Category Archives: DIY

Toddler Cards For Any Occasion

Cupcake’s birthday is in January, so last year she got to enjoy all of her first holidays in order. This means that I got to do all of the fun handprint/footprint crafts for with her.

Footprint Valentines day heart? check. Footprint Father’s day craft? check. Handprint turkey for Thanksgiving? check. Handprint AND footprint clay ornaments for Christmas? check.

Now that she’s no longer an infant, I just don’t find it as cute. Let’s face it – the gift recipients know who really made those things. ME. Don’t get me wrong, there are some really cute ideas on Pinterest. But most of them are just work for mom.

Cupcake is 17 months old – old enough to want to do things on her own, but not old enough to really understand that we are making a gift for someone else. So even if I wanted to, it’d be pretty challenging to get her to give me a handprint or a footprint this year. So strong willed, & she’s not even 2! Say a prayer for me.

For Father’s day I searched for ideas of something she could make her daddy that was minimal work for me while being a little more thoughtful than just her scribbling on a piece of paper. I didn’t really come across any ideas I liked, but inspiration came from Cupcake herself. She likes to color & paint all by herself (heavily supervised, of course!) & her absolute favorite thing in the world right now is stickers. That gave me an idea.

It sounded too simple, but what if Cupcake really could make a card for daddy by herself with minimal guidance from me?

Toddler Cards for Any Occasion Made By Toddlers - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Sometimes, the K.I.S.S. principle really is the best. Keep it simple, silly!

Cupcake had a lot of fun painting this card for daddy.Toddler Cards for Any Occasion Made By Toddlers - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Once the paint was dry, we added stickers. I let her add as many hearts as she wanted before giving her the sticker letters, one at a time in order, to spell DADA. That’s really all of the involvement I had, minus making sure she didn’t get paint everywhere! Oh, and writing her name & the date on the back!

This craft is so easily adaptable for any occasion! Use different colored paper, paint, or markers depending on your target audience & time of year! It’s infinitely customizable. You can let your toddler add as much or as little embellishment as you wish. The only ‘must’ is sticker letters. As long as your toddler has the motor skills to put stickers on a paper, they can do this craft!

Toddler Cards for Any Occasion Made By Toddlers - Mrs. Dessert Monster

My hubby really loved receiving this card from our sweet daughter. She handed it to him herself! It might sound silly, but the fact that he can tell she really made it (as opposed to mommy) makes it more special!

Toddler Cards For Any Occasion

  • card stock – any color!
  • paint, crayons, and/or markers
  • sticker letters
  • optional: more stickers, glitter, paper scraps, or any other embellishment you can trust your toddler with, plus glue if necessary!
  1. Have your toddler paint or color on the piece of card stock. If you use paint, you will have to factor in drying time. (I used paint & had it be a 2-day project. Twice the fun!)
  2. Have your toddler stick on any other embellishments. I gave Cupcake heart stickers, since this was a Father’s Day card & she ‘hearts’ her daddy. Use holiday themed stickers to be extra festive!
  3. The last step is to give your toddler sticker letters one at a time & in order of whatever word(s) you are trying to get them to spell. I minimally guided Cupcake on putting the DADA stickers next to each other. I suspect that in another month or two, I wouldn’t even have to do that! Then, write your toddler’s name & the date on the back.
  4. Have your toddler give the card to loved ones & watch their heart melt!

 

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Painting Date Night – At Home!

I have recently gotten into watercolors!

It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while, so one day I bought a cheap Melissa & Doug watercolor paint set for kids & a pack of 15 pages of watercolor paper. It was like $11 total. I’ve seen so many blogs for ‘beginner’ watercolor painting that have a huge & expensive list of supplies. Seriously, the kids’ sets work just as well for learning, just get some watercolor paper & paint so you can see what it’s really about.

So several weeks ago after buying my supplies, I…did nothing. I let them sit there for another week or two. I didn’t know where to start. Eventually I started looking up some ‘how to’ videos on YouTube.

One Friday afternoon I came across a video that gave me an idea. #24 on my golden year bucket list was to go on a painting/activity date with my husband. I originally imagined us going out to one of those places where you drink wine & paint following some sort of prompt. But going on a date like that takes a little more planning when you have a toddler (a toddler?!? where has the time gone…) But at home, after Cupcake’s bedtime, with a bottle of wine…

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I decided we could host a private painting date, courtesy of YouTube. It was so easy to set up! My husband poured the wine while I set up the art supplies. We used our laptop to play this how-to video & painted along with the artist. Note: I’m not affiliated with that artist or channel in any way, I am just linking it to give you your own jumping off point for a painting date!

The thing about watercolor is that you have to let the paint dryyyyyyy. I think that is why I haven’t ever attempted watercolor before. Motherhood is making me way more patient than I ever thought I was! But still, watching paint dry is as fun as it sounds. So what did we do between paint coats? We googled ‘married date night questions’ & had a good time sharing answers.

It was such a fun night! My husband isn’t usually the ‘creative’ type, but he enjoyed it, too. We got to have a special date without leaving the house & without spending much money.

We both liked the other person’s painting a little bit more than our own.

I think this is a great date night idea for any couple, but I definitely love that it’s budget friendly! Being a stay at home mom is my dream come true, & I try to creatively show my husband just how much I appreciate the sacrifices we make ❤

Homemade Christmas Gifts

Merry Christmas!

In my house, Christmas doesn’t truly end until Three Kings Day.

Granted, it’s not quite as magical anymore after the 25th. Also, Cupcake’s birthday is before Three Kings Day, so we do want to pause Christmas & give her her own special day. BUT STILL – Three Kings Day marks the “official” end of Christmas around here. (Also, it really is the end of the 12 Days of Christmas!)

One of my Golden Year Bucket List things was to hand-make most of my Christmas gifts. I can now officially cross that off my list!

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Here are the gifts I made for my dear family:

Snockerdoodles

These cookies were gifted to my brother. I used this recipe to make a cakey crackle cookie (say that 3x fast!) with a whiskey kick!

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Baby ‘Print Ornaments

The grandparents (plus Auntie Tina) received ornaments made from Cupcake’s handprint or footprint. I also helped my niece make some to give as her gifts!

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Inspired by these Pinterest posts.

Homemade Taco Seasoning

I really wanted to give a jar gift to my sister-in-law & when I saw the taco seasoning on this post I knew that was it! I deviated from the original recipe a bit & I think it came out great! My favorite part is the decorations on the jar.

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Fruit Cake Biscotti

These fruit cake biscotti turned out even better than I could have imagined! I tweaked this recipe a bit & the results were fantastic. I feel inspired to make more biscotti!

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Did you make any of your Christmas gifts?

 

1,000 Days Of Marriage

I always say it’s the little things that make the biggest difference in marriage.

Yesterday my husband & I celebrated 1,000 days of marriage.

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I got the idea to celebrate a while ago, when we celebrated 100 days of marriage. I set a reminder on my phone & just kept it in mind to do a little something special for my hubby on 9/15.

Hurricane Irma hit Florida on 9/10. Thankfully, our home was spared from serious damage & our extended family is safe as well. Hundreds of trees were blown down. Several areas flooded. Many neighborhoods & traffic signals are still without power a week later. My parents stayed with us for 5 nights before their power was restored. It was scary during the storm & stressful after it.

The situation helped me see exactly what my husband is made of. I got to see how much love he has for Jesus as he suggested we pray together over our house before the storm hit. I got to see him selflessly help friends, fellow church goers, & family members put up shutters. He was my rock & comforted me as I got more nervous about the forecast. He was a saint & gave our bed to my parents while they were here. He is the best father, provider, & friend I could have ever hoped to marry.

So to celebrate our milestone, I used some of the cardstock from our wedding signs (yes, I still have tons) to make him this card (pictured with mason jars & cake topper from the wedding, too).

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I put a $10 (1,000₵) giftcard inside for us to use together. It was just a small token to show him how much I appreciate our marriage.

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I look forward to thousands more days with this amazing man!

Christmas Red Wedding

It’s Not ‘Goodbye’, It’s ‘See You Later’

Last Sunday was bittersweet.

It was Cupcake’s baptism, but it was also the last day we would see her godparents for several months.

Our best friends & our sweet goddaughter have moved to North Carolina.

Hubby & I knew this day would come. We knew that David would be looking for a job out of Florida after he got his PhD. We knew that all this time since his graduation last year was ‘bonus’.

It doesn’t mean we miss them any less!

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I’m so glad we are each other’s daughter’s godparents. Now we’re family!

To ease their long drive from South Florida to North Carolina (in two separate cars, I might add), I made them a little going away present.

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That way they could stop for coffee & snacks along the way.

Also, who doesn’t love a good pun or two?

I’m so happy for my friends. They are closer to their families & their careers are advancing. It’s almost hard to be sad for me when I’m excited for them!

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I know our girls (& future kids!) will still be close. Thankfully they moved somewhere that will be really nice to vacation in!

So it’s not ‘goodbye’, it’s ‘see you later’. We are looking in to plane tickets for next year 🙂

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I already see how much my goddaughter is enjoying the mountain air!

Baby Shower Tea Party

My dear friend, Beth, had a baby girl in February!

She’s been so loved from the minute we all found out about her existence. Pretty much from the second Beth told me she was pregnant I was planning her baby shower. Another friend of ours from church helped plan it with me & we came up with a theme that we knew Beth would love – Tea Party!

More specifically, Tea for Two at 2:00!

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Planning this tea party was so much fun! I even made the invitations myself – inspired by this post from 733 blog.

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They were easy to do with Microsoft Publisher & some clip art!

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 I made the invitations look like tea bags by cutting the top corners & using a string to tie the little tag.

I also made some decorations.

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That’s a standard baby shower banner with some added tea cups to go with the theme.

My favorite decoration was a sign I made for the front porch, inspired by this sign I saw on Pinterest.

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I took a sheet of poster board, stenciled on & painted the words, & added some cut out tea cups and tea pot. I taped it to a large frame I had & set it out by the front door on a table.

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Beth knew we were throwing her a shower, but didn’t know what the theme was until she drove up to the house!

Tea parties mean finger foods, so the menu was pretty easy! Sherlain took care of the tea sandwiches & I did all the desserts (of course).

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I got most of the recipes from Pinterest – links below!

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Early Grey cookie recipe from The Kitchn

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Marshmallow Nutella Cupcakes with whipped cream inspired by this recipe.

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These mini cheesecakes are just JELL-O No Bake Cheesecakes with strawberry & blackberry jam swirled in. I made them the night before.

We also had a small cake & fruit salad. There were lots of leftovers!

The drinks were, of course, tea! We had iced sweet tea & iced mixed berry tea. There was also a selection of hot teas.

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For party favors my mother in law & I decorated little tea cups with sharpies. I baked them in the oven, but the sharpie still eventually rubbed off of the ones I kept for myself after continual use. It’s OK, at least everyone had a tea cup to drink from at the party!

As a gift & memento for Beth, I bought a plain white ceramic tea pot & all the ladies signed it.

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For games we had ‘guess how many safety pins in a jar’, ‘don’t say baby safety pin game’, ‘baby shower gift bingo’, & ‘guess how big the belly is with toilet paper’. I ran that last game by Beth before we played it – she thought it was a great idea & all in good fun!

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I made the baby shower bingo cards myself on the computer. It was really easy! I just came up with a basic list of baby supplies for the spaces & copied them in to each block but in a different spot on each card.

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Since the shower was in December, we put all the gifts under the Christmas tree.

The baby shower was so much fun! All 15 of us had a great time & everyone made it to my house safely despite the torrential downpour that was happening – it always rains when I throw a party! That’s why the pictures are so dark 🙂

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Beth is one of my closest friends & one of the sweetest people I know. Her beautiful daughter is almost 3 months old now!

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Photo Clothesline Cubicle Decor

I recently changed jobs in my company & along with the new responsibilities (& way less stress!) came a new cubicle.

I’ve always been a big proponent of personalizing my workspace & having lots of pictures around me, but with this new space I wanted it to be a little nicer than my previous one. So instead of just taping some photos to the wall in a collage or something, I was inspired by the ‘photo clothesline’ trend on Pinterest.

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This was so easy to do! All I used was twine, mini clothespins, & thumbtacks.

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I tied the twine around two thumbtacks securely & then pushed them into my cubicle wall. If you can’t do that, then I’m sure a nail or something would work just as well.

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The pictures & clothespins are going to weigh down the twine, so you don’t really want to leave slack when you’re pinning up the twine, but you don’t want to make it too taught. Play around with the placement & see what looks best to you.

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I absolutely LOVE the way it turned out. It makes my workspace feel more homey & makes coming to work all the more bearable enjoyable!

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Flowers from my hubby help, too ❤


Is your workspace decorated?

Easy Thanksgiving Decorations

Tomorrow is the day that lots of us have been looking forward to!

My husband & I have been shopping, cleaning, & even started prepping some of the food for our first Thanksgiving hosted in our new house.

My mom has passed on her Thanksgiving serveware & tablecloths to me, but as far as decorations I was on my own.

Thankfully, I’m a crafty girl.

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It took me like 10 minutes to make 4 of these floral decorations.

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I had some empty bottles *cough cough Red Stripe beer bottles* around & picked up some fake flowers at the Dollar Store. The burlap I had in my craft supplies.

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Voila!

These will just add an extra little something special to tomorrow’s festivities.

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Happy Thanksgiving, Y’all!

Wedding Wednesday – Gift Card Box

Sometimes I look back on all of the stuff I did myself for the wedding & think I could totally do it all again. Then my husband reminds me how freakin’ stressful the second half of last year was!

I enjoy doing crafts, but wedding crafts are extremely high pressure. Crafts on steroids. It’s nice to be able to look back at last year with rose colored glasses on Wednesdays.

Gift Card Box - Mrs. Dessert Monster

This was one of the last projects I did before the wedding. I think I finished it on Wednesday. It was pretty simple.

I wanted to be a little creative & have our card box be like a Christmas present, but I couldn’t find anything like that. Finally, I saw that Oriental Trading sells plain white boxes for this very purpose (it has a slit on the top for the cards). I bought one, along with some wrapping paper, ribbon, & bows. The glittery letters were from my craft stash – I’m a sucker for stickers.

I think it turned out really pretty!

Gift Card Box - Mrs. Dessert Monster

I’m glad I was able to grab this screenshot from our wedding video. Being that I only finished this 3 days before the wedding, I didn’t take any pictures of it. I love our wedding video! I highly recommend having a videographer at weddings. We almost didn’t, to save some money, but after seeing our video I am so glad all those moments were captured on film. I was also able to grab a screenshot of our bar sign!


Stay tuned for more wedding fun!

DIY Bookends

One of the major projects we did in our house was a TV Wall. Instead of an entertainment center, we put up shelves. Which means that instead of a DVD rack, we have shelves. Which means that to put up our DVDs, I needed bookends.

You can see where this is going.

I tried to find cute ones online, but I was not satisfied with any of the ones I was seeing. So I decided to make my own!

DIY Bookends Bull & Gator - Mrs. Dessert Monster

You may be wondering, “what’s up with the bull & the alligator?”

My husband is an alumnus of USF, home of the Bulls. I am an alumna of UF, home of the Gators.

Thank you, Gilmore Girls, for teaching me the proper singular forms of the word alumnus. Yes, that is all 7 seasons of Gilmore Girls on the shelf.

So, these bookends are a subtle tribute to our alma maters. They were also really easy to make!

DIY Bookends Bull & Gator - Mrs. Dessert Monster

I bought the bull & gator on Amazon & the birch bases at Michael’s. I had this adhesive for other home projects, & it was perfect for this one since it dries clear! You can probably use one of several other types of adhesives, but this is what I had around the house & it did the trick.

DIY Bookends Bull & Gator - Mrs. Dessert Monster

This adhesive also takes 24 hours to set, which is great because I totally moved the Gator around several times before I found the best spot for it.

DIY Bookends Bull & Gator - Mrs. Dessert Monster

See, totally clear! The whole picture is clearer. The adhesive didn’t have anything to do with that, but still! Clear.

Umm, that’s it.

That’s how easy these were to make.

DIY Bookends Bull & Gator - Mrs. Dessert MonsterDIY Bookends Bull & Gator - Mrs. Dessert MonsterGo ahead, judge our collection. I think it’s pretty sweet, especially now that it’s up with these awesome bookends!

In The New House Designs