Just Lovely

A few things that were lovely for me these past few weeks…

* My 1st grader, proudly completed his book report project before it was due. He was excited to get it done and had fun doing it. I helped with the waves, I couldn’t resist when he said “mom, you are good with scissors”. Don’t you love the photo? What a character!

* Dreaming about an Airstream (yes, we are buying a vintage fixer upper… like we need another project). See my mood board here.  We want to go white, grey and pops of little color. Bunk beds would be great too! We ‘purchased’ a 1968 International 28′. But the sweet gal we bought it from and her son, haven’t been able to get it out of the yard as there are a lot of other vehicles and “stuff” that still needs to be moved out of the way. So we wait (the waiting is killing me). But if that gives you any ideas of the condition it’s in… hasn’t moved in over 15 years, a tree grew around it and broke one window, it’s missing two other windows, we had to crawl through the back window to get  inside to see it (door is broken), lot’s of dents, flat tires and original carpet. Say a prayer for us now, we are going to be in over our heads! What can I say? The old girl just spoke to us, so we bought her! Keeping my fingers crossed. NO pictures but she looks similar to this on the outside (but not in that good of condition).

* I’ve been having some fun playing around with my longer locks lately (so maybe I’ll hold off on chopping it all off this summer), found this blog through Pinterest, her tutorials are awesome. See the one I did today here.

* We are nearing our the end of ski season and my second year of coaching, the boys did great this year. My Loveys. xoxo

* Going to catch some warmer weather for spring break and put the boat in the water for the first time this season, so EXCITING!! Keeping my fingers crossed that we can find some quiet places to hang out while we’re here, working on my tan! Crazy place to be for spring break, especially since I’m almost 40 and I don’t wear a bikini, my boobs sag and our boat is little. But hey! We just wanna have some family fun in the sun (and maybe some people watching while we’re at it, lol)!

* Found this super cute key chain for our new trailer. I’m getting excited for our future camping adventures in the Airstream! I’ve ordered the “trailer trash” one, of course!!

Have a wonderful weekend and week ahead!

All my best,


party success

Life is super busy around here as I’m sure it is in most households during this wild-fun-chaotic-lovely time of year. My post is a little behind and the holidays are my excuse (I need a lot of excuses)!

The sweet 16 and 60th combo party went off without a hitch! Both my niece and mom had a fun time.

The kids felt extra special as they got to be waiters/waitresses for the party. My mom made little aprons for the three kiddo’s and she  purchased waitress guest receipt pads (or whatever those things are called…I’m at a lack of words here). So the three younger kids “waited” on my mom, my niece and her friends. It was extra special as everyone was included. The hubs whipped up amazing food and I assisted where needed (a fill-in-the-blank assistant).

The decorations turned out simply amazing! The cakes were a HUGE hit and at an extra affordable price (shout out here to Albertons for the amazing cakes! Fondant, custom cakes for under $30, WOW!). We added the feathers, and the diamond style band for flare. I was so impressed with the cakes. I had quotes for over $100 for similar cakes… but I wanted to spend some money in other areas, not just on the cakes. Albertsons really saved the day. This is my opinion, no one paid me to say this, just being honest! :)

As a special surprise, I set up a photo booth in the garage. That was a huge hit! I will post more on how I set up the photo booth (in another post)… here are a few pictures from the booth!

And one of the super cute wait staff…

The hubs and I, being especially goofy!

The photo booth was SO MUCH FUN!!! I have an entire post on the photo booth and how to make your own. This was such a big hit that I plan to do it at my son’s 10th birthday this spring. The kids (and adults) loved it!

The kids did such a great job waiting on everyone, it was fun to serve apple cider and fell super fancy at the same time. We roasted marshmallows at the campfire, had an amazing smores/tea/coca bar (thanks to aunt Jeanette). The party was very relaxed and so much fun that I want to do it again!!

I had fun making coca for everyone in the morning. Don’t mind the toe in the photo, that’s just a sweet kiddo sitting on the floor, next to their hot coco!

We finished off the weekend with some sledding! Perfect ending to a perfect weekend.

get wrapped

Into the holiday spirit and having some fun experimenting with wrapping! This year I have decided to take it up a notch, holla!

I was inspired by these Pinteresters and their super creative yet simple wrap jobs. Amazing peeps out there, totally amazing!

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source: readingmytealeaves.com
LOVE how they used newspaper and kraft tape for these gifts! These look great!
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source: thesweetestoccasion.com
Using branches, pine cones and elements of nature really add a special element to these gifts.
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source: burtongirls.burton.com
How cute are those pom poms on top of the branch?! Great idea! And the piece of material wrapped around the center with twine, I love everything about this wrapping job. Well played!
* * *
I actually had a great time wrapping up these gifts (all three of them and a few bagged ones too). It took me a lot longer than normal but HOLY WOW!! They turned out super fabulous!
See what Heidi did:
I love the look of bakers twine so I picked up a spool of red and white bakers twine at Joanns Fabric and used my 20% coupon. See bakers twine here, here and here.
I have a whole bunch of kraft bags (I purchased them here) that I keep on hand for all occasions and easy wrapping of any gift.
I had left over green wrapping paper from my bookshelves that I lined with green wrapping paper (see more on that here).
The red tags I just purchased from here (great deal for 100 tags!).
My favorite purchase was the glitter tape! Awesome stuff. See that here.
I used some scrap burlap, just to see how it looked and I LOVED it! Will definitely be using my left over burlap for more gifts!!
And the branches were from my yard! Free!
I can’t wait to wrap some more gifts! I want to go out and find some pine cone, little tree branches with the pine needles still attached, maybe some more sticks too! Happy December everyone!

party decor + tissue paper

I love to throw a party but more than that, I love to plan and decorate for a party! Unfortunately I haven’t really found the time to party much lately (like in the past three years).  The last big party I threw (2010),  with DIY decorations and all (as in I went all out) was for my son’s 6th birthday. We were leaving San Diego + leaving a lot of our family and good friends so we made a big splash for our final hoorah. My son had a candy themed pool party, and it was totally awesome.

Here are photos from that super fun party:

We really went all out on this one.  I was purchasing bulk candy months ahead of time, it was fun to shop and prep for this theme. This was a really fun party to throw. In addition to candy I made tons of cool stuff: labels, belly bands, banners, lollipop invitations, candy centerpiece and tons of other super cute things.

I put pictures of Collin in plastic frames throughout the decorations, for a personal touch & I matched his invitations + pictures+ decor with coordinating striped paper. There was so much candy I couldn’t give it all away. After the party we had tons of left over treats (and that’s no good for my thighs, seeing as how I’m a major sweet tooth).

Now, on to the present and my reason for this post. ANOTHER PARTY!!! Whoop! Whoop! And this one is going to be fabulous too! My niece (who I totally adore) and my mom (greatest woman on earth) share their birthdays. This year, my niece is turning sweet 16 and my mom will be 60! So fun! My mom is a bit on the down-low about a major celebration and she isn’t into crowds and/or lots of people, but she will party on my nieces behalf. Luckily, I am the party planner for this event, I can keep it low-key + fun. Holla!

To keep everyone happy, it’s a family affair + a few of my nieces girlfriends (of course, can’t turn the b-i-g 16 without a few good friends in attendance).  I am just starting to plan this party, and I don’t have much time but I work well on a tight schedule. The big difference between planning this party and the one I did for Candy-land, I work a 50/hr week job in addition to everything else. Keeping my fingers crossed that I can still pump out something fabulous!.

My first project…. why decorations of course! I love DIY decor and cheap, affordable Dollar Store stuff that I can make fabulous. So here I go.

Tissue paper pom-pom balls (or whatever they’re called). I have seen these all over Pinterest and the web so I thought I’d give it a whirl.


Supplies:  * I used what I had. Luckily I have a ton of tissue paper (great Dollar Store buy, I always stock up on tissue paper).  Scissors, tissue paper (multi-color or all solid) and yarn (or string or wire or whatever you can find that you already have… I have a ton of yarn).

I made a purple, multi-color tissue ball first. I used 8 sheets of tissue paper, in different shades of purple.

Accordion fold the (stacked) tissue paper until you have what looks like a fan. Tie your string/yarn/wire around the middle. Tie it firm but not too tight. Will look like this.

Trim the ends. I did my first few balls with rounded edges. ** My boys ended up helping me make a few of these too, and they wanted to make the ends into points, and so we cut triangular, sharp-looking ends and those turned out super cute too!

Ever-so-gently start to separate your tissue papers. As in, lick-your-finger style. Separate each sheet on each side of the tied center. As you start to pull and separate, the ball magically begins to form. These are so awesome!! And my boys enjoyed helping too. Fun project for the whole family!

For now, we have made 6 tissue balls and I am officially our of tissue paper! We have them hanging from our pendant lights in the kitchen and they look adorable! I made some smaller ones too, I used four full sheets of tissue paper, cut them in half to have 8 smaller sheets and did the same thing to make a smaller scale ball (like the solid blue and purple one you see in the photo).

This is just the beginning of my decorating frenzy!

More to come!



homemade costumes

Last night was Halloween and like every Halloween with the boys, it was awesome. This year the boys took it upon themselves to DIY their costumes (I guess my blood runs deep, lol!). I was super proud of their creations, they did an amazing job.

Unfortunately (kicking myself as I write this), I did not get a chance to get a professional picture of them in their awesome outfits. I kept meaning to break out the big camera and take a picture but before I knew it, Halloween was over and all I had was an iPhone snap shot. I guess that’s better than nothing, but for crying-out-loud, you’d think a professional photographer could get a few pictures of her kids once in a while (apparently not!).

Here they are, all decked out, in their “robot” costumes! {sorry for the poor photo quality).

That is my youngest as the gold robot and my eldest as the black robot.  Cute friend in the middle. My eldest son really wanted to be a black, industrial robot with no bells and whistles…plain jane. He added the “wings” as a last minute way to dress us his costume. I love that he has his own style and didn’t want to conform to the norm (he is who he is).

My youngest really had fun with his costume. he added tin foil for a ‘belt’ and dad bought some battery operated lights for his costume (as per Noah’s request) and a tin foil antenna for his noggin.

Total for these costumes was around $15. They used silver duct tape (we have a ton of it), cardboard boxes that we already had, one can of gold spray paint ($5),  one can of black spray paint ($4) and a strand of battery lights from Wal-mart ($6). Total SCORE for homemade costumes!

All lit up:

On a sort of funny note…. during the night both of my boys costumes were mistaken for other things. My eldest was asked if he was a fire place (gasp, I almost peed my pants it was such a funny comment, but of course I acted like it was the dumbest comment I’d ever heard), and my son simply said, “no, why would I be a fireplace, I’m a robot!”. Great answer son!

My youngest son, the gold robot, was tripping and having a hard time seeing at night so he removed his robot head for the end of our trick-o-treating. At one of the last houses we stopped at the man said he wanted to guess the costumes. When he got to Noah he looked at him for a minute then said “you’re a dishwasher!”. My son laughed and said, “a dishwasher!! ha, ha, that’s funny! I’m a robot without my head”. I have to admit, the dishwasher comment was equally as funny as the fireplace comment and proudly enough, both boys brushed it off and kept on keeping on. Such good sports and what a fun night!

Hope your Halloween was fun too!


playroom progress

We have a fun play room. This room really works hard & gets well used therefore the door ‘usually’ remains closed (if ya’ know what I mean, {wink, wink}).  When we moved in it was a blank canvas, complete with nasty carpet (the stains were free with purchase), sponge painted walls, a wallpaper boarder, and a shakey-breaky-fan, holla! Endless possibilities!

Here she is in all her “before” glory, cira 2010:

Soon after we moved in we installed our beautiful wood floors, which took us just about 6 months to install (and believe it or not, we aren’t even flooring amateurs… but living in a home and redoing the entire ground surface is quit painstakingly difficult, messy and back breaking… hence the 6 month process). So first it was the floors. Then I decided to try my hand at making the awfully-ugly fan somewhat cute. I liked how YHL did this to their fan in their first house. So I tried that idea and added a fabric cover for a pop of color. It turned out cute and cost me $0 (I had left over fabric and an old but stained lamp shade, perfecto!). That polka dot shade cover lead me to my paint colors for the room: green and blue (I color matched a few of the dots in the fabric). Polka dot fan and striped room with red accents.

So here we are after three years. This room has had a lot of use and very little decorating attention. This past weekend I decided to give the space a little love/spruce up. After cleaning it up, tossing and giving a lot away, I had a good foundation. I brought the rug up from the living room (see a picture of it with the new sofa in this post here) as I love this rug but really hated the way it looked with the new sofa. I am liking it in here for now plus it’s very soft which perfect for playing on (not sure how the boys will fare with the floral theme, but for now, no complaints).  A while back like a year ago, over a loud discussion and pulling our hair out, trying to keep the toy clutter organized, we built 3 of these toy storage bins and shelves, then we painted them white, and never looked back…best storage eva! ALthough it’s usually cluttered looking, it’s fairly organized, for reals!

The hazy yellow photos are my bad. I only had time to photograph at night…

working a 10-11 hour day job doesn’t leave me much time for snapping great photo’s of my spaces during the day.

Those bins on each side of the storage unit are “organized legos”. And that big red canvas bucket in the center is also legos (that haven’t been tediously separated into the organized bins…oh.my.break.my.back; color organizing the legos was a looooooooooooooooong project that I don’t feel like finishing any time soon. I’d say 75% of the legos are color coordinated and neatly put into those side bins while the other 25% are still in the big red bin, awaiting their departure.

The boys actually seem to like the color coordinated lego system. So even though it was a pain-in-the-rear, I suppose it was worth it (and they helped me seperate them too, so they had some pride in getting stuff organized too).

And I tried my best to organize the closet (thankfully the doors shut on that closet so it will always look neat!

And some labels too…whoo-whee, big time!

And a nice area to lay around and read/relax…

That red chair is an oldie from PBKids and has seen better days. But I love the red accents in this room so I’ll keep it until we have a better option. The pillows are from the boys old nautical room theme, also red so a perfect fit in the color scheme, win/win!

Here is another repurposed item that we have had for a long time (7 years or so). This table and chair set (originally 4 chairs) was separated all over the house. The table was covered in commercial carpet and used for the Rokenbok set that I loved but the boys rarely used. The chairs were outside for a while, then in dads office and now they are back with the table as a set. The table and chairs all need to be refinished, the chair paint is peeling and the table surface is cracking. For now it serves a purpose as a good work area and it looks cute in the pictures. Sooner than later I will need to spruce it up.

And that’s the playroom in a nut shell…for now!

Eventually we’d like to add a TV (for Wii games and the occasional movie) and maybe a loveseat or some oversized bean bags… we shall wait and see.

One last look:

parrot costume – no sew!!

Lets make a parrot costume! As in a NO-SEW parrot costume that’s totally easy and SUPER cute!

I’ve broken this down into three parts; part one is the body, part two is the feet and part three will be the hat for the beak and eyes!

Here is our final product. It turned out super cute and believe me when I say it was far from perfect… but the imperfection is what made it so adorable and my son loved it! So have fun with this one, it’s worth it!

First you’ll need some basic supplies. I used some things I already had and I purchased a few things.


Step #1.  Seriously, I am so simple that I had my 5 year old son put the long sleeve shirt on, then I cut a few holes in his shirt accordingly and as I dreamed up. Pretty much the elbows and one hole in the back of the shirt and used pipe cleaner to tie it onto the shirt. I figured pipe cleaner was soft and better than using wire, cuter than string, plus I have a ton of pipe cleaner so it was a perfect fit for this costume.

Step #2.  Maybe have your child take the shirt off for this step… I had my son leave his shirt on and he started to get very restless, waiting on me. I applied fabric glue onto some of the feathers and then pressed them directly onto the shirt. It was really that easy, honest!

Step # 3. Repeat step #2 until you have a fair amount of feathers/boa lued onto your t-shirt. No need to glue all over the shirt, just a bit here and a bit there. Have fun.

You basically have one boa on the left side, tied at the elbow and another boa tied to the elbow on the right. Noah was pretty little here and we used ONE BOA on the arms and one boa wrapped around him and glued all over the shirt! I tied the the string at the end of boa and put it on his wrists, like a bracelet and it just hung off his wrists. See the first picture in this post. It gave a great “wing” effect when he held his arm out!


All I did for the feet was cut out a few of the fingers and left a few, I wanted them to be comfy yet a misfit sort-of cute. Totally accomplished! Best parrot feet EVER!

PART THREE – Beak, head feathers and eyes!

Here we are so far, without the head dress.  {silly, cute boy of mine}

Supplies I used for the hat (I had all these items on hand): adjustable baseball cap, more glue, felt and pom pom balls.

STEP #1. I cut out a few “fake” feathers out of felt. I did orange, yellow, green and black because that’s what I had. I drew directly onto the felt with a marker and cut them out , I love felt!!

STEP #2. I glued an entire piece of rectangular 8×11 felt onto the bill of the baseball cap (see the green outline) then I cut it out accordingly (see photo above, cut lines are pink). This was the easiest way I could think to make a beak. And it worked! So put glue on the top of the bill only, press your felt down, centered and hanging over the front, then cut it out around the head of the hat (be sure not to cut your hat) and cut a triangular shape on the front of the hat.

Step #3. Flip the hat over, tuck your sides under and glue them down.

*** Keep gluing until you have a beak shape. Trim if you need.

STEP #4. Randomly glue your felt cut-out feathers (from step #1) onto the front of the hat. No need to be perfect, and be sure to layer. I cut slits into the felt feathers to give some dimension. I also stuck a few feathers from the boa in with the felt feathers. Once I was done I trimmed up the front with a thin strip of the yellow to make it look clean and finished.

STEP #5. Add some eye balls! Two white pom pom balls and two smaller brown pom pom balls. Glued on and done! That was easy!

And the FINAL product (that took me less than 2 hours to make, for reals!

TRICK OR TREAT! Give this Parrot a worm to eat!!

Happy Almost Halloween!!

boys owl bedding

A little update to the boys bedroom (see more about their awesome hanging beds and new bedroom here and here), a refresh on the bedding! FUN!

On a quick trip to IKEA (unfortunately is was a speed-shopping-kinda-day, and since IKEA is a 2 hour drive (one way) for me, I really try to go when I have time to appreciate it and waste a lot of time. However, my most recent trip wasn’t as planned and I was rushed (maybe a good thing… I spent less money!).

While there I picked up some bedding for the boys room. I was totally smitten with this owl-spider web-moon-dark coverlet.

This is my first bedding purchase from Ikea. I’ve been tempted many times, but usually I resist, however this time I was really loving this bedding. Not sure why I liked it so much, it’s sort of different, but the dark navy sky, with stars and owls… so cute (bedding is a dark navy color, picture makes it look like a bright blue). I do have to say, after washing and putting on the boys beds, it is NOT soft nor is it “nice against the skin” as stated in the add. I guess if you’re comparing it to sand paper, then yes, it is soft.

Once the bedding was on (and I also purchased the thin comforter, twin size, from IKEA to go with the coverlets) it looked better than expected! I totally LOVE this bedding! I love that it’s original, it is fun, and it’s not bulky or overwhelming, which is perfect for the hanging beds. Total WIN!

And since I’m sharing the new bedding, I thought I’d snap a few pictures of the boys enjoying their dual purpose beds (aka reading nooks). So far, so good. The hanging beds have been a huge hit with the boys and with their friends. Everyone who sees the boys room loves it and can’t say enough about how cool it looks.

Here are some sweet photo’s of the boys enjoying their reading time before bed (and snug in their new, cute owl bedding)…

And one last shot of the room at dark, with two sweet boys reading in their own, special spots. Sweet Dreams!

Lego Creations

click on photo above to read more about my personal goal in the c+p project

There is something very sweet and so charming about kiddos and their Lego masterpieces. I am always fascinated with the cool creations that my boys come up with, on their own, when making legos without the kits… just going to town with what they have in their big-ass pile of lego-mess! I love what they dream up and I LOVE Legos!

Here is Mr. C, my eldest, with one of his recent creations… a super-dooper-awesome-extra-extra-long-super-hero-vehicle!

And here he is showing off his neat car, proud as can be! It’s great to be a kid and it’s even better to be a mom :)

weekend projects c+p

For more info on this project {c + p} click on the banner with the old school camera, right above…. please note that because I am such a flake, I have not kept up with my weekly goal for this little project, however I still have well intentions (wink, wink).

My sweet baby boy, this past weekend, painting his “gator”.  I love watching my kids and I love capturing them doing something they enjoy.

I used my Canon 5D with the 24-70mm lens. I used the natural light from the window for these photos. 100 ISO, f/stop 5. Cookie not included! :)