Category Archives: Craft

Nintendo-themed party!

Ok, this post is a fun one 🙂

It was just recently Ross’ birthday, and while we had a nice quiet evening to ourselves on the actual day, we had a bit of a grander celebration this past weekend, and it was a success! We are close friends with another couple (Brooke and Jeremiah), and Jeremiah recently had a birthday too, so we thought we’d do a joint birthday celebration!

And thus Brooke and I decided to throw a Nintendo-themed birthday for the boys. It took some planning and work, but overall it was totally doable and affordable and we had so much fun! If you’re looking for some easy ideas on your own Nintendo party or craft ideas, look no further 🙂

Oh and yes, we are all grown adults that still love Nintendo. What of it??
I’ll take you through this from the point of view of the guys. We had them stay at one of our apartments while us girls prepared the other apartment, keeping everything hush hush. Once we let them know we were ready, this is what they saw when they reached their destination…

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Yaaay! A pretty standard birthday banner, sure. But what’s this little Nintendo Land sign hanging on the front?

Enter if you dare…

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It’s a Nintendo Wonderland!! We had set up decorations all over the place, all themed after some of our favorite classic games.

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These adorable balloons were so easy to make – we just got some plain white and pink balloons and drew on them with Sharpie. Ta-daa, a slew of Boos and Kirbies floating all around!

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(We had some Starbomb playing in the background when they came in. Ready to partay!

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I apologize for the lighting on this one, it completely slipped my mind to close the blinds before taking the picture! But the entire dining area had Pokemon-themed decorations. Can’t go wrong with Pokemon!

But that wasn’t the best part….

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Mario costumes for all! I’m so happy with how these turned out 🙂

I had originally wanted to make a variety of hats for different characters, but this whole costume thing was a last-second decision so I didn’t have enough time to really conceptualize it all… But in the end, I rather like us all matching!

Here’s how to make a Mario costume:

The hat was much easier to make than I had first anticipated! I got all the supplies at Michaels – they had red caps that I could by as-is, and I bought red and white fabric and some fabric glue too. Word to the wise… watch out on what fabric you buy. The red fabric should match the red of the cap, and it’s best if you can find some relatively thick fabric, especially for the white one. I didn’t pay enough attention while at the store, and my fabric was actually pretty see-through. I had to glue four layers of fabric on top of each other so that you couldn’t see the red hat underneath! It turned out fine in the end, it was just a bit more of a headache.

To put these together, lightly draw a circle on the white fabric with a pencil. Take your time to measure out the circle and make sure it’ll look okay on the hat. It’s better to make the circle a little too big at first, it’s always easier to trim just trim it later.

Glue the white circle onto the hats with fabric glue (if you can see pencil marks on the fabric, make sure to glue them with the pencil marks facing down so that you can’t see them). Let it dry.

Repeat a similar process with the M’s, this time out of the red fabric. Again, take your time and make sure you like the shape before you cut. Glue these on the white circles and let them dry.

Not particularly fancy, but super easy and they look great! The fake mustaches I got in the clearance section of the store among the kids’ toys. I personally don’t recommend wearing them all day, but they do complete the outfit! At least wear them for the pictures 🙂

10The birthday boys!

10bThe sneaky planners of this fiesta.

After socializing for a bit and enjoying all the decorations, it was time for our first big activity. What could be more fitting than Go Karts?

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It was time to enjoy Mario Kart IRL. Aww yessssssssssss.13

We definitely got some comments from those who knew what the heck we were wearing. Someone even asked for a picture while we were in the cars. So much fun!!

After some racing and playing at the arcade, we headed back to the Nintendo Land apartment for the next activity…

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See that Yoshi figure on the left? I think he’s trying to say something…

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Ok, THIS is probably what excited me the most 🙂 A Yoshi Egg Hunt! I LOVE treasure hunts, and I think I like making them even more than I like following them.

The Yoshi eggs were super simple to make – I literally just printed them out and wrote clues on the back. One clue led to the next, having the guys run all over the apartment, until they reached their final prize (a birthday present!)

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I tried to come up with a variety of clues: a couple that only Ross would know, a couple only Jeremiah would know, and some they could both figure out. That way they could both feel like they were able to contribute.

After this last activity and opening presents, we played a bit of Mario Kart (digital this time :P), and then it was time for us girls to prepare some food! The guys played some card games upstairs while we took over the kitchen. Some more geeky surprises awaited…

First up, appetizers!

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I love these little Fire Flower appetizers! One thing that makes me sad about party food, is that way too often it’s a lot of junk food – chips, candy, cookies, etc. I’m fine with that in moderation, but I love it any time that I can cheat the system and get something a little healthier on our plates (while still making sure the snack is tasty and fun – it is a party after all!)

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Omnom! Got some veggies in there and used Greek yogurt for the dip… Probably would use less cheese next time (it was the one part we couldn’t finish – we wanted more veggie believe it or not!!), but overall this was a fun and delicious snack, perfect with the Nintendo theme.

Full disclaimer – I grabbed this recipe from the fabulous Youtube channel Nerdy Nummies. Check out the video here if you want to learn how to make these!

And finally, dinner time! Specifically, PIZZA! Ok, back to some typical junk food, but at least the dough was whole wheat?

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And yes… that’s a Pokeball pizza. It makes me so happy 🙂 And super easy to make – we just used some Pillsbury pre-made pizza dough and molded it into a circle. Then we added our sauce and cheese, and we used some black olives to separate the circle in half and make the middle line of the Pokeball. On one half we added a bunch of pepperoni to get that red color, and on the other we added a little extra cheese to make sure that side was white.

Since we were four people we thought we’d be a little short with only one pizza – the other one is not Nintendo-themed, but it provided some extra with other toppings (mushroom and bell pepper, yum!)

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The finished Pokeball! So fun!

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So much tastiness! Instead of doing a birthday cake, we all went out for some ice cream after this, then we came back to have some drinks, play some Cards Against Humanity, and just had a grand old time. I have great memories of this day, it was definitely a success!

19The aftermath… You can see the Pokemon decorations a little better though!

 

So there you have it! Many of these ideas would be perfect for all ages and any occasion to party if you love Nintendo, so I hope this helps inspire you!!

 

Gamification: Exercise map

I’m back with an idea to gamify your life. (If you’ve never heard of gamification before, click here)

One thing that many people struggle with (and I am no exception) is exercising. I personally have never really liked sports, and I usually prefer sitting around with a book or playing a video game then lifting weights or running laps. I’d force myself to work out, but it was always so difficult to find the motivation.

I finally went all-out and started this new game for myself. I took several pieces of paper, taped them all together to make one massive piece that could fit on my fridge, and made a very simple board game.

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Here it is on the floor since I no longer have it on my fridge 😛

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The adorable little magnet that I used… Yes it’s a Jack Frost style pony, don’t judge 🙂

Snaking its way along the map was a path split up into little sections, and I used a magnet that I had gotten as a gift as a little character that represented my progress. Every time I would work out, I’d move my pawn forward. Simple as that. Having that visual was enough to get me excited to run to the gym – I wanted to get to the end of the board!

While originally I had this giant map up on my fridge, this can be a much simpler project too. When I moved into a new apartment (and no longer lived alone), I had at that point finished my giant board and was ready to start a new one. I didn’t want to take over the fridge again, though, so this time I created a much smaller version of the next board and hung it on the mirror in my room. This is the one I’m still going through right now, and I already look forward to drawing the next board!

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Creating the character pawn for this was even simpler than a magnet… A simple drawing on a piece of paper/cardstock and some sticky tack and voila!

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Trying to replicate my little pony magnet

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Sticky tack can still be quite useful… and so easy to use!

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Ta-da!

I made a few rules for myself that you could alter however you like. With a normal 30-minutes-ish cardio routine I moved a space. I liked doing some lighter floor exercises as well – two of those would get me a space. If I went out and played tennis for an hour or more with friends, I’d get two spaces… You get the idea.

As further incentive, I also instituted a bit of a reward system, making little presents and scattering them throughout the board. Once I reached one, I could reward myself! They wouldn’t be anything too major – maybe a bubble bath or a new book. If I saw things at the store that I wanted but didn’t have any urgent need for (movies, video games, books, puzzles, etc), I would sometimes get them, wrap them up, and then keep them in my closet until I reached my goal on my exercise map. Then I could pick something up and unwrap it – so fun!

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More cardstock and sticky tack will do the trick!

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Prizes make the journey that much more exciting!

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Here’s the point I’m at now. Making my way to the top!

Creating a game like this can be as simple or as complicated as you’d like. Everything I used is made out of computer paper, cardstock and markers, and I hang everything up with tape, magnets or sticky tack. I’d strongly recommend trying this out if you’re struggling to find motivation for something! I have many other ideas for a variety of other chores and goals that I look forward to sharing.

Easy gift idea: Daily surprises in a bundle of letters

Here’s an idea that’s sure to put a smile on someone’s face!

My boyfriend is out of town on business this week, and a couple of days ago I thought up a fun little project to surprise him with: a bundle of envelopes, tied together with ribbon, with a little surprise for him for each day that he’s gone. This was so easy to do, and it just feels good to be spontaneous and do a little something special for someone you care!

You could do something similar in a variety of ways. In each envelope I have a different little message, along with a small sketch of something we’re both a fan of. Example: the first day is a drawing of his favorite Pokemon! (yes we’re nerds :)) I won’t divulge the rest in case he reads this before coming home, but you get the idea. Simple letters, small gifts – anything you’d like to prepare will work. This can be as simple and sweet or as grand and ornate as you want it to be.

You can also do this for a variety of occasions. In my case, it’s for a significant other while he’s out of town, but you could do this for a family member or a friend. Maybe it’s in the days leading up to their birthday or a holiday. Maybe you give it a theme. You could give it to them in person or hide it somewhere as a surprise. The possibilities are endless!

I love thinking of fun, easy ways to be creative and brighten someone’s day! Let me know if you have any ideas – I’m sure I’ll be revisiting this topic in the future.

Adorable party decor: elephant origami!

This past week at the office we planned a surprise baby shower for one of my coworkers! It was actually my first baby shower – I guess I’m at that age now 🙂

The theme of the party was elephants so I though I’d try my hand at helping out a little with the decor and make origami! This paper crafting has been a big interest of mine for as long as I can remember, and I really enjoy making them for special occasions or even just for fun. This is not the first and most definitely will not be the last time I make some for a themed party, they’re always a hit!

If anyone would like to try their hand at this craft, here’s the video that I used, by Leyla Torres. I would not necessarily recommend this for total beginners, but she does a wonderful job explaining every step!

Here’s a tip if you want to get started but don’t have square origami paper. You can fold a normal sheet of computer paper like I did below and cut off the excess – once you unfold the triangular portion you’ll have a square! Probably not totally perfect but it gets the job done.

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I wanted to make five elephants for the party – it may not sound like much but it took me over three hours! I managed to save a bit of time by doing all five at once – step 1 for each sheet, step 2 for each sheet, and so on.2014-07-23 20.26.40

This way they all evolve together instead of me trying to re-figure out the same final product over and over.

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Now we’re getting somewhere!

Here’s the final product 🙂

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And here they are with the rest of the decorations! The cookies and cake were so adorable 🙂

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We had a great time, and the mother-to-be took the paper elephants home with her so they can double as an extra gift! Happy crafting~