Search Results for: projects

Five Fun Outdoor Projects For The Family

No matter what the season, there’s nothing better than spending some quality time outdoors with your family. One of the best ways to enjoy time in your backyard is beginning a project. Not only will the whole family love getting involved, but you can also save a lot of money by working on things yourself. Here’s just five fun ways to add something nice to your backyard.

Outdoor Rooms

1. Refurbish your deck

Every backyard needs an attractive, even slab of concrete. If you plan to do any outdoor events like barbequing, it is downright essential, as a hot grill can become dangerous on uneven terrain. If you have an old concrete slab you’d like to refurbish, there’s plenty of options for improving it. A cheap but effective method is to place pavers or bricks on top of the existing concrete slab. This can level the surface as well as making it more pleasing to the eye. It will be much cheaper too!

2. Make an outdoor room

Feel cramped and claustrophobic in your own home? Why not make one outdoors? Outdoor rooms can be a fantastic place to get away from anything, and they don’t have to be too expensive. A simple wood house, decorated with some trimmed hedges and flowers, will give you the privacy you need. You can put an old couch and curtains in the window to transform it into a cool hangout for your kids; you can also use it as a workshop for future projects.

3. Lighting

Decorating your backyard with lights can give it an otherworldly beauty, and the best way to do it is with solar powered lights. You can pick up some pretty cheap fixtures, but if you’re looking for solar power that lasts, consider investing a little more. These will last you a good ten years and cover your yard in bright light. In the long run, you’ll save on your energy bill, plus there’s the added benefit of home security.

4. Create an outdoor game area

Here’s an idea that the kids will absolutely love. Building a fun outdoor area, like a horseshoe pit, can be an inexpensive way to spice up your backyard. If you’re looking for something a little more high-brow, you can install a stone chess board. With a bit of free material found around the area or online, these kinds of installations can be very practical. It might take a bit more work, but a pond can make your backyard incredibly eye-catching. Check out for an easy and affordable way to line your pond.

5. Enhance your entry

Finally, try improving your entryway with a few simple installations. Painting, placing a stain glass window insert and decorating can serve to boost the look of the entry. Remember, it’s the first thing people see when they enter your backyard, so make an impression! Window inserts are relatively cheap and can be found at most hardware stores, and installation is quite simple.

These projects will improve your home while you enjoy the simple pleasure of being outdoors. Get out there and build something!


Backyard Fun and Games: Five Easy Weekend Projects Your Kids Will Love

Summertime funThe days are beginning to get warmer and longer, and now is the perfect time to begin planning ahead for a backyard weekend landscaping project. According to a Cincinnati landscaping company, if you’re like most homeowners, you tend to clean up the yard every spring, add a few new flowerbeds, maybe plant some grass and call it a day. Have you ever thought about doing something a little more fun?

By starting a fun, creative backyard landscaping project you can create a unique look for your yard that your kids will enjoy all summer. The project itself will also be enjoyable for the whole family, turning an ordinary weekend into something a little extraordinary. Here are five great weekend projects for your family’s backyard:

Backyard Beach

Ever wish you could live on a tiny piece of beach property? Would your kids love to build sandcastles in their own backyard? Now’s your chance! By using sand, base rock such as granite, driftwood and seaside plants, you can create miniature sand dunes and the perfect spot to relax and sink your toes in the sand. It’s also the perfect spot to build a safe backyard fire pit. Fun and easy instructions here!

Homemade Indian Tipi

Do your kids love to go camping? How about giving them their own backyard home away from home that can be a permanent, cool-looking feature of the yard? With five bamboo poles, durable weather-resistant fabric like what’s used to build patio umbrellas and some sisal rope, your kids can help you make a charming tipi. If your backyard needs grass to build a tipi on, Cincinnati lawn care companies can help you every step of the way. Instructions for building the tipi here.

Backyard Scrabble/Board Games

Everyone loves board games! If you’re handy with woodworking equipment, you might just be able to pull off making your very own outdoor Scrabble board. The board is best placed on a patio or other perfectly flat surface. You can make the board out of wood or a mixture of concrete and wood. Either can be stained to create the different colored squares. After that, you’ll need to create tiles using baseboard and vinyl lettering. Scrabble instructions here!

Backyard Theater

One sure way to make your house the most exciting place on the block is to build your very own outdoor movie theater. You’ll need some specific equipment for this one, of course, notably a projector as well as a DVD player. The screen can either be purchased or made using lumber and a white bed sheet or piece of paneling. Instructions for a backyard theater found here.

Hobbit House

Finally, here’s the ultimate do-it-yourself project! With a little woodworking knowledge, wood, bricks, house paneling, and a large, grassy hill to work with, it’s possible to build your very own miniature Hobbit hole. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, it was a Hobbit hole, and that means comfort. Note: This project probably isn’t for beginners. Instructions are found here!

As with all do-it-yourself projects, the most important ingredient is imagination! The sky’s the limit when it comes to fun and unique project ideas to liven up your backyard and create a spring and summer full of memories.


Keeping Kids Creative ~ Step2 Creative Projects Table Giveaway

The last week of September has been Nationally designated as “Keep Kids Creative Week”. While this week is often celebrated in schools with many fun activities to help stimulate kid’s creativeness, parents can also take advantage of this week to do some really fun things at home. Many parents struggle with finding time to fit creativity in but there are lots of products out there to help us with getting those creative juices flowing. Mama-Nibbles and Life With Two Boys created this event to help you find some fun products to keep your family creative not only during “Keep Kids Creative Week” but any time of the year!

Keeping Kids Creative begins on September 17th at 12:01am EST and ends on September 30th at 11:59pm EST.  Along with the awesome prizes that each of the participating blogs are offering we also have 3 Grand Prizes thanks to our sponsors BabbaCo, Green Kid Crafts, Kelly Kits, PowerCapes, Bannor Toys, We Can Too, and Kat and Company.

Enter to win the Grand Prizes here!

Crafters Need The Ohuhu Aluminum Crochet Hooks Kit #Giveaway

Crocheting can often be considered my most loved and hated past time. Perhaps that is because I am still in the beginning stages and yet expect my projects to come out as perfect as the photo online or in the craft book I drooled over. One thing I have learned is this hobby like so many knows no end. That is why I like to find quality supplies at a cost I can live with, like the Ohuhu Crochet Hooks Needles Kit recently snagged from


Now, I own several hooks. In fact I have purchased them at all cost levels, colors and material made of. The majority of my crochet hook supplies are aluminum and steel crochet hooks. Both serve their own purpose and do it well once you learn more about the process.

One thing I will say is that often cost vs quality is a big factor. So imagine my surprise to find a 22 piece tapered hook set for $8.99 with free shipping using Amazon Prime. Giddy hobbies is the perfect set of words. In fact I snagged two sets, one for my preteen as well. She is just starting out but shows great promise.

Ohuhu Crochet Hooks Needles Case

We both tested random sizes of Ohuhu hooks on two different projects (one stuffed style animal and one scarf). These worked as well as any top quality hook that I own. They even felt good in the hand despite the slightly rough texture. [Read more…]


Violence. Anarchy. Absurdity. Heartbreak. Hilarity. Redemption: Substitute Teaching In 25 Manhattan Public High Schools.

Violence. Anarchy. Absurdity. Heartbreak. Hilarity. Redemption: Substitute Teaching In 25 Manhattan Public High Schools. ~ by: Elizabeth Rose

So I had this cool gig in Manhattan, teaching song- and creative writing in a small public high school. I also raised $330,000 for classroom smart boards and a shiny new iMac lab for the kids, most from the projects (S. Bronx +). The NYC Department of Education cut my position (too artsy?) and in September 2011, assigned me to substitute teach in a different school every week in hopes that I (and 2500 other teachers) would resign.

I figured I’d go back to my freelance life as a performer. I was developing a one-woman musical comedy for Off Broadway. But when I went to my first substitute assignment (for the paycheck) it hit me like a tossed eraser:

The DOE is going to send me to a new public high school every week for a year! Hello! The Universe is handing me a gift on a gold platter. Stories! It’s irresistible! If I leave, Comus, the god of comedy, will drown my sense of humor in a torrent of his tears.

So I stayed. And I wrote “Yo Miz! (1 Teacher + 25 Schools = 1 Wacky Year)

From el barrio to Wall Street, from our most gifted to our most challenged students, I chilled with the kids. We talked physics, we rapped, solved Rubric cubes and prepped for standardized tests. It was hilarious and heartbreaking. Especially when I was given a class of English Language Learners from the Ivory Coast, Yemen, and Mexico who hadn’t gotten their land legs yet. How they wanted to fit in, like other American teenagers they admired. Instead, they were given 5 Regents exams every January and June that they inevitably failed…every time. “Thanks, Miz. I not gonna pass. Sorry, Miz. You nice lady.” Guess who doesn’t get a high school diploma? Guess who falls through the cracks when they have to leave the public school system at 21 years old?

So why care about these “marginal” kids? For me, as we struggled and laughed together, they crept into my heart. As if they were my own kids, I want them to succeed. I want them to love learning. I want them to be happy, new Americans, enjoying our extraordinary freedoms and unfathomable possibilities. [Read more…]


Get Dino Interactive at the Science Museum of Minnesota

My family took a week long exploration of the Minneapolis area recently. Being the nerdy, how it works family we are the Science Museum of MN was at the top of our must see list. Not to mention, the Science Museum of Minnesota is labeled as the Upper Midwest’s most popular museum attraction.

First of all, I want to be clear that this is no simple hour long run though attraction. If you plan to visit as part of your travel itinerary, please allow at least 3 hours to explore the museum and an addition 2 if you plan to see an IMAX film and any additional special exhibits.

science museum of mn

Founded in 1907 as the Saint Paul Institute of Science and Letters, the Science Museum of Minnesota welcomes more than one million visitors each year to see its world-class collection of dinosaurs and fossils, the nation’s only convertible IMAX dome Omnitheater, its trademark hands- and bodies-on science exhibits, and a blockbuster slate of traveling exhibitions.


The United States’ only convertible dome IMAX theater—the William L. McKnight-3M Omnitheater. This theater has two screens: a 90-foot diameter domed screen that can rotate back behind the audience seating area to reveal a 90’x 70′ flat screen.

While the foot traffic is great in number, the immense amount of room including numerous floors, educational rooms and even the lobby together seem to allow for ample spacing and well thought out station placements that will not have you waiting long if at all to see the next exhibit. Making it a good choice to visit no matter the day or time of year.

However, do know that the Omnitheater shows and special exhibits will need to be purchased in advance and will provide a time on the ticket for entry. I for one appreciate this approach as it keeps a reasonable number of people in these special areas and allows everyone enough time to engage in the experience.

There was so much to see at the Science Museum of Minnesota that we had to break-up our experience into 3 different posts. Today’s feature is from the dino-lovers point of view.

Science Museum Lobby

The Science Museum has occupied several locations in its 100+-year-history, and opened its current, state-of-the-art museum facility in 1999. The Science Museum is the most-visited museum in the five-state region and consistently ranks first in Twin Cities rankings for favorite museums and favorite family outings. They even can host weddings onsite. Now, how cool would that be? [Read more…]


5 Tips For Working From Home With A Toddler

If you work from home and have children at home you know how hard it can be to juggle both your work and your home life. It is often made doubly hard by the age of your children, and their individual needs. Here are 5 Tips For Working From Home With A Toddler that are sure to help you stay on top of your game, and give your kids the quality time that they need.

5 Tips For Working From Home With A Toddler


Turn Off The Noise. Help yourself focus better by turning off the music, tv and sounds around you. Focus on your work instead to get projects and tasks done in a more timely manner.

Create A Realistic Schedule. While you would love to have a typical 9-5 work day, when you are juggling both a work at home job and a child that typically isn’t going to happen. Become realistic about their needs as well as your own and set your office hours to reflect that. If you have to have extended evening “work” time to make up for early morning naps, play time, and snack time, then work toward that. Don’t set yourself up for failure by limiting yourself to a standard schedule.

Include Them In Your Office. Even though many work from home jobs don’t allow for small children to “help” with the work, there are ways you can incorporate them into your daily office routine. Create a kid corner in your home office with their own “work” to do. Puzzles, toys, a children’s laptop or tablet are all great ideas. Chalkboards, dry erase boards and felt boards are all great items to have to occupy their time.

Work Smarter Not Harder. This one is often a tough one for all of us to grasp, but it is especially important in issues when you are trying to juggle work and home life. Figure out what work practices are the most profitable for you and make it your goal to focus on them.

Hire A Babysitter. While it may not be affordable for everyone, hiring a babysitter to help you out at least one day per week will give you the freedom you need to get projects done without interruptions. Check with local teens during summer months for inexpensive help, or look into local church “moms day out” programs that give you a few hours to one day a week of child care with ease.

Working from home is becoming a more and more popular way to make a living for men and women alike. Whether you are working for someone else as a virtual assistant or running your own home business, it can be tough with kids underfoot. These 5 tips for working from home with a toddler can help you stay focused, be productive and conquer your to do list.


27 Easy Homemade Gifts for Mother’s Day

If you are looking to give some great Mother’s Day gifts, but not spend a lot of money we have some great ideas for you here. These 27 Easy Homemade Gifts are perfect for everyone in the family. From great gifts in a jar, to classic homemade beauty products and even a few fun unique gifts, this list is a great place to start.

27 Easy Homemade Gifts


  1. DIY Coffee Body Scrub
  2. Painted Dollar Store Mugs
  3. Pumpkin Pie Body Scrub
  4. Burlap Wine Bottle Bags
  5. Faux Leather Photo Frame
  6. DIY Lip Balm Holder
  7. Star Wars Peg People
  8. DIY Felt Play Mat
  9. DIY Lemon Rosemary Scrub
  10. Upcycled T-Shirt Super Hero Cape
  11. Lavender Coconut Aloe Vera Shave Gel
  12. DIY Stenciled Coasters
  13. Easy Lavender Goats Milk
  14. Whipped Gingerbread Body Butter
  15. Lavender Calming Candles
  16. Choconut Cookie Mix In A Jar
  17. DIY Pencil Pouch
  18. DIY Lemon Sugar Scrub
  19. Framed Heart Maps
  20. DIY Swirl Vase
  21. Layered Popcorn Gift Jars
  22. Hot Cocoa Mix In A Jar
  23. Gift Card Snow Globe
  24. DIY Dried Fruit Potpouri
  25. DIY Stud Earrings
  26. DIY Upcycled Cup Sleeve
  27. DIY Mandarin Sugar Scrub

Gather up your supplies, and start crafting and creating these wonderful easy handmade gifts for your friends and family this year. These unique gifts are perfect for making in large batches and giving to your kids teachers, babysitters and helpers at school. They are even perfect for making as a special treat just for yourself.


33 Homemade Holiday Gifts

If you are trying to save money this holiday season, but you want to give your friends and family something special as a gift then this list of 33 Handmade Holiday Gifts is perfect for you. Not only does this list contain great unique upcycled items, but it contains some unique holiday ornaments, fun no sew projects and great additions to any home or office. With gifts for mom, dad and even grandma on this list, you will be able to mark several items off your shopping list with ease. This year create great fun gifts for everyone on your list with this great handmade holiday gift list.

33 Handmade Holiday Gifts


  1. DIY Succulent Terrarium
  2. DIY Tile Coaster Sets
  3. DIY Swirl Vase
  4. DIY Serving Tray
  5. DIY Lacy Glitter Picture Frame
  6. We Whisk You A Merry Christmas
  7. Family Recipe Card Framed Gift
  8. Vintage Button Monogrammed Frame
  9. DIY Rope Wrapped Wooden Bowl
  10. DIY Marbled Mug
  11. DIY No Sew Placemats
  12. DIY Monogrammed Makeup Bags
  13. DIY Cup Sleeve
  14. DIY Post It Not Holder
  15. Hand Print Towels
  16. DIY Mosaic Tile Letter
  17. Decorative Notepad Holder
  18. DIY Photo Block
  19. DIY Snow Angel Ornaments
  20. Upcycled Brooch Phone Case
  21. DIY Personalized Note Pads
  22. No Sew Fleece Flower Pin
  23. DIY Key Holder
  24. DIY Chalkboard Mason Jars
  25. DIY Wine Gift Bag
  26. Rustic Christmas Ornaments
  27. DIY Family Recipe Card Shadowbox
  28. Rustic Winter Sleigh
  29. Terra Cotta Snowman
  30. Wine Cork Wreath
  31. Winter Mason Jar Lantern
  32. DIY Snowman Bottle Cap Ornaments
  33. No Sew Hobo Bag

Grab some crafting supplies, a few special items and lots of imagination to make these great handmade holiday gifts for anyone on your holiday gift list. The ability to personalize any of these to suit individual needs is part of why we love them so much. A simple stamp, sticker or embellishment can totally transform the most simple of things into a gorgeous gift item that will make your friends and family feel special and loved this holiday season.


25 DIY Gifts For Women

Every year we struggle to come up with a unique gift for that woman in our life that seems to have everything. This list of 25 DIY Gifts For Women is perfect for any woman on your list. Not only do you have fun pretty things like infinity scarf, wine bottle holders and coasters, but you also have things that appeal to moms with picture memories and more. Creating a fun and personalized gift for the women on your holiday gift list can be tough, but not anymore. We have solved the gift giving fears with this great list of DIY holiday gifts.

25 DIY Gifts For Women


  1. DIY Fabric Box
  2. DIY Photo Cube
  3. DIY Infinity Scarf
  4. Wine Cork Christmas Tree
  5. Burlap Wine Bottle Bag
  6. DIY Market Tote Bag
  7. DIY Ceramic Tile Coasters
  8. Glitter Dipped Champagne Glasses
  9. Homemade Orange Spice Potpourri
  10. Framed Heart Map
  11. Wine Glass Coasters
  12. DIY Photo Bookmark
  13. DIY Chalkboard Jar
  14. Birthplace Map Keychain
  15. Gift Card Snowglobe
  16. DIY Photo Block
  17. Glitter Makeup Brush Holders
  18. Sewing Kit In A Jar
  19. Framed Recipe Cards
  20. Personalized Repurposed Tin Can Storage
  21. DIY Photo Bracelet
  22. DIY Mosaic Tile Letter
  23. Stenciled Cork Coasters
  24. DIY Spiced Candles
  25. Dried Fruit Potpourri

Set aside a weekend to have fun creating truly unique and personalized DIY gifts for women on your list. Many of these great gifts can be personalized, monogrammed or made unique to the recipient. These classy homemade gift solutions aren’t the potholders of your childhood days. These unique gifts are sure to wow the person you give them to with their imagination, creativity and of course usefulness. We love how you can take great family memories of places visited or recipes made and frame them to create a truly personal and unique holiday gift that anyone would love to have in their home. This year don’t fret about that hard to buy for woman on your list. Take advantage of this great list of DIY gifts for women to give them the ultimate holiday gift from you.


Roul’Pat Non-Stick Workstation Review & Giveaway

I am a baker at heart. I love all things cookies, cakes and breads. I guess that is the reason for my girlish figure! All jokes aside, one of the things I struggle with the most is prep and more specifically the prep surface when making sticky items such as crusts, dough and biscuits. So how nice it was for Silpat to send over a Roul’Pat and more just in time for holiday cooking.


The Roul’Pat by definition is a non-stick countertop workstation mat. This silicone mat is similar in design to a SILPAT, but it has a specially formulated backside design, which prevents it from slipping or moving around on countertops and work surfaces. This is extremely important when rolling dough by hand or by pin. If you have worked with other surface types, you know that without the slip resistant underside, you spend as much time bringing the prep area back to position and creating the food. It is a real time waste that can easily be solved with almost any of the mats from SILPAT.


While the Roul’Pat is ideal for rolling and kneading dough, it is also good for working with sugar art, chocolate, fondant, caramel and candy. The smooth top allows for multiples uses with ease. Everything from sweets to even dry rubs can be combined on this piece.


Size is important. This is especially try when you are making meals for a large family such as mine. Breakfast requires at least a dozen biscuits. Holidays can mean dozens of cookies, cakes and pies to be created for everything from the meal at home to bake sales.

Clean up is a snap with the completely washable surface. A little soap, water and scrub is all you need. Dry and store. Even better, you can store rolled or flat depending on your needs.

Roul Mat

The Roul’Pat is a smart addition to any home kitchen. While I would say don’t wait for the holidays and grab one for yourself to make creating meals easier, this would also make an excellent gift idea for the hard to buy for, the chef on your list and even those that are starting new.

On a side note: I didn’t test the Roul’Pat outside of the kitchen, but it is said that you can also effectively use it as work surface mat for craft projects. Since nothing sticks to it, Roul’Pat is great for use with glue, permanent markers and other messy craft projects. I suppose I will need to give that a go the next time my toddler decides he needs a little creative craft relief.


Slipat products are sold nationwide at retailers including Macy’s, Kitchen Collection and Sur La Table.

A little bit about the products to be won below:

Silpat®—the Original Non-Stick Baking Mat—is ideal for all your baking needs from cookies to baking meats and roasting vegetables. Variety of sizes.

Roul’Pat® turns any countertop surface into a non-stick workstation. It’s handy for rolling any kind of dough without sticking or requiring extra flour.

Silpain® is designed for baking bread that turns out perfectly. Its non-stick surface is darker than the traditional Silpat®, and it is uniquely perforated to allow moisture from the dough to seep through to provide a perfect crust and even browning.

Silpate Giveaway

One winner will receive a Silpat, Silpains and Roul’Pat Mat (a $108 value).

Giveaway ends November 29th at 11:59pm, open to US residents, ages 18+. Only one entrant per household, per address. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Enter using the giveaway form below. Good luck!


Disclosure: All opinions seen in this publication are those of the writer and may differ from your own. may have receive product or payment as a condition of this publication. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment and shipment to the winner. This sweepstakes is in no way associated with, sponsored, administered or endorsed by Facebook, Twitter, Google, Pinterest or any other social media network. For questions or to have your product featured on Mom to Bed by 8, email Teri at [email protected]


After February Custom Printables for the Holidays and Beyond

Anyone who knows me knows that I love to entertain.  I am also a fan of tying a theme together through any party or event if possible.  When I found out about After February, I knew I had to give it a try for my sister in law’s upcoming baby shower.

After browsing through many of the amazing designs, I was sad I did not know about this shop prior to some of the parties we just threw for our boys… but I know there will be plenty of other occasions to take advantage of the multitude of designs, and the diversity in products available for customization.

Since we will be welcoming a little baby boy into the family, and my sister in law is a fan of simple yet elegant designs, I went with the Tricycle Baby Boy design, with a blue and grey and ivory chevron pattern.  Unfortunately, we had already sent out our invitations, so I did not order the custom invitation, but to spruce up the shower decor, I opted for the matching “Wishes and Advice” cards, “BINGO” cards, and banner.


Here’s the thing that I love about this Etsy shop… you can build your own custom party with a matching theme throughout, and customize each piece as you wish!

Since there will be a wishing well for the new parents, for small trinkets and gifts, the banner says “Wishing Well” and has the same matching chevron pattern, as well as a matching tricycle to break up the words.  I printed the banner letters relatively small so that they would fit around the bassinet we will be using for the “Wishing Well.”  I also chose a simple grey ribbon, and applied the cutouts with simple photo splits from the craft store (I have a supply on hand always because of my scrapbooking projects.)  But you could also use double sided tape or glue, depending on how mess you want to get.


The Wishes and Advice cards are customized with the mom-and-dad-to-be’s names, so this is something that they can treasure either by storing in a photo box or by inserting into a photo album or scrapbook later on.


The process is simple.  Simply visit After February on Etsy, browse the different themes, events, and styles, choose your favorites and order the design.  You can also ask the seller a question via the “Ask a Question” button on Etsy, and Febe is very quick to respond and extremely helpful in designing and customizing the perfect products for you.

Once you have viewed and approved the proof (or in some cases like the BINGO card, instant download is available), the files are then yours to print as you wish.  You could order through a printing service online, or if you are like me and prefer the hands on experience, take it to your local print shop (I use FedEx/Kinko’s) and either print yourself on their self service machines, or have an associate help you.


Many locations will even cut the cards out for you, but again, as a control freak, I prefer to do this on my own.

The next time you are planning a party, whether it is for the holidays, a birthday, graduation, etc, After February will not disappoint!  After you choose your invitation the possibilities are endless.  You can choose from matching Thank You cards, personalized with the guest of honor’s name, Recipe Cards, Water Bottle Labels, Cupcake wrappers or toppers, Address Labels, Save the Date cards, Direction signs, the list goes on!  This does involve a little bit of DIY, but it is the best looking DIY I have found.  I would much rather pay a few dollars per design, buy myself a ream of good quality card stock, and pay for color copies at the print shop, than pay over $1 or $2 per piece through some of the order online outlets that are available.

There are even customizable photo cards available, so if you haven’t yet ordered those holiday cards, take a look at the Holiday Section of After February.

Make sure to add this shop to your Favorites on Etsy, and visit them on Facebook.

I know I will be visiting and ordering again soon!

AfterFebruary Giveaway

Two winners will receive $50 AfterFebruary Gift Certificate.

Giveaway ends November 18th at 11:59pm, open to US and Canadian residents, ages 18+. Only one entrant per household, per address. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Enter using the giveaway form below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure: All opinions seen in this publication are those of the writer and may differ from your own. may have receive product or payment as a condition of this publication. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment and shipment to the winner. This sweepstakes is in no way associated with, sponsored, administered or endorsed by Facebook, Twitter, Google, Pinterest or any other social media network. For questions or to have your product featured on Mom to Bed by 8, email Teri at [email protected]


Edit like a pro with StyleWriter 4 + 7 winner Giveaway

StyleWriter 4 Giveaway

If you do much writing for work, personal business or as a career, you know how important it is to make sure your written word is fluent, grammatically correct and flows well.  Even if you have great ideas, sometimes it can be difficult to come up with the right words, but mostly even the best writers need a little help with proofreading from time to time.  StyleWriter 4 is the perfect addition to your office to help you become the best author you can possibly be!

Whether you have years of experience, or you are sitting down for the first time, you can become a better writer instantly with StyleWriter 4.  With this great Free Trial Offer, you can start using the world’s most powerful editing software immediately!  If you aren’t sure about whether this is for you or not, check out the great video: Introducing StyleWriter 4!  Not only will you learn more about the program, but you’ll be sure to be convinced about what a great tool it is for you!

StyleWriter 4 Is Great For:

Back To School Students in High School & College.  Great for editing research papers, term papers and creating brilliant essays with ease.   Students who download the free trial will also receive the acclaimed guide: “How To Write An A-Grade Essay”!   Not only will they have the tool to use, they will have instructions applicable to their school needs.

Content Creators & Freelancers.  Not only will you have an extra edge on the competition, you’ll find this software helps you focus on your projects more.  Being able to make your ideas come to life on paper is so much easier when you are using this amazing software.

Job Applicants.  Anyone who is currently looking for a new job can benefit from this great software.  Not only would it be wonderful to adjust your current resume, but it will also give you an edge up on those careers where the written word is important for securing your job.

You are already use to spell checker showing you basic errors in your writing.  Now you can use StyleWriter4 as an intuitive copy-editing software.  It will show you how to edit, redraft, change and overhaul your writing into a style that is competitive with top writers and journalists in your field.

StyleWriter 4 Demos

Not sure if this is a program that is quality enough for you to invest in?  StyleWriter 4 is currently being used by many organizations  you will recognize and respect.  Current StyleWriter’s users include:

University and high school students

  • City of Los Angeles (2,000-user licenses)
  • Environmental Protection Agency (1,000-user licenses)
  • Federal Aviation Administration (1,000-user licenses)
  • Farm Credit Administration (Agency-wide license)

Start your journey toward becoming a better, more professional writer with a Free Trial Download of StyleWriter 4!  Once you see how wonderful this program is, you can easily upgrade to the edition that works best for your needs!

  • Starter Edition: Popular with students and others on a budget.  StyleWriter Starter takes what you have written and show you how to edit it into a plain English document – clear, concise and flowing.
  • Standard Edition: StyleWriter Standards has all the features to improve your writing, including a powerful style checker with advanced editing techniques, style writing graphs and customization.
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Disclosure: All opinions seen in this publication are those of the writer and may differ from your own. may have receive product or payment as a condition of this publication. For questions or to have your product featured on Mom to Bed by 8, email Teri at [email protected]


How To Juggle Working At Home With Kids In Summer

If you are one of us who works from home, you understand the approach of summer vacation is one of fear and difficulty.  You love the sounds of your kids home, the fun trips to the beach and of course the vacation as a family.  The problem lies n How To Juggle Working At Home With Kids In Summer.  They want to go constantly and do something, and you need to concentrate on your work.  We have come up with some great solutions to help you take care of work and your kids this summer.

juggle working at home with kids in summer


HIRE A TEENAGER TO HELP OUT:  If your kids are younger, you may be able to get away with an inexpensive teenage babysitter who will be there during the day with you.  He or she can play games, fix their lunch and in general keep them out of your hair while you work.

SEND THEM TO VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL:  While not recommending you use this as a babysitter, it is a great way to have some free time while your kids are having fun.  If you are a religious person and have good churches in your area, check out their summer schedule for camps and activities.  This will give you a few hours a day of time to concentrate without guilt.

CHANGE YOUR SCHEDULE:  if you are use to using the typical 8am-3pm school hours to do your work, it is time to start adjusting.  Most kids will sleep a bit later during the summer months.  Use this time to work without interruption.  Perhaps even setting your alarm for a half hour to hour ahead of time.

LIGHTEN YOUR WORK LOAD:  If you currently have a heavy work load, summer may be a time you can cut back.  Don’t take on new projects.  Tell your regular clients you’ll be doing light duty during the summer.  Another option is to work double time for a few weeks to get ahead so the time off during the summer won’t be as tough.

FIND LOCAL LIBRARIES AND PLAY CENTERS WITH FREE WIFI:  Sometimes the easiest way to deal is to find a place for them to play.  Local play centers, libraries and even some church’s with play areas will have free WIFI for you to use while you work and fun times for the kids.  Make sure if you are doing this that you are always aware of where your kids are and what they are doing.  Bring along a babysitter or teen to help watch the kids while you work and they play.

SWAP DAYS WITH OTHER LOCAL MOMS:  If you live in a neighborhood with lots of kids and a few moms who are at home during the summer months, you may be able to trade days  Finding even 1-2 other moms willing to take all the kids for one day each week will give each of you a much needed break for work or down time.

Working from home is a great thing for many moms and dads, but dealing with kids being home during summer months can be a real struggle.  How to juggle working at home with kids in summer is a mere matter of planning ahead.  Even if you are in the middle of your summer break already, you can still apply many of these tips to make your work day and your vacation time that much easier.



Interview With Children’s Show Creator Angela Santomero

ACS-Smile-ShotI had a chance to sit down and chat with the creator of a few of the most popular cartoons in the US and discuss her newest projects.  Angela Santomero is the mastermind behind the television shows: Blue’s Clues, Super Why, and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.  As I prepared, I sat down in my thinking chair to think, think thiiiiiiink (but more on ridiculously catchy songs later) and ask her about Creative Galaxy and the new children’s shows exclusive to Amazon Prime.

Shows created by Angela Santomero are ones that I never feel like I need to screen before my children watch.  They’re wonderful and full of lessons for the children to take away with them long after the screen’s turned off.  There are three coming to Amazon Prime including Creative Galaxy which went live just a few days ago.  You can watch the first episode here even if you’re not a Prime member yet.


Brooke: Could you summarize your new show Creative Galaxy for readers who may not have heard about it yet?

Angela Santomero: Creative Galaxy is literally a galaxy that we’ve created.  There’s creative elements, so there’s a planet for every art medium.  We have a drawing planet and a painting planet, and our little alien preschooler named Arty is the star of the show and he has a little sidekick named Epiphany who’s a cute little shape shifter friend.  He lives in the Creative Galaxy and has friends, and parents, and a little baby sister and when there’s a problem he wants to fix it with art.  So he’s that kind of kid.  He’s a maker and he’s a creative kid and he’s always thinking creatively, always having these ideas.

He can create, literally drawn on the screen every episode, a creative spark rocket ship.  It becomes real and he hops in it and he flies to different planets depending on the problem of the day.  And then will literally bring back something that he makes home and that will fix the problem.  In one of the episodes, his friend Jackson is missing his puppy ‘Splatter’ and we don’t know where Splatter is, so we go into the Creative Galaxy and go onto the drawing planet with Jason Priestley, who plays the voice of Sketch, and shows the kids that they can literally draw a picture of Splatter just by using shapes and lines put together.  Once they can draw the picture of Splatter they can show it around the Creative Galaxy and use it to find her.  So basically you’re using art to solve problems.

Every Episode also has a live action component so you can see some of the actual crafts that we do during the episode; real kids making those crafts using so many things that you can just find in your house.  So it’s such a great Summer series in that sense.  It just can spark all of these ideas that you can do.

Brooke: You’re to help us parents a lot with the “I’m Bored” syndrome!

Angela Santomero: I hope so!  I hope so.

Brooke: Now you’re the creator for Creative Galaxy, and involved with Sara Solves It and Wishenpoof on Amazon right now.  Is that right?

Angela Santomero: Yes.  That’s correct.

Brooke: How has it been working with Amazon to do these exclusive pieces?  I’m sure it’s a little different than the traditional Nickelodeon and things like that.

Angela Santomero: You know, it’s really about the relationship with the head of the network and Tara Sorensen is an innovator, a creative thinker, and she prides herself in picking things up that no other network would pick up and so the idea of hitting the arts for Creative Galaxy so strong, she tears up every time.  Which, you know, most of us do every time we talk about how the arts are being stripped from the classrooms and so this idea to come around and do a show that kids will love and will be a hit for them, you know, they’ll want their birthday parties to be our characters, but at the end of the day there’s all of this arts curriculum in there.  They’re being exposed to Jackson Pollock and Seurat.

And then with the other shows it’s the same.  Like in Sara Solves It being all about math and a girl who’s a strong detective who literally solves problems using math and different cognitive aspects in order to bring that back.  It’s just a really great female go-girl empowerment type of show that’s a musical.

Then we got excited about Wishenpoof which is about a little girl who finds out that she actually has wish magic and that she can make her friends’ and her wishes come true.  It’s all about celebrating imagination and founded in a curriculum that’s mind in the making.  It’s literally showing kids how to look at somebody else’s perspective or be empathetic or all of these executive functioning skills.

Brooke: Which is really important because you see a lot of children struggle with that lately.

Angela Santomero: Well absolutely.  And then wrapped in this really great humorous, funny, adorable, beautiful show. . . and everything I do is always so married you know what I mean?  Depending on which aspect I’m talking about, but yes exactly so giving them the tools of what to say and how to say it, to stick up for their friends or to believe in themselves, all of these big empowerment messages that we’re creating beautiful songs for.  So in Creative Galaxy the music is ridiculously sticky and there’s music for every planet, so that when you’re painting we’re hoping the kids are thinking a little painting song.  Sort of thinking this through because we want to hit them in all of their senses, right?  So this idea to have little ditties that celebrate art was really exciting for us too.

Brooke: I also heard about an app that’s going to go with Creative Galaxy which is really exciting for tech-centered parents.  Is that something we can expect soon and could you tell us anything about that going along with your show?

Angela Santomero: I believe it will be available next month.  We’re just making sure that it’s as great as the show is.  We just really want to launch it when it’s ready and next month it will be.  It’ll be this idea that we’re all about interactivity because when you can do something and make something, no matter what it is, you’re going to learn and master the concept a little bit better.  So the idea of having and app is just so neat for Creative Galaxy because then the kids can make along with Arty if they don’t have the opportunity to do it in their real home.  So we really just want to hit them and extend the learning everywhere, so an app just makes so much sense to give that to our viewers as well.

Brooke: I actually have a question from a reader that I had as well.  I admit that I am young enough to remember sitting down at eight years old with my little sister to watch Blues Clues.  So now I get to share those same kind of shows and things with my own sons, so I want to know out of all these shows that you’ve worked on, who has been your favorite character?

Angela Santomero: You know, that is like asking, “Who is your favorite child?”.  There is no way I could answer that but I have to say that each show is so it’s own show.  It is.  I know this sounds crazy but it’s just like my kids!  You know, it’s like they each have their own personality.  Blues Clues was the first and you know what they say about the first right.  As you’re going through it and you’re making mistakes and celebrating all this stuff with your first!  And so I’ll remember that fondly forever and continue to do more stuff for Blues Clues forever.

And it’s the same thing.  I really have a hard time letting go.  We’re still doing more Super Why episodes.  That’s all about reading and superheroes with the power to read because I have a million stories that I feel like I could tell with that.  And with Creative Galaxy I feel like I could continue doing this for years and years because there’s an infinite number of creative things to showcase.  But all of this just has that same sense of propelling the story forward, with using that “interactivity”.  Then Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, same kind of thing.  We literally are just hoping that it befriends the home viewer and brings them in so that they can master the concepts.  So there’s a lot of similarities between the shows, so I cannot pick a favorite.

Brooke: Daniel Tiger’s definitely a big one in our house.  I have a four-year-old who at night, when he has his hugs and kisses, goes, “Ugga Muggas?” because he wants an Eskimo kiss.

Angela Santomero: Awww!

Brooke: It sticks with you!  That’s what I love so much about these shows.

Angela Santomero: Yay!

Brooke: Thank you so much for sitting down with me for this interview.

Angela Santomero: Oh absolutely.  Thank you so much.