Day 2: Back to School DIY

by Mindy Lockard on August 18, 2015

While my girls are giddy (okay, giddy may be an exaggeration for my 7th grader) over their back-to-school supplies, I am doing my own back to school shopping. I wish I could say it included shoes and handbags.

(insert crying emoji, you know the one with the tears running down the face)

My shopping includes cork boards, clipboards, pushpins, washi tape, chalkboard paint and leftover wallpaper.


Step 1: Cover the cork with paper, fabric or like we did scraps of Devine Color Wall Paper from last years over the top locker decor plan. I’m still embarrassed. I went overboard. Shocker, I know.

Step 2: Paint frame

Step 3: Decorate small clipboards

Step 4: Use pushpins to create a place to hang the boards

Step 5: Hang on the wall. Use the clipboards to post notes, honey-do-lists (sorry Ty) or important paperwork from school. This system eliminates the piles of paperwork and will help your family keep clipping along when it comes to back-to-school communication!

Plus, I always feel more organized when I’m gracious. I mean, gracious when I’m organized. Happy shopping Mamas!


KING 5 | Back to School DIY

by Mindy Lockard on August 17, 2015

Can you feel the Back-to-School spirit in the air? My girls are counting down the days until they return to the school routine. As delightful as summer is, it’s like pregnancy, easy in the beginning and a bit uncomfortable in the final days. All good things must come to an end and this family is looking forward to returning to a routine after two lazy months. Oh and to jeans, sweaters and warm Autumn soups.

Today we visit KING 5 New Day Northwest with a few simple DIYs to send the entire family into Fall with a fresh, organized and most gracious start! From elementary school lunches, locker decor and getting the entire family scheduled we’ve got you covered. Tune in today at 11:00 in Seattle and check back today – Wednesday here on the blog for all of our tips and tricks.

Today on air Maggie will be sharing some fun ideas to get your kids involved in the packing process!

Lady Bug


Step 1: Grab a Stemilt Lil Snapper apple

Step 2: Scoop out the core

Step 3: Gather supplies: peanut butter or honey, raisins, pretzel sticks and a cherry

Step 4: Cut out a triangle at the base of the apple to make wings

Step 5: “Glue” on the raisins with peanut butter or honey

Step 6: Add pretzel antennae

Step 7: Place the cherry at the head. For older children you can use a toothpick to secure.


Step 1: Grab a Stemilt Lil Snapper Apple

Step 2: Scoop out the center of both sides of the apple

Step 3: Cut 7 (breaking two inhalf) slices from one side.

Step 4: Gather supplies peanut butter or honey, eyes.

Step 5: Assemble the crab.

Star of the Lunch Box

Super simple! Make a sammie…


cut your favorite shapes out of the middle. A star, a heart, a ninja?



See you back here tomorrow with more fun!



#FamilyRecipe | #FriendsdayNight with IZZE®

by Mindy Lockard on August 14, 2015

What would summer be without impromptu gatherings with friends? With a few weeks left in the summer we still have opportunity to get friends together and spend our final summer nights with those who inspire us, make us laugh and remind us about why life is so good.

Sure there is time for beautiful invitations in the mail and a perfectly prepared dinner. But sometimes the desire for perfection keeps us from entertaining at all. So let’s be wild, throw entertaining caution and expectation to the wind and simply just have people over for a #FriendsdayNight! Doesn’t that sound freeing and fun?

In partnership with IZZE® Sparkling Juice and #FamilyRecipe we will be talking fun and easy ways for #FriendsDayNight this coming Wednesday, August 19th at noon ET! Join in the conversation, by bringing your best and favorite ideas!

Until then, here some Gracious Girl tips for your next impromptu gracious gatherings!

Invitations: This is The Gracious Girl telling you it’s okay to send a text or call. Gasp! Yep, better to invite by text then to not invite at all. That’s Shakespeare, right?

Food: If guests offer, feel free to have them bring snacks or an appetizer. Why not? After all this is impromptu. Have them bring their favorite summer sweet or salty treat. This isn’t a formal dinner party, where it would be really awkward to ask a guest to bring a rack of lamb. And all the gracious ladies said “AMEN!”

Drink: Get your guests involved with a mocktail drink station. I’d say “drink bar” but we’re talking kiddos too {wink}. A great way to get people of all ages mixing and mingling!


Ac-ZEST-arrize your glass…


These infused sugars are SUPER simple to make and are a fun way to dress up your glass. Everyone likes to get fancy, why shouldn’t our glasses get fancy too?

Sugar Rim:

1 – 2 cups fine sugar

Zest (I had my daughter Maggie wash and zest one grapefruit, one orange and four limes. Washing the zester well between fruits and keeping separate so there colors stay true. She loved it and it was a great way to get her involved.)

Mix well, the juice has a tendency to absorb the sugar, so continue adding extra sugar so the mixture is fine and not clumpy. Pour the sugar in small wide mouth jars and store. Let the combo really get to know each other for at least a few hours, the better acquainted they are the more infused the flavor.


Pour some IZZE® sparkling juice onto a plate and gently dip the rim of the glass in the juice.


Next dip into the sugar. Rolling back and fourth until the rim is nice and coated. Like a fabulous sparkly necklace.

Now for the fun…


Pop open your favorite IZZE® sparkling juice flavor. Which can be very hard to choose… all sparkling clementine, cherry lime, apple, grapefruit, blueberryblackberry, pomegranate … oh my!

Next dress up your drink…


add fresh berries, sliced fruits and ice cubes made of berries and herbs.


Let your guests’ imaginations run wild.  You’ll love seeing what they come up with…



and they will LOVE the flavor!

And when all of the drinks are mixed, don’t forget to raise your glass for a toast!

A toast of welcome is a fabulous way to kick off a #FriendsdayNight and let your guests know how much they mean to you. Something paper invites and perfectly prepared tables doesn’t necessarily do.

See you on twitter this coming Wednesday for #FamilyRecipe Noon ET and fabulous ideas for #FriendsdayNight!

(this post was sponsored by IZZE® all of ideas and opinions are of The Gracious Girl and the drink ideas her #FriendsdayNight guests)


4th of July DIY BBQ part II #FamilyRecipe

by Mindy Lockard on June 30, 2015

I always love the chance to visit my friends at New Day NW, especially in the summer months when Elle and Maggie can join me. Today we visit the show to share some of our favorite 4th of July BBQ DIY!


Let’s start with a few tips and tricks about what to bring to a BBQ! Starting with one of our favorites …

Today Maggie will be sharing about her Watermelon Basket …

First cut the melon to make a handle


Next, hollow out the melon with a melon baller or an ice cream scoop.


Toss the melon with strawberries, blue berries and fresh mint.


And return to the basket!

Sing it with me, a tisket a tasket a watermelon basket!


Our second item to bring to a picnic is a salad in a jar. Super easy to make, transport and even leave behind.

Start with the jars and fresh veggies. We love lettuce, bacon, tomatoes, mini cucumbers and these radishes from Dandy Fresh — they come pre-cut and easy to add as a salad layer.


Layer fresh veggies.


Voila! You have a salad in a jar.

Now let’s talk Burger Bar… you know how I love a burger bar.


Elle is sharing and showing how we like to build our burger bar. First, to create a colorful assortment of fresh veggies, cheeses, spreads and of course, BACON! I’m loving these beautiful Y.E.L.O and Kumatos from Sunset Produce. Super easy to grab at the market and a great way to add a pop of color

Now let’s chat burger bundles! A super easy way for your guests to grab a burger and get fixin’!


  1. As the burgers come off the grill, pop them into a bun or bread
  2. Wrap with a coffee filter
  3. And tie with a ribbon!

There you have it, darling little burger bundles for your guests to grab and get fixin’! image1

Another one of our favorite 4th tricks is what we call Firework Corn handles.



  1. Start with a golf tee
  2. Hot glue small clippings of festive garland
  3. Stick into the ends of the corn.


It doesn’t get much easier than that!

And finally my personal favorite!

In the summer, and especially on busy holidays, I like to make sure my freezer is stocked with cocktails. These handy drinks allow me to put something in my guests hands on arrival without the mess or stress of making individual drinks on the spot. Today I share my watermelon slushy.



  1. Starts with half of a watermelon cut, cubed and bended in the blender until liquid.
  2. Add 3 cups of sparkling blood orange beverage, one cup of vodka and one cup of Triple Sec.
  3. Blend well and pour into jars.
  4. Top and pop in the freezer. So easy!


For more 4th ideas join this week’s #FamilyRecipe twitter party…


Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and safe 4th of July!


4th of July DIY Tips & Tricks King 5 New Day NW

by Mindy Lockard on June 29, 2015

Today my sidekicks (Elle & Maggie) and I will be swinging by King 5 New Day Northwest to share our favorite Fourth of July DIY tips!  Here is a sneak peek…

Watermelon basket..



Burger bundles and firework corn holders…


to freezer cocktails!



Come back tomorrow for the video and step-by-step details on how we make these fun ideas and don’t forget to join us for more #4thofJuly with #FamilyRecipe on Wednesday!