Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Smile Party.............Just Because

Have I mentioned in previous blog posts that I miss my friend, Sarah B.?  Let me recap....I knew her vaguely when our husbands worked together at Fort Bragg, NC, and then her family moved here, Florida, a month after we did.  We became great friends and bonded over kids, crafts, deployments, drinks, food and shenanigans.  Our husbands were stationed at MacDill Air Force Base (Go Army ;)), well, mine still is, but after three years, Sarah B.'s hubby was shipped to Korea, so Sarah B. took her babies back to her hometown in Iowa to be near family for the deployment.  I don't blame her, she has three little ones under 5 years old...although I am pissed she left me behind!  Just kidding, it's the military life and we deal with it, but damn, I miss her and the kids!
So, one day I decided I would send her and the kiddos a little happiness in a box.  I got lots of ideas off Pinterest (not gonna lie about that), but I put my own twist on the contents and made it so that it was a family activity for any occassion!

I bought a cake mix, frosting, candy (for toppings), sprinkles and popcorn.

I made cupcake wrappers, cupcake toppers, cones (for the popcorn), straw flags, bag toppers and labels with fun, colorful cardstock.

Since I wanted it to be used for any occassion, I kept everything generic, but cute!

I made two banners...Smile! and Party!  Simple but fun!

I had a leftover tablecloth from a party, so I used that to cushion the box and it would also be useable to protect the table while the little ones decorated cupcakes!

Not rocket science to pack a box, but I wanted the banner on the bottom to keep its shape.

Then just filled it in with the rest of the items....

....leaving the cones for last so they wouldn't get smushed :)

Cheesy, right?!?!  Writing poems are HARD!  I knew I needed to add something to explain the box...this is what I came up with:


Sarah B. loved recieving the party in a box and immediately texted me after they opened it.  It turned out she was having another friend from North Carolina visit that weekend.  Her name is Bonnie and she has three little ones too.  The party in a box was a perfect activity for six kids!

She hung up the banners....

baked the cupcakes....

and the kids went to it!  This is Evan...he loves the frosting!

Bonnie's daughter...concentrating on getting the candies on just right!

Bonnie and two of her kiddos!  Looks like they had a lot of fun!

Cupcake creation....

Mmmmm, chocolate sprinkles with M&M's?  Looks delish!

The only thing that could have been better?  Well....duh...if I was there!!!  It made me feel good to do something unexpected for a friend and happy that she was able to share it with her friends and enjoy a party...JUST BECAUSE!

Monday, September 17, 2012

TIME ZONE CLOCK.........Guest Post By Sarah B.

As in my last post, I explained that my BFF left me, abandoned me, ditched me....just kidding!  That's just military life and we get use to it (still sucks not having Sarah B. right here in the 'hood!).  Anyway, with her move, guess what?!?!  She has still found time to craft!  Now, after seeing her wonderful craft that she is blogging about today, I am motivated to get back into the swing of creating and crafting!  Thanks for the inspiration, Sarah B!

Time Zone Clock
Turning a craft fail into a win, thanks to my craft coach

 Do you have a loved one in a different time zone?  Have trouble remembering what time it is there when you want to call?  If you answered yes, then this easy craft is for you.
Very recently my family left Florida (and sadly our wonderful friends Libby and Cam) and moved to Iowa so that we would be closer to extended family during the next chapter in our military life.  My hubs, Steve, was going to Korea for his next assignment.  When I was still in college and dating my future husband, he had joined the Army and was living in Germany.  I had two cheap clocks hanging on my wall to tell the current time and the time where he was.  Korea is 14 hours ahead of us in the central time zone and I knew I wanted to have the two clock thing again.  So I came up with this craft.
 First, I found cute clocks at Walmart for only $3.97!

Next, I went to our glorious stash of boards from Ikea and found a board big enough to fit both clocks and cut it to size on our table saw.  I used a sanding block to sand the edges and here is where I SHOULD HAVE SANDED THE SURFACE of my board so the the spray paint would have adhered since my board already had a finish on it.  (If you are working with an unfinished wood board then you shouldn't have to sand it.)  I grabbed the only white spray paint we had, which was the really crappy cheap stuff from Walmart and sprayed the top and sides. 

It left an uneven, cloudy-looking coat which I liked so I left it. 
Next, I used my Silhouette and some Con-tact paper to make a chevron stencil for painting the aqua color to match my living room. 

(Did you know you can use cheap, regular old con-tact paper in Silhouette or Cricut, just like vinyl?  It works like a charm, but make sure to test your cut setting so that you don't cut right thru it.  I had to dial my settings down to a thickness of 1!)  You can pick any kind of pattern and hand cut on paper or Con-tact or use painter's stencils from a hardware store if you don't have a craft cutter. 
After my chevron pattern was cut, I applied it to my board and pulled off every other zig zag to expose the space I wanted to paint.

See where the Con-tact lifted the paint?  Oops.  I shoulda sanded...  So, I think to myself, I'm not going to sweat this because that part will be painted aqua and covered by a clock.  It was only a little taste of what was coming.  I shoulda sanded the whole surface...
I crack open a beer at this point because, well, let's get real, drinking makes crafting more fun and easier (especially when things aren't going your way).  Am I right, people?
So I grab my board and aqua paint and head outside.  I scatter drips of delicious aqua craft paint on my board and then my neighbor pops out his backdoor and says, "Hey, Sarah!  I'm going to take this opportunity to finally introduce you to my wife."  I walk away from the globs of paint that I know will start drying in the sun and nice breeze and go to the fence to exchange pleasantries. 
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. 
      When we are done talking (very nice lady, btw), I quickly spread it around with my foam brush.  I can see rings of dried paint.  Argh.  I add a little more paint and it helps. 
OK, don't sweat it.  It's going to be sanded and roughed up to look weathered.  It'll be OK. 
      The paint dries quickly and I start pulling off the Con-tact.  Paint is peeling off with each strip.
Oh schnitzel!
I text Libby a pic titled "Complete *#$%  FAIL".  My 5yo daughter runs by and says, "Awesome, Mom!"  But I'm not feeling it.  I go inside and sip my beer while I wait for Lib to respond.  I keep looking at it in disappointment.  Sam Adams starts to convince me it kinda looks cool.  Libby texts, "Cam and I think it looks great.  We like the fail.  Turn your fail into a win!!!"   
OK, I'm going with it. 
      Now, I get my sanding block and go to town.  (Be sure to sand in one direction, with the grain.)  I'm now ready to position the clocks on the board to see where I want to place them.

Handy Tip:
An easy way to know where to hammer in a nail is to put a little dot of toothpaste on the hanger part of the object you are hanging.  Press it against the wall, or in this case, board and when you pull it back a little paste is left exactly where the nail should go. 
See the paste on the clock hanger?  See the paste right below the tube hole on the tip of the chevron peak?
 Sorry, it's hard to see.
Hammer in a nail and wipe off the paste.  Bam!
      I set the time on the clocks, then make labels/tags with my Silhouette and glue them under their respective clock. 
I'm pretty happy with it despite all of the little mishaps.  Moral of the story is to find the good in each situation.  Turn your fail into a win.  Be thankful for a positive friend that can make you look at things differently.  I'm so blessed to have a pretty kick-ass craft coach in my corner.

Thank you, Sarah B!  I love this idea of having two clocks...wish I would have thought of doing that while my hubster was depolyed for 19 months!  I just love how the chevron turned out, peeled paint and all!  Great job!!!  Any other military wives out there with a great idea like this?!?  Please share what you do during deployments....I would love to hear from you!

Libby :)
 Linking up here:
Making The World Cuter

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Wow, so there have been some changes since I last posted about Hagan's Fake Birthday Party. First of all, my best Florida girlfriend, my homey, my partner in crime, my matching center, my other half-brain, Sarah B., moved to Iowa. Let me tell you....I am having a hard time getting past this...I miss her tons! Do I miss her because she was always the one to keep me informed on school issues? Yes. I wouldn't have known half the stuff going on last school year if it wasn't for her. Do I miss her because we used to go out, have a great time and dance like nobody was looking? Yes. Do those two things sound like something a great friendship is based on? Not really, but if I go on, I'll be sobbing and this post will take you a week to read. This sums up our friendship:I miss you Sarah B!

Second, Hagan had his actual birthday! My baby boy turned five years old, fo real dudes! His birthday was during Shark Week, c'mon....EVERYONE loves Shark Week! Our TV never went to a different channel the entire week, 24/7...seriously. So....guess what his birthday theme was??? You guessed it, PONIES! No...................................................  SHARKS! 

 He had an awesome day!  We did just a family party since he already had one with his friends.

THIRD!....My baby girl, my youngest daughter, Hana, turned 16!!!  Sweet Sixteen ya'll!!  I thought I took it pretty hard with Hagan turning five and starting Kindergarten, but Hana's birthday hit me like a Mac Truck!  Since my older daughters have moved out and to Kansas, it made me realize I only have two years left with Hana in the house.  That makes me sad...until she breaks the rules again....hahahahahaha!  She loves elephants, so that's what I made for her :)

 She is also not a big cupcake/cake eater, so I bought her birthday muffins to start her birthday morning off right!  Later in the evening we celebrated with an ice cream cake and then she hosted a dinner party at a local Japanese steakhouse, sans her parents.  We weren't invited :) 

One of these days I plan to do an actual craft or DIY and share it with you...if I can ever stop feeling sorry for myself about my bf moving, my son starting Kindergarten and won't kiss me at the school, and my daughter growing up and moving out soon.....

Monday, July 23, 2012

Hagan's Fake Birthday: Part II

In case you didn't see or read Part I (the making of party decor), you can find it here!  How cute is this first pic?  Sarah B.'s daughter, Sophia (the other fake birthday girl), wanted to help set up the party, so we sent her outside to take pictures of the dino and kitty tracks!

The party!  Sarah B. has an awesome backyard, it's HUGE!  Perfect for a large birthday party!  The downside?  We had a monsoon the night before, this after a week of almost non-stop rain, did not make for a pretty yard, but a drenched, water-logged yard.  Thank goodness Sarah B. had lots of tarps!
The food table!  We offered little snacks since our party was from 10am-noon.  We wanted the party to be over before the heat REALLY set in!  Donuts, fruit, veggies and chips were just enough!  See the tablecloth?  Sarah B. made that with two vinyl tablecloths and the original use was going to be an awning over the food table.  Time and logistics kicked our butt on that one!  We ran out of time, so we decided to use it as a tablecloth.  Adorable!
 The drink and dessert table.  I loved our cupcake toppers and cake bunting! 
We each made our kid their own "smash" cake (even though they were fakingly turning 5) since we served cupcakes.  When do you stop making an individual cake for your child?  I still like the idea just because when they blow out the candles, they are not spitting all over the entire cake for everyone!!  Am I, right???  Think back on the birthday parties you've gone to and imagine how many little pieces of spittle you have consumed.  Ew.  I just gagged myself....
Moving on ;)  Check out how we kept the cupcake wrappers and toppers matching, but they each have their own theme.....We used scalloped edges on Sophia's stuff and a zig zag edge on Hagan's.

The gift table.  Sarah B. came up with the brillant idea of providing envelopes and asking each guests to fill it out with name and address.  She made a cute sign and I put it in my adorable frame from Ikea.
Dinosaur Hagan with one of the photo props!  The kids love putting on the props for pictures!
It is hard to see the actual banners, but for the joint "happy birthday," we combined scalloped and zig zag circles and used all the colors of the party.
For the individual name banners we used zig zag edges on Hagan's with the colors aqua, lime green and red.
 Sophia's banner was scalloped edges with aqua, lime green and hot pink.
Our photobooth sign that we got from here.  Sarah B. had this old trunk that we filled with dress up items that we already had or bought from the Dollar Tree.  The kids really loved this.  I'll be honest though, even though we set up a camera on a tripod, it was hard to remember to take pics....we should have delegated that out to another parent!

This is the pinata made from stone and unbreakable.  Not really, but after 30 minutes of the kids trying to break it open, that's what it seemed like!  Finally, we just let an older boy go to town on it until it was "leaking" {haha}, then let Hagan have the final swing.
 See?  Just a pizza and Bud Light box....pretty damn sturdy!  {AND super easy to make!}
Hagan with some of his guests.  It was so hot that day and especially hot in the bounce house.  All the kids look like they jumped into a pool, they were so soaked!  And this was WAY before noon!  They had so much fun and I'm loving all the Kool-aid smiles!!
I'm now finished sharing Hagan's fake birthday....after all, his REAL birthday is coming up in 24 days...but who's counting?  If you would like any other party details, or if you would like to order a party kit, contact me!