diy

DIY: Bean bag

We had one 3-day weekend in September, and how did I make it a productive one? I wiped the dust off my abandoned sewing machine and had it running! This time, I made a bean bag, or pouf (whatever you want to call it), out of S$3.90 floor rugs from Ikea. The kiddo loves it!

beanbag

Click here for the nicely detailed instructions on how to make it.

Thanks for dropping by!

Alexa’s Mom

Alexa Turned Two

My little girl, Alexa, has turned two (last month — another late post)! Time flies just like that! We also had welcomed our new bundle of joy, Luise, a few weeks back. Hello, sleepless nights!

Just like Alexa’s first birthday, we had another DIY party for her. But she had fun this time because her friends were there too! We did not have any games like other children’s parties (due to my poor hosting skills and space constraints), but we had lots of food, non-stop Barney videos, and kids running around, laughing, and screaming. It was such a fun chaos!

Now let me share with you my labor of love for Alexa for this year…

The cake.

It’s a funfetti white cake with rainbow petal buttercream frosting. I did enjoy doing the frosting. I got both the cake design and cake bunting printable from posts in Pinterest.

cake1

cake2

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The cupcakes.

They are rainbow cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and rainbow rice sprinkled on top, also from a post in Pinterest.

cupcakes

May this year be as colorful as these cakes for our first princess.

Thanks for dropping by!

Alexa’s Mom

DIY: First Birthday Party

Oh wow! I can’t believe it has been more than 2 months since my last post! Things have been busy at home and in the office. My new job is great so far.

Our dear princess, Alexa, turned ONE year last month. At first, I was hesitant about giving her a party. Reason is, she won’t remember anything about her first birthday. I, myself, only remember my first birthday party through pictures.

Then, looking back at my childhood, our parties are all prepared by my Mom (and we remember her for that!). We don’t have event organizers, 100 or so guest lists, or anything fancy — just homemade food, simple party games, cake blowing and loot bags for the guests. On my 3rd birthday, I had a costume party, with all my friends dressed as super heroes, and myself dressed as a metro aid (street sweeper). It all happened at our humble home.

So I thought, why not I do the same? A party prepared by us, for Alexa, with LOVE!

Everything was DIY.

The cake. It was my first time to make a fondant cake, and I can say it was a success! It is a one layer chocolate cake covered with white homemade marshmallow fondant and the owls and letters are made of store-bought sugar paste.  The owl designs are adapted from YouTube

The decors. Since we’re on a tight budget, I made the decors out of colored paper. Simple yet it has brightened up the living room. Thanks, of course, to Pinterest!

These are photos of her from birth to 1 year. How time flies!

The food. All were home-cooked. We had spaghetti, chicken lollipops, and spring rolls, just as what Mom used to serve our friends during our birthday parties. Of course, we have the dessert table in addition. My sister K from Manila sent over a cake she made especially for Alexa. We called it the “mini me” cake, see why..

Isn’t it pretty? It’s got Alexa’s nose and chubby cheeks!

Here’s the dessert table…

The banner design is a free printable from Pinterest. Sorry for the poor photo quality, the light is too bright outside. Here’s another shot, with the birthday girl.

And the cupcake stand — vanilla cupcakes with buttercream frosting…

We also had chocnut (chocolate + peanut, from Manila), red hotdogs + heart marshmallows, and a bowl of grapes.

It was very simple yet a whole lot of fun! I hope our princess enjoyed herself too.

 

Thanks for dropping by,

Alexa’s Mom

 

 

DIY: Painting Frame

Back in August 2010, we visited an art gallery in Bali, Indonesia where we bought a beautiful colorful local painting about Balinese women making their daily offerings to their temples.

We saw them at the Monkey Forest (2010, Bali Indonesia)

Local artist at work (2010, Bali Indonesia)

The painting

The painting was not framed and was sitting in our room for almost 4 years. Finally, last Sunday, I went to a paintings and frames store and asked how much it is to frame this painting. After measuring and calculating, the store lady quoted SGD 77.00! So expensive!

I looked around for a cheaper option. There is an art store around the area called “ArtFriend” and they sell anything art-related, including paints, canvas, and frames to stretch the canvas.

DIY Painting Frame

Materials used:

  • 4 x pre-cut wood frame (measure according to the size of the painting, SGD 15.00 total)
  • 1 x heavy-duty stapler (SGD 13.00)
  • picture hanging strips (or double sided tapes or adhesive hooks, SGD 6.00)

Total spend: SGD 34.00 (vs. SGD 77.00, saved SGD 43.00)

Assemble the wood together to build the frame. I bought those with ready-made slots at the edges, but you can also build your own frame if you can. Gently pull the sides of the canvas around the wooden frame and secure at the back with staples. Look at the sides of the photo below.

To hang, we used picture hanging strips, placing 2 at the top part, and 1 each on the sides.

Another project done and crossed out from the list. Yey!

Have a great weekend!

P.S. Hubby and I got engaged in Bali, Indonesia on 10 August 2010. Just sharing, hihi!

Maternity Shots: The Final Cut?

After weeks of wanting to do trial #2 of our DIY maternity photoshoot, and yet postposing due to our recent busy schedule, finally we had the time and energy to do it last Saturday. And it seems like this will be my final preggy photoshoot for baby #1.

Again, it was NOT a formal photoshoot with me in a dress but rather a relaxed weekend-at-home get up, just having fun posing with hubby for the camera. My tummy has gotten A LOT bigger than our last photoshoot, and I wanted that captured in print ‘coz I know that time will come that I would want to show these to Alexa in the future.

If you remember my previous post of Maternity Shots Ideas, there is a photo of the daddy holding the basketball which I found really interesting ‘coz it’s hubby’s fave sport. It’s a MUST to take this shot!

Parents having fun! Don’t you love the view behind us?

One of my favorites, a photo of Daddy with Baby Alexa. Soon, we will be taking lots of pictures of her outside Mommy’s tummy. Counting down continues…

Thanks for visiting my page. Good night!

 

DIY: Recovering an Old Baby Carrier

Hello there!

After 4 days of struggling with my not-so-good sewing skills, finally I’m already done satisfied with the result of the baby carrier (a.k.a. car seat) that I’m trying to recover for my Baby Alexa.

I got this 10 year old car seat from a generous freecycler who also gave us a matching baby stroller and some of her maternity clothes. Yeah, I’m into free stuff, even if that means giving some effort to disinfect/wash/fix that item.

We don’t have a car to use the car seat for, but I thought of using it as a baby carrier/little bed for Alexa when we just hang around the house. She can sleep on it while Mommy is watching TV in the living room, or have to prepare our meals or do laundry.

Mrs. Freecycler has 3 boys so the car seat’s colour is blue. I wanted to change it into a neutral colour, just in case Alexa would have a baby brother in the future, haha! 

This is how the original car seat looked like.

I have a stash of cloths that were purchased when I had my sewing machine. I found only one cotton cloth which was supposed to be made into a dress, but was not able to because I don’t know how to sew clothes. The others are fabrics which would be perfect for throw pillows or for reupholstering the window seat in our bedroom. Those projects would be for later.

I used 125cm x 58 cm cotton cloth, which was washed together with the separated parts of the car seat cover (shown in the photo above) before being sewn. After drying, I did not bother to remove the original blue checkered fabric. Instead, I just sew the new fabric over the old one.

Here is how the recovered car seat cover has turned out, with guide from Ashley’s post.

We wanted to change the color of the blue car seat frame into gray, but paint is not an option ‘coz it might be harmful for the baby so we just leave it. Maybe covering the belt straps with matching fabric would do. That would be shared in another post.

What do you think of this project? Not bad, eh?

Keep posted for more upcoming DIY baby projects. Thanks for dropping by!

Mini Carrot Muffins

Today is Part 2 of the recipe-sharing from my baby shower dessert table, and I will be sharing with you my Mini Carrot Muffins.

I used the Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting recipe which I did on my birthday, but because I want the desserts to be bite-sized, hence the mini muffins.

What’s different?

  • I used pre-chopped almonds (instead of pecans in the recipe, and cashew/macadamia nuts in my birthday cake) because I wanted the preps to be easier. I liked the crunch!
  • Size of muffin cups used is 3 cm height x 3.5 cm base. I did not use muffin pans ‘coz the cups are quite sturdy to stand by itself so I just arranged them on the baking tray, about 32 pcs per batch. No oiling done on the cups.
  • I filled each cup 3/4 full, just enough for it to rise to the rim when done. (Photo for this step, as seen below, was added on 29 August 2013. Sorry, I forgot that I took this.)

  • Baking time is only 10-12 minutes, until the toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.
  • I used the Cream Cheese Frosting recipe, but only in half quantities since I will be using less frosting for the muffins. Spread about a teaspoon on top of each muffin.
  • I sprinkled some colourful little candy stars on top to make it pretty!

Total yield for this recipe is about 5 1/2 dozen mini muffins, just nice to serve in family gatherings or mini parties.

Isn’t it pretty? I love the pink and gray baby elephant topper!

The toppers are free printables, links you can find in my previous post. The cupcake stand was improvised using two plates of different sizes, and a brown coffee mug in between.

Hope you like it. Stay tuned for the 3rd and last dessert recipe from my baby shower to be posted soon… my personal favourite, Chocolate Crinkles!

Baby Shower for Baby Alexa

In about five weeks from now, another life-changing experience will be coming to our lives. Baby Alexa is due to arrive and meet us all!

In preparation to that, we had our new home blessed and had a small baby shower get together with our close friends last Saturday. The preparation was a lot of fun, having my friends Ms. S and Ms. C to help me out in cooking, baking and decorating while we chat, laugh, and catch up on each other’s life stories.

The baby shower ideas that I have gathered from Pinterest were a huge help! We did not have an outdoor BBQ party as planned, but instead had a simple lunch-to-dinner at home for convenience and comfort.

Of course, I did not want to miss this opportunity to do the dessert table for our first born. And so, I want to share with you how it all turned out.

Lovin’ PINK already! And I am happy with the way all the details have matched and turned out really pretty.

These cute paper lanterns are from Daiso (at S$2.00 each.. love that place!).

The pink cherry bunting and baby feet are free printables found in the internet (sources can be found on the template). Thanks to the generous sources, it saved me so much time and effort to do the decors.

As mentioned in my post sometime last month, Alexa’s nickname is MAX, hence Baby Max written on the bunting. It has already been approved by her grandpa (my dad). He wants a baby boy, so for the meantime a boy-sounding name will do. Haha!

Free printables are also used to decorate the treats. Click below for the sources:

Our baked goodies on improvised platters — chocolate crinkles on a wooden chopping board, mini carrot muffins on a cupcake stand (out of 2 plates of different sizes and a coffee mug in between. No gluing done.), and cinnamon mini donuts on a plate with light blue paper. I will post the recipes soon!

Alexa’s parents… Daddy on the left, mommy on the right. Do you think mommy’s cuter than daddy? *wink*

Light pink table cloth, bright pink doily-like table runner (originally an anti-slip mat, but its color contrast to the table cloth is pretty so had to use it here!), and pink with white polka dots photo frame are all from Daiso (also at S$2.00 each. Everything you can find there is at S$2.00!). White photo frames are from Ikea.

It was a fun day for everyone. Tiring though from all the preparations that hubby and I had to sleep in till noon of Sunday. But it was all worth it.

Hope you liked my baby shower table setup. I will definitely do it again for Alexa’s first birthday, or a friend’s baby shower… let’s see what event will come up next.

Please stay tuned for the recipes of the baked treats I made.

Happy Monday!

DIY: White TV Console

White furnitures create the impression of a larger and lighter space. That is why last Saturday, we made the old dark brown TV console in the living room our first project. We painted it white!

I have painting experience years ago when I painted the violet walls of my old room into bright sunny yellow. I think painting furnitures are more difficult because of the little corners and small areas. This was hubby’s first painting project, and I can say he did a very good job.

This is the original color. There are some tape marks at the bottom of the shelf that we wanted to get rid of, hence painting the whole thing (except for the glass top, of course).

The whole place was messy and filled with paint smell during the whole weekend. Not good for me and baby Alexa. We had to keep all windows open to let the fumes out, and just stay out of the living room (-slash-painting-area).

While hubby was doing the painting, I stayed in the kitchen to cook our meals and bake some Oatmeal Raisin Cookies and Pandesal (second trial).

There was a lot of waiting time for drying in between coats and before use which actually tested our patience. But it was worth the wait. Here is our newly painted TV console…

What do you think?

It actually made a huge difference to our living room. It is now brighter and more pleasing to the eye. And more importantly, the tape marks are gone!

We’re looking forward to more DIY projects. Such a productive weekend we’ve had!

Have a great week ahead!

Homemade Cleaners

Hello everyone!

Today, the new house is officially OURS! The keys have been turned over to us last night. Today is the big move, so things are getting more and more exciting from today onwards!

I am not a squeaky-clean-in-the-house kind of person. But since buying a house with our own hard-earned money, I can’t think of anything but how to make it clean and homey, especially with baby Alexa on the way.

I have been looking around Pinterest for home décor and organization ideas which I have shared with you in my previous posts. Just in case you missed, please click on the Our Home category in this blog.

Aside from decors and organization ideas, I have also been obsessed with homemade cleaners. They are definitely way cheaper than store-bought cleaners, and I believe they are more eco-friendly. So I thought of giving them a try.

Today, I tried to mix only three recipes just to see if they really work. And for initial house cleaning, I think these will be most useful for me.

All-Purpose Cleaner

  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp dish soap
  • 4 tbsp white vinegar
  • 400 ml warm water

Dusting Spray

  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 c white vinegar
  • 2 c warm water

Air & Fabric Freshener

  • 1 tbsp scented fabric softener
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 350 ml water

For all recipes, you just need to stir/shake to mix well and use a squirt bottle for optimal usage. (400 ml squirt bottles were purchased from Daiso at S$2.00 each)

This is going to be a very busy week! Lots of moving, cleaning, and unpacking to do. But I am sure to give myself some pit stops in between those chores to recharge and ease the anticipated back pains.

By the way, today is the start of week 31. Nine more weeks to go. We’re almost there…

Thanks for dropping by!

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