Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Guns or Glitter

Gender Reveal

I had the wonderful blessing and privilege of hosting a gender reveal party for my dearest and best friend Carolyn! Oh the ideas we threw around for the theme never ended, UNTIL, we came across the idea of Guns or Glitter. Both of our minds were going with all the ideas we could use, however, they were not on the same track. Carolyn's idea was pink and blue and mine was camo and glittery pink. After talking to, or rather persuading, Carolyn that pink and blue goes with the theme of "Blue or Pink what do you think?" I won out and the decorating began; CAMO and GLITTERY PINK!!!

I am a huge DIYer! In fact, you can always find me making something. If you can make it instead of buy it you will always save money; at least that is my philosophy and I will stick to it. (This is how I can convince my husband to let me go to hobby lobby so often)

Carolyn confined me to decorating and setting up to her kitchen and dining room. This isn't a very large space but I sure made the most of it.  



The guests signed this picture book (which would be used in the actual reveal) for the baby to have throughout his/her childhood. The sign reads:
We're so glad you came
We'd love to have you
sign your name,
And write perhaps a line or two
By which we can remember you.
Then when Baby Hall
has arrived
Our memories of this day will thrive
For when we look at it we'll see
Kind words from friends and family!

I made these pins for the mom, dad, and big-sister to be!
Guests would choose a ribbon pin (glittery pink or camo) and pin it to their shirt according to the gender they were hoping for. The sign reads: Once you have cast your vote, grab a pin and pin it to your shirt!

I had guests write their name on a piece of paper and place it in the corresponding jar for the gender they choose. I then held a raffle for the winning jar. The winner got a gift card to either Academy (boy) or Target (girl). The sign reads: write your name on a piece of paper and place it in the corresponding jar for your vote. A raffle will be held for the guest who guessed correctly! (each guest gets an entry!)
Then I had props for pictures for the guests to take. Once they had chosen the gender they are hoping for, they grabbed either a tiara or a gun and posed for a picture! The sign reads: Come take a picture, let us see which side you're wanting it to be.
To help guests vote, I talked to the mom-to-be and created a midwife tale chart so they could see which side the mom-to-be yields to.

This is the chalkboard drawing and voting for the guests so we could see what the majority thought!
Window fringe

Ribbon balls

The camo and glittery pink didn't end with decorations; I carried it over to the food and drinks as well. I had a pink lemonade and a green sherbert punch to incorporate into the drinks.

The Reveal

I got the idea from a friend whose gender reveal was unbelievable. It was so unique I knew instantly I wanted to do it for my best friend. Her reveal can be found on her blog The Kurtz Corner.
I gathered all the guests together and put them in a circle. I passed out small take out boxes and told them to not open them just yet. I also said that only one box contains the actual gender. I was going to read the book from the sign in (I Love You More). Every time I read the word "love" they were to pass their box to the right. After the story was over, everyone opened their box and the person with the gender was to shout out "IT'S A ...." the trick was, everyone had the gender in their box. Some how, it worked out to where the mom and dad- to- be shouted IT'S A BOY!!!! before anyone else. They were elated and overwhelmed!
Their bundle of joy will arrive in May and Jackson will be theirs to love on till the end of time!!! Congratulations Carolyn and Derrick!








Ribbon Wreath & Ribbon Balls

Ribbon wreaths and ribbon balls are fantastic and easy decorations for any occasion. They are not hard to make at all but they can be time consuming. I have made several ribbon wreaths and many ribbon balls.

Supplies (ribbon wreath)
  • Straw wreath form
  • 3 rolls of wide satin ribbon
  • 12 rolls of ribbon in varying color and patterns (not wide or skinny ribbon)
  • ruler
  • straight pins for sewing    
  • scissors
  • hot glue

You will need to unwrap the straw wreath from its plastic (it will make a mess so caution). Now tightly wrap the wide satin ribbon around the wreath form. Pin at the beginning and every so often throughout the wrapping to ensure it stays in place. You will have a little extra left over and this will be used to hang the wreath.

Cut your other ribbon into 4" or 5" strips

Now start by creating a loop with your strip; place it on the wreath form and using the straight pin, push it in. Using this same technique, place another loop next to the one already on the wreath alternating colors/patterns. To make the wreath look full, you will need to rotate the ribbon so it fits around and next to the piece/s that are already there. Make sure you go far enough to the top and on the inside so there are no gaps. The picture will do better explaining than my words.
Once you have pinned all of your pieces of ribbon, you are
ready to place the hanger ribbon. Use the left over satin ribbon and measure how long you want it to hang by folding the piece in half and holding it up to your wreath. Using hot glue, affix the ribbon onto the back of the wreath.
Now hang it on your door and enjoy!!!!

Supplies (ribbon ball)
  • Medium Styrofoam ball (white)
  • 4 rolls of ribbon in varying colors and patterns (not wide or skinny)
  • scissors
  • straight pins

The technique is the same as the ribbon wreath; the only difference is, the entire ball will be covered.

Start by creating a loop with your strip; place it on the ball and using the straight pin, push it in. Using this same technique, place another loop next to the one already on the wreath alternating colors/patterns. To make the ball look full, you will need to rotate the ribbon so it fits around and next to the piece/s that are already there. See the above picture for better explanation.

Once the ball has been covered, you may choose how to display it. I've put a dowl rod into the ball and placed it in a container for decorations for parties; I have also hot glued a ribbon loop to the top to hang.  You could also use smaller Styrofoam balls to display in a glass container for decoration as well. The possibilities are up to you and your imagination.

Making Homemade Baby Food

Well this is long overdue but I suppose I might as well post it as I have so many friends and family members having babies. My daughter is now 1, and my how the time flew! I knew I would want to make homemade baby food when the time came just because I enjoy cooking and I thought, key word is thought, I would have the time. I quit my job as a middle school teacher to become a stay at home mom. Because I always have to stay busy I thought making baby homemade baby food would be a fantastic idea. I was right, it was! However, do not make the mistake, it is time consuming in a sense. If I was a working mom, like so many women out there, I would have chosen to spend my "off" time doing something other than standing in the kitchen pureeing food. With that said, I will dive into the basics of homemade baby food and how it has helped my toddler transition to adult table food.

I started by finding the best website to help with basic cooking methods of vegetables and fruit. After much research I came across this website. It has so much good information, ideas, and basic cooking instructions for vegetables and fruit. I baked or steamed everything and then pureed them. I then froze them in ice cube trays and popped them out and stored them in freezer bags. They can store up to 3 months; 3 cubes = 1 jar of baby food.

I started with the less sweet vegetables and moved my way up to the fruit. I steamed green beans, peas, squash, zucchini, carrots, and all the fruit (except bananas). I baked sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and acorn squash. I put all the meat, chicken, turkey, pork loin, and rump roast, in the crockpot to cook all day so it would get extra tender. I would spend about 2 hours cooking, pureeing and freezing everything. This doesn't sound like much time but as a stay at home mom, I had that time. For those who only have the weekends to spend with their precious children, 2 hours can be a decade. That is why I would simply buy baby food if I was a working mom.

The perks of making homemade baby food is the ability to change the consistency to gradually lead your baby into thicker more chunky foods. At 7 months, my daughter was chewing smaller pieces of her fruits and veggies and eating table foods. By 9 months, we no longer made baby food and she only ate what we had at each meal. The older my daughter got, the more she was wanting something different. So I started to mix the foods together and try new and different foods. Please talk to your pediatrician and make sure this is acceptable for your child.  This may not be the case with your little one so do what is right for him or her.

Now that my daughter is eating table foods, I simply bake all my veggies in slices and then cut them into cubes and freeze them. Now they are finger foods made just for my sweet toddler.

Things I Learned

My daughter preferred to eat the green beans and peas from a can instead of fresh or frozen. I just bought the no salt added cans.

When it was time for finger foods, I found that the frozen slices of carrots, squash, and zucchini, along with the frozen broccoli and cauliflower were easy when steamed in the Ziploc steamfresh bags. The bags are easy to use and really quick. It allowed me to put only the amount my daughter would eat for that meal in and steam in just a couple of minutes in the microwave. Then I lightly seasoned it in the bag and served it to her. She loved it and it wasted no time. I would choose to steam veggies in this bag if I lacked the time to steam it in a pot.

I had a baby bullet that I used to puree which was excellent. However, I received it as a gift and wouldn't have spent the money on it. Instead a blender or a food processor works just as well if not better. Try those instead.

If your little one won't eat some veggies, try steaming them in the microwave in apple juice instead of water. It will sweeten it and keep the nutritional value you're looking for.

I loved every minute of making baby food and will do it again for my future children. I hope you will enjoy this adventure and don't put too much pressure on yourself. Children are a blessing and enjoy every minute with them!

Welcome to the Mortashed Family!!

I was recently married in February of 2011 and am enjoying newlywed life. My husband and I have welcomed a beautiful baby girl, Adalynn, into our family in January of 2013. She will be the inspiration behind many of my crafty projects. Thanks to my hardworking husband, I have become a stay at home mom while I put my teaching career on the back burner. Being a mom is extremely rewarding and wouldn't trade it for anything. I love crafting, baking, and cooking as a lot of others do as well. My craft projects will be diverse but simple to follow as I have limited time with a baby on hand. I hope you enjoy these Do It Yourself projects and delicious dishes and baked goods!