DIY – Necklace Holder

When I saw this on Pinterest I knew I had to have one for my bedroom.  BUT if you’ve read my blog at all you will know that I am cheap and the price tag on that adorable necklace holder was a little too steep and it looked easy enough to make…so I did!

Here’s what you need:

2×4 board – painted the color of your choice – length depends on how many knobs you want

5 knobs (that’s how many I chose but you could do more)

5 washers (equal to the number of knobs)

Drill with two size bits

Picture hanging brackets


First I had my dad help me drill some holes in the board as they needed to be counter-synced (I had no clue what that meant but it’s easy).  First drill holes a little smaller than the bolts on the knobs.  Then on the back side use a larger bit (the size of the washers) and drill part way into the board…far enough so that the bolt comes through.  After the holes were all drilled I sanded the board down and spray painted it.  Make sure to do several even coats rather than try to get it all coated at once.

Here’s what the front of the board looks like.

Here is the back of the board.  Notice the holes on the back are larger.


Then I added the picture hanging brackets.  There are other kinds but I had these already so I used them.


Then I just screwed in the knobs.  I purchased these at Hobby Lobby.  They have an amazing selection of these decorative knobs.  Finished product looks really good!

DSC_4659Good luck making your own!  Think of the colors you could use…


Teacher Appreciation Gifts

It’s that time of year again when we need to say a huge THANK YOU to the teachers in our lives!  They mean so much to me as they take care of and teach my children every day.  I truly appreciate everything they do…so I like to show them that they are appreciated.

Here are the gifts that I put together for them:

I used this recipe for the body scrub.  I put it in a simple canning jar, tied a ribbon around it and made a cute little label.  I also put a label on the back with instructions on how to use it.

The foot scrub and hand soap were purchased from Bath & Body Works.

I added a little note that said ‘Pamper yourself…you deserve it!’  Something simple but I’m sure they’ll love them!  I know I would!

So don’t forget to get the teachers in your life a little something special…and don’t forget it is also daycare provider appreciation on Friday…this gift would work for them too!

Pirate Birthday Party

I know, I know it’s taken me SO long to get this post written.  I am SORRY!  But I’m here to finish telling you about Avery’s pirate birthday party!  I had a really good time getting this all ready.  I enjoy these parties more and more each time I plan one!

The Invite:

I took some inspiration from several different invites I had seen online and designed my own.  I did a search for clipart online and came up with some a great compass!  I used Photoshop Elements to design this.  I used the Rapscillian font for ‘Captain Avery’ and I used HP PSG for the rest of the lettering.  The grandparents had quite a good time with this party invite.  We got mail addressed to Captain Avery!

The Decorations:

I took a black table cloth and covered the table.  I then took a red table cloth and some burlap and put it in the middle of the table for a ‘center piece’ of sorts.  I got red plates to stay with the pirate theme.

Of course we had this banner too.  If you missed my tutorial for it you can find it here.

The Games:

No good pirate party is complete without a treasure map!  We played ‘X Marks the Spot’!  I took a 12 x 12 piece of tan scrapbook paper and ripped the edges so it looked old.  I suppose you could burn the edges too but I took the safe route!

Then I made a red X and put each child’s name on it for them to place on the map.  I just free handed the X.  We blindfolded the kids and spun them around and let them ‘pin’ the X on the map.  Closest kid won!

We played a couple rounds of pirate bingo too.  Easy for the kindergarteners and fun too.  I found them on this site and printed them out.

We also did a ball and chain game where we tied a balloon to each child’s leg and they had to pop each other’s balloon.  This one was great but I got no pictures as they were all running around.  Also a word of caution my older son got a little carried away and stepped on and held his brother’s balloon so the string cut into his leg a little.  It was a crying fit at his own birthday party!  Not sure what the remedy would be for that.

 The Food:

For a snack I prepared blue jello and poured it into clear cups a little less than 1/2 full.  Once the jello was mostly set I shoved a couple colored Swedish gummy fish into the jello so it looked like they were swimming.  After trying them I would recommend putting them in at the last minute as the fish got kinda gross.  I think if you just cut a slit in the jello it would work just fine.

The cake turned out really well!  It was a litlte different than I envisioned.   My inspiration was this cake. I am not a fondant girl so I didn’t do the white dots on the bandana but it still worked.  I also thought he needed a little scruff since he is a pirate after all so I used some chocolate sprinkles to give him a little beard.

Along with the pirate cake we had some pirate cake pops.  I dipped them in white and then dipped the top in red to make the bandana but couldn’t for the life of me get the edible markers to work on them so they didn’t get a face.  I also did cupcakes with little pirate flags on them if you look on the left side of the picture.

I didn’t take a picture but we served ‘pirate fingers’ (pigs in a blanket) for the kids’ meal.  They were a big hit!  Easy to make and something different!

The Fun Stuff:

These were waiting for the kids when they arrived at the party!   Then my husband had a little tattoo parlor to give them each a pirate tattoo.  I found those at PartyCity as well as the eye patches and earrings.  I had a friend tell me to check the elastic on the eye patches before the party as she had once bought them and they didn’t fit the kids at all.  Luckily these were great!

Each kid had a compass by their plate that they got to take home with them.  Every pirate needs a compass!

The birthday boy had a pirate hat because he had it from his Halloween costume.  So many more things i could have done for this party but it was great just as it was and fun was had by all!

HOW TO: Sugar Cookie Decorating

As promised in this post I am back with a how-to of decorating sugar cookies.  After you have baked the cookies and cooled them you are ready to frost!  Here is the recipe I use for my frosting:


4 c. powdered sugar

3 T meringue powder

6 T warm water

 Place powdered sugar and meringue powder in the mixer and combine.  Add water a little at a time.  Sometimes I don’t add all the water because it gets too runny…you want a slightly thick consistency.

1.  Get a piping bag with a tip and fill with Royal Icing.  I use a #3 Wilton tip to outline the cookie as seen here.

2.  Once you have outlined all the cookies you need to thin the frosting.  Use water to do it.  I make it a thin consistency that so that it spreads out when it is piped on the cookie.  I make it thin enough so that it molds back into itself when poured off a spoon.  Then use the #3 tip again and fill it up but not completely because you then spread it with a knife to fill in the empty spots.

3.  They will look like this when it is all spread out.  Let them dry until they are dry to the touch.  It will take several hours.

4.  Once they are completely dry you can do the detailing on the cookies.  I used to use my Wilton tips to do the detailing until I discovered they make edible markers!  That is what I used on these cookies.  SO much easier than using frosting to detail.

There you have it…super easy!  Now get to decorating those Christmas cookies!