Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Princess Party

I LOVE to plan parties for my kids (and my husband!). I usually start talking with the kids about what kind of party they want about 6 months before hand. That way I have plenty of time to find deals and get everything together.

This year Aubrey had requested a princess party.

First order of business - searching for the perfect cake. Aubrey and I looked at hundreds of pictures. She found the one she was in love with and I made it happen. This was my first time using a diamond impression mat. It was pretty easy and I love the look it gives to the cake! This is one of my most favorite cakes yet!

The decorations . . .

Pink & White Roses

Place Settings

The Table Setting

The Princess!

And games:

Pin the Tiara on the Princess
Place settings repurposed!

Cindrella's Missing Slipper Race

Must beat the stroke of midnight!
 Thank you favors for the visiting princesses:

Monogrammed cookies

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

September's Create with Me: Fabric Pumpkins

Oooo, I love fall! I love pumkins! I don't love to eat pumpkins or pumpkin flavored food. I do love the smell of pumpkins and fall and the crisp air! Its finally starting to feel like fall here. Well, according to my kids it feels "wintery." That's what happens when it drops from 100* to 70* overnight.

When Kari announced this month's project on UCreate I was super excited! I used some leftover fabric from last month's table runner and some extra fabric I had bought for that project but ended up not using. I used leftover ribbon from this project. I used this tutorial for creating my pumpkins. It was seriously so easy! I had all three complete from gathering fabric to placing them on the shelf in under an hour.

Do you decorate for fall? What's your favorite part of autumn?

Monday, September 27, 2010

She Represents the Lollipop Guild

Backing up from Christmas its time to start thinking about Halloween costumes.

Some years we coordinate costumes, some years we don't.
This year we are.

Aubrey wants to be Dorothy.  We already have the costume since for her very first Halloween she was Toto and Kennedy was Dorothy.

I asked Kennedy who she would want to be from The Wizard of Oz. There was talk of Glenda, there was talk of the Cowardly Lion, but in the end she decided that she would be a Lollipop Kid. We went to work designing the costume. She really did not care for the traditional custom of argyle and shorts. She asked if I could just make her a pillowcase dress (seems to be my specialty .. see here, here, and here) and she would wear some fun tights and have fun hair.

Pink. She specified pink. We went to work. I looked for tights but couldn't find any. Maybe I was looking in the wrong places. So we dug through my sock drawer and found these cute socks. They serve well as tights and became our inspiration.

After we had our color scheme going we went to Hobby Lobby (yay for JoAnn's opening Friday for more options!) to look for fabric. I already had pink so we picked up some orange and some ribbon for the dress and her hair.
I put together some ribbon-o's. That's not a terrific picture of the socks but there is a hint of red in them. I alternated pink, red and orange ribbons for the ribbon-o's. The red ribbon is tiny, I wanted to keep just a hint with orange and pink standing out.

Next I made a fabric lollipop. It was a bit challenging but I love the way it turned out. I used this tutorial for a fleece lollipop  as a guide. I layed out my stips of material, then cut it diagnonally as the tutorial says to do, and pieced them together in one long strip. I then sewed the strip right sides together to make a long tube, stuffed it with cotton and then rolled it. I started sewing it but I kept sticking myself with the needle. I decided that even though it is Halloween and all a blood stained lollipop would not do and brought out the hot glue gun. It worked like a charm and with no blood. I finished it like the tutorial says by clipping a hole in the bottom and inserting a dowel rod using hot glue. I took a clear treat bag, cut it size using pinking shears and then tied it off with leftover ribbon from the ribbon-o's. Makes me want a lollipop!

And finally the pillowcase dress! Orange polk-a-dots with red zig-zag stitching on a pink background. Hobby Lobby even had the perfect ribbon for the dress.

Now, put it all together and you have one very happy Lollipop Kid!

I'm linked up with Skip To My Lou on Made by You Mondays!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Christmas Time is Near

It is. Does it make you want to have a panic attack?
Well, I was feeling pretty good about it. I have been buying Christmas gifts pretty much since the day after Christmas last year. I'm cheap frugal like that.
Target has an amazing toy clearance every July. It works out nicely as we have an August birthday. I try to wait until things are marked 75% so that I can be the cheapest most frugal.  I filled up 2 big Target bags by mid-August with goodies for all 3 kids and spent less than $50 total.
Last week Target had a large selection of summer toys and sporting goods clearanced out at 75% off. I bought the little man a tricycle for his 1st birthday. What, its over 6 months away? Well, when am I going to find another brand new, cute, green $50 trike for $12 again?? Its in storage. Birthday gift - taken care of!
On to my point -- its crunch time. I was feeling pretty good about myself as I browsed the 90% off dollar stop (yes, 30 cents each!!) for stocking stuffers on Tuesday. I felt proud of the fact that for once I was ahead of schedule. As I mosied on to the back of the store I got that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. There, near the back, on the far left wall were Christmas lights. And an entire aisle already overflowing with Christmas cards. I'm behind. It was the second to last day of summer and I was behind.

Fear not, faithful blog followers. All none of you. I have 2 gifts stored in the sewing cabinet waiting to be sewn and wrapped and placed under the Christmas tree (which if you're counting will be going up exactly 9 weeks from tomorrow).

Gift # 1   Hooded Towels

For this handmade gift I will use this tutorial. Its super easy! I picked up 2 hot pink Ralph Lauren towels on clearance at T.J Maxx the other night. I made a couple hooded towels earlier this year using towels that have been in use for 8 1/2 years for practice's sake. I am excited to make new (bigger) ones as a surprise. With about 20 minutes of my time and a little monogramming they'll be good to go!

Gift # 2  Princess & the Pea Softie

For this handmade gift I will use this tutorial. I know a little girl who can quote word for word the entire story of the Princess and the Pea that will be beyond thrilled Christmas morning!

Are you ready for Christmas? Will you be making any handmade gifts this year? Only 113 days til Christmas!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

HAPPY FALL Y'ALL!!! {Wordless Wednesday}

For the Birds

We've been talking birds in zoology lately. In case you missed it we are using Apologia Zoology 1 for our science curriculum this year. Its lots of fun!

We are meeting with friends once every couple weeks to complete the different science projects. This week we made bird feeders and suet.

For our bird feeders we used Sobe Lifewater bottles. A drill for the holes, small dowel rods for the little birdie feet. A bigger hole (though not too big) for the birds to peck the seed from. Floral wire to hang. Easy peasy.

The suet was much more simple to make than I thought.

a jar of chunky peanut butter & a tub of lard melted together over low heat

4 cups of oats (rolled, old fashion - not quick), 4 cups of corn meal, raisins, & sugar

mix dry ingredients with melted pb & lard, scoop into sandwich bags, freeze until hard.

Now we wait for the birds!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Froggy Bloggy Soggy Woggy

So far this school year Kennedy and I have been reviewing what she learned last year in Hooked on Phonics. We started with the Kindergarten box and didn't quite finish it. She is making lots of progress but is far from the reader I want her to be. We took a break from HOP and did book 1 from Explode the Code. I've really enjoyed both programs.

I made these flash cards last school year to help her with her (mainly) ending sounds. We flip through them and she says them. I want her to be able to know what the letters say without having to stop and sound them out.

Today I decided to put contact paper on them and let her make words. She would tell me the sound and then I would tell her what word to turn it into.

She thought it was lots of fun! For the word pants I had her turn (an) into ant. Then I asked her to turn (ant) into pants. Her face lit up every time she changed the word.

The last thing she did was make up her own word. I love to make learning fun!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Such a ...

Slacker   Stacker!

September has left me behind! I had intended on posting a draft post from the beginning of September 2009 but I didn't, again. After that I got so busy and my computer is still on the fritz and I just kept putting off blogging.

Lessons have continued to come from all corners!

We had homeschooling lessons:

We brushed up on classification. Who knew stacking cups would be relevant to zoology?

And went on a nature scavenger hunt with friends

I had a lesson in relaxation:

We joined up with a local Bible study on Wednesday mornings and are learning so much from our lessons on the names of God!

I can't wait to participate in this month's Create With Me project! I plan on getting my sewing machine out today after our lessons!!

What lessons have you learned lately?