August has arrived, and our love for light and delicious desserts hasn’t left for even a little bit! As I was scrolling online for some sweet inspiration, I came across this simple and delicious recipe for homemade lemon blueberry crumb bars, and I immediately went to work on purchasing ingredients! When you combine the tartness of the lemons with warm blueberries, what could possibly go wrong? The crumble bakes to become a warm yet light dish that doesn’t leave you feeling heavy, but wanting a second (or third) piece!
1 cup (8 ounces or 225 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 large egg
Juice of 1 lemon
½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
4 tsp cornstarch
4 cups fresh blueberries
Preheat the oven to 375° F and grease a 9×13 inch pan.
In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar, 3 cups flour, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the butter and egg. Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of the dough into the prepared pan.
In another bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Gently mix in the blueberries. Sprinkle the blueberry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer.
Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown. (This took an extra 10 to 15 minutes in my oven.) Cool completely before cutting into squares.
These little berry beauties can be refrigerated and stored for the future and make for an excellent dish idea for your next gathering! Pair them with some iced or hot tea for an afternoon snack made for royalty!
Nothing says summer quite like a homemade lemon pie! Creating this delectable dish doesn’t have to cost a fortune, or a ton of preparation. You can bake a professionally done pie with less than five ingredients, and all under $10. I’ve made this pie recipe for my family and various gatherings nearly a dozen times, and it always gets rave reviews! If you have about forty minutes to spare, this will be your new favorite dessert recipe, I promise!
What you’ll need:
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
1 Graham cracker pie crust
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. While your oven is heating, combine your two cans of sweetened condensed milk in a bowl with 2 tbsp of lemon zest. Use the same lemons to squeeze ¾ c lemon juice into the bowl. If you go a little over, that’s okay, it’ll just make it a little more tart. Crack in two eggs and combine into the mixture. Pour evenly into your graham cracker crust and bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours and serve. For an added sweet touch, top with whipped cream.
That’s it! Super simple, yet all you need to make the perfect creamy lemon pie! Enjoy!
Spring is officially here, and so are the delicious treats! With Spring’s beautiful pastel color palettes, along with sweet items you only find around this time of year, creating a sweet treat board just feels right! But, where to start? Don’t worry, we got you! We will break down how to create a beautiful Easter treat display start to finish, that will have you feeling so proud of yourself!
Step One: Choose A Base
Creating the perfect treat board is actually quite simple, but it all starts with the base. Selecting your board beforehand will help you get an idea of how many treats you need to fill it. The number of people enjoying the treat board will determine the size of your base, although you can always create two smaller treat boards for a larger party, rather than one giant one. Head to your kitchen to see your selection of wooden boards, or head to a store and grab one for the occasion! just as beautiful as the treats are, your board selection can also be a point of interest, so feel free to get creative with your choice.
Step Two: Choose Your Treats
Selecting your treat variety is all a personal preference. I like to keep my treat boards with a theme of candy in mind, or mix it up with a variety of cookies and candies. What matters is that it has that holiday feel. The easiest way to accomplish this, is to keep your treats holiday themed, or with the colors coordinated to that holiday. For example, if I am doing an Easter treat board, I will only purchase and plate Easter themed treats, or pastel-colored candies. That way, when you look at it, you immediately know the theme for the board, and it can double as a decor piece on your table.
Step Three: Choose A Centerpiece
Select a focal point piece to put in the center of your board. When it comes to Easter, I like to get a beautiful foil chocolate bunny, and keep it wrapped, like the one shown in the photo. Another great idea is to take an Easter themed cookie cutter and place it in the center of the board. Fill the inside of the cookie cutter with small candies that are in the color scheme of your holiday. Having something beautiful in the center gives the eye something to focus on, and makes the creation look more like a work of art. It also gives you something to build around.
Step Four: Mix And Match, Than Evaluate
Now it’s time to fill in the rest of your board. Arrange all of your choices on the table around your board, so you can see what you are working with. Chances are you bought more than you’ll need, so be prepared for leftovers. Start to take your variety of treat and candy selections and place it around the center and outsides of your board. Feel free to stop and look at your board and rearrange if needed. The goal is to have as much of your board covered, without it looking sloppy or thrown together. Once you are done and it is to your personal liking, take a step back and enjoy your edible piece of art!
Step Five: Take Those Pictures, Than Dig In
It’s perfectly normal to fall in love with your creation and not want anyone to ruin or touch it. But let’s be honest, it’s going to happen. Take those pictures and share on your social media, then leave it out on Easter for all to enjoy. The steps are easily duplicated for any holiday gathering, and can be translated to meat and cheese boards as well! The more boards you create, and the more fun you have creating, the more you will love the end result!
Is 2022 the year that you go after your dream bod?! First of all, congrats! Making the decision to want to become the best version of yourself is the first step towards success, so be proud of yourself for being there. Whether your goal is to lose some unwanted pounds, or to build some serious muscle, working out and changing your eating habits takes consistency, discipline, and dedication. Although the hard work that will equal results will depend on you alone, there are a handful of things worth the investment that will help you along the way. I personally am in a serious muscle building journey, and hit my nine month marker this January. Here are a list of items I swear by every time I show up to the gym:
Cute Gym Fits
This sounds silly, but a cute gym outfit can completely transform your entire workout! When i feel good about how I look, my sets are longer and I feel stronger. Whether you’re a matching set kind of girl, or baggy tee and biker shorts, whatever your version of beautiful is, rock that! Personally, the fit depends on the day and what we’re working out. If it’s leg day, some well shorts and a baggy tee makes me feel strong and covered. If we’re doing arms or back, a well fitted matching set by Gymshark or Alphalete will make me feel unstoppable. And one more thing…I’m here to normalize wearing a bit of makeup for your workout. When i take those extra five minutes to put some tinted moisturizer and a little eye makeup, it’s worth it. Okay, okay, let’s get back to the fit talk. I’ve shared below some of my must haves to build out that gym wardrobe of yours, and linked them for your shopping ease.
Your gym bag doesn’t have to be expensive, but has to be able to do the trick. I bring two bags to the gym, one to store in the locker, and the other to walk around the gym floor with. I bring so much stuff with me, you would think I was moving in lol. There should be enough room to store all of your items, as well as some additional space for things you might throw in last minute, like your towel or a post-pump snack. I’ve linked a few cute and functional bags to shop from, ranging from all kinds of styles and pricepoints.
Can you use any kind of water bottle to get the job done? Yes, of course. When i mean a quality water bottle, I mean something that can hold some serious liquid. I love the jugs that are massive in size, making it impossible to run out! Needing to find a way to sneak in your daily water needs? Use the water bottle after your workout to continue to hydrate with purpose. Invest in a good water bottle that makes sense to you, but feel free to shop my options below!
Workout bands are the absolute best! They add levels of difficulty to your sets, and help you increase your flexibility. The bands come in a variety if lengths and widths, and each are designed that way for a specific reason. I use the short, thicker ones to warm up and strengthen my glutes. The longer, skinnier ones I use to wrap around a pull up bar for leg support to practice my pull ups. I shorter, less thick bands are good for everyday exercises in a variety of ways. They’re easy to throw in your gym bag or backpack and barely take up any space. These babies also serve as a lending hand when you don’t have a gym handy. Take your bands outside to a park, or in the comfort of your own home and run a solid workout there! I’ve linked some bands that I use all the time and totally swear by.
I have to begin this one by saying that it is not a necessity to use pre-workout before your gym session. I personally love using it to center my focus and get in those few extra sets. I notice a big difference in my performance, much like trying to achieve your daily tasks with versus without coffee. There’s an obvious difference in the level of productivity. Not everyone can handle caffeine before working out, so I don’t want anyone thinking this is a must, but it’s definitely a must for me! There are a few ways to ingest it; you can add a scoop or two to your water bottle and drink on the way to the gym, or you can “dry scoop” it, which is taking the powder and swallowing the scoop whole and chasing after with water. Both will do the trick, one just requires less liquid. If you’re new to the pre-workout game, or curious to try it out, there are a bunch of brands available to try. It all comes down to taste preference and price point. I’ve listed a few of my favorites below.
This seems obvious, but honestly don’t forget your gym towel. With the world being more aware of the germs we pass on, wiping off your sweat before using another machine is, at the very least, the polite thing to do. I would suggest buying a few, so you have one on rotation when the other is in the laundry. Bringing a towel to the gym will help keep you with that subtle glow and the gym a bit cleaner. Most gyms provide towels for purchase, but you can always shop the options I’ve listed below.
When it comes to this list, the headphones are king. Believe me when I say this, you don’t want to go to the gym without your headphones. The headphones create your own personal bubble of badass-ness that no one can penetrate. The music will help keep your energy up, and keep unwanted conversation from strangers away. I do not like when people come talk to me at the gym, and by people, I mean members of the opposite sex. I find it that it makes it a lot harder to spark a conversation, when I’m busy working out to my mix. We can’t control the music being played in the gym, so control your personal environment with a good set of headphones. You’ll notice there are a few options for headphones when working out. Whether it’s the type that wrap around your head, or wireless, just don’t forget your headphones!
The type of shoes you will need for your workout will depend on your workout. I like to lift heavy, so I personally need a shoe on leg days that offers extra ankle support, for those heavy sets. On days when I’m mainly focused on cardio or upper body, I like to use a basic running shoe that isn’t so high in ankle support. I would suggest having two different pairs of workout shoes to switch from, so the sole of the shoe does not wear down so quickly. When I started my fitness journey, I bought some basic workout sneakers from Target. No ankle or arch support, and it caused a few injuries that we’re probably preventable with better footwear. Invest in quality footwear that will last you a few months of activity, and don’t skimp on support. You’ll be lifting heavy, running fast, and turning quickly, and you’ll need something that can keep up with the pace. I listed a few of my favorites I personally use, along with some on my wish list below and linked them as well.
Get ready for an action-packed adventure into the jungle with Disney’s latest attraction-based film, “The Jungle Cruise.” Starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Emily Blunt, this movie hits all the good notes! Johnson plays Frank Wolff, who is a jungle cruise riverboat captain, while Blunt plays British scientist Dr. Lily Houghton. Their two paths cross when Frank is hired by Lily and her brother MacGregor on a mission into a jungle to find the “Tree of Life,” which is believed to possess healing powers that come from its petals. All the while, the three must fight off the jungle’s deadly environment, wild animals, and a competing Imperial German expedition that is determined to find the tree first. The movie is set during WW1 and the tone and wardrobe match perfectly!
I was lucky enough to be invited to an early screening of the movie and being a huge Disneyland and Jungle Cruise attraction fan, I had my doubts. Would it live up to the ride’s fun and silly atmosphere, or would it take itself too seriously? Would Johnson and Blunt’s characters show natural chemistry, or did they simply cast well known actors to score a big box office opening? With the film being based on a Disney ride with no previous back story, I was expecting the entire experience to be a cheesy waste of my time. Boy, was I WRONG!
I honestly don’t remember the last time I had that much fun watching a movie! The script was excellent, and the storyline was creative and deep rooted. There we’re to be expected, a lot of silly Jungle Cruise jokes that I laughed at harder than most! If you have ever taken a trip on the Jungle Cruise at the Disneyland Resort, you know you cannot leave the dock without hearing some silly jokes thanks to the Skipper, so having a lot of them made the ride feel present throughout the film. There was a ton of action that had me sitting on the edge of my seat, which I absolutely love! The biggest surprise for me was the undeniable chemistry that Johnson and Blunt have! It’s never a pair that I personally would see succeeding on screen together, but somehow, it’s the “chef’s kiss” to a seemingly perfect Disney film.
The rating says PG-13 but being a mom of a 9-year-old who loves the ride, I would comfortably take her with me to see the film again. It does have some action violence, but the scarier characters in the film are not over the top scary. There are also a few subtle Disney references throughout the film, as well as a ton of laughs! The movie isn’t too long either, making this a great family outing for you and the older ones. I highly recommend Disney’s “The Jungle Cruise” to anyone who’s looking for a fun few hours at the movies!
Cooking meals during the week can already be a serious challenge. It’s a constant balance between simple, affordable, and delicious, and one of those always tends to suffer. I love that Trader Joes has a variety of original food blends to make meals a bit more adventurous, while always keeping cost in mind. I can walk into a Trader Joes and get a week’s worth of meals using only a handful of ingredients for each, and the meals will always be a hit for the entire family. Make a delicious dinner in three ingredients or less? Totally doable! I’ve listed three of my favorite “three ingredient dinner” recipes below to make tonight’s dinner that much easier! Seriously, THREE INGREDIENTS, GUYS. How can you argue with that!
Lemony Roasted Shrimp and Asparagus
Heat oven to 400ºF. Empty 1 (16-ounce) bag Raw Wild Argentinian Red Shrimp into a colander in the sink and run cool water over the shrimp, tossing occasionally, until defrosted, 5 to 10 minutes. Pat dry and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Empty 1 (12-ounce) bag frozen Grilled Asparagus Spears onto baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, toss to coat, and spread out in an even layer. Thinly slice 1 medium lemon, remove any seeds, and tuck the slices under the shrimp and asparagus. Roast, stirring halfway through, until shrimp are pink and opaque, 8 to 10 minutes total. Halve another 1 medium lemon crosswise, squeeze the juice over the shrimp and asparagus, and serve.
Sheet Pan Kale Gnocchi with Pesto and Veggies
Heat oven to 450ºF. Empty 2 (12-ounce) bags frozen Kale Gnocchi and 1 (14-ounce) bag frozen Organic Green Vegetable Foursome onto a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, and toss well to combine. Spread out in an even layer and roast, stirring halfway through, until gnocchi are plump and lightly browned, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven, drizzle with 1 (7-ounce) container Genova Pesto, and toss to coat. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese, if you would like.
Green Goddess Skillet Chicken and Veggies
Cut 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts into 1/2-inch-thick strips and place in a large zip-top bag or shallow bowl. Drizzle with about 3/4 of a 1 (11-ounce) bottle Green Goddess Salad Dressing and toss to coat. Refrigerate for 10 minutes to marinate. Meanwhile, halve 1 (12-ounce) bag Organic Radishes of Many Colors (or quarter if large). Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Using tongs, remove chicken from the marinade, shaking off any excess marinade, and add to the skillet in a single layer. Sauté until cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes, then transfer to a plate.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in the skillet. Add the radishes, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until browned in spots and crisp-tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Return chicken to skillet and toss to combine. Remove from heat, drizzle with remaining dressing, garnish with chopped fresh parsley, if desired, and serve.
Okay no judgement here, but I am totally new to the “skincare routine” game. My past routines consisted of looking for products on sale and then forgetting to use them. Basically, I had no routine or regimen to speak of. I am now heading into my mid- thirties and taking care of my skin is now more important than ever. From fine lines and wrinkles, to this weird phase of hormonal acne, my skin is all over the place. It feels caught somewhere between an angry teenager and a cool grandmother, and there is an endless supply of brands available to buy….so who is the best fit for me? Well, everyone has a different answer to this question. It all depends on things like price point and preference in ingredients. There are an endless number of high priced brands that I would love to put into my daily routine. But as a mother and someone who is helping to save up for our dream home, spending $$$ on skincare isn’t really where I am at. I am a firm believer that you don’t have to spend a ton to get great skin, and I found a fantastic company that completely fits that mold. Go Pure Beauty is that perfect blend of fantastic ingredients at a great price point, and I’ll be a fan of theirs for life!
I was introduced to Go Pure when the company approached me to collaborate with them. As I mentioned before, I’m a total newbie to the skincare game, so I figured I would give it a try. Go Pure sent me their entire product line to try, and I’m still working through the options. While on my new skincare journey, I have discovered which products best suit my personal skincare needs. If you’re not sure what your skincare needs are, and want to be sure before purchasing, they provide a “skin quiz” that can help guide you to the best options after a few basic questions. I wanted to give this company and their products enough time to see a visible difference, and I can now honestly say I’ve never loved my skin more! All of their products are made with the best and most gentle ingredients around, only adding things that are necessary to improve the quality of your skin. I love that most of their products are unscented, and the ones that are scented smell like a spa day. From their serums to their moisturizers, you really cant go wrong with whatever line of products you choose with Go Pure. I’ve put together my routine I do each morning to get my skin looking flawless and ready to “face the day” in hopes that I can help you find your next skincare BFF too!
Step One: Vitamin C Cleanser
When creating a masterpiece, you need to start on a blank canvas, right? Well, no blank canvas is ready to be created on if it’s dirty. Avoid harsh ingredients that will strip your skin and snag Go Pure’s “Vitamin C Cleanser.” It’s sulfate-free and gently cleanses your face with nourishing Vitamin C. It visibly brightens and hydrates the face, and leaves it feeling fresh and clean and ready for the day. I like that it leaves my face feeling a little tingly, like it had a great shower or something.
After I’ve washed my face, it’s time for a swipe of toner. This gentle toner helps visibly hydrate dry skin, prepping it for things like serums and moisturizers. It primes and brightens the skin, and removes any unwanted dirt that the cleanser may have left behind. If you’re new to toners and their benefits, this toner is a great one to start with. Some of the benefits of toners are:
The cursed under eye circles and how telling they can be. I’m a creature of habit, and one of my habits is rubbing my eyes. I rub them when I’m tired and when I’m stressed. I rub them when my makeup is feeling crusty and dry. I always rub them. It’s a killer to the blood vessels under my eyes and I have a serious problem with dark circles. Skip the expensive eye creams and try the “Youth Glow” eye gel by Go Pure. The smooth formula is less heavy than most other eye creams, making it perfect for optimal absorption. Its great for during the day, before putting on your makeup, or at nighttime before heading to bed. I love the cooling effect it gives when its been applied. It makes me feel like a trip to the spa, and also like it’s absorbing into the skin and doing its job.
How often do you use a serum? If it’s not daily, you’re really missing out on some serious skin benefits! Formulated with antioxidants, the Vitamin C serum can help your skin look brighter and younger, while reducing the appearance of age spots and discoloration. Like I have mentioned before, my age is starting to hit the area where anti-aging is a big factor in what I choose. This serum combats those issues while brightening up my skin. Made with Green Tea, Vitamins C and E, as well as Ferulic Acid, its a combination that can’t be beat!
This is the moisturizer to end all other moisturizers. I love that this beauty feels thick enough to really do the job, but not so thick that I worry about clogging pores and feeling too sticky. It’s super hydrating and can help improve your skintone. Its unscented, which makes it a great base to use before applying your makeup, or adding that extra level of hydration to your skin before bed. This is my last step before being ready to apply my makeup for the day, which is very minimal. I would say that my skincare routine is twice as long as my makeup routine, but each step is necessary and worth it. Its the “me time” I desperately needed in my life, and a sacred part of my day. We all deserve a little extra pampering from time to time, but this regimen should be a staple to your daily life.
This tube of hydration is literally my favorite body lotion on the planet! First off, the smell is heavenly! It smells like a trip to a spa in Bali and I couldn’t love something more! Made with Vitamin E, Avocado Oil, and Sea Kelp, it completely hydrates the skin without weighing it down. I use it after the shower and after I shave, or whenever my skin feels dry.
My bestfriend when it comes to “self care day.” I use this when my skin needs a little extra love and attention, or whenever Dan is home to help give me 30 minutes away from the kids. Unlike some masques, this one goes on smoothly while absorbing into the skin quickly. It helps reduce the appearance of fine lines, redness and dry patches. It restores and hydrates without stripping the skin of its nutrients. A total staple in my skincare kit.
You can visit Go Pure and take their skincare quiz to find your perfect skincare line. They help you save when you bundle your products together, also I highly recommend starting with a few items to save the most money. You can purchase all I’ve mentioned above, as well as shop their other incredible products at:
Whatever line you choose on your skincare journey, make sure you research what would be best for you. We all have different skin types, and if we do our homework and look at the list of ingredients, we’re bound to find a match best suited for us. I talk all about Go Pure, because they provide various lines of products suited to fit the majority of us. I also like that their ingredients are gentle, and so I can recommend them to you without worrying your skin will be mad at me. But, my journey is my journey, and I’m only here to provide suggestion and a bit of insight. What is MOST important, is that you start something for yourself. Yes, nice skin is nice. But there is something about taking that “mandatory 10-20 minutes” on yourself in a time where we all our spreading ourselves so thin that is so therapeutic. Don’t forget how important and incredible you are and how spending some time and a little bit of money on yourself is not a crime. Enjoy the process of finding your skincare tribe, but definitely give Go Pure a look!
Bedtime in March is extra fun thanks to books that talk about Saint Patrick’s Day! Whether it’s chatting up shamrocks or how to catch a Leprechaun, snagging a few festive books can really make this time of year extra special. Grabbing these books can also make for great gifts on Saint Patricks Day as well! I’ve compiled a list of our favorite Saint Patrick’s Day stories as well as the links to shop easily from home! Happy reading!
Pete The Cat: The Great Leprechaun Chase
You’re My Little Lucky Charm
The Night Before St. Patrick’s Day
How To Catch A Leprechaun
Ten Lucky Leprechauns
Jamie O’ Rourke And The Big Potato
Little Man Of Disneyland
A Fine Saint Patrick’s Day
There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Clover
Celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day: History, Traditions, and Activities- A Holiday Book For Kids
It is no secret that Bridgerton has completely taken the world by storm. From the juicy storyline, to the dreamy cast and costumes, what’s not to love?! Just like most of you, I’ve already watched the series three or four times over, and have spent way too much time searching the internet for pieces that could make me feel as close to a Bridgerton extra as possible. Instead of keeping it a secret, I’ve decided to follow in the footsteps of my fellow author, Lady Whistledown, and spill the tea on where to get them. it may not make you the actual Duchess of Hastings, but it’ll make you feel pretty close to the Diamond of the First water, even in your own home.
Poshmark and Depop
I know this sounds a bit vague, but I started my search here, and it led me to some of my favorite finds. The secret is in the keywords you choose to use in the search term. It is a time piece televsion show, so it leans more to costume than wearable fashion. Here are a list of keywords I found to be successful when searching for items froem dresses to gloves and more:
“Jane Austen Dress”
“Puff Sleeve Dress”
“Vintage Puff Sleeve Dress”
“Empire Waist Gown”
“Lace Vintage Gloves”
The goldmine for all things Bridgerton fashion, if you’re not looking to spend and arm and a leg trying out the style. The dresses are beautiful, and they have fun accessories for a fraction of the price you would pay anywhere else. Locating the pieces takes a bit of time, so I’ve linked some of the pieces I personally bought, or have my eye on, that will help the process a bit.
I’m here for embracing the Victorian side of fashion, but updating it so it has a more wearable feel. The pieces from Shein are adorable and fancy, but they strike me as a more costume feel. Forever 21 has great pieces that have that Bridgerton feel, but in a more wearable way. Ive linked a few of my favorites below.
This is the absolute best place to find the most authentic looking items from Bridgerton. From the Lady Whistledown’s society paper download, to Daphne’s infamous necklace that she wears for most of the first season, this is the best place to get your Bridgerton items. Not only does shopping here support small shops, but these items are made by Bridgerton fans for Bridgerton fans. I’ve linked some of my favorite items below, so you can start to feel like you’re in the Netflix show yourself.
This may seem like an obvious one, and it most certainly is a helpful site at that. Basically type anything into the search bar, and you’ll locate a great option for whatever you’re searching for. I’ve linked a few of my favorite finds, from Regency dresses to drinkware, Amazon had it all! I hope you find this list helpful and entertaining!
These are just a few items that could have you feeling like the Diamond Of the First Water in no time! I love taking these pieces and creating some magic with the camera, just for fun. Or, throw yourself a Bridgerton style viewing party in style! Whatever the reason, treat yourself to something fancy and fun, simply because you deserve it!
When December rolled into town, so did the fun traditions like the advent calendar. Each morning, my kids would rush to their designated calendars and want to see what awaited for them. Most of the time, it was chocolate, or maybe a small toy. But it was enough to make waking up before school a little bit more special. I got to thinking, why do we only do this during December and not any other time, counting down to a fun holiday? I stopped into my local Target, and in their Bullseye section were advent calendars that counted down to Valentine’s Day! What a clever and innovative idea! They only had two designs, and both were super cute! I felt like I could create something a bit better…and incorporate nature in a fun and festive way!
These D.I.Y branch advent calendars were super easy to create! I found the branch outside of my home and utilized the ribbons and trim I had leftover from Christmas. Since I’m a huge fan of using pink and red during Christmas, I had plenty left over for the craft. The bags were a great Amazon find, that I’ll link at the bottom of this post. The treats and trinkets I filled the bags with we’re small Valentine’s Day themed gifts from the Dollar Tree and Target. You can avoid the stores completely and order for a Target drive-up or order small things online to be delivered to your doorstep. Once I had my items together, I wrapped star tinsel around the branch for extra sparkle. I then cut 14 pieces of ribbon and tied them to the branch, leaving a bit of space in between each. For extra security, I hot glued the ribbon to the branch, but you don’t have to. After they all assembled onto the branch, tie your goodie bags to the bottom of each ribbon. Fill your bags up with an item per day, or a few if you have siblings sharing the advent. Once assembled, Hang on your wall by balancing the branch with a nail about midway down the branch. For added decor, tape a decorative balloon, like this “Love” balloon I got at the 99 Cents Store. That’s it! Starting February 1st, open one bag a day to countdown to the most loving day of the year!