10 Fun board games for kids!

In our house, we love playing board games! We have a closet packed with them. We really play them a lot in the winter when it is too cold to play outside. Since Christmas is right around the corner I thought I would share some of our favorites with you! (With the links to buy them on Amazon! Just click on the name of the game and it will take you there!)

I love getting the kids games for Christmas since I know it is something that will actually be played with for more than 5.2 seconds on Christmas Day!

So, here is our list of our top 10 games! Some are new games, and some are more old school from my childhood!

*also, I know that some of these aren’t “board” games, but I included them anyway!

1. Catan Junior

This has quickly become one of our favorites! The object of the game is to have all of your houses on the board. To build houses you need to collect resources to buy ships and then eventually houses. This one took a few times of playing for the kids to really understand it, but now they are pros!

2. Jenga

I mean who doesn’t love Jenga? Of course my children love anything that comes crashing down and they don’t get in trouble for! There is also a giant size Jenga, but we haven’t been brave enough for that one yet!

3. Disney Princess Cupcake Party

Alice got this for Christmas two years ago and we still love it. Everyone gets a princess inspired cupcake recipe that they have to make one piece at a time. Different icing, cake, topper, and wrapper for each one. This one is super fun and easy! (This one is my favorite!)

4. Cootie

Cootie! Before we started buying games for our kids I didn’t even realize this game still existed! But it does! This game brings back childhood memories and I love that I can share it with my kids too! If you have never played before the object of the game is to build your “cootie”….head, legs, body, eyes, etc. Sometimes this game goes quickly and sometimes it takes a while! Although we do occasionally have arguments over the kind of legs or eyes someone takes, its still fun!

5. Doggie Doo

When my kids said they wanted this game, I thought it was ridiculous, but it’s actually fun and hilarious! You put the little squishy “doo” in and then your squeeze the dog leash according to the spinner and the air pushes the doo out….if it comes all of the way out on your turn you are the “winner” (if you can really call yourself that!) of that round. You have to try it! This is another easy and super quick game!

6. Wig Out

I love this card game! There are a bunch of different people with different hair, the object is to get rid of all the cards in your hand. Once you have a pair you lay it down and then anyone else with a matching card can lay it down. The first person to get rid of all of their cards wins!

7. Ants in the Pants

Another classic! I am absolutely horrible at this game, but Cash loves it! Simply, you try and flick your colored ants into the farmers pants! If you get all of your ants in first…you win!

8. Mouse Trap

You guys,mouse trap…what can I say about this game….the kids LOVE it! Even though it takes me about a million years to get it set up right! They do play it for a long time, so I guess it’s ok! Mouse Trap is all about collecting your cheese and trapping others in the Trap!

 

9. Pop the Pig

This is another game the kids got for Christmas. I find this game funny, you feed the pig his colored burgers and push on his head the number of times it says on the burger until his belly gets full and “pops”. This is another one that’s super easy and quick!

10. What’s in Ned’s Head?

this last one can get pretty intense in our house! There are a bunch of random things in Ned’s head….a spider, skeleton, worm, etc….and you can also add your own things too. You draw a card and there is a picture of an item, everyone sticks in their hand to try and feel the item. The first person to pull out the right item wins that round. Lets just say we get pretty competitive if more than one person has a hold of the item that we think is correct! I know you are thinking that this sounds easy, but it’s suprisingly hard to feel the correct item!

So, that’s our list of favorites so far! This Christmas I’m hoping to get the kids version of Ticket to Ride and the Disney Princess Candy Land!

If you have a favorite board game leave it in the comments! We are always looking for new games!

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Our First Family Halloween Disney Cruise!

Hello friends!

So, a couple of weeks ago we took the kids on their first Disney Cruise! Jesse and I went on our first one earlier this year and you can read about that here. This time we decided on the Halloween on the High Seas 7 night Caribbean cruise! There are so many different options when going on a cruise from port stops to themes (Halloween, Christmas, Marvel day, Star Wars day). For our first family cruise experience we weren’t really concerned about specific ports, but Alice and Cash really wanted to do a Halloween themed one!

The Disney military rates are awesome, but you have to be ready to go on short notice, and they don’t have them on every cruise. This time we only had 1 specific week that would work with our schedules, so we booked through Costco Travel. We got a small discount and a Costco cash card.

We sailed on the Disney Fantasy ship this time and had a total of 3 full days at sea and we stopped at 4 ports. So, I’m going to be splitting this into two different posts because I have so much info to share with you! This is all about our days at sea! (my next one will be all about our port adventures!) .

Halloween on the High Seas

So, lets just start with the ship!  When you first walk on to the ship the first thing you see is the huge pumpkin tree in the lobby! (they have a little show the first night to “light” the tree,  it is super cute!).  The windows are decorated like jack-o-lanterns, and the Mickey heads have been turned into pumpkin Mickeys!

Then on to our room! we decided to go with an inside room. Disney doesn’t want anyone to feel like they have an inside room, so we have a port hole that shows a live feed as if you were on the outside of the ship….and Characters came to visit us in the port hole. Alice and Cash LOVED it! (and the inside rooms are cheaper…BONUS!!) The rooms are small, but i feel like they are not as small as people expect. We had our bed and then the couch pulled out to a bed and the bunk bed comes from the ceiling. Our awesome hostess gets all the beds ready every night and then puts them all away every morning so you have more room to move around.

One thing that we didn’t know about on our first cruise was decorating our door! Its so fun to walk down the halls and see every ones decorations. This time we had to participate!

*side note…every single person that was working on the ship was absolutely amazing. It really feels genuine that they want you to have an amazing vacation. They are always making sure you know whats going on, giving you tips on the best places to sit to see the fireworks, making sure you have anything you need! Everyone was great, but Caila (our hostess) took the best care of us and our room….she also made us the most awesome towel animals every day!

 

 

On SHIP ACTIVITIES

Since I’m starting with ship activities I have to share where we went the very first morning on the ship…Alice and Cash got to go to a part of the ship that most people don’t see…..the Health Center…aka the hospital! Leaving our room Cash’s finger got smashed in the extremely heave room door! all I was really looking for was a band-aid, but they are very thorough, they checked it out to make sure it wasn’t broken, cleaned it, gave me band-aids and ice packs… and a popsicle!  Then we had a few follow up calls to our room to check if he was ok! Luckily, that was our only incident and the rest of the trip was “smooth sailing!”

 

The kids club

Kids club on the ship is available for ALL ages, and it is incredible! I was impressed with how organized and safe the are was (I don’t know why I was surprised, i would expect nothing less from Disney!) Each child is issued a wristband at the beginning of the cruise and that is how they go in and out of the kids area. They can not be checked out by anyone but a parent and that parent must know a “secret word” to sign them out! They also communicate through the Disney Cruise Line app if your child wants to be picked up, or if there is a problem.

 

There are so many activities in the club that you couldn’t possible do all of them! They have general play…coloring, crafts, movies, tablets, a star wars area, a pixie hollow section, etc. But they had the most fun at the scheduled activities. they have cooking classes, science experiments, scavenger hunts, character meets, crafts, and games.  I feel like they could talk forever about all of the fun things they did! Alice and Cash didn’t spend a ton of time just playing in the kids club (they wanted to be in the pool! Lol) but they both definitely wanted to be in there for specific activities. So each day we looked at the schedule for the day for them to pick out which ones they didn’t want to miss!

Their favorites were  Pluto’s pajama party, Alice did a Doc McStuffins pet vet activity where she met Doc, and Cash loved playing GAGA ball! (which I still don’t really understand how to play! LOL)

Family Activities

 

Now, outside of the kids club… to the “family ” activities… there are movies in the movie theater (usually the most current Disney movies. there was Incredibles 2, Ant man and the wasp, and Christopher Robin). Movies playing all day long on the big screen by the pools (these are usually kids movies, until night time and they switch to more adult ones).  Then, there are the Broadway style shows! This time we saw Aladdin! I was so excited for this one since the movie is one of my favorites! It definitely did not disappoint! we all loved it! We also saw the “Believe” and “Wishes” shows that were great too! Obviously, we needed popcorn and souvenir mugs to have the full experience!

Yep, that is filled with popcorn!

Next are the outdoor activities! They have a basketball court and mini golf on the top deck of the ship. Two pools in the family area that are very kid friendly. one is a shallow pool and the other is about 5 feet deep. a water slide for kids, a splash pad for little ones, and another splash pad for older kids!

Alice spent a lot of her time in the splash pad! “finding Nemo” themed, obviously!

 

Then, the BEST part is the AQUADUCK! this is so fun and i think Alice rode it about 15 times! (Jesse and I also rode it while the kiddos were in the kids club!) “What is the AQUADUCK?” you might ask….A huge water slide that you ride in a 2 person tube and goes around the whole outdoor pool area….and it lights up at night!!

Jesse and Alice on the AQUADUCK

Special Events

Since this cruise is Halloween there are themed activities! Although, the whole ship is decorated for Halloween the entire time, there is a specific Halloween day on the cruise that has trick or treating around the ship, which was a lot more chaotic than I thought it would be!

I’m not sure what I really expected with that many people, but it was still fun! The Characters are all dressed in their Halloween costumes, which is a fun photo opportunity too! They also have Halloween crafts and a party in the kids club area, and then a family Halloween party too!

 

Besides the Halloween activities we also had Pirate Night which I love!!!! So many people (including the characters) dress up it their pirate costumes! there is a Pirate dance party and a “pirate show” on the pool deck complete with fireworks!

Alice was living her best life with ALL of the dance parties!

Then when you think it cant get any better you have the late night Pirate buffet! So much yummy food!

Alice and Cash tried crepes for the first time!

 

HUNGRY?

Speaking of food, lets talk about ALL OF THE FOOD! I could probably do an entire post about all of the food, because it is so good! Breakfast was available at a restaurant each morning, or Cabanas for the relaxed buffet style breakfast! (Give me all of the Mickey Waffles!!!)

Lunch was at Cabanas or by the pool there are quick service dining with pizza, hot dogs, burgers, salads, chicken strips.

Each night of the cruise you rotate between the restaurants for dinner (the kids can also eat in the kids club too!) and your servers follow you to each one!

We had some awesome servers, they had games and puzzles for us and made Alice and Cash some fun origami things to keep them busy. Of course the food was amazing, we even tried some things we would never try…like Ox tail soup! (it tasted like beef stew, if you were wondering)

but obviously our favorite part was the dessert every night!

ANNNDDD…. the unlimited Ice cream cones. I couldn’t even keep track of all of the ice cream cones we ate.

Then, if you are not completely stuffed by the time you get to your room at night, there is ROOM SERVICE!! Alice and Cash thought it was the coolest thing to order room service! and did I mention its free? ( we did tip though!) Yummy Mickey Ice cream bars and cookies delivered to our room! we definitely did that more than once! …. and now I’m dreaming of the warm chocolate chip cookies!……

So, I think that pretty much covers all of the on ship info I have! If you have any questions about a Disney Cruise, leave a comment and I’d be happy to answer!

Stay tuned to hear about all of our Port Adventures!!!

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Fall is my favorite!

I’m finally getting around to putting up my fall themed post. The weather FINALLY feels like fall in St. Louis, yesterday it was still in the 80’s, but today…FALL has arrived!! Although I was tying to take advantage of  the extra warm temps, I was hoping we wouldn’t skip fall all together and go straight to winter! I love all of the seasons for different reasons, but i think Fall is my favorite! Give me EVERYTHING pumpkin flavor!! (last year my favorite was pumpkin pie poptarts! They were so good! but I haven’t seen them this year!) Also, my house needs to smell like I am baking a Pumpkin pie EVERY. SINGLE. DAY!! I love it!

Since this is my “fall” blog post I’m including my new coloring page I created for you!

Alice says she “loves” this one!

So just click on the picture below to download and print as many as you want! 

 

I can’t think of anything more relaxing than snuggling under a blanket by the fire place and coloring!…well, ok, maybe a quiet kid free hotel with room service and a bubble bath would also be nice, but I’ll take what I can get!

DECORATING!

I feel like there are people that go all out on their fall decorating, but that is not me! I really wish it was….maybe someday!  I love seeing peoples porches filled with pumpkins, skeletons, and other decorations! I feel like I’m always late to the party, by the time I think to decorate its almost time to take things down!  ( i mean it is almost the middle of October and I’m just now putting up a fall blog post!)  But slowly each year I am trying to add decorations for each holiday/season. This year I created a really cute and simple table centerpiece. All things I bought from Walmart!

I just found a couple bags of beans in the colors I liked and these cute little pumpkins that were only $1 each! I already had the glass dish at home! Super easy!

I’m also going to try making a “fall” wreath for our front door! If it turns out well I’ll share a little tutorial on here!

FAMILY ACTIVITIES!

Like most, I enjoy the cooler temperatures after a hot summer. I think i could live in leggings and hoodies! But I think what I love most is all of the activities that take place in fall! Apple picking, pumpkin picking, hay rides, bonfires, trick or treating,…and the list goes on!

My absolute favorite fall activity is picking pumpkins! We usually go to Eckert’s because that’s where we go to do all of our fruit picking too, But the last couple of years we have gone to Stuckmeyer’s Farm since it is about 5 minutes from our house! I love them both and I feel like you cant go wrong with either place! We haven’t gone yet this year because of being on vacation, but hopefully we will be able to go this week!

This year I thought it would be fun to create a bucket list of all the fun things we want to do this fall! I thought I would share it with you all! I have one version already filled out for you.

or I have a blank one that you can add all of your fall favorites to!

I hope you all have a little bit of fun with the free downloads I created for you, and I hope you enjoy ALL of your favorite fall activities!!

 

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DIY glitter shoes and Taylor Swift

Is there really anything better than glitter shoes and Taylor Swift? Well, maybe, but they are both pretty awesome! Last week I took Alice to her first ever concert! It was so much fun! A few days before the concert we decided we needed some glitter shoes to wear, because obviously, everything is better with GLITTER! So, i started searching Pinterest and watching YouTube tutorials on how to make them. Now I will say that there are a bunch of different ways to make them, but I chose the easiest! (obviously!)

Materials

all you need for this method is

MOD PODGE

GLITTER

SHOES

PAINTBRUSH

MASKING TAPE

the process

These were SO easy to do. You can easily do this to an older pair of shoes you already have but, I picked up some $5 canvas shoes from Walmart. This would also be fun on a pair of heels too!

First step is to mix glitter into some mod podge. I did 1 part glitter to 2 parts Modpodge

Next you need to tape off any part of the shoe that you do not want glitter on. I did try a few different ones. Duct tape worked well, but it left a lot of sticky residue that I had to clean off after we were finished. Painters tape wasn’t sticky enough, but I found that masking tape worked best. It stayed in place but didn’t leave any stickiness behind.

Now you need to paint on a thin layer of your modpodge/glitter mixture in sections.

While it is still wet, pour glitter on top and shake off the excess

(if you just want to add some glitter to the shoes and not be completely covered, skip the step of pouring on the glitter, you can just do thin layers of the mixture until there is the amount of glitter you want, just make sure you let them dry in between coats)

Once that is completely dry you will want to do another coat of modpodge on the top to seal them so you don’t have glitter falling off.

 

When you are doing a project and no one is home to take pictures for you, its hard to do things one handed and take pictures at the same time! Lol
This is what they will look like after the top coat of modpodge. Don’t worry it will dry clear!

 

Let the shoes dry for 24 hours, then peel off the tape and they are ready to wear! (Unless you used duct tape like i did on one and then you have to clean off all the sticky residue! Ugh!)

They turned out super cute! I’m not sure if they will stay perfect forever, but its a super fun project and they are holding up well so far! I will say make sure you do THIN layers of the modpodge. Alice made hers by herself and her layers were pretty thick (you know, 6 year olds!) and hers are cracking some. But mine are still great!

 

 

And  I’m sure you are wondering “How was the concert???”

WELL, It was AMAZING! I’m really not a big concert going person, I cant even remember the last one I went to, but I knew we had to go to this one! Alice and I both LOVE Taylor Swift and she puts on a great show! She was on stage a solid 2 hours and there were fire works, countless costume changes, huge snakes, light up bracelets, and she rode in a giant gold glitter ball to get to the smaller side stage (RIGHT IN FRONT OF US!!). She sang all of her new songs and a bunch of her old ones too!

It was so fun to see people of all ages there to enjoy the concert! I saw whole groups of grandmas, moms, and young daughters all there singing and dancing together (and men too, I’m not leaving them out! There were plenty of guys there too!) and I’m not sure if its every concert but people went all out on their outfits for the concert. I’m talking full out costumes! Super creative ones! They were awesome!

So… We sang, danced, took pictures, bought insanely expensive snacks and T-shirt’s! It was totally worth the money and I’m so glad we got to experience it together! If you get a chance to see her in concert I would for sure recommend going!

Alice was so excited when Taylor came to a side stage right in front of us and sang “shake it off!” I think her life was complete in that moment!

Definitely a night we will both remember!

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Disney cruise with out kids?

When I tell people that Jesse and I went on a Disney cruise without our kids people are usually surprised. (unless they know our love of disney, and then it isn’t a surprise at all!)  We decided to go with Disney for a couple of reasons, one was that we had been told that they are the best(by other friends that had some cruising experience), and second was….we LOVE Disney everything! Since we were planning on doing a cruise with the kids, and since it is so expensive we wanted to do a small one  just us so we could judge what kind of cruise we would do with them!

This cruise was 4 nights and went to the Bahamas, stopping at Atlantis and Castaway Cay (the Disney island) I have to say that I was shocked at how many people were there WITH NO KIDS! One couple we sat with at dinners was there celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary, they said they had been on a few other cruise lines when they were first married and nothing compared to Disney, so they have been doing Disney cruises for almost 20 years! (this was just their opinion, we obviously have nothing to compare it to, so we are just taking their word for it)  I wanted toour experience with Disney, and not having anything to compare it to. So, here are the reasons I think you should do a Disney Cruise with out kids!

AMAZING FOOD!

I dont know about you, but I get hangry. So, this is why the first thing on my list is FOOD! Being surrounded by amazing food all day every day, sign me up for that!

On the ship there are 4 standard restaurants that you rotate through each night for dinner. there are also 2 fancy restaurants (we are not eat fancy food kind of people) and an awesome buffet every day. Disney wants every aspect of your vacation to be out of this world, and it definitely shows through the food! Each of the restaurants have their own theme and had the most amazing food, now im not talking burgers and fries (although if that’s what you want the buffet is where to go!), im talking the most delicious steak, chicken, and seafood! ( and what is awesome is if you liked something specific from one restaurant, no problem, they will make it special for you at the restaurant you are at that night!)  the main courses were great, but i will tell you the desserts……

SO GOOD!!!!!

you want 4 desserts? no problem….you want a mickey ice cream bar? sure thing! anything you could possibly want, they will get for you! Then there is also room service!!

Just in case you haven’t had enough food there is unlimited ice cream cones on the pool deck!

PLANNED ACTIVITIES

ON THE SHIP

I honestly do not like to plan vacations, I hate doing the research. Jesse usually plans them. Which is also why i loved this vacation. There are so many activities planned for your days at sea that you couldn’t possibly do them all! They have everything from a movie theater, to live musicals, cooking classes, spa treatments, trivia, drawing classes, and towel folding classes! which we most definitely did!

Check out that dinosaur!

They have a schedule printed out in your room every day so you can decide what you want to do at what time! Depending on what kind of cruise you go on, they have special events like Pirate night (which is the one we did) with themed food, shows, fireworks, and the characters are also dressed for the occasion.

How cute is Pirate Mickey??

They have others like Star Wars Day, christmas, halloween, and avengers which all include their own special activities.

EXCURSIONS

You definitely do not have to do an excursion through the cruise line, but I think it is a lot easier that way, again no research and planning to do on my part. Each day at a new port all of your tickets for your activities are in your room for you!

We stopped at two ports on our 4 day cruise. Each one has many different options. We did the water park excursion at Atlantis and that was so much fun! I wish we had more time there because the lines were pretty long. There were 2 other cruise ships there and then the people staying at Atlantis. Then we went to Castaway Cay.

This was my favorite, since it is the private disney island it wasn’t very crowded. We snorkeled (because Disney is awesome they made a bunch of “ruins” for you to find under the water like Mickey and Minnie) we went on a bike ride, and rented rafts to float in the water. Another perk of this stop is your lunch is free because its their island…and more unlimited ice cream cones!

The water was gorgeous!

 

ADULT ONLY TIME

I know when people think of a Disney Cruise they think “KIDS EVERYWHERE” but that just wasn’t the case for us! Even in the main pool there weren’t a ton of kids. I’m sure there are times of the year that have more kids than others. But, even if there is more kids there is an entire section of the ship that is adults only! Adults only pools, hot tubs, and places that are just quiet to relax! Also a whole section dedicated to adult night life, bars, lounges with entertainment (musicians and comedians depending on the line up) a nightclub, and adult specific activities like cooking classes! Disney really makes sure adults enjoy themselves!

Clearly I think a cruise is a great option for an adults only vacation! Really I think you should do a trip anywhere without kids! (if possible) I think parents need time to just be husband and wife instead of mom and dad all the time.

We are leaving in a couple of weeks for our 7 day Halloween cruise with the kiddos so I’ll do a new post comparing the experience!

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Shibori class with indigo dye!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE taking new craft classes! For my birthday this year my awesome Mother-in-law (Laura)  took me to a Shibori dye class. I had never even heard of it before, but when she asked me if I wanted to go, of course my answer was YES! I have to say it was so fun! We took the class at a place in St. Louis called Perennial. They offer so many different classes from wood working to  sewing basics, to upcycled mosaics. Such a cute place! I mean, being surrounded by craft supplies is pretty much my dream!

What is Shibori?

Shibori is a Japanese technique of dyeing fabric using indigo dye to create a pattern, it has been around for hundreds of years. There are a few different techniques that include folding, using clamps, using rubber bands,pole wrapping, all to give you a different pattern.

Now, lets get to the fun part!

For the class everyone could bring any fabric that they wanted to dye. That was super fun because we got to see how different each project can be!  I brought two pillowcases i purchased from IKEA! Laura brought some cloth napkins, and some others brought fabric scraps, and T-shirt’s!

The technique that we learned involved folding and using clamps. Our instructor showed us a few different folding options and had so many clamps, stencils, and clips to choose from to create a unique pattern.

 

The clamps hold the shaped stencils tightly in place to keep the dye from getting to that fabric. So, (hopefully) the areas covered by the stencil will be white, and the other parts of the fabric will be blue when you are finished!

For the class we used synthetic indigo dye. So easy to make and they sell kits you can find in craft stores and on Amazon . You need to submerge your project in the dye for a few minutes, if you want it to be darker you can take it out for a few minutes and the put it back in the dye…..and….make sure you wear GLOVES!

The coolest part (I think) is when you take it out of the dye and its a bright Yellow/green!

Then you take the clamps off and unfold to hang to dry!

The dye reacts with the air and turnes the dark traditional blue!

My patterns didn’t turn out quite like I thought they would, But I still love them!

 

This class was so fun! This is definitely a project you could try at home! I would suggest doing it outside because its pretty messy! I cant wait to go back to Perennial to try out another class!

 

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DIY floating shelf tutorial

Like many of our DIY projects it starts out with me saying “you know what would be cool…” and insert any part of the house i happen to be looking at at the moment…. the floor, the wall, the bathroom, you get the idea! This is usually followed by an eye roll by Jesse and then a trip to Home Depot! I’m pretty sure deep down he loves my many ideas. This great idea was for a long wall in our kitchen.  I am slowly figuring out what to put on it (I am not great at decorating!) and I decided  a floating shelf to put our snow globes on would be perfect!

Back story

So you might be thinking, why do i need a special shelf for snow globes, well these aren’t just any snow globes, these are from DISNEY WORLD! When Jesse and I went to Disney for the first time (glorious times of traveling care free with no kids) there was an entire wall in a store at Downtown Disney (old school Disney Springs! ) They were beautiful and we decided that each time we went to Disney we would get a new snow globe. So now fast forward to many trips later and they don’t have snow globes anymore!! What’s up with that Disney?? So we have 4 of them that I love to have out on display.

Now, lets get started with this project!

Supplies

for the frame you need a 2”x3” board and 2 1/2” wood screws

for the outside you need a 1”x10” board and 1 1/4” wood screws

3”-4” screws to attach to the wall

wood filler

sander or sandpaper

water based paint

water based poly

Let’s get started!

The first step is to build the frame. To me, doing this step first seemed way easier than deciding how big you want the shelf to be and then do all of the calculations for the inside frame. Since wood that you purchase from the store isn’t the exact dimensions it says it is. Which I think is weird!

You can decide how big you want your shelf to be. I needed it pretty big so we did 8.5”x34” for the frame.

the 2×3 is what you use for your frame. Cut your wood the dimensions you decide for your shelf and then screw them together. You are just making a rectangle

*side note… we had to actually remove one of the long sides when we were screwing it into the wall, so you might just want to leave that off for now!

Now, you are going to make a box out of the 1×10 that the frame fits inside! Since you made the inside frame first you can just measure that so you know the exact measurements for the box! We used a pocket jig to attach these boards, but you definitely don’t have to have that!

This is what it will look like when you put the frame inside.

 

After you screw those pieces together you will need to use your wood filler to fill in where you screwed it together  and if there are any big knots in the wood that you do not want to see. then sand it. If you want it to be a more rustic looking shelf you can sand just enough so it doesn’t give you splinters!  I wanted mine to be pretty smooth.

Next you need to paint or stain the outside

 

Finally, you need to protect it with a couple of coats of polycrylic protective finish. If you used water based paint you need to use water based poly. They need to match or they will bubble and peel. The poly gives it a nice glossy look that I really like.

Now, since I am putting some pretty heavy snow globes on the shelf  we needed to attach it into a couple of studs. We pre drilled holes into the studs and we used 4” screws….And this is where we had to take off one side of the frame because he couldn’t fit the drill in the frame…OOPS!

After it is secured to the wall you will need to attach the last piece, so now it will look like this! Depending on how big you make your shelf or what you are putting on it, it is possible you will need to add some extra supports into the frame.

NOW…. you just slide the box on top of the frame!!!

TA-DA! You are finished! Your new shelf is ready and waiting for you to decorate! And, because I know you are dying to see them…. here are my snow globes!

 

I absolutely LOVE how it turned out, and I had Jesse make me a smaller one for this wall too!

-Jenny

 

 

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Finger painting canvas

 

This finger painting canvas is a super fun craft project you can do with your kiddos, even little ones! Bonus is they make great gifts! All you need is a canvas (the size of canvas is really up to you, but i like to go big because ther is more room) , painters tape, and paint ( I just used regular old craft paint I had around)!

The inspiration

The first time I did this project with Alice and Cash was when they were almost 6 months old! I still remember the tiny fingers! It was Jesse’s first Father’s Day and I wanted him to have something hand made (of course my sleep deprived brain thought that I wasn’t busy enough just taking care of two six month olds!) Since they were babies and we know babies put everything in their mouth, I found a recipe on Pinterest for  Baby safe paint! Doing this by myself with two crawling babies was a mess (as you can imagine) I locked us in the bathroom so I could put them right in the bath tub! The canvas turned out really cute and we still have it hanging on the wall!

Let’s Get Started!

Now, I’m going to be real, this project became a whole lot more complicated this time around than i had intended. The reason? My children! Lol! Sometimes they are way more confident in my crafting abilities! My idea was to put their names on the canvas and then they could hang them in their rooms. They immediately said “I don’t want to do my name, I want to do something fun!” (When did they start having their own opinions??) So I said “ok, what do you want to do?”…that was the wrong question, immediately Cash said “I want a t-Rex!” Well, I’m sorry, I can not create a trex out of painters tape! ….so after a lot of negotiating, we agreed to a Minion and a bow (Alice is obsessed with JOJO and wants to be surrounded in bows!)

STEP #1: tape off your word or design. Every where you put the tape is going to be white when you are finished! Like I said, a name was going to be easy,but these took some time. These will make super cute Christmas gifts, if you like home made gifts! (Obviously I do!)  you could do “I love you” or “maw maw”, etc.

*side note. If you happen to have a silhouette or something you can cut out your design with vinyl and then peel it off when you are finished! This really opens up your possibilities!

And yes that line of colors you see is ALL of the colors Alice insisted on using! The girl loves color!

STEP #2 :  finger paint all over the canvas (and again, my children did not want to finger paint, so we used foam brushes) the finger painting obviously isn’t necessary, but i think its more fun!

In theory this project was designed to just be an easy 1 color paint it all and be finished, but….

STEP #3:  after all of your paint is dry you just peel off the tape and you are finished!

For Cash’s minion we added some things after we took off the tape. You obviously have need the minion goggles and hair!

What is great about this project is you can make it as easy or complex as you want! Ours took a whole lot longer than i thought, but they had so much fun, and loved what they created!

 

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Family day at Eckert’s Farm

There are so many great places to visit in STL that your whole family will enjoy!  Bonus is that most of those places are FREE! From the Zoo, to the Science Center, to the City Garden. We usually try and do free or cheap things on the as often as we can! Over the weekend we went to one of my favorite places! ECKERT’S! (Although it is in Belleville, IL, I still consider it a St. Louis-ish place to go since it is so close). I feel like this fits in to the cheap category since you don’t HAVE to spend money there to have fun, and if you do spend money its on fruit and you would probably buy it at the grocery store anyway!

If you are from St. Louis or the surrounding areas and have never been there, you are missing out! We go at least a few times a year!

Things to do

Eckerts has so many things to do for the family! Our favorite of course is “pick your own” fruit! You take a fun tractor ride out to the fields to pick your fruit! The fruit you leave with is paid for by weight just like at the grocery store. Depending on the time of year they have strawberries, blackberries, peaches, apples, pumpkins, and Christmas trees!! It used to be free to take the tractor ride out to the fields, but now they charge a $1 or $2 fee per person depending on the day.

Besides pick your own, there is a country store to buy fruit and produce, cooking classes (for adults and children) a restaurant, ice cream, and special activities for holidays. We go to the Easter egg hunt there every year!

This trip

We had a lot of rain last week so Cash’s soccer game was cancelled Saturday morning at the very last minute…like putting on his shoes in the parking lot last minute. So, since grandma and aunt Amanda were already with us we decided to pile in the van and head to Eckerts! This trip was specifically for peaches, those are Jesse’s favorites. But, I’m pretty sure we picked the best possible weekend to go EVER! Not only did we get to pick peaches, we also picked apples, veggies, AND fresh flowers! I definitely think this little fairy’s favorite part was the flowers!

I mean, these flowers were beautiful!

 

It’s so fun to watch the kids search through the trees for the best ones!

And the best part….you get to eat as much as you want when you are picking! Do we take full advantage of that??? Absolutely! Apples and peaches were our lunch that day!

We did end up with quite the haul of apples and peaches! We also came home with some corn and tomatoes! Somehow they are so much better when we pick them our selves!

Have you ever been to Eckert’s before? Or do you have another farm you visit? We are always looking for new places to try!

-Jenny

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Rachel Hollis is my spirit animal

So, I know Rachel Hollis isn’t an animal, but I feel like saying she is my spirit animal is the most accurate way to describe how i feel about her. I’m sure this isn’t the first time you have heard the name Rachel Hollis. Seriously, this woman is inspiring to say the least! She has her own company that she has built from the ground up. She speaks all over the country, created her own conference, has not one, but two podcasts (one by herself, and one she does with her husband focused on marriage). Oh, did I mention she is a New York Times best selling author?! This woman lives to empower other women and make them see their own potential. Not to mention she is hilarious while doing it! We definitely need more Rachels in the world!

Girl,Wash your face

So many friends, and people on social media were recommending this book, so i had to join! I will say this book definitely lived up to the hype! I highly recommend it! If you are a stay at home mom, CEO, small business owner, or anything in between you should read this book! I laughed, and I cried and every night when i finished a few chapters all i could say was “this is SO good!”  Each chapter starts out with a lie Rachel used to believe (and what many women believe) about herself, and then in the chapter she unpacks why that lie isn’t true.

Rachel just released a 45 page FREE “study guide” to go along with her book. To get access to the study guide you just need to go to her website The chic site and sign up for her weekly newsletter. I’m excited to read it again with the added study guide.

RISE

I can not even tell you how badly i want to attend her RISE WEEKEND conference. I will go someday! My friend and I went to see the “Made for more” documentary in the movie theater a couple of weeks ago. The whole movie was showing what it is like to attend this two day conference. IT WAS SO GOOD! I mean, so good. In the dark movie theater i kept thinking, i need to be taking notes! My favorite line was when she said “you did not come this far, to ONLY come this far”. I feel like that line can be applied to any aspect of your life!

If you need some inspiration in your life, pick up her book, listen to her podcast, or even follow her on instagram! She is hilarious! Pretty much I want to be Rachel when I grow up!

Have you read her book yet??

-Jenny

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