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I've Been Moonlighting Over At Walnut Hollow!

The holidays are officially over! As I try to keep up with all the scribbles filling all the squares on the calendar, I thought I'd take a little break and introduce you to a couple projects I'd shared on the Walnut Hollow blog.

DIY Floating Bookshelf over at Walnut Hollow Blog! It's perfect for toddlers's books so that they can see the covers!

Last month I made this DIY Floating Bookshelf to help wrangle up all of Desmond's books. I'm all for traditional bookshelves, and the idea of a house without books leaves me speechless. BUT, this style of shelf is ideal for toddler because then they can actually SEE the covers instead of a row of book spines.

Cinch in your clutter with this Belted Wall Organizer via Walnut Hollow!

Earlier this week I also shared this Belted Wall Organizer. Habits are definitely hard to break, especially when it comes to clutter, but the stack of mail that used to drive me crazy has finally found a forever home and it is NOT on top of the piano.

Are you familiar with Walnut Hollow? Here's a quote from their website that really sums them up: "For over forty years, our company has been dedicated to bringing our customers the absolute best in fine wood surfaces, tools, and accessories for the craft and hobby industry." They are a US based company and you can find their products in most craft stores.

I'm really grateful for the opportunity to work with them and hopefully I'll be able to share more Walnut Hollow projects with you in the future!

Erin Sipes
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Create Your Own Fruit Flavored Homemade Sodas

Make your own soda, it's a low sugar, more natural alternative, PLUS, it's so easy and cheap!

Let me say, while I'm not the kind of parent who bans soda, I do limit it for my children and myself. Like a lot of families I know, we save it for 'special occasions', which translates to about once a week. Sometimes though...nothing tastes better than a nice cold Coke, am I right? 

Still, I don't want my kids to feel as if they're slaves to their cravings or that they don't have options. So while I was wheeling through the grocery store I decided to grab a few blood oranges, a couple limes, a bottle of seltzer water, and sugar. Yep, that's all you need to make your own soda! 

PLUS, this is a great recipe to make WITH the kids! 
Keep reading to find out how to create your own sodas. 

Erin Sipes
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Chinese New Year Kids Craft: Monkey Noise Makers

Looking for a Chinese New Year Kids Craft Idea? Here's a fun Monkey Noise Maker for the year of the monkey 2016!

Last year the kids and I had fun making sheep finger puppets to celebrate the 2015 Chinese New Year so I thought why not make it a tradition? This year's animal is the monkey and what better way to celebrate this wild and raucous creature than my making noise makers?

Using basic crafting supplies we were able to put these together in an afternoon; then we let them dry overnight before having a shakin', and very noisy, party the next day. 

Here's everything you need to know to make your own Monkey Noise Makers! 

Erin Sipes
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Valentine's Day Kids Craft: Tissue Paper Vases

Here's a classic Valentine's Day Kids Craft for you! Tissue Paper Vases, I remember making these as a Girl Scout and in school. A great project that easy and quick!

Disclosure: I received product featured in this post. 

Today begins the Valentine's Day Edition of Craft Lightning! I've made a promise to the kids that this year we'll start actually making some of the projects on our crafty list instead of just adding to it. So, for this time around we decided to make classic tissue paper vases.

You can reuse old glass containers and tissue paper, it's quick enough the kids won't get bored, and the vases are perfect for filling with a holiday bouquet and giving to your Valentines.

Here's how we made them! P.S. We used a secret ingredient that helped up keep the tissue paper from ripping up!

Erin Sipes
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Give Old Furniture A Fresh Start With This Cross Stitch Paint Technique

Give an old piece of furniture a "New Start" with this fun cross stitch paint technique! It's a LOT easier to do than it looks!
I received product in exchange for this post, opinions expressed are my own. I feel that I should also warn you this might get photo heavy.

This month I was lucky enough to make the cut for another Fab Furniture Flippin’ Contest and in keeping with the new year the theme is, “A Fresh Start.” All contestants received a quart of Chalk Style paint from this month’s sponsor, General Finishes. They produce, “…award winning waterbased topcoats, waterbase wood stains, glazes and oil based finishes for your next home project.” This was the first time I’d used the product and I was impressed with the paint’s low fumes and depth of color.

Special Thanks to General Finishes for providing the paint for this project.

The piece I chose to makeover was a bookshelf in desperate need of help. When we moved into our house, eight years ago it was in an outdoor shed. We kept it because despite it’s lackluster (read dirty) appearance it was very sturdy and a great size.
Erin Sipes
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Valentine's Day Kids Craft: DIY Dominos

Valentine's Day Kids Craft DIY Dominos

I received product in exchange for this post, the opinions expressed are my own. 

First I have an apology, but it's at the bottom of the post because I don't want it to be the first thing to pop up in search engines because this is a post about Valentine's Day and NOT apologies.

It's hard for me to say this, but, did you realize that Valentine's Day is only a month away? We've got a couple projects in the works, first up is this super easy kids craft, DIY Dominos!

Using PSA Essential stamps you can personalize your tiles to your liking, we gave our game a Valentine's Day twist. Here's a quick rundown of what you'll need and how to make a domino set of your own.
Erin Sipes
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Stamped Luminaries

There is a steady chill to the air, the sky is a beautiful blue and threatens rain or snow making it the perfect time to get cozy. Kill the overhead lights and bring out the candles. And if you're going to light a candle, or switch it on, you might as well make one of these luminaries to wrap around it!

Give plain candle holders a quick update with a piece of paper and PSA Essentials Stamps.

Sincerely this is one of the easiest and most versatile crafts out there; using PSAEssential stamps you can create luminaries for any holiday or season! 

Give your plain candle holders a quick update with paper and stamps! This is a great craft to make with kids for any holiday or season you want!


Paper Trim Punches (optional)
PSA Essential Stamps and Stamper

1. We chose to give our piece of vellum a looped trim using a paper punch after we trimmed it to fit around our candle holder. 

2. Next we stamped it using both our PSA stamper and a silver stamp pad.

3. We taped the ends of our vellum together and slid it over our candle holder. 

4. Finally, we dropped in an electric candle and let it glow. 

Erin Sipes
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6 Things to Consider When Planning for a New Year

Don't let unattainable new year's resolutions throw you off your game! Here are 6 tips to help you refresh your plan and make this year even better than the last!

One of the great things about starting a new year is having the opportunity to begin again. There's a hopefulness that comes from looking over the previous year, figuring out what worked, and updating your game plan.

The trouble is, during the holiday break most of our time is filled with family and celebrations, as it should be. When I do get a chance to sit down and ruminate our homeschooling calendar is the first to get a makeover, again, as it should be. Homeschooling is my number one job and the only way I can get anything extra accomplished is if that portion of our lives is effective and efficient.

So what's a blogger to do?

Simple. Take a little extra time putting together a schedule that should work better than the last by taking these six suggestions into consideration.
Erin Sipes
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