Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Pokemon and The Easter Bunny

I love kids. I think I was born to be a mom. If this body would've allowed, I would've had a huge brood. I grew up in a big family and I thrive in the chaos, the mess, the noise and the laughter. The greatest moments of my life have always involved children...my nieces and nephews, my preschool, kindergarten and first grade students and, of course, the loves of my life, my own babies.

My sisters are older than I am, their first kids were born when I was in middle school. I witnessed firsthand how quickly this ride goes, so when my kids were born, I decided to throw myself all in, and holidays are a perfect example. I knew that the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus days would be over in the blink of a few short years, so I always went a little over the top. I always made sure that the most special item on the list was under the tree, but I also tried to find ways to raise the bar and get something totally unexpected. The kids were always thrilled and that was present enough for me.

Of course, as the kids got older, so did their expectations, not in a monetary way, but they asked for crazy things and were sure that their wishes would be granted. I mean, they always had been before, no reason to believe things would stop now!

I still remember the day my 5 year old said she was putting clothes for her Nala (from The Lion King) stuffed animal on her list. She wanted a bathing suit, an evening gown, pajamas. Oh boy. I hunted high and low for something, anything, that would fit Nala and her huge paws, but no luck. I spent hours fashioning those clothes, and I am not an accomplished seamstress, because of course Santa could make it, "right mama?"

I know, I know, self inflicted! I think my funniest holiday crazy was on Easter. My daughter had fallen in love with these Pokémon figures that the pizza shop near us sold for a quarter each. They had a gumball machine full of them. Every time we went in for pizza, my daughter would run to the machine and get one. She was so tiny, her little preschool fingers could barely turn the crank.

So on the night before Easter, my husband and I are cracking open plastic eggs, ready to fill them with candy and I get this fabulous idea. Wouldn't it be really cool to fill the eggs with little Pokémon!?! My daughter would lose her mind! She would be blown away, how would the Easter Bunny even know about the Pokémon?

My husband thought I was nuts, but he knew way better than to fight me. Don't mess with the Sicilian girl on a mission. I gathered my quarters and went to the pizza place and slid in a few minutes before closing.

Ok, so I have mentioned before that I live in a very small town ~ blessing and curse. On that night, the place was filled with guys I went to high school with, none of whom had children, all of whom thought I was completely insane. I sat on the floor, put a quarter in the machine, turned the crank and claimed my prize....like a million times...with a disgruntled audience that wanted to close up shop and hit the bar next door.

The jokes flew, my hands cramped, I kept praying that I didn't get doubles and just as I lifted the little door for the last time, the owner, a friend of my brother's, jingled a set of keys and told me, " You know I have the key to that box, I could've just opened it up and you could've picked them out."

Thanks. Helpful information now.

By the time I got home, my husband was out cold, snoring on the couch. I opened and stuffed all those eggs by myself. I hid every last one on my own and loved every minute of it. I was so giddy, I barely slept.

The next morning when the kids found the eggs, they were excited, but when my daughter opened them and saw the Pokémon, she was over the moon, ecstatic....and so was I.

Those guys don't really tease me about it anymore, most of them have kids now, so they get it ~ but don't worry about them, I've lost a tooth and my underwear in this town...trust me, they still have plenty of material! Happy Easter!
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A Stroll Thru LifeElizabeth and Co.Savvy Southern Style mommy is coocoo
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Thursday, April 10, 2014

DIY Wedding Shadowbox

Today I am over at Parade Magazine again. I am sharing my DIY Wedding Shadowbox. I made it for my niece after her wedding. It is a really simple way to preserve special memories. Isn't she just the prettiest bride?

I made my on my own and you can see the full tutorial at Parade, but if you are not feeling crafty or you are looking for a gorgeous custom made piece, you must check out Little French Hen Custom Keepsakes. I just adore her sweet designs.

I don't usually do a lot of paper crafting, but this project was so much fun and has piqued my interest. I may have to start looking into more options....like scrapbooking or maybe card making! I do love the written word ~ big surprise!

How about you? Do you craft with paper?

 I'm Sharing At These Pretty Parties:

A Stroll Thru LifeElizabeth and Co.Savvy Southern Style mommy is coocoo
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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tulle Easter Carrot Garland

*I am now a Designer for the Bowdabra Blog. They provided me with some of the materials that I used to make this pretty project. All opinions are my own.*

So last year when I began writing, I never thought that this little blog would lead to anything other than perhaps a bit of enlightenment. I was looking for a creative outlet and it seems that now, due to the blog, I have several. I know that I mentioned my new affiliations, but in case you were curious, here's how it all transpired.

It started with a few articles for Parade Magazine, one of which was seen by the people at Bowdabra. They liked my spring rain boot and asked if I would like to be a designer for their blog. Now honestly, I never intended to get involved with a brand, but I cannot make a decent bow to save my life, so this sounded like a pretty good gig for me! I mean, usually my bows are either very simple (think tying your shoes) or filled with staples!!  I do use bows frequently in my decorating, so it seemed like an organic partnership and one I felt very good about, very authentic about...after a lot of thought, I accepted and I have to say, I have very pretty bows now!

The first project I featured at their blog was my Easter Carrot Garland. It was made from a yard of tulle and yarn. The tulle cost me $1.49, it was from the remnant basket, and the yarn was $3.00.  I had yarn scraps at home, but when I saw this variegated one, I just had to splurge! It was a very easy project, just my style! I simply cut the tulle in circles, made a carrot shape by wrapping thread around fabric on a diagonal, from bottom to top and knotted it closed. I stitched a few pieces of yarn to the top and then attached it to a yarn and ribbon garland. I used the Bowdabra to make the bows.

If you have not seen the full tutorial, it is posted at the Bowdabra Blog. They did such a nice job, it seemed silly to repost it here.

My second project, a dollar store gardening Easter tin, is there too, if you are looking for a simple grown up basket. My sister already swiped mine!

I don't usually decorate big for Easter, so I thought that the garland was the perfect little light touch to add a bit of color and some seasonal flair to my home! I'm actually really thrilled with the way it turned out ~ whimsical and fun!

What do you think? Do you decorate for Easter? Do you work with brands? I'm all ears (get it ~ it's a bunny pun!) I would love to know!

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A Stroll Thru LifeElizabeth and Co.Savvy Southern Style mommy is coocoo
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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Pretty in Purple ~ Teen Bedroom


I think that everyone has a favorite color that they gravitate to when it comes to home décor. Obviously, mine is red. I like the drama of its deep, rich, vibrant tone as it contrasts with white, in my kitchen, in my living room and in my bathroom. However, this is a relatively new phenomenon, in my past homes, pastels reigned. I loved aqua, green and purple.  Once we moved here, the house seemed to call for a different look, red reigned supreme and the pastels of the past were just that...

...until the kids became old enough to voice their own decorating opinions. My how quickly those pastels returned. Like any good controlling mom with decorating OCD, I fought it at first, but the bottom line is, I want my children to be comfortable in their own spaces and they do look really nice. Those kids actually have good taste!

I have already featured some aspects of this room before, for example the super simple ribbon valances I made...

...and my daughter's own crafty desk do over.


Girls like mirrors!

Here's what you have not seen.  This winter, I used my leftover valance fabric and made panels for the windows. I didn't even sew them.  They are wrapped around the second rod and pinned. We are a fickle family and I know that come May they will be coming down!

I found this fun initial letter on the check out line at some home décor store, although for the life of me I cannot remember which one ~ ah middle age!  It was so easy to apply and it will come off with a hair dryer. I just love the elegance it adds to the room and it ties in well with her other black accessories. Black is very sophisticated mom, in case you didn't know.

We liked the look of it so much, we decided to use another one, in a phrase that is meaningful to her, over her desk/ vanity.  I am not good at lettering and I do not own one of those fancy lettering machines, so this was a super easy way to get a custom look. It was also very inexpensive and honestly, all we did was peel and stick.

Her beautiful bed is the focal point and rightfully so; she loves that paisley bedding.

I have to say that overall, I am very happy with the way this room turned out. When it is clean, I am actually thrilled with the result! Of course, it has been like this for quite a while now, so I would say that change is imminent!

Don't tell my daughter, but I'm kind of leaning toward red...

What's your go to decorating color?

I'm Sharing At These Pretty Parties:

A Stroll Thru LifeElizabeth and Co.Savvy Southern Style mommy is coocoo
Put A Bird On It ThePinJunkie Treasure Hunt ThursdayI party with RemodelaholicPhotobucketLife on Lakeshore DriveToo Much Time On My Hands
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