Random Acts of Kindness Advent Activities + OshKosh B’gosh Giveaway

Mother Daughter Date Ideas to Capture the True Meaning of Christmas

This post, Random Acts of Kindness Advent Activities , is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of OshKosh B’gosh; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

It’s true – it’s the most wonderful time of the year. But, like so many families, we find ourselves struggling to keep up with the endless activities,  traditions and all-around excess that can come with the season.

It’s why I’m so glad we started the tradition of performing Random Acts of Kindness Advent Activities as a family in the days leading up to Christmas.Random Acts of Kindness Advent Activities to prepare for Christmas. Free Printable Activities and leave-behind ROAK cards.

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Easiest Sugar Cookie Icing Ever + $1,000 Target Gift Card Giveaway

Frost dozens of Cookies in just 5 minutes with “Dippable” Royal Icing

I’m feeling like a genius these days.

I was dreading frosting dozens upon dozens of my famous vanilla almond cut-out sugar cookies I make each Christmas.

While the result looks and tastes delicious (and totally worth the effort), It’s a long process and I was feeling lazy this year.

Always one to look for the shortcut, I decided to simplify my royal icing recipe a bit to seeif I could make a  simple, “dippable” icing work. No sifting powdered sugar. No bottles or icing bags.

To my delight, not only was I able to ice a dozen cookies in one minute, but it tastes even better than the other recipe I used to use. Score!

Dippable Royal Icing recipe frosts dozens of cookies in minutes

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Take Your Photos from Drab to Fab

My Bright and Clean Photo Editing Process

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #LoveYourPC #CollectiveBias

As a photography hobbiest, I’m often asked about how I take and edit my photos. I take a lot of candid photos of my children on manual settings, which means I have to move quickly in less than ideal lighting situations, and there have been many times that means I don’t get it quite right in camera. Today I’m going to share my standard PhotoShop editing process that will take your photos from drab to fab.Take your photos from drab to fab with this clean and bright photo editing tutorial | Five Marigolds

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Affordable and Chic Thanksgiving Decor

easy fall centerpiece on a budget

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #EverydayCraftMoments #CollectiveBias

You may have noticed I haven’t yet refreshed my dining area as planned.

My usual design paralysis took hold, and I couldn’t stop thinking about Thanksgiving. What do the holidays have to do with home design? Well, everything.

The more I thought about it, the more I couldn’t come up with a wallpaper and concept that I was confident I’d love year round. As it turns out, I’m content with my minimalist dining area for now, and I think it really shines when I decorate for a gathering.

I decided to set the table for an inexpensive and easy, but glam fall meal.

I set the table with items I already had on hand: some gold chargers, white dishes, and leftover white pumpkins from Halloween.

I then added eucalyptus branches and pretty fall florals to add a pretty pop.

Affordable and Chic Thanksgiving Decor | Five Marigolds

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Sugar Cookie Oatmeal Bake

the Breakfast Bake so good, it could be dessert

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #DelightfulMoments #CollectiveBias #Cbias

A big soft, warm sugar cookie. For breakfast.

That’s what was on my mind as I woke up to a ridiculously cold house after the first cold snap of the season.

Something about that first taste of bone-chilling Midwest cold puts me in that winter holiday sort of mood.

Which is why I decided to kick up my morning oatmeal with a little something extra.

Sugar Cookie Oatmeal: it’s as good as it sounds.

All the hearty and healthy goodness of my regular oatmeal, but even more sweet and delicious.

To prepare this breakfast goodness, start  with a cup of rolled oats, and mix in a mashed banana and 1-2 tablespoons of almond butter.The breakfast so good, it could be dessert. This Sugar Cookie Oatmeal has all the hearty, healthy goodness of oatmeal, but even more sweet and delicious.

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Black (and Pink) Cat Halloween Bags

 Friendly Cat Printables for Party Favors and Boo Bags

This shop, Black Cat Halloween Bags, has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, MARS Incorporated. All opinions are mine alone. #BOOItForward #CollectiveBias

Trick Or Treating where I grew up was a ritual like no other I’ve found. When *I* was a kid (said in my best, wise old lady voice), we had to WORK for OUR treats.

When I graduated college and moved to Chicagoland, I remember being a bit appalled at how the kids acted on beggar’s night. They walked up to the door, held their bags open and looked at me expectantly.

Sure, they were dressed up in their adorable little costumes, but make no mistake: these kids were slackers.

I’d ask them, “What’s your trick?” And they and their parents would look at me quizzically, like I was the crazy lady on the block.

See, back when I was a kid in central Iowa, we kids would spend the week before Halloween searching for the BEST joke so we could be prepared for Beggar’s Night. If you had no joke and no costume, you would be DENIED, or at the very least, tsked for not doing your job right.

AKA: Trick FOR treat. Quid pro quo.

I tried to get my kids to single-handedly carry out the tradition  out here, but it was a no-go.  My neighbors were confused at why they were being told jokes. They didn’t quite  appreciate the tradition. I get it.

So, this year we’re trying a new angle: we’re Boo’ing it forward. Surprising neighbors and friends with little treats and goodies on their doorstep.

Forget the traditional and tired oranges, browns and greens of Halloween, and the spooky ghosts and goblins that just aren’t for everyone. We decided to stand out by creating classy and chic Black Cat Halloween Bags.

To make them, start with some simple, inexpensive craft essentials: pink and black paper favor bags, glitter paper, and self stick letters. Oh, and a feather boa.Pink and Black Cat Halloween Bags with Free Printables. Would make great Birthday Favors.

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Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

Easy Game Day Crowd Pleaser

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MakeGameTimeSaucy #CollectiveBias

Today I’m going to share one of my favorite fall recipes: White Chicken Chili, made in the slow cooker.  It’s a family favorite, not just because of the rich flavor of this cold weather comfort food, but because it’s a cinch to make. Made with just a few simple ingredients you can get at your local Walmart grocery, this recipe is a guaranteed crowd pleaser!Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

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Neutral, Classic Dining Room Refresh

One Room Challenge, Fall 2017

My husband grew up in a very old, beautiful home. Brick exterior, formal sitting rooms, laundry chutes, wood floors, and wallpaper. Lots of layers of wallpaper from the many years of redecorating by former owners.

When he was a teenager and wanted to change the look of his old wallpapered bedroom, he was given full reign…as long as he stripped the wallpaper first.

As a result, I married a man who greatly dislikes wallpaper.

Wallpaper removal, to be specific.

I, on the other hand, liberally pin wallpaper inspiration on Pinterest. There are so many designs and colors that inspire me.

In my imagination, I see a different wallpaper for every room of my house.

But, my husband’s history with wallpaper removal and my indecisiveness are a potential lethal combination that will make our Dining Room Refresh an interesting process.

Right now, our dining room is clean and simple. Very much a blank space…but in a good way.

We have light walls, a builder grade pendant light, and the same kitchen table we’ve used and abused for the past 13 years.Updated neutral eat in dining room - One Room Challenge

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Matilda Jane Make Believe Review

Matilda Jane Clothing October Launch

I still remember my very favorite nightgown as a little girl. It was shiny and fancy with ruffles at the shoulders and lace trim. Except I could never sleep in it.

Oh, I’d try. But I’d always get in trouble for it.

The repercussion of wearing my fancy nightie was severe.

How irritating! The nightgown, that is.

You see, the seams were scratchy,  itchy, and the fabric didn’t breathe at all. It was unbearable and unwearable. They couldn’t seem to get fancy sleepwear right in 80’s, could they?

I think that’s why I’m so excited about the Matilda Jane line of clothing and went on to sell it this season.

I mean. These jammies. There are so many Christmas styles this season, and they are all soft and comfy as can be. They even have a pair for us grown gals, too. The fabric? HEAVEN.Matilda Jane Make Believe October Launch Review Continue reading

Honey Bear After School Snack

Celebrating National Honey Month

This post is sponsored by the National Honey Board, however the content and opinions expressed are my own.

Last week my baby started Pre-Kindergarten. Time is going fast, and I’m determined to savor these golden moments I still have with her at home with some special, 1:1 time.. Since she is getting to be such a big girl, I thought it would be fun to have a special tea party with her, letting her make a new recipe, a Honey Bear after school snack, all by herself.

You see, she is so excited to go to her bumblebee themed classroom a few 1/2 days per week,  and lamented on the first day she didn’t have a bee costume to wear 😂

Then, this weekend,we were especially excited to have guests who just started bee keeping. We enjoyed all their stories and pictures, and even got one of their first bottles of honey as a hostess gift. As a result, the kids are pretty sure we should start beekeeping, too (um, no.).

So, it felt especially serendipitous when I received a golden box of goodies from the National Honey Board to inspire us to celebrate National Honey Month with some honey, beautiful party decorations and easy, kid-friendly recipes.Honey Bear After School Snack | Five Marigolds

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Secret Message Lunchbox Notes

Printables for Back to School

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Wet Ones® Hand Wipes. The opinions and text are all mine. I received free samples of products from Wet Ones®. This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias Inc. and its advertiser. #BTSWithWetOnes #CollectiveBias

It’s hard to believe in just a week the kids will be back to school. I mean, WHY does summer break have to go so fast?

If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you know I love a good lunchbox note! This year, I’ve created my favorite, ever: Secret Message Lunchbox Notes!Secret Message Lunchbox Notes | Five Marigolds

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What It’s Like to Leave a Six-Figure Career

My Transition From Career Mom to mom Blogger + Everything In Between

This post was sponsored by MetLife as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

Today I’m going to share something a little more personal than usual. As this blog grows, I’m learning how important it is to put myself out there, even when it’s not in my comfort zone. Over the past year, I’ve had more and more people reach out to me to ask how I’ve grown the blog and turned my love for DIY into a side hustle. I’m always thrilled to answer these individual questions and try to keep it very real with those who have similar aspirations. But, for fear of ever making my life as mom and blogger look seamless, and not the work in progress that it is, I’m ready to share more about my story right here in the open.

The truth is, I’ve had many roles since becoming a mom – full-time working mom, stay at home mom (SAHM) and everything in between. You’ve likely heard the phrase “Mommy Wars” – the controversy amongst moms about what we feel we “should” do vs. what we “want” to do in the working world, and of course, vs. what we “have” to do. Today I’m sharing something that’s been brewing in my mind for years, my own “Inner Mommy Wars.”

Since becoming a mother, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to experience motherhood in so many ways. I’ve been a full-time career woman, a part-time freelancer, a full-time SAHM, and a part-time work from home (micro) entrepreneur. I’m so thankful that in recent years I’ve had the luxury of being able to choose the role I wanted for my life. However, I haven’t always “had it my way.”The Inner Mommy Wars | Five Marigolds

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Recharging: Lake Life Staycation + Giveaway!

How I Find “Me Time” While Traveling with Kids

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of PEOPLE®, InStyle®, and Sunset®. The opinions and text are all mine.

Since becoming a part-time work from home mom a few years back, I’ve discovered how hard it can be to carve out “me time.”

A natural introvert, I crave need solitude daily. Quiet time.  I don’t always get it.

Sure, I’ve tried the whole “waking up an hour before the kids” thing, but they just somehow wake up early with me.

Girl’s Night Out happens too infrequently…and while valuable to my mental health – even GNO doesn’t charge my batteries quite like quiet time alone does.

So this year, for my birthday, I think my husband was a little surprised that I wanted my gift to be a long weekend staycation at the nearby lake, with the whole family in tow.Lake Life Staycation: Rediscovering the lost art of "me time" while on family vacation.

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Pink Flamingo Birthday Party

Tropical Pool Party for Girls

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BirthdaysMadeBrighter #CollectiveBias

I can’t even believe it, but my middle baby girl is turning SEVEN. She is full of zest for life, a penchant for adventure, and loves to love.

A girl with this big of a personality needs a bold and bright celebration – like a tropical party with flamingos, pool floaties, and flowers galore. This pink flamingo pool party is adorable! Love the idea for favor bags.

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Easy DIY Toy Car Storage Jars

STYLISH, AFFORDABLE WAY TO STORE TOY CARS

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RevUpF8 #CollectiveBias

Today’s DIY is all about finding stylish ways to display and contain toy cars. My son’s love of cars was revived last month when we introduced him to the latest Fast & Furious™ movie. So, of course, he was thrilled when he discovered toy replicas of Dom Toretto’s car and the climax scene of the movie. However, we had reached capacity on car storage in casa de Mangold. Maxed. Out.

Stored here: Fast & Furious™ 5 Pack Vehicle Assorted

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