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Giving the Gift of Handmade Gifts

Posted by on Dec 22, 2017 in Christmas, Crafts, Holiday | 0 comments

 Sponsored One of our favorite gifts to give are those that are handmade. This holiday season, we took a break from the holiday stress and spent an afternoon decorating stockings to fill with Welch’s holiday fruit snacks for some of our family and friends. We decided to fill the stockings with Welch’s fruit snacks vs. candy because they are made with real fruit (which is the first ingredient), they are 100% DV vitamin C, 25% DV Vitamin A&E, fat-free, gluten-free, and have no preservatives – making them a great alternative to candy. It was a fun afternoon as my kids added buttons, bells, and stickers to the red stockings. Once we were done decorating the festive stockings, we filled them up with lots of Welch’s fruit snacks before delivering them. When our friends saw the handmade stocks, it brought...

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Track the Paw Prints to Free Educational Classes at New Library

Posted by on Dec 11, 2017 in Crafts, Education, Events | 0 comments

  Follow the painted bobcat and mountain lion paw prints prancing on the sidewalk to the new Library of the Canyons. Inside, watch out for the skunk, coyote and raccoon paw prints crawling up the walls to cave style paintings by local artist, Robert Myers. Throughout the children’s section, kids discover interactive displays, puzzles, puppet theatre and crafts. My son and his friends especially enjoy the library’s educational programs. The only place my son wants to be on Monday’s at 4 p.m. is at the library’s Crazy Eight’s math class. His favorite lesson dealt with sound waves. He made a pan flute from straws and noticed the changes in pitch from the different lengths of straw. Then he and his classmates headed outside to test the decibels of the flutes with an app on the children’s librarian, Shanon Delaney’s...

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Hotel Transylvania Family Movie Night

Posted by on Oct 30, 2017 in Crafts, Entertainment, Film | 0 comments

 Sponsored One of our favorite things to do together as a family is to have movie nights. We will come together as a family, enjoy tasty food and stream our favorite movies while creating memories that will last a lifetime together. When I learned about the all-new app Movies Anywhere, I thought it was a great idea to plan a ‘Halloween-themed’ movie night and downloaded Hotel Transylvania on the app. My favorite part of our family movie nights is creating food that is themed after the movie. Since I knew that we were going to be watching Hotel Transylvania, I thought of some fun vampire and bat-themed foods to serve. For our drinks, I made a spooky fruit punch and served the drink in science beakers. I made a little bit of smoke in the drinks with dry ice...

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Messy Minions Candy Bark Recipe

Posted by on Jul 3, 2017 in Crafts, Entertainment, Family, Film, Recipes | 2 comments

 This post is in partnership with Bounty. Minions..Minions..Minions! My kids and I love everything about the minions. The first time that we were introduced to them in the first Despicable Me, we fell in love with them. My kids have minion clothes, hats, and everything minion. When I learned that Bounty was introducing Despicable Me 3 prints on their paper towels and napkins, I immediately knew that I needed to get some for my kitchen. Having three busy kids in my household, we’re always making messes or spilling things in my kitchen. That is why I need a paper towel that is strong enough to clean-up the biggest messes while using the smallest amount of paper towels to tackle the mess. The one brand that I have found to be the most absorbent is Bounty, and I was thrilled...

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Five DIY Kitchen Remodeling Tips

Posted by on Mar 26, 2017 in Crafts, Deals, Family, Shopping, Tech | 3 comments

 Sponsored by Best Buy When we bought our second home in 2003, the kitchen was a mess. We had to remodel the kitchen, but as a young couple on a tight budget, we had to find a way to remodel the kitchen at the lowest cost possible. The only solution was to do a complete DIY kitchen remodel. Now, it has been over 13 years, and our kitchen is once again in badly need of another kitchen remodel. The appliances are starting to get old, the counter tops are outdated, and our cabinets are falling apart. As we gear-up to do another DIY kitchen remodel, here are five tips for helping you to remodel your kitchen without breaking the bank doing it all yourself. Tile Granite Counter Tops The biggest savings we had when remodeling our kitchen years ago...

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DIY Upcycled Plastic Earrings Tutorial

Posted by on Feb 26, 2017 in Crafts | 0 comments

 We are a Chick-fil-A Ambassador I love reusing product packaging whenever I can. Recently, I was challenged to create an upcycling project using the plastic soup containers from Chick-fil-A. I wanted to do something different and fun for the DIY project, so I turned to my teenage daughter to start brainstorming some different ideas. Since my daughter loves jewelry, we decided to make upcycled plastic earrings using the plastic Chick-fil-A soup container. The hardest part of this DIY challenge was trying to figure out a way to make the black plastic look artistic enough to be worn hanging from my teenage daughter’s ears. We cut oval shapes from the container and first tried melting them in the oven. We thought that the plastic might warp in a cool way to make a fashionable look with the plastic – but...

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Netflix Trollhunters Inspired Rock Trolls Craft

Posted by on Dec 27, 2016 in Crafts, Entertainment, Television Shows | 0 comments

 We are a member of the Netflix Stream Team The minute that my kids saw their first episode of Trollhunters on Netflix, they fell in love with the show. They were immersed into a world where the trolls live, and couldn’t stop talking about the show for days after watching the first couple of episodes. Since my kids love the Netflix series so much, I decided to help them make their own trolls at home, so we made rock trolls. My kids favorite part of making this craft was acting out some scenes from the series while searching for rocks around the neighborhood. All of the rocks the kids collected were just as unique as the trolls in the Netflix series. They had a blast taking their time to carefully find rocks that looked just like the trolls in...

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DIY Snow Globe Ornaments

Posted by on Dec 14, 2016 in Christmas, Crafts, Family, Holiday | 2 comments

 Sponsored I love making crafts during the holiday season, and I find that handmade crafts make for the perfect holiday gift. Every year, I make ornaments with my children so that they can give them to their grandparents as Christmas gifts. Since I make the ornaments with my children – it has to be simple craft. I got inspired to get crafty this week and get started working on this year’s ornaments from my favorite Snowman, Holiday Hal, who has been sharing some creative holiday crafting tips on the Voya Financial Facebook page where I normally get tips/tools to help us plan for retirement.I figured that if a snowman can find time to do holiday crafts then so can I. Holiday Hal got me thinking a lot about snow and inspired me to make these simple DIY snow globe...

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Easy DIY King Julien Costume

Posted by on Oct 3, 2016 in Crafts, Entertainment, Film, Halloween | 0 comments

 Sponsored There are many Netflix original series that my kids love to watch, but the one series that they enjoy watching over and over again is All Hail King Julien. The show is hilarious, and one that families can enjoy watching together. As Halloween has quickly approached, and we began discussing different costume options, my son immediately knew that he wanted a King Julien costume. The only problem is that it’s not a costume that can be found in a costume store. So, I put my thinking cap on and started to brainstorm about how I could make him a King Julien costume. First, I watched a couple of All Hail King Julien episodes with my son. We laughed hysterically together while watching King Julien and his funny antics. Then it was time to start putting the costume together....

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4 Indoor Educational Projects for a Rainy Day

Posted by on Sep 13, 2016 in Crafts, Education, Family, Parenting | 0 comments

  Kids love to spend time playing outside. However, even Orange County has a few rainy days (or days so hot everybody wants to stay indoors in the AC). There are some great education-based projects that can be completed indoors that are both fun and productive on a rainy day. Whether kids are working on their art skills, reading comprehension, or math, there are several things they can do as a family while learning something new. 1. Color mixing Color mixing can make a fun and educational art project that helps kids learn how to make secondary and tertiary colors. For this project, kids will need four colors of paint: red, blue, yellow, and white. They can mix up orange, purple, green, and pink and so on. Many kids end up accidentally making brown or gray when they mix...

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Pete’s Dragon Family Activity Kit

Posted by on Jul 26, 2016 in Crafts, Entertainment, Film | 0 comments

  I can’t wait to bring my children to see Pete’s Dragon when it comes out in theaters on August 12th. To get them excited about seeing the movie, I surprised them this weekend by doing some fun and interactive Pete’s Dragon family activities from the Pete’s Dragon Activity Kit that Disney created. Disney knows the importance of expanding on a moviegoing experience with children and creates these amazing activity kits for parents to use with their children at home. Download high resolution pages here. The kit includes: How to encourage imaginary play The importance of Imaginary Play Inspiring Imagination Outdoors Inspirational Place for Imaginative Play Go on a Micro Quest Discovery Hidden Dragons Liberate Your Library Build a Dragon’s Lair Frame a Friend Download the high resolution worksheets online here. Don’t miss seeing Pete’s Dragon in theaters on...

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DIY The BFG Dream Jars

Posted by on Jul 6, 2016 in Crafts, Entertainment, Family, Film | 0 comments

  My children loved The BFG movie, and the dream jars were their favorite part of the film. The scenes were filled with so much beauty and magic that brought the book to life. Since my kids were so fascinated with the dream jars in the film, I surprised them this morning by making their very own dream jars to place by their beds at night. Making the dream jars is simple and an excellent way to expand on the magic of the film with your children and create memories with them that will last a lifetime. My children loved every minute of spending time with me doing this fun and interactive craft. After we were done making the craft, they asked if they could go back to see The BFG again. Supplies needed: Medium size mason jars Glitter...

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How to Make Circus Animal Cookie Zootopia Bark

Posted by on Jun 6, 2016 in Crafts, Entertainment, Film, Recipes | 0 comments

 Sponsored An outdoor summer Zootopia movie party would not be complete without some fun animal-themed candy treats. When planning our summer Zootopia outdoor movie night, I made the kids some delicious circus animal cookie Zootopia bark. Making candy bark is one of the easiest things parents can ever make for a party. It takes just a few seconds to make, and you can add virtually anything to the bark to theme it around your kid’s party. Since I was planning a Zootopia outdoor movie night, I wanted to make something colorful, festive, and animal-themed so I used circus animal cookies. The result – the kids loved it!! All I needed to purchase was two ingredients (white chocolate morsels and circus animal cookies.) How did I make it? I poured one bag of the white chocolate morsels into a bowl...

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How to Make Zootopia Pawsicles

Posted by on Jun 6, 2016 in Crafts, Entertainment, Film, Recipes | 0 comments

 Sponsored One of our favorite scenes from the film Zootopia was when Nick Wilde made “pawsicles” and sold them to the hamsters. My kids laughed hysterically during that scene in the movie. With Zootopia coming out on Blu-ray and DVD on June 7th, I got started right away planning an epic Zootopia themed outdoor summer movie night complete with homemade pawsicles and Zootopia candy bark. We were fortunate enough to get an advanced copy of the film, so we surprised some of our closest friends with a pre-summer Zootopia outdoor movie night. All our kid’s friends couldn’t wait to come over and see their favorite movie again. Everyone brought their blankets, pillows and arrived in their pj’s for the movie. The minute that the pawsicle scene came on in the film, I paused the movie and brought our pawsicles...

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DIY LEGO Friends Friendship Rings

Posted by on Mar 15, 2016 in Crafts, Entertainment, Family, Television Shows | 0 comments

 We are a member of the Netflix Stream Team My kids eat, sleep, and dream about LEGOS. There is a blanket of LEGOS on the playroom floor, and my kids are always immersed in the world of LEGOS both on the playroom floor and while watching the new Netflix originals LEGO Friends: The Power of Friendship. Since we have been enjoying the new Netflix series, and I encourage my children to build strong friendships, we made these adorable (and easy) LEGO Friends friendship rings to give to all their friends at school. The kids used their “LEGO-tivity” to add different creations to personalize the rings using spare parts from their LEGO kits. Each of the rings is unique, special, and made with love for each of their friends. How do you make them? It is super easy. Step one:...

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Learn How to Draw Judy Hopps and Flash from ‘Zootopia’

Posted by on Mar 4, 2016 in Crafts, Disney, Entertainment, Film | 0 comments

  I can’t believe it. The time has finally come for “Zootopia” to come out in theaters today! Families across the country will fall in love with Judy Hopps, Nick Wilde, and Gazelle. The story is one of my favorite Disney movies of all-time, and I can’t wait to bring my kids to see it again this weekend. In celebration of the release of the film, Disney just shared two tutorials on how to draw two of the most popular characters in the film, Judy Hopps and Flash. Get out some drawing paper, pencils, and spend quality time with your children drawing these two adorable “Zootopia” characters together. Byron Howard, one of the directors of “Zootopia” takes you through the step-by-step process of drawing the optimistic and bright Judy Hopps. Then Cory Loftis, the Art Director of Characters for...

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Storymakery Makes Young Authors

Posted by on Mar 2, 2016 in Crafts, Education, Events | 0 comments

  I’m in Love, and you will be too, with StoryMakery! What an amazing and exciting treat it was for my ten-year-old daughter, Bella and me, to visit the Storymakery at the Irvine Spectrum Center earlier this week. We met the Storymakery’s owner, Payal Kindiger, who graciously explained the story making and self-publishing process for kids. Like the scrumptious delights a bakery produces, Storymakery creates one-of-a-kind, truly unique stories by young authors, like our kids. Storymakery is a unique place child can build cognitive writings skills while flexing their imagination muscles, with friendly “Muse” staff, to design fun characters and stories that make their book(s) come alive! Prices range from ($19-$54.99) The first objective of our little authors is to develop their story character (up to 3), at the “Character Studio” area. After building the character(s), they move on...

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Teeny Tiny Valentine’s Day Card Kit

Posted by on Feb 8, 2016 in Crafts, Valentine's Day | 0 comments

  Looking for something different to do with your kids this Valentine’s Day? Instead of purchasing pre-made Valentine’s at the local grocery store, have fun creating memories with your children while handmaking their Valentine’s. Know I know that we are all busy mommies, and don’t have time to purchase all the supplies needed to create handmade Valentine’s, and Stampington & Company took care of that for all of us. They have created a unique kit that has “almost” everything you need to make Teeny Tiny Valentine’s Day cards with your kids. Over the weekend, I sat down with my daughter to make the Teeny Tiny Valentine’s Day cards together. Everything was carefully placed inside of a cellophane wrapper with instructions on how to make the Valentine’s. We put all the supplies on the table and got ready to have...

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DIY Duck Tape Hot Wheels Track

Posted by on Jan 5, 2016 in Crafts | 0 comments

  When your kids can’t go outside and play, don’t let that stop you from enjoying some great indoor fun. One of my favorite rainy day activities to do with the kids is to make a giant indoor hot wheels road out of duck tape. The possibilities are endless, and the fun DIY duck tape hot wheels track will provide hours of indoor fun for all your children. To make the road, you only need three things: Black duck tape, a white paint pen, and hot wheels. The road works best on tile or laminate flooring. Since my downstairs is all hardwood, we made the road in my oldest son’s room that has laminate flooring. Have your kids help you to decide how they think the road should be laid out on the floor. Then put the black duck...

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DIY Star Wars BB-8 Charm

Posted by on Jan 4, 2016 in Crafts | 1 comment

  We can’t get enough of BB-8. He was our favorite character in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” even before we saw the movie. With the upcoming winter storms approaching, I spent a lot of time thinking of some fun crafts to keep the kids occupied with this DIY Stars Wars BB-8 charm being our favorite craft yet. When the rain didn’t actually come, we didn’t let it stop us from making these adorable charms, and they are so simple that your kids can make along with you! Supplies needed (less than $20): Orange, White and Black Polymer Clay Circle charm holders (I don’t know the official terminology) Clay charm tool kit ($10 at Michael’s) Directions: First draw out what you want your BB-8 to look like. Use the Polymer Clay tools to create a BB-8. Encourage your kids...

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