DIY Easter Egg Banner (Silhouette Project)

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easter banner pin ppm

Easter is coming soon and the best part is that means Spring is here! I absolutely love decorating for Spring/Easter around the house. All of the bright colors, cute cuddling critters and of course the sweets that come along with it.

One of my first projects for the upcoming Easter month and decor included this super easy to make paint chip banner. In all honesty, this project took less than 10 minutes and turned out beautiful! Simply pull out that Silhouette or cutting machine, grab some cardstock paper (or paint chip samples), some twine and you are set to go!

Supplies

  • Silhouette Cutting Machine
  • 8+ colored cardstock pages, scrapbook paper or paint chip samples
  • Black Vinyl
  • Twine

Directions

  1. First of all I used paint chip samples I picked up while purchasing paint for my new house. The samples I picked were 4×6 solo colored sheets. If you have no intention on buying paints, but would like to use paint chip samples, try asking the paint store if they have old or discontinued samples you could have.
  2. With your Silhouette machine (or other cutting machine), simply open up a new page, draw an egg shape and two tiny circles (for the twine to go through) with your drawing tool, set your blade to 4 and cut.
  3. Again with the Silhouette write the word “EASTER” or if you prefer you could write “SPRING” in Gabriola font. I made my letters 2.5 inches tall. Print onto black vinyl and transfer onto previously cut eggs.
  4. Thread twine through eggs. Tie a loop on each end of the twine to make hanging easier.
  5. Hang over a decorated entry table, atop your hearth or to the place of your choosing.

This project is really very simple and fun to do. The best part is you can easily change the colors and designs around to make it your own.

easter banner ppm

Store Brand Infant Formula – – As Good as the Name Brand (But Less Expensive)

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Did you know that the store brand formula is as good as the big name brands?  The only difference at all is the cost!!

We all know that pediatricians recommend breastfeeding your baby. They also recommend formula, however, because it is the only safe alternative and there are reasons why many moms cannot (or choose not) to breast feed. In fact, according to Parents magazine, approximately 85 percent of moms use formula at some point during that critical first year.

Unfortunately, there is so much GUILT when it comes to infant feeding and formula, and really, there shouldn’t be. We all have to do what is best for our babies…..and a stressed out mom is not good for anything!

If you use infant formula, you probably have tried some of the big-name advertised brands. You may or may not) have tried a Store Brand Formula at your local store. There can be many reasons or misconceptions as to why you haven’t tried a Store Brand Formula:

“We stayed with the advertised brand because it is what we used in the hospital.”

“I get coupons for the advertised formula brand.”

“My doctor gave me a free sample of the big-name formula.”

“I want my baby to get the best formula out there, so higher cost must mean the name brand is better.”

While I can totally understand these reasons (heck, they were some of mine when my oldest was born), these reasons really don’t make much sense. There are some things that many people don’t realize about Store Brand Formula.

Infant formula is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so no matter who makes it, all infant formula brands must meet the same FDA standards. This means all formulas provide a complete source of nutrition for your baby’s first year, whether it is sold in a fancy container with a big-name label or a store-brand label.

The truth is you can save upwards of $600 a year just by using the store brand! Store Brand Infant Formulas cost up to 50 percent less than those advertised brands. Be sure to ask your doctor about switching to a Store Brand Formula.

I recently learned about the largest supplier of Store Brand Infant Formula in the world! Yes – the world! is The company is Perrigo Nutritionals, one of four companies recognized by the FDA for meeting the strict FDA requirements for safety, nutrition and quality for infant formula in the United States. Perrigo’s Vermont-based facility is inspected by FDA and adheres to numerous safety and quality assurance certifications. Perrigo believes it makes the most important products for the most important people…babies. This is why the company focuses on quality, affordable nutrition. This gives me peace of mind that FDA and Perrigo really have the best in mind for your baby.

Coming up, I will share a lot of great information that was passed along to me during an interview with Dr. Lisa Thornton, a pediatrician and a mom! I learned so much from her and can’t wait to share it with you. You’ll have to tune in soon to learn more!

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Perrigo Nutritionals. All product details were provided to me, but all opinions are truly my own and were not influenced by any parties.

Twine Wrapped Easter Eggs & Carrots

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easter egg 2 ppm

Looking for an easy, inexpensive project to help add some Easter flare to your home’s decor? Well these super cute twine wrapped Easter eggs and carrots are insanely easy to make, and perfect for those on a budget as well! In fact I was able to pick up all of the supplies from the dollar section at Target and/or the Dollar Tree. In other words, for less than $4 all together you can easily make up to 6 large eggs and 4 carrots, throw them in a cute bowl with some “grass” and voila!

Supplies

  • 1 package of large plastic Easter eggs (Dollar Tree)
  • 1 package of plastic carrots (Dollar Tree)
  • 1 roll of brown twine (Target Dollar Spot)
  • 1 roll of orange twine (Target Dollar Spot)
  • Hot Glue Gun and Glue
  • Optional: Easter grass (Dollar Tree)

Directions

Honestly this project is EASY PEASY! Simply hot glue around the center egg/carrot (approximately where the egg opens). Take the twine and wrap it around the carrot along the glued spot. Begin wrapping the twine around the egg/carrot until it feels as though it needs a bit more glue to keep the twine in place. Add glue along the way as you are wrapping the twine around. As you get to the top of the egg/carrot you will close it up by making a tight spiral type circle, until the top of the egg/carrot is covered.

Now do the exact same thing for the bottom half of the egg/carrot. Starting on the center of the egg where you began before, place a dab of hot glue and begin wrapping the twine towards the bottom of the egg/carrot. Remember add hot glue as needed to keep the twine from sliding around.

If you want the carrot to have a brown stem (as pictured above). Simply stop wrapping the orange twine once you reach the stem, close it up with some hot glue and cut off any excess twine. Now take the brown twine and wrap it around the stem as directed previously.

twine eggs

This project is great for adding a cute chic look to your Easter decor and perfect for doing with kids ages 6 years and older! Have the kiddos help you make an entire bowl of different colored twine Easter Eggs and fill up a cute basket for your mantel!

DIY – Vino To Go Wine Tumbler (Silhouette Project)

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vino to go

These wine glass tumblers have become quite popular. So why not jump on that band wagon and make a fun yet “classy” wine glass to go for yourself? All you need for this project is a Silhouette machine and a wine glass tumbler (I got mine from the Dollar Tree.) For about a buck you make one of these for yourself, a friend or as a gift for someone special.

Directions

1. Go HERE to the Silhouette store and purchase the grape image pictured above. Or find an image you like better and trace it with your Silhouette app.

2. Using font “Lucida Calligraphy” write the words “Vine To Go”.

3. With the circle drawing tool “draw” a circle. Using the mouse tool move the words “Vino To Go” onto the circle. This will allow the wording to take on the curve of the circle. Don’t worry about the lines of the circle as those will not cut in the end. This step is strictly for getting the wording to curve.

4. Center the grapes under the curved wording.

5. Make sure all words and the image are traced with cut lines. Make sure to put your vinyl on a mat, change your blade to a “2” and send to Silhouette.

6. When the machine is done cutting, weed excess vinyl away. Put on Transfer Paper and center on your wine glass tumbler. (To make sure your vinyl stays on better, longer and is washable you may want to rub the area you are putting the vinyl on the cup with rubbing alcohol to clean off all oils and grime.)

7. Make sure all bubbles are out.

8. Viola you are done! This project is super easy and really only takes about 5 minutes from start to finish!

Easy Weeknight Chicken Fajitas

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These chicken fajitas are simple to make!  You get all of the restaurant flavors - without the restaurant price!!!

We LOVE fajitas!!!  They are actually really easy to make at home.  Just follow these simple steps and you’ll be enjoying them before you know it!

 

MARINADE

You can add your frozen chicken to this marinade and allow it to thaw while soaking up the flavors.  The longer you allow it to marinade – the better!  Anything in the 2-3 hour range is great (although I’ve tossed mine in first thing in the morning and then cooked it at dinner and it was perfect).

1/4 cup fresh lime juice (takes 3-4 limes)
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons apple cider or red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
½ teaspoons chili powder
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon liquid smoke – this is the secret ingredient ( it’s worth it to have a bottle of hand just for this!)
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon onion powder

 

FAJITAS

1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts (about 3 large chicken breasts)
1 yellow onion, cut into thin strips
1 green pepper, cut into thin strips
1 red (or orange) pepper, cut into thin strips
1 teaspoon soy sauce (or liquid aminos)
2 tablespoons water
½ teaspoon lime juice (a quick squeeze of a cut lime)
dash of salt and pepper

 

DIRECTIONS

Combine all marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Place chicken in a ziploc bag and pour the marinade ingredients over the top. Seal the bag and place in the refrigerator and let marinate for 2-3 hours (or longer)

After marinading, take chicken out of the bag and discard the marinade. Grill or broil the chicken 5-7 minutes per side . Remove from grill or pan and tent with foil to keep warm.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat and add the onion and peppers. Stir fry until softened but still crisp tender. Add soy sauce, water, lime juice and salt and pepper. Cook another 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.

Slice chicken thinly on the diagonal and toss with the vegetables in the skillet.

Serve immediately with flour tortillas and top with tomatoes, lettuce, guacamole, cheese, sour cream. Enjoy!!

 

 

 

20 Items You Should Always Buy at The Dollar Store

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Your local Dollar Store can be a hidden treasure trove of deals (as well as lots and lots of misses).  There are the twenty items I would always recommend you pick up at your local store -- and not pay more than $1 for anywhere else!

When it comes to shopping, I am a believer in getting my money’s worth.  However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t still get those quality items you need at the Dollar Store — where you can find them priced at just $1 (or around that price).

I’ve shopped Dollar Stores for years and there are always items I buy there, which I usually don’t pick up elsewhere.  These are items which brand may not matter and/or those items which are disposable.  I mean, if you are going to throw it away, why pay more than you need to!

Here is my TOP 20 LIST of the items you should always try to buy at the Dollar Store.

Birthday Party Supplies - Buy the these at the Dollar Store at a FRACTION of the cost!

 

PARTY SUPPLIES

These are one of the items I always grab at the Dollar Store.  Of course, I usually stock up on tissue paper at the end of Christmas as that is usually even less than $1, but all other items?  I head to my local dollar store!

1. Gift Bags.  If you are giving gifts, you know that the person will probably open the item and toss the bag.  Why pay $4 (and more) at other stores, when you can find them for just $1 at your Dollar Store!

2. Gift Wrap.  This is usually a better deal – just always check the square footage.  Know what you pay per square foot at larger stores, so you can make sure that it is a bargain.  I usually find that it is a better bargain, but there have been a few rare times when I found a good deal at a larger store, which did cost less them my dollar store.

3. Cards.  These are always $1.  I know that when I give a card to someone (even sympathy, anniversary, thank you, etc), they will read it and then, it usually goes into the trash can.  I pay no more than $1 for my cards just for that reason.  If you price cards at other stores, they can be very expensive ($4 and more)!!

4. Decorations.  You can find balloons, table cloths, party hats, party favors and more — all priced at just $1!  These vary in price at other stores.  By the time you complete your decor, you could easily spend $30 and more at a larger store – compared to just $7 – $10 at your Dollar store!

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GROCERIES

I do not buy too many of these items at our Dollar store, as I usually find great deals at ALDI.  However, there are a few things I do pick up there – always!

5.  Movie Theatre Candy.  When my kids are on any type of break, we make stop there for them to each pick up one box of their favorite candy.  It is around $1.25 and more at other stores, so it is not a huge savings there.  However, if you pick it up and put it into your bag before you go to actual theater, you will notice HUGE savings.  Theaters charge upwards of $5 and more for the same box!!!

6.  Spices.  You can find all sorts of spices priced at around $1 at your Dollar store.  These same ones can cost much more at your grocery store – realizing instant savings.

Personal Care Products at the Dollar Store

PERSONAL CARE

Once again, you need to know the prices of the items you purchase at your regular store, to compare the prices.  These are the items I have found are less than other stores.

7.  Band-aids.  I don’t know about you, but my kids think they need a band-aid the minute that they hurt themselves (blood or no blood).  Needless to say, we go through a lot of them.  I pick them up for just $1 a box and keep them handy for those incidents.

8.  Pregnancy Tests.  While I do not need these personally now (whew!), I did many years ago.  It was so much more costly to pick up dollar store tests rather than pay $10 at other locations.  You may be surprised to know that they are pretty accurate too (at least mine always were).

9.  Reading glasses.  This is one I haven’t needed yet, but my mom sure has!  Rather than have just one pair that she has to take with her everywhere, she has multiples.  She keeps on her desk at work, another in her home office, another in her purse – and even one at my house!

10.  Hair accessories.  With two girls, we go through a LOT of hair bands.  (Seriously, where do those little things disappear to at night??).  We have picked up new combs and brushes for them too – and paid much less than at other stores.

11.  Q-Tips.  I’ve tried our dollar brand of q-tips and you know what – they work as well as the name brand!  I’ve even picked up cotton balls which work just the same too (at a fraction of the cost).

12.  Bar soap.  You can sometimes find 2 bar packages of soap for just $1  — much less expensive than elsewhere (and, if you are lucky enough to have a coupon that doesn’t exclude that size, you can save even more).

Home Decor at the Dollar Store

HOME DECOR

This may be surprising, but you really can find some great items!  The great thing is that when you pay less, you can afford to change it out with the seasons (or even as your mood strikes).

13. Seasonal decorations.  From Easter to Halloween to Christmas, you can find some great decor items at your Dollar store — for much less than you will pay elsewhere.  The only thing I would not purchase is anything that is electrical.  It is not worth the risk to pay less.

14.  Vases and bowls.  You can find adorable glass vases to hold your flowers or even bowls for potpourri, floating candles and more!  This is a great way to give flowers to someone and save.  Just pick up an inexpensive bouquet at your grocery store, grab a vase at your local dollar store and you’ve got a beautiful arrangement at a fraction of the cost!

15.  Picture frames.  I’ve found some really pretty frames at our local store.  It is a great way to give a photo of our kids to grandparents — or even spruce up the home with different looks!  I’ve even purchased the cheap wooden frames, sprayed them with silver paint, and turned the cheap one into something fabulous for a gift for my mom!!

Household Items at the Dollar Store -- pay MUCH less!!!!

HOUSEHOLD ITEMS

I’ve also had pretty good luck with many different household items.  Again, watch the quality so that you don’t get anything TOO cheap.

16.  Dishware.  What I love is that you can find open stock dishware to purchase to spruce up your table for that special dinner.  Keep in mind that it is not the best quality, but it can be a fun way to bring in unique decor or colors to your table,

17.  Glassware.  These seem to chip and break all of the time.  You can find all sorts of glassware (and even coffee mugs) at your local dollar store.  These are also sold individually so that you only need to purchase the number you need, instead of an entire box.

18.  Dish cloths and Dish Towels.  No matter how well you launder your dish clothes and/or towels, they tend to wear out.  Don’t spend more than you need to — just pick up a package at the dollar store.  Then, when they wear out or you need to throw them away, you have a new supply of cleaning rags!

19.  Envelopes.  Have you priced envelopes at your local store?  You can pick up a box for much less — just around $1 when other stores may charge $3 and more!

20. Gloves.  I don’t wear gloves that often, but there are times when I need to.  These are around $1 at your dollar store.  Compare these to $3 and more at other stores and you’ve got a bargain!

20 Easter Crafts for Adults & Chilren

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Wanting to get creative this Easter?  Check out this amazing list of 20 adorable DIY and crafts!  Some of these are perfect for adults to make and others will be great to make with your kids!

If you love to make fun items for Easter, then you have to check out this list!  We’ve got TWENTY different ideas (all of which are adorable).  Just click on the link below and you’ll go directly to that site, so you can get all of the details to create it for yourself!

Starbucks Copycat Passion Tea Lemonade

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If you love Starbucks (but hate what it does to your wallet), you can actually make their Passion Tea Lemonade yourself!  Get this simple recipe here!!

No matter what the temperature is outside a refreshing glass of Starbucks Passion Tea Lemonade always sounds perfect. Unfortunately, Starbucks is just so expensive and not on the budget for a daily visit. Thank goodness for this awesome copycat recipe of Starbucks Passion Tea Lemonade at less than $0.25 a cup this drink we can now all indulge as often as we want!

Ingredients
1 Tazo Passion Tea Bag
1 1/2 cups Water
1/2 cup Lemonade
1 TBSP sugar or 1/2 oz Starbucks Classic Syrup
1/8 tsp Vanilla

If you love Starbucks (but hate what it does to your wallet), you can actually make their Passion Tea Lemonade yourself!  Get this simple recipe here!!

Directions
1. Boil water and steep a bag of Tazo Passion Tea into a large mug. Steep for approximately 15 minutes.
3. Remove tea bags. Add sugar and vanilla.
4. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
5. Add lemonade to mixture and serve!

***You will want 1 tea bag per 2 cups of water. 

DIY St Patrick’s Day Wreath Tutorial

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This fun little wreath is not only easy to create - but is perfect for your door or to decorate for your St. Patrick's Day Party!!

Give your walls a little pop of color and fun this March with a St Patrick’s Day Tulle Wreath. This project was super easy, fun and has gets tons of compliments! You can make this wreath as classy, chic or rustic as you would like. I chose to make my tulle slightly “uneven” while you may like all your tulle to be cut at exact lengths and have a more “clean” look. No matter your style the directions are all the same.

Supplies

  • (3) spools of 25 ft crafting tulle (different shades of green)
  • (1) 10″ Foam Wreath

st patricks day wreath

Directions

  1. Cut tulle into pieces 14 inches in length. You will need about 20 of each color.
  2. Fold a piece of tulle in half and wrap it around the foam wreath. Push the ends of the tulle through the loop and create a simple knot. (Make sure to make knots all face in the same direction).
  3. Repeat step 2 while creating a color pattern with the 3 different colors of tulle. Make sure to push tulle as close and tight as possible as to eliminate any holes. The more pieces of tulle you use and the tighter together they are the better the wreath will look!

Daylight Savings Begins on Sunday (Don’t Forget to Change Your Batteries Too)

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Don't forget to change your clocks on March 7th!  You should also use this as your reminder to check and/or replace the batteries in your smoke detector.

Just a friendly reminder that Daylight Savings Time begins this coming Sunday, March 7th, at 2 am (your local time).  While some of you may not change time, you will change the time zone at this time too!

In order to make sure you protect your family and home, this is also the perfect time of the year to change out those batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.