My family and I had the opportunity to go to one of those birthday parties recently where you just stand back and say, “WOW, what the hell am I doing with my time?”
You make recognize the work from previous posts as a very talented friend of mine. So when she invited us to a party for her boys I stood back in amazement, as did every other parent in the room.
Treat boxes for over 50 kids.
Custom water bottle labels.
Yes, she did individually wrap each of the 50 juice boxes she had as Lego bricks. I didn’t pay this much attention to detail for my wedding.
Custom signs with lego holder for the food.
She made yes say it with me MADE chocolate Lego mini-figs and flag for each homemade cupcake she did. The children of course really appreciated the detail as they were cramming them in their mouths.
If the cupcakes were not enough she made marshmallow pops in the shape of the mini-figs heads.
Each of the activities had custom-made signs. Just like the parties that you throw for your kids, right?
As we left and my daughter lovingly appreciated the detailed treat boxes, and by that I mean tore it open in the car. She revealed that she got handmade chocolate Lego bricks and a handmade and packaged necklaces. They were amazing favors!
Needless to say she had made MORE of her 24 useable hours than I can ever imagine. The important part was that her boys were thrilled with the party and it was artfully done. Congrats for an amazing party.
I will be honest.
I love throwing parties. Specifically, I love throwing parties for my daughter. And despite the promise I make every year at the end of her party, I went big again this year. My house looks like Ziggy Stardust exploded, coating it in a fine layer of glitter everywhere.
All of the invitations, thank you cards, and cut out decorations were done by an amazing company Nickel Design. We have been lucky enough to have my daughters invitations done every year by a truly amazing artist. You can see her first and second birthday invitations on her site.
We went with a fairy theme this year. Complete with a visit from an amazing fairy to do face painting and balloon animals. This was totally worth it as I am fairly sure my daughter thought she was real. In her mind it was indistinguishable from magic. Which made my day, possibly my year.
A bounce house seemed like a good idea when there are a multitude of children to entertain.
Wings for everyone. Hence the large amounts of glitter.
I did these easy fruit skewers. They are lovely to look at and the kids ate them up in minutes.
These are my semi-famous spring rolls. Please see the previous train party post for the recipe.Herbed Goat Cheese Sandwiches are always a big hit and are easy to do.
And then comes the treats. I decided to do cake pops for the take homes this year. What can be better than a favor you can eat before you even get home. A dear friend made these for my daughter. They were a huge hit and matched perfectly.
And my personal favorite part of any party.
So next year note to self and reference this post so I can remind myself how tiring it can be and then be sure to dream it all up again bigger and better.
So with the thrill of our last adventure less than a week behind us I planned something new for us.
An Adventure for Two.
Yes, that is right we went out sans our precious little one. I am reminded of how witty my husband can be.
We started at a favorite local brewery.
There was severe disappointment on the trip when the hand fan museum was unexpectedly closed.
So we consoled ourselves with some wine tasting. It was beautiful and the winery was amazing.
We toured a little town. It was super cute and had this amazing bridge.
There was amazing food. A great local farm to table restaurant.
And the amazing hotel we stayed at actually brought breakfast to the room in the morning. Can’t tell you how nice that was. It was worth the trip just for the breakfast.A quick trip to the beach. And yes that does look EXACTLY like the scene from Goonies. And yes we did do a little piece of the movie.
I took this picture for my daughter with her Lego mini fig. Let me tell you this seagull was about two seconds away from actually eating this mermaid. It screamed at me as a grabbed it and ran back to the car with my husband laughing at me.
This picture is just to document the moment right before my husband tried to back us over a cliff to read a historical marker. FYI it was not a historical marker but rather a sign warning of the amount of cougars in the area. So my death would have been in vain.
I am a planner even when it comes to our new sense of adventure this year. So I even surprised myself when we decided to take a very last minute adventure to Disneyland. It was so last minute we were deciding on the way to my daughter’s school how we were going to tell her we were leaving at that very moment.
Things I learned on this trip:
1. When you trust your husband to pack the toothpaste you will end up brushing your teeth with sparkle crest for kids for two days.
2. The post 4 o’clock, no nap meltdowns at Disney are epic but can be cured with a Churro.
3. The heartfelt hug from my daughter saying thank you for “The most amazing adventure ever” is enough to make my sore feet and exhaustion fade away.
The adventures so matter how big or small are a reminder that time is precious and a reminder of that child like sense of wonder we sometimes lose as we move through our fast paced days. And sometimes it is good to find yourself also giggling on the Tea Cups at 9:45 in the morning after you just ate a Dole Whip.
The guest room renovation needed a few more things and after a long debate we decided to do a floating bookshelf in the room. This offered us some extra space for the things we couldn’t bear to part with in the ‘great purge of 2012’.
We bought these shelves at the Container Store.
Next came the hard part, Math. There was an easy template for these shelves (bonus) but we wanted them spaced like a real bookshelf. I will not add the pictures of us moving and then removing them when the math was wrong. Then drill and add the hardware. This is where you will figure out that like most things in this house, the wall is not flush. So you might want to take 20 minutes to find something to make the shelves flat. A small suggestion is to add a nickel (your denomination might differ) behind the mount on the bottom. This will stop pesky problems like things rolling off the shelve.
Then slide the shelves onto the mounts.
Stand back and bask in the delight that the room is almost done.
I was looking for something ‘fun’ to make for Thanksgiving morning breakfast. My first thought, “monkey bread’. My husbands response, “What’s monkey bread?”
Where did I go wrong?
How long have we been together and I have never made Monkey Bread?
This travesty must be righted.
There are several different recipes for Monkey Bread. They all have the same basic set of ingredients so here is the one that I used. I am sure you could class it up and make the bread but come on it’s monkey bread.
You will need:
- 4 Cans Refrigerated Biscuits (7.5 oz)
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 2 – 3 Teaspoons Cinnamon (Depends on how much you like cinnamon)
- 1 Cup Brown Sugar
- 3/4 Cup Butter
- Chopped Nuts (Optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Open the biscuits and cut them into fourths.
- Combine the cinnamon and granulated sugar into a gallon zip bag.
- Put all the biscuits in the bag and shake to evenly coat them all. If you are using nuts add them here.
- In a small sauce pan melt the butter and add the brown sugar. Mix until dissolved.
- I used a springform pan but a bundt pan would also work. I also sprayed the pan. You might be tricked into thinking all the butter will do it but no.
- Put all the biscuits into the pan and pour over the melted butter/brown sugar mixture.
- Bake in the oven for about 30-40 minutes depending on the size and depth of the pan you are using. (Tip – put a cookie sheet under the pan you are using as it is likely to leak a little)
- Once done baking let cool for 10 minutes before trying to turn out the pan. It is easiest to put your serving plate on the bottom and turn it over slowly to ensure it releases.
Best served warm or reheated in the microwave for breakfast for the rest of the thanksgiving break.
The guest room renovation end is in sight. We managed to clean out the closet and install a closet organizer.
Just a note: Trying to plan a closet system at the Container Store with a 4-year-old was perhaps not the best idea.
After we purchased all the little pieces we were off to read the 23 easy to understand steps.
Overall the process was fairly easy or it will look like that based on the pictures.
For this step you will actually need to determine if there are studs in the wall and then when they are poorly spaced buy a drill bit to put the wall anchors in. And when that doesn’t work you will drill directly into the wall just to be finished with it. Which ultimately, was the correct way.
We installed a few shelves to start and are still working on the spacing. The modular nature of the shelves are great as they can change based on my crafting needs.
With the closet organizer installed I was finally able to start organizing all the crafts stuff and put it all away. Next step finishing the cabinets.
We just celebrated my daughter’s birthday and I am again in reminiscing mode. Just yesterday I was holding her in my arms and today, today she went on her first field trip. Let me say that so the people who did not hear her at 4, 5, or 6 this morning.
“We are going on a FIELD TRIP.”
An actual on the ‘big kid’ bus field trip.
To be honest I can’t say I was not equally excited. As a child you rejoiced in field trip day. A specially packed lunch, permission slips and a day to do something extraordinary. Let me tell you it is just as amazing to watch the excitement in her eyes. I was so happy to share that with her and be reminded that we still have a million first things to do still.
I say banner day at the pumpkin patch was had by all.
I feel like the guest room has turned into the longest renovation ever. Our lives keep getting in the way of completing the room and the mess upstairs is starting to look like an episode of Hoarders. So I have been trying to do what we can to keep moving. So I can keep my sanity.
I was extremely happy to start my first painting with my daughter. Our first of what I hope become a lifetime of collaborations.
- A 48X36 Canvas
- Frog Tape
- Acrylic Paints (as many colors as you want)
- I started by painting a base coat over the whole canvas.
- It took 2-3 coats to cover to the bright gold I was looking for.
- Then take the frog tape and make a pattern. I was going for a “Glam Stained Glass Window” effect. So I taped triangles and selected a few complimenting colors to paint with. Make sure to press down on the tape to ensure you get a good seal on the tape since you will be removing it to create those crisp lines.
- Start painting. Each triangle took 2-3 coats of paint depending on the color.
- Once the painting is completely dry carefully remove the tape. I had to correct a few lines which I did with a small paintbrush.
- Hang and enjoy!
Stand back and enjoy the small victory that I am one small step closer to finishing the room.