Patriotic Mommy & Daughter Bracelets: Crafts for Kids

Just so you know, I received product from Oriental Trading to facilitate this post. All opinions, ideas, and photos are entirely my own.

Oriental Trading, 4th of July crafts, crafts for kids, mommy and daughter bracelet crafts, patriotic flip flop bracelet

My Bug loves to craft. She loves to make things, especially jewelry, and the shinier the better! But I’m just not all that crafty and I really don’t have a lot of free time. She always does a good job on her little projects so in preparation for the 4th of July, I headed to Oriental Trading Company in search of something for her to curb her crafting itch and to occupy some of her summer free time. I found this adorable American Flag Flip Flop Bracelet Craft Kit and I just knew she would love it.

patriotic bracelet kit, Oriental Trading, crafting

When the kit arrived, I was pleased with the contents, especially at that price point. Everything was wrapped and packaged separately, and there was a full set of instructions. Now that Bug is reading so well, I just had to open everything up and she couldn’t wait to get started on her Mommy and Daughter bracelet project. Seriously, she couldn’t wait. The minute our package arrived, she started BEGGING me to rip it all open!

crafting with kids, Oriental Trading, patriotic flip flop bracelet

Even though this package said the craft was intended for 14 and up, my little Bug didn’t have a problem once I laid out the picnic blanket, the supplies, and the instructions. She’s a happy little crafter and I really need to keep her busy during the summer or the house might come down at the hands of her mischievous little nature.

American Flag Flip Flop Bracelet, Oriental Trading, crafts for kids, 4th of July crafts

When it was all said and done, I think these came out really cute, and she and I are all set for the holiday with our festive, matching jewelry. This project was particularly good for her because she loves patterned activities and she recently completed a huge project for her history class surrounding being an American and the 4th of July holiday.

We’ve got a few more patriotic crafts happening this week and I’ll be sure to come back and share. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for great, inexpensive crafts to keep your kids busy this summer, be sure to visit Oriental Trading for fun and affordable crafting supplies and kits. If you’re like me, you’ll want to go with the kits because they do all of the creative thinking for you. You can also find Oriental Trading Company on Facebook and Twitter, so be sure to follow along there too. Happy crafting!

Need Last Minute Christmas Present Ideas and DIY Bows? I Can Help!

 Just for the record, 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. As always, all opinions, ideas, and photos are entirely my own.

So MOST of your Christmas shopping is done. You had all of the best gift ideas on the planet and you pulled everything off flawlessly. But then…wait! You made your list, and you’re checking it twice, and realize that you missed some of the very important people in your life. Now what?


I feel your pain. I was right there with you, but I figured out a plan and I owned it! You see, I have 6 kids. Some are easy to buy for, some not so much. The babies? Easy peasy. They are 5 and 7. They want toys. I’ve got that covered and Walmart has everything I need. The man child, now 16, wants tools. That’s pretty easy too. ‘Hey B, the man child wants tools. Look at this, pick some out’, and POOF, I click a button and all of his holiday wishes come true. 

BUT…then there are the other 3. OY…the other 3. Bry is 24 and has expensive taste. Paetyn is 19 and just had a baby. The Drama Queen is 12 going on 30 and there’s no pleasing her. But what do these hard to buy for girls all have in common? They’re girly-girls. And what do girly-girls like? Shiny things, clothes, and things that smell super pretty. With 6 kids, you live on a budget so I headed to Walmart to see what I could find.
I found the perfume in the cosmetics aisles, but I wanted something more. Luckily, they had gift sets with celebrity flair and amazing scents by the check out that I was sure all of my girls would love. You can check out the full line at www.scentsavings.net. And with this gift set purchase, your recipient also receives a free ringtone (details inside the box) which is awesome because in this case, that’s one less Taylor Swift ringtone mommy has to pay for this year!
I picked out this Taylor Swift Wonderstruck Enchanted gift set and knew it would be perfect for one of the girls (shhh…I can’t tell you which one or it wouldn’t be a surprise). And since this one girl seems a little harder to please than the others (we all have them, right?), I decided to dress up the package with a little homemade, personal flair. That’s right y’all, I made my own bows! And if I can do it, you can do it too. Here’s how:
Buy some wire ribbon, don’t be stupid and get the non-wired kind (don’t ask me how I know that, just trust me). Fold it in equal lengths, in one strip, 5 to 10 times, depending on how big you want your bow to be. 
Fold the ribbon in half and tie the middle with a twist tie. I happened to have fancy red ones at home, but the garden variety trash bag ones will work just as well. 
Start spreading the loops until they make the bow you desire. For me, this takes forever and it never is quite as perfect as I’d hoped!
When you’re through with your ribbon, find something around the house to embellish it with to hide the imperfect center. OK, so yours might not be imperfect but mine always is and a flower or additional ribbon covers that up. I sprinkled mine with glitter because we all know everything looks better with glitter!

Wrap the perfume gift set, place the ribbon on the top, and give it to that hard to gift person, or place it in the mail if you’re like me and won’t see them until after Christmas. They’ll smile and you know that you just saved time, and saved money, with a gift of scent that they’ll enjoy for months to come. 


There’s another one off the list. Now I only have the in-laws left to buy for. Any ideas there because I’m struggling?

To view more gift-giving ideas for the Millennial or hard-to-buy-for person in your life, and to get some amazing wrapping ideas, be sure to check out the Scent Savings Pinterest Board.

And if you are STILL looking for great ideas for holiday gift giving, check out the Live SoFab Holiday Digital Magazine by clicking on the image below. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and that you get everything your heart desires in the coming year!

It’s Snowing Inside This Christmas and Glass Fish Net Floats are on the Tree

Before I share our Winter Wonderland and my craft idea with you, I should tell you that I received product from Oriental Trading to facilitate this post. As always, all opinions, ideas, and photos are entirely my own.
Obviously it’s not snowing inside because we do have a roof over our heads and I’m almost 100% certain it won’t even snow outside again this year. Galveston rarely gets snow and the last snow fall here was in 2004. Nope. Not a white Christmas for us…or so you would think!
But I’d like to welcome y’all to our Winter Wonderland. It’s not completely done yet, so hang tight for updates as we finish up, but we’re off to a great start with the help of Oriental Trading and the babies are thrilled. My babies want a white Christmas, and they deserve that, but Mommy needs to live in a warm climate so this is our compromise and it’s really fun every year.
The minute anyone enters the foyer, they are greeted with lights, snowflakes, lots of blue obviously, and loads of fun and festivity. I’m particularly fond of the blue lights hanging over our archway. And I love the snowflakes hanging from the ceiling, and the snowflakes on the window. Oh who am I kidding? I just love this theme!
As you know, I’m redecorating the house in blues and greens and everything beachy. The only way to tie in this Winter Wonderland was to keep with the theme colors which was easy with Oriental Trading’s HUGE line of holiday decorations.
This window treatment is Bubby’s favorite. I hung it in the dining room, right next to his count down til Christmas sign, so he can enjoy it during all of his meals. He likes the way it sparkles. Of course he does…he’s my kid after all.
We still have a few more snowflakes to hang and a couple of other decorating items on the list, but our house is literally a Winter Wonderland and our guests this weekend loved it too. It’s not just for the kids!
My tree fits my blue and green theme but I wanted to put some beachy items on there too. I ordered some clear glass bulbs from Oriental Trading and they inspired me. You see, every little shop around the island adorns those glass fish net floats and I love the way they look. I set out to make some of my own for our tree.
Glass Fishnet Bulb Christmas Tree Ornaments
 
What You’ll Need:
 
Glass Clear Ornaments
Regular School Glue
Food Coloring
Twine
Funnel
Cupcake Pan
Tinfoil
Patience and an Old Toss of the OCD Tendencies
Start by mixing regular school glue with water (equal parts) and mix in your food coloring of choice. Typically glass fish net floats are blue or green so this worked perfectly for me. Mix the 3 components until you have your color of choice.
Funnel some of the mixture into the glass bulb and swish around until it is fully covered inside.
Place a piece of tinfoil in each of the “cake” slots you’ll be using and place your bulbs in there face down. Bake on 200 degrees for about an hour.
When they come out dry, they may not be perfect (oh be still my poor OCD heart) but that’s OK. If you’ve ever seen blown glass, you know that no two pieces are alike and their imperfections are what make them unique and beautiful. Oddly enough, I like the more splattered looking one better. Put the stems back in the bulbs so you have a way to hang them for the next steps.
Tie one piece of twine around the neck of the bulb. Then cut 6 equal length pieces of twine (I didn’t measure them but make sure they are long enough to be doubled and hang well below the bulb – I’d say about 20 inches). Thread each piece through the anchor twine and knot them at the base. I just used a simple knot, I think it’s called an overhand bow knot (but don’t hold me to that).
Start knotting your fishnet. And here’s where those OCD tendencies need to be really tossed. They don’t have to be perfectly equidistant. The knots don’t have to be exactly the same. Have you ever seen a real fishnet? Yea, not perfect. Take one piece from one of your double strands, and knot it with one piece from the next double strand as shown above. Keep doing that until you get to the bottom.
Don’t flip out when the “net” starts crawling up the bulb and looks like it won’t fit because that’s all resolved at the end. Simply gather all of the pieces at the bottom, pull them tightly, and tie them off. And yes, I do need a manicure and my fingers are completely blue in this photo. Don’t judge.
Like I said, it may not be perfect but it fits perfectly with other items in my decor that use fishnet so I’m pretty pleased with the results. We’re enjoying our Winter Wonderland this year more than ever and I can’t wait to get it all finished before the Big Guy gets here on Christmas Eve. I want him to feel at home too.
For more decorating and craft ideas, be sure to visit Oriental Trading’s Christmas Store, and follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. They don’t only help with your holiday decorating and crafting either. Let them help you throw an amazing holiday party (at half the cost of your local party store) too!