Category Archives: Do-It-Yourself-Moms

The Fairy Garden Party (budget style!)

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Oh boy, was this party a beautiful day full of fairy wings, glitter pixie dust, and…..zoo animals.

Thanks to a new blog friend, Erin, I had several ideas to choose from for this party.  And thanks to our local zoo, I had all the entertainment I needed to keep the 3 and 4 year old fairies occupied!  But because not every one has access to the awesome zoo – here’s the party photos to keep everyone inspired.

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So, I didn’t use my frappacino glasses for drinks this time. Just as vases for my dollar store silk flowers.

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I didn’t have time to get helium in my balloons. So, a needle and some ($1.50) ribbon sewn through the tied part of the ($0.97/package) balloons made the perfect festive birthday garlands. Dollar store tablecloths that I layered for extra color effects and tied up in corners with ($2.50) rolls of tulle added to the girly magic.

Now, for the FOOOOOOOD! 🙂

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These were chocolate chips, a little extra frosting from the cake, vanilla wafers, and hershey kisses.

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These honey bees were downright awesome. Here’s the recipe I used.

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Some cherry tomatoes cut in half and a couple of cheese sticks were all I needed to make these cute little edible mushrooms.

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Hee hee. Funny story. The “caterpillar-snake-fruit-wands” were quite the adventure for my mom, my sister, and I. When I couldn’t find good looking watermelon to make the stars I wanted, we improvised with strawberries. Thinking, “caterpillars would be adorable!” They kinda ended up looking like snakes though. This is what they were supposed to be.

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So kids’ parties are full of sugar as it is. So for my punch, I do 100% juice, in a “matching” color to my theme, and water it down with club soda. And give it a cool name. Like Pixie Punch.

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These were the adult’s favorites for sure. This is the recipe I used for these.

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Hee hee hee. 🙂

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We had peanut butter and blackberry jam sandwiches and cheese sandwiches  – the birthday fairy’s favorites!

And now, time for the fairies to join us after their little walk through the zoo.

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Boy were they excited!

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The first stop was the Fairy dress-up station where the party goers got their wings and pixie dust.

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This is where the magic happened for my little birthday fairy. She loved watching her little friends transform into magical fairy creatures.

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Including herself!

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Next the girls picked out their party food and enjoyed their lunch together.

Then the cake….

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The tree trunk and tree top were rice crispy treats  molded into the correct shape, and covered in marshmallow fondant. The fairies are attached with simple floral stem wire I got at Hobby Lobby.

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She’s not the best candle flame blower-outer. (I mean, really! This was only her fourth chance to practice!) So she got one candle. Big sis still had to help a little, much to the birthday fairy’s chagrin.

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“No, Col-we. I’M gonna blow out the candle!” 🙂

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“Now, I’m a princess fairy!” (but not until after having wings, a necklace, a tiara, and a red flower in her hair…)

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— Special thanks to my lovely fairy queen mother and fairy sister for helping make this party such a super success. 🙂

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It’s a Pizzeria!

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Welcome back to Party Week here on KimzKitchen. I’ve had some parties in the archives to post about for awhile now, and thought I’d feature them all in the same week. I hope you’re not gaining as many pounds as I would be if I were really having all these parties in one week. 🙂 If you’ve missed some of the fun, check out the Valentine’s party and the baby shower.

Next week will be some before and after photos of my January organizing project – that will be fun too, but parties are a great way to prequel that. So, this party, for my six year old budding chef, took place last October. It was SO FUN! All she wanted was to cook with her friends. This is what we came up with.

And truth be told, this was the simplest party ever. I mean, the kids made their own lunch, they played the games they wanted to, and they even filled their own treat bags. But shhhhh! Don’t tell any of the moms that showed up. They thought I did all that work!!

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Every kiddo got their own apron (I used the apron Chloe already had as a pattern to cut out the fabric with pinking sheers (so no-sew!), then I quickly sewed on some red bias tape for the ties.

It took me about 75 minutes (and $8 worth of fabric) to make 12 of them.

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Papa Murphy’s to the rescue – they provided these awesome pizza kits, already set up and ready to go for $3 a piece. And they gave me a “you’re-a-super-cool-person” discount, (or maybe it was a “you’re-about-to-have-12-kids-make-pizzas-at-your-house-and-we-feel-sorry-for-you” discount) so they were only about $2.40 a piece.

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Why they were awesome – they came with sauce, cheese, and pepperoni all measured out, the dough already flattened, and on it’s own cooking tray. I ❤ no dishes to wash!)

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Chloe decided to take charge and give the kids directions on how to prepare their pizzas. She’s a good teacher. 🙂

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While the pizzas were baking, the kids tried their hands at the Arcade “Room”. My husband built all these awesome silly games out of cardboard boxes.

The kids got tickets that they turned in later at the prize counter.

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Thankfully, we had a lot of moms and aunts and uncles to help out.

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Chloe’s Uncle gave the birthday girl a few extra tickets I believe. 🙂 (I got these tickets at the dollar store – you can find them here, too.)

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Once the pizzas were baked, it was time for lunch!

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The kids having access to all-you-can-want parmesan cheese shakers (that I got for $1 a piece at Walmart) made the lunch quite the blast for them.

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(See those glasses again? This could have also been called “100-uses-for-used-Frappacino-Bottles” week.

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Chloe didn’t want a birthday cake this year – she’s not a huge sweets fan anyway. So when I suggested a Birthday Dessert Pizza, she jumped on the idea!

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Next was prize table time. The kids used the bags that were at their spots at the table to put their prizes in. See? Filling their own treat bags. Hee hee hee. 🙂

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The prizes were all dollar store finds that Chloe and I went shopping for the week before.  We selected things that were as brightly colored as we could.

Putting them in glass jars and trifle bowls and vases made them super visible (and I had all those glass things at home already.) The pinwheels were the biggest hit.

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The birthday girl got a new bicycle (that she loves!) and a day spent cooking and playing with all of our family. I’d say it was a hit of a party!

A baby shower for my sister.

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Seeing that it’s turning into Party Week here on KimzKitchen, I thought I’d feature a baby shower.

A few months back, my sweet little sister (the one with whom I share a bday, actually!) was pregnant with her first little boy. As hard as it was, I wanted to do a special shower for her. She was married pretty quick-like out of state with military obligations, so a wedding shower didn’t work out. So, this baby shower was a big deal for my other sister and I. It turned out pretty cute, I think.

Here’s a few photos from her day.

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My mom, and my sister, and my nephew. 🙂

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See, told ya I use these glasses for everything! These straws came from here.

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(Super easy!) Doughnut Tower Instructions

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Savory Mini Vegetable Quiche

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Southern Grits Bar (Basics for Beginners Recipe coming soon)

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Sunrise Punch

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I was pretty nervous about gift-opening time. I still don’t do well with looking at baby boy clothes – and especially then, was absolutely terrified of watching this part of the shower.
Thankfully I was given a downright Heavenly idea of heading up a craft gift – which kept me supremely distracted, but also without being a distraction. 

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Had to include this one – seeing little Kyle there ^ made me smile.

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These little pirate faces will go perfectly in my nephew’s nautical nursery.

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Everyone at the shower signed their own handprint pirate, so now my sister can remember the love shown to her that day.

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I still have to send her the birth stats to put over on the side there…now that my house is organized, I should get on that. 🙂

A party day with my Valentines.

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Valentine’s Day was going to be a pretty big day with a guest post going live on another blog, Kyle’s due date, and a plan for a big dinner night in with my husband that night.  I needed another distraction though. Well, maybe I didn’t. But I kinda did. And I love parties. 🙂

We started with a quiet breakfast. There’s just something about waking up to a decorated table that makes my girls excited. Well, that and drinking milk in martini glasses. Gotta love de-cluttering finds. 🙂

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Heart Pancakes with strawberries – easy breakfast. *Whew!* Along with a handmade card from me, and roses from their daddy.

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So, I’ve learned, if I want my girls to have a Valentine’s Party, I just have get to throw one.

Several gals from my church with little ones, and semi-big home schooled ones joined my girls and I for the “big” party at our church Thursday morning. (According to Chloe, breakfast was the “little” one.) It was a blast. But then anytime you have 13 kids from 2 months old all the way to 7 or so, it’s bound to be, right?

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Starbucks frappacino bottles – these guys have been used for every party I’ve had in the past 2 years. I get my straws here.

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What can I say? My girls are hopeless romantics.

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We played a few games – “Make a giant stuffed animal pile relay” and “a Southern Snowball Fight”
(real creative names, huh?)

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I can’t say enough about these paints – I LOVE them! They don’t drip, poison if eaten, stain if spilled, or make any sorta mess. 🙂

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Make your own Valentine Mail Bags…

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…Then fill them with Valentines for your friends. 🙂

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Working through emotions and washing out closet baseboards

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Working through emotions and washing out closet baseboards

Yeah. Most of my closet baseboards are clean now. It’s funny, I started deep cleaning/organizing my house from one side to the other. But now that I’m officially half way to being finished, the “other” side is looking rather terrible. It’s like a giant mudslide. As I work from one side of the house to the other, things slowly end up piling up on the other end. But despite the impending doom that seems to be upon the “other” side’s outside walls, there have been quite a few happy moments around here in the last few days….

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I’m learning that the best method is the one of sheer determination. So, I’ve taken everything out of one place and put it on a blanket in a central location. For instance – when I worked on the kitchen, I took everything out of the kitchen cabinets and put it all on a blanket on the kitchen table. Then, I put back everything I needed. Then, I dumped the blanket (and all that was left – I mean, really, who needs three 9×13 pyrex dishes??!) into my yardsale box.  Too bad I don’t have a photo of the mountain that was on my table. Whoever comes to my yard sale is gonna think they’ve hit the jackpot. From Pampered Chef cheese knives to microwave steamers, they’ll walk away with their $0.50 treasures, and I’ll think “Hee hee hee – they’re about to fill their kitchen with stuff a semi-professional caterer didn’t even use. Have fun finding a space for that.” 🙂

After I cleaned things out, before I put them back, I did a bit of cleaning. Under my fridge. Do you have any idea what happens under your fridge? I didn’t. Now I do. Never again will I let it go on and on for five years (yeah, that’s an admission). Here’s what it looked like.

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Then, I swept.

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Still gross. So I pulled out my wonder mop. Well, actually, it’s a Eureka Steam Mop. (Which, I must point out, is currently $49 – which is 38% off the regular price of $79 on amazon right now, with free shipping. So if you have hardwood/laminate floors, go get one.) But it’s wonderful. And it wonderfully works wonders with water while I work.

*Pauses briefly to bow to high school English teacher who loved aliteration*. 🙂

Basically it only uses water, plugs in, produces steam that’s so hot it not only cleans, but it also sanitizes. I didn’t even scrub this five years of neglect away. All I did was set that wonderful water worker wonder on top of sticky stuff and let the steam do it’s work.

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Awesome, right?  Then all I have to do is take one of the two washable pads that comes with it, throw it in the washer, and attach it right back when I’m finished.

And it’s so clean that, theoretically, you can eat off of it. I didn’t try. But if we ever have any bug visitors, at least now they won’t get sick taking away the crumbs from under my fridge. (Thankfully, we have a bug man – so, no worries, we don’t get bugs.) Now that you’re totally grossed out for the rest of the day, let’s move on…. 🙂 

I have a large open kitchen space. But not a lot of drawers. In fact, there are only two small drawers in my kitchen. One holds my silverware. The other is prime real estate. But so is some of my cabinets. And my 32 jars of spices were taking up too many of those cabinets. Yep. Thirty-two. And none of them are expired. Because I use them all all the time. Along with the 9 extracts. Nine.

So until I get my laundry room/pantry painted and fixed up just like I want it, this is my temporary solution. And it’s worked wonderfully. So worth my one drawer.

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So now, I’m on to the task I’ve been dreading – the girls’ clothes. I’m thinking they don’t need enough shirts to dress them for three weeks. Especially considering that they only wanna wear their three princess dresses anyway. So, I’m simplifying, de-cluttering, driving my husband crazy with the current disarray, etc. 🙂 But in all of this, I’m keeping my mind busy, and for this week, and last, and the next, this is really good for me.

Meanwhile, back to my kids….

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Ballerina Birthday Party – Step 2

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If you haven’t been invited to the Ballerina party yet, go check out the invitations here.

Once you’ve seen those….welcome to the party! 🙂 I had so much fun with this one. A couple of things i’ve learned. Tulle and elastic are my friends; and 3 year old finger foods are a piece of cake to prepare. The only thing I cooked the day of the party was the Mac n Cheese – and even that was prepared the night before and just baked off in the oven. I love to cook, but when you can easily cook…why, that’s even better!

The Menu:

Gingerbread Strawberry Cream Cookie Tarts <—- I was inspired by this cute little recipe!

Make-your-own Cracker Sandwiches

Salted Coconut Oil Popcorn <—— Here’s the printables for the super cute little boxes!

Carrots with Homemade Ranch <— my little ballerina’s favorite “begetable snack”

Pink Marshmallow Lollipops (Thanks, Mom!)

Pigs in a Blanket – made by her super sweet 5 year old sister!

Red Apples with Strawberry Cream

Homemade Mac n Cheese <——- the birthday girl’s all time favorite meal ever.

Angelina Ballerina’s Pink Rose Cake

The Favors:

Yay for my Cricut! I made little Ballerina paper dolls for each little girl to take home. (Along with their own tutus they all got in their invitations. Each ballerina came with three different colored tutus. Little velcro circles (bought at Walmart!) made the outfits easy to take off and stick on – especially for the chubby little 2 and 3 year old fingers.

The Decorations:

The table cloths on all the tables was some discount pink fabric I got for $1.50/yard. The pink tulle was $.59/yard and the elastic was $.39/yard. What can I say? I’m cheap. 🙂 I sewed the pink tulle onto the elastic to fit around the bottom edge of the dining room table – which made a little “tutu tableskirt” – it was super cute. And super easy!

Each of the girls tables were small tables I pulled from our school room (and a friend’s house!). I used my grandmother’s china. And my starbucks glasses. 🙂 (At this point, those things are a tradition for every party at our house….)

And balloons. I love balloons. My girls love balloons. And again, they’re super cheap. BTW – interesting note. Did you know that Walmart will fill your balloons for a quarter a piece? If you buy them in their store – which they’re only $1 for a pack of 12. Head on back with your balloons to the bakery section and they’ll get you all set. (Just call ahead to check first!) I’m actually not a huge Walmart shopper. But I’ll go anywhere for helium balloons. 🙂

The Games:

Find Angelina’s Lucky Penny (in the sand box)

A Ballerina Class (with a (free!) library Ballerina DVD)

And just because this post doesn’t have enough photos yet…how about one of the birthday girl?!

Cute Christmas Gift for the Grandma you know….no peeking, Granny or Nana!

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I saw this adorable little door mat over at one of my new bloggers posts from last Christmas and had to copy! She’s so full of great frugal crafty ideas – a lot of them under $1.00! If you want some more detailed instructions, see her great post here.

Here’s our adventure with this one. Enjoy the pictures!

First – gather your supplies – outdoor paint (Hobby Lobby, $1.20 a bottle); a door mat  (Wal-Mart, $6.97); some newspaper ($1/week); and some feet (umm…the cost of these feet is too astronomical to list here.  If you don’t have any kids, just take a wild guess, then add a few zeros.)  Other helpful things are tape to mark off the outside edge, and a stencil.

White paint on feet + feet on mat = cute little snowman bodies.

Now for the Christmas Trees – green paint is nice for this one.

Hands seem to be nice to have around, too.

Put down those painted hands twice and you’ll get a Christmas Tree!

Add a 2 year old to the mix…and things really get fun.

Here’s where the stencil came in handy.

Then I added a few embellishments to the snowmen bodies – a scarf, a little hat, some buttons, and a few red ornaments and a star to the Christmas Trees.

And so there you have it. We made two of them for the two grandmas in our life. We should have done 3. I really want one. 🙂