Happy Halloween 2017

Hello, gorgeous goblins! I hope you’re ready for a fun night of candy and craziness. We finally got our house ready…lights up, pumpkins out, and costumes on hand. (I promised my family I wouldn’t hang the witch hats this year.) Haha!

Speaking of decorating, though…

Here’s a quick organizing tip!

Do you love how your house looks right now? Did you stick the landing on your entryway decorations and want an encore performance next year?

Then take pictures!

And don’t just take pictures for Instagram, but also print them out and tape them to your storage bins for when it comes time to pull it all down in preparation of Thanksgiving (or even Christmas if you want to jump right to it.) It’s only 8 weeks away. Eek!

Putting photos of your decorations directly on their storage bins helps you remember just how awesome your house looked AND tells you exactly what’s inside the bin. #likeagenie

If your witches and webs are too much for a single bin, not to fear. Print multiple photos and use a Sharpie to circle the items that are inside each bin. Even with clear bins like the ones below, it’s nice to have a snapshot of everything that’s inside.

{shop this bin} – it’s not an affiliate or anything, I just really like these bins. ūüôā

PS. Finding holiday-colored lids (think orange for Halloween and green or red for Christmas) makes it super easy to pull all of the right bins – especially if you store them in a dark attic or basement.

That’s it for now. Enjoy the festivities on this spook-filled night!

-Kate

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Friday Wrap: Birthday Party Edition!!

Sorry I’ve been MIA lately. I’ve been down-for-the-count with a terrible cold – topped off with allergies. Lovely, I know. The good news is that I’m so much better now and finally able to share some pics from my twin girls’ 11th birthday!!

We had a little shindig at our house to celebrate, and the theme ended up being a mermaid-unicorn-fairy-rainbow-pizza party. (When in doubt, just mash it up.)

And did you see the shirts I found at Thug Life?! They couldn’t have been more perfect. As seen below.

{My sweet birthday girls. We made a photo frame out of black matte board and hot-glued tissue paper flowers to the corners to glam it up a bit. I can’t wait to get into more details…}

It’s safe to say all of the girls had a mythical, magical time. And I wanted to share a few of the highlights.

Maybe this will spark some ideas for your next birthday bash?

{ONE} Rainbow Flowers & Heart Droplets

We gotta start with the decorations. I had so much fun playing around with inexpensive craft stuff, such as paint chips and tissue paper, to create a darling party atmosphere.

I used rainbow colors, because what mermaid-fairy-unicorn doesn’t love rainbows?!

I made tissue paper flowers for the table and giant tissue “clouds” for the ceiling.¬†Then I made it rain up in here with strands of ribbon and hearts dangling from the lights.

Here’s a closer look at the rainbow heart droplets.

Directions: I tied several strands of thin ribbon to the base of our chandelier. Then I glued rainbow-colored hearts (back-to-back) directly onto the ribbon. Super easy.

Want to see the secret to those perfectly shaped hearts? >>

Voila! I used my heart-shaped paper punch.

And all of those beautiful colors were compliments (literally) of Lowes. I got a large stack of paint chips in a variety of pastel colors.

Here’s a closeup of the pinks. I love the ombre look you get from using paint chips, too.

PS. Punching out all of these hearts was the perfect activity for my girls. They were definitely involved in all of this magic making.

We had so many hearts, we even sprinkled some on the table – like rainbow confetti!

{TWO} Rainbow Cupcakes & Candies

Of course we had some rainbow-themed goodies!

I was obsessed with these cupcakes. Avery found the idea on Pinterest, so we had some inspiration. Then she and her sister made these all. by. themselves. No joke. All of those hours watching Cupcake Wars is paying off.

Directions: After baking up some vanilla cupcakes, they added a few drops of blue food coloring to their buttercream frosting. We found some Airhead Xtremes Rainbow Belts at Walmart, so they cut them in small strips and formed them like rainbows over each cake. And the clouds, as you probably guessed, are mini marshmallows. <3

Here’s a view from above. The girls did such a lovely job plating these sweet treats, too.

Here’s a wide angle of the table, so you can see the confetti hearts, tissue paper flowers and cupcakes all hanging out just waiting for the mermaids, unicorns and fairies to arrive.

Oh, and we also made a candy station using rainbow suckers, fruity Twizzlers, and tropical Skittles so their friends could “taste the rainbow.”

The girls thought it was funny to call the Skittles “unicorn poop.” I totally agreed.

And just so everyone wasn’t completely bouncing off the walls, I offered a more natural rainbow selection of fruit when it was time for pizza. #momapproved

{THREE} Fun Photo Frame

Back to the photo frame for a hot minute. As soon as all of the girls arrived, we went to the backyard to take fun pics inside the frame – photo booth style.

I made sure to take a pic with each guest and the birthday girls. Here are a few snaps >>

After the party, we printed out each of the pictures and tucked them inside personalized thank yous!!

{FOUR} Mermaids in Action

We decided to officially kick off the party like mermaids – and went swimming at a nearby indoor pool.

They were the cutest, sweetest mermaids I had ever seen.

I loved this action shot.¬†All of this splish-splashin’ fun was followed by snacks of goldfish and Roarin’ Waters – a mermaid’s favorite snack.¬†They nibbled all the way back to the house where we had more fun activities planned.

{FIVE} Fairy Gardens

The girls put on their best fairy faces and painted mini bird houses for their gardens.

This was Clara’s creation. >>

I bought plastic liners from the garden store, filled them with soil, then offered up an assortment of rocks, seashells from previous vacations, gems, beads and anything else I had in my craft area that felt right for a fairy garden.

The girls had a blast decorating and chatting. This is what Avery pulled together. >>

Once they were finished, we sprinkled grass seed all over the soil. Grass is pretty inexpensive and germinates in less than a week, so the girls had something to look forward to when they left!

Here’s a pic of Avery’s garden today. She has already mowed several times with scissors! >>

That’s a wrap!

After a few planned activities, I just let the girls do their thing…create Music.lys, eat pizza, snack on candy and eventually watch a movie in sleeping bags upstairs. They woke up to pancakes and more rainbow fruit before heading off into the sunrise.

It was a total, successful, drama-free party – thanks to such sweet friends.

And the girls and I want to thank you for reading along and letting us share their birthday fun.

We’d also like to give a shout out to their big brother, Evan, who was incredibly cool about having a house full of girls on a Saturday night. I’m sure he was thinking, “Thank goodness for video games.” But really, he was such a good sport.

And so was our daddy bear. Brandon is always a super-trooper and helps me every step of the way. I love my people so much!

1 + 1 = 11 ūüėČ

I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and I’ll see you next week (pinkie promise) with some more fun ideas to share.

XoXoXo,

Kate

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Friday Wrap: Fired up for 4th of July

{These are actually plates from Khols! Cute, right?!}

{This is actually a plate from Khols! Cute, right?!}

Happy Friday!! And how is it 4th of July weekend already? I have been looking forward to this date¬†for quite some time, and it arrived in a flash. Why the excitement – other than my love for sparklers?¬†We have some dear friends traveling up from Houston to visit us. In fact, they’re on their way now! Yay!

You know what that means, though? I’ve been in power mode this week getting¬†things ready for our guests. I’ve been organizing and freshening up decorations around the house. (Nothing like a visit from friends to get me fired up to do these much-needed tasks.)

Since it’s 4th of July weekend (and the Summer Olympics begin next month), I decided to invest in a few patriotic items. I can keep them out all summer. First, we got our flag situation figured out. Now we can fly Old Glory any time. Well, during daylight hours. (If you need tips on flag etiquette, I posted this a few weeks ago.)

We’ve also been busy with these little projects. Check ’em out and maybe give them a spin for yourself!

{ONE) A Front Door Salute

4th of July front door

I saw something similar to this online. I decided to give it my own spin with a galvanized holder. I also like how the white hydrangeas look against our dark door.

This is a wider angle that shows our pinwheels in the urns. I also updated our pillow on the right there.

This is a wider shot that shows our pinwheels in the urns. I also updated our pillow on the right there.

Side note: I’ve been toying with the idea of painting our door a different color. I might have to poll you all soon. For now it’s just a classic black. Hmm. More on that later.

{TWO} Patriotic Blooms

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This is a project my girls did all by themselves. I was so proud of them. They sat in the garage together and chatted and painted until they appeared with these amazing vases. Girls after my own heart.

They saw the idea on Pinterest. (Yes, my 10 yr. olds love¬†Pinterest. They also share my account, so if you ever see an overpopulation of puppies and nail art in my feed, that’s probably a clue they’re online.) Anyway, I love how their creations turned out.

We filled the vases with Shasta daisies from our garden. I also tucked in a few sprigs of Lamb’s Ear. Oh, and we used a red bandana to help pull it all together on our outdoor table. <3

{THREE} Red, White & Blue Hues

Clara's 4th of July nails

These are Clara’s cute nails.

Okay, so as I hinted a moment ago, nail art is becoming a thing in our house. Avery & Clara weren’t totally into it* until they started seeing cute designs on Pinterest. They saw a picture that had¬†red and blue nails with white polka dots, so we pulled our our fancy nail art kit and did them ourselves. Look at those darling digits. ūüėČ

*I think nail polish felt like makeup at first. The girls aren’t into that kind of thing, yet, so it felt funny on their fingers. Once they looked at it as an art project, it completely changed their mind. Isn’t that funny?

{FOUR} 4th-inspired Food

You can’t have a 4th of July spread without something looking like a flag. Am I right? Especially with so many creative ideas out there. The¬†one above was my favorite, because it seems fairly healthy. I thought the yogurt covered pretzels were a smart way to add white stripes.

I also bought a star-shaped cookie cutter to make a few of these numbers…

{source}

{source} This is simply star-shaped watermelon with blueberries and strawberries. I think it would be delicious with this dip!

hot dogs with cheese

{source} This would make a great lunch. I love the star-spangled cheese. Lol!

star shaped hand pies

{source} I’ve never made hand pies before, so I’m a little intimidated by this recipe. Here goes nothing!

I haven’t assembled any of these recipes just yet. I have all of the ingredients ready and waiting. I can’t wait to see how they turn out. I promise to post pics on Instagram! Follow me @KateJAndersen so I can follow back and¬†say “hi!”

{FIVE} Star-Spangled Bangles

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Our friends who are visiting us this weekend have a five-year old daughter. Avery & Clara can’t wait¬†to pretend she’s their little sister for a few days. They’ve been planning all kinds of fun activities to do with her. This is one of our favorite ideas above.

It’s a bracelet made with blue beads and straws that are cut into short pieces. The bracelet (on the right) is our prototype. We used ribbon (instead of embroidery thread or string) so it was easy to tie. I think it also looks cuter once it’s finished.

What are you up to this weekend? Will you be celebrating with friends? Whatever is on your agenda, I hope it includes sparklers at some point!!

-Kate

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