Light, Love & Paper at a Zen-Worthy Ladies Night

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Life is beautiful. We are truly blessed in this life. But, just like everyone, our stress levels rise, the to-do lists get longer, worries can be all-consuming and we are over-committed. To stay grounded (and sane), we have to find ways to bring peace into our lives. We often take refuge in family and friends who lift us up. We take breaks. We let in some of the love we deserve, but often neglect to receive. We have a cocktail. We have meltdowns. We put on yoga pants and watch the same movies we’ve seen a hundred times before. We pray. We take deep breaths. We party. We try to live with intention and grateful hearts.

A good reminder of our intentions, and the positive energy we need on a daily basis are the Mala beads we wear on our wrists. The string of beads used in prayer and meditation were first introduced to us several years ago after a stop in Tibet Imports in Denver, CO. A sweet woman, Sarita, gave us a Vedic Astrology reading, and we bought our first Mala prayer beads.

After receiving many compliments on our bracelets, we wanted to share that beauty and healing with others. What better way to celebrate all that good energy and fabulous piece of jewelry than with family? Not just any family – 16 strong women from our large Italian family. So, together at Jenna’s beautiful newly renovated home, we made Mala bracelets, listened to individual Vedic Astrology readings with Sarita and Suderson, sang, ate and drank our way into the night.

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Our goal was to make the space safe, pretty and full of love and light. It was a good vibes only zone. ASTROBRIGHTS® Papers helped us brighten the evening with all the colors of the rainbow, just like the seven Chakras, which are energy centers of the body known in Indian religions, often associated with vibrant colors.

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Here’s fun ways on how we got our Mala on. We highly recommend it for your next girls night!

DIY Lotus Flower Art
We can’t believe this unique piece of art is made with paper. These DIY lotus flowers are dimensional, bright and one-of-a-kind. Lotus flower are known to grow from the bottom of streams and muddy ponds, and rise above the water and bloom. We chose this symbol to hang at our party because of it’s symbolic nature of spiritual growth and the ability to rise above obstacles.

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Materials:

Directions:

Step 1: Print a photo of the lotus flower, tape it to the foam core, and use an X-acto knife to cut around all the edges of the flower. Be sure to only cut half-way through the foam core, not entirely through it.

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Step 2: Next, cut 1-inch thick strips of paper. We used Sunburst Yellow™Cosmic Orange™., Rocket Red™, Blast-Off Blue™Celestial Blue®Lunar Blue™Terra Green™ and Martian Green™ for our lotus flowers.

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Step 3: Insert the paper strips into the tiny slits you made in the foam core. You will have to cut the paper to fit each slit. We inserted the paper in the slit, and then cut it at the end of the slit. We did not cut and measure each one individually before inserting it. Once we put paper in all the slits, we cut paper with a scallop effect, and glued it around the edges for a lovely frame.

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For the framed word art, we cut powerful words, glued them to foam core and framed them the same way as the lotus flower. These are all beautiful (and totally affordable) pieces of art that you can do for any party (or just everyday décor).

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Bar Sign & Wall Decor
We’ve seen the Namaste play on words, such as Namast’ay in bed and Namast’ay a while, so we made our own sign with letters. The words read Namast’ay & Drink. It was placed strategically above the “bar.” This is as easy as printing and cutting letters. You can string the letters on twine, or hang them like we did with wall putty.

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Vedic Astrology is rooted in a birth chart, the planets, stars and their patterns. We made a string of 3-D stars, circles and moons to hang at the party. We used a variety of colors on this banner, including Eclipse Black™, Pulsar Pink™, Sunburst Yellow™, Fireball Fuchsia™, Celestial Blue®, Martian Green™, Stardust White™ and Outrageous Orchid™. To make these shapes, cut circles and stars, fold them in half and glue them along a piece of twine, also gluing all the sides of the shapes together. For each 3D shape, you will need four parts, or shapes. For example, you will need 4 circles to make one 3D circle or ball.

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Elephants are a sacred symbol in Buddhist and Hindu religions, so we knew we wanted to incorporate them somehow. We traced and cut an elephant shape, and then used our Silhouette electronic cutting machine to cut intricate designs on another piece of color paper. We glued them together, and hung them from a long piece of embroidery string. If you don’t have a Silhouette, you can draw designs on the elephant, or even find a photo online with designs already on the elephant. The colors we used for the elephant are Pulsar Pink™, Terrestrial Teal™, Outrageous Orchid™, Fireball Fuchsia™ and Blast-Off Blue™.

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DIY Lanterns
Jenna has a stunning chandelier hanging from her ceiling, so we couldn’t compete with that. But, we tried to add a an element from Sarita’s shop to help her feel right at home. That element was DIY Tibetan lanterns. We made DIY paper lanterns with traditional Buddhist symbols printed on them, including the Om symbol and the Hamsa Hand. Although they are traditionally handmade from lokta paper or cotton, the Astrobrights worked great!

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Materials:

Directions:

Step 1: Find images of traditional Buddhism or Hindu symbols online. Copy and paste into Microsoft Word.

Step 2: Resize image in Word, and then print in the center of four pieces of paper.

Step 3: Fold the bottom ½ inch and the side 1 inch. You want the fold to be on the backside of the image.

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Step 4: Use a needle to prick holes every inch from the top to the bottom on the side of each paper through the fold. Repeat on all the sides of each sheet of paper (not the top and bottom edges).

Step 5: Tie a know at the end of a piece of string, and insert it from the back of one piece of paper, through the fold to the front, and then into one hold on another piece of paper. Essentially, you are “sewing” the sides of the lantern together. A cross-pattern worked best for us, but you can do whatever is easiest here. They just have to be attached to one another. We have NO sewing skills whatever, it’s just a pattern of going in through one hole and then up through another.

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Step 6: Once all the sides are sewn together, add 4 equal pieces of string to the top of each lantern (either glue the string or attach it to the existing string) to hang it from the ceiling. For extra flair, add little tassels to the bottom of each corner of the lantern. Command hooks worked great to hang the lanterns. For this DIY, we used Sunburst Yellow™, Terra Green™  and Celestial Blue®.

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As we face our busy days, our malas will serve as a reminder to bring a little love and light to everything we do. And, we will certainly remember this special night with family where we shared our stories, and laughed our way through bead making.

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This post is in partnership with Astrobrights Papers. We were crafting with Astrobrights Papers paper long before this post. It’s always been a fave product of ours. Thank you for supporting the brands that support j. sorelle. Astrobrights was one of the first, so we are very grateful.

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means j. sorelle receives a small commission from the sale of certain items; however, the price is the same for you, whether it’s an affiliate link or not. 

 

Colorful Tailgate Just In Time For Fall Football Season

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Are you ready for some football? A Monday (and almost every night of the week) party!

Y’all, it’s football season, whether you’re ready or not. Lucky for us, we like football season, and our hometown team, the Broncos. We like the game, but we may like the food, tailgate parties, apparel and cocktails just as much, if not more.

To kickoff the season on the right foot, we had a tailgate party of our own. We decorated in orange and blue, and we primarily did it with ASTROBRIGHTS® Papers. It was a good morning to celebrate football at a girls only tailgate (no offense to the men), and it was so fun!

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Get ready to cut and glue your way to an awesome and colorful tailgate. Details on how we hosted our tailgate is below. Of course, we decorated in orange and blue for our team, but ASTROBRIGHTS also has 25 bright colors for any team’s tailgate. Craft the rainbow for your team!

DIY Huddle Sign
One of our favorite items at the tailgate was our huddle sign. We made it with Astrobrights paper, including the colors Lunar Blue™, Blast-Off Blue™, Celestial Blue®, Orbit Orange™, and Cosmic Orange™. To make it, first glue white paper letters onto a foamcore board. Next, cut 5 inch-long strips of paper ranging from ½ inch to 1 inch thick (depends on how high you want the letters). Finally, tightly roll the paper. Once rolled, you can keep it circular or bend it into a triangle shape. With a hot glue gun, glue the paper rolls around the letters. Glue them close to one another, and as the letters take shape, you can start to stagger like loose confetti.  This will be a signature showstopper at every tailgate this season. Friends will know how to find your car for every game.

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Food & Drink
We made the most delicious breakfast burritos (tater tots, green chili, red peppers, eggs and cheese) for this tailgate. They can be easily warmed on the grill, or kept warm on the way to the game. To stick with our team’s colors, we also served orange clementines and blueberries, along with donut kabobs (small wooden dowels lined with delicious white donut holes). We decorated the donut holes with tiny flags made with Blast-Off Blue™ and Orbit Orange™ cardstock.

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We sipped a Mimosa cocktail in solo cups. To make them extra cute, we designed megaphones with names on Microsoft Word, cut them out, and then taped them onto the cups with packaging tape. The tape was our way to waterproof the names for those unforeseen spills. Cheers!

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DIY Paper Photo Props & Banner
Paper props are always a good idea for a fun party. After all, everyone is looking for a good instagram shot, and props enhance those photo opps! We made #1 fan foam fingers from paper, as well as pennant flags. To make the foam fingers, simply print a template found online (foam finger here), cut, glue and then add a stick for people to hold them. We used a sharpie to draw the hand details, and cut a #1 from ASTROBRIGHTS paper.

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Football game decor just doesn’t seem complete without a banner of some kind. So, we cut some orange and blue triangles (pennant flag template here) and strung them along a piece of twine. Additionally, we cut GAME DAY letters and strung them along, too.

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DIY Magnets
A great damage-free way to hang football printables is magnets. We can’t believe we haven’t explored this option more before. Jenna created football printables for us, and we hung them all around the truck. To make these magnets, trace the size of the magnets around ASTROBRIGHTS paper. Next glue the paper to one side of the magnet. Lastly, pour Mod Podge Dimensional Magic onto the top of the magnet. Let the magic dry. Another option is to paint the magnet with actual Mod Podge. It will be a protective barrier on the magnets.

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DIY Paper Megaphone Necklace
Everyone wants to be heard, and one can be heard a lot louder with a megaphone. It may not have been a large one, but the DIY paper megaphones we made were a fun way to cheer on our favorite team, and accessorize our outfits. To do this, find a small megaphone template, print the outline, trace it on cardstock paper and decorate the paper megaphones with the ASTROBRIGHTS writing paper. Use a hot glue gun to glue the megaphone together. Next, hang them with yarn, and give them to all party-goers.

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For football fans, fall is all about football, friends and food. Now, we encourage all those footballs fans to add festive paper to COLORIZE their fall, too. After our tailgate, we know we’re convinced paper can be a part of football fun!

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This post is in partnership with ASTROBRIGHTS. We were crafting with and coloring on ASTROBRIGHTS paper long before this post. It’s always been a fave product of ours. Thank you for supporting the brands that support j. sorelle. ASTROBRIGHTS was one of the first, so we are very grateful.

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means j. sorelle receives a small commission from the sale of certain items; however, the price is the same for you, whether it’s an affiliate link or not. 

 

 

Throw A Sing Party for Kids With A DIY Outdoor Stage

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Last year, the kids were mermaids and sharks. This year, they took center stage at a Sing inspired party. There was a DIY mini stage, good music, DIY candy microphones and characters from Illumination’s Sing. Fun was had by all, including the adults who took to the stage, too.

Once again, Jessica shopped Oriental Trading for most of the party’s decorations and favors. Shop OT for the red fringe curtain, gold stars, microphone trophy, white favor boxes, glow-in-the-dark bouncing eyeballs, Inflatable guitars and star disco ball necklace.

Here’s how you can throw a Sing party for all your future super stars.

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Materials:

Directions:

Step 1: Visit Momtastic for the full DIY mini stage tutorial and materials needed. All the details are here, including the stage, Buster Moon and the moon and the DIY speakers. It’s totally affordable, and the fun can last all summer (and next summer, too) in your backyard.

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Step 2: Make the DIY candy microphones. We can’t take credit for this idea. We found it here. Fill the clear tubes with candy, add the top to the tube, and then top it off with the colorful foam microphone covers. This was a huge hit with the kids, and we can foresee a classroom holiday gift with this one. To display the candy microphones, Jessica spray painted a box (from a recent Amazon purchase) red, and cut small holes on top with an X-acto knife. Make sure the holes are not too big, and not too small – they need to be just right (and snug) to hold and secure the microphone tubes. Next, paint or add white letters to the red box. We used a comment in the movie from Buster Moon, the koala. When a contestant was nervous, he said to, “Just…sing.”

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Step 3: Prep the favor boxes. Make tags with characters on it with Microsoft Word and jpg’s of the characters online. We gave the kids bouncing eyeballs in honor of Miss Crawly’s, the chameleon assistant in the movie, bouncing eyeball. Another fun favor was the Star disco ball necklaces, trophies (see below) and toy microphones.

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Step 4: One must have a trophy for a singing competition. Luckily for our guests, they were all winners, or Sing champs. We made custom labels on the Oriental Trading microphone trophies with vinyl and our Silhouette CAMEO electronic cutting machine. We designed the words, Sing Camp, and put the vinyl on each trophy.

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Step 5: Hang the gold stars. Use a white Sharpie oil-based paint marker to write all the guests names on the stars. Hang the stars with string. Jessica used a piece of cardboard, and her Silhouette machine to cut out RISING STAR letters with Astrobrights Paper.

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Step 6: Every singer needs a microphone. We had a karaoke machine, as well as toy microphones with everyone’s name on it.  Use puff paint to add the names. White shopping Target, Jessica found an empty box with holes in it (used to store another toy on the shelf). She added it to her cart for $0, and wrapped it with wrapping paper. Each microphone fit perfectly inside each hole.

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Step 7: Sing and have a good time.

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Oriental Trading sent us some items of our choosing for this post, free of charge. We’re so happy they did! All opinions are honest, and our own. No other type of compensation was received. Thanks for supporting the companies that support j. sorelle. We love Oriental Trading, even before this post.

This post contains affiliate links. 

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Sunny Days Call For DIY Trucker Hats

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As I painted some super cool DIY trucker hats for my kids for Momtastic, I realized that I have never seen Jenna in a baseball hat. It’s a go-to for Jodi and I, and our mom has more baseball hats than shoes (maybe that’s where we get it). Jenna prefers shoes. Maybe if I make Jenna a DIY trucker hat, she will wear it?!

You can read the tutorial for DIY trucker hats here. No sewing required.

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If you’re not up for making a DIY, shop for some cute one’s below. We picked some out for the whole family.

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*Affiliate links included in this post

Here Comes The Sun: Sunshine Party Just for Kids

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As you know, we’re thrilled about summer. We’re spoiled by the Colorado sunshine. There’s nothing like a sunny, blue-sky Colorado day. We celebrated sunshine with our little darlings, and it was so much fun! Oriental Trading Company helped us make a bright and colorful party – they were the source for all our party goods.

Not only is this party all about the sun, but it helped us introduce the Beatles to our kids. Here Comes the Sun is a classic, so you can bet the kids had “doo, doo, doo, doo” stuck in their heads, just like we did.

All the details from the party are below.

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DIY Felt Banners
Cut the felt into a banner shape. Cut and trace paper (or stencil) letters onto colorful felt. Once all the letters are traced, cut them out. We made banners with the lyrics to the song, Here Comes the Sun. Glue (hot glue worked great) the letters onto the white felt banner. Find tree branches or wood rods to hang them. We used hot glue to roll them on a tree branch. We made DIY Tassels to hang on the bottom of each one from felt. First we cut strips of felt, then cut tiny strips 3/4 way up each piece, and rolled it into a tassel. We used hot glue to keep it rolled tight.

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DIY Sun Decor
A sunshine party is not a sunshine party without, well, the sun. Buy yellow tissue paper fans, open them up, and then glue a circular piece of orange paper in the center. Easy-peasy.

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Sunshine Craft
Our girls love to craft, so the highlight of the party was the sun sand key chains from Oriental Trading. They made colorful sand art that they now proudly carry on their backpacks.

When they weren’t crafting with sand, they were doodling with chalk. The girls drew variations of the sun and its rays, and hopped on each one. They were walking (or hopping) on sunshine.

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Other Details
A fun favor from the party was a sweet new pair of sunny shades.

Popcorn is always a favorite snack for our kids. We served the popped goodness in bright yellow popcorn boxes. We pulled the sun shapes from extra pairs of sunglasses for a fun popcorn box detail.

We absolutely love, love the glass milk bottles. They were perfect containers for the sand, as well as juice for the girls. A straw was taped to each bottle with yellow patterned washi tape.

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Enjoy the summer sun!

Oriental Trading sent us some items of our choosing for this post, free of charge. We’re so happy they did! All opinions are honest, and our own. No other type of compensation was received. Thanks for supporting the companies that support j. sorelle. We love Oriental Trading, even before this post.