Friday, June 24, 2016

DIY Budget Party Decorations and Party Prep Tips

Everyone loves a party!  My favorite parties to give or attend are those celebrating someone special and their accomplishments. We are celebrating two graduations in our house this month, my son is graduating from college and my daughter is graduating from high school. I have taken some time away the last couple of weeks to fully appreciate, enjoy and celebrate my children and their hard earned success.  I have so much to share with you about some fun DIY projects I've done to decorate the party with a budget in mind and some party prep tips that can help you organized and prepare for your next party.  So make yourself a cup of coffee and sit back, this is a long post with many pictures and not one but two videos attached!

Part 1 DIY Party Decor - 
I love including photographs in my party decorating.  It allows you a peek into the honoree's life a bit and photos can so easily be adapted into so many budget friendly  DIY party decor ideas.  Since we were dealing with two different schools with two different sets of school colors, I opted to use my favorite colors and textures for the the party; chalkboard, burlap, twine and craft paper.

An easy way to work photos into your decor would be with a Photo Garland.

  So simple to make and they have such a big impact.   The only supplies needed are twine, mini clothes pins and a stack of pictures.  These photo garlands were in our dinning room where the buffet was laid out. One side of the room had photos of my daughter and the other side had photos of my son.  

Inspired by Pinterest, these photo jars were so fun and easy to put together that I ended up creating several to place throughout the party. I chose to use sand as my base for my jars but beads, rocks or colored sand can also be used.  Those mini clothespins came into play again attached to the photo it was easy to sink the pin into the sand to help the pic stand up.  Once closed the lid can be decorated however you want.  

I thought the jars looked great in the table centerpiece too.

Every graduation party needs a place to put cards and gifts.  This easy to make card box is also a great spot to add pictures of your special graduates.

I found this burlap covered lidded box at Hobby Lobby and I added some pictures to the inside of the lid.  I made a small "cards" banner and filled the bottom with burlap and a sprinkling of shredded paper.

I set the card box out on my china cabinet in the den along with pics of the kids and wallet sized graduation pictures for the guests to keep.

We also used our graduates pictures in our party invitation.  I am a bit old fashion, I think every good party begins with a formal snail mailed invitation.  There are so many online sites that allow you to upload some pictures and create an invitation perfect for your party.  I found a template on Snapfish that fit perfectly with our theme.

You can find more information about the DIY projects you see here by watching my YouTube video below:


Part 2 Party Prep -

I really enjoy prepping for a big party.  I start as far in advanced of the big day as possible, gathering ideas and recipes.  I keep everything organized in a party binder that I put together years ago.  Inside I keep details of the parties I've had in the past like menus, guest list etc. 

I keep all my working list in here from shopping list, timeline prep and even cleaning and organizing lists.  Especially with something like a graduation there is a lot of paper work to keep track of, cap/gown orders, announcement orders, graduation weekend schedules etc.  I always store any recipes that I will be making for a party in this binder as well.  It really is an invaluable tool to help me feel prepared.

I like to set out my dishes and platters, serving pieces and utensils on the buffet several days before the party.  It helps me visually see what I have and how its best organized on the table.  I also like to label every dish using a post it note with what will be put in every dish.  This helps me stay organized and also allows someone who is helping know where everything goes.

I wanted something special for our guest to sign with out being a formal guest book and Pinterest came through for me again.  We used the Dr. Seuss book "Oh The Places You'll Go"  for my daughter who will be going to school to be a Literature teacher.  Everyone wrote a little note to her with some special advise or just well wishes.  For my son, I had everyone sign a Jenga piece.  Everyone seem to enjoy the idea and we had so many laughs reading the messages.


We had stacks of announcements and invitations to send out and this envelope addressing stencil by The Lettermate was so helpful.  It is a stencil that you put over your envelopes that help you keep your lines straight.  If you are like me, I am good for about 10 envelopes and then my handwriting gets all wonky.  This little gadget was such a big help.  They can be found here and are under $10.  The Letterman website has such great ideas on fun and creative ways to address envelopes.

For more information on all these party prep ideas, please watch: 
Milestones, like graduations, are worth celebrating in a big way and so worth the time and effort put in.  I truly believe that these are the times of our lives that are remembered most.  If you have made it to the end of this post THANK YOU!  I have loved sharing our celebration with you.  I hope you will take a minute to subscribe to my channel on YouTube and to follow the blog.  Leave me a comment below and let me know what you are celebrating this month.  Until next time, I hope you love the life that you have and I will see you all next time.


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Saturday, May 21, 2016

Purse Organization Ideas

We have all done the dump.  You know, when you lost something in the black vortex that is your purse and you have no choice but to turn your bag upside down and DUMP everything out.  We all carry so many essentials in our purses that keeping everything organized can be a challenge. I have found that storing all my take along items in designated zippered pouches has completely solved the need to DUMP!

I have the contents of my purse separated into 4 different zippered pouches.  These pouches are essentially different sized cosmetic cases that can be found in any store.

I have a case for my sunglasses, my wallet, personal care items and my emergency kit.

I do not carry a traditional wallet. I like to have my wallet items organized in a very specific way (big surprise).

I like to separate my change, cash and credit cards/ID into separate pouches.  This is a system that has worked for me for years.  I always know where to find what I need.

I never carried cosmetic items with me until recently. As I have gotten older I have found that I like to have a few items with me to touch up my make-up throughout the day.  I always carry some lip products, hairspray, blush, a mirrored compact and this retractable Elf brush.

Probably my most important bag that I carry with me is my Emergency Kit/Mom Survival Kit.  This is a "kit" that I have put together over the years of all those essential items that I need to carry with me to give myself the sense of being prepared for whatever comes my way.  Must be a Boy Scout influence.  I think everyone should put a kit like this together and carry it with them daily.

In side I carry band-aids, hand sanitizer, lotion, meds, nail file, small toothbrush, deodorant, chapstick, sewing kit etc.  I can't tell you how many times this kit has saved me over the years.  You can find most of the items in the dollar spot section at Target, travel section or at the Dollar Tree.

I give more details and tips on Purse Organization on my YouTube channel video:


Thank you for visiting and I hope you found some of these ideas helpful. Having a well organized purse is a small way to help you get through your day, and isn't the small things that make the most difference?

Please take a minute to SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel and my blog so you will not miss what we are up to next.

Love Your Life,

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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Kitchen Cupboard & Drawer Organization: Quick, Cheap & Easy

I am back in the kitchen today with some quick, cheap and easy kitchen cupboard and drawer organization ideas using some of my very favorite inexpensive products.

Some very useful inexpensive organizing items are these dish pan containers from the Dollar Tree.  These pans are only $1.00 each and are great to use all throughout the house.  In my pantry cupboard I use 4 of these pans to store and separate my baking products, cake mixes, recipe packets and daily medicines.

I found the chalkboard removable decals at Michael's Craft Store.  Using an erasable chalk pen these decals can be changed easily when the contents of the pans change.

Mason jars are not just one of my favorite organizing items, they are one of favorite multi use items ever!  They too can be used all over the house to store so many things, but in the kitchen we use them for everything.  We use them as drinking glasses, to store left overs and in our pantry cupboard, we use them to store our different types of pasta, rice, bread crumbs and drink mix packets.  

These adorable chalkboard tags were found in the dollar spot at my favorite Target store.

Another great use of Mason jars is in your spice cabinet.  I love to cook and I cook everyday so I have a large collection of spices.  It was always so messy to have all those little jars stacked on top of each other in my cabinet.  I transferred all my spices into 2 different sizes of jam jars. The spices I used everyday I put into the large jars and all the others were stored in the smaller jars. 

The jars look so great all lined up and the cupboard looks neat and organized.  Each jar has a Ball Herb Shaker Cap that snaps open for use and snaps shut so should a jar fall over, it won't leave a mess.  These caps fit any regular mouthed mason jars.

We all probably have more kitchen gadgets then we could ever use so it's always a good idea to go through your collection and purge the ones that you never use.  When you can reduce what you have, not only will you be surprised at what you can do with out, but you will be able to keep what you have in a more organized way.  

I was able to create custom drawers for all those kitchen gadgets that I use most often.  These high quality utensil bins I purchased from the Dollar Tree.  Now everything has a home.

Even more importantly the family will know where everything belongs.

For more details be sure to watch the video:


There are so many ways to organize your kitchen using inexpensive storage solutions.  I hope you will leave me a comment below and tell me what's your favorite organizing tools in your kitchen.

Thank you so much for visiting with me today.  Please be sure to subscribe so you won't miss whats coming next!

I hope you LOVE the life you have and I'll see you next time.


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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Fridge Organization Tips and Tricks

I am here today with a little refrigerator motivation for you.  I have some tips and tricks that can help you keep your refrigerator organized clean and bright.

Purge.  My number one best tip for keeping your fridge organized is to purge!  It's always the first step in any organization project and your fridge should be no different.  Toss all those items that you may have purchased for a certain recipe a month ago and haven't used since.  No spot will benefit more from this purge then the shelves on your fridge door. We all have been guilty of shoving way to much onto these shelves.  Making room for only those items that are used all the time will keep these areas looking neat and clean. It will be easier for everyone to return items to their proper place.

Contain.  Use containers in your fridge to hold like items together. Containers with handles are great for kids snacks such as individual cups of Jello, yogurt and applesauce.  These types of items can quickly make a refrigerator looked disorganized when they are stacked or placed at random. I  purchased these white containers from the Dollar Spot at Target for $3.00 each.

Other bins from The Container Store , hold our condiments, eggs and miscellaneous items.

Using a container to hold  meat products like beef, chicken or fish keeps your refrigerator clean and sanitized.  So often we bring home a package of chicken from the grocery store that begins to drip.  When you have a meat bin, all that mess is contained and it is much easier to pop the bin in the dishwasher then having to empty and sanitize the whole refrigerator shelf.

Bins can be used in the freezer as well to hold like items together.  

The bin above left is made to be used in the freezer and can be found at The Container Store.  The wire bin, on the right, was found at Walmart.

Easy To Maintain.  It's so great when you put a system in place to stay organized, but it is important that the system is easy to maintain and keep clean. One of the most inexpensive ways to brighten your fridge and keep it clean is by lining the shelves, veggie drawers, deli drawer and door shelves with plastic placemats.  

The placemats I used above were found at my favorite Target store for $1.99 a piece.  They are easily cut with household scissors and they really can brighten up your fridge!  If anything does spill, clean up only takes a minute.  

I share share more tips and tricks in the video below:

I hope you found some ideas that may help you organize your own refrigerator.  Leave me a comment below and let me know if you have any inventive ways to keep your fridge organized and clean.

I will be linking with these lovely blogs this week: Freedom FridaysBFF Open House PartyShow Off FridayThe Charm of HomeSimple & Sweet FridaysShabbilicious FridayNO RULES Weekend PartyFuntastic FridayBe Inspired Link PartyCreating My Way to SuccessDIY Show-offAmaze Me MondayMix It Up MondayMerry Monday Inspiration MondayDishing It & Digging ItBewitchin" ProjectsInspire Me MondayThe Art of HomemakingA Pinch of JoySwing Into SpringWOW Me WednesdayThe DIY DreamerWhimsy WednesdaySavvy Southern StyleFreedom FridaysThe Handmade HangoutBFF Open House Link PartyShow off FridayHome Sweet HomePretty Pintastic Party
Thanks for visiting me today and remember to Love the Life you have and I will see you next time!

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Sunday, April 10, 2016

DIY Spring Wreath

One of the easiest ways to welcome the new season into your home is with a new front door wreath.  This is the time of year when all the designer catalogs start to arrive at the door full of beautiful and expensive home decor.   Usually the wreaths in these catalogs are well over a $100.  I don't know about you, but I sure could not afford to spend over $100 dollars on a new wreath so I make my own!  I use those beautiful designer catalogs to pick out an inspiration wreath to copy and then I visit my local Michael's Craft store to collect the materials I'll need.  It's easier then you may think to make a beautiful unique wreath for your front door.  Come along and I'll show you how I make mine.

Once the inspiration wreath is chosen, its time to hit the craft stores to collect the supplies needed to complete your project.  Of course you will need greenery and flowers, but there are 5 essential items that I always use when creating a wreath.

Of course you will need a wreath form, I like to use a wispy grapevine wreath.  These wreaths give much more space to work with than the tightly bound grapevine wreaths.  An adhesive such as E600 which is a transparent craft glue that is heat resistant.  Craft wire cutters, floral wire and felt pads.  

The first thing I do is turn the wreath over and glue on the felt pads.  Grapevine wreaths are pokey and can scratch your door, the felt pads protect your door from damage.

While the felt pads are drying, use the wire cutters to separate the branches of the greenery and flowers.  This way you will not have to stop to cut more supplies while you are assembling the wreath.

I start my wreath by filling in with the greenery.  I first place the cuttings between the twigs of the grapevine, making sure to keep each side balanced.  Once I am happy with the placement, I can go back and wire the vines in using the floral wire.

To secure the greenery in place, cut a few inches of floral wire.  Feed the wire through and under the wreath, bringing both edges of the wire together and tighten by twisting the wire a few times.  Be sure to place the wire between the leaves to keep it out of sight.  Snip off the ends of the wire and your greenery is secured and won't be blown the street!

Once all the greenery is in place, it's time to start on arranging the flowers.  In my inspiration picture the white flowers are arranged in a horseshoe shape that I will try to copy.

Continue to fill in the flowers until you are happy with the placement and then secure them with the floral wire in the same way we did the greenery.  Hang the wreath up on a door where you are able to get a good look at it.  You are looking to see if the wreath is balanced on both sides, there are no empty spots  and that the flowers are full and fluffed.

Your creation may not match the inspiration picture exactly, but your wreath is unique and was created by you for less then a quarter of it's designer price tag!  You really can't beat that!

For more information and tips watch my video below:

Thank you so much for visiting with me today.  Please leave me a comment and let me know what you think of the video.  I hope you will follow my blog and subscribe to the My Bashful Life channel on YouTube to see what we are up to next.

Remember to love the life you have and I will see you again next time!


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