March is National Craft Month! Free Crafts & Crafting Deals!

Did you know that March is National Craft Month? My daughter told me this morning and now she’s got all sorts of crafts planned for us to do.

If you need some ideas to get your creativity flowing, here are a few:

Michaels offers free online classes on a variety of crafting topics. Check out their offering here.

Dollar Tree has an amazing selection of paints, wooden items, soft crafts, craft kits, iron-ons, beads, you name it- And everything is $1.25/each or less!

AllFreeKidsCrafts Spring Crafts eBook is now available for download here. I found 3 new crafts for the kids to do today- they are going stir crazy because it’s raining here.

I know some of my readers love their wine, and if you are one of them, FaveCrafts has something just for you! Their latest free eBook, 25 Cool Things to Do with Old Wine Bottles is available here.

The week of 3/8-1/13 Craftsy, has a really great coupon to use on supplies or classes! Use MARCH15 to take $15 Off A Purchase of $25 or More!

In addition to the sweet 60% off at Craftsy, they also offer a lot of free classes. Here are just a few that I love:

Fun & Crafts for the Whole Family: Shrink Plastic Crafts!

Most of us Gen X kids remember shrinky dinks. They’re still around. You can buy craft kits at Dollar Tree, Five Below, local craft stores, or on Amazon.

Recently I found LOL Surprise shrink plastic kits at dollar tree and I picked a couple up.

We were also recently given shrinkable plastic by the sheet. And this is great because you can draw your own designs, cut them out, hole punch them, shrink them in the oven, and end up with all sorts of cool stuff.

If you’re not familiar with Shrink Plastic, it is super fun and simple craft with anyone who can color can do. However, it does require adult supervision at some point during the craft, cause you have to use the oven.

To do this craft you will need the following items:

Before…
After…

You are looking to make a specific design, you will need to print that image out onto a piece of white paper. And then you will trace it onto the shrinkable plastic using a pencil. Word of advice: most shrinkable plastic shrinks significantly if you start with an image that is the size of a silver dollar, it will come out about the size of a dime.

Also important to note, punch a hole if desired, in the plastic before you shrink it. Once it has shrunk and is hard, it is almost impossible to put a hole in it. Especially without damaging the plastic.

Once your design is traced/drawn onto the plastic, color it with permanent markers. I like these markers.

Once your design is colored, punch a hole in it as desired/needed. Then cut your image/design out of the sheet, trim up any sharp/pokey edges. Use a nail file if needed. You can also file the plastic after it has been baked/shrunk and cooled down.

Most shrinkable plastic sheets will come with the heating/baking directions for the plastic, but it’s usually less than 10 minutes. And you will need to keep an eye on it. That is the step where you do not want small children around.

In the past, I’ve made wine charms, this year I made all kinds of cool stuff, including zipper pulls for the kids’ backpacks, I made keychains, I drew our family’s SCA heraldry/devices. I also made some little charms for a charm bracelet for my daughter.

Next up I will be drawing food and making little toy food for my son’s Playmobil characters to eat. While some of his sets have come with food, he is missing things like french fries, hamburgers, pizza. All things that the Playmobil guys in his adventures want to eat.

Family Recipe: DIY Salad Bar

The post is dedicated to Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes… RIP.

One of our family favorite restaurants pre-pandemic was Souplantation. So many great veggie and salad options all in one place. This summer I’m trying to find easy, simple lunch options for the family, so this week I’m making a salad bar.

It might sound like a lot of work, but I spend about an hour a week prepping veggies as soon as the CSA box arrives, so it’s just a slightly different prep this week.

First I got out our Rubbermaid reusable containers and lids, and I chopped the various ingredients. At lunchtime, I’ll set all of the containers out, and put the salad greens in a large bowl that is nestled in a baking dish full of ice to keep the greens crisp.

If you are having a salad bar for your July Fourth celebration, consider using a cold ingredient caddy like this one.

It keeps the components cold and at their preferred temperature for an extended period of time.

Here are just a few of the ingredients that we’ll be featuring in our DIY salad bar:

  • Salad greens (spinach, romaine lettuce, butter bibb lettuce, mixed greens, kale)
  • Radishes
  • Brocolli
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Celery
  • Red onions
  • Green apples
  • Strawberries
  • Beets (raw or pickled)
  • Bell pepper or other sweet peppers
  • Pickled veggies
  • Capers
  • Nuts
  • Dried fruit
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Cheese cubes (or crumbled feta or goat cheese)
  • Diced ham or diced turkey breast lunchmeat
  • Croutons
  • Salad Dressing- I like this vinagrette, and this one, and this ranch.

What do you like on your salads?

DIY Party Fun with Hostess with the Mostess (and a Giveaway!)

Recently I learned about Hostess with the Mostess, and wow! I love throwing parties, and Hostess with the Mostess makes doing DIY parties a cinch and looks AMAZING.

There are invitations and printables for so many types of events and themes!

If you are like me, I host 5-8 parties a year (pre and post-pandemic, but the post will def. be different/smaller). Birthdays, Girls Nights, Holidays (Our family 4th of July Party is LIT). In the past, I’ve handwritten labels, signs, and all sorts of party stuff. I love doing calligraphy, but with a Design Hero All Access Pass from Hostess with the Mostess, I have access to over 120 themes to make any event or party awesome! The Design Hero All-Access Pass also includes:

  • The entire PREMIUM LIBRARY of designer printables, including new designs added regularly.
  • An easy-to-use online customizer, so you can add your own text – instantly.
  • Freedom! No waiting on others for text customization & corrections. Make the edits you want, when you want. 💪
  • TONS of creative fonts, curated & licensed for use in the Design Hero Customizer.
  • THOUSANDS of dollars worth of graphic designs – for a price specifically designed to make them accessible.

And the price- Incredible! Only $99 for a one-year pass, and my readers can save an extra $10 off with coupon code: hewesfamilyfun. If you love hosting parties, making special events even more special with customized printables (including invitations, cards, and wrapping paper), you have to check out Hostess with the Mostess!

Here are a few of the recent pieces I’ve made Hostess with the Mostess. My friend’s birthday is this week, and she loves Champagne. I made printables to go with her gift (which is a case of her favorite sparkling white wine).

Bonus! I’m giving away a one-year pass to one of my readers! Entering is easy. Leave a comment on this post with a memory of your favorite party. I’ll choose a winner on April 27, 2021. The winner will be notified via email!

 

Today is National Beer Day!

Today is National Beer Day! What better way to celebrate an awesome day than with my favorite beer-related recipes, crafts, and DIY fun?

  1. Beer Bread. Seriously- It’ll change your life. It’s quick, easy, versatile.
  2. Ever buy a six-pack and realize after a beer or two that it isn’t your cup of tea? Beer makes great snail and slug bait. Pour one out into a shallow pan (like a disposable pie tin) and set it in your garden. Turbo and his buddies will be drawn to the smell and fall in. No poison, no gross traps to deal with, and if the neighborhood squirrels or gophers find it, they will just get a little drunk.
  3. If you don’t have a garden but have an unwanted beer, take it into the shower with you! Because most beer has an average pH of 4 (acidic), it makes a great clarifier for hair that gets a lot of styling products in it daily. Wash with your regular shampoo, rinse with water, apply beer and allow to sit in your hair for a few minutes, rinse out and follow up with your conditioner. If that’s not your bag, Amazon sells a lot of beer-based shampoo and conditioner. 
  4. More than ever, beer bottles are being painted or printed on instead of a glued-on label. Some bottles have cool art. Instead of saving the bottles to gather dust on a shelf, why not use a glass cutting kit like this one, and make cool glasses or a vase?  I have a friend who does this, and she has a collection of incredible beer glasses.
  5. All this talk of beer got you thirsty? My favorite beer cocktail is a shandy. Depending on where you are from a shandy is either beer and lemonade or beer and lemon-lime soda or ginger ale. It’s delicious.  A lager or pilsner are the best choices for beer. Something light (in color). Its 1/2 beer and half lemonade/lemon-lime soda/ginger ale.

Fun Hair Colors from Sally Beauty!

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

One of the ways that we’ve combated boredom through the stay at home orders over the past 11 months is by coloring our hair bright, fun colors! Little Bit has had various shades of pink, and I even did “mermaid” hair for her. I wasn’t sure exactly what she meant, so we did pink, purple, and teal. Pink was the all-over color and she had highlights of purple and teal. It was a hit!

We rely a lot on Sally Beauty for bright colored dye. For the Kids, I use Color Jamz Semi-Permanent Color. They have a lot of great colors (19), and they last about 2-3 weeks.

One bottle is usually good for 2-3 all over colorings, but you may get more or less usage depending on the length, thickness, and texture of your hair.

For myself, I prefer Inspired By Nature from Ion (Also available at Sally). It’s a permanent color, so you will need a developer too. I’ve been using Medium Plum, and it’s unlike any other purple hair color I’ve ever used. It has minimal fade, and leaves my hair so soft and manageable!

If you are looking for more short term color, Check out color sprays or hair chalk.

If you are new to coloring your hair, Sally beauty has step by step tutorials to achieve salon-quality results at home.

 

 

Dollar Tree: Fairy Garden Goodies!

We are looking at a lot of rain over the next week (or two) here in San Diego. That means a lot of indoor time. I was looking for something fun for us to do this weekend, and while cruising through Dollar Tree the other night, I discovered they have Fairy Garden Supplies!

I love making Fairy Gardens with the kids.

It’s a great way to make something tangible that uses the imagination.  Create or expand your fairy world with Dollar Tree‘s NEW Enchanted Fairy Garden collection! This entire 35-piece collection is available online now for just $23,  if you can’t find them in-store. The fairy garden sets are also the perfect addition to DIY terrarium parties and resale in garden and gift shops too. I personally think they would also be a great Easter Basket idea (DIY Fairy/Spring Garden).

Don’t forget when you shop online, you can take advantage of FREE shipping when you choose to have your order shipped to your local Dollar Tree store for pickup! It’s easy, convenient, and saves you money on shipping costs.

 

My Quarantine Beauty Favs and a Giveaway!

Here in California, as well as all over the nation, many businesses that are not essential are closed. That means no hair cuts, manicures, pedicures, massages, all the fun stuff that helps us relax and de-stress. Lemme tell you, after 5 months (as of Thursday) of being home with the kids all the time without knowing what is going on most of the time (or what is coming up next), I’m feeling a little stressed.

Most of you, I’m guessing, are in a similar situation. Recently I took some of my side hustle cash and splurged. Well, for me it was a splurge. I spent money on myself on some self-care items that were very much needed. These are my favorite beauty/personal care items that are helping me get through these uncertain times. 

I’m in love with this scrub! Everything by Tree Hut is awesome, but this sugar scrub is tits. It’s got Shea Butter to moisturize, sugar to exfoliate, and it smells like summer. I usually buy it at Walmart, but Amazon has it cheaper (especially when you subscribe and save).

 

Nature Nut Hair Conditioner for Dry & Damaged Hair– I discovered this conditioner through one of the companies that I test and review products through, and for the life of me, I can’t remember which one. Regardless- I am HOOKED. First of all, it smells great. Second, and most importantly, it makes my hair feel great. Smooth, soft, shiny, all that good stuff. And that’s important because my hair has been through some ish this past year. Purple hair is a lot of work. The shampoo is good too, but the conditioner? That stuff is tops!

Speaking of purple hair, I use Ion Permanent Brights Creme from Sally Beauty in Purple. Of course, you gotta have a developer, and a bowl and brush, and gloves too. I color my hair with this about every 8-10 weeks. My hair grows pretty fast, and to be honest, my hair is coming in more and more grey, so it’s super noticeable. To stretch my permanent color, I’ll hit the ends with a semi-permanent dark pink about week 4-6, and refresh the remaining all-over color with a semi-permanent purple. Right now I’m digging Color Jamz ( Reapsberry Kamikaze and Purple Passion to be exact). I use the pink on Bitty Bird’s hair too- It washes out in about 2-4 weeks.

I’m a huge fan of good skincare products. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen my self-care DIY facial flat lays. A couple of my go-to summer skincare products are:

Noexema– Seriously. It is incredible for soothing sunburned skin. I keep a jar under the skin for this very reason. Slather on a thick layer over sunburned skin and rest for about an hour. Rinse off any excess on a cool shower. Pat skin gently to dry.  

Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater This toner is very soothing and calming. I stash this in the fridge in the summer and give myself and the kiddos a spritz a few times a day. And it smells nice too. 

I know that some extra time in the shower, scrubbing with some yummy sugar scrub isn’t going to make all the shenanigans going on in the world melt away. But if I can give myself some grace, chill the fuck out, and have a few extra minutes to myself, I’m going to do it. 

Oh, and if you are wondering what kind of hand sanitizer (called hanny-sanny by my daughter) we like- Usually I’d say whatever is on sale, but since there was a recent debacle about some imported Hanny-Sanny being poisonous (WTF?), we’ve got a couple of large bottles of Kundal Fresh Water Hand Sanitizer that are pretty good. And it’s not sticky. Having used many types over the past few months, I’ve come to discover that some types/brands are sticky. EW. Also, I’ve come to realize that most of it smells like cheap vodka, and now I have no desire to drink vodka. 

And now for the Giveaway- I want you to splurge and get yourself some awesome self-care goodies too. Leave me a comment on this blog post: What would you buy FOR YOURSELF with a $25 Amazon GC? You can earn a bonus entry by commenting on this Instagram post. I’ll choose a winner on 8/23/2020. I’ll notify the winner via email.

DIY Cloth Masks- Links and Tips

There are a lot of patterns and videos floating around the internet for non-medical personnel to make their own masks to keep safe in public when we have to go out for necessities.

These masks don’t filter all dangerous pathogens, but they are a good way to remind ourselves not to touch our faces, and keep our germs to ourselves.

MyBluprint has patterns and info here. There are several options/patterns, including a pattern for those who cannot or do not sew. MyBluprint is also hooking us up and staving off boredom by extending their FREE online crafting classes until 4/16/2020.

92393442_10157973738991061_532184793442418688_nIt’s a great way to learn some new crafts, or just watch the videos and plan for later.

I’ve been making masks for family and friends who are essential employees, you can see some of the pics of me making silly faces and modeling a couple different ones here on Instagram. *Warning*- Quarantine hair in the pics.

I used the pattern from Kaiser Permanente, which you can see here. There is a printable pattern on page 11 of the PDF.

92493115_10157984846031061_3631192701837246464_n
This fabric came from Dollar Tree!

Here are a few helpful hints that I’ve discovered in making over 20 masks this week:

  • Make a few masks per person. They need to be washed after each wearing in hot water.
  • If you don’t have any fabric in your home, you can use cotton bandanas, old sheets or pillowcases. The fabric needs to be tightly woven like cotton pillowcase fabric. Avoid sheer and or gauzy fabric.
  • Elastic is very hard to find these days, so I used new elastic hair ties, like these in the kids masks (I made the ear loop masks for them). I got hair ties at Dollar Tree (some Dollar Tree locations have precut quilters cotton fabric too). The majority of the masks I made have ties and are for adults. We are keeping the kids out of public as much as possible.
  • If you want to make the masks a little more protective put a layer of shop towel or interfacing between the layers of mask. I couldn’t find either at the time, so I skipped this.

I’d love to see what your DIY masks look like! Leave a comment. If you need masks but don’t sew, there are a lot of local seamtresses and costumers that are out of work right now who are making masks to help pay their bills.

March is National Craft Month! Free Crafts & Crafting Deals!

MyBluprint.comI learned today that March is Craft Month, which is awesome because I am always down for a good craft!

If you are looking for craft supplies on a budget, here are my top five tips:

  1. Thrift Stores are a great place to start scouring for craft supplies. Frequently thrift stores bundle up craft supplies.
  2. Sign up for rewards programs at your local craft stores and/or download their apps. Both Michaels and Joann Fabric & Crafts have apps with coupons to save you more!
  3. Dollar Tree has great craft supplies. Our favorites are their wooden boxes, craft kits, pom-poms, chenille stems, and hot glue sticks!
  4. Craft supply swaps are a great way to trade supplies. I host once a year or so, right before school lets out. Everyone brings their excess/unwanted craft supplies and it’s a free for all swap. Leftovers are donated to a local school or scout troop.
  5. If you have liquid/wet supplies (like ink pads, glue, paint, etc), make sure to check them before plotting out a project. Nothing is worse than sitting down to do a project to discover that your glue/paint/whatever is all dried out. BUMMER!

If you’ve got kiddos, check out the free week of crafts at Michaels, starting today.

AllFreeKidsCrafts Spring Crafts eBook is now available for download here. I found 3 new crafts for the kids to do today- they are going stir crazy because it’s raining here.

I know some of my readers love their wine, and if you are one of them, FaveCrafts has something just for you! Their latest free eBook, 25 Cool Things to Do with Old Wine Bottles is available here.

If you are looking for something different, perhaps learning a new skill or skills, check out Blueprint!

Blueprint has all kinds of online classes, videos, and articles that you can access with an unlimited membership, or you can take a singular class online. They also have a great selection of free articles and patterns here. Whether you want to learn about sewing, cooking, quilting, embroidery, art- Blueprint has classes for everyone!

In celebration of National Craft Month! Get ANY Blueprint class for just $10 with coupon code “CREATE10”!