Monday, July 28, 2014

A DIY My Little Pony Party

My baby girl turned FIVE a few weeks ago and I figured, age five was the perfect age to throw her first, big party.

I mean, five is a pretty important age.

Some of my very first memories are between age 4 - 5, and I wanted this day to be special - a day that will hopefully be one of her first memories when she's old like me.

Because she's five, she lives in a world of wonder and fantasy. Her favorite things to do include pretending she's a princess, pretending she's a pony, putting on fashion shows, coloring in princess coloring books, and watching pony and princess movies.

Her latest obsession = My Little Pony. And she insisted on having a My Little Pony birthday party.

Now, I'm all for themed birthday parties, but I didn't want her party to be a cartoon explosion. I wanted to keep it classy, but still kid friendly.

Want to see how it turned out?

For the invitation, I printed and cut out rainbow invitations from a free printable by Mr. Printables:

images via  You can download the invitation HERE.

Before the party, I asked each of the moms about their daughter's favorite thing to do. Then, with my Cricut I made custom "cutie mark" t-shirts the girls wore at the party. 

Each of the girls loved different things, so all of the shirts were different. They turned out so cute!

Unicorn horn headbands! I couldn't help myself. 

I made one for each of the girls and will be sharing a tutorial later this week.

I filled the swag bags with a My Little Pony coloring book, pens and a puzzle. I made sure the bag was big enough to carry their shirt, unicorn horn and painted pony.

Yes, I said painted pony.

Did you know you can buy blank My Little Ponies on Hasbro's website? Well, you can. I bought one for each girl to paint at the party.

I put the table outside to avoid the inevitable mess :) The girls LOVED painting their horses. 

For the food table, I incorporated the rainbow theme from the invitation into the decor. I made the banner from items I found at Zurchers.

Skittles, squeeze-its and cookies, oh my! I wanted to make everything look bright and happy - it wasn't until later that I realized that I gave the girls a SUGAR OVERLOAD. Sorry parents! 

Instead of a traditional cake, E chose cupcakes. For the Happy Birthday topper, I used TomKat's design from Cricut Design Space. I cut out 10 Happy Birthday images with my Cricut and then glued them together. The top layer is a shiny piece of gold paper. 

The party was more work that I bargained for, but I am happy with how things turned out. I'd even say it was a success. After all, the birthday girl did say, "This party is everything I've ever imagined." 

Happy Birthday E! 
Love, Mom

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Best Origami Bows Ever

I love bows. I do. I can't help it. Everything looks better with a bow. And you want to know what kind of bow is my absolute favorite?


Oh come on, you knew I was going to say that!

ACK! I am so in love with them right now.

I also have an affinity for origami. So, when I saw pictures of a complicated-looking origami bow, I knew I had to learn how to make one...or ten.

As far as I can tell, the original origami bow tutorial came from a Korean website called Tweety Atelier and it has just recently exploded over the interwebs with the beautiful pictures from a post on a Danish blog, Mood Kids

Both of these tutorials are not in my native tongue, so I chose to follow the (easy-to-read and understand) directions posted by Helen of Let's Create. She also includes step-by-step pictorial instructions.

How-To Gal Tips:
1. Don't give up if your first bow isn't successful.
2. Try patterned cardstock to give your bows a more modern feel.
3. If you use cardstock, have a bone folder handy and be sure to make all of your creases super sharp. Sharp creases always result in a better finished project.

After mastering the fold, all it took was a few hours before I had a delightful stack of origami bows just waiting to be gifted. If you have a birthday or other celebration coming up, wow the giftee with a beautiful handmade paper bow.

Happy Folding!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Happy Earth Day!

How to make an earth day banner

Earth Day is this Tuesday, April 22 and I really wanted to celebrate. I mean, this Earth place we live on is pretty amazing, don't you think? Head over to the Cricut blog to see how I made this beautiful banner with my kidlets.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

DIY Vertical Herb Garden

Fresh herbs. Yum. There's nothing better than fresh, home-grown basil in pasta or fresh cilantro in a batch of homemade salsa.

Maybe it's my body's desperate attempt to change the weather, but when that hint of Spring air blows through, all I want is to have fresh vegetables garnished with herbs for every meal. There are only so many times I can sprinkle dried basil in canned tomato soup before I NEED tomato, basil and mozzarella on a toasted ciabatta bun.

This year I decided I wanted to have as many fresh herbs at my fingertips as it was humanly possible. But because of my indecisive nature, I was unsure of how to incorporate a practical solution in a semi-permanent way.

That is, until I spotted this gorgeous window display by Anthropologie featuring a vertical garden. I knew I could translate the idea into my ideal DIY herb garden.

Vertical garden window display

Of course, I didn't want to hang my garden right on the side of my house - that's way too permanent for me - so I used the deck railing as my canvas instead.

Vertical herb garden for a backyard

I was able to achieve a similar effect in a cost-effective and semi-permanent manner.

DIY herb garden with rosemary

Materials Needed to Build a DIY herb garden: 6 ft fence posts, Saw, Hand sander, Drill, 3/8" drill bit, Screwdriver, 3/4" screws, Paint - I used Americana Decor Chalky Finish paint, Flower pots, Zip ties, Herbs and flowers

Step One: Buy fence posts from your local hardware store (about $1.64 each) and cut to size. My deck's railing measures 30 inches high so I cut my fence post into two 30-inch pieces. I bought six total fence posts which made 12 different canvases.

Hand sanding fence posts for a DIY outdoor herb garden

Step Two: Sand the heck out of the fence posts. They aren't pretty folks and need a major sanding. I sanded them with my hand sander using a coarse grit paper and then finished off with hand sanding with a light grit paper.

Step Three: Paint your boards or seal them in some way. I chose to use Americana Decor Chalky Finish paint without a wax sealant because I wanted my boards to look a little rustic. And over time, they will wear beautifully. I love Americana Decor paint's vibrant colors. All it took was one light coat to fully cover my fence posts.

Use chalk paint to refinish old wood

The new Americana Decor Chalky Finish paint is now available at Home Depot and Michaels stores. It is also available for purchase online at

If you want your project to withstand the ages, use a soft-touch varnish or clear wax.

Step Four: Drill two holes in your pots, one at the top and one in the middle. Use a 3/8" drill bit to make a big enough hole for your 3/4" screws. Because I used this lacy pot from IKEA, I didn't have to drill a hole in the top.

Step Five: Screw the planter pot right onto the fence post. Start the screws with a screwdriver and then finish them off with a drill.

Step Six: Use gravity to your advantage and set the bottom of the fence post on a solid surface. Use zip ties to attach the fence posts to it's new home. You could use an actual fence, a trellis or a deck railing like I did. Just as long as it has something vertical to hang on. Trim excess zip tie material.

Step Seven: Plant flowers and herbs in your pots. I put a handful of rocks on the bottom of the planters to aid in drainage.

In every other pot I placed flowers to break up the herbs. The plants were the most expensive part of my outdoor herb garden. You could save money by starting seeds in your home before transplanting them outside.

plant English daisies in an herb garden

English daisies, pansies and pink ranunculuses make me so happy. The pops of pink really add to the fresh, outdoor ambiance.

DIY vertical herb garden

I can't wait to sit on my deck this summer, enjoy my view and smell the delicious scent of fresh herbs growing steps away from my kitchen. Come on over one night and I'll make you some yummy salsa :)

For more information on the Americana Decor Chalky Finish paint I used in this post, visit the DecoArt Chalky Finish website

*I was sent sample products for a DecoArt campaign, all opinions and awesome project ideas are my own.

Monday, March 24, 2014

William's Room - A Good Start

I've always struggled with decorating my baby boy's room. Remember my first confession and mood board when I found out I was having a boy?

I was totally freaked out by all things boy.

I pulled it together and (on a tight budget) had his room ready and waiting for him in our old house. I talk about it here.

Flash forward, two years later.

We have a new house, my tastes have somewhat changed from my original mood board and I work full-time. I know, #firstworldproblems.

I still favor the color palette though and wanted to keep some of the things I had already made for the room, like the paper mobile. So I ran with it and while I'm still working on William's room, I thought I'd share a quick sneak peek this morning.

Here's a picture of the room the day we moved in:

And here it is as of this weekend:

Simple and clean.

We painted the room the same shade of gray as the rest of the house. It is amazing how a new wall color can totally change the mood of a room.

Things to do:
Fancy up the pull-down shade
Transition to a toddler bed
Shelving for toys
More art
New base boards and casing

I still have a ways to go, but I'm so happy with how bright and cheery the room is turning out.


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