Archive for the ‘Crafts & Celebrations’ Category
What better way to focus on beauty than with a pampering bath salts recipe? Let’s celebrate this M Challenge repost of an earlier DIY project by making up a batch and use it today in a relaxing bath – preferably with a glass of wine!
These Mojito bath salts incorporate everything we love in a delicious mojito drink, with lots of fresh lime and mint. To really increase the mint component in these, we are adding a little mint essential oil to the mix. It’s easy to mix up an easy batch of Mojito Bath Salts that you can create with just a few items from your local grocer and craft store and makes a great addition to your beauty routine as well as a welcome handmade gift for the women in your life!
4 cups of Epsom Salt
2 limes, zest & juice
5-8 drops of mint essential oils (you can add more or less, depending on your preference)
2-4 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
Soap colorant in green (optional)
Glass Container or Jar
Have you ever made your own bath salts? It’s the kind of gift (or just for you!) that sounds really impressive, but you don’t have to have any craft skills at all to create it.
Epsom salts are the key ingredient in these and can be found at your local grocer or drugstore. The wonders of Epsom salts have been well known for hundreds of years and are said to have beneficial properties that can soothe the body. Some of the countless health benefits include relaxing the nervous system, curing skin problems, soothing back pain and aching limbs, easing muscle strain, healing cuts, treating cold and congestion, and drawing toxins from the body.
The best part though is that these are inexpensive to buy and can be customized with your favorite ingredients, whether it be mint, lavender, eucalyptus, or any other essential oils that you might have on hand.
When purchasing these ingredients for this recipe, avoid any that have added ingredients or scents and just stick to the basic Epsom salts so the scents don’t overpower the essential oils that you are adding.
How to Make Mojito Bath Salts
1. Pour four cups of Epsom salts in a large mixing bowl.
2. Add the zest and juice of two limes to your bowl.
3. Finely chop your mint and add these to your bowl.
4. Add 5-8 drops of essential oils. You can also add a small amount of green soap colorant, if you would like, to add a little color to your salts.
5. Mix the ingredients well and scoop into a glass jar.
6. Directions for use: Add ½ cup of Mojito Bath Salts to your bath.
Have you ever made bath salts before? What is your favorite recipe for these?Pin It
*This post is sponsored by thredUP. Thank you for supporting the companies that support this site!
As you know, since starting my fashion capsule project, I have become a huge fan of thredUP. I buy everything there from stuff for my kids (especially those one-time use special occasion outfits), to my workout gear for the gym, to our outerwear, and beautiful clothing for a fraction of retail prices. Nine times out of ten, if you see us wearing something… it is now from thredUP thanks to the affordability and how great it feels to get a pretty polka dotted box on our step filled with secondhand goodness.
That is why it was such an honor that they thought of me for an exciting campaign they are launching to support teachers and their classrooms for the back-to-school season. In honor of the Raise a Hand for Teachers Program, I wanted to share with you our nomination for a deserving teacher and also show you a fun craft you can create for back-to-school for a special teacher in YOUR life.
My daughter had a phenomenal school year this year and it was all thanks to Mr. Domonkos! I got to come in weekly to volunteer in her classroom and be a quiet observer firsthand at the kind of teacher he was and how he ran his classroom which is always a treat as a mom. I can tell you that if I had a teacher half that fun, the learning would have never felt like work. His goals were to not only teach our children the basics, but to teach them LIFE SKILLS.
Instead of just showing them math problems on a white board, he actually gave each child different roles in the classroom (like the classroom librarian or the banker) and then they would receive a salary for their jobs. They paid rent on their desks or they could save to buy their “home” and receive a deed for paying off their space. Each week they were given the opportunity to save their money or spend it on trinkets in the classroom. They weren’t just talking about math… they were learning to use math like they will when they become an adult.
When I asked my daughter what she said that he taught her, she said it was how to manage her money. As a frugal blogger and author of my own personal finance book, this is MUSIC TO MY EARS.
The joy on my daughter’s face when she purchased her desk is the indescribable joy I hope to feel one day when we pay our own house off.
From getting our kids signed up with Google accounts and having them design web pages to Sponge Bob theme music while writing about the sea to showing the kids YouTube segments to learn new math tricks, his classroom was filled with new and interactive ways to get our kids excited about learning.
I know there are many moments I didn’t get the opportunity to witness as well. The countless hours past his job spent preparing for class as well as those moments needed to stay after to help kids who are struggling. I am sure there were many moments sacrificed from his own family to teach our children…and we are so grateful.
The hiccuping sobs as she got off her bus on the last day of school were also indescribable as a mom. They were because of the absence of her amazing teacher and seeing him each day.
That has never happened before. The adoration was very real.
Do you want to put a vote in for Mr. Domonkos? We would love your support of this phenomenal teacher!
Do you have a special teacher in your life? You can nominate them for a cash prize through their Raise a Hand for Teachers Program (#raiseahand) today!
To support this fun campaign (and help with the school supplies problem that teachers face), we have crafted up the cutest Felted Flower Dry Erase Marker Bouquet that you can share with a teacher in your life. These felt flowers are so easy to create that even your child can make these (with a little assistance with the hot glue gun). Let’s get started!
Directions to Make Felted Flowers
Looking for more great teacher gifts? Check out this round-up of 19 Awesome Ways to Show Teacher Appreciation! Yay!
*This post is sponsored by Universal Pictures. Thank you for supporting the companies that support this site!
We have had so much fun preparing and hosting our MINIONS Backyard Bash in honor of the film’s launch on July 10th! Today we want to show you how we decorated for our party, the fun goodie bags we got to share with our friends, and an easy cupcake minion you can create for your very own party (no decorating skills required!).
In the new film, you get to go back to where the story of the Minions all began! Starting as single-celled yellow organisms, the Minions evolve through the ages, perpetually serving the most despicable of masters. Continuously unsuccessful at keeping these masters-from T. rex to Napoleon-the Minions find themselves without someone to serve and fall into a terrible depression. Kevin, Stuart, and Bob decide to seek a new boss to follow and decide to make a journey to find their new master. This is where they meet their new potential master, Scarlet Overkill (voiced by Sandra Bullock- yay!), the world’s first-ever female super-villain. They travel from Antarctica to 1960s New York City, ending in London. It is here that they must face their biggest challenge to date: saving all of Minionkind…from annihilation.
We can’t wait to see this family-friendly film together and were selected to help throw a party in honor of this film’s launch. #luckyducks
We got an incredible package in the mail that included all the party supplies we would need to execute our backyard bash as well as fantastic party favors that included adorable beach towels, beach balls, and PlayDoh sets for all of our guests.
The only thing we really needed was Mother Nature to cooperate with our plans.
Unfortunately, it has rained for two straight weeks in Indiana so we had to move this party indoors and enjoy the fun inside instead!
We weren’t going to let a little rain ruin our party though! We outfitted our table in blue and yellow to go with our theme. I let my kids do the decorating while I prepared our snacks. The goggles, of course take center stage in this set-up. We secured a set of adorable goggles to each of the chairs with a little washi tape for each person to take home. Our centerpiece was also adorned with goggles and we even stapled some together to make a goggle banner over our table.
Lemonade, popcorn, and cupcakes were served for a little rainy day magic together.
The Minions are a hit with kids of all ages so we invited our friends and cousins to join us for the afternoon. We loved sharing our Cupcake Minion with them and everyone can’t wait to catch the movie this summer!
In honor of the film, I’d love to show you how to create this cupcake minion for your party table! Before we begin, I want to encourage you to make this as easy on yourself as possible! If you want to make this party treat REALLY fast, call your local bakery and ask for two dozen white cupcakes with the frosting on the side. This is what we did to save some time and our local grocer only charged $14.99.
Two Dozen White Cupcakes
Frosting, tint half of it yellow and then other half blue (I recommend these Wilton food colorings to achieve this bold shade)
1 canning jar ring
Black licorice (if you aren’t a fan of black licorice, we tried a new chocolate Twizzler variety that worked perfectly)
1 Hershey Kiss
1. Tint over half your frosting in yellow and the other portion in blue. Set one cupcake aside for your eye.
2. Ice as I have shown here (15 Yellow, 4 Blue, 4 Half Yellow & Half Blue, 1 Left Without Icing!!). You can pipe the icing on, if you prefer a more polished look, or you can just spread the icing on with an icing spatula, as we have shown here.
3. Cut your black licorice up in random smaller pieces and apply to the top of your Minion head to create the hair.
4. Trim the top off of your cupcake to expose the white cake of your cupcake for the eye (pardon our picture, we decided to do that one last minute!). Make sure to not trim it too deep, so that your canning ring will fit around on the outside of it. Place your canning ring around the cupcake top to create your goggle.
5. Invert a Hershey Kiss into the center for your eye. Place the cupcake on top of your other cupcakes in the center. Finish by tucking two pieces of licorice underneath the eye to create the glasses. Trim the licorice to fit across the cupcakes on the end. Finish by bending your licorice into a smiley face! How easy was that?
We hope these ideas inspired you for a MINION’S Backyard Bash of your own! Remember to catch the film on July 10th! We can’t wait to hear what you think about it!
Get connected with the film!
Like ‘MINIONS’ on Facebook
Visit the Official Site
Check out the trailer below and enjoy a fun movie night out with the whole family this month! Yay!
*This post is sponsored by Universal Pictures. Thank you for supporting the companies that support this site!Pin It
This post is sponsored on behalf of BHG at Walmart.
If you have learned anything from my past posts, you know that my desire is to make the most of every corner in our little home. Small space living requires works especially when want you make each room as functional as possible. I love how much it challenges me and today I wanted to show how we made over a neglected closet into a closet office as a birthday gift for our soon-to-be teen son. As part of the BHG Live Better Network, I am partnering with them to show how to help someone create a new space so today we are showing off our ideas for small space office that we think would work beautifully in a closet in your home. The best part is that this makeover cost us under $200 to pull off!
My son’s room is small and his closet is pint size like our’s (thus why I embraced the fashion capsule project so much). Over time though, we have learned that these closets are just right for us and this closet wasn’t getting a lot of use now in his room. We had pulled his dresser in there to save space, but you can see how beautifully that all worked out (ahem!). Too small clothing and the piles of clothes given to this kid to put away in his drawers on laundry day had created a mountain of a mess. The first step was to weed through the pile and, with our recent growth spurt, we were able to whittle this pile down to nothing and give our great stuff to someone in need. The dresser was relocated to the end of our bed which freed the space up entirely for a new purpose.
The hard part with this makeover was just getting this space prepped and ready for its new purpose. We removed all the old closet hardware and trim, painted the walls in our favorite shade of Benjamin Moore Gray Owl (leftover paint from our shed makeover last summer) and sanded down the old eighties paint job on the high shelf to create a more distressed wood look to the shelf.
Here’s a fun fact! We found a little boy’s name scrawled on the side of the wood when we took it off the shelf. That is one of the best parts about having an older house…the sweet discoveries of little things like that add to its charm. We, of course, left it there for someone else to discover one day.
Pictured Above: Better Homes & Gardens Traditional Task Lamp ($22.56)/ Mainstays Parsons Desk With Drawer ($53.53)/ Mainstays Contemporary Office Chair ($45.00) /Mainstays Canvas Ironwork Curtain Panel ($11.18)/ Better Homes & Gardens Boule Bronze Curtain Rod ($25.38)
We hung a single curtain panel that helped frame the space and also could be a way to hide the inevitable chaos that will happen on this desk. As you can see, we hung the bar high to help prevent our chair from rolling into our curtains and also to make this tiny space feel bigger.
On the side, we moved our hamper so it is tucked away for tossing our clothes into. A giant pegboard was added to the wall for odds & ends and any art we want to display. I hung his favorite hat on top of a thumbtack that I had pushed in. This sign made him laugh so we thought it would be a cute touch (found at Hobby Lobby). A task lamp with extension cord creates a well-lit space for doing our homework in this space.
Happy 13th birthday, Ethan! We hope you create your next artistic masterpiece in this new space we have created for you! Thank you BHG at Walmart for the fun challenge this month! We couldn’t be more thrilled with our space and to create a new purpose to a once cluttered closet!
In accordance with the FTC Guidelines, I am disclosing that I received compensation from BHG at Walmart for my time and participation in the BHG Live Better Network. Although we have material connection to BHG, any publicly stated opinions of BHG and their products remain my own.
*This post is sponsored by Walmart. Proceeds from this post were donated to Riverbend Cancer Services. Thank you for supporting the companies that support this site and our community!
Have you ever wanted to create your own DIY Outdoor Home Theater? We have had this on our summer bucket list for years and this summer we decided to finally put together our very own DIY outdoor movie night together with our kids and are sharing it with you today! There is something truly magical about watching a movie together under the stars and I love that you can do this right in the comfort of your very own backyard. We partnered with Walmart to show you just how easy it is to host an outdoor movie night of your own.
Shopping List: 1) Clothespins 2)White Sheets (King or Queen Size) 3) Projector 4) Outdoor Pillows 5) Outdoor Lights 6) Popcorn Buckets
Now that you know what to buy, here are my tips for hosting your own diy outdoor movie night:
An EASY DIY Set-Up
You don’t need a lot to create a great movie set up. A simple white sheet (we like to double ours up to get the optimum picture) and some clothespins are exactly what we used to create our set-up. We simply draped our sheet on our clothesline out back and held it in place with a couple of clothespins. Anchor the bottom of your sheet with rocks or a brick to hold the sheet in place, particularly on those windy days.
Although there are more expensive screen options that you can purchase, I have found that sheets don’t take up a lot of storage and offer a decent picture for the price. Make sure to iron out those creases to avoid having ripples on this DIY screen- it’s worth the extra step!
Get a Great Picture (and Sound)
Your biggest investment in your outdoor movies will be your projector although Walmart does offer several affordable choices (check out this budget-friendly option for just $113.88)! More than likely, you already have the laptop and with the addition of small external speakers, you will have incredible sound.
We have had our projector for years and take it with us on our trips as a back-up plan for rainy days and we use it at home regularly especially in the winter months.
We were always struggling with sound on ours and we had an ah-ha moment and realized that with the right cable, we could hook the sound up to our daughter’s mini guitar amp. Now we have sound and we didn’t even have to make a speaker purchase. This goes to show that you can really think out of the box on creating your own DIY theater for a great picture and sound for your movie night.
Create the Mood
With the humble beginnings of a sheet and some clothespins, I am all about creating a mood. Consider stringing some outdoor lights up and around your movie screen to really create the movie magic for the night. I have always found that twinkle lights take everything up a notch when outdoor entertaining and are less than $20 a strand. It’s an affordable luxury for really creating the mood!
Comfy seating keeps your guests in their seat longer (although running around the yard while the movie is playing is totally required!). Add some blankets to the ground and some comfy outdoor pillows (I love these from BHG at Walmart). Consider also gathering your patio furniture around to keep things cozy for the adults in the crowd!
Bring On the Snacks
You can’t watch the movie without POPCORN! Take your popcorn game up a level and craft up a popcorn bar for your guests. Fill trifle containers with popcorn (don’t forget your scoopers!) and then fill ramekins with candy treats, marshmallows, and other fun mix-ins for you guests.
To make the treat more interactive (while you are waiting for it to get dark), you can have a table for decorating paper bags with stamps, markers, and decorative scissors for cutting a pretty scalloped edge. Have kids create their own popcorn bags and fill them with their favorite combination of treats. For older guests, the party section of the store offers a variety of fun containers you can use for your snacks.
I am also a big fan of the reusable insulated solo cup for outdoor drinks and a perfectly sized popcorn bucket. We found these in the outdoor section of our store.
For drinks, I am a BIG fan of using an inexpensive outdoor flower box for your soda drinks. Isn’t this a fun way to bring drinks to the table? Retro sodas and paper straws are always a hit with my kids. Center this on your picnic table for easy grabbing!
Here is our movie screen once it was dark. As you can see, even with a tiny projector, you have a pretty great picture on your sheet. We found adjusting the bricks to pull out any wrinkling, made a dramatic difference in the projection of our show. Our first movie night we caught, “Little Rascals!” The kids ran around like crazy, catching glimpses between games of hide and seek.
At the end of the night, it ended up just being me and my Dad, sitting side by side in two chairs, finishing out the show together.
We both agreed, that was pretty darn sweet.
There is certainly something so magical about an outdoor movie and we hope we have inspired you for a night of your own!
Reservations to our movie theater are highly recommended. We encourage you to dial our yellow phone to hold your seat! We would like to say a big thank you to Mallory Dzierla Schoenle of Copycat-Design for sharing her talent with the Riverbend Cancer Services.
We purchased her beautiful donation of this handmade lemonade stand to help support the cause and transformed it into a popcorn stand for the evening festivities. Mallory is a big giver in our community and as a DIY girl myself, I can see the labor of love that goes into each of her projects. You can check out her Facebook page or her website for more information about her beautiful pieces!
For more fun summer activities, check out this page of great ideas! Have you ever hosted an outdoor movie night? Please share your tricks and tips here for a fun night with the family!
*This post is sponsored by Walmart. Thank you for supporting the companies that support this site!
One of my favorite celebrations is 4th of July and today I wanted to share with you a fast & easy 4th of July fruit dessert platter you or your kids can make into a flag to celebrate the holiday. Walmart partnered up with me to share a festive 4th dish and I have to say that this delivers on the red, white, & blue.
Since I am gluten-free, I often have to bypass the dessert trays. As an adult, it is not a big a deal. As a child, the dessert table is EVERYTHING, especially when it comes to holiday feasting. I wanted to create this cute tray just for them and I found these glutino gluten-free yogurt covered pretzels are not only a fantastic way to add the white we needed for our stripes, but they also are highly addictive and delicious. You can certainly make your own white chocolate covered pretzels, if you are feeling ambitious, but these cut down on the time invested in creating our cute tray!
Flag cupcake picks can be a great way to festively pick up a berry (or ten). I found these at a local party supplies store and they are an adorable touch to a festive spread.
I think the best part about this tray is that it is not only relatively healthy, but it is also a tray that you can confidently create and know it will get eaten. After a big cookout, light desserts are a wonderful addition to the table for snacking on. Have too many desserts on your table? Save this to serve up during the fireworks. It will be gone before it even gets dark enough to see them!
Check out the instructions below on how many supplies you need to put this tray together!
- 2 pints strawberries trimmed, rinsed, and dried
- 1 pint blueberries, rinsed
- 2 packages of glutino yogurt-covered pretzels (or white chocolate regular pretzels, if not going gluten-free on this tray)
- On a 9x13 cookie sheet, place a small clear plastic (or glass) square container of berries to create your blue flag corner.
- Now alternate the red berries and white pretzels in stripes until you have filled your tray.
While you are here, these are a few more of my favorite 4th of July ideas on MomAdvice! xo
Make a 4th of July wreath out of cupcake picks (world’s easiest festive touch!)
Teach your kids about the REAL 4th of July Heroes (the reason we all celebrate!)
Turn a tool cart into a bar cart for the 4th (adorable girl not included!)
Keep the bugs away with DIY Citronella Candles (made in your slow cooker!)
Make a Red, White, & Blueberry Trifle (another light & easy dessert!)
Wow your guests with this Watermelon Granita (just 3-ingredients!)
Or blend up leftover watermelon into this Watermelon Lime & Coconut Ice (I love leftovers!)
Make a festive Blueberry Sangria Lemonade for toasting the holiday (cheers and cheers again!)
Leftover berries? Turn them into a protein-packed Berry Quinoa Parfait.
Everyone loves a good salad! Greek Quinoa Salad is yummy and gluten-free (winning!)
Why have one salad when you can have two? Lemony Spinach & Tomato Quinoa Salad is delicious (even at room temperature!)
I am all about the caprese so this Pasta Caprese Salad really fits the 4th of July bill! (can be made gluten-free with a pasta substitute)
Did someone say caprese? These 5-ingredient Caprese Chops would be delicious on the grill.
Feeling Fancy? Try the World’s Best Steak Marinade (it makes cheap cuts taste gourmet!)
Rained out? Restaurant-Worthy Steak on the stove. In your face, rain!
I love entertaining outdoors in the summertime and today I wanted to share with you some fun and frugal ways you can entertain utilizing items found at your local Goodwill store. Outdoor entertaining does not need to be expensive and many of the items found at Goodwill can be repurposed into great items to have on hand for outdoor meals and entertainment for your guests.
Join me over on the Goodwill Tips blog for a few beautiful summertime ideas I have gathered to help you make the most of your outdoor space! I just know you will feel inspired after you see these fun ideas!Pin It
This year has flown by for our family and it’s hard to believe summer is so quickly upon us. Each year I’m more desperate to hang on to our summer and our memories together. My kids are hitting the teen and tween stages this year and I treasure each moment with them so much more as they get older than I had ever imagined.
Today I want to share with you a fun summer time capsule ornament that your children can hang on the holiday tree or can be the launching point of a fun family mealtime together this summer. Have you ever had your kids create a time capsule? I am telling you, it is so much fun and gives you a glimpse, as a parent, into what is important in their lives.