Browsing Tag

papercrafting

shark week playdate - free banner printable, chumming for sharks yogurt recipe, shark bait recipe, link to popcorn bucket printable and tons of other shark week ideas

Shark Week Playdate and Free Printables

We had our friends over for a playdate during shark week, so I of course used it as an excuse to have a fun, shark themed get together. I love little events like this because it allows me to be crafty and creative without all the work and stress of a full-blown party. I didn’t start making stuff or preparing until Monday (our friends came over on Wednesday) so this is totally do-able for busy or last-minute moms. 🙂

DECORATIONS

I started out like I always do, searching Pinterest for ideas and free printables. I found some really cute stuff to use as well as some fun ideas. I didn’t see anything I could use for a banner though, so I made one myself. I think it turned out really cute and I always feel like a banner makes the table look complete. You can download the free banner printable by clicking HERE. Just cut it out, punch holes in the corners and run string through it. Lately I have been using blue painters tape to hang up my banners then covering the tape up with cute washi.

shark week letterboard idea

I also used my letterboard for the occasion. It was a bit of a challenge creating the shark fin, but I love how it turned out.

SNACKS

Chumming for Sharks Yogurt

chumming for sharks yogurt - perfect healthy snack or breakfast for shark week or a shark birthday

I wanted to have a few snacks with at least one healthy option, but most of the ideas on Pinterest were not very healthy. Usually I am all about desserts, but we have been making an effort to eat healthier lately so I came up with my own snack idea by combining a few ideas from Pinterest. We ended up making chumming for sharks yogurt. The kids helped me make these, which was a lot of fun. To make these you will need the following:

  • Granola (optional)
  • Greek Yogurt (we used vanilla)
  • Blue food coloring (you only need a few drops)
  • Frozen Strawberries in Sugar (we bought this from the frozen section of the grocery store)
  • Plastic Cups
  • Mini spoons
  • Grey construction paper (to make shark fins)
  • Glue gun

We added a little bit of granola to the bottom of the cups, put a few drops of blue food coloring into the yogurt, scooped the yogurt into the cup, then topped it with the chum (the frozen strawberries). I explained to the boys that chum is what they dump in the water to attract sharks and then what do you know, a few sharks showed up and jumped right into our bowls. 😉 The kids loved it! I free hand cut out shark fins out of grey construction paper and glued them onto mini spoons. I also used a few sharks left over from the adorable popcorn buckets I made using a printable from My Printly.

Shark Bait

shark bait popcorn snack is easy, delicious, and perfect for shark week or a shark party

Of course, I had to do one sweet treat, so I made shark bait. It was so delicious and all the little sharks ate it up super fast! I spent Tuesday night driving from store to store searching for shark gummies. I feel like I always see them until the time I need them, then they vanished. I found gummy bears, worms, snakes, octopus, frogs, dinosaurs, alligators and lions! Literally every gummy animal ever made except sharks! Then I thought, why would sharks want to eat sharks, and decided that putting them in my shark bait didn’t make sense anyways. That is when I came up with the goldfish idea. Sharks love eating fish, especially delicious sweet ones. They have so many fun flavors now too that you could use, but I must say, the s’mores goldfish were perfect in this recipe. To make the shark bait you will need the following:

  • Sea Salt Air Popped Popcorn
  • Ghiradelli White Chocolate Chips
  • Blue M&Ms
  • S’mores Goldfish Crackers

I put wax paper on a cookie sheet, spread out my popcorn, sprinkled in goldfish and m&ms, then drizzled the melted white chocolate over it. I put it in the fridge until it cooled then broke it apart and put it in the cutest popcorn buckets from My Printly. These were so perfect for our playdate and I have been refilling the containers with shark bait all week so the boys can munch on it while watching Shark Week.

Ocean Water

ocean water - blue gatorade with a swedish fish makes an easy and fun drink for shark week or a shark party

For drinks, I kept it simple with blue Gatorade and a swedish fish on each straw.

ACTIVITIES

Shark Sensory Bin

shark sensory bin

I set up a shark sensory bin. What I love most about sensory bins is that they don’t always have to be fancy. I didn’t have time to buy anything (and to be honest didn’t really want to spend a bunch of money) so I just used what we already had. A bag of glass circle vase fillers, water and plastic sharks. That’s it! And you know what, the kids loved it and played with it for quite a while. Sometimes, I think we as moms get caught up in making everything Pinterest worthy, but kids don’t need much to have fun. They were getting so creative and having the best time! When you give kids water activities, you usually can’t go wrong.

Shark Slime

shark slime - perfect activity for shark week

We also made shark slime. For our first attempt, the day before the playdate, we tried to use a non-borax recipe, but the slime was so sticky. I watched a bunch of you tube videos and started adding everything they recommended for sticky slime, but nothing helped. So my hubby bought borax and like magic our sticky bowl of blue goop turned into slime. When our friends came over, we made a second batch using the borax recipe and it worked great. The kids loved playing with their sharks in the slime! I used this recipe to make the slime.

Shark Play Doh Mats

shark week playdoh mats free printables

I also had a little play doh station with our shark week playdoh mats, some playdoh and some cutters. My boys had already done this activity earlier in the week and the kids were all having so much fun with the other activities that we didn’t get to this. You can check the play doh mats out here.

Shark Cutting and Tracing Activity

free printable - shark cutting and tracing practice

I also made a fun little printable for Hudson. I printed one out and had it laminated so it could be used as a tracing exercise. Both boys had fun with that. Then I printed one out on regular paper so Hudson could also use it for cutting. Hudson loves cutting so this was perfect for him. You can get the printable HERE. *Graphics were purchased from Prettygrafik Design.

CRAFTS

I had a few crafts to do that I found on Pinterest, but we didn’t get to those either. Good thing shark week lasts an entire week so we can fit in all the fun we planned.

Clothespin Sharks

clothespin shark craft for shark week

I let each of the kids select one craft from Pinterest. Hudson chose clothespin sharks from Kix. This wasn’t an ideal craft for my kids’ ages so I pretty much ended up making these, but the kids did love playing with them.

Toilet Paper Roll Sharks and Paper Towel Roll Hammerhead Sharks

Luc chose to make paper toilet roll sharks. The one he selected was a regular shark, but his favorite shark is the hammerhead so I got really excited when I found a paper towel roll hammerhead shark on Pinterest. We are planning to make both, but so far have only completed phase one. I will update this once we finish the project.

Shark Hats

shark hats perfect for shark week

I was also planning to make shark hats, but the hats we selected required an obscure paper size in numerous colors that was not readily available (please tell me I am not the only one who spends tons of time driving from store to store looking for seemingly basic craft supplies that are actually impossible to find). Luckily, one of my friends, Danielle, from Mama Life Inspiration, who is an awesome blogger, posted an adorable shark hat idea. So we ended up making those instead and the boys had tons of fun finger painting their shark fins and tails. Of course they also loved running around in their shark hats. For more details on the hats and for the link to the shark fin hat template click here. Danielle also has a bunch of other fun shark week ideas on her blog so be sure to take a look.

As you can see, we squeezed a whole lot of Shark Fun into one week. My boys just love sharks so much that I couldn’t help myself and went a little overboard. You could easily pick just a few of these ideas to make your shark week a bit more fun.

I hope you have a fin-tastic Shark Week!!

koala love scrapbook page using bella blvd zoo crew and tiny tots and watercolors

Koala Love Scrapbook Page

Life has been a bit hectic since we returned from Australia. We left the day after Christmas so our house is still an explosion of Christmas decorations and presents. Hudson and I are still recovering from our colds turned ear and chest infections. Luc has joined in on the fun with fevers and an ear infection (which means lots of sleepless nights for me) and Nic has been on the cusp of his cough/cold turning into something more serious since we got home from out trip. As you can imagine our house is a disaster and I have a fairly long to do list, but squeezing in some me time and getting crafty always helps my mood and I just felt like it was much-needed. Plus, I set a little goal for myself that I want to try to post a scrapbooking related post every Sunday, which has been a great motivator for me to find time throughout the week to scrapbook.

koala love scrapbook page using bella blvd zoo crew and tiny tots

For this page, I made up a few rules for myself. I wanted to use paints of some sort, which is totally out of my comfort zone and I wanted to get everything completed while my husband took our boys to the park, which meant I had about one to two hours total. I picked out a few papers and got my pictures ready the night before, then once I had the house to myself I got to work. I liked the time constraint and deadline because I am an over-thinker, but I just got to work and didn’t over analyze anything. I tried both illustrated faith acrylic paints and artist’s loft watercolors and liked how the watercolor page turned out better. I know it isn’t perfect, but I am really happy with how it turned out.

koala love scrapbook page using bella blvd zoo crew and tiny tots and watercolors

I did find myself wanting to change a few things as I looked at it on my instagram post, but I had to stop myself immediately. I am going for enjoyment in the process and completion of projects not perfection and I definitely accomplished my goals with this page. I  think I might need to create little challenges like this for myself in the future. 🙂

scrapbook tips for busy moms

Scrapbooking Tips for Busy Moms

I love traditional scrapbooking, but as a mom it can be difficult to find the time. With our busy lives and the juggling of 10,000 things it can feel nearly impossible to find time to shower, let alone scrapbook, right? Once you fall behind too, it can be so overwhelming and difficult to jump back in that you just never do. I didn’t scrapbook much for the first few years of being a mom and it was hard to get back into it. I was overwhelmed and exhausted and whenever I had a few minutes I just found myself staring at my supplies feeling totally lost. I’m happy to say though, that for the past 9 months I have been scrapbooking pretty consistently and I have a few tips to share.

  1. Use kits, which are pre-designed pages that come with all the products needed to complete the page (minus basic crafting supplies) and step by step instructions. It is obviously very rewarding to create your own pages, but at this point in my life, I rarely have time for that. By the time I pick paper, coordinating embellishments and select my pictures, my time is up. I make a lot of kits these days because I can actually finish a page. I will usually start a kit while watching tv with my husband or on a craft day with Hudson and by the following week, I can usually be on to the next kit. I put this one first because when you haven’t scrapbooked in a while a kit is the perfect place to start. No thinking involved (which is an especially welcome blessing for this exhausted mama), it is fast and watching kits pile up and start to fill albums is a huge motivator. Some great places to look for kits are Paisleys and Polka Dots, Down to Details, ScraptiqueOut on A Limb Scrapbooking and Lotts to Scrap About.
  2. Do as much on your phone as possible-edit photos, make collages, etc. You have this little tool in your hand all the time so you might as well use it right? Especially since most of us take the majority of our photos on our phones these days,and we are already adding filters and making collages for apps like instagram and facebook, so we might as well print those photos out and use them.
  3. Try to find a space where you can leave your stuff out- I know I am so lucky to have a scrapbooking room, but even if you don’t have a dedicated room if you can find a dedicated space it will make a huge difference. That way if you find a few minutes of time, you can just pick up where you left off instead of using all that free time to put out and/or clean up your project
  4. Buy a printer and start printing your pictures at home. I bought a Canon PIXMA iX6820 Wireless Business Printer for under $150 (it was on sale) and it has been a game changer for me. I am not organized enough to plan ahead and order pictures, so being able to print out exactly what I need in the size I need while in my pajamas has made a huge difference in my productivity.
  5. Get the kids involved. My oldest son no longer naps so I have had to get creative with my crafting time. One day a week while his little brother naps, we craft. I give Hudson paper, punches, scissors, stickers, etc. and he loves it. Cutting paper into little tiny, impossible to vacuum pieces is one of his all time favorite activities. He has his own little stash of supplies in my scrapbooking room now and I can usually squeeze in about thirty minutes to an hour of crafting time.
  6. Try to attend a scrapbooking retreat or event annually. There is just something about being around other scrapbookers and having time to focus on something you love that can really re-spark your passion and get you motivated again.
  7. Use sketches or pages you like for inspiration. Scraplifting is totally encouraged in the scrapbooking community so take advantage. Follow scrapbook blogs, IG accounts and personal scrapbookers that you love or search on Pinterest and then copy away. The Bella Blvd blog even offers a monthly Project Sheet with step by step directions to copy a layout from one of their designers.
  8. Repeat layouts and designs. If you find a layout you like, re-use it. Your family isn’t going to notice, I promise.
  9. Read your scrapbooks as bedtime stories. Every few weeks, we pull out a scrapbook and look through it together as a family before bed. The kids love it and it really inspires me to keep creating.
  10. It’s better to be finished than to be perfect! This is the one I struggle with the most. I want every page to be amazing, but the most important thing is the pictures, the stories and people behind them.

Happy Scrapping!

10 scrapbook tips for busy moms

Do you have anything you would add to this list?  What works for you?

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.

she-loves-color-2016-jill-jillibean-soup

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 Scrapbook.com!! 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!

she-loves-color-2016-money-balls

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.*