Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Kids Biome Diorama Project

In layman's terms that's shoe box climates :o).  Of course since I am a crafter, I will have them make paper crafts. I am on the search for ideas for a desert and rain forest.  Luckily I was able to find a diy on how make a palm tree using news paper and construction paper.  However, I am a DIY cheat and will use a toilet tissue roll and cardstock colored green.  They will be coloring or painting white cardstock green for their leaves.  For the desert biome my son will be creating cacti out of the colored or painted cardstock and using tissue paper for the flowers and rice for the spines.  He will also be creating the cacti from Christmas tree branches and needles.

Here is the idea that inspired his cacti.

On to the animals of the desert... I am thinking that perhaps we will use a camel made from my cricut, with the exception that camels are only in the Saharan deserts or the Egyptian/middle eastern deserts.  In the American deserts there are snakes but what else?  Also, how geographically correct do we need to be for a 4th grader's project?  Here is a cute snake project that I found as well..

Now my little girl is doing the rainforest and she wants snakes, birds and an alligator.

Here is a cute alligator that I found for her project.

My son has decided that he wants snakes, camels, and vultures (total boy lol).  The background will have an Arabian cityscape and the birds will have textured wings and perhaps feathers and will be flying from the top of the shoebox.

Is there anything else that we should be including?  Of course I will post the final pictures of their projects :o)

Here is the update!  The kids and I have been working all day.  They have made the Crafty Mommy/Mimi Mocha Frugalista proud.  They painted, cut, and applied these biomes with my guidance for some and their own interpretations for others.  These are their almost finalized projects.  My son (desert biome) has to add crystals for the "stars" and hang more birds. I believe he wants to do some more camels and perhaps a rabbit.  Sorry for the bad cell phone pictures, but I will try to take and upload them from my digi when he is done.  She also has birds that need to be hung.
Heidi's project will have more palm trees and we will even them out.  She also wants to add a waterfall.  She has a green crocodile that will need to be painted green.  I think that the very large snakes need to be brought down to size, but she likes them and that's all that matters.

This will be a Christmas to remember my daddy.

Christmas eve is usually my favorite time of the season, filled with anticipation, excitement, and the smells of good food.  This Christmas Eve was different.  My father took his last breath.  I was always the quintessential daddy's girl.  I have never in my life called my Dad, Dad.  He was and will always be Daddy.  I adored him and he adored me.  I am so thankful that he is not in pain and didn't have to spend Christmas Day smelling foods he couldn't eat, nor hearing laughter he couldn't partake in.  He will forever have a place in my heart and I am thankful that each time I look in the mirror I see his face.  Each time I look at my son playing his paper jam I see my dad, the best guitarist ever.  Each time I make a conversation with a stranger, I am my father's daughter.

Rest in peace Daddy, but please come by and visit sometimes so I won't miss you so much.  Here is our last picture together on my wedding day.

Monday, December 20, 2010


I'm soo excited! Our wedding was featured on the very exclusive and prestigious Intimate Weddings Blog! I am so excited and honored for us to be their very first African American couple!  We worked extremely hard executing the details of our wedding and I am glad that such an awesome website took notice!

Cost Savings Tips for Christmas... The Mocha Frugalista edition

I know that this is a bit late since it is 6 days before Christmas, but what are your favorite cost-savings tips? Here are a few of my own and family traditions.

•My mom would Christmas shop throughout the year, stockpiling gifts to ensure that we always had a full Christmas even though the amount wasn't necessarily too expensive. The downfall is that she would forget her hiding places and random times during the year she would give us gifts that she forgot to give during Christmas (LOVE HER)

•Mine: I am starting a tradition of using newspaper for wrapping paper on all of our gifts. I cannot stomach the price of wrapping paper when I saved so much on other things. I am not a big proponent of the paper costing more than the gift. I googled pictures and found that I am "eco-chic" I guess that is a synonym for cheap as hell.  If you don't believe that this is fabulous, check out my previous post with pix!

•Reusing Christmas ornaments. My best friend in the past would throw her entire tree away, ornaments at all. I had never heard of that practice, but since she did it others may, SAVE your ornaments! If you decide to change the theme, then keep your ornaments in a bin just in case the ones you purchase fit into future themes.

Even if you like the multiple themes, the ornaments would still look great in apothecary jars in different areas of your home like your bathroom, kitchen, office, bedroom, etc.
Here is another amazing thing that you can do with the bows that you were going to throw away from the kids gifts!

•Set a budget and stay within it.  Pretty self explanatory here.  Remember that your family and friends love you no matter the cost of a gift. 

•For those of us with kiddies ask them which ONE gift they want the most and get them that. The rest of the gifts get to be what you would like them to have (remember the pointer above while fulfilling your wish list for your kiddies).

•Don't try to outdo anyone! I found out that one of my besties spent 600 per child on Christmas. I find that obscene and insane

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas and the Mocha Frugalista

I love Christmas!  I always have and always will.  However, I hate the materal-aspect of Christmas and the fact that each parent believes they must outdo the next.  This year because of poor grades and a desire to get back to the basics I asked the children which ONE thing they wanted the most and that was their Christmas gift among other things that I wanted to get them (mostly educational).

With all of these gifts the question came to wrapping paper.  The thought actually sickens me of how much the wrapping paper is. I pride myself on being so frugal with everything but wrapping paper prices are astronomical!

Then I had an idea!  Newspaper!  My hubby is constantly getting Sunday's paper and never throwing it out (subject matter for another post but I digress).

Here are some inspiration pictures that I have found. I am thinking that I may use stamps to make them a bit more special and I have tons of ribbon left over from other projects that I will be using for the bows. 
This is my favorite and probably the most like what I will be doing for my kiddie's gifts.  It is actually a page from a magazine, but it is exactly what I am going for on some of the gifts.  Since we have kids, I do need the bright and obnoxious as well.
What creative ideas have you come up with for wrapping gifts?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Give a girl a .... and she can rule the world.

Give this girl a Cricut! I purchased my Baby Bug, aka The Cricut Personal Cutter, at Michael's on Thanksgiving during their special sale.  I scored it for $59.00 before tax.  It usually retails for $199.00.  I didn't quite know what I wanted to use it for, but knew I had to have it at this price.  Since Christmas is next week, I decided to look around my house and at inexpensive stores for items I could use my Cricut to enhance.  The first idea came from Jingle96, a Weddingbee member, who made wineglasses for her best friend's bachelorette party approximately a year ago.  I am not one to go in and buy the extremely expensive cartridges (carts for the pro cricuttier) if I don't know what to use them for and after careful research and a trial demo, I have decided on the one software that I must have, but that's a subject for a different post.

My first project was wine glasses for my co-workers.  The end result was stellar with only a few mishaps and my co-workers loved them and were thrilled that I made them.  Excuse the crappy cell pix, but my camera has been missing since the wedding!!  I have decided to sell these creations for $8 each plus shipping.  However I have only put a tester out in a classified's section to see how they sell because I am nervous lol!!

I also turned plain old tv trays from Wal-mart (12 each)

Into these personalized study desks for the kids.  They are going to love a spot that is all their own to do their homework!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

On being a wife....

My thoughts on being a wife....

Screw independence.  The wife should be dependent upon the love and adoring faces of her family when she pulls out the perfectly tender meatloaf and the just right browned cornbread.  Screw independence I think.

And then reality sets in.  Instead of adoring faces I have screaming, fighting children.  While the oven is still pre-heating for the meatloaf that I barely had time to prep, I think again, throw some foil over it and call Pizza Hut.  Thank goodness they deliver.  From my fighting tikes, I grab the obscure McDonald's cheap ass toy that they put in their Happy Meals to piss moms off and throw it atop the fridge, screaming back: ENOUGH GUYS DANG IT.  I am beginning to feel less like June Cleaver and more like Lois from Malcolm in the Middle.  Then again, one of the kids reminds me of their Christmas party and off I go to my crafting cart (yes I have a cart filled with crafting goodies, DON'T judge me lmao).  And am able to pull off a perfectly coiffed miracle.   Perhaps there is a little June in me after all.

Did any of my other newlywed wives have preconceived notions that they are dispelling after becoming a wife?  I still try my hand at baking.  My latest disaster was almond peanut brittle which came out more like almond caramel taffy-ish buttery vanilla sweetness.  Yep that "good". 

I have still been quite the paper crafter and was able to pull out Christmas gifts for the kids' teachers from my secret stash of gifts (yes I am that mom).  However, I can't keep the house clean to save my life.  Do any of you have tips on how to organize and stay that way?  The best thing that I have had so far is the 15 minute timer cleaner.  I seem to not be able to do it consistently.  Maybe that should be my New Year's resolution: use the 15 minute timer cleaner each day to enjoy a cleaner house... or maybe I will say screw the clean house and make love to my hubby admist the unfolded clothes in baskets on the floor.

Hmmmm to be a wife...