|Ace’s Pirate outfit from Zulily|
One of the primary challenge that comes with hosting any kids’ birthday party is keeping all of those little ones busy until it’s time for their own parents to take them home. Between the excitement and the sugar contained in a typical birthday party just keeping up can be more than a parent can do. Games will wear them out, but choosing craft activities will give them an opportunity to be creative while they play, and may even leave them with a great souvenir to take home with them.
Finger puppets are great fun and each child can take home their own set! Use pipe cleaners or fabrics, and don’t forget the classic brown-paper-bag-puppets we all made when we were kids. For longer parties or sleep over celebrations, you could also have them decorate a cardboard puppet stage and come up with a show to put on before the end of the night. Flex that visual creativity AND their storytelling skills, while building a little story-time into the evening to mark the time to bring it to an end.
A mural is an excellent activity for kids, and something that your child can keep and decorate their room with to remind them of the great party you threw for them, and of all the friends who wanted to come and celebrate him or her. This is probably an activity best planned for outdoors or in the garage, but with the careful use of a tarp or a series of newspapers, it can be accomplished inside pretty safely. Remember to make sure that each child is getting a chance to participate and a space to work in, whether or not they’re the most artistic of the group.
Decorating T-shirts is lots of fun, and each kid will have a specially made item to take home! Use crayons or grease pencils for younger kids to reduce the mess, but for an older group consider setting up outside for tie-dye. It’s really a very simple process, requiring only die and rubber bands, and anyone can do it. All you do is twist up a part of the blank T-shirt and put the rubber band around it, then dunk it into the color you want. Trial and error will lead them to the best combinations of colors and the patterns they prefer, so having a few blank shirts for each child is a good idea.
It’s all about color
This does require a few more elements than most of the craft ideas proposed above, but your party guests will be blown away when you teach them to use mirrors and paper to make a homemade kaleidoscope! Let the kids cut up the colorful paper and decorate the outsides of their tubes, then learn about refracting light when it comes time to put together the mirror and enjoy the beautiful colors. Each one will be entirely unique, and the kids will love taking home the kaleidoscope they made themselves.
Working with clay is a great activity for kids as it gives them an opportunity to really get their hands dirty while being creative and productive, but it can seem impossible to accomplish at home, since a proper kiln should heat up to nearly 2000 degrees. However, there are some great no-fire or air-dry clays on the market. Ceramics made with these items won’t be waterproof or oven-safe, but they will be handmade and great for decoration or storing things like keys and change.
Author Info: Jenny Franklin is a mom, a party planner, and a freelance writer. She currently writes for PartyPail, girls’ birthday party supplier.
Today my best friend asked me to show her how to put her hair in a sock bun and I decided this would be a perfect opportunity to show all of you as well!
Check out my step by step tutorial.
Step 1: Get a long sock and cut the toe off. If you are smart like us you will steal one from your boyfriend or husband so you don’t have to ruin one of yours.
Step 2: Flip sock inside out and start to roll it till it looks like a ring.
|Rock should look like a ring|
|Slide ring to the end of hair|
|Roll ends up and around ring|
|Me trying to shove my ends up and under the sock but my hair is all uneven|
|Maggie’s sock bun|
Make sure to check out the Giveaway going on right now!
I recently was cruising around Pinterest (Shocker!) and found a pin about Merrick’s blog. I instantly became obsessed with how creative and stylish she was. I immediately emailed her and asked her to do a featured post. I know many new Mom’s could use some of her awesome tips and ideas. I am thrilled to welcome Merrick to Featured Friday. Here is an amazing guest post from her!
Hi there, I’m Merrick from Merrick’s Art, where I blog about sewing, style, and family life. I’m excited to be over here on Perfectly Imperfect Mom today talking a little bit about Mommy Style.
Before I became a mom, I was a student, and then spent a few years working as a project manager for a local company. Both of these required getting dressed every day, and looking both put together and appropriate. But once my little Peanut was born, I was suddenly thrown in to the world of staying at home with nowhere to be, no one to see, and no one caring what I looked like. And yet, I could count on one hand the number of times I haven’t gotten dressed and put on makeup for the day in the last two years since his birth. Why? Well, let me tell you.
Here are six reasons I get dressed and ready (which, for me, includes hair and makeup) EVERY morning:
- It gets my day started. I am not completely ready for the day by 7:00am, like my old work days, but even being ready by nine or ten gives me the whole day to get things done.
- It makes me feel more productive. There is nothing that makes me feel more lazy and less productive than walking around in my pajamas and bed-head until 5:00pm. Nothing would ever get done if I didn’t get ready every day.
- It makes me feel confident. When I wake up in the morning, I certainly do not look my best (surprise, surprise). Putting on makeup, doing my hair (even if it’s just a top knot or a pony tail), and throwing on even just a pair of jeans and a t-shirt makes me feel infinitely better about myself.
- It makes me a better mom. Carrying on from #3, feeling confident makes me a better mom. I am more patient, more fun, and more energetic when I’m happy and have taken some time to take care of myself.
- It allows me to walk out the door any time. It is hard enough to get out the door with a child, but adding getting dressed and presentable to that is just crazy. You’ll never get your errands done. Taking fifteen minutes in the morning to get yourself ready makes it easy to walk out the door (without being embarrassed) any time of the day.
- It is a favor to my husband. You guys. I cannot talk about this enough. Coming home after a long and tiring day of work to a messy house, a smelly and sweats-clad wife, and crazy kids is probably the LAST thing a husband wants to do, regardless of how much he loves you. Despite how crazy and busy my days are, I always make an effort to straighten up the house and put on a little lipgloss or perfume around 5:30pm before he walks in the door. He just deserves that.
So now that you know why I do it, let’s talk for a second about how I do it. Because some people think that getting ready every day (especially as a mom) takes way too long, doesn’t allow for comfort, and just isn’t worth it.
Here are five of my go-to Mommy Style outfits that make me feel put together, are super comfortable, and are just as easy to throw on as a baggy t-shirt and sweatpants.
1. stretchy pencil skirts
|skirt: made by me, t-shirt cardigan and sandals: target // skirt & sandals: target, graphic tee: made by me|
I just recently discovered my undying love for stretchy pencil skirts. I’d always worn pencil skirts to church or work, but with a graphic t-shirt and a pair of sandals, they can be very casual, so cute, and really comfortable.
2. jeans & t-shirts
|red jeans: f21, scarf: bought in London, tee: hand-me-down (heart by me), flats: payless // jeans: gap, belt: husbands, leopard flats: steve madden via platos closet, button up: target // jeans: abercrombie, tee: hand-me-down, belt: local boutique, necklace: gift, sandals: target // jeans: h&m (maternity), tee: target, necklace: c/o wild about jewelry, wedges: old navy|
Jeans and t-shirts are probably the easiest thing for a mom to wear, right? But it doesn’t have to be so basic. Add a scarf, tuck (or half tuck) your shirt, add a skinny belt, or a big statement necklace, and suddenly your jeans and t-shirt ensemble is put together and pretty, but still comfortable and simple.
3. lightweight dresses
|pink dress: target (maternity), cardigan: target, flats: h&m, belt: local boutique // maxi dress & leopard belt: target, cardigan: local boutique, necklace: c/o lisa leonard designs|
As with pencil skirts, dresses were something I only wore to church or work in the past. But lightweight, stretchy dresses (especially maxi dresses) are the most comfortable thing you could possibly put on. It’s like wearing a blanket all day long, but you look fabulous.
4. tunics & leggings
|tunic: made by my mom, cardigan & leggings: target, leopard flats: steve madden via plato’s closet // tunic: made by me, leggings, sandals & belt: target // tunic: made by me, leggings, sandals & belt: target|
Tunics have become a summer staple for me. They are so simple and effortless, and beyond comfortable. Add a fun belt or a cardigan, and you step it up just a little bit more.
5. pattern mixing
|jeans: gap, striped tee: lucky brand via sams club, cardigan, belt & sandals: target // dress: gap maternity t-shirts (turned into a dress), cardigan: f21, boots: target // jeans: f21, top: old navy, belt: target|
Pattern mixing is one of those things that is a bit scary at first, but can transform even the simplest of mom outfits if you do it right. Two easy rules to start out: use patterns that are in the same color family, and keep one pattern smaller than the other. Give it a try — you’ll suddenly look like you put way more effort into your outfit than you actually did!
So there you go. Six reasons to take care of yourself as a mom, and five easy ways to do it. Thanks again for having me!
|ripping off the back|
|Making a straight line to cut the top off|
|I did help prime it! Branden painting it.|
|painting the back of the doors with chalkboard paint|
|We got these pulls from IKEA|
|Metallic Finish was used for the front of the doors|
|The finished product! Ignore the uneven doors, we have to fix them|
|His stove top burners were made with cork trivets from IKEA|
|Branden cut a rectangle in plywood and added plexiglass for the oven|
One of my favorite vegetarian foods to eat is Pear and Gorgonzola Pizza. Now, I know what you are thinking, it doesn’t sound like your traditional pizza and it’s not. I fell in love with this pizza when I worked at California Pizza Kitchen. I have always been more of a pickier eater but I will try anything. I was skeptical about this one but gave it a shot and it was amazing. First of all I hate pears but when they are baked with the cheese and topped with walnuts I die! It is also one of the easiest pizzas to make. Here is how I do it at home.
What You Need:
1 Whole wheat pizza crust.
1 Bosc Pear
1 package of sliced Provolone Cheese
1 container of Gorgonzola Cheese
|First layer of pears|
1. First set your oven to 450 degrees.
2. Cut up your pear, I make sure my slices are thin and it doesn’t matter how big or small they are just try to make them thin.
3. Lay a thin layer of pear slices on the pizza crust. I do this so the pizza crust doesn’t dry out in the oven. I once didn’t do this layer and it wasn’t as good.
4. Lay Provolone cheese on top. I usually use about 5 slices of cheese.
5. Top with another layer of pear slices. I really like to add a lot to this layer.
6. Next sprinkle a generous amount of Gorgonzola cheese on top of the pear slices. I like to add a lot but if you don’t like to over do it then just make sure to get a good mount on there.
7. Last top with walnuts. I like to add a lot of walnuts as well so just go with however many you think you would like on your pizza.
8. Put Pizza in oven for 8 to 10 minutes. You will know it is done when edges of cheese are lightly browned.
9. Lastly EAT and ENJOY!
***Another option is you can add Fresh Express Pear and Gorgonzola Salad to make it even more like California Pizza Kitchen’s pizza. I am obsessed with this salad so I highly suggest trying it this way. ***
It has been raining like crazy the past couple of days. It has actually been a surprisingly good thing for me. This weekend I had planned to get some major cleaning done and that included throwing out a bunch of stuff. I decided to focus my attention on our bathroom. Before I get into what I did I must explain our house. We live in a house that was built in the 1970’s. My Grandpa bought it and him and my Dad fixed it up and added onto it. It is a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom home. It is basically split in half with the back half being a bedroom, bathroom and a living room. This part of the house is where Ace’s room is and we made the living room into our bedroom since the rooms are super tiny. The other half of the house is another living room, kitchen, bathroom and 2 bedrooms. Our roommate has one of the bedrooms and his own bathroom and the extra room is an office.
We had planned on buying a house and were holding off on doing any type of updating or redecorating until we decided to stay here instead of buying a house since we aren’t sure where we will be living when Ace starts school.
Long story short this decision sparked me to go into redecorating mode. I went on pinterest and pinned some of my favorite bathroom ideas.
I saw this picture and was hooked. I knew I wanted yellow and some kind of blue in the bathroom. I had been surfing around Target and had seen these towels and so I knew this was it. I then went and measured different parts of my bathroom because I was going to need baskets, a new shelving unit of some sort and some type of shelves for the wall. I drew up an idea of what I wanted the bathroom to look like with all the dimensions (our bathroom is tiny so this was a must). We do not have a master bathroom but our tiny bathroom works for us for now while Ace is not using it for anything but bath time.
(Horrible isn’t it? My dog destroyed the rug and I was about to get everything out before I realized I need a before pic)
|Under Sink Before|
|Under Sink After|
|Above Toilet (Husband’s Mess)|
|Above Toilet After
(Baskets make all the difference!)
|Is that cart not perfect?|
|Loving these baskets!|
|Love this! Found it on Pinterest and the frame is from Ikea|
|How pretty is this?|
|Shelves! I still need to add a few cute things on the largest shelf.|
|Bran spray painting it after it was primed|
|The finished product, it’s not that dark in person|