Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Today is my daughter's Kindergarten visit day! Since she is starting at a new school this year and doesn't know the teacher I thought it would be a nice idea to introduce ourselves. I asked my daughter some questions and had her fill in the blanks with the answers. I attached her card to these adorable alphabet note cards from Tulaloo. I can't say enough about this company. The note cards and stationary are beautiful, items are shipped promptly and everything comes beautifully packaged and ready to use or give as a gift. I made a pen with a pink flower and tied it all together with some pretty ribbon. Just our little way of saying "hi" to my daughter's new teacher.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
One of my friends loves scones. All summer I had intended to make her some. I knew I was going to see her one afternoon last week so I bought all of the ingredients. Then I ran out of time. I decided the next best thing would be to make her a basket with all of the ingredients and the recipe and let her make them whenever she wanted. I measured the dry ingredients and put them in a mason jar. I even included a stick of butter and tucked in some paper napkins with strawberries on them. I printed out this recipe and tucked it inside too. This would also be a lovely hostess gift or a thank you to someone who has been "berry" sweet.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
A fun detail from our anniversary celebration this past weekend was the individual picnic baskets I made for the kids to contain all of their food. I saw the idea here for the baskets and the mason jar sippy cups. I don't know about you, but every time we get together as a family for dinner it can get a little chaotic. This idea totally simplified the pre-dinner madness. Fruit salad was served in clear plastic cups, chips in petite white paper bags, and golden fried chicken in some white cardboard popcorn boxes. The kids loved having their own baskets and I picked them up for only $1 each at the Dollar Store. We may be using these at all of our family gatherings from now on!
Monday, August 15, 2011
On Friday it was my parents 50th wedding anniversary!! They are hopelessly modest people and didn't want a large party. Instead, they decided a BBQ with family would be the perfect way to celebrate this momentous occasion, so that is what we did yesterday. On Friday night they went out for dinner at their favorite french restaurant and while they were gone I snuck over to their house and set up a little romantic dessert for them. On their 35th wedding anniversary my brother and I had given them a Smith & Hawken bench. My parents have the bench on the edge of their lake front property and I decided that would be the perfect place to set up their special dessert. I made a wreath with an arrow pointing them in the right direction. I hung tissue balls, clear glass balls filled with gold glitter, and their initials all from the branches above the bench. I put 50 (gold wrapped) Hershey kisses in a jar along with a bottle of champagne. I also had a variety of petite desserts under a glass cloche. I placed candles and flowers in small vases all around the patio and had their wedding song playing as they arrived home. My parents LOVED this surprise! The very next day my dad gave my daughter a thank you note that read in part: "On July 5, 2055, we won't be around to repay your mother and father for this heart-warming welcome on their 50th. But you will and we hope you will. We would be very grateful in absentia if you would do the honors. Hopefully it would mean as much to them as our anniversary welcome meant to us today". Sob. Mission complete.
Friday, August 12, 2011
This week at "stay camp" was all about sunflowers and it was so much fun!!! Somehow (unintentionally) I managed to incorporate many different areas of a school curriculum into our week.
PE/Critical thinking and following directions: We started our week with a visit to a local sunflower maze. The kids loved running down the path looking for each marker while answering questions and clues to find out which direction we were supposed to take next.
Science: We took a sunflower apart and investigated all of its different parts. The kids were so funny using the magnifying glasses and I was impressed with the words they used to describe the flower.
Language Arts/Art History: We read the book "In the Garden with Van Gogh". We talked about Van Gogh and I showed them pictures of his famous paintings.
Art: I wanted the kids to feel like "real" artists so I gave each of them an easel and a canvas and let them paint sunflowers. I loved seeing how different a three and five year old interpret sunflowers. I think I will hang them in our playroom.
Math: We used our math skills to measure the ingredients needed to make cupcakes. Then I let the kids decorate them to look like sunflowers. I think I had the most fun trying to make the petals, although my son really enjoyed licking the frosting off of his fingers, the knife, the spoon, the bowl.....
We only have a few weeks left of summer so hopefully we will get to do at least one more theme before school starts again.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
A fun idea to use when wrapping a gift is to include part of the gift in the wrapping. In this package was a dress for a two year old girl. I bought two hair bows to match the dress and used them (on the ribbon) on top of the gift. I love how the hair bows look like actual ribbons on the gift. They are an inexpensive and fun detail to use when wrapping a gift for a little girl. You can also use a scarf, belt, or tie for a similar look for an adult.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
I was going through some old photographs and found some from a baby shower that I had for my dear friend who adopted a baby from China four years ago. The theme of the shower was sugar & spice. I made some onesies and hung them on a clothesline as decoration. I had guests write "whispers of sweet nothings" for the expecting parents on candy shaped paper. A candy jar was placed next to it to collect the messages. The favors were spice drops that guests scooped into mini take out containers. I served food that was either sweet or spicy. It was a really fun shower to host. You can also check out the bird themed baby shower I did last summer here OR type "bird shower" into the search box to your right.
Friday, August 5, 2011
One of my friend's asked me to start a facebook page a few months ago so that she would know when I uploaded a new post. If you are interested in getting instant notifications too you are welcome to follow me on facebook. I hope to offer more "behind the scenes" information with ideas that I am working on. Today I posted something about purchasing traditional school cones. Check out our fan page here. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
Thursday, August 4, 2011
This was a really fun (and kid friendly) project that was the perfect culmination for our "castles" week at stay camp. Detailed directions can be found here. I grabbed the castle mold at our local grocery store - they were on sale too, 2 for $3! I ran it through the dishwasher and then had the kids scoop some room temp. vanilla ice cream into the mold. I gave them graham crackers in a Ziploc bag to crush into pieces to look like sand. Then they decorated it with some candy shells, gummy sea creatures, ribbon flags and a princess. It was that simple. I think this is going to become a summer tradition. Do you have any fun summer traditions that you would like to share?
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
This was a birthday gift we gave to my dad this past weekend. I call it "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree." He loves a local farm stand/market. They make their own apple cider and other baked goods too. I bought him some apple cider, pie, and apple cider donuts and put them in a basket along with a gift certificate. That way when he finishes what is in the basket he can go buy himself some more! I like to give gifts that people can use or eat- especially for older people who can sometimes be tricky to shop for. This would also be a thoughtful gift for someone who is sick with a tag that reads "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" or for a favorite teacher "an apple for the teacher."
Monday, August 1, 2011
This weekend we were invited to a last minute get together at a friend's house to enjoy a night by their fire pit. I saw this fun recipe for inside out s'mores and thought it would be perfect for this occasion. Basically you just stuff the center of an over sized marshmallow with chocolate and graham crackers. I put them in a mason jar and simply tied some raffia and a bandanna printed paper tag around the outside. I loved that they were easy to make and the kids thought that they were pretty fun too. I think next time I may try putting a mini candy bar inside. Yum! If I had had more time and/or all of the ingredients I would have whipped up a batch of S'more martini's to bring too. Hope you had a sweet weekend filled with good friends & fun too.