DIY Pool Bag: Hello Sunshine

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We love to spend our summers at the pool. We did it growing up with our mom, and we do it now with our kids. Jessica is a swim team mom, so she is at the pool earlier than she would like during the summer months, but she’ll take the summer over winter any day!

We made a DIY pool bag that just screams summer, and sunshine and tropical vibes. Tutorial for the bag is below. We’re also sharing some of our favorite summer pool essentials we fill our pool bags with.

Materials:

  • Pool Bag, Target (we found ours in Spot’s Bullseye’s Playground, but this one works)
  • Vinyl, yellow
  • Silhouette CAMEO electronic cutting machine

Directions: 

Step 1: Find a cool file on Silhouette Software, like our pineapple one.

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Step 2: Follow Silhouette directions to cut the vinyl with your machine. If you don’t have a machine, you can find cute pre-cut vinyl on etsy.

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Step 3: If you don’t have transfer paper, line up Painter’s Tape along the pineapple cut out. Once the pineapple is covered use a straight edge over the pineapple, and then lift up the tape. Your entire pineapple should be stuck to the tape. Now, place in the exact spot you want the pineapple on the bag (tape down), and use a straight edge again to smooth out bubbles. Pull off the tape, layer by layer to reveal your pineapple. You can use a straight edge to move any bubbles, too!

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Now, on to what’s in our pool bag.

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POOL BAG ESSENTIALS

Solar Recover, Every Day Moisturizer: We can’t say enough about this spray. It smells heavenly, and it’s so cooling for the skin. We’ve used on burns, and it helps heal them. We spray our entire bodies everyday after we get out of the shower, whether we’ve been in the sun or not. It’s a must buy for the summer!

Sun Bum Sunscreen Spray SPF 30: We love the smell of this sunscreen, plus it’s fantastic brand of sunscreen. We love that it’s paraben-free, oil/PABA free, hypoallergenic, Oxybenzone free, Retinyl Palmitate Free, Vegan, Cruelty and Gluten Free. For those of your with babies or toddlers, Jenna loves this Babyganics spray sunscreen for her boys.

Sun Bum 3-In-1 Conditioner: Our hair gets so tangled after we get out of the water. This is a delicious-smelling 3-in-1 conditioner detangles, conditions and protects hair! Great for girls, too!

Sun Bum Lip Balm SPF 30: It’s so important to protect lips, too! This lip balm smells amazing, and feels good on the lips.

Quay Sunglasses: These aren’t in our bag, but we really want them to be. It’s on our must-buy list for summer style.

Beach Towels: Bright colors and tropical prints are what we’re loving for beach towels. If pink is your thing, try this. If cool blues are more your style, go with this towel.

Fun Pool Toys: We always keep extra pool toys in our bag for pool fun, and entertainment!

YETI Insulated Rambler: Something cold, whether it’s spike or not, is essential at the pool. Hydrate, hydrate!! We love Yeti ramblers because they can go in the dishwasher, and they keep liquids cold or hot for a long time.

Snacks: We don’t go anywhere without snacks for us and our kids. We are snackers. We are obsessed with Bobo’s Bars. They are made in our home state of Colorado, and so so yummy. Plus, they are gluten free.

Hats: Now that we are aging, we know more sun on our face means more wrinkles. So, we travel with our hats. If your more of a baseball cap lady, this is for you. If you want more coverage and style, go with this Do Not Disturb option.

 

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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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.

A Colorful Summer Party with Sunglasses and Ice Cream

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Summer vibes are strong in our houses right now, and it feels so good! It’s so close we can practically taste and smell all the wonderful things about summer – watermelon, cocktails on the porch, pool days and fun in the sun. The 2016/2017 school year is almost over, so we’re celebrating all the vibrant shades of summer. Nothing is brighter than ASTROBRIGHTS® Papers. Nothing is cooler than a stylish pair of sunglasses. And, nothing is sweeter than ice cream cones. All together they make one heck of a School’s Out For Summer party.

The most amazing thing about this party is that paper is the main component for all the décor. In fact, not just the décor is made of paper, the activities are primarily paper, too. Everything else – the bubbles, chalk, juice, music, candy and ice cream (the real deal, non-paper version) is just an added (but not necessary) bonus, and most can be found around the house.

It’s time to COLORIZE the start of summer, ya’ll. Here’s how to kick it off bright!

DIY Sunglasses Piñata

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Parties are just more fun with a piñata. If we had nothing but a piñata at our kid’s birthday, they would be thrilled and not notice anything else was missing. But, they can be expensive, and if you do things last-minute like us (actually, just Jessica and Jodi procrastinate, not Jenna), it costs too much to overnight ship a piñata. Luckily, we had cardboard, duct tape and ASTROBRIGHTS paper on hand to help me make the coolest piñata around town – a pair of sunglasses.

First, draw the shape of the glasses on cardboard. We used an 8×10 cut out of each lens and drew a larger tracing around it. Once everything is drawn, use an X-acto knife to cut the cardboard glasses shape. You will need a front and back, so once one pair of glasses is done, trace it on another piece of cardboard and cut it to create a second pair. Next, cut 3-inch wide strips of cardboard for the sides. Carefully bend the strips to fit the curves of the glasses.  Use small strips of duct tape (or masking tape) to secure the strip in between both pieces of cardboard glasses. We only had zebra print duct tape in our crafting bin, but we suggest using clear tape, or brown masking tape for this step. Before the entire thing is bordered, leave a small opening large enough to fit your hand in it. Drill (or punch with scissors) two small holes on top of the piñata. Insert the rope into one hole and use your hand to pull it along the inside so it can go up and out the other hole. Also, at this time, stuff the piñata with small toys and candy. Once it’s filled and the rope is attached for hanging, close up the last part of the piñata with a strip of the 3-inch cardboard and duct tape it.

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Once all the edges are securely taped, begin to cut 1.5-inch to 2 inch wide strips of paper. Use scissors to fringe the strips. Start to glue (Elmer’s Glue works here) each strip on the cardboard glasses. One crucial tip is to begin at the bottom and work your way up.

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Once the entire thing has strips of fringe, cut out two large (8×10 size each) lenses for the glasses. Add glue to the back of them, and add them to the sunglasses frame.

We used Rocket Red™ colored paper, not card stock weight, for fringe around the piñata and Eclipse Black™ for the shades. How cool are those shades? Plus, it was pure entertainment for the kids as they hit it to find the goodies inside.

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DIY Summer Vibes & Rays of Sunshine

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We don’t know about you, but we can’t get through summer without our most favorite accessory, sunglasses. Thus, those little round (or square, oval, butterfly, oblong or aviator) must-have frames were the source of inspiration for our main backdrop, the rainbow of sunglasses.

The first step is to cut out colorful frames for all the glasses. You can use an electronic cutting machine like Silhouette America Cameo to cut the glasses, or trace and cut one you find online. We used Terrestrial Teal™, Outrageous Orchid™, Sunburst Yellow™, Rocket Red™ and Martian Green™. Add Eclipse Black™ lenses behind each frame. For the rays of sunshine radiating from the sunglasses, cut 3.5 inch strips of paper. Add them to a wall, and you’ve got yourself a pretty rainbow of sunglasses. To save the wall from any paint removal, use 3M Removable Putty. It worked great.

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DIY Mini Ice Cream Parlor

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Ice cream on a hot summer day is just pure joy. Our goal was to re-create that feeling of an ice cream parlor and happiness on a summer day with an ice cream activity for the kids. We all know how quickly our children grow. We mark their height at the beginning of the school year, or when they are young, but we don’t do it at the beginning and end of the summer. We’ve never marked their height with ice cream before. Why not start now? It was a huge success – like creamy, vanilla ice cream combined with gooey, chocolaty brownies, drizzled with caramel and topped with a cherry success. Yes, it was that good, and fun!

To make the DIY paper ice cream awning, use scissors to round one side of the paper. Line them up along the wall, and use 3M Putty to hang them along the top, straight-edge part. For the awning, we used Pulsar Pink™ and Celestial Blue® colored paper.

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Trace and cut letters for the phrase, “Ice Cream As Tall As Me,” and add it to the wall under the awning. If you have a Silhouette electronic cutting machine, that will save you time, but it’s not a deal breaker for this project. Next, cut out triangles in the shape of ice cream cones. Tape the cones to the bottom of the wall. Cut out ice cream scoops 6 inches tall, which will help you give a “more accurate” estimate of each child’s height. Next, cut out sprinkles and cherries, so the kids can decorate their ice cream scoops with sprinkles, and finish their tall ice cream with a cherry on top. This was our kid’s favorite part.

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One by one the kids ran over to their cone and stacked their ice cream. If only they could actually order an ice cream this tall. One can dream, right?

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We enjoyed real ice cream shortly after the breaking of the piñata, and it was oh so yummy. The countdown is on – 17 more days of school, and then school’s out for summer! You can bet we will have our shades on!

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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. 

DIY Earrings As Sweet As A Pineapple

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We find inspiration for our blog from everything around us – magazines, colorful patterns, Pinterest, blogs, people, nature and fashion. Sometimes an idea for a future project and party comes to us late at night when we can’t sleep. Other times, we are brainstorming out loud. The idea for these adorable DIY pineapple earrings came to us while perusing the aisles of Pier 1 Imports (one of our fave home stores). We stood in front of a tropical themed tablescape looking at tiny pineapple table confetti. Instead of seeing it for what it was, we saw the tiny fruit die-cuts as DIY earrings. We call it our confetti hack.

We love pineapples, we crave piña coladas on the beach (our favorite vacation drink growing up was virgin piña colada’s and strawberry daiquiri’s) and we love a good DIY. So, this was a really fun pineapple project to work on.

These DIY earrings would make for lovely gifts for girlfriends and mom (Mother’s Day is coming up, y’all).

So bring me two piña coladas (or pineapples)
One for each ear. 

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Materials:

Directions:

Use the pliers to open two earring jump rings. One will go in the middle largest opening in the top of the pineapple, and the other will attach to the first ring and the earring wire hoops. Use the pliers to close the rings. The pineapples are thin, so be gentle with them.

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If you want to present them in a cute way, use a small hole punch to punch two holes in a card stock tag. Insert the earrings through the holes and add the safety backs. A tassel makes everything cuter, so we attached a colorful tassel. Finally, add a custom touch with a hello beautiful pineapple stamp. We made the stamp with our Silhouette Mint, which is so easy and fun to use. We can a little stamp happy each time we use it.

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When you make/wear the earrings, carry these pineapple vibes…

be like a pineapple
stand tall,
wear a crown,
& be sweet on the inside

 

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