Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Frozen Party Ideas {with Invitation Printable}



Unless you live under a rock, with or without kids, you have heard about the Disney movie "Frozen".  Even before the movie came out my girls and myself were waiting for the awesomeness. And for my birthday, we went to see it.  I was in love. My girls were in love. I've read all the articles about the meanings and the money....blah blah blah.  We love it for the great songs and how I see it the story of love between two sisters.

Fast forward two months after the movie came out and one soundtrack  later and it's almost all we listen to in the car and you know what?  I don't mind. I love signing them too. They are kinda catchy. I know I WILL get sick of them but I'm not there yet. We got the movie in the mail yesterday and they have already watched it twice. Not too bad considering.

It was no big shocker when K asked for a "Frozen" themed party for her 6th birthday.  I was thinking ok, no big deal.  I'll go get a few themed things from the party store and then do some homemade/Pinterest things to round it out. Well, holy moly, there was nothing at 7 different stores by my house and even online, things were limited or out of stock for a long time.

Now the invite....again non to be found at any store and even online, very hard to find and kinda blah when i did. So me being me and my pension for homemade cards. I went to work. Disney's main website had some great high res clipart/wallpaper that I used to create the invite.


She loved it and printing it out  was super cheap.  Here's the link so you can use it yourself for PERSONAL use.  I  hope it helps you out for your party planning. The font  I used was  GEronto  Bis regular.

Next it was on to the goody bags...

I wanted to find snowflake bags but because it was already the end of February, I was outta luck. The next choice was  to get plain white craft  bags and  stamp some blue stamps on them. The girls were happy to help with that. I couldn't find any  single snowflake stamps but this one was on clearance for .56 cents so it worked for me.



I found glittery pencils at Michaels  in the dollar section in the perfect colors.


 I wanted to make some crowns for the girls and I saw THIS on Pinterest for making  a foam Elsa crown. I bought the stuff and tried to make it work but K said it kept slipping on her forehead. The glitter foam has a paper backing because it is sticky. Big bummer.  I tried to find it without being sticky and had no luck.

Then I saw THIS other pin with an store bought crown but the link didn't go to a place where I could find out more about it. Big Bummer! Until I went to JoAnn's fabric store to look for elastic for the foam crowns. And look what I found for a $1 a piece. Woo Hoo!! They had them in every color but most importantly the teal blue and pink for Anna and Elsa.


I did borrow the idea for the snowflake on the foam crown and added it to this crown. I bought the snowflakes at Micheals as well. They were over by the foam sticker section, hanging up in a baggy. It comes with two different size snowflakes. I used the larger.

 K got a pink crown so she could be Anna (you can see it at the top of the photo below) since she was the birthday girl.  S who like blue anyway was happy to be Elsa.


I was at Target in the dollar section and found this 5x7" notepads for $1 too. Score!


I really wanted to include some actual Frozen stuff in the bags so I went to Birthday Direct and bought  cupcake rings and Olaf stickers.  I couldn't find anything in the stores by me like I said before. And they were even out of stock for a few weeks, it was a  question if I would even get the stuff in time. I also got the balloons, napkins, and plates through them. 



I threw foam princess stickers in for fun and something extra. I found them in a giant container at Hobby Lobby. My girls are constantly crafting and making art . What little girl isn't really? Everyone got a pretty large handful.



And then I was thinking about general party/wall decor..., for the pottery party we took her friends to  there wasn't a whole lot we needed or wanted to do. I thought about posters because then they could be used after the party as well.  I got the big cast poster  from Amazon for $10 and the poster of Anna and Elsa at Walmart , of all places,  who would have thought?  The giant foam snowflakes were my mom's from a zillion years ago and they worked really well.



The final thing I wanted to make were these adorable hair clips that a friend had on her Facebook page. She sent me the link and away I went. They really were easy to cut just took some time.  All the felt was bought at Micheals as well even the  glitter felt that was more sturdy. The  little gems were at Micheals too. Gotta love Micheals!!



I hope this helps you plan your Frozen party and makes it easier. And remember if it all doesn't turn out like you thought......let it go!!!!  ;)

Monday
What is the Gunny Sack -Making the world Cuter -DIY Show Off
-I should be mopping the Floor


Tuesday

 My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia -The Kurtz Corner
Sugar Bee - Romance On A Dime -The Winthrop Chronicles

Wednesday
 Someday Crafts - Sew Much Ado
 
-SNAP

Thursday

Beyond the Picket Fence - Somewhat Simple - Live Laugh Rowe
- The Shabby Cottage The Taylor House- House of Hepworths  Bloom Designs

Friday
Naptime Crafters - Young and CraftyMy Turn(ForUs)
Delicate Construction
Serenity Now

Saturday


Six Sister's Stuff

Cheerios and Lattes



Monday, January 27, 2014

How we will NOT spend $100 everytime we go to Target



Ok.... so when you all go to Target you walk out with around $100 worth of stuff too , right?  I know I can't be the only one. Right? And only 1 out of every 10 times did we  actually intend on spending that much money. 

Their store designers/ marketing/ shelf putter-uppers are geniuses.

To quote the movie,  "Twilight"..."Everything about us invites you in...our look, our smell, the way we stock our shelves".  Ok, well maybe that last part wasn't from the movie but that's how it feels to me.  I'm powerless to stop it.

If we do walk out of there under $100, my husband and I almost give each other a high five. I know I'm all kinds of giddy on the inside.

I started thinking the other day... what I can do to stop the madness? Only get what we NEED, then get out and....wait for it.....only go once a month!!! What??!!!  That's crazy talk.

We are in Target every week.  I'm not kidding. We are always forgetting that we are out of something and then going back which means there goes another hundred dollars. Bye bye.

All I can think is spreadsheet here we come. I know I'm not the first blogger to make a spreadsheet to go shopping but I haven't seen one about Target yet.   I'm going to make a list of things we regularly buy at Target and then we have to stick to the list.  We will be able to put some specialty items on the list when before we go that are regular items  but  again. I know this isn't rocket science but it actually took some thought to come up with this list and I want to share it with you.


 If it ain't on the list,  me no buy.  ( I love to let go of the English language every once and a while) I'll give you an update soon and let you know how it's going.

Here is the list. I did one in Excel and a blank one as a PDF that way you can change all of the items in the list to what you and your family need if you would like. If you want to make your own and like the font, I used a free font called Wisdom Script. To download the font, you have to type in 0 for the cost and just hit download.

And the tiny red boxes are the font Wingdings, the  upper case letter Q.

( It doesn't seem that either version I uploaded  kept the fonts visually. I'll keep trying to figure that out. Until, then you can download the font above or substitute any old font you like.)

The List (Google Excel Version)

The List (PDF Blank version)


Monday
What is the Gunny Sack -Making the world Cuter -DIY Show Off
-I should be mopping the Floor


Tuesday

 My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia -The Kurtz Corner
Sugar Bee - Romance On A Dime -The Winthrop Chronicles

Wednesday
 Someday Crafts - Sew Much Ado
 
-SNAP

Thursday

Beyond the Picket Fence - Somewhat Simple - Live Laugh Rowe
- The Shabby Cottage The Taylor House- House of Hepworths  Bloom Designs

Friday
Naptime Crafters - Young and CraftyMy Turn(ForUs)
Delicate Construction
Serenity Now

Saturday


Six Sister's Stuff

Cheerios and Lattes

Sunday, December 22, 2013

11 years of our Family Christmas Cards

Every year since 2003, I've been creating our own Christmas cards.  I used to buy cute and funny ones at the store but then I started thinking that I loved to take pictures,  why don't I use that for my cards to showcase my family and my art?

Of course my beloved Charlie was my baby back then, and I wasn't too keen on being in pictures (really, who is?) that made him and his brother, Louie, become the focus of our cards.

All of the images  that just look like photos were actually inserted into photo cards. I just took them out because the cards were nothing to write home about. It was all about the photos.

2003

It snowed outside and we had some Christmas hats so...... ( this was with my first point and shoot camera)



2004

It's like the baby thing but with doggies!




2005

 We got engaged  a little over  a month before this photo was taken so we figured we should  be in this years card. Problem is, after I sent the card, where's my engagement ring hand?.....That's right, behind J........ Doh!



2006
This year's card was a little over two months since we had been married and I wanted to include a wedding picture but the boys were still part of our family...with the power of Photoshop, there they were! And Santa hats too!



2007
Pregnant with K and feeling huge, I wasn't going to be in this photo. It was also the first Christmas at our new house with a fireplace. I just had to use it. This was another Photoshop marvel. Trust me, they never would have done this on their own.



2008

With our beautiful baby daughter here, I had to include her with the boys this year. Did I mention that I love Photoshop? It was a hit . They all did a great job. I just blended them together.



2009
I was pregnant with S this year and again, did not want to be in any photos. I tried to think of something funny that would still show our photos.



2010
 I saw something like this online and made one of my own.



2011

 We had lost my baby Charlie this year but I still wanted a photo to show how big my girls were getting and just because Charlie was no longer with us didn't mean that Louie couldn't be featured.


2012
 This was the first year we had professional family pictures taken.  I had done the previous years with a tripod. The pictures turned out good so that was our card. The dogs didn't make this year.  Sorry boys!


2013
 We had another professional photo shoot this year and again it turned out great. But this year we included some more shots on the back of these fabulous cards I got for attending a photo conference from ACI  photo lab. The layout was a free card from MCP Actions that I modified to my layout and tastes but it really helps to start with a good base.



Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year !




Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My Top Ten Favorite Christmas Songs


 I want to start off by saying that there really isn't a Christmas song I don't like. Nope. Not really.  I love to listen and sing along with them starting in November every year.

My love affair with Christmas music started with my girl scout leader. Mrs. Casey.  She made our troop known for our singing. And every year we would go and perform Christmas carols somewhere  or just walk around and carol door to door  to raise money. When I got my first job at a grocery store, I would stand there all holiday season long and listen to the non-stop no commercial music for 8 hours at a time. It made cleaning a lot more fun.  On to my mall jobs where we got to bring in our own cds to listen to. So I started to amass quite a collection of Christmas cds. This was back before one of the stations here in town would play non-stop Christmas Music and people had Mp3s  of course.  I can't wait for thanksgiving day every year because that is when it starts. Now even my girls can't wait for the music to begin. It just makes my heart happy thinking about it.

These are the songs  that mean the most to me....

1. Oh holy Night  by Lea Michelle from Glee and  Josh Groban



 

This is my most favorite of the favorites.  And no, these two artist did not do a duet. This song has such power and such feeling. Sung by the right people, this song gives me goosebumps every time. Lea Michelle has such a powerful and clear tone to her voice and the same goes for Josh but in the most manly way. Make sure to listen to these two separatley to appreciate the sound and perfect ton of these two artists.

2. Most wonderful time of the year by Andy Williams


Every time i hear this song it just reminds me why I am so happy this time of year.  It really just says everything I am already thinking. It makes me want to grab someone's elbow, link up and dance around in a circle.

3.  Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Judy Garland
 
Meet me in Saint Louis is one of my all time favorite musicals and not just because it based on my hometown.  It's  a great old fashioned story line, a great set of songs and a great message of family. It gets me every time {sniff sniff} Here's a little clip via YouTube.

4. Happy Holidays by Andy williams
 
This is an inside joke with my dad's family. Basically, by the time we would get to Grandma's house around lunch time on Christmas day, most of the kids would already be fighting and arguing with each other or the parents.  Get it ?"Happy" holidays.

5. Baby, It's cold outside  by Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey
 
Yes, I know they got divorced but I like this version of the song.  They are super cute together and you know when they recorded it they were still really in love. 

6. Rockin' around the Christmas tree by Brenda Lee
 

I started liking this song because of the scene in Home Alone when Kevin has the whole house rigged to look like there is a party when there isn't.  It 's such a fun  happy Christmas song that I can't help but dance along to. I love making cookies while listening to this song. K has even started to sing along.

7. The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole



 Who doesn't hear this song and think of Christmas? Such a classic. I'm sure it's been used in millions of movies, tv shows and commercials over the years.


8. Christmas time is here from Charlie Brown
 
This is just a song from my childhood when there weren't fifty million holiday shows. There were just a few and Charlie Brown Christmas was one of them.  Whenever I hear the song, I can see Charlie Brown and his friends walking around in the snow.

9. Mele Kalikiamaka byBing Crosby

Ok, this one is just because of National Lampoon Christmas Vacation which happens to be mine and my husbands favorite Christmas movie to watch together (without the kids around)  It's a fun upbeat Christmas song that just makes me want to hula while wrapping  gifts and drinking cocoa. Hey, don't laugh.

10. Feliz Navidad by JoseFeliciano


Again,  another fun un-traditional song that everyone knows the words to and makes you happy when you sing it. Way to many years in retail working the customer service while listening to this  song.


What are your favorite songs/artists this time of year?  I think I may have to  write a part two to this post.


Monday
What is the Gunny Sack -Making the world Cuter -DIY Show Off
-I should be mopping the Floor


Tuesday

 My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia -The Kurtz Corner
Sugar Bee - Romance On A Dime -The Winthrop Chronicles

Wednesday
 Someday Crafts - Sew Much Ado
 
-SNAP

Thursday

Beyond the Picket Fence - Somewhat Simple - Live Laugh Rowe
- The Shabby Cottage The Taylor House- House of Hepworths  Bloom Designs

Friday
Naptime Crafters - Young and CraftyMy Turn(ForUs)
Delicate Construction
Serenity Now

Saturday


Six Sister's Stuff

Cheerios and Lattes

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Thirty Days of Thanks: Day 9 : A Good Veterinarian



Good animal vets are like good  people doctors, you have to like them and  you have to trust them.  We have know our veterinarian since before I was born,  he is a friend of my father's.  He's been doing this a long while and has the experience that the fresh out of vet school vets just don't have.  I hope he never retires but when he does, it will be hard to trust someone as much as we trust him. He does hire  newer baby docs and he seems to help them learn what they need to know.

 Our dog, Louie, has been having some issues lately and we've been visiting the vet more than we like but as with older people , it kinda comes with the territory.  We hope that he will be with us as long as he can.  But we know he's in the best hands he can be. If you are in Saint Louis County, Mike Klingler at Valley Vet is the guy for you.

Valley Veterinarian Clinic
590 Vance Rd, Valley Park, MO 63088

(636) 225-1155

Friday, November 8, 2013

Thirty Days of Thanks: The first 8 days


I know you've seen this going on all over the internet so I'll spare you the redundancy.  I want to be more thankful for the good in my life and stop dwelling on the bad. It seems to be a genetic trait with my family so I'm fighting an uphill battle.  In true Emily style here I am eight days in and trying to play catch up.( In my defense, we've been passing around a cold at my house. I love how we share.)

So here I go:

Day  1:  Fall 
 I love the colors, the textures, and the smells of Fall.  I wish we actually had more days with Fall temperatures here in Saint Louis. We seem to slip right into winter. But I will enjoy them and photograph them as long as I can.


Day 2: My health

With the thick of the winter cold season now upon us around here in Saint Louis,  I'm thankful that ,for now, in my family that's all we have to be worried about.... Colds. There are so many other people dealing with such horrible illnesses and life threatening /altering things that I'm thankful right now for the health of my family. May it continue to be strong.

Day 3: A van that works and is still under warranty
This year we finally took the plunge and bought a van.  I know we only have to kids and two dogs but man, it is super nice to have a van on a daily basis let alone for long road trips.  Last week, one of the spark plugs went bad and it needed a  computer upgrade and this and that. But it was under warranty and it didn't cost us anything. pheww ( forehead swipe)

Day 4: Clients that value my photography

I'm a photographer. I love taking photos and one of the only things I love more than taking them is knowing that someone else likes the images I am creating.  I am by no means 100% happy with my craft yet but when folks tell you they love them. That makes all of the learning, practicing, reading, and everything else worth it.

Day 5: Trader Joe's
I LOVE this store. It's affordable and most everything in there is free of preservatives, high fructose corn syrup and a host of other things that my body just can't tolerate.  I don't feel bad feeding my kids anything from there. It's where I discovered my love of almond milk and fresh pineapple juice. Let's no forget about how friendly the people are there. Most of the staff are super friendly and glad to be there.

Day 6: Central Heating

It's only going to get colder and colder in the STL and I am so thankful that we have a house with central heating that works very well.  I'm always cold. Ask my hubby.  I don't know why. It could be because I'm petite and little or just because that's the way I was made. I'm just glad my house is warm when it needs to be warm.


Day 7: A Dentist that rocks

I've been seeing ( now my whole family does) Dr. Ron since I was 11. I'm going to be 36. That's 25 years. He's is an awesome guy that makes you feel like family. Now my girls can't wait to see him twice a year.  He has a tiny little place but that's all he needs. That and a prize treasure chest filled with goodies. He's in is 50s now and I don't want to think about when I'll have to get a new dentist because I hope he works past retirement age.  Right now  I'll just be thankful he's OUR dentist.


Day 8 : Puffs plus with lotion

Yes, I know it's not a deep thing. Now that I have my first fall/winter cold  I am so glad someone thought to invent a product that wouldn't make my nose raw with the 24 hours of blowing and wiping I'm doing at this very moment.  Being sick sucks. This one little thing makes it a little easier.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Hanging Felt Mickey Mouse Countdown to Disney World


Ok, I know there are a million and two different ways you can countdown to Disney World. And they are very cute and very easy but you know me... I like to be different.  I had seen something like this done for Christmas, I think with a tree and it was an advent calender.

I  had sketched it out in my trusty notebook and then  went into Photoshop to smooth out the rough edges and  figure everything out without having to cut anything ....yet. The red square was 24"x 24". The Mickey head was 19" wide and 16.5" tall.



When I got my design all figured out,  I printed out just the letters so I could cut them out of felt.  I literally took the printout , laid it over the felt and cut them both together.  I do have a new Silhouette machine and I bet you could cut felt with it but I don't have a fabric blade yet.  That will come soon enough , I'm sure.





I also went to Hobby Lobby and got a huge piece of red felt to be my background.  I designed it to be 24x24" so I have a bunch leftover but I'm sure I'll find something to do with it later.

I took the red felt and  sewed it together around a wooden dowel rod. Then I attached the cute , yellow ribbon I bought from Hobby Lobby  last year.

The mickey head that will be the cut up to be the countdown was a little more difficult to do. I again printed out the mickey head in pieces form Photoshop and then taped them back together and cut out the shape.  Then I took my felt, a yard stick, and some chalk. and made some marks on the backside of the felt. Then cut them with a good pair of scissors. I really do need to get myself a rotary cutter.  I bet it would be easier.



I wanted to give my girls guidelines as they are building their Mickey head. I thought about using my Silhouette machine but I haven't  done too much with heat transfer vinyl.  I wanted to keep it simple.  My mom suggested at just use a Sharpie and trace around the shapes and be done.  It worked out great.  The kids don't care about fancy and now it looks like a big numbered puzzle to them. K is very good with her numbers and this helps her know which square to put it in next, even though counting backwards it still a little awkward to her.



Monday
What is the Gunny Sack -Making the world Cuter -DIY Show Off
-I should be mopping the Floor


Tuesday

 Tip Junkie - My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia -The Kurtz Corner
Sugar Bee - Romance On A Dime -The Winthrop Chronicles

Wednesday
 Someday Crafts - Sew Much Ado
 
-SNAP

Thursday

Beyond the Picket Fence - Somewhat Simple - Live Laugh Rowe
- The Shabby Cottage The Taylor House- House of Hepworths 

Friday
Naptime CraftersStay At Home Nation
Young and CraftyMy Turn(ForUs)
Delicate Construction
Serenity Now

Saturday


Six Sister's Stuff
Cheerios and Lattes

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