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DIY Flip Book with Funny Faces

Show me your mad face! Now act surprised!

If your kids are anything like mine, they get a huge kick out of making funny faces in the mirror and going through a range of expressions on command. Asking my kids to look confused, sleepy or bored will inevitably lead us all to fits of laughter and them begging me to give them another emotion to try out. They are also intrigued by the facial expressions of people in the books and magazines we read.

I think helping my kids identify emotions on the faces of people they see will also assist them with understanding the emotions of their friends, teachers, parents and themselves.With all this emphasis on understanding emotions from facial expressions, I thought it would be fun to put together a little funny faces flip book with a variety of facial features and see what kind of stories my kids could tell me about the faces they created.

DIY Funny Faces Flip BookFlip book supplies

Making your own funny faces flip book couldn’t be easier — all you need is some cardstock, scissors, a glue stick, hole punch, markers, 3 or 6 binder rings, a piece of cardboard (for the back) and some facial parts (eyes, noses, mouths). I used letter-sized white cardstock, cut in half width-wise and then again in thirds.

For the face parts, you have all kinds of options: (1) Cut them out of magazines (older kids can do this on their own); (2) Use stickers, googly eyes or foam face parts from your local craft store; (3) Print out stock photos of faces from the internet; (4) Draw your own; (5) Use your own photos your kids and family members; or (6) Use our free printable of a few face parts (download the PDF here).

Free Printable Funny Faces

diy funny faces flip book for kidsAssembling the book

With your kids’ help, use a glue stick to place the eyes, noses and mouths on individual pieces of card stock. Punch one or two holes on the left side of each piece of paper. If you use one hole, the paper will slide around in the book more, but it’ll still work. Two holes (spaced wide apart) work best. Stack all the eyes together and place the sheet of cardboard (or card stock or whatever you want to use for the back) behind the eyes and use the ring clips to secure. Do the same for the noses and the mouths. If you have extra card stock, add a few blank cards to the back of the stack of each category and add/draw more as you play. You can also add a front cover if you want (optional).
creating your own funny faces flip bookdiy funny faces flip book

Playing with the book

My preschooler loved this book. He thought it was so much fun making different face combos and then giving each one a name and a silly voice. We talked about the different expressions and what feelings each person we created felt when they made that face. I asked him to make up funny stories about the faces and turned them into characters. We made faces that looked like people we knew and mimicked some the silly expressions we created. If you use facial photos of people you know (kids, parents, grandparents), try to recreate those faces!  My son liked that we had a variety of media in the book – that they were not all photos of real faces, but a mixture of cartoonish features, drawn features and real parts. I wish I would have included some animal face parts (e.g. cat’s nose with whiskers, gorilla eyes, elephant trunk, fish mouth, etc.) because I think that would have made it even more fun for him.
funny faces flip book tutorial and play ideasfunny faces flip bookhow to make your own funny faces flip book for kids This funny faces flip book is a great craft project to make when helping toddlers and preschoolers understand emotions, facial expressions and body parts. It’s a great way to encourage your older kids to use their imagination in creating unique characters, each with their own background story. It could also help when talking to your children of any age about diversity and how every person has their own unique facial features. With so many ways to use this book, it’ll be something that can grow with your child through the years.

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Save or Splurge on the Best Exfoliators

You are a grown woman, which means an exfoliator needs to be part of your beauty regime. Your face cannot afford to be without one! Your skin cells are always regenerating, about every 28-31 days if you’re younger and a little bit longer if you’re, ahem, a bit more mature. Without help to slough off and remove these dead skin cells, they can lead to clogged pores and dull skin — and prevent your skincare products from being effective.

Whether you are dealing with adult acne or fine lines, sunspots or dull skin, all of the skincare products you use — serums, lotions, foundations and more — will work better when you have exfoliated skin. Here are three options I’m loving at every price range.Best Exfoliator to Splurge on: Lancer Polish

Splurge: The luxury face exfoliator

I recently tried The Lancer Method three-part system, which includes an exfoliator, gentle cleanser and moisturizer. My favorite is the exfoliator, by far. The system has you exfoliate before you cleanse, an interesting switch of steps but one that is designed to better prepare your skin for cleansing.

The exfoliating Polish is pretty gritty, which I love. It combines a self-warming element to make the exfoliation more effective, along with pure minerals and pumpkin and pomegranate enzymes to remove surface debris and dull, dry skin cells. Plus, it has lavender in it, which makes it divine to use before bed. It is not cheap, but with fans like Beyonce and Kim Kardashian looking to get that “Lancer glow,” it might be a worthwhile skin treat. (Psst! If you’re on the fence, buy it through Sephora so you can return it if it’s not a great fit for your skin.)

Boot Botanics

Save: The drugstore face exfoliator

Despite my love of Lancer, you don’t have to spend a bundle to to keep your skin exfoliated. Head to your nearest Target beauty section or Ulta store to pick up one of my drugstore faves: the Boots Botanics Microdermabrasion Polish Age Defense. For $13, you get a powerful polish made of superfine pumice particles that can be used once a week to buff off those dead skin cells. The polish also combines the antioxidant power of ginkgo extract and the soothing moisture of shea butter to leave your skin looking fresh and smooth. This scrub is also pretty gritty, so if you have sensitive skin, you might want to pass.

Baking soda exfoliator

DIY: Make your own face exfoliator

Want an even simpler and more affordable exfoliator that will still slough off that dead surface skin? Head to the kitchen and grab your baking soda. Mix a teaspoon or so with some water or your favorite creamy cleanser to make a paste and massage onto your skin. The baking soda is super fine so it won’t irritate your skin, and since you can mix it with water or a cleanser, and adjust the amount you add, it’s easy to customize the formula to fit your skin.

No more excuses! Pick your perfect exfoliator and get to sloughing!
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First Day of School Photo Ideas
No matter what grade your child is entering, the first day of school is a big deal. If your friends are like ours, your social media channels will be full of first day of school photos. We have put together some idea to document the first day of school in new and unique ways to make you stand out from the crowd! Depending on what grade your child is in, you can begin taking the same first day of school photo every year. Whether it be on your front lawn beside a big tree, on your front steps, or standing in front of the school, it’s fun to see the same photo every year in the same place!

DIY frames

Each year in my house, I engage in a little DIY by making photo frames for back to school. While he has clearly grown from year to year, I like the idea of a special photo that states what class he’s are going into. I also like that the frame is the same size each year, so it gives you an idea of how much they have grown. This year, I will be making a new kindergarten one for Jonah and Addison will get to use the pre-nursery sign.

To create this frame, I used a simple wood frame, scrapbooking paper, and wood letters, but there are so many ways to customize these frames to make them your own. You can make them out of Bristol board, bulletin borders from a teacher resource store, and even construction paper. The possibilities are endless!

First Day of School Chalkboard Sign

Chalk it up

Pick up some chalk and go wild! Write your child’s grade on the sidewalk or your driveway and encourage them to help to make it a special and memorable tradition, which will make it more exciting for them when you take their picture. They can look back at it and remember the experience and creating their back to school photo backdrop with you! If you have a chalkboard at home, write some school days information down on a chalkboard and take a picture of your child sitting next to it. Include them in the fun by having them write their name or grade themselves… it will be fun to see how their handwriting changes over the years.

Back to School Bio Boards

Plan ahead to go custom

Bio Boards are the perfect way document any milestone. At Addison’s baby naming, I displayed a bio board From Baby Bio Boards with all of her birth information including her weight, length, and time of birth. This year, I am using them to document her first day back to school! Bio Boards are completely customizable you so you can include any information you want to make their first day of school photos special. Make them fun by adding in what they want to be when they grow up or what their favorite song is. The more specific, the more fun they will be to look at years from now!

First Day of Kindergarten Photos

A special side for each kid

If you were part of our #SavvySassySchoolDays Twitter Party, then you know how much we love the Little Partners Tri-Side Learn and Play Art Center. Not only do we love it for playtime, but it inspired us to create some fun first day of school pictures. With three different sides, you can create multiple photo backgrounds for multiple kids — use a different side of the easel for each photo — paint a sign with your child, write it on the chalk board, or use magnetic letters it spell it out. Your child can grow with the easel and each side can be adjusted individually so children of different heights can use it at the same time. And, the best part? You can use it year after year to announce their return to school!

First Day of School Balloons

Say it with a pop!

Keep it simple yet fun with a balloon for first day of school pictures. This idea is especially great for your littlest ones, since holding a balloon in their hand will keep them distracted long enough to get a few photographs before they are over it and ready to move on. Add letters or numbers to a helium-filled balloon is quite easy… just make sure you blow up the balloon first!

Back to School cards

Make the memories last

Once you’ve taken all of the photos you desire to document that first day of school, what do you do with them? Do you post one on social media and then upload the rest to your computer? That’s typically the routine around here! They sit on my computer until they make it into a photo book months later (if I’m lucky).

This year, I made back-to-school cards with Mpix and sent them to all of our family and friends. Not only do they have a picture of my kids on them, but you can add in all of the additional information such as their school, grade, and teachers name. With so many options to choose from, I found myself creating cards for both of my kids both together and separately as well as one with my daughter and her best friend! Mpix offers cards for all occasions, as well as photobooks and photo gifts, making it easy to make use of all of your pictures!

How will you document your child’s first day of school?
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Homemade Strawberry Preserves Recipe Canning Tutorial and LabelsIt’s officially strawberry season across the country and everyone is going strawberry crazy these days. If you’re lucky enough to live close to a pick-your-own strawberry farm, we highly recommend you take your kids on a fruit picking adventure. Dress them in clothes you don’t mind getting stained and let them run wild and eat their hearts out right there in the fields. Hopefully you’ll end up with a basket full of fresh strawberries that you can easily turn into homemade strawberry preserves, which we’ll help you perfectly make, package and label, ready to present to any friend, neighbor, co-worker, or party hostess.

How to Make Homemade Strawberry PreservesNot your mama’s canning tips

If you’ve never made jam or canned before, it can seem intimidating. However, I’m here to walk you step-by-step through the process and reassure you that it’s much easier than it sounds. Making preserves is super simple — you don’t need fancy equipment or expensive ingredients. Everything can be found at your local grocery store. And, canning doesn’t require hours of sweating over your stove or take all day long, either. This is the modern mama’s method of canning jam. Trust me… try it once and you’ll be surprised just how easy it is.

The only products you really need for canning are the jars, lids and rings. For jam or preserves, I personally love using the small 4 ounce Bell quilted crystal jars. These are such a cute size for gifting and come in a box of 12 for about $9 (includes the jar, lid, rings and labels). There are also a few tools that are helpful, but not necessary for canning, including a canning funnel, a magnetic lid wand and liquid fruit pectin. A wide-mouth canning funnel is the perfect size for the mouth of canning jars and a magnetic lid wand is nice to have so you don’t burn your fingers, but neither or necessary. Liquid fruit pectin is a kind of preserved apple syrup, which helps set up jams and jellies. This is sold in your local grocery store and comes in a box with two 3-ounce pouches for about $5. It’s helpful for jams made from fruits (like strawberries) that are naturally low in pectin, but not necessary and if not used, you’ll just have runnier preserves (they’ll still taste great).

Easy Ideas for Using Freshly Picked StrawberriesSterilizing your jars

Before you put anything into your jars, you need to sterilize them. Years ago, when my parents canned fruits and vegetables from our garden, they would boil the jars in a giant pressure cooker on the stove, then carefully remove them with tongs, trying not to spill boiling water all over the place. These days, most of us have a giant sterilizing machine in our kitchen — the dishwasher. All you really need to do to sterilize your jars is run them through the dishwasher on high heat.

If you don’t have a dishwasher or just want to do it the old-fashioned way — break out your biggest stock pot and submerse the jars in boiling water for 15 minutes. Either way you do it, place the clean jars upside down on a clean kitchen towel until you’re ready to use them. This should be done the day you will be canning and no earlier. Lids should be boiled in a small sauce pan on the stove top for 4 minutes, right before canning begins.

Making Jam is Easier Than You Think!We’re jammin’

You’re going to be shocked how easy it is to make preserves. Once you have your fresh strawberries cleaned and hulled, throw them in a bowl with the sugar, lemon juice and zest. It might sound like a lot of sugar, but the sugar is the preservative and helps thicken the juices. Let the mixture sit covered with a kitchen towel for 2-4 hours, stirring occasionally. The longer the mixture sits, the more the strawberries will break down, so if you like super chunky preserves, stay on the shorter end. Transfer the mixture to a large stockpot, bring to a boil over high heat, and boil rapidly for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the liquid pectin, then boil for an additional minute. Skim off the foam, if desired.

How To Can Jar Homemade Strawberry Preserves stepsHot seal

Getting a proper seal on your jars is the most important and trickiest part of canning. While our parents may have used a hot water bath or pressure cooker method for sealing jam, us modern mamas have a new and improved (and super easy) technique called the hot seal method. This method works best on jams, jellies and other high acidic items that have been cooked. While your preserves are still hot, fill the sterilized jars with the preserves, leaving about ½ inch from the top with the mixture. Take a damp paper towel and wipe all the way around the rim of the jar, making sure there is nothing on there to prevent a proper seal or allow bacteria to grow. Place a sterilized lid on top of the jar and tighten with a ring. Flip the jar upside down and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. The heat of the mixture will suction the lid right to the jar and you’ll start hearing the lids pop seal themselves. Turn the jars over and check the seals. If the small circle in the middle of the lid isn’t depressed, push it down to seal. If it doesn’t seal within a few hours, put in the fridge and eat right away. Otherwise, sealed preserves can last 18 months to 2 years unrefrigerated (the more sugar you use, the longer the shelf life). Once opened, the preserves should be refrigerated and should last about a month.

How to Make Homemade Strawberry PreservesStrawberry Preserves Printable Lid LabelsFree printable homemade strawberry preserves lid labels

While homemade strawberry jam is incredibly delicious and your kids will beg you for more, one of the best parts about making homemade preserves is being able to gift it to others. The feat of canning alone is impressive, but throw in a beautiful label (link below) and some baker’s twine and you’ve got the sweetest gift around. This is perfect for teachers gifts, hostess gifts, holiday gifts, party favors, or for welcoming a new neighbor. Strawberry preserves can be used on biscuits or toast, served over ice cream or waffles, mixed into yogurt or on a cracker with cream cheese. Enjoy!

Homemade Strawberry Preserves Recipe Card

Click here for the free full-page printable lid labels

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Do you want to build a snowman? No? (Sorry, is that stuck in your head now?) What if we told you you could let your little ones build one without leaving the warmth and comfort of your own home? With just a few steps and some ingredients that you probably already have in your cupboard, you can make your own play snow that will provide hours of fun and giggles for all involved… no wet, soggy mittens necessary!

This super easy play snow is a great indoor activity for those blustery winter days when it is just too cold to play outside, but your children have begun to get a lot little stir crazy, which simultaneously tends to make mommy a lot little crazy. It is so much fun, and is a great activity to provide much needed sensory play for active little hands and minds.

Easy to Make DIY Play Snow

Easy DIY Play Snow

 

What you need

  • 3 cups baking soda
  • 1/2 cup hair conditioner, preferably white so that it looks like real snow
  • Plastic container or large pan to use for play area
  • Fun tools for creative play: beads, toothpicks, ribbon and craft eyes to make a snowman and Playdoh tools work great, too.

How to Make Play Snow for Kids

Directions

1. Mix baking soda and conditioner together in a large bowl.
2. Stir together with spoon until somewhat crumbly in texture. Snow should be moldable, like sand.
3. Place snow in container and let play begin!

DIY Play Snow for Kids

The snow is cool to the touch, so it feels similar to real snow. It molds easily, smells fabulous, and, surprisingly, provides very little clean up. With just a quick post-play wipe down, and quick once over with the vacuum, all remnants of your snow play will be gone.

How to Make an Inside Snowman

As an added bonus, the snow can be stored for future use. If it becomes dry, just add a little extra conditioner to the mixture, and voila — you are set to go for hours of more snow fun!

Make your own snow

 

So now, do you want to build a snow man?
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Gold fall decor you can make yourself

With Halloween nearly behind us and Thanksgiving still weeks away, we have a bit of a lag in our fall decorating schedule, don’t we? Spruce up your home with some of these gold fall decor DIY ideas from our favorite bloggers. They’re the perfect excuse to ditch the Halloween decorations and they will easily transition to your Thanksgiving table in November.

Gold Fall Decor DIY Ideas

12 Gold fall decor DIY ideas to try

Top row, going clockwise:

DIY Painted Acorns from Bliss at Home
If the acorns are falling off of your trees at home, have the kiddos go acorn hunting, then get your craft on! You can scatter these on your Thanksgiving table or fill Mason jars with handfuls of them for around the house. No acorns? Grab some at your local craft store!

Gold Polka Dot Studded Pumpkins from Brit+Co
Such a fun and easy way to re-purpose your un-carved pumpkins from Halloween, we adore that these gold studded pumpkins are completely mess-free gold fall decor.

Gold-Dipped Log Candle Holders from Lifeovereasy via the Etsy UK Blog
A project for the more advanced DIYer, you can also simply be inspired by these gold-dipped log candle holders and create something similar at home… minus the power tools.

Golden Doily Pumpkins from 17 Apart
How pretty are these pumpkins? This gold fall decor DIY project is perfect for all of those little round pumpkins that are now on clearance at your local grocery store. Grab a bunch!

DIY No-Sew Burlap Table Runner from Inspired by Charm
For those of us who might be a little crafty, but who aren’t brave enough to venture into sewing, this DIY no-sew table runner is an ideal project for gold fall decor. Pick up the already-printed fabric, or add the gold polka dots yourself.

Gilded Leaf DIY Place Cards from Polka Dot Made
Coming straight from a wedding blog, you know this DIY for gold fall decor is going to be good! We love her use of a gold leaf pen and can’t wait to send our kids outside to find the perfect leaves.

Gold-Painted Pumpkin with Bling from Lacquer & Linen
So, maybe you like your gold fall decor with a little bling on the side. We can’t hate you for that! Get inspired with this gold-painted pumpkin and other no-carve pumpkin options, all in her post.

Glitter Mason Jars

Glitter-Dipped Mason Jars from Lilyshop
We all need some of these in our home for fall: glitter-dipped mason jars. These will last you far beyond your fall decor and will also do double-duty for upcoming girl birthday parties!

Do It Yourself Glittered Pumpkins from Yesterday’s Sweetheart
Getting glitter to stick on pumpkins isn’t as easy as you might think, but Yesterday’s Sweetheart walks you through exactly how to do it.

Gold dipped candles

DIY Fall Centerpiece from Place of My Taste
Instead of putting those wine bottles from last weekend’s pumpkin carving party in the recycling bin, give them a good scrubbing and turn them into your gold fall decor!

Studded Chalk Paint Pumpkins from Cuckoo4Design
These could possibly be some of our favorites when it comes to gold fall decor. We love the edgy look and feel of these studded pumpkins… literally. Keep these gorgeous, sharp, pumpkins out of the reach of your toddlers!

DIY Gold Leaf Pine Cone Garland from The Sweetest Occasion
Withsuch a pretty, delicate touch of gold, these pine cones can be turned into a garland, as shown, or used in decor around your home for fall.

Which gold fall decor idea is your favorite?
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PicMonkey Collage3

I am lucky. I have my dad in my life and we have a great relationship. Today, he’s on his way to being a second time grandpa and is as proud as can be. As I watch him with my son, I think back to all the fun we had together when I was small.

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I was one of three children – but I was the only girl, which made me extra special. I remember going on errands with him alone. It was our special time to hang out and I’d get treated to pretty much anything I wanted. Yep, a little spoiled, but I was daddy’s girl. He’d always buy me Skittles – one of my favorite candies to this day. But our favorite spot was the car wash. We’d go together on Sundays, and watch as our green Cutlass Supreme went through the machines, which at the time seemed larger than life and louder than anything I had ever heard. The adventure was always topped off with a hotdog (relish and mustard please) and an Orange Bang.

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It’s the little things that stay in our memories even to adulthood. And with this I want to wish my dad a Happy Father’s Day, for all that he is and all that he continues to be in my life. Love you Papa!

Want to do the same for your dad? Check out Cardstore.com, a site that knows everyone’s dad is unique and let’s you tailor your Father’s Day cards to suite your own style.  Making the perfect card, for any occasion, is simple.  Just create your custom cards by adding personal photos, personalized messaging and your signature. Then, Cardstore will print, stamp and send the card for you!

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And, you still have time to enter Cardstore.com’s Pin It for Papa Contest. Visit their Pinterest page and post pics of you and your dad (or grandfather) and you could win a $300 grand prize. 

Moms, what are your favorite childhood memories of dad?

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post.  All my savvy thoughts and sassy opinions are my own.

 

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Easter party ideas

Easter is one of my daughter’s favorite holidays! I enjoy throwing beautiful parties on a budget. I shop at thrift stores, garage sales, I recycle when possible, and make a lot of the decorations myself.  This cute Easter party is something you can do yourself! I created a backdrop behind the desserts table with curly ribbon. The Easter banner is made with scrapbook paper and glitter around each letter.


The pretty Easter tree I used as a centerpiece is from Potterybarnkids.com. The sweets on the table were kept to a minimum and no cake. I bought some carrot mini cupcakes at the store. Baking is not my talent. I used favor boxes, bags and paper straws from CakesandKids.com.

 

 

I made pink lemonade and placed the jars on a cute stand from Cupcake-Stand.com.  The Easter invitation, tags, labels and party circles were designed by Christine from Desserts & Designs.  I have boxes full of ribbon scraps. I was able to put together the ribbon garland hanging on the table. I simply made knots on a piece of ribbon.

The kids table was kept simple with a paper tablecloth. The centerpiece was a find at a garage sale. I made the picket fence box for less than $5. I used some bunnies from my Easter decor. I made the table runner as well. The hanging balloons added a little fun and we pretended they were colored “eggs” hanging down. The girls loved it!

My daughters wore a gorgeous custom t-shirt from Modern Frills Clothing. I made their flip flops with ribbon scraps as well.

Beba Photography took the gorgeous pictures of this party!

Nancy Pfeifer is a talented mom and party planner from Arizona and founder of A to Zebra Celebrations and MyPartyIsOver.com, a place for everyone who loves to recycle and reuse party decor. She loves planning parties for her two daughters!  Follow Nancy on Facebook and Twitter.

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There’s a fire in the fireplace… lights on the tree… and (for you non-California readers) snow on the ground. Holiday cheer abounds, but why not add just a little extra special something with some fun holiday printables? From gift tags to cupcake toppers, this roundup has free festive flair for you to download and deck the halls with!

Allison Owen Design made adorable Christmas postcards using the fun new font Skunkling

Washi-inspired tags from The Sweetest Occasion

Holiday Printables

Spruce up your mailing labels with these from Up Up Creative

Holiday Printables

Get Merry, Mod & Bright with HWTM’s set

Have a happy Hanukkah with this set from Peonies & Poppyseeds

Check out this mini Hanukkah printable set from yours truly!

Handdrawn cheer abounds in these tags from Domestifluff

A great old school-style set from Ellinee- love the traditional look!

Adorable Hello!Lucky gift tags via How About Orange

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