Monday, March 2, 2015

3rd Birthday - Jake & The Neverland Pirates Party

Jake & The Neverland Pirates Themed Birthday Bash - Sephira's 3rd Birthday Party

What an Event this turned out to be.  Perfect

Monday, April 14, 2014

This is My Life. Adventures with the De La Garza's.

Life Is a Hoot... 

     I really wanted to have a place to share all the little joys in my life and post about all the things I create, as well as all about my couponing escapades and generally anything else that comes to my mind!

     Here's a bit about me:  I am a 31 year old Stay-At-Home Mom/ Creation Expert.  My Husband and I fell inlove in High School and we've been together ever since (That's 15 years!!!)  We got married in September 2007 and just had our first child in February 2011. a Daughter that we named "Sephira".  She the most beautiful, talented, spirited, and unique little treasure and we are so lucky God entrusted us with her!   My passions are:  Being a Mom, homeschooling, sewing, crafting, event/party planning, designing, decorating, creating, cooking, storytelling and stories in general, books, signing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, gaming, computing, and couponing!  If its about creating or saving money, chances are I'm doing it!!!  I've been couponing since May of 2011 and have saved my family a little over $35,000.  Not to mention I've built up a pretty substantial stock pile of items that allow me to shop less and spend more time with my family.  I'll get into all about that later on...

     Man this year has just flown right by.  I can't believe our daughter is already three.  It seems like just yesterday we brought her home from the hospital and now shes running around, playing and thriving.  She is the light of our world and its only just the beginning.  I also cannot believe that I've officially been in business a year!  I started selling my homemade goods in a shop in downtown Corpus Christi, Texas in April 2013 and I officially opened my Etsy store in May 2013!  In just one year I have produced AND sold over 100 items.  This year isn't even half over and already I am busier than last year and I couldn't be happier about it!  I am so excited for the adventures to come and look forward to sharing my life with you here!

     If you would like to check out the things I have created and have for sale, here's where to do that:

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

VeggieTales Extravaganza - Happy 2nd Birthday Sephira

     For Sephira's 2nd Birthday, we decided to throw her a VeggieTales Themed Birthday Extravaganza.  I began with Green, Purple, Yellow, and White Cardstock Paper from Joanns.  I printed VeggieTales Images on white Cardstock paper and started cutting out the circular designs using "The Paper Studio" Paper Punchers I purchased from Hobby Lobby.  I glued three of them together to create image coins to decorate the center of the invitation.  I then designed the wording of the invitation and created a space in the center of the card for the image coins.  I printed the wording out on White Cardstock paper and then cut the scalloped edges with a Martha Stewart Edge Paper Puncher that I purchased at Joanns and glued it to the Green Cardstock paper.  I then purchased red ribbon with white polka dots and purple satin ribbon and glued them down to the middle of the card and cut the ribbons even with the edge of the cards once the glue dried.  Then I glued the image coin on top of the invitation and viola, the card was complete.  I decided to add a little flair to the envelopes so I printed the same VeggieTales image to the envelope as well as the Return and Shipping Addresses directly onto the envelopes and got them in the mail.

Time to Decorate...

     I cut strips of construction paper and cardstock paper then used a Martha Stewart Edge Paper Puncher and punched all the edges of each strip of paper.  Then I looped them all together into long strands to hang around the party area.  Leave it to me to bring back an old time decorating idea!

     Then I cut strips of Tulle fabric and created tulle poms as additional decoration to hang from the ceiling.  I also purchased some crepe paper streamers and created a beautiful canopy with all three hanging items!  Here's how all that turned out:

Here's some more of the decorations...  A balloon bouquet with Bob and Larry Welcomed our guests and along with the paper chain, I enlarged and printed VeggieTales images and made mini posters to add to the lighting banister to finish off the decorations!

Then I got busy putting together the Favor Bags and filler items...

     Every child got a Favor Bag that included:  (2) Activity Sheets, (1) 8Ct Large Washable Crayola Colors, (1) VeggieTales reusable cup with lid and straw, (10) VeggieTales Bandages, (8) VeggieTales Wrist Bands, (1) VeggieTales Travel Sticker Activity Sheet, (2) VeggieTales Stickers Sheets, (2) Fruit Rollups, (1) Ring Pop, and a small handful of chocolate!

The Grown-Ups got a small goodie bag as well... who doesn't like chocolate and gum!

     I got crafty again and created "Carrots" with the dinner napkins, utensils and glitter pipe cleaners.  Then I finished decorating the table with some VeggieTales toys and I filled a large vase with some of Sephira's plastic vegetables and here's how it all turned out!

     It was finally time to decide on a menu and prep the food and supplies for the meal.  I don't know what got into me, especially after how exhausted I was last year making the lasagna but I decided on Crispy Taco's, Spanish Rice, Refried Beans, Guacamole, Nacho Cheese and Tortilla Chips for the meal!  I wanted to do something that offered lots of vegetables to go with the VeggieTales theme as well as something delicious that everyone would enjoy so that's what I came up with.  Doesn't it look super yummy?

     I also decided to make cupcakes instead of dealing with more fondant.  Especially since the meal was more work then the lasagna for Sephira's first Birthday party.  And because I decided to do Cupcakes, I decided to create little decorations for each cupcake and I even purchase cupcake stands and decorated them too.  The cupcake decorations were just double sided image coins like I created for the invitations only I added a lollypop stick in between the two sides to create a little decoration stick for the cupcakes.

Once I had the Cupcake decorations completed, I purchased some cupcake boxes and all the ingredients needed to make cupcakes and butter cream icing from scratch.  I purchased the cupcake boxes so that the cupcakes and icing wouldn't dry out overnight before the party and I waited till the day before the party to make, ice and decorated the cupcakes.  I made Vanilla with chocolate chips, Chocolate, and Red Velvet with white chocolate chips cupcakes. Here's how they turned out:

The morning of the party, I sat all the cupcakes out on the cupcake stands and finished all the decorating!  Here's how all that turned out:

The last thing I did the night before the party was to blow up a ton of balloons and leave them out all over the floor.  I knew Sephira and all the kiddos would have a blast with them at the party!

A Little more paper chain, a front door Welcome sign and a Bouncy Castle completed the exterior entertainment area!

I also made Sephira's Birthday attire, a Tutu skirt and a VeggieTales themed top with two purple flower clips... I managed to catch a glimpse of her as she ran past me in the top and white shorts but couldn't catch her in the Tutu.  Oh well, she plays in the tutu all the time now so I guess it was worth making it!

And of course another party was a success!!!  We had a wonderful time with family and friends and Sephira enjoyed getting to play with all the kids that came.  Now its time to plan a surprise party for my Husbands 30th Birthday!!!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Mario & Princess Peach Birthday Bash

Happy Birthday to My Husband and our One Year Old Daughter.

In 2012, our Daughter turned One so we celebrated their Birthday's together because their Birthdays are only three days apart!

The very first thing I did was come up with a unique Invitation.  These cards fit in an 5 3/4" x 8 3/4" envelope (100 count envelopes can be purchased at Office Depot for around $11).  I used Resume Cardstock paper I purchased at Office Depot for the Invitation portion White Cardstock paper I purchased at Joann Fabrics. I love using Microsoft Publisher to create unique designs which is where I created the wording and image for the invitation as well as the mushrooms eyes.   I also created a mushroom pocket for the invitation using the white Cardstock and printing the green color with white circles.  This is how my Invitations turned out!

Next, I began creating the decorations and games for the party!

The Table Centerpieces:  
I used Balloons and balloon stems (I purchased at Hobby Lobby).  I used a square craft box and wrapped it in brown packing paper and added some green to the top of it to mimic a grass block from Mario.  Then I printed out all the Characters from Mario Bros and a small castle on Cardstock paper.  I used used small jewelry boxes to construct the castle, black construction paper and glue were also used to complete the castle look.  I purchased floral foam and paper grass and placed the floral foam into the box, then I arranged the characters and balloons much like a floral arrangement.  Then I stuck the paper grass in and around the bottom of the sticks to hide the floral foam.  I found those color stars in the dollar section of Target and attached them with double sided tape.  I used those all over the place including the tables and the walls for extra decoration!

The Games:   
Yoshi Egg Smash - I saw someone had done this and it was such a cute idea I had to do it.  I enlarged Yoshi and created a Yoshi Poster board and surrounded Yoshi in glitter!  Then came the hard part.  Collecting the eggs.  Yoshi doesn't just give these away, I had to create them!  It was time consuming, like cascarones at Easter but I managed to make enough in time for the party.  We ate a ton of eggs, then i cleaned them, dried them, filled them with confetti, sealed them closed and painted them with green polka dots to resemble Yoshi's eggs.  This game is fun for any age and the rules are so simple.  Grab an egg, point it at Yoshi and throw!  Just be prepared to clean up the confetti/egg shell mess once all is said and done...

Pin the Mustache on Mario - I also saw this idea on Pinterest and wanted to create it for our party.  I just enlarged and printed Mario's face and then created felt mustaches and purchased some of that super tacky stuff that Teachers use.  This was also a big hit.  The prizes for this game were the favor bags so all the kiddos won!

Door Sign, Wall Art & Additional Decor:
I wanted to create a Welcome sign as well as an additional Wall Art Poster for the main party room.  Just Poster Board, Mario images and wording, foam stars and a little imagination and viola!

Then I used Balloons, paper mache, and paint to create Mario Boo's and hung them throughout the party areas for additional decoration.  This project took about 2 weeks to complete.
Here's a little behind the scenes of how the Boo's came together!
I also made a Bob-Omb but unfortunately I didnt get a good photo of it before a friend of ours took it home with them.  It turned out sooo well and I used the same process that I used on the Boo's.

Bob-Ombs look like this:

The Favor Bags:
I wanted to make Girl and Boy Favor Bags so I purchased Pop Pink and Lime Green Bags and decorated them like Yoshi and Princess Peach.  Then I printed Thank You Tags and added them to the Bags and got started on filling the bags up!

Here are some of the other things I created and added to the Favor Bags:

The Food:
I think I was out of my mind on this one, but I decided to make homemade Lasagna and French Bread for everyone to stick with an Italian theme for Mario...  Everyone loved it but I was exhausted and almost too tired to enjoy the party.  Unfortunately I didn't get a photo of the food.  On top of making scratch lasagna I undertook creating the Cake.  This was the first time I every attempted making Fondant and I was extremely pleased at how the cake turned out!  I made the stars out of white chocolate and the only thing that I didnt make on this cake were the actual little Character figurines.  The Cakes top layer was a fresh Strawberry cake and the bottom later was a decadent Chocolate!  

I made chocolate covered stars, star shaped Sugar Cookies and Chocolate Mustache LollyPops, then purchased some chocolate coins to complete the table decor!

The Birthday Bash was a success and everyone had a blast.  Time to pack it all away and get ready for 2013!