Quick 5 Minute Wreath Switch up

With the season change upon us, I’ve seen a lot of people ready to decorate for fall.
One of my favorite things to do is switch up my base wreath. This wreath stays on the door all year round, and to me, there’s just something welcoming about a door wreath.
A couple years ago, I made my base wreath out of burlap and a wire wreath base from the $1 store. You can find about a million tutorials on YouTube to do this, and it was super easy to do.
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I headed back to the dollar store and picked up a hand full of things for $5 plus tax.
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I am no master decorator, but I think it looks pretty good for taking 5 minutes to do.
I wrapped and tucked the fall leaves garland around my whole wreath and adjusted, pulled off some leaves as needed.
Added my sign to the middle. I just hang the sign on the wreath holder and tuck it into the burlap.
And clipped on the cute pumpkins!
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Instant fall decor.
Now all I have to do is take a magic eraser to my front door!!
                       Becky Phillips
                           mom of 2
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         You can find more of my posts at Workingwifemommalife.wordpress.com

DIY Farm Table

So I’ve been watching a lot of Fixer Uppers, and have wanted a farm table for some time. After looking up the price points, it was pretty clear that I wasn’t getting one…

Or was I?
I took a look at my current dining room table. It was given to me used, and had been very loved. It was a sad looking table after it had been adopted by my family. Bubbles from spills, paint from crafts with my kids that would NOT wash off… So I had an epiphany! I’m gonna turn my own table into a farm table!
After looking up several posts on Pinterest, I kind of took a general idea of them all, came up with my own plan, and got to work. I did some measuring, made a list of all materials I would need, and we headed to Lowe’s.
My materials list consisted of:
2X6s
Stainable wood filler
Liquid nail
The stain of my choice
Matte finish poly
Sand paper
We already had an electric sander, screws, white paint, and paint brushes.
I had my husband cut the wood long enough to have about an inch an a half-2 inches over hang and set them aside.
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We sanded down the whole table.
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Flipped it upside down, and pained the bottom white. I wasn’t super careful with the bottom because I was going to sand over the paint, anyway.
We let the paint dry, flipped the table back up, and glued down the boards with liquid nail to the sanded (and wiped Free of dust) table top.
We did run into a little issue here, as my husband put down WAY too much liquid nail on the table top. It took a long time to dry, and before it was fully dried, it caused the boards to sit funny. So, if I ever do one again, I will put a small amount of liquid nail on each board and apply instead of the liquid nail all over the table top. After a couple days, the boards sat flat as we wanted them to.
Once that was dry, we used stainable wood filler for the cracks between the boards. I had seen this on Pinterest, so assumed we wouldn’t have any issues.
We did.
The wetness of the wood filler expanded the wood in the cracks, raising them higher than the rest of the table.
When it was fully dry, I sanded it down even, and then it started cracking which defeated the entire purpose of using the stinkin wood filler.
So far I’m feeling like I’ve ruined our table…
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I sanded down parts of the painted table bottom, and then got to staining the entire table. The table top, and over the painted legs. The stain gets into the sanded parts of the paint to give it a rustic look.
If you’ve never stained anything, the stain is applied and wiped off.
I did a couple coats of stain on the top to get it the color I liked.
I let the stain dry a couple days, and then decided I needed to do something about the cracked up wood filler. The only other thing I had, was some clear caulking by Gorilla Glue that was supposed to work with wood.
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I applied one coat of Poly, let it dry and sanded it. Once it was wiped down, I put down painters tape on the edges of the boards and filled it with the clear caulk.
I forgot to pull up the tape when it was still wet. When I pulled the tape off, it had a little bit of an overhang which I was not happy about, but I used an exacto knife to carefully cut those off.
I let the caulking dry overnight.
Once it was dry, I put the remaining layers of poly on top and let it dry a couple of days before bringing in the house.
With all the road blocks I ran into, I was thinking it would turn out to be a disaster, but I am very happy with how the table came out, and have gotten several compliments on it!
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Now I’m going to build a matching bench seat and refinish a couple of our chairs to match!
                       Becky Phillips
                          Mom of 2
  You can find more of my posts on                Workingwifemommalife.wordpress.com

My world famous secret recipe for Strawberry Jam

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March.

March is now over, our days are longer which means later bedtimes, whiny kids and even grumpier parents. Making the adjustment is often hard around here. While the kids and I don’t have to get up to an alarm clock, the hubby still does and 3:45a comes even earlier when it doesn’t get dark until after 8pm.

In Florida, March is also synonymous with strawberries. You will start to see them everywhere. Every corner will have a stand of someone selling flats, the u-pick places are all over and the Strawberry Festival is celebrated with all things fried, colored lights and retired country stars.

Strawberry season means one big thing in my house, jam time. Every year I try to put away about 12 pints of strawberry jam to give as gifts, make pb&j’s with or just eat with a spoon straight out of the jar. I’m not sure which I love better strawberry or muscadine!

I always have fantasy filled dreams of the kids and I singing in the kitchen canning jam together, but really my anxiety kicks them out about the time I start to put the strawberries on the stove. Sometimes I can’t think and mom at the same time. Besides they usually help with the hard part of squishing the berries. This year was no different!


<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/261487132″>60 Second Film Project {March}</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user49150923″>Momma G Soul</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Wanna know my family secret recipe for making jam?

First, you need a giant pot to process your jars for shelf keeping OR lots of freezer space for freezer jam! There are some handy accessories for hot jars like a jar handler, a long-stemmed magnet and a wide mouth funnel that fits the jars perfectly. All easily found in the canning aisle at Walmart!

I start with 2 flats of strawberries of which half of one is promptly eaten while it’s still sitting on the counter. The rest has the tops cut off and the berries cut into chunks. They are then well hidden in the outside fridge to keep them from grubbing little kid hands.

Next, wash in hot soapy water (or rinse on high in the dishwasher) 24 half pint mason jars. I always try to have extra on hand just in case. I usually dunk the lids in the boiling water right before canning starts to clean them.

You will need a 5lb sack of sugar and I always try to use the surejell low sugar pectin. SureJell has always worked the best for me. You need one box per 12 half pint jars in general.

Mash your fruit for jam or use the fruit processor on your kitchen aid for jelly. I like the bits, so I just use my hands or a potato masher to squeeze the berries.

Then just follow the directions in the package. It’s really pretty darn easy. A few lessons I have learned. Read the directions twice. Measure everything out in advance, stir, stir, keep stirring, and don’t walk away.

Then if you are a Pinterest Mom you can put pretty labels on your jam and give them away in nice baskets to your friends. If you are like me I might write the date on the top and an S to indicate strawberry, but I still give them away to friends. Either way they taste the same! Please let me know in the comments if you try to make our own jam this year or if you have any questions!

Mom and Daughter Selfie

The momma behind Momma Got Soul Photo and Films, Tampa Bay Family Photographer. I am a wife. I am a mother. I am a storyteller. I stay up late, try to sleep late, and drink lots of coffee and beer (usually in that order, but not always). I grew up in sunny (which means really hot) central Florida, never go to the beach or Disney, but try to hike in the woods as much as I can. I remember a time when I said I would never photograph people, now that’s all I do. I think it started with wanting to explore the world and capture that to share with people. Now I want to capture people to share with the world. -Kelly

Cake, Cake Pops and Cupcakes… oh my!

Looking for an activity to offset the dreaded summer vacation boredom? Do you love all things Sweet? Always wanted to make those cute desserts you see on Pinterest but don’t know where to start? Looking to improve on your decorating skills?

The Sweet Tooth Cakery is bringing you decorating classes to create fabulous cakes, cupcakes and cake pop designs! Learn tips and tricks from the experts to create fabulous desserts. We will share recipes, best practices and you will leave with new knowledge and your beautiful creations!

We have some great offers for Everyday Moms!

Everyday Moms get 10% off all classes with the code EM10.
If you book 2 classes, you can use the code 20OFF for $20 off your total.
If you book before May 17, you can use the code EARLYBIRD10 for an additional 10% off!

Click here to book now

(For anyone taking a full day of classes, there is a 1 hour lunch break. Everyone is welcome to pack a lunch, no need to leave while waiting for the next class to start.)
We are offering 6 different classes over 4 weeks in June. These classes are for all skill levels, ages 10 and up (except Mommy & Me). Classes are $60 each and you will take home your creations! All tools, ingredients and equipment will be provided. You don’t need to bring anything except your excitement (and your sweet tooth)!

All courses will be held at Brandon’s Event Space, 137 S Parsons Ave., Brandon, Fl 33511. (Corner of Parsons and Robertson)

Cake Pop Basics. Wednesday, June 7th, 2017 10am-12pm

In this 2-hour interactive course, you will learn step-by-step how to prepare delicious cake pops! In addition to learning the complete process, you will also receive recipes, tips for choosing chocolate, the different sticks and packaging available as well as how to customize with sprinkles, sugar and other decorations. Each student will decorate and take home their pops. (6 per Student)

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Basic Cake Pops

Advanced Cake Pop Design Wednesday, June 7, 2017 1pm-3pm
Take your cake pops to the next level! Create designs from popular movies, most used emojis and look alike ice cream cones! Learn tips and tricks from the experts to make mouth-watering creations! Each student will decorate and take home their pops. (6 per Student)

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Cupcake Decorating (buttercream flowers) Tuesday, June 13, 2017 10am-12pm
Each student will learn piping skills including easy ways to fill piping bags, the different piping tips and the designs they create. We will learn rosettes, sunflowers and the beautiful “cupcake swirl”. Each student will take home 6 beautifully decorated cupcakes.

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Cake Pop Basics – Tuesday, June 13th, 2017 1pm-3pm
In this 2-hour interactive course, you will learn step-by-step how to prepare delicious cake pops! In addition to learning the complete process, you will also receive recipes, tips for choosing chocolate, the different sticks and packaging available as well as how to customize with sprinkles, sugar and other decorations. Each student will decorate and take home their pops. (6 per Student)

 

Click here to book your class now!

Mommy & Me Decorating Fun Wednesday, June 21, 2017 10am-12pm

Bring the kids to make some delicious designs. Join us to make mini “Poppy Troll” cupcakes, donut sugar cookies and chocolate lollipops! Take home and enjoy your creations! All children must be accompanied by an adult. 1 ticket is good for 1 adult and 1 child (under age 10).

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Chocolates & Dipped Desserts Wednesday, June 21, 2017 1pm-3pm
Learn the art of making molded chocolates and chocolate dipped treats. Including: marshmallows, Rice Krispy Treats, Pretzels, Oreos and Apples. We will teach you the best chocolate to use, how to prepare, color and add designs and fillings. Take home your delicious creations!

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Advanced Cake Pop Design Wednesday, June 28th, 2017 10am-12pm
Take your cake pops to the next level! Create designs from popular movies, most used emojis and look alike ice cream cones! Learn tips and tricks from the experts to make mouth-watering creations! Each student will decorate and take home their pops. (6 per Student)

Mini Cakes that Wow! Wednesday, June 28th, 2017 1pm3pm
We will create 2 very popular designs using pre-made mini cakes. You will learn various buttercream piping techniques and simple fondant design tricks to create a super popular unicorn cake and a super colorful drippy candy cake. Then, take your delicious designs home with you.

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About the Instructor
Pam has been a professional baker and cake decorator since 2011. Her love for cake decorating began when she would bake cakes for her children’s school bake sales. She currently runs The Sweet Tooth Cakery and is the mom to 4 children.

Pinterest Picks: Winter Break Crafts

Winter Break is right around the corner and that means LOTS of time alone with your kids asking “what are we doing today?”

Fill in those days with some winter break crafts!

So far, these are the ones we’ve done:

Name Recognition Lights 

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                     Pinterest version                                                                    My version

I cut the lights out (freehand) out of construction paper and drew the bases of the lights with permanent marker. I took a piece of paper and folded and cut it in half and drew a squiggly line for the lights.

Then, I gave them glue sticks and let them go to town.

Lights (Patterns for older kids)

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        Pinterest Version                                      My version

I found this idea here and she used wine corks for the paint, but I had Do-A-Dot art pens laying around and used those! Much easier and less to clean up afterwards!

Cutting Practice trees

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     Pinterest version                                      My version

This one was super easy: Just draw triangle-shaped trees on a green piece of construction paper and let the kids cut them out! My girls actually used the Do-A-Dot makers again since they were laying around and “decorated” the trees.

With all the crafting, your kids are bound to get hungry. So, in addition to our crafts, here are some Pinterest picks for some holiday snacks and food:

Rudolph pancakes

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                   Pinterest version.                                                     My version

I buy pre-made frozen chocolate chip and mini pancakes just for breakfasts like these!

I bought a HUGE bag of holiday M&Ms (which I’ve read I can save and use the red ones for Valentine’s Day and the green ones for St. Patrick’s Day).

I used one red M&M for the nose, two chocolate chips for the eyes and pretzel sticks broken up for the antlers.

Muddy Buddies

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           Pinterest version                                               My version 

Did you know you can buy these pre-made now?! Genius!

I just dumped a bag of muddy buddies, holiday M&Ms and pretzel sticks in a gallon sized Ziplok baggie and mixed it up!

Ruldolph PBJ

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Pinterest version                                 My version

Once again, red M&M and two chocolate chips for the face!

I’ve pretty much figured out that if I put 3 pieces of candy on anything, my kids will eat it ALL!

I cut the shape with my butter knife (it was supposed to be a heart-shape) and put mini pretzels in between the bread.

And just for some LOLZ and to show you that everything doesn’t always turn out just like Pinterest, here is my Pinterest FAIL!

Snowman pancakes 

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Pinterest version                                           My version

I had seen this lady’s post on a cute snowman breakfast and tried to replicate it.

She used mini chocolate chips and apparently, mine are enormous.

I used 3 green M&Ms for the buttons and pretzel sticks for the arms. Mini marshmallows for the snow beneath the feet.

Then, it went terribly wrong. I didn’t have anything cute to use for the nose. I attempted to use a candy corn, but then my snowman just looked like a penguin!

Oh well, the kids still ate them!

Happy Winter Break!

 

 

Pinterest Picks: Fall Crafts

Written by: Jennifer Silverstein

The first day of autumn has come and gone and we’re still waiting for our cold front here in Florida.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t get into the spirit and participate in some fun fall crafts.

1. Acorn Handprints 

Here’s an easy one we did last year:

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                         Pinterest Version                                                                  My Version

All this required was brown and white paint and paper! I mixed the brown and white together to create the lighter brown color for the bottom of the acorn, which I painted the kids hands with. Once that dried, I painted the tops freehand and wrote each child’s name and the year on the bottom of the paper with gold Sharpie marker.

2. Pumpkin Alphabet (letter recognition)

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                           Pinterest Version                                                 My Version

We are still over here working on our alphabet (LOL). This one, I printed from The Kindergarten Connection. I had my oldest, Emma, color the pumpkins orange and then I cut them all out. Then, we sang the song and she found each letter and glued them down.

3. Black Cat Paper Plate Craft

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Pinterest Version                                                   My Version

This one was quite easy, IMO. I had purchased a package from Amazon a few months ago with small pieces of tissue paper in lots of colors. BEST. PURCHASE. EVER.

I’ve used it for flamingoes, pineapples, a seahorse and more. And I’ve NEVER had to cut tissue paper into tiny little pieces by hand. Thank God.

Any who, for this craft, I used a paint brush to put glue all over the plate and let the girls glue black tissue paper and cover all the white on the paper plate. I cut out 4 black triangles for the ears. We used a heart-shaped button for the nose. I cut out the eyes and mouth from white cardstock and had the girls color the eyes (Emma chose green, Addie blue because that’s the color of her eyes). The whiskers are pipe cleaners.

4. Tracing lines practice (Fall leaves)

 

I printed these out from Education.com.  I have signed up for this website using my email address and saying I am a homeschool mom. You can get many free printable and worksheets from there. This was pretty self explanatory. I simply let the girls trace the lines. (Addie is on the left, Emma on the right) Emma added her name to her 🙂

5. Fall Leaves Handprints 

This was another craft that we did last year. I simply painted the girls’ hands in fall leaf colors: red, yellow, orange and green. Once they dried, I used a marker to draw veins up their fingers, wrote their names and the year.

I hope you try some of these out at home and comment below if you have! I’d love to see YOUR versions!

Jenn from GrowingUpSilverstein

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I’m a Stay-at-Home mom of two little girls. Addie, 2, and Emma, 3. They ARE NOT twins, no matter how many times people ask me. We live on 6 acres and have two dogs, 5 chickens and a tortoise! I’ve been married to my husband, Eric, for 7 years! I have a degree in Journalism, and am currently doing HIPPY Homeschool with my oldest. I’m UBER crafty and ADDICTED to Pinterest.

 

 

Pinterest Picks: Back-to-School Edition

Written By: Jennifer Silverstein

While my kids aren’t exactly “school-age” yet, I do try to teach them as much as I can at home- the DIY way. Here are a few DIY/ back to school crafts to re-create with your littles.

  1. Alphabet Cookie Sheet

We are currently working on our alphabet, so when I saw this:

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Pinterest Version

I decided to re-create it myself. And on the cheap.

I didn’t want to use one of my own cookie sheets (because, cookies) so I went to the Dollar Store and bought one. After that, I just used a Sharpie and wrote the letters on it.

Luckily for us, we already had alphabet letters just lying around.

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My Version

2. Parts of a flower (using baking cups) 

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            Pinterest Version                                                     My Version

This one was fairly easy (and used materials I already had around the house/ kitchen). I started by painting the bottom of the paper brown for the dirt (and let it dry), then I had the kids glue down the baking cup while I cut out the stem and leaves for them.  Then, they proceeded to glue down the stem, leaves, “roots” a.k.a. yarn and seeds. The ones in the Pinterest version were sunflower seeds. I didn’t have any of those so I used popcorn kernels.

3. Paper Plate Sunflower 

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                                              Pinterest Version(s)

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                                                             My Version

I have actually purchased a stack of paper plates just for crafting! For this one, I let the kids paint both the outer edge of the plate (yellow) and the inside (brown) for the sunflower.

Then, I put dots of glue all over the brown part of their plate and let them place the corn kernels and black beans on.

Then, I let them cut the edges of the paper plate to make the petals of the flower.

Once the flowers were dried, I hot glued a stem to the back of the flower.

4. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (Letter & name Recognition) 

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              Pinterest Version                                                    My Version

I had this one saved for a while before we actually got around to doing it, but it was super simple! Probably less that 20 minutes!

I purchased alphabet letters from (you guessed it) the Dollar Store.

I painted brown tree trunks, cut out coconuts using a large hole puncher and cut leave shapes freehand.

I let the kids glue down the leaves and coconuts and then gave them some letters.

I handed them each their name letters and encouraged them to put them on the trunk.

 

I hope these “Pinterest Picks” encourage you to DIY some of YOUR own at home with your kids! Especially with back-to-school coming up!

xoxo

Jenn from GrowingUpSilverstein

headshot

I’m a Stay-at-Home mom of two little girls. Addie, 2, and Emma, 3. They ARE NOT twins, no matter how many times people ask me. We live on 6 acres and have two dogs, 5 chickens and a tortoise! I’ve been married to my husband, Eric, for 7 years! I have a degree in Journalism, and am currently doing HIPPY Homeschool with my oldest. I’m UBER crafty and ADDICTED to Pinterest.