Friday, October 30, 2009

Final Touches

Goodwill shirts stenciled. Roughly stenciled, but done all the same.

Yes, my hubby is such a good sport. Yes, I definitely plan to keep him!

See... :)

"It's the GREAT PUMPKIN, Charlie Brown!"

With a quack, quack here and a moo, moo there...

Dollar Store angel halos transformed with ladybugish style.

We're ready to roll! Almost.

Except for that whole house preparing thing. Thank goodness Nana is in town!

Tomorrow is our second annual CHILI-ing Fall Fun. The neighborhood children and their families come over to our place in the evening. Chili for the adults, hot dogs for the kiddos, a bonfire out back, and welcoming front porch lights along the streets calling for candy overload afterwards.

Fall time lovely!

How will you spend your Saturday?

Have a safe one,

Monday, October 26, 2009

Oh Baby!

My favorite part of party planning, other than being able to bless those I'm planning for, is the sheer joy that comes with turning normal everyday things into wonderful party decorations! We spent months planning a baby shower for my brother and his wife and put that plan into action! Here are some of the tips we used for decorating and gift making.

It all started with the invitation. We went with a pink, green and brown color scheme. I designed these invitations using good ol' Microsoft Publisher. It's amazing what a little inspiration from a great stationery website can do to get the creative juices flowing! I love the little scalloped edge near the top.
We knew we wanted to serve cupcakes, but didn't want to have to buy a cupcake stand. So, we got a little creative, once again. We took some cans of food, some microwave trays, a couple of plates and some scrapbook paper and went from this...

and this...
to this...
and this...
We made and decorated our own cupcakes and saved a boat load of cash! Just as cute and just as tasty!

Some yummy dips and fudge made by my step-mom and some pretty pink punch finished out the buffet.

Each table was set up with a small candy buffet as the centerpiece. We used random shaped and sized jars and containers, filled them with brown, pink and green candies and tied them up with coordinating ribbons and homemade description tags.
The shower was held in the church fellowship hall, so every little colorful detail helped distract from the drab wood paneling.

A simple piece of fabric and some tissue paper pom-poms helped to frame out the seating area for Mommy and Daddy.
This little sign acted as a centerpiece for their table.
Our original plan was to decorate these letters to hang on the wall at the shower.

But, there was nowhere to hang them, so they went straight to Regan's room to hang over her crib. Adorable!
I used some scrapbook paper and other craft supplies to decorate this plain Jane wipes box turning it from this...
to this...
It can be kept on Reagan's changing table and refilled. I've since made a couple more of these to match their kitchen and living room colors. If you're going to have to use the wipes, you might as well make it a little more fun, right?

They got tons of gifts,
including some super cute monogrammed bibs and onesies from Auntie Sarai,
and had a wonderful afternoon celebrating the arrival of baby Reagan!
And it's a good thing we didn't wait any later to host this shower, because Reagan made her debut 2 weeks early! She was born on October 23rd and is absolutely perfect!

Party planning doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg! Be creative and use what you've got!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Easy as Pie

Muffins, actually.

But these simple, sweet things just might surprise you.

While Brooke and Sarai recover from an amazing weekend of serving college aged women, I thought I'd pass along a recipe that I'm pretty sure one of them gave to me some time back.

Take this and this and mix together until well combined.

Do NOT even turn that spice cake mix box around. Pay no attention to the directions on the back of it. The can of pumpkin and the cake mix. Period.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 15-17 minutes for approximately 8-12 pumpkin muffins (depending on how big you like them!)

Easy enough for any ole morning, but pretty enough for special guests!


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thinking Outside the {Plastic} Box

I have nothing against those big plastic containers. They come in handy for all sorts of storage issues, like for all those clothes your babies keep outgrowing. Sniffle.

But, these days it's been fun to repurpose stuff all over the house as more creative storage. Here are a few examples to get your wheels turning. Mine are all used for the various things our children collect, but hopefully it can inspire beyond that.

I'm a big fan of wicker baskets (shoot, just about any baskets) and chests (especially when the chest was someone else's trash turned my treasure-- which, by the way, I semi-recently spray painted back to life!) These help out by housing books and toys.

These are more baskets, but I added some letters picked up for fifty cents at a funky old shop. We keep these in the family room for each of the girls. Items like magnetic letters with a tiny baking pan to spell on, ABC and shapes flashcards, playing cards, books, and crayons are inside.
Also in our family room is this old crate. I scored it from my Mom's house, since she didn't have room for it, and used it to store the girls' collection of hand-me-down and Goodwill videos. Or, at least, I did until a certain little someone was in it all the time, so now it holds some of my fave magazines I just can't part with.

Right near the kitchen we have a number of art and other special supplies on hand for keeping little fingers busy while I cook, try to make phone calls, or when we want to do an impromptu project together. My solution for storing it all is in these cheap-o cardboard photo boxes.
Lastly are traveling cases like old suitcases, trunks, or this little thing. It holds about a gazillion tiny pieces to our wooden game sets.

Take a look around. Bet you have something out of the ordinary to repurpose too!

Happy Hunting,

Friday, October 16, 2009

Counting Sheep... I Mean Crafts

The house is quiet, and I just can't sleep. My wheels are turning for a number of reasons, so I decided I could use some crafting therapy.

This little bloggy idea is just what the doctor ordered!

For around five bucks the girls now have some buckety cuteness to carry for, what I hope is, years to come.

I started with this plus scissors and several more glue sticks:
Now I'll admit, I'm not a fan of scary and weird when it comes to fall time fun. It's just not our thing. And I didn't have two gallons of ice-cream lying around, which would have been semi-horrifying for me to eat right now anyway. These buckets simply had the market on being black and cheap, a perfect combo for this project.

Felt hot glued and trimmed...
Ribbon hot glued to touch up the edges and tied onto the handles. Next year, I'll replace the ladybug print with something different...

Initials stamped into place. I bought two of these monograms for about seventy-five cents a year ago at a scrapbook superstore. One for each of the girl's names, and they come in handy all the time...
Wait! I went and made the skeletons mad or something. Smudged printing on top of the ribbon to boot. Not exactly what I had in mind.

Hmmm, maybe a bit of brain food could help...
Works every time! So glad I opted to pay the additional twenty cents for another sheet of black felt. Always, always get extras when you hear that little voice saying, "You know, you might mess up???"
Better, I think! I reprinted the letter on extra felt and framed out the piece with ribbon and four small buttons. Crisis avoided after all!
Thanks, Brown Paper Packages! Surely my sleep will be sweeter now, but I'm sure gonna get some before attempting the next bucket on my list. :)

Happy Weekend,

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Helping Paint the Trees

I can't wait to take a drive soon up the nearby parkway to see God's paintbrush at work. Flecks of gold, orange, yellow, and red on the trees.

And don't forget the thermos of cider!

In anticipation of that simple joy, the girls and I did an easy painting project. No need for brushes since the fingers do all the creating. I do have two words for you, though... washable paints. You're welcome. :)
Trace from the elbow to the fingertips to make your tree trunk. We crayoned, but you could paint this part too.
Then finger paint those leaves to your heart's delight! Though I love a cute little apron, when it's just us here, we almost always paint au' naturale. When fingerpaints move to belly, knee, and elbow paints it just makes life easier on us all. :)
We hung the paintings in the kitchen windows so we can compare to the trees out back. H's went all ablaze on us, while M's had a kind of less is more approach. Either way, we call them precious.

A sweet touch of fall, even.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Miracle Combo

Let me start with this disclaimer: The contents below are less than desirable and somtimes a little gross. Stick with me here as I promise to make it all better in the end!

Let's face it. With the fall and winter months comes dry, itchy skin. If you're like me, wearing long sleeves gives you rough, scratchy elbows and wearing sock and shoes all the time gives you dry, cracked heels. I inherited the lovely genes of my mom and her sisters which means my feet reach an all new level of pain each winter. (See, told it wouldn't be pretty!) We've all tried exfoliating brushes, foot soaks, fancy socks, lotion after lotion and even the nationally acclaimed PedEgg. And yeah, they usually work...a little. But nothing ever seems to give the results that we really want. You know, the soft as a baby's tooshie feet.

Well, thanks to some lady on Oprah, and a gentle reminder from my sister-in-law, I've found the miracle combo. Drumroll, please....

That's right, people, Stridex Pads and Vaseline Lotion. Something about the salacylic acid in the Stridex pads causes the dead, gross skin to break down and go away. The lotion just helps to moisturize. I've found that the more intensely moisturizing the lotion is, the better. And if it says something about several hours of hydration, that's a good thing too. So, forget the PedEggs and fancy exfoliating tools. Head out to Wal-Mart and pick up these 2 items. For just a few dollars (you'll probably spend less than 5 bucks) you, too, can have smoth feet, Simple Girl style :)

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Shower the people you love with love...

This weekend I had the honor of hosting a shower for my dear friend Kristi and her much anticipated daughter, Isabella Marissa. Isa's nursery does not have a set theme, so what better theme to celebrate the arrival of a little girl than pink and brown polka dots. I really find a lot of joy in sprucing up my house and welcoming friends in. This shower definitely had the best of all good things...good food, good friends and good fellowship. Here is a little peek...

I made a simple banner with scrapbook paper from our friend, Hobby Lobby, and added those little cutouts of onesies, which I found at The Dollar Tree.

Isabella's nickname, Isa, is framed with dollar frames from Michael's, which I painted white and sanded a little to have a vintage look. I backed them in brown and pink scrapbook paper and added the letters in pink. They are hanging from some brown and pink ribbon I got out of the clearance bin at Michael's. Overall this project cost around $4.00 to make. Kristi was excited to add these to Isabella's nursery!

My friend, Julie, put her talents to use and made a great diaper cake which served as the centerpiece for the gift table. I love the touch of the fresh flowers coming from the center! Great job, Julie!

When it comes to food I usually have the army mentality, I try to feed an army...but this time I really tried to be realistic and not go overboard. The menu included apples and caramel dip, veggies and spinach dip, a pineapple cheese ball, homemade chicken salad and pasta salad. For a little something sweet, I made a trio of mini cupcakes, pumpkin with cream cheese icing, brownie bites and yellow cake with chocolate icing. I used some place cards to label the food and some simple vases with ribbon attached to add a little something special to the table. I was even able to get some more flowers from my garden! My favorite touch for the table were the paper lanterns I found at the Dollar Spot at Target. I added the polka dots and hung them with some cute ribbon.

For the favors, I created a candy buffet and left each guest a sippy cup to fill with sweet treats. I tried to get colorful and fun treats. The guests really seemed to enjoy this special treat!

To add a few more special touches, I used receiving blankets as the table cloths and plain candles wrapped in coordinating pink and brown ribbons. Simple ways to add some personal touches to any shower.

This simple Sunday afternoon shower was the perfect way to celebrate the upcoming arrival of such a precious blessing. And a great reminder that...

Related Posts with Thumbnails