Just call me Jiji

…me, just pretending to be me ….now, where did I put that cape??

Archive for the tag “party”

Gettin’ my Creative Juices Flowin’

I have often heard;

“you are so talented, you should start a business”.

That would be WONDERFUL, I’d love to do that.

The question is; how? I have no business sense and the coin purse is empty. And you know the old adage; it takes money to make money.

And then, there is the lack of confidence in my talents

It’s not that I do not believe that I have any talent, it’s just that I feel there are people out there that are so much more talented than myself.

It doesn’t stop me from enjoying the creative process though. And sometimes I even impress myself with the outcome 🙂

My creative talents have included:

Drawing – it’s been a while, I did a lot of drawing as a child and in my teens. I have only recently taken it up again. I even tried some creative drawing on the computer to make some matching t-shirts for our trip to Disney;

Trip Planning – YES I definitely consider trip planning a creative talent!! And I do it well, especially when traveling with a highly sensory child with ADHD/ODD. Accommodations for travel require quite a bit of creativity. Like the badge I made for him to wear that clearly outlined the rules with a visual prompt.

Badge that "MICKEY" sent to Leon

Event Planning – like my DIY wedding where I made everything from the centerpieces to the floral arch to the ring box to the 150 hand-painted Champaign glasses I made to give as wedding favors to each of my guests.

The wedding arch

Close up

One of my centerpieces and a set of hand-painted champaign glass favors

Enough people told me that I should go into business selling my Glass Painting that I decided to give it a try.  I successfully sold a few pieces but in the end I wasn’t making enough money to cover the time, effort, and money it took to not only paint each piece , but then to pack everything up and transport them to a little craft fair, where I paid $60 for a table, only to sell a couple of pieces that maybe made me $40, and then have to pack it all back up and bring it back home. It just didn’t pay.

I also have helped to plan a few showers, my sister’s wedding, and quite a few themed birthday parties for kids. I love doing it. Especially the themey stuff

I was very proud of the School Bus cake I made on Leon's 1st Day of School

Leon’s 2nd Thomas Birthday Party  – he didn’t know how much I put into this party but I had fun doing it

I made one cake for the adults and little individual ones for each child

Leon’s 5th Pirate Birthday Party – yes my spoiled little child had 3 parties and 3 cakes

I hand-painted this shark to use as a game, it was fun as a photo prop too!

Leon’s 8th Lego Birthday Party;- this was a really fun party!

Lego Mini Marshmellow heads - real easy to make

Kiera’s 1st Ladybug Birthday

Ladybug Themed tutu I made for Kiera's 1st birthday

If I knew how, I would love to make money as an event planner.

Photography  – …is another talent I have. More specifically I have an eye for. Ron, often tells people that I am a photographer, and it bugs me, because I am SO NOT a photographer. I WISH I was, but at best I am a photo enthusiast. The difference being that although I thoroughly enjoy photography, and have an eye for capturing great shots; I pretty much have no education in photography at all.

I can really relate to the guy in this Panasonic Lumix commercial:

..see it’s not me,  it’s my camera! (which btw is a Canon)

…plus some creative digital photo editing too.

Basically I am just winging it.

When Leon was born, my love for photography grew, and my need to share it grew too. I started showcasing my photos on my smugmug website for all my friends and family to see.

First time using a spoon

(btw -gardening is NOT one of my talents)

As a result I was asked by two different sets of friends to photograph their weddings. Of course I said yes, it was an honor to be asked. I never expected to be paid, but when one of the couples thanked me with $1000.oo check , it gave me the confidence to try to make some money doing what I loved.

I got a few jobs and made some money, but most of my jobs were for friends and I had a hard time charging them, so that didn’t last too long. I also  needed better equipment in order for my photography to live up to my own standards.

In general I don’t know that I am so much talented as I am creative and crafty

And recently I have been inspired to try a new craft;

I was honored when my sister -in-law asked me if I could make a few things for her wedding. She pointed me in the direction of Etsy.com where she had seen a few things she had really liked. I was already familiar with Etsy, but I had never really perused the wedding category. One of the things she had pointed out to me, started to get my creative juices flowin again. It was something that I have tried my hand at before, but I didn’t really feel that there was a big demand for it. But with the trend of weddings being a bit more green, the rustic look of woodburning seems to have become a bit more popular.

Woodburning – is now a talent I am trying to cultivate. And I am really enjoying it. And who knows maybe I can even sell a few pieces on Etsy….

This is just a practice piece - but it gives you an idea of what I am going for

Besides what else is there for this SAHM to do?…uh, besides taking care of an ADHD child, managing my Fibro, keeping track of $800/month medicines, PTA volunteering, School Newspaper editor and author, caring for my 3 year old niece, plan playdates, etc.., etc…, etc…                            …oh yeah and maintain this blog.

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Yipee Skipee it’s Halloween!

I love Halloween! It ties with Christmas as my favorite holidays..

Both are fun and festive! Christmas lets me get my shopping on and Halloween lets me get my costume on.

Last weekend we enjoyed yet another Halloween Celebration. I say another, because this year is no different from any other year, where we attend many different Halloweenie events.

Traditionally Leon gets to go trick-or-treating at least 3 times each year.  First Leon starts his candy collecting in PA at Ron’s parent’s summer retreat, a campsite on the Delaware river, that they have been seasonal members of since Ron was Leon’s age, that hosts a costume parade, trick or treating, and a Halloween party at the close of the season in the end of September. His second T.o.T. collecting is usually at Pumpkin Park, a local amusement park that opens itself up for safe trick or treating every year, however there was scheduling conflict and we did not get to go this year. And lastly we always enjoy having a few friends meet up at our home for a light snack before we roam the neighborhood on Oct. 31, forcing our kids to collect candy for our – umm I mean their enjoyment. 

This year we have a packed Halloween schedule once again. In September, we had fun at the campground as usual. Leon wore a grim reaper sort of costume because as much as he wanted to be Emperor Palpatin from Star Wars, I knew the make-up involved in it would try his patience and his sensory issues. So I nixed it for the campground. He enjoyed himself none the less.

He’s the one all in black

Two weeks ago we went upstate to enjoy the fall scenery and do some apple picking as described in my previous post.

The 3 of us collected twigs, acorns, and leaves and put them together; and Leon snapped this photo.

Last weekend I spent Friday and Saturday putting our costumes together. I’ve always enjoyed making costumes and dressing up in either couples costumes or coordinated family costumes, and luckily Ron and Leon enjoy it too. Our theme is usually determined by what Leon chooses to be and then we work around that.

Being HUGE fans of Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas, it was only natural that we would portray characters from the movie. I am the Lovely Sally, Ron is Jack Skellington the Pumpkin King, and Leon of course is Oogie Boogie.

Putting costumes together for Jack and Sally was simple enough. Ron’s was completely store-bought and in the interest of saving money, (along with having an excuse to wear my leather corset) mine was put together from pieces of clothing that I already own (with the exception of the wig which I borrowed). Leon’s costume of the other hand was something entirely different. Oogie Boogie is not a readily available costume, in other words it had to be made. And Leon was very specific about it looking true to character.

I spent four hours creating Oogie’s head on Friday and about five hours creating his boogie, I mean body on Saturday. It turned out truly amazing if I do say so myself, I am quite pleased with the result!!!

You’re joking, you’re joking,
I can’t believe my eyes”

Mr. Oogie Boogie, Nightmare Before Christmas

We wore our costumes to a friend’s Halloween party Saturday evening and had a blast! Leon’s favorite part was getting to watch Nightmare Before Christmas and Scooby Doo with the other kids. My favorite part was the look of surprise on people’s faces when they found out Oogie Boogie was not store-bought. Well, that and getting together with friends.

On Sunday, Ron’s parents joined us at a street fair. We went in costume to participate in a costume parade and enjoy the farmers market and a wonderful musical group, The Bari Koral Family Rock Band. They were terrific but we had to leave early, Leon was having an off day due to the previous night’s activities.

Ron, Leon, my niece Kiera, and myself

You will notice that I did not go as Sally in the pictures; instead I was an eco-friendly witch. I felt that it was more appropriate daytime attire, and it gave me an excuse to wear my green dress that just happened to match my green witches hat that I had received as a gift from my sister a year or so ago. Hmmm.. Do you think she was trying to tell me something?

This whole week continued to be about Halloween festivities for us. Leon’s school hosted a pumpkin patch for the students during recreation time on Wednesday. He was happy to come home with a pumpkin, a pint of apple cider, and some candy corn. We decorated the pumpkin when he got home from school

It’s Not So Spooky Snoopy!

On Friday, Leon went to school in costume, as did the majority of the other students in his school. The principle, whom I adore as y’all know; led a costume parade in front of the school, and invited the parents to come and watch.

Jedi Leon

It was just so adorable to see them all dressed up and enjoying themselves. Our principle by the way dressed as Sponge Bob, which I thought was great. So did the kids, they just love her! Leon was excited to come home with his “crabby patty” prize for scariest costume. Funny enough, Leon did not wear his Oogie Boogie costume.  The student’s were not allowed to wear masks, so he donned a previous year’s costume, Jedi Luke Skywalker. Which, isn’t a scary costume, however, knowing my SPD son and his issues with clothing, I allowed him to wear a pair of skeleton pajamas as a costume underneath his Jedi costume, in case all that extra fabric was too much for him. So he went to school and marched in the parade as a Jedi; but by the time the principle got to his classroom afterwards he had stripped done to his bones, won scariest costume, and came home as a skeleton.

That same evening the PTA hosted a Fall Harvest Costume Dance. We  really, really wanted to show off the Oogie Boogie costume, and even though masks were not permitted, I allowed Leon to walk in as Oogie, knowing that my extremely hyper-active, run wild as soon as he hears music, ADHD child would take it off within 10 minutes of getting there. I was right, of course, and Leon spent the rest of the evening as a break-dancing skeleton. Which is quite funny to watch! Ron and I attended in costume as well. Ron as Jack, and I as the Green Witch, once more – I figured my leather corset would raise more than a few eyebrows in a school setting.

Conga!

CIt was very nice to see some of the other parents wearing costumes as well! My favorite adult costume was the Sleestak! As for the kids, the home-made Sally was great, as was the Mini Mad Hatter, the Peacock, and my favorite Little Witch in Training (just because she is the sweetest little girl).

Sleestak and Jack rev up the dance floor

The funniest part of the evening was when the DJ called the Sleestak and Beetle Juice over to help lead a dance. Funny because, he was pointing at Ron (aka Jack Skellington) when he said Beetle Juice.

You could not see his face under that mask but I am sure Ron was cringing every time the DJ (who was really great with the kids) said Beetle juice, which he said a lot. At one point Beetle juice, I mean Jack; I mean RON was asked to lead the conga line.

Conga, conga!

 I am very lucky to have a husband who is such a good sport (and doesn’t mind working up a sweat! – that is a rubber mask he was wearing). I think he really enjoyed it too, the notoriety, not the sweating.

On Saturday, Leon and Ron started their day early. Aside from Leon’s first Drawing class, they went to the Boy Scout Jamboree for the day, which being scheduled for Halloween weekend had to of course include a Halloween parade. Unfortunately they missed the parade, but they enjoyed the day none the less.

Happy Birthday BSA!!

When they returned, we got ready for a party at the haunted house across the street. Our friends (who are also our neighbors) go all out on Halloween. The outside of their r home gets totally transformed a week or two before Halloween, and is ever-changing. The house draws a lot of on lookers. This year the theme was a Cannibal Cafe and aside from the typical masked persons scaring the bejeebers out of passerbyers, including one who chases them down the street wielding a real chainsaw (sans blade); they added a new character to the mix. The zombie chef was working up his magic for the crowd, offering up; grilled upper intestines (because the lower ones taste like crap), liver and fava beans, fried fingers, leg of Sam, eyeballs, s.o.s. (shit on a shingle), and “The Exorcist” special. He was a crowd pleaser for sure.

The Spooky House day & night

(click pictures to enlarge)

Sunday, Halloween; was a very long day for sure. We spent the morning preparing for a Pre-Trick-or-Treat Get Together at our home. I planned games for the kids to play for prizes, including the ever popular mummy-wrap game which was a ball. The kids enjoyed a few crafts, some games, some chicken nuggets and cupcakes, and spending time with each other, at about 3ish we set out on our merry way, around the neighborhood. Keeping up with the kids was a task and a half. We managed to hit quite a few houses, some of them more than once, before we made it back.

Trick or Treat!

(click pictures to enlarge)

We had been invited back to the “cafe” across the street to enjoy yet another party because this year they decided to host a party on both nights of Halloween weekend, rather than just their usual one party on Halloween night.

Par-tay!

The second night was by far more crowded and busier than the first night, with both the invited guests and the passing onlookers. The live entertainment was a huge draw. Even Ron got in on it as kids high-fived him and asked to take pictures with him.

Ron enjoying the spotlight

And now I get to suffer the Day After  Halloween Hangover….

                                                                  ….that’s okay I got the cure

CANDY!

Just a Quicky!

Been up to my ears in activity!!

I haven’t had time to breathe let alone blog about whats been going on. It seems everyday there is something to do. It’s life getting in the way of life. Today is just another really busy day, but I thought I would stop to take a quick breath and jot down a quicky blog post.

Boy this summer sure went fast! It started with crummy rain storm after rain storm, leaving us wondering when it would actually start to feel like summer. When the weather finally improved and summer activities could truely be enjoyed, we were busy with day camp, and summer festivals, days at the local pool, camping in PA with Leon’s grandparents, and of course all the regular ole’ daily grind stuff.

Camp ended last week just in time to remind me that “Oh crap, summer is almost over and I am not even ready for that!!”  

There are :

5 weeks till the Kids Kloset Consignment Sale – which I haven’t even started to prep for yet. Nothing like waiting till the very last minute. But I am hoping the $$$ I make will be enough to plan the next Disney trip — yes I am Disney Addicted

25 days till I start caring for my good friend’s 5 month old Nico – a new baby in the house!! Yay! I just hope Kiera and Leon feel the same.  I am thrilled about this. Not only am I helping a friend out, she is helping me out more than she knows. When I stopped watching V it put a huge dent in our finances and fueled quite a few arguments about money between Ron and I. After catching up from being so far behind in debt, we really don’t want to slide back into them again. PLUS – Nico really is the cutest baby ever (after Leon that is, of course!)

18 days till school starts -EEEEK! I mean YAY! I mean EeeeeeeeK! — yeah I have some mixed emotions about this, BIG TIME!  I worry so much about how this year will go for Leon. And I know the first few weeks will be busy just getting into the swing of things, I will have a CSE meeting to look forward to or to fear, I don’t know which yet. And to top it all off Leon just started a new medication today. Here’s hoping he tolerates it well!! I’ve got mixed emotions about this too.

8 days till we leave for Disney – I can not wait!! I still have so, so, so, much more to do before we go – packing, tie-dyeing, costume making, crafting, and more…

1 Day till our weekend in PA camping trip – I’ll admit, don’t love camping , but I do love getting together with family and makeing memories. It reminds me so much of my childhood with my grandparents and Aunt Kathi and Uncle John. GREAT MEMORIES! I am so grateful that Leon gets to make such wonderful memories.

2 hours till Leon’s “Almost 7” Birthday Party – decided on and planned at the very very very last minute – 5 days ago to be exact- because Leon “really really really wants a pool party and not just a boring party at home” – I think I am offended at that.  After all I am: “Da Mom!!” I throw the BEST birthday parties! Seriously if I were to start a buisness, that would be it!  Theme Parties are my specialty. I’ll have to share some pics of past parties some time.

But right now I have to get Leon’s Almost 7, Lilo and StitchStitchcopy Luau Pool Party packed up to go set up at the local pool. Fun, fun, fun!!

What a week!!!!

I hope everyone had a nice Valentine’s weekend. I sure did. On Friday Leon fell and hurt his hand. When I asked to look at it he said no I had to wait till Valentine’s Day. When I asked why he “said well I’ll tell you but I can’t show you yet, it’s in the shape of a heart so you can only see it on Valentine”s Day”. I love my little man!!

christmas-002

Valentine’s Day was very nice! I got some very nice cards from Ron and Leon. I gave Ron his gift with a note attached that said “Now we both have a nice set of cans” …I gave him two garbage cans. LOL.  The best part of the day was finally getting a new computer. A friend of ours “built” one for me. I think I am a little scared of it. I’ve got to learn how to navigate Vista and Open Office now. They are both new to me. I’ve got to say I really like Vista’s Windows Photo Gallery. I can’t wait to play with my pictures. And now I can truly make this a photo blog!!

t957-lttt0957103562tar-2

Sunday was a nice day too. I planned and hosted a 1st birthday party for my niece. I love planning parties, especially theme parties. My sister and I decided on a ladybug theme. We toyed with a few other ideas, but then we found the perfect ladybug dress and the decision was made.

 

 

 

The party was a success and lots of fun to plan. We used red, black, and green streamers and balloons to decorate my house. I also used red and black paper plates and black pipe cleaners with some scissors and glue to make  cute Ladybug decorations. Ladybug decoration made from 1 black and 1 red plate

kieras-1st-birthday-0151

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I bought some sun catchers for Leon to paint so that he could be a part of the planning.
 
 
 
This is the no sew tutu I made for Kiera and the super cute Ladybug hair clip I found at www.itsy.com.
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We found some cute ladybug soaps from http://www.bigdotofhappiness.com/ and my sister made cute chocolate lollipops to give out as favors. The kiddies got a separate bag of goodies too.
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We also put the chocolate ladybugs on the cake we ordered from BJ’s and set the table with a red tablecloth topped with black dots.
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The party was fun …

  …for more pictures of the party check out my photo website http://jillo.smugmug.com/gallery/7394040_dhHTR#476300226_ZXLLu

Speaking of Birthdays, mine is coming up!
I will be the BIG 4-0 this coming Saturday. Woo hoo!
I had originally planned on celebrating it with the whole family this Saturday and then on the following Saturday I plan on having a small gathering of girlfriends at my house for a Potluck Pajama Party Game Night. It should be fun. I’ve asked my friends to come in pajamas (like I said, I love theme parties)and bring an appetizer to share, I will provide the liquid refreshments and the game. It’s called the Game of Things and it’s great for a ton of laughs. I still have the decorations up from Kiera’s Party so I won’t need to decorate. Some friends (well actually only one) has expressed concern over the fact that I am throwing my own party, but really it’s just how I want to celebrate my birthday. A small gathering of close friends, eating, drinking, and laughing the night away without spending a ton of cash. That’s my birthday wish, actually my birthday wish was to go to Disney World again, but I just did not see that happening, so I planned a night with friends instead. 
Well guess what, I won’t be spending my Birthday this Saturday with the whole family, I’ll be spending it with Mickey Mouse!! That’s right Ron and Leon are taking me to Disney World for my Birthday. I just found out yesterday and we Leave the day after tomorrow at 6am. WOOOOOO HOOOO!!!  So now I’ll have to write up two trip reports. I am very excited to say the least. well, I’ve got to get packing now…
TTFN as my pal Tiger would say.

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