Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Petz Beach Game



Anybody else as crazy as I am and already starting some holiday gift shopping? I like to get a head start so that I don't feel stressed and agitated near the holidays when I want to relax and soak up the festivities.

I have a great gift idea for the gamers in your life. We recently got to try out the new Petz Beach game for Nintendo 3DS! This is a really fun game for all kids!


The franchise that has sold over 23 million units worldwide is back and more interactive than ever. Petz fans will embark on the ultimate adventure in Petz Beach, where players can care for a variety of dogs, complete quests to expand their village and connect with other Petz owners.

My boys loved the freedom they had in the game to explore so many different things! I love that creativity aspect of the game. There are more than 50 different types of animals in the game from dogs and cats, to dolphins and whales. Because the environment in game changes with the seasons, the adventure lasts all year long!





As players explore the town and meet new neighbors with their pets, the game expands and grows. Helping new friends will expand the village as the game progresses. Through its partnership with Encyclopaedia Britannica, Petz Beach incorporates learning along the way. As kids care for their pets and complete missions, they’ll learn facts about animals, plants and insects!

I loved seeing my boys have fun with this game! 


You can purchase the Petz Beach game on Amazon and get it in time for the holidays. It will make the perfect gift. Also be sure to check out the Petz Countryside game that has the same fun experience in a different environment!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

wanna spoon? {apostrophe s craft kit}



Last month I spent a fabulous weekend in Arizona with my high school girlfriends--a trip we plan in a different city every couple of years. Each trip is jam-packed with non-stop talking, eating, shopping, more talking, and very little sleep. And it's always over too soon.


But this year we found time to add one more thing. . .crafting! What took us so long? Maybe the thought of coming up with a craft, buying all the supplies, and and figuring out how much everybody owed me was just too daunting. But then a fabulous new company called Apostrophe S came along and made it so EASY. I picked a craft, ordered the kits, and shoved them in my suitcase. Done! I was hooked as soon as I saw the cute packaging that all their crafts arrive in. . .


I pulled out the kits late one night while we were sitting around in our jammies chatting. Our late night crafting party was probably the first time during the weekend that there was a pause in the conversation!


I chose this darling painted spoon craft for my friends and me to make. The "Wanna Spoon?" craft kit from Apostrophe S comes with three bamboo kitchen utensils, four paint colors, a clear top coat, painter's tape, sandpaper, a paintbrush, and leather ties for the spoons. All we really needed was scissors and a cup of water to rinse our brushes. 

Wanna Spoon?

The project was simple to figure out, but in case we needed direction Apostrophe S has a video on their Web site showing how to make this painted spoon project start to finish. We pulled it up on our phones and watched it quickly before we started. 

First we sanded the utensils. . .


Then we taped. . .
 

And then we painted!
 
 

Everyone's spoons turned out different but so cute! Most of us did simple color blocking. 


One friend was feeling more creative and added hand-painted details. I LOVE how her spoons turned out!


These are my spoons--a little simpler but I love them. These would make an awesome bridal shower gift (if I could bear to part with them!).


The cool things about Apostrophe S is that their craft kits are all-inclusive so you can host craft parties for friends without having to gather a bunch of supplies and hope everyone pays you back. And you don't have to all do the same project. Each party guest goes to the Web site and pays for their kit, then all the kits are shipped to the hostess' house. The best part for me is that I can sit down with friends and make something cute that I will actually use and finish it in one night! Perfect because I am the Queen of Unfinished Projects. I've had the opportunity to attend two Apostrophe S craft parties so far. I made this darling Halloween wreath. . .

Wicked Cute Wreath 

And a couple of these Anthropologie-inspired tea towels. 
 

Next on my list is this gorgeous dream catcher that I think would be perfect in my niece's nursery.

Daydream

I am smitten with this new company. Check out Apostrophe-S.com to see all the craft kits in their store and to find out more about hosting a craft party. I promise there will be something there you will just have to make. You can also apply to be an Apostrophe S coordinator and get paid to help crafters set up their own parties (don't worry, it's a low-commitment gig with no annoying upselling or catalogs to hand out). 

Post your finished projects on Instagram and tag me so I can see what you make!

*I was supplied crafting kits by Apostrophe S for this post, but the opinions are all my own.



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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

amazing gluten free chocolate cake {recipe}


One of my very favorite chocolate dessert recipes of ALL TIME is a gluten-free recipe. I keep it on my short list for when I need a dessert to serve to gluten-free friends. But don't let the gluten-free label fool you--this rich, dense, fudgy flourless chocolate cake recipe is out-of-this-world-delicious. Trust me. You'll be seeking out new gluten-free friends just so you have an excuse to make it. Find the recipe here.

Death By Chocolate Gluten-Free Cake


If you or a friend or family member follow a gluten-free diet and you're in the Salt Lake City area, you should check out the Gluten Free Expo this weekend on Saturday, October 11, 2014 at the South Towne Expo Center for lots more delicious options. You can buy tickets online at www.glutenfreeexpo.com

http://www.glutenfreeexpo.com

The expo will feature:
- FREE samples from hundreds of vendors
- Kids corner with bouncy houses and face painting
- Coupons and more coupons
- Cooking Demos
- Medical Lectures
- Hourly Prize Giveaways
- Drew Manning, fit2fat2fit -
- Carol Kicinsk, Founder - Simply Gluten Free Magazine
- Dance contest (for kids)
- Beard contest (we hope just for men)
- Man lounge with streamed live football
- Massage lounge
- Grand prize giveaways
You can read about the GFExpo from NY Times here. Check it out!


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Monday, September 29, 2014

Dollar Tree Anniversary Event

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This post is written as part of a sponsored campaign with Dollar Tree and The Blueprint Social. All opinions are my own.

Is anyone else a big fan of Dollar Tree? I sure am! They always have such great items for holidays, parties, kids and more! And how can you beat the $1 price tag? Well, I wanted to share an awesome event happening…the Dollar Tree Anniversary Event! Celebrate Dollar Tree’s anniversary from Sept. 28, 2014 through Oct. 11, 2014 with tons of new Bonus Buys with up to 58% more FREE for each item! Many of your brand-name favorites are available for a limited time in larger sizes, but are STILL only $1 each. From cleaning supplies and home d├ęcor, to health and beauty care, snacks, beverages, and so much more, Dollar Tree stores will be packed with super savings.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

share awesome

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There are so many special moments in our lives and especially in our children's lives. It is important to me that I capture what is going on with my kids and all the special milestones and accomplishments they reach. There are positive moments in each day and I try to focus on and capture those so I can remember all the fun things we have done together and enjoyed. Sometimes it just comes down to capturing the simple laughter and smiles of my sweet boys interacting with one another. 



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Saturday, September 6, 2014

how to cover a book {tutorial}




This summer I was again asked to be the crafts counselor for our church's girls camp. Crafting is my favorite part of camp, so of course I said yes! We wanted to give each girl a small book of scriptures so we could all read together before bed at night, so each girl got to cover a mini Book of Mormon for one of our crafting activities. It took a little preparation on my part, but it was a hit with the girls and the leaders. Here's my tutorial for how to create a fun covered book, complete with a beaded bookmark. These instructions can be used to cover any book or notebook.

How to Cover a Book

The best material to use to cover books is book cloth, which has a special backing that protects it from the glue seeping through and ruining the fabric. You can find it at places like Paper Source and online, but I found that it is expensive and rather plain--mostly solid colors and not many prints. To save money and give the girls more options, I chose to only use real book cloth on the spine and make my own book cloth from fabric, iron-on adhesive, and tissue paper for the covers, as I learned in this tutorial by the talented Amber of Damask Love. If you want to make your own book cloth, be sure to get the iron-on adhesive and tissue paper listed under Supplies.

Supplies:

Chipboard (find it at craft stores, art supply stores, or online)
Book cloth or Fabric (we tried a decorator’s weight fabric and a quilting cotton and both worked great)
Coordinating fabric or book cloth for spine
Heat ‘n Bond Ultrahold iron-on adhesive
White tissue paper
PVA glue (bookbinding glue–find it at Paper Source or other online retailers)
Foam brush
Narrow ribbon for bookmark
Metal charms for bookmark (optional–find these in the jewelry aisle at craft stores)
Metal embellishments for cover (optional–ours are by Tim Holtz)
Needle and coordinating thread
Scissors, Exacto knife, rotary cutter and cutting mat


First, measure your book. You'll need the height, width, and depth. Now it's time to make your book cloth if you choose to create your own.

How to Make Book Cloth

Using your cover measurements, cut two pieces of fabric twice the size of your covers. Iron them if needed. Next, cut a piece of Heat 'n Bond adhesive about the same size and iron onto the back of your fabric pieces, paper-side up, according to the manufacturer's directions. Peel off the paper backing. Iron the tissue paper onto the adhesive--it only takes 1-2 seconds to bond it. Voila! You have made book cloth!

Covers

Use your Exacto knife to cut two pieces of chipboard that are 1/2" longer than the height and 1/4" shorter than the width of your book measurements. 

Cut two pieces of your book cloth 3" longer and 3" wider than your chipboard pieces. Use a rotary cutter and ruler for the most precise cut. 



Bookmark & Spine

Cut a piece of narrow ribbon 3" longer than the length of the spine. If you want to add charms, thread them on the ribbon and tie a knot at the end to hold them on. We used two ribbons for our books.


Using a little PVA glue, attach the top end of the ribbon to the top of the spine, about 1.5" down. Then tuck the ribbon inside the book so it will be out of your way while you finish the covers. 

 

Cut a piece of book cloth the same height of your spine and twice the width. Spread a thin layer of PVA glue on the book cloth with a foam brush. Center it on the spine and fold it around the cover of the book, smoothing out any wrinkles or bubbles.



Chipboard Covers

If you want to embellish your front cover with a metal accent, follow these directions first. Center a piece of cover chipboard on the back of a piece of your book cloth. Fold each side over to crease it.


Remove the chipboard and, using the needle and thread, sew the metal embellishment to the front of the book cloth. You could also try hot glue, but I wasn't sure it would be a strong enough hold, and I wanted our books to look more professional.





Next spread PVA glue on the cover chipboard and center it on the back of the book cloth using your fold marks as a guide.



 

Trim the corners of book cloth with scissors in a rounded motion, being careful to leave about 1/8" of fabric at the corner. Otherwise your chipboard will show on the finished covers.



Spread PVA glue on each flap and fold over chipboard, smoothing out any wrinkles. 
 

Repeat for back cover.


Now it's time to attach the covers to your book. Each cover will hang over your book about 1/4" on three sides. This will allow a little of your spine to show. Spread a little PVA glue on the back of the covers, avoiding getting glue on the 1/4" of the three overhanging sides. Press and hold in place until it sticks. And you're done!





Our girls had so much fun making these covered books at girls camp this year. Here are a few more covered book tutorials you might like.  And if you're looking for craft camp ideas, check out my other camp crafts for more inspiration!

Japanese bookbinding tutorial {how to make a book from scratch}


Make Your Own Notepads {from scratch paper and card stock}


LDS girls camp craft
Duct Tape Notebooks {and pens!}




*This tutorial was originally published at Skip To My Lou on July 23, 2014 as a part of their Summer Craft Camp series.

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