My Birthday Surprise

Thursday, July 28, 2011
Craig totally out did himself this year!!! As I type this for you, I am still amazed at what he has done. For my birthday, Craig told me that he wanted to cook a nice dinner for me, but he was going to surprise me with what he was going to make. To accomplish this, he needed me out of the house for a few hours before dinner.

I was more than happy to comply and I was so excited to see what he was going to make. When I was finally allowed back home, Craig greeted me at the door and I was surprised to see him still in his nice work clothes (slacks and a button down shirt). As he was walking me through the living room, I could see a beautiful table set up on our back deck. It was adorned with white linen, our china from our wedding (used maybe a total of five six), and a gorgeous bouquet of flowers.

Coming through the kitchen, I was introduced to our personal chef: Chris. He was one of Craig's childhood friends, but the man knew his way around the kitchen. Craig, later, told me that he was a chef at The Gateway to India, Anthony's, and The Spar. Chris had arranged to create for us a 5-course meal. I was in heaven!!!

As we walked to the back and sat at the table, it was clear to see that Craig really thought out every little detail...from the music playing in the background, to the vase holding my bouquet of flowers (it was practically a matching set to the one that he had used at my proposal).

~My 5 Course Meal~

Asparagus with balsamic vinegar and Parmesan Cheese

Berry Salad (Raspberry, Blackberry, Blueberry) with a strawberry puree dressing

Chicken with an orange glaze and garlic mashed potatos

Peach and Strawberry Sorbet

My Cupcake for dessert...I devoured it before remembering to take a picture...OOPS!!


My final surprise from Craig was...

a sweet "Bachelorette" type date. He is whisking me away on a boat plane from Seattle to Orcas Island...where we will be staying at the Rosario Resort!!! How cool is that!! I cannot wait! 



OH MY GOODNESS!! Emily's party is just a blur to me! Note to not have a party during the week because you are all by yourself to set up, cook, frost, and at the same time...make sure that the birthday girl has a great day!!! I have already posted the tutorials on the crafts that I made for the party, so I will just post pictures from the party. If you have any questions about how I did something, or where I purchased things from, leave me a post.


Click on this photo to get a closer picture of what it says. I basically took her invitation and changed some of the wording to give guests directions to take a tie, or bow, and head on to the back for the party. 

 I used the Cricut to make a HAPPY BIRTHDAY sign that matched her invitations. Sorry, you can't see it really well.

I used about ten yards of tulle to make the table skirt, then I pinned a sequined ribbon to hide all of the pins from the tulling. I purchased the tulle tent from Target. I figured I would reuse it for Emily's big girl room. 

The cook always has to taste what they cook before the guests arrive...and I have to say...they were DELICIOUS!!!

After everyone enjoyed their burgers, I cleared off the table to make room for the birthday cupcakes. The special cupcake stand is actually a candelabra that I have had for years. I don't remember exactly where I got it from. I want to say it was at a Christmas exhibit one year. 

Emily's Friends


 She wanted to see the pictures that I was taking of her. When she saw this photo she said, "Mess!!" LOL

Gift From Mom and Dad

 I am so happy with how much she loves her gift!! Unfortunately it has become a huge struggle to get her to clean up and get ready for nap time or bedtime. We placed this in the dining room so she can see us while we cook in the kitchen and she can cook in her kitchen at the same time. 

I can't believe that I have a two year old now!! I remember, as if it were just yesterday, bringing her home from the hospital! I look at pictures of her now and I just can't believe where the time has gone.

DIY Headbands

Tuesday, July 26, 2011
I have come to cherish Emily's nap times!!! My daily routine has consisted of making sure to do my chores in the morning, then spending "play" time with Emily, and finally, when she goes down for a's MY time!!! For some reason I have had this craving to make hair accessories lately, either for me or for Emily...or even for friends as gifts.  I have been looking at a bunch of different blog tutorials and I found a handful that I wanted to make. To get started, I had all of the tutorials open in different tabs on my laptop and I made a list of all of the materials that I needed to get...and then it was off to the store.

Saturday, during Emily's nap time, I was able to bust out a couple different accessories. I already can't wait to make more, but this week is going to be super busy for me, so hopefully I can find a day or two this week to make more.

This was my first headband. You can find the tutorial HERE from Little Miss Mama. It is SUPER easy, and CRAZY cute. It's one of those things where you say, "Why didn't I think about that??"

Here is the one I made. It actually rook two tries to make this. As easy as this should have been, I didn't take into consideration that the headband needs to stretch when you place it on your when I finished my "first" headband, I went to the mirror and attempted to place the headband on my head...and then...BING!!! POW!!! Just like that hilarious commercial where the buttons fly off of the pants of people eating fast food, a couple of my buttons that were on the very top of the headband flew off with such power. It was pretty funny!! For the fix, I just popped the rest of the buttons off and started all over. For my second attempt I ended up finding a box that I could stretch the headband across so that when I glued the buttons on they would be in the perfect position...and IT WORKED!!! I love this headband!

The second hair accessory I made turned out a lot better than I thought it would...only because I didn't trust that I had the patience or enough talent. The tutorial that I used can be found HERE from Snips & Spice

This one took a little bit of patience, on my part, only because I am such a perfectionist and a cheap wad...I was so afraid of messing up and not being able to reuse the zipper. The tutorial I used was really good because it had a ton of pictures for each step of the process. It took a little while getting used to making the corners of the triangle, but I got the hang of it. The length of the zipper I used for this was only 17 inches long. I ended up hot gluing a small piece of the leftover zipper fabric on the back to make a little tunnel-like thing that I could attach my bobby pin, or a clip, to to put it in my hair.

I have A LOT more tutorials that I will be working on the next few weeks, and I will continue to share with you how they turn out. The headband that I'm in the middle of working on now can be found HERE at Joy Is At Home. The only reason I'm not finished with it is because Emily woke up from her nap :)

I should find some time by the end of the week! Can't wait to show you!

Birthday Ties For The Gentlemen Guests!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Yes...if I'm going to make something for all of the girls to wear at the party, I certainly don't want the boys to feel left out. I had two ideas: Ties or Crowns. Craig immediately vetoed the crown idea (even though I still like it and I think it fits the tu-tu theme really well). Craig liked the formality of the ties for the tu-tu party a lot ties it is!!

  • Fabric
  • Fusing Material
  • Felt (by the yard)
  • Iron
  • Tie Pattern
  • Pen
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Hair Clips (Sally's Beauty Supply) 

This is super basic, and easy to make. I let Craig pick out the fabric for the ties, and then we purchased matching felt to fuse to the back of the fabric so that it helped to keep the tie flat and stiff.

After fusing the fabrics together, I placed the pattern piece on top and traced as many ties as I could.

Then, go ahead and cut out the ties

Now for the back of the tie. I didn't want to glue my hair clips directly to the tie because I thought it would kind of be a waste. I can recognize that no one is going to really keep these ties and reuse them the following Sunday at church. So, to save my clips I decided to cut small strips of felt approximately 1 inch long by 1/2 and inch wide. Then I placed a dot of hot glue on both ends of the strip and placed it on the back of the tie near the top. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of this, but you can hopefully visualize from the picture below. The idea of the strip of felt is that I can put one part of the hair clip behind the strip.

Here is the final product. So, when the gentlemen arrive, they just pop on the tie and are ready for the tu-tu party...all dressed up!!!

Tulle Flower Tutorial

Thursday, July 21, 2011

As you know, Emily's 2nd Birthday has a TU-TU theme, so I am trying to do as much decorating as I possibly can with tulle. For her 1st birthday, it was so much fun having the guests be involved in the theme by wearing antennae I wanted to come up with a way to involve the guests for our upcoming tu-tu party.

Without embarrassing everyone and having them all wear tu-tu's, I thought I could make some sort of a hair accessory for the girls...and then Craig and I thought it would be fun to have the guys wear a fun exaggerated tie.

I found a video on how to make these flowers here: Tulle Flower Video

The video does a great job of showing you how to make these. I'll show you my step by step pictures and show you just how easy it really is:

  • Tulle
  • Scissors
  • Embellished Brads
  • Tea Light Candle
  • Glass
  • Tweezers
  1.  Cut your tulle into circles the size of your choice. I just grabbed a cup from my cupboard and used it as a template. I didn't want them to be too big because little girls would be wearing them...but not that I think of it, it would have been SUPER cute to have over-sized hair accessories. Don't forget, the size of the flower will be much smaller than the circle you make
2.   Take one circle, at a time, and pinch it in the center.
3.   I piled about four circles together and held the centers with my tweezers.
4.   Place the tulle circles over the flame...NOT IN THE FLAME!!! The heat inside the votive holder is enough to melt the edges of the tulle circles. Continually rotate/move your tulle circles around so that you get an all-over melting effect.
5.   Take the pinched circles and open them up.
6.  Place the circles, from smallest to largest, onto your brad. I placed six circles on each flower. I wouldn't do any less than that because it didn't seem to have enough presence.

7.   Close the brad to lock the tulle in place.

8. I used hot glue to connect the flower to the hair clip. I just placed a strip of the hot glue on the metal of the brad. Then, before I placed the hair clip in the glue, I pinched the clip to open it up because I didn't want it to be glued closed. A lot of times, people use felt on the back of hair accessories to attach them to clips or headbands, but I thought that a felt back would look to heavy on the flower. The hot glue worked really well.

And there you have it!!! Easy, fun, and totally cute!!!
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