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I’m Exhausted December 22, 2010

Posted by Lil' C's Mommie in Uncategorized.
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The birthday party was held at the beginning of this month and it went really well!  I was exhausted after it was over, and I’m still exhausted from it today!  I basically made the party into a glorified playdate with cake.  I set up a bunch of “stations” around the house.  And just let the kids play.

I papered the dining room table and set out crayons and taped on space-themed coloring pages printed off from the internet, and let the kids color to their hearts content.  My friend, Catie, sent us a box of these super cute rocket themed puffy stickers, that had letters so the kids could customize their own sheet and take it home.

Then out on the patio, I set up my son’s trampoline.  The kids loved it and the parents, too!  I think this was one of the hits of the party!

His cars and trains were set out on the train table in the living room.  And we had a toy kitchen that the kids could play with in the desk area.  Our house is tiny, and a lot more people that I thought RSVP’d that they were coming, so I decided to extend the party out into our garage, as well.  That’s where the black sheeting came in.  My husband made a rocket playhouse out of cardboard (that he got for free from his work) and I put up black sheeting (that I borrowed for free from a member of my Freecycle network) behind it, with planet stickers all over it to look like outer space.  I wanted to add white Christmas lights, too, but ran out of time.  I also wanted to put up black sheeting around the entire garage, but we didn’t have enough sheeting.  But that’s ok.  It worked out because it wasn’t easy to put all the sheeting up!  I also set out a rug (which I had happened to find on the side of the road when I was picking up another Freecycled item – it was the perfect size and was totally clean and smelled brand new) with some toys and some riding toys for the kids.

I made a “comet toss” game, were I wrapped colored tights around tennis balls (that I got for free through Freecycle) and cut holes out of a box and let the kids toss them in.  And I set out his astronaut costume that I made back in October, so the kids could try it on and take pictures as an astronaut in the rocket playhouse.  The helmet and rocket jetpack parts were Freecycled to me, and I turned them into what you see in the photos.

You wouldn’t believe how many crayons I still have left, from someone who gave them to me through Freecycle.  I made 12 stars and 24 planet crayons.  I LOVED making them!  SO FUN!  I ended up not only making “planet” crayons, but star shaped crayons, as well.

One Freecycle member offered to make “Thank you for coming to my party” tags!  SO SWEET!  Here’s a picture of the crayon goody bags I made and then I attached those tags onto it.

I added those to the rocket container, along with the “Hope you had a blast!” coloring page that I printed out, a rocket comic book that I got for free from a friend, a pop rocket, which I found at the dollar store, 3/$1, and an organic lollipop, which I got very inexpensively from a deal through Amazon!

Christian loved helping me put the party favors into the containers.

I made the rocket containers out of Pringles cans, that were Freecycled to me, and the paper that I used was free as well, from my leftover stock of scrapbooking paper and some of it was offered from someone on Freecycle, as well.  Oh, and the glue that I used to put the rocket containers together was also Freecycled to me.

I also handed out “wrist rockets” that I had a friend sew together for me.  I bartered her sewing skills for a book that she was wanting.  Which I traded for, for almost free, on www.swap.com.  The kids wore these wrist rockets during the party.  They could take the rocket off (velcro) and fly it around, if they wanted to.

I also had my friend make a tie dye shirt for my son, and I used fabric paint (from Michaels, with a 40% off coupon) and freezer paper (that I got for free at my local deli) to paint a rocket shape on it.  She bought and made the shirt as a birthday gift for my son.

AND I designed and made the party invites and the thank you cards!  And I made the envelopes and stickers.   All, again, with leftover paper from my scrapbooking stock.  WHEW!!!

Yes, it was a lot of work, but I loved doing it!  And my son absolutely loved it!  OH, and I made a moon cake!  I think I need to start a side business.

Best part was that I was able to do most of this party for almost free, at very little cost.  Exception was the food and cups/plates/napkins.  Although the Tang hardly cost a thing! And I was able to get star-shaped mylar balloons for a $1 each at the dollar store.

This party took A LOT of time, but not a lot of money.  Which was my goal.  A low cost but spectacular party!

It’s amazing what we can do with a fantastic Freecycle network, some time, some resourcefulness and a lot of determination.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go get ready for Christmas!

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Thank You Tags December 8, 2010

Posted by Lil' C's Mommie in Uncategorized.
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When I had posted a “Wanted” posting to my Freecycle group, I had asked for cellophane bags with twist ties, noting that it was for a rocket birthday party. Well, one member replied back, offering to make me some “Thank you for Coming to my Party” tags! This is probably one of the sweetest things someone has ever offered me! I can’t believe how amazing the folk on Freecycle are. Everyone is so giving and generous and kind.

Here are the tags.  She even made made me a scrapbooking strip in case I wanted to make a scrapbook page!  HOW SWEET OF HER!!

Here’s a picture of the crayon goody bags I made and attached the tags onto.

Then I added those to the rocket goody container, along with the coloring page, comic book, pop rocket and lollipop!

The tags were the perfect final touch to the goody bags!  Thank you Linda!

Trash to Treasure – Building Rocket Goody Bags December 3, 2010

Posted by Lil' C's Mommie in Uncategorized.
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I finally put the rocket goody bags together from old Pringles cans. I posted a “Wanted” ad on Freecycle and received about 10 cans, from different sources. 1 or 2 cans here, 3 or 4 cans there. Then I had to buy 2 more because I needed 12.

I collected and cleaned about a dozen Pringles cans.

Weird that there wasn’t one single repeat flavor.

Using a brand new glue stick and a brand new bottle of quick dry glue (so much better than Elmer’s!  And a stack of scarpbooking paper) that I just happen to get off of Freecycle, from someone offering it, I wrapped and glued the paper to the cans.

I cut out some cones and fins.

Punched out some 1 1/2″ circles in coordinating colors, of course, for the windows.

Punch holes in can and through cone. Add the ribbon.

Slapped on some stickers and voila!

I paid $2 for 2 cans, recieved the glue for free and the rest of the materials, like the paper, were from Freecycle and I also already had some sheets in my scrapbooking supply.

Cost: About $0.20 each.  I like it!