“Back to School” dinner

My kids just went back to school yesterday but with many of you still soaking up the very last bit of summer I thought I’d still share this fun “Back to school” themed dinner idea. By combining a creative meal with a little back to school shopping you and your family will spend an evening together that will soon become a new family favorite tradition.


“Back to School” is the theme for the night! A cafeteria inspired meal and fun school themed decorations will help set the mood for a night to remember!

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Create a fun center piece by displaying school items. Things like books, a map or globe, rulers… The skies the limit! Don’t you just love my President Washington busk! Happy to put him to good use in this school themed vignette!

Once the table is set it’s time to move on to the menu and a few more table details…

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For dinner it’s all about creating a cafeteria style meal! Set up a buffet station to simulate walking through the cafeteria and filling your tray with a variety of food.


Pizza, fresh veggies, fruit cups, an apple, cookies and a juice box or milk carton all fill your styrofoam trays for the perfect school meal! I found the fun trays at my local dollar store.

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And don’t forget to add a place card! These desk name cards are the perfect touch to make your table ready for any soon to be student!

Dinner conversation can be a fun one on a night like tonight! Talk about your past first days of school or what you looked forward to as a kid when it came to returning to school! Share past school memories with your family as you dine cafeteria style!

title3After dinner it’s time to cross some back to school shopping off your “to do” list! Grab a pen and make a list of what school supplies your kids are in need of! Pens, paper, note books, back packs. It’s time to hit the store to stock up on supplies! This family outing is fun together time!

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This FREE printalble makes your shopping even easier! Each kid has a list in hand and is eager to shop along side you. If you’ve got the supplies already covered take the time to shop for that always exciting “First day of school” outfit!

I am convinced that “Family Date Nights” are worth the effort! Just like investing in dating your spouse, investing in creative special time as a family is just as important! You are setting the stage for a healthy relationship with your kids. They will feel your enthusiasm and feel loved and important and what more could we want for our kids!


For more fun dinner ideas like this one that include a theme, menu, activity and FREE printable be sure to check out our “The Family Dinner Project” eBook! This eBook has 12 dinner ideas that you and your family are sure to love!

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Target Wedding “Be Yourself, Together!”

This is a sponsored post by Target but all of the opinions shared are my own. Follow the fun #TargetWedding

Oh, there is just something about weddings that turn on my gushy romantic side! I LOVE a good wedding and there is nothing more fun then to celebrate with a couple in love and shower them with gifts and best wishes for their future!

Target  makes it so easy to pair amazing gifts that help compliment a couple! “Be Yourself, Together!” is Targets Wedding theme this year and with endless possibilities, gift giving has never been so fun! Taking into account the bride AND the happy groom, you can combine two personal gifts together to create an “oh so perfect” paired gift! Think, think, think!! Is she soft and feminine while he’s adventurous and daring? BINGO! The perfect gift…

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 See how easy that was! I paired just the perfect gift for her with a spot on gift for him and together they compliment each other just as well as the happy couple!

for her

This gorgeous and inviting Threshold Gully Gold Duvet Set is all about luxury and comfort and that to me screams “Here comes the bride!” It’s perfect for that pampered gal who knows what she loves. This beautiful gift has style and comfort and helps make waking up next to her man a dream!

for him

tentAnd for the adventurous, thrill seeker in the bunch why not upgrade his weekend adventures under the stars with an EMBARK Dome Tent with room for him AND his blushing bride! This fun gift is right up his alley and maybe just what he needs to convince his pretty lady to join him more often for some out door fun!

Together both of these gifts help celebrate the unique personalities of our bride and groom but also are meant to be enjoyed together! Target has endless gift ideas that help create the perfect pairing for your wedding gift giving! Get creative and get thinking how you too can create a fun wedding gift that starts by jumping off of the couples Target  gift registry!

#spon: I’m required to disclose a relationship between our site and Target Influencer Network. This could include the Target Influencer Network providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.


Back to School

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!! I LOVE back to school! Such a great time to get back on tract, get into routines and stock up on must haves to help me and my family stay organized and productive! Here are a few of my favorite must haves this year for back to school success…

13332262 I don’t think I could survive a school year without Post It Notes! Perfect for notes to the teacher, lunch box love notes and keeping me on track with schedules and lists! I stock up on these bad boys and love that they come in so many cool varieties.


If your kids teachers allow water bottles at their desks you have to send a Camelbak eddy bottle back to school with your little ones! These are amazing. Spill proof and durable and they come in endless colors! Staying hydrated helps little ones learn better and these water bottles will be a perfect back to school companion.






We are always looking for new fun lunch time containers. Some lunches are best packed in fun reusable containers like the Stayfit Lunch 2 Go container from Target! I love that it has a compartment for utensils on top!


Back to school also means back to a messy car! Seems like my car gets trashed all school year long so a handy car trash can will help me and the kids keep on top of the mess. There are tons of cute trash cans available on etsy an amazon! I’m still looking for the perfect one for my van.51RKG5LPNoL._SL1000_

I love these plastic storage bins for the refrigerator and pantry. They are perfect for helping me organized pre-bagged lunch snacks. Making lunched in the morning is simple when I have things ready to grab out of these bins.


Mornings are hectic so having a healthy grab and go bar for me int he morning as we head out the door is going to be a life savor. I love these Clif Crunch bars that are packed with organic whole grains, protein and fiber.

So that’s my list og back to school must haves. What’s on yours?


OJ Pancakes and IKEA love



Confession: We love Breakfast for dinner over her at the Blue Cricket Design house so pancakes, waffles and omelettes make it onto the menu quite often! I’m often looking for new ways to put a twist on our family favorites and with little effort we now have a new take on the classic pancake.

Homemade waffles are my favorite but when we need a fast meal pancakes are my go to of choice and simple is better when it comes to getting a fast yummy meal on the table.


I’m not above using a pancake mix. I think it’s a great starting point for fun recipes. We’ve added oatmeal, cinnamon, applesauce, pumpkin and anything else we feel in the mood for. This go around we tried adding a little orange flavor in the form of Orange Juice!

I followed the instructions but instead of adding water I substituted it for Orange Juice! BAM! The perfect splash of flavor to mix us the taste!

And have you guys fallen in love with the new IKEA catalog! I am in love! My mixing bowl, plate and placemat int eh photos above are all recent scores from IKEA that I am loving! My entire catalog is dog eared with my wants!


This Karlstad Orange couch now at IKEA is my favorite! I super want it and HELLO!… it goes great with my OJ Pancakes! Wink, wink!!! Get a hold of the new catalog now and swoon over all the goodness! Flip pages over pancakes! You wont regret it!

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Incredibundles giveaway


Now that’s one happy baby!!! Thanks to Incredibundles my little Gunner is being spoiled with amazing new toys and learning to explore his world around him! Gaining control of your arms and hands is an exciting thing around here and with some new toys to grab at I’m sure he’ll master this new found ability in no time!

I was recently given the chance to try out Incredibundles, a fun company that created beautiful and fun boxes filled with developmental toys, books and other great baby essentials.


There are many different bundles to chose from and I got to sample the Learn and Grow Elite…


Our adorable box was filled to the brim with amazing toys, books and snuggly things! Gunner was immediately curious and eager to discover his new collection.

IncrediBundles.com, the home of extraordinary baby gifts, redesigned the baby gift basket to create gifts that are as practical as they are stylish.  The company got rid of the cellophane and wicker and replaced them with chic reusable storage containers filled with the best books, toys and products for babies.  IncrediBundles.com features a line of foolproof baby gifts, allowing gift-givers to give the nursery essentials every new parent wants and needs.

Want to give a new mom a supply of diapers? It’s easy with an IncrediBundles.com Diaper Bundle!  IncrediBundles.com will send a beautiful announcement package to your recipient featuring a cuddly bear and a certificate for a 3, 6, 9 or 12-month Diaper Subscription.  Then, each month, mom and dad can select the brand and size of diapers they would like delivered straight to their door!

Why not fill the new baby’s nursery with all of the best books for a child’s first year and beyond?  An IncrediBundles.com Book Bundle is the ultimate in baby book gifts.  Give a whole Year of Books for a truly spectacular present.You can also provide countless hours of playtime for the new little one!  Give a Learn and Grow Bundle or A Year of Toys.  An IncrediBundles.com toy gift stocks a baby’s nursery with must-have toys for lots of imaginative play in that first important year of learning.

Now, IncrediBundles.com has partnered with Blue Cricket Design for a Classic Children’s Books Giveaway!
This Custom Classic Children’s Book Bundle is valued at over $100 and includes the

Classic Book Bundle_CLAS-007

Room on the Broom
The Little House
The Velveteen Rabbit
Pete’s a Pizza

The Three Little Pigs
The Monster at the End of This Book
Where The Wild Things Are


Enter to win below!


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Parade of Homes, Daybreak: PART 2

There were so many amazing homes at Daybreak that I had to break them up into two post! Are you ready for some more Parade of Home goodness?!? Shall we…


House #26 by David Weekley Homes: This home had my #1 most favorite feature out of all the homes I toured in DAybreak! Every single door inside this home was painted a beautiful blue! Front and back, the doors were amazing! The blue color worked in every room because of the great complimentary color pallet that was used throughout the home! You will adore this! The kitchen was also a highlight with it’s sunny dining room that had killer windows and a built in desk/task area that would be perfect for homework time or blogging!


Home #27 by Bangerter Homes: If you loved the blogger home last year by Bangerter Homes you will swoon over this year home by the same builder! It’s bright and open floor plan is so inviting! I was in love with the laundry room off the master closet and it’s added built in storage. This home has darling details with herringbone tile work in the kitchen, beamed ceilings in the great room and large bedrooms in the basement. I am very impressed with this builder and their attention to detail and quality!


Home #28 by Garbett Homes: Garbett Homes can be spotted a mile away! I love their modern design and unique approach to home building. Not only are Garbett Homes beautiful but they are also green! This home is packed with great earth friendly features like solar panels and smart technology. I was blown away at the size of the master bedroom and loved the cool wall color and paint job! Did you notice the paint lines in the master! Soooo cool! This entire home is flooded with light and feels young and inviting.

Parade of Homes is a design lovers dream! So many beautiful things to look at and be inspired by. If you get a chance to tour this years homes be sure to not miss the 8 great homes found out at Daybreak!


Parade of Homes: Daybreak!


It’s my all time favorite time of year! It’s Parade of Homes time in the Salt Lake Valley (Aug. 2nd-17th) and I am in HEAVEN! It feels like Christmas, the Super Bowl (if I liked the Super Bowl!) and my birthday all rolled into one! I’m a model home junkie! I love walking through homes to see the latest design trends and to gather inspiration for my own home. It’s also a great way to fall in love with areas and neighborhoods and to see home builders showing off their best skills!

Lucky for me I live close to one of my favorite neighborhoods, Daybreak! This master planned community is like a dream! Homes that are vibrant and charming and all boast porches and uniqueness. Daybreak is all about the experience. It offers endless parks and green space and a lake that opens up doors for beauty and recreation. It’s SoDa row hosts darling shops, restaurants, conveniences like a salon, dry cleaner and nearby bank and open air festivals and events.

This year Daybreak is home to 8 parade homes. Each and every one of them highlight amazing builders, fun features and the enjoyable lifestyle of living in Daybreak. Since all of you can’t visit in person I’m happy to show off the homes and share some of my favorite details from each of them…


Home #21 by Sego Homes: This amazing town home is perfect for someone looking for quality and endless living space indoors and out. I was blown away at the amount of balcony and porch space. You definitely are spoiled with outdoor space and I’m not just talking a dinky ledge to gaze at stars on! 4 separate outdoor living spaces only help compliment the indoor openness. Loved the bright kitchen and I was totally surprised by the bonus room on the 3rd floor! So much room to spread out in. This town home feels so spacious that you’ll forget it’s a town home!


Home #22 by Ivory Homes: Ivory Homes has always been one of my favorite builders. You can feel the quality of this build in all the details. Daybreak offers a 55+ neighborhood that has it’s own clubhouse, pool, green space and has some of the most beautiful rambler floor plans I have ever seen. This home is that neighborhood! I am in love with it’s large living spaces and the open kitchen. It’s master bedroom is tucked away and has a dreamy sitting area and spacious master bath!  This is a beautifully decorated home with a killer formal dinning and living space.


Home #23 by Destination Homes: I’m a sucker for a yellow house and it’s outside is as beautiful as it’s inside! Everyone loves a great kitchen and this one with its two tones cabinets and open view from the second floor were very impressive. I really loved the windows in the great room and how it flooded the first floor with light. You can really get a great taste for the popular small floor tile trend in all the bathrooms and laundry room! Fun kids rooms and a spot on master bath make this one a must see!24

Home #24 by Holmes Homes: This one spoke to me! I was decked out in all my favorite tones and had some fun charm that just made me smile! I think I mentally moved into the kitchen! A sea of clean white and stainless steal! The farm house sink was a detail that any happy home owner would love! This home also put to use some GORGEOUS gray exposed brink! Jaw dropping for sure! The master bath was probably my favorite of the bunch with a beautiful inlay tile runner and claw foot tub. Every bathroom had some really cool tile work that is so on trend…the builder and designer really nailed it!


I have more homes to share so stay tuned!

Don’t forget to grab your own Parade of Homes ticket at any Model home or online at Parade of Homes. And learn more about Daybreak HERE!


Water Color art



If I had to pick one favorite thing in Gunners new nursery it would have to be his “The Catch” art that hangs and keeps watch over his crib. This simple little sketch means more to me then even I knew.

When I was only 7 years old my grandpa meet us early one morning and me and my family and my oh so handsome grandfather drove across the dessert to Lake Mead just outside of Las Vegas. This was a far away adventure for a 7 year old. As a little girl I idolized my grandpa. He was the perfect man in my eyes and to be going on an adventure like this with him was pretty darn special. He had just bought a house boat and to me and my siblings it was more exciting them Disneyland!

So many memories were made on that house boat! Even when my grandpa told me I drove it like a drunken sailor and it made me cry, it was a moment I’ve never forgotten! I grew up on the lake, learned to ski at age 8, weathered countless storms, took all my childhood friends along through the years, took my boyfriend and finally my own kids to that houseboat. It was just so apart of me that when the time came, over 20 years later to say goodby to it that it felt like my heart was braking a tiny little bit.

I can still close my eyes and mentally walk every inch of it inside and out. I can feel the scratchy couch cushions and can picture the tacky fake yellow and white flowers I’m sure my grandma loving chose to spruce the place up with. And there hanging above the stairs hung this sketch “The Catch” for all those years. It was as iconic to my childhood as “Saved by the Bell!” So on my very last trip to my most favorite place I took the one thing that would always remind me of all those great memories. I’ve been holding onto this yellowed faded piece of paper for 7 years just waiting for the perfect place to hang it.

I think it was always meant to hang in my sons room. All I needed to do was to breath a little bit of new life into it…



Sadly over the years of storage and it had become a little worse for the wear! I had my fingers crossed that a little brightening up might help! So I held my I dipped my paintbrush, held my breath and crossed my fingers and in the end I was amazed at how I turned this treasured momento into a new family keepsake! I adore how it turned out and what it represents.



It now hangs keeping watch over little Gun! It reminds me of my grandpa, his love of fishing and my endless summers on the lake! In some small way it feels like he is watching over my little guy! I sure hope he is!

Gunners full Nursery reveal here!

** Water color pallet is from Michaels Crafts $5, frame from IKEA $17


Gunner’s Room

I can’t even begin to tell you all how in love I am with my little guy. It was exactly how everyone said it would be and that special love affair that a mom has with her son is a real thing, people! I am smitten. I just adore my tiny little man and he’s affectionately been named “Mr. Wonderful” because lets face it… he is all kinds of wonderful!

I’ve always had the decorating for girls thing down so the thought of having to create a room for a little boy was a little daunting. I was convinced that boy rooms had to be heavily theme oriented. Sports was all that came to mind and I am far from a sports fan. I don’t know what I was so afraid of because what I ended up creating I am loving!

This all came about pretty organically. I had a few prized items I had been holding on to and I never exactly knew when I was going to use them. It was like they were meant to be in this space even before I knew this space was meant to be! One by one things came together and now my Mr. Wonderful has a cheerful space all to his own that will grow with him and not feel to juvenile.

This room used to be my youngest daughters room. Its walls were already blue so we decided to kick Chuck out and move her next door. Don’t worry, she loves her new space! I had always loved how bright this room was so we kept the wall color and had fun filling it up and working on new projects.



The first project we tackled was painting the crib. Can I just start by saying PAINTING CRIBS SUCKS! Man did I hate this! 6 hours and practically 1 million coats later it was done. And yes! I used a safe paint. I do love how it turned out and being on this end of a project like this I can say it was well worth it!

Gunny’s darling Captain America cape that is hanging on his crib came from Klassi Kreations!




I am in LOVE with my paper airplane mobile! I didn’t want to hang anything on the wall above his crib for fear it would come crashing down on him ( YES I’m one of those parents who thinks her kids are always one accident away from tragedy! I know! I know!) I was holding Gunner one day in his room trying to rock him to sleep when I had this idea come to me! It was perfect.  An airy way to fill the space, add some more pops of color and entertain my little dude while he gazed up from his crib.


This is one of those special pieces I was talking about! For as long as I could remember my summers were spent on Lake Mead on my grandpas house boat. It was my happy childhood place that soon became my teenage and adulthood happy places. I took my own kids there and we spend the hot summer months swimming, boating and creating memories. Finally after 20 some on years it was time to retire the boat but not before my siblings and I raided the place for keepsakes. This sketch hung inside the boat and conjures up amazing memories of being with my grandpa, who was my most favorite person as a young girl, and my dad! I’ve been holding on to this piece of art for years wondering how to enjoy it. Now it hangs watching over Guns crib. I kind of think of it as if my grandpa is keeping watch over my sweet boy.  It didn’t always look like this. I’ll share how I breathed new life into soon enough.



I’ve quickly found a new hobby of collecting small toys for Gunner and I hit the jackpot when my sweet friend was getting rid of a ton of toys her kids had out grown. Plastic dinosaurs, animals, action figures, trucks, cars and other small toys fill these bins from IKEA.


The art collage above the toys is a collection of a gifted letter “G” from a sweet friend that I framed in a shadow box lined with fabric, an adorable print from Lucy Darling prints and framed fabric. All the frames were bought at IKEA. I use 3M Command Strips to attach all my frames in my house and they work great for collages like this one. No need to worry about having to put multiple nails in the wall once you realize you’ve miscalculated and pounded in a nail that no longer works.


Gotta love thrifting! It’s funny how your mind starts thinking differently when you thrift a lot! This beautiful old globe was a whopping $6. I almost didn’t buy it because I thought it was too pricy! Ha! Isn’t that funny! $6 at a thrift shop is way different in my mind then $6 spent somewhere else! Glad I snapped out of it and realized that it would be perfect and a steal at that price.

And everyone has been asking about the 5 inch Green Army Men! I KNOW, RIGHT!! Totally cool! Those little gems came from my friends toy stash! What a find! I am on the hunt for more and have found them on ebay.



I had scored a huge box of vintage marquee letters and just before I dropped them off to consign I sifted through them to see if I could spell out GUNNER and low and behold I could! Glad I checked. These are stuck on with ticky-tack.





The giant VW Bus is the crowning jewel of this entire room! A labor of love and a little self indulgence on my part. The entire room took on a non traditional beachy/water feel and I had to try my hand at adding this iconic piece into the plans. For full tutorial on how I created this piece jump on over HERE!


I needed a little storage for larger toys and I’m not a fan of the traditional toy box with a lid. I wanted a galvanized trough but the only ones I could find at local feed stores were too big and over $100. YIKES! This was a great alternative and a splurge at $40 from HomeGoods but it will last forever!



More fun toys from my friend and some leaning art. The “Hello Sunshine” piece was a project from Poppy Seed Projects that I painted using the same paint from the crib and the huge surf poster is from Pottery Barn.



We are Utah transplants who moved here from Huntington Beach, CA. This sweet little vintage sign greets you as you come into Gunner’s room. It sets the tone for the rest of the space and reminds me of my childhood growing up on the beach!

This was such a fun room to put together. Nothing about it screams baby and that’s what I think I love! He’ll easily transition out of a crib into a bed in this space with little need to mature the look of it!

This room is for sure kid tested, Gunner approved!


VW Bus and Moto-Saw giveaway



I never knew how fun it would be to decorate a little boys room! I’ve been stuck in the land of pink and pretty and never had to venture into the realm of boy. Decorating Gunners nursery has opened my eyes and even allowed me a little self indulgence!

I have always had a small obsession with the VW Bus! My grandpa used to own a beige bus that we as kids adored. We used to camp out on it’s stiff benches and use it as as our club house when my dad had it for a weekend. I have wonderful memories of this classic automobile. It’s my dream to one day own a restored Bus but until then I think I’ll just try my hardest to infuse my love of the VW Bus onto my kids!

When I was challenged to create a project with the Dremel Moto-Saw I automatically knew what I wanted to created. This giant VW Bus wall art idea had been floating around my head from the moment I knew I’d be decorating for a little boy. It was something I had never done before but I was certainly up for the challenge.

PicMonkey Collage

The first step was to try my hand at a little freehand drawing. I found an image online and tried my best to copy it’s form. Trust me… I’m no artist but the Bus has some pretty simple lines and it’s far from over detailed so I wasn’t to worried that something good would come out of my practice draws.



This is where the fun began. I picked up a thin piece of wood from Home Depot that measures 4 x 4′ and cost just under $10. With my new found confidence in bus sketching I took my time and freehand drew a bus onto the wood. This took me about an hour with lots of erasing (use a pencil) and patience. To get the curved details I used my metal yard stick and bent it and traced the curve to get the right angle. I also used paper cut out patterns for the lights and mirrors. Anything that I needed to make symmetrical for the sides I used a paper temple that I first hand drew. My goal was to make it look hand drawn and less then perfect.

Once I was down drawing it was time to put my Moto-Saw to work. I LOVE that this saw can be used in two ways. It can be stationary and clamped to a table top or used manually by hand! I loved using it manually and I was super impressed with its permission and easy to work with.


Once the outline was cut out I could really see this project taking shape. I sanded the edges with my power sander and now it was ready to add some detail work.



I wanted to add texture and help define the details so I got out the Dremel. I love this tool! I used it to carve out the rest of the pencil marking that would create the bus front. Everything started to pop once I added this step. This step would also make the painting process super easy.


After I had cut in to all the drawings on the bus I lightly sanded the top to take away any splintering edges. I brushed off the dust and it was ready for paint.


I wanted to still be able to see a lot of the wood grain in this piece so I opted to use a white wash technique for my paint. I watered down my acrylic craft paint first and did one coat over the entire surface.


The parts that I knew I wanted to be white I went over with a few more coats. You can see in photo the difference between the whites. My windows are 1 coat and the others are about 4 coats.


Next I added my green. I also added a small amount of water to this color to get a more transparent look. This is a great way to see how much grain you want. I decided it needed about 2 coats to reach the look I wanted.

For my hardware I used a paint with a metallic finish to get a fun look similar to real car hardware.


And lastly all the groves that were carved out were defined with a gray paint pen. This really helped to finish off the entire look. The paint pen fit perfectly into the crevasses and it took me 2 pens to complete this entire project.

For mounting I used wood glue to adhere two 2′ long 1″ wide pieces of wood. I allowed the glue to dry over night and used 3M Command strips on the wood pieces to stick it to the wall. This wood is so light weight the Command strips work great!

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I love how huge this is! It really makes a statement in this fun room. I also love that it isn’t perfect. That’s the best part about art. There is something prefect about imperfect art! It’s folk art at it’s finest.

I absolutely loved working with my Dremel Moto-Saw and now one lucky winner will get to try their hand at a Moto Saw of their very own!


You too could put this bad boy to work to create fun projects of your own. The winner of this giveaway will win one FREE Dremel Moto-Saw that comes with carrying case, extra blades, table attachments and power cord. All you need to add is your creative ideas!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner will be announced on the Blue Cricket Design Facebook page and must claim their prize within 48 hours before a new winner is chosen.


** Disclosure: I was entered to win a Dremel Moto-Saw Prize package in exchange for this post. I was not compensated and the opinions shared in this post are my own.