Sunday, October 6, 2013

Mermaid Birthday

So it has been awhile... I am trying to figure out how to juggle, my responsibilities as a wife and a mother with volunteering at school and with church and I often wonder how other women seem to keep up with everything.  Sometimes I see incredible stuff on a blog and then I notice that that woman has older children and I think OK maybe when I get to that point in life.  Then I find other blogs that are run by women who have  more children than I do and one of them is a newborn.  One day I will figure it out but I have not yet arrived at that point.

I wanted to share my daughters mermaid party.  We have a tradition that I decorate the house the night before their birthday and they wake up to a day of fun surprises.  This year I was going for an under the water feel so I stuck with blues and greens and threw in some purple (my daughters current favorite color.)

My husband painted the sign that would greet her friends as they came into the party on some scrap wood that we had lying around.

I made the favor bags out of these purple bags I found at the dollar store 3 for $1.  I used freezer paper to make a stencil of a mermaid and I put in headbands that I made for the girls.

These necklaces were the treasure that the girls found on a treasure hunt that my 7 year old son designed for them.  He wrote glues on sea shells that led to a treasure box full of jewels fit for a mermaid.

We drank Ocean Potion - Blue Hawaiian punch mixed with sprite and some cream of coconut/

We went fishing for a prize and all the girls got a pearl ring.

Here's the beautiful birthday girl with her ocean cupcakes topped with an oyster.

We played a few other games and ate some of my daughters favorite foods.  I will share some of that next time as I get the pictures edited.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Stenciled Band Shirts

Two of my sons and one of their friends are in a band. When my dad was younger he was in a band called "Expression" and they had matching outfits and got paid $3.50 to play cardboard box drums at a girl's birthday party. So naturally when he heard that my kids were doing a band, they needed a gig for $3.50.  So we hired them for our Summer Solstice Party.

My oldest son designed it the way he wanted the shirt.  When we got to Walmart to pick up a shirt we couldn't find a gray one with a pocket, or a shirt color that had all their sizes.  We finally settled on blue with yellow paint.

I used my Silhouette to design his shirt and I cut it out with freezer paper to make a stencil.

Then I ironed on the stencil putting the shiny side on the shirt.

Then I added yellow glow acrylic paint.  I was having trouble getting this color to show up on the shirt so I put the paint on really thick.

Then I let the paint dry and pulled off the transfer paper and we had band shirts.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Easy Elastic Headbands

So now that fall is getting into the picture, our life is just as busy as ever.  I have finally reached that point in the mom universe where I get to live in my car.  Which pretty much puts a lot of my creating and fun projects on hold... or at least causes them to stretch out over incredibly long periods of time.  Today I am going to share a really easy project that I made for my daughter's party favor.  When I ordered elastic for my DIY Hairties  I also order a lot of purple elastic, her current favorite color, to make something for her party.

I wanted to make some headbands for the girls to go in their favor bags.  I took some fold over elastic that I got from Sunshine Shoppe and I measured 15" for the girls. (The sunshine shoppe also has a list of measurements for newborns to adults found here.)  I heat sealed all the edges by slowly passing a flame near the edges, to prevent fraying.  Then I grabbed my trusty glue gun, put on a dab of glue and overlapped the edges.

I wanted the headband to be able to have accessories-flowers and other clips- that could be interchangeable so I took enough elastic to overlap my edges and I hot glued it to the inner part of the headband.  This created a flap that will allow clips to be inserted in and there you have it.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Why I am taking the summer off...

So I am not sure if anyone has noticed but I have been a little absent lately.  Things at my house have been so busy that I feel I can barely keep up. We have so many family functions that are going on that we are rarely at home.  We decided to host a 24th of July party with our friends and neighbors and that kept me busy with clean up and prep.  To top everything off we have gone back to school...  I have lots of fun projects that I would like to share and hopefully this summer break will help me get caught up.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Sugar Cookie Day

July 9th is Sugar Cookie Day and we decided to bake up some sugar cookies today.   I wanted something fast and easy that wouldn't require rolling out the dough and cutting, so we made Swig Sugar Cookies with yellow frosting.  I found this recipe at Vintage Revivals.  One of the best things about it, you roll the dough into a ball and squish it with a cup, and they taste amazing!

I also made my favorite sugar cookie recipe, that requires you to roll out the dough.  These cookies are soft and light and this recipe can really feed a crowd.  You cream together 1 cup of butter, 2 cups of sugar and 1 cup of sour cream.

 Then you add two eggs and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla and mix well.  The dry ingredients are 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 tsp of baking powder with 5 1/2-6 cups of flour.

Refrigerate the dough until it is easy to handle and then roll out the dough on a clean, floured, surface to 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch thickness and cut out with cookie cutters.  Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.  (I don't have pictures yet of the finished cookie because our summer fun on the 9th includes cutting, baking and decorating sugar cookies to eat and to share, but I will update.)

Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

2 c sugar
1 c butter, softened
1 c sour cream
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla
5 1/2-6 cups flour

Cream together the sugar, butter and sour cream. Add the eggs and vanilla, beat well.  Add the dry ingredients and mix.  Refrigerate the dough until easy to handle, then roll out 1/4-1/2 inch thick on a clean, floured surface and cut with cookie cutters.  Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-10 minutes. 

How will you celebrate Sugar Cookie Day?  Do you have any amazing sugar cookie recipes to share?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Wedding Reception Desserts

My sister's friend is getting married in Europe and she had an open house for friends and family before she heads across the seas.  She asked my mom and my mom's best friend to help cater the desserts.  She wanted petit fours (small teacakes, frosted and decorated), mini cheesecakes, mini pies, sugar cookies and mini cupcakes.  Each dessert was set up on a different plate with cute labels that the Bride made.

I missed out on all the food prep because I was taking care of my kiddos.  They ordered the petit fours and cheesecakes from a local restaurant supplier and they ordered the mini pie shells from there as well.  They filled all the pies with different fillings and used pre-made blueberry pie filling and made their own strawberry pie filling by mixing strawberries with a strawberry glaze.  The sugar cookies were made with one of my favorite recipes that I need to share, and truthfully they were one of the most popular desserts.  The mini cupcakes were made from a box and frosted with purple frosting. 

They also did the drinks and I was there to help for that part.  We made Strawberry Basil Lemonade and Strawberry Lemonade.  For the Strawberry lemonade we used a lemonade concentrate and cut up strawberries and put it into the mix.  For the Strawberry  Basil Lemonade we made a syrup with strawberries, fresh basil, sugar and water.  Then we mixed the syrup with the lemonade concentrate.  For the strawberry basil lemonade recipe check out Chow.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

World UFO Day and Homemade Slurpee's

Today was World UFO Day, we did a few simple things to celebrate.  We went on a bike ride to find UFOs in our town.  (We were unsuccessful, we didn't even see birds or planes.)  Then we watched the movie Planet 51 where an American astronaut lands on a planet inhabited by little green men that are living in the 1950's.  While we watched the movie we enjoyed some homemade slurpee's.  As part of our "Make your Summer a Flip not a Flop" Relief Society activity we received a handout to make Kool-Aid slurpee's and after our hot search for UFOs we needed a cool treat.
You need a Kool-Aid packet, sugar, club soda (we only had Sprite in the pantry, so we just used that) ice and a blender.

Kool-Aid Slurpee's

1 kool-aid packet any flavor
1/2 c Sugar
2 c club soda, separated
2 1/2 c ice

In a blender combine the packet, sugar and 1 cup of soda.  Pulse until sugar is dissolved.
Add ice and blend until smooth.
Add the last cup of soda and blend until incorporated.
Pour into cups and freeze for 30 minutes.  (We skipped this step and it was still cool and refreshing.)
When time is up add straws and slurp.

If you want more ideas for summer fun with unique National Holidays you can check out my post here and see which ones we choose and links to more.

Monday, July 1, 2013

DIY Hairties

I always see cute hairties on Pinterest and the price tag always seems so high.  I did a quick search on Pinterest and found a DIY fromm Oceanside Daydreams.  The whole thing seems really simple it is just fold over elastic that can be found at fabric stores or even craft stores and you tie a knot and prevent the ends from fraying.

I did a Google search for fold over elastic and I found this cute shop Sunshine Shoppe.  They have a huge selection of fold over elastic that they sell by the yard for $0.50-$1.10 (and they have sales).
They have glitter elastic, neon elastic, chevron elastic, stripes, velvet elastic, and hair ties already made starting at $0.75.  (This is not a sponsored post, I just like to share where I find good deals or supplies to use in crafting.  I like that you can purchase a little or a lot as long it is in one yard increments.)  You can find the elastic from The Sunshine Shoppe here.

To make the hairties you just cut the elastic to whatever length you desire - the red, white and blue ones are 8 inches and the neon ones are 6 inches, for my daughter.  I can wrap the 8 inch ones twice around my hair when I have it all up and the 6 inch ones wrap twice around my daughter's hair when it is all up.  I read somewhere that you should cut the elastic to 9 inches.  

Once the elastic is cut you tie a knot and heat seal the ends (which means just passing the elastic near a flame to prevent fraying) and that's it.  I made four hair ties out of a yard at the 8 inch size and there was a little leftover to do a 5 inch for my daughter too. 

Update 7/16/13: I made some hair ties for me at 10 inches and I like them much better.  They wrap around all my hair three times.

Linking up at :
 and Chef in Training.

Summer Fun with National Holidays

One of the things I like to do for summer fun is look up weird and funny holidays to celebrate with my kids.  We read books about it, do crafts, or eat food and watch movies.  Here are some fun holidays coming up in July and August.
1-International Joke Day
2-UFO Day -my husband is so excited
4-Independence Day USA
5-Apple turnover day
7-National Strawberry Sundae Day
8-Video Game Day
9-Sugar Cookie Day
10-Teddy Bear Picnic Day and Pina Colada Day
13-Embrace your Geekness day
15-Cow appreciation Day
20-Moon Day
21-Junk Food Day
22-Hammock Day
23-Hot Dog Day
26-Aunt and Uncle Day
30-National Cheesecake Day
31-International Dance Day

3-Watermelon Day
4-Friendship Day
6-Root Beer Float Day
9-Book lovers Day
10-S'mores Day
12-Middle Child Day
14-Creamsicle Day
15-Relaxation Day
16-Roller Coaster Day
17-Thriftshop Day
19-Aviation Day
22-Tooth Fairy Day
24-Waffle Day
30-Frankenstein Day
31-Trail Mix Day

For more holidays check out this link for July and this link for August.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Cupcakes and Wedding Cake

My mom and my sisters and I joke, only a little, about someday having a reception center that we run and a small bakery/craft store at the front.  My mom and sister Alisha took the cake decorating classes at Michaels Craft store and my mom has been decorating my kids birthday cakes ever since.  Well my sister's friends and one of my brother's friends asked my mom to bake and decorate their wedding cake.  They found a picture and my mom tried to recreate it as best as she could.  For being an amateur I think she does a great job.

Cake made for one of my sister's friend's wedding.

Cake made for my brother's friend's wedding.
This past weekend my cousin had her wedding reception and my mom was asked to make her cake and about 300 cupcakes.  This time I got to help with all the fun.  We made an assembly line and just used cake mix boxes that we bought.  (Someday we hope to have recipes that are our own that taste phenomenal.)  

Anyways we baked the cupcakes and we decided to add filling to most of the cupcakes.  The filling was premixed and purchased from Orson Gygi.  We used lemon, cream cheese, raspberry, and Bavarian cream.  Then we decorated each cupcake differently so we could tell them apart and boxed them for the reception.

Pre-made fillings.

Cupcakes in a row.
Toppings, flowers my mom made and pearls.

For the cake we used fondant to decorate the top and bottom layer.  This was my moms first time using fondant on a cake, it was something that she was really nervous about.  We smoothed it out as best as we could and added the zigzags and polka dots which were also made from fondant.  The whole family stepped into help with this project.  For the petals we used fondant to shape them and then let them harden.

Here are the cupcakes all ready to eat at the reception.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Have you Read the Book of Mormon?

I have mentioned this before but I belong to the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I am a Mormon. This past Sunday we had a great opportunity to listen to a broadcast about missionary work. It was brought up that we need to be better as members at sharing our beliefs. My youngest brother Jeremy is currently serving an LDS mission in Armenia and I want to share my testimony of the Book of Mormon. 

Bible, Book of Mormon
Image taken from
I know that the book is true. I know that it was translated by Joseph Smith, a true prophet of the Lord. I know that it is relevant to me and was written for me, there are so many times in my life that I am struggling with things and I pull out my scriptures and I find the answer to exactly what I need. There are blogs all over the internet that are devoted to sharing good books and I want to ask the question, "Have you read the Book of Mormon? Why not? It's a great book." 

You can request a copy of the Book of Mormon here or you can read it online here, or you can chat with a Mormon missionary here.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Ice Cream In A Bag

When I was a little girl I remember making tin can ice cream where we rolled coffee cans back and forth stuffed with ice, salt, and a white mixture that made ice cream.  Then I grew up and had kids and I forgot about that for awhile, until I was searching for some perfect summer fun to try.  I found a recipe from Pinterest for ice cream in a bag and it is fun, chilling and delicious.

The recipe can be found at allrecipes and uses cream, half and half, vanilla, suagr, ice and coarse salt.

We mixed it all together and I added some vanilla beans- its the black spots that you might see in the photograph.

Then I split the mixture into four bags-easier to share and I double bagged them to keep the salt flavor from tainting my ice cream.

Then we pass it around and shake it until it becomes firm and we enjoy it immediately straight from the bag.

It's a funny easy was to cool off in the summer, get everyone involved, and have a treat!

Linking up at Keeping it Simple.