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Creativity Unleashed Link Party: Week 66!

Jocie | April 24, 2015
Creativity  Unleashed Link Party: Week 66!

Welcome back to the NEW Creativity Unleashed Link Party, where you inspire us with your most recent decor, crafts, DIY, and recipes!!  I am excited to announce that you voted and we heard you!! The BIG winner was this Vintage Preppy Little Gentlemen’s Lounge from Blue i Style. Link Party & Mega Rockstar Contest! What’s the deal with the Mega Rockstar Contest, you ask? Every week, each host picks a Rockstar from the projects that were linked up that week, for a total of five Rockstars. Then we will open up... Keep reading...

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Printable Vacation Countdown with 75+ Ideas!

Jocie | April 20, 2015
Printable Vacation Countdown with 75+ Ideas!

I’m not normally one for crazy printable vacation countdown calendars. Well, maybe I would be, but I’m just not that organized. This year, my oldest, Isabella has been struggling with going to school. Crying in the morning and before bed. Dreading it even when she’s doing something fun. I remembered back to my own childhood when my mom gave us a bunch of challenges each day throughout the summer to “earn” our vacation. Even though some of them were hard or took some work, it was so much fun. I specifically... Keep reading...

Giveaway and April Essential Oil Promo

Jocie | April 9, 2015
Giveaway and April Essential Oil Promo

Raise your hand if you love Essential Oils!! I know I do, which is why I’m so excited to offer this giveaway and April Essential Oil Promo. First up, the April Promo. If you haven’t yet taken the plunge into Essential Oils, Young Living Essential Oils is an amazing company that really stands behind the quality and purity of their oils, giving their Seed to Seal Guarantee to every oil. Well, they also offer an amazing Starter Kit, that gives you everything you need to start your journey, and at a deal of a price. This month,... Keep reading...

How to Buy Young Living Essential Oils

Jocie | April 8, 2015
How to Buy Young Living Essential Oils

You may have seen my love for Young Living Essential Oils in the past year. I know it’s really popular in other parts of the country, but honestly, I had never met anyone who used them here in Baltimore. But I decided to give them a try when we were struggling to get my daughter’s eczema under control, and I didn’t want to be slathering her in steroid cream all the time. From there, they invaded our life and went hand in hand with our quest for a more natural and healthy lifestyle. (Don’t judge, but I also mill... Keep reading...

Idiopathic Toe-Walking: Our Journey

Jocie | March 30, 2015
Idiopathic Toe-Walking: Our Journey

I don’t write many personal posts on the blog, but I have really wanted to share this story with you. Mainly because it has meant a lot to me to hear other people’s story with Idiopthic Toe Walking. Its not something I really heard much about, and still don’t. We’re a small community. So here’s our story in hopes that it encourages you! (sorry its so long, haha) Be sure to check out my friend, Mary’s post at Not Before 7 for her story on Idiopathic Toe-Walking. What is Idiopathic Toe Walking? First... Keep reading...

Basement Makeover & the Challenges of Decorating

Jocie | March 19, 2015
Basement Makeover & the Challenges of Decorating

Basements are often a last priority for people when decorating a home. I guess that’s because it’s usually not the main living area, entertaining happens closer to the kitchen and living room, and they are often used for extra storage. I totally get that. But Ethan and I have really enjoyed keeping our TV off of the main floor and out of the bedrooms. During the day, the kids don’t really think about it and don’t ask to watch it most days. That being said, a lot of our toys are downstairs, along with my treadmill... Keep reading...

Super Yummy Whole Wheat Mini Donuts

Jocie | March 11, 2015
Super Yummy Whole Wheat Mini Donuts

Over the last two years we have phased out almost all white flour and most of the processed foods that we so heavily relied on for daily staples. But its foods like these supper yummy whole wheat mini donuts, that make the switch easy. Honestly, my 4 and 6-year-old girls don’t know that their food is so much healthier and feel like they get plenty of “treats.” They are so delicious its hard to believe they are whole wheat. Plus, they make for a quick morning breakfast that you can pull out as needed from the freezer.  I... Keep reading...

Isabella’s 6th Birthday: Lots of Fabulous Scientist Party Ideas!

Jocie | February 19, 2015
Isabella’s 6th Birthday: Lots of Fabulous Scientist Party Ideas!

Steve Spangler Science provided some materials for the party at my request. As always, opinions are 100% mine! I was beyond excited (and surprised) when this year, Isabella asked for a Science Party, rather than the typical Princess party. After all, she does want to be a scientist when she grows up. Of course I said yes and went crazy in the planning. It all looks very involved but really, it was an easy party and definitely less expensive than hosting outside of the home. And before I get started on telling you about all our mad scientist... Keep reading...

Printable Valentines: I Only Have Eyes For You!

Jocie | February 3, 2015
Printable Valentines: I Only Have Eyes For You!

Who doesn’t love printable valentines? I know I do! You get all the bonus mom points for being “homemade” without all the work, right? I saw these cute googly eyes when I was at Michael’s yesterday (shopping sans kids, so you know I was taking my time and buying too much), and I decided to use them for Isabella’s school valentines. While she loves these printable Valentines, she was super disappointed to not get candy.  But I figure all the kids will be getting plenty of sugar and why not encourage them... Keep reading...

Basement Makeover: Part One!

Jocie |
Basement Makeover: Part One!

Moving this past November has kept us busy, especially with the holidays, but this basement makeover was at the top of my list. Not because it is the most ugly (2 original bathrooms and kitchen are the top of that list), but rather we use the space a lot and a makeover is within our current budget. Our old couch I bought over 10 years ago, before Ethan and I were married. At the time, I got a great deal and I loved the bold red. Actually, I still do. But after ten years, two babies, lots of spit up and toddlers watching tv and jumping,... Keep reading...

Lucy’s Simple Frozen Birthday Party!

Jocie | January 27, 2015
Lucy’s Simple Frozen Birthday Party!

How did my baby get to be 4?!? It went too quick. Lucy was so excited for her birthday and decided on having a Frozen birthday party after Nana gave her an Anna costume for Christmas. I was kind of surprised because she’s not all that gaga for Frozen, but we went with it. I swore this year not to go overboard, so here’s Lulu’s simple Frozen birthday party! Invitations Of course, it always starts with the invitation. Again, in my efforts to scale it back, I made invitations on the computer and then emailed them to... Keep reading...

The Best of 2014

Jocie | January 21, 2015
The Best of 2014

I’m always a little late to the game, but I figure it’s still January and maybe you missed some of my favorite projects and moments from last year. While these are my favorite projects, we also had a big change this year – we moved! And while maybe the most stressful time I have ever experienced, it has brought us so much joy (and projects, haha). We hope you stick with us this year and we appreciate all your past support, comments, encouragement, and kindness. xoxo Stencil Wall I had no idea just how loved this stencil... Keep reading...

Children’s Desk Makeover DIY

Jocie | January 12, 2015
Children’s Desk Makeover DIY

As you know we moved into a single family home in the beginning of October 2014 and its been slow decorating each of the rooms, especially with Thanksgiving and Christmas. But I’m super excited to show you my desk makeover DIY in Izzie’s big girl room! The back story: Growing up, my favorite Christmas present ever was my own desk! I remember loving sitting at it and listening to music, doing homework, writing, and reading Nancy Drew. And this is THE DESK. We never had room for it before, so when we moved, I asked my parents... Keep reading...

NEW Creativity Unleashed Link Party + MEGA Giveaway!

Jocie | January 8, 2015
NEW Creativity  Unleashed Link Party + MEGA Giveaway!

Happy New Year and welcome back to the NEW Creativity Unleashed Link Party!! To start off the new year, we’ve made some changes that we hope gives our link party goers more traffic and excitement. Plus, we have a MEGA giveaway for bloggers and inspiration seekers alike! The NEW Link Party & Mega Rockstar Contest! We’ve made a few super exciting changes to the link party to make it even more awesome for you guys! The party itself is the same; as always, we want to see your latest and greatest crafts, DIY projects, and recipes... Keep reading...

Creativity Unleashed: Link Party #50

Jocie | December 18, 2014
Creativity Unleashed: Link Party #50

Welcome back to the Creativity Unleashed Link Party! As always, we are super excited for you to unleash your creativity upon us, whether that’s decor, recipes, crafts, or DIY.   There will be no link party next week, since we will be celebrating Christmas with our families. We wish you a wonderful, peace-filled Holiday Season! And in case you missed it, here’s our creativity from this week. Winter Fresh Air Fresheners from Shaken Together Fireplace Mantel Makeover from The DIY Village Holiday Home Tour & Giveaway from... Keep reading...

Holiday Home Tour 2014 & Giveaway!

Jocie | December 15, 2014
Holiday Home Tour 2014 & Giveaway!

By now, every blogger in the blogosphere has already shared their holiday home tour, some before Thanksgiving. But I was committed to not decorating until after our Thanksgiving company left. Or maybe I’m just a procrastinator. Either way, it worked out, because I’ve joined up with 15 other fabulous (and procrastinating) bloggers to give you our Holiday Home Tour 2014. And if you haven’t decorated yet, then here is the inspiration you might be needing! Be sure to read to the end too, for a fabulous giveaway! Most of... Keep reading...

Plastic Spoon Christmas Tree!

Jocie | December 10, 2014
Plastic Spoon Christmas Tree!

Welcome to OPC’s The Better Half. My name is Jocie, and I love to craft and DIY my home into something wonderful. I hope you enjoy this tutorial on how to make a plastic spoon Christmas tree. It’s been a popular article with over 38K pins and growing! If you enjoy this article, check out some other recent crafts and consider subscribing to The Better Half (email or RSS). Also, feel free to share this tutorial on Facebook and give it a +1. All the buttons float along the left side of your screen. And, if you love DIY projects... Keep reading...

A Few of My Favorite Things: Winter Addition

Jocie | December 2, 2014
A Few of My Favorite Things: Winter Addition

With Thanksgiving having just passed and looking forward to Christmas, I am thankful for so much! For salvation and forgiveness, my family, good friends, a home, heat, a full fridge. We have more than we need. That being said, there are always a few new things to us this year that are definitely not needs, but certainly fun to have, and I am excited to share them with you! Duluth Cold Weather Gear That’s right, I’m driving a tractor. Crazy, right? I’ll get to that later, but as we did our final yard prep for winter,... Keep reading...

Homemade Holiday Gift Ideas: DIY Scented Ornaments

Jocie | November 17, 2014
Homemade Holiday Gift Ideas: DIY Scented Ornaments

Welcome to the Homemade Holiday Blog Hop! I’m teaming up with a bunch of other bloggers to give you a Handmade Gift Guide for this holiday season. After you read about how to make DIY Scented Ornaments with Essential Oils, be sure to look at the bottom for more great ideas. DIY Scented Ornaments We’ve made clay ornaments in past years. What’s not to love? They are cute, personal, cheap, and the kids love making them! Also, write a cute note on the back with a Sharpie marker, and it becomes a fancy gift tag. But this... Keep reading...

Homemade Holiday Gift Ideas: Lotion Bars with Essential Oils

Jocie | November 16, 2014
Homemade Holiday Gift Ideas: Lotion Bars with Essential Oils

Welcome to the Homemade Holiday Blog Hop! I’m teaming up with a bunch of other bloggers to give you a Handmade Gift Guide for this holiday season. After you read about how to make Lotion Bars with Essential Oils, be sure to look at the bottom for more great ideas. Lotion Bars (aka Bee Bars) This recipe was the brain child of my cousin, and friend, Naomi. For years, she has struggled with very, very dry, cracked (and often bleeding) hands that come with the dry, cold winters. For awhile she used a store-bought Bee Bar, with lots... Keep reading...