Weekly Pinterest Project: Week 34-Lego Birthday Party Decorations

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Now that Harper’s second birthday party is over (I can’t believe my baby is two!), it’s time to gear up for Will’s fourth birthday party. Will helped me choose a Lego themed party for his celebration this year.  When he turned one, I created a cute red wagon party.  For his second birthday, we had a train party.  His third birthday was all about Elmo.  Currently, he’s really into his trains and Legos.  I’ve been scouring Pinterest for Lego themed party decorations and found an easy birthday sign to make. So easy-it took me less than a minute! I also constructed a container from Legos for our fine red utensils!

Over the next week or two, I hope to make more Lego themed decorations for his party.

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5 on Friday!

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Happy Friday! I’m linking up with Christina and several other bloggers for 5 on Friday!

{one} I love organizing our books based on a specific theme! I recently went through the zillions of books we have and created a nice collection of spring/Easter books.  Of course, this nice display was promptly torn through by the kiddos wanting to read every single book, ha! Love it!

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{two} We’ve been trying to get outside as much as possible, but the weather has been crazy! It was almost in the 70s last Saturday for Harper’s second birthday party (see recap here) and then we got snow on Tuesday.  I’m SO READY FOR SPRING! The kids enjoyed a windy afternoon outside playing with some colored pasta I made last year.

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{three} I’ve been entering a bunch of blog giveaways lately and finally won one last week! I never win anything, so this was a nice surprise! I won three model airplanes from The Chirping Moms.  This was especially fun since my husband is an airplane mechanic and loves planes! He will have fun building these with Will.

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{four} Consignment sale shopping!  I sold and bought clothes at a consignment sale last weekend. I love that I get an early shopping pass since I am a seller–I get to shop the evening before the sale opens to the public. I found several tops for Will and a few cute outfits for Miss Harper. I also sold a bunch of my clothes and received a decent amount of money that I will put towards buying clothes for the kiddos:) My sister-in-law also sent me a box of her daughter’s clothes that she’s outgrown. Yay!

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{five} I received my new Simplified Planner from Emily Ley and can’t wait to use it! I just need time to sit down and transfer all the info from my old, falling apart planner to this super nice, sturdy planner:) Yay for organization!

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Happy Friday!

 

 

Cooking with Kiddos // It’s the Little Things

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I’m linking up with Jess and Ashley for their fun link-up! Today’s post is all about kiddos in the kitchen.  I love to cook and want to pass on this joy to my kiddos. I started cooking as a young child, always helping my mom with dinner and making desserts and other goodies.  We had a large garden and I assisted with canning, making jams and applesauce, and freezing vegetables.

I’m hoping that Will and Harper will learn some good cooking skills and will enjoy spending time in the kitchen creating meals.  At this point, their favorite part is licking the icing off the beaters, ha!

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Trying to get every last bite from her birthday icing! Yum! More on Harper’s 2nd birthday recap here.

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Dips are always a favorite! My kids love helping make easy dips! We recently made a peanut butter honey yogurt dip that was delicious!

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Eating some snow cream!

Do you have any good recipes that are easy for aspiring young chefs?!

 

 

Weekly Pinterest Project: Week 33-Green Smoothies

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I have been wanting to make a green smoothie with spinach for months and finally made one a few weeks ago.  I was a little skeptical at first-making a smoothie with spinach?  Yuck.  Anyway, I decided to give it a try, and it turned out delicious!  Will and Harper loved the smoothie as well!

I did a little research first to see if I could use a simple blender for the smoothie.  I wasn’t sure if my cheap blender would create a smooth enough smoothie. I was afraid to taste big shreds of spinach.  However, by putting the ingredients in the blender in a specific order, we had very smooth, creamy smoothies!

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I first put in some vanilla Greek yogurt, a splash of almond milk, frozen blueberries, a chopped up banana, and some spinach.  The key to using this type of blender is to finely chop your ingredients, especially the spinach.  Another key is to use some sort of frozen fruit instead of ice cubes.  I also added a dollop of almond butter.  It was so yummy!  No taste of spinach and no weird texture!  The kiddos absolutely loved them!

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Harper’s Second Birthday Party

We celebrated our sweet Harper’s second birthday party on Saturday! It was so much fun celebrating with our family and close friends! What a beautiful day as well-the temps were in the high 60s-so gorgeous!

I based Harper’s birthday theme loosely around mason jars and incorporated green, navy blue, and pink. I purchased this cute mason jar invite on Etsy to kick off the theme.  Sorry for the blacked out portions…when I started this blog and decided to use my kiddos’ middle names when referring to them, I never knew how difficult it would be and how careful I would need to be to make sure their first names or initials were not in any of the pictures I posted, ha!

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Our yearly family birthday pic! We started this when Will turned one-we make sure we snap a picture at each birthday party.

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The cupcake and ice cream spread! I decorated wooden spoons with washi tape and bought some cute flower cupcake toppers on Etsy.  For cake stands, I used several white ramekins and put colorful Fiestaware plates on top.  To save time, I always pre-scoop out the ice cream in individual candy cups and pop them back in the freezer. In this picture, the ice cream is in the white and blue chevron cups. It’s so easy for the guests to pick up a cupcake and a cup of ice cream.  Since I wanted to use my Lisa Leonard “Happy Birthday” topper, I made Miss Harper a mini cake.

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I created a display of Instagram prints that spanned from March 2013-March 2014 and organized them in chronological order with mini washi tape clothespins. In our dining room, I hung one of the displays and attached a few tissue paper tassels I made. Below the banner, our guests placed the gifts for Harper.

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Here’s the second Instagram display (this one was in the living room).

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On the buffet in the dining room, I spread out our mason jars with daisy lids.  I created the washi flags initially for guests to write their names on them but at the last minute, I decided it would be easier to stick a piece of washi tape on the cup where guests could more easily write their names.  Medium size cups for the adults and mini size mason jars for the kiddos. I’m loving the paper straws-so pretty! One downfall, however, is that they tend to get soggy.

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I used a mason jar decorated with washi tape to hold the wooden washi tape spoons and forks.

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Miss Harper snuggling with her Uncle E. We attempted to put her down for an early nap (her party was at 3), but our family started arriving around 1 and Harper was not about the miss the excitement! She’s playing peek-a-boo with me!

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Will playing hide-and-seek with Uncle E.  He loved it!

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Taking a little walk before the party started…it was so nice out, so we decided to visit Shadow and Isaac, our neighbor’s horse and donkey. Uncle E. and Aunt M. are the best! The kiddos love playing with them:)

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Snapping some pics before the party.

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Sibling love!

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Since both kiddos are young, their birthday parties are very casual and small.  We invited both of our parents, my brother and sister-in-law (who live in NC-we were so excited they drove up for the party!), Nana, Pops, Maw, Aunt Kathy (the kiddos’ extended “grandparents”-their babysitters), and our neighbor and her kiddos. Will and my mother-in-law helped Harper open up her gifts.  She had a blast, and so did Will! He wanted to open all of her gifts, ha!

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Modeling her new purse!

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Playing with her new tea set. Harper received so many nice gifts! An alphabet puzzle, two dresses, a summer outfit, several books, a tea set, purse, arts and craft supplies, and several other wonderful presents.

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Will sipping lemonade from a mason jar.

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We put the cake in front of Harper and tried to get her to  blow out the candle.  Instead, she wanted to put her finger in the flame.  Ouch!  I made an easy chocolate cake (family recipe) and some delicious whipped cream/cream cheese frosting. I watched this tutorial from Carolina Charm on how to frost a cupcake. Mine didn’t look as nice as hers, but they looked a lot better than in previous years!

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All of Harper’s babysitters:) She loves them so much!

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Enjoying cake and ice cream outside.
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Face-timing with Harper and Will’s cousins in Colorado. After the party was over, we had dinner for our immediate family. I made an easy chicken parmesan bake and my mom brought a yummy salad. My mother-in-law made a squash casserole and brought garlic knots. We enjoyed a great dinner and spent some time visiting later that evening.

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Sound asleep on Grammy-exhausted from the super fun day!
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We are so blessed to have amazing family and friends!  Harper had a wonderful 2nd birthday!

Birthday party sources:

Mason Jar Invitations from Cherry Berry Designs on Etsy

Mason Lemonade Jars, Daisy Cut Metal Lids, Blue Chevron Candy Cups, Plain Wooden Spoons, Green Paper Straws from Pink Lemonade Party on Etsy

Flower Cupcake Toppers from Scrappuchino on Etsy

Washi Tape from Silent Poetry Arts on Etsy

Harper’s Green Skirt from Laken and Lila on Etsy (I love her skirts and dresses! It’s been a tradition for Harper to wear a dress or skirt from Laken and Lila each year for her birthday).

Birthday Banner Cake Topper from Lisa Leonard Designs (we use this each year)

Pink paper straws, blue napkins, pink plates, birthday candle, and mason jars from Target

Instagram Prints from Printstagram

DIY Tissue Paper Tassels and Photo Display

DIY Washi Tape Spoons

DIY Washi Tape Flag Labels

DIY Washi Tape Clothespins

P.S. As you can see, I’m a little obsessed with Etsy and Target! Ha! They both have tons of great party supplies! Now it’s off to start working on Will’s 4th birthday party (Lego themed), which is coming up soon (at the end of April, yikes!)!

5 on Friday!

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Happy Friday! I’m linking up with Carolina Charm and several other bloggers for 5 on Friday:)

{one} Panera Bread is one of our new favorite spots for eating out with kiddos.  A huge Panera opened up last year near us, and it has a nice play area.  We met a grandfather, his son, and two kiddos there last weekend. The grandfather came up to us and said that his son comes here about once a week with the kiddos, just because of the play area, ha! If you ask Will and Harper their favorite places to eat, they will say, “Depot, Cracker Barrel, Chick-Fil-A, Baja” and now, “Panera.”  The Depot is a local restaurant right next to the train station.  They enjoy eating there since we get to visit the cat who lives in the store next to the restaurant and because we usually head up the hill and over the bridge for a little walk.  This gives us a nice view of the city.  They enjoy Baja, a fresh Mex restaurant since the restaurant has cool doodle pads yummy chips and queso.  Cracker Barrel and Chick-Fil-A are loved for their food, and the kiddos now love Panera since they get to play after eating their meal.  Win for both parents and kiddos:)

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{two} Spring is coming!  Below are some beautiful spring and Easter displays at our all time favorite toy store, Pufferbellies. I know I talk about Pufferbellies a lot, but it’s because it’s such a wonderful toy store (and because we go there A LOT!). I love looking at their creative window displays, which change frequently.  I’m loving the hippity, hoppity displays!

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{three} Speaking of Pufferbellies, one cool thing they do is have birthday baskets for kiddos.  We started doing this last year when Will turned three. This year was our first year creating a birthday basket for Harper, and we plan on doing this each year. You select gifts your kiddos would like for their birthday and Pufferbellies displays them behind the counter.  It makes it very easy for people to pick out gifts for kiddos, and even out of town guests can purchase items from the wish list online.  The store will wrap the gifts and all you have to do is pick them up (or, they deliver if you are within a certain mile radius).  So fun!

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{four} Does anyone else collect/use Fiestware? I went the non-traditional route when I got married and registered for Fiestaware. I initially wanted just a few colors, but after a few years, my collection grew into a rainbow of colors.  Each year, Fiestaware announces a new color. This year, they recently released a picture of their 2014 color, Poppy. While I like it, I was really hoping they would jump on the Pantene color of the year and go with a shade of purple.  However, I will purchase one piece of the new color to add to my collection.

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{five} I’m loving Lisa Leonard’s new “My Wildflowers Necklace!” So pretty! She comes out with beautiful new pieces all the time!

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Happy Friday!