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How I plan a birthday party

5 Nov

I love love love planning my son’s birthday parties. And it takes me a while to do… and sometimes (always) ends up being a lot of work… but oh so worth it! So, I just wanted to share with you a few things about how I plan a birthday party and what I did for my son’s 3rd birthday. We went with Where the Wild Things Are theme and it was great!

1. Theme – First things first… thinking about the theme. I usually have a few possible themes at a time. I make a choice when we’re about 2-3 months away from the actual birthday dependent on my son’s interest at the time (and now he has an opinion as well 😉 ). I make a Pinterest board (will talk about that next) for every theme. That way, when is time to choose a theme, I have all the ideas I like in one place and don’t have to do as much research/planning.

Example of my Pinterest boards for birthdays

Example of my Pinterest boards for birthdays (Sesame Street, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Where the Wilds Things Are) *Click to see the boards on Pinterest

2. Pinterest board – I pin and pin and pin… every little idea that comes my way.

  • cake – I make my son’s birthday cakes. I’m not a trained cake decorator but can totally put together a cake. Sometimes very kind people will share their creations and even do a step-by-step tutorial. Just search! I followed this tutorial.
  • invitations – I love mailing invitations. I love seeing what others do and use it as inspiration to make my own. I usually also have a Facebook event going (it is a great reminder).
  • food – Sometimes I make the food, sometimes I order out. This year we had pizza and wings from Great Northern Pizza Kitchen. It was great. Specially since the birthday party was around lunchtime.
  • decorations – You can find pretty much an idea for most things that come to mind on Pinterest. Finding ideas for parties is just great… from simple to all out… from DIY to you-can-buy-this-here. You’ll find something for your taste and budget.
  • other – I add activities, favors, costume, etc.

Obviously, not everything that gets pinned, gets done for the birthday… although I wish I could! 😉

3. Make/send invitations – I make and mail the invitations a month-ish before the birthday party.

Inspired by a few invitations I found online.

Inspired by a few invitations I found online.

4. Make cake TIP: Make sure that you allow enough time to finish your cake! This is the most stressful part of the whole birthday party planning. It is hard to predict what’s going to happen. This last cake took me a good 3 days to complete… but a month after the party, I still have people talking about it. Not too bad! 😉

Cake

Love this cake!

5. Birthday Party Day – We are fortunate to have an entertaining room in the apartment complex that we can use for this kind of activity. It is a big room with tables/chairs already set up. There’s also a kitchen. I love it! Minimal setup… we just have to clean at the end. I’ve had birthday celebrations at home before and I feel that there’s much more to do/clean before and after the party. See if you can find a room like that for your next party!

We were able to bring a ball pit, tunnels, and a huge inflatable bowling set. They were all a huge hit with the toddler crowd. My husband did story time and read a couple books including Where the Wild Things Are.

Story time!!!

Yes, he was wearing his Max suit!

Yes, he was wearing his Max suit!

6. Thank You cards – I believe in sending Thank You cards. People take time of their day to come celebrate with us and I think it is a very nice thing to do. I love receiving thank you cards (any kind of cards/letters), so I love sending them too. It is also a great learning experience. Talk to the little one while you write them and explain why you’re mailing cards.

Hope this post helps you a bit on your future birthday planning! 🙂

So super easy Fro-Yo!

18 Oct

On one of our recent trips, we ended up on an airport with a Pinkberry! Yum! I love me some Pinkberry frozen yogurt… the plain original kind. We don’t have a Pinkberry where we live, so I indulged. It was great! But, I had “the” thought… “You know what!? I can make this at home! And cheaper!”

So, I looked online for a base recipe. There’s a bunch of frozen yogurt recipes but I found one that is a Pinkberry copycat recipe. I’ve made it twice since then. It is a delicious treat and so super easy to make. I really don’t know how the price compares (gotta look into it), but I know for sure that mine is cheaper. 😀

This is what frozen yogurt looks like when you first put it in the ice cream machine. I have a Cuisinart ice cream machine. It takes my machine approximately 25 minutes to bring the yogurt mixture to soft-serve ready-to-eat consistency. Note: If you put it in the freezer overnight, the frozen yogurt will get hard as a rock and pretty impossible to scoop. You’ll have to let it sit on the counter for a while. Ask me how I know!

20131018-085812.jpgI like mine with fresh strawberries and chocolate chips. The possibilities are infinite when you think about toppings. Go crazy!

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Note: The first time I made the recipe, I used FAGE greek yogurt and it turned out delicious. Perfectly tart and tangy! The second time I made it, I used store-brand greek yogurt… it was good but not as flavorful as the first time around. So, I guess buying the really good greek yogurt pays off if you really want to taste the greek yogurt on your frozen yogurt treat!

Hope you go ahead and try making something new! If you have kids, this would be a great food/cooking activity to do together. Not a whole lot of involved steps… just some measuring (can you say math!?), mixing and pouring!

Which reminds me! If you want to try more cooking with your children, check out Kids’ Kitchen – 40 Fun and Healthy Recipes to Make and Share*Click on the link or image below so you can see some of the cards included. They are a great size (box: 8.5″x6.5″x2″), perfect for children to manipulate, read and follow.*

Kids' Kitchen

Step into the kitchen for some child-friendly fun with food. The forty recipes in this colorful deck are based around the five main food groups, and offer a healthy and exciting way to learn about cooking.

How about, before getting to the cooking part, you and your kids make chef hats! This is the kind of activity that will become a fond childhood memory. Kids’ Kitchen includes a recipe for vanilla ice cream… can’t wait to try it out with my son while wearing our own chef hats!!! 😀

Barefoot Eliany

24 Sep

Hello everybody!!!

Can you believe my previous post was about my Project Life week 5 layout back in February!? Not good. But, I’ll dare say it… I’m back!!! I’ll give you the short story. Most days I just forget to write up/photograph the things I’ve been making (call me lazy or distracted). The summer went by way too fast. We had fun! Now, I’m a stay-at-home-mom and I love it! Naive-me thought that I was going to have so much more time to do things (crafty stuff) because I’m home all the time… right? Eh, wrong. Between making 3 meals a day (plus snacks) and cleaning after each, playing with my almost 2-year-old boy, reading the same book a gazillion times a day and brushing my teeth… I don’t have much down time. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I do love doing all those things. I just don’t have time to share it here. But, I’m making time (I haven’t figured out how to yet :P). I have too! I’m doing this for myself. To connect with others.

Starter Kit Box

Starter Kit Box

With that lame explanation out of the way, I wanted to share an awesome thing with you guys. I became a Barefoot Books Ambassador just last week! This new adventure will give me the opportunity to share with my son and the rest of the world my love of reading and books (and perhaps bring in some income to our household as well). Of course, I’ll be sharing a lot more about this: ambassador opportunities, special offers, book reviews and more! For now, I invite you to come over (click on the banner below, like my Facebook Page) and check out our gorgeous catalog that includes books, music, games, and other gifts.

Enjoying Citrus Lane

30 Jan

Citrus Lane is another monthly subscription service we’re receiving! The boxes you get are called “care packages” and are targeted for baby (and mom/dad). Check out what a CL August 2012 box contained! What I like the most about this service is that it is customized to age and stage of the child.

Check out what we got on our January 2013 care package (*I’m providing Amazon links for all the products*):

Citrus Lane January Box

Awesome selection! I love that the box doesn’t include just toys, but a thought out selection of items. We’re enjoying all the products (especially the book) and looking forward to the next care package!

Project Life – Week 3

29 Jan

ImageThis is my PL spread for week 3! I already have a good rhythm going and can organize all the pictures and text pretty efficiently (following the process I shared last week).

Now I need a better set up for taking pictures of my layouts. I work on this project during the night time for the most part… not a good time to take pictures. So, I’ll be looking into low-light digital photography and/or a DIY light box and/or taking pictures by a window during the daytime (check out Ali Edwards’ post about this).

Week 4 is all ready good to go. I’ll be printing tonight, so hopefully I can share tomorrow.

Since I am the one taking the pictures, I rarely appear on them… gotta change that! My goal for week 5 is to appear on at least 1 picture! =D

Also, I just bought the Project Life Baby Edition for Him digital kit. I’ll be using this kit to make Antonio’s scrapbook. I have so many pictures that I think PL is the best solution to finally have all our memories on one place (not hidden on a computer). I’ll be using my PL process to put this album together. I will probably also include some traditional layouts. Stay tuned for more on this ginormous project!

More sewing!

8 Jun

Hello There!!! I’ve been meaning to post some projects, but they’re not quite finished. I guess I’ll have to change my blog-finished-projects-only policy, so I can keep active around here.

Oh, I did finished something! But the picture is kind of sad and doesn’t show how cool it is. Anyhow… I found this apron tutorial and wanted to give it a try. My fabric stash is not big… it isn’t even medium sized… but I managed to get 4 fat quarters (3 different patterns) that coordinated well and put the apron together in no time. It was super easy and looks very cute when you wear it. Should take a picture of me wearing it…

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I am currently working on machine quilting a quilt for my son. As soon as I finish it (hopefully in a day or two), I’ll post pictures. It’s looking super cute already.

Of course, since I’m almost done with my second quilt ever ;D, I had to start planning (meaning: buying more fabric) my next project. In fact, I already started it. I know… I should finish the one project first but I couldn’t help myself.

I’m doing Craftsy‘s Block of the Month (BOM). It’s a free class and includes videos, written instructions and forums! It started on January 2012, so I’m way behind. Every month, Amy Gibson shares 2 different blocks. At the end of the class, I’ll have a finished sampler quilt composed of 24-12.5″ blocks. Exciting!

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I chose batiks (or look-alikes) as my main fabrics and Kona white for my background fabric. I bought 22 fat quarters of the batiks… hopefully that’ll be enough.

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These are the 2 blocks for January (left: asterisk, right: wonky pound sign). They were super easy to make. Can’t wait to make the rest of the blocks.

And a non-sewing project… I finished and started using the Meal Planner. It is awesome! I just want to use it for a bit before sharing here so I can give you my opinion. I will share more details soon.

Until next time! Peace.

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