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Mrs. Creative

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The last few months I’ve had the opportunity to create some really fun things for some friends and family! I don’t normally take on projects that require much work because I generally don’t feel like I have much time to focus on those kinds of things – at least right now while the kids are so yount. I knew there were certain events on the horizon that I felt deserved my time and energy to create the best things I could, so I did!

I always struggle trying to figure out what to get Zach and our Dad’s for Father’s Day. I usually do some sort of craft with the kids and their handprints or something else to show their growth. This year though, I found a fun idea to fill coke bottles with different snacks. I printed off some neat decals for the boxes and bottles so the kids could add their touch by coloring them. Then I got some different craft paper to put a label on each bottle and on the box. I bought chocolate covered almonds, honey roasted peanuts, peanut M&Ms, jelly beans, shelled pistachios and some trail mix. I ordered some silicon “beer savers” for the caps – which also added some neat color. I think they turned out great and the guys really liked the gift!

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Zach’s cousin, Molly, is pregnant with their first child, due at the end of August. They don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl, so finding the right gift for them had to be gender-neutral. Molly & Dain love football and they love THEIR teams – meaning they each have favorite teams… Molly, the Broncos and Dain, the Packers. I usually order custom burp cloths from Etsy for friends having babies, but decided this time to make these myself. I picked out some Broncos and Packers material and found some big prefold cloth diapers I thought would be good.

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After sewing two Broncos and two Packers burp cloths, I also sewed some fabric onto some long-sleeve onesies. A heart for Broncos and heart for Packers, plus a tie for Broncos and a tie for Packers – that way if they have a boy or girl, they can still show team spirit! I also ordered some cute football leg warmers to go with the onesies!

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The weekend before Molly’s shower, I saw a couple with a football team’s logo print on a car-carrier cover and had the idea to try to make that at the last minute. I had just enough fabric to do Packers on one side and Broncos on the other side. I put loops and velcro on each side – so that it could be reversible.

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Molly loved her gifts! I had so much fun making them!

Our very dear friends, Bill & Carey, are getting married in August. I had the honor of hosting Carey’s Bridal Shower at our house yesterday.

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About two months ago, Carey’s sister, Michele, and I started planning the shower. Michele picked the invitations for a kitchen shower and said she didn’t have many ideas on decorations or games – so my brain just took off! Over the course of two months, Michele and I e-mailed back and forth multiple times a week. I’d tell her something I found, an idea I came up with or something I made and she just loved it all! I had a lot of fun taking the colors and patterns that were on the invitation and using those to match everything for the shower. We decided on what kinds of foods we would have and every detail we could think of. I went to Hobby Lobby about 5 different times and found other stuff on Amazon. I found cute chevron bags to use as utensil holders and bigger chevron bags for the game-winning gifts.

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Carey’s mom got matching plates, napkins, table cloths and even really cute polkadot cupcake stands! I had fun making “Barker” and “Bill + Carey = Love” signs plus hanging a few other decorations.

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I removed the pictures of our kids and had Carey’s mom print a bunch of pictures of Bill and Carey to hang up. We had a table for people to drop off their recipe cards and write some advice for the couple.

We had tons of food and yummy cupcakes that Carey’s mom made. We played a dip taste testing game where each guest had to guess what ingredients were in six different dips – salsa, special ranch dip, taffy apple did, cold spinach dip, hot spinach dip and a dessert dip.

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I found dip recipes that had 4-8 ingredients in them that were delicious. Once I found the recipes I felt would work, Zach and I tested them at home to make sure they would be good for the party! Once I had the list, I was able to create the game cards. For some recipes, there were obscure ingredients – like Knoor’s Vegetable dip mix – so those were listed for the dip without having to guess it.

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The two spinach dips had “spinach” written down already as a gimme for those dips. Everyone loved the game. The winner of that game received a William-Sonoma dip starter jar and two cute bowls for serving!

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The other game we played was “The Price is Right – Kitchen Essentials”. I picked 8 items that I felt were some of my all-time favorite kitchen items: Oxo scrub brush, ice cream spade, “All out of” grocery pad, microwave bacon cooker, prep bowls, dawn soap, method all-purpose spray and parchment paper. As Carey pulled out each item, everyone had to guess and write down how much it cost. In the end, everyone totaled up all their guesses and whoever got closest won a cute little apron and a William-Sonoma carrot cake cookie mix tin.

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Carey got some great gifts! My favorite, of course, was from Zach and I – a custom “Mr. & Mrs. Barker” pillow that I ordered on Etsy. I had ordered one for another friend of ours a few months back and knew that the same idea would be perfect for Bill & Carey!

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The party favor was a mini spatula with recipe cards attached – all six dip recipes from the taste test! The ladies had six different colors of spatulas to pick from. The Price is Right game was similar to a game we played at my sister in-law’s baby shower, but the dip taste test and party favor ideas just came to mind one day when I was brain-storming ideas for a kitchen shower! They turned out great! I had so much fun hosting Carey’s shower!

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I certainly couldn’t have pulled this shower off without the help of my parents keeping the kids busy so I could clean and prepare the house on Friday, Zach taking the kids to his folks the day of the party, and Carey’s mom and sister who brought even more food than just the dips! It turned out great!

I’m definitely exhausted from all the work I did the last two months, but it was SO rewarding to get to create some really neat things! I don’t go all-out for things very often but when I do, I sure feel good about them!

Check out more of my pictures in the Mrs. Creative Photo Album.