Category Archives: DIY

A Complete Guide to Choosing Wedding Favors

Wedding Favors can be an overwhelming choice.  With so many other important decisions, this one should be fun. We’ve come up with a guide to help do just that!

A Complete Guide to Choosing Wedding Favors

We want every detail to be perfect: the venue, the dress, photographer, flowers, cake, wedding favors… the list goes on and on. The details can quickly become overwhelming, especially as the days countdown to the BIG day. If you are in the process, you know that already.

For most of us, our wedding day is the closest we will ever get to a fairy tale so naturally we want it to be perfect! I’ve known people that started planning their wedding, or at least imagining what they wanted it to be when they were little girls.

No need to panic, I wish that I could assure you in such a way that would ease the anxiety. Unfortunately, we both know that I can’t. So, I set out to come up with an easy way to narrow down the list of choices and get to choosing the perfect one for your wedding.

Growing up in a flower shop, I’ve helped with more weddings than I can count. I grew up watching the professional florists and event planners, assisting them and taking orders to help make the bride’s day perfect. Assisting in wedding planning is one of my favorite things that I’ve done. My hope is that I can help you as well!

Wedding Favors can be almost anything, any design, style and so on. Whether your choice be personalized wedding favours or not, choose a favor that means something specifically to the happy couple. Favors are personal, a reflection of the happy couple. If you like silly, find a silly one. If you like things to be different, there are unusual wedding favours. If you are a couple who loves the classics, choose something more traditional. There are no rules, it’s your day. Do as you wish!

I’ve prepared a guide to help you in choosing the perfect wedding favors for your wedding, and we’ll soon have a list of ideas for you! So be sure and check back!

A Complete Guide to Choosing Wedding Favors

By the time you get to choosing the right favor, you’ve no doubt chosen your theme, have an idea of what your wedding will look like and are fantasizing about your new life with the love of your life. This is absolutely wonderful, and it will help make the decision easier!

  1. What is your theme?If you don’t have one, that is okay. Just skip this question and go to the next. If you do have one, do you want your wedding favor to reflect that theme or do you want it to be more personal to the bride and groom? Once you’ve answered these questions, it will help you screen out many of the cute options you have pinned or saved that aren’t perfect.
  2. What purpose do you want the favor to serve?There are favors that are designed to be used and there are some that are designed to become a treasured memento for your guests. Honestly, I think this question can also be narrowed down by asking yourself: are my friends and family the type of people that will actually keep it? If not, that’s okay. It’s your day, not theirs.
  3. What is your budget?Trust me, favors are not the place you want to splurge for your wedding. They are great, but they aren’t the most important place one can put money. So, if you have a small budget that’s okay. Make it work. No one leaves a wedding talking about the favors. They are not the most important part of planning. Honestly, there are many you can make (with no talent at all if you aren’t crafty) that are simple and perfect!
  4. What is your timeline?Now that you know what your budget is, you need to figure out how much time you have. Knowing how much time you have will let you know what is feasible. If you have a long time, you can DIY something a little more in depth. If not, perhaps go with something simple.
  5. For DIY and a time crunch, have a favor Assembly party!If DIY is what you want, don’t completely give up. Gather those bridesmaids, friends, or whomever and create an assembly line. If you come prepared, you can have an assembly line going and complete a lot more work in a short amount of time. It doesn’t matter if your people are crafty, they just have to be able to follow instructions!

We hope these help you find the perfect wedding favor for your special day. You can find a list of other wedding resources on our site to further help you with wedding plans! A lot of them are free, so they fit every budget! Event planning is a passion for me and I hope that I’ve been able to help you with yours!

Simple DIY Room Transformations

We are in the process of adding a room onto our house and it got me on a decorating journey.  The room is for my husband, so I get no say but I’m play decorating anyway.  Haha.  It through that journey that I was inspired to share some stuff I came across with you!

Simple DIY Ways to Completely Transform Any Room

I love DIY and decorating, I have a great time coming up with projects and enjoy the hard work that they take.  More so, I enjoy the finished products of my labor.  I’ve been itching to do some work to our house lately so I’ve gathered some of my favorite ideas to share with you.

While not every project I have done has been great, they have been fun and I’ve enjoyed the processes. For example, the glitter floor was a TOTAL fail but it was fun doing it and it completely changed the look of our hallway!  The bathroom countertop I re-did in our bathroom did turnout really well, so I’m working under good odds!

Though it isn’t quite time for me to start my own project, I’m gathering ideas and making plans!  I hope you enjoy this and would love to hear some of your projects, whether completed or in the dream phase!

Simple DIY Room Transformations

Fresh Paint

This seems like an obvious one, but it’s worth mentioning.  A new coat of paint freshens up and can totally transform a room!  Some people tend to shy away from change, but a new color may be just what a room needs to be completely renewed!

Don’t feel like painting?  The picture posted is stick on paint!  Takes the really hard work away!  I’m crazy over this one!

Ceiling Tiles

Faux ceiling tiles can seriously take a room to the next level without costing an arm and leg!  We have one that is absolutely gorgeous, unfortunately we do not have enough to tile our ceiling.  If it’s a look you love, go for it!

Wall Panels

We all remember wood paneling right?  I have a love hate relationship with those things.  I don’t think I’d want to have them, but I love the houses I see them in.  I know, I’m a mess.  Today’s wall panels are very different and there is a huge variety.  I love so many of them, especially the different colors and textures!  Oddly, I kind of want brick wall panels to put inside my brick house.  Haha

Fake Plants

My house doesn’t have the lighting or space that would allow me to grow those gorgeous trees indoors and I don’t trust my ability to keep plants alive enough to buy an expensive potted tree for my porch.  I do, however, totally trust my ability to pay for and keep a faux tree for decoration!  This is on my list to buy next time hubby releases the pocket books!  Ha.  Who am I kidding?  I’ll be getting one when I find the one that I feel is perfect for the look I want.  LOL


Since we are adding onto our house, a window got completely covered.  Rather than adding wall back over it, we opted to add a shelf in the window hole.  I love the way it looks, it’s certainly better than having additional wall space!  Of course, now I have to figure out what to put on the shelves, but I have no doubt that I will do so!

If you don’t have a window hole to fill, adding shelves to a room can not only be functional, it can also completely change the feel of a room!  I especially love the floating shelves!  I’d love to add some in my living room, but that’s for another day.


When we bought our home, the bathroom countertop was that lovely old plastic countertop.  I re-did it with Giani Countertop Kit.  It was crazy easy and not that labor intensive!  I highly recommend it, for less than a hundred bucks you can totally change a room!

 I love that there are so many ways we can completely revamp a room! I’m looking forward to hubby’s project being behind us so that I can start one of my own!

Dad Pack: Tips, Themes & Ideas

How to Make Dad Feel Speical

Often Dad’s can feel left out when little ones (or even older ones) depend so much on Mom.  Then there are times when Dad just needs to be reminded he is special.  We decided to gather up a few things to make the Dad in our life feel special.  We’ve got our Dad Pack ‘ingredients all laid out for you to see, but you could put yours in a gift basket or even in a bucket if you want it to be more masculine!  Regardless of how you put it together, it will be sure to make him feel extra special and bring that smile to his face that you love so much!If you are on a budget, don’t worry, this can be done quite cheaply.  With the exception of the air filter (which he actually did need) our pack cost less that $10 but that smile was priceless.

Dad Pack Tips

  1. Make or buy his favorite snack.  My hubby loves Nutter Butter Cookies but we rarely buy them.  Just make sure it is something a little more special than what you’d keep stocked in your pantry!
  2. Add in his favorite soda, something he doesn’t have often.  We chose to go with the Dad soda theme, so he had his own Dad’s Sodas that no one else could touch…  After all, they were DAD’S!!!
  3. Scour the dollar store, or wherever, to find some inexpensive little thing that your husband would like.  My husband loves cooking, so we got him some syrup bottles for his kitchen.  His kitchen is done in the design of a pub, so they work for him.  😀  If your husband isn’t into cooking, you can replace this type of item with anything he is into.
  4. The Air Filter- get one ‘big ticket’ item to toss in.  The Dad in our house had just gotten a new used car and wanted to get an air filter, so that’s what he got.  Had that not been the case, it probably would have been a new book, video game or something to fit his hobbies.
  5. This is the big one, the one that will mean the most after all the excitement.  Add a notecard reminding him how much he means to you all.  If your husband isn’t all mushy, this is your excuse to be a little more mushy than normal and get away with it!  Just make sure you make the note emphasize how much you love him and how wonderful he is!

Dad Pack Theme Ideas

Remember to make your Dad pack cater to his hobbies and loves!

  1. Movie Pack– let the ‘big ticket’ item be a new movie he has been wanting to see, then clear the house so he can watch it in peace!  Add in his favorite snacks, maybe pick up a pizza for him (or have one ready to stick in the oven), or his favorite 6 pack.  You know what he loves when he is watching movies, just make sure it’s all right there for him!  Don’t wanna have to run to the kitchen when the movie is playing!
  2. Gaming Pack– Snag that game he has been hounding about!  Not sure what it is?  Clandestinely call his best buddy, or casually bring up the topic a few weeks in advance.  Don’t flat out ask, fish around a bit!  Mention some game you saw coming out and he will be sure to start talking!  Add some snacks and have the gaming area all set up for him when he gets home.  He will LOVE the surprise!
  3. For the Car Lover– If your husband is into cars, there are a multitude of things you can do for a themed pack!  Get him a new air freshener, some new car cleaning stuff (you could even make many of those), a new tool or two.  Think accessories.  Just remember, the more you make the cheaper it will be.  Plus, he will love that you put so much work into it!
  4. Athletic Pack– If your husband has a sport he is passionate about, there are a ton of magazines out there that will fit whatever sport he loves!  Again, think accessories.  Perhaps a video of his favorite sports highlights along with snacks, a magazine, and his favorite energy drink!  You could even go in the direction of energy stuff, new workout gear, etc.  This one can get as pricey as you’d like, but you could always do homemade stuff and keep it a little less expensive.  😀
  5. For the Outdoors Man– Ladies, if you aren’t into whatever outdoor activity your husband is into, fear not.  Just go to that section of the store and start looking around.  All you are doing is accessorizing!  Still not sure, tell the sales person what you are doing and they’ll be able to hook you up!  You can always take a gander at his gear and see what kind of stuff he already has to give yourself an idea.  You could even go for a magazine of that topic to go along with some snacks and one or two new ‘toys’.
  6. For the Music Lover– This one can be as expensive as you want it to be or not at all.  My husband is perfectly happy to have some time to listen uninterrupted to jazz and relax.  This pack can simply be a note for him to sit and enjoy his music, a ‘ticket’ to get him peace without interruption, a cigar and his favorite drink.  Or whatever his relaxation pleasures are!
  7. For the Handyman– Let the ‘big ticket’ item be a new tool, print him off some new patterns (yes, there are patterns for wood working and such!), get him a new magazine, or simply get him a load of snacks and a gift card!  If he is anything like some of the handymen I know, a ‘free pass’ to go spend some money at the hardware store is like Christmas!

Whatever you go with just make it around them.  If they don’t fit a theme, don’t fret, just get things they love!  Having a surprise will make them happy, at the end of the day it isn’t about what is in the pack but rather how it makes them feel!




Originally posted 2014-01-21 09:29:53.

Big Brother/Big Sister Kits

Big Brother/Sister Kit
New babies are an amazing blessing!  Everyone oohing and aahing over the beautiful new baby!  Sometimes though, big brother or big sister can feel a little left out.  New babies come with all kinds of new presents, big brother or sister need something new too!
This is perfect to help a new big brother or sister feel special.  Everyone wants to see the new baby, but this will get the big sibling some extra special feelings!
The kit is an inexpensive and highly personalized way to do just that!

Kit Contents:

A Custom Tee & Bag
Big Sibling Certificate
Coloring Book
Printables (pictured and/or linked below)
Spill Proof Bubbles
Juice & Healthy Snacks
Light up bouncy ball
The tee is just a plain white tee shirt with an iron on that says ‘Big Brother’ from Hobby Lobby.  The bag (also from Hobby Lobby) just has Big Brother written with fabric paint.  You could do something different, maybe put their name on it.  Don’t worry if you aren’t very good at it, the reason there are dots on mine is because I messed up with the paint, but  no one knows that but you.  😉
I got this ribbon image from the Homeade Gift Guru
The traceable one can be found at Twisty Noodle, they also have one without the words.
Of course, if you’d like there are also big sister printables equivalent to these on each of the sites.
Altogether, the kit cost less than $20 and was totally worth it!  It was loved by the big brother and greatly appreciated by the parents too!  It was nice hearing about how one particular Big Brother put his shirt on then went to show it off to the nurses!  😀

Originally posted 2013-08-29 08:00:00.

Dollar Tree Patriotic Wreath

Dollar Tree Patriotic Wreath is super quick and easy to make.  In just a few minutes with less than $5 I had this adorable wreath to brighten my front door!

Dollar Tree Patriotic Wreath DIY


Check out the hodge podge of patriotic decor they had at Dollar Tree. I’m not gonna lie, I love Dollar Tree!  Especially when I’m feeling crafty and want something new to make.

I was checking them out and thought about all of the Dollar Tree Patriotic Wreath DIYfabulous dollar store crafts I see on Pinterest and other blogs and thought I would try one out.  This one cost less than five bucks and took about ten minutes.  I love how it looks against the hunter green of our house!

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.  However, they do have the wreath base so if you don’t have one already, they have you covered! 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.

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.

How To Clean Stove Grates

Aah, spring cleaning!  Getting that Spring Cleaning itch is such a great feeling!  The one time of year where we actually WANT to clean house!  It’s interesting how we sort of nest this time of year, makes me wonder if it’s some primal instinct.  Regardless, I read about this somewhere and thought I would share my instructions.  Has the bug hit you yet???
Here’s the Easy Way
  1. Take down your grates and find a pan they will fit in.  Some people used pots, but mine wouldn’t work in that so I used a really large cake pan. 
  2. Add water to the pan enough so that it will cover the grates
  3. Heat the water to boiling, a good rolling boil.
  4. Using tongs or something so you won’t touch anything, dip the grates into the water and hold it down.  You’ll see the grease come floating off!  It’s gross but kind of cool lookin’.  LOL
  5. Remove grate, dispose of water (NOT DOWN THE DRAIN!!!)
  6. Do the other side and repeat if you think it needs it.  
Super easy!!!

Originally posted 2013-04-13 03:51:00.

5 Cool Uses for Honey


Hey Everyone!  I thought this week I’d bring you some great new uses for honey!  Check them out below and let me know what you think!  Do you have any ‘alternative’ uses for honey!?!  Well, get to sharing!  😀

Does wonders for your skin and is super easy.  Also it keeps for a while!  I suggest making less than the recipe calls for because it doesn’t take much to do your facial!  😀

2.  Heal wounds, cuts, scrapes and burns!
Yep, you read it correctly!  God knew what he was doing when he gave us those sweet honey bees.  Honey is a natural antiseptic!  😀  Just put some on your ‘boo boo’ and let it do it’s thing!

3.  Energy Shot
Skip the unhealthy stuff and get you a teaspoon of honey before a workout, it will give you the extra boost without the harmful side effects!

4.  Get rid of those Nasty Hangovers
I can say I’m glad to be past that point in my life, but if you know someone who isn’t you can give them a little honey on toast or in tea.  The fructose helps boost the metabolism of alcohol and get rid of it!  Yay!

5.  Lose Weight!
If you use honey instead of sugar you’ll save lots of calories!  Plus, you’ll get that extra metabolism boost to lift you up a bit!  Now, isn’t that sweet!  LOL.

Do you have any more uses for honey???
Any requests for a Friday 5???
Comment below!

Originally posted 2012-09-28 05:00:00.