Archive of ‘diy’ category

Ben’s Surprise 30th Birthday – Mustache Bash


Ben turned 30 last week! woohoo! Two days before, I decided hmm maybe it isn’t that
crazy to try and throw a party even though we just moved here.
I REALLY wanted to make it happen for him…
so event though I didn’t have much time, I was determined to throw
this party together—without him knowing!

I called his boss and had him get in on the sneakiness. He had ben out while everyone arrived. I sent a couple ‘frustrated exhausted mom’ texts to keep things completely normal. haha. I even took a call from him with the bath tub going saying I was doing bath and then putting the kids to bed.

Thanks goodness the party came together in a couple days because I wouldn’t have been able to handle the sneakiness much longer than that. STRESSFUL! I had to sneak numbers from his phone when he was in the shower haha. I got family and a handful of our new friends to come join in celebrating ben and eat dessert with us!

These were the ONLY photos I took the whole time. A few phone shots and that was it.
Thank goodness for the amazing Charis who I had discovered via instagram!
She came and took care of capturing all the fun for me. I’m so excited to team up with her on some more projects. She has a great eye! I can’t rave about her enough!
Check her work out HERE.


Ben had joked last week saying how all he wanted for his birthday was a mustache.
So of course.. a mustache party was a must. Grabbed up a few mustache themed items and chose some colors.. black and green!
I only had time to go to a couple stores. I had already gotten the mustache plates at target.. but I was able to go to party city and the grocery store the day before and pick up the final party details.


Ben loves cheesecake! And I had to get the mint oreo’s with the green
filling  to match the decor ;) I used paper containers from party city to hold store bought caramel corn and puppy chow. Store bought cupcakes were jazzed up with some party city mustache toppers! For a couple was worth my time to buy the toppers instead of make them! I also had already grabbed up a cute banner from target. It’s still up.. I love it. haha.


Here’s a run down of the dessert table. Even with no time and no budget you can make a fun party table come together! You don’t have to go overboard with items.. having the color and theme working throughout the table will make it look planned and really pop!


These kiddos. They were all about the “snacks” ;)


We just moved to Charlotte a few months ago…so it was really nice seeing the friendships we’ve made be all in one place! Our town house isn’t the biggest so we couldn’t invite more than this but It was cool to see how great this community has been already!


It’s not a party without a balloon war.


We all gathered around the table waiting for ben to come up the steps…
He was COMPLETELY Surprised. Mission accomplished.
anddd sweaty from work haha. So he ran up and changed and then was ready to par-tay.



Lately Micah’s been covering his eyes and counting.
he sees the girls play hide and seek. It’s prettyyy much the cutest thing ever.
Also… next time you need to make punch:
7 UP + Raspberry Sherbet.


Next time DON’T buy the sparkling candles.
They are scarier than it sounds. haha.




I grabbed some stick on mustaches at party city.
It was hilarious how much the kids wore them.. and the adults. ;)



I’m in total party planning mode now…
Loved doing this for ben and excited for the girls’ birthday in august!! eek!
We are currently set on a garden fairy party.
With all things bugs for the boys. should be fun ;)
Thanks for checking out Ben’s party!

My Girls’ Behavior Chart Printable

I created this behavior chart for my girls because I
was needing something visual to motivate them to be good.
My girls are really into picking who they are gonna be, in books…shows…pretend
play with their toys… so I put a princess that looked like each of them on the chart.
It was a hit! Immediate ownership of ‘their’ chart. And Sophia
who did a similar ‘green yellow red chart’ in preschool, gave Sienna
the run down on how it works. ;)

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Since it has been working so well…I decided to make a couple options
and list them in my shop in case you would want to try it out too!

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I created a princess in training and superhero in training printable and added it to my shop.
You’ll get SIX files. One version is the horizontal kind I printed out and used… the other is a vertical one where you don’t have to cut the paper. I made mine with the horizontal format because I wanted it to fill up more of my magnetic board and so I could use the magnets I already had!

I have our behavior chart on their magnet board in the “kid area” of our family room.
The magnet board is from IKEA. (The don’t sell it in white anymore..but have silver!)
If you need magnets try IKEA or the dollar store or…
sounds crazy but the gas station off big highways usually have fun ones!
Let your kids pick their own magnet or go to the craft station
and make some cute name ones!
I had these ikea magnets already so I just printed their names and sealed with
laminate sheets for protection. I sealed the entire printable with laminate
sheets so that it would be more durable for my girls.

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For the horizontal format I printed the additional colors and laminated them as well…
using packing tape on the backside to seal them together.
(The vertical format I have included in the package is a
smaller version so you don’t have to do the extra printing + taping.)

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Here is the entire printable package that I created and made available.

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Here are my cuties and fiesty little
sweeties that inspired this project ;)
They both got REALLY into it.

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The first morning at breakfast they were cheering “yesss we’re still in green!”
They had been up for 30 minutes…I would hope they would still be in green.
For consequences we usually say they aren’t able to go on the next daddy date, or they aren’t allowed to do something we had planned that day as a special treat.. like painting or going to get ice cream etc…
One day it was an especially hard day..and they weren’t
allowed to sing frozen songs ALL DAY. It was brutal.
Sometimes they lose a toy for that’ll have to figure
out what works best as a consequence!

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Most of the time they play well together…
But they are sisters.. and almost 6 and almost 4. So battles are bound to happen.
Some more often than my sanity can handle. This printable has helped curb the craziness!

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Hope this helps motivating your little ones to be the
sweet angels we know they can be! ;)

My Back to School Display at IKEA + New Back to School Printables! (1 FREE ACTIVITY DOWNLOAD)

I have done a few things with our IKEA (LOVE them.) and they recently
asked me to be a part of the event for their IKEA FAMILY Members
to celebrate the launch of their new Catalog!
The new catalog has a really cool magazine feel and is all about living with kids!
When they asked me if they could book me to host a station
during their event, I said YES! 
I couldn’t turn down playing house in an IKEA room ;)
There were 5 different stations..and the guests would visit each one…
we would mark their card and then they could enter a raffle at the end.
They had lots of fun stuff planned..and I was so excited to be a part of it!
As soon as we first chatted about  the event, I shared the idea of doing an Interactive
Back to School Themed Play Date/Party! Showcasing easy ways
to set up a fun display to make back to school extra special for your little ones!
And because I love using fun printables and doing little DIY’s…
I made up a New Back to School Collection that are now in my shop as well!

***OF COURSE I forgot my nice these are with my iPhone.***
(all my printables are linked at the bottom of post by listings.)

Arrived..ready to play house! With out of control sock bun and all!
(dress- target. LOVE this dress. if you can’t tell by how much I wear it on my
I had my own snazzy sign and everything! ;)

I loved the grey cabinets..This room was still a work in progress but I loved it!
All of the dishes/plates etc (except the vase) are from IKEA.
It was SO FUN inviting the people to join our play date!
People love the lady offering a cold drink and some swedish fish, popcorn or cookies ;)

I created a few prints I wanted to frame..and was so excited when I
saw IKEA has these high gloss red frames. fit perfect! I’m not really a fan of red…
but love the pops of color!
I made up some fun treat bag tags, cupcake toppers and water bottle
labels to bring the whole theme  together!
The letter cookies below are from Trader Joes. they are like crispy sickerdoodle cookies. yum.

The Vase is from Target… and I love a handful of Sunflowers!
Grabbed up a bunch at Trader Joes when I got the cookies..
enjoying them on our kitchen table now.

My amazingly talented friend, Colleen, made these School Themed Cookies!
She blogs with her sisters over at Sugar Aunts. Go say HI!
But seriously…she piped on ‘school days’……she’s amazing.
I passed out her card all day long!!!

I was loving the 365+ Serving Plates… really cute.
and the little kids loved the letter cookies from IKEA.
And the cake stand was so pretty and fun! I was going to do a
cake with my  toy school bus on top..but…..I ran out of time.
baking a cake wasn’t gonna happen. ;)
Instead I grabbed cupcakes from Giant eagle and made up some fun toppers!
Parents loved me for giving their toddlers something to eat in the stroller while they shopped ;)
I told them I felt like the sample lady at the grocery store!
IKEA needs to put someone there like that every day…lots of happy parents shopping ;)

I thought it would be fun to showcase an idea you could use
at a play date or party to have a “parent only” area of drinks or treats…
something special like a sparkled beveragejust for the mums! ;) 

I wanted to share some fun activity ideas!…and for a variety of ages!
Coloring…a lot of the “big” kids went to that. (covered the table with IKEA’S roll of paper)
And I made up a sensory bin using IKEA’s recycle bins, some pinto
beans from the grocery store and dollar bin letters/numbers from Target.
The little ones loved it!

I also made up and printed some Counting Pages!
My girls LOVE this activity.. they did it over the summer at my mom’s house.
You put a cheerio (or whatever you want!) in each box.
You can download this
Free Counting Printable HERE.
Hope your little ones enjoy it!
(again we covered the table with IKEA’S roll of paper and then put some
of their plants in pots for pops of yellow)

If you would like to use some of my Back to School Printables…
 I’ll link all of them here!
Really easy DIY that makes memories extra special.
Just Print. Cut. Tape or Staple..depending on what you are doing.
My Sienna LOVED the “school bus water”…she took it to church with us. haha. ;)
Back to School Collection – Water Bottle Label Printable- PDF
Back to School Collection – You are one Smart Cookie Print- PDF
Back to School Collection – Teachers’ Lounge Print- PDF
Back to School Collection – ABC I Love You Print- PDF
Back to School Collection – Be Kind, Be Honest, Believe in Yourself!- PDF
Back to School Collection – Book Worm Treat Bag Tag Printable- PDF
Back to School Collection – Cupcake Printable- PDF
Back to School Collection – Smartie Pants Treat Bag Tag Printable- PDF

I think these would be so fun for teacher’s to give their students..or a mom to her little ones on the first day! You could stick the toppers into a cake stand full of donuts to make it really fun!
I had a blog reader comment how she is a school bus driver and wanted to give the school bus treat bag tags to her kids! LOVE IT!

It was so fun hosting my little station at IKEA and showcasing this Back to School Play Date/Party.. I LOVE talking… and meeting people.. so this was right up my alley. ;)
I passed out a lot of business cards and connected with some amazing mamas.
And while I chatted at the end with the amazing team at IKEA,
we were coming up with more fun themes we could do next time!
I might just move in. ;)

The Busy Budgeting Mama

Hotel Gift Bag for our Weekend Company!

This past weekend we had some friends come to town!
I met Mandy (of House of Rose) at Blissdom this past year..
and we quickly became really good friends. We are similar in so many ways.. and I feel beyond blessed to have discovered our friendship through the blogging land!
I was so excited about their last minute decision to make the 10 hour drive to come see us…
More details on the weekend soon!

I wanted to share something that I
had so much fun doing for our company!
I have seen the idea of ‘Hotel Gift Bags for your wedding guests’ all over pinterest.
I don’t plan on getting married again anytime soon….so I jumped at the chance to leave our weekend company a little surprise goodie bag for when they checked into their hotel!
We have a tiny house. and although we offered them the basement…I think they appreciated having their space at a hotel. It was good for the kids to have a break from each other too I think. Lots of fun giggling shenanigans were going on all weekend. ;)
It was so fun being super sneaky and leaving it at the front desk for them!
Sienna tagged a long on our “mission.”

I made up a little tag the night before to look like a hotel privacy sign.
Just welcoming them and I even put one of their blog’s logos on the car.
(Dollars and Roses) I can’t help but brand things.
Then I loaded up a gift bag (from target) with everything a family
in a hotel room with 3 boy toddlers could possibly need! snacks. juice boxes.
fruit. super hero stickers. car stickers. and sticky lizzards.
Pretty sure the hotel management was THRILLED with the
sticky lizzard stuck to the ceiling…..
My husband also threw a beer in the bag as I ran
out the door to the hotel.. For Jeff. I heard it was appreciated ;) 
It was fun seeing the photo of the bag pop up on our instagram
feed while we waited for them to come from the hotel to our house!
I thought it was a good way to start off the weekend. ;)
Even if you don’t have photoshop to create a tag.. a hand written
tag on a bag full of goodies would mean so much to your visitors!
You could even leave it in the guest room of your house…
or for when they are about to leave.. to take for the drive home!

The Busy Budgeting Mama

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