Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Royal Celebration

The Queen has outdone herself and proclaimed herself "Best Mom in the House!"

Maya and I both celebrated birthdays this week.  I had a fabulous day and felt lots of love, but most of my time has been spent planning Maya's celebration.

She decided she wanted a princess dress for her birthday and then we came up with the plan to have a princess party.  At first I was really struggling with a NON-Disney princess theme.  All of the decorations and ideas seems to revolve around one Disney princess or another.  That's when I put on my creative (and frugal) hat and really started to enjoy the theme. 

First I cut out invitations using my Silhouette.  I just found a cut file for 99 cents of a castle and then used my mad computer skills and manipulated it to open in the front.  Then I cut some accents and adhered them with foam tape to give the 3D look.

I got the red foil and gold glitter paper from Michaels when it was 50% off.  (I planned the party in advance and watched for stuff to go on sale and purchased all of my supplies at 40 or 50% off).  The red swirl paper came from Joann's.  Total cost to make 10 invitations (less than $15) and a bit of TLC.

On the inside I manipulated some dingbats I got free on in Photoshop to make a frame around her picture.  Then I used the print and cut feature of my silhouette to cut around the shape and make a nice sticker.

With the scraps left over from my invitations, I punched a bunch of circles.  The kids loved helping me with this part.

They also helped me tape two together, and then I stitched strings of them together to make garland.  My thread kept breaking because I have a crappy sewing maching, but I managed to get it good enough.

I strung them up and added some lanterns.  I also made a paper doily banner for pennies on the dollar.

I added tulle and beads throughout the decor.  Strings of beads hung from the entry and also from the chandelier.  I made the crown out of a paper doily. We later used these beads in our wand crafts.

I used tulle to tie around elastic to make the table skirt.

For the party we had nine princesses.  I won't post any pictures of the girls here, just what we did. I pretty much opened up the royal coffers and let them adorn their royal heads.

When they arrived they all got to choose a ring.  I got them at Michaels for $1 each.

Next we made pearl bracelets.  You can buy a string of nice looking (not the super cheap kid beads, but nice I'd-wear-that type of stuff) pearls from Joann's for $1.  Each strand had 40 pearls and made 2 bracelets.  I was a bit worried if the girls would be able to do this, but not one of them had problems.  They were quick and I just tied them off and superglued the knots.

Here is a finished product.

Next we decorated crowns.  A week prior I prepped the crowns.  Lace can be pricey so be sure and use a coupon!  I bought mine from Joanns with a 50% coupon.  Price varies on what type of lace you purchase.  Mine was $8/yard, so with my coupon it turned out to be about $2/crown.  I purchased a little more than 1/2 yard for each crown.  Then I cut them at about 19-20" each to make room for the overlap where I glued them.

Next I soaked them in 1:1 equal parts Elmers school glue and water.

I made poster molds to wrap them around.  If I was doing this again, I'd skip this step.  They didn't turn out to be stiff enough to require a mold, but they were still stiff enough to stand upright.

Then I spray painted them gold using Design Master 24kt Pure Gold from Michaels.

I hot glued the ends together and then let the girls embellish them with gems stuck on with glue dots.  Hot glue would hold the gems better, but I wanted the girls to be able to stick them themselves.  I made mine with a little nicer jewels from Michaels.

The last craft was decorating the wands.  We used the same stuff.  The star wands came from Oriental Trading.  I didn't get any good photos of the finished wands, but here is one of them holding them up as a group.

While Maya was opening presents, I set the table for lunch.

I used plastic ware, except for the glasses.  Only one got broken, which I broke myself.

We had chicken salad sandwiches, grapes, cheese cubes, and many types of sugar:

Chessmen shortbread cookies from Pepperidge Farms:

 Dipped wands I made and sprinkled with edible gold:

I only ordered a small 4" cake for Maya.  I hate having gobs of cake left over, especially since we have some from my birthday.  I just got a few red velvet cupcakes for the girls.  Turns out they all wanted cake -- oh well.

The crown on top came from Hobby Lobby and the tiered cake stands are from Home Goods.  The red wrappers on the cupcakes came from Joann's.

My husband took me to Little India in Houston for my birthday earlier in the week, and we ate dinner at a fabulous restaurant, Kiran.  I mean, who would think to mix ground chicken, chickpeas, onions, green chiles, pomegranate, cashews, mint and tamarind chutney, into one delicious appetizer?  While we were there we perused the shops, and I scored these cute bags at a wholesale store.  They totally negotiate price, so I got them for a good deal and sent the girls home with one to put their jewelry in and some chocolate gold coins.

All for you, princess.  Actually your mom loves DIY and getting her creative on...

Happy 7th Birthday,  we love you!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Organizational Projects

So we've lived in our home for a year now.  I'm feeling the need to organize find a place for everything.  The laundry room had a lot of unused space.  I wanted to hang shelves, but upon closer inspection, the studs weren't in the right place, nor were they the same width apart, which made hanging a nightmare.  After researching so many options, none of which were going to work with all the weird measurements, I was relieved to find how easy and affordable the Elfa shelving components were (available at The Container Store.)  The whole thing is held up with only 5 screws.

First I painted the wall Herbal Mist, a fresh, clean laundry color. The wall is heavily textured, but I thought I did quite well despite the bumps.  Not bad for my first try.  My dad would be proud.

I really wish I would have taken a before picture, but I was able to get all the kids crafts sorted into boxes by holiday, and have a little place for other crafting things and still have room for the laundry room stuff.

I made the Keep Calm and Carry On print in Photoshop (an idea I saw on Pinterest) and just had it printed on photo paper.  The boxes are from Ikea, the Color Outside the Lines print I got at Hobby Lobby, and the buckets and tiered organizer came from Target.

My next project was Ethen's Legos.  He has decided now that taking apart and building new things is the way to play.  I suppose that keeping them intact couldn't last forever, but I needed a quick system of sorting that he could do himself.   I scoured Pinterest for Lego storage ideas.  Lots of them have them sorted by color.  That was way too time intensive for me.  I needed something quick and easy for Ethen.

I opted for small buckets using the Ikea Trofast storage shelf.  Super easy.  I have them sorted by theme and color right now but know that soon enough they will all be mixed together.  That's okay, as long as he can throw them back in his buckets and get them off the floor in just a few minutes is all that matters to me.

I'm gonna glue down the gray Lego base on top I think.  Perhaps I'll get another to go side by side, but I'm finding this system is working.

I have a few of his Star Wars Legos on display and finally got the planets hung with some Command Strip hooks.  He can still unhook the planets to play, but they are hanging and providing more room for the ships below.

Next I'm gonna tackle some vinyl projects....

Friday, September 13, 2013

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Quote of the Day

It's been a long time since I've blogged about the funny things the kids are saying:

Last February I asked Ethen:
Me: "Do you know what Valentine's Day is?"
Ethen: "No."
Me: "It's a day to celebrate the people you love by saying 'I love you.'  Some ways to say 'I love you' are making something out of paper."
Ethen:  "Or give them Legos."
Me: "Or give them a cookie or cupcake."
Ethen: "[interrupting me] or Legos."
Me: "And we give people we love hugs and kisses and say 'I love you.'"
Ethen: "Uh-huh, and  Legos."


Maya:  "Oh no!  Here it comes again!  Ethen's imagination gone wild!"


After putting on his shirt:
Ethen:  "Mom, let's pretend this is my science shirt."
Me:  "Ok, you're going to be a scientist?"
Ethen:  "Yes, and today we are going to learn about bombs."
Me: [silently] fabulous
Ethen: "Bombs are really expensive.  And when you drop them all the potion comes out."


Me:  "What are you making?"
Ethen:  "A Lego clean up car.  When you make a mess it cleans up it."


While playing video games:
Ethen: "That's cheap!  Only one star?"

"That smells like toast!"
[I think he was trying to say "I just got toasted."]


Ethen: "Are we in San Antonio yet?"
Me:  "No, we are not really in any town right now."
Maya: "They should call this place 'Lonely.'"


Maya:  "Mom, I finally learned what French Fries are made of!!  Salt!!"


In San Antonio:
Ethen: "This is a really good place!  Let's stay here for 1000 miles."


Ethen:  "You're the best mommy in the whole world!  Bring me toys on Christmas and I'll be nice to you!"

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Sunshine Tangled in your Hair

This one's been sitting on my desk for 2 weeks, waiting for inspiration to strike.  I'd add a little here, a little there.  I heard those lyrics in a song and they stuck with me.  Today with the sequins on, I think it's complete.

I've got a ton of home organization projects hatching right now, and I've also been doing a little vinylmation decorating.  I've been getting some serious Pinterest inspiration, so I think I'll blog about those in a bit.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013