Thursday, January 26, 2012

Meeska, Mouska, Mickey Mouse Playgroup Par-tay!

I can't believe my baby is about to be three. Seriously, how does it all happen so fast? It amazes me. I have been non-existant on the blog due to my craziness getting ready for this party. A friend in our playgroup who's daughter turns two a couple days before Teddy, asked me if i wanted to do a joint playgroup party since both kids wanted Mickey and Minnie parties...and I said sure! I go overboard on parties and I am sure she probably regretted asking me! Ha! Anywho, the party was this past Thursday morning and it was fabulous. There were a few things I had to let go because amazingly I just didn't have time. Sometimes I forget that there are only 24 hours in a day and that I have two small kiddos to take care of. Ha! I pulled some late nights last week and got almost everything finished! Yay! Needless to say I am exhausted! But everything was so cute and I'm glad I did it all. These are things I'll remember forever and if the Tedster doesn't then he has a million pictures to remind him of how much his mommy loves to throw him the perfect party! I went with a black, red and white theme with a few other colors thrown in. I am thrilled with how well it all turned out. Since this was a joint party there were definitely a few things I probably wouldn't have added myself but I'm glad we ended up using them in the end. The first thing I knew I had to make for the party were Mickey and Minnie ears for the kids to wear. These were a true labor of love. At one point as I was cutting 80 foam circles and felt pieces, my hubs told me I should have just ordered them on Etsy! Ha! Because I am crafty, I always want to do things myself regardless of my serious lack of time! There is not much that I see that I don't think "hey, I can totally do that myself!" and teach myself to do it. (Really, that is how my embroidery and baby items business was created.) So, I set out to make 30 sets of ears! HUGE undertaking! I hand wrapped each headband in black yarn and made felt and foam ears and of course, bows for the Minnie ears. I found a tutorial online, but after looking at it, I didn't love how complicated it seemed to wrap the headbands (since I was making so many), so I just kinda created my own version. Over all, I loved how all my little details helped make the party even more special. Here are some of the par-tay deets!

Being a hair bow lover, I just loved how the Minnie ears turned out!
Since we had it at a park, I had these on the steps right as you walk in, I assumed each child would got nuts over these and wear them the whole party, but boy was I wrong! A few kiddos wore them, but most took them off right away. They turned out so adorable if I do say so myself! :) A lot of mommas wore them. Originally these were going to be the favors, but the craziness took over and I had to make something else for the kiddos and mommas to take home too!
This was the little sign that was in the basket. It said "We've got ears: Say "Cheers!" This is something they say on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. It's the little details that I think make parties more special. :)
I wore my Minnie ears! Me with the birthday boy!
Again my friends, it's the little details. I made these cute centerpieces for the picnic tables. I started them at 7 one evening, in true Ashley fashion. My best ideas come to me at night after stores are closed and kids are in bed! They were Styrofoam balls that I painted black and hot-glued together (hot glue was used in epic proportions in the throwing/creating of this par-tay!) Then, I stuck them in foam pieces and put them in these cute red galvanized tin buckets. I buy these mini galvanized buckets a lot. I think they are great and I often use them for silverware, etc when hosting a party. You can never have too many, in my opinion! There were little signs with more sayings from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Happy Birthday signs for the birthday boy and girl.
These were probably one of my favorite parts of the party. I am a huge fan of paper cones and I knew immediately when beginning plans for both of Teddy's parties, that I needed to make some to hold snacks for the party. Then I set out to find some Mickey Mouse paper! I think they turned out so cute! I loved them and they were so easy for the kids to hold and the kiddos loved them! A lot of the kids werewalking around playing with a cone in one hand...perfect snack holder! These are my new go to thing for parties from now on! I stayed up till midnight one night making these. Because I made so many, they are def a time consumer, but worth it for sure! I filled them with Goldfish and Organic Animal Crackers. I originally wanted some sort of Mickey and Minnie cookies/crackers, but they were non-existant! I am just sure that I'll see them everywhere now that I don't need them! Ha! There was a little sign in the basket that said "Mouseketeer Snacks" Loved it!
We also had fruit snacks which were a huge hit! I love these fruit snacks! I ate them so much when I was prego with thee Tedster over three years ago! You can buy in bulk at the Costco and that makes me happy. I LOVE to buy in bulk. Even though there are only 3 of us who eat! These were a random impulse purchase when I was shopping the other morning and I'm glad I bought them because the kiddos scarfed these all morning!
Here are the birthday cupcakes. My friend Heather(who I threw the party with)baked these and we stuck Mickey Mouse picks in them. I planned to make my own picks but ran out of time (can you see why?!), so I grabbed these Mickey ones, while picking up balloons at Party City. I made the little signs and she bought this cupcake stand. I would never have purchased it since I have a couple already(I have a cute red iron stand that I just love and have used each year for Teddy's birthday) but I'm so glad she bought it because the Tedster has loved it and played with it a bunch! He calls it "the clubhouse!"
One random thing that I did find was Mickey Mouse and Friends juice pouches. They were so stinkin cute!! I called them "Oh Toodles Juice" Teddy loved that the juice pouches had Mickey on them. Even the details are important to a 3 year old! :)
For the mommas, we had "Mommy Mimosas," (Why not?! Something to take the edge off! Ha!) P-Dub's Iced Coffee (This stuff is addicting. I am way over-caffinated when I have this in my fridge!) and of course we had "Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggity dog waters"... I'm so glad I picked these up because it was 85 degrees this morning! The kiddos were gulping this down along with the mommas! Can't believe it's this hot in January! Craziness!
I have loved Ball jars for awhile and love to use them to hold all sorts of things for parties. Flowers, utensils, you name it! I love the idea of using them as glasses. So fun. Obviously these were just for the mommas since they were glass. I ordered the super cute paper straws along with some other super cute stuff for party #2, we are throwing in a week, off this Etsy shop. The woman who owns this shop was so nice and really great to deal with. She created numerous custom orders for me because I wanted double quantities in most things. I got my items so quickly too. I will be ordering again from her for sure! The kiddos loved the paper straws too! They drank with them out of paper Mickey and Minnie cups!
Here is a picture of the food setup. Unfortunately I didn't get a close up of my banner but I'll be using it again next week for our family party with a few additions. I purchased an embroidery font for my embroidery machine and some Mickey/Minnie designs. I love how all of it turned out. More pictures of this kind of stuff to come after party #2.
I made this shirt and I absolutely love how it turned out. Little sister will have a matching Minnie one for party number two...I just ran out of time! Ha! He will be wearing this to school on Monday for his birthday celebration and for the next party and probably all year long. It's adorable! LOVE LOVE LOVE the Disney font. The D's are my fav. :)
Here is a pic of the birthday girl. You can get the idea of her shirt that I made. Her momma wanted pink as opposed to red because she thought it would be more versatile with her wardrobe since she'll wear all year. :)
I am so blessed to have some super creative women in my life. These gifts were wrapped by one of them. They turned out so cute! I just love how she went with the party theme. Adorable! I love gift wrapping. It's such a fun thing to do and I love when other people love to do it too. Random sidenote: I used to have a gift wrapping biz in junior high. I would go wrap bunches of gifts for teachers and get paid for it! So fun!
I love that our playgroup does group gifts. The Tedster doesn't need a thing...especially with Christmas having just been here. However, this is the first birthday that the little guy actually understands the concept of gifts and he's been so excited for them, so when my friends asked what he'd like as a gift, I couldn't deny him that joy and say we didn't need anything. I honestly had no idea what to tell them he wanted, so they picked out the items! They got him a couple really practical things that he loves! He is a really blessed little boy. He got a Mini-Kick scooter (most of the other kids in playgroup have these and bring them to all the different parks we go to for playgroup.) and a Melissa and Doug shopping cart (he loves pushing shopping carts at Trader Joe's so he's loves it and has been shopping all over the house!) and a little Cars 2 Lego set. He was cruising on the scooter the whole rest of the party. He loved it!
Sweet Prez made a quick appearance at the party before her morning nap. Oh how we love this sweet girl.
Here is a pic of the two of us who threw the party!
Here are a couple pics of kiddos enjoying the par-tay!
Okay, so maybe it's tie between the favors and paper cones as my favorite creation for the party. I loved these. Not only are they adorable, they are delicious (I have eaten 2 a day since the party!! ahhhh! Yes, they are that yummy!). I was planning on making these all along but wanted to wait until Wednesday to make them so they'd keep longer. I loosely followed Bakerella's tut on how she made her's. I did not bother with dying white chocolate, black. To me, dark cocoa candy melts worked perfectly and saved me from doing that step. No one noticed that they weren't true black. I also, just used candy melts for ears. I didn't cut them like she suggested (again, I needed to save a bit of time), I just stuck the whole melt into melted chocolate and stuck them into the heads...they turned out perfectly! I think Bakerella would be proud! This was my first attempt at cake pops and I really enjoyed making them and enjoyed how much everyone else loved them! I'll be making more for party #2 for sure! I used hearts to make the bows for Minnie...luckily, I had no issue finding large heart sprinkles, seeing as Valentine's Day is right around the corner! I was working on these until midnight the night before the party of course! Ha! I wrapped them in cute clear bags tied with red baker's twine (Crate and Barrel) and black baker's twine from the same shop, where I purchased the paper straws. I have a love affair with baker's twine. I just love it and love all the different uses for it! I ordered a few more colors too (she has some really vibrant and fabulous colors!) much fun! The kiddos and mommas loved these pops as favors. A couple of the mommas have text me this weekend saying they keep eating them too...glad to hear I'm not alone in this!

Mickey and Minnie Cake Pops!
I loved the Minnie pops! The bows were just too cute!
The sign said "Thank you for coming! See you real soon!" I'm sure everyone remembers how they used to say that on the old Mickey Mouse Club show, circa 1990's when Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake were on it! I thought this was such a cute detail to add to the favor basket...mommas definitely appreciated this detail! :)
Most importantly, this little guy had an amazing time and so enjoyed the morning with his buddies! I still can't believe how quickly three years has flown by! I'm so blessed to be this sweet boy's mommy!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Ambitious much?!!!

Well, obviously my New Year's resolution to blog daily didn't work out...but let's face it, it was a bit too ambitious anyway! As the mom of a BUSY toddler and a baby, maybe I need to settle for just whenever I can get a few free minutes to myself, a week to blog! Anywho, it has been a busy busy week! Here are a few things we did!

The little (big) guy started school. Yes, I cried. I kept my sunglasses on so he didn't see me cry. He asked me where I was going as I left and I said I was going to run errands and then the teacher led him away and that was that. He didn't cry. He just walked off to "circle time." I had cried talking to him on the way to school...again he had no idea. It's just that he'll never understand this until he has his own kids or maybe he'll never understand, this may be a momma thing! Luckily, my friend has a son who goes there and she had waited for me outside, and saw me walk outside sobbing and she hugged me and I just cried for a few minutes. I have been feeling so sad recently, that my "baby" is about to be 3 and that my other baby is 6 months old! Wow! It flies with the first child, but I feel like I blinked and the precious Prez is 6 months old! After I got myself together, I went and met one of my best friends, Amber, for a nice, beautiful, long walk along the beach. Afterwards we had lunch at one our favorites places and had mexican chicken and rice soup. Obviously God knew I needed to spend time with her this day because we had such a nice morning and lunch and it was just what I needed. You don't get a lot of true friends in your life and I am so blessed that Amber is one of mine. We have been through a lot together so far! :)

Here is a pic of my guy on the way to school...he was so excited!!! A little backstory: he has begging to go to school for about 5 months now, so we finally gave in!

Here is he within minutes of getting in the car after I picked him up...clearly he had fun and played hard. :)

Here is his lunch: homemade granola bar, Pirate's Booty, sunflower seeds, organic fruit
mash up and peanut butter and raspberry jam sandwich (as requested by him.)

These are his personalized place mats! Since they eat outside on picnic tables, the require place mats! So I whipped these up one afternoon. He loves them!

This weekend, he visited his uncle at work, while Mom helped Grams throw a baby shower!

Today, he "swam" in the backyard! I can't believe this weather we are having in January!

The girlie has been busy too. She has been doing a new trick in her bed...she sleeps with her hand's hilarious! Every nap and all night, her hand is out!

She went to watch big brother swim! And chewed on her beloved ring the WHOLE time...she LOVES this thing and holds it ALL.DAY. LONG!

She hung out on the couch, while cutting her first tooth!!! Yes, it broke through yesterday!!! See what I mean?!!! It's going by so fast!
Ps No wonder she has been chewing on herring so much!

This is hilarious...she is chewing on her ring and our beloved Sophie the giraffe teething toy.

We ended off the weekend by trying oatmeal. Rice cereal was not appealing to the little miss I guess, she just never warmed to it! She loved this oatmeal and couldn't get enough. Momma needs to find the time to start making the next foods. We are going to do applesauce, bananas and avocado next...not sure what order!

Lastly the hubs and I enjoyed dinner, delicious Pasta e Fagioli soup (I can't say enough good things about this soup! This is the second time we have made it in a week and we can eat it for days! Love it!), crusty bread(hubs), crackers(me), wine for me and cocktail for him...oh and a little football! Such an enjoyable time to spend alone with each other. We have started eating after we put the kiddos to bed and it makes for WAY more relaxed evening with no stress and no rush. We love it! I hope you had a fabulous weekend!