Monday, October 20, 2014

4 Year-Old Frozen Party


My little princess turned 4, and of course she wanted a Frozen party. Last year she had a Rapunzel party, so I wonder what princess will come next ;-) I am ok with that, having two older boys I am quite enjoying this stage in my daughter's life where we can do all these things together.
I researched for about two months in all the things for the party. My daughter picked the cake and most of the decorations. I really enjoyed when I was setting up the decor for the party, her face lit up and she felt so excited. It was worth it...all the work and time spent in making her day special.
I wanted something simple, and we also wanted it to be in the early afternoon since where we live October can be quite cold at times. And yes, it turned out to be a cold day!

The decorations
The food buffet:

I took advantage of some Christmas ornaments I had and some lights. The snowflakes are from the Dollar Tree! 

 The boys and dad made a streamer garland so it would be easier the hang the snowflakes. I got them on amazon and hang them with Christmas ornaments hooks.

For the table, It had a simple Dollar Tree tablecloth and some fabric I got from Walmart leftover from my daughter's Elsa dress that I am making for her...(coming up soon....)

The plates and the napkins are from Party City, and the straws are from Hobby Lobby. The foam cups from the Dollar Tree


 I created a garland of balloons by inserting thread with a sewing needle. Pretty easy. The balloons are from Target, clearance section!

 Of course you cannot have a Frozen party without Olaf...The favors were simply a ziploc bag with three big marshmallows, a candy corn, two stick pretzels, three chocolate chips and two mini chips for Olaf's eyes. I printed the "Do you want to build a snowman" from HERE

We had a welcome sign at the entrance, and yes, I misspelled it...LOL!

 For the dining room decor, I made a tassel tissue garland and the paper rosettes. The "Keep Calm and Let it Go" was printed from HERE




 The number "4" can be printed from HERE

 On this table we had crowns for the girls and antlers for the boys to decorate. I got some foam board from Walmart and I made the crowns and antlers using THIS template.


They had tattoos and  gems to decorate them.

More decorations from Party City.

The Food

 We did a hot chocolate buffet, so the kids could play outside and then warm up with a yummy cup of hot chocolate. We also had punch for those that do not like hot drinks. I found this cheeseballs at Walmart and they were perfect!


We also had rice krispies, white cheddar cheese crackers, pretzels, chex mix, cookies, powder sugar little doughnuts, and toppings for the hot chocolate which included whipped cream, chocolate chips, marshmallows and Yorks.


I decided to make an individual cake for her, and put an ornament snowflake on top. The kids got to decorate their own cupcakes with blue frosting and sprinkles.









The punch was made from 4 packets of Kool Aid plus a bottle of 7 Up

It is all in the details...


The games

We had snowball toss, pin the nose on Olaf, bubbles, and snowman bowling. At the end we had a pinata.

 For the pinata we always use a simple gift bag...we had the experience before that the kids could not break the pinata because the cardboard was so hard to break! So for the little ones this is perfect!



She had a great time even though she got five stitches in her forehead two days before her party!

For her hair I did a messy side braid and hot glued snowflake buttons on hairpins..



She had lots of fun! The clean up wasn't very fun but to see my daughter's happiness made everything worth it! 


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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Kitchen Table Makeover


I have been wanting to do this for the longest time, and I FINALLY got to do it. I thought maybe we should get a new dining set, but then I thought that ours was still in good shape structurally, it was just in bad shape cosmetically. I would save us big bucks if I refinished the one we have. Our set is hand-me-downs from my sister-in-law, which she used for quite some years. We moved to our house back in 2004 and this dining set is still in use, after many, many kids mistreated it! The table had so many scratches that I had to sand it so well I thought I removed like 1/4 inch of surface. I used a 60 grit sandpaper for that! The chairs were really stained and super dirty and there was grease all over the place. The table specifically had a very thick coat of varnish that took me forever to remove.

This is how my beloved table looked like:


It was really a disaster especially on the top. Plus I am not a fan of oak either. My son even had fun once poking the top with a pencil all over the surface. Yikes. But one thing I ADORE about this table are the pedestal legs...so pretty. I did not want to stain the bottom part but I wanted the table to be two-toned, the bottom white and the top dark walnut. For the chairs, I stripped the varnish, sanded them, painted them with Krylon paint + primer in black and then applied two coats of Polycrylic in semi-gloss. They look so much better compared to what they were!
For the table, I cleaned it well using soap and water, then I applied Citistrip stripping gel (you can see it on the picture) pretty much you paint it on the surface and wait a minimum of 30 minutes. I actually let it work for several hours. When the paint looked like bubbles and I scraped off the finish easily. Some of the finish remained but instead of doing this again I decided to sand it. I used a 60 grit sandpaper with an orbital sander first, and then I finished it with a 220 grit for smoothness.


Here it is after the good sanding. This step is tedious but if you want a good result it is needed. Make sure you ALWAYS sand and stain following the grain of the wood.


 All the varnish is gone!


 I used these products. Once you try Minwax, you do not want to try ANYTHING else! I applied the wood conditioner before staining. It prevents the stain from blotching all over.


Using a stain brush, I started staining following the grain. I applied a good amount of stain (this product is thick) and then after 3 to 5 minutes I removed the excess with a clean towel. 



First coat. I let it dry completely, 8 to 10 hours minimum. And yes, I was tempted to do a second coat after a couple of hours, but I resisted...I worked on the pedestal instead!


After the second coat and drying...


We had fun eating on the living room table for a couple of days!

 Here is a close-up of the finish:


I then applied two coats of Polycrylic in semi-gloss but to be honest, I would like to apply something glossier than that.

                                     

For the bottom, I primed it with Zinsser primer and gave it two coats of Behr Ultra White in satin.


Now we are enjoying our "new" dining set makeover for less than $50 that I spent on materials.



Much better!




Just in time for fall and Halloween decorating!

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