Simple Textured Paint Football Craft for Kids

Simple Textured Craft for Kids

We are gearing up for the youth group Super Bowl party at our house on Sunday.  The boys want to decorate and have made a few posters for the big event already, but we needed some more football decor.  The Captain created this adorable textured paint football craft for kids and it turned out great!

Materials Needed:


  1. Cut a football shape out of a plain piece of white paper.  (Can freehand or use a template.)
  2. Lay football cutout on a sheet of bubble wrap.Simple Textured Craft for Kids  
  3. Wrap more bubble wrap around the end of a glue bottle, then secure with a rubber band.  This will be your "brush."
  4. Use the bubble wrap covered bottle to dab into paint and onto the football.  This creates the texture effect.
  5. Once the football is covered in brown paint, let dry.
  6. When paint is completely dry, cut felt pieces for the lines and stitching on the football and glue on.
  7. Allow to dry overnight and hang for your Super Bowl party or wall art!

Simple Textured Craft for Kids

Simple Textured Craft for Kids

Looking for more fun Super Bowl activities for kids?  Print a copy of my free Super Bowl XLIX Word Search!



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Happy Valentine’s Day, Curious George! Banana Valentine Craft for Kids

One of the boys' favorite book characters is Curious George.  How can you resist this lovable, mischievous little monkey?  One book we like to read this time of year is Happy Valentine's Day, Curious George!

banana valentineI love crafts that the boys can create on their own, and this is definitely one of them!  Enjoy making this valentine craft for kids as you prepare for the fun day!



  • Yellow felt
  • Yellow construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Pen
  • Markers


  1. Print out or freehand a banana and peel on yellow construction paper.
  2. You or your child cut out the banana and peel. 
  3. You will then want to help your child carefully trace the shapes on to the yellow felt. The yellow felt will serve as a backing to the banana and will make the valentine more durable. The yellow felt will also work as the banana’s peel as you continue to assemble your valentine.
  4. Cut out the shapes on the yellow felt. For this job, you may want to take the reigns since felt can be a little tricky to cut. 
  5. Once you have everything cut, it is time to start the fun part – putting it all together!
  6. On a flat surface, glue the construction paper banana shape onto the felt version. Then, on top of the construction paper banana, glue the felt banana peel.
  7. Use glue to tack down the edges of the peel so it looks as if the banana has been peeled down. 
  8. Once everything is glued down, take either a thin tip marker or pen and write your chosen valentine's day message. 
  9. Finally, use a brown marker to draw a heart, or even a monkey if you’re feeling ambitious, in the space between  your valentines message and your child’s name.
  10. For an extra special valentine, attach the handmade banana to a copy of Happy Valentine's Day, Curious George! or any other Curious George favorites!

Valentine’s Day is such a fun holiday. There’s candy, candy, oh and more candy, but a homemade valentine craft makes it all so much more special for you and your little one!

Banana vday



*Contains affiliate links at no extra cost to you*

Super Bowl XLIX Wordsearch {Free Printable}

The Captain is so excited for the Super Bowl this year!  He really got into football (much to my dismay!) since the last Super Bowl and has really learned about the game.  He decided to go against his Texas roots and he picked the Seattle Seahawks as "his" team.  Possibly because he's a bandwagon fan, but whatever…. he's six!  He wanted a Seattle Seahawks birthday cake and was thrilled with his Seattle Seahawks shirt.  Russell Wilson is his favorite player and that makes me happy because he really is a great role model.  So, I decided to combine his love for football and word searches and made this awesome Super Bowl XLIX wordsearch for him and I am sharing it with you, too!  This would be a great addition to a homeschool curriculum, church activity, or a fun game for kids to do during the Super Bowl.  Super Bowl


(click image to download)

And to make your Super Bowl party extra awesome, check out these awesome party foods!

11Oven Baked Hot Wings1

Make your Super Bowl party great with this Super Bowl tablecloth for around $5 on Amazon:



Nineteen Hearty Casseroles for Cold Winter Nights

This casseroles post was brought to you by Foodie.  All opinions are mine.

winter casseroles

Check out Nineteen Hearty Casseroles for Cold Winter Nights

by Gena at

Casseroles are not just for church potlucks anymore!  I love casseroles because they can be a great side dish or a whole meal rolled into one.  Casseroles are also great for hiding vegetables in a delicious dish, using leftovers, or for busy week night dinners.  They usually can be prepared ahead of time and sometimes frozen for future meals.  There is no limit to what you can make a casserole out of!  I try to use real food ingredients so the casserole is not just a big dish of junk.  For instance, I try to use homemade cream of mushroom soup if the recipe calls for it, which is pretty simple to make and keep on hand.  Any of these casseroles would look elegant served in a beautiful casserole dish.

I have collected nineteen delicious, hearty casseroles that are great for serving on cold winter nights!  Pick one or pick them all and enjoy!  Add them to a Foodie recipe collection of your own and get a head start on the week's meal planning.


Crafts and Activities Inspired by Our Favorite Children’s Books

The boys love listening to a good book.  I love seeing their excitement for a character like Corduroy or Clifford come alive.  To extend their excitement and understanding, I search for a fun craft or activity based on the book we have read.  This makes it fun for the whole family and provides a genuine love of literature that I want my children to have.  I want to share a few activities that I have found that are based on children's books.  Pick one, a few, or all of these awesome crafts to do with your children and watch the excitement come to life!

children's books

The Lorax handprint craft

Harry Potter pretend magic potions craft 

Chicken Little craft

Rainbow Fish craft

make naturally colored Green Eggs and Ham

The Lorax tangerine snack

preschool book baskets 

Jack and the Beanstalk activity

Corduroy the Bear craft

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish activities

The Gingerbread Man activities

Llama Llama Red Pajama shape quilt craft

The Very Hungry Caterpillar craft (in Spanish, but self explanatory)

Joseph Had A Little Overcoat collage

upcycled comic book can

Follow my Pinterest board for all of these pins in one spot!

What is/was your favorite children's book?  Do you have a craft or activity to share?

Hold On, Imma Take A Selfie (While My Wife Is In Labor)

After reading these hilariously funny posts about selfies and how they have gone too far on Buzzfeed this morning, I decided…it is time.  When I was looking through pictures of my labor with Captain Fussybuckets 6 years ago, I found this little gem.  I had gone in on Halloween with contractions, being a first time mom, I was not sure if it was "time" or not.  (It wasn't.)  They monitored me for a bit and were going to let me go, but they noticed that the contractions were causing the Captain's heart rate to dip unsafely.  SO, long story short, I was over 40 weeks pregnant, in labor, but not *really* in labor, so they gave me some Pitocin (a.k.a. "The Devil's Drug") and on top of that, my epidural didn't work too well.  (Apparently being a redhead with a janky spine who wasn't really in true labor affects that, but anyway.  We live and learn.)  It was a majorly horrible part in my memory, but apparently Hubby was bored and excited and on the brink, in 2008, of this big "selfie" movement.  (If only he had invented the selfie stick!)  So, I present to you…….the "Selfie While My Wife Is In Agonizing Pain" shot:

Labor Selfie

I am happy to report that he was the BEST labor and delivery coach for all three boys and I really think he was trying to capture his excitement and the moment rather than "look how cute I am" selfie.  Although, he is pretty cute, I must say.  I love you, Hubby!


This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.

Light & Delicious New Year’s Eve Snacks

New Year's Eve Snacks

The last two months have been a whirlwind of traveling, celebrating, shopping, and EATING!  Before the boys' birthday party, I was on a "healthy eating plan" and had lost some weight, but with the tempting foods of the season, it was very hard to practice healthy eating and moderation.  While I think we did a good job, there was definitely some unhealthy eating going on.  I kept that in mind when creating this collection of snacks for our annual New Year's Eve party.  Let's be honest….we will eat whatever is available on nights like this, so why not have healthy options available?  Sometimes I eat just to stay awake, so it's better to eat real food than some of the other NYE traditions.  All of these recipes are easy to pack up and transport to your New Year's Eve party, too!  

Finger Foods

Healthy Popcorn – Musings of a Modern Hippie

Spicy Maple Cinnamon Pecans – This West Coast Mommy

Quick & Easy Mini Bruschetta – Three Different Directions

No Bake Cranberry Pistachio Energy Bites – Grace and Good Eats (pictured)

Eggplant French Bread Pizza -Simmworks Family Blog

Veggie Pizza Appetizer – Simmworks Family Blog

Candied Nuts – Turning the Clock Back

Gluten Free Nanaimo Bars – This West Coast Mommy

Homemade Potato Chips – Thrifty Jinxy

Chicken & Tomato Meatballs – Thrifty Jinxy

Kale Chips – Ann's Entitled Life

Matbucha – Ann's Entitled Life

Oven Roasted Parmesan Green Beans – Ann's Entitled Life

Lemon-Herb Deviled Eggs – Brittany's Pantry (pictured)

Three-Ingredient Tomato, Broccoli, Cream Cheese Bites – Couponing for Freebies

Apple and Cheese Quesadillas – The Thrifty Couple (pictured)

Watermelon Lime Party Bites – Driftwood Gardens

Fruit Cups – See Mom Click (pictured)

Apple Bacon Arugula Bites – Thrifty  Northwest Mom

Panko Chicken Nuggets

Coconut Chocolate Candy

Dips, Spreads, and Salsas:

Avocado and Greek Yogurt Dip – Turning the Clock Back

Easy Creamy Onion Dip – Thrifty Jinxy

Black Eyed Pea Hummus - Mama Likes To Cook (pictured)

Sweet Pepper Cream Cheese Dip – Mama Likes To Cook

Dragon Fruit Salsa – Mama Likes To Cook (pictured)

Easy Veggie Spread – Brittany's Panty (pictured)

Black Bean Salsa – Brittany's Pantry (pictured)

Watermelon Pico de Gallo – The Thrifty Couple

Cowboy Caviar – Housewives of Frederick County

Fresh and Easy Homemade Guacamole – See Mom Click

Mexican Fiesta Black Bean Hummus – Two Healthy Kitchens

Peanut Butter Silk Pie Dip – Two Healthy Kitchens

Italian Cannelini Hummus – Two Healthy Kitchens

Queso con Carne without Velveeta

Tomatillo Salsa

Chocolate Cheesecake Fruit Dip


Mango Shrimp Ceviche – Confessions of an Overworked Mom (pictured)

New Year's Eve Snacks

If you happen to attend a party that is well supplied with New Year's Eve snacks, make sure to pack yours in Glad® food protection.  Glad® MatchWare is great for stacking in a reusable shopping bag, easily setting up at a party, and then just popping the lid back on and bringing back home.  Then, you can limit the number of dishes and nothing goes to waste.  Wake up late on New Year's Day (if you're so lucky!) and snack on your party leftovers for a mid morning brunch.  Nothing beats that!

Near Year's Eve snacks

Visit the Glad website to enter the Food Fairy Tale sweepstakes. You could win a $2,500 grand prize by sharing your Food Fairy Tale! 


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Glad Food Protection. The opinions and text are all mine.

Find Just What You’re Craving with Twinings of London Teas {free sample, too!}

This post was brought to you by Twinings of London tea.  All opinions are mine.

TwiningsTea is a much loved part of the day for many adults.  A hot cup of tea can provide comfort, peace, and warmth on a cold winter morning.  A tall glass of iced tea is perfect for a hot summer day, as well.  Growing up, I was only aware of tea in the sweet iced tea version.  As an adult, my tastes have expanded and I love trying new flavors and types of teas.  While I am a creature of habit and tend to stick with something I like, I also love the ability to sample and try new flavors from time to time.

Twinings of London is a tea lover's dream.  With over 50 types and flavors of teas, there are many options to choose from/  Use their Tea Explorer to discover the perfect tea that you are looking for.  

TwiningsWhile I mentioned I am a creature of habit, I love being given different flavors of teas that I wouldn't have ordinarily tried.  I have discovered some of my very favorite blends by receiving them as a gift.  Who knew that I would love Green Pomegranate, Raspberry, & Strawberry tea?  

TwiningsAnother personal favorite is all things Chai.  French Vanilla Chai, Pumpkin Spice, Chai, Apple Spiced Chai, or regular, it is such a delicious blend of black tea and spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and ginger to create a fresh, spicy taste.  I like mine sweetened and cold, too.


Twinings of London takes tea making seriously.  They have been in the tea business since 1706.  That's over 300 years of crafting fine teas that people love.  One interesting fact – there are nine "master blenders" that travel the world to find only the best teas, spices, herbs, and fruit infusions available.  What a job, right?!  Twinings teas are sourced and custom-blended to provide the perfect balance of tea taste, flavor, and aroma.  Varieties include green, black, and herbal, Organic & fair-trade certified teas, cold brewed teas, and K-Cup packs.  

Twinings of London has quickly become a well loved tea of mine.  Depending on my mood and cravings, there is a tea to satisfy!  I encourage you to take advantage of their "Raid The Pantry" offer to try for yourself!  Twinings is offering readers a chance to Raid the Pantry and sample three flavors of tea.  Visit the Twinings website and choose the three samples you would love to try!  Also check out their special Member Rewards, Tea of the Month Club, Tea Mail, and Auto Delivery options.  

Three Ways To Keep Your Children Learning Over The Holidays (With Little Effort On Your Part!)

ImagicademyWe are going through a major slump in the homeschool area these days.  November and December are jam packed with the three boys' birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, travel, and more.  It is hard for me to stay focused on what I am supposed to be doing, but it is even harder for the Captain.  Understandably, he and D would rather be playing, making Christmas crafts, or talking about our plans for the holidays.  It is times like these that I want them to enjoy learning and have fun without even realize they are practicing their math skills and learning.  


1.  Let them get involved and ask questions.  If you're shopping, let them create a list.  Let them weigh some apples.  Let them add the items with a calculator. If you're baking, talk about what you are doing.  Let them help, if possible.  I KNOW it can be stressful to let littles help, but letting them dump in a cup of flour is not going to hurt anything, I promise.  Talk about how four 1/4 cups make a whole, just like four quarters make a dollar.  Another good idea is to talk about how many miles to Grandma's house, how long it will take, etc.  Talk about math and other subjects and repetition will make it stick!


2.  Have them create a book.  Staple some printer paper together, lay out some markers, and let them draw and write to their heart's content.  Tell them to write a story and illustrate it.  Make it a gift for Grandma or even you and your spouse for Christmas.  They will put more effort into it if they are allowed full creativity and ownership and even MORE if it is a gift.  

3.  Quality learning apps.  I have always believed that using technology for education is a good thing.  The boys can sometimes learn things from apps that I have a hard time explaining.  Last week I downloaded a new app – Mickey's Magical Math World from Disney Imagicademy for this purpose exactly.  It has been great for the Captain!  It is great review and because D is always looking on, it's a great learning tool for him, as well.  The games are created where you need to use your math skills, but you don't even realize you're using math!

Mickey's Magical Math World

There are five major areas of Mickey's Magical Math World:  Shapes, Sorting, Add & Subtract, Problem Solving, and Count Along.  There are different levels to each area, which makes it great for the boys.  I am also able to track and monitor their progress with the Disney Imagicademy: Parents' App.

MickeyMickey's Magical Math World is a fun-filled space adventure where kids can explore, recognize, and identify shapes with Mickey's Rocket Build.  Minnie's Robot Playground is where kids play with numbers and patterns.  This part is great for D!  Other areas are Donald's Alien Number Line, and Donald's Sleepwalking Aliens, where kids make patterns and use sorting skills with Goofy.

I mentioned the Parents' App earlier.  Imagicademy: Parents is a free app that allows parents to connect with other parents in the Imagicademy community.  It also gives us parents inspiration and ideas to encourage our children to learn and grow.  And of course, it allows us to monitor our child's progress and see their creations!

Disney Imagicademy

I'll be honest in that I do not like to pay for apps because the Captain goes through them so quickly.  However, Mickey's Math World is very engaging and there are many different parts to explore.  He loves to play it!

Download Mickey's Magical Math World (exclusively for Apple iPad) and Disney Imagicademy: Parents today and keep kids learning and engaged over the holidays!  Also explore the Imagicademy website.  Imagicademy is the new learning brand from Disney created for families with children ages 3-8.  The purpose is engaging and enriching children through the power of imagination and creativity.  The interconnected system of apps will build on each other to reinforce learning concepts in immersive and playful ways.

Imagicademy has great advice, apps, and activities to encourage learning and togetherness with your kids!  You can also sign up to receive news, updates, and special offers.  There is a free community parent portal, free Disney Store events, books and magazines, and hands-on learning tools that extend the digital experience to the physical world.  

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Upgrade Your Camera In Time For Christmas at Best Buy

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

Christmas is only a few days away!  I think I have all of our gifts bought, but something I always forget is the camera!  Pictures of the most exciting day of the year should not be neglected.  There are so many great options to upgrade your camera or camcorder so you can capture all of the wonderful memories in high quality.  Not sure what the best option is for you and your family?  Best Buy can help.  

These three cameras from Nikon, Sony, and Samsung all come equipped with built-in Wi-Fi so you can instantly share your high quality photos.  

Sony #HintingSeason#CamerasatBestBuy

Sony Alpha α6000 Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera

·         A compact system camera with the World’s Fastest Autofocus

·         This Sony Alpha A6000 features a 24.3-megapixel, Exmor APS-C CMOS sensor that makes it easy to shoot scenes in stunning clarity. Built-in Wi-Fi lets you share stored content across devices.

·         Also available in White or silver

Samsung #HintingSeason

#CamerasatBestBuySamsung Galaxy Camera 2

·         A digital camera that allows you to shoot, share, and use Android Apps

·         This Samsung Galaxy 2 digital camera's 16.3-megapixel, 1/2.3" BSI CMOS sensor allows you to capture sharp images and high-definition video footage. The 4.8" touch screen simplifies operation, and built-in Wi-Fi makes sharing stored files easy.

Nikon #HintingSeason


Nikon D5300 DSLR w/18-55mm VR Lens

·         A DSLR with built-in Wi-Fi so you can capture high quality photos and share them instantly

·         This Nikon D5300 DSLR camera comes with an AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II lens that enables you to capture sharp photos and video footage. Optical image stabilization helps prevent blurring to ensure image clarity

·         Also available in red or gray


Visit the Best Buy Holiday Gift Center to see more great cameras, whether you’re giving as a gift or upgrading for yourself.

So…what's on YOUR wish list?