10 Ways to Use BooginHead’s SplatMat if You Don’t Have a Baby or Toddler

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

So I see so many blogs out there writing about this great product but it is always targeted as something that is just for babies and toddlers.  Well I am here to tell you that this is not true.  In fact I am going to share with you ten of the ways that I continue to use the BooginHead SplatMat with myself and my children who are all over the age of 3.

BooginHead Logo

I guess before I can tell you how I use the SplatMat that I should share with you a few things about the SplatMat.  The SplatMat is a great little mat that is made from a thick plastic material.  It is reusable and is made to last for a while.  In fact I have found that mine is holding up really well and we actually use it all of the time!

BooginHead SplatMat

The idea behind the SplatMat is that you have a waterproof clean place to sit with your baby and toddler when you are out and about.  The great thing that I have found is that it is something that actually fits in almost all of my purses and is something that I can take with me wherever I go.  Some of the places and ways that I have used it might surprise you.

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Perfect Picnic Spot

The most popular use for our SplatMat is as a picnic spot.  We picnic a lot with the kids because they love it.  They love being able to run and play while we are eating.  I hate for our eating area to be dirty.  While we do own picnic blankets that are larger, if we have a hike to where we are eating or if we have an impromptu picnic we have the SplatMat to save the day.  I actually keep mine in my big bag that goes everywhere with me.  It is not my purse but it is a second bag that I keep a change of clothes and other essentials in.

Camping Shoe Mat

Another great use that I have found for the SplatMat is that it make the perfect “welcome rug” for your tent.  It is waterproof and plastic.  You can throw it in the wash when you get home and it provides a nice place to stand and take off your shoes before stepping into the tent.

Concerts and Festivals

We also use our SplatMat when we are at concerts and festivals.  It is really handy to carry with you in a purse (it fits in my mid-sized crossbody bag really well.  It will keep you from having to sit down on wet or dirty ground which is always a plus for me.

City Parks

When you are visiting the local park like I do a lot, then it is likely that you sit down if your kids are old enough to play independently.  This year I am looking forward to quiet days at the park while I read books on my blanket.  One great thing about the SplatMat is that it is the perfect space for me to sit while my kids are playing.  If they get wood chips or sand on it, it brushes right off.  It is really a handy item to keep in the car for trips to the park.

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Restaurants

This one is not one that you will use if you do not have semi-youngish children.  I have found that the SplatMat makes the perfect handy mat to throw under a toddler’s chair at a restaurant.  Most of the time Adeline is not too messy but when we are out to eat and there is rice involved it is a different story.  Since rice is one of her favorite foods and I hate leaving a mess for servers to clean up, I have found that the SplatMat fits right under her chair and catches all of the rice which I can carry out and throw away when I get home.

Rain Protection

I will admit that the SplatMat is not the best rain protection available today.  However, when I was recently caught out in the rain and had a nice little walk to get home I was able to use the SplatMat as a makeshift rain fly for our stroller.  It worked well and she was mostly dry.

Watching Games

My son plays soccer so we attend a lot of soccer games.  There are not a lot of bleachers at our soccer fields.  Sometimes I do not feel like lugging chairs around, especially if I am alone with four kids at the game.  In these cases the SplatMat really does make a great place to sit during the game.

At the Beach

I love the beach but I hate getting sand all over everything.  I have found that the SplatMat is a must for each time that you go to  the beach because the sand, whether wet or dry, will just brush off.  It is so handy to be able to spread it out and have a place to sit and eat lunch or enjoy a snack.

At the Water Park

Recently we went to an indoor water park with our kids.  It wasn’t very crowded so I did not feel the need to rent a $20 locker for our stuff.  I did want to keep our stuff from getting wet as much as possible so I tucked the SplatMat around it and it was nice and dry when we were ready to leave.

Hiking

Finally I find that the SplatMat works great if you are on a hike and need a quick place to rest.  It also works well to have a nice place for your children to eat a snack or even take a short nap just off the trail before you continue on.

The SplatMat is one “baby” product that you are going to keep around for a long time.  Even if you do not have a baby, you might find that it is great choice for you to be able to take along with you just about anywhere that you go.

Does Your Child Struggle to Buckle Up? Well, Not Anymore

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

As a mom of four I have seen my fair share of struggles with my children.  I have seen them stressed out and struggling to do something that is hard for them and more.  One of the things that I have noticed over time is that meltdowns and bad behavior often follow frustration.  So if I can do something to prevent one of children from being frustrated then I do it.

One thing that both my five year old and my six year old struggle with is being able to easily buckle themselves in when there are other things in the car.  They seem to be able to do fine as long as no one else is next to them but if there are toys for a long trip or if we are in the car where there are three carseats across then they really have a hard time getting themselves buckled up.

This has led to a melt down on more than one occasion.  It has led to quite a few big meltdowns in fact so it is something that I try to avoid at all costs.  Thankfully I was introduced to MyBuckleMate and I know that this is at least one frustration that I can take care of for my children.

MyBuckleMate logo

MyBuckleMate is this really cool clip that fits around the buckle so that your child can easily buckle their safety belt on their own.  There are quite a few things that I really find to be great about this product.  I am sure that you will appreciate them as well.

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MyBuckleMate Allows Your Child to Gain Independence

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Teaching your child to be independent is hard work.  If you are like me, you want your child to want to be with you but that does not mean that it isn’t just a little bit frustrating when they need you to do everything for them.  With MyBuckleMate they will be able to buckle their safety belt on their own.

Save Time When Getting in the Car

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Another thing that I love is that you can save time when you are getting in the car and getting ready to go.  Do you know how frustrating it is when you have somewhere to be and you can not seem to get all of your children loaded and in the car quick enough?  Well, this is the answer to your problem.  Your child is actually going to be able to buckle up on their own which makes life so much easier for you.

So overall MyBuckleMate is a great little invention that really does what it is meant to do.  Best of all, it can make life just a little bit easier for moms.  Our job is hard enough as is so why make things harder on yourself?  Oh and if you think that this is just for people which older children in booster seats, you’re wrong.  I have found that it also works great for making it easier to buckle in a carseat.

Knuckleheads and the Rev Proved to be One Night I am Glad I Didn’t Miss

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Last night proved to be another amazing night with the Rev, The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band that is.  As always Breezy was blazing on her washboard and the Rev showed his own amazing ability to play guitar.  I have been a HUGE fan of the band for a number of years now.  I think that the reason that I keep coming back for more is that they are just damn good.

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Since I have been a fan for years there are some songs that I crave seeing at each show.  While I will admit a little big of disappointment that I did not get to hear Mama’s Fried Potatoes, I was delighted that I got to hear Two Bottles of Wine.  I also was very excited to hear some of their new tracks from the newest album So Delicious.  Raise a Little Hell and Front Porch Train are quickly turning into new favorites.  I have seen them both played live the last few shows that I went to.

As a fan I love the amazing interactions that you get to have The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band.  I was delighted to run into the Rev as I was walking into Knuckleheads.  I got to have a short conversation with him about how I wished that I got to see them more these days.  I feel blessed that I have been able to see them so many times but I would love to see them more.  The Kansas City show did mark my fifth state to see them in.  Yes I have seen them in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, and now Missouri.

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I do have a slight request for the band if they are reading this….kids size shirts please please please.  Yes, you have onesies but my little ones are far past the onesie stage and they are big damn fans.

In fact, just yesterday, I had the four of them in an antique store and my 5 year old, Huxley, looked up at a washboard on a wall and said “hey, it’s that instrument that Breezy plays.”  Yes, he has no clue that a washboard was once used to wash clothes but instead he knows that it is the instrument of choice for Breezy.  As a mom, even though the antique shop owner was looking at me oddly, this was a very proud moment and one that continues to make me believe that taking the kids to see live music in the summers has been one of the best decisions that I have made.

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As for Knuckleheads,  I must say that when I was inside this garage turned bar that I fell in love.  The place is really cool.  They have this amazing waist high bench where you can set your purse and beer while you dance.  Seriously this is something that every single bar needs because I have never seen something so great.  I am a girl and I always have my bag with me.  Usually this makes for a painful night trying to dance and not knock someone out.  However here I could just throw it down in front of me.  Perfect!!!  Also the beer selection was decent, yes I could drink some Boulevard Single Wide….and the food looked good (but I had just eaten some BBQ so I was not hungry!).

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How to Save Money on Home Repairs

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

As a homeowner, taking care of your home is extremely important. By taking care of your home, you lengthen the life of your home, ensuring that you have a well-cared for place to live as you get older. Plus, you also ensure your home keeps its value, which is important when it comes to building equity in your home, whether you want to use it now or at a later date.

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Most homeowners know that caring for your home costs money, but it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Everybody likes finding ways to save money, and the following are a few great ways that you can save money on your home repairs.

Conduct Routine Maintenance Checks

One way to save money on home repairs is to catch and treat any underlying problems before they become expensive nightmares. Make it a point to do some routine maintenance checks around your home. Inspect your pipes and water supply, and look for signs of leaking or water damage. Inspect your circuit breaker box and your outlets, etc. You should also inspect the outside of your home for exterior damage. If you notice any issues, you should hire a professional to come examine the issue more thoroughly.

Be Proactive

Another great way to save money on home repairs is to be proactive about your home, your safety, and your maintenance. For example, if you live in an area that’s prone to earthquakes, you should install some earthquake prevention metrics throughout your home, such as securing large furniture to walls, installing earthquake valves on your water pipes, and investing in a backup generator. When you’re proactive, you eliminate the risk of having major damage happen to your home at a later date. Plus, the cost of preparing your home and being proactive is significantly less than what you’d spend if something went wrong.

Tackle Some Projects Yourself

If you have smaller projects around the home, you can save some money by tackling the project yourself instead of hiring a professional to do the job. When you do the work yourself, you will only need to spend money on the items you need, not on the labor too. When it comes to repairs, the labor is usually the most expensive part, so opting to do the job you can result in a significant savings. Plus, thanks to YouTube and other DIY websites and articles, you can learn how to do just about anything yourself.

Get Multiple Quotes

Sometimes a home repair project may be too much for you to handle, and that’s okay. When this occurs, the best way to save money is to get multiple quotes. If you end up taking the first quote you receive, you’ll likely spend more than you have to. By getting quotes, you can compare different professionals against one another. Plus, if you let them know that you’re shopping around, you may start to receive some discounts or other incentives from the company in order to receive your business.

Planning Your Perfect Easter

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Do you try to make every single holiday perfect for your children?  I struggle with trying to make holidays perfect for my four children.  One of the things that I tend to do is make things too big for them.  I tend to go WAY overboard and this year I decided that it was time to spend time thinking about the things that are more important than gifts.  So we have decided to cut back some with our children.  However I am determined to make this year’s holidays just as great as the holidays from the past.  We are just doing things differently.

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Steps for the Perfect Easter

Step 1 — Find the Baskets

The first step for me when planning the perfect Easter was to find the perfect baskets for my kids.  I chose the following adorable baskets from the The Girly Twirly Gift Company and have been very impressed with the quality, size, style, and choices that were available.  I was able to get something for each of the kids and was able to find the perfect choices thanks to all of the options that were available.

The Pink Polka Dot Personalized Treat Bucket ($18) was perfect for Adeline.  This bucket is adorable and girly and she was able to easily carry it with her when she was getting eggs.  It is the perfect basket choice for a little one.

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The Navy Stripe Personalized Easter Mini Tote ($18) was perfect for Andrew.  He is going to be able to use it again and it is easily filled with age appropriate items for my tween.

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The Lime Monogrammed Mini Market Tote ($26) was a great choice for Huxley.  He was able to carry it when it was full of eggs at the egg hunt and it is just the right size for him to enjoy.

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The Aqua Seahorse Personalized Large Market Tote ($36) was also great for Althea.  I love the design on this one and think that it is just too cute.  I had let the kids pick out which colors and prints they liked this year and I was so excited when she picked out the seahorses.

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I would highly recommend The Girly Twirly Gift Company for all of your Easter basket needs.  If you do not need Easter baskets still these would be perfect for Teacher Appreciation Week gifts, Mother’s Day or those upcoming baby showers that we all have this spring.

Step 2 — Think of a Theme

One thing that I think looks cute is when Easter baskets have a theme.  This year I chose items that would fill our Easter baskets that fit different themes.  Huxley’s theme was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Adeline’s theme were her favorites — ponies and Frozen, Althea’s was Frozen, and Andrew’s was all about things that he enjoys.

Step 3 — Choose Practical Gifts

I have always picked up a ton of little Easter themed stuff for the kids’ baskets in the past.  This year I was determined to do things differently.  So they each received a water bottle which is a practical gift since we use water bottles all of the time.

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Step 4 — Find Things to Help Make Your Kids Smarter

I love finding gifts that make my kids smarter.  This year each of their Easter baskets have two age appropriate books in them.  I chose books that were part of their themes too!

Step 5 — Throw In Something for Fun

My kids love bubbles so I threw bubbles in their Easter baskets so that they’d have something that was a little fun in there as well.  This is a cheap little filler that made their baskets more fun.  I also added one bigger item (a projector night light for the middle two, coloring book and crayons for Adeline, and an IOU for Andrew for some hooks that he wants  for his medals to be displayed in his room — they don’t sell these locally or online but they sell them in KC where we are going the day after Easter!).  Plus I added one or two small eggs that are filled with treats.  The baskets are cute and definitely not overdone as they have been in the past.

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How Did You Celebrate World Water Day?

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

World Water Day was on Sunday March 22nd, 2015.  I had scheduled this post to go live then but it did not so I wanted to go ahead and say a few additional things and to publicly apologize for not having it run on time.

For World Water Day we worked on a new water conservation plan around our house.  We are trying to conserve the safe water that we have so that it might be used for others.  This means that we are doing things like turning off the water when not rinsing the dishes or when brushing our teeth.  We also use energy efficient appliances and try to keep showers as quick as possible.  Plus we avoid taking baths when we can.

Did you know that today there are over 748 million people who do not have access to clean water?   That is more than two and a half times the population of the United States that is without clean or safe drinking water.  In 1993 the United Nations General Assembly declared March 22nd to be World Water Day.  This was done to help address the crisis and to acknowledge the water’s essential presence on the earth.

So you probably want to know how you can help.  You can take part in World Water Day each year.  This special day allows us all to make a real difference for those who are suffering with these types of water related issues.

Many people do not realize how much of an impact water can have on different things.  In fact water is one of the foundations of most things that most of us believe that we need to survive in society.  For sustainable development water is needed for health, climate, industry, equity, and more.  This short slide show will tell you all about the different ways that water integrates with these things.

World Vision has signed on to help bring light to World Water Day and to raise awareness about the need for clean, safe drinking water around the world.

One scary statistic is the fact that each day almost 1600 children under the age of 5 die from diarrhea.  This can be caused from a number of things but the most common include improper hygiene, contaminated water, and poor sanitation.  More than half of these deaths could easily be prevented with proper hygiene, clean water, and basic sanitation.

Researchers have found that almost 80% of childhood illness and disease could be prevented with these basic things as well!  Can you imagine the difference that clean water could make to the children of the world?

World Vision has been around since the 1960s with is goal to provide clean water and sanitation for millions of children and families throughout the world.  World Vision has helped people in over 100 countries around the globe.

The theme for World Water Day 2015 was “Water and Sustainable Development”.  The goal is to look at how water could interact with the different areas of life that are needed to thrive in the future.  There are many messages that World Vision is bringing to the children of the world so that they can have a better life.  Here are just a few of these:

**Hand Washing — World Vision is helping to educate the people from around the world as to the importance of hand washing.

**Sustainable Farming and Management of Agriculture — To have the right type of ecosystems you need to teach people sustainable farming practices and the proper management of agriculture.

**Urban Water and Sewage Program — World Vision has been working to help bring bathrooms and sewage systems to the people of the world through their Urban Water and Sewage Program.

**Natural Energy and Water — World Vision has brought solar panels to pump clean water into the households through pipes that are in the ground.  Solar power helps with being able to power things without wasting any of the water.

**Drip Irrigation System — A drip irrigation system can help you to have sustainable agriculture practices through food production.  This helps people to be able to get the food that they need.

So if you are interested in helping World Vision to get water to those in need there are a few things that you can do.

1.  You can talk about the message of World Water Day and you can plan your own World Water Day for 2016.

2.  You can subscribe to World Vision’s mailing list.

3.  You can support the partners of World Vision by purchasing their goods and/or services.

So get involved and help bring clean water to all of the people of the world.

How to Choose the Right Cloth Diapers for Your Needs with SmartiPants

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

I will admit that cloth diapering actually become something that I became addicted to.  I tried many different brands, styles and fits.  For the longest time pocket diapers were my favorite but it was not until recently that I checked out SmartiPants for the first time.  I hate it that I just discovered these during our nighttime only diapering phase because I love them so much.

smarti pants

For a few moments after receiving my SmartiPants diaper I even dreamed of having a new baby to put in the adorable diaper.  That dream only lasted a moment since I am 100% content with my family size and the fact that we are not going to be having any babies (at least not unless we have a miracle baby one day).

When it comes to choosing the right cloth diapers for your personal needs there are many things that you will have to consider and think about.  I like to think that if you choose to think smart that you can answer your own questions and find the right cloth diapers without a lot of headaches.

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One thing that I personally love about the SmartiPants diaper and accessory line is that they help you to think smart when you are cloth diapering.  The company was started by a mom who was similar to myself in that she was a mom of four.  She was looking for an affordable and easy way to cloth diaper.  If you have been in the market for cloth diapers for longer than five years then you will understand that finding affordable pocket diapers that are high in quality has not always been that easy.

Eight Reasons You Are Smart to Choose SmartiPants

1.  SmartiPants are made in the USA.  You probably all know by now that finding products that are high in quality and made in the US is something that I am particularly passionate about.  I love that SmartiPants are high in quality and that they are made here in the US by mothers.

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2.  SmartiPants is a company that is dedicated to being 100% green.  This means that they think about the way that their products are going to impact the environment when they are developing them.

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3.  SmartiPants feature a leak free technology.  I can not begin to explain to you how frustrating it was as a new cloth diapering mom to deal with different brands of diapers that we had leaks with.  One of the best things that I have found in SmartiPants is that they really are leak free diapers.

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4.  SmartiPants keeps your baby dry.  These specially designed diapers pull the moisture away from your baby in order to keep them dry. I have loved using these for nighttime with my little one because even if she has an accident I can be assured that she is going to wake up dry.

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5.  SmartiPants are made from breathable fibers.  This means that your child is going to be less likely to break out from them.  In the past I was no so lucky as to be able to find diapers that offered breathable fibers like these and I can now say that I wish that I had.  I had one child who was very sensitive to everything and even certain cloth diapers broke him out.  I know if SmartiPants had been a brand that we had tried that he would not have had the problems that he had with rashes.

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6.  SmartiPants are so much safer for your baby than disposables.  You are not putting harmful chemicals next to your baby’s skin.  There are no irritants or other additions to the diapers that you will be surprised to learn about later.  I was shocked to learn that even some other cloth diaper brands have chemicals added to them for one purpose or another but this is not the case with SmartiPants.

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7.  SmartiPants are a smart choice if you are struggling financially or on a fixed budget.  They are a smart choice if you have extra money laying around too because why pay more for something when you can have it for less.  SmartiPants are known as being the most affordable cloth diaper choice.  A single SmartiPants diaper is $14.95 but when you start to purchase more you get a great discount.  Three SmartiPants diapers will run you $36.95, twelve is just $144.95, 24 is $279.95, and 36 is just $399.  This is a HUGE savings in comparison to some other brands.

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8.  SmariPants are a smart choice for the environment.  You will not be contributing to the problem of overly full landfills when you have your child in SmartiPants diapers.

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Creating a Beautiful Photo Decor on a Budget with Canvas Champ

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

canvas champ logo

I have wanted to redecorate my home for some time.  I have had pictures that I wanted to get put on canvas but I have to admit that I struggled with knowing which company to use.  I found that the ones that my photographer friends recommended had high costs that I just could not afford.  Then there were those that I had seen in other people’s homes that I knew were reasonable but were not the quality that I wanted.

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A few months back I discovered Canvas Champ and the company has changed my life.  I love Canvas Champ and have been impressed by a number of features that they offer as well as the quality of the product.

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The Top 5 Things I Love About Canvas Champ

  • Canvases Are Made to Last — One of the best features that I saw with the canvas that I received is that features a piece of wood behind the canvas.  As a mom of four this feature is my favorite because it means that if my children touch it that they are not going to ruin the canvas.
  • The Price — Recently I had photographs taken of my daughters that were Frozen themed with the intent of putting them on canvas to decorate their room.  I ended up with 12 photographs that I love.  When I thought about enlarging them to really big canvases the price from most companies was overwhelming.  I checked out what it would cost with Canvas Champ and it was really reasonable (I will share below what I am purchasing for the decor in their room).
  • The Quality — The canvases look beautiful and the coloring is right.  I have seen a lot of cheaper canvases in the past that have coloring that is off and these are not those canvases.
  • The Speed — Your canvases are guaranteed to arrive quickly.  I remember being really impressed with the amount of time that it took for me to receive my canvas.
  • Anything Can Become a Canvas — I love that you can not only create lasting memories with canvases of your favorite photographs but that you can also create lasting memories of your favorite works of art from your children.  I am planning on letting each of my children create their own rainbow for our dining room remodel and having their rainbows made into fun canvas creations.  Plus I plan on using some of the photographs that I have taken of bands and having those created into canvases for a special “music” wall in our dining room.  Then each of our “posters” can be moved to the basement to our family room when it is created.

The Room Displays I will Create with Canvas Champ in the Near Future

For My Frozen Obsessed Princesses

After getting back 12 pictures on discs that I LOVED I was overwhelmed with the thought of turning them into something amazing in their room.  I have finally decided how I am going to use them for 2 display walls.  The best part is that the whole thing is going to be really affordable.

On one wall I am going to have an individual picture of each of the girls that is 30 x 20 (these are just $42.44 each).  In between these I am going to hang up 3 8 x 8 canvases (these are just $10 each).  I purchased adorable 10 x 10 square mirrors for $2 each from a popular discount store and am creating a wall display on another wall that features 5 10 x 10 canvases and 5 10 x 10 mirrors (the top row will go mirror, canvas, mirror, canvas, mirror and the bottom row will go canvas, mirror, canvas, mirror, canvas) (10 x 10 canvases are only $17.12).  Then I am going to purchase 2 of the 8 x 12 canvases ($16.77 each).  The total transformation into their dream princess room (pictures to come as soon as I get it all created!) will cost me just over $234 which is amazing when you consider that most places charge more than that for one 30 x 20 canvas alone!!

For My Boys

Once rooms are painted and ready for decor I am planning on getting canvases to hang in my boys’ rooms as well.  I am sure that I will choose from a selection of past photos since there are no real “themed” photo sessions that would tailor well to my boys.  I really love that Canvas Champ offers different types of media besides canvases as well.  I am going for a very industrial feel for my oldest son’s room.  I pan on creating metal pictures.  I foresee myself purchasing 6 8×8 metal prints ($17.00 each) and 2 8×12 ($26.00 each).  Being able to pick up these 8 metal prints for just $154 is a steal!

For Huxley’s room I am planning on doing a long display that features 8 8×8 canvases in a row ($10 each) and 4 10×10 ($17.12 each).  The total for his room will be under $149.

For My Living Room

We recently had some amazing family pictures taken.  I plan on creating some wall displays with canvases around our living room utilizing these pictures as well as full family pictures of both of our families.  I want the family pictures to hang up on one of our small walls.  I plan on ordering 2 8 x 12 canvases for this ($16.77 each).  I also plan on hanging the one canvas that we received here!  We have a very long wall behind our coach that is separated by a window in the middle.  For this wall I plan on creating displays of 8×8 square canvases I want 12 canvases for each of these walls and at just $10.00 each I am really going to be able to get what I want.  So our dream living room isplay is going to cost me just under $275.

For Our Entryway

Our entryway is kind of the designated area of our living room for toys and where the kids play.  I plan on putting up one 8×8 canvas of each of them in an area.  For $40 it will look amazing and will help make our home look like we spent a lot more.

For Our Bedroom

Recently I have decided that I want some unique and fun romantic photos taken of my husband and I.  I plan on having these done by a photographer that I met at the Phases of the Moon Festival and I am going to be going for a John Lennon and Yoko Uno vibe with these.  I want to create a few different wall displays in our room of these photographs in black and white.  I would like a wall that features 6 10×10 squares in a row ($17.12 each), another wall to have 9 8x8s ($10 each), one wall with 2 20×16 ($30.90), and a final wall with 2 30×20 ($42.44).  My overall goal for our room is a very romantic vibe so I even have specific photographs listed for the photographer to take.  It will be under $350 for all of these.

That’s right I will have amazing photographs hung throughout our house for around $1200.  That is an amazing price when you consider that most of the time canvases are so expensive that I would not even be purchase about 5 of the larger sized canvases for that price.

Interior (or Hallway) Bench Buying Guide

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

Are you looking to purchase a bench? If so, you have come to the right place. You may not realize it yet, but there is a lot to consider when purchasing a new bench. Benches aren’t cheap, and so you want to be sure that the bench you end up getting is the perfect fit for your home or garden. To help you figure this out, we have put together a short guide of things you should be thinking about. By keeping the below list in mind you will be better equipped to purchase the best bench for you.

1. Size – Benches come in all different sizes, and the size you want will largely depend on where you plan on putting it. Is this a bench that is going in your living room, or an outdoor garden? Wherever you are putting it, be sure that you measure the space first so that you know how big the bench can be. Don’t forget to account for the surrounding area if anything is going there, or if you are going to need room to get by it. Measure the space by how wide it is, how long, and how high you want the bench to go. Write these measurements down and bring them with you when you go looking for your new bench.

2. Style – Next, think about what style of bench you want. Are you looking for something along the lines of a park bench that will be outside your home, or maybe you want French inspired living room benches. Do you want a bench that has a lot of curves to it, or something a little more simple? The only way to know the options that are out there is to browse around. Think about where the bench is going and what will be around it. You want a bench that matches the styles already found in the area.

3. Color – Once you know the style you want to get, you can think about what color to get. You can get something bright and colorful if you are putting this among some flowers, or you can get something more earthy. You could also go with something rustic looking if you are going to be putting this indoors among your furniture. There are a lot of color options, and again you will want to match it with the items that are already in the space.

4. Sturdy – Lastly, you will want a bench that is sturdy. Before you purchase it, make sure that you sit in it. Try and shift it around and see if it wobbles. See what material it is made out of and if that material will be able to stand the environment you are putting it in (especially if its going outside). You are spending the money on a nice bench, you want it to last a long time, so always check and make sure that your bench is of a good quality.

Hopefully this list gave you some things to think about before you purchase your next bench. A good bench can be an excellent complementary piece of furniture in any setting, but only if you get the right kind. The wrong kind of bench can stick out like a sore thumb, but you can avoid this by thinking about the things mentioned above. Good luck, and we hope you end up with a bench that you love!

One Dress, 24 Different Ways with Zutano

Simply Shawn N Jenn Disclosure

We all know that I love Zutano.  One of the things that I love so much about Zutano is that the clothes are perfect for mixing and matching.  So you can really create a number of looks out of just a few different pieces.

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One of the items that I received from Zutano was the Oopsie Daisy Pretty Pleats Dress ($34.00) and I have to admit that my toddler loves it.  It is one of the most fun dresses that we have in our wardrobe.  So for this piece I wanted to share 24 different ways that you can mix and match this dress with other pieces that I have received from the Zutano collection.

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1.  The dress is cute on its own and can definitely stand alone!!

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2.  The dress looks great with this pink Ruffle Cardigan ($29.00) that we got last spring.

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3.  The dress also looks adorable with the Apple Stripe Cardigan ($29.00) that we received.

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4.  You can pair the dress with the Apple Toddler Matchstick Jeans ($36.00).  We actually received these last spring as well.

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5.  Plus you can pair it with the Pool Toddler Matchstick Jeans ($36.00).

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6.  One of my favorite combinations is the dress with the Navy and Apple Toddler Skinny Leggings ($21.00).  I just LOVE this look and think that it is one of the cutest on my daughter.

And now for all of the mix and match fun!!!

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