10th Birthday Spa Party

For Abby’s 10th birthday, she decided she wanted a spa/slumber party.  We really didn’t know where to go with the party as far as activities, favors, etc., but good ol’ Dollar Tree saved us!  We stopped in to find some spa items for favors, and ended up with soooo much more.  We were initially going with a soft spa blue color, but when we got to Dollar Tree, they had a LOT of turquoise items in stock.  What is Abby’s favorite color?  Can you guess?  Yep!  Turquoise! So, that’s how we got our color.  We started shopping in the beauty products aisle, and we found the poofs in turquoise and green, as well as the eye masks.  Abby loved the eye masks!  LOVED them!  Of course, they only had a few, and we ended up going to 3 stores to get enough.  We also included a turquoise towel, and little nail kit, and a cup with lid and straw (which I later embellished with some vinyl and my Silhouette Cameo).  Then, you won’t believe it (because I didn’t) but in going to one of the other stores to get the eye masks, I found a stack of turquoise shirts.  They had just enough in the sizes I needed.  (What a stroke of luck!!!)  Now, for those of you who don’t have a Dollar Tree, I should mention that this isn’t like some of the “dollar” stores (like Dollar General).  I don’t have anything against Dollar General, but my point is that this was a true $1 store.  Yeparooni.  I got those t-shirt for $1 each. Then I embellished those with my… can you guess?  Yep, my Silhouette Cameo.  (I love that thing!!)

Now, I know what you’re thinking…  you gave a poof, an eye mask, a nail kit, a t-shirt and a cup as a favor?   Well… the thing is, this was going to be her last big party, and I briefly considered multiple venues that were very pricey (like Sweet and Sassy, for instance).  But, being at home, making our own cake, making our own spa treatments and having a slumber party was really, really inexpensive.  So, I decided to splurge and let the girls have their own spa in a box.  Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the boxes.  Everything went in a clear shoe box.  Now, the intention was to use the box to soak their feet and then they were going to give each other mani/pedis and paint their nails, make some spa scrubs, then use the eye masks before bed.  But, in actuality, once all the girls arrived, they really just wanted to play!  Since that was the birthday girls wish, that’s what they did.  We also had intentions of making lots of different spa treatments that I found on Pinterest, and I even bought all the ingredients.  But, then we found out that one of the girls had a nut allergy, and every recipe we had called for some kind of nut oil.  So, in the end, we only made one spa treatment that used olive oil, lemon and sugar.  It wasn’t the best recipe, but the girls did have fun making it, and that’s what counts!  Oh, and you’ll notice the white floor.  That was just a white tablecloth that I put down to protect my floor from all the oil and sugar.  {wink}

www.ourinspiredhome.com  *  10th birthday spa party

www.ourinspiredhome.com * 10th birthday spa party



Here’s a pic of the girls being silly when they were supposed to be getting ready for bed.  (Yeah, yeah, who was I kidding?)

www.ourinspiredhome.com  *  10th birthday spa party

www.ourinspiredhome.com * 10th birthday spa party



One more quick note…

I love Pinterest, and I use it daily.  I’ve found thousands of great ideas, projects, recipes, etc. on there.  But, sometimes, let’s get real.  Things just don’t work out.  So, I thought I’d share my experience with one of the birthday ideas I found there.   The idea on Pinterest had balloons filled with helium, and inserted in each balloon was a dollar bill.  Now, I don’t know if it was a $1 bill or a $5 bill or what.  The idea seemed like fun!   The kids get to pop the balloons and out falls some money!  How fun is that?  (I mean, if anyone wants to give me a present, this sounds like one I would enjoy as well!!!  LOL)  But, here’s where I went wrong.  I didn’t want a gazillion balloons.  I wanted ten.  Yes, exactly ten, because it was my daughter’s 10th birthday.  But I thought that it would be more fun to have lots of $1 bills raining down that a few larger denominations.  So, off to the bank I went, and there I got my stack of $1 bills, which I promptly took to our grocery store where I was getting the balloons.  When I arrived, the lady behind the counter was all the sudden swamped with a bunch of people needing floral arrangements.  So, after a very brief discussion, I started rolling all the dollar bills for stuffing.  Finally they were ready to stuff, but alas, the balloons I brought (in turquoise) were not big enough.  Yep, that’s tip #1.  Make sure the size of the balloons is large enough to hold enough helium to keep the balloons and dollar bills up.  They didn’t have turquoise, so I decided on a silver color, and started stuffing, while the kind lady was still helping other customers.  Well, after I stuffed all the $1 bills into the balloons, and she came over to help me, she put helium in the first balloon, and it wouldn’t fly.  Turns out that you can’t put multiple dollar bills in each balloon.  So, that’s tip #2.  Only put 1 bill (of any denomination) into each balloon.  I then had to unstuff all the balloons and take all the $1 bills that I had just gotten from the bank, and exchange them with customer service for larger denominations.  Each balloon had a different amount in it, and they had 2-3 bills in each, and once filled, they flew.  But, I stand by the 1 bill in each balloon, because an hour after getting them home, they were all droopy, and by the time I was ready to put them out, they were a foot or two off the floor.  So, I ended up having to tape them and let them hang.  Quite honestly, that worked just as well if not better than having them fly.  So, tip #3 is just skip the helium altogether and blow them up with your own hot air!  hee hee    Then you can use whatever kind of bills you want.

Having been through all that, would I do it again?  ABSOLUTELY!  She had so much fun getting to pop each balloon and having all the money fall down, and then scooping it up and counting it.  The only thing I’ll do differently is that I’ll skip the helium part next time and just hang them.  ;)

www.ourinspiredhome.com  *  birthday balloons full of money

www.ourinspiredhome.com * birthday balloons full of money


Almost 10! (Party Prep)

My “baby” girl is about to turn double digits! I absolutely can’t believe she is 10. Ten! (How can *I* have a ten year old???) Anyway, this year she decided that she wanted to help make her own cake and she specifically wanted a round cake (because it’s more grown up ;). Here she is preparing her cake with frosting and sprinkles, and getting ready for her spa party and writing on our chalkboard yard arrow. I’ll show you the results of the party soon!

www.ourinspiredhome.com  *  spa party prep

www.ourinspiredhome.com * spa party prep

Construction Baby Shower

My lovely little sister was pregnant with her 3rd baby, and she didn’t find out what she was having.  I’m a planner, so I think she did it just to annoy me.  (You know how sisters can be.  ha ha)

She and her hubby already had 2 beautiful daughters, and when I say beautiful, I mean BEAUTIFUL, not to mention smart and fun.  So, having another daughter would have been wonderful.  But, they kinda wanted a boy, and SURPRISE!  That’s what they got!  :)

My brother-in-law is a diesel mechanic and they decided that they liked that name… Diesel!  I *love* it!  It’s unique and so masculine.  I don’t think it would work with every occupation.  For instance, my husband is a chemical engineer, and I don’t think that would fly.  Nor would photographer or blogger.  Oooooh… unless I named a little boy Canon.  Now that’s kinda cool.  But, I’m not pregnant, nor do I plan to be, so I digress.

We planned to go up to see the new addition after my daughter got out of school for the summer, which luckily was right after he was scheduled to arrive.  Not knowing at the time whether he was a boy, we decided to go with our gut and we started planning a shower.  (If little baby Diesel would have been a girl, they didn’t want a shower because it was their 3rd and they already had everything girly that they would need).  We decided on a caterpillar theme, but not like a cute little green caterpillar.  We went with a CATERPILLAR shower, as in CAT tractors and big trucks, etc.  I know black and bright yellow aren’t the typical baby shower colors, but it worked for this theme, and turned out pretty cute!

www.ourinspiredhome.com  *  construction baby shower

www.ourinspiredhome.com * construction baby shower

I used my handy dandy Silhouette Cameo to make the “Diesel” banner and the “re-fuel here” signs.  I also used it to make some vinyl trucks to decorate the walls.  But, my favorite part was the onesie decorating station.  I bought a bunch of white onesies in various sizes, and then I cut out various designs on heat transfer vinyl.  Each design was cut out and put at the onesie decorating station with an iron.  Each attendee got to choose their favorite design and iron it on to the front and/or the back of the onesie.  (I made special “CAUTION” ones for the butt.  ha ha!)

www.ourinspiredhome.com  *  baby shower iron-on onesie station using Silhouette Cameo

www.ourinspiredhome.com * baby shower iron-on onesie station using Silhouette Cameo



Baking Bacon

Bacon is soooo good. I mean, who can turn down a piece of bacon (or two or three)? But, I really dislike cooking it, whether in a frying pan or in the microwave. It just seems to take a lot of time because you have to do it in batches, and it gets grease everywhere. Ew. That’s why I like baking my bacon! Yes, that’s right… I bake my bacon! I simply put it on a broiler pan, and bake it at 350. But, no, I can’t tell you how long, because that is up to you and yours. I tend to like mine a little past crispy. Mmmmm.

I happen to have 2 broiler pans, one is a big one, one is a small one, and I do use both for one pack of bacon. Since bacon is typically sold by weight, not by quantity of slices, it depends whether you get the ultra-thin or the thick. The thicker the bacon, the less slices per package, and the better chance it might fit on just one broiler pan.  Of course, the thickness also plays into the cooking time.  Start with about 15 minutes and just keep checking it until it’s perfect in your eyes.  Your tastebuds will thank you!

www.ourinspiredhome.com  *  Baking Bacon

www.ourinspiredhome.com * Baking Bacon

(If you’re wondering what a broiler pan is, it’s the pan that comes in two parts. The top part has slots to let the grease and juices through, and a second drip pan.)

Custom Easter Baskets

If you remember from my previous post on my Easter Basket conundrum, I knew I wanted custom Easter Basket liners and was running out of time to do them myself and get them to the monogramming shop.  So, I took my plain fabric to be monogrammed, thinking it wouldn’t be that much harder to work backwards.  Boy was I wrong.

Well, I suppose it wasn’t that much harder.  But, I have made basket liners using an easy method I found from curbly on youtube.  It’s relatively easy when you start with just plain fabric.  Unfortunately, it’s more difficult when you’re trying to figure out how to position the already placed monogram, which just so happened to accidentally be on the short side instead of the long side of the fabric.  In the end, it worked out, it just took more effort.  But, I recommend making your basket liner and THEN having it monogrammed!  {wink}

I started with the two yellow baskets that were a great size, and easily stacked.  (I was inspired by the yellow for the lemonade stand, and chose one of the fabrics accordingly.  The second fabric coordinated with the first, but did not have any yellow, so I just decided to paint the second basket white.  While the paint on the white basket was drying, I used the yellow basket for measurements.  Because of the monogram, I ended up having to measure the inside bottom of the basket, then the four sides which folded over.  I used the monogrammed fabric to decide how much of an overhang, and then adjusted the other sides accordingly, adding an extra 1/2″ to all sides for the seams.  Then I realized I had given myself yet another challenge:  the handles on the baskets.  I had to figure out how to get the liner on and still be able to use the handles.  I am definitely not a seamstress, so I don’t know what an experienced seamstress would do, but I muddled through it.  I really hate having to change out anything on my sewing machine (needles, feet, etc.)  I don’t do it often, and honestly, I guess it’s a bit intimidating and time consuming (because I also have to consult the manual).  So, I thought the button hole thingamajig would be perfect, but I really didn’t want to deal with that right then.  I decided to cheat and see what happened.  I went ahead and cut my fabric where I wanted it to go over the handles.  It was a risk, considering I was almost done and didn’t want to somehow screw it all up!  Then, I just used the back and forth stitch and went along the cut line.  In the end, I basically did the same thing as the button hole attachment, but it wasn’t graceful.  Not that most of my projects are!  lol  In the end, I think it worked.  I’m not sure how well it will hold up with any washings, so I need to go back and put some fray check stuff on there.  But… I got them done, and with {a little} time to spare!


www.ourinspiredhome.com  *  Sewing Basket Liners

www.ourinspiredhome.com * Sewing Basket Liners

I should mention that I got the baskets at 40% off at Hobby Lobby, the fabric was about $3 each, and each large monogram was about $11. So, I spent about $25 on each basket. Pricey? Well… it depends how you look at it. It was way less than if I had paid someone to do them, I got the look I wanted, all in a re-useable basket! To me, that’s a successful project!

April Fool’s Day

I told my 9-year-old daughter that if she ate a good dinner, she could have a brown E for dessert.
Apparently, this is not what she expected. ROTFL!

www.ourinspiredhome.com  *  April Fool's Day

www.ourinspiredhome.com * April Fool’s Day

From Freezer to Crock Pot: Sneak Peek2!

I’ve researched multiple pins from Pinterest for recipes and tips for creating easy freezer to crock pot meals, and I don’t remember even one person telling me just how much work this is. So, be warned! It’s not as easy as they make it look on Pinterest, folks! ;P Having said that, I did maybe over-do it with so many meals all at once, for a first-timer.

I will say though, that it was nice to get it all done at once. So instead of having to wash and peel carrots 10 times over the next month, I only did it once, which means that there’s way less clean up time. I mean, if I’m scooping up the carrot peels to put in the trash, I might as well scoop all 10 pounds at once. Right? So, I can see how this will save me time in the future! Just get yourself a comfy mat under your feet, and try to stay organized with your recipes, ingredients, baggies, spices, etc.

Here is a peek of the all the meals once prepared. I was getting tired near the end and just scribbling the contents of the bag. So, in the future, I’d like to maybe laminate our recipes and somehow tie them on or use stickers or something. But, hey, you live and learn, right?

www.ourinspiredhome.com  *  freezer meals

www.ourinspiredhome.com * freezer meals

I’ll start sharing some of the yummy recipes as we get a chance to try them, since most of them are new to us (or at least the crock pot versions are new to us). So stay tuned!

Scrapbooking: Becky Higgins Project Life

I’ve never been much of a television shopper, but I saw somewhere that HSN was going to be offering a scrapbooking kit TODAY! But, hold on, this isn’t like the old-school scrapbooking kits. This is the Becky Higgins Project Life kit. I discovered Becky Higgins Project Life on Amazon.com last year, and I love it. It’s such a cute way to scrapbook. I can’t even describe it. You just have to see it! Check it out on HSN today, or there is a link to my favorites in the sidebar on amazon.com or also below:

Lemonade Stand Update

Thought you might want an update on our latest project:  The Lemonade Stand.  It is definitely coming along.  It is assembled (except for the corrugated metal top), and is in the process of being painted.  Abby chose lemon yellow and white, and we’re doing angled stripes.  The overall dimensions and most of the project is similar to the example, but there are some differences.  (Remember, we were using up supplies we had on hand… for the most part.)  It’s looking pretty cute!  Can’t wait for the reveal… and the grand opening!

lemonade stand

www.ourinspiredhome.com * Lemonade Stand in progress

From Freezer to Crock Pot: Sneak Peek!

We’ve been so busy lately, so I’m jumping on the Pinterest Freezer to Crock Pot bandwagon. Have you seen all those posts? Basically, you chop and mix and bag all the ingredients in one day for an entire months worth of meals. Then pop them in the freezer, and pull them out each morning to cook all day in the crock pot for a yummy, home-made meal (with no prep!). After reading through several examples, I decided to modify ours with recipes we love (and eliminating certain ingredients we don’t).

I’ll be posting more about all the recipes and ingredients we used, our yumminess rating, and our cost, so keep watching!


www.ourinspiredhome.com * Freezer to Crock Pot Veggies