Now that I have kids, I really get into Halloween every year. That usually manifests itself as homemade costumes for them, like this year’s DIY Doc McStuffins for baby Juliza. But I understand that many people don’t have either the time or the inclination to make an elaborate costume at home. Or — if you’re like I was a few years ago — you wait until the last minute to pick up a costume and all the best ones are gone. Or, if you have a baby or toddler, they may just revolt against a costume altogether. In any case, Walmart and I have an idea for you: Pick up an inexpensive Halloween makeup kit and go to town on your baby’s face.

I started off with a pretty cool idea: I wanted to make Juliza a cheetah, inspired by a gorgeous Facebook friend who posted her awesome Halloween makeup last week.


A lion may have been a little easier, but I knew the spots would be fun and cute. The problem? Toddlers gonna toddler. Which means that getting her not only to sit still, but actually let me make up her face, were going to be challenging. The good thing is that the makeup kit comes with “crayons”, which make drawing shapes infinitely easier than it would’ve been with traditional makeup and brushes. So my solution? I let Juliza draw on my face while I drew on hers. I’ll reveal her masterpiece later.

Baby Cheetah DIY Facepainting

Anyway, all you need is some makeup, and ears, if you’d like to add them.


Beyond that, the process is relatively simple:

Step 1.


Color the bottom third of baby’s nose black.

Step 2.


Fill in the area between baby’s nose and mouth with white makeup. Then draw a black line down the middle from the bottom of the nose to the middle of the upper lip. Add a black line extending from either side of the mouth. You can also try to add “winged” eyeliner, but Juliza wasn’t really having it when I tried to draw so close to her eyes, so I gave up on that.

Step 3.


Draw your spots. These really don’t have to fit any particular pattern, and the shapes don’t even have to be round. Just draw random spots, some round, some oval, some in organic shapes, from the right side of the forehead down onto the cheek and come back around to baby’s mouth. Add more spots on the left cheek, and the forehead, if you’d like. I preferred the look of more spots on one side. Fill in any noticeable gaps with more spots, if necessary.

Step 4.


By this time, Juliza was getting more than a little impatient with me, as evidenced by the look on her face, so thankfully, there wasn’t much left to do. Put small rings of yellow in the middle of each spot, just to give them a little dimension. Then add a couple of black spots on top of the white makeup above baby’s mouth.

That’s it!

I also picked up a fox costume set that included some cute ears because there were no cheetah ears and these were the next best thing. I loved them, and I may just add some black spots on the ears and headband with a fabric marker.


In case you’re worried about cleanup, this makeup is super easy to remove with soap and water, or if you have a fussy baby and need to do it in a hurry, with baby wipes. The only caveat to this easy removal is that baby can rub it off pretty easily too. This is why you see smudged spots on Juliza’s cheek in the last few photos. She kept rubbing her face as I tickled her cheeks with my drawings, so she rubbed a bit of it off.



Still, the final look was super cute! So cute that I may replicate it on myself when we go trick-or-treating this weekend.

And finally, the photo I’ve been avoiding. Remember how I said I let Juliza draw on my face so she’d let me draw on hers. Well, this is the result:


I drew the stuff on my forehead to show her what to do, but the rest is all her. Yay.


More DIY Halloween Ideas

If you loved this and you’re looking for more homemade Halloween goodness, check out my creations from Halloweens past:


Easter is just around the corner, and my daughter always looks forward to it. Not because of Easter egg hunts or the Easter Bunny — but because she gets to dress up in a fancy new outfit. She loves the frills and colors and overall girly-ness of Easter fashion. When Walmart challenged me to share an Easter project this year, I thought I’d make an Easter dress for her favorite My Life As 18″ doll so they can both dress up together.

Tutorial: DIY Easter Dress for an 18″ Doll


You’ll Need:

Fold your fat quarter in half lengthwise. Walmart has a ton of inexpensive fat quarters in their fabric section in a ton of colors and patterns. Use this pattern to cut two the front and back of the dress along the fold.


Unfold the fabric and lay the pieces right sides facing. Pin along the left and right edges. Sew together, then press the seams open.


You may be tempted to skip the iron on this project, but trust me — at this size and scale, pressing seams and hems before you sew will save you from pulling your hair out trying to hold pieces together with just pins.

Use the pattern to cut two small strips of fabric for the arm holes.


Fold and press each strip in half lengthwise. Unfold it, then fold both sides 1/4 of the way to the center so they meet in the middle. Finally, fold them in half again and press.


These narrow tubes of fabric will cover the raw edges of the arm holes. Slide the raw edges between the layers of folded fabric and pin.


Sew along the arm hole fabric being sure to overlap and sew every layer. Cut off any excess left at the ends.


Now for the top of the dress. Fold the top edges down 1/4″ and press. Fold again 1/2″, press and pin. Sew hem. It’s important to leave a 1/2″ seam allowance here, because this hem will create the “pocket” for your ribbon straps.


At the bottom of the dress, fold 1/4″ hem and press. Fold again 1/2″, press, pin and sew.


That’s it! The sewing is complete.

The final steps involve threading your straps. Cut two 14″ strips of narrow grosgrain ribbon. The type of ribbon is important so it won’t fray.


Use a safety pin to thread each piece of ribbon through each hem pocket at the top of the dress, and gather the fabric along the ribbon.


It may resemble a boring sack on the table, but it is indeed a dress.

Simply slip the dress over your doll’s head and tie the loose ends of the ribbon at the shoulders. Then cut one last 18″ piece of ribbon to tie around her waist as a belt.


How cute is she?!


If you can sew straight stitches, you can make this dress. It really is a simple sewing project, and if your daughter is anything like mine, she’ll appreciate being able to dress up her favorite doll for Easter.

Want to make a simple dress for your daughter? Here’s a similar DIY Easter dress I made for my daughter a few years back. The best part? It’s reversible!


One of the things my husband and I are trying to get better at doing is exposing our girls to other cultures and their traditions, because we want them to appreciate that customs and traditions are what make people special and amazing. When Walmart challenged me to share a Chinese New Year story, I thought this would be a great time to introduce my daughters to this tradition in an interactive way.


Each Chinese New Year is represented by an animal or animals. 2015 is represented by the sheep or goat. In celebration of that, we made a simple, DIY sheep headband with a couple of simple materials you can find at Walmart.


You’ll Need:

This is a pretty easy project to complete, but the result is super, super cute. Start by cutting a loose oval shape from white felt. It doesn’t have to be a perfect shape. I’d say mine was about 5 inches wide, but you can make yours smaller if you want the ears to end up closer together in the end.


Glue cotton balls to the felt to cover the whole shape, packing the cotton close together. You’ll want to overlap a bit around the edges so that the felt is invisible from the top.


Next, you’ll want to glue the cotton-covered felt to the center of the headband. The headband has a curved shape, so even if you put the cotton balls close to each other, you may still end up with a few gaps:


Just add a little hot glue in the gaps and add a smallish piece of cotton to fill the spaces.

The ears are up next. Lay a piece of white felt on top of a piece of pink/purple felt and fold it in half. You should have a total of four layers. Cut out an “ear” shape through all the layers at once. I think of it as a teardrop shape with a flat bottom.

Trim a little bit from around the edges of the pink/purple shapes, since they’ll act as the “inside” of the ears. Glue a purple shape to the center of each white shape so that there’s white trim showing around all the edges.


Finally, you’ll need to glue the ears to the headband on either side of the cotton-covered felt. Glue the ear to the middle of the headband via a narrow strip of glue. Then glue two pieces of cotton in front of the ears, and two pieces behind. This will let the ears stand up straight.


Tada! You’re done!


Because my first piece of felt was so wide, the ears wound up being set pretty wide apart. If you want your closer together, start with a smaller piece of felt. My little sheep wasn’t complaining, though. She was too busy being cute!


I’m really tempted to make the rest of this costume, just because. How cute would that be?

So what about you? How do you celebrate the Chinese New Year?



These days, baby Juliza is very lovey dovey. She loves to randomly walk up to my hubby and I and hug our legs, or bellies, or necks, or whatever is in reach at the moment. She loves giving kisses too, though we have to work on her technique. So when Walmart challenged me to share a Valentine’s Day craft project, she was my inspiration.

If you have a baby at home, this is a great interactive project that will also deliver a great keepsake for family members and friends, and you can get everything you need at Walmart for about the cost of a few pre-made cards.

DIY Baby Footprint Valentine’s Day Cards


You’ll Need:

I spend a surprising amount of time playing with Juliza’s feet. Maybe because she likes to put them in my face while nursing, or maybe because I’m a mom who’s just obsessed with her baby’s feet. Either way, when I was considering what Valentine’s craft I could do this year, I kept thinking that putting her feet together would look like a heart. And so, this idea was born.

The execution of this card is really simple. I started by creating a basic template for the front of the card, cheesy phrase and all:


Click here to download the PDF template

I used Avery half-fold greeting cards because they’re already perforated and fold easily, but you really could just use card stock to print the template. Fold the card in half, and you’re ready for the next step.

Remember above, when I said you’ll need a “willing” baby? *By “willing”, I mean a baby you can strap into a high chair or other contraption so they won’t get paint all over the floor. Or one who’s too little to get around on her own.


So, I strapped JuJu into her high chair and proceeded to paint the bottom of her feet.


I considered dipping her feet in paint, but I thought that would be drippy and messy and…just no. Painting with a brush is a lot less messy and lets you make sure you cover the entire bottom of baby’s foot. Just be sure to use craft paint, because it will wash right off with soap and water.

Once the bottom of the foot is covered, simply press baby’s foot on the paper under the phrase on the front of the card.


You’ll need to hold baby’s foot slightly diagonal. The toes on the left foot will point a bit to the left, and the toes on the right foot will point a bit to the right. The idea is that the heels will meet to create the bottom of the heart.


Be sure to put slight pressure on the entire foot, from heel to toes, so you get a good footprint. There will be blank spots, especially if your baby still likes to curl her toes like mine does, but the imperfect nature of this is what makes it so…well…perfect.


Really, this took 15 minutes, including cleanup, but it is such an awesome keepsake that I don’t know if we’ll be able to part with it to give it to anyone. Maybe we’ll give it to the hubby so I can still admire it from time to time. Or I can just keep playing with Juliza’s feet until she’s old enough to stop me 🙂




I’m Wearing: Walmart statement earrings | Faded Glory plaid shirt | Eloquii satin midi skirt | Nine West Authority heels | Apt. 9 satchel purse (aff)

Most years, I spend New Year’s Eve in my pajamas, snuggling with my hubby and kids so we can watch the ball drop in Times Square and toast with some sparkling apple cider. Still, what would I wear if I were to get all dressed up for a fancy party? Well, a New Year’s Eve outfit requires a little sparkle, and I don’t own any sequins. The quickest way to take an outfit from casual to party-ready is with some great statement jewelry. So when Walmart challenged me to share a New Year’s Eve story, I knew I wanted to pick up a couple of their great, affordable statement pieces.


Toward the end of this year, I’ve been obsessed with two things: Plaid shirts and midi skirts. I grabbed this Faded Glory top, thinking I could pair it with my new satin midi skirt, and when I found these earrings, I knew I had an outfit! I like to think of the whole look as “Fancy Lumberjack.”


The earrings are the perfect complement to the two pieces, and the best part? They were only $5! Seriously? How many gorgeous pair of earrings could I get at just $5 a pop? And there were so many awesome options to choose from.


And as if the $5 earrings aren’t enough, this bevy of statement necklaces?


Just $10 apiece! I wore one last week. With another plaid shirt. Don’t judge me.


Also, I will be going back for this minty fresh beauty and the knit kimono to match.


Anyway, back to my New Year’s outfit. The plaid top could definitely skew casual depending on the pairing, but the satin and rhinestones really elevate it to something fit for a celebration.



And celebrate we will. Baby Juliza came into our lives this year and she’ll be one in a little more than a week. We have a roof over our heads and food to eat, and we’re healthy. We moved to a new city and Ja’Naya has adapted and thrived at her new school. I’m blessed to make a living doing what I love, whether it’s style blogging or graphic design. I ended the year with a lucky streak that saw me win no fewer than six giveaways that allowed my kids a great Christmas. There’s just so much to be grateful for about 2014, so I’ll ring in 2015 in style, in hopes that it will be even better.



Here’s wishing you and yours a blessed and Happy New Year!


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I wish I could say my Christmas shopping was complete, but alas, it is not. I still have a few people to shop for, and I still have to get a few more items for our stockings. If you’ve procrastinated this year, like me, not to worry. You can still shop your conscience. Just head to your nearest Whole Foods Market and pick up a gift that will woo the recipient and make you feel great about wooing the Earth. Even if you did buy it just days before Christmas.


So what kind of great green gifts can you really get at Whole Foods? Well, whether you’re shopping for a fashionista, a beauty maven, your husband or the kids, there’s something for everyone. Here are some of my favorites:

Threads 4 Thought Fleece Leggings, $30


I love Threads 4 Thought because they’re committed to using sustainable materials like organic cotton and recycled polyester, the latter of which turns plastic bottles that otherwise would’ve gone into the waste stream into fashion. Cute fashion, at that. These fleece leggings are the perfect complement to a winter outfit and a great way to make all those summer dresses work during the colder months. Also, Threads 4 Thought gives portion of their proceeds to the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

Yellow 108 Infinity Scarf, $24.00


I have one niece who is a scarf fanatic, and I know she’d love these. Yellow 108 is a Los Angeles-based company that makes sustainable accessories and hats made of salvaged materials from eco textile factories. These infinity scarves are made of 100% salvaged cotton, and the nature of the materials means that every run is “limited edition”.

Chavez for Charity Bracelets, $11.99


What girl (or boy) wouldn’t love some gorgeous, stackable bracelets on Christmas morning? Plus, in this case, for each green bracelet purchased, Chavez for Charity will donate 25% of the profits to the Whole Plant Foundation, whose mission is to alleviate poverty through microlending programs in communities throughout the world. And you can only get them at Whole Foods Market this holiday season.

Pacifica Wanderlust Trio Roll-On Perfume Set, $18.99


Though I always give cologne as a gift, I’ve never been a big perfume person myself, in part because it’s too hard to tell what’s in them these days. Well, these perfume roll-ons from Pacifica would be right up my alley. They’re 100% vegan and free of phthalates, nitro-musks and benzene, made with natural grain alcohol and essential oils. The scents included in the set: Indian Coconut Nectar, Tuscan Blood Orange and Island Vanilla. Don’t they sound amazing?

Mineral Fusion Sheer Moisture Lip Tints, $19.99


I may not be into perfume very much, but one thing I have been loving of late is lipstick. This three-pack contains Mineral Fusion’s most popular lip tint crayons, and you can only get them at Whole Foods. The colors included are Flicker (sheer berry), Smolder (bright cherry red) and Glisten (nude caramel shimmer). And unlike your favorite matte lipstick, these tints will hydrate your lips with cocoa butter and botanical oils, and they even taste sweet because of their natural vanilla-mint fragrance.

Every Man Jack Body Kit Sandalwood Pail, $17.99


Let me just say, my husband LOVES Every Man Jack. The fragrances are musky and manly, and they last all day. They were voted best body grooming kit for male athletes last year. This all-in-one grooming kit comes with a hydrating body wash, aluminum-free deodorant, soothing face lotion and bonus SPF lip balm in a refreshing Sandalwood fragrance. Neatly packed in a unique, reusable pail, the items in this set use naturally derived ingredients from coconut, jojoba oil and aloe to soothe, hydrate and protect skin. No parabens, no phthalates, no dyes, no sodium lauryl sulfate, and never tested on animals. All products meet Whole Foods Market’s strict Premium Body Care™ standards.

PBS KIDS x Whole Foods Market Produce Pick Up Shape Sorter, $22.99


PBS KIDS and Whole Foods Market have joined forces on a line of eco-friendly toys this year. Whole Foods Market will donate a portion of their proceeds to support the Whole Kids Foundation, and 100% of PBS proceeds will support its mission of educating all children. The Produce Pick-Up Shape Sorter is a great toy for kids who are learning their shapes and colors. It’s made with FSC-certified pinewood, printed with vegetable inks and packaged in recycled materials, plus it comes with 13 pieces, including a detachable crate to store the produce pieces. Made for kids ages 3 and up.

What about you? Are you still shopping for a few gifts? Do you consider buying green when you’re in a hurry?

Disclosure: I was provided with compensation for my time and effort in creating this post. As usual, all opinions are my own and completely authentic.

I can’t lie. This year, the holidays will probably be a struggle for my family. The whole year has been a struggle really. But when I look at the big picture, I recognize that things could be much worse. We have a roof over our head, our bills are (mostly) paid, and thanks to my family, my work, and some luck in giveaways, my kids will have gifts on Christmas morning.

Sadly, for many kids, this is just not the case. It’s hard to focus on gifts when you’re struggling just to survive and provide the necessities. This I know too well. That’s why my favorite part of working with Walmart during the holidays is the opportunity to do something for others.


This holiday season, Walmart is partnering with The Salvation Army for their Fill the Truck campaign. From Fridays to Sundays through next Sunday, December 14, shoppers can drop off new, unwrapped toys at the trucks or bins located at local Walmart supercenters. These toys will be given to parents to give to their children for Christmas. To give you an idea of just how many families can get help, last year, Fill the Truck collected more than 136,000 toys and 6,600 coats from generous shoppers. Here’s hoping the total will be even higher this year!

My family and I headed to our local Walmart with $50 to spend on toys for the drive, and we were only too excited to help. Baby Juliza was too excited to touch everything in the cart, but you get my point.


We grabbed a doll, destined to make some little girl a fine companion, a Tonka truck, because they are the best of the best, a Flutterbye fairy, because they are apparently really hot this year, and a few Hot Wheels cars that could fill some stockings. My only regret is that we weren’t able to do more.

Next time you’re at Walmart, if you’re able, pick up an extra toy for a child who might not otherwise get one and drop it in the truck. You have one more week to get in on the giving if you’d like to do it in person, but you can donate online right up until Christmas.



We’ve all been doing a lot of holiday shopping, and that’s great and all, but wouldn’t it be nice if we could head to a store for some other reason? Well, this weekend, you’ll get your chance to do just that. On Saturday Dec. 6 and Sunday Dec. 7, Walmart stores will offer a ton of family activities, including:

“Taste the Holidays” Food sampling

If you like to entertain during the holidays, attend the recipe demos and learn to make quick dishes on a budget. You will get step-by-step instructions for making small treats and main courses, including buffalo chicken dip, Tex-Mex meatball nacho bites and cranberry-pecan cheese balls. You can find recipes and find out if Taste of the Holidays is available in your store at
Taste the Holidays Date and Time: Dec. 6, 11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Free photos with Santa

The big guy is coming! Santa will be visiting 3,200 Walmart stores for free family pictures, a free keepsake and candy cane or a small treat from Santa. You’ll be able to choose between a 5-by-7 picture with Santa or a 5-by-7 Christmas-themed photo for free.
Photos with Santa, Date and Time: Dec. 6-7 and Dec. 13-14; 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Toy & Gadget Demos, plus bonus gift cards

Have your eye on a big budget gadget or a toy your kid really wants? Well, you can try it before you buy it during in-store demos of top electronics and entertainment gifts, including tablets, smartphones, video games and consoles. Plus, customers in store can get a $50 or $25 Walmart gift card when they buy select video game consoles:

Toys and Gadget Demos Date and Time: Dec. 6, noon – 4 p.m.

“Fill the Truck” Toy Drive

There are so many kids who will go without gifts under the Christmas tree, if they have a tree at all. Walmart is doing its part to help with the “Fill the Truck” toy drive in cooperation with The Salvation Army. Through December 14, customers can drop off new, unwrapped toys and coats for kids.

Looking for more information? Ask at your local Walmart store, or visit