If a tutorial is really just one step, is it really a tutorial? I guess this tutorial really is indicative of my life right now. I’m taking it easy and enjoying my time with my baby…who’s 2. Ha! The other kids are in school and it is just Madeleine and me. I am working on some big projects so unfortunately the blog has been pushed to the back burner.
Another thing that was pushed back was my other daughter’s birthday party. We were traveling in the summer and with back to school craziness, switching schools but trying to appeal and just life….we are just now throwing her the birthday party she’s been asking for. I will say I am proud that it has only been delayed about 2 months so high five to me for not taking 6 months. I’ll take any win at this point.
My sweet Oliver turned 6. Every day I am amazed at how quickly they are growing up. It seems they grow overnight as their pants get a little shorter, their hair a little shaggier and their conversations a little more coherent.
It seems Pokemon has taken over this household for the past 3 years. This was my oldest son’s Pokemon party almost 3 years ago. The post went somewhat viral and yet I only posted a letter to my son on his birthday and not so much about the actual party. So on this post I will do both. I can’t remember the games we played at his party thouggh…ahhh. Mom brain. Continue reading Fun Pokemon 6th Birthday Party
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GameDayGoldfish #CollectiveBias
Who’s ready for the Big Game?? In all honesty, I am not super into football but I love hanging out with family and friends so it is just another reason to have a gathering, right?
We watched a college football game the other night and while my oldest son and husband were completely enthralled in the football game, my younger kids were over it. “Mooooom! This is so boring!” is just one of the phrases we heard during the game. They just wanted to do something else. This was supposed to be a family activity and if we all were in separate rooms doing completely different things it would kind of defeat the point of “family time.” I wondered if this would repeat itself during the Big Game. I didn’t want the kids to be bored, but I still wanted us to be together as a family. I know it is cheesy but my husband and his dad and brothers would watch football all the time. It is one of his favorite memories. While I don’t particularly love football I just like doing stuff with the family. So I thought I’d use someGoldfish® crackers and my love for drawing together to make something entertaining for my kids. Continue reading The Big Game “Find It” Printable Football Edition
I received complimentary products from Identity Games to facilitate my post. Thank you for supporting the brands that support my little family.
Last year my husband’s family all gathered out to New Jersey to celebrate Christmas together. That year we decided to do an adult Polyanna gift exchange but the gifts had to be family games. Usually buying for adults can be tricky but this one was so fun. We ended up buying a game that had the highest reviews on Amazon. It was fun and funny but incredibly inappropriate….yikes. While we were in the middle of the game my mother in law came to see why we were laughing and asked to play. Ahhh- we couldn’t do that to her! We told her it was for the best if she didn’t play. So so embarrassing.
So to save you from a mishap like mine (although we did end up keeping the game and throwing out the bad cards) I have compiled a list of fun family games for the holiday get togethers. In college we used to get to together with family and friends on the weekends and just play games. Yeah….we weren’t super into the party scene. These games are sure to steer you clear of any political drama…..no one wants that. Continue reading Holiday Gift Guide: Favorite Family Games
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This post is going to be mostly pictures. Partly because I am too tired to write but also because I know you just want to see the pictures. I will, however, give you an overview of what my mom, the awesome event planner, and I did to put this together. It was so fun crafting and designing this floral baby shower especially for my sister-in-law!
Invitations: I designed these keeping in mind the mom-to-be didn’t want super girly or pink. The flowers were hand painted and arranged and layered digitally. These will be in the shop soon!
Decor+ Party Favors: Because the baby shower was held at La Jolla Groves, there were a lot of lemon trees and decor already there. We kept it simple and just added a few things like:
Gold mercury glass votives were used for the favors and they added a touch of elegance + coordinating tags. We gave everyone one of these pots with these beautiful mini succulents along with a tag that coordinated with the invitations (these will also be available in the shop soon!)
Food: The best part! My sister in law is Mexican and my brother is a chef so we had some pretty awesome Mexican food. We did order rice, tamales, tacos, taquitos and refried beans to be made by a friend. My brother made amazing sauces to go along with it as well as pico de gallo. While it may not sound sexy, it is all about the presentation. Served in these silver chafing dishes (the restaurant already had these but if you host a lot of events these would be a great investment or just these disposable chafing dishes would be helpful), everything looks organized and coordinated. And the cake! It was a tres leches cake that just melted in your mouth. It was from a local Mexican bakery in Orem, Utah. We topped the cake with flowers and I hand lettered. I uploaded my lettering and cut it out of chipboard on my Cricut Explore .
We played Baby Shower Bingo where you fill out a bingo card with gifts you think the mama-to-be will receive. These coordinated with the invitations. Can you tell I am big on coordinating items?
We also set up a station where the guests could customize bibs, burp cloths or onesies using stamps that I designed and cut on the Cricut Explore. I’ll share how I made those in another post. We used acrylic paint mixed with fabric medium. I love that stuff because I can use my existing paint stash and don’t have to buy just fabric paint.
We also had a photo booth with floral garland hanging down where guests could write a message to the baby and/or parents to be on a chalkboard with erasable chalkboard markers. I took their picture and will be putting those together to make it into a keepsake book for them.
It was a bit stressful as I had a clingy baby that I wore while we set up for the party and I was flying back to Seattle right after but our family helped us set up and clean afterwards. Which was a huge help! It is kind of crazy that my little brother is now a dad but I know he and Amber will be such awesome parents. Parenthood is a crazy ride but it is so worth it!
If you are looking for an incredibly easy going party for your football loving kid, here it is. I mean, for me it was easy but it is all relative, right?I love to throw parties and when I can/want to, I go all out. But I have really tried to simplify my life and still do my best but tone it down a notch.
We had so much going on when my son’s actual birthday was that we had to keep postponing it. I was so burnt out by the time his party came around that I wanted to keep it simple but add a little bit of fun elements to it. The only thing that took some time to do was the party favor bags and that took maybe 10 minutes. Other than that, this party was a piece of cake. And doesn’t she make the most precious football player?!
We emailed these football invitations out using Evite so we could track rsvps easily and send out reminder messages. I just used the custom photo card which costs $5 to send to 15 people.
Here are some other football invitations:
If you aren’t throwing a football party, here are some other kid birthday party invitations from Evite.
Pizzas (2 from Costco)- we cooked them at home and transported them to a park in the same pizza box
Funfetti cupcakes with blue and green frosting (Seahawks colors…almost)
Capri Suns (Costco)- put in a cooler full of ice. *Note- I bought enough for at least 2 per kid but we went through the whole thing and I think they each drank about 4!!
Chips Assortment (Costco)
Fruit bowl (strawberries, grapes, mandarin oranges)
Decor: football tablecloth
blue and green balloons (6) silver birthday candles Activity: Play football + playground. Kids just want to be free and they had so much fun just running around. Plus all I had to do is supervise!
We gave the kids eye stickers to wear while they played football. They felt like real football players! I didn’t have this flag football set but it would have been helpful to have!
You see? Easy peasy! It was very laid back and all the kids wanted to do was play football and run around at the playground. 2 hours went by quickly and we luckily had a warm and sunny day in Seattle!
To my little man: Happy Birthday ! I love the boy you are becoming. You take such good care of your little brother and sisters, you make everyone feel like a friend, you are such a great helper to me. I know it’s hard to be the oldest and I ask a lot of you because of it. Your younger siblings look up to you and love to play with you. We do still have to work on losing with grace 😉 but that’s ok, you are still learning. Thank you for being so patient waiting for this party to actually happen. I love you so much!
Thank you to Evite for kindly sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.
My husband and I come from big families. My husband is one of eleven and I am one of five. Growing up we’ve always had big get togethers where there was a lot of food, chit chats and food. Did I mention food? Being in Seattle, far from family, could make holidays like Easter pretty lonely. We’ve hosted several large get togethers during the holidays so that it feels more like “home” to us. We’ve also been able to enjoy smaller gatherings, with just our little family, that have introduced new traditions and sweet memories.
This year we are so excited to have my cousin and her husband living near us. I absolutely love hosting dinner parties from picking the menu to adding the perfect element to add to the table. Easter Dinner is especially meaningful because we get to celebrate something miraculous: the Resurrection of Christ. This Resurrection is a precious and free gift to all mankind- a gift so selflessly given so that all mankind can live again.
With such a special holiday, I want to prepare a special dinner for my loved ones. Here is what I am thinking for the menu:
I designed this religious print to put on the table or to hang on the wall as a reminder of the meaning of Easter. I designed this before I saw the invitations above. I love when things coordinate perfectly! If you’d like a print of it just click on the picture to download it. My gift to you.
I am about to send out my Easter Card Invitations using Evite which makes it super easy to connect with family and friends and easily see who will be able to make it. I find this much easier to organize than having to scroll through my text messages and emails to try and figure out who can make it or not. Evite has a guest list and a comments section so guests can comment if they have questions that others can see….or not if you want to keep the list private. And because I am a designer myself, I can upload my own design and email my design with a coordinating envelope with a premium subscription. It is all about presentation right?!
Once you have your guest count, here is a chart that can help you plan how much food you’ll need. I am always afraid of not having enough food for everyone so I try to make food for a few extra bodies. And leftovers are the best, am I right? And you can nix the bottle of wine….or add some delicious Martintelli’s Sparkling Cider. Yum.
As much as I love Thanksgiving (which is A LOT) I really really love Christmastime. All of December is filled with magic, good will to men and nostalgia. As a child I remember always feeling the magic of Christmas as my parents would take my brothers and I out to do fun activities as well as service projects. As an adult I am responsible for creating those memories with my kids…and let me tell you- creating these experiences is so much fun! Seeing the expressions on their beautiful innocent faces as they see Santa, feed the reindeer, take in all the magic and festive lights outside, feel that extra love for mankind is an experience within itself.
Right after Thanksgiving is over, my husband and I sit down and plan our activities for the month of December. There is so much to do and so many celebrating the holidays that our month is jam packed! We try to mix in outings with quiet nights at home so it isn’t all so overwhelming. One of our favorite activities is to make delicious and festive treats to give to someone…and enjoy a few ourselves! Since we have several little hands we need to make to keep the process simple and let’s not kid ourselves, I am a fan of keeping it simple so box cake mix and store bought frosting all the way!
So how do you make this scrumptious treat? Very easy my friends.
Print and cut out the holiday cupcake topper printables on card stock. You could print on copy paper and glue it on a sturdier piece of paper. I gave you two choices: color and black/white. The black and white ones can be colored in by your little ones for an extra personal touch!
Slather cupcakes in frosting: use chocolate frosting for the reindeer ones or vanilla frosting for Santa and his snowman friends.
Depending on the character, place a red candy in the center of the chocolate cupcake for the reindeer and orange candies on the vanilla ones for the noses. You can also add eyes to the Santa and snowman ones.
Insert the cut out cupcake toppers into their corresponding cupcake. I made the toppers longer so you don’t need anything extra to hold them up.
Wrap them up to give away or place them on a platter and enjoy!
Involving our kids in activities that are simple and meaningful has been so much fun. It helps them be creative and teaches them to be giving as well. What activities do you and your family like to do during the holidays?
Anyone else get super emotional during the holidays? Everyone is so grateful and people seek out ways to help others…I love it all. I was trying to think of ways that I could more actively involve my kids in being more giving and looking for people to serve. When I was little, I remember people from my church bringing my family gifts at Christmastime. We had just immigrated to Connecticut from Peru. While I had been able to pick up English in school, I know my parents didn’t speak much…if any. These kind souls from my church brought us clothes suitable for the cold winters we had coming and toys for my brother and me. I honestly cry when I think about that monumental act of service they gave to my family.
We want to teach our children to look. To really look at people. To see the kid that never gets the ball thrown to him. The kid that acts out in class. The kid that always gets picked first. And last. Because everyone is fighting an inside battle- to different degrees but everyone should feel loved right? Often times we see someone that just seems like they have it all but they may be longing for friendship. I want to teach my little ones to see the value in others and show them that they care.
Albeit a tiny token, this little elf is the tool I used to have them think about all the people in their lives. Who could you show your love for by giving them this elf? Who do you want this elf to give hugs and kisses to?
Oliver’s answer was simple: his primary teacher at church. Why? Because she goes above and beyond. When he misses a day of church she sends him an “I Missed You” note along with their lesson and a coloring page. She praises him when I pick him up at the end of class. Because she shows each one of the children in her class that they are so special and each have talents and goodness.
Adelle’s answer was Oliver’s teacher as well. Ha! She loves her because her brother loves her. Then she thought about it and she wants to give her elf to her nursery teachers at church. She liked that they had their class put together a basket for a family at Thanksgiving. She also loves all the activities and crafts she gets to do at church with them. They also go above and beyond teaching little 3 year-old children with patience and love.
I thought it would be fun to craft with some of their friends and I am so happy that they each thought of someone to give their hugs and kisses elf to. It is never to early to start teaching children about giving. They will hopefully remember these moments and when they reach adulthood they too can teach their children and live a life of service.
Want to make some of your own little elves? I made it simple enough 3-4 yr olds can do it with assistance from parents- like the cutting parts.
I am so happy to have Denise here today posting these super simple (the best kind of recipe) treats and the jars are just adorable. These would be great to gift or for yourself…you know if you want to limit yourself to one serving….but who does that?!
Hello! This is Denise, from Where is June?, and I am so happy to help Brenda enjoy a few extra cuddles with her sweet new baby girl!
I don’t know about you, but I fall victim to anything sweet. I love desserts that look amazing, taste delicious, but are are simple and easy to make. Cookies in a Jar, simply a chocolate chip cookie baked in a jar and served ooey and gooey, are perfect in any season. However, they are particularly awesome this time of year. There is nothing better than a little something sweet after a delicious fall meal. Plan to serve them with a big Sunday dinner or make them mid-week for a special treat!
2. Fill 4oz jelly jars approximately 1/2 full with prepared cookie dough. You don’t need to grease the jars. Just spoon in the dough.
3. Place jars on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. You want the just the edges to be golden brown. Don’t over bake! The centers will collapse a bit as the cookies cool. Don’t worry! This creates a perfect spot for that scoop of ice cream!
If you plan to bake and eat them right way, give the jars 20-30 minutes to cool down. You don’t want to try to hold the jar when they are hot! A scoop of salted caramel gelato puts these babies over the top, but vanilla works too. These are also great to bake ahead of time. Just remember to microwave them for a 10-15 seconds before eating. It is just too sad not to eat them warm!
Hi! My name is Brenda. I'm a mommy to 4, wife to the best laundry folder and husband, graphic designer/hand letterer and bilingual blogger. This is my little space of everything I love: diy + crafts, motherhood, family friendly travel + activities, simple recipes, modest + practical outfits and my latest design projects. My hope is you leave this site being inspired to create- whether it's a fun party for your child or memories of a weekend getaway with your family!
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Updated April 2017.
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