Your Beach Bag

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It’s beach season and packing up your bag to catch some sun and enjoy the cool breeze off of the ocean is on everyone’s minds. Forgetting something at home can be disastrous if it is something like your sunscreen or simply annoying if it is that extra towel that you need at the end of the day. If you pack your bag with preparation in mind then you will have everything you need for the perfect beach day.


As was mentioned above, sunscreen is of the utmost importance. You will most certainly sweat off some of it and if you plan on getting in the water then reapplication is a must. The sun can be incredibly damaging to your skin so protecting it is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. Be sure to grab facial sunscreen as well as sunscreen for your body so that you are fully protected. If you have thinner hair or an area of your scalp that is susceptible to the sun make sure you don’t forget to rub a little bit on the exposed part.


Next you want to think about your accessories. Sunglasses are a must to protect your eyes. Don’t forget to bring enough towels for everyone, but also bring an extra towel or two as well in case you need it. If you are going to want to listen to music bring a portable speaker that will connect with your phone or if you plan on reading a book or magazine stash that in your bag as well.


Finally, bring some bottled water and a few snacks for yourself. Although there may be places to eat along the beach, you never know when you will get a bit hungry or thirsty.  It’s nice to know that you have refreshments available if the need arises.


Now that your bag is ready to go, head out to the beach and enjoy the beautiful weather. Nothing beats a summer day by the ocean, relaxing and being outside!

Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad Leftovers Repurposed!

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A few weeks ago we mentioned our Sweet Potato & Quinoa Salad and how this fantastic meal is a great way to keep your family full and healthy. But it is a recipe that is also a gift that keeps on giving. There are several ways to retool this recipe with the leftovers so that you can make sure nothing goes to waste, and to cut down on dinner’s cook time for the day after!


One great way to do this is to take the quinoa salad and spoon however much you prefer on to a flour tortilla. You want to then fold one side over the salad, fold the bottom up and then fold the last side over. This will create a burrito for you. You can eat this chilled from the leftovers being in the refrigerator, but you can also warm it in the microwave for a minute and a half to warm it up. Remove the burrito from the microwave oven and let it cool some before digging in! This can be repeated for as many of your family members as you need.


Another variant on this is to use the tortilla to create your own quesadilla. You spoon your desired amount of the salad onto the tortilla and fold over in half. There are two ways to cook this. You could use a frying pan to lightly brown the tortilla on the outside and warm the contents on the inside. Another way to cook this is to use a Panini press to cook the quesadilla. This is a great option if you are short on time because you can set your tortilla down and let the press do its work while you handle other tasks in the kitchen such as set up for dinner or cleaning some of the dishes.


Finally, simplicity is sometimes best. Reheating the salad and serving it to your family is a great way to reuse the leftovers. You could also bring the leftovers into lunch at work the next day, a great alternative to going out to eat and a healthy alternative to vending machine snacks!


Any way you reuse your leftovers, you will have the added benefit of healthy ingredients and efficient use of your time. Not having to cook dinner the next night because your leftovers can be repurposed in a way that makes your family happy can be super useful during busy weeks.

Fun Facts About Saint Patrick’s Day To Stimulate Learning In a Child’s Mind

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The best way to help kids learn is to exercise their brains in fun and entertaining ways. One of the hallmarks of youths is the ease with which they are “wowed”! Toss a few mind boggling facts in the direction of a child and watch their interest spike. You’re likely to hear the response, “No way!”  To which you can respond “Yes way! And you know what else…”

Use this list to finish that sentence and watch as you kiddo’s brain goes into overdrive with astonishment, questions and exclamations.

  • The four leaf clover is thought to represent hope, faith, love, and luck. There are about 10,000 three-leaf clovers for every 1 four-leaf clover!
  • Horseshoes should always be hung with the opening at the top – or all of the luck will pour out!
  • The city of Chicago dyes the entire Chicago River GREEN to celebrate the holiday
  • Leprechauns, according to Irish folklore, are cranky fairies who mend shoes for other fairies. They use trickery and mischief to protect their treasures. Myth has it that if you can catch one he is obligated to grant you three wishes!
  • Within the walls of a castle in Ireland is The Blarney Stone, and it is thought to grant magical powers to those who kiss it. As a result millions of people have kissed it!
  • New York has hosted its annual St. Patrick’s Day parade nearly 300 times and it is the longest running people parade in the world. It currently boasts 200,000 marchers and 1 million watchers!
  • The longest name of a place in Ireland is Muckanaghederdauhaulia. That’s 22 letters! Sure gives Mary Poppin’s famous song some serious competition!
  • Nineteen U.S. presidents stated Irish heritage, and of the 56 people who signed the Declaration of Independence, nine were of Irish origin!If you have a child who is old enough to partake in a bit of a game, add questions to the facts and ask his or her reply. Such as:

    “Do you think Mary Poppins could sing Muckanaghederdauhaulia in a song? Can you? Let’s hear it!”

    “What three wishes would you ask of the leprechaun?”

    “Are horseshoes really for horses?”

    You get the idea! Have fun! Their responses are usually priceless.

Sweet Potato & Quinoa Salad

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This time of year there is nothing like a warm, hearty meal to fill you up and leave you satisfied. But what if you could get all of those things out of a healthy salad that is packed with a great source of protein in quinoa and the nutritious and filling flavor of sweet potatoes?

The great thing about this dish is that there will almost certainly be leftovers for your lunches throughout the week and they work great as a quick and easy work lunch. This salad will taste just as good whether you choose to heat it back up or eat it chilled.

To create your own take on this salad feel free to remove any vegetables that you don’t like and add in any that you want to. The vegetables that really make the dish are the sweet potatoes, tomatillos and fresh cilantro, but beyond that experimentation is encouraged! The best part about cooking is that it is fun and you can be versatile with your food.

Total Prep Time: One Hour

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • a block of cotija cheese
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • a few handfuls of arugala
  • 1 bunch of chopped cilantro (use what you prefer for strength of taste)
  • 2-3 tomatillos
  • 1-2 bell peppers
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 medium red onion

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of chipotle chile powder
  • drizzle of maple syrup (honey can substitute)

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cube the sweet potatoes, add olive oil and salt and toss. Then lay these flat on baking sheets and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until lightly browned.
  2. While the sweet potatoes are baking, chop up all vegetables and set these aside.
  3. Whisk all of the dressing ingredients together. Feel free to experiment with the spices in the dressing to taste to your liking.
  4. When the sweet potatoes are finished toss everything together in a large salad bowl. Crumble the cotija cheese and mix this into the salad. Serve immediately.

How To Create Classy Custom Rhinestone Designs on Clothing

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For those who love sparkle on all of their clothes it’s challenging to find plenty of options! Even if you enjoy glitz in smaller measures, it’s rare to find something with sophistication. There is always the craft store, where you will find predesigned iron-press designs and large adhesive sheets for making a big design in one shot. However, rhinestones often look prettiest when applied as a smattering, as if a fashionable fairy just stopped by for a quick visit to sprinkle some glimmer. To accomplish this on your own you must simply set aside lots of time and patience because you are going to be applying them one by one! It’s worth it though because the result looks classy and professional, and no two designs are alike. This technique also allows you to put them on delicate fabrics since you can control the application (test it on an inconspicuous area.)


Hot-Fix rhinestones. An absolute must! They will say Hot Fix on the package. Rhinestones are sold by size and they’re referred to as SS. 10ss, 20ss, 30ss, etc. As a general guideline 10ss is tiny and 30ss is great for some obvious glamour without looking oversized.

Rhinestone Setter – Hot Fix Applicator. Looks kind of like a wand and it will have interchangeable tips to accommodate various size rhinestones.

Rhinestone tweezers and triangle tray. These ensure you don’t go crazy chasing stones across the table and trying to flip them over. This tray magically allows you to gently shake stones and flip them over. Tweezers for rhinestones allow you to pick them up individually and maintain a grip until they’re exactly where you want them.

Craft Mat –This is a paper-thin mat that rolls up and it’s heat resistant. (Great for lots of other projects too!)

The tools are the most important part! Now just get to work. Lay the part of the garment you’re going to rhinestone on the mat and hold in place. Pick up a stone with the tweezers and place it. Use hot wand and place the tip on top of the stone. Depending on the thickness of the fabric, hold for 10-20 seconds. Use the top side of the tweezers to press and set it. Rhinestone tweezers even have divot specifically for this purpose. Now move on to the next stone. You might want to put on a movie or video-call a friend because you’re going to be busy for awhile. But result will be gorgeous, handmade, and unique!

Winter Crafts for Kids

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As the days start to get shorter, kids can start to feel bored and pent up indoors, particularly when the holidays end and schedules return to normal. When this happens, consider making some fun winter crafts that you can use to brighten up your house and make it a little more cheerful inside. Depending on when you start, you can even use a few of these as decorations over the holiday, or save them for next year to put them out and get some additional use out of them.

Painted Pinecones

Create some beautiful winter decorations with pinecones and some iridescent paint medium. Iridescent medium can be applied to the pinecone spines just like paint. When it dries, however, the medium becomes transparent, leaving behind only a sparkling shine that makes it look as though the pinecones have been left outside in the frost. You can also add the medium to any paint to make your blues, reds, and greens sparkle as well. Tie a ribbon onto the ends of your finished pinecones and use them as ornaments, or hang them in the windows to catch the light.

Salty Snow Scene

This is a fun craft for with children who enjoy the process of watching an almost magical change in their handiwork.  Have your kids draw a snowman or other winter picture on a piece of heavy construction paper. Make sure that they do not cover all the areas of the paper with crayon; some of the paper needs to stay bare for the effect to work.

Dissolve a cup of Epsom salts into two cups of warm water; this needs to be fairly thick and heavy when you are done mixing. Have your child paint the salt water over the finished drawing. When the water dries, it will leave behind salt crystals on the paper that will make it look as though it has been snowing in their scene. If you’d like, you can also add a drop or two of blue food coloring to the water to give the entire picture an icy blue sheen to it at the same time.

Wall Decoration Ideas for Playrooms

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If you’re fortunate enough to have a designated playroom in your home, you know how beneficial this area can be. Playrooms can give you a place to organize your kids’ art supplies and toys, and gives them a place to engage in free play. Because you want this space to inspire creativity in your kids, you’ve probably put a lot of thought into the colors, patterns, and layout of the room. So make sure that your wall decorations follow the same path and try using one of these fun ideas.

Chalkboard Paint

Give your kids the ability to write on the walls without consequence with some chalkboard paint. Try painting the lower half of the walls with the chalkboard paint and a bold color up above. This allows your kids to have some fun coloring right on the walls and decorating the room with their own ideas. A lighter color up above ensures the room doesn’t get too dark.

Wall Quotes

Do your kids have a favorite song or TV show? If so, take a few lines and add them to the walls as a quote. Vinyl wall stickers are available in a wide range of colors and scripts that you can use to add text to the walls. And if they fall out of love with the saying, you can easily take it down again and replace it with something new.

Murals and Characters

If your kids enjoy imaginary play, consider turning one wall of the room into a mural that mirrors their ideas. An undersea world, space scene, or even a princess castle gives them a backdrop to their play and lets them position toys and furnishings in front of it for the best effect.

You can also find a variety of different vinyl wall stickers in your kids’ favorite characters and themes, so you can add some playful color and imagination to any wall of the room – even if you don’t want to commit to a full mural or to the permanency of paint.

How To Design and Make a Custom Headboard Featuring Your Favorite Photography – Part 4

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Part 4:  Photo Selection and Hanging the Photos

Whew! The labor intensive part of the project is done. It’s time to spend an afternoon admiring photography you love and framing it.


Decide which photos will go in which frames, and then order prints to size. We highly recommend that you print low resolution test copies on your home printer to be sure they will fit in the frame the way that you envision. Once you’re ready to print, you can do so on your home printer. We recommend ordering them because the cost is low, the ink is colorfast, and you can typically pick them up in as little as an hour. If you intend to use superior quality prints just be sure to plan for the additional time it will take for them to be processed. 

Not sure which photos to use? You don’t necessarily have to use photos of people you know. You can base the photos on a theme such as nature, travel, or art. Let your imagination run wild!


Refer back to your sketch to determine placement. Avoid the temptation to hang everything in one section before moving on.  The outcome will be most successful if you move around the headboard area while hanging the pictures so that any small errors in placement are undetectable when you’re done.  You can hang them with nails if you like, but the frames will tend to shift and move. Damage free adhesive tabs work well. They’re two sided. One side attaches to the wall, the other to the back of the frame and they secure in place with super strong Velcro. They also remove from the wall cleanly if you need to change things or correct a mistake.


You’re done! Make the bed and admire your creation. It wasn’t easy, but as we said at the beginning, it’s well worth it. You now have a one-of-a-kind headboard that will serve as an impressive and expressive focal point in your bedroom.


PART 1: The concept and supply list

PART 2: Preparation and Framing the Headboard

PART 3: Paint and Attach, Picture Frame Layout 

How To Design and Make a Custom Headboard Featuring Your Favorite Photography – Part 3

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Family

Part 3:  Paint and Attach, Picture Frame Layout


Paint two coats minimum inside the frame you drew on the wall with the pencil. It’s important to use a color different from the rest of the wall so that the headboard looks like a feature separate from the wall. If desired, paint the molding. No need to paint the back, just the parts that will be visible.

After all the paint is dry, attach the molding to the wall. Ask someone to help you hold all three pieces in place first. Stand back and make sure all the lines are straight and even. One piece at a time, run a line of wood glue down the center of the molding, place it against the wall, and ask someone to hold it while you use small nails to secure it in place. You now have the frame of your headboard. Put your bed back in place with just a sheet on it so you can proceed with the project. 

Gather various picture frames. Standing at the foot of the bed, lay them on the bed and use it as the template for the headboard. Arrange and rearrange the frames as many times as necessary until you have a configuration that pleases you. We encourage you to situate them as if they were a collage, but if you’re a fan of modern décor you can try rows or columns. Once you love it, sketch the layout you’ve created on a piece of paper so you can refer to it when it’s time to hang the pictures.

NEXT READ PART 4: Photo Selection and Hanging the Photos


PART 1: The concept and supply list

PART 2: Preparation and Framing the Headboard 

How To Design and Make a Custom Headboard Featuring Your Favorite Photography – Part 2

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Family

Part 2:  Preparation and Framing the Headboard

Now that you have all of your supplies, let’s dive in.


With the bed in place, use a pencil and yard stick (or straight edge) to draw the outlines of the headboard frame on the wall. This is where the molding will be attached to the wall. Ensure that it is a bit wider than the mattress so the bed sits within the dimensions of the headboard, and that it is high enough. If you’re bed isn’t yet on a bed frame, prop it up on four blocks that will raise it to the height it will eventually be. Otherwise your custom headboard will be too low. Also give considerations to the framed photography. The frames need to hang higher than where your pillows rest when the bed is made, as well as when you are sitting up in bed. 


Move the bed out of the room. Measure all three sides of the frame you drew and use the dimensions to cut the molding. You’ll have two symmetrical pieces on each side and a long piece across the top. To make it look like an actual frame, miter cut the edges where the boards meet. Choose a design that coordinates well with the rest of the room. If you want to paint it, buy wood molding. If black or white will work, MDF molding comes ready-made in those colors.

NEXT READ PART 3: Paint & Attach, Picture Frame Layout

GO BACK AND READ PART 1: The concept and supply list