May 11, 2017

ONecklace Review & Mother's Day Gift Idea

Every now & then I get some awesome opportunities to be able to review some fun items and share them all with you!!
Today is one of those days!!

I get to share all the loveliness that can be found at ONecklace.
If you can remember back far enough, I did a review on one of their personalized Mother's necklaces a couple years ago & I can now tell you that after a couple years of wearing it, it's still in gorgeous shape & I wear it a LOT. The chain has held up beautifully & there's no tarnishing or wear showing at all. 
You can read more about my last review here

This time around I wanted to share another beautiful & meaningful Mother's necklace that I just instantly fell in love with as well as one of their gorgeous cuff bracelets

First up, let's talk about my new favorite necklace :) 

Yes, you're seeing it right- it's actually a whole little set. 
ONecklace has the BEST Mother/Daughter section on their site that is full of amazing pieces that you can share with your mini me! 

If your little girl is anything like my two, then you know they love matching their mama! 
And my two year old will look for any excuse to wear a new necklace!!! 

I can see these sets being amazing keepsakes as they grow older. 
Customize the tiny hearts with their initial & choose what size chain you need for your mini & you're all set. 

The packaging is darling too, so bonus points for that! 

Now little miss wants to wear our 'matches' everywhere :) 

The set we are wearing is their Floating Hearts Initial Mother/Daughter set. 
You can find it here

They were the perfect size for both of us- I chose the 18" rolo chain and Little Miss is wearing the 'child size'. I ordered the youth size for my ten year old daughter. 

Next up, let's talk my second most favorite jewelry obsession: bracelets. 

ONecklace has a beautiful array of personalized bracelets you can choose from. 
I love to stack bracelets so I know I"ll be needing a couple more in different styles soon :) 

I've been wanting a bracelet with a special date on it forever so this was perfect!
I chose the Roman Numeral Bangle with the date when my husband and I went on our first date after we found each other again. 

I was pleasantly surprised at how high quality it looked & felt. It was engraved clearly and is a tad thicker than most engraved bangles I have seen. I love that it'll pair with so many other things I already have- gotta love stacking :) 

And of course, they go perfectly together!

I've already worn them both several times and know they will be some well-worn pieces in the future. Little Miss doesn't ever want to take hers off so we'll see how that goes :) 

These are the PERFECT gifts for all kinds of occasions- Hubbys, be sure to check them out for Mother's Day ideas & they'd be perfect for anniversaries too! 

Personalize a bangle with your wedding date, date of your first kiss or snag a latitude/longitude bangle with the coordinates to somewhere special you both share. 

And you can't go wrong with a simple monogram necklace either. They have several styles to choose from! 

Some of my most treasured pieces of jewelry are the ones that are given with a special meaning behind it. The pieces at ONecklace make it easy to create personalized, one of a kind gifts that your loved one will cherish for years to come!

I know we will. 

Be sure to check them out at & snag some pieces with their great Mother's Day Sale going on now!

These pieces were provided for review. No compensation was received. The honest opinions are my own . I really, really love their items! 

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May 02, 2017

Green & Black Nerf Birthday Party {With FREE Printables!}

If you've stuck around the blog at all for the past couple years, then you know that right around this time of year is always when I start posting birthday party posts!

One of my favorite things ever during the year is planning and putting on a fun birthday party just for my son. He comes up with the theme and then we both work on coming up with fun ideas for it to bring it to life! And this year had to be extra 'cool' because he was turning double digits. 

It took him a while to come up with the theme for this year because he still likes a lot of the same things from previous parties. 
We did Harry Potter last year. 
And apparently I failed to post our epic Pokemon birthday party. (I'll fix that soon!)

And to be honest, the Harry Potter party was SO much fun last year that we had a hard time thinking anything could top it. 

But this party ended up being fun in completely it's own way!
And thankfully the weather held off just enough to keep it cold & misty but NOT raining. Hallelujah. 

Want to check out our awesome Nerf Gun party & Obstacle Course? 
If you're here for the printables, be sure to scroll all the way down for instructions on how to print & what you can get :) 

The table set-up was fairly easy because it needed to be rustic, thrown-together & natural looking. With bursts of green & black of course :) 

The green & black crates were in the party section at Hobby Lobby & were the perfect sizes to fill up with snacks! I added vinyl & DIY transparency rub-ons to them to make them into mini ammo crates. 

For a quick tutorial on doing your own rub-ons, find it here

And you'll find the cute food tags as free printables at the bottom of this post :) 

Our foods consisted of: 

-TNT bundles (licorice with a printable wrapped around them)
-Gunpowder (Pixie Sticks) 
-Land Mines (Cheez-It Crackers) 
-Ammunition (Olives & Jelly Beans) 
-Orange Grenades (Cuties) 
-Brownie Bombs (Brownie Bites) 
-Green Gatorade & Water for the "Hydration Station" 
-Explosives (PopRocks- these were the favors and I forgot to get a picture of them- boo!)  

The "Mess Hall" sign was the focal point of the table set-up and was made with just a scrap piece of barn wood I had. 
I used my wood frame from my fall mantle for the back-drop for it and the black target sign. 

The black target sign was made from a repurposed cabinet door. And the ammo crate I've had for nearly 10 years now- it's one of my most favorite flea market finds! And, hello, it was made for this party. 

The cake was done by a seriously talented friend of mine. 
And the banners were quickly made from scrapbook paper and -get this- neon green tubing from some random jump ropes I found at the Dollar Store. Awesome, right? 

Another fun part was creating a 'Gear' and "Armory" Station. 
We used an old spool to pile up some of my brother's and Dad's Air Force items, plane specs, camo face paint, hair spray, bandanas and other needed 'gear' to set the playing field. 

We built an armory out of a scrap piece of pegboard and some 1x2s. I did a quick 'grey-wash' over the 1x2's to bypass having to stain them and still give them that rugged look. The pegboard got a coat of green paint. 

BONUS for the fact that now we have great Nerf-Gun storage at home. We're hanging the armory in the garage to hold all the guns & ammo. A mini black crate hangs on two pegs and holds a bunch of the ammo. 

Hubby gets ALL the credit (well, and dad too!) for creating the obstacle course!
He used hay bales and scrap wood for barriers & cover during the Nerf Gun war. 
We used pre-existing things like the Treehouse and playhouse for perfect vantage points. 

He also got super creative and created a ropes course to crawl through and under! 
These were such a hit!!

I created a few small games (again, no pictures- what??!) with jumbo army men from the dollar store and a ladder. Set the army men up & down the ladder and let the littler kids have some target practice away from the craziness!!

They also had a kids vs. dads Tug of War competition that was a hit. 

It was such a blast and the misty, muddy weather kinda made it even better!! 

Happy 10th birthday, little man! I sure love making fun parties happen for you!!!!

In case you were dying to know what free prints I have for you, here's the run-down: 

-Free Blank Nerf Invites
-Party Food Tags (Filled out and blank!) 
-TNT bundle print
-Caution: Explosives print (I folded these and stapled over Pop Rocks for favors!) 

Check each download out below & the tips on how I printed them. 

Tips: I printed these in Word, inserted each photo into the document and sized to about a wallet size so that I could get a bunch on one piece of paper.
Then I printed on white cardstock, cut and tied to each of my crates. 
Use the blank one in the download below to add your own wording/names. 

For the TNT bundles, print as 'wallet size' and MAKE SURE to uncheck the box 'fit to size' so it stays long. Cut, wrap around your licorice bundles & tape to secure. 

 Nerf Food: Gunpowder

Nerf Food: Land Mines

Nerf Gun Food: TNT Bundles Label

Tips: These are made to fit 5x7 sized invitations. Download your 'blank' invite below & fill in the missing info with fonts/information of your choice. 
If you'd like to add the same font, upload your photo to and use the font "Rokkit' for the body of the invite. 
Print on white cardstock for best results. 
Colors may vary depending on computer screen/printer you are using. 


 I hope you enjoy your free prints & all the fun pictures from our party!!
Happy Tuesday friends!!

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April 10, 2017

Easter Mantle 2017

Does it seem like anyone else that Easter has taken forever to get here this year? 
I kept seeing past Easter pictures in my Timehop and thought it was crazy that Easter seemed so far away!!!

Maybe it's a good thing though because I actually got an Easter mantle up this year and I can count on one hand the times I've actually specifically decorated for Easter. 
Usually I just get Spring up and add in a few eggs for a week or so :) 

Here's my simple little Easter set-up this year...

I wanted it to seem crisp & light with a few natural touches. 

The pink mirror was a $10 Goodwill find that I spruced up with some light pink paint for a party recently. It was the perfect centerpiece!

I've never used pink on the mantle before so I thought it was fun to add in since it'd only be up for a couple weeks. 

The ombre egg banner was a super easy DIY with some wooden eggs I picked up at JoAnns. I got 8 for $2. 
I painted them first with the dark teal and then lightly brushed a lighter aqua over the tops for a fun ombre look. 
They'd be cute strung across a wreath too! 

The cross splatter art was my favorite and was so fun to do!!!

The cross was a DIY project from several years ago that I had originally done with a very rustic look. You can find the tutorial here on how I made it. 

I wanted to lighten things up but didn't want to make a new cross (I know, I know) so I painted it white.
I can always go back and distress it later :) 

I used a bunch of colors I had lying around, wrapped the cross in saran wrap to keep it clean and then just drizzled and splattered the paint all around it until it looked the way I wanted! 
The kids got in on the action too and created some drip art with scraps of wood I had lying around! 

Perfect for a family art activty :) 

The wooden bunny & bird were the only newbies I found and brought in this year (as far as buying things) and I love the lighter distressed wood look they had. 

I basically found the dirtiest, grossest cabinet door in my stash to make this sign, guys. 
I think I've been avoiding it because of how bad it was. 
But I've always hung on to it because I loved the shape & size. 
PLUS it had layers of some light blue paint underneath it's original off-white so I HAD to use it at some point. 

I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned. 
Then I painted it white, splashed a little more blue on it & lightly distressed it. 
Then added my lettering on in a pretty hammered gold. 

Once the big items were situated, I filled in with some smaller things like the bird nests, animals, and then filled out the ends with a couple taller pieces. 

I love the fresh, clean look & the pops of pink!!
Have you guys decorated for Easter this year? 

Hope you guys have a great pre-Easter week and get a chance to love on some family & remember what a blessing this holiday is in light of what our Savior has done for us! 
Love you guys :) 

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March 30, 2017

{Thinking Therapeutically Thursday} DIY Alphabet Fishing Game

I am baaaack and ready to share a super fun DIY that just so happens to fall perfectly into Thinking Therapeutically Thursday- so I decided to combine the two! 

These are seriously SO cute and would be the perfect addition to an Easter basket in case you were looking for some unique DIY ideas :) 

If you missed the introduction of this new segment, I'd love for you to pop over & check it out here!! 
In the last post, I shared a fun way to incorporate hand & upper body strengthening exercises into your daily routine with your kids. 

Today I thought I'd share another fun game I created that goes in the same realm as handwriting/letters but focuses more on the visual motor area of it all. 

And it's super cute to boot :) 

I was inspired to make these cute little alphabet/number fish when the therapy clinic I used to work at somehow ended up with a plastic kiddie pool that just sat around and didn't really serve a purpose. 
Since it was close to summertime, I thought it'd be fun to create a fun game that used the pool (since the kids were obsessed with that thing). 

Here's the skills this game can help work on: 
Visual motor Skills
(such as visual scanning, pattern/color recognition) 
Visual memory
 (remembering where a letter goes in the alphabet and placing it)
Hand eye coordination
(using the fishing pole to grab each magnetized fish)
Letter recognition
Postural control
Sensory skills (use different textures on your fish to work on tactile experiences!) 

And so many more depending on how you set it up!! 

First, let's talk about making your own version. 

Supplies needed: 
Felt in various colors
Magnets (mine were from Hobby Lobby)
Hot Glue Gun
Fabric (if desired to decorate the fish)
Mini Buttons or sequins (for eyes)
Wooden dowels (Hobby Lobby) 
Washi Tape (optional) 

To make the fish, I simply drew a fish pattern onto a piece of paper until I had the shape I wanted. 
Then I used that template to draw the fish design over & over again on my colored felt. 
I chose different colors to a) make it more fun and b) to work on color recognition/patterns, etc. 

For a sensory component, throw in soft/hard, scratchy/feathery, etc. 
For a child struggling to write their letters/numbers, use puffy paint or chipboard letters on your fish and have them trace each letter as they fish it out- this will allow them some to use a sensory strategy to help remember how they are formed. 

Trace your fish shapes until you have enough to make one fish for each letter in the alphabet or however many numbers you want. 
You will need two fish shapes per each fish so if you're making just the uppercase alphabet, you'll need 52 fish shapes! 

After tracing, cut each shape out with fabric scissors. 
You'll have a nice, colorful pile of felt fish at this point!

To assemble each fish, place a small magnet in between two fish shapes and glue around the perimeter of the shape with your hot glue gun. Press together carefully. 
At this point, you'll have one entire fish that isn't decorated yet. But your magnet is placed inside between the shapes :) 

After assembling all your fish, go ahead & have fun decorating them. 
I added eyes & fins with scrap fabric & mini buttons to create more colors/patterns for each of them. 
Have fun with it! 

On the backside of the fish, free-hand or stencil each letter of the alphabet with a sharpie.

After creating all your fun fish, start working on your fishing poles.
I made two for my game so both me and the child could play if desired.

For a more decorative look, I wrapped washi tape around before attaching the twine. 
Then, I simply tied a piece of twine around one end of the dowel and used a dot of hot glue to adhere it into place. 

To attach the magnet, I took two of my round magnets, placed the end of the twine in between them and added hot glue in between to adhere them together. 

Now you're ready to go fishing!!

Scatter your fish into an empty kiddie pool or on the ground and get at it. 

If you want a cute way to contain it all, grab a small fish bowl or candy bowl and throw them in their own little aquarium. I used vinyl to add a cute label on the front- this super pink & girly version happens to be for my toddler. The version I use at work is more primary colors :) 

There are so many different variations on how to play depending on what skills you're wanting to work on most. 

Here are a few variations I like to do & what they focus on: 

1. Eye/hand coordination & handwriting: 
Scatter your fish with the letters facing down, have the child use the fishing pole (while either standing or kneeling by the pool) to grab a fish. Once they've grabbed a fish, have them copy that letter onto a dry erase board. You can choose to have them copy uppercase letters, lowercase or both! For a little more of a challenge, have them write a word starting with the letter they caught onto the board. 

2. Visual scanning/Core strengthening: 
Scatter your fish, letters side UP, around the floor in an open area. Have the child use a scooterboard or various animal walks (crab walk, all fours, etc) to find the letters in order. Have them find one letter at a time and bring them back to you or place in a bucket on the opposite side of the room.
This encourages them to use visual scanning skills while searching for each letter and works on core strengthening by using their upper arms/bodies to maneuver to/from each letter. 

3. Color recognition/sorting: 
For younger kids, have them start out playing by just fishing and then sorting them into colors as they catch them. Lay colored sheets of paper near where you are working and, as they catch each fish, put each fish in their correct color category. Say the letters aloud with them as they catch them and you could even have them trace the letter with their finger as they are putting them in their category to start recognizing the alphabet. 

4. Sensory: Tactile Exploration
For a sensory component, throw in soft/hard, scratchy/feathery, etc. 

For a child struggling to write their letters/numbers, use puffy paint or chipboard letters on your fish and have them trace each letter as they fish it out- this will allow them some to use a sensory strategy to help remember how they are formed. Utilizing different ways other than just rote writing will help with children that learn in a more hands-on, interactive way. 

Let me know if you have any specific questions on it! 
I'd love to hear your thoughts & feedback as we continue with our Therapy Thursday posts :) 

Have a great week friends!! 

**Remember when reading/implementing these activities that all children are different and I'm merely giving broad suggestions that can apply to many different diagnoses/situations.**

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