DIY Flocked Christmas Tree Using Supplies from the Dollar Store

Being from the midwest I am a fan of a white Christmas. It doesn't happen often around here, but I love it when it does. Couple that with childhood memories of a sweet flocked Christmas tree that was deemed "the kid tree" and I decided to try my hand at flocking my own tree this year. I walked into the local Dollar Tree {you all know how much I love that store!} and picked up all the supplies I needed for under $5. I think the end result is pretty spectacular! Keep reading to get the full tutorial on how to flock an artificial Christmas tree using supplies from the dollar store.
side by side of a flocked christmas tree

shaving cream mixture flocking a christmas tree

Don't miss my whole series on What Not to Buy at the Dollar Store

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Easy DIY Christmas Tree Basket Stand

Growing up my uncle had a Christmas tree farm. One of my favorite childhood memories was going up to the farm to pick out two live Christmas trees every year. While my parents were setting up the trees in their various locations around the house, the kids had an artificial flocked Christmas tree we used to set up in the hallway upstairs. We would surround it with our stuffed animals and it was something we could easily decorate on our own, unlike the 12-foot-tall trees we got for the other parts of the house. I loved that we had a tree that was all our own. 


I can't seem to shake the feeling that it isn't Christmas if I don't have more than one tree decorating the house. I picked up a small artificial tree this past summer at a garage sale for $2 and I decided that it was the perfect tree to work some magic on. I loved the idea of our old flocked Christmas tree, so I did a little DIY flocking. {more on that tomorrow! You aren't going to want to miss that tutorial.} All of the supplies were from the dollar store and it was so fun and easy.

artificial Christmas tree in a basket

Another recent trend that I'm loving is using baskets as a base. I saw a few Christmas tree collars lining the shelves at the store, but I was pretty sure that I could DIY a basket for a similar look. And I did. I just love how it turned out. Read along for the full tutorial on how to create your own Christmas tree stand basket.


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Cookies and Cream Smoothie Recipe

Our blender gets used at least a few times a day. What can I say, we all love smoothies of every kind? Coffee smoothies, fruit smoothies and of course, dessert smoothies like this cookies and cream smoothie. What's not to love with this creamy and delicious smoothie topped with whipped cream, chocolate drizzle and of course crushed Oreo cookies? It's going to be your new family favorite too! Check out the recipe and make it today!

freakshake oreo cookie smoothie recipe

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6 Essential Black Friday Shopping Tips

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

Black Friday shopping has evolved and changed in the past few decades since I've been taking part. Store hours are creeping backward and instead of a one-day event, it's more of a weeklong anticipation with previews and special prices and sales leading up to the main event. We still get a paper delivered and I used to love the Thanksgiving delivery because I'd sit on the floor in front of the fire and spread all the circular ads out in front of me. I'd thumb through each ad circling the items that caught my eye and then I'd develop a plan of action. I've found an easier way to do it and I love it just as much! We live in a world where there is an app for that. Isn't it a great time to be alive? I'm going to share my 6 essential Black Friday shopping tips and how you can streamline the process to find the best deals and make the most of your limited time.


sitting in a Target shopping cart doing holiday shopping



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How to Raise a Confident Daughter

5 Foolproof Ways to Raise a Confident Daughter


It wasn’t all that long ago when my little girl bounded confidently out of her room dressed in ladybug rain boots, a shirt covered in stars that announced something like, “Be Unique!”, and mismatched socks, and declared herself ready for school. Sometimes I really miss those days.

Now, the much more common scenario is my teen frantically declaring that she has “nothing to wear!” despite the huge piles of clothes that liter her floor.  And that’s only the beginning.

Research shows that during the tween years, a girl’s self-esteem drops significantly. The pressure to look a certain way, act a certain way, and perform to a certain level can be overwhelming and even detrimental to our girls. In the early years, she doesn’t know anything about those pressures. But much too soon the weight piled on top of her to meet and exceed the world’s expectations can be crushing.

How can we as parents combat this problem of low self-esteem? What can we do to instill confidence in our once innocent and carefree daughters?

mother and teen daughter

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DIY Rosemary Place-card Wreath

I don't host Thanksgiving. We normally have around 50 of us around a table, so decorating and doing fancy little touches like these DIY rosemary place card wreaths, just isn't possible, but that doesn't mean it's not any less fun to play around with them this time of year and put together some fun tablescapes. But maybe you do. And maybe you are looking for a fun way to add a little festive touch to your holiday table. These DIY rosemary wreaths would be perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas. They will last up to 4 or 5 days so you can make them ahead of time for your next holiday party. I've got the full tutorial. It's easy!

rosemary holiday wreath

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40 Things I am Loving in My 40's

I turned 40 in September and I was more than ready for it. I think having a kid in college ages you. I think I'm really going to love this decade though. I've been thinking about all the things I'm loving right now and thought I'd put them together in a post because being 40 kind of allows you to decide what you love and it gives you the permission to leave behind the stuff you don't. That said, here are 40 things that I'm loving right now. I put a LOT of effort into this post, so I'd love it if you checked it out because coming up with 40 awesome things is a lot! I even leave you with a little challenge at the end if you care to accept it! 

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Easy DIY Velvet Acorn for your Fall or Thanksgiving Tablescape

A few weeks ago when my husband and I took a quick trip through NYC, one of the must see's on our list was to stroll through Central Park. While we were exploring...ok fine, while I was waiting for my husband in the bathroom, I found a whole pile of acorn tops. I started picking them up and putting them into my purse. I'm not much of a souvenir person. Sure, I like collecting things from where I've been, but I don't want to just collect things for the sake of collecting them. It was then that I realized that I could make a pretty cool souvenir with the acorn tops.  I could display them in the fall and they would remind me of our trip to NYC. You don't have to travel to Central Park to make these DIY velvet acorns, but you will probably need to take a stroll to your local park or in your backyard to get started.

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5 Tricks to Decorating on a Budget

I do not claim to be an interior decorator. Heck, I could probably use someone to help me, but I do know how to stick to a budget and replicate high-end looks at a fraction of the price. I have decades of budget decorating under my belt and want to share my secrets so you can decorate on a budget too! Here are 5 of my best tricks for decorating on a budget. 

mango wood and metal coffee table
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5 Tips to Make the Most of a Quick Trip to NYC

I was recently invited to a conference called Social Media on the Sand at Beaches Resort in the Turks and Caicos Islands {more on that later}. Getting to the Caribbean isn't the easiest thing to do from the west coast, so my first thought was, let's look into flying into New York for a few days before heading to the conference. If I do say so myself, it was a genius idea. 

Not only did it break up the long, multi-leg flight, but it also allowed us a quick visit to New York City and an opportunity to quickly get onto the east coast time zone we'd be in for the next week. The last time I was in NYC was a quick stop in after a visit to New Jersey to visit my grandmother. It was 1984 and there was a complete restoration project of the Statue of Liberty happening. My most vivid memory isn't of the visit to the city, it was of being marched from room to room in my small town Indiana elementary school with polaroid pictures of the lady liberty in hand sharing my visit with every single classroom after that Christmas break trip. People in Indiana in the 80's did not get out much apparently.

With about 36 hours and six zillion recommendations from friends and family and of course the interwebs, we checked off many of the to-dos on our NYC bucket list. I've got 5 tips so you can make the most of a quick trip to New York City.
foggy new york city from top of the empire state building
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Beaches Resort: More Than Just a Vacation

It started with a backpack.

In 2014 I visited my World Vision sponsored child in Uganda. Moses was 9 so I packed a backpack full of school supplies and of course, a soccer ball. We started sponsoring Moses when he was a toddler. We don't speak the same language {though he's learning English in school}, but we communicate through drawings. Every letter we've received from Moses has some beautiful hand-drawn picture on it and I reciprocate with some stick figure of my own on my letters. 

It's our thing. 

world vision sponsored child in Uganda, Africa

School supplies can be hard to come by. 

In rural places like the town Moses lives in Uganda, it's nearly impossible. Many school kids I met were using brown paper bags folded together to create a rough notebook of sorts that they would use the whole school year. 

I've since traveled with backpacks filled with school supplies and special items in my luggage to Zambia, Bangladesh and now the Turks and Caicos Islands. I've started looking at it as a gift of gratitude to the countries that are hosting me. I learn something every time I step foot on foreign soil, it's the least I can do to give back. It's why I was so excited to see that the Sandals Foundation was taking part in Pack for a Purpose when I went to visit Beaches Resort for the conference Social Media on the Sand.

Sandals foundation packing for a purpose

Packing a backpack full of supplies in my suitcase wasn't the only way Beaches Resorts was giving back to the community. When you travel to Beaches all-inclusive resort, it's more than just a vacation, it's an opportunity to engage and empower the community you are visiting.
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