Wednesday, March 31, 2010

E's Space Themed Room

The moment you have all been waiting for...the unveiling of E's bedroom. I apologize for the agony you endured over these past few day waiting to see this room...;o) Juuuust Kidding:o) I am very excited to share this room with you. E is completely beside himself; he's so pumped about!
 Now this room, as you can tell was inspired by Pottery Barn Kids' Celestial bedroom. It's not completely the same, but there are a few similarities. I'll start with one of the two most difficult projects, the fabric mural over the bed.
This puppy took around 6 hours of knee and elbow pain to complete. We have hard wood floors, and I was on my elbows and knees drawing this out on the fabric. I had my lap top next to me, with the pic of PBK's version($99) on the screen, and with a white paint pen, drew everything out. I had some painters plastic underneath the fabric b/c it did bleed thru. I used 2 yards of navy fabric. It was $1.99/yd. at Hobby Lobby. All I had to do to get it ready was hem the edges, and make a loop at the top and bottom of the mural for rods to slide thru. The paint pens were on the expensive side, and I had to use 2 1/2. They were $4.74 each. I got dowel rods, but it would probably have been better to get something like PVC pipe b/c the hubs had to piece 2 dowels together to make a 6 foot length, and it isn't as sturdy as it should no fault of the hubs of course. You can only do so much with the materials that you have been provided with:o) Anyway, the dowels were spray painted with silver paint, and then slid into place on top and bottom of the mural. Two eye hooks on top and some twine and there ya have it:o)
The rug. I found this 3x5 rug at Marshall's for $12.99. I used white fabric paint and a stencil brush to make the stars and dots, and a paint pen to write the words. This took about 2 hours to paint. PBK inspired as well($99 for theirs):o)
A cute little night light from Target. Paid too much for it($12.99...ack!) But it was too cute:o)
E is VERY attached to his blankets, so I made a special place for them. The basket was a gift for him when he was born, the red plaque I had on hand as well. Just sprayed a little chalk board spray paint on it and threaded some yarn thru the loops. Attached it on the inside with a safety pin.
I painted the rocket ship on the canvas, and positioned it so that it looked like the rocket was shooting to the moon. I love this moon and so does E. It came from Toys R Us. It was $22.99. I thought it was perfect for the room. It comes with a remote control, so you can see the different phases of the moon. E likes playing with it at night and has been using it as a night light as well. The great thing about this is that it goes off after a certain amount of time, usually after he has fallen asleep:o)
The SHOW STOPPER! I got this ceiling fan from Home Depot. A friend of mine from church told me about this fan and I had to go check it out. I had no intention of purchasing it, but when I got there I couldn't pass it up. E LOVES, LOVES, LOVES IT!! He has been telling everyone about it:o)
Here the globe is lit. 
The ceiling was the second of the hardest projects. Painting in a different direction just wears on ya:oP. Anywho, it took 2 coats of blue on the ceiling to finish it off, and then I added the vinyl stars. Thanks to my awesome neighbor who has a Cricut machine, I was able to cut these stars quickly and it was a lot cheaper than ordering them from PBK(20 something bux for 100). I purchased the vinyl for $7.99 from Hobby Lobby. I was able to get around 200 stars and the letters for this sign:
Not too shabby ehh? The sign is just a board we had in the garage, some Cherry Red Krylon spray paint, and the vinyl letters attached. Easy peasy!

 Sorry about the BLINDING LIGHT! The sun shows thru E's window VERY well:o) Here's the view of the other side of the room. I had the comforter on hand, and I bought the pillow from Marshall's for $9.99. I wanted to put a red star with the letter E on it, but I haven't gotten around to it.
 The What Not shelf. It houses all of E's Curious George stuff. He loves George, not as much as he used to, but he still has to watch him every morning:o) I love it:o) The red frame on top was purchased for $2.99. It was actually white and was supposed to be a boat, but I thought it had a rocket shape, so I painted it red, and eventually it will have a photo in it:o)
The room isn't finished yet. There are a few minor things to take care of, and one major thing. The major project is to paint some planets and hang them from the ceiling. PBK"s run for $199...ain't happ-nin. I plan on buying some bouncy balls of various sizes and painting them. I "think" it will work;o) Anyway, let me know you think. I would love to hear some feedback.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Could the CHMC bankrupt us?

There is some good analysis coming out of the net warning of the liabilities that we will all face should this long-awaited correction happen and leave CHMC's large dangling liabilities covered by fairly skimpy assets.

There are a few interesting facts I have been able to glean from the net:

The CHMC liabilities are probably not far shy of $500 Billion or about 40% of the total GDP of Canada.

This come from this excellent report which I would encourage everyone to read. At least read page 21-27 on the CHMC. You can find it on this site- about half way down, March 22nd,
Canadian Housing Bubble Trouble looms.

(hat-tip to Hosuing Analysis)

The CHMC is insuring 90% of all insured (and therefore high risk) mortgages. Why are we in the business of insuring mortgages again? Could someone remind me.

Our total debt is $700 Billion:

So as you can see it wouldn't take much of a correction for the feds to have to step in and soak it up for the CHMC losses.

Meanhwile Mish has some comparisons between near-bankrupt California and solvent Ontario which makes the fomer look better!

As for our banks, no wonder they are doing so well, when the CHMC is underwiting the risk. this is from the NYT no less!:

This is not a bash-Canada post. I am a patriot, that's why I want strong accountable insitutions, sustainability and common sense.

We have already seen the US shoot themselves in the head, by allowing Freddie and Fannie to pile on the debt and liability and then transfer that to the tax-payer. Meanwhile the executives and all the bank CEOs all got huge bonuses
like they were all doing a good job- did anyone pay them back?

Why are we doing the same thing? Didn't we learn anything? The problem is transferring private debt and liability to the public sector, when the profits were all enjoyed by the private sector. That isn't capitalism or even socialism, it is just bad public policy.

Thrift Store Finds

Ok, don't be mad at me:o) I know I said that I would post E's room today, but there just hasn't been enough time. There are some things that I wanted done before I posted it, and those things didn't get done. So on Wednesday, I will post his room. Tomorrow I will be hanging with my mother and taking pics of my babies...can't wait. So Wednesday it is....
So I thought I would post some things I picked up at a local thrift store. Have some great ideas up my sleeves for these goodies:o)
I got 2 large drum lamp shades, a galvanized bucket, some doo-hicky that you can hang something on, a cutting board with a ceramic inlay, a punched tin candle holder, and a cup that says Isabella(for a little girl at church). All of this for $17. Can't wait to start transforming these puppies:o)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Where are we now?

Actually, we are at a very unusual spot.

We have by all accounts, rather panicky and anxious action from buyers; multiple bids, back up offers etc. all leading to (mostly) higher prices in Vancouver. So you would logically think that we have the same very hot parameters.

That would be low MOI and low inventory and high sales.

However that is not the case!

Our total listings are running above 2008's numbers and our MOI are 4-5. Not bearish by any means but not in the psychotically low levels we saw in 2007.

So the price action is hard to explain. Why would buyers be in such a panic when the inventory is rising? I don't have any explanation for it, but here are some ideas (some serious and some not):

1) The HST fear is driving them to buy
2) They are worried about having to put that extra 5% down when mortgage rules change
3) They think the BoC, having been completely irresponsible for the last few years, will suddenly find religion and increase rates to where they should be (2%-3%)
4) They think Mark Carney will borrow Ben Bernanke's helicopter and take it for a money-dropping ride around the country.
5) They think we are on the threshold of another big boom which will lead to higher wages and bridge that affordability gap.
6) The country is about to split up and there will be a long caravan of anglophones leaving Quebec for the west coast.
7) Alberta will make an unsolicited offer to buy BC, in return for paying off our Olympic debts.
8) they are selling their stock options in Gold and Potash companies to buy property.

I have trouble thinking of many other reasons why everyone is diving in head first, except herd action drives the herd. Ie the more people that panic, the more the rest panics- like the stock market. People rarely buy when it is dropping, but sell along with everyone else.


BTW- I encourage you to read this article. It is about life in the Shangri-la and sounds like the Titanic has been reproduced in Vancouver. Here's a great quote:

“I had a wealthy corporate citizen in Vancouver who wouldn’t buy in the Shangri-La because it didn’t have separate elevators for the staff,” says Mr. Rennie, who was shocked."

I agree. What an absolute affront to have to ride the elevator with the peasants who clean up after you. I hope that he found somewhere else, where he felt comfortable in our fair city. We need more discerning people like that in Vancouver - A$$-HOLE.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Teaser for E's Room

I told you that I would show some teasers today, so here ya go...can you guess what this one is?
 And can you guess what I did to this?
Let me just say there is a lot of BLUE in his room and he LOVES it!! He tells me every day "Thank you Mommy." Makes my heart melt:o) I hope to be done with his room for the most part before the weekend is out. There are a few things that can't possibly be done. But it's coming together and it is SA-WEET! Hope that you all have a fab weekend and I will see you back here on Monday!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Very Busy!

Busy working on E's room. Looking forward to sharing the final product on Monday....I'll have a teaser for you tomorrow:o)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Beverage Container

Beverage is such a funny word to me...not sure why, but it is. I have been wanting a particular beverage container from Target in a bad sort of way for the longest, but I just have a hard time handing over 30 bucks for something that will get used a handful of times a year:o) Then I saw it...This you say? Yes, this...
 We had used this in E's room at the last house when he had the beach themed room. I put all his little stuffed animals in it. I think I paid $4.99 for it from Tuesday Morning. Anyway, it's current location was hiding in one of the closets with baby toys that I planned on getting rid of. You know what's next, don't ya? Off to Wally World for some spray paint. The beverage container at Target had a hammered copper finish, so I used two coats of Rustoleum's version and got this:
Hello Gaw-Jus! You can't really see the "hammered" finish in the picture, but it's there and I LURVE it! Now I can't wait to pull it out for the next gathering that requires beverages...of the non-alcoholic form that is;o)
I am working on E's room right now and I CAN'T WAIT to share the results. It is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO ca-ute!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Pottery Barn Inspired Mirror

Today's Inspiration. I fell in love with this mirror and the way this mantle was staged. I bought a mirror from a yard sale last year for $5 and it's been sitting in the attic for who knows how long because I didn't know what to do with it. Finally a purpose. Here's the before:

I had already taped it off when I took the picture. It's just a plain(dirty) mirror with a dark finish on the frame. I taped it off and spray painted it with what I thought was going to be SHINY silver paint...It wasn't:o( It will have to do for now. I know that I can get SHINY spray paint from Hobbly Lobbly(as E calls it) but I don't want to pay almost $6 for a small can of spray paint. I'll wait for the 40% off coupon:o) Anywho, here is the after isn't as well lit as the PB version, and there are some very major variations, but I said that the PB version was my inspiration, right:o)

 The before version of the mantle is HERE. We are in the process of getting E's room fixed up. The room he was sleeping in was very very girly. Picture Shabby Chic. He really didn't know the difference because he is three. Anyway, the large wooden thing behind the mirror is the headboard that was in E's room. You can see almost all of the full headboard in THIS post. I just propped it up on the mantle and then propped the mirror on it. I went to H.L. yesterday and bought some tapers and birds' nests and started playing around with things.
 It isn't exactly like PB's but it inspired me to make something drab into something fab:o)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Pottery Barn Inspired Number Pillows

My inspiration for today's project. I have been eyeing these pillow covers for a long time, knowing good and well that I could make these. Pottery Barn always has the cutest stuff, but priced well over what I am able or willing to pay. These pillow covers are "on sale" right now for $79.99 for all four. But that's just the covers there isn't any stuffing...just covers:o) Insane, I know. Here is my version, for FREE:
I used the left over fabric from the curtains for the bonus room. I wanted the pillows to be the same size as PB's, so I cut 8 squares at 19" each. I printed and cut out the numbers 1-4 using the "Elephant" font on my computer. The font size was 650. I traced the numbers on the fabric with a black sharpie, and filled in with black fabric paint. After the paint dried, I sewed the fronts to the backs, and filled the pillows with the stuffing of "dead" standard sized pillows. By "dead" I mean, pillows that have seen better days, and are no longer useful on a bed. I just snipped the ends, pulled out the poly-fil and "re-fluffed" it. S.R. even helped out. She loved pulling the poly-fil apart and stuffing it into the new pillows. Easy enough:o) I did not put the definitions on the back of the pillows like the P.B. covers. I really didn't want to get that detailed with it. These pillows are in the bonus room, a.k.a. the playroom:o) Catch my drift??
 I still have some accessorization that needs to be done, but I'm getting there:o) I will be posting more Pottery Barn inspired projects this week, so keep an eye of for those!

Participating in:

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Real Estate Ville

Every City has it's moniker. Vegas is Sin City, Toronto is Hog Town, Detroit is Motor City..what is our alter ego?

We are definitely RE City. How do I come by that?

Firstly as an industry RE is probably the biggest employer in this City. Realtors, Mortgage brokers (independent and bank), Appraisers, residential construction workers, renovators, sub-contractors, RE papers, Notaries, RE Lawyers ...add it all up and I think it beats every other industry hands down. And this is one of the main reasons why this bubble has got to be kept inflated at all costs..future be damned.

In fact I would go so far as to say one of our major exports is Real Estate too. How so? Take a walk past the fancy buildings in Coal Harbour one evening at 9pm, and you will see that only 20% of the lights are on. What's happening in the other 80%. Maybe they spent so much on the apartment that they are trying to save money by living in the dark.

However the truth is, they are absentee owners. I was told that one building was marketed in Hong Kong before it was even marketed here. Most of the units were sold, and several years after opening, many owners still haven't come to look at their units, but have an agent here to take care of it. In fact very country in the world is represented; South Africa, Australia, the Middle East and of course plenty of US owners.

This is the natural result of becoming a desirable city with strong property laws in a safe country. It happened in London and New York and Toronto. Lots of absentee owners. It hasn't happened in Winnipeg yet, or Des Moines.

It is the same as Canucks owning property in Palm Desert, the only difference is Palm Desert is sorrounded by, well endless desert, which can be watered and planted with grass and voila- another golf course to build homes around- and we aren't.

I recently looked at a Townhouse for rent. The agent told me he had investors from Toronto and the Far East who owned several town-houses and apartments EACH, all bought with cash. Unless things get really bad, these don't sound to me like they would be the desperate-sellers-of-the-future.

Not only is RE the big cheese here, it is almost the whole cheese. Now that Natural gas has taken such a tumble, the government needs a robust RE market for revenues. Each transaction generates many thousands in direct and indirect taxes and economic activity.

Everyone talks about it. How many dinner parties have I been to where half the discussion is about RE. It is quite bizarre. No one talks about RE in California anymore, or so I am told. But for us, it is all consuming.

I see David Dodge is extolling Canadians to save more and borrow less, or face the dire consequences. Eh, and do what with it? Put it in the bank and get 0.25%?? Put it in the stock-market which goes up 50% one year and down 60% the next? Or leave it under the mattress and wait for the government to devalue money even more??

If you want people to save more and borrow less...INCREASE THE INTEREST RATES. I would have thought that was obvious.


Ok folks we are heading into the last 10 days of March. the market is starting to wobble a bit. This could be the start of the down-slope. I would not expect another Hail Mary drop like we had in 2008, but a more gradual decline which will exasperate bears and bulls alike.

And that is only a maybe. It depends on what happens with interest rates, with the stock-market and commodities, with the Chinese economy, and with unemployment.

However with the current confluence of factors:

Tighter Mortgage Rules
Post Olympic Fizzle
Lowest ever interest rates
Provincial Government cutting jobs and more to come
Terrible Affordability

If we don't get a down-turn, then we will have to wait for the asteroid in 2012.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Feature Friday

 I think that this is the SWEETEST little wreath I have ever seen. Today's feature is the Spring Baby Grass WreathPatty at Capture the Details shows you how to construct this precious wreath.  It is super simple!!! I can't wait to make 4 or 5:o) 
I am working on all sorts of projects this weekend. We are starting on E's room, and he is really excited. Have a FAB weekend, and I will see you all back here on Monday!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Stay Tuned!

I am working on all kinds of projects right now and I can't wait to share them with you all. They are all Pottery Barn inspired. Come back tomorrow to check out Feature Friday. You're going to love how cute and simple this Easter project is!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ceramic Chalkboard Platter

 I posted on Facebook yesterday that I was feeling some Pottery Barn inspiration, and I am currently working on a project that I can't wait to share with you guys when it's done. Hopefully it will look halfway decent.
 I couldn't find the picture for the "inspiration" for today's post, but here is my finished product.
 I bought this platter from Goodwill for $1. The platter looked like someone had stuck it in the microwave, and it's not microwavable. There were a few brown marks on it, which was fine because I was covering it with chalkboard paint. I got the paint from Walmart.(Krylon Chalkboard Spray Paint) It was on sale so that was a plus:o) I taped the platter off with painters tape and sprayed away.  I love chalkboard paint! I can't wait to find something else to paint:o)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Why are analysts so often wrong?

Ok I could start this post with a cheap play on the word anal-yst, but I won't. How many RE analysts forecast the sudden drop in demand and the free-fall in RE that took place late 2008? None. They mostly called for slowly rising prices.

What about the huge rebound since 2009?

Nope. Most called for a gradual stabilization or slowly rising prices again.

None of them called it. Why? Because there are sooo many variables, some of which we can guess at, most of which we cannot.

Larry Yatter has pulled a quote from Cameron Muir, the BCREA Economist, which is below.

“As we settle in to a post recession economic environment and bask in the benefits from our Olympic legacies, take comfort in knowing that during the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, the Vancouver housing market suffered only a few bumps and bruises, and the healing process is now complete.”

I have nothing against Cameron, in fact we would probably have a good talk about economics over a beer. However I cannot see how anyone can make any predictions, when so many unknowns exist out there.

It is lucky that analysts aren't held to their predictions, unlike..say bridge engineers or aeroplane designers.

Lets think about us bears. We have been looking at affordability as our main measure.

It hit all time lows in 2008 and os we reasonably expected a proper correction. Especially as the financial world started to unravel.

It started and then the government panicked and dropped rates to all time lows, ever, never before seen. Ergo the affordability went up again. The industry..developers, RE brokers, mortgage brokers, CHMC, banks- all rejigged their numbers and showed buyers how much more they could afford. The party was off again and we are now at all time highs in most parts of Canada.

Who could have possibly forecast it?

Lets look at the variables -we are in a worldwide recession where large banks were saved from bankruptcy, the US has over 10% unemployment, we have 2% higher unemployment than 2008, the Federal and Provincial governments have brought down huge deficit budgets and we are still heading into huge debt for the foreseeable future, Ontario's manufacturing sector is in trouble, Alberta lost 15,000 jobs last month, large countries like Greece are on the verge on defaulting, to be followed by many more...etc etc

All these variables added up to nought!

The ONLY variable that dragged this bloated bubble out of the gutter, were the emergency rate cuts to zero (almost) and the pumping of the CHMC. It wasn't the Olympics, because the whole country has seen a rise, especially Toronto, where the Provincial debt is in worse shape than ours.

Who would have thought it?

How could an analyst have forecast that?

They can't. They look a few things and then make their best guess and sometimes they end up being right FOR TOTALLY DIFFERENT reasons!!

In any case, take all analysis on the net and from wise words from experts with a pound of salt. Look at the numbers yourself and do what feels right. Where is the pain more? Buying an over-priced asset that may go down, or watching that asset go even higher. That is the crux of the decision.


I have been inspired recently by Pottery Barn and all their beautifully over-priced merchandise. I love to peruse their magazines, and while perusing, the wheels start turning in the ole noggin. I have several projects lined up (in my head of course), but one that kept standing out was the silhouettes I kept seeing. So of course, I had to do it too:o)
I found these picture frames at a local thrift store for around $5 for the both of them. Not too shabby...not too chic though:o) One was missing the glass, so that one was a little cheaper. It looks like someone had the D.I.Y. bug and tried to spray paint these pups, and gave up.
 The funny thing is, they used to have a gold finish. And what finish did they get from me?
 That's right, GOLD:o) I knew that I would be putting these in the master bedroom, so I wanted the finish to be similar to what was already in there. I had the gold spray paint on hand. I removed the glass from the one, and just sprayed away. I knew that the insides would be covered, so I really didn't worry too much about over spray. I needed to kill the overly shininess of the gold, so I brought out some brown acrylic paint from my paint stash, and used a sponge brush to dab some brown on.

See the difference? Not so "in your face" BLING BLING:O)  After finishing the other frame, it was time to move onto the innards of the project. The actual silhouettes, and the backing they would be displayed on.
 I also had this fabric on hand. Left overs from the roman shades found in this post. I cut enough fabric to leave a nice little edge for folding over the back. Next came the glue gun. I attacked this much like reupholstering. Glue one side and then glue down the opposite side, until all sides have been glued down.
Next, cut the corners off like the picture shows below:
Glue those edges down. Doing this step keeps it from being too bulky. After getting all this done, I moved onto the silhouettes of my Sweets. I took side view pics of both of them while they're eyes were glued to the television. This was the only way. Have you ever tried to get a 3 year old and a 2 year old to be still while catching their profile? Not hap-nin. After catching their mugs, I printed out each picture on white paper and got to snipping. Flipped them upside down, and hot glued the silhouette to the fabric.
In the frame it went...
And their resting place in the master bedroom....for now:o)
 Don't ya just love those sa-weet little curls on baby girl:o) Just want to eat them both up!

My Craft Room

So glad to be back in the blogging world. I have missed you all! I took a much needed break to recover from a procedure done on a kidney stone. Feeling great and ready to jump back on the crafting horse:o)
During the recovery process, I had bits of energy and wanted to get some spring cleaning done. I thought I would start in my craft room first. I can't seem to find the before pictures, but I do have the after, and I am glad I finally got around to cleaning up.
 This is actually supposed to be a walk-in closet, but I made sure that the hubs new when we were building this house that this one was a-a-a-ll mine! I wanted a place where I could just shut the door and leave the creative mess behind and know that it wouldn't be touched by sweet little precious hands:o) This room is 5'9"x7'. It's a small space, a really, really small space, but it is mine...ALL MINE!
Because there are no windows in this closet, (why would there be??) I painted a mural on the wall just to add a little color, so as to not start rocking back and forth, staring into space and humming an eery tune;o) 
 A little storage organization...I used these boxes when the babies were little to keep stuff organized in their closets. I think they were from the Dollar General? Anyway, they weren't being used anymore, so I put large spools of ribbon, small wooden projects, and other misc. stuff in them. 
 My patterns, (green box & the basket), my sewing books, and a few other binders holding projects of past, present and future. Notice that roll of duct tape? Every craft room needs some:o)
 This side holds all my scrapping supplies. I have to say, I am not as into the scrapbook stuff like I used to be. I don't get the instant gratification like I do from sewing. And when I sew something, I can get better use out of it. I still use this stuff on occasion, but I use my sewing machine more.
I got this storage rack from a yard sale last summer. It even still has the orange $3 price tag on it(top right). This houses all my ribbon, notions, and owners manuals. I love having this thing. Keeps all the mess out of sight.
 All my fabric on hand. I actually went thru all of it the other day and folded it all. Blech! But it does look really nice:o)
Where all my creations start. This is actually an old singer sewing table with the foot pedal and it still has the original machine inside. I think it belonged to a very old cousin of my mother's. I used to do my homework on this thing when I was little. I am so glad that I have it. 
Well there ya have it. My craft room. My own special place to create. Now off to the craft room to get biz-ay!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Magazine Rack

I found this magazine rack a few months ago at Goodwill. Mind you, it didn't look a thing like this. Picture it with no legs and an ugly brown finish. I didn't take before pics..sorry, just know that it wasn't cute:o) I found it for $3.50, and had walked away from it a few times before finally deciding to purchase it. I had no clue what I was going to do with it or where it would go, but I thought, "why not?" it's cheap:o) After weeks of it just sitting around, I finally figured out what I needed to do with it. The hubs built the legs with wood we had on hand and attached them, and I had some left over spray paint from the small buffet redo, so no cost there. I love the red, obviously, and I love that it was so stinkin' CHEAP!:o)
Side view. The hubs was so proud. I think he did a FAB job!
In it's new home...LOVE IT!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Party D.I.Y.'s

Last year I did a Carnival Theme for E.'s birthday, and it turned out great. However, it was way too expensive. We were in the middle of building our house, so we had to find an alternative party spot(which cost $), and I had to bring all the props for the games, and we had prizes for the games...I won't disclose the amount spent...just know that it will never happen again;o) Anyway, the hubs was all over me about keeping the expenses down this time, so I made it my personal goal to keep things cheap...I think I did a good job on the budget this time, but it's a lot easier to plan a girl's party than it is a boy's:o)

Here are a few things that kept things cheap...
1. Shopping at the Dollar Tree for anything that I possibly could. I got all the paper products there. They had butterfly themed plates and napkins. They were really cute, thankfully. I got a lot of the party favors and decorations there. I found these cute felt butterflies. I got those right as they were putting out Easter decor. I got the wooden cut out butterflies there as well. Paper lanterns, too.There are sooo many things I got there...I just can't remember them all:o)
2. Hitting Hobby Lobby whenever the right sales hit. The floral section was always 50% off, so that helped keep the cost down on the center pieces. I also got the cute flowers that were hanging around the banner from there. There were 3 to a pack for $9.99. Got those beauties when they were 30% off. I will be using them again...I just can't decide if I want them to go in S.R.'s room or not??
3. Making as much as possible. I made the birthday outfit, the banner(scrapbook paper from H.L., ribbon, and glitter), the bug wings, center pieces(had the pots on hand), the party favor buckets, her smash cake, and the food.
4. Planning way ahead of time. I have been planning this party since January. That way I could spread out the cost, and find more cute stuff...I said I did it cheaper, but it seems even cheaper if you buy a little at a time:o) The hubs hates that logic, but it works just fine for me:o)

This party ran so smoothly. There were 10 children in attendance...You would think that there would be utter chaos, but it was a really enjoyable experience. When the kids arrived, they got their butterfly/bug wings(depending on gender) and their butterfly hairbows/crowns(depending on gender). (I didn't make the hairbows, a friend of a friend did and she totoally ROCKS! I can't make a cute hair bow to save my life:o))After that they sat down at those sweet little tables that a wonderful friend let me borrow and they started on their craft. My mother hooked me up with the wooden lady bug and frog magnets. Those came from Joann's and I am totally jealous that we don't have one here! They came with little markers in the packs, so that was really nice. After everyone had finished coloring in their magnets, we herded all the little ones upstairs to the bonus room for story time. My sister read the Very Hungry Caterpillar and another butterfly book to them. While they were upstairs, we got the tables cleaned off and set for cupcakes. They came back downstairs and we sang Happy Birthday to S.R. She did so good and blew out her candle all by her little self, and didn't spit anywhere...I have to say I was impressed:o) She dug into her cake and we handed out cupcakes to rest of the kids. They were decorated like these from Martha's website. I also had ice cream for them. This was a first for me. I scooped ice cream in butterfly shaped silicon cupcake liners. It was the perfect amount of ice cream for those little guys. They ate it right up. After cake and ice cream, we went outside for a little butterfly hunt. I cut up dozens of butterflies out of felt in different shapes, sizes and colors. I had some help scattering them out in the back yard, and set the little ones loose with butterfly nets from the $ Tree. They had so much fun and they were so cute running around grabbing the butterflies. I couldn't have asked for a better day and a better bunch of kids. It was a great day!

Butterfly Birthday

Here are some pics of the party...tell me what you think...

A shot of where the lil ones got to sit. We moved our dining room table and chairs to the living room so that we could keep the lil precious rug rats quarantined.
 Party favors. The boys got buckets and the girlies got something a little more feminine.
Found these tags here. The thank you tags came with the little white pails(pictured below).
These were the boys goodies. Most of this stuff came from the Dollar Tree.
The crafts...We had wooden cutouts with magnets on the back that came from Joann's and Dollar Tree. They got to color them.
These were the place card holders. I filled these pails with skittles(of which the children LOVED).  These were in the bridal section at Dollar Tree. 3 for a $.
Our "candy bar."

These bags came from Target in the $ section. These were to put the candy in.
Party attire for the birthday girl.
Close up of the shirt I made at the last minute.
Her smash cake...I know it's a little janky, but it served it's purpose:o)
My little butterfly, all the little girls got tutu's and butterfly wings($ Tree and Target $ Section)
My lil man with his bug wings on. I made these for all the little boys. I made them in the same fashion as the super man cape. They also got crowns to wear.
I am very happy with how the party turned out. Everyone had great time. I will fill you in on the actual details tomorrow, and a few more pics:o) Have a great day!!!