Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Simple Pillowcases: Featuring WholePort Fabric, Sponsor Post

It's time for my monthly blog sponsor post and sharing my latest projects using the complimentary supplies WholePort sent me.  This time I used this darling Twill Cotton Bedding Fabric - Purple Childhood Dream 62"*23".  It has beautiful soft muted colors and vintage style graphics.
There is a cute little town on it and a charming "handwritten" styled sentiment "Economy for our environment needs some power of muscles," by the girl on the bicycle.  Other girls on the print are busy doing things like walking the dog or out picnicking by the birds.  There's also a cute little bus picking up the children and filled with animal friends.  It's very sweetly patterned fabric.
My daughter has an infinite amount of confidence in her mama's sewing skills, that's not entirely warranted based on my previous output!  She got the notion that I should make her some new pillows out of the Purple Childhood Dream fabric.
Since, regardless of what my daughter thinks, I am a pretty inexperienced seamstress I did a very simple pillowcase.   It's basically just a rectangle of fabric folded in half, sewn up on two sides, with a basic hem on the third.  It almost seemed like a crime to use such pretty fabric on something so simple!  Nevertheless E loves her new pillowcases and feels they completely justify her belief that I could make them in the first place.

She has an iron daybed and her new extra pillows are perfect for lining the metal frame so that she won't roll into the hard metal during the night.  She really loves them and is now after me to get her some bedding that matches better, so we may be out looking for a new purple quilt soon!
I had just enough leftover fabric from making the pillowcases to make one more little project.  It's a quick and easy way to make a simple gift and I'll be sharing it on Friday.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Handmade Halloween Photo Cards

I finally sent off some Halloween cards to family and friends last weekend.  I started them at the end of September and finished them nearly a week before mailing but for some reason I procrastinated on getting them in envelopes and addressed. 
The design is fairly simple and uses all scraps from my scrap files, I'm trying to be better about checking there for projects before I cut into a whole new piece.  I used my new tab punch to add Happy Halloween to the fronts of all the cards, it was easy to print out the words on my computer and then punch the shape.  I'm excited to use this technique for Project Life.

On the inside I added a photo of each child in their costume with their ages, some washi tape, and a quick sentiment.  The BOO is stamped.
Each of the eight cards I made is slightly different as I used up paper scraps.  It was an awesome feeling to use up all most all my extras and finally finish up using older papers, which to be honest I was tired of so it was unlikely I was going to use them for pages again.

I also made a vertical version of the card, which I prefer to the horizontal front.  However, the horizontal card inside, shown above, was much easier to create than the vertical inside.  I fussed a bit too much over to arrange the photos on the inside of the vertical card, but made myself stop so I could move onto other things.  I'm just happy I got these out and am keeping my fingers crossed they actually arrive before the 31st! 


Monday, October 28, 2013

Baby Boy Scrapook Pages: 1st Halloween Costume

Are you ready for trick or treating?  We are excited to take LB to a couple houses, he may even make it around the blocks since he's got so much energy and loves to be on the move.  What a change from the first year when he was left at home to "help" pass out candy while big sis went from house to house. 
My friend gave LB this sweet little green monster outfit from Target his first year.  It's actually a sleeper but so cute I decided to just use it as his costume.  The details on the hat and feet totally make this one memorable. 

I propped the little guy up in his sister's old Bumpo chair to take these pictures after first trying to get him on the couch, but you really couldn't see everything so this worked out much better.  A divided pocket page protector made it each to highlight my favorite picture from the shoot.  It came out a little grainy and a little off color so the extra pockets were used to show some better quality pictures from the same session. 

In case you're wondering, big sis was Princess Leia and yet it was totally the year to have him be Yoda but my thriftiness won out and we skipped purchasing the $30 outfit he would've worn maybe twice in favor of the Little Green Monster.
On the back of this divided pocket page protector from WRMK I put some pictures of me holding him in the same costume and used the top to make a mini layout with my favorite picture from taking him to the pumpkin patch.

It was easy peasy to put this together, the paper is double sided so the orange dots is the reverse of the monster paper so it didn't even use up a lot of supplies.  Most supplies from Doodlebug Design Inc.

Sharing this page at The Memory's Nest's Crafty Creations.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Coupon Code: Disney Junior Live On Tour! Pirate & Princess Adventure

Disclosure: As a FELD Family Activator I receive complimentary tickets to shows in return for sharing this information.

I'm super excited to introduce our two year old to the magical world of Disney Junior Live On Tour!   This will be his first time attending one of the fantastic and unforgettable shows put on by FELD Entertainment.  These are so special and since they tend to be in our area in the fall, they've become a seasonal tradition in our family.  We've loved every single one; you can see how awesome they have been by clicking over to my past FELD Entertainment Show Reviews

I can't wait for him to see Disney Junior Live On Tour! Pirate & Princess Adventure because it features some of his very favorite characters, Jake and the Never Land Pirates!  My daughter really likes that show too, and is most excited to see a brand new show with Sofia the First.  It's great how FELD combined two popular Disney Junior shows and even throws in a special pre-show extra event with Doc McStuffins, both kids just love her. I can't wait to see their faces light up when their Disney Junior friends come to life on stage!   FELD entertainment always gives us the best value for our entertainment, going to the shows feel like a really special event; their idea of a big night out!

I've got a special coupon code to share with my Metro Detroit readers, for when the show comes to The Palace of Auburn Hills on November 1st!

Save $5 off Tickets - Online Purchases Only
Valid on $30, $25, and $20 seats only
Additional fees may apply
Valid on the 4PM performance only

Show Description:

Grab your tiaras and doubloons and join us for Disney Junior Live On Tour! Pirate & Princess Adventure. Mickey and Minnie are taking their seats too at this never-before-seen live show featuring your favorite characters from Disney Junior's hit series, Sofia the First and Jake and the Never Land Pirates.

Get swept up in the excitement as Sofia and her family prepare for a royal celebration that helps us all learn the true meaning of being a princess with a special appearance from Cinderella. Then it's off to Never Land where Jake and his swashbuckling friends Izzy and Cubby, with a little help from Peter Pan, battle Captain Hook to unlock treasure hidden inside a mysterious volcano. It's danger and dueling on the high seas as Jake discovers what it takes to be a true hero.

Filled with new music, amazing effects, thrilling action and endless surprises, your whole family will sing, shout, and soar into the action when Disney Junior Live On Tour! Pirate & Princess Adventure sails into your hometown.

Special bonus! Starting ten minutes before every performance join loveable Doc McStuffins for a special pre-show! You can help Doc take care of one of her beloved toys with her own special brand of love and magic. Free to all ticket holders.

I hope you can join us for an unforgettable show!


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Project Life 2013: Birthday Trip Part 2

Here is Part 1 of the special surprise birthday trip we took back in July for my daughter's 7th birthday.  It's such a fun memory because we woke up the kids on her birthday, popped them into the car, and took off without them knowing where we were going.  She has been wanting to go an American Girl store for a long time so she just squealed with excitement when we turned the corner and there it was.

We turned it into an overnight trip and also went to COSI the next day so it was a really special birthday for her.  It covers several double page spreads in our family's Project Life album as I didn't want to try and cram it into one with inserts.  I shared the trip a bit backwards, with Part 2 being posted earlier this week, because I hadn't developed one of the pictures needed for this page. 
I used big white die cuts to spell out my daughter's name, which for privacy reasons we do not share on the blog, and added the birthday sticker the ladies at the American Girl store gave her to the same pocket.  Next to that is a Blush core kit journaling card, which has been filled in but since I had to blur out many of the details I swapped it for a blank one when I photographed this.

In the middle 3X4 slots I put a picture of her by the cool fountain outside of the store, a screen capture of our driving route, one of LB hanging out while my husband took E through the long check out line, and then a picture of Saige's dog clipped from an old AG catalog.  She picked up both Saige's dog and horse while we were there.

Along the bottom is the photo I needed and didn't have last week of E holding her Saige doll by the soon to be retired Molly line.  Next to that I made a little collage of things from a catalog with Saige's picture, the hot air balloon clip art used for advertising the doll, and an envelope with the little purchase tickets for the big items E picked out at the store.

I also put clippings of product descriptions for each of the things E picked out for her birthday in there as well.   I really liked having this spot to save these little bits so they won't get lost and it will be interesting to see how much the AG stuff cost in the future, it's already pretty expensive in my opinion so I hope we aren't looking back and thinking how cheap it all used to be!
The other half of the spread has pictures both inside and out of the store.  I'm so glad we were able to take her because Saige is the doll of 2013 and she's a creative girl who lives in New Mexico, which I thought was a perfect match with E because she is a Santa Fean baby who also loves art.  I've got a little area for her to write a couple of sentences on this page. I have to remember to snag her after school to get that done!
Turn the page and the second spread from our day starts with a trip to the Cheesecake Factory and enjoying the outdoor shopping area in Easton where both the AG store and CF are located.  I added a copy of the current full catalog in an insert.  It's a little bulky but it just seemed so right to keep it.
This side uses Simple Stories' Vintage Bliss with pictures from our Cheesecake Factory lunch, super yummy!  As you can see, journaling still to be filled in.
On the backside of the AG catalog I included the birth certificate for the Build A Bear puppy our son made for his birthday treat.  He's also a late July birthday. The second insert contains a map and directory for the outdoor shopping center we were at, cut down and sealed with washi tape.
This half has the rest of our visit to Easton, sharing L's birthday treat at Build A Bear and watching the train with Honey core kit journaling cards.
This half page is the last part of Day One and is all about the hotel and nice splash area we were pleasantly surprised to find there.  I have yet to figure out what I want to put on the journaling card because I added the hotel's business card inside the fold up journaling card at the bottom.  The bottom right pocket is about dinner.

Instead of a longer family trip last summer, we decided to have one special outing each month.  We went to Great Wolf Lodge and Mackinaw City in June and this was our July outing.  While super fun and great times, they are a bit exhausting to record in Project Life because they take up several spreads and take me much longer to complete than a normal week.

How do you incorporate longer trips or events into your Project Life albums?  I'd love to know what works for others.  Sharing this post with The Mom Creative and Memory Keeping Monday co-hosted by Bee Tree Studios and Capturing Magical Memories.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Ultimate Party Meatballs Recipe Featuring: Heinz®, Johnsonville®, and Ocean Spray®

Disclosure: I received Heinz®, Johnsonville®, and Ocean Spray® products in exchange for sharing this recipe. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Fall is football season around here, and watching the big game is always more fun with family, friends, and some tasty munchies!  Today I've got a the easiest recipe, perfect for serving hungry sports fans.  You only need 3 ingredients!

Here is the recipe and some helpful tips:

Whipping up some Ultimate Party Meatballs is so easy.  I love that everyone can enjoy something hot and delicious without the stress of time consuming or difficult preparation.   We choose to try the saucepan preparation but these can also be made in a slow cooker, which is a nice way to serve them as part of a buffet since that will help keep them warm during a party.

Step 1: Combine the sauces, we poured in the 12 ounce bottle of Heinz® Chili Sauce first.

Step 1 Continued: Add the remaining sauce, in our case, the 14 ounce can of Ocean Spray® Jellied Cranberry Sauce.

Step 2: Cook over medium-low heat, stirring until smooth.  I used a spoon to help break up the Ocean Spray® Jellied Cranberry Sauce and move the process along.

Step 3: Add meatballs.  Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until meatballs are heated through, stirring occasionally.

That's all there is too it!  It's also a super fast way to get dinner on the table.  The sauce has a little bit of a kick from the chili sauce and a bit of sweet tang from the cranberries.  The sauce is also a pretty festive color.

These are the perfect go-to recipe for entertaining because then the host can enjoy the event too and not be stuck in the kitchen!  The ingredients are easy to find and keep on hand in the pantry or freezer for when unexpected guest show up or you need a last minute dish to pass. I hope you'll give these a try and if you have a favorite go to recipe, I'd love it if you shared it in the comment section!

You can learn more about the products used at the following sites:
  • Heinz® Chili Sauce, average price $2.39 for a 12-ounce bottle
  • Johnsonville® Fully Cooked Meatballs, Available in 3 Flavors: Classic Italian, Three Cheese, or Homestyle.  Suggested retail: $7.99 for a 24-ounce bag with 28 meatballs per package
  • Ocean Spray® Jellied Cranberry Sauce: average price $1.40 for a 14-ounce can

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Project Life 2013: July 22, Visiting COSI

These pages are part of several about our overnight trip to Columbus, Ohio for my daughter's seventh birthday back in July.  I haven't shared part 1 of that trip but thought this portion would be fun to share because it uses the new thematic card set that Becky Higgins recently released.  This is the print version Road Trip with some Mini Snippets - Carte Postale by Basic Grey thrown in.

These pages all cover our visit to COSI, beginning with the intro page above.  I made a little vellum envelope to slip the hot pink ticket we had to wear while at COSI.  It didn't really match anything and was kind of bright so I hope the vellum mutes the color a bit.  The city map card it's attached to was perfect, since we were in downtown Columbus. I added some Jillibean Soup letters to the "On the Road" card.
This spread is about visiting the Ocean and Gadget exhibits.
My daughter said the Ocean's area was her favorite of the visit.  Both she, LB, and my husband Brad all liked using the remote operated vehicle and seeing it's camera feed on the screen, especially when they could just make out themselves in the window.  I assume real ROV in the deep ocean have much clearer screens and better cameras because it was a little hard to make out anything.  There was also a little display built to look like a submarine research area that the kids liked exploring.  The "Dad" card is from the Rad Dad digital collection that I had previously printed out and didn't end up using.  It fit here so I used it.
My husband builds and designs laser systems for university research teams and he was very interested in the laser table.  This was a fun section with little seats you use pulleys to pull yourself up on.  Some are easier to use than others and it's tougher than you'd think.  LB enjoyed the ball launch the most, laughing deep belly laughs whenever it shot from out toward the target. 

We got a couple copies of the map and I cut up portions to show where we were for both sides of this spread.  Some of the filler cards in the Road Trip themed card set are basic so it was a nice way to add a bit more interest to them.
This spread is about the Progress exhibit.  It's a neat concept.  You get to see the same street in this fictional town and see how it might have appeared in both 1898 and 1962.
Photos from the 1898 version are on the left side.  Some of the building are open so you can actually walk in and even sit in the buggy.
The other side has all the pictures from the 1962 view of the city. It's a neat way to see how the technologies have changed.  A good next step would be to talk about what types of changes would have been made in a today's version of Progress.  I thought this side had more to do, with a diner you can play in and also a TV studio you can pretend to audition for an anchor position.

After we went through Progress we ate lunch, and for museum/attraction food I am sorry to say, the food at COSI was particularly bad.  I recommend bringing your own food if possible!  After eating ER had a workshop back up by the Gadget exhibit.  She and Brad got to take apart a computer so she could see what the inside looked like.
There is a really great area in COSI called the Little Kidspace and this is where I took LB while ER was up at the Gadget Lab.  I would love to have something like this near us!  It's the perfect way to entertain the under 5 crowd while older siblings visit other parts of COSI, see shows, etc.  It's so much fun that if you had a membership it's worth coming with the littles whenever you need to get out for a bit.  The next spread on our visit is mainly about Little Kidspace.
There is a lot to do there and it takes up almost the length of a whole floor.  A large climbing play area is in the center with slides, a little bridge to bounce across, stairs to run up and down, things to turn and spin, and little areas you can look down at and view scenes.  To one side of that is a pretend area with a helicopter, ambulance, doctor's office, etc to play in.  On far opposite far end from the pretend play areas is a water table area.  LB spend a long time happily playing, splashing, pouring, and making the boats go.  There is more to do there too, like a trains, ride on toys scattered throughout, and a little construction area.  Like I said a lot to do there and a lot of fun!  LB didn't want to go.
On the right side of this spread is half about Kidspace, with the right side of the right half of the spread about the last few things we did at COSI.  We didn't do much in the Space exhibit but even though the day started with a downpour by the end of the afternoon it had stopped raining and I'm so glad it did.  There is a nice outdoor exhibit where you can help lift a car, walk a bit, and few other things. 

Our visit spans across three and a half spreads in our Project Life album and we didn't even do any of the extra things like movies or the special Myth Buster's exhibit or the Adventure! activity.  The last two things cost extra money to go to and with so much to do at COSI, we just ran out of time.  I bet they were both awesome extras and well worth the added cost based on how well the rest of COSI is planned out.  

My husband is a science guy, with a PhD in Chemistry so I initially picked this stop as something for him to enjoy with the kids but I really had a great time too.  It's something we'd be members of for sure if we lived in Columbus.  It's a wonderful resource for the area and we hope to go back again.
I had a couple pictures from the very end of the overnight trip that I put on this half spread; it also serves as a summary page.  We went to the Olive Garden for dinner, it was a nice relaxing way to end a busy day on our feet.  It's E's favorite restaurant and was her request.  I didn't have enough pictures to fill the page, to be honest I'd taken so much over the past day I was kind of burnt out on picture taking.  But I did have a few from the road of LB going crazy waving his new puppy around so I put those in, did a highlights card from a MAMBI travel card set and  I am going to list the places we went on our quick trip to Columbus on the blank Clementine journaling card and then this will be done.

I've shared this post at The Mom Creative.


Monday, October 21, 2013

Baby Boy Scrapbook Pages: Dinner Before Zoo Boo

On Sunday we went to Zoo Boo and it was a great night!  This year totally made up having to skip last years event and losing the money spent on the nonrefundable tickets when there was icy cold rain and freezing temperatures the night we were supposed to go.  The kids weren't too upset last year, LB was too little to know he missed anything and E got to got to Build A Bear instead so she was even a little happy the event was rained out.

But enough on last year's Zoo Boo and even this year's Zoo Boo, because this week's Baby Boy Scrapbook Page is about Zoo Boo night two years ago.  It was the little guy's first ever Zoo Boo and he slept through most of it all warm and toasty in his Bundle Me.  That was the year for all intents and purposes his costume could've been a closed up stroller since that's all you see in the most of the Halloween event pictures he is in, big sister standing next to a stroller!
Since LB's sweet little face doesn't actually appear in the Zoo Boo pictures, to document our family's tradition of going to a fun Halloween event each year, in his First Year scrapbook I included pictures from the family dinner beforehand.  We almost always go to a Noodles & Co. that is close by because it's fast, kid friendly, and near the zoo.
This year my parents and brother went to dinner and Zoo Boo with us.  Grandma Norma met us at the Zoo so she isn't in these photos but it was a big family event because we also met LB's Godfather and his family and my Godparents at the zoo too.  Too bad he slept through the whole thing, right!  But then again, holiday events are not just for the littles sometimes it's a fun way for the adults to relive their childhoods in part too. 

I'm sure this is probably based on a sketch but since I made this page awhile ago I don't remember which one exactly.  But the design allowed for me to use lots of themed pattern paper to help reinforce that it's about a Halloween event even if the photos don't necessarily reflect that. 


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Do you Boo?

Does your neighborhood participate in the fun "Boo-ed!" activity in October?  Ours is full of kids so seeing signs like the one above on doors is a common sight.  Since all the moms know each other, we usually give the parents a heads up so they know just who dropped the goodies off. 
My daughter has been waiting for her turn and it's such a challenge for her!  I packed up some goodies, mainly chocolate but also some fruit snacks and Starburts, into a plastic baggy.  But you know I just had to add a couple touches, cause that's just how we roll 'round here.

I whipped this little paper tent holder out of scraps so while they might not have been the papers I'd pick if I was perusing my stash I decided they were good enough, considering they're going to be ripped off as soon as our friends see it.
On the back I paper clipped the note on and added a little ribbon, because everything is better with ribbon.  If you'd like to get started with this fun activity, you can get the free printable we used on the You've Been Boo-ed site.

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