Dec 13, 2011

Toddler Art Tuesday- Making Wrapping Paper

Last week I had the boys do some painting on large sheets of blank paper to make wrapping paper. I put out Christmas cookie cutters for them to make prints with finger paint (like we did HERE and HERE) and they also decided to simply finger paint. Well, and Matthew wanted to eat the paint. Typical! This was an easy and fun activity and now we have very unique wrapping paper for small gifts! I don't have pictures of the final product, but here are some pictures of the boys in action.

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Dec 12, 2011

{Christmas} cookie & milk birthday party

If you can believe it, John turned THREE this month! Time certainly flies by. To keep myself from going into deep depression that my sweet boy is getting older, I spent the last couple months planning his 3rd birthday party. And by 'couple months' I mean I thought about what we could do, ordered some things here and there, and kept a list of ideas in my head until about two weeks ago when I finally put the party together.

Back when John was barely one years old, I saw this post on Skip to My Lou. I knew one day I would do something similar for John's birthday since it is so close to Christmas. I LOVED the idea of Santa showing up and it was just so sweet. I originally wanted John's party in the morning so we could do a breakfast with Santa but instead decided to use the now popular 'cookies and milk' themed party with a holiday twist.

The party all began with this invitation that I created using photoshop. I love how it turned out and it is certainly unique!

When guests walked in the house, the first thing they would see was a hot chocolate bar. I had a coffee pot of hot water so they could use Swiss Miss packets to make hot chocolate. I also set out toppings (marshmallows, candy canes, whipped cream, and sprinkles) to make it extra yummy! I wanted to get disposable coffee mugs, but found insulated 'hot' cups at the dollar store instead. So I put Christmas stickers on them to make them more festive.

I made a pennant banner on photoshop and printed onto white cardstock. It was SO much easier to make it on the computer instead of using scrapbook supplies! I just hot glued the paper to a ribbon that came off of the wrapping of some pj's that I had bought the boys. Because I just love my readers so much, I am going to share the banner later this week...when I get my act together and can get it online! So be sure to check back late for the free download!

The food display was against a cute snowball and snowflake back drop. I used white yarn and hot glued cotton balls to represent snowballs. I found these glittery snowflake ornaments a year or two ago after Christmas and never remembered to take them out of the craft stash for the tree! So I added those to the snowballs to add a little sparkle. My sweet hubby hung the strands on the ceiling and we actually are going to keep them up through Christmas since it is kind of a fun decoration!

I had lots (and lots!) of cookies for this party. In fact, we ONLY had cookies since it was an afternoon party and was over before dinner time. Some I baked with the boys, some were baked from scratch by my husband, and some were store-bought. All were yummy! I decided the parents might completely hate me if I fed the kids lots of cookies AND then had cake too! So I made mini cupcakes instead...and boy were they MINI. So cute! I designed food labels on photoshop that coordinated with the invitations. I feel like using the food labels seems super anal, but it was nice to not have to tell people over and over again which cookie was which.

We also had a bucket of Horizons vanilla milk and a bucket of Yahoo chocolate milk. I really wanted cute milk bottles with straws but knew that 3 year olds probably would spill milk all over my house if I did that. So I got the milk boxes instead. Unfortunately, I got vanilla milk thinking that was the same as plain milk. The choices at Kroger were vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry so I just figured vanilla was plain! Oops! So now I have a ton of vanilla milk boxes in my fridge that I don't think my sons will drink. :)

The most exciting part of the party was when Santa stopped by for a visit. He came in jingling some bells and coralled all the kiddos into the living room. There he read the kids a story (John LOVES books so I knew he would love hearing a story from Santa) which was just so cute. Then he pulled out his 'nice list' (which I made as a simple list of guests so I didn't have to put names on the presents!). This nice list was a last minute decision and it turned out way cuter than I thought it would be! So, Santa handed out presents to each kiddo (holiday coloring books and crayons from Oriental Trading), which served as their party favors.

Lastly, I wanted the kids to decorate cookies since it was a cookie themed party. I quickly rejected that idea because I could just imagine sprinkles and icing all over the house by the end of the party. Instead, I found foam gingerbread men cutouts at Target in the Dollar Spot (LOVE the dollar spot!) as well as a bunch of Christmas stickers. I put out pom poms, glue, more stickers, and pipe cleaners and they kiddos could decorate those 'cookies' with minimal mess! Some kids put the pipe cleaners in a loop at the top of the gingerbread man to make it into an ornament which was a cute idea too.

I think John thoroughly enjoyed his party (and even woke up in the middle of the night with a tummy ache from too many cookies!). I loved how it turned out and it was actually an easy party to plan for and put together!

Plus, if nothing else, it got me to actually put out Christmas decorations instead of saying 'I hate everything I have!' and telling Brad to put it right back into the attic. :)

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Dec 6, 2011

Tea-Party 1st Birthday

Remember these invitations I made for my sweet niece's 1st birthday?

Well, my sister shared the party on her blog, Refreshingly Chic. Of course it turned out fabulous and was perfectly decorated. My sweet boys had so much fun! Here is one little sneak peek pic. Go see the rest at their blog!

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