Tuesday, January 31, 2012

you've got mail

My daughter spends every afternoon making Valentines for everyone in our family.  It is very sweet.  I thought it would be fun to set up a little basket with some supplies for her.  I put some Valentine stamps, stickers, paper, confetti, and heart shaped crayons, among other things, in a basket and let her use them for her cards.  I also found some tiny mailboxes so that she can deliver them too. She is doing a fantastic job of making us all feel loved! And, isn't that what Valentine's Day is really all about?
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Monday, January 30, 2012

u crack me up

I saw these petite packages of candy called "crack-ups" (essentially the same thing as pop rocks) at the party store.    I thought they would be perfect to use for Valentine cards!  They are only 3 inches tall and fit perfectly inside some glassine envelopes that I had just ordered.  I used some pretty scrapbook paper for the card and put a joke on each one.    Here are some of the cute ones that I found:

What kind of flowers do you never give on Valentine's Day? Cauliflowers!
What did the chocolate syrup say to the ice cream? I'm sweet on you!
What do farmers give their wives on Valentine's Day? Hog and kisses!
What did the boy octopus say to the girl octopus? I wanna hold your hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand?
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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

that's a wrap

(photo courtesy of brooks brothers)

I thought for today I would share some of the gifts that I have given to my husband for Valentine's Day.  Before kids we used to take turns (every other year) planning special romantic dinners and nights away for each other.

I had always wanted to have dinner at Tavern on The Green in NYC and one year my husband made reservations for us.  For my gift to him I decided it would be fun to give him a new outfit from head to toe to wear to the restaurant that evening.  I gave him one piece of clothing at a time throughout the day with a quote attached to each one.

With a pair of socks it said, "True love is like a pair of socks.  You gotta have two and they've gotta match"
With the underwear, "Humility is like underwear, essential, but indecent if it shows"
And, for a new sweater the quote said "I have to much money invested in sweaters"  Bob Hope

You get the idea! 
(photo courtesy of black diamond rings)

 Another year we decided to go to Boston for the night.  I thought it would be fun to organize a special scavenger hunt for us.  Some of the things we had to find were:

~ the largest diamond ring at Tiffany's
~ a cup of hot cocoa at a restaurant that had the number 14 in the address
~ a sample of new perfume and cologne and pick one out for each other.
There were many more, but I can't remember them all!  You can make this up for any place that you might be visiting for Valentine's day or a special anniversary.

(photo courtesy of amazon)

One last idea I'll share is when I organized a night away at a local bed and breakfast.  I was trying to think of a creative way to tell him about our plans so I gave him some items to use for our night away along with the lyrics that I had rewritten to a love song.

L is for the way you look in red (with a  red bathrobe)
O is for your orange juice in bed (I made him breakfast in bed)
V is very, very romantic with strawberries (I made chocolate covered strawberries)
E is for even more, bath tub time with bubbles galore (I gave him some bubble bath and some truck shaped bath tub toys)......

These days with three small children in the house our Valentines Day's are more like take out and a movie.  But, I wouldn't trade them for anything!!!!  I would love to hear about your plans for Valentine's Day.  Anything special planned?
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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

treat transmitters

In keeping with the robot theme my son is giving his teachers some tiny robot boxes filled with gummy hearts.  I love the unexpected combination of red and blue for Valentine's day!
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Monday, January 23, 2012

my ♥ beeps for you

We are starting to get ready for Valentine's Day around here.  This is the Valentine that my son will be giving to his pre-school friends this year.  He was a robot for Halloween and when I saw these adorable robot finger puppets I knew that they would be perfect for his Valentine's!  I bought the card stock hands (they are very sturdy and the puppet fits and stays on the finger perfectly), stamped the message and slid the puppets on. Cute and easy and the perfect valentine for schools that don't allow candy with cards.  The hands would be darling with a ring attached to each finger too.  The possibilities are endless. 
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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

that's a wrap

There are some disadvantages to having your birthday right after Christmas.  But, there are also some great advantages like the fact that everything goes on sale!  Almost all of the decorations I used for the party were at least 50% off of their original price.  One of my favorite deals were the tins of cocoa we gave out as party favors.  I found these at Crate and Barrel after Christmas.  Since the tins had pictures of elves on them I decided to wrap some scrapbook paper around them and voilà - they were the perfect color for the party.  I know I have discussed repackaging before and this was a great example of using it to your advantage. 
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Monday, January 16, 2012


I have been thinking a lot about community service.  I was trying to think of a way to teach my kids about the value in doing service for others.  Martin Luther King day proved to be the perfect opportunity.  I had read that Burlington Coat Factory was holding a coat drive called "One Warm Coat" and my idea was born.  This morning I had my kids go outside in just their clothes for a moment to feel what it would be like to not have a warm coat to wear in the winter.  Then I talked to them about how some children were not lucky enough to have a coat to wear.  I told them that we were going to collect all of the change we could find in our house and use it to buy a coat for someone in need. We have a tin in the kitchen we use to collect change and the kids raided their piggy banks to add to the fund.  We even found some change on my husband's dresser. It was a joint effort. We took the coins to a local grocery store and traded them in for dollars.  We had $27!  We walked down to Burlington Coat Factory.  The kids picked out a coat, purchased it and placed it in the box for the charity.  I was so proud of my children, especially my oldest, who gave all but one coin from her piggy bank.  It is very cold in Connecticut today and all three of my children have bad coughs so we   are going to spend the rest of the day in our pajamas playing games, doing puzzles, and watching movies. May your day be as meaningful and rich as ours.
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Sunday, January 15, 2012

winter "one"derland

Yesterday we had the winter "one"derland party.  The party started at 10 and guests were invited to come in their pajamas.  We served doughnuts and coffee and set up a few activities.  We kept the guest list very small since it was in our home and the party was for a one year old.  Since the food was not gourmet and the guest list was short I was able to focus on the fun details.

Here is our console decorated for the party.

The snack bar consisted of jars of cheerios, goldfish and a snowman trail mix.  The red and white paper cones held blue popcorn.  There were small paper cups and acrylic scoops for everyone to help themselves.

The  snowman trail mix was similar to my hoppin' down the bunny trail mix and Kung Fu Krunch.

(Rainbow scarf, pretzel stick arms, chocolate chip buttons, Oreo hat, carrot nose, and marshmallow body)

We also had a hot cocoa bar.  I am thinking that next Christmas I am going to leave this on my counter so it will always be ready when friends stop by.

We also served milk with snowman straws.

The cupcakes were shaped like tiny doughnuts.  I found the idea here.

I used the shutters to display pictures of the birthday boy from every month of the past year.  I found tiny red glitter clothespins at Michael's. 

For the activities I put out some snow books, filled our touch table with fake snow and snowman parts, supplies to make a clay snowman.  We also hung donuts from a string and had the kids try to eat them without using their hands. It was very funny to watch.

And finally the favors..... Mini tins of hot chocolate and boxes of marshmallows.  I displayed them in a tiny radio flyer wagon.

Sorry for the long post and so many pictures!  I hope you enjoyed everything as much as I enjoyed putting it all together!
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baby's first birthday

Before I post the details from the baby's birthday party I wanted to share how we spent his actual day.  I didn't have anything specific planned, besides school and story time for the older two.  And speaking of the older two, they were SO excited that it was their little brothers birthday.  I thought it only fitting to let them help with the celebration.

                          We started the morning with some cinnamon buns shaped like hearts.  Since it was a school day I used the store bough kind, but put them in some silicone heart shaped pans to make them a little more special!


He opened some presents.

We all snuggled up and read this:

And then, instead of cupcakes I thought it would be fun to make some tiny cakes. My older two enjoyed decorating their own.  I decorated the baby's.  It was a lovely day to celebrate a very important day for our family.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

that's a wrap

My baby is one today!  I still can't believe it.  I was having a hard time deciding about what to get him since he is our third child and we just celebrated Christmas.  His older sister (age five) decided that the perfect gift would be a jack in the box.  We found this Eric Carle one and I have to say that it is darling.  The box is tin and it has a soft caterpillar inside that pops out after the song plays "pop" goes the weasel.  I love that my daughter thought of this gift all by herself.  It was the perfect gift for a one year old.
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Monday, January 9, 2012

baby a

Here is another simple and sweet decoration I made for the babies party this weekend.  His first name starts with the letter A so we always call him Baby A. I knew I wanted to use that for some sort of  decoration at his party.  You can buy paper mache letters at Joann Fabrics in different sizes.  I used some for my parents surprise anniversary picnic that you can see here.  I used gold glitter on them and had planned to use white glitter on the A, but I didn't like how it looked on the brown background.   Instead I just wrapped the entire letter with some white yarn that I had in the house and I like it even better than the glitter!  I love when that happens.  Now if only if I could make it snow this weekend in Connecticut......
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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

that's a wrap

This year I decided to purchase some personalized ribbon to wrap my holiday packages.  I added some fresh pine boughs and a red ornament to make some of my packages look even more festive.  I will definitely be purchasing this ribbon again, I love it!
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baby bunting

I can't believe my baby is going to be one next week!  The year has just flown by.  I am trying to pull together a very small birthday with some simple and sweet homemade details.  I'm doing a winter "one"derland party with red and blue accent colors.   I had all of the supplies at home that I needed to make this petite bunting, red/white gingham fabric, tiny clothespins, and twine. Since I'm not a sewer I decided to just clip the fabric to the twine instead. It was so easy and I love how it looks.  I am definitely going to keep it up for Valentine's day and maybe even longer than that!  Stay tuned for more details over the next few weeks.
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