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Here is a true confession about the blogging partnership between my daughters and I. Sometimes we come up with some really big ideas for the blog which never really come to fruition, even after we have talked about them on the blog. Today's post is a perfect example. We, (and I say "we" in the broadest sense because I did not think of this idea), came up with the idea to do a thrift store challenge and have our readers vote on the best results. It was hard for me because I do not like to shop in thrift stores. I am too much of a germaphobe. But, I did it! Actually, I shopped and didn't find what I wanted and then Maddy ended up finding the item that I was looking for. She loves to shop in thrift stores.
I was tired of the mail clutter that always ended up on my kitchen counter, so I wanted to find a way to organize it. This old doctor's office style of magazine rack seemed like the perfect idea. Plus, it fits right by the back door between the door and the kitchen cabinets.
I got to work and decided to do a chalkboard finish. This rack had started out as worn brown wood that had seen better days. (Sorry I forgot the before pictures). I shot videos all by myself of the process and Alicia was going to put together the video of our efforts. Unfortunately, only half of us completed our projets! AHEM! I won't name any names. But, I have decided to finally post my results because it came out pretty cute and has really helped to get rid of that mail clutter.
Another thing you should know is that I didn't ask Alicia to edit and put together my video for me. I did it all by myself for the very first time! I know it isn't as good as her work, because I am still trying to figure out the program. I hope you will like it and give it a look anyway and tell me what you think. I will put tips and links below the video.
Here are a few tips:
Well, having some plans go by the wayside is all a part of the blogging experience. At least I ended up with something really useful for my house. I may have to give thrift stores more of a chance. Just in case my germaphobia comes back to haunt me, I'll be carrying the hand sanitizer.
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For a couple of years now, I have been saving pill bottles. I hate to just throw them into the land fill and I figured there must be a crafty way to recycle them. Guess what! I came up with a way!
Every year for Halloween, our church does a chili cook-off with grilled hot dogs out in the back parking lot, and then we open our trunks and many people decorate them for the holiday and the kids go around Trunk or Treating. It is a lot of fun and give the kids a safe place to celebrate with people they know. And, actually, we attract people from around the neighborhood as well!
Well, like I said, many people decorate their cars. I always want to, and I have done a few little things, but frankly when my kids were young, it was all I could do just to get them costumed! But, now that I am an empty nester, all I have to worry about is decorating my car! So far, I've come up with this cute little lighted garland.
Seriously, kids would have so much fun doing these. Here is how I did it.
This garland should light up the hatch of my car pretty well, along with a real Jack-O-Lantern or two. Now I shall see where else my mind wanders for the decorations this year!
It is getting to be that fun time of year again with loads of activities for the little ones with all of the holidays coming! A really nice gift for grandparents are those photo books! My son and DIL gave my husband and I one of our grandson's first year and we absolutely love it! I am thinking of compiling one with all of my grandchildren together.
Mixbooks looks like a great company for doing just that. I have heard many recommendations for them. Have any of you tried their books? When you sign up for their site, you get up to 50% off. They have 405 themes that you can use, or you can start from scratch and totally build your own theme. I think this company is worth checking out! Let me know your experiences if you have already used them.
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A few years ago, my Sisters-in-law and others in our family decided to have a family craft day in December. We had crafts for kids and crafts for adults and food, and it was a lot of fun. We decided that we should do it every year, but unfortunately, it hasn't happened. December is just so busy and full of activities for everyone that we could never make that fun day happen again.
This year, Alicia mentioned to me that we should do a Christmas in July and wouldn't it be great to do it when she was in town with her kids so that she could see her aunts and cousins as well! So, we began planning our Christmas in July with crafts, food and swimming! You may remember that I shared the invitation I came up with on this post. (The invitation for Christmas in July is available on our subscribers only page that you will have access to if you opt into follow us!) Lindsey said that we could have the party at her house where we could all swim, as well as eat and do crafts. We came up with some simple crafts for kids and adults, we also made some super cute decorations and we made the food potluck and asked for a holiday twist if possible. It was mostly fun just being able to get together and enjoy each other's company without feeling rushed. Here are some of the simple things that we did:
Some of the things we had to eat were pasta salad, pizza and fresh fruits and veggies. Look how we made some of them fit the Christmas theme.
Watermelon Stars and Santa Hat Strawberries! The Strawberries were filled with coconut cream whipped cream so that they were vegan for Maddy to enjoy with us all.
A Christmas tree made out of fresh veggies. We served them with hummus, pretzels and ranch dip.
We also had Root Beer Floats and Christmas Cookies that Lindsey made for the kids to decorate!
We kept the decorations simple, but gave some cute ideas that people could recreate later. We even printed up instructions on how they could make some of the items on their own. (We have them available for you as well)! We also covered the craft tables with Christmas wrap for a festive flair, plus...
We knew that on a hot summer day in Phoenix, swimming was going to be a popular activity at our party, so we wanted to keep our crafts simple and something that could be completed quickly in order to give everyone time to swim! Of course, the garland and the stars could have totally been part of the crafts, but we just gave everyone the directions instead. Here are the things we came up with to actually make at the party!
We used stencils and fabric markers to make designs on flour sack towels. We purchased our markers at Walmart, but those linked on Amazon are less expensive. Here is a another brand. This was a great craft for children through adults! A sweet kitchen towel from a child would be a gift any mother would love and be able to use! We all enjoyed honing our pointillism techniques creating these towels. Plus, the flour sack towels were inexpensive to provide.
Chalkboard ornaments or magnets. The chalk marker really added pizzazz to these. If you are uncomfortable coming up with your own designs, there are a couple of websites where you can download and print some designs to decoupage:
The Cottage Market and LDS Lane had designs I loved.
We provided basic sugar and salt scrub bases that people were allowed to add extra ingredients to themselves. Plus, we had supplies available to decorate their jars! The recipes are available in our booklet.
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The directions for all of these ideas are available for free on our subscribers only page! It is also going to be available in our Etsy shop, but you can download it for free today!
You don't have to plan your early Christmas party for July, there are a few months left to get one planned and done before the holiday rush begins! Or, begin planning your Christmas in July for next year now and make it a big blow-out! This was our first one and we kept it relatively simple, which was perfect for our family this year. But, I already have some fun ideas for next year that I can't wait to try out!
Now, this is a great opportunity to show you how some of my grandchildren enjoyed the party! Please don't mind my post swimming look!
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to ten and counting! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, and my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!
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