Thursday, December 10, 2015

DIY Spend, Save, Share Bank Mason Jars

This post is brought to you by Plaid Crafts and Blueprint Social. The opinions are my own.

I love the matte finish of chalk paint.  FolkArt Home Décor Chalk, from Plaid, is a no-prep acrylic paint and wax that dries in minutes and can be layered and sanded to give you the perfect distressed look and feel. You can transform your everyday items into one of a kind treasures.  For this project I am creating Spend, Save, Share Moon Jar Banks using mason Jars.  For those of you who aren't familiar with a "Moon Jar" it is basically a way to split your earnings and teach kids (or even adults) how to budget.  The titles are pretty self explanatory, spend is the bank you put for money you will spend, save money you will put away, and share money that goes to charity.  I wanted to make a more adult version of this bank for a teenage niece that is in college.  

I decided to use the FolkArt Home Décor Chalk paint because it is easy to use. Very forgiving and requires little or no surface preparation.  I could paint on glass without any issues.  I finished the top of the bank and the jars with Mod Podge Chalk Finish to protect the surface.

Materials needed: Folk Art Chalk Paint, Wax, Chalk Mod Podge, foamies letters, brush and mason jars.
Stick foamies letters on jars.  If jars are old, then be sure to clean the jars for good adherence.
Paint jars with chalk paint, then cover with Folk Art Wax and then Mod Podge wax. Allow 2 hour drying between coats.  I had my daughter paint this.  I love this stuff because it is made in the USA and is very durable.
To make bank lids cut out cardboard in shape of mason jar lid.
I covered with some wood scrapbooking paper.  Punch two hold with a hole punch.
Connect the holes to make a slit.  Paint over with Mod Podge to protect.
Wait for jars to dry (2 hours) add additional coat, wait to dry and then cover with wax or Mod Podge chalk finish.
Perfect little banks to teach a little financial responsibility. 

Be sure to check out Plaid Crafts on all their social media sites.  
Plaid Website:

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Inexpensive Gift Ideas For Christmas

Trying to stretch your Christmas budget to include everyone can be quite stressful. In fact, it’s the kind of thing that can distract you from focusing on the more positive aspects of the holiday season, and you deserve better than that.

With that thought in mind, why not take advantage of some inexpensive gift ideas for Christmas? First of all, you can start by looking for coupons to such shops as Kohls, which should be easily found on Discountrue or other helpful websites. It will allow you to save a great deal on the items you already know you're going to want, and leave you with more options. When you find the appropriate coupons the savings can be astronomical. And after that step, there a few other cheap X-Mas gift ideas you can consider.

Moving, deeply personal Christmas presents don't need be expensive. There is a plethora of ideas that keep go well with the fact that most of us have to work with a very tight budget, and as they're DIY your loved ones will surely appreciate the effort and thought you put into their gift. If you’re stuck without knowing what to give to some special person this holiday season, consider the following:

Personalized playlists/mixtapes: If you want to go old-school, why not make up a mix CD of music you know your friend or family member is going to love? There is also the option to create an entirely digital playlist for that special person, which makes it more modern.

Personalized coupon book: This is also a great idea for a cute Valentine’s Day gift. Make up a list of cheap-yet-sincere things you know someone you love is going to love in turn. Put all these ideas into a fun, distinctive “coupon book.” The receiver of this book can then redeem the coupons for anything from free backrubs to free dinners, or anything else you might have in mind!

Write a poem: Have a creative side that loves any opportunity to come out? Think about writing a personal poem to someone you care about. Really, you can apply this idea to any artistic endeavor you can possibly imagine. It's highly personal and all the love you put into it cannot be underappreciated!

Make cookies: This doesn’t sound very exciting, but trust us, it can be a wonderful holiday gift for someone who deserves the very best.  After all, who doesn't like to indulge in sweets from time to time? There are tons of creative, inexpensive recipes that you can turn into reality for someone. Think about what she or he likes best and surprise the person in question with a treat they’re sure to love. You can try making these yummy sugar molasses cookies.

Handmade crafts:  Gifts such as a custom ornament or these easy paper dolls make great gifts for kids.

A real photo keepsake: This also is an old idea, but it’s still a goody. In a digital world, a physical photo keepsake can be absolutely delightful, reminding you of all the wonderful memories you share.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

DIY Shopkins Scratch and Sniff Stickers

Do you remember scratch and sniff stickers growing up?  I was shopping at Michael's and saw scented embossing powder.  I started googling for reviews and found a forum that mentioned you could make your own scented embossing powder using KoolAid.  This made me think of making my daughter Shopkins Scratch and Sniff stickers.  I really am impressed at how they turned out.  The smell is strong and its been about three weeks and the scent is still strong!

See my youtube tutorial here on how to make your own Shopkins (or any image) scratch and sniff stickers:

Sunday, October 4, 2015

How to Fold Glass-like Stars

This is a continuation of my up-cycled cellophane packaging tutorials.  I am going to show you how to fold little stars with cellophane packaging.  Here is a tutorial on how to fold a paper star or a video version here.  With all these cellophane tutorials, it is always best to practice on paper first and get the hang of it before you venture off to cellophane.  Cellophane is much harder to work with because it is more slippery and stiff.

Note video tutorial is updated.

These are my pictures, but watching a video on how to do this is much easier.
1.  Use a ruled paper underneath as guidelines to cut cellophane into strips. The strips I cut were about .25 in.
2. For larger stars use wider ruled paper. Note that length of paper should be at least 30 times of width.
3. Take cellophane and "tie into a knot" and flatten.
4. Fold over the short end and then the long end along the edges
5.  Tuck end into flap.
6. Pinch into star shape.

Stay tuned to see what I do with all these cranes and stars. on bus youtube video
Watch thse Disney Princess Toy Video Elsa Anna Frozen Playdoh

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Accessorizing Tips and Tricks

The best way to finish up your look is definitely with some accessories, but not everyone knows how to make all those little things work correctly to make a desired well-put together look. It is not that hard, if you know the basic rules. Bellow you will find them, read it carefully and be sure to look amazing with all accessories you wear! 

Don’t overdo
Everything works if that is balanced perfectly and hits the golden middle. The same rules work with accessorizing too. The worst way to accessorize is to completely overdo it by putting way too many pieces on you. If you like accessorizing with the trendy layers of jewelry, be sure you stick with one main layering area. Always be sure to use no more than three different accessories. For instance, a ring, a bracelet, and earrings. That’s it.

Wear statement pieces for special occasions
It might be fun to wear one huge necklace or a pair of outstanding earring for work, but that is not really appropriate. Better leave those statement pieces for more special occasions or for going out with your friends. It will certainly let your look be unique and draw attention to the parts of your body you wish. But always remember the first rule and don’t overdo it. Wear only that one statement piece and add another much “quieter” piece to it. For instance – big earrings and one medium size ring. You will look perfect for sure.

Think about outfit while accessorizing
This shouldn’t even be on a list, but many women tend to forget about it. If you dress is already full of sequence, better reconsider if you want to add more accessories to it. On the other hand, if your outfit is plain and neutral, some bright and fun accessories can live it up. Just try to balance all the sparkle and shimmer and you will always look like a million bucks.

Invest in fine accessories
Some great accessories which you love a lot can work for you for many years. To make that happen you should definitely invest in it more, to get the best quality and the chance to wear it for a surprisingly long time. Just look for great stores so you know you will get quality items. 

Don’t over match
Finally, when trying to accessorize your outfit perfectly, forget about an ancient old rule to only use accessories that is the exact color as the clothing. That really doesn’t work at these modern days. Contrasting or darker or whiter toning is definitely more modern. For instance, if you are wearing a bright red dress, pull burgundy shoes and add bright blue purse. It will look very expensive and well put together since it creates an interesting look. Don’t over match with colors and you will be ok.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Healthy Halloween Treats For The Classroom

This post was originally written by me and published for, but in case you missed it I am reposting on my blog.
I know Halloween is all about the candy, but there is only so much candy a kid can eat right?  I like giving out healthy Halloween treats (yes, I am the house that gives out pretzels, toys, and toothbrushes).  This year for my daughter’s school, she needs to bring in treats for Halloween.  I decided to use oranges and wrap them in tissue paper to make them look like pumpkins.  This was so fun and turned out so well.  Originally I wanted to use small “Cuties” but they are out of season, so I just used Valencia Oranges that I purchased from the farmers market.  The oranges are organic so they aren’t colored bright orange like the supermarket oranges, so the orange tissue paper really makes it look like a pumpkin.  Don’t be fooled by the color though, these are the sweetest, juiciest oranges I have ever had! Even sweeter than candy, in my opinion.
healthy-halloween-treats-crafts-unleashedI love this take on Halloween treats, because it’s actually a fun craft to do with your kids and something that could help them eat more fruit.

Supplies needed to make your own healthy Halloween treats:

Cut the tissue paper into a square that will wrap around the entire orange.  Mine was cut 8×8 for an orange about 3 inches in diameter.
healthy-halloween-treats-crafts-unleashed-1Wrap tissue paper up to the top of the orange, and twist around the top.
healthy-halloween-treats-crafts-unleashed-2Using a pipe cleaner, cinch the base of the orange where the tissue paper is gathered, then twist around the tissue paper tail until you reach the top.  Then twist back down to the bottom of the stem of the “pumpkin”. Leave a little room on the pipe cleaner for the next step.
healthy-halloween-treats-crafts-unleashed-3You should have about 2 inches left on the pipe cleaner.  Take those two inches and wrap around a pencil to create a spiral vine effect.
healthy-halloween-treats-crafts-unleashed-4Once all of your oranges are wrapped, they are ready to be decorated to complete these fun Halloween treats.
healthy-halloween-treats-crafts-unleashed-5Using black vinyl, cut out jack-o-lantern faces.  Get creative!  You could draw it out on the back of the vinyl and then cut it out, but I find that free handing is the easiest.
healthy-halloween-treats-crafts-unleashed-6Now these adorable Halloween treats are ready to be handed out to trick-or-treaters or party guests! They won’t even know there’s fruit inside until they open them up. Sneaky!
healthy-halloween-treats-crafts-unleashed-7I truly love the way these healthy Halloween treats turned out.  They would even make great centerpieces or decor for around the house.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Sterling Silver Jewelry from Review

I'm always looking for great online shops.  I was so excited when I found to find some sterling silver jewelry. I'm always a little apprehensive when I buy stuff online, you never know the quality from the pictures that are on the site.  I ordered six pieces of jewelry from  One bracelet, one ring, one toe ring, one pair of earrings, one ear cuff and one necklace.  The package arrived yesterday and I cannot be more pleased.  The quality of the jewelry exceeded my expectations.  The prices on the site were so reasonable that I thought the quality wouldn't be that great, but I was so wrong.  The jewelry was each carefully packaged in its own box  (note if you buy wholesale then it does not come in individual boxes).   The boxes were also encased in another boxed and neatly package. The jewelry inside was shiny and well made.   My favorite pieces were the ring, necklace and earrings.  The ring was substantial, thick silver.  The pendant on the necklace sparkled and the chain was delicate yet sturdy.  The earrings were a beautiful pink stone that looks sophisticated enough to wear to work but fun enough to wear out.  The bracelet was well made, not really my style, but I gave it to my aunt who loved it.  There is stuff on the site for all ages.  I gave the toe ring to my daughter and she loved the dolphins on it. really has exceeded my expectations in delivering fine quality sterling silver jewelry for reasonable prices.  The delivery was fast and reliable.  I received a tracking number from fed ex soon after I placed the order and the package took less than three days to arrive.  Overall I would recommend this site to anyone.  You can get wholesale prices for jewelry, but you do not have to buy wholesale quantities!  So if you are in the market for some affordable quality jewelry for holiday gifts, charity fundraisers, dance performances, giveaways or just your own personal use be sure to check out.

My favorite pieces from
Box was well packaged and delivered fast.

Beautiful earrings from

The jewelry arrived each in its own well made jewelry box.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of All opinions are 100% mine.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Easy Watercolor Art

I originally posted this on CraftsUnleashed last year, but I wanted to share this just in case you missed my original post.  

One of my favorite Steve Jobs quotes is:
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
I wanted to make an art piece for my house using this quote. So using a crayon and watercolors, I made the piece of art below.  There are so many parts of the quote that could have been used, but I decided on the first part.  I may take the other parts of the quote and put it on separate sheets to make a photo collage if I have time.
Print out or free hand your favorite quote onto a spare sheet of paper. Tape the quote and the plain piece of paper to a glass door or light box, and trace the text with white crayon. Go over the text multiple times. You want to get a thick coat of white crayon.
Wet the watercolor onto the brush and brush the paper lightly with paint. The white crayon should show through with the text.  Note that depending on the thickness of paper your paper may crinkle a little.  You can iron the paper a little if there is a lot of wrinkling, BUT protect your iron with another sheet of paper so you don't get white crayon wax on it.  This is a cheap technique for resist, so some color will get onto the white crayon, you can scrape some of the water color off if it bothers you.
Now, how easy was that?! Let dry, frame, and enjoy your one of a kind art.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Free Things To Do In Las Vegas With Kids

Our family loves to vacation in Las Vegas.  My oldest daughter who is not yet six has been to Vegas over ten times in her life. People always think it's strange when I tell them I'm going Vegas with the kids, but I always tell them there is actually is lots to do in Vegas with kids.  Below is a list of things that we love to to when we go out there with the kids.  Most of them are free but if it has a price, then I try to list it.

1. Pool

Vegas has some of the nicest resorts for very reasonable prices.  I always say its one of the few places where you can stay at a 5 star hotel for less than 200 dollars a night.  For our family we love the hotels with the lazy river pools.  Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand (and Signature- because you can use the MGM grand pool), Monte Carlo and Tahiti Village all have lazy river pools.  Our kids and spend hours just floating around the lazy river.  All the above hotels allow you to bring flotation devices for your kids, but adults cannot bring their own tube.  You must rent/purchase an adult tube for all the hotels (except Tahiti Village, which includes them in the resort fee).  Mandalay Bay and Monte Carlo both have wave pools too.

2. Bellagio Fountains and Garden

This season the garden is under the sea theme.  The pictures below just don't do the garden justice. The flowers are always so vibrant and the air smells so sweet and fresh when you enter the garden. This is also a great place to take pictures, the lighting is amazing there.

The Bellagio fountains go on every 15 to 30 minutes.  I would recommend watching them at night.

3. M&M store,  Coke Store,  Hersheys Store, Ethel M's Chocolate factory tour (off strip).

I would recommend the M&M store with the free 3-D show on the third floor that plays every 15 -30 minutes.  I even enjoyed the show, it was pretty funny and entertaining.  Coke store has a coke around the world tasting (I don't know if they still have it but I think it was 5 dollars the last time I did it).  If you go during the winter the Ethel M's Chocolate factory has Christmas lighted cactus.

4. ABC Store for souvenirs.  If you have ever been to Hawaii, you should be familiar with the ABC stores.  The Vegas one is just as great.  It's a one stop shop to get your drinks, souvineers and any other essentials for reasonable prices.  There is a ton of cute Hello Kitty Vegas stuff also.  They also have macadamia nuts just like in Hawaii!  The prices are comparable to Hawaii prices with an 11oz bag of mac nuts going for 12 dollars.

There are also lots of places shopping places in most of the major hotels.  Ceasars and Planet Hollywood have shops, and MGM grand has a small strip of stores.  We saw the cutest soaps from a shop called Nectar in MGM.  Can you believe the pictures below are soaps?  It smelled even more amazing than it looked.

5. Shark Reef (Mandalay Bay - 19 dollars per adult),Secret Garden (Mirage 24 dollars per adult)

To be honest I just put these on the list because they are things to do for kids, but I can't say I recommend them.  The tickets are pretty expensive for what it is.  The aquarium is small and the variety of fish is limited.  I was able to get a free ticket playing myVegas slots, but if I had to pay to get in I would say just pass.

6. Ceasars Aquarium, Silverton Aquarium with Mermaid show, Silverton Bass Pro Shops  (Off strip)

If you want to see fish for free just go to Ceasars, or better yet go to the Silverton Casino where they have an aquarium with a mermaid show.  Keep in mind that its just one very large tank, but it is free and can keep the kids entertained for a little while (kids under 6 that is).  Next to the aquarium in Silverton is Bass Pro shops which has lots of taxidermy.  Tall stuffed giraffes, lions, and it even has a small tank of salmon to look at.

7. Free Tram 

Although this is not a point of interest, and if you have older kids or live in a big city with trains this may not seem exciting, but my kids loved the tram.  The following hotels all have free trams that take you between hotels: Monte Carlo, Vdara, Aria, Bellagio, Excalibur, Mandalay Bay, Luxor, Mirage, Treasure Island.  The tram doesn't take you to all those hotels, there is one that takes you between Monte Carlo, Vdara, Aria, City Center, Bellagio.  Another tram takes you to Excalibur, Mandalay Bay, Luxor and one for Mirage and Treasure Island. Not only is the tram a life saver in the hot 100 degree weather, but for my kids its an attraction in itself.  They love riding the tram back and forth, so on some nights we would just let them sit on the tram and go a couple of round trips before getting off.  

8. Monorail
The monorail is another option, but it does cost about 5 dollars per ride or there are daily and weekly passes.

9. Mirage Volcano and TI pirate show

I haven't seen these in a while, but I think they are still there.  The TI pirate show may be more geared for adults now though.

10. Arcades and Games

Circus Circus, Excalibur and New York New York all have arcades.  Circus Circus and Excalibur have the fun zone where you can win tickets and play carnival games.  Circus Circus also has a free circus show.  There is also a roller coaster at NY NY (I have never been on).

11. Flamingos and Penguins as Flamingo Hotel

Before the pool area there are pink flamingos and penguins that you can see at the hotel.

12. Container Park(Off Strip)

A new shopping area where they take shipping containers to build shops.

13. Town Square Playground (Off Strip)

Playground for the kids.

14. Pinball Hall of Fame (Off Strip Free to enter, games are 25 cents to 1 dollar)

15.  Venetian Gondola rides (not sure the price)

16. Shows (prices vary): Tournament of Kings, Nathan Burton Comedy Magic, Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum, Ceasars has a free show next to the aquarium, I can't remember the theme but its a 10 minute show where the sky changes and the statues move.

Random food places that we like:
Grimali's Pizza, Secret Pizza, Garrett's Popcorn, In and Out, Shake Shack, Mon a Mi Gabi, Bouchon Bakery

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Rainbow Loom Bands Two Peg Easy Tutorials Roundup

Below is a round up of some of my Rainbow Loom Band YouTube tutorials.  These are all two pegs so you can make them on two pencils (without a Rainbow Loom).  Be sure to check out my youtube playlist for all of my Rainbow Loom tutorials here:

Butterfly Heart:

Sacred Lotus

Faye by @Loominade:

Three Fish:

Swirled Links by @Creationsby.B:

Vesable by @LoomLeaf:

Pocahontas Variation by @Alex_looms:

Galaxia by @CraftsByHedgeHog:
My Little Pony Fashion Spa Day with Elsa and Ariel too

Frozen Fever Fashion Show with Elsa, Anna and Ariel

Japanese Eraser Collection with My Little Pony Pinkie Pie

Friday, June 19, 2015

Cheap And Easy Last Minute Fathers Day Gifts

Father's Day is this Sunday!  Here are two simple and inexpensive crafts that you can make dad.  The first one is an origami dollar shirt and tie.  What dad wouldn't appreciate money folded into a neat little shirt?  Tutorial link below image.
If you don't have the funds to make the origami above, you can make the origami below.  I typed up some sayings for dad using a computer and printer and made my own personalized origami paper. Write a note to dad and fold it into a heart, simple, personal and cheap.  Link to tutorial below.

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