DesignEvo – Create Logos for Free

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My dear friend Joie and I have been working together for the last four years. She and I have known one another for the last decade, and this past year we thought high time we created something of a logo for our collaboration. We have been juggling ideas of outsourcing a logo with services like Fiverr. We even contemplated free logos by doing it ourselves in applications like Paint or GIMP. Each time, we were just missing something that made it a truly professional logo, we were in need of a free logo creation application.

One day we happened to receive an email from a representative sharing about an online application for logos. The free logos application allows you to create a logo with thousands of design templates, various fonts and some cool icons. Continue reading “DesignEvo – Create Logos for Free”

Easy Applesauce Ornaments

DIY christmas ornaments, cinnamon applesauce ornaments, christmas ornaments

Holidays are always a fun time of year for decorating, crafting and baking. So many ideas for homemade and DIY gifts, crafts, baked goods and more. About six years ago when I had more time than patience, I spent an entire holiday season baking, crafting and flexing my creative prowess to her max. One of my all time favorite and easiest holiday crafts to make were applesauce ornaments. My kids absolutely loved them; to this day they still love them because of the fun involved in making them and the smell. This is my recipe for an easy Christmas ornaments project  you can enjoy with your kids each year and for years to come, plus these make wonderful additions to gift wrapping. Continue reading “Easy Applesauce Ornaments”

Pumpkin Decorating Ideas

Kids and parents want more flair with their pumpkins and why not? Halloween is but one day, once a year, and who doesn’t like to play dress up. Dress up your pumpkin, our pumpkins should be much the same as dress  up. Fall is upon us, well if you live anywhere but Phoenix Arizona where we still crest into the high 90s and we are all begging for cool weather to wear some fashionable boots. Oh I digress. With Halloween not that far off, the kids are all anxious to start cutting into pumpkins and today’s pumpkin is not the pumpkin of yesteryear with the traditional triangle cut eyes and triangle cut scary mouth.

halloween, pumpkin decorating, pumpkinsWhat I like to do is find out what the kids want for their pumpkin picture, whether the picture is of a witch on a broom, swirls, or any other picture of choice, print that picture and tape it to your pumpkin.

From there you can carve out the picture simply by stabbing the lines with a sharp paring knife or you can use a push pin and tap all along the lines so it dots out the picture on the outside of your pumpkin. After you have traced out the picture on the pumpkin the carving can begin. Cut off the top to create a lid like a standard pumpkin carving, scrape out the innards, saving the seeds if you so desire for a great fall snack and then begin cutting out your creation.

Place a small tea light candle inside and you are ready to showcase your creation and your pumpkin for all your trick or treater’s or as a party display. Don’t be afraid to dress up your pumpkin, choose something creative or out of the ordinary. Pumpkin decorating ideas can be found all over the internet and Pinterest.

Broken Crayons Recycled

What to do with broken crayons? Our family is a waste not, want not type. More so the waste not because why throw out something that can be repaired or recycled. In our case we have about a gazillion broken crayons due to toddlers and children’s hands and who knows the reason why crayons break, but it happens. Unfortunately though these broken crayons became intertwined with those that are whole creating a crayon nightmare for my OCD. My project became how to reuse or what to do with broken crayons.

So one day I decided to embark on the great crayon rescue and clean up project. My kids have the Crayola crayon maker and to be honest I think it sucks, we used it and I was not impressed. I am glad I did not spend a great deal on it for Christmas one year, so that will be a yard sale item, and I suggest you do the same by not investing in this purchase. I digress. Any how, we sifted and sorted through the thousands of colors and crayons we have, removed the paper wrapping, and tossed into a bowl to break into smaller chunks.

When I saw that the Crayola contraption was lacking in effectiveness I resorted to creativity and ease. Here is how you can make your own cool shaped crayons at home here is all your need:

Non-stick or silicone muffin tin

I have these great silicone muffin tins from Wilton’s that I used for this project and created some really rad looking crayons for my three and a half year old twins and eight year old son that are great for them to grab onto with their little paws, are sturdy, and they are funky shaped and fun.

So I tossed in similar color family colors of crayons into each deposit spot and placed in the oven at about 250 degrees for roughly 20 minutes and watched them melt into the molds. I checked on them to ensure the wax did not bubble or boil as not to break down the way and mix the colors into an oblivion or brown and pure ugliness. Here is the end result and the kids love their new crayons and they are some fun, funky, sturdy crayons that are wonders for their imaginative coloring creations.broken crayons, recycled crayons, make new crayons

Battling Summer Boredom

We are just a mere month into summer and already my kids are whining of the dog days of summer. Bored. Stiff. Endless hours by the pool, swimming to their hearts content, camping, and family outings just do not seem to foot the bill for a child’s endless imagination and entertainment.

Summer is a great time to encourage children to let their imaginations soar. School schedules can sometimes be demanding and time for less structured, imaginative activities is often scarce. The freedom of summer gives children large blocks of uninterrupted time to create projects of their own choosing that can last several days or even longer.

Here are 10 ideas parents can use to keep young minds active during the summer months:

1. Boredom Buster Jar: At the beginning of the summer, sit down with your family and brainstorm a list of activities that can be done alone or that you can enjoy doing together. Next, write everyone’s ideas down on slips of paper and as a group decide which ones should go in the jar. Anyone in the family can pull any idea out of the jar to fight the summertime boredom blues.

2. Stories Alive: It sounds too simple, but reading is one of the most important ways to keep young minds engaged during the summer. Make reading even more fun by finding ways to bring the stories to life.

3. Art Start Box: You’ll need to gather basic art supplies–child safe scissors, glue, markers, tape and construction paper. Put them in a special box along with empty oatmeal boxes and paper towel rolls, colorful magazines and bits of aluminum foil. Occasionally add a special surprise like chalk, stickers, or stamp pads so there’s always something new for the children to find. Even if you normally have these supplies around the house, it‘s fun for children to know that the Art Start Box is just for them. They’ll probably have some good ideas of other household items that can be recycled to fuel their creative energies.

4. Family Performances: Break out old clothes or costumes and encourage children to make up characters and create a play to act out. They are the directors, actors, and producers. They can also make musical instruments out of pots/pans, wooden spoons, empty canisters and have a parade; or everyone can play along to your family’s favorite songs. Record or video the performances, and enjoy the replay. You’ll also be capturing a bit of family history everyone will enjoy for years to come.

5. Family Dance Party: Crank up the music and encourage your entire family to boogie down. Dancing gives children a great outlet for self-expression through their own motion and helps build self-esteem. It also enhances motor and coordination development by incorporating skills like jumping, landing and leaping. Dancing is a great activity that can involve the whole family and doesn’t take very much preparation.

6. Fort Building: Children love to build all kinds of structures–from small towns to large towers. Constructing forts or tents is an activity that can keep children focused and problem solving for hours. All the items you need can be found around the house–some chairs, cushions, blankets… and of course adult supervision.

7. Cookbook Fun: Have you ever shared your favorite cookbook with your children? Take it out and ask your children to choose a recipe to try. Measuring can be a fun and easy way to keep math skills fresh.

8. Summer Scrapbook: All you need for this project is a spiral notebook. Encourage everyone in the family to draw pictures of favorite activities and collect mementos from special events throughout the summer. Children love to go back through scrapbooks and albums and tell about what happened at each occasion. They will also be building their storytelling skills at the same time.

9. Camping Out: Pretend to campout in the backyard. Plan a meal, pack a backpack and set up a campsite. You might even decide to spend the night!

10. Scavenger Hunt: Make a list or picture cards of common household items and have your children find the items on the list. Invite friends or neighbors to join in the fun to make it a competition.

While these are just a few great ideas, also look into your local newspaper and or community and recreation center for free or low cost activities. Zoo’s, museum’s, and other venues offer plenty of free activities and fun for your children to enjoy.

For more great ideas on beating summer boredom check out or


Crayola Green – Back to School

We all recognize the trademark yellow and green Crayola boxes but Crayola is taking “green” to new measures. Crayola is reducing, reusing, and recycling like a good majority of us are or should be doing.

“As part of Crayola´s ever-evolving green initiative, this back-to-school season, Crayola is making crayons with solar power, markers from recycled bottle caps and colored pencils from reforested wood.

Crayola crayons, markers and colored pencils getting greener is extra good news for parents. You can feel even better about Crayola products because you are supporting a brand that cares very much about kids and the environment and you´ll still get the same great quality and colors at the same price! So while sometimes environmentally-friendly products cost families more green, not so with Crayola” (, 2010)!

How cool is Crayola when your children reads the specially marked packaging to see that these Crayola products were once bottle caps or that the colored pencils are from reforested wood and not old growth. As parents you can be proud to know you supplied a product for your child that is eco-friendly as well.

  • Crayola Markers – Thanks to new, innovative ways to manufacture Crayola markers from recycled bottle caps, “black” is the new “green!” Crayola markers will now have black barrels instead of white, which allows for more recycled plastic to be used and gives a second life to more than 1 million pounds of plastic bottle caps. Plus, switching to black barrels keeps hundreds of tons of plastic out of landfills each year. Available in 10-ct. Broadline Classic Colors, 10-ct. Broadline Assorted Colors, 10-ct. Fineline Classic Colors, 8-ct. Washable Broadline and 8-ct. Washable Fineline.
  • Crayola Green 24-ct. Crayons – The quintessential school supply found in virtually every elementary classroom will be made with the power of the sun. More than 26,200 solar panels will convert sunlight into electricity, generating the energy required to make 1 billion of the 3 billion crayons Crayola makes each year, which equals 60 million 24-ct. boxes. Mother Earth will be smiling down on every forest green, pine green and jungle green crayon that rolls off the assembly line!
  • Crayola Green Colored Pencils – Committed to protecting the rain forests since 1987, all Crayola colored pencils have been made from reforested wood instead of wood sourced from tropical rainforest or endangered species. For every tree used, a new tree of the same species is planted. The 12-, 24-, 36-, and 50-ct. boxes of Crayola Colored Pencils will be among the first to carry the “Eco-Evolution” callout on their packaging. (MyBlogSpark & Crayola, 2010)

As parents we want to set an example and what better example, than by purchasing products that inspire and promote a healthier world and environment and future for our children.

But if you haven’t bought your kids supplies yet, or you want an extra stash at home for weekend crafts and coloring, leave a comment telling me how you may be recycling, reducing,or reusing like Crayola. The folks at Crayola and My Blog Spark are kind enough to provide our family and yours with this prize pack to enjoy.

(Remember leaving a comment of “I want to win”, “Enter me”, “Gimme” or anything other than the above, your comment will be deleted)

You can find additional entry options here, and be sure to follow Crayola on Twitter and Like or Fan them on Facebook.


Crafting and Scrapbooking Not Just for Girls

Who says that you have to be a girl to enjoy scrapbooking? How about crafts? I say no. In fact, my boy, Big G says NO as well. We (well especially me) were thrilled to receive a promotional copy of a “This Is Me” book from Carrie Lundell, owner of This Is Me Journal.

What is “This Is Me?” The journal is your child’s first keepsake journal, albeit a scarpbook of sorts for them. The pages are preloaded and designed for them to fill in. The journal allows them to share snapshots of their lives in the book. From personal drawings and simple memoirs to sharing events and thoughts.

Grant was not sure at first what to think about the book. Once I explained what the book is and what it is meant to be to him and to us he made a point to work on it everyday, or at least everyday that he didn’t have homework. My heart is warmed to see him take such pride in something that is all about him, a book that he will share with him family about his childhood.

Here is what my boy took the liberty to fill out about himself in the preloaded pages:


The cover is his self-portrait that he is still working on coloring and the second is a list of his favorite things.
I tried very hard not to laugh in PURE joy at this because if you look, his favorite song is by Linkin Park, his favorite movie is Transformers and the best part about being six is his Wii.
MAN! Why did we ever want to grow up!? Being a kid totally rocks!
What else…my boy today came with me to a Stampin’ Up workshop in partnership with Build-A-Bear.
I knew he would be excited because the event had Build-A-Bear but I was so pleased that he enjoyed the crafts as much as I did. Here is what my little artist did today while I worked on some Stampin’ Up projects with my fabulous host Jan McClurg and her invitees:
Like I said, who says you have to be a girl to do crafts and scrapbooking. My son did a magnificent job on his crayon tin with his Build-A-Bear stamping cards and his Build-A-Bear cut out Santa.
For more fun stuff for your kids be sure to check out the This Is Me journal site. What a wonderful gift to give your child anytime of year for them to share all the wonderful qualities of being an individual.