Tuesday, April 4, 2017

pink flamingo pinata tutorial...

It's almost summer again and summer brings FLAMINGO SEASON! Well, I'm not sure if there's an actual flamingo season but in the world of shopping and parties it's almost FLAMINGO SEASON and I wanted to share the pinata that I made for Olivias 1st birthday last year.

I don't have any photos of my own first birthday, so although we don't have any friends and family here to invite over, I still wanted to make her birthday memorable enough to get her some good photos for her baby album. So of course, I became OBSESSED with making her a pinata. I looked online and there was no way I was going to pay $100 for a pre made one. I mean...it's just paper!
And a few other things:

  • Cardboard
  • Glue sticks
  • 2-3 Party streamer rolls
  • Wire hanger (for hook)
  • Tape (I used packing tape)
  • Glue gun
  • Sewing machine
  • Box cutter
  • Scissors
Well, since we used to place a ridiculously large amount of online orders (mainly formula, and baby stuff) we had plenty of cardboard boxes for the pinata base. I realized that a flamingo is really just made up of lots of circles and used a basic string and pen makeshift compass to draw them and shape out the flamingo. I used a box cutter to cut out the shape and then traced it onto another piece of cardboard so that I have two identical flamingo outlines.
Note: I had to use 2 pieces to create the head and just taped them together. It's okay if you have to do that. Once it's covered, you can't notice it. Just make sure the pieces overlap where you tape them.

Then, following the grain of the cardboard (where you see the lines or ripples) cut out lots of strips in the width you'd like your pinata to be. I used my 3" ruler and a box cutter for this. These strips are going to be taped all around the pinata, so you'll need that much.

I taped the 3 inch strips all the way around the outside of my pattern and then placed the second piece on top and taped that up too.

I made sure to leave a flap opening on top for the candy to go into, as well as an overlapping flap "door" on the bottom. Since my baby girl would not be hitting the pinata, I decided to make a door that would open with a ribbon when pulled.

Once the pinata shape is all taped together, I went on to sewing my streamer. I didn't like how flat the streamer was, so I decided to run it through my sewing machine with a basic stitch to pleat it. All you have to do is mess with your tension a little and run it through a straight stitch and the paper will pleat as loose or as tight as you'd like.

I did this for 3 rolls of streamer paper. I also decided to fold the streamer in half just so I could have lots of small ruffle layers.

Once the paper was done, it was just a matter of gluing it on. If I had to do it again, I would glue the sides first so that the edges would be better hidden, but I began on the main body, so I just followed that through. I used a glue gun for this.
Quick tip: Use a silicone mat under your glue gun for easy clean up!

After gluing on the paper it's all a matter of cleaning up the edges. I just cut the edges with scissors. I ran out of crepe paper and covered a few discrete parts with basic craft paper. I also cut the eyes and beak out of basic craft paper and glued that on.

My last step was making the pull door thing on the bottom so for the candy to drop. I ran out of supplies and patience and will to live by this point and just painted the bottom of the pinata.

In the end I absolutely loved the pinata! She's the prettiest pink flamingo pinata I ever saw and totally worth the 2 weeks it took me to make it. 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

engagement story...

Errol and I have been together now for over four years. We live together, have a child together, and I am a stay at home mom to our amazing little creature. With everything that has been going on in our lives, getting married hasn't been the easiest of things. Or really one of the things on our to do list at all. 
My mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, told she was clear, and then passed away from it in the matter of 2 years. Errol was working on his masters degree (which meant that I rarely saw him). And I was working a full time job and attending school full time. To say that we lived together would be really in terms of technicality, because we saw each other about 3 hours a week and by "saw" most of the time that meant we were just sleeping under the same roof at that time. We were blessed with Olivia 2 weeks after he finished his masters and we moved out of the state 1 week after I was out of the hospital. Two different states to be exact. I went to my mother and he went to work. After my mother passed away I went to live with Errol for 3 months before we had to move to Dallas for 6 months and then move again to Arizona. Needless to say, planning a wedding was NOT going to happen in between all of that. We are now settled in Tucson Arizona (for now) and it was the perfect time to begin our lives. I'm glad Errol thought so too. 

As we were planning for our trip to see my family in Mexico for Christmas Errol kept telling me that we should spend the night in San Diego. I thought it was weird, but I did miss the ocean. Everything special that has happened in our relationship has happened near the sea. On the first night we met Errol asked me to meet him at a beach later that night. I did, and we sat at a lifeguard tower all night and talked until the sun came up. After that, we drove to another beach and did a little hike. Our first apartment together had a tiny view of the ocean that we drove to whenever we had any spare time and enjoyed the sunrise, sunset, or a jog...this was about four times a week. So, we pretty much lived at the beach. If there was time off, a birthday, anniversary, or anything in between, we were at the beach. The first piece of jewelry that Errol gave me was for my birthday and it was a charm bracelet with golden starfish, sea horses, and shells.

After a 6 hour drive with a toddler through the dessert we finally arrived to our beautiful California coast. My heart sinks to my stomach every time I see the ocean but especially in California. You never know what you had until it's gone. The first stop we made was to a playground to let our grumpy little Olive get out all of the energy that she had been bottling up strapped into that car seat for so long. After that, we took a little walk over to a tiny beach next to the playground and that's where it happened. Errol was talking lovey dovey things like he always does (and because I'm not a fan of cheeseball things, I was half way ignoring him of course). Before I knew it he was down on one knee with a ring in his hands. I don't even remember if it was in a box or not. All I remember is that I was freezing my butt off but it was the most beautiful gesture he had ever done. I had my beautiful daughter, my man, and now MY RING! He liked it!! So, he put a ring on it. 

After that we spent time as a family admiring the ocean and playing with our little Olive. Checked into our hotel on Coronado Island and (of course) ordered room service. This has been turning into a habit of ours. Ever since we had Olivia, it is so much easier to just order room service and let her run around in the room while we enjoy our food instead of trying to restrain her wildness in a restaurant while lots of people stare at us and judge the way that we cannot control the tiny beast. It was amazing and magical and everything I wanted it to be. We explored the island that night and the next day and then headed down to Mexico the next day to celebrate Christmas with my family. I couldn't ask for a better gift than the gift of family and knowing that soon Errol, Olivia, and I would be united under the same last name.


Friday, July 22, 2016

nsale home faves...

Nordstroms sale has so many amazing home items on its sale this year, but with me moving so soon, I had to pretty much force myself to get NOTHING. And by nothing, I mean just a few things I thought I couldn't live without.

First of all, I've been dying to get a Diptyque candle for years, but with the priceyness of it Errol wouldn't justify spending that much on a candle. Makeup, shoes, clothes, yes but a candle, no. What's his thinking right? I mean...yea. I don't know what goes on in that mind sometimes. Well, for the NSale Nordstrom decided to bring out this cute little mini set for $50!! Yes!! I get get to try 5 mini scents of these guys pretty much for $10 a pop.

Needless to say, I think this little set swayed his opinion on them. As soon as I opened the package he looked over and said I can smell it all the way over here. Mind you, I had just opened the plastic wrapping of the entire package. I had not taken a single candle out yet. I'm very sensitive to smells and I get nauseated very quickly but these scents aren't perfume like at all. They are as if you are smelling the exact scent stated on the packaging. They smell like real flowers and they are very concentrated. I seldom light my candles, maybe once a week or two. However you don't even need to light these to fill the room with a beautiful fragrant smell.

If you're on the fence about these candles. GET THEM! They're worth it. It's a great introduction to the product and it will definitely help you decide if you want to splurge on a full size.

The next home item I purchased was this Thirstystone marble serving tray. In my future (dream) home, my countertops, shelves, sinks, floors, vanity, bathtub, dining table, and cabinets will all be made of calcutta marble. Maybe carrara, we'll see, but until then this guy is pretty nice to look at. Yes, it's a serving tray but maybe one day I'll be serving candles maybe one day makeup or jewelry. Whatever I want to serve on it is my business. Haha! I have a 12x12 marble tile I've been using as a tray, so I figured I should upgrade to something who's intended use is to be a tray. (I'll make a tray out of my tile as a project after the move) It's beautiful, it's marble and for those of us who aren't settled down or can't do anything about the current state of our kitchens or bathrooms this is a great way to add a little bit of glam. Best part? It's only $32.90!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

mama tip...

How come every time your kid is asleep is when people decide to knock on the door like they're SWAT and you're on America's Most Wanted? I mean, I could have ended up on there cause after waking my kid up with that I wanted to STAB someone! 

Well, I want to share the BEST little trick out there for new moms or really any moms with kids that still nap. I bought this little chalkboard in the craft department of WalMart for $1.99 and I already  had a chalk marker. 

Moms, this is seriously going to be one of the best $2 investments you've made!

My sign reads; "Shhh...Baby's sleeping, please knock quietly"

Other ideas: 
  • "Baby is sleeping please don't knock or ring doorbell. Call or text"
  • "Please do not disturb, baby is sleeping"
  • Shhh, toddler sleeping. You wake it, you take it"
Pinterest has some great ideas if you look up "Baby sleeping sign"

After putting up my sign (while I was waiting for a delivery) I heard the softest knocking on my door only to open and see these huge delivery guys being so gentle and speaking so softly to make sure not to wake up my little Olive. Seriously, THE BEST and this has been my experience ever since. 

I think I might even pack it up and take it with us when we travel. Since Olive is so little we usually end up ordering room service when we travel, and (I'm not sure why) the employees always knock like they're breaking the door down and slam the door on the way out. 

Moms, if you want to save yourselves a lot of grief and sanity. Grab yourself a little chalkboard sign and DO THIS! 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

dollar spot deal...

What's the first stop on your Target shopping trip? Yasss! THE DOLLAR SPOT. Well, they've got these SUPER cute and SUPER versatile 4th of July trays right now for $5! They have a red, blue, and a white one and they come with rope handles. Of course I go for the white because it's the easiest to play with and use for other occasions.

I keep a few craft paper pads around for just in cases, I mean...doesn't everyone?

Well, that's all you need to give your  tray a little face lift so you can use it for different occasions. Cut your paper pad to fit your tray and you're set. Easy peasy.

 And when you make a mess or spill something on it, or are ready for a change, just toss the old one and put a new one in.

The aftermath of date night
That's it! We have already used our 4th of July tray for Mother's Day breakfast in bed and date night, and it's not gonna be put away after the 4th. It's here to stay!
The after Mother's Day breakfast set-up

If you really want to do a more extensive face lift. Just sand down the bottom of the tray a bit (the part with words on it) and give it a coat of craft paint or spray paint. It is still a great deal at $5!

Monday, May 23, 2016

DIY etched wine glass...

One of my favorite things to do with my honey bunny is date nights at home. We grab our personalized wine glasses and a few bottles of wine, order take out and watch some good ol' TV on the couch! Well, while on our "date night" last week SOMEBODY had one too many glasses of wine (Errol), knocked over my glass and broke it!!! Why couldn't he break his own? It's always my stuff he breaks. It might be his passive aggressive way of getting back at me. For what? I'm not sure because I'm an amazingly wonderful partner who NEVER has attitude or is stubborn or call him out on his BS. I'm a peach! Anywho, now I'm left without a glass with my name on it and that needs to be fixed.

It's actually a pretty easy  fix. This is one of my favorite gifts to make (I hope my BFF isn't reading this cause I haven't made one for her...YET!). I mean, who doesn't like wine? People who aren't  my  friends. That's who. You can also do this project on those giant glass beer mugs. Guys love those! We're wine drinkers in my home, so we have wine glasses.

Everyone who really knows me knows that I HATE spending money. Unless it's on shoes, I heart Loubs!! SO, luckily for us half of these materials could be purchased at the dollar store. The dollar store literally has the best most resilient wine glasses. I'm really shocked this glass has made it this long! I mean, I load them on the bottom rack of the dishwasher! I've purchased expensive wine glasses and NEVER AGAIN! I'm a clumsy ass person with a child and a clumsy ass other half. These suckers need to last okay? Make sure you don't get the bubbly globe looking ones because 1. they're ugly and I don't want them in your home, and 2. They're much more difficult to etch because of their shape. Also at the dollar store, get some contact paper! Okay, full list of materials...


  • wine glasses or glass beer mugs (dollar store)
  • light colored contact paper (dollar store)
  • etching cream (Michaels($14 ish- please use a 40% off coupon!)
  • cutting machine or a x-acto knife and printer

I'm gonna use my Silhouette portrait to cut out my name, BUT I have done it the good old fashioned way before and although it's a little more work, it's worth the end result.

To do it by hand:
  • Use word or even notepad (or any word processor), find a font that is chunky and bold because that will make better cutting lines and you'll be able to see your word more clearly. Type your word, a little over an inch high is a good height. Also, if you don't find a font you like, you can buy fonts online or search Pinterest for free fonts. Just don't download anything sketchy y'all! You don't want a virus. 
  • Print your word or design.
  • Now, some old school stuff. Shade the back side of your printed design with a pencil. Yes, we are really gonna do this! Shade that design so we can trace it!! Make it thick!
  • Trace your design onto the  contact paper. The pencil shading will leave a perfect outline of your design. This is why you need light contact paper.
  • Cut around the contact paper a good 1/2 inch around your design and stick it onto your glass.
  • With your x-acto knife trace around your design and peel away the contact paper from your design. REMEMBER the part that's showing is what's going to be etched!
My craft setup (don't mind that popcorn on the floor!)

With a cutter:
  • Pick out your font or design and send it to the cutter. I attached a photo of my silhouette settings so you can put the contact paper in without using a mat.
  • Cut around your design, leaving a 1/2 inch around the edge and stick it to your glass.

  • EASIEST PART! Get a thick layer of etching cream on your design. Make sure the cream is only touching the glass parts you want etched. I would tell you you need a brush or something but really, you could put that on with a spoon and it would be fine!
  • Follow the etching cream instructions. Depending on the brand, they might be  different. I only had to leave mine on for 60 seconds.



Wash your glass and gift it. If the gift is to yourself, that's even better! 

These would make GREAT wedding or anniversary gifts...just sayin'!