October was a busy busy month for us. Not only did we have our third child, but Little O had his fourth birthday and of course there was Halloween. Because I knew this month would be just a little bit crazy I really wanted to make Little O's birthday both very simple and very special.
You see Little O has been thrown into the middle child slot...and he's feeling it. Because we've all been sick he's not been allowed to really interact with the baby much and is constantly being shooed away...and he's over it. I feel for the poor kid.
Which is why I'm glad that I stayed up until the crack of dawn to make this little Mario costume for Little O. And why I'm glad that I threw together this little birthday bash last minute. And why I'm seriously grateful for a gigantic polka-dot "mushroom" balloon that can transform an ordinary day into an extraordinary one.
We kept things simple by having the party at a local park complete with a playground (or "Mario Land") and a covered picnic area.
And we made things special by bringing simple white linens and dishes to dress things up a bit.
And of course we had to have chocolate mustaches. (Like my sister, I've never really gotten into the mustache craze -she has an entire pin board for ridiculous trends that are way overdone, it's pretty funny really- but I felt that this party was the perfect place for it. And I think even she might approve. I know Little O definitely did.)
We brought along some sodas in bottles (a huge treat for the boys as they typically don't get to drink soda in this way), threw together some star cookies (thanks Jon!!!) and bought a simple cake. We also put out some grapes, string cheese and crackers so it wasn't a total sugar fest.
And thanks to the dollar store we were able to outfit each goodie bag with a self-sticking mustache.
We chose the park for the easy already-something-for-the-kids-to-do-so-we-don't-have-to-plan-games aspect but ended up loving it for the the real life Super Mario game play aspect of it. I mean just look at that slide. Doesn't it just scream plumbing tube?
The kids had a great time and really interacted well together. I was so impressed with how they initiated their own game play. Sometimes I think we forget that you don't really need that much structure for a birthday party to go well. Just a decent area for kids to run and play in...and they'll come up with the rest!
And this little Pizano? He was in Super Mario heaven. And well...I'm not sure he's left it since.
Man I love this kid. Here's hoping he stays in this magical make-believe world of four forever.
My friend Meta, of One More Mushroom, recently threw her son the cutest super hero party. She had this idea for a darling super hero photo booth, and she asked me if I would help by creating cereal box/duct tape buildings to imply a cityscape of sorts for the little vigilantes to fly over. Being a big lover of re-purposing discarded goods with duct tape, we of course said yes! We created four buildings, each with a different bright popping color and then adorned them all with black tape, adding just a few pops of contrasting color here and there. And I just love how they look with little masked crusaders flying over them. Head over to One More Mushroom, and Babyccino kids, for more great photos of the party and to learn how to set up the rest of the photo both.
My friend, Susan, of Freshly Picked, also created a great leather mask craft for the super hero's to paint and decorate. Take a look at how you can make your own here on her guest post for Martha Stewart!
Photos by Ashley Thalman
As a continuation of Sarah Jane's fantastic Out To Sea fabric blog tour I'm offering the entire complete Milly the Mermaid doll pattern in the shop!
This downloadable PDF pattern is for a 20 inch Milly the Mermaid pattern, complete with instructions. Milly can transform from sea to land with both legs and a slip on mermaid tail! Milly's hair can also change up as this pattern includes options for two different hair styles that can be taken on and off with Velcro. Milly also comes with a pattern for a darling bodice and skirt.
So many fun dress up options!
This pattern is appropriate for those with intermediate sewing skills.
The PDF pattern will be sent to the email address associated with your etsy account unless otherwise noted. You will receive the pattern within 24 hours of purchase.
And what's even better...visit Sarah Jane's blog to get an exclusive discount code towards you very own Milly the Mermaid pattern!
And like always, I LOVE to see any creations made from Mer Mag tutorials so I'd especially love to see any mermaid dolls you might make! Share them on facebook, twitter and instagram and spread the mermaid making love!
A couple of weeks ago I promised to share with you photos from Little A's 6th birthday party, and I'm so happy to finally be able to do so! But first I have to say, I think this birthday marks the graduation of Little A's "Little" title. I know he's still technically just a little guy but I feel sort of odd calling him "Little A" here when I see just how much he's growing, learning and doing these days! It seriously blows me away. I think he just might simply be "A" now. Wow. It's a bit crazy for me but I feel it may be time. I remember when "Little O" shed his "Baby O" title and I was equally parts sadly nostalgic and eagerly excited for the future. Similar feelings accompany the shedding of A's "Little" title. And of course, as a collective, my "Littles" will probably always feel like my "Littles", and I'm sure I'll continue to refer to them as such (even when they are 18+...).
So on to the birthday celebration. A and I had tossed around a number of birthday theme ideas for this years party. I was feeling a party for party's sake (not necessarily any theme at all) and he just kept coming back to Legos. Six is a great year to delve into these little interlocking building blocks and so a Lego theme it was. I was over the moon excited about this but still wanted to keep things simple. I didn't want this to be an over-the-top, everything screams "Lego" party. So we went with an overall blue color scheme with little bright pops of Lego, here and there (Such as the candy Lego "A" that Jon constructed atop of A's cake [which promptly fell flat on it's face and into the frosting after a bump to the table. But at least we got some photos of it before hand. If you do this, I would suggest securing the candy Legos together with either frosting or melted sugar, etc. and then finding a way to actually stick it into the top of the cake).
On the day of the party Jon surprised A by bringing him a bundle of balloons complete with a gigantic mylar "6". He was thrilled. And I taped out a "Happy 6th!" message (which he requested) with painters tape to the wall which he was very pleased with (in fact, he has since become obsessed with creating his own words and numbers with painters tape on the wall, and I'm quite impressed with his skill at doing so. I'll have to share these with you later). I also freezer paper stenciled "A CAT" (one of our nicknames for him) on the front of a baseball tee and then added a "6" on the back.
When the guests arrived we had them gather around the living room table to engage in a bit of free-for-all Lego play. On their own they decided that they would collectively build "Lego City" and they had quite a fun time with it. In fact, I had to nudge them a bit to get them to move onto to other games, such as "Find the Little Lego Man" in the back yard.
After games the little guests settled down a bit to frost and decorate their own individual Lego cookie. I used Angie Gubler's mom's recipe for the cream cheese-sugar cookies and brightly colored frosting. This is seriously the best cookie/frosting recipe I've ever tasted and it's very simple. After rolling out the dough, I simply cut out rectangles and popped them in the oven. And to create the little Lego "knobs", I purchased Spree candy, which worked incredibly well.
The Littles had a great time frosting and decorating their Lego bricks...
...and an even better time eating them!
After the cookies were decorated, we gathered around to munch on snacks and goodies.
And no birthday party is complete without the cutting and distributing of the cake. This year decided that I'd try to make the cake extra special (which was something A was really keen on). I toyed around with a couple of ideas and settled on a 6 layer blue ombre cake, with each layer celebrating a year of his life. (And with only one cake pan at the size I needed, well, I was celebrating each year until 3 AM the night/morning before his party). A and the other kids loved it and I was seriously happy that it actually all came together.
I used this recipe for the cake. It was rather involved but still a fun endeavor (even if I did over whip the top frosting a bit). Perhaps I'll only do this once in their little lives, on their 6th birthday. Could be a fun tradition.
For the little guest gift bags, I made a Lego man button and pinned it to each bag, complete with their initial. I then stuffed the bags with several goodies such as a mystery Lego character in a bag, play dough, Lego stickers, a ring pop and Chinese handcuffs (my personal favorite. I played with A's the rest of the afternoon). The kids were also able to fill a few bags with jelly beans and Lego candy and take those home as well.
A great time was had by all and A still talks about the party. In fact, he had a number of suggestions for what could be done for another Lego party in the future. Such as "Mom! what if we hung Legos on a string from the ceiling?!" Or, "What if you put the 'Happy Birthday' sign right outside my door, in the hallway, so that I could see it as soon as I woke up?!". Yes, I do believe the party planning gene has officially been passed on. Perhaps I just might let him do all the planning for his next birthday. Which is guaranteed to be Oh so far away. I made him promise me that.
**Oh and don't forget to enter the Hand in Hand: Crafting with Kids book giveaway! End of day Wed., April 18th, is the last day to enter. And as a reminder, I'll be announcing the winner on Friday, so stay tuned!
Little A turned six this past week and we had lots of crazy fun celebrating this fine little gentlemen on Saturday. I will share pics from the party soon but here is just a little teaser of more things to come.
We also have lots of Easter crafts and sewing endeavors to share. And as Easter is coming fast and furious, we might be sharing those first. But rest assured, a fun 6 year old birthday party is coming soon!
(and didn't we just have his 5 year old cereal mixer? Seriously...)
This year for Little O's third birthday, being a little obsessed with puppets as of late, we decided to take the the puppet show on the road and visit my sister and her Littles. Being as this was supposed to be Little O's year with the family I felt this fit and we wanted to keep things low key. So the morning of the party I gathered all the black card stock I could find, grabbed an x-acto knife and started cutting out monster parts.
I created a number of heads, bodies, arm and leg sets, some crazy wings and a few tails. I then used a 1/8" hole punch to create eyes and holes for the brads where the creatures appendages would be connected. I only put one hole in the bodies for the heads as I wanted to children to be creative about how they were going to attach the legs, wings and tails themselves. I put an assortment of brads in the middle of the table and then let the children go crazy, mixing and matching, creating spooky creatures and silly monsters.
The younger kids needed a bit of help with the hole punching and attaching the brads but they loved the freedom and creativity of it all. I was delighted to see what sort of creatures they came up with and the adults couldn't help but join in on the fun. The ideas were endless and the creatures created were nothing short of amazing!
We taped paper straws to the back of our puppets and let the puppet show begin!
After hanging a white table cloth, my sister held up a studio light from her husband Trent's art studio. The Littles held their newly assembled creations up to the cloth and we had a grand time creating silly, spooky and spontaneous stories.
The Littles had just as much fun watching as they did puppeteering (and I dare say, so did the adults!).
Little O was due on Halloween but came 10 days earlier and I must say, he is definitely a Halloween kid. He is obsessed with anything and everything Halloweeny, spooky and somewhat scary. These puppets were right up his ally but if your Littles might be a little too spooked by these creatures, I suggest using scissors to create more rounded shapes (x-acto's aren't the best tools for curvy corners) and do away with the jagged teeth.
After a wonderful time of puppet play, we headed to the back yard for a low key party spread of doughnut holes, apple cider, festive store bought cupcakes for the Littles and of course...presents.
Little O loved the festivities and the attention. It was fun to see how he "got it" this year and he relished the fun of it all.
It was great fun for all and it really got us all geared up for a delightfully spooky Halloween!
Happy Birthday my little baby. May your third year of life be full of delight, wonder and happiness.
We celebrated Jon's birthday on Wednesday and I can't believe how time flies. Wasn't it just yesterday that we were celebrating with donuts and custom cards. Well we had a great day starting with breakfast at Marston's and ending with a Menchies custom frozen yogurt pie.
In celebration of Jon I wanted to share a gift I gave him, a Beard of Bee print by artist Meagan Donegan, in honor of a recent commercial he was in. (I actually gave this to him for Fathers Day but I thought this a good occasion to share). Go ahead and watch the commercial and you'll see how it all connects. Oh and Jon's the goofy one in the white bee keepers suit.
Fun huh? You should check out the entire campaign as it's pretty funny. And I'm not a big chicken girl but I do sort of crave their chicken (even if I've never had it) so job well done.
And and because I know you are curious:
- yes those are real bees
- yes the actor with the bee beard was stung - about three times around the eyes
- yes the actor with the bee beard was an experienced animal handler but this was his first time working with bees
- yes we're assuming he was well paid for it :)
- yes Jon was initially more nervous about the bees than his co-actor
- yes you can see this campaign on TV...if you live in the South, where the Bojangles Chicken chain resides
- yes Jon is really that funny in real life, only a little less surfer dudesque
- yes Jon is a fabulous actor and...