Tag - crafts

10 Things I Heart in Winter

I know it’s not “officially” Winter yet, however the things I love all have to do with Winter or the Winter season, so I’m posting my 10 Things I Heart in Winter.

10 Things I Heart Winter MommyB

Here we go!

1. Warm coffee, yummo!!! Here are my favorite varieties:

    • On-the-go –  Starbucks, (My favorite is Hazelnut Macchiato with soy milk)
    • At home – Real Cup Coffee, they have awesome coffees and teas that work great with my Keurig and both hubby and I love. I personally love flavored coffee (see above) and for the Winter season they have a great Winterfest flavor.

Real Coffee MommyB

    • For stocking stuffers – Craft Coffee’s Coffee DNA Project™, if you know a coffee lover this great coffee subscription features coffees you probably won’t find anywhere else in a great sampler size (not too small not too big). Answer some questions, customize or get their recommendations.

2. The Spirit of Giving.

I reviewed and posted about this awesome book last year – The Sparkle Box Book Review and we fell in love. Without giving any of the storyline away the book encourages families to do for others. It not only gives a great incentive to have a giving spirit, but it reminds us what Christmas is all about. I love seeing our sparkling box this time of year and love that my girls desire to fill it up with good deeds for others. Hope you check it out!

3. Smiling Faces, Fun Experiences, and Cute Pets.

Where do all those things appear?? Instagram. Yep, I heart Instagram. Probably my most loved version of social media. It’s less controversial than Facebook can be at times and rather than all the words on Twitter I can see fun, sweet, beautiful pictures that embody the lives of family, friends, and coworkers (aka other bloggers and pr companies).

Recently I received an opportunity to check out #Cube™. Basically it’s a large 8” square LCD touch screen display, that taps into Instagram. #Cube™ delivers real-time and instant continuous delivery of a stream of photos and video clips, has built-in Wi-Fi, free wireless software updates, and is rechargeable. You can put #Cube™ anywhere in your house and move it around easily because it’s wireless (and really cool too.)

Classic_1680_hashtagcube_0008_color9

 

If you know someone who would love this as a gift, or want to buy it for yourself (that’s okay too), head to hashtagcube.com/#cube and for a $15#cube discount use coupon code: CUBE71 at checkout (affiliate link).

4. Christmas Cards

I love making our Christmas Cards each year, but even more so I love receiving them. We’re thankful for any cards we receive this time of year, but I’m especially partial to those with pictures of beautiful families, awesome couples, fun kids, awesome babies, and sweet pets. This month we’ve already received a bunch and I can’t wait to see new ones that come each day and hang them up.

5. Elderberry

Each time we get sick (which I feel like for a family of four isn’t too often, but often enough), I have a couple of dear friends who remind me the power of Elderberry. Well just last month I decided to get on the Elderberry train and I’m so glad I did! I didn’t realize all of the great benefits of Elderberry especially when you’re fighting an illness.

Norm’s Farms (locally in NC but ships worldwide), has an AMAZING selection of Elderberry products, that we used and loved (okay the girls didn’t like the taste but I thought it was similar to cranberry and loved it). My favorite product is their Elderberry Extract which is great for boosting your immune system, and has 2 times the amount of antioxidants than blueberries. They also have some great jellies and jams you’ll want to check out as well.

Norms Farms Elderberry MommyB

I also found some Elderberry products in health stores like lozenges that included zinc which I’ve heard is also another great, homeopathic way to treat a cough/cold. So don’t put it off like me, try Elderberry and then come back and thank me when you fall in love too!

6. Gettin’ Crafty.

Now that my girls are older, they want more hands-on activities and learning opportunities that a coloring book just won’t achieve. We often keep recycled materials in a bin in their “kids’ office” but we also buy science experiment kits, and craft sets.

We were able to try CreatorBox, a built-it-yourself subscription box that includes a new toy each month. The box comes complete with instructions and quality materials and feature some really cool things you wouldn’t normally think to create like a trebuchet/catapult, paper airplane launcher, and smart house.

For us, this was a great project for the girls to do with DaddyB because I often work on arts, crafts and projects with them, but due to DaddyB’s work schedule the quality time he does have is on the weekends. We saved our catapult for the girls to put together with him and they had a blast with it! I highly recommend this for great family bonding, and learning too!

7. Holiday Shopping

We don’t go big for Christmas presents but we do buy each of our girls 3 gifts (want, need, read) and this year we also bought most of our family 3 gifts as well (one thoughtful gift, one gift card, and one handmade gift). While at a recent BJ’s Holiday event, my assistant Lil’ C and I were introduced to quite a few great gift sets and learned a little more about BJ’s Wholesale as well.

Though we were members for several years, mostly buying diapers and paper products, I never realized how much larger BJ’s Wholesale is than their competitors, carrying more than double typically. They also have a great charitable foundation that gives back to the community and each store also participates in several outreach opportunities throughout the season including an angel tree. Did you know that???

Here are some of the great gifts for two-legged family and friends (and some four legged ones too):

BJs Holiday MommyB

 

8. Fun Movies

I love fun winter and Christmas movies, don’t you? The problem with fun movies though is that there are so many to choose from, so I’m gonna try to keep my list simple. Try is the operative word people. In no particular order:

  • Elf, for obvious reasons.
  • Iesodo’s new JOY themed video
  • The Grinch (good lessons in here)
  • Home Alone (and Home Alone 2 but if I have to pick, I’d go with the first one)
  • Any Veggie Tales Christmas, Merry Larry and the True Light of Christmas, Saint Nicholas is a great one to teach your kiddos about who St. Nicholas really was, and the Ultimate Christmas Collection has a bunch of great holiday DVDs in one great set.

9. Goodies

Yep, it’s the season of candy and sweets, cookie exchanges, and delicious stocking stuffers. One of my favorite places to pick up sweet treats for my family is CVS/pharmacy. They have the usual treats like candy canes, gold coins (which I always put in the girls’ stockings), and other great candy bars, nuts, and trail mixes to name a few, plus the sales and prices are….awesome.

CVS Gold Emblem Select MommyB

10. You! 

The biggest thing I love this Winter is you!! I always try to remind you, my readers, that I’m so thankful and blessed to have you stopping by my site, reading, and sharing my posts. I hope that you have a great winter, a Merry Christmas and of course an awesome New Year. Thank you for being so amazing for yet another year end. I heart you!!!

 

 

 

This is not a sponsored post, however I have worked with some of the above brands in various ways and received some product to showcase on my blog. Any and all opinions expressed in the above post are my own honest thoughts. Yours may vary. 

Shoes that Fit – Giving Back Locally

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Rack Room Shoes, all opinions are my own.

While our kiddos may be worried about buying the trendiest backpacks and having the coolest new outfits for school, there are many children who are headed back to school with shoes that are old and worn or that just don’t fit well, or even worse they have no shoes at all.

This Back to School season, Rack Room Shoes is proud to partner with Shoes That Fit, a national non-profit organization that provides shoes to disadvantaged children. This program helps children in your community start the school year off on the right foot.

The more money that is raised, the more resources available to purchase shoes for needy students in your area.

 

ShoesThatFit_logo

 

How you can participate:

  • Shop at your local Rack Room Shoes store for your family’s Back to School shoe needs.
  • Donate $5 or more in-store to the Shoes That Fit campaign to benefit disadvantaged children in your local community, or donate online.
  • If there’s not a Rack Room Shoes store near you and you would like to help another community click the link above to donate online as well.

In exchange for your donation, you will receive a special colorable Shoes That Fit tote bag. Color your tote bag with your children for a fun family activity and support your local community at the same time. This also provides your family with a great opportunity to talk about serving the community and helping others.

Miss A, Lil’ C, and I worked on their bags, had a chance to talk about children who are in need of good shoes for the school year. The girls decided to donate some of their own money to the Shoes That Fit Campaign to help other kids.

Here are their creations:

Rack Room Shoes - Shoes That Fit MommyB

 

Be sure to share your Shoes That Fit tote bag creations on social media and let others know about this great program that will offer children the opportunity to focus on their studies and not worry about what’s on their feet.

For more information on Rack Room Shoes and the Shoes That Fit program, check out their website, Facebook, and Twitter pages.

 

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Rack Room Shoes. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own, yours may vary.

Creative Ways to Celebrate Independence Day Traditions with Family

As an ambassador for Rayovac I have been compensated for this blog post. All thoughts and opinions on the products are my own.

Traditions are awesome! Spending time together celebrating holidays and events year-by-year is one of the most important ways to help shape your family’s memory.

Traditions are traditions for a reason, because they’re typically done on a regular basis {bi-annually, yearly, monthly, etc}, however it’s never to late to start a tradition with your family and while you’re at it, why not get creative?!?

Here are some Creative Ways to Celebrate Independence Day Traditions with Family. Miss A helped me come up with some of the things on this list, which make it even more awesome.

Creative Traditions to Celebrate Independence Day MommyB

Flag someone’s yard who has been a great service to our country. Take several small flags and stick them in the ground to show you are thinking about that person. Try to remember not to let any of the flags touch the ground or fall over.

Creative Ways to Celebrate Independence Day Traditions with Family using Flags MommyBKnowsBest

 

Have a popsicle making competition. Get creative or make your favorite flavors. This tradition is almost as fun to do as it is to judge. Here are some great popsicle recipes and ideas.

 

Visit veterans and provide a service to them. Some ideas of services could include making a meal, mowing their lawn, helping run errands, or making thank you cards.

 

Learn about the American Flag – though it’s not Flag Day the American Flag holds a lot of history in it’s stars and stripes. It’s not often that we talk about the American Flag, the stories behind it, and the symbolism. Make this one of your yearly activities and include new games or crafts each year to make this activity fun and fresh.

  • Split the flag up into sections for your family or group and have each person draw a part of the flag. Take a picture of the finished product.
  • Wear patriotic colors and create a human flag.
  • Make your own flag puzzle and have fun put it together each year. Remember to take pictures!

Make a Flag to celebrate our country on MommyBKnowsBest

 

Host a 4th of July family parade. You could include neighbors and friends in this activity. Have fun dressing up as an important Independence Day figure.

 

Bake a cake and sing, “Happy Birthday” to America! Obviously it’s best to make a cake that reflects America, try out some cakes featured on my Pinterest Holiday Board.

 

Explore a new museum or historical landmark. There are so many museums and historical landmarks that we don’t even know exists and some may be right in our own proverbial backyard. Take time before the 4th to research and plan your visit.

 

Decorate your house and sing patriotic songs while doing it. Just like decorating and caroling at Christmas time {if you celebrate that way}, why not decorate with 4th of July decor, flags, and sing songs about our country. How many can you remember?!?

 

Celebrate and use products that are Made in the USA. Did you know that Rayovac alkaline and hearing aid batteries are made in the USA? There aren’t many products from large brands that are still made in America, but by using American made products we’re finding another way to support our country.

 

Made in the USA MommyBKnowsBest

 

 

What do you and your family do to celebrate and create Independence Day traditions???

 

 

This is a sponsored post on behalf of my partnership with Rayovac. All opinions and thoughts expressed in this post are my own, yours may vary.

End of the School Year Classmate Gift Tag – Free Printable

Every school year we leave a little sad that we won’t see some of our friends. Unfortunately with private school none of Miss A’s classmates live in our neighborhood, but whether or not your child’s classmates are far away or closeby this cute End of the School Year Gift Tag is a great way to express what a great year your child had and offer opportunities for play dates in the summer.

In Pre-K I made this Sweet End of School Classmate Gift, and last year for Christmas I made gingerbread play dough with a sweet gingerbread prayer, but will have to post that later this year. This year as we were shopping for cute, little gifts for Miss A’s classmates we found ice cream scented bubbles in adorable ice cream cone shaped containers. I went with the ice cream theme and created this gift tag:

End of the School Year Gift Contact Tag MommyB

Our finished project (after our dollar store purchases and some ribbon):

End of the Year Classmate Gift Tag Printable MommyB

 

Click here for your —> FREE Printable version of this end of the year classmate gift tag as a pdf with 9 tags per page for you to print out, add your child’s name and if you like your contact information, {I use my phone number and email address}.

If you decide to use it feel free to email me a picture of your project or write about it on my Facebook page/Tweet me.

Why You’ll Want to Read a Book about Trash {Guest Post}

All children are recyclers at heart. They are inventors, creators and magicians when it comes to re-using things lying about the house. An old towel becomes a cape, boxes are space ships or racing cars, an empty soda bottle makes a super submarine and a cardboard tube is a pirates telescope. When children look at the world of waste they see endless possibilities.

At Retrash we can totally relate to that wonder of creating things from unwanted waste. Retrash is a book all about reusing waste to create beautiful pieces of art and practical items. It inspires creativity and imagination through stories of upcycling, recycling and living sustainably.

The book, show cases over 80 artists from all over the world who are looking at waste in new and creative ways.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This gorgeous dress and others like it are the work of Australian designer Danette Rowse, and are made by recycling fabrics found in charity shops including table cloths and pillow cases.

“I am inspired by my desire to make comfortable, versatile and quality clothing for children.” says Danette.

Copyright Robyn Stewardson Retrash 3

Robyn Stewardson creates these beautiful owls using found objects, mainly kitchen utensils which are assembled using wire.

“I have been an avid op-shopper for years and thrive on giving something discarded a new lease on life. Now visiting op shops and trash and treasure markets is a must to find the materials I need to create my ever expanding parliament of owls.” says Robyn.

10 year old Olive Reichel makes ‘Miss O’s’ off cut bears using fabric off cuts from her mum’s design studio.

“I really, really, like making teddies. I get inspiration from random things everywhere and I like basing my ideas on pictures in my head.”

Copyright Brady-Anne Cushing Retrash 2

Brady-Anne Cushing creates hand made products from fabrics that are repurposed or salvaged.

“We gather our materials in many ways (salvage shops, remnants left over from friends, home decor projects, yard sales, etc.). We enjoy the challenge of finding unique materials in unconventional ways. We take great pride in the quality of our original items and create them with strength and integrity to bring years of
enjoyment!”
says Brady-Anne.

I believe that Retrash can inspire a small step for change and I am passionate about getting his book into the world.

Retrash Logo

We are currently running a funding campaign to raise money to print Retrash. You can get a copy of Retrash at a reduced price during the funding campaign, and you can even have your name printed in the book to show your support. Visit the website for more information: retrash.com

 

This is not a sponsored post, I thought the idea was cool and was honored that Founder of retrash, Nathan Devine, was interested in authoring this blog post.

Jesus Paid it All Easter Kids Craft {Guest Post}

Easter is “springing” up everywhere around us- stores are filled with chocolate bunnies, plastic eggs, and all things pastel.

While the marshmallow peeps are quite appealing to us all, its important that we take a moment to refocus and teach our children what Easter is actually all about- God sending His Son Jesus to the earth to live the life we could never live and die the death we should have died.

Jesus paid the penalty for our sins, conquered death, and rose from the grave. Easter is a time to celebrate the life of Christ and the new life we can have in Him!

I was looking for a creative way to share with my daughter the message of Easter in a fun, kid-friendly way. I came up with this simple craft idea. This craft is great to do at home, or would work wonderfully for a Sunday school activity too! And you can make it for less than $5 worth of supplies from the local dollar store!

Jesus Paid it All Easter Kids Craft

What You Need

  • 1 pack construction paper
  • 1 bag cotton balls
  • 1 bag plastic coins (on the party favor aisle at Dollar Tree)
  • Glue
  • Markers or Crayons

How to Make It

The Lamb:

  1. Trace your child’s hand on a white piece of construction paper (or if they are old enough, they can trace it themselves- my daughter is only 18 months, so I had to trace hers for her)
  2. Cut out the hand, flip it upside down, and glue it on a colored piece of construction paper (your child can choose any color paper)
  3. Draw a lamb’s face on the thumb using markers or crayons
  4. Glue cotton balls onto the palm of the hand

The Cross:

  1. Glue coin pieces in the shape of a cross onto the same piece of colored paper. Children can be creative, using all silver, or all gold, or creating a pattern

Finish It:

  1. Using a marker or crayon, write out 1 Peter 1:18-19 on the top of the page
  2. At the bottom of the paper, write (or have your child write) their name and year
  3. Make sure everything is dry before hanging on your fridge or bulletin board

 

What are some of your favorite kid-friendly Easter crafts that celebrate Jesus?

 

 

imageMelissa is a Communication Studies graduate of Clemson University. She recently traded in her human resources job for the best and most challenging career of all, being a stay-at-home mom. She loves coffee, cooking, crafting, and watching football. Melissa is also a former National Champion baton twirler and currently teaches baton lessons and judges baton twirling competitions across the nation. She recently launched the Honeybee Homemaker blog about her faith, family, and fun kitchen endeavors.

twitter.com/clemsonfeature

honeybeehomemaker.blogspot.com;

10 Things I Heart

Sometimes I just can’t contain myself when I find things that I love I want to tell the world. Sometimes those things are products I’m checking out, sometimes it’s people that rock my world, and other times it’s just life in general.

I post a lot on how blessed I truly feel, no matter if life seems up or down there’s so much to be thankful for. So I wanted to share with you 10 Things I Heart with you, because you never know, you may like them too.

10 Things I Heart

1. This Blog – ThingsICan’tSay.com

I love Shell, in her blog she bares her soul and shares thoughts that we as mom have but never express. Her touching posts and the realness that she shows on her site inspire me and I heart Shell and her blog.

Things I can't Say Blog

2. Glue Dots – As co-room mom for Miss A’s 1st Grade class, I was in charge of the Valentine’s Day craft. I had originally planned a really cool heart chain with family activities for the rest of February {as they tore one heart from the chain}, then I ended up with a heart chain, and then after the V-day party was delayed I ended up going to A.C. Moore and picking up some super cute, but very nicely priced wreaths and used John 3:16’s VALENTINE and had the kids create their own to hang in their homes. Anyway, while I love helping with crafts I do not like waiting for glue or paint to dry. I used permanent Glue Dots for this project but they have different strengths for different needs. The only thing that would be “bad” would be that there’s the paper left behind for trash. PS Keep in mind this was a test run so that’s why the hearts are orange, but would be fun in rainbow or other colors too.

Glue Dots Heart Wreath Craft MommyB

3. Amazon Prime – We went unplugged last week. Yep, that’s right we gave up cable. DaddyB picked up a great antenna from Best Buy, and we’ve been trying out PlayOn {a cool computer program that pulls in video feeds of channels that some TV alternatives don’t offer, will put review up another day}, but I have been loving our Amazon Prime. I enjoy watching Intervention and Hoarders {sometimes I think I should have been a psychologist} and DaddyB and I have been watching shows from our past too like Are You Afraid of the Dark? Overall unplugging isn’t a huge deal, we watch some shows delayed but are much less attached to our regular shows and are saving a good bit of $$ too!

4. This gorgeous Spring-like weather we’ve been having, especially after last week’s snowpocalypse. Although we are missing the Snow Cream.

5. Our amazing realtor Kristi Vernon and the Zillow iPad app are doing a great job hunting down houses for our upcoming move in May!! We’re staying in North Carolina, just moving to a different area still in or very close to Charlotte.

6. Queen City Q – I really like this local BBQ restaurant in uptown Charlotte, we’ve only been twice, once with DaddyB’s family and once recently just the four of us. The food is amazing and the prices are really great. It’s never been too packed to enjoy ourselves. The only thing that bugs me is that they don’t have booster seats for the kiddos, {but they do have highchairs for the smaller ones} and the booths are pretty low (even for a short momma like me). I’m glad we don’t go more often, I would definitely gain 20lbs easily.

Q City BBQ MommyB

7. Disneyland Pinterest Boards – If you haven’t heard my family and I have been invited to the Disney Social Media Moms Conference this year. This will be our first year attending and I am beyond excited to have this opportunity. I get to see some awesome bloggers {aka my coworkers}, hang out with my family in DISNEYLAND, and hear some amazing speakers. So, I’ve been trying to do some research for our trips on what the best apps are, good places to eat, etc. Have you ever been? Any tips?

8. Jeremy Tankard and Mo Willems Books – We love these children’s books for the girls. They are hilarious and allow me to use my silly voices. Last year we bought Miss A 10 books for her birthday and most were from these two authors.

Piggie and Gerald Book

9. Amazing friends!!! You know who you are. The people I can pour my heart out with, the ones I go to for advice, and the ones I can share my life’s blessings with. I don’t know what I would do with you and I definitely heart you this month and every month.

10. Discount Valentine’s Day candy. Here in Charlotte there’s a lot of it, especially at Target. I may have grabbed a bag….to give next year of course….or maybe not. But seriously how can you pass on those deals???

What things would you put on your “heart” list right now???

Interview with Candice Olson of HGTV’s Divine Design {Giveaway}

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to interview HGTV’s Divine Design diva herself, Candice Olson. I know some of you who are my DIY, decorating droolers are jumping out of your chairs right now! I was very honored to have been able to get some great holiday decorating tips, that I didn’t think of myself, and learn a little bit more about Febreze products that she recommends using during this season.

Check out the video for her answers to my questions about holiday decor, and child safety:

MommyB Knows Best is giving one lucky reader a chance to win a great Febreze prize pack.

Febreze Giveaway

Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received a complimentary Febreze gift bundle in return for writing this post. The above message are my own words and thoughts

A Hoppy Easter Project from She’s {kinda} Crafty

Hi! My name is Stacy and I run a little blog called She’s{kinda}Crafty where I try to make craft & DIY projects that are cute, simple, and smart!

Have you walked by the displays of large plastic chargers at Michael’s or Hobby Lobby and thought to youself – Self, I really want to buy those cheap chargers but what in the world am I going to do with them? Well I have your solution today. Use them in lieu of name cards at your Easter Brunch/Lunch/Dinner (or any party really). This would be a really fun project for your children to help out with as well. I made mine with the help of my Silhouette Cameo but stickers bought at the store work just as well.

Supplies:
Plastic chargers (I got these 2/$3 at Michael’s on sale, regular price is $1.99)
Sticker letters – they come in so many different fonts, colors, and sizes
Assortment of spring or Easter themes stickers and decals (the kind meant for the wall would be great on this project) I would stay away from dimensional stickers for this project.

Here is the only step involved – Place stickers on the chargers! Let your kids make their own and help out with the others. Use the sticker letters to personalized each charger for every guest at your table. The stickers are removable so you can re-personalize them for every dinner you ever have!
Does it get any easier than that?!? I think not!

Thanks for having me over today Charlotte Moms! I hope you’ve enjoyed this easy DIY project!

Fun Stocking Stuffers – Christmas Coupons

Christmas

ChristmasDaddyB and I don’t normally buy a lot for each other when Christmas comes around. In fact, we will usually pick one item both of us could use and buy a joint gift for each other. We were considering a car-top carrier because of all of our trips, in the past we’ve bought theme park season passes, and this year we decided on a Keurig brand coffee maker.

I do like to get him presents from the girls though, it not only is exciting for our girls to shop for daddy, but again teaches them that we are supposed to give to others on Christmas. They love their daddy so much that asking them to help was a guaranteed, “YES!!”

I have bought a few things here and there, trying to be creative. I wanted to add one more stocking stuffer for him {hoping that he doesn’t read this, or if he does that he pretends that he didn’t.} When I was a child I remember making coupon books as gifts for my mom. I loved doing this and I think my mom liked it too, I’m sure some of you have also done this and it’s super simple. Lucky for me since my, “proverbial plate” is full.

Miss A and I sat down and brainstormed what would be fun to coupon to daddy. We mostly thought of “things that you can’t hold in your hands,” – this was the easiest way I could describe intangible gifts to her. Then, I used Picnik.com {my favorite photo editing program} and “jazzed” up the girls Christmas pictures, and switched over to paint.net {a free “paint” program.} I added some text in a fun font and put our unique gift ideas on the tags, and here’s what we came up with:

coup5

coup8

With a few easy, free programs, some cute photos, and a little bit of time on the computer you can make these for your favorite recipient this Christmas. They can “cash-in” the coupons whenever they want, or keep for sentimental reasons. Enjoy!!!

Have you made coupon books before? What is your favorite coupon for?