Valentine’s Day Clothespin Heart Wreath

photo 2 (3)2

Isn’t this wreath just too cool? I absolutely love that my 3 kids made this. It is such a quick and easy (and quiet) craft for them to make. You may already have all the materials in your home and if you don’t, you won’t need much. It is a very cheap craft. Click on the link HERE to read the entire article about how to make this wreath. Pictures and step by step instructions are included.

Re-pin this on Pinterest here.

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This post contains my affiliate link. All opinions are my own and have not been influenced.

Monthly Meal Planner (FREE downloadable and customizable document)

monthly meal plannerSo now that we are finally settled into our new home and know what our expenses are like, we decided to get back to our monthly meal planning which will help us track our food and lessen those “extras” that we tend to buy every time we go to the store.

**This is what works for us. You can customize this so it suits your needs and budget. This post is simply to suggest some ideas that might work for you and your family.

Our kids typically just enjoy cereal or Pop-Tarts for breakfast with the occasional pancakes or muffins on the weekends when I have time to cook a large breakfast. That’s why I have those listed at the bottom of the document.  Lunches for the kids are either PB&J or pepperoni and cheese, with the occasional chocolate/coconut/almond butter (my own recipe) sandwich or Nutella sandwich or frozen pizza on the weekends. The “other” is there for other ideas that I might have for the month for any one of us in the family.

This document can also be used as the shopping list. Once we write down what we want for the month, we know what we need to purchase. We write the “extras” on the back such Continue reading…

Create a New Year’s Eve time capsule with your child

time capsule questionnaire

Start a new tradition and capture your child’s personality each year. On each New Year’s Eve, have your child fill out this printable questionnaire. Try to have them write as much as they can or if they are too young to write, have them tell you what to write. Regardless of how young they are, they can still sign their name at the bottom whether it’s really their name or just a picture.

You can download the document below.

New Years Even Time Capsule Questionnaire

Go here for the full article and suggestions about what you can do with the questionnaire each year.

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Wow! Look at these Holiday Break savings for kids activities!

Wow! Look at all of these Holiday Break savings for kids activities!

For a complete list of special offers please visit:

Harlem Globetrotters – Save $7 Off Any Game!  Promo Code: USFAMILY

Reilly’s Summer Seat Farm – Christmas in the Country

Monster Mini Golf – Buy 1 Admit 1 Free

Idlewild Park – Season Passes Make Great Gifts!

Skytop Lodge – Family Fun Package. Plan a Family Getaway That the Whole Family Will Never Forget

That Pottery Place – Free Christmas Tree Ornament

Snapology – One Hour of Free Play!

Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh – Free Shipping
Fun Slides Carpet Skatepark – $2 Off Admission or $10 Off Party

Castle Toys and Game – Pick Up Your Free Holiday Catalog!

Castle Blood – Book Your Next Party & Receive a Free $50 Party Upgrade

Sunset Mini Golf – Buy 1 Mini Golf, Get 1 Free

The Valley Skating Center – BOGO Admission!

Bobblemaker – Custom Bobblehead Dolls – Save 15% with Coupon code: usfamily

Knot Genie – Use coupon code: USFAMILY at checkout to save $4

Makit – Save $5

Colortime Crafts and Markers – 15% off ALL products! Use coupon code: 15USFG-1 at checkout

Pleygo – Unlimited LEGOs – First month FREE!

Fun Slides was so much fun! Buy One, Get One Admission 1/2 off


Fun Slides Skatepark & Party Center in Greensburg offers super cool unique birthday party and family fun!

We visted the skatepark a few days ago with our neighbors and EVERYBODY had a blast. I overheard my neighbor being asked by his son if they could come back the next day. My children had a great time too and I realized how fear-free my son is.




The employees there were very helpful and polite young gentlemen. Continue reading…

Making memories: Share the experience of a unique children’s book from Blurb

There’s something about the holidays—that warm glow from the fire, the fact that you actually get to spend time with your kids (or your friends’ and family’s kids)—that makes it the perfect time to curl up with the little ones in your life and read them a storybook. Reading a totally new, beautiful, amazing book with a child is a treasured holiday experience. And if you choose the right book, every time the child reads it alone in the future will bring back the memory of that time you shared.


If you’re a little tired of the standard children’s book selections in your local brick and mortar store, Blurb has a really incredible assortment of self-published children’s books that you won’t find anywhere else this holiday season. Try a few of these future classics and create some new holiday memories this year.

Title: Ollie + Loo
Author: Joni Cooper
Joni Cooper brings incredibly original characters to life with brilliant illustrations in a book that will have parents and kids laughing along together.

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3D “Hand”made Christmas Tree

photo 4aThis Christmas tree craft is a fun and memorable way to add special decorations to your home. This can be done by your child with or without help, depending on their age. My 8 year old was able to help my 6 and 4 year old and complete this project with only verbal instructions from me. Using children’s hand-prints is such a fun way to capture memories of how preciously little they used to be. Follow the directions HERE along with the corresponding pictures and enjoy!

Re-pin this on Pinterest HERE.

Elf on the Shelf: Our Ziggy in 2013

Ziggy is our Elf on the Shelf. Our kids definitely now understand his purpose.  They know he reports back to Santa every night and returns in a different place each morning. They know that sometimes he can cause trouble. Most of all, they know that he is always watching and it is a constant reminder to have them think about the choices they make and the things they say. I don’t think they will ever forget the night two years ago when he painted all of their noses red! Ha ha!

They even know that sometimes Ziggy has some “favorite places” he likes to hide. (The result of Mommy and Daddy forgetting to move him) Yes….it happens more than I’d like to admit.

Like last year, I am going to chronicle the places we find Ziggy this year.

Our Ziggy returned today hiding in our gumball machine. The look on my kids’ faces when they were trying to tell me that he was INSIDE the machine was priceless. My oldest was literally jumping up and down while telling me (she was clearing a good foot off the ground…lol). He came with a note for them all explaining why he came back and to encourage and remind them that they are wonderful children.



Check back each day to see what Ziggy will get himself into. Most of all, I hope you enjoy the pictures. Please feel free to comment if you have any other ideas for our elf or to tell me what trouble your elf has gotten into.


Snowball fight!


Daddy’s little helper.




Underwear thief! Almost got away!


Caught in the act!

1014219_10201166036381418_308756203_n“Santa, you can put all the toys right here.” “At least you know that I’ve been good.”  Ziggy drew portraits of the kids (Slimey, Poopy and Stinky)


Dance party.1520698_10201200392000287_1900839462_n

Watching Rudolph.1505358_10201206684637599_1954855476_n1491727_10201212252856801_331275991_n



Underwear zip line……with friends.


Blurb Gift Ideas plus 30% off

People love getting really creative, one-of-a-kind books for Christmas. Books that elicit a “where did you find this?” response. As the leading indie- and self-publishing platform, Blurb has an entire online bookstore full of unique books by an incredible array of undiscovered, self-published authors, artists, and photographers. And while these books probably aren’t in your recipient’s bookshelf, many of them should be. So, if you’re thinking of giving unique gifts this year, consider these titles. Each costs around $40 USD or less.

Also, Save 30% on Blurb’s Print Books with code: SAVE30

Cookie Cravings by Maria Lichty and Heidi Larsen
We all have cookie cravings. Popular food blogger Maria Lichter decided to put them into something deliciously original: A baking book featuring 30 recipes you won’t find anywhere else.

Dog by My Side by Adam Schnitzer
This charming collection of original, vintage photos shows us that as long as there have been cameras, we’ve wanted to photograph our canine best friends. As a special bonus, there’s a glossary of the early photographic methods used in the original images.

This post contains my affiliate link. I am compensated for my endorsement.

Continue reading…