My 3 Monsters: August 2015

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Cranberry & Feta Salad

Cranberry and Feta Salad recipe at /
Hi guys!  Today I want to share one of my FAVORITE easy lunches with y'all.  Here's a little back story . . . this summer I had to get some blood work done at my doctor's office.  Of course I had to be fasting, and the only appointment they had was at 1:30 in the afternoon.  Not a huge deal, but by the time they were done I was more than ready to eat and all I could think about was a salad I had at Paradise Bakery months ago.  I left the doctor's office and drove straight to Paradise and ordered a Crumbly Bleu Cheese salad.  I was literally and figuratively in Paradise.  

As I watched the gal behind the counter make it, though, I realized how easy it would be to recreate at home.  Romaine lettuce dressed with Caesar dressing.  A scoop of bleu cheese crumbles.  A scoop of dried cranberries.  Sprinkling of sunflower seeds.  Diced grilled chicken for protein.  Easy peasy.  I replaced the bleu cheese with crumbled Feta because it is easier to find and less expensive, but I think I like the Feta better anyway.  I take this Cranberry and Feta salad to work for lunch probably three days a week and it NEVER DISAPPOINTS!

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Get School Year Ready with this FREE One-Page Planner Printable

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SchoolYearReady #CollectiveBias

Get #SchoolYearReady with these FREE One-Page Planner printables at /
 Hi guys! We've been back to school for almost a month now, so we've had a chance to try out some new ideas to help keep us organized and have found something that is really working for our family.  I'm not gonna' lie -- last school year was a real struggle for us, with me working full time for the first time since having kids.  I felt like we were doomed to a life of late nights, fighting over homework, and slapping together school projects the night before they were due.  It was miserable. 

This year we needed to have a better system in place to avoid a repeat of that drama.  I'm a little bit of a planner myself -- I write lists, I have multiple calendars, I like things neat and tidy -- so I have a hard time relating to my teenagers who are loosey-goosey, fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants types when it comes to keeping track of deadlines.  I knew I would never get my boys to carry {let alone use} day planners, but I had an idea for a single page "perpetual planner" they could keep in the front of their binders.  When I was at Walmart purchasing school supplies this year, I found this Scotch™ Thermal Laminator and knew I needed to have it in my life -- for this project and sooo many others.

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Fantastic Four Movie Party Printables

Fantastic Four Movie Party Printables at /
Hi guys!  Yesterday I shared four yummy popcorn recipes that would be perfect for  Fantastic Four movie party.  Today I have the printables I created to accompany them for you!  Years ago we rented out a theater for the premiere of The Avengers and invited all our friends to join us.  It was one of the most memorable things we have ever done as a family and we have all been itching to do it again.  Super hero movies just lend themselves to viewing with friends.  If you are thinking about throwing a Fantastic Four viewing party {even if it's just watching the older Fantastic Four movies in your back yard}, I have some fun printables that will make the evening memorable!

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Four Fantastic Popcorn Recipes
{and a Pop Secret Coupon!}

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Pop Secret, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #pop4Fantastic4

Delicious Fantastic Four inspired popcorn recipes from /
Hi guys!  I teased my Instagram followers last week with a sneak peek of this fun post. Well, today's the day I'm finally going to make good on my promise of delicious Pop Secret Fantastic Four popcorn flavors inspired by one of the summer's {and my boys'} most anticipated movies!  

Some of our most memorable family celebrations have centered around super-hero movies.  Several years ago we rented out a theater for the premier of one of them and invited all of our friends to join us.  It was a super fun night!  For my daughter's Sweet Sixteen party, she and two of her besties {twins whose birthday is just a few days after hers} hosted a "back yard drive-in" movie party.  For both events, I got carried away creating themed invitations, decorations, and delicious snacks.  With that in mind, I thought a similar party for Fantastic 4 would be amazing.  Every good movie party has to have yummy popcorn, and every good popcorn recipe starts with Pop Secret popcorn!

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Industrial Pipe Shelving Project

If you spend any time reading DIY and decorating blogs -- or "building" a dream home on Pinterest, like I do -- you have no doubt seen a slew of industrial pipe shelving projects.  They're quite popular recently.  I absolutely love the look and I knew the first time I saw a pipe shelving unit that I was going to build one in my boys' bedroom someday. We FINALLY got around to doing it this summer!

The room is not perfectly styled and the lighting in there is atrocious, but we did it and I love it.  Here are a few of the pieces that inspired me most:

Industrial Pipe Shelving

{via DIY Show Off}

{via Beneath My Heart

I'm not going to reinvent the wheel by writing a detailed tutorial myself -- Beneath My Heart has the fantastic tutorial I followed myself -- but I will share some of the things we learned along the way.  I started this project the same way I start most projects -- by planning it out roughly to scale on graph paper.  This helped me get a good idea of the layout that would work in the space.  Of course, my actual shelving unit ended up a little taller than the drawing because I did not account for the height the joining pieces would add.  Be sure you leave yourself plenty of "wiggle room" at the top as you plan.
My experience building an industrial pipe shelving unit at / -- it's easier than you might think!
Using my plan, I figured out how many of each size pipe and type of joint  I was going to need. I used 3/4-inch galvanized plumbing pipe and 2 x 12 -inch wood boards.  Some of the tutorials I saw called for thinner pipes and shelves, but I really the think the thicker pipe and wood are worth the extra money.  I feel like it makes the shelves look far more substantial.  

My experience building an industrial pipe shelving unit at / -- it's easier than you might think!
You will not believe how quickly they come together!  It took us less than 2 hours to complete this unit one evening.  Just make sure to use a level so things stay straight and you'll have no problems. 

I'm still looking for a few more cool things to fill in the blank spaces. I'm thinking a globe, a giant basket for shoes under the bottom shelf, and an old Coke crate should do the trick.  I also think it needs a plant or two, but the boys have forbidden me to make it "girly".  

My experience building an industrial pipe shelving unit at / -- it's easier than you might think!
I made several more Vintage Soda storage crates to help the boys keep all their personal effects organized in between their beds. Now when they empty their pockets at the end of the day, they have someplace to put their wallets, loose change and the various and sundry things they pick up in the course of a day.  There are even designated spots for the essentials like deoderant and my son's glucose tablets and test strips.

My experience building an industrial pipe shelving unit at / -- it's easier than you might think!
Rusty metal boxes and a bull dog to wear their ties when it's not Sunday were a no-brainer.  Although, that bulldog almost caused this whole project to crash and burn early on.  Let's just say the middle child was not a fan.  I'm happy to report he has come around.

This is one of my favorite DIY's we've done in this house. Up next for this room: building new beds that match the shelving unit.  I also want to hang a couple of lamps above the beds and make new quilts.  Stay tuned for the completed room. What are y'all working on at home?

Have a great day, friends!


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