Wednesday, February 18, 2015

3rd Birthday Camping Party!

Alrighty, so Scar just celebrated her 3rd birthday, which was so much fun! I had been all over Pinterest looking for fun themes and we finally settled on doing a Camping Theme. Her birthday is late January, so we figured that we could do lots of warm drinks and a fire in the fire pit outside to keep everyone cozy. It ended up being like 75 degrees that day, HA!, so we really didn't need them but everyone loved the theme.

I totally prefer more general themes so that you can make them your own, and create your own decor. I think that more than likely my kids, as they get older, will ask for more commercialized themes with their favorite TV show characters, cartoons, etc., but for now I'd like to avoid them if I can. That doesn't mean we don't watch those things or have those types of toys, but I just try to limit the commercialization of them when I can.... so camping it was!

I made some fun camping themed invitations with some fonts and images that I found online, then I just had a local print shop print them onto 4x6" cardstock, so that they would fit into the plain 4x6" envelopes I found for a few bucks a JoAnns.

I had so much fun making the food and decor for this project! We wanted to make a camping themed cake, so we thought that one decorated with a  campfire would be appropriate. I cheated and ordered a chocolate cake with chocolate icing from my local bakery, and just asked them to plain ice the cake, and to make it look slightly messy. I wanted it to seem like dirt, then I made the campfire decorations myself and put them on top of the bakery made cake. I got to feel like I made it special, without the extra pressure of baking a cake. I followed THIS tutorial to make the fire, which was SUPER easy and fun! 

My sister and niece, who also made the goodie bags for Ruby's 1st birthday, outdid themselves and made these super adorable Hobo-Style Camp Sacks. They used different color pink/green/brown (our theme colors) bandanas and these adorable thank you tags for each one! They are so talented, and after two amazing parties in a row, they are definitely on bag-making duty forever!

Because we wanted something for the kids to play in/with while they were there, I built this cute little fabric covered tent for Scar. She loved playing inside of it, and so did a lot of the other kids that came. I used 1x2s to make the frame of the tent, and then covered it with fabric that I let Scar pick out. I was so proud of how it came out!

I made this sign out of scrapbook paper I got at JoAnns, and I made a machine one that said "CAMP SCARLETT" that we hung outside of the front door so people could see it as they walked in. 

For drinks we made crock pots full of apple cider and hot cocoa, plus I made a pot of coffee as well. We didn't expect it to be as warm as it as, so people mostly stuck to the cold beer, juice and water that we had outside! 

Here are some of the delicious treats that we made and bought. We were trying to think of things that were camping themed, or that we could make into camping themed food. I also wanted a variety of things that would be kid-fun and kid-friendly, which is why we had lots of snacky things that they could eat on the go. The party was from 2pm to 4pm, so I didn't want a lot of heavy food, just stuff that people could munch on. 

The "Acorns" were hershey kisses that I 'glued' with melted chocolate to a bite-size golden Oreo sandwich. I was hoping to use Mini Nilla Wafers, but I couldn't find they anywhere! 

These were pudding dirt cups with gummy worms. We filled the cups with chocolate pudding, then topped it with some crushed Oreos. I added in some white sugar sprinkles to the crushed Oreos to make it look more like fertilized dirt. 

Our "Bears" were panda cookies and teddy grahams! Yum! 

We lit a campfire in the back yard in a metal fire pit, so that people could roast themselves a marshmallow and make a S'More!

Here's our big birthday girl! She had so much fun at her party, but got SUPER shy when everyone started singing to her. She is pretty outgoing, but doesn't like when she is all of a sudden thrust into the center of attention.

Overall we had a really great day, it just melts my heart to see what a beautiful, kind and sweet little girl that she is becoming. I can't believe how fast she is growing, it seems like in just the blink of an eye she has grown from my little baby to a little girl with such personality and spirit. 

Now to start planning Rubes' 2nd birthday party....hahaha... I've got party planning on the brain, and already have a few theme ideas in mind that I'm deciding between. What are your favorite theme ideas? Favorite colors to decorate with?

Back in the Saddle Again!

Hello there! Man with the craziness of the holidays, tons of visitors followed by Scar's birthday and tons more visitors, plus some exciting new adventures (which I'll get to later)... I have been SO busy. But I have really missed this place, and having a outlet for some creativity and writing, so here I am! I'm back... here's what's been going on lately:

1. Scar turned 3 years old, and we had an awesome camping-themed birthday party, I will be making post later of all the fun stuff we made, ate and did! She was such a happy beautiful kid that day (and everyday) and it is just so joyous to see her growing and getting so big!

2. I openend up an Etsy shop! I had been toying around with the idea of opening up a shop, but never pulled the trigger. It has been so much fun, and has kept me pretty busy these last few weeks. I've had about 20 orders so far, and it is just a crazy idea to me that people have stuff that I have made in their home, and that they like it so much that they are willing to pay me for it! Just blows my mind. I keep creating and I'm really hoping to keep enjoying running the shop as much as I am right now.

3. Rubes is doing awesome and her health is maintaining itself well. Her cardiologist did say that her next surgery to replace her pulmonary valve will probably happen between 2nd and 3rd birthdays, so not too far off. It's hard to know when it is going to happen, but we will just play it by ear. Right now she is doing phenomenally though. She was retested at the MIND Institute and was advanced in her verbal skills, but still a little behind in her physical skills. Nothing we can't work on though!

4. I officially resigned from my teaching position for next school year, which was a super big bummer. I REALLY, and I mean REALLY, loved the school I was teaching at, and it felt like such a natural place for me to be as a teacher. I know that is was best for me and Rubes, especially if she needs another surgery during the school year next year, but it was sort of heartbreaking to make a real decision to not come back. My principal and the assistant superintendent (who was my first principal and the guy that hired me) assured me that they would do whatever they could to help me out in the future when it is time for me to go back, which is great. But I'm still pretty sad about it all.

5. I've been working on some decorating and home projects, and I'm  hoping to share some pictures of them completed with you guys very soon. Doing small little tasks around the house has made me feel so much better and more settled in. It makes if feel like this place is really ours, and not the people who owned it before us'.

6. I've got so many things done on my 101 List, I'll keep updating that as well, but I am now over 1/3 of the way done! Such an accomplishment.

Okay, well I'm going to get started on posting some pictures from Scarlett's birthday! Man it feels good to be back.