Hey There.

Follow us on our crazy journey as a family of five living in the Pacific Northwest. 

New Years 2015

We did New Years big this year! And by big I mean, our entire family stayed in all night and played games on the X-Box while snacking on delicious Mexican food compliments of Greta. The gang was all here. Luke and Greta had just come back from visiting Greta's family in Minnesota, Lindsey was home from med school rotations, and Zach and Kara had work off for the day.

If we all lived in the same city I'm pretty sure we could run our own party planning services. Greta ran the menu and tag teamed cooking with Bruce and Linda; Lindsey, Kara, and I headed up decorations; and the guys played some intense rounds of X-Box bowling. It was quite the impressive team effort to pull it all off. For a party in our home with just the family, we sort of went all out on the food and decor!

Connor was the first to turn in. He had caught a little cold and was feeling a little cranky. Not that we ever planned on keeping up to midnight, by the way. Not a chance. Bruce and Linda turned in next after we watched the ball drop in NYC. Dave and I were next (Dave has the same cold as Connor). Luke, Greta, Zach, Kara, & Lindsey burned the midnight oil, staying up until well past 3am. Impressive! Now we're all enjoying a lay day together watching the snow fall. FINALLY! SNOW!!!

Hopefully Connor will do well tomorrow on our flights home even though he cold has got him pretty cranky right now :/ Oh well, Washington here we come!!

Β 

DECORATIONS:

PomPom Garland:

Assorted pompoms from the craft section of Michaels strung with needle and thread. Super easy - just knot the last pompom on each end around itself to keep them from sliding off. Only tricky thing here is how easily tangled they get. My suggestion in hindsight is to use white embroidery thread and a fat needle instead of the thing sewing thread we used.

Tissue Tassel Garland:

The small gold and white garland was made by Greta using Martha Steward brand Fringe Scissors. They worked pretty well - but if you want to make long tassels you're going to want to cut them by hand with normal scissors. The fringe scissors can't cut more than once so the length of the scissors is the length of the fringe that you get.

Gold Foil Garland:

The larger gold foil fringe garland was actually made by tying thick bunches of loose foil confetti strandstogether and then stringing them onto white bakers twine. It was pretty easy and surprisingly quick.

Drink Stir Sticks & Straws:

The short drink stir sticks were just cheap wood kabob skewers from Meijer cut to length with little gold pompoms from Michaels hot glued to the tips. The tall straws were black and white paper straws from Michaels with the gold foil confetti strands (used above) hot glued in place.

Tissue Paper Pom Poms:

These were actually surprisingly easy. I had never made them before but was able to find a really easy to follow tutorial on Pinterest here. The hardest part was just being careful enough when pulling them apart and fluffing them - the tissue paper tore really easily and I almost ruined a couple by being over zealous.

Party Hats:

I was able to find a party hat template here to copy since I couldn't find any plain white party hats at the store. For the fringy hats I used gold and silver foil gift tissue paper cut into strips and then fringed with the fringe scissors. Warning: foil tissue paper can be sort of hard to cut.  I then torn the fringe strips into 1 inch sections. It was much easier to attach the fringe evenly by using small sections rather than long connected fringe pieces. The top layer of fringe was hot glued (rather than taped) to hide the adhesive better. Second warning: don't let the glue gun get too hot, it can kind of melt the foil tissue paper. I referenced this tutorial. The glitter polka dot hats were done using glitter glue and flat eraser head of a pencil. "Stamp" the glue using the eraser head as your stamp and then sprinkle your glitter. I got the idea from this tutorial. The cross hatch hat was a similar system to the polka dots, but using the tip of the pencil with glue on it to "draw" a cross hatch and then sprinkle glitter. The glitter hats were just simply covered in glitter glue and glitter (two coats). The pompoms were just hot glued on and I used a thumb tack to punch holes in all of them to string the elastic.

Fringed Streamers:

These were super simple but made a nice impact. Just strips of gold or silver tissue paper taped together and fringed on both sides. I also fringed basic crepe paper streamers (white) for the same effect. They look a lot nicer than just your basic crepe paper streamers while adding a really nice texture to the decor.

Easter 2015

Michigan Christmas 2014