Thursday, July 23, 2015

Watercolor Painting Party...

With three birthdays to plan this year, (In May, June AND July, two of which were only a week apart)   I was definitely feeling a bit burnt out by the time the third party rolled around.  But I still did my best to give my daughter a fun and special birthday.  She has turned 8, and in my church, that is the age where children are then old enough to decide for themselves if they would like to be baptized.  (Needless to say, I've also been planning a baptism in the mix of all these birthdays!)  My mind was fried, and so, to Pinterest I went...  I found a few darling birthdays and asked my daughter what kind of party she would like.  She chose a Watercolor Painting Party.  Most of my inspiration was from THIS party.  Ashley, from The Handmade Home really outdid herself with that party!  It was truly GORGEOUS.  I didn't have quite the time or talent to put together such a lovely scene, but I did what I could with the time and budget I had to work with.  :)  Luckily my sister was kind enough to lend her talents to me and made my daughters cake.  It turned out SO beautiful!!  Thank you, Laura!!

I had the girls each decorate their own cupcake.  They each had their own little paint plate filled with different sprinkles...

My daughter was pretty excited to finally have the chalkboard decorated just for HER.  Unfortunately though, my "artistic ability" failed her expectations.  LOL.  She got over it though.  ;)

Simple balloons, some reused tassel banners from her sister's first birthday, and a fun watercolor banner made from coffee filters (made by my daughter) decorated the dining area.  I wish I got a better picture of the watercolor banner, but it wrapped over my windows, and the harsh light coming in made it impossible to photograph.  But you can see glimpses of it in the top left corner of the chalkboard photo, and the top right of the photo below:

Each girl took home their own painted masterpiece and paints, along with a little goodie bag of treats.

I had fun making the invitation and thank you tag for the goodie bags in photoshop.  These actually inspired some fun art prints for her bedroom! (That I will share when I get around to it) ;)
It turned out to be a fun little party!
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Summer Reading Week 6...

I can't believe how fast this summer has gone by!  We have been so busy this summer, it's been crazy!  But a good crazy.  That's not to say though, that I don't long for a very lazy summer next year.  ;)
I only planned for 8 weeks for our summer reading, which means there are only two more weeks (after this one) planned for some summer reading fun!  This week is probably my favorite!

Oceans and Beaches:

What we're reading this week:

Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea- by Jan Peck, illustrated by Valeria Petrone
Secret Seahorse-by Stella Blackstone and Clare Beaton
This is a watery place.  It is deep and dark.  Where Am I?- by Moira Butterfield, Stephanie & Simon Calder
What Do You See in the Sea?- By Luana Mitten
SWIM! SWIM!- by Lerch
Stella Star of the Sea- by Marie and Louise Gay
The Bravest Fish- by Matt Buckingham
Lift-the-flap Under the Sea- Illustrated by Peter Scott (Usborne Book)
Swimmy- by Leo Lionni
The Underwater Alphabet Book- by Jerry Pallotta, Illustrated by Edgar Stewart
I am a Fish- the Who am I series
Over in the Ocean in a Coral Reef- By Marianne Berkes, illustrated by Jeanette Canyon
Sounds of the Wild Ocean- Maurice Pledger
The Rainbow Fish- by Marcus Pfister
Rainbow Fish and the Sea Monsters' Cave- by Marcus Pfister
Fidgety Fish- by Ruth Galloway
Big Al- by Andrew Clements Yoshi
Pop-up Fun Snappy little Splashers- by Beth Harwood, illustrated by Derek Matthews


Fun and easy Foil Fish from

We will actually be using water color paints instead of markers for this.  We have left over coffee filters and paints from my daughters recent birthday watercolor party.  (painting never gets old)  :)

And finally this awesome Ocean in a Bottle from

We'll also be having some good old fashion water play in the kiddie pool out back, and hoping we have the time to go visit our local aquarium!

Happy Reading!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Summer Reading Week 5...

Farm Animals/ Farms:

What we're reading this week:

Animal Hide-and-Seek, Illustrated by Stephen Cartwright (Usborn book)
Three Hens and a Peacock, written by Lester L. Laminack Illustrated by Henry Cole
The Story of Ferdinand, By Munro Leaf Drawings by Robert Lawson
BIG Chickens, by Leslie Helakoski, Illustrated by Henry Cole
Baby Animals on the Farm, Sesame Street book club
Big Red Barn, by Margaret Wise Brown, pictures by Felicia Bond
Rock-A-Bye Farm, by Diane Johnston Hamm, Illustrated by Rick Brown
The Chick and the Duckling, by Mirra Ginsburg, pictures by Jose & Ariane Aruego
Quack-Quack, by Frederic Stehr
The Story About Ping, by Marjorie Flack and Kurt Wiese
When the Rooster Crowed, by Patricia Lillie, pictures by Nancy Winslow Parker
Good Morning, Chick, by Mirra Ginsburg, pictures by Byron Barton
The Little Red Hen, by Jerry Pinkney
Snappy Little Farmyard (pop-up Fun book)
Ten Sleepy Sheep, by Holly Keller
When Sheep Cannot Sleep The counting Book, by Satoshi Kitamura
The Pig in the Pond, by Martin Waddell, illustrated by Jill Barton
The Cow Who Fell in the Canal, by Phyllis Krasilovsky, illustrated by Peter Spier
Hedgie's Surprise, by Jan Brett

This week for our activity we will be visiting Carver's Cove.  (A local farm where we can pet and feed the animals)

Happy reading, everyone!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Summer Reading Week 4...

I apologize I have been missing the last couple of weeks.  My husband and I were called to serve in our Church's Pioneer Trek, and it has taken me a while longer than expected to start getting back into the swing of things around here.  And because I'm still feeling behind, this week is short, sweet and simple... and FUN!  We're reading all about dinosaurs this week...

Brontorina, by James Howe, Illustrated by Randy Cecil
How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You? by Jane Yolden and Mark Teague
Can I Have a Stegosaurus, Mom? Can I Please!? by Lois G. Grambling pictures by H.B. Lewis
Dinosaur ROAR! by Paul and Henrietta Stickland
Tea Rex by Molly Idle
Edwina The Dinosaur Who Didn't Know She Was Extinct, Words and Pictures by Mo Willems

At this moment, I haven't had a chance to go scout through my mom's book collection, and our Library sort of disappointed with their Dino books this go around.  :(  But we're still happily reading over here!

As for activities planned:
Visiting our local Dinosaur Park.
And a couple arts and crafts:
Dinosaur bones made from Q-tips!

 And my kids are always happy when they get to get messy with paint.  Handprint dinosaurs it is!

 And if those don't tickle your fancy, here are 50 plus Dinosaur activities to try!  (Link below photo)

Monday, June 15, 2015

Summer Reading Week 3...

Ships and Pirates...

What we're reading this week:

Come away from the water, Shirley, by John Burningham
A Pirate's Life for Me! by Jilie Thompson and Brownie Macintosh Illustrated by Patrick O'Brien
Pirates Robbers of the High Seas, by Gail Gibbons
1001 Pirate Things to Spot (Usborne book)
Everything I Know About Pirates, by Tom Lightenheld
The Barefoot Book of Pirates, retold by Richard Walker Illustrated by Olwyn Whelan
Roger the Jolly Pirate, by Brett Helquist
Tough Boris, by Mem Fox Illustrated by Kathryn Brown
The Hairiest Pirate Who Ever Lived Backbeard and the Birthday Suit, by Matthew McElligott
How I Became a Pirate, by Melinda Long and David Shannon
Pirates Don't Change Diapers, by Melinda Long and David Shannon
What's Inside? A Pirate Ship (author unknown)
100 Things you should know about Pirates, Barnes and Nobles book

My 7 year old will be reading: Pirates! Raiders of the High Seas by Christopher Maynard

Activities for the week:

There won't be many crafts this week, but we will be making our own treasure maps, going on a treasure hunt and "playing" pirates.  (It's fun to talk like a pirate!)  We'll also be making our own pirate ships... something like this:

Thanks for stopping by!  Happy reading!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Little Birdie First Birthday Party...

My tiny girl's middle name is Wren... so naturally she had to have a little birdie first birthday!!  There's not much to say, because we just had some family over for dinner and cake to celebrate this little lovely of mine, so no games etc.  But I enjoy "party planning" SO much, I had a blast decorating for this little celebration.  I took a whole bunch of pictures for your enjoyment!  ;)
 I pulled the dresser out of her room to display the cake.  (I found the dresser on my local classifieds page, and painted it.)  Mr. B thought I was nuts for bringing it out of her room, but I thought it was the perfect touch.  :)
 Mr. B made me this awesome chalkboard a little while ago.  I was going to share it then, but never got around to it.  But now, here it is!  LOL.  I gave it a light stain and went over it with Miss Mustard Seed's white wax.  I love how it turned out!  And it makes for the perfect birthday "banner" for all my kid's birthdays.
I made the tassel banner from twine and tissue paper.  VERY easy.  There are some great tutorials on Pinterest for them.
 The cake is just a simple strawberry cake box mix, and some easy homemade buttercream.  The bird topper is made from homemade marshmallow fondant, I cut the shape with a cookie cutter.

  I had to display my favorite newborn photo of her, taken by Shanda Photography.  She was 6 days old in that photo.

 The cake was all for my little Wren... (it was just a small smash cake)  So for everyone else I made other desserts... chocolate cake trifle, brownie bites with sweet cream cheese topping and raspberries, and the most ADORABLE birdie sugar cookies made and decorated by my sister Ginger.  Thanks again Ginger!!!
 Glittered mason jars I made with my sister a while back... we continue to reuse them for the many birthdays and baptisms we have this year.  Flowers are from Costco...  I would LOVE to find a floral arrangement class of some sort!  I could use some tips on that.

 More detailed shots of the pretty Cookies.

 I found an old window that I repainted to hang her monthly photos on.  I wish I had a better place to display it, but the thing was too large to fit anywhere else.  I still love this tradition, that I picked up from my sis-in-law Cat over at Catherina's Creative Corner Blog.  It's so fun to see how much these babies change in that first year!

All other decor not mentioned are things I already had around the house, or from my baby's room.
 Not the best picture of us... but I still needed a photo with my baby on her first birthday.  I am so lucky she's mine.  :)  And this picture better shows the true scale of the chalkboard Mr. B made me.  It really is BIG.  I have so much fun with that thing.  LOL.

And I am just head over heals for this little lovely!!

Happy Birthday Little Wren!!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Summer Reading Week Two...

Bugs and Gardens....

What we're reading this week:

Inch by Inch, by Leo Lionni
The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle
The Very Lonely Firefly, by Eric Carle
The Very Busy Spider, by Eric Carle
Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! by Bob Barner
In the Tall, Tall Grass, by Denise Fleming
Over in the Garden, by Jennifer Ward Illustrated by Kenneth J. Spengler
The Eensy-Weensy Spider, adapted by Mary Ann Hoberman Illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott
Oddhopper Opera A Bug's Garden of Verses, by Kurt Cyrus
There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, by Simms Taback
Angelina and the Butterfly, adapted by Katharine Holabird from the TV series
Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Kids, by David Kirk
Miss Spider's Wedding, by David Kirk
Miss Spider's Tea Party, by David Kirk

This upcoming week is a rather crazy one for my family, so I'm limiting the crafts we'll be doing... but here are a few fun ones I found:

Easy "bananapillars"  by   (we'll be adding peanut butter, because banana's are just sooo yummy that way.  ;)  And I really wanted to do "the lifecycle of a Butterfly" as seen on that link, but I know I just won't have time for it this week.  But check it out, in case you would like to do it, it looks super cute!

  And finally some fingerpainting, because that's always easy and fun.  :)

This Bees art by

 And this garden art by  She has 19 other bug crafts that are darling, so check them out in case you find one you like better!  I simply chose these because I know I already have everything on hand, and as stated before we don't have time for a whole lot else this week.

We'll also go on a "bug hunt" and I'm going to have my children help me weed and water the flower beds.  :)

Happy reading everyone!!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Summer Reading Fun! Week One...

     "Summer Reading Program" just sounded way too formal for us.  "Summer Reading Fun" is a better fit around here.  :) I want to keep things VERY simple, and not make reading a complicated or have-to thing for my kids.  I chose some fun topics for each week this summer for us to learn about, and find our own adventures in through reading.  Rather than keeping points or stickers for how many minutes read, I am simply encouraging my kids to read each day... finding books at the library, from a friend or ones I already have on hand that go along with that weeks theme and have planned some simple activities/crafts to coordinate with those themes to keep them motivated.
     We've already begun at our house!  I'm going to do my very best to update each Monday of what I have planned for the week ahead.  So feel free to follow along with us, or come up with some ideas of your own.  And if you do happen to have some ideas to add, please share them with me!!  :)

     This week we are reading all about Castles/Dragons/Knights/Kings etc...

What my 7 year old is reading:  "The Knight at Dawn" by Mary Pope Osborne  (She actually read this one the first day, so I went and found her another chapter book... it's a tad above her reading level, so instead we'll be reading it as a read-aloud together.  It's "Dealing with Dragons" book one by Patricia C. Wrede.  (I LOVE both the magic tree house books and Dealing with Dragons series, both were favorites of mine as a kid!)

Other children's books we'll be reading this week:

Sleeping Beauty, Illustrated by K.Y. Craft
Cinderella, Illustrated by John Patience
The Twelve Dancing Princesses as told by Marianna Mayer, Illustrated by K.Y. Craft
Rapunzel by Paul O. Zelinsky
What's Inside a Castle?  (author unknown)
The King's Highway retold and Illustrated by Howard Fullmer
The Knight and the Dragon story and pictures by Tomie DePaola
How Droofus the Dragon Lost His Head by Bill Peet
The King's Taster by Kenneth Oppel Illustrated by Steve Johnson & Lou Fancher
The Egg by M.P. Robertson

Activities planned for the week:

This Knights craft by

And finally this fun Castle painting by

My whole purpose in doing all of this is to make some fun memories with my kids while reading.  And hopefully a lot less "I'm bored" comments from my children too.  LOL.

Happy reading, everyone!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Valentine Decor 2015

     My Valentine decor has definitely changed since last year (view last year's HERE.)

     This year my sister showed me some adorable Valentine decor items from a local boutique, and I instantly fell in love!  Only problem was, I didn't have $120 to spend.  And so, roughly $8 worth of wood, a $7 frame, a little paint, nails and twine we had on hand, and some scrap paper lying around, my sister, Mr. B, and I whipped up this little vignette in just a day.  (we made three whole sets, and had a newborn to tend to, so I felt pretty accomplished.)  Mr. B of course did all the cutting of the wood, and screwed things together for us.  My sis and I did the rest.
 The "sweet" plate is a simple white plate I already had and added the "sweet" by cutting out some gold vinyl using my silhouette.

A closer view of the "Be Mine"  I also used my silhouette to make the stencil for this.
 And just a little touch of valentines in the kitchen:
I still have my other items from last year throughout the house, but as you can see from my lack of posting anything the past 3 months, I was too lazy to photograph them.  LOL.
I'm not very good at keeping up on this blog, but that's ok.  That just means I'm busy with other things... things that have a bit more importance over this blog.  ;)

I have quite a few events I'm planning this upcoming year though, and I'm making it a goal to share all of those and look forward to doing so.  So thanks for checking in every once in a while!  :)