Archive for the ‘Home’ Category

Unique Jigsaw Puzzles for Adults You’ll Fall In Love With

Tuesday, September 20th, 2022
Unique Jigsaw Puzzles for Adults You'll Fall in Love With

Spend a cozy night in with these jigsaw puzzles that are great gifts for adults AND kids. Trade in a board game night for these fun-themed puzzles that embrace bookish themes and more in their puzzle designs.

As soon as the weather turns crisp, we designate a table in our home as the puzzle table for the season. I love to have a puzzle that we can work on in those early morning hours with coffee or at the end of the day with a cup of tea.

Today I’m sharing a few of my favorite puzzles we’ve done at our house and some that made my wish list this this year. We have had the best time compiling this new guide for you.

Make sure to bookmark this list for gift-giving this year. Puzzles make incredibly unique hostess gifts, housewarming presents, and holiday gifts.

DIY Jigsaw Puzzle Mat

try this tutorial for a diy jigsaw puzzle mat

Before we dive into the puzzles, I do want to mention a few ways that we have saved A LOT of money over the years on our puzzle collection.

Three Easy Ways to Save on Jigsaw Puzzles

Find Out if Your Local Library Lends Puzzles- I can’t tell you all of the ways we have saved money over the years with our local library.

Contact your local library to see if they offer any jigsaw puzzle exchanges or if you can check out puzzles with your library card.

Start a Puzzle Swap With Friends- One of the best ways we have saved is offering a puzzle swap with our friends.

When we have coffee together, we just bring our puzzles we have finished and trade them for a fresh puzzle.

Check Deals Sites For Deep Discounts On Puzzles- I don’t think a lot of people realize that puzzle savings can be found in some unlikely places. One of the best spots to check for puzzles is Zulily for 30% or more off their puzzle collections.

If you want to buy puzzles at a brick and mortar spot, our used bookstores offer huge savings too on used puzzles as well as new.

No matter where you shop make sure that you are signed up with Rakuten and that you activate your savings before any shopping!

If you are new to the Rakuten app, this discount code should give you $30 on your first puzzle purchase! I also wrote a tutorial on how to use the app on items you regularly buy that will give you cashback rewards.

Unique Jigsaw Puzzles for Adults You’ll Fall In Love With

Best Jigsaw Puzzles For Adults With Literary Themes

The World of Agatha Christie Puzzle

The World of Agatha Christie Puzzle

Oh, Agatha Christie fans, this puzzle is such a treat!

In this puzzle you can spot famous characters, find crime-solving clues, and historical locations as you build the puzzle.

This has 90 clues within the puzzle including some of her most memorable characters, from Poirot and Miss Marple to Tommy & Tuppence and Parker Pyne, as well as real moments from Agatha Christie’s life!

This puzzle also includes a fold-out poster bonus featuring fun facts about the Queen of Crime and her creations.

Great American Novels Puzzle

Great American Novels Puzzle

This 1,000-piece book-themed puzzle features 24 literary classics.

It would make the perfect pairing with an audiobook of one of these classic books!

Comic Book Heaven Puzzle

Comic Book Heaven Puzzle

We have done a lot of fun comic book puzzles in our house, and they are always a hit.

I love this 1,000-piece puzzle that captures all the comic book magic when browsing those shelves.

Reviewers also shared that the puzzle pieces were fun to work with just like this gorgeous image.

The New Yorker The Strand Jigsaw Puzzle

The New Yorker Puzzle Company Collection

There are so many gorgeous puzzles to collect with the New Yorker covers. This artistic puzzle capture of The Strand is my favorite.

A few of my other favorites are this Paint by Pixels and this Leaf Peepers puzzle are two more of our favorites.

Nancy Drew Puzzle

Nancy Drew Puzzle (on sale!)

I shared this fun puzzle in my newsletter this is our family puzzle that we are working on this week.

I feel so nostalgic about my Nancy Drew mystery days so I couldn’t wait to add this to our family’s puzzle collection.

This one is a 1,000-piece puzzle recommended for ages 13 and over.

It also happens to be on sale on Zulily this week and a third of the price that I paid for it. If the offer is no longer active check here to grab it at the regular price.

Famous Authors Postage-Stamps Puzzle

Famous Authors Postage-Stamps Puzzle

I couldn’t adore this collection of author stamps more.

I love that this puzzle has William Shakespeare, Harper Lee, and Stephen King on one puzzle.

Pick a book from one of these famous authors to listen to on audiobook while you are puzzling.

Murder Most Puzzling Jigsaw Puzzle

Murder Most Puzzling Jigsaw Puzzle

I love a good gift puzzle and this is my new go-to.

In this puzzle, it is up to you to solve the crime, piece by piece.

You begin by reading the story of the incident.

Then, guided by the narrative rather than a visual reference, complete the jigsaw.

The finished image provides all the clues you need to decipher whodunit.

Pair this with a magnifying glass for a fun gift.

Other Fun Jigsaw Puzzles For Your Collection

Stranger Things Puzzle

Stranger Things Puzzle

Trying to lure a teen or tween into doing a puzzle with you? This 1,000 piece Stranger Things puzzle would be such a fun one to do together.

What a fun family night this would be with some Eggo waffles for brinner and some Kate Bush tunes.

Jonathan Adler Shelfie Puzzle

Jonathan Adler Shelfie Puzzle

Design-lovers will fall in love with this shelfie puzzle.

This 1,000 Piece Puzzle colorfully highlights the living room shelf of Jonathan Adler and Simon Doonan’s Shelter Island living room bookcase for a chic and challenging puzzling experience.

Janet Hill Puzzle Collection

Janet Hill Puzzle Collection (link to the whole puzzle collection- pick your favorite)

We collect Janet Hill prints and my 40th birthday gift was an ORIGINAL Janet Hill.

To say we are obsessed with this artist is an understatement.

I love that the New York Puzzle Company is offering her whimsical paintings in different puzzle sizes. This Cat Countess puzzle is on my wish list this year.

You can also find many of her art prints have been made into these fun 1,000-piece puzzles too!

If you love Janet Hill’s work, be sure to visit her studio shop to get some beautiful art for your walls.

National Parks Puzzle

National Parks Puzzle

This puzzle is perfect for those outdoor enthusiasts that are craving their next adventure or want to reminisce on those camping memories.

Enjoy these national park destinations from the comforts of home with this 1,000-piece puzzle.

Challenging Puzzles For the Real Puzzle Enthusiast

Impossible Acrylic Puzzle

Impossible Acrylic Puzzle

As someone who relies on context clues from the image on the box, this clear acrylic puzzle would be an impossible one for me.

Reviewers love this clear design and say that they never get bored doing this one over and over again. It also would be a great interactive detail on any coffee table.

Geode Puzzle

Geode Puzzle

This geode puzzle is such a unique brain teaser.

The artists were inspired by how a geode’s crystalline structure is created in nature and uses a special simulation program that develops the puzzle’s image by layering color that radiates from the puzzle’s edge.

This wooden puzzle is made from birch plywood.

The New Yorker Advent Calendar Puzzle

The New Yorker Advent Calendar (24 mini jigsaw puzzles)

Can you imagine how much a puzzle-enthusiast would love this New Yorker advent calendar?

This gift set features 24 mini holiday-themed puzzles to count down the days until Christmas.

Each puzzle is a 100-piece puzzle, but doing this daily would definitely give your brain a nice workout during the holiday season.

At this price point, it would make a very special and memorable gift.

Looking for more fall activities to try? Check out these fun additions to your puzzle routine!

watch these fall shows & movies while doing your new puzzle

How to Use Scribd for Your Reading Life from MomAdvice.com

download an audiobook from scribd while puzzling

What has been your favorite puzzle to do with your family?

Accomplish More With a Virtual Body Double

Wednesday, September 7th, 2022
How to Accomplish More With a Virtual Body Double from MomAdvice.com

Learn how body doubling can help you stay on task and improve your executive function as an adult or teen with ADHD. Get my top virtual videos to get started!

Friends, I have missed you!

It’s so good to be back at my desk after battling “the virus that must not be named.” It was just as awful as I’d expected, but we had a protocol to activate as soon as I got that positive test.

I’ve struggled with motivation since all of this, but today I wanted to share the incredible productivity hack that has changed my work-from-home life since the health chaos began.

How to Accomplish More With a Virtual Body Double from MomAdvice.com

After eighteen years of working from home, you would assume that I would have the best systems to be productive in my daily life.

You would be wrong.

The truth is, I struggle EVERY DAY and had even considered spending the money on a co-working space to hold me accountable to my work day. 

I did unlock the secret for working alone while incorporating a motivating presence in my life though and it just might surprise you.

Not only is this hack helpful for people with ADHD. It’s also helpful for anyone struggling with mental health or chronic illness. 


I want to talk about how body doubling can improve the lives of you or your teen/tween today!

What is Body Doubling?

Body doubling is a productivity strategy where someone can work alongside you to complete a challenging task. You can do these sessions virtually or in person with a friend or family member.

I want you to close your eyes and think about the thing that you have been putting off. 

Do you see a stack of bills you haven’t paid yet?

An overflowing hamper?

The refrigerator with expired food?

The basket of socks that never got matched? 

Now imagine you had a friend to do that with you.

How would this change your perception of that task? 

For many people with ADHD, the presence of someone else can be just the motivation they need to stay on track.

When I think about this, I think about ways I have unknowingly done this for people in my life. There have also been people who have come to our house that sat as I folded a load of laundry, meal prepped, or cleaned my kitchen.

In those moments, it didn’t feel so burdensome. It is, perhaps, why body doubling works so well for my work life.

Do You Need ADHD to Benefit From This? NOPE!

I have not gone through the process of ADHD diagnosis because the medications that I would use to treat it wouldn’t be an option for me with my current health issues.

In case you missed it, this is something we talked about on my Book Gang podcast with Paula Engebretson, a Certified Life Coach specializing in helping adults with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) live their best lives. 

Specifically, we discussed how many women get diagnosed at this stage in our lives and some ways to improve reading memory and focus through that.

It’s such an impactful episode that has changed my reading life and many of my listeners. 

Listen to this episode below:

Personally, I know that I display every symptom of ADHD because it runs in my family, AND I happen to live with people who have it too.

I have gotten around treatment by choosing a job that works with my brain, but hormonal shifts and brain fog have made things even more challenging. 

After that episode, I’ve been on a quest to figure out how to continue working WITH my brain, and it is through that research I discovered how body doubles work and how to use them to motivate me.

In fact, I’m using a body double RIGHT NOW to write this post. 

The best part is that this productivity hack is completely free. 

How I Use YouTube for Body Doubling

There are several excellent virtual options if you need a body double but don’t have a partner to work with at home.  

This is how I manage the work portions on my to-do list and how my daughter finds study-date partners when she needs to accomplish studying for tests.

My preferred working method is recorded sessions on YouTube (see below for some of my favorite options).  

this is an example of the breaks that are provided on screen

Many of these previously recorded sessions rely on the Pomodoro setup technique. Five-minute breaks follow these 25-minute sessions of work for recorded sessions that are, typically, two hours.

I didn’t know how motivating it would be to have a “pretend” work-from-home buddy, but I find it even more effective than anything else I’ve done for my WFH life. 

There is no pressure to make small talk, someone else is monitoring the timer for our work sessions, and it puts me in the mood to get my to-do list done. 

How Do I Set-Up My Office To Use This Strategy

I use this pop-up desk (we covered the top with this inexpensive marble paper) and set my workstation up in front of our television in our family room.

We have the Samsung Frame TV, and I can cast my favorite videos onto the television. 

If you don’t have a room with a TV, you can utilize your tablet or phone to pull up the video. 

Personally, I do find the larger screen to be more impactful while I’m working, and I love it displaying at eye level.

It helps brings the accountability aspect into focus.

How to Find a Live Virtual Body Double

Focusmate offers body doubling sessions with an accountability partner for a live, virtual co-working session that will keep you on task. They offer three free sessions a week or you can pay $5 to have unlimited sessions. 

They have shared that 95.5% of their users reported a significant increase in productivity and reduced procrastination.

You can also find users sharing live sessions on TikTok if you search for body doubles.

So I guess social media isn’t ALL bad, is it?

How We Help Each Other as Body Doubles in Our Home

If you live with a friend or family member that can act as your support group through a task, you might not need to call on a virtual double. 

As longtime readers know, my son has ADHD (you can read about that diagnosis process here when he was young), and we continue to tweak and refine what works best to help him. 

Now that he is TWENTY (how is this possible?), we still work together as accountability partners and utilize this simple to-do checklist board with our most important tasks. Our to-do list is almost identical, so we check on each other throughout the day or do these tasks together.

You can see that these are VERY modest goals because I want to honor my body and where it is now. 

I usually work much more than the time on my chart, but this allows me to check it even when I’m having a bad day.  That is the difference between a day I’m proud of and a day that makes me feel bad about myself.

Want to give this productivity hack a try? Here are some of my favorite videos to get you started!

Try These Videos For Working at Home (or Studying)

Be sure to also look up any task you need help with- folding laundry, daily hygiene tasks, or cleaning/organizing are all available with a simple search.

Want more help with that WFH life? Check out these posts!

Do you think you would try this productivity hack? I would love to hear if this has worked for you or for your teen?

Book Gang Podcast Episode 28: Use These Cleaning Hacks For A Better Reading Life

Friday, April 8th, 2022
Book Gang Podcast Episode 28: Use These Cleaning Hacks for a Better Reading Life

Dana K. White is a bestselling author who shares reality-based cleaning and organizing tips on her podcast, A Slob Comes Clean. This discussion embraces the best time-saving cleaning tricks so you can read more and focus less on cleaning. Get her advice on the best decluttering projects to pair with audiobooks. Don’t miss the “container concept” that will help reduce the clutter quickly so you can do the things you love…like READING.

Book Gang Podcast Episode 28: Use These Cleaning Hacks for a Better Reading Life

Listen to the Show:

Listen below or listen on your favorite podcast listening platform!

Mentioned in this episode:

A Slob Comes Clean

Amy’s Container Reorg

Unmissing by Minka Kent

The Round House by Louise Erdrich

Montana 1948 by Larry Watson

Girl With The Louding Voice by Abi Dare

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Mercy Street by Jennifer Haigh

Decluttering at the Speed of Life by Dana K. White

Organizing for the Rest of Us by Dana K. White

How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind by Dana K. White

Dana on YouTube 

Connect With Me:

Amy is @momadvice on Instagram

Join the Patreon Community For the Bonus Content

Join Our Patreon Book Gang Today

Do you want to have the best reading year ever? 

Join the MomAdvice Book Gang for just $5 for an exclusive one-of-a-kind reading experience, and let me be your tour guide. I have selected 12 phenomenal books to read together that were picked just for you.  These are thought-provoking stories that deserve discussion, and many are hidden literary treasures. The official 2022 MomAdvice Book Club selection announcement will happen on December 1st. Your $5 membership will grant you access to the following exclusive features.

Monthly in-depth video interviews with each of our chosen authors. Learn the stories behind each of their stories and what they hope you will walk away from each of their books.

Exclusive Bookstore Coupon Discounts. Our Fables Bookstore partnership will give Patreon members 15% off ALL the book club selections for our year. This can be applied to both paperback and hardback selections. 

Exclusive MomAdvice Book Gang Podcast Episodes & Early Access Book Reviews. Your stack will be toppling over with my real-time reviews each month. These reviews are available in both audio and printable formats.  

Monthly Themed Playlists & Digital Downloads. Pair your favorite thriller with my spooky playlist. Brew some tea and listen to an instrumental mix with your favorite classic. Embrace short story songs with my favorite storytellers. The playlists are endless and digital downloads are available for your reading journals.

Sneak Peek Upcoming Content. You will know before anyone else what to expect in upcoming podcast episodes and what I’m researching for our next shows. Be bookishly curious with me and give your input for these MomAdvice Book Gang podcast shows.

This post contains affiliate links.

Shop the above (Amazon) links or shop through my new MomAdvice Book Gang Bookshop Page!! They pay a 10% commission on every sale and give a matching 10% to independent bookstores.

Book Gang Podcast Episode 28: Use These Cleaning Hacks for a Better Reading Life

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More Cleaning Hacks:

Creating a Weekly Cleaning Routine (Free Printable Charts) Header
Weekly Chore Routines with Free Printables

Tech-Chore Tickets Free Printable
Free Printable Chore Tickets

Cleaning Your Fridge

Clean Your BBQ While you Sleep

How to Make a Succulent Terrarium

Tuesday, April 21st, 2020

How to Make a Succulent Terrarium Header

Looking for the perfect indoor gardening project? Today I’m sharing how to make your own succulent terrarium. This budget-friendly diy project has a picture tutorial to show you how to layer your soil and create that perfect humid environment for your plants.

As regular readers know, I have a black thumb.

I have never been successful at growing anything and my lawn can prove it.

Succulents are my kind of plants because they are so low maintenance and they don’t require a lot of water.

Today I want to show you how to make a succulent terrarium and how I made it as budget-friendly as possible.

Sweet!

First, here are a few answers to a couple of frequently asked questions about making your own indoor terrarium. These step by step directions should you walk you through this entire process.

Where Can I Get Fresh Succulents Delivered Online?

Before we begin this project, you may be wondering how to obtain the supplies you need for your projects.

Many of the garden and home improvement stores are offering curbside pick-up right now.

Many companies also these in bulk and a bulk order would be perfect for making a few special Mother’s Day gifts for someone in your life.

This is one of those plant purchases that require little upkeep and are enjoyed all year-long.

Here are a few other options for getting fresh succulents online.

How Can I Save Money on Making My DIY Terrarium?

  • Fairy gardens are very popular right now. Ask your local nursery if they have smaller bags of pea gravel or moss available for purchase. I was able to get small bags of these items for a lot less.
  • Look to see if there are any succulent arrangements that are already prepared and the pricing and compare it to individual succulents. At my nursery, succulents individually were $4 each, but for $20, I was able to get double the succulents AND it helped to know which ones worked and looked nice together.
  • Thrift shops or Facebook Marketplace are two great places to look for containers. You also can shop your own house and see what serving pieces you have, that just might be gathering dust in your own home.

How to Make a Succulent Terrarium from MomAdvice.com

We are going to be making our succulent terrariums with a product called Ecoscraps.

I’m so excited to share about it because the company’s mission is so awesome and really aligns with our family values.

EcoScraps recycles food scraps and turns them into organic and sustainable lawn and garden products.

They recycle by collecting wasted food from from stores and restaurants andconvert it all into natural garden products.

Simple switches will do so much for our world.You can find out more on the EcoScraps website and find their products on Target shelves.

Now that you know the company’s mission, let’s make a succulent terrarium with their eco friendly potting soil!

How to Make a Succulent Terrarium

Supplies Needed for a Succulent Terrarium

Supplies Needed

Glass Trifle Container

Pebbles

Charcoal or Perlite

Sphagnum Moss

EcoScraps Potting Soil (link is to Walmart, but you can also obtain this product on Target shelves too!)

Succulents (See Above for Sources)I like to choose an odd number for arranging. Mine had 7 of various sizes)

Garden Trowel

How to Make a Succulent Terrarium from MomAdvice.com

Creating a terrarium is a lot like creating a layered cake or trifle so that is why I thought this container was so fitting!

How to Make a Succulent Terrarium Header

Layering Soil in a Terrarium

Pebble Layer in a Succulent Terrarium

Directions

1. Begin by adding your pebbles to the bottom of your container. This is to create a false drainage layer so water can settle and not flood the plants. You will want to add one inch to two inches of stone, depending on the size of your container.

Charcoal or Perlite Layer

2. Next, we will layer our activated charcoal or perlite. The charcoal can come in granules or shards (the type I am using is shards). We will spread a layer of this over the rock to help reduce bacteria, fungus, and odors in our terrarium.

Moss Layer in Terrarium

Moss Layer in Terrarium

3. Next add a layer of moss to create a barrier between the potting soil and charcoal.

4. Prepare your plants for planting by removing them from their pots and loosening up the root ball and exposing the roots. If the roots are particularly long, you can trim them down a bit.

Potting Soil for Terrarium

Potting Soil Layer in Terrarium

Layers in Soil for Terrarium

How to Make a Succulent Terrarium

5. Add a layer of dirt to your terrarium. Gently place your plants inside and then top them off with a bit more dirt, using your hands to gather the dirt firmly into place around each of the plants. Be mindful where you are planting them, mixing up your plants of varying heights and foliage, to fill your jar.

How to Make a Succulent Terrarium

How to Make a Succulent Terrarium

How to Make a Succulent Terrarium

How to Make a Succulent Terrarium

Siri Reminder To Water Plants

5. Finish by watering your terrarium lightly, being mindful not to overwater it because succulents do not like to be soggy. Caring for your terrarium is easy, especially if you are a terrible gardener like me. I’m so terrible, I put Siri in charge. Feel the soil weekly to see if it is dry and add water if it is.

How to Make a Succulent Terrarium from MomAdvice.com

Here is another view of what our terrarium should look like from the side. Make sure to place it in a spot that gets a little sun on their beautiful leaves, but not scorching hot spot in your home.

How to Make a Succulent Terrarium

How to Make a Succulent Terrarium

These are beautiful to keep or to give to someone special in your life.

Thank you, EcoScraps, for letting me share about your amazing mission to reduce food waste in a really wonderful way.

I hope you guys can try their products!

This post was sponsored by EcoScraps.Thank you for supporting the sponsors that help support our site!

This post contains affiliate links.

Don’t miss these other great spring project posts on MomAdvice.com:

How to Make Slushies With Kool-Aid learn how to make slushies with inexpensive kool-aid packets

Herb Wall & DIY Garden Markers make these adorable diy garden markers out of popsicle sticks

fabric floral wreath turn scrap fabric into a spring wreath for your front door

DIY Grilling Seasoning Mix mix up some burger seasonings with these adorable free printables for grilling season

DIY Slow Cooker Citronella Candles with Printable Tag make diy citronella candles in your slow cooker to keep the bugs away

plan an outdoor movie night with the kids with these fun tips

Happy Gardening Friends!

How to Make a Succulent Terrarium Header Pin It

Creating a Weekly Cleaning Routine (Free Printable Charts)

Tuesday, March 31st, 2020

Creating a Weekly Cleaning Routine (Free Printable Charts) Header

Are you looking for some new ways to divide the daily chores and house cleaning? This weekly cleaning schedule teaches kids to participate in household chores and helps them learn valuable life skills. Use these free printable chore charts to motivate your kids to participate in achieving a clean home and learn how we have taught our kids to help at all ages of life.

Before I launch into our household routines, I just want to acknowledge that we are all in VERY different places, both mentally and physically, since this pandemic has descended up on our world.

For me, I have been very consumed by worry for our family’s health, a growing concern for my sister who works in healthcare, and about our extended family members.

This pandemic, in fact, became so all-consuming that I reached out to my physician for some anxiety medication and have found a heightened sense of insecurity with my own safety being out in our world.

Although this week is better, I do find myself hitting big waves of grief, anger over others not doing what they are supposed to, and frustration with communication from politicians.

I do believe these waves will continue, especially as more and more people around me have been diagnosed or as jobs are lost and financial struggles have increased.

What I do know is that, FOR ME, I was also feeling really unprepared with everyone being here all day, the endless food preparation, and our home feeling more and more chaotic.

Can you relate?

My husband said it would be incredibly helpful if I would start making a list of all the things that need to be done around our house and begin to split these duties.

Chore Tickets download my chore and tech tickets for younger kids

When the kids were young, I was big on the weekly chore chart and even made these punchable tickets for tackling chores and reducing screen time.

When I started to have health problems, we decided to hire a cleaning service to help me with our weekly cleaning tasks.

Anyone who has had the privilege of hiring a cleaning service knows that a lot of preparation is required before the cleaning.

I would, honestly, spend an entire day prepping for their arrival and welcomed this as part of our bi-weekly routine. #whiteladyproblems

Hiring them was more about the accountability than just the help with the harder physical tasks of cleaning.

I fully acknowledged, without this visit, our house would start falling apart.

Now that we are all home together (and practicing social distancing), I needed to figure out chore lists that would give my kids responsibilities and divide up tasks evenly so that all the chores did not fall on me.

Family

For the record, my kids are 17 and 14 so they are more than capable of pitching in to assist. I don’t have to worry as much about kid chore charts or making sure they are age appropriate chores, they really are becoming mini-adults.

What I DID have to do though was teach them how to do these tasks so that we could all enjoy our space.

If anything comes out of this awful time it is that my kids are learning some very valuable life lessons about caring for a home, preparing food, and working more as a family unit.

I am sure these are all things that we could have been doing before, but having the space to do them has really helped our family a lot.

Creating a Weekly Cleaning Routine (Free Printable Charts) Printable Example examples of tasks for my 17 year-old

Creating a Weekly Cleaning Routine (Free Printable Charts) Chore Chart examples of tasks for my 14 year-old

Creating a Weekly Cleaning Routine (Free Printable Charts) Example Chart examples of tasks my husband is assisting me with

Creating a Weekly Cleaning Routine (Free Printable Charts) examples of tasks I’m doing each week

Creating a Weekly Cleaning Routine (Free Printable Charts)

Make a List of Tasks That Need to Be Done

I started with a lined sheet of paper and wrote down every chore that I would like to see happen throughout the week.

Chores around the house were jotted down, as well as more general tasks like laundry, menu planning, changing the air filters, checking our water softener, moving the cars around, and grocery shopping.

Divide Routine Tasks So They Don’t Fall on One Family Member

Instead of telling one kid that they need to clean out the kitty litter box, for example, each family member is rotating a day on that single task.

This means that we all get a turn cleaning up our cat’s poo-poo.

How fun is that? Hahaha!

Figure Out How You Can Do These Tasks In Tandem Together

The idea of working as a family unit is that no one person is responsible for everything.

Instead of just one person working in the living room, for example, each person is assigned a task in that room or a task that is on that level in the home.

To tackle cleaned bathrooms, for example, we have the family divided working in our two bathrooms and doing one or two elements of that routine.

One person is quick vacuuming the floors, swiping sinks, and emptying trash.

Another person is cleaning the tubs, washing the throw rugs, and restocking bathroom supplies.

We do have to work together to nail the order down of task completion, but this system is already proving to be really effective in not weighing one person down.

To make this happen, I also did have to purchase some more cleaning equipment (welcome to your new cleaning caddy, kids!)  so that we all had the tools that we needed. 

If you are looking for a good online source, this is the site that I would recommend for doorstep delivery. (affiliate link, but should give you a free 5-piece cleaning set to get started!)

Daily Tasks During Quarantine

Try to Make Daily Standing Routines

While practicing our social distancing, I’m trying not to fall into a complete slump with personal hygiene, getting dressed, and moving. We made a list of things that are important to us (like, a daily walk!) that help keep us moving and help us manage our day better.

This was inspired by this incredible guidance on how to reduce anxiety while we are quarantined.

It really is incredible how much this helps.

I also will say that limiting myself to a coffee hour and a virtual New York Time subscription has allowed me to feel informed and not consumed.

These don’t have to be productive routines, just routines that you know will work well for your mental and physical health right now.

Don’t Be Afraid to Rotate Tasks

Even though I have tried to make things as evenly as possible, in our home, I have offered that the kids can switch roles monthly so that they don’t get stuck doing the same tasks over and over again.

If your kids are liking their habits though, don’t switch it up unless it is necessary.

Allow Room for Rest

I don’t want to clean on the weekends and feel like we ALL deserve to put our feet up on the weekend. That means that our routines are just outlined for Monday-Friday. This gives us Saturday and Sunday with the freedom to allow for rest and relaxation.

Once again, you do NOT need to be doing chore charts if you don’t care about this right now.

YOU DO YOU.

For me, establishing routines (even if it is just 15 minutes a day) makes me feel normal and helps give flow and purpose to this time.

I hope this helps inspire you to create your own routines that help you feel a little more like yourself too.

Sending loads of love and protection over each of your families. 

Click here to download my blank chore chart

Click here to download a blank daily schedule chart

Tech-Chore Tickets Free Printable Click here to download our printable chore or tech time tickets

Click here to read how we did our chore charts when our kids were small

Looking for more help around the house? Check out these articles!

how to successfully menu plan

how to make diy swiffer pads

how to clean and stock your refrigerator

How have your cleaning routines changed now that you are all home together? 

Grocery Shopping Tips at ALDI

Monday, February 24th, 2020

Grocery Shopping Tips At ALDI Header

Take a behind-the-scenes look at ALDI supermarket. Discover how they make their store brands, learn more about shopping the store, have ALDI groceries delivered, and learn what products I love from this budget-friendly store.

Have you ever wondered how products are made at ALDI and how this grocery chain is able to keep their prices so low?

I have the inside scoop thanks to an exciting grocery store tour I got to do at the store. I also have had the privilege of working with them at blog conferences and to help facilitate their store tours for other customers.

Longtime readers know that I have been an early minister on spreading the ALDI truth.

Amy Allen Clark- The ALDI Queen

In fact, for many years I ran a blog called, The ALDI Queen.

You could say that for many years, I made shopping at ALDI my job and my mission to get families to shop there.

The items, at the time, were difficult to create menu plans around because of their limited product choices.

That isn’t the case now AT ALL.

I do almost 100% of my shopping, at their store.

I remember as a child going to ALDI Supermarket with my mother to get our groceries

If you have been an ALDI shopper, for as many years as I have, you may remember the price sheets that ALDI would print.

It was a black-and-white newspaper ad that would tell you all of the price deals for every single week.

The sheet was alphabetized and you would have to find each of the current prices within their handy flier.

I remember being in charge of holding the sheet and plugging the figures into our calculator.

Ah, the days before the digital fliers and phone calculators.

Am I showing my age?

ALDI Supermarket provided some relief to our family’s grocery budget and it now provides relief to my own family’s tight budget as well.

If you are thinking this store is only worth the trip for the bakery staples, you would be wrong.

Thanks to their ever expanding product lines, ALDI now carries many of the specialty products that you would purchase at your local Whole Foods, as well as loads of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free products.

As a longtime fan of the grocery retailer, I could not wait to see how this company operated and, frankly, how in the world they can offer food for such a low price.

This grocery store tour allowed us to learn more about how their stores were set up and I even got to participate in a blind taste-testing of the products to see how they compared with other national brands. 

There was truly not a single element of this trip that I was not fascinated with.

I’d love to share with you what I’ve learned over the years.

Grocery Shopping Tips At ALDI

Grocery Shopping Tips at ALDI

(this clip explains the history of ALDI from ALDI)

Where did ALDI originate?

Despite the growing amount of ALDI Supermarkets all over the United States , ALDI actually originated in Germany and is known as the German Walmart.

The history of ALDI is as intriguing as their deals that they offer.

The frugal ways of ALDI actually came out of its post World War II beginnings, in 1948, when customers at its first store in Essen Germany wanted only the lowest priced staples.

These stores were started by two brothers, Theo & Karl Albrecht, and they named the store Albrecht Discount.

Albrecht Discount is now known as ALDI (for short).

Grocery Aisles at ALDI Tour

How does ALDI keep their prices so low?

This is an answer that we were told would take years to explain, but the main points all pointed to simple cost-cutting measures, employee training that goes beyond other grocery stores, a limited selection of items, smart store design, and in-house private labels.

Some of the ways they save is by having baking items on pallets and dairy items on rolling carts so the employees don’t need to stock individual items on shelves.

The savings are also reflected in the smaller things like the quarter deposit for your cart and bagging those groceries yourself.

Honestly, I am able buy double the items for our family just by shopping their store.

Seeing is believing so make a plan to visit your local store soon.

How do I find out if I have a store nearby and what are the store hours?

ALDI is expanding and has been remodeling many of its stores. To find out if you have a store near you, you can locate your local store by searching with your zip code. This will also tell you your store hours so you can plan your shopping trip.

How many employees work in an ALDI store?

The typical ALDI store only has between 6-8 employees and it is common for their employees to celebrate 15, 20, or 25 years of service.

They pay their employees significantly higher than the national average and with 20 hours a week, they give their employees full health insurance benefits.

Employees go through extensive training and they do everything from putting out the new pallets of food to ringing up the customers to tidying the store.

It is this efficiency and the smaller pay rolls that translate into big savings for their customers.

Looking for a job with ALDI? Check their current listings here!

What is the difference between ALDI and other grocery stores?

ALDI is a very normal store, although it lacks many of the frills of the traditional supermarkets.

They offers a “strictly no frills” approach to their store which means that they do not decorate their aisles or fill shelves.

Items are placed on pallets, similar to your shopping experience at warehouse clubs, and customers pick items off of the pallets.

Upon a pallet being emptied, the employees bring out another pallet to be bought from, eliminating the need for someone to sort shelves.

Keep in mind, you will not be receiving any free bags (scroll down for more information on that and purchasing a cart), or a personal greeter, stores.

Most ALDI’s do not offer a deli, a butcher shop, a bakery.

In fact, it is hard to find even a listed phone number.

You see, if they had a phone number, then they would have to have someone answer the phone.

That one extra “frill” would cost ALDI time & money and this is how they keep their costs low.

What is the ALDI AOS and what will I find there?

While ALDI does keep to many grocery basics, the trap is found in the middle section of their store.

This is the, special purchases or ALDI Finds aisle that bring in superior discounts on random household items each week.

These can include kitchen gadgets, electric appliances, furniture, patio items, toys, exercise equipment, home decor, and even computers.

If you see chats that talk about the AOS, you may be wondering what is going on.

It’s the AISLE OF SHAME.

Hahahaha!

Basically, it is the middle spot in the store that you might get sucked into.

I have often come home with random things like fabric steam cleaners, an exercise weight set, a foldable buffet table, or even clothing items.

It’s the Wild West of aisle and always yields incredible surprises.

It is a bit like shopping a Big Lots or TJ Maxx and is referred to, by enthusiasts as, the AOS.

What does ALDI mean when they say you will, “shop different,” at their stores?

In the ALDI mission statement, you will discover these promises that share why they consider their grocery store to be such a unique experience.

  • Twice as Nice Guarantee- If you are unhappy with an item, not only will they refund your money, but they will also give you a replacement item for free. Read about their refund policy here. This guarantee does not mean a guarantee on being the lowest priced though. They always do their best to be the lowest price, but there may be times (in the seasonal and special purchases aisles especially) where you might be able to get the item for less at another store or with a coupon.
  • They Meet or Exceed Competitor Brands- They aim to make a product that is better than their competitors and many products are award-winning because of it. In 2019, they taste-tested over 30,000 products just to make sure that you have the best tasting product on the shelf. Read more about their good quality food and policies.
  • They Say NO to Synthetic- Every ALDI exclusive is completely free of certified synthetic color, added MSG and partially hydrogenated oils. You can read more about this commitment here.
  • They Carry Organic Products- ALDI has daily delivery of produce, fresh meats and fish, and carry an extensive line of organics, gluten-free and vegan foods.
  • They Have Many Award-Winning Wines- Forget that two buck chuck business and acquaint yourself with the ALDI aisle. The wines are incredibly affordable and you can find new offers every week. They also do a few monthly wine features that they don’t typically cary.
  • They Have the Best Prices. Seriously.– Check out this comparison on the pricing at ALDI, Kroger, & Walmart.

Who Has a Lower Price- ALDI or Trader Joe’s?

I loved the results of this price comparison on ALDI vs Trader Joe’s.

As you can see, ALDI offers pricing even lower than most Trader Joe’s products.

What is the Best Day to Shop?

Wednesday is the the BEST day to shop ALDI.

This is the day when the ALDI Finds get freshened up and you can find, typically, between 40-50 new items at the store. 

See you in the AOS! 

What do I need to know for my first trip to ALDI?

Download the ALDI App For Your Visit

If you are trying to locate the current price sheet and weekly flier, downloading the app is highly recommended.

Not only will this tell you the current store price, it also has a place for you to jot down your shopping list and the ability to search the QR codes on any product.

Don’t Bring Your Coupons

No coupon clipping is needed for your ALDI shopping experience.

ALDI sells, primarily, only store brand merchandise saving you some time on coupon cutting.

Typically, they only carry one or two brands for each product you are hunting for. Just because these products are considered “off-brand”, in actuality, many of the private label products are made by well-known brand manufacturers and are simply shipped in different packaging to their stores.

Bring the Right Type of Payment With You

Currently the store accepts cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, most debit cards, the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT), Link cards, SNAP and contactless pay such as Apple Pay And Google Pay.

At this time they do not accept checks or the Women, Infants and Children program (WIC)

buy a quarter keeper for ALDI buy this quarter keeper so you won’t forget OR shop all the fun quarter keepers

Bring a Quarter for Your Cart

The store offers a shopping cart rental program which can be confusing the first time you shop the store. I highly recommend purchasing one of these quarter holders for your keychain so you don’t forget.

The carts are linked together, you slide the quarter in (the quarter spot is located near the handle on the right), and this releases your cart.

Once you are done with your cart, simply bring it back to the linked carts, link it to the cart in front, and take your quarter back.

Quarter for ALDI Carts

This simple solution saves on hiring people to scavenger hunt for carts.

If you forget your quarter, go to the cashier and have them make change for you.

Feeling generous?

Leave the cart unhooked to save someone a quarter.

Collapsible Reusable Bags for ALDI buy these collapsible reusable bags or find your favorite reusable grocery bags here

Bring Your Own Grocery Bags (Or Pay a Small Fee for Theirs)

It is green to bring a reusable bag (another cost-cutting method by the store) and you can bring your favorite set (I HIGHLY recommend these) or you can purchase reusable bags from the store.

If you don’t need another reusable bag, you can purchase plastic or paper bags for a small fee.

Also keep your eyes out for empty boxes because these are perfect for storing groceries in your car and make carrying your groceries easier.


Be Ready for the Cashiers, and I MEAN READY!

If you have ever stood in a line at ALDI, one thing you will see is that these cashiers work at lightning speed and can wait on customers quicker than any other store I have ever been to.

As a customer, you load your items on the conveyor belt and then bring your cart to set up next to the cashier. The cashier will scan the items and place them in the cart for you.

Once you are done, you relocate to bag your groceries.

If you want a hilarious example of the speed, you will love this. Follow me on Instagram for more fun every dang week.

Get Bagging

Instead of having someone bag for you, you will be the bagger! I find it helpful to organize my bags by categories.

I keep a bag for freezer foods, meat, canned items (break these up so they aren’t heavy), fresh produce, soft items (like bread and eggs) dairy, and pantry items (like peanut butter, jelly, sugar, flour, macaroni, rice, pasta, etc..)

Grocery Cart for Chronic Illness this is what I use when I do any curbside pickup- highly recommend if you have a chronic illness too to save trips!

Need Someone to Help You Bag? Introducing ALDI Delivery!

ALDI now offers curbside pickup and grocery delivery. Our store is not participating just yet, but this service is offered by Instacart.

For 2020, you can use coupon code SHOPALDI20, for new Instacart members, which should give you free pick-up on your first three orders.

We use the grocery delivery service, at our house, and it has been a Godsend for our family.

As someone who has health problems and chronic joint pain issues, this has been so helpful for our family.

ALDI offers this through the Instacart platform.

To be an Instacart member, you pay $99 for the year and this pays for unlimited visits (similar to being an Amazon Prime member).

Keep in mind, you may notice an additional mark-up on the pricing (it isn’t significant, but worth nothing) and there are additional fees that apply to online orders.

I think of this pricing system as the purchase is made including a bit of a buffer for paying the employees to shop for me.

For example, tipping your shopper will be an additional expense.

Grocery Shopping Tips At ALDI visit my passive income for busy moms series for new ways to save BIG for your family!

Get Cash Back on Your Purchases

Although ALDI doesn’t take coupons, be sure to scan in your receipts into Ibotta for potential cash back rewards!

Looking for more ways to save big? Be sure to follow my passive income series now.

What I Learned From My Behind the Scenes ALDI Trip

For seasoned ALDI shoppers, what I’m sharing might not be new, but maybe this information is?

Blind Taste Test At ALDI

They Are Serious About Beating Their Competitors on Taste

I am a longtime customer and super fan of the products that ALDI offers, but the blind taste test that I participated in surprised even a super fan like me. 

We sampled many items from their holiday line and compared them to the national brands.

Blind Taste Testing at ALDI Headquarters

ALDI ham review

 

Blind Taste Testing of Cheese At ALDI

Even though I love ALDI, I can be a bit of a food snob when it comes to certain foods like high quality cheeses and meats.

When we taste tested Tyson chicken versus ALDI chicken, I truly loved their brand better.

I knew the meat that I had tasted must have been the Tyson meat, but I was dead wrong.

It goes to show that sometimes we are just conditioned to believe one brand is better than the other.

Belmont Pies Review

Belmont Pies Review

Another surprise was the difference between Mrs. Smith’s apple pie versus the ALDI Belmont Deep Dish Apple Pie. 

The ALDI pie crust (pictured on the right) cooked and browned more evenly. 

The difference in the taste was significant and the price was 28% lower.

Even being the ALDI fan girl that I am, I came away feeling validated that the choice that I had made to shop at the store, out of necessity due to the financial strain we had been under, for our family was a good one. 

The cost-cutting measures of the store do not cost-cut on the bottom line of the quality of the items in the store.

In fact, the company does their best to offer a better product that the name brand. 

After doing this blind taste-testing, I believe they have (FOR SURE) exceeded the standard.

ALDI & Trader Joe’s Are Not Owned By the Same Company

A common misconception is that this store is owned by the same parent company.

The relationship though is…confusing.

ALDI Nord owns Trader Joe’s in the States, but the ALDI stores that you see in the States are run by ALDI Süd, which is separate from Trader Joe’s.

To quote The Kitchn, “The chains are kind of like estranged cousins. Step-brothers? In-laws? We don’t know! But it doesn’t matter because the stores are run entirely independently with no joint ownership.”

They Have a Tracking System to Pull Products Quickly

ALDI does their best to work with local farmers to get fresh produce on their shelves.

The transparency on this will be on the pricing label and say that it is, “locally grown.”

Each of their produce items are tracked so that they are able to pull specific numbers off of the shelves if there are any food safety issues with the products.

This means any time a purchase is made, you know it is held to food safety standards AND you are also backed by their twice back guarantee.

Barcodes of ALDI products

Multiple Barcodes on ALDI products

Barcodes on ALDI products

multiple barcodes on ALDI products

There Are Multiple Barcodes On Every Product

This is one of those things that I would have never noticed and now I can’t believe I didn’t see this before.

You may not know it, but ALDI offers smart packaging that can speed up your wait time at their store.

In this picture is a single bag of chips, simply held at all different angles.

Practically every corner of their bags and boxes have a UPC code that can make scanning your items that much faster. 

Go ahead and take a peek in your pantry at your ALDI items and you will see it too. It is one of those things that you may have never noticed, but translates into saving time for you.

I hope you enjoyed these fun ALDI facts! 

Scroll down for some of my FAVORITE recipes made from ALDI ingredients!!

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Affiliate links help support our site. Thank you for supporting a small business owner!

Looking for ways to prepare dishes with ALDI ingredients? Here are my favorite recipes for you!

3 Ways to Cook Chicken Breasts From Frozen Header learn how I prep ALDI’s frozen chicken for a busy week

DIY Cold Brew Coffee from ALDI Ground Coffee learn how to make cold brew coffee from ALDI ground coffee or beans

10 Minute Fish Tacos Recipe header make these 10-minute tacos with ALDI frozen (or fresh) tilapia

Shrimp Boil from ALDI Shrimp put ALDI frozen shrimp & smoked sausage to work in this easy shrimp boil

3-Ingredient Instant Pot Ribs Recipe from MomAdvice.com make these 3-ingredient ribs with ALDI ribs & Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce

5-ingredient salmon sheet pan meal from MomAdvice.com get my 5-ingredient salmon sheet pan meal make with ALDI ingredients

How to Cook Quinoa in the Rice Cooker from MomAdvice.com I even bought a rice cooker from ALDI and prepare their quinoa with this easy method

Pumpkin Chili Recipe from MomAdvice.com grab pumpkin in the baking aisle and warm up with my ALDI pumpkin chili recipe

Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast from MomAdvice.com have a pressure cooker? this italian beef roast is how I prepare an ALDI chuck roast. It’s to die for!

once you try this ALDI ground beef taco filling, you’ll never prepare it any other way again!

Shrimp Fried Rice Recipe from MomAdvice.com leftover rice from ALDI can be made into this EASY fried rice with a few items from their freezer section

gluten-free meatloaf recipe the binding agent in this gluten-free meatloaf is potato flakes from ALDI.  say what?

chicken pesto frittata ALDI’s prepared pesto and diced chicken make the perfect filling for a hearty frittata

sheet pan ranch pork chops this sheet pan pork chop meal is all made from ALDI ingredients and a weeknight winner

lemon paprika chicken thighs once you try this method for cooking ALDI chicken thighs, you’ll rely on it again and again

Overnight Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oatmeal from MomAdvice.com learn how I turn my slow cooker into a double boiler to make creamy overnight apple oatmeal with ALDI steel cut oats

Meal Prep: Breakfast Sandwiches Recipe from MomAdvice.com make your own mcmuffins with this freezer-friendly ALDI recipe

 

 

Do you love ALDI as much as me? I’d love to hear what you think of this discount grocer!

DIY Burlap Pom-Pom Wreath

Tuesday, January 28th, 2020

DIY Burlap Pom Pom Wreath Header

A painted wreath form becomes the base to this modern wreath. Burlap ribbon and wired ribbon are gathered into ruffled pom-pom flowers for the festive accents. Throw in an ostrich feather and you have everything you need for this inside out burlap wreath.

The self-proclaimed queen of wreath making is back and I can’t wait to share another wreath tutorial for a modern wire wreath for your front door.

This slimmed down wreath is particularly awesome if you have a glass door and your wreaths get smashed between the two doors.

While I have adorned this for wreath for Valentine’s Day, the metal base can be used over and over again with fresh floral picks, different colors of burlap, or different ribbons.

The possibilities are endless.

The best part about this wreath?

The accessories take just five minutes and don’t require any special pom pom maker to pull of this diy project.

DIY Burlap Pom-Pom Wreath

(don’t forget to download the Rakuten app to save on craft supplies- read all about it or just sign up here and get $10 of your first purchase)

DIY Burlap Pom Pom Wreath Supplies List

DIY Burlap Pom Pom Wreath Supplies List

DIY Burlap Pom Pom Wreath Supplies

Supplies Needed:

18″ Wire Wreath Frame

Metallic Acrylic Paint– pick your favorite shade or use my exact match

Foam Brush

Paper Plate or disposable cup for paint

Ostrich Feather

2 ⅜” Wide Burlap Ribbon (this is linked to exactly what I bought or search for your own favorite colors) NOTE: you will need 9 yards of burlap ribbon to replicate this project

2 ½” Wired Buffalo Plaid Ribbon (this is linked to exactly what I bought or search for your own favorite pattern) NOTE: you will need 8 yards of ribbon to replicate this project

Tape Measure

Cotton Twine (embroidery thread is pictured here, but I found it too fragile)

Embroidery Needle

Hot Glue Gun

Glue Sticks

Vintage Buttons or Vintage Jewelry for Flower Centers

Scissors

Floral Wire (this is the kind I love)

Directions:

Painting a Floral Wreath Frame

Paint your metal wreath with metallic acrylic paint.

You can just brush it on or you can try to create a bit of texture by sponging and then lifting your foam brush to give it a little more texture.

Set aside to allow plenty of dry time for your wreath base. It should take approximately an hour.

Burlap Pom Poms & Ribbon Pom Poms

While your wreath is drying, make 3 burlap pom poms and two ribbon pom poms for your accessories. You will find this step-by-step 5 minute craft tutorial over here.

After your wreath has dried, add another coat (if necessary) or touch up the paint as needed.

Allow to fully dry before proceeding to the next step.

Attaching the Ostrich Feather to Wreath

Once the wreath is dry, we can begin assembling everything for the wreath. 

My wreath form was still drying, but this picture should show you exactly how to do it.

Add your ostrich feather to hug around the wreath and secure it, about 3/4’s of the way down, and then at the base of the feather.

Mapping Out Placement of Burlap Pom Pom Flowers

Once you have your burlap pom poms and ribbon pom poms done, lay them out to figure out the perfect placement.

Remember, odd numbers of accessories are pleasing to the eye.

This wreath has 5 flowers, but you could add 7 or even 9, depending on how large you want the accessories to be.

Using the ends of the twine, on the back of the pom poms, tie your accessories to the wreath form. If necessary, add a dab of hot glue to secure it in place for your wreath.

DIY Burlap Pom Pom Wreath

Painted Wreath Form

DIY Burlap Pom Pom Wreath

DIY Burlap Pom Pom Wreath

That’s it! It is super easy to hang since the wreath form is exposed!

I can’t wait to see your wreaths and I hope this inspires you to create a special wreath for your front door this year!

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

As a RewardStyle affiliate I earn from affiliate links.

Looking for more wreath ideas for every season? Check out my favorites below.

fabric floral wreath make a floral fabric wreath out of scrap fabrics

fabric rag wreath make a fabric rag wreath out of scrap fabrics

diy peep wreath turn peeps into a wreath with toothpicks (this lasted FOR YEARS- not kidding!)

How to Make a Yarn Pom Pom Wreath from MomAdvice.com  diy yarn pom pom wreath

(don’t feel like neutral? try this craft with colored pom poms. The multi colored would be so fun for your home and you can use different size pom poms)

burlap wreath tutorial make a burlap wreath for your front door

Happy crafting, friends!

DIY Burlap Pom Pom Wreath

 

5 Minute Craft: Burlap Pom Pom Tutorial

Monday, January 27th, 2020

5 Minute Craft: Burlap Pom Pom Tutorial Header

 

This fast burlap craft couldn’t be easier. With just five minutes, you can make these pom pom flowers for wreaths, gifts, or to make into a burlap pom pom garland. Use this tutorial to make your own with burlap or your favorite wired ribbon. This is a perfect kids craft idea or for the beginner crafter in you!

This is that weird time of year, after Christmas, when I’m looking for craft ideas to fill those empty spots in our home.  I decided that it would be wonderful to have a little nod to Valentine’s Day with a new wreath for our front door.

I wanted to create something unique this year so I went to my button jar to see if I had anything to incorporate into a piece for our home.

Vintage Jewelry for Burlap Pom Poms

Vintage Jewelry for Burlap Pom Pom Flowers

Years ago, my grandmother had shared some of my great-grandma’s costume jewelry with me because she thought I might enjoy crafting with it.

In that stash, were numerous gorgeous clip-on earrings that would make the perfect centers for flowers.

Crafting is so much more special with a little history blended in, isn’t it?

Today I’m showing off this easy 5 minute craft to make burlap and ribbon pom pom flowers to adorn a wreath in your house.

I’ll share my full burlap wreath tutorial for you tomorrow, but to get started, you will need to whip up a few of these easy burlap flowers.

5 Minute Craft: Burlap Pom Poms Tutorial

(don’t forget to download the Rakuten app to save on craft supplies- read all about it or just sign up here and get $10 of your first purchase)

Supplies Needed:

2 ⅜” Wide Burlap Ribbon (this is linked to exactly what I bought or search for your own favorite colors)

2 ½” Wired Buffalo Plaid Ribbon (this is linked to exactly what I bought or search for your own favorite pattern)

Tape Measure

Cotton Twine

Embroidery Needle

Hot Glue Gun

Glue Sticks

Vintage Buttons or Vintage Jewelry for Flower Centers

Scissors

Directions for Burlap Pom Poms (or Ribbon Pom Poms):

Cutting Burlap for Pom Pom

Measure 3 feet of burlap ribbon and cut with your scissors.

Cotton Twine for Burlap Pom Pom Flower

Cut a foot of cotton twine. Knot one end, leaving a generous tail, and thread your embroidery needle on the other end of the twine.

Starting the Twine for Burlap Pom Pom Flower

Threading the Twine for Burlap Pom Pom Flower

Fold the rough edge down and then start your running stitch just a little past the tail of the burlap. The reason we are doing this is because it has a tendency to fray and we want to start with a clean line.

Stitching a Burlap Pom Pom Flower

Now we will be doing stitches down the length of the edge.

Gathering Stitches for Burlap Pom Pom Flower

You can feed these individually, or make it quicker by threading back-and-forth and grabbing multiple stitches at a time.

Once you get to the end, remove your embroidery needle.

Threading Twine Through Burlap Pom Pom

Bunching Up Stitches for Burlap Pom Pom

Bunching Up Stitches for Burlap Pom Pom

Now comes the fun part.

Grab the end of the twine (that once held your embroidery needle) and start pulling so the burlap bunches up and starts creating the pom-pom look we are after.

I also like to pull the opposite end to really bring these two sides together into shape.

5 Minute Craft: Burlap Pom Pom Tutorial

5 Minute Craft: Burlap Pom Pom Tutorial

Finishing Burlap Pom Pom With Vintage Jewelry

Now you can see exactly where your center will go to your burlap flower.

Apply your button or jewelry piece to the center of the burlap with a little hot glue.

Finished Back of Burlap Pom Pom

Finish by cleaning up the tails on the back of your pom pom.

For tomorrow’s wreath, we will leave these tails so we can secure these to our wreath.

If you are tying these to something, for example, you’ll just want to leave these tails on.

Prefer to make a pom pom flower out of ribbon? This same technique works with your favorite ribbon.

Starting a Ribbon Pom Pom

For this one, I used 4 feet of ribbon instead.

You can play around with the lengths too. There is no wrong way to do this fun craft.

I picked this buffalo plaid and found the pattern also helped me with spacing out those stitches evenly.

Ribbon Pom Pom Flower

You will do everything the exact same way, but it yields two different texture textures for your pieces.

I will say that I do prefer a wired ribbon because it gives you the ability to fan it out and allow it to really hold its shape.

Finished Ribbon Pom Pom

5 Minute Craft: Burlap Pom Pom Finished

How fun are these?

I hope you love this tutorial as much as me!

Tomorrow I will share how I used these beauties in my wreath for Valentine’s Day!

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

As a RewardStyle affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Looking for more burlap or pom-pom crafts? I’ve got you covered!

how to make an autumn burlap wreath from momadvice.com learn to make a ruffled burlap wreath

The Easiest Burlap Wreath You Will Ever Make from MomAdvice.com learn how to make a burlap wreath that you can switch out for the seasons

pom pom flower bouquets learn how to make a yarn pom pom with this pom pom bouquet tutorial

How to Make a Yarn Pom Pom Wreath from MomAdvice.com craft up pom poms for this viral anthropologie inspired pom pom wreath

Happy crafting, friends!

5 Minute Craft: Burlap Pom Pom Tutorial Header

 

How to Spray Paint Furniture

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020

How to Spray Paint Furniture Header

Some of my absolute favorite transformations in our home have come from simple paint – it’s amazing the difference it can make! Spray paint dries quickly and creates a beautiful satin finish. Check out this picture tutorial on how to get that high gloss look with a touch of antique glazing.

Painting furniture can be time consuming that is why I have fallen in love with spray painting my furniture to get a fresh new look with a small time investment.

Today I am going to show you how to spray paint your furniture to give an old piece in your home a new lease on life with just spray paint and an easy antiquing and distressing technique.

How to Spray Paint Furniture Paint

Choosing a spray paint can be a lot of fun!

For this project I chose the Rust-Oleum American Accents Ultra Cover 2X paint.

The thing that makes this paint special is that it can cover twice the square footage of other general purpose spray paints.

This new paint contains 44% more solids which creates a higher performance than other paints and gives you better coverage with fewer passes.

What makes the paint economical is that one can performs like two cans, so it saves you time and money.

The price also fits nicely into a DIY’ers budget at a mere $3.87 per can

How_To_Spray_Paint_Furniture_1
I love this corner in our office, but have not loved this side table for many years.

These chairs are so fun, but the table added no personality to this corner. I had planned to donate it to Goodwill, but I wondered if I could give this piece a spray paint face lift that would reflect this fun space.

I decided to give the table a makeover with a little spray paint and antiquing.

Check out my video tutorial and picture tutorial for spray painting wood furniture below.

 

How to Spray Paint Furniture

Supplies Needed to Spray Paint Furniture


Spray Paint Primer (gray if doing a dark color or white if doing a light color)

1-2 Cans Rust-Oleum American Accents Ultra Cover 2X, any shade (I am using Moss Green)- make sure the one you choose is a spray paint for wood

Rust-Oleum Standard Spray Grip

Rust-Oleum Decorative Glaze in Java Brown

Sander

Sand Paper

Rags

Hardware (optional) or spray paint to paint it

Spray Painting Furniture Paint Supplies

 

How to Spray Paint Your Furniture

To begin, prepare your surface by wiping the entire piece down with a clean cloth. Disassemble any drawers and hardware to prepare it for painting.

How to Spray Paint Furniture Sanding

How to Spray Paint Furniture Sanding

How to Spray Paint Furniture Sanding Next, give the entire piece a good sanding to smooth out any imperfections. Sand any edges with a piece of sandpaper and use a sander to smooth the top of your piece. IT is important to take your time when you sand your furniture, so you have a great base for painting.

Once the piece is fully sanded, wipe it down with a damp cloth to prepare it for priming.

How to Spray Paint Furniture Invert Piece

To help prevent drips and to make sure we get into every crevice of this piece with paint, we are going to start with our piece INVERTED.

I promise, it is going to help the painting process go so much smoother than if you start with it upright.

How to Spray Paint Furniture Priming

Starting with your piece inverted, begin spray painting it with your primer. Be sure to be in a well ventilated area and give your primer a good shake to begin priming your surface well.

Hold your can 8 inches away from your surface and spray your primer in a sweeping motion side to side with a slight overlap. Allow the primer to dry for one hour.

How to Spray Paint Furniture Priming

How to Spray Paint Furniture Priming

Put the piece right side up and finish priming the top. Allow the primer to dry for one hour.

How to Spray Paint Furniture Painting

How to Spray Paint Furniture Painting

How to Spray Paint Furniture Paint Drying

Repeat the same process with your choice of Rust-Oleum American Accents Ultra Cover 2X in your favorite shade. Once the piece is fully painted, allow it to dry overnight before glazing.

How to Spray Paint Furniture Distressing

How to Spray Paint Furniture Distressing

How to Spray Paint Furniture Distressing

Using a coarse sandpaper, begin roughing up the edges on your piece to create a more antique look. Be sure to distress those edges so your antique glaze has somewhere to go!

How to Spray Paint Furniture Antique Glazing

How to Spray Paint Furniture Antiquing

How to Spray Paint Furniture Antique Glaze

How to Spray Paint Furniture

Using a clean rag, dip your rag in your glaze and then begin applying in a circular motion to your piece.

With a clean and damp cloth, remove as much of the glaze as you would like. I again, removed this in a circular motion from the piece until it added a hint of variation to the piece, but didn’t look sponged.

How to Spray Paint Furniture Hardware

How to Spray Paint Furniture Hardware

If you desire, you can spray paint your hardware. As you know hardware can be expensive to replace and sometimes older pieces have more custom fitting hardware so spray paint can be a great way to freshen it up.

We chose to replace the wooden handle with a black hardware piece and then spray painted the old gold accessories black with a can I had in my craft supplies.

How to Spray Paint Furniture Hardware Black

How to Spray Paint Furniture Hardware Black

We have spray painted many a handle in our home and you would never know it wasn’t that color originally.

Be sure to let this FULLY DRY before you slide those drawers back in!
How to Spray Paint Furniture

How to Spray Paint Furniture

How to Spray Paint Furniture

How to Spray Paint Furniture

How to Spray Paint Furniture

Here is my finished piece.

I am so darn proud of it and love how vintage this piece looks thanks to the glazing and sanding process that I did on it.

In full disclosure, there were some missteps along the way.

How to Spray Paint Furniture

Temperature Changes Effect Spray Paint

If you live in Indiana, you know that the drops and changes in temperature can be quite dramatic and that is just what happened when I painted this.

I put a final coat on my perfect table before I went to bed and woke up to a table and drawers that had bubbled in the night.

Try to pick a time of day when the temperature is warmer and will hold steady (nothing below fifty degrees) to prevent bubbling of paint.

I used the advice provided by Kate, at Centsational Girl, on what to do if your spray paint bubbles and it worked like a charm.

Shake Your Spray Paint Can Well

Having that handy trigger on the spray paint makes it easy to paint quickly, but I forgot to shake the can every so often to keep my paint looking even and glossy.

You definitely will want to make sure you shake it very well at the beginning, and shake it every so often when painting with it.

Who Knew You Needed to Be So Tidy?

Make sure after sanding that you really have a nice clear surface to begin your painting, otherwise you will have a crummy surface…literally.

The same can be said for choosing a nice clean rag when doing glazing and keeping the piece as clean as you can, which is super difficult if you are in your filthy garage like me!

Distressing Can Hide Flaws

Distressing the piece more not only helped me minimize the bubbles, but it also added character to the piece.

For my first spray painted furniture piece, I would definitely recommend it the first time to help you get the hang of how to paint with spray paint.

Practice Makes Perfect

This piece isn’t my best work, but I love it in spite of its flaws.

As with all skills, it takes a little practice to get the hang of spray painting furniture.

Even though I struggled a bit with my first project, I can’t wait to paint my record cabinet in our office next in the same shade and now I know what to do and what NOT to do when it comes to spray painting my furniture.

How to Spray Paint Furniture

How to Spray Paint Furniture

How to Spray Paint Furniture

 

What a difference a day makes?

Isn’t she lovely?

She has certainly brightened up this corner of our home!

I highly recommend giving this new paint a try!

Fast coverage and an inexpensive way to add a pop of color in your home!

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

This post contains affiliate links.

Looking for more ways to refresh your living space?

Check out these other great DIY projects for your home!

 

How to Paint a Kitchen Table

How To Paint a Kitchen Table

 

How to Stain Furniture

How To Easily Stain Wood Furniture

 

How to Reupholster Chairs

 

Happy painting, friends!

How to Spray Paint Furniture

How to Spray Paint Furniture Antique Glazing Pin It

DIY Holiday Yarn Trees

Wednesday, November 20th, 2019

DIY Holiday Yarn Trees from MomAdvice.com.

Bring the holidays to your mantle with these simple DIY Christmas trees! This holiday craft is so easy and inexpensive that you can make a few and display them together or give them as gorgeous hostess gifts. Make the DIY holiday yarn trees in Christmas colors or your favorites to add a festive touch to your Christmas decor!

 

What could be more fun than decorating for the holiday season?

For this month’s holiday decor project, I wanted to share with you a fun DIY project for creating festive yarn trees that you can create to decorate a ledge, table, or mantle in your home. 

You will only need a few affordable supplies from your craft shop to create this craft.

Don’t think of these as only a decoration for Christmas.

These are beautiful to display all holiday season long, especially in a nice warm neutral yarn!

 

DIY Holiday Yarn Trees

Supplies List

2-    3-7/8 x 8-7/8  inch  Styrofoam floral cones

2- 3-7/8 x 11-7/8 inch  Styrofoam floral cones

4 glass candlestick holders (optional)

2 skeins of inexpensive yarn (in your favorite yarn color)

Small & Large Clover Pom-Pom Makers (unless making pom-poms by hand)

Hot glue gun

Glue Sticks

Straight Pins

Scissors

3.75 mm straight yarn needles

2-4.00 mm double-pointed needles

 

DIY Holiday Yarn Trees

 

Instructions for Making Your Yarn Trees

1. For each of the smaller trees, you will need approximately 73-75 small pom poms. I am in love with my pom-pom maker for making these and have provided a picture tutorial above, if you would like to use these too.  Make sure to give your pom-poms a nice trim, to even up any uneven spots.

 

DIY Holiday Yarn Trees

 

2. Once you have made all of your pom-poms, it is time to assemble them to your tree-form. Grab your hot glue gun and apply a dab of glue in the center of the pom-pom (where you have tied the string to gather everything.  Apply the pom-poms to the tree, starting at the bottom of the cone and working your way around the tree. Try not to line these up all evenly, but stagger them in each row to make it look more like a real tree!

 

3. Continue adding pom-poms until you get to the top of the tree, making sure all of the tree-form is completely covered.

 

4. Make a large pom-pom in a contrasting color and secure it with hot glue, in the center again, and add it to the top of the tree as your star.

 

5. Finish by giving your tree a trim, especially at the top, to trim all of the yarn down to make it look more like a tree.

 

DIY Holiday Yarn Trees

 

6. For an easy yarn-wrapped tree, begin by adding a dab of hot glue to the top of your taller tree-forms. Begin by applying your yarn in a swirled motion at the top. Add one more dab of glue at the top and start wrapping your tree-form all the way around it until you are about a half-inch from the bottom.

 

7. Add one more dab of glue and then finish adding the yarn until you reach the bottom of the form. Clip the yarn and secure the end with a little hot glue.

 

8. Decorate this tree-form any way that you would like. If you are not a knitter, there are many varieties of ways you can decorate these yarn trees. You can top with a pom-pom in an alternating color, create a multi-colored pom-pom for topping, braid yarn to create a garland, or create some garland out of a contrasting color.

 

9. If you are a knitter, knit a 3-stitch i-cord using two 4.0 mm double-pointed needles  for a total of 32.5 inches. Using straight pins, secure the i-cord to the top of the tree and then wrap around and around, securing occasionally with pins, until the tree is completely wrapped in garland.

 

10. Top your tree with a simple knitted bow, if knitting an adornment. Using your 3.75 mm straight needles, cast on ten stitches. Knit the first row, then purl the next row. Repeat this pattern until it measures 6.5 inches in length. Cast the stitches off and then seam them in the center. Using more yarn, simply wrap the center of the bow and then knot the yarn behind. Secure the bow at the top with hot glue.

 

11. Attach all of the trees to inexpensive dollar-store candlestick holders. If you desire, you can spray paint these in your favorite color or just leave them plain, as I have shown.

 

DIY Holiday Yarn Trees from MomAdvice.com.

 

 

DIY Holiday Yarn Trees from MomAdvice.com.

 

 

DIY Holiday Yarn Trees from MomAdvice.com.

 

I hope you love these little yarn trees as much as I do! It is definitely an inexpensive and fun way to dress up a corner of your home for the holidays!

 

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As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This post contains affiliate links. I only recommend what I love!

 

DIY yarn holiday trees MomAdvice.com

 

Don’t miss these other great Holiday ideas from MomAdvice:

 

How to Make a Yarn Pom Pom Wreath from MomAdvice.com

How to Make Pom Pom Wreath 

 

 

The Easiest Burlap Wreath You Will Ever Make from MomAdvice.com

Easy Burlap Wreath

 

 

how to make a pom-pom and ornament garland MomAdvice

Ornament & Pom Pom Garland

 

 

Christmas at Mom Advice-Traditions Decor and Food

Christmas at MomAdvice

 

 

 

20 Easy DIY Stocking Stuffers - MomAdvice.com

DIY Stocking Stuffers

 

 

 

54 Handmade Gifts from MomAdvice

Homemade Gift Ideas

 

 

DIY Holiday yarn trees MomAdvice.com Pin It