Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Gracies Cookie Monster Party

Good Morning! Today I am doing a little blog catching up. Awhile back I posted a sneak peak of Gracie's cookie monster party. I guess cookie monster parties are really popular because I get SO many hits on that everyday..and I realized I have never posted pictures of the actual party! So here they are!
The party was for my niece who was turning 3. I should add that Gracie is a miracle baby born at 1.8oz, carried for 3.5 weeks after the water broke. Birthdays for her are a huge celebration of life! I was excited to help my sister throw it together. I made some of the printables a few weeks ahead of time and took them to Indiana. All we had to buy was food for the party and a table cloths, cups and plates. An easy but cute party to pull off!? Great for a budget. The pictures are not the greatest :( the lighting was not great.
Here's some of the goodies set out. My sister also ordered pizza for the guest too eat.

The tower of cupcakes.

Here are my sisters three kids in their seasame street shirts.

For the treat bags my sister colored some chocolate chips on the bags. We had different chocolate chip theamed items inside as well as coloring items.

One of my favorite things! We wrapped the silverware in blue ribbon and used icing to glue cookie crisp to them :)

We stuck googly eyes on everything making them cookie monster.

Almond joy pieces!

Here is the cake I made. One of the simplest but cutest cakes I've made! I covered the cake in fondant and then stuck hershy kisses in it.

Another shot of the dessert table. See the crepe paper??? My sister took time to draw brown circles on them making it chocolate chip!

We added eyes to the punch also! The blue paper shred was everywhere it reminded me of cookie monsters fur.

We picked up these cookie jars at either Target or Walmart. They added a great touch to the party! Also the plastic tongs came from the dollar tree. I have had them forever they always come in handy at parties!

We had to have milk! I made the lable to go with the seasame street theme. And then we sat out a jar of unwrapped hershy kisses as "chocolate kisses". That was one of those DUH ideas that came out great!

A local bakery has made these sesame street cookies for years. My mom remebered them and sure enough they had them still! We added some cookie crisp and wrapped them up in favors. These were a great find.

Here's the banner I made..not a very good pic though :/

Here's gracie stealing some milk and cookies before the party!

And Gracie with her big sister! We couldn't find a big bird shirt so the night before the party I drew him on her yellow T-Shirt. She was happy.

My favorite shot of the birthday girl!

And there is the cookie monster party!!! Hope that gives some inspiration to those throwing a cookie monster party!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How to - Make felt cookies

In the last post I shared about our kid's play kitchen and that I would be making some new things to go with it. Here's is one of the things I wanted to make! Iced cookies! You know those super soft yummy iced cookies that they always have out at Wal-mart and Krogers ect.? Those are a store bought family favorite around here so I decided to make some play ones for the twins. We actually have lots of play foods. I have a strict no plastic food poilicy around here :). They always ended up squished or crack and I just don't like them. After buying all the target wooden food we started on Mellissa and Doug. But they are so pricey. When Cadence was little her Aunt Amber started making her all kinds of felt food. She does an awesome job. So although we have tons we always welcome more. The kids love it! I will share them all eventually. But every once in a while I will make some because they are so much fun. So here's how to make some.

You will need a sugar cookie color felt and whatever icing colors your would like. I chose pink and white. Pins, thread, beads, scissors, a cup, stuffing, and a very thin needle. You will also need a second cup or slightly smaller circle. I used my sewing machine but it's optional.

Want to share about my beads. I found these at Micheals awhile back. They were $10.00 then I used a 40% coupon..but they've been a great spend because everytime I need little bead I pull this out. Love it!

Step 1: Take the cup and trace around the sugar cookie colored felt. 2 times as many cookies you want to make.

Step 2: Use another cup or circle slightly smaller then the first and trace them onto the icing color. I used a kid cup that was a bit smaller. Sorry I forgot to take a picture.

Step 3: Cut out the circles. I cut them all inside the black line I made with the marker.

Step 4: Pin the felt icing onto the cookie.

Step 5: Sew around the icing. You can do this with a needle and thread, I decided to sew it with my machine to speed things up.

Step 6: Sew on the beads. I sew them in a spiral from the outside in. I use a very thin needle so the eye will pass through the tiny beads or "sprinkles". If you are worried about the little ones with the "sprinkles" you can make stiches of embroidery thread to make them.

Step 7: Pin together the cookies right sides together if your using a machine. If your hand stitching them leave them right sides out. Sew around the cookie all about 3/4ths of the way.

Step 8: Turn the cookie inside out. Starting to look like cookies!

Step 9: Stuff the cookies with filling.
Step 10: I didn't get a picture of this step. Mostly because it's my least favorite thing to do and it's kind of hard to hold and photograph. Fold in the edges of the cookie and then hand stitch it closed. I'm not very good at it!

And here they are! They are not perfect but my little ones won't mind. While I am at it I thought I would share a few more of some felt desserts my kids have.

Chocolate chip cookies made by Aunt Amber.Pumpkin Cookies made by Aunt Amber.

One of my favorite sets! Gingerbread cookies by Grandma Miller. This has the "rolled out" ginger bread and the kids can cut out the ginger bread cookies and then there are the finished ones. She even included a pan, a rolling pin, and the cookie cutter! Valentine's cookies made by Aunt Amber.

Donuts I made using a CD as a pattern.

Most of these foods are atleast a year old and have been played with lots..and still look great! They are a fraction of the cost of the exspensive wood food. I hope these inspire you to make some adorable little felt treats :)

Aprons For The Monkeys

Another Christmas project done! This was a very quick little project I did and I'm very happy with the outcome. One of my favorite things we've ever bought for the kids is this Kitchen set. It's sooo adorable. And the perfect size. Target had it a few years back. Each year they come out with a new one but this little pink one has always been my favorite. We liked it so much we bought my niece one too. Our oldest daughter has played with it almost everyday for 3 years. The twins now want to join in. So for Christmas I plan on getting them a fridge or something to make it "bigger" and I want to make a few new pieces so that's it is now the twins too. I had planned on sewing these cute little aprons...until I ran into some child size blank ones at hobby lobby for $3.00. With all the projects I have on my list I couldn't help but take the short cut! So I brought them home and embroided a B and an M on them, in a matching pink gingham.

And I am so glad I did! In less then an hour they were complete. The girls love wearing big sisters apron so I can't wait till they have their own. The applique design came from Planet Applique.

Cute right?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Hooded Towels

Another check off my Christmas list! I'm on a roll :) We've been trying to come up with lots of ideas other then toys for our kids this year. We decided to get new decor for the kids bathroom, in Hello Kitty . Currently it's rubber duckies, which we still love but the shower curtain is needing replaced, and the soap dispenser is broke, and their hooded towels are looking worn down. Our girls love their hooded towels...I have so many memories of wrapping babies up in duck hoods while they quack to their bedrooms. Originally I asked Grandma Miller to make them but after getting my machine I decided to try it out. I am so glad I did!! It was so easy! I just happended to come across a tutorial from my new favorite blog. Go check it out! You can make one with half a hand towel and a bath towel. Anybody could make one of these, promise! The sewing only took about 10 minutes, the applique was the only time consuming thing. I was able to make all three of them in one sitting, that makes me happy :)

I had planned on putting their names on the hoods, but then I decided not to at the last minute. Daddy thought it would still be best to have them personalized so I added their initial at the bottom. All wrapped up and ready to go in the Christmas present box :)

These cost me less then $5.00 a piece. I will be making more of these for sure :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pumpkin cupcakes

Pumpkin cupcakes!
I love fall! It's like a relaxing fresh new season to pump you up for all the fun stuff coming up in the holiday season! Over the next few months I will be sharing seasonal cupcake recipes. To start off...pumpkin of course! This reciepe came straight from Martha Stewart. I followed it correctly the first time and I didn't have to change a thing! They came out great, moist, light, and fluffy. Thank Martha - side note if I could meet anybody it would probably be her. Linens, crafts, baking, home decor....the lady's got it good. Anyways back to pumpkins! I was going to make cute little fondant fall leaves and pumpkins however the kids were not feeling well so pumpkin candies had to do!

**This recipe makes 36 cupcakes, I have not tried to cut it in half yet.

2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. coarse salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg

1/4tsp. all spice

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

4 large eggs, lightly beated

15 oz canned pumpkin puree

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 and put cupcake liners in muffin pans. (this recipe made 36 for me)

Step 2: Combined flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and all spice in a bowl. (wisk together)

Step 3: In a seperate large bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer add brown sugar, sugar, melted butter, and eggs.
Step 4: Slowly add in dry ingredients until smooth.

Step 5: Add in canned pumpkin puree, mix.
Step 6: Fill cupcake liners about half way full. (I use 3tbs in each one)

Step 7: bake for 18-20 minutes in middle rack, until toothpick comes out clean.

Step 8: Let cool on a wire cooling rack.

For Cream cheese frosting:

16 oz cream cheese

1cup (sticks unsalted butter)

2 tsp. clear vanilla extract

8 cups powdered sugar

2-4tbs. milk

Step 1: Set out butter and cream cheese to come to room temp.

Step 2: Beat butter until fluffy, with a hand or electric mixer

Step 3: Add in cream cheese beat until smooth.

Step 4: Add vanilla

Step 5: Slowly add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time.

Step 6: Add milk until desired consistancy.

Ice cupcakes and enjoy! Now what fall flavor is next??

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Laminated Paper Dolls!

Another check off my Christmas list this year! I just finished two sets of paper dolls made for my daughters and nieces. I've had these in the back of my mind for awhile now. I made them using the paperdoll cartridge with my cricut. This cartridge should be a first purchase it you own one! I use it to make all kinds of things for projects, and everytime I do my daughter begs me to make extra pieces for her to play with. You can even make tabs on the clothing to use a real paper dolls. She would play with them for a few hours, but at the end they were ripped, bent, wet, you name it. So I wanted to make her a set that would last. After cutting tond of pieces I ran them through the laminator and then hand cut around them. I then added velcro.

Here are some people!

And here's the back view of an outfit to show you how they stick. To line them up I used one person as a pattern then laid the opposite piece of velcro on the first, stick side up. I then simply laid the outfit over it so it would naturally go be attached to the right place.

Here are some of the cute little sets I made.

And then of course I made tons of extra clothing and hair. I wanted to take it a little farther so I made a few simple backdrop using the paper doll cartridge. The delima here was I can't laminate 12 in papers. And staples wanted 4 dollars a piece for them. Spending over 30 to laminate two sets was not keeping this project cheap. So I stuck them in 12X12 scrapbooking page holders I already had and cut off the edges! Then I put velcro in each corner.

To hold all the pieces I bought scrapbook cases from Micheals ($4.00 half off). In the shallow side I places velcro pieces in each corner so she could attach her background. Then I glued a strip of ribbon across with velcro on one side. This keeps the papers nice an tidy.

And here is a view of the case sitting up ready to play!

Or she could lay it down and take it in the car!

Here is the outside of the case, you can see the velcro in the corners. I can't decide....should I decorate the outside....or add more velcro so she can play on top too??

I really love how this came out! And I know she is going to play with it tons because as I was making it I couldn't keep her away from it. I know she's not suppose to see it but she kept coming in and it was only the pieces! I guess it's no different from a toy commercial right??? lol. She keeps asking me for some for her. So I know she's going to be excited! Total cost was $12.00 for two sets! I only had to buy two cases and a pack of velcro dots.

If you want to make your own but don't have a cricut there are many options. Micheals has all kinds of foam and paper cutouts. I saw some people there that would work great! Also scrapbooking stores may have lots of diecuts you could use.....or print off paper doll clipart and laminate! Have fun :)