Monday, November 28, 2016

Freshly Picked CYBER MONDAY SALE + Giveaway

Raise your hand if you have been shopping every day since Thanksgiving.  I know I have.  I love Black Friday for the spirit of it but I've been doing a lot of my shopping online this year as well.  What I'm most excited about are some of the awesome deals I've scored on gifts that I know people will love.  That's why I'm super excited to share with you today...

Freshly Picked CYBER MONDAY SALE + giveaway!!!

[Disclosure: I received product from Freshly Picked to photograph and share but all opinions are my own. Giveaway items are being offered by Freshly Picked.]

If you've followed me in the past, you know that I adore this company.  They make darling shoes and accessories for your little ones.  Their most popular item is by far their soft sole moccasins.  These moccs are not only cute but made from high quality leather that lasts... even on busy feet!

We've owned two pairs and have really enjoyed them.  My son's very first pair were these fun little ants in a teeny tiny size 2.  He was able to wear these when he learned to walk!

My son's second pair he wears currently.  I actually ordered a size up so that he could wear them more in the summer (we wear a lot of snow boots here in Indiana!) but since we received our package in the mail he keeps insisting on putting them on- so I let him wear them around the house!  I think he likes the "idea" of shoes but since they have a soft sole, he still feels more like when he is barefoot (which he loves).  Just FYI though, I've seen him run over rocks in these moccs and they seem to be pretty protective on his feet.  He can't quite explain that to me yet (he's only 2) but this mama is convinced that they are good shoes.

I love this print (Santa Fe) because it's made from the "weathered brown" leather which is basic enough that it can go with so many different outfits but it's got a little peek-a-boo print on the back that makes it a little more "fun".

{We love that natural "weathered brown" color at our house.  Classic like little wooden toys!}

Onto the SALE...

Anyways, I know you are here for the details on this sale, right?  For today only (November 28, 2016), Freshly Picked is offering 25%  off all their seasonal styles!  This is HUGE because although Freshly Picked runs giveaways frequently, they rarely offer this sort of discount on items.  If you have even considered getting a pair, NOW IS THE TIME.

The sale starts at 10:00 am MST and only lasts for 24 hours.  I would head over to their website now to snag your favorite prints before they run out.

Here are a few of my other favorite prints:

Top row: Pin the PetalCoyote and Daisy
Bottom row: Cactus DaySkate Grip and Anchors Aweigh

Oh... they are also running another Cyber Monday deal on grab bags.  Basically, you pick the gender and size of the shoe and they send you 2 prints of moccs (random) for less than the regular price of 1 pair!  That's a great deal and also kind of fun to see what you will get. Read more about the grab bags here.

So basically you should pick up a pair for your own little one, your nephew and your friend's little girl that you have play dates with, because #christmasgifts

Want a pair for FREE?

Not only can you get these items for 25% off and snatch up a grab bag (or two) for an amazing price but I've also teamed up with Freshly Picked to offer one person a free pair of soft sole moccasins!  Seriously, this company is so great.

Here's what you need to do to be entered to win:
1- Complete the tasks in the giveaway widget below.
2- Be a US resident (sorry, no shipping outside of the US unless you are willing to pay the shipping charges yourself)
3- You cannot have won a pair of Freshly Picked moccasins within the last 60 days.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Goodluck to everyone who entered.  Whether you're hoping for that free pair or not, you won't want to miss out on their Cyber Monday sales because they don't last long and they really don't come around often.  You wont regret it.  Hope this has helped to brighten your day and get you excited about all that money you are saving this holiday season!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Custom Frame DIY in 5 minutes!

There is something so satisfying about completing a project that you have been working on for what seems like forever.  I feeling of accomplishment; a feeling that all the little pieces are finally put together; a feeling like you've really created something with your own hands.  There is also something extremely satisfying about being able to complete a project that you love in 5 minutes.  Now THAT'S what I'm talking about. 

[Disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.  Purchasing items through the links gives me a small commission with no extra charge to you.  I only link up products I personally use and trust.  Thank you for supporting my blog.]

I love to craft and I have so many projects in mind (most of them being those "large" time consuming ones) that I sometimes feel like I don't accomplish anything because of my limited schedule.  That's why quick and easy 5 minute projects like this one are always my favorites.  They are the little projects that keep me going in between the big ones.  And hello- how cute is this?

(psst: you've seen it before in this post but here is the tutorial)

Make your own frame in any design or pattern you wish!  I made this frame to use during my son's 2nd birthday party but love the design so much I plan to use it around the house for other decoration or to hold family photos.

Here's what you'll need:

I purchased the frame at Michaels Craft Store (I got several of them in different border shapes for only a dollar or so) and like these because they are made for craft projects.  The wood is actually bare (no paint, stain or sealer) so it takes to these DIY projects much better than an old finished frame.

Ready to start?
It really does take around 5 minutes start to finish to make this frame and only a few simple steps.  I took lots of photos but it will only take you about as long to complete them as it does to read them.

Step 1:
Flip your frame front side down on the scrapbook paper and trace the outline of the frame (the outside and inside both).

Step 2:
Cut out the piece you just traced.  It should look exactly like the wood portion of your frame.

Step 3:
Cover wood frame with Mod Podge using a foam brush.  Make sure to get it all the way to the edges.  You only need enough for the paper to stick so don't go nuts or it will just ooze out the sides.

Step 4:
Place your paper on top of the wet Mod Podge, pressing firmly along the edges.  Finish by covering the top of the paper with another light layer of Mod Podge.  This will give it a more finished look and help protect it from wear.

{That's it!}
There you have it folks.  I told you it would take just as long to read the instructions as it does to make it.  Love this easy way to decorate around the house and how cute would these be as gifts for Christmas or to your kid's school teacher?  Buy a frame with glass in it and make your own dry erase board (tutorial here) which may make an even cooler gift.  (Psst... see how else I used the DIY dry erase board for a party activity!)

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Top 5 Things to do with your Craft-reluctant child {Guest Post}

Today I have a very special treat for all you crafty mamas (papas, grandparents, aunts...) out there.  Sometimes kids are hard and planning daily activities with them is hard.  As a stay at home mama I frequently find myself wishing I had planned something more creative for us to do with our time.  I mean, I'm a craft blogger.  Where is the creativity?!  Or... maybe you are a Pinterest addict who frequently pins these amazing crafts online only to find that your child is less-than-impressed with your efforts.  We've had that happen here too.

Whether you are not sure how to go about introducing crafts to your child or burnt out on trying to get them involved in something they just aren't interested in, this guest post is just what you need to read.

About the guest blogger: Teresa is a nurse, lactation consultant, massage therapist, yoga teacher, writer and crafter.  Mother to three boys and one naughty Bichon.

The Back Story
I had an unplugged childhood. I spent hours, and I do mean HOURS, drawing, coloring, gluing, cutting, and creating. I grew up in a rural community. With the notable exception of the library and the city park and pool, there were few resources for leisure time, and <cough, ahem> the internet was decades from inception. Children’s programming was limited to Saturday mornings. There were a handful of regional children’s TV shows that were hosted by ersatz cowboys, music teachers, and homemade puppets.  A few of us that lived in town were fortunate enough to have cable television, but our cable was a fragile thing. Wind and storms routinely knocked out our reception and we were left to our own devices. In my case, I read, or searched my house in desperation for paper. I counted myself lucky if I found a blank piece of lined notebook paper. Some of my greatest creations were drawn on the back of envelopes.

It’s a New Day
Flash forward twenty or so years and I had children of my own—three boys to be exact. We lived in a decent-sized city with lots of resources for entertainment, a world class children’s museum, zoo, gardens, a professional puppet theater, bike trails, and numerous parks. We took advantage of all of these things and enjoyed them tremendously, but what I wanted to share with my boys was my love of all things crafty. My relationship with paper, crayons, and glue was not just the desperate time filler of my youth, it was the visual construction of my imaginings. For me, creating had a pleasant, satisfying, calming effect. I so wanted my boys to know what that felt like.

Crafing? Meh.
Because of my own lack of supplies, I was determined that my boys would have quality materials. I purchased beautiful German block crayons, reams of large newsprint for everyday and good quality drawing pads for the special projects. There were pastels, and water colors, an easel, and paint smock. I spent way too much on special scissors that cut patterns, die cutters in cool shapes, and colored construction paper in a rainbow of hues. In the event that they were more dimensional thinkers, I purchased old school clay, modeling dough, modeling wax, and colored, wax-covered sticks that were easy to mold and sculpt. There was much more, but I think you get the picture.
While I was savvy enough to know not to introduce all of these things at once, all of my attempts at encouraging creativity was met with, “Meh.” How could this be? How could my offspring prefer an online coloring game with limited palette and no shading? “Did you smell that beeswax?—It’s heavenly!” “Look at this beautiful stamp set with colored ink pads!”

Don’t You Walk Away Mister
I did exactly what I shouldn’t have done. I got angry. I tried bargaining—“Spend half an hour modeling dough with me and you can watch a movie.” Nothing worked. At best I would get five fidgety minutes of haphazard coloring and a “Can I go outside?” I felt rejected. I shouldn’t have taken it personally, but I did.

Professional Help
This situation could have gone on inevitably if not for some professional intervention. My boys’ beloved grandmother was a former art teacher and preschool teacher. With her guidance we made some changes. Some of these changes were structural, but honestly—the big change had to take place inside of my head.

Top 5 Things to do with your Craft-reluctant child:

1) Create a craft cabinet with all of your supplies centrally located and easily accessible. The contents of that cabinet will need to be modified with very young children. If this is an activity that you want your children to do then they have to be able to get to the supplies.

2) Some negotiation is OK. If your child is “bored” give them a choice of three things they can do. Make crafting one of those things. This way they are selecting crafting for themselves and you can hopscotch right over the power struggle. This of course means that you have to be OK when they don’t pick crafting.

3) My mother-in-law was fond of reminding me that when creating with young children, it’s the process and not the product that counts. Let go of the perfectly executed Pinterest project. Themed art projects are really more for us than for them. What matters most right now is the exploration.

4) When your child does express interest in a crafting activity pick a single medium and really explore all of the qualities of that medium. Have you ever thought about all the things you can do with crayons? You can melt broken crayons in muffin tins and create your own block crayons. You can grate them with an old cheese grater and melt shavings in between sheets of wax paper. You can create a drawing and then iron to watch the lines blur. The sensory play and experience with the medium is far more important than having a picture-perfect themed project. The exploration of cause and effect and the sensory play with medium was one of the most successful things that helped to engage my left-brained boys in a right-brained crafting activity.

5) Make your peace. I’m sorry to say this. It breaks my heart really it does, but this may not be your kiddo’s favorite activity any more than say, hockey is yours. You can continue to enjoy all those supplies. Pull out the paints, crayons and pastels. Invite your son or daughter to interact with you. Go ahead and role model what an enjoyable and stress-reducing activity crafting can be, but know it may not be their thing.

Given the first paragraph of this blog you can probably guess that my boys are no longer little boys. Two are young adults and one is a teen. The two older boys have gone on to be successful college graduates, hard workers, and productive members of society. I like to think that all the exposure they had to creativity as a child played a role in helping them to develop their dimensional thinking, math skills, and reasoning skills that help them to be successful adults. While I’ve had to give up on my dreams of Christmas craft projects with my adult children, I was successful in creating three well rounded young men, and I’m proud of that. Project completed.


Enjoy this post?  Keep an eye out for the launch of Teresa's new blog: "Postpardum Mama" that will be launching after the start of the new year.  Her focus will be on product reviews, 15-minute one-handed meal prep recipes, weekly postpardum challenges for self-care and more!  Teresa was my very own lactation consultant when my son was born and her knowledge of postpardum topics has been a lifesaver for me time and time again.  I can't wait to see what her new blog has in store!