DIY s’mores costume – $25 and 3 hours

diy-smore-family-halloween-costumeI know Halloween is lonnnnnnnng gone by now and most people have totally shifted to Christmas (and skipped over poor Thanksgiving) so this post isn’t really relevant but maybe you can pin it and and save it for next October :).  Some years, like last year when we were mad scientists, I have an idea a long time in advance (though I might not actually execute it until the day of…) however this year I had no idea what we were going to be for Halloween.  I was scouring Pinterest the day before our church’s Trunk or Treat trying to decide what to dress up as.  I finally decided we would be a s’more so the morning of Trunk or Treat I ran to Hobby Lobby, picked up all the supplies I needed, and put it together during nap time.

All the supplies I purchased cost me $25 and in total I spent a little less than three hours making the costumes. I’d like to say that’s because I’m an amazing magical crafty goddess but really it just means this is a super easy costume that anyone could whip together in a short amount of time.

I stink at remembering to take pictures WHILE I’m actually making a craft so there are no visuals, you’ll just have to use your imagination.

What you need:

  • – 4-6 pieces of foam board (this depends on how big you need your chocolate bar to be.  I was able to get by making the chocolate bar using the leftover from the graham crackers so we only needed four; if an adult or older child is going to be the chocolate bar you would probably need five or six)
  • – a roll of brown kraft paper
  • – 1 or 2 large pieces of dark brown paper (I found some that was perfect in the foam board section of Hobby Lobby, it was thinner than posterboard but the same size; I only needed one piece for Hudson’s chocolate bars but if you’re making them bigger you would need two)
  • – ribbon or twine for the shoulders
  • – silver paint pen or silver paper (depending on if you want to write the Hershey’s letters on or cut them out and glue them on)
  • – white fabric (I found some fleece in the remnants section)
  • – white ribbon
  • – batting or something else to stuff inside the marshmallow (you could even just use a blanket or something)
  • – sharpie, glue gun, scissors

To make the graham crackers:

Cut the foam board into a square.  Wrap the brown kraft paper around the foam board (I basically just wrapped it as if it were a large present) and glue or tape to the back.  Use a sharpie to draw the lines and dots that make it look like a graham cracker (make the lines thick and the dots large – mine looked fine close up but from a distance it wasn’t very noticeable.

Repeat that four times so that you have two crackers per person.  Then attach two crackers together with two strips of ribbon that you can slip over your head and wear your graham crackers like a sandwich board.

To make the chocolate bar:

Cut the foam board into two appropriate sized rectangles.  If you are making one for someone very small like I was, the rectangle pieces left from cutting the graham crackers will be plenty. If you are making one for an adult then a whole length of foam board may be needed.  Wrap with dark brown paper and attach with ribbons to go over the shoulders.

If you don’t have a Cricut or Silhouette you can hand letter the word Hershey’s, thankfully I have a Silhouette so I downloaded the Hurshey’s font from Da Font, used my Silhouette to cut it out of cardstock, and used that as a stencil to fill in the letters with paint pen.  Alternatively you could also use your Silhouette to cut the letters out of silver paper and glue them on.

To make the marshmallow:

I can’t really tell you sizes since I was making this for an 8 month old and you could very well be making one for a 15 year old, so you’ll have to do some measuring to decide how wide you want it to be and how long it needs to be to go around the person.  But the execution is easy – fold your fabric into a rectangle and sew the long side up.  Flip it inside out so that you have a tube and stuff the batting (or blanket or whatever else you use to stuff the marshmallow) inside.  Cut four pieces of ribbon and sew in to the openings on each end (I did one on the top and one on the bottom of each end) so that you can tie the marshmallow “tube” around the person’s middle.  Sew the ends shut (I hand sewed it really quickly so I could turn the ends under, you could machine stitch it too, either way it doesn’t have to be fancy).

And there you go!  A super easy, super quick, and super cute Halloween costume!

DIY playdough with essential oils


Recently I hosted a Mommy and Me essential oils make and take event and one of the things we made was oily play dough.  It was SO fun, super easy, and a huge hit!  This would be a great craft for a playdate, homeschool project, or activity with your kids.  You probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry anyway!

Play dough with a side of relaxation, calming, and immune support?  Yes, please!


  • – 2 cups flour
    – 1/2 cup salt
    – 2 tbsp cream of tarter
    – 1.5 cups boiling water
    – 2 tbsp vegetable oil
    – 4 drops each of 4 different essential oils
    – food coloring

Mix the flour, salt, cream of tarter, water, and vegetable oil together in a large bowl.  Adjust the water or flour as needed if your dough is too wet or too dry (it was a rainy day and mine came out too wet so I had to add some extra flour).  Divide the dough into four sections (or more or less if you prefer) and add 4 or so drops of essential oil to each one (you may want more or less oil depending on how strong you want it to smell).  Then add a little bit of food coloring to each section and knead it in until it is thoroughly combined (You can see in the picture below that ours started out kind of marbled.  The more we played with it the more mixed in it got and you can see in the picture at the end that it looked more like store-bought playdough.)

We chose to use Stress Away, Citrus Fresh, lavender, and Thieves for our four essential oils.  There are so many other good options too – Peace & Calming, Valor, Joy, Grounding, orange, lime, peppermint…pretty much whatever smells good to you!  (I use Young Living essential oils so many of the blend names are specific to that brand).  I intended to make the dough the same color as the label but my green and red were dried up so instead we went with blue for Stress Away and pink for Thieves – close enough!

(Not an essential oil user yet?  Check out my post here about how to get them.)

fullsizerender-1img_5905The food coloring part can be pretty messy so be aware if you are doing this with young children!  Most of it washed off easily though.img_5906
Then play, play, play!  The dough feels very similar to traditional play dough.  It’s a little more crumbly but still totally great to play with and definitely smells better!fullsizerender-2You can see here in this picture that the more you play with it the better the colors get mixed essential oil would you pick to put in your play dough?  

Parker’s baby quilt


I thought there was no way I’d get Parker’s baby quilt done before he was born and yet here I am, still pregnant at 40 weeks 2 days and his quilt is totally, 100% done!  Yay!  I absolutely love how it turned out too!


This was by far the quickest and easiest quilt I’ve done.  I’m sure part of that is because I’m getting better at it as I do more quilts but I also think this was a pretty easy quilt pattern in general to piece together and would be a good one for someone who is somewhat of a beginner like me.  I used this pattern and tutorial to make the top and then quilted it by hand.

I went Wednesday morning to my favorite fabric place (seriously, if you are in south central Kentucky you need to check out Whittle’s…way better selection and prices than Hobby Lobby or Hancock’s!).  Wednesday afternoon I got all the squares cut out.  I am not a fast cutter…at least not when I’m trying to be accurate, like I was with this quilt, but even at that it didn’t take me long to get all the squares cut out.  Wednesday night after Hudson was in bed I pieced the top together and I think that took me about 3 hours (which is not bad in my experience for putting the top together!).  Thursday I made the back, basted it together, and began quilting Thursday night.  I’ve been working on it since then, mostly after Hudson was asleep at night and sometimes during nap.  I finished up the quilting and did the binding yesterday (Tuesday).  So all in all the quilt took me not quite a week to finish, working on it mostly after Hudson was in bed.  Fairly quick compared to others I’ve done!

I love a stack of freshly cut fabric ready to be turned into something beautiful! 2016-01-27_10.49.46 copy

laying out the cut blocks2016-01-27_21.52.26 copy

quilt top done!2016-01-28_08.53.24 copyquilting2016-01-31_13.49.39 copycompleted quilt last night before going into the washing machine2016-02-02_23.33.00 copyPicking simple quilting helped a lot too – usually I trace around each piece of fabric and follow the sewing lines so I cover a lot of area and I’m usually quilting through lots of layers of fabric since it’s close to a seam.  This time I just did X’s through the middle of each block so that went way faster.  I’m still learning but I think that was sufficient to hold it all together and I really like the effect it made, especially on the back!

(Sorry for the pictures…our porch was way too bright for good pictures but I’m impatient so maybe I’ll go back and retake later.)IMG_1333IMG_1334

I have no idea how to actually embroider so I make it up as I go and it’s not the prettiest but the quilt is signed and tagged and made with love so that’s what is important.  In case you can’t read it, it says “to Parker, love Mommy, February 2016”.  IMG_1336I love the color combination and how it turned out!  It’s exactly what I wanted – different from Hudson’s quilt but still compliments the green, blue, and navy colors in their room (if they ever end up actually using their room…) and isn’t too babyish so it could be used later on too.
And now that I’ve knocked the final thing off my baby to-do list I am more than ready for Parker to make his appearance!  Until then I have a quilt I’ve been slowly working on for…ummm…3ish years now?  So while I’m in quilting mode I guess I’ll keep chugging along on that to keep me occupied while I wait.

how to make sensory bottles

DIY sensory bottles

I almost can’t even write a tutorial for this because it’s so easy…find a bunch of stuff and dump it in a bottle.

Tutorial done.

Just kidding.  But seriously, this is such a simple and fun little craft or toy for your kiddos!

A sensory bottle is basically just a bottle full of fun little items.  Hudson and I made a couple and he really likes them (or I guess I should say he likes them ok, they hold his interest for a few minutes and then he moves on just like with most of his toys because, hey, he’s a toddler).

To make one you need a clear bottle (we used Coke bottles for our first few) and then some items to go in them.  I literally just went my craft stash and pulled a whole bunch of random things out for us to use.  For the first one we made we used glitter, tiny round beads, star shaped beads, and pom pom balls.  We put a little in the bottom of the bottle and filled the rest of it up with water.

sensory bottle

It’s really fun and soothing (for me) to shake the bottle and watch the glitter and items swirl and settle.  I think some people use these for older kids as “calm down” bottles where they can concentrate on the glitter and watch it and it kind of helps them get control of their emotions.  Hudson’s not quite old enough for that though so he mostly just shakes it a lot.

(it’s really hard to snap a picture of glitter before it settles so sorry for the poor quality here)

glittery sensory bottle

For the second bottle we used some dried rice, dried beans, and a few of the colorful star beads.  We didn’t add water to this one so it makes noise when you shake it and Hudson likes that a lot!  He also likes to shake it around and point out the stars.  I’ve seen people make bottles like this with lots more rice/beans and quite a few more random objects and then use it like a seek-and-find.  The child shakes the bottle around and tries to see what objects they can find among the rice.

beans and rice sensory bottle

For the third bottle I put water with blue food coloring in about 3/4 of the bottle and then vegetable oil in the rest.  The oil floats on the water and makes a cool ocean-like effect.  This is definitely Hudson’s favorite because he loveeeeees bubbles and this one makes bubbles when you shake it.

ocean sensory bottle

I’m part of a playgroup where we meet once a month at someone’s house and the mom in charge does a little themed lesson with crafts and snacks.  This month was my turn; my theme was fall leaves and pumpkins so for our craft I decided we could make fall-themed sensory bottles.

DIY fall sensory bottle

fall sensory bottleI got the small (8oz, I believe?) water bottles thinking it would be perfect for little hands and while the size is pretty good for toddlers/preschoolers I don’t recommend them for sensory bottles.  Part of the cool effect of the bottle is that there is enough room for the items to swirl around and fall to the bottom.  When you use such a small bottle like I did it doesn’t quite work as well.  I definitely recommend going with 16oz or 20oz bottles (or whatever size a “regular” water bottle or coke bottle is).

But other that the size these were so perfect and adorable!

I got orange glitter, some orange/brown/white beads, pom poms in fallish colors (red, black, gold), some googly eyes, and then my favorite thing: leaves.  I *really* wanted to have leaves in the bottles so that it would look like fall leaves falling to the ground.  The size of the bottles doesn’t exactly allow that to happen but the leaves are still cool anyway.  I found them at Hobby Lobby and they were perfect!

sensory bottle ingredientsSince we were doing this with several kids at once I went ahead and had the bottles full of water then we set out all the “ingredients” and let them add in whatever they wanted.  I’m pretty sure Hudson is the youngest of all the kids who attend and he was easily able to pick up stuff and shove it in the top of the bottle so this is definitely appropriate for his age (21 months) and older.

Once you’ve made your bottle I recommend gluing the cap on.  We put them on pretty tight but I was still nervous that Hudson would somehow unscrew it and dump glittery water (or blue food coloring water!) all over the carpet or couch so Michael used some Gorilla Glue (super glue would work too) in the cap to keep that from happening.

And that’s it! Sooooo easy!  You can make all kinds of fun things with the stuff you have lying around the house.  You can also do themed bottles like I did – think about silver glitter and white pom poms for winter or red and green objects for Christmas.  Lots of possibilities!

DIY preggy belly cream

DIY preggy belly rub

I love love LOVE this super easy DIY preggy belly cream!  I wish I’d known about oils when I was pregnant with Hudson so I could have made and used this!  Unfortunately I didn’t but I was able to start using it a few months after he was born and then through this pregnancy too.

This cream is perfect to give the skin on your belly a little extra support that it definitely needs when it’s growing a baby or after delivering a baby.  ‘Cause let’s be honest…they may be cute but having a baby can wreck havoc on your body!


The beautiful thing about this recipe (and most oily recipes) is that they can easily be adapted depending on what oils you have on hand.  I’ll share my basic “base” recipe as well as some other adaptations you can do.

preggy belly cream recipe

What you need:

  • Coconut oil (I get this big container at Sam’s)
  • Vitamin E (the liquid in a bottle, not the capsules!  Those are a pain to open and squeeze the oil out)
  • Essential oils (Young Living of course!).

easy DIY preggy belly cream ingredients

What you do: Put the coconut oil in a mixer and whip it up (A stand mixer is easiest but if you have a hand mixer you can use that instead.  If you don’t have either you can whip it up with a fork or whisk.)  Add the Vitamin E and essential oils, stir those in, and pour into your container.

When you whip your coconut oil it will turn into a nice lotion-y consistency.  The last time I made this our coconut oil was a little softer than usual and so it didn’t have the lotion consistency but was just more of a thick liquid.  Really the consistency doesn’t matter as long as you’re easily able to stir in your other ingredients.

coconut oil

The recipe:

  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp Vitamin E
  • 20 drops lavender
  • 10 drops frankincense
  • 10 drops Gentle Baby

Whip coconut oil, add Vitamin E and essential oils, stir well, and store in a glass container.  Rub on belly like lotion.

basic preggy belly cream recipe

This is my “standard” preggy belly cream recipe but things could definitely be added or subtracted!  I created this recipe using the oils I had that I knew were great for skin. Lavender and frankincense both come in the Young Living Premium Starter Kit so I know many people have at least those two – and if those are the only two oils that you have from this recipe then just increase the amount of frankincense and leave out the Gentle Baby.  Or if you have Joy it is very similar to Gentle Baby and would be a good substitute (they both have rose which is fabulous for skin!)

I also recommend looking up each of the oils you do have in your stash and seeing which ones are recommended for skin, then adding those in.  The last time I mixed up a batch I added geranium and spikenard since they are both mentioned in one of my oil reference books for supporting the skin.  There are lots of other oils that are great for your skin that you could add in – be creative and don’t be afraid to experiment!

Young Living spikenard and geranium essential oils

Tangerine, grapefruit, and cypress would be good additions if you are using your cream after having a baby.  These oils are supposed to be good to help tighten the appearance of skin and I don’t know about you but after having a baby my belly definitely could have used some tightening!  I used some of these in my cream post-Hudson and will certainly be adding them back in after this baby is born too.

grapefruit, Young Living tangerine, and cypress essential oils

Now go forth and make your pregnant belly happy with this luscious cream!

(Not using essential oils yet?  I’d love to help you get started!  Check out this page to find out more.)

DIY diffuser necklaces

how to make DIY diffuser necklaces

Diffuser necklaces are such a great way to use your essential oils on the go.  The way most diffuser jewelry works is you put a drop of EO on a little pad (leather, felt, or paper are popular) inside a locket that has holes in it – it acts like a mini diffuser and you can smell and benefit from your oils all day long.  Diffuser necklaces are super popular among the oily crowd and you can buy them lots of places but if you are a little bit crafty you can also make them fairly inexpensively.  They are very easy!

What you need:

I buy “in bulk” because I make a lot of necklaces at once to have on hand to use as gifts, sign up incentives for new members, giveaways, make ‘n take items for my team, etc.  These are the supplies I use.

DIY diffuser necklace supplies

diffuser locket – I buy the 20 pack but they also sell them in packs as small as just 5, I believe

chain – There are lots of different lengths to choose from, I went with 24 inch chains which are a good length for most adults but would probably be too long for a child.

jump rings – This is what connects the pendant to the chain.

disc for inside the pendant – I put one drop of oil on one of these discs and I can usually smell that oil for at least a week.  I also just reuse the disc and put new oils on it when I want to change; I’ve been using it for months and so far it’s held up well.

charms – I purchase my charms at Hobby Lobby or Michael’s in their jewelry section.  There are all kinds of cute charms that slip right on the chain; I usually use flowers, pearls, or gemstones but there are more personalized options too.  The charm is optional of course but I think it adds a nice touch to the necklace.

jewelry bags – Also optional, but trust me that you want these if you are going to be making a lot of necklaces.  This prevents them from becoming a big tangled mess as you try to keep them separate.  I bought my bags from Hobby Lobby but they are also on Amazon.

DIY diffuser necklaces

If you are not interested in making a bunch of these and just want to make one or two for yourself, Hobby Lobby (and probably other craft stores) has most of these items that you can purchase individually.  I’ve seen at least two different types of metal lockets that have the openings and could be used for the diffuser locket, you can purchase small packs of jump rings and individual (or small packs of) chains.  The only thing they don’t have are the discs (that I’ve found), but you could just use a small piece of leather or felt and cut your own, or buy the pack from Amazon and then have extras.

Note: these are not super high quality materials.  My pendant has held up great but you can definitely tell a difference in the weight and quality of it compared to some of the other, more expensive places you can purchase.  But if money is an issue or you’re wanting to make lots of these, I think this is a great alternative and the quality is good for the price (in my opinion).

Speaking of price, I did the math at one point (based on the prices when I purchased – you know how things on Amazon can change from hour-to-hour) and the necklaces came out to $3-$5 each, depending on which charms you choose to use and where you buy them.

What you do:

Step 1: Open each locket and put a disc inside.

DIY diffuser necklace locket

Step 2: Attach a jump ring to the locket.  This is the only part that requires any real “assembling”.  The jump ring has a break in it and the two ends of the metal are slightly bent away from each other so that there is an opening to put in on the locket.  Once you put the jump ring on the locket then you grab each of the openings and pull them in towards each other – that should then even them out so that they meet in the middle.  Some of the things I read online about how to make jewelry mention using pliers to do this but I have been very easily able to do this without needing any tools.

I tried to take a picture of this step but it was impossible for me to get my camera to focus on that tiny jump ring so hopefully my written explanation was clear!

Step 3: Use the jump ring to slide the locket onto the chain.

Step 4: Add any charms that you want as embellishments.

DIY diffuser necklace charms

That’s all!  Easy peasy!

If you aren’t the DIY type and don’t want to make one at all there are tons of places you can purchase them.  There are lots and lots on Etsy as well as various other companies and shops that make them (I really like Sacred Arrow – they also have bracelets, earrings, and jewelry for men).

What oils do you like to use in your necklace?

Some of my favorites for my necklace are Valor, Joy, White Angelica, and Abundance.

(Not an oiler yet?  Want to be?  Check out my page here about how to sign up and get started using these super fabulous essential oils!)

(some links may be affiliates)

A personalized ABC book

personalized Shutterfly ABC book

Have you ever made a photo book?  I’m a “traditional” scrapbooker and prefer to print off my pictures and create my layouts (although I would like to try to dabble in digital scrapbooking someday).  I have made a few photo books through the years, mostly as gifts for other people, but they were very basic and I’ve never really looked into the templates and options out there.

personalized Shutterfly ABC book A and B

At a playdate recently my friend Amber showed me a photo book that her friend had made for her son’s first birthday and I thought it was the cutest thing ever!  She said that Shutterfly has an ABC photo book template – you just put your pictures in and you can change the wording if you want.  Convenient!

personalized Shutterfly ABC book G and H

Michael and I brainstormed words that would go along with each letter of the alphabet.  Then I started going through our pictures of Hudson from this last year to find some that would work.  It took some time but it was fun!

personalized Shutterfly ABC book I, J, and K

In case you need some inspiration, here’s our list.

A – adorable
B – bath time and bed head
C – church
D – daddy
E – enjoying play
F – feet and fingers
G – giraffe
H – hiking, hats, and Hudson
I – iPhone
J – jack ‘o lantern
K – kisses
L – laughing
M – mommy
N – necklace
O – overalls
P – pianos and pouts
Q – quilt
R – reading
S – swimming and sunglasses
T – teeth and towels
U – unwrapping
V – vest
W – wearing
X – xoxo
Y – yum and yay
Z – zzzzzzzz

(we had to get a little creative with some of them, can you tell?)

personalized Shutterfly ABC book R, S, and T

I had a code for a free 8×8 Shutterfly photo book so I used that (I get them all the time – always check before you pay full price!) and all I had to pay was shipping ($7 or $8 I think).  The pages are regular paper pages (not hard like a board book) but for that price I’m not complaining.

personalized Shutterfly ABC book spine

This was a perfect, easy, inexpensive birthday gift!  Not only is it fun for Hudson to look at and help him learn his ABCs but it also serves as a little scrapbook of his first year.

personalized Shutterfly ABC book back

DIY foaming hand soap

DIY Thieves foaming hand soap

Last night I helped teach a class on DIY (Do It Yourself) products using essential oils.  One of the recipes I shared was my foaming hand soap recipe and since I love it so much I thought I’d share it with you too.

When we first started to move toward a more natural lifestyle I began making my own cleaning supplies, laundry soap, etc.  It just made sense to make my own hand soap too!  I found a recipe online and made a big batch but it was a disaster.  It was difficult – you had to grate a bar of soap and cook it in water basically until is melted.  The consistency was disgusting – it looked and felt like snot.  So gross.  The only thing it had going for it was is smelled good.  We used it for awhile (although if guests were coming over I switched out with a bottle of store bought soap because the homemade stuff was just embarrassing) but eventually just switched back to buying soap.

Then I got into essential oils and I found a recipe for DIY foaming hand soap.  I’ve never liked foaming soap but I figured foaming was better than snotty so I gave it a whirl.  I’ve gotten used to the foam by now and I love making my own!

Supplies needed

  • Castile Soap (I use Dr. Bronner’s – I’ve seen it at Target, Kroger, Whole Foods, and Amazon)
  • Gylcerin (I use the Now brand, purchased from Amazon)
  • Essential Oils (of course I recommend Young Living)
  • A soap dispenser (I bought some cheap Dial soap from Walmart, dumped the soap it came with, and then washed the dispenser to use for my soap; some people use old Bath and Body Works dispensers; and of course you can just buy foaming hand soap dispensers by themselves.  I actually saw some at Kroger the other day for $6, which is way cheaper than what I found online)

This  is the recipe I use:

diy thieves hand soap[source]

  • I do not add the vitamin E oil.  I actually have vitamin E that I use in my homemade body wash as well as my stretch mark cream, but for whatever reason I’ve been leaving it out of the soap.  I need to give that a try next time!
  • I don’t measure (that makes Michael crazy!  I cook that way too).  I would assume that I follow the measurements listed in the graphic pretty closely, but basically I just do a big squirt of soap, a smaller squirt of glycerin, then add a few drops of oil and the water.  It’s so fast, takes me just a minute to refill all the soap dispensers in the house.  I like to do them all at once, assembly-line style.

You can change this and make all kinds of combinations!  Dr. Bronner’s has several scents (lavender, peppermint, orange, almond, and baby mild are the ones I’ve seen in stores; they also have rose, eucalyptus, and tea tree, which I’ve only seen online and haven’t tried yet) and then of course there are tons of essential oil options you could use.  So far I’ve always done peppermint Dr. Bronner’s and Thieves essential oil.  I think it smells great and Christmasy and I feel that Thieves is the best one to add for extra immune support.

Other combos that would be lovely:

  • lavender Dr. B’s plus tea tree EO (proper name: melaleuca alternafolia)
  • lavender Dr. B’s plus lemon EO
  • orange Dr. B’s plus any of the citrus EOs (orange, lime, lemon, Citrus Fresh, bergamot, etc.)
  • baby mild Dr. B’s (unscented) plus any EO of your choice since the only scent would be the EOs

Be creative!  I like to open the bottle of soap and the bottle of oil and hold them both up to my nose so I can smell them at the same time and see if I think I’ll like the combo.

This is a really easy step you can take into switching your household products to something more natural.  I think it would be really fun to get together with a bunch of friends for everyone to make some soap to take home!

Have you made soap before?  Did you like it?

What combinations do you think would smell good?

Oh and if DIY is just not your thing, you can buy foaming hand soap from Young Living; they have Thieves and lavender.   Ask your favorite friendly Young Living distributor (me of course) how to order.

Books of the New Testament envelope book

Wednesday I went to a professional development and attended a session about bookmaking.  We learned about all kinds of fun little books that you can make with your students – some that could be used as graphic organizers and others could be used for students to write stories and “publish” their own books.  I got some great ideas to use next school year…and one to use that very night in the 1st and 2nd grade class I’m teaching at church.  I had to hustle to get everything prepared in time, but I think it still turned out pretty neat.

The topic I’m teaching this quarter is The Epistles.  In this particular lesson I wanted to work on the divisions of the New Testament.  I turns out that most of the kids didn’t know the books of the New Testament yet so we’re going to be working on that too, but this is a fun activity that will help with sorting the books of the New Testament by divisions.  Surely someone else out there will need to teach the divisons of the New Testament at some point, so I thought I’d share what I did in case you might could use this (downloadable templates at the end of the post).

books of the New Testament envelope book suppliesWhat you need: 4 or 5 envelopes, labels, a front and back, and the books of the New Testament (not pictured: scissors, glue, and staples)

books of the New Testament envelope book envelopeCut the flaps off the envelopes

books of the New Testament envelope bookStack the front cover, the envelopes, and the back cover.  Staple.

books of the New Testament envelope book gospels

books of the New Testament envelope book historyCut out the labels (Gospels, History, Epistles, and Prophecy) and glue on the envelopes.  I used five envelopes and only had four labels because I left one envelope for storage.  You could make a label for that one, too, I just didn’t think about it.

books of the New Testament envelope book back coverBack cover – I put the divisions on the back so they can check their answers

books of the New Testament envelope book activityThe extra envelope is for them to store the books, then they can sort them into the appropriate pockets.

assembling the books of the New Testament envelope book

cutting out the books of the New Testament envelope bookThe kids worked hard and seemed to enjoy making their books

Obviously this envelope book can be used for tons of other activities and it’s easy to make – all you really need is some cardstock and envelopes.

Click here to download the templates for this activity: New Testament books

What’s a scrapbooking retreat anyway?

I’ve been scrapbooking since 7th grade but I had never been on a scrapbooking retreat until this past weekend.  I never really saw the appeal – I mean, it’s a lot of work to pack up all your scrapbooking stuff, lug it to the retreat, set it up, and then pack it all back up at the end of the weekend.  Plus, I just couldn’t justify paying money to go scrapbook when I could do that for free in my own home.

Boy was I missing out!  A friend from church invited me to go on her annual scrapbooking retreat, and I finally decided to check it out and see what all the hype was about.  I am so glad I went.  First of all, I had an absolute blast.  And second, I got a ton of scrapbooking done!

I had no idea what to expect since this was my first one.  The retreat actually started Thursday night, but I had to work on Friday so by the time I got there Friday night, everyone else was in full scrapbooking mode.  When I walked in the door I was totally overwhelmed.  It looked like a scrapbook store exploded in there!  There were Cricuts, computers, printers, albums, punches, tools, papers, stickers, tables, chairs, boxes, and bags galore.  It was overwhelming.  I thought I had a lot of stuff, but I’m pretty sure I had the smallest amount of stuff of anyone there (except maybe the girl that was working on a digital scrapbook and only had her computer).

scrapbook retreat 6

scrapbook retreat 4 scrapbook retreat 5We each brought a folding table, chair, and of course, all our stuff.  Mine is the one on the right side of the picture with the pink chair.

Of course most of our time was spent scrapbooking.  The schedule was pretty much eat, sleep, and scrapbook.  We did have some fun activities like contests on who did the most pages each day, a contest for who made the best page using the same paper, a pajama and ice cream party, and a scavenger hunt.  And the food was amazing.  There is a sweet lady who does not scrapbook, but volunteers her time to come to our retreat and cook for us so that none of the participants has to stop scrapbooking to fix food.  The food was amazing – way better than your typical “camp food”, and it was so nice to just grab a plate, eat a quick meal, and then get right back to scrapbooking.

We also got a surprise snow while we were there.  It was the first weekend in March and no one expected snow, especially not this much!  It snowed pretty much all day Saturday and it was absolutely beautiful!

scrapbook retreat 3

It was so fun to stay all cozy inside the mess hall while we scrapbooked, with snow coming down outside all day long.  And then fortunately it was all melted by Sunday when it was time to go home so we didn’t have to deal with slick roads.
scrapbook retreat 2 The snowflakes were unlike any I’d ever seen before.  You could actually see each individual snowflake – they were huge and looked like the ones you cut out of paper.  What an amazing testament to God’s design.  So intricate and beautiful.  I tried so hard to get a picture but my camera just doesn’t have the capabilities to zoom in that close.  scrapbook retreat 1Overall it was a fantastic weekend!  I made new friends, had a blast, and got a ton of scrapbooking done.  It also motivated me to get more done, so I’ve been working this weekend on finally getting my craft area set up in our bonus room.  I hope to have that area semi-organized soon so I can keep on working!

As for the retreat…definitely worth the money!  And I’ll certainly be back next year.  Oh and next year it will be held at our church’s new camp that we are currently building (thought I’d throw in a little plug…) – check out the great article about Big Reedy that was in the paper this week!