Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Unique Bridesmaid Gift


I was recently a bridemaid in my dear friend, Kristen's, wedding. Kristen is a real DIY girl and there were so many elements to her wedding that are worth sharing. I will be highlighting a few in the weeks ahead. For starters, check out these adorable, bridal party hangers that the bride handmade for each of her attendants.  These are so original and creative.  I have been a bridesmaid 6 times and I've never seen these before.  Don't you just love?!?


Supplies Needed:  Wooden Hangers - Such As These
                             Soft Round Aluminum Craft Wire. Such as This
                             Basic Craft Pliers.  Such As These
                             Hot Glue Gun

How To:               
Bend your craft wire into cursive letters leaving enough room on each end for you to glue onto your wooden hanger.

Tip:  WorksheetWorks.com has a cool cursive text generator that you can use as a guide for each name.   

Not only are they a cute gift idea for your bridal party, but they are also functional.  No need to worry about dresses that are the same size getting mixed up between girls.  It also makes for an adorable photo of all the dresses hanging together. 


For the not-so-crafty or too-pressed-for-time bride, you can always purchase these hangers from a variety of sellers on Etsy.  Aressa is just one example of many that provide these personalized clothes hangers for bridal parties. 

I've shared this idea at the following Link Parties.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

My First Giveaway! Score Ever/After Children's Clothing!


Update!  The Giveaway is now closed.  Thank you to everyone that participated and congratulations to Misty D. our big winner!

In appreciation of all the visitors who have stumbled upon this little blog in its first few weeks, I'm thrilled to bring you my first giveaway and man is it a good one! 

You can win $75 in Ever/After Children's Clothing!!!

In case you haven't heard of Ever/After, let me just tell you why This Mommy Loves Ever/After!

First of all, the line was created by this gorgeous family; The Winstons (Gary, Christy and little Ever)  Um, yes, just a tad bit beautiful. 


Ever/After is a company that all moms will love!  It features some of the softest clothing to ever hug your little one's skin. 

After spending several years in the world of fashion retail, the Winston's were inspired to leave the fast-paced corporate environment by their newly born daughter, Ever.  As founder Christy puts it, "The complicated became simple, stress was replaced with passion, excess turned to essential, family took the place of career, and self became second to serving others."
 
Not only are the clothes superb but their charitable message is what makes This Mommy Love them even more!  Ever/After donates 25% of the profit from each garment you buy to the cause of your choice.  They've partnered with three charities that share their vision of creating powerful & sustaining change in the lives of children in need.  Their partner charities support kids who have only ever known a bleak and sometimes hopeless reality.  As Ever/After puts it, "We want to change the story.  We believe helping others can extend to all areas of our lives, even the clothing we buy.  Every garment comes with a change the story card that holds the value of this donation.  Choose the Cause.  Change the Story." 



To shop Ever/After Clothing, check out http://www.everafterclothing.com/

Now how to enter the giveaway (Leave a comment below - 1 per entry type): 

MANDATORY ENTRY:

  1. "Like" This Mommy Loves on Facebook (easy click on right sidebar) and leave a comment below telling me you've done so

BONUS ENTRIES (Each additional entry requires a seperate comment):
2) "Like" Ever/After Clothing on Facebook and tell me you've done so
3) Go to Ever/After's Change the Story Page and tell me which of the 3 charities you would allocate your donation.
4) Follow ThisMommyLoves via Google Friend Connect and tell me you've done so
5)  Go to Ever/After's Website, and tell me an item you'd use your $75 credit toward.  (I personally love the rompers!)
6) Follow @ThisMommyLoves on Twitter and comment here with your Twitter screenname.
7) Follow @EverAfterCTS on Twitter and comment here with your Twitter screenname.
8) Tweet or RT: (1 entry per day, leave direct link)   (sample tweat: @ThisMommyLoves is giving away $75 in @everaftercts children's clothing  )

Winners will be chosen via random.org on October 6, 2010.  Last valid entry can be entered on October 5, 2010 at midnight EST.  Winners will be notified via direct message on facebook and will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen via random.org.

US Residents Only.  Winner will receive $75 credit toward www.everafterclothing.com
Winner will redeem this one-time only coupon code online and have the $75 credit applied to their minimum $75 order.


And just for fun, here are some pics of my little supermodel in her favorite Ever/After piece, the purple-grey Twist Back Romper. 


Check out the Twist-Back


Good luck!  Now hurry, start entering to win!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Gifts for Toddlers - Personalized Placemats


I whipped up this personalized placemat as a Secret Santa gift for our playgroup's Holiday Party last year.  It took me all of about 10 minutes and cost $3.00. 

Here's the final product.  I wish I had a better picture but this was before I had a blog so I wasn't really thinking about how well this would show :-)


To add a little extra fun to the placemat, I decided to cartoonize my photo of little Trey.  Probably because Trey reminds me of a cartoon.  He's so so cute that he seriously looks like he would be a little toddler superhero.  His mom even drives a hummer...very appropriate for a toddler superhero. 

How do I make my photo into a cartoon?
You can give any photo a cartoon effect for free just by going to BeFunky.  They don't even require a login or registration.  Just go to their site and click Get Started.  The whole process takes 2 minutes.



Upload your picture using the button in the upper right corner. 
All the editing effect options are on the left hand side.  Some will require a premium (paid) membership but plenty are free to use and work great.


Here's the pic of Trey BEFORE my Cartoon effect.  Seriously, doesn't he look like a little superhero?

Now all you have to do is apply your cartoon or underpainting effect on the left-hand side and then click save which is back on the right. 

Now, upload your cartoonized picture to your preferred print provider. 

Once you have your picture, take some basic scrapbooking paper and create a 15" x 12" placemat. 

Now all you have to do is laminate your paper.  I took mine to Staples where they charge $2 /square foot, so this entire project cost $3.00

Paper:            $0.00         Used Scraps of what I had
Picture:           $0.50         5x7 picture from Walgreens using $1 off coupon (normally $1.50)
Lamination:     $2.50         Staples Copy and Print Center

A friend told me she wanted to make these for her friends' dogs for Christmas.  Isnt' that a great idea?!  I'm always looking for inexpensive and thoughtful gifts to give.  I'd love to hear your ideas so leave a comment below. 

I've shared this idea at the following Link Parties.:

Monday, September 20, 2010

Cheap Birthday Party Favors or Gifts




We have a playgroup of about 14 kiddos that have gotten together on a semi-regular basis since they were 4 months old.  When your 2 year old has 14 or more best buddies, that means you have 14 birthday parties to go to in a year and 14 gifts to give without breaking the bank.  For the most part, everyone in the playgroup requests a "No Gifts Policy" but I don't really like to show up empty-handed, so here are a few ideas of gifts you can give a big group that cost very little if nothing at all!

This year, I gave everyone turning 2 a personalized crayon box.

                                           
Supplies: 
A Pencil Box  ($1.00 at Walmart)
Crayons 24 Count ($0.12 at Walmart - Back to School Special)
1 Sheet of Stickers (Sticker book with 20 Sheets - $2.99 at Walmart)
1 Metallic Sharpie
Name printed in Curlz Font                                                         
                                                             

Print out the child's name using Curlz font, or any other that tickles your fancy.  Cut out the name and tape it to the inside of the crayon box so you can trace it on the outside. 

Trace the letters of the name using your Sharpie


Once tracing is complete, remove the paper on the inside of the box.  This is prettier than I could ever write on my own.

Stuff in your crayons and stickers and there you go, a cute personalized gift that cost barely a buck each.

I stole the concept from one of my Mommy Squaders, Kendall, who gave these adorable personalized beach buckets to everyone in the playgroup last year.  How cute?!?!

Another one of my Mommy Squaders, Lauren, gave everyone a coloring book.  So simple, cheap, and age-appropriate!   

Also a great gift is a personalized placemat.  This only cost $3.00!  Tutorial Here.


Head to the Dollar Store or Walmart and with a little creativity, you can get everyone a small gift for very little money. 

These ideas could also be used for party favors. 

Of course if you are feeling philanthropic, a wonderful idea if you are hosting a party is to have a Giving Tree and in leui of gifts, ask that everyone just bring a buck or 2 to hang on the tree. 

What are some of your favorite inexpensive gifts for little ones?

I've shared this idea at the following Link Parties, including:

Thanks for the love, bloggers! Especially those who have featured this post!









  
 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Easy Craft Project: Decorative Clothespins



These decorative clothespins are super easy to make, cheap, and can be useful in so many ways. 

What you'll need:
Clothespins
A couple sheets of your favorite scrapbooking paper
Mod Podge
Sponge Brush
Scissors
Ruler (depending on how anal you are about having straight lines)



I bought the clothespins at my craft store, Crafts and Stuff.  30 clothespins for $1.99. I got a bulk scapbooking paper pad at Wal-mart for $10.98 and have used it for a ton of different projects.  You can get this paper at any craft store.

How to make decorative clothespins:
1) Measure the side of the clothespins and cut strips of your scrapbooking paper to fit the sides.
2) Lightly brush a thin layer of Mod Podge on one side of the clothespin and attach the strip of paper.
3) Let dry and repeat on the other side
4) Once both sides are dry, brush the top of each side with another layer of Mod Podge to seal the paper in.

Be careful on this last step, not to get the Mod Podge glue on the hinge of the clothespin or you will glue the pin shut, thus not being able to use it as a clip.
So cute and easy, right?


You can also attach a magnet to the back. 

And use it as a fancy refrigerator magnet clip. 

Or string up some twine or ribbon to hang greeting cards or family photos.

I use them to hang wet bibs to dry. 

They also can be great teacher gifts, or neighbor gifts, or girlfriend gifts. 

I used them to hang my daughter's birthday banner.  For complete party details, be sure to visit my Pancakes and Pajamas Post.

Also from the Pancakes and Pajamas Party is our Giving Tree and we use these decorative clothespins to hang our donations.

Don't you just love an easy, multi-purpose craft project?!?!

This project is linked at the following parties

It's so very Cheri




Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tissue Paper Poms - Party Decoration Tutorial


Over the next couple weeks, I'll be posting tutorials on different elements found in my recent Pancakes and Pajamas Party.

I love tissue paper pom poms because they are cheap and easy to make.  In fact, my mom was over and we made 8 beautiful poms all while my daughter was napping.  You can make them in many different sizes.  For this party, I made larger poms that were about 15 inches in diameter.

I bought my tissue paper at Walmart for $1.00 per pack of 10 sheets and used all 10 full sheets for each pom.  So it cost me $1 per pom.  If you are going to make more than 5 or 10 poms, or you are looking for exact colors, you might want to try PaperMart for bulk purchases.

Start out with 8-10 sheets of tissue paper. 


Step 1:  Take your tissue paper and fold like an accordian back and forth in 1 1/2 inch sections.

Keep folding til you get to the end.

Step 2: Cut edges into a point for starburst-like poms or make the ends rounded for flower-like poms.

Step 3: Fold tissue in half and take floral wire to twist at center.

Step 4:  GENTLY unfold the paper, one layer at a time.  Start spreading and make sure you pull apart the layers all the way to the center of the pom where your floral wire is for the fullest effect.

Here's a starburst (pointy-edge) one!

And this one on the end is more rounded and flower-like. 

Last step is to tie fishing string to the center of the pom, attached to the floral wire and string from the ceiling!

Voila!  Beautiful party decorations!

I've featured this post at the following link parties...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Pancakes and Pajamas 2nd Birthday Party


For my daughter's 2nd birthday party, I decided to have a Pancakes and Pajamas party. I got the idea from a friend on facebook who did the same thing for her son, and I thought it was a great idea. 

It was perfect for Brenna because:
      1) She loves pancakes! And by love, I mean the first thing she does every morning is get out the syrup out of the pantry and say "Pancakes!"
      2) Having a breakfast party in the beginning of the day is perfect for 2 year olds who still nap in the afternoon
     3) It's a relatively cheap party idea. You can feed a lot of people on pancakes and other breakfast items without spending a portion of your kid's college fund.
    4) Any occasion to serve coffee and mimosas is always very much appreciated by adults.


The following 2 pics were taken by my friend, and professional photog, Brooke Logue.  You must check out her blog and see her work and if you need a Palm Beach area photographer, she's the best!  How lucky am I that she took some pics and put together this beautiful collage which captured the party perfectly.








Invitations:
My favorite way to do invitations is to buy a digital print from Etsy. There are many sellers on Etsy that provide personalized invitations. You send them wording and a picture, and they send you a digital file that you can then upload to your photo provider. I use Costco to print invitations.  They are even cheaper than Walmart at $.39 each for 5x7 prints and $.13 each for 4x6 prints. 


Our Pancakes and Pajamas Invitation was created by Dimpleprints.  Carli created a custom invitation for me.  I just told her colors and concept, and she came back with this adorable creation.

Toddler Girl Pajamas:
Since it was a Pajama Party, Brenna needed a cute new pair of Pajamas and again, Etsy was the place to go.  I gave the Alchemy section of Etsy a try.  Alchemy is a space on Etsy where buyers can post requests for custom items. Sellers then bid on the opportunity to make the item and win the sale. 

I posted that I wanted a custom made pair of drawstring toddler pants for my daughter and I'd pay $15.  I said I'd pay $25 for a top and bottoms.  Within 30 minutes, I had 12 bids.  Max and Meena actually came in under my bid price and created this adorable PJ outfit.



Decorations:
Birthday Banner.  Check out my Tutorial Here for exactly HOW TO and a FREE Printable



Click for Complete Tissue Paper Pom Pom Tutorial

Table SetUp: 
The Handy Husband custom built this toddler size picnic table so that all the kiddos could sit together.  We had 10 kids on each side and lining the benches are kids' aprons which were purchased at the dollar store and served as our party favors. 





Table Measurement:  Benches, 9.5 inches from the ground.  Table, 18.5 inches from the ground.  10 feet long.  Full tutorial coming soon.

The Giving Tree is my favorite birthday tradition which we started at Brenna's 1st Birthday Party.  I stole this idea from one of my Mommy Squaders, Allison.  On the invitation, we requested "In leiu of gifts, please bring a dollar or 2 to hang on our Giving Tree.  All proceeds will be donated to St. Jude Children's Hospital."

We then set up a small artificial Christmas tree, wrapped ribbon around and clipped some decorative closespins (Click Here for Tutorial.) to the ribbon for guests to use to clip their money.  Our thank you notes will include a message about our donation total. 

 
Our Giving Tree:



Silly Stuff:
The kids had fun popping in and out of our plate.  Here's me with the birthday girl. 


And here's my with The Handy Husband




Our Thank You Notes- Also from Carli at Dimpleprints
Brenna loved her Pancakes and Pajamas party!  I hope you did too!  Have you hosted or attended any cute kids' parties lately?  Tell me all about it by leaving a comment below!

Cheers!
Jenn

I've shared this idea at the following Link Parties

Thank you to those beautiful blogs who have featured my party

Ya'll, this post was featured on freakin' Tatertos and Jello!  Um, yes, THE Tatortots and Jello!!!



Thanks for the love, bloggers!

  Catch My Party 
 

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