Thursday, April 23, 2015

DIY Carnival

I, along with helpers, decided to throw an activity at church that was family friendly and more geared toward your inner kid. We decided to do an indoor carnival. So, I'm including some tips of making your own carnival too! This could be indoor or outdoor. This was a while ago and the weather still wasn't as reliable as we wanted for something outdoor. Anyways, here we go!

These were our booths:
  • Duck Pond -pick up a duck, if it has an "X" on the bottom you win a prize!

  • Cupcake Walk-Number spaces 1-8. The contestants walk around the spaces while music plays. When the music stops hope your number is called from the mystery hat

  • Can Toss-We used tennis balls against 6 stacked cans. Get them all down for a prize.

  • Target Practice-Get a set amount of points in 3 throws for a prize.

  • Kissing Booth-guess how many Hershey's Kisses are in the jar (we had 3 jars and differing amounts. Each jar had it's own separate guesses)
  • Face Painting-we bought a simple pack at Wal-Mart. It didn't dry very quickly so I would do better research on that!

Here's some additional ideas for booths:

  • Fortune Teller-fortune cookies or someone dressed up and has a fun imagination
  • Go Fish-attach a string with a magnet at the end to a stick. "Go fishing" behind a curtain or in a baby pool with cut out fish with a paper clip attached so the magnet will stick. 3 tries for a fish!
  • Ring Toss-rings and glass soda bottles or pegs, get the ring on the bottle and win
  • Balloon Dartboard-Tap small balloons onto a board in a grid and pop with darts. Careful of pointy darts!
  • Spin Wheel with a bunch of different prizes 


Now as for food. Since this was an indoor carnival, popcorn would be a bit too messy. We opted for other carnival food. In a crockpot we stacked hot dogs standing up and cooked them on HIGH for 1.5 hours and they were ready to serve! That's all it took. We fit 75 into a medium sized crockpot. We served with chips and had a potluck for desserts. So yummy and VERY successful way to do a lot of food at once. Although we opted to save money and not to this, certain companies rent out cotton candy machines for as low as $25 a day! I know some Uhauls offer rentals, just go see if your local one does!


  • Our prizes were just candy but if you wanted to go all out here are some other ideas
  • Restaurant Gift Cards
  • Stuffed Animals
  • Blow-up Toys (like guitars or saxophones)
  • Bouncy Balls
  • Temporary Tattoos
  • Bubbles
  • Nail Polish
  • So much more! Just go to your Dollar Store, I'm sure they have tons of "prize" worthy stuff

All in all, we budgeted for about $150 and we got right around there. In addition to the supplies for each booth (rubber ducks, face paint, tarp, etc) and prizes we also bought table cloths, balloons, printed signs, and the food. We did this in our church's gym which supplied tables and chairs for free.

Oh yeah! I made a cool invitation too:

Download the font here! I promise it's safe and didn't give my computer some weird virus. This is for the carnival like font. And I found the picture of the tents online just looking up clip art.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Things to do with Zucchini

Last summer we decided to start a garden. We planted zucchini, jalapenos and watermelon. Our watermelon plant died pretty quickly but the other two thrived. We can talk about the jalapenos in another post because this post is solely dedicated to our zucchini plant. We weeded and watered as needed and by the end of the summer we harvested over 2 dozen zucchinis big to small. So anyone else ever been in the same boat of what on earth to do with all that zucchini?! Well, we definitely got creative.

Here's my list of things to do with zucchini:

Sliced thinly:
Saute them in olive oil and garlic salt
Ratatouille (I didn't attempt but I thought about it!)
Oven baked with butter, salt and pepper
Oven bake chips
Fried zucchini
Pasta noodle alternative (large cheese grater or they have a veggie noodle device)

Sliced not so thinly:
Fries! (these turned out pretty tasty. Just dip in an egg and then a flour/breadcrumb/Parmesan mix and bake!)
Raw with veggie dip
Grilled (brush with olive oil)
Stuffed zucchini

Baby food
Fried patties (with cheese and onion and other Pinterest recipe stuff!)

AND you can freeze your grated zucchini! My freezer currently has 7 cups of frozen zucchini...

Hope these ideas help or inspire you! If you want any additional information on recipes or techniques just ask! I will be happy to make additional posts that are more descriptive.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Logo Bleach T-Shirt

For the 3 Christmases my husband and I have celebrated together I tried to include at least one homemade present. This past Christmas I wanted to get him something with one of his favorite band's logos on it but the t-shirts I found online were too dang expensive for our budget. So there was my handmade present idea! The whole thing cost about $8 to make. If you want to do the inverse of the logo check out Jaime's Bleach T-Shirt tutorial.

What you'll need:
Colored T-Shirt
Bleach pen
Chalk or chalk pencil
Traceable pattern (I did mine on computer paper)

First, I cut out the lettering of my pattern. I then pinned the pattern onto the shirt. I put a piece of cardboard in the shirt so the bleach wouldn't go through. This also made pinning the pattern onto the shirt easier since the pins could go straight into the cardboard to really hold everything in place.

Next, trace the pattern onto the fabric with chalk.

Now you're ready for the bleach pen! I just used a basic Clorox bleach pen that had 2 sized tips. I used the narrower tip so the outline wouldn't be too thick. I found this at Wal-Mart for a couple of dollars in the bleach aisle. Something I wish I would've known was to watch out for sputters and bubbles when the bleach came out. Don't squeeze it out too hard either. Oh well, makes it look more rustic, right?

This only needs to set for a short time. I let the bleach sit on the shirt for maybe 3 minutes then quickly threw it in the wash. As the washer filled up with water, I ran the bleached part under the water to wash off the excess bleach and to ensure no bleach would get anywhere else (which it did because I wasn't as careful as I should've been. You can see this on the right side of the shirt.) Dry the shirt and now it's ready to go!

Pair with a cute baby onesie with a matching logo (it was an iron on patch!) and you'll have the coolest dad and baby outfits!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Valentine's Day Party

Last year we were inspired by Jaime to throw a Valentine's Day party. We wanted this to become an annual thing but this year Valentine's Day is a week before my due date so we opted out of this year's celebration. But anywho! Here's some of the fun things we did last year:

The Dollar Store was the perfect place for the decorations (some pictured below.) They had plenty of items that were Valentine's day themed including the napkins, plates, fabric rose petals and doily hearts that we got. With the doorway decorations I cut rectangles and squares from red cardstock and wrote love, kissy, and xoxoxo with one letter per square then threaded them with red thread and viola, doorway garland!

the Newlywed Game,
Battle of the Sexes,
Guess the Famous Couple through hints,
make a story with 10 conversation hearts,
love song charades (whichever couple could guess 2 songs in the shortest amount of time won),
and a group mad lib (on strips of paper were written adjective, noun, etc and were put into a mad lib which was hilarious!)

The food had to be within the theme of course. We included on the invitations for our party guests to bring a treat that was red or pink.

Treats We Made:
Of course I didn't take hardly any pictures especially of the food...
Sliced red potatoes with sprinkled cheese and bacon bits on them (and baked for 15 min at 400)
We did a red fruit platter with Cool Whip for a dip
Pink Rice Krispie Treats
Ok, we didn't make these but we did supply hot tamales and red hots...YUM

Treats that were brought:
Strawberry Kiwi drink
Pink Oreo truffles
Chocolate covered strawberries
Cinnamon sugar donut holes
Red and pink trifle (which won the prize for best treat which included taste and overall pinkness)

We gave out prizes for some of the games and treats. The prizes were:
Newlywed game: My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Famous Couples: Gossip magazine
Best treat: Oven mitt with matching hand towel with a large french chef
Love song charades: lollipops (get it? Pop stars?)

What do you like to do for Valentine's Day? Go out to dinner? Netflix night?

I tried to figure this out but just couldn't. If anyone knows how to embed a PowerPoint into your blog post let me know and I can share our Newlywed and Battle of the Sexes games!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Cleaning Your Pillows in a Top Loader

Who ever thinks about cleaning your pillows? But let's think about the abuse pillows get. You sleep on them every night. This means spit, sweat, oils from hair and face, and any face products you apply can seep in there. Plus, you fluff, kids battle, and they just get thrown around a lot. They deserve to be fluffed and cleaned every now and then!

This may be TMI about my family's the before: YUCK!
Front loading washing machines are more ideal for this project but I don't have one of those so I just made do. They keep the pillow's shape better. First, I looked at the pillows' tags. They have washing instructions on them!
Then I shoved them, I mean I placed them in my machine standing upright. I think it would've been better to have them horizontal instead of vertical but I guess I can just call this part wayward.  I filled up the washer and then added detergent (I just used regular liquid laundry soap, a mixture of baking soda and vinegar can also be a great detergent). I followed the care instructions on the tags I found (one pillow's tag had been ripped off). The first symbol (left to right) means warm wash. The next means non-chlorine bleach when necessary. The third means tumble dry, normal, low heat. And the last symbol means do not iron (as if you'd iron a pillow). I have a key on my washing machine that tells me what the symbols mean. This can also easily be looked up online.

After the pillows were washed, They were a little misshapen so I beat them. No, really, I beat them over my knee until the insides looked a little more normal. Then into the dryer they went. I also threw in some tennis balls with socks over them for fluffing. The tennis balls help break up the fibers that might be unwilling to separate inside the pillow. This traps moisture and makes the pillow misshapen. I dried them for about 2 hours to make sure there was no left over moisture. Then they were ready for a pillow case.

And here's the after: SO much better!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Simple Watercolor Painting for Beginners

I've been interested in watercolor for a few years. This year I finally got into it and feel comfortable in the very beginning stages. I wanted to make a handmade gifts for my nephew and nieces and thought a watercolor painting of an LDS temple would be something special. This method also worked for paintings I did of a bird, book, and sweater.

Prerequiste: know how to mix watercolor paints and how to apply the paint (basically, dab your brush before each time you touch the paper). 

First step, find color pages of the temple online. It seems like this would be easy, but I had some criteria: it needed to be simple and I wanted to have several temples, including a small temple design. That was the hardest to find. See our LDS Pinterest board for the coloring sheets I used

The next step was to trace the temple on a piece of white paper using a pencil. I used a straight edge (ok a board book) to keep my lines straight, which made it take longer but it made it look better. I traced the temple from my laptop screen, like a lightbox. If you wanted, you could just print out the coloring page and skip this step. 

Next, color all over the back of the tracing with a pencil. I shared this picture on Instagram and some of you guessed what I was doing! The pencil coloring will be used as a transfer method.

Take your watercolor paper and tape it to the back of the tracing (so the coloring is touching the paper) to keep it steady. Trace the picture again. As you trace, the coloring will transfer lightly to the watercolor paper. Make sure both papers are secure so it transfers well. 

After the drawing is transferred, paint it! Yep, you just paint in the lines. With watercolor you want to do several coats, called washes, to increase in depth of color. With temples, I wanted them to be gray but not dark gray so this didn't take long. I did more washes with the bird painting to get vibrant colors. Allow the paper to dry in between washes. 

A brown paper grocery bag is a great backdrop for a first timer. It can also be used as watercolor paper. I use it to dab my brush before each stroke (very important!)

Once you're satisfied with the colors and the painting is dry, trace the pencil in fine-tipped marker or pen. You can't erased what you've painted over, and I think a pen outline gives it a nice, finished look. 

Finally, sign your piece of art! The whole process can be finished in about an hour or two, depending on how many washes you do. It was really fun to make these paintings. After the temples were completed, I grew more confident and made some gift tags and painted a few books to represent Kindle books. They were a lot of fun.

A bird for my brother-in-law

This is a great project for a beginner!

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