Designer Dupes

This is a touchy subject! People have very different feelings on dupes or knockoffs. I personally say, “you do you”. There are a few dupes I own. I either own them because I love the real thing and it is not in my budget at the moment, or it is a fun look that I have no interest in investing a ton of money. That being said, there are a few items that I SAVED forever for, and do not regret purchasing the real deal.

I am going to list a few of the top “dupes” that I like or own. However, I put together an INSANE list that can be found HERE, Let me know if your found anything good!

I purchased the “Goyard” purse in a few colors and have never seen a better replica. I Love it, I even had one painted with my initials- I mean why not?!

Tap above to be taken to my Designer Dupe store…

PAINTED “ GOYARD ”

PAINTED “GOYARD

My “ Cartier ” Love bracelet

My “Cartier” Love bracelet

Easy Entertaining with Trader Joes

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Have you ever had friends drop by unexpected? Do you want to entertain but not spend hours getting ready? More importantly do you want to entertain and not break the bank? Well, here is my solution to these questions. I keep my fridge stocked with basics from Trader Joe’s (fruits, veggies, dips, etc…) Everything is so easy and affordable then when arranged on the right platter it looks so fancy and delicious. In fact, the last time I arranged this platter, my guest said she felt like she was in a Sunset Magazine shoot- LIFE MADE.

It could not be any more simple. I stock up on veggies, fruit, hummus- I get the Cilantro hummus because it spices things up. I buy some of Trader Joe’s amazing and affordable cheese and crackers and get to town arranging. However, I must say the secret to this arrangement feeling special is the Caramelized Onion Dip. It is insanely good, people LOVE it and it goes great with crackers or vegetables. Below is what I keep in my refrigerator and how I arrange it!

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Decorating with Mej Mej

I love bringing color to my home and life. I especially like color in my kid’s bedrooms. As simple as this sounds it can be quite a challenge to find the right art to put in the right space. I can’t being to tell you the struggles I have encountered with a large wall needing decor but nothing would work!

Enter Mej Mej fabric decals. Mej Mej makes the highest quality fabric wall decals perfect for decorating a kids room or playroom. I teamed up with them to help decorate my youngest son’s bedroom, and I am in love with the results. I wanted bold, bright colors to decorate his large wall. The orange and lemon decals were exactly the colors I needed and turned out looking better than I ever could have imagined. Mej Mej is offering Emily’s Finds readers a coupon for 20% off your order using code: EMILYSFINDS. So go get your own wall decals, enjoy and go nuts!

Happy Boy loving his new brightly colored room!

Happy Boy loving his new brightly colored room!

Putting him to work! Making sure they are nice and secure.

Putting him to work! Making sure they are nice and secure.

Thinking about which to put on next :)

Thinking about which to put on next :)

Perfection!

Perfection!

Disney Reveal Surprise!

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We finally did it, we went to Disneyland. The last time I went to Disneyland, California Adventure did not even exist. My kids have been begging to go, but we told them we would consider in a few years. Little did they know we had a trip already booked at the Grand California Hotel and they were going to be surprised in a few weeks!

No Disney surprise is complete without a “surprise package”. I put together a few Mickey shirts (mine was my favorite)and hats, a travel board game and a few other things. The Mickey ears and scratch off reveal cards were definitely the highlight! When they woke up in the morning, we got ready like we would a normal school morning. However, when it was time to go to the bus- we sat them down on the couch and literally blew their minds! They could not believe what we were saying. Their dreams were coming true!

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The trip was full of magic. Patrick rode his first ride! Nora turned into a princess and Jack went on his first “real” roller-coaster! The Grand California was everything and more. The location is perfection, and the service is second to none. This was truly the most magical trip.

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Tie-Dye Coasters

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Before moving back to California I was teaching preschool. I like some parts more than others of the job, but I LOVED this craft activity we did with the kids. I decided to use the activity again with my own kids to make Valentines gifts for their teachers. It is SO simple and SO pretty. Below I break it down for you.


What you need

  1. 4X4 Ceramic tiles, I bought these and they were perfect

  2. . Clear spray paint to seal

  3. 4X4 felt squares to glue on the back

  4. I use glue dots to stick the felt on the back ( hot glue works best)

  5. Sharpies- any color. The metallics do not work well. I bought these and they were great

  6. I bought little rubber feet to place on the back to make them “real” coasters

We lined the tiles up, and got to town coloring them. Once everything was colored, I dropped a few drops of rubbing alcohol on them and the color begins to spread. Be sure to use the strongest rubbing alcohol or the colors will not bleed. I let them dry overnight, then sprayed them with a clear spray paint sealer. When that was dry, I glued felt on the back, put the rubber feet on and DONE!

Me stealing the  sharpies  from my kids- i love this project!

Me stealing the sharpies from my kids- i love this project!

Dropping the rubbing alcohol

Dropping the rubbing alcohol

after the alcohol

after the alcohol

spray to seal

spray to seal

4X4 felt  glued on with coaster  feet

4X4 felt glued on with coaster feet

done!

done!

Copy of Friday Night Bath Rituals

I don’t know about your family, but by the time Friday rolls around we are DONE. Everyone is so tired it’s hard to even go out to dinner without someone throwing a huge fit at the table. In hopes of finding a fun family activity that is super relaxing and makes everyone happy, we cam up with “bath bomb Friday”. It sounds crazy, but it make everyone happy- and it gets them clean! I purchased bath bombs that have a fun surprise inside them. As the bath bomb melts away the surprise appears. Now, I know you are thinking, what do the other two kids do who don’t get the toy? Is it a huge fight? The answer is no. They all understand they will get a turn! Although I did have to come up with a “dropper” role. One of the kids who does not get a toy will get to drop the bath bomb in the water. Believe it or not, this is a coveted role!

We are at a time in our life where family time is few and far between, this small ritual has made for lasting and fun memories. A nice reminder that its the small things that matter most.

Below are some great options of bath bombs in case you would like to try this fun activity with your family! In case you are wondering, it does not stain your tub or children. However, if you have a bath mat you may want to remove it. For some reason it left residue on the mat and not the tub- just a heads up!

Finding the surprise

Finding the surprise

The toy

The toy

Creating a Care Package for Kids in the Hospital

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Not a fun or easy topic. However recently I found myself in a position in needing to create a care package for a little girl. A dear friend of mine has a little girl that will be spending significant time in and out of the hospital fighting her illness. The mother in me wants to comfort and solve this unthinkable situation but the human in me knows this is not possible. I have compiled a list of items that put a smile on a little girl undergoing a very difficult situation. Sometimes when there is nothing you can do, bringing a smile to someones face is worth a million bucks.

  1. Go simple. When a child is sick they likely do not have a lot of energy, but small things can go a long way. I suggest a really fun and silly card. Don’t worry if it says, “Happy Birthday” or some other message. Focus on the fun level. I found this dancing chicken card that was a huge hit.

  2. Role play. I can’t tell you how kids of all ages, sick or not benefit from acting out the situation they are in. Doc McStuffins is a clear go to, but there are tons of fun doctor sets that would be perfect.

  3. Dum Dums. The lollipop of choice! They have tons of flavors, and not too huge so even small kids can enjoy them.

  4. Cozy clothes. I think the parents benefit the most from these. Sometimes kids in the hospital need to wear very little so doctors have full access to their bodies. However, wearing something comfortable and attractive can really help a parent in the situation feel more human.

  5. Healthy snacks for the parents

  6. A fun item I added to the care package was fun party straws. I do not know if they were used, but I found them in the party section and I bought a bunch of unicorn straws that most definitely would keep staying hydrated more fun.

  7. Wipes. Good wipes help with everything. Washing hands, faces, heck, even bodies. I like Water Wipes- practically nothing in them and no sent- HUGE.

There are so many ideas for kids in the hospital and other items I can think of for just parents but this is a pretty happy, basic list for any child living through a difficult situation. I believe if a package can bring some light into a dark situation it is a real win.

Simple Halloween Fun for Kids

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Halloween really snuck up on us this year! With all of our crazy schedules there is not a lot of time to spend on super thoughtful decorating! However, I found a really fun, simple and quick Halloween craft that is inexpensive and full of fun! We bought a Darth Vader pumpkin decorating kit. If Darth is not your thing there are MANY options to choose from. It was down in one day- and my kids actually worked together! A side note, if you buy one kit for more than one kid make sure you have extra paintbrushes!

working TOGETHER!!

working TOGETHER!!

Patrick loved  Darth  so much he kissed him!

Patrick loved Darth so much he kissed him!

Here he is… all done by the kids!

Here he is… all done by the kids!

Personalized Kids Jacket

Being in California it rarely gets cold enough to warrant a “real” jacket. So a lightweight jean jacket serves us well through the fall and winter months. This year, in combination with trying to keep Nora from losing her jacket and the desire to spruce up her normal outwear I thought of something new. I attached fabric letters to the back of her jean jacket that spelled out her name. The outcome was perfection!

I purchased a very inexpensive jean jacket, some fabric letters and went at it! Well, truth be told, I had my trusty dry cleaners do the sewing for me. The letters say you can iron on, but that didn’t seem a sturdy enough option. I love when things turn out as cute in person as they do in my head- and this lived up to just that! I don’t know yet of this will keep this jacket from disappearing but it is such a unique, simple and cheap new addition to her daily wardrobe.

The assortment of  letters . They are so fun and colorful!

The assortment of letters. They are so fun and colorful!

Close up of the back of the  jacket  before the  letters  were sewn on

Close up of the back of the jacket before the letters were sewn on

Nora wearing her  jacket ! I only wish the “R” and “A” would have been different colors!

Nora wearing her jacket! I only wish the “R” and “A” would have been different colors!

All you need: