Wednesday, June 5, 2013

DIY Father's Day Gifts - Golf Balls

When Jake informed me that golfers like to mark their golf balls in some way to differentiate them from other balls on the course, I knew we had a Father's Day gift idea on our hands.

Last year, Sophie (age 5) made these for her Father's Day gift.

We took a small box of golf balls and a Sharpie, and let Sophie do her magic. Personal favorites include the top left ball "Sophie giving Mama a present in the shape of a heart" and the bottom left "Sophie's face next to Papa's face".

Jake will have no problem finding rogue golf balls on the course now. But he may have issues with people wanting them for their own. They'll have to commission their own kids for that.

 Happy Father's Day! Let me know what your kids make!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Last Day of School Surprise

As a surprise to my kindergartner on her last day of school, I filled the van with 50 balloons and lined the entrance with crepe paper. It was a fun, simple, cheap way to congratulate her on finishing her first year of school!





Friday, May 17, 2013

Medicine Cabinet Re-Do


My medicine cabinet has been kind of a disaster since we moved into the house (in 2009). It basically had the things we use the most sitting in the front, with a box full of everything else shoved in the back. And that box, by the way, was the box that we used to move the medicine from our old house.

Emptied out!

 The 2009 plan was to put the box in the cabinet to get it out of the way for other unpacking, and then get to it later. Four years later still counts, right?

I have been on the lookout for a solution for several months now. I took measurements of the cupboard, but never found something that would work. And then I just decided to go simple with a clear drawer cart.

I bought this Sterilite 4-drawer cart from Walmart. It comes with 4 wheels, but I never planned on using them.

When I got it home, I realized it was too tall for my cupboard (measurements don't do you any good if you don't have them with you!). However, it fits perfectly when I remove one of the small drawers, so I decided to keep it.

I tried to use some logic when I put everything in it. The top drawer has all types of bandages and wound care. The middle drawer has common medicines like Tylenol, cold medicine, etc. And the bottom drawer has more specific items like gauze, vitamins, and hand sanitizer. It also has a go-to first aid pouch that I can grab for long car trips, pool visits, etc with things like bandaids, neosporin, and hand wipes in it.


The new drawers don't quite fit everything. Some of the larger bottles had to be stored on the side, but there was just enough room for them, so I still consider it a win.

So there you go! From cluttered to organized with one simple purchase!


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Picnic Themed Baby Shower


Another party in my PARTIES PAST series:


This is a shower for my sister Cathy, who was pregnant with her first baby - a girl! We went with a literal shower/picnic theme to complement Cathy's gray, pink, & turquoise nursery.

I made white and blue tissue paper "clouds" (tutorial here) and hung an umbrella above the food table, and set out a pink gingham table cloth for our picnic munchies.

picnic-food-showerCheck out our yummy picnic spread!

We had deviled eggs, mini sandwiches, cookies, cheese & crackers, veggies, and a fruit salad.
Drinks were a pink punch and water bottles.

For the plates, cups, and napkins, I used picnic baskets lined with turquoise gingham fabric.

It turned out really cute! Thanks to Stephanie, I didn't have to climb up onto my parents' dining room table in all my 8-month-belly glory to hang up the decorations.



Here is the entrance table.
It has advice cards for the mom-to-be, a rainboot full of pens,
and a picnic basket to add your completed card.

I also set up a craft table for the guests to make something for Cathy. I used the same hair clip materials (tutorial here) that I had used earlier this summer for Pia's shower, and also set up a onesie-making station (I got the idea from a 2009 post by Oh Happy Day, that has since been removed, but tutorials are everywhere now!) Sadly, I forgot to take pictures of the completed projects, but they turned out really cute.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Easter Dresses DIY

(It's obviously well past Easter. New blog = lots of catch-up posts to start)

This year, I decided to make my 2 girls their Easter dresses. I wanted them to be coordinating, but not the same. I looked up several tutorials online, and decided on the styles I wanted.

For my 1-year-old, I went with this dress (click picture to link to her tutorial):

And this is what I got:


My review: This dress was SO EASY! I couldn't believe how fast it came together. I bought a yard and a half of 2 coordinating fabrics. I chose to do the baby's dress with the yellow fabric and the blue floral bow. (My older daughter's dress was the opposite: blue floral skirt with a yellow bow).

In her tutorial, Melanie surges the bottom of her skirts. I don't have a surger, but I have a "rolling hem" foot for my sewing machine that I adore, and I used that. It looks so great!


For my 6-year-old, Sophie, I wanted something a little more grown up. I found a couple dress tutorials online, but nothing that fit exactly what I wanted, so I kind of combined several dresses into one. For the most part, I used Maybe Matilda's dress and Make It and Love It's dress.

I totally meant to add pockets to the skirt, like in Maybe Matilda's dress, but forgot! I wanted the bow to be a part of the dress, and not detached, so I attached it all along the back, and left the 2 ends hanging in the front so they could be tied into a big bow.

The skirt isn't a circle skirt like the other dress. It forms more of a "tulip" shape when she spins. It was a straight tube that I gathered at the waist to attach it to the shirt. And I used elastic thread so that it's a little stretchy since these dresses do not have any zippers or buttons. (no elastic needed for the baby dress since the waist is empire style and naturally wider)

The whole crew

I made Sam a bow-tie out of the remaining yellow fabric. I followed online instructions exactly (same instructions for the girls' hair bows too), but it's obviously too big for him. Oh well, still cute. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Miniature Themed First Birthday

I've decided to have a series of "Parties Past" posts, to catch up the blog on some of my favorite parties I've hosted. I hope you enjoy the series! Let me know what you like!

OCTOBER 2012 - Mary's First Birthday Party

Our Mary Louise turned one last week! She's still best known for her petite frame, so I decided to have a "mini" party for her.

Her itty-bitty invitation

We set up at the park. We're having beautiful evening weather that we wanted to take advantage of, plus Mary has tons of cousins who need room to run around - so it was perfect!

As part of the mini theme, we had all miniature food: 

sliders (condiments served with doll spoons & knives)
 lil' smokies cooked like hotdogs and served on mini homemade hotdog buns
pasta salad with mini bowtie pasta & tiny pepperonis
deviled quail eggs
a veggie platter of baby carrots, grape tomatoes, mini cucumber slices
small (Kettle Cooked) potato chips
mini dill pickles
mini oreos
baby goldfish crackers
 mini M&Ms
and mini cupcakes

I also served Lil' Hugs drinks and mini 8oz cans of soda.

I also made her a little bunting banner, blew up water balloons, and printed wallet-sized pictures of her that I put in 2-inch frames. 

I LOVED this party! Everything about it was SO FUN to plan. I highly recommend it! 

Check out my other parties - click the PARTIES tab up top.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Pink & Gold Baby Shower

I got to host a baby shower for my sister-in-law Paige. She and my brother-in-law are having their first baby next month - Baby Jane!

We decided on a gold, pink, & chalkboard themed shower.

Here's the invitation. I found a free "chalkboard background" online, and then looked up about a dozen different invitations to look for ideas on the style I wanted. I also downloaded a couple new free fonts to my computer to get the chalk look.

On to the shower!

Sign directing you in as you approached the house

Welcome sign at the front door!

These 2 signs start to give you a hint of the shower colors - the bunting banner on the first sign will be displayed more inside, and you'll see more of the chalkboard signs and light pink inside too.

First Impressions

We transformed the front room (which is traditionally a large living room/dining room combo) into our main food area. It housed our long food table, 3 round tables, and most of the shower decor.

This shot shows you a sneak peek of the gold chalkboard sign on the back wall. It's a baby countdown. (idea here and here)

Some centerpiece close-ups.

And here is a view from the other side of the room.

The food!

We had a mid-afternoon shower, so filling lunch food was in order.
We had mini roll sandwiches, a green salad from Sassy's Cafe filled with chicken, berries, and a yummy dressing, tortilla pinwheels (here) spinach dip in a bread bowl, and gourmet cheeses with crackers & pears for the main food.

For desserts, we had mini cupcakes, rice krispies treats, brownies, and an assortment of pink & gold candy.

Drinks were cucumber water and strawberry lemonade. Yum!

You can kind of see in some of the shots the other details on the food table. I used mini chalkboard signs that I painted pink & gold to label the food, and held the forks and paper straws in gold buckets.

In the family room, we had a gift table and extra seating so everyone could watch Paige open her presents. I also set up a stats board, where guests could guess the baby's birthday, birth weight, and height.

I am not personally a fan of baby/bridal shower games, but I know that we need SOMETHING to do at a shower, so I'm always on the hunt for crafts that guests can do. Making onesies and baby bows are always fun, but I've done those in parties past, so I was looking for something new.

Then I came across the idea to build an alphabet book (here). So cute! Everyone who wanted to contributed to a page, and I am going to scan them into a photo book. I will have another post soon with more details.

Super cute super fun shower! Everything turned out great, the food was delicious, and the guests had a fun time. Triple win! Here are a couple more pictures for you!

More decor shots. We made a tissue paper tassel garland (tutorial here) to hang in front of the food table and along a buffet in the family room, as well as a circle garland to act as a backdrop to the food.

I hope you enjoyed this baby shower tour. Let me see your fun parties!