DIY: Stars + Stripes FREE Printable Bunting

 

We love the 4th of July over here!  Not only is summer the best season in Chicago, but I’m particularly in love with some great fireworks and bbq’s. So, in honor of the 4th, you can find this adorable free download stars + stripes banner.  We whipped this up for the kids to cut out, string together, and use to decorate for our July 4th party.  (So.. yep, these photos aren’t perfection… they are just our everyday… which is perfection to me).

Happy 4th and happy decorating!  (And if you want more free printable 4th of July decorations, you can find some cupcake toppers over at this Oodles and Doodles post).

Giving Back

I love finding a way to help out a great organization, and when I stumbled upon the Confetti Foundation, I knew that was it!  The Confetti Foundation is an awesome non-profit organization that supplies sick kids in hospitals with birthday boxes on their special day.  The boxes are filled with birthday banners, coloring pages and lots of other fun stuff, all to make their day that much brighter while they’re stuck in the hospital.

I was so glad to hear about their work, and thrilled to be able to help them out by supplying some much needed party banners, coloring pages and bookmarks.  If you have some time, go check them out… who wouldn’t want to make a little one’s birthday that much brighter.

confetti foundation sponsors 2016

Honk, Honk! Beep, Beep! Coming through… someone in our house just turned TWO!!

Noahs 2nd bday transportation photos collage 5x7 with watermark

Honk, Honk! Beep, Beep! Coming through… our little guy just celebrated turning TWO!  Oh, how those years flew by… and we marked the occasion with all things that move (just like this little one) with a Transportation Birthday party.  Everything was decked out with planes, trains, and automobiles .. and trucks… lots of trucks.  We even had a drive-in movie for the little ones with our diy cars made out of cardboard boxes.  The kids had tickets, little personalized driver’s licenses and snacks in their handmade cars.  And most importantly, our sweet little two year old got to celebrate another birthday in true “boy” fashion.. surrounded by cars and trucks (and lots of people that he loved).

Happy Birthday my little one!  You’re already so grown up!

 

A very HOPPY Birthday for SomeBUNNY Special

Now that Valentine’s Day is officially over, we’re moving right on to Spring (and Easter) over here.  It’s so nice to think of warm weather and sweet, pastel colors full of bunnies and easter eggs!  Oh, how I love spring time… and oh, how I’ve had it with Chicago winters. For literally years now, I’ve been meaning to sit down and create some sweet spring designs.  So, I finally got to work designing an adorable pink and purple bunny girl’s birthday party kit.  (With two boys in our house, I relish the thought of being able to design in pink and purple… and accent letters with little bows). So check out the someBUNNY Invitation and all the sweet digital goods in the HOPPY Birthday Kit – available both on the website and in the Etsy Shop. And stay posted on some more sweet spring designs hopping into the shop sometime soon!

Getting Ready for Valentine’s Day

We’re finally getting over the holidays around here and moving right on to the next one…. Valentine’s Day!  I love Valentine’s Day. There’s just so many cute things to make for the little ones. We’re already working on some little preschool gifts over here and will be sure to post some photos of our creations shortly.  In the meantime, check-out all the new Valentine Designs in the Etsy shop or at Oodles and Doodles.  ** AND look for a 10% off coupon on the Facebook Page for all Valentine designs on the Oodles and Doodles website.

Happy HOWLidays from our Dogs to Yours

dog treat labels final photo

Our last minute baking and craft project was just completed at our house today. And in the spirit of holiday giving, we’re sharing all the details and a free printable with you!  These super easy homemade dog treats are a quick gift for all the lucky dogs in family (and neighborhood).   We just whipped up a couple batches, and they turned out perfect.

We used a super simple Peanut Butter & Pumpkin recipe, that our dogs loved!  They even waited patiently (for once) at the oven for the biscuits to finish baking. Then we just wrapped them up in little clear treat bags and used my free printable HOWLiday labels to seal and decorate.

Happy HOWLidays from our dogs to yours! Hope Santa Paws is good to you this year.

(And don’t forget to check out our other free dog printables for next year)!

Ho! Ho! Holiday Cards (Yep, it’s almost that time again)!

I just ordered my Christmas cards today (yeah, I’m one of those people that’s super early or it never gets done).  And it got me thinking.  Years ago, before I created my own designs, I used to search all the usual vendors for the perfect card.  It took forever …. looking through thousands of designs trying to find one that contained the correct colors to match the photo I wanted to use…. and had the right wording (Happy Holidays? Merry Christmas? Happy New Year?) … and the perfect orientation… and a cute back (gotta have a cute back design!)… and the correct number of photos.  Honestly, it never really worked out.  I always had high hopes, but the colors rarely matched to my photos, and the photos were often cropped weird, and the wording was never exactly what I wanted.  My husband used to wonder why I spent so much time and energy on it.  I couldn’t help it… it just bugged me.  And…well.. honestly… holiday cards are kinda expensive.  And are mailed to all those people you haven’t seen in a year.  Shouldn’t they be pretty great?

So that got me thinking… wouldn’t it be great to be able to offer designs that were based around the specific photos and not the other way around?  After all, that’s what I do for my family’s cards every year.  Why not for everyone else?  And so now I’m happy to be able to offer custom designed holiday photo cards to save you all that hassle.  Who needs extra hassles during the holidays anyway?  And if you still prefer the templates, there’s oodles of new holiday designs available in the shop too!

And for those of you who aren’t used to printing your own cards, check out my page on suggested vendors and other printing tips.  (Hint: Here’s the cliff notes version… try Mpix on their pearl paper.  Can’t go wrong!)

Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas or Happy New Year (which ever wording you prefer)!

A little Halloween Inspiration…

HALLOWEEN STYLE BOARD3

Who doesn’t love Halloween?  It’s one of my favorite holidays of the year!  I always plan way to early and end up with tons of fabulously frightful ideas.  This year … it’s all about purple, lime green and orange hues.  Sprinkle in some bold chevron, bright diagonal stripes and great polka dots and you’re set for a stylish, festive Halloween Party!  This was the design basis for a brand new  Boo! Halloween Party Kit available in the OandD etsy shop.  It includes loads of digital goodies including a candy buffet Sweet Treats sign, personalized favor tags, Boo bunting, coordinating thank you notes and lots more.  And if you’re looking for some coordinating party supplies and craft ideas, look no farther.  You can find fabulous inspiration in the photo above.  While you’re at it, check out more Halloween ideas on my Pinterest Board and lots of other Halloween printables and  photo cards in the Halloween section of the OandD shop.

Photo Credits (L to R):
OandD’s Boo Invitation,  Mummy Candy JarsSweets & Treats Boutique party supplies, Chocolate Pumpkin Cake,  OandD’s Boo Personalized Favor TagsBOO Mason JarsMore Sprinkled Joy’s Patterned Paper Straws

Our Little Noah’s Special Day….

Our sweet little boy, Noah, had his big Baptism day a few weeks ago.  But it all started many, many months earlier when I was pregnant with him.  Knowing that I would want a really special way to celebrate his christening, I got to work designing a Noah’s Ark Baptism theme all based on the most beautiful Noah’s Ark Music box that his big brother received on his Baptism day.  Little did I know at the time that I would end up having a little boy … and naming him Noah.  I guess some things are just meant to be.  The Baptism turned out beautifully, and the theme ended up being a perfect fit for our little one. I made up sweet and simple favors with a little turquoise grass on the bottom and lots of animal crackers.  How can you have a Noah’s Ark party without animal crackers?!

For centerpieces, I used one of my favorite tricks … dollar store clear glass vases and some coordinating scrapbook paper.  It’s a super simple solution for a centerpiece that coordinates perfectly.  Not only is it an inexpensive option, but you can use the same vases over and over for different events so you don’t have to store tons of vases in lots of different colors.   So here’s how it works:

flowers 1a

1. Purchase medium sized cylindrical clear glass vases. (I usually get them from the Dollar Store, but you can find them at craft stores and in floral departments).

2. Print out (or purchase) your coordinating scrapbook paper.  (This is one reason why I usually include digital paper in my printable party kits).  Measure the vases and trim the excess paper  off.

3. Roll the paper into a circle and place inside the vase … I like to tape the ends on the inside just to keep everything nice and tight in the vase.

4. Find a smaller glass or cup (I like juice glasses) that will fit in the vase.  You’ll want to use this to actually hold the water for the vases so that the paper doesn’t get wet.  Arrange your flowers and put them into your juice glass. (Hint: Purchase flowers from floral departments at grocery stores. We have a lovely store by us that will special order the flowers that I want.  Much less expensive than a florist and a much better option for someone like me who knows nothing about flowers or arranging them).

5. Place the juice glass inside the vase… and that’s it!  I like to decorate the vase either with a nice bow (and maybe a cupcake topper hanging from the bow) or in this case, I used some coordinating paper wraps printed on Avery full sheet sticky labels. I also designed some sweet little placemats with fitting biblical quotes for the event, and mixed and mingled the patterns for some extra visual interest.

 

I wish I was able to grab some more photos of Noah’s day.  It’s so hard to grab your camera when you’re taking care of a little one and chasing a toddler around and keeping everyone happy, but overall, it was a fabulous day!  And I’m so glad that my little one got to celebrate with something made just for him.

Come on over for LOADS of Birthday Fun! Someone just turned THREE!

Birthdays are a BIG deal in our house, and our sweet little boy just turned three!  So of course, we hauled in all the big equipment for this one.   A full construction set was ordered (that’s the one perk when you’re a 3 year old and your mom promises to design any party you want).  I was told that every construction vehicle had to be included … dump trucks, excavators, cranes, cement mixers, backhoes, even bobcats.. and so I got to work designing and the Construction Birthday Party theme was created.  The party was a big hit (especially among the boys).  The house was adorned with caution tape, dump trucks, gigantic 36 inch balloons (they really are much larger than you even think), birthday hard hats, dump truck crayon party favors, a piñata and tons of  toy construction equipment.  All of which made for one happy little boy!  And one tired mom (who was told to start working on a robot theme for next year).  Stay tuned on that one.