The Life of Jennifer Dawn: May 2016

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Fruity Frozen Pudding Bites

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SnackPackNaturals #CollectiveBias

These Fruity Frozen Pudding Bites are a fun and delicious way to enjoy Snack Pack Pudding Naturals. Whip up a batch to cool off with on a hot day!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

DIY Farmhouse Style Decor & A Little Bird Told Me Link Party #178

Are you a fan of Farmhouse Style decor? Or maybe even a fan of the fabulous Joanna Gaines from HGTV--the queen of rustic but modern farmhouse decor. Yes?! Me too! Long before I ever watched Fixer Upper, it was a style that I was drawn to. We Southerners love things that are rustic and cozy.

The Farmhouse Style has that comfortable, simple vibe that's organic and fresh. I love the mix of rustic pieces with modern decor and finding ways to make it all feel cohesive. The style has certainly been growing in popularity, and it's no wonder with its neutral palate being a perfect fit for homes of all types.

Want to know what's better than those beautiful Farmhouse Style pieces that have been splashed across magazine covers and showcased on design shoes? Farmhouse decor that you can make yourself on a minimum budget! Sure! I adore that Magnolia Wreath that's currently being sold in Joanna's shop, but I don't love the $95 price tag. Why not make your own? That's just what the blogger behind this week's first feature did!

Enjoy taking a peek through these lovely Farmhouse Style Decor Projects! You might just find one that would be perfect to make for your home.
1. Magnolia Wreath / Jolly & Happy
This gorgeous wreath is definitely going to be my next DIY project! It's looks stunning by also surprisingly easy to make.

2. Easy DIY Herb Garden / Levicky Landing
Two of my favorite things combine in this awesome DIY project--chalkboards and herb gardens. The end result makes a great decor piece or gift item!

3. Reclaimed Pallet Frames / One More Time
What screams Farmhouse decor more than rustic wood pallets? Here pallets were repurposed into decorative frames. Fantastic!

4. Lamp Revamp / The Navage Patch
You aren't going to believe the before picture for this lamp! This amazing transformation turned an outdated piece into something rustic and charming.

5. Mini Calendar Cards / Designs by Miss Mandee
These are adorable! Use them as invites or display them in a frame or along the glass of an old window pane like Liz Marie did here to create a unique piece of decor.

6. Floral Imprinted Coasters / Sparkle
I love the gold and blue against the creamy color of the clay! It's the flowers that give these coasters that natural, organic vibe that's a trademark of Farmhouse Decor though.

7. Wind Chime / Little Free Monkeys
It's another repurposing project! Here old spice bottles were turned into a wind chime that looks lovely filled with fresh flowers.

Now it's time for...

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Fruity Frozen Yogurt Bark

When snack time rolls around, my little ones are usually already foraging through cabinets to find something to eat. I always try to keep healthy snacks on hand that the kids can enjoy like fresh fruit, carrot sticks, cheese, crackers, or even yogurt--just a little something to fill their tummies until dinner.

Some days I like to get a little more creative with snack time and make a homemade treat. On those days, I stick with recipes that are simple enough for the kids to make with me. That's certainly the case with this easy and healthy recipe for Fruity Frozen Yogurt Bark.

This is a scrumptious treat for the kids to cool off with on a hot day! They get to enjoy the sweet and delicious coolness of frozen yogurt, but I secretly know they are eating a treat that's healthy! Mix up a batch earlier in the day to enjoy in the hot afternoon hours or store it in freezer bags to eat during the week. Whenever or however you choose to eat this frozen yogurt bark, it's sure to be a crowd pleaser!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Fun Birthday Party Ideas & A Little BIrd Told Me Link Party #177

Welcome to...

Planning a child's birthday party? We've got you covered! From treats to favor boxes and even an activity for the kids, here's a festive sprinkling of birthday ideas! They are sure to bring smiles to your guests' faces and make the party a BIG hit!

Kids don't need those elaborate "Pinterest parties" to have a wonderful birthday! Stick with these sweet and simple ideas. Mix in a few balloons. And you're done!
1. Brownie Pops  / Sugar Aunts
Cake pops are wonderful but brownie pops are even more fun--especially when you add a heaping of sprinkles!

2. DIY Paper Cupcakes / White House Crafts
Tuck prizes inside and you have adorable favor boxes for your guests. These would make super cute party decor too!

3. Edible Birthday Cake Playdough / The Life of Jennifer Dawn
Mix up a batch for hours of fun! The best part is that it smells and tastes like real birthday cake!

4. Rice Krispies Treats / Gluesticks
Who says you need elaborate treats for a party? Stick with a classic! These treats loaded with marshmallows and sprinkles are sure to be a crowd pleaser!

Such fun ideas! Now...

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Printable Chore Chart for Kids

I saw a funny quip the other day that read:

"Cleaning with children in the house is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos."

With three kids in our house, it certainly feels like that at times. Can anyone else relate? Whew! The lunch dishes get finished only to walk out from the kitchen to find toys strewed across the living room floor. Sigh.

Before vs. After Kids

I'll admit it! I have always been particular about my house and the products I use to clean it. I managed to keep the house immaculate after my first child. I would have described it as spotless after the second. My husband even felt like he could eat off the floors at that point in time--his words not mine. Haha! Enter child number three and...let's just say that I'm doing good that day if the main area can be called presentable.

Although I can't boast on the house being as clean as it once was, we all pitch in and do our best to keep things tidy. I'm a firm believer that being a part of a family means that everyone has responsibilities and jobs to do. 

The same was true when I taught in a public school classroom! Each student had a job to do whether it was sharpening the pencils each morning, delivering attendance to the office, wiping off desks, or cleaning the board at the end of each day. These jobs gave the students a sense of pride over our classroom and taught them accountability. Now that we are a homeschool family, our home serves not only as the place we live, eat, and sleep, but it's also a classroom--a messy classroom that needs to be cleaned daily.

Kids and Chores

There is great value in teaching children to do age-appropriate chores in the home. It promotes responsibility, fosters a strong work ethic, instills in kids a sense of accountability, and teaches life skills. When everyone works together, we get the chores accomplished so we can move on to more important things dates at the park and trips to the zoo.

Forget wiping up Oreo crumbs as the kids are dropping them. I get the kids on board to help with those chores. That's why it's especially important for me to have cleaning products like Lemi Shine that use safe, non-toxic, biodegradable and phosphate free ingredients. The Lemi Shine cleaners are powered by 100% natural citric extracts which makes them safe for the kids to use. No worries there!

Chore Chart

Having a motivational tool really helps too! For awhile, I used sticker charts. My two older kiddos loved earning stickers for each chore they completed. The sticker charts just weren't working for my youngest son though. He needed something more visual and interactive. That's why I made a chart just for him. There are pictures to represent each chore. When a chore is completed, he can move it over to the "Done" side. Previously, he wasn't making the connection between a sticker and a chore, but the pictures are more concrete. As it turns out, my older two love this system too!

Guess what?! I have two surprises for you today. The first one is that I'm sharing my chore chart so you can print off a copy for yourself. Just follow the directions below to make an interactive chore system for your kids! Oh, and keep reading for the second surprise...

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

12 Handmade Ideas for Mom and A Little Bird Told Me Link Party #176

Welcome to...

Mother's Day is almost here! Treat your mother and even your grandmother to a handmade gift. Aside from being beautiful, each of these handmade items is something that the recipient can put to good use. From decor to glassware and jewelry to bath items, any of these would make a lovely and sentimental gift that can be enjoyed time and time again.

1. Citrus Bath Salts in a Jar  / The Country Chic Cottage

2. Boxed Zipper Pouch / Gluesticks

3. Succulents Wall Hanging / The Homespun Hydrangea

4. Ribbons and Bows Table Runner / Flamingo Toes

5. Tissue Paper Kid Craft / Bombshell Bling

6. DIY Metallic Quote Flower Pots / Old Time Pottery

7. DIY Glitter Necklace / White House Crafts

8. Cookie Mix in a Jar / Simply Stacie

9. Marbled Monogram Flower Pot / Old Time Pottery

10. Lemon Zest Soap / Simply Stacie

11. DIY Confetti Cups / The Scrap Shoppe

12. Distressed Mason Jar Vase / Oh My! Creative

Amazing ideas! Now...

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Secret to Potty Training Success

I'm in the Trenches of Potty Training!

I'm interrupting the normal flow of crafts and recipes to bring you some adventures from potty training. I don't usually dive into parenting posts here on my personal blog. I've written a few for other sites, but here I usually stick with the cute crafts, recipes, life, and such. A big chunk of my time right now is being dedicated to potty training my third child, so this fits into that murky life category.

It's Challenging!

Potty training is often one of the most challenging parts of mothering small children. After successfully training my two older children, and finding myself in the midst of training my third, I've learned the secret method to successfully navigating this potty training stage of life. Yes, that right! I've discovered a game-changing method that will revolutionize how you train your child! Ready to know what this be-all and end-all secret method is?