Friday, May 27, 2011

Baby Birthday Party-- Planning and Designing an Elephant Theme


My little squishy squish squish is turning one in less than a month...


Oh, that clock keeps on ticking, doesn't it?

For his party, I decided on an elephant theme and I'm busy planning away for all the cuteness.

This is the little elephant I designed as a starting point.

Then I moved into a bolder color palette and ended up with this guy:

And then I started working on an invitation.

If you follow on Facebook (and I am so tickled if you do), you know that I recently had a little voting contest on the invitations I'd designed so far. 

I thought that would help me choose, but ACK! The votes were completely divided. Ha!

{By the way, I took my baby's name off. 
Didn't want anyone to think I'd named my little boy BROOKE!}

What do you think? Bold or pastel? Dots or stripes? 
* * * * *

To order your own personalized elephant invites:

Send me an email at

For $6, you will receive an emailed jpeg file that you can print out at home on cardstock or photo paper,

or upload to any professional developing lab (like Wal-Mart or Shutterfly).

The elephant logo is $3 and can be used for any decorations, goodie bags, cupcake flags, etc.

Payment is through Pay Pal and your order will be emailed to you within 48 hours of payment received.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Decoupaged Child's Chair



This little chair was picked up from the local Goodwill for $4 a few months ago.


Isn't she sweet? I could tell that her former owner must have really loved her.


Unfortunately, the dingy paint and crayon marks were a little too shabby
but not enough chic for me.

Using Mod Podge and decorative paper (cut into strips), I created a unique, one of a kind piece.

(Recognize this picture, facebook fans? Did you guess I was redoing furniture?)



I'm going to coat it again with polyurethane for durability. 


But with a house full of boys,


the next question is...


What am I going to do with a pretty little butterfly chair? Hmmm.


She might just have to find another little girl who will love her like before.



Friday, May 6, 2011

A Healthy Breakfast

blueberry yogurt granola

When Jeremy and I were first married and on a tight budget,

 I bought a book about cooking from scratch.

homemade granola

This recipe for easy, homemade granola was one of the gems in that book that we've loved ever since.

fruit and yogurt parfait

It still makes me nostalgic for those days when we were learning how to be married in that tiny apartment by the train in our college town.


I've since changed it up a bit through the years to suit our tastes and the recipe is below, but first...


Since I'm getting a little sappy, I thought I'd throw this in to the mix.

That boy whom I love is giving me his best "I am DONE holding up this giant piece of butterfly paper for pictures of your yogurt!!! I have a life" stare-down.

For better or for worse,


5 cups oats
1/2 t. salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup concentrated apple juice
1/2 cup dry milk
1/3 cup honey

Mix sugar, juice, dry milk and honey in a saucepan and heat over medium heat only until sugar dissolves. Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and pour sugar mixture slowly over dry mixture. Blend well. Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

Shared with: Tatertots and Jello, The Creative Crate

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Front Entry Makeover with Stenciling

{Our Entryway}



When we bought our home in September, we knew we had a LOT of work ahead of us. 

And we're slowly making some progress, taking it one room at a time.

(More like: we'll do a little in here, then a little in there, and maybe one day we'll have this house done!)

Since I recently posted about our front door makeover (you can read about that here), I wanted to show you the other side of that door...

our very narrow and blah, blah, bland entryway.


The very first thing we did (and by "we" I mean Jeremy) was scrape the popcorn ceilings (you can read all about that messy mess here and see a bit of the dust pile in that top photo).


Then I got to work. 

I created my own stencil with my Silhouette machine and cardstock but you could easily find a pattern you like and cut it with an exacto knife. My stencil was definitely not a complicated design.

Okay. So there is PLENTY of DIY stenciling advice out there, but here's what worked for me and I'm pretty sure I tried just about everything else:

My main method:

1. I used a small paintbrush with lots of paint on it.

2. I held the stencil in place with one hand while I painted the outline of the stencil with the other hand.

3. Then I removed the stencil to paper towels and blotted it.

4. Next I filled in my lines I had outlined.

Another method I liked:

I used the same small paintbrush with very little paint on it and stippled the stencil on the wall. In other words, I didn't paint and fill in lines. This technique was a lot faster, but the lines weren't as clean. It worked very well for the small dots that needed to be filled.


So... I changed my design horse mid-stream and opted for frames with stenciling inside, instead of stenciling the entire wall.

I'm so glad I did! It was a lot faster and adds more visual interest.

Jer and I measured the squares that I had envisioned in my mind's eye and I did all the painting and stenciling (he did help with the top and corners).

Then Jeremy used molding to frame out the edges.


I created some simple, custom art using spray painted Wal-Mart frames that I scraped with steel wool.

I also added our family name in brown vinyl to make it a little more personal and finished the space off with a new lighting fixture and rug. 





The paint I used was Valspar "Metropolis."


Linked to: Take a Look Tuesday, Today's Creative Blog, Tatertots and Jello, The Creative Crate, The CSI Project