Director Jewels

Monday, November 24, 2014

Super Easy Thankful Turkey Thanksgiving Kids Craft

Heads up: this post does not contain any sort of detailed, in-depth instructions on how to create the most majestic Thanksgiving craft you can imagine. It is a pretty simple process, and I am sharing it with the sole hope that some mom out there feels the way I do: that holidays sneak up on us and we never get enough (or any) craft projects prepped, much less created, with our kids. Since the beginning of fall, the only project I actually remember making with my kids is our Falling Leaves Autumn Tree...and that was weeks ago! Sigh!

This one's so easy you can do it in your sleep - yet still fun for kids because they get to use a glue stick! See? Win-win.

Here's what you need to put together this friendly little turkey craft:

-Construction Paper in various colors
-2 Googly Eyes
-A Glue Stick
-A Writing Utensil (I used a marker)
-Something Round (to trace for your turkey body)
-An Eager Kid to help you

I told Lincoln that we were going to make Thankful Turkeys and he was very excited. In fact, he was so excited that he wanted to get started right away and not wait for me to do any prep work. So he watched as I hastily drew circles on brown construction paper and cut them out, then free-hand cut the nose, feathers, and legs. He's not super proficient with glue yet, so I helped him figure out where to attach the feathers and legs.

As we added each feather, I asked him what he was thankful for. The first thing he said was "my family" - cue the awwwws. After that, it got a little bit random with things like cheese, his sippy cup, a broom, and my camera. But the point is, he's learning what it means to be thankful and that's awesome!

Addie made a turkey too, but she said she wasn't thankful for anything and wanted to get down after helping to glue three feathers. You can't win them all, folks.

This turkey project took about twenty minutes from the time I thought of it until completion. So,'s your easy craft project for the week of Thanksgiving! Enjoy!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Photographer Gift Idea: mod. Camera Strap & Lens Cap Saver - #HolidayGiftGuide2014

Disclosure: I received sample products to review. No compensation was received and all views expressed are my own.

I bought my first "nice" digital SLR camera almost five years ago. Back then, my blog was just a hobby - but I was going on a trip to Disney World and figured it would be a handy item to have on hand. Since then, I have been thankful countless times for that purchase! I had a nice camera when my kids were born, for pumpkin patch trips and holiday visits with family.

And, of course, now that blogging is just a little bit more important in my life, it is very nice to have a camera that takes my photography to a higher level than I could achieve with a point-and-shoot. I've done a couple of photo shoots for friends in the last few years, but I'm not sure professional photographer is a title I feel comfortable adding to my list of talents yet.

In spite of considering myself to be at a somewhat amateur level of photography, I've longed for some accessories to dress up my camera. I have attended a few blogger events where the number of large black camera is overwhelming, and you run the risk of picking up the wrong one without some sort of identifying feature! Not to mention, as a mom, I'm often on the run - and having a brightly-colored identifier makes me a lot less likely to leave my camera and the precious memories it contains behind at the zoo, park, or aquarium.

All of that to say - whether you are a professional in the photography business or have a hard-to-buy for mom friend or sister-in-law who is toting around a heavy camera all the time, I found the perfect gift for you to give this holiday season!

My new camera strap and lens cap saver from mod. have made my photography life so much more fun!

mod. offers a huge variety of camera straps to choose from - my guess is that you'll have a hard time deciding which one best fits your style! I'm a bit of a chevron maniac, so this Cheerful Zig Premium Strap is perfect for me. It features a 33" decorative fabric strap, but the full adjustable length is 42"-48"! It's a little bit longer than the strap that came with my camera, so that took me a little bit to get used to - but really, I love having the extra length.

Each premium strap features high grade synthetic leather ends, is backed with durable webbing, and has been tested to withstand pull down weight up to 70lbs. There are matching accessories available for each design (think laptop sleeves, camera pouches, and accessory bags), so you can even find a style that suits your photography brand and maintain the same chic look for multiple devices. 

A premium strap like mine has a $49.50 price point, but if that is out of your budget range, there are options starting at just $20.95.

There is something about having a colorful, peppy camera strap that makes me more excited about taking photos - and I feel a little bit more like a professional when I take my camera to events now! When you're a mom, your needs are often met last in the family lineup...things like new clothes (or even clean clothes if you have babies and toddlers) might be a luxury, but a pretty accessory makes a big difference! I don't have time for much makeup or jewelry these days, and my camera is almost always in my bag!

I'm equally excited about my Hot Pink Pop Flower Lens Cap Saver. I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I have lost my camera lens cap. I've wasted probably several hours of my life digging around in my bags, looking under couches, and begging my children to confess where they stashed these small black plastic pieces. And now, those days are done! I no longer have to worry about the location of my cap, because it is securely attached to my lens via an elastic band. And it's super cute!

mod. offers free shipping on orders over $75 or $4.99 flat-rate shipping on most US orders - plus there's no tax (unless you live in Texas). The brand was created in 2009 and is now sold in over 700 camera stores, boutiques, and retail locations.

You can find out more about mod. on the web, or follow along for the latest updates on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Disclosure: I received sample products to review. No compensation was received and all views expressed are my own.  For more info, you can view my Disclosure Policy.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

BabyLit: Board Books and Tote Bags and Playsets, Oh My! #HolidayGiftGuide2014

Disclosure: I received sample products to review. No compensation was received and all views expressed are my own.

I love giving gifts that promote literacy. My kids have a vast collection of books because the former librarian in me just can't say no to a new title for our home library. I'm so excited to share with you today one of my favorite book brands - BabyLit. I've loved this company for years and would have included them in my gift guide even if they had not wanted to submit some products for review!

When I first learned about BabyLit, I thought it was too good to be true. Classic literature in the form of sturdy board books for babies - with subjects like colors, counting, sounds, and was a perfect combination!

Not only does the company offer books and play sets for kids, there's a variety of items to make grown-up book lovers smile, as well.

This Wuthering Heights tote is one of my new favorite go-to bags. It's made out of heavy cotton canvas, so it's perfect for transporting books. I've been looking for a new library bag, and I think this one fits the bill perfectly. The color scheme reminds me of my Etsy shop logo, and makes me even happier to carry this bag around!

There are totes available in many different styles - including a very adorable "I Heart Darcy" version.

The kids are always excited when I present them with a new book, and this occasion was no different. We sat down to read our BabyLit books both old and new one afternoon last week. They thought storytime was infinitely more fun just because they got to pull books out of my tote bag!

I love all of the BabyLit titles, but some of my favorites are A Christmas Carol, Dracula, Jane Eyre, The Jungle Book, and Pride & Prejudice.

Thanks to BabyLit generously agreeing to send us their two newest board book titles - Frankenstein and The Wizard of Oz - we now have the full board book collection in our library!

These new titles are just as lovely as all of the previous BabyLit releases that we have enjoyed. Each features pages that are strong enough to hold up to dozens of occasions of little fingers prying at them. The books are written by Jennifer Adams with illustrations by Alison Oliver and these two ladies make a great team!

The Wizard of Oz is a colors primer, featuring a different color on each two-page spread. As the story is true to the original book, there are a few things that you may find different from the most popular incarceration of the story (the MGM film). Keep an eye out for some silver - not ruby red - slippers!

Frankenstein is an anatomy primer and uses the large purple monster to help kids remember the names of each part of the body.

There are little things in most of the books that may be missed by kids, but that a fan of the original literature would certainly pick up. The best kinds of children's books are those which are enjoyable for both parents and their kids, and I can honestly say I would be happy to read any BabyLit title over and over again.

We can't wait to try the picture books like Edgar & the Tattletale Heart next!

If you think you will love BabyLit as much as I do, you can visit them on the web or follow via Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram for all the latest updates and product releases.

Disclosure: I received sample products to review. No compensation was received and all views expressed are my own.  For more info, you can view my Disclosure Policy.


 "A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Lincoln - the wild hair is killing me. Love.
Addie - birthday girl. More photos in her 2 Year post.

Friday, November 21, 2014

#GiveHappy with OshKosh B'gosh Clothing this Holiday Season

Disclosure: I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for OshKosh B’gosh. I received an OshKosh B’gosh gift card to purchase product and to thank me for my participation. All views expressed are my own.

Take a moment, moms - think back to when you first saw a positive result on a pregnancy test. Tell me that your heart didn't skip a beat at just the idea of getting to dress a tiny little person in whatever fashions you selected for them! Yes, most of us are primarily excited about the miracle of a new life growing in our bellies - but the adorable clothes available for parents to choose these days are a definite perk!

My kids have always seemed to have more clothes than they really need, but now that they are getting older, the stash I bought when they were babies is starting to run out. When you have a newborn, you don't usually think about buying size 5 boy's clothing! So when I was given the opportunity to visit my local OshKosh B'gosh store to check out their winter clothing selection, I was all over it. I had so much fun shopping at OshKosh B'gosh last year, there was no way I could say no!

OshKosh B'gosh is known for their adorable overalls and clothing in simple, classic designs - something that I love. My kids do have some clothing that features their favorite characters, but I am really migrating to the simpler pieces these days. You can't beat a classic!

I am ALWAYS a sucker for pajamas!

The store was packed with clothing for the upcoming winter season and I feel that I was able to purchase a lot of the clothes my kids needed for winter all in one stop! I even managed to stock up on socks and hair accessories without breaking the budget!

My trip was made even more exciting by the 25% off coupon (you can print a copy here). I love the chance to snag a good deal - the day I visited OshKosh B'gosh, practically everything in the store was already on sale and I was able to use the coupon in addition to the sales!
Print your 25% off coupon now!

 OshKosh B'gosh remains one of my go-to destinations for classy designs for my kids. I love that their designers are not striving to make kids grow up too fast - simple, comfy styles are really what works for little ones and they're experts at that.

I may have had a little too much fun updating Lincoln and Addie's wardrobes on this shopping trip! I was excited to add some classic shirts in white and gray for Addie, plus coordinating navy accents.

I'm loving stripes right now, so these shirts (one on clearance for a super great price) were a no-brainer! Addie's favorite color is pink, so I know these will see a lot of wear this winter!

For Lincoln, I picked out this great half-zip sweater. He doesn't have many dressy outfits because as a three-year-old boy, it seems unlikely that he will be motivated to look nice and keep his clothing in one piece. But this sweater is definitely durable enough to hold up to his rough antics.

I've noticed that all of the OshKosh pieces in our clothing collection have great durability. The items that my kids have outgrown were not placed in consignment or garage sale piles, but were added to my bins of smaller sized clothing in case we have more babies someday. I much prefer buying clothing that I know will last through multiple kids!

I spied a great collection of holiday outfits and adorable pajamas when I was shopping at OshKosh B'Gosh earlier this month. Pajamas are my weakness...seriously, I just love them. Lincoln thinks the fire chief pj's are pretty cool, and Addie has been obsessed with owls since her first birthday party, so they were a perfect choice!

OshKosh B'gosh wants shoppers to #GiveHappy this holiday season and I'm doing that just by celebrating the little moments with my kids! This is something I try to do anyway, but it's great to have a reminder. Little things like giving hugs or kisses, reading extra stories at bedtime, or letting little hands help when I'm cooking set a happier tone in our home - and what mom doesn't want that?

How do you #GiveHappy? I'm making a list of small things we can do to brighten someone else's day! I can't wait to help my kids learn that it's better to give than receive this holiday season.

Follow along with OshKosh B'gosh on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest updates!

Disclosure: I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for OshKosh B’gosh. I received an OshKosh B’gosh gift card to purchase product and to thank me for my participation. All views expressed are my own.
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