Blogland Tour

I was asked to write about what goes on behind the scenes at Create & Babble as part of a tour through blogland. I was introduced on the tour by Sondra at Sondra Lyn at Home.

I had the pleasure of meeting Sondra this summer at a blogging conference and she was just as sweet in person as she is on her blog. We hit it off right away. Probably because we’re from the same generation and we are both newish grandmothers! I must admit that I’m a little green with envy that she gets to stay home and watch her precious grandson everyday ; )

Sondra’s blog is not only full of great decorating ideas, but also tips and tricks. Like this one where she tells us how to preserve pumkins:

How-to-Preserve-Pumpkins-for-Decor-Sondra-Lyn-at-Home1 And she’s crafty, too. Look at these cute notepads:


There’s so much eye candy at SondraLyn At Home!


As part of this blogland tour, I am to answer four questions. Here we go!

1. What am I working on?

Right now, I am finishing up the remodeling my powder room. Some times I tell myself that I bit off more than I can chew, but I have to say that it’s been quite the learning process. There have been a lot of firsts for me in this project. Like installing glass tile for the first time and removing and replacing wood trim. Both of those turned out to be a lot easier than I thought. Another first is installing crown molding. As of this minute I am failing terribly but I’m not waving a white flag….yet! UPDATE: it turned out pretty good!

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

That’s easy. Because it’s ME talking. And it’s MY experience that I’m sharing.  And it will be different from any other blogger. Of course you may see some similar projects around blogland, but we all have our own individual writing styles, senses of humor, and ways of doing things that aren’t alike at all.

3. Why do I write/create what I do?’

Another easy question for me. Because I LOVE IT! I have never felt so passionate about anything before in my life (besides family, of course). This blog is my fourth child! I often think how different my life would be now if all of this would have been available when I was in my 20’s or 30’s.

4. How does your writing/ creating process work?

This is a tough one. I honestly fly by the seat of my pants most days. I wish I could say that I’m so organized and planned into the future, but I’m not. Maybe some day this can become my full-time job and I’ll be more organized, but for now this is how it is ; ) And it seems to be working out okay. I just make what I want to make and then talk about it. Yep, that’s my writing/creating process: making pretty things, making things pretty and then talking about it! Simple as that!

Now, I’d like to introduce you to two blogging friends of mine. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you may recognize them since they have contributed here in the past.

The first is Maureen from Red Cottage Chronicles. Maureen and I have been online friends for a few years and we’re hoping to meet in person next year at a blog conference.

Hey All!  I am Maureen from Red Cottage Chronicles.  I have a passion for baking and love to share my adventures in my tiny cottage kitchen.  I am currently navigating my way through part-time studies to achieve my baking certificate from a local culinary school.  I am married for 28 years to my high school sweetheart who is always more than happy to be the official taste tester! 

for jeanie

Did you just gain 10 pounds looking at those desserts, ’cause I think I did!

Now meet my funny, smart, and very talented friend Leilani from Keeping Up With Mrs. Smith.

Hello! I’m Mrs. Smith and I live in a fixer-upper with Mr. Smith and two cats. When I’m not eating scones and enjoying coffee in our sleeping porch, I’m making some other kind of food or fixing up some other room in the house. I’m all about upcycling, dinner parties, growing food, the smell of dirt, and kitty snuggles.

Mrs Smith collage

Leilani recently updated her “rumpus room” as part of the same 30-day room challenge that I’m doing. I’m sure she’d love to show you how she took upcycling to a whole, new level!

Lavender and Mason Jars

Hi friends! Thank you to everyone who entered the Ball Jar giveaway. The winner has been notified and she will receive her prize pack in a couple of weeks. Speaking of the Ball Jars, I want to show you what I did with some of mine over the weekend. Painting mason jars is pretty popular right now so I had to give it a try. I have a big bunch of dried lavender that needed a home so I put the two together and came up with a pretty way to display both.

lavender and mason jars Since I don’t normally use a lot of the typical falls colors in my decorating, I thought this shade of purple would make a nice transition from Summer to Fall in my living room. And the fragrance from the lavender is heavenly.
I had enough paint, jars, and lavender to make three. One for me and two to giveaway as gifts.

This was a super easy project. I simply painted the jars with some acrylic craft paint, used a sanding sponge to add some distressing, and tied some torn scrap fabric around the top of each jar.

I tried to grown lavender this year but it didn’t make it. I had read that it’s easy to grow. Not for me. I did a little researching and it seems lavender likes well drained soil. Maybe that was the problem. Do you grow lavender successfully? If so, I’d love to hear your secrets to success!

Vinyl Word Art

We’ve all seen word art, right? I find myself admiring all of the word art posters, boards, and canvases that I see but I don’t ever buy any. Why? Because I know I can make my own for practically nothing. Any time I see some that I like, I grab my iphone and take a picture with plans to make one similar using my Silhouette Cameo. And then the photos stay on my phone and I forget about them. Womp womp. Until now. word art |
I have had the following photo on my phone for at least a month.


These word art signs were at a store near me and I spotted them on my way to the check out and stopped to take a quick photo. I was originally going to make a stencil and paint the letters on a board.

But then I saw what Nancy, from Artsy Chicks Rule made. A word art sign using vinyl. Isn’t that pretty! Perfect for the kitchen! If you’ve never been to Artsy Chicks Rule, I urge you to go visit. She is super talented at re-inventing thrifty finds.

Well, since I seem to have amassed quite the stash of vinyl it was a no-brainer!

Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 8.08.31 PM

I used a font called FontleroyBrown and designed my word art to fit on the piece of wood that I had. The letters are about 3″ high. One trick I learned when working with vinyl is to draw rectangles around the shapes or words to make weeding easier.

If you would like to make your own word art like mine, feel free to download the Legacy version of the cut file here or if you use Version 3, use this one. (for personal use only) Using transfer tape, I removed the words from the vinyl backing and placed them on my board that I painted black with acrylic craft paint.

word-art-3-createandbabble The I slowly removed the transfer paper. It is so easy and fast!

vinyl-word-art-createandbabble I lightly sanded the edges of the board. This little project only took about 15 minutes to make. Can’t beat that!

vinyl-word-art I hung it above the patio doors in my living room using Command strips and love how it looks there. It’s a nice reminder to anyone walking out that door.


Silhouette Goodie Bag Giveaway

I have teamed up with seven of my blogging friends to host a Silhouette Goodie Bag Giveaway!

Image Map
1 Grand Prize Winner will get a prize pack valued at nearly $200 that includes:$25 Gift Cards to each:
My Vinyl Direct
Expressions Vinyl
Punch Place Plus
Square1 Masterpieces
approximately $80 worth of Silhouette goodies including:
1Silhouette Sketch Pen Starter Kit (Includes 10 free designs, 24 pens)
1 Silhouette Printable Sticker Paper
1 Silhouette Double Sided Adhesive Paper
1 Adhesive Magnet Paper
1 Rhinestone Template Kit
1 Pack of Assorted Rhinestones
1 Light Hold Cutting Mat (CAMEO)
1 Silhouette Replacement Blade
1 Fabric Blade
1 Clean Cut Interfacing
3 Winners will Each Get $25 Gift Cards to

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Discover P&Geveryday

Ever since I discovered that gardening may become a new hobby for me, I’m trying to learn a little bit about it. Now there are a lot of resources that I could use. There are countless websites, books in the libary, magazines, etc. that I can use. But I know me. I easily become overwhelmed with all the information that is available and I start to lose interest. I’m just looking for smaller doses of information that will help me succeed. I recently found a great resource that I want to tell you about.


It’s the P&Geveryday website. This website is is committed to making every day just a little easier by helping you achieve rewarding moments. Every day. P&Geveryday has a goal to inspire, support and empower you to unlock the extraordinary potential in your everyday life. I like that!

The site features content and resources on beauty, family, food, health, home and more – all alongside great offers from the innovative and trusted brands you know and love. All in one place!

What you will discover on P&Geveryday

  • Delicious recipes, beauty trends, and smart tips
  • New products to try out for yourself, family and home
  • Product ratings and reviews
  • Fresh ideas and inspiration
  • Coupons and samples from your trusted brands
  • And much more!

P&Geveryday is a website created by Procter & Gamble, a company that has been establishing brands for the past 175 years, helping people around the world have extraordinary days. Every day.

I just read the article under “Gardening” and quickly learned 7 watering tips. Good information for this novice gardener to know!


And there’s another about weeding……


….and how to attract hummingbirds.


I’d love for you to visit P&Geveryday and tell me how their ideas, advice or products can make it easy for you to enjoy life….every day!

You can follow P&Geveryday on Facebook, too!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Berry and Yogurt Parfaits

Berry and yogurt parfaits have long been my go-to everyday breakfast for years. I make them all year long, but now that berries are in season, I love them even more by making them with fresh berries instead of frozen. reddi-wip-sweeps

You know I don’t share a lot of recipes here, but when Reddi-wip told me about the Berry Joyful Sweepstakes taking place, I knew now was a perfect time to share how I use Reddi-wip topping. And you can too! Now through July 7, 2014, consumers can share their everyday Reddi-wip® berry-licious moments on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook using the #BerryJoyfulSweeps hashtag for the chance to win a trip for two to the 2015 Watsonville Strawberry Festival, Reddi-wip coupons or berry keepers. See the official rules.

Here’s how I make my berry and yogurt parfaits:

First I place cut-up strawberries in the bottom of a glass.

berry-yogurt-parfaits Then I add layers of yogurt (I use low-fat, sugar-free yogurt to keep ‘em healthy), granola, a little more yogurt, blueberries, then a squirt of Reddi-wip.


Each serving of Original, Extra Creamy and Chocolate Reddi-wip has only 15 calories. Each serving of Fat-Free Reddi-wip® is only five calories.

berry-yogurt-parfaits-createandbabble One of the reasons Reddi-wip® sounds, looks, and tastes so good is that it has always been made with real dairy cream—and never hydrogenated oils like some other whipped toppings.

Fore more recipes, visit the Reddi-wip® website.

Disclosure: I am participating in a Vibrant Influencer network campaign for Reddi-wip. I am receiving a fee for posting; however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I am in no way affiliated with Reddi-wip and do not earn a commission or percent of sales.

Country Living Fair Ticket Giveaway

I just received word that I have two tickets to giveaway to the Country Living Fair in Rhinebeck, New York! These two 3-day passes will grant admission to the Fair all three days, from June 6 to 8, and early admission (at 8:30amon Friday and Saturday.

CL Fair Rhinebeck 2014


WHAT: See the pages of Country Living magazine come to life, with three days of shopping, cooking, crafting and DIY demonstrations, as well as antique appraisals, and locally-sourced, artisanal food, in a fun, festival atmosphere.

WHEN: June 6, 7, 8, 10am-5pm

WHERE: Duchess County Fairgrounds, Rhinebeck, NY

WHO:   Guests will have an opportunity to meet the Country Living editors, as well as special guests, including:

  • Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell, “The Fabulous Beekman Boys”
  • Cari Cucksey,  star of HGTV’s Cash & Cari
  • Kelsey Nixon, star of Cooking Channel’s Kelsey’s Essentials
  • Michael Devine, entertaining and design expert
  • Designers Anne Maxwell Foster and Suysel dePedro Cunningham of Tilton Fenwick

Full list of celebrity guests and vendors:


  • Purchase tickets starting at $13 at
  • Admission is $13 in advance and $16 at the door; three-day weekend passes are available for $15 in advance and $20 at the door
  • An Early Bird Three-Day Weekend Pass is available for $40 (in advance only) and grants early admission at 8:30 a.m on Friday and Saturday
  • Free admission for children ages 16 and under.

On social media, attendees will be able to engage with @CountryLiving at the Fair by using the hashtag #CLFair.

A huge thank you to HomeTalk for giving me the opportunity to attend the Country Living Fair!

To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment! One winner will be chosen at random and I will announce the winner on Monday, June 2 at 09:00 EST. Good luck and see you at the fair!


Bicycle Storage Solution

Thanks goodness it’s bicycle riding weather! Finally! Dan and I hadn’t ridden our bikes since our Pedal to Pittsburgh last October. (If you’re new and didn’t read about our Pedal to Pittsburgh, you can read all about it here. We rode our bikes 180 from Cumberland, Maryland to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was a blast!) So yes, we are avid bicyclists. And we have bikes. A lot of bikes. Our basement is full of bikes. Which was the problem. Until recently.

Just look at them all lined up. So nice and neat. In one place. It wasn’t always like that.


 No, it looked more like this!


And this!


And sadly, like this : (

Until I heard about Monkey Bars Storage. Monkey Bars Storage gave us one of their Garage Bike Racks to install, use and review and let me tell you, we love it. Since we don’t have a garage, we put ours in the basement and since they are no studs in our unfinished basement, Dan had to borrow a friend’s hammer jack to drill the holes in the block for the screws for the brackets. But once that was done, the rest of the installation was done in minutes. The large bike rack holds up to six bikes and it only takes up four feet of wall space! Monkey Bars Storage also has a smaller 3-bike rack.


Monkey Bars Storage has lots of garage storage solution products.  Utilizing a patented design and all-steel components, the system provides innovative and durable storage solutions. The Monkey Bars system is designed to hold a lot of storage in a little amount of space. And since Monkey Bars components are made of steel and powder coated, you are getting solid products that will last.

Thanks to Monkey Bars Storage for helping de-clutter our basement bicycle mess!

Disclosure: I was provided product in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. As always, I only promote products that I use and love.

DIY Stenciled Honeycomb and Bee Pillow {With Stencil1 & FolkArt Paint}

This DIY Stenciled Honeycomb and Bee Pillow is sponsored by Plaid was sponsored by Ed Roth Stencil1 Stencils and FolkArt Multi-Surface Paints by Plaid Crafts.

Since it is supposedly Spring (or so the calendar says, but not the weatherman!), I’ve been busy bringing some Spring-time decor into my home. Even if it doesn’t feel like Spring outside, at least I can make it feel like Spring inside! I recently stenciled a white pillow cover using a new stencil from Stencil1 and FolkArt Multi-Surface Paints.

Now when I started using stencils many, many years ago, the stencil choices back then were, well…limited. And really not too original or inspiring. All of that has changed. These Stencil1 stencils are not your grandmother’s mother’s stencils! Stencil1 is a street art-inspired brand founded by artist, painter, graphic designer and DIY enthusiast Ed Roth.

The Ed Roth designs are so unique. The sets include a background pattern, a silhouette, and a detailed design that make it easy to achieve a truly artistic look. The large size (12 x 12) is perfect for larger surfaces such as walls, floors and furniture. The 6×6 designs are great for adding accents to smaller projects. Each stencil is made from mylar that is easy to clean with soap and water.

Here’s how I made my Stenciled Honeycomb and Bee Pillow:

Step One – Gather Supplies

  • Ed Roth Stencil1 Stencil
  • FolkArt Multi-Surface Paint
  • Stencil brushes
  • white broadcloth fabric for pillow cover
  • Painters Tape
  • Repositional spray adhesive
  • Sanding sponge
  • Paper towels
  • Paper plate

Step 2 – Stencil the Background


Dip the stencil brush into the paint and then dab and swirl the brush onto paper toweling until the brush seems dry and most of the paint has been removed. Using a circular motion, apply the paint over the stencil onto the fabric. I try not to fill in the entire shape to keep the design from looking flat.

To add more dimension to the honeycomb shapes, I went back over the design with just a hint of pink paint. That’s what I love about stenciling. You get to customize the look by using the paint colors of your choosing and match your decor!

Step 3 – Stencil the Bee

This where I got creative with the colors. Since I’m stenciling this pillow to coordinate with a floral pillow that I had previously made, I chose to pick up the colors in that pillow, so I used a bright green paint color for the silhouette of the bee. I sprayed some repositional adhesive to the back of the stencil to be sure the paint didn’t seep under the stencil and then swirled on the green paint.

Then I taped the details of the bee over the previously stenciled silhouette and got extremely creative by using purple paint. Hey, it’s your bee – you can make it any color you want! I do recommend FolkArt Multi-Surface Paint – they are great on any surface including both indoor and outdoor applications. They are even dishwasher safe!

A little trick of mine was to go over the bee with a sanding sponge ever so lightly. I think it makes the design look less painted-on and more like it’s woven into the fabric.

Now I have custom fabric to make my pillow cover. Look for a tutorial coming up soon on how I make pillow covers with a zipper! Gasp! Don’t worry, it’s not as hard as you think.

Step 4 – Stand back and admire your pretty pillow!

I love how it coordinates with the floral pillow and just screams Spring! That is what is so great about stenciling: making it your own. You can create beautiful things and customize them to work with your style and decor.

Whether you want to stencil a pillow cover, a wall, a canvas, placemat (well just about anything!), you can find the Ed Roth Stencil1 line at JoAnn Fabrics & Craft stores. To find more inspiring stencil and paint projects. visit Plaid Crafts on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. For even more inspiring Stencil1 ideas, see the projects below made by some very creative bloggers:

*This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Blue Print Social for Ed Roth Stencil1 Stencils and FolkArt Multi-Surface Paint by Plaid Crafts.  All opinions are 100% mine. For more information, see my disclosures here.

DIY Baby Girl Shower Invitations

The Princess is here! In case you missed the announcement on my Facebook Page, my granddaughter was born on February 23! She is a doll and I love her to pieces! I’ll show you a photo of her at the end of this post. But first I want to show you the invitations that I made for the baby shower back in January.

diy baby girl shower invitations by

In keeping with the pink, gray and white theme that was used in the decorations, I used the same colors for the invitations.

DIY baby girl shower invitations

And of course I had to use glitter! All princesses love glitter! And grandmothers. Grandmothers love glitter, too!

diy baby shower invitations by createandbabble

And a tiara, of course!

diy baby shower invitation using silhouette

These were fairly simple to make using the Print & Cut feature of the Silhouette.

  • I drew a rectangle to the size I wanted: 5 x 7.5″ for the invitation
  • I then filled the rectangle with a pink and white diagonal stripe pattern.
  • I grabbed a bracket frame and color filled it with white and placed it over the top portion of the rectangle
  • Then I drew a rounded rectangle filled with white which is where I typed the invitation details.
  • I used Janda Quirkygirl font for all of the text
  • Don’t forget to turn off the cut lines on the shapes that are inside of the rectangle.
  • Turn on the registration marks, print and cut!

diy baby shower invitations by

I cut the tiara out of glitter vinyl. You can barely see it, but in the photo above, I intentionally printed the shape of the tiara to help with placement of the teeny, tiny, fragile glitter vinyl tiara. The glittery dresses were made using Silhouette’s double-sided adhesive and Silhouette’s glitter. I just love that stuff; both the double-sided adhesive and the glitter. If you haven’t tried the Silhouette Glitter yet, I highly recommend it and I’m a bit of a glitter snob! And while you’re ordering the glitter, go ahead and order some of the double-sided adhesive, too. You’ll love it!
I love how they turned out and think they look better than the pricey store-bought invitations!

As promised, here’s peek at our princess!


Sweet, little Melanie!

Want to Check Out More Silhouette Projects?

My Silhouette Challenge buddies and I are all sharing projects on our blogs today, so peruse the projects below for a wealth of Silhouette inspiration!

The Great Lamp Rescue Barnyard Animal Paper Garland & Party Details Sweet and Simple Easter Bunny Card Owl Theme Baby Shower Ombre Paint Chip Earrings & Free Cut File Spring is Blooming Drop It (Like It's Hot) Hexagon Tray Spruce Up Your RECIPE BOOK Gift Card Giving Free Cut Files Custom outlines for stamps Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Juice Boxes Wine Themed Bridal Shower Learn How To Make A Sewn Paper Garland! Moroccan Thank You Card 3D Flower Spring Wreath For the Love of Paper: Cutting Embellishments Create Your Own St. Patrick's Day Cupcake Wrappers and Toppers Swimming Word Art St. Patrick's Day Lime White Chocolate Chips Cupcakes + Freebie You're invited to a dog party! I'm so Lucky! Spring Wreath with SIlhouette Cut Flowers Tiny Princesses Paper Dolls Colorful Quote with your Silhouette Get Well Bouquet with Persimmon Roses Greeting Card Holder Baby Shower Invitations How-To Create a Custom Pillowbox on Your Silhouette Machine + Free Cut File! Quality Time Jar Matchbox Cover with {FREE CUT FILE} DIY Baby Girl Shower Invitation Candy Alphabet Travel Game Paper Garland Pretty Paper Roses DIY Geometric Heart Journal Hand Made Decorations for a Pirate Party Wedding Shower Gift Heart Map Decoupaged Letters (A scanner + A Silhouette = Spectacular results!) Easter Pop-up Box Card with Sweet Sorbet Designer Paper from Stampin' Up! Better World Greeting Cards Star Wars Silhouette Canvas Monogrammed Gifts Make Printable Gift Wrap with your Silhouette Software Free Printable: Blank Banner with free Silhouette Cut File

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