Thursday, May 31, 2012

Memory Makin': Memorial Day 2012

So excited to go to NJ... despite being sick all night.

First, I hope your Memorial weekend was spent celebrating the sacrifices of those who died for our freedom.  We celebrated with family in New Jersey and had an amazing time.  There were some monumental firsts!


Brian's grandmother raised him and was the heart of her family.  She passed away in 2004 and left a void that no one can ever fill.  This past weekend, Munchface went to Grandmom's and Grandpop's house for the first time.  It was like a museum with everything still in place. So many times I fought back tears... Pictures were still hanging just where she placed them, toys in bins from where she once had the pitter patter and giggles of babies surrounding her, trinkets, even the front door with it's contrasting black & white color scheme... So many things that remained exactly where she left them years ago.  I almost got lost envisioning her grinning as she proudly hung pictures of her children and grandchildren on that old home's walls... I wondered what she would say if she got to meet Munch.

From Trenton, we caught the River Line to cousin Kelly...  Munch was so excited! 

Garden State Discovery Museum

Once we arrived, the girls played and giggled for hours.  We decided to wake up the next day and take them to the Garden State Discovery Museum. It was a great combination of hands-on fun mixed with educational exhibits and even LIVE animals!
At the entrance

Dress-up and POSE.

"Kelly, if we were turtles, we'd have tiaras and live in a castle." - Munch

She was SO excited about the rock display that she wants me to build her one for her collection.

Our family's cookout was a BLAST! We rented a moon bounce, port-a-potty, tables, chairs, a tent... The DJ kept the party going and the girls (along with their grandparents) got the party started!

It was a great time with family!

How did you spend your holiday?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Chipette Cake

Remember our little friend, Amiyah?

Well, Amiyah loves the Chipettes... She got the build-a-bear and hasn't gone anywhere without it:

Amiyah turned 5 years old a few weeks ago and I surprised her with a cake for her family party.  While Chipmunks are popular characters, in the grand scheme of things, they certainly don't hold a candle to the NORMAL theme/characters.  I hired my baker-friend to brainstorm a design.  Boy, did we have to get creative! Here's what we came up with:

Chipette Cake Tutorial

For the stage, she baked 2 circle cake layers.  After they cooled, she cut one in half.  The layers were frosted with butter cream and covered with pink marshmallow fondant.  She then used a combination of gum paste and fondant for the microphones.  We used girl-y colored fondant for the "colorful beads" around the stage.  The best part for me, however, was the CHIPETTE cutouts!  She printed them from the Internet, glued them to poster board, then glued them to toothpicks and stood them up in the cake.  Some fondant stars, number 5's, her name and BOOM!  We had 1 pretty little cake and 1 happy little-big girl :)

She sat at the table admiring her cake for 30 minutes before we finally cut it; it was the cutest thing ever!

Can't find your child's favorite character? Looking for an AFFORDABLE way to incorporate a character?  Want to spruce up a grocery store cake? Consider making a toothpick topper from a printed picture!


Cheers to *yummy* celebrations!


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Ruffles and Bows Baby Shower: The Invitation

It's been a while since we last spoke about God baby's Ruffles and Bows shower... Well, since we last spoke, I've coordinated with a designer for the shower invites and they turned out adorable!  Sometimes when I see a finished product, I wonder, "how the heck did they get THERE?" So, I thought I'd share the process for the invite. Here goes:

God Baby's Shower Invitation

First, I sent the designer, Abby,  the blog post describing the Ruffles & Bows shower.  I also provided the colors, the theme, some theme-focused text and the overall feel for the event.  With this information, she came up with this design:

It was cute but the ruffles, the buttons, the background AND the bow?  It was all a little too much. I wanted it to be cleaner so I sent some samples of invites with subway-style wording along with some other ideas.  She came back with 2 designs:

I thought the one above was it.  It was clean and feminine BUT the designer thought we could do better.  She asked my thoughts and here's what I said:

"The only other variation would be one that was portrait, with the shower information at the top (white background) and the bottom had a wave-like ruffle. Each "wave" would be a gradiant shade of lighter pink and 1 (in the middle?) would be aqua with a bow on the right. That might be simple and clean but girly... let me know your thoughts."

She loved the idea and designed the invite PERFECT for  God baby's shower:

SOLD! SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED... Note: this is just the draft she came up with (there were additional design tweaks).  YAY! We have a modern take on ruffles&bows and, more importantly, it's EXACTLY what I wanted!  Can you see how I created an email account to collect RSVPs? I'm horrible with this whole phone thing so I started to create free emails account for events and I love having an open line of communication for attendee questions (which eliminates having to pull out the paper and pencil in the store when I accidentally answer my phone to capture an RSVP).

For printing, I'm going to use Vista Print's 5X7 invitations.  Have you seen their deals?  They always offer some amazing bargains! 

I am just so excited :)

Isn't it amazing to watch labors of love come together?


Monday, May 21, 2012

Craft Vault: Minnie Mouse Piñata

Happy Mama-Made Monday, Islanders!  I was thinking about Baby Doll Bakery birthday party plans the other day and considered making a piñata like the Minnie Mouse one I made for Munchface's Bow-tique party last year.  It was so easy that I couldn't resist posting a tutorial for all of you.  So, order's up!

Minnie Mouse Piñata Tutorial

1.  Gather supplies
- Large piece of cardboard (I used an old box)
- Shoe box without the lid(holds candy)
- Party streamers (enough to cover cardboard shape)
- Scissors
- Hot glue/gun

2.  Draw your shape on the cardboard.  For the Minnie Mouse silhouette, I traced 2 kitchen bowls; the larger one for the head and the smaller one for the ears

3.  Cut out the shape

4.  Cut a flap on the shoe box (i.e. cut 2 slits then fold the flap up to form a "square" flap).  Note: this "flap" will be your means for adding your candy and will be used to fill your piñata so DON'T make it too small

5. Start at one end of your cardboard shape and dab a glue line along the outside edge.  Take your streamer and ripple it along the glue line to create a pleat texture like so:

6.  Repeat (working your way inward) until you reach the center.  Note, you might need to dab glue wherever necessary so pleats are secure.  When you reach the center, any exposed area.  Lay your shape face-down

7.  Glue around the edge of the shoe box.  Place the shoe box glue side down) on top of your shape.  BE SURE your "flap" is facing the top of your piñata so it will not hang upside down.  Let the glue cool for 5 minutes

8.  Cover the back of the shape with streamers

9.  Punch a hole in your "flap" to string ribbon through for hanging

10.  Glue a basic bow to the Minnie silhouette

I was so worried the box wouldn't be strong enough that I got a little 'glue' happy and made the world's STRONGEST piñata... The girls had to stomp the candy out of it:  

Learn from my mistake and remember to make your piñata with its purpose in mind!  

Are you hosting a spa party? How easy would a nail polish bottle be?  Hello Kitty? Follow these instructions with triangle ears and white streamers.  Cars? Trace a car silhouette.  Microphone, cupcake, animal face, shoe, batman silhouette... ALL shapes that are easy enough to trace! Be creative and be sure to share your projects! Without the shoe box this makes an innovative door decor item to greet guests!

I used cardboard and a shoe box I already had and ONLY I spent $4 on supplies (streamers and ribbon). How easy and awesomely affordable! 

For more of Munchface's Bow-tique birthday party details, click here.

Happy gluing!


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Mama Clicks: Belly Shots

God Baby's Belly Shoot

I had the opportunity to photograph my God baby for the first time... I mean, TECHNICALLY she was all covered up by clothes and skin and what not but... Let me just tell you, she took the stage and did NOT disappoint... Just look at her pretty little self:

Something about that belly makes me act up, lol.  I actually attack Deb, my baby's mama-to-be, every time I see her with hugs, kisses, rubs and (most times) food... I'm excited, what can I say?! I'd LOVE to share more pictures but... They aren't my pics to share :) Some, however, will make an appearance at the baby shower so you'll see more again...

But, OMG, didn't God baby show up and show out?


Back to our regularly scheduled program tomorrow with tutorials, party updates and house projects... I've got some big things to report :)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Mama Clicks: Dream Catchin'

Dreamgirl's Photo Shoot

I helped Danithedreamgirl take the first step to building her portfolio.  It was no easy task but with amazing sunshine, shoes, and smiles, we sure did make it look easy!  She proved that catching dreams requires more than a net. Faith, love, determination and hard work are the REAL ingredients to a tasty achievement pie!  Check her out:

You want more? Well, you'll have to wait until she posts the pics on her blog.  Moral of this story? Sometimes you have to find your light:

...and SHINE!

I hope your Saturday is sunny :)


Goodwill Finds: The Magnolia Wreath

Happy Friday, Islanders. I wanted to share a thrifty find from a while back.  Ugh, I love my local Goodwill Outlet.  Oh, and yes, you saw ...

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