Curly Crafty Mom

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy July 4th with Tipsy Elves Patriotic Gear!

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Happy 4th of July everyone! I don't normally post on Saturdays, but we just got back from Disney and I wanted to share some patriotic gear with y'all from Tipsy Elves! If you have never heard of Tipsy Elves before, their brand and products were first featured on ABC's hit show Shark Tank in 2013 and they have received favorable press with the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, the New York Times and others.

Tipsy Elves started as a Christmas sweater company but has since evolved and expanded into a one stop shop for all fun and unique holiday apparel. Their product line now includes patriotic clothes, St. Patrick’s Day shirts and more.

When Tipsy Elves contacted me and asked me to select some patriotic items from their shop, I was beyond thrilled. July 4th is one of my favorite holidays and who doesn't love the colors red, white and blue together? I can never have enough patriotic clothing in my closet... and, with Memorial Day, the 4th of July AND Labor Day all rolled up in 3 consecutive months, why not be prepared with some fun and attractive clothes?



Now, I have always wanted a patriotic swimsuit... when I saw that the Tipsy Elves website had one, I knew I wanted it! We have a swimming pool in our backyard and I know I will wear it A LOT this summer. I also fell in love with their patriotic shorts! Where else would you find a fun pair of shorts like these?


USA Patriotic Bikini Top

Bikini-Top


Here is a close up of the bikini top... I am not one that was gifted with 'a lot' up there, but this bikini fit me really well and was comfortable. I was a little nervous about ordering a bikini top online, but it was true to size.


American Flag Jean Shorts

Shorts


The flag shorts are really cute... perfect for July 4th. I am a true size 4 and I think I would have benefited by sizing up one size on the shorts (or maybe I just ate too much at Disney! lol!). I didn't realize they would be 'daisy duke' style either, but I think this makes them even more fun for the holiday.



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You can find all of the American Flag clothing gear on the Tipsy Elves website by clicking HERE.

They even have USA Jump Suits, Fanny Packs with a Koozie Holder, Dresses and Tees!

You can check out their other holiday gear by clicking HERE.

I hope you have a blessed 4th of July holiday with your family! I am so thankful to be an American, FREEDOM is something you cannot take for granted! Since we just got back from vacation, we are planning on taking it easy this holiday. The fireworks we saw at Disney were above and beyond, so we are trying to decide if we want to head out for fireworks today. We are sort of thinking we will hit a park with fireworks and bring a picnic basket with filled with cheese, crackers, sausage, fruit, snacks and a bottle of wine!

Full Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. These clothing items were gifted to me in exchange for this post. All opinions are 100% mine.

Friday, July 3, 2015

How I'm Doing on my 2015 Goals (6 Mo. Check In) and Meal Plan 67

1. Prayer Notebook.



(One of my IG friends (Lindsay) always shares photos of her mornings spent with God. She is awesome, that's all I can say. :) )

After hard times in January and February, I decided to get back into my prayer notebook once again. I’ve decided to write in it Monday-Friday and then on the weekends I take a break, since we have church on Sunday. I have been writing in it almost every day for a couple of months now and just started to slack off a little the week leading up to our vacation, because I was consumed with getting everything ready for that. I thought about bringing it on vacation, but decided against it and will pick back up again once we are back. I prefer writing in it when I am alone, so I can really focus and I’ll usually work on it first thing in the morning. I have thought about if I will continue this in 2016, because every year I like to set a religious goal for myself. I really enjoy it, so I think I will continue it… but, I really need to add some more bible reading into my life again as I miss the bible study groups I did in 2014 (online and at church) and I even want to do some independent bible reading. Another idea for next year is to read one religious book each month. I am currently following Mix and Match Mama’s blog and she writes about what books she reads each month and several of them are religious books. I am really interested in reading some of these books that she has suggested. I am going to work towards these new goals in 2016 and will do it in addition to my prayer journal. 

At my 3 month revisit on my goals, I had mentioned having the kids start their own prayer journals. This never happened… but, I would like to continue to pray with them before bed each night.


2. Be a More Present Mother.

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I am home with the kids all day during the summer, so this one is an easy and hard goal. Easy, because I am with them ALL day… hard, because I still have to clean the house, keep up with my blog, cook all the meals, keep up with my work outs, etc. Which, I have to do all this while they interrupt me every 5 minutes for help finding something, to make them a snack that they can’t make on their own, snuggles or whatever else they may need. :) I feel like when I am busy putting laundry away, even if they are in the room with me… which, my daughter is ALWAYS plastered to my side… is not quality time. I want to work on really focusing on them, really being present. I would say this is the hardest goal I’ve set for myself this year and its hard because life is just so BUSY… so many to-do’s always! We just put up our big pool in our backyard and the kids have been out there all week and they ask me when I’m going to get in and swim with them. I’ve told them no, that I will after out trip… I need to get in with them more and enjoy some time with them in the pool. :) We usually go on a ‘field trip’ each week with my parents to somewhere around St. Louis and I really enjoy this day, because we are all having a fun day together. These ‘field trips’ are some of the best times of the summer! Anyway, I am sure this is a struggle with most moms these days… when I was working, I felt the same way and thought when I stopped working I wouldn’t… but, it seems I am even busier now! So, I am trying to take it day by day.


3. Blog.



(Behind the scenes blog photo shoot! Gotta get that natural light!)

All I can say is WOW. Blogging has really become the real deal for me lately. I joke with my husband and tell him it is turning into a part-time job! I have poured my heart and soul into this blog and countless personal hours and it is really starting to pay off. I am really starting to make some blog relationships with other bloggers and companies, too! I recently did a Mickey Mail post and when I went back and looked at my blog post that I did for it 2 years ago I was amazed at how much I have grown in my writing and photography skills. 

I used to care about numbers… how many Bloglovin’ followers I had, etc, etc. I still care about numbers, but it seems once I hit the 1,000 mark and beyond on most of these (still need 100 followers on FB to meet 1,000), I started to not care AS much. I still care, but I feel I have built up enough followers that it doesn’t need to be my main focus. My main focus now is to continue to provide high-quality posts and photos and the followers will keep on trickling in! AND, I have really started to get excited about my Page Views number on Google Analytics. I used to average around 8,000 and in just the last month it has gone up to almost 13,000 page views! That is huge for me! I know some of the big blogs average 250,000… but, well… I just try to learn from them and I continue to be proud of my own success over here. :) Some ways that I have grown my page views is by providing good content. Recently HomeTalk featured one my burlap canvas with wreath blog post on their site and it had 25,000 views! Another success I had was when Social Fabric liked my Share a Chocolate Coke campaign so much that they paid for ads on Facebook that linked back to my post. My post has gotten almost 4,000 hits so far! 

I have also started to earn an income on the blog and that has been exciting, too! The income has been pretty consistent for several months and that is why I have started to tell my husband I feel like this has become a part-time job. In addition to the income I have been making, I have also been working with companies that want me to review their products for free in exchange for a blog post. I have never enjoyed my closet and accessories or home products as much! Blogging can be so, so exciting! I have started to keep a spreadsheet of what I earn and what products I have received in exchange for blog posts on a month by month case. This does make my job as a blogger busier, because I have to give these companies dates and I need to abide by them and provide high-quality content! I am also a perfectionist, so I probably spend way too much time working on these posts… I aim to please!

I have started to think about starting an Etsy shop more and more and the first idea I had, I decided to scratch… mainly, because the product I would create would take me WAY too long and I just wouldn’t be making enough money off it for the time involved. I have recently thought of a new idea and I will probably start to work on it more once the kids are back in school.

Some blog goals I have currently:
  • Get 2-3 weeks ahead in blog posts, chart these out in an editorial calendar. This WON’T happen until the kids are back in school. They keep me WAY too busy right now. And, it won’t happen if they get sick as much as they did last winter. I don’t even want to go there again!
  • Implement 2 crafts a week on the blog instead of one.
  • Work on my blogging to-do list. This is a list of items to help grow my blog that require a little research and work on my part. The problem is that I am so busy working on content (blog posts) for the blog, that I don’t spend a lot of time working on strategy and growth. I need to stop spinning the hamster wheel, I need to start working on my dreams for this space.
  • Go to a blog conference with some blog friends. This will be hard, because I have never traveled alone and I am my kids main provider.
  • Do an Instagram Loop Giveaway - I have yet to do one of these and I am sort of interested in doing one
  • Continue to work on blog relationships with other bloggers/companies 

Well, that is it. I bet no one has read this far ;) I have also thought about 2016 goals and I still think I want to do MONTHLY goals instead of yearly goals. I have done yearly goals for so long that I am ready for a change.


Now for this weeks Meal Plan:

Meal Plan Week 67

Sunday - Order Dinner In

Monday - Gazpacho and Homemade Bread, recipe HERE

Tuesday - Boiled then BBQ'ed Beer Brats with Corn, Avocado & Tomato salad, recipe HERE and HERE

Wednesday - Crock Pot Pasta with Leftover Homemade Bread, recipe HERE
I've made this several times and it is so easy and tasty!

Thursday - Sunset Paddle Boat Picnic, CAN'T wait! I might sneak some extra snacks on our paddleboat, too... such as some MACAROONS! I have been craving them!
Brian and I do this every summer, I think this will be our fourth summer having a paddle boat picnic with the sun setting in the Grand Basin in Forest Park by the art museum. Even better yet, the put a bottle of Pinot Noir wine in our basket. :)

Friday - Baked Potato Bar
This is always such a huge hit with the kids. I make regular and sweet potatoes with baked beans, bacon, cheesy broccoli on the side.

Saturday - DOUBLE SLEEPOVER NIGHT, pizza to go!
Nathan and Autumn are both having friends over for their first EVER sleepovers. Oh, I hope I get some sleep that night. ;) We will be having pizza and some snacks such as fresh stove top Cub Scout popcorn!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Thursday Fashion Files Link Up #20 - 4th of July Outfit Inspiration

Welcome to Thursday Fashion Files!

Welcome to Thursday Fashion Files with Jill at Doused in Pink and Carrie at Curly Crafty Mom! We are excited to have you here and would love to have you link up one of your latest outfits with us.

We are always looking for Co-Hosts for Thursday Fashion Files. If you haven't signed up to Co-Host, but are interested, sign up by clicking HERE.

I am on vacation this week (yeah, DISNEY), so I don't have a new outfit to share... however, I am sure a lot of you are wondering what you will wear on the upcoming 4th of July holiday. During the Memorial Day holiday, I wore red, white and blue all THREE days and shared them on Instagram. I wanted to share those outfits here (just in case you don't already follow me on Instagram, follow me by clicking HERE):

Think I might just wear ❤️red❤️ ⚪️white⚪️ and ��blue�� all weekend! Hope y'all are enjoying the long holiday weekend! �� #redwhiteandbluefashion #anchorshorts #iwantaredtruck #denimvest #out

Sharing my ❤️red❤️ ⚪️white⚪️ and ��blue�� outfit! My red is a bracelet, nail polish and oh, the ��cherries�� Autumn is holding! Isn't Autumns yellow dress from #target the cutest? :

Happy Memorial Day!!!  Sharing my last ❤️red❤️ ⚪️white⚪️ and ��blue�� outfit today! Can you guess where I'm headed?!! ������⚾️⚾️⚾️����:sungla

chambray
Rachel from Garay Treasures was kind enough to do a guest post this week for me. If you haven't checked it out, you can learn 5 Ways to Wear and Style Chambray in the Spring and Summer by clicking HERE.

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Guest Co-Host:
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Iris from La Moumous is our co-host this week. Iris goes by Moumous and is a marketing/sales professional by day and a fashion blogger by night. She is a wife and mother to a sweet little girl. Iris is into anything that has to do with fashion (style, hair care, skin care, etc.) and just wants to help other women become more confident about themselves.

Follow Iris:
BloglovinFacebookTwitterInstagramGoogle+ , Pinterest


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We will each select a Top Two every week... visit both hosts blogs to see if YOU were chosen. 

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Laura from Why I Do DeClaire is my pick this week. She is wearing a neon yellow top from J. Crew, in one of my favorite summer colors! The necklace, pink purse and her nail and watch face color work so well with it in a subtle way.

Now let's get linking!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Simple and Quick Disney Tie-Dye Shirts

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For our Disney trip, I wanted to make some personalized shirts for all of us to wear one day. I really didn't think Brian would want to participate, but he was sad I didn't make him a shirt (wife fail!). :( Unfortunately, I would have made him one if I wouldn't have waited till the last minute to make ours. I guess there is always next time and he does have a Mickey Mouse shirt I got him at Old Navy for our last trip that he can wear (and that he ONLY wears when we are at Disney! ha!). 


NatAut1
When I looked on Pinterest for ideas, I saw that for the regular Mickey tie-dyed shirts, you needed to sew a Mickey face and then go around it with a bleach pin afterwards. Bleh, too much work! I was busy getting their Mickey Mail ready, packing for THREE (thank goodness Brian packs himself) and trying to get everything set on the blog before we left... I wanted a SIMPLE tie-dye idea for a shirt!

SO, let me introduce you to a SIMPLE and QUICK Disney Tie-Dye Shirt method:

Supplies

The supplies were really basic:

  • Sharpie Fine Point Markers
  • Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Rubberbands
  • 1 Large Cup or Bowl
  • 2 Smaller Cups or Bowls
(I landed up using glass Pyrex bowls in two sizes instead of the plastic cups)


Directions1_Big-Bowl
First, take the larger bowl and rubber band it onto the shirt. You'll want to do this in the middle of the shirt, so that you have room for the 'Mickey ears' above it.


Directions2_Draw-Mickey
Draw a Mickey shape and a few dots and lines around it in the center of the space that you have rubber banded. This area that you draw should be no larger than a quarter in size.


dropper
Take a dropper and drop several drops of the isopropyl alcohol over the sharpie design. Do this until it bleeds all the way around the circular area that you have rubber banded off.


Directions4_Bled

This is what it will look like once the sharpie has bled all the way around the circle.

Let this area dry. Once dry, remove the bowl and insert some cardboard in the shirt to prevent any bleed through to the back. I had some rectangle cardboard cake boards that I used to prevent bleed through.


Directions5_Ears
Now, take your two smaller bowls and overlap them a little with the bigger circle. Rubber band the shirt to the two smaller bowls. These will be the 'Mickey ears'.


Directions6_Ears-Filled

Repeat the same steps you did for the first bowl, such as drawing the Mickey sharpie design and then dropping isopropyl alcohol on it.


Directions7_Final-Shirt

Let it dry for 5-10 minutes, then remove the bowls and let the entire shirt dry completely. Turn inside out and put in the dryer to set the colors. Then you can wash it in the regular wash once before you wear it.


Shirts-on-Grass1

Shirts-on-Grass2


MeandKids
This was a fun project, especially since we did different colors for each shirt! I think I like how Nathan's and Autumn's turned out more than my shirt! However, I kind of wanted my shirt to match my comfy melon shorts, so I'd have an excuse to wear them to the park... so, I'm good. :)

Me

I can't wait to wear these fun Mickey shirts on our Disney trip and the best part is the shirt is mostly white (and therefore cool!) and the Mickey faces we tie-dyed on them are such fun, bright colors... YAY! Bring on Disney!

Monday, June 29, 2015

5 Ways to Wear and Style Chambray in the Spring & Summer {Guest Post}

fivewaystowearchambrayHello Carrie's readers, I am Rachel of garaytreasures.com and I am so happy to be guest posting today while Carrie and her little family enjoy their time soaking up Disneyworld (lucky). I have known Carrie for about a year now "in the blog world" and feel she is one of those bloggers I cannot wait to meet up with and talk with in person about her DIY and fashion projects on her cute little porch filled with most of her DIY decor and creations. While I wish I was more DIY friendly I blog a lot about fashion, faith and inspiration over in my neck of the woods. Would love to meet you! Today I am going to talk about this lovely chambray top and how I have styled it and worn it for the warmer seasons (Spring and Summer) as I am sure I will be wearing this top throughout the year and will revisit my styling of it in the fall and winter seasons as well. I am going to cover 5 ways to wear chambray for these warmer months and give a link back to each outfit as I have worn it in past posts.

1). Chambray top over white pants
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Chambray buttoned up and as a top over white pants. I love how crisp and airy this chambray top looks with denim white pants. Add some pops of bold colored blue and the chambray stands out even more. For this particular look I added some edgier accessories to give an unexpected add on to an otherwise sophisticated and polished look. You can check out the original post here


2). Chambray top tied around the waist
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When the spring and summer days begin it can be quite chilly outside or perhaps in some indoor facilities so a chambray button up top is my go to cover up for times like these. When it gets hot just tie it around your waist for a fun, cool kid on the block look that almost reminds me of the 90's (remember sweatshirts and over-sized checkered plaid grunge like tops being tied around the waist?). Check out the post here


3). Chambray top belted over a casual Little White Dress
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I love a perfect Little White Dress, especially this crochet one so adding a belted chambray top and some cognac and glittered details takes this little white dress to a whole new level. This Little White Dress is now more dressed up casual and definitely perfect for a girls night out or day with family. See original post here. 


4). Chambray top buttoned up and tied knot over a bold colored dress
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This tied up chambray top will work for probably any dress but here I choose to use a floral one. I choose this floral dress because the chambray actually softens the bold colors and print in the dress. See original post here


5). Chambray top over a pastel striped dress and with a sunhat
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I believe this is probably my favorite way of wearing chambray, over a pastel sundress and fun sun hat for not only protection against unwanted rays but for an added chic look. See original post here.


Which of these 5 ways was your favorite? Which have you tried before? How do you style your chambray tops for spring and summer weather? 

You can connect with Rachel of Garay Treasures by Bloglovin, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest. Oh and she has an etsy shop for when she is creative with DIY projects here, Check out some products in stock below:

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Motivational Monday Link Up Party - 6/29/15


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Welcome back to another week of the Motivational Monday Link Up Party! This weekend we will be heading to DISNEY for a fun little vacation. Its been two years and I can't wait to feel the magic that lives in abundance there! You can follow our trip on my Instagram account (follow me HERE), I'll be posting LOTS of pictures.

I'll leave you with a few photos from our recent trip to Grant's Farm that is one of our favorite day spots in St. Louis (and you can't beat the TWO free AB beers they give you!):

At Grant's Farm today with the fam ������☀️ #summerfun #grantsfarm #tramride Untitled
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This is going to be messy... ❤️������ #grantsfarm #summerfun #snocones Untitled
Untitled Enjoying a free Stella Artois, my favorite beer! ������������ #grantsfarm #beer #budbeer #summerfun


Latest projects from the ladies of Motivational Monday:
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Free Printable Inspirational Quote from Burlap and Babies.
Sew A Fitted Skirt for a Keyboard Stand from The DIY Mommy.
A Little Planspiration from Sew Much Crafting.
Double Chocolate S’Mores Without The Campfire from The Southern Couture.
Patriotic Ribbon Wreath from Making It In The Mitten.
Mickey Mail from Curly Crafty Mom.
All Natural Shoe Deodorizer from Dwelling In Happiness.
Embroidery Hoop Art DIY from The Logbook.


This Week on Curly Crafty Mom:

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Now on to this week’s party!

Meet Your Hosts
If you aren’t already following along with these ladies, we’ve made it super easy to follow, like, tweet, and pin with us. Be sure to check everyone out! Remember, when you link up with us, you get seen not just on my blog but on these other fabulous ladies blogs as well.


Burlap and Babies
Blog | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter | Bloglovin’

The DIY Mommy
Blog | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | Bloglovin’

Dwelling in Happiness
Blog | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter | Google+ | Bloglovin’

Curly Crafty Mom
Blog | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter | Bloglovin’

Sew Much Crafting
Blog | Etsy | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Google+ 
Bloglovin'

Making It In The Mitten
Blog | Etsy |  Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter | Bloglovin’

The Dempster Logbook
Blog | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter | Bloglovin' 


The Southern Couture
Blog | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter | Google+ | Bloglovin’ 


MM Party Rules

Ready to share what has been motivating you this past week? Link up a recent post of yours, something that motivates you to create or just be awesome! Our goal is for this link up to focus on craft, DIY, & home posts so please try to remember that when linking up. 
  • Limit it to three links per week and remember to link directly to your post, not your blog. 
  • Do not link stores, giveaways, or other link parties. 
  • Be sure to hop around some of the other posts that have been linked up to share the love and get motivated by what others have been up to…because of course, this is Motivational Monday after all.
Each week, your hosts will choose a few posts to feature from the previous week. If you want a chance at being featured, you must follow all of the hosts. By linking up, you agree to let each host share your photo and link back to your site. Link party goes live Sunday 6pm PST and ends Thursday at 5pm PST.

Feel free to grab a Motivational Monday button in the sidebar to put on your own blog if you want to help spread the love!


MM Feature

Patriotic Mantel
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Cathy from Vintage, Paint and more... created this vintage patriotic mantel to keep up ALL summer-long for the Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day holidays! How wise is that? I really like her wooden vintage backdrop and the burlap wreath that is hung on it, too. On the chalkboard she plans to write something different for each holiday (i.e.: Holiday, etc.).

Don’t forget to grab this button if you’ve been featured. Copy the HTML in the box below to display the button.

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