Fantasy Football – Adult Beverage Edition

Football season is well under way. The pre-season games have begun, facebook statuses are inundated with comments about this player and that team, and my man is preparing for his Fantasy Football leagues. Yes, plural. So whether I’m hosting a Fantasy Football event, having people over for Sunday Night Football, or going to someone else’s get together, it’s an opportunity for me to get crafty. I think in general, guys don’t really care about the presentation of food and drinks, even though I think that’s just as important as how it tastes! So, with that in mind, I suggest keeping your decorations and crafty creations low-key and simplistic.

Today’s Fantasy Football Adult Beverage is perfect for football season. It’s a spiked apple cider, which I have dubbed “Mock Moonshine”; while it’s not the real deal (unfortunately I don’t have gallons of moonshine in my cellar just waiting to be enjoyed), it’s got the flair and look of authentic moonshine. I found a few different recipes online; they all sound delish!

Apple Brandy and Cider

Apple-Pie Spiced Cider

Spiked Apple Cider

The Mocktail wouldn’t be complete without a fancy, football-themed container! It is simple and can be transformed into a theme, EASILY! I chose to buy a few Mason Jars for the event.

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Mason Jars ($1.49 each)

Gift Tags ($4.99 pack of 20)

Football Stickers ($2.79 pack of 5)

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This DIY is super easy and fun.  It adds a very “put together” presentation of a drink and the appearance.

August ’13 Bucket List

Although we’re almost a week into August, we still have the rest of the month to squeeze in any last-minute summertime activities. Once September rolls around, I immediately get sucked into the “Halloween/crisp air/layers of clothing/new Fall tv shows/Pumpkin Spice Latte” mode that I am really starting to love. BUT, before this mode shift occurs, I’ve decided to make a short and sweet (and realistic) bucket list to wrap up the month of August and Summer 2013!

1. Hiking, Yikes

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I wouldn’t consider myself super “outdoorsy”, but I think it’s good for the mind, body and soul to spend a day hiking. Get outside, sweat a little, swat a few bugs, and reach a point and feeling of accomplishment.  Go with the first outfit for a beginner’s hike on a not-so-treacherous route.  If you plan on getting down and dirty on a real-deal mountain, you will definitely need to invest in some hiking boots.

Check out these 6 hiking tips for beginners!

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2. Dinnertime Grillin’

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Grilling is a must in the summertime and I’ve been wanting to have a Kabob-a-palooza all summer now.  Slapping this on the bucket list seems silly but these recipes require a little more effort than your average dinner planning.  I’d love to make all 3 version and pair it with a side salad for a fresh and light meal on a Friday night with my honey or a small group of friends.  And you better believe I’ll be sippin’ on a margarita (salt, on the rocks) while I’m grilling!

Kalyn’s Kitchen – Steak and Mushroom Kabobs

Skinny Taste – Lime Cilantro Shrimp Kabobs

Betty Crocker – Teriyaki Chicken Kabobs

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3. Pool Party

I don’t have a pool in my backyard and unfortunately I don’t know anyone who has one, where I could just show up and plop myself in their water.  That’s when you have to make do with what you’ve got.  Be it the neighborhood community pool, or a local pool in your area, pack a small cooler (check the pool’s regulations, some don’t allow any outside food OR drinks in), a book, music, and most importantly, FRIENDS, and make a day of it. 

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4. DIY Project

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A great way to keep the summertime vibe alive during the transition into fall is your decor.  I wanted to find a DIY project that was “beachy”, yet not typical.  I have seen on various blogs and websites a a super easy and inexpensive way to jazz up seashells.  Using spray paint, you can transform a typical seashell into a work of art. This blogger gave a great tutorial on chroming shells she found on the beach.  My plan is to do the same, but use a matte black spray paint instead to give it a very unique and funky look.  If you’re unable to collect your own beach shells, Michael’s has a great variety of cheap shells you can decorate yourself!

5. Circufairnival (Circus + Fair + Carnival) 

I NEED to go to a circus, or a fair, or a carnival–BADLY!  I love the atmosphere of a the lights, the smell of the food, the animals, people watching, the shows, etc. These events can be pricey, so be aware of the money you’ll be forking over!  This is also a great opportunity to wear something fun and festive! 

Golf Themed Birthday Card

My nephew is a sports fanatic.  If you let him, he would play outside all day long, non-stop.  His most recent obsession is golf so I made that the theme for his card on his 7th birthday.

Check out the YouTube clip to see the “making of the card”!

I kept it simple and full of color. 

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I used 5 different pieces of cardstock: green grass, blue clouds, bright white (pole), red glitter (flag), and black for the hole. 

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On the backside of the green grass cardstock, I simply sketched quick “grassy” looking lines and cut along those lines to give it a realistic grass effect.  I placed the grass over a piece of blue clouds cardstock and then attached that to the actual card.  The rest of the card was very simple.  I cut out out a long rectangle as the pole, a small circle for the hole, and a glittery triangle for the flag.  Finally, I added a fun little #7 to the flag and used my own handwriting for the message.

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Baseball Themed Birthday Party

For my nephew’s 1st birthday, my sister and I threw a baseball themed birthday party.  There were a few other small children in attendance for the big bash, but this party was mainly for the adults and of course to get a few cute pics of the birthday boy shoving cake in his face.

 Most of the decorations were, with no surprise, DIY.  Just as explained in the Rock N Roll themed Baby Shower post, having a main table as the focal point is very effective and appealing.

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The photo above represents the main attraction table. 

  • Banner (Party City)
  •  Cupcake Stand (DIY)
  • Poster Collage (DIY/Walmart)
  • Quote game for the adults
  • Baseball for guests to sign with a message for the little slugger

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My sister had a fun idea for the adults.  She typed and printed quotes from different baseball movies and attached onto different patterned cardstock.  She simply taped these quotes on top of framed photos around the kitchen and living area.  She provided a little “quiz” sheet on clipboards; the adults wrote their answers on their quiz.  Later in the party, the answers were revealed and the winner received a little prize. 

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The cupcakes were homemade and the toppers were photos of the birthday boy on one side, with his “stats” on the other side. 

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On oversized baseball posters on the kitchen wall, we wrote what was being served at the “Concession Stand”.  Basically just a quick menu of the food at the party.

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In the entrance of the house, we had a little table setup for the kiddies; there were traditional birthday hats, goodie bags, and little games they could play.

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I hope this helped spark some ideas for you.  While this theme is baseball, these ideas can be translated for any type of themed party.

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DIY: Rock N Roll Themed Baby Shower

Hosting a baby shower for a friend or loved one can be overwhelming, exhausting, and expensive.  You may have an idea of what you want the decorations to look like, what you want the food to be, how you want it to all turn out.  Sometimes, these great expections get in the way of preparing a simple, yet memorable event.  I think it’s definitely important to have inspiration, be it from Pinterest, an event you’ve been to before, or ideas you can pull from random blogs.

Last year, I was responsible for helping host a baby shower for my sister and her husband.  They are both huge fans of rock music from the 70’s, very laid-back, and I would consider them non-traditional.  It was decided it would be more fun to make the decorations; ALL OF THEM.  Unfortunately I didn’t get any of step-by-step photos of the decorations I made, but they are SO simple, a quick explanation should be sufficient if you want to duplicate.

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The theme was “Shake, Rattle, and Roll”!

Photos framed with Ornate, funky frames

Song lyrics put onto DIY canvas art

Treats: Pop Rocks, Rock Candy

DIY Signs

Candles

Cupcakes with DIY cupcake toppers

DIY Guitar Cupcake stand

DIY Backdrop

DIY Baby Clothes on Clothespins

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I am, by no means, an expert sewer; I’m not even somewhat proficient.  The idea of creating your very own backdrop may seem intimidating, but there are a couple of ways to do it, that don’t require sewing.  By making your own backdrop, you can pick specific fabrics and patterns to go along with your theme.

The center pattern was an Andy Warhol inspired pattern of the members of the Beatles.  The outside panels were red with black polka dots.  I simply hand sewed the backdrop together, but you could also get a fusing material to iron on to the fabric and attach the materials together.

Then, we gathered different styled onesies, socks, knitted hats, etc. My mom knit a pair of green socks and a couple hats and I ironed letters onto a tie dye onesie to complete a backdrop.

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Another aspect of the main table was a DIY canvas with song lyrics.  This idea was taken from Pinterest.  On a blank canvas, place your lyrics or phrase of sticker letters onto the canvas.  Spray paint over the letters and let dry.  Finish the canvas with mod podge to give it a finished, glossy look.

The letter “C” represents the last name.  This literally took me 5 minutes!  The wooden letter, purchased from Michael’s, was simply spray painted and place in a safe area to dry.  The candle gives the table a chic rock n roll vibe.  Although a ton of colors were used, they worked perfectly together.

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This frame, along with a black one and a lime green one, were purchased from TJ Maxx for less than $10 each.  They are ornate, yet work really well with the whole theme.  Inside the frame is song lyrics from one of the parents-to-be favorite songs.  I simply printed them off a computer and cropped the paper to put inside the frame.  It is a very cool, simple, and different decoration.

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These DIY invitations were inspired by a couple different of themes and pictures I found on Pinterest and Etsy.  I used Microsoft Word and printed them onto glossy photo paper.   Then, I cropped them and attached to a piece of cardstock.

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My favorite part of the shower was the DIY cupcake stand made by my very talented, very retired, and apparently very bored stepfather.  He literally bought old vinyl records to be the 3 tiers of the stand.  Then, he crafted the guitar using pieces of wood and painting it.  It still blows my mind he created this; always look to family and close friends as creative resources.  He by no means is a cupcake stand builder; but he knows how to use handyman tools so he was a huge help in all of this and blew all of us away!

The cupcake toppers were created again, using Microsoft Word and printed onto glossy photo paper.  They were cut out and attached to cardstock.  The cardstock was attached to lollipop sticks purchased from Michael’s.

Tips for Hosting a DIY Baby Shower

  • Make a list for everything!  I literally bought a journal to write all my brainstorming ideas, things I needed to buy, ideas I thought were lame but wrote down anyway.  It kept everything in one place and was a great resource for me throughout the planning process.
  • Create a budget and stick to it.  Although a baby shower is a monumental event, it shouldn’t put a dent in your wallet.  I recommend creating a table with decorations as the focus, rather than decorating an entire huge area.  It keeps the budget low and reasonable!
  • Print out pictures for inspiration.  Pinterest and Google Images should be your best friend.  Print out pics and put them inside your journal for inspiration!
  • Keep it simple. Take it from me, it is very easy to get caught up in making this event, the grandest, most fabulous, most fantastic baby shower ever.  Get real.  Less is more.  This goes back to having one focus area and keeping the rest of your space very simple!
  • Cater to the needs/wants of the person(s) being honored. I realized right away that what I wanted, wasn’t necessarily what the parents-to-be wanted.  At the end of the day, if they don’t want a cupcake stand made out of records and a guitar, just don’t do it.

DIY T-shirt Makeover Part III

 So, we have done a few plain onesie makeovers in the past and I came up with another.  This was inspired by some pinterest mug idea.  You put a sticker on a mug and just use a sharpie to make dots around the sticker.  Why not try with something you can wear?  I chose a onesie but be creative!! This is definitely a perfect summertime project to do with kids!

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You will need:

  • plain onesie, tshirt, bag, etc.
  • paint
  • scissors
  • freezer paper
  • iron
  • unsharpened wooden pencils

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This project is similar to the freezer paper t-shirt in the past.  First, lay out what you are planning to paint on, I used a onesie, and put a piece of cardboard between the layers to prevent the paint from bleeding to the other side.

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Next cutout, from the freezer paper, the symbol, words, shape, letter, etc. you want to be featured.  I chose a cross.  Once you have placed it on the t-shirt, bag, onesie, etc. where you want, iron it down on a medium setting.  Be sure to move the iron all over the freezer paper for a good seal.

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Once the freezer paper is ironed on, use the eraser or unsharpened end of a pencil to create dots around the shape.  I dedicated a different side of two pencils to different colors.  Note: I used the acrylic paints I had laying around the house (the colors make look familiar) and added a drop of water and mixed to thin out the paint so when it dries it isn’t as stiff.

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Continue until you feel like the shape will be recognizable when the freezer paper is removed.  Go as crazy or as simple as you’d like.  You can keep the dots concentrated just around the shape or spread them out!

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Framed Poster Collage

My nephew’s first birthday was in April, so my sister went ALL OUT for his first birthday bash.  For the main decoration she created a simple and modern photo collage of all his first, super important events that took place during the past year: first happy bath, first photoshoot, first wedgie, etc.

She went to Walmart.com, photo section, and selected the poster option.  Then, followed the simple uploading instructions-you can select up to 30 photos!  

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 The poster allows for a caption to be displayed on the poster, as you see here “Miles’ Year of Firsts”.  

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Once she uploaded the photos (she had HUNDREDS to choose from) and got the poster printed at Walmart, she simply wrote a short caption next to each photo using a Sharpie pen.

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The end product was a hit!  She included both sentimental events and silly ones: first ride in the car, first photo with his Great Grammy, first wedgie, first photo with Santa (he was scared for his life). 

This project can be used for any special event; wedding, milestone birthday, graduation.  The frame was $12.99 at Walmart and the poster cost less than $13.  If you’re really trying to be frugal, get a poster board from a craft store and attach printed photos using a tape runner.

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