St. Patrick’s Day Paper Straw Necklace

St Patricks Day Paper Straw Necklace

Our good friend Katie from The Homespun Hydrangea is back again this week with this great St. Patrick’s Day Paper Straw Necklace!  If you are looking for a sweet and simple St. Patrick’s Day craft for kids, look no further than this St. Patrick’s Day straw necklace. You can make one with just two supplies, and it is so easy that even little hands can get in on the action. Here is how you can get started crafting your own St. Patrick’s Day straw necklace!

St Patricks Day Paper Straw Necklace

St. Patrick’s Day Paper Straw Necklace

Supplies needed:
St. Patrick’s Day themed paper straws (clovers or green striped)
Ribbon or string

St Patricks Day Paper Straw Necklace

You can find paper straws at Michael’s Craft store and some dollar stores. If you can’t find clover patterned you can always use green striped.  You can also

1. Begin by creating your necklace beads. To do this, cut the straws into smaller segments. Make the segments anywhere from ¼ an inch to ½ an inch.
2. Take a length of string (the length will depend on how big or small you want the necklace to be) and begin stringing the straw segments on.
3. Once the string is full of straw segments, you can close the ends with a knot or bow.

St Patricks Day Paper Straw Necklace

Your St. Patrick’s Day straw necklace is now ready to be used. Simply tie it on and get your St. Patrick’s Day festivities started!

We just love this fun and easy craft that is perfect for little hands to help you make. Crafting with kids is a ton of fun, but especially around the holidays!  The chance to make something fun they can wear will have them excited too!

Check out some of our other favorite things to do with toddlers and younger kids!

Using Lego’s In Your Homeschool

Cheap Activities To Do With Kids

7 Ways To Teach Your Toddlers Colors

25 DIY Outdoor Fun Crafts & Activities For Kids

Using Television In Your Homeschool Curriculum



Posted in DIY, Easy Crafts, Holidays, St. Patrick's Day Tagged with: , , ,

Insta Natural Essential Oils Review

Over the last year, I have fallen in love with essential oils and how much they help in my daily life.  I was recently sent Insta Natural Essential Oils to review through Brandbacker.  Since I am already a huge fan of essential oils, I knew this was a great chance to restock my pantry and perhaps find a new brand of essential oils to add to my supply possibilities.

InstaNatural Essential Oils


I received a bottle of Lemon and Peppermint essential oils to review.  They also carry a Lavender essential oil, but it was out of stock at the time of my review.  All three are oils I commonly use for relief of various health symptoms,as well as to give a wonderful aroma to our favorite homemade products. Insta Natural provides a quality brand of essential oils that is great for use in your favorite homemade detergents or even body scrubs.

Lemon Essential Oil is one of my favorites to use for cleaning products, laundry detergents or body scrubs.  The Insta Natural Lemon essential oil was perfect for adding to our Citrus Basil Body Scrub recipe.  Bright lemon scent, and the dropper design makes it super easy to use.  I also utilized a trick that is pretty popular by adding a few drops to the inside our toilet paper rolls to freshen the bathroom.  There is nothing nicer than walking into your home when it smells fresh and clean!

Peppermint Essential Oil is a daily use item in our home.  From help with nausea, headaches and muscle aches – to overall digestive tract health it is one of our favorite oils to use regularly.  It is also a great oil to add to beauty care products, or to even drop into your oil or wax burner to brighten your home.  We love peppermint essential oils for daily use.

While we believe that essential oils can definitely benefit your health by helping relieve symptoms, they are not replacement for proper medical care.

We thoroughly enjoyed our chance to review these Insta Natural Essential Oils as sent to us as part of a review program with Brandbacker.

Posted in review, reviews, Sponsored Post

Pura d’or Hair & Body Care Review

Sometimes I get the chance to review a product that I love.  Sometimes I get items I hate.  Sometimes I get items that are just mediocre.  This time I had a product show up on my doorstep to review that I am totally in love with, and frankly I am rather surprised.  Pura d’or Hair and Body Care products are highly recommended, but in the past I have found that most pricey or salon quality hair care products just didn’t beat out my drug store brand.  They might have smelled nicer, been in a prettier bottle and felt nice washing but the result on my hair was nothing different.  This time, I got the chance to try something that I genuinely love and am impressed with.

PuraDor Shampoo And Conditioner

Pura d’or Hair & Body Care Review

I received a bottle of Pura d’or Shampoo and Conditioner as well as Argon Oil.  I have really long straight hair, and don’t do a lot of styling.  My routine is to shampoo and condition daily, towel dry and then typically put it up in braids or just let it lay straight.  I am pretty low maintenance, but I always have to use extra conditioner to avoid tangles.  No matter what conditioner or treatment I use, I still tend to have tangles and difficulty brushing through my hair.  For the first time in years, my hair has no tangles after washing!

The Pura d’or Shampoo leaves my hair smelling fresh and clean (like rosemary), but the conditioner is the real star.  The Lavender and Vanilla conditioner smells wonderful, but it seriously deep conditions so easily.  I have completely fallen in love with this conditioner!  The Argon Oil is a great small bottle treatment for your hair and skin.  I loved how it helped my winter dry skin feel much more supple.

Pura d’or is a great brand of products that offer you with excellent hair care.  I am glad that I had a chance to review these products sponsored by Brandbacker.  The Pura d’or brand is great quality and long lasting so it truly is an affordable choice for your hair care needs.

PuraDor Argan OIl

Posted in review, reviews, Sponsored Post

Creative Lego Party Games

Creative Lego Party Games

Legos are America’s (and probably the world’s) favorite building brick.  Chances are good that if your children love Legos, they will someday request a Lego themed birthday party.  If the thought of coming up with creative Lego party games seems daunting, you’ll want to keep reading!  Party planner and writer, Jennifer Carver, of Spaceships and Laser Beams, is here sharing great ideas you can build on for keeping the kids entertained at your next Lego party!

Creative Lego Party Games

Spark some competition by giving each guest a bowl full of Legos.  Make sure there is an equal amount in each bowl to be fair.  Provide each contestant with a pair of chopsticks.  The object of the game is to race to empty your bowl of Legos, using only the chopsticks.  For a variation, require guests to also return all the Legos to the bowl.  The first person to complete the task is the winner!

Continuing with some friendly competition, arrange for a Lego toss.  Cover a rectangular box with wrapping paper (Capri Sun boxes work great), and cut out a circle in the center.  Give each guest 5 Legos for tossing.  Mark off a line using tape that guests must stand behind for throwing.  Whichever guest successfully tosses the most Legos into the box wins!  This game can be repeated as many times as guests are entertained.

If you really want to excite your guests, this next idea is a fun one!  Gather guests into a circle.  Give each guest a small pile of Legos.  Put one Lego on the floor as a tower base.  Challenge the kids to see how tall of a tower they can create before it topples.  Go around the circle, allowing each child to add a brick to the tower.  Continue until the tower finally topples.  Repeat this game a few times to see if they can top their previous efforts.

Another fun game to play with any size group is a matching game.  Print off 10 (or the number of your choice) matching sets of Lego brick and character images from your computer and attach them to 3×5 cards.  Mix up the cards and number the cards 1-20.  Arrange the cards in a grid on a tabletop, poster board or the floor.  Let each guest try to find a match.  If they make a match, they get another turn to guess.  If they don’t find a match, play passes to the next player.

Because Lego lovers love to build, why not include a Lego design challenge?  Set a timer and give every participant a large bag of Legos to create their own masterpiece.  Let each guest share what they have created.

Now that you can see how easy and fun it is to keep kids entertained at a Lego party, it’s your turn to construct plans for creative Lego party games.  If you build it, they will come!

Posted in Party Tips Tagged with: , , ,

What Does Friendship Really Mean Today?

What Does Friendship Really Mean Today?

What does friendship really mean today?  I have pondered this off and on for many years, but the last month has really shown me that we don’t value each other as individuals like we use to. Is it that we aren’t allowed to value each other because of the constant need to work to pay the bills?  Is it the idea of social media making everyone “friends” at a distance without real in life communication happening?  I have found myself sorely lacking true friends.  Something I miss.  Something I long for.  Something that has brought a lot of pain.

What Does Friendship Really Mean Today?

What Does Friendship Really Mean Today?

When you are flat on your back in pain for days on end, you have a lot of time to think.  As has been obvious here on the site, I haven’t been working much since around late January.  I’ll share more about my injury, illness, surgery and recovery in other posts, but suffice it to say that for 20 days straight I was in agonizing pain.  That resulted in medication to keep the pain at bay and me being too drowsy or foggy to work.  I spent a lot of time napping, but even more time laying quietly at night when others were asleep and I couldn’t because of the pain – thinking about what was missing in my life and what I wanted to change.  Post surgery, I found myself in an even different and more frustrating position of being entirely dependent upon my Beau to care for me and everything in our home.  It was at this point that I really began to think about friendship and what it has become for me.

The term friend is used loosely due to social media.  If I look at my large social media following and list of connections I could say I have dozens or even hundreds of friends.  Reality is there are a very small number of those people I interact with regularly.  If you go even farther, even fewer of those are truly the friend who would be there during a time of need.  Out of my 450+ friends on my personal Facebook page, only 3 people messaged me directly the day of my surgery to check on me.  My neighbor and my two best friends (both of which live out of state).  I had a lot of comments on my status wishing me luck, saying they would pray or giving me tips on recovery time.  Yet, out of all of those people – only one person offered to help us out. Our neighbors offered to pick up our son or let him hang out with them while I was in the hospital.  My mom brought us dinner one evening (she lives 45 minutes away and works full time so wasn’t expected).  We have a ton of “friends” in our community.  Some are even family members we have cared for or helped in the past.  Yet none of them came to visit, called, text or brought by a casserole.  We managed fine, but I just kept wondering if social media and the half hearted comment of, “praying for you” has taken over the reality of picking up a phone, dropping a note in the mail or stopping by with something to help during a tough time.

Our busier schedules prevent real in life connections from happening easily.  So many of my “friends” work long hours, or drive kids back and forth multiple times a week to various activities.  Have we used all of our spare time for other things so real life interaction is no longer possible?  It seems that as more and more families are seeing both parents working full time or even longer just to make ends meet, fewer real connections are taking place.  We focus so much on our jobs, kids activities and even our own fitness goals that we forget to reach out, stop by and just listen when a friend is in need.

Over the last few weeks, I have realized how very limited my circle of true friends are.  I have many many acquaintances.  I have many friends who live in other states.  Yet, when it comes to my local community – I am lacking in what I feel are genuine friendships.  I no longer attend a church in my area (that’s another long story of disappointment and frustration), but even the one I use to attend and thought I had friends at still – has sorely disappointed me.  Gone are the days of my childhood when a casserole would show up on our table thanks to a good neighbor, friend from church or even work.  The idea of being neighborly, hospitable or physically giving has become something of the past.  Or has it?

What does friendship mean today? Perhaps I simply need to find the right kind of friends? Perhaps it is the community I live in?  Perhaps it is because people find me unreachable or distant?  Whatever the reason friends seemed to be non existent – I know that I personally will be changing how I react to the people around me in times of stress.  I want to be the kind of friend I remember people use to be.  I want to offer help and follow through when it is needed.

Do you feel friendship has changed through the years?

Posted in Belle's Heart Tagged with: , ,