A Sweet Spring Garden

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on March 31, 2010

Inspired by Marie’s lollipop flowers, I decided to make each of our closest neighbors a special mini Spring cake with flowers of our own.

The kids and I mixed up two different cake mixes and poured them into five mini loaf pans and our Wilton UltraGold square pan.

Spring Cake 1

While our cakes were baking, we created our flowers using toothpicks, marshmallow bunnies, gumdrops, Reese’s mini Peanut Butter Cups and Hershey’s Kisses.

Spring Cake 2

Once our cakes were completely cooled, we frosted them with green frosting, sprinkled the top of each with green-colored coconut flakes, and began planting!

Spring Cake 3

Assembling our garden was the most fun part! I created a garden on top of the biggest cake, while some of my kiddos created a smaller one. We added Runts Freckled Eggs, for that finishing touch, and we were ready to deliver our sweet Spring gardens.

Spring Cake 4
Spring Cake 5

They were incredibly easy to create and a whole lot of fun. Besides, they are super cute, if I do say so myself!

Spring Cake 6

Square pan provided by Wilton.


Indoor Fun

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on February 1, 2010

So, how did you do this last week? Were you able to be more intentional about fitting in a fun activity or creating a new craft with your kiddos each day?

This week we discovered some new games – Zingo and Super WHY! ABC Letter Game – and we played some of our old favorites, as well – Uno and Connect 4. We even made some sweet treats; the most favorite of which is the yummy and delicious Muddy Buddies. Josh also spent some time with Daddy digging up his dinosaur bones and piecing together a T-Rex!


I didn’t quite get in the special time with each of my kiddos every day this last week, as I had hoped, but we did create some great memories indoors. All while the weather was not so pleasant outside.

As you have already seen of my fabulous guests this last week, I have some pretty crafty friends, but in my efforts to find fun, unique crafts and activities for us to try, I have discovered some new lovely and creative blogs. (Thanks for your recommendations, Mindy!)

I hope you’ll check ‘em out, too!

  • The Crafty Crow is a craft collective, meaning that many great crafts are featured from around the blogosphere every day.
  • P is for Preschool is written by the director of a real Kansas preschool. Its kinda fun, because all posts are correlated with letters of the alphabet!
  • Little Food Junction is a delightful blog with terrific ideas to make food fun. I am loving the Valentine’s Day food art!
  • Today is Fun is a site that features entertaining, affordable activities that are meant to foster kids’ innate creative impulses and encourage a love of life.

Where do you get your inspiration?
Please share… I still need all the help I can get!

This post is sponsored by Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup who wants you to know that 32 feet of fresh egg noodles go into every can. For lots of fresh ideas about how to keep your kids entertained and the chance to win $500, check out Wintery Weather Fun at DivineCaroline.


Winter Sun Catchers

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on January 28, 2010

amanda In my quest for a craft-filled week, I have asked some of my friends to help me out with some fun ideas. Today my friend Amanda has agreed to share a wintery weather craft with us.

Amanda is a happy stay-at-home mom to two. She blogs at ohAmanda and Impress Your Kids. She’s a member of the 2010 Disney Mom’s Panel. And she twitters about all of it @oohamanda.

Please help me make Amanda feel welcome and let us know if you try these mini ice sculptures!


When Christine first asked me to do a wintery craft, I knew I wanted to do something with ICE. I love crafts that ::whisper:: you don’t have to keep! I saw this great Winter Sun Catcher in our most recent Family Fun magazine and was dying to try it. It consisted of food coloring, ice cube trays and a cake pan. It sounded easy and isn’t it pretty?

With all the freezing, it took two full days and I photo-documented it every step of the way. My four year old daughter, Lydia was ecstatic about checking on our “ice-thing”. However, when it came time to time to take it out of the mold, this is what we ended up with…

winter craft ice

Not quite the same, huh? Lydia almost cried. So, we had to jump to Plan B. I have a ton of silicone ice and muffin trays in various shapes (I pick them up on clearance whenever I see a cute one). We squeezed 1-2 drops of food coloring into each compartment. Then we used a measuring cup with spout to fill the shapes to the top.

ice craft winter

Instead of trying to do a hole like the Family (not-so) Fun Sun Catcher, we cut some yarn and dropped the ends in the water. (You’ll want to cut the yarn significantly longer than the ones shown above.) We had to use a a fork to push the yarn under the water…I tried using my fingers first but now my nails are blue. Oh well.

winter craft ice

So, what do you think? Pretty cute, huh? Plus, I upped the ante by adding a quarter to one of the ice-ornaments. Lydia’s already staked that one out. It would be fun to put leaves, berries, small toys or glitter inside, too!

ice sun catcher

This is the perfect craft for any age kids. I think it would be fun for older kids because you could experiment with color combinations and measurements. Little kids just like water. And I’m pretty sure watching it melt is going to be even more fun than making it!


Snowy Winter Wonderland

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on January 26, 2010

Marie LeBaron 300 We have a very special guest here at From Dates to Diapers today, to help us out with our challenge to be more purposeful about doing crafts and fun activities with our kids.

Marie is a mother of 3 living in Utah. She’s the founder of Make and Takes, a top rated parenting blog featuring kids crafts, home crafts, recipes, and parenting tips. She’s listed as one of Nielsen’s Power Mom 50, is a regular contributor at Alphamom, Snackpicks, and Craftzine, and is a hostess of SocialLuxe Lounge. When she’s not crafting with her kids, she loves to run, read, and blog!

Please help me welcome Marie!


I’m excited to be guest posting today, sharing a Wintry craft. We’re using white paint and toothbrushes to bring the snowy fun indoors.

Supplies for Snowy Winter Wonderland:

  • white paint
  • old toothbrushes
  • paper plate
  • cardstock paper – the thicker the better, but any paper can be used
  • embellishments – yarn, stickers, crayons, googley eyes, etc.


1. Fold a piece of cardstock paper in half to make a crease. Open it back up and squeeze a few drops of white paint onto the paper. You can put the paint anywhere you like, but stay at least 2-3 inches from the top and bottom so it doesn’t ooze out.

2. Press the paper together and rub your fingers all around, helping to spread the paint. Sometimes you can shape which way the paint will go by pressing your fingers up or out.

3. Open your paper and see what creation you’ve made. Hopefully, it’s turned into something that looks like a familiar object, or I’m sure your kids will be able to see some sort of shape. We think our looks like a small child dressed for winter, even wearing a snow hat.

4. Now it’s time to make the falling snow. Pour a little bit of white paint onto a paper plate. Dip your toothbrush in and tap off any excess paint. With newspaper or a drop cloth and in an area where paint can be sprayed, you’ll flick the toothbrush using your thumb on the bristles. You’ll see paint spray onto the paper, resembling snow.

Let the paint dry completely, then you can add embellishments. We cut a hole on either side of this little winter boy and tied yarn around for a scarf. We added googley eyes and a crayon mouth. Have fun indoors creating your white wintry scene.

What a simple and fun craft that you can do with your kids this week! Please help me thank Marie.

Now, head over to Make and Takes and check out all of the fabulous crafts and activities that you can do with your kiddos. Let me know which one you would try. Oooh, and please let me know if you try one!


Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

January 25, 2010

I know, I know… Christmas is over. But, the cold and wet weather is sticking around for awhile. Which means our energetic family – much like yours, I’m sure, unless you live in Florida – must turn to indoor activities to keep us busy and active. This last week was the most wet week of […]

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Wintery Weather Fun

January 18, 2010

What words come to mind when you think of this time of the year? Maybe you live in Chicago and are snowed in, stuck at home with all your lovely and adorable kids. Cold. Bored. Or, perhaps you live in Southern California and your family still heads to the beach on any given day. Lucky. […]

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My Goofballs

January 13, 2010

Josh and Ben typically do not like having their pictures taken, so when I pulled my camera out today I was surprised that they both jumped up and started posing and goofing around! Such characters!

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A Very Monkey Christmas

November 25, 2009

Add a few kids to our six and it was time for a pj party here at the Young’s! Tune into PBS Kids tonight to catch the premier of A Very Monkey Christmas! And watch for a giveaway of the special on DVD, coming soon to From Dates to Diapers!

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Bath Crayons

November 22, 2009

Guest Post by Katie Hostetter from Frugal Femina I visited my cousin this summer on my way to a wedding. We’re building a house and only have a shower right now, so you can imagine my sheer delight when I saw that she had a bathtub. Not just any bathtub, mind you, but a garden […]

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Creativity at it’s best

October 21, 2009

My kiddos are always eager to create masterpieces. I am so glad that they don’t need me to guide them in the process, because I am so NOT creative. I love that I can give them paints and paper and let them go wild! All of my older kiddos get in on the action, too, […]

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Highlights from our weekend in Southern California

October 14, 2009

Noah’s first airplane ride… He was a little nervous, I think Behind the scenes at Papaya Studios and the making of Ben 10 video game Trying out the yet-to-be-released Ben 10 game Entertained as we sat on the freeway in a bus that didn’t work A special martial arts training session with Matt Mullins, star […]

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10 Easy and Fun Ways to Spend Quality Time With Your Children

August 31, 2009

For us life can be hectic, as I’m sure it is in your home as well. It seems like there’s always something to do; whether it be appointments, 50 phone calls, the dishes, the laundry, the kids’ activities. We’ve all been there and to be honest it seems like this is a regular day for […]

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