Create Link Inspire PLUS Spring Projects to get you Through Winter

Welcome to another week of the create, link, inspire link party. I hope you find inspiration here every week and that you check back often for ideas. I'm always impressed with what gets linked up and I always add a handful of crafts, DIY's and recipes to my to do list.


I'm pretty much over winter and ready for spring, so I'm doing my best to surround myself with bright colors, live plants, DIY projects and anything that reminds me that I can hold out for spring. It's not too far away! Come check out all of these great posts that were linked up last week.



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Easy Snack Ideas On-the-Go

This post is written by me on behalf of Special K all opinions are 100% my own.


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A wise friend once told me failure to plan is planning to fail. I think of that saying often as I try to plan my day. When the kids were younger, it meant making sure that I planned around the hours in which meltdowns may occur. It would involve scheduling around naps and making sure I packed snacks if there was a minute chance that a child may dissolve into tears over hunger, thirst or general moodiness. Now that the kids are in school, my hours during the day look a bit different. I run all of my errands between work hours and appointments and do my best to plan ahead and grab easy snacks for me so that I don't get hungry and end up buying something I don't need or will regret later. I've got a list of easy snack ideas for when you are on-the-go. That way, you can plan ahead and not fail if life throws you a curve ball.



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Updating a 90's Living Room in a Model Home

They say that the kitchen is the heart of the home but when you are a family raising kids, I would say that the living room gives the kitchen some competition. Perhaps it could be considered the backbone of the home. So much time is spent there, especially as homes with open concepts become the norm. No longer are we separated in different rooms, instead we flow from space to space. 

We have some dear friends that we have been doing life with for more than a decade. We have kids that are similar ages and have enjoyed serving together in many different ways. They constantly open their home for events and functions and we have spent countless hours together in this living room with them. Over Christmas, the gas fireplace that they use nearly everyday exploded. Glass flew everywhere and sent the family asking questions about the safety of their home fireplace. Experts weighed in and what they found was that something like this is extremely rare and while the fireplace didn't technically "explode" {had it done that, the whole insert would have blown out and landed across the room}, the glass had failed over time. 

The need to replace the fireplace sent this family into complete remodeling mode with a desire to update the room of their home that has become such an important space for this family of five. While my friend knows what she likes and what she doesn't, she often doesn't trust herself to make decisions on design and I offered to be a hand to hold and thought my readers might be interested in going along on the process of updating a 90's living room. So they have graciously opened up their space once again, this time to all of you and we will be working together to complete a new design that this family can continue to grow into as their family evolves and changes.


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Why it Matters to Cite and Credit the Proper Source on Pinterest and How to do it

computer, social media, sharing is caring

Maybe this is just a pet peeve of mine that has turned into an irrational chord that gets struck every.single.time I see it, but in this digital age, I feel like this bears mentioning because maybe truly you just didn't know. I love the internet I really do. It's hard to remember what life was like when we didn't have so much visual inspiration and information available to us instantaneously. However, there are some misuses of said inspiration that requires this little PSA. Via Pinterest isn't a way to credit anything. Period. Pinterest isn't a source. Pinterest is a bulletin board of sorts. A way to keep all of the digital media pinned in one place. It's a source of inspiration BUT it isn't THE inspiration. 

There are hard working bloggers, designers, photographers, authors, and individuals that are behind every image that you see. A fellow blogger {Emily from Eleven Gables} wrote this sentiment and posted it on her Instagram account.  I'm hoping that I can explain to you why you shouldn't take images and share them without their proper source because this just adds to the cycle of image theft. And you aren't a stealer are you? 

creator, blogger, designer, social media

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Create Link Inspire Link Party Plus Organize Just About Anything

Welcome to another week of the create, link, inspire link party. I hope you find inspiration here every week and that you check back often for ideas. I'm always impressed with what gets linked up and I always add a handful of crafts, DIY's and recipes to my to do list. 


This week I am sharing some fun organizing ideas that were linked up. Come check out the DIY's, printables and organizing solutions these smart bloggers have come up with.


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Paprika Chicken Recipe

We eat a lot of chicken. It's not only a great source of lean protein, it's also a meat that's fairly inexpensive. My family all loves chicken so usually it's a no brainer as a main course for dinnertime. However, finding new ways to prepare it is sometimes a little bit more challenging. This dish is perfect for someone who likes a little spice! Combine it with a bed of lettuce to help it from becoming too spicy. 

homemade, whole foods, eat clean

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DIY Leather Laptop Sleeve Tutorial

easy to make, laptop sleeve, faux leather

Do you ever have an idea in your mind of something that you want but you can't seem to find it? Or if you do find it, it's {far} out of your price range? I recently got a new laptop and I knew I needed a case for it, but what I was looking for just couldn't be found. I love the look of leather everything right now. Like I'm obsessed with it. So I had it narrowed down enough to know that I wanted a leather laptop sleeve. Of course the first place I turn is Amazon because as a Prime member it gets here yesterday, but I couldn't find what I was looking for. I started to search on-line and all the cases I was coming up with were $150+. I loved the look of the handmade leather laptop cases I was finding but I just couldn't justify the cost. So like all things, if I can't find what I want, I set out to make my own. This DIY {faux} leather laptop case cost me less than $20 and an hour of my time to make. My goal is to inspire my readers to want to create as well so I'm sharing how I made my laptop sleeve with you. You may like aspects of the case and take inspiration from this to create one that fits your needs.

easy to make, laptop sleeve, faux leather, sew, pattern

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Create Link Inspire Party with Thrifty DIY Projects

Welcome back to another week of the Create Link Inspire party. I hope you find inspiration here every Monday. Last week I shared a HUGE list of Valentine's day treats to try. In case you missed it, you can find that list here. You aren't going to want to miss these drinks, desserts, and all around yummy snacks. This week, I checked out every single entry in the link party and put together a collection of the best budget friendly DIY projects and ideas from the party. 


I think you are going to like them! Come on over and check them out!


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Jenny Craig-Stay on Track While on Vacation

Thank you Jenny Craig for sponsoring this post. -- Get serious about losing weight with Jenny Craig!


For most people, going on vacation means leaving behind their daily routine, but that doesn't mean that you can't still maintain the healthy habits you try to incorporate into your life every single day. I had the opportunity to travel for a long weekend to Hawaii smack dab in the middle of my month long Jenny Craig reset. You see, in the matter of about six months, I packed on about ten pounds. A major car accident about a year ago left me with a limited activity level and unexplained pain that turned into chronic pain. I spent most of last year visiting doctors offices and trying to get to the root cause of the pain I was experiencing and in the process, my body slowed down to a crawl and decided to start packing the pounds on. It was only about ten pounds and I was still in a healthy weight range for my height, but I didn't want ten pounds to turn into twenty pounds to turn into thirty pounds. My clothes no longer fit and instead of buying a whole new wardrobe, I knew that I needed to hit restart, so I joined Jenny Craig at the start of the new year. I jumped head first into a weight-loss program for the first time in my life. I wasn't quite sure what that was going to look like as I traveled, but surprisingly I returned from Hawaii four pounds lighter. I'm going to share with you how you can stay on track with Jenny Craig even while on vacation.



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Valentine's Day Tic-Tac-Toe

Valentine's Day is just around the corner. If there is any holiday that I am a last minute Lucy, it's this one. I'm always looking for new easy, fast ideas that make it look like I didn't wait until the last minute to make, even though I almost always do. I had nearly all these supplies on hand to make these Valentine's Day tic-tac-toe bags but if you don't, they aren't hard to come by. You can make them in under 10 minutes. 


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Create Link Inspire Party Plus Valentine's Day Treats you are Going to Want to Make

Welcome back to the Create Link Inspire party. I'm so glad that you are here! I love being a part of this party because I know I'm always searching for inspiration and I love getting lost in the talent of others. There are so many great ideas linked up week to week and if you aren't checking it out, you are missing out!


This week I've got the final push in for those Valentine's Day treats. Come see some great ones that were linked up. If these don't have you getting excited for the holiday, I don't know what will!



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Valentine's Day Gifts for Guys

Valentine's Day is just around the corner and every year I struggle with what to get my husband. He's pretty much the hardest person to buy for ever. And since Valentine's Day is nipping at the heels of Christmas, I feel like any idea I had was exhausted back in December. I started making a list of things I saw that would make great gifts for guys and put them together for you just in case I'm not the only one that struggles with ideas. 


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6 Ways to Respond to the Refugee Crisis

As a parent, I feel like I can be much more perceptive to world events than I would be otherwise. I have a mother's heart and when I hear stories of mothers struggling to provide the very basics {think safety and clean water and food} for their children, my heart breaks, especially when it's through no fault of their own. I am quick to think of how I can help, what I can do and how I can align myself to step in to relieve their burdens. I must confess, I spent a lot of time scrolling past posts about the refugee crisis last year. I saw the images of young children bloodied and crying. I saw pictures of parents fleeing war zones holding children in their arms and I saw a baby washed up on the shore. I didn't stop to hear more. I just couldn't. There were gaps in the news coverage and there would be days that I could ignore what was happening in the world because it was easy to turn it off. The refugee crisis isn't anything new, it started in 2011, but it's no longer easy to ignore. I finally stopped scrolling by and took a second to stop and process the largest humanitarian crisis of our time. It's becoming harder and harder to look away with current news events and many people are just now opening their eyes to the scope of this issue. I'm hearing desperate pleas from friends who genuinely want to know what they can do, how they can understand this crisis and how it is that they should be responding right now. I'm hoping that I can share some of what opened my eyes and how our family has been responding.
syria, immigration, refugee, camps, humanitarian
photo credit Jon Warren 
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Orange You a Cutie Free Printable Valentine's Day Gift Tag

My kids have graduated on from the classroom Valentine's but that doesn't mean that I don't want to share with you a free printable that I created. I know more and more families are looking for candy-free alternatives that kids will enjoy. I think I have the perfect solution with this sweet little cutie orange printable. It's also an incredibly inexpensive gift to give a crowd as well. You can pick up a box of cutie oranges at your grocery store for less than five bucks! Print off the gift tags, cut them out and you've got yourself a pretty sweet little treat.

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