A Lovely Little Party..Crafts, Appetizers & More..

This most recent party I planned was one of my favorites. So many cute ideas that can easily be used for the upcoming holiday gatherings!

I have had a blast the past few months! My daughter turned two and just so much going on as a family. We have really taken steps to just lay back and enjoy the small moments as a family. And we love to celebrate birthdays here!

I have always been a fan of brunches & lunches for my friends growing up. My best friend and I would go all out, even on a Saturday morning after a night of mayhem in our younger years. Plus party planning just runs in my blood. So I love that I get to channel that enjoyment into my own children’s parties now.

They get to help with the crafts, the baking and so much more. The end results and their pure fascination with it, is bliss and worth the busyness.

My little cutie loves Tinkerbell, so she had a spread that was fit for a fairy. It was such a fun variety of flavors and so many things to try.

 

The Food: Bite Size Appetizers, Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives, Cheese & Meat Plates, Fruit Kabobs, Mini Pancake & Berry Bites..

Mini PB&J Shapes Bites, Local Popcorn & Cheeseballs in Bags, S’mores Snack mix, Veggies Tower with Buffalo Dip, Cramberry Cinnamon Apple Dip, Ranch Dip & Crackers

The Dessert: Mint Chocolate Chip Icing cupcakes, Strawberry Vanilla Cake and cupcakes (the best I have had, no joke)

The Crafts: Wooden Tinkerbell Fairy Wands, pompom ball toothpicks for appetizer bites & “You are Loved” pumpkins, Butterfly Banner

The Drinks: Water, Lemonade, Soda & Berry Bellinis

Decor: things I already owned around house, like flowers, vines and wooden platters, lace tablecloth & photo frame from her room with free print out

It was so much fun! The food was so good and the kids loved it. Check local produce and deli and just pick variety of fruits & veggies, along with fun dips to try. The deli should have lots of cheeseballs and meats like prosciutto, salamis & more to add to your spread.

The blue cheese stuffed olives I found in my local super store and they were amazing! A lot of places have good stuffed olives.

I used a lot of Anthropologie bowls, wooden serving platters & decor I already had around my house. So the woodland fairy theme came together nicely!

I also had a play station set up for boys and girls. There was a pink fairy table & pirate table with crafts my kids made & party favors. But I got too busy to remember those pictures! And a drink station that I loved. But again, I was too wrapped up in my cutie and it was so rainy so pics didn’t have good lighting!

The crafts…were so simple!

Wands– wooden dowels, hot glue gun, ribbon, bells & stuffing…

-Cut desired shape and glue together (I chose heart shapes) , leaving a little hole to poke the stuffing into..

-Insert wooden dowel and glue the hole shut once stuffed

-Tie a ribbon onto the dowel just below the shape, tie an additional piece of ribbon that has the bell on it to the dowels and glue the knots on ribbon to dowel.

I added a little Pom Pom ball to mine to resemble Tink’s similar little fluffs. I also plan to make a Christmas themed one too so stay tuned!

Pom Pom Toothpicks -Pom Pom balls and toothpicks

Simply insert the toothpick into the Pom Pom ball. Then use as utensils for the bite size cheeses and meats like picture. Also to stack mini pancakes etc… cost $2 total & made a ton! So cute too.

“You are Loved” Pie Pumpkin for decorating craft to take home- pumpkins, tags and twine, stamp & paint

 

Take tag and just stamp your desired message and paint choice onto gift tag, then tie to pumpkin stem. I get my paint and stamps from Hobby Lobby and many to choose from.

– decorate with glitter, stickers and more at the party for a project the kids will enjoy.

 

Then they can take it all home!

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10 Ways To Have An Eco Friendly Home & Save Money…

We are all realizing to look for better food to consume, so let’s take this a step further and really crack down on unsafe chemicals found in our products. Some items pollute the air… in our own home even…and some products waste our money buy breaking down over time.

  • Things like the soaps you use, the cleaning products, and even down to your shower curtain can be toxic. So it’s important to know ways to keep the air clean and smell fresh without all the toxic products. 

  • Indoor air can be almost 100x worse than outdoor air. Causing asthma and disruptions to the natural healing process of our bodies.

So here are my favorite products I use throughout my house and methods that keep my mind at ease and reduce waste. You will save money by ditching all the pointless cleaners, plastic bags, candles and all. This stuff will leave your home clean, disinfected & smelling great.

•Amber Bottles$10

These are great because they won’t break down like plastic bottles. Plus they are cute and perfect for concocting your own cleaning recipes with essential oils. Natural cleaning solutions with vinegar, lemon and water are way safer than most spray cleaners. I love mine! I make my own air freshener and cleaner.


•Wool Dryer Balls$10

wool balls are the perfect solution for keeping your clothes soft and static free. Plus you will save a ton of money on dryer sheets. Spritz a little essential oil on these and pop right in to the dryer. Save money and save your air from synthetic fragrance. Dryer sheets can be very toxic. And these last for sooooo long! I haven’t used dryer sheets in years thanks to these. They work wonders.



•Air Purifier$85

It is nice to have one of these to help clean the air from what we pollute it with inside our home. These actually rid the air of germs, so it’s great for protecting the family and visitors from spreading illness. This is the best investment. We love ours!! Keeps the home smelling fresh as well.

•Ditch Plastic & Toxic Kitchen Items

Links to items below..

Try Stainless Steel/Silicone/Glass/Bamboo/Mesh

I decided to ditch all the old plastic in the house this year. Many plastics may be safe to use but break down over time and become an issue again. It disrupts the natural functions of our bodies. So I replaced all my children’s cups and even mine to meet some safer guidelines and it wasn’t more expensive.

I actually saved money switching from plastic tumblers to masons jars and steel straws. Because I don’t have to constantly replace cups.

I still have some safe plastic choices and I look out for the code number you can find on the bottom of your plastics..we look to buy options with the number 2 & 5! I buy reusable plastic/silicone bags for some snack containers instead of those typical sandwich bags at the store.

And stop using bottled water!!! Invest in some cute options to take your own water on the go. I only buy water out if I have ran out or forgot to bring my own.

Many toys now come in recycled plastics options such as Green Toys and they also make safer dinnerware choices for kids too. (More on kids toys and money saving tricks coming soon for Christmas!)

And don’t forget the shower curtain…they are one of the worst indoor air pollutants! We buy polyester washable curtains.

You will save because you won’t run out or need to replace constantly! Items are usually $10-$15 or way less…and last. I use all of these items below daily for food storage, drinks and snacks.

-Silicone Sippy Cup Lids

-Stainless Steel Straws

-Silicone Food/Snack Storage Bags

-Mesh Fruit/Veggie Bags

-Mason Jar Drinking Lids

-Glass Food Storage/Oven Safe

-Beeswax Reusable Food Wrap

-Washable Fabric Shower Curtain

•Charcoal Bags $15 5 pack

Perfect for a little extra indoor air cleaning and helps remove odors! I have one on everyone’s closet door handle. Charcoal helps kill odors and keep air clean naturally. These little bags are cute too.

Salt Lamps$19.99

Salt lamps release positive ions into the air which are great for your health and mood. I sleep next to one every night to offset all the things in my room that my be harmful to our air. They are calming and said to help with indoor allergies.

Plants-So stock up on some of the best plants that actually release fresh air into your home! I prefer ivy, aloe & peace lilies since they are so low maintenance. I keep a plant in each room of the house. It’s so comforting and adorable for the decor of your home.

•Safe Soap/Cleaner & Essential Oils

Essential Oil Bundle $14.95

-Cool Mist Humidifier/oil diffuser

My favorites are tea tree, lemon and lavender. Thieves oil is great for cleaning. Avoid eucalyptus if there are young children in the house though. I love to use vinegars and baking soda as my main cleaning agents. All these agents clean and disinfect countertops, toilets and even floors.  Just use those amber bottles to store it!

Seventh Generation makes wonderful cleaning supplies that disinfect home too…Especially if you aren’t familiar with oils or just need the power of a good disinfectant quickly.

And if ditching candles and plugins to get the clean house smell doesn’t sound appealing go for Beeswax candles and burners! They actually help the air instead of bogging it down with fake fragrance.I love to use a diffuser & cool air humidifier to freshen up my home.

You will save money because oils go a long way.

Reusable Napkins/Cleaning Cloths$3.99

I ditched paper towels a long time ago. I realized I was going through them way too much, so I stocked up on some tea sack towels and starting using old rags to clean. Money saver!! I still will have paper towels and things for parties and such but keep it to a minimum.

•Reusable Tote Bags$2-5

I love canvas bags and use them for everything. I use them as a diaper bag even! But they are great to keep in the car for when you want to run to the farmers market or a quick store trip. Why do we need fancy bags anyway??

This works just fine. And usually less then $5.

I’ll do more on how to become a minimalist in many ways. Going to store shouldn’t mean a different cleaner for every room and surface. (Except lovely wood!) Doing this will cut down plastics and chemicals around you and your family.

Natural Scents For The Home

I love having candles. But with my children’s allergies and such, I am not able to have too many artificial scents throughout the home. It always seems to interrupt their air quality and makes their coughs worse. So I keep candles to a minimum now or just use the best candle options mostly.

Having children was a quick way to learn that fragrance was a bad thing. Their skin would break out, they sneeze and wheeze.

We keep things pretty natural here. I actually prefer the smell of natural soaps and scents so much more now. Nothing better than a freshly bathed babe who smells like honey and lime over chemicals.

But I soon realized soaps weren’t the only problems for fragrance and added chemicals.

My beloved candles and plug ins had to go. But thankfully I have found my favorite way to freshen up the home…

If you don’t have a cool air humidifier that you can drop a few essential oils into…just burn a few things on the stove!

Here’s my favorite scent right now. It is so simple to make and your house will be smelling like a fresh baked pie in no time…and there are a few different ways to achieve it too..

Ingredients for stove stop scent:

  • Orange peels
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground clove
  • Ground nutmeg
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice

Bring a small pot of water to a boil and add the orange peels. ( I store my children’s fruit peels in a mason jar throughout the day for this) Once the orange peels have had a few moments to soften up, add all the spices except pumpkin pie. I just sprinkle in a little of each. About 1-2 tsps.

Next, lower heat and let simmer, stirring occasionally.

I like to add a few dashes of pumpkin spice towards the end for an extra burst of scents. Pumpkin Pie Spice is just a mix of these spices and more so it’s nice to add a bit before I take it off the stove.

Add a dash of frankincense or thrive oil too for a stronger scent.

Another way to achieve this smell is simply through essential oils in boiling water or an air humidifier.

Just boil water and add a few drops of orange oil and another oil like frankincense or thrive (which is a blend of a few different oils and smells delightful)

Just watch out for some oils like Eucalyptus when it comes to young children. I use very little Thrive oil when boiling or putting in an air humidifier since it contains Eucalyptus.

I promise you this works wonders though. I usually do this when I’m done cooking dinner. I’ll throw all this on a pot on the back-burner and by the time we are almost done eating you can smell the divine scents filling up your home. Just in time to snuggle up with some Cocoa 😉 Enjoy Loves!

4 Ways to Use Pumpkin: Vanilla + Pumpkin Body Scrub, Pumpkin+Honey Face Mask, A Latte & Cinnamon Roasted Seeds..

Even though Halloween is near, we still have a lot of Fall weather to enjoy and more holidays to come after. And I love to make the most of something, so you better believe I kept the insides of our pumpkins after carving. Plus, after Halloween, pumpkins go on MAJOR sale so you can get them next to nothing and make all things Pumpkin in November too.

Pumpkin has major health benefits for you and your skin. It’s packed with fiber, vitamin C and potassium. It’s great for wrinkle prevention and helps keep a healthy heart.

And these things will make great gifts or party favors.. Or just enjoy them all to yourself!

Here are the best ways to use the inside of your Pumpkins…or even canned pumpkin as well..

Vanilla+Pumpkin Body Scrub

Ingredients

  • Puréed Pumpkin
  • Brown Sugar
  • Almond oil (or oil of choice)
  • Pure Vanilla Extract

Combine ingredients together until desired texture. I use about 1/2 cup of pumpkin purée with 1/2 cup brown sugar then a few drops of the oil and vanilla. You’re skin will be glowing and smooth!

If using the inside of your carved pumpkin, remove your seeds (and save them!) and then blend some of the pumpkin with a splash of water until you get a creamy pumpkin purée.

Honey+Pumpkin Face Mask

Ingredients

  • Pumpkin Purée
  • Honey
  • Turmeric (optional)
  • Apple Cider Vinegar

Take about 1/4 cup purée and combine 1 tbsp honey, 1 tsp turmeric if choose & about 2 tsp ACV. Apply and leave on for 10-15

Vanilla Pumpkin Latte

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp Pumpkin purée
  • 1 cup hot coffee
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice

Heat the milk, purée ( & sugar if desired) in a saucepan over medium heat..once it’s hot remove and add the vanilla, Spice & coffee and whisk. Then top with whipped cream!

Cinnamon Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients

  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Cinnamon
  • Butter
  • Maple Syrup
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice

Clean Seeds if they came directly from your pumpkin. Rinse and boil, then dry. In a bowl melt about 1-2 tbsp of butter then add cinnamon, maple syrup and spice. You can add sugar or brown sugar if desired..toss the seeds in mixture.

Roast in the oven at 300 degrees for 20-30 minutes, make sure you place seeds on parchment paper before roasting & toss every 15 until you get desired crunch.

These are my favorite ways to use my pumpkins! Oh so good and my skin is oh so smooth…what are your favorite ways to enjoy the seasonal fun?!

Childhood Art Project: Glow in the Dark Pillowcases

We love making things for our home. So for Halloween this year we decided to make Glow in the Dark pillowcases with each child’s artwork.

I drew little outlines for them to color in. We did our favorite shapes and colors. And they look oh so cute in the dark!!

The kids beg to sleep with these now. You can make cute Halloween themed ones or just makes ones to keep year round like we did.

You can find fabric paint at just about any store in the craft section. So get started for some family fun!

What you’ll need…

  • Glow in the Dark Fabric Paint
  • White Pillowcases
  • Paint Brushes

Have kids get creative or if you have toddlers draw a design for them and help them.

Let it dry for 24 hours and gently wash before use.

I love how they came out. It’s such a fun thing to see them get excited about. I want to see what designs you guys come up with too!

8 Ways To Fall In Love With Fall…

Ya know….I didn’t always like these last colder months. Shocking if you know me! But I loved Summer. I hated when Fall rolled around because it meant you were stuck inside for months. I then realized, that’s no way to live. So I found fun things I could do each season to make the best of it.

And now after years of having fun with the Holidays, I love it more than any other time. It’s full of family and relaxing..what’s not to love? So if you need help letting go of Summer, I’ll be sharing ways to get you feeling Fall too.

And your home should be your safe haven. Where you feel comfortable, where you can cook or watch a movie and feel completely cozy. I don’t care at all to be “basic” as they say…these little things make me happy!

1. Add some Autumn colors to your beauty routine..I love dark reds this time of year! It’s nice to keep it simple after all the funky Summer colors…

2. Buy a new mug..there’s nothing like sipping a warm cup of coffee, cocoa or cider while cozied up inside…so have a mug collection that you adore.

3. Buy seasonal magazines…if you’re a little lost on what to do for fun or create, these will have your back..

4.Decorate! Even if just a small space..head to Target Dollar Spot or any local store for some cute decor..it’ll give you something to look forward to and have fun doing..

5. Get a new sweater or scarf…I love buying way oversized sweaters for this weather. I live in leggings, boots and sweaters..Basic & Amazing!! Target has some great deals right now too.

6. This time of year, I care not to gain a few pounds. Enjoy the baked goods and warms soups with reckless abandon. I stock up on all things pumpkin as well. I keep a little treat jar and yes it does have candy this time of year and not just fresh baked! Extra credit if it’s seasonal candy..

7. Stock up on cozy scents, blankets & socks. I love to have people over to sip spiked cider while dressed in our favorite, comfy best. I have plenty of cozy blankets to go around while we enjoy the sweet smells of vanilla, pumpkin candles. It’s so relaxing and casual.

8. Apple Picking & Pumpkin Patches..enough said. Even without kids, this is still 100% okay to do.

I will have lots of more fun ideas and share our pumpkins for this year like I always do! Can’t wait to see what everyone is doing to prepare for the Holidays…..much love everyone!