Spooky Gear for Halloween

Halloween used to be a small holiday.  Everyone seemed to have a few decorations.  Now, Halloween is a huge enterprise and you can go bonkers with costumes, decorations and more.  Since there is so much available, it’s hard to know what to get.  I’ve brought together a few pieces for you to take a peek at and hopefully, enjoy as much as I do.

Halloween Gear

1.  Felt-o-Ween is a crafting book full of ideas for costumes, decor and some useful household items.  The designs are easy to create and the instructions are awesome.  I love the templates that are included in the book!  Some of my favorite projects are the candy corn banner, cat ears and a witch hat fascinator.  It’s quite helpful that the books tells you the exact amount of material to get at the store.

2.  I recently discovered Party Cheap.  They have so many celebration decorations and holiday specialty items it’s hard to imagine.  I had a lot of fun browsing their website :)  Some of my favorites were the Assorted Fabric Autumn Leaves and the Halloween String Banner.  The leaves are great for crafts, a centerpiece or even place cards.  The banner is unique and easy to hang.  All of Party Cheap’s inventory items are inexpensive.  You can throw a party or decorate for a holiday without breaking the bank.

3.  Want a spooky table scape but don’t want to look too childish? Tag’s Spooky Party Spiderweb Felt Table Runner.  It’s made of high quality felt and is black in color.  It’s cut out design makes it “pop” against any surface you place it on.  It looks awesome on a coffee table or kitchen table.  I love that it rolls up small and neat and doesn’t take up a lot of space in the off season.  It’s affordable and unique.  A winner that you’ll use year after year.

4. Halloween has gone to the dogs.  Seriously, it’s becoming more and more common for people to get costumes for their pets.  And why not?  They are adorable!  I just discovered Halloween Costumes.com.  (Yes, ANOTHER place that ships what you want right to your door.)  They have lots of adult and kid costumes, but also pet costumes.  They are easy to purchase (and sizing is explained well), affordable and so cute!  My favorite?  The Minion Costume!

5.  Trick or treating bags can either be dull and boring or something you treasure from year to year.  I prefer the latter.  I came across Personal Creation’s Scary ‘N Soft Treat Bags and I instantly fell in love.  They are soft containers with an easy to carry handle.  They are light weight so your child won’t be hefting them around on Halloween.  They hold a lot of candy too!  Not only do they come in lots of styles (mummy, Frankenstein, pirate, pumpkin, cat, Dracula, spider, witch, monster or ghost), they can be personalized with up to nine letters.  This is a great item to have if you have more than one child or for someone to feel super special on the holiday.  I was lucky enough to get one with my name on it and I’m using it to hold Halloween candy for the Trick or Treaters who will be coming to the door.

 

Posted in Halloween, Holiday Organization Tips, Holiday Organizing Tips, Reviews | Leave a comment

Free Shutterfly Magnet

Want to make a lasting memory from those summer photos?  Or get a head start on stocking stuffers?  Shutteryfly is offering you a free magnet from October 2-8th.

Use link: http://www.shareasale.com/u.cfm?d=224066&m=12808&u=739307

And Code: Magnetize

Offer expires October 8, 2014 (11:59 P.M. PT). Offer is good for one free magnet through shutterfly.com. Offer cannot be redeemed more than once per account and/or billing address. Taxes, shipping and handling will apply. Not valid on glass magnets, prepaid plans, gift certificates, other products, prior purchases, purchases made on the Shutterfly iPhone, iPad and Android apps or Shutterfly Pro Galleries. Cannot be redeemed for cash.

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Groop Dealz

So while I’m opposed to clutter and needless shopping, I am all for getting a great bargain on things you need.  I was recently introduced to Groop Dealz.  It’s a daily bargain site filled with things you actually want and need!  Everything from holiday decor to monogrammed and personalized items, Groop Dealz is great for gifts, decorating your home on a budget and even filling your closet without breaking the bank.  Check them out!

Affiliate link*

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A Healthy Dessert-Introducing Natural Scoops

Finding desserts that please your family and don’t fill your bodies with chemicals, dyes and other nutritional atrocities is a hard task.  (To say the least).  One mom, local to me, was inspired to find something BETTER when her family wasn’t able to find something fun and delicious during a trip at the lake this summer.  So, like any great mom, she invented something for her family. And so, Natural Scoop was born.  It’s still a new company, but thus far, it’s been a BIG hit.  Here’s a message from mom-reneur, Carin:

I am so excited to be sending you this email and to make a personal appeal about something very important to me – that has the potential to positively affect others.

Natural Scoop

Ever since I was little, I’ve wanted to make an impact, to change the world. I would question everything (sorry, mom and dad). “Why?” was my favorite word. And “just because” was my least favorite answer. I saw things and knew they could be different, improved, better. I had idea after idea (okay, some things never change). I was curious, intrigued. I tried to absorb all that I could – information, experiences, knowledge – and then store them in my giant, imaginary toolbox, knowing I could pull out just what I needed when I needed it.

Natural Scoop CartAnd now, the time is ripe. I found an amazingly talented business partner, Kirstin Cerulli, and we are working together to take one of my many ideas forward – creating a wholesome and natural ice cream truck franchise. Think Good Humor meets Whole Foods. Delicious, natural, allergy-friendly products. It’s a new spin on an old concept. And it has legs. There is a market here. We just know it.

Case in point: We piloted the concept at our school’s welcome back picnic a few weeks ago to rave reviews. We sold out – all 336 treats – with people wanting more. Even the pickiest eaters loved the products. And one father noted, “The healthiest thing here is the ice cream!” Now, that’s saying something.

To move forward, we need a truck. Our goal is to rapidly prototype the concept to show how successful it can be and turn our attention to create a franchise from it. Our vision is that wherever you go in the country – heck, wherever you go in the world –you can get all-natural and delicious frozen treats. With no chemicals or artificial anything. Ingredients you can pronounce. Allergen-free brands you trust. Taste you love.

And so, I am asking for your help. We started a Kickstarter project to raise money to purchase a truck. Please take a moment to check it out – we are offering some terrific rewards in return for your pledge, including free samples, Natural Scoop branded gear, having a treat named after you, the chance to ride the truck for a day, and more.

Whether you have $10 or $5,000 (hey, we can dream, right?) or any amount in between, we thank you. And if now is not the Baby Signtime for you to contribute but you can spare some good wishes for our success, we thank you. If you feel passionate about our cause and are inspired to share our Kickstarter project with your friends, family, and colleagues, we thank you. Every little bit helps.

The way Kickstarter works is that we have to reach our goal of $8,000 in order to receive any of the money. If we don’t hit our goal, you will not owe any money. If we surpass our goal, we will use the funds for detailing the truck, marketing, product testing, design, insurance, licensing, and so much more.

In creating this business, I will draw from my vast toolkit of experiences – in business, communication, marketing, food, nutrition, life, and so much more – working closely with Kirstin, an incredible business partner who brings her own unique toolbox of experiences and skills.

Thank you in advance for your support. We look forward to making the world a better – tastier place – one treat at a time.

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How To Manage and Store Kids’ Artwork

Children’s artwork is a bittersweet thing.  It’s beautiful and can represent a glimpse into the world as seen through a child’s eyes.  It can also be a great indicator of your child’s development.  However, artwork can add up.  Before you know it, artwork can over whelm your counters, refrigerator, and walls.  By implementing the following steps you will make sure your memories are kept in tact, and decrease the clutter.

Kids' Artwork

 

  1. Before you do anything with a piece of artwork, decide what it means to you.  Is it the best piece your child has ever done or is it just another piece they drew while waiting for dinner at a restaurant?  Be honest with yourself.
  2. Do you have family members that live far away?  Have your child sign pieces of artwork, then write a quick note and send the artwork to friends and family who live far away.  It may sound silly to you because you have dozens of pieces, but to them it may be the only piece they have!
  3. For three-dimensional pieces of art, the easiest thing to do is take a photo of your child with the piece; keep it for a little while, and then dispose of it.  I usually suggest moving it to another area of the house, such as the garage, after a period of time.  If its not missed, you can easily get rid of it.
  4. Use frames that are easily changeable to house artwork.  Job tickets are small plastic sheaths that are designed to house contractor’s paperwork on dirty and wet job sites.  They are inexpensive and easy to hang on your wall.  Papers slip in and out quickly and easily.  Changing artwork is a snap.
  5. Pizza boxes make great artwork storage.  Ask at your local pizza place to give you some unused boxes.  Most restaurants will give them away for free.  You can group artwork by date, child or academic year.
  6. For artwork that is flat, consider scanning it in and storing it digitally.
  7. Take photos of your child with their artwork.  Then you can print them and put them into an album or you can print a digital photo book.  This gives you a printed record of your child’s progress.  Print multiple books and give them to family members.
  8. Set limits with your child on just how many pieces of artwork you will keep.  Stay within these boundaries and it will help them learn to determine which pieces have meaning and which pieces do not.
  9. Combine storage with display.  Use a string and clothespins to display a large number of items in a small amount of space.
  10. Make sure you hold yourself accountable to sit down and sort through artwork.  It will build up as the school year progresses.  Putting a date into your calendar to make those difficult decisions will make sure it gets done and make sure the artwork doesn’t pile up too high.  For the pieces you have determined should be kept and are important, take the time to have them laminated and to protect them in clearly labeled plastic containers.

Lea Lettering DesignBonus Tip:  Have a professional create a work of art from your child’s art.  I love Lea Lettering’s designs.  Send her something and she will create an heirloom piece.

 

Your Turn:  Which one of these tips do you think would work best for you?  Let us know what you try and if you send us a picture, we’ll send you a thank you gift!

Posted in Kids, Paper and Office Organizing, Photos/Artwork | Leave a comment

Organizing Tip ~ Ten Minute Tidy

Ten Minute Tidy

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First Aid Kit Organization

For a while now I’ve used a medium sized tote to organize my first aid kit.  However, the more time passes, the harder it seemed to get to find what I needed, when I needed it.

Since I didn’t want to spend a lot of money, I started to look at the containers I had around the house.  I always have plastic shoe boxes.  You can buy these at a local super store or from The Container Store.  I love the lids that snap securely in place.

Click to purchase

I got out four plastic shoe boxes and divided up the items I had into categories.  While they weren’t perfect groupings, they made sense to me and that’s what is most important in creating any organizational system.

The groupings I made were; wound care, cold and stomach, injury and all other supplies.  Take a peek at the groups below.

Then I snapped on the lids, labeled the outside and put the containers into a bin I have used for years (and love).  The Container Store still sells the bin too.  The sides are flexible so totes fit great inside and it’s light weight so you can pick it up off a shelf easily with no added heft.

The great thing about a system like this is that I always know what I have.  I never wonder at the store what’s in my first aid inventory.  I also know that if need be, I can take one of the kits out to care for an injury or treat a cold and then just put it away when I’m done.  Since the containers are inexpensive and plastic, they can be washed or replaced if something inside leaks.First Aid Kit Organizaton

Click to purchase

Posted in Bathroom Organization, Home Organizing Tips | Leave a comment

Halloween Treats Grown Ups Will Love Too

This Halloween give you a treat that everyone will love.  The Cookie Girl’s fall and Halloween themed cookies are as delicious as they are adorable.  They are a great way to send an amazing treat to your child’s class, a treat to the teacher, a money maker at a bake sale and a unique and amazing treat to give out to Tick or Treaters.

Orders take about two weeks including delivery so order early!!

assorted fall cookies Assorted Halloween

Take a look at some of her adorable designs :)  They will make your heart and mind happy!

The Cookie Girl
832-360-8101
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The Best Natural Beauty Products

Want to look good and take care of your skin but hate chemicals?  Me too.  So I started off to find the best beauty products that LACK chemicals, toxins and animal products.  Here are my favorites.  **Please note I received samples of some of these products in order to try them to write these reviews.  My opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.  (And I’m sharing the best of the best with you….I’m not mentioning the others.)

Natural Beauty Products

Rose Hand CreamJurlique’s Rose Hand Cream is amazing.  Seriously amazing.  It takes care of all of those dry cuticles and rough patches on your hands and leaves an amazing rose scent.  It doesn’t leave your hands sticky or greasy either.  This is great to use while sitting at your desk because you can immediately go back to typing away and your keys don’t get yucky.  It has aloe vera, macadamia oil, safflower seed oil, and vitamin E to take great care of your skin.  (Jurlique’s products are natural, made with the best ingredients and it all means amazing care for your skin and the Earth.)Rosewater Balancing Mist

If your skin has had a hard day, try Jurlique’s Rosewater Balancing Mist.  It’s a mouthful but this product is amazing.  My skin always feels great when I get ready in the morning, but it gets dry at the day goes on.  Without heading back to the shower or my bedroom, I need something that can moisturize and hydrate my skin.  This does the trick. It’s light weight so it doesn’t feel heavy on my face.  You can wear it below or above makeup. The smell is spectacular.  It’s a good way to care for your skin throughout the day and it gives you a little pick me up at the same time!

While this isn’t glamorous, Jurlique’s Calendula Redness Rescue Cream helps out those of us with sensitive skin.  I usually don’t talk about my skin on my blog but I have some really dry patches that become itchy and red in the winter months.  This calmed them right down.  Just a small dab did an amazing job of hydrating the skin and keeping it that way.

It isn’t easy finding the all natural products you want.  You can go to a large beauty store, but then you have to do all the research and read the labels. It’s difficult and time consuming.  I discovered BeauTeaBar and it’s one stop shop for all things natural.

I was able to try RAW CEUTICAL’s hot oil treatment and it was great.  Just put it on your hair (damp) and leave for 30 minutes.  Then, shampoo out.  I work out a lot so my ends are frayed and I often have flyways.  This leave sky hair bright and shiny and conditioned right out of the shower.  And I LOVE a product that allows me to leave the house looking good without much effort.

Acure Balancing TonerNow that I know I love toner so much, I would like to recommend Acure’s Balancing Rose and Read Tea Toner.  Use this toner to restore balance and tone up your skin. This toner really takes the shine out of your face.  Perfect for putting on before a meeting or before you head out for dinner after a long day at the office.  Perfect to put into your purse, in the car or in your desk drawer. It’s alcohol-free and certified organic and uses Organic Witch Hazel to purify, Organic Vegetable Glycerin to moisturize and Organic Rose and Chamomile to soothe.

Getting clean is often sometimes a dirty task.  Most body washes are filled with animal A Girls Gotta Spaingredients, parabens and dyes.  A Girl’s Gotta Spa! has an amazing Citrus body wash that leaves you clean, smelling amazing and avoids all of the nasty stuff.  Their citrus energizing wash is cruelty free (Leaping Bunny Certified, 98% natural, made in the US and vegan.  It smells amazing and cleans like a dream.  What you won’t get are paragons, formaldehyde, petrochemicals, synthetic fragrance or sulfates.  Treat yourself to a great shower every time!

Okay so how do you apply natural makeup and products without using animal products?  Check out Plain Jane Beauty’s line of makeup brushes.  Available in six shapes and sizes, they are cruelty free.  Make with synthetics these brushes are soft and easy to use.  They clean well and don’t shed either.  These make a great gift for someone who cares about animals and wants tostill feel and look beautiful.  They are also great for those with allergies or sensitive skin.  Plain Jane also makes a line of makeup!

Plain Jane Brush

Aubrey Organics sent me a smattering of their product offerings.  They are diverse and I’ve yet to try one I don’t love.  I have a few favorites….Their Biotin Repair Shampoo and Conditioner leaves my hair soft and smooth without any extra styling at all.  It’s rare that I don’t have to fight my hair into submission after washing it.  I can brush and go with this.  And that’s amazing!

Their line of calming skin moisturizers, wipes, cleansers and mask, is pretty darn awesome.  It’s age fighting and oh so moisturizing.  I have super sensitive skin and these leave me moisturized, cared for and even glowing.  My husband noticed a difference in my skin!

Their line of makeup is also amazing.  I can’t stand the feeling of most powders and blushes on my face.  These are so light you don’t know they are there.  While they aren’t full coverage, they are just enough to enhance your complexion and leave you looking like a better you.  The Natural Lips gloss even has a moisturizers in it so your lips look BETTER after using it.  This and the chapstick are always on my desk :)

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Lola & Sophie ~ A Review

It’s not often that you find a brand where you really like all of their pieces.  I recently came across Lola & Sophie and their items are amazing.  They are the perfect blend of comfort, style, fashion and ease.  It’s the best blend of casual elegance (and softness).

I was able to try out their 3/4 sleeve over drape top in black.  It’s so soft that you’ll find yourself wanting to put this on even to hang around the house.

The layers are funky and on trend, but not over the top so.  They super flattering and hide anything you want to cover in your midsection. This pairs great with jeans, leggings or even a pair of dress pants.  Dress it up or down.

Lola & Sophie’s clothes are affordable too. You’ll go back to their brand over and over again I promise. I find it’s a great way to look pulled together while being secretly comfy and cozy.

Lola & Sophie

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… I will continue to use Bonnie Dewkett and The Joyful Organizer on projects in our home as our family expands and our needs continue to change…

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