Mommy and Me Halloween Costumes

Mommy and Me Halloween Costumes

It turns out we have quite a few mommy and me Halloween costumes we’ve made over the years. Here are some of my favorites:

Rainbow and sun mommy and me costume

Picasso and Painting

Russian nesting doll mommy and baby costumeArtist and palette mommy and baby costume

Mushroom and garden gnome baby and mommy costume

Stork and package mommy and baby costume

Other Parent/Child Costumes

While these aren’t strictly mommy and me Halloween costumes, they definitely could be. Also make them into daddy and me, siblings or just whole family costumes! I love that the following costumes are all based off of books, too! What’s your child’s favorite book? Use your imagination and make your own costume based off of one of their favs. 

A mom wearing a paper flower costume and a daughter dressed as a mouse pose in their costumes

A mom wearing a green outfit with leaves and holding a felt apple bag stands next to her child in red overalls. They're dressed as the Giving Tree.

Group Costumes

These group costumes work great for friends, family, siblings, grandparents, you name it. Do you need multiple matching costumes? Here are our favorites.

family costume where the wild things are

Family Costume

Baby/Kid Costumes

Sometimes mommy and me Halloween costumes are more accurately just baby/kid costumes with mommy tagging along. If you’re more interested in dressing up your little one than yourself this year, we’ve got you covered. Because we all know there’s nothing cuter and more hilarious than your kid dressed up as, say…Jared Leto and his head or a viking. Sometimes those costumes just stand alone.

Oscar Tribute baby costumes

More Inspiration

Loved this mommy and me Halloween costumes post and want more? For more costume inspiration, check out this list of our top 15 favorite costumes! Also see influential women costumes, these costumes made from everyday supplies, and these paper costumes. Short on time? Check out these three last minute Halloween costumes! Looking for a real showstopper? Don’t miss our Tortured Artists, Frida Kahlo, or Medusa costumes.

Camp Lars: Summer Activities for Kids

Crafts

Crafts are at the top of our list of summer activities for kids. We’re all about crafts! So obviously we made some with kids in mind. And don’t limit yourself to this list! See our blog archives for more craft ideas. There are plenty we left off the list that your kids would love to try. Some are advanced enough that older kids will enjoy them more, but don’t fret. There are plenty for all ages to enjoy.

Here are our picks for best crafts for kids:

Matisse Felt Board

DIY block printing stamping art with potato

Courses

Another must-have on our list of summer activities for kids are our courses. Since your kids are out of school, it’s the perfect time to try a fun, easy course to keep their brains in gear! Our Great Artists courses are designed to get kids thinking creatively. They get to learn about different artists, with lots of great kids crafts to compliment what they’re learning. 

Another course that’s great for older kids is our Learn to Draw Flowers course. This course will teach your kids all about 31 different types of flowers and how to draw them. Once they’ve nailed this course they can move onto some of our other crafts, like these nesting eggs or our classic nesting dolls (here are the plain wooden nesting dolls to paint). 

Art Supplies

These art supplies made for kids are the perfect compliment to the courses we just mentioned! Not only are they a great way to keep your kids busy this summer, they’re also an important developmental resource to boost your children’s creativity and kick their imaginations into action.

Here are some options from our shop we love:

Other Kids Toys/Activities

Our shop is full of other summer activities for kids! From puzzles to bug hunting kits, we have something for every type of child, so take a look and see what suits your child’s fancy. 

Eeboo kids toys

back to school stickers on notebooks

 

For the Littlest Ones

We didn’t want to leave the littlest ones out of our list of summer activities for kids! While your older kiddos are off on a bug hunt or playing with puzzles, here are some things that are cozy and fun for even those who can’t walk yet. 

cute gifts for baby

Colorful, geometric paper shapes hang from a mobile in a green room.

Home Decor for Kids

Last but not least is our print shop. Summer activity, you ask? Hear me out: we have a shop full of kid-friendly art just waiting to be put to use somewhere in your home. Are your kids old enough to help decorate? Enlist them! What better way to decorate your child’s room than with art they love to look at? Even if your kiddos are too little to pick out their own art, consider it a great opportunity to decorate your baby’s nursery.

A print of a girl reading in a garden surrounded by trees, grass, and flowers against a golden background.

Four illustrations from fairytales hung above a child's kitchen toy set.

 

cheap art for kid's rooms

We hope we’ve given you some good ideas to keep your kids happy and busy this summer! Now we want to hear from you: what summer activities are your kids doing this summer? And what other kids crafts and activities would you like to see from us? Let us know in the comments below!

Felix’s First Photo Book with Printique

Tangible vs. Digital

One thing I love about Felix’s photo book with Printique is that it’s tangible. You know how it is–we all have so many digital photos now (45k and counting!) that it’s overwhelming to even look through them to find favorites. I can’t tell you how nice it is to be able to have all my favorite photos of Felix all in one place in a book I can hold. And Jane took so many lovely photos of him over the first few months of his life–thank you, Jane! Being able to flip through a book full of them was a dream.

Beautiful Details

Friends, Printique‘s photo books are beautiful! That was a requisite for Felix’s first photo book. The cover is a beautiful fabric with gold embossed lettering. It’s exactly the kind of book I want to display and look at all the time, and the beautiful details don’t stop with the cover. I can’t stop running my fingers over it–it’s QUALITY.

There are tons of customization options available for the interior layout and so many cute backgrounds to choose from. And the print quality is spectacular! It was such a pleasure to open up that book for the first time and see the printed versions of those lovely photos. I got all the feels, believe me.

User-Friendly

I’m not the biggest technology guru (even though I’ve had a site for about 15 years now!) , but thanks to Printique‘s user-friendly website, making Felix’s first photo book was a breeze. All you have to do is put the photos you want to use in a folder and upload to Printique‘s website. From there, you can customize by adding major milestones, like Felix’s baby blessing (something we do in my church for babies when they’re just a few months old). Oh, and one of my favorite user-friendly features is that Printique allows you to hide the photos you’ve already used. That way you don’t accidentally put duplicates in your book.

What can I say? I’m in love with Felix’s first photo book, and can’t tell you enough how happy I was with Printique. They delivered!

Discount Code

Last thing: you won’t want to miss this! For the next few weeks, Printique is offering a special discount code for Lars readers! Just use code HappyJuly for 15% off. Runs June 30 – July 10 at midnight PST, so hurry and get your books before it ends!

What photo book are you dying to make? Let us know in the comments!

More Inspiration

Looking for more Felix content? Right this way for his birth story and my experience with thyroid eye disease. You also won’t want to miss seeing his new nursery or his adorable Easter outfit!

Laundry Room Makeover with Delta Faucet

Laundry Room Makeover

There were a lot of details to work out for our laundry room makeover with regards to storage and organization. It was the one room in the house that actually had flooring when we moved in. While it wasn’t my favorite flooring–it is some sort of dark LVP–we decided to keep it in rather than put in the hardwood flooring like the rest of the house because I knew I’d want to do something fun to it at some point so I’d want to remove it some day. While we didn’t change it for this makeover, I thought it would help to provide a visual picture of where we started.

Here’s what it looked like before:

For this phase of the renovation, I wanted a laundry room makeover that wouldn’t cost a lot of money, that could be the destination for the sink from our kitchen that we’re currently renovating (more on that soon!). Basically, I want the space to be a beautiful work horse. Moving the sink into the laundry room, we’ve already changed how we use these two rooms. Anything that is remotely dirty goes into the laundry and not the kitchen (think all things kid-related).  

We didn’t have a basin or faucet in the laundry room before, but again, thinking of transferring all potentially dirty tasks here, I wanted something that would hold up well. That’s where Delta Faucet came into the picture.

Delta Faucet Touch2O® Technology Faucet

If you recall, I was thrilled when I discovered Delta Faucet’s Touch2O® Technology Faucet back when we first moved in (you can read about it here). If you haven’t heard of this technology, allow me the pleasure. Instead of having to reach for the faucet handle with wet and/or messy hands, all you have to do is touch the faucet. It’s so cool! Not to mention a dream when dealing with a toddler. No more dealing with slippery hands and handles, all Jasper has to do to turn this faucet on and off is give it a quick touch. And umm, I should mention, too, that Jasper and Felix honestly love just turning it on and off repeatedly.

Oh, and did I mention there’s a kid friendly fail safe feature? If Jasper accidentally leaves the water on, the water will automatically turn off after 4 minutes. And we all know with this Utah heat and dire drought situation, we could all do our part to waste a little less water.

Last thing about this amazing faucet: there’s a light that tells you how hot or cold the water is! Again, a dream when dealing with tiny baby and toddler hands. This is perhaps my favorite feature.

Delta Faucet Glass Rinser

The next thing I’m absolutely jazzed about with this laundry room remodel is the Delta Faucet Glass Rinser. What a genius invention! Just stick the glass on top of it and a jet of water shoots out and cleans it instantly. It makes cleaning glasses, baby bottles, thermoses, and anything else that’s tough to get into with a brush easier. It turns out kids are creative and Jasper fills bottles and jars with all kinds of mystery substances, so I am loving this glass rinser.

What I changed to my laundry room

So, I had the sink, the faucet, and the glass rinser already and thankfully it fit snuggly into the corner of the laundry room. The yellow color happened to work beautifully with a new wallpaper I made for another project that I happened to have extras of. Basically, I wanted this antique Portuguese tile but it was going to cost more than our car so we turned it into a wallpaper (see here!) and boom. I LOVE how it turned out! And now we have some cabinets for storage–win/win! I love being able to reuse stuff from around the house.

The Takeaway

I’m almost done gushing over our new laundry room makeover with Delta Faucet. Guys, it’s a dream for anyone, but especially anyone with kids! I love how they help create a space to play that can easily be cleaned, as a bonus. Needless to say, I’m in love with our new laundry room (as if you couldn’t tell already). Now please, go get yourself one of those amazing Delta Faucet Touch2O® Technology Faucets and a Glass Rinser while you’re at it.

More Inspiration

Looking for more home renovation content? Here’s everything we did to our house in one year, and an exclusive studio tour. You also won’t want to miss our guest bedroom remodel, bathroom remodel, and new closet system. Oh, and if you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to check out my craft room in the living by design virtual showhouse! Looking to decorate your home? Stop by our shop and see what suits your fancy!

This post is sponsored by Delta Faucet but all opinions are my own.

Easter Outfits 2022

Our Custom Fabric

First of all, let’s talk about our custom fabric! Designed by our talented designer, Garet, these repeat patterns lean fully into the florals that are so appropriate for this season. Stay tuned for the official release of our phone cases featuring many of the same patterns and much more! Consider this Easter outfits project an Easter egg for what is to come–it’s going to be GOOD.

Fabric Choices for the Easter Outfits

For the Easter outfits, we decided to go with our Secret Garden print for Brittany’s dress, Block Print in Cream for Felix’s jumpsuit, Block Print in Daffodil for Jasper’s, and Block Print in Periwinkle for Paul’s tie. Since we didn’t have much time before Easter, we took a major gamble and ordered the full amount of fabric before ordering a sample first. To our delight, the fabric was even more beautiful in person than we’d hoped!

Here’s the low down on each outfit:

TIP: Don’t forget to pre-wash your fabric!

Brittany’s Dress

Oo la la, this dress turned out absolutely fabulous! We adored the combination of that secret garden print and the flowy tiers of the dress. I mean, what more could you ask for from an Easter dress than pretty florals and a pattern that’s whimsical enough to make you feel like you’ve been transported to the set of Pride and Prejudice? It’s so lovely it makes me want to sew five more! I could honestly gush all day about that secret garden print. The colors blend in such a lovely way at a distance, and up close the details are stunning. Garet really outdid herself on this one!

For the pattern, we went with Friday Pattern Company’s Wilder Gown. It paired perfectly with the secret garden print. The result was honestly jaw-dropping–so beautiful!

How to make your own version of Brittany’s Easter dress

  1. Start by heading over to our Spoonflower design shop and ordering our Secret Garden print! Follow the guidelines on the dress pattern for yardage requirements. We’d recommend a light cotton poplin for this breezy piece.
  2. Next, purchase and download the Wilder Gown PDF (or purchase the print version, if you prefer. We chose the PDF because we could instantly download and get sewing).
  3. Now all you have to do is print and assemble your pattern, following the instructions on the pattern.
  4. Just follow the step by step instructions on the pattern to make your dress and you’re done!

Paul’s Tie

Paul’s Easter outfit was simple: a tie. He loves skinny ties, so that’s what we went with! It’s surprising how easy it is to make, and looks so classy when it’s done. To make it even easier on you, we have a PDF tie pattern you can use. We loved that periwinkle blue block print pattern. It’s delicate and refined while still having that touch of masculinity when in tie form! Here are the steps to making your husband his own Easter tie:

How to make your own version of Paul’s Easter tie

Prepping the fabric and pattern

  1. First, download the template for our tie, found here.
  2. Next, follow the instructions included in the PDF and make your tie!

Jasper and Felix’s Jumpsuits

Last on our list of Easter outfits were Jasper and Felix’s jumpsuits. We used this lovely Etsy pattern! It was clear Jasper’s outfit needed to be at least a little bold, so we went with a beautiful golden color. For Felix’s, we chose a more delicate cream and periwinkle. The subtle block print was the perfect little detail for both the boys’ outfits. Words cannot describe how adorable these two boys look in their new Easter outfits!

How to make your own version of Jasper and Felix’s Easter outfits

  1. Download this Etsy pattern.
  2. Print out the PDF and follow the instructions for assembly. (Don’t forget the buttons or snaps! We used buttons).
  3. Done!

What do you think our our fresh new Easter outfits?! Are you going to join the fun and make your own? Even after Easter’s come and gone these would all still make perfect spring and summer outfits. Leave your thoughts in the comments!

More Inspiration

Loved this post on our Easter outfits? You’ll probably love this other Easter content. Try these Easter Activities for Kids, or our roundup of Easter Crafts. Our Ukrainian Easter Coloring Pages are another great way to keep kids busy this spring. Also see our Nesting Easter Eggs for the sweetest little Easter decoration. And don’t forget about our DIY Easter Basket and our Easter Basket Choose Your Own Adventure!

Easter Activities for Kids

Easter Baskets

Every child needs an Easter basket! It’s one of our favorite Easter activities for kids. But have they ever been able to help make one themselves? For older kids, this Rope Easter Basket is a great option that requires absolutely no sewing. Just twist and glue and you’re done!

Our Paper Easter Basket is a perfect option for kiddos who aren’t quite up to the rope Easter basket level yet, but still want to try their hand at making an Easter basket. Just print, cut and assemble and you’re ready for that Easter egg hunt.

Paper Easter baskets filled with paper grass and plastic eggs against a pink and green background

What to Put In Your Easter Basket

A fun activity that doubles as the perfect addition to your child’s Easter basket, try these carrot treat boxes! Fill them with treats and they also double as party favors for a spring or Easter themed party.

If you’re in need of other things to fill your child’s Easter basket with, here’s a post all about activity-filled Easter baskets. And here’s an Easter basket choose your own adventure! All out of time? These last minute Easter printables are sure to save the day.

Printable Easter Gift coupons to put in sugar-free easter eggs

Egg-centric Activities

It wouldn’t be Easter without some egg-centric Easter activities to keep your little ones busy. The bonus is that these activities appeal to adults and kids alike!

Egg Dying

Egg dying is a classic Easter activity for kids. We have lots of egg dying ideas for you to choose from, like our Naturally dyed Easter egg tree or our Easter Egg runner tablescape. For something a little more in-depth (ideal for older kids), these Ukrainian Pysanky Eggs, Nesting Easter eggs, pressed flower eggs and Botanical Easter eggs are stunning, and you can use to redecorate with for years to come.

Once you’ve dyed your eggs, you’ll need a way to display them. Try our Easter egg holders!

Slip a few of the lovely eggs you’ve dyed (or painted) into the grass for an Easter egg hunt. Let your kids find them using one of the Easter baskets above or this carrot shoulder bag!

orange fabric carrot bag full of paper flowers on a blue and white striped background.

Spring Birthday Activities

While not restricted to just a birthday activity, this Easter Scavenger Hunt with anagram balloons is a great one to add to the list if your child has a birthday at this time of year! And of course, no birthday required for a fun Easter scavenger hunt.

Speaking of spring birthdays, this Easter Tablescape Party Suite is the perfect way to celebrate. The best part is all you have to do is print and cut and you’re all done!

Easter printable tablescape with flowers and rabbits and a floral garland.

Coloring Pages

Another great option if you’re looking for good Easter activities for kids is coloring. Try our Ukrainian Easter Coloring Pages or our Easter coloring pages. If your child loves to color, you’ll also definitely want to check out this Flowers coloring book, as well as the rest of our coloring pages and books in the shop!

Dress-up and Play

What kid doesn’t like a little dress up? It’s a perfect Easter activity for kids. For the littlest of them all, this Baby bunny bonnet is adorable, not to mention a great way to keep their tiny scalps from getting sunburnt. For toddlers and children of all ages, these DIY bunny ears, Bunny party hats, and Easter printable crowns are fun and festive.

Need more activities? These Easter egg coupons will give you endless ideas of activities to do with your kids this Easter! Bonus: you can put them in their Easter eggs to avoid a sugar rush and keep them excited all the same.

You also won’t want to miss our springtime activity kit, or our springtime printable activity pack, which includes spring-themed coloring pages and paper dolls for your kids to have fun with.

Baby Animals

What child doesn’t love a cute animal? Even better, what about a bunny in honor of Easter? Make your own or buy one from our shop and keep your kids happily playing all afternoon!

From our shop, here’s a template for our DIY sewn bunny, or this Floppy bunny doll, if you’re not in the mood to sew.

Here are some more options to peruse:

Gardening

Have a budding gardener on your hands? Help them plant some lovely spring flowers! It’s a great way to capitalize on that warmer weather. Here are some supplies to get you started:

Budding Chef

Is your child interested in learning to cook? We have the perfect Easter treat and activity to try: Resurrection rolls for Palm Sunday!

Don’t forget the kitchen essentials for your kids to use:

More Inspiration

Need more ideas for things to do this Easter? Try this post on Easter crafts, or these Easter decor ideas. Happy crafting!

 

 

Easter Crafts

Our Favorite Easter Crafts

We have so many Easter crafts that we’re just thrilled to share with you this year. Many of them are brand new, too! Need a new Easter Basket? We’re here for you. How about a fresh spring wreath? We’ve also got you covered in that department. Without further ado, here’s the list of our favorite Easter crafts!

Wreaths

I love a good wreath. And spring wreaths are some of my favorites! They’re a must have when talking about Easter crafts. This year we have a brand new Palm Leaf Wreath you’re sure to love. It’s delicate, colorful, and festive. Just the thing to celebrate Palm Sunday, Easter and spring all in one go! If you’re feeling more into eggs, try our ever popular Easter egg wreath, or this sweet Honeycomb Easter wreath. Both are lovely and sure to put a little spring in your step. Also, you can’t go wrong with a simple floral theme. This Daffodil Wreath is very appropriate for the season, as is this Lemon Wreath!

Easter Baskets

You can’t have Easter crafts without Easter baskets! And we have a brand new one for you to try this year. It’s our DIY Easter Basket, and the best part is that it doesn’t require any sewing. Another clever no-sew Easter basket is this Paper Easter basket. Just download, print, cut and assemble, it’s that easy! If you want to sew an adorable bag that doubles as an Easter basket and will be around for years to come, try this carrot shoulder bag! The bonus is it packs up easily and is equally cute.

If you’re looking for inspiration on what to fill your basket with, look no further than this Easter Basket choose your own adventure. We help guide you through the steps to picking your perfect Easter basket, along with everything to put inside it, like this Paper carrot treat box, or this DIY stuffed bunny. You can also make some of these Danish Easter letters to tuck inside.

Eggs

As it so happens, we have a lot of Easter crafts that have to do with eggs. Are you really that surprised? I mean, what’s Easter without at least one little nod to an egg or two. Just yesterday, we release the most lovely nesting Easter eggs! We love the little twist on original nesting dolls. Also try these Easter egg columns, which are a lovely way to decorate your home this Easter. Don’t forget about these Honeycomb Easter eggs, either! Make them into a wreath or decorate with the individual eggs. Either way they’re lovely!

Another fun variation on decorating Easter eggs are these dried flowers on Easter eggs, as well as our Pysanky Easter eggs (here’s the E-book of the Pysanky eggs, the profits of which will be donated to the Ukrainian relief effort). If you’re into more decorating, try our DIY pom pom Easter eggs! Or if you’re having a party, you’ll definitely want to take a look at our Easter egg name tags, Easter egg cupcake toppers, and Easter egg runner.

For Kids

If you have kids, you’ll love these Easter-themed toys, accessories, and activities. First stop: these fun bunny party hats. Having a new baby this spring? You won’t want to miss these adorable DIY Baby bonnets! Need a craft to do with your kids to keep them busy and happy? You’ll love these Easter Egg coloring pages, the profits of which will be donated to the Ukrainian relief effort. Then there’s our DIY stuffed bunny, which is a sweet little Easter toy. Plop it in your child’s Easter basket and you’re all set!

 

Floral Favor Boxes

Floral Favor Boxes

We love these floral favor boxes. They’re the perfect thing for so many occasions! Does someone you know have a spring birthday? Instant party favors. Of course, they’d also make adorable additions to a floral tea party, bridal shower, or wedding. There aren’t a lot of situations where these sweet little boxes could go wrong!

Instructions

Prepping the Box

  1. To create a closed bottom on one end of the tube, make four evenly spaced slits at the bottom of one end, about 1″ deep. This will give you four flaps. Fold the flaps under the tube and glue them together.
  2. Fill the tube with candy or a small gift.

Finishing Touches

  1. Lay the tube on one end of the strip (the long side of the tube should be parallel with the short side of the strip). Position the tube so about one inch of crepe paper will hang below the closed bottom. Roll the strip around the tube. Tuck the overhanging crepe paper at the bottom and glue it under the tube.
  2. Tie a piece of twine around the crepe at the top of the tube and cinch it. Slip in a paper leaf before tying it off. Flatten the crepe paper at the top and fold it in half vertically. Cut a leaf shape through all the layers down to just above the twine to make petals.
  3. Unfold the crepe paper. Separate the petals and gently stretch the center of each to make a cupped shape.

We hope you enjoyed this tutorial, courtesy of Jodi Levine. We would highly recommend checking out her new ebook, Toilet Tube Treasury, where you can find other clever ways to repurpose toilet tubes!

More Inspiration

What did you think of Jodi’s toilet tube tutorial on floral favor boxes? We loved it! If you did, too, we’re guessing you’ll also be interested in some of our paper flower tutorials. Have you seen our new paper orchid tutorial? Also try our DIY Paper Hollyhocks, or these Poppies, Peonies, and Posies. Have a spring or summer wedding coming up? Here, here and here are some beautiful bouquets to choose from. You can also check out this holiday flower roundup if you’re interested!

Thyroid Eye Disease: My Story

Thyroid Eye Disease (TED)

Discovering TED

For those of you who are new to all of this (I definitely was when I involuntarily jumped into this boat), Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disease that causes hyperthyroidism. What?! Me, hyperthyroidism? You can imagine my surprise.

Something was off, I could feel it for sure, but with a new baby, running a business, and all the stresses of life, I couldn’t tell if I was just stressed out, burned out, or who knows what. Eventually I went to the doctor because I really wasn’t doing well. I hadn’t lost a single pound from birth, my hormones were heightened (that’s a tactful way of saying it my husband would say ;), and my blurry “light-headedness” was at an all-time high.

Brittany and FelixThe doctor helped me pinpoint that it wasn’t actually light-headedness, it was my vision. It was slow to focus and blurry. These were the symptoms directly after childbirth!

Thyroid Eye Disease

Luckily for me, and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect, I’ve partnered up with Horizon Therapeutics on its Listen to Your Eyes campaign to share information on the link between thyroid conditions, like Graves’ disease, and a separate but related disease called Thyroid Eye Disease (TED). Did you know that up to 50% of people living with Graves’ disease are at risk for developing Thyroid Eye Disease (TED)? 

Thyroid Eye Disease

Since my diagnosis, I’ve opened my eyes (pun not intended) to the possibility of new diagnoses and how beneficial this information can be to others who may be struggling with similar issues but are lacking the resources they need to understand what they’re living with and how to cope.

Thyroid Eye Disease (TED)

Knowledge brings hope

When I began this journey, I felt at a loss to understand what was happening to my body. Now I know so much and am still learning!

Thyroid Eye Disease (TED) causes eye symptoms including bulging, double vision and debilitating pain. If not treated early, TED can cause serious damage to vision and appearance of the eyes. TED can even cause vision loss in more severe cases.

Brittany and Felix

I still have so much to learn but have a lot of hope for the future. If you or someone you love has Graves’ disease, pay attention to any eye symptoms. If you notice changes in your eyes, like bulging, light sensitivity and pain, don’t just assume those symptoms are part of Graves’ disease. Report them to a TED Specialist – such as an oculoplastic surgeon or neuro-ophthalmologist.

To find a nearby TED Specialist and other resources, visit www.FOCUSonTED.com.

This post is sponsored by Horizon Therapeutics. Thanks to our sponsors that allow us to create unique content for you!

2021 Costume Ideas: Lars’ Top 15

The Lars team brainstormed 2021 costume ideas that reflected our most memorable moments from the past year, and we realized something. Picking a Halloween costume is a great opportunity for reflection! We always try to dress up as something that’s just right for the current year, which means that we spent some time looking back on our favorite (and sometimes least favorite) moments, events, and pop culture icons.

Here’s to another year of unforgettable moments!

COVID-themed costumes

It wouldn’t be a list of 2021 costume ideas without some mention of COVID. I know, I know, we’re all sick of hearing about it. But what’s scarier than a deadly disease (and a society that refuses to acknowledge how serious it is??) In order to keep from crying, we have to laugh. You could be:

  • a mask. Or check out our Quilted Face Mask Coat from April Fool’s Day for a twist.
  • a nasal test swab. After all, gross is good at Halloween!
  • a vaccine syringe. You know those ketchup bottle costumes? I bet you could modify one into a vaccine with just a little craftiness.
  • or mask costumes to coordinate with the costumes like this Mummy mask and this pumpkin mask.

halloween costume of a vaccine illustration: a blonde woman wears a blue and white shift dress with numbers drawn on to look like a syringe. She's wearing a tall sharp hat that looks like a needle. The background is green.

Stay safe, everyone!

Movies and TV

You can’t go wrong with movie and TV-inspired costumes. Here are some of our ideas:

  • Bridgerton. I’m all about the costumes and wigs from Bridgerton. Get some great inspiration from this pink Marie Antoinette costume from a few years ago!
  • Queen’s Gambit-inspired chess pieces. Okay, technically it came out last year. But it was right before Halloween, so we didn’t have much time to put together costumes! Cut us some slack! And enlist your friends to be chess pieces with you.
  • The Black Widow. We love a female superhero!
  • Cruella. All right, all right, we also love a villainess!

Cruella illustration: a woman with black and white hair, a mask, and a red gown on a pink background.

2021 Current Events

  • Tom Daley knitting. Did you catch Tom Daley’s amazing knitting skills during the Olympics? I have to admit, I’m not a huge sports watcher, but I could watch Tommy knit and purl between dives all day. Check out his Instagram account @MadeWithLoveByTomDaley and go Team Great Knittin’!

Tom Daley Knitting costume: A woman wearing a blush pink swimming suit with an olympic gold medal knitting a red, white, and blue scarf.

  • Bernie with mittens. Speaking of yarn, this meme would be a great (and cozy!) costume.
  • a boat stuck in the Suez Canal. There are so many hilarious ways you could do this: I’m thinking paper mache boats, all blue outfits with a sideways boat appliqué, the sky (or sea) is the limit!

Celebrity Hijinks

  • Olivia Rodrigo’s drivers license. Picture this: a big cardboard card that you rig so that your face fits where her face would go. I love this idea so much that if you don’t do it, I just might.

Olivia Rodrigo Drivers License illustration: a woman with a pink and red heart sweater and jeans with a california drivers license cutout around her face

  • Britney Spears. #FreeBritney!
  • Frank Ocean’s alien baby from the Met Gala. This is still fresh on our minds, and it would be pretty easy: all you need is a sleeper set and some florescent yellow-green paint!

Frank Ocean's Alien Baby costume illustration: a woman wearing green face paint and a green printed footie pajama set on a blush pink background.

  • Lady Gaga at the Inauguration. Her performance was incredible. Also, speaking of the inauguration, I’m still thinking about the beautiful moment when Jennifer Lopez yelled “una nación bajo Dios con libertad y justicia para todos!” during her musical number.
  • Elon Musk, Grimes, and their baby X Æ A-XII. This would be a hilarious (and not too difficult) family costume for someone with a baby. I’d love to see you pull it off!

I’d love to see your Halloween costumes and hear about your 2021 costume ideas! 

 

How to Make a DIY Beeswax Wrap

Colorblocked lunch sacks and beeswax snack wraps surrounded by play fruit and blackberries.

Make Your Own DIY Beeswax Wraps

Did you know one study found in 2020 that “9.71 million Americans used 21 or more sandwich bags” in seven days?! If you take into consideration that the run-of-the-mill plastic sandwich bag has been making it into our lunches since the late 1960s, that’s a lot of plastic. Save the planet and your wallet by creating these reusable DIY beeswax wraps. Every little bit helps! 

Colorblocked lunch sacks and beeswax snack wraps surrounded by play fruit and blackberries.

Along with these snack wraps, we’ve made some reusable lunch sacks (which you can see in the photos). Keep your eyes peeled for a tutorial!

Colorblocked lunch sacks and beeswax snack wraps surrounded by play fruit.Colorblocked lunch sacks and beeswax snack wraps surrounded by play fruit and blackberries.

What You’ll Need

Brittany sits at a sewing machine and makes a beeswax snack wrap. She's wearing a striped green dress and surrounded by colorful, solid fabric.

step by step photos of making beeswax wraps

Instructions

  1. Measure 5 x 9 inch rectangles onto your fabric. Alternatively, measure rectangles that will fit onto the baking sheet you are using. The measurements aren’t fussy, but whatever size you make cut out rectangles.
  2. Lining a baking sheet with tin foil, then lay down the fabric rectangles flat side by side. 
  3. Begin to sprinkle beeswax making sure to distribute evenly (Tip: Because the beeswax will melt in the oven, you don’t have to cover generously. Think sprinkling an ice cream sundae instead of salting a sidewalk).
  4. When all three rectangles have been covered with beeswax, place in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. Don’t forget to set your timer!
  5. After 10 minutes, the beeswax should be melted. When you pull your baking tray out of the oven, the fabric color will look uneven. Don’t be afraid of the splotchiness!
  6. Sprinkle a second layer of beeswax, especially making sure to target the areas that didn’t have enough wax the first time around. You’ll be able to see them because they’ll be lighter.
  7. Put back in the oven at the same temperature for another 10 minutes. 
  8.  Pull out of the oven and let cool. Fabric should feel firm and waxy. 
  9. Take one rectangle and fold onto itself leaving a 2 inch flap similar to a plastic sandwich bag.
  10. With a sewing machine, sew up one side using a zigzag stitch. Repeat on the other side.
  11. You should now have a little pouch. Fold over the 2 inch flap to close. Voila! The perfect on-the-go snack pouch!

Colorblocked lunch sacks and beeswax snack wraps surrounded by play fruit and blackberries.

Can’t wait to see your DIY Beeswax wraps using #larsmakes on Instagram!

My new advisory board role: Part 1

Nepal

As you might imagine, Internet was spotty, but also crucial for my job, so when the connection went down on the construction site, I hiked with a couple of others to the next mountain (people who know me now are like…what?!??!?!? hiked?!?!?! YES, HIKED!) and plugged in at the phone tower. In order to get up there, I passed a number of small houses complete with mini farms–chickens, goats, luscious hydrangeas. It was so beautiful. It was also typhoon season, which brought on spectacular views AND a constant thread of crazy rain storms. (I wish I could find my hard drive from 10 years ago with all the pictures!)

We must have made a scene because we were soon joined by a few villagers. Through a translator or hand gestures, I can’t remember, we got to talking and they shared their beautiful handiwork with me. Handmade pewter plates and textiles and more. I was floored. Their work was exquisite.

At the time I was super interested in manufacturing so I was trying to come up with ways to work together. But, like I mentioned, I was fresh out of graduate school and had recently gotten married and moved to Copenhagen, Denmark so I wasn’t in a spot where I could feasibly make too much happen, both financially or logistically–I, myself, was trying to navigate a new country, social system, network, not to mention everything that comes with marriage. I couldn’t take on too much more.

Women Makers in Nepal

What I learned in those weeks was how crucial women were to the building and heart of the the village. In fact, these women, young and old, were the ones who traveled up and down the mountain with huge baskets on their backs full of heavy rocks, the building material of the memorial that was being constructed. There was also a community center designed for the women of the village to host their individual business like nails, micro blading, and making these really cool pom pom blankets and I got to spend some time there. They even dressed me up in their traditional clothing and I felt like a super model because my normally average height in the US was now considered very tall. Ha!

The business origins

Oftentimes the origins of their businesses started from places of sorrow. For example, the owner of the micro blading business began her venture after her husband left her and she could no longer fall back on her family because they had disassociated themselves from her, which is common for the culture. They became enterprising because of the need to survive. Witnessing it for myself instilled in me a desire to be involved somehow, someday, but I didn’t know how to do so when I was also at a point in my life when I also needed to be enterprising.

Kathmandu

After the memorial was dedicated, we spent some time in Kathmandu, which was truly an out of this world experience. It was my first time in Asia and everything felt so foreign, but SO exciting–the colors, the pace, the smells. One highlight of the trip was visiting a rug factory where some of the luxury rug companies that you might be familiar with are made. They showed us how they dyed the yarns and how they turned those yarns into the intricate weavings that become full rugs. Women and men sat atop scaffolding that can lift them higher or lower depending on the size of the rug.

Family involvement in factories

What I found most interesting of this factory visit was how the children would gather in the work space after they were done with school. Sometimes they would sit right next to the parent. My memory is now fuzzy, but I want to say that I recall someone nursing their baby while working. As one who currently works from home and nurses her 7 month old baby, it feels like a privilege, but also super complex. But that’s a story I want to dive into at a later date.

10 years later

As you might know, over the years I continued to work on The House That Lars Built, the blog I had started in 2008 for graduate school (you can read more about it here). It has grown into a multi-person company where we encourage people to make things with their hands. We believe that there is a project and a time frame for every person because making something with your hands has the power to transform your well-being. And when you get in touch with your hands you tap into your soul, which is very powerful connector to your identity and culture.

Knowing this, and witnessing first hand how important the handmade economy is around the globe and even more so now than it was 10 years ago, I’ve found an organization that I have invested time and money into and will now be working with as an official advisory board member: Nest, a non-profit that supports women makers in the handmade economy.

Nest and the handmade economy

I became familiar with Nest a couple of years ago when we joined in on their 25 days of Making. Later that year we worked with 18b to donate profits from our shops for Giving Tuesday, which continued to last year. Most recently, we shared how they’ve been involved with helping some of the quilt makers from Gee’s Bend put their beautiful work onto their new Etsy shops.

As an advisory board member, I wholeheartedly support the organization in the fulfillment of its mission, vision, and strategy. I will be sharing more about the organization next week and an exciting project we are working on together. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, you can read more about our partnership and learn how to donate here.