Posts Tagged ‘Walmart Moms’

How to Make a Succulent Centerpiece

Saturday, May 3rd, 2014

How to Make a Succulent Centerpiece from MomAdvice.com

You may think, “Who am I reading? I thought she couldn’t take care of anything (even herself?)!  Well, surprise, SURPRISE, I am showing you an easy DIY succulent centerpiece today and wanted to share with you a few tips on caring for succulents. I think I got my confidence back this year after creating that terrarium for you all and now I think I am some kind of green-thumb-ish-person and I want to take you along on my journey. In all honesty, I worked many a summer in a greenhouse, but I had lost my love of plants when I started changing diapers, cleaning a house, and feeding a family. Maybe you felt the same way?   Today’s project was sponsored by Walmart and they asked me to showcase a fun creation you can make for your own backyard from their gardening department and I thought I would highlight a plant I am kind of crazy about right now…the succulent.

Painted Succulent Pictures

Have you seen a painted succulent before?  True green thumbs may cringe at the painted plants, but (as I illustrated above) I am a newbie to the houseplant world and I love anything that is painted. These succulents have been painted which I think can add a pop of color to your home or as an outdoor centerpiece for your outdoor table, as I am showing off today.

How to Care For Your Succulents

Succulents don’t need a lot to survive, but they do have some small requirements- a lot of light, thoughtful watering, and a little plant food every couple of weeks.

A  succulent is any plant with thick, fleshy (succulent) water storage organs. Succulents store water in their leaves, their stems or their roots. These plants have adapted to survive arid conditions throughout the world, from Africa to the deserts of North America.These plants can take many different leaf forms and plant shapes, including paddle leaves, tight rosettes, and bushy or trailing columns of teardrop leaves.

Light- 

The one requirement I worry about in my home is the lighting conditions because my house doesn’t get a ton of light in it. If you have a home with bright sunny windows, succulents are a perfect houseplant option.

Succulents prefer bright light, such as found on a south-facing window. Succulents will let you know if you are not putting them in an ideal location. Some species will scorch if suddenly exposed to direct sunlight. Their leaves will turn brown or white as the plant bleaches out and the soft tissues are destroyed. If the plant is not getting enough light, succulents will begin to stretch, with an elongated stem and widely spaced leaves. Many varieties of succulents will thrive outdoors in the summer and, depending upon your weather, this might be a better option.

Water-

Most people think that they don’t need to water their succulents very often, but in the Spring & Summer months, succulents actually need more water than they do in the Winter & Fall. Make sure to water your succulents often in the summer.  Allow the potting mix to dry between waterings, but do not underwater. During the winter, when the plants go dormant, cut watering back to once every other month. Really, the watering is probably the most tricky part about succulents!

Fertilize-

Make sure that you purchase some houseplant fertilizer while you are at the store. In the Spring & Summer months, fertilize your plant every two weeks.  Just make sure you stop fertilizing in the winter months.

How to Make a Succulent Centerpiece from MomAdvice.com

Now that we know all about succulents, let’s make a cute centerpiece for our outdoor table!

Supplies Needed

3-4 Succulents (painted or not)- these are priced at $6.88 each

Gold Spray Paint

White Spray Paint

Inexpensive Pizza Pan (this was just $.92)

Painters Tape

How to Make a Succulent Centerpiece from MomAdvice.com

Directions

1. Remove plant in plastic pot from the clay pot. Remove stickers. Hold your can 8 inches away from your surface and spray in a sweeping motion side to side with a slight overlap. It has always been my experience to go thin with the paint, allow it to dry, and then to add another layer for the best results and minimal drip. Allow the paint to dry for one hour.

2. Using your painters tape, tape off anywhere you would like to have some gold peeking through. You can do a paint dipped pot and do the bottoms, trim the top in gold, or create your own unique paint effect with geometric taping. Spray paint those parts gold and allow your pots to dry.

3. Finally, spray paint your pizza pan gold.

4. Once it is dry, pull everything together and display it on your outdoor table for a unique centerpiece.

How to Make a Succulent Centerpiece from MomAdvice.com

How to Make a Succulent Centerpiece from MomAdvice.com

How to Make a Succulent Centerpiece from MomAdvice.com

How to Make a Succulent Centerpiece from MomAdvice.com

Have any tips for succulent care or selection? Feel free to leave them here- I’d love to hear about your experience with these plants!

walmart_mom_disclaimer

Pin It

How to Stain a Picnic Table

Sunday, April 13th, 2014

How to Stain a Picnic Table from MomAdvice.com.

Have you ever stained a picnic table before? This was our first year staining our table and I wanted to share with you some tips on how to stain a picnic table so you can enjoy it all summer long.  Thanks to a coat of stain, our table looks and feels just like new and I can’t wait to show you just how easy it is to do.

Walmart challenged to me to showcase an idea for a Spring project and I knew that this was one of those projects that I really needed to complete on my to-do list, particularly after such a brutal Indiana winter.

How to Stain a Picnic Table from MomAdvice.com.

Have you ever spotted something in a magazine and just knew you had to have it… yet, you could find it nowhere! Many years ago, I flipped through a magazine and spied a picnic table that Katie Brown owned that was in her backyard and I just knew I wanted a table like that. After inquiring on Facebook, we found a gentleman in town who makes picnic tables and after telling him what I envisioned, he built this beautiful table for us that comfortably sits eight to ten people.  When I look out my window, this makes me so happy and the meals shared at this table are what summer is all about.

To keep her looking good, we decided to freshen her up for another year of family meals.

How to Stain a Picnic Table from MomAdvice.com.

Supplies Needed:

Thompson’s WaterSeal Waterproofing Stain (we did our table in Nutmeg Brown in Semi-Transparent)

Drop Cloth

Knit Rags

Paint Tray

Foam & Paint Brush

Sandpaper

Heavy-Duty Cleaner

How to Stain a Picnic Table from MomAdvice.com.

Directions

1. Before we begin, we need to prep our surface. Using a heavy-duty cleaner, spray and wipe down your table to remove any dirt and grime. Be sure that you clean the entire surface well and then wait 10-15 minutes, or until the table is completely dry, to begin staining. You never want to stain the table while it is wet so be sure that you are not trying to stain after a heavy rain.

How to Stain a Picnic Table from MomAdvice.com.

2. Since our piece was in good condition, it did not require any sanding. If your piece needs to be smoothed though, use a medium grit sandpaper sanding in the direction of the grain. This can be done with a small palm sander or can be done by hand. Once you are done with that, finish with a finer grit of sandpaper to smooth out any rough areas and give the table an even, smooth finish for the stain. Once it is sanded, make sure to use a tack cloth to remove any sanding.

3. Once your piece has been cleaned and prepped, it is time to begin applying stain.  With the Thompson’s Water Seal Waterproof Stain you do not want to thin this.  Make sure that you shake well and shake, stir or mix thoroughly before and occasionally during use. Before you begin staining, make sure you try a test run with a small trial patch in an inconspicuous place, like the underside of your bench or table, to make sure that the stain is the color you are going for.

Apply using an exterior paint pad, brush, roller, or even a rag to begin applying the stain to your table.  If you are doing the legs and underside of the table, lay down your drop cloth and invert your piece and do the bottom first. Allow the bottom to dry, it should take less than two hours to be fully dry, and then begin staining the top.

How to Stain a Picnic Table from MomAdvice.com.

5. Use your foam brush to get into the detail parts and legs of your table, using a rag to remove any drip marks on the ends.

6. Allow your table to dry for two hours.

How to Stain a Picnic Table from MomAdvice.com.

 

How to Stain a Picnic Table from MomAdvice.com.

How to Stain a Picnic Table from MomAdvice.com.

How to Stain a Picnic Table from MomAdvice.com.

How to Stain a Picnic Table from MomAdvice.com.

This table looks just like new again and it only cost me $30 in supplies. Since picnic tables do reside outside, they are exposed to all of the weather elements, which means you need to stain your table from time to time.  This stain typically will last two to three years, but possibly less time than that, depending on if your picnic table is in direct sunlight. The properties of  sunlight can dry out the stain and cause it to weather much faster.  It also has a lot to do with how much freezing and thawing happens, which in our area, seems to happen often! 

I’m so proud of my table and I hope it inspires you to freshen up your own picnic table for Spring.  Speaking of staining,  I am still SO proud of this stained table I created for our office. If you are looking for tips on indoor staining, be sure to visit that post!

Too intimidated by stain? Check out how I spray painted my side table and how we painted our kitchen table that is STILL going strong after all these years. And it never hurts to reupholster those chairs while you are at it!

Have you ever stained a picnic table or deck? What tips can you share on this?

walmart_mom_disclaimer

Pin It

How to Dye Plastic Eggs

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

How to Dye Plastic Eggs

Did you know that you can paint and dye plastic eggs that look like real eggs? Me either! Today I am showing off our ideas for decorating plastic eggs and (even more importantly!) how to get all that dye off of your hands.

How to Dye Plastic Eggs

I partnered with Walmart on today’s project to showcase a new egg that has made its way on store shelves that are simply called, “Plastic Decorating Eggs,” made by Paper Magic and they retail for, $1.97 for a dozen eggs. I found mine over by the other egg decorating supplies tucked away on the top of our shelf.

How to Dye Plastic Eggs How to Dye Plastic Eggs

What Do We Love About the Plastic Decorating Eggs?

I love decorating eggs with my kids, but when we do it, I wish that I could keep them longer without them spoiling or needing refrigeration. We also ran into instances of little hands being excited to dump their eggs in the dye, often resulting in cracked eggs.

These new eggs can be found over in the seasonal section of the store and are made from 100% recyclable plastic. Unlike the shiny brightly colored eggs we use for our egg hunts, these almost feel like a wooden egg with a brushed exterior, yet are lightweight since they are made from a lightweight plastic. There is a small seam that can be seen in my close-up pictures, but it does not break open like the neon plastic eggs.

 

Each kit comes with 12 eggs, 12 paper stands, and a dipper.

How to Dye Plastic Eggs How to Dye Plastic Eggs How to Dye Plastic Eggs

How Do You Decorate Your Plastic Eggs?

We tried a couple of different techniques with the plastic eggs. One involved our favorite Kool-Aid dying technique and the other method incorporated the 24k Eggs & Speckled Eggs kits (also found in the seasonal section).

When attempting our Kool-Aid dying we found that the eggs did not lend themselves well to being dunked, due to their lightweight plastic nature, and the dye did not adhere to our eggs. We tried our most vibrant shades and still the dye did not stick. We boosted our dye with 3 teaspoons of vinegar and only achieved the softest shade of coloring. If you have younger children, this can lead to some impatience, and the kids were ready to move on to the decorating kits we purchased.

Painting our eggs, however, yielded vibrantly beautiful eggs. We combined the sponge technique with the golden glaze, and let the kids create their own masterpieces. The colors stayed very true and bright. I would recommend utilizing one of the egg painting kits for these and Walmart does offer many different varieties and you can see lots of different examples over here of ideas for decorating them.

How to Dye Plastic Eggs How to Dye Plastic Eggs How to Dye Plastic Eggs How to Dye Plastic Eggs

Here are the eggs we created with our kits. Some of the most beautiful eggs actually resulted from dyed fingerprints that added color and texture to them. My daughter loved doing the speckled eggs, while my son painted his fully with a brush. We let them dry in the carton and they now have a spot in our front room in a bowl to be admired all season long.

Although I am lucky that my children do not suffer from any food allergies, these eggs would be perfect for a child that has an egg allergy and could have an allergic reaction to the eggs. 

I would recommend this kit for little hands that have a hard time handling delicate eggs, children with egg allergies, and moms that might like to keep their decorated eggs from year to year.

How to Remove Dye From Hands

That was a messy job so I am sharing our tried-and-true recipe for removing egg dye & paint off of your hands. We can attest to this formula as we may or may not have used everything in our house from rubbing alcohol to oil to try to figure out how to get the pesky dye of our hands. Smarter people might wear gloves while decorating. We risk it all for our art. That’s how we roll.

How to Remove Dye From Hands

1 squirt whitening toothpaste

1 squirt face or body exfoliant

1 squirt baby oil

Scrub well. Add a little water and continue scrubbing. Rinse. Repeat as necessary. Maybe three times if you look like a Smurf.

Looking for more Easter ideas? Check out this list of 21 Fun Easter Projects you can try with your kids!

walmart_mom_disclaimer

Have you tried the new dyeable plastic eggs? What do you think about them! Share your decorating ideas here!

Pin It

5 Ways to Wear a $3.94 Tank Top

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

5 Ways to Wear a $3.94 Tank Top

Although the snow continues to fall here, I am starting to get the urge to spruce up my wardrobe for Spring. Today I wanted to showcase 5 fun ways to wear a $3.94 tank top with items you probably already have in your closet.

I am partnering with Walmart on today’s project to help spread the word about their $3.94 Faded Glory Ribbed Cotton Tanks that you can find in a variety of colors and prints at their store. Truth be told, I buy a huge stack of these every single year and each year, I think they improve a little bit more!

The one thing that I love about this year’s tank is that it actually covers your bra straps so you don’t have to wear a strapless bra with this one or have to layer anything underneath. It’s an improvement from year’s past where two tanks were necessary for coverage. I think you will be pleased with the cut, length, and fabric weight on these too.

Here are 5 fun ways to wear this year’s tanks!

5 Ways to Wear a $3.94 Tank Top

5 Ways to Wear a $3.94 Tank Top

Novelty prints are still really hot this year so I wanted to pick up a couple of printed tanks to wear with my wardrobe basics. This heart print looks so cute with a boyfriend blazer, jeans, ballet flats, and a pretty necklace.

This would also be cute with a blazer, chambray shirt, or a favorite cardigan for layering until those warmer temperatures come along.

5 Ways to Wear a $3.94 Tank Top

Here is an example of that same novelty print, but dressed up! I grabbed my skinny red patent belt to cinch the waist and then paired it with a cotton skirt and my favorite red wedges. I love looks like this because you look very polished, but it is essentially as comfortable as wearing your pajamas!

5 Ways to Wear a $3.94 Tank Top

In the summer month’s I LIVE in maxi skirts and tank tops.There really is nothing more comfortable.

Here is another $3.94 tank top in a sunshine yellow that I have paired with my favorite maxi skirt and bubble necklace from our awesome site sponsor. When I have a shirt that doesn’t have any pattern to it, I really rely on fun accessories to add details to my neckline. One necklace can change the entire look of a basic tank.

5 Ways to Wear a $3.94 Tank Top

Truth be told, most of my tank tops get devoted towards my workouts at the gym! This tank can be paired with your favorite yoga pants and layered or worn alone with a sports bra for your workouts. Workout gear can be really expensive so I rely on this budget-friendly wardrobe staple for my yoga classes. Sweating ain’t no thang when you only pay $3.94 for a top!

5 Ways to Wear a $3.94 Tank Top

In the summer months, I am usually in my favorite capris and tanks while running around after my kids at the local park. Even this look paired with a chunky necklace, a contrasting patterned bangle, and a pair of wedges can look pulled together for a day running around with the kids.

I hope these ideas inspire you to make these tanks a summer staple in your wardrobe too!

walmart_mom_disclaimer

Pin It

How to Find & Write Pen Pals

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

How to Find & Write Pen Pals

Pen Pals are a beautiful thing in a digital age where pen, paper, the process of writing, and waiting are so hard in our fast moving culture. Today I wanted to share about our experience with finding and writing pen pals that I hope will inspire you to find a pen pal of your own for your child after hearing about our experience.

How to Find & Write Pen Pals How to Find & Write Pen Pals How to Find & Write Pen Pals

Walmart challenged me to come up with a fun Spring Break activity for kids and finding a pen pal for my children is something that I have thought a lot about doing. We found items in their office supplies section like writing tablets (for big and small children), pretty note cards, and freshly sharpened pencils. With these arsenal of tools, we are now ready to begin a new adventure for our kids.

How Do You Find a Pen Pal?

Finding a pen pal is oh-so-easy thanks to social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I posted on my Facebook page that we were looking for children in our child’s age range that did not live in the United States to be pen pals with. Within minutes, we had many people replying about friends and family that lived in other countries with kids just around our age.

Of course, if finding someone living out of the states is harder to come by in your inner circle, consider just finding families that live in other parts of the United States. A child shivering in the polar vortex of Indiana, for example, might find a child’s life in Florida or California quite inspiring!

How to Find & Write Pen Pals How to Find & Write Pen Pals How to Find & Write Pen Pals How to Find & Write Pen Pals How to Find & Write Pen Pals How to Find & Write Pen Pals

Encourage Your Child to Craft a Great Letter

Writing letters not only improves our vocabulary and spelling, but it also helps teach children about the give and take of conversation.

Talk with your child about crafting a great introduction about themselves and how to weave in questions to find out more about their new pen pal. When my daughter asked me if her pen pal had glasses, I told her that this would be a great question to ask her so she could look forward to her response.

How to Find & Write Pen Pals How to Find & Write Pen Pals

Have Your Child Explore Their Pen Pal’s Town

It is easier than ever to learn more about where someone else lives thanks to Google’s Street View and Wikipedia. Although there was no street view for our pen pal, who resides in Greece, we were able to take a peek at pictures of landmark items in her country and read facts about where she lived.

Knowing information like this helps to build those initial letters as you get to know more about each other.

How to Find & Write Pen Pals How to Find & Write Pen Pals How to Find & Write Pen Pals How to Find & Write Pen Pals How to Find & Write Pen Pals

Send Your Letters Off

Once we were done writing our letter, we got to practice addressing an envelope and then added a few decorative touches to the back of our envelope for our new friend.

Although we ran our letter out to our mailbox at home, a great Spring Break activity might be to take that letter to the post office and make it feel even more, “official,” when sending it.

Now we must wait patiently for our response from our new friend and when she writes back, it will be a happy day, indeed!

How to Find & Write Pen Pals

I hope this inspires you to find a few pen pals of your own. And as double inspiration, here is my childhood pen pal. We met at church camp and became best friends through our letters back and forth. I remember that sweet anticipation of the mail dropping through the mail slot of our home and ripping them open to read, then reread, then reread again the precious words from my friend. 25 whopping years later, she is still my best friend for life.

I already told Emily to save her money and hopefully she will have a friend like that in her pen pal who she can visit someday! You just never know- we certainly never did! I shall be very jealous of her trips to Greece, should that happen!

Here’s a little video we put together of Emily’s first pen pal letter! I hope you enjoy it and I would love to hear if you had a pen pal and what they meant to you?

 

walmart_mom_disclaimer

Pin It

Knitted Sweater Coffee Cozies

Monday, November 11th, 2013

Knitted Sweater Coffee Cozies from MomAdvice.com.

It is officially holiday crafting season and I am so excited to show off these adorable knitted coffee cozie sweaters that I created for our teacher & bus driver gifts this year. These coffee cozie sweaters are so inexpensive to create, but have that “wow” factor that you look for in an inexpensive gift.

This month’s craft project was created for Walmart utilizing some inexpensive materials you can find at your store. I have a feeling that you are really going to love this project and here are some of the materials that I used to create these adorable sweaters!

Knitted Sweater Coffee Cozies from MomAdvice.com. Knitted Sweater Coffee Cozies from MomAdvice.com. Knitted Sweater Coffee Cozies from MomAdvice.com.Knitted Sweater Coffee Cozies from MomAdvice.com.

Since I wanted to keep the cost factor low on these, I used the inexpensive Red Heart Super Saver yarns. As you can see from the photo I snapped in the store, these are priced right in my budget at $2.47 and come in a variety of colors. I took a picture of the labels if you would like to replicate the colors that I used for your own creations.

I happen to love acrylic yarn for projects like these because they really hold their shape well and you can create a lot of adorable cozies for a very small price. You are looking for a medium weight yarn on this project (#4- as shown in the label above) to replicate how I made these.

Knitted_Sweater_Coffee_Cozies-3

I wanted to pair these with a sweet treat and found these yummy Starbucks Hot Cocoa packets over in the Coffee/Tea aisle of the grocery section. Eight come in a package and they run $5.38 a box. The reusable coffee mugs were priced at just $4.98 each and are located over in the Housewares section of the store. You may recall, I did a similar gift last year with these super easy coffee cozies with a rosette!

I tied up my cocoa packets with some chunky yarn I had leftover from the boot cuffs I knitted last month!

Knitted_Sweater_Coffee_Cozies-2

Modifications Were Made to The Featured Pattern. Please Read Carefully!

The pattern is available on Ravelry for $1.99. You will need to purchase this pattern to make these cozies. Instead of making them for a mug with a handle, I knitted these in the round for a travel mug.

To make this size, you need to size up those needles and add stitches! Instead of casting on 28 stitches, cast on 36 stitches. I used my 12″ circular needles in Size 10! The other pieces were knitted with Size 5 straight needles to create the mittens, sweater arms, and pockets! 

Knitted Sweater Coffee Cozies from MomAdvice.com.

Knitted Sweater Coffee Cozies from MomAdvice.com.Grab the Pattern HERE on Ravelry (for purchase for $1.99).  Don’t forget to friend me while you are there! I love new knitting buddies! Oh, and here are 54 MORE Handmade Gift Ideas to get you thinking about crafting this holiday season!

walmart_mom_disclaimer

Pin It

Quick & Easy Knitted Boot Cuffs

Monday, October 14th, 2013

Easy Knitted Boot Cuffs (a 2 hour knit project)  featured on MomAdvice.com.
I love a quick & gratifying quick knitting project and these knitted boot cuffs are so lovely to wear and add to knit. Knitted boot cuffs can be created in any pattern that your heart desires and can be knitted oh-so-quickly thanks to beautifully bulky yarn. I can’t wait to share this fun and easy to create boot topper.

Easy Knitted Boot Cuffs (a 2 hour knit project)  featured on MomAdvice.com.

Walmart asked me to share a fun Fall project that you can tackle using supplies from their store and I instantly thought of knitted boot cuffs to add a beautiful touch to my Fall wardrobe. I discovered after knitting my 6-stitch ruffled scarf project with them this past Spring that their yarn selection and knitting/crochet accessories has really grown.

For bulky yarn choices, I knitted with both the Lion Brand Thick & Quick Wool Ease and the Lion Brand Hometown USA yarn.

After knitting with both, I loved the Lion Brand Thick & Quick for how much sturdier it was and how it held its shape. What I didn’t love was the scratchy feel of the wool through my leggings so these will be just for topping my boots with jeans.

The Hometown USA yarn feels so soft and luxurious, but the fibers can be easier to separate and it won’t have the longevity that the wool does. It’s up to you which one will fit your needs best, however, they are both affordable options.

You need only one ball of yarn to make a set of boot cuffs.

Easy Knitted Boot Cuffs (a 2 hour knit project)  featured on MomAdvice.com. Easy Knitted Boot Cuffs (a 2 hour knit project)  featured on MomAdvice.com. Easy Knitted Boot Cuffs (a 2 hour knit project)  featured on MomAdvice.com. Easy Knitted Boot Cuffs (a 2 hour knit project)  featured on MomAdvice.com.

For those new to cabling, this is a great pattern to practice your cabling on since it is a small and easy to follow cable pattern. I am linking to a great video tutorial that you can watch to see just how easy it is to knit these.

I did knit these in the round (I have some tips over here if you would like to try it), but it was really hard to do because of the small size of these and the cabling you need to do with this bulky yarn. You can just knit them flat and then seam them if you don’t want to attempt the difficulty of knitting these in the round.

Please note, to get the pattern to look like my picture that I have on here, I repeated Row 13-15 two extra times to add a little more length to tuck into the boot. The colors pictured above are the Hometown USA in Las Vegas Yellow & the Wool-Ease in Charcoal.

Scroll to the bottom of this post for a link to the pattern and don’t forget to friend me on Ravelry.

Easy Knitted Boot Cuffs (a 2 hour knit project)  featured on MomAdvice.com.

If you are loving the outfit or boots in this picture, be sure to check out my site sponsor, Flourish Boutique. I am loving my cozy fleece leggings ($16), this adorable rouched top  ($29.50) and even these two-toned boots ($59.50)  for the Fall months. Remember to use my discount code WEB25 for 25% off your shopping!

Easy Knitted Boot Cuffs (a 2 hour knit project)  featured on MomAdvice.com.

As for my beautiful cowl, that one is a Sue Clark exclusive. My mother-in-law is one of my biggest knitting inspirations and she made this for me for my birthday.  I am one lucky girl, I tell you!

Looking for more fun knitting inspiration, be sure to visit the Knitting section of my site! 

Grab the free Boot Cuff Pattern by Joan De Lurio HERE (you need a Ravelry account to access). Please also swing by her beautiful Etsy shop!

walmart_mom_disclaimer

Pin It

Slow Cooked Honey Crisp Apple Oatmeal

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

Slow Cooked Honey Crisp Apple Oatmeal from MomAdvice.com.

Apple season is one of my favorite produce seasons and one of my favorite snacks in the Fall months. Today I am sharing a recipe for slow cooked honeycrisp apple oatmeal that you are going to love for a warm and satisfying breakfast on these chilly Fall mornings.  The best part about all of this though, is my incredible tip for getting creamy oats that won’t burn or stick to your slow cooker.

Slow Cooked Honey Crisp Apple Oatmeal from MomAdvice.com.

Slow Cooked Honey Crisp Apple Oatmeal from MomAdvice.com.

I am working with Walmart and they wanted me to share with you that the Apple Fest season is in full swing at the store. You may have noticed the huge display of fun apples, apple totes, and apple treats/dips that are now displayed in your produce section.   One of the things that  you may not have noticed though is that tags on each bin of apples shares exactly what each variety of apple is perfect for- whether it be salads, baking, or just eaten fresh. I found it really helpful when choosing which apples to use in my recipes and it can be a great way to experiment with a new variety of apple you haven’t tried before.

Slow Cooked Honey Crisp Apple Oatmeal from MomAdvice.com.

Often when it comes to baking, I reach for a Granny Smith apple. When researching different varieties of apples that are best to bake with, I discovered that the Honeycrisp Apple and the McIntosh apple were both great varieties to choose when baking. I decided to put the Honeycrisp Apple to work in an overnight oatmeal recipe.

Slow Cooked Honey Crisp Apple Oatmeal from MomAdvice.com.I admit that I have never had good success with overnight oats. The oats were usually burnt or overcooked and I always had a hard time getting my slow cooker clean after a batch.

That is why I am so excited to share with you this easy technique to create a double boiler right in your slow cooker. Find a oven-proof dish that you can place inside of your slow cooker and spray it well with a little cooking spray. Place your oatmeal ingredients right inside of the the dish and then, using a liquid measuring cup, pour water around the dish to create a water bath. It doesn’t need to be really full, just an inch or so. Set your slow cooker to LOW and you will have perfectly creamy oatmeal with no burnt spots every single time.

I can’t wait for you to try this recipe in your kitchen!

Slow Cooked Honey Crisp Apple Oatmeal from MomAdvice.com.

Slow Cooked Honey Crisp Apple Oatmeal
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This recipe can be personalized according to your family's dietary needs or what variety of apple is on sale at the grocery store. I loved preparing this one with almond milk! Try my technique for creating your own double-boiler to get a creamier oatmeal!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup steel cut oats (NO substitutions)
  • 3½ cups milk (or milk substitute)
  • 1 Honeycrisp apple, diced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Spray your slow cooker with cooking spray. Place the steel cut oats, milk, honeycrisp apple, butter, cinnamon, brown sugar, and vanilla extract into a slow cooker, and stir to combine and dissolve the sugar.
  2. Cover the cooker, set to Low, and allow to cook 6 to 7 hours (for firm oats) or 8 hours (for softer texture).

Looking for more apple recipes? Try my Baked Apple Pie Doughnuts, my oh-so-famous Cheddar Apple Pie Dip,  add some googly eyes to them for a fun Halloween treat, or try these Simply Delicious Apple Pork Chops for an easy weeknight meal!

walmart_mom_disclaimer

Pin It

DIY Minecraft Costume Ideas

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

DIY Minecraft Costume IdeasHalloween is just around the corner and today I wanted to share a fun Minecraft Costume you can create for your very own little Minecraft-addict. DIY Minecraft costumes are fun to make with your kids and give you a chance to spend time together.

I am partnering with Walmart on this Halloween project and today’s project is a fun project that you can do with your kiddos for a Halloween costume.

DIY Minecraft Costume IdeasI have two little Minecraft-addicts in this house. My son was excited to craft up this costume with me and I enjoyed getting to do this together. He is so excited to wear his Steve box head and I am excited that this project cost less than $20 to pull off. In fact, if you have any of these supplies at your house, it may cost even less than that!

DIY Minecraft Costume Ideas

Supplies Needed:

1- 11x11x11 box (This size is NOT available at Walmart. We got ours at FedEx, but you can try Kinkos or the UPS store)

Minecraft Steve Printables- PDF’s printed on 11×17 paper (either print at home or have them printed at the same shipping/printing supplies stores that I have listed above)

All the rest of the supplies can be found at Walmart:

Glue Stick and/or glue gun & glue sticks

Paper Trimmer or Scissors

Box Cutter

Packing tape

Hanes T-Shirt in Aqua Blue

DIY Minecraft Costume Ideas

DIY Minecraft Costume Ideas

Directions:

1. Print out your Minecraft Steve Head printables. I put these files on a jump drive and brought them to Kinkos with me and asked them to print the files on 11×17 paper. Read through this comment thread for printing options. It appears that UPS Store is the most affordable of the options. You can also print at home or try printing the files on smaller paper and piecing them together to save on costs. Feel free to also share your own experience with printing these by leaving a comment below!

2. Begin by taping together the bottom of you box. Once the bottom of your box is taped, you can begin folding in the flaps of the box on the other end, to create a hole for your child’s head.

3. Using a paper trimmer or scissors begin trimming off any of the white portions on the printables.

4. Cover the backside of the first printable with glue. We found the glue stick provided a great start and then I reinforced it, using my glue gun, with little dabs of hot glue along the seam underneath.

5. Repeat the above process and finish with Steve’s hair on top, carefully gluing the edges of the hair down around the top of the box with a little hot glue to secure.

6. Have an adult cut the holes out for Steve’s eyes and wear your new Steve head proudly.  Pair it with an aqua t-shirt and blue jeans to complete the look.

DIY Minecraft Costume Ideas

DIY Minecraft Costume IdeasLooking for more fun DIY Minecraft Costume Ideas? Check out these fun ideas!

Easy Painted Steve Head

Iron Sword & Diamond Pickaxe Printables

Telescoping Minecraft Creeper Costume

20 Amazing Minecraft Costume Ideas (for some extra Minecraft-y inspiration)

Glee Costume Ideas Glee Costume Ideas Glee Costume Ideas Glee Costume Ideas Glee Costume Ideas

We sure do love Halloween around here!  Did you see our couple’s costume from last year? My husband sure does make a dashing Sue Sylvester! Yes, we get into it just as much as the kids do. And why shouldn’t we?

And why shouldn’t YOU?

If you are still looking for fun Halloween ideas, you must visit this DIY Halloween Costume Ideas article and this list of 7 More DIY Halloween Costumes to try creating. Happy Halloween, friends!

walmart_mom_disclaimer

Pin It

$15 Fabric-Lined Bookcase Makeover

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

$15 Fabric-Lined Bookcase MakeoverThis Fall I am committed to ridding my home of some unnecessary clutter. My bookshelves were in need of some true organization and updating. Today I am sharing a fabric-lined bookcase makeover to update a tired bookcase and some ideas for adding a little budget-friendly seasonal beauty to your bookshelves.

I work with Walmart and this project update can be done with $15 of supplies found at your local Walmart store.

$15 Fabric-Lined Bookcase MakeoverLet’s start with a before picture of my bookshelves. As you can see, they are brimming over with far too many books and clutter than you could ever imagine. One side housed a million books, while the other housed random junk in our house. Since this is the front room in our house, it really embarrassed me that they had gotten this cluttered.

The first step was to remove EVERYTHING from these bookshelves and figure out what to do with them. One pile was to keep, one to donate, and some were relocated into better places (cookbooks in the kitchen, productivity/work books in the office, etc…). Once you have cleared your shelves, it is time to make them pretty with some inexpensive fabric.

Supplies

2 yards of fabric (to cover two bookshelves- definitely measure for your own bookcases. This houndstooth fabric I found was only $4 per yard!)

General All-Purpose Spray Adhesive (I had some leftover from last month’s diy homework stations)

Glue Gun & Glue Sticks

2 Binder Cliips

Optional: Gold Spray Paint & inexpensive items in Seasonal Supplies

$15 Fabric-Lined Bookcase Makeover

Directions

1. Take the back off of your bookcase on top of your fabric. Cut around the bookcase leaving approximately one inch of fabric all away around to tuck on the back.

2. Once the fabric is cut, flip the fabric with the right-side out. Clip the fabric to the bookcase at the top, using two clips. Be sure you double check the front of the fabric to make sure it lines up if it is patterned.  Relocate your project outside to spray it with the spray adhesive.

3. Lifting the fabric up, spray the entire bookcase side with spray adhesive and then carefully lay the fabric back down, doing your best to keep the fabric even and flush to your bookcase.

4. Flip the bookcase back over and using your hot glue gun, add a dab of glue along the seam and pull the fabric tight behind the bookcase. Continue adding the glue down the seam of the fabric until it is all secure. Fold the corners in just as you would wrapping a present, and glue those to secure them.

5. Secure your bookcase back to your bookcase and begin assembling the items for your bookshelves.

$15 Fabric-Lined Bookcase Makeover

I wanted to add a little nod to the season and another little nod to the Gold trend right now so I picked up another can of spray paint and a two little pumpkins and an owl that I found over in the Seasonal supplies for only $2.49 each and gave them a shiny new gold finish.

Did you catch my spray painted side table tutorial I did this summer? I am such a spray paint addict.

$15 Fabric-Lined Bookcase MakeoverHere is a close-up of my, “new-to-me,” shelves for Fall. The books at the top are among my favorite. I read East of Eden this summer for the first time, my childhood copy of Secret Garden from my great-grandma is in the pile, I’m Hemingway obsessed, and each year I am collecting one new reissued pretty classic from Barnes & Noble for a holiday gift to myself. My little $2.49 owl fits perfectly in there next to a few of my very favorite books.

The second shelf is simple with yarn and tiny bamboo needles I rarely use along with a few of my very favorite knitting books.

The bottom shelf is just for my hubby with his Harry Potter books and a golden pumpkin.

$15 Fabric-Lined Bookcase MakeoverThe top shelf in this photo holds a few of my favorite cookbooks, a golden pumpkin, and my little Pie Bird that I think is oh-so-sweet and reminds me how much I love a good piece of pie.

My copy of Wuthering Heights (which I read this winter) rests beneath the beautiful China teapot that my grandfather gave me before he passed away. Behind it is the last picture I took of him with my grandma. That shelf makes my heart ache.

The last shelf holds my galley copy of my first book, a picture of my sweet boy when he was little in the beautiful Tin Man costume my mother-in-law made for him, our Boston Drivers Handbook which was a gift when we moved to Massachusetts and were terrified to drive, and my hubby’s copy of, “Understand Rap,” from his sister. It is always a great conversation piece.

Can you see the theme? They are ALL special and ALL mean something to me.

The mess before…how could we even see the gems in there? 

$15 Fabric-Lined Bookcase MakeoverHere are some shots of my beautiful bookshelves now. It is one of those projects that I sit and look at over and over again because it makes me so happy. The fabric completely transformed these and the clutter removed from them brings a lot more peace and order to the room.

Looking for more bookshelf styling ideas? Check out these ideas for decorating bookshelves and this post for bookshelf styling tips!

walmart_mom_disclaimer

Pin It