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St. Patrick's Day Mantel and LUCK Word Art

St Patricks Day Mantel
I have finally got my St. Patrick’s day mantel up and can’t wait to share it with you.  Even though it isn’t a big holiday, it is fun to see what I can come up with every year and this year was no exception.
LUCK valentines mantel
This year I created a couple of new items to use.  One was my String Art Shamrock, which I am still in love with:

Shamrock String Art

String nail clover green

Shamrock string art tutorialI know nail and string art has been around blogland for a while now.. but I finally jumped on the bandwagon.   Heck, I even remember a string art picture hanging up at my Grandma's house when I was just a little girl.. back in the late 70's so it isn't like this is even a recent trend, but I am finally getting on board.

Since St. Patrick’s day is the next holiday for me, I thought I would make a shamrock shape.  Why not?

String nail clover greenThe supplies for this project are pretty straight forward:

You're Gonna Love It: February Wrap Up Edition

Welcome back! This is our last Party of February and next week will be ANYTHING GOES!!

This week I had some exciting news.  I was the featured designer over on Terry Blinds UK this week.  Which is definitely a hoot!
Courtesy of: Terrys Blinds UK

It is funny to see myself featured along my beautiful work.. since I just posted what real life looks like behind the scenes and it isn't nearly as polished:

I also have been keeping busy with a few projects, like my this morning's Flower Pounding Art:

Let's Get this Party Started!! It is time for our Features!  
(These links are not pinnable from my site, please visit the original post to Pin!)

Flower Pounding To Create "Faux Watercolor" Artwork

Pounding flowers art
The best thing about spring is all the new flowers and rich colors after a long dull, grey winter.  And so to capture those colors, I decided to take the girls around the neighborhood to collect some of the flowers and create this art project.

In the past we have pressed spring flowers between the pages of a book at preserved them that way, but the kids don’t actually find that very entertaining.  The process is pretty long and there is no immediate gratification, plus at the end of the day you end up with a dried dead flower.

So this year I decided we would try something new.  Flower Pounding.

Bungee and Wine Cork Cord Ties

Bungee wine cork cord ties
Today I have a super quick little tutorial for you.  The end product isn’t the biggest, most exciting thing you have ever seen, but sometimes these little hacks are the best tricks!

If you are anything like me, you probably have a bunch of extension cords lying around your house or garage.  Maybe they are neatly wrapped up neatly hanging on a hook, or maybe they are thrown in a box, or maybe you are even organized enough to keep them neat by tying them up with zip ties (which is actually what I have always done when I am planning to store them long term.)

But what I didn’t like about the Zip Tie method is that you need to cut off the tie to remove it, they aren’t reusable.

Then one day I was reading my subscription to Family Handyman (hey, some girls like Vogue, I like FH!) and I saw a reader had submitted this cork cord tie in the ‘hacks and tricks’ column.  I was immediately intrigued.  So I ran out and bought all the supplies to make my own.

What Does It Take To Write A Blog Post? #KeepingItRealWithKimSix

Actually happns
I recently wrote about my experiences with sponsored posts and why I think it is so important to make sure that the content within them is always worth reading.  I was actually surprised by how much traffic (and feedback) that post received.  Based on the majority of the responses to that piece (both on the post itself and on social media) I am clearly not the only one who feels that way.

It isn’t that I believe most bloggers set out with the goal of “write crappy sponsored posts and annoy my readers,” but sometimes that just happens.  Creating high quality sponsored posts usually means a lot more work than just regurgitating the sales pitch you are told to give.  Even with the best intentions, not every post will be a winner. Sometimes posts just don’t turn out like you envisioned. I admit that I have had that happen to me.

Good posts (sponsored or otherwise) are hard work..  and LOTS OF IT.  Most bloggers are already keenly aware of this, but a non-blogger may not realize what it actually takes get a post written and published. So today (and since I am tapped out of new projects to share.. #KeepingItReal) I am going to show you what it takes for me to create a post.

Dollar Store Wastebasket Pendant Light

Dollar store wastebasket DIY pendant light
I am super thrilled with this project especially for the total investment of only $10 and 10 minutes of my time.  Seriously! The best bang for my buck that I’ve had in a while!

This fun pendant light came about when I was searching the dollar store with the kids for items to use for their school valentine’s this year (we ended up settling on this and this) but I also happened upon these great little metal wire trash baskets and I knew immediately what I wanted to do with them!

 Turn them into pendant lights!

How To Get Any K-Cup To Work In The Keurig2.0

Use Any KCup in Keurig 2 0If you follow me anywhere on social media you are probably well aware of my coffee obsession.  If Starbucks had a ‘Platinum Member’ status, I would qualify.
(Shameless plugs:  Facebook  Twitter / Pinterest / Instagram / Google+  )

I drink so much coffee, I have not one, but TWO recent projects that involve my multitude of leftover K-cups.

Because of this (probably unhealthy) obsession with coffee, last year the fine people at Keurig sent me a Keurig2.0 to play with and test out.  The big “claim to fame’ of the 2.0 is that it not only brews single serving K-Cups, but it also brews full pots of coffee.  That is the “2.0” part of this machine.  But this post isn’t really a review of the 2.0.  I don’t love it enough to plug it here. This is more of a ‘hack’ to get around one of the biggest drawbacks this new version has.

Campfire Italian Garden Vegetable Soup

Campfire chicken soup
I know it is isn’t for everyone, but I am one of those people who actually enjoys camping.   Now, sure my family and I aren’t hard core ‘roughing it’ people, but we do use tents, and sleep on the ground and cook our meals on the campfire. I guess you would call us “car campers.”   It is always fun to take the kids to the lake or hiking in the mountains and spend the evenings around the fire roasting marshmallows and telling stories. Everything seems like such an adventure. 

The True Story Behind My Sponsored Posts: #KeepingItRealWithKimSix

Before I even start this post I want to premise it by saying that 100% of this post is *MY* real life experience.  Not every blogger feels the same way about sponsored posts and their experiences may be very different from mine.  But since this is MY blog, I am of course going to share MY thoughts and opinions.. the good, the bad and the ugly.  This post is not passing judgement of any other specific blogger and/or their sponsored posts..  nor is it a ‘call to action’ for other bloggers to change the way they write their sponsored content.  Every blogger must make their own decisions when it comes to working with brands.  I feel very strongly about the way I handle sponsored posts on my blog and this post solely reflects those feelings towards my own content.
How do sponsored posts work? How much do I make? And why I think the content matters.
As any long term reader may have noticed, in the past year or so my blog has become peppered with sponsored content. I have always monetized my blog with display ads, but beginning in March of 2014 I started writing sponsored content as another revenue stream.  (For my rationale see number 5.)  

This post about a stacked pot planter was my first EVER sponsored post.  
As a blog reader, I admit, I never really liked sponsored content. Blogs I had read for a long time, were suddenly filled with posts that began with “this post brought to you by..” or EVEN WORSE bloggers I trusted would post projects full of stuff they clearly received for free, but they hid their disclosures somewhere out of the way, so when I had finally read to the end I realized it was just a pitch for some product all along.  I felt like I was being TRICKED.   And I hated it.  

Valentine's Day Mantel 2015

Valentines mantel
I am squeezing in under the wire here.. A week from tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and I just now getting my mantel finished.  Granted, I’ve had all the components for they baby done for weeks now, but you know how that is.. the room was always too messy to actually photograph it!   #keepingitrealwithkimsix

"Award Winning" Trophy Valentine

Award winning trophy valentines
This is my second school valentine post of the year, but that is because I have 2 school aged kids exchanging valentines, so we have to keep coming up with ideas.   This is what we came up with for the second grader to hand out:
Award winning valentine
Just like the race car valentines (which was the choice of my kindergardener) this is another “what can make out of stuff we found at the dollar store” type of creation.

This time we used small bags of party favors in the shape of tiny gold trophies.  Because they came 4 to a bag, it worked out to only 25 cents each.

Cheesy Parmesan Garlic Rosemary Popcorn

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Universal Pictures, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #BoxtrollsFamilyNite http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV
Garlic Parmesan Rosemary Popcorn
We recently purchased The Boxtrolls movie on DVD at Walmart and my kids really enjoyed it.   There is something really comforting about fresh popped popcorn and cuddling up on the sofa with a fun new movie:
Boxtrolls and Pop Secret
If you haven’t seen it (and without giving anything away) the movie is set in a town called Cheesebridge and the people of the town ADORE cheese.  So, taking that as inspiration, we decided to create a cheesy popcorn treat for our movie night.  But not your typical Day-Glo orange cheese popcorn.  No.  I wanted a much more ‘adult’ flavor profile.

The ingredients were really simple.
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