setting, Robert Sinskey’s pinot noirs, pinot blanc, and more are paired with seasonal delicacies from the kitchen for a truly indulgent experience. TIP: Kids love the koi ponds out in front.

See our other favorite wineries to visit with kids in our detailed Insider’s Guide to Napa with kids.

photo: WineCountry Media via Flick

WHERE TO EAT

Downtown Napa’s Oxbow Public Market is wine country’s equivalent of San Francisco’s Ferry Building. With artisans and food purveyors like Ritual Coffee Roasters, Hog Island Oyster Company, Fatted Calf, and Kara’s Cupcakes, you can taste your way through Northern California’s best delicacies or pick up some picnic items to take with you for your day.

Also in downtown, Pizzeria Azzurro’s sleek subway-tiled interior compliments the true stars of the restaurant—the wood-fired stove and the perfect pies it turns out.

For the best burgers, be sure to make a stop at Gott’s Roadside (either in St. Helena or Napa). Made with locally sourced foods, there’s an innovative kids’ menu, indoor and outdoor seating, and parents can even grab a glass of vino from the extensive wine list.

photo: Clark Weber via Flickr

WHERE TO STAY

At Solage Calistoga, the fun starts at check-in, when you’re led to your parking spot by a valet on a bicycle. Then you’ll be loaned some cruisers to use during your stay, for an easy pedal around the resort, or even into nearby downtown Calistoga. The kids will want to make the geothermally-heated pool home base, and you’ll want to camp out at the spa, but the modern, airy suites have their own allure.

If you’re not down with eating all your meals out with a posse of toddlers, then you may want to stay at the Westin Verasa, located in downtown Napa. The suites at this luxe property feature full kitchens, so you can whip up meals to save money, time, meltdowns—and it’s walking distance from Oxbow, so you’re covered in terms of meat, produce, bread, cheese, and much more. There’s also an outdoor pool and a bocce court in case you haven’t found enough to occupy your days in Napa.

— Sarah Bossenbroek

Feature photo:  Jordan Rowland on Unsplash

 

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