Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words may be encouragement to them. Ephesians 4:29b

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Beta Etsy-ing...

Howdy everyone!

Just a quick post to say that I'm trying out some of my party printables on Etsy.  I like to call it "Beta Etsy-ing" for fun. :)  If you know of anyone interested in Ninjas, send 'em my way because the Ninjago Eyes and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Masks are going cheap! LOL

I know I need more in the shop, but hey, it's a start. ;-)  I'm pretty clueless, so praying God shows me something, regardless.  If I can work on a more thorough plan, I'd love to set up a Kingdom business.  I'd love others' input and suggestions along the way! Thanks for your love and support.


Much love to you and yours.
May your Easter be blessed as we celebrate the Risen King!

Keeping Him in mind,

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Fin-tastic Shell-abration!

It's that time of year again!  Surprisingly, I was able to pull off, yet another double birthday party for my two favorite kiddos!  This year's party was inspired by my very favorite birthday party as a kid.  My parents booked a room at the local Holiday Inn so that I could have a pool party in their indoor swimming pool!  This January baby with a swimming obsession will never forget that fun day, nor my cake: a teddy bear wearing a red and white polka-dot bikini. I wish I had a photo to share! :)

Because of that swimming celebration, I decided to book the kids' party at Emler Swim School nearby.  My son requested a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) theme early on.  Much of January, my daughter was obsessively singing with her Little Mermaid CD, so Ariel was an easy choice. :) Yep, another double-themed double birthday party.  With my girl going into Kindergarten next year, I suspect a double party next year might be iffy with many more friends to choose from.  If not, I'd say four years in a row with a double party for a boy and a girl wasn't half bad. Bring on the madness of individual parties! (Did I just say that?)

I decided to make things quick and easy this year with a photo card for invitations.  These days it seems pretty "old school" make invitations with the convenience of Evite, but I figured this one wouldn't hurt. ;) I found the backgrounds via Google Images and came up with these.

I decided not to do as much in the way of food this year, since we would be serving pizza for dinner due to the only available party time being 5:30.  I kept things easy...

- Pizza delivered for all (the Turtles' favorite food!)
- TMNT cupcakes
- Mermaid cupcakes
- Fishbowl votives of Rainbow Goldfish and blue Jell-O of 'swimming' Swedish Fish
- "Ocean Water Punch" (Blue Rasberry Mio flavored/colored water)
- Fruit tray
- Veggie tray
- Bottled water

Surprisingly, I did not find the TMNT cupcake idea on Pinterest (yet).  I found a TMNT Strawberries how-to video while surfing Google.  Dipping strawberries in green candy melts makes a great head for a turtle!  I added cut Airheads and Wilton candy eyeballs and....wa-la!  Ok, so they kind of freak me out.  They remind me of Umi, that hand character with eyeballs. LOL! Even so, they were TOO yummy!

I did find the mermaid cupcake idea on Pinterest.  I decided on sugar cookies rather than white chocolate as mermaid fins, so they didn't turn out quite as cute as the Pinterest ones.  However, they were still a hit at the party, and quite tasty!  I made a fin-shaped cookie cutter out of a coke can (no joke!) and made cookie fins with green sprinkles.  I frosted strawberry cupcakes with light blue frosting swirled with some dark blue icing and blue sprinkles for an "ocean" look.  I stuck in the fins to create a "diving" mermaid. The left is my "too-large" 1st batch of fins, and the right is my 2nd batch of smaller fins after re-sizing my cutter a bit.  Not perfect, but still kinda cute, right? 

For party decor, I used the following:

TMNT Decor:
- Cardstock TMNT characters for the wall
- Lime green tablecloths, plates and napkins for food and party tables (Walmart)
- Fabric masks (Party City, $1ea.) cut to a thinner shape, with an "angry-eyes" look :)

Ariel Decor:
- Cardstock Ariel and bubbles for the wall
- Ariel party plates, napkins and table confetti (Party City)
- Mardi Gras crowns (Dollar Tree) & an Ariel crown for the party girl (Party City)

The kids had an absolute BLAST!  Kids here aren't swimming in March, unless they are taking lessons, so it was a real treat for all of them. I think all the action gave them a big appetite because that pizza and cake went down fast!

Party Favors
Both sets of favors were pretty fun this year.  The TMNT bags were made from green sacks rounded at the top, and I added masks created on my Silhouette.  I also made a sticker on the back of the bag shown below on the thank-you cards.  Each sack included:

- Foam nun-chucks (Dollar Tree)
- TMNT sticker (ebay)
- Airhead candy, mini size (Dollar Tree) 
- "Mutagen Ooze" (Dollar Tree, divided into thirds, bagged & labeled w/sticker)

UPDATE:  Interested in these masked favor sacks? Get your own favor sack printables from the ClearlyCandace Etsy shop!  They are sized to fit standard party/lunch sacks and you can opt for PDF (B&W & color) or an editable Silhouette Studio file!  Get them here:  https://www.etsy.com/listing/127840680/teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-masks-for  

The Ariel favors were also fun.  My daughter and I made soaps with glycerin from the craft store, which were quite fun and easy! We included party confetti and an Ariel tattoo. It made for great mother-daughter bonding time. :)  I made tags using my Silhouette using an image I found via Google Images. The favor bags included:
- Homemade Ariel glycerin soap
- Ariel Magic Washcloth (Dollar Tree) or fish squirt toy (for toddlers, 3/$1 Dollar Tree)
- Ring Pop (pkg of 4, Dollar Tree)
- Mini loofah (pkg of 6, Dollar Tree)

UPDATE:  You can now get your own non-personalized version of these Ariel party favor tags from the ClearlyCandace Etsy Shop! 

Thank-You Cards
This year, my first grader was able to write his thank-you cards for the very first time!  I should've taken a photo of each one because I just love how he writes and spells at this age! :)  I wrote quoted thank-you messages by my girl and let her sign her name.  She also added a heart. <3  I created, printed and cut  TMNT stickers (also on back of favor sacks) and Ariel stickers using my Silhouette.  I put them at the top of 4.5x6.5 cardstock (multi-color pack from Michael's) giving ample space for the message. Please ignore my terrible handwriting!

UPDATE:  Like the TMNT and Ariel stickers?  Get them all on Etsy, as well! http://www.etsy.com/shop/ClearlyCandace  

I have a feeling this will be a party they will never forget, just like mine way back when. :) Whatever the party place, kind of cake or crazy theme, my husband and I truly enjoy showing our children love through the celebration of their births each year.  Our desire is for them is to feel "dearly loved" as Ephesian 5:1 says and to always know where that love comes from - Our Lord and Savior!

"Follow God's example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us..." Ephesians 5:1a

Thanks so much for visiting!

Keeping Him in Mind,