Category Archives: Arts, Crafts, and DIY

Arts, Crafts, and DIY – Simple ideas to do at home

VenturianTale Birthday Party! (Happy Birthday Aybra)

VenturianTale Birthday Party!

Can we just pretend for a moment that it is NOT May and I put this birthday post up months ago? Aybra’s actual birthday was in March. – For her birthday she requested a VenturianTale theme. For those who are not familiar, VenturianTale is a Youtube gaming channel and just so happens to be her favorite one.

VenturianTale Birthday Party Free Printables by Life as a Convert

VenturianTale is a pretty popular channel among kids her age, but like 99.9% of other Youtube channels it doesn’t have party decorations available. Bummer, right?

Nah! No problem!

I made Aybra’s decorations. Luckily for me their logo is pretty basic and the colors are common. (blue background, red triangle, yellow “V”).

I could not find an image of their logo that was suitable for my needs, so I made my own copycat version of their logo. This was the foundation for all other decorations.

VenturianTale Birthday Party Free Printables by Life as a Convert(Download)

I used various sizes of this image on top of a blue table cloth as confetti. I made and printed everything last minute, so I didn’t have time to do this, but wanted to add some of them to red cups.

The menu was surprisingly difficult to figure out. VenturianTale is composed of 4 different kids (Jordan, Isaac, Ciera, and Bethany). Their last name is Frye. I knew that we would be having “French Fryes” but I couldn’t decide what else to make with it. I ended up making quite a few different food labels to choose from.

Like other birthdays, I tried to incorporate the theme into the food. I used their names and things unique to their channel to create labels for the food. I served hamburgers, hot dogs, and some sides. Hardly any of the party guests recognized the references, but Aybra was happy with her VenturianTale Birthday and that is all that matters.

VenturianTale Birthday Party Food Menu Printables

Her grandpa made her cake and I did my best to decorate it. It definitely tasted better than it looked! I also made her birthday banner (link to download at the bottom of this post) but probably could have printed it out at 50% of its original size and/or figured out a way to get two images on one page. It ended up being quite large, but still fine. I saved it to re-use for Losh’s party coming up soon.

Aybra only asked for Five Nights at Freddy’s plushies. From the time I put them on my Amazon wish list to the time I ordered, the price went up significantly, so she ended up getting only one from me (Foxy). My sister bought her Freddy and she has been carrying one with her all the time. She got plenty of other presents and didn’t seem to mind that she had to wait for the rest of the collection. I think this VenturianTale Birthday party scored right on par with her puppy birthday party from last year.

Aybra's 8th Birthday Party - VenturianTale Birthday Party

I did take quite a few pictures, but apparently not of the other decorations or food! This happened to be a large party compared to our normal parties, and I was quite distracted. (I usually try to get pictures before the guests arrive, but the food was being grilled and wasn’t ready until after many people were there)

Prepare for cliche….

“I can’t believe she is 8 years old”. It really does seem like just a moment ago she was a tiny baby in the NICU, and now here she is half-way grown! I’m so blessed to have her in my life. She has never been a girly girl, but with the age 8 came a slight change in her. She has a sudden interest in some girly things and I couldn’t be happier! Losh’s party is coming up next and he is still undecided, but leaning towards Batman for a theme.  Guess I better prepare for that!

Do you have any cute Batman party ideas? 

Do your kids watch VenturianTale?

Downloads:

Birthday Banner:

Blue and Yellow Printable Birthday Banner

Food/Menu Labels, Blank label, Small logo, etc:

Food/Menu Labels and other Party Printables

Copycat Logo:

Copycat Logo

Family Home Evening Brownies (Mormon Brownies)

Family Home Evening Brownies (Mormon Brownies)

Last month Aloshua did what he does every year around this time; he took brownies (amongst other treats) to his “students”. I realized in the midst of opening boxed brownie mixes that I did not have a homemade recipe for brownies. I asked my Facebook friends to help remedy that for me and this is what I got in return:

Family Home Evening Brownies - Mormon Brownies Recipe - by Life as a Convert

I have tasted and approved this recipe, and even my oldest son, Kaia, loves it. I typically don’t find a homemade recipe I love on the first try, but when I realized it came from a Mormon (Mormon’s know their brownies) I realized why it was so good!

Family Home Evening Brownies (Mormon Brownies)

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla

Directions:
Combine all ingredients into a medium sized bowl. Pour into an 8x8 pan that has been greased on the bottom only.
 
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Make your own brownie mix:

This past Wednesday was my turn to teach Activity Day Girls. No activity is complete without the addition of a snack. I decided to make these brownies into cake pops (another post on that later) and because our lesson involved planning a Family Home Evening lesson, I deemed these “Family Home Evening Brownies” (no family home evening is complete without snacks either!).

For the lesson, I made each girl a ziplock bag containing all of the dry ingredients. Attached to the bag was the list of the additional needed ingredients along with baking directions.

This is the tag I attached. Click on the image to download it. I printed off 6 to a page and used quart size ziplock bags for the dry ingredients.

Family Home Evening Brownies

Do you make homemade brownies? If so, is your recipe similar? 

I’m itching to tweak this recipe a little to make fun combinations like peanut butter brownies and cream cheese brownies. Yum yu

DIY Cleaning Wipes

DIY Cleaning Wipes

Just a few short years ago I shunned all paper products in my house except cleaning wipes. Fast forward a few years and it seems to be the opposite. I am using paper products, but not paper wipes. I started making my own DIY cleaning wipes and haven’t looked back. I use them for everything. They clean better than store bought wipes plus they save me money! I know a lot of other people use them and perhaps follow a similar recipe, but I thought it couldn’t hurt to share the recipe I use.

DIY Cleaning Wipes - Homemade Wipe Recipe by Life as a Convert

I use an old plastic storage bowl and mix 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap with 1/4 cup of alcohol and enough water to cover the wipes. The alcohol helps cut down on germs and dries fast. The dish soap helps get through even the greasiest mess. I have enough cleaning wipes to last me about 1 week, but I imagine you can store them for much longer.  I recently found some at Dollar Tree (3 for $1) so they can be found inexpensively.

DIY CLEANING WIPES

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon dish soap
1/4 cup alcohol
water
microfiber towels

Directions:
Mix all ingredients and clean, clean, clean!DIY Cleaning Wipes - Homemade LYSOL Wipes - by Life as a Convert

 

Benefits of using alcohol in your cleaning wipes:

Cleans and shines stainless steel
Dries fast
Can be used on windscreens and glass
Removes stains from cloth
Disinfects
Removes frost and dust
Doesn’t leave streaks

Natural cleaning wipes:

Alternatively, some people prefer not to use alcohol in their cleaning wipes and opt for a more natural solution. Instead of alcohol, you can use vinegar, or essential oils (lemon and lavender are both great choices). You can also use your wipes with just water. The friction created from scrubbing will eliminate most germs.

What can you clean with your cleaning wipes?

Anything, including: counters, floors, walls, toilets, showers, glass, candles, ceiling fans, cloth and more!

Don’t forget to pin this post to save for later.

Do you make your own homemade cleaning wipes? If so, what is in your recipe?

DIY Stuffed Animal Holder

Stuffed Animal Holder

With Christmas came some new additions to the stuffed animal hoard that lives in the little kids’ beds. Try as I might, they would not part with any stuffed animals prior to Christmas. Their beds happened to be their choice of stuffed animal storage and quite frankly were overflowing before Christmas. Any sane parent would have refused to buy more stuffed animals for Christmas, but that is the only thing my daughter asked for, and who am I to refuse her the one thing she wanted.

I knew that we either had to find a stuffed animal holder or find a way to make one. I was pretty sure I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a corner hammock, so I searched Pinterest and Google Images for a suitable solution and after a few minutes knew exactly what I wanted to do.

DIY Stuffed Animal Holder - Stuffed Animal Storage by Life as a Convert

I didn’t really read the instructions before jumping in and my first attempt ended up coming undone. The tulle slipped through the ribbon and the stuffed animal holder loosened to the point where it was no longer functional. I had a simple fix in mind and it worked perfectly.

Materials Needed:
2.5 yards of Tulle (2 would work too)
Ribbon
Command Hooks
Needle/Thread

Supplies for DIY Stuffed Animal Holder by Life as a Convert

Directions:
Fold the tulle width wise and then in half length wise. Using the ends as guides, tie a strip of ribbon about 1/4 of the way up from each end. Sew the ribbon into place using needle and thread. This will keep it from slipping out of the ribbon like my first attempt did. Then, attach the command strips and hang the stuffed animal holder onto the command hooks with the ribbon.

DIY Stuffed Animal Holder using Tulle by Life as a Convert

To keep their toys close to their beds, I chose to hang them over their beds. My son has a blue one and my daughter has purple. My son has put far more than just stuffed animals inside his stuffed animal holder and it is still holding up. As you can see, my daughter likes to take hers out and play with them.

 DIY Stuffed Animal Holder - Stuffed Animal Storage by Life as a Convert(Sorry for the phone quality images)

My kids love their new stuffed animal holder – but still insist on piling their beds full of stuffies. i love how easy (and inexpensive!!) it was. For all the supplies I spent around $15 which was at least $5 less than the most common corner hammock and I made two for that price!

Do your children own a lot of stuffed animals?

How have you tackled stuffed animal storage?