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.

Football and Wings Night!

Monday, September 22, 2014

“This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® Tyson and Wet-Nap®, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia  #wingsandwipes

Fall in my house means football. No, I'm not usually the one doing the football watching, but I am happily eating snacks! We recently hosted a get together and I decided to whip up a hot wings inspired array of goodies.
tyson wings &wet nap  dip and sauce

I headed to Walmart and picked up some Tyson Any'Tizers bone in chicken wings. I also grabbed some Wet-Nap wipes because you can't really eat messy wings without an easy way to wipe of those sticky fingers.

tyson wings and wet naps

I decided to get creative and came up with 4 different recipes! The first is a warm and creamy buffalo chicken dip and the other 3 recipes are dipping sauces.  Everything was a huge hit!

warm and creamy buffalo dip and chips

Let's get started on the dip first. It's SO good, you guys. I will definitely be making it again! Here's what you will need (full recipes is at the end of this post):
buffalo chicken dip ingredients

I just shredded some chicken from the Tyson buffalo style hot wings. I loved that there was no cooking involved (since they are already cooked) and since they were already seasoned, they added a nice kick to the dip.

I just mixed it up with the cheeses, plain yogurt, ranch seasoning and a few dashes of hot sauce and then spread it into a casserole dish.

buffalo chicken dip uncooked

Bake it in the oven and then when it comes out it's warm and gooey. So good!
buffalo chicken dip

Serve with chips!
buffalo chicken dip and chip

I decided we needed some straight up wing action as well. So, I made 3 different dipping sauces to go along with the honey barbecue flavor wings. (Stay tuned for recipes at the end of this post!)
hot wings and dipping sauces

The honey mustard ended up being my favorite and my husband liked the creamy onion the best. The blue cheese is just that classic sauce that is just perfect along side a big plate of wings.

At the last minute, I decided to dress up the Wet-Nap container with some white paper and washi tape.

washi tape wet nap container
I just wrapped the paper around and taped it along the seam. Cute and functional!

tyson wings
The wings are super delicious by themselves! But I think I liked that dip the best.

tyson wings and wet naps football party and buffalo chicken dip

If you have a hankering to throw your own wings and wipes party, go print off a coupon for your Wet Naps! (The offer is fifty five cents ($.55) off of any Wet-Nap product at Walmart while supplies last.)

Now for those recipes:

Warm and Creamy Buffalo Chicken Dip 
(adapted from Gimme Some Oven)

4 oz. Cream Cheese
1 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
1 Cup Mozzarella Cheese (shredded)
1/2 Cup Blue Cheese
1 Tbs Ranch Seasoning
3 Cups Shredded Chicken from Tyson Buffalo Wings  (or about 5 wings) 
A few dashes of hot sauce (optional)

Combine all the ingredients and spread into a greased casseroled dish. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling. 

(I halved all of the dipping sauce recipes since I was making all three and we still had leftovers, but these are the full recipes just in case you are only serving one.)
Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce 
1/2 Cup Mayo
2 Tbs Yellow Mustard
1 Tbs Dijon Mustard
2 Tbs Honey
1/2 Tbs Lemon
Mix together and let sit for a bit, then serve.

Creamy Onion Dipping Sauce 
1/2 Cup Green Onions
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
1/2 Cup Mayo
Mix together and serve.

Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce 
1 Cup Blue Cheese
3/4 Cup Mayo
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
1 tsp. Worcestershire
salt and pepper
Mix together and serve.

tyson wings, wet naps and buffalo chicken dip party spread

What kinds of snacks do you make for game day? Eating is definitely my favorite part of football-watching.

Follow along with Tyson and Wet-Nap and find out how other bloggers are serving up wings!
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Metallic Stone Thumbtacks + $25 Target Gift Card Giveaway!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

**Click through to read this whole post to enter to win a $25 Target Gift Card!**
Since I'm not a very organized person, I need pretty things to motivate me to stay on track! When I teamed up with Target to create some organized finds for their wedding registry, I knew I had to come up with a pretty little DIY to go with it!

The dollar store strikes again for this little project. I found these bags of stones and gold thumbtacks and I had an idea! Spray paint them gold and make pretty metallic stone thumbtacks.

I kept some black and painted the rest. I love how the metallic paint highlights the texture of each stone. Then, I simply hot glued the thumbtacks and I was done!

I created a little mood board with some other black and gold organizational finds at Target to add to any wedding registry or personalized wedding gift!

1. Threshold Rustic Wire Magazine Holder
2. Nate Berkus Printed Woven Storage Bin
3. The Board Dudes Cork board Tiles
4. Nate Berkus Black and Gold Facet Lamp
5. DIY Metallic Stone Thumbtacks

And now, how would you like to win a $25 Gift Card to snag some of these items (or anything your heart desires) at Target?  Enter below!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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