Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Party like a ROCK STAR!

   Rock Star Party!

I've been busy  planning a Rock Star party for my soon to be 6 year old daughter.

I came up with a quick and easy invite I thought I would share.

First, I bought star shaped glitter sunglasses. They can be found here.

I had my daughter pose (like the Diva she is-yep, she picked that pose herself)

for some pictures with the star shaped glitter sunglasses on.

Then I used a photo editing program to type the party details on the photo.

I had them printed and placed them in a cellophane bag.

I also put a pair of sunglasses in each bag and folded and taped it closed.
I tied a zebra striped ribbon (found at Hobby Lobby) around the bag.

Voila! Done!

More details and pictures of the Rock Star Party to come...

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Monday, February 13, 2012

It’s Almost Valentines Day!

It's almost Valentine's day!  
Are you ready?  If you're like us and are not ready yet, here are some links and free printables to help get you ready in no time at all! 

Heart milk cubes! 
So cute, easy, and fun for Valentine's breakfast.
Free Valentine's printables.
(Don't forget how easy it can be to send your print job to the UPS Store and just pick it up all printed on cardstock or plain paper.  I never have just plain white cardstock when I need it!  Just call your local UPS store to get their email address and send them a quick email with the file attachment and details of your order!)
Printable treat bags.
Hard to find cute boy Valentine's?  Here are a few that are awesome! (did I say "cute" boy Valentine's? Yeah- they go together...on Love day anyway!) 
and my favorite...
More Valentine's printables?  Yeah, I've got a gesture of my love for y'all!
courtesy of this blog:- 
Need a cupcake topper?  
Here is a cute free printable!

Thank you to our fellow bloggers out there for posting fun stuff! Hope this helps you pull something together quickly! Enjoy!  

Friday, February 10, 2012

How to host a party with less than $100.00- and put it together in 1 day!!

How to host a party with less than $100.00- and put it together in 1 day!!

can it be done? Absolutley!  Let me tell you how this little shin dig came in WAY under budget and almost overnight!

Let me start by saying this party is not my typical party- I usually spend a small fortune and plan for months about what I am going to do.  I had party ideas coming out my ears for this party but I just couldn't get into the party mode for some strange reason!!  So, the night before the party I was scrambling with my mom, sister, and sister in law to get things together. 
 Here is what I did:

The party was a "late night- pretend sleepover- pajama party- movie night" with a dessert table/movie theater concession stand.  My daughter wanted her friends to sleepover, but I thought they were too young for that.  The age ranges were 5-9 with mostly 5 and 6 year olds.

For the invitations-
I purchased Starburst candy boxes at Wal Mart for each invitation for $.98 each and covered the front and back with patterned paper.  I covered all of the boxes with 4 sheets of paper (paper I already had).  I glittered (using glitter I already had) the edge of the party info and attached to the candy box.  I wrapped a tulle (already had) bow around the box/invitation and had the kids deliver them. 

On the dessert table we had.... 
Popcorn (extra butter of course)  $2.00
Candy boxes (Starburst, Reese's Pieces, and Twizzlers) $.98 each (10 boxes)
M&M's $2.50
Hershey's Kisses $2.00
Cookies and Cream Hearts $1.88
Heart shaped marshmallows $1.25
Now and Laters $2.00
Sprinkle donut holes $2.50
White chocolate covered pretzels $2.00
Licorice $1.68
Gummy Bears $4.00 (large bag)
Water bottles $2.00
Cake in a jar $1.34 (per cake mix, we used 3. I made cream cheese frosting at approximately $3.00..unsure of cost because I had everything to make it. I also used jars my mom already had.)
Chewy Lemon Heads $.98 (1 box divided up into smaller portions and placed in glassine bags which were $.02 each)
Cake in the Jar, prior to baking. 

A top view of the cake in the Jar all frosted and sprinkled up! 
All complete with Tulle and a spoon! 
I used dishes and a tablecloth that I already had, for the treat table.  I also used a white gift box with a ribbon that I already had, wrapped around and tied in a knot to elevate the gummy bears and to help the table look "finished" and complete, to my satisfaction. 
I used fold over sandwich bags and ribbon I had in my ribbon stash to make individual serving size bags of gummy bears.  I just cut the top off to look more like a cellophane bag would.
I used tulle I already had to wrap around the cake jars and inserted a plastic spoon.
I purchased cellophane bags ($2.00 for 25) to put the popcorn in and then placed in a paper sack ($.02 each) to avoid grease marks on the paper bags.  Then I cut a few sheets of patterned tissue paper into smaller rectangles and stuffed in the top of the popcorn sacks to look like a gift bag. 
I bought 3 pieces of patterned paper and cut into 2 inch strips to wrap around the water bottles.  I also punched scalloped circles in coordinating colors and adhered them to the Now and Laters just to cutesy them up a bit.

I bought 10 pink buckets at the dollar store and 2 packages of cute patterned tissue paper ($1.47 each) from Wal Mart.  I put one piece of tissue paper in each bucket for the kids to put their goodies in.  That way they could take their treats to the "theater" and munch while watching the movie.

We watched a movie, ate goodies, had cake ($18.00) and ice cream ($4.00) ($3.00 for plates and napkins)- the kids could choose to eat cake in a jar or the actual birthday cake but they all chose the cake in a jar.

The party favors were a large swirly lolly pop ($.50 each) and a candy shaped body glitter (on sale after Christmas for 50% off $.50 each) put upside down in a cellophane bag and tied with a ribbon.  (Upside down so they looked more like a lolly pop when held right side up.) I also purchased a Hot Wheels car ($1.00) and a green bucket for the only boy that attended the party.
The kids also got to take home their goody buckets filled with any treats leftover.

I can't take credit for everything as I am lucky to have a very helpful husband who did the shopping, the cleaning and watched the kids so I could have a girls night to get the party stuff done the night before.  I also have a spectacular mom, sister, sister in law and friend who helped with putting it all together.  They do not have a measurable price!

All in all my total comes to $94.45 plus tax and that includes EVERYTHING! (if my math is right that is!)

Can't complain and neither can my hubby! 

XOXO,     Dawn

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Lets go to the movies - TAKE 2

Just some more fun, close up pics of the party... thought i would post! My last post was lengthy enough!

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Lets Go to the Movies

       I love to plan parties. I don't know what it is that is so enthralling about it, but I get so excited! I love creating and making a party look fun and not super commercialized. To me, decorations are what helps the guests get into the party spirit and have fun. Something about the theme, colors, food spreads, etc. It's so exciting. 
      My sweet friend Aimee was kind enough to let me help her plan and decorate for her Daughters 12th Birthday. The theme of the event was "Movie Night".. However, no movies were watched. Originally the girls were going to split up into two groups and make movies, then we would get back together and watch them. The plan strayed a bit. With 15 girls, and lots of events planned, things went off track. 
      Aimee and I spent about three days on this party. Planning, brainstorming ideas, shopping, gathering supplies, dreaming up ideas for tags and food tents, creating, decorating and baking. Along with our daily duties of Mamas and wives... We planned it just right and pulled it off with time to shower. It consumed our lives, but totally worth it. 
       One thing we did was prepared the gift bags the day before. They ended up perfect. We got popcorn boxes here, then grabbed theater size boxes of candy, microwave popcorn and bottles of Crush and IBC rootbeer at Walmart. Of course we went into Wally world, not online. We stuffed a little tissue paper in the bottom of the boxes to give them some height, wrapped them in cellophane, and tied with a cute bow with ribbon also purchased at Walmart. Aimee's Mr. Wonderful designed some labels for us on Photoshop. He did awesome!

The gift box for the girls! LOVE IT! 
Gift boxes displayed! A decor piece in itself! 
Our Dessert table was a Sundae Bar, with of course other options! Oreo truffles, cake bites... never enough sugar.  The food tents were also created by Aimee's Mr. Wonderful. We used a piece of Red fabric I had and draped it over  set of white lights (Hence the sparkles under the fabric).. we used some bling bead necklaces  purchased at our local dollar tree. 8 necklaces for $1. Gold and Silver.  Cant beat that! Add them to the party collections! 
And yet, another view. 

Toppings (Crushed up candy bars, and skittles) all requested by the birthday girl! Chalboard sheet square used for the sign.  

Another View of the Sundae Bar

Close up of the cake bites and the lights
We made cupcakes in red and silver foil wraps. Frosted White , with Mini Marshmellows put on and painted with yellow food coloring mixed with water to look like popcorn. Aimee saw this idea on pinterest and I am not sure who to give credit to (I apologize to the creator out there)..  I placed the Wilton cupcake stand on a box that was placed under the red fabric. 

The Beverage station! We used more red fabric to drape over a Painting already hanging. The  tinsel was purchased at Dollar tree after Christmas. Worked great with our "Movie" theme. The production sign was found at Zurcher's, along with the hanging stars. The tickets were also found at Zurchers. We filled her apothecary jar and tied a cute striped ribbon up top. I used a box (i think it was a shoe box) to give the height of the production sign. I placed the box down, then draped over some gold shimmer fabric i had on hand. I placed the cake stand under the fabric also, prior to putting Aimee's new Pottery Barn Drink Dispenser on. The popcorn box is plastic, found from Target's Famous $1 section, stuffed with Tissue paper. . We invested in some Star String Lights found at Zurcher's. They are gold and silver stars! It looked amazing ! We used mason jars for the drinks and pre-made the guests name on a label printed on photo paper. We decided that if they were labeled it would prevent mix-ups! Brilliant idea! Each mason jar had the label tied on with Martha Stewart's Bakers twine, also found at Zurcher's! I love that stuff! I want every color! We used black napkins and rolled the Cutlery in it and tied with a piece of twine. And of course we had to add the vintage red/white paper straws!  I used some tickets to set on the station to pull the red through, and we tied a cute grosgrain ribbon around the jar. I tossed on some silver package curly's found at Dollar Tree, 3 for $1. 
The Concession Stand! We had popcorn, make-your-own pizza station, nachos, and chocolate chip cookies here. We found the oversize polkadot balloons at Zurcher's! These are a must for every party! They look amazing with all the decor. They tie everything together. We used Dawn's gold and red Chargers for the girls to carry their plates on with their goodies and completed pizzas. We had them just plop where they could find a chair, couch, floor, etc. 

Pizza ingredients... Sauce, cheese, and pepperoni. Pizza  tent printed on  Photo paper, of course. I  loved the shiny look with the "Movie" Theme party! 
Licorice place in a square glass vase I had on hand.  Grosgrain striped ribbon found at our local Walmart, with the licorice tag. OF course i used my big shot (from Stampin' Up) to cut out the scallop circle.

Concession sign made out of foam board, painted black and  Letter stickers that were shiny found at the local Dollar Tree. I taped colored tongue depressors (found at Walmart) to the edges, intending to do something else, but decided it would be more flattering to hang from the ceiling. I taped the gold stars to it last minute to tie in the star theme.  I tied the balloons to a glass candlestick, also found at the local Dollar Tree, wrapped with Red Tulle and a gold star added to it!
The tablescape was a simple white tablecloth , draped over some boxes from the pantry for height. I Made a Movies Sign with foam board, black paint, yellow cardstock and block letters run off on the big shot from Stampin' up. I thumb-tacked it to a gold glittery cone I picked up at Dollar tree at Christmas time. I picked up the star clappers at Dollar tree at New Years. Again, another useful decoration.  I love getting versatile use out of things.
I used more package curly's to drape on the table. I purchased them in gold and silver. Aimee created a cupcake stand out of a clear glass candlestick and hot-glued a candle holder plate to the top. She painted it using  a spray paint (Krylon Fusion for plastic -gloss)  purchased from Walmart. She took a shallow box and set it in, and sprayed it in her cold storage room of her basement. (Since it is freezing cold this time of year).  The problem we discovered using spray paint, is it takes numerous coats and drying time in between to get to the color you want. The benefit, on the other hand, is that you can achieve just the right color your looking for by spraying it. Versus, using acrylic paint and sponge painting it. I set the roll of tickets in the middle on top of the box and placed my 3D"Camera" made from cardboard boxes, and X-acto knife, black duct tape, hot glue, mason jar lids, yellow sticky-back felt and yellow cardstock. I LOVED the way it turned out! Made for a fun centerpiece underneath the cascading balloons and stars! I draped gold tinsel around the centerpiece and intertwined red tulle purchased in a small role at Walmart. It tied it all together. 

The other end of the table had another plastic popcorn bucket with tissue, a star clapper, and a directors megaphone Aimee found at Zurchers. The balloons were hung very carefully. lol... Aimee and I did this for the Mario Party we did (which will come in a future post). We learned that they sway a lot, but still look cool. Aimee read somewhere on Pinterest that you can put a marble in them and they wont sway. So we tried it, and the balloons all seemed to deflate by pinholes. I am still not quite sure what happened. We will work on that issue for future parties. This is something you can do a couple days before the party, which i would suggest, because this is very time consuming. You blow up each balloon, tie it, and we used a piece of elastic, clear, stretchy jewelry cord found at Walmart for $2. We tied a strand of Jewelry cord between two barstools, and individually tied balloons at varying lengths, Then we hung the whole strand of balloons. I think we did a total of five strands in this particular picture. Then we hung Gold Stars (Cardboard) found at Zurchers to jewelry cord and tied them to the ends of the balloons. This cute back on the length of cord we used. You could also use Fishing line, thread, etc. I liked the jewelry cord because of the flexibility. I tied the ends of the table cloth to the table legs with the red and white striped Grosgrain ribbon. I even taped a di-cut film strip I found in my stash to the big Center Star. You can see that we did this all in Aimee's Kitchen. The beverage station in the back, the concession stand above her counter, and to the right (not pictured) is the counter with the Sundae Bar. 

Another View..

I tied three blown balloons together with jewelry cord and put them in each corner of the windows . This helped to tie in the family room and the kitchen. They have a perfect wall for a photo booth. We took the same red fabric, pinned it to the wall, added all the Gold stars we found at Zurcher's. (They came in a package of 12 for $0.99, and they are re-usable). I used that blue sticky goo to put them on the fabric. Worked great. We had a basket with all kinds of silly props. WE took pics of the girls and emailed them (Or their parents) the photos. So FUN! Next time around, maybe a fun sign that says PHOTO BOOTH????

This is the opposite wall of the photo booth and it just needed something. So I used a popcorn container, tied the balloons to one of those clear candlesticks, and stuck it in the popcorn box. I stuffed a little tissue paper around it, and TA-DA... great center piece. 

This is was on the entry table. These balloons were so much fun to incorporate into the party  decor. I tied these to a star balloon holder found at Dollar Tree, draped some gold Tinsel around it..

As I am posting this, I am realizing there are some pics I am missing. A Directors front door sign I created, to greet the guests, and a few others..  I hope i didnt miss taking a picture of them.
We had a lot of fun planning, decorating and creating this. The girls did a craft, played a couple games, made pizza, presents, made sundaes, and of course a WII dance party.... Michael Jackson Experience is a phenomenal game, as well as Just Dance 2!

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment, email us at or visit our facebook page!

XOXO,       Jan 

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A gift of sweetness...

Something Quick and easy..
I was scanning through pics of what I had created last valentines day. I came across these cute little gifts I made for my kids and co-workers. It always makes me feel good to hand make something and give to someone. 

Since my father passed away in July, my counselor who I have been seeing, talked to me about keeping busy this Valentines day. Valentines day has always been a tough one for me. My Daddy suffered from Alzheimer's disease for about 12 years.. It was BRUTAL, to say the least. I was always a Daddy's little girl.. 

Every year on Valentines day my Dad had two Valentine's. Me and my Mom. He would do something special for us every year. Whether it be flowers, jewelry (and boy do i have a collection from him), candy, and always a heartfelt card that really meant a lot! About 4 years ago, Daddy lost his ability to drive. The clue to us was when he got lost going Christmas shopping.. He was gone for 3 hours, had a cell phone (but had forgotten that he had it), couldn't find the store, and had difficulty finding his house he had lived in for over 10+ years to get home. It was horrible. Anyhow, that is when the ability to remember the holiday came. It was extremely hard for me. It just didn't make Valentines the same anymore. My Mr. Wonderful always makes it special, but it wasn't the same. I guess that's because I was used to getting a special Valentine from my Daddy every year. I always made it a point to call him on the morning of the holiday when he got to sick to remember, and remind him to go NOW and tell Mom Happy Valentines, Birthday, etc.... If i was lucky enough to escape the business of my own life, I would drive the 30 min trip (one way) to go get my "valentine hug/kiss" from my daddy... because it meant a lot. I was extremely deflated, but being a Registered Nurse, I know he wasn't doing it on purpose and could grasp the reasons. So to my Mr. Wonderful, I am apologizing to you publicly that my Dad set the BAR pretty High! ;)

I have always made Valentines Special for our kids. Even if its just a special little treat with a cute little tag to let them know we love them so much! Of course, It has to be done cute with a cute tag and/or packaging... because I love to craft. Mr. Wonderful used to always say, "Why do you spend all that time to make it fancy, when they are just going to tear the packaging off and not care". My response was, "They will always remember, and it makes me feel good!". Since then, I secretly think he likes it to!

Last year I purchased those little mailboxes in the Target $1 section. I modge podged cute paper onto them and filled them with treats and a love note on Valentines. I picked paper that they would like or would go with their room decor, in hopes that we would send each other mail. Unfortunately that never stuck... but my wheels keep spinning with that one. So, I went into their rooms and dug them out. I started a treat a day for 7 days before V-day! Today is day three. On our facebook  page (Go to our page and like it! Watch for some giveaways!) I have uploaded horrible quality pics taken with my iPhone to show what I have done. I have also started doing it for Mr. Wonderful. He has gotten a treat on the drivers seat each morning when he has gotten in to go to work! . Thank you to my counselor for encouraging me to make and give. It really is keeping my head up and heart full of LOVE this year. Make the day not as difficult! 

Do you all have any traditions you do in your house? 

Some cheap clear boxes I purchased at Michael's with an old Valentine Stamp set from Stampin' Up I had on hand, as well as the coordinating heart punch!
I covered the Hershey Treasure candies with coordinating scrapbook paper I had purchased from Stampin' Up last year. My distributor is Cindy Peterson! She is amazing! Check out her site Here

A close up of the cello bag! 

Another Version..

I love the trend of wrapping chocolate bars! These are so fun, and there is always so many options you can do. The thousands and thousands of products coming out all the time! 

Something more simple!

I hope you spin-off and create a Valentines to remember! 
XOXO,          Jan

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A "Bouncy" Valentine

Pinterest anyone?  Valentine's ideas via Pinterest. 
Ok, I have a problem.  It's a very bad/good problem.  It is called Pinterest.  Have you tried it?  If not, you should.  (Don't tell your husband I told you about it.)  My poor husband has to endure me showing him 500 things I want to do....someday.
Well, someday has come and I have been using Pinterest for so many things.  Mostly cooking but also my Valentine's ideas this year.  I am a teacher's aid in a 1st grade class; I absolutely LOVE those kids and wanted to do a Valentine for them.  Some of the kids have food allergies, medical concerns, etc. so I had to come up with something besides candy.  In came Pinterest.  I found this awesome idea Here. Nellie Design has some great ideas!   
I went to our local party store Zurchers and found bouncy balls.. Go Here, I found 12 for $4.95.  I got my cello bags at Walmart in the Wilton section. 25 bags for $2.00.  Great deal. 

Visit Nellie-Design Here to get the free Download for these adorable bag toppers! 
I had some printer problems so I found a great way to print my toppers.  You can send an email to your local UPS Store with the file you want printed and they will print your order and you can pick it up!  I printed mine on cardstock.
One quick tip I have is using a scoring blade on your Cricut cutter to make the topper fold nicely, Or a bone folder and ruler, anything really. In reality you could use a butter knife - scoring really does make a difference folding cardstock !
Super QUICK, super CUTE Valentines! Thank you Pinterest and nellie-design!

xoxo - Dawn

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wallin Happenings of 2011

Just thought I would share the 2011 Photobook I spent hours making on Shutterfly! It turned out great! I was a little disappointed when the book came and had a couple nicks in the page, one being right on Jene's face! But, overall, the quality was amazing! Its a great idea to do a short book as a gift for a grandparent or parent. Who wouldn't love the gift of pictures, right? You can sign up for Shutterfly's emails and they are always sending out coupons that make it totally worth it! Just Saying!

Create your own custom photo books at

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Say Thank You to those who teach our Little's..

Who better to say thank you to than our Littles teachers! They give them such a vast amount of knowledge and teach them many things that we don't all have the ability to teach! When showing their teachers a thank you, we (Dawn and I), like to remember that they deserve the very best! I don't think it always has to be on teacher appreciation day, or the beginning and end of the year!
     It makes my heart soar when my Little's come home so excited about something they learned, or something fun they did! It reminds me to be thankful for so many things! First and foremost, to be part of an amazing country that allows us to raise our children with an education! Let's face it, these amazing teachers put a phenomenal impact on our children. It will be those teachers that our Little's will remember. (be honest, if it hasn't happened yet, it will... you will or have been told that their teachers KNOW EVERYTHING!)... Great! More power to those amazing teachers! So.......lets butter them up when we can and send them fun things every once in awhile and let them know you care! (However, as I am writing this, I do remember the movie I watched with Mr. Wonderful over the weekend: Bad Teacher, starring Cameron Diaz, and am praying my Little's don't have and will NEVER have, a teacher like her).. (I don't recommend you watching it if naughtiness and foul language, and sexually explicit comments offend you)... it was pretty funny, I do have to admit! (praying praying praying there are not teachers out there like her!)
      I love to find out things that my Little's teachers like and incorporate it into their appreciation gifts...but in the end, it's the thought that counts!

Dawn designed a these for teacher appreciation gifts... They turned out amazing!  

Dawn sold these on her etsy shop in customized  orders.. 

Here is another cute creation! 

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