Friday, January 30, 2015

Hung the Moon

Dear Husband,

I'm tempted to write you a mushy, gushy letter to celebrate your birthday {because I know how much you adore the perfectly written sonnet}, but since we speak in musical lyrics most of the time anyway I figured this was far more appropriate. It's hard to believe we've been celebrating your birthday together for 18 years. We officially span half of your life together, old man. I have never been more thankful for you than I am today. Happy Birthday {tomorrow}. As far as your three girls are concerned, you hung the moon.


{My boy in my favorite button down and a beanie? Yes, please.}

I like the way you hung the moon, uh huh. 
Well, I just like being close to you, uh huh. 
When you're gone I feel so blue, uh huh. 
Yeah, I like the way you hung the moon uh huh. 

 I like the way you know that dance, uh huh. 
I like the way you hold my hand, uh huh. 
Just spin me all across the floor, uh huh. 
Yeah, I like the way you know that dance, uh huh. 

 Well, I like the way you sing your songs, uh huh. 
You've been singing to me all along, uh huh. 
The way you loved me won my heart, uh huh. 
Yeah, I like the way you sing your songs, uh huh. 

I put on that white dress for you, uh huh. 
I told the preacher man, "Well, yes, I do." uh huh. 
And I'll stay and I'll grow gray with you, uh huh. 
Yeah, I put on that white dress for you, uh huh.

Hung the Moon, Drew Hombomb & The Neighbors

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

MORE Valentine's Day Printables

After talking to my sister and a few of my other boy-mom friends, I decided to share a few more quick ideas for your Valentine this year. These don't require a tutorial, they are gender neutral and easy to put together! Just click on the links below each photo for the free download.

{I used mustache whistles picked up on the party aisle at Hobby Lobby, but I spotted stick-on mustaches, stickers and tattoos that would also work perfectly!}

Mustache Valentine's Printable

{These nerdy glasses are also a party aisle find, but would be just as cute with sunglasses!}

Eyeglasses Valentine's Printable

{The craft store was full of fun, novelty pencils, but I saw them even cheaper -- and cuter, too -- in the dollar spot at Target this week!}

{My girls are suckers for Oreo cookies, so I couldn't leave these out. If you can't find the Valentine's Day straws, you could always use silly straws or even cute paper ones left over in your party stash.}

Monday, January 26, 2015

Weekend Perfection

Do you ever have those weekends where everything is perfect? (Except for that time you cuss at the vacuum cleaner for falling over a lot.) You know the ones. Where you dread going to bed on Sunday evening because your cup is full and your people have been extra special adorable. (Except that one time where a certain daughter pretty much told you that you were a terrible person and so was she.). Yeah, that weekend. We had one of those.

We went to the circus on Saturday morning. I know that people have various reasons for not attending and I'll probably catch all kids of flack for ignoring the animal rights activists on the sidewalk (like the one who handed me a gruesome flyer and said "Enjoy the show!"), but my girls love it and so we take them. Every year. By my calculations, this was our eighth annual family date to see the show and it never disappoints.

We normally see the morning show and follow it up with lunch, but I pouted a little bit and everyone agreed to breakfast instead. Have you been to Big, Bad, Breakfast (Yes, that website is for the Mississippi restaurant, but we have one, too!)? If not, you are seriously missing out. The place is adorable before you even bite into the spicy bacon or take one sip of your fresh squeezed orange juice, but once you've taken a bite... you are hooked. I had brandy-soaked french toast with fresh cream. I die. Did I mention they serve Octane Coffee?!


Next up was the gloriously long drive to Birmingham, enhanced only by a wreck and subsequent gridlock on the freeway. Why am I surprised? This is the exact route I take to work every day and it never changes. It was made mildly tolerable by a quick download of the Cranberries first album. 1993, anyone? We missed the pre-show, but got right to our seats before the show started. As usual, this is Ella's face when I asked for a "nice picture before the show starts".


Want to know how not to go into debt every year at the circus? Recycle your light-up toys. I put them up in a cabinet as soon as we get home and we freshen up the batteries the night before the next year. My kids hold them for approximately 7 seconds, so there is no need to spend $22 a pop per child every single year. Nana gave them each a $20 bill this year, so they could have negotiated for a new one, but Ella spent her money on chicken fingers and pocketed the rest, while Taz bought light up glasses and had her face painted.

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The show was just as good as it always is. I'm fascinated by the trapeze artists and I can barely stomach the antics of the tightrope walkers. Not because they are walking on a rope suspended over empty air, but because of their fake enthusiasm and over-exaggerated arm gestures. I can't deal.


We were sad the the motorcycles / ball of steel wasn't present this year. For whatever reason, that is everyone's favorite. When we asked Sophie what her favorite part was this year, she said "The motorcycles, but they weren't here this year." She did love the poodles who danced to Shake it Off, though. Obvs. And there were CAMELS. That performed. I may never fully recover.

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Soph had to show off her super cute face painting when the lights finally came back on. Unfortunately, the line for this painting forced her to miss the mermaid trapeze artists, but she was too excited about her "two tongues" to care! She lasted about 97 seconds in the car before passing out. She slept through lunch, a few errands and Josh's haircut, waking up just moments before pulling into our driveway. How is that for perfect timing? Not.


I had big plans to clean house and catch up on design projects and be super productive when we got home, but you know what happened? We took a nap, played on Pinterest, watched too many episodes of SOA (Please tell me SOA gets better. We're only half way into season one and we're struggling. The dialogue is pretty terrible, but I want to like it!) and had fast food for dinner. It was beautiful. Then we slept late on Sunday (Even though we should definitely have been at church, but it was so nice to sleep late and have breakfast in bed and play games in pajamas with all my people). My mom called later in the morning to see how we felt about an afternoon at the park. My dad has been crazy busy since the holidays, working late every night and since we are visiting churches, we don't always see him on the weekend. 

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These people. My parents are the best kind of people. I know that not everyone has the privilege of having a wonderful relationship with their parents and I'm so fortunate that I do. My girls adore them and we had such a great time chasing the kids together and getting to catch up. It had been three weeks since I had seen my dad (Probably the longest stretch I've ever been, unless traveling) and even though I see my mom in the afternoons when I pick up the girls, they never let us get a word in edgewise. We might have only lasted outside for about 28 minutes before we were shivering and ready for some warmer digs, but it was the perfect way to wrap up the weekend.



Here are past circus posts if you want to compare. And for the life of me, I can't figure out why I never posted the pictures from last year's adventure?! I'm hoping that my long-lost hard-drive (where every photo of my girls' lives and every free lance graphic design project are being held hostage) is being resuscitated as we speak and maybe I'll share them an entire year too late!

2009's Zing, Zang, Zoom
And see how tiny Ella was in 2008 for our first EVER circus trip!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Tutu Lollipop Valentine's Tutorial

Next up on our tour of Valentine's are these lollipops with miniature crepe paper tutus. I loved our ballerina themed cards for the dance studio last year, but I wanted to try something a little more dimensional this year. I scoured Pinterest for ideas on how to make the mini tutus, but the closest I could find were cupcake toppers without a tutorial. It took some trial and error, but we came up with a couple of fun ways to make these work!

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The first step is to make as many of the mini tutus as you'll need. We cut four different colors of crepe paper rolls into 6 inch strips. We needed 40 tutus, so I cut 20 strips each of four different colors and then paired them up. For the first group of tutus, I folded the two strips of crepe paper in half and using coordinating thread, stitched a loose basting stitch as close to the fold as possible. Pull the strings to cinch the paper into a small rosette and tie to secure. Then just fluff the layers of the tutu until you're happy with the overall look. For the second group of tutus, I used the sewing machine and a very loose basting stitch to sew straight up the center of the paper. If you are familiar with creating ruffles on your machine, this works exactly the same. Just pull one string on each side to cinch and then tie off. The hand-stitched ones are easier to pull tight, but you would be hard pressed to tell them apart once assembled.

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You can assemble your finished product in one of two ways, too! If you were displaying these tabletop for a party or candy bar, this first way would work the best. Using a small hole punch, place the tutu on each lollipop and then push through the trimmed tags. Place a small dot of hot glue between the tutu and the tag to secure and place into moss covered foam to display.


We left these wrapped to share with their friends, but I love the way the unwrapped ones look for a party!


You can modify these instructions slightly to make them easier to pass out at school. Just add a second hole just under the original one on the printed tag.


Place the tutu on the lollipop and thread the lollipop stick through both holes in the card to lie flat. This method is much more secure and doesn't require any hot glue to hold everything together.

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Click here to download a PDF file for your personal use. Or click the contact button in the sidebar to chat about custom Valentine's Day cards just for your little one. Come back next Wednesday for one more printable Valentine and THIS time it's just as appropriate for your little fellas!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Ring Pop Valentine's Tutorial

One of the things I wanted to do more of in 2015 is to share step-by-step tutorials with printable design files, so you can create some of our fun crafts yourself! 

Usually the girls are full of ideas and know exactly what they want to share with their classmates. Maybe it's because we started talking about it so early in the year, but they were pretty open to ideas this time around. I scoured Hobby Lobby as soon as their Valentine's Day goodies were on the shelves and found some really cute ring pops that the girls loved. They are a little smaller than the ones I've seen at the grocery store and they were only $2.49 for a bag of eighteen. We bought enough for both girls to share with their school friends and started thinking about cute tag lines we could use with rings. How cute is "You are a Gem"?!




Cut the individual cards out, following the grey lines, and cut along the dashed lines in between the fingers. These will allow us to place the ring on the hand! Cut the decorative ribbon into 6-8 inch lengths depending on the width of your cello bags.


Place a ring pop on each card, sliding it as far down the finger as it will go. The width of our fingers were slightly larger than the ring pop, so we pinched the paper slightly to make it fit.


Turn the card over and secure the ring by placing a piece of tape just above the ring pop. We used coordinating washi tape I picked up in the dollar spot at Target.


Place the finished card into cello bags {Our cards are designed to perfectly fit the 3.25x5.75 inch ones in the baking aisle at Hobby Lobby} and punch a hole through the bag on either side of the middle finger.


To create the ties, we pushed the ribbon through each hole on the front of the bag, keeping it flat.


Then, turning your bag over, cross the extra length of ribbon and push the ends through the opposite holes on each side.


Trim the edges of the ribbon on either side to finish! On the Valentine's treats we made to share, I let the girls write their names just under the text on the front of the card before we assembled them.

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Click here to download a PDF file for your personal use. Or click the contact button in the sidebar to chat about custom Valentine's Day cards just for your little one! Come back on Friday for another adorable idea for you this year.