Princess Party!

Embellished Cupcakes

Hello friends!  Well, my little girl is four years old.  Four…  She is fast loosing her baby girl and becoming my big girl and everyday we discover more and more things she can do on her own that she couldn’t a few short months ago.  She can even get her own cereal and milk in the morning with out spilling too much.  Add to that the fact that my baby boy can now drink out of a cup on his own as of last night I may go  into some serious life-is-moving-way-to-fast shock here soon.  Le sigh…

But I digress…

Emma’s party was a hoot!  We had a handful of friends, two play houses, a face painter, a good amount of silly string and fun was had by all.  I really did have bigger plans for the party but things got crazy and many of those ideas didn’t come to fruition.  Here are a couple of highlights for you…

First of all I must say every year since Emma was born her birthday was sunny so we have always spent time outside.  This year was no different except for the mini anxiety attack I had while I put out balloons and my good white table cloth out in the back yard in the drizzle…  Yup, we woke up to clouds and drizzle.  After checking the forecast I went along as planned and set up in the back yard.  Luckily the forecast was correct this time and the rain moved on before the party started.

Emma's fabulous "new" face.

I am so thankful to my friend Christina (known to my kiddos as Aunt Christina) for coming down to face paint.  It really made the party special for Emma and her friends.  I mean, how fabulous does Emma’s face look???

Things I learned.  Walmart cupcakes embellished with little tiaras and monsters (for the boys) from the dollar bin turned out to be a great shortcut.  Balloons and a little crepe-paper may be a classic but they still go a long way for the money.  The dollar store is a fun place to let a little girl go crazy in and they have fun glow stick wands that the kids really got a kick out of.

So, fourth birthday party for Emma was a success and the countdown continues…  School starts (check), Emma’s birthday (check), pumpkin carving, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas tree hunting, Christmas, New Years and then onto another year.  Whew!  Funny how the end of the year just slips away.

How do you count down the end of the year?

Until next time, thanks for stopping by!

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Birthday Invitations – 4 Years Old

Hello Friends!  September is rolling right along and we are coming up on Emma’s birthday.  She will be 4 and I am so proud of her accomplishments this year.  Our party theme this year is princess (with out the help of Disney).  I had grandiose plans to hand draw the party invitation and be a little more planned out with the decorations but, alas, life took over and I’m keeping it simple.  Here is a peek at the fun invites we sent out…

I’ve been looking for new fonts lately and I found a treasure trove of them over at Lettering Delights.  The slightly off kilter font is called Felicity and I just love it.  After a quick run through the sewing machine a few times the invite was completed with envelopes from Paper Source in “paper bag”.  Although these invites didn’t fall into my original vision I think they do the job quite well.

Emma’s parties are this weekend and with a wedding on Sunday we will be very busy.  Last year was Emma’s first “friend” party and I was really nervous about what people would expect.  As I browsed Pinterest and some of my favorite blogs I saw really fabulous parties for which I have no budget for.  As I agonized over this a friend of mine said “start small and keep it simple, if you go all out when she’s 3 you may have to top it the next year and the next year and the next”.  I now keep this in mind as I plan parties for both kids.  There will come a day when Emma will know exactly what she wants for her party and I think I will be happy that I didn’t train her to have super big parties every year.  With that I have also started a tradition of having her friend party and family party on the same day.  This won’t work forever and it makes for a long day but when the sun sets we will have thoroughly celebrated Emma and be done.  Hopefully we are laying good ground work for the parties of the future.

Our weekend will be very full with lots of partying four year old style!  What does your weekend hold?

Until next time, thanks for stopping by!

Apples to Apples

Hello Friends!  We got’s our selves some apples!  A friend of ours heads back to the east side of the mountains a couple times each year and let’s us know when he’s going in case we want any produce from the growers over there.  We asked for apples.

Ginger Golds, Gravenstiens, and Gala Apples

Last year we got two boxes of apples and split them with my in-laws.  We made applesauce and fell-in-love.  I’m not sure that batch lasted through October.  So, this year we asked for three boxes and didn’t share.  During the Labor Day weekend we headed over to Jeff’s family’s house and got to work!

Magic in the making…

If you are so inclined as we are to make large quantities of applesauce you may want to take a gander at this little baby.  We had our peelers and knives all packed and ready to go and Aunt Kathi brings out her apple corer/peeler/slicer thingy.  I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical but after three apples we were sold!  We got through all three boxes of apples in no time.  We were going so fast we bagged two batches of apples to make when we got home.  We may be in the market for one of these bad boys for next year.

All said and done we ended up with 16 quarts of applesauce canned and ready for eating.  I opened our first jar last week for the classic pork chop and apples dinner.  Delicious!!!  Nothing better than some homemade applesauce.

So, dear friends, what do you love that is way better when it is homemade?

Until next time, thanks for stopping by!

A Different Way to Love Books

Hello Friends!  Our fall schedule is now in full swing with pre-school, bible study and trips to grandma’s house.  It seems fitting that I’ve been really intrigued lately by how folks are using book pages to decorate with.  (bibliophiles now would be a good time to look away) With my new found inspiration I headed down to my St Vincent’s to look for a suitable book.  I ended up with a copy of The Development of Civilization for $2 and have been having a grand ole time creating with it one page at a time, 532 of them to be exact.  My first creations were book page flowers.

I used them to adorn this red frame that I’ve been at a loss of what to do with since last Christmas.  I think this is a very fitting start.

Earlier I told you about the little Happy I made my Mom for her birthday.  This is it.  A little grapevine wreath with a few book page flowers.  (please ignore the crafty mess in the back ground.  My MO for crafting is a bit messy and thankfully I am blessed with an incredibly patient husband)  I inked the edges of these flowers to give them a bit more definition and liked it tremendously.  The rest of the flowers I’ve made all have inked edges now.  I also made a larger wreath with more flowers on it to hang above my “mantle” (more about that later).

My next project for my copy of The Development of Civilization is a book page garland for my window branch and some book page frames.  I’ve got a little girl’s 4th birthday party to plan and a mini kitchen command center to finish before I get to my branch but I am excited about the possibilities!!!

So, friend, tell me what would you do with a copy of The Development of Civilization?

Until next time, thanks for stopping by!

Falling into Autumn

Hello Friends!  It has happened…  September is here, the kids are back in school and nature is getting ready for winter.  Fall is one of my favorite seasons.  After a jam-packed summer I love the ritual of fall.  For me it is the return of schedule, routine and, after summer gives up (which can actually last the whole month of September here in the Northwest) and we start to turn our ovens on again, the return of comfort foods.  It is also the promise of hibernation.  We all do it…  Sure we don’t sleep the whole winter through but in our neighborhood we don’t really see our neighbors during late fall and winter.  After we put our gardens to bed for the winter (or don’t as has been our case the last two seasons) and the rain comes we scurry in and out of our back doors to our cars waving hastily through the cold and wet.  When spring comes along we enjoy getting reacquainted again and catching up with each other over lawn mowers and garden gloves.  After fall comes the Holiday season which is also a favorite of mine.  According to my family you can start listening to Christmas music in any month that ends in “ber”.  SeptemBER, OctoBER, NovemBER, DecemBER.  (And yes, while we haven’t listened to Christmas music we have broken out the Christmas movies already.)  My goal this year is to celebrate in such a way that I don’t feel the big rush and let down once December 25th has come and gone. December 25th is when the party should just be getting started and yet our culture is done already.

But I digress, let’s get back to fall.  Emma has learned to ride her bike this summer and we have enjoyed riding around our neighborhood.  She rides her bike and I strap Finn in the stroller and off we go (luckily for me she can’t out run me… yet).  We took a trip over to the local elementary school and I was so excited to find ACORNS!!!  Real life acorns!  I’m not sure I have ever seen acorns in real life.  I felt a little like I was stealing from the vast population of squirrels that live around us but I just couldn’t help myself.  We collected a handful of the most perfect acorns we could find and off we went.

To my great pleasure we found pine cones on the way home!  Beautiful perfect little pine cones right there on the street.  Again, not able to help myself, we gathered the best ones we could find and headed back to the house with our Autumnal treasures.

When we went back to the school later that week I found they had an abundance of pine cones as well and now we have quite a few to decorate with.  Right now some are adorning my hutch and most of them are in a box awaiting their turn.  They will make a wonderful addition to my Holiday decorations and I’m debating whether I should bedazzle them with white glitter or leave them au natural…  I’m leaning toward glitter but we will just have to wait and see.

So, dear friends, what is it about Fall that you enjoy?  Or perhaps you don’t enjoy it at all, what is your favorite season?

Until next time, thanks for stopping by!

Diaper Distraction

Hello friends!  It’s been a crazy week to say the least.  We had a lovely Labor Day weekend with the fam.  We celebrated my Mom’s birthday (I will be posting about the little happy I made her) and visited with some old friends then headed over to my Hubby’s family and processed enough apples to make 16 quarts of applesauce (post to come on this as well).  Recently, I’ve been thinking through our family budget and hating that at least once a month I’ve had to buy a box of diapers for at least one of our kids.  $40+ can be a major hit on a weekly food budget so I started to look for alternatives.  To make a long story short I decided to try out cloth diapers.  To date I am in it $75 and I have diapers for both my kids bums and supplies to make more.  Yup, I said “make”.  It isn’t as difficult as one might think.  The rubber hit the road when I decided I wasn’t going to buy another box of diapers and then miscounted how many I had left to cover poor Finny’s behind.  So, I’ve been a sewing fiend this last week and I’m not quite finished but finished enough to slow my pace.  Overall the switch to cloth diapers and my ability to make said diapers has been a success.  We’ve been in homemade diapers for two days now and every time I change a diaper I have a sense of pride and happiness at what I am able to accomplish.  Here are a few photos of my accomplishment…

Round 1: Thanks to “baby” Gracie for modeling.

Not too bad for a first try.  Decided I was not a fan of the Fold Over Elastic (FOE) as it didn’t gather to my satisfaction around the legs and across the back and it isn’t very cost effective… on to Round 2!

Round 2: Emma’s night time diaper.

This one is a winner and has done fairly well for two nights.  It does leak a bit and I’m not too sad about it.  Yes, I’m doing more laundry but she is becoming more aware of her body and thus moving along in her ability and development.

Round 3: First diaper for the Finnemonster

Complete with “gussets” (before this I did not know what a gusset was but I think I’m becoming a fan) this is Finn’s nighttime diaper from which we have had no leaks.  We are on night #2.

Success! Three diapers down and I am one mean, lean, diaper making Mama

We now have three diapers to use with pre-fold cloth diapers or “soakers” which I have also made but did not photograph.  I suppose to use the term “diaper” in this way would be incorrect…  These are diaper covers which are a moisture resistant layer cover over an absorbent layer.

Since there are many opinions on the subject of cloth diapering I am not even going to attempt a go at approving or denying any of them.  If you would like more information on my family’s journey to cloth please leave a comment below, I’d love to chat!

Thank you for hanging in there with me today.  Crafting comes in all shapes and sizes and this past week my craft has been diaper shaped.  So, tell me friend, what have you made or wished you could have made to save a little time, money, sanity…?

Until next time, thanks for stopping by!