DIY Mason Jar Money Bank

DIY Mason Jar Money Bank

Growing up, we kids always had our own money bank. Mom would give us empty mason jars and we would embellish them with stickers, glitter glue, and anything else that rocked our boats. We hoarded our quarters and dimes and nickels and pennies and the occasional dollar or two. Every so often we would decide to be miserly and dump all our money out and count it.

I decided to do the same thing for Jaxon and fill his jar with our pocket change. Then when it gets filled maybe we can start a little savings account for him and by the time he’s old enough to really care about money he should have a nice little chunk stashed away. All thanks to his thoughtful parents of course.

All you need is a mason jar with a lid and the embellishments of your choice. I chose paint and stickers with a little extra color in the fabric that I glued to the lid.DIY Mason Jar Money Bank Upcycled Recycled I decided to paint the inside of my jar with enamel paint. This is totally optional; if you’re kids are a little older, they might prefer watching the money slowly build up inside their jar. I followed the directions on the back of the paint bottle and painted on two coats of paint with an hour of drying time between each coat. I thought about putting the stickers on as I waited for the paint to dry, but then I remembered, “No can do, cracker jack” (quote: Night At The Museum). I wanted to cure the paint by using the baked method (versus letting it cure for 21 days) so adhering the stickers beforehand would probably have been fairly disastrous. Simply set your jar in a cold oven and turn the oven on to 350 degrees. Let it bake for 30 minutes and then turn the oven off and let the jar cool in the oven.DIY Mason Jar Money Bank Upcycled RecycledDIY Mason Jar Money Bank Upcycled RecycledDIY Mason Jar Money Bank Upcycled Recycled

To make the lid of my jar, I simply hot glued around the edge of the jar lid and then pressed it into the jar ring. To adhere the fabric, I hot glued around the top edge of the lid and pressed the fabric down onto the glue. I did the same thing around the sides of the lid, putting little folds in the fabric as I went so that it would hang nicely.DIY Mason Jar Money Bank Upcycled RecycledDIY Mason Jar Money Bank Upcycled RecycledDIY Mason Jar Money Bank Upcycled RecycledDIY Mason Jar Money Bank Upcycled RecycledDIY Mason Jar Money Bank Upcycled RecycledIf you like, you can cut a slit in the top of your lid to stick the coins into. I used a kitchen shears to cut through the lid. Be sure the sharp edges are pushed to the underside of the lid so that they don’t cut little fingers!

DIY Mason Jar Money Bank Upcycled Recycled

Once the jar was completely cool, (I waited till the next day; no particular reason other than I just didn’t get around to finishing it up on the same day) I had Jaxon help me apply the stickers to the outside of the jar.DIY Mason Jar Money Bank Upcycled RecycledDIY Mason Jar Money Bank Upcycled RecycledAnd that’s it! A fun little project for your kiddos this summer if they want to earn a little money! There are really countless things you could do with this. You could use chalk paint on the outside of the jar for them to write their names on, they could use glitter glue to write their names, they could cut shapes out of magazines and mod podge them to the outside…just have fun and let them get creative!!

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Strawberry Iced Tea

Summer is upon us and as the days grow hotter and more humid (if you live in the south/southeast that is!) you will be looking for easy ways to cool off. I thought I would share this recipe for Strawberry Iced Tea that I came across.Strawberry Iced Tea Recipe

I made it as my contribution for the “Team Recommends” section of the Daughters of Promise magazine that I am a staff member of. (Check out the website here for more info.) Use your favorite method for making regular iced tea. If you don’t have a method for making iced tea, use the recipe below that my mom always makes.Strawberry Iced Tea Recipe

Strawberry Iced Tea (sweet)-makes 1 gallon

Fill a small sauce pan with cold water. Cover and bring to a boil. When boiling, remove from heat and put in 3 family size tea bags or 8 of the smaller regular size bags, cover and let steep for 10 minutes. Remove excess liquid from bags and add ¾-1 cup sugar to hot tea. Stir till melted. Pour over ice in 1 gallon pitcher. Add water to fill.

For strawberry iced tea:

Blend 2 cups of fresh or frozen strawberries in blender or food processor until smooth. Pour into pitcher with the already made tea. Add water to fill. Squeeze in 1-2 limes.Strawberry Iced Tea Recipe

This makes a refreshing beverage that would be perfect for relaxing on your front porch or in your hammock. You could also serve it at picnics and BBQs.Strawberry Iced Tea RecipeWhat do you do to stay cool and refreshed during the hot summer months?

Office Reveal: Before & After

Office Reveal

You guys, I am SO EXCITED!! The day has finally come for….the office reveal! I have been so anxious to share this with you all because, my goodness, the ‘before’ is a doozy and it makes me happy to see it looking SO MUCH BETTER! This is the horrible, awful before:Office Reveal Before and After Office Organization Office DecorBut let me give you some background before we dive into the good stuff! Ohh the suspense!

We bought our home in March of 2014; it was a foreclosure and let me tell you, it was pretty rough. Think broken windows, holes punched through the drywall in pretty much every single room…yeah. And the office area (what we designated as our future office area) was definitely in need of some help. The office is actually on its second stage of renovation. It had this horrible blue carpet that was also in the rest of the house (excluding kitchen and bathroom) and as you can tell in the before photo, it was very stained from…who knows what…and let’s not conjecture on the “what”. In the first stage of renovation, we took out the horrible carpet and replaced it with laminate flooring. A new window went in, the paneling was painted, and the built-in bookshelf that you can just see on the left hand side was also removed. This served our purposes for the time being, but as time went on we became dissatisfied with the laminate flooring throughout the house. It began to buckle and would actually pop up and down as you walked across it. Annoying, right? Who wants their floor to be moving under their feet as they walk on it?? My dad found a good deal on decking boards used in semi-trailers (yes, you read that right) so we decided to use it in the main area of our home, including the office space. The difference is incredible and we love our new floor! Renovation on the floor began the day after Christmas of last year. I know, we are such go-getters. Let’s not waste a moment, shall we? It took maybe 2-2 ½ weeks to get the new flooring down. Since we were tearing up the floor anyway, we decided it would be a good time to also tear out the paneling that we had originally just painted over and replace it with drywall. *happy dance* (For reals, who does paneling anyway??) SO, in the second stage of renovation, the office got new flooring and new drywall.

And that brings us to this pretty little space:Office Reveal Before and After Office Organization Office Decor

The gray paint does wanders to lighten up the space. To pretty it up, I DIYed several different projects like the bulletin board. Totally in love with my fabric covered bulletin board! Sorry, no tutorial for it, but it was so easy! I just used spray adhesive to adhere my fabric to the board.Office Reveal Before and After Office Organization Office Decor Office Reveal Before and After Office Organization Office DecorOffice Reveal Before and After Office Organization Office Decor Office Reveal Before and After Office Organization Office Decor I also spruced up my drab file folders using wrapping paper and spray adhesive! That tutorial can be found here.Office Reveal Before and After Office Organization Office DecorWhen I spotted the white metal waste can, I immediately thought stripes! The tutorial can be found here.

Office Reveal Before and After Office Organization Office Decor

My hubby was so gracious in building me a floating shelf for extra storage above the desk. It turned out EXACTLY the way I envisioned it in my head. The white boxes hold important documents for each member of the family (birth certificates, passports, etc.) and the large box in the middle holds legal sized documents.Office Reveal Before and After Office Organization Office Decor Office Reveal Before and After Office Organization Office Decor

It is so wonderful to have a space that is organized and ready to use for paying bills and writing blog posts. During the time that we were working on this space all of my office supplies were in complete chaos and it was so hard to keep on track with the bills. Having an organized, intentional place to work makes it so much easier to remember important deadlines for bills and it almost takes away the pain of dishing out all that money. =)Office Reveal Before and After Office Organization Office DecorOffice Reveal Before and After Office Organization Office Decor I absolutely love this space, and I love the process of slowly organizing and decorating my home. I just know it will be so much more enjoyable once everything has its own rightful home and it makes me happy to have this little office space set to rights.

Office Reveal Before and After Office Organization Office DecorOffice Reveal Before and After Office Organization Office DecorMy next organizing/decorating project is the entryway closet! Be checking back to see the final result of that!!

DIY: Bottle Cap Magnets

DIY Bottle Cap Magnets Recycled Bottle Caps

I think drinking soda out of a glass bottle is so much better than drinking out of a can. It seems so much cooler somehow. And even cooler is the bottle caps. They come in so many colors and they are just…well…cool.  Sometime after we got married, I started collecting the bottle caps from glass soda bottles with the intention of recycling the bottle caps into…are you ready for this? Magnets! Yay! Such a fun way to spruce up your refrigerator and so easy too!

All you need to get started are:

Magnetic buttons

 Bottle caps

 Hot glue gun

DIY Bottle Cap Magnets Recycled Bottle Caps

To create your bottle cap magnets here are the two steps to do it! (Yes, TWO!)

  1. Place a blob of glue on the back of the bottle cap
  2. Adhere two magnets stuck together to the back of the bottle cap.

DIY Bottle Cap Magnets Recycled Bottle Caps DIY Bottle Cap Magnets Recycled Bottle Caps

And…done! Easy, right??

Some notes on making them: The reason for using two magnets stuck together is because one is too short to hold the magnet to the refrigerator. The magnets will naturally pull to the bottle cap but the glue will help keep them together. Otherwise, if you try to move the magnets on your fridge, the bottle caps will just pop off.

DIY Bottle Cap Magnets Recycled Bottle Caps

Hope you enjoy sprucing up your kitchen with these recycled bottle caps!

Why I Meal Plan + Tips On How To Do It

Why I Meal Plan Tips On How To Do It

As I write this, my office window is open letting in the most delicious spring breeze. My hubby is outside putting down the decking boards on our front yard patio/pergola (future reveal!). The babies are sleeping. *sigh* A moment to sit down and relax…yes, writing a blog post can be relaxing! I always feel so accomplished when I have another post completed, so it feels relaxing and productive at the same time.

Today I want to share with you the reasons why I meal plan and plus some tips on how to do it. Everyone meal plans differently and you really just have to find what works for you. It may take some trial and error, or just a few weeks to really get into the habit of sticking to it.

How I really got started meal planning: I meal planned off and on ever since we got married. I don’t know why I couldn’t keep at it for more than a few weeks, other than the fact that maybe I got lazy because it does take a little bit more of an effort to do, although the benefits far outweigh the extra mojo needed to stick with it!

At the end of last year, I was heavily pregnant with our second baby (sweet baby boy!) and I was honestly too tired and too fat to really come up with nice dishes to serve for supper. As a result, most days I didn’t know what I was going to make for supper until an hour or two before hand. Hence, some very slapped together meals that you could obviously tell were…well…slapped together. I made the executive decision that when baby was born, I was going to start seriously meal planning and coming up with nice, tasty dishes to serve my family.

Why I Meal Plan: Meal planning helps me cook intentionally. I wake up in the morning and I already know what’s going on the table for supper that evening. This means that I can pull out my meat to start thawing earlier in the day or, if I have a really busy day, I already know what I’m throwing in the crock pot. Cooking intentionally makes meal prep more enjoyable for me. When I had no idea what I was going to make for supper, I didn’t enjoy the cooking as much. But when I know what I’m making, I enjoy the process so much more. And eating it afterwards is rewarding too when I hear my husband praise me for the meal I just made.

Meal planning also helps me plan my shopping list. I plan my meals for the whole week and then form my grocery shopping list accordingly. This helps so much because I know I’m going to use what I buy instead of just aimlessly shopping for something that I don’t really know if I’m even going to use. I plan for everything when I make my shopping list. I plan my suppers, baking days, fellowship meals at church, snacks I need to take to social gatherings, everything. Nothing gets left up to chance. This way, I’m organized and I know exactly what I’m making for different events. It also helps me plan my week so I know if I need to start making something a day in advance.

Why I Meal Plan Tips On How To Do It

Tips On How To Meal Plan: I started by investing in a couple good cookbooks. Up till then, most of my cookbooks were of the “homemade” variety with no photos and, in general, not very tasty dishes. I decided that to do my meal planning right and to get the most enjoyment out of it, I needed to have new cookbooks. If you need some ideas on great cookbooks, check out my reviews on The Girl Who Ate Everything and A Year With Six Sisters’ Stuff. My goal is to continue to expand my library of cookbooks just to have a variety of recipes to choose from. (I just ordered a new one the other day! I will let you know how it rates!) Pinterest is also a wonderful source for recipes, although I don’t use it as much simply because I find that I don’t think of it as often since I have to search through my phone to find the recipes. (Easier to page through a book, ya know?)

Invest in a day planner. If you already have your life centered around a day planner anyway, great! I also use mine to write down my scheduled meals for the week. I plan my meals according to the day and whether or not it’s a busy day, or a more slow-paced one. If it’s a busy day, I may plan a crockpot meal, or it will be a meal that is quick to throw together. On days where I’m not as busy and have more time to cook, I’ll plan a meal that may be a little more involved. Using my day planner helps me see at a glance what meals are upcoming. If I’m planning a crockpot meal that has meat in it, I know that I’ll have to thaw the meat in the fridge overnight to have it ready to go in the crockpot in the morning. As you plan your menus, be sure to source each recipe so you know exactly where to find it and don’t have to search through all your cookbooks.

I hope this is helpful and inspiring for you in getting started in meal planning. Maybe you’ve been meal planning for a while now and have some tips you’d like to share! Comment below!

How To Have A Successful Norwex Party

NOTE: This is not a sponsored post, nor does it contain affiliate links. I am not a Norwex consultant…all opinions and reviews are my own.

How To Have A Successful Norwex Party

Today I am going to talk about a product that has been all the rage lately and, specifically, how to host a successful party with… Norwex. The wonder cleaning cloth that is sweeping the nation (get it? Sweeping the nation?? Hahahahahaha…). Ahem…anyway. You may be familiar with this cleaning cloth, or maybe you have never heard of this wonderful new product and you’re thinking:

What in the world is Norwex?? Norwex is a Microfiber cloth that cleans without chemicals. Just water. (Wait…what??) Yep, just water. The microfiber in the cloth is 1/200th the size of a human hair, therefore it easily lifts dirt off the surface and onto the cloth…much better than other microfiber cloths sold in stores. On top of that, when used wet, the micro silver agent in the cloth is activated and not only are you cleaning your surface, but you are also actually killing the bacteria that is living there (without using other cleaners that have toxic chemicals in them). Because the silver kills bacteria, the cloth is also self-purifying which means you only have to wash the cloth after really heavy duty cleaning. If you want to check out more about Norwex, check out their website here and be sure to watch this video as well.

How To Have A Successful Norwex Party

On to the important things. Norwex is sold by consultants (much like Tupperware). So, you have the opportunity to bring Norwex into your own home by hosting a Norwex party. As a hostess, you can get a lot of free products by having a good response to your party. I recently hosted a party of my own and today I want to share with you some tips on how to have a successful Norwex party.

How To Have A Successful Norwex Party

  1. Send out invitations.

Oh really? No duh. But seriously, sending out a tangible reminder of your party is far better than just spreading it by word of mouth. People are much more likely to remember your party when the invite is hanging on their refrigerator or floating somewhere on top of their countertops. Ask your consultant for invitations and she will give you postcards that you can easily fill out with all of the party information.

  1. Set up an event on Facebook.

If you don’t get enough invitations for everyone you want to invite, set up an event on Facebook and invite your friends on Facebook. Even if you have enough postcard invitations to send out, I would still set up an event on Facebook, as yet another way for people to remember your party. Having an event on Facebook is also great because it will automatically remind people as the day of the event draws near. You can also post frequent (I stress, frequent) updates to keep people posted on what’s going down with your party. Be sure to include links to your consultant’s business page with instructions on how to order online. This will come in handy as you shall soon see.

  1. Invite everyone you know.

You would not be going overboard with this. Invite people from different social groups (church, co-workers, your fellow soccer moms, etc.) By setting up an event online, you can even invite out-of-state friends and family members. They can order online and select you as their hostess, so you still get credit for their purchases! Yay!

  1. Open your online party for a week.

You have the option of having your party open for however long you want. I would definitely keep it open at least a week. This gives out-of-state people time to look through the products and make their choices, as well as for people who may be local, but are unable to attend your party in person. During the duration of your open party, keep updating the event on Facebook, letting people know that the party will soon be closing.

  1. Talk it up.

I have mentioned this several times already, but post frequently on your party event page on Facebook. Talk it up in person as well. If someone RSVPs that they are unable to make it in person, be sure to let them know that the party will still be open online after the in-person party is over with.

I hope these tips are helpful for you if you are thinking about hosting a Norwex party. Maybe you have never heard of this great product but are interested now in learning more about it. By going online you should be able to find a consultant near you. If you have hosted a Norwex party in the past, let us know what made yours a success!!

Happy Day to you folks!

Book Review: A Year With Six Sisters’ Stuff

Book Review A Year With Six Sisters' Stuff

NOTE: This post is not a sponsored post and does not contain any affiliate links. I purchased this book of my own accord and all opinions are truly, honestly my own.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a book review of one of my favorite cookbooks. This week I want to share with you another of my favorite cookbooks that I cook from all the time, A Year with Six Sisters’ Stuff.Book Review A Year With Six Sisters' Stuff

This book is full of the things I love the most about cookbooks: photos and common ingredients. A Year with Six Sisters’ Stuff is set up in a menu style with 52 different menus to choose from. You can find inspiration for a whole meal in one menu, or you can mix-and-match between menus. Either way, you’re sure to come up with some great meal options! Each recipe has a photo and you will find that you likely already have all the ingredients in your pantry! This cookbook is centered around family and bringing family together over a meal. I’m sure you will find new favorites for your family to enjoy over and over with many dishes to choose from between main dishes, side dishes, desserts, and also some great snack recipes. Some of the recipes include Oven Baked Tacos, Cheeseburger Casserole, One Bowl Chocolate Cake, and Oatmeal Caramel Cookies.

Book Review A Year With Six Sisters' Stuff

Also included in A Year with Six Sisters’ Stuff, you’ll find DIY ideas and activities to do with your family. You could plan a menu from the cookbook and then enjoy a fun activity with your family afterwards!

I hope you have a Happy Wednesday!