Posted in Random Stuff

Five Years and Counting

Hey All!

Well, I wanted to share with you another milestone. Seems like my whole life is about anniversaries and the like, huh? Well, it is! I try my hardest to keep tabs on things that mean the most to me, and the best way for me to do this is to give it an important anniversary date.  I feel like if I lose track of the happenings, even a tiny bit, then it wasn’t important in the first place. And. Today..well, today is no ordinary anniversary for me. Today is when I had my surgery. Here is the post where I wrote about my experience from pre and post surgery…and let me tell you, I AM SO NOT THAT SAME PERSON FROM FIVE YEARS AGO! Not even from three years ago!

Which is a good thing.

No. Lemme rephrase that.

It is a GREAT thing.

While I was getting ready for work this morning, which was a feat since my husband and I have been binge watching The Wire almost every night.  (Which means we were up till 2 last night, but we finally finished Season 4!!  What a great show!  How did I miss it!?!?!) So, while I was busting my groggy butt trying to get myself and three other people out the door to be on time for everything, it donned on me what date it was.  September 29.  Wow, has five years really gone by??

I cannot believe all the wonderful things that has happened to me since I took the plunge to go under the knife 5 years ago. All the positive things. All the great mental changes. All the amazing physical changes. All the things I have been able to be a part of and all the wonderful things I wanted to be a part of. Namely, not sitting out in life… ANND strapless clothes. JK. And, I couldn’t help to think about all the future things I won’t miss out on cause of my change.

It takes guts to change things in our lives, doesn’t it? Especially about us, in a personal manner. No matter how small or big we see it at the time. To put our foot down, swallow the fear, shut out our inner negative and just change, it takes courage, people! Don’t wait for life to change, cause without you making it happen it won’t happen. That is all I wanted to share about how special this day is for me before my day got insane.

Don’t fear your self-worth.. don’t fear what you are capable of doing… take charge of your life…and be great!! Know there are people to support you in this journey. That love you for you, but you have to love yourself enough to change! Loving who you are is something that took me a long time to figure out, and still am working at. That has to be the number one lesson learned from my experience.  And, I look damn cute in a strapless maxi!  Ha

Ok, my day is calling me .. yuk! Mondays!

Thank you all for reading! I haven’t said that in a while. It means a lot to see the comments here and on FB. And over the Summer I  acquired a few more followers, which is great. Thanks for joining along! I really have been off the hook busy with my family life, that I had forgotten my blogging life. Which is a good name for this blog now that I think of it! I miss sharing my inside thoughts along with the fun stuff I partake in. I just need to make the time.

Which I will! But I gotta run for now!


Posted in Party Time!

A Harry Potter Birthday… Golden Snitch Pops

A Harry Potter Themed Party.. Golden Snitch Pops


I had such a fun time eating..I mean, making the Golden Snitch pops for the girls’ birthday!  With this project, I wanted to think outside the box on what the treat inside would be.  What popped into my head was to make them out of my oldest daughter’s favorite chocolate treat; Lindt truffles..especially the white chocolate ones.   I figured to take a crack at this and see how it could work..and boy did it work!


Posted in She's Crafty

A Harry Potter Birthday… Flying Keys

A Harry Potter Themed Party.. Flying Keys Project

This flying keys project was a lot of fun to put together, and it was super quick!  Took me all of 45 minutes.  These added a touch more whimsy to our daughters’ Harry Potter Themed birthday.

DISCLAIMER:  I am not an artist of any type.  I just play one in my mothering life.  😛

How to make Flying Keys:

Supplies- Keys, glue, scissors, a black marker, bronze pencil and vellum.
Supplies- Skeleton type keys, glue (quick drying if you do not have glue dots), scissors, a black sharpie, a bronze pencil and a sheet of vellum.  This project was made for 6 keys, and one large sheet of vellum (18×24) was more than plenty.
My doodles of wings.
My doodles of wings. This came in super handy as a legend for shapes.
Fold vellum.  Trace image.
Fold vellum. Trace image in pencil, then cover edges with marker.
Wings in marker with bronze pencil
Wings in marker with bronze pencil veining inside.  The middle is empty, this is where you will adhere it to the keys, but you need to cut a stem to get it to really hold onto the keys (see below image).
Cut out the wings
Cut out the wings and stem
Add glue to key, near the loop edge.
Add glue to key, near the loop edge. I used glue dots, but any quick dry glue will work.
Attach Wings
Press firmly to attach wings
Making different wing shapes made them seem more aged and appropriate for the project.  Voila.. Harry Potter inspired Flying Keys!
Making different wing shapes made them seem more aged and appropriate for the project. Voila.. Harry Potter inspired Flying Keys!

Remember to make one with a broken wing!


View of the project in place during party:



Strung them up with clear, stretchy jewelry thread.  Then hung them from a tension rod.
Strung them up with clear, stretchy jewelry thread. Then hung them from a tension rod that I placed between the closest two walls in the bathroom.
Opposite side view
Opposite side view
View from living room as you enter the bathroom.
View from living room as you enter the bathroom.





Posted in She's Crafty

A Harry Potter Birthday…Floating Candles

One of the best visual images of the Sorcerer’s Stone is when Harry enters the Great Hall.  We see the ceiling enchanted, as if it were open up to the night sky, along with floating candles a few feet above all the tables.  It was so beautiful, and when I looked up inspiration on Pinterest, I found so many variations that just didn’t excite me.  But, I really wanted to give a shot at creating this for my girls’ birthday party…just on a much smaller scale.

A Harry Potter Themed Party.. Floating Candles

First, I had contemplated trying the one project that looked like it would work best.  It required toilet paper rolls.. So, I started off having my family collect toilet paper rolls.  My gosh, the amount of rolls I saved and received!  I was going to paint the rolls off-white then hot glue matching LED tea lights on the top. Then over use the glue so it would look like melted wax (which I would paint the same).  Then hang all over the yard.  But then as I started to make them, I honestly didn’t like the way they looked.

SO, I changed my mind and felt like maybe real wax candles would work.  Thought that if I heated a needle to poke through the top to thread the string it would look real, even unlit.  But, then I changed my mind again when I found these LED slim white candlesticks on a shopping trip to Joann’s.  That is my usual MO, really.  I have a thousand thoughts but then stumble upon something totally different.

I LOVED THESE!  They were soft gold lighted LED white candles.  They had a faux flame on top that worked for this project a little too well.  It created the best lip for the string to stay still when I tied it.  I used the same clear, stretchy jewelry string from my flying keys project, then strung them up under the umbrella in our yard.  I just wished we planned the party later or we had a dark blue umbrella!  But, the kids loved them, and that is all that matters to me!

Posted in She's Crafty

A Harry Potter Birthday… Party Favors

Harry Potter Themed Party… Party Favors


For the party favor I tried my best to keep it within a couple dollar budget, and I am proud to say that this is by far the cheapest goody bag I have ever put together in all my years partying!  Under $2 each! 


Because it was such a great deal I am sharing how much the breakdown was cause I love hearing about good deals, and imagine you must too!:  These chic polka dot boxes were purchased at my local Target a few months ago on super duper sale.. $.50 for a pack of 3!! ($.16 each! YES! I KNOW! How amazing!?)  Since they were so simple, and the price was phenomenally low, I couldn’t pass them up.  I cannot stress enough that when you see a great deal BUY BUY BUY!!  You will never regret it.

Grab a deal when you see them!
Grab a deal when you see them!

Then the witch pens were personalized with “Thank you from Ava and Liv!”.  These were bought from Oriental Trading Co online for $.83 a piece! I love personalized anything cause it makes it so easy, and being that these fit the theme so well, it was a good touch.


The boxes were filled with a pack or two of Haribo gummy bears ($.17 ea pack),  a few prism pumpkin stickers ($.03 ea sticker!!), and a handful of Hershey’s chocolate kisses or Rolo’s ($.05 ea), all purchased through OTC.  Then this was all wrapped in orange tissue, which I already owned. Free, I love free.


To keep with the theme, I adhered a glittery black ribbon, that I bought at Michael’s ($.24 each box), around the dotted box with the pen adhered under it.

Harry Potter Themed Party Favors
Harry Potter Themed Party Favors

Labeled the side of the box with the child’s name, and DONE!

Super cute!

Posted in Party Time!

A Harry Potter Birthday… The Invite

Harry Potter Themed Party… The Invitations


The invitation portion of the party planning was left up to my husband.  This is his specialty!

We, our girls and I, gave him the specs of what we wanted to have for the main focus of the invite, well, what the girls wanted.  One daughter wanted it to be the Hogwart’s letter, the other daughter wanted it to be just like the save the date, and we wanted it to be easy to ready and understandable for those who aren’t Potterheads.

This is what he came up with one day to turn it around!




I think he pulled it off perfectly; it had a little of what we all wanted and everyone that received an invite loved them.  Especially all our HP fans.  🙂

AAAand the best part was we all had our part in making this project come together.  My husband designed, printed and cut everything. Then I folded, glued and stamped the envelopes, and, the girls popped on specially chosen HP stamps for each invite! Great cooperation project.

Posted in Party Time!

A Harry Potter Birthday Party!

Harry Potter Themed Birthday Party!

The party theme…well, as you read above, was a Harry Potter birthday.  Our oldest daughter became a HUGE Potter fan this year after reading the first book (and second, and third!! THIS YEAR!!!!), and, well, so is our youngest! While we discussed planning their birthday party, which at the time (months ago) was a Circus theme, I just didn’t feel all that excited over the theme.  Soooo, I blurted out that we could try..Let’s go for a Harry Potter themed one instead..and they started going off on a tangent with ideas.  <–my girls!

It was the best conversation to have with two little girls btw.  I couldn’t of been any happier working with them on this theme over these past few months.  WELL, second to planning my oldest’s Communion earlier this year.  I think I need to take event planning seriously.

The plan for this was to keep it as simple as possible for wizards and muggles alike to enjoy. I figured not a lot of the party goers were Potter fans like we are, and I was right!  I had to factor in a Fall time feel with a tinge of Halloween, so it made some sense to the muggles.  I started by drafting a list of ideas my children threw at me, then started researching on pinterest till I was blue in the face for inspiration.  Pinterest is such a great tool!

I wanted to create / craft as much as I possibly could to decorate the house and yard. I had decorated my house on the super early side for Halloween;  this way there was that air of Fall, and it matched the monochromatic items that were set up all around for the party on the outside. I decided to decorate with more of the evident aspects of the atmosphere that surrounded Harry…i.e., Hogwarts’ Great Hall floating candles, potion classes, books, Hagrid’s, the flying keys, etc..

This is what I came up with:


The Save The Date

My husband was tasked with a lot of print projects this party.  It was my plan, so he can see all the nutty details I put into a party and because I could have him draw out things in minutes versus hours if I did it on my own.  (like I’ve said, I am not an artist, I just play one in my Mom life).  He came up with this cute 5×7 card, that at about 5 weeks prior to the party I emailed to all of our family and friends.  Then about 2 weeks prior, I sent it to the girls’ school friends’ parents through email.

Save the date with a 'hedwig' type owl.  I emailed these out a month and a half before the party.  I always send out save the dates.
Harry Potter Save the date with a ‘hedwig’ type owl. I emailed these out a month and a half before the party. I always send out save the dates.



The Invitation (click the link for more details)

On faux aged paper as a background he made the invitations to our specs perfectly  Harry Potter Invitations
Harry Potter Invitations: On different faux aged paper as a background the invitations were simple with a Hedwig type owl and the Hogwart’s crest.



The Decor

This was a huge huge feat to achieve for this party because the movies lent such a major visual inspiration and Pinterest was an overload and wealth of ideas. So here are the elements broken down by area:

– Hogwart’s Great Hall Feast with Floating Candles

– Themed Photobooth

I started by creating a “have you seen this wizard” foam board cut out that I saw all over Pinterest.  This was such a clever idea to get the kids taking pictures.  Then I created a few hand held wand props for the kids to be silly.  I set up the table off to the side, and set it up with ‘Muggle Studies” them. A cute way to make the fans chuckle.


Decided to make the photobooth table with the name of Muggle Studies… it was a cute way to showcase that side of the book.


– Potions Table (drinks)

I knew I wanted to represent the potions portion of the world.  How I was going to use it didn’t come to me until I had finished the bottles. I kept thinking about having the kids make potions that were edible or fun to watch bubble and fizz, but then at the end of the planning figured we had enough to do with the other activities that I would set it up as an in case.

To start, was aesthetics.  I had a shorty jam jar, two aranciata bottles then bought some faux vintage elixir bottles that would work real well as potion bottles. I had my husband create some vintage style labels.  The bottles were wrapped in black jute then filled with what I could figure to work.  All for free..colored water, colored sugar, baking soda and sea shells!  Then I used a shoe box from a recent purchase that had a color interior as the housing. It worked out real well.

Snape's Potions
Snape’s Potions


(inside the dragon scales jar were the seashells we collected on the Cape over the Summer!  Super cute score!)

IMG_4583 IMG_4585

This table showcased water, wine and to it was the Luna Lovegood’s Lemon Juice station.  This is where the kids were given color hiding cups.


Then I peppered in other fun ideas like:

flying keysOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwizard inspired book coversthe fat lady portraitIMG_4576Moaning Myrtleclass signageOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADaily Prophet postersIMG_4566


The Girls’ Outfits

The girls really were adamant about this.  They wanted to dress up like a Gryffindor student…our oldest not anyone specific, but our youngest being Hermione, her very favorite heroine!  Their outfits consisted of a Gryffindor robe, a crisp new oxford shirt, a scarlet and gold silk tie and any bottom we felt worked well and comfortably.  These are being recycled for Halloween, which will be great if the weather is chilly!  OH and they both had light up wands (Hermione and Harry’s)!

For this feat I went to EBAY!  I love love loooooove me some Ebay!  I found each child’s costume brand new for cheaper than I could anywhere else.  Especially with Halloween so far off. (I like to have all my party items at least three to four weeks prior to the event so I know all fits and the kids are sure they want them). Through Ebay I also bought a Gryffindor colored tie, and a light up wand each.  I bought the school styled white oxford through the Gap on super sale! And they wore bottoms they already owned, a black pair of pants for one and a grey mini for the other.  Not only can this be used for Halloween, but aside from the robe, it can all be recycled in their wardrobe…but you know that robe will be played with for a LOOoooOOOng time.

The Happy Gryffindor Girls!
The Happy Gryffindor Girls!



The Food

I think we succeeded at keeping the food super simple for all the different eaters in our lives.  Normally, I go all out Italian SuperMom with a million different things to eat, catered, then end up with leftovers for weeks..which we get sick of after one night.

We decided to have a simple BBQ with burgers (Malfoy Burgers, aka, cheeseburgers), hot dogs (Harry Potter Dogs), chicken wings (Hedwings), corn on the cob (Corn on the Crabbe) and a mixed greens salad (Prof. Sprout’s Salad).  Scattered around were some veggie straws, Doritos and cheese rice cake poppers (aka, Weasley Chips).  It was all a big hit cause no one felt left out.  Phew!

Harry Potter Birthday Menu- BBQ


Before, with the food..then I shifted the table for the desserts.



More fun treats!  My favorite treat… Golden Snitches!  (<–click link!)

They were Lindt truffles wrapped in gold foil and wings.  Super cute.  For my lactose intolerant friends I made a marshmallow version you can see in the above picture.

Snitch Pops


The Cake

My husband really wanted to make the cake to match the theme.  He pulled inspiration from the invitation he made for this event. He hand scultped the shape by using two rounds for the head (double layer) and two sheets for the body- red velvet, devil’s food and vanilla.   The kids picked out the flavors, which was a fun way for everyone to be happy. From a photo he made the best Hedwig cake!  Everyone enjoyed it!


The finished Hedwig Cake
The finished Hedwig Cake


The Pinata

This was an idea that my husband thought would be a big hit and make our kids die with laughter.  It was a hit, but I think cause it was creepy!  He shaped the body out of cardboard, and I crafted the rest…  Here’s how it looked.

Our homemade Harry Potter Marge Dursley pinata..
Our homemade Harry Potter Marge Dursley pinata..

The kids had a great time beating this pinata down piece by piece, but she was hefty and tough to take down!  Twenty-four kid whacking her to death proof!  We had to intervene by spilling her candy guts after her head, arms and legs came off.  It was a fun time!


Our niece with Marge Dursley's head  ahaha
Our niece with Marge Dursley’s head ahaha

It was such a fun day.  The kids seemed to enjoy all the activities.. from the giant football themed jumpy, the face painting, photo booth, color changing drinks and just being together!  I loved spending the time creating it all for my very special girls.

Looking forward to next year!


More Birthday Stuff!: