Over The Top Mommy

Crafts & DIY

{Giveaway} Mickey Mouse: Merry & Scary on Disney DVD 9/26 + DIY Mickey Inspired Trick or Treat Buckets

I received promotional items in order to write this post. All opinions are my own

 

Get ready to ride a tide of holiday hilarity when Mickey Mouse: Merry & Scary releases on Disney DVD September 26!  These festive episodes of Disney’s Emmy® Award-Winning “Mickey Mouse” Cartoon Shorts will make you laugh yourself silly whether you’re trimming the tree or carving a pumpkin!mickey-mouse-merry-and-scaryThis DVD includes Includes two 22-minute holiday themed episodes, The Scariest Story Ever: A Mickey Mouse Halloween Spooktacular and Duck The Halls: A Mickey Mouse Christmas Special. There are five 3-minute bonus shorts included on the DVD also:

  1. Ghoul Friend
  2. The Boiler Room
  3. Black & White
  4. Entombed
  5. Split Decision

The Scariest Story Ever: A Mickey Mouse Halloween Spooktacular!For Halloween, Mickey has tricked out his house like a “tomb, sweet, tomb” and along with his pals Donald and Goofy, plans to tell hair-raising Halloween stories! However, his attempt at being scary falls flatter than a pancake. Can Mickey conjure up a truly terrifying tale before the stroke of midnight?
Duck The Halls: A Mickey Mouse Christmas Special It’s the most wonderful time of the year…to migrate south for the winter! But Donald wants to stay put and celebrate his first Christmas with his friends. Mickey creates the ultimate list of everything to make Donald’s first Christmas great, but before you can catch a snowflake on your tongue, Donald has turned into a shivering, sneezing duck-cicle!

The voice cast includes Chris Diamantopoulus as Mickey Mouse/Vampire; Russi Taylor as Minnie/Huey/Dewey/Louie/The Witch; Bill Farmer as Goofy; Tony Anselmo as Donald Duck; Tress MacNeille as Daisy Duck; and Corey Burton as Professor Von Drake. The Executive Producer is Paul Rudish.DIY-mickey-inspired-trick-or-treat-bucketsTo get into the spirit of the Halloween season, my daughter and I decided to make a couple of Mickey-inspired trick-or-treat buckets. I love simple DIYs, especially when they involve Mickey Mouse! I wanted to share ours with you because they were so simple to make and can be easily recreated.diy-mickey-inspired-bucketsHere’s what you’ll need to make your own Mickey-inspired Trick-or-Treat Buckets:

  • Bucket or pail, 1 per person
  • White foam pieces
  • 1/2′ wide ribbon, Halloween colors
  • Trim of your choie
  • Tulle, Halloween colors
  • A black permanent marker
  • Glue gun and refills
  • Scissorsmickey-inspired-1

Instructions:

  1. Grab an inspirational image of Mickey’s glove from the Internet.
  2. Use pencil to draw onto the white foam. Make one for each bucket or pail.mickey-merry-and-scary-1
  3. Cut out shape carefully.
  4. Use the black permanent marker to draw accents and outline the glove.
  5. Stick Mickey’s glove onto the front of the bucket using the hot glue gun.
  6. Cute a few pieces of tool and ribbon and tie onto each side of the bucket, where the handles are and trim edges.
  7. Finally, glue a fun trim around the rim of the bucket

mickey-inspired-2 have-fun-trick-or-treatingmickey-inspired-bucketHow cute did our buckets turn out? My daughter did the majority of the work. She’s my resident artist and I’m really excited to use them when we attend Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland Resort. Meanwhile, I’m using them in my classroom to hold rewards for my students. Boy, do they pay attention when I pick one of the buckets up!

enter-to-win-my-giveawayI’m also having a giveaway for one (1) of my lucky readers to win their very own copy of Mickey Mouse: Merry & Scary! To enter, leave a comment below and tell me if you about one of your special Halloween traditions. I will accept comments for this giveaway until 11:59 p.m. on October 2. I will choose a winner on October 3 via Random Number Generator and notify the winner. Giveaway is open to U.S. Residents of the Continental U.S., ages 18 and older. Prize has no cash value. 
Don’t forget, you can bring home the laughs and grab Mickey Mouse: Merry & Scary! on Disney DVD September 26th!

Cover image property of Disney Animation Studios. 

 

DIY Outdoor Movie Night + Bambi Snack Mix Recipe

I received promotional products from Walt Disney Studios in order to facilitate this post. All opinions are 100% my own. 

 

Summer is here and we decided to celebrate by throwing an outdoor movie night for a few friends and family. I couldn’t think of a better way to do so than by showing one of Disney’s all-time classic films, “Bambi”, which joined Walt Disney’s Signature Collection at the end of May, in honor of its 75th anniversary.diy-outdoor-movie-night-plus-bambi-snack-mix-recipeI loved this movie as a child and was so excited to introduce my daughter and my nieces and nephews to it also.bambi-coverThe Signature Collection release, now available at retailers, contains a variety of new bonus material including:

  • Recordings of Walt Disney discussing the challenges and triumphs during the production of “Bambi;”
  • Deleted scenes and characters;
  • Dtories and effects that “Bambi” had on the Studio, other films and artists;
  • and much, much more

Additionally, the Digital HD release includes an exclusive, heartfelt feature on the incredible artist, Tyrus Wong, who inspired the film’s soft watercolor backgrounds and beautiful palette. Here’s a sneak peek:
In our home, movies always call for snacks, which is why we whipped up a batch of “Bambi Snack Mix” for our guests to enjoy while watching “Bambi” at our outdoor movie. (Please see bottom of this post for snack recipe.)bambi-snack-mix-inside-bagI was delighted to received an amazing bundle of goodies in the mail from Disney to host my outdoor movie night. My bundle contained an AAXA P300 Pico/Micro LED Projector, an Ion Audio Tailgater Portable Bluetooth PA Speaker System with Microphone, an Apple Lightning Digital AV Adapter for iPhone, and a copy of Disney’s “Bambi” on Blu-Ray. I couldn’t wait to get started.set-up-your-own-outdoor-movieSetting up your own outdoor isn’t difficult. I promise. You can choose to project your movie onto on a light colored wall or garage, use a white sheet as a makeshift screen, or even purchase an inexpensive, portable movie screen. We opted for a wall to project ours onto.

The projector we received to use for our movie was a P300 Pico mini projector. It’s small and pretty lightweight. It also produces the most clear, beautiful projections, with high resolution and vivid colors. This projector has the capability to show movies, as well as photos and videos and pairs up with your phone or mobile device or laptop. It’s tiny but mighty and can be set up almost anywhere.bambi-home-movie-projectorAlthough the mini projector already has sound coming out of it, pairing it with the Ion Tailgater speaker system really amplified the sound, to make it even louder for the outdoors. This portable sounds system includes speakers, an amplifier, audio inputs, and wireless Bluetooth technology, all in one durable cabinet that has handles for easy transport and allows you to enjoy your music whenever and wherever you want. . (It also works with iPad, iPhone, iPod, Android devices and more.)diy-movie-setupFor our outdoor movie, I streamed the digital copy of “Bambi” on my phone by using the digital code inside the DVD on the Disney Movies Anytime app. (Do you have this app yet?) Since my laptop doesn’t have the capability to run an internal DVD, I just streamed the movie on my phone with Apple Lightning Digital AV Adapter and my phone hooked directly up to the projector. It was much easier than setting up a laptop anyway. bambi-digital-copyWhenever we have a party or a get-together, we like to do something thematic. Hosting an outdoor movie doesn’t have to be complicated and you can get away with just serving simple snacks like popcorn and drinks. We decided to whip up a batch of “Bambi’s Favorite Snack Mix” which is just a few goodies mixed in with popcorn and served in these adorable Bambi bags that my daughter created out of simple brown lunch bags we had in our cupboard.bambi-outdoor-movie-with-bagbambi-snack-mix-recipe-textTo make your own batch of “Bambi Snack Mix”, here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • microwave popcorn, 4-6 bags, popped and cooled
  • pretzel sticks or small pretzels, 1 bag
  • chocolate chips or chocolate candies, 1 bag
  • small marshmallows, 1 bag bambi-snack-mix-ingredientsbambi-snack-mix-ingredients-mixed-together

It’s so simple to make, you just combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. After ours was mixed together, I just filled up each Bambi snack bags with the mix and set out on a table for guests to grab before we started our outdoor movie.bambi-snack-mix-ready-for-guestsTo recreate these Bambi snack bags, you’ll just need brown paper lunch bags, a black marker, scissors, a glue stick, and a cotton ball for each one.make-a-bambi-snack-bagbambi-snack-back-supplies Here’s a short time-lapse video showing how my daughter made a Bambi snack bag.

We had so much fun hosting our very first “Movie Under the Stars” and watching Disney’s “Bambi”. I can’t wait to host our next outdoor movie party. Have you hosted an outdoor movie party before? Tell me what you watched and share some of the details of your outdoor movie party with me in the comments.

Sneak peak film footage is property of Disney. 

 

Take Your Birthday Party to Blink, Inc. For a Fun Photo Shoot

I was invited as a guest of Blink, Inc. for a photo session in order to write this post. All opinions are 100% my own. 

 

As a party planning mom, I get excited when my daughter’s birthday rolls around each year because it’s another opportunity to plan a special party for her. It’s become a bit more challenging though as she’s gotten older. Gone are the days of having a big house party with characters or a bounce house. blink-inc-cardsblink-inc-birthday-buttonThis year my daughter just wanted a “Girls Day Out” at the mall with her friends. I think they’re at the age where they want to be out and be seen. She requested lunch and shopping and “just hanging out”. I thought of something super fun to add to her day….I booked a BFF birthday photo session for the girls at Blink, Inc,! (She absolutely loved it when we visited last year.) She was ecstatic when I told her about the addition to our plans for the day!blink-inc-posesBlink, Inc. is a photo studio staffed with professional photographers that are ready to photograph you the moment you walk in. It was so easy to make this fit in with our party schedule, you just go online to their site and choose a time and date at the location that works best for you, and book an appointment to go into their studio.
blink-inc-birthday-hatsBlink, Inc.studio is already set up with an all-white, blank backdrop, giving you images that look and feel like a professional, editorial fashion shoot. The lighting is set up to make everyone look their best! (They even flashed out MY wrinkles!)blink-inc-usThe photographers at the studio are experienced and will work with you ,not only to make it a fun experience but also to assure you get the images you envisioned in your head. Our photographer talked with us a little bit before we started and we showed her some of the props we brought for the shoot and gave her ideas of what I was looking for.blink-inc-confettiYou’ll want to come into the studio with an idea of what you’re going to do because shoots go by very quickly. We brought tiny party hats with us, a “Birthday Girl” button, and some confetti, to use as props in some of the pictures. Our photographer, got a lot of cute shots though, most without props. I love that the girls were just dressed as their regular, everyday tween selves because their littler personalities really showed in the photos.blink-inc-circle

blink-inc-friendsblink-inc-laughing-with-youSessions at Blink, Inc  can be scheduled for 10, 20, 30 minutes, or even longer, and start at just $25 for a 10 minute session. You’re able to see your photos as they’re shot, because Blink, Inc. offers a real-time delivery system. Pricing for images begins at $10/image with the option to purchase the entire shoot at a great “Buy All” price. Your images are delivered  almost immediately to your computer or mobile device so you can view, download to share online and even print at home.blink-inc-jumpWalk-ins are welcome but reservations are always encouraged at Blink, Inc.. To learn more  about the different types of sessions you can shoot at Blink, Inc. or to reserve your own in-studio appointment, please visit http://www.blinkinc.com.

A very special thank you to our favorite Blink, Inc. photographer at the Fashion Island location, Morgan! 

Simple No-Sew “Belle” Hair Bow #BeautyandtheBeast

We’re really excited in our home right now about all things Beauty and the Beast! First, with the release of the film’s 25th Anniversary Edition on Blu-ray™ and DVD on Sept. 20 and also with the upcoming “real life” version of the story, which will be in theaters in March 2017! How can you not be excited and nostalgic? Right now, I’m having a giveaway to win a code for a Digital Copy of “Beauty and the Beast”. To enter, go herebeauty-and-the-beast-25th-anniversary-edition This “tale as old as time” has always been one of our favorite Disney films to watch as we absolutely adore Belle! She is so beautiful and kind and as a teacher, I love that Belle has such a love for reading! She is absolutely breathtaking in her gown and every time we wave to her in the Disney parade, we can’t help but grin from ear to ear.belle-in-the-paradeIn honor of the release of this Disney classic’s 25th anniversary, we made a super cute no-sew Belle hair bow. It was very easy to put make.no-sew-belle-hair-bowdiy-belle-bow-suppliesHere’s what you’ll need to make your own “Belle Hair Bow”: 

  • One big yellow bow (ours had a rubber band already attached to it.)
  • Tulle “rounds” (I used white tulle rounds that had a touch of gold glitter) 
  • Red ribbon roses
  • A hot glue gun
  • Scissors

To make your bow:

  1. Take one of the tulle rounds and roll up.diy-belle-blow-roll-the-tulle
  2. Use the glue gun to fasten rolled tulle round to the yellow bow in the center. diy-belle-bow-glue-the-tulle
  3. Snip the ends of the round to shorten. diy-belle-bow-snip-off-the-ends
  4. Use parts that you snipped off to tie around the middle of the tulle “bow”, to cover up the hot glue spots, tying in the back of the yellow bow.diy-belle-bow-tie-in-backdiy-belle-bow-tie-around-to-cover-the-glue
  5. Add the red ribbon roses to the center, using the hot glue gun. “Traditionally”, Belle has just one rose, but we liked adding a few. diy-belle-bow-finishedHow cute did our “Belle” bow turn out?

Do you have a favorite character in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”? Tell me which one in the comments.

 

Back to School Locker Survival Kit + Free Printables

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BTSSpirit #CollectiveBias back-to-school-locker-survival-kit-2Summer’s come to an end and it’s already time for Back to School. It’s sometimes hard to transition back into the busy hustle n’ bustle of the school year. I always try to do something special for the beginning of the school year. It’s sometimes hard to impress teens but I’m hoping I still have it in me. GB-BTSWhen I was out shopping at Walmart, I saw this huge Back-to-School display in the center aisle that was filled with Ghostbusters themed merchandise and I couldn’t resist! back-to-school-survival-kit-ghostbusters-palletSuch cute little Ghostbusters erasers, notebooks, and most importantly, hand sanitizer. Have you seen the film yet? It’s still playing in theaters and was a big hit with our family this summer. If you’ve already seen it, you probably understand my obsession with the movie. If you haven’t, you need to get to the movies! What a fun film! first-day-of-school-giftbagAfter my shopping trip, I was going to go home and put together a fun little first day of school Ghostbusters themed gift bag and make a cute printable to go with it. (see below to print your own out.) back-to-school-survival-kit-candyIn addition to the fun school supplies, I found at Walmart, I also loaded my cart up with a bunch of my favorite chocolate candies that I found on the candy aisle. You can never be too stocked up! Here’s what I  purchased:

  • Milky Way® Midnight Miniature 10.5 oz.
  • Mixed Mini Variety Bag
  • M&M’s® Milk 42 oz.
  • SNICKERS® Mixed fun sized variety 35.09 oz.
  • M&M’s® Milk Chocolate Bottle (Look out for in store coupon with savings of $0.75 off 1 M&M’s® Bottle July 17 – September 30)

I wanted to make something she could keep in her locker, too. First, I decorated a magnetic locker mirror (you can find these in the school supply section) with a couple of printables. Now her locker mirror would be extra cute! back-to-school-survival-kit-mirror-how-to

back-to-school-survival-kit-locker-mirror-doneI also stuffed a small Mason jar with some of the candies, tied it with a piece of bright green lace, and stuck a “School Survival Kit” printable on the front. This will be perfect in between classes when she needs a pick-me-up!  back-to-school-survival-kit-jar-assembly

back-to-school-locker-survival-kit-mason-jar-doneTo download any of the free printables I used in this post, go here.

back-to-school-survival-kit-suppliesDo you do anything special for Back to School? Share with me what you do in the comments.

DIY Kids Travel Journal + Free Printable

The other day, I came across a box of some of my childhood belongings. One of the items in the box was a journal I’d kept in 6th grade, which is the same grade my daughter is in now. As I reread some of the old entries I”d written in my journal, I smiled, thinking back to those times. travel-journal-cover-photoI thought it would be fun to make a journal for my own daughter to keep, but more of a travel journal, rather than a diary.  I think it would be something she could utilize it on a specific trip, as a way to document a family vacation, or even keep it as an ongoing travel journal throughout childhood. travel-journal-2Either way, a travel journal is a great tool to get your child thinking, writing, and even sketching about adventures they’ve had on vacations. It’s also a great keepsake for them to look back on in later years.my-travel-journal-cover

I love bright colors so I looked for things to decorate the outside of a lined composition book. I wanted to keep it simple so she could choose what to put in her journal. For the outside, I added this “My Travel Journal” printable. You can print your own copy of the printable here. (I recommend printing out on cardstock.)my-travel-journalAfter I glued the printable onto the cover, I added some decorative washi tape accents. I love washi tape! Sometimes it’s hard to choose just one or two to use. Finally, I fastened some bright flowers in the corner. It really made the cover “pop”! i-heart-washi-tapeA travel journal is perfect to take on a trip and allow your child a little bit of time each day, perhaps at day’s end, to sum up their favorite parts of that day and even include an illustration or photograph. You could also fasten a photograph to the page. My daughter loves taking her instant camera on trips. travel-journal-1How do you document family vacation memories? Do you have your child keep any type of journal. If so share with me in the comments. travel-journal-3

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% my own.

 

 

 

DIY Decorative Mason Jars for Kitchen Organization

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PowerfulFusionClean #CollectiveBias DIY-decorative-mason-jars-for-kitchen-organization

We recently moved into a new home and I am absolutely in love with having everything brand-new, especially my kitchen. One thing I still haven’t gotten used to in this kitchen though is having such a large countertop space. My counter top is grey quartz and includes the sink, the prep area, and an area to sit at barstools, directly in front of the sink. There’s no real separate place to set my dish cloth, pot scrubber, and my dish liquid, NEW Palmolive® Fusion Clean™.palmolive-fusion-sink-area-before It seems kind of awkward to have these things sitting right in front of where people gather, The big countertop is intended to be the focal point of the room. It’s also the area where everyone’s things “land” when they come home, like keys, wallets, planners, etc. I’m going to share a picture of what my counter top looks like on any given day with you, so please don’t judge. my-countertop-needs-helpI realized that I needed help staying more organized in that area.  So I decided to make a decorative sink organizer using a Mason jar, that I could keep right up on the counter. decorative-mason-jar-5

Lately, I’ve been doodling and coloring in those adult coloring books, as a way to relax. Have you seen those yet? I wouldn’t call myself an artist but I got brave and decided to draw my own design on the Mason jar….freehand! (I practiced on paper first, of course.) mason-jar-1It was so easy to do. Honestly, if you feel like it’s not looking cute, just wait until you admire it from afar. There are parts of mine that turned out asymmetrical but don’t show. I’m kind of obsessed with my design! (see below to learn how you can make your own decorated Mason Jar) decorative-mason-jar-3

So let’s look closer at my sink area now. Storing the metal scrubber, the scrubber on a stick, and the dish cloth in the Mason jar seems to keep it all looking nicer. I like having my Fusion Clean™ Baking Soda & Lime out on its own because I use it so often. Have YOU tried it yet? clean-and-organized-sink-areaNew Palmolive® Fusion Clean™ dish liquid provides a Modern Twist on Cleaning™ It’s specially formulated for tough cleaning challenges and as you could see from my previous sink photo, my dishes sometimes pile up and don’t get washed right way. Luckily,  the unique formula removes 24 hour stuck-on food. It’s available in Baking Soda & Lime (the green one) and Baking Soda & Grapefruit (the pink one).

palmolive-fusionI found mine at Ralph’s,on the household cleaners aisle, and couldn’t decide between the two, so I bought both! You can find New Palmolive® Fusion Clean™ dish liquid at Kroger and Kroger Banner Stores. (Ralph’s, Fred Meyer, and Food 4 Less). palmolive-fusion-in-store

I love how organized my sink area jar looks now and how the colors shine through the Mason jar on my counter.

Pick up some NEW Palmolive® Fusion Clean™on your next trip. You can also grab a coupon for $0.50 off 22oz or larger one by clicking herehow-to-make-your-own-decorative-mason-jars

Here are the supplies you’ll need:

  • a Mason jar
  • fine point oil-based paint pens (I used black)
  • cotton swabs
  • nail polish remover 

Directions 

  • Thoroughly wash and dry your Mason Jar.
  • Draw your design onto the jar. I highly recommend practicing beforehand on paper. decorative-mason-jar-4
  • If you make a mistake, you can “erase” by dapping the area with a cotton swab containing nail polish remover. Make sure the glass is dry again before resuming the drawing.
  • When you are completely happy with your design, allow the jar to dry for 24 hours. decorative-mason-jar-2
  • After 24 hours, you’ll need to “bake” your jar, to set the design on the glass. Place the jar, upside-down on a baking sheet, into the cooled oven, Turn on the oven to 350 degrees, allowing the jar to heat up along with the oven. Having the glass heat up with the oven, will help avoid cracking of the glass.
  • Allow the jar to “bake” for 30 minutes. At this point, turn the oven off and open the oven door to allow the jar to cool down with the oven.
  • Remove the jar after it’s cooled down.
  • The jar will be completely sealed at this point. I highly recommend hand washing the jar instead of putting it into the dishwasher.

 

Tips to Help Your Cat When You Move Into a New Home + DIY Decorative Cat Bowl

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #IAMSCat #CollectiveBias iams-tips-to-help-your-cat-when-you-move

Our cats get tons of love, only the best quality IAMS™ food and treats, and of course, the cutest toys and even personalized accessories.There’s just no such thing as “spoiling” when it comes to your pet!  iams-dry-food-drinking-togetherAs a pet owner, I know how important it is for me to make the best decisions for them, especially pertaining to their health and well-being because at some point in their lives, cats can experience common issues such as hairballs, poor oral health, or even digestive issues. Since they can’t talk to tell us when they’re uncomfortable, it’s up to us, their owners, to seek out the solutions that can help prevent such issues from occurring. iams-dry-foodIAMS™ new reformulation of their cat treats and wet and dry foods, allows cat owners to customize their cat’s nutrition through a well balanced lifestyle. iams-paw-the-treatsWe always pick up whatever our pets need on the Pet Care aisle at Walmart. They have a huge selection of pet toys, pet beds, and we found our favorite pet food, IAMS™Proactive Health Weight & Hairball Care Dry Cat Food. IAMS™ also offers functional cat treats by targeting specific dietary needs—Hairball Care, Digestive Health, and Oral Care.iams-dry-food-walmart-pet-aisleAll I know is that my cats can’t keep their paws offf of their IAMS™ dry food bag and the treats! It’s funny how they look just like the kitty model on the bag, too! iams-dry-food-hide-behindWe recently purchased a new home and are slowly transitioning into our new home. We have been very careful to take necessary steps for our cats to adjust to this transition since we only just adopted them at the beginning of the year and have only known our one home. My goal is for them to make the transition to the new home without too much stress or anxiety since it’ll be a new unfamiliar place.

tips-to-help-your-catSo let’s talk about some of my tips for helping your cat make the transition during a move:hold-hands-with-catsTalk them through it – “Cat people” don’t think it’s unusual to do things like hold hand with or talk to their cats. As you begin to start packing things up and getting organized for your move, just talk to them and tell them what you’re doing. They can tell when things are starting to change. Mine even know when I’m just packing a suitcase for an overnight stay away. iams-cat-sit-in-boxesLet them sniff and play with the boxes – Bring the moving boxes into the house early and allow your cat to get familiar with them. Cats love to rub their faces on everything, especially new things. I can guarantee they’ll want to lay on the boxes, sit in them, or even play inside! iams-cat-sit-in-another-boxFind a secure place for your cat on moving day – It is crucial that you find a completely secure place for your cat on your big moving day. In our case, we have a good-sized guest bathroom where we can keep them for a few hours, while the movers are here. Put them in the spot a little ahead of time because they may freak out if they hear unfamiliar voices and/or footsteps of your movers. I have even used the boarding for a day option at the vet before. It kind of depends on your preference, and your cat. iams-cat-brushComfort your cat – It’s important that you comfort your cat before, during, and after the move. Take extra time to play with them and their favorite toys or to do something they like, such as brush their fur. Regardless of how seamless you make a move to a new home, their bound to experience some type of kitty stress. Once they realize you’re there to stay and have their “things” in place, such as pet beds, food and water dishes, all should be happy and familiar again! all-is-right-againDIY-decorative-cat-bowl

personalized-dish-1Here’s a simple tutorial that explains how I made the decorative pet bowl. We use it as our cats’ water dish because they insist on sharing water. You could also personalize food dishes the same way. It’s very simple to do.

Here are the supplies you’ll need to make your decorative pet dish:

  • paper and pencils for sketching the designs
  • 1 plain white ceramic bowl or dish, pre-washed and dried
  • several multi-colored permanent markers with fine tips customized-bowl-supplies
  • a baking sheet
  • paper towels
  • baby wipes

Instructions for decorating your pet dish:

  • Practice designs, drawings and any wording on scratch paper first until you decide on your favorite elements. customized-pet-dish-sketches
  • Draw on the ceramic bowl with the permanent markers, decorating all the way around. 
  • Mistakes can be easily “erased” (prior to baking) using a baby wipe. Dry thoroughly with a paper towel prior to resuming the decorating with pens. customized-dish-decorating
  • Place dish on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
  • Remove dish from oven and allow to cool down before letting your pet eat or drink from it. 

*Dish should be always hand washed and never placed in the dishwasher.

iams-dry-food-happy-catsWe love our cats to the moon and back! Can’t you tell? How many cats do you have in your home? Have you checked out IAMS™ newly formulated food and treats yet? My cats love them!

 

 

Simple “Random Acts of Kindness” Christmas Countdown Bags With Free Printables

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.  All opinions are mine alone. #CraftAmazing #CollectiveBias

random-acts-of-kindess-christmas-countdown-bagsWhen my daughter was a preschooler, I started a holiday tradition with her every year, during Christmas time. I would put together 12 little surprise treats or bags that were labeled for the 12 days of Christmas and she would get  to open a new one each morning, as we counted down the days until Christmas. It’s always been something she’s looked forward to each year. As she’s gotten older, I’ve shifted the focus during the holidays from receive to give or better yet, do for others. I’m all about practicing Random Acts of Kindness whenever possible and it shouldn’t just be something you do just during the holidays. practice-random-acts-of-kindness-whenever-possible

This year, during the holiday season, I decided to put together a little activity using the Random Acts of Kindness concept and some fun Scotch® Brand craft supplies I found at Walmart. One of my most favorite crafting items of all is washi tape! Can you tell? random-acts-of-christmas-washi-tapeWalmart carries a fun collection of  Scotch® Expressions Tapes which come in a variety of colors and fun patterns and are perfect to use on your handmade holiday creations. I found these rolls of washi tape in the Crafts & Sewing section at my Walmart.

random-acts-of-christmas-supplies

random-acts-of-christmas-double-sided-tapeI also picked up some Scotch® Create Double-Sided Tape to help me with the project, which was over by the office supplies. The Scotch® Create line has everything from masking tape to spray adhesives to use for everyday projects. All of the other supplies you’ll see in this tutorial were also purchased at Walmart.

Im-all-about-the-gingerbread-menFor some reason, I’m really drawn to gingerbread men this year so I made a cute printable with a little gingerbread man on it and called it “Random Acts of Christmas“. You can print these out too, further down in the craft instructions.

123456789101112I attached each one to the front of a bag, using the washi tape. How cute, does it look? random-acts-of-kindess-bags-outsideI also made a printable note to hand write a Random Act of Kindness on and stick inside each bag. random-acts-of-kindness-gingerbread-small

random-acts-of-kindess-cardsSome ideas of Random Acts of Kindness you could use include:

  • Donate some new, unopened toys (from your closet) at your local fire station.
  • Write a nice letter and mail it to someone.
  • Donate some food to a local food bank or food drive.
  • Donate some spare change or a couple dollars to a “bell ringer” outside of a store. (to a reputable organization)
  • Say something nice to 3 other people today. (Your parents don’t count.)
  • Gather some blankets from your house and donate to an animal shelter or rescue.
  • Find somewhere to donate sweatshirts and jackets that are too small for you.
  • Do something nice to help your parents at home. (without being asked)
  • Drop off some baked goods with a nice note to your doctor or dentist’s office.

random-acts-of-kindess-tiny-treatsInside of each bag, I put a small treat and sealed it up with more washi tape. random-acts-of-kindess-sealAfter they were all finished, I placed them all together in a cute “sleigh” basket and placed them next to my daughter’s mini Christmas tree. random-acts-of-kindess-sleighI explained the idea behind them, placing the emphasis on the Random Acts of Kindness, rather than receiving a big treat per day. I then told her that she was only allowed to open one a day and not shake or touch the others. She was all smiles and excited to do her first “Random Act of Christmas”. random-acts-of-kindness-make-your-own

Here are the supplies you’ll need to make your own set of “Random Acts of Christmas” bags:

  • 12 small brown lunch bags or treat bags
  • a few rolls of Scotch® Expressions Washi Tape
  • Scotch® Create Double-Sided Tape
  • markers
  • scissors
  • small treats for inside of the bags
  • white cardstock (for printing)
  • 1 “Random Acts of Christmas” for each bag (Click here to print yours.)
  • 1 “Random Act of Kindness” gingerbread man printable for each day (Click here to print yours.)
  • I stuck one inside of each bag, along with some simple treats. As I mentioned, I’m placing a bigger emphasis on the “doing for others” part here, but I also want to give my daughter treats in each bag, just nothing too extravagant.

To assemble your bags:

  1. Print out Random Acts of Christmas tags and Random Acts of Kindness cards on white cardstock. Cut apart.
  2. Use Double-Sided Tape to attach tags to the front of the bag and use fun washi tape on each side for a cute, decorative touch.
  3. Write one Random Act of Kindness on each card and place inside of a bag.
  4. Choose a small treat to put in each bag also.
  5. Seal each bag with washi tape.
  6. Place the bags in a basket somewhere festive.

random-acts-of-kindness-bearsThere’s really nothing like the feel of the holiday season! Decorations everywhere, festive music playing, and people in more of an upbeat mood. Why not add to the joy to the season by getting your kids involved with Random Acts of Kindness, too?

Be sure to check out more amazing craft ideas with Scotch® Brand products. I’ll bet these fun products could help you with a thousand of your craft ideas!

Who are YOU going to BOO This Year? I’m BOO’ing the Teachers! (Plus “Monster” Cookies Recipe) #BOOItForward

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BOOItForward #CollectiveBias

who-are-you-booing-this-year

I absolutely LOVE this time of year. I can’t say that the weather cools down much here in Southern California but you DO start to see pumpkins and Halloween decorations all around. It’s one of my favorite holidays of the year and I get so excited to kick off the Halloween season by BOO’ing people at the beginning of October.

its-halloween-timeIf you aren’t familiar with the modern-day tradition of BOO’ing, it’s really fun and easy to do. You just put together a little anonymous Halloween surprise for someone and deliver it. The surprise usually consists of some type of treats in a cute Halloween bucket, basket, or even gift bag. You also include a BOO sign and instructions so that whoever you BOO, can BOO someone too! (Hey, that rhymes!)

all-I-needI found all of the items I needed for my BOO’ing at Walmart. On the Seasonal aisle, I found giant Mars Chocolate Mix Fun Size bag of assorted candies, including M&M’s®, TWIX®, and SNICKERS®.

found-at-walmartOn the soft drinks aisle, I grabbed a couple of 6-packs of special Halloween “Mini Monster” cans of Sunkist® and 7UP®. They’re adorable with little monsters on them! l also found the ingredients I needed to make my “Monster” Cookies. (It’s a special Halloween cookie recipe we make every year using M&M’s® and TWIX®).

I-love-MandMs

cut-up-TWIXIn past years, we’ve BOO’d neighbors on our street, friends who live close by, and even relatives who live in our same town. This year I think I’ll do some BOO’ing at my school. I teach first grade and I know of some teachers who would appreciate a little BOO surprise on their desk one morning. ( I know I would!) Teachers are really easy to please and love almost anything.

teachers-love-treatsI decided to make little BOO kits with some snacks and mini cans that my teacher friends could enjoy during their break time. I also baked up a fresh batch of my “Monster” Cookies to include in each BOO’ing kit! (see below for recipe)

put-together-a-BOOing-kit

Here are the items I used for my BOO’ing kits: 

  • assorted chocolates from 
  • “Mini Monster” cans of 7UP® & Sunkist®
  • black and white polka dotted paper straws 
  • black and white striped washi tape
  • googly eyes
  • regular tape
  • decorative black and orange plastic patterned popcorn boxes
  • cellophane bags
  • decorative ribbon
  • Mouthwatering “Monster” Cookies monster-cookies

Since I purchased Halloween “mini monster” cans of Sunkist® and 7UP® for my BOO’ing kits, I cut down some cute paper straws a little and used washi tape to attach them to the cans. It makes an adorable presentation.

mini-cans-sunkistI also used some big googly eyes on the popcorn boxes to make them look a little cuter. You could use glue or even tape to attach them.

box-with-eyesAfter I baked my cookies and let them cool, I stacked up a few and put them into a cellophane bag and tied it with a festive Halloween ribbon. My “Monster” Cookies are pretty big so only a few fit in each bag.

fill-with-candiesIt was fun to put the BOO’ing kits together. First, I filled the bottom of each popcorn box with the candies. Then, I placed a Halloween “Mini Monster” can inside, then I filled it to the top with more candy. I set the tied up cellophane bag of cookies on top of the box (I told you they were giant cookies!) and placed the “We’ve Been BOO’d” printables” next to each surprise on each of the teachers’ desks!

as-giddy-as-a-first-graderI don’t know about you, but I get as giddy as a first grader when it comes to leaving surprises like this! I couldn’t wait for them to discover they’d been BOO’d!

BOO-printableTo make BOO’ing easier, MARS has provided a free “We’ve Been BOO’d” sign that you can print out and use with your BOO’ing kit. Just click here to download yours and print.

After you print out the pages: 

  1. Cut out the “We’ve been BOO’d” sign.
  2. Fold the “You’ve been BOO’d” greeting card (page 2) and tape openings together.
  3. Include the card (and sign if you don’t want to remain anonymous) when you BOO someone! 

boo-the-teachersLook how cute these turned out! It’s so much fun to BOO at work! Having a “We’ve Been BOO’d” sign on the classroom door is really fun, too!

so-fun-on-the-classroom-door

monster-cookies-signHere’s my recipe for “Monster” Cookies. It’s fairly simple to prepare and the cookies turn out delicious every time.

“Monster” Cookie Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 10-12 Fun Size Twix Bars, chopped
  • 8-10 Fun Size packs of M&M’s®
  •  1 package of candy eyeballs monster-eyes

“Monster” Cookie Preparation: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper. (This is my best kept baking secret.)
  3. Chop up approximately 1/2 cup Twix bars and set aside.
  4. Measure out 1/2 cup M&M’s and also set aside.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
  6. In a large bowl, beat the butter, granulated and brown sugars, and vanilla extract until creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating them in after each one is added. beat-the-ingredients
  7. Beat in the flour mixture gradually.
  8. Mix in the Twix and M&Ms with a wooden spoon. add-the-candies
  9. Spoon generous portions of the cookie dough onto the parchment paper-covered baking sheet. (They’re supposed to be pretty giant.)
  10. Bake 5 minutes.
  11. Remove from the oven and add a few more pieces of each candy plus 1-3 candy eyeballs on the top of each cookie. This will help them to bake while staying visible in the cookie.
  12. Bake 3-5 more minutes or until golden brown.
  13. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before serving.

Right now, you can save $2.00 on on ONE (1) 6pk 8oz Cans or TWO (2) 2L and 2 bags of Mars® Candy at Walmart. Click here for coupons. Also, don’t forget to enter the Boo It Forward Sweepstakes! #booitforwardsweepstakes

So are you ready to go out and BOO someone now? I hope I’ve inspired you to “BOO It Forward”! 

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