Saturday, December 6, 2014

Christmas Crafts: Not so traditional ornaments

This summer as I was doing some cleaning around the house, I found a handful of key chains just sitting in a basket on a shelf.  I hated that these fun key chains were just sitting in a basket, not being seen or used.  Honestly, I hated to use them because I didn't want to ruin them.  Sounds crazy I know, but it wasn't like they were cheap key chains from a quarter machine.  Three of them my sister brought back with her from China.  So, I had an idea....make Christmas ornaments!  But what I ended up doing was sticking them in a drawer in my craft room.  That was six months ago so give me some slack. :)  I pulled them out the other day and made some easy ornaments with them.  That way at least once a year they can be displayed.

Here are the ornaments laid out and some little bits of ribbon I had leftover from other projects.

The first step was removing the chain part from them, expect for the ones from China, they didn't have an extra loop at the bottom to string the ribbon through.  
The Africa key chain was given to me by a Wal-Mart shareholder from Africa when I worked at TJ Maxx.  He had one on his lanyard and when I told him I liked it, he pulled a handful out of his backpack for me to share with the other employees. 
The flamingo one is from a trip my sister took to the Bahamas (weird how it sounds normal to say 'the Bahamas' instead of just Bahamas...anyways).
The New York one is, obviously, from New York, yet another trip my sister took.
The last three are from China, and yet another trip my sister took.  She's quite the world traveler.  At least she brings me back presents! :)

All I did was attach some ribbon to the key chains and then hung them on my tree.  Super easy- just the way I like it! And cheap- I didn't have to buy a thing!
I also hung one of my college graduation tassels from the tree, once again so it can be appreciated at least once a year (I can only find one of three.... they've got to be somewhere). 
I also added ribbon to my chapter officer badge from when I was involved with Phi Theta Kappa in college.

So, not your 'traditional' ornaments but fun anyway.  Like I said, I hated for this stuff to be just sitting around or thrown in a drawer.  Now, they can be displayed and admired once a year.

Another little trick I started doing this year was writing on the back of ornaments what year they reference.  For example, we took a trip to Las Vegas in May and I brought back an ornament, so on the back I wrote May 2014 so when we are old and gray we can remember when we went.  Also, we got a cute ornament in honor of our new puppy, Molly.  It says 'rescued is my favorite breed' and I wrote the date we adopted her on the back.

I hope this gives you some ideas of items from around the house that can make cute ornaments.  Of course this wouldn't work if you have one of those fancy trees where all the ornaments have to match or be a certain color.  We aren't like that- ours is a modge-podge of colored lights and ornaments. But it is a fun way to display those memories.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Christmas Crafts: $6 wreath

I've been getting crafty lately and I have some cute new projects to show off.  Here is the first one that I just completed today and it took literally 2 minutes (not counting the time it took for my hot glue gun to warm up).

The super simple, but extremely cute, welcome wreath only cost me $6 and like I said took no time at all to make!

All you will need is the welcome sign, a wreath, and a hot glue gun.  

 The welcome sign was only $1 at Deals.  They had some other cute decorations from $1-$5.
 
 The wreath was only $5!  They had gold and silver too at my local Deals store. 

 All I did was remove the ribbon from the sign (save it),  added a little hot glue to the back of the sign, and then stuck it on the wreath.

I used the ribbon from the sign to hang the wreath from my door hanger.  Easy as pie and super cheap! 

I urge you to check out your local Deals or Dollar Tree or whatever your 'Dollar Store' is called.  They have super cute decorations! I have some other cute projects I made using dollar store items, check back for those posts soon!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Gettin' crafty with Craft Fair Finds

Yesterday I wrote a blog post about the great finds I found during our local Craft Fair Weekend.  (Click here to read that post.) Well, I got crafty with some of the crafts I found. :)

 I found these great tags/bookmarks/whatever you want to call them.  I knew I wanted to at least frame the top one, but I ended up framing all of them!
I had some frames from my sister from her 'yard sale pile' and some old scrapbook paper.  The project took me about 5 minutes to complete.  I just cut the scrapbook paper out, then added a small piece of tape to the back of the tag (just in case I get a crazy idea and want to remove them), and stuck it to the paper and placed it in the frame.  Easy as pie!
The finished product!

So for under $5 I have 3 beautiful pieces of 'artwork!'  The cute squirrel that says "I'm sorry for what I said when I was hungry" will live out its days in the kitchen.  The other two may end up in my bathroom or my bedroom.  I can't decide where I want them.  :)  

You sometimes have to think outside of the box when it comes to crafty things.  These tags were selling like hotcakes at the craft fair, and I'm not sure what other people were going to do with them, but I just couldn't use it as a bookmark or have it hidden away somewhere.  I love them and couldn't wait to show them off! :)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Craft Fair Finds

Our local 'Craft Fair Weekend' was a couple weekends ago and of course, I found some great finds that I just had to share.
Northwest Arkansas is known for the annual spring and fall craft fairs that are held all around the area.  The most well known is without a doubt the War Eagle Craft Fair held at the gorgeous War Eagle Mill.  Vendors and shoppers come from all over the country to attend this craft fair.  If you don't know about this fair, check out their websites War Eagle Mill and War Eagle Fair.  The weekend it was held we had beautiful weather in the area, it was almost too warm!  It didn't feel like fall, but it was great to be outside and walk around seeing all the amazing artists. There are also indoor shows at some of the local convention centers. To learn more about what they have to offer check out their website at Ozark Regional Arts and Crafts Festivals.  There is also a craft fair held in Bella Vista, Arkansas, (I didn't get to attend it this year) you can learn more at their website Bella Vista Arts and Crafts Festival.

Being a crafty gal myself, I got all kinds of ideas of items that I would like to try to make myself, but I found some things that I just couldn't make myself and that is what I ended up purchasing.


 At only $7.95 I couldn't pass up this cross.  I'm adding to a wall in my living room with a couple other crosses.  So cute and 'country.'
 I'm a horrible photographer, but this print is gorgeous!  (I found the frame at Hobby Lobby.)  I bought 3 other prints from this same vendor last year.  The nicest couple runs this booth and I've been following them on Facebook as they travel around the country attending craft fairs.  He draws these amazing pictures and she takes photographs of churches and angel statues then adds in little one or two line poems.  I LOVE their work.   This colorful bird is named Bernadette and she says 'For a hissy fit...the proper shoe...one must pick.'  She joins the other birds I got last year, an owl named Alvin and a bird named Eloise.  You have to check out their other works.  I can't brag on them enough.  Here are their websites Silent Echoes (the angels and churches) and Lorenz Fine Art (the birds).  

 This vendor had adorable and funny canvas prints and other pictures. These little bookmarks or tags were only $1.25.  I plan on framing the top one and hanging it in my kitchen.  It says 'I'm sorry for what I said when I was hungry' because I can get a little hateful when I'm hungry! :)

 I love love love this tray that says 'Happiness is Homemade!'  The lady that makes these had some really cute designs and plenty of Razorback items.  You can check out her website at Summerlin Design Co.

 This little bird was too cute not to come home with me.  I love the feel of the reclaimed wood and he just matches my living room decor. :) 

I saved the best for last!  This is hands down the best thing I think I've ever found at a craft fair.  I've been wanting some angel wings to one day hang over a crib.  I've seen some other metal ones and some wooden ones but they were always WAY too expensive, we're talking around $150 or more.  I found these at the John Q. Hammond convention center craft fair.  I can't wait to get it hung up!  The lady running the booth was named Miranda too so I knew it was meant to be! Check out their Facebook page at Okie Junkies.

I also found a couple clothing items even though I have a hard time seeing their booths at craft fairs since the items aren't handcrafted like the other items.  But oh, well!

It was a fun time and I always look forward to it every year.  Of course there were some amazing food vendors (like I could pass up the food!).  I even got to try an orangeaid. I've never even heard of one before but it was delicious!  It was made like a limeaid, but just an orange instead of a lime. Talk about wonderful!  I'm going to attempt to make my own at some point. 

If you haven't ever attend a craft fair or these craft fairs I definitely recommend you checking them out next year.  You won't be disappointed! :)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday Funday Craft

I'm sure everyone has seen all the cute canvas crafts there are on Pinterest.  There seem to be thousands of ways to use canvas.  It's been probably well over a year (....or two) ago I tried to make a craft with a canvas where you place stickers on the canvas, paint over it, then peel the stickers off and the words are left on the canvas.  Please tell me you know what I'm talking about...if not, look it up.  It usually turns out really cute, well I had a Pinterest Fail with mine. 
Exhibit A:

 You can hardly see the letters but the stickers wouldn't peel off.  I think it was my own fault for using cheap stickers.  

But anyways, it didn't work and I thew the canvas in the closet and forgot about it. More on that in a minute.
Fast forward to this past July.  My friend Becca's birthday was coming up and I wanted to make a cute craft for her since she appreciates that kind of thing.  I once again saw some really cute canvas ideas on Pinterest.  These showed covering a canvas with fabric and attaching a letter.  So, off to Hobby Lobby I went.  I purchased a larger canvas than I had used before, some cute gray fabric that matches her couch, and here's what Becca didn't know, I re-used the letter 'C' (her last name initial).  My mom was going to do a project with it and had painted it red, but she ended up not using it, so I took it, and had my husband spray paint a few coats of yellow over it to cover up the red.  I didn't take pictures of the whole project, but I did for my next one.  But here is how her present turned out.  Super cute if you ask me, and her. :) 


 My husband's handy work was the back.  He used a razor blade to cut off the excess fabric.  I love it when the back side looks just as good as the front.  These little details matter, especially since it was a present.

And now, fast forward with me to this afternoon.  And then rewind with me to a year (...or two) ago when I had the epic fail with the other canvas.  I decided to try to cover up my past mistake and make myself a 'canvas-covered-with-fabric craft.'  I went to Hobby Lobby yesterday and found some cute material to cover the canvas with. Side note: have you seen how many cute fabrics are out there now?  I could have spent hours just in the fabric section. 
I already had the other items I needed: wooden letters, hot glue gun, staple gun, razor blade (box-cutter kind of something), scissors, and spray paint.
First, I spread the material over the canvas and got it into a position I liked.  The material I picked out had little birds and I wanted to make sure a bird was in a good spot and wasn't covered up, because they were just so darn cute! You can also play around with the position of your letters.  I'll explain the phrase I used later.  :)
 Then carefully, I cut out the rectangle I needed.  Don't worry too much about getting straight lines.  Next, iron your piece of fabric, because we aren't heathens and we want it to be wrinkle free on the canvas. 
Oh, actually, before all that, spray paint your letters because that part takes the longest.  I picked just plain white, but it really pops against all the colors of the fabric.  Side note: Rustoleum spray paint is the best...ever...really. 

So, once you have your material cut out and ironed (mama didn't raise no fool), it's time to staple it to the canvas.  Try to use as much care as you can, and pull the material so it is as tight as you can get it.  The end product will look a lot better.  Also, make sure you fold the material so the corners look good.  Use a razor blade or scissors to cut off the excess material.

 After stapling the back and trimming the rest of the material.  Sorry that it's sideways, I make no claims to be a photographer. 
Spray paint another coat on your letters.  These little letters had a tendency to get blown around by the spray paint so be careful that you don't loose them.  Then, wait as patiently as you can for the spray paint to dry.  I have very little patience so I picked mine up while they were still a little sticky, oh well.  Attach the letters with hot glue and you are done! 

 My finished project all ready to be hung up in my bedroom. 
The phrase 'You make me, me' is actually a song title and lyric.  'Our song' actually.  It's by a band called MxPx (my husband introduced me to them while we were dating, hadn't heard of them before that or since, but they have some good songs).  Anyways, the song was played at our wedding, and my husband actually had the phrase engraved in his wedding ring.  It's a cute song about how you make me who I am.  Aw, gushy stuff I know. :)  Anyways, it made for a cute project.  

Oh, and while I was at Hobby Lobby yesterday I checked out their clearance section, and found some cute photo albums for only $3.59!  A great find if you ask me. :)

 Well, that was my Sunday Funday Craft. It was super easy, fast, and cheap- use what you already have and coupons!  Now, to relax before another week gets started. :)



Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Kitchen Signs

About a year ago (has it really been that long!) I wrote a blog post about some projects I was completing in my kitchen.  Click here to view that blog post.
One of the projects I did was super cheap, super cute signs for above my kitchen cabinets.  Well, I thought of a couple more I wanted to make and in no time I had them finished and sitting above my cabinets.
All it takes is a $1 document frame from Deals (or any dollar store type place), spray paint, Microsoft Word, the internet, and a printer.
I knew the two sayings I wanted to use, I just had to search for the pictures to add to it.  Here are the finished projects. 

Feed Your Faith, Starve Your Fears
and
It's My Kitchen and I'll Fry If I Want To

This is such a fun, easy project.  The spray painting took the longest, the yellow frame took a few coats to cover the black frame.  I love how cute they turned out and how inexpensive!  Decorating doesn't have to be an expensive endeavor, just get creative and make your own projects to help keep the costs down.  
Maybe in another year I'll think of some new sayings to print out. :)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

How to start a Christian Book Club (and keep it going!)




Most people that know me know how much I love to read.  One of our thank you gifts at our wedding was a bookmark if that tells you anything! 


I have always loved reading, ever since I was little and would read Little Golden Books, Mercer Mayer, and the Berenstain Bears.  I love the thrill of getting caught up in a novel, the joy of a happy ending….  


Not a lot of people share my love of reading-my husband for example (I did convince him to read The Hunger Games trilogy though).  So sometimes it can be difficult for me to express myself after reading a good book.  Have you ever read an awesome book and wanted to discuss it, have someone else’s input, but have no one to talk to about it because they hadn’t read it?  Yea, that was me.  


I was asked to join a book club by a friend that I went to college with.  It started out with about 10 of us joining together once a month, and then slowly dwindled down to about 5 of us, then one month it just ended.  It happens. 


My pastor’s wife at church heard that I had been involved with a book club, and asked if I would like to start a book club at our church.  Since I loved to read, and kind of knew what to do to start a book club, I said yes and jumped in feet first.  I knew I wanted to start and maintain a lasting book club.  Now, 3 years later, I have a grasp of what I’m doing, and our book club is still going strong.  What keeps us going strong?  Our meeting time/place is secure and our book selection is interesting.  I think what has kept our book club going for so long is our reliable meeting space, and our commitment to keeping the meetings on the same day of the week and time, it helps the members remember when to meet.  Also, we have a variety of Christian books that we read (that aren't all Amish romances).  

Here is a rundown of how we do things, and then I’ll give you some tips on starting your own book club. 


‘My’ book club is through our church, actually through the Women’s Ministry at church.  We’re called the Women of Hope Book Club.  All the women in the church are invited to join, but I have opened it up to ladies outside of our church (friends of ladies already attending).  We have about 15 ladies involved with our group.  It’s not always the same people every month, and some have come and gone throughout the course of the years.  But I always feel that the people are there that need to be.  I don’t worry about how many come or don’t come. 
 

When we first started we were meeting monthly, now we meet about every 6 weeks.  Our members are busy ladies and it can get hard to meet once a month.  We always take December off though since it is such a busy time of the year. We’ve changed the meeting time as well throughout the years, from meeting at 6:00 in the evening to 6:30 to accommodate the ladies.  One thing that hasn’t changed though is meeting on Tuesday evenings.  When I began the book club and started asking about the interest level, I also asked what day of the week and time would work best.  Tuesday evening was the majority answer and we have stuck with it.  


We meet in our church’s Coffee CafĂ©; we have 4 tables in our church kitchen that serve as a mingling area before and after church on Sundays.  We push the tables together and it makes the perfect space.  Of course being Christian gals, we always eat when we meet!  Since I’m the leader, I provide the meat or main dish and the other ladies provide the side dishes, drinks, and desserts.  Once or twice a year I give the ladies a break from the pot-luck dinner and the church provides me with money to provide the whole meal, usually pizza.  


For our book club, since we meet at church, we read Christian fiction, mostly; we have read a couple non-fiction novels as well.  It can be difficult to find Christian fiction novels that aren’t romance novels, but I have done pretty well to find mystery and suspense novels- the ladies love them!  I’ll be adding a tab to the blog with a list of book titles we have read.  


Our meetings always start out with prayer.  We pray over the meal and our time together.  Then we dig into supper and spend time fellowshipping together.  I think part of the appeal of our book club for the ladies involved is the time of fellowship.  It’s a nice way to unwind and talk with friends.  We usually spend half of our time together just enjoying each other’s company.  Once the conversation starts to wind down, or after we’ve had dessert, I get everyone’s attention to start discussing the book.  Most times I can’t find discussion questions or a reading group guide that correspond with the book.  We’ve been doing this so long though that we don’t really need a list of questions.  I usually open up with, “How did y’all like the book?” and we go from there.  If someone hasn’t finished reading the book we try to steer clear of revealing the ending.  We talk about characters, similar situations we have been in, what we would have done, how the character behaved, surprises, etc.  After we’ve talked about everything, the ladies look to me for the next novel to read.  I try to have a couple different novels in mind, but I’m always open to suggestions from the group.  I try to pick books that have been out for a couple of years that way we can find them cheaper online or even in the library to check out.  We plan the date for the next meeting then everyone helps to clean up.  Then we do it all again 6 weeks later.  


I love to decorate, so I usually decorate the table for our meetings.  If there was a strong theme for the book I try to decorate accordingly.  Sometimes I try to coordinate the food as well.  Once we read a book set in Alaska and there were bears involved so I made ‘Bear Stew’ (chili) for dinner.  Little things like that make it even more fun!


To help the ladies keep up with the next book and meeting date, I send out a group email.  I also include the information in the women’s ministry newsletter and church bulletin.  We might try text messages as well.  I try hard to keep all the ladies involved and up-to-date as possible.  


Here are my tips to help you start your own book club- Christian or otherwise.


*What kind of book club do you want to start?  
This is the first question you should ask yourself.  Do you want a church book club? Mother/daughter book club?  Neighborhood book club?  Are both women and men welcome to come or just women? Where will you get your members?  Ask around and see who would be interested in coming, do you want a mixture of your friends or just ‘church’ friends or just ‘school’ friends? 


     *How many people are going to be involved? How many people should be invited?

I would recommend keeping the number of participants under 20, maybe even under 15.  You want to make sure everyone gets a chance to talk and share. Try to get a feel of how many people are interested, you will probably get about half of the people you invite to commit.  Another question to ask yourself is whether or not you are willing to accept new members.  We have an open door policy at our club, you can ‘come and go’ as you feel necessary and that works for us.  Maybe you want to be stricter about it and not invite new members.  Do whatever works for you.



     *Where do you want to meet?

If you are creating your book club through your church, do you want to have the meetings in your church?  Do you have a good room to meet in?   If you are doing an outside group of people, do you want to meet at your house?  Rotate meeting at the houses of your group members?  I don’t recommend meeting at a restaurant or coffee house because the noise level is generally high and you want to be able to hear!  Wherever you decide to host it, make sure you have enough room for everyone to be comfortable. 



     *When do you want to meet?

This should probably be decided by the group based on what works best for the majority of members.  Or you can set it first and see how the group feels.  Do you want to meet during the week?  On the weekend?  Monthy?  Bi-monthly?  The first Tuesday of every month?  The last Friday night?  Maybe the second Saturday morning and make it a brunch book club?  Morning/evening?  Are you flexible enough to change the meeting time? 



    *What type of books do you want to read and is reading mandatory?

Do you want to read fiction or non-fiction or anything?  Do you want to stick to a certain genre, author, time period, etc?  Also, do the members have to read the book?  I don’t mind if the members of our group haven’t read the book, we try not to give away the ending if the member is still reading.  That is up to you to decide.  Also, are the members responsible for purchasing their own copies of the book?  Will someone in the group do a bulk order and have the other members pay them?  Inevitably someone will ask you to buy the book for them; you need to decide before hand how you want to handle that.  Borrowing books or sharing is always a good way to go, we do that a lot in our group. 

·           
    *Food?

Are you going to eat at your meetings?  Will you provide food pot-luck style?  Do you want members to give $5 or $10 to go towards you or the host buying and cooking the meal?



Some things to keep in mind:

Group commitment:  It is hard to keep a book club going and to keep it strong.  A good way to help a book club stay together is by having the next book and the date of the next meeting ready at your current meeting.  If members have to wait to hear what the next book is or for the date, then they are less likely to stick with it.  It will also help if you keep the meeting time/date the same month after month.  Try not to flip flop around, a Sunday evening meeting one month, then a Friday morning the next.  Another helpful way to keep members involved is the quality of the book selection.  You may love novels set in the 1800s, and want to read one every month, but the rest of the members may not (or the other way around).  Keep the book list interesting and a mixture of different genres.  Unless of course that is what your club is centered on.  Also, take suggestions from every member.  


Book flops:  Don’t worry about a book that ends up flopping.  It happens.  There have been a few books I couldn’t bring myself to finish (and I’m the leader!).  Sometimes a book just isn’t your cup of tea, and that is okay.  Move on! 


Name your group:  Something fun to do is to give your book club a name.  Then if someone is super crafty they can make bookmarks or tee shirts with your group name on them.  


Keep a list of books read:  When I started planning to write this blog post I wanted to include the books we had read so far in my book club, trouble was I hadn’t kept a list.  I ended up going back through emails, newsletters, and sign-up sheets to remember all the books we had read.  So, do it from the beginning and things will be much easier! 


Intro letter/speech:  I sent an email out to the first group of ladies that showed interest in joining the book club just to tell them what my plan was for the book club and important information.  Let the other members of your group know what your idea is, and ask them to let you know what they would like out of the group.   Also, make sure everyone knows to read the book before they come to the meeting.  Trust me, the question will come up. 

Have a leader:  Someone (you) needs to be in charge of keeping everything in order (next novel, meeting time/place) and keep the conversation flowing and on track.  Every now and then I have to rope the ladies back in and get them to discussing the book again.  Every group needs a leader to lead them! 
 

Have fun!  This is supposed to be fun, so have fun with it!  Dress up, eat good food, talk, laugh, and most of all enjoy yourself!  That will keep your book club going strong! 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Erin's Pirate Baby Shower

In my last blog post I shared pictures from my friend Amy's baby shower.  At the end of my post I mentioned another shower I helped to host for another friend Erin (who helped with Amy's shower, and Amy helped with Erin's....we're all pretty good friends :)   )
For Erin's shower we decided to take a more 'non-traditional' route.  Erin and her husband Will, decided not to find out the gender of their baby until he/she is born, just as they did with their first child, who turned out to be a girl!  Since we didn't know the gender we tried to stay as 'gender-neutral' as possible for this shower.  Since the shower took place in July, we wanted a summer-y kind of theme, and since Erin's daughter went as a pirate for Halloween, the pirate/ocean theme just sort of fell together.  For this shower we had five ladies (including myself) helping to put it all together.  Again, we divided up the tasks and took off!  Again, I took on the decorations.  :) 
Here are some pictures from the shower.  Again, I'll mention that you are welcome to copy any ideas you see, but please give credit where credit is due.  :)
*Also, again, I am NOT a photographer. :)
Erin was gracious enough to let us host the shower at her home on a Saturday night.  And again we included the boys and kids.  (Nowadays it seems silly not to include the guys...although they did spend a lot of time outside playing bag-o). Since Erin and Will already have another child, and didn't need all the essentials that you would for first-time parents, we requested that the guests bring diapers.  So I guess you could say this was more of a diaper shower.   
I didn't' get any pictures of the meal, but another hostess made lasagna, bread, salad, and dip for the adults and even had corn dogs for the kids. 


 Once again I provided diapers for the Diaper Notes activity.  I changed up the wording of the poem from Amy's shower, but it's still pretty much the same thing.  On the invitations I added what I thought to be a clever line..."Do your duty to help cover the booty!"  So I added that in for this activity.   
 I was so glad my mother had lots of ocean decorations for me to borrow so I didn't have to purchase a lot of extras.  This treasure chest was a perfect fit for the diapers. 
 Again, my mom came through with ocean Beanie Babies to use for decoration.  (Yes, she still has all of my old Beanie Babies...they come in handy!)
 This banner is similar to the one I made for Amy's shower.  I purchased pirate-style paper at Hobby Lobby (on sale of course), cut out pendents, then just using Word, inserted a circle, added word art (using the Blackadder font), and cut them out and glue them on.  Easy as pie.  I used a hole punch to help string the twine through and added a few pieces of ribbon to jazz it up.  'Ahoy Baby K' was specific enough since we didn't know the gender or name of the baby. 

 Amy came up with some really cute games.  For this one you had to guess how many pieces were in the treasure chest.  There were like 79 pieces hidden in there (lots of gold coins!).


  We tried to place little decorations everywhere in Erin's house!
 I found this pirate ship at a local party store.  It was perfect and even had room inside to place some sea-themed Little Debbie snack cakes!

 The cake and diaper cake table.
 Again, I can't take too much credit for this diaper cake.  My mom helped put it all together.  The topper is actually a table decoration I found in a set at a local party store. 
 Again, fellow hostess Trisha had her friend make this cute cake!  I've seen them all over Pinterest.  The cake was strawberry so as we cut into the baby it kind of looked like blood!  Haha!  A friend helped with some tips for cutting a round cake like this.  She cut a small circle in the middle of the cake, then just cut pieces like normal all around it. 
 The gift table with a couple more little pieces. 
 I really wish I could take credit for this, but I can't.  A guest dropped this gift off.  Inside was a box of diapers and a package of wipes (I believe).  Smart thinking to make the package look so cute!
 I can take credit for this though.  'Change Me Booty' on the bathroom door! :)
 I even placed a few decorations in the bathroom.  Why not have every room be decorated?
 Another cute pirate ship decoration!
 Another fun sign for the ice chest outside.  All I did was type up the sayings in Word, print them out, and glue them to a sheet of scrapbooking paper. 
 I just had to make this sign, but didn't really know where to put it, so I taped it to the microwave so everyone could see it as they got their plates.

Amy had another game that was so fun and we still don't know the winner....She had guests place bets to see when Erin would have her baby, the gender, and weight.  Each bet cost $2 (you could do more or less) and when Erin finally has her baby if anyone wins they get half the 'pot' and the Baby gets the rest.  If no one wins, the baby gets all the money!  

We had an awesome time at Erin's shower.  I'm glad we got to bless her with boxes and boxes and boxes of diapers.  Now, it's just a waiting game for Baby K to arrive! :) 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Amy's Pink Elephant Baby Shower

I have been meaning to blog about hosting a baby shower for my sweet friend, Amy and her husband Robert, for months now (it was in January and her baby girl is 5 months old now).  I had never hosted a shower before, so I was afraid I'd be in a little over my head, but thankfully, I had two other sweet gals, Trisha and Erin, to help me out.  Between the three of us, the event turned out amazing!  I was worried about finding pink elephant decorations, but things always have a way of working themselves out.  The three of us worked really well together.  We each took an area (decorations, food/cake, and games) and ran with it! 
We made it a couple's shower and made the boys come too!  They had their share of fun, right along with the girls. :)
Of course being the thrifty gal I am, I tried to keep things as cheap as I could.  Here are some pictures from the shower.  Feel free to copy any ideas you see, but please give credit where credit is due. :)
*I am in no way, shape, or form a photographer- keep that in mind. :)

We held the shower in my church fellowship hall (for free!) on a Saturday in the afternoon.
 I got some balloons to put out by the road and near the entrance so the out of town guests would know where to go.  They were only $1 at Deals!  These pink tissue pom-poms came from Hobby Lobby (using a 40% off coupon).  They are easy to make, but just as cheap and easy to buy.  Plus they can be reused.  I should have bought a bigger pink tablecloth, but I had nice white cotton ones underneath so that helped. 
 Since the parents-to-be have many different interests, I decided to make each table a little different to keep things interesting.  Plus, I kept finding cute decorations!  Those are mints on the table, also from Deals for only $1.  The tablecloth is from Wal-Mart and was so cute with the little bows on it!
 These elephant decorations were a great find!  I had no idea how hard it would be to find pink elephants for a baby shower.  A local party store had a few great items like this tablecloth and table decoration. 
Since it was a couples shower and both Amy and Robert love to hunt, I just had to do a camo table.  A local party store had this pink camo tablecloth and the sticks are from my backyard.  I painted one pink to help tie it all together. 
 Here is a closer look at the diaper cake.  I can't take much credit for this because my mom made it.  She loves making these and has the process down to a science now of how to build them.  The flowers came from Hobby Lobby, the pink one is a hair clip and the black ones can be made into them for when Baby Oakley gets bigger. Amy also told me she saved the ribbon to be used for something later on. 
I found the pink elephant at a Christmas sale at a local DaySpring store.  It sings 'Jesus Loves Me.'  It was a small miracle, I believe, to find a pink elephant!  
The 'crinkle paper' around the diaper cake is from Deals also.  A little goes a long way! 
 Part of my gift to Baby Oakley was this wreath made out of tulle.  The letter was already pink and glittery from Hobby Lobby and I bought it when it was on sale 50% off.  I also gave Amy a door hanger, I always think that is a good idea when giving someone a wreath because they might not have one.
 This was one of the activities.  Diaper Notes!  It is so much fun- you just provide guests with sharpies and diapers and let them write fun notes for the parents to read when changing diapers.  It does help to remind people to write high up on the diapers so the ink doesn't bleed through when the baby does her business.  :) 
I re-worked the poem found off of Pinterest (there are several versions found on several blogs).
 The gift table.  
I made the elephant banner by simply doing an image search for an elephant outline (I used the same one for the invitations) and then just printed several off on a few shades of pink paper and hung them up with tiny clothespins. 
 Trisha, another hostess, had a friend of hers make the cake and cupcakes which were delicious! These were pink camo since Amy likes to hunt!
 The amazing cake!  Trisha sent her friend a picture of the elephant I used for the invitations and other decorations and she copied it to make the cake topper!  This girl was amazing and just does cake decoration for fun.  :)
 For whatever reason I can't get this picture to turn the right way, but the cake topper also has a cute little 'Welcome Baby Oakley' tag. 
 It's amazing how things work out, we found these pink elephant cake plates at Wal-Mart!

 Trisha made some great little snacks. 
 The punch was a simple mix of pineapple sherbet and strawberry soda. 
 I made this banner as well using the same elephant outline, pink paper, and tiny clothespins.  I used a great tutorial to help get me started on the banner from justagirlandherblog.com

Erin thought up some great games and had amazing prizes for the winners.  
-The Clothespin Game: Everyone starts out wearing one clothespin and the taboo word is 'baby.'  Anytime you hear someone say the word 'baby' you can take their clothespin.  The person with the most clothespins at the end wins! 
-Bottles Up: The mother-to-be chooses a group of men to drink from a bottle as fast as they can.  The first one to finish their bottle wins!  We had 5 guys participate, you could have more or less depending on your crowd, and you could also draw names instead of having the mom-to-be pick.  A note of warning though, it takes a lot longer to down the drinks than you would think, so don't put too much in there.  
-Words of Wisdom:  Place note cards and pens at each table and let the guests write 'Words of Wisdom' or funny stories for the parents to read.  The cards can be placed in a photo album or on a ring.  

We had such a great time hosting this shower and blessing our dear friend.   Having a small group to help host a shower is ideal.  Just make sure everyone is on the same page about what their role is.  I love to decorate so I fell into my role naturally, and the other hostess were fine with that.  Just make sure you all talk and make any important decisions together, but also have the trust to make other decisions on your own.  
I recently hosted another baby shower for Erin, who helped with this shower, pictures of her event to come soon!