Saturday, February 28, 2015

It's Time to Register! #TargetWedding #Sponsored

Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Target. All opinions are my own.
I've mentioned this before, but my husband & I are getting ready to celebrate our 10 year anniversary and I very much think that couples should get a do-over at their registry.  You know, just to replace some things that are now worn out or to get those things they never got the first time around.  I totally think this should be a thing.

We're getting ready to head into Spring.  I have several photographer friends and I know they're entering their busiest time of the year with all the upcoming weddings, coming off of holiday engagements (so sweet).  What better time is there to go ahead and begin creating your Target Wedding Registry Link.  I may or may not have a very important person in my life getting ready to get engaged {squeal}.  

There are some fantastic benefits to registering with Target.  
  • Easy and engaging registry experience with inspirational starter lists;
  • The week of your event, you'll receive a coupon for saving 15% on remaining registry items in store and online (my hubby & I totally took advantage of this!); and
  • Easy returns
Not to mention, Target is convenient for everyone.  

One of my favorite kitchen items that actually didn't get purchased from my registry (sad) was the KitchenAid Ultra Power 4.5 Qt Stand Mixer.  Luckily some family bought it for me for my 30th birthday but I would have loved to have had this early on in our marriage.  In the beginning of our marriage, my husband & I spent a lot of time together in the kitchen.  Once we had children, the time together diminished because one was trying to keep the kids entertained while the other attempted to get food on the table!  Now that our children are a little older and can fend for themselves, we've been spending more time together in the kitchen, cooking and experimenting with new dishes.  

One of my favorite kitchen memories with my husband was when we invited his parents over for dinner for the first time.  I was trying out a new dish - I can't remember what it was exactly.  I started to stir it with a large plastic spoon we got once with takeout.  I was stirring and stirring and I pulled the spoon out and it had completely melted into the dish I was cooking.  We died of laughter and still talk about that infamous meal all these years later.  

I love this really simple dinnerware set to go on our table.  What I love about it is that you can dress it up with some pretty napkins and colorful table settings.  And I SUPER love these Threshold Etched Glass Drinkware Collection!! 

My husband & I are both really into music.  We love finding new bands together.  Our favorite way to listen to music is through the SONOS PLAY: 5 Wireless HiFi System.  LOVE listening to music this way.  You can stream music through multiple online sources or just plug your phone directly into it.  I love that option.  So we can sit down for a romantic dinner and listen to one of our favorite artists - Damien Rice.

We like to end our evenings watching a new movie (have you seen Gone Girl yet?  SO good) and eating homemade milkshakes.  Seriously my fave!  I highly recommend adding a Ninja Blender on your registry list.  It's great for smoothies and milkshakes (and a multitude of healthier options).  

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you got some some great ideas for your own registry or some ideas for a friend.  

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Budget-Friendly Ninja Turtle Birthday Party

Well, my son's 6th birthday is next week and while I'm busy planning for that party, I thought I'd share his party from last year.  He was all about the Ninja Turtles.  I had a lot of fun planning a budget-friendly party for him and some of his friends!

My favorite part was the backdrop I created.  Backdrops are super popular for parties.  There are a lot of great ones out there but they can also be very expensive.  I knew I wanted something to look like a sewer or like the walls of a building that the turtles would be jumping over.

I grabbed two cardboard boxes, took them apart, and taped them on the back.  Then I took a sponge and some brown paint and created a brick wall.

Then I cut out the words frequently said by the Turtles with my Silhouette and taped them to the wall.  I purchased some green fans through Oriental Trading (I don't see them anymore) and added some crepe paper and eyes to match Leonardo, Michaelangelo, Donatello and Raphael.

I used some of his own toys (the Ninja Turtles and their van) to add some extra dimension and decoration at the base.

For food, we did pizza (because that's the Turtle's favorite food), plus some Ninja pudding cups (my son loved these and still talks about them).... some of the Turtle's personal favorites.  Blue candy-covered marshmallows for Leo, orange goldfish for Mikey, strawberries for Raph and grapes for Donnie. 

I just covered some juice boxes with green construction paper and added some eyes.

I grabbed a cake from Target....

...and made some cupcakes with the Turtle's colors.

 The last thing I did for the party was make some favors for the boys (and girl) to play with.  I bought some inexpensive fleece at Wal-Mart and made masks for the kids.  I also picked up some green plates from the dollar store.  My son decorated them with stickers and the kids' names.  I punched holes and threaded them with ribbon to make their shells.  These were super cute.  I should have cut the eye holes out a little more though.  :-)

We went outside and let the kids beat down some bad foot soldiers (aka black balloons).

The gang showing me their fiercest moves.

It was such a fun party that didn't cost a lot.  You can totally be creative with parties and not spend a ton of money.  I frequently use cardboard as backdrops and in other ways.  Think outside the box (pun intended).

Here's the crazy birthday boy.  I can't wait to celebrate his 6th birthday next week!  

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving Is For Tradition (and a giveaway) #targetwedding #sponsored

Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Target. All opinions are my own.

**Hey!  Be sure to stick around to the end of the post - I'm giving away a $25 Target eGiftCard.  Boom!**

Growing up, Thanksgiving was the big holiday in my family.  I spent the night with my grandparents every Thanksgiving Eve.  I helped my grandma string the green beans.  I woke up to the smell of a turkey that had been in the oven for hours.  And I can't forget about my grandma's homemade stuffing (I just found out my dad is using a new stuffing recipe this year!  Is he crazy!?!).  We postponed Christmas a couple of times because a family member was sick.  None of us wanted to miss out!

My husband grew up with a large extended family.  Thanksgiving was a lot of fun for them.  His dad, my father-in-law, would write plays for all the kids to act out.  Doesn't that sound like the most fun!?!  
So far, there's just a few grandkids in our immediate family but I keep telling my husband he needs to write a play this year for my kids and their cousins to act out.  So far, he's vetoing my idea.

One of my favorite things to make for Thanksgiving is my husband's Granny T's pecan pie.  It's seriously the best!

I love the idea of two families joining together and making new memories and traditions of their own. I really want the holidays to be a time of joyous memories for my husband and I and our children. While I don't host a Thanksgiving spread quite yet (thank you Mom and Dad and Rick and Martha), I already envision what I'll cook and how my kitchen table will look and what I'll need for when I'm handed down those responsibilities!

These Target Wedding Registry Link products can help you create and serve this yummy pie: 

SONOS PLAY: 5 Wireless HiFi System - My husband & I love to crank up the music while we're cooking.  In our previous home, we had a small radio for the kitchen but we don't anymore.  This would be perfect!

Calphalon Stainless Steel Cookware - This is a must have for any kitchen - specifically my kitchen (hint, hint).

Threshold Bistro Ceramic 16-Piece Dinnerware Set - I love how Fallish this dinnerware set is.  It would be perfect for Thanksgiving dinner.

Easy Exotic Footed Glass Cake Stand - Seriously, how gorgeous is this cake stand.  Wow!

OXO Stainless Steel Pie Server - Love how simple and sleek this pie server is.

Now, I'd love to hear from you!  What are your most unique Thanksgiving tips for new couples or couples hosting Thanksgiving for the first time?

Target is giving one of you a $25 Target eGiftCard.  Thank you Target!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Baby Wipe Bat Garland

This post is sponsored by WaterWipes and Mommy Bag Marketing.  Although I received product and financial compensation, all opinions are entirely my own.  

First off, let me say that I think baby wipes are the best thing ever invented.  Seriously, I love them and use them for everything.  My daughter turned three in early August and we got her potty trained just before her birthday so we technically have no need for wipes anymore in the traditional sense.  But I have a feeling I'll be buying wipes for many years to come.  We use them to wipe mouths, clean off tables, wipe feet off after an afternoon at the playground and clean up our craft messes.

So, when I was asked to review WaterWipes, I thought, Oh I'll use them to make a craft!  The kids & I decided on Baby Wipe Bat Garland!

I really enjoy decorating for Halloween.  We make it fun and non-scary (I've got a 5 and 3 year old at home).  So scary is no fun.  We make everything lighthearted so I just love how these adorable bats turned out.  Here's how to make your own.

Grab some:
  • WaterWipes
  • Washable Markers
  • Black Yarn
  • A Pom Pom Maker-Thingy (got mine from Joanns)
  • Googly Eyes
  • Hot Glue
First, the kids and I set out the WaterWipes and started decorating them.

These are mine below.  You can see that I took this way too seriously.  HA!

I wanted to see how they would turn out if I rolled them up to dry.  I left them rolled up overnight and then unrolled them in the morning so they would fully dry.  I did like how some of the designs turned out but kind of wish I would have left them unrolled to see if the designs would have turned out more clearly.  Next time.

When they were completely dry, I folded them lengthwise, then folded them in and in again.  I cut into one of the ends and when I unrolled it, it looked like this.  Can you see where this is going?

We unrolled them and grabbed some yarn and tied it into the middle to get them to crease really good.  Then we tied a loop around then top.  Next make some yarn poms (Here are some great directions on how to make these).  I then hot-glued the yard ball to the wipe and then my son carefully added the eyeballs with hot glue and supervised by me.

Aren't these just the cutest??

Here's why I like WaterWipes so much:
  • They are the perfect chemical-free choice.  Which makes them also perfect for little hands working on craft projects!
  • There are absolutely no chemicals, just 99.9% water and 0.1% grapefruit seed extract.
  • They are natural baby wipes and perfect for little hands (love this!)
  • I don't have to worry about this anymore but my little girl used to get terrible diaper rash.  That's one reason we really pushed to get her potty-trained but these wipes help to prevent diaper rash.  
  • My son also has sensitive skin on his cheeks.  WaterWipes can be used by anyone with sensitive skin: babies, toddlers, teens or adults!
  • Anyone with a skin condition like eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, etc. can use WaterWipes without any negative effects or discomfort.  
They sounds great don't they?

I took the bats and added them to some scrappy garland I made last year.  

You can find WaterWipes on Facebook and Twitter.

I hope everyone has a very fun and safe Halloween!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Not-So-Scary Halloween Pumpkins, Part 2

Last year I shared some Not-So-Scary Halloween Pumpkins that the kids and I made.  We had so much fun and the kids loved pulling them out again this year.  When we were at the Dollar Tree recently, we picked up a few more pumpkins and began thinking of who we could create this year.  We decided on Sally from the Nightmare before Christmas and a Werewolf.

Here's a close up on Sally and the werewolf.  I kind of love how they both turned out.  Initially we didn't have the ears on the wolf and my husband thought he was missing something.  He was right.  A wolf needs ears.  It totally brought him together.

Here are the ones we made last year.

Jack the Pumpkin King (his all-time fave)


A crazy spider

Super simple and easy to do with a 3 and 5 year old.  They did the painting, I did the touch ups and we worked together on the rest.  Fast, cheap and perfect for my kids.  That's my kind of craft!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I Will Look Up (Free Printable)

There's a song by Elevation Worship called I Will Look Up that I just love.  We've been singing it at church for a while and every time we do, it just really speaks to me.  It's a song about hope and having faith during hard times.

I created this printable that I can hang up above my desk and in my home to remind me to look back with thankfulness and look ahead with hope and I wanted to share it with you.

If you have problems downloading, please let me know!  You can either print two to a page as a 5x7 or one on a page as an 8x10 (I think!).

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

From the Vault - Not-So-Scary Halloween Shirts

We're headed to Disney World in just a few days and I wanted to share these again because gosh, they just turned out so cute!  Sadly we're not going to the Not-So-Scary Halloween Party this year but we'll be having fun nevertheless. 


Our passes to Disney World expired earlier this week so we decided to take a 2-day trip with the kids.  Unbeknownst to us, my mother and sister-in-laws were going too.  My MIL decided to take all of us to Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.  We had a great time.  We were able to basically walk on to any ride we wanted.  There was a really fun parade and lots of candy if you wanted it (we bypassed that portion).

We didn't want to go to the party without costumes but in mid-Florida, mid-September, it's just way too hot for regular costumes so I decided to make us some t-shirts to wear.

I was on such a time crunch to make all of these, I don't have any actual tutorial for you, but I'll just tell you what I did.

First I figured out what designs I wanted to do.  Then I made sure I had all the fabric colors I needed.  I measured out the sizes of the designs and ironed Heat N Bond to my fabric pieces (just follow the directions on the package).  I then used my Silhouette to cut out most of the shapes.  I did this to save time.  BUT you could easily trace an image onto your fabric and cut around it with a pair of fabric scissors.  It doesn't have to be super perfect because you're just going to sew around it.  I did this with several of the pieces.

Once you've cut out your pieces, you're going to sew them onto your t-shirts.  Now, the Heat N Bond is supposed to be enough to stay onto your shirts.  But I wanted them to hold up and look a little nicer so I zig-zagged stitched around all of my designs.  I did a tight zig zag.

And here's how they all turned out.

My son loves Jack the Pumpkin King so he chose this design.

I chose a Minnie Mouse Ghost.

I made this Bride of Frankenstein - Minnie-style for my SIL.

You can see my messed up zig zag stitch in a few places.  It got stuck several times.  Oh well.  Still turned out super cute.

This is my daughter's ensemble.  I just love it.  The green little bow makes it.  For a really great tutorial on how to make this simple skirt, check out Dana's tutorial.

Made this cute Pirate Mickey shirt for my nephew.  My hubby talked me into the earring last minute.

My husband chose a Vampire Mickey shirt.

And I made a candy corn Minnie for my MIL.

Didn't they all turn out so cute?!?  I can't decide which one is my favorite!

So, have you been to the Not-So-Scary party?  Here's a picture of my little family in our shirts.

We were very hot and sweaty by this point in the night.  Ha!!

Anyways, it was a lot of fun to make personal t-shirts for my family.  I'd love to hear which one is your favorite!

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