Turn Your Child’s Artwork Into a Custom Stuffed Animal with Budsies

When my son, Zack (now 8 years old), was in preschool, he hated to draw, color and paint.  I tried different methods to get him to embrace his artistic side – Finger paints! Glitter!  A box of 120 Crayola crayons! – but nothing mattered.  He’d draw/color/paint for all of 2 minutes, and then go right back to crashing his Hot Wheels through Lego towers.  As a person who thrives in anything creative, I felt like a failure as a mother.  I may or may not have cried about it in front of his teacher and pediatrician.

Moms, you know how it goes.  It doesn’t take much for us to feel like we are failures, does it?

But as it turns out, I shouldn’t have been worried.  About a year ago, Zack developed a concept that he calls a Zack Bot.  It’s a little flying robot with long arms and a big Z on his body.  He’s drawn Zack Bot books, puts Zack Bots on every scrap of paper that he can find, and creates “special edition” bots for his friends – there’s a Josh Bot and a Kat Bot, which each have different super powers.

Bring your kids' artwork to life with Budsies #bestgifteverHis artistic vision was delayed, but it did eventually show up.  You have no idea how excited I am that Zack has finally embraced his artistic side!

So when I heard that there was a company – Budsies – that turned children’s artwork into plush, stuffed animals, I knew that I had to get one made for Zack.  After looking at their website, I was really impressed with the way they had turned other kids’ drawings into stuffed animals, down to the last polka dot and crazy detail.  Kids have some super imaginative visions, and all of the animals were really well executed.

Of course, I couldn’t order a Budsie for Zack and leave out Emma.  She drew her ideal stuffed animal, which was kind of crazy.  I was worried that it would be too much (or too abstract) for Budsies to replicate, but they assured me that it was just fine.

Bring your kids' artwork to life with Budsies #bestgiftever

The process is that you order your Budsies through their website and then send in the artwork.  If your child needs help coming up with an idea, Budsies offers templates that they can use as a jumping off point.  To submit the artwork, you can take a picture of it and email or text it to the company or just upload it through their website.  They let me know that they had received the artwork and that it looked great.  In about a month, I got a shipping notification that our Budsies were on their way to us via USPS Priority Mail.

I didn’t tell the kids that their Budsies were on their way, since I know opening that box would be an amazing surprise for them.  And it was!

Bring your kids' artwork to life with Budsies #bestgiftever

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Five Easy Ways to Remind Yourself to Change Your HVAC Filters

There are few things more boring, or easily forgotten, than performing routine home maintenance tasks.  Mowing the grass, resealing grout, replacing caulk around the windows.  Yawn, right?  Well, as tedious as those tasks seem, they are very important to the way your home physically operates.  A properly maintained home helps keep your energy costs down, which in turn (if we are being totally honest) means you have more money left over for decorating. Woot!

I am notorious for conveniently forgetting routine tasks, like changing smoke detector batteries before they start beeping at me or the HVAC filters before they are disgustingly dirty.   I’m pretty good at remembering things that happen once a month, like giving my dogs heir heart worm preventative on the first of every month. But if something is supposed to be done once every few months?  My brain refuses to participate.  I mean, y’all saw my dirty HVAC filters a few months ago.  They were gross! Thank goodness I usually use the Filtrete Allergen Defense MPR 1000 filters that help to reduce airborne allergens in my home and clean indoor air by capturing dust, pollen and lint from passing through the system.  That at least makes me feel a little bit better when I forget about them.

Since I’m trying to do my best to turn over a new leaf and save us a little money by properly maintaining an efficient heating and cooling system, I have come up with a system to help myself remember to perform certain tasks.  One of my friends (shout out to Sara!) just told me it cost her $7,000 to replace an old HVAC system – you could buy a lot of paint with that money, y’all!  Replacing her system wasn’t dirty filter related, but there’s no reason why I should send mine to an early grave by ignoring it.

Just in case you are in the same boat as I am, I put together a list of a few ideas I had for setting up a system for these types of reminders:

Set an Alarm

I tend to rely on my iPhone for just about everything.  I need it to make calls, send emails, search the Internet, do some pinning and tell me if its going to rain.  Now, I think it needs to remind me to change my HVAC filters, too.

There are a few ways you can set such an alarm on your phone.  With either an iPhone or an Android, you can download a free app called Any.Do (I LOVE this app, y’all).  You can schedule a task, like Replace HVAC Filters, every three months (the recommended time between changing filters) and set an alarm to go off.  When the date and time you selected arrives, a chime and a notification will pop up on your phone.

Five Easy Ways to Remind Yourself to Change Your HVAC Filters

Any.Do even has a web app now which makes it even easier to schedule tasks.  I use it for reminders for all sorts of things.

Five Easy Ways to Remind Yourself to Change Your HVAC Filters

Jot it Down

As much as I love my Any.Do app, I’m a paper calendar type of girl.  I know, I know.  Make fun of me all you want, but writing appointments down on a paper calendar is pretty much the only way that I’m going to make it there at the right time.  I’ve tried – and failed – several times to convert myself to a digital calendar on my phone/computer.  Each time, it ended badly.

Filed Under: Create Your Decor, Giveaways & Product Reviews 1 Comment

Sunday Pinterest Party Featuring You {Week 9}

It’s party time, y’all!

Weekly Pinterest Link Up Party

Meet our team: Allison from Two Thirty-Five Designs~Pinterest, Lindsay from Makely School For Girls~Pinterest, Kelly from Lily Pad Cottage~Pinterest, Adrianne from Dream Book Design~Pinterest, Jenelle from Nelle Creations~Pinterest, Sarah from Creative Ramblings~Pinterest, and Aimee from Captivating Corner~Pinterest.

If you missed the last few weeks, be sure to click here to find out what’s going on. I am loving this Pinterest party!  I’m getting discover new pins that I haven’t seen yet on Pinterest, which is leading to new ideas in my crazy brain. This week, I’m featuring this adorable stump table, pinned by Kristie Ritter.  I really want to make one of these for my home, but I was afraid it was a lot of work.  Kristie makes it look really easy, so I might try it! DIY stump table Y’all know I love a good knockoff, and this one is no exception!  This DIY Chain Mail Lamp, pinned by Leigh at Simple. Home. Bliss., is fun.  Make sure you click through to her pin to see how she did it. DIY Chain Mail Lamp

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Ideas for an (Almost) Tween Boy’s Room

When my now 8-year old son was just two, he had one giant obsession: cars.  That kid woke up talking about cars, went to sleep talking about cars, and he spent every moment in between either playing with cars or talking about how he wanted to play with cars.  He was a fun little man, and Lightening McQueen was his hero.  And if we are being totally honest, Lightening McQueen was my hero, too, because he helped get me through some rough moments as a first time mother.

So, I did what any crazy, DIY loving mom would do and painted a car mural on every wall of his room.  The cars were cartoon styled to match his (then popular) bedding from Target.  The delight on his face when he saw the room for the first time is one of those moments that, as a mother, I will never forget.

In the past few years, Zack’s obsessions have changed. Although he does still like to play cars with his 3-year old sister and has never turned down a chance to watch his buddy McQueen, Zack’s primary obsessions are now Lego, Minecraft, and sharks.  When I brought up the thought that we needed to redecorate his room since he had outgrown the toddler car theme, I was met with a lot of resistance.  Zack is a very sentimental kid (a trait that he doesn’t get from me), so the thought of his car room going away brought out the tears.

I gave him about six months to get used to the idea.  One day, he came to me and said, “I’d like to have a shark room.”  He wants to be a marine biologist – which is funny to me, because that’s what I entered college to be but I had never shared that with him. “Yep, we can do that!” I replied. “But, with a little mid century modern twist.”

“Huh?” he said.

Mid Century Modern boy's room moodboard

Using Photoshop Elements, I put together a mood board using my ideas for his room.  Since he outgrew his car room so quickly, I don’t want to go down the themed room route again (I should have listened to my friend Melissa back then).  I want to make it “feel” sharky while having very few actual sharks in the room.  Zack loves the above image, so I think we are headed in the right direction.  This is really the first time I’ve ever done a mood board for one of my rooms, but I’m already thrilled that I put it together.

Filed Under: Decorate Your Home 8 Comments

Sunday Pinterest Party Featuring You {Week 8}

Sometimes the AMAZING holiday weekend gets away from you, and a Sunday Pinterest Party becomes a Monday Pinterest Party.  Hate me.

Weekly Pinterest Link Up Party

Meet our team:
Allison from Two Thirty-Five Designs~Pinterest, Lindsay from Makely School For Girls~Pinterest, Kelly from Lily Pad Cottage~Pinterest, Adrianne from Dream Book Design~Pinterest, Jenelle from Nelle Creations~Pinterest, Sarah from Creative Ramblings~Pinterest, and Aimee from Captivating Corner~Pinterest.

If you missed the last few weeks, be sure to click here to find out what’s going on.

I’m sorry to be such a loser and to miss posting the linky party yesterday! Well, actually, I’m not sorry because I was having a blast with my friends and neighbors and never wanting the holiday weekend to end. In fact, this is the first time that I’ve turned on my computer since Thursday…I hope you had an awesome time yourself!

Even with everyone being in holiday mode last week (or was that just me?) there were still some great pins linked up to the party!  One of my favorites is this DIY Mini Hanging Planter pinned by Leigh Anne at Houseologie.  I am obsessed with little wooden bowls, so I’m sure I have enough on hand to make this today.

DIY Mini Hanging Planter

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Jumpstart June {The Finale}

Woah.  Did June just fly right by us or what?  And just as quickly, we are finished with Jumpstart June.

Jumpstart June: Pick one project that you want to get finished this month and get it done!

Since today is actually July 2nd, I should have posted my final project yesterday.  But, sometimes summer fun gets in the way of my blog’s editorial calendar, and you guys have to wait a day or two for a post.  The good news, though, is that I got finished with my Jumpstart June project.

Mary Blair Inspired Wall

YES!  I actually didn’t finish it until about 10pm on June 30th.  I went down to the wire, but I got it completed.

Filed Under: Create Your Decor 7 Comments