Friday, December 13, 2019

DIY Stamped Books

Earlier this week I shared about our Girls Craft Night (you can see the post HERE) and promised I would share the details about these DIY stamped books.  


I have seen similar products sold online or in local boutiques and always loved them, but didn't want to spend the money on them.  Well, I decided that I could probably make these myself and it was seriously the EASIEST project ever. 


Materials: 
Paperback books 
Stamps (I used this set
Baby wipes 
Twine/ribbon/string 
Scissors 
Greenery sprigs 
Wire cutters 

The first step is to find the books.  You may have a bunch of old books laying around your house that you could use for this, but if you want to purchase cheap paper back books the best place is the Dollar Store!!! 


I didn't even know they had books, but they do. Goodwill is another great option, but their books are between $2-3 and the Dollar Tree books are obviously only $1.  I stocked up on all that they had and actually made a trip to another Dollar Tree to grab some more. The only thing you need to make sure of is that they are thick enough to be able to fit the letter stamps.  

Once you have your books the next step is to literally rip the covers off. I know this seems bad and at first I felt horrible tearing off the covers. However, that gives you the rustic/farmhouse look and makes the spines blank to be able to stamp.  You can also rip off a few pages until you find the title or dedication page. Just something that is pretty plain to be on the top of your stack.


Now you are ready to start stamping. I found tons of inspiration on Pinterest and also just Googled "hand stamped books" to get some ideas. You could do anything from family names and holiday sayings to Bible verses or hometown locations.



We decided that we liked the look of using all lowercase stamps so that is what we used. I also found it helpful to write down what you are going to put on the books unless you are great at spelling backwards. I am not, especially after a glass of wine, so I wrote it down and then was able to work backwards...lining up all of the ends of the words with the end of the books.


The stamping was simple.  One tip I would share is that after getting the stamp wet with the ink from the stamp pad, wipe around the edges with a baby wipe or wet paper towel to get the excess ink off.  You just want to make sure the ink is on the actual letter, but not all around the letter or it will show up when you stamp the book.


After all the stamping is done, line up the books, wrap the jute twine around a few times and tie in a bow. We cut little pieces off of the greenery spray to tuck into the twine and just add a little something extra to the project.


This was such an easy project and so fun to make!  I feel like these stacks would be great as a personalized gifts for hostesses, a fun addition to a Christmas gifts, or just to make for your own home!


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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Online Urgent Care

Compensation was provided by Amwell via Momtrends. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Amwell or Momtrends. 

I get sick around the holidays almost every.single.year. It never fails. I've had strep throat, ear infections, some crazy rash, a sinus infection, hives, and the list goes on and on.  I know it's because we are SO incredibly busy during the month of December and that I just run myself ragged until my body can't take it anymore.  



We just go, go, go with sports, school performances, holiday traditions, class parties, school performances, neighborhood gatherings and just about anything else you can think of! 



I usually wait to go to the doctor until I can't bare it any longer and by that time I feel worse than if I had just gone at the onset of the symptoms. To be honest though, I usually can't find a time to squeeze in a visit to the doctor. You'd think I would learn to slow down, but we are MOMS!!!  We don't really know how to do that and very rarely do we have the luxury of time on our side.


Amwell Urgent Care to the rescue!

If I had known about Amwell during all of those crazy holiday sicknesses before I most certainly would have used it!  Amwell is a telehealth company with a 24/7 urgent care service.  You can access doctors from your phone or computer in the comfort of your own home or when you are on the go. 


You can see a doctor, face-to-face, through the app or their website without an appointment! Through video, providers can look, listen, and engage with you diagnose health concerns and provide an effective treatment plan. Traveling for the holidays and someone gets sick?  Have a kid that can't stop vomiting in the middle of the night and need a little peace of mind? This is the perfect solution for you and your family if someone should come down with a minor illness or injury.

Common uses:
Fever
Cold and flu
Allergies
Sinus Infections
Stomach bugs
Rashes
Pink Eye
Pediatrics

Obviously Amwell compliments in-person care and not for emergency situations, but having access to a service like this is a game changer for busy moms and on the go families.

What is the cost?

Each Amwell urgent care visit is only $69 which is a lot less than the national average cost for an office visit. They also accept most insurances, making the cost even less.   We have a coupon code for our readers!  Use code MAGNOLIA to get 50% off a $69 urgent care visit. We certainly hope that no one gets sick and needs this, but if you do we know you'll be happy to save a little money and a lot of time. The best part about the code is that it NEVER EXPIRES so you can use it whenever you may need it.   CLICK HERE to start your discounted doctor visit.


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Monday, December 9, 2019

Girls Craft Night!

Happy Monday!  I can hardly believe we are so close to Christmas.  It's such a crazy time of year for our schedules, but we were able to squeeze in a some crafting fun a few weeks ago.  You know all of those Pinterest projects that you always see and want to make, but never take the time to do?!?  Well, we decided to finally make it happen!


We crafted, ate snacks, drank wine, laughed, and had the best time!  Want to host a craft night of your own?  Here is what we did. Each person picks one craft to be in charge of for the evening. They buy enough supplies for everyone who will be attending the craft night and come with the knowledge of how to complete the project. You can have picture examples, step-by-step directions, or even just a "wing it" mentality...whatever works best for you.  Then you take turns completing each craft and end up going home with several different projects from the evening!


For our projects we painted mason jars with chalk paint and then distressed them and added embellishments, we hand-stamped books, and we made wooded bead garland.  I LOVED all three of our projects and how they could each be personalized and unique.




Today I'm going to share how we made the wooden bead garland and later this week I will share details about the stamped books! First I bought these wooden beads and needed to paint them.  You can paint them any color, but I wanted them to be neutral so I went with an off-white color.  I liked the idea of them not being a solid color and just looking more like a stain so I mixed about 1/2 paint and 1/2 water in a bowl. I just made sure each of the beads was covered and put them out on an old towel and patted them to take the excess paint off before letting them sit to dry.  I would recommend doing this step at least a day in advance. 


They ended up looking like this with sort of a whitewash look to them which I loved. For this project you will also need some jute twine.


These aren't the best pictures because we did our craft night late and it was so dark, but wanted to show you how to make the tassel for the end of the garland. First you wrap the twine around your hand about 10 times.  Then you will cut all of the pieces on one end and string another longer piece of twine through the other end. Lastly, you take a small piece and wrap it around the top to create the tassel.


These beaded garlands can be made any length you like!  I found that wrapping a small piece of tape around the end of the jute twine made it easier to string the beads before making another tassel and attaching it to the opposite end.  




There are a ton of YouTube tutorials that show each step, but this was a simple project and these beads can be put over books, put around a vase, laid on an entry table or used just about anywhere in your home!  I love the idea of making different colored ones for each holiday, so that might be my next project! 


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Thursday, December 5, 2019

Christmas Porch Decorating Ideas

Everyone decorates the inside of their homes for Christmas, but I love having outdoor spaces that I can decorate, too!


I have always decorated our front porch for different holidays and thought that not many people see the inside of my house, but lots of people see the outside.


This is the first year that I also decorated our screen porch for Christmas and I love spending time out there, now!


I'm sharing lots of easy tips for decorating your porches today on Savvy Sassy Moms. Head on over and a check it out HERE!



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Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Book Club: December

This post contains some affiliate links. All thoughts and opinions are our own! 

It's one of our favorite posts of the month...Book Club day!!!  


This time of year might be one of the busiest for moms with all things holiday, but that hasn't slowed down our reading (or listening).  Part of that is because we both indulged in some GREAT books this month.  They were all so different, but so many that we really enjoyed!   


WHAT WE READ...

CARRIE BETH
The other day I was cooking dinner with my headphones in while kids were running around the house and my daughter asked me why I was always listening to my book.  Ha!  I told her it was so I didn't have to listen to them yell.  Really though it was because I just love having something to take my mind off the mundane tasks of the day to day.  Folding laundry and listening, cleaning bathrooms and listening, doing dishes and listening, packing lunches and listening.  You get the point! 


My first book of the month was Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane. I typically love stories that are emotional, dramatic, messy, and complicated so when I read a review saying that is exactly what this book was I was so excited to read it and had really high hopes.  It was all of those things, but I kept waiting for something really big to happen and it never did.  It's about two families and how they are intertwined with each other's lives over a long span of time. There was issues of mental illness, substance abuse, pain and heartache. It kept me listening and wanting to know how it ended, but I just didn't love it. 



Next for me was The Simple Wild by K.A.Tucker.  My friend, Jaime, recommended this book to me and I thought it might be a nice light read after the heavy book I'd just finished.  This was a sweet love story, but touched on more than just a boy meets girl.  There was heartbreak, family dynamics and illness woven into this story, but ended in the best way possible.  It is about a young woman who hasn't seen her father in over 20 years and has had very little contact with him over that time.  She ends up going to visit him where he lives in Alaska. Let's just say the city girl has a hard time adjusting to the drastically different lifestyle the Alaskan people live day-to-day. She ends up reconnecting with her father in the best way possible and comes to love everyone who is a part of his life.  She has some difficult decisions to make when it comes to her future, but I loved the way this book ended.  I would definitely recommend it!



My friend, Vanessa, gave me this book for my birthday!  Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson was a book for her neighborhood's book club, so she thought I might enjoy it, too.  This was full of suspense, betrayal, blackmail, hidden pasts and lots of twists I didn't see coming. The main character, Amy, seems to have a nice normal suburban life, but when a new neighbor moves in and instantly inserts herself in Amy's life she starts to dig up secrets about her past that no one knows.  Amy gets blackmailed, but learns how to play the game and outsmart the new neighbor. There were so many twists I never saw coming, but they kept me wanting to know more and more about how all of these characters were woven together. It was full of drama and ended in a totally different way than I had expected.  If you like books with suspense and dark twists, this one is for you!



I started American Royals by Katherine McGee kind of on a whim and was immediately hooked.  I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!  I never watch TV so I have never gotten into any of the royal shows or series, but I feel like if I did have time to sit down and watch something I would most certainly love all things royal.  This book was written as though America, in it's very earliest days, had granted George Washington a crown and he had become the first King of America instead of our first President.  I thought that aspect of the story was so fascinating, smart and clever. The story focuses on the current royal family (a king, queen, two princess and one prince) and how the eldest princess is being groomed to be the first ruling queen. I loved all of the characters, hearing their connection to the crown and to each other, and it really made me me think about what life in the monarchy would be like. I loved the royal balls it described, the pomp and circumstance mixed in with everyday pop culture and it had me rooting for my favorite characters to end up in love and together.  I had been warned that this book just ended abruptly, but it left me wanting more and I feel like that is often a good thing.  Apparently, it is the first in a series so there will be a second book next fall!  This book could be considered Young Adult and was totally PG, but it was SO fun and really different and one that I just adored!

JEN
This month I started off reading a book a friend gave me by one of my favorite authors. About 15 pages in I put it down. It isn't a bad story or un-intriguing. It just opened up a little heavy, and I decided I needed a little more light. I'll come back to it, but switching gears proved to be a great move because I enjoyed every single book I read this month.

First up...


American Royals by Katharine McGee. I think it is so funny Carrie Beth and I picked out the same book this month. We have similar tastes in a lot of things, but reading can sometimes be hit or miss. We were at a girls night she was hosting chatting about books and we laughed when we both said this one at the same time as a suggestion to someone. We read it together and didn't even know it.

First, I love anything that has to do with royalty. Television shows, movies, books, etc. So when I saw American Royals I was intrigued. Like Carrie Beth said - it was so good! It's definitely a young adult novel, but I loved it's drama filled fun. Royal balls, forbidden romances, family chaos - I loved it all. It ended a little abruptly for me, and then I realized it's the first novel in a series. I'm curious on how it will all play out. (I'm also curious if my over filled, over tired brain will remember to pick up the second one when it comes out next year.)


Next up was The Last Wife by Nicola Marsh. This was my Audible for the month and it was such a good listen. I was so sucked in right from the start. The story is filled with family drama from the get go, and I actually looked forward to car pool and my mom taxi duties every day because it meant I could sneak in a few minutes to listen. The story follows Ria and her involvement we her ex-husband's family. Her ex disappeared five years prior in a scandal, but Ria still keeps in touch with the family. The Parker family is one of the richest families in Chicago, and one day Ria is given information on each of her family member's deepest, darkest secrets. She decides to keep them to herself until something bad happens to each family member. I was so shocked at who the culprit was, and still have questions on some of the final details, but this was a great listen/read. 


Okay, so sometimes Amazon's suggestions are a little far fetched and sometimes they are spot on. I was on my way to our annual Friendsgiving weekend at our cabin, and needed a good book to read on my Kindle. Broken Knight was in my "suggested reads" list that popped up. I mean I don't know about you, but that cover had me intrigued. The synopsis was a little vague, but had me curious enough that at $2.99 I thought, "Meh, I'll give it a go." 

I read it in a day. 

It had a lot more substance than typical romance novels, and between the drama, the heartbreak, the missed opportunities, the tragedy, and the romance I could. not. put. it. down. I stayed up until 3:30a.m. on vacation just to finish it. It was that good. I immediately told Carrie Beth to read it because it reminded me of  her favorite book of 2018

It's a romance book for sure. It has rated R content and language (not bad, but enough that it elicits a warning). It touches on substance abuse, mental health, rape, and terminal disease. All wrapped up in a love story. 

There were times I didn't even like some of the main characters. There were times I might have cried. Who knew a cover like that would take me down this reading journey. Touché L.J. Shen.  The ending was a teeny tiny bit rushed, but it gave such closure after so many emotional roller coasters along the way I didn't even care. Now go read it so we can all talk about it! 


WHAT'S UP NEXT...


CARRIE BETH



My next book has to be Broken Knight by L.J. Shen. When Jen told me she stayed up until 3:30 AM reading this one I knew I had to make it my next book.  When she told me it reminded her of my fav book from 2018, I was sold. I can't wait to share about this one next month!

JEN

It's December and that can mean only one thing - HOLIDAY BOOKS! I have a stack of these holiday books ready to go. Bring on the cozy blankets, warm fires, and all the holiday reading!

1. What Happens in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand
2. Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
3. Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory
4. Christmas in Paris by Anita Hughes


And don't forget about two awesome holiday books we read earlier this season -  Coming Home for Christmas & A Wedding in December.  See our full reviews here.



What should we put on our reading lists next? 


BOOK CLUB 2019 

January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November |



Follow along with us on Goodreads!


HAPPY READING! 



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Monday, December 2, 2019

Your Official Cyber Monday Guide 2019

We know you guys have probably been inundated with Black Friday deals left and right. Trust us, we're tired of all the emails too. Now the deals typically span over the course of the entire month. There's pre-Thanksgiving sales, Black Friday, Shop Small Saturday, and Cyber Monday...with a hours of major sales sprinkled in. 

Today we're sharing kind of a quick run down of all the sales going on for Cyber Monday. Then you can just happily click that little trash can on your email inbox. This is semi-selfish on our parts too because we want one place to look to see what all the deals are while we shop. Plus we can do this from home in our pajamas and that's waaaay more fun than battling all the large crowds out there. From SPANX (20% off!!!) to great Nike discounts, and our forever shopping assistant Alexa on Amazon - we've got you covered!



CYBER MONDAY GUIDE 2019

NATIONAL SALES

  • SPANX - 20% off site wide. No code needed. (We also found SPANX discounted on Amazon!)
  • Target - Up to 50% off site wide. (Air Pods on sale! Instapot on major sale! Apple Watches on sale!)
  • Under Armour - 30% off + free shipping with code UAGIFT2U
  • Matilda Jane - $5 deals, free gifts with $150 purchase, and free shipping on all orders. 
  • Lilly Pulitzer - $20 off every $100 spent. 
  • Jack Rodgers - 30% off + free shipping with code CYBER19
  • J.Crew Factory - 60% off + extra 10% off with code SOAMAZING
  • Blenders Eyewear - 50% off Sunglasses & 30% off Snow Goggles. 
  • Abercrombie - 50% off everything if a member (its free!) or 40% off for non-members. BOGO on fragrance. 
  • Snapfish - 70% off site wide with code CHEER70BCCOC 
  • ULTA - 50% off almost everything. (Including our favorite products from LivingProof and the infamous Urban Decay Eyeshadow Palettes!!)
  • Serena & Lily - 25% off with code THANKFUL
  • Sephora - Up to 50% off everything. 
  • Best Buy - Get 20% off one full priced item with code APPLY20RMNNOW
  • Keds - 30% off everything + 10% off sale items with code + free socks with code CYBERSALE. 40% Kate Spade with KSNY40. (These glitter shoes are our kids favorites!) 
  • Old Navy - 50% off everything. (extra 20% off for card holders)
  • Pier 1 - 30% off + free shipping with code CYBERMONDAY
  • Athleta - 20% off with code BEMOVED
  • Audible - Under $5 book sale. Buy 3+ books and receive a coupon. 
  • Saks Off 5th - Take 50% off most styles with code CYBER. Free shipping on all orders with code CYBERMON
  • Tervis - 50% off everything + free shipping
  • GAP - 50% off everything with code GAPCYBER
  • Academy Sports - 30% off most everything
  • SAKS - $50 off every $200 spent with code CYBER19SF. Extra 15% off beauty purchase with code CYBER. Free shipping with code FREESHIP
  • American Eagle - 40% off + free shipping. 50% off sweaters. 
  • Forever21 - 40% off everything + 50% off sale with code GOWILD
  • Nordstrom - Up to 50% off site wide (doing a lot of price matching) + gift card with purchase. 
  • Macy's - Extra 20% off using code CYBER
  • Dick's Sporting Goods - 25% off your order + free shipping (no code needed). (Hydro Flasks on major sale!)
  • Bath & Body Works - 40% off with code CYBERDAY
  • Walmart - Up to 60% off site wide. (PowerBeats on sale! Bose Earbuds on sale! Barbie Dreamhouse on major sale!)
  • Loft - 50% off everything + free shipping with code CYBER.  

LOCAL SALES 


We will update this throughout the day with deals and codes as we get them! 


Happy shopping and saving everyone! 


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