Give Extra Printable

Monday, November 3, 2014

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ExtraGumMoments #CollectiveBias

I can't believe it's November and Thanksgiving season is upon us! This time of year always sneaks up on me. I always have the best intentions to make gifts or hand out thoughtful notes to people in my life but I'm usually playing catch up and fail to carry out my plans. This year I was thinking about how I rarely do anything special to say "Thank You" to the people in our life that work so hard, specifically teachers...let alone around Thanksgiving. Wouldn't it be a great tradition to start finding small ways to thank the people in our lives for simply doing an excellent job? So, I created this fun printable that you can give along with some Extra gum.

It's the perfect "just because" little gift to hand out to anyone! I decided to make the printable a little coloring book tag that kids can color to personalize it. I had my 6 year old help with coloring a few and she loved it. I know she will love thinking of a few people to help me hand these out to. I know I mentioned teachers earlier, but what about the people who probably never receive a "thank you"? My daughter and I thought about the mail carrier, firemen, the workers at our local YMCA, trash collecter, grocery store clerk and police officers. There are so many other people that we come into contact with everyday and probably don't even know their names.

Find some Extra gum. I thought the mint chocolate chip flavor looked yummy!

Color in the tag or leave it blank. Colored pencils work best. And then punch a hole in the corner.

Then, tie it on! I found my black and white ribbon in the Target dollar spot.

Want to make your own? Go grab your free printable here!

For more ideas about how to give Extra Gum as a gift, visit their Pinterest page!

Black Bean and Pumpkin Chili + A $25 Target GIVEAWAY!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Target. All opinions are my own.

Crisp autumn evenings are perfect for a date night in! Reid and I always do what we call a "late night date night" where we cook up something yummy to eat and watch a movie after the girls are in bed. It's a great way to get in that date night without getting a babysitter! Recently I concocted the perfect fall meal...Pumpkin and Black Bean Chili!

I know, it sounds a bit strange, but it actually turned out so yummy! It has really healthy ingredients and the pumpkin makes the broth really thick and creamy. It's also versatile, so I'm sure you could add in anything you wanted to make it your own!

And if you are looking for a winter wedding gift idea, how cute would it be to include a "date night in"? You could include a few items from Target as well as a pretty note card with this recipe written on it.

Crock-Pot® 6 Qt. Designer Series Smart-Pot
 Crock-Pot® Programmable Slow Cooker
 KitchenAid Ultra Power 4.5 Qt Stand Mixer
Target Seasonal Products

Ready for the recipe?

Pumpkin and Black Bean Chili (adapted from this recipe)
1 lb ground turkey
1 can black beans
1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
1 can pumpkin puree
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 onion, diced
2 Tbs olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
a pinch of cinnamon
1.5 Tbs chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin

Saute turkey, onion and garlic in olive oil until turkey is cooked through. Add the other ingredients. Cook in a crockpot on low for 3-4 hours or simmer on the stove for 30 minutes. Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream or any other desired toppings!

And now for the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Van Gogh Inspired Paintings Featuring Target's Toy Emporium

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TargetToys #CollectiveBias

As a former elementary art teacher, I was so excited to team up with Target and play with some of their Kid Made Modern art supplies. These can be found in stores or at Target's Toy Emporium available only online.  Just the packaging alone is enough to catch my eye, but the art products are super high quality.  I came up with a Van Gogh inspired painting to do with my Kindergarten and Preschool age daughters using these fun products.

I wasn't sure how it would go over since I used to do similar projects with 2nd and 3rd graders, but they loved it and I think they turned out super cute.  It also goes to show that pretty much kids of all ages could do this little painting project and love it.

These were the Kid Made Modern products that I chose:

You will need:
Heavy white paper
Construction paper
Acrylic paint

First, I showed Van Gogh's Starry Nigh to my girls and just talked with them about what kids of lines, shapes and colors they saw.

Then, with crayons, they made the moon and stars.

Lighter colors work better in the end,  but also let them get creative with it! Next, they added swirls and dashed lines to mimic the brush strokes in the original painting.

I mixed some of the shimmer shine acrylic paint with water and let the kids paint over their entire picutre. The crayon creates a resist and shows through the paint.

The colorful night skies look so pretty once they are completely painted.

Lastly, Lula cut out some construction paper to create the silhouette of a landscape at the bottom. Jane left this part out (shes only 4). So an older child could get much more detailed with this step or a young one can skip it!

The girls had so much fun learning about Van Gogh and playing with new art supplies.
Visit the Pinterest board below for more inspiring and creative ideas!

DIY Fall Place Setting Ideas

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

 I’m excited to be partnering with Dollar Tree to share their anniversary Bonus Buys with you! As always, all opinions are my own.

I’ve gushed about my love of Dollar Tree for home d├ęcor and craft items before and I’m going to do it again today! In light of Dollar Tree’s Anniversary Celebration, I’ve created an easy fall place setting with all products from Dollar Tree! It was such a fun challenge for me to come up with creative ways to make a super inexpensive place setting perfect for a fall get together or even Thanksgiving.

I gathered my supplies from Dollar Tree. I used a white plate, an orange bowl, some stones (that I spray painted gold for a previous project), a brown dish cloth, a neutral placemat, and some faux pumpkins.

To create a super easy napkin holder, I hot glued my painted gold stones onto an old hair band. This was wrapped around the brown dish cloth to act as a napkin.

For the placemat, I dressed it up with a metallic sharpie by taping it off and adding some lines around the edge. You could definitely leave it plain, but I thought it added an extra special touch.

I spray painted the pumpkins gold and decided that it fit perfectly inside the bowl. I added a name on some washi tape and wrapped it around the stem of the pumpkin to be the perfect way to display the name of the place setting!

I took the rest of the gold stones and put them in a mason jar (also found at Dollar Tree) and added some white branches. The rest of the gold pumpkins also can act as a centerpiece along with the mason jar and branches.

How easy (and cheap) was that? There were a million different ways to use Dollar Tree stuff to make a place setting, I can’t wait to try it again for a different holiday!

Right now at Dollar Tree, there is a huge Anniversary Event going on! You can get up to 58% more free on specific Bonus Buy items and they are still just $1 each! I’m definitely going to stock up on candy. And my other favorite staples from Dollar Tree; L.A.’s Totally Awesome cleaners, Hefty baggies and glass vases are some of the bonus buy items!

The Anniversary Event only lasts until October 11, so hurry and visit here for more details.

Magnetic Sensory Jars

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SparklySavings #CollectiveBias 
Is dinner clean up one of the more stressful times for those of you who have young kids or is it just me? My toddler loves to "help" in the kitchen. This includes climbing inside of the dishwasher while I'm trying to load it, getting all of the tupperware out of the cabinet, and demanding that I hold her while attempting to clean up.  So, I wanted to come up with something in the kitchen that would keep her occupied for even 2 minutes. I've seen sensory jars around on Pinterest and decided to come up with a way to make some magnetic ones to stick on the fridge or dishwasher for her to play with. The verdict: she LOVES them!

I had the opportunity to try out some new Finish dishwasher detergent. I was excited to try it because the particular one I chose is called Quantum™ Power & Free™ and it uses less harsh chemicals than typical detergents that are safer for kids. (If you stay tuned to the end of the post, there is a coupon for you to grab so that you can try it for yourself!) So while I was trying out the new detergent and cleaning up, I put my new magnets out and decided to see if they would help distract Pearl for a few minutes. It worked! My 6 and 4 year old love the sensory jar magnets as well.

Here's how I made them!
I found some magnetic spice tins at Michaels for $1.50 each! For the first magnet, you just need corn syrup and beads or marbles. 
 The beads stay on top, so you've gotta push them down.
 They will be suspended in the liquid after you push them down.
 Then, I just used some gorilla glue to attach the top lid.  The end result is so cool because there will be a bubble in the liquid which slowly moves the beads around as the kids turn it. It's almost like a lava lamp!
 The other jar I made is an "I Spy" jar. I used sprinkles, but you could also use rice. You will also need to collect a few random small items. I used some buttons, a penny, a random earring, a charm and I tiny clothespin.
 Just pour everything in and attach the lid using gorilla glue like the other one.  As the kids turn the jar, they can try to search for all of the tiny things hidden inside.  Pearl (my 18 month old) also loves to shake it and listen to the sound it makes.
 These are so fun and I have 2 more empty spice tins waiting to make more!
And if you are wondering, I haven't had any issues with the corn syrup leaking out yet. 
I did try to make a third jar with water, but the water did leak out...but no issues with the syrup!  
And now for your coupon that I promised! Definitely pick some up next time you are at Walmart. It's such a great option to have a cleaner free of harsh chemicals!


Homemade Lavender Bath Bombs + A Fabric Softener Review

Monday, September 29, 2014

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
#FastDrySaveTime #CollectiveBias
You guys know I'm all about making my own laundry detergent and fabric softener. But sometimes I really miss that fresh laundry scent that you just can't get with the homemade stuff. When I was asked to try out a new fabric softener from Suavitel, I decided to go for it because sometimes you gotta just "Treat Yo'Self!" (Anybody else love Parks and Recreation as much as me?) I decided to come up with a homemade bath bomb recipe to really enhance my yummy scented towels. 

Before I share my bath bomb recipe I of course do want to give an honest opinion of the Suavitel fabric softener. I had never heard of it before to be honest. But the cool thing is that it's a fast dry product, so it makes your laundry actually dry faster. And, seriously, it smelled amazing.  So it would be a great option if you needed to dry your laundry in a hurry for whatever reason! I used it on a big comforter that usually takes forever to dry and it did speed up the process a bit. So, I would use it to treat myself every once in awhile with a fresh smelling warm towel waiting for me after I use my homemade bath bombs!
I LOVE lavender scented things. Actually, my favorite ice cream is lavender ice cream from a local gourmet gelato place in town. It sounds weird, but it is so amazing.  So, I decided to come up with a bath bomb full of lavender scent. I was shocked at how easy they were to make because I know that they can be pricey to buy at Lush and other high end places.
And they are just so cute! Package them up in a mason jar to give as a gift or just keep out in your bathroom for easy access.  
Here's what you will need:
 1 Cup Baking Soda
1/2 Cup Citric Acid (I bought mine online)
1 Tsp Lavender essential oil
1 Tsp olive oil
 2-3 TBS dried lavender buds (optional)
Silicone baking cups
Spray bottle of water (not pictured)
 You are just going to mix all of your ingredients in a bowl. I found it easier to mix with my hands. 
 Then, spray the mixture a few times with water. You just want it barely wet. 
 Once it holds together when you squeeze it, you are done. It really only takes 3-4 light squirts of water to get it to this point. 
 I added the lavender in at the end.
 Put a few lavender buds at the bottom of each silicone cup. 
 Fill the cups, pressing them down as hard as you can. I ended up filling them halfway, pressing the mixture and then filling the rest and pressing the mixture again. 
After about 30 minutes you can pop them out of the cups and they will hold together. But let them dry overnight before storing them in a container or giving them as a gift.  Aren't they so pretty?
 And when you put them in water, they fizz up and the lavender escapes. It smells so good too!
Mine fit perfectly in a labeled mason jar to display in my bathroom. But since I have some ingredients leftover, I'm thinking of making some for Christmas gifts. 

And if you are curious about trying out the Fast Dry Suavitel, I found it on the laundry aisle at Walmart.