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Patriotic Printable and Dare to Share

I've not been crafting this week, since I had a family emergency and made an unexpected trip to Texas.  I'm down here helping family and managed to brake my computer on top of everything else. 

So I've been sharing some of my favorite Patriotic Projects from around the web this week.  I've seen some really fun ones and can't wait to craft again for our 4th of July party next Friday.

I love the patriotism surrounding the fourth, and Texans seem to have more patriotic and state pride than any other state I have ever been in, plus this is a military town with a big air force base.  So it will be fun to be down here during this holiday.

I wanted to share a fun patriotic printable with you this week that I have hanging over my mantel at home, but it was saved on my computer's hard drive which may be shot and lost forever now.  So instead I found this great Patriotic Chalkboard Printable by Yellow Bliss Road.  Be sure to link up and then head over there to download your PDF copy of this free printable.

My co-host for our Dare to Share, Pam from Pams Party and Practical Tips shared some great strawberry recipes this week.  I absolutely LOVE strawberries and have never tried them in a bread before. I can't wait to get home to try the Strawberry Bread recipe.  Or maybe I can just talk her son Kyle into not eating it all and sending me a piece!

What have you been up to this week?  Did you get any crafting done? How about patriotic projects? I'm still looking for some great ones to share and try.  I can't wait to see what you've got.

Welcome Flusters Creative Muster!

You all know how much I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE linky parties.  I have a whole page of ones that I visit each and every day.  It's so much fun to find and visit new blogs, to see all the amazing projects that bloggers come up with, and to get a glimpse into other people's homes, ideas and lives.

Pam and I still host the Dare to Share linky party on Saturday, so don't forget to come out and party with us this weekend, but today I'm getting to try something a little new and different.  I'm co-hosting Flusters Creative Muster with my new friend and fellow blogger Robin from Fluster Buster.

I'm super excited for the chance to see all kinds of new projects and meet new friends.  I hope you'll link up some of your ideas for us to see and then come visiting with me to all new blogging friends.

Fluster's #CreativeMuster Linky Party #77
Fluster's Creative Muster Linky Party #77

Fluster's Creative Muster Linky Party #77
Fluster's Creative Muster Linky Party #77

Leave it to a mom of boys to come up with a Firecracker Poop Printable. Of course, my boys got a kick out of it and wanted to print a few to give to their friends. Check out Kims Kandy Kreations to see how she uses this fun little poem to bring some fun and laughs on the Fourth of July.

Fluster's Creative Muster Linky Party #77
By linking to this party you are giving Fluster Buster and co-hosts permission to use your images in featured posts.

Fluster's Creative Muster Linky Party #77


Fluster's Creative Muster Linky Party #77

Star Ice Cream Bars

Probably my favorite treat anytime during the summer, is ice cream. If you dip that in a nice big vat of chocolate and let it harden, I'm in pure heaven.

When I saw these Star Ice Cream Bars from The Partiologist, I knew they had to make an appearance at our house this 4th of July.  After all, how can you resist the ease, cuteness, and amount of chocolate and sprinkles on these?  That's sure to make anyone a little sweeter!

Patriotic Star Table Runner

If you've been here much lately, you'll know that I've discovered I have this crazy obsession for table runners.

I think it started back when I made my plastic canvas shamrock runner for my St Patrick's Day dinner.  From there, I've tried to brighten up my table each month with a fun runner.  I even made a fun one for my Father's Day superhero party.

I can't tell you how much I loved this fun and easy Patriotic Star Table Runner from Cook and Craft Me Crazy.  I will definitely be making this and adding it to my fourth of July party.

Go check out the easy details and set aside some crafting time of your own.

Edge of Difficulty and Dare to Share

I feel like I've been living in a whirl wind lately.  Everything that can go wrong, has...and then some.  It's been pretty rough.

And I admit.  I really struggled with my faith this week.

All the struggles that I went through with our house being flooded and my lessons learned on how everything turns out okay in the end, just went out the window.  I've been asking God "Why?" and "Where are you?" alot lately.

I'm still trying to struggle along and remember the lessons I've learned.  Remember that someday I will look back on this and see the lessons and be able to fly.

I found this quote on Pinterest and searched for the original post, but couldn't find it.  But I wanted to share it anyway, in case it helped someone else this week like it did me.

All these difficulties have given me a new perspective on what's important in my life, so I spent a lot of time focusing on what's important this week, Family Nights.  I am planning to have some fun ones this summer so we'll have some great family nights and memories after Drama Queen leaves this fall.

I've also been trying to figure out how to improve my blogging by listening to podcasts while I work and travel this summer.  If you haven't heard of podcasts before, they are like radio shows you can listen to anywhere and anytime you want to.  They are available for free to listen to from the iTunes store.  I shared my 10 favorite business podcasts if you're looking for a little summer help too.

I totally need some eye candy and pick me ups this week.  So let's see what you've been up to!

10 Great Podcasts to Help Your Blog

School's out.  Summer's here.  And we are getting ready for all our fun summer activities.

Since we live in the middle of nowhere, it takes us forever to get to any of the "Big" cities with fun.  That means a lot of driving time this summer.

I've decided to spend that time learning how to be a better business woman and blogger.  Podcasts are the perfect answer for long drives, doing dishes in the kitchen, or long summer workout walks.

It's taken me a long time to find podcasts that I like and are really helpful.  In case you are looking to muti-task this summer, I thought I would share my favorites with you.

1.  How They Blog
From the website: "Have you ever wondered how your favorite blogger…blogs? What does their workspace look like? What tools do they use? When do they get their work done? How do they manage family and blogging?

That’s what is all about. I’ll interview your favorite bloggers and introduce you to some new ones. I’ll get your questions answered so that you can learn from some of the most talented and passionate bloggers around."

2. Crafting Your Biz
From the website: "Are you a crafty business owner, you are gonna want to listen to this most excellent podcast from Lain Ehmann and THE Traci Reed."

3. Entrepreneur on Fire
From the website: EntrepreneurOnFire, 7-day a week business podcast, hosted by John Lee Dumas, interviewing today’s most successful and inspiring Entrepreneurs. We share the journey of our spotlighted guest, highlighting a failure and lessons learned, an AH-HA moment and the steps taken to turn that moment into success, and the LIGHTNING ROUND where John asks five questions that extract nuggets of wisdom from his guests."

4. Oh So Pinteresting
From the website: "Not only will you’ll find the tactical steps to having success with Pinterest, you’ll also read and hear how people are using the inspiration and information found on Pinterest to enrich their businesses and their lives."

5. Biz Chix 
From iTunes: "We interview amazing women entrepreneurs, and a few cool dudes, five days a week. Each entrepreneur shares work life balance and productivity tips as well as their journey! Amazing guests who run international brands and still balance all that life throws at them. We hear all the secrets of how it gets done. We'd love to have you listen in! Host: Natalie Eckdahl Guests: World Moving Entrepreneurs - 5 days a week!"

6. Street Smart Wealth at Home
From iTunes: " Jackie Ulmer, Network Marketer, WAHM and MomPreneur shares her Profit In Your PJs series weekly, offering proven tips, tricks and systems for creating Street Smart Wealth from home in a Direct Sales Business. She offers solid business and marketing techniques with plenty of Blogging and Social Media concepts. She also interviews other 6 and 7 figure income earners."

7. Todays Leading Women
From iTunes: "TodaysLeadingWomen is a podcast with you in mind, THE WOMAN ENTREPRENEUR, YOU, the Small Business Owner, YOU, the Aspiring Entrepreneur. Everyday, 7-days a week, Marie Grace Berg brings to life the stories and the journeys of these Successful Women Entrepreneurs.

Their true stories are aimed at helping you understand how to turn that dream of owning and running a business into a reality. While these women can be described as extraordinary because they all seized an opportunity, and, with determination and commitment, turned it into a successful business, they are also just like us. They all had to battle with day to day challenges that face the rest of us - making sure we have enough money to survive, feeding our children and juggling the many different priorities in our lives!"

8. Online Marketing for Dummies
From iTunes: "Facebook Marketing All in One for Dummies" co-author and online entrepreneur Amy Porterfield shows you exactly how to monetize your online marketing and blogging efforts using her own tested, ACTIONABLE lead generation strategies -- so you can successfully launch and promote a new program, grow your email list, get more leads, build your authority, turn your customers into raving advocates OR simply find the time (and mindset!) to rock your social media and content marketing. 

9.  Social Media Marketing
From iTunes: "Social Media Examiner's Michael Stelzner helps your business navigate the social jungle with success stories and expert interviews from leading social media marketing pros. Discover how successful businesses employ social media, learn new strategies and tactics, and gain actionable tips to improve your social media marketing."

10. She Found(h)ers
From iTunes: "Ashley Murry interviews today's most inspiring female entrepreneurs and shares actionable advice from experts, coaches, and life-hackers to help you find your personal state of flow in business and in life. Stories of success to inspire you along your journey and insights on everything from productivity and idea generation to sleep and nutrition will leave you feeling motivated and empowered to grab life by the horns and tackle your most ambitious goals."

Do you have a favorite Podcast that you like to listen to? I'd love to check it out. Leave me a comment and share please!

Check out more of our Blogging Tips.

Lego Party Entry Door

After thinking a lot about family nights this week, I have decided our first evening together will be this weekend.  Since it's the third week of the month, that means it's Family Movie Night.

Fortunately, this week The LEGO Movie came out on DVD.  We did get to go see it at the movie theater, but I would enjoy seeing it again with a bit of a Lego themed evening.  To get to our Lego party, we needed to have an entry door to all the Master Building fun.

After the success of my telephone booth entry door for our Superman party, I guess this Lego door was not a huge stretch of the imagination.  But it was super easy to do (despite the crazy wind that we had while trying to set it up) and makes a fun entry way.

I started with a red plastic table cloth that I found at Walmart on clearance.  I layed it over the front of the door.

Through the doors edges and sides, I pulled the table cloth around to the back of the door and wrapped it nice and tight like a present.  I used regular tape to secure it, but with it being so windy, I did go back and use some packing tape to be sure it stayed put.

Once the table cloth was secured to the door, I cut a small slit in the cloth over the door handle and carefully slid it through.

I had originally planned to use red card stock to make the Lego dots on the door, but I didn't have any on hand and I didn't want to run to Walmart to buy some, so instead, I used red fun foam.  I found a bowl that was about the right size for the dots and traced and cut around to create the dots.

I used some Glue Dots on the edges of my foam Lego dots to secure them to the door.  I'm not a huge fan of these since I can never seem to get them off of roll without completely destroying them and then they stick to my fingers terribly, but with the wind issues, I wanted something that I knew would be strong enough to hold onto the doorway.

Finally, I stuck the dots onto the door in a 2 x 4 pattern to match the large Lego brick shape.  I think it turned out pretty fun and should make a great entrance to our Lego Family Movie Night this weekend.