Katy Home & Garden Show January 30 & 31 plus FREE Tickets

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I am so excited to attend the 2016 Katy Home & Garden Show this weekend. I have several home improvement ideas planned beginning with some DIY kitchen projects and I can’t wait to get some ideas from some of the 300 + vendors on site at the Expo as well as advice from the experts including Matt Muenster from the DIY Network and HGTV show, Bath Crashers and Ellen’s Design Challenge.matt pic

Matt will be talking about some incredible bathroom transformations during his presentation at the show on Saturday, January 30 at 11:30 a.m. and again at 2:00 p.m.. but I’ll also have the opportunity to interview him! I have some specific project questions ready for him….I can’t wait to get his advice!

This is the 10th Annual Katy Home & Garden Show held at the Merrell Center & Robinson Pavilion. In addition to Matt’s presentation and 300 plus vendors, there will also be a home improvement stage, food sampling, a kid’s activity zone and mini-gift market. Frank Bielec, of Trading Spaces fame, will be speaking about how to retirement proof your home.

Also. Food trucks. Hello Cousins Maine Lobster – I’m coming to see you so get those lobster rolls cooking!

SHOW DETAILS:

  1. January 30 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and January 31 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Merrell Center in Katy, Texas
  2. Tickets are $9.00 (kids under 12 are free)

FREE TICKETS:

Want to join me at the show this weekend? How about 2 free tickets?! I’ll pick a winner at random on Friday, January 29th at 11:00 a.m. CST.  Easy Peasy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow me on Saturday on Periscope @jpatrickcomm where I’ll be coming at ya live from the show along with my friend and interior decorator, Melissa!

I was invited to attend the show for free but have not received any other compensation. All opinions and DIY project successes (and fails) are my own!

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My #StickaPic Craft Party – HP Social Media Snapshots Photo Paper @Staples with Special Discount

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I love to make things, especially during the holiday season. It’s fun to give homemade gifts and when I use photos in my DIY projects, it makes them extra special.

As an HP Smart Mom Panel member, I have been able to give HP insight into what a small business owner, blogger, mom and DIY/crafter likes about products such as printers and photo paper.  I’ve also been able to try out new HP products first hand. Recently I travelled to San Diego for the HP Print and Pamper Retreat where I was able to visit HP headquarters and meet with executives to give my input about product development.

During the trip, we also were treated to a craft night. I was in DIY heaven when I walked into the conference room at the Rancho Bernardo Inn and saw tables and tables of make and takes. I was inspired by the projects and couldn’t wait to get home to share what I learned with my friends! These projects and more can be found online at MyPrintly.com.

Taking an hour or two during the day to get creative with good friends is such a gift. Even though we haven’t even celebrated Thanksgiving, I put on some Christmas music and lit some cinnamon candles as we visited and snacked on some pumpkin goat cheese and scones. As my friends arrived, they printed photo “name tags” on HP Social Media Snapshots sticky photo paper with their favorite hashtag. It was fun to see what word they each picked to describe themselves.

stickapic party collage

Other friends picked love and awesome. I chose brave.

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My friends loved using the free HP Snapshots app to access and print photos straight from their social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook as well as their smartphone’s photo stream. HP Social Media Snapshots 4×5 sticky back photo paper is perfect for creating projects. We made three easy and fun photo projects perfect for gift giving.

craft projects

1. Tile Coasters

How to make yourself: Get some stone tiles in the bathroom section of Home Depot. You can also use ceramic tiles for a more polished look. Print a photo onto HP Social Media Snapshots photo paper from Instagram using the free, HP Snapshots app. You can pick a white or black frame for your photo, or trim the border off completely, like I did. Peel off the protective backing from the back of the photo and adhere it to your coaster. Cover the top of photo and coaster with Mod Podge. After it dries, put four, small felt pad dots on the back of the coaster, one in each corner, to protect your coffee table.

2. Photo blocks

How to make yourself: You can buy wooden blocks from a craft store like Michaels, but I had my husband cut them from wood. The HP Social Media Snapshots photo paper is 4 x 5 but the image will be smaller when you trim off the bottom portion that contains the message below the photo from Instagram. I left a border on my photo and trimmed it down to a perfect square – 4 1/8 x 4 1/8. You’ll need 9 equally sized square blocks to fit together to make a 4 1/4 x 4 1/4 square.

After printing a photo onto the HP Social Media Snapshots photo paper using the HP Snapshots app, trim your photo. Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to the blocks, then adhere your photo to the blocks. Let dry then use an exacto knife to cut the photo along the lines of the blocks so they can be separated. Sand the sides of the blocks for an even finish. Repeat on all or any of the remaining 5 sides. You can also paint some of the sides with acrylic paint.

3. Christmas Ornaments

How to make yourself: Purchase a glass ornament at a craft supply store like Michaels. You can get a round glass ornament with a flat front and back surface which works well for adhering a photo. Print a photo onto the HP Social Media Snapshots photo paper using the HP Snapshots app. A smaller image works best for this craft. Punch out the image you want with a circle punch. Peel back the protective backing and adhere to the ornament. Using Mod Podge, cover the entire photo as well as a small border around the photo. Sprinkle glitter on the exposed Mod Podge (you can cover photo or just the border like I did). Tie ribbon around the top to match the colors in the photo and/or the glitter.

While in San Diego, I met the creator of the PicCollege app. You can make the coolest photo collages on your phone with their grids and templates that include themes for holidays and events. They even have templates for phone cases and greeting cards.

This is a PicCollage I made of my guests working on their projects. So cute! If you haven’t used this free app, be sure to give it a try.

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Deal Alert!

Now through November 30th, HP Social Media Snapshots are Buy One Get One Free at Staples when you use this link bit.ly/snapshotsbogo and click “redeem now”.

What are you making for the holidays?

As an HP Smart Mom Panel member, I received free products in order to host the HP #StickaPic Party. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Washdrops: Rinse-free Car Wash formula (Coupon!)

After some pretty crazy rain in Houston, we woke up to a beautiful Sunday morning last weekend. The minivan was pretty grimy from going back and forth to soccer practice and games, play rehearsals and running errands, so we decided to take advantage of the sunny day and clean it up.

Over the summer while at Blogger Bash in NYC, I learned about Washdrops, a wash and shine formula for your vehicle that doesn’t require any rinsing!

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I was excited to receive a complimentary Basic Car Wash Kit from Cequent, the manufacturer, to try out so I could share my results with you. The kit included:

  1. Washdrops® 16 oz. (16 washes & shines)*: Smart Solution for ALL the surfaces of your car exterior
  2. Duo Sponge: Laitner Microfiber chenille sponge with mesh scrubber
  3. Extra-Large Towel: 6.5 sq. ft. Laitner Microfiber drying towel

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Not included in the kit, but very helpful indeed, was Annie and her friend E. who volunteered to help me!

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With just three capfuls of Washdrops in a gallon of water, we were able to get the minivan spick and span. The girls took turns washing and drying (well – they mostly handled the middle section of the vehicle…I was in charge of the high and low areas!)

I like that Washdrops is biodegradable and solvent-, butyl-, phosphate- AND ammonia-free. This means the formula won’t scratch my vehicle’s surface (because I don’t want anything to distract from the door dings!) and run-off can safely go down the drain or in the yard without killing the flowers I may or may not have had time to plant this year!

The best part is that you can use the formula to clean all surfaces from tires to windows and you don’t have to rinse it off. For me, this is great because I can spot clean when needed without a lot of hassle.

COUPON for Still Living The Dream readers

Did I mention that Washdrops is pretty darn economical?

The Basic Car Wash Kit is just $16.00 and a Washdrops Gallon bottle (which yields up to 128 wash and shines) is just $28.95. But as a Still Living The Dream reader, you can save $2.00 off your order by using the coupon code: FansSaveNow at the Cequent Store

A coupon and a clean car? Nailed it!

I was given a Basic Car Wash Kit to try out for free but did not receive any other compensation. As always, all thoughts, opinions (and possible dirty areas on my minivan roof I may have missed during this review) are my own!

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