Thursday, December 22, 2011


You may remember my Pottery-Barn inspired NOEL wall art from last Christmas:

(Tutorial HERE.)

This year it got refashioned into a photography prop!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A "Visit" From the Jolly Guy

For the few short years that I believed in Santa, it was a magical delight. The excitement I felt when imagining him on the roof with his reindeer was enough to do me in. I can't even IMAGINE what I would have thought if my parents could have "caught him" in the act! I probably would have died on the spot. And come back to life screaming with excitement! So I thought- how fun- Annalise can have just that!

Photoshop can provide a Christmas miracle! :)

Our living room before:

Our living room AFTER!

I can assure you he was only there in spirit (and that Annalise might be a bit young to appreciate his visit anyway!) but she will never be the wiser!! What a fun stocking stuffer, or framer to put on the mantle for Christmas morning! :)

Want Santa to pay a visit to your house too? Click HERE!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Annalise's Rainbow Birthday Party

My sweetest little munchkin turned 2 and we celebrated by having a rainbow-themed 2nd birthday party! We had about 50 guests so our little home was full and happy. :)

I made rainbow invitations,

and she wore her first nail polish! (With which she is now obsessed.)

The front door had a rainbow welcome wreath (I adapted MADE's acorn wreath with kidney beans because that's what they had at the dollar store!)

There was another rainbow welcome sign to greet the guests as they came in.

Rainbow letters spelled out 'TWO' to go in the frames I like to switch out for holidays and special occasions.

There were rainbow paper pom poms for the ceiling and the cat helped a lot with that part. He laid on the tissue paper I was trying to use.

Annalise helped by discovering the Windex somewhere and cleaning things that didn't need cleaning.

With the scraps from the bigger pom poms I made little ones to scatter on the mantel,

which also sported a cardstock pennant banner with Annalise's name on it.

The rainbow pinwheels came in two packs from the dollar store, and poked out of thrifted milk-glass bud vases.

The cardstock banners adorned windows and sliding doors too.

The treat table had lots of yummy rainbowy goodness.

There were Rainbow Twizzlers,

rainbow Otter Pops,

and a fruits-and-veggies dollar-store tray with that had six compartments which would have been perfect if I'd added the pineapple and blueberries like I'd planned. :)

The party favors were giant rainbow lollipops from the dollar store that got decorated with a customized rainbowy message I printed on sticker paper.

Chips and beverages were served in rainbow platters and pitchers we happened to get for our wedding,

and you had your choice of plenty of colors of plates and utensils!

I decorated plain cups with personalized stickers,

and for those just wanting water, there were customized water bottles! (Water-bottle label tutorial HERE)

I'm a sucker for details- the bottles sported personalized nutrition facts with her name, age, and birthdate too. :)

Dave barbecued hot dogs and hamburgers and there were other goodies too. (Including rainbow goldfishfish crackers- which actually only come in three colors.)

And the yummiest part- the cupcakes!

They were piled up with fluffy white (cloud-like!) frosting and sprinkled with rainbow sprinkles.

The handmade cupcake toppers on lollipop sticks matched the theme.

The cake itself was Pillsbury's Rainbow Funfetti.

Annalise danced and conducted the music as her guests sang to her,

but was strangely wary of her rainbow candles. She let Daddy do the honors of blowing them out.

Thanks to all her friends and family, Annalise had a blast at her rainbow party!

And it ended the way any good party should. :)

(Please note she cuddled off to sleep with daddy's iPhone like a teddy bear.)  :)

Linking to

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Customized Water Bottle Labels

Annalise turned two yesterday! The theme of her birthday party was RAINBOWS!

One of my favorite things to do for parties is customized water bottle labels. You can buy vinyl waterproof labels to print on that are over a buck apiece, or you can make them for free if you have clear packing tape and some paper! I think they add such a cute touch. I designed mine in Photoshop and printed them out, but you could use scrapbook paper and stamps or stickers, or a simpler program like Word too. This time I used Aquafina bottles, but usually I go with the Kirkland brand of water bottles from Costco. Any brand would work and the labels are generally about 8 inches long. I printed out my labels on plain printer paper and sliced them apart.

In my opinion, the key to making the labels look good on the bottle is having them appear shiny and vinyl-like, the way the real ones are. To achieve that effect, I use a technique I learned years ago- clear packing tape! It is 2 inches thick, so I made my labels a bit thinner than two inches, so the tape can extend beyond them all the way around. I laid out the tape and put each label face-down on top of it.

Accidental ripples or bubbles can be easily smoothed out with your fingers. You can see that the label is a little less wide than the tape, which allows it to stick to the bottle all the way around.

Much better!


And I like to add "nutrition" facts and bar codes to make them look more authentic. :)

More Rainbow Party details to come! :)