Inspiration

Easter Crafting

Easter, I believe, is one of the most festive holidays there is. Together with the changing season where the world wakes up from its long winter slumber and where the flowers begin to bloom and the air feels just right, Easter, and Spring in general, inspires people to celebrate new life. More so, it is a significant feast for us in the Boreyko home because of our belief in our Lord and Savior.

I also think that this season is the perfect excuse to squeeze our creative juices together with our kids. Below are some of the fun craft activities that you and your children can enjoy making to celebrate Easter:

1. Decorate Easter Eggs

Easter is never complete without eggs and the best part about this is that the possibilities are endless when it comes to decorating them. You can try embellishing eggs with laces, adding neon glitter, painting them with bunnies, carrots or chicks, making them look like chickens using colored paper, using gold or silver leaf, and even adorning eggs with beads.

2. Make Easter Baskets

Why settle for plain old baskets when you can enlist your kids’ help to make special Easter baskets? You can use paper cups that you can decorate with fringed green paper to look like grass. Just put in a chocolate bunny or marshmallow Peeps in the shape of bunnies or chicks together with tiny chocolate eggs and you’re good to go.


3. Make Bunny Boxes or Envelopes

You can take this idea a step further by making Easter gift baskets that your kids will enjoy. Use a woven basket and decorate it with bows. Put in a handful of treats like story books, crayons, a bunny or a chick plush toy, and sweets like jelly beans and chocolate eggs.

If you are hosting a gathering for Easter, you can make loot bags shaped like bunnies in the form of boxes or envelopes. You can fill these up with sweets and even a personal message from you and your family to make it extra special.

4. Create Bunny Ears

Give your little hopping bunnies their own ears. Make a pair of felt bunny ears and attach these to a headband and watch your kids transform into bouncing bundles of energy.




5. Make Flower Shoes

This will be a great addition to little girls’ Easter baskets. Simply cut out paper flowers using crepe paper and stick them on slippers of shoes.




For more Easter crafting ideas, you can visit http://www.marthastewart.com.

Easter represents many things for people like new beginnings. True enough, along with the coming of Spring, this holiday inspires people to renew their faith and to celebrate life like never before. I hope you and your family have fun this season!

XO

Tara

 

Hearts, Crafts, and V-Day

I absolutely adore Valentine’s Day! For my husband and me, it’s extremely special and romantic because we became engaged the day before and spent the next day literally planning our wedding which was set for March 1st. I only had two weeks to plan the black tie wedding of my dreams and with the help of some amazing friends, we pulled it off!  So for us, it’s an incredible reminder of the MAGIC that happened and today we are still reaping the rewards of love.

Now that I am a mom, I try to make each holiday special for our kids and that includes lots of art time together. My twins are five and like all children, they have such a beautiful spark and wonder for creating whatever they can dream up.

I always get a special holiday book or two that explains why the day is special and we read it all month long. That way, I know they get it and fully understand its meaning. We do fun arts and crafts to celebrate the holidays.

This year, I volunteered to help with their school Valentine’s Day party and we are creating lots of fun Valentine décor and will be baking up a storm. It’s so much fun!

My husband and I will most likely go out to dinner with a few other couples and enjoy celebrating together and then we will take our kids to the Brunch this year on the Queen Mary ship. We really enjoy finding time together as a couple because we feel it’s one of the most important things in marriage. But we also make time to celebrate special days like these with the kids.

Here’s to you and your family enjoying the Day of Love and finding some alone time with your husband or wife!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

XOXO

Tara Brooke

 

Celebrating V-Day in Two Ways

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and I’m sure in a few days’ time, we will be seeing hearts all over the place again. The best part about this holiday is, I think, knowing that moms like us can celebrate it in two ways—one is with the kids doing fun arts and crafts and the other is with our friends and of course our hubby just enjoying each other’s company and savoring the romance that this season brings. I think it’s wonderful that way; that we are able to feel the love of the people we care so much about.

This year, I found myself volunteering to help at the twins’ school Valentine’s Day party and we’ll be making décor together and I’ll also be baking so much. I’m so excited! So I found some resources online on how to make cards, mobiles, and other fun arts and crafts that you can also try with your kids at home (Source):

Lollipop Valentine Card

Supplies Needed:

Pieces of construction paper (red, pink, purple, green)

Pencil

Regular or heart-shaped lollipops

Scissors

Glue

Tape

Optional: A printer (if you want to use heart templates)

Instructions:

Cut out some red, pink or purple hearts – they should be a little bigger than the lollipops you have. Using green construction paper cut out some leaves.

If you’d like, use a heart template page and print it out to help you draw hearts.

Write a message on one side of each heart. Glue or tape a lollipop onto the blank side of each heart then tape one or more leaves onto the stem of each lollipop.

3-D Hearts Mobile

Supplies:

Red, pink, white, purple, and other construction paper, oak tag, or gift wrap

Pencil

Scissors

A long length of colorful yarn (thick yarn works better than thin string)

Glue stick

A sturdy paper platea

Markers, crayons, or paint

Stapler or tape

Instructions:

Draw a spiral on a paper plate. Cut along the line.

Decorate the paper plate using markers, crayons, or paint.

Make a few strings of 3D hearts, with 3 to 4 heart triplets on each string. You may have to make a knot under each heart to keep it from sliding down the string (if the string is too thin or if you don’t use enough glue).

Staple or tape a few strings of hearts to the paper plate.

Attach another short length of string to the plate; it will be used to hang the mobile up.

Brown Paper Bag Valentine Card

Supplies needed:

Brown paper (from a grocery bag) or construction paper (red or pink is nice)

Pinking shears or scissors

A hole punch

Red or pink ribbon (about 1/4 inch wide) or thick yarn

Markers or crayons

Instructions:

Cut a large heart from brown paper using pinking shears.

Using a hole punch, make a series of holes around the edges of the card. Make an even number of holes.

String ribbon or yarn through the holes.

Tie the ends in a bow (this is the hardest part of this project). If the bow doesn’t look good, you can glue the ends of the ribbon to the back of the card instead then write a message (or draw a picture) on your Valentine card.

Of course we must never forget that Valentine’s Day is a holiday and it is meant to be celebrated. Why not gather other couples and spend the night having fun? The great part about this is that you can have a party any way that you like; be as creative as possible! Decorate your home with lots of hearts, serve delicious food, and just have a good time with other couples as you celebrate hearts day.

To make your gathering more exciting, you can try these games I’ve found online (Source):

Who’s Your Mate?”

This game is similar to the Newlywed Game. Have one person from each couple leave the room. The host/hostess tailors some planned questions to the group and to certain couples. The other half of each couple stays in the room, and answers questions about their mate/date. They’re supposed to answer each question the way they think their mate/date would respond. They need to write each answer down, so that when their partner returns he/she can give their own answer to each question. Assign point values for each question that is a match. Then reverse roles of the couples for the next set of questions. The couple with the most points wins a prize. Make sure the prize is something they can share!

“Sing Along”

Divide the group into teams. In a jar, fold up slips of paper that has different love/relationship” related words on them. Team #1 gets to draw first, and they must sing a song (at least one line of lyrics) with the word they have chosen in it. Then Team #2 must match them, and keep going back and forth until one of the teams gets stumped. Then the other team wins the point.

“Tie a Red Ribbon…”

This is a great way to get the party started if you have an even number of people at your party. Buy some red yarn or ribbon, and cut the ribbon/yarn up into various lengths (at least 100-400 uneven pieces). Put everyone into pairs, and have them search throughout the house to find as many pieces of ribbon/yarn as they possibly can. They must work with their partner to tie each piece of ribbon/yarn together to create one long piece of yarn/ribbon. Whoever has the longest piece of ribbon/yarn at the end of 10 minutes wins the game (It is OK if not every piece of ribbon is found).

I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day with your kids, your friends, and of course your husband.

God bless!

Tara

 

The 42 LESSONS of LIFE by Regina Brett

Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio

“To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 42 lessons life taught to me. It is the most requested column I’ve ever written.” My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life ISN’T fair, but it’s still good!

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short – enjoy it….

4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your FRIENDS and FAMILY will.

5. Pay off your credit cards EVERY month.

6. You don’t have to win every argument … stay true to yourself.

7. Cry with someone … it’s more healing than crying alone.

8. Save for RETIREMENT starting with your FIRST pay check.

9. When it comes to CHOCOLATE, resistance is FUTILE.

10. Make PEACE with your PAST, so it won’t screw up the PRESENT.

11. It’s OK to let your children see YOU cry.

12. DON’T compare your life to others. You have NO idea what their journey is all about.

13. If a RELATIONSHIP has to be a SECRET, you should NOT be in it….

14. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

15. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful. Clutter weighs you down in MANY ways.

16. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you STRONGER.

17. It’s NEVER too late to be happy. But it’s all up to YOU and NO ONE else.

18. When it comes to going after what you love in life, DON’T take “no” for an answer.

19. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. DON’T save it for a special occasion … TODAY is special.

20. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

21. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.

22. The most important SEX organ is the BRAIN.

23. NO ONE is in charge of your happiness but YOU.

24. Frame every so-called disaster with these words “In five years, will this matter?!”

25. Always choose life.

26. Forgive but DON’T forget.

27. What other people think of YOU is NONE of your business.

28. Time heals almost everything … give time time.

29. However good or bad a situation is, it WILL change.

30. Don’t take yourself so seriously … NO ONE else does….

31. Believe in miracles.

32. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it NOW.

33. Growing OLD beats the alternative — dying YOUNG.

34. Your children get only ONE childhood.

35. All that truly matters in the end is that YOU LOVED.

36. Get outside every day … miracles are waiting everywhere.

37. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab OURS BACK!

38. ENVY is a waste of time. Accept what you already have NOT what you want.

39. The best is yet to come…

40. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

41. Yield.

42. LIFE isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a GIFT!”
 

Decide to Run Your Own Race in 2013

So what does it mean to run your own race? I was thinking a lot about my New Year’s message and what I really wanted to relay to you. At this time when we live in a reality TV world and when social media is at our finger tips reminding us daily of what other people have and what they are doing, I think so many people get into a game of comparisons.

They stop thinking for themselves and they decide to copy others. That can be with how people dress, what they buy, what type of car they have, who they are dating, and what type of jewelry others wear.

In this New Year, take charge of your own life and desires and be sure to think for yourself. Don’t spend all your time comparing yourself to others—DREAM YOUR DREAM!

In life there will ALWAYS be someone that has more. Maybe they will be prettier, smarter, or have more money. You can’t live your life constantly comparing yourself to them because that person will most likely see others with more! It is how life works; each day when you get up, you need to ask yourself a few questions—are you just going through the motions of life or are you challenging yourself to be all you can be? It’s so easy to just get through that day especially for people who are experiencing challenges. But as we enter a New Year, decide today to do it right and run your own race.

Find out what makes YOU passionate and don’t decide to let some reality show person who is experiencing fifteen minutes of fame to shape who and what you are. I say this because there are so many young women right now who are watching and shaping their lives and desires after these shows.

As the New Year approaches, create your list of goals and decide what you really want to accomplish even if it seems out of reach; just write it down. Then create a plan on how to get there. In my book Beautiful Ambition, I lay out a step by step approach to achieving your dreams and goals. You must have a track to run on, you have to know where to go, and you have to know how to get there.

You can start by making a dream board that has everything that you want. Cut out pictures from magazines that inspire you and put them together. Make sure that you can easily see this board to remind you of the things that you want to achieve or have.

This year decide to do it differently even if it seems hard. You have it in you and you are stronger then you know. Wake up each day with passion and enthusiasm. Decide to break through the mundane and go after excellence. Find inspiration where you can. Sometimes it’s easier to do it for others than for ourselves so if that’s the case, do it for your family.

As you are preparing your dreams and goals for the New Year, also include a written page of what you are thankful for. Gratitude is everything—in order to have more in your life you must show gratitude for what you already have.

Moreover, be honest with yourself about things you need to make right. For example if you are holding on to grudges, pain, or feeling unforgiving towards someone, you will not be able to move forward until you reconcile with yourself and make things right in your heart.

Now this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to have people in your life that have hurt you. What it means is that in your heart you have released it and have forgiven that person that you are not reliving those negative feelings or experiences in your mind all the time.

You don’t need to try to get even with people. I have said it before and I will say it again: We are all here to learn our own lessons and that means that we are ALL responsible for the choices we make. Whether they are good or bad, each of us has to live with our own Karma because it is how the universe works. You reap what you sow period.

So decide to wish those people well and move on. Take responsibility for your dreams and what you want.

This Year I know you can do it. Live with passion and run your own race.

May health, happiness and prosperity be yours this year and may all of the blessings fill your life.

Love Lots,

Tara

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

May 2013 bring about all of your deepest dreams and desires. May Peace, health and prosperity be abundant for you and all that you love and hold dear.

Blessings,

Tara

 

Gifts at the Boreyko House

Christmas is definitely a holiday most enjoyed by children; with all the treats and gifts that the holidays bring, it isn’t surprising that kids love the most festive season of the year.

In our home we focus more on creating and learning about what Christmas means and less on gifts. While my kids love to visit Santa and make their lists, my husband and I stick to a strict guideline on how many gifts we will buy for them. Like all parents, we know that coming downstairs on Christmas morning to a room filled with gifts for the kids is wonderful but with that said, we do not go overboard.

The kids get things they want within reason and the things they need I buy for them but those are not considered gifts. How can you keep the wonder and joy of getting gifts if you give them everything? There has to be a balance so they have something to get excited about

Each Christmas, we purchase gifts for families in need and get the kids involved with helping to pick them out, wrap them, and deliver them. There is great joy in giving for them and they deserve to experience that.

Most importantly, our children want family time—they enjoy being with us more than getting endless amounts of toys and that is just heartwarming.

On another note, we have something else to look forward to this year. Our children are finally at an age where we can join the Performing arts center here and take them regularly to the plays and musicals that come out. We believe that now is the time to open them up to the arts and help nurture a love for music and theater. All of these things are more fun during the Christmas Holidays.

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

XO

Tara

 

Decking the Halls

The holidays are undoubtedly here and mind you, it’s not just the season for gifts and cheer. Every mom anywhere in the world knows that to welcome the season means to start taking out the décor to set the holiday mood.

Personally, I find joy in decorating our home. Getting ready is definitely my favorite part of the holidays. I especially enjoy picking out the tree and then prepping all the décor to trim it. At our home, we set the mood by turning the fire on and lighting up some candles while my honey and I have a wonderful glass of wine each.

Even more so, I love getting my kids involved in the process. After all, Christmas is mainly for children. What better way to set their moods to the holidays than letting them help out in making our home a Christmas wonderland of our own, right?

My kids also love to spread the holiday cheer in their rooms as well as their play room. Both of them get their own trees that they can decorate themselves. What makes it more fun is that we make our own ornaments to trim their trees with. We cut out snowflakes, train figures, tiny snowmen, and little sparkly elves.

Christmas is not complete without cookies and so as part of our little tradition, we decorate Christmas cookies for their teachers and friends. Speaking of confections, my favorite part of this is creating gingerbread houses with the twins.

These are just some of the fun things we do at our home to welcome Christmas and I hope you guys also get to enjoy your very own traditions. Let us also not forget that the season should not be centered on the décor but on the spirit of giving that serves as the season’s embodiment. Happy holidays everyone!

XO

Tara

 

Holiday Hostess Gifts

The holiday season is here again and that means we will be getting invitations to several parties and get-together again—that is, if you are not busy hosting your own event. Our mothers would often remind us that to show your gratitude for being invited to a gathering, you should bring a gift for your host or your hostess.

While bringing wine or flowers is fool-proof, no nonsense, and simple, there is really nothing wrong with going the distance and coming up with unique ways to show your appreciation and gratitude towards your hostess.

One idea I love is putting together a really cute gift basket that has organic hot chocolate filled with yummy marshmallows. You can purchase adorable Christmas mugs to add some holiday cheer too. Additionally, if your hostess has kids, throw in some organic chocolates that they can enjoy munching on.

If she loves hosting tea parties or is simply a big fan of the drink, consider giving her an assortment of lovely teas—gourmet, organic, Russian, herbal or what-not. Aside from showing that you know what she loves, tea’s lovely aroma and utter warmth will really show your appreciation of her.

You can even give her a chic and fun apron as a gift! Chances are, your hostess loves tinkering around the kitchen and a cute apron will be greatly appreciated for sure! If you are feeling crafty, then why not design the apron yourself.

These are just some ideas that I can share with you. Be as creative as you possibly can when giving unique hostess gifts. And I hope you enjoy the holidays as much as we do in the Boreyko house.

Cheers!

Tara

Image courtesy of stockvault.net.

 

The Twins’ 5th and Some Party Ideas

Hi friends!

This year my kids turned 5 and I have to admit that I have been sad for about a week before the big day. I felt like it had all gone by far too fast and I was struggling with the fact that they are growing up.

I know it sounds silly but I have tried to spend every minute with them relishing the moments. As I would often hear from all my mommy friends “it flies by.” While I knew that deep in my heart, I was still not prepared for my kids’ turning five so I decided to focus on their sweet birthday party we had at our home and I put my heart into all the details handling everything.

This year my kids wanted a ‘Barbie Mermaid/ Superhero themed party where all of their friends could come and just have a great time.  I focused on all things that children love while also making sure all the invited parents could relax, enjoy and simply have a good time.

I hired the superheroes—Spiderman and Batman, as well as Barbie Mermaid who was quite a hit not only with the kids but also with the daddies. We had face painters and balloon artists who were so incredible. I swear they created works of art for the kids!

The food was incredible too. We have crepe makers for the parents where they could choose from over 25 different types of handmade crepes from chicken, to steak, to vegetarian. They also created the most amazing dessert crepes and I indulged in the Nutella crepe with strawberries and whipped cream! The kids had their own food section with everything kids love!

I have to say it was an amazing day and everyone had the best time. When you focus on the children and create a space where parents can both relax and enjoy great food, everything works out perfectly!

The best part for my kids was when the superheroes and Barbie sang happy birthday to them with all of the children—there were almost 100 people there.

The kids jumped on gigantic bounce houses as well as the Trampolines that rocket you into the air. They even got me on it at the end.

The party lasted for four hours but everybody enjoyed it so much that nobody actually wanted to leave. Here are some fun pictures to enjoy:

I absolutely love creating parties to say the least. I love getting in there and putting up the decor and planning the themes. I even arranged all the flowers myself.

I think you should also go there and do it yourself if you can. While hiring people who can do it all for you may turn out really lovely and will certainly make things easier, there is nothing better than doing it yourself! (I must confess that I didn’t cook the food though. There are some things you may want to order especially when the crowd gets close to 100!) I had so much fun putting the goodie-bags together and my kids definitely felt the love!

As we look forward, we are so excited about the future and look back on the last 5 years with such incredible memories.

Remember that you can plan any party with any budget you want so don’t feel like you have to spend a fortune. Write out what’s important to you and work from there. Most importantly, have fun and focus on creating the day around what your children really want and will remember!

Have fun!

Tara