One of the best parts about linking up to craft parties is perusing through other blogger projects. This week I have been inspired by many creations. Here are a few of my favorites:

Freshly Completed made this amazing Birthday Seat which slips over a chair. The word boy is removable since its attached with velcro and can be replaced by the word girl. If this seems too complicated even a hand made sign and balloons above the birthday chair would be special.

Minimoz created Super Hero shoes which would go over very well with the cape loving crowd at my house

Minimoz also created this love map which I will be replicating somehow somewhere in my house.  Inside the frame are three hearts made of maps which represent cities in which- “We met,” “We married,” & “We live.”

Britches and Boots gives a clear and simple tutorial for freezer paper stenciling – I just love this gnome shirt. The possibilities are endless.

One Artsy Momma shared a brillant way to capture first day of school memories. Wouldn’t it be so much fun to do these every year and place them in an album to share when they graduate from high school.

We Learn As We Go shares the simple recipe (even I might be successful with this) for Graham Cracker Toffee.

The Nature of Grace shared spoon puppets which I know my kids would love making

The Mommy Diaries organized a delightful The Very Hungery Caterpillar 1st Birthday for her son

We are beginning to prepare for Halloween party and Design DNA has created something I will surely be adding to our decor. I can’t wait to fill the jars with eyeballs and growing body parts.

I am going to be busy this weekend working on some new projects.

Did you see anything that inspired you?

Baby Name Fun

Brandon? Christian ? Bubba?

What are your favorite baby boy names?

I find it fascinating to learn what a baby’s name is and the reason behind the name. If I could figure out how to make a living by giving out baby names I would do it.  So today I’m giving it my best shot in order to help out my sister-in-law Deanna.

She is pregnant and frustrated since she hasn’t decided on a boys name yet. Apparently a girls name has been chosen so we don’t have to help her out there.

Please know that this is not really a rush situation. Deanna still has six more months to choose a name but she’s a planner and would like this situation taken care of. I try hard to her relate to her predicament but cannot.

When my husband and I went to choose our children’s names it was a battle. One person would suggest a name which caused the other person to practically writhe on the floor in utter disgust. Lists, note cards, and rounds of name eliminations occurred on a regular basis. After all of that you would think we would have ended up with a kid named Sebastian Malachi Jett Wilson but this is what we ended up with:

Alex Mason (Husband wanted Alex, I wanted Mason) – decided 6 hours before c-section

Andrew Connor (I wanted Andrew, he wanted Connor) – decision as epidural was being inserted

Caroline Grace (Agreed rather early on for us) – decided on name 9 hours before c-section

But let’s focus now on Deanna’s dilemma and look at some recent data.

United States Top Ten Baby Names for 2010:
1. Jacob
2. Ethan
3. Michael
4. Jayden
5. William
6. Alexander
7. Noah
8. Daniel
9. Aiden
10. Anthony

But alas…there is one crucial detail I have yet to mention. This baby will be Canadian like his parents and brother so we don’t want to give him any confusing or unpronounceable American names. Canadians are much different than Americans so we need to think of something exotic, something that sounds like a lumberjack, something that goes well with “______ go put your snow boots on!”

  I kid…a bit. The snow though is for real.

Canada’s Top Ten Baby Names for 2010
1.  Liam
2. Ethan
3. Jacob
4. Logan
5. Owen
6. Noah
7. Alexander
8. Nathan
9. Benjamin
10. Lucas

The name does need to go with their older son’s name...Corey James.

I’m loving Cooper, Reid, Evan, Max, Davis, Joel, Logan, Marshall, Cohen, Ross, William, Luke, and Colin.

So let’s see what you can come up with for this little baby. Give it your best shot.

What are your baby boy name suggestions?

Jewelry Holder

I love necklaces but never seem to wear them since they are always at the bottom of my jewelry bag.

Out of sight, out of mind.

Therefore, I decided to make a jewelry holder which allowed me to view my collection.

Several months ago I found an old spice rack at Goodwill for $2.99. I originally bought the rack with the intention of using it for storage in my craft room but eventually decided against it.

Yes, someone else attempted some lovely DIY before me.

First step – Sanded the piece down

Second step – Cut off the middle shelf and dowel to allow for the necklaces to hang

Cutting the shelf left holes so wood putty was used to fill them

Third step – Paint (primer from the garage), add hooks ($3.94), and secure to closet wall

Fourth step – Hang jewelery

The little shelves allow me to display bracelets and gives me a place for my earrings in boxes 


After $6.93

Hopefully, I’ll wear more jewelry now that I will see it every day

Do you have a favorite way to display jewelry?

Todays Creative Blog Tuesday To Do Party Creations by Kara

The First Week

The first week of school is coming to a close and it’s been a good one.

Or so I thought.

Apparently, my kindergartener is learning from an Iron Fist.

For the first three days of school all was well. Stories of coloring, watching movies (weather of 107 dictates indoor recess), and chorus after chorus of “We’re Going On a Bear Hunt” could be heard in our house.

But then Thursday arrived and different tales started coming home from school.

“Rosie wouldn’t sit criss cross applesauce so Ms. Torboni took two minutes of her recess away.”

My response was,  “What? She’ll miss the opening credits. Outrageous!…I mean Rosie should have listened to Ms. Torboni.”

Strict but reasonable. Good for Ms. Torboni. She’s setting some behavior standards.

Andrew seemed to forget Rosie as he moved on to Jane.

“Jane was playing with her silly bands so Ms. Torboni took them away.”

Strict but reasonable. I agree. Toys from home should be left at home.

“And then Ms. Torboni put them in the treasure box.”

This is when it got a little disturbing on both ends.

“And anyone can buy those silly band from Ms. Torboni for six tickets.”

Strict but cruel?

“Jane was crying.”

I’m sure she was. Surely he has this wrong. The teacher can’t possibly be selling Jane’s items from home.

Andrew’s eyes then lit up as he said with a huge smile, “And I’m going to earn six tickets and get those silly bands for me to keep.”


Here’s hoping the life skill compassion is studied  next week.

Or else we might have mutiny on our hands in room 5.   

Darling Doodles Guest Post

Today I have a terrific guest poster for you. Yesterday I was honored to guest post at Brie’s blog Darling Doodles and today she is returning the favor. Darling Doodles is a blog you will definitely want to check out because it is full of FREE PRINTABLES.

With every amazing and original gift idea Brie presents, she includes a printable. I love the Candy Grams, the quick cleaning chart (anyone who’s ever been to my house knows I’m admiring the cleaning chart but not using it), movie gift basket, and her lunch box printables. In fact, my boys are going to discover one of her lunch box printables in their lunch today. I can’t wait to find out how excited they were to find a special message in their  lunch boxes. As if that’s not enough, Brie creates personalized invitations for a ridiculously low price. Go order yourself some invitations now because Darling Doodles is going to be BIG. Just mark my words.

Darling DoodlesI am so excited to be guest posting on Big D & Me today.  My name is Brie and I am a wanna-be writer, graphic designer, and interior decorator.  Over on my blog, Darling Doodles, I share all kinds of free printables.  Everything from gift ideas to home décor to cute labels…you can find it there!

Today I want to share with you an easy and simple way to spread a little love.  I’ve found that the saying, “No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted,” is so true!  Doing something simple but sweet for your loved one will really make them feel appreciated.  Between that and learning how to cook a perfect steak your husband will think he won the wife lottery!  Similarly, it is amazing how little it takes to make a kid feel special about themselves.  So with that in mind here is what you do!

Head to your nearest drug store, buy a few packs of Extra gum, and print out the following notes. Done!  See, I told you it was easy!  Then get creative.  Hide one note each day or hide them all in places where they can be found throughout the day.  It’s up to you!

Here are a few places I hid mine where I knew my hubs would see them:


Medicine cabinet, lunch box, car, and pillow!

I’ve made two sets of notes, one geared towards your significant other and one for kids.  But feel free to mix and match if you want even more notes to hide!

Extra Love Notes:
extra notes

Extra Kid Notes:
extra notes kids

I hope you enjoy these notes and enjoy sharing them even more!

Thanks for reading and come visit me at Darlin’ Doodles!

Darling Doodles


Most people enjoy 3D movies.

They might describe going to the movies as delightful, desirable, and divine.

After the end of my most recent 3D movie experience, I would not.

I would define my experience as distracted, disruptive, and a deterrent to ever returning.

Let me explain.

Last week my mom and I brought my kids to see Kung Fu Panda 2 at the dollar show.

Besides just being happy about going to the movies, my boys were thrilled it was going to be a 3D experience.

“We get to wear those glasses!”

Once we had settled into our seats and the lights went out I distributed the snacks. I passed out the theater bought ICEES and the smuggled in microwave popcorn (much to the chagrin of my mother).

Discarding her 3D glasses during the opening credits, my daughter was content to watch the movie without them while eating her animal crackers. Once the crackers were gone though she was ready to move.

After attempting to distract her several times and watching her run up and down the aisles, I took her out to explore the lobby.

Thankfully, the movie ended soon afterwards and we were able to scoot back to our seats to collect the rest of the family. As a group we walked to the back of the theater where the glasses recycling container was located.

While holding Caroline, I reached into my bag in order to retrieve our two pairs of 3D glasses. I pulled out 2 pairs of glasses and tossed them into the container.

Within moments I realized my mistake.

I had thrown my sunglasses into the recycle bin.

I ripped off the top of the receptacle and leaned into it but was only able to graze the top layer of glasses with my hand. Due to the dim lighting in the theater I couldn’t determine if any of the pairs I managed to grab were my sunglasses.

However, it was not dark enough to miss the strange stares I was receiving from audience members waiting to turn in their glasses.

Ignoring their stares I decided to drag the container into the hallway.

Once in the hallway, I pushed over the bin causing all the 3D glasses to spill on the floor.

There was a noticeable look of concern from the teenage ushers suddenly walking our way. Avoiding their stares I searched for my sunglasses until my nine year old declared, “I found them.”

I could swear I heard music. It was like the holy grail. Light shone from the heavens onto my son’s extended arm.

Perhaps not. But it sure felt like it.

Much to the delight of the ushers I turned the bin right side up and placed all of the glasses back in. I was going to drag the beast of a container back into the theater but was quickly told, “Thank you Ma’m. We’ve got it from here.”

I’m pretty sure they had already walkie talkied back to the front office about the crazy lady by theater four.

Delightful, desirable, and divine? No.

Difficult, disruptive, and distressing? Yes.

Schools In

Yesterday we finished up our Summer Fun List

go bowling
go to Main event – play in arcade
play laser tag
get cupcakes
go get donuts for breakfast
have a friend spend the night
make & paint pottery
go to the beach
go biking
do science experiments
have friends over to play
make a marshmallow shooter
make a milkshake at Kroger
surf the waves at the mall

Today was the first day of school for two of our kids

Woke Up, Got Dressed, & Consumed Message Pancakes (a tradition in our house)

Grabbed the improved upon old backpacks and lunchboxes

Pottery Barn for Kids wanted $49.95 for the Batman backpack, I think not!
 Backpack - Before  Batman Logo - Stencil
 Batman Logo - Stencil  

The whole family walked to school – requested by and granted to our six year old.

Yes, Caroline insisted she had to wear a backpack. She also insisted I put a snack in there. 

Once we reached the school, my fourth grader informed me he could get to his class by himself. When I was leaving Andrew, our kindergartener, in his class I said, “Andrew, give me hugs and kisses.” He replied, “Just hugs.” Embarrassed already at 6.

 Can’t wait to find out how the first day went!

Todays Creative Blog Tuesday To Do Party

Guest Post by Michelle Paige

I have a special treat for you today.

Michelle Paige has graciously agreed to guest post here today.
Her blog has so many creative ideas for any occasion.

Some of my favorites from her site are Knights in Training Birthday, Lollipop Valentines, Easter Egg Heads, and an “About to Pop” Baby Shower.

Take a moment and explore her site. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Hi!  I’m Michelle Paige and today is my very first guest post, ever!!
This is so exciting, I hope I don’t mess up!  Thanks for having me, Jennifer!

My blog is called ‘Michelle Paige’.  (Super creative name, huh?)
I sort of fell into the blogging world one night last February and I haven’t been able to stop!
How fun it is ‘meeting’ amazing women who share such inspiring ideas and insights through their blogs!
Over at ‘Michelle Paige’ I love to blog about crafty ideas, party decor, organization tips, family activities, faith thoughts and my favorite kid craft projects!
Speaking of kid craft projects…you won’t believe this one…
Painter’s Tape Canvas Art
I know…I know…it doesn’t look like a kid made this!
 With just a tiny bit of supervision and guidance—
and lots of play time in between steps—
my 9 year old really made this!
He’s very proud of himself, too!
(Unlike my 10 year old daughter who hides when she sees the camera
— fearing that I might post a picture of her!)
See just how simple this is…
Start with a piece of canvas board.
You can find canvas board at your local craft store or art supply place.
Look for sales or use coupons, canvas can be a bit pricey!
We found this 10in x 20in. piece for half off.
(If I’d been smarter, I would have bought out their stock at those prices!)
Any size of canvas board will work.
Now choose your colors!
I chose brown for the lines and my current favorite decorating colors:
turquoise, leaf green, north sea blue
and white (somehow the white didn’t get into the picture?)
Inexpensive acrylic craft paint works perfectly.
(Or use any leftover paint you may already have.)
Cover your area with newspapers.
Using a foam brush, paint (or have your child paint) the entire canvas board with the line color of your choice.
We used a brown velvet color.
Now, wait about 30 minutes (go play), then paint a second coat.
(We only did 2 coats, but I think 3 would have been a bit better.)
After the board is completely dry (or playtime is over), it’s time to tape.
Use painter’s tape to make straight line shapes on the board.
(We used 1 inch wide Scotch 3M Blue Painter’s Tape.)
The only rule is to keep the tape straight, don’t try to curve the tape.
Make squares, rectangles, triangles, funky 4-sided shapes, etc.
Some shapes can be small, others can be over-sized.
Once you’re happy with the taped design, press tape firmly.
Get out the line paint color again and lightly paint another coat.
This time paint especially along the edges of the tape.
(You can skip this step, but you’ll be sorry!  Trust me!)
This extra step allows no colors to bleed through the tape.
Go play for 30 minutes while the board is drying.
(My son specifically asked that I posted this picture of him with his twisty balloon battle gear!)
To see more of our twisty balloon adventures go here.
Okay, back to our project.
It’s time to get out those pretty colors!
We used a paper plate and a different foam brush for each color.
There are only two rules for this step.
Rule 1) Do not put the same color next to each other.
(You don’t want a green square up against a green triangle.  Mix them up.)
Rule 2)  Paint a little out of the lines onto the tape.
(Yep, you get to go out of the lines!)
Let first coat dry, paint second coat, let dry.
If you are still seeing your line color through the paint, do a third color coat.
After everything is dry…It’s time!  It’s time!
It’s time to peel off the tape and see your creation!
Look at those perfect lines!
Can you believe it?  It’s so beautiful!
Display it on your mantle for all to see!
You’ll need to start taking orders for family Christmas gifts, now!
Just so you don’t think I’m some brillant crafting genius who thought this up myself…
This idea was um…borrowed from here.
My son attended art camp and came home with this creation.
I was completely blown away and had to know how he did this!
He loved teaching me all the steps…I’m just sharing the love!!  Enjoy!
I’d love to have you stop by my blog and say ‘hi’!

 Thanks again for having me, Jennifer!

High School Song

Do you remember what songs you listened to when you were in high school?

One of my all time favorite songs from high school was “Beds are Burning” from Midnight Oil.

My friend Jess introduced me to the band Midnight Oil. Jess has always been musically inclined and was always up on new music. Well, I borrowed Jess’ tape of Midnight Oil and ended up losing it. I paid for a replacement copy but still to this day feel bad about losing the tape.

On the off chance this song comes on the radio, I always think of my dear friend.

And how I lost her tape.

Guilt twenty years later is just ridiculous.

Jess, this song is for you.

I’m calling us even now 🙂

Do you remember a favorite song from high school?