Monthly Archives

October 2016

october fun scrapbook page using bella blvd by the creative copycat

October Fun Scrapbook Page

Yay for my first scrapbooking post!

I’m not sure why, but scrapbooking is probably the crafting area I am least confident in, which is sort of weird because I have been doing it the longest. I think part of it is because I want to save products for the perfect page or I’m nervous about making a mistake with my only sheet of a certain paper or maybe my brain is just fried from the other thousands of thoughts I have going on at any given moment by the time I get to scrapbooking (usually late at night after everyone is in bed). Whatever the reason, this is the area where I am the biggest copycat. Thankfully, the scrapbooking world seems to encourage “scraplifting” 😉

I’ve posted a little bit about scrapbooking on my instagram account and have already been getting questions. 🙂 I have a few tips and ideas I’d like to share with you in the coming weeks and months, and I will do my best to answer any questions, but for today, I’m just sharing this fun October layout I created for Hudson’s preschool album with one fun, but hopefully very helpful idea.

I don’t know about your kids, but Hudson brought home hundreds of crafts last year. By the last day of school, I had a drawer overflowing and piles of crafts throughout my house. I am a hoarder at heart and was struggling with tossing them out, so I decided to photograph them. I photographed everything, then picked out my favorites (which was still way too many) and tossed the rest.

*One tip I learned the hard way, is to leave space around the art when you take the photos. This will give you more freedom later when creating collages and/or re-sizing photos for your layout.*

I then created a scrapbook page for each month using photos the preschool gave us at the end of the year and the pictures I took of Hudson’s artwork. I used one of my favorite Laura Vegas layouts as inspiration and a variety of Bella Blvd papers and washi tapes. This page is actually quite simple, but I really love how it turned out. I love looking at Hudson’s art on the scrapbook page and it has helped me tremendously in being able to let go of the overwhelming stack of physical artwork I had taking over my house. I took my few favorite physical pieces of art and slipped them in 12×12 page protectors and included them in the photo album. It makes me happy to know that Hudson’s artwork is actually being admired instead of sitting in a box in my garage.


painted wood slice pumpkin craft

Mom’s Craft Night – October

One of the things that I have found to be very rewarding and a big help in keeping me sane, was joining my local Mom’s Club. We have park play dates, Mom’s night out events, kid’s crafts, holiday get together’s and tons of other fun activities. We recently added a Mom’s Craft Night to the calendar, which I host every other month. For October, I picked a really fun decor craft using wood slices from A Night Owl. She had a tutorial on using the wood slices to make pumpkins and one to make apples.  On Pinterest I also saw a few people had just painted them black with chalkboard paint so I decided to get supplies for all three crafts and let the moms choose.

I provided the following supplies:

  • Orange Acrylic Paint
  • Brown Acrylic Paint (I used Americana Multi Surface Satin in Coffee bean)
  • Red Chalkboard Paint (I used Martha Stewart Chalkboard paint in Habanero)
  • Black Chalkboard Paint
  • Coiled floral wire
  • Jumbo square craft sticks
  • One round stick sawed into smaller pieces
  • Green felt
  • Foam paint brushes
  • Glue gun
  • Wire cutters
  • Drill – only needed for the apple

I asked the mom’s to bring the wooden slices with them.

We all ended up making the pumpkin and then a few of us made the other two as well. They all turned out really cute and it was a fun and easy craft night october group picture

The best part was that we had to keep waiting for the paint to dry, which meant lots of down time to eat delicious treats, drink and chat. I made Monster Saltine Cracker Toffee, Candy Corn Cracker Toffee, spooky rice crispy treats and straw-berry ghouladas to drink. We also took a few pictures in my DIY photobooth. The photobooth is something I get asked about all the time, so I am working on a post with all the details and will hopefully have that up for you soon.

If you are interested in making any of these fall themed crafts please click on the below links for complete instructions.

painted wood slice pumpkin craft

Painted Wood Slice Pumpkin


mom craft night apple wood slice

DIY Apple Chalkboard


For the chalkboard one, we just painted the wood slice with 2-3 coats of chalkboard paint allowing it to dry for about an hour in between each coat. Wait another 24 hours before you season the chalkboard and begin to decorate.

As you can see, it only takes a few supplies and fun treats to have a really great night with friends.

mom craft night october treats

mom craft night october strawberry ghouladas

mom craft night diy halloween photo booth

monster saltine toffee crackers

Monster Saltine Cracker Toffee

Saltine Cracker Toffee, aka “Christmas Crack” (I have never been a fan of that name) is one of my favorite things to make. I was only introduced to it by a friend last Christmas and I have been making it ever since. It is so easy to make and involves very few ingredients so it is a great dessert to whip up for last-minute situations. I just change my toppings to fit each holiday.This time, I used green candy melts and fun toppings to make a spooky version for Halloween.

Monster Saltine Cracker Toffee

A Halloween twist on this classic dessert. Add edible eyes, gummy worms, mini Oreos, m&ms and sprinkles for a fun and easy dessert

Copycatable Rating:?????
Credit: adapted from


  • 30-40 saltine crackers
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 cups green candy melts
  • mini M&M’s, mini oreos to make bats, candy eyes, gummy worms and sprinkles to decorate


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F
  2. Line a large jelly roll pan with aluminum foil. Spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray and then line the pan with saltine crackers.
  3. Place the butter and sugar in a medium-sized pot over medium-low heat. Stir until butter has melted. Once butter has melted, bring to a boil. Stir constantly. Turn down the heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes until thickened.
  4. Once it’s nice and bubbly, remove pan from heat.
  5. Pour evenly over saltine crackers and spread mixture with a knife. Try to move fast during this part so the toffee doesn’t harden.
  6. Place pan in the oven and bake for 5-7 minutes.
  7. While pan is in the oven, place bowl of candy melts in microwave and melt following packaging instructions. *They don’t need to be completely melted as the heat from the toffee will finish melting them*
  8. Remove pan from oven and then pour candy melts on top and spread all over the toffee with a spatula.
  9. Sprinkle toppings on then place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  10. Once chocolate has hardened break pieces off the foil and store in an air-tight container.

*Another fun little tip is to make this in two smaller pans so you can use different toppings. I made one pan of the Monster Saltine Cracker Toffee and one pan of Candy Corn Saltine Cracker Toffee. For the candy corn toffee use orange, yellow and white candy melts, orange and yellow m&m’s, sprinkles and candy corn (if you don’t eat it all while baking….oops) 😉
saltine cracker toffee making

halloween saltine cracker toffee two ways monster and candy corn


strawberry ghouladas drink recipe

Strawberry Ghoul-adas

I know it is supposed to be fall and everyone is probably enjoying their cold weather drinks right now, but here in Cali it is still hot! I decided it was the perfect excuse to transform my favorite fruity concoction, a Lava Flow, into a festive Halloween drink. This is so easy I am not even sure if it qualifies as a recipe, but here ya go.

Strawberry Ghoul-adas

  • Servings: syrup fills approx. a dozen syringes and drink recipe is adjustable
  • Print

Transform the tropical and fruity lava flow into a fun and easy Halloween drink

Copycatable Rating:????? Credit: I’m taking credit for this one although I obviously didn’t invent the Lava Flow 😉


    For the Simple Strawberry Syrup
  • 1 10 ounce bag of frozen strawberries
  • 4 tablespoons boiling water
  • 6 tablespoons sugar (if your strawberries are really sweet or you aren’t addicted to sugar like me you could easily cut the boiling water and sugar amounts in half)
  • For the Pina Coladas
  • Pina Colada Mix
  • Rum
  • Ice


    For the Simple Strawberry Syrup
  1. Combine boiling water and sugar to make a syrup
  2. Add syrup to frozen strawberries and blend until smooth
  3. Suck strawberry syrup into syringes – filling to the 1 ounce mark
  4. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve
  5. For the Pina Coladas
  6. Blend pina coloda mix, rum and ice in blender following measurements on the mix.
  7. Pour into cup and serve with “bloody” syringe.
  8. Watch as the blood fills your drink – stir – enjoy.

she loves color 2016 gift tag printable for ziploc

She Loves Color Event Recap

Last weekend my mom and I flew to Milwaukee for the first ever She Loves Color event. What an amazing and inspiring weekend! The event consisted of 6 classes from industry professionals over two days and a bonus Designer Day offering a la cart classes the day before the official event. The weekend was jam-packed and we were exhausted by the end, but in such a good way. We learned so much, made great friends and even squeezed in a bit of exploring.

she loves color 2016 backdrop

We took the red-eye Wednesday night, landed around 7:30 the next morning and went straight from the airport to our first class.

she loves color 2016 airport selfie

Our first class was a color-blocking layout class from Jill Yegerlehner the Owner and Creative Director of Jillibean Soup. We missed a chunk of this class because of our flight, but Jill was so sweet and did her best to help us catch up. The layouts were very cute and I should be able to finish them up at home.


We took the faithful planner girl workshop from Cori Spieker, the Reset Girl. A few times I found myself just listening to Cori talk instead of working on my own project because she was so inspiring. I love her message that it is never too late to reset your life. I sort of feel like I got to do a reset when I became a stay at home mom and I am now working towards creating the life I want.

she loves color 2016 cori reset girl class

Our third class of the day was the Bible Stations class with Shanna Noel from Illustrated Faith, where we learned techniques using ink, gelatos, watercolors, acrylic paints, markers and more.  This class was so fun and I learned so many new techniques. Shanna was very sweet and helped me to let go and have fun playing around with all the cool products. I even bought a set of acrylic paints so hopefully I will be brave and play around with them at home.

she loves color 2016 shanna noel illustrated faith class

To kick off the actual event, Stacy Julian, a scrapbook industry pioneer and founder of Big Picture Classes, spoke all about color at the opening ceremony. She talked about how color effects moods and how we shouldn’t follow rules regarding color because color is something you should feel. She informed us that life is too short for beige and encouraged us to live colorfully. 🙂 Stacy had the most amazing energy and her key-note speech was a huge success.

she loves color 2016 opening ceremony

We started off Day 1 with Stephanie Smokovich’s class. Stephanie is the Owner and Creative Director of Bella Blvd as well as the one responsible for making this whole event happen. I am so impressed that she hosted the event and taught three full days of classes while pregnant and still had a smile on her face and positive attitude the entire weekend. I admire her and the company she has built so much! I am definitely a Bella Blvd. Superfan and I can’t wait to show you this project once I finish it. It is oh so cute and a pretty genius idea too!

she loves color 2016 stephanie's class bella blvd

Next we took class with Amy Tan, an award-winning designer and Creative Director of Amy Tangerine. Amy posted the most beautiful quote on her instagram last week, “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself” that I feel really sums up my blog and my mission. I am taking little bits of inspiration from all around me and creating a better version of myself. I just had to tell Amy how inspiring the quote was and how it came at just the right time. She was so sweet and playing with watercolors in her class was so fun. My kids watercolor all the time, but I enjoyed it so much that I think I might start joining them.

she loves color 2016 amy class details

she loves color 2016 amy class group photo

To end the first day, we got the most gorgeous traveler notebook planner from Webster’s Pages and we made a traveler’s notebook. The class was taught by Laura Graff, Creative Director at Weber’s Pages.

she loves color 2016 laura class

she loves color 2016 laura

That night we did a bunch of really cute make and takes at the Local Bazar. While we were there, Amy told me she wanted to create a quote for me. I got to design the background and pick the quote, then Amy did her magic using the new ipad lettering on her iPad Pro. Isn’t that so cool?!

she loves color 2016 amy tangerine quote create the life you want ipad lettering ipad pro

We started day 2, with a class from our keynote speaker, Stacy Julian. Here is the quote she shared in her class, “Feeling at home with ourselves and being able to create a spirit of place that nourishes us physically, emotionally and spiritually is a goal worthy of our highest priority.” Isn’t that beautiful?! Stacy’s class was so fun, she is a really cool person and just uplifting to me around.

she loves color 2016 stacy's class

Then we took the second part of Stephanie Smokovichs’ class. We will have a full album of 12×12 pages when it is done, which is really exciting!

she loves color 2016 stephanie class 2

Our last class was with Cynthea Sandoval, Owner and Creative Director of Doodlebug Design. We made a very cute, tropical book. This will be perfect for a Hawaii trip!

she loves color 2016 doodlebug class with cynthea

All of the classes were amazing and the projects were all different and fabulous, but I think the coolest part of the event is really getting to know the teachers. The event felt so intimate and the teachers were all so friendly and down to earth. These women are at the top of their industry so getting to know them and see how kind they all are was in my opinion, the best part.

she loves color 2016 slc

We also got amazing swag bags, tons of prizes and incredible gifts from sponsors. One of the really unique and special things about this event was that each teacher designed something exclusively for the event. One of the event sponsors, Clique Kits also created custom flair and cards so we ended up with tons of products we can use to scrapbook the event. Receiving all those goodies was icing on the cake! Here are a few of the items designed exclusively for the event:

she loves color 2016 event exclusives

Throughout the event, you could earn balls for every $15 spent (I won’t tell you how many I had in there, but it was a lot. hehe) and then they gave hundreds of awesome prizes away the final night. I won a gorgeous lavender webster’s pages craftmate folio, a handmade travel journal from Shanna Noel of Illustrated Faith and a $50 gift card to!! For someone who had A LOT of luggage to get home the gift card was the perfect gift!! I can’t wait to use it!


We also made tons of new friends and enjoyed a little bit of the beauty of fall in Milwaukee, which was pretty exciting for this California gal. I loved all the colorful trees and crisp air. I am already looking forward to next year and want to try to stay an extra day so I can really see the city.

This Cali girl is loving all the fall colors in Milwaukee! #shelovescolor #shelovescolor2016 #milwaukee #fall #craftymom #thecreativecopycat

she loves color 2016 bloody mary

she loves color 2016 trees

she loves color 2016 fall colors

Cheers to the weekend! #shelovescolor #shelovescolor2016 #travel #milwaukee #thecreativecopycat

she loves color waterfront dinner

The weekend was incredible and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in paper crafting. If you are interested and would like more information you should follow shelovescolor on instagram and check out this post on the Bella Blvd site.

she loves color 2016 gift tag printable for ziploc

*I created these little gifts for my table mates and figured I would offer them here as a free printable. I hope you enjoy them.*

pumpkin whipped cream

Pumpkin Whipped Cream

I made this quick and easy pumpkin whipped cream for our Halloween playdate and it exceeded all my expectations. The DIY Foodie said it would change my life, and honestly it did. It is so easy, yet it takes my morning coffee to a whole new level. I stored the leftovers in a tupperware in the fridge so I could enjoy “pumpkin spice lattes” at home all week. By pumpkin spice lattes, I mean, coffee, with french vanilla coffee mate and a splash of pumpkin spice coffee mate added, then topped with this heavenly whipped cream. You could also put this on scones, pumpkin pie, cookies, anything really to add a little fall magic.

Pumpkin Whipped Cream

  • Servings: A medium bowl
  • Print

Quick and easy pumpkin whipped cream that will surely get you in the fall spirit.

Copycatable Rating:????? Credit: slightly modified recipe from The DIY Foodie


  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 tablespoons Libby’s pumpkin puree


  1. Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl or stand mixer. *make sure ingredients are cold
  2. Whip for 2-4 minutes until it reaches desired consistency

vampire fang whistle card printable

Halloween Fang Whistle Classroom Treats with Free Printable

I was walking through Target by myself the other day, sounds heavenly right?, when I spotted vampire fang whistles. For Hudson’s preschool Halloween party,  we are asked to bring  a non-food treat for each kid and I thought these would be a lot of fun. You can’t really go wrong with something that transforms your child into a vampire and makes noise, right? Plus, while Halloween is centered strongly around candy and sweets, it is becoming more common in schools to require non-food treats as allergies become more and more common. As a mama of an allergic child, I certainly appreciate that and put a lot of effort into making sure that no sweets doesn’t mean no fun.


As soon as I got home, I searched the internet for a printable and couldn’t find anything so I made one myself. These are really easy to put together and Hudson loved them. I can’t wait for him to share them with his friends at school. I hope you enjoy making these as well.

To download the free printable click here.

cute and easy non-food halloween card printable with vampire fang whistle
pumpkin scones

Pumpkin Scones

These pumpkin scones are perfect for fall. They are quick, easy and only have a few ingredients. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Scones

  • Servings: 12-16
  • Print

Quick and easy scones that are perfect for fall.

Copycatable Rating:?????
Credit: Scone Recipe adapted from


  • 2 1/2 cups self-raising flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup Libby’s pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup sprite
  • 1 tablespoons milk
  • For the Glaze (Optional)
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk
  • For the Spiced Glaze (Optional)
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk


  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl
  3. Whisk the pumpkin and cream in a separate bowl until smooth and add to flour
  4. Add sprite and mix with a knife until sticky dough forms
  5. Place onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly *over kneading will cause scones to be tough
  6. Press dough out with hands until approximately 1 inch thick
  7. Use round 2 3/4″ biscuit cutter dipped in flour to cut rounds from dough
  8. Gently knead the leftovers and cut more rounds
  9. Place the scones, side by side and just touching, on a parchment lined tray.
  10. Lightly brush with milk
  11. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden.
  12. To make the glaze, combine confectioners’ sugar and milk. Whisk until smooth.
  13. To make the spiced glaze, combine confectioners’ sugar, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and milk. Whisk until smooth.
  14. Once scones have completely cooled, spoon the glaze on each scone.
  15. Place spiced glaze in ziploc bag. Cut tip off and drizzle glaze over scones.
  16. Allow glazes to set before serving.

halloween playdate monster donuts and pumpkin scones

Halloween Playdate

I hosted a playdate today for my Mom’s Club group and did a few little things to make it extra fun for everyone. Most of these were really simple, but made a big impact. First of all, I added vampire teeth and candy eyes to our glazed donuts. I’m sure you have seen this all over pinterest and I am here to tell you it is as easy as it seems and the kids loved it. If you are having trouble with the eyes just put a little corn syrup on the backs so they stick without having to shove them in.

monster donuts

I also set out a few coffee mate creamers including pumpkin spice to add to our coffee along with a bowl of homemade pumpkin whipped cream.

coffee creamer pumpkin whipped cream

I mostly followed the recipe from DIY Foodie and it was so delicious and super easy. It made the coffee drinks seem so decadent, which is so needed when a bunch of little kids are running around, scattering rice from the Halloween sensory bin, I set up for them, all over your yard.

pumpkin whipped cream

I also made some pumpkin scones for the moms to enjoy. I found a starbucks copycat recipe, but it seemed a bit labor intensive for a playdate snack so I scoured the internet for another option. I have an awesome scone recipe myself, but am not super comfortable with creating my own recipes, especially when it comes to things like scones. After scouring the internet, I found one that sounded really similar to my plain scone recipe on – thank you Australia! I tweaked the recipe a little and came up with a  Pumpkin Scone Recipe that is really simple and delicious. Then just for fun, I decided to make the two glazes in the starbucks copy-cat recipe (of course I simplified it because again-the less ingredients I have to buy the better in my book). If you don’t want to trouble with the glaze (I’ll admit, my glaze presentation could use some work) you could always serve them with jam and the delicious pumpkin whipped cream.

pumpkin scones

I also grabbed these fun water bottles from Target. Cute, right?

halloween playdate water bottles

It was a very fun morning for us adults and the kids and even though everything was fairly simple my mom friends were impressed.



halloween sensory table

Halloween Themed Sensory Bin

My boys love playing in our sensory bin. My aunt gave us ours as a gift (isn’t that a great gift idea?!) and we have used it so many times already. I have so many friends ask me about our sensory table so I figured I would share a tutorial I found on pinterest with instructions on how to make your own. Our go to favorite sensory activity is rice because it works well for both kids, it keeps them busy for a decent amount of time and I don’t have to be involved in the playing. We started making the rice in the morning, and I must say, making the rice is as fun for the kids as playing in the actual bin. I use a plastic ziploc container, then let the kids add 1 cup of rice, 1 tablespoon of vinegar and then a few drops of food coloring. Each of my kids alternates turns creating their color combination and they love it. It is also a good time to explain how different colors mix together to make new colors. Then I snap the lid on and let them go to town shaking it up.

coloring rice sensory bin

While Luc was napping, I set up the bin. The boys were so excited and had a great afternoon playing.

halloween sensory bin

halloween sensory table fun