February 2015 ~ Create it. Go!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Family Fun with Big Hero 6 Movie Night

 #BigHero6MovieNight #CollectiveBias #kidscrafts #familymovienight #craftsforkids #partyideas #diy #banner #pennantbanner #BigHero6printables

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. 

All opinions are mine alone. 

Our family has been so excited for the release of Big Hero 6! Some of us got to see it in the theater, but the rest have been anxiously waiting for the DVD release, so we planned a big family movie night to watch it all together with lots of fun Big Hero 6 movie night ideas that we wanted to share!

When the big release day finally came this week, my girls and I headed to Target to pick up our entertainment for the night. It wasn't hard to find and we spotted it as soon as we walked into the store. I had some happy girls that were ready to check out already! Fastest trip ever! Ha!

It's always fun to make it a big night for everyone, so we made a few crafty snacks and a couple crafts too that the kids could do until my husband got home from work and we were ready to start the movie. The first thing we made was this fun Big Hero 6 pennant banner. It was so easy to make too! Here's a little tutorial on how you can DIY and make one of your own!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Family Subway Art Stenciled Table Top DIY

#subwayart #wordart #repurpose #upcycle #redo #diy #paintprojects #homemade #homeprojects #stencils #family #gatheringplace

A couple years ago, I found this inexpensive set of table and chairs on Craigslist and it was exactly what I was looking for! It wasn't pretty and needed work, but it was the perfect project for me and wasn't a table that I was afraid to let my kids eat on (for fear of them "messing" it up. lol)
I painted it and reupholstered the chairs and totally transformed it into a nice, fun table set for our family. I even added fun names to the chairs. (You can see the original post here.)

Well, then we moved a year and a half ago, and it got all scratched up in the moving truck. And now I finally have gotten around to sanding it down, and repainting it! 

But I added a bit more to it this time and I am in love with my newest
DIY project!

Check out how I made it below.

First, I sanded the whole table down again, and sprayed with a primer. Then I sprayed the top of the table an ivory color. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Gluten Free Cinnamon Pinwheels (with Natural Sweeteners)

#recipe #cinnamonrolls #cinnamonpinwheels #onthblog #glutenfree #GF #glutenfreerecipes #sugarfree 

I am always trying new things to make recipes work with Gluten Free flours...and still be yummy! Because, let's face it. Not all Gluten Free recipes are created equally good. haha (Understatement, huh?)

Well, I made this recipe with both regular ingredient flours and sugars and then with Gluten Free flours and natural sweeteners and was thoroughly impressed at the GF turn out. Not going to lie...Still not as fluffy and light as the others, but the flavor and texture was still sooooo good! In fact, I preferred it to the other. I call them pinwheels, bc they aren't fluffy enough (to me) to be like a traditional cinnamon roll. So, here's the recipe. You've got to try them though! So good! (And my kids ate them up!)

Gluten Free Cinnamon Pinwheels (with Natural Sweetener)

Mix 1 T yeast and 1/4 cup warm water. Add a pinch of your natural sweetener. Let the yeast mixture sit and rise, while you mix the rest. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

DIY Kitchen Command Center Reveal {Repurpose with a Purpose!}

#organize #kitchencommandcenter #familyclutter #declutter #upcycle #repurpose #diy #organizationtips

I've been talking and showing sneak peaks, on my Facebook and Instagram pages, of a Kitchen Command Center I have been working on lately. And today is the big reveal! Eek! I'm so excited about the way it turned out and the practicality of it all!

I've been working on going through each room in my house this year, and organizing them. We have five kiddos in our family and it seems the paperwork and calendaring never ends. BUT, how do you keep track of it all? My kids used to bring me paperwork home from school (that would need to be returned or notices about soccer sign ups coming up, etc.) that I knew we needed to keep and stay on top of, but they would end up in a pile on the computer desk. I would then find myself forgetting about them OR frantically searching for them the morning we needed them. Not so fun. 

So, I set about creating a Kitchen Command Center, because in our house, this was the best place for this. It's visible, we're all in the kitchen daily, and I had one wall in our kitchen that would be perfect for it! You really don't even need that large of a space. As you can see from the pictures below, and the different angles of the pictures. it isn't a huge wall that I had to use. BUT, it is all in one place now and organized. So helpful!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

5 Steps to Making Family Photo Sessions Stress Free and Full of Smiles

#familyphotos #photosessions #smileforthecamera

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

I don't know about you, but I LOVE getting our family pictures each year.  That is, I love getting them back after they are taken. haha What I don't love though, is getting everybody ready for them! It's always a mad rush out the door by the time we need to leave, leaving us all feeling frazzled as we arrive for family pictures. Not the most ideal way to start a photo session and have everyone looking happy with a smile on their face.

We have a family of seven, so it involves lots of us working together to have a successful family photo shoot. And it takes a LOT of preparation. You can't just show up and expect the photographer to work miracles. They can do a little of that ;), but there's only so much they can do to grumpy faces.

This little picture of my family (below) was taken several years ago and cracks me up today. In fact, it may be worthy of a frame. haha But...I would also have preferred a "good" picture along with it then too, which I didn't get so much. (It's still a keeper though and totally makes me laugh. haha)

So, to help you to get better family photos than the one above (lol), here are 
5 Steps to Making Family Photo Sessions 
Stress Free and Full of Smiles
1-First thing I recommend is to hire a photographer that you, personally, like. Check out some of the photographs they have already taken of others on their site. Do you like their style? Background choices? Poses? Do they photograph some of the same age group of people that are in your family? When you talk or meet with them, was it easy to talk to them and be around them? That will give you a clue as how your photo session will go. My favorite photographer that we have used for our family photos made it all seem like an hour of fun and games for my kids. She took pics as they were playing around, and had us pretty much just gather together as a family and those made the best "poses". My kids were all smiles and never felt stifled or stuck in a pose. If you are taking the pictures yourself, like I did this past time with our family. Remember two things: It never goes as well this way (because it's Mom/Dad asking the kids to cooperate, not someone else) and PATIENCE! Also bring smarties. No mess candy for rewards.) lol

2-Next, figure out what everyone is going to wear BEFORE the day of pictures and have all the clothes set out and ready to put on. It's never a good thing to be running around the house an hour before you leave, trying to find that one shirt that you wanted to wear. Choose colors that compliment each other, but are not all the same. Do not choose busy prints for everyone to wear. I like to choose two to three different color combinations and then have some in solid colors and just a couple people in prints. My favorite combo is probably blues, oranges and browns. There are a ton of sites to get color combo ideas from. After you have chosen colors that work for your family, I have the hardest person to dress choose their outfit first and then go from there. My little girls are probably the easiest to dress and have the most clothes to choose from (How does that happen?!), so I find something that works for them last.

3-Think of anything you can do ahead of time to make everyone in your family comfortable and confident during the photo shoot. Whether it's getting a nap in or just feeling loved and happy for a little one, or if there's  a child that is shy and needs some additional mental preparation, or if it's YOU who wants to feel better about something. You can't lost weight overnight, but some poses are better than others. Think about that and talk with your photographer ahead of time. You can't grow your hair overnight, but you can have it styled. (Although I would not suggest trying a NEW hair cut or color the week of your pictures. You never know if you are going to like them and if they will turn out the way you expected.) One thing you can do the week of your photo shoot though, is to use Colgate® Optic White® Express.

You can find it easily at your local Wal-Mart and in just 3 short days of brushing, it can do wonders at making your teeth whiter and your smile brighter!* Colgate® Optic White® Express actually has 2 times more of the professional recommended whitening ingredient, compared to that in Optic White Sparkling Mint TP. AND if you're still on the edge, there are 550 stores that will have a roaming demo on 2/28/15 and will be giving out $1 off coupons for Colgate® Optic White® Express toothpaste. So just check out this store list to find your local store, and head on over there to pick up your coupon.

You're going to brush anyway, right? So you might as well make those pearly whites a bit whiter in the process. And feel comfortable about that smile for the camera!

4-Now, the for the day of the photo shoot...Eat. Don't leave hungry. If you are taking your family pictures right before sundown (This is my favorite time to do them, but also close to dinner time...), so give everyone a snack an hour or so ahead of time. It's amazing how grumpy we can get when we're hungry. Everyone is much happier when their stomachs are not grumbling and their blood sugar isn't low. BUT, don't give them sugar either. You don't want sugar highs, sugar crashes, or sugar lows. :) Protein is good.

5-It's time to go! First, make sure you choose a time of day for your family photo shoot, that you know will work for everyone coming. It's no fun rushing from one thing to another. Plan to leave at least 15-30 minutes before you THINK you need to leave. That way, you will be sure to be on time, even with a couple unexpected delays (like traffic, etc.) and even have a couple minutes to spare and just enjoy the scenery. (Because normally, you will be taking pictures in a pretty spot!) And remember to smile, show off those pearly whites, and to have fun! Your kids will catch on to the mood and smile more as well.

So, the next time you schedule a family photo shoot, be prepared...to have fun and to SMILE!

*For best results, use as directed for 4 weeks. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

DEAL ALERT: Low Price Meals with Banquet and Chef Boyardee Rollbacks

 #LowPriceMeals #CollectiveBias #dealalert #familymealhelper

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

I've got another DEAL ALERT  for you today! I'm always on the lookout on ways to save a little money as well as ways to make my busy life, as a mom of 5, easier.

It's a busy time of year and I'm making it easy in the kitchen with Banquet dinners and pot pies and Chef Boyardee. We've had some snow days lately and while I LOVE them (and all the excitement and fun that come with them), it also means that I have five kids at home all day that work up an appetite playing in the snow!

And I don't want to spend ALL day in the kitchen. haha

The rollback prices on frozen Banquet dinners and pot pies and Chef Boyardee cans makes it easy to save and spend less time in the kitchen. The rollback prices are just $0.80 for each frozen Banquet dinner and pot pie now through February 24, 2015 and $0.75 for each 14.5-15 oz can of Chef Boyardee February 9 - April 6, 2015. Tasty meals like Banquet salisbury steak and Chef Boyardee raviolis make dinner easy and delicious! Be sure to head to Walmart and stock up on this great deal while supplies last!

See the entire list of meals on rollback price:

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Snow Day Party!

#party #partysetup #partydecor #snowday #funinthesnow #makingmemories

First off, let me say that I LOVE SNOW DAYS! Maybe it's because I lived in Texas and didn't see snow barely ever, but I LOVE SNOW DAYS! Now last year, it got to the point where we didn't want them anymore, but that's just because we didn't want our kids in school all summer to make up for them! haha But this year, we haven't had any really, so I say "Bring it on!"

BUT...what do you do with your restless kids on snow days? PARTY!!!

Whether you are having a party to try and wish the snow to come (like us this week...hoping for snow the next couple days!) OR whether you are stuck at home already in a blizzard with restless kids, I have the best Snow Day party ideas for you today. And the best part? I bet you already have everything you need for the party in your house right now!

So, it might take you about a half hour to set up, but it will also give you hours and hours of your kids NOT saying that they're bored! haha So get ready!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Photo Booth Valentines Box

#diy #valentinesbox #photobooth #valentinesday #makingmemories

Happy {Almost} Valentines Day!

What's not to like about a day you are encouraged to share love? Personally, my husband and I don't make a huge deal out of Valentines Day. We know we love each other and let each other know that on a daily basis, but it's a fun day to celebrate that love too! AND the love of our kids! So, tell someone you love them. You never know how much it will mean to them!

I just wanted to share my daughter's Valentine box for this year. In the past, we have done a trash can, a minion, a Tiki Face, a robot, and so many others! BUT we were really creative this year and made....A PHOTO BOOTH! Complete with MICRO Photo Props too! I love all the little details in it. And we had fun creating it together!

(I had a hard time getting good lighting for pics, since we didn't finish it until late...true to me! lol But I just can't wait to share!)

You can see from the side that we used a show box and taped the lid on. Then we cut out the door to enter the photo booth. Then spray painted the outside of the box black.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Personalized Lunch Tote Bag DIY with Heat Transfer Vinyl

#DIY #HTV #heattransfervinyl #lunchtote #monogram

My daughter decided she wanted one of those cute personalized lunch tote bags recently. After looking for some online, I found one on clearance in a store for under $10! Much better price! And more fun for me to get to decorate and personalize it myself too! Of course I was all for that! ;)

So, here's what I found at the store. Cute! Love the quilted design, but will be even better after I dress it up a bit!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Sharing the {Star Wars} Love!

I don't know about your house, but ours LOVES Star Wars. In fact, it is a prerequisite for being in our family! haha

SO, when I first saw these shared on Someday Crafts, I was in love!. I checked them out here and ADORE them! Thanks so much Allons-Y Kimberly! My boys will love! Wouldn't they be fun put onto canvas? They would go great next to the little shelves of Star Wars figures that we have in our house.


Check out her great site here!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

DIY 15 Minute Sweet Wreath

 #ontheblogtoday #wreath #diy #craft #valentinesdecor #doallthingsinlove #wordart #valentinesday

I love wreaths! I love changing them up and changing them out during the year. BUT, I realized I had no Valentine wreath and my front porch was looking so sad after all the Christmas decor had left. SO...after tending to three sick girls this past week, I took 15 minutes this weekend and spruced up a simple grapevine wreath. Yep, just 15 minutes! Start to finish! No joke! ;)

All you need is a little yarn or string, some chipboard coasters, and some washi tape. (Have I told you how much I adore washi tape?! If I let myself, which I don't, I could buy A LOT of washi tape! LOVE IT!)

Well, I had some coasters with the letter "M" on them (because that's what they had for just $1). I took my washi tape and randomly tore it and placed three on each coaster to cover up the "M". Then I just freehand cut out some vinyl letters, but you could also just draw them on with a Sharpie, or print some too. I placed them on top of the washi tape decorated coasters, punched a couple holes, and strung them up. I plan on making a garland as well. So fast and fun!

Monday, February 9, 2015

We love Bountiful Baskets!

#cleaneating #familygroceryshopping #freshproduce #bountifulbaskets

This post is going to be short and sweet, but filled with oh such good stuff! ;)

As many of you know, we try and eat clean a lot in our house, and I recently found an even better place to get some of our groceries! From Bountiful Baskets!

I so love this site and organization. It's kind of like a co-op where people work together to bring you fresh veggies from smaller farmers at even better prices!

They offer both organic and non-organic, as well as several other add on packages and items each time. Some are more produce, some are super yummy "tastes just like moist, fresh, homemade bread" (that doesn't contain anything you can't pronounce!) and other items like fresh herbs, coconut oil, and more!

What's not to love?!

You just get online and order at the location nearest you and go pick up your order later that week! I LOVE!!!!!!! Just ordered mine today in fact!

BUT, to give you an idea of what you get, here is what I got last time! I ordered the organic box and got this:

I even love just the surprise at what we will get each week and so do my kids! I also love that they immediately want to snack on it all!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

What Does the Fox Say? Valentine Printables

#valentinesday #classvalentines #teachvalentines #diyvalentines 
#handmadevalentines #valentines #whatdoesthefoxsay

Are you still hunting for the perfect Valentine? Need a last minute one? Do you have a boy who doesn't like the cheesy valentine options? Just want something different and easy? Well, I have one more fun idea for you today (and links to all of my others as well)! And it's so fun and easy! AND I even included another free printable for you here.

What Does the Fox Say? How many times did you hear this song last year? I have to say that I don't mind hearing it so much anymore. lol BUT...my kids still seem to have an affinity to foxes now. lol So, when I saw the fun fox little stuffed animals, button pins for Valentines, and even this cute little notepad and pen set, I obviously thought of that song. And of course...my kids start singing it once again. I seriously think that my toddler thinks that the sound that foxes make is "ring-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding". She gets the cow sound right, and the duckm and the pig, horse, dog, etc. But the fox? lol It's "ring-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding". Too funny!

So, here's one more fun free printable to go with any little fox valentine you find out there. (I found a bunch of mine at my Neighborhood Market.)

if you are new to my blog and looking for MORE Valentine DIY ideas, I've posted several other ideas here (including more printables!)

Make your own Heart Cookie Cutter {DIY Valentines Day Treat}

#valentinesday #valentines #valentinescookies #cookiecutter #diy #diycookiecutter #diyheartcookiecutter #valentinestreat #lifehack #bakinghack #upcycle #repurpose

Do you just love super SOFT puffy sugar cookies? That's the ONLY way I like them! I posted a recipe previously (seen here) of a great recipe that is perfect for this kind of cookie! I love love love them!

Well, recently my daughter wanted to make some heart shaped sugar cookies. I thought, sure! So we started to get all of the ingredients out to make a "healthified" version of these sugar cookies. (My hubby can't have gluten and we, as a family are trying to avoid sugar right now too. These may not have been the right cookies to make then, right? Bwahaha) BUT, we made a great version of these and they turned out super soft still and even more puffy! YUM! (I'll share that later, but...)

We ran into ONE problem though as we got ready to cut the cookie shapes out...I didn't realize that I didn't have a heart cookie cutter. I had a turkey, pumpkin, Christmas tree, moon, star, Texas shape, Star Wars X Wing Fighter, Millennium Falcon, flower, haunted house, butterfly, and on and on...How did I not have a heart? (hee hee) So...I thought, surely we can make one...


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Don't Do DUMB Things with your Smart Phone. {Free downloadable printable}

I don't know about your house, but MINE can always use this reminder. Whether it's being on the phone too much, not present in your kids' lives, a teen who needs the reminder or another reason that you have, I love this recent quote given in a talk by Randall L. Ridd. Love, love, love it!

So, I created a free printable that you can download yourself and hang up in your own house. It's definitely going up in ours...possibly in more than one room even!

What are some of your favorite quotes? I have a quote wall that I started at our last house. Recently, I have been moving it to another wall/corner and also putting up more around different places in our house. I love that wherever I look there is upliftment, encouragement and even some laughs. Love my word art, especially when there is also humor in it.

I'd love to hear some of your favorite quotes. Who knows? Maybe I'll make some word art up of them and send you the free printable to that one as well!

You can access the free printable of this here on a google doc. 
(For personal use only and please give me credit for the word art design.)

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Silhouette America and Pixscan deals

This post brought to you by Silhouette America. All opinions are mine and mine alone,
#SilhouetteAmerica #SilhouetteCAMEO #Silhouettte Pixscan #ad

I'm so excited to be able to share with you today that I am now an official Silhouette affiliate! I have loved and used (several) of Silhouette America's machines for years now! And now I get to work even closer with them! What's not to love?!

You can use my code: CREATE
when ordering anything and I will be able to offer you their discounts from time to time as well. Again, what's not to love?!

So check out their great deals going on right now over at Silhouette America! And look forward to all kinds of great ideas and tutorials that I am planning on sharing with you in the future with my Silhouette Portrait and my Silhouette CAMEO. Happy creating!

Romantic Restaurants Across the United States

Romantic Restaurants Across the United States
Romantic Restaurants   Want to find a great place to take your Valentine this holiday? Look no further! Members of Social Fabric have found places all across the United States that are romantic and perfect for a lovely date night! Just find your local area below and see what fabulous places it has to offer. You can make it a night to remember! #Dinner4Valentines   

Northeast Region 
Eastampton, New Jersey - Dawn from A New Dawnn
Jersey City, New Jersey - May from La Vie En May
New Rochelle, New York - Jason from The Social Media Samurai
New York, New York - Ginnie from Hello Little Home
Unadilla, New York - Miranda from Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt
Reading, Pennsylvania - Betsy from Heavens to Betsy
York, Pennsylvania - Sarah from How I Pinch A Penny
East Greenwich, Rhode Island - Kristin from Mama Luvs Books
Newport, Rhode Island - Stephanie from Mammamoiselle
Providence, Rhode Island - Mary from Tall Mom Tiny Baby

Monday, February 2, 2015

Winner of the {Frozen Inspired} Olaf's face in Vinyl GIVEAWAY!

Winner of the 
{Frozen Inspired} Olaf's face in Vinyl 

Well, the weekend came, and the giveaway came to a close! 
And the two winners (picked randomly through Rafflecopter) are: