tutorial: beach in a jar

I grew up about 30 minutes from the beach.  I was always there as a kid playing in the sand, as a teenager laying out with my friends, and as a twenty-something shopping & laying out.  I love the beach – I mean, who doesn’t?!  The one thing I don’t love about the beach is the sand you find everywhere afterwards.  It isn’t until you get home and take a full, deep, cleansing shower that you will completely rid yourself of all things sand.

Well, with this activity, you can bring the sand home, but it stays in a pretty little jar.  No shower is needed ;)

So, let’s make a "beach in jar"!

What, you might ask, is a "beach in a jar"?  Well, with some jars, sand, shells, and sea glass, we’ll put it together to make our very own "beach in a jar".  This is a fun activity for the kiddos to learn about the beach & and enjoy a sensory experience playing with the sand & shells – yippee!

This is also something you can make with the kiddos as a memento from your favorite beach or a family vacation spot :)

Supplies you will need:

  • jars (I repurposed baby food jars –  little T went through them like a starving cheetah!)
  • sand (I acquired mine from the actual beach – HA! – really, I’m NOT joking, I filled up a grocery bag full of sand & brought it back home with me!  But, if you are not crazy like me, they do sell sand at craft stores or Amazon too.)
  • sea glass (you can buy it by the bag at craft stores or Amazon)
  • sea shells (you can also get this in a bag at craft stores or Amazon)
  • washi tape (for the label) – check out my washi tape board for other cool ideas for using washi tape!)
  • white address labels (for the words on the washi tape)
  • circle labels (for the kids names on the top – I used these 1 1/4” round labels in “gravel” from Paper Source)
  • hemp cord (for jar decoration)

Now, by no means do you have to do all of these things…but my over-achiever-ness, detail oriented mind can’t stop :)

Tools you will need:

  • hot glue gun & glue (to seal the lid of the jar shut when you are done, because they will want to bring it EVERYWHERE, and you don’t want that sand EVERYWHERE, do you?)
  • cup (for sea glass & shells)
  • bowl (for sand)
  • spoon (to scoop sand)
  • white high gloss spray paint (to spray the lids of the jars the night before)
  • dust buster (to vacuum up sand – okay, now I’m micro managing – okay, I’ll stop now ;)

Happy beachin’ sand-free! :)


home DIY: neon dinos

We have dinosaurs, we have high gloss white, we have neon…what does that spell?  It’s RAWR-tastic!

I bought these dinos a while back for $1 a piece at Walmart and knew I wanted to spray paint them with high gloss white (my go-to spray paint).  The hubs is so used to my obsession with spraying everything with high gloss white that he knows what I’m going to say before I say it (and to be quite honest, he’s probably sick of everything being painted high gloss white ;)  I can’t help it, everything looks better in high gloss white! :)  And it looks even more fantastic with neon added to it (I’ve been hoarding my neon love here :)

This is a marvelously easy and magnificently cheap project.

Here’s what you will need to make it happen:

  • Plastic Dinosaurs
  • High Gloss White Spray Paint (I used this one for this project)
  • Acrylic Craft Paint in Neon Colors (I used: My Studio Acrylic Craft Paint: Pink 72711, My Studio Acrylic Craft Paint: Light Orange 72720,  My Studio Acrylic Craft Paint: Seaside 72747)
  • Paint Brush
  • Time for Drying ;)

Here are the basic steps:

  1. Paint dinos with approximately 3 coats of high gloss white spray paint; Allow to dry fully between coats.
  2. Paint neon designs on dinos; Allow to dry.
  3. You are done!

Oh & one more thing – these are pure decoration – i.e. the “home DIY” category label :)

I made them for me not the kiddos ;)



entered in:

tutorial: magnetic alphabet board

When I first started using Pinterest

this was one of the first things I pinned :) 

When I first started using Pinterest…

I had very few pins, and only a couple of boards, not so much now!

When I first started using Pinterest…

I actually completed several projects – HA! 

This was one of them :)

I painted a border on mine because I wanted it to be cleaned up a bit and look a little neater & less industrial looking.

I wanted to cover the ugly logo on the pan too :)



  • oil drip pan (found mine in the automotive section at Walmart for $10) – mine measures 25”W x 47”L
  • all-purpose cleaner
  • high gloss white spray paint
  • painter’s tape
  • double stick tape
  • 4 sets 3M Command Strips – Large
  • alphabet flash cards ( I used these because they had lower & uppercase letters as well as a picture to correlate with the letters)
  • magnetic letters – upper & lower case (I used these) (further note: if you can’t get these particular ones, try to get heavier duty magnet letters because the small plastic fridge ones won’t stick to the pan because of the weight of the cards)


  1. Spray the pan surface with the all-purpose cleaner to start with a clean work surface.
  2. With the board lying flat on the ground, arrange and lay out the flashcards (not securely – we are just placing them down now to determine the layout) how you want them to look on the board.  I left a large space at the top for the alphabet, or as I like to call it, alphabet soup ;) – and placed the flashcards below.  I did it this way because even with the board right above the wall base board it was still pretty high for V to reach, and I wanted her to be able to get to the card matching section on her own (it’s also great because when it is not in use the alphabet soup is out of complete reach of T & his little grabby grab hands…ummm, do you see the capital letter “P” up there?  Yeah, well, that is courtesy of T & his mouth).
  3. Mark where the cards start at the top, the bottom & each of the sides.
  4. Remove cards & set aside.
  5. Tape off the middle section with the painters tape.  Cover the inside section where the cards were laid out using the marks you just made as a guide.  By doing so you will be making a border.
  6. Have the hubs spray paint the pan, concentrating on the un-taped border.
  7. Let paint dry & have hubs spray paint a second coat.
  8. Let second coat dry.
  9. Lay out all 26 cards once again using double stick tape to secure them to the pan.
  10. Follow the package instructions on securing the 3M Command Strips to the wall and pan.
  11. Attach 3M Command Strips to the back of the pan in each corner, top, and bottom, using all 4 sets.
  12. Add magnetic letters to the board & let the kiddos go to town with letter learning :)

Adapted from here.

DIY: patriotic pinwheel & handmade printable

I am currently in love with all things pinwheel!  And now, with the 4th of July coming up, this is the perfect time to create one!
I think this may be the year…the year we do fireworks as a family (V is 2 1/2 & I’m hoping she won’t be like me)!!!

True fact…up until let’s say the age of…I don’t know…I’m taking a stab in the dark here…we’ll say 12, I was terrified of fireworks…not the spectacular visuals…it was the noise.  As a kid we would always go to the center of town for the 4th & watch the fireworks on the capitol building lawn, along with the rest of the town.  I used to hide under our blanket with my fingers in my ears humming until it was over…I hated it!! I have really no reasoning as to why I was deathly afraid of fireworks.  I didn’t grow up in a high crime area with the fear of being shot!  My parents didn’t have a car that would constantly backfire, no?  I did not grow up in Florida witnessing space shuttle launches on a frequent basis, no?  I really have no sound reasoning as to why this terrified me!

So, here’s what I’m thinking…all Norman Rockwell…I can picture it now…the blanket spread out…snacks for the kiddos…V holding her mama’s homemade pinwheel…watching the pretty fireworks…T giggling & babbling…ahhhh…can’t you see it too?! :) Well, although that is what I see…this is what will probably happen…V will be terrified of the fireworks, she’ll be hysterically crying & melting down at the same time, T will be moody because it’s WAYYYY past his 7pm bedtime, V will be asking over & over & over for more snacks, V will need ice in her water, V will have to go pee-pee potty…annnnnd, I will be hiding under the blanket (do you think anyone will think to look for me there-HA!?) ;)

Okay, back to the task at hand!  So, I’ve researched & researched on the technicalities of how to get this just right – and I’ve made several prototypes & have had several failed attempts…annnnnd “GREAT SCOTT” I think I’ve figured it out (and yes, I just quoted Dr. Emmett Brown ;)

So, without further ado…let me break it down for you.

Tools needed:

  • scissors
  • tape
  • adhesive dots (I used Zots)
  • 1 straw (I used paper & plastic) per pinwheel
  • 1 washer (size #10) per pinwheel
  • 1 jewelry pin & closure per pinwheel
  • cardstock to print out the printable on

Pictorial of steps ♥

(oh, and if you click on each individual step,

the picture enlarges – see I got your back ;)






the end!

Enjoy your homemade pinwheels!! :)

And here is the printable I designed just for you!!
(click on the button for a printable PDF file):

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Inspired by: Bunting


I am currently OBSESSED with bunting!  What is bunting?  Well, let me break it down for you…they are super sweet little flags that decorate cakes, tables, parties, cards, etc.  I can’t stop looking at all the cuteness!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  From paper, to tape, to fabric, to wood…eeeekkkk…look at all those pretty little flags!  I have so many ideas…but here are just a few I adore:

This gorgeous picture backdrop over at Vintage Fern.

This mini bunting birthday card at How About Orange.

This super cute glitter cake bunting at The Sweetest Occasion.

This scrap birthday bunting by Made by Me & Shared with you Leafy Treetop Spot.

How will I bring these beautiful ideas into my life?  Well, this is what have I done so far with bunting:


I played around with some washi tape (here’s a site for washi tape that I LOVE) using these tools:


and what might you ask can you do with it…well, let me tell you, folks :)

you can put your logo on it, like so:

or attach it to skewers & pretty up your plants, like so:

or let little miss V “borrow” it for the party in her "Little People" house :)

the possibilities are endless & the wheels are turning with the washi tape & bunting combo!


I ordered these from my favorite site, "Pick Your Plum".  It’s like a daily "Groupon"-type thing, with all crafty & stylish products, every day it’s something new…LOVE IT!!!  So back to my wooden bunting, they are blank pendants for you to do what you want.  This is what they look like in all their blank prettiness:

and this is kind of an idea of what I want to do with them:

Can you see what I’m dreaming of?

The plan is to "Mod Podge" (here’s a really cool blog about "Mod Podge" & creative things to do with it) fabric or paper to them and then connect them with ribbon, back & forth in size to spell out “HAPPY” on the big ones, and birthday” on the small ones.  I want to use it every year for the kiddos’ birthdays, so I don’t have to reinvent the wheel every year.  They are wood, so my thinking is that they will hold up for several years (here’s to hoping that my thinking is spot on – HA – it’s usually not – in reality I see this lasting a year ;)

You’ll just have to stayed tuned…to see what they turn out like ;)


And here’s the paper one I made last year for V’s birthday (can you tell she’s a YGG fan?):

Are you inspired?!

What kind of bunting will you make?  I would LOVE to see what you come up with!!! :)

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