Sunday, September 20, 2015

3G2S posts may contain commission-yielding affiliate links.

Logo Loops Headbands for School and Taekwondo

Taekwondo belt test in dobok and Logo Loops headband #loveourloops (sponsored)  |
Thank you to Logo Loops for sending their comfy headbands for our daughter to wear and for providing the prize for our giveaway.  All opinions expressed are our own.

I may have mentioned before that our daughter is quite active.  She likes to run and play basketball during recess, plays hard during gym class, and gives 100% (at least) at Taekwondo.  Keeping her hair neat is difficult some days because it's super-straight (something she inherited from me), which causes it to fall down and gets stringy easily.  Logo Loops wide headbands, an item featured on The View as a back-to-school must-have, turned out to be the answer to our problems.

We have only been able to find one or two styles of headbands that stay put in our daughter's hair, while feeling comfortable the whole day through.  Many are too tight and she ends up taking them off after an hour or two.  Last week, our daughter tested for her orange belt in Taekwondo.  The students work extremely hard during their belt tests to show their instructors and their parents what they can do.
Jumping front kick in Logo Loops Taekwondo headband #loveourloops (sponsored)  |
Our daughter wore her TKD Logo Loops headband during her belt test and it kept her hair out of her way and neatly in place.  The headband didn't start to slip at all and remained comfortable throughout the warm-ups, the blocks and kicks, the patterns, sparring, and board-breaking.
Jumping in Logo Loops Taekwondo headband #loveourloops (sponsored)  |
I must also mention that it is extremely difficult to find Taekwondo-themed items for girls.  Our daughter received so many compliments on her Logo Loops TKD headband that I actually think it gave her an extra boost of confidence to wear it.  She did amazingly well on her belt test.
Logo Loops Taekwondo headband #loveourloops (sponsored)  |
Logo Loops TKD headband
Our daughter has also loved wearing her Logo Loops headbands to school.  Here she is in one of the nine Initial Loops headbands available.
Logo Loops Oval Flowers Initial headband #loveourloops (sponsored)  |
Logo Loops Oval Flower Initials headband

There are so many different Logo Loops available, there's something for every girl, from grade school through college.  Which one is your favorite?
Our daughter's favorite design is the Cool Cat headband.  It's probably because she's such an animal-lover.  Don't see exactly what you need?  Submit your own artwork to custom order Logo Loops for your school, club, team, or organization!
Logo Loops Cool Cat headband #loveourloops (sponsored)  |
Logo Loops Cool Cat headband
To learn more about Logo Loops, visit or Logo Loops on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.  Logo Loops sell for $13.99 each.  Visit their online store to shop!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway is open to U.S residents only. You must have a valid email address and be age 18 years or older. A random drawing will be held shortly after the contest closing. The winner will be announced here and will be contacted via email. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
3G2S posts may contain commission-yielding affiliate links.

10 Things You'll Need to Turn a Closet Into a Cozy Book Nook for Kids

DIY Closet Book Nook for Kids  |
Thank you to Zazzle for providing the reading-themed throw pillows for our DIY book nook project.  All opinions expressed are our own.

If you have more than one child and live in a small house like us, you may be running out of places for your children to find some quiet time away from their siblings.  We have a small walk-in closet that was just being used as a catchall, so we decided to turn it into a cozy book nook where one or two of them could sit and read without disturbances or distractions.

I thought putting together this DIY reading nook would be a huge undertaking, but it was easier than I thought it.  The most difficult parts were prepping the closet and organizing the books (our children have way too many books).
DIY Closet Book Nook Project  |

How to prep your closet to house a book nook . . . 

A.  Empty out the closet completely.  (You should have seen all the things our children rediscovered during this process.)
B.  Remove the closet door.
C.  Remove any bars, hardware, and hooks from the walls.
D.  Make sure the existing closet light is sufficient for reading.  If not, change it or add additional lighting.  You could add a cordless LED lamp, a clip-on book light, or even a flashlight (kids love reading with flashlights).
E.  If the walls are not to your liking (ours were pink), paint them a light, warm color.  Choosing a dark color for the walls will cause the nook to feel smaller and darker than it needs to be.
F.  Hate the floor in your closet?  Don't worry, we'll cover that later.

Once you have all the prepping out of the way, then the fun begins!  You'll be on your way to having a cozy book nook in no time.

Pin This DIY Book Nook project for later . . . 
10 Things You'll Need for a DIY Closet Book Nook  |

10 Things You'll Need to Create a Cozy Closet Book Nook . . .

1.  X-large Dog Bed - I explored many options and, after measuring the closet floor, I decided that this jumbo dog bed was the least expensive, most effective, and easiest way to create cushy seating on the closet floor.

2.  Two Large Bolster Pillows - Place two cylindrical pillows the size of body pillows in one corner of the closet to create a right angle.  (We purchased ours at Sears for under $20 each during back-to-college dorm shopping season.)

3.  Book or Reading-Themed Throw Pillows - I had looked around for toss pillows with a reading theme for awhile, but could not find anything that was more than just typography, until I took a look at the throw pillows on Zazzle.  With all the designs, shapes, and sizes to choose from, I was like a kid in a candy store.  I ultimately chose the square 20" Library throw pillow, the square 20" Dragon Magically Appearing from Books throw pillow, and the Cute Bookworm round pillow.  They were exactly what I was looking for our 3 tweens . . . cute, but not too cutesie.
How to Make a DIY Closet Book Nook  |
4.  Soft Cuddly Throw Blanket - You can use a throw you already have or buy a new one, but a cuddly throw is a must for ensuring your little reader is comfortable and will want to stay put to read on.  You should be able to find a plush throw for around $10.  We found ours for less than $10 at Walgreens of all places during back-to-college season.

5.  Window Wall Decal - Because the nook is in such a small space, a window decal will give the illusion of something beyond that wall.  It also may spark your child's imagination about being in another place, something that is needed when he or she is fully immersed in a great book.  Window wall decals come in a huge variety of styles and sizes.  Our small 28"x20" forest view window wall decal cost us less than $6 shipped.

6.  Sheer Curtain Panel - Hang a full length sheer curtain panel over the doorway.  This will allow you to see inside the book nook without disturbing your child's reading.  It also allows much-needed light to filter into the book nook.  A solid door would not do either of these things and would likely make the reading nook feel enclosed and stuffy.  A cafe rod with hanging hardware included plus one sheer curtain panel cost us under $10 at Target.  We also added an inexpensive metal curtain holdback to pull the curtain to one side, but that is optional, as you can just slide the curtain panel to one side on the curtain rod.
Dress up old shelves with fabric tape or washi tape!  |
7.  Patterned Fabric or Washi Tape - To dress up your closet shelves, trim them by covering the front edge with patterned tape.  You'll need to measure the thickness of your shelves, but this .75" pin dot fabric tape fit ours perfectly.

8.  Shag Rug - In addition to what you see from the doorway, our closet has additional space to the right.  If this is the case for your closet, then you can cover the remaining floor space with a soft shag area rug.  Be sure to measure the space.  This 2'x3' soft shag rug fit our space perfectly and coordinated well with the jumbo pet bed we chose.

9.  Bedrest Pillow + Extra Throw Pillows - Sometimes it's more fun to read with a buddy, so it's a great idea to add extra throw pillows plus a bedrest pillow to create additional seating on the rug.  If you shop around, you could probably find a bedrest pillow for about $20.  We found ours on sale (in neon yellow) at Target.  The extra pillows can be toss pillows you already own if you don't wish to purchase or make new ones.
How to create extra seating in your book nook  |
10.  Bookmark Bucket - For a special touch, add a little bucket to hold bookmarks so your children are not scrambling to look for one when it's time to stop reading.  I found the bucket and the colored string in the Target dollar section.  I actually tied our bookmark bucket to the string on the ceiling light.  Don't have bookmarks? Checkout my DIY bookmark craft!
DIY bookmark bucket craft for your book nook  |

Be sure to fill your book nook with books in a variety of genres!
Take all the books from your existing library and add some more in a variety of genres and reading levels.  Your local used book stores and library book sales are the perfect places to find new titles to add to your book nook library.  We donated a bunch of books and added new titles.  This is something we'll have to do regularly, as our book nook shelves are quite full.
Favorite book series for children  |

What do you think?  Was this DIY book nook project easier than you thought it would be?  Our children are in love with it so far and have even asked if they could sleep in it.  If you have ideas for making a closet book nook even cozier, please share it with us in a comment below.
How to make a book nook for kids  |

Gifts Made by You - Shop Now on

Monday, September 14, 2015

3G2S posts may contain commission-yielding affiliate links.

10 Tips for Families Visiting King Richard's Faire {plus a 4-Pack Ticket Giveaway}

10 tips for families visiting King Richard's Faire in Carver, MA #krfaire
Thank you to King Richard's Faire for providing press passes to our family for opening weekend of King Richard's Faire 2015 and for providing a 4-pack of tickets for our giveaway prize.  Also featured are Goody Hair accessories we received for a sponsored back-to-school campaign.  All opinions expressed are our own.

This Labor Day weekend, we made our 5th visit to King Richard's Faire in Carver, Massachusetts.  This was our 4th consecutive year attending on opening weekend.  Visiting our local Renaissance faire is an annual tradition that every member of our family looks forward to.  Having visited the faire several times, my husband and I have some tips to share with other families who may be visiting for the first time.

10 Tips for Visiting King Richard's Faire with Children . . . 

1.  Be festive! - Depending on the weather, you may or may not choose to dress in costume.  In past years, our children have worn costumes and it was a lot of fun.  That being said, it's important that whatever you wear on your body and feet are comfortable.  Be sure to dress for the weather.  Even if you don't choose to wear a costume, your children will have more fun attending if you add something festive to their wardrobe, such as a garland of flowers on the head, fairy ears, a fox tail, or a Renaissance themed t-shirt.  This year we opted for knight body armor t-shirts for the boys and a pretty unicorn t-shirt for our daughter.  All 3 brought along the wooden swords we had purchased as souvenirs on previous visits.
Fun Renaissance faire t-shirts for kids #zulilyfinds
Two knights-in-training and one sword-wielding unicorn princess at King Richard's Faire
For an extra special touch, we created a pretty fairy dusted hairstyle for our daughter using Goody Girls Ouchless Elastics, Mini Elastics, and a sparkly ponytailer with a bow.  All I did was make two thin braids on each side, one small ponytail at the center of her head, and then one low ponytail gather all the hair, braids included, together.  Since I used Goodie Mini Elastics to secure the ends of the braids, they were easy to hide inside the ponytail. Then I sprayed my daughter's hair all over with B-wild Hair and Body Glitter Spray for an even dusting of gold and silver glitter.  Our daughter just loved it.  She felt so pretty and didn't see anyone else at the faire with fairy dust in their hair.
Fairy dusted Goody #StraightAStyle hair!
Fairy Dusted Hair for King Richard's Faire
2.  Bring a backpack! - Even though our darling children swore they would each carry their own wooden swords, they lasted about 20 minutes before they asked us to carry them.  Luckily, we were prepared.  Bringing a backpack will come in handy for storing everything from souvenirs to bottled water.  Surprise!  The children didn't want to carry the spring water we purchased for them either.  If you remember, pack a Sharpie, so you can write each person's initials on the caps before they all go into the backpack.  My husband and I both wore a backpack.  I prefer it over other types of bags for attending family events like these because it keeps my hands free.  What else was in our backpacks? . . . a camera, phones, sunscreen, a small first aid kit, tissues, moist wipes, and more!
10 tips for parents visiting King Richard's Faire! #krfaire

3.  Don't over-schedule yourselves! - If you've checked out the King Richard's Faire entertainment schedule, then you'll see that many times one show begins on one stage right when another one ends on another.  It's not possible to make two shows back-to-back unless they are taking place on the same stage or at a stage very close by.  Our advice is to choose 2 or 3 shows and a few other activities you just do not want to miss and then have a relaxing time in between those.  For example, we knew we wanted to see Jacques Ze Whipper's show, The Great Cats World show, and at least one joust.  The children also knew they wanted to go through M'Lady's Shady Maze, go on a couple of fun rides, and our daughter always wants to go on a pony ride.  Well we ended up seeing Jacques Ze Whipper twice, but missed the joust because the children were too tired to make it to the last one of the day.
Jacques Ze Whipper at King Richard's Faire 2015 #krfaire
Jacques Ze Whippeur's Whippie Show
The Great Cats World show at King Richard's Faire 2015 #krfaire
The Great Cats World Show (First year at King Richard's Faire)
Jester's Maze Slide at King Richard's Faire 2015 #krfaire
One of the familiar faces we love seeing each year at M'Lady's Shady Maze
Pony Ride at King Richard's Faire 2015 #krfaire
Our daughter's annual pony ride at King Richard's Faire
4.  Bring extra cash! - Although there are ATMs located conveniently inside the faire, we recommend that you bring more cash than you think you'll need.  We thought we brought enough cash, but ended up going to the ATM twice.  You can save yourself the trouble of interrupting your family's fun at the faire to head to the ATM, not to mention the ATM fees, if you just bring some extra cash.  Food tickets can be purchased with cash only, while most of the artisan shops and carts take credit or debit cards.

5.  Don't go to the first food ticket booth you see! - There are actually several food ticket booths all around the faire.  The first one you come to usually has the longest line.  If you stop to take a look around or at your map of the realm, you'll see there are other food ticket booths not too far away.  It's also a good idea to look at what foods and beverages your family would like to buy in advance to give you an idea of how many tickets to buy.  You can also take a look at the Food & Drynk menu online, which tells you what items are gluten-free, vegan, and lactose-free.
Giant turkey leg at King Richard's Faire 2015 #krfaire
The King Richard's Faire giant turkey leg!
6.  Bring drinking straws! - I don't recall if it was always this way, but the food establishments don't provide straws with their drinks.  I imagine it's to cut down on waste.  I remembered to bring my own this year because it's too challenging for children to drink a slushie or a root beer float without a straw.

7.  Go on the man-powered rides! - All the rides at King Richard's Faire are man-powered.  Our children think it's the coolest thing and marvel at how strong these men must be to power a carousel or swing a giant swan boat.  It's a fun glimpse at how much the world relied on man-power and physics before there were other sources of power.
Pirates Ships ride at King Richard's Faire 2015 #krfaire
The Pirates Ships ride at King Richard's Faire
Flying Carousel ride at King Richard's Faire 2015 #krfaire
The Flying Carousel ride at King Richard's Faire
8.  Visit the Kid's Cove! - Although we've attended special events scheduled at the Kid's Cove in the past, such as the Princess Academy and Knight School, we discovered some new things this year.  Our children had their fortunes read for the first time in the Kid's Cove and they discovered there were building logs to play with and a sandbox with buried treasure in it.  Our daughter was over the moon about a pretty bracelet she unearthed.  Every child can keep one treasure they find.

The Kid's Cove has several picnic tables where you can sit to have something to eat or just to take a rest.  You might find some familiar faces from around the faire taking a rest in there too, which is always fun.
Fortune Teller in Kid's Cove at King Richard's Faire 2015 #krfaire
The Foolish Fortunes fortune teller at the Kid's Cove
Kid's Cove at King Richard's Faire 2015 #krfaire
Taking a rest and playing with building logs in the Kid's Cove
9.  Children can test their skills too! - Although there are some activities in The Gaming Glen that are for adults only, such as axe throwing, there are many that also are open to children (under adult supervision of course).  Last year, our children tried shooting crossbows, but this year they all tested their skill at shooting with a bow and arrows.  Our oldest had actually tried his hand at shooting with a bow on a previous visit, so it was interesting to see how his skill has improved just by being a little bigger and stronger.
The Archer's Field at King Richard's Faire 2015 #krfaire
11yr old shooting at the Archer's Field at King Richard's Faire
Test your archery skill at King Richard's Faire 2015 #krfaire
8yr old testing her archery skills at King Richard's Faire
10.  Bring home souvenirs! - There are so many cool artisan shops located all around Carvershire.  Many of the items are crafted, built, carved, painted, or sewn by hand.  It's a wonderful thing to support such artisans, many of whom are local, while bringing a piece of the faire home with you.  Some years the children were overwhelmed about what to pick for their souvenirs because there were so many things to choose from.  This year, they didn't seem to have trouble at all, which was a pleasant surprise.  In addition to the souvenirs for our children, we also bought a pretty necklace and earrings for a birthday gift for my daughter's friend.  Such a wonderful place to find unique handmade gifts! Take a look at the unique items our children found for their souvenirs this year . . .
Fairy in ornate cage souvenir from Fairy Haven at King Richard's Faire 2015 #krfaire
A fairy in an ornate cage from Fairy Haven
Chain mail bracelet souvenir from Mardigan's Maile at King Richard's Faire 2015 #krfaire
A chain mail bracelet from Mardigan's Maile
Ocarina souvenir from Magical Ocarinas at King Richard's Faire 2015 #krfaire
An ocarina from Magical Ocarinas
Glitter-dipped fresh rose souvenir from Faire Flowers at King Richard's Faire 2015 #krfaire
A glitter-dipped fresh rose from Faire Flowers
Those are our top ten tips to share with other faire-goers.  Do you have a tip to share with us for making our family's next visit to King Richard's Faire even better than the last?

Visit us on Facebook to see all our 2015 King Richard's Faire photos!

There is one other highlight of our day at King Richard's Faire that I wanted to share.  The new cat show, brought to us by The Great Cats World Park in Oregon, was lots of fun.  The show included big and small cats, all with such personality.  The white tiger pictured below, who is not even 1 year old, was acting like such a playful kitten on stage.  I'll never forget watching this enormous cat swat at the leafy plant like it was a feather cat toy.  The whole audience was all smiles.  Such a great addition to the King Richard's Faire long list of attractions!
White tiger playing with plant at King Richard's Faire 2015 #krfaire
White tiger with Cat Man
To find out more about King Richard's Faire, visit  This year's faire runs for 8 weekends through Sunday, October 25th.  You can buy tickets online or at the gates, which open at 10:30am.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway is open to U.S residents only. You must have a valid email address and be age 18 years or older. A random drawing will be held shortly after the contest closing. The winner will be announced here and will be contacted via email. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.