Exciting Craft Projects for You and Your Little One

Are you struggling to keep your little one entertained in the summer holidays! Fear not; this article is here to help! Kids love nothing more than getting messy and making things, so try one of the following exciting craft projects to keep them occupied:

6178102992_e0736bc784_z.jpg

1. A Rose Wreath Made from Recycled Book Pages
You can find plenty of books that nobody wants to read in used book shops and charity shops. Mix paper types if you’d like to create a cool looking design. You can then swirl the book pages to look like roses, and glue them onto a circular cardboard template to make your rose wreath. This project could last a whole weekend!

2. Confetti Hearts
Use parchment paper, a hot melt glue gun, and some confetti to create a cute heart decoration.

3. Wood Shim Crates
Cut out strips of thick, sturdy cardboard before colouring them with different colours paints/chalks. You’re trying to create a distressed effect. You can then glue them together in a box shape to create your very own ‘crate’.

4. Floral Mirror
For this beautiful floral mirror, you and your little one will need a collection of plastic spoons. Have a cardboard template ready, glued around your mirror in the size you’d like it to end up. You can then use the curved end of the spoons to create the petals of the flower, gluing in the same pattern all the way around. Use different tones of the same colour to create a realistic effect. They’ll love helping to create home accessories that you can display proudly afterwards!

5. Cute as a Button Hair Clips
To create these cute hair clips, collect various buttons in different sizes and patterns. Glue smaller buttons inside of larger buttons to create a nice effect. You can then glue them onto sturdy hair clips to make a great hair accessory.

6. Patterned Cork Board
Cork boards are great for pinning memos and memories onto, but they can look a little drab. Decorate yours using a nice piece of material and a hot glue gun. This could even create a focal point for your little ones room! They can pin all of their artwork in one place with a cork board, and a patterned one will look even cooler.

7. Melted Crayon Artwork
Get a load of different coloured crayons, and feed the crayons through a glue gun onto a plain canvas. This will create a really cool looking, unique piece of art that your little one will love.

8. A Wooden Orb
A wooden orb can give a really beachy feel to the house. Collect some driftwood strips that are fairly thin but sturdy enough to stick together. Creating your orb shape will take time and patience, but it looks amazing when finished – so pretty and laid back!

Your child will love these crafts, whether you choose to make hair accessories, play with melted crayons, or create a bespoke mirror out of plastic spoons. You can’t get bored with arts and crafts!

Image Credit

4 Amazing Tips on How to Maintain and Prolong the Life of Real Wood Furniture

In the midst of buying real wood furniture, many of us often forget about how to keep it in premium condition. Keeping your wood furniture in the best possible condition is imperative to its longevity. Why? Well, you don’t want to keep replacing it year on year.

Mazzali

Of course, you undoubtedly keep your home in immaculate condition. But real wood needs a little more tender loving care than other types of furniture.

Here are some amazing tips on how you can keep your furniture in the best state:

Tip 1: Do Not Get Your Furniture Wet
Of course, much like the Gremlins you don’t want to feed it after midnight either. If you are keen to keep your furniture in premium condition, do not get your wood wet. You may want to invest in glass worktops. This will prevent any spillages from occurring. When wood gets wet, it can cause fading or peeling. This should be avoided at all costs. Ensure the life of your furniture and avoid water, or drinks from being spilled on it.

Tip 2: Use the Right Cleaning Materials
Some pieces of furniture require a wax finish. Beeswax furniture polish is great for hardwood materials such as Baumhaus Mayan Walnut. You need to ensure that you are using the right materials for your wood. Some pieces of furniture, such as corona pine require only a damp cloth and sugar soap solution. It is imperative that you research what cleaning fluids are best-suited to your chosen wood. By investing in the right cleaning products, you will ensure that durability of your furniture.

In most cases, all wood materials can be cleaned with a damp cloth. This ensures that your furniture is dust free, but without having to treat it with harsh chemicals. Some people prefer not to use chemicals for cleaning within their home, but this of course is a matter of personal taste.

Tip 3: Beware of the Sunlight
While you may have stunning French patio doors within your living room, this will damage the overall look of the wood. What is more, sunlight may cause the furniture to fade. By all means necessary, try to keep your furniture away from direct sunlight. Of course, in some homes this is nigh on impossible. Try to avoid putting furniture next to radiators and other heat sources. This can also cause wood to decay quickly. You want to prolong the existence of your new furniture. You don’t want to have to replace it.

Tip 4: Invest in Linseed Oil
Linseed oil is suitable for most kinds of wood. Due to the protective barrier that the oil naturally has within its compound, your wood will be preserved for the long haul. Linseed oil is not difficult to obtain; there is a plethora of retailers for you to choose from. The great thing about linseed oil is that it is cheap to buy, but it can add years to the life expectancy of your furniture.  It will ensure that your wood is not prone to cracking.

#TMNT Chocolate Covered Oreos

Check out this awesome treat for all the TMNT Fans out there.  These Chocolate Covered Oreos are easy to make and fun for everyone!

What you need:
Oreos
Green, Blue, Purple, Red, and Orange Wilton Chocolate
Purple Frosting if you can’t find purple chocolate
Plastic Ziplock Bags (Sandwich Sized)
Wilton Candy Eyes
Crisco

TMNT Oreos Ingredients

1. Melt the Green Wilton Chocolate in the Double Broiler, or if you prefer to microwave, use a dish deep enough to dip oreos in :-)
2. Dip the oreos in the green chocolate, set them on wax paper to dry.
3. After the Green chocolate is dry, Put the other colors in the ziplock sandwich bags.
4. Melt the chocolate- I melted mine just by dipping the bag of chocolate in the water of the double broiler, but you can also heat it in the micowave.
5. Cut a SMALL piece off one corner of the Ziplock Bag.

TMNT Choc in bag
6. Carefully squirt one line of colored chocolate across the oreo.  This will be your mask.  Add a TEENY Extra where you will put the eyes so the chocolate is thicker there.
7. Put your eyes on and press down so the chocolate covers the edge of the eyes and looks like a mask :-)

TMNT Choc Covered Oreos

8. Let Dry and enjoy!

Use the Crisco to thin out your chocolate if it isn’t thin enough for dipping or isn’t squirting very well.  Just add a little at a time until you get the desired consistency because if you add too much Crisco the chocolate won’t set properly.  

You can add mouths if you would like.  I did a few with mouths- but I liked them without better.  :-)

 

 

Easy Home Made Pizza

If you know one thing about me- when it comes to cooking, I am the Queen of easy, but delicious recipes.  As we all know the new TMNT Movie is showing in theaters starting TODAY, so why not make what the turtles love most, PIZZA!  Here is a VERY easy homemade pizza recipe for you to make for your family.

What you need:
Frozen Ready Made Dough
Sauce (I use Marinara)
Cheese (I use Mozzarella)
13 Inch Pizza Pan
Cooking Spray

Home Made Pizza Ingredients

1. Put one loaf of your Ready Made Dough in a bowl, or on a dish to thaw.  It thaws and rises best at 90* so I put mine on the lanai in the sun for about an hour.
2. Preheat your oven to 400* F
3. Spray your pizza Pan with Cooking spray to prevent your Pizza from sticking.
4. Knead out the dough to the shape of your pizza pan.
5. Spread sauce on your dough, about 3/4 Cup is what I used, but you can give or take on that based on how saucy you like it.
6. Add Cheese (8 Ounces is what I used)
7. Add any other toppings you like.
8. Bake at 400* for 20 minutes.

9.  ENJOY :-)

A few tips:
-Knead out your dough when it is thawed, but still cold.  It is MUCH easier to handle.
-DO NOT thaw your dough in the oven.  I tried this and my oven did not go low enough and actually cooked my dough and instead of rising and being easy to knead out, it was a nightmare and very sticky.

Snag 648 Huggies Wipes for $1.29 SHIPPED!!

I know.. I know… I am NOT a coupon blogger- however Midget Mama just posted this deal and I tried it and it WORKED so I HAVE to share because this deal is really too good to pass up!

Amazon has yet another AMAZING deal and you are crazy not to take advantage of it (even if you cloth diaper- sometimes having extra wipes is a good thing!)

Huggies Wipes

How to get the 648 Pack of Huggies Wipes for $1.29 SHIPPED to your door:
1. You will need to join Amazon Mom.  No worries, it is free for 30 days- Just set a reminder to go back and cancel your subscription if you do not want to continue it.
2. Add this Huggies Simply Clean Baby Wipes, Refill, 648 Count to your cart.  You will get 50% off with the Amazon Mom Promo.
3. Select the Subscribe and Save Option to save an additional 20% off
4. It will also automatically deduct a $2 off coupon.
= $1.29 for 648 Huggies Wipes Shipped to your door.

Huggies Wipes 1 29

Awesome Places to Live in the UK

As a busy working mom, I’ve often imagined packing up everything and taking the whole family across the pond to live in the UK. Okay, so their weather isn’t up to much. But in terms of culture, history and style of living, sometimes I think they might just have it sussed. But, then I realise I love my home here in America and could never uproot my family. For me, it’s just a fleeting moment of ‘the grass is greener on the other side’ syndrome. So, if unlike me, you’re actually serious about relocating, here are some charming towns in the UK well worth considering. Or, if you’re just planning a vacation, make sure these places are at the top of your list of places to visit.

Glastonbury, Somerset
Okay, so this place might be a bit of a tourist hotspot, especially during the summer months. But if you don’t mind the hustle and bustle, it’s a lovely little place to raise a young family. There’s no place like it in the US, so it’s a great place to get a real sense of British history. Legend has it that King Arthur and Queen Guinevere were buried in Glastonbury Abbey. And Glastonbury Tor, which sits on top of a grassy hill known as the Isle of Avalon, is supposed to be where the mythical Holy Grail is buried. The whole place is steeped in magic, mythology and folklore. It’s a place that kids tend to love, because it really gets the imagination stirring.


http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glastonbury_Tor

Skipton, North Yorkshire
North Yorkshire is the largest county in the UK and is also one of the most rural areas. British newspaper, ‘The Sunday Times’ recently voted it as the best place to live in the whole of Britain. This is largely because of it’s idyllic setting and picturesque views. The area is also known for its good schools and varied selection of independent shops.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skipton

Boston, Lincolnshire
A thriving market town, situated in Lincolnshire, on the east coast of England. With attractions including Central Park and the stunning Fydell House, you won’t be short of things to do. Boston is also home to one of the county’s most famous landmarks, ‘The Boston Stump’. Despite its rather misleading name, it’s actually one of the highest church towers in the whole of England. From the top, it’s said that you can see up to 50 kilometers away.

There are all sorts of properties to choose from in Boston. There are country cottages for people who want a real taste of traditional English life. And there are contemporary properties for those who are looking for something a little more modern. Check out the local estate agents in Boston to get an idea of what the current market rate is for properties in that area.

So, if you’re planning on relocating to sample living life in the UK, each of these places is well worth a look. With lots to do, friendly people and oodles of British charm, it’s not hard to see why so many people choose to make the UK their home every year.

August Audio Fest at @BestBuy with the Denon Heos Wireless Speaker #AudioFest

Print

Music is a part of everyone’s life and if you love music you need to stop by Best Buy during the Audio Fest, from now until August 30th.  Best Buy will feature awesome audio deals and events all month long!  If you want to get the best prices on the best audio products, August is definitely the month to buy.

What I love about Best Buy is they always want to help you buy exactly what you need.  When it comes to home entertainment, Best Buy is top notch to help you enhance your home entertainment experience.  Their dedicated staff will help you upgrade your sound with additional components, speakers and headphones.  Stop into your local Best Buy to test and try out the latest and greatest equipment… before you buy it… they have everything from portable Bluetooth speakers and headphones to home theater solutions and car audio.  LOVE THE WAY YOU LISTEN.

Heos front 1

I had the opportunity to check out the Heos by Denon Wireless Bluetooth Speaker, which is one of the speakers that Best Buy will be featuring this month during Audio Fest.  HEOS by Denon is a Wireless Multi-Room Sound System comprising a family of great-sounding music players for your whole home. You can enjoy your favorite streaming music services, internet radio or your own music collection and set-up is a breeze. There is a free app to control them from your iOS or Android phone or tablet.

HEOS5 is ideal for medium to large rooms such as dining rooms, larger bedrooms, offices or smaller living rooms.  The HEOS3 ($299.98) is ideal for smaller rooms, such as bedrooms or bathrooms, and are easy to move around the home.  The HEOS7 ($599.98) is ideal for large spaces, such as living rooms, great rooms; etc.

When you get the Heos Speaker the first thing you need to do is download the free app.  You can find it by searching ‘Heos By Denon’ in the Apps Store.  After you download the app you will need to connect the speaker to your wireless network.  This is where I struggled.  I am mediocre when it comes to technology, if it is easy or fairly straight forward I can usually do it on my own.  I had to wait for hubby to come home and let him handle setting up the speaker.  He says that he thinks I had trouble because of the type of network hardware we use in our house.  He was able to get it set up.

This is the back of the Heos5:  You will have an AUX cord that comes with your speaker.  Once you have the app downloaded you will connect your phone to the speaker with the AUX cord and press the connect button.  Hubby said he needed to change the WPS Settings on our access point, after he did that, the speaker connected and I was able to use it right away.  :-)

Heos back 2

The only bad thing about having him set up my speaker was that he decided to download the Heos App on his phone and that made it so he could turn down my Frozen music or change the song when I was jamming out.

After the initial set up, using the speaker was EASY.  You just plug into any power outlet and open the Heos App and play music.  You can create a play list right on the app and you are good to go!  I have a great music library on my phone- okay it is all music I love- so I preferred the option to play music from my phone.  BUT- you do have the option to stream music from internet radio, Spotify, Deezer, Tunein, Napster, etc.

Heos button details

The Heos speaker is extremely portable, you can bring it from room to room- since it is a wireless speaker and controlled by Bluetooth, all you need is a power source and you are set!  I enjoyed listening to music when I cooked in the kitchen, upstairs in my bedroom when I was folding clothes (ya- you can say it– mom life lol), and Colton and I enjoyed having Dance Parties in the living room with the new Heos3 :-)  Anyone who has the Heos App and is connected to your home wireless network can control your Heos Speaker.  This is good, because you can share… but also bad when your hubby wants you to turn down Frozen because you are listening to it very loudly ;-)

The only thing I would change about the speaker is it would be great if it had some way of either charging it or using batteries so that you did not need the power source to operate the speaker.  It would then be truly portable, but I am not sure if this is possible for this quality of speaker.

The Heos by Dennon is just one of the amazing Audio Options that will be featured during Audio Fest at Best Buy this month.  Definitely stop in your local store or check out BestBuy.com to see the awesome Audio Products Best Buy carries.

Here is some food for thought, What is your #1, ALL time favorite song? 

Kids Academy App Giveaway- $100 Amazon Gift Card #MomBuzz #SmartKidsWin

Kids Academy button

Kid’s Academy is all about helping children learn verbal, writing and math skills in an easy and fun manner. Apps such as 123 Tracing and Bingo ABC have been top-50 educational apps in the App Store, and Kid’s Academy has also brought the well-known stories and nursery rhymes The Three Little Pigs and Five Little Monkeys to life with interactive apps. The simple interfaces of the apps allow children to take the reins and play on their own, but the sing-a-longs and other activities are perfect for parent or teacher engagement, as well. Research has shown that singing along with nursery rhymes has cognitive and physical benefits for children. Not only are children learning new words and the context in which to use them, but strengthening tongue and mouth muscles at an early age will help with pronunciation skills.

kids academy 1
Kids Academy is hosting an awesome giveaway!  Head over, download the app, and write a review in the App Store.  At the end of August, Kids Academy will randomly choose 2 lucky winners who will each win a $100 Amazon gift card!  Sweet!
CONTEST RULES:
2. Write a short honest review on the iTunes App Store. If you have already reviewed this app, simply update your review and you will be entered!
Giveaways Ends 8/31/14.
Good Luck!

How to make a Rescue Bots Themed Napkin

When Colton said he wanted a Rescue Bots themed birthday party and I agreed, I did not realize that there was not ANY type of premade party decorations in the Rescue Bot theme- which by the way- they need to have!  I had to come up with creative ways to make anything I could rescue bots themed.  That includes down to the napkins- I got the plain yellow dinner napkins from Birthday Express and the blades design was from a printable I found on pinterest.

Step 1:  Unfold the Dinner Sized Napkin and lay it flat

Rescue Bots Napkin

Step 2: Fold the corners of each side to the middle.

How to 1

Step 3: Fold each side of the napkin to the middle, making a “hotdog” sized napkin.  Rescue Bots NapkinsStep 4: Bring the Long sides of the napkin to the middle so that you now have a square. IMG_5376Step 5: Move the napkin so the crease in the middle is horizontal.  Now on the part that is closest to you, pull out each side so you have points on both sides.IMG_5377Step 6: Take the point on the right and crease it down toward you.

IMG_5378Step 7: Turn your napkin so the other side is now toward you and pull each side out so you have the points, as you did in step 5.

IMG_5379

Step 8: Take the point on the right and pull it down, and crease it, as you did in step 6.

IMG_5380Step 9: Add your decoration :-) I used a TEENY bit of creative Memories double sided adhesive to stick Blades on the napkin.  By only using a little bit, the decor helped to keep the napkin folded and in place, but was easy for guests to pull off so they could use the napkin during the party.

Rescue Bots Decorated Napkin

If you are planning a Rescue Bots themed party, check out my post on Colton’s Rescue Bot Themed Party at Coco Key Orlando!  Lots of ideas to bring your kids’ ideas to life!

 

Colton’s 5th Birthday Party at Coco Key Orlando Water Resort

Colton, David and I went to Coco Key for a mini vacation last month and had a BLAST.  While we were there there was a birthday party and ever since, Colton has been talking about Coco Key and BEGGING to have his birthday party there.  Well I decided to check out my options and see what I could do to make this work.  Luckily the folks over at Coco Key were excited to have us and worked with me to pull off this super awesome Birthday Party.

Cocoa Key Birthday Party

If you are thinking of somewhere really cool to have your child’s next birthday- check out Coco Key, they have awesome Birthday Party Packages and they are more affordable than you think… Packages start at just $350 and go up from there depending on what add ons you would like.  You can check out the Birthday Party Flier for the exact pricing, but I am going to share a quick over view too :-)

The starter package is a great place start for any family.  With this you will get:
10 guests and 2 chaperons
2 hours to swim in the water park
1 Hour in the private Birthday Party Room
Birthday Meal for all guests
Personalized Birthday Cake
Goody Bags
$5 Arcade Card for each child

Our issue was that with little kids we needed more chaperons, if the children are younger you get double the chaperons included and you can add on additional adults and children as well.

Coco Key Arcade 1

There are many add ons you can make to your party package- and I want to note one that we added on that EVERYONE raved about- and that is the 1 Hour Unlimited Arcade Time.  After we ate and before cake and ice cream we did the one hour unlimited arcade.  The kids had a BALL and even the parents raved about how great the unlimited arcade was.  When you do the unlimited Arcade card a few things are important to note:
1. You have 60 seconds between games, so from the time you swipe the card to play game 1, a minute needs to pass before you can play the next game.  We noticed this a few times when Colton played those games that I normally refer to as token eaters.
2. if the game gives an actual prize, you can not use the Unlimited Arcade Card on that game.
3.  Your time on your card starts as soon as you swipe for the first game and will keep track for you, just watch when you scan the card to play a game, it will tell you how much time you have left.
4. You tickets are loaded onto your card automatically.  This is cool- and for a 5 year old who forgets to grab tickets, it is good for his to have the tickets auto loaded to the card.
5. You can check your ticket balance at the machine that you would normally buy tokens at (It is on the back wall to the right of the prize counter).

Arcade 2

The Fabulous Birthday Party!
Coco Key really did a great job at being flexible to accommodate everything I wanted for Colton’s birthday party.  The one thing Colton really wanted was to have a Rescue Bots Party- but AT Coco Key Water Resort.  I explained this to the Birthday Party Hostess and she worked with me to make sure Colton had a Rescue Bots Party.  Coco Key designed him a Rescue Bot Birthday Cake- which by the way tasted DELICIOUS.  Many of the guests asked for a second piece and everyone commented on how great it tasted.  While Coco Key normally provides all the tableware for birthday parties- and normally I would accept the provided tableware, but since Colton really wanted to have a Rescue Bots themed Party, so I had some ideas with the plates, napkins and cups to pull of a super cool Rescue Bots Party.  Check out some of the cute things I did with the tableware:

Rescue Bots Birthday Party

I will be doing another party in Ohio for his Ohio friends and school mates, since I have more time to put this party together I am partnering with LoveBuggyDesigns for the decor on the next party.  I still think that the rescue bots stuff came out super cute- even if they were just images I found on the internet :-)  Also- the tableware, costume, and favors came from Birthday Express :-)

The Birthday Party hostess let me handle the set up I wanted, but was also there to help out with anything I needed- which is just what I was looking for.  :-)

When we started the Birthday Party the families arrived and kicked off the party with 2 hours of swimming in the water park.  This was a great way to get things started and kick off the fun- I am really glad we did this since it did storm for a little while later in the day so we had a break in the water park time because of this.  Our party also had a set of tables reserved just for us- which was nice so grandparents can watch the kids play and parents have somewhere reserved for us to put towels and bags and things that they might need while the kiddos were in the water.

Coco Key reserved Tables

After the free time in the water was over- it was FOOD TIME.  Everyone was hungry for pizza!  The kids had personal sized pizzas and we ordered mediums for the adults.  :-)  You also get unlimited fountain drinks with your birthday party, so that is a plus since everyone seemed to be thirsty after swimming.  There are several options for food at Coco Key, I let Colton pick what he wanted- and he opted for pizza so that is why we did pizza.  If it were up to me I would have picked the Burger or Chicken Tenders– but it was’t my birthday lol.

IMG_5510

Next we did the one hour unlimited Arcade Time- I highlighted this already- but DEFINITELY do this add on!  After everyone burned off all the pizza by playing in the arcade, it was time for Cake and Ice Cream.

We recently learned of a great cause that is centered around Ice Cream- Give Kids The World.  I was so excited when Coco Key said they would let us include an Ice Cream Social with Colton’s Birthday Party.  It was a great opportunity to spread the word about this great cause to our friends and family with Colton’s Birthday Celebration.  And of course we had cake and sang happy birthday to little man :-)

After Cake and Ice Cream, we headed to the water again!   This was put to a halt because of the lovely thunder storm that was rolling in- but I think EVERYONE enjoyed a little more arcade time while the storm passed- and once it did- we were all back in the water.

Colton Birthday Water

Colton had yet another awesome Birthday Party- we stayed at the water park until it closed at 9 PM and he and I had fun in Minnows Lagoon while he went down the Lagoon Slides… over and over and over again :-)

I love to throw great birthday parties for Colton, I feel that he gets one party a year and I should do everything I can to make it special for him.  Coco Key helped to make his day EXTRA special for Colton and all his friends.  The kids went on and on about how this was the coolest birthday party ever!  My friend Lee’s son says “This is like the coolest place I have ever been and I have only been here like 10 minutes!”  Colton definitely felt extra special at his birthday party, and as a mom- that makes it all worth it.

Coco Key Birthday Party

 

Please refer to my previous post about Coco Key Water Resort and Hotel for a more detailed description of the water park and hotel facility.

Disclosure:  Thank you to Coco Key Water Resort for offering a discount on the birthday party package I selected for Colton.  All opinions in this post are my own, honest opinions.  This is not a Paid Post.