What better way to bring in St. Patrick’s Day than with a DIY beer wreath!
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What better way to bring in St. Patrick’s Day than with a DIY beer wreath!
& don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel and like our video!
There are plenty of adorable ideas and crafts to do when your child starts school. One project I decided to do was a over sized shirt with Emery’s graduating class year. What seemed like a 1,2,3 project turned into the idea from hell.
I typically don’t wait until the last-minute for anything, but for her shirt I put off making it until the day before she started kindergarten. I bought iron on letters, numbers, and a medium size woman’s shirt.
The instructions read that I should iron the patch for 25 seconds. I thought the company was surely trying to fail me and I decided to iron each letter and number longer so that the glue was stuck on the shirt and nothing would peel away. This, ladies and gentleman, was the point in time I would later realize to be my Pinterest fail moment; 3 days later when I was still trying to fix my “easy” project.
As I hesitantly lifted up the iron on numbers paper was sticking to the felt.
which left me feeling …
My first thought was, “get the black permanent marker and color that paper in” But my husband wouldn’t let me. We tried dabs of water to rub it off and tweezers pulling as much paper we could off. I was desperate! I called upon my Navy wife friends (shout out NASL) in hopes one of those crafty girls would know a trick. Our best bet ended up sticking to Victor’s original plan. He had the magical touch and took off all of the paper himself.
Any time I tried, I didn’t get far.
It took three days to pick all of the paper off. Victor didn’t know that I kept the iron on longer than instructed and was a bit irritated when the truth finally came out. I did my self a disservice and paid the price. The glue was on alright but I didn’t expect the paper to be glued down too.
We got our kinder picture finally and I was happy!
We’ve counted down the days until Emery’s first day of school. She was prepared with a wealth of knowledge and I knew she would be just fine because she’s my out going independent child. However, I knew I would not be ready at any point or time to let my baby be out of my sight. The thought of her going to school, being a “big kid” and away from me always brought tears.
Getting her class schedule made me cry, orientation made me cry and each day writing a lower number on our count down to kindergarten chalk board made me more anxious.
We found a great book called, Count Down to Kindergarten to get Emery pumped up about her special day
and The Night Before Kindergarten (which made me cry of course).
The night before the big day Emery couldn’t sleep, she’s a bit of a night owl and getting her on a schedule was impossible. I decided the only real option was to throw her to the lions and let her fall a sleep at her regular time (which I tried to avoid anyway) and wake up early have a full day and crash the next night. Luckily she woke up excited and ready to go!
My studious child
Mommy had to get in the mix and took a cute picture
and a silly photo, because we are silly girls.
Then her teacher Mrs. Jasso announced what they would do and how they would make a hat. For some reason it was the hat comment that made me lose it. I cried folks, not just a tear or watery eyes; this mom lost it. My cool was gone and I was in full “omg get my baby out of here what have I done!” mode. Emery’s face went from normal to panic like she wanted to cry. I quickly started signing I was happy, but when my flood gates open it’s hard to stop. She came over and I bent down and told her sorry I wasn’t upset or sad I was just happy for her, she would have so much fun and I couldn’t wait to see her awesome (choked up) hat when she got home. We gave our last hugs and kisses, I tried to get myself together and gave big smiles and thumbs up and got out of there. I’m pretty sure everyone saw me including the teacher, I don’t care I love my baby girl! This was the first time she would be away from me and not with grandma. She was now a big girl and in a new chapter of her life. I’m allowed to be emotional! Right?
(said, in my best Sponge Bob commentary voice)
We picked up Emery! She was happy to see us and she was wearing the infamous hat that almost ruined the day.
Now here is where I got excited. When I was a kid my step-mom gave my little brother a “Happy first day of school” party. I wasn’t there but I never forgot what a great idea that was. Ever since then I have wanted to give my child a first day of school party. When I got older, any time a sister or nephew started school I brought over a little something to make their day extra special. Now the time had come to give Emery a surprise party for her very first time going to school!
She walked in and said, “what’s all of this?” she loved the idea of having a party!
Thank you to everyone who came over and helped us celebrate Emery’s first day of school and a special thank you to my friends and family who helped me cope during this emotional time. All of your loved words were heard and taken to heart.
I hope everyone’s children have a great school year!
Often I make our fireplace mantle change for the season or holiday but I never blog about it. I’m going to change that and start sharing my mantle creations on here maybe to inspire others or if nothing else to share the fun I have creating my mantle master pieces.
The school year is approaching fast and before the holiday’s catch up with us I wanted to pump up the kids for the new school year. We now have a middle schooler and a kinder kid in the house and those are two big transformations that they will have to get use to.
I went to Michaels to get loom for the crayon wreath, I needed two different size embroidery hoops that I hot glued together (the top thick wood parts with the screws) and bought two packs of 120 crayola crayons to ensure I had enough crayons for the wreath. At my discretion I spaced them out in the correct color spectrum. I ended up only getting to red, orange, yellow and green not even using blue, indigo or violet.
Originally I had planned to add cute cut outs with my Cricut machine, but once the wreath was done I loved it the way it was.
I had an idea of how I wanted the mantle to turn out, I just needed to find a few accessories at the stores if I could. To my surprise I didn’t find what I needed at Michaels, and now that I think about it I might have been too early in the season for back to school supplies who knows. Next door I made a Target run and “glanced” in the dollar aisle (its my weakness), to my absolute surprise and utter joy Target had a few great back to school decorating items. I’m sure I looked like a kid in a candy store with a million dollars to spend. Each find made me happier than the next. My at home ideas went out the door and my cart was full of new ideas.
The kids and I grabbed a world map and I used this as an opportunity to illustrate the path that their Dad traveled while he was in the Navy on his deployments.
The glass jars were filled with stamps and scissors and the book ends held some children books, while on the other end an apple chalk board counts the days until school starts.
And last but not least the garland has a positive message for the kids to read daily and absorb before the school year begins.
This gallery contains 25 photos.
Bringing in the new year usually has me in a panic. I have 17 days to get all and any decorations in order before Carlos birthday. This year I had been stressing bad on how things would be staying on the walls and how many things needed to be done! I had been planning and […]
My youngest baby turned one!
My oldest turned four!
We visited the beach
We drove to the mountains
The kids were asked to be part of a possible ad campaign
We surprised Great Grandparents in San Jose
Mommy got to introduce us to some of her San Jose friends from high school finally
We visited The La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles
Our first time at the Los Angeles Zoo!
We visited Great Grandma Mami Chela in Los Angeles for her birthday
We visited the Natural History Museum for the first time and we loved it!
We went to Apple Hill to get one or two pumpkins
Took our yearly Family photo
Took the kids to the state capitol
Visited Great Grandma Mary . . .
Grandpa Max …
And Grandma Andrea while we were in Sacramento!
Celebrated Halloween and mommy slaved over making Carlos’ Mad Hatter outfit and his hat
We hosted Thanksgiving at our house this year
And celebrated Christmas at Great Grandma & Papa Joe’s house
It was a busy year with trips to our local zoo and park in between. This is Emery’s last year spending all day with us before school and we’re trying to make it extra fun for her.
2014 was a good year for us, we had our usual ups and downs that come with life but this mommy can’t complain! Everyone is healthy and our loved ones are with us. I’m happy to share my adventures of parenting these two little ones and document our travels around the Golden State of California. A big thank you to all of my readers out there! I wouldn’t be doing these if I didn’t have the support I do.
Hope everyone has a healthy, happy, joyful and blessed new year
We welcomed December’s cold crisp air and cold nights with hot chocolate. Emery and Carlos decorated the Christmas tree this year while I stood back and watched. Carlos grabbed the ornaments and handed them off to his big sis. The clusters of ornaments together was a signature look that my babies were doing the tree all by themselves.
Later that night when Carlos was a sleep, Emery helped me make a popcorn garland; I had never made one before and I was excited. We made fresh popped popcorn and I sat on the couch starting to thread. Emery handed me popcorn with puffy tops … and then slowly her hand ended up going from the bowl to her mouth. I didn’t mind, I know she enjoys popcorn and I was just happy to have her company. The garland didn’t take very long and soon we had our very first popcorn master piece, a tribute to my two popcorn monsters.
The next day we made our wish list for Santa. Emery needed help putting words together, we talked about what she wanted and then I helped her spell it out. Dad was near by on the computer and ordered a few more gifts that were on her list. For Carlos I put down things that he likes- trains, cars, animals and Diego movies. When the kids were done with their list, I made copies for Santa (so I could keep the original list). We stamped the envelopes and mailed them off to the North Pole!
In December our special friend Snowie the elf comes back to visit us and watch the kids during the morning as Santa’s little spy. At night he gets into things and the kids wake up in a hurry to find what he got into or where in the house he is. Emery was especially excited to see him! His antics were a hit with the kids and when Carlos was cranky Emery would give him Snowie to sleep with and Carlos snuggled him safe.
A few of Snowie’s tricks at night were admiring Em’s drawing of him
Snowie made Emery and Carlos into little tree elves
Snowie was leader of his own sleigh, thanks to the help of a few dinosaurs, animals and a My Little Pony.
He got into the kids underwear and decorated the tree with them.
And one night he bothered the kids while they were sleeping . . .
Last minute I had the idea of making an ugly Christmas sweater for Carlos. I spent nights sowing little trinkets like small plastic ornaments, ball puffs, garland, gift bow and we topped it off with a Christmas light necklace.
Every year for holidays I like to make something using the kids foot print or hand print as a size reminder of how much smaller the kids were the year before. The kids dipped their foot and hand in some flour and placed it on felt. I use flour to make a print of the hands and feet instead of tracing an outline. I find the kids are more willing to get dirty and stamp their hand on something rather than holding their hand down and trying to trace around it. The flour is also more accurate, to the actual size.
The week of Christmas we did a mini photo shoot in front of the Christmas tree and fireplace. Taking photos of the kids was kind of difficult, things don’t always go as planned but its even harder when I’m shooting at night with no flash, every little movement from me or the kids turned the photo into a blur. I tend to shoot fast and I often neglect the background whether its straight or crooked. I think even when I shoot slow I have that problem.
We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas day at Great Grandma Mary’s and Papa Joe’s house. We had traditional tamales with pork and olives. Christmas day we went back to celebrate their Dad’s birthday and enjoy some homemade menudo amongst lots of delicious sweets.
Carlos had a very “train-y” Christmas and made out with lots of Thomas the Train toys. And Emery got a karaoke machine and lots of songs and movies.
I’m blessed and thankful it was another year with all of our family in our lives and the kids were able to share traditions that I grew up with and to have so much love in the house.
To be honest I wasn’t going to write anything about our Thanksgiving. Whats to be said, we cooked, we ate and we regretted it all. Then I thought about what the day actually meant. Not the literal historic image that my 11-year-old brother just learned about and made sure we all knew of the slaughter; but the day to really take it in and be thankful for something.
While Valerie was in town we watched many episodes of, “Rehab Addict”. We both had seen the episodes on Netflix a few times already but who really gets tired of watching the “Ha-Ha” house being restored to its original roots.
Val, Carlos and I took a trip to Home Depot to make a bulletin board. It wasn’t a major renovation but we felt pretty pumped walking into the building. We went into the aisles with ideas, we had the measuring tape, we had the frame and we had spirit!
At the register an employee asked where baby Carlos was. I think all three of us looked at each other like, “is this really happening?” What are the coincidences of somebody saying that while a baby (man baby of one year) named Carlos was in front of them.
When we got back we quickly went to work, to be honest Valerie really helped a lot with everything. I had the idea but she really put it together. I wanted to spray paint the cork but I didn’t want to wait a day for it to dry, so we taped it in so I could take it out and paint it another day. The kids colored the back of the board and when all was done we hung it above the fireplace with pictures and letters of what the kids were thankful for.
The end result of a Thanksgiving mantel and a DIY cork board. I added the turkey hands we made last year and some past and present pictures.
A few weeks later was Thanksgiving. My husband and I hosted this year, lots of planning and prepping went into the meal. In the 7 years of us being together it was his first time making a turkey. I admit, I thought he was in over his head when it was Sunday and the bird was still in the freezer. He knew what he was doing though, he brined it for 3 days and it was delicious.
With the help of my sister in law Vienna, we made pumpkin crayons. Last time I attempted this my house filled with smoke and I called my husband in a panic. Needless to say I haven’t tried making crayons in a few years! We bounced back a few ideas and Vienna thought of using the blow dryer instead of risking another melted plastic try and smoke alarm fiasco. It was a stroke of genius, and this is what we did:
1. Used a pumpkin ice tray ( I got this one for Halloween at The Dollar Store )
2. TIP cut the crayon pieces as small as you can, use a knife because your fingers will start to hurt once you start making the pieces really small. The smaller the better they melt. You can mix colors but I kept them the same.
4. Put down news paper. I didn’t do this and my tile has melted crayon on it and in the grout.
3. When using the blow dryer the highest heat works and for some reason the two newarest colors will melt faster than the actual color your dryer is hovering over. I got in real close, Be careful when moving the dryer around, the melted wax will splash.
4. When done I put the tray in the freezer for about 10 minutes, make sure the wax is hardened and repeat steps for more crayons.
I also made “turkey legs” with left over Halloween candy. Lord knows I don’t need all of that candy in my life, and before the week of Thanksgiving I had gotten back into working out.
I love Native American culture and last minute I decided to make some feather headbands. Its the perfect day to get my semi obsession out. I just used some left over foam board from my Halloween outfit this year. I hot glued the “feathers” to head bands. Super easy craft and it made it just a little extra fun.
And last but not lease we had a “Thankful” pumpkin. We asked everyone to write what they were thankful for. Some where funny, most said family and health and then there’s my father who wrote his name on other peoples messages.
As for me, I pray everyday what I am thankful for. I am blessed and thankful for my family and friends health and our wealth. The wealth may not be much but we have a warm house, clothes and we don’t go hungry. I am blessed to have my family and friends here on Earth with us still. Everyday is uncertain and every time I wake up I am blessed to have each one in my life. I am grateful for my children’s health and how much they grow everyday. Though my children drive me crazy and at the end of each night I am emotionally done I lay in bed so happy they are in my life. I also pray for everyone in the world that they had a great joyful day and if not they have a better one tomorrow. That is just a sample of my gratefulness.
Halloween for us started in early September, the house was all decorated inside and ready for the season before the weather even changed. The outfit planning started a few months before that in summer. I guess you could say, Halloween is kinda a big deal here.
We went through several costume ideas before sticking with the final one. My heart was set on Carlos being Nacho Libre, but as time went on more ideas came to mind. The tough thing about toddlers and Halloween, is that there’s so many great ideas and it makes it hard to choose! The kids have been in themed costumes that past few years, so want to keep the tradition going while they’re still little and don’t want to be two completely different things.
Since Emery is older I was willing to work around what she wanted. It changed a few times, first she wanted to be Olaf with blood on the side of her mouth (her idea not mine). Then she wanted to be The Mad Hatter from Alice In Wonderland. Of course no where in the known universe of 1 million costume shops did I find a pre made outfit, that began my frantic pinning. If Emery was going to be the Mad Hatter Carlos would be The March Hare. It looked like I would be making two costume outfits.
Luckily Emery decided to be Alice and that moved Carlos up to The Mad Hatter. I only had to make one outfit! I don’t like doing things last-minute so I started everything in September, besides I needed the costume done and bought before our Apple Hill trip in early October.
Before I even got started I was nervous of the task ahead of me. This would be my first time making an outfit. I’ve made a doll outfit before, a few pillows but that was the extent of it. Now I was taking on pants, a vest and a jacket! I figured if it didn’t pan out and worst came to worst Carlos would be in the dark and it was only for one day.
As crazy as that was, my sewing machine wasn’t even working! A month before I tried fixing it with my grandma while watching YouTube videos to no success. My husband (Mr. Fix it via YouTube) tried it and it worked! I had my machine, my cloth, my ideas, now time to try to figure it all out.
I also had to make the tights the colors I needed for The Mad Hatter outfit. With this I bought white cotton tights and several Kool-Aid packets.
STEP 1. I put three of the purple packets in a steady boil.
STEP 2. Since I needed each leg a different color I held the other white leg in my hand so that it wouldn’t stain. TIP: turn the tights inside out because in step 4 your tights will lose that color you loved.
STEP 3. Constantly move the tight around so all the color can be even.
STEP 4. When you reach the desired color take out and rinse in cool water and wring it lightly. You don’t want to get all the color out so be careful, it doesn’t have to be in the water that long, maybe 30 seconds at max.
STEP 5. Because we are doing different color legs repeat the from step 1. TIP: I had to get another pot because the color really stuck, so be prepared or save yourself the hassle and just use another pot.
STEP 6. Have a hanger ready to hang your end result. Leave it inside out until it is fully dry. I had mine dry over night and I think they were still a tad damp in the morning.
Now lets fast forward about a week of staying up at 3 a.m. every night (because my children are crazy and go to bed at 11) to get the clothes ready and here are the end results.
In these picture you can’t really see the colors on Carlos’ tights, that because I didn’t realize they were so much brighter on the inside until I took them off.
I also made Carlos’ Mad Hatter hat with the help of my husband. I researched on Pinterest how to make the hat and which I would like best. No pictures were taken of that either. If you decide to take on the task of making your own hat, make sure you have plenty of hot glue, some help and plenty of fabric to cover your hat! A staple gun might work better and be faster. Carlos never actually wore his hat, the hat is way too heavy for him and by the time we put all the cardboard in the rim it didn’t fit his head. It’s really nice so we are keeping it for a possible Alice In Wonderland party or a Halloween decoration for next year.
Emery is really into YouTube tutorials on costume make up, the day before Halloween I was watching one with her and got inspired to be the white rabbit. I didn’t really want to dress up because I didn’t feel like making myself anything but I actually had everything I needed to become the white rabbit, all I needed was white eye liner, to make the ears, foam board and a chain that were at Michael’s (my favorite store ever).
Just when we were done taking pictures in the front yard a black car pulled up. Emery thought trick – or – treaters were here. I said, “no trick – or – treaters don’t come in cars”. A few seconds later Nina Valerie came out! I have bad eyesight so I didn’t even know who it was! Not to mention she had just got a new car so I didn’t put two and two together! Val and Vic had planned the surprise a day before and I was totally clueless. I guess I got both tricked and a treat!