Wild Baby Shower Gifts

One of my good friends is expecting a boy at the end of the month and she had an amazing baby shower with a “Where the Wild Things Are” theme. As it so happens, that is also the theme of the new nursery.

I wanted to do something special for her (and the baby!), and I kept going back and forth with ideas and searching on Pinterest, Instagram and Google.  I finally decided to create custom baby blocks, a onesie and a t-shirt for the new little guy.

To begin, I ordered blank wooden blocks from Amazon.  24 blocks for only $15…not too bad!

Then I did a Google search for images of Where the Wild Things Are book (there were many!).  I inserted the images on a Word Document and cropped them all to the same size.  I cropped mine to 1.5″ x 1.5″ since that was the size of the blocks I planned to use.  I made a few extra squares and inserted lines from the story and also included a clip art crown with the baby’s name.

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I printed multiple pages so that there were enough squares to cover each side of the blocks (144 squares in all!).  I used my Swingline Paper Trimmer to cut out each square.

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I then mixed 1 cup of water with 1 cup of Elmer’s glue and found myself a sponge brush.  I sponged the glue mixture onto one face of the block and then placed a paper square on top.  I then sponged more mixture over the paper. I had to make sure to sponge out all of the wrinkles and bubbles so that the paper laid flat on the surface of the block.

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We (my husband helped!) were able to cover 4-5 sides of the block at one time before we had to let them dry in order to do the remaining sides. We put 3 coats on each block, but I think 2 coats would have been enough.  It being my first time doing this, I wanted to make sure that the paper stayed put.

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In between drying times, I worked on the Cricut Design Space and designed the two shirts I made.  Once I had an idea of what I wanted, it didn’t take long to do.

To complete all three gifts took about 2.5 hours when you include drying time and ironing on the vinyl to the shirts. Time well spent and worth it to see the smile when she opened the gifts 🙂

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Go Big or Go Home

We got the kids a slip-n-slide for the summer and they are obsessed.  Since I have ZERO interest in breaking a limb or getting whiplash, I started searching the internet for something new to do with the kiddos in the backyard.  And what did I come across? GIANT BACKYARD GAMES!

It’s not common to call “giant” things adorable, but these are!  And they look like even more fun than their regular-sized versions.

The first game I found was on Build-Basic.  This amazing site provides step-by-step instructions as well as lists for supplies, tools and cuts!

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A Little Craft In Your Day provides a YouTube video on how to create this insanely large version of Kerplunk!

Giant Kerplunk

These classy lawn dominoes look super easy to make and full instructions can be found at Iron & Twine.

Lawn Dominos

Dallas Moms Blog provides detailed instructions on how to make this colorful Jenga set.  Their blog post will also give you instructions on how to make giant yard dice (Yahtzee, anyone?!)

Lawn Jenga

My kid loves match games!  Studio DIY provides instructions on how to make these and a link where you can download free stencils.  However, with a game like this, you can be creative and customize the “cards”!

Lawn Match Game

This last one is more for me, daddy, and very committed Scrabble players.  An ingenous couple from Ohio created this Scrabble “board” with 225 pavers and craft-store wood plaques. Click here for more pictures.

Lawn Scrabble

Two questions remain….which one do I start with, and where am I going to store it?!

DuckTales…woo hoo!

So, my “baby” girl turns six tomorrow :*(  Every year since she’s been born, we throw a big bash for her with all our family and friends.  I just didn’t have it in me this year. Henry will be two in July and thinking about doing two parties at the scale in which I typically do them would monopolize my time and hurt my purse.  But luck would have it that Emma wanted to have some of her friends play with her at BounceU instead of having a party at home.  I was incredibly relieved!  No pre-party cleaning, no post-party clearing, no putting extra food in tupperware, no piling up of the trash and recyclables waiting for trash pick-up in six days.

So, to make it up to her (actually, to make it up to myself because I felt guilty about not having a big party), I told her that I’d make her a DuckTales shirt along with some cupcakes to match.  Imagine my surprise when my kid tells me that she loves DuckTales. I was shocked. It was the same show that I watched when I wasn’t much older than her!  Granted, this is the reboot, but the theme song still gets stuck in my head (woo hoo!).

I found vector images online of the adorable ducks and uploaded them to Cricut Design Basics and got to work.  As you can see, the ducks turned out pretty awesome.  They were so cute to begin with that they make the shirt look good 🙂

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To go with the shirt, I made 12 fondant duck faces to put on top of the cupcakes (using edible markers), and then created cupcake wrappers (with gold coins!) and cupcake toppers for the other 12 cupcakes.

Finally, I created some quick labels for the goody bags using the same images I found online.img_4990-1

Emma was super happy, which of course made my heart swell 🙂 The time and effort put into these things that I enjoy doing, just make it much more enjoyable!

School was cool, but……

I’ve been spending a lot of time with my Cricut machine…so much so that I’m worried about wearing it out (….which makes me wonder if I have a warranty…..). Anyway,  I was asked to create some end-of-year t-shirts for a great group of teachers in Florida.  After texting back and forth, we came up with an idea that they liked.

I bought some great quality t-shirts (in hot pink, no less) from www.clothingshoponline.com.  I’ve never seen quality shirts with prices this low (if you have, please share that info!).  I also got an AMAZING price on heat transfer vinyl from www.happycrafters.com.  Again, if you’ve seen a better price from somewhere else, let me know! But I doubt that you will…I’ve been doing research for quite some time and am really pleased with these two sites that I found.

After getting the supplies, it was time to cut!  In order to make 8 shirts, I spent a few hours with my trusty Cricut.

After Cricut was done her job, it was my turn to weed….which took FOREVER! lol.  Just kidding, but it did take some time. I had eight pieces for each of the eight shirts.  8 x 8 = A LOT OF WEEDING!

Once the weeding was done, it was time to break out the Cricut Easy Press!  Can I just say how much I love this thing? You select your temperature and time and get a great result 99% of the time (I say 99% because using the Easy Press on a onesie has been a little challenging since the press’s surface area is larger than the onesie’s).

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Having the Easy Press has seriously cut down the time it takes for me to iron on vinyl to fabric.  It took less time for me to press these shirts than it did to line them up properly!  All in all, I was happy with the result.

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Baby Shower Gifts

So, I’ve been meaning to write some blog entries on all the crafts I’ve been doing, but I never got the chance.  Also, since I’m new to this, I keep forgetting to take pictures!  I did, however, remember to take a few pictures of some gifts I made for a friend’s baby shower.

Some good friends of ours are having their first baby due in July.  They decided to not find out the gender so everything related to the baby has been gender-neutral so far.  I decided to make a “diaper tub” and a onesie that is geared for each parent.

For the “diaper tub” I bought a plastic tub from Target (located in the seasonal summer section) and filled it with the brand of diaper listed on their baby registry.

Next, I cut thin slivers of baby blue cardstock and rolled them around a mechanical pencil, resulting in curly strands that represented the “water” in the tub.  I taped down the “water” to a paper plate and then added cotton balls and a rubber duck.  To complete the look, I used my Cricut machine to cut out vinyl to decorate the tub and to create a card.

To go with this gift, I bought a Johnson & Johnson baby bath gift set, along with a duck wash cloth.

I also used my Cricut machine to create two cute onesies that represents each parents’ occupation.

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I love hand-making gifts. I think it provides a personal aspect and shows that you really care about the recipient. Not only do these items serve as a gift, but also the time I spent into planning and making each one.

Looking forward to finding some more ideas on Pinterest for the next shower in July!

Patriotic BBQs

I’m patiently waiting on the chilly east coast for summer to finally be here.  Besides looking forward to my two kiddos’ summer b-days, I also look forward to celebrating the patriotic holidays with family and friends.  While waiting for the spring weather to finally arrive, I’ve been searching the web for some great ideas for this summer’s barbecues 🙂

Stars and Stripes Mason Jars

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Cupcakes in a Jar and free printables!

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Free printables from Hoosier Homemade!

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Can-Do Cans from Martha Stewart with free printable!

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Paper Bag Lantern by Hoosier Homemade

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Big Top Circus and Carnival Party

With summer quickly approaching, I can’t stop thinking about the fun party themes that can be done in my backyard.  Currently, I’m leaning towards a Big Top Circus and Carnival theme for my son who turns two in July.  After researching on the internet, I found some really amazing sites where moms really knocked it out of the park.  I think I will be drawing inspiration from them this summer!

Cristina Riches from Bird’s Party threw an amazing joint party for her two kiddos which included great food, decor, and even carnival games!  You can purchase party printables and supplies from her online store.

 

Carol from Partylicious also put together another wonderful party filled with bright decor, amazing balloon art, and fun carnival games.

Alice In Wonderland Birthday

In terms of themes, I don’t think you can get more whimsical than Alice In Wonderland, and Via Blossom took that terminology to a whole other level.  The decor was inspired by the book and the movie.  The bright flowers and large cutouts really brought the magic out in this wonderful fairy tale tea party.  The gorgeous party supplies were created by Via Blossom and can be purchased from their online shop.  These pictures have provided great inspiration for my next party!

 

 

 

My First Attempt at a Full Sheet Cake

So, this morning I completed my very first full sheet cake.  A friend of the family wanted a one-layer beach-themed cake for her wife’s 60th birthday party today.  Needless to say, I was very nervous about getting it done, being that I’ve never done anything this large before.

I baked the cakes last night and put them in the refrigerator until this morning.  I had to use 4 boxes of cake mix for each flavor to fill the pan (thanks for the sale, ShopRite!).

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I used a bread knife to even out the two halves, and then created a crumb coat with a butter cream recipe from Betty Crocker (Link to Recipe).

I added more frosting and used my spatula to create texture between the two halves. The left side was wavy (for the water) and the right side was smooth (for the sand).  I then added blue food coloring to clear piping gel and applied it to the left side and used a mixture of ground up Nilla Wafers and Keebler’s Graham Cracker Crumbs for the right side.

I then decorated the cake with items I bought on Amazon.com:

Wooden Adirondack Chairs and Fence

Minature Fairy Garden Beach Flip Flops

Timeless Minatures-Books

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I used my Cricut machine to cut out the 60 and attached it to toothpicks. The couple also likes to collect sea glass, so I purchased rock candy and laid some on the “sea foam” and in a thimble by the chairs.

All-in-all, it wasn’t a crazy project.  There weren’t as many hiccups as I usually have when doing something for the first time.  But now I must go and clean my kitchen!

Trolls Birthday Party

My girl Emma celebrated her fifth birthday last May and was hugely obsessed with the movie Trolls.  As soon as she told us what she wanted her party theme to be, my sister Betty and I started right away.

Her birthday falls right around Memorial Day weekend, so we typically have a small family party on the actual day, followed by a party with family and friends after the holiday weekend.

For the day of her birthday, I always make a homemade cake.  And as you can see below, Emma was very happy with what I had decided to do.  I baked a regular 9″ round cake and cupcakes, and created a fondant Poppy to place on top.

For the big party, my sister and I hit up Pinterest to see what was out there.  In the end, we ended up coming up with our own ideas and make everything by hand.  It was a ton of work, but a major success….see that kid’s smile?! 🙂

 

The chocolate covered pretzels, Oreos and marshmallow treats were created by  Ronda’s Sweet Treats !