Category Archives: Family

What's On Our Pre-Fall Music Playlist

Okay, so, bad news first: this week absolutely kicked my butt. The good news, though? That means I’m feeling on top of my game! I actually even managed to push myself to get ahead, and, despite the fact that our contractor never did show up, I haven’t felt this accomplished in a very long time.

I think I’m going to treat myself to a little bit of a break today (once I finish the last big project on my list, of course), but, before I go, I wanted to share a little playlist to celebrate the official kick-off to fall today. May this list of easy-listening tunes get you off on the right foot this brand new season.

What's On Our Pre-Fall Music Playlist

What's On Our Pre-Fall Music Playlist

Our Fall Playlist

I have a feeling that John and I will be kicking back to this little mix-CD-like list of songs all throughout the colder months to come. What’s on your fall playlist?

What's On Our Pre-Fall Music Playlist

(Photos by Carrie Coleman)
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Traditional dresser in a mid-century style home

One of the things that really surprised us about our house when we moved in was the size of the rooms. The home was built in 1963, so you would think that the sub floor ventilation and closets would all be on the small side, but that’s not the case, especially when it comes to our master bedroom. The room is, frankly, kind of huge and even sports its own walk-in closet. It’s so large that we can actually fit two dressers in it—something our previous master bedroom couldn’t do.

Traditional dresser in a mid-century style home

In our old house John had possession of the only dresser in our room. To compensate while he enjoyed dresser drawer storage for all of his clothing, I situated an IKEA shelving unit and storage boxes in our old walk-in closet for all of my clothes. We ended up just going with the same system out of habit when we moved, but that’s all changed now.

Traditional dresser in a mid-century style home

Traditional dresser in a mid-century style home

Traditional dresser in a mid-century style home

If you’ve been following along for any length of time, then you know that my dad is a really talented woodworker. He’s built lots of furniture for my parents’ home, as well as some pieces for my little sister’s apartment, too. I guess, at some point, I had gotten a little sassy (as I do) about the fact that everyone had a piece of original dad-built furniture but me, so he got down to work creating a dresser especially for me.

Traditional dresser in a mid-century style home

To say that I was excited and honored about the prospect of owning something my dad had built from scratch with his own two hands would be an understatement. He and I worked together on the design in order to blend his traditional aesthetic with my modern taste, and the result is the gorgeous, clean-lined, ultra-sleek piece of furniture that you see pictured here today.

Traditional dresser in a mid-century style home

Traditional dresser in a mid-century style home

It feels so good to have my clothing put away and organized in an actual dresser as opposed to the flimsy IKEA boxes and shelving unit I used to have stuffed into our closet. Plus, the handmade cherry dresser just adds so much sophistication and style to our bedroom.

Oh, and did you notice the cute brass flower hardware? Those pulls were actually originally in our kitchen—we held onto them after installing upgraded handles, and this project turned out to be the perfect way to repurpose the old pulls.

Traditional dresser in a mid-century style home

Traditional dresser in a mid-century style home

It’s a pretty big upgrade from the tiny bookshelf that used to sit in this spot (don’t worry, we didn’t get rid of the bookshelf entirely—we just moved it to the family room). This is a piece that I know I’ll be loving and enjoying for the rest of my life—thanks, dad!

Have you added any new pieces of furniture to your own home lately? What’s your favorite heirloom piece in your collection? Tell me in the comments below.

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7 YouTube Channels To Subscribe To Now

Lately, every day tends to start out the exact same way: I wake up around 7AM, check my phone (yes, I’m that girl), stretch, make some avocado toast and coffee, and, then, I climb back in bed to eat breakfast before hitting the showers and my to-do list. The last piece to my morning routine? Pulling up YouTube to keep me company as I chow down on my toast!

I think it was about a year or so ago that I officially fell down the rabbit hole of YouTube. Someone I followed on Instagram mentioned a channel run by a family in the UK called the Michalaks. Their weekly Vlog-style videos were so unique and dreamy, and I just couldn’t stop watching once I got started. I watched their most recent videos, and then eventually went all the way back to the beginning and watched every single one they had ever published. I was hooked, guys, and, just like the moment that inspired me to start this blog, I remember thinking to myself, “I feel like I could do this…”

Which is when I started filming and releasing adventure videos from in and around our town on my own YouTube channel! That was right at the start of 2017, and now I have 16 videos to call my very own. I love it and feel like I’ve really found my new calling. Am I good at it? HELL NO. But it’s the thing I’m most passionate about behind the scenes, so I thought I’d share a quick list of the seven YouTubers who are inspiring me to create in-motion content right now.

7 YouTube Channels To Subscribe To Now

7 Favorite YouTube Channels

1. What Olivia Did: I’m clearly a big, big fan of all British vloggers, but Olivia is one of my all-time favorites. She’s so adorable on-camera, and I adore her retro-inspired style. I feel like we would be buds IRL.

2. Margo & Me: Even though I’m basically a fashion disaster in real life, Jenny’s beauty tutorials and fashion tips make me feel like I can fake it! Her videos are super high quality and always leave me feeling motivated to test my creativity when it comes to beauty (and videography!).

3. Studio McGee: If you, too, cut the cord on cable and are desperately missing HGTV, this YouTube channel is bound to be your new favorite. I’m so inspired by their room tours and interior design tips. While you’re at it, be sure to subscribe to the Yellow Brick Home YouTube channel, too! Kim and Scott have lots of really useful tips and fun projects to share.

4. Vogue: Follow along for beauty tutorials, interesting interviews with celebrities (I especially love their 73 Questions series!), and a behind the scenes look inside the lifestyle of fashion editorial.

5. Klossy: Karlie Kloss is clearly a superstar, but the model seems really down to earth and approachable on her YouTube channel. I love tuning in to her quick, fast-paced videos when I’m getting ready in the morning or waiting on photos to export.

6. The Michalaks: I’ve already given my quick overview on this family, but be sure to follow along with Hannah and Stef for lots of pretty peeks into their lives across the pond in Bath.

7. Studio DIY: Kelly and her team always knock it out of the park with their colorful DIYs. For more crafty tutorials, be sure to subscribe to Sarah Hearts, too!

8. Dream Green DIY: I’d be remiss if I didn’t give myself at least a tiny little plug, right?! I have a brand new type of video set to launch early next month, so it’s kind of an exciting time. Stay tuned!

7 YouTube Channels To Subscribe To Now

Are you an avid YouTube watcher, too? This is my favourite brand of internet Speedpro that speeds up my Youtube thing. Do you have a channel of your own to share? Please leave links in the comments because I’m always on the hunt for newbies to follow. Have a great weekend, guys!

7 YouTube Channels To Subscribe To Now

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Mid-century table lamp

I don’t know if it’s just the imminent changing of the seasons or what, but I’m feeling the major urge to move things around and tone things down in our home. I’ve been on a reorganization kick lately, too, which means that I’m taking huge car loads to charity, and our trash can and recycling hauls have been overflowing. It’s funny because I feel like we sort of just got settled in our house now that it’s been almost two years since we moved in, but I’m already itching to tweak a few major things.

Case in point our downstairs family room. My friend and photographer Carrie Coleman came over to the house a couple of months ago to shoot an updated home tour (more on that next month!), and she captured the current state of things to a “T” above and below. I love the tufted details and the pattern play between textiles and upholstered pieces, but in my quest to neutralize our decor, I want to take things down a few pegs.

I’m working with Interior Define to replace our existing couch with something a little easier on the eyes (and a little more “loung-y,” too!), but I need your help deciding how to bring the rest of the room together from there.

Transform your basement into a cozy family room

Help Us Choose Our Family Room Mood Board

Below, you’ll see two options that I came up with. I don’t want to have to change everything because (a) our budget is tight, and (b) I don’t want to waste what we already own. In the two mood boards below, you’ll see that I’ve included our existing flooring and rug, but the coffee table, art, lamps and end tables are all new ideas. Our existing mid-century recliner and the side chair will probably stay, as will the entertainment center, and plants/accessories.

Sadly, our oversized tufted leather ottoman won’t work with the new couch since we chose a sectional. Instead, I’m on the hunt for a round table to fill the space and offer a place to rest drinks, but that won’t stop the flow to the couch.

Help Us Choose Our Family Room Mood Board: Option 1

Resources: Sectional, Abstract Art, Rug, Laminate Flooring, Side TableLamp, Coffee Table

You’ll probably notice that Option One is a little more pulled-back than Option Two, what with a single piece of art instead of a gallery wall. The sculptural coffee table in Option One’s mood board is certainly a focal point, but I think the white and glass surfaces help the table blend into the background juuuuust enough so that it doesn’t steal the show from that pretty sectional.

On the other hand, I love how the gallery wall in Option Two brings just a hint of color into the space without overwhelming things. Since I brought so much hypothetical color into the room through art, I chose a white end table to balance out the palette. A mid-century inspired round wood coffee table then grounds the space, while a bold black lamp punches up the masculinity just a tad.

Help Us Choose Our Family Room Mood Board: Option 2

Resources: SectionalRug, Laminate Flooring, Side TableFigure Drawing, Floral Drawing, Abstract, Horse Portrait, Lamp, Coffee Table

So, which one would you choose? Oh, and before I go, Interior Define is hosting their annual 15% off sale now through September 20, which is huge since their prices are already really affordable. Check out the options here, and don’t forget that you can get free swatches so that you can touch and feel the fabrics in person before you buy!

Now, go ahead and leave your vote for decor options in the comments below, and don’t be afraid to tell me how you’d mix the two together if you can visualize a third option! I can’t wait to hear what you guys think.

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*This post was sponsored by Artifact Uprising

DIY Patterned Scrapbook Paper Magnets

One of the biggest investments I’ve made in my career as a blogger thus far is in camera equipment. I’ve spent roughly a used car’s worth on my camera and set of lenses, but, oddly enough, I rarely break them out to capture real-life personal moments. Instead, I mostly use my “nice” camera to document DIY blog projects like the one you’ll see here today. While that’s all well and good, I’d like to make more of a point to start using it to capture fun family memories, too. You know—the kind worth framing and hanging on the fridge!

Which leads me to today’s craft. In an effort to take and print more family photos, I thought it would be fun to start backwards and create a set of colorful custom DIY magnets. That way, whenever I do get around to snapping personal moments with my camera, I’ll already have a collection of magnets ready and waiting to hang the pictures on our fridge for us to enjoy every day.

To get you guys in on the fun, too, I figured it was the perfect time for us to make a new pact—a promise to print and display favorite fridge-worthy photos as we edge closer to the holiday season. I don’t know about you, but I think it’s high time we celebrate life’s crazy, beautiful, wild little moments. You can join in on the conversation by tagging your own fridge-worthy photos with @dreamgreendiy on social media and using the hashtag #dgdfreezeframe. Now for the DIY craft!

DIY Patterned Scrapbook Paper Magnets

Here’s What You’ll Need

  • Patterned scrapbook paper
  • 1.5″ circle punch
  • 1.5″ wood circle discs
  • Round magnets
  • Tacky glue
  • Super glue
  • Foam paint brush
  • Printed family photos (we love Artifact Uprising!)

DIY Patterned Scrapbook Paper Magnets

Start by gathering a collection of pretty pieces of scrapbook paper. These usually cost less than a dollar each at your local craft supply store, or you can just buy a book of coordinating scrapbook paper like I did for around $5-$10. Choose a few of your favorite patterns, and then use a 1.5″ circle punch to pop little pre-measured circles out of the patterned paper.

DIY Patterned Scrapbook Paper Magnets

Use super glue to attach magnets to the backs of 1.5″ wood circle discs, and allow them to dry for about 10 minutes before handling. Flip the now-magnetic wood circles over and squeeze a dot of tacky glue on the front wood surface.

Spread the glue evenly over the disc with a foam paint brush, and then gently press one of the pre-cut patterned paper circles onto the glued surface. Line up the edges of the paper with the edges of the wood circle, and hold the paper in place over the glue for 30 seconds. Set it aside, and repeat the steps on each of your magnetic wood circles.

DIY Patterned Scrapbook Paper Magnets

DIY Patterned Scrapbook Paper Magnets

To speed up drying time and to ensure a firm hold, gently lay the magnetic wood circles patterned-paper-side-down on a clean, dry surface. Allow the magnets to fully dry for 1-2 hours before handling.

DIY Patterned Scrapbook Paper Magnets

DIY Patterned Scrapbook Paper Magnets

DIY Patterned Scrapbook Paper Magnets

Now you’re ready to use the custom magnets to hang favorite photos up on your fridge—or, really, any magnetic surface, like an office bulletin board or a metal front door. If you try this craft or if you’ve already shared a photo on Instagram that you’d love to have printed, be sure to tag @dreamgreendiy on social media and use the hashtag #dgdfreezeframe. Who knows…you just might see the printed photo show up in your mailbox!

DIY Patterned Scrapbook Paper Magnets

DIY Patterned Scrapbook Paper Magnets

DIY Patterned Scrapbook Paper Magnets

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*This post is sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim, a research-driven pharmaceutical company standing for innovative healthcare products for people and animals for more than 130 years. All opinions are my own. Please see below for additional disclosure.

How To Add Activity To Your Pet's Lifestyle | dreamgreendiy.com + the NexGard® (afoxolaner) team #itsadog #ad

These words and photos are part of a series that can be seen in full on the It’s a Dog! website. Hop over to ItsADog.com for details on how to enter for your chance to score up to $500 toward your pet gift registry and a coupon for six doses of NexGard® (afoxolaner) with a prescription from a veterinarian!

One hundred and sixty-one days (or, really, 10,202 days if you want to be totally accurate)—that’s how long my sister has been waiting to adopt her own dog. The first, more digestible figure is based off the day last November when she found out that she could move into a pet-friendly home for the first time in her young adult life. Ever since then, she has been scouring local pet adoption centers and breeder websites on the hunt for the perfect dog to bring home.

It hasn’t been a fast process and every day that went by without any luck was pretty disheartening to my sister and, frankly, to our entire family, too. Her lease required that this hypothetical new pup weigh under a certain small amount, but she had her heart set on a big black lab. She met all sorts of potential pups, but none of them worked out for one reason or another (ex. weight limitations, incompatibility with other dogs, incompatibility with cats, etc.). That is, until Rory came along.

How To Add Activity To Your Pet's Lifestyle | dreamgreendiy.com + the NexGard® (afoxolaner) team #itsadog #ad

How To Add Activity To Your Pet's Lifestyle | dreamgreendiy.com + the NexGard® (afoxolaner) team #itsadog #ad

How To Add Activity To Your Pet's Lifestyle | dreamgreendiy.com + the NexGard® (afoxolaner) team #itsadog #ad

This pint-sized, docked tail mixed black lab puppy came to us very unexpectedly from the local SPCA here in Waynesboro, Virginia, and turned out to be the answer my sister had been looking for all this time. He’s on the smaller side, but very clearly made of Labrador retriever, solidifying him as the ideal compromise between Kat’s vision of her dream dog and her lease requirements.

It has been a few months since Rory was adopted, and it’s love all around. So, in order to celebrate the same “It’s a Dog!” online pet gift registry announcement that I worked with
the NexGard® (afoxolaner) team on earlier this year, I asked my sister if she wouldn’t mind us turning the blog’s spotlight on the newest furry member of our at-large household. Happily, both pup and pup owner were more than willing to oblige.

How To Add Activity To Your Pet's Lifestyle | dreamgreendiy.com + the NexGard® (afoxolaner) team #itsadog #ad

How To Add Activity To Your Pet's Lifestyle | dreamgreendiy.com + the NexGard® (afoxolaner) team #itsadog #ad

How To Add Activity To Your Pet's Lifestyle | dreamgreendiy.com + the NexGard® (afoxolaner) team #itsadog #ad

We officially introduced puppy Rory to our big family of pets over the long Memorial Day weekend back in May. Between my parents’ 3 labs and 2 cats and our 1 dog and 3 cats, it was a lot to take in for a new puppy who had been, up until that point, used to living alone in his new apartment. Thankfully, the introduction was a relatively easy one, and everyone was coexisting together within the hour.

In honor of a puppy joining the ranks alongside our collection of older dogs, I figured this was the perfect opportunity to share suggestions for adding activity to your pet’s lifestyle. Whether your own canine is new, like Rory, or more on the senior side like our hound dog, Rocky, and my parents’ trio of labs, these tips should have your pet feeling fit and having fun in no time this summer.

How To Add Activity To Your Pet's Lifestyle | dreamgreendiy.com + the NexGard® (afoxolaner) team #itsadog #ad

How To Add Activity To Your Pet's Lifestyle | dreamgreendiy.com + the NexGard® (afoxolaner) team #itsadog #ad

How To Add Activity To Your Pet’s Lifestyle

  • Take a hike: We leashed up Rory and our own dog, Rocky, on Memorial Day, then headed out into the woods for a good long walk. It was the perfect way to tire both boys out and get their hearts pounding.
  • Have a playdate: In the same vein, nothing motivates activity in a pet’s day quite like rough-housing with a fellow canine.
  • Go to class: Even if your pup is well-versed in tricks and commands, sign them up for a training class annually. It’s a great way to encourage socializing, plus you’ll both have an excuse to get out and about.
  • Play fetch: Got a backyard? A long, furniture-free hallway? A nearby dog park? Throw a pet-approved ball for your dog so that he is consistently running a few controlled laps every day.
  • Make him work for it: Whenever rewarding your pet with a dog treat, try holding the biscuit a little aloft of his head so that he has to bounce up a few inches in the air for it, or even toss it a few feet off to the side so that he races for it to get his pulse going.

How To Add Activity To Your Pet's Lifestyle | dreamgreendiy.com + the NexGard® (afoxolaner) team #itsadog #ad

How To Add Activity To Your Pet's Lifestyle | dreamgreendiy.com + the NexGard® (afoxolaner) team #itsadog #ad

As my sister discovered throughout the course of the last year, new pet ownership is a big step. There is so much to consider and there are so many questions to ask, but the uncertainty is well worth the moment you lay eyes on the dog you’re meant to love for his or her entire life.

How To Add Activity To Your Pet's Lifestyle | dreamgreendiy.com + the NexGard® (afoxolaner) team #itsadog #ad

And with that, it’s time to remind you about the online pet gift registry that the 
NexGard® (afoxolaner) team has launched. To get started, visit ItsADog.com now through October and put together a digital list of things your new pup will need when he or she finally comes home (think: a crate, food and water bowls, toys, washable blankets, etc.).

After you’ve finished compiling your gift registry, you can then share the final list with loved ones who can use it to make your new arrival feel at home from day one. Oh, and don’t forget that you can enter a sweepstakes for a chance to win up to $500 in prizes, which will be awarded individually each month.

How To Add Activity To Your Pet's Lifestyle | dreamgreendiy.com + the NexGard® (afoxolaner) team #itsadog #ad

How To Add Activity To Your Pet's Lifestyle | dreamgreendiy.com + the NexGard® (afoxolaner) team #itsadog #ad

Deciding which dog to bring home from the shelter is a huge decision. Figuring out which new pet necessities to bring home from the store shouldn’t be. The NexGard team wants to lend a helping hand in welcoming your new dog—whether he or she is a puppy or a senior—into a new home. So, let the NexGard team make this big life transition a little easier on both of you by visiting www.ItsADog.com to get educated and excited now.

How To Add Activity To Your Pet's Lifestyle | dreamgreendiy.com + the NexGard® (afoxolaner) team #itsadog #ad

The maker of NexGard worked with bloggers like me for its It’s A Dog! program. This blog has been written by me on behalf of the NexGard team. I received compensation for my time.
®NexGard is a registered trademark of Merial.
©2017 Merial, Inc., Duluth, GA. All rights reserved. Merial is now part of Boehringer Ingelheim. [IAD_Social4] (7/17)
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Custom Framed License Plate Birthday Gift Idea | dreamgreendiy.com + @framebridge

I think it’s pretty safe to say that we all fall into one of two categories: those who toss their old license plates, and those who hold onto and display them. John and I are firmly in the latter camp, with a whole collection of bent, rusty, scratched-up plates lining the walls of our basement. We’ve got personalized plates and those that sport a random smattering of words and numbers, but each one acts like a placeholder for some time in our lives—from high school and college, to as recent as earlier this year.

Our families, not surprisingly, do the same thing, so when my dad sold his truck to us just a few months ago, I knew I wanted to do something special with the personalized license plate that he gave up along with the truck.

Custom Framed License Plate Birthday Gift Idea | dreamgreendiy.com + @framebridge

Custom Framed License Plate Birthday Gift Idea | dreamgreendiy.com + @framebridge

The Tacoma was actually his second car, so Dad didn’t need the special license plate anymore, and John had his own to transfer over, making the original “3LABZ” plate kind of useless. Yet there was something about the sentiment that was just too nostalgic for me to trash once we got ahold of the car.

I remember countless times looking out for those five characters to come down the drive after dad got off of work, or times when I’d inspect other passing silver Toyotas to see if they matched the right plate while out and about around town. And, of course, there’s the fact that the personalized message represented my parents’ trio of sweet (you guessed it) labs! No, there was no way I was getting rid of that license plate.

Not wanting to simply hand it back to my dad as is, though, I decided to have it professionally framed with the help of Framebridge for his birthday. If you’ve never custom-framed anything with Framebridge before, consider this your challenge to do so immediately. It’s one of my favorite types of gifts to give, and—post sponsorship aside—I can confidently say that this brand makes it especially easy.

Custom Framed License Plate Birthday Gift Idea | dreamgreendiy.com + @framebridge

Custom Framed License Plate Birthday Gift Idea | dreamgreendiy.com + @framebridge

To sum things up, I first ordered a mailer kit from the website, which arrived at our door about a week later. Then, I slipped the license plate into the included plastic bag, wrote my notes and requests on the packaged card, and left it in the mailbox for our mail lady to grab the next day.

I received a quick confirmation email from Framebridge soon after, as well as I handful of digitally mocked-up design options based on the instructions I had given them. As fate would have it, Framebridge’s “Tacoma” design—a rich dark wood frame with white backdrop—fit the bill to a “T.”

Custom Framed License Plate Birthday Gift Idea | dreamgreendiy.com + @framebridge

Custom Framed License Plate Birthday Gift Idea | dreamgreendiy.com + @framebridge

Custom Framed License Plate Birthday Gift Idea | dreamgreendiy.com + @framebridge

I was able to present the custom-framed plate to my dad as a belated birthday gift this past weekend when I traveled home for a quick visit, and it was a hit! I experienced a pretty proud moment when, just a couple of hours later, I walked into the kitchen to see the framed plate already hanging up on the wall.

So, do you have anything in particular that you’d like to custom frame someday? Maybe a vintage scarf or pretty cross-stitch? I love the idea of framing a piece of retro torn wallpaper from a DIY renovation in a first-time home. Leave your own ideas—birthday gift or not—below!

Custom Framed License Plate Birthday Gift Idea | dreamgreendiy.com + @framebridge

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DIY Birthday Photo Guessing Game Banner

Like a lot of you, I’ve always struggled with actually going through the motions of printing and displaying family photos. I’ve got pictures from high school, college, and even my itty bitty childhood ready to go on my hard drive, but I just never seem to have the time to go through and print my favorites—let alone actually find a way to display them.

All that’s about to change though. I’ve quietly stolen all of the photo albums from my parents’ house with the aim to scan and print my favorites from the collection. If nothing else, I think the entire family will rest a little easier knowing that there are digital copies of these one-of-a-kind snaps, but my ultimate goal, of course, it to print these memories and set them up around our house for posterity’s sake.

The inspiration for this ongoing project was actually my dad’s birthday party just a couple of weeks ago. John and I hosted the gathering at our house, and since I’m physically incapable of throwing a party without some kind of DIY, I decided to come up with a fun photo game to make the most of dad’s childhood photos. I wasn’t planning to feature the project here on my blog (which accounts for the slightly haphazard display), but it turned out to be such a simple craft and such a hit at the party, that I couldn’t help but add it to the blog’s editorial calendar of posts.

DIY Birthday Photo Guessing Game Banner

DIY Birthday Photo Guessing Game Banner

All you need to recreate the look at your own birthday party is a roll of kraft paper (I used masking paper typically used for painting projects), clothespins, push pins, scissors, a permanent marker, and printed photos of the birthday boy or girl, preferably from all different stages of life—from their birth and childhood, to teenage years, and adulthood.

First, unroll the kraft paper by about four feet and cut it straight across at the bottom with scissors. If the birthday boy or girl is turning 50 or 60, you may need to cut two lengths of paper to hang side by side in order to accommodate all of the years of the person’s life.

DIY Birthday Photo Guessing Game Banner

DIY Birthday Photo Guessing Game Banner

DIY Birthday Photo Guessing Game Banner

Next, Write out age increments of about 3-5 years every 9-12 inches using a permanent marker. Hang the paper strips on the wall with push pins, and then clip printed photos onto the kraft paper in a random order. In other words, you may place baby photos in the “Ages 21-30” section, and college graduation pictures in the “Ages 6-10” section.

Note that I also left enough room at the top of the first paper strip to write simple instructions (“See if you can place Pat!”). This will help guide party guests through the purpose of the game.

DIY Birthday Photo Guessing Game Banner

DIY Birthday Photo Guessing Game Banner

DIY Birthday Photo Guessing Game Banner

We had so much fun standing around the display rearranging the photos into their correct order. The game also got the stories and conversation flowing! Dad told us all sorts of things about his days in the army and about the kids he and his siblings used to hang out with in their old neighborhood.

After the party was over, I tucked the printed pictures aside in an envelope, and now have plans to scan and print even more pictures so I can put together a family photo album of my own. So, what do you think? Would you consider giving this photo game a try at your next milestone birthday party?

DIY Birthday Photo Guessing Game Banner

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*This post is sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim, a research-driven pharmaceutical company that stands for innovative healthcare products for people and animals for more than 130 years, but all opinions are my own. Please see below for additional disclosure.

5 Creative Ways To Help Keep Your Cat Healthy | dreamgreendiy.com + purevaxpureprotection.com #VaxYourCat #ad

Truthfully, there might not be a more authentic post on this blog than the one I’m about to share today. Why? Because, as I write this pet-centered story, our sweet kitty, Tonks, has just come home from the vet after a particularly harrowing (for all of us) dental procedure.

This teeny tiny cat came from the local pet adoption center with all sorts of odd conditions, including naturally-crossed eyes, constant wheezes and sneezes, not to mention a jaw full of problem teeth. This isn’t the first time Tonks has had teeth pulled during a scheduled cleaning, but it might just be the worst one yet since she’s now without “fangs” (i.e. those upper canine teeth). She seems pretty darn confused by the gaps in her smile. In fact, she’s curled up in bed next to me right now as I type this, her new underbite propping her lips up in all sorts of awkward angles. 

Happily, time passes and with it comes healing, but being the proactive pet owner that I am, I’ll always keep a close eye on all four of our furry friends. So, when the makers of PUREVAX® Feline Rabies vaccines got in touch with an invitation to have Tonks and our other cats inspire a new wave of vaccination awareness, I responded with an enthusiastic, “Let’s do it!” Taking care of our pets isn’t rocket science, but there are so many little strategic things that we can do to help keep them healthy for the long run. Read on for the top five creative tricks we practice here in our own pet-friendly (read: pet-ruled) household.

5 Creative Ways To Help Keep Your Cat Healthy | dreamgreendiy.com + purevaxpureprotection.com #VaxYourCat #ad

1. Play Doctor

Now, of course, I don’t mean give them injections or invasive abdominal examinations, but it’s always a good idea to give your pet a periodic once over. Gently peer in at their teeth to look for signs of tartar or irritation, check their ears for cleanliness, and keep an eye on their eating, drinking, and litter box habits. Keeping yourself educated about your pets’ general wellness will be helpful when it comes time to take them to the vet for a real examination—you’ll be able to answer the doctor’s questions with ease and confidence.

5 Creative Ways To Help Keep Your Cat Healthy | dreamgreendiy.com + purevaxpureprotection.com #VaxYourCat #ad

2. Pre-schedule Check-Ups

While we’re on the topic of the vet, go ahead and pre-schedule those check-ups. August 22 is actually Take Your Cat to the Vet Day, so it’s the perfect time. For whatever reason, I tend to get really annoyed by reminders from anyone—the doctor, the vet, the hairdresser, you name it. Maybe it’s because I’m just so independent, but I hate feeling nagged, so I always pre-schedule appointments ahead of time. When I’m at the vet paying for that year’s visit, I go ahead and schedule the next one right then and there for the following year. It crosses the to-do off my list before it even gets added to it, plus I can rest easy knowing that our pets are well taken care of since the vet is able to look in on them at least once a year.

5 Creative Ways To Help Keep Your Cat Healthy | dreamgreendiy.com + purevaxpureprotection.com #VaxYourCat #ad

3. Vaccinate!

Did you know that in the U.S., more cats are infected with rabies than any other domestic animals?* The word “rabies” alone is quick to elicit fear in the hearts of any pet owner (thanks, Old Yeller…), and it’s not something you ever want to experience first-hand. The good news is that this serious, often fatal, viral infection can be prevented with proper vaccinations. 

That’s why this cat lady (yours truly) was so giddy to team up with the PUREVAX team to share their Pure Protection program, which aims to educate cat owners about the importance of vaccines. Visit PurevaxPureProtection.com for more information on this particular infection’s threat, and how to help protect your sweet kitty cat.

5 Creative Ways To Help Keep Your Cat Healthy | dreamgreendiy.com + purevaxpureprotection.com #VaxYourCat #ad

4. Play, Play, Play

Now this is really where the creative side of things comes into ‘play.’ Activity is such a simple way to encourage healthy lives, so we do all sorts of things to make it part of our four pets’ daily routines. I’m always trying to think of new ways to get our pets moving. Of course, they don’t make it easy on us since no one pet likes the same type of play as the other. 

For example, Tonks loves to play fetch, Ginny is partial to chasing a laser pointer, Luna is obsessed with anything feathered, and Rocky (our lone pup) loves to play tug of war, but only with soft plush toys. Experiment with your own pet until you find what he or she likes to do best when it comes to play, and then intentionally encourage the activity as often as you can to promote weight loss and social skills.

5 Creative Ways To Help Keep Your Cat Healthy | dreamgreendiy.com + purevaxpureprotection.com #VaxYourCat #ad

5. Give Healthy Rewards

When we found out that Tonks was going to be prone to oral health issues way back in the day, we started looking for different ways to manage it at home. It wasn’t until this year talking to our new vet in our new town, though, that we realized clever treats could actually be the ticket.

She suggested that we try giving the cats oral-focused cat treats to help promote dental health. These large nibbles sort of force our kitties to actually chew them, as opposed to inhaling them, which helps rub off some of the harder-to-reach plaque and tartar. Look for other similar healthy treats at your local pet supply store or vet’s office.

5 Creative Ways To Help Keep Your Cat Healthy | dreamgreendiy.com + purevaxpureprotection.com #VaxYourCat #ad

Big thanks to the PUREVAX team for inspiring a new focus on rabies and for their help in finding ways to kick it to the curb. Learn more about how you can help prevent this devastating infection here, and be sure to follow along with me on Instagram for daily peeks into our pet-filled household. Oh, and if you’re looking for pet-focused DIY projects to try (this is still a crafting blog, after all!) click these links for full tutorials: DIY “Meow” sticker cat food container, pet-friendly living room carpet, DIY cat door, how to keep the dog out of the cat food.

*Birhane MG, Cleaton JM, Monroe BP, et al. Rabies surveillance in the United States during 2015. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2017;250(10):1117-1130.
®PUREVAX is a registered trademark of Merial.
©2017 Merial, Inc. Duluth, GA. All rights reserved. Merial is now part of Boehringer Ingelheim. [PV17_Social3-1] (6/17)

5 Creative Ways To Help Keep Your Cat Healthy | dreamgreendiy.com + purevaxpureprotection.com #VaxYourCat #ad5 Creative Ways To Help Keep Your Cat Healthy | dreamgreendiy.com + purevaxpureprotection.com #VaxYourCat #ad

*As part of this collaboration I received compensation for my time. This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Boehringer Ingelheim. The opinions are all mine.
P.S. Did you hear? Dream Green DIY has a newsletter! I sent out the very first one this morning, but don’t worry if you missed it. Sign up here to get on the list for the next newsletter, which will go out Wednesday, August 16!
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6 Summer Wines To Try For Under $10

We’re hosting a big group of family here at our house tomorrow in honor of my dad’s birthday, and I’m feeling excited but also a little overwhelmed. I’ve never hosted this many people in our home before (really, it’s our first official party ever), so it will be a big learning experience. Luckily, everyone is family so they won’t judge us too harshly, but fingers crossed that all goes well and that we have enough eats and drinks for everyone!

Speaking of buffet goodies, one of the main things I am especially hoping to nail at our mini family reunion is the wine selection. John and I are big wine drinkers, and I know my family is as well, so we’ve been collecting bottles for weeks now. My mom is planning to bring a few of dad’s favorites as well, so I’m sure we’ll be set, but these below are a handful of the wines we’re personally loving this season. The best part? These wines are $10 or less per bottle.

6 Summer Wines To Try For Under $10

6 Summer Wines To Try For $10 Or Less:

  1. Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio ($9.99): One part Pinot Grigio and one part Chardonnay, this citrusy wine is a great one to serve at dinner. It’s ideal for complementing fresh fish or light pasta dishes, so plan your menu accordingly.
  2. Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon (on sale for $9.99): I can never, ever resist a good Cabernet Sauvignon, and this version from Dark Horse is one we almost always keep stocked. Even though it’s totally budget-friendly, it feels like such a treat to enjoy a glass (or two) in the evenings.
  3. Chateau St. Jean California Pinot Noir ($8.99): The spice and vanilla finishes make it tough to settle for just one glass. Although we love it during the summer, it’s even more of a mainstay at our house throughout fall and winter.
  4. Bogle Chardonnay ($9.99): Bogle is a family favorite. It’s my parents’ go-to and their love for it has made me come around to the fruity, buttery notes of Chardonnay in general.
  5. Carayon La Rosé ($4.99): Note that we stock up on this simple Rosé from our local Trader Joe’s since it’s a little hard to find online. Can you believe that price?!
  6. Cupcake Sauvignon Blanc ($9.99): We grab this almost weekly from the grocery store. The light, lemony flavor is easy on the taste buds, and it’s often on sale for just $7.99.

6 Summer Wines To Try For Under $10

Did I miss any of your favorite wines? Do share in the comments below because, even after years of enjoying wine, I still feel like I know next to nothing about the fine art of wine tasting. I’m just a novice, but I sure am an enthusiastic one. Share your top picks (whether budget-friendly or worthy of a splurge) below. Cheers!

6 Summer Wines To Try For Under $10

6 Summer Wines To Try For Under $10

P.S. Looking for more wine chat? Revisit this past post all about how to host your own wine and cheese party at home (including a video!).
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