After the Party

Well, the party is over.  The actual birthday is over.  My house is a disaster.  My craft room looks like a tornado hit it.  Any sane person would take a few days and clean everything up and relax a little after all the meticulous crafting and planning and worrying over every little detail.

I am not a sane person.

I am a person that is blatantly ignoring the filth around her and already obsessing over NEXT year’s birthday party.  Yes, I already have a plan and have been pinning like a fiend.  If only I could use my obsessive personality for productive things like cleaning or cooking or yardwork or business ventures.  Le sigh.  20190326_124325Today my focus has been on Easter.  When I get an idea in my mind, if I can’t get to it right away, it just festers and pops up at really annoying times, like when I wake up at 2am to help Harlow go potty and can’t get back to sleep.  So, today I finally got one of those ideas out of my brain so I can rest!  Harlow will never deign to wear a t-shirt (the horror!) so I have no idea what to do with this, but I had to make it.  I love how it turned out!  I even made a sweet, simple little mug on a whim.  So cute.

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Next up is taking down our St. Patrick’s day decorations and replacing them with ALL THE EASTER!!!  Eggcellent!  Sorry.

Have a great Tuesday!

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And then she was six…

 

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Harlow is six today.  I’m still working through all the emotions I feel about this.  Great joy at what an awesome, fun, hilarious, smart, beautiful girl she’s growing into.  Sorrow at how fast she’s gone from being two lines on a test to ALREADY being six year old.  Grateful because she’s healthy and whole and safe and happy.  Before I get too emotional (too late, I know) let me just celebrate her.  This past weekend we had her mermaid party and it was fintastic!  I’m sorry.  You should probably stop reading now.  Anyhoosies.

Everything went swimmingly.  I’ll stop!  I promise(ish).

The only thing I regret is that I didn’t want to bother with my “big camera” so all my photos are blurry phone photos.  Ugh.  Every year I use my big camera and it is SUCH A PAIN when I’m trying to navigate the party and take photos, but I now see it is a necessity.  C’est la vie.

It was a large crowd of fun, well behaved kids who all seemed to have a wonderful time.  Harlow had a wonderful time.  Honestly, what else could I ask for?  The decorations turned out beautifully, which is always a crapshoot because you never know how pieces and parts you craft or plan in your mind will look once it is time to put it together at the venue.  It was great.

I was very, very pleased with how the cupcake-cake turned out.  The bakery we always use didn’t have a lot of options for “mermaid” so I sort of hodge-podged some ideas together with them.  They agreed to do the two tones of cupcakes, and I plotted the decorations using “mermaid sprinkles” and making some fondant shells and mermaid tails.  I had never used fondant before, so it was definitely an exercise in patience.

I had no plan B so I’m really glad it turned out.  Check out the inspiration vs the final product below.

The gift bags turned out great, too!  It was so much fun to put together these little treats for her friends.  At the last minute, I made little shark decals and added them to a pair of blue sunglasses to substitute the two hair ties in the gift bags of the two boys in attendance, but didn’t remember to take a photo before they were all packaged up.  They all got the bracelets, though.  I figured they were unisex enough.  Plus, they were super-tedious to make, so I was sharing them!

All of the rest of the photos have the other children in them, and I try really hard to remember not to post photos of other kids.  But here are a few final images of Harlow and the fun pre-birthday stuff she’s been up to lately.  She had star-day at school, started her “big girl” gymnastic class, and got a hair trim.  Basically, just an excuse to show off my cute kid.

Today she brought donuts and fruit to school for her birthday treat, and we’ll be picking her up at lunchtime to go to Build-A-Bear, which is her only birthday request.  I’m so blessed to be the mom of such a wonderfully amazing girl.

Oh!  And not only did I make a Mermom T-shirt for the party, I couldn’t resist making a Mermom tumbler as well.  I need a 12 step program for themed-crafting.

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Have a fairy-super day!

 

 

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It’s Getting Fishy Around Here

I’m covered in glittering scales and surrounded by mermaid tails and octopi!  Yes, folks, I’m elbow-deep in crafting ALL-THE-THINGS for Harlow’s birthday party next weekend!

Here is the Pinterest link to all of my inspirations.

What I am actually attempting are the banner, the large number, and the octopus suckers.  I’m also making starfish bracelets and mermaid hair ties, and I found some awesome glitter slime and added some scale love. I think the bracelet, slime, mermaid hair ties/bracelets, and an octopus sucker will be sufficient for a goody bag, right?

 

I’m getting really excited for the party, and I can’t wait to show you the finished products!

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Turning 40 (feel free to skip this part) & Cauliflower Potato Crock Pot Soup

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My 30th Birthday, 2009

At 12:05am tomorrow morning (tonight?) I turn forty years old. 

I’ve been whining a lot about turning 40 to the people around me. Mostly, I’m joking. I’m so grateful to have another year, and will take as many as God will give me. The only complaint, though, is how FAST 40 arrived! As I’ve mentioned before, my grandmother used to say “The days are long, but the years are short.” and holy cannoli, is that ever the truth! It seems to be more so every passing year.

I’ve been overcome with the feeling that 40 is the start of something for me. The first act of a new play. A lot has changed for me in the last year. Harlow started school, I stopped working… okay, that’s really only two things, but they are pretty decent-sized things! I’ve been realizing how much I’ve been neglecting myself. Here are some things I want to try to work back into my life.

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A very Pinterest-Worthy shot of my Vision Board, such as it is…

  • Yoga (Someday I will be a certified instructor! Even if I’m 80 when it happens!)
  • Self care – I let things go for myself way too long. Case in point – I haven’t had a hair trim in over a year. I put things off when it comes to my own health and upkeep. That has to change.
  • Exercise in general. Would you believe that I used to get up at 5am to go to the gym EVERY DAY before work? And sometimes pop in a second session after work, too? Yeah… me either. Those days are like a distant fog of WTF was I thinking? HOWEVER now that I’m not working anymore, you would think I would be working out again, right? Wrong. See bullet point #2.
  • Crafting and photography. These things make me really happy. I need to do more of them.
  • Nutrition – Ya’ll, this is a hard one. I hate cooking. So much. So everything I make is the easiest of the easy, and that is generally high carb, high fat foods (but so yummy). This one may have to wait until I’m turning 50…

Which brings me to the real “meat” of the post. Or, non-meat… or something.

Anyway. Last night I had a head of cauliflower that was two steps from being past it’s prime, a whole bag of potatoes that I didn’t really know what to do with, and a craving for soup. Enter in, Cauliflower Potato Crock Pot Soup!  Forgive the shoddy photos again, as I wasn’t setting out to share this recipe, but it was pretty delicious and so, so easy, so I just had to!  Plus vegetables and stuff.  So… healthy-ish.

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Ingredients:

  • 4 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 32 oz vegetable broth, (plus around 10 oz I had leftover in the fridge)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • A hearty smattering of “chicken seasoning” (rosemary, salt, pepper, etc)
  • 1 cup of diced onion and celery
  • 1 can of evaporated milk
  • Flour if needed

To Make:

Throw all but the last two ingredients into the crock pot for 8 hours on low, or 4 hours on high.

After time is up, plunge your immersion blender in there until no lumps are left, then stir in the can of evaporated milk and serve.  If it is too runny for you, you can add flour to thicken it up. I added a few tablespoons of flour at the end because I like my soups very thick.

I topped it with a little cheese and sour cream, and served it with a salad and warm crusty bread.  So much yum!20190304_193125

Have a wonderful day, and wish me luck on my SUPER HUGE transition into middle age tomorrow!  

 

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St. Patrick’s Day Sign

Happiest of Fridays to ya! (Said, obviously, in a leprechaun voice.)

Today I banged out a little project that I’ve been trying to come up with for quite a while. Remember back when I completed the snowman side of my 2-sided porch decoration? I had always thought I would make the other side a Santa, but the more I thought about it, the more “eh” I was about it. I’m not a huge fan of Santa, and the snowman could absolutely be up Christmas through as much of winter as I wanted him to be. I just couldn’t bring myself to complete the Santa. Then a couple of days ago, it came to me. Leprechaun! My husband’s birthday is on St. Patrick’s Day, and I’ve never really decorated for it, so this year I would! Or at least start to!

I really knocked this out quickly, and it most definitely isn’t perfect (for one, I just used craft paint I had on hand, so the coverage is a bit on the iffy side), but it works fine for me! I tend to like things more “rustic” anyway!

I also bought a few “starter” decorations for St. Patty’s Day. Like everything, I figure I can add to them as the years go by.

I love my mantle!

A friend recently asked me if I have a business, if I sell my crafts. I don’t currently, and it isn’t something I’d ever want to do full time, but if anyone has something they want me to make for them, email me, or leave a comment, and I’d be happy to work with you on a project! I have a lot of fun making things, and it would be awesome to know some of my crafts were out there in the world, making someone else happy!

Have a great weekend!

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Mermaid Themed Birthday

With Harlow’s birthday coming up in less than a month, I’ve turned my attention to birthday party ideas. Harlow has always been very decisive about what theme she wants for her birthday party. Seriously, she’s been picking the theme since her second birthday. (Jake and the Neverland Pirates, if you were curious.)

This year, the theme is “generic mermaid”. We are going the easy route again this year, having the party at our local gymnastics center. Not having to clean my house twice (once before guests, once cleaning up after guests) is SO worth the less personal environment for me!

So far we only have the piñata picked out:

Party City

However, while I have not yet started on presents, cupcake ideas, decorations of any kind, or what Harlow will wear, I did the very important task of making myself a shirt to wear. Priorities, you know? Besides, this day is for me, too, right? I did all the work!

I’m pretty excited to wear it, actually. Although I can’t wear it with leggings which does pose a problem because I pretty much detest anything with a waistband these days. Ah, well. That’s a problem for another day.

Have a great Tuesday!

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Delicious Dump-n-Go Crock Pot Vegan Chili

I haven’t been shy about my disdain for 2019 so far, but while January was pretty terrible, February has been… not much better. I’ve been sick for almost two weeks now, and all last week, Harlow was home with me due to school closings because of the whole Polar Vortex thing. It was rough. It would have been fine, if not a little cabin-feverish, had I not been so sick, but even resting was completely impossible, let alone taking a nap.

The last thing I wanted to do was think about dinner, which is why this recipe is one of my favorites. Vegan Crock Pot Chili.

Forgive the shoddy photos… I was dying.

This recipe could not be easier, because I literally cheat on everything. I buy precooked quinoa, precut veggies, and every other shortcut I can think of. The absolute most tedious thing about this is opening the cans and rinsing the beans.

Recipe:

  • 2 cans black beans (15oz)
  • 1 can red kidney beans (15oz)
  • 3 cans diced tomatoes (15oz)
  • 1 small can tomato sauce
  • 1-2 containers pre-cooked quinoa in a cup
  • 1 small container chopped peppers
  • 1/2 small container onion
  • 1 can summer corn (no liquid)
  • chili powder to taste (I use around 2-3 tsp)
  • cumin to taste (I use 1-2 tsp)

Open all the cans/containers and dump everything into the Crock Pot, rinsing the beans first. Stir it up. Set on low for 3-5 hours. Eat. Enjoy!

The actual recipe is vegan, but we always add cheddar cheese and sour cream on top because it is delicious.

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