Friday, July 25, 2014

{Recipe} Watermelon Mint Agua Fresca


Last Friday I posted about the watermelon berry mint salad that I made for a party, and my search for yummy watermelon recipes. Today, I can't resist but post another one that I made - this time a watermelon drink that will make you feel like you are sitting in an al fresco cafe in Spain!

WATERMELON MINT AGUA FRESCA!

Ingredients:
2 c. watermelon
¼ c. water
1.5 tbsp mint
Juice from 1/3 lime

Blend all ingredients in blender and serve chilled.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thankful Thursday: Thankful Box + Love Notes

I've recently been convicted of the fact that I don't give enough love notes to my husband and children. As a newlywed, I would put little notes into my husband's work bag or stick post-its to his steering wheel to let him know how much I appreciated him. I think about how much more I could be doing this today, and also writing little notes into my kids' lunches as well. I love these sweet little notes below because they will get me into the habit of showing my love more, and the "thankful" box is a great way to store these and other notes for my family!

Countless Sayings Cards

Paper - Whisper White Cardstock

Ink Pads - Bermuda Bay, Calypso Coral, Crisp Cantaloupe, Pink Pirouette, Pistachio Pudding, Smoky Slate Classic Stamp Pads, Jet Black StazOn Pad




Thankful for You Box

Cardstock: Coastal Cabana, Crisp Cantaloupe, Pistachio Pudding, Soft Sky, White Vellum, Whisper White, Gold Foil Sheets

Ink Pad: Crisp Cantaloupe

Accessories & Tools
Epic Day This and That Designer Washi Tape
Tag a Bag Gift Boxes
Whisper White Baker's Twine
Window Sheets
1/2" Circle Punch
Big Shot
Bitty Banners Framelits Dies
Expressions Thinlits Dies
Simply Scored
Sewing machine and thread
Instructions
  1. Cut a piece of the Window Sheet to 6-7/8" x 10". Score lengthwise from the top of the sheet at 2-1/2", 4-3/4", 7-1/4", and 9-1/2".
  2. Cut a piece of White Vellum Cardstock to 6-7/8" x 2-1/2".
  3. Punch circles from Coastal Cabana, Crisp Cantaloupe, Pistachio Pudding, and Soft Sky Cardstock and Gold Foil Sheets using the 1/2" Circle Punch. Put the circles between the White Vellum Cardstock piece and the third section of the scored Window Sheet. Sew around the White Vellum Cardstock to keep the circles inside.
  4. Fold the Window Sheet at the score lines and adhere the ends to make a sleeve for the box.
  5. Fill the box with the treats and slide the Window Sheet sleeve over the box.
  6. Using the Big Shot and the Expressions Thinlits Dies, cut "Thankful" from the Gold Foil Sheets.
  7. Adhere the "Thankful" to the front of the Window Sheet sleeve.
  8. Stamp "For you" in Crisp Cantaloupe ink on Whisper White Cardstock.
  9. Using the Big Shot and the Bitty Banners Framelits Dies, cut out the stamped "For you."
  10. Tie a strip of Whisper White Baker's Twine around the box.
  11. Adhere the "For you" banner over the twine.
  12. Adhere a 1" strip of washi tape over each edge of the Window Sheet sleeve to secure the sleeve to the box.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

DIY: Monogram File Folder


DIY: Monogram File Folder

Paper
Crushed Curry Cardstock
Regals Designer Series Paper Stack

Ink - Bermuda Bay Classic & Strawberry Slush Classic Stampin' Ink Refill

Accessories & ToolsBuild a Banner Simply Created Kit
Whisper White Baker's Twine
Pearl Basic Jewels
Bitty Punch
File folder (for pattern)
Rubbing alcohol
Instructions
  1. Create a designer file folder by tracing the shape of a file folder onto Crushed Curry Designer Series Paper. Use one 12" x 12" piece of paper for each half of the folder, leaving enough overlap to adhere the two halves together.
  2. Mix some rubbing alcohol with Bermuda Bay Classic Stampin' Ink Refill in the Stampin' Spritzer.
  3. Place the polka-dot stencil on the uncoated side of a canvas pennant and spritz the pennant with the Bermuda Bay mixture. Remove the stencil and allow the ink to dry.
  4. Mix some rubbing alcohol with Strawberry Slush Classic Stampin' Ink Refill in the Stampin' Spritzer.
  5. Place the "m" stencil (or a different letter to go with your hostess's name) on the Bermuda Bay polka-dot pennant and layer the mask over the stencil. Spritz the pennant with the Strawberry Slush mixture. Remove the stencil and mask and allow the ink to dry.
  6. Punch a butterfly from Crushed Curry Cardstock using the Bitty Butterfly Punch. Adhere the butterfly to the pennant.
  7. Adhere a Pearl Basic Jewel to the butterfly.
  8. Wrap Whisper White Baker's Twine around the file folder, thread the twine through the pennant, and tie a bow in the front.
Tips
  • It's normal for ink to bleed a little on the canvas.
  • Be sure you're using the uncoated side of the pennants.
  • Clean stencils using a baby wipe or by running them under water and laying them on a paper towel to dry.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Diaper Buying Guide

In the US, our babies use approximately 6,000 diapers from birth to potty training.
Check out this information from Beautycounter: Americans throw away 18 billion disposable diapers a year, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). The majority of these diapers are disposable, many of which are made with plastic, bleached fibers, and fragrance chemicals that may pose a health risk and take hundreds of years to decompose after we throw them away.
Finding the right diapers is important to your baby’s health and wellbeing—and also to the planet, your budget, and your sanity. There are several factors to take into account—the materials used in the diaper, the cost, the accessibility, biodegradability, and of course, preventing leaks and blowouts.
Cloth:
Since they are washed and reused (sometimes for more than one kid in the family), cloth diapers eliminate a tremendous amount of waste. And since they are free of bleached fibers (which may contain dioxin, which is a carcinogen and endocrine disruptorand undisclosed fragrance chemicals, they are a safer option to many of the disposables.
Now, in case you’re questioning the sanity of using cloth diapers in 2014, please know this: They have come a long way! The days of super bulky cotton closed with safety pins or rubber pants are over. There are numerous great blog posts written about the myriad options of cloth diapers—all-in-one, pocket, fitted, etc. (See here and here and here.) Like so many things, no single brand emerges as the clear winner: One person swears by one kind, whereas another parent explains that they didn’t work for them at all.
If you’re considering cloth diapers and you’re not sure which type of diaper or diaper wash to use, try buying one or two of the top contenders and seeing how you like them before purchasing in bulk. Most people suggest washing diapers with a special diaper wash (check out this laundry detergent guide) every couple of days, so you will need to factor in the cost and time of doing extra laundry.
While the upfront cost of cloth can seem high (new diapers average $16), even with the cost of water, energy, and soap, you’re likely to save 60%, or thousands of dollars, if you choose cloth over disposable. The most highly-regarded brands include BumGeniusThirsties, and FuzziBunz.
Disposable:
Disposable diapers are made of wood pulp (Fluff pulp), super absorbent polymers (or SAPs, which soak up the liquids), polypropylene (PP), polyethylene (PE), along with tapes, elastics, adhesives, and sometimes fragrance.
Landfills are problematic because the lack of air, sun, and helpful microbes do not allow for trash to decompose. Even organic food scraps take forever to break down in landfills, let alone a plastic-filled diaper, which can persist for decades (some say hundreds of years).
Most disposable diapers are bleached white by way of chlorine bleach, which might results in dioxin contamination. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), dioxins are among the most toxic chemicals and are listed by the EPA as cancer-causing and hormone-disrupting chemicals. Disposable diapers may also contain chemicals that can irritate the respiratory system and or the skin.
There are a few brands of disposable diapers that do not use chlorine bleach or fragrances, and which use recycled fibers. These are far better options—both environmentally and health-wise—than “traditional” disposable diapers, but they do cost more. Buying online in bulk can help cut down the price per diaper, and many websites ship for free when you order enough at a time.
For disposable diapers, we like Earth’s BestHonest CompanySeventh Generation, and gDiapers.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Shindigz Personalized Party Supplies + Giveaway!

I was so very excited to be contacted by the party supply company, Shindigz, to do a review of their products. The company specializes in personalization, so their party supplies are anything but ordinary! With a son's birthday party around the corner, I jumped at the chance to create some fun birthday decorations that would be special to his heart and perfect for his event.

Although it was tempting to get a giant-size cutout of my son's face or to put pictures of him on the plates and napkins, I settled on a basic but modern chalkboard theme. This worked well since he kept changing his mind about what he wanted, and we'll even get to reuse some of the decorations for years to come!

The party decorations available ranged from small favors to enormous, giant size props! I was SO close to getting a life-size number eight for my son to hold in his eight-year-old birthday pictures, but the giant numbers would be perfect for a graduation party - or well, any party at all!


Shindigz must pay close attention to Pinterest, because everything I needed was available through their site. For example, I wanted personalized wrapper/stickers for water bottles, and they had hundreds! We opted for water bottle stickers that said "Happy Birthday Trent" on one side while the other side had the Lego Movie motto, "Everything is Awesome!"


They also had hints on how to DIY decorations for the party that would match what they sold! I used their chalkboard labels to decorate glass jars of goodies, which matched the chalkboard themed personalized items nicely. 
Mini Mason Jars
Chalkboard Labels from Shindigz
1/4 inch Ribbon
Lego Man Lego Storage / Food Bowl
Chalkboard Labels from Shindigz
Small Milk Jars
Party Straws
We were thrilled with the personalized birthday banner and are excited that we will be able to use it each year down the road as well since the colors and style will transfer to other birthday themes!


My son just learned how to play the card game Rummy and is all about cards right now, so we chose personalized tins of playing cards for party favors, along with Shindigz' Lego construction block candy!

Personalized Playing Card Tins for Party Favors from Shindigz
Our personalized items alternated between "Happy Birthday Trent" and a line from the Lego Movie - "Everything is Awesome" which was perfect for our lego theme! Next time around, I'll have them print personalized cupcake toppers to match the party theme as well.


Personalized Party Banner, Cupcake Wrappers, Party Favor Tins, Water Bottle Labels
And now for the fun part! Shindigz is giving away a $25 gift certificate towards their personalized party supply website! Be sure to enter below and pass the word along!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

**Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I received party products at no charge to assist me in my review. However, all opinions are 100% honest and my own. I truly enjoyed shopping with Shindigz and was very pleased with the party decorations that resulted from the personalization!