Stepping Stone

DIY Memory Stepping Stone

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Stepping Stone 1Now you CAN save those precious hand and foot prints or even handwriting! 

This is a fabulous activity for kids of ALL ages, and what a terrific way to spend some valuable time together as a family.

It’s also a much appreciated gift for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Grandparents Day, birthdays, or simply a fun way to decorate your yard as a family project.

Do-It-Yourself Stepping Stones

*If you’d rather purchase a kit, than make it from scratch, you might want to check THIS out.



Buy a package of concrete at your local hardware store.

Stepping Stone 2

 Mix concrete according to package directions.

As you will see, we made several at a time.  Stepping Stone 3

Because we made half dozen at a time, for convenience Stepping Stone 4

We used a drill and a a mortar mixer in a 5 gallon bucket.

Stepping Stone 5 After making the concrete, pour into disposable aluminum pie tins and smooth with a putty knife, spatula or any flat object. Stepping Stone 6 Let the concrete set up enough until it will hold an imprint.

Then decorate with handprint, footprint, marbles, stones, have the kids write their names with a craft stick; whatever your heart desires! Stepping Stone 7

Allow to sit overnight at room temperature. And voila! Stepping Stone 8 They pop right out without any problem or hitch at all as along as they are dried completely through.  Stepping Stone 9

In humid or cold environments, let them dry as long as needed before removing them from the tin.Stepping Stone 10 These stepping stones can be placed outside in the garden or where ever you desire because they are made out of cement it can withstand the weather. Mom’s, dad’s, grandparents, friend’s, anyone appreciate receiving one of these and the kids will have a blast making them!

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today

Best Mother's Day Gift For ALL woment

The PERFECT Mother’s Day gift for EVERY Woman

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Best Mother's Day Gift For ALL woment














The PERFECT Mother’s Day gift for EVERY Woman

It’s that time to find the perfect gift for the woman, or women in your life – your wife, girlfriend, mom, mother-in-law, aunt, cousin, anyone!

  • You are probably waiting for me to tell you about cooking utensil, bake ware, or kitchen gadget, that’s a must have in my kitchen – but no.
  • Or link to foot and hand scrubs, or beauty products – nope.
  • Maybe it’s a recommendation on a few books I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading with my book-club – wrong again.
  • Something for relaxing like bath bombs? A new outfit? That to-die-for treat? Flowers? Jewelry? Oh the list could go on and on, but T.H.I.S IS the BEST gift you could give and I’ll explain.

First I’ll confess I don’t particularly like to exercise.  It’s not my favorite thing to do. And I’ll get to the Mother’s Day gift if you’ll indulge me a bit please.

Now my neighbor Ashley, gets up early (and likes it – WHAT????) to teach at a local gym.

Me, I’ll get up early, but not to excitedly workout….geez….

I realize that in order to stay functioning at an active level, I need to exercise.

HOWEVER, I have some challenges with this, and it’s not just my attitude about exercising, it’s real, I assure you.

See, I have terrible knees, and pretty much always have.

From totally dislocating my knees as a young teenager, to several surgeries trying to repair them, to my first complete total knee replacement on BOTH knees at forty-four years old due to arthritis (which I only did so I could walk down the block again), it has left me in a bind.

Because of all the surgeries, then after the first total knee replacement our health insurance at the time wouldn’t allow physical therapy (…I know what you’re thinking..I know, no therapy…unthinkable – right??!!!) to rehabilitate them, I had to do what I could to walk and strengthen them. I functioned.

Consequently I don’t run.  I simply can’t understand the mechanics of it and it’s impossible for me and sadly has been that way while raising five kids.

Then when I was fifty-three (a couple of years ago) I had to have both knees totally replaced again because the arthritis caused too many problems with the first set.  They are doing really well now, but the rehab (which I DID get this time:) was extremely difficult the second time around.

NOW to the perfect Mother’s Day gift.

I’m sure you’ve already guessed that it’s exercise related, however I’d like to tell you about two of my favorites and encourage you to look into them for yourself, and everyone on your list.

ONE CHOICE is a this incredible DVD I happened on and oohhhh how I wished I had found it years ago!

Now Do NOT let the ‘Seniors and Older Adults’ throw you.  Seriously this is one of the BEST resources I think there could be for strengthening after surgery or injury*, maintaining or regaining balance and strength for moms, grandma’s and great-grandma’s.

I am so impressed with Jane and her programs on this dvd, which really is for ALL ages and here’s why:

Balance & Strength Exercises for Seniors: 9 Practices, with Traditional Exercises, and Modified Tai Chi, Yoga & Dance Based Movements.

  • The exercises are broken into sections for all abilities and levels, from sitting to standing, from holding onto a chair to free-standing.
  • Jane designed this program to be done in sections, or all at once.
  • Even if you are a die-hard exerciser like my friend Ashley, you will stretch your body in ways you haven’t since you were a child out playing – it’s wonderful.
  • If you get tension knots in your neck and back like I do, it’s a rare occasion when they are not pretty tight.  I was amazed that after doing the Upper Body Strength & Mobility Exercises, which is only 12 minutes they released incredibly!
  • Did you realize the risk that those of us who sit for a couple of hours at a time working at a desk in an office or at home have of contracting blood clots?  I’ve encountered a few people who have had this issue and it’s awful.  After doing the Lower Body Stretches, only 13 minutes, it was apparent that making that a daily routine would be extremely helpful preventing this as it would keep the blood flowing and it felt SSOOO good too.
  • I’ve never tried Tai Chi before until this dvd and Jane’s modified Tai Chi and Yoga is so cool!  I really like the Full-Body 17 minute as a rotation in my routine.
  • The reasons are many and I could go on and on why this is for EVERY age and EVERY woman – and man:).  Jane did a fabulous job on this dvd.  It’s very approachable in style, worth the time to do her practices and beneficial in what you gain as you stretch, gain balance, maintain mobility and help prevent injury or a fall.*

You can easily find Jane Adams dvd BALANCE & STRENGTH here


ANOTHER GREAT CHOICE is one I’ve loved for years and years.  It’s Walking with Leslie Sansone and I am absolutely thrilled with her new ‘ MIRACLE MILES!’

Walk at Home Leslie Sansone's Miracle Miles!

I’ve really liked the WALK at HOME workouts over the years because you fantastic exercise, and so much more than just walking outside. With this new dvd there is a MIRACLE MILES BAND that provides resistance for a boosted work-out.

This dvd is also for ALL ages and here’s why:

  • If you can walk, you can do this dvd
  • Your ability and level is challenged by how much effort you put into the ‘walk’, so everyone can walk along and get a workout no matter your level of ability
  • No fancy footwork to learn – just walking and 4 basic steps
  • You can get healthy and body changing results in a short time
  • So many choices with this amazing set to fit any schedule for any day.
  • The band was surprisingly a great alternative to hand weights, with an easy adjustment of resistance, and does not smell of latex
  • Fun and motivating.  You can watch with voice coaching of Leslie or the music only option .

You can get the Walk AT Home Miracle Miles dvd here and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone!!!

The gift how to stay active, strong, able to interact with family, play with grand kids, do everyday activities, fulfill the goals and dreams still yet unfulfilled, as well as lessening the risk of injury, is a GREAT present we can give with these two dvds.

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2018

Recognize A Blessing And Be A Blessing Today

*Disclaimer – I am not a physician, or in any position of medical authority.  I am only giving my personal opinion and do not take responsibility for any injury, damage, etc that could, would, might happen if you exercise or even contemplate getting off the couch and moving.


Kids Crafts gifts for Mom

5 Kid Craft Mother’s Day Gifts

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Kids Crafts gifts for Mom

Kid Craft Gifts

Need a quick Mother’s Day gift for the kiddos to make for mom, grandma, aunt – any wonderful lady in their life!      Here are FIVE unique, useful and easy ideas.

 #1 – Personalized Hot Pad & Spatula
Hot Pads Sharpie Markers Spatulas with wooden handlesKids Craft 1

Have the kids color or write, depending on ability, on the hot pad and handle of the spatulaKids Craft 2

#2 – Magnets
Supplies: I used Staples Inkjet Gloss White Magnet Sheets   Directions: Get your favorite selfies, family pictures or fun pics. Load onto your computer and print them out on the magnet sheet.Magnet Picture

Cut them out and presto – personalized magnets to hang on the fridge, in the office or anywhere metal Extra pieces trimmed off the photos can be drawn on, or a special message written,  for a personalized gift.
DIY Magnets 1
#3  – Foam Coozy
These would be terrific as a pencil holder, a flower pot (it has a small hole in the bottom which would allow water to drain) or filled with mom’s favorite candy.  Supplies: Foam coozy holders Foam stickers Items to fill coozy  

Have kids decorate foam cozy as desired.Foam Coozy

#4 – Chip Clips
 Wanbi Tape Clothes Pins Mod Podge & foam brush, optional

Chip clip

Have kids (help if young) center the wasabi tape on the paperclip and press down, tucking under on ends. Do this on both sides of the clothes pin. If desired, have child (or help if needed ) cover the wasabi tape covered clothes pin with mod podge which will help it last longer and keep it nice.  Also, the bit that is folded over the sides

For the gift attach to mom’s favorite chip or treatKids Craft 3

#5   Sugar Scrub
You may need to help the young kids with this awesome project  Click Here for instructions


Copyright Carrie Groneman,  A Mother’s Shadow, 2014

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today

Crafty Embellished Notebook

DYI Embellished Notebook

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Crafty Embellished Notebook

DIY Embellished Notebook

Dorthy is helping us again! This notebook would be a great present for any occasion, depending on the paper you choose. Make one for every holiday and season!  An inexpensive, easy craft for teens, girls-day-out activity, a wonderful birthday or Mother’s Day gift – so many uses for yourself, or as a gift!  Mix and match papers from scraps you have and add a fun patterned pencil to make it even more special. 

DIY Covered Notebook

The complete supply list and detailed instructions follow, however, here are some pictures for a tutorial to help you along making your own covered notebooks.DYI Embellished Notebook 1Cut out the paper pieces as directed.DYI Embellished Notebook 2Cut one piece of printed ribbon 6: long.DYI Embellished Notebook 3Cut the remaining length into 4″ long pieces.DYI Embellished Notebook 4

Take the 6×6″ piece of paper and lay it face down against the wire rings

Mark each hole with a pencil mark.DYI Embellished Notebook 5Draw a line 1/8″ from the top of the paper at the pencil marksDYI Embellished Notebook 6Using a small hole punch (not the regular size), punch holes at each pencil mark.

Make a small slit with scissors from the edge of the paper to the the hole you punched. Continue across the paper.DYI Embellished Notebook 7Using a glue stick glue the paper to the front of the notebook, making sure the holes match.  Glue around the edge of the entire piece of paper.DYI Embellished Notebook 8

Carefully put in place, matching the holes of the paper to the rings on the notebook.DYI Embellished Notebook 9Use a pencil to push the paper down between the rings. DYI Embellished Notebook 10

And from the inside also.DYI Embellished Notebook 11Glue the 3.5″ x 6″ paper to the bottom of the notebook.DYI Embellished Notebook 12

Glue the 6″ piece of ribbon over the seam between the papers DYI Embellished Notebook 13

Press down to secure.DYI Embellished Notebook 14Glue on embellishment.
DYI Embellished Notebook 15Fold a 4″ piece of ribbon in half DYI Embellished Notebook 16

Slide the ribbon over the ring DYI Embellished Notebook 17

Forming a knot by pulling through the middle,DYI Embellished Notebook 18

Pull tight.DYI Embellished Notebook 19Arrange the ribbons so there is a bit of each ribbon pattern all the way across the top.

It is very useful to use a toothpick DYI Embellished Notebook 20

And put a small dab of glue under the ribbon knot to ensure they stay in place.

DYI Embellished Notebook 21Now you have a terrific gift for really any occasion!DYI Embellished Notebook 22

The supply list and complete instructions follow.

Thank you Dorthy again for another great craft!

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2014

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

Bag Holder

Useful Easy DIY Plastic Bag Holder

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Bag Holder

Homemade plastic bag holder

 This handy bag holder is one of the most practical, inexpensive and appreciated gifts you can give for a bridal shower, graduation or birthday gift; really for any occasion and to have in your home of course.  I have very easy and simple to follow tutorial for the novice sewer.   

Useful Easy DIY Plastic Bag Holder


Sturdy cotton or cotton blend fabric:

22″ long and 9 1/2″ wide

1″ wide ribbon, 9″ length

1/2″ wide elastic, 12″ length

2 small safety pins

Matching thread  


Cut the fabric to 22″ long and 9 1/2″ wide (can be adapted to your specifications)

Cut the fabric if there are any folds, such as at one end of the fabric piece.Bag Holder 1

 Zigzag or finish all edges with a sergerBag Holder 2

As shown, but do NOT sew any end seams togetherBag Holder 3

Leave ends open, one will be for the loop to hang and one will for the elastic Turn inside out and turn sideways (for better words and press seam open)Bag holder 4

 Turn right side and press neatly.Bag holder 5

 Cut 1/4″ ribbon 9″ longBag holder 6

Loop the ribbon and slide inside one end of the sleeve or bag with the ends crossed.  Stitch across at 5/8″.  Double stitch and back stitch over ribbon.Bag holder 7

 Cut 1/2″ elastic 12″ long.  Attach a safety pin to each endBag holder 8

 At the other end of the sleeve, or bag, fold down 5/8″ and pressBag holder 9

Press the entire ‘sleeve’.

Bag holder 10

Sew the seam right against the edge of the fabric LEAVING AN OPENING OF 1  1/2″.

Bag holder 11

Back stitching at the edges of the opening to create a knot. 

Bag holder 12

Feed the elastic through the seam, not allowing the second safety pin to go through also.Bag holder 13

 Take off the pins and sew the elastic ends together, using care they are not twisted but facing the same way.Bag holder 14

 Tuck the elastic ends into the seam. Bag holder 15

 And sew the fabric over to close up the seam.Bag holder 16

 Turn inside out and pull out the ribbon loop. Pull corners out using the end of a pencil or being very careful  with a seam ripper.Bag holder 17

Press again and put in a bag to let those you are gift this to know exactly what the purpose of this wonderful  recycle bag is for! Bag holder 18

Hang and use!

Bag holder 19

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today

Washi Tape Decorated Cards

Washi Tape Decorated Cards

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Washi Tape Decorated Cards

Washi Tape Decorated Cards

Using Washi tape you find in the craft store, you can quickly and economically personalize note cards for any occasion!       Washi Tape is very economical, and a little goes a llooonnnggg way.

Washi Tape Decorated Cards


Washi Tape Card and Envelope Set

Flowers or Embellishments

Glue Dots to adhere embellishments to cardCard Set 2Directions: Simply apply the tape in any fashion you desire to decorate the cardsCard Set 3When finished with your design, trim the tape close to the cardCard Set 4

Adhere the flowers or embellishments to the cards, using the glue dotsCard Set 5Now you have a fabulous gift set OR cards to use yourself!Card Set 6Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2014

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today

DIY Washi Tape Covered Frame

Wasabi Frame

Washi Tape Frame

My sweetie Stan was so accommodating to help me with this tutorial that is just for you.

What a TERRIFIC gift that is so simple and inexpensive.

Personalize this frame for Mother’s Day, a baby shower, Father’s Day, a bridal shower/wedding gift (wedding colors and for the embellishment put the name or first letter), graduation gift (the year and school colors), the uses are endless!

Washi Tape Covered Frame


Any wooden frame, I found this at the craft store on sale for about $3

Washi Tape – there are tons of colors and prints. I bought this 2 tape set, again for about $3 on sale. *note: these 2 little rolls covered this frame.

A stationary card set, a dozen gift tags and I still have some left. It goes much further than you’d expect.

Xacto Knife & cutting board

Mod Podge Sponge Brush

Decorative flowers or embellishments

Hot Glue & GunFrame 1


Evenly place tape across the frame If using another pattern of tape, place it directly next to the other strip of tape Continue this method all the way across the frame, using care to keep straight lines Frame 2

Until the surface is completely coveredFrame 4

Lay the frame upside down on a cutting board and with the Xacto knife, carefully trim the inside. Frame 5

And outside edges of excess tape along frame edgesFrame 6

Until it is all trimmed.Frame 7

Lay your frame, right-side up on a paper towel and with a foam sponge brush spread an even coat over the entire tape covered frame and a bit on the edge. This will protect the surface and keep the tape from coming up.Frame 8


When the Mod Podge has dried completely, embellish as desired.  I used a hot glue gun to attach flowers.Wasabi Frame


Thank you Stan for helping me with this awesome tutorial!

Copyright Carrie Groneman,  A Mother’s Shadow, 2014

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.