Friday, January 28, 2011

Pinkie's Picks - January 28, 2011

I was planning on sharing my birthday banner tutorial with you today but someone forgot to upload the pictures. And by "someone" I do mean me.  Sorry.  So to tide you over until I get that masterpiece completed here are some of my favorite internet finds of late.

Please don't forget to enter our $50 gift certificate giveaway here.

Now let's get to pickin'.

This has got to be a top crafting pick of all time.  This glue gun is probably one of the greatest inventions in the world.  First, it's cordless.  Second, it has a LED light on the end so you can see where exactly that glue is gonna go.  And third, it's pink.  What more could you want?  A box of chocolates to go with it.  I understand.

These valentine pooches by Bluebird Papercrafts are just the cutest! 

This caramel apple cider for the crockpot found at A Year of Slow Cooking sounds very nice on these cold, cold January evenings.

These Super Bowl Party dips from Food Your Way are getting us ready for the Big Game.

Obligatory cupcake reference of the day:  Cupcake Pincushion from Kitty Stamp.

Bean would love for her Daddy to make her one of these Little Helper Towers from Ana-White.  A girl can dream, can't she?

I wished Hubz would make me Bean a dollhouse like this one found at Kristen Duke's site.

If you haven't already had enough of the snow and ice this year, you can make your own snowflakes using this tutorial from All Things Heart and Home.

I'm trying to introduce more salads at home now.  Hubz really has gained the weight.  Yep, it's just Hubz.  The rest of us are just fine.   Poor Hubz.  He's a fatty and he's the only one.  I repeat - he's the only one.  So this Avocado Taco Salad from Living Locurto might help Hubz and only Hubz out. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Balloon Wreath

For Bean's birthday party I also made a balloon wreath. I found this idea on a few other blogs like this one at Meet the Newcombs and this one at How Does She?

I fell in love with these wreaths and knew I wanted to try my hand at them for Bean's party. The problem? I didn't read the instructions on how to actually make them. I just looked at the pretty pictures. Um hum.

The Meet the Newcombs wreath is made with a wreath form and rubber bands. The How Does She? one also uses a wreath form and greening pins.

Mine does not. Mine consists of balloons and a clothes hanger untwisted and shaped into a circle. I simply tied the balloons onto the hanger and fluffed up the balloons the best I could. After finishing my wreath I wondered why it didn't look quite as full as these other two.

That's when I got the brilliant idea to go back and actually read the directions in the tutorials.

At midnight. The night before the party.


So I went with what I had made. I think it's cute. It's a little ragtag and not as full as the others but it's cute. I was going to make a bow for it but didn't have any ribbon that matched or that wasn't too big. And at midnight-thirty, I really didn't care any more. So I hung Minnie Mouse from the center and that was that.

Please excuse the camera phone pictures.
 I hung the wreath on the door to welcome the party guests and believe it or went on even though it wasn't perfect! That's a lesson I need to remember.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 review and giveaway!

 Part of the party planning process that I think is so much fun is deciding on an invitation. In the past, I've always had a hard time deciding if I should make my own or order them. Recently, I was contacted by to do a review of their announcements and invitations.  Go to my brand new review blog to read more.

Wordless Wednesday - Dress Up

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cupcake Stand

I wanted to show you all how easy it was to make this cupcake stand for Bean's party. I started out with these three plates I found at T.J. Maxx. The biggest plate cost $3.99 and the other two cost $2.99 each.

Then I found these two candle holders at Michael's for $5.99 each.  This was a bit more than I wanted to pay but I just couldn't find anything any less that would work at T.J. Maxx.

I already had this Loctite 5 minute epoxy left over from my recipe holders I made for Christmas.

I removed the bottom felt covering and cardboard insert from the candle holders because Hubz told me I would get a better seal from the epoxy without that stuff.

Then I just lined up the candle holders to the center of the bottom plate and glued it together.  I attached the top round plate to the center plate and let all of that seal and dry for a few minutes. 

Then I just glued the top portion to the bottom and let that dry.  There you have it.  Very simple.  Like I said yesterday, the hardest part was deciding on the plates to use.

The total cost for this project was $21.95.  You can do this for a lot less using old plates you already have or you can find less expensive ones at a consignment shop or Goodwill.  With our ice storm, I didn't have the time to browse these shops like I usually do and I was going for a certain "girlie" look, so I spent a little more than I wanted.  And you probably have a pair of old candle holders sitting around you can use for the supports, too.  I want to make some more of these stands with some mismatched plates I have stored our attic.  I think using the mismatched plates will give it a whimsical look.  But the whole putting together of the project took less than 10 minutes and then you just have to let the epoxy dry. Give it a try! 

Linking up to these link parties:

Today's Creative Blog

handmade projects

Monday, January 24, 2011

Minnie Mouse party!

This weekend we had Bean's Minnie Mouse party for her third birthday. I think everyone had a great time. I know Bean did. Thank you to each and every one of you that came and shared the day with us. It means so much to see everyone there to celebrate this sweet little girl.

We ordered food from Bean's favorite restaurant, "Chick-a-lay".  We had a pink and white polka dotted mini cake for the birthday girl and pink and white cupcakes for her guests.  These were made by Publix.  When someone asked me if I made the cupcakes, my dear, sweet, wonderful mother-in-law, Giggles, snorted and started laughing.  Thanks, Giggles.

Bean got tons of presents.  She can now dress up and put on all the makeup she wants.  When she opened the present I picked out for her, a cupcake shape sorting game, she ever so un-politely announced "I didn't want dat."  Thanks, Bean.

Then the kids got to play with a bean bag toss game, and they also played Pin the Bow on Minnie.  I was going to make a Pin the Bow on Minnie game but then realized I had already bought one at Party City.  Now I have to find something else to make with all that felt.  Thanks, my old memory.

The kids also got to do a craft of their own.  The girls made ladybug clips and the boys made bookmarks.  Note to self - when you decide to do a craft activity like this, bring more than one bottle of glue because kids are not patient and do not know how to wait and don't realize they are dealing with an old chick with no memory.  I seriously thought about turning tail and running out the back door during that activity.  Just remember to have more glue on hand if you want to stay sane.  It was scary. 

I made a cake/cupcake stand for the party to hold the mini cake and cupcakes. I will post details on how I made all of these decorations this week.  This cake stand was very easy to make.  The hardest part was finding the plates. It takes me forever sometimes to make a decision. This is a picture of the cake stand after letting Bean blow out the candles and we passed out the majority of the cupcakes. I have no idea why I spaced out on taking pictures before all of that but I did. I'm getting old, I guess.

It was really pretty before the cake plundering began.

I used my new Silhouette machine and made this banner.  This was my first real project using the Silhouette and it too was so easy to do.  I am very happy with the way it turned out.

I also made a balloon wreath but I also forgot to take pictures of  it.  I will take a picture and share it in the "how to" posts this week.  

I think Minnie Mouse would have been proud of this party.  I know Bean loved it and she was so happy and excited all day.  She's already started to plan next year's party though.  She asked me yesterday "Mommy, next time it's my birthday, can we hab a Olibia (Olivia) cake?"  

I'm too tired to think about next year's party.  

Happy Birthday Bean. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Birthday prep going on.

I wanted to share some pictures of the things I am trying to make and finish for Bean's party this weekend but the pictures aren't uploading. So I'll just have to bore you with words.

I have made a cupcake stand for the mini cake and cupcakes. Bean is getting her own little cake that will have some candles on for her to blow out. At work, we used to do birthday cakes for everyone and one of my bosses used to complain about people blowing out candles all over a cake and then the rest of us eating the cake. I never thought about all of that germ transference before but now it really grosses me out. I want some cake. I don't want germs. Yes, she is my kid but I have been to other parties and the kids always seem to want to touch the cake and huddle over it like it's the last meal they will ever have. Ugh, it all creeps me out.

But that project is finished. I am also working on a banner. I had it finished and ready to attach to the ribbon but Hubz made some jerky comment about the letters looking bad so I want to change them. I got some glitter paper but it's really thick and my machine won't cut through it. So now I have to either get some chipboard letters or find some more glitter paper. Leave it to a man to mess things up.

I have made a wreath for the door but it still needs a bow. I also want to make some big bows to put up on the mailbox so everyone in the world will know we are having a party. Problem is...I don't know how to make those big bows. I have been watching a bunch of YouTube videos on how to make them and it looks easy enough but I don't have any wire to hold it all together.

So, if I can get all of that finished by party time, I will be amazed. Probably really very tired but still amazed. I will definitely share the pictures as soon as I can get them uploaded.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday, Bean!

Today was Bean's third birthday. I can't believe it's been three years. All day I kept thinking about the day she was born. Different memories came to mind and they all just made me smile.

We were supposed to have her birthday party today but because of all the ice we had this week, I wasn't able to get out and order food or the cake or finish any of the party errands. So the party will be next weekend.

Happy Birthday to my beautiful Bean! Mommy and Daddy love you so.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Tradin' up.

My husband loves to fish. He has been dreaming and Craigslist browsing for a boat for about three years now. It is his only want. Well, except for world peace and all that crap. You know.

We cannot afford a boat. And there is no room at the inn for a boat if you know what I mean.

Around Christmas, Hubz came home one day with quite a fish tale. He had found a man he met through his work that wanted to trade Hubz a bass boat for his ATV. Hubz has had an ATV for several years that has taken up a portion of my back porch. This ATV needed to be fixed up and sold. I always wondered why Hubz had been taking his own sweet time getting around to fixing the thing. Evidently, he was a dreamer and had hoped it would be useful for just an occassion as he found presented to him then.

I personally thought the whole thing was a little hokey. Who would trade a boat for an ATV? Well, we met the one person that would, evidently. We now own an old bass boat that, as far as I can tell from the pictures, has absolutely no glitter on it at all. Who would buy a bass boat with no glitter? Listen, I have spent enough hours of my life at a Bass Pro Shop begging Hubz to stop drooling on the boats and take me home. I know a thing or two about some glittery boats. In my opinion, the more glitter, the more a boat costs. I can respect that. I value my glittery things, too.

But I was against this trade from the very beginning. I had my arguing points. I work for attorneys. I know how to argue! This is how it all went down:

1) We can't afford insurance on a boat. = His answer is you don't need insurance on a boat that has no lien against it. That's fair. Just don't run your uninsured boat into someone else's boat and that logic will work out just fine.

2) We can't afford boat registration. - His reply is "it's only 30 bucks or something." We'll see. He might still win this point but I doubt it.

3) We can't afford gas/fuel for a boat. "The guys will help chip in for that when they go fishing with me." Ummhum. I know his friends. Or maybe he is trading friends, too?

4) He will never be home on the weekends now. - His answer is "sure I will". I'm honestly not sure if this is really a point for or against boat ownership but right now I'm using it as a point against. But I've have learned a thing or two from recent political candidates and know I can flip flop on any given point on any given day.

5) He will expect me to go fishing with him. - He just blinked at me and said "don't you want to go fishing?" I just blinked right back at him and say "do you even know who I am?" The last time I went fishing with him I found myself and my child in the middle of a lake tsunami. That's a real thing, right? Trying to outrace a thunderstorm by gunning a boat 45mph, hitting each and every single wave and then being thrown back into the air for the next wave, while being pelted by raindrop daggers while trying to keep my big baby birthweight-leftover butt perched on a slippery 5 inch wide fiberglass seat while holding a freaked out screaming two year old banshee is not my idea of a fun afternoon of fishing. I'll pass.

I think my points are all very valid. But I must have lost this argument because this boat is now parked at my father-in-law's shop being man-oogled by the fellas.

Oh joy. I sure can't wait for warm weather now.

Birthday Sensory Tub

I read a ton of Montessori learning blogs and have read a lot on sensory tubs.  Sensory tubs aren't necessarily a Montessori activity but they seem to go hand in hand with each other.  I've wanted to make Bean one for awhile and thought since her birthday is coming up, I would try a birthday-themed tub. If you aren't familiar with sensory tubs, Counting Coconuts has a great post all about them.

I found a recipe by Two Little Seeds for Rainbow Rice. I used neon food coloring and the colors turned out really bright and festive.

I used balloons, candles, small erasers shaped like cake and ice cream, some Mickey Mouse favors since she will be having a Minnie Mouse themed party, some small butterfly favors, craft sticks and some bouncy balls. I gave her a colorful ice cream spoon to use to dig through the rice. I found all of these items as well as the green tub to hold it all at Dollar Tree. It all cost about $25-30 dollars but these are items that can be used with other themes later on, so the cost wasn't that bad.

Bean loves this activity.  She isn't allowed to take any of the items away from the tub which makes them a little more special since she can only play with them while working on the tub.  She also has done surprisingly well with keeping the rice in the tub.  She "lubs actibities".  She asks to do it daily and she usually spends a half hour on it at a time.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Ice Ice Baby

I borrowed that title line from an email I sent to several friends recently. Yeah, I'm almost out of original ideas. Sorry.

Sooooo...what have you all been up to?

We've just been up to ice. Ice. That's it. Ice should be in a glass. Not all over the ground.

Sunday it snowed here. Snow in the South is usually a fun time. We usually get a day or two off from school and work and we get to make snowmen and snow angels with that 2 or 3 inch white loveliness. It's usually something to look forward to.

Not this time.  This time school has been out for four days and counting.  Today was my first day back at work and after a treacherous 2 hour slide drive in, I wanted a stiff drink - no ice. 

Right after it snowed, the freezing rain came and encapsulated all that white loveliness in a back-braking hard icy shell. This stuff is the worst.

We took Bean out on Monday to see how far we could slide her up and down the front yard. Bean bowling.    She quickly got bored of this game and became infuriated because there was no fluffy white goodness to make Mr. Snowman.

We tried out her Tinkerbelle 4 wheeler on the ice but she didn't get to go very far. Dad even tried to give her a helping foot to get her going. She was not amused.  "Don't do dat!" 

She tried to make a snow angel. She just looked like she was having a fit. She was not amused.

I am hoping the next time Mother Nature sends her beautiful white snow to us, she makes the evil weather stepchild freezing rain stay home.  My baby wants to make snowmen and snow angels, please. 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Should I stay or should I go?

Something a little scary happened last week that has troubled my thoughts and my feelings about this blog. I am a big Facebook game player. Yes, I am one of those people whose Facebook feeds are filled with game posts instead of incredibly interesting links and statuses. Sorry.

So in all of my gaming, I accept a lot of people as game friends. I have gotten to know quite a few really nice people just through playing these games. Sometimes I go to the requesting person’s page and “qualify” them as an actual player before I accept their requests. Sometimes I get too busy and don’t.

There was a man on Facebook that was outed last week as being a pedophile. He was one of my “friends”. I saw another person’s status alerting everyone that this man was a pedophile and he would steal copies of pictures of children on Facebook pages. As soon as I read this status, I went and looked at this man’s page. He evidently had several pages. Some had been flagged by Facebook. The one I looked at showed one picture of a man sitting in front of a webcam with two girls on his lap. At first glance, you would think that this was a dad holding his daughters and having their picture taken. But the more I sat there looking at that one picture, the more the faces of the girls in the picture looked off to me. They looked alarmed or shocked in some way. I can’t describe it any better than that. I guess they looked empty and shocked.

Do I have any proof that this person is a pedophile? No. I don’t. The best proof I can give is that Facebook flagged his pages and the feeling I got from this one picture of him and these girls. That’s all the proof I have.

But as soon as I read that this guy could have at one time been on my page and possibly even this blog and viewed and copied pictures of my daughter, I became scared and enraged. I work for criminal defense attorneys. I have worked there a long time. We have had clients accused of being pedophiles. We don’t take many of those cases. I can count them on one hand. Nobody wants to take these cases. Some have been completely innocent. Some have not. From the cases of the ones that have not been innocent, I know a little bit about how a pedophile thinks and acts. It is very scary. It is especially scary to a mother. You can’t help but think of your own children and you immediately pray that nothing like that ever happens to your sweet child.

But after dwelling on this for a few days I just wonder if what I am doing here is the right thing to do. Is it fair to my daughter to post her picture up all over the internet where they are free game to anyone? You might think that pedophiles only want illicit pictures of children. You would be wrong. They only need to have a child in the picture for a pedophile to want them.

I have always been careful on this blog to not mention my daughter’s real name at all. Bean is how I refer to her because it is a nickname but also to protect her identity a little bit. I’m not stupid or naive though. I know that it takes only moderate computer ability for someone to find all the personal information about anyone on the internet in very little time.

But I still wonder if I should keep posting up her pictures? Should I keep talking about her on here? I know this has been a long standing debate with many on the internet. As my daughter gets older, my thoughts on this subject are changing. I know there will come a time that this blog will be the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever done to her. I can hear it now. There will be a time when she will probably say “Mom, I swear if this winds up on that blog, I will never speak to you again.” But that’s still a ways away. Right now she enjoys looking at the computer and seeing her picture there. She will point to it and say “Is dat me?”

But am I being careful enough now? Should I keep going? Should I find another focus?

I don’t have the answers to these questions today. Until I know for sure, I have decided to put it in God’s hands and ask him that he keep my child safe from this type of evil. That’s all I can do.

So for now, I will trust and carry on.