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Jul 31, 2016


Have you been SEARCHING for DIY Summer IDEAS to keep the KIDDOS from getting bored? LOOK no further. For the past four weeks, I teamed up with a GROUP of incredibly talented ladies on Instagram for a hashtag called #DIYSummerIDEAS! We've share everything from ACTIVITIES to keep them entertained, CRAFTS to explore their creativity, TREATS to satisfy their cravings and GAMES to encourage physical activity. With SCHOOL starting in a couple weeks, there's still time to make this the BEST Summer ever!!!!!!

Meet the HOSTS...

Here is a list of my DIY Summer IDEAS ...  DIY Dino Land SANDBOX, Pancake PICNIC, Watermelon PANCAKES Recipe, WATER Balloon War at the Park, Splish Splash Putt Putt GOLF course, Bubble ART, Strawberry Ice Cream WAFFLES, Finding Fish SLUSH Drink Recipe, "Make A SPLASH!" Outdoor MOVIE, Outdoor Movie CONCESSIONS Stand and INSECT DETECTIVE Scavenger Hunt GAME!!! And these are just mine, go see all the fun IDEAS the other hosts shared!

For the FINAL week, I wanted to share an updated VERSION of my favorite GAME to play as a child which was Dick Tracy! Yup! That's right, I used to roam my yard for hours wearing a bright yellow raincoat and a fedora looking for pretend EVIDENCE to put in Ziploc bags. Then I scribbled notes and drawings inside a notebook, then filed it all away inside an old ugly briefcase. The neighbors must have thought I was weird which probably hasn't changed. Lol. BELOW you can learn about all the DIY details for the INSECT DETECTIVE Scavenger Hunt GAME I created. 


How to PLAY

STEP 1.) One Person/Parent/Adult needs to secretly HIDE all the toy INSECTS in various locations and also mark large X's on the Dry-Erase MAP [SEE DIY POJECT #1 BELOW] using colorful Dry-Erase Markers so the KIDS can FIND them. Remember X marks the spot!!!

STEP 2.) Designate an area to be the Detective "HEADQUARTERS" such as a picnic/kids table. Have the KIDS meet up at Detective "HEADQUARTERS" with all their DETECTIVE supplies such as Dry-Erase Markers, Dry-Erase MAP, Dry-Erase INSECT Diagram [SEE DIY POJECT #2 BELOW], Toy INSECT Carrier, INSECT Net, Magnify Glass, Binoculars, Toy Camera, Suitcase, Wagon, Buckets, Shovels, etc. Basically any kind of fun supplies that you have on hand that might have something to do with playing DETECTIVES or looking for INSECTS! You could also give them small Ziploc bags and tongs to collect "pretend" EVIDENCE along the way. Use your IMAGINATION!!!

STEP 3.) Ready, set GO! Give the KID DETECTIVES the Dry-Erase MAP, Dry-Erase INSECT Diagram(s), Dry-Erase Marker then let them go run around and FIND the INSECTS! As they visit each number X location on the MAP and find the INSECTS, tell them to use a Dry-Erase Marker to mark the boxes after they FIND each INSECT, that way they know when all the INSECTS have been FOUND.

STEP 4.) After the KID DETECTIVES have found all their INSECTS and placed them inside the INSECT Carrier(s), tell them to meet back up at Detective HEADQUARTERS. They need to pull out all their INSECTS from the carrier(s) and scatter them on the table. Using the colorful Crayola Washable Dry-Erase Markers, tell them to color in the INSECT Diagrams to look like the INSECTS that they FOUND. When they are done playing, you should be able to very carefully and lightly wipe off all the Dry-Erase Marker using a wet wipe. Don't scrub too hard because the "permanent" markers may not be that "permanent". That's it! Now they can play INSECT DETECTIVE over and over again! 

(Click on LINKS for sources)

Toy Insect Carrier  (Happy Giddy Bug House or Drawstring Bag, Pencil Case, Lunch Box, etc.)
Crayola Washable Dry-Erase Markers  (Red, Orange, Green, Yellow, Blue)  @
Sharpie Permanent Marker  (Black)  [*WARNING: Recommended for Parents/Adults ONLY!!!]
Dry-Erase Poster Boards  @

DIY PROJECT Instructions:

(NOTE: Recommended for Parents/Adults)

STEP 1.) Using a full sheet of Dry-Erase Poster Board and a black Permanent Marker*, make a simple outlined drawing of the LOCATION of your Scavenger Hunt. (EXAMPLE - front yard, back yard, house, garden, play house, park, etc.) Let DRY completely. (Note: If you can not find Dry-Erase Poster Board try drawing the map on a sheet of card stock paper, then laminate it.  It "might" work that way too?) 

STEP 2.) Using a Crayola Washable Dry-Erase Marker in various colors, mark large X's where you plan to HIDE all the toy INSECTS and also number each one. Then mark the Detective HEADQUARTERS area with the last number. [SEE EXAMPLE BELOW]

DIY PROJECT #2: Dry-Erase INSECT Diagram
(NOTE: Recommended for Parents/Adults)

STEP 1.) Using a half sheet of Dry-Erase Poster Board and a black Permanent Marker*, make a simple outlined drawing that says "INSECT Detective" at the top with a little magnify glass searching for tiny ants. Then draw outlined INSECTS that look similar to your toy INSECTS and put check boxes next to each one. Let DRY completely. [SEE EXAMPLE BELOW]

[*WARNING: The only reason, I recommend that Parents/Adults create DIY PROJECT #1 and #2 is because of the Permanent Marker. It is obviously up to the child's parent to make the final decision. I am not responsible for children using Permanent Markers. I personally think it would be a BAD idea!]

Want to know about all 
ahead of time? 
Follow the Creative Orchard 
on SOCIAL MEDIA to get 

ENJOY the rest of your SUMMER!!!


Jun 23, 2016

EAT: Lemonade Popsicles

It has been sooooo HOT and HUMID outside lately!!! And when I'm looking for a super simple REFRESHING solution to keep the kiddos COOL and happy during the summer months, POPSICLES or ICE COLD LEMONADE are usually the first options I think of. But, one day while I was out shopping at Michaels, I spotted a variety of Zoku POPSICLE molds and thought it might be fun to make our own for once. I hadn't had a chance to go to the grocery store to look for supplies yet, and the kids were already begging me to make some POPSICLES right away which meant the only thing I could do at the moment was use ingredients I already had. So when life gives you LEMONS, LEMONADE and a FREEZER, make LEMONADE POPSICLES! I've never actually made my own popsicles before but I figured it can't be that hard? I thought that this idea for a popsicle recipe sounded extremely easy for me to try out for my first attempt plus it would probably be impossible for me to mess them up. Lol.



Zoku Brand POPSICLE Mold @ Michaels
Simply Lemonade Beverage @ Target
Fresh Lemons

DIY Directions:

1.) RINSE popsicle molds

2.) POUR lemonade liquid into molds slightly below "fill line"

3.) CUT thin lemon slice halves

4.) DROP lemon slices inside lemonade liquid which will cause everything to go up to "fill line"

5.) PUSH popsicle lids/sticks on top

6.) PLACE filled popsicle molds inside cold freezer until completely frozen

7.) REMOVE frozen popsicles from molds then EAT and ENJOY!

Want to know about all 
ahead of time? 
Follow the Creative Orchard 
on SOCIAL MEDIA to get 

Stay COOL this SUMMER!!!

May 28, 2016

INSPIRE: COLORFUL Classic Kitchen Inspiration

Lately my husband and I have been discussing and thinking a lot about whether to slowly RENOVATE the home we currently have in hopes that we would like it more aesthetically OR purchase a NEW completely finished house that's for sale but still add some personal touches to make it more our style OR go through the stress and financial burden of CUSTOM building our DREAM HOME? My brain hurts. I can't remember the last time I had to make such a difficult decision. Probably when we were trying to decide if we wanted just TWO kids or MORE? The answer is NO MORE by the way, unless there is an unplanned SURPRISE. And just so you know, I am not a fan of SURPRISES except for SURPRISE gift cards! Lol.

Anyway, right in the middle of all this hard decision making, I was contacted by a coordinator from Big Chill to participate in their COLOR of the MONTH project which luckily the month of MAY happens to be one of my favorite COLORS... Tranquil TURQUOISE!!! Oh how I LOVE TURQUOISE, let me count the ways... or I could just show you in an INSPIRATION Board that I CREATED for my version of a "COLORFUL Classic Kitchen"! (SEE BELOW) It was kinda entertaining to get an email from Big Chill explaining to me who they are considering I have had a CRUSH on their RETRO Collection for many years. So obviously, I highly recommend that you check out their three totally different Collections of Big Chill Kitchen Appliances that would go perfectly with anyone's style, whether you like RETRO, MODERN, INDUSTRIAL, TRADITIONAL or CLASSIC. In fact, since I'm madly in LOVE with COLOR, you should know that Big Chill has the MOST COLOR options for Gas Stoves and Ranges that I have ever seen before! And if you don't like COLOR, (which would break my heart) White, Cream, Grey, Slate, Black or Stainless Steel are also available(LINK BELOW) 

Some girls DREAM of the "perfectWEDDING but I didn't, my wedding was actually put together last minute on an already planned family vacation cruise to JAMAICA. Sorry if I sucked the romance right out of that whole idea. Instead, I am the kind of girl that DREAMS of the "perfect" KITCHEN!!! When I close my eyes, my DREAM KITCHEN is a vision of bright WHITE shaker style cabinets, sleek WHITE/GRAY quartz countertops, GRAY subway tile backsplash, RETRO inspired TURQUOISE Big Chill appliances, CHROME hardware and lighting, LIGHT GRAY walls, DARK rustic hardwood flooring, large DARK GRAY island, COLORFUL barn door that leads into a really BIG pantry (a girl can DREAM!)NATURAL wood decorative accents, AQUA KitchenAid mixer, vintage inspired COLORFUL stools and lots of BRIGHT COLORFUL
Fiesta Brand accessories on display throughout! You were probably starting to wonder how I was going to incorporate my LOVE for COLOR, but no worries of course there would be multiple POPS of COLOR against all those neutral WHITE/GRAY backgrounds!!! Don't you guys know me at all by now? Haven't you seen my insanely COLORFUL social media posts? BELOW you can view my "COLORFUL Classic Kitchen INSPIRATION" board PLUS photos of BEAUTIFUL kitchens that INSPIRED my DREAM KITCHEN DESIGN.

( PRODUCT SOURCES:  Threshold Stools only available in SILVER - @Target, Valspar spray paint for Stools available in multiple COLORS - @Lowes, Faux Grass Planter - @HomeGoods, Allen & Roth Chrome Lighting - @Lowes, GRAY Subway Tile -, Fiesta Cooking Pans - @Bed, Bath & Beyond, Fiesta Cooking Utensils, Mixing Bowls & Knife Set - @Dillards, Fiesta Dishes -, Shaker Cabinets, Chrome Faucet, Chrome Hardware, Farm Sink, Quartz Countertops - @Lowes, Craftsman Barn Door - @Home Depot, Threshold Cake Stand - @Target, Marble/Wood Cutting Board - @West Elm, KitchenAid Mixer - @Williams-Sinoma,
ALL Big Chill Kitchen Appliances - )

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For even more pics of Kitchen INSPIRATIONS, view my board on Pinterest. (Click Here) I guess we'll all have to wait to find out whether my DREAM KITCHEN will come to life in my CURRENT HOME OR a NEW HOME? To be continued...

What's happening right NOW? I'm in the process of decorating my DECK area for summer. If you want to see SNEAK PEEKS of my DECK MAKEOVER in progress, visit @thecreativeorchard on SOCIAL MEDIA!


May 15, 2016


It's finally here, today is the day of the BIG REVEAL!!! Haley's SWEET DREAMS Bedroom is all done! I'm sure the One Room Challenge Participants are now looking forward to a little rest and relaxation this week. I know I deserve a really long nap! This has been such an AMAZING experience and I can't wait to join the One Room Challenge again for the next season coming this fall! I've started to look through all the other 200+ Participant's Room Transformations and everyone has done such a GREAT JOB and should be SUPER proud of what they have accomplished!!! THANK YOU to Calling It Home and House Beautiful for hosting the One Room Challenge

If you want to know more about the ORC or you missed my previous posts, CLICK and visit those WEEK's LINKS located above and below...

WEEK 2 - PAINTING Progress 
WEEK 5 - Craft Projects

ALL 200+ ORC "Guest Participants" have linked up (CLICK to SEE) for WEEK 6 at the Calling It Home blog. I highly recommend that you go visit to see everyone's fantastic ROOM REVEALS!

You can also view the 20 Professional "Featured Designers" room transformations here. (CLICK to SEE) 

If you want to see pics of previous ORC™ Design Entries from past seasons 
or follow this current season, visit these Instagram links below. 

PLUS I will be sharing SNEAK PEEKS of my "SWEET DREAMSBedroom makeover on Social Media. (@thecreativeorchard)


Haley's SWEET DREAMS Bedroom REVEAL!!!

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