You can’t have princesses without some villains!

So awhile back J and I made all 13 Disney princesses from her footprint (you can read all about them here).  disney-princess-footprint-craft-finishedShe immediately asked if we could also make all of the villains and princes from each story, but I vetoed her.  It took like 10 seconds of her time for this project, while I had to paint all of the hair and embellishments.  And since I majorly procrastinated doing that this project actually took a few weeks to complete.

Fast forward a few months and we were predicted to get several inches of snow in southern VA.  I remember when 4 inches fell down here last winter school shut down for a week and a half so I wanted to be prepared just in case.  I figured making the villains was an easy project that would make her happy and kill some time.  I picked up a piece of poster board and we were ready!  And thank goodness I did.  We ended up getting about a foot of snow and school was out for 6 days.  Projects were a necessity.

Last time I pretty much copied the princesses from a tutorial but this one was a bit more unique so I made them all up.  I googled each villain before painting her foot so I knew exactly what they were wearing.  I painted her foot, keeping the right side for all of the villains wearing black (which was about half) and the other side for any other colors. diy-disney-villain-footprint-art-17It turned out that I was out of red, which at the time I didn’t think was such a big deal.  I had no idea how many villains wear red!  I ended up just using a glitter paint that was sort of red and sort of pink and called it a day.  They don’t need to be perfect.

I pushed her foot down on the posterboard for each villain.  diy-disney-villain-footprint-art-18Let’s see if I can remember who’s who.  Starting at the top left it goes:  Ursula, Evil Queen, Lady Tremaine, Mother Gothel, Maleficent, Hans, Gaston, mess-up, mess-up, the bad guy from Tiana whose name I still don’t know (she doesn’t like that movie so I’ve only seen it once, haha), Shan Yu, Governor Ratcliffe, Jafar and Mordu.

The following day we embellished them.  I did the hair and crowns while she added anything that was needed onto the clothing.  Last time I didn’t let her help (not really sure why…) but this time she begged me to.  She did a great job! diy-disney-villain-footprint-art-19Then I cut around them with speciality scissors and used a hole punch for holes in the tops and bottoms of each person.  She divided them into 3 piles of 4, put them in the order she wanted them and picked out ribbon for each strand.  I weaved the ribbon through the hole, connecting the four villains together.  Here they are individually.




Shan Yu




Mother Gothel




Govenor Ratcliffe. Who, in retrospect, should’ve been a lot fatter.


Evil Queen


Lady Tremaine


Hans. Those are supposed to be sideburns but didn’t turn out so well, haha.





I cut another piece and made a loop to hang them up and voila, finished! diy-disney-villain-footprint-art-16 diy-disney-villain-footprint-art-14 diy-disney-villain-footprint-art-13We hung them up in between the princesses in her hasn’t asked about the princes yet, but I’m sure it’s coming.  Next time there’s a snowstorm we’ll work on those guys 😉


Thankful Tree

What better time for a post about a Thanksgiving project than in February?  Between Nolan’s quiet book pages and all of my Christmas projects apparently I missed blogging about this! Which is a shame since it’s one of my favorite traditions J and I started.  I’m just happy I realized I overlooked it.

So towards the end of October 2014 I decided I wanted to find a way for J to talk about the things she’s thankful for.  Do any of your friends on Facebook do the “thankful post” every day in November?  It was really popular a few years back, but now almost no one does it.  I still do and it’s my favorite time of year.  Of course I think the generic ones that are thankful for “family” and “friends” and “health” are all boring, so I find fun ways to express my gratefulness for life–things like hot dogs to keep my St Bernard in check when he sees kids/dogs/cats/squirrels while on walks or Google for answering my questions like “why will my 4 month old not sleep more than 30 minutes at a time?!”  I always do a serious one on the last day of the month, but I think it’s fun to come up with creative ideas.  Especially because that’s what makes life so great–all of those small things that you never really think about.  I really and truly am grateful for hot dogs and their amazing power over my Saint.

So I wanted to find a way to do something similar with J.  I finally settled on an idea I had seen floating around online:  a Thankful Tree.  Except I wanted to do it completely differently. We would draw a giant tree, paint it and hang it on the wall.  J could pick 30 neat looking leaves from outside.  Each day she would tell me something she was thankful for, I would write it on the leaf and then hang it on the tree on the wall.  I LOVED it!  Here’s a picture from our first Thanksgiving doing this, so an almost complete tree.  diy-thankful-tree-1I used clothespins to attach the leaves onto the tree (which I completely forgot I did!  I used tape last year, which did not stick.  I’ll have to try to remember to go back to clothespins this year).  One thing I did not like was using real leaves.  Neat idea, but not practical…what happens to leaves after they fall off the tree…um, they turn brown and crackly.  Duh.

Once November was over I had J make a turkey book.  I wanted it to look like this, but J put her own spin on it which I’m more than fine with–in fact I prefer it!  She’s going through a phase right now where everything has to look exactly the same as the craft that I show her and it bugs me.  Use your creativity to make it your own girl!  I cut out pieces of different colored construction paper for the book and held it together with pipe cleaners (J’s idea.  I’ve added staples to it since then).  Then I wrote one thing she said she was thankful for on each page, that way I can look back on it years from now and laugh that she was thankful for things like “balloons” and “breakfast”.  That’s my girl! diy-thankful-tree-5 This year we made another thankful tree.  I mixed the paint a bit better so it turned out more brown and less purple, hooray!  diy-thankful-tree-2diy-thankful-tree-3I wrote “Jordan is thankful for…” in block letters down the tree and let her color them in.  And then instead of using real leaves I cut out 30 leaves with my Silhouette in 5 different shapes and 4 different colors of cardstock–red, yellow, orange and brown.

Then for our family activity we all painted them to give them a little extra “something”.  diy-thankful-tree-1diy-thankful-tree-4Since C has a tendency to eat paint I tried out another homemade paint recipe, this time this one from Learning 4 Kids.  Look at those colors!  And the consistency was pretty cool.  J, of course, refused to use her fingers and insisted on using a paintbrush instead.  She loathes being dirty.homemade-paintThis one was a lot more successful than the one we tried out at Halloween for pumpkin decorating–he had a taste or two and then must not have enjoyed it because he actually stopped eating and instead painted himself, us and a little bit of the leaves.  Keeper!!!!!C-paintingWe set the leaves out to dry and then once November rolled around I asked J what she was thankful each day.  I used colored Sharpies to write them down and then she taped them to the tree/wall with Scotch tape.  Which, like I said earlier, did not work.  At least half of them were on the floor by the end of the month. diy-thankful-tree-2015I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t keep up with asking her after Thanksgiving, so she was about a week short on thankful things.  I definitely need to get better at that next year.  I was going to have her make another turkey book but when looking at the one from the previous year I saw how much space there was on each page, so I figured I’ll just keep adding to that instead!  I’ll write every year in a different colored marker and then make a key on the back front cover.  Brilliant!  diy-thankful-tree-6These were my favorites from 2015:  “tray lunch” and “everything in the world…except Roman” [our dog].  Oh J.

This is seriously one of my favorite traditions.  I can’t wait until C is old enough to start and we have twice as many leaves on the tree.  I just think it’s a great lesson to teach kids–doesn’t matter how big or small, but find one thing every single day to be thankful about.  Because life is precious and we need to appreciate every single thing that we have.


Step six: DIY Stepping Stones for the Grandparents

To go along with our Snowman Ornaments we decided to send handmade stepping stones.  This is a great gift because we can continue to give one every year if we want to…or really any year that we can’t think of a great handmade gift from the grandkids.  Last year we gave these awesome bird baths to everyone and originally I was thinking we could do a birdhouse to go with it this year, but it just seemed too difficult to mail.  We’ll save that idea for when the grandparents actually make it out to visit us for the holidays…which means never, haha.  Don’t even get me started on that category.  Apparently roads only go one way…

But anyway, the stepping stones.  I did a search on Pinterest (obviously) for some ideas.  After going through numerous sites I found this one to be the most helpful.  There are specific instructions, tips for each step and tons and tons of example stones.  I highly recommend thoroughly reading the article if you’re looking to make one yourself!

I made my list of supplies:

  • Mold.  I purchased either an 8 or 9 inch circle mold from Hobby Lobby.  It was only $4 but it turned out to be the most expensive thing I purchased that day, so I was able to use a 40% off coupon for it.
  • Concrete.  After reading the tips on the above website I decided on a sand/concrete mixture.  Turned out Lowes didn’t sell it, so I had to hit up Home Depot for it.  And of course the smallest bag they had was 60 lb.  Which I would like to say that I pulled it off of the shelf, put it on the cart and pulled it out of the cart and into my car all on my own at 7 months pregnant.  I kick ass.  It was cheaper in the store, so it was actually only $4.
  • Marbles.  We have a ton of glass marbles that I was planning on using for this project, but it turned out they were too big for what I wanted to do.  So I ended up purchasing two bags of small ball marbles from Michaels.  Each at a separate time, so each at $3 with a 40% off coupon.
  • Green Gems.  After the original idea I had to decorate the stones looked like crap I had to go in a new direction.  So I picked up some “crushed glass with glitter” (except mine was green) from Hobby Lobby for $4, once again with a 40% off coupon.
  • Spray paint sealer.  I had a hard time deciding what to buy.  They had clay pot sealers, but that sounded like it was more to keep the soil and water in a pot.  Then there was a UV one, but it didn’t say anything about water.  So finally I went with Krylon Acrylic Crystal Clear because it said it was moisture resistant.  I’ll let you know the results, haha!  It was around $10, minus yet another 40% off Michael’s coupon

And that’s it!  In total I spent about $18 for all 4 sets of grandparents (of course that doesn’t count shipping costs since 3/4 sets of grandparents are worthless…).  And the mold is still reusable and we have a ton of concrete and sealer leftover.  Now that’s how much we should be spending on Christmas!

I knew I wanted to put the kids’ handprints in there so it was just a matter of deciding on the design.  I didn’t want to do just plain handprints…I think that looks boring.  I thought we could put the handprints in a flower shape and then push different colored marbles in the impressions to make colorful flowers.  We did that with the first mold and it did not look good.  We just pitched that stone after it dried and went back to the drawing board.

I decided to try again with the flower idea, but this time painting the handprints instead of using marbles.  I used the green gems from Hobby Lobby for the stems and then wrote 2015 in the marble balls on the top.  They turned out much better.  And then since we used regular acrylic paint I picked up a can of sealer to hopefully keep it from fading/washing away.

So this is how we made the molds:

  1. Mix the concrete.  Hubby did this part.  He didn’t use any measurements, so each time he mixed it the consistency was completely different.  Two of the times he made it he had to get some paper towels to soak up some of the water because it was so liquidy that the handprints were just disappearing.  Now if this was me I would’ve measured the powder and the water the first time so I knew how much to use, but hey, to each their own!
  2. Add paint if coloring the stone.  I had half a jar of a sample size red paint that we used on the first (well, technically second) stone we made.  I really like the color of it and if I would’ve had more paint we would’ve colored the other ones too.  It adds to it nicely.  I wasn’t going to purchase paint specifically for this, though.
  3. Pour into the mold and let sit for 30-60 minutes.  Some of the watery ones we actually let sit for closer to two hours instead… diy-stepping-stone-5
  4. Handprints!  C had a blast with the handprints.  He laughed hysterically every time Hubby pushed his hands in.  It took two of us to get his–Hubby to hold his hands down and make sure he didn’t grab a handful of concrete and eat it (which is what he was trying to do) while I spun the mold in a circle to get the flower shape.  We did his first and then J had whatever room was left. diy-stepping-stone-4 diy-stepping-stone-2 diy-stepping-stone-3
  5. Decorate.  After Hubby took C away (usually straight into the bathtub) J and I pushed in the marbles.  The gems looked nice but since they were so small quite a few of them didn’t get pushed in enough and fell out after it finished drying.  Fortunately we used so many of them that you couldn’t tell some had disappeared.  We used the green gems for the stem/leaves and for “grass” along the bottom.  We pushed the red and blue balls in the top to form 2015. diy-stepping-stone-1
  6. Let it sit for at least 3 days. diy-stepping-stone-9
  7. Take it out.  The concrete slipped right out of the mold! diy-stepping-stone-10
  8. Paint!  I painted C’s handprints and J did hers. diy-stepping-stone-11
  9. Let dry for 24 hours.  Then Hubby sprayed it with the sealer.  At this point we were a little short on time so he actually sprayed all of them at once.  3 hours later we wrapped them in bubble wrap and loaded them into the flat rate Priority boxes to be shipped the next day.  They arrived Christmas Eve…was that great timing or what?!  Although they definitely should’ve aired out a little longer before being packed away.  They sat in my car in the boxes overnight and when I got in to drive to the post office I think I got a little high during the 3 minute drive.  That stuff was strong!

And that’s it!  I think they turned out pretty cute.  We made 5 total:  four for the grandparents and one for ourselves.  diy-stepping-stone-8diy-stepping-stone-6 diy-stepping-stone-7 The top one is the first one we made, as I’m sure you can tell.  That was before I purchased the smaller beads for the year and decided to stick with the green gems for the stem as well as the grass.  It’s also the one we poured the red paint into, so at least that part turned out well!

I don’t have a picture of the fourth one we made, for my parents, because they came down to visit us for the holidays so I didn’t have to ship theirs.  Which meant we just barely finished it in time and I didn’t even think about snapping a quick photo beforehand.

Hubby’s dad said “Oh that’s too nice for people to step on; I think I’m going to build something to display it on the porch!”, which I thought was pretty neat.  And then he followed that up by asking “Are those the grandkids’ handprints on there?”  No, Gary, they’re the kids down the street.  Sigh.


Time to get Christmas started…First step: DIY Snowmen Handprint Ornaments for the Grandparents!

Two years ago I decided that I was going to do some type of handprint ornament for all of the grandparents every year as part of their Christmas gift.  The first year we did the Santa Claus handprint ornament out of salt dough with J and last year I did the Mistletoe footprint ornament with both J and C (instead of doing both feet for one child I just did one of each).  After doing some searching for this year’s homemade ornament I finally settled on the Snowman handprint, which I’m sure you’ve seen a million times.  I liked how this one used a regular ornament instead of salt dough…a bit different this year.  And also very easy to incorporate both kids’ handprints on the same one.  Now next year will be tricky since I’ll have three to squeeze on there!

This ornament was super simple.  I picked up a box of 4 clear ornaments for 50% off at Hobby Lobby.  diy-snowman-handprint-ornament-bulbI always make one for us too, but my choices were either a box of 4 or 8 so I picked up a lone clear plastic ornament from Walmart for 98 cents.  Since I ended up accidentally breaking one of the Hobby Lobby ones (I didn’t even realize they were made of glass!) I should’ve picked up the larger box since I had to go back to Walmart to get another one!  Figures…

The clear ones were the cheapest so I decided to pick up some blue paint to jazz them up a bit.  I found some Extreme Glitter that I thought would work nicely.  I covered all of the ornaments with the glitter paint and then hung them up off of colored pencils to dry for a day.  You could probably use egg cartons or lots of other things…that was just the first thing I diy-snowman-handprint-ornament-painteddiy-snowman-handprint-ornament-dryingNext was the tricky part:  handprints.  I knew I wanted to do J’s on one side and C’s on the other.  I gathered the white acrylic paint, a paintbrush, the kids, and, most importantly, Hubby.  I did J’s 5 handprints first. diy-snowman-handprint-ornament-handprint-1C got really excited when he saw what was going on and held out his hand and whined the whole time I was doing J’s.  He just couldn’t wait for his turn…so he could do this:  DIY Snowman Handprint Ornament 12Even with Hubby holding him down the little sh*t still managed to eat some paint!  Seriously, this kid.  Getting his handprint was a struggle.  As you can see, they didn’t turn out nearly as nice as J’s.  I’m perfectly fine with it though…I think it helps give it character!  At the very least you can tell that pinning down an 19 month old and getting him to nicely place a handful of apparently scrumptious paint onto a ball is nearly once again hung them up to dry.  Can you tell which ones are C’s??diy-snowman-handprint-ornament-drying-2I painted the bottom all white and connected the snowman with snowy hills.  This would’ve looked a bit better had J and C’s hands actually been parallel to one another on the ornament, haha.  Some of the “hills” were a steep incline instead…diy-snowman-handprint-ornament-bottom diy-snowman-handprint-ornament-snowdriftsI also attempted snowflakes at this time as well.  I dotted one of the ornaments with white paint, but didn’t like the way it course when I tried to erase the snowflakes while the paint was still wet, I dropped it and discovered once it shattered all over the floor that it was made of glass.  So they sat there for almost two weeks before the next step–I wanted to pick up another ornament from Walmart before finishing the rest of them.  And I avoid Walmart like the plague so it took awhile to actually psych myself up to get there.

Once I had my fifth ornament and painted it blue, I decorated the other four.  I used different colored Sharpies to add eyes, a carrot nose, a smile, 3 buttons, a scarf and a top hat to each snowman. diy-snowman-handprint-ornament-snowmen-1 diy-snowman-handprint-ornament-snowmen-2

On the bottom I wrote the year, Merry Christmas and C’s name.  I’ll let J write her own name under her I had J and C do their handprint one last time on the remaining ornament and then painted just J’s pointer finger and had her dot the snowflakes all over.  I think it turned out much better than the paintbrush. More

That’s it!  Finished!  diy-snowman-handprint-ornament-finishedNotice how there’s only 4 ornaments in this photo?  That’s because the last one still doesn’t have any faces yet.  $20 says it’ll stay like that until 2 minutes before I put it in the box to be shipped to a grandparent…


Beach Bridal Shower

My little sister, B, got married about three weeks ago.  Since I was the matron of honor I was in charge of planning the Bridal Shower back in June.  Luckily since she had seven bridesmaids this actually wasn’t too overwhelming or difficult!  It came in handy when dividing up all of the duties, but not so much when making decisions.  That part was actually pretty painful because no one had much of an opinion about anything.  But we eventually got it all figured out…once I sucked it up and just started making decisions myself (which I hate doing!).

The first thing we all agreed on was that we wanted to do a beach theme.  Invitations were first.  After browsing and other websites, and being completely and totally unwilling to pay $40+ for invitations, I finally decided to just design my own.  I found a nice sunset picture I took while we were in Hawaii a few years ago and made that the background.  I added all the pertinent information and bam, done!  I was able to put 2 on a page, emailed my proof to the closest UPS store and picked up my invitations later that day.  Less than $20.  Much better.

(They did not have the grids on them, FYI.  I made the cards in my Silhouette program, and then saved the file as a PDF to send to UPS.  For some reason the grid appears in Preview on my Mac, but not when actually printing them out.)

Before I could make the invitations we had to decide on food.  For awhile I was floating around the idea of doing a “potluck” type shower.  Each guest would bring her favorite entree/appetizer/side dish/dessert, along with a copy of the recipe for the bride to keep.  I liked two things about it:  one, it would give B a recipe foundation; and two, it meant a lot less work for the bridesmaids the morning of.  The one thing holding us back was that when we originally landed on the beach theme we were excited about doing tacos, chips and salsa, etc.  We had to decide ASAP, because if we were doing the potluck I’d need to put it on the invitation.  After a lot of teeth pulling (seriously, all I wanted was a yes or no vote!!) it was finally decided that we would stick with the original menu.

Since the bachelorette party and bridal shower were rolled into one weekend we didn’t have much time to prepare everything.  Instead of doing the traditional “go out and get wasted” thing, we took the bride-to-be up to a nearby lake and spent the weekend at one of the bridesmaids cabin, out on the boat.  It was perfect.  However, we didn’t get to my parents’ house to start preparations until 9 Sunday morning and the shower was kicking off promptly at 1 pm.  Thank goodness Mexican food is quick and easy!

We served hard and soft tortillas, chicken and beef fillings, Mexican rice and the necessary taco toppings:  cheese, pico de gallo, guacamole, cheese, sour cream, lettuce, onions, and jalapeños.  We also had bowls of mango salsa and tortilla chips at each table for the guests to munch on.beach-bridal-shower-food-2beach-bridal-shower-food-4I had two ideas for dessert:  either make a “wedding dress” cupcake cake (like this) or just decorate your own cupcakes.  After a lot more teeth pulling, it was finally decided to go with decorate your own cupcakes.beach-bridal-shower-food-3The next thing we decided on were the decorations.  This was where having a huge bridal shower came in really handy–dividing up the tasks!

Two of the bridesmaids put together the most amazing sign.  They handprinted it!!!  And down in the bottom left corner is a chalkboard square so the bride-to-be could change the countdown.  They didn’t put any specific information on it so that way she can pass it on to future children if she wants to!  What a neat idea.  They also made a sign to cover the bottom board so she could use it at the ceremony as well.  I didn’t take a picture of it, unfortunately, and of course I can’t remember exactly what it said.  But I remember seeing it at the ceremony so I’m sure once she gets her pictures in I can update it.  beach-bridal-shower-sign-2Another bridesmaid was in charge of the “take home gift” for B.  She bought two bottles of champagne, painted them and brought markers to the bridal shower for the guests to sign.  Then the bride could save the bottles for the wedding night or honeymoon or just a random Thursday…whatever!beach-bridal-shower-bride-favorThe next two bridesmaids were put in charge of centerpieces.  One took mason jars, put pictures of the bride and groom inside, then filled them with sand and seashells.  They looked fantastic!  She also took a large piece of twine and used clothespins to hang pictures of the bride and groom throughout their relationship.  I don’t have a close-up of it unfortunately, but you can see a bit of it in one of the photos below, going across the garage door.  The other one decided to do a two-for:  part centerpiece/part prize for the guest who won the bridal shower games.  She bought a few buckets and filled them up with beach type things–shovels, sand toys, beach scented lotions and candles, etc. beach-bridal-shower-tables-2I was in charge of the party favor for the guests.  We I decided on chalkboard wine glasses.  You can find more information about how I made them in my next post, here.  I figured that since we were going to serve alcohol (the one and only way to make a bridal shower actually bearable), the wine glasses would go well.  I added paper umbrellas I found at Five Below, filled them with Strawberry and Mango Margaritas, tossed some chalk on the table for the guests to decorate them and they were a hit!beach-bridal-shower-chalkboard-wine-glassesFor tablecloths, silverware and balloons we just stuck with simple:  grey and pink, the bride’s wedding colors.  I picked up a roll of burlap from Michaels and we spread it out on the tables to make them look more “beachy”.  J, my daughter, has an entire bucket of seashells saved throughout the years that I meant to bring with me to spread out on the tables as well, but I forgot them.  Oh well.  I also found leis at the Dollar Tree–2 pink ones for $1 for each of us and a colorful one for the bride.  Score!beach-bridal-shower-tablesbeach-bridal-shower-giftsThe final decision to be made were the games.  I didn’t want to do the stupid cliche bridal shower games that everyone despises, so I found a few that were slightly different.  First we had “Guess B’s Age!”.  I used my Silhouette to cut the letters out of card stock, bought a fishnet from the Dollar Tree, found 7 pictures of B at varying ages and used clothespins to hang them.  I designed a quick scorecard.  Which I could’ve saved a lot of paper and ink on that one if I would’ve done the same thing for it that I had done with the invitations, and shrunk it down so two would fit on one page.  Oh well.
beach-bridal-shower-age-game-1beach-bridal-shower-age-game-2We also did the “Bubble Gum Game”.  Earlier I called the groom and asked him these 29 questions and wrote down his answers.

  • Who was Ty’s best friend growing up?
  • When was your first kiss together?
  • How many kids do you want to have?
  • What is the theme of your wedding?
  • One word to describe Bre.
  • What is Ty’s favorite holiday?
  • Which one of you is better with money?
  • Which one of you is better with kids?
  • Which one of you is better at cooking?
  • Which one of you is better at dancing?
  • If Ty could go anywhere in the world, where would he go?
  • What is Ty’s dream car?
  • What is Ty’s favorite movie?
  • What does Ty love about you the most?
  • What is Ty’s favorite meal that you make him?
  • French Fries, baked or mashed potatoes?
  • If Ty had to pick a number between 1-20 what would it be?
  • Where was your first date?
  • Ty’s favorite football team?
  • What’s Ty’s least favorite chore?
  • What year did he graduate high school?
  • Name one of Ty’s nicknames for you.
  • Name one of your nicknames for Ty.
  • Name something Ty is afraid of.
  • Favorite pizza topping?
  • What president is on the $5 bill?  Did Ty get this question right?
  • Does Ty still have his wisdom teeth?
  • Coke or Pepsi?
  • McDonalds or Burger King?

The bride had to guess what the groom’s responses were, and for every one she got wrong she had to shove a piece of bubble gum in her mouth.  When we first started going through them we were a bit worried that the questions were waaaay too easy, but she ended up with a rather large wad in her mouth by the end.  It was pretty funny.beach-bridal-shower-bubble-gum-game-2beach-bridal-shower-bubble-gum-gameYou’ll have to excuse the bride’s fat lip.  The day before one of the bridesmaids “misstepped” when trying to get into the tube from the boat and elbowed her right in the face.  It bled for quite awhile and didn’t exactly look pretty the next day (or the day after that…or that…).  This was one of many times that it came in handy that B is the most laid back person on the face of the earth, and she was like that throughout all of the planning and execution of the wedding.  I doubt she would’ve been so forgiving had it been the day before the wedding, but she took it all in stride!  I don’t think many women can say they would do the same…

Once the bridal shower started we realized that we didn’t have enough games where the guests participated, so we threw one together in under 15 minutes while everyone was eating.  We asked the group these questions, one at a time:

  • How old were they when they first got together?
  • What is Bre’s idea of a romantic date?
  • What’s Tyler’s idea of a romantic date?
  • Who would win in a boxing match?
  • Who can handle their liquor better?
  • If they had a booth at the Grange Fair what would it be?
  • If they could live anywhere where in the world where would it be?
  • Who would Bre say is Ty’s celebrity look alike?
  • Who is Ty’s best childhood friend?
  • What’s Bre’s favorite outfit?
  • What is Bre’s favorite ice cream?
  • What is Bre’s favorite position ;)? (This question was requested, and asked by, the groom’s grandmother, which was hilarious.  The answer?  “Head on the pillow…get your heads out of the gutter!”0

Whichever guest had the most correct answers by the end of the game would take home a bucket.  Worked well for a completely impromptu game!

The final game we played was hands down my favorite.  I was laughing so hard I was crying.  As my gift I bought the bride a suitcase.  We filled the suitcase with random items of clothing:  gloves; boots; sunglasses; granny panties; beach hat; scarf; and a robe.  We blindfolded the bride and she had to put on all of the items in the suitcase.  Freaking hilarious.beach-bridal-shower-suitcase-gameMy favorite part was when she made the colossal mistake of putting the winter gloves on first, and then was unable to pick anything up.  One of the bridesmaids pulled her out of her misery quickly, unfortunately, and told her to take them off.  My second favorite was the granny-panties-as-a-large-bracelet.  Brilliant.

All-in-all it was a success!!  It was as entertaining as bridal showers can possibly be (man, someone needs to come up with something for the gift opening portion.  That part is just painful), especially due to the Suitcase Game.  B seemed to have fun, we didn’t have any major catastrophes, it looked fantastic and we were all exhausted afterwards.


More DIY Princess Decor!

While browsing online I found this absolutely adorable Disney princess footprint craft by Keeper of the Cheerios that I knew I had to recreate.  This princess obsession isn’t going away anytime soon and I figured it would be perfect to add to J’s bedroom wall.

Let me start off by saying that I am not artistic.  In the teeniest tiniest way.  As you’ll see for yourself, mine didn’t turn out nearly as well as Keeper of the Cheerios’ did.  J also asked for faces to be painted on and I told her absolutely not–they’d end up looking scary hahaha.  That being said, this was super easy.  Mine may not have turned out really awesome, but I’m still proud of them and think they look nice!  So if I can do it you definitely can!

I picked up a piece of white posterboard from Dollar Tree.  I wasn’t sure yet how I wanted the finished product to look, but I did know that I didn’t want to spend money on canvases.  Plus that would mean more holes in the wall, adding yet another strike against me from Hubby 😉  I already have a ton of acrylic paint so I went through my collection and wrote down any colors that I didn’t have.  Turned out all I needed was a skin tone and some more white.  I saved myself a ton of money by making the different shades of blue and pink and whatever else I needed by just mixing it with white.  Stroke of genius!

This is one of those projects that took me forever to complete.  J and I started it back in April, according to the timestamp on my first photo.  We just finished it up last week.  Whoops.  We made all of the footprints and then the posterboard sat on my craft desk collecting dust.  I just didn’t have any free time to complete it.  The footprints required J’s help, but “dressing” the princesses didn’t.  I had to work on it while C was napping (paint and C go hand-in-hand.  Actually I should say hand-in-mouth.) and either J wanted me to spend time with her or I had stupid chores like cooking and cleaning to accomplish instead.  Eventually I made time for it!

I pulled the original blog post up on my iPad and referred to it for each princess.  I painted J’s foot so it would match each princess, just eyeballing it.  Some of them we messed up and had to do more than once.  Then I handpainted the shoulders/necks/heads.


Three months later when I decided to finally finish the damn thing I added the hair, jewelry and embellishments.  Then I used a bunch of different pinking shears to cut around each princess, leaving a small white outline.  Here’s each princess!





















We didn’t do Mulan or Pocahontas, only because there wasn’t enough room to fit those two on the posterboard.  And since she doesn’t really like either of those two (I think Mulan spent too much time dressed as a boy and Pocahontas’s dress doesn’t cover her feet HAHA) I didn’t bother to pick up another piece just to add them.  At some point I might, especially since J is already talking that she wants to do each of the princes and each villain from the movies.  Oh my.

I hole punched each princess at the top and bottom (although I realized later that some of them I didn’t need to do in both places…oh well).  I had J divide the princesses into 3 piles and pick what order they would be hung up in.  Then I tied some red ribbon in each hole and made 3 strings of princesses.  I stuck 3 command hooks on her bedroom wall, looped the ribbon though and voila!  Easiest/cutest/cheapest princess decor ever!



I’m baaaaaack!

Holy cow I haven’t posted anything in forever.  This has been a crazy summer so far…my sister is getting married (in 12 days!!!!) so I’ve been home for the dress fitting and the bridal shower/bachelorette party.  Then my father turned 50 this year and we threw him a surprise party, so I was home for that.  Plus he has a huge 4th of July work party every year that we haven’t been close enough to go home for in forever, so we made another trek up for that.  And we just got back from a week long vacation in Emerald Isle.

Oh, and I’m pregnant!  That has been the biggest reason why I’ve neglected my blog.  I have had the worst morning all day sickness EVER.  I was a bit sick with my first, a lot more with my second, but this one has been absolutely horrendous.  From 6 weeks to 13 weeks I literally did nothing but lay on my couch as my children destroyed the house.  No housework, barely any cooking, no quality time with the kids, no projects, no nothing.  Just laying around.  I finally went to the doc around week 9 to get the magic nausea pill, and that helped…for 3 days.  Ugh.  I know it could’ve been worse…but it certainly didn’t feel like it at the time!  But I am now officially in the second trimester and feeling GOOD!  No more Hot Pockets, frozen pizzas and chicken nuggets for me; bring on the real food!

But anyway.  I realized it’s been waaaaay too long since I’ve updated anything and figured I should probably get on it.

When we moved into our Ottawa home we were faced with something we hadn’t experienced before:  100% hardwood floors.  Not a carpet to be seen–minus in the dining room.  Really?!  The dining room?  We quickly realized how expensive area rugs are and found a much cheaper solution:  painting a white rug.  I did some research on Pinterest (where else?) and pinned this post from Tatertots and Jello (a DIY home decorating blog that I adore, even if I never actually make any of their stuff, haha!).  I also found this post that recommended using a fabric medium to mix with the paint when painting rugs.  I ran out before I finished both rugs and I can tell the spots where I didn’t have enough left.  Those spots a lot more rough…it almost hurts when rubbing bare limbs on it.  I picked some up from Michaels with their 40% off coupon.

Next I found the design.  Both my husband and I loved this one so I decided to recreate it.

Step one:  the rug.  I picked up two white area rugs from Big Lots for $20/each.  I want to say it was this one…but this was 3 years ago so you’ll have to forgive my memory.

Step two:  the paint.  I headed to Lowes and went to my favorite section:  the paint samples!  I know I say it all of the time, but seriously, Lowes paint samples are the best.  Any color for less than $5!  I got brown, light blue, yellow, green and grey.  I also picked up a roll of green Frog Tape and a small paint roller and tray.

Step three:  marking the design.  This was the hardest part.  I opened the inspiration picture on my laptop and then sat on the floor with the rug, the picture and the painters tape and eyeballed it.  It took me hours to get the tape just right.  After I taped out the design I taped the entire outer edge of the rug as well.

Step four:  mixing the paint with the fabric medium.  Instructions are on the bottle, so pretty self-explanatory 😉

Step five:  painting!  I used a foam roller and did one color at a time.  I can’t remember for sure, but I think I only needed to do one coat.

Step six:  peeling all of that mother f—– tape off.  The second longest (and most tedious) part.

Step seven:  sit back and enjoy!  I can’t tell you how many compliments I received on this rug.  The design was so unique.  And people almost died of shock when I told them I painted it myself!  Totally worth all of the time and effort.  Not to mention the insane amount of money we saved by going this only sucky thing is the fact that we had two dogs and a toddler in the house.  By the time our two years were up we didn’t even hesitate–this rug went straight into the garbage.  It was absolutely filthy.  No amount of rug scrubbing would get it the pristine clean in the photo above.  I almost cried.

I also painted a rainbow rug for J’s room (I had a rainbow decor for her room in that house).  Fortunately this one made it through just fine…probably because it was in her room, where we barely ever played.  And never with anything messy.  It’s currently in our playroom downstairs and I don’t think it’s going to make it through a second move…diy-painted-rainbow-rug


Got the keys?

While we lived in Canada I was on a major organizing kick.  We had a giant house (5 bedrooms and a fully finished basement) which was about 3 times too big for our 3 person family.  It screamed for organization.

One of the easiest things to incorporate was a key holder.  I searched on Pinterest for awhile (where else??) and found this one that I really liked.  Clicking on the link revealed it to be in an etsy shop, on sale for a mere $33.  Thanks, but no thanks.  We made ours for about $ most kids, J has a bag of wooden blocks.  I dug through them until I found K E Y and S in a pattern.  Funny story:  3 year old J threw a fit when she saw this mounted on the wall!  She was not pleased that I had stolen some of her blocks.  Whoops!

Hubby took a scrap piece of wood from one of our many other projects and cut it approximately 10×4.  He painted it white with some leftover primer then picked up a set of 4 hooks for $2 at Lowes and twisted them in.  I hot glued the wooden blocks on, and BAM!  Finished!

Only problem?  I never remember to hang my keys on it!  According to Hubby, he hung it up on the wall directly across from the front door at eye level so I would see it when I walked in.  diy-key-holder-2However, at 5’2″, his estimate of my eye line was a bit’s about 2 inches too high to be in my line of vision.  So although the 75 sets of keys Hubby owns can always be found at a moment’s notice, I’m usually wondering around the house for 15 minutes looking for mine.  Because why wouldn’t they be on the sink in the upstairs bathroom??  Makes perfect sense.


What Time is it Mr. Fox?

I saw this awesome idea a few years back and immediately fell in love.  I pinned it for future use in my house.picture-frame-clockOnce we moved into our house in Ottawa I incorporated it into our decor.  And by that I mean I bought the picture frames, found coordinating pictures, bought the clock hands…and then handed it all to Hubby with a copy of the inspiration and said, “I want this.  Thanks!”

Needless to say, he was not pleased.  Just in case you’re forgotten, Hubby despises putting holes in the wall.  And the first go-round with this picture clock was a disaster.  It took him try after try after try to get the frames in place.  So he put in about 100 more holes than necessary.  But I didn’t let all of his griping bother me…I absolutely love it.  I insisted that we do it again when we moved to Virginia and will continue to force him to put it up for all of eternity.

I purchased the frames from Ikea.  I bought 4 2-packs of white and 2 2-packs of black.  They’re super cheap frames (only a plastic insert in the front, not glass, and a cardboard backing) but have held up very well.  I picked up a set of clock hands from Michaels, but once they were on the wall they were really small and looked absolutely ridiculous.  So the clock went without hands for a few weeks while this set I ordered from Amazon finally arrived (and then sat on the dining room table for awhile before Hubby finally got around to hanging it up).

The most difficult part (for me, not Hubby, haha) was figuring out the “theme” I wanted to go with.  I finally settled on things in our lives that related to that number.  So:

1 child

2 dogs

3 people in our family

4 Army units Hubby has been in

5 places we’ve lived

6 years of marriage

7 years it took me to get my diploma

8 vehicles owned between the two of us (total, not at once, haha!)

9 cumulative years we worked at Giant (the grocery store where we met)

10 years we’ve been together

11 years old was how long our first dog was when he passed away

12 years Hubby has been in the Army

Now do you see why it took me weeks to come up with this list?!  I’m sure you can tell the ones that were the most difficult (8/9/11).  Once I finally had the list finished I picked out photos to represent each number, put them in the frames and gave it all to Hubby.

So here’s what it looked like in our Canada though we were there for 2 years I left all of the pictures the same.  There was no way I was going to rearrange stuff and think of new numbers!

When we moved to Virginia and had to start it from scratch anyway, we I decided to go a different way:  pictures of the kids at months 1-12.  C has the odd numbers and J has the evens (although that’s only for the first 6 months since I still haven’t gotten around to updating it since C turned 1.  Whoops.).diy-photo-clock-2Hubby also decided to move it in closer.  He didn’t want to spend hours getting it to look right like he did last time, so he pushed it all in and was able to throw the entire thing up in 5 minutes.  diy-photo-clock-3The last change I made this time around was to add vinyl numbers onto each frame.  I just used my super handy Silhouette to cut the numbers out for me and then stuck them right onto the plastic.

I’m not a decor person and I think it really gives our home a special something.  We get compliments on it all of the time!  I’m sure Hubby would disagree, but I absolutely love it.


All of the crap has to go somewhere…


Before J was born I asked Hubby to make me a toy box.  Although it took him much longer than it should have to actually make it, I was very pleased with the way it turned out.  He just hammered together a bunch of 2x4s, added a lid on a hinge and bam, done!  I painted it to match the nursery decor, yellow and blue.  We had a bunch of orange paint leftover from our living room wall so I painted the inside with bought the huge letters from Michaels.  Since the nursery theme was ducks and frogs, I collected any wooden ducks and frogs I could find from craft stores like Michaels, Joann’s and Ben Franklins.  

I decorated the top with glow in the dark

There are two things that I do not like about this toy box.  The major one is the lid.  It’s on a hinge and there isn’t any type of stopper.  This type of toy box is banned from being sold in the US in stores since kids can break their neck if the lid comes slamming down.  Hubby was supposed to find a way to stop it from coming down like that, but that was almost 5 years ago and he still hasn’t done it.  I really need to force him to do it because it makes me so nervous.  We solve the problem by keeping the lid down all the time.  Since it’s made out of solid wood, that lid is heavy; there’s no way the kids can open it on their own.

The second issue is how I attached the PLAY letters and the ducks and frogs.  I just used regular wood glue.  I don’t know if it’s because it doesn’t adhere well to the paint or if the brand I bought just sucks, but almost all of those suckers have since fallen off.  The toy box now says “P  A  “.  Of course our constant moves don’t help.  I think if it had been sitting in the corner for the last 5 years they would all still be attached.

When Hubby got back from his second deployment I asked for a second toy box.  J was about a year and a half old and the basket we were using the living room just wasn’t cutting it anymore.  We had toys coming out our @sses.  So, he built another one.

This time I asked him to not attach the lid at all.  Not only do I no longer have to worry about our children having their necks broken while finding a toy, but it now allows for overflow, haha.  Win!diy-toy-box-1-

I went with a beach theme for this one.  I used beige and teal paint for the outside, and then painted the inside dark blue and teal.  I picked up a ton of wooden beach pieces from craft stores.  Since this toy box was made before we started moving and I realized that wood glue was not the way to go, I attached everything the same way.  As you can see, the pieces on this one fell off at a much faster rate.  The entire bottom panel was originally covered with beach items.  And the letters never attached well to begin with (I think because they’re so much larger and heavier than the last set).  Hubby had to screw those suckers on there.

This one is a lot bigger than the last one as well.  Which we need.  I recently went through an organization flurry and am rotating toys each month so there’s plenty of room now, but before this sucker was always at full capacity.  It was impossible to find anything.

Because it was so much bigger I decided to paint some play-related quotes on it.  Since this was way before I ever even heard of a Silhouette, I stenciled everything on the old fashioned way:  actual stencils.  I picked up a sheet of letters from Michaels, took a pencil and traced each individual letter on the box.  Time consuming, but I like the way it turned out.
diy-toy-box-1-side diy-toy-box-1-side-2 diy-toy-box-1-top

So that’s it!  Our lifesaving toy boxes.