Thursday, April 30, 2015

Character Sketch Class (for me)

Last week was my birthday.  And this year I asked to take a sketch class.  I love to draw and I have been following Stephanie Corfee for a while now.  I always think - Wow I wish I could draw like her... and guess what?!  She teaches classes on how to draw like her.  So my hubby got this as my gift.  And it has been so fun so far... 3 lessons in! Character Sketch Class Here 

Lesson 1 was on girls... After each lesson I will draw the sketch she shows in class and then draw my own version of it on my own.  This time I drew my daughter and me on my birthday.

Lesson 2 Boys... I could never draw boys...now I can! My sketch is of my hubby and oldest son.

Lesson 3 was on poses.  She talks about taking poses from photos to give inspiration.

This pic I grabbed off of pinterest... no one I know... but so cute! 

It has been so fun honing my drawing skills and just doing something for me.  My kids love the sketches and ask me to draw things for them now.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Pick Your Plum Grab Boxes on sale NOW!

 DEAL ALERT!  

PICK YOUR PLUM has grab boxes on sale NOW!  For $30 and the 1st 300 people to order will get a JUMBO box for the same price as the regular!  Get one it!  Just click HERE or the picture below:

5 tips on Surviving a Tonsillectomy (#StreamTeam #Netflix)

Thank you to Netflix for sponsoring this post! 
This little girl had her tonsils out last week.  And we all survived.  If you are a mom of a kid who has had their tonsils out you know it is a whole family thing.  So today I am going to share what helped us get through smoothly.  I like to be prepared so I am going to share what worked for us.  

Disclaimer: I am not a Doctor, these are suggestions that worked for our family.  


Here is our little girl right after surgery and then at home in the doctor hat that we got from the hospital.


Tip #1: Keep up with the medication.
Of course- go by what your Doctor tells you.  But do not get behind on the pain medication.  At our doctor's suggestion, we piggy-backed Ibuprofen with the Tylenol the doctor prescribed us.  Each of our meds could be given every 6 hours, so we alternated them every 3 hours.  We even woke her up in the middle of the night to do the meds.  You don't want the pain to come back because it is hard to come back and the kids get scared to eat and drink because it hurts.  Set an alarm and do the meds.  It will pay off in the end! 


Tip# 2:  Keep up with the Water
You don't want your child to become dehydrated, which could lead to constipation or worse!  I mean they are in enough pain already without worry about constipation!  We had our daughter drink water and Pedialyte (as you can tell from the pictures we buy the store brand) or sports drinks to keep up on electrolytes.  We got her a couple "Special Cups" for her to drink out of with straws and her favorite characters.  Drinking will also help their throat too so make them take a few sips when you can.  Like during a movie every time a character says a word they can take a drink.  Or if you read a book, take a sip each page turn. Find reasons to take a sip. 

Tip #3 Get them to eat food
Our doctor told us that our daughter could eat anything but to start with soft foods.  Most people say not to eat crunchy things, but our doctor said that if they do it is not going to hurt the stitches.  He said it's different for each kid and to let them take the lead on what they want to eat.  Start out with the soft foods and move from there.  
We had talked up the ice cream and freezies so that is where our daughter wanted to start. She then moved on to pudding and then asked for salad.  Wait- what?  My five year old wanted salad?  Yep and she ate it and asked for more.  Ok.  She was fine.  She did say that the cold food helped her throat feel better so we keep going back to the freezies. 

Tip#4 Incentives (AKA: Bribery)
Our daughter HATED the pain meds (and as you read tip#1 we were doing them all the time) so we had to find a way to motivate her to take them.  We got a sticker book and a bunch of stickers.  Each time she had to take some meds and she did a good job (read: did not spit them out) she got some stickers for her book.  If we needed her to drink- she could earn stickers in her book. If we wanted her to take a good nap- more stickers.  Use it for what your kids needs motivation for.  If your kid is not into stickers, find their currency (which might actually be real currency -cash-)  You could do quarters to earn a toy, pokemon cards, legos... what ever your kid is into

Tip# 5: Come up with Distractions:

You are going to want to have them things handy to take their mind off  the pain. Here are some of the things we did:

1. Simple crafts: We got some easy crafts for her to do while she was home during the day. 

2. Watch some favorite movies.
We love Netflix and that each kid gets their own section to save all their favorite shows and movies.  We watched a lot of Tinkerbell, Everafter, Care Bears, and Mr. Peabody and Surman.  I also love that Netflix saves the spot of the movie, so if we need to stop to take meds- it was always at the right spot when we came back to it.  It is also wonderful that we can stream it on any device we could be anywhere.  This came in very handy at the hospital.  Having her watch a movie while I talked with the doctors and nurses was great! 

3. Sick Day Movie Party
Who says you can't party when your sick!  Find out all the details HERE 

4.Take a field trip: 
we took walks (because it was nice out finally) went to the library, the park, grandma's house.  Let you kid give you the lead if you feel like they can handle it.  We walked with the stroller.  But a change of scenery can help a lot and some fresh air (if possible) is always good. 

Honorable Mention Tip:
Patience and positive attitude
This may go without saying (but I am going to say it anyways)- You are going to need a lot of patience.  I mean my kid doesn't want to take her meds.  It is a fight every time.  But the times I lose it with her is a lot worse then if I can take a breath and claim down and just get through it.  And having a positive  attitude helps too.  My daughter is a pessimist at heart.  She says a lot of "I never get to..." or "You never let me..."  So during this time she was all "I am never going to get better"  So, I tried to combat that with some positive things that she gets to do like: stay home in her Pjs all day, or eating ice cream for lunch.  Try and find a positive spin to put on it.  

Hope this gives you some ideas to survive your own tonsillectomy or any other recovery that your child may need.  

Tell me what tips do you have? 




*Disclosure: I am part of the Netflix Stream team.  However all opinions are 100% honest! 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Sick Day Movie Party with #Super4onNetflix

Thank you to Netflix for sending all the fun supplies for this Movie Party
This little girl had her tonsils taken out last week. 
So we have had lots of time at home eating popsicles and ice cream with limited activity as she recovers.  To make the time go by faster we had a Sick day Movie day!  Netflix has a new series by Playmobil: SUPER 4.  SUPER 4 will follow the fun adventures of Alex the Knight, Ruby the Pirate, Agent Gene and Twinkle the Fairy as they explore distinct island communities, fight evil and save the planet.  The perfect setting for out movie party.  

We kept things low key so that the sickie could participate in everything!  Here is how you can have your own Sick Day Movie Party:


Dress the part:
To add excitement to the movie party we dressed up like the characters.  Even just a hat or small prop can get you in the mood.  

Some easy actives to get you in the mood:
All of these could be done from the comfort of a couch or bed. 

To get the excitement up for the movie we had some simple low key activities for the kids to do.
1. Complete the story:  One person wears the crown.  they get to start a story (about anything but we kept it in the SUPER 4 theme).  They then stop and pass the crown to the next person who continues the story.  Keep passing until everyone has a turn.  You can decide if you want to finish the story or keep going for another round. 
2. Create a sticker book.  We got themed stickers and the kids got to create a book using the stickers.  They could just do a sticker/picture book or turn it into a story (depending on the age).
3. Coloring sheets.  You can never go wrong with good ol' coloring!  


Enjoy the show! 
Here is the little sickie watching it on my Ipad mini.. her favorite.  Since she is sick I let her use it.
Thats what I love about Netflix - it is so portable since we can stream it on almost anything!

Be sure to check out Netflix for SUPER 4! Here is a peek of all the fun!





*Disclosure: I am part of the Netflix Stream team.  However all opinions are 100% honest! 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Spring Cleaning with QVC!

I am teaming up with QVC  to do some spring cleaning and organizing! 
This month challenge with QVC is spring cleaning! something that I really needed to do! 
Here are some of my craft supplies that I keep on top of my hutch in my dinning room. Anyone one else have a dining room/craft room combo?  I keep most of my stuff on top so that the kids don't get it.  But needless to say, it's a mess!  


Oh-yeah, that is so much better.

We use baskets all over my house to keep things organized.  They are the most simple way I know how to contain all the stuff! Besides keeping my crafting things in order, I also use them for toys and hats/mittens.  Really you are going to want to order a bunch of them! 



Jill Bauer's Blog You're Home with Jill has all sorts of organizing tips for you to check out! 


Jill Bauer, QVC’s Home-Savvy Hostess, hosts the network’s popular show, “You’re Home with Jill®” and provides fans with simple solutions for their busy lives through innovative products, a library of stress-free DIY projects, and crowd-pleasing recipes. Fans can connect with Jill on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram @jillbauerqvc.


**Disclosure: I was provided with the Nesting Banana Leaf Baskets. However all my project ideas are mine and my opinions are 100% honest. **

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Puppy Paw-ty (Easy Birthday Party idea)

We had a Puppy Paw-ty.  This weekend.  I have done some big themed parties at my home (Buzz Lightyear and Princess Party to name a few) but this year I just didn't have it in me to put on a big production.  So, we went to an indoor play park.  That way all the kid entertainment was taken care of.  But I do love a theme.  2 of my kids have birthday's in April (and so is my birthday!).  It gets to be busy.  So this year we combined the party to include both kids.  And both of my kids LOVE puppies, so that was the theme!  

Here is our invite.  I created it in PicMonkey and I just emailed it out to family.  But I could have had it printed out as a photo.  This is my favorite, cheapest way to make customized invitations. 


The Food
I got a little carried away with the food

Puppy Chow 
I made 2 kinds

Pup Corn
Cheese and Caramal 

Hot Dogs and Cheese and Lunch Meat
I used cookie cutters to cut the cheese and meat into bones and puppy paws

PupCakes
I just ordered from my grocery store

Fruit Kibble


For the decorations I kept it ever simple with a Puppy "Happy Birthday sign" that I got from the party store and added some small stuffed puppies that I got from the thrift store.  Most of them still had the tags on them!  As the party favor, I let each kid pick out a puppy to adopt.  I printed out pet adoption certificates to make it seem more official and I decorated a brown gift bag with a dog bone with the kids name on it. 

We kept the party pretty simple in the fact that the activities were just playing at the indoor park.  I did not plan and puppy crafts or games.  But I did find some cute ones that I am sharing with you! 

Here are some other fun Puppy ideas/crafts you could do too: 

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Best Artichoke Dip Recipe


I have the best artichoke dip for your next party, get together, office potluck, night at home... whatever excuse you have to make this- it is so good.  Every time I make everyone asks me for the recipe.  So I am sharing it with the world! 

Ingredients:
1 cup Mayo (I like Miracle Whip)
1 -8oz package cream cheese (soften works best)
1- 8 oz package sour cream
2 -14oz cans of Artichoke hearts (diced)
2 cups Parmesan cheese 
optional: Substitute out 1 cup of parmesan for 1 cup Mozzarella cheese
2 tsp Dill weed
2 tsp Garlic

Directions: 
Oven- Combine all ingredients in a glass (oven safe) bowl and cook for 30 min. or until all the cheese has melted.  Check and stir at 15 minutes.
Crockpot- Combine all ingredients into crockpot and cook on low for 4-6 hours, or high 2-4 hours.  Stirring occasionally.

Serve with crackers and bread and it will disappear! 


Thursday, April 9, 2015

DIY Coasters (15 minute Craft: Teacher Appreciation Gift)

I love my kids teachers. They work hard and do a fantastic job!  I am a teacher too, so I know how much they put into it.  So I always like to get them something to show our appreciation.  Teacher Appreciation week is May 4-8th so you have time to make this! 


Here is an easy DIY for you to do to show teachers that you appreciate them.  DIY Coasters paired with a cute glass, some straws and a fun beverage... to show that you know they deserve a break for all the hard work they have done.  This gift uses Oil Cloth since it is water resistant.  You can find it at Joann's (by the home decor fabrics- you may need to ask someone) but they have a limited selection.  I got this print from Oil Cloth By the Yard.  Lots of cute patterns! 

Here is what you will need to do:
1. Gather supplies: 1/4 yard Oil Cloth,  1/4 yard Felt, Sewing machine and other sewing tools.
2. Trace out the coasters.  I used a coaster I had as a template but you could also use a cup.
3. Cut out 4 of each out of the felt and the oil cloth (or more if you want).
4. Use a zigzag stitch and sew around the edge as close to the edge as you can get.  Since the oil cloth and felt do not fry you can leave unfinished edges out.  


And your done!  I got this cute glass much from the Dollar Tree and the Paper straws from Target.  I added lemonade mix to complete the gift! 
Here is a printable you can add to the gift! Just right click and save the image.  


Joining in the fun with:
 

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