Designing Your Outdoor Space

With the market in favor of so many new homeowners purchasing their dream home, there also comes new responsibility to not only take  care of their new purchase, but the piece of land that their home is upon. Not only do you want your home to stand out amongst your neighbors but you also want it to look welcoming, inviting and worth stopping and staring at. If you’ve never tried designing a landscape before, the options and choices to make can become a bit overwhelming. For example, some common questions can be what type of path do you want to have such as straight lines or curved? Do you want specific plants and if so where should you be placing them? How about accessories such as planters, bird paths or benches? Designing the space is just like you would be designing a room inside your home. There are a few tips below to help get you started.

  1. Needs Vs Wants – Just as you made this big decision when it came to purchasing yoru dream home, you also create a list for what your lawn should look like. Do your kids need an area to run around play? Are you thinking about trying gardening to grow your own fruits and vegetables? How about some entertainment areas where you can gather loved ones? Take a look at the yard that you have and just think about what you could do with the space that you have. These can help determine your needs and wants as well if things won’t line up or fit correctly in your space. Thinking of your needs and wants also is determined by location and not only if you can fit it but where do you want it placed. Does your backyard get a lot of sun but the front does not? Make sure to put the gathering area that you are thinking about in a shaded location so the sun doesn’t beat down on everyone and make them uncomfortable.
  1. Think Of A Focal Point: While you might be looking at your yard, also consider a focal point you can view in a 360 degree area. Do you want to put a fountain in the middle of the yard? Is there a space in your home you want to emphasize and can do so by adding small plants around that area? Let that design draw your attention to that specific item or location to share. 
  1. Start Small: Part of designing and thinking about what is going to work in your yard is actually starting. I would start small and work from there. Begin by planting a small garden or a few flowers and see where that might lead you. Take your time and enjoy the process of planting your flowers and then seeing where that leads you a few days down the road. If you like it, begin by branching out and adding a small bench near by, potted plants or a string of lights. See how simple that was! 

Image: Onorato Landscaping, LLC 

  1. Hire A Professional: If in any time of the process of figuring out what is going to work best for your property, there is no question that you’ll want to seek out the professionals to get the opinion and even a price point to help if you need it. Living in New Jersey, there are some excellent landscapers but one I admire is Onorato Landscaping, LLC . These professionals are second to none when it comes to creating some beautiful and friendly designs for your backyard or front yard. Not only are they creative, helpful and trusting but they also provide excellent lawn care in the Bergen County area. They are a full-service hardscaping, landscaping and lawn service company that delivers value to both their commercial and residential customers. Marc Onorato who is the founder has over 10+ years working for a premium garden center and develops services that are sure to impress everyone. 

As a reminder to all beginners, take your time and be patient. There are so many thins to keep track of such as your kids, pets and temporary ideas that you’ll want to try and get done. There are also a lot of things to consider such as tracking in mud, using mulch or any tips to help figure out what you want. You can always change your mind and be open to change if you don’t like where things are located. 

5 Simple Activities to do with kids during a Pandemic

Let’s face it. Everything these days consists of “in a Pandemic?” so why would kids activities be any different? You’re doing what in a Pandemic? That’s the question many ask and many answer “nothing” or staying safe at home.

That’s all fine and well however the days are still passing and if you have little ones, they may not understand why they can’t do their normal fun fall activities.

Here are some ideas to get the feel of Fall, but still keep simple and safe as needed.

Image: Just For Moms

1. Paint a pumpkin. Part of the fun is Pumpkin picking, but if you’re not ready to go out to public spaces just yet, pick a few up during your next grocery shopping trip, and some dollar store paint sets and you’re just about ready to get down to business. It’s much easier than carving, and much safer for little helpers.

Tip: Start with an idea from googling “pumkin painting” or use a favorite character photo. Draw the image onto the pumpkin with a pencil before committing with the paint.

2. Pick flowers and make plant baskets. By now your lovely outdoor garden is probably starting to whither. At least here in New Jersey we’ve gotten a slight frost or 2 and temperatures are sure to drop quickly. Instead of watching the flowers die or waiting to rip out a woody stick skelton version of your coleus plant, try picking the flowers and displaying their last bit of life in a vase indoors or pruning and potting your plants for inside or as front door decor.

Tip: Little hands cannot wait to pick flowers and any excuse to do so with consent is sure to be taken on with enjoyment. Identify the smells, textures and even the colors to make it extra fun! Hey, maybe you’ll wind up with a little future horticulturist on your hands.

Image: Pexels

3. Take a trip to the local zoo. If you’re feeling adventurous but not THAT adventurous yet due to the Pandemic, get a little normalcy in with a trip to your local zoo. Most zoos are limiting capacity even though mostly outdoor exhibits, and there isn’t much to touch, so you can enjoy a nice day out while the weather still cooperates and give the animals at least a reason to be where they’re stuck anyway (so sad). I’m sure they love to see people since they don’t have as many visitors these days, especially tiny ones with big smiles!

Image: Tasty

4. BAKE. Even if you’re not an avid baker there are many simple recipes including bake-free ones that little hands can get in on like oreo chocolate truffles which are one of my absolute favorites! Adding some orange food coloring to coconut flakes can create the Fall feel and with a dollop of green colored icing or chocolate you can even make them into cute little pumpkin replicas.

Another favorite that is so simple you’ll wonder how you haven’t been doing this your whole life is cake cookies.

Image: Tracie Lee (T.L Creations) & #Moving Forward (iamshannabee)

5. Paint Rocks. Find some rocks by taking a walk around your neighborhood or maybe there are some in your yard or local park. If you cannot find rocks “in the wild” hehe, you can always purchase a bag of larger rocks from your local hardware store. There are some really cute designs or sayings online, and you can use finger paint to make it little kid friendly or better yet…you do the painting (maybe add alittle paint and sip action) and then let your little ones choose where they go outside. To a neighbors porch? A random location for someone to find? A gift for aunts, uncles, or grandparents? The options are endless!

I hope I’ve inspired you to get out and have some Fall fun in spite of the current situation in the World! And SMILE 😃

Back to school with Honeysticks Natural Beeswax Crayons – Giveaway Hop over 60 giveaways!

Welcome to the Back to school giveaway hop! Hosted by the kids did it and the mommy island.

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Enter now to win a pack of Hona $10 Amazon gift card to get you started on back to school supplies this 2019/2020 school year

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Honeysticks Crayons are handmade in New Zealand with 100% pure beeswax, so they are safer for children of all ages. This sustainable process causes minimal impact on the environment and gives the crayons a wonderful honey scent. Our unique chubby crayons are easy for small hands to hold, but much harder to break!  Let your little ones express their inner artist with a stunning range of twelve eye catching, non-toxic crayon colours.

Make Canvas Factory Your Personal Artist!

A few weeks ago we went to Duke Farms in NJ to take in all of the beautiful scenery. There were so many awesome photos taken with my cell phone, especially in the Orchid Nursery that I had to make a photo out of it for my home.

I had ordered with The Canvas Factory before so I knew I wanted to go right to them to get the job done. Check out my previous post about them with the family image I did.

So here is the original photo I took with my Galaxy S9:

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And here is what I had made and shipped to me by The Canvas Factory:

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Look how vivid the colors are, with NO FILTER on this image! Their tag line is “bring your memories to life” which is so fitting. I cannot believe how amazing this came out at such a large size straight from my phone. This one I chose is the 18 in. x 12 in. (45×30 cm) which is only $24.50 + shipping. I got the “gallery wrapped” style, so the image wraps complete around the sides of the canvas.

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If you are felling artsy, but do not want to make your own image on a canvas, they have many styles of stock images you can have made. I prefer to take my own images though, so they’re one of a kind. I am so excited with how this came out, I am going to get 2 more of the exact same size of the other orchid images I took. I am sharing my other photos from the awesome Orchid nursery below, let me know which other 2 you think I should get printed to hand along with this one.

I have not hung it yet since I am waiting for the other 2, but this is how the size is, and also and up close of the canvas to see the texture (it is in a different lighting, but still looks awesome!).

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Up close: Look at the detail of the water that came through! It actually looks really wet but it is not.

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Which other 2 should I chose to display on my wall with this one?

 

Last Minute Easter Deals and Activities!

I love Holidays, and Easter is no exception. I usually have all of my shopping and planning done months in advance, but this year I’ve been slacking and am finding myself running around last minute to get stuff. A few years ago the adorable Easter Baskets  I created were a big hit!

The only place with enough time left to get in those Last Minute Easter Deals! I LOVE the basket stuffier ideas that Amazon has, from pre-made baskets, to Easter Sunday attire, I’ve rounded out the favorites for you below! Check them out;

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You may want to check them out and go for something easy and crafty this year, there is still time. There are some “Out of the basket” ideas you may find inspirational as well, and some easy-to-throw together recipes to enjoy in the upcoming festive weeks.

Have a ‘Hoppy’ Easter!!!

*Disclosure:  includes affiliate links.

Cricut Halloween Flash Sale – features 50% off materials!

Starting today through 10/30, Cricut is launching the Halloween flash sale! This sale features 50% off materials, accessories, and more. In addition to this, Cricut is featuring great machine deals such as EasyPress for $139.99, Maker bundles for $379.99, and Explore family bundles starting at $279.99. Be sure to tell your readers to take advantage of these great offers before they end.

Cricut.com is offering Free Economy Shipping on orders $99+. Use code FREEOCT. Here are some of the best deals!

Halloween flash sale! 50% off materials, accessories, and more! Valid 10/24-10/30.

Cricut Maker bundles only $379.99. Valid 10/24-10/30.Shop new arrivals from Cricut!

Cricut Explore family bundle, starting at $229.99. Valid 10/24-10/30.

Cricut Explore family bundle, starting at $229.99. Valid 10/24-10/30.

Cricut EasyPress only $139.99! Valid 10/24-10/30.

Free Economy Shipping on orders $99+. Use code FREEOCT.

New Arrival Cartridge

  • Price: $29.99
What’s even better? Already have a cricut machine?

The Canvas Factory Review and GIVEAWAY!

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The holidays alre coming and custom gifts are always a favorite from the creator and the receiver. There are many different custom companies out there to choose a custom gift from like canvas companies and Etsy.

So how do you choose one that is right for you?

If you’re like me, you want the best service to be sure your product comes out exactly like you envision it.  That’s one of the hard parts about ordering online is you’re dealing with a computer program in most cases instead of a human being who actually cares about how your order turns out.

That is one of the biggest upsides of The Canvas Factory and it separates them from all of the others.

I know from personal experience that they will make sure your custom item comes out no less than perfect.

Most of us take our most important photos with outlr cell phones and do not own an expensive professional camera, or even those who do, sometimes you do not have that camera on you when a special time happens and you find yourself using your cell phone anyway to capture that special moment.

I wanted to see if they could make a larger canvas out of my cell phone photo come out just as if I had taken it with a professional camera or if they’d be like the others and just let me upload a sub-par photo that would come out blurry, yell at me that it isn’t great quality and ask if I still want to continue placing my crappy photo order just so they can get the money for my order.

Well to my surprise, I uploaded a photo from Facebook, a photo of me and my siblings that I love, but the quality was not very good due to the size even though I had changed it into the recommended size in the paint program to try and force it through… it went through.

However! I was contacted within 24 hours by a real person via email stating that they are working on my order and they found it to be more blurry than I’d probably like.

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They actually attached 2 photos to the email as well to specify why they didn’t think the quality would be good and even though I still told them to put it through, they asked one last time because it was that important to them that they provide a quality product.

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They explained to me that using a photo from new cell phones was perfectly fine in most cases as the cameras on the phones were actually almost equal to the correct size they needed, however that when uploading that same photo from the cell phone to a picture saving website or to Facebook drastically reduces the size of the photo by the program which reduces the pixels and quality for printing which I did not realize since to me the photo looks the same quality when I view it in Facebook.

Wow. What amazing service, seriously!

I was able to provide a different photo for them to use via the email they sent, directly from my cell phone, in which they showed me what the quality of the end result would be and I was happy with it.

Within 4 days (standard shipping) I received the package. Here is how it shipped to me;

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I couldn’t wait to see how this turned out as I wanted to give this canvas as a gift to my mother and it was an important picture to me.

Here is the final result! What do you think?

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I LOVE how this came out.

Even the back is different then others.  Much more study and closed in.

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And you are in luck! The Canvas Factory stands by their mission statement “We want to make online photo printing easy and affordable for everyone.” and want you to see for yourself so they asked me to do a GIVEAWAY for my readers!

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The winner will be able to create their own custom canvas in the standard size of their choosing – 50x40cm (20×16 inch) amounting of $32.25 value OR 18x12inch (45x30cm) amounting of $24.50 value both will include FREE SHIPPING as well.

Take note this giveaway offer is open only for USA and Canada residents.
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But why wait?

Go and order your custom canvas from the Canvas Factory with the link of http://www.canvasfactory.com/ if you are from USA and use this link http://www.canvasfactory.com/ca if you are from Canada.

These make an EXCELLENT gift for friends, family members, and even teachers!

Let me know if you have ordered anything from them before and what your experience was!

Have a Holly July Christmas with Cricut!

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This week, Cricut is launching a Digital Mystery Box for Christmas in July! In addition to the Christmas in July Mystery Box, enjoy great deals such as buy two, get one free on mats, EasyPress starting at $149.99, and Explore bundles as low as $279.99.

Christmas in July

Cricut.com is offering Free shipping (US & Canada) on orders of $99+ with code: JULYSHIP.

Check out the following Christmas in July Deals;

Digital Mystery Box: Christmas in July! $26.99. Limited Availability. 

Mats Buy 2 Get 1 Free – this week only! Valid 7/25-7/31.

Cricut EasyPress starting at $149.99. Valid 7/25-7/31.

Cricut Explore machine bundles as low as $279.99. Valid 7/25-7.31.

Free shipping (US & Canada) on orders of $99+ using code: JULYSHIP
Shop new arrivals from Cricut!

Introducing the all-new Cricut Maker.

It handles fabrics, leather, paper, and balsa wood with effortless precision. Cuts sewing patterns in just a few clicks. And places more creative possibilities than ever at your fingertips. Meet Cricut Maker – the ultimate smart cutting machine.

Shop Cartridges & Images at Cricut!

Want to see what others are cooking up? Check out Cricut’s inspiration page.

The lightweight, low-profile BrightPad makes crafting easier while reducing eye strain.

* Disclosure; I am an affiliate for Cricut and may have received compensation for this post.

Bendy and the Ink Machine Birthday Party

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Anyone else have a child who picks the most odd themes that they want for their birthday party?

My son dropped on me that he really wants to have a Bendy and the Ink Machine birthday party in our yard this year for his birthday next month.  And guess what,  there aren’t any party supplies at all for it at retail stores.

I know that he loves it,  and he watches the videos on you tube,  so guess what? This mommy has to do what mommy has to do to make it happen! Make it!

I decided to do like I did last year when he wanted to have a Five Nights at Freddy’s themed party and the were limited decorations to choose from.  Large cardboard cut outs! Very simple and the best part,  the kids can do most of the work. It isn’t child labor if they request to do it right??!? LOL. Just kidding.  He was so excited to get to work on it.

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The first step we did was getting the images to print out in a larger then one paper format. We used a free site called blockposters.com which helps you convert the images easily to multiple pages to create a poster.

Then we cut each piece of paper out and organized them together. 20180421_091641.jpg

Look how great my little boy was doing. Yes, he really did this all himself!

Then, we used anything we had around the house that can act as a sturdy back for the image. We had one piece of a gift box,  and some previously used shipping boxes that we cut to lay flat.

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Then you just glue each piece on order,  let them dry, and cut them out on the box.  We also cut eyes holes out so that the kids can use them as masks.

For the happy birthday banner,  I used my cricut explore and downloaded the banner file I liked for .99 cents.

I already had some cool vintage looking card stock on hand so it worked perfectly for this theme.

Also,  to make it more fit the theme, I printed some of the images I found online of the characters and cut them on sticker paper that you can get at any craft store.

I have added the Bendy & The Ink Machine Birthday Party Invitation to my Etsy Store if you’d like to order! Digital File will be personalized for you! Click the image below!

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It was a little time consuming,  but fun to put together.

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Here are some pictures of the FNAF them cutouts and party we did last year!

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Candy Easter Baskets Tutorial

Its a Jersey Thing Blog

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These Candy Easter baskets are a cute addition to any Easter decor, or they can be the main basket if you add additional boxes of candy to make it larger.
I went to the dollar store to pick up the boxes of movie theater boxes candy, they were each $1 and the laffy taffy ropes, which I used 2 of each basket, were only 25 cents each. I chose Sweet Tarts, Mike & Ike, Jolly Rancher gummies (this box is a tad bit bigger), and Nerds. The cost totalled just under $5 to make each of the baskets and with 4 boxes, the measurements of the inside is about 6×4″.

The process of making the basket is simple. Here are the steps broken down.

1. Grab any card board box that you have, just writing doesn’t matter. Line up the candy boxes in the form in which you plan on…

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