Horse Theme 8 Year Old Birthday Party

Putting this party together was fun, exciting and draining all at the same time!
I enjoy the "research" of party planning, I enjoy the creativity that flows when party planning, I enjoy the resourcefulness of party planning, I enjoy the learning of party planning, but most of all, I enjoy the final product and it all coming together and my daughter being awed by it all.

First we did pictures out front while the girls arrived. It was soooo hot that we made sure to have cold drinks on the porch!
We covered hay bales with some pretty pink, turquoise and gold fabric, hung a "Cowgirl" banner, put out a few decorations and drinks and snapped away.

Next we painted horse pictures out back on the deck. These were pretty simple! I just put a vinyl horse in the middle of the canvas, let the girls paint and then we pulled the horse off after the paint was dry. I got the idea here: horse canvas

Then we rounded up and went for a horse ride!

Sometimes I'm fun and I participate. Okay guys, I had never ridden a horse before!! I only rode for about two minutes because the girls were melting from the heat but it was a cool two minutes for me!

Then back to the house for lunch and cake. I just realized I never took any pictures of lunch. My daughter requested sloppy joes, strawberries, blueberries, and chips. Nothing too fancy. Perfect for a cowgirl coming in from a ride.

Oh hello cake and me! I guess it's a little hard to get a straight on picture without there being a reflection in the mirror. Maybe if I was part vampire.

The cake was inspired by these beautiful cookies.

And now clean up! Ya, did you see those hale bales around the table? My husband is so kick back and so cool that he bought hay bales, carried them in the house and let them make a mess all over....and then he cleaned them up! Oh the crazy things that my mind even entertains.

Happy birthday to our 8 year old!

Neapolitan Cupcakes for Teacher Appreciation Gifts

Sometimes I get really great ideas at the last minute, and this is one of them that kept me up baking until 3am. I wanted to make a yummy cupcake and put it in a cute gift box for my kids to take to school for their teachers for teacher appreciation week.

I didn't know what my kids' teachers' favorite treat flavors were, so I thought neapolitan would cover most every one's favorite flavors. Plus neapolitan is so cute with the pink, white and brown.

These cupcakes were super easy, but they make 3 times the amount because I used 3 boxes of cake mix. I used a strawberry cake mix, french vanilla cake mix & devils food cake mix.  I prepared each batter according to the directions on the box and then I layered them in the cupcake liners. I put a little less then 1 tablespoon of each flavor in each cupcake liner and this is how they looked on the inside.  Kind of a fun pattern, that when you bite into it, the frosting lines up with each coordinating color of frosting. I didn't even plan it that way. :) I layered the strawberry on the bottom, then the vanilla and lastly the chocolate.

I also used three containers of frosting: strawberry, vanilla & chocolate.  I first pipped a circle of the strawberry on all the cupcakes, then followed with the vanilla and chocolate flavors of frosting. I think they turned out super yummy and super cute!

This made so many cupcakes that I was able to send them with my kids to give to their teachers and then take a whole bunch of them into the teachers lounge to share with all the teachers.

I found a cute cupcake box template on the Cricut Design Space and I made my own cupcake boxes with my own cardstock paper.  I wish I'd taken a picture, but that's what happens when you finish at 3am, you forget things.

I always wish I could do more for my kids' teachers because they do so much for my kids, but I hope they appreciate this yummy little token of my gratitude, and a little gift card too. ;)

Don't forget to thank your teachers all year long for all the hard work they do.

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Faux Mirror Tutorial

My sister, Mashaide, found this image on Pinterest and wanted to create something like it for her photo booth.  Since my family LOVES Halloween, I have a very full Halloween Pinterest board and I remembered seeing tombstones and other Halloween decor made from insulation foam board.  (BTW these people are awesome at Halloween!)  After brainstorming we thought, "Why not create our own faux mirror using insulation foam board?"

Glow Stick Valentines

For Valentine's parties this year we wanted to make non-candy gifts and this is what my girls and I came up with.

I saw this post on Fabulessly Frugal and I knew I wanted to to use glow sticks.

Freezing Fog

We had freezing fog yesterday and although it's cold, it leaves everything frosty and beautiful.
I just had to take some pictures of the beautiful frosty trees.

I'm loving the contrast between the dark and white.  Nature is so beautiful!!

Ordering Christmas Cards

I know many people send digital Christmas cards, but I still love sending and receiving Christmas cards in the mail.  It's one of our favorite family traditions, to put up and display all the Christmas cards we receive.  Just a couple years ago we started taping them all to the front door, so we get to see our Christmas cards all month long.  This picture below just makes me happy looking at all these wonderful people.

We usually take our family pictures in the fall so we have brand new family picture to include on our Christmas card.  I've used various printing companies over the years to print our Christmas cards and I've usually designed the card myself and uploaded my design with the colors that match our photo.

This year I wanted to save some time and decided to check out the pre-made designs to see if they would look good with our photo.  I used the website and the whole process was smooth and very quick.  I think it only took me about 10 minutes to create the card you see below and they had some really great pre-made designs to choose from.

Halloween Ghost

Halloween is one of the favorite holidays in our house. The kids like it because they get to dress up, go trick-o-treating and eat tons of candy. Me? I love it because I get to SCARE the kids. I know, what a mean, insensitive mother I am. But it's hilarious. Well not so much for them as it is for me.
Again, insensitive, I know.

Some of the other fun things about this holiday are the decorations. We have an annual pumpkin carving and craft making day. This year I started a little bit early and decided to do an easier craft with my daughter. A cheesecloth ghost.

There were a couple of different websites for this but here is the one I originally got the information from Cheesecloth Ghost.

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Baby Shower Brunch

I got to help Abby with a baby shower for my niece and here are a few pictures from the brunch we provided.

A couple different options for the yogurt.


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