Stadium of Fire

Hey friends!

My son had the coolest opportunity this last week. He is involved in our non-denominational community Boy Scouts troop. They are super hardcore scouters, and he loves it so much. They were given the opportunity to participate in the opening bit of Stadium of Fire at the local college, and then they got to stay for the concert and fireworks!!

Lucky kid. I’ve never been to Stadium, let alone seen freaking One Republic in concert. And he’s done both.

And he’s only eleven.

They got to wave little flags around on the stage. So fun! His leader sent a text out that they were running late, so we headed up to see if we could catch the fireworks show at the end (and avoid the terrible traffic). My 6-year-old was super excited to see the fireworks, until they started. They were loud, and we were a few blocks away! We told her to close her eyes and rest, and gave her some earplugs. Well…1 earplug, she dropped one in the car and it rolled under the emergency brake. Oops!

She ended up sleeping through the 30 minute wait after the program was over, as well as the hour-long drive home through bumper to bumper traffic! Lucky kid. We were all super tired the next day. Late nights are so hard now that we’re grown ups. 

How did you celebrate Independence Day? We had a blast with family and friends. Let me know what you did in the comments!

XOXO,

Independence Day Bandana Wreath

Hey friends!

Do you ever get Pinterest overload? Or feel like you’ve fallen down the Pinterest rabbit hole? It happens to me all the time. Actually, the other day I had some downtime and was perusing the Pinterest boards to get some ideas for 4th of July decor, and then it was time to go to bed! Pinterest has a lot of super cute ideas, but I’m really into the simple and easy projects. We don’t own our home, we just rent, so there’s not a ton of DIY stuff we can do unless it is temporary, like for holidays! I also work full time outside of the home, so any project that is going to take me forever (or longer than an afternoon) to complete, automatically gets passed up. I am all about quick, easy, and something that’s not going to lose my interest because — SQUIRREL!! Yep, there I go.

I have project ADD bad!

Anyway, during my perusal of Pinterest, I found this super cute craft project that was posted by Glue Dots. I thought, that would be so easy to make, and I could pick up some paint sticks for FREE from my local hardware store.

But, then I remembered reading a post about how crafters are stealing their supplies by taking “free” samples and items and then using them to craft. (Read this article and this article – both have really great ideas on this subject). Anyway, this project calls for 10 paint stirring sticks.

10.

Now, I’m not going to go into my hardware store, buy ZERO cans of paint, and then ask for 10 stirring sticks for free. That’s not going to happen, because I’m not that entitled. However, I may go into my local hardware store and ask if I could purchase 10 stirring sticks. I could also just look on Amazon. (I looked, and you can get between 40-100 stirring sticks for under $20!!)

Update: I found a substitute for paint sticks that was completely reasonable at my local Walmart in the craft aisle. They’re curvy 8 inch sticks that look like paint sticks, but they were the PERFECT size for this project. You can find that post here!

Anyway, one thing led to another with project after project finding it’s way to my Pinterest board, and well, here we are. I now have 2 wreaths for the 4th of July that I really don’t even need, but….they are super cute!

The project I’m going to share today is an Independence Day Bandana wreath.

SUPPLIES:

  • 7 white bandanas
  • 7 red bandanas
  • 5-6 blue bandanas
  • 16-18 inch wire wreath form

A few notes on the supplies:

  • I bought my wreath form from my local Joann’s, using a coupon. But, you can also buy these sames forms from some Walmart stores as well.
  • I bought all of my bandanas from Walmart. They were under $1/each, and were the really stiff kind. Normally, for a project where someone is going to wear a bandana, I prefer a softer fabric, but these being stiffer were¬†perfect for this project.

PREPARING THE BANDANAS:

  • Take each bandana out of the packaging. Mine were stapled to the cardboard with some pretty heavy duty staples. I had to carefully use a knife to straighten the ends of the staples and then pry them off. Please be careful! It hurts to stab yourself with your tools (ask me how I know).
  • Fold the bandana in half. It doesn’t have to be perfect, because some of the bandanas aren’t exactly square, but get it as close as you can.
  • Cut the bandana in half. If your scissors are sharp enough, you should be able to run them from the bottom to top no problem; otherwise, just cut carefully along the fold line.
  • If there are tags on the bandanas, make sure you remove them. Mine tore off easily, but you may have to trim it off close to the hem, depending on the brand you bought.

MAKING THE WREATH:

  • Starting with a piece of red bandana, gather it up in your hands, trying to tuck the cut edge on the inside.
  • Fold it in half, and lay it under the wire wreath form.
    • I went under 3 of the 4 wire pieces on my form, leaving the furthest outer ring for hanging.
  • Pull the 2 ends of the bandana through the loop, pulling tightly. Make sure the ends are even. This can be a little tricky, and you may need to play around with it a few times.
  • Alternate between red and white until 75% of the form is covered. When you get to a cross piece, I like to make sure that my “knot” goes over it. This is a little tricky, and I have to actually insert the ends from the outside instead of putting the loop through from the inside, but it covers the cross wire completely and keeps everything evenly spaced. Play around with it and see what you like best. After all, it’s your wreath!
  • Fill the last quarter of the wreath form with the blue bandana pieces only.

When you’re done, your wreath will look like this:

I didn’t like how empty the middle was, so I got together with my friend, Marie. She does awesome chalk designs through Chalk Couture. She has an Facebook group (find it here) and you can buy her products to make your own stuff off her website here. Check out the cute little chalkboard she made me! Isn’t it the cutest thing ever? I love how she did an ombre from the white to red.

I wasn’t sure how to attach the chalkboard to the wreath, but then I realized: All I needed was a nail, and I could hang them both off it! I hung the chalkboard from the nail, then placed the wreath over it. Super cute, right?

Didn’t it turn out so cute? It was super simple to make (the hardest part was seriously pulling out the industrial staples from the bandanas!), and I think it only took a couple of hours start to finish. I thought about putting it on my front door, but we face full West, and I didn’t want it to get sunbleached. I have the perfect spot in my living room on a big, empty wall, and it looks great there!

Stay tuned for some other fun Independence Day projects!!

XOXO,

Activia Chatterbox

Hey friends!

I belong to a couple of awesome sites where you apply to either host a party, test out a new product, or use a product and then post on social media about it. I just recently got accepted into what’s called a Chatterbox. Basically, you try out a product and spread your opinions about it.

This particular Chatterbox was for Activia Probiotic Dailies. I’d heard of Activia before, but I’d always associated the brand with Jamie Lee Curtis and those old commercials from the early 2000s. I never really thought the product applied to me, so I’d never bothered to try it out. So, when this opportunity came up, I figured I’d give it a try. This might be TMI, but I’ve been having issues with my digestive tract and this *claims* to help sort some of those issues out. So, here we go! Giving it a try!

My Chatterbox “kit” included a shopping list, a card about ensuring proper disclosure (because, I got these products for free, essentially, to try out and post about, and it’s kind of important that all of the participants disclose appropriately), and then I also got a small gift card to Walmart to purchase the products. I mean, obviously, they can’t ship you something that needs to be refrigerated, so the gift card was nice. I went right out to my local Walmart, on the 4th of July mind you, to pick them up!

The bottles are small. It’s not like a huge milkshake or anything that you drink. It’s a tiny bottle of yogurt drink with probiotics. I got the multi-pack with 4 strawberry flavor and 4 blueberry flavor. They’re actually pretty tasty. They taste a lot like just regular yogurt, but they’re thinner in consistency so it’s easier to drink. The package says that if you take 2 daily for 2 weeks, you’ll notice a difference. Well, I’m only taking 1 daily, so we’ll see what happens! So far, I haven’t noticed a difference, but I’ll definitely keep everyone updated.

You can get these at your local Walmart stores, and I’ve also seen them around at other grocers like Smith’s. Check them out! And let me know if you’ve tried them, or what you think of them!

XOXO,

P.S. Here are links to all the sites I use:

If any of them ask you for a referral code, hit me up! I’m glad to help you out!!

Also, isn’t my wreath so cute?! I love it. Check out the tutorial here to make your own!!

Podcasts

Hey friends!

I know I’m totally late to the game, but I’ve recently discovered Podcasts! I know, I know, I’m dumb. Podcasts are cool and everyone’s been listening to them for ages. Well, apparently not me. I’m just barely catching on to this trend. 

I’ve been using Castbox, but my husband starting using Google Podcast, and really likes the interface so I thought I’d try it out. So far, I am loving the clean look and how easy it is to access everything. Maybe it was just my phone, but Castbox seemed a little delayed in responding to me when I’d hit play or search or something. 

So what does everyone listen to on a podcast?

I started listening to Reply All by Gimlet after my husband discovered it. At first, I was skeptical. It can’t be that good, can it? But then he started telling me the premise of one of the episodes (#102 Long Distance). The premise was “Who are these people calling from India saying your computer has a virus? What do they really want?” It captured my interest almost from the beginning. This particular topic spans 2 episodes. Other favorites cover topics about a random photo on the internet, and a popular conspiracy theory. 

One of the gals at worked recommended a few true crime podcasts, so I’ve also started listening to Someone Knows Something. I’m halfway through the first season and it is gripping! A child goes missing in the 1970s in Canada, and the podcast covers one reporter’s journey to uncover what may have happened to the young boy. I can’t stop listening! I wish I didn’t have to do anything and could just sit and listen to this story unfold. I’m only halfway through, but they’ve called out cadaver dogs to check the area where the boy went missing. I’m learning so much about what would be left if the body was in the woods for this long (just the soles of his shoes!) and how cadaver dogs work, and what they can sense and smell. It’s really amazing!

So, I’d love to hear what you’re listening to. I’m always up for something new to try! Let me know in the comments!

XOXO,

Hello world!

Hey friends!

I’ve been gone a while. And I’m sorry about that. I blame my former web-hosting service. They were going to charge me an arm and a leg (or as we like to refer to things at our house “the cost of a Nintendo Switch, or 1 trip to the Emergency Room doctor – without the ED bill”) to continue hosting my site. Since I’m not really in this to make any money, that wasn’t really an option. So, my super genius husband had to figure out how to transfer my site over to a new hosting service. He went above and beyond and figured out how to host this silly little blog on our own personal servers! Bonus: I only have to pay the domain registration now.

Sah-weet!

Anyway, I’m back. Hopefully I’ll post more. We’ll keep our fingers crossed on this one. . . as unlikely as it is.

XOXO,