Friday, August 31, 2012

Back to School

Just like that, Summer is over.  I can't believe how fast it went!  Time is flying and my efforts to slow it down seem to prove futile.  My little girl will be turning one in a couple weeks, and my big girl just started 2nd grade.  Sigh...

AJ is somewhat obsessed with the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.  She has read all the books multiple times (I must admit, they are funny) and seen the movies.  So for our annual back-to-school feast, I did a spin-off and tied in our new theme for the school year:  "Love one another; as I have loved you."  We talked about how Jesus gives us unconditional love and that he has asked us to love other people the same way he loves us.  We are also doing the "What did you do for someone today?" activity at dinner each night this year, as described in this awesome talk from a few years ago.

For the decor, I drew pictures of the family - Wimpy Kid style.  I thought they turned out hilarious.  Especially the drawing of Ava.  I also included Uncle Paul and Aunt Jess since they come celebrate with us, and Dixie Dog.  Of course my family didn't think they were as great as I did.  I guess no one appreciates your hard work like yourself.  ;)

I photocopied the drawings and hung them from the chandelier and used the originals as placemats.

Her little gift this year was a silly Wimpy Kid bookmark and the One Direction CD.  She was giddy, and a little embarrassed.  Funny how she gets all bashful when it comes to boy crushes.  Isn't she supposed to be too young for that?!

The first day of school brought another test for me, as she wanted to wear the one outfit that I hated.  Out of all the clothes we bought her for school, this was the only thing she really insisted on buying.  Even though it killed me, I reminded myself it didn't matter and that she should be able to feel great on her first day.  That was a hard one.  I take a lot of pride in trying to make my kids look great, especially on special occasions.  But I've moved on.  (Can't you tell?) Ugggghhhh...

I am also the room-mom again for AJ's school class, and I usually try to do a little treat for the first day.  But it was a bit crazy that day, so it turned into a first "week" treat on Friday.  I used my Silhouette Machine and made the kids "smarty pants".

Phew!  Now that the first week is under our belt, I'm hoping things will settle into a routine and maybe, just maybe, time won't keep flying away from me.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Stuffed Strawberries Cake Stand {Tutorial}

Here's a quick how-to for displaying and serving those delicious make-yourself-sick-'cuz-you-ate-too-many cheesecake stuffed strawberries we had at our Olympics party.

1.  Trace your cake plate on a piece of cardstock and cut.  You want this to be the exact size as the top of your stand.
2.  Place a piece of styrofoam on your stand.
 3.  Attach cardstock to the foam with a piece of double-stick tape.

4.  Cut a strip of matching cardstock long enough to wrap completely around the stand and at least as thick as the styrofoam.

Now you're ready to go.  When you make your strawberries, simply stick a toothpick through the paper and into the styrofoam and slide the strawberry down on top of it.  The guest can just slide them off whenever they want one.  (Or five)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Summer Olympics

We anticipated the Summer Olympics for months around here.  So naturally, we wanted to kick them off with an Opening Ceremonies party.  It was a good time with friends and food - my two favorites!  Here are some of our party pics:

 Olympic Ring Tissue Poms:  Pom tutorial here

 Party Favors

Torch Cupcakes:  Idea here

(After some experimenting, I've decided this is the best way to make ice cream cone cupcakes of any kind.  Fill the cupcake wrappers and press cones down into the batter.  They will tilt while baking, but you can just shave them into the shape you want after they cool.  Pouring the batter into the cones results in soggy cones and unevenly cooked cupcakes.)

Free Printables:  here

Cheesecake stuffed strawberries

Olympic Ring Sugar Cookies

Gold Medal Cookies

Red, White & Blue Jello Popcorn:  Recipe here

American Flag Fruit and Cheese Tray

Red, White and Blue Layered Drink: Recipe here

Firework Straws:  Target

AJ made this smaller version of our flag banner.  I like her banner better.

Playing Opening Ceremonies Bingo

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Some Current Faves

Another fabulous album I can't seem to get enough of.  It's SOOOOO good.  I'm in love.

Currently swooning over all of Oliver Jeffers children's books.  This one made me cry, and this one made me laugh out loud.

Great website for eating clean.  Craig and I are having a go at it.  Not loving it yet, but this website definitely makes it easier.  And the homemade protein bars are yummy!

This sounds crazy, but I love doing beach towel laundry.  It means we had a week full of fun, they don't require sorting, and they fold quickly & easily into perfect little piles.  I {heart} beach towel laundry.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Fourth of July

We had another successful Fourth of July celebration this year, and Ava's first.

We started with an early morning breakfast at the church.  

 AJ participated in the hula-hooping contest.

The girls played some Glee Karaoke on the WII...

while I made some homemade peach ice cream.

We cooled off in the pool for a bit.  Mom's good for snuggling in the towels, 

but when it comes to playing in the water, everyone wants dad.  Can't say I blame them.

 We went to Bedford to watch fireworks.  It was hot, but bearable.

Ava LOVED the fireworks.  She kept squealing and grinning and pointing every time one would go off.  I'm still kicking myself for not bringing my good camera so I could take better shots of her - it was so cute.  But I'll have to settle for my trusty iphone pics.

We were all tired by the end of the day, I think AJ more than the rest.  She lasted about 10 minutes in the car on the way home.

This was her the next morning.  Successful holiday indeed!