Friday, February 26, 2010

how does your garden grow?

As I mentioned before I have been working with the Little Red Wagon designing the packaging for their hair accessories. Above is one of the examples. These pots come with one flower clip and either a ladybug or bumble bee clip and are packaged in a cellophane bag. You can purchase these from Laurie at her etsy shop here . These would make a darling gift for a little girl who has a spring/summer birthday or tucked inside an Easter Basket. More to come later....

** Laurie and all of her cute hair accessories will be at a craft show at the Ellington Center School in Ellington, CT. from 10-3 on March 6.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

birthday gifts for kids

Now that my daughter is in school it seems like she has a birthday party every weekend. I thought I would give you some tips that help me with selecting and wrapping gifts for children. In general I have found that most parents try and stick to the $15-20 range. Sometimes, if I see something that I think would be perfect for someone but it costs a lot more than my price range, I will ask a friend if they want to go in on the gift too. Since most parents usually choose a theme based around a child's favorite interests I try and buy a gift that goes with the party theme. For a "red star" Sports theme we gave the birthday girl some white slip on sneakers that had red stars all over them. For a bowling party, I found an American Girl Doll bowling set. I like to buy gifts that kids can wear or use and especially like gifts that allow kids to use their own imagination. I, also, love to give books as gifts and often build the rest of my gift around the theme or title of the book. After wrapping the gift I always like to attach something to the top. The gift above was for a Pirate Themed party. I attached pirate tattoos and chocolate gold coins to the package. The tag is personalized with the child's name and a miniature, wooden pirate's hat. I just think it make a gift more special and gets the child excited about what might be inside.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

snow fun!

In Connecticut we woke up to more snow this morning! I know some parents are dreading another snow day so I thought I would share some fun things to do with your kids with all of this white stuff. I put some water and food coloring in bottles and let my kids paint the snow. They had a blast squirting different colors together on the fluffy white canvas and I think were secretly channeling their inner Jackson Pollack. Another fun activity is to make colored ice cubes and hide them in the snow. I used red food coloring and made heart shaped ice cubes. I hid them outside and let my kids search for them. For both of these activities all you need is some fresh snow, food coloring and water. Inexpensive and fun. How do you have fun in the snow?

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

valentine surprises

For Valentines Day we like to do something fun with our kids. Last year we hid clues that lead us to "build a bear" to make their own stuffed animals. This year we decided to take the kids ice skating for their very first time. To make it even more exciting, a trail of these heart shaped (and candy filled) boxes will lead them to a large white box that is hidden in the dining room. Inside the box are clues and gifts. Two pairs of red socks with a note that reads "to keep your tootsies warm." Some cocoa "to warm you up." I even found a heart shaped ice pack at Old Navy for any possible "bumps and bruises." Hopefully they will have as much fun trying to figure out our special adventure as they do ice skating. Hope your Valentine's Day is also filled with lot's of love and perhaps some surprises too!

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

you're sweet

This is what my daughter will be giving to her teacher's for Valentine's Day this year. It was inspired by this arrangement from Martha Stewart. Since my daughter has three teachers I made them on a smaller scale. I found these bud vases at Target, put a Gerber daisy (in a water tube) inside each one, and surrounded it with conversation hearts. To finish it off I tied a polka dot ribbon around the vase and added a small tag with a conversation heart on it.

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

roman holiday

I am one lucky girl because this Spring my valentine is taking me to Rome!! I put together this gift for him and plan to give it to him on Sunday. Each bag contains something that starts with the corresponding letter and pertains to Rome. In the "R" bag I put the DVD Roman Holiday, a classic movie that neither of us has seen. In the "O" bag I put Opera tickets ( I found them on-line) to see Madame Butterfly while we are in Rome. An Opera in Rome....does it get any better? In the "M" bag I put a pop out map which is conveniently inside Fodor's "Rome's 25 best" and in the "E" bag I put a note telling him about our reservations at a wine bar in Essex, Ct. to sip some Italian wine and dream about our upcoming trip. I shared this idea with you because even though your Valentine might not be taking you to Rome, this idea would work for any other place you may be travelling to in the near future or you could even spell out the word "LOVE" and put small things in each bag that start with each letter.

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Sunday, February 7, 2010

eat your peas & carrots

And finally, for dessert tonight, our guests will be served petite carrot cakes (shaped like different vegetables) with a spoonful of cream cheese frosting on the side. A perfect ending for our soup party. Hope you all get to spend tonight with good food, good friends, and good football!
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Friday, February 5, 2010

mmm,mmm, good

I got this idea from my friends at BLUSH! They used tomato cans for vases at this gorgeous backyard wedding. I thought iconic Campbell's soup cans would be the perfect vessels to display flowers for our soup party. They make these tall "family" style cans in the supermarket. I simply cut the tulips to size and voila.... a simple, inexpensive and whimsical arrangement!

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

"soup"er kids

My children are little and don't have a lot of interest in football. Since we are having friends over for our "soup"er bowl party I thought it would be fun to put out some things in our pretend kitchen for the kids to make their own soup. I took out all of our wooden veggies, some cutting boards, soup pots, napkins with veggies on them, and aprons and chef hats. I also put out a book called "Growing Vegetable Soup" by Lois Ehlert. I love finding petite cutting boards, soup pots, and colanders. It makes kids feel like they are cooking with the real thing only it's their size.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

"soup"er bowl

Everyone knows that the Super Bowl is this weekend. For a fun twist, we are going to be hosting a "Soup"er bowl party. I am making three different soups and will put out mugs so that our guests can feel free to sample all of them. I was thinking it would be fun to make soups that reflect the different teams. For example, you could make a big pot of Gumbo in honor of the New Orleans Saints. I will post more of the details for the party as the week goes on. Stay tuned for a fun flower arrangement and ideas to keep the kids entertained during the game.

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