Easy Pre-School Craft: Birdhouses

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Oh Georgia weather, you’re such a tease. With the jonquils blooming and yesterday’s afternoon warmth I was thinking Spring was officially here, but no, this morning is downright chilly! Come soon Spring, we are ready for you to stay! Aren’t the flowers beautiful though?

Today I wanted to share with you something so easy and fun that your pre-schooler (or probably any kid for that matter) will have fun doing. The other day Preston (my 3.5 year old son)  and I went to my favorite place, Hobby Lobby. One of the aisles we went down had all the little bare wood items. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about, this aisle has wood letters, little boxes of all kinds, small shelves, shapes of every kind…a huge assortment of plain wooden items. Well, Preston found a tiny little birdhouse that he just thought was the cutest thing. It was only a few dollars so I let him get it.

Later that afternoon he was bored so I got out the birdhouse and his paints, covered his little work table with a plastic tablecloth and let him get to work. He probably painted that little house for over an hour and had such a good time doing it. It was a great pre-school craft because it allowed him to practice making decisions–he decided which wood item he wanted, and he got to tap into his creative side and let his artistic juices flow. I feel that letting children develop their imagination and creativity is so important.

This idea may be one you already to do with your little one, but in case you hadn’t thought of it before I decided to pass the idea along. I also loved that it kept him entertained and occupied for so long, this would be the perfect thing to let your child do if you need to work on laundry or clean the house a bit. Since this is an inexpensive activity we will be doing this a lot more often too.

And now I have the cutest little birdhouse painted by my most favorite little guy. Isn’t it darling?

Easy Pre-School Craft: Bird House

I love it sitting here on my front porch, however, the other day Preston saw it out here and got really upset. Apparently he painted it to give to his baby sister for her first birthday. He’s the sweetest child I have ever known.

I brought the birdhouse back inside after I took the photo; it’s just as well though because this was how the porch was decorated for the winter. During the Christmas season in place of the birdhouse was a tiny silver glittery reindeer that was just so cute. Don’t you just love the mix of all the mediums? I think the mason jar with twine wrapped around it sitting next to a mercury glass votive on a modern looking tray with a burlap runner has a fun, interesting look.

However, I need to do some Spring decorating now that April is just around the corner. Maybe, just maybe, after Madison’s birthday on April 4th Preston will let me put the birdhouse back on the porch. 🙂

What kind of crafts do you like to do with your little ones?

Shabby Chic Baby Girl Shower

I realized today that I haven’t written a post since sometime in March!…it’s July! Spring and summer just seems to be such a busy time of the year. Although I’m leaving to go to the beach tomorrow and should be packing, I thought I’d do a post about the Shabby Chic Baby Girl Shower that I did in April…or was it May? I can’t remember!

This was such a fun shower to throw and gave me the perfect excuse to go antiquing for more milk glass! I LOVE milk glass and buy it whenever I find it. What about you? Do you have anything vintage that you collect?

For this shower I chose a color scheme of mostly pink and green and other gorgeous pastels. I made a wreath for the door and gave it to the mother-to-be to put on her front door when baby Brooklyn arrived. The letter “B” is just a wooden letter that I painted pink and sprinkled glitter on for a little bling.

I found the most perfect fabric at Hobby Lobby; it was a pack of 5 different fabrics that color coordinated but weren’t too “matchy-matchy”–I used them throughout the party and they really added to the shabby chic feeling I think. The pendants were cut out and glued on twine. The letters were stenciled on with brown paint. Overall I was pleased with how it turned out.

The baby’s nursery is decorated in pink and green owls so I was super excited when I found this cute owl box. At the shower I asked everyone to write a note to baby Brooklyn and put it in the box.

To decorate the room where the food was I made a garland out of strips of fabric; I simply tied them on and then added a little pink tutu and a couple of bibs.

The shower was a brunch so I served Preggo Mimosas which was just a mixture of orange juice and Sprite and in the South you simply can’t have a party without sweet tea!

I thought it would be darling for us to drink out of old fashioned milk bottles but I didn’t want to spend $4 per bottle…so I drank a bunch of Starbucks Frappuccinos (hmmm, is that spelled right?!) and used Goo Gone to get off the label. Then I tied a bit of lace and some twine around them and added a pink straw. So cute, cheap and reusable for another time too!

The menu for this brunch was inspired by Paula Deen. Most of the recipes were from her book, Paul Deen and Friends. I served Praline French Toast casserole, Garlic Cheese Grits casserole, Broiled Parmesan Tomatoes, Sausage Balls with Mustard Dip, Frozen Fruit Cups and a Doughnut Cake.

All of those items are yummy but you’ve just GOT to make the Praline French Toast–it’s amazing! Here’s a link to the recipe. I mean just look at it!

The Frozen Fruit Cups were served on cute little milk glass plates–so excited when I found a set of 5 of these pretties at Queen of Hearts antique store in Buford.

I added pink frosting and sparkly sprinkles to the dozen Krispy Kremes. What could be better than doughnuts with icing on them?

I made a mini version of the fireplace banner as a cake topper and used cute stickers to spell out the name.

Other elements that I feel added to the “shabby chicness” of the party was the burlap table runner and the “Plain & Simple” caddy I had the silverware in.

The favors were simple lollipops; typically I make cake pops as favors for parties but I was a little short on time so I purchased this kit at Party City.

This really was such a fun party to throw. Party planning and cooking are my passions so if you need help with the next shower or party that you’re hosting, please contact me as I would be happy to help. Of course, this only applies to the Greater Atlanta, Georgia area. Simply email me at AnneRains@gmail.com

Have a blessed day!

Cinnamon Crunch Cupcakes

Do y’all love cinnamon and sugar as much as I do? That sweet little combination is one of my favorite things…I love cinnamon toast, cinnamon rolls, cinnamon Toaster Strudel, you get the idea! When I found this recipe for Cinnamon Crunch cupcakes on Pinterest that is made with Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal I knew that I had to make them! Luckily for me (and my waist, hips and booty) we had a dinner with friends coming up that I could make them for…wouldn’t want to have two dozen cupcakes just lying around the house, ya know!

Look at these…don’t they look divine?

These are so yummy and the cinnamon buttercream frosting is so tasty. I don’t like cream cheese usually but this icing is so delicious that if I hadn’t made it myself I wouldn’t have even noticed.

So I know that you’re going to want this recipe too…so scoot over to the Your Cup of Cake blog for a bit (sooo many fabulous cupcake recipes there!). Click here for the recipe: Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cupcakes

*Just a quick tip, add the single cinnamon toast square to the top of the cupcake RIGHT before serving. I made the mistake of just putting it on when I decorated and by the time my friends ate them the cereal was a bit soggy.

Enjoy! Do you have a favorite cupcake recipe you’d like to share? Add it to the comments!

Wedding Portrait Photography Session: Part 3

Okay here’s the last part of the Wedding Portrait Photography session I did for my niece. In case you missed the previous parts, here they are:

Wedding Portrait Photography Session: Part 1

Wedding Portrait Photography Session: Part 2

My niece is so beautiful and it was so fun taking these pictures for her. I enjoy doing Maternity photos, Newborn photos, Engagement photos and Wedding Portrait photos. If you have a need for any of the above photo sessions and are in the greater Atlanta area please email me at AnneRains@gmail.com.

Wedding Portrait Photography Session: Part 1

My niece, Brittany, wanted some more photos taken after her wedding–who wouldn’t want an excuse to wear your gorgeous wedding dress again?!–so of course I said I’d take them for her. Somehow she was able to convince her hubby to get all dolled up again too. I had so much fun taking these pictures that it made me want to put my dress on again (four years later!) and get some creative photos but sadly my hubby said no. A girl can dream though…

Anyways, here are my favorites from the photography session. We had a lot of fun, we went back to the church they were married in and to the Hilton where they had their reception and also to the Marietta Square. It was a fun day and I was thankful they asked me to do the photography session.

Be sure to check back tomorrow and the day after for parts 2 and 3 of this photography session!

Mercury Glass Decorating

Are you as infatuated with mercury glass as I am? I became really interested in collecting some mercury glass right before Christmas, so of course that was on my wish list. Lucky for me, my mom and sis delivered…I got 6 different pieces for Christmas! Can you feel my excitement about this?!

I used all my new mercury glass to decorate my home in a “winter” theme using lots of silvery frosted branches, silver sparkly berries, and to brighten things up a bit I threw in a lime green glittery branch here and there as well. I also used pine cones and pine branches to add to this rustic wintery theme.

So I decorate my home in this winter wonderland that would be perfect for snow and of course we’ve had the hottest winter I can ever remember. I realize that I live in Georgia so I shouldn’t expect buckets of snow but we haven’t even had a FLURRY this year. I’ve only worn my winter pea coat twice and I’ve worn short sleeves more times than I can count. It’s been one crazy winter…if you can even call it that!

Do you like to decorate with mercury glass too? If so, I hope this has given you a little inspiration. I’m not tired of it yet so I’m thinking about keeping it out for spring too. I will just rearrange it a little and change out the winter foliage for pretty spring flowers and greenery.

All of these vases are store bought, but I saw on Pinterest that you can make your own mercury glass. I’m definitely going to give that a try. Click the picture below for the instructions. Happy decorating!