12 Non-Food Halloween Treat Ideas {Great for Kids with Food Allergies} – 2016 Version + Giveaway to Win Over 330 Treats From Oriental Trading!

September 26th, 2016

Disclosure: I received these products for free from Oriental Trading to use as a giveaway to one of my readers. My opinions are my own and I was not paid or required to write this review or host this giveaway.

Halloween is just around the corner!  With just a bit over a month to go the stores are stocked with all the spooky decor and lots of treats, if you follow me on Instagram you’ll see I have been getting in the spirit with some crafts and will be attempting to start my daughters Halloween costume very soon. 

Today I’m thrilled to share with you some great non-food Halloween treat ideas, along with a chance to win a bundle of over 33o of them!  Oriental Trading as graciously provided them for the giveaway, and if you haven’t heard of Oriental Trading, they are the go-to source for everything Halloween – from costumes to decor to party supplies to treats – they have you covered this Halloween.  

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In 2014 was the establishment of the Teal Pumpkin Project™ which was started by a food allergy Mom first and then adopted more widely by FARE who gave it more attention and coverage which caused the Teal Pumpkin Project™ to explode especially among food allergy parents.  Last year it was really popular and this year it is even more so, with companies like Oriental Trading supporting the cause and working with bloggers like myself to host giveaways of non-food treats.

If you aren’t sure about the movement to non-food treats,  “FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project™ promotes safety, inclusion and respect of individuals managing food allergies. This nationwide movement offers an alternative for kids with food allergies, as well as other children for whom candy is not an option, and keeps Halloween a fun, positive experience for all!”

At our home, our treats will be food-free and fun!  We’ll have the porch decorated with teal pumpkins (like the one shown below that is available at Oriental Trading,) and we’ll be handing out an assortment of fun non-food treats, from stickers to bracelets and everything in between.  

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Last year we did the same, and when children came by to trick-or-treat they loved the non-food treats!   “Awesome,” “Cool,” and “Neat” were many of the responses we heard from them, and I’m pretty sure whoever wins this lot of treats will also be hearing the same, so be sure to enter the giveaway via Rafflecopter at the end of this post.  (And if you aren’t the winner of this giveaway you can purchase all of these directly from Oriental Trading and I’ve provided the links and details to each of the items below to make it easy for you!)

Here’s a look at the 12 items and the teal pumpkin which is also included in the giveaway!

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And a closer look at some of my favorites that I’ve chosen from Oriental Trading.

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Without further adieu I share with you this large assortment of non-food Halloween treats that are great for kids with and without food allergies – because we all know kids get a lot of candy on that evening.  

(The prices and links for where these can be purchased are below the main photo.)

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1. Black Cat Fuzzy Bookmarks  Meow!  For all the cat and book lovers, these bookmarks are super cute and super soft and a favorite of mine.  Cost: 12 for $4.40.

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2. Halloween Wiggle Snakes  Wiggle snakes were always so much fun when I was a kid!  These wiggle snakes are great for keeping little ones busy after trick-or-treating! Cost: 24 for $4.50.

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3. Halloween Colors Jelly Bracelets – Jelly bracelets remind me of my childhood 80s, and this pack comes with a large quantity so you can give out more than one. There is also a huge selection of necklaces and other bracelets on the Oriental Trading website.  Cost: 144 count for $4.99.

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4. Monster Stickers – These are some friendly monsters, and with a dozen sheets to give out (each with 23 assorted stickers,) you’re sure to bring smiles to the kids with these! Cost: 12 sheets for $4.99.

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5. Halloween Rubber Duckies – Love how cute these Halloween rubber duckies are dressed in fun Halloween costumes.  These are perfect for the younger trick-or-treaters!  Cost: 12 count for $6.50.

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6. Glow-in-the-Dark Mummy Finger Puppets – Anything glow-in-the-dark is fun for kids, and these will be sure to lighten up the kids Halloween adventures.  Cost: 12 count for $4.99.

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7. Monster Pop Ups  – Some more of those friendly monsters!  As soon as these came out of the box my daughter had a go at testing them and she loved how they pop down and up without any warning! Cost: 12 count for $4.50.

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8. Halloween Face Stamper  – With built-in ink these stamps are sure to provide lots of non-messy fun!  Cost: 24 for $6.99.

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9. Trick-or-Treat Mini Puzzles – With designs like candy corn, wrapped candy, a ghost or a jack-o’-lantern, each puzzle box includes 16-17 pieces per puzzle.  Fun for the older kids! Cost: 12 for $5.99.

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10. Mini Halloween Skateboards –  Plastic finger skateboards are so much fun for little hands who love taking these spooky toys for a spin!  Cost: 36 for $6.99.

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11. Skeleton Sticky Hands – So sticky and so much fun, these sticky hands are great for picking things up!  Kids never seem to tire of these!  Cost: 12 for $3.99.

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12. Halloween Ghost Pencils –  These wooden pencils have a colorful wrapped ghost and pumpkin design, perfect for adding Halloween spirit to ones desk or at school. Pencils have #2 lead. Cost: 24 for $4.99.

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And a Teal Pumpkin – Cost $12.99/each.

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I hope these suggestions give you some ideas for non-food treats to give out to your local trick-or-treaters.  I hope you will consider having non-food treats available at your home to give out to children with food allergies and special diets.  

And seriously, don’t you just love this assortment?!  If you were a kid which would you be most excited to get on Halloween?

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Now it’s time to enter the giveaway to win them all… and with over 330 items you may want to share some with your neighbors, or at your school!  And remember, if you are going to have non-food treats available be sure to put out a teal pumpkin and a sign that you have non-food treats available at your home.  Thank you for participating and keeping Halloween safe and fun for all!

And a big thank you to Oriental Trading for partnering with me on this post!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Halloween!

This giveaway will run from September 26, 2016 through October 10, 2016. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents, aged 18 and up.  The winner will be notified by e-mail and will have 24 hours to claim their prize or a new winner will be drawn. This giveaway is not associated with Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media.  All entries are optional.  Void where prohibited by law.

Disclosure: I received these products for free from Oriental Trading to use as a giveaway to one of my readers. My opinions are my own and I was not paid or required to write this review or host this giveaway.

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prAna: Comfort, Style, Versatility & Sustainability – Review & Giveaway!

September 17th, 2016

Disclosure: I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer.  My opinions are my own and I was not paid or required to write this review.

I am so excited to bring you this review and giveaway with prAna today.  As a busy Mom I’m always looking for clothes that can take me throughout the day, whether it be hitting the playground, baking in the kitchen, hiking on our local trails, hitting the farmers market, and everything in between.   I want comfort, style, versatility, and sustainability all wrapped up in one, which isn’t easy to find.

prAna enters my life just when I need them. 

If you haven’t heard of prAna, they “create versatile, stylish, and sustainable clothing and accessories that you can wear during every activity, every adventure, every day.”  And I feel like prAna clothes were made for me.  

The fact that prAna uses sustainable materials like organic cotton, hemp and recycled poly really makes me love them more.   prAna supports Fair Trade and Renewable Energy initiatives too. While researching more about the company I found myself spending many hours on their website reading the stories written about men and women who open up to share their passions, travel, exploration, and adventures with you, the reader.  Many of the stories are very inspiring and invigorating, and take you on a journey to another place.

Now let’s take a closer look at the two items that are the start of my prAna collection, the Mantra Pants and Gotu Pullover.  (And don’t forget to check out the giveaway at the end of this post where you can enter to win these items as well. )

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 The Mantra Pants are so relaxed and comfy that I don’t want to get out of them, perfect for a casual day trip, running errands, and everything in between.  They are made of soft hemp blended with stretch fabric and trimmed with organic cotton.  They are truly a versatile and relaxed pant.  

These pants already have gotten a lot of use out of them since I’ve received them.  Playground trips, picnics, out to fly a kite, dropping my daughter off at school, and wearing for our evening walks.  My husband even asked if I was going to start wearing them to bed.  They are just.that.comfortable.   I really love that they are also stylish and super soft.  These pants are made to go wherever you do and wherever your day takes you.

I’m wearing a size medium in the pants and I’m on the tall side (just a tad under 5’9″) and they are long enough for me, which is a big plus.  I often times have a trouble finding pants that don’t automatically look like capris or puddle jumpers on me.  The Mantra Pants come in sizes XS-XL.  Here is a link to their sizing chart.  

The Mantra Pants have a drawstring waist and the waistband is really soft and comfortable.  I also love the size of the pockets (2 in the front, 1 in the rear) in these pants, they are deep enough to hold my phone which is a big plus, since we never go anywhere without our phones these days.  

Here are the product details of the Mantra Pants:

  • Sutra stretch woven
  • Knit waistband with drawcord
  • Front pockets and single back welt pocket
  • Size Small = 32 (81.3cm) inseam
  • Relaxed fit
  • Straight leg
  • Mid rise

Here I am modeling the Mantra Pants in coal.  These pants also come in black herringbone, and light red violet.

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Another awesome prAna item which is pictured around my waist above is the Gotu Pullover.  This Gotu Pullover is aptly named because this is quickly becoming my go-to sweatshirt of choice.  I love, love, love the front pouch pocket.  I’m a sucker for pockets and this one is perfect for keeping your hands in a cozy place.  

The neckline is awesome, and adds subtle detailing to the pullover.

I’m wearing a size medium, which is my typically shirt size.  Occasionally I go for a large in sweatshirts and I feel like I could have went either way with this one. The Gotu Pullover comes in sizes XS-XL.  Here is a link to the sizing chart.

Here are the product details of the Gotu Pullover:

  • Blended fleece with rib detail
  • Hand pockets
  • Drawcord at collar
  • Pullover silhouette with crossover neckline
  • Relaxed fit

And here I am modeling the  Gotu Pullover in moonrock.  This also comes in baja blue, and true orchid.

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Before we get to the giveaway (yay!) I want to show you this neckline again.  From the front you’re almost fooled into thinking it’s a hood, but it’s not.  The neckline crosses over and comes up “just enough” to keep your neck warm.  When the winter months come upon us this will be a great pullover to layer with and throw on a vest on top of.

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Since receiving this outfit I’ve worn it many times, and I’ve been eyeing up some other items in their online store.  Make sure you connect with prAna online also go see their latest products and get exclusive access to discounts and special offers.  In the meantime, prAna has also given me a unique discount code to share with you so you can check them too!  I promise you won’t be disappointed.  

Discount code: MMLPBBKA

Discount code details: 

  • Valid for 15% off at prAna.com
  • One-time use per customer
  • Not valid on Gift Certificates or with any other offers
  • Valid thru October 31, 2016

prAna is also on Facebook, twitter, pinterest, Instagram, and youtube – so definitely connect with them there too.

Time for the giveaway!  One lucky winner will win one pair of the Mantra Pants and one Gotu Pullover!  Just enter the giveaway via Rafflecopter below for a chance to win. Giveaway ends September 21, 2016.  Good luck!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway will run from September 17, 2016 through September 21, 2016. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents, aged 18 and up.  The winner will be notified by e-mail and will have 24 hours to claim their prize or a new winner will be drawn. This giveaway is not associated with Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media.  Busy Bee Kate is not responsible for prize fulfillment. All entries are optional.  Void where prohibited by law.

Disclosure: I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer.  My opinions are my own and I was not paid or required to write this review.
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Target Helping Families with Food Allergies & Non-Food Allergies This Halloween Season

September 12th, 2016

If you are shopping at Target and looking to purchase candy for Halloween you’ll want to check out their “Sweet & Simple Allergen Guide” which is set up near the Halloween items and Halloween candy aisles.

Target has made available a list of 2016 Halloween candy items, where those listed with a “no” means the allergen is not present in the product.   Target states this has been confirmed by the manufacturers of the candy, and also listed in their ingredient statement.

If you have food allergies I do encourage that you make sure you check the actual product labels for all ingredient information, as ingredients can change.  This list also does not take into account which items are made on shared lines or shared facilities, so I encourage you to double check with the manufacturer based on your comfort level.  

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Here is a closer look at the guide.  The guide is set up as a tear away so you can take with you when you are shopping.  The guide is also available on the Target website.  Target does state that the item assortment may vary by store.

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Here’s to a safe and Happy Halloween!

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Enjoy Life Dash Button – Making it Easy to Eat Freely

August 31st, 2016

Disclosure: Enjoy Life Foods sent me an Amazon Dash Button for free. My opinions are my own and I was not paid or required to write this review.

Enjoy Life Foods recently surprised me and my family with our very own Enjoy Life Foods Amazon Dash Button, and we were all so excited!  

The excitement was for various reasons: My daughter instantly recognized the Enjoy Life Foods logo and said “where are the cookies?!”  I thought it was such a cool concept and amazed at how technology is changing so quickly these days, and my husband was like “yea, you haven’t heard of the Dash Buttons yet?”   While our family is pretty techy (and Amazon junkies) I hadn’t yet heard of the Dash Buttons and this technology really takes shopping to a new level, and I can definitely see how useful it can be.

If you haven’t heard of the Amazon Dash Button yet either, it is a Wi-Fi connected device that reorders your favorite product with the press of a button.

The Enjoy Life Dash Button is making it easy to eat freely.

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I’m going to share with you my 15 easy steps below on how to set one up, but first, let me tell you a bit more about Dash Button.

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Buzzing with The Bug Family Band – Review & Giveaway!

August 18th, 2016

We love music in our household, and anytime we can catch a live performance locally we do!  I was so excited to see a new band recently, The Bug Family Band, added to the San Mateo Momdays at Bay Meadows events.  These events are so great, and we try to attend as many of them as we can, and didn’t want to miss a new act in the rotation.

The Bug Family Band typically is made up of a 5 person crew, but with summer holidays and the Queen Bee aka Maddy Streicek currently on tour we were able to see 3 of the members perform, although small in numbers, they didn’t disappoint.  My daughter and I were buzzing along to their fresh, original songs. Their tunes not only appeal to children, but also to adults.   BusyBeeKate-BugFamilyBand-Paddock

After seeing these guys performed I connected with them and they offered up their 2 CDs, ABeeCD and The Bug Family Band, for a giveaway to one of my readers ~ be sure to enter via the Rafflecopter at the bottom of the post after I share the buzz about the band. BusyBeeKate-BugFamilyBand2

Both albums contain original music for kids & ex-kids, with ABeeCD being the newest album.  I love the witty album title, could that really bee more fitting for me!?  

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31 Days of Allergy-Friendly, Healthy & Balanced Nut & Egg-Free Kids Lunch Ideas with No Repeats!

August 15th, 2016

Have your kids started school yet, or is the start of school just around the corner for them?  In our area schools are gearing up to start next week, and while I’m bummed summer is coming to an end I am excited about all the fun Back to School items I am seeing in the stores.  For us, school and Fall will be about getting back into more of a routine with my family, which I am really looking forward to.

I have heard many parents having mixed emotions about back to school including some grumblings because they have to get back into the routine of packing lunches again, and are at a loss.  

Last year around this time I shared nut and egg-free lunch ideas and I’m back to to share them again with you this year.  These lunches are allergy-friendly, healthy and balanced, and the kids will love them!  

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This year my daughter will be in preschool, and as with most preschools ours is nut-free.  Before I had a child with food allergies I didn’t quite understand the need for schools to go nut-free, after all, aren’t children also allergic to other things?  In our case we know my daughters allergy to kiwi is life-threatening (read about how we discovered her kiwi allergy was so severe here,) so would schools ban all of their kids allergens?!  That wouldn’t seem possible and realistic for schools to do with such diverse range of food allergies in children these day.

Now that I’ve been educated about nut allergies, I, along with other food allergy parents, are super grateful for schools that are banning nuts and nut butters.  My eyes and ears are more sensitive now to the words ‘peanuts’ and ‘peanut butter’ and I have heard many non-food allergy parents “sighing” when they hear their child’s school is nut-free and saying “What am I going to feed my child, they LOVE PB&J and I cannot get them to eat anything else!?”  I get it.  I do.  I used to love PB&J too, but there is hope for lunch beyond the PB&J.  

Peanuts and tree nuts are two of the “top 8” which means they are two of the eight most common food allergies, with peanuts being number one; and 1 in 13 children are now affected by food allergies with that number increasing each year.  Chances are there are 1 or 2 children in your child’s classroom that suffer from food allergies.  

While some children must ingest a food to have an allergic reaction, others can have a reaction just by the proteins in the air or by touching the surface where the food protein still resides.  For instance, let’s say your child does bring a peanut butter sandwich to school and they are neat and clean up his/her area (with a napkin) after eating.  The peanut-allergic child sits in the same spot your child just left.  However, your child accidently missed a spot.  The allergic child touches it and has an allergic reaction.  This was an accident, but it could be life threatening to the child. 

Since so many schools are now nut-free I wanted to provide a month of healthy and balanced lunch options for children that both have and don’t have food allergies.  These options will also be egg-free (because there are so many children with egg allergies nowadays too.)   

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Golden Girl Recipe Challenge! (Slow Cooker) Home Sweet Honey Peach Granola Crumble

July 29th, 2016

Disclosure: I applied to participate in the Golden Girl Granola and received Golden Girl Granola for free. My opinions are my own and I was not paid or required to write this review or create this recipe. 

I recently discovered Golden Girl Granola on a whim… searching the ‘net for something completely unrelated and bam, there it was, and in big words I saw Blogger Recipe Challenge.  “Have a recipe that’s easy to recreate, great for families, delicious, and of course, original and inventive?!
Enter our challenge today!”  

Game on!  By entering their challenge, I agreed to create a dessert recipe using one of their granola varieties…. and I am so in love with the recipe I came up with: (Slow Cooker) Home Sweet Honey Peach Granola Crumble.  Easy to make, full of amazing flavor and texture, and a dessert (especially when topped with your favorite ice cream,) that is perfect for the warm summer months.  And it’s wheat, peanut, nut, egg, and dairy free!

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But before getting to this delicious recipe I want to share a little bit more about Golden Girl Granola.

Golden Girl Granola is a family granola business based in Shirley, MA. They make and sell loose granola in 14oz and 3oz bags and sell primarily in New England area stores and also online on their site. They take great pride in their emphasis on local products made by hand with the highest quality ingredients.

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No Monkeying Around Bandar Foods are Hot & Tasty ~ Review & Giveaway

July 26th, 2016

Disclosure: I was invited to be in the review group by Bandar Foods and received Bandar Foods items for free. My opinions are my own and I was not paid or required to write this review or host this giveaway.  

Recently I attended an event at Love with Food and met the awesome folks at Bandar Foods who introduced me to, and allowed me to sample, some of their products!  And I’m not monkeying around when I say their products are hot & tasty!

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Bandar Foods makes a range of Poppadum, Naan chips, Vegetable Crisps, and sauces, and after the event they sent me some items to share with my family, and I can’t wait to share them with you!  (P.S., they will also send some items to one of my readers ~ so don’t be a monkey and forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom of this post!) 

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Based in San Francisco, Bandar reimagines traditional Indian flavors for everyday American foods, and is one of the most successful food product companies on Kickstarter of all time!  

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I love the story of how they were founded – man walks into restaurant, wants a hotter hot sauce, can’t find one, experiments with those currently made, friends like it, they enter the idea into Wharton Business School’s famed innovation tournament and win handily – and Bandar Foods is born.

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CREAM (Cookies – and now more – Rule Everything Around Me) – Crazy Good!

July 18th, 2016

BusyBeeKate-CREAMSignDo you have an extreme sweet tooth?  Cookies AND ice cream together should do the trick…. And as if CREAM couldn’t make these combos any better they are now adding in new and improved cookies, waffles and do’sants… making even more crazy good combinations for you to choose from!

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Recently I was invited to check out CREAM and sample their new & improved line of CREAM cookies (2.0,) as well as their new waffles and do’sants which were recently added to their menu.  I didn’t know what to except and all the options were so amazing, I seriously wanted to try every combo but that just wasn’t possible or they have to roll me out of the shop :)  They did allow us to try as many options as we wanted though and I was excited to see both Vegan and Gluten-Free cookies, as well as dairy-free ice cream available.  

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As soon as I walked into the CREAM store I felt like I was in heaven, everything smells and looks so good.  It reminded me of my childhood as my Mom baked a lot, and the smell of fresh cookies from the oven always takes me back to those days.   I love these CRAZY GOOD cookies, 2.0 style!

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After a few minutes in the store I was greeted by a gentleman who I soon learned was one of the co-founders (Jimmy) of CREAM in 2010.  Upon learning more about CREAM I was drawn to the story of how it was founded and impressed by how much they have grown in such a short period of time.  

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DIY Character Necklaces – Disney: Finding Dory, Doc McStuffins & More!

July 12th, 2016

We finally got to see Finding Dory last weekend (and we give it 5 stars!) and while we were planning our outfits out I kept thinking how we needed some jewelry to match.  I checked out a couple of stores and wasn’t able to find any so I decided that we would make our own… and once we started making them… well, we just couldn’t stop!

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I love how simple and easy these were to make, and the cost is probably about under 50 cents for each one.  Of course you could make these fancier with bead strings and clasps, but I love the look of the yarn and using it makes it simple for kids to help too.

I’ve laid out the easy steps below:

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This would be a fun project to do with the kids while they are home for the summer.  You can choose any characters you like ~ the possibilities are endless!  Just hit up your local craft store or the Target Dollar Spot which is where we found our Finding Dory stickers.  

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Busy Bee Kate