DIY Valentine’s Day Cards

Every year the kids always bring in Valentine’s Day cards for their classmates with a bag of goodies. Of course, they were cute and easy, but this year I wanted to give something that showed their personalities. I went with a photobooth feel. Luckily, everything was at my fingertips, even a red background! LOL I have some red curtains and they were perfect for the photobooth shoot. I set my T3i up on a stand and let the kids have fun. They totally showed their personalities and didn’t complain about taking pictures (they usually start complaining after four shots).

After taking the pictures, I downloaded this photobooth strip template and just stuck my pictures into the template. To reduce the amount of copies I had to order, I had two strips on one 4x6in page. Off to the print shop they went. Here’s the quick run down:

  1. Prints arrived:
    Vday Cards BEFORE
  2. Cut to size:
    Vday Cards Sized
  3. Cut cardstock:
    Vday Cards Back
  4. Adhere strip to cardstock:
    Vday Cards Materials
  5. Final look of the photobooth strip Valentine’s Day cards:
    Vday Cards Final

On the back of the cards, I’ll have the kids write the “to” and “from” for their friends. Quick, easy and budget friendly Valentine’s Day cards!!

Did You Say Date Night?

Date night, those are long forgotten words in our marriage, especially after having kids. We tried having date nights, but it just didn’t work out because we didn’t make it a priority. This year, I’m determined to have more date nights. Another thing that didn’t motivate me to plan date nights was being the only one planning. Not that I hated it or it was burdensome, I just felt like it was a chore. I think I have to change my perspective on it as well as enlist the hubby’s help.

Leng and I agreed to have weekly date nights, but he would have to plan out the dates too, which included finding a sitter and planning out the night. The hardest part for him will be looking for a babysitter. Leng’s not from Georgia, he grew up in FL and moved to SC before we got married. I, on the other hand, lived here for about 15 years, so I have girlfriends and family here that can watch them. Leng knows them too, but I think for him, it’s awkward to ask them for babysitting, but I think this will be an opportunity for him to also make dating a priority for us.

We agreed that each of us would plan a date every other week, which gives us time to find a sitter, plan and budget for the date. I suggested that we could do things we’ve never done before, like going to a shooting range (which we always say we would go do, but don’t) or go zip lining. There are so many activities to do and we’re blessed enough to be able to splurge and invest in our marriage with these date nights.

We’re praying that we’re able to renew and refresh our marriage (hoping to bring our adventurous and spontaneous sides back), learn more about each other and what God has in store for our marriage. I want to win and invest in us, so that Satan has no loopholes or cracks he can get into, to destroy something God has so beautifully created. It’s not only going to make an impact on Leng and I, but the kids too. They’ll see the importance of dating after marriage and how to treat their future spouses. We have to be the example of how God describes marriage to be in Ephesians 5:22-30 (The Message):

Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands. Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church – a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor – since they’re already “one” in marriage. No one abuses his own body, does he? No, he feeds and pampers it. That’s how Christ treats us, the church, since we are part of his body.

I hope that you’ll also commit to weekly date nights with your spouse. It could transform your marriage and family! Go for it, it’s COMPLETELY worth it!

Favorite Things Party Games

Patience is a virtue my lovelies! I said that I would expand on the two games I had for my Favorite Things birthday party and I am now delivering it to you! The two games were My Favorite Things quiz and BINGO. Quite simple games for people who have never met, to get to know each other and start conversations. The quiz was especially great since half of my guests didn’t know each other. This was the first game we played and was a good icebreaker. You know when you get loud, you’re having fun!

Let’s start with the first game, My Favorite Things quiz. I got the idea from my soon-to-be BFF (Pinterest – shhhhh don’t tell Google) who pointed me to Shannon Brown’s blog. I pretty much used her ideas for my party since her color scheme was very close to mine and well she had some awesome and CHEAP ideas!!! So for those who thought I was creative, you’ve been duped (I’m just a great copy-cat). I did add a lot of my own touch to my party, but I have to give credit, where credit is due! I changed some of the questions or answers because I didn’t want to completely take someone’s ideas. I especially didn’t like that my quiz looked bland and unappealling to the eyes, so I added a small design on the side of the questions (yes, I am OCD about the small details no one else notices).

Favorite Things Questionnaire Game

Moving on to how this is played, basically you have your guest fill out the questionnaire and when everyone is done, you go through and see if any of the guests had matching answers. If they did, they would have lose a point for that question (like Scattegories). The person who has the most unique answers wins, but the bonus is that you get new blogs you can follow and new books to read (based on my questions). Do not tell the guests the objective of the game, or else, you’ll get false answers and it won’t be as fun.

The next game was a one-round Bingo (which is cruel to do)! Nobody should ever play a one-round Bingo, but I had to keep it to one-round to have time for the gift swapping! I made the Bingo cards in Photoshop and manually changed each number on each card. Well, when things are done manually, there’s always room for human error. I tried with all my brain power to not have the same number on a card, but unfortunately, I couldn’t escape the inevitable; while we were playing, my friend Joy’s card had two 9’s. If I had called out a nine, she would’ve been able to get two spots! So, if one of your guests gets that card, let them know it was a BONUS card (I was too lazy to fix it – so take it as it is).

After printing them, I laminated them to get the most usage out of the Bingo cards. For chips, I just bought a pack of 520 gray pony beads and placed them in these cocktail cups. Yes, another CHEAP alternative!

Favorite Things Bingo Game

So without further adieu, click here to get the free Favorite Things Party Games printable. The pdf has both the quiz and Bingo cards. IMPORTANT: The second page has two questionnaires on it and pages 3-13 are the Bingo cards. What does this mean and why does it matter? You have to print page 2 first to get enough for your guests (remember there’s two questionnaires, so only print the page half the amount of guests you have) and then print pages 3-13 once; or print pages 2-13 once, then print page 2 half the amount of guests you have minus two (since you’ve already printed it once). I hope you like the free printable and that you get to use them!

Favorite Things Birthday Party [long post]

What’s the etiquette on throwing yourself a birthday party? Is it okay or is it not okay? I Googled to find out and well, it didn’t help an ounce, but it did give me a slight relief. Half of the answers I read said, “It’s kind of selfish and self centered to throw a party to get gifts and have people come sing happy birthday to you,” while others said, “If you just want to spend time with people who are important to you, it’s okay.” I didn’t want gifts, but wanted to spend time with girlfriends who have a special place in my heart. So I decided to throw a get together where I could spend time with them. I went hunting for ideas again through Pinterest (she’s slowly becoming my best friend, but she hasn’t beat out Google yet. Yes, Pinterest is a girl to me LOL). As Pinterest loaded in my browser, Kara’s Party Ideas (an awesome site full of party planning ideas that I follow) just pinned a “Favorite Things” party idea and I knew that was what I wanted to do. This party would let me get to know more about my friends (if I didn’t know their favorite things yet) and let them go home with gifts. Instead of me getting gifts or making the party about me, I wanted this party to be about them. A party planning I went! (If you didn’t know, I love planning budget friendly parties and executing them because it lets me be creative and crafty).

Here is the invite that I made, sorry for the terrible quality (I need to hone in those photography skills). The colors were aqua, gray and white since those are my favorite colors. I included washi tape and some of my favorite fonts.

Favorite Things Party Invite

For decorations, I had majority of the items already from previous parties and me being a hoarder (I know that contradicts my cleaner, more organized home goal). I made a backdrop from my daughter’s curtains, banner, an instructions sign and a name-tag holder from a tree branch. The banner was made from doilies folded in half and I used part of the plastic table cover to make the tassels. I made the curtains last year for my daughter. It’s just a sheer curtain ($5) and I used a plastic cup and paint to make the circles (yes, I’m cheap). The name-tags were made from washi tape placed on top of key tag and then I used my trusty Dymo embossing label maker to type out the names of my guests. I used safety pins to loop the key ring part of the tag into the safety pin so that it could hang from the tree and guests could pin it to their shirts.

Favorite Things Party Decoration

This was an upclose look at the decorations on each side of the table. The ornaments cam in a box of 50 for $4.50 at Target and they were perfect for the party!!

Favorites Party Decoration

Favorites Party Decoration

Here was the table with the party favors (personalized white paper bags), games, and prizes. The favor bags had the favors and were used to hold all of the new stuff the guests got so it’d be easier to transport out to the car. The two white boxes were the prizes for the winners of the one round bingo game and the favorite things questionnaire (more on the games later).

Favorite Things Party Favor Table

Wondering what was the prize? More of my favorite things of course! Knee high socks, cheap jewelry, candy and fave nail polish!

Favorite Things Party Prize

Favorite Things Party Nail Polish

For the favors, I made a small art decor of my favorite definition of “love”. I’ll have a tutorial for this in a later post, it’s extra easy to make! I added my favorite candies (who doesn’t like chocolate??)

Favorite Things Party Favors

What was my favorite things? Well let’s take a look:

  1. Journals because I take notes and write down everything regarding any Biblical studies, sermons, or leadership training I go to. I love having all of this information in journals since it lets me go back and look at things that I’ve learned and how much I’ve grown spiritually.
  2. Owl earrings from my favorite store (the jewelry I get from this store is like SUPER cheap, I never spend more than $2 on an item).
  3. Crafty things because I’m a crafter; so I got some cute and unique blank card sets along with a cute sticker and baker’s twine.

Favorite Things Party Gifts

Up-close of the earrings and stickers

Favorite Things Earrings
Favorite Things Stickers

Some of the items that were brought:

  1. Jewelry Frame Organizer
  2. Beauty products (lotions, nail polish, etc)
  3. Jewelry
  4. Stationary items (journals, pens, etc)
  5. Coffee
  6. Scented candles
  7. Mugs/Cups

Favorite Things Gift Table

How did I host the swap? We went around describing our gifts (everyone’s gifts had their names on it) or why it was our favorite thing. One description was, “I like to do this when the kids are gone.” There was an uproar laughter. As moms, most of us thought of two words, LOVE MAKING. It turns out, it was a puzzle. After everyone described their gifts, we put our name tags in a jar and began the gift picking. I was forced to go first since it was my birthday, so I picked my gift and then picked a name tag out of the jar to see who would go next. Then that person went and they picked the next person’s name to pick a gift. We did this for four rounds until all of the gifts were picked. Everyone opened up the items after the last thing was picked and I did allow bartering, in case someone got to something before another person could get their hands on it. Luckily, everyone was super happy with what they got and didn’t exchange anything.

Favorite Things Guests

These wonderful ladies are truly beautiful and God-loving. I couldn’t have asked more from God, but to have met these awesome women. I’m looking forward to deeper relationships with them. I really enjoyed my birthday party and having tons of laughs with them!

Updated Chore Chart

I hate to admit this, but I had an ugly and tacky chore chart for the Yang Monsters (I know, unbelievable right?). I’m ashamed to post it (seriously – I hate being tied to the word “tacky”), but I’m going to show it to you anyway (don’t judge me and don’t laugh!). It served its purpose, but who wants to walk into someone’s house and the first thing your eyes focus on is a GINORMOUS magnetic white board with chores on it??! This board was 24 in x 36 in – that’s HUGE!

Old Chore Chart

Since my new year resolution was to have a homier, tidier, and cleaner home, I decided that I would make small renovations throughout the year. So for starters, I went with something easy, a new chore chart system and getting rid of this eyesore. A hunting I went on Pinterest and found the perfect tutorial!! I literally made these new chore charts for about $8 per frame!!


  • 2 metal sheets from The Home Depot ($16)
  • 4 picture frames from the Dollar Tree ($4)
  • 2 packages of magnets from Michaels ($4)
  • 2 packages of circle wood from Michaels ($8)
  • Chore chart design (DIY $0)
  • Chore chart list (DIY $0)
  • 1 inch circle hole punch (already had $0)
  • Kitchen scissors (already had $0)
  • Spray paint (already had $0)
  • Mod Podge (already had $0)
  • Glossy Accents glue (already had $0)
  • Picture frame hooks (already had $0)
  • Adobe Photoshop (already had $0)

Wondering how I made them? I just followed directions really well from Lemon Squeezy Home. The only things I did differently is the chore chart list and design. I created my list in photoshop by making 1 in x 1 in squares to keep my text at 1 in and had adequate spacing between each chore. After I decided on the chore list, I printed it and hole punched the chores out with my 1 in circle punch. Then I just Mod Podged it to the wooden circles. Notice there are white chores and blue chores? Well, white chores are unpaid chores, while blue chores are paid chores ($1 per chore). I give them one paid chore a day since they’re only 5, 6, 7  years old.

Chore List

I mimicked Lemon Squeezy’s overall design, but added my own touch for my chore charts to match my house colors, then printed it in color (obviously). Glad I’m proficient enough in Photoshop to create my own stuff, ’cause buying digital designs add up when you do all of these things.

This is the design where the magnetic chore chart list will go.
Chore Chart

This is the design with the name on it.

Chore Chart Name

I asked the kids where they’d like to put their charts and they picked the PERFECT spot!! It’s in our hallway by Aeonah’s room. That wall was empty and needed some loving, so we mounted the frames. More things and decor will go up, but that’s not on the list right now (we repainted the house last Sept and took everything off the walls). Here is the finished product.

This is what it looks like on the wall.
Final Chore Chart
Here’s a close up of the list and Aeonah’s name chart.
Chore Chart
Aeonah Chart

I hope this helped those of you who asked me about it on Instagram or FacebookI’m just sharing a tutorial I found and I hope you link your finished chore charts below or on any of my social medias.

Budget Experience

It’s been two weeks since we’ve started the budget system at home with the kids and so far, it’s been working well for us. The kids were excited to learn about what a budget does, learn new terminology such as tithing and learn how they are supposed to use the budget and money. Not only are they learning financial fundamentals, but math too. They are learning to add and subtract the money, which has been very helpful for Lincoln and Rhynan.

Yang Monsters Budget

After we’ve completed the budget, they divide their money according to the budget. The Yang Monsters have three envelopes each (for now, until I can craft something nicer). The labels for each envelopes are give, save, and spend.

Envelope System

Since they will only earn about $3-$5 a week, Leng and I are their bank for exchanging dollar bills into cents. For example, if they made $5 this week, they have to tithe .50 cents. So they come to us with a one dollar bill to get four quarters so that they can tithe. We have a jar of coins (do you like our Panda friend and his brother Raccoon?)

Panda Coin Bank

What I’ve noticed since we’ve started this, is that they are being more responsible, take the initiative to do their own chores, remind their siblings about doing their chores, have become eager to do their chores, and most of all, love getting paid and dividing up their money. I hope that this small exercise will make a lifetime impact on them, not only financially, but with work ethics and serving/giving to others the way God wanted them to. The hardest lesson they’re learning is that they don’t get money for not doing a paid chore. Which is great because the first time that happened, they finally got in the routine of checking their chores both morning and before bed.

If you haven’t gotten a copy of your free budget printable, click here to grab it!

Free Kids Budget Printable

How many of you have heard of Dave Ramsey? Some of you may dislike him, while others love him. I love the knowledge he shares and definitely recommend taking his Financial Peace University class (FPU). Leng and I took the class about three or four years ago and have made some good changes for the better in our finances, which included a budget. Yup, a good old fashioned budget! The thing about the budget is that you have to follow the budget OR make adjustments to the budget so that you compensate for things that may not have been budgeted for to have a zero balance budget. The budget was probably the biggest financial changer for us.

What does that have to do with kids, you say? Well, that knowledge we obtained from FPU, allows us to share it with our kids. The Yang Monsters work (do chores) and get paid for doing certain chores. They also do chores they don’t get paid for because they are part of the family and need to contribute. The main point is that you teach them that you have to work to get money, have a zero balanced budget and to give, save, and live.

For give and save, you would do about 10% for each category, which leaves 80% for spending money on whatever they want. Give for our family is tithing, this teaches them that the money they earned is God’s money. In the save category, they can give more than 10% if they have something big they want to save for. This allows them to set goals and be motivated to work for what they want. The rest is up to them to spend however they want as long as they have the money. We do this weekly since they get paid weekly.

This is an example of what the budget looks like (click image to enlarge).

Kids Budget

Grab your free January kids budget here! I hope this helps you with teaching your children about finances.