MammaGranate

http://www.mammagranate.com

We are Mandi and Sarah, two moms who love to DIY, craft and cook!

Mamma is a winner of Top 25 Home Design Moms - 2013

Of all the DIY projects you've done, which was your favorite?

I made a dress up wardrobe for all of their princess dresses and accessories out of an old dresser for my daughters for one of their Christmas presents.

What's your advice for moms who want to decorate their home on a budget?

Paint is the cheapest thing you can do to update furniture. You can even buy cheap furniture on craiglist that you like the shape of but not the color and change it to fit your style.

Where do you find inspiration for keeping your home stylish?

I watch a lot of HGTV, Pinterest, DIY magazine, Real Simple magazine and other people who I like their style.

Do you have a hobby you share with your child? If so, let us know what it is and at what age kids can start participating, and links to a picture we can use if you have one!

Mandi and Sarah

When is a child old enough to learn to knit? I've tried a few times and my five and a half year old daughter, Maya, has finally taken to it! We started on some scrap yarn but it just wasn't right. I wanted bigger needles and thicker yarn so she would see the progress to keep her motivated. We went to Loop in Philly, one of the shops I frequented when we lived there. I used to take Maya there when she was a baby and, to my surprise, they remembered us! I just love local yarn shops... We got started that night. She sat on my lap and I cast on ten stitches. She watched me do a few stitches, we did a few with her hands on mine and then I watched and coached her while she finished the row. She did amazing for a beginner! It was so hard to let her make mistakes because I knew how to fix them but she really seemed to get it. We are now trying to knit together when we have down time and she has dubbed it her "favorite thing". She even brought it in for show and tell!
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For car and plane trips, what are some small toys, games, or other fun tiny surprises to bring along or pack in your child's backpack? Please mention the age range for the item and include a link to a picture if you have one.

Mandi and Sarah

I always pack new toys for the kids so they will have fun exploring what is in their "travel backpack" for my two and five year olds. They are not allowed to look in them until the trip to create suspense! We have included items such as playdough, gel window clings, stacking cups and snacks. The tag reading system is also great because it's independent and earphones can be plugged into them so it doesn't bother other passengers. I also raid the clearance section after holidays to find cheap toys that the kids would like that, if they lost, wouldn't be traumatic. I also try to save a few things for the return trip so the kids look forward to that as well!
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We're looking for creative ways to teach our kids about July 4th through art activities. If you have a fun July 4th-themed activity, please share a link with pictures we can use.

Mandi and Sarah

Ever since I had kids I wanted to be the family that decorated for every holiday. Problem is I don't. I'm never good at remembering to put things up on time, take them down or, let's be honest, remember to get them! I'm trying to be more creative and get the kids involved so that they help remind me to decorate! I was racking my brain for a patriotic craft that was different. The kids work with construction paper A LOT so something different would hopefully keep their attention longer. I have seen a bunch of projects melting translucent pony beads into sun catchers but I changed it up a bit. We melted opaque red, white and blue pony beads and made them into garland to decorate our bulletin board.
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What are your best tips for nighttime potty training, and are there any products or tricks you'd recommend that minimize night-time bedding changes? Please include a photo or a link if you have one.

Mandi and Sarah

When Anna was younger we used good night pull ups (http://www.amazon.com/GoodNites-Underwear-Girls-Small-Medium/dp/B00005Q4I8/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1374548678&sr=8-4&keywords=good+nights) because there came a certain point when regular pull ups would leak at night. We would also wake her before we went to bed to go to the potty.
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What's your go-to family meal made entirely with pantry staples? Please share a link to the recipe and photo if you have one.

Mandi and Sarah

Baked Ziti 1 bag of pasta 2 jars of sauce 1/2 of bag of shredded part skim mozzarella Cook pasta per package instructions. Add sauce and stir until combined. Transfer to baking dish add sauce and sprinkle cheese on top and bake at 350 until cheese is melted.
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