My daughter's third birthday is coming up and of course I'm in planning mode.  She has requested "Tinkerbell" so we're doing "Neverland", since I don't enjoy really prissy parties and we'll have lots of little boys in attendance from her school.  Normally I do enjoy making invitations, but I found these adorable invites on etsy and just decided I couldn't do better than a graphic designer for $6.00 for the custom invite!



Shout out to Planning with Love for the awesome work and easy purchase with a quick turnaround.

Next I printed these with shutterfly, since it was .79 cents each cheaper than CVS.  And I bought more A7 (5x7) envelopes on Amazon.  Consider this task accomplished!

Come back for more as I blog about other ideas, like a pirate treasure hunt, a ring toss on Captain Hook's hooks, Crocodile Creek, a teepee, and a Telescope Decorating station

Sick

I'm pregnant!  And sick!  So that is why I've been AWOL from the blog for a while now.  I'm 17 weeks and due 11/20, which means that we'll have a turkey-baby.  Lots of things will eventually get done at our house, but for now this pregnancy is kicking my butt.  If you have a semi-normal pregnancy the first go around, try to remember the second one could be anything but.  I'm all normal, medical wise, but the sick feeling is definitely much more extreme, as is fatigue, and aches and pains.  My husband and I think we are having a boy, several friends think it is a girl.  We only have to wait 6 more days to find out!
For the party, I made a skirt for my daughter to wear out of three different red fabrics: large polka dots, small polka dots, and stripes at the bottom.

First, I used another skirt that fits her to measure the elastic and pinned the elastic so I'd know where to sew it together.
Then I used my sewing machine to hem the ends of the first fabric, cut into a rectangle.  I just used a zig-zag stitch with very small width and movement to make it like a serged edge.  I like this method rather than hemming it by folding it because I never get the hem straight.
Here are my machine settings.  Extremely small stitch size and an extremely small width of zig-zag.
See, now that rectangle is hemmed on one side.
I didn't take a picture, but before this, I had made another, wider rectangle from the striped fabric, and sewed a pocket for the elastic to go on.  I didn't thread the elastic through until the end.  Next, I sewed the hemmed fabric onto the base fabric using a regular stitch.  I first sewed it right sides together, then as you can see in the picture below, I folded the fabric over and sewed along the top of the seam to keep the ruffle down.
I used this method for the next ruffle, in a different polkadot pattern for a second tier and sewed that on.  Next I took the elastic and marked where the pin was, then threaded it through the casing on the striped fabric.
After it is threaded all the way through, I sewed it together.
Note, this isn't the perfect way to make an elastic casing.  Since I had sewed the casing all the way to the fabric edge, I had no way to sew the casing shut cleanly after I threaded the elastic, without catching the elastic, so I just didn't.  The fabric was gathered way too much for anyone to notice. It was a big hit and looked quite cute.  Because I used a rectangle shape, the skirt had a pencil skirt shape and stayed down rather than flying up more like an A line or circle skirt. 
Happy Birthday Millie!
The main decoration I planned for my daughter's second birthday was her name spelled out in letters, that looked like the characters from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  See?

All they are is 8" letters covered in paper to make them look like the characters.  From left to right, we have Mickey, Pluto, Goofy, Daisy, Minnie, and Donald.  I started with Donald and used double-sided tape to adhere the paper to the letters.
I covered the front and backs first, then went around the outside of the letters for full coverage.
I just freehanded the bows, and it wasn't too hard.  Minnie's pink isn't the right color, it should be more like hot pink.
Daisy's purple looks lavender in person, but definitely read differently with the camera.
Goofy's hat is one piece green, I just freehanded the shape, with a blue piece of paper glued on top.  Simple!
Pluto's collar is only taped on the back, which makes it look more like a collar.  You could also add a tag that says Pluto, but I stopped before that point.
Classic Mickey mouse!
And my favorite, Donald Duck.  This one came out the best, in my opinion.  Both Donald and Daisy have a small piece of furry notion, which adds to the "duck" look.
Oh boy!

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More Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Party posts here:
Part 1 - Invitations
Part 2 - Goody Bags
Part 3 - Punch Box
Part 4 - Balloon Wreath

I had a straw wreath form and thought that it would be neat to make a little Minnie Mouse inspired decoration with it for the front door.  I saw an etsy shop that makes balloon wreaths and came up with a way to make it myself, saving $50!! 

I believe the only differences between the original idea and mine was that I found only pretty large balloons and couldn't get them any smaller at WalMart, and that my wreath form is much larger which means I needed more balloons.  I didn't really feel like ordering any balloons online.  So I just bought 12" round pink, red, white, and black balloons from the store.  The wreath form I used is 22" I believe.  First, just separate your balloons by color.  You'll also need straight pins.

Then starting at the top, take a balloon and use a straight pin to stick it into the wreath.  The goal is to fold over the balloon so the pin is concealed. 
See how it folds over so you can't see the pin?
Then, keep going, mixing the colors and change the exact way that you pin each balloon so they all look different.
As you go around, you may end up with some spots that aren't as covered, in which case you just need to go back and fill them in with another balloon.
It helps to hold the wreath in the orientation it will be hung so the balloons lay the way they will on your door.  This helps to find those holes that people will see.
Halfway there!  I think a wreath of this size took about 100 balloons, but I cannot be sure because I had several mixed packs and have balloons left over for the party decorations.
Finally, hang your wreath on your front door.  I used polka dot red ribbon to go with the Minnie Mouse theme.  By the way, my daughter's favorite character is actually Mickey, but I thought the pink would be a nice addition to the wreath. 
You could also add a sign to commemorate the special occasion.  I haven't put my sign on the wreath yet, but it will say Happy 2nd Birthday with mouse ears and I'll write it in the classic Walt Disney font you see on the internet.  I'm pretty happy with how this came out.  It will really make an impact on the way into the party!


More Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Party posts here:
Part 1 - Invitations
Part 2 - Goody Bags
Part 3 - Punch Box
Instead of a pinata, because this is a 2 year old birthday party, after all, I went with a punch box.  I found the original idea on pinterest of course, but made my own variant to house toys the kids will get.  First, I used a box on hand and opened it up and cut off two of the flaps so I had some cardboard to work with.  I cut the cardboard from the cutoff flaps into strips the depth of the box, then arranged them in a tic-tac-toe formation and cut slits so they would hold together.

See the slits below?
Then I flipped the box over and used a bowl to draw circles, arranged in that same tic-tac-toe pattern. 
 This is actually the bottom of the box, as you can see with the original packing tape.  I used a box cutter to cut out each circle.  I bet squares would have been much easier!!!
 
  
After all the holes were cut, I flipped the box back around and used double sided tape to stick down pieces of tissue paper to cover the holes.
And then I added a second layer of tissue paper.
Next, add in some toys for the kids.  Mine ranged from bouncing balls, sand toys, a snake, a bath boat, to floam.
Finally, tape those flaps closed and then flip the box over.  Next, I covered up the face of the brown cardboard with a cheerful wrapping paper print.  I wish I had Mickey Mouse paper on hand, but I love to use what I have!  Doesn't it look like fun?  I think the kids, especially 1-3 year-olds will have a blast with this, and I hope the older kids like it too.  I specifically didn't include candy because of the ages, but you could always throw in candy, too :)
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You can see the other posts for the Mickey Mouse party here:
Part 1 - Invitations
Part 2 - Goody Bags

 
I wanted to make some goodie bags that reminded people of Mickey Mouse, but I don't really like the old plastic kind.  So I was a little crafty and made some felt bags that are very simple to make.  I made 9 in about 1 1/2 hours.  Not bad.  First, I cut out the pieces.  Note, I just cut out handles rather than sewing on handles later.  This makes for a weaker handle, but a happier mother.



 You just sandwich the red square in between the two black pieces.
 Then sew around all three sides (left, right, and bottom).
 And turn the bag right side out.  Now you have an inner pocket, and an outer pocket inside the red square.  I chose to leave it this way instead of sewing the red square down first (saves time and energy).
 Then hotglue on some buttons (I got yellow but they should really be white), and add some goodies for the kiddos!
And that's it!  Simple favors for a group of kids.  You could customize for ages based on what toys you add.

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Update

I've been sick for over a week now, which is why there haven't been any great posts about our life or projects.  I did get my husband to put up a horrible shelf from Home Depot, which wouldn't mount firmly to the wall without leaning away from it.  It was to hold heavy glass, so we had to nix that idea.  I promise to continue my pattern of 3 posts a week, once I recover from the funk!


Puddle Splashing

We finally got a rain last week.  Millie didn't know about puddles and we had some nice shallow ones in our driveway.  So we tested them out!






Life is good!