DIY Valentine’s Earrings

Valentine’s Day is so much more fun now that we have kids in the mix. Sure I love a romantic date with my husband, or some decadent chocolates from my favorite, Teuscher (the only place to get chocolates in San Francisco). But, the holiday’s change when kids are involved, and I love everything about that! Audrey and I enjoy crafting, but since she is only 4, we try to keep things simple. These DIY mother/daughter earrings are perfect for a toddler project and age appropriate. I can’t wait to wear them tonight for our family dinner!

SuppliesSupplies Needed:

  • 2 sheets of foam paper (we used pink and red)
  • stick on acrylic gems (we used a dark pink and a light pink)
  • 1 set of clip on earrings (unless your daughters ears are pierced)
  • 1 set of standard earrings (both basic earrings can be found at most craft stores)
  • scissors
  • tweezers for moving gems (I found using my fingers worked better)
  • fabric or any craft glue

Step 1- Placing your gems

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Decide on the size of your heart earrings. Our’s were about 1 inch wide. I would recommend making your child’s a little smaller. Audrey’s earrings were a little big for her small ears, but she insisted that they be the same size as mine. I like that they look a little big, it’s more playful, like she is playing dressing up. But, a smaller version would be toddler chic! Stick your adhesive gems on the foam paper to make your heart. Don’t worry if you need to move a gem, they come off and stick back on great. Perfect for toddlers!

Heart_before_cutYour heart should look something like the above picture.

Step 3- Cut out your heart-shaped earringsA_cuttingScissors for Audrey (and I’d guess most toddlers) are so much fun these days, so I let Audrey do this part. With a little guidance, she did great cutting around the outside of the heart.

Step 4- Glue your heart to the face of your earrings.

Glue

I let our earrings dry for about 15 minutes. Most any craft glue would work.

_TrayYour DIY Valentine’s earrings are done! You and your budding fashionista are ready to jazz up those ears!

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It’s funny how things change! I remember being a teenager laughing at all the homemade holiday necklaces, or bedazzled holiday earrings, or that homemade “slightly gotty” christmas pin that all the grandma’s were wearing at church. It all makes sense now! There is something sweet and special about wearing homemade jewelry from your children or grandchildren. It’s a reminder of their youth and brings me back to mine. These little crafty gems will be the pieces that last in my jewelry box forever!

“Love Bug” Valentine Rice Krispies

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I wanted to share a kid-friendly treat that is both fun to make and yummy! Many of us show affection by calling our loved ones a nickname. Sweet Pea, Lovey Pie, Munchkin, Little Penguin, Little Turkey, and Love Bug, are all nicknames at our house, for the kids of course, although I’m sure I’ve accidentally addressed Mike as “little turkey” before. He knows to just ignore my mom brain during these moments. After thinking about which nickname would be my inspiration, I decided on making “Love Bug” Valentine Rice Krispies. The recipe is super easy (which is great for busy mom’s), but I promise you will win the “coolest” mom award with these treats.

Step 1 – Making the rice krispy treats

Rice_Krispie_IngredientsIngredients Needed:

  • 5 cups of Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1 bag of marshmallows
  • 4 tbsp of butter
  • ½ bag of white chocolate chips
  • red food coloring
  • cookie cutters
  • 9×13  glass dish

I’m going to assume that most have made rice krispy treats before, and not post steps to this part of the Valentine treat. However, just in case, here is the recipe to follow. Note – I use 5 cups of rice krispies cereal instead of the 6 cups the recipe calls for, I like mine a little more gooey with marshmallows.

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Once you have completed your rice krispy treats on the cook top, don’t forget to coat your 9×13 dish with cooking spray before transferring the mixture. Also, to keep the mixture from sticking to your hands, use a piece of wax paper (pictured above) to press the rice krispies into the dish. Transfer to refrigerator to harden.

Step 2 – Make your heart-shaped cutouts

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Cookie_cutter

I used two different sized heart-shaped cookie cutters, so that we could make a family out of the treats.

Step 3 – Make your chocolate dipping sauce

Chocoloate_coloringPour about half the bag of the white chocolate chips into a microwaveable bowl. Heat the chips on medium high at 30 second intervals, stirring in between. Once the chocolate chips have completely melted add a few drops of the red food coloring and mix well.

Step 4 – Making your “Love Bug” Valentine Rice Krispies

DecorationsDecorations used – Pink chocolate frosting, red skittles, red gummy bears, candy mustaches (not pictured above) and pink and red piping (not edible). You can get creative here, and use whatever candy your children favor.

Final-Love-BugsHow adorable are these! To assemble our Valentine Rice Krispies, first dip the top of the heart-shaped rice krispy treat into the pink chocolate. Then place it on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Next, cut the piping in half and twist the top to make the antennae. Push two antennae into the top of the heart treats. Next, place two skittles for the eyes. Finally, for the mouth, I used the candy mustaches for the boys, and cut the gummy bears to make red lips for the girls.

Final_rice_krispies_2As I mentioned, we decided to make our family out of the Rice Krispies Love Bugs, so Jack and Audrey are the smaller heart treats, and Mom and Dad are the bigger treats! They loved this part. Audrey kept saying “I’m eating Audrey, haha”.

Kids_eatingFrom my two “Love Bugs” to yours, we wish everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day! Stay tuned for my Valentine DIY mommy/daughter matching earrings. Coming later in the week!

Organizing Your Card World

Cards

I love giving cards! Whether it’s for a wedding, new baby, birthday, or just because, it feels good to do something nice for a dear friend or family member. For me, card hunting doesn’t happen the week of someone’s special event, it’s an ongoing process. If I’m traveling, I love looking at local boutiques for unique cards, but I find most, at my favorite stores in San Francisco. As for big chain stores, HomeGoods and Trader Joes always have good options. The absolute best find, is the card that speaks to you. When you say in your head, “OMG this is perfect for..” I recently found a darling birthday card with a little dog on the cover (pictured above). I have a friend who is obsessed with dogs, so even though her birthday isn’t until the fall, I’m excited to have found something personal and sweet to send her. If you find that you are always scrambling to find a card at the last minute, then you may want to consider adopting this new habit. If you happen to already be a card collector like me, then you need a savvy way to organize all your gems. A few years ago, I decided to find a solution, and today I want to share it with y’all!

Items

Items needed (all items are from Target):

  • Binder ( I spruced up my original binder with this stylish one)
  • Dividers
  • Clear plastic sheet protectors
  • Sharpie Pen

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Create categories for your cards by labeling your dividers. Your categories may be different from mine, so pick what suits you best. Tip – I have sub groups under one category. For example, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day cards are both under “Parent Day, but in two separate clear protectors.

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Once you’ve created your categories, slip each coordinating card into the plastic sleeves. Each clear plastic sleeve is filed behind its appropriate category. Note- For some categories you may need to use multiple clear plastic sleeves. I find that about 6 cards fit nicely in one sleeve. Voila, you are organized! It’s really that easy. Never again, will you be scrambling at the last minute to grab that special “Anniversary card” for your other half, because you already have one filed away in your “awesome card binder”. You can then, pat yourself on the back for being that organized, even if the rest of your world isn’t!

What to do with your child’s artwork?

Artwork

I love my kids artwork just as much as the next mom, but can’t handle the pile that builds and builds over the school year. That being said, why the heck is it so difficult to throw away these precious paintings or drawings? Recently, I had my breaking point, when I walked downstairs to see that I had become a child artwork hoarder! My children are 4 and 2… far too young to know if I have a little Picasso on hand. As the collection grows, I’ll be needing a storage unit by elementary school. No thanks! With bags, and plastic bins of my children’s artwork scattered around the guest room, it was time to come up with solutions.

1. Children Thank You cards

Take a picture of your child’s favorite piece of artwork. Upload that photo to Shutterfly, Snapfish, Etsy, or whatever card printing vendor of your choice. I like to have folding notecards for this project, so that the front is the artwork and the inside is blank. Order quantities, and you’re done! How much will Grandma and Grandpa love getting this card, and how proud will your child be to mail these off!

2. Plum Print

In love with this company, which provides you with a beautiful book documenting your child’s favorite artwork. Truth – I haven’t ordered yet, but I plan to. The concept is genius and truly solves my problem. In a nut shell; you sign up, and shortly after receive a box in the mail to fill with your child’s artwork, report cards, or anything that you and your child desire to include. Ship the package back to Plum Print, and wait to receive your digital proof. Approve the proof, or make necessary changes and then wait to receive your child’s book. Final step, and most satisfying, clear the clutter! You no longer have to store past projects, and you don’t have to feel bad for tossing everything. Prices range from reasonable $45 to pricey $385.

3. Place mat’s

This is definitely the easiest project, and I plan to create these for the holidays. Thanksgiving dinner will be much more playful with kid inspired place mats as part of the table dressing. Standard place mat sizes are 14 inches by 18 inches, so cut paper to that size. Guide your child with a holiday theme, or use some of that artwork that you have been stock piling. Once the artwork is completed, have them laminated at your local Kinkos or office printing store. If you have a picky eater this might even make dinner more enticing. This would be a great project at a birthday party. You would need your own portable laminator, so you could create the place mat’s on the spot. What a great party favor!

A friend of mine with elementary aged children has one small box for each year. She tosses away most items, but keeps any that are special. At the end of the year, she goes through the documents with each child, and together they narrow down the pile to their final keepsakes. Another great idea! The possibilities are endless, but come up with a plan so that you don’t end up with a daunting pile that includes years worth of artwork, special papers, and report cards.

DIY Vintage Wedding

This past weekend we attended Mike’s cousin’s wedding and it was lovely! When Alice and Chris got engaged, they decided they wanted to stray from an overly extravagant wedding and keep things to a budget. So they went DIY crazy, were inspired by Pinterest, and incorporated Alice’s love of vintage. The wedding was a perfect example of how you don’t need to spend loads of money for it to be beautiful, magical, and memorable. I wanted to share a few of their creative ideas. Pics were taken with my iPhone. I left my Nikon D7000 at home, so I didn’t drive my husband crazy, and I could embrace the night.

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Married at Oakland Nature Friends, the venue is rustic and set in the trees over looking the bay. Alice looked stunning and wore a vintage off white Grecian dress that she found from UniqueVintage.com. Affordable and every bit as glamorous as the gowns from a bridal shop. Favorite part – her jewel embellished cap sleeves took this gown to another level! Her hair was twisted to the side and adorned with calla lilies. The bride’s bouquet was made by her friend, whose husband imports roses from Ecuador. They incorporated kale and succulents in the bouquets and wrapped it with gold ribbon at the stems.

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Audrey was so thrilled to be the ring bearer for the wedding. It was a proud moment for mommy and daddy too, she was just precious. I had the flower crown made at Fiore Flowers in SF and her simple white sundress is from Target (similar here).

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Gold spray painted canisters, and wine bottles served as the flower holders. The Bride and Groom asked friends to keep wine bottles, and other jars so they could repurpose them. They peeled, cleaned, and sprayed painted 159 bottles in total! The gorgeous vintage linens took Alice hours of thrifting but cost her a total of $60. They were actually lace curtains that she repurposed as tablecloths…genuis! The couple was gifted roses for the event, but also had succulents on tables and scattered around. The succulents were grown in their backyard from clippings.

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Chalkboards served as signs throughout the wedding. They even incorporated a kids craft table to keep the little ones happy.

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Twinkle lights and twine balls hung in the trees. As the sun went down it felt so romantic and charming. Alice also brought a vintage chandelier that she was gifted from the Betsy Johnson store she managed in San Francisco. It gives that chic outside/indoor touch. You could easily recreate this by finding an older chandelier and spray paint it your color of choice. I’ll be doing this at one of my next outdoor parties, thank you!!

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Their untraditional guest book was adorable. They collected postcards (some vintage), and asked guests to write them a message. I decided to mail mine instead of slip it in the box. I remember that sad feeling after everything was over, so I thought it might be fun for them to receive a postcard in the mail. A little reminder of that special night.

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As I mentioned above, Alice worked for Betsy Johnson for years as a manager before deciding to become a teacher. The bride is well-known for her extensive and fabulous dress collection. So, it was only fitting that I wore this divine Betsy dress in honor of the bride.

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Finally, who doesn’t love a photobooth. They suspended a gold frame and had a friend set up their camera on a tripod. Guests kept going back all night for the fun!

Not pictured, but definitely noticed was the artisanal cocktail bar. Chris enjoys crafting various cocktails, and had several delicious options for guests. We’ve been to many weddings, and they have all been beautifully done. But, I just loved this couples savvy smart ways to repurpose, save money, and make the wedding truly unique to themselves. I can also appreciate the hours they spent on DIY projects. Hats off my friends, and congrats! Thank you for letting me share bits of your special day.