This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #DotComDIY #CollectiveBias
Who doesn’t love a deal? I know I’m always looking for a great sale, an amazing coupon or rebate deal to get the most of my money. In today’s busy world, there is little time to make a trip to the store. Why fight the crowds to score big deals when you can get the same amazing deals online?
Save time and money by fulfilling your DIY oil needs on Walmart.com. Their amazing selection of items, including exclusive specialty automotive items, can be found just a click away. You can get everything you need without ever leaving the house. Not having to drag the kids out to the store, getting everything I want, and saving money all at the same time? That’s a total win!
On Walmart.com you can find many Pennzoil Platinum products currently on rollback (for a limited time), including Pennzoil Full Synthetic and Pennzoil Platinum High Mileage. Based on your car’s needs and the number of miles, one of these two oils is right for you.
Platinum Synthetic: With Pennzoil’s PurePlus™ Technology, the Platinum® motor oil is proven to keep pistons up to 40% cleaner than the toughest industry standard. (Use if < than 75,000 miles)
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Save yourself a trip to the store and get your oil on rollback at Walmart.com today!
Sewing is seen as something of a lost art in the world of crafting. For many kids of this generation, sewing is something their parents or grandparents might do to mend a garment, rather than a way to have fun!
Grabbing a needle and some brightly colored thread is actually a fantastic way to spend a few hours with your children, especially if the weather is one of those rainy spring days. If you’re stuck for ideas, check out these five kid-friendly craft ideas that your young ones are sure to love!
Age Group: 3-5
If you’re going to try out sewing with your toddler, there are a few things you should bear in mind. Make sure the needle is large enough for their little hands – and not too sharp! If you’re using mesh, you should also ensure it has holes big enough to make sewing relatively simple.
Bunting is a great idea for a simple sewing project that younger children can enjoy. You can use up any leftover scraps of fabric you have around the house, or even use colored card! Cut your chosen material into a triangle shape and help your little one to thread a piece of string through two corners of the triangle. Voila! Your very own strip of bunting – hang it proudly in their bedroom to give them a real sense of achievement.
Age Group: 6-8
For children aged between 6 and 8 years old, why not help them create a selection of DIY potpourri sachets, for your drawers and containers at home? All you’ll need for this craft is a selection of patterned fabrics, your chosen potpourri, and of course your needle and thread.
First cut your fabric into small rectangles (around 3 inches x 2 inches should be fine). Place your potpourri in the center of one of these rectangles, being careful not to use too much – you don’t want your fragrant parcel to explode in a drawer! Then place the other rectangle over the top, and help your little one to seal the pouch by sewing neatly around the edges.
Age Group: 8-11
If you’ve been crafting with your little ones regularly, they should be ready for a more complex project by now – so why not try cross-stitching? If you can find a pattern that your kids love, it can keep them entertained for hours. All you need to do is ensure that they have the right colored threads available – and, of course, that they understand the basic premise of cross-stitching!
If you need some pattern inspiration, head over to Pinterest. You’ll find conventional patterns like flowers and Celtic symbols, but you’ll also find cross-stitch patterns for Batman, Hello Kitty, Minions and all of your kids’ favorite characters.
Age Group: 12-14
With your little ones heading off to middle school, all of their clothes, school equipment and sports kits will need to be labeled, to ensure they don’t get mixed up or lost. This doesn’t have to be a chore for Mom or Dad – turn it into a crafting activity with your tween!
First off, you’ll need your own set of printed or sewed labels. Make sure these include all the relevant information – your child’s name, their class or grade, and some info that would help someone to return the item if it became lost, such as a locker number or contact details.
Simply gather up all of the clothing and equipment your child needs for school and set them to work sewing these simple labels on the inside of the garment, where they could easily be seen by someone looking for a tag. For shirts, inside the collar is best, and for trousers or skirts, somewhere inside the waistband is ideal.
Age Group: 15-18
As children grow into young adults, many parents struggle to come up with craft ideas that will keep them engaged – especially when the lure of the mall or the movies is so strong! The trick is to create craft items that they’ll actually use.
If your teen has electronics, cell phones, tablets and all the accessories that go with them there are a variety of projects that they can make which not only inspire their creativity but protect their valuables at the same time. Cell phone or tablet holders, or ear bud organizers are great projects to start motivating a teen to create with sewing!
Spring is a time of freshening up our lives, making things light and colorful and trying new things. And if sewing isn’t your thing, there are plenty of wonderful art crafts to try! No matter what your child’s age there is a project out there for them to inspire new and fun sewing creations!
I read lots of articles from other bloggers every day. Some are good, some aren’t. Some I skim and some I really read. There are some that as soon as the post loads, I think “Nope!” and close it down. I am well aware that for other people, some of my own posts fall into the latter category. That’s ok! Even I know that some of my posts are far better than others and not every post will appeal to every reader. There are a lot of you that stopped reading this several sentences ago.
This post is polished, it isn’t meant to be. It’s just a brain dump of what I’m thinking right now. I’m sharing this today because I read a post over the weekend that irritated the snot out of me and I it made me want to let you in on a few things that do and do not go on here.
I don’t pretend that my life is roses and sunshine, but it isn’t really all that bad either. If you only see the happy parts I write about, you’re either skimming or just completely missing a lot of posts. I’ve talked about my struggles with my weight, my divorce, the death of my best friend and having to share custody of my kids. That’s only the beginning. Do I constantly share my woes? No. On Instagram and Facebook, I’m probably not going to share a picture that’s sad or is just going to bring you down. It’s not because I’m hiding the bad parts of my life, or trying to pretend my life is awesome, it’s just that I don’t see the need to rain on anyone else’s sunny day. There are enough sad and depressing things out there already. Take a peek at your local news channel’s social media accounts and you’ll see it. All in all, my life IS good.
There’s a reason you don’t see a lot of negative reviews on my site and why you will likely never see a sponsored negative review. First, I don’t work with every brand that pitches me. If a company asks me to review a product, paid or not (and really, if it’s paid its and ad – not a review), I consider the product before I agree or pass. Is the product something I use, could use or something that could be useful to you guys? Does the brand have a good reputation for producing quality products? Sometimes I get paid and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I get free products and sometimes I write about stuff I like just because I like it and the brand doesn’t even know I exist. When I get paid or get free product, you’ll know it. Not all bloggers follow the FTC guidelines for disclosure, but I do. Second, if I do receive a product from a brand and it just doesn’t live up to my standards, I contact the brand first and work with them on the issues and whether or not it’s truly a product issue or if it’s something else. I rarely have truly bad experiences with a brand. Twice that I can remember, I have received products that I just wasn’t happy with and that I could’ve never written a positive review of. I’ve never recommended either of those brands to you, and never would. It’s not to say that their products were bad, just not good for me. If someone asked me about them, I’d share my experience, but I don’t make it a habit of blasting companies unless I have a truly bad experience.
I blog for a lot of reasons and one is to support my family. I won’t apologize for that. Does it make me a sellout in the eyes of some? Sure. Do I view myself as a sellout? NO WAY.
Life has been super busy and I’ve been more than absent around here lately. The good news is, I don’t expect things to change in June. Will I have less on my plate? Nope, but I will finally have some new things to share with you guys. For now, you’ll have to settle with a little update on life.
Being new to the area, I know nothing about our summer camp options. I’ve been doing tons of research, reaching out to other bloggers I know in the area for direction, and more or less choking on the cost of summer camp. Mind you, I’m not talking about sending my kids to some super awesome sleep over camp or something like that. No, I just need daytime childcare so I can go to work. I’m looking at a minimum of $200/wk FOR EACH KID. Um, what? Needless to say, childcare is more expensive here than what I (and my paycheck) am used to.
If you pay for summer childcare so you can work, what are rates like in your area?
We finally have a house!! We aren’t living in it yet, but we do own it. The concept of “occupancy after closing” is new to me, and I find it super annoying that we own a house that someone else is living in while we’re STILL in a hotel, but we get to take possession over Memorial Day weekend and finally leave the hotel life behind.
I cannot wait to have a kitchen to create recipes in again!
Life Up North
Spring has finally shown up! There are budding trees, rain showers and baby geese! Oh, the baby geese. I’ve been watching them out my office window everyday. It’s not nearly as warm here as what I’m used to this time of year. It’s not bad, trust me – I don’t miss the humidity and heat – but it’s different. Outside of going to and coming home from work, we still don’t have much of a routine down. Living in a hotel will do that to you. We’re on day 76 and I was over it about 75 days ago. I miss planting things in my garden and cooking with all my fresh herbs and veggies. Getting some plants in the ground is top priority as soon as we get moved.
What’s going on in your lives? Anything fun, exciting or just another day in paradise?
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #allEssentials #CollectiveBias
With summer on the horizon, my kiddos are already asking “what are we going to do this summer?”. Over-scheduling is the norm with these guys, and it’s not always because I want to, but because we have to. Losing so much time to school and homework during the week leaves a lot to cram into our weekends. When I was a kid, summer meant running around outside with my sister, playing make believe, riding our bikes… normal kid stuff.
That’s what I want my kids to do this summer: just be kids. No gymnastics once a week, no soccer, no birthday party after birthday party. I want them to use their imaginations, play with each other, learn how to do something new on their own terms. I want them to get out and get dirty.
My daughter is super into art, so I always try to have supplies on hand for her to flex her creative muscles. My son is interested sometimes, but not always. When we decorated cookies for Christmas, I noticed that he was really, really into piping icing. It was the first time we’d made iced cookies using piping bags. I will admit that I’ve been super mesmerized by the cookie decorating videos that have been showing up in my Facebook feed. I was thinking about those the other day and decided that I might be able to use cookie decorating to get my little guy on board with a little more art this summer.
While piping amazing cookies is art in and of itself, we can’t spend the summer with a house full of iced cookies. None of us need that, especially me! So, I decided to try piping paint onto canvas instead. I must say, I was rather pleased and am sure that this is going to be a project my kids will be ALL ABOUT this summer!
My inspiration for my design was a coloring page from an adult coloring book I bought last year. Sometimes adults like to be kids too.
You can pick up canvas, paint and piping bags at Walmart. The only other things you need are scissors, a pencil and a glass. The glass makes it easy to fill your piping bags. Just put the bag inside of the cup, fold the edges over the outside of the cup and fill. Pull up the edges and lift the bag out and you have a paint filled piping bag without the mess.
Using my coloring page as a guide, I lightly sketched a rough outline onto my canvas. Did you know that pencil will erase off canvas, just like off paper? Yep! If you make a mistake, just erase it.
Pick a color, fill your piping bag, snip off the very teeny-tiny tip of the bag and your ready to go. You’ll want to twist the top of the bag to help keep the paint flowing evenly (see the picture near the top of the post with the yellow paint filled bag for an example). I started with yellow since it was the central color for each flower and worked out from there. I suggest finishing off everything you plan to do in one color before moving to the next. Once you’ve piped on all of your colors, all that’s left to do is leave your artwork to dry!
Piping is pretty easy once you get the hang of it, but if you’ve never piped before, I’d suggest a little practice before you put paint to canvas.
If you want your background to be colored, I suggest painting it a solid color before you sketch your design on in pencil. My art work will be hanging on a light blue/gray wall, so I wanted to leave the background white for depth.
How does it look? I know it’s not exactly like the page from the coloring book, but I never aim for exact.
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How are you encouraging your kids to be kids this summer? Do you take a break from organized activities, let your weekend plans be “kid-led”? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
This post was sponsored by Doctor On Demand as part of a Blog Blast Activation for Influence Central.
I am not a fan of waiting. I never have been. When I’m not feeling well, my patience goes from minimal (at best) to non-existent. I’m not proud of it, but it’s the truth. Between all of the day to day “must-do’s” and obligations of life, I often avoid going to the doctor when I don’t feel well simply because I don’t have the time.
That’s not healthy for me or my family, and I know it. Enter Doctor On Demand
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I’ve officially been back to a 40+ hour a week office job for three weeks. I’m alive, but barely. Getting up, dressed in a professional manner, and out of the house by 6:30 has been challenging. I am exhausted.
Being that I haven’t worked in a professional office environment for some time, my wardrobe was severely lacking. Aside from a suitable dress or two, I didn’t have much that fit the bill. Three weeks in, I’ve found a few pieces that are now essential parts of my summer wardrobe.
Everything pictured above is from Kohls, with the exception of the blue heels. Those pretty little height-adders are from Nine West, the Kristal Platform. My boyfriend loves them because he’s super tall, so he doesn’t have to bend down as far for a little peck when I’m wearing those.
The black heels are Croft & Barrow. They are far more comfortable than the blue heels from Nine West, but they don’t give me the same height boost. It’s ok. My boyfriend can’t always have a tall girlfriend.
The pants are Apt 9 Trousers. Yes, I bought them in three colors. They are also available in brown. I will probably break down and order those soon. These are easily the most comfortable dress pants I’ve ever worn.
You may notice that two of the tops look very similar. That’s because they are the same style, just two different prints. I am so in love with these shirts, it’s ridiculous! They are super cute and super comfy! They are Dana Buchman Drapeneck tops. They are very reasonably priced too!
The teal top is from Apt 9 and the style is called Embellished Mock Layer Tank. It is also super comfortable and has some length to it, which is important for girls with small waists and bigger thighs. If a shirt is too short, it just accentuates the size of my thighs.
Last but not least is the Chaps Striped Faux Wrap Top. It’s really comfy too, though it is a little low cut and I need to wear a little tank top underneath to cover up the girls a bit. While it is sleeveless, the shoulders cap just a bit and that gives it a more professional look.
I’m sure as I do more shopping I will have more fun finds to share with you guys. In the meantime, do you have any summer trends – work or casual fashion – that you’re loving right now? Share them in the comments below.
If you’d asked me about marriage 17 years ago, I would’ve given you the fairy tale answer. I was committed to the man I loved, I was getting married, I was staying married and that if by some crazy stretch of the imagination I ever got divorced, I would never marry again. Once and done. If I couldn’t make it work the first time, clearly marriage wasn’t for me. Being married would be easy. We loved each other and that’s all that mattered, right?
17 years later, this divorced mother of two has very different opinions of marriage.
Marriage is hard. It’s anything but roses and sunshine. Well, maybe it is like roses, but it’s like roses on a giant thorn filled bush. You want the beautiful bouquet, but to get it you need to put on thick, long sleeves, heavy gloves and be willing to risk the thorns and a little blood shed to clip their stems, clean them up and bring the beautiful bouquet inside. And all of that is after you’ve feed it, prevented pests from destroying it and kept it watered all Spring and Summer long. You can’t ignore it until the point of near death, through some fertilizer at it and hope to bring roses in the house next week. Roses don’t work that way and neither do marriages.
Fixing a marriage that’s in trouble isn’t as easy as reading “date-night” articles and trying to have more fun together as a couple. It’s about a lot more than that. My marriage wasn’t health long before I got to the point of wanting a divorce. When you’re to the point of questioning divorce, there are much bigger issues that need to be tackled along side those. The ideal time to fix a marriage that’s in trouble is far before you get to the point of the “d-word”. Could knowing how to fix things before they were broke beyond repair have saved my marriage? Maybe.
Marriage Fitness is an innovative step-by-step relationship-changing system that teaches you how to save your marriage. You’ll learn to neutralize your problems and put into practice a system of relationship habits that will shift the momentum of your marriage. And the best news is—you don’t have to dig into your past, dredge up your problems, or practice communication techniques. This is not marriage counseling; it’s Marriage Fitness!
Mort Fertel is a world authority on the psychology of relationships and has an international reputation for saving marriages. In addition to working with couples, he teaches individuals how to single-handedly transform their marital situation.
A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Mort was the CEO of an international non-profit organization, and a former marathon runner. He lives with his wife and 5 children (including triplets!) in Baltimore, Maryland.
If you’ve been there yourself, what tips do you have for couples who may be having struggles in their marriage?
Mother’s Day. The one day we all get pampered and spoiled (at least in theory). We’re hoping that this one will be a day to remember. So, we’re giving you the chance to win $240 in PayPal cash. If you win, we hope you treat yourself to an amazing day. Go to the spa, take a late lunch. Pamper yourself. Not a mom? No worries, if you win you’ll have $240 in cold hard cash. Wouldn’t that be sweet? Maybe you could do something extra special for your mom?
What do you have to do to win? See below and follow the directions. You’ll be introduced to some really cool blogs and social media accounts. Want to enter every day? Tweet about the giveaway and you’ll get some bonus entries. We can’t wait to pick a lucky winner just in time for Mother’s Day!
Open to US Residents 18 years of age or older. Giveaways ends May 4th at 11:59 PM CT. Winner will be chosen by random drawing through Rafflecopter. Winner will have 48 hours to reply via email to accept the prize or another winner will be chosen. All entries will be validated and you must enter from the same email as your Pay Pal account. Sponsors reserve the right to invalidate any entry at their discretion. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MyNutrishDish #CollectiveBias
Have you met Fenway? Of course you have! He’s my furry sidekick, my constant companion and one of the things that mean the most to me in life. And he’s cute. He’s the center of attention everywhere we go and he loves it. Moving to Michigan has been a big change for my little buddy. He’s gone from spending his evenings running around in our yard to being stuck inside this hotel with me (not much longer, buddy!) and he’s handling like a trooper.
He’s by my side 24/7 and he loves it. We had to board him for a week when we went back to our old house to deal with mover and real estate agents and I think it was just as hard on me as it was on him. When I picked him up, he couldn’t wait to give me a big wet kiss. Keeping him happy and healthy is just as important to me as if he were one of my children. In fact, just like my kids, he even goes on play dates!
Fenway and his Border Collie buddies are a high energy breed. Nutrition is a huge part of keeping them happy and healthy. We’re always running, jumping and chasing things and it takes a good diet to keep him in tip-top shape. Good nutrition comes from real, whole ingredients, not a bunch of fillers. DISH from Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® is made with real ingredients you can see and your dog can taste. Fenway loves the DISH Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe with Veggies & Fruitvariety and picks out the carrots to eat first thing!
n 2007, with help from pet nutrition experts, Rachael Ray created Nutrish super-premium food and treats for dogs inspired by recipes from her own kitchen. Real U.S. farm raised beef or chicken is always the #1 ingredient and you’ll never find any corn, wheat, soy, or gluten, poultry by-product meal, fillers, artificial preservatives, colors or artificial flavors on the recipe label. DISH from Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® is available in two varieties:
DISH Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe with Veggies & Fruit
DISH Beef & Brown Rice Recipe with Veggies, Fruit & Chicken
You save while making the switch to DISH from Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® by grabbing this coupon. *Note – When switching foods, gradually introduce the new food by incorporating it into your current dog food over the course of 7-10 days. Slowly replace your dog’s current food with DISH from Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® until it’s completely switched over.
You can see more of Fenway and all the crazy things he does (including a glimpse of his hotel high-life on my Instagram page. Just click the image below.
Now that we’ve talked about feeding our furry friends, let’s talk about feeding ourselves something inspired by whole food and real ingredients…
Steamed Lemon Pepper Salmon is a stove top dish. It’s super easy to make, super tasty to eat and is full of the good fats. The flavor comes from lemon and pepper, not a lot of sauces, and it ready in about 10 minutes. It pairs perfectly with pan roasted potatoes and asparagus, or any other veggie that might be in season.
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