Cricut May Mystery Box

I love using my Cricut Explore machine to make party decorations, stencils for use in painting, cards, and other decorating projects.  I have a fun project I worked on that I will be sharing with you next week.

I receive updates from Cricut of their monthly deals.  I had to share this one with you because it is so hard to pass up! 

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links. 




Hurry! There are only two days left to get the Cricut Premium May Mystery Box! The box includes 4 cartridges any crafter will enjoy. The contents are a mystery, but they’re a $139.96 value! Don’t wait! Supplies are limited, so buy now and before the end of May - you'll get free shipping when you use code MAYSHIP!
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Book Review: Just Add Watercolor by Helen Birch

I love trying out new mediums or techniques with my art.  When I saw "Just Add Watercolor" by Helen Birch, I decided that learning more about watercolor techniques would be a good thing.
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Patriotic Wreath

Looking to add a little red, white, and blue to your decor? Make this easy DIY Patriotic Wreath with just a few supplies. Keep the wreath up all summer long!

4th of July wreath DIY tutorial clothespin patriotic red white blue
****This post contains affiliate links.****

Last year, I saw a picture on Pinterest (see here) of a nice wreath for the 4th of July.  I made one for my door last year and loved how it turned out. A friend liked my wreath so much that she asked if I would make her one. I decided that while I was making it, I might as well take pictures and put together a tutorial so you can make one for your own home..
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Mod Podge Silicone Craft Mat

As a crafter, I have a few go-to crafting items that I couldn't do without. Today I am sharing with you one of my favorite crafting items, one that I use with almost any craft or decor project I work on. This is a review of my favorite craft mat plus I let you know why it's a must buy item!


***This post contains affiliate links.***
For many of the crafts that I work on, I paint or use glues. For years, I had been using newspaper under my projects. One day I got fed up with the little bits of the paper sticking to painted areas of my projects that had dried. I searched all of the local craft stores to see if I could find a craft mat that my painted projects would not stick to. The did not have any crafting mats, just cutting mats for paper crafts or sewing.
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Guest Post at A Sparkle of Genius

I shared my first guest post today!  I'm over at A Sparkle of Genius today sharing my Cheerful DIY Birdhouse craft.
This was a fun and easy craft to put together.  I was able to buy some of my supplies at the thrift store, so it was a thrifty project too.  See the step-by-step tutorial at A Sparkle of Genius by clicking here.
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Tasty Golden Hashbrowns


In our home, we love to have breakfast for dinner.  When I am making it, hashbrowns are a must.  My girls love the banana pancakes, my husband loves the bacon, but for me it's all about the hashbrowns.
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Owls, owls everywhere


Owls are one of my favorite animals.  I have liked owls since I was young because my mom collected owls.  When I would go and stay the night at my grandmas house, she had a figurine of owls that played the tune "The Way We Were" and I would listen to it before I fell asleep.  Owls are so popular now and it's great that you can find items of them in all of the stores.  I recently went to a Mom's Nite Out party where we had games and the most popular prize was this cute Owl Cookie Jar from World Market.
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Easy DIY Bean Bags


A few weeks ago a woman in my neighborhood asked if anyone knew where to buy bean bags.  Her grandchildren were coming to visit and they were going to build a bean bag toss game for the kids to play.  I thought about it and couldn't remember seeing any bean bags at any stores.  I told her I would make her some.  I thought it would be a great project to make a tutorial for since they are so easy to sew.
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Thrifty Finds - Handbags


I love to buy new purses or bags, but I don't like paying full price at stores, so I look at thrift stores.  I have found bags that I use for different occasions, bags of different styles, some for my girls, and some for gifts.  The great thing about thrift shopping is if you look hard enough, you can find some great deals.
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Fun Friday: The Tooth Ninja - Book Review


Last week my daughter lost one of her teeth.  We talked over the dinner table about what the Tooth Fairy would be bringing her that night.  Sometimes she gets money, once she got a new electric toothbrush, and a few times she has gotten a small toy.  That very day, a friend of mine had posted on Facebook about a book that her friend was trying to get crowd-funded through Kickstarter.  I love supporting small businesses and artists, so I went to the site to see what the book was and I loved the idea and decided to donate.  The book was  "The Tooth Ninja" by Stephanie Ream.

 I told my girls about the Tooth Ninja and they got very excited at the thought of a helper for the Tooth Fairy who was brave and courageous.  My girls loved looking at the e-book with me and then proceeded to play that they were helping the Tooth Ninja fight off a dragon.

"The Tooth Ninja" story is written by Stephanie Ream and illustrated by Yoko Matsuoka.  Stephanie tells in rhyme the exciting tale of a ninja who is brave, courageous, and inventive.



The Tooth Ninja is great at using the teeth to making things, so he leaves random objects under pillows for children to use their imaginations and make things also. 

The story is an imaginative and adventurous way to add to the well known story of the Tooth Fairy.  It would be interesting for both boys and girls.  The illustrations are fun and detailed.  I love the colors used and the style of the illustrations.

Here is a little background on how the legend of the Tooth Ninja started.  When Stephanie's son lost his first tooth, she told him about the Tooth Fairy but he seemed to think that there must be more to the story.  How could one fairy collect all the teeth that were placed under pillows each night?  Stephanie started to panic, then on the spur of the moment told her son about the Tooth Ninja.

Stephanie would love to share the story of the Tooth Ninja with other children.  She has a Kickstarter page where she is asking for donations so they can print the book to sell.  If you donate to her Kickstarter campaign, there are benefits for you too!  For pledging as little as $5, you will receive an e-book copy of The Tooth Ninja.  $15 will get you a signed copy of the book when it is published as well as an e-book version.  Visit Stephanie's Kickstarter page before Friday June 12th to donate to her campaign so you can get your own copy of this great book!
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1993965388/the-legend-of-the-tooth-ninja
You can find some information at her Facebook page here or her website here.

Disclaimer:  I was asked to review this book to help reach out to a new audience that may be willing to support Stephanie's Kickstarter.  All thoughts are my own and not influenced by being given access to an e-book.
  
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50 Summer Fun Ideas

Summer Fun List Printable

Every summer our family sits down in the late spring to put together our Summer Fun List.  We think up ideas of activities we want to do while the kids are out of school, road trips we might want to take, new places to visit, old favorites to visit, crafts and science experiments, outdoor activities to do, and just family time together activities. We don't always get to do all the items on our list, but we have a great time trying!

I decided to share our ideas with you and to even include a free fun printable that I put together.  There are a mix of ideas for the whole family and some just for the kids to do on their own.  I hope you get some great ideas from our list!

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10 Summer Reading Programs 2015

Fun ways to read books during the summer

One thing to know about my family is that we are total bookworms.  I usually have 3 books that I'm reading at a time.  My kids love to read as well.  When we plan road trips they always want to make sure that we have enough books to read.  We have a lot of fun things planned this summer while the girls are out of school, and the thing they love most is when we enter the different summer reading programs.  They usually end up with 2 free books, plus other smaller prizes.

Summer reading programs are fun ways to encourage children to read during their break from school.  It is widely known that children lose a portion of learning over the summer.  Read this short report by the National Summer Learning Association and a short article by Huff Post Parents. I 'm not saying that we should sign our children up for summer school, but encouraging their mind to continue working is a wonderful thing.  Following is a list of Summer Reading Programs that kids can join.
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Thanksgiving Point Tulip Festival


A few weeks ago I won tickets to the Thanksgiving Point Tulip Festival thanks to Lou Lou Girls.  We have been so busy the past week and a half that we didn't get the change to go until the last day of the festival.  It was a cold and rainy day, but my girls were so good about being positive and not complaining.  In fact, they loved jumping in all the puddles and looking for worms on the pathways.
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Big Bodacious Spring Expo

Mother's Day weekend is a busy time for boutiques and expos. This past week I visited 3 different ones!  I had a nice time at all of them.  Last week I wrote about my visit to the Holy Cow Mother's Day Boutique.  Today I'm going to write about the Big Bodacious Spring Expo.  This expo was a good mixture of local artists and independent consultants from bigger companies.  I always like to visit the booths of the local artists.  At this event, all of the people were at their booth so I had the chance to chat with quite a few interesting people.  I'm going to spotlight some of my favorite booths.  To get more information about them, you can visit them a their different sites that I linked to.
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Fun Friday: Canon Rebel T5 verses iPhone 5c


*** This post contains affiliate links ***

Is there really a difference between a DSLR camera and the camera on your smart phone (besides the $$$ that is)?  Check out my photo comparisons to see for yourself.  The quality of pictures and settings for your camera phone depend quite a bit on what version of phone you use.
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Holy Cow Mother's Day Boutique


The Holy Cow Boutique is having their Mother's Day Boutique in Pleasant Grove, Utah right now.  What I like about the different local boutique shows is the focus on local artisans.  Most of the different vendors are regular moms that are trying to use their talents and help out the family financially at the same time.  The boutique runs from now until Saturday.  If you happen to not live in this area, you can visit the different shops online with the links I've provided so you don't have to miss out on buying their great items.

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Painted Mini Storage Crate

I got a great deal on my thrifty find for this week!  I'm always on the lookout for wood that I can update to my own liking.  Since I've been planning a craft room and looking for great ways to organize all of my crafting supplies, I've been hunting different thrift stores and the local ReStore to see if there was anything I could use.  I found this plain little mini crate that I thought would work perfect for storing some of my many supplies.
I bought this for .50 last week at the thrift store.  When I checked prices online at craft stores and Amazon, they were close to $7.50.  So if you don't find one of these treasures at your local thrift store or garage sale, you can always use store coupons and save up to 60%.  Keep reading to see how I changed this plain wood crate to a pretty decor item.

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Top 5 Posts in April


I've looked over the posts for April and put together a round up of the most popular ones for the month.  I had a busy month with creating some new projects, Spring Break for the kiddos, trying out some tasty recipes, hosting a giveaway, finding some great deals, and updating my Etsy shop.  Click the pictures below or the link to see the original post.
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