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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Her 6th Barbie Birthday Party


Hello Readers!

Wow, Ms. Bree is now 6 years old!  I still can’t believe that my youngest, my baby girl is now 6!

It was a bitter sweet moment if I’m being totally honest.  I truly love and enjoy seeing my children grow every day and seeing them accomplish many things in life but I wish they could remain little forever! Okay, maybe not forever, but at least for a little bit longer. 

February has been a very exhausting but exciting month.  While our daughter celebrated her sixth year of life, she continues to improve in her studies as well as gymnastics and dance.   Our son successfully passed the SRI and MAP Test required to be promoted to the 3rd Grade.  Soon my first born will turn 9 years old and will be a third grader.  Time is going way too fast if you ask me.

I have always aim to make my children's birthdays memorable and this year was no different.  For this year’s theme Ms Bree picked Barbie! 

Since we were celebrating her 6th birthday…. I wanted to do something different, something that expressed her girly and fun side, something MEMORABLE!  And I truly believe I accomplished just that.  While I found Barbie Theme Decorations at our local Party City I was not very impressed by their look.  I wanted something more.  

With the help of some of our friends and sponsors, Ms. Bree’s Birthday Party was epic, a celebration that lasted THREE DAYS!!!

The Decorations

 After spending many hours and pinning many ideas on Pinterest, I came across Cupcake Express- Cupcake & Party Supplies Etsy Shop.   

Kristi has many DIY Printable Party Decorations and her Barbie Theme design was exactly what I was looking for.  It gave the party the feel of being a celebration for a young girl whose no longer a baby.. Make sure you visit her site!! 

You can buy each item individually or you can buy the package.  I opted to buy the Deluxe Package which included the following: 

-"HAPPY BIRTHDAY" Banner (each piece measures 5x7.5 in. there is 2 pieces per sheet)
-Cupcake toppers ( 4 designs) * Personalized*
-thank you tags (2 designs) 
-labels (3.75x3in. 6 designs)
-invitation (5x7 jpeg or PDF format) Photo or no photo ( you pick style) * Personalized
-cupcake wrappers (4 designs)
-printable paper (4 digital papers sheets)
-water bottle labels ( 5 on a sheet)
-mini candy bar wrappers (4 designs)
-8 in Circles ( 4 designs)
-Welcome Sign * Personalized
-Straw Flags ( 4 designs)

-Pendant Flag banner ( 2 designs) 


Candy Wrappers

Water Bottle Labels

Straw Flags

Cupcake Wrappers

Pendant Flag Banner





The Invitations 


Hair Style


Introducing Brianna England! Brianna has been my hair stylist and friend for a very long time, so I briefly told her that Ms. Bree wanted her pony tail to imitate the style of the silhouette on the decorations.  Ms. Bree loved it!  

Birthday Outfit:


Our friend and sponsor, Tyree Edwards, owner of Miss Teeny Fab Couture has designed a few items for Ms. Bree.  Tyree's designs are out of this world and are worth every single cent. 

I explained to her what I thought I wanted, provide her with the colors and she took my little idea and turned it into this AMAZING design... bow included! 


To see more of her designs read our post on Miss. Teeny Fab Couture!


Barbie Cookies


YUM, the cookies! Let me tell you about these tasty cookies! They were the hit of the party as well with her classmates! 

Made specially for us by Tiffany's Homemade and they came from New Jersey! When I approached her with my idea, she was excited because this was the first time creating this particular design.  I never doubted her ability to bake the most fabulous cookies! 


The size, the taste and the detailed on each cookie were amazing... I can honestly say they are addicting! They were so pretty I didn't want to eat them, but nobody could resist the taste... 




Barbie's Pink Popcorn



Barbie's Pink Pearls




Barbie's Vintage Cake



Barbie Thank You Bags









Monday, February 16, 2015

Product Review by Ma Vie en Pink

Hello Readers!

Today I will be sharing my friend Emily's very simple routine using two amazing products.  While I have not tried these products on Ms. Bree's hair or mine, Emily sure is a fan of these products and is definitely enjoying her curly hair thanks to the results she is able to accomplish.

THE PRODUCTS: 

1. Oyin Handmade Hair Dew- Daily Hair Quenching Lotion; and 
2. Nuance Salma Hayek, Blue Agave Curl Cream.




From Emily...

Hello friends: I have a very simple routine for my wavy/curly hair but since adding/switching the two products pictured above.   I am having so many more GREAT CURLY HAIR days, therefore, I thought I would share this with all of you. 


I usually wash and condition my hair with whatever is in the shower at the time (I know, I know...). 

Lately, it has been Clear Intense Hydration.  After drying my hair off with a cotton T-Shirt, I use a tiny bit of Oyin Handmade Hair Dew Daily Hair Lotion, as my leave in - this stuff is so great I don't even have to crunch my hair. My curl pattern just appears. This thing is a miracle in a bottle once you find the amount that works for you. For my curl type, too much of it will weigh my hair down A LOT. Another plus, it smells delicious! 


                               Their claim: "this creamy, conditioning leave-in is light enough 
                                          for every day. it's great on 'naked' hair immediately after a cleanse,
                                          or as a way to reinvigorate tired hair all the way through your hair 
                                          care cycle. for seriously protective hair experience, try using hair dew
                                          on moist hair (or over a quick spritz of one of our Juices herbal leave-
                                          insand then seal ends with one of the Sugar Pomades before gently
                                          manipulating hair into a protective style like braids, twists, or an updo.
                                          days of moisture, sheen, and hair happiness!"


As my styler, I use this cream from the Nuance brand (Salma Hayek at CVS). I apply about a nickel size amount to my curls while my head is up-side-down crunching up my curls and that's it. 



It gives me a soft - not crunchy hold (you know what I mean!). If I want a little extra volume I do use a diffuser on low heat; however, the picture below is just air dried hair (about 60% dry). Anyway, I highly recommend these products because lets face it we could all use more great hair days! 

heart emoticon Ems




Emily sure is a busy mommy! Besides her "twenty four hour mommy job", she has a full time job and is also the proud owner of Ma Vie En Pink Shop! You can find her Etsy Shop here: Ma Vie En Pink Etsy Shop.  Follow her Facebook page at: Ma Vie En Pink Facebook Page and get the latest news on all her latest projects!

  


Friday, February 13, 2015

Valentine's Day Treats


      Hello Again Readers!! It’s been a while since I last posted on our blog, so let me rectify that.

      Today I will be sharing with you two easy recipes that can be used for any event. 
    
     If you follow our Facebook Page (Caramel Curlz & Swirls FB Page), then you may recall me making this sweet and fun filled treat for Ms. Bree’s 6th Birthday Party.   I will be posting all the details of her Barbie Birthday Bash next. 

     Due to the fact that all her classmates and teachers enjoyed this treat so much, I decided to make it again.  This time the “Valentine’s Day Popcorn” was the main treat which was accompanied by “Sparkling Marshmallow Pops”.

    Both treats are extremely easy to prepare, very inexpensive and it’s guaranteed to make a hit. 

Let’s get started shall we!

THE INGREDIENTS:

1 lb White Almond Bark (Vanilla Flavored);

4 Bags of Homestyle Pop Popcorn (4 bags were enough to make 20 Valentine’s Day Bags);

Red Food Coloring (Magenta/Pink);

Sprinkles (whichever kind your kid loves).

Now, the first time I made this treat I used a large plastic bowl, which was okay but made the “clean up” process a bit difficult.  The melted almond bark becomes hard relatively quickly.  With that bit of information in mind, the second time around I used a disposable roasting pan I got from the Dollar Store. 

This is something your kids can help with. They get to use their little hands to mix the melted almond bark, popcorn and sprinkles! Be prepared, sucking fingers will happen once the mixing part is done!  In another words, this is very messy.  

I tried using a spoon to mix everything but it didn't work as expected, the popcorn would actually get stuck to the spoon, therefore, using your hands was the best advice I was giving so I’m passing this amazing tip to you!



 STEP 1:

Pop the popcorn as instructed on the bags, (Pop 2 bags at a time).



STEP 2:

Melt half a pound of Almond Bark as recommended on the packaging.





STEP 3:

 Add a few drops of the food coloring until you achieve the color you are aiming for.  Mix it well.

STEP 4:

Spread all the popcorn on your disposable pan.



STEP 5:

Lightly drizzle the melted Almond Bark on your popcorn and begin to mix; 
Do this two to three times until you reach the desired results. 


STEP 6:

DROP the sprinkles! Again, you can add as many sprinkles as you (or you little one wants).

AND DONE! 

I used Valentine's Bags that I purchased from Party City.  They come in packs of 20s and they had many designs.  I picked two different designs for the kids. 

 

                      Little Man's class                        Ms Bree's class


Pretty easy right!  The teachers loved the popcorn so much the first time I made it, I'm sure there were very happy to get more!! 

This delicious treat can be prepared a day or two in advance.  It approximately took two hours to prepare and filled 40 bags.  

Marshmallow Pops

These pops are even easier to make!  

You will need Wilton Lollipop Wrapping Kit


A bag of Jumbo Size Marshmallows


Left over melted almond bark and left over sprinkles!  




Perfect, do you agree?  You can modify the colors to match your birthday party theme or any special event!

Go ahead, try it and ENJOY!   

~Elena~

Monday, December 8, 2014

DIY: Christmas Wreaths


DIY- Christmas Wreaths


Hello Readers!!

Today I bring you another easy and inexpensive DIY Christmas project!!  If you thought our DIY Tomato Cage Christmas Tree was inexpensive… wait until you see the Christmas Wreaths we have made.

These wreaths were originally made to decorate my garage door lamps.  Unfortunately the top part of my lamps literally touch the ceiling and are extremely close of the wall making it impossible for the wreaths to go around.   NO BIGGIE, I found another spot for them and I believe it gives the house the perfect look! 

Due to the fact that Christmas is around the corner, most (if not all) Christmas decorations are now on sale at most stores.  All the items required to make these wreaths were purchased at Michael’s Craft Store and . 

Here is what you will need:
Pre-made Wreath…………………………………. $3.99
Red Glitter Ribbon………………………………… $0.99
Jingle Bells…..……………………………………….. $3.50
(Red and Gold stems)…..………………….……. $4.74 (0.79 each)
        TOTAL SPENT PER WREATH      $13.22

STEP 1

Fluff the wreath by spreading all the limbs, you want the wreath to look nice and full;





STEP 2



On the center bottom of the wreath place your jingle bells;

Carefully secure the jingle bells  by using a thin piece of wire;

    HELPFUL NOTE: (you can use the thin hooks your would normally use to hang the decorations on your tree; if you don’t have any, you can buy a pack of 100 at the Dollar Store for $1.00)

STEP 3




Place the red ribbon slight above the top of the dangling bells;

    HELPFUL NOTE: (usually the ribbons have the own wire on the back, if your bow doesn't have one, you can use the thin wired hooks mentioned above);

STEP 4



I used three (3) stems with small red sparkling balls and three (3) stems with small gold sparkling balls on each side of the Wreath;

    HELPFUL NOTE: (Using the same amount of stems on each side will guarantee your wreath looks the same on each side.)

Separate each stem carefully and begin adding them to your wreath;


    HELPFUL NOTE: (You will not need extra wire to secure the stems onto the wreaths, they are made out of wire, carefully cut the wire to the desired length).
Then carefully fold the end of the wire around the wreath to prevent it from falling.

AND YOU ARE NOW DONE!  THESE ARE THE RESULTS:






A 20 minute project and the total cost was $13.22 per wreath.  You can use some of the decorations you already have available, making this project even less in price.  How about that?? For an inexpensive craft that will last you for years and you can proudly say that you made it yourself!!  

Friday, December 5, 2014

DIY: Tomato Cage Christmas Trees


Hello Readers…

We hope that your Thanksgiving was as memorable and enjoyable as ours was.  Time spent around family while enjoying some deliciously prepared food is always good.  But, with Thanksgiving gone, it’s time to prepare for Christmas.  If you thought Halloween was a big production in the Cunningham household, wait until you see what Christmas is like in our home!

This year is our son’s turn to pick the colors of the decorations of the Christmas tree and he did so, almost a month ago: Green, Red & Gold.  I love the idea of letting the kids pick the colors of the decorations, it allows them to be as involved in the process and it builds their confidence in the “decision making” process as well.   

If you follow our Facebook Fan Page, than you already know that I started my DIY Christmas decorations as far back as Halloween.  My good friend, Kara, is obsessed with Pinterest, and thanks to her, I have now joined that club! I know, the HORROR right!!! J

Kara found several projects but I fell in love with the idea of making my own Christmas Tree to decorate my entryway.  I have always wanted one (or two) but every time I saw the tag price of $79+, my wants became “no wants”… J  I’m sure you can relate to the whole “for how much?? 
Nope, it can stay right where it is!”

This can be used for indoors or outdoors and you will not believe how inexpensive and how easy are to make. 

Materials needed:

Wire Round Tomato Cage…………...…… $2.58 Lowe’s;
Zip Tie…………………………………………….. FREE- courtesy of Husband’s tool box;
Gold Star……………………………………….... $1.00- Dollar Tree Store
17 Garland…………………………………...…. $17.00- Dollar Tree Store
White Lights………………………………....… FREE- I used some of the lights I already owned
    TOTAL SPENT:                               $20.58

My entry way is not as large and open, so I only made one.  I simply decorated my tree using gold/ivory ribbon that I purchased at the Dollar General Store are well, increasing my total spent to $23.58.  Not bad at all if you compare it to the high prices you see at the store.

I used the 42” Galvanized Steel Wire Round Tomato Cage:  



This cage is not the tallest Lowe’s carries, there are several sizes you can choose from (33” to 54”).  If you cannot find the sizes you need to decorate your porch, you may want to consider placing the tomato cage on top of some nice heavy pots/planters.  Pots not heavy enough? No biggie, simply add dirt, sand or even rocks to make the pots/planters heavier.  You can make your pots/planters unique by adding a nice decorative ribbon around it.   Your options are limitless.

HELPFUL NOTE:  If you are using pots/planters follow these steps first:

1.       Make sure you add the dirt/sand/rocks first
2.      Place the tomato cage on top;
3.      If the tomato cage is too wide for your pot, you can cut the bottom wire and squeeze the cage into your pot.

STEP 1

Bringing the ends together and secure them by using the Zip Tie. Make sure it is as tight as possible. 



STEP 2:

Carefully unfold the garland;



Note: Amount of garland needed depends on the size of your tomato cage.  I compared the garland from the different Family Dollar, Dollar General and Dollar Tree Stores.  To my surprise, the best garland I found was at the Dollar Tree Store!  It’s was undeniably firmer than the rest, which will give you the necessary steadiness and fullness you are looking for.  



Start wrapping the garland around the cage;


HELPFUL NOTE:  It is easier to start from BOTTOM TO TOP, although I started from the TOP, let me explain why this was a problem for me:

1.       Every time I wrapped the top kept coming lose;
2.      I tried placing the star on the top hoping it would keep the garland in place but it simply refused to stay in place.
3.      I tried wrapping the garland around a bit tighter, but it kept coming lose at the top.  So I had to start over many, many times…

      Therefore, I highly suggest you start at the bottom, trust me, I’m saving you time but most importantly YOUR SANITY! J



Continue to wrap, wrap and continue to wrap the garland until the entire cage is fully covered.

STEP 3:

Carefully add the lights;
I used two sets of white lights, each set contained approximately 30 lights.


AND HERE IT IS!




Pretty neat!! 
Overall this was a very easy project and can't forget the amount of money I saved!!  

Thanks for ready and stay tuned for the next project!!!