Behold I Bring You…Rainbows.

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Hear ye, hear ye, rainbow lovers. We here at Enjoying the Small Things are color lovers and feel it is our duty to bring you all the rainbows, especially over summer break when you might have had a day where you–oh, I don’t know, ventured into Trader Joe’s with all three kids and let them all use those tiny little carts that you used to think were cute but now, thanks to your bloody ankles and all the “DEAR GOD, STOP BANGING THAT THING INTO ME” you yelled today,  have settled on the fact that tiny little carts are the devil’s evil weapons to take sweet and patient mom to a full blown sinner. And this coming from someone who doesn’t even believe in the word sinner. But if there ever was one, today she appeared. I mean, not that it was me or anything, but–you know–someone I know. I saw a fellow school mom at the grocery store the other day. Her kids were climbing on the cart like baboons like mine were, and we looked at each other and had a gaze-int0-each-other’s-eyes moment of solidarity.

“Hey,” I said weakly.

“Hey,” she answered weakly.

“How’s your summer?” I asked.

“Heh heh,” she laughed. “Great.”

“Heh heh,” I answered. “God speed.”

Besides the heat and the little bit of stir craziness, we really are loving the time off and catching up with friends. We’ll be off to Michigan in a couple weeks, so we’re trying to stock our time home with as many friends and sleepovers and barbecues as we can.

And rainbows! If I wasn’t totally crazy about them before, I’m loving them even more now that they’re popping up in some of our favorite brand’s clothing and accessories. We’ve tucked away some great rainbow goodies for summer but wanted to make some fun things to add to our stash.

So, inspired by these Boden rainbow beauties, we decided to make our own rainbow sneakers for less with some acrylic paints. Lainey needed some casual play sneakers for summer, and these turned out to be just the ticket.

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We used these $15 classic canvas Keds. For the dots we dipped a blunt pencil lead in black paint and pressed it into the canvas–super easy.

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We love how they turned out so much, we ordered another pair for Nella. Mama just might need some too.

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We found a pair of plain kid sunglasses around that were begging for a matching rainbow paint job, so we whipped up some complementing accessories using Sharpie paint pens.

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And Voila. Colorful summer happies.

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I just feel like the world is especially in need of some rainbows right now. I don’t take that challenge lightly. I’m ALL IN.

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Summer Bucket List Charm Necklace

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Our countdown to summer begins! For our summer bucket list last year, we made scout vests and earned patches for each thing we crossed off. It was so much fun to keep track of, and the vests are now hanging in the girls’ bedroom, a reminder of all our adventures. I love the idea of having a keepsake from each summer, so we wanted to do another bucket list this year but in a different way. And with charm bracelets and necklaces making a comeback (have you seen the 80’s ones at Michael’s? Total blast from the past!) and such a huge variety of charms available, they make a great way to track summer adventures.

Eat breakfast in a fort on a rainy morning: toaster charm
Have a backyard dance party: record player charm
Catch a fish: goldfish in a bowl charm

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We wanted to customize ours a little more specifically though, so we used one of our favorite craft items to design our own charms: Shrinky Dinks!

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Your kids can draw and make their own charms or they can turn in their bucket list, and you can make charms for them.

We used this Shrinky Dink paper, drew our pictures with colored pencils, punched a hole in them and then baked them for just a couple of minutes before they shrunk, thickened and hardened into perfect little charms. We added jump rings and lobster claw clasps (from any craft store), and I found cute very inexpensive silver charm necklaces and bracelets at Michael’s.

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We’re still adding to our list and creating charms, but with a little jump start, we’ll have them ready for summer.

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I love the idea of having something we can all share and remember memories together–the summer of ’16 necklaces.

These aren’t just for kids either. Make one with your best friend. Or your mama.

And if you want to skip the whole make-it-yourself thing, Michael’s also has a huge collection of nicer charms.

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Happy list making.

Happy Summer Soapsicles

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Three days away from May means there is a line of bathing suits drying along the pool gate out back, bedtimes are becoming a little more relaxed around here, barbecue plans are under way, watermelon makes it into our grocery cart every week and yes, we’re throwing around summer bucket list ideas. We still have a lot of this gorgeous spring to enjoy, but being as the season lines are very blurred where we live, we’re already playing summer’s soundtrack–lawn mower hum, sprinkler spray, grill sizzle.

Between Teacher Appreciation Week and Lainey’s birthday both coming up, we’ve got crafty summer favors on the brain.

Enter our favorite treat…Popsicles. Even better…red, white and blue Popsicles. Even better than that? Red, white and blue Popsicles that don’t melt! 

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They’re Soapsicles for the shower, and they’re super easy and quick to make. Wrap them up in cellophane with a ribbon and a cute tag, and you have yourself a nice summer gift–for teachers, for hostesses, for summer party favors.

What you’ll need:

Shea Butter Soap Base (We used this one)
Essential Oil for Scent (I used summery scents–lemongrass for one batch and grapefruit for another–about 6 drops for each color batch.)
Red and Blue Soap Dye (this pack has red and blue in it)
Large Popsicle Sticks
Popsicle Molds (we have this one)

I used a butter knife to slice through the soap base block, and worked with about 1 cups (melted), pouring one color at a time. Drop a small block of soap base into a glass measuring cup. Heat in 30 sec. increments in the microwave until it’s in liquid form (it melts super fast).

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Add 6-7 drops of your choice of essential oil as well as a few drops of red color until the saturation is how you like it.

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Pour red candle liquid into Popsicle mold, being careful that it doesn’t drizzle against the sides. Fill about 1/3 of the way up.

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Let sit for about 5-10 minutes until it’s solidified a little bit but still mushy enough to slide a Popsicle stick in. Push a Popsicle stick right in the middle and let it sit for another 20 minutes or so until soap is hardened.

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Repeat melting and essential oil step with another block of soap base, but skip the color for the white layer. Again, pour soap liquid carefully, avoiding the sides. Fill another 1/3, leaving room for the last blue layer. Let sit until hardened (20-30 minutes).

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Repeat the first steps again, adding blue color for the last layer. Let sit to harden. When it was fully set and hardened, I pulled the soapsicles out just like I would a Popsicle–put it in the freezer for a few minutes and then ran the outside of the mold under a little hot water, wiggling and pulling the Popsicle stick as I did. Eventually, it pulled loose and slid out perfectly.

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Voila…some happy summer love for your shower!

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