Friday, January 31, 2014

Puff ball cupcakes toppers

I used these at my friend's baby shower and loved them so much I am doing them again for my daughter'a birthday party.

These are the simplest project I've done to date.

You take a toothpick and poke it through a glitter Pom Pom ball....and you're done!!

You can get a pack of single colored pom poms at Hobby Lobby or Micheals for $1.99 and toothpicks wherever you choose to buy those.

~Happy Crafting 

Pin the Cutie mark on the Pony Game!

My crew love pin the "something" games!  They are a huge hit no matter what the age, so far....  My daughter is having a My Little Pony Birthday party tomorrow! 

Here is the Pin the Cutie Mark board game we made yesterday.

It took a little time to get the body and eyes right on Pinkie Pie, but with the help of a projector, I was able to get the job done :).

Once she was penciled onto the foam board, I painted the hair first.

Next I painted her body and added the accent marks in her tail, ear and nose.

I used to outline all my projects by hand, but I found this nifty new tool that makes everything looked polished!  The Sharpie paint pen....I LOVE them!

I used the paint pen to outline Pinkie Pie and draw in the blacks of her eyes.

Do you see where I messed up a bit on her back legs?? Fixed that with white paint :D.  I used two different sizes of round sponge brushes to paint the whites of her eyes and then finished her up by painting in the blues of her eyes.

This is so favorite project!!  

I printed the cutie marks off on the computer and can't wait to see how the kiddos do at getting them on the flank of Pinkie Pie!

~Happy Party Planning!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Nerf Gun War Birthday Party!

We played "Nerf War" at my son's birthday party this year.  It was a TON of fun, he had a blast and the turn out of kids was massively larger then any year past.  This party has been the talk of the town since the invites went's been almost a week and the kids are still talking about.

This was the easiest party to get ready for.  My son would not let me buy him balloons....did I mention is now 10 and too grown up for baby things??

Here is the set up!

We supplied the following:

Nerf Guns
We let kids bring their own guns if they wanted to, however we encouraged them to leave their bullets at home

Nerf Bullets
I lucked out and got a Cartwheel deal for 10% off Nerf Ammo.  I only need to buy one large package to accompany the bullets we already had

Camo Boxes (to hide behind)
We collected used moving boxes from some folks we know and painted them with Camo paint.  We used the Camo line from Krylon that we found at Walmart for about $3.75 each.

Camo Banner
This lovely piece, I had to beg my son to allow me to use ;).  I used my Cricut to make this.  The pennants are actually a food topper flag that I enlarged and cut in half.  The cut came from the digital download Party Picks and Pennants.  The letters are from the Cricut Opposites Attract Font Cartridge.  The Pennants were cut at 2.5 inches and then cut in half once I pulled them from the mat.  The letters were cut using the "Add text" option default size.  I bought the Camo paper the letters were cut out of at Hobby Lobby.  The ribbons were cut from the Cricut Stand and Salute Cartridge.

Camo Decor
The table cloth, plates and napkins were all purchased at Hobby Lobby.  I was surprised at the lack of camo party gear available at Walmart and Target.

Camo Centerpiece
I love doing these painted themed numbers for my kids' parties.  I started them with this child turned 8 and they are huge hit with them.  The numbers can bought at Hobby Lobby for $2.57 each and they go on sale quite often.  The camo paint was done free hand.

Camo Cupcakes
The liners, again, were found at Hobby Lobby.  I used that spray paint food coloring to make the camo look on the icing.  This was fun but I will warn you that you need to clean it off your counter tops quickly...we got a little stain from the green!

Party Favors
The kiddo found these adorable dog tags at Hobby Lobby when we were buying the other party supplies we needed and just had to have them for his friends.  Word on the street is that about half of them are wearing them to school ;)

~Happy Party Planning!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Hearing Aid Consult with my 8 year old!

With all the craziness of my second oldest turning 10 this week, I have not given myself the proper time to process the reality of today and tomorrow.  Last week, my youngest son (child #3) was diagnosed with permanent hearing loss.  It's not across the board, hence why he is 8 and we are just now figuring it out.  He can hear low tones just fine, but mid to high tones have to be so loud that by the time he hears's at a level that hurts a normal hearing person's ears.

Today we consult for hearing aids.  This will allow him to hear all tones at "normal" level and hopefully get rid of the pain of being in a loud room (like his lunchroom).  I am nervous and anxious for my boy.  He is concerned about the aftermath when his friends realize that he went from being "normal" like them to "the kid with hearing aids."  He has good friends with good parents, so I am hopeful that all will be fine in his world.

The big kicker and question answer-er (word?? is now!) will be the MRI tomorrow afternoon.

We are choosing to attempt this bad boy without sedation.  My boy has already had two surgeries that required sedation and if we get the answer we want, he's almost guaranteed a third trip.  I do not want his body building an immunity to the medication needed for that (call me crazy...I don't kids are immunized, so I can have this one!).

The questions:

What?!?!?!  I just thought he got anxious in large crowds with lots of different noises at once (because I do).

How long has this been here?  The son claims forever (talk about a debbie downer in parenting!)

What is causing it?  When we did the hearing test, the oncologist determined that whatever it between the bones of the ear and the nerves.  His ear canal and drums look perfectly normal and healthy.

Can we fix it???  Is there a life for him without hearing aids?

If we can't fix what? How do we move forward?  Do we need to adjust his entire life??

Here are some questions that I probably won't ask in front of my son but am secretly trying to answer on my own:

Is my son "special needs?"
Do I need to parent him differently?
Is his life going to change for the worse?
How on earth did he make it 8.5 years without me noticing!?!

Our chins are up!  We are optimist that this will get figured out swiftly and can be fixed!  We are grateful for the doctors who are caring and swift with their diagnosis and treatment!

Bring it on!!
( In a deep base tone so my boy can hear it without it hurting!!)

Friday, January 10, 2014

Camo Birthday Invites!

It's that time of year where we have to start getting ready for son #2 to age!  The last couple of years we have done football themed parties.  This year, he decided to change it up!!  We are doing a "Capture the flag" Call of Duty kind of Nerf Gun War theme.  Yeah, that was the best I could come up with ;)

These are the invites we made!

Pretty cool huh?!

To make these exact ones you will need a Cricut and the Stand and Salute Cartridge.
(Don't a Cricut yet??  Check out the ad on the left hand side and get a killer deal on one!)

I used the Camo Cut on Shift, cut at 3 inches.  Now, when you do this you need to note that the cut is meant for you to keep the pieces that are cut out.  What I did was remove those pieces (for another project down the road) and cut, as even as I could, around the camo cut out.  What you see here is the end result.

I then used the envelope cut at a custom size.  I manipulated the shape to ensure that the camo cutouts I made would fit on the envelope once it was folded.

I then printed out info pieces about the party for the inside of the envelope.

For both the camo and the info pieces, I ran them through my sticker maker (so much faster and less messy then using glue).
Here is what they looked like closed.  We used a single piece of tape to hold these down.  To fold them, fold in the sides first, then bottom flap, then the top pointed flap.

These are getting passed out during class today and the boy is pretty excited about them!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Up-Cycled Side Table!

The daughter has been using an old end table as her TV stand and her cable box and DVD player set on the floor.  She had a 20 inch old school TV on this table and rarely uses it.  She got a bunch of new DVDs for Christmas and we had been talking about giving her the larger old TV we used to have in our bedroom.  The stand she has...not gonna hold it.  We went digging through the garage to see if there was any old furniture in there (our garage became a storage unit when we decide to start living together).  We found a two drawer end table I had meant to throw out over the summer.   It was in bad shape, stained and dusty from sitting the garage...see for yourself...YUCK!

We also found a left over piece of sheet rock that has vinyl covering over.  We took out the drawers, removed the center bar used to slide the drawers in and out.  He sanded down the end table and spray painted it "Princess Blue" with paint we had bought for another project.

We used the sheet rock pieces we cut down as shelves and now she has a new TV stand complete with shelves for her box and DVD player!

I am so very excited about this.  There are several reasons: 1. The Fiance and I got to bond alone!  2.  This didn't cost us a dime!  Everything we used was already here and 3. The daughter got a much improved look and piece for her little bedroom!

Projects like this are a great way for us to put use the things we each enjoy and put them together to create something we both love!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A Baby Shower!

With my youngest child about to turn 5, I was ubberly excited to be able to plan this shower!  My friend Kasey is special one!  The mother of three boys, starting her family at the same age I did was defying odds that day at baseball practice when she announced her fourth pregnancy.  Her oldest the same age as my youngest son, was followed by two crazy little boys ages 3 and 2.  What makes pregnancy number 4 so special....Kasey had her tubes tied after her third son was born.  Although all the sports mommies were secretly wishing for her to have girl, we are all very excited to meet Kasey's fourth little boy, Brady!

She's probably going to kill me over this photo...but that's okay ;)  It is hands down my favorite!

Okay, on to the shower details!!!  It was so much fun to buy for baby again!

I fell in love with this blue zebra and leopard print design!  I found it at Party City but I am sure it can be found other places.

Here is a list of the designed items I bought
Dinner Plates
Dessert Plates
Dessert Napkins
Table Cloth
Dangle decor Set
Table Top decor Set

Here are couple close ups on my cupcakes:

I bought the zebra cupcake sleeves at Hobby Lobby.  The pack of 24 were $2.99  The puff toppers and letter toppers I made.

Here are the details:
To make the puff toppers you will need the following:
Craft Pom Poms
You simply stick the toothpick in the pom pom puff balls.

The letters and banners required a little more time and work.

I used my Opposites Attract Cricut Font to cut the letters out at 2.5 inch settings.  I used the "opposite" font coupled with the "opposite shadow".  The banners that read "Here Comes" are the same lettering but placed on a Cricut Pennant cut.  I cut out the Pennant at 2.5 inches and then cut it in half to make the banners.  I glued each pennant to a ribbon and attached the ribbon to lollipop sticks.  "Brady" is attached to toothpicks.

This is a concept I first saw on Pinterest, yet I am not sure who, what, or where.  It was an idea from another type of Safari Shower.  I added lollipop sticks (some with ribbon bows).

I had originally planned to do dipped marshmellows and strawberries, but while we were setting up, Mommy dug out her fondue pot that had never been we put that bad boy to use and made a small Fondue Bar <3 p="">

The puppy chow you see pictured was meant for popcorn bags I bought...however, I forgot to fill them! Oops!

Party Favors consisted of a small Candy Bar

I got Hersey's Kisses at Micheals that have tags that say "It's a Boy", are which just too flipping cute!  I also found light blue Sixlets at Hobby Lobby.  Both the Kisses and Sixlets were $5 a bag.  There are two bags of Kisses and one bag of Sixlets.  The bowls the kisses and sixlets are in came from Party City and were just $1.99 each.  The M&Ms are the by the pound kind I bought at my local HyVee. These are little pricy but HyVee had the better price on them.  They were $9.99 a lb (compared to $7.99 per 8 oz at Party City and other places).  I bought 3.5 pounds between the four colors.

Baby Shower Games

The Price Is Right was fun double whammy for me!  It was one part gift for baby and one part game!  The concept of this game is to guess the cost of each item to get a grand total that is as close to the correct amount without going over.

I printed off sheets I found on Pinterest.  You can find a ton of options, some with pre-made lists and other, like the one I printed, that are blank for you to fill in yourself.

I bought a book of sheets for an "A to Z" game.  This game is really fun.  You get a timed amount of time to write down a word, phrase, or baby brand that match each letter of alphabet.  At the end of the time given (we did two minutes), you read aloud the answers you have.  If more than one person wrote down what you have written down, you scratch that word out.  The person with the most answers that are unique wins!  The book was $2.99 but you could easily make your own if you wanted to.

Baby Trivia was fun.  Another Pinterest print out, this game was used to break the ice as not everyone at the shower knew each other.  Very few people got these questions right, it was a fun time!
Here is a link to the trivia game I used.

"What was Mommy Wearing" was yet another Pinterest inspired game.  This game was rigged for Mommy to win.  You play this game by having Mommy leave the room unannounced, pass out the sheets and guest have to answer questions about what Mommy was wearing.  These questions included was Mommy wearing a necklace, were her nails painted, etc.  Since Mommy knows all the answers, she wins ;)
I made this printable myself :)

I am betting that you have been trying to figure out those golden bottles.  No, they are not decor pieces.  They were the prizes!

These were hands down my favorite part of this entire shower!  I bought cheap, $1 bottles and glued them to a wood piece I found at Hobby Lobby.  I then spray painted them Gold!!  They were a huge hit (despite the slight running and some digs in the car ride to the party).

My gift to Mommy!
I have been there, done that with a fourth pregnancy that blind sided you.  My daughter was born with a failed vasectomy Three and half years after my third son.  Getting prepared for baby in this circumstance requires a lot more then the items needed to care for baby.

I got Mommy a Hospital Care Package.  It included soap, shampoo, a lufa, toothbrush and paste, a cute notebook, lotion, and other neat little things that get forgotten in the rush to welcome baby into the world!  All of these items were forgotten when I went for my planned inducement!

I also made her a photo prop for when baby gets here.  It is a piece of wood bought at Hobby Lobby. I spray painted it blue and then used a chevron stencil to add grey chevron stripes to it.

I used my cutting machine to cut out "Brady" in vinyl and add it to personalize the prop.

I can't wait until this baby comes so that he can spoiled by all the mommies!  Kasey's oldest son plays sports with my youngest and we spend 9 months out the year together at practices, games and tournaments.  This baby is going to be SPOILED by all of us!

Friday, January 3, 2014

52 Week Savings Challenge!

The fiancĂ© and I have been seeing this concept all over the place since 2013 started.  In November, we decided that we were going to do it when 2014 started.  We want to get married and since neither of our first marriages were the result of a wedding, we would like to have one.  That will only come with money, money that is saved, not spent ;).  

It's also a fantastic way to jump start a dependence that saving is a "bill" and that is exactly how we plan to treat it.

We are going to use cash jars for our first eliminate the temptation to transfer it from the savings account to the bank account.

Once a month, I will post a progress report on how we doing, things that may have tempted us to dip into it, and how our plans for that money evolve throughout the year.

Today is the first paycheck of the this is "Week 1" for us!

If you are curious as to what this challenge are the details!!!

52 week Money Challenge:
For each week of the year place $1 times the number week into a savings jar or account.

Week 1= $1
Week 2 = $2
On the last week, when you deposit $52 dollars, you will have saved a total of $1,378!!!

We will be using a check list...just to make sure we actually remember to put the money in!  Here is a copy if you would like to use it!  Click here!

~Happy savings!!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A New Year!

Midwest Moma is getting a facelift!!  I have spent the last several months trying to juggle a crazy schedule with my kiddos, online schooling, school parties, and trying to start and grow a business with my mom!  My poor blog has taken such a crazy hit....and I can't even explain how crappy that makes me feel!  Online schooling is now done (no I didn't graduate....just changing gears and taking a break until August!).

January has a lot coming your way!  I have planned my first baby shower in the history of ever for one of my football/baseball mommy friends.  That is happening this weekend!!!  Son number 2 is turning 10!!!!  That is just craziness.  My only daughter will be 5!  That's TWO major milestone ages in one month and the emotions surrounding them MUST be shared!  I will also be sharing my ADD story with my oldest son.  Plus so much more! 

I can't wait to get started on this new year with all of you!  I hope that you forgive me for being so absent these past six months!

Bring it on 2014!!!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Teacher Gifts: Monogramed Pencil Holder

My friend and I made these for our teachers!  I had this scheduled to post just before Christmas....yet I have just discovered that it did not :(.  However....if you are needing ideas for Valentine's Day....Teacher Appreciation Week...or just want something easy and fun to gift to are my Monogrammed Pencil Holders!!

Here is the DIY instructions to make them yourself ;)


Glass Jar
  Hobby Lobby $2.99 @ 50% off during glass sale = 1.49 each

Black and White Vinyl (repositional)
 I had bought all of mine from Pick Your Plum a long while back, but you can vinyl at Hobby Lobby, JoAnn's, and Michael's in an array of colors.

Michael's Christmas themed ribbon $3.99 a roll @ 70% off during Christmas supply sale = $1.20 each
The roll that I used was 2in thick and did 10 jars per roll

Crinkle paper
Michael's $3.99 a bag couple with a 40% off coupon = $2.39
One bag was enough to fill 15 jars with the desired amount.


I used my Circut machine to cut the capital letters in black.  The font I used was the Craftroom Basics font that is free with the craftroom software.

I then used my new (new because I have not talked about it yet!!) Silhouette Portrait to cut the names in a script font I downloaded off of  I don't remember what the name of it is, sorry :(.

My bestest fran came over and made some too.  Together we made 27 of these.  Total time at this large project was about 3 hours....however, that include a dash run to get more ribbon when we ran out!
~Happy Crafting!!!