Books Reviews, Gift Guides, Home

Home – Building with Secondhand Stuff

Copy sent by Quarto for feature

Building with Secondhand Stuff, 2nd Edition:

How to Reclaim, Repurpose, Re-use & Upcycle Salvaged & Leftover Materials

We are having a home built as I write this and are about 2 weeks from move in. I have so many visions of wood and reclaimed decor projects for the home, inside and out. When I saw this book and it’s cover I knew it was a book I needed to have for 2 reasons. I wanted to read some tips and get some questions answered on some projects I have in mind and I wanted a fun coffee table book for the living room and it will be on a wood coffee table in a basket. I loved the cover and colors.

This is the second edition, updated by Author Chris Peterson.

There are many chapters that cover topics from stained glass, metals and all wood. I have already become inspired for a few metal projects I never would have thought of before browsing this book.

Do you know a DIY’er? This would make a fantastic gift full of resources from how-to, safety and buying guides. It is available at many book stores including Amazon and published by Quarto Knows Books. Head over to see all of the Quarto Knows Summer Titles and you can save with promo code: SUMMERFUN!

Food/Beverage, Gift Guides, Healthy Living

DIY Care Packages for those in Need and those that Help – Giveaway

I am a Premier Protein Ambassador and they are featured in this post as sponsored #TheDayIsYours

Care packages are packages that show you care as the name states. Whether you want to help out someone in need, comfort someone who you are apart from or reward those that help, putting together a care package can offer some much needed items to help someone out.

We keep homeless care packages in the back of the car. Whether we box up leftovers at a restaurant or hand over a care package it gives those in need some comfort and necessities that I would hope gets them by. I change the homeless DIY care packages up for different seasons. Then if my son is with me I encourage him to grab a bag from the trunk and we make a new friend and hand him or her a bag. We get a thank you and my son adopts a prideful smile and we check stock to see how many more we have for the next encounter whenever that may be.

DIY Care Packages for those in Need and those that Help

In the winter our homeless packages include gloves, cough drops hand warmers. In the summer I include chapsticks and moist wipes to cool down a hot and sweaty face. If I can come across small sunscreen samples I may include that too. I typically make up 4-5 at a time. Sometimes I can hand out 2 a week and sometimes it can be 2 weeks before I cross paths with someone who can use one. No matter the season I always have a water bottle, extra pair of socks, bandaids, Kleenex, a toothbrush and a nutrition bar. I may add more depending on what I can round up to add with these items.

These last packs we made include Premier Protein bars. What a great bite of nutrition on a long day. They are coated in yogurts and chocolates but it is a thin coating and they seem to hold up well when in a warm car for a bit. They don’t turn to goo and mush so these bars are great to add in the summer as well as winter.

Another care package I assemble every year are volunteer bags. I am on the PTA Board and our biggest event of the year at the school is the June Water Carnival. We need so many volunteers for this event-close to 60! So, leading up to the long day I make DIY volunteer care packages that are handed out when our volunteers check in. The event chair types out instructions for the volunteers depending on their task and we insert those into the bags. Also included are a name badge, a lei (this helps us find volunteers in a sea of children and teachers), snacks and a bottle of water for them to have on hand.

Like the homeless packages, I include nutrition bars. This year Premier Protein graciously provided me with bars to give to our volunteers. This saves on the PTA budget and gives the parents that protein without artificial additives they need in delicious flavors. Thank you Premier Protein for being apart of these packages for such deserving people-in need or just helping out.

The Giveaway

1 lucky reader will win a Premier Protein package. Ends 6/30/2017. Open to US and 18+. Good luck

Home, Summer

6 Tips To Get Your Home Summer Ready

*This post is not sponsored*

With the move nearing and our house in boxes I am so excited to get into our new home. For about 3 weeks an Extended Stay will be our home between needing to get out of this house and the build complete on the new one. There is something about our brand new home that has me tossing old furniture and decor to start fresh. I have held garage sales and buy/sell posts to get rid of the old and start planning for new. I have most of my furniture picked and waiting at the warehouse but the decor and organizing has my brain constantly running. So, now I am enjoying a new site I wanted to share with you called Map My House from Life Storage.

To start you choose the US region you live in and a season. I am focusing on Summer posts from where I live in the Northwest. The ideas are fantastic and inclusive to most areas, but you can search areas such as yard and some decor that may be region specific so head over and choose your region to find more.

6 Tips To Get Your Home Summer Ready


My pick from their Bedroom ideas that I am going to use in our new guest room is the Guest Room Clipboard Wall Art. I have been collecting brochures as we explore the town and got several from the hotel we stayed in near the new home over Memorial weekend. I plan to buy fun clipboards instead of doing them as a craft. Isn’t this an fun idea for your guests?


With the kids home all summer it may be fun to update their bathroom. Changing the rugs to a fun bright color and adding wall art like these free printables are a fun update.


You know those sports balls overflowing in totes will get used this summer. This is a fun and easy DIY Equipment Storage featured in the garage section of Map My House with wheels to easily move in and out of the garage to keep all the equipment together. Hang rackets and bats. Make it custom to your kids.

Family Room

That hardest decor shopping for me in centerpieces. I have an open concept kitchen, dining and family space so I want it to flow but be practical. Changing a space can be as easy as shopping for new couch pillows and changing your table space and you have a new look. Find some inspiration with these 10 Easy Coffee Table Decoration Ideas.


Map My House has many great dining ideas, but this one sticks out to me. Living in the Northwest we can still have very cool nights so creating a hot cocoa bar in the home or even RV is a fun idea. Find inspiration from this post, How To Create The Best Hot Cocoa Bar.


Guests coming over with last minute notice? Get to the kitchen and grab a pot. These 10 Natural RoomStovetop Potpourri Recipes will help get rid of that dirty dog, diaper pail overflowing, dirt & boys smell in your home.

I am so inspired by these ideas and have this site bookmarked. Head on over to Map My House.

Food, Gift Guides, Giveaways, Kids, Mother's Day, Tips and Tricks

Pokemon DIY Party Favors featuring Palmers Candy – Giveaway

Thank you Palmers for partnering for this feature and offering my readers a giveaway. Opinions are my own

Pokemon DIY party favors

With a child turning 9 in a few weeks he is requesting a Pokemon party. It is hard to find the Pokemon theme in stores so I have had to resort to some DIY. He is having his party at a Trampoline Park so I just need a cake and some party favors.

how to craft

I went to Amazon and found some inexpensive bulk Pokemon Cards and Pokemon Figures as well as food cups. I used yellow and green construction paper I had and my glue gun. Then I used R.M. Palmer confections from their new e-commerce store.

Pokemon party

I used the construction paper because filling the cups with just candy seemed ordinary so I created a sort of base, like grass.

making cups

R.M. Palmer candies like caramel balls, peanut butter cups and peppermint patties are now available in bulk with fun colors for all of your celebrations and gatherings. I used some common Pokemon colors like red, blue, yellow and white.

Palmer candies

It was easier to empty all of the candy in one large bowl and mix. This way as I grab a handful for each cup it was assorted. Watch for little hands sneaking into the bowl.

kids and candy

I stuck a Pokemon card inside facing out. The top was a yellow paper glued on and then a Pokemon figure hot glued to stay.

making Pokemon favors

R.M palmer candies listened to the requests of it’s fans and created an e-commerce site for your bulk candy orders. You can find some fun party inspirations too. Shop by flavor, colors or occasions.

Palmer party candy

With Mother’s Day coming you can have a lot of fun creating gifts for her with the bright colors and chocolate flavors she likes best. You get to be creative and R.M. Palmer supplies the chocolate.

Palmer gift

Want to win a prize pack of R.M. Palmer chocolates? Enter below. Open to US and ends on 5/15. Good luck!

Palmer Candies giveaway

Gift Guides, Kids, School, School Gifts

Easy Kids Birthday Favors – Free Printable Tags

I am an #HPSmartMom and receive product from HP periodically

Easy Kids Birthday Favors - Free Printable Tags

 Our youngest will be 9 in a few weeks and I just booked his party at and now have Invitations, party favors and classroom favors to prepare. The party is for 10 cards and his class favors are for 24. Because a student in his class severe allergies she does not allow food gifts so kids typically bring in trinkets to hand out. I found some water bottles for under $1 and am doing those, but I needed tags to print and attach.

HP Gift Tag

This is what I use my HP Print and Photo Projects download for. I have it installed on my Mac and I just open it, choose a project and design and print. I found this tablet, changed the text and had them printed in under 10 minutes. It took me longer to cut all the string for tying these onto the bottles.

Birthday favor tags

I have an HP Instant Ink eligible printer. The HP Envy 7640 costs under $130 and can print, fax, scan, copy and do photo wirelessly. I am so excited about the wireless feature on this printer because I can sit on the couch and while reading emails or messages, I save it as a document right on my phone then open my HP All-in-One Remote app and hit print! My copy is sitting on my printer and I never left the couch or promised myself I will print out later only to forget.
Why do I need an HP Instant Ink compatible printer? Because it works with my ink cartridge to send a message to HP when I am low and I have ink at my door within days and before I run out! How simple is that?

Making gift tags

If you can’t find water bottles, try attaching tags to bulk and inexpensive favors like keychains. Until I stumbled across these bottles, I almost used some Emoji keychains I found for under $15 that was enough for his entire class.

gift tag printable

I printed 24 copies, cut them each out and cut 25 strands of ribbon. Used a hole punch so I can insert the ribbon and tie to each bottle. The great thing is that these bottles were under $1 and were BPA free plastic.


Having my HP Envy printer and access to a Project Download that anyone can access makes these party set up projects so easy. See all of the projects you can do with HP Printables.


water bottle favors

Food, Parenting

Easy Kids School Lunches with Snyder’s – Lance New Offerings

Snyder’s – Lance has partnered with parenting Healthy to introduce it’s new products

Easy Kids School Lunches with Snyder's New Offerings

With about 8 weeks of school left for us my son is getting tired of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and ham and cheese roll ups for lunch. He does buy lunch somedays but we read the menu for the week and he tells me what days he is interested in what the school is serving and what days he would rather eat a home lunch. It’s close to a 50:50 split on eating at school vs home.

So I am having to get creative. What a great time for Snyder’s-Lance to come out with not just one, but several new products and flavors. I am now making easy kids school lunches with Snyder’s-Lance new offerings.

Lancers Gluten Free

Have you seen the new Lance Gluten Free Snack Crackers? It is always fantastic when brands bring more options for those with Celiac or diet restrictions. There are 2 flavors, baked original and real cheddar cheese.

A handful of these crackers with some cheese and meats you need to use up offer a fun lunch idea. Simple but not a PB & J sandwich…again.

BBQ Thins

For an added snack in yours or the kids lunches are some new and unique chips from Cape Cod snacks. They now have Infused Oil Kettle Cooked Potato Chips. This means that they have infused the oils wit herbs, spices and vegetables for the ultimate savory taste. They come in 2 flavors, jalapeno and mediterranean. If you prefer a non-GMO lighter chip, you can also find new Cape Cod Thins in original, BBQ and sea salt vinegar.

Lancers foods

New Kids School Lunch Snacks

Pretzels and cracker sandwiches are always a hit. I love finding new packaged crackers to grab on-the-go and to easily toss into the lunchbox for recess snack. When you hear the word sandwich as a kid, PB and J must come to mind first. Lance now has PB&J Toasty Cracker Sandwiches. They are made with Welch’s grape jelly for a twist on the classic sandwich.

PBJ snack

If you like indvidual wrapped snacks like these, have your kids tried Emerald Nut blends? Now you can find fruit and nut packs as well as non-GMO convenience packs. You can find them in several flavors, dry roasted almonds, jalapeno cashews, whole roasted and salted cashews, dill pickle cashews, cocoa roast almonds, deluxe mixed nuts and double crunch BBQ.

I told you there were several new offerings! Moving on….

pizza pretzel

Pretzels! Flavored pretzels! Flavored Pretzel Sandwiches and Pieces! Need I say more? The flavors? Buttermilk ranch and sweet chili garlic Snyder’s of Handover pretzel pieces. And you can now find brick oven style pizza and classic hummus Snyder’s of Hanover pretzel sandwiches.

kid lunch snack

One more…

Need a break after packing those lunches for the kids? Grab Lance Power Break Sandwich Crackers that offer you 11-12 grams of protein, Vitamin B and whole grains in a snack sandwich. The yummy flavors are chocolate peanut butter and peanut butter. You survived the morning, so take a break!