Sunday, October 31, 2010

Witchy Cupcakes

Here are the cupcakes I made for the kid Halloween party my girls were invited to on Friday.

I didn't have time to do eyes, nose, hair... so they are my abstract witches? I like them better without the candies too...

Chocolate cupcake with raspberry filling, and peanut butter/cream cheese frosting. I found the cookies in the gourmet cookie aisle and I found the idea from the Food Network.

It was a graveyard smash...

Happy Gimme Gimme Candy day.

The night before the girls needed to wear their costumes to school... we did sponge curlers...and a spontaneous, fun-with-photos, before bed... I still can't get over how cute and how much personality they have. I love it.

The girls picked their own costumes, not from our princess costume box, this year... I am very crafty with a computer mouse. I showed them the Disney website and my 6YO picked Cinderella's bridal get-up, and my 4YO picked Alice in Wonderland.

I think my darling daughters are ... gorgeous...and goofy!

The girls both had a class Halloween shindig.

We went to hubby's annual trick-or-treating at the office. The folks there totally get all their cubes decked out and the kids rake in the goodies... by the time we left, both girls had their pumpkin buckets filled to the brim.

I love this lamp I saw in one of the cubes...but forgot to ask where she got it.

The twins' mom came up with these two adorable bathtubs... I love seeing creative costumes, since I have no skill in that arena.

Instead of the Church trunk-or-treat this year, the girls were invited to a their first Halloween party! They loved it, and hubby and I got to get away for a delicious Afghan dinner.

Now...all that's left is some trick-or-treating in the neighborhood.

Man... Halloween is exhausting.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Happiness Project:: Post 4

I love food.

I love really good food.

I love it when simple, fresh ingredients can make my mouth...and my soul happy.

I am a huge fan of Ina Garten, also known as the Barefoot Contessa... I own nearly all her cookbooks for the simple reason that every recipe I have ever tried makes me seem like the best cook ever. Also, I love cookbooks with pictures. I like to see what I'm supposed to be making.

If you've ever seen her show on the Food Network you know how she always happens to invite friends over to her home to ... EAT! My dream is to be a friend of hers...even just for one episode. I adore her lifestyle and I love how she dedicates her cookbooks to her husband. I love how she enjoys making a home, a meal... a life with him.

So in short, yeah... food makes me happy.


Happiness post 3

Monday, October 25, 2010

Winning Streak

If most things come in threes... then I am proclaiming my three wins a winning streak. A hat trick... I do pay attention sometimes to my hubby when he's left me for hockey, football or right now... GIANTS baseball... maybe my winning streak will rub-off on them for the final match-up thing... where they get the big giant disco ball, or something.

I know you're actually more interested in hearing about what I've won...

1. Darlybird

I totally won one of the gift certificates for Darlybird's 4th Anniversary. I am saving this for Christmas and am not sure how I will decide what to get as there are just so many, many pretty things. Rachel, the creative genius behind Darlybird, and I met through our mutual friend Bek. Rachel also makes the most tasty cupcakes. If you're looking for unique, pretty gifts, Darlybird is where it's at.

2. Book Shop Talk

My friend and fabulous author JESSICA DAY GEORGE (I don't know why, when I think of her I always think of her in ALL CAPS) and Amy Finnegan (who I like to think is automatically my friend through association) run this fabulous book review site, where we only review books WE LOVE! I've been doing it, you should too. Also... they interview authors. I love authors. And then they giveaway books. HELLO... I would roll around naked in a pile of books, but that might hurt with the sharp corners, and then it might unsanitary to touch the books if I wanted to read them too... but the point is... it's an AWESOME SITE! (quite deserving of ALL CAPS)

Whoops...I got distracted... I won the book Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr

3. Formerly Phread

JUST TODAY... I learned I won a giveaway on my friend ~j's site... I also call her phread...and we've known each other since... '04-'05 I can't even remember anymore. She was one of my first blogging friends...and am grateful for her joy in mothering and wit and sheer brilliance. You should read her... she will amaze you. Also, it's the bom-diggity that I won.

Right... I won Bubbletalk by Pressman toys

ps... I don't know if I need a disclaimer thing...but no one here asked me/paid me to write this post. This is my little online thank you note for the WINS! Plus, they're my friends. It's what amigos do.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Magical Maaaaad Hatter's Birthday

Mustn't be Late!
to the...

Maaad Hatter Tea Party Café

Celebrating Avant Garde Gal's 6th and Dauntless Daughter's 4th Birthdays!

my hubby drew this free-hand... I always forget how good at art he is.* (asterisks are photos I took, other photos by Katie Butler of Barefoot Life Photography)

I can't remember when the Johnny Depp, DVD version of Alice in Wonderland came out... but it was earlier this year. After we saw it on one of our family movie nights my daughters immediately wanted a Mad Hatter birthday party.

hubby also did a few cards to cover the recycling/garbage bins, I made the flags I found online*

I agreed.

My friend Sally bought me Johnny...see him?*

They remembered, all through the rest of the summer and reminded me as their birthday month approached.

Our backyard the day after the party...*

I even offered them separate parties this year. We always do their parties together since they are three days apart. They declined. They like being together. That makes me happy.

My friend Lori made these card garlands I had wanted to make...but she's the seamstress and offered to help me. I'm lucky.*

So... I spent the weeks leading up to their party planning, researching and plotting. The week right before their party - my oldest, broke her arm. So... luckily, I had done the prep work - and the days leading up to the party were filled with putting it altogether.

Lori helping my 4YO with her hat

I will say... I am so grateful. I am grateful first for my husband, who allows me to go nuts with parties. I am grateful he gets involved, excited and works with me to create a day of fantasy for my girls. I am also grateful for my wise, funny, sassy friends Sally and Lori. Sally, the spunkiest, real, hot momma, helped me run a few errands and found Johnny and left him on our doorstep for a surprise. Lori, sexy seamstress extraordinaire and came to help corral the 45 kids we had at our home. Let's not forget there were lovely mothers who stuck around seeing the chaos that would ensue at a party populated by that many little people.

6YO working with the glue

And... I have to thank my girls. Who... watched and helped with some of the prep work. Their excitement and appreciation... made me smile. In fact, I loved hearing them say, "Mommy, this is so amazing, how did you do that?!?" "Wow, this is so creative, I love it!" "I can't wait for the party! It's going to be awesome!" Both my girls are incredibly amazing at noticing details...and lately, they have been voluntarily thanking us, and appreciating us without any prompting that my heart is full of thanks to God for blessing me so completely.

I bought a bunch of feathers, foam leaves, ribbon and other knick knacks and separated a bunch into their own little baggies for an easier crafting grab. All from Michael's. I also printed out each kids' name, vertically, so they could glue it to their hat. They looked cute and we could easily identify who belonged to which hat.

Knowing it would be a bit of a mad house... apropos with the mad hatter theme... we hired Katie Butler of Barefoot Life Photography to take some pics. Unless otherwise noted, all pics are taking by Katie. Pictures, myself, or a friend took I've added an asterisk*.

Enjoy the pictures!

Party Stats:
45 kids (ages 3-7)
3-3:30pm - create mad hatter hats in the backyard
3:30-4:30pm - Alice in Wonderland magician and face painting
4:30-5pm - birthday song, cake, food
We didn't get a chance to do presents, and it would've taken forever.

mini-hot dogs
tea sandwiches (PB&J, ham&cheddar, turkey&havarti)
grapes and strawberries
juice boxes and capri suns

Party Favors:
tea cup
bag of tea w/a "drink me" label
mini-gummi bears w/a "eat me label
crazy, bendy pencil
spider ring
candy and some other knick knacks

About the mad hatter hats. I searched high and low to find ideas. I found the hat idea from a blog I've been following for years here. There's a company in San Diego that does these hats...but I figured, I had saved 45+ paper bags over the last... 5-6 years... I could also spray paint them all too. I had to enlist my hubby to help the last half of the hats... the fumes were getting to me...but they turned out adorable!

At one point some of the kids had finished their hats early. So my fabulous hubby jumped in with simon says.

thank goodness they are still small... they were able to all fit in our family room for the magic show

The fabric hanging and the one on the table I found at a flea market a few years ago.

I tried to make the cupcakes look kooky and whimsical

some of the kids who were done eating... went into our living room to jump on the tramp (ps. this is our 4YO's prince)

Hubby picked up these costumes for the fun of it...the girls totally got a kick out of us dressed up.