DIY Spring Chevron Wreath with Pennant Banner

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With J gone for fleet week, I’ve been staying up far too late, watching Hulu (I started Nashville, not my fave show so far, but it’s alright) and crafting my little bootay off. I may have mentioned in previous posts that I love to decorate for holidays/seasons and made a promise to myself to do so, especially while baby P and any future babies are growing up. So far I have made good on my promise, and although most of my decorations come from the dollar store, it still counts, haha! I recently found myself at a loss as to what to do decor-wise between Easter and Memorial Day/Independence Day, so I decided to leave the inside be and just make another cute front door wreath since I was so pleased with the way my Easter wreath came out. Since I had picked up a few yards of burlap for some larger pennant banners I plan on making, I thought it would be fun to add a teeny tiny pennant banner to my wreath, especially because it would act as a trial one for my future banners. This wreath was super easy to throw together, once I had created my mini pennant banner and fabric flowers, it took me under 10 minutes to assemble the whole thing! The best part is, with the exception of the ribbon and Styrofoam wreath, I used items I already had on hand so the project cost me about $8 – BOOM! Give this one a try, if you don’t want to make the fabric flowers yourself you can always purchase ready made ones at your local craft store (but first read my tutorial on fabric roses and see how easy they are to make!), the rest is easy breezy!

DIY SPRING CHEVRON WREATH WITH PENNANT BANNER

YOU WILL NEED:

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  • Styrofoam wreath (I purchased mine at Michael’s using a 40% off coupon, download the Michael’s app if you haven’t already, they will scan coupons right off of your phone)
  •  Chevron Ribbon (Mine was wired but it doesn’t have to be, they sell large rolls of chevron ribbon at Walmart for $3.99)
  • 8-12 Fabric Flowers (Tutorial Here)
  • String or Twine
  • Burlap (since the banner is so tiny just ask for the smallest piece they can cut for you, burlap costs $2.97 at Walmart so a 1/4 yard will cost you about $0.75 and you’ll still have left over fabric)
  • White Acrylic Paint
  • Small Letter Stencils (I had picked some up for another project I’m working on but I’m sure the dollar store has stencils that would work)
  • Paint Brush
  • Glue Gun
  • Scissors

INSTRUCTIONS

Step 1: Assemble your fabric flowers by following this tutorial. The amount you will need depends on the size of the flowers you make and how much area you want them to cover on the wreath. If you are using store bought flowers or none at all skip this step.

Step 2: Start creating your pennant banner by fashioning a triangle guide out of paper (I used a post-it haha), the size of your pennants will depend on the length of your name or words you are using. My last name is seven letters long and a 2″ wide by 2″ long triangle was perfect for mine. Using scissors, cut out your triangles. NOTE: It is optional to use modge podge or fabric stiffener to seal the edges of your burlap triangles so they do not fray. I skipped this and they are fine.

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Step 3: Once your triangles are cut out, using your stencil, paint and paint brush, carefully paint your letters onto the burlap triangles. Be sure to protect your work surface with a piece of paper or wax paper since the paint will seep through the burlap. Allow a few mins to dry, this is a good time to start working on the body of the wreath!

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Step 4: Take your wreath and ribbon and attach the end of your ribbon to the styrofoam wreath using hot glue. Keep wrapping the ribbon around the wreath, overlapping the previous section each time, place a dot of glue underneath the ribbon each time you wrap it (I suppose this isn’t totally necessary but I didn’t want my ribbon to move at all once I was finished covering the wreath).

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Step 5: Your burlap letters should be dry by now. If so, take a piece of twine, ribbon or string and use hot glue to attach your burlap triangles to the string by applying a line of top glue to the back top of each and pressing onto the string, it is best to do this over wax paper so that the glue will not stick to anything. Make sure you leave a decent amount of string before the start of your first triangle so you will have a means to attach that side to the wreath.

Step 6: Attach your banner to the wreath by tying each end to each side, you be the judge of placement and tautness of the string. Once I got the banner tied how I wanted, I used a small dot of hot glue on each side to secure the string (again, overkill with the glue but it can’t hurt right? lol). Now, attach your flowers however you see fit, I alternated sizes and colors but feel free to arrange them however you’d like! The bow is optional, I just thought the top looked naked. Now throw that bad boy on your front door and know you’ve now got the best wreath on da block 😛

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Fabric Rose Tutorial

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I’m so excited to share this craft with you! These little fabric roses can be used in SO many ways from decor to jewelry the applications are endless, so if you like shabby or cottage chic style decor this craft is right up your alley. I began making these little flowers when I was selling shabby chic style rosette lampshades (pictured below) on Etsy  for a short while. Although I didn’t think my lampshades would drum up much business it turns out they were extremely popular and for the year that my Etsy shop was open I made HUNDREDS if not thousands of these little fabric flowers, so needless to say I’m pretty sure I have it down to a science, haha. Unfortunately, when baby P arrived I had to close down my shop indefinitely, as the lampshade process is pretty labor intensive and I was just simply not going to have the time to devote to the shop with a new baby (hopefully I can reopen it one day!), so now I just make lampshades as gifts for friends and use my little flowers in other craft projects. Since I love a project that can be used in multiple ways, I knew that a lot of my future crafts would feature these little fabric flowers and that is why I’d like to share this tutorial with you! Obviously there are lots of different fabric flower tutorials out there, as well as lots of craft stores that sell them ready-made (but after reading this post I hope you are inspired to make them yourself and save some coin!), so this is just my personal method to my fabric flower madness! I think it’s also worth mentioning that these make great embellishments for just about any decor project (I will give some suggestions below!) and are a great way to dress up something simple if you’re looking to decorate on a budget, all you need is a glue gun and the fabric of your choice! Happy “flowering” (as my husband calls it lol)! P.S. I plan to write a separate post on DIY fabric rose lampshades, so be on the lookout for that!

FABRIC ROSE TUTORIAL

YOU WILL NEED: 

  • Fabric of your choice (anything will work with the exception of maybe organza, tulle and silk where the dried hot glue might show up or wreck the material. The amount of fabric you need is dependent on how many flowers you would like to create.)
  • Glue Gun
  • Scissors

INSTRUCTIONS

Step 1: Begin by cutting your fabric into 2″ wide strips (this is an approximation, just eyeball it, no need to measure the width of each strip).

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all of the fabric I used to make these flowers for my wreath was left over from previous projects, the peach fabric was a thrift store find – 2 yards for $1!!!

Step 2: Starting with the end of one of your strips, fold the corner down to form a point and use a dab of hot glue to secure it.

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Step 3: Begin to roll your point as if it is a cinnamon bun, then place a dab of hot glue to hold it. Next, begin folding or rolling and turning your fabric simultaneously, placing a dot of hot glue after each fold (or every other fold depending on how tight you want the rose to appear, I do every fold, but if you’re going for a more shabby chic look you can let it appear a little looser). NOTE: For the particular roses shown, as I was folding/turning each piece I was sure that there were no raw edges apparent because that was the look I was going for, if you are looking for more of a shabby chic raw/frayed edge look, instead of “folding” as you turn simply use more of a twisting motion so that there are some raw fabric edges visible on your rose.

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Step 4Once you have reached the end of your fabric use a final dot of hot glue to tuck the tail end of the strip underneath or tight to the side of the flower and you are done! Yup, it was that easy! If you would like your flower to be bigger simply repeat the beginning of step one, but instead of rolling the point into a cinnamon bun, simply fasten it to the side of your finished flower with a dot of glue and continue your folding/rolling and turning process.

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Here are just a few ideas for using these roses in decor/fashion (since I have done most of these I will be posting examples of each of the following soon!):

  • Shabby chic lampshade (tutorial coming soon) flow8 flow9
  • Embellish a chalkboard, mirror or frame
  • Create a hair band or bow (perfect for a baby shower gift!)
  • Create a necklace or earrings
  • Embellish a wreath (see my spring/summer wreath post here)wreath
  • Embellish a vintage sign

DIY Little Man Onsies with Interchangeable Bow Ties

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Who doesn’t love a tiny little baby boy dressed up like a man, right? I for one, LOVE dressing baby P up like a man (he’s looked like a little mini man ever since birth, kind of weird and cute at the same time lol), and even before I had met my little guy my Etsy shopping cart was filled with cute little onsies with tie appliques and little bow ties. Only problem was, I quickly realized that at between $25 and $35 a pop (for a onsie, really? lol), my full blown little man wardrobe was going to have to wait until I hit the lotto, haha. Luckily, I was able to find a few little man onsies on clearance and be gifted a few others (a lot of them are featured in his monthly and holiday pictures) but I still was left wishing that there was a cheap way to get my hands on some more little man clothes!

Flash foward a few months, some friends and I are planning a “little man” baby shower for one of our girlfriends who is expecting a little boy. I thought it would be so cute to recreate the adorable onsie clothesline that my girls had displayed at my shower, but with little man themed onsies. Obviously the same problem of these little man onsies being so damn expensive presented itself once again. So I began to wonder if there was a way I could actually make these myself, without them looking like crap, that is (haha) – it turns out there was! Since I don’t sew other than by hand (learning to use my sewing machine is on my long list of things to do lol), it never occurred to me to make these onsies myself, but after a little research on Pinterest and inspection of items I already had, I was able to come up with my own variation of a little man onsie using, cheap fabric, hot glue and my limited sewing skills. So with limited expectations I got to work and was absolutely thrilled with the result of my project and definitely had a few “holy-crap-I-made-this?” moments throughout lol. Not only will I be able to use these at my friend’s shower, but I now have a home-run of a gift for any of my family and friend’s future baby boys (or girl for that matter, these can be hairbows too, say whaaaaat?!). I also plan to make hundreds (okay, maybe not hundreds, but a lot lol) of these for baby P until he no longer wishes to wear bow ties (which hopefully is never since he is a little man, lol), starting with the one he will wear for his Father’s Day picture.

Give this craft a shot! If you have zero sewing skills you can still make it work, I promise! If you need more of a reason than how adorable a little man onsie is then here’s another – a onsie and six interchangeable bow ties cost me about $3.00 when you break it down (compared to an average of about $22.00 per onsie on Etsy, usually including only one bow tie), so cost-wise it’s a no-brainer!!! NOTE: I also plan to make a matching bow tie for J, I just have to mess around with the bow tie tutorial to figure out fabric measurements for an adult bow tie but once I do I will post my own tutorial!

LITTLE MAN ONSIE & BOW TIE

*The use of Velcro or Nylon snaps is totally up to you, if the child is over six months and you know how to sew by hand I would suggest the snaps, as they are less easily removed by the child, lol. Velcro is still fine though, I found that baby P was more interested in the buttons than the bow tie.

MONEY SAVING TIPS:

  • Hit up your fabric store’s remnants bin, a 12X12 square of fabric that cost under $1.00 was enough for me to make about 6 bow ties!!!
  • Since you don’t need anything fancy use the cheapest brand of white onsies you can find, I believe Walmart carries a Gerber brand 10-pack for around $8.00.
  • Use cheap buttons, this works well anyway since cheaper buttons will be more plain and you want the color/style to work well with multiple bow ties.

YOU WILL NEED: 

  • White Baby Onsie
  • Hot Glue
  • Fabric of your choice
  • 2-4 buttons of your choice (amount depends on size of button)
  • Needle & Thread
  • Sew on Velcro or Sew on Nylon Snaps (if you are not planning on sewing at all, you will need to use Velcro)
  • Fabric Adhesive (you only need this if you are not sewing at all, make sure the label says “washable” meaning the item can be run through the washing machine after the glue has been used)
  • Ruler or Measuring Tape

INSTRUCTIONS:

Step 1: Use this bow tie tutorial to create as many bow ties as you want. I used the hot glue method and wherever it said to iron I didn’t (I’m lazy, lol) and my project still came out great. Important Note For Nylon Snap: If you are planning on attaching a nylon button adapt the previously mentioned tutorial to include the following instruction for attachment of the nylon snap. When you are gluing the smaller 2.25X2.25 piece in half place a very small dot of glue on each end and the middle (as opposed to just putting a whole line of glue down the seam), you want a space near the end where glue will not obstruct your needle once hardened. When securing your small piece to bow part of the bow tie, use a dot of glue to secure the one end, then using a needle and thread, sew the half of your nylon snap to the opposite end, so that when you pull it around and secure it, it will be facing out on the back of the bow tie where you would snap it to the onsie (see blue gingham bow tie pictures). Important Note For Velcro: If you are attaching velcro simply follow the instructions for construction of the bow tie to the end, once the bow tie is complete, use a dot of hot glue or fabric glue to attach a piece of velcro to the back of the bow tie. Here are some pictures I took as I went about making my bow ties.

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this is the washable fabric glue that I used to apply the velcro

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I used velcro dots but if it is cheaper to purchase velcro in a roll or larger piece you can just cut it yourself. The nylon snaps are shown as well, I chose these as opposed to metal snaps because they don’t require a special tool to attach them to fabric.

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Velcro placement

Velcro placement

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nylon snap method

nylon snap placement

nylon snap placement

Other bow ties not shown on onsies.

Other bow ties not shown on onsies.

Step 2: Once you complete your bow ties, you are ready to work on the onsie. For Nylon Snap: Find the center of your onsie, I placed mine about 3/4 of an inch down from the top of the neck, but use your own judgement as to what you think looks best. Use a needle and thread to attach the connecting piece of your nylon snap to the onsie. For Velcro (No-Sew): Find the center of your onsie, I placed mine about 3/4 of an inch down from the top of the neck, but use your own judgement as to what you think looks best. Use your washable fabric glue to adhere the connecting piece of velcro to the center of the onsie, it will probably need to dry for about 24 hours. Do Not use hot glue for this part, if you do not use a machine washable glue your velcro will probably fall off in the washing machine. I used a few stitches to secure my velcro after I glued it for further security but if you are going with the no-sew method that is fine too.

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Plain white onsie

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nylon snap placement.

Step 3: After attaching your velcro or snaps, you can work on the buttons. Use a measuring tape or ruler to mark the areas on the onsie where you would like to attach the buttons. I used three buttons for medium sized buttons and two buttons for larger buttons and placed them about two inches apart (measuring from the button center). Use a needle and thread to attach your buttons. If you are not sewing you can absolutely skip this step, the onsie looks just as cute without buttons! I suppose if the onsie is for a newborn or very small infant (aka one that doesn’t have the capacity to pull the buttons off and eat them lol) you could glue the buttons using washable fabric glue, however I have not tried this myself, if you do attempt it let me know how it holds up!

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Ta-da!!!!

Ta-da!!!!

Enjoy your onsie!!! For care turn inside out when running through the washing machine, and for best results hand wash and hang dry when possible.

My squishy baby rockin the onsie!

My squishy baby rockin the onsie!

He seems to be happy with it :-P

He seems to be happy with it 😛

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Our Family Pictures in Downtown Wilmington, NC

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This will just be a quick post to share our family pictures with you since I love them so much :). Since our gender reveal our photographer Sherry of Cool Breeze Photography of NC  has photographed us several other times, to include these family pictures, and we are absolutely in LOVE with her work! My little P was such a good sport considering I dressed him for fall and it was 90 degrees that day, poor thing lol. We picked downtown Wilmington as the location for our pictures because while we knew we wanted to do the pictures outdoors, we figured that having more of a city background as opposed to a nature setting (as was the setting for most of our other photographs) would be a good way for us to switch it up. As for our outfits, I was super selfish and based them around my dress (purchased from Ruche aka my favorite online retailer in the history of ever lol) which I picked out before choosing outfits for the boys :-P, BUT it worked out because given the color scheme I was able to dress J & P in clothes that they already owned. I found that Pinterest has a lot of great resources when trying to decide what to wear for family pictures, I went with the similar-colors-different-prints idea and I think it worked out great! I hope you love these pictures as much as I do and I hope Baby P puts a smile on your face (if he doesn’t you might need to get your head checked, I’m worried about you lol jk). XOXO

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Glass Etching Tutorial

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So I’ve been MIA from the blogosphere for the past week while my squishy baby and I traveled to NY to celebrate my nieces 1st birthday. We had lots of fun and right before I left I managed to eek out one of my favorite DIY/craft projects that I can’t wait to share with you – glass etching! I have mentioned before that I LOVE crafts and recipes that are super easy but appear really fancy and involved and make people say “you just had a baby how do you have time to do any of this!?” hehe little do they know  ;-). Not only is this craft pretty quick, it’s easy and makes great DIY hostess or holiday gifts, and since wedding season is in full swing, these will also make great bridal shower gifts. This post will serve as the tutorial but you may view my separate post on etched glass DIY gifts (coming soon), where I’ll show you some other variations on this project.

As for these DIY oil and dish soap dispensers, I had gotten sick of dragging the giant container of olive oil out every time I needed just a little bit (and then drowning my food due to lack of a slow dispensing top) and was equally as sick of looking at the gross Palmolive container of soap sitting on my counter, not cute. I had made an ADORABLE olive oil dispenser last year but alas, my pregnancy induced clumsiness caused me to knock it off the counter and shatter it into a million pieces (I cried real tears when that happened lol), so I was eager to replace it! This time instead of buying an actual oil dispenser (which you can totally do, they are available at Walmart and KMart for about $3-$4 a pop) and etching it I decided to repurpose wine bottles instead (yet another reason to love Trader Joe’s Two Buck Chucks!). Since I already had the empty wine bottles all I had to do was buy the bottle pourers (I found 6 for $6 on Amazon, link below). I was super happy with the result and happily left on my trip knowing that I would return to my cute little DIY oil and soap dispensers upon my return! I urge you to give this one a try, especially if you are tight on cash around the holidays or if wedding season has taken you for just about all that you’re worth lol, I promise you your recipient will love this just as much as their other gifts if not more and you will get to feel accomplished and a little less broke 🙂

GLASS ETCHING TUTORIAL

*NOTE: This project includes use of harsh chemicals and sharp objects, be sure little hands are far away if you decide to attempt this.

YOU WILL NEED: 

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  • Armour Etch or other etching cream (available at Michael’s and other major craft retailers)
  • Empty wine bottle or Olive Oil Dispenser (it MUST be glass, this will not work on other mediums)
  • Dispenser top
  • Paint Brush
  • Latex Gloves
  • Masking Tape
  • X-acto Knife

INSTRUCTIONS:

Step 1: If you are using a store bought piece of glass skip this step. If you are using a wine bottle use either goo-gone or soap and water to remove the label. If you’re using a cheap-o wine like I was you’ll be fine just soaking it in a little soapy water then using the coarse side of a sponge to rub off the label and any remaining residue. When you are finished, wash your bottle with soap and water and dry.

Step 2: If you are using a plastic stencil, skip this step. Place masking tape over your piece as shown, the height and width will depend on how large you want your etching to be. When masking tape is on rub it down firmly with your fingers or use the edge of a credit card to burnish the tape and make sure that it is completely adhered to the glass.

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Step 3: For the lettering there are a few ways you can do it.  I consider myself pretty good at hand lettering (hair flip, lol) and didn’t want to be bothered with printing out a guide so I simply hand lettered the wording by looking at the text on my computer. If you’re not comfortable doing that you may either find a font you like print out the wording in whatever size you would like, cut it out and trace around it onto the masking tape or instead of cutting and tracing the wording just tape it over the masking tape and use your x-acto knife to cut the words out (cutting through the paper and the masking tape at once). One other option is to purchase a plastic stencil (sold at craft stores) and tape the stencils directly to the glass and use that as your wording guide, eliminating the use of masking tape and x-acto knife altogether. While the stencil route will limit you in font options, if you feel that you need a fool-proof method that might be the best option for you. *For my font I used “Birds of Paradise” on DaFont.com.

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For whatever reason pencil wouldn’t work on the masking tape that I purchased this time so I had to use pen, the messy parts are where I corrected mistakes. Not too pretty but got the job done!

Step 4:  Using your X-acto knife CAREFULLY cut out your lettering, making sure to leave the centers in letters like o, a and p. If you have never used an X-acto knife the thing is like a friggin scalpel and no craft is worth a trip to the ER so take care in cutting!

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Step 5: If you are satisfied with your little masking tape stencil you are ready to apply your etching cream. NOTE: Obviously since you are using this stuff to etch glass so you know it’s harsh, this is a corrosive, abrasive substance and if it gets in your mouth or in your eyes or stays on your skin for an extended period of time you will calling poison control and heading to the ER, you do not want this, so wear gloves and work very carefully – you have been warned lol. That being said, use a small paint brush to apply a generous amount of the etching creme to your stencil, I glob it on there, don’t worry about wasting it because that tiny bottle has lasted me about ten projects and is still not empty! Once you have covered your stencil wash off your brush and set your timer for 15 minutes. NOTE: The bottle says to leave it on for 4 minutes, I found that to be far too short of  a time and 15 seems to work best for me so that’s what I suggest.

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Step 6: When time is up, put on latex gloves and rinse your piece off in warm water, using your gloved fingers to peel off the masking tape as your rinse it. Once all of the etching creme is washed off, remove any remaining masking tape and re-wash your piece this time using soap and water. Dry it off an voila, you’re done!!!   These make amazing gifts and people will not believe that you did it yourself! *If you are making an olive oil or soap dispenser here is the link to where I purchased the little dispensing tops on Amazon.

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  Sorry the quality of this photo is terrible but you get the idea, lol.

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The pink soap in the clear bottle makes it hard to see the lettering so I am going to buy a clear soap next time.

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Since I am yet to create my post on DIY etched glass gifts I will give you some quick ideas. While the possibilities are endless here are a few that I have done or plan to do:

  • Bottle of Wine with personalized etched wine glasses
  • Olive Oil Dispenser gifted with a bottle of specialty olive oils
  • Soap Dispenser gifted with some fancy dish soap and dish towel
  • Personalized mixing bowl gifted with some cake mix, mixing spoons etc.

 

Documenting Baby P’s First Year – Month 7

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Since I’ve been absent from blogland for a bit due to a quick NY trip, I wanted to share a quick post with you while I work on some other craft posts that will be up later this week! The day we left for NY was also baby P’s 7 month birthday! While it’s sad that he is growing so fast I love that he’s getting to do real human things like try new foods and even begin to crawl. Here is his 7 Month board, it’s not as creative as some of my other boards but an unanticipated sink clog disaster kept me from working on this board until about midnight the night before we left so forgive my lack of motivation on this one, haha. To see the rest of baby P’s monthly boards check out my original post here!

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Margarita Cupcakes with Tequila Lime Frosting

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Happy Cinco de Mayo, y’all!!! I am so excited to share this adorable cupcake recipe with you! I came up with this recipe after seeing these cute little margarita cupcakes on Pinterest (of course, lol) and decided that they would be the perfect treat for the little Cinco de Mayo play date that baby P and I were invited to attend. I love all holidays and especially fun holidays that don’t involve presents, just lots of food and drinking (although the drinking has come to a temporary halt on account of my squishy baby, lol), so naturally Cinco de Mayo is one of my faves. While I would love to enjoy a nice margarita today, I’m pretty sure any amount of tequila would probably kill me at this point, given that I haven’t had any hard liquor in over a year, so I figured a margarita cupcake would have to do the trick this year. Since I rarely bake anything from scratch, my goal is always to jazz up a box of cake mix enough to keep anyone from caring that I didn’t make the actual cake myself, and it always works :)! Point being, you can keep your recipes super simple and “semi-homemade” and still look like a rockstar baker or cook. Here is how I whipped up my margarita cupcakes by adding just a few simple ingredients to ordinary Betty Crocker cake mix (which was buy one get one free at Food Lion this week, woo-hoo!). Hope you can enjoy these at your next fiesta!

MARGARITA CUPCAKES WITH TEQUILA LIME FROSTING

(Makes 24 cupcakes)

FOR CUPCAKES:

INGREDIENTS

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Ignore the yellow food coloring, I don’t know why that’s there – sometimes my brain doesn’t work lol

  • 1 box cake mix (golden vanilla, white or yellow will do – I used golden vanilla)
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. Tequila Mixer (or 2 Tbsp. lime juice and 1 Tbsp. orange juice)
  • Green food coloring
  • 2 Limes (for garnish)
  • Decorative Straws or cocktail umbrellas (for garnish)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Prepare your cake mix according to package directions, then add in your tequila mix or lime juice and orange juice, and lime zest. Mix until combined.
  2. Add in 1-2 drops of green food coloring and stir to combine. This is optional, I just wanted to make mine look margarita-y lol.
  3.  Bake your cupcakes according to package directions and allow to cool before frosting.
  4. Meanwhile prepare your garnish by slicing limes into thin rounds, then slicing the rounds into little half moons with a slice down the middle so they will be able to stand atop the cupcake once frosted (see pic). Cut your straws so they are about 3 inches each, I only used about 4 whole straws total (I purchased my super cute straws at Target in the party section).
  5. Once cupcakes are cooled frost using prepared frosting (recipe below). I piped mine out of a plastic ziplock bag with the corner cut off and used a large star tip icing tip. Then apply your garnish. Enjoy!

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FOR FROSTING:

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 container vanilla icing (I used cream cheese flavored icing because I had it on hand, but any white icing will do)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon tequila (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine frosting, lime juice and tequila. NOTE: I did not use tequila this time because I didn’t realize that liquor stores down here aren’t open on Sundays, lol. They were still delicious!
  2. Spoon frosting into a piping bag (or plastic ziplock bag) fitted with a decorative tip and pipe onto cupcakes. I allowed my frosting to sit in the fridge for a few minutes after I mixed it to allow it to become a little less fluid.

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DIY Mother’s Day Picture!

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As I’ve mentioned before, I’m big on sending cards to family and friends for just about every holiday, so now that Mother’s Day is just a short week away this was no exception! Quick money saving tip I want to mention – if you’re like me and have 10+ people on your holiday card list (and I’m not talking Christmas, this is just a simple holiday like Mother’s Day lol), DO NOT get sucked into buying your cards at the local drug store or supermarket (if I did this I would easily spend upwards of $30.00 on cards per holiday), I head to the Dollar Tree and get all of my holiday cards for $.50 each, they’re not anything spectacular but they have a good selection and you won’t have to spend $4.99 on one card, haha. Okay, back to the picture. Since baby P has a lot of awesome moms/grandmas/aunts in his life I wanted to whip up a cute little pic to send along with my cards. This pic was super easy, all I used was my DIY pennant banners, a white sheet and a smart phone (check out my post on other DIY holiday pictures here). For a more detailed step-by-step description check out the previously mentioned post, but I will give you a quick rundown of what I did below. I hope this inspires you to do your own little holiday photo with your little, I love taking advantage of this squishy age because lets be real, how long is he really going to let me torture him like this? haha Happy Mother’s Day to all my fellow mommies xoxo.

WHAT I USED:

  • White Sheet
  • Smart Phone or other camera
  • DIY Pennant Banners
  • “Phonto” free picture editing app (if you would like to add text to your photo)

HOW I DID IT:

  1. First, I set up my white sheet on a wall facing a window (so I had lots of natural light), by laying half the sheet on the floor and using tape to secure the other half against the wall.
  2. Next I hung my pennant banners, securing them with tape.
  3. I took a test shot using my smart phone to make sure that I was happy with the area captured in the picture as well as the lighting.

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    I simply secured the banners using clear tape

  4. I sat my squishy baby down and gave him a bouquet of fake flowers that we use as decor in the bathroom and snapped away until he started eating the flowers, haha.
  5. After I chose the picture I wanted to use the free “phonto” app to add the words “Happy Mother’s Day” to the pennant banners. This was extremely easy because the app will allow you to add as much text as you would like and manipulate the placement, tilt and color. Since the app automatically reverts back to the previously used font, size and color when adding multiple text to the same picture, it made it super simple for me to arrange the letters so it looked as if they were already on the pennants.
  6. Once I was finished adding text to the picture, I used the free Walgreen’s app to upload my photo and purchase 10 copies for under $1.00, using a 40% off coupon code (every time I am ordering photos I always google “walgreens photo coupon” and there is usually always one available). I love this app because your photos are usually ready within minutes for store pick-up and our Walgreen’s is just three miles from home!
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Isn’t my squishy baby sweet? Unfortunately, the change in seasons has him a little under the weather so I could only snap a few pics before he started getting mad (and eating the fake flowers lol), but even though he’s not looking at the camera it’s still SUPER cute!

DIY No-Sew Pennant Banner

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So if you’ve seen my post on DIY holiday photos with my squishy baby, you better believe I was going to do a Mother’s Day pic with P as well :). Let me entice you into doing this craft by saying, it cost me about $3.00 (and depending on how often you craft and the supplies you have available, it very well could be free).  Since there aren’t any real Mother’s Day props, this sparked my idea for a DIY pennant banner – simple and spring-y and able to double as both prop and springtime home decor! This project is super quick and easy (no sewing, yay!) and only cost a few dollars to make. The finished product was super cute and made the perfect backdrop for my Mother’s Day photo, I liked it so much in fact, I will definitely be revisiting this project next time I need some quick party decor and especially when I have to decorate the next nursery! Speaking of party decor, if you’re into pennant banners, check out my friend Courtney’s DIY chalkboard pennant banner that she made for her son’s first birthday party, it’s adorable as is her blog! Here is how I made and used my pennant banner:

YOU WILL NEED:

  • Fabric of your choice (the amount depends on how long you would like your banner to be)
  • Fabric stiffener (available anywhere fabric is sold, if you are using a stiff or heavy fabric you may not need this)
  • Glue Gun
  • Ribbon of your choice
  • Scissors
  • Wax Paper (optional, it is just so you have a surface to work on)
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TIP: I hit up the remnants bucket at my local fabric store and purchased these random 12X12 squares for less than $1.00 each. If you don’t have a print/fabric preference you can use an old clothing item or one that you purchase from a thrift store.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. First, create a pattern for your pennant in whatever shape you would like. I chose a traditional triangular shape and using a ruler and a blank piece of scrap paper, drew a triangle 6″ wide and 7″ long and cut it out using scissors.
  2. Next, lay your fabric print side down and using a pen or other writing instrument, trace as many triangles as necessary onto to fabric, then cut each one out. pen1
  3. Arrange your fabric on the wax paper (or other surface) and spray each one with an even coat of fabric stiffener. Mine was the “quick dry” kind so it only took about an hour to dry, mine also gave me the option to put it in the microwave for 30 secs to speed up the drying process but I didn’t feel like doing the extra work, but if you are in a rush the microwave is apparently a drying option. Also, as I mentioned above, fabric stiffener is not vital to the project, but because I was using a lightweight material I wanted to be sure it laid flat and stiff when hung.

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    Don’t mind the markers, I was just weighing down the edges for the pic.

  4. Once your pennants have all dried, lay them face up, tip to tip on a piece of wax paper. Heat your glue gun then, working one by one, apply a thin line of hot glue to the top of each triangle and then apply your ribbon pressing down firmly (be sure to leave enough ribbon length before the start of the first pennant for hanging). Once you have finished display however you would like! See my example below of how I used it for a photo prop and be sure to read my post on baby P’s Mother’s Day pic and his other holiday picspen4

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    Here is my most adorable squishy baby hangin out under my banners! Check out my post on baby P’s Mother’s Day Pic to see how I added the lettering using only my smart phone!

Important Family Documents Binder – Why and How You Should Make One

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Being in the military you find yourself using a lot of your important personal documents quite often. Before I married Joseph my birth certificate was stashed in a filing cabinet at my Mom’s somewhere and my social security card was kept in the junk drawer at our condo, needless to say I was all over the place but in my defense, I rarely needed any of these documents. Once we began moving around I knew it would be important to have all of our documents in a centralized location where they were not likely to be lost or damaged, especially because the military tends to be a stickler for those things (ya know, national security and all, lol). I created a binder to keep our important documents safe and organized, at first it was just a few documents (passport, birth certificates and social security cards) but as time went on I included more items and separated it into categories (see below). I cannot stress the importance of doing this as a family or even as an individual, and the following is an example of why. About a year ago J’s Mom was in a terrible accident (thankfully she is well now) and while she was incapacitated and unable to verbally communicate with us for quite some time, we were faced with the daunting task of attempting to sort through her personal finances and track down vital information and account numbers which was almost impossible without it being in order or recorded in any way. Granted this was not her fault (who really expects the worst to happen?), most of us know our account numbers and passwords by heart and know exactly where we keep most of our important documents, but God forbid you are incapacitated for any reason, you want it to be easy for someone else to be able to sort through (and make sense) of all of your personal documents.

That being said, even unrelated to cases of emergency, a record of all of your documents will make your own life SO much easier and if a company tells you “you’ll need to bring X, Y and Z when signing up for whatever” you know exactly where everything is! Since J is constantly working and I’ve needed to set up lots of things in his name, this binder has been a life saver and whenever I whip it out to show my power of attorney or birth certificate or what have you, people will always say “WOW, you’re organized!!!” I’ll thank them but be thinking to myself  “dude, you should see my brain.” lol. So here it is, my emergency/important document binder, it will not only help you stay organized but you will  have peace of mind knowing that all of your important documents and information are centralized. Word to the wise, keep this thing locked away as we do, since it contains account numbers and basically all the information that someone would need to COMPLETELY steal your identity (only drawback of this thing, lol), we keep ours in a fireproof box (to which a few select people have the code). I use clear sheet protectors and cheap index divider tabs to separate it into the following categories:

  1. PERSONAL
  • Copies of photo IDs (drivers licenses, work IDs, military IDs etc.)
  • Passports
  • Birth Certificates
  • Social Security Cards
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Health Insurance Cards (or copies of insurance cards)
  • List of Emergency Contacts (optional but we include the numbers of immediate family members, doctor, lawyer etc.)

2. FINANCIAL

  • List of all bank accounts, investments, credit cards and debts including account numbers (or last 4 to be safe).
  • Copy of LES (this is a military document that verifies pay grade and employment on active duty, so it is specific to my situation but you could include some other proof of employment/pay stub)

3. LEGAL

  • Power of Attorney
  • Last Will and Testament
  • Life Insurance Policy (this could also be filed under personal)

4. HOME

  • Deeds
  • Mortgage information (lender name, contact info. and account numbers)
  • Rental Agreements (of current tenants or your own rental agreement if you are the renter, as well as contact info. for tenants/landlord)
  • Home/Renter’s insurance info. (account numbers and policy info./copy of policy)
  • List of Utilities and companies that provide service/account numbers (we have our electric, water, internet and cell phone providers listed)

5. VEHICLE

  • Titles
  • Insurance info. (account numbers and policy info./copy of policy)
  • Lease Agreement (if leased vehicle)
  • Record of Vehicle Repairs/Maintenance (optional)

 

There you have it! Feel free to customize it however you see fit. If you have a lot of children you may consider making a separate “personal” tab for each individual. Some people also like to have a separate binder for each category, but for me this would defeat the purpose of having everything centralized. As you probably know one spouse is usually more in tune to what bills get paid when, what money is where etc. and while J and I feel that we have a pretty good handle on it together, there are still accounts we maintain individually and bills that we pay separately and if anything were to happen to either of us we both agree that the last thing we would want is the other spending his/her time trying to sort out our finances and legal mumbo-jumbo during our time of family crisis. This binder ensures that everything will move along seamlessly in the event of an unfortunate situation and keeps you from wondering “yea, where did I put that passport, I think I remember seeing it in 2009 sometime …” lol. One last quick note, this is also great to do if you live in an area where you have a higher than normal likelihood of having to evacuate your home on short notice (hurricanes, tornadoes etc.).