Category Archives: Crafts & DIY

Event Planning 911: Free Printables, Resources, & Custom Invitations

Event Planning 911: Free Resources for weddings, graduations, announcements & more

Planning an event is fun for me, but I’ve recently seen first hand how stressful it can be for some!  A dear friend is planning her wedding and it seems to be causing some serious anxiety for her.  Of course, I’ll help as much as I can.  There was a twinge of guilt when I had to admit that I didn’t plan my own wedding, My Uncle, whom I’ve worked with in helping other brides with their day, did all of the arranging and planning for our wedding.  I was and still am very grateful!  If you live in Arkansas, or want to have the best for your wedding, check out this wedding & event planner!  I assure you, you would not be disappointed!  What I did do, completely on my own, is our wedding invitations.  This just so happens to be what my friend is battling at the moment.  So, like any good

Event Planning Help: Free Printables, Resources, & Custom Invitationsmatron of honor, I thought I’d do some research for her.  What kind of blogger would I be if I didn’t share with you as well?

Event Planning Help: Free Printables, Resources, & Custom InvitationsBasic Invites has a selection worth looking into!  Not only do they have beautiful custom wedding invitations, they also have photo, graduation and party invitations, and for after: collage thank you cards that are out of this world perfect!  I love that they have both foil and non-foil cards as well as SO many different colors and a ton (over 40) of colored envelopes!  They are truly gorgeous and I wish I’d known of them when we got married!  Fortunately, I know of them now and will be using them in the future!  While there won’t be another wedding, there will be plenty of other events!  With graduation coming up, I think they’ll come in handy soon!  I have yet another niece who insists on growing up and graduating soon.  Plus the first will be getting married in the next couple of years.

Continue reading Event Planning 911: Free Printables, Resources, & Custom Invitations

Happy Independence Day: The Declaration of Independence

Declaration-of-Independence

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. –Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.

He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states:

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing taxes on us without our consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:

For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:

For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule in these colonies:

For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:

For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

 

New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts: John Hancock, Samual Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton.

Originally posted 2013-07-04 00:01:32.

Free Bracelet Tutorial

DIY Salvation Bracelet Tutorial.  This is the perfect lesson & craft for homeschool, Sunday school, Bible study or even church camp!

Salvation Bracelet Tutorial

Let the Little Children Come is such an amazing resource for both product and tutorials!  Not only do they have awesome tracts, they also have toys, free printables and tutorials!  You may have seen the post before about the free airplane printable or the free gospel magic trick before.  Now I’m bringing you the fantastic tutorial on making a beautiful Salvation bracelet!  I love how simple this bracelet tutorial makes things!  Among other things, I love that these bracelets are so adorable and I also love that you can MAKE the beads!

DIY Beads

I’m not gonna lie, they are a bit time consuming, but that is fabulous to keep everyone occupied, especially while teaching!  I made some and covered them with nail polish.  It was a bit of a challenge to keep the middle of the bead from filling when I dipped them in a sealant.  I used a bent paper clip and took it off when the sealant was almost dry, then placed it on some wax paper.  It took a while, but was worth it.

I rolled some beads on a toothpick and others on the ink part of a pen.  It was easier on the pen, but challenging both ways.  The toothpick did make tighter rolls.  I highly suggest utilizing stick glue to get the paper to stick with less of a fight!

DIY Salvation Bracelet Tutorial

When you make them, please share your tips and tricks!  I love finding more efficient ways to make things!

Dollar Tree Patriotic Wreath

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Check out the hodge podge of patriotic decor they had at Dollar Tree. I was checking them out and thought about all of the fabulous dollar store crafts I see on Pinterest and other blogs and thought I would try one out.
I’m gonna start by saying that I had the styrofoam wreath so I suppose I cheated a bit but everything else was from there. Keep Reading!

Originally posted 2013-06-24 00:01:00.

6 Camping Necessities You Didn’t Know You Needed

6 Camping Necessities You Didn't Know You NeededOne of my oldest and bestest friends and I decided to pack up and take our babies camping this week.  We got back yesterday, and boy am I sunburned!  I know, I know, USE SUNBLOCK!!!  Which, I did on day one and day three, but on day two I managed to forget it.  However, we did manage to remember to put it on the kids so that’s something, right?  LOL.  The result being that she and I are sunburned and all the Monkeys are perfectly brown.  Go figure.  LOL.  I am glad they aren’t burned too though!

I thought I would right a short post today about camping, since I’m too sore to sit at my keyboard for long.  LOL.  Anyway, here is my list of random things we MUST take with us next time!

Keep Reading!

Originally posted 2013-06-22 08:48:48.

Monster Cookie Recipe

Making Book Clubs Fun…With Food

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With summer’s arrival, it’s a great time to break out the stack of unread books for pool time or beach lounging. At least we always think that’s what will happen. Often, the summer ends and our reading list has barely budged.

A great way to ensure you get to some of those great reads is to create (either for yourself or your kids) a summertime book club. Rather than picturing you and your friends curled up next to a fire discussing your most recent reads of a hot cup of coffee, a summertime club begs for a summertime solution.

Some ideas:

1) Pick books with a setting near you that you can visit with a group.
2) Pick books with action in the plot that you and your friends can try. Choose a book with sailing in it and then have your book club take a sailing lesson together.
3) Hold your meetings on the beach or by a pool.
4) Play games related to the book.
5) Base your meetings around food related to the book.

The last is my favorite (and the easiest to do.) I’ve included my wife Nicole’s super-secret recipe for Monster Cookies below that we serve at Jack Templar Monster Hunter events. They get more accolades than the books. If you try them, you’ll see why!

Enjoy and have a great summer.

MONSTER COOKIES

cookie_time_hand_painted_wooden_sign_9f644067
Monster Cookie Recipe

Ingredients:

Combine:
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter

Stir in:
4 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup M&Ms

Preheat oven to 350
Bake for 13-15 minutes
Do not over bake…or the monsters with strike!

Enjoy with a copy of Jack Templar and the Monster Hunter Academy.
jack-templar-and-the-monster-hunter-academy-b-L-r5puG7

Jack Templar and the Monster Hunter Academy (Book 2)

After barely surviving the onslaught of monsters that tried to kill him the day before his fourteenth

birthday, Jack Templar leaves his hometown on a quest to rescue his father and discover the truth

about his past. Joined by his friends Will and T-Rex, and led by Eva, the mysterious one-handed monster

hunter, Jack sets out for the Monster Hunter Academy where he hopes to find answers to his questions.

Little does he suspect that the Academy is filled with dangers of its own, many of them more terrifying

than anything he’s faced so far.

 

 

Jack Templar: Monster Hunter

Orphan Jack Templar has no memory of his parents and only the smallest details from his Aunt Sophie

about how they died. The day before Jack’s fourteenth birthday, things start to change for him. At first

it’s great: A sudden new strength helps him defend his nose-picking friend “T-Rex” from the school bully,

and even his crush, Cindy Adams, takes notice. But then a mysterious girl named Eva arrives and tells

him two facts that will change his life forever. First, that he’s the descendent of a long line of monster

hunters and he’s destined to be in the family business. Second, that there’s a truce between man and

monster that children are off-limits…until their fourteenth birthday! Jack has only one day before

hundreds of monsters will descend on his little town of Sunnyvale and try to kill him.

As if that weren’t enough, things get even more complicated when Jack discovers that the Lord of

the Creach (as the monsters are collectively known) holds a personal grudge against him and will do

anything to see that Jack has a slow and painful death. To stay alive and save his friends, Jack will have

to battle werewolves, vampires, harpies, trolls, zombies and more. But perhaps the most dangerous

thing he must face is the truth about his past. Why do the other hunters call him the last Templar? Why

do they whisper that he may be the “One?” Why do the monsters want him dead so badly? Even as

these questions plague him, he quickly discovers survival is his new full-time job and that in the world of

monster hunters, nothing is really what it seems.

Amazon * Barnes &

Noble

Awards for Jack Templar Monster Hunter

Book of the Year Finalist by Forward Magazine

Next Generation Indie Book Finalist

Indie Excellence Finalist
Parents Choice Recommended Book Award

Author Jeff Gunhus

Jeff Gunhus grew up in Cyprus, Greece, and Saudi Arabia where there was a distinct lack of television.

He quickly found books were the gateway to incredible adventures, fascinating characters and

unbelievable discoveries. Now, with five children of his own (all who watch too much television, in his

opinion), he has enjoyed revisiting his old books and reliving those adventures all over again.

Originally posted 2013-06-20 00:14:24.

Valentine Chocolate Box Card

Quick Simple Valentine's Day CardCathy's Flower's & EventsI love Valentine’s day!  Spent quite a lot of time working in my Granny’s flower shop growing up.  Something about the hustle and insanity in the back of a

flower shop makes me so happy!  I have de-thorned more roses than I could ever count and loved every minute of it….  Well, perhaps not every one but lots of them.  That’, ladies and gentleman, is one of the

 

many reasons it’s better to get roses from a good flower shop than from the grocery store.  No worries about anyone getting stabbed with those awful thorns!  If you happen to live in the River Valley in Arkansas, I promise they are the best florist you will ever find!  Be sure and check out Cathy’s Flower’s & Events for all of your floral needs and event planning!  They did our wedding and it was absolutely gorgeous!


Valentine's Day Card

For those of you who love your Cricut, I thought I’d share this adorable card I made!  Who doesn’t love chocolate boxes?  I found this one absolutely adorable and totally perfect for a quick Valentine’s card!

I used Paper Doll Dress Up Cricut Cartridge, it’s on the ‘prom boy’ Accessories 2, cut at 3 1/4 inch.  I used a sharpie to do the black (had to do 2 layers to get it dark enough) and a gold paint pen purchased at Hobby Lobby.  If you are using card stock, it won’t leak through.  I would suggest it but if you need/want to use thinner paper, just be sure and put something under it and let it dry before gluing it on.

Valentine's Day Card

This is the inside of the card.  In order to use a scrap piece of card stock that would have otherwise been useless and made the card open vertically.  Added my little ‘poem’ and it’s ready to go!  Enjoy!!!

 

Originally posted 2011-02-09 16:05:00.

How to Save Brown Sugar & 3 R’s Video

Originally posted 2013-06-08 00:01:00.

DIY Knitting Nancy Guest Post

Hello there! Dawn here from With a Side of Thriftiness. I am so glad to have the opportunity to blog here at Crafty Zoo with Monkeys, thank you Kaycee! I would like to take this opportunity to discuss knitting. Yes, I am 30+ and just learning to knit. My husband had bought me a “learning to knit kit” for Valentine’s day. I am ashamed to admit it has been staring at me, begging to be opened. There is no time like the present, right?
Keep Reading!

Originally posted 2013-05-14 00:16:53.

Khroma Herbal Products

Khroma Herbal Products have completely vegan, organic, not packaged in plastic, and contain no artificial ingredients. We are excited to share with you!

Khroma Herbal Products Giveaway Ends Feb 15

Given that there are chemicals in almost everything these days, it’s nice to find products that don’t have unnecessary side effects from those potentially harmful ingredients.  Having had the chance to try the ones above, we will be sharing our thoughts and results to better help you in your search for amazing products!  One must point out that

A Little About Khroma Herbal Products

Their slogan being: “From Nature, with Love” is absolutely awesome to me!  Being a nature loving person, it totally vibes with me!  Their homepage is also beautiful, in my humble opinion!.  They have a pretty great product line, including the ones listed below, they also have lip gloss, an energy blend, a happy blend (to uplift moods), Hair Skin & Nail blend, inflammation, digestive and circulation blends, just to name a few!

Khroma was founded by Connor & Renee Southworth in an effort to truly incorporate quality and ethics with great products.  They have added to their team and are keeping a people first drive with their business.  All of their products are ethically sourced, so I feel it is safe to say that they are taking their ethics and beliefs beyond just the human race, but to the whole ecosystem as well.  Being a very big animal and environmental lover, this company lines up with a way of thinking that I can completely line up with!

Herbal Products I Tried

Little Warrior Organic Children’s Immunity Blend: This is a blend of herbs formulated for children with no alcohol.  It’s made to taste good so that the kids will like it.  We tried it out on 3 children, ages 10, 4 and 2 1/2.  The older children are in school and exposed to all kinds of germs, which they love bringing home to the heart baby.  Regardless, they did seem to like it.  With the flu being so crazy right now, it didn’t prevent the virus but it did help them get better a lot faster than they have in the past.

Banja Balm Organic Pain Relieving Rub: A vegan, organic muscle rub.  It’s very strong and works well on sore muscles.  A friend borrowed it and I had to fight to get it back.  haha.  Overall, it works wonderfully to ease the pain of sore muscles.  The friend that used it had muscles sore from work (lifting, bending, pulling) and absolutely loved it.  I used it on a very tight and angry neck and had good results as well.

Baby Smile Organic Rash Cream: Our children are exposed to so many additives and chemicals, I love that this one is free of all of those things!  With various natural items such as chamomile, coconut oil, lavendar, this rash cream brings just what baby needs: healing!  The only thing I don’t like is that it has coconut oil, which isn’t good for cloth diapers.  So if you are a crunchy mama, be sure and use liners!

Khroma

Khroma has generously provided this prize and will be responsible for shipment!  Good luck!

We want to give a huge shout out and thank you to our hosts:

Mama the Fox and Rita Reviews!

Putting these hops together isn’t easy, and we are truly grateful!