Category Archives: Other Pants

11Simple And Practical Ways To Be Hospitable (Because There Is No Such Thing As An Un-Hospitable Entertainer)

6th April 2016

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1. Keep a baby box

In your cabinets, keep one bottle, one sippy, one pacifier. You may outgrow the baby phase, but someone else will always be smack dab in the middle of it. Have a few basic and necessary baby items on hand to surprise a desperate mother with delight when you whip out the very thing she forgot!

2.  Make Everyone Feel Like Your Favorite

As a pastor’s wife, we have a lot of visitors to our home.  If you entertain a lot or welcome people in your home for any reason, pay attention to your company and who may not be talking, who may be sitting alone or simply be aware if someone is coming who doesn’t know the group as well.  Sit by them, make them feel welcome, and bring them into the fold!  A person who is hospitable and nails it, makes someone comfortable in their home by whatever means that may be!

3. Toys

Even though I have only daughters, I always keep a few good boy toys around.  I have a few tried and true toys that please both sexes and a variety of ages and a few baby toys in there as well.  A good way to make feel people at home is to make it feel like home!

4.  WiFi

When having a party or large dinner etc., write your wi-fi password on the kitchen chalkboard or set it out in a cute frame or plaque on the island amidst the food display.  It’s convenient for you AND them and it makes anything a guest might need, easily accessible at their fingertips.

5.  Have Commonly Used Things On Hand

In your bathroom, keep toilet paper easy to find if someone runs out so guests aren’t embarrassed to ask.  Also, keep a small basket or bin of small toiletries of anything someone may need or may have forgotten: spare toothbrush, travel deodorant and shampoo, toothpaste…you know the drill.

6.  Coffee Anyone?

I hate coffee, it’s true. My husband? He doesn’t drink it either. We decided about a year ago that we are on a coffee-less island alone and having a coffee option at your house is great for guests and visitors. We didn’t even have to buy our own coffee maker. We were given one from someone’s wedding gift surplus! Score! Coffee is a nice thing to offer for your company when you are chatting or just winding down from a meal.

7.  Serve Dessert

Make being in your home something out of the ordinary for a guest.  Dessert isn’t something that most families do regularly at dinner and for the price of a box of brownies, you can treat your company to a simple yet, not everyday little treat.

8.  Actually Let Them Inside…It Helps

If you wait until your house is clean and perfect, you may never have anyone over ever.  Get comfortable with good enough and know that the more your life and home reflects real life, the more comfortable they will feel because it will look a lot like their lives!

9.  To Guests With Kids…Tell Them It’s Okay!

Tell them they can be kids at your house!  Pull the toys out, shut the doors of rooms you don’t want them in and let parents feel like they don’t have to constantly police where their kids are and what they are touching.  When a kid runs through my house or jumps off of our couch and the mom embarrassingly says, “I’m so sorry!”  You know what I say? “They are fine! My kids do that all of the time!”  You say whatever fits there, but you know what happens?  Parents still will tell them not to do it again almost every time because they respect you and your things, but they just may breathe easier and feel a little more at HOME!  If you can’t have kids in your house without a load of “Don’t touch that”  or “Don’t be so loud” etc., you will never be able to make families with young children comfortable in your house.  Everyone has rules for their home and that’s fine, but there is a line of trumping things more than the people who come to use your things. Let not just people, but families know that they can relax in your home!  You aren’t running the Ritz Carlton.  You are a real mom, friend, person, etc. with a real home with real people coming to it!   As a frequent guest of homes myself, there is nothing more stressful or un-enjoyable than worrying about your kids every 5 seconds because of how someone makes you feel in their home.  Have people to a HOME, not a museum and know the difference.

10.  Forget the size of your home and bank account

Hospitality does not come with financial or home requirements.  Hospitality is being welcoming with what you have and it’s making someone feel at home.  Feelings don’t take dollars or square feet to achieve.  If you can’t afford dinner, have people over for cookies or coffee or both if you’re feeling all sorts of wild and crazy.  You may not have a big space, but you have enough to have some people over. Set up folding chairs or take it outside. Small is cozy and charming and bonding and making memories doesn’t have to be over steak! If you let what you can do or provide hold you back, you may be cheating yourself out of some great experiences and some great relationships.

11.  Mind your Fur Babies

I know Johnny Jumper Butts is your favorite dog on the planet, but not everyone likes dogs jumping on them, sitting on them, or around their kids.  I have a cat, but I know people may be allergic and I even have a few friends afraid of cats. Put them in a room, shut them in the garage, but don’t make someone feel uneasy, sneezy or obligated to stroke your teacup Yorkie dog all night.   They aren’t for everyone and putting them up for guests is an easy thing to do for your company.  Unless you know for sure it’s not a problem, hug a tree, love your pets, but put the pooches and the pussy cats up for your persons.

Spring Felt Flower Wreath

31st March 2016

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Me and this wreath fell in love and made heart babies.  This is one of my most favorite wreaths I’ve EVER made.  I love the fuzzy little fern leaves, mix of flowers and bright cheery colors.  I used a stick wreath vs. a covered straw wreath this time and I painted the sticks lightly, as you can see below.  Me likes.

Using a mix of regular old Hobby Lobby felt, good fabric scissors and a lot of that dangerously burning hot glue, I concocted this little wreath baby.

My favorite flowers are the big coral peony lookin’ one and the yellow rolled flowers with dark centers.  They remind me of anemones which makes me smile….big time.  (Even though it’s not really what they look like. I said REMINDS.  Let’s not get too crazy.)

Did you fall in love with this wreath?!?  Just remember, I did too and we made heart children so it would be inappropriate to get too close.  You can still love it from a respectable distance like an old woman Bieber fan.

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DIY Spring Gift and Kid Activity: Mini Bird Feeders

29th March 2016

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I found this recipe in a Kroger magazine of all places and thought they were easy, cute and fun for kids to make!

For 10 dollars or less, you can make a few shy of 2 million bird feeders.  It’s fast and you can be creative. Shapowzers.  I also used cookie cutters in the shape of trees and houses to make different shapes.  It was easier to fill up and pack down a cookie cutter then to mold them by hand.

Mail a half recipe of the dry ingredients to a friend and her kids as a fun spring craft or package it in a colored mason jar like I did below. Just fill the mason jar in layers of ingredients, just like you would a food recipe in a jar gift. I attached a craft paper envelope with the recipe, as well as an example feeder as decor.  Pretty special, y’all.  Pin, share, and enjoy this craft or easy spring “Just thinking of you” affordable gift!!

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Recipe

1 envelope gelatin

1/2 cup warm water

3/4 cup flour

3 TBSP light corn syrup

4 cups wild bird seeds

Yeilds

Apprx 20 wreaths or more!  Whoa mini bird feeders….calm down.

Directions

Mix all ingredients together with a whisk in a mixing bowl.  Add bird seed once everything else is mixed through.  Use a spoon, or ice cream scooper worked best for me, and dollop balls onto wax or parchment paper.  Press down with a large wooden or plastic spoon.  Use finger to make a hole in the center and let dry overnight!  Use ribbon or string to hang your feeders in a semi-sheltered place from rain.  Get your birdie on.

 

How To Look Like A Better Decorator Than You Are

22nd March 2016

 

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While I love to decorate and find that it comes pretty naturally, I have many friends who find decorating and figuring out what to do as fun as doing your taxes while listening to NPR.

To those of you decoration-ally challenged or to anyone who saw a room you just LOVE, you can put a room together better than you think with one easy step.

What is the secret?  What is the step?

FOLLOW THEIR FORMULA.

Most people see a room and think, “I love it!” so I’m going to use those colors or buy that one rug or picture they have.  But, how can you get a whole room that is more tied in together? Whether you know it or not, you love that perfect home picture or perfect decor pin for more than just that print or wall color.  What you love and what you really  want is how it ALL ties together and how they did that is the “formula”.  It’s easier than you think!!

It goes a little something like this….check this, y’all.  Look at this picture here.  Let’s pretend I love this room from Young House Love, but no pretending necessary because I totally do! It’s a very simple room so a great example to start with.

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Young House Love

The Formula:

Rug in a bold and LARGE print (Try Overstock for the best prices, free shipping and a gabillion choices to search by.  You can find a similar rug to what you are looking for there, I’m sure!)

Nuetral Walls

Bring the color of the curtain rods into the legs of the furniture piece.  Also note, they are both metal.

Use a chair in a SMALL, not large print.  (Tip:  If you use a large print focal point, you want to use smaller prints in other spots.  A room can’t be all large or all small busy prints, but a balance adds interest.)

Pull a solid color from the chair for the curtains.

Add greenery as decor and use a natural wood to add texture like they did in the table top.

Large metal pendant fixture, nuetral, but ties in with your rods and furniture legs.

If you can, paint your ceilings and make that color choice, your accent color.

Pull accent color down into the table and or wall decor.

If you cannot paint your ceilings and you are mimicking a room, use a large piece of art and pull a main accent from that piece.

The overall formula:  a few bold pieces and a simple 4 toned color scheme (including the white walls as part of that scheme) with simple decor.  Clean, non busy, airy, with pops of color.

You can do this with any room or pin you see!  How and where did they use a pattern?  What is the main color they use and what are the accent colors?  How often and where did they use those accent colors?   I’m basically telling you, don’t copy a room, copy it’s blueprint!  You can look like a better decorator than you are! You might just surprise yourself…and your walls….and your friends….and your family….and your eyeballs.

Send me a picture of a look you want to achieve by attaching a picture in the comments or sending me an email herpartypants@gmail.com and I’ll break the code for you!

 

Cookie Jar Makeover

3rd March 2016

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I got this as a gift from a sweet friend and I really wanted to use it but it didn’t match my kitchen so, I had to make it! I took this bad boy from Cracker Barrel to Crate in Barrel in less than 15 minutes with one simple step.

My husband rolls his eyes and says, “She thinks she can spray paint anything…” And the great news is, you totally can! I am apt to spray paint anything without a heartbeat.

I used Krylon’s Pistachio and rocked this beast to a solid, sleek look with a touch of vintage with the color chosen. You love it. You know it. Come on, let your momma know it.

This looks great with my white back splash behind it, sitting next to coral ranuculas and white ceramic numbered jars….which you won’t see because the lighting in my kitchen is like a dungeon. Maybe I should spray paint the lights….

Pin, share and enjoy!

 

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Throwing A Kid’s Party: A Mom Drama

31st January 2016

 

Originally written for an Australian magazine by yours truly.

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I’m hovering over roughly 40 empty party cups when the balloon banner falls down.  Stupid gravity.  There wasn’t gravity in the Pinterest picture of this.  I’m juggling three kinds of berries and adding them into empty appetizer cups while my husband strolls by smiling and walking at a normal pace.

Smiling?

Regular walking?

Doesn’t he know that the party is about to start in T-minus 62 minutes?!!  I give him a mental karate chop to the jugular and continue in my frenzy.

My daughter comes running through the kitchen excitedly and eyes the cake like a salivating jaguar while I blurt out, “Don’t touch the cake!” I scream it out like someone told me, “The louder you scream, the safer it will be.”  Whew, it’s definitely gonna be okay then.

Then, the worst thing happens.  The worst thing of all party things:  a knock at the door.  Early guests!  An hour early kind of guest!  No wait, guests!  Emphasis on the “s”.  I contemplate running to the corner of the room to rock back and forth and drool on myself.  I guess I should run to the bedroom and put something on other than my mother-in-law’s sweatpants.  Maybe they will forget that the party is half done and the pajamas I was wearing while sweating over the salsa.

“Here, enjoy an appetizer cup with one blueberry in it.  It’s all I could get in before the guest explosion of 2016.”

“Why is everyone here so early?”, I ask my husband’s family.  And in slow motion I see the words forming in their mouths.  No, no, no!  Now, this is the worst of all party things!

“The invitation said 1-3,” they said in a Charlie Brown’s teacher voice.

I forgot to change it!!!  Sweet mother of Martha Stewart, I forgot to change it.  In my mind I vomit and reverse karate chop my husband’s jugular and spin around to instead slice the invitation with the wrong time.  He never saw it coming.  Now he knows how I feel about all of those guests he was just sending my way while I’m half-dressed in the kitchen struggling with tablecloths and tape .  And by “he” I mean the invitation, of course.  He offended me so then I got personal.

Well, ready or not, I guess the party is here and starting so I do the surprise guest clean up and stuff things in unsuspecting closets and drawers. I’m glad I usually have a messy house so I know just how to do the “Who the heck has the nerve to be at the door?!” panic clean up.

What I have will just have to work.  Rest in peace cupcake toppers.  So long you freakin’ bag tags.  Here comes the party for better or worse.

The party rolls on and we all survive. The cupcakes were the wrong color and there may have been cat poop in the sandbox the kids played in but hey, that’s a risk you take when you play in large boxes of dig-able backyard goodness.  You admit to yourself that no one cared that all the flowers you put on the back porch died approximately 2 seconds after you put them out. You know, I had to put out flowers because what 4 year- old doesn’t want flowers at their party? Yes, right after the request for a princess cake they say, “Oh, and beautiful flowers in lanterns on the back porch made of flowers you cut from a neighbor’s bush.”  Man, I’m really glad she was down for that because that’s exactly where I got them.

People laugh, kids smile and your kid’s swear it was the best party ever.  Your birthday girl runs inside with cat poop sand in her hair, a laugh in her throat, and has icing in crevices you are sure to clean for a month.  You high five yourself.  You feel like the offspring of Rachael Ray and Nate Berkus.

You took 200 hundred pictures that you may never print out but you feel better for taking them.  You hug your little rascals necks, tell them you love them and that you wanted everything to be perfect just for them.  You hand out the favors and swear you will never do a party at home next year.

“Next year we will rent a party space,” you say.

“Next year we will buy a balloon banner,” you declare with authority.

But deep down you know you will be back on Etsy and Pinterest pinning your children-party loving brain out.   Blasted creative juices, I curse your name.

Like every party, when it’s all said and done, you realize that it’s not always attention to detail that matters but attention to the personal:  the cupcakes had glitter, the straws you used were a must, not because they matched, but because your 4 year-old loves a good slurp .  Ultimately, parties are about the people you love so much that you spent 57 hours on the internet trying to find the right Frozen banner like every other mother on planet earth.  You pay attention to details because you pay attention to people.

Your people.

For every stressful moment you have trying to make a party they will remember, there is a little dog-eared girl or cape-wearing super hero boy that made it worth it.

It’s always a little crazy.  You always spend more than you planned and next year, you’ll do it all again.  Because for every piece of confetti you will never get out of your favorite wool rug, there is an even better memory you won’t get out of your mind…

Even if the party guests had the nerve to show up at the time on the invitation.

Easy DIY Silhouette

16th December 2015

 

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If you have a steady hand, I promise on your favorite granny that you can do this easy DIY silhouette.  I did one of each member of my family and this year, I decided to do one as a gift for my sister-in-law.  Here is my simple tutorial!

 

Supplies:

paint to cover wood canvas

acrylic paint for silhouette in color of your choice

 quality fine to medium-fine tipped paint brush

photograph of person you wish to paint

quality scissors

pen

sealer if desired

Steps:

1.  Take a picture of your subject’s profile, neck up against a solid background to make outlines distinct.  Take picture close enough so that there is only a slight margin around the profile.  Why?  This way when you choose the size you wish to print your picture, whatever size you enlarge it to be will also be the same size of the actual profile.  So if you need your silhouette to be a 5 by 7, if the image takes up the whole picture, you can be sure that your silhouette will be a 5 by 7 when you print it,  if you leave only a small margin around the profile.

2. Paint canvas/surface you wish to put your silhouette on if needed. I painted and distressed mine first.

3.  Take printed picture of subject’s profile and cut out slowly with a good pair of scissors to get accurately all of the lines of the profile, neck, head, etc.

3.  Lay cut out silhouette on to surface and trace.

4.  Using the acrylic paint of your choice, take your time to paint the outline steadily.  A good paint brush will make this much easier and precise.

5. Finish painting in the remaining space of the silhouette.  I typically do two coats.

6. Seal portrait if desired.

7. Say “I’m a boss!” You’re done.

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I didn’t like the above orientation so I flipped it for the final product.

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You can use this technique in a million ways including cutting out animals and people on patterned paper,  making paper silhouettes if painting them scares you.  You can silhouette just about anything and cut them out of any medium that creates clean edges.

My sis-in-law loved this gift and I loved giving it. I wrote my nephew’s full name and age on the backside for keepsake.  Pin, follow and enjoy!

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Easy DIY Wood Slice Ornaments

11th December 2015

 

 

 

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These couldn’t be easier! Here is what you will need:

Wood Slices from Hobby Lobby, 4 for $1. (with coupon, 1.99 without)

Sharpies

Pencil to draw design/wording first if you need to

Eye Screws (just push and turn by hand)

Baker’s Twine

I browsed Pinterest and found all sorts of cute ideas for design!  Aren’t the just the easiest, cutest and cheapest things on the planet!

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Pin and Enjoy!

The Cutest Way To Give A Gift Card

10th December 2015

 

Some people don’t like giving gift cards because they think they are impersonal.  I’m definitely not in that category because nothing gets me going like guilt free money to burn in a store I love!

If you want to add a creative touch or personalize a gift card, why not package it in a really cute way?  Enter mason jars for gift card packaging!  I used the same materials to make my DIY Mason Jar Snow Globes but instead, ditched the glitter and water and affixed a gift card inside.  Using a little hot glue, I lined the bottom edge of a gift card and snuggled it in between craft pine trees.  I put both of the teacher gift-gift card jars side-by-side in a wire basket and personalized each card with a chip board letter that I painted red to match.  My little girl dictated the message inside to her teachers with awesome things like, “Merry Christmas.  I love you.  You look like a candy cane.”

The gift cards were small, but cute and practical and who wouldn’t love to get a gift in something like this? The crafter in me would re-use all of the components if I were to get this gift.  Actually, I think I’ll keep it because I love it.  Just kidding… Or….Okay, I’ll give it to them.

If you are really fun, you can actually make the jars into the snow globe with the gift card inside.  Snow globe gift card packaging?  I might choke on a candy cane I’m so excited about that idea.

Put anything you want in a mason jar to make this packaging party, season, or person specific.  The possibilities are endless!  Here’s to hoping that two pre-school teachers like this gift as much as I do!

Follow, pin, share, and enjoy!

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In my dreams, I have that pillow-y fake snow in the bottom of this basket.  In my dreams I also don’t take blog images with my cell phone so I guess, we can’t all be winners.

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Alone, it’s simple and may need a little pizazz but when packaged with the wire basket and cards, it’s ballin’ out of control.  If only the fake snow…..