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My Favorite Products!

I use a lot of craft tools and supplies on the daily to create handmade signs (and just craft in general). Here are just a few of my favs!

This post contains affiliate links which will not cost you any more money but I will make a very tiny commission. This in turn helps me put money back into my business and blog.

 

 

Fiskars Razor Edge, Micro Tip, 5 inches

 

I love these scissors so much! The handles fit perfectly in my hand and it has a cushion grip. It’s very springy which makes the blades open nicely and for my hand to strain all! It gets in tight spaces and makes detailed cuts nicely. I love using these shears on my fabric and felt.

 

Surebonder Mini Detailed Glue Gun (old version)

 

 

Surebonder Mini Detailed Glue Gun (new version)

 

I have the newer version of this particular glue gun and it is incredible!  I haven’t had any issues with it dripping and the tip is tiny enough to do detailed work. It does have a stand that it comes with, even though I am guilty of just throwing my guns down because I’m usually working too fast. 😉

 

 

 

Surebonder Mini Glue Sticks

 

 

 

Oracal Oramask 813 Stencil Film

Using this particular vinyl is new for me, but it’s working out so well. I used to use Oracal 631 for my stencils with my signs, but I didn’t like the way it was pulling up paint from my signs! So frustrating! I also like the way the 813 is translucent, which helps with placing your stencil in the correct spot. Lastly, wedding with this particular vinyl is a dream! So easy.

 

 

 

Foam Paint Brush

 

 

Cricut Explore Air 2

 

I own this exact Cricut and I mainly use it for stencil cutting, even though the possibilities are endless with a Cricut! Don’t believe me, go check out Pinterest- you’ll be floored!

 

 

Cricut Mats

 

 

Cricut Tools Set

 

 

Let me know if there are any crafting tools you can’t live without!

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AR Workshop Review

I had to opportunity to visit AR Workshop with some friends from the Des Moines Moms Blog and I loved my experience! Thank you to AR Workshop for fully hosting this event.

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When you first walk in you will see their retail section. They sell different signs and home decor pieces. All their items are gorgeous!

 

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They offer different classes, camps and public/private events throughout the week which is on display.

 

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I love all the details of the shop! From the Paint Bar to aprons hanging on hammers and  the drink bar they had all set up!

 

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There were enough tables and table space to accommodate our large group. We all had plenty of space to work and didn’t feel like we were crowded.

 

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The staff took us step by step from picking out our projects, to choosing the right stain

and/or paint and helping us assemble our projects.

 

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No matter what your skill level is at crafting, painting, staining or even using power tools- anyone can do this! It’s so easy and the staff makes it so fun!

 

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For my project I chose to make a lazy susan. I used power tools to attach the hardware to make this bad boy spin!

 

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After choosing my stain and paint colors I got to work sanding and staining my board. I weeded out my vinyl stencil, transferred, painted and attached the hardware. It came out so cute!

 

 

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Everyone’s projects were amazing!

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Laura and her staff at AR Workshop were helpful and helped us along every single step of the way. There were some ladies who have never done anything like this before and they all got the hang of it and their projects turned out so beautiful.

 

AR Workshop has classes, summer camps for kids and private parties all week. I recommend getting some girlfriends together to drink wine, create and laugh! Tell them Nicole sent you! 🙂

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Teacher Appreciation

My oldest son had THE BEST second grade teacher this past school year. I was blown away how- dare I say perfect?- she was as a teacher. I never missed an opportunity to spoil her with holiday and teacher appreciation gifts. She also had a class “wish list” of classroom items she needed and I loved gifting those to her throughout the year as well.

 

On the last day of school I wanted to show my appreciation even more on how she was so wonderful in my son’s life this year. I’ve seen the “box of sunshine” ideas floating all over Pinterest you can gift those who are feeling down and need a smile and extra encouragement.  I decided to make a “bowl of sunshine” for her many happy reasons! Mainly because it was the start of her summer break. 😉

 

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A lot of these items were purchased at the Target’s Bulleye’s Playground for a few dollars. I knew she would like these! She can even use the bowl for popcorn and sprinkle those M&M’s in with it! 🙂

 

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I added  little envelope with a card and something nice inside. 🙂

 

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Look how bright and fun this looks! It just screams happiness when you look at it.

 

 

How do you thank your kids’ teachers throughout the year? They have such a hard job and are amazing!

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A New Neighbor Welcome

We recently had new neighbors move in and they have two kids my own kids’ age.  Which both sides are happy about! We live at the end of a cul-de-sac and we enjoy seeing all the kiddos play + run around (sometimes like a bunch of crazies!) the neighborhood together. To be honest, I was also happy to snag a new neighbor mom friend. 🙂

I wanted to make our new neighbors feel welcome so I found this super cute printable you can find here. I decided to gift one of my favorite Mrs Meyers cleaning products/scents (lavender!), a dish towel and also a blueberry coffee cake.

 

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I wanted to bring something over for them to eat as they move in, but I wasn’t sure if they would be too keen on something homemade from someone they just met. So I opted for store bought instead. Still great!

 

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We packed it all up and brought it over to meet them!

 

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I have rounded up a few of my favorite free printable posts. Enjoy!

 

 

Please click on the links to go back to the original posts.

Oatmeal M&M Cookie Mix in a Jar Neighbor Gift Idea -- what better way to welcome a new neighbor than with a super SWEET gift! Free printable gift tag included.

Half Scratched

 

 

Pineapple Welcome to the neighborhood gift and printable

Kristen Duke

 

 

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Pretty Providence

 

 

 

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A Girl + A Glue Gun

 

 

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Thirty Handmade Days

 

 

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Eat Sleep Make

Party Planning

Welcome Summer Party!

We hosted our annual End of the School Year/ Welcome Summer party on the last day of school this year and it was a blast! The kids always look forward to it and were so worn out from all the fun (which is a plus, right!?).

I wanted to keep this party on a budget so most of my decor was either handmade, from Target or the Dollar Tree. It was also at 2:00pm so I didn’t have to serve a meal, which was great. Just snacks galore! 😉

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We kicked off the party with the kids running through a Welcome Summer banner. We recorded it in slow motion and it was so funny to replay it back when we watched it!

 

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I think the snacks were the kids favorite part! I did forget to photograph all the snacks (bummer!)!

 

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I also created a photo backdrop for the kiddos to take silly pics. It was a hit! I just love the bright and summery colors!

 

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The adults mingled and the kids spent the majority of the time swimming, throwing water ballons, zip lining, playing badminton and on the playset.  It was such a fun time! I’m looking forward to next year!

 

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Tell me if you have any fun traditions for the last day of school!

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Road trip to Waco!

Waco. Waco, Texas. When you hear these words now a days you probably think of Fixer Upper. Chip and Joanna Gaines. Farmhouse. Magnolia. At least myself and everyone I’ve ever spoken to do. I had the chance to sneak off to Waco for 5 days with my husband and experience all things Magnolia and Waco. I felt like I was a child at Disneyland to be honest. An adult’s theme park is the best way I can describe my days in Waco, Texas (sans kiddos which was a plus!). We went to Waco for the Inaugural Silo District Marathon weekend. I’m going to split this blog post into two sections: This particular post will include where we stayed, ate, shopped and explored. And my part two post will include my thoughts on the Silo District Marathon. 🙂
I wanted to make a mini bucket list of things to do if you were to ever visit. Let me just say first off, if you are going to Waco just to see the Magnolia Silos, it won’t even take a full day. Maybe a few hours? So do yourself a favor and plan out your trip so you can do more things than just visit -the fabulous!- Magnolia Silos.

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Lodging
My husband and I decided we wanted to make this duo trip into a road trip (yes, we might be crazy) so we got up at 4:45am the morning of and started to make our way down to Texas. Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas to be exact. We did the whole trip in one day! When we arrived Thursday evening we checked into our retreat and relaxed all evening. We stayed at the Gathering Oaks Retreat and if you are ever in Waco, I highly suggest staying here! It’s not a hotel or bed and breakfast, but a retreat. No one is on site, there are no vending machines, restaurants, staff, etc. Think of it as staying in a teeny, tiny house (that looks like Joanna herself decorated) and you supply your own groceries and items. There is a lock pad with a code to get past the gate onto the property and also another pad with a code to get into your space (everything we needed to know for our stay was emailed to us before we arrived). There is a small pool on the property, fire pit to roast marshmallows, outdoor games to play and places just to sit and relax. It was a perfect Texas spring night and we walked around under the glowing lights on the property. It was so peaceful! To make it more interesting, we were LITERALLY right across the road from Chip and Jo’s house! I could see cars coming and going from their driveway and the lights on. I felt like we were weekend neighbors. 😉 I highly recommend this charming place!
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Gathering Oaks Retreat
Dining
I knew I wanted to eat at the Magnolia Table on the Friday morning we were there and I knew the line would be absolutely nuts. I heard from a fellow Instagram friend that her and her friends got there around 7:45am for breakfast and the wait time was hours long!! I thought since we would get up very early and it was also raining this particular Friday morning, surely there wouldn’t be a line, right? Wrong. Magnolia Table opens at 6:00am and we got there around 5:45am. There was a line! Not too bad though, because we were seated pretty quickly. The restaurant is gorgeous (even the bathrooms), the atmosphere was relaxing and the food was not only delicious, but inexpensive I thought. The staff was friendly and they all had smiles (considering how early it was!).  I urge you to try the strawberry butter there! So yummy!
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 Magnolia Table
Other places we also ate while visiting were George’s, Vitek’s, the food trucks at Magnolia and the popular Moroso’s Wood Fired Pizzeria.  Moroso’s is Italian cuisine at it’s best! I was told he imports his tomatoes and flours from Italy! It was so yummy! We visited the Waco Hippodrome which is a stunning historic building in downtown Waco. We didn’t eat there, but I have heard awesome things about their brunch and dining experience.

 

Silos Baking Co.

 

Places to shop till you drop
Ok, do I even need to mention the amazingness that was shopping at Magnolia??! They styled everything so pretty and it took every ounce of me not to buy the whole stinkin’ store.
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We also checked out other shops while we were in town, but my other top three are:
-The Findery- So much wonderful, vintage home decor pieces! I was very impressed! They also have their Marketplace next door to them so don’t forget to check that out as well!
-Spice Village– Such an adorable place made up with different booths and vendors.
Harp Design Co– Lots of quality, handmade pieces made by them! Loved this little shop!
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The Findery (part of it!)
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Behind The Findery
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Heading up to Spice Village
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Where we explored
Besides experiencing all that is Magnolia and the property, we also ventured to other places like the Waco suspension bridge, walking around downtown Waco and we drove past Jo’s very first Magnolia store:  Her little shop on Bosque. It was so inspiring to see how far she has come from that tiny store to now! We also toured the Dr Pepper Museum. Which I surprisingly thought was kind of interesting! We had someone in line ahead of us pay it forward so our admission was free!
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By the Hippodrome
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Dr Pepper Museum near the Silos
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Waco Suspension Bridge (ran across this during my race!)
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Taking it all in at Magnolia!
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So there you have it! My super mini break down of our time spent in Waco. Hope this helps you when planning your future trip!
*Please read my part two on Waco about my thoughts on the #SiloDistrictMarathon!
xo, Nicole
Party Planning · Uncategorized

Tea Party Fun!

When my daughter had asked for months to have a tea party with her friends I thought, “Why not?!” Her and I are cut from the same cloth. We enjoy having friends over and we love to throw a fun party- big or small! So I text some of my girlfriends and told them to come and have their daughters wear their “fanciest” dresses. 😊

 

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My daughter and son before the tea party play date

I decided in order to keep this play date/party on the inexpensive side, I was going to shop at the Dollar Tree, Target “Dollar Spot”, etc.  We purchased some of our doilies, table cloths, plates, napkins, eating utensils and so forth from Dollar Tree. Most of the decor was from Target Bullseye’s Playground and I ended up picking up a few odds and ends from Wal-Mart.

The food, however, was from our local grocery store Hy-Vee. I had planned for these adorable tea sandwiches in the shape of teapots (via cookie cutters), but I didn’t have enough bread the day of the party! Oops! It turned out to be ok because the kiddos snacked on vanilla + strawberry wafers, cheese cubes, strawberries, spring themed cupcakes and cookies. Instead of tea I served lemonade- which the kids still thought was awesome!

 

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After all our guests arrived we worked on our craft. We made “fancy” tea party hats for the occasion! I had prepped the hats the night before our friends came and it was super easy.

First, I laid the plastic bowl on top of the plate and traced around it a little larger than the bowl actually is. I then cut out that section of the plate and hot glued the plate and bowl together. Easy peasy!

 

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The girls (and all the little brothers!) had so much fun making these.

 

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After our craft the kids enjoyed the lemonade and food. I loved hearing everyone’s giggles! Once tea time was over the kids ran around played until it was time to leave. It was such a fun play date to host!

 

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Let me know if you have ever hosted a tea party play date/birthday/occasion and what you served at yours!

 

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Favors for all the girls and little brothers 🙂