DIY: Not So Scary Pumpkin Design

October 24, 2014   
After coming home from our annual pumpkin patch trip, I find myself wondering what I'm going to do with these pumpkins my now 4 year old diva pressured me into buying. The option to carve a design comes to mind but is then immediately replaced with the memory of the debacles that resulted from my previous attempts.  Most people who know me consider me a pretty crafty girl, a DIY expert, if u will.  However, I don't know what it is about carving that I have such a hard time with. I've tried it all, have purchased all the recommended tools, and I have yet to accurately recreate any of the designs I have ventured into. So, this year, I decided to take a different approach. Instead of carving the pumpkin, I decided to paint it. "Seemed easy enough, I've painted before" I thought. "How hard can it possibly be?"  So, I asked my daughter what design she wanted to make,  and as expected, she chose Minnie Mouse. Well, to be honest, she chose Ariel at first, but then I quickly persuaded her out of it after seeing all the intricate details that would need to be painted on the tiny pumpkin she picked out.  The next day, I picked up some materials and we got straight to work on our masterpiece.

After a couple of hours and some drying time, this was our final result. Not too bad for our first one....

Follow the simple steps below to create a Minnie Mouse Pumpkin of your own for your little princess. It can also easily be made into a Mickey Mouse for your little prince:
Materials- white, black, and pink/red paint, paint brushes, painter's tape, black foam sheet, pink ribbon, push pins, super glue, pumpkin of any size.

1. Divide the pumpkin in half with painter's tape.  Keep as straight a line as possible.
2. Cover the top half with black paint.  Allow the paint to dry and remove painter's tape.
3. CAREFULLY paint the bottom half in bright pink or red. Allow paint to dry.
4. With a small paint brush make white polka dots around the pink/red portion. Allow paint to dry. I used a Filbert size 6 brush but you can use any small paint brush you have.
5. Cut out Minnie Mouse ears using black foam sheet. Leave a crease to fold and pin to pumpkin using push pins.
6. Cut pink ribbon to size to make a bow. Use super glue to adhere it to the top of pumpkin as displayed in the picture above.

Calling All Boot Lovers

October 22, 2014   
Now that Fall is in full swing, I'm at it again, on the search for the must have boots of the season.  It would come as no surprise to those who know me best, that I LOVE boots.  So much so that my obsession has become a running joke among my friends.  Boots have always been my go to fashion accessory.  I've recently come to realize that I own 16 pairs of them. From thigh highs, to booties, to galoshes, and even combat boots, you name it, I own it.  I just can't seem to get enough.  Although I live in sunny South Florida, I always find a way to make them work.

As a girl with a taste for the finer things, my initial search is Rag & Bone or Frye.  Once I'm done ogling all the beautiful footwear, the harsh reality of my budgetary constrains sets in and helps reign me back in.  Therefore, my search parameters for the perfect pair of boots are narrowed down to those that fit my budget.

These were some of the ones that stood out from the rest....

Which one do you think I should choose?   

1. Cadani, Aldo, $110
2. Leather Boots, H&M, $149


Pumpkin Lovers Rejoice!

October 20, 2014   

It's my favorite time of year again... FALL!  What's not to love about this amazing season? The weather is amazing and the clothes is to die for.  While living in Miami doesn't necessarily afford one the privilege of watching all the leaves change into their beautiful fall colors, it does bring about the much anticipated pumpkin patch. As many South Floridians know, this trip is a must. Besides, everything ELSE has gone pumpkin (bread, muffins, doughnuts, lattes, pies, you name it) so why not join the rest of the country in the celebration?

My "little pumpkin" looks forward to our annual adventure where we pick our very own overpriced pumpkin to decorate. She also loves the hay rides, mommy's obligatory photo shoot, and of course some delicious apple cider.  This weekend, we had the opportunity to visit and we had such a great time.  We even ran into some friends on the hay ride. 

Be sure to make your way down to your local "pumpkin patch" this year and share your favorite pumpkin patch memories.

A Party Fit for a Princess- The Little Mermaid

October 18, 2014   

I can still hear the excitement in my voice as a little girl, when, it seemed that the days leading up to my birthday and all the wonders that came with it couldn't go by fast enough.  That excitement takes on a new luster once the birthdays add up and I start to fill my crown with the telling jewels of age and adulthood. The less attention I get on this dreaded day, the better. Luckily, my 4 year old princess has yet to cross that bridge and loves the attention. For her, the longer the celebration, the better.

She had been planning her birthday party for months.  Even though she went back and forth for a while, she finally decided on The Little Mermaid which was on obvious choice since, Ariel had become her latest obsession.  Thankfully, this was not like most themed party nightmares where you can never find plates or piƱatas to match the theme.  I was able to find everything at Party City.  They had what I needed to make the party a huge success so, they were my obvious choice when it came to getting all the supplies and decorations. 

In the past, I've gone a little crazy on candy stations, table decorations, and even goodie bags, so this year would be no different. I decided to do a little research online, found some cute ideas for themed parties and made them my own.  I was even inspired to put my pastry skills to the test.  A daunting task at first since I have none.  But with these easy DIY inspirations, I have to admit I was impressed with the way things turned out.  

These little Oysters were made with Oreos and 
a gum ball to look like a pearl. 

While the Sand Dollars were home made cinnamon sugar cookies with sliced almonds for the finishing touch.  

These Sebastian Slices were a hit with the kids 
and easy to make.

The table displays were a nice touch to tie everything together. They included the DIY "4" that I made using tissue paper allowing me to match the cake, a DIY sign "Bella's Grotto", pearls and coins in the treasure chest and fishbowl, rock candy sticks, and some seashells scattered around to give that "under the sea" feel. 

Last but not least were these Little Mermaid Favor Containers for just under $2. Filled with little goodies such as Ariel's Dinglehoppers, a Snarfblat, and other Ariel 
inspired accessories also found at Party City.  The tags were an easy DIY project that I was able to put together in no time with some Ariel printables.   

The best part of that special day was seeing the beautiful smile plastered all over her face throughout the party. It made all the hard work and planning worth it. I'm so blessed to have this "Little Mermaid" be a part of my world. 

Tell me about some of your birthday party experiences in the comments below.

All Dolled Up...

October 15, 2014   
Before mami

So the school year is in full swing.  Everyone has their four hundred number two pencils and plastic rulers, and teachers have picked out which students always need to work on class assignments all by themselves.  That also means that they are comfortable assigning school projects.
As a teacher, I get it and am all for kids learning about certain topics through creative handiwork. This month is Hispanic Heritage Month and my 4 yr old's teacher decided that she is to decorate a cardboard cutout doll in the likeness of someone from her country of origin. In her case, Colombia. 

As projects go, this isn't necessarily a difficult one but I'm sure you can appreciate my situation here. Glue, scissors, cardboard cutout dolls . . . 4 yr old mini-human, this can get tricky. What are teachers thinking these days? How is a little kid supposed to make something that doesn't look like 
   Edward Scissorhands' latest DIY project? 

The teacher in me wants to let her do it on her own and be proud of her achievement and that she learned about her heritage while creating her masterpiece. The OCD mom in me however can not allow her to turn in a mess. 
After mami

I really think that this is more homework for the parents than it is for the kids.  I will, of course, end up doing the project with minimal participation on her part.  Don't judge!

Certainly makes me re-think the projects I assign my students.

There's no shame, have you completely taken over a school project for your kids?  

Tell me your story below.