PaperMade Paper Cats available April 2016


Paper Cats book

If you read my blog on a regular basis you know that we have five cats – Velcro, Kitty, Padmé, Anakin and Bella. We also have a dog (Espn) and a fish (Fishy).

Needless to say we love animals. They are an important part of our lives.

I enjoy many things related to animals – home decor, books, clothing… In fact, I have a lovely assortment of pet related books in our bookcases. Most I have read – some are still waiting to be read.

A while back I received a pet related book to review from Powerhouse Books called Paper Cats. It’s from PaperMade.

Paper Cats is just that – cats made out of paper. These are not like paper dolls. These are 3D cats that are made out of paper. Simply punch out the pieces and assemble.

According to the publisher;

Punch out, fold…voila! Instant Cuddly Kitty.

Paper Cats is the 5th in a remarkable series by paper toy maker PaperMade.™ The whimsical and playful cat designs are pre-cut, scored and perforated—easy to punch out, fold up and enjoy—instantly becoming adorable 3D objects to play with and love! Paper Cats also comes with 8 special pages that transform into the quintessential cat habitat—a carpeted cat condo! Paper Cats deftly combines paper craft with advanced paper engineering so no glue, tape or tools are ever needed!

Paper Cats make great companions for anyone age 7 to 101. Best of all, they don’t need litter boxes or food, and don’t kick up any dander—some people may love them more than real cats.

Paper Cats includes:

One oversize scratching post / carpeted cat condo
Piano Cat — the YouTube piano-playing feline
Mac — the orange tabby from Bryant Park
Surprise Kitty — another YouTube cat star
Cranky Cat — never content, even for a cat that sleeps all day
Spooky — redefining the term “scary black cat”

Series overview: PaperMade™ Books are easy to understand and assemble—no glue, tape or tools are EVER needed. They’re a safe, simple, and nostalgic alternative to digital games that are fun for the whole family. PaperMade™ — Paper craft for the masses.

The book is put together well and every page it dedicated to a single cat or accessory so that you don’t have to search for all the pieces.

The pieces pop out easily enough.

Each piece is marked with a series of lettered “tabs” and pre-scored fold lines. All you need to do it pop out the pieces, fold accordingly and you are done. I would recommend taping the pieces if you plan on keeping the cat/prop. Sometimes when you move or bend the pieces other pieces pop out.

There are no directions in the book, which I found odd. Without directions you don’t know whether something needs to be folded or bent and in which direction.

Paper Cats

PaperCats 2

According to the book the directions can be found online at ItsPaperMade.com. Currently they only have online instructions for their Paper Pups book. It’s nice because those instructions come with videos which makes it easier to figure out how to fold the pieces. It says that more instruction are coming soon, so I hope that means the Paper Cats too.

I am looking forward to learning how to put these pieces together because the book come with a large cat tree that you can put together which I think would look really cute with all the paper cats sitting on it our around it.

I think the cats are cute and I love the idea of popping the pieces out (no cutting) and some what easy assembly (if you know what you are supposed to do).

I’ll have to update this review post at a late date when I am able to see the instructions and put the kitties together.

In the meantime, if you want to learn more about PaperMade products visit ItsPaperMade.com. It’s PaperMade can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram under ItsPaperMade.

The company has other similar books for dog, Ninjas, monsters, robots and more.

PaperMade Paper Cats


*I received a free copy to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Decorate for the holidays – or every day – with Fun Chalk Markers



I love to surprise my family members with secret messages and little goodies tucked away inside their lunch bag, backpack or any place where they wouldn’t expect it.

I have been known to write on the bathroom mirror in lipstick. I do it to wish family members a “Happy Birthday” or just to tell my husband that I love him. I have to use lipstick because I don’t want to use something that could potentially stain the mirror, or worse yet, not come off at all.

Are you familiar with chalk markers? They look like regular markers but instead of ink they are filled with liquid chalk that dries instantly on the surface. The final result looks and feels like like chalk – and it even washes away like chalk – except with the precision of a marker.

Here is an example of something I made at my previous job using chalk markers.


You can’t tell from this photo but I used a pencil eraser to make veins in the leaves.

I could have never had done with with regular chalk. Regular chalk is very messy to use.

Fun Chalk Markers are the most versatile markers and can be used on any non-porous surface (ex. plastic, ceramics, chalkboards, whiteboards, glass, mirrors).

You don’t have to work in a classroom or have access to a chalkboard to enjoy Fun Chalk Markers. You can use them for craft projects, around the home and more.

Here are some ideas of how to use Fun Chalk Markers:

  • perfect for scrapbooking
  • for a variety of arts and crafts
  • create chalkboard signs that pop with color
  • decorate the windows in your home and car for special occasions
  • add a personal touch to bike helmets
  • organize your storage bins, since you can erase the ink from plastic when you decide to use the bin for something else
  • write inspirational messages to yourself and family members on mirrors and windows
  • write the names of your guests on their wine glasses
  • help motivate you to exercise by writing your routine on a mirror
  • write grocery lists or meal plans on the fridge with Fun Chalk
  • use them to add a touch of color to your hair for fun occasions
  • teachers love using Fun Chalk in their classrooms because they only need one marker to write on their chalkboard, whiteboard, glass windows and doors (no dust like traditional chalk)

Best o all they are non-toxic, odor-free, washable and eco-friendly.

These are so easy to wash off. Even when they are 100% dry and they appear permanent – they are not. Simply take a little water on a paper towel and wipe it clean. Since they are chalk you can also just brush it off with your hand or a chalk eraser.

I’ve used these on the bathroom mirror (to leave messages for family members), on our sliding glass door to decorate for the holiday/season and I even used them on stone (similar to a chalkboard) drink coasters to decorate for the holiday/season. Currently they are decorated for Christmas. The next time we’ll have guests over for a dinner party will be Easter, so I’ll just wash the coasters off and decorate them with flowers and/or bunnies for Easter when the time comes.


Unlike traditional chalk, Fun Chalk markers are easier to handle. You can make fine lines and dots with Fun Chalk which is not easy to do with regular chalk. Fun Chalk colors are also move vibrant. They look and feel like markers. It’s hard to believe they are really chalk.

Here are some other examples if the fun things you can do with Fun Chalk (all photos copyrighted to Fun Chalk and are found on the brand’s Instagram page – @FunChalk). You can see each photo on Instagram just by clicking the photo.

Fun Chalk Chalkboard

Fun Chalk Mirror

Fun Chalk Window

Fun Chalk Comparison

I especially love the above photo because it shows you the tremendous difference between regular chalk and Fun Chalk. Once you use Fun Chalk Markers how can you ever go back to regular chalk? I sure can’t.

My doodles and text are not as elaborate or nice as the ones from the Fun Chalk Instagram page. I would love to make the holiday lights on our windows. I also love the mirror idea.

Speaking of ideas, you can see more wonderful things created with Fun Chalk Markers on their Facebook page.

You can use these chalks in a variety of ways. They will stay “as is” until you remove them or they accidentally get wet or removed. Another words, the little red hearts I drew on the bathroom mirror for my husband could stay there indefinitely or until the next time I clean the mirrors.

Fun Chalk Markers are exactly that – FUN! Every home should have a set (or two). They come in a variety of colors. You never know when you might need them.

Fun Chalk is sold on Amazon.com from Gold Star Collections.

You can also check out the Gold Star Collections website for more information about Fun Chalk Markers at GoldStarSelections.com.

Have you used Fun Chalk Markers before? If so, what have you made with them?

If you have never tried Fun Chalk Markers, why or why wouldn’t you want to try them out? Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from my readers.

Fun Chalk


*I received free product samples in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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YouTube – Your One Stop Shop For Halloween Ideas



Trick or treat! It’s October and that can only mean one thing. It’s Halloween — everyone’s favorite creepy, kooky, mysterious and spooky time of year.

YouTube is THE destination for Halloween, from dramatic makeup transformations with Kandee Johnson to SoCraftastic’s clever DIY decorating ideas and yummy treats via MyCupCakeAddiction and Rosanna Pansino. Plus, Halloween costume ideas from #1 style and beauty YouTuber, Michelle Phan and popular YouTube teens Brooklyn and Bailey.

This year people have been searching on Google for that perfect costume, for the latest Google Halloween costume trends, click here: g.co/frightgeist.

Whatever it is, YouTube has got you covered this Halloween.

Tasty Halloween Recipes

  • Rosana Pansino (+4M subscribers & +1 Billion views) – Rosanna of  “Nerdy Nummies” has the most popular cooking show online. Watch as her and fellow YouTubers MyLifeAsEva bake Costume Quest 2 Halloween treats.
  • MyCupCakeAddiction  (+2M subscribers & +269M views) – Elise loves to create amazing cakes, cupcakes and sweets. She had the opportunity to team up with R.L. Stine aka Jack Black to create 3 amazing spooky treats to celebrate the new Goosebumps movie and Halloween!
  • LaurDIY (+2.4M subscribers & +115M views) – Toronto based DIY and lifestyle YouTuber, Lauren, whips up chocolate covered pretzels that look like pumpkins, creepy oreo eyeballs, and Halloween kabobs.
  • WhatsUpMoms (+725K subscribers & +170M views) – This channel is produced by moms, and they aim to inspire, inform, and make people laugh. This Halloween they are showing us how to make yummy chocolate apples!

Make-Up/Costume Ideas

  • Michelle Phan (+8M subscribers & +1.1 Billion views) – #1 beauty YouTuber, Michelle Phan, gives us clever and hilarious Halloween costume ideas from Tinder to Grumpy Cat and even a Belfie.
  • Kandee Johnson (+3.2M subscribers & +344M views) – Youtube makeup, style and fun guru, Kandee Johnson, is here to help you transform into female kick-butt superhero,  Wonder Woman.
  • Grav3yardgirl (+5.8M subscribers & +824M views) – Bunny Meyer is a quirky and fun YouTube beauty guru.  Watch her transform into Sarah Sanderson from Hocus Pocus. Plus, check out these Halloween-esque shoes she unboxed!
  • Brooklyn and Bailey (+1.9M subscribers & +206M views) – Need a Halloween costume but aren’t feeling creative? Check out Brooklyn and Bailey’s 28 last minute Halloween costume ideas including favorites Minnie Mouse and Minions.
  • Glam&Gore (+956K subscribers & +53M views) – Glam&Gore describe their channel as “the swiss army knife of makeup tutorials.” Pay close attention because they can help you turn into Harley Quinn this Halloween.
  • rosaliesaysrawr (+217K subscribers & +6M views) – Rosalie is her name and YouTube is her game with videos ranging from DIY, Fashion and Challenges. Want your beloved four-legged friend to dress up with you this Halloween? Rosalie has the perfect costume; Red Bull and an angel costume.

DIY Halloween Decor/Craft Ideas

  • SoCraftastic (+1.2M subscribers & +131M views) – This DIY arts & crafts channel will show you how to make a glow in the dark pumpkin.
  • WhatsUpMoms (+725K subscribers & +170M views) – From a spooky terrarium to a reusable glow and the dark trick or treating bag, these moms show us how to do Halloween right.
  • JustLikeThat (+404K subscribers & +29M views)  – These group of girls bring new videos each week and showed their viewers how to make a Halloween candy centerpiece, festive drinks and balloon art.
  • Karina Garcia – (+390K subscribers & +20M views) – Karina Garcia loves sharing DIY videos and review. This month she shows us how to create gross eyeballs in a jar and a spider web “night light.”

Do you have a favorite YouTube channel that you turn to for holiday/seasonal ideas/recipes? If so, please leave the link in the comment section so me and other readers can check it out.



*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the enjoyment of my site readers.

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DIY Nature Place Mats


DIY nature place mats pic3

Autumn is my most favorite time of year. It’s the start to the holiday season (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years), and it’s also cooler outside (I am not a fan of heat and humidity). I also truly love when the leaves change color and the crisp fall air.

I’ve been looking for ideas to do with the kids that I work with in the after school care program that would utilize the bounty of beautiful leaves we’ll have in the upcoming weeks. I have been checking on all the sites I have bookmarked looking for ideas that we could do with leaves.

One of my go-to resources for great ideas is AdventureAhead.KinderCare.com. Not only do they have some wonderful craft ideas they also have recipes, “adventures” you and your child can do and so much more. If yo have a child, grandchild or work with children I would recommend that you bookmark the site too.

Here is a fun idea that makes meal time even more special. It’s something the whole family can do together – make your own Nature Placemat.

Imagine how much more special family dinner would be when you eat on place mats created by your kids.  Making them at home is a super easy project that takes less than an hour to complete.

Studio Session-082

Whether you’re planning for a big dinner party or simply thinking of your many family meals together ahead, break out this fun activity so that your child feels like she is an important part of the process.  Using contact paper, construction paper, and a little help from Mother Nature, these homemade place mats add a wonderful note of spring joy to the table.

What You Will Need:

  • Clear contact paper
  • 12-in x 18-in construction paper (or any other larger size)
  • Flower petals in various colors
  • Leaves in various shapes and sizes


  1. Hunt for natural objects that can be easily flattened like flower petals and leaves
  2. Create the frames by cutting a rectangle out of the center of each piece of construction paper so that a ½ inch border remains
  3. Place one sheet of contact paper over a frame and set the combined piece on the table, sticky side up
  4. Encourage your child to design their place mat by artfully arranging the petals and leaves onto the sticky contact paper
  5. Place the second sheet of contact paper face down to seal in the petals and leaves

Pro-tip: The flatter the items, the fewer air pockets you’ll have in the end.  When laying down the second sheet of contact paper, work from one edge to the other, slowly pressing it down so you can work out air bubbles as you go

One of the best parts about creating these place mats is finding the perfect flower petals, leaves, and stalks of grass to showcase.  Feeling rustic? Gather some wheat if available.  Want to host a tea party for forest fairies? Pick some large green leaves.

If you have access to a large laminator it would be great to laminate these so that they last longer. I used to make placemats for my kids using cardstock and graphics. After I designed them I would run them through my laminator so that they would last longer. You can wipe off the laminated surface.

What do you think about this idea? I think it’s something fun that could be done almost year round (depending on where you live). I also think having homemade placemats for the Thanksgiving table would be very special. You can have each guest take home their own piece of artwork too.

If you try this activity upload photos to social media and tag KinderCare. I’m sure they would love to see what you created.

For more fun ideas like this be sure to check out AdventureAhead.KinderCare.com.



*I have partnered with KinderCare to bring you this information. Although compensated the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Fun and easy “3-D” Foam Art



I have a new job now. I work with elementary school aged children in the afternoon (after school care). Right now they are still trying to get used to being back to school. Their time is spent doing homework and getting outside for some fresh air and exercise. Before you know it the weather will be too cold for them to go out (thankfully we have access to the gym). That means we need to find more indoor activities for the kids to do after their homework. For that reason I have been on the look out for quick, easy and affordable craft ideas we can do with the kids.

I have a few places bookmarked that I like to frequent to look for ideas. One place is KinderCare. They have a nice variety of craft ideas anyone could do with their children (or child).

I really love this idea.

We all know that coloring on a two-dimensional surface is a staple activity for kids (coloring book, doodle paper…) but what about creating 3-D art – with foam?

Welcome a whole new world of exciting possibilities!  Say hello to fluffy, puffy, make-it-yourself paint.

Making a batch of foam paint is a breeze.  Create a few colors for variety’s sake and spoon them into Ziploc bags.  Then let the foamy fun begin!

foam art pic3

What You Will Need:

  • Shaving cream
  • Craft glue
  • Food coloring
  • Cardstock or heavy paper


  1. Mix equal parts shaving cream and craft glue
  2. Spoon into a Ziploc baggie
  3. Cut one corner off the bag
  4. Paint by squeezing the bag onto the cardstock or heavy paper as if you were frosting a cake with a pastry bag
  5. Leave overnight to dry

Warning: This activity can get messy! 

Playing with foam paint is best done outside, or at least on a table with plenty of newspaper if it must be done inside.  Show your child how to squeeze paint out of the bag at first.

Encourage your kid to paint sun and clouds with the thick and foamy textures, or whatever else they’re inspired to paint.  Dots, abstract designs, and even squiggles are great.

After your child’s picture—or pictures—is complete, leave overnight to dry.  The puffy foam paint will grow and harden to make a wondrous object d’art.

I used to play with shaving foam in the bathtub when I was a little girl. My mom would give me my dad’s can and allow me to draw all over the shower/tub walls. When I was done my mom would simply splash some water on it and clean it up. Who knew shaving foam would make a great medium for artwork.

I’m going to present this idea to our site director and see what she thinks. I’m thinking it would be fun to make snowmen and snowflakes out of shaving foam, especially because it would give them a 3-D look.

If you would like to see other fabulous ideas like this one, visit AdventureAhead.KinderCare.com. KinderCare has other great ideas other than crafts too like Upcycled Planters and Homemade Popsicles.

What do you think of this 3-D Foam Art idea? Would you try this out with your own child/grandchild?



*I have partnered with KinderCare to bring you this information. Although compensated the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Fun and easy decorating with Chalk Ink


Photo Credit: Chalk Ink's Facebook page

Photo Credit: Chalk Ink’s Facebook page

Have you ever walked into a restaurant or coffee shop and admired a colorful chalkboard sign? You know it’s done with chalk, but it’s way too neat to be done with regular chalk. Trust me, I’ve tried. We have a chalkboard at work and I’ve tried to do nice designs and letting on it but it only ends up smudged and there is chalk dust everywhere.

How in the world do they design those pretty chalkboard signs?

I suspect they are all done with Chalk Ink. Chalk Ink is similar to a marker except what comes out of it is liquid chalk that dries almost instantly and doesn’t turn to dust. Once dried it’s not easy to smudge it either.

Chalk Ink is just like a chalk marker, for lack of a better description.

Chalk Ink Fall

I was sent to review a set of Chalk Ink chalks in their “Fall-lala-lala” colors – Green Tea, Stick o’ Butter, Teddy Bear, Candy Corn Orange, Spanish Tile and Smiley Face Yellow. These colors are PERFECT for the fall season. Chalk Ink has other colorful sets, including a holiday set, which are ideal for decorating year round.

Chalk Ink is not just for chalkboards. You can use the Chalk Ink “pens” on most non-pourous surfaces including chalkboards, windows, mirrors, plastic, ceramic, glass, tile and more. Once dried the chalk washes off like regular chalk. If you find that some of it “sticks” simply use a damp cloth to remove the remainder.

You can even use Chalk Ink on whiteboards.

Imagine the possibilities! Chalk Ink is not just for classrooms or businesses, you can use Chalk Ink to decorate your home for the holidays (draw pumpkins on the mirrors, snowflakes on the windows…) and other occasions and events.

Check out this great video that shows you what you can do with Chalk Ink. The possibilities are endless!


Here is something I have been working on at work using Chalk Ink pens.

Chalk Ink

My intention is to put the leaves all down the sides of the chalkboard and something along the bottom like pumpkins and/or an apple tree. It’s a work in progress.

I know these work well on windows too. My boss drew sunflowers on the windows at work. I wanted to take a photo but she didn’t think they looked good enough and requested that I not take a photo of them. For the record I thought they looked great.

Chalk Ink is non-toxic and odor free. They are also great for those who are sensitive (or allergic) to regular chalk.

I’m not the only one who loves Chalk Ink. Read the reviews on Amazon.com. Everyone who posts reviews raves about Chalk Ink. There are even a few photo examples found among the reviews too.


Students, teachers, DIY’ers, crafters, businesses… everyone and anyone can use and enjoy Chalk Ink.

Many of the Fortune 500 companies like Starbucks, Whole Foods, Panera Bread, Peet’s Coffee, Trader Joe’s already know and love this all-purpose marker – now it’s your turn!

For more information visit www.chalkink.com. You can also check out Chalk Ink on social media (Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter – links found at the top right of their website).

What do you think about Chalk Ink? Have you ever use it before?

In what ways would YOU use Chalk Ink? Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.

Chalk Ink Logo


*I received free product samples in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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