A Nest for All Seasons A Nest for All Seasons: April 2012
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30 April 2012

Are you bored? Maybe you should be.

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I'm going to argue with a term today. A lot of you won't like it. ...but bear with me...I think I will make sense by the end.

The term I am wrestling with today? Inspiration. Everyone is inspired by everything. You knock off a design from a catalog and it was "inspired". Well, not so much - it was just knocked off. ....and in my ethical world I don't have a problem with knock offs that you aren't selling...go for it. Just don't call it inspired.

This is the thing...
It's hard to get inspired if you aren't bored.

ME -- kinda bored.
By inspired I mean....completely totally inspired from that space in your gut that weaves together all of the influences in your life and comes up with an idea, a thought, an image that is completely yours. Someone else might be doing something LIKE it somewhere else in the world (or on pinterest), but you haven't seen it there -- you've seen it in your soul.

That is one of the gifts God gives us -- this desire and ability to weave inspiration and create something.

The only caveat?

We have to wait for it. We have to wait until we are bored and then it strikes. The creative genius doesn't come when you are looking at fabulous ideas. The strike of a new thought isn't found on the pages of pinterest. It isn't even found in old books, old movies, or beautiful ancient cathedrals with magnificent stained glass windows. those things are all inspiring -- they are all the threads of the web, but they aren't the NEW IDEA.

The new idea comes when you are sitting on your front stoop, dappled sunlight dancing across your face and you check your watch wondering when the bus will come. 10 more minutes? Should I get a magazine...nah too tired...hmmm that green is really pretty...it kinda looks like the green of that arch that was weathered copper...you know I wonder what it would look like if............ THAT my friend, is inspiration.

Inspiration is not looking at a catalog page and liking the colors so you decide to create a room based around those colors.
(That is completely fine by the way...lots o people do that, but I'm going to argue that it isn't particularly "inspired".)

The concept that blows your mind is the one that comes to you when you are sitting in church, the message isn't really your thing this morning and your mind drifts. You start looking at the shapes in the ceiling, doodling on your paper. Your mind picks up bits and pieces of what the pastor is saying and everything weaves together until BAM -- you've got the idea. THAT is inspiration.

Inspiration is when you are chilling in the bathtub...60 minutes after you hopped in...all the magazines are read, the catalogs are tossed across the bathroom floor, but you don't want to get out yet. There is this seed of an idea way back in the back of your head and you know if you start unloading the dishwasher and loading the washer and watching Mad Men - -- it will just go POOF. GONE. So you sit...wiggle your toes...add a little more hot water and then all the sudden, you go into that half asleep, half awake world and the idea comes. Inspired.

You know that feeling right? That one in the bathtub when you start to fall asleep? The waking UP feeling is even better. You know the one where you think it is time to wake up., but you don't want to pull yourself out of the dream just quite yet. You can think consciously and unconsciously at the exact same moment. Your thoughts begin to weave, and they are well primed at weaving because your mind has been dreaming now for hours....and then it hits you. The plot line - the story -- the image of the main character. You've got it. You flip open your eyes like a plastic coated light switch, reach blindly for your journal (where ARE my contacts?) and begin furiously scribbling your thoughts. You know you've only got about 30 seconds to remember it -- remember everything and you've got to get it down or again...it will go POOF. Goodbye. Sionara inspiration. All gone.

Those ideas that you can't get out of your head when you're walking around with a cup of coffee in your hands in the morning. The thoughts that keep coming back on that 10 hour car ride to Ohio. Those are the ideas of inspiration. Those are the ideas you should fixate on and weave them within the confines of your experiences.

I say this not to say everyone has to think like a creative. I know at least half of the people in the world DON'T think like this. You know...the ones that can actually do math. I can't do math. ...but I get inspired. I have mini-moments of fixating on ideas, words, images, thoughts. That is how my brain works. ...but it only works like that when I give it space to. When I fill my brain with too much "inspiration", then it can't be inspired.

So you are one of those creative minds too?

Stop reading for a minute. Stop looking at art. Stop engaging your mind and let it weave.

THAT is when the inspiration will come.

27 April 2012

Do your pinboards define your style?

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You've heard me talk about defining your style before. I wrote about it on Houzz and I think Darlene does a great job of explaining style over at FH.

I think it is fascinating the way there is a tiny style seed planted inside everyone and the more you grow, the more your style emerges. Then you can prune away at your style until you've got this perfectly defined "plant" or style. Then it all changes with one storm and you start all over again.  Of course you start all over with the leaves and the branches and the flowers, but those roots are always the same.  Grounded and steady and defining, but they don't determine everything.  Fascinating! 

So I started looking around at pinboards and noticing that some people have very defined pinboards and others are kind of all over the place.  It was interesting to look at the boards and see who has their style nailed (or pinned!) down and who is growing at the moment - watching their style change and morph into something different than before.

I know you need visuals...they are coming..hold your horses!

First up is Torie Jayne.  Her boards have a CLEAR sense of style.  Board after board after board.  You know what she likes, what she is drawn to -- you KNOW melamine is her THING.

 Find Tori Jayne's site HERE.  Torie Jayne's Pinterest is HERE.

Then there is Coco.  Poor Coco must think I am stalking her because I just talk about her all the time, but she has no idea who I am.  I am so enthralled with her style...this kind of moody, calm, natural look that invades all of her photos and is clearly inspiring to her based on her boards.  See it?

 Visit Coco's Roost HERE.  Check out Coco's Pinboards right HERE!

Then there are the sourcepages.  Type in pinterest.com/source/ANYWEBISTE.com and you can see all the various things that have been pinned from that site.  Sometimes they are all over the board, but sometimes you see a site that has a CLEAR defined vision.  The sourcepage below is from Dearest Nature, a new new nature inspired design site by Donaville Herrick.  The typography, the colors, the material, the style is all consistent across the board.

Check out Dearest Nature right HERE!

So now that I have examined everyone else's boards, I guess I must take a peek at mine.  Clearly I'm still developing :)  It is clear I like white space, I like bold, but not necessarily bright color.  Black and white and shadows are truly beautiful to me.  ...and I like doughnuts.

Want to see my pinboards up close?  Click HERE!  Want to see all the donut recipes?  Click HERE!

If I take a closer look at my main boards, the ones on the top row, I see more of a theme.  Those first 4 ('A Nest for All Seasons', the gardens, the bites, and the nest) are all my photography, and they do seem quite similar in style.  My inspiration board?   Not so much -- that puppy is ALL over the place.

So what is the point?  Is it desirable to have a style?  YES.  Is it wrong to have a bunch of different styles?  NO.  I think you are simply growing when you are looking at different styles and testing them out in your home, in your art and through your eyes.  I think it is good to nail down a style as an artist, but you should be ever open to change when it comes.  My goal?  Combine this love for deep shadows and natural photography with this love for lightness and brightness and white and soft.  Combine the two the way I see them through my eyes and that is my art.  That is my own personal style that no one else has exactly. I feel like my headers are getting there.  I am starting to capture the exact look I want...the right colors, the right typography, the simple photography.  Now I just keep expanding and growing my style.  Until a storm comes, then I start all over again -- maybe I'll hop on a vintage tea towel, bright reds and oranges and totally all about strawberries kick.  Who knows?  For now though it is white colanders and tone on tone quilts, dirt and shadow, burlap and bulbs.

So no judgement....just awareness -- have you looked at YOUR pinboards with a defining eye lately?  You might be surprised what you see!

Want to learn more about defining your style?  Read my article 'just love' on HOUZZ!

26 April 2012

A watched pot never boils...

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You've heard it before. Probably from your grandmother or your mama. You'll hear it again -- on repeat in your own head.

A watched pot never boils.

A watched pot never boils.

A watched pot never boils.

Blog opportunities never happen when you're waiting.


Yes it's true. It doesn't have the same ring as 'A watched pot never boils' but it is completely true. That site you wish would feature your project. That group of girls that you would REALLY like to be a part of. That bloggy club that would catapult you to millions of readers? Those things never happen when you want them to.

Sometimes they happen down the road and you are over it. You've moved on and your time is more valuable now. You are kind of shocked that you don't care, but at this point, you really don't.

The other response? YIPPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! You're sitting in your pjs, early in the morning with a steaming cup of joe and DING -- your email box pops open. ...and there is an email out of nowhere. An email asking you if you would like to contribute to such and such series on such and such blog. You had written it off. you figured it just never would happen. Ah well. ...but then there it is. An invitation to write. For them. Wow. ummmmmmYES.

I never thought the day would come, but I am oh so happy that it is here.

Please take a few moments today and check out my very first, long anticipated, very very exciting premiere on I Heart Faces.

25 April 2012

Faking Baker's Twine and the Dollar Store Version

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I try not to jump on crafting trends.  I really do.  If something gets big, I try to stay away.  Problem is?  Baker's twine is just too cool.  I really like it.  I mean I was a twine girl to begin with and then this baker's twine comes out in all these beautiful colors and I just gotta tell you -- it has been in my amazon cart like 40 TIMES, but I have never bought it.  Why?  It's hot.  Everyone loves it and it is everywhere.  You know what happens when a crafting supply is hot?  It gets expensive.  No longer is baker's twine super cheap because it is utilitarian.  Now it is a bonafide craft supply and it is expensive.  SO.  I never pulled the trigger.  I didn't buy it, but I wanted it.  I wanted some bad.


I saw lots of tutorials about DIY Baker's Twine.  Well that's a step in the right direction, right?  Right.   So instead of buying string and colored paint...I used what was lying around in the closet.  Green embroidery thread and white paint.  5 minutes watching "The Voice" and 20 minutes of drying later and voila - baker's twine.  Kinda.

It works.  It is cute.  I could have done a better job if I had taken...oh...10 minutes to do the job a little more neatly.  
For then though -- it worked.  It worked until I went to the dollar store........

Why did I got to the dollar store?
To get disaster supplies, clearly.


Yes...I've been stocking up on some very basic disaster supplies.  Every few weeks I go to the dollar store and get $10 or so of matches, soap, aspirin etc. etc.  Not that we think a disaster is looming, but we've been trying to be somewhat prepared.  yes?  yes.  So here we are walking down the aisle at the dollar store and suddenly it's as if the clouds open up above and the sunshine beams down in the home supplies aisle.  All the sudden...there was my solution.  Dollar store baker's twine.  Well kind of.    See?

Want to see more of these tin cans on parade?  Check out my contributor post @ Dearest Nature!

What is that stuff?

Well...you've got a couple of clues already.

It is on disaster supply checklists.
It is found at the dollar store.
It look's kind-of like baker's twine.

If you can guess correctly before moving on to the next photo, you get 2 points.


Go for it.....guess!

Did you guess clothesline?

It comes in green, blue and red, found at your local dollar store for a measly BUCK, it can be used for OUTDOOR crafting and if disaster strikes, you can head to your craft closet for supplies.

Now tell the truth, did you guess before I told you???

24 April 2012

Build a Leaning Trellis for Climbers and Shade-Loving Lettuces

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You know how sometimes something is so simple that you see it and then literally smack yourself on the forehead for not thinking of it earlier? That would be this trellis. I was at Longwood gardens, working on a piece for Houzz and chatting with my SIL Kjerstin when all the sudden we came around the corner and saw the vegetable garden. Smack in the middle of the garden was a trellis. Not just a regular stand up, let vines climb you trellis, but a strong, thick trellis, laid on its side on a slant.

I smacked my head.

THAT is brilliant. It is strong enough for heavy climbers like gourds, zucchini or even watermelons and pumpkins (if you bag the fruit to hang on), but the slant lets the vines shade the ground. Why is that important? Because shade can be hard to come by in summer, and that tilted trellis provides the perfect spot for lettuce greens when the going gets hot in July.


Go ahead -- smack your forehead -- you deserve it.

In the middle of the vegetable garden is the same concept -- different execution. This free standing structure is strong enough, with enough slats and openings for vines to crawl up and around. The shade the vines will provide make a perfect hideaway for shade loving plants AND people.

Want to see more of the veggie garden?  
I wrote all about it at Houzz last week, head on over and take a look at Longwood Garden's Vegetable Test Gardens.

Just don't smack your forehead too many times -- you might leave a bruise...

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23 April 2012

Don't Make it Difficult.... | How to Grow Potatoes in Your Backyard

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Don't make it difficult...if it doesn't have to be.

Some things are inherently difficult.
Working through marital fights is difficult.
Learning to say you're sorry is difficult.
Teaching your little boy child not to pee in the courtyard of his Lutheran preschool courtyard on the statue of the Virgin Mary -- difficult.
Planting potatoes? Not so difficult.

Don't waste time fretting over a plant like potatoes. They have a few basic needs, but are otherwise tough as nails. Last year, I put a bunch of potato parts (trimmed from the potatoes we were eating for dinner) in my vegetable bed. I forgot about them and layered my veggie bed with plastic Target bags, mulch and newly planted vegetables. Like a good weed, the potatoes surprised me by pushing aside the bags...and the mulch...and the other veggies. They flourished and I got to eat potatoes.  (Want to see the experiment?  Click HERE!)

What do Root Crops Really NEED?

1. They need rich, somewhat loose soil. Any type of root crop really needs room to move and grow in the soil. If you don't have loose soil, buy cheap potting soil, a bag of builder's sand (not sandbox sand) and mix the two with your leftover eggshells and coffee grounds. Plant potatoes in piles of the mix or in a pot and watch the magic happen.

2. They need sun. Some plants grow well in shade -- potatoes are not one of them. They will reach towards the light and get spindly. Your harvest won't be great. Give them a little sun and they'll give you a lot of potatoes.

3. Water. If you live in an area with decent rainfall, they should do just fine on their own. If you live in a desert, they'll need a little extra water.

I planted my potato parts in my veggie beds which are in the sun and have decent soil. We get rain here in PA, so I didn't water once. I literally forgot about these plants until they were adults and producing food. That is the way much of my garden works. Plant it and forget it. Then rejoice when it produces. The losers that never grow? I don't buy them again.

DON'T MAKE IT DIFFICULT.  This goes for potatoes, chives, onions, asparagus, peony and bulbs like tulips, daffodils, dahlias and glads.  Any plant that is concentrated on growing a root or bulb are easy to grow, but easy to drown.  Get the plant  in decent soil and spend the bulk of your time figuring out the best place for your plant to grow based on sun needs.  Then LEAVE it ALONE!  Overwatering will kill these plants quicker than anything.   Overfertilizing will make them grow too spindly.  Overpruning will put too much effort into leaves when you want the effort to go into the roots.  LEAVE THEM ALONE.

DON'T MAKE IT DIFFICULT if it doesn't have to be.

Lesson of the day -- learn it

Lesson of my life...still learning...

22 April 2012

The Smell of Baby

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You know on 'Everybody Loves Raymond' how Frank used to be creepy and smell the twins heads "drinking in their youth" or something? I think that was one of the few times I really related to Frank.

What is it about baby skin that smells the way it does. Sweat and dirt seem to make it even better. Suntan lotion, baby sweat and sand should be bottled. It would sell like crazy.

Do you ever close the doors during naptime just so the baby smell "builds up" in the room so when you open the door, the smell of baby kind of wraps you up and envelops you? I know you sometimes dig your nose into those little baby folds of skin on their necks to drink in the smell. It is beautiful and sweet and everything wonderful about the world. Of course, sometimes babies do that horrible thing they do and you open up the naptime door to a little poop in the pants, which kind of ruins the effect. You know what I'm talking about though - don't you?

Baby smell is the best...and I am so sad my bebe is passing the line from baby to stinky so quickly. I keep holding onto that smell...how many more months will he smell like tiniest one instead of like a growing boy?

Is this the trick that God uses to get us to have more? and more? and more?

Do we long for that smell of baby sweat, the chubby hands of toddlers and those tiny little baby lips so we'll propagate the race?

If so it is a nasty trick because it works FAR too well.

Excuse me while I go take a whiff of my sleeping baby...

20 April 2012


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Welcome to PARTY on a PENNY week! 
 I hope you are here to share YOUR secrets for a great party!

Here are the "rules" --

Please link up anything party related -- cheap party games, cupcake recipes, free printables, etc.
Please DON'T link up things that have nothing to do with a PARTY!

It isn't required, but I would appreciate it if you used the PARTY on a PENNY button in your post
or simply PIN this post!

Visit at least 2 people ahead of you or behind you to get the most out of the party.
People LOVE when you come and say Hello at a party!! 


I'm also going to ask you to also link up OTHER people's posts! (I know--crazy right!) Did you stumble upon a great resource when planning a party last summer? Link it up! Did you find the BEST chocolate cake recipe for your 3 year old's party? Link it up! You know who I am going to link up? 2 blogger friends that throw the BEST parties and have the BEST decorations:


They are both SO good and definitely my party planning HEROS.  Amazing work and they put my efforts to shame!!

OK y'all - let's get going! SHARE-SHARE-SHARE!

Missed a post this week?

FRIDAY - YOUR party ideas -- link them up!

19 April 2012


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Good afternoon all!

In case you missed it, I wanted to tell y'all about the new group PIN-FAIL and PINTASTIC boards I made for us. Basically, you pin anything that fails miserably into the PIN-FAIL board and anything that is brilliant into the PINTASTIC board. We are basically creating a little club of true "consumer reports" among like minded girls!   ...and PS -- DON'T BE MEAN!  We are saying whether something works or doesn't work -- remember it could be YOU doing the recipe wrong...so be polite with your PIN-FAILS!

 If you think you would like to be a contributer to the board, just let me know your pinterest name and we'll get you hooked up!  If you would like to just follow along, we welcome you!!!

Until then -- be PINTASTIC!

Check out the PINTASTIC board right HERE!
Check out the PIN-FAIL board right HERE!
(just a sidenote, the pintastic board has like 2 followers while the PIN-FAIL board has almost 500...wonder what THAT says...)

PARTY on a PENNY WEEK | The WalMart Salsa Bar

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Welcome back to party on a penny! 

Today's post is a simple concept, but one I hope encourages you to make the best of what you have!

Remember the Jungle Animals/Diego party I showed you on Tuesday?
Well, we went full steam with the Mexicana party theme and the food was all as authentic Mexican as we could make it.  Alex and I had just gotten back from our trip to the Yucatan, so we were a little inspiiiiiiired.

Alex made enchiladas and refried beans from scratch, I made my "stale tortilla - tortilla chips", We served Mezcal Crema instead of Sour Cream, fresh limes on everything, and we bought jars of salsa from WalMart.  ...and they were WalMart brand.  Yup - we used WalMart salsa with all of our home baked stuff.  We got a little lazy at the end :)

I wasn't about to let those WalMart jars ruin the look though.  I whipped out some glass bowls, decanted three different types of salsa, topped them with fresh cilantro and quickly scribbled out some nametags for them.  I tried to be all creative with my nametags like "Fresh White Corn and Roasted Jalapeno with a hint of Chipotle aged in the salt breezes of Cancun", but I think I was the only one who thought they were funny.  Well, that's not true, I think my SIL Kjerstin laughed at my nametags, but the boys definitely missed the girl humor.

Of course, my mind kind of went blank with the plain old salsa, so it sadly got "Medium Red Tomato".  In any case, you get the idea!  Don't let store bought items get you down -- just spice them up and nobody will ever know the difference (unless you write a blog post and tell them....)

Want the recipes???  Check out Alex's MEZCAL CREMA and my HOMEMADE Stale tortilla - tortilla chips!

What is YOUR best party food idea? 
Get ready, because TOMORROW is YOUR chance to link up all of your party ideas!! No limits!

18 April 2012

The Weekly Rhubarb | Fertilize or Forget it?

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This post brought to you by Scotts®. All opinions are 100% mine.

Welcome to the Weekly Rhubarb here at the Nest for all Seasons.  Today's topic?  Fertilizing grass.  You might not think grass is very controversial, but mention fertilizing lawns to 10 people and 2 of them will go crazy on you.  One will claim that you are the devil for sprinkling toxins on your grass.  The other will go on and on and on and on about how to fertilize correctly to create the absolutely perfect P.E.R.F.E.C.T. lawn.  The other 8?  They will look at you weird.
So today you might be looking at me weird, you might be ready to drop the hammer on my fertilizing words or you might be ready to give me all the advice in the world.

Bring it on.

The comment section is open and anticipating YOUR advice, your opinion , your stance on the issue.

Here is the lowdown --
Grass is just like any other plant.  It needs sun, water and food.  That food can come from two basic places -- organic additives or chemical additives.  There are pluses and minuses to both.  Typically I err on the side of going as natural as we can go, but sometimes you just need chemicals.

Case in point...
Your kid is sick...natural remedies are great.
Your kid gets sicker...you need a drug.
Case #2
You have fruit flies on your plants...natural yellow sweet traps will do the job.
Hornets in the attic?  Chemicals please.
Case #3
Your lawn is brown.  Try a little water and let the clippings fall to nourish the soil.
Your lawn turns black in spring in the midst of rainshowers.  You need Scotts® Snap® Spreader System.

Now you might wonder why you need "system" to spread fertilizer on your lawn.  I wondered that too.  that was the year I was 23 years old, bought a bag of fertilizer and sprinkled it around my postage stamp yard in Nebraska.  Little did I know that people have those little rolling fertilizer carts for a REASON.  My postage stamp yard had little grass pimples all year long.  You see, my "even" throwing wasn't quite so even and everywhere too much fertilizer landed, the grass went crazy and grew tall and green while the rest of the lawn still looked sad.  OOPS.
Now back on the other side of the coin -- I usually stay away from fertilizers and depend on compost to do the job for me.  ...but what do you do when compost isn't enough?   Anything but throwing clumps of fertilizer randomly into the yard.  Trust me - don't do it.  the neighbors will laugh behind their hands.
So how do the systems work?  Typically you pour the fertilizer into the little cart and walk around your yard hoping no one sees you.  (It is not the coolest gig.)  The Scotts System is a little cooler though because the pac snaps right onto the spreader, so no mess all over the floor.  (If only they made one of those for CHICKEN FEED!)
Need more proof?  Read the testimonials and check out the Snap perks on Facebook!

So what is your take?  Fertilizer or no?  Is your grass dead?  Does it do just fine on its own? 
Have you ever played the fool and sprinkled fertilizer on your lawn by hand? 

No?  I'm alone?  Oh the shame...

Visit Sponsor's Site

PARTY on a PENNY WEEK! | Favors + Food = GAMES

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Welcome back to Party on a Penny Week!

Remember Monday when I told you all about our pirate party?  
Well I left out something important....THE FOOD!

We had the classic birthday food (hot dogs!) and I couldn't think of anything brilliant to make them pirate themed, but I DID find some gold whales (instead of goldfish) at the dollar store.  Pirates meet whales on the open seas, right?  RIGHT.  Instead of simply piling them on the plates, they were also a party game.

While the hot dogs were finishing, every kid got a plate and a handful of whales.  I gave them "tasks" and whoever finished first earned a gold "coin" (butterscotch candy).  Easy stuff like:

Stack 5 whales on top of each other.
Make a circle around the rim of your plate.
Write the first letter of your name.
Make 3+2+4+5.
Whatever.   You can get creative or keep it simple based on ages.

The kiddos were much more into this than I thought they would be, so score 1 for mama~!

If you remember from Monday's post, the kids already had "treasures" from the trunk for their favor bags and then they earned gold 'butterscotch' coins from the whale game, so their treat bags are filling up.  Add to the treats gold chocolate coins.  I used these for a ton of games.  The first and easiest was a simple hunt around the porch and garden.  Hide them better than you think you need to - kids are SMART and it is no fun to hunt for obvious stuff!  Make it difficult!  I also used them as rewards for the tossing game and a trampoline game...you could use them for anything.  Gold wrapped chocolate anything is never bad...and they sell them in the bulk section of the grocery store, so the price isn't bad!
So when it was all said and done, the kiddos had stuffed favor bags, 
my kids had goldwhale snacks for a week and played pirate games for 2.   
Parties don't have to be elaborate, just imaginative!

Now go party!!

I've got one more post tomorrow, but my ideaas are drying up - I NEED YOU!
Remember to come back FRIDAY to link up YOUR ideas, pictures, party printables and MORE!

Missed a post this week?

FRIDAY - YOUR party ideas -- link them up!

17 April 2012

PARTY on a PENNY WEEK! | NOTHING should be leftover!

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WELCOME to the nest for PARTY on a PENNY Week!
Did you miss yesterday's post?   You can read about the $25 Pirate Party Games HERE.  
Remember to get your posts ready to link up on FRIDAY!

On to more penny saving party ideas....
One of the ways I keep party costs down is by making sure that most everything has a dual purpose.  If it is part of a game, it should also be a favor.  If it is a food supply, I should try to turn it into a game.  Are there kickboards on clearance at WalMart?  Perfect.  The boys need them for summer and I've got the perfect game.....

What kind of game can you play with kickboards????
Why Couch Wack-a-Gator of course!
Wack an alligator kickboard in this case....

Then there was the theme of the party to begin with.  I get the opinions from the boys and then take one and run with it.  Earlier this year, littlest bebe got a Diego/ Jungle Animal Party (hence the alligator's popping up behind the couches).  We had some room decals hidden away from Nana that worked perfectly for games, decor and a craft activity the day before for all the boys.  The poster board was leftover from some photos, so this little game was basically free.   I did a simple rendition of red light-green light using march, swing and look in your telescope based on the posters.  Easy, cheap and fun once the kids got the hang of how to do it.

Those room decals were placed on balloons, sealed up treat bags and plastered on walls.  Speaking of treat bags....they were full of little animal crackers in baby and mama sizes.  We used both in a mama-baby matching game that used up time before dinner was served.

Wondering about those animal print fabrics covering the table?  They are remnants from WalMart (can you tell where I shopped for this party?) rolled over on the edges and layered for the table.  They cost about $5 for 3 lengths of the fabric and the plan is to actually make a shirt out of them at some point.

The big purchase of the day?  Regular priced animal print napkins ($3) and animal face plates ($2).  All-in-all the party supplies (games, decorations and paper supplies) cost around $20.  ...and I've got three kickboards and a bunch of fabric for a shirt (hopefully) leftover!

Get ready to share your best party secrets!  It is party time here at the nest and while I am sharing my PARTY on a PENNY stories, I want you to get ready to share any tips and tricks YOU might have!  There will be a new post every day until FRIDAY when it is your turn!  Make sure to get linked up and share your stuff!!!

Missed a post this week?

FRIDAY - YOUR party ideas -- link them up!

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