Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A Nightmare Come True and a Plea for Help

"A wife who loses a husband is called a widow. A husband who loses a wife is called a widower. A child who loses his parents is called an orphan. There is no word for a parent who loses a child. That's how awful the loss is."
-Jay Neugeboren, An Orphan's Tale

Baby Harmony

It's one of those heartbreaking stories you hear on the news often but never even think that it could happen to you. You're a great parent, you'd always be able to protect your child from harm, and you'd get to see her grow up and graduate from high school and begin life on her own. Let me tell you what~ all those things you took for granted can be taken away in a second and it's always that one second you will wish and wish, and beg and plead to have back again to redo for the rest of your life. 

That awful unwanted second happened on Tuesday evening for my sister. Her darling little surprise baby, birthed in her 40's when she was least expecting another, her sweet Harmony, drowned in the family pool after making her way through the patio door that was accidentally left open. How can this have happened, they keep wondering? They'd always been so careful to protect this precocious and adventurous girl from going out to the pool on her own. That terrible second when they relaxed their vigil, fate decided to snatch her from them.

Harmony with my son, her cousin, Noah

Now they are facing large funerary costs as they have decided to bury little Harmony in their home state rather than their adopted state. My friends, readers, and supporters, I'm asking you only for prayers to let sweet Harmony know that we haven't forgotten her and for her family, her big sisters and big brother who are all grieving and hating themselves for giving death the opportunity to seek their baby out. I'm asking for even more prayers for my sister, who today had the strength to go out and shop for one last special outfit for her angel. 

Harmony with her beloved big sisters

If you are able to, please visit and donate any amount towards her funerary costs at their Youcaring site. Any amount is appreciated and will go a long way in easing this family's financial burden as they grieve for their enormous loss. I am already so humbled by the response we've received from our friends and family. There are so many good, compassionate, generous people out there. Please keep them in your prayers during this dark time. Thank you. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

My New Adventure: The Pretty Kitty Boutique on ETSY!

Hello blogging world! It's been a minute...or months really, but I'm here today to announce my newest crafting adventure: The Pretty Kitty Boutique on Etsy! I love all forms of crafting and this shop focuses mainly on jewelry and small, colorful handmade accessories. I won't be selling clothing patterns or dresses~ those require more time than I have right now...but perhaps one day?  

But here it is if anyone wants to see a sampling of what I'm currently offering! Thank you so much for stopping by!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

A Frugal Frozen Party (for under $20!)

Hi all! Long time no post! I took the summer off to be with my kids and then September came and I had to get a birthday party put together for my daughter! Speaking of which, every little girl's obsession for the past year has been Frozen~ am I right?  So of course, K chose that as her party theme and I decided to make all the decor for it instead of using store-bought stuff. Why did I make so much work for myself? Mostly because I wanted her party to be unique and special to her. I wanted to give her something not seen everywhere else. And I think I accomplished my goal!

Just FYI: I spent around $20 for decorations only by using what I had in my craft supplies and Christmas decorations! I reused a lot of cardboard from last year's My Little Pony party too and I loved the new results! I also printed a few Frozen-themed things off the Internet. I'll include links when I talk about them below.

Get ready to scroll through a lot of photos and be inspired! I'll provide as much info as I can without rambling, I promise!

Our Frozen food table and backdrop was simple but impactful. I reused a trifold cardboard (think science project) that I used in last year's MLP party to create Elsa's ice castle. My kiddos then glued and glittered it and I added the balcony so we could put the paper Elsa and Anna on there. Ultra adorable, right? 
Then you see that banner above? Super cute and free printable from Bakingdom. To give it more oomph, I layered glitter paper behind each banner in Elsa and Anna's colors. I'll post close ups of the banner in a later post. 
Then the blue and white streamers were created by sewing three layers of crepe paper and then pulling on the strings to create the ruffles. They're super pretty and so easy to make. I only wish I had more patience to make a ton more!

I have to apologize for the poor quality of the above picture! I didn't even think to photograph our table decorations so this is the only "good" photo I have of what I created! I made silver snowflake wands with dowels and snowflakes from my Xmas stash then made tulle pompoms in blue and white. I stuck them inside recycled Starbucks frappucino bottles that were wrapped in more glitter paper and Frozen stickers. The snowflake "runner" is from my Xmas stash too~ they're felt snowflakes strung on fish wire so they can hang on the wall or from the ceiling. I also used them in the backdrop of our food table as seen in the top photo!

Initially, I had no idea how I wanted to design the favor bags. I just knew I didn't want them to be like anything else I'd seen on Pinterest or Google. Then as I was looking at the Arendelle sisters' pretty dresses, inspiration struck and I designed these patterns to fit the bag size. I especially love the Anna bag! I debated about adding a cape to the back of Elsa's bag but ultimately decided not to do it. 

The cake was a last minute design too. I wanted to keep it simple like the rest of the party so I created snowflakes using blue candy melts and pressed them into the sides of the cake. Follow this tutorial if you wanna try your hand at them too! 

I then cut a snowflake out of parchment paper, laid it lightly on top of the cake then sprinkled on some blue sugar. My favorite scene from the movie is when Elsa stomps on the ground and the shape of a snowflake is created as the base of her ice castle. See the connection here? The white frosting kind of looks like the North mountain, right? 

The cake is a blue velvet tie-dye cake with whipped cream cheese frosting. I also made snowy French vanilla cupcakes as well. 

One of my only expenses came from the poster book and frames. I bought the Frozen 8x10 poster book from Michaels for $3 after using a coupon. Then the white frames are from Ikea and they are only $2 each. Total= $11! I could've added snowflakes to the frames but since I wanted to reuse them in the future, I left them plain. Good thinking, frugal mama!

I've been wanting to make one of these big block letters forever (and they're all over Pinterest too, right?) but I was intimidated by how difficult it looked. Then I pushed myself to do it and whaddya know?! It's. So. Easy! 

I reused another trifold board from last year's party and used almost every inch of it to make the K. I then wrapped it in yards and yards of blue tulle which I had in my fabric stockpile (from making countless Elsa dresses) and added silver snowflakes from my Xmas decorations. What's super cool about this is that it went straight to her bedroom after the party as a decoration and she loves it!

I saved everyone's favorite for last: our Olaf pinata! I had help from some fabulously creative friends with this one and that's why it turned out as great as it did! They created the forms for me and I taped it together and decorated it to look like Olaf. All the kids loved him and even the adults. I almost didn't want to destroy him but realized I could always make more if needed. =) 

Papier-mache is so fun but it requires patience due to drying time. It took us three days from start to finish for this project! Well worth it though, wouldn't you say? 

And that's it for our Frozen party! Well, except for the food~ sandwiches obviously! And I was even able to use the leftovers for school lunches for the next three days~ so frugal and fab! =) 

A couple of tips from me to you on how to keep party costs low: lots of elbow grease and free printables! I think it is also worth mentioning that it teaches your children to use their imagination to create things they want rather than relying on the stores to provide it for them. My kids definitely enjoyed helping with the ice castle! They are looking forward to the next birthday party already because they love to DIY with me!