DIY Paw Print Art

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Four years ago our family was ready to add a pet. Both my husband and I grew up with dogs in our family and we both have a special affection for canines. We adopted our sweet Merry dog from a rescue that promised they’d send us her vaccine and spay records in the mail because they couldn’t find them in the files they had brought with them to the adoption event. We shrugged it off, but weeks went by without any papers arriving in the mail and several months later our Merry girl was giving birth to puppies in my son’s bedroom. She was pregnant! As soon as Merry was recovered and physically able, we had her vaccinated and spayed. We also spent the next few months caring for all ten, yes ten, of her puppies as we worked diligently to find them homes. Thankfully Merry ended up in our home, where we knew the commitment we made when adopting her and worked through all the obstacles to keep her healthy and safe. She’s truly a part of our family and we can’t imagine not having her around.

In October 2017, our support (and yours!) will help Rachael Ray™ Nutrish® donate $250,000 to benefit shelter pets like Merry and find the homes they deserve. Enter the sweepstakes for a chance to win $25,000 and other prizes! Purchase any Nutrish® item during the Sweepstakes Period, then visit and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the registration form. Then upload a digital photo of your original purchase receipt the Nutrish product circled to receive one entry into the Sweepstakes. Sweepstakes begins on October 1, 2017 at 12:00:00 a.m. Eastern Time (“ET”) and ends on October 31, 2017 at 11:59:59 p.m. ET (the “Sweepstakes Period”).

My husband shares an extra special bond with Merry. The two if them just seem to speak each others language. I thought it would be fun to create this fun DIY Paw Print Art using Merry’s paw print.

I started by painting a blank canvas a light purple. I let it dry for several hours allowing it to set completely.

Then I dabbed some paint onto Merry’s paw and pressed it lightly onto the canvas.

We got a little messy, but I just covered up the paint with more purple.

Once Merry’s paw print was dry the project was complete! A crazy simple project that celebrates the canine in our lives.

Merry’s story is just one of many shelter dogs, but she’s enriched our lives. Rachael’s Rescue® was created for all of the forgotten and lost pets, the ones who might not have someone who loves them as much as they deserve. A portion of proceeds from each sale of Nutrish is donated to The Rachael Ray Foundation, which helps animals in need through Rachael’s Rescue. Through September 2017, Rachael’s Rescue has donated more than $21 million dollars to pet charities and other organizations that do good for animals. The funds are used for food, medical supplies, treatments, and more for animals in need. Many more animals around the country need help, and through Rachael’s Rescue, together we can make a difference in the lives of many four-legged friends. By purchasing Rachael Ray Nutrish items and entering the sweepstakes above, you can help too.

For more information on Nutrish and how you can help shelter pets through the company, be sure to visit the Nutrish website or follow Nutrish on Facebook. You can pick up Nutrish products at your nearest Dollar General.

6 Creative DIY Homework Stations

My boys are both in second grade this year and with the advancement to a new grade comes a bit more homework. I’ve found that this year I need to ensure that they have a dedicated space for homework; so I’ve been on the hunt for inspiring DIY Homework Stations that I can draw inspiration from to create our own. These are some of my favorites that I’ve discovered, for both small spaces and large areas, during my search.

DIY Homework Station from Lil Luna

Upcycled Kid’s Craft Station from So You Think You’re Crafty

Vintage Library Cart Homework Station from 4 Men 1 Lady

Fridge Homework Station from The 36th Avenue

Kids Homework Area from Postbox Designs

Small Homework Station from Curbly

I think I’ve decided on a station similar to one like Lil Luna’s, a tray filled with well organized jars and plenty of accessible supplies. Since we don’t have the extra space for an actual homework room like the beautifully put together one in Postbox Designs home (one day!), a portable station would be a great solution for my family.

For more back to school ideas, tips, and tricks, be sure to follow the Our Holly Days page on Facebook where I update daily.

DIY Rainbow Highlighter Pen

This post contains affiliate links.

I’ve always been a girl who loves rainbows and sparkles and unicorns. Give me all the glitter and holographs too. I was always armed for back to school with the latest Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper and plenty of notebooks to match. I’ve always had an affinity for brightly colored and fun stationery supplies. I’m never one to use a simple black pen. I mean, it need some kind of design on it, right? Recently, I discovered that there was a way to turn my plain yellow highlighter into a magical rainbow highlighter pen and ever since, my highlighting work is done in the rainbow-iest of fashion, ha! This DIY Rainbow Highlighter Pen is so simple, you’ll never go back to regular highlighting again. Well, unless you’re a perfectly normal human being. But if you’re more like me, you’ll want to splash rainbow highlighter all over your things, ha!

Start by taking a yellow highlighter (the fatter tip versions work better for this).

Take a pink highlighter and press it into the side of the yellow. Do this a few times so the ink transfers over.

Next take an orange highlighter (or blu, which actually makes a full gradient rainbow) and press it into the opposite side of the yellow highlighter.

And then? Highlight all the things on all the paper, ha! It’s crazy simple and works so well. With rainbow being such a fun trend, I love this fun idea for bringing extra color to study materials, planners, and even books. Sure, some would say this is a little too much, but they’d be saying that to the girl with the Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper who doesn’t understand what tone it down even means.

For more fun tutorials and crafts like this one, be sure to follow the Our Holly Days page on Facebook where I share and update daily.

3 Lego Games to Play with Your Kids

This post is sponsored by LEGOLAND California. 

LEGO is a classic. I remember playing and building with the brightly colored bricks as a little girl and now my own children play with the classic toy. One thing I love about LEGO is that it’s one toy that all of my kids enjoy together. Age gaps don’t exists and everyone works together to create and imagine. One of the ways my kids play together is by creating fun LEGO games where they compete and use their LEGO skills to build and win!

One brick towers

This is a simple game, but it’s so much fun. To goal is to build the tallest tower using only one brick at a time. If your tower falls, you’re out. Tallest doesn’t always equal strongest, so playing with different placements of each brick is essential in this game. The last person who has a standing tower is the winner!

One color builds

Everyone gets just one color for their build and the goal is to build something using just that color. Everyone votes on whose they like best (no one can vote for themselves!) and the person with the most votes wins! For smaller kids, just the actual building is plenty fun, but I know my older kiddos are super competitive and play to win, ha!

20 brick builds

Each player gets exactly twenty bricks to build something. In one version, players take turns choosing a brick from the pile until everyone has twenty. In a harder version, players blindly choose twenty bricks. Set a timer and get those creative juices flowing.

LEGO is so versatile and great for any personality. Type a people (read: me!) can follow the directions exactly and walk through building something step by step. But creatives who don’t want or need a mold can feel free to play and create using their imaginations. As the mother to children of both personality types, I love that LEGO encourages play for all of my kids. These fun LEGO games inspire play and create a fun family activity that are exciting no matter your age or personality type, ha!

Be sure to checkout LEGOLAND California on Facebook where you can get up to date information on the park, current events, and other fun LEGO activities.

DIY Apple Mason Jar Pencil Holder

Before the beginning of the school year, I like to sit down with my kids and create a thoughtful gift for each of their teachers. Not only is it a kind gesture for the person who will be educating my kids for the next nine months, but it’s also a way of instilling thoughtfulness and kindness in my children. My boys and I created this adorable DIY Apple Mason Jar Pencil Holder together for their teacher this year, which I hope brings a smile to their face as they’re welcoming several new students into their classrooms on the first day.

I started by pouring some red paint into a mason jar.

Then I poured some fine red glitter into the mason jar.

And swirled it all around, using a paintbrush for the harder places.

I set aside the mason jar to dry for several hours.

While the mason jar dries, I cut out two leaves from green pattered paper, hole punching the end of each one.

Once the jar was completely dry, I screwed the rim on and use twine to string the paper leaves onto the jar.

Lastly, we filled it with plenty of fresh number two pencils for teacher. It’s about as close to a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils as one can get (we should be friends if you get that movie reference).

I love that this sweet little gift is a fun play on the original apple gift teacher’s are known for. It’s a sweet way of saying how excited we are and how much we appreciate all the hard work that the teacher has already put in before the year has even begun.

For more back to school ideas, crafts, tips, and inspiration, be sure to follow Our Holly Days on Facebook where I update daily.

DIY Kazoops! Headbands

This post is sponsored by Netflix.

I’m going to admit it: I like watching some of my kid’s shows on Netflix. One of my morning favorites is Kazoops!, which is an animated Netflix Original, about a young boy named Monty and his pet pig, Jimmy Jones. Monty’s big imagination takes them on grand adventures and fun experiences. I adore the sweet British accents of the characters and the music. The animation is crazy colorful and I love their adorable red door, green attic, teal home. Monty is endlessly curious, which fuels his adventures with his sweet pig. Kazoops! is a favorite of Evelyn’s and we usually spend the early morning hours before the rest of the house wakes up cuddling in my bed and watching an episode together. Inspired by Jimmy Jones, I created these fun DIY Kazoops! Headbands for Evelyn to play with (I won’t lie, me too!).

I started with a simple headband that I picked up at a local pharmacy.

Then I sketched a couple of little pig ears onto some pink felt.

I trimmed each ear out.

And secured it to my headbands using hot glue.

One of my favorite things about hot glue is that it dries fairly quickly, which means Evelyn and I were playing our own version of Kazoops! in under fifteen minutes.

One of my favorite things to do is to incorporate my kiddo’s favorite characters on TV into an activity or craft that helps to stir their imagination and curiosity (both major themes in Kazoops!). It brings their TV world into the real world, ha, and encourages play while utilizing a familiar face or character. Jimmy Jones just happens to be the cutest character of all!

To watch Kazoops!, tune in on Netflix where there are three season packed with adventure, imagination, and curiosity with Monty and Jimmy Jones.

Back to School Teacher Bouquet

This school year is a little extra special for my family. My littlest daughter, the baby of the family, will be starting her first year of pre-kindergarten. As a work from home mom, this is exciting for me because I know I’ll have several hours of uninterrupted time to work, but it’s bittersweet because she’s my baby and I do enjoy being able to play with her at home. Despite my missing her, I know she’ll be in good hands with her teachers. In our small town, the teacher has stayed the same and has taught my two older boys; so she’s a familiar face that will help put me at ease when I drop off my littlest to her each morning. To show my appreciation for Evelyn’s new-to-her teacher, I created a fun back to school teacher bouquet to for my little preschooler to give to her teacher as she walks through the door. This fun little gift will brighten the classroom with a familiar school supply while also letting her teacher know that we appreciate the hard work she put into her classes.

To start, I grabbed a trusty mason jar. These things are perfect for just about any craft, am I right?

I also grabbed an empty plastic water bottle and trimmed the top down to the same size as the mason jar before placing it inside.

Next I lined my mason jar with little craft puffs, you know the brightly colored ones that most of us can remember creating with as kids? I was able to find these at the dollar store. Since this was for a pre-k teacher, I kept the colors as they were in bright primary shades, but this could easily be transformed into a more elegant piece by using only the silver or gold puffs.

Then I added some water to the water bottle.

And dropped in some beautiful flowers. Yellow for friendship since the year should be full of new beginnings for my littlest and her teacher.

Teachers play such an important role in my children’s lives and this year, I’m hoping I can communicate to them just how much I appreciate their work in my kiddo’s education and development. Through little gifts like this Back to School Teacher Bouquet I’m hoping my children learn to better communicate their appreciation and respect to people in their lives. I’m hoping to also bring a smile to the educators that see my children every single day.

For more back to school inspiration, including tutorials, crafts, recipes, and more, be sure to follow the Our Holly Days page on Facebook.

Borax-Free Glitter Force Slime

This post is sponsored by Netflix. 

I could sing for you the entire introduction song to Glitter Force. Glitter power is real and is here. In fact, Glitter Force so powerful that it’s even overthrown Evelyn’s other Netflix favorites. I’m not going to pretend even for a second that I’m bothered by the glitter and makeup talk, though. I embrace all things glitter and rainbows, so this is a show I can get behind. I’ve always been the girliest of girlie and I love that my little girl seems to enjoy it as much as I did do.

I’ve been so grateful for our Netflix subscription lately. With record breaking temperatures in the high 110F, going outside is pretty much out of the question since I don’t have a pool (I live literally in the middle of the desert). Glitter Force is number one lately and since Evelyn and I can’t fight battles like our glittered friends, I thought I’d take some sparkly inspiration from our girl, Emily, and create some Glitter Force Slime to play with.


  • one bottle of glitter glue
  • baking soda
  • contact lens solution

I started with a bottle of glitter glue.

And added half a tablespoon of baking soda and gave it a good stir to incorporate it throughout the glue.

And a tablespoon and a half of contact lens solution.

I mixed it all up. The more I played and stirred, the more it became pliable. Eventually I had to remove the slime to mix it together more with my hands.

This Glitter Force Slime was so simple to make that I let Evelyn have a go at making her own. This was such a great hands on project for her to get involved with. She was so proud of her work!

And yes, it was that simple to create. In fact, I loved making the slime so much, my daughter and I made a total of four colors. We tried to make one for each of the Glitter Force gals, but we couldn’t find all of the necessary colors. Evelyn and I played with each color separately and then combined them for the ultimate glitter rainbow slime.

What are you currently watching on Netflix? Do you also have Glitter Force playing on your TV or is it another show your kids just can’t get enough of? Let’s chat Netflix in the comments below.

Milk and Honey Bath Melts

This post contains affiliate links.

This summer, my family has some serious plans to get wet. Between traveling to Northern Michigan to splash in the Great Lakes and visiting water parks, our skin will be getting pretty beat up. I’ve had success with gently moisturizing and rehydrating skin in the past with DIY Honey Lavender Bath Melts and thought I’d reimagine them for our summer baths to help our skin heal from all the upcoming wear and tear. These DIY Milk and Honey Bath Melts are soothing, gentle, and moisturize even the driest of skin (trust me, I live in the dry desert, ha!). They’ll be great to have on hand after long days in the summer sun or swimming in the pool and since they’re so gentle, even my kiddos use them.

To start, I melt together some shea butter, almond oil, and honey in a glass bowl over a pot of boiling water. The honey works as a natural humectant, which is fancy speak for helping to lock in moisture, promotes healing, and supports the skin’s rejuvenating abilities.

Once it has melted together and smooth, I stir in some powdered milk (the result will be a fairly crumbly texture). Milk contains lactic acid that helps to exfoliate, soften, and tone the skin.

Then I measure out about two tablespoon of the mixture with my hands and roll it into a ball. And then I transfer the ball to a sheet of parchment paper to cool and repeat until all the mixture is used.

To finish them off once they’ve cooled, I roll them in some additional powdered milk.

These can be stored in a container next to the bathtub and used all summer long. They’re full of beneficial ingredients and encourage relaxation. I’m planning on packing a few in my suitcase for our upcoming vacation to help keep the kiddos skin less irritated from all of our adventures.


For more summertime DIYs, be sure to follow the Our Holly Days page on Facebook where I update with links to my favorites from fellow bloggers.

Things I Love About Dad Gift Bag

Father’s Day is next week, friends, and I’m all about getting personal when it comes to such a meaningful holiday. My husband works hard at his blue collar job providing for our little big family. More than that, he’s a dedicated father. In our blended family, it gets hard to spend time with everyone, but he does what he can. In fact, next week he will be driving three hours to watch his oldest graduate from 8th grade into high school. He loves his children fiercely, so I wanted to make sure they took some time to think about what they love about their father. The kiddos each created an adorable Things I Love About Dad Gift Bag using a few simple supplies.

I started by giving each child a piece of construction paper and a marker, instructing them to title the paper, “Five Things I Love About Daddy,” or in Collin’s case, Cub Cub (my husband is his stepfather).

I encouraged them to think hard about some of their favorite things about him, how he makes them feel, and what they love most about him. I helped them translate their five favorites onto the paper.

When they were done, I trimmed down each paper to fit over a plain brown gift bag.

Later on, I took the kiddos down to our local dollar store and let them each choose a gift for our bag. I loved seeing how thoughtful each child was as they browsed the aisles and chose their special present.

I wrapped up their gifts with tissue paper and used gift tags to distinguish which gift was from each child before placing them all inside our special bag.

This was such a special craft that made the kids feel involved in their Father’s Day gifts. I love that it encouraged them to think about the little things their daddy does for them and translate them onto paper to express their gratitude and love, something I think is important that they carry into adulthood for their future spouses, children, and adult siblings.

For more crafty ideas and projects be sure to follow Our Holly Days on Facebook where I share my favorites from fellow bloggers.