Make Dishwasher Safe Glitter Mugs

Perfect for the holidays or gift giving!

Christmas Bird House

Make candy inspired bird houses for your holiday mantel.

DIY Pretend Doctor Kit

Make a functional pretend doctor kit for your favorite little ones.

Farm Girl Apron Tutorial

Turn old jeans into a cute gardening apron with this tutorial.

Glittered Bulb Ornaments

Sparkle with easy but impressive bulb ornaments!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Creative Green Living's Favorite Gifts for 3-4 Year Old Boys

This post may contain affiliate links.


Need gifts for a little boy in your life? Gifts recommended by Creative Green Living inspire imaginative play, teach or meet a need in a fun way. Of course many of these gifts make great girl gifts as well (no gender discrimination here!). Just click the photo or text link below it for more information or to get to the tutorial (for hand made gifts)!

Shopping for Christmas? It's not too late to shop online when you use Amazon Prime and their free two day shipping! Click the orange banner to sign up for a FREE 30 day trial of Amazon Prime and get all your last minute gift shopping done online!


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Gifts Under $10





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Make Durable Children's Artwork Christmas Ornaments



Preserving child artwork in ornament form can be tricky since paper easily crumples and wrinkles. Using shrink paper to make ornaments, though. Now that's a great idea! Let your kids go to town drawing and decorating and then shrink their creations down to small, durable, plastic ornaments perfect for hanging on the tree or giving as gifts to loved ones.


Supplies

  • Shrink Film (think DIY Shrinky Dinks)
  • Permanent markers
  • Hole punch
  • Thin ribbon
  • Cookie sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Oven
Some of the links in my supply lists may be affiliate links. 


Directions

Find my tutorial online at Pentel's Blog: Artwork Holiday Ornaments with Kids


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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Ladies' Downton Abbey Tea Party- and GIVEAWAY

This post is brought to you by World Market.
Photos by Niina Downey and Carissa Bonham.


If you follow me on social media, you may have seen me talk about my love for Downton Abbey or seen pictures of the weekly tea parties my best friend, Niina, and I had last season as we watched the new episodes each week. This year, thanks to World Market, we were able to significantly up our tea party game. 

I wrote earlier about the Downton Abbey Shop at World Market stores. I hit up my local Portland, OR store right before Thanksgiving and picked up everything I needed to host a super fancy tea party - tea cups, a tea pot and treat server. Plus exclusive Downton inspired treats like organic scone baking mix and black currant jam

Thursday, December 18, 2014

15 Easy Christmas Ornaments to Make with Kids



Crafting with kids is a special thing. You want to share your love of craft. They like making things. How do you combine these two without wanting to pull out your hair? The secret is to pick crafts that are easy enough for kids that they can do most of the driving and you can just relax and watch.

Here are 15 great Christmas ornaments that are perfect to make with kids due to ease and the short amount of time required to make them. All of these ornaments come with tutorials - so don't just look at the inspiration picture. Be sure to click the link or the photo to see the full list of supplies and instructions for each one. Now go out there and have fun!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Dollar Store Snow Ball Christmas Ornament



I love making Christmas Ornaments. So much that sometimes I worry that one year I'm going to run out of room on my tree to hang them up! This ornament was super easy to make and used materials from the dollar store so it's super affordable, too!


Supplies

Some of the links in my supply lists may be affiliate links. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

DIY Low Calorie Blended Coffee Recipe

This post is brought to you by Silk.

Everyone loves to get fancy coffee drinks at their favorite coffee shops but the price and calories can add up fast! Using the new Cashewmilk beverage from Silk, you can blend up your own Starbucks Inspired blended coffee - with entirely organic and Non-GMO ingredients and for only half the calories!

Cashewmilk is the latest offering from Silk and comes alongside some of my other favorite dairy alternative products such as their almond milk and holiday nog. While I usually prefer the sweetened, vanilla flavor of most alternative milks (like almond milk), for Silk's Cashewmilk, I preferred the unsweetened version both for things like poured over cold cereal and in blended recipes like this blended coffee drink!



Ingredients


Nutrition information is approximate and may vary based on the freshness and brand of your ingredients as well as measuring accuracy. Nutrition information calculated at: Calorie Count. Compare this recipe's ingredients to a Grande (16 ounce) Starbucks Frappuccino® which contains 240 calories,  3g of fat and 50g carbohydrates (source)

Directions

  1. Add the ice, coffee, pudding mix and Cashewmilk to a blender jar.
  2. Blend using the smoothie program OR pulse the blender to crush the ice and then blend on high until well combined.
  3. Serve in a tall glass with a paper straw. Top with whipped cream if desired.
As you can see the process is super easy and only takes a few minutes. I often have a hot cup of coffee in the morning and then use the cooled leftovers to make one of these in the afternoon.

You can also make difference versions of this recipe by trying the chocolate pudding mix instead of the vanilla one. Another favorite swap I make is Silk's Holiday Nog in place of the Cashewmilk for a festive treat reminiscent of an iced egg nog latte.



Whether you are a new or old fan of Silk products, sign up for their e-newsletter today to get an instant coupon as well as be entered in monthly giveaways. You can sign up here.

Have you tried the new Cashewmilk yet? If so, pop over and share your thoughts on Silk's Facebook fan page.

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This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

How to Make Recycled Christmas Wreath Ornaments and $50 Dollar Tree Gift Card GIVEAWAY

This post is brought to you by Dollar Tree.


I showed you yesterday how I redid my combo guest and kid bathroom. One of the things we did was took down the shower curtain bar and replaced it with sliding glass shower doors. That left me with a pile of shower curtain rings and no shower curtain to hang. I saved them because I was sure I could do something with them - and then when I saw this project from Dollar Tree's Value Seekers Club I was so glad I had!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Green Kids & Guest Bathroom Makeover

This post is brought to you by Delta.

We moved into our house almost 6 years ago and the bathroom at the top of the stairs has been neglected for just as long. Of course I had big plans when we first moved in but it just never happened. Finally, this year when I found out my sister was coming to visit for Thanksgiving, I got motivated to finally do something. I started with a neutral base and added bright colors and I love how it turned out - fun for the kids but still nice enough for guests.

Now, I could just show you the before and after picks and let you ooh and ahh with me. I would love to do that. I'm committed to discussing my experiences honestly, though, so the truth is that this was a bit of an adventure and I'm going to tell you all about it. Just want to see the pretty pictures? Scroll to the bottom.


Friday, December 5, 2014

Four Reasons Why Husbands Want Doulas - Even If They Don't Know It Yet!



When I told my husband I wanted a doula for the birth of our second child, Joe was more than a little hesitant. Even after he met my doula, Marta, he still wasn't sold. Not because he didn't like Marta - but because he still wasn't sure why I felt like a needed a doula if he was going to be present at the birth. 

After our baby was here, though (read my birth story here), things changed significantly and Joe has become the biggest advocate for doulas that I know. Each time we find out a pair of our friends is expecting, he immediately turns to the husband and says "You need to make sure you hire a doula for your wife - trust me."

Since Joe has become such a huge advocate of doulas, I asked him to write his thoughts down for me so he could share a husband or birth partner's perspective about why doulas were so beneficial to the birth process. If you are a husband or birth partner, I hope you find this to be beneficial. Please feel free to ask Joe questions in the comments as well!
-Carissa
~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  

Watching my wife endure pain is stressful for me. It's stressful for any guy. Especially when I can't fix it, don't know what's normal, don't know what's a problem, and don't know when to intervene and rescue. No matter how many birth videos, or birth books I may read, it all tends to go out the window when the person who is my emotional support system is screaming.

That is why every guy will thank themselves for getting a doula to help them through the birth process. A doula is a coach. A doula equals both convenience and peace of mind.

Here are my top four reasons why you, the husband, need to hire a doula.

1) Nurses and doctors will continually come and go, but a doula will stick around. Doctors operate on their own schedule but a doula is there for you through the whole process.

2) I can't rightly ask a doctor to help me and hand me a wet cloth to brush my wife's forehead, but I can ask the doula to help me. This is huge since many pain management techniques impair mobility of one or both partners.

3) When I feel like everything is chaos, the doula can say, "this is normal,” or  “try this." As the birthing expert, my wife will believe her before she believes me. This really helps both soon-to-be parents to let go of their worry and relax, which in turn helps labor progress.

4) With a doula present I felt at liberty to leave the room for a breather without feeling guilty. It might be to get a soda, use the bathroom, or just decompress with a brief lap around the ward. The point is my wife is not abandoned with no one to help her.


The saying goes that the first time the wife hires the doula, but the second time the husband does. Don't let the price tag make you blind to the help you both need. Many doulas will work out payment arrangements with you to help fit the cost more easily into your budget.

If you’re in the Portland, Oregon area, I highly recommend our doula, Marta of Dragonfly Doula. Do yourself a favor and get in touch with her or a doula in your part of the country today. You'll both be glad you did.


About the Author: 
Joe describes himself as a skeptical researcher and a hesitant convert to an eco-friendly lifestyle. While many of the healthy choices his family makes were initially driven by his wife, Joe has come to embrace several greener lifestyle changes after seeing the financial and health benefits firsthand.


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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

How to Make a Framed Children's Art Wall



I can see the light at the end of the tunnel for my dining room makeover! One thing I've been dying to do for months now is create a place where I can display my favorite child art that isn't the fridge. I love how it turned out! Let me tell you how I did it.


Supplies

Some of the links in my supply lists may be affiliate links. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Downton Abbey Fever! (and Black Friday Specials)

This post is brought to you by Cost Plus World Market

I'm not a huge TV watcher but the one show I absolutely must watch each week is Downton Abbey. Last season, my best friend and I had a tea party every week to watch the latest episode together - and we absolutely plan to do the same when new episodes start airing in the US in January.

I know I'm not the only one head over heels for Downton, so I wanted to share some really awesome promotions that Cost Plus World Market is running in regard to Downton Abbey.

Black Friday

If there were ever a store I would want to be first in line for on Black Friday, it's World Market. At each store, the first 100 people in line on Friday, Saturday and Sunday will get an exclusive Downton Abbey cup. There is a new design each day, so go all three days for the set!

If you make a $20 purchase on any of those three days, you'll also get a free Downton Abbey tote bag (while supplies last). Again, there is a new design each day so don't feel shy about coming back the next day! Get more details here.


Sweepstakes

Whether of not you shop on Black Friday, you'll want to be sure to enter the amazing sweepstakes. There are SO MANY amazing prizes being given away like a trip to London to visit the set of Downton Abbey and sweet World Market gift cards. Click here to enter.


World Market Downton Shop

Last year, World Market had a few Downton Abbey items and they were a runaway hit! This year, the Downton shop is back with a beautiful tea set, snacks, teas, kitchen items and more. I hit up my downtown Portland store yesterday and bought everything I need to host the best Downton Abbey tea party ever. See all of the great Downton Abbey items online here and be sure to join me online for a virtual Downton Abbey tea party on Sunday, December 7th. Post a photo of yourself having tea with the #DoTheDownton hashtag to win prizes! Get more info and RSVP here.


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Our blog newsletter offers the convenience of email delivery but only goes out every 10-14 days.


Sponsored post disclosure: I was compensated by Cost Plus World Market for telling you about these promotions. Love of Downton Abbey and enthusiasm for tea parties is entirely my own. I only share information about events and products I truly enjoy and think my readers will, too. See my full sponsored post policy for more information.