Review: Redo Your Room- 50 Bedroom DIYS You Can Do in a Weekend

Redo Your Room

Do you have a teen or tween daughter who is looking for some ideas to tweak her bedroom?  I think you’ll really enjoy this book review today of Redo Your Room- 50 Bedroom DIYS You Can Do in a Weekend.  It’s published by FaithGirlsz by Zonderkidz.  The book is a handy small size, paperback, 127 pages, and in full color!

My daughters and I definitely had fun looking through the different ideas and thinking through which ones they would like to do.

One favorite was called “Pretty Drawer Pulls” and demonstrates how to decoupage with fabric to recreate the look of drawer pulls on a nightstand or dresser.

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Another favorite was “Decorated Desk Lamp.” It shows how to apply some paint and lace to make a simple desk lamp really beautiful.

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And we also loved the “Twinkling Teacup Candles” where you use vintage teacups and add soy candle wax and wick adhesive to create a candle.  They put gold glitter on the top, and the teacup candles are just gorgeous!

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You can see more about the book at Amazon: Redo Your Room: 50 Bedroom DIYs You Can Do in a Weekend (Faithgirlz)

The book is divided into 10 different chapters.

  1. Shape your Space–helps her plan out her changes, where to put keepsakes, explains about colors, painting tips
  2. Get Organized–declutter, how to store, ideas for desk and closet
  3. Sculpt Your Style–how to make it lovely and happy, where to place things
  4. Smarten Up Your Study Space–8 DIY ideas such as painted wooden desk chair and cute computer cords
  5. Dress Up Your Bedroom–8 DIY ideas such as t-shirt pillow covers and XOXO wall letters
  6. Wake Up Your Walls & Windows–8 DIY ideas such as snapshot photo garland and scarf wall tapestry
  7. Cute Up Your Closet–7 DIY ideas such as outfit inspo magnets and boho closet curtain
  8. Glam Up Your Vanity–7 DIY ideas such as embellished hand mirror and floating chandelier
  9. Everything Else–10 more DIY ideas such as teeny terrariums, braided rug, and envelope photo holder
  10. Make it Yours–cleaning routine, using scents, and ideas for sleepover central

The layout of the book is very modern; teens will really relate to it.  I’m pretty sure every girl ages 11-20 will find at least a few ideas in this book that they’d love to do in their room. Most will only a quick trip to the hardware or craft store and won’t cost too much.  Another plus is that the teen girls should be able to most (if not all) of the work themselves; tweens might need a little help from Mom or Dad.  So, in conclusion, I am very happy with this book and know my 4 girls will bring it out again and again to get some more fun ideas. I might even do some myself!

(Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in order to write this honest review. The post also contains affiliate links.)

I review for BookLook Bloggers

Tutorial: Charlie Brown t-shirt

Charlie Brown t-shirt


My oldest son just finished playing Charlie Brown in the musical “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.”  Since my two littlest kids were going to help usher and pass out programs, I made Charlie Brown t-shirts for them.  It’s the easiest costume in the world to make, and they looked adorable!


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1. Find a bright yellow t-shirt (we found ours at Wal-Mart).

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2. Put black duct tape on it in a zig zag shape.

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And if you love doing things with duct tape, you’ll love Warfare With Duct Tape.  See “Duct Tape Weapons for Boys.”



(Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.)

“X” is for Xylography–Making Homemade Christmas Cards

X is for Xylography

I learned a new word recently that starts with “X”: Xylography, which is the art of wood engraving in order to print with it!  Xylography is the oldest know relief printmaking technique.  It started in China, and then spread to Europe.

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If you’d like to read all about what we did with Xylography, head over to Upside-Down Homeschooling, where I’m guest posting today!


(Linked to Mom 2 Mom Monday Link-up, Mama Moments Monday Link-up,

Collage Friday: 3rd Birthday, Lilla Rose, 4th of July Vacation and Crafts!

I have LOTS of great photos to share with you today. But before I do, will you please take a moment and head over to Circle of Moms to vote for me. Can we make it to 100 votes this weekend? Thanks!

My youngest son turned 3 this week. He got some fun sand box toys, a butterfly net, and some counting/patterning bears that he calls “gummy bears!”

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We spent Fourth of July week at my in-laws’ lake house in Wisconsin.  The kids had a great time playing with cousins, eating potato salad, canoeing, etc.

PicMonkey Collage-lake vacation


We also had some time to spend crafting.  My oldest daughter did all the women’s and girls’ nails.


PicMonkey Collage- nails


A friend from church make these beautiful cookies as a fundraiser for an Oklahoma mission trip.  We hope she’ll hold a class for us so we can learn how to make them!

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All the kids had a great time decorating shirts.  We did the Sharpie/ spray with rubbing alcohol method.  Here’s a tip–don’t spray too much rubbing alcohol.  It will bleed more than you think it will.  :)

PicMonkey Collage decorating t-shirts


And hair bows!  We learned how to do this from Kleinworth and Co.  Easy and fun!


PicMonkey Collage


We had a great time on a boat ride.

PicMonkey Collage lake


3 generations, including my handsome hubby!

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The Fourth of July parade.  The second picture is of the t-shirt my niece did.  She is an artist, obviously!


PicMonkey Collage parade

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The parade we go to is on an Indian reservation.  I thought this second picture was funny–he was begging for candy to be thrown to him!


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Please go to yesterday’s post and place an order for Lilla Rose.  These will make a great present for your daughter or granddaughter (or yourself!).

PicMonkey Collage

I am exercising again, doing a T-Tapp Challenge for the next 6 weeks to see if I can lose the last 10 pounds. I want to wear the rest of my clothes and my wedding ring! I did the Basic Workout instructional yesterday and today and will do Basic Workout Tempo for the next two days. I’ll then exercise every other day, using Tempo, Step Away the Inches, or maybe something new like the Total Workout or Ladybug!

And, finally, look at what I scored this week at the Back-to-School sales.  All this for less than $12 (at Staples.)  :)


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See the wonderful blogs I’ve linked up to here.

Pinterest Challenge- Rag Quilt Potholder sewing kit

I joined another Busy Bag Swap, actually, two of them!  So, I’ll be sharing lots of ideas in the coming weeks.  Here is the activity I included in the Elementary Craft Bag swap: How to sew a Rag Quilt Potholder.  See below for the instructions that were included.  These Rag Quilt kits would also be great to make for Christmas Presents or to include in a travel bag or to keep those hands busy during read-aloud time!






Sew a Rag Quilt Potholder 

**If you decide to reprint these instructions for anyone, please include my website    Thanks!

Supplies contained in your kit:  8 pieces of flannel (5” x 5”), 4 pieces of fleece (3” x 3”), spool of thread, needle.


You supply:  scissors (rag quilt scissors are great for this project), straight pins, washable pencil or marker, ruler


  1.  Lay your flannel pieces out and decide where you want each color to go–four colors on top and four on the bottom.


2.  Take the top four pieces of flannel and draw with your washable pencil or marker a square one inch in on all sides and an “x” across the square.

This will be the sewing line.


3.  Layer the pieces with flannel on the bottom, then fleece square right in the center, and topped with the flannel that has the markings on it.  Pin it.



4.  Sew together all 3 pieces on the sewing line.  The fleece should be just inside the sewn square, but will be held in place by the “x.”



5.  After you have 4 pieces sewn, you’ll attach those to each other.  Sew them on the sides first and then the top two pieces to the bottom two pieces.  **For this style you are sewing “backwards” and allowing the seam allowance to show on top.



6.  Cut each seam allowance in half-inch strips.  Be careful not to cut all the way to the sewing line.




7.  Wash and dry your potholder so that it will get the “rag quilt” look.





By the way, this activity was inspired by this pin by Hearts and Trees.


Linked to I'm Topsy TurvyThe DIY DreamerFox Hollow Cottage

Collage Friday- Father Son Camp and Fall Crafts


Last weekend was my sons’ favorite weekend of the year!  The Father Son Camp.  There they experience camping in the cold (we bought some better sleeping bags this year), zipline, archery, shooting guns, and the all-time favorite Paintball!  The upper right picture is one of my eldest with an orange paintball mark on his head.  They also had great speakers this year.  The theme was integrity, and there were opportunities for the fathers to have some good talks with their sons on the topic.  The guest speaker was Ken Bevel, one of the actors in Courageous and Fireproof.


While the boys were off camping the rest of us had some fun as well.  We went to the library and picked out some movies for Friday and Saturday nights.  We also went out to breakfast with Mumsy (grandma), and the kids were very well behaved.  I took the girls to their soccer games on Saturday morning, and it was freezing!  30 degrees.  Too cold for me–so I stayed in the van with the baby and finished my crochet bag.  (See it in the collage.). I’ll share more about it tomorrow if I get a chance.  The younger kids also did some fall crafts this week.  The lower left picture is of a tree with colored leaves.  Directions on how to make it are at Sidetracked Sarah.  Also, they collected leaves and did some leaf rubbings.  The top picture says “Best Mom Ever.  I love you.”  My oldest daughter keeps putting these sweet, encouraging notes all over the house!  She’s a dear.  :)

My sweet 4-month-old baby is now sleeping in her own bed at night.  I realized that the reason I had kept her in my bed for so long was because I’m having a hard time letting go of these last baby milestones.  It’s so sad to think that I’ll never have another newborn sleeping in my bed with me again.  So, as I explained to my husband I’m just going to have to mourn these moments as they come, but I can’t postpone them, especially at the expense of my or my baby’s well-being.  She’s slept in her bed every night since Tuesday, and has only woken up once each night to nurse (as opposed to every 1-2 hours when she was in my bed).  I’m still very tired, but another week or two of this will surely help!  It’s safer for her, too, since she now wants to roll over and sleep on her tummy.

Exercise update:  The only day I have exercised so far this week was Wednesday at the T-Tapp clinic in Milwaukee.  I was going to yesterday, but I was too sore!  However, I plan to exercise today and at least once this weekend.

What God is teaching me:  Trust.  I need to trust Him more.  I have a long way to go.

In case you missed it, I posted a review of the two newest Imagination Station books.  There is a giveaway of them, which ends Sunday.   Enter now!

I made one of these carseat canopies which I have really enjoyed using, but here’s a coupon code (ENBABY) to get a free one–just pay shipping!  Would make a great gift for a new mom!

They also have baby carriers and nursing covers–free, just pay shipping, same code ENBABY.

Linked to Homegrown Learnersfriday favorite things | finding joy
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Free Crafting and Sewing Patterns

Ready to start some new projects for this fall?  Here are some great FREE patterns!  And there are lots more on their site.

(Just requires a simple sign-up.  I have a separate hotmail email address for sign-ups like these. :) )

Cute clutch to sew:


For the fall sports events–throw and tote:


Get Ready for Christmas:




Sunbonnet Sue:


Crochet and Knit:

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I Spy Bag–Pinterest Challenge

Here are the I Spy Bags I made for a Busy Bag Swap. I sewed 25 of these! They are filled with Poly Beads and lots of little objects. Most were found around the house: pennies, paper clips, pieces of ribbon, brads, beads, broken crayons, buttons, safety pins, etc.

I used gauge 4 clear vinyl, which sewed up great with my Bernina and jeans needles. The outside fabric was a very soft fleece.




These were inspired by this pin and this pin.

I’m linked up to the Pinterest Challenge.


Pinterest Challenge

See here for my other Busy Bag posts.

Quiet Books

Ever since my first child was born, I’ve wanted to make a quiet book.  When I started pinning things on Pinterest a few months ago, I renewed my desire.  However, every time I started to think it though I’d get discouraged by how much work and time it would take to complete a full book.  But now I have now found a way to do it!  Rebecca at Better Life Bags blog has put together a Quiet Book Page Swap.  So, I just have to make 15 copies of only one page!  The others will make the rest of the pages, and in March I’ll have a completed book!

Here is the page I’ll be making.  It’s a tree with snap-ons for each of the different seasons, green leaf, autumn leaf, snowflake, and blossom.

I started a new Quiet Page Pinterest Board if you’d like to follow me!  See the sidebar for the P logo or the place that says “Follow Me on Pinterest.”

By the way, if you’d like to join the Quiet Book Page Swap, it might not be too late.  Head over to Better Life Bags and check it out.

And, if you’d like to file your taxes for free, below is an affiliate link for H&R Block.  As always, thanks for supporting I Choose Joy!

Desert Unit Study and Lapbook

Deserts Unit Study & Lapbook
We have completed our unit study on Deserts.  I’m glad my 7 yo son suggested it; we had a lot of fun!

First, here are some pictures of our diorama of the Sonoran Desert (of Arizona and Northern Mexico):
The four older kids chose what they wanted to make to put in the box.  We have desert tortoises, a barrel cactus, saguaro cactus, tarantulas, a coyote, a wolf spider, a Gila monster, a rattlesnake, a spadefoot toad, a roadrunner, and a yucca plant complete with yucca moth and caterpillar.

For our lapbook, I received most of these ideas from Homeschoolshare and Homeschool in the Woods, as well as a great book:  Discovering Deserts by Ranger Rick’s Nature Scope.

Our first section was all about desert animals.  The boys (ages 6 and 7) did a great job writing about different animals, such as rattlesnakes, camels, yucca moths and caterpillars, desert night hunters, roadrunners, nocturnal vs. diurnal animals, desert birds, jackrabbit vs. rabbit, tarantula, desert iguana, desert tortoise, scorpions, red-tailed hawk, Gila monster, coyotes, and kangaroo rat.

We wrote about how to survive in a desert and defined vocabulary words (succulent, evaporate, erosion, drought, venom, prey, predator, irrigation, oasis, desert, nocturnal, diurnal, photosynthesis, overgraze, nomad).

The next section had four different groups of desert people and items/ animals associated with them:  Bushmen, Hopi Indian, Aborigine, Tuareg.  And we wrote about desert climate.

Next was a wheel that shows what happens after it rains, a comparison of the Sahara and Sonoran Deserts, a world map of deserts that my son labeled, and desert landforms.

The last section was about desert vegetation.

We did a couple of easy science experiments on evaporation and growing salt crystals.

The craft ideas came from Crafts for Kids Who are Wild About Deserts (Ross):

Here is a rattlesnake, desert skunk (with and without spray), and a coyote:

Here are the books we read:


Desert Books:

The desert alphabet book (Pallotta, Jerry)

Deserts (Brewer, Duncan)

 Crafts for kids who are wild about deserts (Ross, Kathy)

Draw desert animals (DuBosque, D. C.)

In the desert (Schwartz, David M.)

The magic school bus gets all dried up : a book about deserts (Weyn, Suzanne)

Desert animals (Steele, Christy)

Desert (Star, Fleur)

Life in the desert (Legg, Gerald)

People of the deserts (Lambert, David)

Discovering deserts (Ranger Rick’s Nature Scope)

Wonders of the desert (Sabin, Louis)

Cactus desert (Silver, Donald M.)

Cactus hotel (Guiberson, Brenda Z.)

One day in the desert (George, Jean Craighead)

Alejandro’s gift (Albert, Richard E.)

Way out in the desert (Marsh, T. J.)

Deserts (Mariner, Tom)

The water hole (Base, Graeme)

(Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.)