Friday, August 31, 2012

The Party Details

 I made a pinata for the party this year. I was inspired by the pinata on this page. I decided to make the pinata base, as well, rather than buy one. I just did a basic paper mache on a large party balloon. If you've never done paper mache, you must have skipped grade school, all you do is mix flour & water until it's thin enough to dip strips of newspaper into (or, in my case, since we don't get the newspaper, I used the Republican voting information booklet, just the section that was in Spanish). Then, dip one inch by 4 inch strips of newspaper into the flour soup, use your fingers to scrape off most of it, and apply to your balloon. Cover the whole balloon with one layer, let dry, apply another layer, let dry...repeat until you think it's thick enough. The pinata was sturdier than I thought it would be. I only did 3 layers of paper mache, and instead of breaking when it was hit, it just got dented. Eventually it fell off of the wire hanger that I installed, so I just ripped it open for the kids. They didn't mind.
 I made tissue paper pom-poms in each color of the rainbow, just using the basic tutorial from Martha Stewart. I hung them up over our dining table light using push pins and fishing line.
 For the cake, I just used two basic Devil's Food Cake boxed cake mixes & 1 1/2 tubs of store-bought cream cheese frosting. I used 3 layers of cake & just used the cream cheese frosting between the layers. I used an offset spatula to get the outside nice and smooth (it could have been smoother, but she's 3 years old and doesn't really care). I used this recipe to make the marshmallow fondant. I did have a problem with the fondant being too dry & crumbly, and it didn't mix together well, so I squished as much of it together as I could & threw it in the microwave for about 15 seconds & it mixed perfectly after that. I divided it into 7 sections & added this food coloring to make the 7 colors. After icing the cake, I rolled out the fondant & cut out a bunch of circles & two stripes in each color. The circles went around the side & the stripes went on top in rainbow order. I made the pom pom bunting with two skewers, white yarn & leftover tissue paper circles from the pinata just stapled onto the yarn. (By the way, I made that cake stand using a dollar store plate & a thrift store goblet)
As you can see, Sharon was pretty excited about it. All in all, none of these things were really difficult, just time consuming. I love doing it, especially when I can see how happy it makes Sharon!

Sharon's 3rd Birthday page

Sharon was so excited about her birthday this year! She loved her birthday cake (though she mostly just ate the ice cream and the fondant) & kept dragging her little step stool into the kitchen so she could stare at it. She couldn't stop talking about her friends coming over for her birthday party & we had a great time celebrating her birthday this year! I can't believe how much she's grown. She sure is our little lady & is a major chatterbox! Happy birthday Sharon!

Monday, August 13, 2012

7 Years of Marriage

I can hardly believe that it's been seven years since this day!
Ammon and I met at the Institute at NAU. I will admit that his habit of wearing tight fitting Wranglers, boots & a cowboy hat may have had some influence on my attraction to him. 

He was a little bit quiet in crowds, but tons of fun once you get to know him. He had a slightly dry sense of humor, but could definitely make me laugh. 
We went on quite a few dates, which were mostly pretty simple. I remember one of our first dates when we went grocery shopping and then went back to his apartment and made his famous green salsa (he converted me to avocados with this) and made a couple of terrible looking cherry pies. We also went ice skating at the local indoor rink for a Ward activity, but it stands out because that's the first time we held hands.
I really liked going to all the Institute dances because Ammon has a fabulous two-step and is a fun swing dancer. Always a plus if a guy can dance!
We got engaged in March of 2005 out near Lake Mary in Flagstaff, AZ. We were married in the Mesa Arizona Temple on August 13th, 2005. I can hardly believe that it's already been 7 years since I married this guy! We sure do have a lot of fun together!

I sure am loving our life right now! We have two beautiful & healthy girls, he just finished up his Master's Degree, we love our house, our Ward, Ammon really likes his job, & I love getting to stay home with our two crazy kids! Life is so good & I wouldn't want to share it with anyone else!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Aviator hat & goggles

I was going through my blog reader yesterday and came across a pattern for an aviator hat and goggles. I thought it was so cute & decided to make some for Sharon, since she so loves the movie Up right now. I mean, who doesn't love the movie Up. I might just have to make myself a set so I can pretend to be Ellie, too! So here is the link to the pattern. She has some pictures of the finished product & a printable pattern, but doesn't really include much in the way of instructions. She has 4 printable pages of the pattern, & I just copied them into Word & made them the same size as a sheet of paper, so that they would print full size.
Then you cut them out & tape together the top pieces & the bottom pieces, matching up the writing on each piece. Cut out two of the hat shaped piece & just one of the rectangle. If you want a lining, cut out the same amount from the lining fabric. For my outer fabric, I used some corduroy pants that I've had lying around in my fabric stash. I used a fat quarter for the inner fabric. The way you sew it together is by sewing the rectangle along crown of one of the hat pieces. Then, sew the other long side of the rectangle to the other hat piece. Make sure you don't just sew the hat shaped pieces to each other, otherwise it definitely won't fit any head. Then sew the lining fabric the same way. Turn the outer hat inside out, then insert the lining hat into it so that right sides are facing. Sew all around the edge, leaving a space for turning. Trim the corners on the straps & then turn everying right side out. Top stitch around the edge, making sure to enclose the space you left for turning.
I made the goggles in the same way she made hers, basically just made a paper pattern that looked good and then placed it on top of a double layer of felt and sewed around the edge. They were super simple to make. Sharon thought they were so fun! Hopefully this isn't the only time she wears them!