Cows and Carousels

In my quest to get out and live more this year we went to Tilden Park for a weekend adventure. It has a great classic carousel and a small farm for the kids. I learned a few key pieces of information on this trip.

1. My husband, although living here most of his life, does not know how to dress “weather appropriate”.

2. I was raised in close proximity to bovine…….My family was decidedly not.

The carousel is a great vintage ride with interesting animals to choose from. I mean who doesn’t want to ride a giant chicken while racing a frog, while being chased by a lion.DSC_2374 DSC_2376

The ride went surprisingly fast, slowly gaining speed over a 3 minute ride.The un-pictured flower-pot shaped car that my daughter talked my husband into getting into on the last ride, went a little too fast for a little too long for him. My daughter was of course unphased. Ah youth.DSC_2388 DSC_2390 DSC_2391 DSC_2392We then made our way to the little farm. Here is a place where parents can bring their kids and Trader Joes celery and lettuce to feed the “barnyard animals”. Like you do on a real farm.

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The appropriately placed nondescript piece of farm equipment. So rustic.DSC_2404

Of course there were goats. Which we had to stop and see. I love those crazy eyes.DSC_2405 DSC_2406

This is when we learned the difference between my husband and myself, aside from the “aren’t sheep and goats the same type of animal” comment earlier in the trip. He was apparently blissfully unaware that a cow’s tongue was “that” long and “that” strong. I of course thought to myself “Of course they are”.

I am not saying that these are critical life lessons to have but they came in handy for me this time. DSC_2411All in all a great trip and some value bovine skills for my husband and daughter to learn. City folk.

Epic Lego Party

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.
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Custom water bottle labels.DSC_1974

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.DSC_1976

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Custom signs with lego holder for the food.
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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.DSC_1978

If the cupcakes were not enough she made marshmallow pops in the shape of the mini-figs heads.DSC_1981

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Each of the activities had custom-made signs. Just like the parties that you throw for your kids, right?DSC_1990

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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!


DSC_2003Needless 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.

Felt Boards

Summer travel season is upon us. This means countless hours spent in confined spaces doing everything and anything we can to prevent our kid from being “That Kid”. My child much like every child in the world loves stickers. Wait I mean “LUV” stickers. She can never have enough. I mean truly how many stickers can one human need. The answer is infinite…

Here is my answer to the travel sticker question. This is great for your kids to participate in choosing their own shapes and colors to make their board. Even better they are are easily transportable.

You will Need:

  • Foam Board
  • Felt (Adhesive Backed)
  • Felt (Multiple Colors)
  • Adhesive Velcro (hook side)
  • Cutting implement(s)
  • Buttons
  • PomPoms
  • Ribbon
  • Anything else your heart desires
  1. Take the piece of adhesive felt and measure it against the foam board. The foam board will give the felt rigidity.
  2. I used a rotary cutting tool, mat and ruler to measure and cut the foam board.
  3. Remove the adhesive and apply the base felt level to the foam board.
  4. Let your imagination run free. Shapes, Flowers, Buttons, Ribbon, Foam People, Oh my. Cut the items down to desired shapes.
  5. Place a small piece of the hook side velcro on each piece of decoration. A great job for little hands.
  6. Place all the bits in a zip bag for easy travel.
  7. Sit back and enjoy the countless hours or minutes of silence this craft brings. And yes that is a glitter shoe on my table too.

As you can see we went with your basic red glitter house with black glitter roof, a neighborhood staple, and giant flowers that dwarf the people living there. A magical place for sure.

Thanks for playing.

Train Birthday Party

I love a party.

I love to plan them.

I love to make lists for them.

I love throwing them.

So when the opportunity came to help plan my nephew’s 2nd birthday I jumped at the chance. A party, time with my sister, and a trip to Texas, yes please. What does every two year old boy want for a party? Choo-Choo Trains.

Things you will need:

  1. Fantastic Invitations
  2. Festive Decorations
  3. Yummy Food
  4. Treats, Treats, Treats!
These invitations are done by Nickel Design. The are easily customizable and really set the tone for the party.

Nickel Design also designed these sets of labels. They add a lot of WOW and personalization to the party without a lot of extra work.

We used the color pallet of red, blue and white that was used for the invitations throughout the party. We also tried to keep the decorations simple and clean with lots of balloons.

We set up train sets all over the house for the kids to play with. We also had several ride on trains for entertainment because lets be honest it is hot in Texas.

For the food I always find it best to go with things that are bite size, fun and you do well. Party day is not the day to try new things.

I always like to do a dish two ways. These are pigs in a blanket two ways: one with a simple hot dog and one with a gourmet sausage. I wrap them in puff pastry to ‘class’ them up a bit.

I also made pizza balls. These were a HUGE hit with the kids at the party. There were a take on a recipe I found from Industrious Justice. I did find that the clean up was much easier if you baked them on a cookie sheet instead of the muffin tins.

Spring Rolls. They are beautiful when plated and best of all can be made in advance. I have made no less than a thousand of these for baby showers, birthday parties and dinners. Trust me, when I tell you they will never disappoint. You can add almost any combinations of veggies and/or seafood (grilled shrimp are my favorite).

Recipe

  • Rice Paper Wrappers
  • Shredded Carrots
  • Julienned Bell Peppers
  • Julienned English Cucumber
  • Thin sliced Red Onion
  • Cilantro Leaves
  • Julienned Mint
  • Grated Ginger (I use a microplane so it is more like a paste)
  1. Place the wrappers in warm water to make them pliable
  2. Place Cilantro leaves down first (this will make for a nice first layer as you will see it when wrapped up)
  3. I spread a small amount of the ginger on the wrapper
  4. Then layer the carrots, bell pepper, cucumber and mint
  5. Wrap them up like a burrito
  6. If not serving immediately place them under a damp paper towel in the fridge.
  7. Cut on the diagonal and plate.
You serve with a dipping sauce. I did a  Peanut Sauce and a Thai Chile Sauce.

Sweets, Sweets, Sweets.

I love favors that are small and edible. These cake pops fit the bill perfectly. They were done by a amazing friend who owns Bite of Cake. The cake pops were loved by parents and kids alike.

We also made sugar cookies with my mom’s never fail, always turns out just right sugar cookie recipe. Per usual they were amazing. To frost them this time we used something new, Wilton’s Color Flow Mix. We simply outlined the cookies and then used the color flow to flood the cookies. It worked great and after a few minute they all settled to a nice even coat.

What party would be complete without the world’s most perfect food, the cupcake. I did a simple swirl and topped them with another personalized touch.

And a good time was had by all.