Wednesday, April 27, 2011

P is for Party....

Although it didn't go just according to plan, my son's first birthday still turned out pretty spectacular I'd say. The weather didn't cooperate, but my Mother in law was nice enough to let us clean her basement the night before, so we could have the party there. I felt bad, because I was planning it outdoors I invited a ton of people, but she was so nice to help make it great! I know I went overboard, but my son loved it! He was pointing to all the decorations and balloons with the biggest smile on his face! It was all worth it.

My son loves to read and he especially loves his Sesame Street books that I picked up at the dollar spot over at Target. Between his love of those books and a picture of my younger brother's birthday from 1985, I had my theme, Cookie Monster. Well Cookie Monster, plus my added theme, "use what you have."

In that photo from 1985, my Mother had made an amazing Cookie Monster Cake, I tried to copy it. Here is a photo of the cake, that I made, MYSELF, from scratch, and decorated it MYSELF too, the frosting from scratch as well. I am really proud of myself, I am not artistic whatsoever.

Here is the present table, where I hung his "monthly" photos. A couple years ago I was at IKEA and they were blowing out wrapping paper at $.25 a roll, I pick up a bunch of rolls, the same pattern, but different colors. The blue was PERFECT for a Cookie Monster theme, so perfect in fact that we used it as a backdrop for our "photo booth."
Since I already had a bunch of scrapbook paper in different shades of blue, I just went with it. I really didn't have money to spend. I found this cute paper hat template HERE. We brought over my son's Cookie Monster stuffed animal, he was a perfect addition to the party.

You may remember my frames from my bebe shower. The "cookie jars" were my baby food jars with a little Cookie Krisp cereal and my little Cookie Monster figurines were from the dollar spot at Target.

I used my Silhouette for everything in this party, it was so fast, and I love how it turned out.
I made the smash cake too!
I used different jars from my pantry, even though they were different shapes and sizes, I think they worked out well. I added some ribbon and twine to jazz them up a bit. The large jar I found at Tai Pan Trading for a steal at $7.97! I added a fun Cookie Monster sticker from Michael's to the front. I made all of the cookies from scratch, well except the Oreos, those were my husband's request, we never have them at home.
Planning early is a must for me! I saved so much money by doing so. I knew I wanted "milk bottles", but wasn't going to spend money on them. So, in January I asked coworkers to give me any old Starbucks bottles they were going to throw away. I washed them and spray painted the lids and "voila" milk bottles! I got the idea for the Cookie Monster cups from Hostess with the Mostess.
Some really inexpensive decor, tissue paper pom poms, and a felt circle garland.
I used my son's "M" from his room, it worked perfect.
For the kid's we had a game to guess how many cookies are in the cookie jar. The prize was Cookie Monster book, Cookie Monster stamp, and Cookie Monster figure, all from the dollar spot at Target.
I really scored with the favors, and didn't spent a cent of my own money. Let me explain. My husband sold some of his old text books to Amazon, so we had some online credit. I purchased these letter and number cookie cutters with the credit, so they were free! I used bags I already had from other favors, and leftover ribbon. I cut out the tags with the Silhouette and had them say "This party was brought to you by the letter "M" and the number 1." I printed out some recipes for sugar cookies to go along with them and placed them in a milk crate my Mother in law had.
We set up a coloring table for the kids with coloring pages I printed off the PBS kids website. We used an elegant paper table cloth, so we didn't have to worry about crayon on the nice ones. We had foam stickers, stamps, and Sesame Street stickers.
Overall, everyone had fun, and it turned out great, even on a budget. I think I spent around $50 total, which I felt was really reasonable for a party of 50 people. You only turn 1 once!

Monday, April 25, 2011


This is not the posted I intended to start off my post vacation, but that is the way things went. I had an amazing time in Southern Utah, going on bike rides, playing in the park, and enjoying the 70-80 degree weather. Then I had to come back to the uncertainty of Northern Utah, with it's 40-50 degree weather and looming storms. Here is where I need your help. My son's first birthday celebration is TOMORROW, and it is supposed to rain tonight and lightly snow in the morning. It may or may not be done by afternoon. I have planned the party at 6pm, OUTSIDE under our pavilion. It is covered, but the temps will only be about 45. I DO NOT have an alternate location and I invited too many people to have it at my small condo. WHAT DO I DO? Has this ever happened to you? To say I am stressed is an understatement, I have put a lot of work into this party and really wanted to have fun celebrating my baby's first year. I need some advice, any suggestions, even if you just tell me I am hosed. I hope to have some pictures to share with you later in the week, but who knows! Also, there is no way to move the date of the party, I work nights the rest of the week including the weekend. HELP!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Fun Free Easter Craft: Weekend Website

I found this cute tutorial after Easter last year and thankfully had it bookmarked. I came across it the other day and had to share. Aren't these bunnies adorable? They are quick, easy and FREE and would make such a fun gift for your kids Easter basket. Check out the tutorial here over at Elsie Marley's blog. You will love it! I am off to Southern Utah for the Easter holiday and super excited to get some sun! The blog will be on a bit of spring break for the next week, maybe a post or too, if we are up to it. Then it is birthday time! I have gone way overboard on my 1 year old's birthday, but my mother in law had it right, you only turn 1 once! Have a great weekend!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Freebie(s)

Happy Friday to you! I had BIG plans to post about a little Easter Bunny project I did this week, but my pictures are all stuck on my SD card. My CRAZY computer is having problems recognizing and reading the card. Until I can get things figured out in the "Technology Realm", you'll have to enjoy these Friday Freebies.

Free Curly Fries at Arby's:

Print out this coupon, and enjoy some yummy curly fries today!

Have you always wanted a professionally printed photo book? Be sure to take advantage of this opportunity and order your free photo book from Hot Prints

Here's to a wonderful weekend filled with beautiful spring weather, curly fries, and FUN!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

I wish I could say these eggs were ones I made, but alas, they are Martha's. She never ceases to amaze me with all of her talent. Though I may not be able to decorate them as cute as Martha, I do have a fool proof method for hard boiling eggs, for the perfect yoke and easy peeling. Before this I used to guess how long to boil the eggs, then some times I would end up with that yucky gray ring around the yolks. The other tricky thing was trying to figure out the perfect way to peel them without breaking the whites. You especially want them to be pretty if you are making deviled eggs, at least I do. I found this "recipe" in my favorite family recipe book (next to my Mom's of course), you may remember that is where I got my pizza dough recipe from. This method is the best, I have had lots of perfectly cooked hard boiled eggs since trying it. Also, a trick, before you peel your eggs, roll them on the counter, I have found this helps a lot with the peeling as well.

Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs
Cover the eggs with cold water, bring to a boil, cook 2 to 3 minutes, then turn heat off and let sit for about 20 minutes. Put in cold water, then store in the fridge.

-I have also found if you roll them around in your saucepan a few times before the water reaches a boil, it will put the yokes in a good place.

On another note, I am 95% done with all my birthday party projects. I have to make a couple things today, then the rest will be done when I get back from the Easter holiday. Here is one of the projects that got finished up this week......
My dot garland. I love it. I found this cute idea over at the Purl Bee. This garland was perfect for me for a couple reasons. First, EASY project for a non sewer like myself, you sew a line down the middle of the dots with invisible thread. So even if you can't sew in a straight line, which I can't, no one will know, because the thread is invisible. woo woo! Second, it is great because it is super cheap! My budget for this extravaganza is super small, so using some felt I already had, and invisible thread, dirt cheap. I even ended up buying 2 sheets of felt, it cost me a whopping $.50.

Have I told you my theme for my son's birthday? I can't remember if I have or if I am keeping it a secret. Any guesses with the color scheme from the garland?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

One Dollar Wednesday... Easter Wreath

For some reason whenever I visit the Dollar Store, I can't help but pick up a couple bunches of the fake flowers they sell there. I am a sucker for flowers, and it has led to a rather large collection of random blooms. I finally decided to use some of them.

I found this simple wreath, also at Dollar Tree, and a cute Easter card in the Target Dollar Spot.

The colors of the card were my inspiration, and I sent my wreath out to The Spray paint place for a quick coat. It's beautiful and sunny here, so it dried really quickly.

I painted this little Dollar Tree frame a nice "spring green" color.

I framed my card, arranged my flowers, and glued it all together.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Personalizing my POANG chair

This week is crunch time for me. My son's birthday countdown is 15 days. I have to have everything done this week, because next Monday I am going to Southern Utah to enjoy my parents and the Easter Holiday. When I get back I have Monday to bake up a storm and then his birthday is Tuesday, and I just want to sit back and enjoy the day. So, all my projects for the party have to be finished this week. It should be doable, I don't have a ton left to do.

My son LOVES books. He will crawl over and choose books over toys. He will sit and flip through the pages and he looks like he is actually reading. It is too cute. Because he loves books we decided to get him his own chair to sit and read in. As cute as I think the chairs from Pottery Barn are, who has $100 to spend on a child's chair? Not me. So we picked up the child's POANG from IKEA.
Really cute, but I wanted to give it a personal touch. So I found a cute font and cut out his name on heat transfer paper using my Silhouette. I am starting to really love that machine, BUT don't get me wrong, learning to use that darn thing has made me want to pull out my hair! It really is amazing though, it can do everything!
Once it was printed I ironed it on the chair pad. Since the pad was so thick I put a textbook underneath it and I had to press extra hard and hold it on longer to iron it on.
Here it is, I love how it turned out!
I really like it, I think my son will love sitting in it and reading his books!
What do you think?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday Freebie...and a FAIL!

Do you ever have a project that you work on FOR DAYS, only to have it not turn out? That is what happened with my original project for today. FAIL! So I will be posting about a project I did a couple years ago~~ it wasn't free, but very inexpensive~~to my delight!

I found an old desk, similar to this at a yard sale, I offered $5.00 and the woman was happy to get rid of it.

I used my trusty sander, and scuffed up the finish a bit.

After a coat of primer, and three cans of this...

I ended up with this! It resides in my living/dining room, and I get comments about it all the time from visitors.

I love the little details and the pretty feet.

What do you think? What projects have you started and FAILED? Happy Weekend!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Quick Easter Basket Makeover

I found this old basket in our storage closet the other day. My baby doesn't have an Easter basket and I thought with a little love this could do the job.
A little brown spray paint and some ribbon and this is what I got....

It will work for this year, I am not 100% in love with it. What I really want is to make a basket liner, but I just don't have time this year. I have way to much to do for the birthdays, and I will be out of town for a week, maybe next year. Have you seen any cute DIY Easter basket projects? I need some inspiration.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

One Dollar Wednesday...fabric covered Easter eggs

Yay! it's April, and that means it's time to decorate for Easter. I love Spring, and I love to decorate my home in the beautiful bright colors of Springtime.

Sooo, I picked up some large plastic eggs at the dollar store the other day. I have nothing against decorating with the plastic eggs, but thought I'd fancy these ones up just a bit.

I cut some fabric strips...

tied a little knot in one end, and glued it to the bottom of my plastic egg. ( I was a little hesitant to use a glue gun, fearing that it wouldn't hold properly, but it worked FABULOUSLY)

Following my tutorial here, I proceded to roll a rose right around my egg.

When I got to the end of a strip of fabric, I just tucked the end of the next strip under, and continued.

This is what I ended up with. Three down, five to go.

It will be fun finding spots around my home to display these eggs. Do you decorate with plastic eggs?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Pretty Little Projects: The Master Bedroom

My good friend Liv from Liv(e) is sharing some of her projects from around her pink house. I love a good project, the little things always make a big difference!

Take one master bedroom. Add pale sunshine and coffee beans. Mix it up over Labor Day weekend. Here's what happens.
This is the quick, two-day transformation Kev performed in our Master Bedroom a couple of years ago. I still love this room and how it keeps progressing.

Thanks for all your hard work Kev.

Simple, yet such a big difference.Warmed the room right up! Thanks so much Liv for sharing your fun projects, we love them!

Do you have a pretty little project you would like to share? Are you interested in doing a guest post on a lil bird told me? Email us at alilbird3 (at) gmail (dot) com.
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