Friday, January 31, 2014

Happy Chinese New Year!

free dragon printable via craft jr.

Do you believe in horoscopes? I don't really, but when last year's prediction included stuff like-- watch out for your health, lay low and hunker down, and don't invest in anything because you'll probably lose your shirt (not in exactly those words, but you get the drift)-- it's not a big surprise that I was kinda happy to see the Year of the Snake end. And Snake… really?? I mean, you may as well just call it Year of the Big Hairy Spider… Bleh. So I'm happy to usher in the Year of the Horse!

Since my MIL is Chinese-- via Hong Kong and Peking (Beijing), we rang in the New Year with a family dinner and some good Chinese grub. According to my MIL, it is Chinese tradition to celebrate New Year's Eve with family over a lot of good food. Or as she puts it… The family that eats together, stays together. True that. I'm not sure if we ate all of the "traditional" foods, but there was a lot of seafood, noodles and some of the stuff that you typically see at Chinese banquets. Yum, yum and yum.

I'm still stuffed. My New Year's resolutions, Part II starts tomorrow.  :)

Have a great weekend!!!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

From the Archives // Valentine's Day Projects for Kids

Over the past few years I've made Valentine's Day Cards for my kids to hand out to their classmates. It started out as something fun to do… Remember when those 3D photo cards came out? I think I first saw them in 2009. Then I started to get a little more creative and personalize the cards to what my kids were into at the time. The last couple of years it's all about sugar-free Valentine treats. Our school has all the kids from the same grade exchange Valentines… When everyone gives candy, it seriously feels like Halloween in February. Our little sugar-free treats just balance out all the candy, or in the case of the party blower, probably enhance the sugar high!  ;)

It was fun to look at all of these again… Like a walk down memory lane! 

Click "Read more" for the full post

Monday, January 27, 2014

Make // Party Blower Valentine's Day Cards- Free Printable

Last week I shared my 7-year old's Mustache Valentine's Day cards for his 2nd grade class. Today, I'm sharing my 5-year old's cards for his Kindergarten class--

To know my 5-year old is to love him. In our family, he's the life of the party. We'll probably have to worry about that more later on, but right now he's all about squawking loud noises, confetti and dancing around like a lunatic basically having a good time. So Party Blower Valentines are not only apropos, but kind of necessary.

 Click "Read more" for the Free Printable & Tutorial

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Make // Bath Accessories with Mod Podge Sheer Colors

I'm a sucker for transparent, beautiful colors and, if you've been following this blog for a bit, you've probably noticed that I also enjoy working with glass. So when the opportunity came up to work with the new Mod Podge Sheer Colors, my mind was bouncing around with the endless possibilities. Over the past year or so, you've probably seen a lot of techniques for coloring glass-- colored mason jars, anyone? Some techniques are more effective than others and many have a learning curve. Well, Mod Podge Sheer Colors takes out the guess work and makes coloring glass simple and easy.

After tossing around several project ideas, I decided to go with one that is not only visually pretty, but will also tackle one of the organizational projects that I have planned for this year.

The Project: Organize My Vanity

While this may not seem like a big "task"… For me, it is. For the last several years I've kept all of my cosmetics, including brushes, eyeliners, and lipsticks in a deep, bottomless travel case. While this is great for when we actually do travel (since I don't have to pack anything up), it's a bit of a mess when it comes to my daily routine. shuffle, shuffle... Lipstick, where are you? dump, dump… Where did my blush brush go? shuffle, ouch! darn you tweezers! I know there's eyeliner in there somewhere… So, procrastinator that I am, getting my vanity organized is a big deal.  :)

After a trip to the store to peruse some inexpensive vases, I decided to use stemless wine glasses. They're wide enough to hold a lot of supplies, but short enough so that items can easily be identified, pulled out and put back. Next up was choosing a color. Mod Podge Sheer Colors has nine very pretty, translucent options. I decided to go with sheer purple, which I think is reminiscent of radiant orchid, Pantone's 2014 color of the year. Our master bath is a very boring white and cream, so really, any pop of color is a welcome addition.

Click HERE for the Tutorial

Monday, January 20, 2014

Make // Mustache Valentine's Day Cards - Free Printable

We're no strangers to mustaches around here-- see our funny lil' man party  and cowboy party. Since they are fun and also a sugar-free option, I thought we'd incorporate them into my 7-year old's class Valentine's Day cards. I made a couple of versions.

One that's a straightforward declaration…

And another that's more for the faint of heart (aka, one that won't embarrass a 2nd grade boy)...

Click "Read more" for the free printable cards

Friday, January 17, 2014

Noteworthy // 1.17.2014

I'm not sure what happened to this week. I worked on a few projects, handled a few duties for school,  and suddenly it's Friday again. It's one of those weeks where I've been productive, and yet, I have nothing to show for it. So you'll have to trust me when I say that there will be some new projects up on the blog next week.

One of the projects that I'm working on is for an exciting new craft product that will be launching at the end of the month. I'm not going to give away too much (boo! I know…) but I'm pretty sure it'll catch your fancy. Watch out for the post next week.

I've also put together the boys' Valentine's Day cards. Like last year's versions, they're candy-free and fun. I'm still tweaking things here and there, but I'll be sharing them next week as well. 

In the meantime, here are a few things that caught my eye this week...

Click "Read more" for the full post

Friday, January 10, 2014

Noteworthy // 1.10.14

I'm still trying to shoo away the last remnants of holiday decor. Christmas tree... I'm talking to you. However, although it may not seem like it, I'm mentally prepared to take on the new year. While the holidays are fun and hectic, January is like a sigh of relief for me. Aside from a couple of events that I'm responsible for towards the end of the month and keeping up with the kids' sports schedule, the rest of January is time for me to restart again on my own terms. Restarting includes setting some realistic goals for 2014. I want to think these through, so that there's actually a chance that I may fulfill some of them by the end of the year.

How about you? Are you ready for a new year? And are you setting any goals?

Here are some smart ways to kick off 2014.

Click "Read more" for the full post

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Make // Rainbow Loom Bracelets... A Tutorial Round-up

O.M.G. I'm not the only adult staying up late, watching YouTube and making bracelets out of rubber bands... Am I? I don't know what it is, but something about the bracelet-making process is addictive-- Is it learning the pattern? The repetition? The satisfaction of pulling the final product off the loom to the cheers of young children? *slight exaggeration*. While it is a somewhat addictive process, sometimes I find myself wishing that the final product wasn't made out of rubber bands... Maybe I need to take up knitting or something.

Anyhow, after spending time watching many rubber band bracelet tutorials, and getting frustrated with a few of them, I thought I'd put together a list of my favorites. I prefer tutorials with photos and written description, but it seems that most of the rubber band bracelet tutorials out there are videos.

I've weeded through several tutorials and here are some of the ones that have worked for me.

Click "Read more" for the full post

Friday, January 3, 2014

Year in Review // My Favorite Posts in 2013

Yesterday I pulled together the most read, most liked, most popular posts in 2013 by you, the reader. Today, er... Tonight, I'm sharing MY favorite posts of 2013.

After 9 months of deciding where to hang this, I finally figured it out. It was almost like giving birth... Er, nev'r mind.  It's nice to look at from afar and when I get close, the photos, and the memories that go with them, just suck me in. Slooop!

So pretty and ethereal... Not to mention economical (epson salts & colored chalk). And you should see the eggs when they light up! hint: click the link!

This was a Pin It / Make It project that I put together on the cheap-- $1 gloves and a $.25 sheet of craft felt. So much for my Pin It / Make It "series" though... this is the one and only.  :)

I still have this hanging in my office (aka that little desk-thing in the kitchen) and it's very good at keeping track of all the little notes that I leave for myself. 'Cause, you know, if I don't write it down... (sigh)

Click "Read more" for the full post

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Year in Review // 2013 Most Popular Posts

Why hello there! How was your week? I feel like I was in some sort of time warp and can't account for the last several days. It was Christmas, I blinked, and now we're 2 days into 2014. Whooosh! Crazy how that happens.

Whether you're working or taking time off, I hope that the past week has been a good one. We enjoyed some much needed down time at our place in San Diego. It was nice to unplug for a bit and reflect upon the year gone by.

I always like reading "year in review" posts, so here's ours.

bliss bloom blog's top posts of 2013

I guess you guys like upcycle/recycle projects? This was a fun one and I'm now dreaming up earth day projects for 2014.

Click "Read more" for the full post