Springtime Updates for Your Child’s Living Space!

We recently had the pleasure of talking Spring DIY with the good folks at Trulia, your home for real estate! As we noted last week Spring Break is almost upon us–what about using some of this time to collaborate with your children to refresh their bedrooms (and maybe even, coughcough, some spring cleaning)? We are pleased to feature a guest post by Hannah Goodman of  Trulia with some tips and the latest trends in kid-friendly design!


Spring is a time for new beginnings. As the days get longer and the heat of the Arizona desert begins to rise again, many homeowners in the Phoenix metropolitan area are struck by the inspiration to take on home improvement projects that they have been putting off. For some, spring projects may be as simple as cleaning and redecorating for the summer months, while others will choose to take on a larger remodel or upgrade project. If you are a parent and thinking about taking on a larger scale project, spring is the perfect time to upgrade your child’s living space. With your kids still in school most of the day, you will have time and space to execute your remodel before the summer months begin. The following are some trends and factors to consider when remodeling your child’s living space.

Springtime Updates For Your Child's Living Space!Choose a Design Aesthetic that will stand the Test of Time

Perhaps the most important thing to take into account when conceptualizing your child’s room is the adaptability of the design. Will the color scheme and theme you choose outlast the inevitable changes that adolescence bring? Choosing a neutral color palette for your remodel in Chandler can give you a great base to build upon throughout your child’s formative years. That hot pink or bright green color scheme may seem like a good idea in the moment, but it may end up costing you more time and money down the road. While this upgrade is typically a simple one, repainting can be a daunting and sometimes costly task. so try using wallpaper or wall decals as time and cost-effective method to satisfy the decorative wants and needs of your children. Another way to navigate your child’s change in style is to choose a theme for the whole room. Travel and adventure motifs, in particular, lend themselves to growth and change while also inspiring imagination and creativity.

Springtime Updates for Your Child’s Living Space!Purchase or Upgrade Built-In Furniture

This trend has been around for a few years and seems to be here to stay. Built-ins not only offer great space saving techniques for smaller spaces, they are also easy to modify as your child grows. For instance, built-in shelves that hold toys for young children can be repainted or redecorated and used later on to hold books, schoolwork and picture frames for teenagers. Currently, some of the most popular built-ins are beds with storage drawers. Not only do these furniture pieces help cut down on clutter, they add a classy touch to any design scheme. However, we know that your child will outgrow his or her childhood bed, and that the installation of built-ins can be more complex than a simple paint job. So, as an alternative to purchasing a costly new bed frame with built-in storage every few years, pick up an under-bed storage bag or box which can be reused with each new bedframe.


Springtime Updates for Your Child’s Living Space!Add a Loft or a Decorative Partition

Does your home in Fountain Hills have high ceilings? Consider adding a loft to your child’s room. Although this project is perhaps the largest undertaking, the benefits are immense. Lofts can serve many different purposes and hold everything from beds to desks to reading areas stuffed with pillows. For children sharing a room, lofts can also make each individual child feel as though they have their own space to escape to. Lofts also create more storage and living space in a smaller room. For a more temporary solution, try setting up a reading nook with pillows in a window seat or create some divisions in your child’s room with decorative partitions.

There are many different ways to update your home this spring. While it may be tempting to go for the typical kitchen or living room remodel, consider an improvement to your child’s space, as it can save you time cleaning and repainting for years to come. If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out Trulia’s Life at Home blog for more tips and tricks!

How to Get Kids Involved in Interior Design

So happy to be able to host an original guest post on home decor for kids! This is not a paid post or an endorsement. Just a fun article to inspire you! Thank you, Zillow, for reaching out to us!

By Satinder Haer of Zillow

Kids are naturally creative and imaginative which makes them excellent little decorators. They might not have the necessary tactical skills for moving furniture or painting, but they understand contrasting colors like nobody’s business. However, kids are usually left out of interior design projects because they can hinder actual progress with their distractions. Conversely, kids are reluctant to assist with décor projects because they might consider decorating boring or a “parent thing.”

Getting your kids involved in interior design projects has invaluable benefits. You get the chance to collaborate with your kids and they experience the hard work that goes into assembling their home. Your child may even feel more committed to keeping rooms tidy after their efforts. Try these tips to overcome the initial hurdles of getting your kids involved in interior design.

Start Small

  • Don’t try to redo the whole house as your first project with the kids. Pick a specific, achievable task.
  • Build up to larger-scale, more challenging projects. You’ll know you can handle the complexity after you’ve worked with the kids.

Have a Plan

  • Avoid arguments between kids by determining exactly how you’ll divvy up and delegate the work before beginning.
  • If your goal is to redecorate the bathroom, evaluate the tasks, supplies and manpower necessary for each step of the process.
  • Taking into account the age of your kid(s), figure out which components of the project they could safely complete.
  • If painting, assign the older kids the trim while the youngest tackles the middle of the wall.
  • Starting with a detailed plan leads to an organized project.

Keep It Stress Free

  • Create the best possible experience for everyone involved by keeping stress to a minimum.
  • In addition to picking manageable tasks, avoid tight deadlines.
  • If a project necessitates completion by a firm date, pick a different one to tackle with your kids. Deadline-driven projects are likely to create tension if things go wrong.
  • It’s common to experience a moment where you want to finish a project yourself because you can do it faster or more precisely than your kid(s). Keep in mind that this is a learning process for everyone. Don’t let that moment overshadow all the gratifying times or deter future teamwork.

Give Ownership

  • Initially, it’s difficult to not micromanage your kids. Delegate a task, step back and focus on your own role. Children need to feel trusted and usually flourish when given responsibility.
  • Try to give your child opportunities to provide input and pick décor features. While you might have a vision for your overall interior design, there’s usually room to incorporate small elements of your child’s style.

Make It Fun

  • While it is easy to get caught up in the practical details of interior design, don’t forget to show your children how fun decorating is. Pick projects that naturally appeal to them, such as selecting artwork, paint colors or shopping for new furniture. Better yet, work together on decorating the rooms most utilized by your kids. Allowing them to be creative on their bedroom or play space styles develops their sense of design.  If your kids enjoy themselves, they may contribute on future projects.
  • Once you find a method that works for your family, team design projects become well-loved household activities. You might even be able to delegate the work and sit back with a snack while supervising.

Whether sprucing up your current home, preparing a property to list on the market or settling into a new home, enlist the kids for healthy family exercises, design inspiration and home improvement progress.

Party In a Jar Book: Monster Slime!

I’m so excited to share with you a project from my friend Vanessa’s new book: Party In a Jar! Today…. we’re going to make Monster Slime! Your kids will love making this stretchable, green putty and decorating the jar. After the fun… you can even help your child come up with a name and a story about their monster. The fun learning possibilities are endless. So let’s get started!

Party in a Jar

Materials (makes 6 – 4oz jars)

2 – 5oz bottles clear school glue
¼ cup water
green food coloring
1 cup water
1 teaspoon Borax
scrapbook paper
googly eyes
pipe cleaners
craft glue
scissors or circle punches
acrylic paint
sponge brush


1. Paint 6 baby food jar lids in your color of choice. Set aside to dry.
2. Shape pipe cleaner to look like monster arms and glue to the front of the jar.
3. Cut out 2 circles, 1 slightly larger than the other, out of different colored scrapbook paper. Glue circles to the jar, on top of the pipe cleaner, placing the larger circle behind the smaller circle.
4. Pour 2 – 5oz bottles of clear school glue into a large mixing bowl. Add ¼ cup water and 10 drops of green food coloring, mix well.
5. Dissolve 1 teaspoon of Borax in 1 cup of water and add to glue mixture. Use your hands to mix and knead until a solid glop is formed.
6. Store slime in monster jar when not in use.

Jar Tip:

Be creative and use different sizes of googly eyes, different paper and pipe cleaner colors. You can add some yarn hair, fangs or maybe even some antennas.

You can buy the Party In a Jar book on Amazon now!

More Book Tour Projects:

Shaping Up To Be a Mom

Eclectic Momsense

Pink Cake Plate

See Vanessa Craft


And… I wasn’t compensated for this post. I just love helping out my bloggy friends when I get the chance to! xo

How To Use PicMonkey as a Social Media Community Manager

In case you didn’t know… I’ve been making a living as a Social Media Community Manager for the last 5 years. I’ve been blogging and using social media for almost 7 years. And Never. Ever. Have I found such a simple tool to make my work so beautiful and easy.

PicMonkey turns your desktop into a photo editing studio in a snap. And I’m the least talented graphic designer. Ever. PicMonkey makes my work look professional, modern and fun! And now.. .they’ve added a feature so FULL of WIN! You can create a photo collage and access the editing tools at the same time. YAY!


Was I paid to teach you my insider tips on Picmonkey? Nope. Just sharing! So let’s get started!

How do I use PicMonkey for work?

I write content for blogs, Facebook, Instagram etc… and it  needs to be super shareable across multiple platforms and ultimately on Pinterest.

What makes a photo shareable? Good question!

I’ve found that the two main drivers for photo sharing are:

  • Beauty
  • Information

Adding text, color and accents to a photo are just what you need to make you photos go from forgettable to FAB.

Let’s make a collage!

Step 1:

Click “Create a collage” on the start page. Choose your layout (I went with 4 equal squares) and then open your photos from your computer.


Step 2:

Once you drop your photos into place… you can adjust them by clicking the edit button on the photo.


Step 3:

If you don’t have enough photos to fill the collage spaces… you can fill them with ready made swatches or upload your own. PicMonkey also allows you to delete blank squares.


Step 4:

A brand new feature in PicMonkey now allows you to open the photo editor from your collage. Awesome!

open in editor

Step 5:

Add your text and a fancy overlay! There’s a fun variety of free and premium texts and overlays. So far… I’ve not even logged into PicMonkey. I’ve just been taking advantage of the super easy to use features that are available to guests who need a photo on the fly!

text overlay

Step 6:
Save your masterpiece and use it wherever you’re creating content to be shared!

and save

And that’s it! I hope you enjoyed this little how-to tutorial on PicMonkey! xo

Chick-O-Stick Cookie Recipe: Diabetes Friendly

Hi Friends!

I rarely bake. But I had these lovely candies from Atkinson’s Candy Company on my counter and I couldn’t help but take a shot at whipping up some cookies using them! These cookies not only taste amazing… but they contain only 7.5g of Carbohydrates! This is a fantastic little treat that doesn’t require me to give Allison any additional insulin. Around here… we call that a “free snack”. As you can imagine… free snacks are popular.

Here’s the recipe I used. I’ve adapted a basic peanut butter cookie recipe to make it low-carb and diabetes friendly.


1 cup of peanut butter (You could use low carb for this and make your treats even lower in carbs…I used regular Peter Pan)

1 cup sugar substitute (I used Splenda)

1 egg

1 tsp of vanilla extract

6 finely crushed bite sized pieces of Chick-O-Stick


Mix all the ingredients in a small mixing bowl.

Scoop rounded teaspoons of the mix onto your cookie sheet. (I was able to get 12 cookies)

Bake on 350* for 12 minutes or until cookies have set.

Allow your cookies to cool before eating or they’ll fall apart!

That’s it!

Have you had a chance to check out Atkinson on Facebook and Twitter? You totally should. Join in the fun! Contribute your recipe ideas or be a part of fun contests held regularly on their page.

Disclosure: I was compensated by Atkinson Candy Company to write a promotional post and participate in a Twitter party on the evening of Oct. 2nd. This post was a bonus for you! Just for fun and to fill my tummy with cookies. *nom*



Back to School Reusable Sandwich Bags

Many moons ago… I shared a post on how to make your own reusable sandwich bags. I think it’s time to share it again! With back to school upon us… now is the perfect time to start thinking about packing lunches and snacks. I’ll also be sharing this on the Tillamook Cheese Facebook Page. Tillamook will be donating $10 to Feeding America for every tip, snack, or recipe shared on their Back to School tab. I love doing social good!

Anyway… here are the instructions to make your own reusable sandwich bag:

Supplies for your Sandwich Bag

  • A piece of pre-washed fabric  8″ x 13.5″
  • A piece of organic fabric  8″ x 13.5″ (This is the lining. I like using organic fabric on the inside, because it touches the food!
  • An 8″ strip of Velcro
  • An iron
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine and thread


1. Iron both pieces of pre-washed, organic fabric, then place them RIGHT sides together and pin along the short edges.

2. Sew each short edge of your fabric with a 1/8″ seam allowance. Fold and iron the tops of your fabric to create a nice top and bottom edge.

3. Separate your Velcro into two strips: the rough side and the soft side.

4. Start pinning the rough Velcro across the top of one side. Pin the soft side of the Velcro across the top of the other side. Sew the Velcro in place by sewing across the top and bottom of each piece of Velcro.

6. Sew the unfinished edge of your fabric with a 1/2″ seam allowance, then trim off the excess fabric!

7. Turn your bag right side out and iron again. The Velcro should work perfectly to close up your sandwich bag.

8. Now you’re all set to pack your sandwich!