Easy Halloween Buddies craft for kids


My family lived with my parents for a couple of years while my husband was looking for a job. Since she has all of her own decorations, my holiday decorations just sat in a box for 2 years. And for whatever reason my mom wouldn’t let me take her decorations with me when we got our own place. So a couple of weeks ago my daughters and I – all excited to decorate the house and get festive- opened up the Halloween box to discover that none of them are kid friendly! They’re all decorations I bought before I had kids… they’re really pretty, but not really cute or fun. Nothing to get a 4 and 2 yr old excited for Halloween. So I started thinking, and realized that it would be even more fun to let them HELP with making the decorations.

Last year, my sister raided my dad’s scrap wood and painted them to make some really cute Halloween decorations


spooktacular-Halloween-2x4s(similar to this pic that I found on pinterest)

And I really liked that idea, but I don’t have any wood. And we only have one car -which my husband takes to work- so I was stuck at the house. So I improvised. I raided my pantry. You could raid your recycling bin if you want, and I would have but we had just barely emptied it the day before (go figure). I like the various heights of using different types of boxes, but you could use all the same kind of box if you want them more consistent. (as long as you have boxes that are all the same size- we’re going for something you don’t have to buy, remember?)

I opened up the boxes and put them in front of my girls- with the non-printed side up. I gave them paint and let them have at it.
Once they were done I let the boxes dry and then hot glued the boxes back together- inside out- so the label was on the inside and the paint was on the outside. You could do this before painting them but I was worried that the kids would get paint all over the table when they turned it over to paint the back. Then my 4 yr old picked out a face and I painted it on. (this was a great nap time activity- she told me what faces to do, then I sent her to bed with the promise that I would be done when she woke up.) This part I just free handed- but you could always print out a face from the internet and sketch it on to the box so you have a guide before painting it.


I love how they turned out! They are not only fun and festive looking, but they were cheap (free, since I already had the paint), easy and fun to make. I love that if you look closely you can see that the paint is uneven and different… you can tell that the kids helped paint them- it just gives them character. I love that I don’t have to worry about the kids playing with them or ruining them because it was a pasta box… If they ruin it no big deal ☺ And I love that we were able to do a really fun craft together.

And I don’t have hardwood floors, but if you do, an extra bonus is that these won’t damage your floors (or toes) like they would if they were made out of wood.

So… If you’re looking for a fun, cheap craft to do with your kids, all you need to do is raid your pantry and give these awesome Halloween buddies a whirl. If you mess up the first time, just paint over it or grab another box.


Back to Top Contact Us 
 Tweet this Post Email to a Friend Pinterest - Follow us Share on Facebook

School Days – Essential Oil Tips

Back to School – Essential Oil tips by Julie Howard


Julie Howard is back to share with us some ways essential oils can improve our lives.  {*Proud mommy moment…  The post is filled with images of my three kids on their first days of school.  The twins didn’t start until the end of September due to construction delays, and my baby started his first year of Montessori preschool!  So cute.}  The rest of the article is all in Julie’s words.  Enjoy!!

We just had our school ‘Fall Carnival’!  Where has September gone?  The school year is in full swing now!….and unfortunately so  is the germ warfare our kids are exposed to daily.  Here are some essential oil tips  we use to keep our kids germ free and their immune systems strong.  Also…some other great uses of essential oils for kids in school!

 So lets start with the ‘big guns’.   On Guard protective blend with clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus and rosemary essential oils is the number one defense against germs!  Not only is this blend immune boosting and antibacterial, it has also been shown to kill viruses! (Check out the science:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21078173)

Mixing onguard with fractionated coconut oil (1:1 ratio) and putting it into a roller bottle…makes it simple to apply daily to bottoms of feet and on spine.

Also make a sanitizing spray or gel to send to school with your kids and keep one in the car too! This is a gentle, non-toxic, alcohol-free formula.

Mix  20 drops of On Guard, 5 drops of fractionated coconut oil and 1 ½ ounces of aloe vera juice or distilled water into a 2 ounce spray bottle (or make it a sanitizer gel by substituting pure aloe for the aloe juice).  doTerra makes a foaming hand soap that  we keep at each sink.  We felt it would be beneficial to donate a few bottles to the classroom as well!



 Most parents fear the nightmare of LICE!

Here is a preventative recipe to AVOID lice in the first place.

 Mix Eucalyptus and Melaleuca in your childs shampoo and conditioner. Other great oils to add are rosemary, lavender and Peppermint.  Approx 2-3 drops per oz.    Or add to a ‘leave in’ detangler, spraying from roots to end.


If your kids are nervous about testing, a play, or a big game at school….Serenity blend works great to calm nerves and help your child relax.  This warm, calming blend includes lavender, sweet marjoram, roman chamomile, ylang ylang, sandalwood and vanilla.

  Mix  into a roller bottle with fractionated coconut oil (1:1 ratio) and apply it behind the ears, over the heart, and on the wrists.  Diffusing is very effective!  Also…for extra anxiety try adding Elevation joyful blend to your roller bottle. (1:1:1 ratio)



These oil blends are signature blends from doTERRA.  I always recommend doTERRA oils because I know I can trust the integrity of the oils to be of the highest quality! Which means purity and effectiveness!

Essential oils are very effective for  other ‘back to school’ ailments such as ADHD, earaches, tummy aches, focusing, and many more…please contact me if you’d like an oil recipe for any of these!

Heres to a Happy, Healthy School Year!




Back to Top Contact Us 
 Tweet this Post Email to a Friend Pinterest - Follow us Share on Facebook

This Week in Webland

Well Tip Junkie had my number on this post!  Here is a post all about pretzel recipes.  YUM   If you are a pretzel junkie like me, you will need to check out this collection of recipes.

great pretzel recipes

Take better pictures.   Here are 7 tips for why avoiding eye contact when taking photos of people can be an amazing thing!


Family time is a great time!  Think back to all the wonderful family memories you have from growing up.  Any of them involve games?  Tag, Monopoly, Rummy, Go Fish, Yatzee, etc?  Well we found a game our family loves and it is exciting from 3 to grandma {I’ll refrain from giving her age ;-)}.  It is called Tenzi.  There are many many ways to play it that can be entertaining to all different ages and competition likes.


Back to Top Contact Us 
 Tweet this Post Email to a Friend Pinterest - Follow us Share on Facebook

Plywood Plank Flooring- an update of the finished product

So I told you last week I was going to attempt to put plywood flooring down in my kitchen, in an effort to get rid of the hideous dated stained linoleum floors we inherited when we purchased this house.  Today I am going to show you the finished product and tell you a bit about what I learned.


Gorgeous, isn’t it? I’m really happy with the way it turned out– but here’s a few things I learned.

A- Its not as cheap as I thought. Because of staining it and spending money on nice polyurethane, It ended up costing more like 2.15 a square foot

B- The guys at Lowes mean well, but they don’t CUT well.  You will need to rip each of these planks on a table saw yourself to get straight cuts- otherwise you will spend 3 days trying to put a puzzle together that does NOT fit.  Just get them to cut them to 8 inches and then rip them to 7.5 thats what I did after day 3 of crazy…and it worked great.

C- Plywood has imperfections, and they fix those by cutting out an ugly spot and patching it- you don’t want these football shaped pieces on your floor so try to avoid those pieces or turn them over and sand the other side.

D- Its a lot of WORK.

E- Its a LOT of WORK!!!

Did I say that twice?  Thats because its true.  This kitchen floor took me about a week of working on it off and on.  My AMAZING sister Laurel Arnold and her sweet husband came over and helped me a few days, and the awesome Sister Missionaries from my church came and helped me too- they are super heroes for sure!  This is really a 2 person job- but I wanted my hubby to have a break from all my projects so I took it on during a week where he was going to be gone everyday for 10 days straight.  I’m crazy. The end

Here’s the basics of what I did.  It really isn’t HARD- just time consuming!

Buy the plywood, and pick your pieces carefully

Get the guys at Lowes to cut your pieces into 8 inch planks (you will have 6 per piece)

Get them home:)

Now, sand all 4 edges of the wood at a 45 degree angle, you just want to avoid those sharp edges on the plwyood-don’t try to be perfect– the imperfections give you a nice rustic look and keeps it from looking like plywood.

Now just lay the wood down and fit it together- I don’t like all the ends in the same spot obviously, so I cut off 3 feet or so from one pieces and make that the beginning of my second row, and then use the leftover 3 foot piece to make the third row.

Now just use construction adhesive to run a ribbon of glue down each plank and glue to the floor.  We glued directly to the linoleum.

Then use a nailer- I used a finish nailer- to nail the planks down.  I did 2 nails every 3 feet or so

Fill the nail holes, allow to dry and lightly sand the whole floor– filling the holes is optional, and took about 2 hours- but was totally worth the time!

Stain and polyurethane.  I used Dark Walnut by Rustoleum- and I used Satin High Traffic Formula for Floors by Varathane – this was the most expensive thing I bought, at 40 dollars a gallon. It took 2 1/2 gallons to do 3 coats!

I HIGHLY recommend sanding in between coats 1 and 2 of the polyurethane.  Applying the Poly brings out the grain of the wood and little bumps will be all over your floor- sand them down, and you will thank me later!



Back to Top Contact Us 
 Tweet this Post Email to a Friend Pinterest - Follow us Share on Facebook

This Week in Webland

Last This Week in Webland I shared a little about how I like to find joy and happiness in everyday life.  This link is to a great article with 5 simple tips on how you can be happier.

One thing she doesn’t mention is forgiveness which is a really big topic for me.  Truly forgiving any wrongdoing and the wrongdoer will lead you to true happiness.  Holding a grudge or hard feelings, reliving those awful moments again and again will do you no good.  Find a way to let go and forgive regardless of that person making up for their wrong doing or not.  This is probably the very hardest thing for most people to do in life, but it is amazing once you master the art of forgiveness.  :-) Now go read about those 5 simple tips I promised you!  lol    Sorry for getting all heavy on this inspiration share.  We just had a person act vengefully against my family and it definitely tested my forgiveness resolve.


Parents of little kids.  I don’t know about you, but we have been remiss in teaching our kids to tie their shoes.  Amazing velcro has pretty much created a generation of kiddos who cannot do it.  Here is an awesome video and a link to the whole article with step by step pictures here.

Get yours tissues ready!!!  Here is a fabulous video about a family telling their foster teen they want to adopt her even though she is only 6 months away from being 18!  My wonderful older sister came to our family as a teen and I treasure all of our experiences together.  Yep, even the crazy nick names of Shamu and Gumby which one day turned into Shmuby….  lol   Encouraging families to consider Foster Care is one of my passions in life.  Right now we have a full full house with our three kids, my mom and a niece, but one day I hope we can be in a place to offer foster care services ourself.  Everyone deserves chance at a family.  Even a short time in a wonderful home is enough to help some kids be the kind of person who becomes who they are in spite of the things that happened to them instead of becoming who they are because of the things that happened to them!  Love this video of one girl finding her forever family!!!

Back to Top Contact Us 
 Tweet this Post Email to a Friend Pinterest - Follow us Share on Facebook
F a c e b o o k
M o r e   i n f o