Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Birthday on a Budget: Pizza-themed Party!

At our house it's tradition for my kids to only have a friend birthday party every other year. I love throwing my kids a party to celebrate their special day, but let's be honest: they can be exhausting and can get expensive if you're not careful. 

When trying to pick a theme for my son's special day, I brainstormed things he was interested in and what would be fun for him and a few of his friend's to do at the party. My son has been more interested in helping me prepare and cook meals, so we decided on a pizza themed party!

Custom invitation made by peabeedesigns! Check out the shop and get your custom invite too!

 Here's my little birthday boy wearing his special hat from school AND the chef's hat we made at his party (because how can you choose just ONE hat to wear on your birthday?) He's standing next to some pizza slices I printed out and taped to the wall to create a matching game for his friend's to play at the party.

 When the kids started to arrive, they immediately got to work making their chef's hat. The idea for the hat was adorable and easy to do. I used this tutorial from PBS kids . I found some food themed stickers and stamps at Wal-Mart in their party-favor section and the kids used those and some markers/crayons to decorate their hats.
 Next, the kids made their own paper pizzas with toppings I'd cut out for them using cardstock and construction paper.

Then it was time to make their own pizzas to eat! I love this dough from our best bites. I made the dough ahead of time and had it rise before the party that way it would be ready right when we needed it. I used premade pizza sauce from a jar and had all the toppings ready to go. The kids were good about listening as I told them how to flatten their pizza, use a fork to poke holes in the dough, spread the sauce, sprinkle cheese and any toppings around. Then we put them in the oven to bake!

While they were baking, we played a "Pin the Pepperoni on the Pizza" game and opened presents. When the pizza was done, we ate and then decorated a circle-shaped sugar cookie (a pizza-cookie) and sang "Happy Birthday".

The party was easy and the kids had a blast making and eating their own pizzas. And I didn't spend a fortune on party supplies or favors for the kids to take home (they took home their hat and paper pizza they'd made and that was it!)  Another win-win!

Check out Porter's Super-hero party on a budget!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Special Delivery From the North Pole!

Who wouldn't love getting a present that is "legit" from the North Pole?!

I searched high and low for ones that were 1) FREE to download and use 2) looked "official" 3) could be printed on a sticker label (because I'm not cutting out or punching holes for ribbons in anything, sorry)

There were several that met the requirements and now I'm having a hard time choosing which ones to use! I can't wait to see my kids' reactions on Christmas morning when they see their Santa presents with these on them!

To download any of these printables, click to visit their website and instructions for downloading

And if you're feeling extra festive and want to leave your kiddos a letter from Santa thanking them for the cookies or other special message, check out this cute letter!

Be sure to check out my shop to see what's new and remember that I LOVE custom orders! Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

DIY Gift Idea: Simple Sugar Scrub Recipe

It's that time of year again to recognize that special teacher in your child's life. I swear, now that I'm the parent instead of the teacher, the entire 9 month school year goes by faster than the 3 months of summer combined. Why is that? And how come pregnancy doesn't work like that too?

Last year, I did a free printable for teacher appreciation and I also shared some idea of things teachers REALLY want from students at the end of the school year. If you haven't already, I would definitely check that out!

This year, after racking my brain for something fun but still inexpensive, I found this super easy, all-natural recipe for a sugar scrub that I LOVED and decided to make some to give away to my kids' teachers. The recipe is sooooooooooo easy and is one you'll want to file away when you need a great gift for a friend (think Christmas and Birthdays!).

photo via

4 Ingredient Sugar Scrub:

  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon extract of your choice (think vanilla, almond, peppermint, raspberry, coconut...or a combination!)
Mix the ingredients well. You can mix by hand or I used my food processor to make sure everything was mixed really well. 

Transfer mixture into an airtight container and it will keep for up to 2 weeks. 

This scrub would be cute paired with a colorful nail file and bottle of nail-polish. Add in the printable gift tag below and you've got yourself an easy, inexpensive gift your child's teacher will love!

photo via
To download the toe-tally awesome teacher tag, click HERE

Don't forget to check out my shop to see if there's anything else the teacher in your life would love. And remember, I do custom orders too! Whether it's an invitation, announcement, or a custom print for your home, I do it all! Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Thanksgiving Blessing FREEBIE PRINTABLE

It's Thanksgiving time! Holy cow, this year has FLOWN by! And every time we get to Thanksgiving, I'm reminded more and more why it's my favorite holiday: it's about pausing for a moment to appreciate what we have.

 I ran across a quote that said "Gratitude means what we have is enough". I loved it because I feel like it's so true! This time of year we're bombarded with sales and the idea that we need more stuff. I love that Thanksgiving isn't about presents or expectations or a dollar amount...it's about surrounding myself with the people I love and giving thanks to God for all I have, because what I have is enough. 

I hope you enjoy these freebie thanksgiving printables!

 For the colored version of the Thanksgiving Blessing click HERE
 For the wood farmhouse version of the Thanksgiving blessing, click HERE
For more free fall and Thanksgiving printable, click HERE

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Wannabe Seamstress: DIY Superhero Costumes

 As you probably know, this is my favorite time of year for sewing! It's so fun to do my kids' Halloween costumes each year and each year I learn a little more and add new sewing skills.

 PLEASE NOTE: I am not a professional seamstress. I make many, many mistakes and my goal of these tutorials to help you not make the same mistakes I did and to take those pinterest inspirations (i.e. usually no patterns and sometimes confusing tutorials) and turn them into something that anyone can do. There will probably be things that I do poorly or that you can do better. By all means DO! Improve upon this tutorial and make it your own. Enjoy the journey as you sew and improve. I know I am!

This year, I based my kids' costumes around a 2015 Christmas present my then 3 year old son got. His uncle gave him a really nice Batman costume. It was a little big on him and I knew right then and there that we'd use for Halloween in 2016. I just put him in some warm black pants and black thermal shirt underneath. And YAY--that's one costume down!

And if you have a Batman, you gotta have his trusty side-kick, right?
For the red shirt, I used this tutorial I have used for the past 3 years now (I used the same pattern for Olaf and the Shark)! Seriously, making the sleeveless shirt can be used for any costume you can think of!

Fold your fabric in half (wrong sides out). I used an existing shirt to help me with the size I would need for a 24 month old old.  Giving myself some extra room for seams, I very carefully cut through both pieces of fabric and cut out a rectangle a little larger than the size of the shirt.

 With my two rectangles still lying on top of each other, I pinned where the neck and arm holes would be. Again, give yourself a little extra room.

 When you're ready to sew, it will look like two rectangles pinned together. DO NOT sew your neck or arm hole openings closed or you'll be sad!

In year's past, I've done a casing around the bottom of the shirt and put an elastic in to make the costume for Olaf and the shark more bunchy and the appearance of being more round. I did not do that with this costume.

After I was done sewing, I used a sweater vest I found to help me shape the arm holes a little better than I've done before. I also took my sewing scissors and slightly rounded the neck opening on the front and back side of the shirt so my son's head could fit through!

Then I used some left over felt and made the embellishments for Robin's costume. You could sew them on, but I think you know that if I can use a glue gun to get the job done I will.

Luckily, I had a top from a pair of TMNT jammies he could wear underneath the red shirt for the green sleeves of Robin's costume. But I needed to make a pair of plain green leggings. I scoured pinterest for tutorials and patterns and finally found this one that is seriously THE BEST one out there.
 The only thing I did different than the tutorial was to hem the pant legs last instead of first.
Then, I used this tutorial for the cape (it's the same tutorial I used for the Elsa cape). My little guy didn't love the weight of cape pulling against his neck, so I went back and used safety pins (NOT while he was wearing it!) to pin the shoulders of the cape to the red shirt.

Since I had a Batman and Robin, my mind naturally thought of Cat Woman for my daughter. But that costume isn't very fun. When saw the metallic blue of this fabric and JoAnne's, we decided that Wonder Woman is way more fun!

To do the skirt, I used this tutorial for the circle skirt. I was scared to do it and so worried it wasn't going to turn out, but it did! And now that I know how to make a circle skirt, I plan on making more skirts for my daughter to wear to school and church!

First, you need to make your own pattern by taping/gluing 4 pieces of paper together. Then you need to follow the instructions on the tutorial for figuring out the waist radius and the length. Here's another cheat sheet for figuring out the radius of your quarter circle. 
Once I had the radius marked on my paper, I measured down to the length I wanted the skirt and marked it.
Move your measuring tape around that quarter circle you made (the Radius)  and mark in different spots to get an even length for your skirt.

Then cut out your pattern. Next, fold your fabric into fourths and lay your pattern on top and pin it through all layers of fabric to secure it.
Cut out your fabric on the fold (this is where I had a panic attack, but it turned out fine!):

And TA-DA!!! You are practically finished!

I used this sparkly elastic stuff for the band. Again, I followed the instructions on the tutorial on how to sew it. The only difference was this gold stuff I used was way more stretchy than regular elastic so I had to cut, pin, and have my daughter try the skirt on many times before I got the right fit.

Since this material didn't fray when I cut it, I decided not to hem the bottom (it's a dress up skirt after all). So after sewing on the elastic waist, I was done!

It fit perfectly!

 Since Halloween night is pretty cold where I live, I'll have her wear a pair of red leggings under the skirt. I'm also going to have her wear a red long sleeved shirt with it.

I found some glittery foam 8.5x11 sheets at Wal Mart that worked perfectly to make the crown and wrist cuffs Wonder Woman wears. They didn't have any glittery red foam, but Wal-Mart did carry a set of stickers already cut out into stars.

To make the crown, I first made a pattern on a sheet of white printer paper. WW's crown is pretty basic and not too hard to recreate. After I'd cut out my pattern, I cut out the crown on the gold foam paper. Then I just hot glued it to a headband my daughter already had. TIP: line up the center of the crown with the center of the headband and glue that part first.

I had enough of the foam paper left to do the wrist cuffs too. I just measured two pieces of the foam around my daughter's wrist so the two ends weren't quite touching. I cut one of  each end so they were more tapered against her wrists (see pic below). Then I hot glued two small pieces of elastic (one at the top and bottom of each wrist cuff) so my daughter would be able to get the cuffs over her hand, but they'd still fit snuggly. Last, I attached the red stars to the crown and wrist cuffs, and I was done!
 The kids had tons of fun playing superheros--and that is exactly why I love making costumes for my kids...to use as dress up throughout the rest of the year and to see their imaginations soar!

Check out the other past costume tutorials:
Jessie and Woody from Toy Story
Elsa and Olaf from Frozen

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Confessions of a Wannabe Seamstress: 20 Min Table Runner

I have a new obsession: making table runners! I love that these are SO SIMPLE to make, can easily be done in 30 minutes or less, and are the perfect size! They're just big enough to be a focal point on your table, but not so huge that they take up your whole table when you want to use it: like homework time (you could even leave them on for dinner!)

Once a year our church does a huge craft/project day called "Super Saturday". All the women get together and spend the day rotating around stations set up for different projects. These table runners were one of the stations at this year's Super Saturday. My friend taught me how to make them, and she learned how to make them from her mom who learned how from a craft segment on a TV show.

My friend who was teaching had TONS of table runners she had made using this pattern. She had one for every holiday and we talked about how these would make cute christmas/birthday/housewarming gifts. Table runners are such a fun way to add a pop of color to your home and buying them at the store can get expensive. I'm so excited to make more for everyday use that I can rotate throughout the year.

Materials Needed:

  • 1/2 yard of fabric that will be your bottom and top trim
  • 1/3 yard of fabric that will be the top pattern
  • 2 buttons
First, if you have a large cutting mat and a rotor cutting tool, measure the width of of your fabric to make sure it's even (you'd be surprised how fabric gets cut all wonky and are wider in some spots.) Your 1/3 yard of fabric should be 12 inches wide. Use a rotor cutting tool to trim off any spots that aren't straight and are too wide in spots. Your 1/2 yard of fabric should be 18 inches wide. NOTE: If you don't have a cutting mat or rotor cutter borrow one from a friend (that's what I did) or you can use a measuring tape or yard stick as a guide, but it's a little trickier that way.

After your fabric is trimmed, iron the creases.

Next, with the right sides of the fabric together, pin the left edges of your fabric together--along the length.
Using a 1/4 inch seam, sew a straight line along where you pinned.

Now pull the top piece over and pin the right side along the length. Sew that edge.
After it's sewed together, flip it right-side out. You'll have a long tube. Try to adjust the trim pieces so they're even on each side, then iron the creases. (Starch helps with getting your seams to look really nice)
Now fold your fabric in half lengthwise (or if you're my middle school student I would say "hot dog") so your top piece is facing out. Pin the open edges (along the width) together.
Using a 1/4 in seam (see NOTE) sew those pieces together on both ends.

When sewing this I always line up the "tag" ends on both pieces of fabric together. You'll need to sew a little further in than 1/4 inch. Then, once it's sewed, I'll trim off the excess pieces so my seam isn't so big underneath.

Once that's sewed it will look something like this:
Now just flip the end pieces inside out to make your points and iron your seams.
Last, use your machine or hand sew the buttons on your runner. Or if that's not your thing, you can always use a glue gun!
Enjoy your new table runner!
Seriously, these are so quick and easy you'll want to run out and get more fabric, so make sure to have plenty on hand!