Favorite Things

Top Gun in Theatres This Weekend Only!

by Ann-Marie on April 25, 2011

Top Gun is at the top of my list of all-time favorite movies. First and foremost is the ever-adorable Tom Cruise (especially 25 years younger!), but I also love the story, the banter between Maverick and and the soundtrack.

So I was SUPER excited to get an email from AMC announcing a  Top Gun 25th Anniversary re-release will show at select theatres nationwide for just two special engagements:

  • Saturday, April 30th at 12:30pm
  • Monday, May 2nd at 7:00pm

And if you’re the movie poster collector-type, you’ll be in for a treat … you’ll have a theatre-sized commemorative poster handed to you, while supplies last.

Find out if your city’s AMC is showing the Top Gun 25th Anniversary re-release here.

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I really enjoy hosting my kids’ birthday parties at home. You would think it should save some money, but when you start adding up the crafts, decorations, food, cake (purchased or ingredients) and party favors; it’s probably better to say it breaks even with dropping $200 on a party venue.

When my son had his 5th birthday this February, he chose a Pirate theme, which was so much fun to plan! Oriental Trading had the coolest pirate party supplies, even a great selection for a girl’s pink pirate theme if you’re looking for something different for your daughter!

Where I did save money was on the invitations, by printing them on my home computer. I wanted them to have an antique look, wound like a scroll. I even used pirate-speak on the wording… Google is just amazing at finding exactly what you need!

If you’re hosting a pirate party, or any other event where it could be more special or authentic to have an antique look to your paper, here’s the steps on how to do just that:

  1. Create your invitation. I used Word, set the page to Landscape and created 2 columns so I could have a smaller invitation, two to a page. I used Word’s freehand drawing tool to create the border (and set the border to a thick dashed line instead of solid), trying to give it a feel of a treasure map. I printed half as many sheets since I was getting 2 invitations per page. Before antiquing, I used a straight edge to rip the two invitations apart.
  2. For the antiquing process, I boiled 1 cup of water and put 1 family-size bag of tea into it to steep. When it had cooled, I poured about 1/2 cup onto a cookie sheet with an edge so it didn’t spill over. I put two invitations at a time into the tea, turning it over and pressing lightly to be sure it was getting good and saturated. As the tea ran out, I poured the remaining onto my cookie sheet.
  3. Time to dry: Next I placed the wet invitations onto a clean baking sheet, and put it into the oven at 200° for about 6 minutes. You can turn it over after 3-4 minutes, or you don’t have to, sometimes it will curl more if you don’t turn it over. If it’s not perfectly dry, no worries – just gently peel it off your cookie sheet and set it aside, it’ll finish air drying while you put the next set into the oven.
  4. That’s it! It is really simple!  It did take a bit of time but in the end it was really worth it. I finished the look by loosely rolling into a tube and tying a string around it into a knot. This wouldn’t work to mail invitations, but thankfully I was passing them out at preschool!  I had so many compliments on the invitations and for me, it’s fun to do something different. I did the same process for the thank-you notes, just changed the wording, and printed 4 to a page instead of 2. I left a blank to detail the gift, and Dylan signed his name on each.

Believe me, I usually purchase the matchy matchy fill-in-the-blank invites; however I wanted to give this a try and thankfully it worked!  Here’s the end result, side by side with an original to see what a difference it makes:

    Oh p.s., I also made Dylan’s cake at home, a treasure chest! That was also a quick find through searching “treasure chest cake”, I was able to find a video on how to make it on Family Fun’s website. I’ll be writing up my “How To” on that, so if you’re not yet following me, you may do so via email updates, Facebook, Twitter, or all three!

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    If you read about my cluttered home office (the project which has taken a backseat lately), one of the piles on top of a bookshelf is my “Save” pile of my children’s artwork.

    I have read several tips on how to save children’s precious artwork (and let’s be honest, it’s not the artwork that’s so precious as it is the darling hands that created it):

    • File folders sorted by child, by year
    • Whatever doesn’t fit into your folder/container – take a picture of your child holding it, so that you’ll have both a snapshot of the artwork and a moment in time of what your child looked like at the age he/she made the art
    • Accordian-type storage which is expandable
    • Store every piece for 1 month then ask your child to pull out their top 5 favorites to keep
    • Make sure to keep pieces that contain representations of your child’s age, milestone or memory; such as a handprint/footprint, the first time your child wrote her name all by herself or a drawing of his favorite meal at the time
    • Larger pieces on easel-size paper can be used to wrap gifts to grandparents
    • No matter how precious or perfect, never, ever, ever, save anything with glitter.

    If you’re looking for a new way to store your child’s masterpieces, here are a few options I’ve come across:

    My Masterpieces Art Portfolio

    My Masterpieces Art Portfolios:  I’ve purchased 3 of these from Willow House, one for each of my children. What I like about this storage system is that it’s accordion-style with 5 pockets, comes with letter stickers to personalize with your child’s name on the front, and it expands to about 6″ deep, which would accommodate either lots of papers, or collage-type artwork with dimension. It’s actually on sale right now for $16.96 in the Willow House outlet.


    Wall Art Gallery

    Wall Art Gallery: From Lillian Vernon, the Wall Art Gallery is so new it’s not even available until 3/21, however you can order it and it will ship when it becomes available.  I’m excited about this one. I have framed 3 pieces of my kids’ art in our basement with cheap-o metal frames that have a flexible backing for 3-dimensional work, but I love this Wall Art Gallery because the of the hinged door, and that you can store up to 50 pieces of 8 1/2 x 11 artwork inside, so you have the option of changing out what’s seen, and have a place to store it forever (or until the 51st piece comes home!).  The Wall Art Gallery is priced at $27.98, and on orders over $50 you can use code 351830100 to ship for just $3.99, now through 3/31/11.


    Kids Hanging Art Pockets

    Kids Hanging Art Pockets:  Here’s a neat-o way to display multiple pieces at once, and have a colorful addition to your child’s bedroom or playroom. Organize.com has this “Kids Hanging Art Pockets” for just $15.99. You can display up to 9 pieces of A4 (roughly 8 1/2 x 11) either horizontally or vertically, and easily change them out for new pieces. You can use code MAR1550 to get 15% off your purchase of $50 or more from Organize.com.





    Curtain rod art display

    Lastly, I came across this idea to display children’s art, by using a simple, stylish curtain rod and drapery clips you can hang your kids art all across the room. I totally love this! Thanks, Budget Wise Home!

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