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Recovery Is Possible + An Easy Way You Can Help Fight The Opioid Epidemic

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias #LICDrugDisposal

Did you know that with the current Opiod Epidemic, 197 Americans die every day from a drug overdose? (Source: National Center for Health Statistics) While that number is alarming, think about how high that number climbs when you think of all of the people who are affected by drug use; the parents who are desperately trying to protect their children, the spouses who are trying to make things work praying that things get better, the children who are caught in the middle, the employers who are left trying to cover shifts, and the addicts themselves who are left feeling embarrassed, guilty and shameful over their decisions and inability to control it. Addiction is a family disease…because it impacts everyone.

Addiction is a disease that doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t care if you are a male or female, old or young, educated or not, rich or poor. It grabs a hold of anyone it can and it holds on with vengeance. The stigma that comes with it are painful and causes many people to hide – whether they are the addicts or the loved one of an addict. The face of addiction is blurred because people are afraid to tell their story. But the good news is that recovery is possible. If you or a loved one suffers from addiction, then they/you are not alone. Knowing that you are not alone on this journey and that it is safe to come forward, I think, is a huge first step. It was for us.

My family is one of countless families across the country who are dealing with addiction. We live in a prominent area, in a nice house. We drive a nice car. You see us at gymnastics and band concerts. But behind closed doors, we used to carry a big secret. We didn’t want to have people know. We were afraid of how they would react and what would they say. Would they think we were bad people? Bad parents? But the truth is, lifting that burden and sharing our story has been powerful. And life changing – not only for us, but for the people that it has inspired. That’s why I was so excited when LifeInCheck Drug Disposable asked to partner with us, not only to educate people on their awesome program, but to tell our story to put a face and a story behind addiction.

Our Story (The Short Version)

Dustin always has been the life of the party. He just has ‘that’ personality. Everyone gravitates to him, talks to him, wants to be around him. He has a way of making everyone feel special and you can’t help but just be relaxed around him. He experimented in high school with drinking and some drugs. His world at 18 was two things: instant gratification and fun.

When he was a senior in high school he fell in love. A different love. An unconditional love. He and his high school girlfriend had a baby. Fatherhood gave him a love he had never felt before. Unfortunately, when his son was two he was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma and spent the next 18 months in a hospital ultimately to lose his battle with cancer.

Emotions weren’t something that he knew how to handle. And emotions and heartbreak on that level were things he couldn’t and didn’t want to accept. What followed was guilt, self hatred, bad relationships and decisions made with good intentions, but that seemed to fall short.

A few years later, he was in a stressful marriage with a few more children. He went to the doctor for a knee injury and was prescribed powerful pain medications. While his prescription ran out, his desire for the medication didn’t. Soon both him and his wife were in a severe active addiction to prescription drugs and eventually heroin.

Dustin had a long few years of getting clean, including a halfway house, a relapse, a ton of work and a lot of hard reflection on learning about himself, his patterns and how to change his way of thinking. He left his toxic marriage, was awarded full custody of his three children, and has worked on beginning his life for the first time.

I am so proud of him and his passion for the recovery community. It hasn’t always been easy. TRUST me. Addiction impacts everyone and is a fight that you team up together to overcome. But I’m beyond overjoyed at the journey he has been on, we have been on and our family has been on. He runs and chairs local meetings, sponsors and helps people in the recovery rooms, shares his story and the hope that recovery is possible. He is still the life of the party – only this time, the party is a little different. He makes sure that every person knows that they are valued, worthy of good things and good people. He makes sure to let people know that they are more than their addiction and that there is hope.

How You Can Help

One way that you can help is to just be open to understanding. Addiction doesn’t plague ‘bad people’. It can happen to anyone. It can be noticeable or it can often times be hidden behind closed doors. Being open and understanding makes people feel safe to come forward for help. I have attended countless meetings with Dustin in the past and I can’t tell you how much that I have learned from the paths of other people. Even though our paths have been incredibly different, at their core, our paths can be very similar. The saying of ‘more alike than different’ has been proven to me over and over again.

Saturday, October 27th 2018 is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. It is an easy way that everyone can help fight the opioid epidemic in their own neighborhood.

LifeInCheck has created this tool to help you safely dispose of unused or expired medications. Simply enter your city and state or zip code and search radius and we will provide a list of safe drug disposal locations in your area. Using them is incredibly easy. You just go, drop in your unused or expired medications in the box and that’s it!

It is a discrete, safe and responsible way to dispose of your expired and unused medications. How does this help?

  • According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, approximately fifty-four million Americans over the age of 12 have used prescription medications for non-medical reasons at least once in their lifetime. LifeInCheck has created this tool to help you safely dispose of unused or expired medications. Simply enter your city and state or zip code and search radius and we will provide a list of safe drug disposal locations in your area.
  • Patient disposal of unused medications today takes many forms, from flushing down the toilet or pouring in the drain, to throwing in the garbage, or worse. More often than not, the end result is damage to our environment, drug diversion or the drug being abused by others. In an effort to assist in reducing these issues and bringing awareness to the massive opioid crisis that is plaguing many families, LifeInCheck created a Drug Disposal program that provides consumers with a safe option to discard their unused or outdated prescription medications in secure receptacles located across the US.

We headed over to get rid of some unused prescriptions and expired medicine. While the medicines that we had weren’t considered addictive or opioids, they have been collecting dust. I am almost embarrassed at how old this bottle was! It literally took us 30 seconds to properly dispose of! Here is a list of things you can and cannot bring to dispose:

  • Drugs Accepted at Receptacles:
    • Unused or expired prescription medication (Including Schedule II-V controlled substances)
    • Unused or expired over-the-counter medication
    • Pet Medication
  • Drugs NOT Accepted at Receptacles:
    • Schedule I controlled substances
    • Illegal drugs
    • Thermometers
    • Inhalers
    • Lotions/Liquids
    • Aerosol Cans
    • Needles
    • Hydrogen Peroxide

If you have unused prescriptions or expired medications, please use this tool to look up a location near you. Our location was inside a local hospital. The staff was all friendly and helped direct us to the area. But honestly, you can’t miss the green box! It was seriously, the easiest thing ever!

One day we will share our full story (but it’s a long one!), but sharing the hope of recovery is our passion. If you or someone you love has a story to share on addiction or the opioid epidemic, feel free to share here or with your own friends and family. People do recover! Dustin is a living testament to that. Recovery has given me my best friend back, his parents their son back, and most importantly, his kids a father back. By sharing, listening and with things like the LifeInCheck Drug Disposal Program we can all take a huge step in working together in our families and communities.


Free Printable I Love You Cards + Easy Ways To Make Your Spouse Feel Loved

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias #NatureMadeWellness

This year one of my resolutions was to get healthy. What a loaded statement! A few years ago, that would have meant I wanted to exercise more and eat better. Now, when I say I want to work on my health, it not only includes those things, but it also means that I want to work on my mental, emotional and relationship health. Trying to work on all of that at once has been overwhelming, but with small steps it has been an amazing journey! Far from perfect, but I am happy to report that focusing on small things has made a HUGE impact on my health in every aspect possible! It’s funny, but when you put effort into other avenues of health, it seems that it is easier to make those choices like picking more vegetables and going to the gym to exercise. I’ve also started to incorporate Nature Made® vitamins from Walmart in my daily routine. I have to admit something to you thought, I’m HORRIBLE at remembering to take my vitamins in the morning. HOR.RIB.LE. Dustin on the other hand, is really good at remembering. I was constantly telling him about 4 in the afternoon, ‘Aww man! I forgot to take my vitamins this morning!’ In the past three months or so, something awesome has happened. Every morning, he makes me a cup of coffee and brings me my vitamins. Y’all, that’s an act of love. I don’t think he knows how much that small act of kindness means (well, I tell him so, I hope he knows)! His one small act of kindness inspired me to do return the favor, but in a different way. I created these fun love notes that you can print here. Find a small act (or try one of our ideas below!), print off a card and fill in the blank of I Love… and leave it for your spouse to find. Even though this is an act of kindness to make your spouse feel loved, it will make you feel good too! Make a surprise breakfast. Take a tip from Dustin and include some vitamins too! Nature Made® Vitamin D3 Adult Gummies are a great one add to breakfast. Vitamin D3 helps support bone, teeth, muscles and immune health.† D3 is actually the body’s preferred form to get vitamin D.* Nature Made® Vitamin D3 Adult Gummies also provide 2000 IU of vitamin D3 per serving. As the saying goes, ‘A well-functioning immune system is foundational for your health.’

Compliment him. Make a honey-do list….and then do it. Hand him a list already checked off and tell him to enjoy himself.

Cook their favorite meal. Lasagna anyone? Fill up his gas tank. Silly? Yes. Practical? Totally. A nice, small gesture that makes someone smile? Absolutely!

Exercise together. Check out some fun couples workouts on Pinterest! Offer a massage. Without expecting one in return. If he offers, even consider saying no. Sometimes, it feels nice to just be spoiled every once in a while.

Frame something important. For Dustin’s first Father’s Day we celebrated together, I purchased a Grateful Dead poster for him and had it framed. He used to have the same poster and loved it, but life happens and it was colored on and torn. The story and meaning behind this silly poster was everything though. I even wrote a letter on the back of his frame. When I told him I had a gift for him (and he saw how large it was) you could tell he was definitely surprised! I don’t even think he remembered telling me about the poster! It now hangs in our bedroom (although it doesn’t match my modern farmhouse decorating scheme I have going on….but letting him win that one is an act of love in itself)! Let your spouse sleep in. Sleep is VITAL for everyone, especially me. Not just for my beauty sleep, but when I get a good night’s sleep, I feel SO much better. Nature Made® Melatonin Adult Gummies are perfect for me. I can be tired, laying in bed trying to go to sleep, but my brain’s goes over a zillion things I need to do or didn’t get done that day. Nature Made® Melatonin Adult Gummies provides 2.5 mg of melatonin, which helps support my sleep and it helps reset my body’s sleep/wake cycle.† Plus, they taste great! You can find Nature Made® Adult Gummies at your local Walmart. These vitamins are perfect for not only supplementing your health, but a great way to use in an act of love to support your loved ones too! Be sure to pin our ways to make your spouse feel loved, while using the free printable love notes!

† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

*Vitamin D3 is more effective than vitamin D2 at raising and maintaining adequate levels of circulating vitamin D in the body.†


Pledge To Thank A Veteran!

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #DogChowDifference #CollectiveBias

As a parent, there are a few things that I try very hard to teach my children. One of them is gratitude and another is appreciation. We strive to implement them in our everyday life. One thing that I am passionate about is making sure that our Veterans know that we appreciate them and how gracious we are of their service. My son’s father is a Veteran, my brother is in the service and we have countless friends (that we are lucky enough to consider family!) also who have sacrificed their time and dedicated their lives for our freedom.

I wish that I had about 60 hours in each day, but the reality is that I don’t. So we do what we can. There is no shame in that! And sometimes inspiration hits me when I least expect it. Like when I am shopping for dog food.

We are lucky enough to have a Dollar General literally at the end of our street. Talk about convenient! We are there all the time. It’s so nice to be able to take a few minutes and walk together (or grab one of the kids) and just spend a few minutes talking and walking. Those few minutes really add to our quality time. Sometimes, we grab the dogs and walk over to do a bit of shopping. We are at Dollar General SO often that everyone knows not only our names, but our dogs’ names too.

I ran in to grab some dog food. We really enjoy shopping at Dollar General not only because of the convenient location, but also because of how clean and easy to find everything is in our store. I can run in, know exactly where to find things and quickly be out the door heading home. Plus they offer great promotions!

Right now, Dollar General has teamed up with Purina® Dog Chow® to support our military vets with every purchase of specially marked bags of Purina® Dog Chow®.

And even more, on October 10th, you can take advantage of 11% savings on Purina® Dog Chow® at Dollar General! The offer is available in-store and online. Low prices and our favorite brands? WINNING!

So once we got home with our Purina® Dog Chow® my mind was twirling. I was so happy to support a great cause and with a purchase that I feel good about giving our dogs. We see Vets all the time and my kids are awesome at thanking them for their service. Creating little cards has been on my mind for a while. I got to work immediately! Well, after the dogs got fed!

If you follow us, then you know all about Lincoln and George, but a few months ago we adopted Stella too. Three rescue dogs in all now. We go through A LOT of dog food. I love Purina® Dog Chow® for a lot of reasons.

  • Made with Real, American-raised Chicken
  • 23 Essential Vitamins and Minerals
  • Always crafted in the USA since 1926
  • Protein for Strong Muscles
  • Crafted in the USA
  • Always crafted in the USA, Purina® Dog Chow® is made with real beef, lamb or American-Raised Chicken.
  • It provides 100% complete and balanced nutrition adult dogs need to help them live long, healthy lives.
  • Why does Purina care so much? Because the food we make isn’t just for your dog, it’s for ours, too.

And, our dogs absolutely love it!

So while the dogs were chowing down, I whipped up these fun little cards to thank a Veteran!

Didn’t they come out cute?

I’m super excited for us to use these cards to thank a Veteran! Super handy and if I don’t say so myself, super cute!

The idea behind them is that you can sign them if you want or even add a gift card if you desire, but mostly to print off and keep in your purse, so when you see a Military member you can hand them one and say thank you.

You can download our cards here!

These cards are an easy way, even as a busy family, that you can remember to thank a member for their service! I hope that you join us in thanking our Vets for their service! These little cards to thank a veteran should make it nice, easy and handy! And don’t forget about October 10th at Dollar General to save big on Purina® Dog Chow®!

Be sure to pin our Free Printable Cards to thank a Veteran!


Lark Ranch – The Best Place To Experience Fall In Greenfield, Indiana

I’ve lived in Indiana my whole life. I won’t tell you exactly how long that is, but let me assure you, it’s quite a while. As a life long Hoosier, I pride myself on knowing what is going on in my own backyard. But every once in a while, something like this pops up and it’s new. And after I experience it for the first time, I wonder how the heck I’ve gone so long without it.

Enter Lark Ranch.

Lark Ranch is a family farm that actually has two locations, one in Greenfield and one in Loogootee. While I have plans to visit their second location, I haven’t been there (yet!) but their location in Greenfield has left us awestruck.

When you arrive to the Ranch, it is in a place, just that you would expect: surrounded by cornfields. Pulling in, our kids were immediately excited.

Immediately into the ranch, we were greeted with fun things to do. One thing our kids immediately gravitated to were the ginormous chairs. Furniture you are encouraged to climb on?! What?!

But the giant furniture goes well with the life size birdhouses they have! Isn’t this playground fun? Speaking of playgrounds, throughout the main areas, there are tons of place for kids to play. There are tires to climb on, giant ‘blobs’ to bounce on (like trampolines!), and gems to mine.

What else do they have to play on? A giant slide

(Insider tip….if you ride on the grey carpets you will fly down!)

Tractor pedal cars (that clearly adults love too)

A swing ride


A rock wall

Train rides

A corn maze

A fire pit and SO much more!

Lark Ranch is also home to a really great pumpkin patch! Take the train ride and find the perfect pumpkin.

And the animals!!

We can’t forget the animals! Turkeys run loosely around the ranch. And they also have lots of chickens.

You can find the horse grazing, but he will come up to the fence and let you pet him! So will the donkeys! There are also several sheep in a pen that walked right up to us.

The pig pen was a popular spot with our family.

While we were all in love with this lady here,

Her piglets totally stole the show!

And they come running when they saw us!

In all, our first Lark Ranch adventure was amazing. And we can’t wait to head back for our next fall expedition! Admission is only $12, making it a really affordable way for our family to get away. And you really do feel miles away. I’m so excited to share with everyone our Lark Ranch experience!

Follow Lark Ranch on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date!

Don’t forget to pin: Lark Ranch – The Best Place To Experience Fall In Greenfield, Indiana!

Disclaimer: My family was invited to experience Lark Ranch, but we were in no way compensated for this post. All opinions are 100% my own. I wrote this article simply because we loved them so much, that I wanted to share!


Animal Face Toast With Printable Kid Friendly Recipe Cards

Animal Face Toast With Printable Kid Friendly Recipe Cards

Animal Face Toast With Printable Kid Friendly Recipe Cards

Hmmm. Maybe you fit into one of these categories:

  • You and your kiddo love to cook together.
  • You are looking for a way to make breakfast or snack time more fun.
  • You are trying to make fruit more appealing to your kids.
  • You are looking for the perfect snack to go with a book you are reading.
  • You are just looking for something yummy and fun.

If you said yes to any of those five statements, then animal face toast is perfect! Plus our printable recipe cards are super fun too!

Animal Face Toast With Printable Kid Friendly Recipe Cards

Even our older kids were super excited when they came downstairs and saw the animal toast. I would tell you that one was my favorite over the others, but I honestly can’t pick.

If you are planning on making these with kids here are a few really great supplies to help you!

  • Kid friendly knives – This set is made from Nylon and will still cut through most food but much safer than metal blades
  • Strawberry slicer – I don’t know why, but our kids love this strawberry slicer. I like that I don’t worry about them slicing their fingers!
  • Toaster oven – If your kids are really into cooking or a bit older and just starting to cook on their own, a toaster/convection oven might be the perfect thing.

Animal Face Toast With Printable Kid Friendly Recipe Cards

Animal Face Toast: Fish Toast

You will need:

  • 1 slice toast
  • Cream Cheese
  • Sliced Strawberries
  • Blueberry


  1. Make your toast. Turn it to the side so you are looking at a diamond shape.
  2. Spread your toast with a layer of cream cheese.
  3. Wash strawberries and slice them. Layer them on the toast to look like fish scales covering 3/4 of the toast.
  4. Cut one strawberry to form a smile shape. Add it to the cream cheese.
  5. Place one washed blueberry eye.

You can download and print our recipe card here!

Fun books about fish to go with this snack:

Animal Face Toast With Printable Kid Friendly Recipe Cards

Animal Face Toast: Monkey Toast

You will need:

  • Toast
  • Nutella
  • 2 blueberries
  • 2 round banana slices


  1. Toast your bread.
  2. Spread a round layer of Nutella on your toast.
  3. Wash two blueberries and place on the Nutella for eyes.
  4. Peel a banana and slice. Take two round slices and cut them in half. Place one piece on either side of the toast for the ears. Take the other banana slices and place horizontally for the mouth leaving a small gap between the two.

Animal Face Toast With Printable Kid Friendly Recipe Cards

Download and print our monkey toast printable recipe card here!

Here are a few of our favorite monkey books to go along with our monkey toast:

Animal Face Fish Toast Printable Recipe Card

To make the animal face toast puppy you will need:

  • Toast
  • Cream Cheese
  • Nutella
  • Raspberry
  • Blueberries
  • Black decorating gel


  1. Make your toast.
  2. Cut the toast slice into 3 sections.
  3. Spread cream cheese on the larger, center piece.
  4. Spread Nutella on the two smaller pieces. These will be the ears.
  5. Spread a small Nutella dot on top of the cream cheese.
  6. Place two washed blueberries for the eyes, putting one in the Nutella circle.
  7. Cut a washed raspberry in half and place on the cream cheese for the puppy nose.
  8. Using the black decorating gel, draw the puppy mouth.

Download our puppy toast recipe card here!

Check out these fun puppy books to enjoy with your snack!

Animal Face Fish Toast Printable Recipe Card

Animal Face Bear Toast:

You will need:

  • Toast
  • Nutella
  • Banana Slice
  • 3 blueberries


  1. Make your toast!
  2. Spread Nutella over your toast.
  3. Place one banana slice for the nose on the Nutella.
  4. Wash and dry the blueberries. Add two blueberry eyes.
  5. Add a drop of Nutella on the back of a blueberry and place on the banana slice for the nose.

Animal Face Fish Toast Printable Recipe Card

Download our bear toast printable recipe card here!

Here are a few favorite bear books to read and enjoy with your snack!

Animal Face Fish Toast Printable Recipe Card

Be sure to pin our Animal Face Fish Toast Printable Recipe Card!

This post contains affiliate links.


Pumpkin Spice Everything – 31 Things For The Pumpkin Spice Obsessed

Pumpkin Spice Everything...Things You Need If You Are Obsessed With Pumpkin Spice

Pumpkin spice obsessed? Yeah, me too. Good news is that it is pumpkin spice season! Woo Hoo! To celebrate Starbucks’ release of the pumpkin spice latte (August 28) I thought that I would round up some of the best, most spectacular, most pumpkin-spiciest things out there. If you are obsessed with pumpkin spice too, then this list is for you. We’ve got a bit of things for you, for your home and even for your dog.

(Pssst! Did you see our pumpkin spice slime?)

Pumpkin Spice Everything...Things You Need If You Are Obsessed With Pumpkin Spice

Pumpkin Spice For You:

I love a good t-shirt! And the pumpkin spice t-shirts have not failed! Here are a few of my favorites:

Flannels, Boots, Footballs and Pumpkin Spice (above)

Pumpkin Spice Everything...Things You Need If You Are Obsessed With Pumpkin Spice

My Favorite Season is Pumpkin Spice

Pumpkin Spice Everything...Things You Need If You Are Obsessed With Pumpkin Spice

Pumpkin Spice Up Your Life

Pumpkin Spice Everything...Things You Need If You Are Obsessed With Pumpkin Spice

Spice Spice Baby

Pumpkin Spice Everything...Things You Need If You Are Obsessed With Pumpkin Spice

Sweaters, Top Knots & Pumpkin Spice Lattes

Pumpkin Spice Everything...Things You Need If You Are Obsessed With Pumpkin Spice

You Had Me At Pumpkin Spice Lattes

Pumpkin Spice Everything...Things You Need If You Are Obsessed With Pumpkin Spice

And for your mini….Best Friends Forever Dress

More Pumpkin Spice Picks For You

Pumpkin Spice Everything...Things You Need If You Are Obsessed With Pumpkin Spice

Pumpkin Spice For the Home

Pumpkin Spice Everything...Things You Need If You Are Obsessed With Pumpkin Spice

Pumpkin Spice Everything...Things You Need If You Are Obsessed With Pumpkin Spice

Yummy Pumpkin Spice Things To Eat

Pumpkin Spice Everything...Things You Need If You Are Obsessed With Pumpkin Spice

Pumpkin Spice…For Your Dog

Because, duh, your dog is probably pumpkin spice obsessed too.

Pumpkin Spice Everything...Things You Need If You Are Obsessed With Pumpkin Spice

Don’t forget to pin our Pumpkin Spice Obsessed List!

Be sure to check out some of our other fall round ups including:

  • Fall Women’s Fashion – Both You And Your Wallet Will Love
  • Fall T-Shirts Your Closet Needs
  • Girls’ Fall Boutique Looks At Bargain Prices
  • Fall Decorations For Your Home


DIY Clothespin Birds: Crafts For Kids

DIY Clothespin Birds: Crafts For Kids

DIY Clothespin Birds

Clothespin Birds are for sure a thing in our house. Actually, sentimentally they are one of my favorite projects lately. Why?

See this guy? Yep. He made the original birds. Probably not what you were expecting! In case you don’t follow me on Instagram this is Dustin. (Wait. Whhhhaaaat?! You totally should. It’s full of fun stuff, if I do say so myself.)

Our story (Cliffsnotes edition)

I met him when I was 15 at my very first job. I was a florist at a grocery store and he worked at the meat counter. Gosh, I would flirt with him all the time. We lived in the same neighborhood and I was friends with his younger brother, so outside of work we saw each other here and there. Over the years, we grew up, had kids, got married, got divorced and reconnected. Now, we have a house, seven kids between the two of us, three dogs and he just quit his job to come blog with me full time. I’m pretty lucky to not only be with my best friend, but work with my best friend doing something that I love to do!

DIY Clothespin Birds: Crafts For Kids

But the birds. This was the first DIY project I gave to Dustin to do. See, he’s an amazing cook. (Allllll these recipes? They are his. All the recipes on our slow cooker/Instant Pot site? Yeah. Those are his too.) Crafting though? Well, he’s getting better. Better-ish. But these cute little birds are so easy that literally anyone can do it. Even Dustin. 🙂

Our kids thought they were pretty cool too. So we seriously have a flock of clothespin birds at our house. Luckily, we’ve found some great uses for them. Sometimes, they are great bookmarks. Sometimes, we use them as chip clips in the pantry. We’ve added magnets to the back of some for the refrigerator so they can hold school papers and art work. And some, well, some are just put around our daughter’s room for decoration. And for holding notes. Notes are very important.

DIY Clothespin Birds: Crafts For Kids

To make the clothespin birds, you will need:

  • Clothespins (Buy them online. I thought these would be easy to find, and maybe it was just my stores, but it took me forever and I ended up buying expensive ones at the craft store. I tried big box stores and the dollar store without any luck. I wish I would have just picked them up on Amazon and been done!)
  • Acrylic Paint – Your choice of colors (For small children you can use tempera paint)
  • Paint Brushes
  • Feathers
  • Googly Eyes (Small ones)
  • Orange foam sheet
  • Glue (I used a low temperature hot glue gun, but Elmer’s glue would work too!)

DIY Clothespin Birds: Crafts For Kids

Instructions for making clothespin birds:

DIY Clothespin Birds: Crafts For Kids

  1. Pick out the paint colors that you wish to use. We used pastel colors for our birds.DIY Clothespin Birds: Crafts For Kids
  2. Paint your clothespins in the color of your choice. The paint will dry quickly, but be sure to allow it to fully dry.

    DIY Clothespin Birds: Crafts For Kids
  3. With the handle of your clothespin up, attach 2 googly eyes.DIY Clothespin Birds: Crafts For Kids
  4. Cut out a small triangle beak out of the orange foam sheet.

  5. Glue the beak onto your bird.DIY Clothespin Birds: Crafts For Kids
  6. On the back of the clothespin, glue a few feathers.
  7. Allow to dry.
  8. Attach your bird so he (or she!) can stand! You are finished!

DIY Clothespin Birds: Crafts For Kids

Ta da! Aren’t they cute? Like I said, our flocks are everywhere!

You know we love literacy crafts! Remember our craft to go with Rot, the Cutest in the World?

Check out these fun books to read about birds that would turn this into the perfect literacy craft:

Rot, The Cutest In The World Book activity for kids

Speaking of literacy crafts, have you joined our kids’ virtual book club? It’s free and totally fun! Join here!

DIY Clothespin Birds: Crafts For Kids

And don’t forget to pin our DIY Clothespin Birds: Crafts For Kids!



Rot The Cutest In The World Book Activity For Kids

Rot, The Cutest In The World Book activity for kids

Rot, The Cutest In The World Book activity

I have loved books since I was little. REALLY loved books. When I was little I would pretend my books were the library. I made little pockets on the inside of them. And when I ran out of pockets, I lovingly drew library cards on the inside covers. I would then make my little brothers (who really had no interest in them) check books out. I would show them all of the good ones to take back to their rooms.

And then I would be the enforcer to go and collect the library fines that they then owed me. I’m pretty sure that part was just because we couldn’t just play something quietly and nicely all day. You know, mix it up. How can someone ruin a fun, quiet game of library? Turn all Incredible Hulk on them and demand fines.

I may have lost my love for library fines, but I’ve never lost my love of books. Even kids’ books. As a teacher and a parent, our library was always full (no hand drawn library cards or fines…) One goal I had for both my classroom and my home was to make sure that I passed down a love for reading. I wanted books to come alive and for the kids to learn that they can take you to some pretty amazing places. So creating fun snacks or art projects to go along with them became our thing.

Psst! Are books, fun snacks and literacy based art projects your thing too? Join our It’s a Fabulous Read: Kids’ Edition Book Club! It’s a virtual book club based upon themes where we share fun projects and snacks for you to do at home or in your classroom! And it’s free. And fun.

And if you are looking for a virtual book club for adults you can join us here! I admit, there aren’t as many fun art projects or snacks, but it is a fun group to join and read along with!

But back to Rot. Rot The Cutest In The World is an adorable book we received recently. It is by Ben Clanton, which explains all of the adorable illustrations.

Rot Book Activity & Craft For Kids

Rot is a mutant potato. Like most mutant potatoes, Rot loves all sorts of games and contests. So when he sees a sign for the “Cutest in the World Contest,” he can’t wait to enter.

But when Rot realizes who he’s up against—an itty-bitty baby bunny, a little-wittle cuddly kitten, and an eenie-weenie jolly jellyfish—he loses confidence. Will the judges find room in their hearts for an adorable mutant potato?

Rot Book Activity & Craft For Kids

In the end, Rot finds out that he is just perfect as he is. It is a sweet but also fun and silly book that teaches a great lesson in self confidence! If you don’t have Rot, The Cutest In The World yet in your library, I highly recommend it!

Check out our Rot, The Cutest In The World Book activity!

Rot Book Activity & Craft For Kids

To go along with our book, we made our very own Rot. And you can too with items you probably have laying around!


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You will need for our Rot, The Cutest In The World Book activity:

Rot Book Activity & Craft For Kids

Rot is a potato. He’s not made to be perfect, because he is perfectly imperfect. Cut an oval-ish shape for your Rot out of a brown paper bag. And then, crumble it all up into a ball. Unfold your paper and you should have something similar to what is shown here.

Rot Book Activity & Craft For Kids

Next out of white construction paper, cut out 2 large oval shapes for eyes and 3 half circle shapes for his teeth. Again, no need for perfection for these!

Rot Book Activity & Craft For Kids

Glue the two eyes on. Using a black marker or a Sharpie, draw his two eyeballs and his nostrils.

Rot Book Activity & Craft For Kids

Rot has some pretty serious eyebrows. Cut some pipe cleaners and glue in place. He also has a pretty great smile. Bend a pipe cleaner into a smile shape and glue as well.

Rot Book Activity & Craft For Kids

Next, glue in place those pearly white teeth of his. And finally, cut a few more pipe cleaners to glue on the back of Rot for his hair. Isn’t he cute? Definitely the cutest in the world.

Love our Rot, The Cutest In The World Book activity?

Don’t forget!

Pick up Rot, The Cutest In The World here

Join our kid’s book club here

Join our adult’s book club here

Rot Book Activity & Craft For Kids

And pin our Rot, The Cutest In The World Book activity For Kids on Pinterest! Be sure to follow us too for lots of fun ideas!


This post contains affiliate links. I was sent a copy of Rot, The Cutest In The World in hopes that we would like it and share. Turns out we did!


Family Night Game Trophy

DIY Family Game Night Trophy

DIY Family Game Night Trophy

Our house is busy. Like super busy. And full. And loud.

It’s us….and at least 4 kids. More on weekends. And typically even more than that once you take into account the neighborhood kids who straggle in. Our house is pretty cool. There is always food being made for a post on one of our blogs that needs eaten. There are always people to play with. And there is always something to do.

DIY Family Game Night Trophy

But one thing that is a struggle with so many people is getting people to agree on things to do. Except for one thing: games. Our house LOVES games. Card games, video games, board games…it doesn’t matter. If it is a game, then we are in.

And since we MAY be slightly competitive (it’s all in fun though!) we all love to win. Game nights are a big deal. Each week it is one of the kids’ job to pick out dinner and pick out the game(s) that we will be playing. And now, we have introduced the family game night trophy. The trophy of honor that sits on the winner’s dresser until the next game night rolls around.

DIY Family Game Night Trophy

DIY Family Game Night Trophy

Y’all. This thing is a big deal. You would think that it was real gold on there. And definitely not made using a toilet paper roll. Haha! (Pssst! This is a great project if you have games that are missing pieces or hit up those thrift stores! If all else fails – I’ve listed some places for supplies. And feel free to use your own creativity to create a trophy totally your own! Top it with an action figure or a letter for your family’s last night! Whatever you have works!)

DIY Family Game Night Trophy




The best part of this project is that you can make it however you want with whatever supplies you have. If you have games that are missing pieces or if you see games at the thrift store feel free to use pieces from those!

DIY Family Game Night Trophy

  1. Use white acrylic paint to paint the base and the wood dice cubes. Allow to dry.DIY Family Game Night Trophy
  2. Use a small paint brush to paint black dots on the wood dice cubes.

    DIY Family Game Night Trophy

  3. Paint the base with the gold liquid leaf.
  4. We also painted a plastic lid that we had gold. Doing this project again, I would use poker chips. I think that would be a fun addition!DIY Family Game Night Trophy
  5. We decided to spell the word ‘champ’ with Scrabble tiles on the front. Some other options would be No. One, First, or if your last name is short you could do that. Hot glue the letters on the front.DIY Family Game Night Trophy
  6. Hot glue the dried wooden dice on to the base.

    DIY Family Game Night Trophy

  7. To get some height, we used a toilet paper tube. (Yay for recycling!)DIY Family Game Night Trophy
  8. Hot glue the game pieces to the toilet paper tube. (Amazon is totally the place to go for these. Bonus: We have some extras if we need them.)DIY Family Game Night Trophy
  9. Glue the game piece toilet paper tube to the top of the dice.

    DIY Family Game Night Trophy

  10. Glue the lid (or if you have Poker chips, that’s what I would use doing this project again).

    DIY Family Game Night Trophy

  11. Top off your trophy with a chess piece.

DIY Family Game Night Trophy

You are ready to crown your family game night champ!

Looking for some new family favorite games to add to your collection? One of my favorite places to go is Goliath Games. (You can also purchase them on Amazon!) They sent us a box of games (and not in exchange for a review or for a post, just because they are awesome like that. This post is no way sponsored – in fact they have no clue I’m even writing it! haha We just genuinely love them!) and we are constantly checking out their site for new ones! They have classics like Rummikub, but they have games we had never ever heard of that have since made it to our rotation of faves.

Check these out:

DIY Family Game Night Trophy

Don’t forget to pin our DIY Family Game Night Trophy!


This post contains affiliate links.


DIY Homemade Window Cleaner – The Best Streak Free Window Cleaner!

DIY Homemade Window Cleaner – The Best Streak Free Window Cleaner EVER!

DIY Streak Free Glass Cleaner

One would think that living with six people would mean that there are plenty of people to clean up the house.

Well, that one would be wrong.

Living with six people…four of which are teens/tweens REALLY means that there is six times the mess, fingerprints, and junk….with one mom yelling and bribing people to help.

That’s just real talk.

But have no fear fellow mom-mers….I put them to work. Sorry, not sorry has become a mantra around this household.

One job that nobody seems to mind though, is washing the windows. Weird. I don’t know why. But they actually will argue about whoever gets to do it. Maybe they love my awesome DIY Homemade Window Cleaner just like I do.

When we started our cleaning business we made the switch to DIY homemade cleaners. One, they were way more cost effective. After all, saving money on cleaning supplies means bigger profits. Also, the homemade cleaners work just as well if not better than the store bought cleaners! Plus, it is so nice if you run out of something to just make another bottle. They take just a minute to make with ingredients that are common in the house or used in many other homemade cleaners.

DIY Streak Free Glass Cleaner

Ingredients to make DIY Homemade Window Cleaner

  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1 cup alcohol
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • Essential Oils/oil blend of your choice
  • Funnel
  • Spray bottle (I REALLY love these glass bottles!)

Instructions to make DIY Homemade Window Cleaner

DIY Streak Free Glass Cleaner

In a jar or bowl, mix together vinegar and alcohol.

DIY Streak Free Glass Cleaner

Stir in cornstarch and mix well.

DIY Streak Free Glass Cleaner

Choose your oils! I have done just lemon, a lemon basil, lemon lavender and a pine cedar wood mix. Other yummy mixes include orange or grapefruit.

DIY Streak Free Glass Cleaner

Using a funnel, pour into your clean spray bottle.

If desired, print out a free label and cut it to size. Using a sticker maker, turn it into a sticker and put on your bottle.

*Note: These sticker makers are awesome! We use ours all of the time for things around the house, art projects and school projects! Totally worth having it!

DIY Streak Free Glass Cleaner

That’s it! Just give it a quick shake before using. Seriously, this is the best glass cleaner I’ve ever used!

Need more DIY cleaners? Check these out:

3 Ingredient DIY Toilet Bombs

Hands Down The Best DIY Cleaner

The Best All Purpose Cleaner

DIY Streak Free Glass Cleaner

Don’t forget to pin our DIY Homemade Window Cleaner and to follow us on Pinterest!

This post contains affiliate links.