Category Archives: Fabric {My “Crafty” Side}

Naked Tree

Lately on Facebook I have seen lots of friends posting pictures of canvases they have created at these wine and painting places where you sip and follow along step by step with an actual artist as they walk you through your way to a beautiful, colorful masterpiece made by YOU!

We have one here in town, Pinot’s Palette, and I have wanted to go for awhile now. I searched their calendar and found a “simple” Fall inspired scene, called Harvest Moon, and rounded up some friends to join in the fun.

You start with a big blank canvas and all your colors are measured out for you on a paper plate…


The artist instructs how to do each step, which paints to mix, what brush to use, etc. and before you know it, you see your picture start to come together…


I was very conservative with my sips at first, but then picked up the pace a bit as I became a little more confident with the brush. Ha! This is about halfway through when we took a 10 minute break.

What I really liked about it was that you were totally able to bring food in…just no beverages. They have beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages available for purchase. There were 7 of us so we ended up getting a couple of bottles as that worked out cheaper.

We had tons of goodies, too: deviled eggs, crudite platter, salami, cheese & cracker platter, brie, 7-layer dip and tortilla chips and Oreo truffle balls and caramel apple cheesecake bars for a sweet treat. I think all the other painters not in our group were secretly jealous. 😉

There were little tags that you could mark your food with which was very thoughtful. They supply little plates, napkins and plastic ware, too!


At one point the artist used a seemingly benign description for painting our tree and it didn’t take long for the sexual innuendos to start up. C’mon…you have a bunch of over 21 ladies who got out of the house on a Tuesday night and gave them some wine…..there was ONE poor guy on staff and he loved every minute of it, I think. At one point, I felt like we had hit the jackpot with wine, painting AND comedy. And when I sit with this girl to my right, Devyn, and Karen to my left  {pictured next in pink} things are bound to get out of hand!!


The 2 hours FLEW by. I didn’t want to finish my painting because I didn’t want to go home.


Such a fun group of sweet friends {and neighbors}.

Here is my final masterpiece. I think as the night went on I lost concentration and my tree ended up a little sparse ~ we nicknamed mine “Naked Tree”…



I love seeing how they all differed. It was really so, so fun. We all want to go back!

Thank you, ladies, for coming out and gettin’ crazy with me on a random Tuesday night. I loved every minute of it and I love you all!!

Since it MAY have been my birthday, they brought out several canvases for me to choose from to take home. I chose one that they did as a St. Jude fundraiser last week. I love it…



I totally recommend getting some gals together and going. It exceeded my expectations which is always good in my book because I tend to always keep them high! 😉

Anchored In Christ ~ A First Communion Celebration

Two weekends ago Holden made his first holy communion. Two years of CCD brought him to this point and he was looking forward to this sacrament….tired of “just” getting a blessing at communion and ready to receive the body & blood of Christ.

We worked on his banner together over Spring Break…he did the layout and I did the hot gluing.


I spent months looking for the right dress pants, shoes and tie. One day while killing time I popped into Janie & Jack and found some brown trousers on the clearance rack for under $20. And while we were enjoying a holiday stroll through The Grove back in December, again, I ran into J & J and found some darling brown wing tip boots for half price. Once we settled on the anchor icon, I knew I needed to locate a tie with said symbol and found one in navy blue from Hobo Ties on Etsy.


No photos were allowed during the ceremony, but here he is with Father Albert after mass…



{Jay just happened to already have a dress shirt with anchors on it! I found Elliott’s sailor inspired dress at for under $20. My skirt is Lauren Conrad from Kohl’s, top from Old Navy, pearl & gold statement necklace is from Target and fedora from Kmart!}

Holden had team pictures and a baseball game later that afternoon so we had a quick lunch at In N Out and shifted gears. For his special dinner, later that evening, he chose Lucille’s for ribs.


We hosted a brunch the following morning to celebrate our sweet communicant.

I found some simple little anchor notecards at Target for the invitations and that quickly became the theme of his celebration brunch ~ a nautical nod to this very big faith milestone.


I had a couple pieces of wood laying around in the garage and decided to make a sign with the Hebrews verse that prompted me to go with the anchor icon for this special occasion…


I put a light coat of white on it to give it a beachy, white-washed look, hand wrote the design in pencil and then pained over it with metallic gold and navy blue paints.


I don’t have a good picture of them, but the party favors were a faux succulent pictured on the mantel to the right of the sign and a little bag of peppermint Lifesavers. The succulents were a huge hit. Everyone couldn’t believe they were artificial and was glad they required absolutely NO water!


I saw the Lifesaver idea on Pinterest for a nautical baby shower and had the little paper treat bags, but wasn’t sure what I was going to do with them. The mints were perfect and I added a little label with the verse Jeremiah 31:24 ~ “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint”.

We have a huge vintage Cinzano poster in our dining area that I covered with wrapping paper to give this space a more cohesive and festive look…


I also hung 2 of these navy paper lanterns over our huge dining table.

The paper plates, napkins, straws & cups are all from either Target or Home Goods. I picked these up months ago knowing I’d most likely go with navy blue & some shade of green.


Fortunately being close to summer, it was easy to find anchor goodies!


{large anchor from Marshalls and “Let’s Set Sail” sign from Home Goods}


For the brunch, I tried to keep things simple. We had a couple baked egg casseroles {one with sausage, cheese & sourdough bread and one with artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, feta cheese and hash browns as the base} They were both a hit, however, I think most of the guests enjoyed the Mediterranean one a little more.


I also made Monkey Bread and should have made two as this stuff is ALWAYS popular and the first to go…


Fruit salad and mimosas are always a must for brunch…


Lolo & Lola ordered a 10″ marble Nothing Bundt Cake and there wasn’t a crumb left!


Holden was blessed with so many wonderful keepsake gifts of his faith, gift cards and a telescope from Gramma Kathy to look into the heavens!

It was another wonderful milestone on his faith journey and I am sad that it’s over. The next big one is confirmation in high school!

In the meantime, we’ll continue religious education and faith formation.

Glory to God in the highest.

Under The Mistletoe

Just wanted to pop in and share a cute holiday gift that I’ve been working on ~ Mistletoe Survival Kits.

I’ve been hoarding all things candy cane & peppermint for the past couple months.

Last year I saw this cute idea and wanted to put my own spin on it to give as gifts this year.


Each kit will include about 4 of the goodies shown and will be nestled in a small gift bag.

The majority of these things were only about a dollar so this makes a nice, inexpensive little gift.

1. Candy Cane Green Tea ~ Trader Joe’s

2. Socks ~ Target

3. Mug on the left ~ 99¢ Only

4. Mint Chocolate Chip mask ~ Wal-mart

5. “Pur” gum ~ Albertson’s

6. Mug on lower right ~ Dollar Tree

7. Ghiradelli peppermint hot chocolate mix ~ Wal-mart

8. Minta soda ~ Ralphs

9. Peppermint hot cocoa spoon ~ Wal-mart

10. Candy Cane Chapstick ~ Wal-mart

11. Candy Cane mini Oreos ~ Wal-mart

12. Peppermint tissue paper ~ Dollar Tree

Not pictured: EOS sweet mint lip balm and LUNA minis in Chocolate Peppermint Stick {both from Target}.


These will make sweet gifts for teachers, aides, hairstylists, babysitters, etc.

Now off to make my Thanksgiving shopping list ~ less than a week away.

Happy Friday!

Bubbles Two Ways ~ EOY Classroom & Campus Helper Goodies

OK, so apparently I’m on a roll with the EOY goodies…..

Today we’re focusing on classroom treats and little tokens for the campus staff like yard duties, librarian, cafeteria friends and classroom aids.

Holden is in a split class this year ~ kindergarten & first grade. I don’t like to give candy, so I was on the hunt for something summery for him to hand out on the last day of school. One year Elliott received the cutest little bucket of sidewalk chalk and I was trying to keep that in mind as I began my hunt. But, I spotted some fun bubble wands in the Target dollar section and decided to roll with those and save time {and gas!} driving all over town trying to gather other options. Plus, if I decided to go with the wands and go back to Target next week, they may very well be gone. Now I can check this off my list and move onto the next thing {for example: clean the bathrooms!}.


I just thought these were so fun and came up with a cheesy message which I printed on clear labels and affixed to some fish cutouts that I picked up at Dollar Tree and tied on with baker’s twine.


{pretend the labels didn’t get cut off at the top, OK}


Now onto the campus helpers….

In keeping with the bubble theme {well, there really was no bubble theme, but it just sounded good}, Ross had some 4.1 ounce bottles of shower gel in fruity/floral/botanical scents that came in a pack of seven for $3.99. Seriously….this comes out to 57 cents a piece! I grabbed some clear Spritz favor bags at Target and bagged them up with a few paper shreds. I also used up some leftover paint chips from crafts that I did with the third graders earlier in the year and made a little tag with a message ~ again just printed on clear labels.


Done and done.


Now I just need to figure out what I’m going to do for Elliott’s class…..

I hope these ideas have been helpful. In the past I have not done much at the end of the year because I found that I waited until the last minute and was so over the whole school year that I didn’t do ANYTHING. As a result, last year and this year I tried to plan ahead so we could thank all the special school people who become such important parts of our lives.

Seventeen more {school} days ’til bubble blowin’!!!

Office Space ~ EOY Office Staff Treats

Hello friends and Happy Humpday!

I’m back real quick with the second installment of EOY gift ideas.

Today we’re recognizing the hard working ladies in the office. They field and treat NUMEROUS daily health related & accident cases, track attendance, disperse forgotten items that are dropped off late, supervise students during recess and lunch who aren’t able to play out on the yard, etc, etc. Lord only knows what other behind-the-scenes situations they are faced with throughout the school year, but what I witness them doing on a daily basis is enough for me to deem them saints. Annnd, they always have a smile on their face.

See…smiles all around. Aren’t they such a cute trio?


If you’d like to recognize your kind office staff on the last day of school, but aren’t sure what to do, here are a few ideas…


These fun little office supplies were found recently at Target {file folders} & JoAnns {ecard notebook} in the dollar bins!

Fancy folders make filing more fun, right?

Jotting down zillions of notes and messages is always more interesting in an silly ecard notepad, correct?

I must confess that the perfect typewriter thank you card is from several months back at Trader Joe’s. My OCD gift giving self grabbed a few and filed them away for the end of the year.

I’m also making these sweet ladies and equally sweet treat in the form of these sugar cookie bars.


I hope you’re as lucky as we are with awesome people watching over and caring for our kids during school hours and I hope you’ll bless them as you say goodbye to another academic year.

They’ll appreciate it.



Summer-In-A-Jar ~ EOY Teacher Treats

We have 19 school days left until summer.

In my head that’s almost 4 weeks.

Which is a long time.

BUT, I’m learning that lots of folks will be sunscreening up, heading to the beach/pool/lake/etc. way sooner than we will, so I’m popping in real quick and sharing this little teacher gift that I’ve been working on.

Inspired by this summer-in-a-jar, but with a Flip Flop Follies twist.

I found a couple 67 ounce, clamp lid glass jars at Ross for $3.99 each and filled them with all things summer…


Hand sanitizer ~ B&BW

Hello Sunshine! nail file ~ B&BW

Sunnies ~ Dollar Tree

1.69 fl. oz. body butter {part of a multi-pack} ~ Ross

1.3 oz. travel candle ~ B&BW

$10 Subway card {part of a multi-pack} ~ Ralphs

TRUE Lemon Raspberry Lemonade {pack of ten}  ~ Ralphs

Nail polish ~ Target

Travel size sunscreen ~ Target

Clay mask ~ Walmart

ChapStick ~ Target

Razors ~ Dollar Tree

I just layered it all in the jar and topped it off with some sunshiny yellow paper shreds.


Add a little personalized gift tag and you’re done!

I love this idea and hope you do, too.

How many days left until YOU’RE off the hook packing school lunches??


‘Round Here

Hey friends!

So here we are one week away from February and I haven’t taken the time to sit and blog. When I read other blogs, I start to miss the daily/every couple days entries. My GOAL is to sit down more and chime in even if it’s just a new healthy recipe I’ve discovered or a little craft I whipped up or a little facelift to the house or a fun, frugal find I came across along my travels.

I miss this space and connecting with you.

Here is what we’ve been up to in the new year {instead of blogging}…..


{Researching monthly quotes for our chalkboard. I love updating this inspirational piece that hangs in the hub of our home. I have another old/outdated framed graphic that I’m going to spray paint and turn into a second chalkboard. It’s on the list of “Things To Do”.}


{This little gallery wall was swirling around in my head for months. I had finished re-doing the aqua table over the summer and couldn’t wait to get something hung over it. This happy space is in our master bedroom and I just love it. It took me awhile to source the makings of this space, but I love the way everything came together. The mirror is from Target clearance, the “I” & “U” hooks are from Anthropologie clearance, the sweet little chalkboard hook with the heart {with hat} is to help support my friend Lena and her heart for Acres Of Love here, the 8 X 10 prints on the clipboards were a gift from sweet Lindsay at my baptism last Spring and can be found here and the smaller 5X7 prints can be found here and here.}


{I love finding printables to stick in these two red frames with the change of seasons or holidays. I just searched FREE Valentine’s printables on Pinterest and voila!}


{Over Winter Break we had some friends over for the day and the mamas made these fun canvases that I spotted on Pinterest. We had to break the boys away from the PS3 and the girls away from their Rainbow Looms to paint their hands and feet, but I adore the way they turned out.}


{I love that Holden’s birthday is in February because it gives me something to focus on after the letdown of the holidays. I always start planning and shopping for goodies in January and let the party planning begin. This year he is having a few little boy buddies over for an early morning pajama party…more fun details to come!}


{With the new year comes the promise to eat less and exercise more. I try to drink plenty of this water daily and find it a little more interesting than plain old H2O. Add a sliced lemon, half a peeled and sliced cucumber and some fresh mint leaves to your water. I refill the jar several times before changing out the produce. Per Pinterest, this concoction is good for detoxing. I’ll let you be the judge 😉 }


{I’m trying to be better about reading the calorie count when in restaurants. On our Santa Barbara day trip last Sunday, I ordered this crispy Asian salad with less than 350 calories at silvergreens. I didn’t eat the roll, but the salad was delicious and filling.}


{At home I’ve been trying to create flavorful, lo-cal versions of my favorites. I could eat pizza every day all day, but with this BBQ chicken tortilla pizza, I don’t need to feel guilty. Ezekiel sprouted grain tortilla, 2 tbsp BBQ sauce, red onion, cilantro, 3 strips of precooked chicken (TJ’s), 1/4 cup lite mozzarella cheese and some Sriracha drizzles added after baking for 8-10 minutes at 325*. It’s around 300 calories and will most certainly take care of your pizza cravings!}




{With friends posting about Snow Days and single digit temps in other parts of the country, it still amazes me that we are on the beach and the kids are frolicking in the surf in mid-January. Our MLK weekend was made perfect with a little day trip to Santa Barbara and we hope to do more of these throughout the year. It’s so easy to get holed up in our little valley, but it sure was nice to take a drive up the coast for the day and still be home in time for dinner and a relaxing evening.}


So, that’s what’s been goin’ on ’round here for the past several weeks. It’s been nice to have a break from soccer, but Spring will get busy again with baseball for Holden and AYSO for Elliott along with some after school enrichment classes that start up next week! Just taking it day by day……

I hope you all have had a great start to Twenty14.


Little Thank Yous ~ EOY Treats For Teachers, Staff & Classmates

Every holiday my kids bring home goodie bags and treats from their classmates…Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, birthdays, etc. Usually I feel terrible and tell myself that I will get my act together on the next holiday!

This year I promised that I would do a end-of-the-year class treat since I haven’t really done anything all year…or last year for that matter.

Pinterest is full of all sorts of cute ideas and a couple had caught my eye, but I hadn’t settled on anything and we only had a week left ’til SUMMER. {yay!}

I was trolling the aisles of 99¢ Only last week and came across some fun composition books. I immediately e-mailed Elliott’s teacher to get the girl/boy breakdown to gather the corresponding comp books. To my dismay, I could only find half the number of {boy} books at the two stores here in the area.


They DID have plenty of girlie versions in three different styles so I just wrapped a little yarn around them and attached a note to each one for her to pass out on the last day of school. After the fact, I thought the girls could exchange phone numbers and record them in these little books for play dates over the summer, too.


I decided on the collapsible water bottles for the boys in her class since they were such a hit at her birthday party…again from 99¢ Only and BPA-free!


{the tag reads, “Stay hydrated and have a great summer…see you in 3rd grade!”}

Tags are just clear Avery labels [address 18660] that I personalized, printed and attached on manila mailing tags from Staples.


For Holden’s kindergarten class, I went with the “bookworm” idea that I’d seen on Pinterest awhile back. I did these for holiday treats in Elliott’s first grade class…


Individual bags of sour gummy worms, die cut worms, personalized labels and some washi tape later…


{gummy worms ~ Smart & Final, die cut worms ~ Dollar Tree, washi tape ~ Target}


I always like to acknowledge the rest of the staff at the holidays and end-of-the-year. I usually deliver baked goods to the office, yard duties, custodian and aides, but this year I decided to go with paper products!


{typewriter notecards for the ladies in the office and mini purse-sized magnetic closure notebooks for the librarian, cafeteria staff and campus supervisors ~ all from Target clearance}

For our nice custodian who does SO much, I picked up a couple Monster energy drinks and CLIF bars to help get him through the day.


Our principal is retiring and although our awesome PTA organized and put together an amazing gift basket for her, I wanted to give her something special from our family. I made her a nest pendant…she doesn’t have any children of her own, but has been a role model and friend to MANY children through her years as a teacher and principal.


The nest represents our school, the pearl represents our dear principal and the blue and pink beads represent all the boys and girls that are going to miss her so.

Going to get teary eyed delivering this one for sure…..


Trader Joe’s has had so many cute greeting cards lately. If you haven’t checked them out when you run in there for groceries, you simply must…


Both the kids’ teachers are moving to different schools this Fall. I handpicked the perfect cards and wrote them a note from the heart letting them know how much we appreciate them and will miss seeing them on campus next year and included a gift card for summer treats.


I’m emotional just thinking about delivering all these goodies in the next few days.

However, I am looking forward to slower mornings and filling our days with trips to the pool, beach, frozen yogurt or whatever comes our way. Having a virtually commitment-free summer ahead of us is so refreshing.

THREE more days.

Camp Ocho ~ A Glamping Sleepover To Celebrate “8”

We cheated and celebrated Elliott’s birthday a little early this year {her actual birthday is May 29th} with a small sleepover {deep in the woods}!

She and I decided to do a girly campout by taking it up a notch and embracing all the joys of camping, but with all the benefits of home. I thought it’d be fun to get a huge tent and sleep out in the backyard, but after seeing a snake in the park at Holden’s soccer party the other afternoon and knowing that we have nocturnal critters that scamper around the backyard changed my mind real quick. We just went with the good ‘ol bring your sleeping bag, pillow and favorite stuffed animal and crash in the living room option.

As I’ve mentioned many times before, planning my kids’ parties is labor of love. I always have a theme in mind literally 12+ months in advance and pick up things here and there and stash them away until party time. I hit all the Target after holiday clearance sales and keep my eyes peeled for things at Dollar Tree and stuff throughout the year that fit with the theme.

For the invites, I just used some darling blank notecards that I got on clearance at Target for under $4. I spotted the camping stickers well over a year ago at the 99cent store anticipating a campout party in our future.


I’m loving the big chalkboard that I painted lately ~ it’s so fun to change up the message…this time it welcomed all glampers.


I was offered to take home a manzanita centerpiece with dangly crystals from our friends, Francis & Melissa’s, wedding about a month ago. I repurposed it in a little tin bucket and hung a couple hot pink paper lanterns in the corner of our great room.


After Easter I found some Spring-y decor marked down 75% at Target. I grabbed the last tablecloth and sort of worked off that color scheme. Oh and it didn’t hurt that we had her first holy communion party last weekend…I left up the balloons and hoops which coordinated well, I thought.



{cafeteria trays are from Target and collapsible camo water bottles are from 99cents Only…..and are BPA free!}


{banner is Spritz from Target and I added torn bandanas from Wal-mart}


I found matching jammies at Justice on super clearance and bagged them up in brown paper gift bags with glittered initials ~ just use a stencil or freehand your letter with a pencil, outline letter with school glue, fill in letter with small drops of glue, smooth around with a q-tip to cover the whole letter and then douse in glitter. Let sit for 10 minutes, shake off excess glitter and lay flat until completely dry. Gramma Kathy picked up the zebra peace sign tags ~ every second graders favorite combo. Thanks again, Mom!



{Moose Creek sign $1 @ Goodwill. Forest animal friends wrapping paper for photo booth back drop 90% off after Christmas at World Market}

I searched our three local Goodwill stores for some afghans for a granny chic vibe. It took a few months to settle on three that I really liked and that the price was right…


{to “disinfect” thrift store finds like these, just machine wash in warm water using your favorite detergent, add a little extra fabric softener than you normally would in your Downey ball, hang dry or dry in dryer and then spray with antibacterial Febreeze}

For the cake, I decided to do a DIY ice cream cake. I found the ice cream in a square box {at Wal-mart}, not a carton, and just tore open the box and cut layers of ice cream to stick in between the two layers of cake. I just baked the cake in a 9X13, cooled it, cut it in half before adding the layer of ice cream. I cheated and used Betty Crocker frosting ~ the smaller container covered this cake perfectly. Keep frozen, but let sit out 15-20 minutes before cutting and serving.



I sent Jay and Holden off to the movies and dinner and invited the mamas to come over and hang out for a bit. We ate chili and cornbread and the girls had biscuit pizzas, mac n cheese and Elliott’s favorite, cucumbers and ranch.


{cupcake liners and picks from Sur la Table}



{Goodie Bags are my fave ~ journals: free @ REI, mini notebooks: Target, branch pencils: TJMaxx, critter hair pins: Justice}



We went to the pool for a couple hours secretly trying to get them tired out!





The girls got all showered and in their jammies at the pool…



{lots of screaming and peace signs}

After dinner my friend Hollie set up her projector and they watched a movie in the backyard…


…followed by ice cream cake…


Then a few photo booth antics before hitting the sack…






They were all tucked in their sleeping bags by 11:00pm watching something on the Disney channel…then at a surprising 4:45am they were all up chatting with the lights on! I went down and started a pot of coffee and cleaned up the kitchen. By 6:00am most of them were asleep again only to be awoken by the smell of donuts and icing & sprinkles waiting to go atop.


{Hello Kitty was on her best behavior}



I had a big thing to attend at church yesterday, so the campers were packed up and ready to return to civilization around 8:30…



Needless to say, I was EXHAUSTED, but obviously it was well worth it!

EIGHT is a big year….halfway to a driver’s license! Yikes. How can that be.

There was lots of swimming, squealing, Justin Bieber-ing, running, jumping and laughing.

I think it was perfect.

Thanks for sticking around through this long post and all the details. I love reading party posts on other blogs and learning about how they all come together.

I use this blog as a sort of digital scrapbook for down the road so we can look back and remember all the milestones, birthdays, celebrations and day-to-day goings on.

As always, I thank you for your readership and for following along!


Jar Of Hearts



I pinned these jars on Pinterest a million and a half years ago and have had a nice sized pickle jar cleaned off, bleached out and ready for a plastic animal, some glue and some spray paint for months now.

I finally threw this together in a matter of minutes this morning and cannot wait to make more to hold little trinkets around the house.


{hot glue + spray paint = cute}

I dug this little elephant out of Holden’s toy basket and turns out it’s perfect for his party ~ it will hold peanuts for the Safari Snack Mix! Wanted to keep the peanuts separate in case of any allergies.

After the party, this little jar will hold random Lego pieces. You know….ones like this:


What the what? Found this after I dropped the kids off at school this morning. A FB friend said it was the fifth member of Village People…ha!

Anywhoo! Getting back to the jars….how adorable are these for Spring/Easter???




Start saving your old jars and finding toppers for them!

Simple, easy & chic ~ these jars have my heart.

Happy Thursday!