Non Candy Valentine Ideas Can Still Be SWEET!

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Please tune in tomorrow to @Fox59 for non candy Valentine’s Day ideas.

I can’t believe it’s time to start thinking about Valentine’s card ideas for kids.  I love the idea that Valentine’s Day can be sweet without the “sugar.”  Try these adorable DIY crafts.  These ideas are low-cost and a healthy alternative for kids.  You can find these items at any grocery and craft store. (Target, Michael’s, Wal-Mart).
  • Put a cutie in a clear bag attach a tag “You’re a Real Cutie Valentine” (photo cred @ Pretty Providence)
  • Use Goldfish as a healthy alternative to candy and sugary treats “So glad we’re in the same school”
  • Raisins are an extremely yummy and healthy candy option for Valentine’s Day. Attach a fun little note and you can feel good that you’re promoting good health! (photo cred http://bargainbriana.com)
  • It doesn’t get much simpler than Love Stitched’s “You Make My Heart Pop” valentine! Simply affix the printable to a bottle of bubbles, and you’re done!(photo cred. www.popsugar.moms)
  •  Printable Mason Jars for these creepy, crawly Love Bug valentines!  This is a free download on http://moziru.com. (photo cred http://moziru.com)
  • Two presses of your thumb create a quick heart that also adds a personal touch to any card.  This is great for grandparents and family members.  (photo cred http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/holidays/valentines-day-ideas)

 

Winter Olympic Fun!

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It’s time to gather up all your Red, White & Blue USA gear as the Opening Ceremonies of the 2018 Winter Olympic games kick off from PyeongChang, South Korea on February 9th.
The Winter Olympics will showcase athletes from around the world and inspire kids and adults with dreams of being Olympic athletes.
Help adults/kids learn about the Winter Olympics with these fun games & treats.
1.  Make and decorate cookies/cupcakes representing the Olympic Rings.  (photo cred @surlyhousewife)
2.  Make your own Olympic Torches at home.  All you need is cake ice cream cones & cheetos.  (photo cred @ruthsoukup)
3.  Make your own Olympic Bingo cards.  I found this bingo card on Pinterest.  You can make your own with countries, sports, etc. (https://www.woojr.com/free-winter-olympics-bingo-game/winter-olympics-bingo-card1/ )
4.  Make your own Olympic Medals. All you need is construction paper, paint, markers and ribbon.  This is also a great way to give your kiddos fine motor skills a workout. (photo cred education.com)
5. Olympic Cocktails – Yes, please!  Sugared Champagne or Proseco! Cut lemon into small wedges. Take one wedge and coat the rim of each champagne glass with lemon juice, then dip into colored sugar bowls. Place sugar rimmed glasses into the freezer for 10 minutes. (photo cred https://cupcakesandcashmere.com/)

 

Pinterest Inspired Birthday Party!

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My oldest daughter’s birthday is right after Christmas. Every year I tried to separate the holiday season from her actual birthday to make it special and feel like her own separate time to celebrate. To be honest, some years I struggled to be inspired to plan a birthday party actually during the week of Christmas. Wrapping Christmas presents and filling out birthday invitations sometimes seemed overwhelming. When she was a baby we always hosted a gathering of family and friends in our home. As she became grade school age we farmed it out to places like trampoline parks, pottery painting places and even ice skating rinks. Now that my oldest has turned 18 we’ve come full circle and recently hosted a gathering of her friends at our home to celebrate. While wrapping Christmas gifts this year we turned to Pinterest for inspiration for the party! I couldn’t help wonder where Pinterest was all those earlier years when I was scratching my head to come up with something clever and special. Nonetheless, in a few minutes we had the entire thing planned. All the special details inspired by a few moments on Pinterest. My daughter chose a Pancakes & Pajama Party at our home surrounded by her closest friends. We made chocolate chip pancakes, confetti pancakes, blueberries pancakes, and buttermilk pancakes. Each kind stacked high on a cake plate and ready to dig in! The cake and cookies also inspired by Pinterest rounded out the party for fun. It was the perfect way to celebrate a post Christmas birthday and the most convenient way to plan it!!

DIY Vision Boards!

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Visualize what you want out of 2018 with this easy craft.  It is great to do as a family project.   All you need is your family, old magazines, bulletin board (Amazon has some great deals) and tape/glue.

Here’s how you make your own vision boards…..

1. Put away all phones and other electronics. This is for family bonding. Sit your family down at the kitchen table together to brainstorm.

2. Pass around pencils and paper or even use a white board (for some reason my family likes writing with markers better). Have everyone write down goals for 2018. They could be to raise your spanish grade or improve in golf.

3. Goals can then be written down in different categories like improving health, school, family activities and spreading kindness. Try to write down achievable goals.

4. Next start flipping through magazines, use stickers, browse images on the internet & print them out and you can even use words and phrases from magazines.

5. Build your board. You can do individual boards a family board or both.

6. Share your board. Post in a place you can see your board once a day. You can put individual boards in your bedroom or a family board in the kitchen/ laundry room.

7. Make a game of it to encourage your family to stay on their goals. It’s okay to remind someone to study or to go practice their sport.

8. Have fun!!!

Clean in 2018! All Natural DIY Cleaning Solutions

Thank you @Fox59 and @JillianDeam for letting me share these affordable, all natural, environmentally safe DIY cleaning solutions.

Some of these recipes I learned from my grandmother.  She used to make her own cleaning products and added some major elbow grease to clean her house from top to bottom. I learned from the best.

Here are some of my favorite cleaning recipes:

Scouring Powder

Combine 1 cup baking soda, 1 cup borax, and 1 cup kosher salt in a jar.  Sprinkle on area to be cleaned, wipe with a sponge, and rinse.

Glass Cleaner

Combine 1/4 cup vinegar and 4 cups warm water in a spray bottle.  Use to clean glass or mirrors with a dry cloth or piece of newspaper.

Soap Scum Remover

Sprinkle on baking soda, scrub with a cloth or sponge, and rinse.  Vinegar or kosher salt also work.

Calcium or Lime Remover

For calcium or lime deposits on a chrome faucet, soak a towel in vinegar and wrap it around the faucet.  Let it sit for a couple of hours or overnight.

Clean a Bathtub with Grapefruit and Salt

Halve a grapefruit, sprinkle the top of the grapefruit liberally with salt.  Wet your bathtub and sprinkle the left over salt around the bottom.

All Natural DIY Cleaning Solutions

IMG_0577Cleaning a house naturally is not more difficult than cleaning with items you buy at the store.  It improves indoor air quality and is much safer, especially for children.

Because their bodies are still growing, babies and children are more vulnerable to environmental pollutants. Make the switch to products that are non-toxic, biodegradable, and made from renewable resources (not petroleum). They will aid you in creating a safe, healthy, and nontoxic environment, free of hazards for your kiddos.

I recently cleaned my bathtub with this recipe from www.apartmenttherapy.com, @apartmenttherapy.  It worked amazing!  I had to share it with you.  (Recipe Cred. @apartmenttherapy)

How To Naturally Clean a Bathtub with Grapefruit and Salt

What You Need

1 Grapefruit
1/4 cup coarse kosher salt

Instructions
1. Halve Grapefruit: 1 medium to large grapefruit will clean your entire bath or shower from top to bottom, including all the fixtures. Simply cut it in half with a knife and you’ll be all set.

2. Sprinkle With Salt: Using 1 grapefruit half at a time, sprinkle the top liberally with salt. Wet your bathtub and sprinkle the remaining salt around the bottom.

3. Get to scrubbing! Scrub your grapefruit around your shower or tub, making sure to slightly “juice” the citrus over each fixture and lifting it every few seconds to pick up fresh salt from around the tub instead of just pushing it around. You can also use the rind on stubborn areas.

4. Rinse: When all is said and done, simply rinse away the pulpy bits and the salt and your shower is as good as new.

(Image credit: Ashley Poskin, http://www.apartmenttherapy.com, @apartmenttherapy)

 

 

Kid Friendly Winter Olympics Treats

The opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics is on February 9th!  I was cruising through Pinterest today and saw these great ideas!

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Thank you @surlyhousewife for the cupcake idea!  Photo courtesy of www.thesurlyhousewife.com.  These cupcakes are perfect for an opening ceremony party.

 

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Thank you @ruthsoukup for the Olympic torch idea. This is so easy to make with kiddos.  Love it.  Photo courtesy of http://www.livingwellspendingless.com.

 

 

Happy New Year – Intentional & Thoughtful

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Happy New Year! It’s 5 degrees today so we decided to use our backyard (normally a small lake) and transform it into an ice rink. Clearing the snow for it today made me think about what a miracle transforming something can be.  The New Year makes me think of things like this. What is normally a lake in our backyard becomes a playground for ice skating and ice hockey this time of year. The same water just in different form. Amazing. Opportunity. Same, but different. Kind of like when January comes around with the opportunity for a fresh start. We are the same people, but can transform ourselves in the New Year. A chance to reinvent oneself, an opportunity to grow and become wiser and stronger.

This year my husband and I set our goal with a theme instead of a list of “to do’s.” Our theme is to be “Intentional & Thoughtful.” Intentional with our time, our work, our friendships, with one another and with our family. We will try to grow from the things that disappoint, embrace life’s ordinary moments each day and celebrate the extraordinary times we are blessed with during the year. It’s a wonderful life and know matter how challenging some days or months seem, we are blessed and I’m always grateful for the opportunity to transform myself into a stronger and wiser self each year! Cheers for a 2018 filled with much joy, laughter and good health!
Happy New Year from my family to yours!!
XOXO