Friday, April 27, 2012

Decorate Bottled Water for Parties

Bottled water is pretty much a staple at every gathering, party or shower.  We always threw a bunch in a cooler and called it good.  But then I saw this idea at a friend's bridal shower and had an "aha" moment.  
It is simply genius!  

At a baby shower I hosted for a friend recently, I decorated bottled water with scrapbook paper and floral embellishments.  It was so easy and they turned out just adorable.  I got more compliments on these water bottles than I did on the diaper cake that took me hours to create.  Plus, these decorated water bottles added to the decor of the party!  

You can use scrapbook paper - like I did- or if you plan to put your bottled water on ice, you may choose to use fabric instead.

  • Scrapbook paper
  • Embellishments (I used flowers from Michael's and colored brads)
  • Hot glue
  • Bottles of water
To start, removed the labels from the water bottles.  Next, cut strips of paper into 2 inch strips. 

Then wrap the paper around the bottle and secured it with dabs of hot glue.

 Lastly, hot glue your embellishments on.  

This easy project will add so much to your next party! 

Best of all, it is super quick.  I was able to complete 24 bottles in about an hour.  

For more DIY ideas for a shower, see my complete Baby Shower Post.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Order a FREE Card for Mother's Day

Head on over to The Card Store and make a FREE, personalized card for your mama!  Shipping is free too when you use the code "luvmom" at checkout.  First 20,00 per day.

In my opinion, these cards are just as good, if not better, quality than Hallmark.  Plus you can upload photos and type personalized messages.   The ones I have made have always turned out super cute!

Caroline was born at 10:44 PM the night before Mother's Day last year, so this will be the second time I have gotten to celebrate this special day.  It is by far my favorite holiday now.  I love celebrating  the best job on Earth!

I am Guest Posting Today!

Happy Thursday!

I am so excited to be guest posting today over at the lovely Rosie Sweet Home.   Rose is just as sweet as can be!  I adore her blog where she writes about being a mama, crafts, and recipes.  She is one talented lady!  Her tutorials, like this baby jacket, are so fun to try. 

Come on by her blog today and see my guest post!  Be sure to follow her so you can always be sure to see her creative new ideas.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Spring Baby Shower - Pictures and Ideas

I am so excited, because...

One of my closest friends is having a baby!  She is due this June and is planning on naming her little girl Kennedy.  So sweet!  

We had so much fun celebrating this weekend.  Now that I am a mama myself, I think back to my baby showers a year ago, and I realize that I had no idea how amazing my life was about to get.  

Boys run in my friend's family, so she was positive it was going to be a boy.  So when I got the text message after her ultrasound that it was a girl, I was beyond excited for her.  

I started getting ideas and planning her shower the same day (see why it was a good thing I didn't know if I was having a boy or a girl?  I would have gone completely nutso overboard if I had known I was going to have a daughter!)

I had so much fun putting this shower together!  I keep telling Caroline she is about to have a new friend in the neighborhood. 

My friend and her husband are really into rodeos, so I started by making invitations announcing the impending arrival of their little cowgirl:

Invitations are super easy to make.  I simply printed them, glued the paper to cardstock, added a flower embellishment and topped it off with a ribbon bow on top.

 On to the decorations... Spring is in the air, and in the stores! 

Originally I wanted to do a total cowgirl theme and stick with pink, red and teal for an accent.  But everywhere I looked, there were all the bright colors of spring.  I tried to fight it and hunt down red and pink only (I should have started shopping, not just planning, around Valentine's Day!  Sometimes I can't stand how hindsight is always 20/20),  but I finally decided to give in to the greens, yellows, oranges, blues and pinks that decorated every end cap at Target, Michael's and Dollar Tree.

So my "color theme" was pretty much just every bright color I could find.  But it worked out for the best, and I couldn't be more thrilled with how everything turned out!

Diaper cakes are a great gift, and they serve as decoration for the party too (as a teacher and a mom, killing two birds with one stone is always like winning the lottery in my book.)  

I had never made a diaper cake with five layers (I usually do three layers), but with the 200 diapers that I had bought, I had more than enough!  The flowers and curly-cue ribbon that decorate the cake are actually hair pretties on clips for a little girl!  Here is a tutorial on how to do these.  I will post a picture tutorial on how to make a diaper cake this week, so check back soon!

I love fresh flowers, so this was a must for a spring baby shower!  

I bought vases at Dollar Tree and tied ribbon around them that matched the diaper cake.  I then picked up a huge bouquet of flowers at Costco and split it up between the six vases.  

For six vases of flowers, it only cost me $21 total to do it myself (too bad I didn't think of this for my wedding!)

My big "ahhh" moment while getting ready for the baby shower was when I made my first tissue paper pom.  

I.  Love.  These.  Things.  

My husband had to pretend to be excited every time I made another one with a different type of scalloped edge or in a new color.  I just couldn't get over how darn adorable these things are.  He is such a good sport at putting on an "excited face" when I am crafting or couponing away.  Just another reason why I love that man. 

Move over streamers and make way for tissue poms (or tissue pom-poms as Joe calls them). 

I have seen these "Poms" on so many different websites now, and I have even started to see them for sale in various craft/decor stores.  I think it is the Martha Stewart brand selling some, but they are so expensive to buy!  

I about died when I realized how easy they really are to make.  Check back soon for a full picture tutorial on how to make tissue paper poms. 

Since I gave in to the Spring color theme, so many doors opened up to what I could make!  Colorful craft supplies are everywhere right now.  I snagged these adorable foam flowers at - yet again- Dollar Tree.  I used scrapbook paper and ribbon that I already had, downloaded a new font, printed the letters myself and... voila!

I spent $1.00 making this banner, and my friend took it home to put in Kennedy's nursery.  I was so excited with how it turned out!  It was a little time consuming to curl the ribbon, cut and glue everything, but it really wouldn't be so bad if your daughters name was Ava or Emma!  

To see how to curl ribbon like this, see my tutorial here.  I will post a full picture tutorial on how to make these banners soon!

Adding a colorful touch to plain old water bottles made such a big difference on the food table!  

I saw this bottled water idea at a friend's bridal shower (although she used fabric which works probably better if you are going to put the water on ice- but I wanted to use the paper and flowers that I had used throughout the shower decor).  

It is genius simply for the reason that something so simple as water (that you have to supply anyway for your guests) now becomes part of your decoration.  I got more compliments on these cute little water bottle decorations than anything else!  Who would have thought? 

And, yes, we played games.  I made game cards that I simply printed on white paper.  I planned two games, so I glued one recording sheet to each side of a piece of colored cardstock.  

We played the classic, "What was in the baby basket?" game where guests had a few seconds to look at a basket filled with baby items, then once the timer was set they had to write down as many things that they could remember.

Next we played the dirty diaper game.  It was disgusting and hysterical all at the same time.  While melting one of the candy bars, my friend accidently smeared some of the chocolate on the outside of the diaper, which we then referred to as "the blowout diaper".  

I printed numbers and cut them out and glued them on cardstock.  I then glued these to the front of diapers.  It was a cute touch and just looks nicer than writing numbers with a sharpie.  Like Joe says, I am always a sucker for "cuteness".   

I titled this game after the silly book "What's Your Poo Telling You?" but made it personal for the shower.  We played "What is Kennedy's Poo Telling You?"  I had a good chuckle while making these game cards.  I put a little picture of a diaper at the top. 

And if you knew what kind of "poo" was in each diaper, or could remember all the items in the baby basket, you won one of these bouquets that came with a Starbucks gift card!  I spent so much time on everything else, so I took the easy way out for prizes and just picked up gift cards.  But who doesn't love Starbucks?  

Instead of just handing over a gift card, I made these little bouquets simply out of cardstock, buttons, kabob sticks and tissue paper.  

I cut the cardstock into flower shapes, rolled the edges around with a sharpie (or any small cylinder) and glued it to a kabob stick.  Finish the flower with embellishments in the center. 

Then I rolled a 12x12 piece of cardstock to a point at one end with an opening at the other (you can't see this in the picture).  Fill it with tissue paper, three flowers and the gift card on top.  This was such an adorable way to present the winner with their prize!  Plus, once again, it decorated the food table throughout the whole party!

Lastly, I remembered to take pictures of a few of the sweet treats I prepared for guests.   

I saw these frosting and sprinkled covered pretzel rods in a magazine months ago, and I cut out the picture so I would remember to make them.  They are adorable, classy and yummy.  Plus, they only took me about 45 minutes to make 25 pretzel rods. 

 I will be posting a full picture tutorial on how to make these frosting and sprinkled covered pretzel rods soon.  

These candy filled waffle cups were super easy to put together and such a fun new way to serve candy at a party.  

I was inspired by an idea I saw on Pinterest.  Someone had put licorice in ice cream cones.  My friend's favorite candy is Twizzlers, and I always give her a hard time because she knows I won't steal her candy because I can't stand Twizzlers!  

My mom was visiting, and she suggested I use waffle cups, instead of cones, because then I could fill them with a variety of candy.  My mom to the rescue!  

I displayed them on a large platter that I decorated with tissue paper.  My favorite part was probably eating the waffle cup itself since I am not a big candy eater.  And yes, I used Twizzlers... I just cut them up so they would fit in the cups!  

I could not be more excited for the arrival of little Miss Kennedy.  I had a marvelous time preparing this shower for my dear friend.  The look on her face was priceless when she walked into the backyard and saw everything.  

  I just love baby showers. It is such a special time in someone's life.  I don't see the preparation as work, rather I see it as a gift I am giving a friend.  Little extra touches go such a long way.  I hope some of these pictures and tutorials help you as you plan your next party or shower!  

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Monday, April 16, 2012

$3 Tank Top Deal at Target!

I have been lagging on my coupon (and every other kind) posts- it has just been so crazy busy around here!  

Between remodeling a new home that is 40 minutes away, getting ready to host my dear friend's baby shower this weekend, planning Caroline's first birthday party, getting our home ready to put on the market, and creating lots of fun Spring activities for my darling kindergarteners... I am about running on empty!  I am loving every minute of it all, but oh my golly I am a bit sleep deprived.

However sleep deprived I may be... I am a sucker for cute clothes at Target, and this is super easy deal to do!

I love these long tank tops, as I wear them under almost everything.  I already ran over and grabbed a few this afternoon at Target because they are SUPER cute... and for $3 each it is a steal!  

Here is the deal:
Remember:  You can print each coupon twice!  So... four tank tops for $12 total!  Happy Monday :)

Thanks, Happy Money Saver

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

And the remodeling begins again...

To some of you, that may mean absolutely nothing.  But to Joe and I, it is a blissful week off together!  It is one bonus of both of us being teachers.  Considering teachers don't get real monetary compensation for a job well done, we will take any kind of bonus we can get.

So we finished remodeling the current house we live in about three months (and 11 days) ago.  But who is keeping track?  It is not like we have lived in a remodel for the last three years, with all of our time and money going into this place.  We bought our current home home and it had not been lived in for a year and a half.  After gutting the entire place and putting in a whole new kitchen, three bathrooms and everything from door knobs to carpet to blinds replaced... it is ready to be  lived in SOLD!

Before our sweat equity:

After our sweat equity:

 And I guess because we had so much fun remodeling this place (who doesn't love spending their weekend getting to know the Lowes sales team?) about a month ago we put in an offer to buy yet another house in need of some desperate attention.  But this is going to be our real "forever" home (ha- or maybe until it is perfectly fixed up- then we might have to move again).

We are thrilled because both of us have always wanted to live in the country.  Joe grew up on his family's old dairy farm, but I grew up smack in the middle of Portland.  I have always dreamed of the day I would get a place where I could have a horse and raise a couple calves and goats (and in a place where it doesn't rain ten months out of the year).

Well... we found it!  Our new home comes compete with a little chicken coop!  We lovingly call our new place "Our Cabin" because it is a whopping 1, 097 square feet.  With one bedroom, we are looking forward to living how our grandparents did: simple.

We were laughing, "So, where is all of our furniture, like our formal dining room table that I am so in love with,  going to go?"  And, that has yet to be determined. 

But what does that matter?  I have my chicken coop!   And a place for us to raise baby goats.  And enough room to pull Caroline's wagon all over.  We get giddy every time we pull into the driveway of our new little home.  It is perfect,  and we are beyond thrilled.

So the remodeling has begun again, and I have to say, I will be a tad more excited once we are done painting, knocking down walls, sheet rocking, tearing out the bathroom, installing new hardwood floor and along with cabinets in the mudroom.  Oh.. and that little thing called an addition here in a  couple years since Caroline won't want to be sleeping in our bedroom when she is ten.

Speaking of our adorable little munchkin, we are in new territory learning how to remodel when we have a baby in tow with us.  She has been such a good sport!  We set up a "baby jail" in the kitchen on a tarp, and of course we always bring her favorite wagon. 

After seven straight days of working on our new little project, we are making headway.  Joe knocked out a load bearing wall (to open up the living room) and secured it with a large header beam, he ripped out flooring and other manly destructive things while I painted away.

Good thing we are teachers and have "time off" to do all of these fun things.  Now that we worked away our Spring Break, our summer break is shaping up to to a swell time; but, honestly. we wouldn't have it any other way.