Hi friends! Back at it again with some fun D.I.Y action for you! This time…it’s Halloween themed! We’ll be making this fun spiderweb wreath, but don’t worry, its super simple, and the total cost is under $10! With this time of year leading up to the holiday season, cost effective ideas are a must for me. So i like to upgrade cheap options rather than drop serious money on decorations. I don’t know about you, but my taste in decor often changes and evolves. That’s why I like to change it up every year, but by integrating things that are cost effective and can be edited easily. Now, about that spiderweb wreath…this baby is simple to create, but you’ll need the following ingredients:
Bag of Spiderwebs
Bag of Fake Spiders
Black Acrylic or Spray Paint
Thin Ribbon of Choice
To begin, take apart your embroidery hoop and separate the outer and inner circles. You will need both hoops for this project. The first steo would be to paint the hoops black, Depending on your time frame and preference, you can either hand paint the hoops with acrylic paint, or spray paint the hoops. I made a few wreaths and I strongly recommend the spray paint option, haha! Once the hoops are dried, take your spiderweb and start to assemble on the inner hoop. The wood acts as a natural glue, so the web is easy to assemble. Once you get the web look you desire, take the outer hoop and layer on top of the webbed inner hoop. Screw together with the screw on top and trim the edges of the extra webbing. The hoops layered together will hold the spiderweb in place, but for added hold, you can glue edges with a glue gun. Start to heat up your glue gun, and edit once heated, if you think extra hold is necessary.
While the glue gun is hot, take your black spiders and glue around one edge of the hoop. For a more dramatic effect, try to snag a few bags of spiders that are different sizes. I had a hard time finding different ones, so along with my original bag of spiders shown above, i bought some spider rings and cut the ring part off and spray painted them. Once you have achieved the look you want, it’s time to add the ribbon. Take your ribbon and create a bow around the metal screw of the embroidery hoop. For added hold, glue the bow with hot glue onto the metal screw. Once you have done that, take a second piece of ribbon that is about two feet long and wrap around the center of the bow. Glue the second ribbon onto the bow center and use the extra ribbon for hanging. That’s it! You’re all done!
I snagged the embroidery hoop at Jo Anne’s Fabrics, but you can locate them on Amazon as well. The total cost of a hoop was under $3. The spiderwebs, spiders, acrylic paint, and ribbon i got at The Dollar Tree, bringing the cost of this D.I.Y before tax to be $7! If you don’t have access to the stores listed above, you can snag all of these items online through Amazon, by clicking the links below:
Purchasing everything in store does lower the cost of the wreath by a ton, but I wanted to give options in case going out is not an option. I hope you enjoy making this slightly spooky decoration just as much as i did!
This cute and easy craft is not only wallet friendly, but earth friendly too! I LOVE creating things with toilet paper and paper towel rolls because they work so well for so many things! And at the rate we come across them, we mind as well find a fun way to use them! Halloween is a great time to get creative with these little babies, and one way to do it is to create some spooky friends! These “Monster Buddies” are great for those preschool and elementary school crafters to not only play with, but create! To start you’ll need:
A large empty coffee can
multi-colored construction paper
4 toilet paper rolls
acrylic paint in the colors orange, mint green, and off white
glue, preferably a glue gun or Tacky glue
Halloween stickers for decor
To begin, you will need to make sure your coffee can is washed out and your toilet paper rolls have been stripped of all toilet paper. Once that is done, you can begin painting your toilet paper rolls. For the mummy roll, we are going to leave that as is, so put one toilet paper roll aside. Paint the remaining three rolls with at least two coats of the paint colors listed above. If you don’t have access to acrylic paint, regular art paint will work. Acrylic paint is more vibrant and sticks better to the rolls without chipping, so acrylic is my preferred choice. Toe achieve the vibrant look, add two to three coats and leave to dry overnight. Once dried, you can begin to decorate.
To decorate the pumpkin, cut out three small triangles. Arrange two triangles to form eyes and turn the other triangle upside down to form the nose. Cut out a funny looking mouth and attach on with glue. Cut a thumb shaped brown stem and attach to the inside of the toilet paper roll. Cut out a long football shape on green construction paper and use a pen or pencil to curl it by wrapping it around. Glue the curled leaf next to the brown stem on the inside of the roll. You are officially the pumpkin King or Queen!
To create Dracula the vampire, take your off white colored roll and glue two googly eyes in the middle. Take your black construction paper and cut out the hair design by adding two arches in between a triangle. Once that is cut out, you glue it onto the top of the roll. Take your black marker and draw a half circle smile. Add two small white triangles for teeth on the arches of the smile. Take your red construction paper and cut an obtuse triangle out for the cape. Take the triangle and glue it onto the back center of the roll. After that, you’re all done! Time for some blood sucking good times!
To make the Frankenstein monster, take your mint green painted roll and glue a small black rectangle cut from construction paper, near the bottom for a mouth. Angle the rectangle ever so slightly, for a creepy smile look. Take a second black rectangle and glue it an inch or so above, for his bushy uni brow. Take two googly eyes and glue right towards the bottom of the eyebrow rectangle. Cut out a strip of small black triangles on black construction paper and glue to the top for hair. After that, it’s alive! He’s ALIVE!!
To create the mummy, it basically requires no effort. Take your bare roll and glue two googly eyes in the middle of the roll. Cut out 1/4 inch wide strips of toilet paper and glue back onto the roll, making it look like your wrapping a mummy. Once you have achieved the mummified look you want, you’re all done! Ready for its tomb sweet tomb!
To keep these monster buddies from getting lost or damaged, take a large coffee can and decorate it with Halloween themed stickers and construction paper! I covered mine with orange, with the intention to make it a jack-o-lantern, but decided last minute to make it cute and festive with some felt stickers i grabbed from the Dollar Tree. All of these materials, i snagged from either the Dollar Tree or Target, or was laying around my house ready for the trashcan. It’s good to be Eco-friendly while being creative!
When it comes to playing with them, you can use them to encourage imaginative play by simply letting your child make up their own use for them. You can use them as puppets in a play, ask your preschool child to describe them using color references. You can talk about the various shapes that are found, since there are most present in this craft. You can count the monster buddies, hide them for hide and seek, etc. There are so many fun ways to play, and I hope you enjoy creating them just as much as I did!
Sweater weather is creeping in, and that brings on the feels of pumpkin spice and Halloween tees. Target is my go to spot for pretty much everything in life, and fashion is no exception. They have such a wide variety of stylish items and the seasonal ones are always my favorite! I’ve compiled a list of my favorite pieces below, along with their links for easy shopping! Stay spooky and stylish!
This is NOT a drill! They have matching Halloween pajamas at Target, guys. I already bought a pair of Mickey ghost pajamas at Shop Disney, but I’m super tempted to get these babies too! They’re so cute, I would wear the top as a regular tee paired with some skinny jeans and boots!
Just like the tee above, but for those chilly nights out or a walk to snag the latest fall item at Trader Joes. I have a similar sweater to this that I found last year on Amazon, and I basically lived in it all October. This is a popular piece for sure, so don’t wait to order!
What a beautiful set of boots! These babies look so expensive, but for $40, they are a total steal! Target makes some of the most comfortable shoes in my closet, and their boot selection is no exception! These boots come in closet basics like brown and black, but they also come in statement making prints like snakeskin and leopard.
Orange can be a tough color to rock with confidence, but this flattering number seems to make anyone feel cute! So roomy and comfortable, but with the high neckline and tie waist detail, it’s also quite chic! Pair with some cute ankle boots and a black motorcycle jacket and you’re festive and put together!
A pair of high rise black skinny jeans. If you don’t own a pair, get a pair and prepare to live most of your life in them. These are the ones I’m wearing in the photo above and they’re my favorite black skinnies! These pair curve in all of the right places, and will easily go with any of the tops I linked above. The black color makes them perfect for this spooky season!
I have always been a fan of tights during fall, ever since Blair Waldorf came into our lives. It’s a cute way to break up the everyday pants routine! Fishnet stockings are my all time favorite, but I loved how cool this larger version looks! Pair with a black skirt, Halloween sweater, and booties and you have yourself a winning look!
I am living for these cat Halloween socks! Bonus: the eyes glow in the dark! I love their delicate little cat ears and they’re only $4, so it’s an easy yes. Throw these on with some ankle boots and a cute a-line skirt for a flirty and festive look!
I love holiday fashion and these pieces will help add that extra spooky cheer to any wardrobe. And all without breaking the bank too!
What a weird year this 2020 has been, am i right?! We as a society have been living an episode of Netflix’s Black Mirror for a little less than a year now, and we’re all over it. We miss our friends, our routines, our social calendars. To add to it, we now have to figure out a way to keep the spirit of the spooky season alive when the traditional trick or treating isn’t an option. Not to worry, I’ve compiled a list of alternatives for you to do with your littles, should door to door trick or treating be axed on All Hallow’s Eve. It may not have the same spirit as the usual routine, but it may turn out to be more fun in the long run!
Treat Scavenger Hunt
This is an idea that feels most like traditional trick or treating. Take a few bags of candy and disperse them around your yard or home, like you would an Easter egg. If you typically do your trick or treating before dark, you can easily hide the candy on its own, without any additional aid. If you like to do your candy hunting after dark, I suggest snagging some cute pumpkin bags and faux tea lights to subtly light the way. I found some super cute pumpkin bags that came in a pack of 100 off of Amazon, which I will link below. If you have a large space to work with, spread the candy out so that this game lasts as long as possible. Bonus idea: leave a clue that leads to a large bag or cauldron bucket of candy for them to find at the end of the hunt. It’s like hitting the mother load, or reaching that house that hands out the king sized candy bars: actual heaven!
Spooky Movie Marathon
Nothing screams Halloween quite like a spooky movie marathon! Halloween just wouldn’t be the same without our classic friends like Count Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Werewolf. If you have smaller viewers at home, you may want to wait to watch those until they’re passed out from too much candy. Here is a list of family-friendly Halloween movies:
Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie
Nightmare Before Christmas
The Adventures Of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
The Addams Family (2019)
Super Monsters Save Halloween
Toy Story of Terror
Curious George: A Halloween Boo-Fest
The Haunted Mansion
Double Double Toil and Trouble
It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
These movie options range in age, but they are all generally family friendly in my opinion. If you want to make it a full blown experience, I suggest getting some matching Halloween themed pajamas to go with your movie night! Being the Disney fans that we are, I snagged these cute matching pajamas at shopdisney.com! Bonus: They come in adult sizes, so I had to grab myself a matching pair! If there is still room after candy, don’t forget to bring the popcorn!
This may seem like an obvious option, but carving pumpkins on All Hallows Eve is a classic tradition that’s often overlooked due to the luster of trick or treating. So snag your best carving tools and gather your loved ones for a pumpkin carving party! Print out some fun and spooky designs and get creative! Put on some fun classic Halloween tunes like “Monster Mash” or “Thriller” to get the creative juices flowing! Make it a competition: choose a design for someone else and have them try to recreate it! The best recreation wins! Not into pumpkin carving carnage? Paint pumpkins instead! If you want that thick coat of paint, I suggest using tempura paint, which you can find at your local craft supply store. They may not glow at night like a traditional Jack-O-Lantern, but they will last much longer and give your creation a unique twist. Once you’re done with your pumpkins, set outside to admire your hard work!
Cookie Decorating Party
Make it the scariest cookie decorating party you’ve ever had! From monster shapes, to zombie unicorns and more, there are so many fun options to create! If you have a party of 6 or more, split up into teams and make it a competition! I’ve linked some cookie cutter and decorating options below, in case you need a head start on some ideas! Be mindful that carriers like Amazon are slower than usual, so order early to avoid the hassle.
Zoom Virtual Party Or Sleepover
Take the night and create a party from a safe distance! No contact is still very much a thing in our world socially, and there are ways to still have a good time with friends, without having to put your family at risk. Dress up in your favorite costume, just like you would on any other normal Halloween night. Log into a Zoom chat with your buds and party the night away! Create a fun and festive background and put on some spooky music to get the mood set! Incorporate your cookie decorating or pumpkin carving into the party, or play some fun Halloween games! Pick a Halloween craft and do it together! Do a spooky makeup tutorial and have everyone give it a try! Watch the same movie together and end the night with ghost stories and more Halloween candy! There are so many options to make the party more than just sitting and talking.
Speaking of Halloween crafts, there are a ton of options simply on Pinterest that you can try! Just choose the option that best suits your audience’s age group, and create! I have a three and eight year old, so my crafts range in that area. I’ll be creating some fun ideas throughout the month of September and October, but I’ve linked a few of my favorites from Pinterest below to get your creative juices flowing…
Another great way to make the night more interesting is to create some fun Halloween games to play! Pinterest is also a great place to find fun games based on your families age group and preferences. It’s going to be a long night, so having games prepared is a fun way to break up the evening, and the non stop candy eating. Some games I found would be fun and plan on playing are:
Mummy Wrap contest using toilet paper
Noodle worm eyeball dig
Witch hat ring toss
Donuts on a string eating game
Monster scavenger hunt
I found these ideas on Pinterest, and the cost of the supplies are super low! For the mummy wrap, I bought large industrial sized rolls of toilet paper back in March when toilet paper was impossible to find. I bought 12 rolls. 12 rolls, guys. NOW I have a reason and purpose to use them! The noodle worm eyeball dig is simply cooked noodles and weird props from the Dollar Tree, mixed with a blindfold. The witch hat ring toss is a large cardboard rectangle that’s been painted, along with painted Solo cups and some diving rings. Donuts on a string is simply that, donuts and a string. The Monster scavenger hunt is just a printable i found online that I cut out and hid around my property. All cost efficient ideas!
Remote Trick Or Treating/Drive By Candy Table
This article is supposed to be alternatives to trick or treating, but there are areas in the United States and more where the numbers are not so bad. If you have the option of trick or treating, I would still air on the side of caution and do it with a modern twist. Remote trick or treating is something that people are doing. What does that mean? It means you leave the candy in a bowl far enough from your front door where kids can snag on their route. If you want to have the kids still ring the doorbell, have a claw grabber to hand out the candy, rather than touch the items yourself. You can also incorporate a neighborhood “drive by candy table,” where you lay out your candy for kids to grab on the drive by. You can decorate your table and make it super fun! Have the goodies packaged up in bags for easy (and safe) hand out!
Bottom line is, no matter how you choose to celebrate this year, it won’t be the same. But that doesn’t mean it still can’t be memorable! Your kids will love the day no matter what! Why? Because, candy. When in doubt, candy. The hunt for the delicious treasure might be a bit spoiled, but the end result is always the same. And nothing can take away the pure joy of candy on Halloween. xoxo, Megan
It’s officially my favorite time of year, Halloween season! Okay, so it might only be August, but I tend to celebrate this season a lot sooner than necessary. It just leaves more room for fun activities, such as watching scary movies and creating spooky treats! One of my favorite all time Halloween movies is Hocus Pocus, and the tradition of loving this film has naturally passed on to my girls. They each love the spooky spell book and it’s moving eye. I love how Winnifred Sanderson treats it like her personal pet, almost like a small dog. I thought it would make for a simple and tasty treat for kids and adults alike to try!
For this magical recipe, you can use either store bought brownie mix, or create your own from scratch. I went with the box version, but either choice will be just fine. In order to create these little spell books, you will need:
8×8 inch pan
box of brownie mix or ingredients to make scratch brownies
1″ candy eyeballs
black writing icing tube
To begin, preheat your oven to the desired temperature that is recommended in your recipe. I personally used the box brand, but it’s completely up to you. Once you prepare your brownies and bake them, set them aside to cool. I recommend letting them cool for at least 3 hours before beginning to decorate. Once cool, cut the brownies into rectangles to resemble books. Have the book brownies on a cutting board so they’re easy to decorate. To begin decorating, place a dot of black icing on the back of a candy eyeball and stick to the right middle side of the brownie. Next, take your tube of black icing and create a thin circle around the eyeball. Once completed, create a triangle style zig-zag on the far left side of the brownie. Next to the zig-zag, draw a thin line and create small stitches on the line. Add two semi-circles on the top and bottom right corners, and you have yourself a precious and delicious spell book! Repeat these steps on each brownie until you are out, and allow about 30 minutes for the icing to harden.
This recipe is a fantastic treat for any small spooky gathering you may be planning, or just to brighten your biggest Halloween fan’s day. The items I snagged to make I got at Ralph’s grocery. If you don’t have any luck finding candy eyeballs at your local grocery store, they also have options on Amazon, like the one I’ve linked below:
Hi, its me… still here in lockdown. Anyone else finding it hard to be positive? Right now, the people and places we love seem like a distant memory, and our thoughts can be more negative than positive. I know being mindful of my thoughts has really carried to an overall happier lifestyle, even in the weirdest of times. Along with being mindful of my thoughts, keeping my habits good has been a huge factor in my positivity. Sure, I have a bad day. What i don’t do is allow one bad day to turn into two. Allow yourself to be human, but don’t allow the negativity to become a habit.
Negative thoughts lead to negative feelings.Bad energy attracts bad energy
So, whether its to fix a bad mindset, or just to simply remind yourself just how lucky you are, here are 40 things you can be grateful for right now:
Opportunity is EVERYWHERE
All five senses (hear, sight, smell, taste, touch)
Fresh chocolate chip cookies from the oven
A child’s laugh
Time spent alone
A place to call “home”
Zoom conversations to bring loved ones together
The ability to learn a new skill set at any moment
Clean drinking water
Kindness from a stranger
Money in your bank account-any amount
The pets that love us unconditionally
Clean sheets to climb into at night
That someone, somewhere, loves you unconditionally
Medicine when you need it
Having a job
Turning on your favorite song or movie
Looking in the mirror and loving who’s staring back
We’ve all been exposed in some way to this new “Dalgona coffee” trend that took Tik Tok by storm during quarentine. Whether it’s on the Tik Tok platform, or even my countless Instagram posts, chances are you’ve seen it once or twice, and maybe even wondered how it tastes. I’m here to tell you it tastes amazing! I’ve completely stopped my Starbucks drive-thru runs and saved a ton of money in the process. It’s increased my productivity and tastes like a delicious concentrated coffee. Beware, it’s a bit of a butt kicker, so be sure to drink lots of water and have maybe one a day instead of your normal cup. I wanted to make a post with the simple recipe, because I’ve had a few requests for it. There are a bunch of recipes out there, but the process of making it is basically the same. After a few rounds of trial and error, I figured out a fool proof process that has created the yummiest Dalgona coffee ever!
The secret is in the preparation process, so be sure to have all of your items out and ready before you begin. The last thing you want to do is run around while trying to make it. Another secret if your Dalgona coffee doesn’t seem to be whipping up right, is to double the measurements to make it easier to rise. I’ve been through a few trial and error processes, and that definitely helped. To make the trendy Dalgona coffee, you will need the following items:
Milk of Choice
Nestcafe Instant Coffee
Organic Granulated Sugar
Before you begin, take your water and put it over the stove top to boil. Another helpful secret is to add boiling water, and not just “hot” water, because simple hot water will not cause it to whip. Take 2 tablespoons of Nestcafe brand instant coffee and 2 tablespoons organic sugar and add them to the small bowl. Stir together to make a coffee/sugar mix. Once complete, add the milk of your choice and ice to a cup and set aside. Next, check your water to see if it’s boiling. Once it’s boiling, add 2 tablespoons of water to your coffee sugar mix and beat with your electric mixer on high for about five minutes. If you don’t own an electric mixer, you can hand mix it, although it will take a lot more elbow grease. Once your mixture is thick and creates “mountain peaks” like a whipped cream substance, you’re set to add it to your milk. Scoop half of the mixture in and use a straw to stir. Top with the remaining amount and enjoy!
For those of you who are used to working from home with a toddler, you know this can be an extremely difficult task. From the countless interruptions ( Currently, I’m being asked to play Barbies while typing this), to nap times and nursing, the fact we even get anything done is pretty much a miracle. Maybe you’re new to this whole thing due to the pandemic and it’s got you beyond frustrated, using Google to find tips to help. Such a defeating feeling I know all too well.
There HAS to be a better way, or at least some helpful tips to be more productive in this weird space we are all in. I’m here to tell you, there is. It might not make all the craziness disappear, but I have been balancing work and a child together for both of my kids since they were born, so I know a few things that work. I want to share with you my Top Ten Tips for balancing work with a toddler, straight from a source who actually lives it. Working from home with young children is not easy by any means, but I’m convinced to my core that it is worth it. You can have your littles AND the career…just takes a bit of patience and balance. So without waiting any longer, let’s dive in!
Get Dressed For Work
I know we all talk about how wonderful wearing our tie-dye sweatsuit to the couch to work is, but does that help you get in “work mode?” Probably not. You’re going to work, dress like it. Does this mean you need to iron out that suit you hated wearing pre-pandemic? If that’s not your speed, than of course not. You should however show up as an elevated version of yourself. Find a nice sundress and throw on some makeup. Take the time you usually would to present yourself to the world as the BADASS you are! It will also help the kids see that “Mommy is going to work” which will provide boundaries for your time. When I get dressed and put makeup on, the kids know that I am about to start work, and so the guilt of separation decreases when its go time. I also just find myself more productive when I’m not in jammies, so get ready for work, okay?
What I mean by that is, have a clear layout of what you’re trying to accomplish for the day. Do you make lists? If not, start to. You will be distracted, it’s inevitable. When that happens, a list helps you keep track of the mental checklist you’re trying to accomplish. Don’t put so much pressure on your brain to do it all. It’s already multi-tasking more than it ever has before, so help a sister out and write it down. This may come as no surprise, but be prepared to have your list happen when it happens. Don’t put expectations on when you will accomplish a task, but rather just focus on accomplishing it at all. You may get taken away from your project and need to go back to it once the kids are sleeping. That could mean that you might miss your T.V show tonight, but that’s okay, you get to spend this moment with your little AND you’re making time for work later. All good.
Accomplish The Big One First
This may sound silly, but DO prioritize your list on what task you want to finish NO MATTER WHAT. We all know that defeating feeling of going an entire day in “mom mode” and not getting the one thing done that made the difference. Do it first. Don’t let anything get in the way of doing it. I know it’s hard, but were all more than just “mom.” Go after your goals with fire and if you cant do it all, focus on the BIG ONE.
Keep A Daily Routine
As best you can, I know its not perfect. The concept of keeping a daily routine of when they can expect things like breakfast, playtime, as well as mom’s work time will help the transition. Kids thrive on routine, so if you incorporate this into your planning, it will help kids get the grasp that parents are also in fact, working from home, and it’s completely normal.
Rotate Toy Options
This will help keep your toddler engaged in their toys while you attempt to work and take over the world. If they have access to every toy option in the toy box, they will quickly become stale and old in their eyes and lose their luster. Take a few boxes out as soon as you start to work, and choose a completely new set the next day. They will get so excited as if they’re brand new toys, and you will get some moments of peace.
Take The Work Outside
Sometimes we all need a change in scenery. This can be the same for your toddler. Being cooped up inside during these times can take its toll on all of us, including your toddlers. So grab that laptop and handful of toys and head to the front yard. It will provide a completely new play space for your little, and give you some much needed vitamin D to recharge those mental batteries. By the way, a bubble machine or sandbox will buy you at least an extra 15 minutes!
Take Advantage Of The High Chair
This is a secret weapon we all cant live without during mealtime, but it can also be your guardian angel come work time as well! Snag some non toxic crayons and paper and have them work next to you! They’ll love that they feel like they’re going to work as well, and you’ll have some quiet time to focus on work, or snag another cup of coffee. Grab some action figures for imaginative play, or slap some cheerios down for snack time. No matter how you incorporate the high chair, you’ll come out winning.
Use Screens Sparingly
This is a tough one to get behind, especially for kids that are younger. But we all are trying our best to provide for our families from home, without the option of childcare. As long as you’re taking advantage of the thousands of options for educational programming, it can be a great way for your kiddo to learn, while you’re trying to finish a task or two. Don’t overdo it, and keep a constant eye on what they’re watching. In moderation, a television show or Disney movie can be a great babysitter!
Accept The Mess
If you’re a Type A perfectionist like me, messes can be your Kryptonite. Try your best to ignore it and stay laser focused on what is really important; time with your work. Don’t spend your extra time cleaning up every mess as it happens. No one is hosting parties or making surprise visits, so who are you trying to impress? It’s okay to not have the perfect home while you’re trying to run a business and a family. Give yourself some grace and spend any extra time you have giving love to yourself or your babies. The messier the house, the happier the kids.
Give Yourself Grace
You’re doing your best and that’s MORE than enough. It’s okay to have days where little or nothing gets done. Maybe you had this vision of being productive and your kid wakes up sick…now what? Don’t worry about it. Working from home is tough, but it can be so very rewarding. You’re teaching your kids to go for their dreams and showing them what work ethic really is. You’re raising a family and bringing home an income, you’re AMAZING! Just do what you can to control what you can, but know that life is a bit out of control to begin with. No matter what the day brings, know you are already making them incredibly proud!
It’s no secret apps run our lives. When it comes to how i run my Instagram, I would be very little without my “toolbox” of apps to help me. Yes, my creative expression does come from me, but the editing and extra dose of magic is all thanks to the help of my applications. From things like editing photos and videos, to finding inspiration and beyond, these ten apps I’m about to share with you have truly stepped up my social media game. And I’m about to spill all of my secrets. I was hesitant at first about writing this post. I was worried about sharing too much and letting “all my secrets out” if i did. But after sitting down on the subject and thinking on it some more, I came to the conclusion…why? Why care about letting everyone know about the apps I used. Was I worried about a little competition? No. The worst thing that could come of it is that I would inspire others to step up their own games and cause them to completely fall in love with content creation, just as I have. I LOVE content creation. I LOVE teaching and sharing. It’s a part of who I am. So whether you’re looking to up your current content, or completely rebrand yourself, these (mostly) free apps could really help you in the long run. Do you need any or all of these to succeed in the social media game? Of course not! People feel inspired by you simply being YOU, showing up to the platform, and being your authentic self. So please just know that this is simply meant for help to those who find my personal feed interesting and want to learn more.
Facetune was not free. It was about $7 when I first bought it, and I would pay whatever they charged to always have it in my life. I use this app for everything from lightening a photo, to smoothing out blemishes and skin irritations, and whitening teeth and eyes. This tool is super versatile and can make every photo appear touched up by a professional. I believe there is a more updated version of the app, but I don’t have it and can’t speak to its awesomeness. This version seems perfect enough for me, and I highly recommend you download it today!
Lightroom Photo Editor
Lightroom Photo Editor is a mobile version of the desktop photo editing software. I don’t personally use the desktop version, but I know it’s a much more productive way to use the program overall. I currently use Lightroom mobile as the home of all of my presets I have bought from people who have made ones I’m a fan of. Lightroom is super cool and complex, and I’m going to be completely transparent when I say I know very little about it. The reason my feed looks so consistent is that I generally use the same one or two presets for every static photo I post. I make minor tweaks in Lightroom on lighting and color editing, but other than that, my Lightroom knowledge ends there. When it comes to presets, I swear by Teeny Edits, which can be purchased by clicking the link below:
PicsArt is the closest thing to Photoshop that I’ve ever seen. I don’t know Photoshop at all, although its on my list of to do’s to master in the future. PicsArt can create absolute magic in photos. From cropping yourself into other locations and adding clip art into them as well, you can honestly do anything with this tool. I pay for the premium version of the app, but doing so in order to enjoy what it has to offer is not necessary. This is the place where I go to add my Disney characters, out of this world locations like my Star Wars post, and basically add an extra dose of magic that can’t be found in real life. I typically use this app when I want to be seriously creative, so know that editing photos in this app takes time and patience. Be willing to learn, play around with it, and keep showing up. The more you use it, the easier it will become to master.
Enlight Videoleap Video Editor
This app is video editing heaven. Take small clips and attach them together, and with a library of dozens of music clips to add behind, you can make serious magic. It also has various features like voiceover, which makes a great tool for instructional videos you need to make. Add glitches for cool adjustments in video clarity. I just love using this tool when wanting to take my IGTV videos and Instagram stories up a notch. You can post a basic video with the music Instagram provides, or channel your inner George Lucas and create an actual film moment. I’ve used things like iMovie and other video editing apps, and this one is by far my favorite.
This app may seem like a no brainer, but I have to recommend it. It’s the ultimate inspirational tool. Think of any topic you want to start creating on, and there are a ton of posts ready to inspire you! I have Pinterest boards for everything from arts and crafts ideas for the kids, to various photography related pins that I want to refer back to in the future before shooting. It could be something simple like learning to bake or cook, to growing your knowledge on flatlay execution. Pinterest is your one stop shop for all things inspiring in the social media and blogging field. Download today and get to pinning!
This app is LIFE. This app has changed my Instagram stories forever and I am forever grateful for it. At the risk of sounding arrogant, I have a ton of people ask me about my Instagram stories. About how beautiful they always look and how they can do it too. If I recommend one app more than all of the others, this one is it. I have to warn you, the process of what I do with Instagram stories is time consuming. It takes patience and consistency to push through the idea that its “all silly and not worth it.” If making your Instagram stories look clean and pristine is something that’s valuable to your brand, then I highly recommend you checking out this app to see if it’s a good fit for you.
This is another great app for more Instagram story templates. You know the cute ones with the photo collage look? Ya, it’s here. I really like mixing up my story looks, so having a few apps for stories just works for me. I don’t use this app nearly as much as I use StoryArt, but I do also highly recommend this one as well. I would suggest taking multiple photos for the same post and taking advantage of the film photo collage option in the app. Super cute and personable way to connect and inspire people in your stories!
Highlight Cover and Logo Maker
Highlight covers are becoming more and more common to see on Instagram profiles, and they normally have a consistent look and aesthetic. The highlight cover app is a great app to use for exactly that; highlight cover making. Best of all, it’s free! Before you do so, what’s the overall look you want your Instagram page to have? The app has a ton of options to inspire. Although, the creativity portion is all on you.. spend time on your page figuring out what your “vibe” is, then create cute bubbles on the tool to match. Save the image and go back to the specific story highlight you want it to match with. Click edit the photo and replace the phot with your new bubble. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with how nice and uniform it all looks when you’re done.
I love this app! I use it for creating custom Instagram story and post templates, but I mainly use it for creating things like my media kit and invoices. Are you an influencer that has your first paying gig, but need to create an invoice yourself? Use Canva. Thinking of starting the influencer lifestyle but need to create a media kit to talk about your analytics and abilities? Use Canva. Bottom line, just download Canva because you’ll eventually need it someday. This tool is also fun to use to create your own story and static post images, or use the library of pre made ones on days you don’t feel inspired. For this app, there is a free and paid for version. Because of how often I use this tool for work, I pay for the premium version, although not necessary.
A Color Story
What a great app! As soon as I’m done editing in Lightroom, I take that same photo and add a few more touches in A Color Story. If you don’t want to spend money on buying presets and wasting your time in Lightroom, “ A Color Story” is a great place to do things like edit photos and use filters to create consistency. The parts I use the most are in the “effects” section, where I have a few of my favorites saved and add a cute sun flare or bokeh to the final edit. This app is a staple in most influencer’s phones, so get familiar with it and start to fall in love!
I hope you enjoyed this small look into my phone. I use these tools daily, but not all of them, so don’t go too overboard with editing. At the end of the day, the authentic and real photo is always going to be a ton more inspiring than a fake, over edited one. It’s like makeup… we use it to enhance our natural beauty, and not to completely transform into someone we’re not. So get out there and experiment, but do so in moderation. Happy content creating!
May the 4th is one of the most sacred of days in our home. Why? Because it’s Star Wars Day of course! Ever since I can remember, Star Wars has been everything to me. I knew that when I had littles, I would “show them the ways of the force” through these beautiful stories, in hopes that they would gravitate towards them too. I’m still working a bit on Kensey, but Emma has been a fan of it all from the start. Kensey loves characters like Rey and Chewie, while Emma has always had a thing for the dark side, and loves Darth Vader. We usually celebrate this day like most fans do… at Disneyland Parks. With the new addition of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and all it has to offer, is there a better place to celebrate? Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, we’re not able to access our precious parks to celebrate. That DOES NOT mean that you can’t have some galactic fun from home and still celebrate in style! All you need is a few supplies from the house, some imagination, and a little help from the force, and you’re on your way to having a great day! I’ve listed below some fun activities to help add some Star Wars magic, along with the links on further instructions or downloads. We hope this helps your family have a blast on May 4th, and as always, may the force be with you!
Bake “Leia Buns” Cinnamon Rolls
This one seems super easy and a no brainer. Princess Leia’s iconic hair can easily be spotted in these cinnamon rolls, that is pre-icing of course. I just snagged a can of Pilsbury brand cinnamon rolls and baked as directed on the back. I took the picture while they we’re cooling and we chatted about Princess Leia and how much of a role model she is. Brave and fearless, but had heart in all she did. A general yes, but to me, she’s royalty. Enjoy this with a side of overnight oats, and bonus points if you make the Galaxy’s Edge version!
Star Wars Toilet Paper Roll Characters
What a cute and easy project! All you need to do is click on the link below and download the free printables. After that, take your printables and glue them around a toilet paper roll. Be sure to cut the paper to fit the roll, and i would recommend using a hot glue gun to keep them down. These make great photo props, and even better figurine toys for the kids to play and pretend with! We had a blast making them and will use them for future fun days ahead!
Keep kids occupied for a while on Star Wars Day with this take on when Han Solo got stuck on carbonite. Take a Han Solo action figure (or any Star Wars ones you got) and stick them in a small Tupperware dish. add water to the top and stick in the freezer overnight. When you’re ready to free them, run warm water around the dish until the ice melts it out. Have kids use water to melt the ice and free the smuggler. This is a great activity for little ones to do!
Star Wars Lunch Bag Puppets
You will need the following for Chewie: brown paper bag, black and white construction paper, googly eyes,brown crayon, glue, scissors, and a pencil. First, take your black construction paper and cut to create a belt. Glue down. Take the white piece of paper and cut small squares to style the belt. Cut Chewie’s mouth and glue on, as well as the googly eyes. Cut a small oval for his nose and glue on. Add silver accents to the belt with a pencil. Add fur marks overall with a brown crayon.
You will need the following for Yoda: lunch bag, Green and white construction paper, googly eyes, scissors, glue, and a grey crayon or colored pencil. First, start off by cutting out all of the pieces you need. Two large ovals for the eyelids, two ears , and the head should all be green. You can wrap the white paper around the bottom to resemble his robe. Glue on the head and ears and color in the inside of the ears to give it dimension with the grey crayon. Next, glue on the eyes and eyelids, Take the crayon and add a mouth and nose, as well as some more overall wrinkles.
Pool Noodle Light Saber
A safe and fun way to have a full blown battle! We made a couple dozen of these for Emma’s 4th Star Wars birthday party, and I’m thankful to report that a few are still completely in tact! They are simple to make too! Take a pool noodle and cut in half. Use a combination of silver, black, and colored electric tape and wrap around the bottom to resemble the base. That’s it! You can also take added time to create buttons and shapes with a Sharpie marker, if detail is a thing you seriously need. After you’re done, you can conduct your own Jedi Training Academy from home!
Make Blue Milk At Home
What would Star Wars Day be without something food and drink related from our beloved Galaxy’s Edge?! It just wouldn’t be right. As much as i would love to recreate their famous Ronto Wrap or maybe even a beverage from Ooga’s Cantina, I figured it would be great to start with their staple beverage; the blue milk. Now, some prefer the green milk, and that’s totally okay. I personally think it tastes like the smell of potting soil, so you won’t find me making that here. I did however, find a copycat recipe that i linked below for both styles of milk, so you can recreate your preferred flavor. I really enjoyed making this, and thought it tasted pretty close to the original thing. Due to the pandemic and not wanting to travel to too many stops for supplies, I disregarded some of the ingredients listed, or replaced with something else. My advice if you cannot access all the stuff listed in the link is to improvise and experiment. Have fun and enjoy yourself!
How cute are these little guys?! I’ve always been a fan of Jawas and these little rocks were so easy to create! All you need is some smooth rocks that have been washed and cleaned as well as some black, brown, and yellow acrylic paint and a Sharpie. Once your rocks have been cleaned and dried, paint them with a few coats of brown paint. Once dry, make a black circle of paint for the face shadow. Finally, after that has dried, add a few yellow dots for the eyes and use the Sharpie to draw a utility belt. After that, you’re all set! Use these for cute garden decor, or as a fun add on to any gift you’re mailing to a loved one.
Read Some Star Wars Books
We’ve been big fans of reading since the lockdown. It’s given us time to read some books that have been collecting dust, and the girls have found a new love for reading as well! Star Wars Day is a great excuse to bust out some of those Star Wars themed books in your bookshelf. Because of its complicated story line, the girls have been able to learn about the saga thanks to the Little Golden Books series. It has a great way of summarizing the story and has great pictures too. “The Galaxy Needs You” is also another great story of why you are so special and important to the world. I’ve linked both book options below. Reading is the coolest hobby in the galaxy!
Star Wars Coloring Pages
“But Megan, I’ve colored nonstop since lockdown”. I know, me too. But the fact is, we’re stuck at home and coloring is what we do now. In all seriousness, coloring is a great way to relax and spend some quiet time, and there are so many free coloring pages online to choose from! Just head to Pinterest or Google and search for “free Star Wars coloring sheets” and a bunch of options like the ones above will pop up.
Star Wars Activity Sheets
Just like the coloring pages, there are so many FREE printable activity sheets that are Star Wars themed online. I found both of these on Pinterest, and took Emma a bit of time to get through. You can also search for activities based on age group too by being a bit more specific in the search engine. You can also create your own game of Star Wars charades by writing the character names down and throwing them in hat for loved ones to act out and play along!
Make Light Saber Bookmarks
You will need the following supplies for these bookmarks: multi-colored pieces of construction paper, black construction paper, glue, scissors & white paint. Cut out the various colored pieces of paper into small light sabers. Cover the bottom with a black square of paper the is slightly wider than the saber piece and glue together. Take white paint and add saber decorations to the black part. Once dry, you can laminate to keep protected, or use contact paper on both font and back.
Star Wars Scavenger Hunt
This was such a fun way to incorporate the outdoors a bit! Galaxy’s Edge has its own scavenger hunt that you can participate in, so this one that I found on Pinterest was a total hit for us! I did not create this particular scavenger hunt, I found it on Pinterest and linked it below. I took the paper cutouts and hot glued them onto some cardboard and hung them by ribbon. I took them and hid them around the front yard area for the girls to locate. To add a little bit of dark side to the game, I had Dan pretend to be a Storm Trooper and sneak up on them every now and them to arrest them. Just trying to add a little bit of Galaxy’s Edge anywhere we can.
The BEST WAY to actually enjoy Star Wars Day is to sit down with your favorite Disney popcorn bucket, some blue milk, and have a movie marathon! Disney+ has practically every movie available, with the addition of Rise of Skywalker being added on May 4th, 2020. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the saga as a family, or pop in your favorite one and relive the story together. Our favorite is “The Force Awakens” followed by “Return of the Jedi”. We hope you enjoyed some of these ideas to get your celebration going in the right direction! We had such fun putting it together and can’t wait to celebrate Star Wars Day in the parks next year!