Cardboard Rocketship

cardboard_rocketship

Just to come clean, I actually had no part in making this. It was all my husband, but it is so awesome I had to share it with the world.

About an hour before my husband leaves for a business trip he decides to start building the kids this rocketship. I thought… that’s a pretty big undertaking. Apparently, not for him.

In well under an hour he finished this giant structure that the kids could climb inside, look out a window and take an adventure to outer space. What blows my mind is the shear genius idea to incorporate the kids toy screws from this Melissa and Doug tool box so they could take it apart and reassemble it themselves. Things like this are why I love this man. So thoughtful and creative.

Hope this inspires you to make something fun for your kiddos this summer!

Time Flies Birthday Party

time_flies_1

Where did the time go? Just yesterday you were a tiny newborn in my arms for the first time. Today you are a ball of energy, running, laughing and playing. No matter how old you grow, you’ll always be my baby. Happy Birthday, Sweet Love.

Confession. I started planning this party less than 24 hrs before it started. I reused a lot of material I already had but it turned out great, nonetheless! Beats spending months at a time planning like I’ve done in the past. Here’s to a lot less party planning and a lot more time spent with family. Hope this gives you some ideas on how to throw together a last minute party of your own.

time_flies_3

  • This banner was made using the Cricut. Reused from her first birthday. Considering it took forever to make, it will likely be used for every birthday party she has.

time_flies_5

  • These poms have been taking up space in my closet from a baby shower over a year ago and I finally put them to use. Hang some paper airplanes from them and there you have it. Clouds and airplanes, flying high.

time_flies_6

time_flies_2

  • Folded paper airplanes with copy weight paper
  • TIME FLIES was printed large on card stock and hand cut
  • Everything was duct taped to the stuco wall

time_flies_7

time_flies_8

  • Party favors. Plain paper lunch bags purchased at Walmart.

time_flies_9

  • Hand drawn thank you

time_flies_10

  • Airplane craft and stencil purchased on Oriental Trading. Got these about a year ago on sale, just waiting for the perfect time to use them.

time_flies_4

Roll-up Pants

My baby girl looks just as sweet as her big brother did in this outfit almost three years ago.

Zoey_roll_ups

I like to call these Zander’s “fancy pants” because I made them for a wedding we went to recently.

Knowing the wedding would be held outside in possibly 100 degree humid weather, I wanted to make something both comfy and fashionable for him. I followed this tutorial to make the flat front linen pant and added the buttons and tabs myself to convert them into shorts. Perfect for fancy weddings or for lounging barefoot around the house (or at the beach).

Popsicle Stick Matching Game

Popsicle_Stick_Matching_Game

Here’s another easy game to put together that’ll cost pennies. Great for color and pattern matching and word recognition.

To make these I used heavy weight cardstock paper, traced the popsicle sticks in various patterns and wrote the color names using marker. Color popsicle sticks were found at the Dollar Store. If you want to get fancy, try spelling out the child’s name using the sticks.

Hope this inspires you to make something fun for the kiddos in your life.

Lego Party

For my Lego obsessed little boy, we made him the best 3rd birthday party ever. He’s actually 4 now, so this post is way overdue, but better late than never, right?

Z1

Z2

Z3

My husband was the mastermind behind this sweet race track. I gave him a vague idea of what I thought might be cool and he amazes us with this. We brought our train table outside and filled it with Legos for the kids to build their own creations. Some built cars, some built elaborate trains that were 10 cars long.

Z4

Z5

We use a lot of tissue and toilet paper in this house! Could not think of a better way to recycle them than to build a giant Lego 3 for my 3 year old and to use as decor.

Z6

I used gift wrapping paper to cover the tissue boxes and toilet paper rolls, which were cut and hot glued to the boxes.

Z8

The circles on these Lego boxes are made from foam sheets.

Z11

I made this simple birthday banner using Illustrator. I have the file somewhere on my other computer. If I can find it, I’ll definitely share.

Z9

Lego Party Favors:

  • Boxes are from Ikea
  • Lego Stickers are from a sticker book found at Michaels
  • 3-D animal puzzles are from Oriental Trading
  • Mini club crackers were from Vons/Safeway. I made the top “Thank You” card. Again, the file is buried on my other computer somewhere.

Z12

Lego Snacks:

  • Club crackers with cheese
  • Graham crackers with marshmellows cut in half so they acted like glue to adhere to the cracker

Z7

Lego Jewelry:

  • The ring is hot glued together
  • For the necklace and earring I asked my hubby to drill a tiny hole on top to insert the chains and links.

Z10

For these I simply filled the cones with cake mix and baked them. Added the wrapper afterwards. Again, this file is somewhere. If I can find it I’ll definitely share.

There you have it. Hope it gives you some ideas for your own Lego party!

Valentine’s Day – You Are Loved

2015

Happy Valentine’s! Here we are, decked out in our traditional heart shirts cheesing for the photo booth at our Valentine’s party.

valentines_2015

photobooth_props Candy heart photo prop handles are made using free paint sticks from the hardware store and foam paper from the craft store. I also made a bird with the word “love” that goes with the yellow bird Zander is holding for “love birds”.

For valentine’s this year I decided to make these heart shaped crayons I thought were super cute. I followed this easy tutorial.

heart_crayon_1

Here’s a tip for peeling crayons: Use an exacto knife to slice the paper first. Should come right off afterwards. We tried just peeling them at first and it took waaaay too long and I’m not that patient so this method worked wonders.

heart_crayon_2

Over the weekend we went to the Home Depot workshop where Zander built and painted this sweetheart box. We decided to use it to make something special for his teachers this Valentine’s.

straw_choc1

We added a Valentine’s message to his teachers and he signed the back.

straw_choc3

I woke up early this morning to make these dark chocolate mint and white chocolate covered strawberries

straw_choc2

Could not be more happy with how they turned out!

straw_choc4

To make your own bouquet of strawberries simply cut and insert a floral foam block into your pot. Poke your strawberries on a stick into it and your done! Also, I didn’t have any popsicle sticks so I used disposable chopsticks and they worked perfectly, better than popsicle sticks in my opinion (and they were free because I had a ton laying around from past take out.)

Hope this inspires you to make something special for someone this Valentine’s!

2014

Here’s an updated photo showcasing a heart garland and heart shirts I made for each of us.

heart_shirts

– For the heart garland I used an assortment of free paint chips from the hardware store and cut them into hearts. Using an exacto knife, I cut 2 small slits in the center of each heart and threaded a piece of ribbon through. Easy peasy.

– The shirts were super simple. I cut some felt hearts and stitched them onto some existing shirts we had. It’s hard to tell from the photo but I used a contrasting color for the stitches. IE: Red heart = white stitch, White heart = red stitch. The felt will not fray in the wash so these will last forever – or at least until they outgrow them  :(

zoey_zander

zoey_daddy

zander

It would not be Valentine’s without sweets. Here’s my Zanderoo savoring ever bit of his red velvet whoopie pie.

2013

I surprised my family with this Valentine’s Day set up the other day. I wanted something simple and from the heart. This is what I came up with:

How to do this yourself:
– Mailboxes are from the dollar section at Target
– For the initials on the mailboxes I used scrapbook stickers
– The banner was made using cardstock craft paper. Divide an 8.5×11 piece of paper into 4 equal parts and print 1 letter/heart in each quadrant. Hole punch and weave twine through to make garland.
– Finish it off with some fresh flowers and your done!

 

Homemade Holiday Ornaments

Each year during the holidays I have a list of things I want to do with my family to create lasting memories. Here’s my list for this year…

  • Make Christmas tree ornaments
  • Bake and decorate cookies
  • Print photo for 2014 family photo ornament
  • Watch a holiday movie while having a picnic dinner in the living room
  • Make and send holiday cards
  • Practice giving
  • Make small gifts for neighbors and teachers

I’ve managed to check everything off except “print photo for 2014 family photo ornament”. Not bad, with 8 days left til Christmas.

Making holiday ornaments is always one of my favorite things to do. I can’t wait until our tree is filled with homemade ornaments one day.

Here’s a look at some of the ones we made this year and last:

Pine_cone_owl

Pine Cone Owl:

  • Pine cone from the great outdoors
  • Used for everything except the feet
  • Pine cleaners used for feet
  • Everything is held together with hot glue

IMG_5830_web

Aquarium Ornament

  • Clear plastic round ornament from Michaels
  • Corals, seaweed, water bubbles and fish are all foam stickers from Michaels (used some fishing wire to hang the fish on the inside as if it were floating)
  • Aquarium gravel from Walmart

IMG_1332_web

IMG_1333_web

Baby’s first handprint

  • Clear plastic large/flat round ornament from Michaels

IMG_1338_web

Initial Ornament

  • Wooden letter and buttons found at Michaels

IMG_1335_web

Snowman Handprint

  • Red glass ornament from Michaels

IMG_5834_web

Marble Ornament

  • Plastic clear round ornament from Michaels
  • Squeeze some paint inside and swirl around

Hope this inspires you to make some ornaments with you little ones!

Thank You!

 

first_package

Thank you so much to everyone who supported me through this exciting time in my life. To all those who purchased aprons and who helped spread the word – Thank you!!!

With your help, I was able to raise $400 for a very deserving family who could use a little extra love this season. I was lucky enough to meet with the family last weekend and when the young boys mother asked what he wanted to do with the money he said “get Christmas gifts for my family”. Furthermore, his mother told me he gets one wish from the Make a Wish foundation and he said he wanted to donate money to the ASPCA because of all the unfortunate animals that are euthanized every year. What a sweet boy with his heart always in the right place.

Thank you again, for your love and support. I’m truly grateful for you.