How to Make Frog Invitations

Finished Froggy

These turned out so cute!  And they were easy!  Best of all, I came up with them all by myself, which gives me some serious bragging rights… Woohoo!

Wanna make some?

To make twelve invitations, you will need:

  • 2 Pieces of Green Construction Paper (I chose two different shades)
  • 2 3×5 cards or other stiff paper
  • 24 googly eyes
  • Elmer’s Glue
  • Scissors
  • Black pen or thin marker
  • Decorative 81/2 x 11 paper suitable for printing

Let’s start with a plan!  I sketched out the shapes I would need on 3×5 cards, and cut them out.

frog invitation templates

The top oval is the head, and the bottom one is the body.  The left foot is for both front feet, and the right leg and foot is for both back legs.  I took a paper cup, cut off the rim, and squeezed it slightly to give me a good oval shape to trace.

Something I read recently said that human instinct causes us to think that disproportionately large heads are cute, since babies have disproportionately large heads.  I decided to use that principle here.

Time to cut out!  I folded a light green and dark green paper each into sixths.  Arranging carefully, I was actually able to fit the head, the body, and two each of the legs, plus two little circles for the eyes, onto a single sixth of construction paper.  I cut all 6 layers at once to save time.

Frog Parts

To add interest, I used contrasting colors for the head and body versus the legs and eyes.

Time to assemble!

Gluing Head to Body

First step, glue the head to the body (I used regular old Elmer’s glue).

Glue for Front Legs

Frog Legs!

Next, apply two dots of glue to the center of the body and glue the front legs on.  If, like mine, your froggy feet are a little crooked, you can flip one of the legs backwards to make them symmetrical.

Froggy Eyes

Next, glue the eyes to the top corners of the head, making sure that they stick out above the head.

Froggy Butt Glue

Frog Hind Legs

Now, flip him over and add a couple dots of glue to his little butt.  Glue his hind legs into place.

Googly Eyes

Finally, glue on some googly eyes.  I bought my baggie of them at the Dollar Tree.  Can’t beat that!

Let them dry on parchment paper, then use a pen or marker to add a mouth and nose.

Mouth and Nose

Now, if you’re doing this for a little boy, you may wish to stop reading now, or at least give the next part your own little twist.  But this was supposed to be a PURPLE froggy party for my little princess, and so far, we had no purple.  Moreover, I was dismayed to discover that neither of my packages of construction paper contained purple.  What to do?

Well, I dug around in the art cabinet and found a dried up bottle of purple glitter paint.  I added some water, let it sit for a bit, and then gave Ariel a paint brush and a piece of poster board.

Purple for Crowns

Once it dried, I cut rectangles from it and glued them to the back of each frog, purple side facing forward.   I left a good inch above the head of each frog.

I cut around the body, and then cut a little crown from the piece above the frog’s head.

Crowned Princess Frog

Last step, I promise!  I typed out a short invitation message and printed it on a piece of green scrapbooking paper, and glued that to the back.

Invitation Text

And there you have it!  Aren’t they super cute!??  Felicity loved running around with hers, croaking “ibbit!  ibbit!”  I’m told that her cousin did the same thing!


A Do-It-Yourself Frog Birthday Party

When I consulted with Ariel in early January about her birthday, I asked her what kind of a party she wanted.
“Mmmm, purple!” she quickly decided.

“Okay, purple, we can do that!  Is there anything else you want it to be about?  Like maybe an animal?  Do you want a horsey party, or a kitty party, or a doggy party, or a froggy party, or –”

“A froggy party!  Yeah!  Yeah!  A froggy party!”

And so it was decided.  My little girl’s 3rd birthday party – her first themed party – would be a froggy party.

My budget was, well, no money.  But I kinda wanted that Martha Stewart, I-did-it-all-myself-and-don’t-you-wish-you-were-as-perfect-a-mom-as-I-am look (me?  vain?  never!), so I figured maybe I could make that work WITH the lack of budget, in my favor.

Well, suffice to say, by the end of the party, the other moms there were calling me “Martha.”  😀 Wanna see how I did it?  Stay tuned!

Picking Up the Pieces

As some of you know, I got a job at the beginning of October.

And then I quit.

There are a lot of reasons that it didn’t work out, but the biggest two were that:

1. I was just making enough money to cover childcare, gas, and other expenses, leaving no extra  income for bills.

2. The girls were adjusting very, very poorly to being away from me four days a week.

So now I’m back home, and with a renewed gratitude for the opportunity to be my kids’ mom and the manager of Makeshift Manor.

The computer room is covered in toys and board books.  My kitchen floor is sticky.  And I can’t seem to catch up with my laundry to save my life.  But I’m filled with a sense of hope.  Hope, because I’ll be here tomorrow, and the next day, and the next, surrounded by opportunities to make this a better place for my family.

Incidentally, if any of your know of any weekend job openings in my neck of the woods, please let me know.  I still need that extra money to cover the bills…

What happens when you mush all the neon playdough together?

This post is dedicated to Sarah, the Queen of Tie-Dye.

That medium purple color?  That’s the final color, when they’re all mixed.  WAY better than the yucky brown that comes from primary colors!

I made some playdough.

Seriously, I did.  And it. was. awesome.

And so easy!

It really makes me wonder why people purchase playdough at all.

Rae Ann suggested giving Ariel playdough a few weeks back.  Ariel went through a phase where she was ladling wet foods onto chairs and her sister’s head

Every. Single. Day.

Cereal. Yogurt. Cottage cheese.

It was…  infuriating.

I vented to Rae Ann, and she assured me that this was simply a phase of discovery that kids go through, and that she needed playdough so that she could explore texture without angering Mommy.  It sounded like sage advice, so, this past Tuesday, I went for it!

I used this recipe from Apartment Therapy, and it took only a few minutes to make a thick dough out of stuff I already had in my cupboard.  Then I used some neon food coloring to make some really great, girly colored playdough.

Ariel, as you can probably imagine, was enthralled when I presented her with her first lump.  She didn’t really know what it was, but it was mushy and it was hers!

After I was done coloring all four lumps of dough (it’s really fun kneading food coloring into dough and watching the colors become brighter and brighter!), I got down on the floor with her and demonstrated the wonders of playdough, by rolling balls and ropes and fashioning a little playdough girl.  This was so cool!  Ariel immediately requested that I make a boy and Grandma.

Once all three little people were spread out in front of her, she got to work on what she considered the most important task in building people: embellishing them with fanciful “pees.”

By the time she was done, Grandma looked like a very well-endowed man.

We’ve gotten out the playdough every day since.  It’s ridiculously easy to clean up, and, since it’s made of food, I don’t have to worry about Felicity sticking a little in her mouth.  We’ve made balls and snakes and cups and trees and flowers – I can make a killer rose! 🙂

It’s so fun watching my daughter come up with new and creative ways to use playdough, and it stretches my own mind as I try to come up with new things to show her.

Today, I made a teddy bear!

Is it silly that I still feel a sense of pride when my little sculptures turn out well?

Life in a Nutshell

Mom emailed me, and she asked, “What’s new with you this week?”

Out poured an actually decent explanation – a far cry from my usual writer’s block this month – so I thought I’d share it with y’all. I’ve also included pictures for your viewing pleasure. Here it is:

Not much. We went to Teresa’s bbq, of course, and at one point I lost track of Ariel and had one of those parent horror moments where you’re sure your child is dead (they had a large pool in the backyard, and the back door was open). My stream of consciousness was is she in there what if she’s in there how long has she been in there is she dead she must be unconscious cuz she’s not thrashing can she be revived how long has she been deprived of oxygen will she be brain damaged oh my god… And then Matty assured me that the pool was empty. But I was still kinda shaky for a good portion of the night. I have a newfound hatred of pools.

(Teresa, just so you all know, is a friend that we met on WoW. We’ve been friends for months, and she was living in Arizona, but she just moved to Vancouver last week. We were lucky enough to get to meet her this weekend. It’s weird hearing such a familiar voice come from the face of a stranger!)

They sent us home with a ton of leftover food (Teresa had bought and prepped enough food to feed all of Vancouver), so we’ve been working on polishing that off over the last few days.

I’ve been weeding out those little weeds that were between the bricks that I told you about. Remember how I said that they were kinda pretty and I wanted to just leave them there and maybe just take out a few of the bigger ones?

The yard in April

The yard in May

Well, they’re all 3 feet tall now. And wanna guess what they are? I’ll give you a hint – Dan starts sneezing when he heads toward the back. Give up? Ragweed! Woohoo! I’ve been cultivating a field of allergens, and they’re ripe for harvest!

Ragweed Leaf Close-Up

And guess what lovely creatures think that ragweed is absolutely delicious? Slugs! And snails! Which would explain why there are slug babies all. over. the. plants. I mean, I would weed for a little bit, and then I’d look down, and I’d have like 3 or four baby slugs on my gloves. It was… astounding.

So I’m almost half-way done clearing the back. Obviously, there’s no way Dan’s gonna do it – I wouldn’t even ask him to. The poor guy is enough of a sneezing wreck when he mows the lawn, for crying out loud. It feels good to get out there and pull up 3 foot plants by hand (girl power!), and it’s a decent workout for my arms and thighs (yeah, my thighs! sore all day! go figure!).

What’s new with you?

Makeshift Monday: Crazy-Easy Yogurt Smoothie

I went to Fred Meyer a couple days ago, and, because I get ravenously hungry quite often (hurray for breastfeeding!?) and because I am a selfish little thang, I bought myself a drinkable yogurt “smoothie.” I drank about half of it, and then stuck it in the fridge when I got home.

So, today, when Ariel needed a snack, the yogurt smoothie caught my eye, and I poured it into one of her glasses and gave it to her. But when she started asking for “mo’ moothie,” I had to get creative.

Enter the tub of vanilla yogurt, milk, Ovaltine, and a re-purposed jar.

I’ve been saving glass jars to use as food storage, and I pulled out a 2-cup (more or less) jar and the corresponding lid. I spooned in some yogurt, poured in some milk, added a couple teaspoons of Ovaltine (a very popular drink around here), and shook it hard. It poured out into her glass with the same slightly-creamy texture that the yogurt had, and, although I didn’t personally try any ( I was trying to resist dairy because I have a cold), she assured me that it was “mmm, yummy! Yummy moothie!”

So there you go! An easy, drinkable treat that is healthy (Ovaltine isn’t perfect, but it isn’t bad), inexpensive, and doesn’t require the use of a blender or more than a few seconds of prep time. Whee!