Monday, June 4, 2012

Recipe Time: Homemade Crackers!

Snack time in this house requires a crafty mommy. Maybe not so much if I was comfortable giving Lauryn the "snacks" you find on the grocery store shelves. But since Im not, I have to get creative when 2:30pm rolls around. Lots of kids snacks revolve around crackers. So I have been scouring the internet looking for a healthy, yet easy to make cracker. And I have finally stumbled upon a gem!

1/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup water
Seasonings to taste - I used Herbes De Provence

 Pulse all ingredients, except water, in your food processor until crumbly.  *Be sure to add any seasonings now!

Turn your machine on and let it run as you add the 1/4cup of water. Continue to run your processor until your dough starts to ball up.

On a lightly floured surface, or on parchment paper as shown, roll the dough out to 1/4'' thickness. This dough rolls extremely easily. It freezes really well too.

Since Lauryn is going to be the only one really eating these crackers, I decided to use our handy 1'' flower fondant cutters. You could just use a pizza cutter and cut the dough into small squares if youre not into the shapes. I think it adds a cutesy little flair. :)

If you have little hands helping you with this process, dont fret if they decide to eat a "precooked" flower! The dough is perfectly safe raw. No raw ingredients means no chance for crummies in tummies. 

Place crackers on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place in a preheated 400 oven for 12-15 minutes, or until they start to lightly brown. 

*Again! Make sure you add your seasonings to the dough before you add the water. I completely forgot and had to dump some seasonings on the crackers last minute. The seasonings didnt stay on the cracker well after baking. 

As you can see, some of the seasonings survived baking, but most fell off when I removed the crackers from the parchment paper. Sigh. Theyre delicious though! And how easy are they?! About 30 minutes in the kitchen and I made 80 bite sized healthy crackers for my little girl.

Of course she had some crackers with cheese for snack today! Nutritious and delicious. Mommy and baby approved!

Be sure to check back soon! I have two recipes coming up that I am super excited about! Homemade goldfish crackers and homemade graham crackers! YUM!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Recipe Time: Banana Ice Cream

Moving not just to a new house but a new state put a pretty large amount of strain on all of us. Our first week in our new home, we decided to take a walk down to the locally owned ice cream shop. It was a short walk from our house and we all were in need of a little cheer. Since then, we have gone there for ice cream every Wednesday. Granted its only been 2 months, but its a new tradition that we all love! 

I however, started to feel a little guilty giving Lauryn ice cream every week. I know, it really isnt a big deal, but ice cream should be a treat. So I started looking for alternatives. She would never know the difference anyway. And that is how I stumbled upon this delicious and nutritious recipe! Oh and did I mention its just ONE ingredient?!

Thats it. Bananas. Yes, Im serious. 

Just slice them up and stick them in the freezer for 2 hours. Then stick them in the blender and let them go until smooth. I did add a tiny splash of milk, but it was totally unnecessary. 

 I sprinkled Lauryns with some fresh blackberries and strawberries! I mixed a spoonful of peanut butter and a little cocoa powder into hubby and I's. 

And as you can see, she didnt even care that it wasnt "real" ice cream. She gobbled it up. And I had absolutely zero feelings of mommy guilt over this Wednesday Ice Cream Day!

I kid you not, it tastes just like ice cream. Its creamy and rich. Absolutely delicious.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Recipe Time: Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

If you havent noticed already, I hate buying things premade. Its never as healthy or as tasty, or cheap, as something you whip up fresh that day! My family is worth the minimal extra effort. My husband and I are pretty picky when it comes to pasta sauce. But this is a recipe that we both LOVE.

1 28oz can of organic crushed tomatoes
1 small can of organic tomato paste
1-2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Fresh or dried basil to taste

 1. Heat your olive oil in a sauce pan on medium heat. Occasionally Ill add minced onion or garlic to this step and let that simmer for a little while.

2. Add the crushed tomatoes and 1/4cup of the tomato paste (its about half the can). Mix until the tomato paste is incorporated well. We tend to add fresh green peppers and mushrooms at this step also. Makes for a yummy sauce!

3. Add basil and stir. Turn heat down to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Sorry for the lack of photos of the finished product. I completely forgot! Oops! Ill try to remember to update this once we have spaghetti again! Enjoy!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Fives!

Another round of 5 helpful tips and tricks!

1. Dirty microwave? Fill a microwave safe bowl with water, add 1/2 a fresh lemon, nuke it for 5 minutes. Be careful removing the bowl, it will be HOT. Use a sponge/rag to wipe out the yuckies and be amazed how easy it comes clean!

2. Traveling with your littles? Take a large ziploc bag and put one entire outift, hairbows, socks, the whole shebang inside the bag. One bag for each day. Once you arrive at your hotel, put the bags in a dresser drawer and your child can easily pick out an outfit. Huge time saver! No more searching for a certain colored pair of socks or hair bow!

3. Do you dread hanging curtains as much as I do? Its always such a pain getting them perfect. Most of the time I end up drilling several holes, it still not being even and just saying "its good enough". Heres a tip, one I cannot wait to use! Take a piece of cardstock and cut out one corner, so the paper will slide right up to your window frame. Drill your hole right through the cardstock. Move to the other side of the window, flip your cardstock and line it up against the window frame. Drill your new hole where the hole from the other side of the window is. BAM! perfectly hung curtains.

4. If youre doing a load of laundry and have certain items that cant go in the dryer, use a dry erase marker and leave yourself a small list of those items right on your washer. It will wipe off easily once youre done. And that leaves for zero chance of mistakenly drying your "hang to dry" only items.

5. Short on space? Hang a plastic shoe rack on the back of your laundry room door and use it to store your cleaning supplies!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Chalkboard Paint

Chalkboard paint has become quite popular. Unfortunately, its found on the expensive side. In my Chalkboard Basket Tutorial, I paid a little over $8 for a spray paint can size of chalkboard paint. I eventually used it all up, and have been needing some more for quite a while, but I just havent felt like spending so much on it! So, I went searching for a recipe. I knew I had to be able to make it, somehow, and chances were it would be a lot cheaper!

So here it is! Its fast, cheap, easy and works like a charm!!

All you need is some unsanded grout and some paint of any color!

Most recipes use a powder grout, but all I had on hand was the premixed stuff, which worked fine! I paid $4 at Michaels for this container of grout, and I'll be able to make a ton of chalkboard paint out of it!

The paint I already had on hand so no "fee" there. :)

Simply mix 1 Tablespoon of grout with 1/2 cup of paint. Make sure you mix it really well to get all the lumps and bumps out.

The next step is to paint obviously. Im going to be starting an herb garden soon so I figured what better way to mark the herbs than with a chalkboard painted terra cotta planter. Allow the paint to dry completely before moving on to the next step. My whole pot, plus 2 layers of paint was dry in less than 20 minutes.

Prep your fresh chalkboard surface by rubbing some chalk onto it then wiping it off.

Tada! Chalkboard paint for cheap! I cant wait to get more potters and get my herbs started!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Blessing Bags!

Growing up, my parents always tried to teach me the valuable lesson of not taking what you have for granted, and that somewhere, someone always has it worse than you. I very distinctly remember every year right before Christmas, my parents making me go through all of my toys and fill a few trash bags full of stuff. I wont lie, I hated it. They were my toys. But every year, I did it, and we would take those bags of toys to the local battered women's shelter and give the toys to the kids staying there. Of course, now I understand why they made me do it, it was a great lesson, and it got rid of my extras. We will be doing the same thing with our daughter once she gets old enough to understand. She may not like it, but I know she'll someday be thankful we did it.

This lesson has obviously stuck with me, and while out and about with my family a few days ago, we came across a homeless man on the side of the road. I felt bad for him, and I knew I had a few dollars in my wallet. I tried to hand them to him, but traffic was about to start moving and he wouldnt have been able to retrieve the money without risking being hit by a car. Now, realize physics was not my favorite class in high school, I tossed the money towards him, fully believing it would reach him. Wrong. It barely made it out my window before floating and fluttering to the ground. I felt terrible. Terrible doesnt even describe it. I honestly felt like I looked like the biggest jerk on the face of the planet.

So I decided that night that my family and I would be putting together what we now call "blessing bags". I had seen a similar idea on pinterest last year and saved it away for something to do in the future. Well, it was finally time to use it!

We went to the Dollar Tree to get our supplies. You cant beat everything for $1! I didnt want this project to put a damper on us financially, and lets face it, that stuff (most of it) is as good as stuff you find at Walmart.

Lauryn was super excited to help mommy put the blessing bags together! Each bag was a reusable canvas tote, we figured that a reusable bag would be better for the environment and the homeless.

We used a large ziploc bag to put the basic hygiene items in. They included:
  - Tooth brush & tooth brush case
  - Tooth paste
  - A small bag of floss picks
  - 2 packs of tissues
  - A pack of baby wipes
  - A stick of deoderant
  - Small first aid kit
  - Razor
  - A comb
  - A box of feminine care products for the women

The "food bag" was filled with the following:
  - A bottle of water
  - A Small apple juice juice box
  - Cup of applesauce
  - 2 packs of peanuts
  - 4 granola bars
  - Breath mints and Gum
  - 2 of each: plastic fork, spoon, and knife

This was just a small bag of miscellaneous items. Including:
  - 2 pens
  - Some change in a coin roll
  - Reusable drinking cup

Once we put everything inside the bags, they ended up being about half full! Not too shabby if I do say so myself!

I knew I was going to need an easy way to tell the gender of the bags apart, and I also knew I wanted to provide them with a few resources. So I figured, what better way to do that than by printing the resources on pink or blue paper. I included the name and phone number of the 2 shelters in our area. On the backs of these resource cards, I also wrote a small note to them. Kind words and encouragement.

The 4 bags we made fit nicely behind the drivers side seat in my car. Perfect to easily grab and hand out the window!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday Fives!

Here are 5 super helpful tips to make your life easier!

1: Use an old (but clean) baby wipe container to store a roll of yarn in. It will keep the yarn clean and tangle free.

2. Fighting with your little one over how many more bites they need to take of their dinner? Allow them to roll a pair of dice and determine their own fate. Im so thankful Lauryn is a good eater, but I foresee these days coming soon.

3. Traveling with wine? Put an arm floatie around the bottle, blow it up and pack it in your suit case! The floatie will protect your bottle, and your mommy juice.

4. Do you dread craft time cleanup? Use a lint roller to pick up glitter and tiny pieces of construction paper.

5. Does your dishwasher need a clean? Pour a packet of Lemonade Kool-Aid (and only lemonade!) into the detergent cup and run a full cycle while the dishwasher is empty. The citric acid in the powder will take care of the stains.

Be sure to check back next week for even more useful tips and tricks!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Recipe Time: Homemade Salsa!

Salsa is such a staple in our home. My husband loves it! But I hate buying it every grocery trip because, well lets be honest, even the cheap not so good isnt that cheap! I came across a recipe a few weeks or so ago for homemade salsa and thought why not give it a try! So I planned to buy all the ingredients and we would have freshly made salsa for taco night! Heres what youll need:

1 28oz jar of whole peeled tomatoes with the juices
2 jars of rotel peppers and chilis (you can get both mild, hot or a combination of both like we did)
1 clove of garlic
1/2 an onion
1 jalepeno (seeded and deveined if you dont like so much spice to your salsa)
1/2 a lime
fresh cilantro

1. If youre food processor is big enough, throw everything in it (except the lime) and process until it meets the consistency you like. If you have a small processor (like mine unfortunately) just process everything separate (or as much as yours can handle).
I had to do most of my things seperate, then pour it into a bowl and mix everything thoroughly at the end. Not a big deal, it still tastes great!

2. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 lime into the salsa and either process until mixed, or  mix by hand.

Mmm salsa! It keeps in the fridge for quite a long time! I think I kept ours in for 2-3 weeks, just in a bowl covered with plastic wrap, and it was still just as tasty as the day it was made! Next time I make it though Im going to try canning! Also! It makes a ton of salsa! I believe the ingredients cost close to $6-$7, but it makes almost 6 cups of salsa if I remember correctly! Waaay cheaper than store bought! Tastes better too :)

Bust open a bag of tortilla chips and dig in! I promise youll love it!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sunday Shoutout! - Rants From Mommyland

Happy Mother's Day! I figured its only fitting to do a Sunday Shoutout on a blog for mommies on Mother's Day so thats just what were going to do!

If you have not made Rants From Mommyland a part of your daily routine yet, you are missing out! Its a hilariously comical blog about mommyhood. From wiping noses, wiping butts, stereotypes, and an inspiring need to help those in need, Kate, Lydia, and Guru Louise have it all covered.

I honestly feel as though some days they are peeking in my windows and using my life as their next blog post. Theres no other possible explanation as to how they know so much!

Heres a little excerpt from their blog, on whether RFML is the right blog for you!:

"If however, you experience the (completely understandable) urge to commit homicide when your husband says he'll be home by 7 and then you call him at 7:15 and he's still at his desk, while you attempt to cook over the din of screaming children, unload the dishwasher for the third time, and wipe off other people's bodily fluids - stay put. We like you already.

MommyLand is just right for folks who love their families but sometimes wonder:
  • Is it supposed to be this hard?*
  • Is this normal? 
  • What on earth is that smell?
  • I love you so much but do you have to keep wiping your nose on me?
  • If we laugh at everything, does it all make easier and more fun?
The answers are yes, yes, we have no idea, yes and even yesser.  Welcome to MommyLand! We're so glad you're here."
So head on over to RFML and check them out! I pinky promise you wont be disappointed!

And again, Happy Mother's Day to you ladies, you cape-less Heros you!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mother's Day Craft!

So I'm a little late with this post, but! this project is super easy, super cute, and can be done right now! Gather up your littles, some paint and some paper. Youre about to make the best bouquet of Mothers Day flowers, the kind that never die! We chose to do 3 different colored flowers. These cute little cards got sent out to Lauryn's grandmothers for Mothers Day. They all loved them! Heres what you do...

1. Dip your childs hand in the lightest color paint you have (we did yellow first, then red, then purple). You could also use a paintbrush to apply the paint to your kiddos hand, which is what we did, it makes things a lot easier!

2. Have them do an open hand stamp onto the piece of paper. Then proceed with the next 2 (or more) colors.

3. Allow the handprint flowers to dry, then using a small brush, paint on flower stems, and leaves.

4. Once the stems and leaves are done, paint a pretty bow around the flowers, giving the illusion of them being tied together in a little bouquet.

Tada! The whole project took us about 20 minutes from start to finish. Cute, easy, and in my book, a better bouquet of flowers than any amount of money could buy!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday Fives

Its Friday! Here's another set of oh so helpful tips and tricks!

1: A shot of WD40 will remove crayon marks from just about any surface!

2: Instead of buying non stick cooking spray loaded with additives and junk. Why not make your own? Just mix up a concoction of 5 parts water to 1 part oil in a small spray bottle. Shake it before use and voila!

3: Got a wide neck shirt or dress that falls off your hangers? Use a hot glue gun to create a zig zag pattern on the arms of the hanger. Let dry and enjoy pulling your clothes from the hanger, not the floor.

4: Keep a small plastic cereal container in your car lined with a small trash bag. It works a whole lot better than the floor as a garbage can!

5: To pick up small shards of glass that you cant see use a wet paper towel or qtip.

Be sure to check back next week for more tips and tricks and send yours in as well!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sunday Shoutouts! - Eighteen25

Its time for yet another round of Sunday Shoutouts! This week we are featuring one of my favorite blogs: Eighteen25!

Eighteen25 is run by 3 sisters who grew up in a house numbered 1825. Between the three of them the amount of crafty ideas is endless. And like I said last week, the do giveaways galore! Right now they are sponsoring a giveway from Archivers: The Photo Memory Store! They always come up with the cutest crafts and decor. Plus their version of Friday Fives and book ratings are too fun to miss! Its a whole lot of inspiration wrapped up into one cute package!

I personally cannot wait to see what they suggest for Mothers Day! It is just a week away!

Make sure you check back next week for another shoutout!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Friday Fives!

I cant believe its time for our second edition of Friday Fives! This past week has gone so fast! Here are your five tips and tricks for this week!

1.  Baby wipes work miracles on carpet stains. From blood to motor oil, they literally will remove just about anything!

2. Include a few tennis balls into each dryer load. Not only will it cut drying time by 25-50%, it will leave your clothes super soft and towels extra fluffy!

3. To easily shred a brick of cheese, toss it in the freezer for 30 minutes. The firmer the cheese is the less likely it is to leave a melty cheese mess on your grater!

4. Take your bananas apart when you get home from the grocery store. Leaving them all attached to the stem will ripen them faster.

5. Drop a penny into a vase with a pinch of sugar and fill with water to keep fresh cut flowers perkier longer.

Tune in next Friday for more handy tips and tricks! And as always, feel free to send your tips and tricks in!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Recipe Time: Homemade Applesauce

Sure, you can spend $3 at the grocery store and get those cute little individual packs of applesauce, loaded with sugar, preservatives and who knows what else. Or, you can spend $3 on a bag of apples, mixed with 20 minutes of your time, and BAM homemade applesauce, without the junk! This is such a simple recipe and it tastes delicious. Not to mention, you can freeze it for up to 6 months!

Crockpot Applesauce

1 3lb bag of apples (or 8-10 apples if youre mixing varieties)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
Cinnamon or Nutmeg (optional)

1. Peel your apples! This is the hardest part, and seriously how hard is peeling apples?!

2. I use my handy apple corer for this, but if you dont have one, just slice the apples and cut the core out of each slice. Place them into your crockpot. Add 1/2 cup of water and 1/4 cup of sugar (you can add up to 1/2 cup of sugar to this, however, the first time I made this applesauce it was way too sweet, so we cut back a little) as well as any optional spices. Cook on high for 4-6 hours, low for 8-10. Perfect to throw in before work some morning! Your house will smell absolutely heavenly when you get home!

Mmmm. Applesauce! My whole family loves this recipe! We always have some in the fridge and atleast 1 frozen in the freezer. The whole recipe makes 4-5 cups of applesauce. Not bad for $3 and 20 minutes of your time!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday Shoutouts! - The Sweet Tea Exchange

Remember how I said I had come up with a few new and exciting things while I was away? Here's yet another! Every Sunday, I will post a "shoutout" of either a blog or website where I frequent and have had good experiences.

With that being said, I want to introduce Amanda from Sweet Tea Exchange! The Sweet Tea Exchange may just be starting out, but I foresee it going places! Amandas products are all so cute! Not to mention theyre hand-crafted, and found at extremely reasonable prices.

Heres a little of what she offers: tumbled marble coasters (let me tell you, these are gorgeous! if you havent checked these out yet, you need to!), pallet shelves, wall sconces, children's growth charts, and wreaths. PLUS, shes always on the hunt for new ideas!

Amandas products can be found via her Facebook Page and Etsy Shop! She does offer shipping and pickup if you are in the Jacksonville, NC area! Stop on in and check out what she offers, and be sure to check back often as she is always working on something new and exciting!

That concludes our first edition of Sunday Shoutouts, next week we will be featuring a blog with DIY and giveaways galore!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Fives!

Whoa! Friday Fives! That sounds fun! What is that?! One of the many ideas I've come up with on my break. Here it is. Remember how I was posting a massive list of tips and tricks every so often? Theyre gone! Yep, G-O-N-E, gone. Sad right? No! Because the Friday Fives are going to be replacing them! No longer will you have to sort through a laundry list of tips and tricks. Every Friday, I will be posting a list of 5 new tips and tricks for making your life easier! They'll range in categories from cooking to cleaning, to parenting and everything in between. And as always, if you have any you would like to share, send them in!

Here's our very first batch of Friday Fives:

1: When cleaning your windows, instead of wiping with a paper towel or a microfiber cloth, use a crumbled up piece of newspaper. It works like a charm to prevent streaks!

2. Use conditioner to shave your legs. Not only is it cheaper, but it moisturizes more, meaning your legs wont feel dry and itchy afterwards.

3. To keep potatoes from budding, throw an apple in the bag with the potatoes.

4. Store sheet sets in their matching pillow case. It saves room and makes it easy to grab everything you need at once.

5. Raw potato slices contain potassium. Place a slice over your eye and watch your dark circles disappear.

Thats all for this weeks Friday Fives! Check back next Friday for more helpful tips and tricks!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Crafted a Bird Feeder

We're finally moved and somewhat settled in our new apartment. Still a few boxes to unpack and quite a bit of organizing to do but we're getting there! We're still waiting for our wireless internet, let me tell you, I dont miss the days of being tied down to the ethernet cable AT ALL!

We have a nice little balcony off of our living room and the first morning we woke up here, I saw a few birds perched on the railing. So I thought, how neat would it be to put up a bird feeder? Plus I knew Lauryn would LOVE looking out the sliding glass door and seeing them! So I devised a plan and set off for Walmart! It was a super cheap project and looks nice. Im contemplating painting the bird feeder eventually but for now, it will do as is.

Materials Needed:

10 inch surface protector ring (-)$3
8 inch terra cotta planter plate $2.15
A roll of Jute twine $3
Bird seed $4
Ceiling hooks or a way to hang the feeder when finished

First I drilled a small hole in each of the legs of the surface protector ring. This took quite a bit of effort because the plastic was so strong but I eventually got through it.

Next, make a web with your jute twine. It doesnt have to be fancy, its just going to be used as a resting place for the planter plate.

I then measured 6 24inch long pieces of jute. I tied the twine to another piece of twine coming out of each hole. Pull your strings up and bring them together in the middle. Tie a knot near the top of the jute. This is where your feeder will hang from.

We were able to use 2 metal hooks and screw them into the roof of our balcony. Its pretty darn sturdy! Although if we happen to get any bad storms, Ill at least take the planter plate off and set that aside. Wouldnt want that falling off the third floor!

Fill your planter plate with bird seed (Ill be making my own once this bag is empty!) and voila! Youve just made a bird feeder for about $12! I cant wait to snap a picture of the very first visitor!

Again, now that were getting more and more settled each day, Im hoping to be able to get back at this! Ive come up with a ton of new ideas during my break and I cant wait to share them with you! So stay tuned!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Happy First Birthday Lauryn!

Its amazing how fast a year goes bye! Lauryns first birthday was April 12, and let me tell you, she was the happiest birthday girl Ive ever seen! So heres a few snapshots from her birthday day and her party! Party pictures were taken by J.Gerren Photography! If youre in the Camp Lejeune area and are in need of some pictures I highly recommend her! Not only is she a great friend but shes an amazing photographer! Onto the pictures! :)

We started the birthday girls big day by filling her bedroom floor with over 110 balloons. All blown up by mommy and daddy. She LOOOVED it! We plan to do this every year.

Birthday breakfast! Pink whole wheat strawberry banana pancakes! I think from now on though were going to do Cake Batter Pancakes! How fun would that be?! And I think she'll survive not eating a healthy breakfast one day a year :)

After breakfast we went for her birthday pedicure! Her very first one, which she loved! She's such a girly girl and I love it!

Going for her first bike ride ever! This was her big gift from mommy and daddy. Seriously the best $100 weve probably ever spent. This bike is super sturdy and itll grow with her for years!

Out for her birthday dinner! We went to Red Lobster, and found out she LOVES flounder, who would have guessed?! I asked our waiter to assemble the birthday crew and we ordered dessert. They sang to her, which she thought was the greatest thing ever, and then she attempted to pick up the ice cream and devour it whole. I dont think my husband and I have laughed so hard in a long time!

Now onto her birthday party fun! I got in waaay over my head with this party. I didnt realize how long it would take to get everything together! Thankfully we have amazing friends who were willing to show up an hour early to help us finish, which we did JUST in time. It reminded me of TV game shows, you know, when they have a time limit and finish just as the buzzer sounds? Well our buzzer was sounding and people were filing in our front door as I was laying out the rainbow fruit tray! I breathed a huge sigh of relief once it was all ready and I could relax and enjoy the party I had worked so hard to plan!

Lauryns party invitations! I bought them at Party Suppliers and printed them myself! I love how they turned out!
Guests were greeted by a zebra ribbon wreath which I made. It took quite a long time to make but it was soo worth it!

We filled the entry table with "A Year of Lauryn". One picture from every month of her life. I bought the wooden frames from Michaels, unfinished, and did the zebra pattern myself with white and black acrylic paint and some painters tape! They were super easy and turned out really cute! We then labeled the frames with a pink glitter number for her age in months.

 The candy bar complete with the main decorations! I made the poufs myself, Ill make a "how to" post about them hopefully before the move! They were super easy though, cheap, and look great!

Another shot of the candy bar!

So many goodies!

This was Lauryns "smash cake". She demolished the cake by the way! Pictures to come!

These were the cupcakes I made for everyone else! In pink and black zebra striped cupcake liners. The cupcakes themselves were even zebra striped thanks to Duff Goldmans Zebra Cake Mix! I bought the boxes at Michaels for $7.99 a piece, each box made 18 cupcakes. Topped the cupcakes with hot pink buttercream frosting as well as black sprinkles and tiny edible pearls.

I purchased the pink and black licorice as well as the lollipops online, but made the dipped marshmallows myself! They were a big hit!

Sugar cookies, decorated with Candymelts and edible pearls! These were really tasty but took a looong time to finish. The pearls all had to be put on one at a time by hand, very tedious!

Again, the gumballs and sixlets were purchased online, chocolate covered pretzels were made by me. Everyone loved them!

It all looked fantastic!

I wrapped the water for the party in zebra duct tape that I found at Michaels! Love the way it turned out!

 These were the party favor bags I made for the kiddos! All I needed were some plain white bags from Michaels, a "Thank you" and Zebra stamp, as well as some Zebra print paper and some string!

Goodie bags were filled with tiny bubbles, which I bought at the Dollar Tree! I got 9 bottles in a pack and only paid $1! SCORE! I also tossed in a small bag of animal crackers and the recipe for moms!

My mom's best friend from high school was so kind to crochet these little zebra hats for the kids! Everyone got one in their goodie bags!

Arent they the cutest in their little zebra hats?!

Our party girl decked out in her Zebra hat!

Look at those rolls above her knees! Gosh I love her!

Time for cake!!! So glad we stripped her down to her diaper before cake time!

 Look at that smile! She loved her cake!

She seriously had such a great party! I was so pleased with how it turned out and received so many compliments! As stressful as it all was, it was totally worth it and I cannot wait to start planning her second birthday party! So long as she doesnt get any older!