the makings of a handmade she-ra doll

she-ra doll she-ra doll she-ra doll she-ra doll she-ra doll she-ra doll she-ra doll True’s been requesting a handmade She-Ra doll for awhile now, and her wish comes true this Christmas. I think when Brave got a handmade version of her favorite superhero, that’s when True started asking for her own.

I wasn’t sure how to make this She-Ra doll happen, but I sketched out a couple ideas, and then just made things up as I went. I started off with the regular rag doll form first, then went from there adding details that would make it the Princess of Power. After I got the head and hair all done, I got super excited because I could totally see the She-Ra doll coming to life. I love the way it turned out and I’m pretty sure True will too. Ben and I so excited to give it to her!!!

I can’t wait for Soul (and Glow) to make a request one day. I love the challenge and seeing an idea come to fruition, and then seeing my girls get so happy about something I made for them. Are you excited?! There’s only one more sleep left until Christmas!!!



diy: new year’s eve party hats

new year's eve party hats new year's eve party hats New Year’s Eve Party Hats
inspired by these cool vintage party hats

Party Hat template
Colorful cardstock (bought in the scrapbooking section)
Glitter stickers
Crepe paper streamers
Glue gun & glue stick
Round elastic cording
Hole punch
Sewing machine
Coordinating thread
Fringe scissors

1. Using the template, cut out your party hat. Make sure to cut the slit on the hat for the tab to go through. Then, add your saying or design. To create the cone shape, insert the tab through the slit, glue to secure cone close.

new year's eve party hats 2. Cut three – 24″ strips of crepe paper, sew down the center of the entire length. Fold in half, and using your fringe scissors, cut a fringe on your crepe paper strip. Cut towards the center, but don’t cut all the way through. Glue fringe all along the bottom of the hat, wrapping around twice. With your hand, brush the fringe upward to make it fuller.

To make your fringe topper, cut three – 4″ strips of crepe paper, sew the center width-wise, and cut each end with the fringe scissors toward the center. Pinch the center together and glue to the top of the hat. Another topper option is to cut several thin 12″ strips of crepe paper (in various colors), pinch the end together, and glue to the top of the hat.

Punch a small hole on on each side of the hat to string your elastic through, and knot on each side. Our elastic was 15″ long and with it tied on both sides, and it was the perfect fit for my girls.

new year's eve party hats new year's eve party hats new year's eve party hats new year's eve party hats new year's eve party hats new year's eve party hats new year's eve party hats new year's eve party hats new year's eve party hats The girls picked their New Year’s party dresses from Old Navy (there are lots of fun ones to choose from). I love Brave’s plaid denim dress, it’s nice and thick, and such a cute cut. I would totally wear it. In fact, I would totally wear Soul’s too. She is such a girly girl in stripes and leopard shoes. Her criteria for her dresses are… the skirt must be above the knee and no sleeves to her hands. Good thing I make them wear shorts under their dresses all the time. Soul is the most difficult when it comes to getting herself dressed (she changes so many times before settling on an outfit). She didn’t want to wear the party hat at first because she liked her headband, but after seeing how much fun the other girls were having wearing their hats, she finally wanted to join in the fun. True picked her pink dress because she said, “Mommy, it’s good for twirling.” Glow will still wear what mommy wants her to wear (thankfully), and I think it’s cute how her dress looks like it would be a fabric of a floral sofa. Now that I think of it, I think she would totally match my mom’s sofa! Then, topped with their party hats, my girls will be ready to ring in the New Year with our traditional Bratcher Dance Party. But first, we will happily get through Christmas, and Christmas Day is for wearing pajamas all day long!

on true: pink tiered dress & marled socks, c/o old navy. biker boots, gap kids. on brave: plaid denim dress, c/o old navy. boots, doc martens. on soul: striped dress (similar here), headband, and leopard ballet slippers (we cut off the elastic band), c/o old navy. on glow: floral dress, c/o old navy. shoes, minnetonka moccasin.

This post is sponsored by Old Navy. I’m continuously thankful for the support you give me and the brands I partner with!



dear last week

Christmasing Dear Last Week,

I would certainly most appreciate a do-over. We were rushing around trying to wrap things up for Christmas and school that I was much too snappy and quick to anger. Words were said that shouldn’t have been and I didn’t even apologize (I still need to). I can’t even remember exactly what went on except that I was just mad all the time. I realize I need more Jesus instead of other things to help me get through my days, but I always fail to pick more Jesus. Despite my hard heart, I’m thankful that forgiveness and mercy abounds in the cross, I need to look there more. With this new week, come new chances, so I’m praying that I live it under the authority of God, instead of me trying to control it all and want to be God.




huzi design cars

huzi cars huzi cars huzi cars huzi cars huzi cars huzi cars huzi cars This past weekend, as a thank you for doing such a good job for helping both Ben and me execute surprises this past week, we busted out these cool Huzi Design Cars and gave them to the girls. Oh my gosh… they went wild for the cars! Huzi makes these wooden cars, painted in chalkboard paint, and they come with a little packet of chalk (and an eraser). The girls spent all day decorating the cars and playing with them. The body (top/chalkboard part of the car) magnetically snaps together to the base/wheels. We have 4 cars, but there’s only one set of wheels per box (a box has two car bodies), so they had to take turns; they mostly did a good job of sharing. They creatively figured out other ways to play with them when someone else had the wheels.

I was out doing errands and Ben would text me about all the different types of designs they would draw on the cars. I think the popular one was a van that delivered fresh bread. And as you can see above, they took tape and made roads all over the place! They really played with the cars all day long. It was funny, as I would just walk through doing this or that around the house, and if I ended up on one of their roads, they would say, “Don’t walk in the middle of the road Mommy!” Between these roads, and the designs from this day, I’m pretty much all out of tape. I’m glad it’s going to good use that keeps them engaged and let’s them be creative. Now that I think of it, I probably should add that to their stockings for Christmas!

We have the “Dream Car – Adventurous” and the “Dream Car-Classic,” and now they are lobbying for the other two sets… too bad they didn’t put it on their Christmas list. I love toys like this that really encourage creativity and are well-designed.



making the castle

soul turns five soul turns five soul turns five This is how we put together the castle for Soul’s princess party. Ben created the frame by using PVC pipes we already had. I simply covered it with my massive roll of craft paper (I use it for so many things!) and affixed it on with packaging tape. I cut out the two, top front panels in the shape of a tower, and then I painted on a brick pattern all throughout the exterior (excluding the back and right side) and interior.

I originally wanted to make it out of cardboard boxes (inspired by this) and make them slot together, similar to the cardboard dollhouse, but we didn’t have boxes large enough. Also, I was too pressed for time to figure that out (that’s what happens when I have two December birthdays to prepare for on top of Christmas!). I told Ben what I was visualizing and I let him come up with the frame. Thus, he came up with the skeleton, and I added the meat. We like to tag team on projects like that often. Usually though, I do the skeleton and he adds the substance, but this time it was at the other way around. *high-five Ben!*

I did see this cool medieval castle playhouse, and this coloring castle, or this life-size fairy castle, or even this discovery play castle. In the end though, none of them were quite large enough to have them have a party inside the castle, so we made our own. But I just came across this carriage, and had I seen that early enough, I might have gotten that to add to our castle. Everything worked out wonderfully and if you saw her party post, you know Soul loved her castle! The only bummer part is that when I moved my fiddle leaf fig tree, I didn’t realize there was sitting water in the saucer. I’m guessing somehow it leaked out because there was a big puddle on the wood floor, which I didn’t see until after the party was over, and well now, we have a a couple really warped planks. Oye vey!




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