Chillin' wiht my Peeps

FREE file to make a super cute spring shirt

Mini Photo Frame Banner

A cute and simple way to display mini pictures - come find out how to make one for yourself!

Pony Bead Lizards

Learn step-by-step how to make pony bead lizards

Glitter Felt Hairbows

Add a little sparkle to any little girls wardrobe with these DIY hairbows!

Perfect Crisp Lines

Find out the trick to getting perfectly crisp lines on name signs

October 31, 2013

Save those Candy Wrappers!

Today is a throw-back craft, in case some of you weren't reading my blog back in 2010 :)

After the gorging of Halloween Candy, don't throw away those wrappers!  Use them to make super cute hair accessories.  Check out the cuteness at this post: Candy Wrapper Flowers


Have a great Halloween Night, for those of you that will be out having fun!

October 30, 2013

Blog Talk

Occasionally I turn to you all for some opinions and talk of behind-the-scenes of blogging - - today is one of those days - - a few things that have been on my mind...


LAYOUT - - I'm debating whether to keep my layout the same (full post after full post) or to change it up to where if you're on my main page, you'll see a handful of article snippets at once.  I asked which you readers prefer on FB, and it's about 50/50, and whatever side you vote for, you're adamant!  I just can't decide - I like the flowing feel of reading one post after another, but I like the organization and clean look of the snippets.  Decisions, decisions!  If you have an opinion, let's here it, because I'm on the fence.

READERS - So when Google Reader shut down (yes, I'm still mourning it) and a few other factors set in, my blog readership dropped by half - so sad!  I think some people out there just haven't found a way to read blogs in a routine like they used to.  How do you read blogs?  Do you use a site (I use BlogLovin' - it's okay, but I don't love it) or do you just go straight to the blogs you love?  I would love a way to connect with all those lost readers.  Side note, I finally took off my Google Friend Contact box from my sidebar - I think I was the last blogger left to do so!

CONNECTING - A couple of years ago, it was common to get 20 comments on each post.  Now I get one or two.  Times are a changin', but I really miss that interaction with readers.

ADS - I put a lot of time and effort into my blog, mainly because I really love sharing projects with the world.  I like that I can accomplish something and I want everyone to have that feeling that they can do something - it's great to be able to provide steps and tutorials to accomplish those projects.  But I'd also love to make a little money for all the effort, and that's why I had ads on the sidebar.  I try to keep them as unobtrusive as possible - I don't go for the auto-video-playing ones or the giant pop-up box ones, etc.  Occasionally ads get through that I didn't know would and you are all great about letting me know.

SPONSORED POSTS - along the same line as ads, I can make a little money from Sponsored Posts (heads up, I don't make anything near a salary off my blog - I know a few bloggers do, but most of us probably make like $0.50 an hour).  So I occasionally do sponsored posts - but I want you to know a few things:
--I only apply for opportunities that fit me and I think you would enjoy reading about.
--I try to weave fun personal stories or awesome craft ideas in with sponsored posts.
--The post is sponsored, but the opinions are still mine.
--If I post a Sponsored Post, it won't be a substitute for content.  So it won't take the place of a regular post - it will just be an additional post.  (which is why sometimes I have more posts than normal)
--I apply for lots of opportunities, but a lot don't go through.  So I never know if I will get an opportunity or not.  Sometimes I apply for a lot and get none.  And sometimes I apply and get several - when that happens, there may be times when there are a couple of Sponsored Posts in the same week - it's hard to gauge which will go through.  Also, some I write content for but I don't know the exact day/time when the content will be published to my blog, so bear with that as well.

UPDATES - tutorials, about me, etc -- Pretty high on my to-do list is to update my About Me Page (any suggestions on what I should include?) and revamp my tutorials page, because I know it can be hard to find past projects.  I think I might need a new headshot too.  And maybe a little blog background revamp?  Just something to freshen up the place a little.
Anyways, that's about where I'm at right now.  I still really love blogging and reading blogs and will be doing so far into the future.  You have any random questions for me?  Just let me know!  Mandybeez at gmail.



Showing Off - my picks!

Let's see what was in that link party!


These monster-eye deviled eggs are just awesome - from Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom:

Halloween Inspired foods: Monster Eyes (deviled eggs) #halloween #Deviledeggs #avocado

I love I Spy Quilts (and have even made one myself) but I love the special touch of the center heart on this one from Pieces by Polly:


Spooky PJ Pants - what a fun idea!  See it over at The Ferrell Boys and Me:


This shirt is on my to-make list so it was fun to see the version over at Maybe She Made It:

kids Clothes Week Wrapup | Mabey She Made It #bimaa

Over at Buttons and Paint you can check out these super cool coasters:


Apple Pie Pancakes?  That sounds amazing - details over at Sewlicious Home Decor:
Best Buttermilk Apple Pie Pancakes with cinnamon and whip cream

If you need a last-minute pumpkin decorating idea, how about this from The Crafty Blog Stalker - love how she turned the stem into the nose!

Decorate a Pumpkin

I love this super-cute wreath found over at Home Made Modern:


And speaking of super-cute, how about these pillow covers from The Ruffled Stitch - love!


Garage Decor - I need to remember this for next year!  See it over at DIY Vintage Chic:


And another to-do for next year - custom basket for candy - love it! From Haberdashery Fun:


And here's a fun centerpiece from Altered Artworks - check it out!



and..........the most viewed link.......... Minion Pumpkins!  from ABC Creative Learning:

Halloween Minion Despicable Me Pumpkins Craft
Thanks for linking everyone!!  If you were featured feel free to grab the button:  (oh, and if you were featured on FB, or if you're featured later this afternoon, you're included - grab away!!)



October 29, 2013

Libby - part of the fam #SHEBACat

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client.

Did you know that we have a cat??  Cause we do.... you may remember her from the infamous mustache clings post -  that was just funny!  (and if you like funny - keep reading to the story at the end - one of my funny high-points of life, wrapped up in a cat story).  Today we're talking that and cat food.

I love cats.  Dogs you have to take care of and walk, etc - cats are smart enough to do their own thing.  Less work for me.  We've had our cat for about 5 years now - - here she was a cutie kitten:
   

Even though cats are easy, of course we'll still concerned about Libby's health and happiness.  I think most important is keeping her social - as you can see in the picture above, the kids do wonders in this category! You know she loves them and loves being part of the family because she sleeps with the kiddos each night.  So cute!  We also give her plenty of time to play outside and give her time to herself (cause everyone needs some downtime, even cats).
And of course healthiness comes with the food she eats and having plenty of fresh water readily available for her.  She's been trying the Sheba Cat Food line and of course loves it!  Picked it up at Walmart - and there's even a coupon, buy 6 get 1 FREE! (coupon available at the Sheba site - get yours!)

 Taking pictures of her is even harder than taking pictures of kids!  Most were blurry....
 And then there was that one time I tried out cat-bearding...


And on a random note - you know those stories in life that get told and retold.... I've got one, cat-related, and I pulled it straight off of my family blog for you to enjoy:

Want to hear a hilarious story?? 

The other day, our cat was at the back sliding door - like she always is, waiting to be let in.  Totally normal.  When I opened the door for her, she was hesitant to come in - which is completely normal - a lot of times she can't decide if she wants in or out.  But she came in and followed me - like normal.  So I gave her a bowl of water, which is what she normally wants.  Now that she was set, I wandered upstairs.

Time passes - 5, 10 minutes - who knows.  Abby and Will were down playing on the computer.  Abby came running up the stairs:
"MOM!!   hey Mom!  you'll never believe me - it's magic or something - - I don't know how it happened, but we have 2 CATS!!"
What?!?!  So I head down, and sure enough, there are two cats sitting there on the floor, looking each other over.  Will keeps chanting "there's 2 LIBBYS! there's 2 LIBBYS!"

Turns out, I guess I let the wrong cat in - who knew!  She looked just like our cat.  Abby and Will didn't even know I had let a cat in, so they thought that it magically appeared.  I couldn't stop laughing at myself.  That was one funny story.  I should have taken a picture.

Fast forward a couple of days, we're eating dinner, Abby lets the cat in.  Then we get to talking about how it was so funny when that other cat got in our house.  Then I say something like "how do we even know this is our cat" - then we look and Reed's all "I don't think it IS!"  So we look her over and can't tell.  Emmy says "I think Libby's on the couch" - so Reed grabbed the cat we let in, and I grab the camera, and we all trapse off to investigate - sure enough, the Real Libby is deep in sleep.  The Impostor had struck again!





I'm sure there will be more to this story, now that this other cat knows we're so friendly and let in strange cats from off the street.....



October 28, 2013

Take-A-Look Tuesday

Can't wait to see what everyone's been up to -  - and who will be the most viewed link - maybe you?
- - just a run down- -
  • Link to a Specific Post, not your whole blog - no more than a couple of posts please
  • Please don't link up anything you've already linked before (like something posted on a previous week)
  • Try to visit a few other people at the party  - everyone loves visits and encouraging comments!  
If you're reading this on the main page of my blog, find that "click to read more" button and it'll take you to the full post that contains the link party (that's so the blog will load faster - link parties can bog it down)...

Toilet Paper Mummy Game

“This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Cottonelle, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #CottonelleTarget http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO.”

I have always been a "room mom" for my kiddos (I try to rotate - help out with different kids' parties for each holiday, etc).  At school parties, it seems the basic agenda is Snack, Craft, and Game.  My go-to game for school Fall Parties - Toilet Paper Mummy.  It's super easy to plan and set up, and super fun for the kids to play.  A win-win!!

Our parties aren't until Halloween, but I wanted to post this idea a few days early so if you needed a last-minute game you would know about it.  So I recreated the game with a few friends and snapped some pictures.  Even as just a game at home, it was way fun!

First up, you'll need several rolls of Toilet Paper.  I used Cottonelle Triple Roll that I picked up at Target (the rolls lasted forever! and super thick and nice - luxury!)
 Right now you can grab a coupon - you get a FREE box of Kleenex at Target when you pick up some Cottonelle Triple Roll - - bonus!!  While supplies last  - -

Once you have your supplies, it's on to the game!

RULES: In a class room setting, I divide the room into about 4 teams (depending on class size) with 4-5 kids on each team.  Within the team, they choose one person to be the mummy.  All of the others each get a roll of toilet paper.  When the signal is given, they start wrapping their mummy in toilet paper.
WINNER:  you can run the game two different ways.  I normally say the first team to use up all of their TP wins.  Another option (which I did below) is to say that first team to cover their mummy entirely wins.  Both ways are fun!  Here we did a boys team and a girls team - -


I've done this game at school Halloween Parties for all grade levels and it's always a hit!  All the kids love it.  So if you're looking for a game for an upcoming party, this is it!  Have fun!

Halloween Mosaic Nails, with spider decal

Did you see over on Expressions Vinyl I posted about using my Silhouette to cut a super cute teeny tiny spider nail decal?  See - so cute!  I got this spider decal in the online Silhouette Store, and it's so cute.  I can't believe that it could cut those skinny legs in such a tiny shape - love my cutter!

And I got all Halloween-i-fied in the nail department:

So I wanted to give you a quick rundown on how I achieved that look.  And wowza, fingernails are super hard to take pictures of, so just know that these look awesome in real life!

Here's the polished I used - I just dug them out of our massive collection:

First, paint your nails a base color.  I went with purple (it looks more purple than the picture shows) - -

Next up I used the Mosaic Nail Polish - it's a crackle.  You can't really mess it up - you paint it on like normal, and as it dries it cracks to reveal the base color you painted underneath.  I did not crackle my ring finger (the one for the decal).
Next adhere the decal using transfer tape.  Paint a clear coat over the top to seal in the decal.  I used a glitter top coat - because that's super fun!
I also used that glitter top coat to seal in the crackle painted nails - so they're all sparkly and shiny and awesome!
Enjoy your Halloween nails this week!