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Easy Patriotic Paper Bag Star Craft

This patriotic paper bag star craft is the result what happens when you go to Target for "just one thing" and walk out with more than you needed. I purchased some festive red, white, and blue small bags from the dollar spot and got so inspired! I think they came out pretty cute!

I made this patriotic paper bag star with just a few items.
10-12 small paper bags.
Glue stick.

If you want to make them just like this, you will need at least 2 packs of the small paper bags from the dollar spot at Target or other paper bags that open in an "A" shape. Run a glue stick along the center of the first paper bag, lengthwise. Stack another paper bag on top of the first one. 

Continue to glue and stack the paper bags until they look like the photo below.

Take the front end and the back end of the stack and have them meet together, fanning the glued paper bags to make a star or pinwheel. Glue the two ends together to secure and there you go!

If you'd like to see how I make the paper bag stars, see my Youtube video below.

Make these easy paper bag star pinwheels for 4th of July or any occasion!


Our Visit To The Japanese Friendship Garden at Balboa Park

The Japanese Friendship Garden, located in the Balboa Park area of San Diego is a lush oasis of asian  horticulture. It's also great for kids who want to get out and explore.

The best time to go:
The best time to go to the Japanese Friendship Garden is during the spring and summer months. The weather is the most temperate and the blooms are gorgeous! In particular, the peach blossoms and cherry blossoms are

If you are local, a membership to the museum gains you reciprocal entrance to the San Diego Botanic Gardens as well as hundreds of other botanic gardens and arboretums.

Bringing the kids:
If you bring kids, you will want to note that there are rules about walking on the grass, etc. that may be difficult but not impossible for very young children. There are also several water features that are not child-proof so be sure to keep a close eye on your kiddos. There is a koi pond that is really fun for kids.

Good to know:
There are two main areas, the upper garden by the entrance and the lower garden that zig zags into a little valley. The garden is cared for with meticulous precision and is a testimony to the culture it embodies. Volunteers spend hours tending to every plant, tree and bush. On our recent trip there was a woman painstakingly pruning a plant of the hillside. When I asked he if she was tired she responded with a smile and said "No, I just love this." There are also guided tours where they guide you through the flora and fauna.

Day Date: An excellent proposal and day date spot. Whether you just want to traverse the grounds with your significant other or you want to ask the big questions in one of the most serene and beautiful spots in San Diego, the Japanese Friendship Garden is one of a kind.

Photographers paradise:
If you are a local hobby or professional photographer, the Japanese Friendship Garden provides ample photographic opportunities.

Upcoming Event and exhibit: Cute, Cute, Kawaii From July 23, 2016 - October 23, 206 A celebration of all things Kawaii

We loved it so much, and since it had so many reciprocal benefits, we decided to become members. For more information about tickets, exact location, and hours visit the Japanese Friendship Garden website.

If you liked this, you might also want to check out or visits to the San Diego Botanic Garden and the Freeflight Bird Sanctuary.


Save Money and Eat Well at ALDI Food Market

ALDI Southern California

This post was sponsored by ALDI as part of Influencer Activation for Influence Central.

How far does $100 go at ALDI? What kinds of foods will I find there? What sets ALDI apart from it's competitors? These are all questions I had when I heard ALDI was coming to California and when ALDI invited me to one of their newest grocery stores here in Southern California.

How far does $100 go at ALDI?
On our recent shopping trip, I was able to get a TON of good food for my family. Five to six meals, snacks, breakfast food, and even a few treats. All the food items you see below, I purchased at ALDI for $100 and this is not including the 2 boxes of ice cream bars in the freezers. while I did pick up lunch items, I didn't pick up as much as I would like but that's because I forgot my list at home and brought the whole family with me!
  • Enough food for 6 meals (Including Fit & Active® Cracked Pepper Turkey Breast Tenderloins and Cattleman’s Ranch USDA Choice Bacon Wrapped Beef Chuck Tender Fillet)
  • Snacks (Including gluten free and organic options)
  • Breakfast foods - cereal, milk, yogurt. 
  • and more! Check out my Facebook Live video of my entire haul! 

ALDI California savings

Organic fruit and vegetables at ALDI

 What sets ALDI apart from other grocery stores.
ALDI is a unique food market experience. ALDI takes all the overhead and hidden costs that weigh down a traditional grocery store and passes the savings on to it's customers. The prices are so low I actually couldn't believe it. And you don't need coupons! Be advised, you do bag your own groceries and you will need a quarter to get a shopping cart (which you get back after you are finished shopping). Items that cost a fortune at other markets, like organic and gluten free foods are so affordable at ALDI. For example, a half-gallon of Friendly Farms Organic 2% Reduced Fat Milk at my local ALDI in Southern California costs around $3.60. Not bad! They also have a section in the middle of the store devoted to low cost seasonal household items.

What are some can't miss food items at ALDI?
There are so many unique items you can get at ALDI for a great price. Our family loves the Specially Selected Bistro Style Pear and Blue Cheese Flatbread, the Cattleman’s Ranch USDA Choice Bacon Wrapped Beef Chuck Tender Fillet, and their liveGfree® line of crackers (they don't taste "gluten-free". The SimplyNature Chocolate Chip Chewy Granola Bars were not a huge hit with the kids - but they loved the SimplyNature® RaspberryFruit Strips, SimplyNature® Sweet Potato Chips, fresh fruit and the Mama Cozzi’s Stone Baked Veggie Pizza we had for lunch yesterday. Don't expect to find a lot of name brand food items at ALDI, although they do have some, ALDI mostly carries it's own brand of food items along with fresh produce and fresh meat and fresh bread. And I can't wait to taste the bacon wrapped fillets I purchased! That's tomorrow night's meal!

meat department at ALDI food market

Produce section at ALDI Southern California

And ALDI stands behind their food products. With all of the healthy food options, you can see why. We will definitely be shopping at ALDI again. The number one reason? The savings combined with quality ingredients. I can easily stretch my grocery budget with ALDI, saving money and eating well.

Have you shopped at ALDI before? What do you think? What do you love? Are there items I need to add to my shopping list?


Super Easy and Inexpensive Teacher Gift

dollar store teacher gift

I found this mini bottle of sparkling cider at our local dollar store (Dollar Tree to be exact) and knew I had to use it for something. Anything.  I decided to use them for teacher gifts. And if I'm honest, the saying "Thanks for helping me sparkle this year" is a little cheesy, but my daughter thinks it's cute, so we are going with it.

For a whopping one dollar and a hand written note tied with yarn, this year's teacher appreciation gifts are done! It's a delicious consumable that leaves behind an empty mini bottle that can be used for a flower vase.

Need another idea for teacher gifts?

Although they may work better for the beginning part of the year. ;-) we've made these decorated soap and hand sanitizer bottles in years past.


Finding Dory Free Printable Memory Game, Mobile Craft, and More!

This Finding Dory Printable Memory Game is a fun, easy and free way to celebrate the world's most friendly and forgetful fish. As you know, our family is excited for the release of Finding Dory on June  17th. You can download these free printables for your kids. You'll need scissors, and yarn for the mobile. And you might want to consider printing the memory game on card stock, but what's great is if they get crumpled you can just print come back here and print out more!

finding dory free printable

Looking for even more Finding Dory Free printables? Check out our post with Finding Dory Free Coloring Pages.

Have fun crafting!!!