Oh the rush to get family pictures taken in time for Christmas cards! Seriously I always plan to take ours way before the holidays starts, but it never happens. So, of course, our family pictures were taken on the coldest day in Atlanta. It was so so windy and cold, and earlier in the day it was raining. I was definitely attempted to cancel at the last minute. But I knew Wendy from Blue Lily Photography had the skills to get my children out of their winter coats and smiling and laughing. She had total success. I couldn’t believe how much they were laughing. Something about her high pitch, cute voice. We love and cherish the pictures she took of us in Central Park during our last summer living in the northeast. And these ones are our new favorites.
We are well into December, and I have been needing to put these pictures up of our children’s table at our Thanksgiving Barn Dinner. We placed a short-legged table in one of the horse’s stall with fresh hay bales adorn with gorgeous vintage quilts. We had a lot of children to squeeze around that table so we packed them in and kept them very busy. I printed up the cutest tee-pee name cards and Thanksgiving bingo cards designed by Rae Ann Kelly. The kids loved these activities. Definitely a printable to bookmark for your next Thanksgiving. I also used my Cricut explorer to cut paper feathers for the children to make feather headbands.
Bake me a cupcake! I’ve got a little baker on my hands who loves to get her apron on and try a new recipe every Sunday afternoon. No surprise when she told me she wanted to have a baking-themed party for her 10th birthday. I knew the perfect place to have it was Miss Mamie’s Cupcake Shop. Mamie has made me so many cakes for past birthday parties that it was a given to go with her to teach how a true baker bakes and decorates. How could we forget the ombre rainbow cake she made last year for Stella’s painting party? We still talk and dream about it!
Invitations: Because of timing, lack of addresses and my children’s Fall Break, we emailed out a darling baking-themed evite through Paperless Post. Have you ever used this website for emailed invites? If I have to go this route, I like to use Paperless Post because they are more personalized and sophisticated.
Decorations: Miss Mamie’s was so sweet to let me decorate her shop for the party. I used OhJoy! for Target and The Flair Exchange for tassel garlands, confetti balloons and confetti on the table. Printables are by me. And picked up balloons.
Cake and Candy Table: I always have so much fun decorating a cake and candy table. I love to serve candy at a birthday party, and it’s always the kids’ favorite part of the party–to fill up a bag of color-coordinated candy. Mamie made another yummy and darling cake that incorporated the party colors, invite and printables. All the candy is from Target! And the little “yum” spatulas are also at Target.
The girls really put a lot of thought and time into each fondant flower. They made so many that they ended up not having time to actually eat their cupcakes! Instead they all took home what they made to show off their baking art piece and share with their families.
We had another successful birthday party! I can’t believe she is 10!! One decade old. This birthday has made me think of all her other birthdays. Here are past blog post of some of them:
When Fall comes we love to go apple picking and all the yummy baking that follows after. I did a fun post over at Or So She Says about our Southern apple picking experience. And I included in the post a a chart that shows which apples are best to use in your different baking recipes. So head over there to print up your chart before you head out to apple pick! And don’t forget to check out my past posts that list my favorite apple pie recipe.
All I want to do this summer is take advantage of all the fruit picking there is in Georgia. With all the moving we’ve been doing the last two summers, we haven’t really gone out to the farms and done our own picking. The seasons come sooner down here than Connecticut, so Georgia strawberry picking is in full swing the month of May instead of June. So many strawberries! My little helpers were, in fact, really good helpers. They did most of the picking…and the eating of course!
Have I mentioned we are slightly, overly obsessed with Star Wars? Like…my kids can recite lines from the movies, my boys wear Star Wars underpants and carry the lunch boxes to school too. And you wouldn’t have wanted to hear their cries when I told them they couldn’t do the Jedi Training Camp at Disney because camp was full. I promised them next time. So my little Jackson turned 5 in the fall, and I was not surprised when said he wanted a Star Wars party. Well, I have already thrown a Star Wars party for his older brother which was a huge hit. But Jackson wanted to go with the Star Wars Lego party theme instead. I keep my leftover party supplies so I was still able to use items that I used for the Star Wars. And was able to reuse the printables I designed. For that, it was a pretty easy party to pull together, which I needed because his birthday is right during the holidays. As always resources are listed below. One thing I did was print up at the local print shop a huge bulls eye image for the backdrop. They were able to blow up the image large enough to cover my poster board. I used that same image in his invitations.
How cool is his cake? It’s one of my favorite and tastes better than it looks! 3-D Lego minifigure jedi brings the whole theme into play. I put my older son to work by having him build me a lego cake stand.
More 3-D mini figures for our cupcakes. We had the party after lunch so I ended up just serving cake and cookies. For the cupcakes and cookies, I found mini light sabers on Amazon and stuck them right next to the fondants.
Straws are attached to the water bottles by little sticky dots.
So what activities did we do at the party? Well, I really wanted to keep cost down and honestly didn’t want to put too much thought into it. Remember, we were right during full holiday mode. So I purchased a few new Star Wars Lego boxes for the party and had the parts and instructions laid out on our table for the kids to build and play with. I checked into different Lego rental companies and even craigslist for old Lego kits, but the prices for Legos are quite expensive and going with new boxes just made sense. Jackson and his friends are at the age where they just sat and built the Lego kits the entire party. For those who weren’t quite Lego fanatics, I had our bounce house up and toys out. We also had a handmade Lego pinata to break up the party.
Party favors–a simple Lego Star Wars ship
Happy Birthday Jackson! May the force be with you!
Star Wars printables: me
Bullseye poster board: image by me then printed at OfficeMax copycenter
Happy Birthday Star Wars garland: Target
Birthday Cake with 3-D Lego minifigure: Sugar Benders
Star Wars Cake Pops: So Sweet Pops
Lego Cupcake toppers: MJ Tabush Cake Designs
Lego guy and Lego yoga toppers: MJ Tabush Cake Designs
Star Wars lightsaber lollipops
Lego Cake Stand: we made it
Star Wars Republic Attack Cruiser Party Favors
Mini light sabers
Star Wars Lego Kits
Hope you had a Happy New Year and a month of holidays! Love this crazy time of year, and to tell you the truth I’m sad to take it all down this weekend. Our winter family photos were captured by the talented Hollie of Lytle Foto. She transformed her studio into a winter wonderland with three different set designs. They were magical! She was so good to us as we arrived disheveled and with a trial of mishaps. But the pictures came out perfect.
Let’s play with color! Stella is the little artist in the family. Always drawing, painting and creating. So she was right on board when I suggested having a painting party for her 9th birthday. She’s hit the pre-tween stage so she wanted to be involved in all the planning. Cool with me to have a helper! We are lucky to know a professional artist who teaches children’s art class, and she was excited and to teach a step-by-step class at the birthday party on painting little owls and mixing colors to make the perfect shade of pink, purple or orange.
To set the stage for the party, I printed off the party details on a white 5×7 invitations which Stella then watercolored in pastel colors. She also added color to envelopes
We made up a few jumbo confetti balloons that floated around the party room. I also made a few of the paper mobiles to bring in the party colors. I then watercolored a large number 9 that we had hanging up at the party. Since we lined the table with butcher paper, Stella watercolored place settings for each of the girls to add color to the table.
Brittany the artist had a step-by-step tutorial on painting little owls. She showed them how to draw the owl on paper then transfer their design on canvas and then mix colors to paint. The girls only used primary colors! I was impressed with their mixing skills. I got all the art supplies at Blick and the girls were able to keep them all. They also received a monogram apron that Stella and I made prior to the party.
Cake and Candy
I had Miss Mamie make an ombre birthday cake on the outside for Stella. And a rainbow cake on the inside. It was beautiful and tasted amazing. All the candy I got at Whole Foods, believe it or not. But I love the pastel colors of their candies. And cupcakes and cookies came from there too. Shhh…we kind of put this all together in just a few days. Cake was served on white painted plates.