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We have been on a huge spring cleaning rush over here. After five years of just shoving things higher and higher out of the reach of small hands, we find ourselves just living in piles of stuff. I don’t need to share with you how to spring clean because you all know how to do that right?

But, what I am going to share with you is this nifty little project that came about from our ventures with spring cleaning. Two years ago my husband and I introduced the girls to one of our favorite beaches. My husband grew up playing on the sandy shores of Robert Moses State Park, and it was my favorite when we lived on Long Island for a few years. During our trip with our kids we filled their little pails with an abundance of sea shells.

The kids have played with those shells for two years. Many a stray shell can now be found in the far flung reaches of the play room, or in the deep abyss of a couch. Out of two tall beach buckets only a handful of precious shells remain. I want to keep them as a keepsake, but I don’t really have a home for them. That is until we recycled this old glass jar I found while cleaning out our spice cupboard. Coincidentally, our sea shells have found a home in an old sea salt jar. How fitting right?

salt jar

First we washed the jar and removed the label. My go to for removing labels is really hot soapy water. Allow your jar to soak for about 10 minutes before peeling off the paper. Then you can scrape or scrub off the remaining glue. If it is still sticky then just allow to soak a little more.

salt jar 2

Next, I rounded up the remaining shells I want to keep and added to the jar.


shells in jar 2

Can you believe these are all the shells left after bringing home two buckets worth? Well, with little girls who like to play beach in every room of the house, or take them outside so the bugs can have a beach too, I’m not surprised. But, at least these are all my favorites.

I thought it would be really cool to some how include a picture of us from that day. Unfortunately, we did not get a picture of all four of us together. But, I did find a picture of what the beach looked like that day! So, I ran it through an online photo editor (PicMonkey) and added the date and details of the trip to the center of the picture. I ordered it online and picked up at CVS Pharmacy for $0.31. I cut it into an oval shape and tucked it inside the jar.

jar with shells

How awesome is this? A SUPER cheap and very personal keepsake of our very first trip to the beach together! When have you ever found a souvenir for $0.31 cents??! Now, our memories are part of our decor. We can enjoy them all the time and I don’t have to worry about finding them scattered around the house. Woo hoo!

This started me thinking about how often we just grab souvenirs from the gift store on any of our trips or vacations. My kids typically gravitate to the cheap plastic stuff which usually ends up in my garbage can. Not only is that a waste of money, but there’s no personal connection to the trip (except for our photos of course). I’m going to have to get creative with making our own souvenirs from now on. It’s a great way to keep our cherished moments alive well after our vacation ends.

Have you ever made your own souvenirs from a trip? I would love to hear about them in the comments below!

The Whatever Mom is a full-time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be foundĀ here. You can also find her musings and popular shares on Facebook and Twitter.


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