Loving Lately – Fall Edition

I love exchanging “favorite things” with my girlfriends, and I love the idea of passing those things along here on the blog. I’ve tried all of these products personally, and my recommendations are not sponsored by any of the brands represented.

Here are just a few items I’ve been loving lately – I hope you find some new favorites!

Wet Brush I love this brush for my own hair, but I bought a second one when I realized it was the ONE way I could brush my daughter’s hair without tears. I even got the travel size! I wash and condition her hair in the bathtub in the evening, and then brush through it with this while it’s still wet. The next morning her hair is still mostly tangle-free, and I’m able to brush through it again easily. If she has any bad tangles when it’s dry, I’ll actually wet the brush or the area of hair to get the tangle out.

Loving Lately: Wet Brush

PopSugar Must Have Box I just love opening presents, and with this service it’s like getting the most amazing box of gifts from my BFF who knows me SO well each month. Seriously, this is a little luxury subscription that has introduced me to so many fabulous things in the past.  I’ve shared this with many friends who have subscribed and feel the same way! When you sign up here, you can use one of the following referral codes to get $10 off! ABX17YZ or B213YMZ. (PS The upcoming October box includes Mindy Kaling’s newest book, “Why Not Me?“!)

Here’s a look at one of the recent boxes I loved, valued at more than $100.

Loving Lately: PopSugar Must Have

 

Comfy statement clothes I have been loving ILY Couture lately because they have the cutest tees and sweatshirts in the coziest materials. I have this sweatshirt and this tee. See? I even can pull it off after a salon makeover by my daughter. makeover with e sm

 

Gap 1969 Denim Sateen Jogger These are the most comfortable pants I own. I think I’ve been complimented on them every time I’ve worn them (and hurry, they’re on sale now!).

Loving Lately: Gap 1969 Denim Sateen Jogger

 

Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar Kit This one might seem a little random, but I love these Advent Calendars because they not only work great as a gift, but they also work great for inexpensive Star Wars party favors that are a HUGE hit each year (check them out here, along with more Star Wars favor ideas!). That’s just $1.66 for each favor that your party guests will actually use! Hurry though – these always sell out way before December!

Loving Lately: Lego Star Wars 2015 Advent Calendar

Star Wars Lego Birthday Favors | Five Marigolds

Quick Pouch Lego Storage Bag Speaking of Legos, I love this storage solution. True story: my mother actually made this exact thing for my brother in the 70’s and we still use it for Dub to this day. For those who aren’t so lucky to get such an heirloom, there is this inexpensive, durable solution. I also bought a mini version for Dub to take on-the-go when we travel.

Loving Lately: Quick Pouch Lego Storage Pouch

Roomba 880 Okay, so I definitely consider this a luxury item, but now that we live in a home with dark wood floors and three messy children, I don’t want to know a life without this little machine. We set it to run automatically overnight while we’re sleeping, and in the morning, our floors look great! That’s no small feat in our home, so we feel it’s been worth the price. Something to note for this vacuum though, when placed on a rug with bold black/white stripes/shapes as in this image, the vacuum gets confused. It uses variations in color like this to detect ledges and doesn’t work as effectively. If you have lots of rugs like this in your home. the Roomba isn’t going to perform as well for you.

Loving Lately: Roomba 880

Photo Triggers As a photography hobbiest, I’ve started realizing how few images I have with me in the shot. I want to remember myself as part of the family memories in this stage of life, so I’ve tried to get in the photo more. That means triggers. I have two:

  • HISY Trigger  – This trigger works with your iPhone for on-the-go photos anywhere. It’s small, so tuck it in your purse or in your car so you have it when you need it.
  • Canon Wireless Remote – I use this with my Canon DLSR camera, but you can use this remote for your Nikon DSLR. I have an older model of this remote that I’ve used for years, and am just starting to get use out of.Photo taken using my Canon Wireless Remote

So now, I’m getting more images like this. How else would I capture painting my baby’s piggies for the first time?

 

Expo Disc Speaking of photography, this thing has changed my photos for the better, and I wish I hadn’t waited so long to get it. I used to struggle with getting a good custom white balance I could trust, which lead to more time consuming post processing. With this, all I do is get my settings, place the Expo Disc over my lens and take a photo of the light source, then, remove the Disc, set my custom white balance as usual, and go! This company has lots of great video tutorials on the product to make it even easier. I highly recommend it!

Loving Lately: Expo Disc

 

Command Picture Hanging Strips Since moving to our new home, these babies have been a life saver. My husband hates hanging photos and leveling them. I “have trouble visualizing” which leads to more picture hanging…and holes in the wall. That’s not good for a marriage, folks. So, I buy these in the large packs and hang photos at my every whim. The best part is that If I don’t get it quite right, I just lift it off the wall and reposition it, as long as it still fits on the strip on the wall. If not, I just take them off the wall and start over again. Easy breezy. I’ve never had any trouble with these, but I use the strips that hold up to 16 lbs.,  just in case.

Loving Lately: 3M Command Strips for Pictures and Frames

Living Room with bright pillows and symmetrical wall gallery | Five Marigolds

Photos hung in marital bliss thanks to Command strips.

 

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Candy Necklace Valentine’s Printable

Remember the Princess Candy Necklace favors i made for my daughter’s birthday? Well, I’m all about upcycling my work, so I made a few modifications so we can use them for EClaire’s classroom Valentines. The party favors have been such a hit among all my readers, so I’ve decided to offer these up as a free Candy Necklace Valentine printable, as well.

Princess Candy Necklace Party Favors | Five Marigolds

Just print these out, two-sided, on some card stock, cut a slit on either side of the card and finish with a candy bracelet!

Candy Necklace Valentine Printable | Five Marigolds

Download your free Candy Necklace Valentine Printable here,

Candy Necklace Valentine Printable | Five Marigolds

Click here to get the princess version, perfect for birthday party favors!

If you love these and plan to use them for your Valentines, please take a moment to tell me about it in the comments!

Candy Necklace Valentine's Day Printables

These are so adorable! Printable candy necklace birthday party favor cards.

Princess Party Favors: Candy Necklace Cards

For Eve’s Princess Birthday Party, I was going for a generic princess feel rather than a Disney princess kind of feel. As part of that, I wanted to create some custom party favors. I didn’t really find anything out there I loved for purchase, so I went about creating my own.

You already saw the Candy Button Crown favors I made for the party. Today, I’m sharing the hit of the party – Candy Necklace Cards. I’d seen a super cute concept online, but nothing princess themed. So, I went about creating these myself in PhotoShop, using hair and dress colors that somewhat inspired by Disney princesses, but with look that still felt sweet and unbranded.

Princess Candy Necklace Party Favors | Five Marigolds

Continue reading

Sweet Treat: Easy Homemade Candy Buttons

There’s just something about Candy Buttons. These nostalgic candies are surprisingly easy to make, and are perfect for birthdays, party favors, or just a fun sweet treat.

To make Candy Buttons, all you need to do is prepare a simple royal icing recipe. You can use the recipe listed on the can of Meringue Powder, but I used the following recipe, inspired by Sweet Sugarbelle:

What you’ll need:

  • 1 lb. confectioner’s sugar (4 3/4 cups)
  • Meringue powder (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/3-1/2 cup water
  • 1-2 tablespoons flavored extract (I used almond extract because it’s what I had on hand, but there are tons of fruity flavors at the craft store that would be fun to try!)
  • Food coloring
  • Electric mixer
  • Freezer paper
  • Icing bag and small round tip (or a resealable bag with a tiny corner cut off would work in a pinch)supplies

To prepare:

  1. Whisk the dry ingredients together.
  2. In a separate measuring cup, mix the flavored extract into the water.
  3. Slowly begin pouring the liquid mixture into the powder mixture while it mixes.
  4. Mix the frosting on medium-high speed until the frosting forms stiff peaks (around 7 minutes)
  5. Add food coloring to achieve desired color. (I first made pink frosting, and later added a few drops of blue to make purple to get two colors out of one batch.)

Next, tear off a sheet of freezer paper – large enough that you can fit a large batch of buttons on (you won’t cut the paper until these are dry).

Fill your pastry bag (I used my Pampered Chef Decorator Bottle Set*) with frosting and twist the top, removing excess air. Now, simply pipe evenly sized dots across the paper. If possible, print a template in advance and place it below the freezer paper. Be sure that the design will fit into your final packaging. If you’re using pretzel bags for your packaging, your design will need to be approximately 2.15 x 5″ to fit the pretzel bags I would be placing them in.Candy Button Crown Template | Five Marigolds

Candy Button Heart Crown Party Favors _ Five Marigolds_45mLet the Buttons sit overnight to dry. Any excess frosting will keep in a resealable bag refrigerated for two weeks.

Now for the fun! Once the Buttons have set up overnight, you can begin cutting the freezer paper to your desired shapes.Candy Button Heart Crown Party Favors _ Five Marigolds_35m

Package your Candy Buttons for the occasion. I placed them in Wilton pretzel bags that I got at JoAnn’s for $1.37 using my 40% off coupon. Think of the possibilities! Birthday party favors, Valentines, and more!Candy Button Heart Crown Party Favors _ Five Marigolds_15m

Valentine's Candy Button Hearts _ Five Marigolds5m

Valentine Candy Buttons

 

In addition to being featured on the fab blogs listed on the right of this blog, this post was also featured on Huckleberry Love.


Star Wars Birthday Party, Part II Party Favors

Growing up, we didn’t really “do” favor bags. I suppose that’s why I’m really into them when planning parties for my kids. Presents for everyone, just for attending?! I wish grown-up parties would adopt this practice!

I wanted to do something fun for these Star Wars birthday favors, with at least a few items that would get used beyond the ride home from the party. But, of course, I didn’t want to spend a lot of money.

I created these goodie bags for around $3 each, total.Free Printable Star Wars Birthday Party Storm Trooper Favor Bags | www.fivemarigolds.com

Free Printable Star Wars Birthday Party Storm Trooper Favor Bags | www.fivemarigolds.com

To create the actual bag, I used inexpensive white paper bags from the grocery store. I searched for the keywords “storm trooper silhouette” and found an image I like. I downloaded this free Star Jedi font and added the words “You’re a trooper” to the 5.5″x10.5″ template I created in PhotoShop. Read to the end of this post for the free printable!

I printed the image directly on the bags. To do this, you need to go into your printer settings and create a custom paper size and paper texture. I used a small piece of painter tape to secure the base flap to the bag so it wouldn’t jam in the printer.  It took some trial and error before I felt like they were printing a clean image, without a lot of extra printer ink. I was going for inexpensive though, so despite a few rough printouts, these captured the look I was going for.

Here are the bag contents:

Star Wars Lego Birthday Favors | www.fivemarigolds.com

Knowing all the boys are really into Legos at this age, I really wanted to include some. I explored a lot of avenues, but almost everything was going to be a budget buster. I’ve heard of some creative moms creating their own little sets using the Pick a Brick section at the Lego store, but at $14.99/bucket, it was going to be a little more than I wanted to pay, and I wasn’t even sure if I could really build a believable spaceship.

I found my solution on ebay and Amazon: there are tons of people looking to unload Star Wars Advent Calendar kits or individual toys. I was able to score a lot of 11 for $1/each including shipping. Even better, each little kit came with building instructions – far better than what I would have been able to do myself using Pick a Brick. For those of you who have messaged me about being unable to find these deals on ebay, you can still find them here for less than $2 per favor!

I created my own hangtag using the same Star Wars font with a message from Yoda, “Do or do not, there is no try” along with a thank you message.

Star Wars Lego Advent Calencar Birthday Party Favors with Printable Tags| www.fivemarigolds.com

In addition to the goodie bags, we had a Jedi Training academy. We gave each little guest a Jedi vest made with an unused bed sheet we didn’t need and clothesline rope.

Star Wars Birthday Party Jedi Costumes | www.fivemarigolds.com

We also created the pool noodle lightsabers that are all the rage on Pinterest. We cut pool noodles in half using a serrated bread knife and decorated the ends with black and silver duct tape. Each little guest was given one to defeat some balloon storm troopers and then take home.These were the biggest hit of the party (literally, there was one bloody nose incident!).

Star Wars Birthday Party Jedi Training Course with Balloons and Pool Noodles | www.fivemarigolds.com

No party is complete without a little craft, so we also had a Build A Droid work station that they seemed to enjoy. But not quite as much as the pool noodle light sabers, of course.

Star Wars Build a Droid R2D2 Craft | Five Marigolds

Build a Droid Star Wars Craft

I had a lot of fun creating a fun party all the kids would enjoy. Planning a Star Wars party for someone special? I’m sharing the free printable Storm Trooper Favor Bag Design to my subscribers!

Free Printable Star Wars Storm Trooper Favor Bags | Five Marigolds

 

Star Wars Lego Birthday Party Favor Bags | www.fivemarigolds.com

UPDATE: Due to so many requests, I’m making the Storm Trooper Party Favor Bags available as a free printable: Download Storm Trooper Favor Bags Template

Are you planning to use them for your upcoming party? Please take a moment to tell me about it, below!

See also:

R2D2 Star Wars Cake | Five Marigolds

Star Wars Birthday Party, Part I

Star Wars Darth Vader Invitation | Five Marigolds

Star Wars Part III: Custom Invitations and Thank You Postcards

Super creative ideas for Star Wars Birthday favors with Legos