Terrific Thursday Blog Hop! Week 42

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Welcome to Terrific Thursday blog hop, hosted by Rondi from WAHM Resource Site and Vicky from Mess For Less. Together, we are hoping to create an awesome weekly blog hop to find new blogs and meet new blog friends.

The Guidelines for participating in the Terrific Thursday blog hop are as follows:

1. Please grab the blog hop button to spread the word. 
2. Please follow the two hosts and guest host – WAHM Resource Site and Mess For Less, and guest host  Domestically Seasoned via Google Friend Connect (feel free to follow on Twitter and Facebook as well).
3. Please do not link up your giveaways, blog hops, etc. (These will be deleted.)
Link up your blog, visit and follow the blogs that interest you and have fun! If you follow our blogs and leave a comment, we will always follow you back!

Now, let’s get blog hoppin’ and have some fun!

You only need to add your link to one linky for it to show up on all participating blogs. The linkys will open every Wednesday by 11:30pm CST


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Kid Made Christmas Ornaments

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We just put up our tree and the kids were excited to decorate it with some ornaments that they made.  I was thrilled with how they came out and how easy they were to make.  With a few simple supplies that you probably already own, you can make some fun and whimsical Christmas ornaments with your little ones.

christmas ornaments made by kids, popsicle stick ornaments
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Pattern Block Math Game

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When I taught Kindergarten, one of my favorite teaching tools were pattern blocks.  Kids can explore  mathematical concepts such as shapes, symmetry, fractions and much more.  You can also create some really great art using these blocks.

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Guest Post from Teaching "Good" Eaters: Making Oobleck

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I am so excited today because Julie from Teaching "Good" Eaters is here to share a fun and messy kids activity with us.  Over at Teaching "Good" Eaters, Julie helps all of us parents of picky eaters (I know I am not the only one!) find ways to make eating more fun and less stressful.  I am all for that and I always find plenty of good kid friendly recipes and ideas there.  


I am so pleased to be able to guest post here at “Mess for Less!” When I discovered Vicky’s blog, and saw the title, one thing stood out in my mind: Oobleck!  If there’s one thing that is both very messy, and very inexpensive- It is Oobleck.

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Heaven is for Real for Kids

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I received the book "Heaven is for Real for Kids" to review.  The book, published by Thomas Nelson,  is by Colton Burpo as told to his parents Todd and Sonja Burpo. When Colton was 4 he was hospitalized and claims to have visited heaven and come back.  This book chronicles his experiences there and his message that Jesus really loves children.  The book is recommended for kids ages 4-8.  I shared it with my 3 year old and she really enjoyed it and was able to follow along as I read.

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Food Fun Friday - Christmas Tree Bread

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This easy kids recipe is the perfect way to celebrate the Christmas season.  My kids loved making their own snack, and who doesn't like an edible activity?  When you see how simple it is to make Christmas Tree bread, you might just add it to your list of Christmas activities.

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Thankful Thoughts

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We will resume the Terrific Thursday Blog Hop next week!  Happy Thanksgiving!

I don't write a lot of personal things here on Mess For Less, but seeing as it is Thanksgiving,  I thought I would make a list of things I am thankful for this year.  I figure with today being consumed with food, family and football, few people will actually read this anyway.

Things I am thankful for


1.God
This has been a great year in terms of my growing relationship with God.  He is better to me than I can ever deserve.  Along this vein, I am thankful for finding a wonderful church where I can be me and meet other Christians on this walk.

2.My husband
There are a bunch of adjectives I can use to describe this guy, but in the beginning and end he is my best friend.  He is the only person who knows what the last 3 years of parenting have been like.  He still comes home happy and hopeful at the end of the day.  He makes every day better.

3. The kids
These 3 are the source of my greatest joy and frustration.  I guess I have summed up being a parent.  I can't imagine my life without three little girls who make the world a better place.

4. My mom's health
If you've had a loved one who has had health issues, you can relate.  My mom has been very blessed in terms of healing and since then I try to never take her health for granted.  Every day is a gift.

5. Friends and family
Thanks for putting up with me.

The rest is all stuff.  Happy Thanksgiving.  Go hug the things on your list.  You better not be hugging your TV.
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Paper Roll Turkey

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It's the last Thanksgiving craft before the big day.  This simple paper roll turkey is great to have the kids do while you are preparing  the most hyped meal of the year. Pair it with these adorable Turkey Placecards. I bet most of you already have the supplies for this fun kids craft. And if you don't now, you will soon.

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Review: PlasmaCar

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My lucky kids were thrilled to test drive a PlasmaCar recently.  We have seen them in the past at Costco and at a local children's play place, and I knew it would be a hit with the kids.


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Fall Tree with Suncatcher Leaves

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You know I love me some inexpensive crafts activities. Well, hold on to your wallets because today's is a good one!  I happened to have all the supplies already. If you are missing some, a quick trip to your local dollar store will remedy that. Today we will be making a Fall tree with suncatcher leaves.  For more fall tree ideas, you can try Painting a Q Tip Fall Tree or a Fall Fingerprint Tree.

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Review and Giveaway: Alphabeasts

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My girls were thrilled to receive a sample of  Alphabeasts recently.  Have you seen these things?  They may look like a lovable plush toy, but they are much more than that.  Each Alphabeasts boasts a letter of the alphabet and has been designed to help teach kids their letters and spelling.


Lets take a closer look...

We got a "P" Alphabeasts creature which is bright pink on one side with a lowercase green p, and green on the other side with an uppercase pink P.  Each beast is two sided to double the learning fun. My girls prefer the pink side - go figure!  Each of the Alphabeasts have a name and distinct personality.  The one with the letter P is called Pogey, and according to the Alphabeasts website, if there is a bright side "this little clown will help you discover it."

To say the girls loved Pogey is an understatement.  I first gave him to the kids to play with and explore and lots of hugs and kisses were shared.

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Fall Fingerprint Trees

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It is finally starting to feel like Fall and the activities we have been doing reflect that. The kids are having fun with Fall Tree Window Painting and Fall Leaves with Black Glue. Today we will share how to use your fingers to create these Fall Fingerprint Trees.
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Food Fun Friday - Guest Post from Mostly Food and Crafts - Pumpkin Cake Cookies

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I have a treat for you all today and it's just in time for Thanksgiving.  Danielle from Mostly Food and Crafts is guest posting and sharing her recipe for Pumpkin Cake Cookies.  If you are like me, you love anything pumpkin this time of year.  These would make a great addition to any Thanksgiving day feast.  For more yummy recipes and craft inspiration check out her blog.  Take it away Danielle!  

I am so excited to posting here at Mess For Less today!  Thank you for having me Vicky.
I will start off by telling you a bit about my favorite room in my house -my favorite room in the house is the kitchen, not because it's glamorous (because it is not) but because it's where my family loves to come together and create some amazing memories.  We really do live in our kitchen - I have more pictures of my kids cooking with us than anything else - I recently started a picture wall in the kitchen for these great memories (I also have a camera that is always sticky - oh well.) Besides memories, we cook up a recipe or two  - like this yummy treat! Fall break was a few weeks back, during the kids week at home we literally cooked our way through the vacation.  We made Pumpkin Pie Smoothies one day and Slow Cooker Applesauce another.  We also made these great Pumpkin Cake Cookies! 

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Thrifty Thursday - How to Shop For Groceries Part 2

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When last I left you, you were learning how to save money at the grocery store with the first part in this series.  Were you able to incorporate any of my tips into your shopping this week?  I hope so!  Here are some more money saving tips for how to budget at the grocery store.

Image: Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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Fall Hand Print Wreath

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One of our favorite things to do is paint.  With the weather turning cooler we were inspired to make some Fall prints. In the past we have made Fall Fingerprint Trees. Today we made Fall prints in a different way. These prints are simple and fun for kids to create, but they can be used to make some more elaborate crafts like this Fall Hand Print Wreath.
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Fall Leaves Using Black Glue

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Around Halloween time, I saw the coolest project on Madtown Macs.  They used black glue to create some spooky Halloween pictures.  We never had time to make those pictures, but with Fall upon us, we made some Fall leaves using black glue. We have since use black glue for other projects such as Black Glue and Watercolor Pumpkins and Hearts with Black Glue.
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Guest Post from Jamie's Jumble - Turkey Decor Project

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Today Jamie, from Jamie's Jumble is visiting us and she has a great Turkey activity that will get you into the Thanksgiving spirit.  My favorite thing is that you can make this fun turkey using items you find at the dollar store.  Can you see why I am a big fan of Jamie's?  Jamie loves to craft and lucky for us she really loves sharing her crafts with others.  Please pay her a visit and say hi!  

I am SOOOOOOOO EXCITED to be able to guest blog here with Vicky on Mess for Less. I'm just tickled pink! I hope you all enjoy this fun project that has added smiles and Thanksgiving Brightness to our house!

Kid Friendly Turkey Decor Project:

Supplies Needed:
  • Heavy paper like poster board, card stock etc...(I found mine at Dollar Tree!)
  • Turkey Design
  • White Glue
  • Any fun things you can find! We used glitter, food sprinkles, tissue paper, popcorn kernels, colored pasta, shaped pasta, cereals
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Food Fun Friday - Guest Post from Homegrown Beanes: Candy Bar Shortbread Squares

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I am thrilled today to introduce you to Mamie from Homegrown Beanes!  She is a busy wife and mom of 3 who loves cooking and homemaking.  If you are looking for some great menu ideas and inspiration, you will want to check out her blog.  As the mom of a child with allergies, she has some great allergy friendly recipes on her blog as well. Today, Mamie is sharing a recipe for yummy shortbread squares made with candy bars.  You drooling yet?

We have a pill of Halloween candy lying around here.  A bunch of what we got was chocolate candy and candy that contained String Beane's allergens.  So, Mr. Homegrown and I have been "secretly" eating some when we thought the other wasn't looking.  There are candy wrappers stuffed all over the office and our cars!  Who are we kidding? 

I needed to do something to stop the maddness of the candy.  I saw a couple cute ideas on Pinterest that I decided to morph together.  It worked out great! 

First up was to get rid of some of the candy!  I found this recipe for Candy Bar Shortbread Squares and I gave it a try.  They turned out so good!  I was glad I had a plan to give them away. 

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Review and Giveaway: 100 Devotions, 100 Bible Songs

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I received the book "100 Devotions, 100 Bible Songs" to review and I am so excited to share my thoughts with you!  This book comes with a special bonus 2 full length CD's of great Bible music. Written by Stephen Elkins and published by Thomas Nelson, this book will help your child get into the habit of daily devotions using praise music, scripture and prayer.

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Thrifty Thursday - How to Shop For Groceries

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Last week, in my post on budgeting, I touched on how we save money by doing some smart grocery shopping.  I received emails from readers asking for details on how to save at the grocery store, so I thought I would address that here. I have come to realize that it's not just one thing that will bring big savings.  But, there are many little things you can do that will add up to big savings over time.  These ideas might not work for everyone, but they did enable us to reduce our grocery bill by 30%.  I don't want to overwhelm you with a lot of information at once, so this will be the first in a series on saving at the grocery store.

Image: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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Terrific Thursday Blog Hop! Week 40

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Welcome to Terrific Thursday blog hop, hosted by  Rondi from WAHM Resource Site and Vicky from Mess For Less. Together, we are hoping to create an awesome weekly blog hop to find new blogs and meet new blog friends.

Each week we will pick a random blog to be the guest host. This weeks guest host for the #3 spot is Blog Hops Everyday!


The Guidelines for participating in the Terrific Thursday blog hop are as follows:

1. Please grab the blog hop button to spread the word. 
2. Please follow the two hosts and guest host – WAHM Resource Site and Mess For Less, and guest host Blog Hops Everyday via Google Friend Connect (feel free to follow on Twitter and Facebook as well).
3. Please do not link up your giveaways, blog hops, etc. (These will be deleted.)
Link up your blog, visit and follow the blogs that interest you and have fun! If you follow our blogs and leave a comment, we will always follow you back!

Now, let’s get blog hoppin’ and have some fun!

You only need to add your link to one linky for it to show up on all participating blogs. You only need to add your link to one linky for it to show up on all participating blogs. The linkys will open every Wednesday by 11:30pm CST.



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Blog Swap with One Artsy Mama: Turkey Placecards

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I so excited today to be doing a blog swap with One Artsy Mama.  What's a blog swap?  Basically, Amy from One Artsy Mama, is posting her today and I will be posting a Fall Tree craft over at her blog.  So you get 2 fun ideas for the price of 1.  

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Our Mega Bloks Party!

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Recently, I was chosen to host a MommyParty by Mega Bloks.  I was so excited to share a product that my kids already love with other kids and mommies. Before the party, I was sent some great Mega Bloks in totes to share with the party-goers.  Guests got to chose a Garden Friends Tote or the Jungle Animals Tote. Each tote came with 18 pieces that kids could use to create adorable critters.  What made these two totes so special was that they came with stickers that kids could place on the blocks to make critters such as ladybugs and bumblebees or zebras and giraffes.


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Guest Post at The Outlaw Mom

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Today I have a guest post over at The Outlaw Mom.  I am sharing how I made Fingerprint Fall Trees with the kids.  This is an easy kids craft I know you will love.

Here is a sneak peek:
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Watercolor Art You Can't Resist

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Today I will be sharing a kids activity that I did as a guest post for Come Together Kids.  Incase you missed it, it's an easy and inexpensive art project that is fun for kids of all ages.

This is one I re-purposed from my teaching days called "Watercolor Tape Resist".  Years ago, when I did this project with elementary-aged kids, I used blue painter's tape.  I would recommend this to you.  I didn't have any blue painters tape the day I wanted to do this, so I improvised and used masking tape.  I figured maybe it would stick a little more but it wouldn't be too bad.  It stuck a lot!  But it wasn't too bad.  If you plan on using these as art, you would want to use the painter's tape for sure.  But for my purposes, the masking tape worked, though it tore the top layer off of some of the paper.

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Leaf People

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Last time I was at the dollar store I noticed some leaf cutouts in the seasonal section.  These were not paper leaves, more like the kind you would find on a garland.  I bought them, thinking I would use them in a holiday display. But with life being what it is, the leaves never made it into any display.  They did make it into the back of my supply closet, also known as the "closet of mystery" since we never quite know what's inside.  

While searching for something else the other day, I found the leaves and wondered what fun kids activity I could do with them.  I came up with Leaf People, the cute little guys you see above.
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Food Fun Friday - Fall Scene

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I was totally inspired to create this plate from a meal I saw on Pinterest from Meet the Dubiens.  I have added my own touches based on what I had available and what I know my kids will eat.  For instance, the house in the inspiration is a chicken sandwich.  In my wildest dreams my kids would eat a chicken sandwich.  In real life, not so much.  So I made some substitutions.  Use whatever you have around you to build off your inspiration.

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Guest Post at While He Was Napping

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I am so thrilled today to have a guest post at While He Was Napping!


Thanks to Krista for allowing me to share with her readers.  I adore this site for all it's creative ideas for every aspect of your life.  Looking for home decor and organizing tips?  She's got them.  Kids ideas, recipes?  She's got that too.  Crafts, fashion, beauty?  Yes.  What are you you waiting for?  Head on over there and see for yourself. 

While you are there check out our Fall Handprint Wreath.  Here's a sneak peek!

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Thrifty Thursday - The Importance of a Budget

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I am so excited to be launching a new series on Mess For Less called Spend LESS, Save More!  As a stay-at-home Mom I am always looking for ways to save money and bring in some extra cash.  Every Thrifty Thursday I will be sharing money saving tips that have helped my family have more with LESS!

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Terrific Thursday Blog Hop! Week 39

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Welcome to Terrific Thursday blog hop, hosted by  Rondi from WAHM Resource Site and Vicky from Mess For Less. Together, we are hoping to create an awesome weekly blog hop to find new blogs and meet new blog friends.

The Guidelines for participating in the Terrific Thursday blog hop are as follows:

1. Please grab the blog hop button to spread the word. ***If you have any trouble with the above button- grab the button from the sidebar.
2. Please follow the two hosts and guest host – WAHM Resource Site and Mess For Less, and guest host Chasing Rainbow via Google Friend Connect (feel free to follow on Twitter and Facebook as well).
3. Please do not link up your giveaways, blog hops, etc. (These will be deleted.)
Link up your blog, visit and follow the blogs that interest you and have fun! If you follow our blogs and leave a comment, we will always follow you back!

Now, let’s get blog hoppin’ and have some fun!

You only need to add your link to one linky for it to show up on all participating blogs. You only need to add your link to one linky for it to show up on all participating blogs. The linkys will open every Wednesday by 11:30pm CST.
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Box Cars and Trains

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Who says you need to buy new toys to entertain kids?  The idea for this fun homemade toy came from my kids.  We had gotten a delivery in an Amazon box and Little C crawled in and sat down.  If you have more than one kid you can guess what happened next.  Her sisters, A and B started arguing about who was going to sit in the box.  So off to the garage I trudged to look for some more boxes.  I found a few and each girl now had her own box.  
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Paper Bag Donkeys - Donkey Crafts for Kids

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Paper Bag Donkeys - with free printable! We made these as we learned about the Easter story.

With Easter approaching, I have been talking with my kids about the Easter story. While at church child care, the children did a fun donkey craft and this was inspired by that.  I was so impressed with what could be done with a paper bag and some felt.  Here are the simple steps - plus a free printable- so you can make these Paper Bag Donkeys at home.
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