Home Economics: DIY mummy candle holders

imageHere’s another quick and easy DIY Halloween craft that you can use as a gift or to decorate your own home…. mummy candle holders! This project is so simple and requires only a few supplies. You will need rolls of gauze (I found mine in the band aide aisle at WalMart), some googly eyes (I bought a multi pack of different sizes at Michael’s), glue, and empty jars.

There is no right or wrong way to make these mummy’s. I thought it would be fun to put large eyes on the small jars and big eyes on the smaller jars. After I glued on the eyes. I used a dab of glue in the back to secure the gauze and started wrapping the jar until I was happy with the look. To finish off the wrapping, I tucked the gauze in the back and secured it with another dot of glue. Done!

I gave mine as gifts with a black tea light candle inside.

Homework: What is your favorite Halloween decoration?

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Home Economics: Monogrammed mini pumpkins

imageI needed a few fall gifts to hand out at work and I came up with a fun idea! I had these pearl and rhinestone initial stickers left over from another project and thought they would look adorable as monograms on mini pumpkins. These pumpkins were .69 cents each at Trader Joe’s and the stickers were less than $5 a package at Michael’s. I cleaned the pumpkins with soap and water and completely dried them before applying the stickers. So easy! These will look great on the desks in the front office.

You could easily modify this idea by using larger pumpkins and stickers. Spelling out words like “boo” or “thanks” would look fabulous on a mantel. Metallic Sharpie pens would also work well to accent the stickers. The possibilities are endless!

Homework: How would you decorate these mini pumpkins?

Special Assembly: A party without a favor is just a meeting, Part 2!

imageThis past weekend I attended a reunion for my sorority. I’ve shared before that in my family, it’s not a party without a party favor. About forty girls were attending this reunion, so I racked my brain trying to figure out something fun and meaningful to bring for everyone. At first I thought Scrunchies, but knew no one would wear them. Then it came to me! Back in the 80’s when we would attend fraternity parties, we would buy plastic tumblers and decorate them with paint pens. We would put our name, date, and the party theme on the tumblers.
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Tumblers and paint pens were the perfect party favor! I found the tumblers at Walmart. A four pack was only $1 and I bought a six- pack of paint pens at Michael’s for $5.99. So for less than $20, everyone got to make a tumbler for the weekend. We asked all the girls to write their name and their pledge year on their cups. The cups then also served as informal name tags, since we spanned about five years of pledge classes. Some girls even had everyone sign their cups, like a mini yearbook.

It was so much fun watching the girls decorate their tumblers. It’s amazing how quickly the sorority girl “dot writing” came back to everyone! I’m so glad they were a hit!
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They also looked cute in pictures!

Homework: What is the best party favor you ever reviewed?

Home Economics: DIY art work

imageRecently, I was shopping in a Kate Spade store and I was inspired by the photo gallery that was decorating the main wall of the store.  I needed a gift for my friend Stephanie’s birthday, and I knew she would enjoy a mini photo gallery, a la Kate Spade style. I needed to work on a budget, so I turned to my Pinterest boards for inspiration. I have a board called Words to Live By and after viewing all my choices, I saved several of my favorite images to my camera roll. I sent these images to a photoshop to be developed in different sizes, so I could pick the ones I liked and have more options for framing. I had so many good choices, that I ended up bringing the entire collection of images to Stephanie’s birthday party and let her pick her four favorites. I then went to Michael’s and selected some fun frames, these ones were $21 each, but on a “buy one, get one free” sale. I debated about the photo mats, and settled on black, to make the images pop. They were quick and easy to put together and I think they turned out great. I’m pretty proud of this project. I ended up spending about $55 on the project. You could cut down the cost by buying plain frames and painting them yourself, or cutting your own photo mats. Or you could also search thrift stores or garage sales and recycle the frames you find. I didn’t have time for that, this time. I am going to make a similar set for myself soon!
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This is the gallery wall that was my inspiration.

Homework: Which one of your favorite quotes would you want to frame?

Physical Education: Weight Loss Jars

imageOn New Year’s Eve, my friend, Stephanie, and I decided to stay in, drink champagne, and focus on setting intentions for the new year! We made vision boards by cutting out pictures from magazines and Mod Podging them to art canvases that I bought at Hobby Lobby.  I made a style vision board and a fitness motivation board that I have hanging in my office. We also made weight loss jars to help us meet our goals. The jars and marbles were purchased at Michael’s and I found the chalkboard labels in the dollar section at Target. I put 30 marbles in my “pounds to lose” back on January 1. As of today, I have moved 20 marbles to the “pounds destroyed” jar. There is something very satisfying about moving marbles each week after I weigh in. I’m a very visual person, so having these jars on my book case are a constant reminder of my goal. The last 10 pounds will be difficult to lose, but these jars will help me along the way.

Homework: How do you motivate yourself when you have a few pounds to lose?

Special Assembly: Nance Bear’s Birthday or a party without a favor is just a meeting!

imageMy mom is one and a million and I wanted her to have a special birthday! She has had a rough time over the past year and a half. My dad has been ill and my mom has taken over as his caretaker. She doesn’t like a lot of attention, and gifts don’t really matter to her. Her love language is gifts of time and service. When I asked her what she wanted for her birthday, she said she wanted a lint roller! I knew I could do better than a lint roller, so I planned a few fun things to celebrate her birthday weekend. Since my mom’s actual birthday was on Saturday, we started by going to church as a family. Our Lady of Fatima is a beautiful church and it means a lot to my parents when we attend the Saturday evening mass together. After mass, we took my dad home and got him set up on his feeding machine, and then we went out to dinner at Nick’s in downtown San Clemente. We had a great dinner and enjoyed our time together. When we got home, my mom, dad, and I played on our IPads and watched tv together.

To church and dinner, I wore my favorite Gap white boyfriend jeans, a denim shirt, also from Gap, with an orange sweater from Banana Republic.  I added my Franco Sarto leopard ballet flats and my usual bling to top off the outfit.

Part two of the birthday celebration was a birthday luncheon with our favorite friends. We are lucky to have a wonderful circle of friends who have been supportive throughout the past year and a half. In our family, we feel that a party without a party favor is just a meeting. I wanted extra special party favors for this lunch. I needed a theme! My mom loves teddy bears and taking baths, so I combined the two. I went to Lush at Fashion Island and found adorable carrot shaped bubble bars. I also added a small lint roller to the bag, because everyone needs one in their car or suitcase. I am a tiny bit famous for making cute themed cupcakes, so I searched Pinterest and found teddy bear in a bubble bath cupcakes that I modified. I made red velvet cupcakes and topped them with cream cheese frosting. I then piled on mini marshmallows and floated some teddy graham cookies in the bubbles. I have discovered when you make super cute cupcakes, no one wants to eat them on the spot, they want to take them home and show them off. So now I package my cupcakes to go using plastic cups and plastic bags. Sometimes I make mini cupcakes to eat at the party, but I didn’t have time to that for this party. imageThe cupcakes turned out so cute!

I put the party favor bags together by adding the Lush carrot, the lint roller, a cute package of Kleenex with mom sayings (like, “Moms are like dads, only smarter!”), and the cupcake. I added a monogrammed tag to each bag and I was done. I found the rhinestone initial stickers at Michael’s and used scrapbook paper to make the tags. The cupcake ribbon was purchased at Shinodah and was the perfect touch to finish off the gift bags. Since the bags were personalized, they served as place cards as well. image We had a lovely lunch and my mom thoroughly enjoyed herself! Mission accomplished! imageI wore my white Gap boyfriend jeans to the lunch (again!) with a C. Wonder t-shirt and my gold Tory Burch ballet flats. I always giggle when I wear C. Wonder and Tory Burch together. I refuse to choose sides in the Burch divorce situation.

Homework: What is the best party favor you have received?