Archives for category: party

So it’s been a few years since I have written on the blog (or accessed the dashboard to do so….holy moly it looks intimidating) but it’s time for my triumphant return. First, let’s take a look back on some things that have happened since my disappearance, shall we?

  1. A huge reason why I stepped away in the first place was a little guy I was growing. Remember that birthday party I didn’t have the heart to do much for? It was because I was so.sick all the time. Funny how I went as a house for Halloween that year…I was perhaps hiding a bit of a bump behind it all ūüėȬ† After the first few weeks of the pregnancy, things did improve dramatically. Baby Heath arrived in June 2014. He’s a little firecracker now of course.img_1698
  2. While pregnant with Heath, we of course took on the kitchen renovation. And by pregnant, I mean 9 months along. I had called and asked for some shelving to organize the kitchen a little in a nesting rage…and that night the husband starting knocking out¬† walls. Anyway, it turned out gorgeous.
  3. We’ve done plenty of other house projects too, including both kids rooms, front door, and backyard. Maybe I’ll write about them one day. Probably not.

    4. I’ve still been cooking and sewing and schooling nonstop throughout it all.

    5. And we have done a few ridiculous birthday parties…12238248_10107734921237651_4402035916461737501_o6. As well as epic Halloween costumes…

    The biggest news of all though is what is yet to come, and the reason for my return to the blogisphere. We are embarking on the next huge chapter of our lives–a move to IRELAND! What?!? So in an effort to document that journey, I am back!

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Our little bug turned three a couple weeks ago and since she LOVES the pool so much we threw her a Luau for her birthday!

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We set up a little table near the front door with the little flower hair clips and we also had some cute grass skirts for our guests as they came in. The dollar store had the skirts and it was fun to see the kiddos (and mamas) running around in their skirts!

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For the drinks, we borrowed a friend’s soda stream and added some organic lemonade to the spritzy water.¬† Morgan also made some yummy mixed drink concoction with coconut cream.¬† It was tastey!¬† And to set the ambiance, we my little bro, found a fun Hawaiian station on Pandora.

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The craft table was a hit too.

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We had two crafts set up: 1) make a paper flower lei (thanks Pinterest!) and 2) create a totem pole mask. Next time, I might make something a little more interactive.

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My mama had fun creating a lei with my little bug too.

carnitas!

Morgan outdid himself with his carnitas tacos and thanks to all the guests who brought some amazing side dishes! And a super thanks to Nana Starr for making a yummy upside down pineapple birthday cake.

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We also had chocolate cupcakes, not from scratch, but the King Arthur gluten free chocolate cake mix is seriously the yummiest mix ever! And we topped them off with a whipped coconut frosting Рto. die. for!  In fact, we had some extra and put it on the side for the other cake too. Nom Nom!

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I really enjoyed the photo backdrop too.  This was another Pinterest winning idea. We had tons of help setting everything up and it came out great!

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It was so nice to have our family and dear friends with us to celebrate my little bug monkey chipmunk (I think that’s her animal of choice today) as she turned three (eek!). And I can’t wait to see what other fun parties we have in our future.

Have you thrown any parties recently?

I made Starr Lily a birthday dress when she turned 1 and was hoping to make it a tradition, but last year I dropped the ball and well, maybe now it’s an “every-other-year” tradition, ha!

I had originally planned on making this dress, but when I went to buy some fabric I just couldn’t find something that fit the luau theme.¬† (That of course didn’t stop me from buying some fabric anyways.) I was about to use a cute floral print, when it hit me that Morgan has about 10 Hawaiian shirts that he rarely wears.¬† I rampaged through his closet and found just the one I wanted to cut up.

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I love the palm trees and the little bits of red throughout. But this fabric was a bit thick and now I didn’t have enough to make the original dress so I sort-of followed the Ice cream social dress tutorial from Craftiness is not Optional instead.

I chopped off the top portion with plans to make something coordinating for Stone.

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And because I wanted to make sure the dress was long enough, I added a 3 inch piece of muslin to the top portion.  DSC_9114

I’ve sewn a few items by now and this is the first casing for elastic I’ve done.¬† Crazy, right? Crazy easy, is what it was.¬† I used the elastic to make a casing and then stuffed it through!

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I thought the tutorial had straps that were too wide so I used wide bias tape instead.¬† Unfortunately, I lost track of our camera and don’t have pictures, but I just sewed them in.

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The hubs gave me the idea to make them meet in the back and I think they look adorable!

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I love the buttons too.¬† It still looks like it was dad’s shirt, but now it’s an adorable birthday dress!¬† My 3 year old little model let me put her dress on for these pictures, but the day of her party she insisted on wearing a purple t-shirt underneath! I’m glad she likes it though, even if it doesn’t have a coordinating shirt. And just look at how cute she is?!

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I could just kiss and hug on her all the time! My sweet little babe is three and time is going by oh so quickly.

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Do you make your kid’s birthday outfits?

These last couple of weeks have been jam packed full of fun! Starr Lily turned three (eek!) last weekend, we went to Pennsylvania for our friend’s wedding this weekend, and our family was able to visit us too.¬† I’ve been meaning to post these little party favors I had ready for Starr Lil’s party, but well, I’ve been having too much fun, ha ha!

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Aren’t they cute! They were easy-peasy to make too! I went to the dollar store and got a bunch of flowers.¬† Then I enlisted my mom’s help and busted out the old glue gun. I pulled of the flowers from the stems, like so,

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And while my mama cut out a ton of little felt circles, I cut two slits in each one and slid the hair clip through.

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Once we got the assembly line going, it went by pretty quickly! I love just chatting with my mama while working on something too.  It reminds me of being little and cooking or cleaning while mom shared stories from when she was little. I keep telling her she needs to write them down!

Back to the party favors, mom glued felt circles onto the flowers (and nearly glued her fingertips shut too),

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and then I glued the clip part on to that.

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We let them dry overnight and that was it!

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Starr Lil’s likes to wear them! (And they keep her bangs out of her eyes too.)

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I’ll share more about her party soon and her cute little dress too! What party favors do you like to give at parties?

My little man turned 4 on Sunday.¬† 4.¬† I just can’t believe he’s that old, a solid preschool age, not ambiguously toddler or anything.¬† He is growing too fast, just like everyone said he would (his sister on the other hand….that is going by quite slowly….).¬† He has been patiently attending his friends’ birthday parties for the last few months, frustrated that he still couldn’t have one of his own (apparently his giant party last year was too long ago for him to remember at this point).

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Happy Birthday Dex!

(Not a bruise on his forehead, by the way.¬† He seems to always have a smudge of dirt in that spot.¬† Still haven’t nailed down how that happens…)

I got an invite for a birthday party that is happening in May and then it clicked….aw, man.¬† I need to throw Dexter a party.¬† Really soon.¬† Planning for Easter should have been enough of a reminder.¬† It was 4 years ago Easter that I was sitting at a picnic, miserably hot and cranky.¬† Outdoors, Florida, April,¬†9 months pregnant is only fun if you are a) in a pool or b) ….really, only in a pool.¬† The next day I was in labor, and he was technically born on Tuesday following Easter, but at 4:56AM so it still felt like Monday to all of us involved.¬† But I digress.¬† I asked Dexter what kind of party he wanted.¬† Do you want to go to the beach with friends?¬† Do you want to have a party on the playground at home?¬† “I want pizza, balloons, cake, and friends.¬† And Legos.”¬† Ah, I see.¬† He requested we have the party at home, and demanded the balloons and pizza, copying from some recent birthday parties he has attended.¬† Easy enough.¬† But Legos?¬† He was only turning 4, many of his friends are in the 1-3 age bracket, and itty bitty Legos with 1-year olds seems like a pretty bad call.¬† I tried my best to convince him of another theme, but he was not having it.¬† So a Lego party it would be.

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I sent out a quick Facebook invite and got to work planning the details.¬† Menu first, since I love food.¬† Well, it had to be pizza or I would have a meltdown of disastrous proportions on my hands.¬† I decided to phone it in and let the local pizza place handle the pizza (and yummy garlic knots…mmmm).¬† I decided to make a salad to accompany it (with local organic produce, to make up for the pizza perhaps) and a fruit salad (just cut up fruit).¬† Easy main course!¬† For appetizers, I made some Kale Pesto White Bean Dip that I’ve been wanting to try (and am snacking on the leftovers as I type) with carrots, pita chips, and pretzels to dip, as well as some Annie’s Trail Mix as a special treat and sliced cheese.

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Mmm, bean dip sounds delicious! I’ll have to add it to my snack list.

I decorated the food table with a ‘4’ sign and a utensil holder¬†made out of Duplos.¬† Aren’t they cute? And I got the idea to spray paint bubble wrap to look like a Lego base plate here.¬† The banner came together quickly! I wanted to replicate some more legos and used card-stock and punched circles for the front of the table.

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What a great idea!

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The other table on my patio got similar decorations, with Legos in mason jars as a centerpiece.

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Spray painted bubble wrap, huh, who would have thought it.

For activities at the party, I knew that actual Legos just wouldn’t work out.¬† I like to have activities that don’t require wrangling all the kids together at this age, since most of the partygoers were of the under 4 set (aside from a few cousins and older siblings).¬† We had ‘Design a Minifig’ Coloring by the playground

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I love that Char is coloring inside the lines!

And the¬†bean bag toss set up…

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In our parties, the dads usually like this game more than the kids. At least there is something for everyone!

I had seen so many ideas for a ‘Pin the Head on the Lego Man’ or ‘Pin the Brick’ etc, but I know that pin the anything on the anything has not worked at previous parties for this age group…

So I made ‘Build the Lego Man’ instead.

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Great matching activity!

I made a Lego Man outline on poster board (I just free handed it, following the minifig outline I found), then made cardstock pieces to fill it out.  I attached Velcro dots and done, easy game.

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I’m always so jealous of your sweet drawing skills.

Ages 2-7 enjoyed it, so I’ll call it a win.

Also, I had our Duplos on a parachute in the corner of the patio.¬† This was very nice for the 1-3 set, who just wanted to sit and play for a little….while also keeping everyone out of the house for the most part, so cleaning up after the party was a breeze ūüėČ

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Who has an extra parachute laying around? … Amanda.

I had a few other games ready if necessary, but everyone was so busy with everything we had out already (plus pool and playground time) that they were not necessary.

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For party favors, I made Lego bags out of plain color bags, circle punch, and foam sticky dots.  Inside, there were Lego man crayons I made from a mold bought off EBay, a coloring book I printed from some free Lego images, Lego stickers, and bubbles, because everyone loves bubbles.

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Starr Lil’s would definitely appreciate the bubbles :).

I stamped one of the circles on the bags with Thank You, too.

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Cutest favor bags ever.

I did ask everyone to not bring presents, and most didn’t.¬† We really don’t want more toys in the house, but D did get a few new Lego sets (he’s already built all of them, so much for that lasting awhile).

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Slacker. (I kid! I kid! I’m sure they were tasty, and way to keep your sanity!)

I had everything out to bake cupcakes for the party and was avoiding it as long as I could.¬† Then I casually check Facebook, and there’s a special at the local cupcake shop for $1 ‘naked’ cupcakes.¬† I packed up my baking supplies and sent hubby out…I try, but I’m not a superhero or anything.¬† I made some whipped cream frosting (with a little gelatin to stabilize it in the Florida heat) and topped with some chocolate Lego men.¬† Done.¬†¬†I did bake some¬†Lemon Crinkles and made some popsicles (I bought cheap molds, pureed some¬†frozen strawberries¬†from when we went strawberry picking earlier, added in some banana and apple juice).¬† Both were a big hit.¬† No pictures, since serving popsicles to toddlers requires all hands on deck ūüôā

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Dex seems to love them! And I love that robe. (tutorial found at the Made blog)

Anybody else plan birthday parties for a wide range of ages?  How much of your parties are homemade and how much are from the store?