3/16/15

DIY Floral Lampshade

A new lamp shade can change a room. My favorites range from textured neutrals to a graphic design with some contrast. I have several lamp shades stored in my craft room that I switch out depending on my "decor mood" :)



I was sent this kit from "I Like That Lamp"--a site dedicated to demonstrating how easy it is to create your own lighting. They have created all-inclusive lamp and lampshade kits that make it easy to make a lamp you love. 




The kit includes everything you need to create a custom lamp shade-- that you love. All you need to provide is your favorite fabric and a paintbrush (to apply the included glue). 


Image via I Like That Lamp
The kit contains: 
-Adhesive Styrene Sheet
-Molding Stick
-Lampshade glue
-Top & Bottom Lampshade rings
-Binder Clips
-Illustrated step-by-step instructions
- Online 'quick guide' to help you determine the proper shade height & diameter for your base. 
Image via "Place of My Taste" featured on "I Like That Lamp"

The instructions are easy to follow for those who love a good DIY project. Simply apply fabric to the included adhesive styrene backing. Then secure the fabric on the rings with the included binder clips. Finally apply glue to the fabric to attach it to the rings. The illustrated instructions are easy to read!

There are also tips and tutorials to help with ideas and inspiration on the "I Like That Lamp" website. (One of my favorites is the springy floral lampshade by "Place of My Taste".)

Using some of my favorite black and white floral fabric, I made this lamp shade for my girl's room.  I added some gold glitter washi tape. (Gold glitter washi tape makes everything better.) 



The project didn't take long and it added a lot of design detail to the room. 




You can get your own kit at "I Like That Lamp" and create a custom shade for your home.

Thanks to "I Like That Lamp" for providing the kit. 
No compensation was received, opinions are all my own! 

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3/9/15

Winter in Cancun

I have worn both bikinis with flip flops and sweaters with boots -- in the same week! That's because Jeff and I spent a few days in Cancun, Mexico. And when we came home from our tropical trip, the 'ever-changing North Texas weather' brought four inches of snow. It was a crazy few days.

But back to the Mexico part.... I shared several photos from our long weekend on Instagram (@craftytexasgirl). But I thought I would add some here too. Because you never know when you will find yourself booking a trip to Cancun in the near future.


We stayed at the CasaMagna Resort in Cancun. We are "Marriott people" so we loved this resort. It was next to the JW Marriott. We had access to those pools, restaurants etc. as well. But we honestly preferred the Marriott to the JW.


We soaked up the warm weather, it was around 80 degrees and sunny. Late February in Cancun, Mexico is gorgeous. We ate, drank, and basically just relaxed by the ocean. 



Our Mexico trip coincided with our 12th wedding anniversary. We celebrated with massages at the resort spa and a fun dinner.



It was an amazing 4 days. Kind of hard to come home. Except for the fact that we missed our girls :) All that sunshine makes me excited for Winter to end and Spring to begin.


 
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2/28/15

What To Do When You're Snowed In With Kids

Well our magic chicken noodle soup recipe worked... school was closed on Monday due to 'inclement weather' aka ice. Then it was closed again on Tuesday, due to the refreezing of that ice. Aaaaaaaand then, it was delayed two hours on Wednesday due to snow. We then wrapped up the week with several inches of snow on Friday that led to an early dismissal! What a week!


For the most part, my girls play well together and are easily entertained. But still, getting 'snowed in' with kids can be sweet & sour. On the one hand, it is fun to have extra time together. Time to relax and take a break from a busy schedule. On the other hand, it is really easy to go 'stir crazy'!

So here are my favorite ideas for "What to Do When You're Snowed In With Kids" :) 

1. Get Outside. We don't have real 'winter' gear. But that didn't stop my girls from playing in the ice and snow. It did lead to some extra laundry, but it was worth it. I firmly believe that fresh air can cure anything! (Even cabin fever.)



2. Break out the Crafts. My girls are always getting craft/activity kids for gifts and we don't always have the time to sit down and enjoy them. Knowing you have nowhere to go... makes for the perfect time to give those activities a try. If you don't have craft kits on hand, cruise Pinterest for crafty ideas or science projects that are age appropriate for your crew. You would be surprised what you can make with items you already have at home.



3. Bake. There is something about cold weather that makes a person hungry. Let your kids help you in the kitchen. My girls wanted to make s'mores but we were out of graham crackers. So we put 4 mini marshmallows on a ritz cracker and microwaved it for 15 seconds. Then we topped it with a piece of Hershey chocolate and another ritz cracker. It was ahhh-mazing. I will never go back to graham crackers.


4. Turn on the TV. I am always fearful that I will rot my kids brain with television. But my husband sweetly reminded me "A few extra hours in front of the tv will not kill them!" When you are trying to keep everyone happy under unusual circumstances, tv is good. So I snuggled up on the couch and we watched Netflix movies. I had forgotten how fun those old Disney classics like "Swiss Family Robinson" are to watch.

5. Read. Read to your kids. Have them read to you. Grab a book you like and read to yourself while they look at books. Let them read to each other! My girls fell asleep in the same bed one night while they were reading to each other. So sweet!

6. Play. Sometimes we forget to just play with our kids. Puzzles, Wii games, dolls, legos etc.  Make a snowman or start a snowball fight. Do something silly or just give them your complete attention. My girls love for me to be the audience to their elaborately choreographed dance and singing shows. I have a friend who shared on facebook that she let her kids play "Fancy Hotel". She relaxed in bed while her kids 'spoiled' her with room service, fluffy towels, and great manners.



7. Be Social. If you have neighbors, invite them over for lunch, dinner or a playdate. Getting to socialize with others makes everyone feel better. On our second 'snow day' the roads were dry enough to drive, so we met friends nearby for lunch and a trip to Jump Street. It was good for us all to get out and talk to other people.



And remember, this too shall pass. The snow will eventually melt, everyone will go back to real life and busy schedules. So no matter how crazy you might feel while stuck in the house, your kids will remember those snow days. Their best days and favorite memories will always be the ones they got to spend with you.



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2/22/15

Homemade Noodles

It's Sunday and there are high hopes around here that school will be cancelled on Monday due to 'incelement weather'. In North Texas, we don't get much snow. But a good ice storm will shut the metroplex down. Which means today is the perfect day for comfort food.


I have shared this recipe before, but it is SO good it deserves to be shared again. It's my Grandmother's Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup. The thing that makes this recipe stand apart from all the other chicken noodle soups out there is that the noodles are homemade.

Have you ever had homemade noodles?  They are a game changer.



This is a photo of Afton making noodles with me back in 2012-- look at her little face! 
Today, both my girls wanted to help, but the little one lost interest after about 15 minutes. Homemade noodles aren't hard, but they take some effort (and they are a little messy). Which is why we only make them about once a year. And why Afton was so excited to get in on the action.



You can read my detailed recipe & instructions for making the soup here: "Chicken Noodle Soup".



“Recipe” for Grandma’s Chicken Noodle SoupIngredients Needed:
-chicken
-water
-chicken broth
-2 cans cream of chicken soup
-carrots
-celery
-onion
-salt, pepper, additional seasonings as desired
Noodles:
-flour
-eggs
-water
-salt


Afton is keeping her fingers crossed for a little snow.  And she really hopes school will be cancelled tomorrow so we can stay home together and eat left-over soup.


PS-If you try this recipe with your kiddos, snap a pic and post it to IG with the tag #craftytexasgirls :)



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2/16/15

"Tutus and Top Hats" Birthday Party

You know how I feel about parties. I love a cute theme and slightly 'over the top' decorations. I like detailed party tables and I think those ideas on Pinterest are adorable. (Even though I never do half of the ideas I pin. I really like to look at them all!)


I don't think anyone should feel pressured to do a "Pinterest" party. If party planning doesn't bring you joy, then skip it. Everyone has things they are good at.  We all shine in different ways, but learning to appreciate talents in others does make life sweeter. For some people, throwing a party is their 'thing'.  So if you are a  'party loving ' person - this post is for you :)

Which brings me to my friend Diana and the Tutus and Top Hats party she recently hosted. Her parties make me SO happy because I can see how much thought, time, and love she puts into them. I feel like she honestly wants her guests to feel delighted- and she does that through pretty decor, yummy food, and lost of attention to detail. I have as much fun at her parties as the kids do.


For her daughter's 2nd birthday, she hosted this "Tutus and Top Hats" party. When I walked in her home I literally clapped my hands. So much pink cuteness! Diana kindly let me snap some iphone pics to share with you :)


All the guests were given a tutu and wand or top hat and tie to wear during the party. The party accessories doubled as party favors.  (How adorable is the lil birthday girl?!)







Check out these little bows- made from paper napkins. 


The kids decorated sugar cookies and Valentines. The weather was warm, so they played outside too. 






There was yummy food and drinks. And can we admire this chandelier for a moment please??... so sparkly!



                     

And there was the sweetest little birthday girl who loved it all. Happy Birthday Miss L! 


Thank you Diana for hosting a delightful afternoon. Your creativity and passion for parties is so much fun! 



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