I started by grabbing this free map from Mr. Printables and printing it on legal sized paper.
Then, I made the pages into stickers using a Xyron machine. And that made it easy to stick the map pieces onto a leftover piece of foam core I found in my office.
Then, I cut out the pieces to make a simple U.S. puzzle. Not 50 pieces, but enough to keep a four year old busy for a few minutes.
I also wanted to make a few flags that the kids could use to mark where there family lived. Toothpicks were perfect for this. I made small holes with a pushpin so the landmarks are easily found.
And of course, I needed a container for the toothpick flags and you can see that an old Altoids tin did the trick.
Lastly a simple brown box was the perfect carrying case for all the pieces. I added some decoration and I hope to see some color added to this box very soon.
I think homemade gifts can’t be beat. I’ve got a few others in mind, stay tuned.
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Isn’t it funny that out of 365 days, two of my family members’ birthdays just happen to fall on the same day? It’s true. And actually, this isn’t the only case of such coincidence.
Today, August 23, would have been the 100th birthday of the better-known relative, Uncle Gene.
More importantly though, it’s the fourth birthday of my eldest nephew, Liam. Perhaps he’ll grow up to be movies like his birthday buddy. Or maybe not. All that’s important is that he’s happy and that today, he eats a honkin’ slice of cake. (plus some for me, since we live on separate coasts)
Happy Birthday Liam, Uncle Gene and all the other August 23rd birthday people.
The other coincidence is my brother and a different nephew (from the Mr.’s side of the fam) who were both born on Thanksgiving day, twenty-some years apart.
The birthday celebration continues tomorrow. Come back to see what Liam will be unwrapping later today!
There she is. The birthday gal, Louise. Today is Louise’s fourth birthday! I know, I cannot believe it either. Four years ago my coworker was running late to work and none of us knew why. Turns out he found a wonderful litter of kittens in the alley behind his apartment. Lucky for me, he approved me as an adopter and Louise (the known as “Balloon” for her too-big-for-her-body-head) got to come home with me.
In her younger days Louise used to love jumping as high as the sky, but she’s matured and has settled down a bit. We love her all the same. I must she admit, she is a serious Momma’s girl. (Just like me, I suppose—love you mom!)
Just look at that face. She’s too cute to resist. My coworker gave two other kittens away, and kept two for his ever-expanding animal family (four cats, one dog, no problem.)
Here’s Muppet and Paco! now. I know, they’re smaller than Louise. What can I say, those boys and their metabolism. Also, do you see the striking resemblance between Paco! and Louise? Yep they’re twins! Happy Birthday guys!
Last weekend, during our trip to the DC area, we got the chance to celebrate my niece’s first birthday. So, even though her birthday is today (Happy Birthday Audrey!) I wanted to share the cute party my sis-in-law put together. Note the cute pink poms hanging out above.
There was lots of yummy food including a giant cupcake (Baby Audrey was NOT a fan) and deliciously-styled finger foods for us adults.
The owls were peeking through on the tablecloth and in those cute owl toppers and banner (below) from Etsy. I just couldn’t resist snapping all the details including the pretty pink bows on my niece’s presents and the one in her hair.
Lastly, her birthday banner and a cute shot of our birthday girl. The banner is from the same shop. And Baby Audrey loved the camera all weekend. She especially loved pointing at it.
Happy Birthday, Birthday Girl!
Since my mom and I live many miles apart, we don’t get to celebrate her birthday (or mine) when it actually happens. But, the next time we’re together, I know we’ll share many a bottle of wine, so I whipped up a few wine stoppers for mom for her birthday.
I grabbed these wine stoppers from one of my favorite places on earth, The Container Store. Also, I had two plastic cat toys animals from the Target $1 bin. (You know of my affinity for painting plastic animals after all.) Then, I rounded up some acrylic paints from my craft box and got to work.
I started by cutting the animals in half (oh, the horror) and painting them the same colors as my wine stops. I applied two coats of paint and then one coat of my gloss sealer to make the lil guys nice and shiny.
Then, I simply took to the hot glue gun and glued the wine stoppers inside the hollow plastic animal rear ends. I know, I’m not great at step-by-step pictures. Working on it though!
And voila. We’ve got one red rear.
And one yellow rear. Mom thought they were adorable and I think so too.
So, are you wondering where these critters’ front halves are? Not to worry, a cute tiger and lion head project is coming up soon.
In her DIY, she suggests emailing instructions and a printable to everyone to be included in this project. Basically, you have friends and family of the birthday girl or boy write a note and put it in the mail. When they receive all the notes, they can put it together to create a bigger message.
Since I wanted to make it super easy, I decided to make and print the postcards myself and mail them with instructions. I found the above poster in the mail at work and decided this would be a perfect image for this project. So, I cut up 5 pieces of card stock into postcard-size pieces to see which part of the image would become the puzzle.
Then, since I had already cut the card stock I designed and printed a mailing side of the postcard for the yellow pieces. It was pretty basic, as I wanted to leave everyone enough room to write.
Printed on yellow it looked spectacular. Of course, I typed my mom’s address in so I didn’t have to hand write it 20 times. Click the image to get to the PDF so you can make your own postcard project. Once printed, I secured the mailing sides to the poster image with rubber cement and cut out each postcard.
Then, it was time to address and stamp envelopes and send these bad boys to my mom’s friends and family. Wouldn’t you know, she received all but one in the mail. Everyone sent them back, but it seems that the NYC post got lost in the mail. Here’s the picture my mom sent me on the day of her birthday.
It didn’t get too banged up in the mail or anything. Looks good to me. Who knows, maybe the rest of that flower will show up soon. There’s one more birthday project coming up. Stay tuned!
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I just realized that in 27 days I’ll no longer be 27. That’s right. I’m revealing my age to all of internetland. The reason being is that I ask all the land’s inhabitants to indulge me as I do some unbearably wordy posts.
The first being, 27 things I loved, learned & lived to tell about at the age of 27. I picked up this idea from Elise over at Enjoy It. (If you’re the crafty type, go check out her blog. She’s one creative gal.)
Look for that list in the days to come. I quickly discovered that it’s apparently not something I can sit down and write in one session. Until then…. 27 days and counting.
That’s right! I told you that Mr. Gets Me Every Time had a birthday this week. And yes, I know I also told you all that I would share the birthday treats earlier in the week. But alas, time got the best of me and here we are. Shall we have a look anyway?
Mr. Gets Me awoke on his birthday to a lovey-dovey card and some new shirts for his birthday. But the real party started after work. He arrived home to a homemade buffalo chicken calzone (his fave) for dinner. And after dinner, the treats. Oh, the treats, as you can plainly see.
I found a few recipes over on Pinterest, and I decided to give it my best shot. We’ll start with this vanilla cupcake recipe from JoyofBaking.com. This is my first time making cupcakes from scratch and since it was just the two of us, I only wanted to make 12.* Most recipes I found were for 24, but then I found this recipe.
(*we didn’t eat 12 that night, but they were delicious enough to!!)
The frosting and the chocolate ganache (yes, that is homemade chocolate ganache that is staring you down right now!) both came from recipes on Bakerella. Both the frosting and the ganache were absolutely delicious. The ganache recipe made WAY too much, but it so tasty, we don’t even mind.
It was a fantastic evening and even Louise, our cat, got in on the action. See!
(This is Louise’s blog debut, please, be kind!)