I love making teacher appreciation gifts. Mostly because...Pinterest, but in all seriousness, teachers deserve our thanks. Having accidentally stumbled upon a job posting for my child's own daycare I was saddened to see how little they make. These women who are going or have gone to school, earned degrees and numerous certifications, all so they can not only keep our children alive for most of the day, but come up with unique and fun lessons and activities to stimulate their tiny minds and help them grow. My child loves her teachers as evidenced by her leaping out of my arms and into her teacher's for an extended snuggle upon returning from our week-long vacation. The fact that teachers cannot afford their own services on their salary is appalling and is a stark reminder of the need for childcare support and reform on so many levels. But I digress. If I can put a smile on their face and tell them how much they mean to both me and my child, gosh darn it I'm gonna do it!
For my wedding I collected a LOT of vintage china. Mostly bread and dessert plates, teacups, and teapots. I've seen lots of people doing sharpie mugs in the oven and had some pretty good success DIY'ing one for a friend!
Mother's Day is upon us, and with that comes the pressure to get the perfect gift. Shutterfly has some great options but I also wonder if they really need another piece of clutter or really want to wear jewelry with my daughter's ever changing face on it! That being said, I think repurposing something old and beautiful and giving it a fresh take is an awesome idea.
I've always crushed on cheeky teacups featured on the likes of Etsy and Francesca's. But we all have that thought "I could make that!" and for twice the price of what it would have cost to just buy the damn thing we are now blessed with a somewhat similar product and some fun new art supplies to boot!
The image above is using a gold oil-based sharpie. I baked for 3 hours at 250 degrees to set the paint.
For my wedding, I wanted a way to honor the important women in my family by making them special corsages. Instead of a fresh floral one, which would fade, I thought it would be nice to make them bracelet style ones from old fashioned silk millinery flowers. This was in keeping with the theme of my groom and groomsmen boutonnieres which were made by the Etsy shop Mignonne Handmade.
I loved these so much, especially the book page leaves. They are something I could have probably done DIY, but they were so perfect as is I decided to splurge. When it came time to do the corsages, I took a different route. I did half DIY/ half semi-DIY. In my research on millinery flowers, I came across this awesome Etsy shop, Freshly Fallen Designs, that had mini millinery flower bouquets already made.
For these in particular, all I had to do was take the pre-made bouquet and use floral wire and hot glue to affix them to these pearl corsage bracelets, which I purchased at Michael's. I then used oak tags (from Staples) to label each of them and attached them with pink baker's twine.
For the others, such as the red rose and blue flower one pictured above (second from the left), I purchased some little bunches of flowers and leaves from the same section at Michael's where I found the corsage bracelets. I used a combination of floral wire and floral tape to make a mini arrangement and then affixed them to the bracelet with floral wire and hot glue.
Everyone was really pleased to receive them. I wish I could have done them for every woman at the wedding but I stuck to mothers, grandmothers, and aunts that I am close to. Otherwise I really could have gone crazy because I have a lot of aunts and female cousins! Overall, this was a fun pre-wedding DIY project that was easy, cheap, and fun to do, especially thinking about which flowers best represented each woman's style and personality. What did you do to honor the special women in your life at your wedding?
I was charged with games for a friend’s upcoming bridal shower and it was really fun to put together some fabulous prizes. Check out the games I chose in this post!
Now I don’t know about you, but I never win anything. So when I do win, I want to get something awesome, useful, and something I might not always buy for myself.
So I went in search of awesome prizes that I would want. In the mood for some “me time” I fueled up at Starbucks and headed to Target. (I'm so basic, I know) I raided the dollar spot, the candy aisle, the travel toiletries, and the end caps in the beauty section and I think I did pretty well!
What I got:
I also went to Amazon and grabbed some Flower girl books in case the two girls in attendance win a game. You can find “Pinkalicious: Flower Girl" here. It's short, cute and doesn't stick in my feminist craw because a little boy also wants to be a flower girl! #smashthepatriarchy
All told I spent about $100 for 20 prizes plus about $5 on the flower girl books. I went a bit overboard as my goal was 12 prizes (3 winners each for 4 games). All in all we ended up using most of them and I gifted the rest to the other bridesmaids, the mother of the groom, and the bride herself. Everybody wins!
My vision was to have first prize, second prize, and third prize for each of the 4 games we're doing and it worked out well. I tried to package them accordingly, and put items together that kind of made sense together. Here's what I came up with:
I am a huge fan of any paper products associated with weddings and celebrations. Just check out my Pretty Paper board on Pinterest!
I was charged with games and prizes for a friend's upcoming shower (just call me Games Manager) and couldn't help but makes some festive treat bag toppers. After combing Google, Etsy and Pinterest and coming up dry, I took matters into my own hands.
The maid of honor had already designed some table tents using a simple flourish motif, so I borrowed it and switched up the clip art.
I fit two to a page, landscape orientation, and printed a few versions until the fit the bags. When doing this yourself, don't forget to leave equal room at the top for folding in half over the top of the bag. I did a test print just to make sure it would work.
As mentioned in a previous post, my mother and I did some awesome DIY projects for my wedding but I wasn't blogging at the time. I am proud to share my second "Throwback Thursday" wedding DIY post!
I started by removing the glass from dollar store frames. I cut scrapbook paper to the size of the frame, and used hot glue to affix the scrapbook paper to the back of the frame.
So, full disclosure, I am not a good cook, or a "foodie" or any way at all skilled in the realm of food. However, mama does love to eat! This is a simple, filling meal you can have for breakfast or lunch (or elevensies for the breastfeeding mamas).
The ingredients are simple:
Enjoy! The best part of this is you can eat it cold ten minutes later because your baby won't let you sit down, and it will still be delicious. It also helps you stay full for a while which is good when you're running around like crazy.
I also like to think that the healthy fat from the avocado is canceling out the bad fat from the bacon, so it's like the ultimate health food. Trust me, I'm not a nutritionist!
I hope you enjoy this tasty meal. I know I will!
What are some easy, delicious treats you make for yourself?
I was charged with games for a friend’s upcoming bridal shower and my first thought was “Oh God, I don’t like playing embarrassing games at showers!” So my first idea was to search for “Bridal Shower games that don’t suck.” Lo and behold, someone blogged it! Check out their post here for more insiration!
I ended up doing some great free and DIY printables from bridal-shower-games.com. (Note, this is not a sponsored post).
Here’s what I chose (click the game titles for links!)
As Games Manager (an official title I gave myself) for an upcoming bridal shower, the brides’ mother asked if I could do a little something for the two young flowers girls in attendance. Refusing as always to keep it simple, I decided to make the ultimate flower girl busy bags! #overachieverstatus
These would be great not only for a 4 hour shower in which small children have little to no interest, but also for a wedding (if your allowing kiddos to stay the duration.) You could also choose more boy-friendly items (or gender neutral items if you're a feminist), or more educational items if you're not into Disney. I was also thinking it would be nice to add an Honest Kids juice, a granola bar, or Go Go Squeeze applesauce. I think if you know the kids' dietary needs well or their parents' food preferences, go for it, but in this case I didn't want to risk it! Overall I'm very happy with how they turned out!
Here's a look at the finished product!
The best thing has happened. About half of my close friends are getting married. And they are all getting married THIS YEAR. #ALLTHEWEDDINGS
I'm so stoked for all of these weddings, some long awaited. They are all going to be different and uniquely special and beautiful. I have the pleasure of being a bridesmaid in two of them and my daughter will be a flower girl in one.
I am both excited and terrified. One because in my life I have only been a bridesmaid 3 times and all for family. In my cousins' weddings I was but a young naive teenage girl of whom no planning was expected and the lovelies paid for my dresses. In my brothers wedding, I had little influence and kind of just went with the flow and paid for what I could and tried to exert my creative ideas when I could.
But....I have PINTEREST now. When planning my own wedding, I got really into the DIY, Etsy, and wedding blog craze. This was before Michaels, Party, City, and Amazon stocked every pom pom, paper straw, and mason jar creation you could imagine in your wildest dreams. We had to make everything from scratch! My mom and I collected vintage plates from eBay and thrift stores. We built our own escort card display out of an old picture frame. We worked our bums off with glue guns, scissors, and hope holding it all together.
So now that I'm an official adult, financially responsible bridesmaid, I'm excited to do amazing things for other brides. I decided it would be fun to chronicle some of my projects here. Why not make my blog harder to pigeonhole into a niche market?
So this is just kind of an introductory post. I'll post about each project and some creative tips and tricks that I've gleaned and developed over the years. I'm excited to share this amazing journey!
Nice to meet you!
I am a tech pro, blogger, DIY'er, reader, TV binger, music lover, nerd and semi-crunchy mom. I write about professional development, being crafty, motherhood and politics. Thanks for joining me and letting me share my thoughts with you!