homemade fun

With my kids home for summer vacation, we built this little game a couple of weeks ago. We also used it at our father’s day party. This would be fun to build in your yard like we did, or put it together while camping this summer!


aluminum cans – start saving food cans
bark mulch or rocks
tree branches – time to go on a nature walk
twine + yarn
optional: index cards + washi tape

1.  place your tree branch in the middle of a large can, and fill the can will bark mulch or rocks to hold the branch in place. {my daughter myla is a fan of projects, nature, and creating so she was my perfect partner for this activity.}
2.  a sample of what your branch/mulch/can should look like.
3.  build the game frame by adding a third branch on top.

4. using the hammer & one nail, place your can on the edge of a stair or over a 2×4, this will give you a sturdy backing to hammer. You just need to tap the nail a few times to get a small hole in the can, this is where you will string the twin through the can.

5. thread the twine through the hole, i doubled our twin for extra strength.
6. choose the length of your twine by how long you would like the cans to hang off the branches.
7. make sure your twin on each side is even so when you tie the strings around the branch, the can will hang evenly.
8. tie twine together around top branch.

9. because i have competitive little rascals, they requested “points” for each can. using index cards + washi tape, i wrote scores on 3 separate cards and attached them to the cans…

10. last, we made yarn balls for the game. this is where my son became interested in what we were making & joined us. to make a yarn ball, start with the end of a string – tie a knot over and over and over again in the same spot so the knot becomes larger and larger. then, start wrapping the yarn around the ball over and over and over. if it becomes tricky at times to hold the yarn in place, we used sots {sticky little dots} to help the yarn stay in place.

11. using sticky dots, this is also how you finish the yarn ball. cut the yarn string and place the end on a sticky dot. voila! {repeat this process as many times as you’d like, for as many yarn balls you’d like to make!}


it’s time to mingle!

hello there! i am so excited to share some news with you… this past month has been truly exhausting, but lucky for all of us – there is a party on the horizon!

remember this event in February? Well… things have changed just a little {i scooted your cheese over just a tiny bit} and now we are mingle! the name changed, but our vision remains the same. mingle has replaced “utah bloggers.” so, go grab your iPhone-calender-planner-whatever you schedule your life with, and pencil in this info:

look at the sponsors, we are going to have the best party ever!

soel | see jane blog | milkglass and honey | armelle | gatehouse no.1 | fifth and hazel | freshly picked | cotton & curls | modern palm | {collected} | sycamore street press | Gygi | mer mag | the Alison show | Ashley Thalman Photography | Justin Hackworth Photography | Third Floor Design Studio | Pink Moss | I Still Love You | Pepper Lou | One More Mushroom | Fleur de Bee | Diamond Rental | Square Native | Cactus and Tropicals | Sunriver Gardens | Kaboo | Zupas | Heirloom Restaurant Group | Sweet Tooth Fairy  | Cafe Rio | Mom’s Best | Living Notes from NYC | People Water | Studio 5

+ some of the best people I know are going to be there, and you should be there too….especially if you’re interested in winning one of my personalized subway sign wall art prints in a giveaway. (I’m not above bribery.)

any questions? please send them my way. jane@prolook.com xo.

{images via milkglass & honey.}


summer barbecue.

my kids are finished with school for this year, woo*hoo!  while we are putting the final tweaks on our summer plans – i am hoping to enjoy as many barbecues as possible – i love grilling for dinner.  Here are a few visual ideas for your barbecues this summer.  i have had an obsession lately with recycling aluminum cans for projects.  as you can see below – they make great pots for succulents! i love the silver contrast with the green plants.

also, one more detail below – while passing basket liners at whole foods i grabbed a pack to use for paper airplanes – a little activity that match the fun for the kiddos at your summer soirees.  you could also put crayons on the table & let the little hands color on the brown kraft paper.

my idea for the mason jar is to use them to hold the napkin + utensils, then use it for drinks. I am planning a homemade soda bar for our father’s day celebration this weekend, and will share with you more details next week, but those mason jars are going to be used!

sources – water bottles, wooden crates, gingham napkins, mason jars, and mini chalkboards {great for photo props!}

check out more outdoors goodness for your summer right here.  three cheers for summer!  now we just need some hot temperatures here in new england so we can go to the beach!

{photos by me.}


summer birthday party.

last week i taught a class on how to plan a party on a budget. The main ideas I shared are this:

a pretty table setting that can be adapted for almost any party. Are you in the midst of planning any events right now? Come back tomorrow to see some ideas for a summer barbecue! enjoy your Wednesday, xo.

{photos by me.}


do it yourself: custom water bottle labels

custom water bottle labels are one of the easiest, inexpensive ways to add a really cute detail to any special event.   i have been asked so many times over the years, how do you make/design your custom water bottle labels?

so, for all the people who have left a comment or emailed me, this post is for you! i have two styles to share with you. first, before any of the instructions – you need water bottles! i like Arrowhead water bottles because the labels remove easily & I know a two inch label is going to fit the label space perfectly. + they are usually inexpensive.

for those of you who do not have adobe software, but you have a computer with Word – this is an easy route for you. Before you begin will need Avery labels #5163, they are 2″x 4″, and print 10 labels per sheet.

in Word, you design your labels – however you would like, for any occasion. here i have created a basic summer 2012 BBQ label, and printed them at home.

1 – using basic printer paper, trim each piece of paper into two inch sections. as many as you need.

2. peel off one label, and attach 1/3 of the label to one side of your two inch trimmed printer paper.  try to line it up as perfectly as possible.

3. wrap the new label around the water bottle and adhere the label to the other side of the strip of paper. Using the labels allows you to eliminate using tape. however, you can also design your labels on a regular piece of paper in word {without Avery labels}.  measure every two inches for your design, print, trim your paper and adhere each strip with one piece of tape. see the next example for pictures to explain this better visually.

for the second style, if you have adobe photoshop or illustrator, you can create a full page of labels with this software.

1. design one page of labels, all with the width of two inches. print and trim. {if you want your labels to look nicer – print on photo quality paper.}

2. using double sided tape, wrap the label around the bottle and adhere. voila!

any questions? this is a simple, affordable way to add a little pizazz to any party.  small, kid size waters work great too!

for more party ideas, check out my celebrate board on pinterest.

{photos by me.}


diy: party hats

This morning i am teaching a class on how to plan-a-party on a budget with all the right details. So, I’ve been working on party-themed-projects all week! I want to share my do-it-yourself party hats with you.

There are many great tutorials for party hats on the great www., but my all-time favorite is by Jordan of Oh Happy Day blog. Jordan has easy to follow instructions + a simple template all right here. For the class I am teaching, I wanted a more mature color scheme and details for adults, so i mixed neutrals tan/grey/white with a few shades of coral/peach. Also, instead of using crepe paper like Jordan does, i used yarn, pom pom balls, and ribbons to decorate my hats, simply because that is what I had on hand in my art cupboard. You could use so many things to spice up a party hat – numbers would be really cute for special birthdays.

my favorite hats were the two i decorated with yarn balls. do you know how to make a yarn ball? they are so great because the possibilities of what you can create with them are endless! my friend nicole from elsa bags has a tutorial, here. fyi: i am still using my fingers to make my yarn balls and have yet to buy one of these!

to create the hat above, i made about 25 mini yarn balls {Kiana helped!} and tied them all on one long string, like a necklace – then hot glued it around the base of that hat. I attached everything to the card stock party hats with hot glue, except the ribbon neck tie.

I have more party ideas to share with you. This next week I’ll post a tutorial about two different ways to make water bottle labels + a few ideas for summer bbq’s!

{images by me.}


neon + neutrals breakfast birthday party…

well well, what do we have? one of my favorite color combinations yet? it looks that way! mixing brights with neutrals:

party details!

1. i covered the table with brown kraft paper.
2. using two large neon green poster boards i cut them down to smaller sizes to be used as placemats.
3. i added striped washi tape to hold the placemats in place + wrapped the utensils with tape too for a little extra detail. can you tell i love taping stuff?   {purchased locally, found online here.}
4. i  made those happy name place cards using this font.
5. i found the gift bags locally here. {spotted online here.} neon blue/green gift wrap via papyrus.
6. mini glasses here.
7. using brown paper mache letters from our jo-ann’s fabrics & craft store, i wrapped them with washi tape and topped it off with some curly ribbon.
8. all other party details: utensils/balloons/streamers/etc – found at local party store.

the goodie bags were pretty fun – i found mini remote controlled robots in coordinating colors + a handful of mini helicopter-twisty toys for each kiddo:

the birthday boy requested: texas cake {recipe here} + blue crepes + maple bacon + cocoa metro – his fave chocolate milk + his favorite fruit – cantaloupe! we delivered it all…

our newly nine year old mister was such a sweetie. he loved every minute of his special morning. we had endless thank you hugs from him.

neon + neutrals, we shall meet again!

find what inspired me + more neon inspiration on my “celebrate everything” pinterest board.

see our buddies past birthdays – these posts bring back such good memories for me: eight, seven, six, five, two.

{photos by me & husband.}


post-it notes wall art

last friday my little man turned nine! his birthday decor theme was neon + neutrals, so i used brown kraft paper + washi tape + post-it notes to decorate his bedroom door.

come back later today to see more neon + neutrals from his family breakfast birthday party!

{pictures by me, via instagram. if you’d like to follow along on our instagram adventures, i am @see_jane and husband is @drocksox.}


spring table setting

happy may day! for many of you mommas, your kids will be out of school this month! i’m so jealous – i love summer vacation, but now that we live in new england – school doesn’t get out till the middle of June! and, it could be worse, the school district expected to have the school year end June 20th, but because we didn’t use ANY of our snow days this year our kiddos will be done June 13th. snow day credit – – – thank goodness for an easy winter!

last week i decorated these tables for a dinner celebrating the 170th birthday of this phenomenal organization. i made utensil pouches out of brown kraft paper card stock + filled mini glassine bags with rock salt & pepper and stapled these on the inside. also included: paper towel, fork, knife, spoon, and straw!  tied all together with a little yarn bow…

pink gingham plastic coated fabric from ikea.
table runner: brown kraft paper.
16″ white balloons via iparty {i filled these myself with mini helium tanks at home.}
water bottle labels: made by moi.
centerpieces: 4″ ikea pots + a variety of succulents. each guest left with a plant.

do you have any spring/summer hosting events you are preparing for???


{photos by me.}


♥ + chalkboard oilcloth

kiana’s birthday was yesterday. she’s 14.  i can’t wait till she’s sixteen, because we really need another driver in our family.  i feel like kiana has always been years ahead of her age, so she should be twenty.  yet, the idea that i only get her at home for four more years just breaks my heart. so, i’m happy to accept fourteen and the fact that it looks really good on her.

to celebrate, i planned a simple family breakfast. i realized as i downloaded the pictures i was obviously obsessed with the decor because i didn’t take any pictures of the food or our family, minus two pictures of kiana. for breakfast we had whole wheat crepes, omelets, bacon, fruit, juice, and coffee – it was quite the spread and an amazing accomplishment to get that much food cooked in our before school morning routine!

for the decorations, i used lace, ribbon, and chalkboard oilcloth* as a tablecloth. why give birthday cards when you can write and draw all your greetings right across the table?!?

{please forgive my poor lighting on these photos. the sun was just coming up when we celebrated at 6:30am}

i had more fun than you can imagine doodling all-over this oilcloth for my sweet teenager. i easily could have stayed up all night dancing around the kitchen to pandora with chalk in my hand, drawing happiness.

my absolute favorite right now is brown kraft products + lace.

pretty bearzy opening her gifts — i love this girl.

for the most part, a successful fourteenth birthday morning. our big girls still drove to school with big papi fighting all the way over who should be sitting in the front seat.


*using/caring for the oilcloth: i used regular crayola white chalk + very inexpensive {we’re talking dollar store} sidewalk chalk. the sidewalk chalk proved to be softer & worked much better than typical chalk. the typical chalk didn’t always work. also, when cleaning the oilcloth, it wipes perfectly clean with a moist paper towel. after sela spent the day coloring on the oilcloth, i simply wiped the entire thing clean, rolled it up & stored it till our next chalk-coloring session. voila!

the best part of the chalkboard oilcloth is how versatile it is – after i cleaned up breakfast, and sela came home from preschool, we moved the oilcloth into our home office – ta-da! inside sidewalk chalk!

are you obsessing over this chalkboard oilcloth? thinking of the bajillion things you can make out of chalkboard oilcloth?!? placemats. kids chalk quiet books. the list goes on and on, right? i purchased my oilcloth here, i bought 3 yards at $10.50/yard – you can find it at other places/sites. if you find it cheaper, i’d love to know. and, lots of ideas/products on etsy!

{all photos by me. this is not a sponsored post.}


{utah} blogger meet ‘n greet

good-monday-morning seejaneblog readers!
all weekend i have been so excited to share this news:event with you!
on february 22nd, from 6:30-8pm, soel boutique and i will be co-hosting a {utah} bloggers meet ‘n greet! lookie, lookie:

come one, come all!  bloggers can meet bloggers; bloggers can meet their readers… the best of both worlds, really.

and lucky for everyone… soel boutique is offering 20% off one item during the event + i will be giving door prizes to the first 50 guests + we will have giveaways all evening + refreshing goodies + drinks + a photo booth + a free make ‘n take! {you can learn how to make yarn balls from elsa bags!} + it’s the perfect reason to enjoy an evening out to mingle!

head on over to all these sites to check out the goodness that will be there! {happy clicking!}

♥ sponsored by ♥
becky kimball * soel * see jane blog * milkglass and honey *
elsa bags * armelle * freshly picked * cotton & curls
modern palm * annily green * fifth and hazel * sycamore street press
zupas * {collected} * gatehouse no.1 * heirloom restaurant group
mer mag * the Alison show * the house of Smith’s * Studio 5

this is next week! i hope to see you + i’d be tickled pink if you could help us spread the news!

♥ my dear friends, we will also be collecting donations for a sweet momma, kelly during the meet ‘n greet. kelly is the best esthetician and a  genuine friend to many of the bloggers in utah county who had a major tragedy hit her life in december. if everyone can contribute just a little… together, we can make a big difference. you can read her story here.

happy monday!

{image created by milk glass & honey}


a web of love.

thank you for the birthday greetings & wishes! my day was filled with family, friends, and lots of good food!

to my surprise, i woke up* to our bedroom filled with a web of streamers! check this out:

the streamers & balloons were my daughters idea – but husband had to do the work! he worked 12:30-2:30am to get this all done! on instagram he said,

here’s some friendly advice:
1) putting tons of streamers up in pitch dark is extremely hard and probably quite amusing to someone watching! #decoratingfordummies
and 2) DON’T start by putting your lowest streamer up first #soreback

the tiara was sela’s idea!

two of my kiddos confused mother’s day with my birthday on my homemade cards – i loved it!

the after-party! these two munchkins jumped from the top of my headboard & flew through the streames to tear them down!

it was a beautiful day, my heart is still swelling with all the love.

* are you curious as to how husband did all those steamers without waking me up?  the evening before, he brought me a tall glass of water + tylenol PM.  he said, “i just want you to sleep really good. sleep-in, don’t wake up early with the kids – I’ll get them to school/etc/etc.”  that alone, was the BEST GIFT EVER!  but…  that’s how he did it.  drugged me! ha!


99 red balloons…

did you like this song when you were growing up? i loved it. and, i’m still a fan. crank it up & maybe it will put a good little groove in your day.

another peek at myla’s red & peach birthday morning surprise —
there were 99 red balloons & 51 peach!

i like the german version too!

{photos by me.}


thanksgiving table settings…

this past week, i taught a mini class on three different styles you could use to set your table for thanksgiving…
the nice part of this, i’m totally prepared now!

a little re-cap:

• start by choosing a table cloth or table runner. try using fabric, sheets, paper, or gift wrap in place of traditional tablecloths – it gives you more variety to choose from & is usually less expensive!
• next, plan a centerpiece. This can be traditional, or an activity for the guests. Your guests will feel extra welcomed if they are aware that you have thought about them beforehand. This includes the place cards! Keep in mind: you don’t have to put names on the place cards, you can use a greeting, or topics/questions for conversation.

i used christmas lights wrapped under tulle down the center of the table for fun festive lighting.  the flowers were all from costco & i re-arranged them in to small square glass vases.

• Lighting. Using candles, lanterns, or xmas lights instantly creates an inviting, warm atmosphere.
• favors – I prefer to incorporate something that will remind your guests long after they leave what a special evening they had – for example: a polaroid photo, a printed recipe card of a dish being served., a treat. Keep it simple & thoughtful.

this look can be very affordable, since many of your supplies can be found on a walk in nature!
the ‘rustic wood place card holders’ {i’m still dying over these!} can be found here. burlap table runners, here.

• Need more ideas? Check out pinterest for endless ideas, here. If you are new to pinterest, it is an online virtual pinboard. that lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the great WWW. People use pinboards to plan weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes. Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests. Not sure where to start? Feel free to check out my boards here.
• Do you feel like you don’t have enough time to create the extra special touches, or you are not “creative” enough to put together all the special touches? Not to worry! Check out this. new to etsy? It is an online handmade/vintage market featuring thousands of artists who can help! Go on etsy, and search for “Christmas placecards” or whatever you may be looking for and you will find endless options to fit almost any budget. Also, like pinterest, etsy is a great resource for ideas!

this look is a fun, darling twist on the traditional look.  the paper mustache place cards can be found here.  the stache straws, here.
i also had my polaroid camera sitting at this table, so guests could use the stache straws as a fun photo op!

and, last but not least! {the kids table!}
i love the look of brown kraft paper, and try to use it whenever possible…

kids turkey place cards, right here!

cheers to memorable dining!


selabration #5

this year, we are having our-family-only birthday parties. which is a brand-new party philosophy for us rhodes. each kiddo will get to help plan their special day, and i hope each one chooses something unique for our first year here in boston. sela’s original request – the american girl store. we didn’t have this store in utah, so i truly dodged it with my older girls. i never even let them know it existed. however, they were fans of build-a-bear which is somewhat of a trade. but, our last child – sel-bels – she is a doll lover. so, it’s totally appropriate we cave for her. ::smiles:: and, our new local mall, which i swear is the best mall on the planet, it really has EVERYTHING, an american girl store included, approximately eight minutes from our home.

with that said, sela~bella’s requests:

family brunch
barbie cake
purple & mustard decorations
a visit to the all-american girl store
a special dinner.

her wishes all came true!

i have a fetish for paper chains, and i’m trying to re-invent them whenever possible.
however, i do tend to forget how time consuming it is to create such a simple craft.
hours were invested for these little links of love, but it was totally worth it because i loved the finished look
—a little perk that our dining room is already purple!

for brunch, we had:
palis verdis eggs
barbie cake
and ice cream!

when the taylor’s were visiting & we stopped by our incredible mall, shannon pulled me in to “lush,” i had never heard of this shop/brand before, but shannon had shopped at lush in hawaii… the taylor’s bought me my first bath-bomb, and i was instantly hooked! have you been? have you tried? the shop is awesome!

…it’s handmade cosmetics, but their main item is bath bombs that come in a variety of shapes/colors/scents – you put one in your bath with you & they foam, bubble, color the water, smell delicious! it’s divine if you are a bath-er like me! so, for sela’s little brunch, we chose a variety of bath bombs for everyone to enjoy as party favors. you can see kj’s in the photo on the right, sela chose a robot & blue/green ball bombs for him- i also love that there are boy/girl choices, because sometimes when planning party favors it’s difficult to find something for everyone. {this is a GREAT gift idea, if you are starting your holiday shopping!}

{notice the joggers going by outside – ha!}

hoodsie ice cream!
giving the sox some love during our brunch, their season ended way too early…

everyone likes to help the baby of the family. sela had three assistants/siblings to help her decide what american girl to choose, what clothes/accessories to pick out for her…

then they helped her instantly put her new doll together during dinner!

sela is a very good momma to her “dolly tess”,
nicknamed: bootylicious, because she doesn’t seem to keep her pants up very well –
we see a lot of her booty!

it’s all i can do to refrain from kissing those perfect little round cheeks, constantly.
does she not have the most adorable expressions? ohhh, this girlie has my heart.

the entire day, i kept snuggling up with husband and thinking,
“i’m so happy to be here. life is so good.”

where has five years gone? a big chunk of those years i felt like i’d have a toddler, forever.
and now… now, this little one will be in kindergarten next year, and before i know it,
all four of my munchkins will be in school all day. it’s such a sad thought, welcomed with a love of where we are.

with those thoughts in mind, we used every opportunity on sunday to celebrate this little one.

she has always been my perfect little sidekick, such a little lady.

sela & her tess’s matching pj’s were the perfect ending to a perfect fifth birthday.

cheers to five years, baby girl.

© 2014 jane rhodes.