Make your own foaming hand soap refill

Every year I get sucked into buying foaming hand soap at Bath and Body Works.
The promotion they run isn't that great, but they do have some pretty amazing scents to choose from and for some reason I can justify spending $4 a bottle on the soap.
I don't know why, because I can make my own foaming hand soap for pennies!

The catch is, you will need a container that has the foaming pump.
I'm using one that I had that just ran out.
You will also need only a small amount of regular soap
{this jar was bought at the Dollar Tree and would make about seven refills for the foaming hand soap bottle you see on the left}
and if you want, you can also use a few drops of essential oils.
I'm using peppermint.

Take the lids off of your soap containers, 
and pour your liquid soap into your foaming soap container.
You won't need much, just around 1/3 of a cup.
Add 5-7 drops of your essential oils

and slowly 
{this is key so that your soap doesn't foam up like crazy as you fill it!}
fill your bottle full with water.
Put the lid on and give your soap jar a shake.

Easy and inexpensive!

For less than a quarter I have made myself a foaming soap refill.


Top 10 Silhouette projects

One of my favorite crafting tools by far is my Silhouette machine.
{followed in a close second by my glue gun}
I received it about four years ago as a Christmas gift from my in-laws and I use it all the time.
I've shared a lot of tutorials over the years.
I've gathered up a list of my top 10 favorite silhouette projects.
Since Christmas is just around the corner, here are a few of my favorite Christmas crafts that I made using my Silhouette machine.

I think the thing that I have made most with my Silhouette has been custom t-shirts.
These are just a few of my favorites.

I've made paper dolls and tons and tons of custom invitations.
These library card ones are by far my favorite!

I've even made some things for our home,
like this initial button art and this gold chandelier.

My machine may be old and I am starting to get enticed by the fancy new features of other cutting machines, but my silhouette and I go way back.  I have her all figured out {most of the time}.  I love all of the different things my machine can do that it feels like the possibilities are endless sometime.

Do you have a silhouette?
What's your favorite project?
Share the link below, I would love to see it!

Jammie day

Last week, my elementary aged son had school conferences.
That means three days off of school for the little guy 
while the older kids still attend classes as normal.

We were looking for things to do, just the two of us and decided to have a jammie day.
You know, a day where you don't change out of your pajamas and you try not to leave the house no matter what.
This is hard for me to do because I am not a homebody at all!

We have had a long standing rule in our family that if there is a movie that is adapted from a book,  the kids have to read the book first before seeing the movie.

My kids think that this is an actual life rule.
Like as in, the cops will give you a ticket if you don't read the book before watching the movie.
{they also think that they can't officially turn the next year older until they have their well child check at the pediatrician's office}

Last year we read Pippi Longstocking, so when we saw it on Netflix, we knew we had to watch the movie!  My little guy and I sat all snugly and close and enjoyed watching the words that were once on the page come to life.

It's always fun to compare the way that we imagined the book to be in our heads and how the movie ends up on the screen.  And I always like to point out the differences in the movie vs the book in case any of my lovely offspring decide to go the lazy route on a book report sometime and watch the movie instead of reading the book.

Netflix has all kinds of books turned movies available which makes it easy for us to get our kids reading a good book so that they can sit back and watch the movie.

My older son loved the Hunger Games series and I know I could get him to love The Lord of the Rings.  Last year in English he read One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and To Kill a Mockingbird, both available on Netflix.

My daughter loves historical fiction and really enjoyed The Boy In the Striped Pajamas.
And while it's a tear jerker, it's well written and provides a great perspective of that time in history.

And as I mentioned, my youngest son loves Pippi Longstocking.
He's also looking forward to watching Old Yeller.
Pretty sure when the older two kids were his age we went through a box of Kleenex during the book and another during the movie!

When I was a kid, my most favorite book in the whole world was Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.

It's fun to see books that we love turned in to movies.

What are some of your favorite books that made the big screen?

Large art for cheap

One of my favorite home decorating projects has been this
The store version was $550.
My grand total was under $5.

It started out at this large canvas that I purchased for $1.
Most people don't see the potential and wonder why anyone would want this old super 70's painting for their home.

I am always on the lookout for large pieces of artwork that I can transform.
They are getting harder to come by, but I did happen on to this landscape scene for $7.
The frame is what drew me in.
I purchased it at an estate sale and the lady was surprised that I wanted to purchase it.
She told me that her mother painted it years ago.
She said to me "I'm so glad that someone can take this and appreciate it."
Little did she know what my plans were!

I ended up sanding down the paint on the picture to make a smooth surface and painted over the whole picture with a few layers of chalkboard paint.
While I'm not appreciating the picture the way that it was intended, I think I actually like the end result 1000x's better!
Can't you just see fun quotes, grocery lists, drawings and chalkboard art all over the new version?
What do you see potential in that maybe others don't?

Craft Fail book review

We've all had them.
It doesn't matter if you are an expert crafter or someone that doesn't have a crafty bone in their body.
Craftfails are the worst!

It's hard to believe that an expert crafter such as myself would have any craftfails
{please insert your eye rolls and take note of the sarcasm}
but they happen to me all the time.

I get these ideas, usually inspired by pinterest, and think "what could go wrong."
Trust me, things go terribly wrong all the time!

I was laughing out loud while reading this new book by Heather Mann titled "CraftFail When Homemade Goes Horribly Wrong." I could totally relate and have even tried a few of the projects that were in the book.

Sharpie mug craftfail?
Been there done that.

Wreath using a wire hanger?
Yep, screwed that up and broke glass ornaments in the process.

My tissue paper pom poms never turn out the way I want them to, 
I've melted iron on heat transfers more times than I would like to admit 
and don't even get me started on the recipes I have tried and failed.

I've even had a few craftfails that turned into happy accidents.
As my mom used to say, you never know until you try.

If you have a crafty friend, CraftFail is the perfect book for them this Christmas.
Or add it to your wish list.
I promise, you will be laughing out loud while shaking your head in total agreement at the over 100 projects featured.

What was your worst craft fail?
C'mon, I know you have one!

Dressing up on Halloween isn't just for the kids!

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

I'm not one to buy clothing for my dog.
She doesn't wear sweaters in the cold or rain gear when it's pouring.

However, Halloween is a different story!

Sophie, our four year old golden retriever got her first Halloween costume this year.

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My 12 year old daughter snapped this picture and the look on Sophie's face is priceless.
She tolerates us, bless her heart!

The photo of Sophie lion is too good not to share, so I uploaded it to my instagram account.  It was so easy to add the hashtag #DGPETCOSTUME.

Your pet could be featured on the Nestle® featured special Halloween experience on

Simply upload your favorite pet Halloween photo to instagram or twitter and include #DGPETCOSTUME

 photo screenshot.png
If you don't have a costume for your pet yet, don't worry.        
 You can find DIY pet costumes at the Nestle® and Purina® pet experience at


Now if you will excuse me, I am going to go make the 3 for 100 mini pumpkin muffins from the recipe on the site.

Go explore!

You will never know what you will find, but with trusted names like Nestle® and Purina®, you can't go wrong!

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A gift for my jr. dog sitters

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

My kids have always been animal obsessed.

We would take in every stray dog we could find, visit every weekend pet adoption clinic and spend time at any and all petting zoos.

It took us three years of convincing my husband to allow us to get a dog as a pet.

It's been nearly four years now since we adopted Sophie and we can't imagine life without her.

Occasionally, we head out of town for a trip that Sophie can't join us on.

I'm thankful that we have trusted pet sitters in my sister and brother in law and their two girls {3,1}.

Our pet sitters were in the same boat that we were in.  
They would desperately love to add a furry member to the family, but at this time in their lives, they know that they are just not ready, which is why the enjoy the occasional visit from our puppy, without the full commitment of pet ownership appeals to them.

I like to thank my jr. dog sitters with an occasional treat for their help in keeping Sophie entertained and fully loved on while we are gone. I recently saw these PAW Patrol Pups at Walmart and think that they would make the perfect dog sitter gift for the girls.

 photo PAW-Logo_zpsa9240623.jpg

No job is too big and no pup is too small for these PAW Patrol pups! The hit show on Nick Jr. is a favorite of any animal loving kiddo.  All of the PAW Patrol characters have special features that are ready to be unleashed for an incredible transformation.

Marshall has water cannons
 photo MARSHALL_OpenPack_zpsd6e596ec.jpg
Skye has wings {and she's pink!}
 photo SKYE_OpenPack_zpsf0b6562d.jpg
Rubble has a digger
 photo ROCKY_OpenPack_zpsd8b5c1a7.jpg
and Chase has super sniffing powers!
Together the team is ready to jump into action while working on missions that will inspire friendship, teamwork and bravery in your children.  

These PAW Patrol Pups may just keep the girls busy and creating their own adventures until they get to have a real adventure of their own when Sophie comes to play. Pick them up at Walmart today.


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12 month onesies custom order

Earlier this month I received an e-mail from a reader who wanted to buy a set of the 12 month onesies that I created for baby shower gifts several years ago.
I don't normally take orders and I don't have a shop,
but I thought I could whip up a set for this lovely lady who was buying them as a shower gift for her sister.

I think they turned out too adorable not to share!
They are gender neutral since the mama to be doesn't know what she is having.
I always love the side by side of the smallest onesie and the largest one.
Those babies grow fast!

Since the mama doesn't know what she is having, I threw in a little gift...
a bow tie for him or a flower headband for her.

I sure wish these were around when my kids were little.
How fun to track their growth each month!
Do you do anything to document each month for your babies?

Fabric pumpkin tutorial

I've been on a role lately creating and crafting pumpkins for my fall decor.
Last week I shared with you a whole week of pumpkin projects from birch candle holders made from a faux pumpkin, to ruffle pumpkins and a few other projects in between.
This week I'm sharing with you a tutorial for fabric pumpkins.

It's been over a year since I picked up some designer fabric swatches from the Goodwill outlet in Seattle. Like any good hoarder crafter, I didn't know what I was going to do with the swatches at the time, but I kept them in a box ready to use when inspiration struck. They were great pieces of fabric, just not quite big enough to make a pillow, so I was stuck...until, I decided one day to make a fabric pumpkin. That's what everyone does with $280 a yard fabric right?!

I started by taking the fabric and cutting a rectangle.
You can make your pumpkins as big or as small as you would like.
Turn the fabric inside out and stitch up one side.
The other side will be on your fold, so no stitch needed.

 Turn your fabric inside out and move your seam down the middle.

Take a long piece of thread and a needle and about a half inch from the bottom start making a wide stitch around the whole length of the bottom.

Once you sew all the way around the bottom gently pull your thread gathering the ends of your fabric.

From the inside of your pumpkin reach down to the base and pull the unfinished ends into the inside of the pumpkin and with your leftover thread stitch the ends together on the inside.

Fill your fabric tube with stuffing and repeat the same process on the top of your pumpkin that you did on the bottom.  This time, use an even longer piece of thread since you will be making the pumpkin segments with it.

Once your top is gathered squish together your pumpkin and push your needle and thread all the way through the bottom.  Once it goes through the bottom pull it up through the top.  Repeat this process as you make the various segments on your pumpkin.
Finish the end by knotting it.
Add a twig through the top for a stem.

They aren't perfect, but they are fun don't you think?!


Jeans. A wardrobe staple.

Jeans are a part of my uniform.
I decided early on that I would do my best to get dressed every day, 
even if all I was doing in my day was cleaning, wiping noses and playing games with my three littles.

{Two of my three in 2003 at Pike Place Market, Seattle}

I didn't always used to like jeans. 
I remember going through a phase in 5th and 6th grade where I wouldn't wear jeans.
I was such a petite kid that I had a hard time finding jeans that would fit when I was that age
and no on likes to be hiking up their pants all the time.
One of my favorite pairs of pants were actually knit.
Like a sweater.
Yep, I was super cool!

Thankfully, that phase was short lived and I found out how diverse jeans really are.
I love that you can dress them up or dress them down.

My three kids all live in jeans now too.
Now that my oldest son is done with his growth spurt he's been begging me to invest in a pair of designer jeans for him.

He's been eyeing True Religion brand jeans.
Aidan is 16, so his go to pair of jeans are slim fit.
Apparently it's what all the kids are wearing.

These hand picked men's slim jeans have everything he's been looking for...
slight distressing, classic slim fit with an edgy take, skinny but not too skinny..
all in a great dark wash.

While my husband has a professional job
{he's an engineer}
he doesn't meet with clients and rarely gets out of the lab or away from his computer.
His go to uniform for work are a good pair or jeans and a nice t-shirt.

My husband sticks with boot cut jeans
{he's tried, but just can't pull off a pair of skinny jeans}
and since he wears the jeans to work, he tries to stay away from any distressing or holes.
The Danny boot cut would be a good pair for him.
He's not one that likes to stand out, so the simplified pocket detail on the caboose is a good feature.

This fall, I keep coming back to my skinny jeans.

I'm a big fan of the Victoria mid rise skinny jeans.
I can wear them with a pair of tall boots, ankle boots or ballet flats.
I even love this dark distressed wash because it can be dressed up and they don't look like grubby lounge around pants.
I wore a pair like this when I subbed for 5th graders last week. 
I paired the jeans with a button down shirt and a blazer and I must say, while I wasn't sure about wearing jeans to "work" I think I still looked professional and ready to teach.

Are jeans part of your uniform?
What's your favorite pair?

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