How to Host the Ultimate Thanksgathering

This shop, How to Host the Ultimate Thanksgathering,  has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Prep4Gathering #CollectiveBias

Be the Hostess with the Mostess this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is just days away, and with it comes the anticipation and joy of the holiday season, and the task of hosting the family gathering.

I think a lot of families, mine included, are a lot like fudge – sweet, with a lot of nuts! It certainly makes for some interesting holidays, but that’s no reason to stress about your upcoming hostess gig.

Prep like a pro with these simple, yet impactful tips for being the hostess with the mostess at your upcoming Thanksgathering celebration.How to host the ultimate Thanksgiving with free printable favor tags | Five Marigolds

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10 Christmas Card Ideas You Should Steal + Free Template!

Awesome Christmas Cards + bonus free template!

I know, I know! Halloween is barely over and I’m already talking Christmas. But it’s already time to start getting plans locked in for Christmas cards!  It happens every year: photographers pack their schedules for the holiday rush as families procrastinate and, inevitably, miss the card ordering window. Keep reading for 10 inspiring Christmas card ideas you should totally steal,  AND a free Christmas Card template to get you started!

  1. Put on your best holiday wardrobe and go for a classic card.
    Free Christmas Card Template + 10 Inspiring Ideas for Christmas Card Photos

    Photo credit: Emily Plunk Photography

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Celebrating Time Together + JORD Giveaway

A big thanks to the team at JORD Wood Watches for the wrist upgrade, and for sponsoring this post.

Halloween has come and gone,and the holiday season is officially here – according to retailers and advertisers. As a prequel to the holiday prep that is soon to come here on the blog and elsewhere, today I’m taking a moment to talk about the best gift we can give to each other, all year long: the gift of time.

You see, sometimes I get so focused on task lists, places to go,  and whatever Google calendar says I need to get done, that I forget to slow down and savor the moments. Yes, even my #366 project, designed to help me stay in the moment, turns into a chore at times.

Case in point: A few weeks ago, my husband and I took the family to our favorite pumpkin patch. The weather was miserable, the ground was super muddy, and the place was crowded. I found myself rushing the kids through our traditions: running through the maze, picking out the perfect pumpkin, and of course, the requisite photos. When we got back to the car with our finds, I felt guilty. In my selfish effort to get past my own discomforts and cross the task off my checklist, I’d rushed everyone through the motions. I declared a do-over.

This year is our 12 year wedding anniversary. In those 12 years we’ve lived in two homes, had three kids and shared hundreds of laughs, tears and memories. The Gift of Time + Jord watch giveaway #JordWatch #giveaway #ad

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So Fresh and So Clean: Healthy Recipes My Kids Actually Like!

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It’s that time of year again – when bathing suit season looms a little closer and we start resolving to treat our bodies a little better. I like to have lots and lots of recipes in our rotation because we I get bored easily, so I’m always on the hunt for new, healthy recipes our whole family will enjoy. In that spirit, I’m sharing a round-up of some of our family favorites. Enjoy!

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Felt Christmas Tree Advent Calendar

Years ago I hand sewed a Christmas Tree Advent Calendar, which has become such a sweet tradition for our family. Ever since I was a young child, I absolutely loved Advent Calendars – usually the perforated paper variety in our home – to count down the days until Christmas. The anticipation was overwhelming each year.

I wanted to have that same tradition in our family – and I wanted to create something we could use year after year. I stumbled across this sweet calendar by Stitch Craft Creations. I fell madly in love with this idea and got to work, using her calendar as my guide. Felt Christmas Tree Advent Calendar | Five Marigolds

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Photographing Everyday Moments: 2016 Photo Project

I’ve never met anyone who has said, “I WISH I didn’t have SO MANY PHOTOS from when the children were young.” Or, “We have too many photos! We simply must GET RID of all these.”

In fact, in a very unofficial poll of some of my closest friends, the #1 or #2 “thing” they would save in a house fire would be printed photos, hard drives and/or memory cards of photos.

The importance of photographing everyday moments: Shoot Along 2016That’s why I’m very passionate about capturing my children during these fast moving years, where each day brings a new milestone:

 

lost teeth…

The importance of photographing everyday moments: Shoot Along 2016

…learning to read and writeThe importance of photographing everyday moments: Shoot Along 2016

…potty training – all of it. It’s all beautiful.Capture beauty in everyday moments with your family: Shoot 2016 Photography program.

I’m a huge advocate for getting professional family photos taken each year. I’m all for posed-looking-at-the-camera-smiling photos.

But it’s these moments. These little everyday occasions that I look upon and I remember.Capture beauty in everyday moments with your family: Shoot 2016 Photography program.

…BRB…I think there’s something in my eye…The importance of photographing everyday moments: Shoot Along 2016

That’s why I’m so excited to join SHOOT 2016. It’s a year-long photography program that helps parents learn to take beautiful pictures of their families, with the help of photographers Amy Tripple & Heidi Peters.

Every week, members receive an email introducing them to a new photography concept or skill to practice with an instructional editing video. Membership includes access to a private online community forum for helpful suggestions, sharing and feedback (and friendship!).

You don’t have to have a fancy camera to participate – SHOOT 2016 is available for those with a DSLR and one for those using a smartphone camera.

Will you join me? Registration ends December 31, so hurry and register now

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Children’s Artwork Display for Less Than $5

This is one of my favorite projects to date – also the easiest and least expensive: the children’s artwork display located in our Family Command Center  – otherwise known as the mud room.

I wanted plenty of space where the children could hang their artwork and good grades with pride, without that messy cluttered look on the fridge. It also needed to be really flat to the wall, since the area I’d designated is in a space the width of a hallway.

Mud Room Family Command Center DIY Kids' Art Display | Five Marigolds Mud Room Family Command Center DIY Kids' Art Display | Five Marigolds

Here’s how I did it:

  • Buy these eye hook screws and wire at the hardware store for less than $5 total (or spend a few extra bucks and shop Amazon at the links above if you want to save a trip to the store).
  • Drill holes into the wall where you want your eye hooks to go. Screw the eye hooks into the wall by hand.  Then, wrap your wire around one of the hooks a few times. Stretch it to the other eye hook, pulling and straightening as you go. Wrap it around that eye hook 2-3 times and cut the wire.
  • I already had these cute little inexpensive clips on hand, leftover from Eve’s party favors.They work great for holding the various art and school papers the kids bring home.
  • Voila! Children’s art center complete in 20 minutes and for less than $5.

Mud Room Family Command Center DIY Kids' Art Display | Five Marigolds

As for the rest of our family mud room command center, it’s still a work in progress. I have dreams for this space!

Mud Room Bench Storage | Five Marigolds

Mud Room Key Drop | Five Marigolds

I found that sign at the thrift store. I think it was from a hotel long ago. I just love it!Mud Room Family Command Center Key and Mail Drop

What do you think of my low-tech art center for the kids?

Sources:

  • Rug, Homegoods (similar here and here)
  • Basket, Mary & Martha (similar here)
  • Door Paint, Sherwin Williams Tidewater
  • Walls, Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter
  • Drawer Pulls and Knobs, Restoration Hardware
  • Key Hook Sign, thrifted (similar here, here,  here and here)

Bring Life and Personalization to a Neutral Family Room

I recently posted a photo of our family room on Instagram and got lots of notes asking me about the space. I had friends tell me it looked like something out of a magazine. What a compliment!

Neutral Family Room with Bold Pops of Color | Five Marigolds

I was really surprised by the reaction I got, though. The truth is, anyone can make a space look amazing in just one photograph. Our home is a work in progress. Most of our home is not decorated. I finish little areas of a room and wait to finish the rest of the space as inspiration strikes me. That means there are uglier areas of the room that don’t get shown in photos – like the comfortable, oversized, slightly worn leather chair the corner where it doesn’t quite fit. The lamps that don’t quite match but that continue to live on in the room until I find the perfect lights that fit my budget.

I’m not very confident as a decorator, so I just go by my gut feeling. If I put a rug in the space and I find that I don’t feel comfortable, it’s not the right fit for me. If I put a wild throw pillow on the couch and it makes me want to sit down and enjoy the space – it was the right design choice for me.

Here are the design tips I follow in my home:

  1. Start with high quality, neutral furniture This means a great neutral couch with clean lines, a high quality rug and furniture in the space. Keep the colors neutral so they can last – both in structure and in design taste –  for many years. Like all things in life, when you get the foundation right everything works much better!
  2. Bring in texture In our home, we add lots of texture with mixed leathers, deep rich woods and distressed reclaimed woods, too. It means sleek cool mirrors and hard metal vases and decor juxtaposed with wild flowers and dried wild grasses. We use fabrics with varying textures, too – but they must always, always be comfortable and soft! Make sure your throw pillows are filled with down, too. They will look 100% better and will be more comfortable, too.
  3. Add pops of color For me, this means bold colors and patterns, as you can see with our throw pillows. I love all of these colors and patterns, and somehow when I mix them all they come together perfectly to me.
  4. Personalize This is my most important design rule. Nothing makes an environment more sterile than lack of personalization. I like to decorate with lots of pictures. Some I keep in their frames forever for nostalgia. For our main wall, I use updated family photos every year.
  5. Keep it versatile One of my favorite tips when buying mats and frames is to buy square or symmetrical frames, and have the mat cut to the size of photos you plan to use. Here’s why this is genius: if your favorite photo this year was portrait – oriented, inevitably you’ll one day have a favorite that is landscape – oriented. Instead of buying a new frame and re-hanging the photos on your wall to fit, you just turn the frame on its side, and you’re in business. See how I have examples of both portrait and landscape photos on my wall?

Sources:

  • Sectional: Carson’s Furniture
  • Ottoman: Restoration Hardware (old) similar here
  • End Tables: HomeGoods (old) similar here
  • Lamp
  • Pillows, similar: animal print, black/white geo, floral pillow made with Robert Allen fabric
  • Throw: HomeGoods (old) similar here
  • Wall Monogram: HomeGoods (old) similar here
  • Wall frames and mats
  • Rug

What to Wear: Family Pictures for Christmas Card

What to wear for Family Pictures - Neutral Leather, fur and animal prints for Christmas Card | Five Marigolds

Planning our annual family photos is always a feat in coordination, especially when we’re trying to do it on a budget. Here’s what I came up with for this year’s photos, using many items we already had on hand…with just a few purchases. 🙂

What to wear for Family Pictures - Neutral Leather, fur and animal prints for Christmas Card | Five MarigoldsLike this look for your family? Shop the look here:

Need more wardrobe inspiration? Check out more Christmas Card Family Photo Wardrobe ideas here.

redfamphotos

*Please read my affiliate disclaimer in the right sidebar. Thank you for your support!

In addition to the fab blogs in the right sidebar, this was also linked up at Tatertots and Jello,Savvy Southern StyleLive, Laugh RoweNap Time Creations The Turquoise Home, Elizabeth and Co. Vintage and The Scoop.

No-Carve Family Halloween Pumpkins

At our home, we don’t really “do” spooky Halloween. We do fun, dress-up, eat lots of sweets Halloween. So this year, I thought it would be fun to make a pumpkin representing each member of our family that we could bring back out year after year – in addition to carving Jack-O-Lanterns in real pumpkins, of course.

My local JoAnn’s store is moving, so they are having some crazy sales right now! That allowed me to buy these carvable foam pumpkins and supplies for a steal!

For ‘Belle, we chose to do a Frozen themed pumpkin because she’s straight-up obsessed. I didn’t have any craft snowkflakes on hand, so I’m thinking it ended up a bit more Cinderella, right? Regardless, it’s perfect for this little girl who loves to dress up and play princess every. single. day.

5 No-Carve Pumpkin Ideas that don't suck! This Cinderella / Frozen pumpkin is super easy to make!

To make it, I used Krylon aqua matte spray paint to pain a white craft pumpkin. I then used Krylon opulent opal glitter spray paint on top.  I was super bummed with this though. It was gorgeous going on, but within moments it stopped working. I figured the glitter was clogging the nozzle and I tried multiple solutions to no avail. What a waste!

Frozen Cinderella Halloween Pumpkin | Five Marigolds

I went back and purchased Krylon glitter blast diamond dust spray paint. It was also beautiful and the can worked much better. How pretty this would have been combined with more of the opal glitter spray! I topped it with self-stick rhinestone gems and one of the girls’ princess tiaras.

For Eve, we went the Hello Kitty route. I don’t know what it is about this cat. She’s never seen a Hello Kitty cartoon, but she loves it.  For this pumpkin, I just printed a Hello Kitty on my printer and placed it over clear contact paper to use as a stencil. Then, I simply painted the face with black and pink acrylic paint and topped with one of the girls’ hair bows.

Hello Kitty Halloween Pumpkin | Five Marigolds

For Dub, I had to go the Minecraft route. I bought a black craft pumpkin, carved out a square hole and painted the inside green with Krylon emerald green spray paint. I then printed out a Creeper face on the printer, placed it on clear contact paper and cut it out to use as a stencil. I then placed it inside the dry pumpkin and painted the Creeeper face with black acrylic paint.

Minecraft Creeper Halloween Pumpkin | Five Marigolds

For my pumpkin, I just picked up this black studded pumpkin from JoAnn’s I just love it!

Black Stud Halloween Pumpkin | Five Marigolds

For my husband, well…

Decorating Family Pumpkins | Five Marigolds

What do you think of our no-carve Family Halloween Pumpkins?

Strong foundations: bible verses for a new house

Several weeks ago, we decided to have a little family house dedication on our new home under construction by writing verses that held meaning and hope for our family. I love the idea that as we walk through the finished rooms of our home in just a few months, we’ll remember the verses written on the foundation of each room we enter. And, maybe someday many, many years from now, a different family might have occasion to see the blessings written by us under the carpet or on the wall studs. Today I’m sharing inspirational bible verses for a new home dedication.

Bible Verses for a New Home Dedication | Five Marigolds

Bible Verses for a New Home

Here are some of the verses we chose:

Entrances: You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out. Deuteronomy 28:6

Kitchen:  Taste and see that the Lord is good. Psalm 34:8

Dining room: Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Psalm 90:14

Office: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as if working for the Lord, not for human masters. Colossians 3:23

Stairs: In his heart a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9

Basement: Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on a rock. Matthew 7:24

Master Bedroom: And over all these virtues, put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:14

Master closet: Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12

Kid’s rooms:

My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you. Bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. Proverbs 3:14

Strength and dignity are her clothing and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. Proverbs 21:25-26

The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. Numbers 6:24-25

Kid’s bathroom: It is not fancy hair, gold jewelry or fine clothes that should make you beautiful. No, your beauty should come from within you – the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. This beauty will never disappear and is worth much more to God. 1 Peter 3:3-4

You don’t have to be building a new house to apply this concept to your home. You can write verses during a renovation, or on the walls before you re-paint, or on the floors when you replace carpet or flooring.  Or, of course, add scripture out where everyone can see it in your home.  Here is some inspiration:

I love Proverbs 31 art for a girl’s room:

Proverbs 31 Subway Art using clear contact paper and Silhouette SD. Stain is Minwax Early American. | Five Marigolds

I also really like the idea of hanging a chalkboard where you can update your verses weekly so they don’t start to fade into the scenery, like decor that hangs year-round (see my DIY upcycled chalkboard here).

DIY Chalkboard Art using Rust-Oleum Chalkboard Paint | Five Marigolds

What are your favorite bible verses for a new home dedication? Please share them in the comments. I’m always looking for new ideas!

Looking for more inspiration? You might like these ideas:

Felt Christmas Tree Advent Calendar | Five Marigolds

DIY Felt Advent Calendar

Proverbs 31 Subway Art using clear contact paper and Silhouette SD. Stain is Minwax Early American. | Five Marigolds

Proverbs 31 Wall Art

DIY Chalkboard Wall Art using Rust-Oleum Chalkboard Paint | Five Marigolds

DIY Trash to Treasure Chalkboard

Family Growth Chart for less than $15

We recently made the decision to sell our “starter” home and build a new home that better accommodates our growing family. We bought this home just months before our wedding, had three babies here and many, many precious memories as a family. We’re ready for the next chapter, but this sentimental mom is feeling a bit emotional about it, as well.

The moment we signed the papers to build our new home I was immediately motivated to take on a project I’ve been meaning to for a long time – make a family growth chart that we can take with us – wherever we go. Our former growth chart was done the old fashioned way – with pencil on the wall of our kitchen (that I still can’t bring myself to paint over even since I’ve made this beautiful new chart).growth chart2

I’d once tried my hand at an embroidered chart that was supposed to be  cute and charming, but didn’t end up looking quite as polished as my inspiration. I also  found that I was too lazy to embroider once a year. My laziness factor is high.

So I moved on to those cute reclaimed signs I’ve seen all over Pinterest.

I started with a 3/4″x7″x8′ piece of cedar lumber that I purchased at Home Depot for less than $9. First, I enlisted Dub to weather it for me. I gave him chains and a hammer and let him have at it. I stained it with leftover stain that I used on our stairs for our garage makeover.

From there, I had to get measuring – my least favorite part. Our family is really tall, so I cut my board to 6′ tall and painted 1′ white stripes using leftover paint from the garage makeover. These are some terrible progress photos, but you get the idea.

Family Growth Chart for Less Than $15 | Five Marigolds

I actually liked the way this looked when I was done, but I went ahead and sanded it to give it a more distressed look.Family Growth Chart for Less Than $15 | Five Marigolds

Family Growth Chart for Less Than $15 | Five Marigolds

Then, I used my silhouette to create the measurement marks. I barely use my Silhouette but I used it for this, figuring it would make the measuring much easier for me. I measured it on the computer, cut it out on the Silhouette and then used transfer paper to stick it right on the board without having to re-measure.

Family Growth Chart for Less Than $15 | Five Marigolds

I’m super happy with the way that it turned out! I can’t wait to hang this measurement chart in our new home next year. I can see keeping this chart in our home forever, and measuring little grandbabies someday.growth chart2_1

Postscript: after completing my chart, I stumbled upon this cute version by Handmade Charlotte

growth-chart6-handmade-charlotte-powerofpaint-dot-net

If I had to do it over again, I think her way of painting the numbers would be a lot cheaper and easier. However, I’d still want to make the measurement marks so that I could tell visually exactly how tall the kids are. Everytime they get measured they want to know EXACTLY how many feet, inches and centimeters tall they are. Because that matters to 4 and 6 year olds.

What do you think? Do you have a family growth chart in your home?


Homemade Birthday Cake Ice Cream

Homemade Birthday Cake Ice Cream | Five Marigolds We’ve established that I’m a big fan of ice cream. But, cake. Oh how I love cake, too! Eve chose Birthday Cake ice cream as one of her flavors for our ice cream truck and it didn’t take me any convincing to agree. I set to work researching recipes, but yet again found that most recipes called for eggs, which was not what I was going for.

So took my favorite ideas from the interwebs, then adapted a basic vanilla ice cream recipe to create this fabulous birthday explosion for the tastebuds.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 C. Whole Milk
  • 1/4 C. Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Box Yellow Cake Mix, separated (I used Funfetti)
  • 2 C. Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 t. Vanilla Extract
  • Buttermilk Icing (I made 1/2 of this recipe and used about 1/2 of that. You could also use store bought icing!)
  • Sprinkles, if desired

What to do:

  1. Reserve half of your cake mix, and prepare the remainder in an 8″ or 9″ round pan. When it’s done, remove it from the pan and place it in your freezer.
  2. Place small drops of buttermilk icing on a small sheet of freezer paper, and then place it in the freezer to set up. I used an icing bag and a small round tip to make mine uniform because I was photographing it, but you don’t need to make these pretty. I also colored my icing to make it festive and pretty.Homemade Birthday Cake Ice Cream | The Scoop
  3. Mix the milk, sugar, and 1/2 C. cake mix until the sugar and mix are dissolved.  Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla, and place the mixture in the fridge.
  4. Cube 1-2 cups of the frozen cake into the size of croutons.
  5. Place the liquid mixture into your ice cream maker* about 20 minutes until it thickens. Then, slowly pour the 1-2 cups of cake cubes and desired sprinkles into the machine until it is lightly mixed.
  6. Place the mixture into a sealed container in the freezer for at least 2 hours or overnight.

*No ice cream maker? No problem. Freeze the chilled liquid mixture for 2-4 hours or until slightly thickened/frozen and then gently stir in the cake cubes and sprinkles. Chill overnight.

Homemade Birthday Cake Ice Cream | Five MarigoldsYUM! Your kids will beg you to make this recipe again and again. I hope you enjoy this recipe! Please tell me what you think in the comments below.

Homemade Malted Milk Ball Ice Cream

I just love the tasted of malted milk powder! As a kid, my mom would often top plain vanilla ice cream with sprinkling of this powder, and our favorite ice cream shop in town had a popular malt with 2x the malt powder. Yum!

I wanted to introduce my kids to the same flavor, so when we came up with the idea to create our own ice cream truck, I went on the search for a good Malted Milk Ball ice cream. Unfortunately every recipe I found included eggs, which I didn’t want to mess with. So, I came up with the following recipe using our Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker*.

What you’ll need:

  • 1/2 C. Malted Milk Powder (I used the chocolate flavor because it was all I could find at the grocery)
  • 1/2 C. Granulated Sugar
  • 1/8 C. Brown Sugar
  • 1 C. Whole Milk
  • 2 C. Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 T. Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Cups Malted Milk Balls, chopped + more for garnishing, if desired

What to do:

  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add the milk and use a mixer or whisk until the sugars are dissolved.
  3. Stir in the cream and vanilla.
  4. Set it in the fridge to cool at least 2 hours or overnight.
  5. Pour the chilled mixture into your ice cream mixer* for 15-20 minutes or until it’s thickened.
  6. Slowly pour the desired amount of Milk Balls into the drum while the ice cream mixes, or fold it in at the end.
  7. Freeze in an airtight container for about 2 hours. Enjoy!

The result? Amaze-milkballs.  Ahem.

Homemade Malted Milk Ball Ice Cream | Five Marigolds

What do you think? Are you a fan of Malted Milk Ball ice cream? I’d love to hear your favorite ice cream flavor in the comments below.

*No ice cream maker? No problem. Once you’ve reached step five, simply put the container in the freezer for 2 hours or until it begins to freeze slightly. Stir in the malted milk balls and stir after another hour to evenly distribute, if necessary.  

Homemade Malted Milk Ball Ice Cream | Five Marigolds

Homemade Cookie Dough Frozen Yogurt

Cookie Dough Frozen Yogurt Recipe | Five MarigoldsDub has the heart of an entrepreneur. And marketer. He’s always saying things like, “I want to open a restaurant and name it ____,” or, “I wish I was old enough to start my own ______ business.” I love this quality about him, so this summer I wanted to show him that he can bring his ideas to life.

We chose to hone his kidpreneurial ambitions through his dream of owning an ice cream truck because, his mom really likes ice cream what better timing than summer? He immediately knew he would name it “The Scoop” and his pitch would be “Get a scoop, double scoop at The Scoop!” I encouraged him and Eve to brainstorm some ice cream flavors. They each came up with two ideas and we’ve been enthusiastically experimenting to finalize our menu.

Today we landed on our first unanimous winner.  It’s a frozen yogurt that’s just as tasty as ice cream, with a super-sweet cookie flavor blast for the tastebuds.

Cookie Dough Frozen Yogurt Recipe | Five MarigoldsWhat you need:

  • 1/2 C. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 C. packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 C. granulated sugar
  • 2 t. vanilla or almond extract (I’m a huge fan of the almond extract for this recipe!)
  • 1 C. flour
  • 1/4 t. baking soda
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1/2 C. mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 C. crushed crunchy-style chocolate chip cookies (around 4 Chips Ahoy cookies)
  • 1 C. vanilla yogurt – I highly recommend Dannon Lite & Fit Vanilla yogurt for the best flavor

Directions:

  1. First, mix the butter and sugars with a mixer.
  2. Then, in a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add chocolate chips and crushed cookies.
  3. Gently fold the flour mixture into the sugar mixture until well combined, then thoroughly mix in the yogurt.
  4. Freeze overnight in a sealed container, then fight the urge to eat it for breakfast.

Cookie Dough Frozen Yogurt Recipe | Five Marigolds

That’s it! No fancy ice cream maker necessary. Try it for yourself and let me know what you think!Cookie Dough Frozen Yogurt Recipe | Five Marigolds

For those of you who have asked where I got the ice cream container, I found it on a clearance shelf at TJ Maxx, but you can also buy it online in several colors on Amazon. I’m going to buy several so I can have several flavors sitting in my freezer at once 🙂

Creating a Custom Silhouette in PhotoShop

Looking for custom decorations for your child’s room or nursery? It’s super cheap and easy to design a custom silhouette in Adobe PhotoShop, and today I’m showing you how.

My daughters share their bedroom, so I wanted to create silhouettes that would match the room but would be a bit unique. I created a digital background using colors from their toile bedding accents:

Creating a Custom Silhouette in PhotoShop

Here is my result, but you don’t have to create your own custom background to make this work. You can find lots of super cute digital scrapbook paper on Etsy that would be perfect for this project.

floral background toile floral background toile match 11x17

Next, I took profile pictures of each of the girls. This does not have to be a high quality photo;  in fact, my camera phone  snaps leave very little to be desired! All you need is to be able to see the profile of their face – the nose, lips and eyes.

image-4

Next, I opened it in PhotoShop, clicked on my selection tool, and got to work outlining her head, neck and shoulders.

marchingants

Once I was happy with what I selected, I hit Command + J to duplicate just that selected area.

Next, I wanted to fill it with a color that matched the background. I hit Edit + Fill and chose a color from the background.cover overlay

Then, I simply dragged this image onto my original file with the custom background. You’ll notice a lot of bumps and jagged edges on her silhouette, so I used a hard eraser to smooth out the edges.

duplicate layer

Finally, I added their names using Jellyka Delicious Cake font. I had it printed by a professional photography lab, but you can also have it printed at Shutterfly for $7.99Creating a Custom Silhouette in PhotoShop

To finish this project, I framed it in a very inexpensive wood cutout that I found at Michael’s for $3.99 on sale (or just $4.79 after using a 40% off coupon). I spray painted it in a high reflective shine metallic gold spray paint by Rust-Oleum.

Creating a Custom Silhouette in PhotoShop

I used Command Picture Hanging Strips for a non-committal way of affixing them to the wall. I love these!

Here’s the final hanging in the girls’ tiny shared room:

Shared Girl Room Custom Silhouette Five Marigolds

Shared Girl Room Custom Silhouette Five Marigolds

There you have it – a custom framed print for less than $13. Have you created a custom silhouette before? Tell us about it in the comments below, and feel free to link to your project.

This post was linked up at Remodelaholic.

 

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Inexpensive, Easy Chore Chart for Kids

This summer is the first summer I’ll be at home most days with the kids since I started my freelance adventure last fall. My 6 and 4 year old are bright, exuberant kids and I knew I’d have to add structure their days if I wanted any sanity. However, with my freelance work I don’t have the ability to be there every moment to guide their day (and who would want to?). It’s also great for fostering their independence as well.

I went to work trying to find chore charts, but none of them were quite right. My 4 year old can’t read the text chore charts, and many of the picture charts were geared toward very little children, or had unattractive graphics.

After doing some research I landed on four requirements:

  • I wanted a photo chart that my four year old could understand and interact with on her own;
  • I didn’t want to spend much money;
  • I wanted the flexibility to change their days up, but I also didn’t want to have to print a new one each week; and
  • I needed something I could mount to the fridge somehow – I didn’t want a chart that required wall space.

I landed on the concept of a magnetic chart with two categories: “Doing” and “Done.” I saw a few examples that I liked and got to work emulating those based on my needs. However, I needed clip art. It was SO hard to find cute clip art that would work for this! That’s when I stumbled upon Audrey Schilaty‘s blog. She had the exact chart I wanted – for free! Really, it’s the nicest free resource I’ve found. She offers both personal care and chore images, and I used a small combination of both (sad but true: I forget to have my children brush their teeth all to often).

I made it my own with a few modifications:

  • I drafted my own simple “Doing” and “Done” text document and used just the images I needed from her selection, so it would all print on one page, saving me money.
  • I printed it on a glossy sheet of photo paper that I had on hand, and then just placed it on an 8.5×11 sheet of adhesive magnet. You can buy packages of adhesive magnet sheets at office supply stores, but I found the most inexpensive option for heavy sheets – I got mine for just $3.59. I cut the small pieces to size, added them to the fridge, and voila – a clean, easy and inexpensive chart.

Magnetic Chore Chart | Five Marigolds

The kids woke up the first day and had moved two magnets over before I had a chance to remind them about it! So far, it’s been a great success.

DIY Magnetic Chore Chart | Five Marigolds

I encourage everyone to check out Audrey’s great blog. And, if you’d like a copy of the 1-page version of the printable I used to create my chart using her images, just click the image below!

Chore chart printable | Five MarigoldsThere you have it – a chore chart for just $3.59. What are your tips for keeping the kids structured in the summer? Let me know in the comments below.

 

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PlaySkool ShowCam – Bzz Campaign

 

I was sooo excited to recently be chosen for the PlaySkool ShowCam Bzz Campaign.  A Bzz Campaign is a program through BzzAgent that sends free products and coupons to people to let them try it out, harnessing the most powerful form of marketing there is right now – word of mouth.

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As soon as we got the box, I knew how I wanted to introduce this to the kids.  Sunday morning we grabbed donuts and went to a local park where I brought my own camera to take a few snapshots of the family fun.  I sent them on a picture scavenger hunt and let them snap away.

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Now I should mention, I was surprised upon opening the packaging that there were absolutely no instructions inside.  So we popped the batteries in and found that it was pretty intuitive to operate.  Just a little testing of the buttons to figure out what-was-what, and we were off and running.

Dub took pictures of a spider, butterfly, leaves, and the rest of us at the park.  camera_2  P00047

camera   P00030

A cool feature of this camera is the in-picture templates.  You can make your subject a pirate, ballerina, dragon, skunk…all sorts of fun things!

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When we got home, we all watched the pictures through one of the camera’s coolest features – the projector.  They loved this and were delighted when the in-picture templates played animations along to music.  They watched them over and over…until a fight ensued about whose turn it was to play with the camera.

This camera is lightweight and made of plastic, yet it seems reasonably durable. I see lots and lots of fun with this toy in our future.

Christmas Card Family pictures – what to wear

Our annual family photos are coming up quickly in just a few weeks – and I have been putting off the decision of what to wear.  I normally have a vision and this time…I just don’t.  Which is your favorite wardrobe theme?

coral fam photos famphotos

famiy Christmas photo
Update – Shop similar look here:
pastel family of 5 photos

Eve’s Ice Cream Birthday Party

One of our favorite birthday traditions? Homemade ice cream. So, what better theme for Eve’s July birthday than ice cream?  Of course, we made our favorite homemade ice cream, with just a few drops of lemon extract added to the recipe. Yum!

We had just a simple gathering at Grandma and Grandmpa’s. We decorated using the decorations we invested in for her first birthday: vintage bunting, photo centerpieces, and a homemade chair cover.

I whipped up a batch of plain ol’ boxed mix cupcakes, and decorated them using my Pampered Chef Decorator Bottle Set, sprinkles, mini chocolate chips and maraschino cherries. For the main cake, I used three of the cupcake “scoops” of ice cream because it was her third birthday. The kids absolutely loved these!

What do you think of the ice cream birthday party theme? If you’re a fan, check out my birthday Pinterest board for more ideas and inspiration.

 

 

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(Very) Small Spaces: Shared Girl Room

Baby #3 is on the way  soon(!) and the nursery is officially done. We live in a 3 bedroom home with cozy (aka ridiculously small) bedrooms which meant lots of creativity and organization.
I tried my best to create the illusion of space with monochromatic touches of taupe and pink with gold accents against white.  We used a pink and taupe toile in the bedding for both girls and carried the colors throughout the room. Here is a mock up:shared girl room3
I’m certainly no designer (clearly!) but because I had such a hard time finding decor ideas for tight quarters, I’m posting mine for all of you out there with small spaces.
Tiny Spaces Shared Girl Room
Do you like how I kept the overstuffed toy box in the shot? That’s just me keeping it real.