Monday, January 31, 2011

Mad Hatter Invited

Our Alice and Wonderland inspired tea party birthday was a great success. Aries stayed upstairs almost all morning. So when she walked down and saw her birthday all set up, she was very excited.
There were tissue paper flowers that hung from the ceiling, along with keys, white rabbit paper chain, and a happy birthday sign. 
We set the tea party up in our living to make more room for all the kids to sit down. Each chair at the table was different. 

At the table I set out the cake, raspberry heart cookies, and heart lollipops. The place setting was a small clear tea cup that had a drink me tag on the handle. 
Damien made sure the jelly in the cookies was Raspberry. While making them he informed me several times how the line in the new Alice and Wonderland movie went. I think he would have said "off with my head" if I did it wrong.
I made the cake the night before. While the kids were asleep it gave me plenty of time to sit down and focus on the cake.
Upon walking into the living room I wanted everyone to feel like they just stepped into a page of Alice and Wonderland. The shock and awe effect worked, because each child instinctively took a seat around the table and waited for instructions.
They ate lollipops while waiting for all their friends to arrive. They chatted and it was cute to see Aries waving her hand around like Vanna White showing everything her party had to offer.
Our first activity was to decorate a mad hatter top hats. They passed the glitter and shared the craft supplies.
Each hat came out different. I heard little voices saying "Oh nice", "Your hat is pretty", "awesome". 
After that game we played pin the smile on the cheshire cat. My mom was gracious enough to draw this for me and help with the tape backing.
They liked the spinning around in a circle and some kids even wanted to keep doing it over and over. Most of the children at the party were only 3 or 4 so we really didn't make a winner and most didn't understand that they had to keep their eyes closed. The important part was that they had fun.
We had one more game. During the week I had made salt dough roses that my hubby hot glued brooch pin backings to. In the kitchen (where we haven't finished the floor yet) I laid down old sheets.
I offered smocks and let the kids paint the roses red. Some had fun painting the sheets. 
Afterwards I put them all on tin foil and then in plastic baggies so that each child had a painted rose pin to take home.
Then it was time for cake. We didn't have to tell the children twice. They all sat in their seat and sang as loud as they could the happy birthday song.
Aries made her wish which I am sure was to eat the cake and open presents. Present opening was a bit chaotic but Aries handled herself very well. We know she is not claustrophobic.
The party went at a very fast pace mostly because I didn't want the children to be bored. We kept things moving really well and the parents seemed happy about that. Aries thanked everyone for coming and handed out her goody bags.
Willy Wonka candy, glow sticks, bouncy balls, and compass rings filled the bags. Each child gave her a hug and was happy to celebrate Aries birthday with her. 
One little guy (Odyn) was so happy to be treated like a big kid for the day that it wore him completely out. He was very upset that he was falling asleep half way through it. 
Aries had a very wonderful birthday that didn't break the bank, left wonderful memories, and a lot of children happy. 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Time for Tea

I'm getting ready for Aries birthday this weekend - I will just leave you all with some Etsy inspiration I came up with for the party. When I come back I'll have pictures of the party to share.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Think Spring

With a billion more inches of snow here in Connecticut and yet again another snow day for the kids (sigh) I have to start thinking spring.
I want to start working on the barn shop, gardening, planning picnics, wearing sandals, and not having to wrap myself in a blanket to stay warm. Maybe if my winter jacket starts thinking spring it will happen. It's possible right?
So to cheer up my winter jacket and frozen toes I made cute little happy spring flower brooches. Not only will they put a spring smile on my jacket but maybe yours as well. I am putting some in my shop and making more for upcoming craft shows.
Let's all think spring!
Linking with Splash of Colour ~ These other blogs are bringing you happy colour for spring.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Officially 4

Someone turned 4 today. She woke up with a sparkle in her eye. 
The tea party and the real birthday celebration will be this weekend. Aries asks at least once day about her party and will tell you "My birthday coming up". 
She is the happiest little girl you will ever meet. Dancing and singing are a prerequisite to starting off the day. Todays song is "Happy Birthday to ME" and includes twirling and whirling. 
Happy Birthday my lovely little girl! 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Mom's Special Day

Today is my mom's birthday. So I decided to make homemade bread.
I only used the prettiest dishtowel to cover the top and let the bread rise. 
Chocolate cake was also on the menu with a secret ingredient that brings out that chocolaty flavor.
Doesn't it all look so yummy?
Also on the menu was yummy turkey meatloaf, salad with the best croutons, and red mash potatoes.
Happy Birthday Mom!!! We love you.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Charm Swap

Just stopping in to share information. The Chronic Seamstress, otherwise known as the wonderful Carrie, is having a charm swap. If your wondering "What is that?" Well that is where you send other swappers a certain number (depends on the people participating) of UNIQUE fabric squares to make a quilt with. Then with all the fabric squares you receive you can make a quilt. I have already signed up!! You don't have much time if you want to participate as the list will be finalized Sunday January 23rd. So what are you waiting for - go sign up!!!

Mail Call

I got the best surprise in the mail! My oldest loves to get the mail when he comes home from school. He takes each piece of mail and holds each one out before he puts it on the kitchen table. Well today was different. He opened the mail box reached in and was "What is this?!?!?!" I said "Oh! It looks like it's a package from my friend Vivienne. It came all the way from Ireland." Then it was "Can I open it?" "Is it for me?" "What is it?".
I barely got the package in the door. I asked him to go get my camera run run, get camera, walk as fast as I can without running with mom's camera. He couldn't contain himself. As instructed he opened the package carefully. "Oh mom it's pretty. It must be for you." Aries heard the word pretty. "Me like pretty!" I was able to get a few pictures taken before the items were claimed.
Aries informed me that the brooch was now hers. Damien stated that the Irish linen sachet smelt so good that the best place for it would be in the upstairs bathroom (otherwise known as the kids bathroom). I am proud to say that the items made their way back to me. The brooch is now pinned on my purse and the sachet is in mom and dad's bathroom. Thank you so much Vivienne! It really made my day and my kids day too. (Isn't she the sweetest?!)
 I know I will be sharing this lovely corsage with my daughter but if you want one of your own visit Vivienne's shop. The picture doesn't do it justice.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Blog Awards

I have been given a couple of blog awards lately and I feel very honored to be thought of!! So thank you Julie and Shanti for the:

This award has a couple of rules ~
** thank and link back to person who awarded you
** share 7 things about yourself
** pay it forward to 15 discovered bloggers 
** contact these bloggers and tell them about the award

Here are my 7 things:
1. I hate backing up a car - If it's a parking space that I am being directed to back into, I will get out of the car and let hubby do it.
2. I don't like being called Mandy and the only person I have ever let call me that was my dentist.
3. I don't have any brothers or sisters.
4. Hubby and I wanted to have 4 children, after having 3 we decided that was enough.
5. I love all the friends I have made here in blog land :)
6. My favorite time of year is fall.
7. Visiting Europe is on my bucket list.

Picking just 15 bloggers is hard because I enjoy so many blogs - I have a list of blogs I enjoy on my sidebar ~~> 
I think anyone of those deserves this award (so I am not following the rules, which is not unlike me to do).

I also received another award from the lovely Viv. My blog is now a 
and the award is for crafty-blogs, which have less than 300 readers, to encourage more and more people to visit you and see your hand made items. I need to choose 3 other wonderfully crafty blogs with less than 300 followers to give this award to. I agree with Viv and I am giving my award to blogs that have less than 300 followers, have a crafting business, and a little online shop. Please also make sure to check out Vivenne's blog and shop.

1. Emma from Silverpebble - She has a fun little Flickr group and makes the prettiest jewelry.
2. Annabelle from Three Red Apples -  I love her style and pictures.
3. Anna from The Victory Garden - Her Pyrex collection will make you envious and she has mad yarn skills.

I want to thank everyone for the wonderful blog awards it truly means a lot that I was thought of for these awards! You love me, you really love me :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

It's In the Bag

When I found out the Ashley from A Hasty Life was having a blog crawl about what's in your bag I had to join in. Her blog is super fun and I love her new 30 for 30 outfit posts.

A Hasty Life

So without further adieu here is my bag and the contents ( minus all the receipts that I tend to collect):
**You can super size this pic by clicking on it**
1. Diaper and Butt Aid - I always need to have one diaper and diaper cream with me. You never know when Odyn might need a change.
2. A toy - I found that carrying at least one toy with me at all times can really be a life saver when the kids get restless.
3. Coin Holder - This coin purse I got in New York City when my girlfriends and I went together. It really helps me use change instead of it weighing down the bottom of my bag.
4. Cell Phone - My connection to adults, my GPS system, my lifesaver, my video for the kids, basically the one thing I should always have with me.
5. Business Cards - You never know when you will run into someone who wants to check out your shop.
6. Perfume - I tend to take all those little samples I get from stores and keep them in my purse. You never know when you might need it.
7. Lip Gloss - I don't wear lipstick but lip gloss is a different story. My lips feel naked and chapped without it.
8. Keys - Often I can't find them - but I always have them.
9. Jewelry - The necklace is vintage and the bracelet is from Esma (it says my kids names, their DOB, and "A moment in my tummy a lifetime in my heart"). They are both dear to me because my wonderful hubby picked them out for me for Mother's Day. The usually end up in my purse to keep the kids from tugging on them when I am wearing them.

If you want to peek into more purses check out Be Merry, Kate (love her Coach wallet). Don't forget to check out Cupcake Monkey tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Weekend Realization

This weekend I learned a couple of things:
* Sometimes you need to completely slow down, entirely to get better
* No is a very powerful word
* You can give too much of yourself and have nothing left for you
* No amount of snow will keep your children inside
* Seeing your birthday invitation makes your birthday party real
* I can cook, and it won't change the fact that my children still just want nuggets
* Sleeping more than 4 hours without waking up once, feels really good
* Not looking at the computer for 3 days means that you have a lot to do
* After the new year most people get to relax, while I still need to plan 3 birthdays each 2 weeks apart
* It's already the middle of January and my Christmas decorations are still up
* I have a husband, he does exist and I got to talk to him for more than 5 minutes
* Dishwashers are great but you still need to put the dishes in and turn it on
* "It's the BEST NIGHT EVER" whenever mom and dad both get to play with you
* Hot cocoa is just fancy for warm chocolate milk drink (or so I was told)
* My children love me so much that every 5 minutes they need to say "mom?"
* Crafts do not make themselves
Hope everyone had a great weekend like I did.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Spring Thing

Lately I have not been in the cooking mood but today I think I will make some homemade bread. Organization has really been on my mind. This spring and summer I want to do some crafts shows in the area and get the barn shop in full swing. So with that in mind I have been making new spring garlands and thinking about what I would want to sell at a craft show. Garlands, Bags, Brooches, Blankets, Pillowcases, Dish Towels, and Embroidery has been filling up my mind. Do you go to craft shows? What do you look for when you are there? How do you find craft shows to be a part of or go to? Is there anything you are looking for that is homemade?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Wonderland Dress

         Fabric: From Walmart and Notions from Estate Sales
         Pattern: NewLook BIN 79 - 6448
         Size: 4T

Yes, some of you did guess the theme of Miss Aries party. After reading her books and seeing the movie, she decided that an Alice and Wonderland themed tea party was just what she needed. We have been brain storming ideas together but one thing was a must - Alice's dress. 

When looking at patterns I didn't really want anything too difficult. I am new at sewing clothes and really using any type of pattern. I mostly do things from trying to copy a picture or just from my own head. So when looking for the pattern I decided to look for one that literally said easy on it. I wanted the dress to be simple enough that if needed I could change it up a little. This pattern was really used as a template to cut the fabric to size, the instructions were kinda tossed aside when it came to sewing it all together. I was a lucky girl a couple of weeks ago and won a wonderful pair of Tonic scissors from The Chronic Seamstress which made cutting the fabric super easy (Thank you).

The buttons are little pink rose fabric buttons that I purchased awhile back from Notions by Polly Danger. They are a really cute touch. I was a bit nervous to use the buttonhole maker on my sewing machine, since I haven't done it before. Bad thoughts were going through my head, so instead I just sewed the buttons on and made little loops on the other side (for now - I promise I will give the buttonhole making thing a try). 

When thinking about Alice and Wonderland I get two different ideas in my head. There is the pretty, vintage, dainty, pastel, magical, watercolored, dream like story that I tried to reflect in my pictures. I think of floral tea cups that don't match, white soft fluffy bunny, and small cakes. The other Alice and Wonderland I think of, is more the queen of hearts side of the story. Vibrant red and dark black, playing cards,  painted roses, pink flamingos, raspberry tarts, and more of a modern flair. The hard part is going to be combining the two to give the over all theme of the party. 

What do you think of when thinking of Alice and Wonderland?