Celebrating Fun: February 2013

January flew by and to be honest I was so busy working on orders, crafting up birthday gifts and baby shower items that I didn’t even have time to breath, much less do any fun extra celebrating :(

I plan on doing much better in February though!  We have a tradition around here they my little ones hold me to!  (See the post on our Valentine Tradition)  Along with our daily treats here are some other was to celebrate fun in February

February Celebrating Fun

4 – Thank a Mailman Day – leave a nice note and even a treat for your mailman!  We all like to get something other than a bill ;)

7 – Send a Card to a Friend Day – who doesn’t like to receive a note!

8 – Chinese New Year!  It’s the year of the Snake so make a snake craft or read a book about Chinese New Year.   We will for sure be having Chinese food for dinner this evening.

14 – Valentine’s Day – heart shaped foods, cards for friends, and any other ways that show your family to love them!  If you need some ideas, check out my Will You Be My Valentine? Board on Pinterest!

Valentine's Day breakfast

17 – Random Acts of Kindness Day – do something nice for someone you don’t know!

24 – Torilla Chip Day – make some homemade pico de gallo and guacamole to munch on as well ;)

Look Whoooo’s Expecting

My husband is blessed to have 5 sisters (which means I am even more blessed to have 5 sisters-in-love!).  That means lots of bridal and baby showers have happened since I have been in the family.  I consider it to be a HUGE blessing that I get to help with these bridal and baby showers.  Remember the sweets themed shower I helped with for my sister-in-love a couple years ago?  Or the sweet and sexy bridal shower I helped my  sister-in-love throw for her best friend?  There are have been many more that I just never blogged about for some reason.  I love throwing a themed party and so when my sister-in-love, Ashley announced she was pregnant I couldn’t wait to help with her baby shower.  Imagine my excitement when it was a girl too!  Something new to this mom of 4 boys and aunt to 3 nephews (a niece was born in September and then another nephew and two nieces were just adopted into the family but I didn’t get to throw those showers).

Ashley’s hubby is in the Army so we first wanted to throw a pink camo baby shower.  Hobby Lobby, Michaels, and JoAnns must not think that is a good theme, however, since I could find NO pink camouflage paper anywhere!  So after a quick text conversation with my sister-in-love it was decided owls it would be.  Off I sent her to pin away on Pinterest the cute ideas she wanted at her shower.  (Some of them I pinned on my Shower the Love board, so you can check them out for yourself!)

 

In the midst of the planning and creating of invitations, banners, water bottle wrappers, and cupcake toppers – I got a text from my mother-in-law asking if we could make these cute toliet paper roll owls too.  I managed to fit in time to make two (I might have been able to make a few more but my husband had recently exited our bathroom with about 10 empty toliet paper rolls  and a confused look on his face.  Upon questioning whether or not I was saving them for a reason {which at the moment I was not} he threw them out. BUMMER!

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My sister-in-love, Kim and my friend Kayla (the mommy-to-be’s best friend) helped me craft up all the decorations one day.  There is nothing like crafting with friends to make it all more fun!  I was going to take pictures along the way so you would know how to make your own banner and water bottle wraps but we were in a rush to get it all done.  There will be another party I am sure and then I will take them time to show you all how to create your own party decorations!

Welcome Sign

Welcome sign – it didn’t go on the front door since it was way too windy.  We put it in the entry way where guests were asked to address an envelope for thank you notes.

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Entry way, just look at all that pink and purple!

Here is a look at the food table.  We had lots of yummy treats!

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Banner

Cupcakes were topped with owls that were the same as on the invitations.

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Banners finished off the decor and I always put the circles together with brads so they fold up and travel really well.  Plus this way they can easily be saved for future parties (if generic) or can be put up in the new baby’s room!  My sister-in-love, Kim has gotten really good at making banners so I put her in charge of cutting these out on the Cricut.

Tuesday Tutorial: Fort Kit

When it comes to gifts for little boys, there just aren’t as many homemade gifts that can be given.  But this is a quick and easy gift idea that creates HOURS of fun for boys and girls (and their mommies and daddies).  My boys received a fort kit for Christmas in 2011 from a dear friend and they have played with it for HOURS!  I LOVE that it is something that has them get creative and can be played with in SO many different ways.

Want to make your own??? Well let me tell you how…

Tutorial: DIY Fort Kit

 

Fort Kit

Materials Needed:

- twin sheets (I bought two so that the fort could be a bit larger if desired)

- bias tape

- coordinating thread and sewing machine

- clamps

- various lengths of rope

- flashlights (with batteries of course!)

- glowsticks

- a bag to put it all in

- optional – iron on vinyl to label kit

Supplies needed

I bought two twin sheets at Walmart to start with.  I love these since they are under $5 each for just a flat sheet AND they come in a cute fabric pouch.  Up until now I haven’t found a use for these but I always save them just knowing that one day I would put them to use.  They made the perfect pouch for holding the clamps and ropes for the kit.

Start by cutting your bias tape into 8 -12″ lengths and 4 -3″ lengths.  Each corner is going to get a tie and then the loops will be sewn onto the sides of the sheets in the center.  Sew up the open side of ALL the pieces of bias tape.
Fort ties

Fold each 12″ piece of bias tape and sew them onto the corners, backstitching several times.

attach ties to corners

Here are my two finish sheets with all the ties attached.  Now the hard part is done!  Seriously, the rest is pretty much just putting it all in the bag.

Ties attached to sheets

I wanted to label the bag so that it wasn’t so plain.  After cutting some iron on vinyl, it got ironed on and then it was onto the rest of the kit.  (The bag I found from Jiffy Shirts, where I order my craft shirts from.  It was only about #3.25 and came in SO many colors!  You can bet that I bought a few to keep on hand for future fort kits.)

Fort Kit bag

If you have ever made a fort with a blanket and some chairs, you know how helpful clamps would be to keep the blankets in place!  The clamps I purchased at Big Lots for just a couple dollars.  It was a 16 piece set so I split it in half and the other 8 will be used for another kit.  They were put into one of the pouches that the sheets came in and I labeled the pouches with some iron on vinyl.  I did the same with the various lengths of rope.

clamps

Flashlights are a GREAT gift for a boy!  I put some in my boys’ stockings this year and they have enjoyed them!  And best of all I found these in the Target dollar bins!!!  Yep, only $1 for LED flashlights (I bought several more to put away!)  The glowsticks just finish it off.

Glow sticks and Flashlights

There you have it.  Now go off and whip up your very own fort kit to play with!  It is perfect for winter days when it is too cold to play outside and the possibilities for forts are endless!

Winter Decorating

I LOVE decorating for holidays!  I feel it just makes the house more festive and who doesn’t need a little something extra to celebrate these days?!?!  My garage will attest to my love of holiday decorations as I now have TWO garage racks packed with all my Christmas, Valetine’s Day, Easter, Fourth of July, and Fall decor (NOT including my ever growing collection of wreaths I am working on!)

I wanted to create some sort of Winter mantle and some winter wreaths for my doors since everything looks so dull once Christmas decorations are put away.  So off to Pinterest I went in search of some simple DIY ideas.  I still haven’t made anything, printed, or decorated my mantle but I hope to one day add another bin to my collection that is labeled WINTER.  In the mean time, here are a few of the ideas I was pinning to offer you some design ideas (unless you are like a large majority of my Facebook fans that say they go straight to Valentine’s Day after Christmas).

Source: mycomputerismycanvas.blogspot.com via Allison on Pinterest

Could this mantle be any cuter???  Here is my ONE problem with “winter” decor… As much as I love the colors and the snowflakes, I live in So Cal so it just seems strange to hand a banner that says “Let is Snow” or the like when it is so warm here (now this winter is very chilly, but there is still no snow in my backyard – ya know what I mean!)

There are so many cute printables in Pinterest and I just love the Bucket Lists for the seasons you can find on there.  Here is a winter one that I found that I wanted to add to my mantle but I don’t happen to have a spare picture frame hanging around. The bummer about these is they are usually dated.  This one still works just fine for me!

Source: katieballa.blogspot.com via Allison on Pinterest

Last but not least, I did make some more yarn wreaths for my door.  I didn’t necessarily want to make another yarn wreath since my Candy Cane Wreaths were just up, but I couldn’t think of something better for the time being.  I got Christmas picks and ribbon for 70% off to decorate this wreath and I used a 12″ straw wreath instead of an 18″ wreath but I like the smaller wreaths.  These are perfect for the month between Christmas and Valentine’s Day and I just love them!

Winter Wreath
So what about you? Do you put up something for winter or just wait until Valentine’s Day to decorate your home?

My To Do List for January…

The holidays came and went and with so much crafting that happened before Christmas I wanted nothing more than to be LAZY  after Christmas.  So that is pretty much what happened!  I watched movies, played with the boys, planned some New Year’s Eve fun with my family and pinned away on Pinterest.

So when January arrived I suddenly realized just how crazy busy I needed to be in order to get done all that I need to get done.  I planned out posts and tutorials I want to share with you. There are way to many versions of a to do list and supply lists floating around my craft room and I have piles {all sorted} of projects that need to get completed.

This is a post where I don’t necessarily SHOW you myself what I am doing {since I haven’t done most of them yet}, but instead I am going to show you where the ideas for my upcoming projects came from.  I have one nephew’s bday, 2 baby showers, a neiece’s birthday, my oldest son’s and a few projects I want to get done for Valentine’s Day!

Here we go:

1. Newphew’s Bday Gift – Fort Kit

 

If you are on Pinterest you might have seen a version or two of these floating around.  My sweetest friend made a fort kit for my boys’ last Christmas and we have had LOTS of fun creating with it!  I LOVE gifts that are TOYS but are still oh so fun and encourage PLAY.  My post for my version of a fort kit will be coming up next Tuesday, but for now I will show you where the idea came from.

 2. Baby Shower – one for a friend, one for my sister-in-law

 

Seems to be baby season all around me and with that being the case I have two baby showers to go to in January.  The first is for a woman that we have known for years now.  It’s a Dr. Suess theme (remember one near and dear to my heart) so I know it is going to be adorable.  I love giving handmade gifts – shocking I know – so I decided this time to make a carrier cover.  I wish I had one of these when my boys were small. A blanket, while having the same function, just isn’t as lovely as a cover that is handmade!

For my sister-in-law, I made the invites and will be very busy soon crafting up banners, cupcake toppers and more! YAY!!!  She wanted an owl theme so I put two owls sitting on a tree branch on the invites.  Super cute!  I will be sure to take pictures and show you all I make for the shower.  Might even do a few party tutorials on how to make banners, water bottle wrappers, cupcake toppers and more.

MBC - invites in progress

 

3.  My niece’s upcoming birthday

For those of you that don’t know, I finally have nieces!!!  After 6 years of having only boys on my hubby’s side of the family (my four included) I now have 3 nieces and one more on the way (see the pink and purple baby shower invites pictured above!)  Needless to say I have LOTS of ideas on my If I Only Had a Girl board on Pinterest that will now be getting some attention!  One item that I have seen and wanted to try out was felt food.  Since I am {sigh} at the end of my baby years, I wasn’t sure this was the right thing for me to invest my time in creating for my boys.  Now, however, I am obsessed and can’t stop searching for and pinning felt food ideas.  Thankfully felt is cheap!

I have a huge list of food I want to make for my nieces.  They got a lovely pink princess kitchen for Christmas and it NEEDS food for them to cook in it!  One has a February birthday and the other is in April so I can spread out my felting of food a bit.  My boys now also want some sets (and I want to play with them too!) so I will probably be making doubles of everything.  I’ll post my felt foods as I get them sewn.  Lots of hand sewing is involved so I am hoping my hand can hold out!

5. Superhero Slumber Party

My oldest is about to be 8 yrs old and he is finally to the age of slumber parties.  While I do LOVE to throw parties (as seen here and here) they are a lot of work and with 3 boys with birthday months all back to back, this busy mama needed a break!  So my two older boys both agreed to forego family dinners this year for slumber parties.

My oldest has requested a Superhero party so I started searching for boy slumber party ideas.  I found a few cute superhero party themed ideas. I am hoping time allows for some personalized party favors for the boys that come.  These makes are so awesome!

Source: cutesycrafts.blogspot.com via Allison on Pinterest

6.  Valentine Projects

I finally completed my version of the conversation hearts hanger I found on Pinterest last Valentine’s Day.

Source: thepeanutpaintshop.blogspot.com via Allison on Pinterest

I never got around to completing the last few steps of the project.  It now is proudly hanging on the wall by my front door.

MBC- Conversation Heart Hanger

I will be selling these until Valentine’s Day so if you want one you can place on order by sending me a message on my

Facebook page! I’m selling them for $15 for up to 4 hearts and $3 for each additional heart after that.  Let me know if you

want some cuteness hanging on your wall for Valentine’s Day.

I will also be working on some new wreaths for Valentine’s Day so check back to see what I have come up with!

I’m already tired thinking of the work I have ahead of me but I am always excited to craft and try out some new things!