pompom fairy garland ... ♥

Last week my littlest little was home sick, so we pulled an all day movie marathon ...
a Tinkerbell movie marathon that is.  So after watching Frozen (a million-gazillion times) and seeing the previews for the new Tinkerbell movie, we decided to craft up some cute fairies to hang in her room in anticipation of it's release in a few weeks.

To make this garland, you'll need just a few things ...

cute yarn for pom poms - wooden peg dolls - felt - craft paint
hot glue - twine, jute or ribbon

So let's start! First get all your pieces for this craft prepared.
Paint the dolls, make lots of pom poms and cut out the wings.
My hubby used a chop saw to shorten the dolls a bit, but you can use them as is.
Just use some craft paint to paint the bodies & the hair ... 
I decided to make her look Tinkerbell-ish, 
but you could use any color paint for the hair or even some yarn.

To make the pom poms i have this handy dandy tool,  that can be found at any craft store.
To see a full tutorial on how to use the pom pom maker click over to this post.
Another way to make pom poms without the tool can be found here.

Next draw some wings onto cardstock, then trace them on the felt and cut.

Then I cut a small piece of twine, and hot glued it between the wings and the peg doll.

That's it! 
Now grab a yummy snack, put on a movie and make a bunch more!
so. much. fun.

To string them up, cut a long piece of twine 
and pull it through the loops on the back of the fairies and space them out a bit.

I had one happy little girl on my hands ... 
we love the way this turned out! Experiment with colors or even different fabrics for the wings 
... and pom poms are so simple to make even little hands can help.

Even Tinkerbell liked it.
I think.

The all-New Tinker Bell Movie, The Pirate Fairy releases April 1st
you can Own It On Blu-ray™ and Digital HD or watch the trailer & pre-order it here 

can't wait to watch it!
happy crafting!

an easy way to meal plan for one year with free printables ♥

it sounds crazy i know.
but it's not! trust me!
i've been working on this project probably for at least a year.
oh not because it took that long to finish ... just because i'm a slacker.
along with the fact that i was going back & forth between making my own printables for this whole system, and what i was coming up with just wasn't to my liking.
so i mentioned last week that i teamed up with my bestie AmyJ. for this project
SHE designed, created and cutified a whole new meal planning kit for me ...
and even more exciting, we have a few free printables here today just to get you started!
so exicted.

i'm going to keep it as simple as possible and break it down into a few easy steps.
the most time consuming part might be filling out the monthly calendars but i finished mine over the course of a few evenings (watching shark tank) (i'm obsessed)
i really hope you love this whole set-up! 
let's get started ...

how will meal planning work for you? is a year too much to think about?
would you rather just tackle a week or a month at a time to start?
planning for 12 months is a little extra work, but worth it when you're done!
and it's really all about repeating & rotating meals you make now and leaving space to try new recipes later. either way Amy's kit allows you to plan with the weekly calendar...
and if you decide to plan monthly, that calendar is a free print at the end of this post.

what you'll use for supplies is up to you ... but Amy's kit makes it all so simple 
aaaaaand way cute. like way. 

a binder & page protectors are the necessities, but i also used a few other things ...
stick on tabs 
(these were Martha Stewart from Staples)
a couple clipboards
(dollar bins at target)
any recipe cards or page markers 
to make finding & organizing your dinner or make ahead recipes easier
(Amy's cute recipe cards come in her meal planning kit)

start by filling out a master meal list & a new recipes to try list.

so basically your master meal list consists of all the things you make for dinner currently
... family favorites, quick & easy meals, really anything that you cook for your family on a regular basis.  
i filled mine out in groups by meat & category ... for instance:
beef, chicken, pasta, misc/quick meals

the new recipe list is just simply that :)
any recipe you've been wanting to try, those magazine clippings stuffed in a file somewhere, 
all those recipes you pinned on pinterest... yeah those.
all that ... write it down on the recipes to try list.
don't forget to source it ... in case you're like me and can't find a certain recipe among the seventeen thousand pins you pinned to your meal board.
cookbook page numbers, magazine volume numbers ... whatever 
... however you keep your stuff
if you just jot down where it came from you'll be able to track it down faster.

if you're planning for the year, 
print out 12 copies of the free month at a glance calendar at the end of this post
along with the shopping list & the week at a glance page (from the meal plan kit)

i put the calendars each in their own page protector along with 2 shopping lists
(i grocery shop every other week, if you shop weekly print 4 for each month)
and 4 week at a glance planning pages
(i use these to copy down what the "week in meals" looks like
and i put it up on the fridge for my family to see ... i'll get to that in a minute)

don't forget to fill out the sticky tabs for all 12 months 
and attach them at the end of each page protector

to fill out your meals for the whole year, use your master meal list and just start with January ... 
fill in most of the days of the month with the meals you currently make.
i like to make it easy by keeping certain days for certain meals, for example...

mondays - chicken
tuesday - beef
wednesday quick & easy/misc.
thursday - leftovers (yay!)
fridays - pasta

that's why keeping the master list separated by type makes it easier to rotate the meals as you fill in the days ... you can see that my calendar has a few blank spaces, i left those open for trying new recipes and don't forget to leave space for when those new recipes become a part of the master meal list... as the months pass i'll look back at the additions to the master meal list and slowly fill in those blanks.

make sense?

you can fill in all 12 months or just do a few at a time every so often...
 whatever works best for you.
this is the most time consuming part, but like i mentioned before 
it took me maybe a total of 1-2 hours to fill all the calendars in with dates and meals

sunday afternoon is usually the time i like to sit down and take a look at our week
cut coupons, plan meals and such ... i'll just grab a weekly meal planning sheet from behind my monthly calendar, fill in what is on the menu ... and make adjustments from there based on what's going on that week ... church, practice, birthdays ... whatever.
but it's nice to have it already laid out in front of me, 
i just have to fill in blanks and do some tweaking.

plus my family really likes knowing what's on the menu!
 i also jot down quick things for breakfast & lunch 
which helps to eliminate arguing over what they have for breakfast in the morning)

by the way a few of my favorite things about Amy's pages are ...
the encouraging verses at the bottom of each page
(cause God knows i need encouragement when it comes to dinner time)
the cutest clipart in the history of the world times infinity in every corner
aaaand a spot to write down what you should be baking during the week.
cause it's no secret i love to bake. well really i just love cookies.
so go fill this space out right now.
bake something.
do it.

last thing to do!
fill those page protectors with all the recipes you have clipped, cut or printed on paper 
and put them in the back of the binder behind your calendars.
when it's time to cook dinner, check your calendar and flip to the back for easy access to your recipes 
(i keep only dinner or stock up in the freezer recipes back here, 
baking and other recipes are in a separate binder)

i actually took it a step further and created a template in publisher for recipes from the web that we decide are keepers.  i hate having things printed from the internet with all the mumble jumble and random ads & images in my recipe inventory ... it's not pretty :)
i take a few minutes to copy & paste the text with the main image along with the source into my template and i add a space for my own notes about the recipe.
but that's an optional step. if you're crazy like me.
problems. yeah i know.

Amy's kit comes with pantry & freezer inventory lists to help keep track of what's in the back of those hard to see spaces in the kitchen ... and will help avoid the dreaded missing ingredient issue just as you're about to start dinner
i put them on clipboards and hung the pantry one on the inside of the door
the freezer list is in my basement near my big box freezer which holds bulk purchases from sam's club or extra freezer meals if i cook a few ahead of time

i also like to keep my cookbooks on display.
they're within reach and double as cute decor in a wire basket

you can tab the pages of the recipes you make most often
then just grab it off the shelf and flip through your tabs for easy access

well, i think that's it!
information overload i know!
funny thing about all this, is that i do not enjoy cooking ... at all
 baking yes ... cooking, no.
but i'm very very italian so i love to eat
and those two things don't go together so well

so having any sort of plan in place, makes me feel like being prepared and cooking dinner most of the week is something i can accomplish ... happily. with no curse words.

Amy also whipped up this super cute binder cover for you!
you can slide it into the front of your blank binder or inside of a page protector
i just love this so much 

{click on the images to download the files}

{click on the images to download the files}

aren't they so sweet?! enjoy them!
i plan to do a follow-up post about my coupon binder and how i use Amy's planner printables
as well as a little info about that pantry inventory list and how i organize my pantry!

if you have any questions just leave them in the comments 
i'll do my best to answer them quickly ♥
happy planning!

linking up here!

a guest post and free printables from AmyJ ♥

hey all!
just taking bit of a break from all the hustle & bustle of life
between being under the weather 
(let's not even talk about the never-ending winter 
that seems to be sticking around like i don't know what)
and just wanting to regroup & restart, a breather is doing me some good.

but today is the best day ever.
my bloggy (and now real life!) bestie AmyJ. is guest posting here on my little blog.
which is so amazing to me since most of what you see here was designed by her hands
i'm always amazed at how God can take something as little as a blog or instagram or whatever and use it to bond us together with not just people, but kindred spirits.
 that we would have never crossed paths with in the "real" every day of life. 

i'm so blessed by it. i'm so blessed by Amy ...
she is open, honest, caring, beautiful (inside & out) and loves Jesus somethin fierce.
 and i'm so excited to show you what she's been cookin' up the past few weeks...
when i first read this post i eeeked & squeeeaked the whole way through

grab a cup a somethin and eeek & squeeeak along with me!

Let me introduce myself to you...  I'm wife to a bearded pastor, mamma to 5, illustrator and graphic designer, and Jaime's bestie!  See Jaime and I share a common creative wavelength... it's kinda creepy.

So I wanted to share some party ideas and a couple free printables with you today!

Okay, I have to admit something to you... I was going to show you a garland and some little woodland critter puppets and call it a day.  BUT my hubs was like, "You should do a woodland party! And make cupcakes!"  (I think he just wanted cupcakes.)  And then it kind of exploded.  So some how I ended up doing a full out mock version of a party we are apparently going to have for real in a month for two of my girls.  oy.  But hey!  It was fun and now I don't have to do all the work in a month!

THE DECOR... girly, vintage, woodland style!

THE FOOD...cupcakes and strawberry marshmallow mushrooms!

THE FAVORS... woodland critter puppets and mini notebooks!

THE CUTE (soon-to-be) BIRTHDAY GIRL! ... Lucy Lou... yes, that's a gnome hat. he, he.

THE FREE PRINTABLES! ... 'cause what's a party without something to take home?!

Okay, so I also must tell you... that these crazy cute little woodland critter graphics that you see everywhere, are IN MY ETSY STORE!  I know... awesome, right!?  That means that you can make all this stuff too! 

This is the invite I plan to use for the real party in a month... 
I made this blank version, below, for you! 
You can use it to make your own invites, signs, or even thank you notes!

* Just click on the image and save the .PNG file to your computer! 
You can use it just like a photo image... 

Then I also have some place cards for you!

**Please remember these printables are for personal use only.  May not be used for profit of any kind.  Files may not be distributed. Enjoy!

Okay... I've used up enough of Jaime's blog space, y'all.  Time to say goodbye.  
But hey!  Come on over to my blog and say hi!  And don't forget to go pick up some of your own woodland animal clip art in my store... and then get crazy creative :)

Blessings... :)

kay. don't lie.
you eeeeeek.
i know you did! and those printables ...
thank you sweet Amy!

guys the other thing is, if you haven't been to her blog already
you need to hop over and see ... it just got a super sweet makeover 
and everything is so fun to look at 
i'm like a kid in a candy shop when i'm there

that little phone. i die.
kay i'll stop.

but really, while you're over there, spend some time in her home ... 
you'll find so much inspiration in every little space

i love looking at her pictures
it's easy to see we are like minded ... we love our families, we love our homes
and expressing our creativity in every room ♥
i love it when friends inspire & challenge you
to try new things. to think outside the box
dont' you?

and make sure you pour another cup cause you'll be there for a bit.

so about next week!
i'm super excited to finally finish and post about this menu plan thing 
that i've been workin on for like 10 years 
(kay not really, but it's been forever)
(it's just dragging on and on)
(and it's really not complicated so i have no idea why)

but all that to say that AmyJ. and i put our heads together to bring you a whole set of printables & a simple plan to keep meal planning easy
and more importantly super cute ♥

they are to adorable & affordable to say no to

 ... and next week we'll have a few freebies for ya 
cause we really love & appreciate you guys. 
like a lot. 
i'm so excited about this!
(can you tell)
see you next week!

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