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Our Whimsical World

Crafting, Exploring, & Making Memories with Alex Militello

As foliage begins to turn this autumn, you may be looking for new activities to keep your family entertained or perhaps new places to visit. Alexandra Militello is a Victor-based blogger, mom, and preschool teacher who has made a name for herself by sharing creative crafts, favorite places to visit for family-friendly activities, and snapshots of authentic family life.

Social media has steadily become a trusted source of information, advice, and community in recent years. Alex understands the powerful tool her platform has and acknowledges that she has gained beneficial knowledge from online bloggers. Alex acknowledges the challenges of social media and the pressures of being a mom, but says, “the community out there has totally outweighed the negative side… there are real people out there sharing real experiences.”

Alex understands the frustrations and hardships that come with trying to conceptualize new family activities and local destinations worth the effort to visit with busy schedules. She shares, “I think it’s just getting over that hurdle of 'Where do we even start?'”

As a teacher and a mother, Alex has developed a wealth of knowledge of accessible, practical tips for entertaining little ones. After her mother urged her to take her information online, Militello has stepped into the role of social media influencer and blogger

and shares her tips and must-see places for fall 2023.

"My favorite part of fall is seeing the foliage with family." Alex especially loves Tinkergarten (Penfield) and Bristol Adventures / Aerial Adventure Park where youth and adults have creative opportunities to experience the outdoors. She emphasizes that getting outside is the point, but the more creative, the better!

If you’d rather not leave the comfort of home, creativity is essential. As a teacher, Alex relies upon recycling and reusing household supplies as well as previously used crafts. She says, “During my years of preschool, a lot of my crafting came from using nature and other resources. My daughter was talking about saving paper towels so we could use them for crafts. It’s really rewarding when that happens (recycling and reusing). We tend to pull from recycled items a lot.”

She describes the kids collecting leaves and painting them to make ghosts. She says, “You can collect things not just inside your home, but outside as well. We tend to complicate crafting a little less than we need to. It has always been important to reuse and recycle.”

If you are frugal and on a budget, or just prefer to use old art supplies, Alex’s ideas help children become more resourceful by using regular household items to actualize crafting ideas. By using their own resources and the world around them, children build upon skills and use creativity to make valuable memories.

Alex expertly captures these moments within her family and believes that if nothing else, her social media is a valuable tool to share and organize family photos. In the past, Alex has felt conflicted about her social media presence as she understands the negative effects and unrealistic expectations many viewers derive from well-known platforms. However, she focuses on its central purpose: “We can really appreciate resources that are right at our fingertips. I can whole-heartedly say that utilizing those accounts throughout my journey in motherhood has helped give me so many ideas on how to navigate it all and make things fun and educational for the kids while I have been home with them.”

With both whimsy and ingenuity, Alexandra Militello has created a social media following that is rapidly drawing attention from the local Rochester community and beyond. Always resourceful, creative, and down to earth, her page reminds many in her shoes of the joys and struggles of motherhood and family life.

Autumn Bucket List for 2023

one. Duvall Farms/“The Pumpkin Palace” (Bloomfield), family-owned farm since 2019.

two. Ride a train from the Genesee Valley Railroad Museum to a pumpkin patch. In Rush, NY, this is the only operating railroad museum in New York State.

three. Pick apples at Wickham Farms (Penfield) or The Apple Shed (Newark). Each venue offers delectable treats, farm animals, and family-friendly attractions.

four. Haunted Walk at Lincoln Hill Farms – This event is not too scary for the kids and is fun for adults too, with great views and live music on Saturday nights.

five. Explore fall foliage at Highland Park (Rochester) or Cumming Nature Center Trail (Naples).

six. Powers Farm Market (Pittsford) for tractor rides, teepees, cider, donuts, and more.

Crafts for Preschoolers

Ghost Leaves: Collect leaves. Paint white then use black marker or paint when dry to add a face.

Halloween Baking soda beaker activity: You will need baking soda, white vinegar, beakers (I got mine from the $1 spot at Target), balloons, a permanent marker to draw on faces of a ghost, pumpkin, etc. Add approx. 1 tbsp baking soda into deflated balloon. Add vinegar into a container with a narrow opening (beaker or empty water bottle). Place balloon over the opening of the container. Slowly lift balloon so the baking soda falls into the vinegar to watch the balloon inflate!

Coffee Filter Painted Leaves: Cut filters to desired leaf shape. Use a hot glue gun to outline/line the leaves (this helps section off parts of the leaf to make it easy for the kids to paint). Paint designs with watercolors. Enjoy and display your art (great accent for a playroom or mantle!).

Candle Out of Wax Paper: The kids helped collect different fall-colored leaves and pressed them between two sheets of wax paper. Iron on low until they stick together and add a tea light for an affordable way to spruce up an area.

Alex's Messages for Other Moms & Readers

Sometimes the idea of getting out and exploring or crafting with kids can seem impossible. I am here to say that it is worth every ounce of scrambling the kids together and getting out the door. Motherhood has taught me ways to step outside more, quite literally, and out of my comfort zone to create what I hope to be some pretty special memories for our girls. I think it helps wash away expectations and the pressures of the world when you begin to make these memories of your own and they start to become traditions.

I admire the virtual community I have been able to lean into in that respect; it has helped pave the way for so many moments that we cherish together as a family, as you can see in what I like to call our virtual photo book (Instagram).

My mother once told me, “Nothing worthwhile comes easy.” I understand that now and appreciate that message in every single aspect of my day.

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