Friday, August 10, 2012

Toddler Construction Themed Party

My cousin Amanda just celebrated her son's 2nd birthday. Preston and I weren't able to make it, because it was in Michigan. I was already disappointed, but after I saw the pictures, I was downright sad we missed  it!

Preston and Eli are only about five months a part, and I know they'd be best friends if we still lived near them. We're one of those families where our cousins are more like our siblings, so living in Virginia sometimes wears on me.

Anyway, take a look at the fabulous job Amanda did...

Guests were greeted and introduced to the theme right away. You can buy inexpensive orange cones and caution tape at home improvement stores {like Lowe's}. Look closely at that wreath. It's wrapped in an extension cord. Genius!

I think it comes as no surprise that my favorite element on the food table are those toy dump trucks. I've never seen this done before, and it's simply perfection. It wouldn't even have to cost a cent if you already had a few hanging out in your child's toy box!

Eli's cake table is simple and fun too. Notice how she added interest by using a different color table cloth than the food table. She even saved money by making the cake herself, and the middle of the cake was yellow and chocolate caution stripes! Super cool.

Happy Birthday, Eli! We love YOU!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

No Sew Curtain Hems

One of the bungalow's biggest assets is it's tall ceilings and tall windows. They allow the entire house to feel so much larger than a two bedroom home, but with big windows and tall ceilings you get areas that need longer curtains. I cannot do typical 84 inch curtains, and this drives me crazy! They are simply more affordable and readily available at retailers in an array of fun fabrics, so I get frustrated. I'm stuck searching for 95 inch curtains on a barely there budget, and that's no easy task...

I only have one window in the living room, so I only needed two panels. That's the good news. The bad news is that every curtain I found and could afford didn't come in the longer length I needed. Finally, I settled on some plain white panels for $12.99 each at Target. They were 95 inches, but when I got them home and hung, they were even too short.

They also lacked the wow factor I look for in window treatments. I kicked around ideas of stenciling them and taping them off and painting stripes, but those projects just ended in a fail. In fact, I ruined one panel and had to go back to Target to replace it. I even tried hanging a new, more substantial rod one night that I scored for $2.97. Take a look at how that ended up...

I was starting to feel defeated. I put the original rod back in place and tucked the new one back into my closet.

After racking my brain and looking at the boring panels in dismay for weeks, a light bulb came on. I had plenty of fabric left over from my stool project. I originally bought two fabrics, because I couldn't decide in the store which to use. It was only $7.99 worth of fabric left {one yard}, but it would be enough!

Just in case you missed it, here's the little stool...

Anyway, I'm impatient. I also don't own an actual sewing machine of my own {I borrow my mom's when I desperately need to}, BUT you bet your booty I have the BEST tool known to resourceful DIYers....a hot glue gun! I think you know where I'm going with this...

Yep! I just measured and cut the fabric to length {leaving slack for hems}. Then, I figured out how wide I needed it to be, so the finished curtains would just brush the floor. After I had my measurements right, I folded the new fabric in half, folded both top edges in and secured with hot glue. This way I had a solid strip that was finished on both sides and all the way around. I basically just glued where I would have ran a sewing machine to accomplish a finished piece. Folding the fabric in half also gave the strip more weight, so it would hang better.

I also turned in the edges on both ends and secured with glue. For the last step, I just lined my finished strip up with the existing curtain hem and glued them on using the white curtain panel hem as a straight guide. It was really easy and only took about an hour to complete the entire project! Of course, I'll never be able to wash them, but I'm not really a wash the drapes kind of chick...

I'm really pleased with the entire outcome. Now, I just need to glue/sew/buy a throw pillow for the chair...

and the before again...

That same night I framed an awesome new piece of scrapbook paper for my gallery wall.
{$.50 update}

Who's busting out their hot glue gun tonight?!

Crystal xoxo

Thursday, August 2, 2012

My Mom's {51} Birthday Celebration

We recently celebrated my mom's birthday. While we kept it simple, I couldn't resist putting my little touch on the day. It's just in my nature, and I can't help myself!

As usual, I was on a budget, but it doesn't take a lot of money to sprinkle an intimate birthday dinner at home with a little fun. With very little effort {and funds}, a simple dinner can be transformed into a small celebration and make the guest of honor feel extra special.

My mom is one of those selfless souls who gives with no expectations in return. She's pure of heart and has always been such a patient parent, so she deserves for someone else to think of HER in return occasionally too!

While it doesn't take a lot of money, it also doesn't take a ton of time. Earlier in the day I had Preston color a handmade card for her. I just folded a piece of card stock in half, wrote a pretty little message with a marker and gave him crayons in matching colors. Then, I let him go wild!

She loved it, and it didn't cost a cent.

Afterward, we got ready to head over the mountain {literally} and through the woods {literally} to grandma's house...

But on the way, we had to made a quick Walmart.

I grabbed a prepackaged party set in purple and pink polka dots {6 plates, 6 napkins, 6 forks, 6 spoons, and 6 knives for $2.97}. I also bought a package of four cupcakes for $3.97. This was perfect since there were only going to be four of us {my parents, Preston and myself}. Then, I snatched a $1 box of white birthday candles, a package of $.97 purple tissue paper and a dozen pink roses {$9.97}.  We also took a moment to smell ALL the flowers, and I let the toddler make the final flower choice.

Once back in the car, I opened the flowers and wrapped them in the tissue paper quickly. This is a little trick I've done several times. In an instant the flowers look like they came from an upscale shop!

Check out how chic these Walmart cupcakes look with the chocolate curls. An untrained eye could never tell!

My dad made jerk chicken in the smoker, and he hauled the dining room table outside under a willow tree. We enjoyed the spread with an amazing view and good conversation. It was fabulous.

{Papa and Preston walking to the barn after dinner}

Happy Birthday, Mommy! Thank you for all that you do for Preston and I. It never goes unnoticed or taken for granted. We love you...

Crystal xoxo