• DIY Flavored Marshmallows

    During the cold, cabin fever-y days of January, we're always looking for little ways to brighten our day! Making these fun marshmallows is just what we need some days!

    This is the most simple way I've found to make cute flavored marshmallows. Get a container of whipped topping and let it thaw out a bit.

    Then spread it out in a pan.

    Next add some sprinkles or crushed peppermints, even mini chocolate chips or flavored extracts would be fun too! I haven't tried food coloring but that's on my list to try as well.

    And fold it in.

    Put the pan in the freezer and let freeze until it gets nice and hard.

    Once hard, break out your favorite cookie cutter shapes.

    When cutting through, wiggle it a bit so that the filling stays in the cutter and you can just pop in on top of your cocoa with your finger. My kids usually put the cutters in and I do the wiggling it out.

    Add these to your favorite hot drink for some extra flavor and cuteness!

    My kids also enjoyed just scooping it out by the spoonful and adding extra sprinkles. 

    Here's to surviving the winter days! 

  • Beautiful Handmade Gifts in 10 Minutes Tops

    It happens every year, doesn't it? You get in a pinch and you need a last minute gift!

    Well I'm here to give you two simple but beautiful gifts that take less than 10 minutes to make!

    First up is this simple sugar scrub. A good sugar scrub helps to soften and exfoliate even the toughest skin like on your feet, knees and elbows. The older I get the more I love a good bath and good bath products so this is a great gift to me! 

    DIY Sugar Scrub


    1/2 C Course organic sugar

    1/4 C coconut oil (slightly melted)

    10-15 drops of essential oil (I used Vitruvi Eucalyptus Oil)


    Mix sugar and coconut oil together, add in drops of EO and mix again

    Yep, it's that easy. Now put it in a cute little container and it's ready to gift!

    ORRRRR take your packaging up a notch by adding an easy DIY wire ornament!

    This is another seriously less than 10 minute investment and looks so cute when

    added to gifts!

    The sky is the limit with these! You can make any word or name you want!

    I used Artistic Wire 18 gauge in Brass for mine. It was $2.99 at Hobby Lobby and I had a 50% off coup so only $1.50 and I made 6 ornaments and still have about half the spool left!

    I just free handed mine but if you don't feel confident in your cursive letters, just print some out on a sheet of paper and use it as a guide for yourself!


    Make sure to add a small loop to each end of your word if you're wanting to add a ribbon hanger!


    And here you have the two gifts combined! Easy, affordable and super cute!

    Wanna make this gift a bit more substantial? Throw in some extra Vitruvi Essential oils 

    and this recipe so they can continue to make their own sugar scrubs!

    image via


  • Budget Decorating: Hearth + Hand Placemat Pillow Hack

    Have you checked out the new Hearth + Hand line from Chip and Joanna Gaines at Target yet?

    It's such a beautiful, well designed collection.

    I went on the release date and I loved so many things. AND my Target was passing out dark chocolate.

    It's like you know me, Joanna.

    But I'm on a budget. Womp, womp.


    Maybe you are too? Well here's a way to get $20 extra dollars to spend and still go home with the same stuff! It's not everyday you get to have your cake and eat it too!

    You buy this placemat ($4.99)

    instead of this pillow ($24.99)

    (images via

    and you make the placemat into a pillow and save yourself $20!

    I shared this DIY placemat pillow idea a few years ago but this is definitely my favorite one I've done. The embroidery stitches just make it look so finished. 

    Simplest hack ever. 

    1. Just seam rip a hole big enough for your hand in one corner of the placemat.

    2. Option 1: Fill it with stuffing (a whole bag is only a few bucks) and stitch it closed by hand as seen in this tutorial

    OR Option 2: Open up one whole side and stick in a pillow (one you're not using anymore if you're like me)


    3. Then just run it through the sewing machine for one straight line.

    (You could also hand stitch the whole side closed if you're without a sewing machine)



    That's it. You just made something with your hands and saved $20!

    Here's a few other things I got on my small budget that I think add cute touches!

    I got the 3 house cookie cutters for $2.99 and I think they add a fun silhouette when lined on the windowsill with a plant or added to a shelf with pictures.

    I also got the $2.99 brass bell that has a little slit on the top. These would be super cute place card holders for a dinner party or just a cute way to prop up a picture or phrase.

    And lastly I got this place card holder for $3.99 that acts as a perfect mini picture frame.

    I just cut a fun phrase out of a book and placed it right in. 

    Sky's the limit for changing this out with different things.

    So there you have it, I got a pillow and 3 small decorative pieces for just $15. 

    That's $10 less than just the price of the pillow.  #winning

  • Mini Rosemary Wreaths

    Making people feel special when they come over for dinner at my house is always my goal.
    I show people I love them through crafting, I can't help it.
    So when my small group at church decided to do a Friendsgiving Dinner together, I was
    delighted. This was the very reason I asked Josh to build us a 12-person farmhouse table, so
    I could fill it up with people. 
    I had seen a few ideas of mini wreaths floating around on pinterest and
    was excited to try my hand at some. 
    And lucky day for me when I had a friend who let me snip some of his overgrown rosemary!
    So the wreath part is pretty self-explanatory:
    Get a sprig of rosemary and bend it into a circle.
    I tied a knot with a piece of twine and then topped it with a pre-made bow.

    The banner part looks a little trickier, but it's really not.
    Check it:
    Cut a strip of paper

    Make two folds the same size as the width of your wreath

    Fold the side flaps in half again

    Press it down and snip the ends to make them prettier

    Write your guest's name

    Then tuck it around the wreath.
    Done and done.

     And here they are in action,

    These would be so cute with a little red bow for Christmas!
  • Kitchen Counters on a Budget - Concrete Counters

    When we were looking at houses online, I skimmed right over our house at first because I was like 'woof, that kitchen.'
    But eventually I started to dream and imagine it not yellow.
    And then we set out to do the work. Which started with painting. We used the same pretty light gray that we chose for our living room and hallways. 
    And that helped a ton. But then we were left with the retro boomerang counters.
    Which were kinda fun and made us feel like we were really in a diner when when
    would sit in the booth but they just weren't our style.
    So, Josh and I went and priced out counters.
    And promptly came home and started researching alternate routes. 
    Because the cheapest option was gonna cost about $1500 just for our small space and we weren't even in love with it.
    So when I saw Young House Love's concrete counters, I showed Josh the tutorial and asked
     him what he thought. It was by far our cheapest option at only about $150 all in with materials but
    it would definitely require the most man-hours on his part.
    But that has never scared him.
    Since the kitchen would be unusable for several days, I took the boys and headed to NY to stay with my best friend so that Josh could get the work done without worrying about us in the way and the boys getting into stuff! 
    He followed the YHL tutorial using the feathering concrete.
    So if you're wanting to try your hand at this, I suggest following their detailed and step by step tutorial because that's what we did.
    We did take the extra step and remove the appliances and sink while doing the work though.
    The sanding was the messiest part of the project.
    And the drying times in between coats of concrete and then coats of sealer took the longest.
    And when we got home the sealer was still drying, so we erred on the side of caution 
    and didn't set anything on them for several days.
    But once they were dry, I was beyond thrilled with how they looked!
    The sealer gave them a nice sheen that made them look even more like a stone.
    I can't tell you how much more I like this kitchen without yellow walls and blue counters.
    After several months of using them, they have held up really well.
    I chalk that up to the good job Josh did on them.
    We do have some discolored spots behind our sink where it gets wet a lot and
    also where I sit our butter dish, it seems some of the oils have seeped through.
    But because of the variated look of the concrete anyways, it blends really well and even adds to the character and charm. 
    And we've gotten to enjoy so many good times and great food in our feels-like-new kitchen!
    Overall, we are super happy with our decision, they way they look, 
    and the money that's still in our pockets. :)
    Next up, new kitchen flooring!
  • Make a Peeps S'mores Kit + Free Printable

    My heart is swelling this Easter watching my oldest son start to understand the Easter story.
    We talked a lot about how what Jesus did for us was a gift and we decided to make some gifts for our friends. I love teaching him to never miss an opportunity to love and celebrate the people in our lives and how good it feels to give (and not just get) a gift.
    We went to the store and found everything we need to make some Peeps S'mores Kits.
    We love to make s'more at home and use our microwave in lieu of a campfire so we thought our friends might too!
    All you need is some graham crackers, some chocolate and some Peeps marshmallows to make it festive. Plus our printable tags and either a stapler to do a folder tab or some string if you want to make a regular tag.

    Then get as many supplies as you need to make all your s'mores kits.

    Super simple and easy to have your kids do!

    That's all their is to it! Like I said the printables allow you to either do a fool over tag you can staple or you can cut them to use like a regular tag with string!
    I've also included a tag version that doesn't specifically have to be for Easter.
    So you can do these anytime for a special surprise for one of your favorite peeps! :)

    Happy Easter to all of you, my favorite peeps! 
  • Playroom Update

    A few weeks ago I found a suuuuper smushed cereal bar in the shag rug I had in here for the boys' playroom. Like, had to cut it out of the rug bad. And then a few days after that, the boys started using their train table as a ramp. Not for their trains or cars, for themselves.
    That's all I needed to see to know it was time for a change in here.
    So, first order of business was maximize their space for how they actual use it. 
     Since the train table was no longer serving it's purpose, it got put into storage and opened up a ton more room for rearranging. I moved their coloring table to a more accessible spot and put up a cork board for them to proudly display their work.

    We also put in a reading corner. 
    And my husband whipped up this cute little bench for the boys to sit on. 

    I also found this vintage phone for $5 and knew the boys would get a kick out of it.
    The conversations I overhear on this phone are hilarious. 

    We made some more room for make believe and for decorations that remind us 
    of our first home in Virigina. 

     But honestly the highlight of our playroom upgrade is this Lorena Canals machine washable rug.
    You read that correctly, MACHINE WASHABLE! This rug will fit in a standard washer and dryer. If that is not life-changing for a kids' space, I don't know what is. It is so liberating to just throw this sucker in the washing machine and not lug out the vacuum.

    Also high on style and so on trend with those cute braided tassels.
    An added bonus because this is a room I share with the boys. 
    My office area is the other half of this room (maybe one day I'll show you when it's not a wreck), so it's a win-win in our shared space!
    Handmade and with all natural dyes, we opted for the coordinating pom-pom throw as well with all the same great easy washing qualities. It's already been through the ringer on fort-building night.

    I've been super happy with how well it's withstood my boys' most highly trafficked area. 
     Because let's be honest, this room mostly looks like this everyday.

    And like this - with someone's bum in time-out. ;)
    We're finding our way in this shared space and I'm so happy to say I won't be cutting cereal bar out of any rugs any time soon! 

    For more info on Lorena Canals products, visit their site. 
    Disclaimer: I received Lorena Canals products for review purposes but all opinions are my own.

  • A Dino Party fit for a FIVE year old

    You guys, my baby turned 5! I know everyone says this, but I really don't know how it happened.
    I feel like I blinked. Wasn't it yesterday that I just gave birth to him?
    And I'm not sure why 5 feels like SUCH a big milestone but it does. 

     It also felt like a big milestone because this was the first year HE knew exactly what he wanted.
    He understood his birthday was coming and he wanted to plan his day, invite friends, the whole nine.
    And one day while we were at Walmart he saw a dinosaur piñata and that was it, he was sold.
    A dino party complete with piñata would be the perfect celebration for this 5 year old.

    And if you've been around here for any time at all, you know I'm all about cuteness on a dime.
    Getting creative with what I already have and challenging myself to spend as little money as possible are usually my method. Things that cost little money but make a big impact (see balloon 5 below).
    I brought out Grady's plastic dinos, went and scrounged up plants from around the house, and got out our family party hats + Happy Birthday banner that we use for everyone's birthday in our family plus a couple cute pictures of Grady and made this little scene!

    The only thing I really needed to make was the Gradysaurus banner. I bought a $3 pack of letters from the Target Dollar Spot and painted them green. It didn't have all the R's or S's I needed so I just traced them on cardboard and added them in.

     The cake is a big deal, of course.  And while I love to decorate a cake, I'm no baker.

     So I made it easy on myself and just did a triple layer boxed funfetti cake.
    Store bought icing as well. If it ain't broke, why fix it? That's my motto when 
    it comes to baking. hah!

    To make it even easier on myself, I made cupcakes for all the kids.
    Pre-measured, contained cake for the win.
    The only other decor we did was this super fun balloon 5.
    If you're looking for a statement decor piece and don't want to spend much money but don't mind investing some time, this might be for you!
    We just bought a big piece of plywood and painted it white for the backdrop.
    Then I freehanded a huge number 5 outline for us to follow. 
    We bought six $1 packs of balloons for 72 balloons total and then went to town blowing them 
    up in all different sizes. Start with your big balloons first to make the shape and then fill it in with the littler balloons. Use strong, white tape. Enlist someone else to do all the balloon blowing (that's what I did, hah!)
    This was my first time hosting a *real* kid party. Like with more kids than adults.
    I was not really sure how it was gonna go, but it was great.

    We did some simple dino themed games for the kids:
    Dinosaur Egg Hunt
    Dinosaur Dig
    And of course, the thing that started it all, 
    Dinosaur Piñata 

    My boy had a great day. He is such an extrovert so being surrounded by his
    people was the best gift of all. 
     (Thank you to my friend Trish who grabbed my camera and took pictures so I could 
    be in the moment. That's a good friend right there.)

    My sweet Grady boy, I count it such a privilege to be your mama.
    We've done this thing together from the start. So, your birthday kinda feels like my birthday - the day I became a mom. You've turned into such a kind, compassionate, and helpful little boy.
    You are by far one of my greatest blessings and I love to celebrate YOU.
    Every year we try to take pictures of our kids on/around their birthday and here are a
    few to remember our Grady Boy at age 5.