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Monday, August 14, 2017

One Trick for Easier School Mornings

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

It's almost back to school time! New clothes, organized supplies, and fresh resolve to keep up good routines. I've told you guys how I've been going to school online for the last couple of years to finish a degree in web design. Back in May I started an internship that has me out working full-time, which is new for our family. My husband works from home and can check in on the kids now and then as they get ready for school, but of course he's working, so most of the responsibility falls on them to make sure they are ready to go. I want to help them be as successful as possible of course, and we've discovered there's ONE thing we can do at night that makes a big difference the next morning.


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Ready for School with Pilot G2 Pens

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MyGo2Pen #CollectiveBias

Pilot G2 Pens have been my long-time favorite. Whether I'm making to-do lists, scheduling events on my calendar, or taking notes for my online classes. I'm getting close to graduation, but no quite there yet, so this fall my kids and I will be starting school together again. I wanted a way to keep my pens organized and accessible, and a way to organize my class assignments each week, so I've got a printable, and a cute pen cup DIY.



You can find the Pilot G2 10-packs (with bonus FriXion pen) in colored or black ink at Walmart, in the back to school section. Look for 4-packs of pens too. 



My favorite feature is the smooth writing gel ink that makes it the #1 selling pen brand in America. I'm not the only one who loves this premium brand! In addition to the option of colors, including metallics, there are 4 different point sizes, so you can customize the pen to exactly the look you like for your writing.



Here are the easy steps for making a gold pen holder.
  • Wrap a piece of washi tape around a small glass jar
  • Cover with gold spray paint
  • Remove tape when paint is dry
Now I can easily keep my pens right where I need them for scheduling my week and taking notes. 


I also wanted to share this printable I made for keeping track of my assignments each week. My classes are all online, but they are still very structured. I have due dates during the week for quizzes, discussion board posts, tasks, and assignments to turn in. Plus there are usually long-running projects that I need to pay attention to. I had been just handwriting out lists like this at the beginning of the week, but realized a printable would be a smarty way to do it.

This page lets me fill in my assignments each week for each class. If something like this would be useful for you, or a student in your life, please download it and print out some copies

How do you like to keep your weeks organized? Phone app? Printables? Planner? I'd love to hear about it! And don't forget your coupon when you go shopping.

Keep up with Pilot G2 Pens on Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Twitter  |  Pinterest


Check out how to make a No-Sew, Zipper-Free pouch in this post:


Saturday, August 5, 2017

What Does the Cricut Maker Do?

This is a sponsored post that may contain affiliate links, but I love my Cricut and would write about it no matter what šŸ˜Š



SAVE 10% on your Cricut Maker if you have a Cricut Access subscription!


Earlier this week I was in Salt Lake for the product launch of this amazing new machine. We were so excited to be sitting there listening and watching all the great things it could do (and unknown to us at the time, sitting on seat cushions all covered in different fabrics that the machine had cut!)

Monday, July 31, 2017

Cricut BrightPad

This BrightPad was sent to me from Cricut, all opinions are my own.

I love glitter vinyl! It’s a perfect way to add mess-free sparkle. But if you’ve worked with glitter vinyl before, you know it can be kind of a pain to weed. The way the light bounces off the bits of glitter makes it really hard to see the cut lines. In some cases, pretty much impossible!


Thursday, July 27, 2017

Snape Quote Zipper Pouch

This is just one post of many this month in the Happy Harry Potter hop hosted by RaeGun Ramblings. Make sure you check out all the fabulous HP ideas, and enter the giveaway at the end of the post!!

My husband and kids recently completed a Harry Potter movie marathon. I watched when I could, but with finals and my internship I missed out on a lot of it. They had a great time though! And it was perfect for getting me in the mood for Marissa's Harry Potter Blog hop.

You know the part in The Sorcerer's Stone where Professor Snape catches Harry, Hermione and Ron wandering the halls and tells them (with Alan Rickman's perfect execution) "You ought to be careful. People with think you're . . . Up to something."



Monday, July 10, 2017

How to Emboss with the Cricut Cuttlebug


So many cute dies and embossing folders available - START SHOPPING!

I'm just getting started with embossing with my Cricut Cuttlebug, and I'm having lots of fun so far! I'm going to show you how to use the Cuttlebug embossing folders along with a couple of fun ways to use and "dress" up your embossed pieces. If you're new to using a Cuttlebug or thinking of getting one, we can learn about it together. If you're a seasoned pro, I hope you'll leave me a comment about how you love to use embossed pieces! 




Friday, July 7, 2017

Vinyl Decorated Water Bottle

When I started my job a few weeks ago, they gave me a welcome pack that included a nice insulated cup. I usually keep water in it so I can remember to drink during the day. But I knocked it over on the sidewalk one weekend and it cracked the ceramic inside, so I needed to replace it. I got this stainless steel one that I just love. 


Monday, June 26, 2017

The 20 Minute Bathroom Makeover

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



I'm totally guilty of being afraid to commit when it comes to decorating my house. I put it off because I'm afraid I won't like it, or because we have plans to remodel that room . . . someday. Or then we do remodel and and I still don't get around to actually decorating! This week I changed that and headed to Target for a bathroom refresh that took less than 20 miutes and it's made such a difference!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Decorated Cooler and Blue Lizard® Sunscreen

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

There's a common misconception that we never get any sun where we live. Truth be told, after the especially rainy winter and spring we've just had here in the Northwest, I was starting to believe that myself! But I promise, we still do need sunscreen here. Besides, harmful UV rays can damage skin even through clouds, and we do love being at the park or going hiking.


So today I'm talking about Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen and my cute cooler I just decorated with vinyl. Now we're extra ready for picnics this summer. 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

How to Use My Own Fonts with Cricut

(some links in this post are affiliate links)

Did you know that you can use those pretty fonts that you've purchased or found for free with your Cricut machine? If you're not sure how to do it, or think it will be too tricky to learn, let me walk you through the process.


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Patriotic Stars Jar with Cricut Adhesive Foil

Some links are affiliate links

Time to start thinking about all those red white and blue decorations! If you're really on the ball, you maybe already made something for Memorial Day. But if not, this red and blue stars jar works perfeclty for both Flag Day and the 4th of July.



Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Frequently Asked Questions About Cricut

I sometimes include affiliate links in my posts. I share products that I use and love, and if you purchase through my links, your cost stays the same but I get a small percentage sent back to me. So thank you! Additionally, this post is brought to you by Cricut.

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about Cricut machines. I have answered them in 12 different posts over the last few months, and I thought it would be handy for you if there were all linked up in one place. 


Saturday, May 27, 2017

Last Day of School Summer Fun Goodies

I partnered with Oriental Trading Company on this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

School's out for summer! Or almost anyway. My kids don't get out til the middle of June, but I've got this summer fun kit waiting for them. Doing a basket like this on the last day of school has become a special tradition for me. I can't remember if I started it with my oldest daughter, but I do remember the year my second daughter came home on the last day of Kindergarten. She was in tears, distraught over saying good bye to her teacher and her friends she'd made (some of whom she would continue seeing over the summer :) I was so glad that I had something planned to cheer her up right away as we played with some new toys in the backyard.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Stamped Cookie Cutters

For the last few months my husband has been playing with and learning about 3D printers. They're really pretty cool, and he's made some fun things for the kids, this bunny for my Easter decor, and lots of cookie cutters. 



This means we've been making a lot of cookies too, to try out recipes, and to practice making the cookies. (The kids kind of love it.)

Friday, May 12, 2017

How to Decorate Makeup Bags with Vinyl

A couple of weeks ago I was at the craft store and picked up this trio of makeup bags from their gift section. My makeup drawer has been in serious need of some organization help, so I figured these could do nothing but help!



A lot of you guys are probably like me, and never leave well enough alone when it comes to decorating with vinyl. Did these bags NEED glitter vinyl added to them? I'll let you be the judge! (some links in this post are affiliate links)



This is what the bags looked like to begin with. I'm using the large one for things like foundation, blush, concealer, and brushes for all those things. The medium holds my mascaras and eyeshadows. The small one has my lip colors.

I found a perfect icon for each bag and turned them into SVGs to load into Cricut Design Space. You can download the SVG here.

Choose the type of iron-on vinyl you want to use. I picked glitter gold, but I'll bet a dark navy would look really good against these bright colors too. Open Cricut Design Space and upload the SVG. You can resize or ungroup and move them around if needed.

Place your vinyl shiny-side down on the mat and be sure to mirror the images before cutting. Set the dial to iron-on OR custom setting (then pick iron-on glitter) depending on the material you are cutting. Then cut them out.



Use a slightly cooler setting on your iron than you normally would, because you don't want to damage the makeup bags. So I had my iron just under the "4" but your setting may be different. The bags usually have a kind of plastic-y liner, and you don't want to run the risk of melting that. Plus, your bags aren't going through the laundry, so the vinyl doesn't have to be stuck down quite as much for that.

Fold up a hand towel and put it inside the bag. This gives you something to press the iron down against.



Peel off the plastic sheet and refill the bags with all your makeup goodies. They they'll keep your makeup drawer organized, and it's easy to grab and go when you're packing for your next trip.



Are you feeling the need to vinyl-ize some makeup bags of your own now? Check out these tutorials if you want more iron-on vinyl ideas:
(affiliate links)

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Have You Checked Out Groupon Lately?

This post is brought to you by Groupon. All thoughts and opinions are mine.

You probably know that you can find great local deals using Groupon. Adventures like skydiving and rafting, kids play like mini golf and trampoline parks, or dining and pampering have all made appearances in my inbox. Just recently my 2 girls went ice skating on a buy one- get one free deal! I love the convenience of buying my Groupons with PayPal when I want to.





Monday, May 8, 2017

Cute DIY Exercise Tank

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PureLife35pk #CollectiveBias



Recently we had our yard landscaped - we had all the scary blackberry bushes, mossy grass, and dead grape vines torn out and beautiful sod put in. It's been great to watch it grow in and turn extra green with all the rain we're getting here in the Northwest. As long as it doesn't actually flood away, the wetter the better! Our bodies need water like that too, and NestlĆ©® Pure Life® makes it easy with 35-packs of water bottles at Walmart. 

Monday, May 1, 2017

How to Use a Cricut Make it Now Project

Cricut Make-it-Now projects are a collection of pre-designed projects within Cricut Design Space. There are cards, home decor pieces, party supplies, and more. Some are free, some are included with an Access subscription, and some require a purchase - and anything you do buy becomes yours and can be used in any future projects. (some following links are affiliate links.) If you're wondering if it will be easy to use Design Space to create the Make it Now project, let me walk you through the process!













The screenshots I'm sharing are from the new Cricut Design Space version 3, so if they look a little different from what you've been using, that's why. (Just a couple of reasons you'll love it: it's not Flash based - so no more shockwave crashes, the edit controls are all easier to find, better font previews, and you can edit mats while you are cutting others.)

Friday, April 28, 2017

Fashion Friday: What Will You Be?

I partnered with Cents of Style for this post and some links below are affiliate links. Thoughts and opinions are my own.


When we were kids and thought about what we wanted to BE, the answer was always what job you want to have. I want to BE a teacher, a firefighter, a ballerina, whatever. Then at some point, and maybe for me it wasn't even until I had kids myself, I realized an even more important BE. It's not the job title you have, it's the qualities you possess that define you. Those can be even trickier because they develop over time, and can decrease without our even noticing.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

World Vision Global 6K for Water

I partenered with World Vision for this post.

You guys know I live in Washington - and here in the Pacific Northwest, we get a lot of rain. Not necessarily tons more rain than other places in the country, but certainly more cloudy and rainy days. We also have running waterin our house so we can take showers, brush teeth, flush toilets, run the dishwasher and washing machine. We even have a sprinkler system for our yard (which, honestly, really only needs to run for July and August :) Being surrounded by so much water, it's easy to forget that in developing countries, people have to walk an average of 6 kilometers (about 3.7 miles) every day to get water. It's usually women and young girls who have this task, and often the water they bring back is still contaminated with life-threatening diseases.



Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Will I use my Cricut Enough to Justify the Price?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine. Some links are affiliate.

I think everyone gets a little nervous when they think about buying a big item for themselves, then worry it might just sit in the box. If you're buying a Cricut, you want to know if you'll get enough use out of it. 

So I say let's take a look at this (incomplete) list of all the things you could make with your Cricut. Are you interested in any of these?


Saturday, April 8, 2017

What Materials Can I Cut with Cricut?

One of the biggest selling features, and high points for me about the Cricut Explore is the amazing list of materials it can cut. You may not even realize that it goes way beyond paper and vinyl! Once you check out this list of things the Cricut can cut, you'll see how your project possibilities really are endless. I've included some links to projects using some of these materials below too, so be sure to click through to read more about them. (Some links may be affiliate)



Monday, April 3, 2017

How Does the Cricut Machine Work?

Let’s get into the basics of how a Cricut works. (I've included some affiliate links so you find the exact products I'm talking about)
Your Cricut Explore machine needs power and internet access. You need to be able to connect it to a computer by Bluetooth, or with a cord OR with your iPad wirelessly.



Then you use the design program called Design Space online to create your projects. You can choose from hundreds of Make it Now projects, over 30,000 images, and over 370 fonts.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Benefits of Cricut Explore

There are several electronic cutting machines on the market these days - I have owned a few. You may have owned a few. And for someone looking to buy one, or upgrade, or switch brands, it can be confusing to know what the best machine is!



Monday, March 20, 2017

What is a Cricut?

Post contains affiliate links - if you make a purchase I get a small percentage and your cost stays the same. So, thanks!!

Cricut - noun, (pronounced just like the bug, "Cricket"), and pretty much the greatest crafting tool you could ever have. 



I've written about Cricut machines for years - I even owned one of the original small ones all the way back in 2006. As much as I talk about it, there are still people who don't know what it is (or how to say it!) But don't worry, when I first read about it I thought it was "cry-CUT" too :) 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Tips for Using Stretch Heat Transfer Vinyl

Siser North America sent me some HTV to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Some links in this post are affiliate.


Stretch Heat Transfer Vinyl is an iron-on vinyl that has, well, a bit of stretch to it! This makes it ideal for applying to all kinds of fabric. It works great on stretchy materials like Lycra®/spandex or cotton, and it's also fabulous for cotton poly blends, polyester and even leather! It has an ultra matte finish that is really pretty. I used it to dress up a baby onesie and it came out so cute because it layers perfectly.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Make Cricut Stickers with your Own Images

Custom stickers have never been so popular, or so easy to make, when you have your Cricut machine to help you out. Want to make your own stickers for your planner? an upcoming party? your business? Watch how easy it is to upload images to Cricut - then turn them into stickers!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Make Foam Look Like Concrete

If you want the look of concrete without the mess or the weight, this is the perfect way to do it. Starting with a foam block, the perfect gray paint, and a secret ingredient, you can make a lollipop stand like I did, or a planter for some fake succulents, or whatever you want!


Must-Have Cricut Tools and Accessories

Some links are affiliate

By now I'm sure you know what a great crafting machine the Cricut is. You've seen me rave about it, you've seen others rave about it, and maybe you have your own that you love too! Did you know there are also tool sets and accessories that can make your projects even easier and take them to the next level? This post is all about Cricut tool sets and what you can do with them.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Script Fonts from FontBundles

This post is sponsored by FontBundles. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Some links are affiliate, which just means they send me a few cents if you make a purchase. Your cost doesn't change, so thanks!

Do you guys love fonts as much as I do? I love collecting them and using them for prints, design work, and Cricut projects. I want to introduce you today to FontBundles, where you can find loads of fonts (including free ones) as individual ones, or of course in bundles. You can grow your collection in leaps and bounds! They also have tons of design products like templates, graphics like backgrounds, textures and illustrations. And, there are free designs and free fonts available every week!







Thursday, March 9, 2017

Reset Your Day in Just 15 Minutes

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


You know those days when you can jump out of bed totally rested and ready to take on the day? Everything you need is right where you look for it, everyone gets ready for school on time, and you get through your to-do list with no snags at all? Um, can I have one of those days? Most of the time, things come along and throw us off, and we just have to adjust a bit to make it through. No big deal.
Milka Oreo Big Crunch Bar Chocolate Candy Bar

But sometimes there are days where I really feel like I'm dragging. Maybe I stayed in my pajamas too long working on my own homework after the kids went to school. Maybe something happens that messed up what I had really been looking forward to. I'm trying to not let those things ruin my whole day any more though, and I've found some things that help and I want to share with you. In 15 minutes or less, you can do an activity from this list and reset your day. Take charge, and decide that the rest of the day will go better! 

As a bonus, pair any of these activities with new Milka Oreo Chocolate bars from Walmart. 


You can try it too and save $1 with this ibotta offer -- click the picture!




• Spend 15 minutes cleaning your kitchen. You'll be invigorated with the quick difference in the before and after. 



• Relax your neck. Warm the back of your neck with a heating pad for 5 minutes. Then do some neck stretches. Do shoulder rolls forward and backward, stretch neck leaning 30 seconds each side. Move slowly, and remember to breathe.

• Text a friend to say hi and let them know you're thinking of them. This always helps me feel less isolated.
• Release muscle tension. Lay on a bed or couch in a dark room. Add relaxing music if you like (try an app or YouTube for some spa music.) Starting with the muscles in your feet, tighten or flex for 8 seconds, then relax for 8 seconds. Move up to leg muscles, core muscles, arms, and even face muscles. Repeat a couple of times, then to finish, flex all muscles, hold for 8 seconds, and then relax. It's magical how this makes you feel less stressed!



• Enjoy a treat. These Milka OREO Chocolate Candy bars that I posted about last week are becoming a fast favorite. A few little squares wake up my taste buds and just make me happy!


Milka Oreo Chocolate Candy Bar
• Get some fresh air and take a 15 minute walk. Just a quick circle around your neighborhood will get those endorphins pumping and you can handle what you have left at home or work.


What about you? What seems to work for you when you need a little pick-me-up, or something to turn your day around? And, try these Milka Oreo Chocolate Candy Bars and tell me what you think!



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