Adam’s DIY New Year’s Day First Birthday Party

Having lived in Las Vegas for over a decade now, I’ve had some pretty memorable New Year’s Eves.  Last year took the cake, though.  I went into labor on 12/31/15 at 1:40AM which continued for another 28 hours.  Adam was born on New Year’s Day and while last year’s celebration took the cake, I literally made cake this year while watching the ball drop.

I have a philosophy: anything I didn’t do with Ben, I’ll do with Adam.  For example: I didn’t do those monthly pictures Ben’s first year with the sticker that goes on the onesie.  So I did that this year for Adam, or tried to-  often forgetting and posting on Facebook the second or third day of the month, so goes the life of a mom with little multiples. For Ben’s first birthday I was in the middle of my first trimester of pregnancy with Adam so I purchased everything: cake, decorations, etc.  The party went fine, but I thought it was missing that personal touch.

This year I decided to do everything myself.  I started looking on Pinterest three months ago and decided on a theme: black, white, chalkboard, and gold.  I would mix the birthday with New Year’s and have it on New Year’s Day as no one with littles goes out anyways.  I found a lot of chalkboard printables on Pinterest to use for the party.

 

Free printable chalkboard style thank you gift tags which you can personalise and give to guests when they leave the wedding, saves having to send out thank you cards.:


I taped these thank you tags to my party favors which were simply velvet coloring posters that came with markers.  I got them for $1 at Party City.  These tags can be customized to have your name or your family’s name and the date of the party printed on them.  Thy’re free, so are all the printables I used.

These free printable chalkboard banner letters, A-Z, are super versatile. Perfect for parties, seasonal and regular decor, classrooms, and so much more.:


This chalkboard banner was used for the bunting that hung from Adam’s highchair.  I spelled out ONE with it and threaded it through with twine.  On another piece of twine I knotted black, white, and gold ribbons and tulle.  I also made a simple Happy Birthday Adam banner that hung over my fireplace.

084bb308a2a76842d285b286506c6fb2.jpg (564×1600):

I used this chalkboard bunting to spell out ADAM over his birthday cake. I attached it with kitchen twine and bamboo skewers.  It really added a lot to my homemade cake.

I am not a baker.  I would like to be.  I strive for perfection.  So nothing could be worse than a burnt cake at 10 PM on New Year’s Eve!  I still had to clean and decorate the next day!  I used my cake leveller to trim off the burnt bottom and iced my layers.  Once the cake was layered I cut around the rest of the burnt edges.  Then I iced.  Crumbs from the chocolate cake were getting mixed into my bourbon vanilla buttercream frosting!  Ugh.  Thankfully I bought a crazy amount of gold and white sprinkles and viewed a lot of tutorials on YouTube and Pinterest on simple sprinkle decorating.  I managed to make the cake look decent and cover the ugly mixed up buttercream completely.  The cake turned out to be delicious.  Everyone was in shock that it was my first time baking a big cake.  The smash cake and cupcakes went much more smoothly.  I used Dollar Tree champagne glasses to house the cupcakes with black and white M &M’s.  Below is a picture of the pin I used with a link attached.

cupcakes in dollar store champagne flutes:

I had another disaster that night as well.  The Oreo sprinkle pops.  The idea seemed simple enough.  Push a lollipop stick into the cream center of the oreo and dip in melted chocolate.  Sprinkle and cool on wax paper.  The oreos fell apart every time!  I gave up on it and focused on cake instead.
Quick and easy sprinkle Oreo pops DIY, perfect for party favors, a dessert table, or Valentine's Day treats! See more party ideas and party crafts at CatchMyParty.com.:

The next day we decorated and cleaned.  I was so relieved to have my parents to help.  My husband hung all the balloons and I organized the hot cocoa station.  The photos are below.  Everyone had a great time and the party went off without a hitch!  I set up a crafting station for the kids, the toddlers that attended enjoyed the cupcake craft and decorating party hats.  My family wore New Year’s party hats I picked up at Party City in gold and white.  Adam smashed away at his cake and celebrated turning 1 on 1/1.

How I Decorated for Hanukkah

After I made my Eight Posts for Hanukkah my house is full of blue and chalkboard and burlap. So I decided I would do a post to show you how all of these crafts have come together as decorations in my home for the holiday. A lot of people don’t do more than just a Menorah and fine china or maybe a small decoration on their door. I want to show you how I was able to  add a lot of decorations for very little money and really give my home the feeling of the holiday.

how-hanukkah

A candle lighting station with family photos, my Shabbat candlesticks, and my Menorah.

A handprint/footprint Menorah apron I made with my boys. I posted about it earlier.

I have Hanukkah towels and pot holders that add a festive touch to my kitchen.

My casual Hanukkah table decor.

Once the holiday comes I will do a full Hanukkah tablescape and share that with you. I am listing the tutorials for all the DIY projects below.

Chalkboard Hanukkah Wreath

Handprint Menorah Apron

Burlap Pocket Banner

Chalkboard Countdown Sign

Snowflake Decoration

Pinecone Centerpiece

Snowflake DIY 

I am a huge fan of What’s Up Mom’s. I love all of their videos and their really happy energy. They definitely influenced my decision to become a blogger. So here is one of their DIY projects from their YouTube channel that I tried out. You can see their tutorial here.

I tried having Ben paint the popsicle sticks first and he was not at all interested. So then it dawned on me to have him paint the finished product. I built the snowflake but every time I built it I noticed that one end was a little bit crooked or one of the sides was not parallel to another side. I was popping off popsicle sticks left and right and starting over. Even now as it’s finished I still see areas that could use a little tweaking.

 I would  recommend if you’re going to do this project to do it on some sort of a grid or on a table with straight edges that you can better plan out your snowflake and make sure that everything is straight and parallel. I also recommend using wood glue, it dried faster than Elmer’s glue all.

If a child is helping you paint the snowflake-turn areas that could use paint towards them so they can reach new areas easily.

Overall I think our snowflake came out really nicely.  It’s definitely a craft for home or small groups with large work areas.  A classroom desk would not be enough space for the finished snowflake.

What blogs or vlogs influence you?Please share your answers,

Eight Posts for Hanukkah-3 DIY Wreaths for $15 or Less!

three-wreathsEvery year I look for quality Hanukkah decorations in stores and I can’t find anything good.  So this year I decided to craft my dream Hanukkah decorations and to do it on a shoestring budget since I’m currently a stay at home mom.  One item I’ve long dreamed about is a beautiful wreath for my front door.  Online-I think because they’re so rare-they can be quite pricey.  Here are 3 DIY wreaths and each  cost less than $15 to make.

For this easy wreath I purchased the straw wreath base at Savers, the ribbon at Dollar Tree, the chalkboard paint and wooden rounds came from Michaels.  This time of year there are lots of sales at the craft stores-so it’s definitely good to do a lot of craft shopping now.  To start with I used my hot glue gun to hold the white and burlap ribbons down as I wrapped them around the base.  Then I painted chalkboard paint on the wooden rounds, once dry I wrote Happy Hanukkah with chalk marker.  I got glued them on and added a twine loop to hang.  Easy and cheap!  Took me less than an hour to make!

I found the base for my second wreath at Savers as well.  This is an upcycling project.  It was a plain burlap wreath on a wire base.  First thing I did was spray paint it with 4 coats of silver spray paint.



I took white and silver tulle I picked up at the Dollar Tree and knotted 4″ pieces every 3″ apart on the wire base. I also found blue wire edged ribbon at the Dollar Tree that I cut into 4″ pieces and I knotted them every 3″ apart around the wire base.


My friend Anat brought a Hanukkah garland with blue and silver foil Hanukkah decorations held together by silver jump rings.  We took it apart and I glued some of the dreidels onto the tulle and I added six silver ornaments that were purchased at the Dollar Store as well.


The last wreath I’m going to give instructions for is one made by my friend, Anat. She found most of her materials at Walmart.

She used a wire base and she attached tulle and ribbon to it using pipe cleaners to secure every 4″. Lastly, she used a happy Hanukkah signed she found it $.99 store last year as a focal point at the center of the wreath and added a little silver flower that she also picked up at the Dollar Tree.


The most time consuming wreath was the second one with the burlap because it took several hours to apply the silver spray paint and allow it to dry between coats.  All of these wreaths are no sew and were assembled simply with a glue gun.

 

Eight Posts for Hanukkah-Rustic Chalkboard Countdown Sign

As promised I will be incorporating a lot of rustic elements in my Hanukkah DIY projects.  This is another easy project-but it does take some art skills.  

You’ll need:

chalkboard paint

a wooden sign

painters’ tape

chalkboard markers

a sponge tip brush

chalk

To start: I taped off the area of the sign I wanted to paint. Then I applied  1 even coat of chalkboard paint.  



Then I activated my chalkboard markers by pressing in the tip several times and free handed the letters.  Underneath I drew the menorah.  I tried to draw flames, but the slats got in the way so I just repainted over them with a small brush.  Many chalkboard markers are permanent, so if you make a mistake you have to paint over it.  This morning I told Ben that Hanukkah is coming up and we drew the number of nights on together.  I told him the number in Hebrew and English. He has been learning how to count in both languages.  We also talked about how 10 and 9 make 19.  He liked drawing with the chalk on the sign.  


I added a burlap and a wire edged ribbon tied in a knot, trimming the ends.  Now I need to make something to count the actual nights of Hanukkah!