About Miniviolet

I'm a Tracy trying to be a Holly. Pull up a chair, pour yourself a glass of mommy juice, and follow my adventures. If you're not bored yet, read more about me here.
  • Verse of the Day

    ““‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.”

    Brought to you by BibleGateway.com. Copyright (C) NIV. All Rights Reserved. (Leviticus 19:18, NIV)


  • An 8 Year Old’s Boat Party!

    This year my youngest wanted a party themes around boats.  All kinds of boats!  Sail boats, power boats, pirate ships, cruise ships, submarines…you get the picture!  I searched pinterest and google and we came up with a boatload of ideas!

    First for the invitation.  I used a combination of ideas I found online for the wording and the layout.

    I used these cute vector images for some of the graphics.  Nautical Clip Art Vectors

    And this super cute scrapkit by Erica Zane over at Sweet Shoppe Designs.  Cruisin’

    invite front

    invite front

    invite back

    invite back

    Then it was time for some party ideas!  My son loved the pirate ship cake ideas that we found here.  We took his favorite parts and came up with our pirate ship cake.  The bottom water was a yellow cake mix with pre-made icing that even came with tiny fish sprinkles (I think it was Pilsbury).  The ship was a chocolate cake mix baked into 2 loaf pans.  We then stacked and carved into a ship shape.  A few skewers and printed pirate flags, malted milk ball cannonballs, rolos gold, pepperidge farm piroutte cookie sidings, and candle cannons and we were set!

    IMG_5746

    Pirate Ship Cake

    IMG_5745

    Pirate Ship Cake

    IMG_5790-blur

    Cannons ready to fire!

    IMG_5734

    Pirate Flags


    IMG_5744

     

    For the rest of our ideas and decorations, we found inspiration for a cardboard sailboat here.  I used 2 large boxes from the packaging section at WalMart, and a foam presentation board cut in half diagonally for the sail.  The stripes are blue painters tape.

    Our homemade sailboat

    Our homemade sailboat

    We drew inspiration for a watermelon ship of fresh fruit from here.  In the background you can also see little boats of candy.

    Watermelon ship

    Watermelon ship

    The kids had hot dog boats and the adults had sub sandwiches.

    Sub sandwich boats

    Sub sandwich boats

    Hot Dog ships

    Hot Dog ships

    Sub sandwich boats

    Sub sandwich boats

    We even made twinkie submarines!  Each child made their own.

    Twinkie Submarine

    Twinkie Submarine

    IMG_5781

    I used these little “boat” fast food trays for the plates.

    For the fun, it was pretty unstructured and they just ran around and had fun in the backyard!  We had a table set up with some foam boat kits, foam ships, foil, and duct tape.  They could create boats, and then they used straws to have boat races across the hot tub portion of the pool.  And a bonus…no kids fell in!  Although two did think they could float their twinkie submarines…

    Boat races

    Boat races

    For party favors, I found these cute little mason sippers on Amazon.  I added these nautical straws, some pirate tattoos, and some fun spring pin wheels I found at Hobby Lobby (on sale).

    IMG_5748

    Party Favors

    IMG_5749

    Party Favors

    All in all, a fun party!  The Birthday Party was thrilled and they all had fun.  None of the items were difficult to make, and the best was that after the food was put out, my part was finished!  They just ran around and had fun.  Low-key, old-fashioned fun!

    If you need more boat themed inspiration, you can take a look at my Pinterest board where I gathered my ideas.

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    Butterfly Haven

    This summer I planted a few vining plants along the partial fence that blocks our trashcans from view of the street.  I planted passion flower vines because I love the blooms and I knew butterflies liked them.  I also planed a few moon vine seeds to kind of “fill in” and give some different blooms in the evening.  I thought it would be an extra bonus if the passion flower blooms drew in a few butterflies, and I had seen them growing in the butterfly garden at Heard Museum.  Boy oh boy, I had no idea of the relationship between butterflies and passion flower!  Specifically the Gulf Fritillary.

    Gulf Fritillary

    Gulf Fritillary

    As it turns out, the passion vine is the host plant for the Gulf Fritillary.  It is the only plant that the caterpillars eat, and it was covered in caterpillars very shortly after planting!  So I had to decide to either kill the caterpillars and enjoy my vines, or let the caterpillars have at it and enjoy the nature lesson this summer.  We decided to go with the nature lesson.  We’ve really had a lot of fun with it!  Adam especially loves coming out to check the vine with me to see what we can find.  The moon vine really took off also, so between the caterpillars munching on the passion vine and the moon vine taking over, the passion flowers have been few and far between.

    Mix of Passion and Moon Vines

    Mix of Passion and Moon Vines

    We’ve been able to see most of the butterfly life cycle, and it’s been a lot of fun!

    The butterflies come and hover all around the vines finding spot to lay their eggs.  They usually end up on the passion vines, but several also on the moon vine.

    Finding the right spot

    Finding the right spot

    Laying her egg

    Laying her egg

    New caterpillar egg!

    New caterpillar egg!

    The caterpillars are just everywhere, munching away on my poor vine.  I admit to a little selective breeding now and then and I pick some of them off…there won’t be any more vine before too long!

    munch, munch

    munch, munch

    We’ve even been fortunate enough to see one turn into a chrysalis!  This guy is getting ready to start the process.

    Chrysalis bound

    Chrysalis bound

    The last few weeks we’ve found chrysalises everywhere!

    on the fence

    on the fence

    on the vines

    on the vines

    even on bicycle spokes!

    even on bicycle spokes!

    The only thing we haven’t seen directly is a butterfly hatching.  There are plenty of empty chrysalises, but we haven’t witnessed the event.  The closest I’ve come was this little guy drying out his wings after hatching.  Just missed it!

    freshly hatched, drying out her wings

    freshly hatched, drying out her wings

    New Gulf Fritillary

    New Gulf Fritillary

     

    Maybe next year I’ll get some flowers!

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    Doll Tea Party

    Last week my sweet girl turned 9.  For her party she wanted to have a doll tea party.  I had so much fun putting this one together!

    Doll Tea Party Invitation

    I used the free digital scrap kit Tea Party by fa maura for the invitation.  I was a little nervous downloading it from a foreign site, but all was good and it is super cute…and FREE!  The inspiration for the invitation (and much of my party!) came from ewehooo’s beautiful work.  The rest of my inspiration, especially the cake!, came from the wonderful work over at Our Scoop.

    Tea Pot Cake

    Tea Pot Cake

    Tea Cup Cupcakes

    Tea Cup Cupcakes

     

    The cake was made with 2 bundt cakes.  I trimmed the top (actually I guess it would be the bottom when you turn it out of the pan?) of both cakes and put them together with icing.  Foam board was cut to make the spout and handles.  The tea cups were made with an oversized muffin tin, iced on the sides in pink, and chocolate on the top.  Foam board was used to make the handles.

    I had fun shopping the thrift and resale stores and found several cute tea pots, pitchers, and other glassware to use as decorations, and even a full cup and saucer set that we used for our “tea” (it was lemonade) and then the girls took them home as part of their party favor.  The whole set was only $6!  It came with a sugar bowl, and the lid ended up perfect as the lid on my tea pot cake!

    doll tea party decorations

    doll tea party decorations

    doll tea party decorations

    doll tea party decorations

    doll tea party decorations

    doll tea party decorations

    For other food I found some great ideas over at Sweetapolita.  I made her Cake Batter and Sprinkle Bark, and Sprinkled Chocolate Party Spoons.

    Cake Batter Sprinkle Bark

    Cake Batter Sprinkle Bark

    Sprinkle Chocolate Spoons

    Sprinkle Chocolate Spoons

    The fruit and marshmallow kabobs were also a hit, and not pictured are some sandwiches that were cut out with flower cookie cutters.

    Fruit and Marshmallow Kabobs

    Fruit and Marshmallow Kabobs

    As a bonus, when I walked past the $1 aisle at Target 2 days before the party, the items marked Easter were 70% off!  I picked up these cute little bags for .30 each.  They all picked out bangle bracelets to wear and a pair of stick on earrings, and then we made our tea hats!  I used large sheets of foam board to cut out ovals, then cut a hole out of the center for the top of their head.  They decorated them with sparkles and “jewels”, and Viola!…tea party hats!

    tea party gift bags

    tea party gift bags

    making tea hats

    making tea hats

    tea party hat

    tea party hat

    It was a great party and a happy 9 year old!  I hope your find some ideas for your own Doll Tea Party!

    tea pot cake

    tea pot cake

    Doll Tea Party

    Doll Tea Party

    You can see my Doll Tea Party Inspiration Pinterest Board here.

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    Crash Hot Potatoes

    My Pinterest “Recipes to Try” board is filling up faster than I will ever be able to cook them all!  I’ve found a few duds in there, but for the most part it has added some nice variety to our old line-up of meals.  This new find is a definite keeper though!  I’m pretty sure that Crash Hot Potatoes will be making a regular appearance in our side dishes from now on.  Sorry I don’t have a better picture for you…I didn’t remember until the end of the meal and this poor, lone potato was the only survivor.

    Crash Hot Potatoes

    The original Pin I followed came from For the Love of Cooking.  I love her idea of topping them with sour cream, although I did not do that this time.  From there I followed the recipe back to The Pioneer Woman.  When I saw that, I knew it had to be good!  LOVE Pioneer Woman recipes.  I followed Pioneer Woman’s recipe almost exactly.  I didn’t have any fresh herbs, but I did sprinkle with fresh ground sea salt, fresh ground pepper, and some Italian blend spices.  Delicious!!  I’m not going to post the full recipe here since it is not mine, but follow one of the above sites and you won’t regret it!

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    Talkin’ Trash

    The first blog post.  I’m supposed to WOW you all with my witty insights and keep you coming back for more.  Big pressure.  I’m probably not supposed to be trashy in my very first post, but I’m going for it.  We’re going to Talk some Trash.

    We recently celebrated my “baby’s” 4th birthday, and he is ALL about the trash trucks these days.  I’m not sure how many toy trash trucks he owns now.  What’s a mommy to do when her son wants a trash truck birthday party?

    She googles.

    She pins.

    She copies.

    And then she shares so you can copy too!

    I was actually amazed at how much I found on the internet!  My son is definitely not the only one enthralled with the garbage trucks.

    First a little credit as to where I got most of my inspiration.  Aimee at Chickenville had an awesome cake design.  Pink Peppermint Blogger had a TON of ideas!  More great ideas at Create Studio, Babadoo Designs, and This Side of Sunny.  Amazing inspiration!

    Now for my take on throwing a Trashy Party!

    DISCLAIMER:  I am NOT a cake decorator.  I am not claiming to be.  I know I have crumbs in my icing.  I know my icing is not smooth.  I know my lettering is not straight or perfect.  I perform this labor of love 4 times a year, and their excited faces when they see their cakes make it all worthwhile.   Thankfully they are not as critical as we tend to be 😉

    Trash Truck Cake

    The cake is made from one loaf pan and one square pan cut in half.  I placed the loaf size cake on the bottom, and half of the sqare cake on top for the truck body.  The cab is the other half of the square, cut in half again for the bottom of the cab, and then a rectangle up on top for the top of the cab.  The wheels were the highly coveted chocolate donuts.  Candles make the smokestacks, and round candies make the lights.  A cavity was cut out int he back of the truck to form the hopper, and filled with crumbled oreos for the trash.    When I’m making a cake that will be cut into a shape, I like to use this cheater pound cake recipe.  Makes a heavier cake that is easier to “carve”, and I always freeze it before cutting and frosting to try and minimize the crumbs.  I can’t seem to totally master the no crumbs in my frosting though.  I used the extra batter to make some mini-cupcakes and put little toothpick signs in them.  The cake was a hit!

    I made a special t-shirt for the birthday boy, and he LOVED it!  I just bought a cheap t-shirt at WalMart and used the printable iron-on transfer after I made my design on the computer.

    Trash Talker t-shirt

     

    We had 2 games.  The first was a bean bag toss.  I found this cute little trash can with swinging lid at the Dollar Store.  I made a few mini-beanbags with scrap material and we were in business!

    Bean Bag Toss

    The second was the great idea on found on several blogs…picking up trash!  Yes, you can make picking up trash into a game!  I loved the “trash grabber” idea I found and looked and looked for some affordable grabbers. This was a party on a budget, and I couldn’t pay $5-$10 for each grabber arm!  I finally struck gold when I found some at the Dollar Store.  They weren’t as “cute” as others, but they did the job and they had a GREAT time with them!  I threw wadded up newspaper around the back yard, and a few other recycle-able objects, and they ran around and grabbed them up and raced them back to the recycle bin.  Who knew trash could be such fun?

    A trashy game

    Instead of a goody bag of candy and junk toys, each child took home a grabber and a water bottle.  They had a sticker with “Talkin’ Trash at Adam’s 4th Birthday Bash!” on them.   Fun times were had by all!

    water bottle party favors

    This simple invitation made at home and printed on cardstock.

    Invitation

    Invitation

    You can see my Pinterest board full of trashy ideas here!

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