Archive | Summer

An Inspired Summer Peach Party

Are you ever inspired by what’s around you or in season?  Well, today’s peach party post (#alliteration) was most definitely inspired by it being peach season.  I love this time of the summer where you walk by the peaches in the grocery store and the smell makes you buy them.

I love a good peach and the best ones I’ve ever had come from not too far from us in Palisade Colorado.  If you ever have a chance to try a Palisade peach, do it!  I’m hoping this post inspires you to throw a peach themed dinner party, and if not at least go eat some peaches.

peach party, peach party decorations, peach party tablescape, peach themed baby shower, peach bridal shower, peach party favorsPeach Party Centerpiece

I really wanted the peaches to be the star of the table, so this centerpiece is all peaches.  It’s also really easy to recreate.  The orange, yellow, and burgundy colors of the peaches are great so I mixed in some plums to bring out that burgundy color.  Just snip a couple of small branches from a bush or tree to add in some greenery to the centerpiece.

peach party centerpiece, peach party decorations, peach party tablescape, peach themed baby shower, peach bridal shower, peach party favorspeach party, peach party decorations, peach party tablescape, peach themed baby shower, peach bridal shower, peach party favorsI accomplished the double height of the centerpiece by adding one small crystal dish on top of a cake stand.  If you checked out my Instagram stories you’d see that I moved that oh so pretty centerpiece right to my dining table after taking these photos.

peach party centerpiece, peach party decorations, peach party tablescape, peach themed baby shower, peach bridal shower, peach party favorsThis double height fruit centerpiece concept would work for so many occasions too.  Pine cones around Christmas with holly or stalks of pine trees, apples in the fall, or mini pumpkins around Thanksgiving are all ways to use this idea year round.

I wanted to add in some more pink and (surprisingly) didn’t have any pink flowers around my house.  So I just made one with some tissue paper and tucked it into the peach centerpiece.

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Peach Party Place Setting

For the place setting I wanted to bring in some texture so I used my woven chargers.  These things have come in so handy.  I use them all the time.

peach party centerpiece, peach party decorations, peach party tablescape, peach themed baby shower, peach bridal shower, peach party favorsThe gold flatware is also something I use a lot.  I think it totally dresses up this simple place setting.  And an added pink glass brings out the pink colors in the peaches and plums.

peach party centerpiece, peach party decorations, peach party tablescape, peach themed baby shower, peach bridal shower, peach party favorspeach party centerpiece, peach party decorations, peach party tablescape, peach themed baby shower, peach bridal shower, peach party favorsIn place of a name card I added a peach right on top of the plate.  I did embellish the peach some orange washi tape on a skewer.  This would be a great way to add a name card though.  Skewering a piece of paper with your guest’s name written on it would be perfect.

peach party centerpiece, peach party decorations, peach party tablescape, peach themed baby shower, peach bridal shower, peach party favorspeach party centerpiece, peach party decorations, peach party tablescape, peach themed baby shower, peach bridal shower, peach party favorsNow let’s talk about dining al fresco for a minute.  I love the look of a table set up in the middle of a lush green yard.  Unfortunately our yard isn’t flat enough for a table.  So we just use the patio with the green yard as our view.  If you do have a flat, green yard, I’d love for you to try a peach inspired dinner party out there.  I’d be so jealous!

peach party, peach party decorations, peach party tablescape, peach themed baby shower, peach bridal shower, peach party favorsEven if you don’t want to eat outside (hello, bugs!) maybe this simple tablescape has given you the encouragement you need to invite someone over and gather around a table for a meal.  And if you include peaches you can’t go wrong this time of year!

 

 

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Fourth of July Inspired Snack Tray

Can you believe it’s July already? This summer is flying by.  But since it’s July, it’s time for 4th of July festivities!  This is the second year that our block is throwing a block party for the holiday.  It should be a great time, and this year the kids are doing a bike parade!  That should be fun to watch!

If you’re planning on taking it easy this year for the 4th, then this snack tray is the perfect way to watch the fireworks!  This festive little set up doesn’t take much work but totally allows you to munch while celebrating our independence.

4th of July snack tray ideas, 4th of July snack buffet, outdoor dining, red white and blue snack trayWhen sitting down to write this post I almost thought this is silly.  This idea is so simple I don’t need to write about it.  But then I realized that’s the whole reason I write this blog, to inspire small ways to celebrate every little thing.  So why not celebrate snack time, or a festive display for food on the 4th of July, or a way to present smores?

So that’s why today’s blog may be short, I had to share it anyway.  I hope it encourages you to take a few extra minutes to make something look nice while celebrating with others.

4th of July snack ideas, 4th of July snack buffet, outdoor dining, red white and blue snacksTo make this snack tray I found whatever I had that was red, white, and blue, and mixed it all together. I bought these little metal tins from the Target dollar spot a few years ago and they work so well for so many things.  They are a perfect size for snacks, but they make fun vases too. The dollar spot is a great place to get some seasonal or holiday decor inexpensively.

Snack Tray Food Ideas

I lined the bottom of the tray with some red gingham placemats from this party.  I made a salty and a sweet side of the tray and included some refreshing lemonade with garnishes.

Fun lemonade garnishes could be:

  • Fruit
  • Cucumbers and mint
  • Frozen flowers or herb ice cubes
  • Striped or festive straws

4th of July snack ideas, 4th of July snack buffet, outdoor dining, red white and blue snacksI just put out what we had on hand, pretzels, popcorn, and roasted nuts.  Other salty snack options could be:

  • Chips
  • Chex Mix
  • Trail Mix
  • Veggie chips

4th of July snack ideas, 4th of July snack buffet, outdoor dining, red white and blue snacksFor the sweet side, I used our ever present s’mores ingredients.  We always have them in our pantry.  Other sweet snack options could be:

  • Puppy Chow
  • Candy
  • Fruit Kebobs
  • Granola

4th of July snack ideas, 4th of July snack buffet, outdoor dining, red white and blue snacksSnack Tray Display Ideas

What I love about doing a display on a tray like this is that it’s so versatile.  This kind of display can work for snacks, but also would be a nice way to display condiments for a burger bar.  Or try it for toppings at an ice cream social.

4th of July snack ideas, 4th of July snack buffet, outdoor dining, red white and blue snacksIt’s also super portable.  Perfect for setting up on a food buffet, but then transporting outside when it’s time to watch the fireworks.  This is also a great way to make sure guests at your party are enjoying all the snacks, because you can just walk them around to each of them.

4th of July snack ideas, 4th of July snack buffet, outdoor dining, red white and blue snacksAnd lastly, putting a mini buffet like this together just goes to show that you don’t need a lot of space to entertain.  You could have your entire food buffet contained in one tray for a small gathering.  So not having the space is no excuse in my mind not to invite people into your home.  I once hosted a gift exchange in my dorm room.  Complete with a hot cocoa bar and dessert, so it can be done in small spaces.

I will say that that gift exchange in college was in my early days of entertaining so it wasn’t anything to write home about, but we created memories!  And I used crushed up candy canes to decorate the cookie platters, so I was trying, hehe.

I hope this encourages you to make a simple celebration more festive by adding in some red, white, and blue.  Just take your snacks out of their normal packaging and put them in a cute little container and you’ll be well on your way.

I hope you have a safe, festive, and fun Independence Day!

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Real Life Party: Kids Flamingo Birthday Party

I am so excited to share this party with you guys!  As I posted on Instagram, I’m going to toot my own horn a little bit with this flamingo birthday party.  Mostly because I feel like this party has a lot of Pinterest wins, haha!  Have you ever seen those Pinterest fails?  So funny.

My daughter is pretty obsessed with flamingos, mostly I think because they are pink.  You can see her flamingo themed room here.  But the love of flamingos carried over to her birthday party this year too, and I kind of took it to a ridiculous level.  Keep scrolling to see all of the details and a ton of pictures!

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Flamingo Birthday Party Decor

It was pretty easy to come up with a color scheme for this party as everything started with pink.  But in order to not have pink overload I mixed in a tropical twist with pineapples, palms, and a little green and blue.

I was able to find a mix of things over time since we had the theme picked out months ago.  So as I went to places like Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, and Target, I’d pick one or two things up.  It was nice to do it over a period of time.  However, I did kind of forget what I had as it got closer to the party and ended up not using a couple of things.

flamingo birthday ideas, flamingo cake, flamingo birthday activities, tropical flamingo partyI love using a piece of black posterboard for a “fake” chalkboard.  A little searching on Pinterest and you can be totally inspired to create your own masterpiece.

flamingo birthday ideas, flamingo cake, flamingo birthday activities, tropical flamingo partyflamingo birthday ideas, flamingo cake, flamingo birthday activities, tropical flamingo partyI used my tried and true balloon garland technique to make this installation above our outdoor couch.  See how to do it for yourself here.  And all you need to buy is one $8 piece of plastic to make it happen.

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Flamingo Birthday Party Tablescapes

We set up two different tables for this party.  A kids table on the patio where all 13 toddlers could sit to eat snacks and cake.  Plus another one inside where all of the food was.  These were a great focal point and allowed me to showcase the theme in a big way.

I used some short Ikea tables combined with my coffee table to create a table low enough for all the kids.  It’s super tropical and the place settings were a colorful combo.

Another Pinterest win was painting the leaves of the pineapples.  I’ve seen it several times on Pinterest, but didn’t do it until this party and they turned out great!  I’m now accepting recipe suggestions with all the pineapple at my house though, haha!

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As far as the food table goes, I wanted it inside to cut down on the bugs.  The party was hosted between meals so we just served some kid friendly snacks.

After digging through some of my party decor I found some fabric for the tablecloth and cups to put the popcorn in.  I really need to organize all of my party supplies so I know what I have before buying more.

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Flamingo Birthday Party Dessert Table

The dessert table area is what I’m really proud of, specifically the birthday cake.  I made the backdrop using some palm print wrapping paper and a flamingo party set I found at Michael’s.  Too bad I didn’t realize the words were all jumbled up before taking pictures.  Or that the green letters wouldn’t really pop in front of the backdrop.

flamingo birthday ideas, flamingo cake, flamingo birthday activities, tropical flamingo partyAs far as the actual dessert goes, there wasn’t anything too crazy.  I made the cake, got some cupcakes from the grocery store and plopped some flamingo toppers in them.  Then I put out the leftover cookies from the lemonade stand that didn’t sell.

flamingo birthday ideas, flamingo cake, flamingo birthday activities, tropical flamingo partyflamingo birthday ideas, flamingo cake, flamingo birthday activities, tropical flamingo partyNow, let’s talk about this cake for a minute.  I gave my daughter a few options of what she wanted her birthday cake to look like.  Several options were very elaborate, where I would have to hire someone to make them, and there was one simple one.  She chose the one simple one, surprisingly.  It was so simple that I figured I could make it myself.

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I used two vanilla boxed cakes and made each box into it’s own layer using an extra deep cake pan.  I then used this recipe to make my own buttercream icing and colored it pink.  For the feathers, I bought pink chocolate melts and melted them on parchment paper until they were soft enough for me to use the back of a spoon to squish them out into a feather shape.

The best way I found to melt the chocolate circles was to heat a sheet pan in the oven, then put parchment paper on it, and drop the circles on top.  After a couple minutes the hot pan melted the candy melts enough that I could smash them.  I think it turned out so cute!  It’s simple, but makes a big statement.

flamingo birthday ideas, flamingo cake, flamingo birthday activities, tropical flamingo partyflamingo birthday ideas, flamingo cake, flamingo birthday activities, tropical flamingo partyFor the flamingo head, I just cute out a piece of pink cardboard and drew a simple flamingo face on it.

Flamingo Birthday Party Activities

To keep all of those toddlers and kids entertained, I had set up a few activity stations in our backyard.  One was a flamingo ring toss, another a hand painting station, and the third a water gun cup race.

For the flamingo ring toss, I got lucky and found yard flamingos at the dollar store, so it didn’t cost much to get a bunch and put them in the yard for the kids to try and lasso with some rings.

flamingo birthday ideas, flamingo cake, flamingo birthday activities, tropical flamingo partyflamingo birthday ideas, flamingo cake, flamingo birthday activities, tropical flamingo partyI just love how the hot pink flamingos pop off the green grass.

We also blew up some large flamingo pool floats and put ball pit balls inside.  I didn’t get any pictures of it, but it was pretty fun to see those big flamingos in my backyard.  I’ll probably do another post on how we made the handprint flamingos too, because I was too busy to take pictures.

That wraps up this fun, colorful, and tropical party.  Overall I think everything turned out really well, but most importantly I think my daughter had a good time with a bunch of friends.

Tell me your favorite part of this party in the comments below!

 

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The Power of Cute Details: A Lemonade Stand Story

This week at our house is quite busy!  Between work events and one little girls fourth birthday, we also have our community garage sale.  And along with garage sales comes the childhood summer tradition of running a lemonade stand.

I remember setting one up at my mom’s garage sale when I was little and made a whooping $45!!!  I’m still blown away by that amount of money.  So to carry on the tradition, and teach our daughter a lesson in entrepreneurship, we diyed a super cute lemonade stand for her.

summer lemonade stand ideas, lemonade stand diy, lemonade stand decor, summertime ideas for kids, lemonade stand signsMy husband and I are both passionate about entrepreneurship and want her to know that if she wants something she can go out and get it herself.  If it’s not already waiting for her then she can create it herself.  And if she wants it, others probably do too, so she can sell to them and make a living doing what she loves.

Ok, now that I’m off the entrepreneurship soap box, let’s get back to the lemonade stand.  I’m always a champion of opening your home and inviting others in, without being fancy and even if you aren’t the most confident host.  However, there are times when adding some cute details, really makes the event extra special.

In this case, adding cute details to the lemonade stand can really drive interest and sales.  Adding a few extra things really made the lemonade stand stand out.  It didn’t take a lot of extra time or effort either which is the best part.

Lemonade Stand DIY

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We used this diy tutorial to make the lemonade stand.  It’s pretty easy with just a few crates you can get at any craft store or even Wal-Mart.  We made a sign for the top too, but it’s not necessary.

My recommendation for painting your stand is to use spray paint on the crates instead of rolling the paint.  The spray paint can get into all the nooks and crannies of the crates a lot better.

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Lemonade Stand Details

Now as far as adding cute details goes, you really just have to think of things that you’d like to see at a lemonade stand and then add them.  So a simple bowl of lemons and fun straws for the cups were easy.

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You’ll obviously need a sign so everyone knows how much to pay.  This was a quick, handwritten sign put into a picture frame to keep it displayed nicely.

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I also made a quick little bouquet of flowers out of tissue paper.  This took maybe 3 minutes with a few pieces of square tissue paper.  I just wrapped a craft pipe cleaner around the tissue paper and made a stem with it.  Then just shape the tissue paper into a flower shape.  Super easy for any kind of party or event.

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I also added some quick party decor.  Cutting triangles out of color coordinated paper and stringing them along the top of the stand really added a little extra pizzazz.

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Other great party decor options to dress up a lemonade stand are large paper flowers, tissue paper poms, or lanterns.

Even if you don’t use party decor, other small additions will make your lemonade stand stand out too.  Cookies or cupcakes, potted flowers on either side of the stand, fun cups or cup labels, or flavored lemonade are great additions.

We’ll be adding a platter of cookies when we are open for business and a pink lemonade option. One thing I still need to figure out is a simple way for my daughter to collect money. Drop your ideas in the comments!

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Hopefully these extra details and neighborhood advertising will be able to drive in more sales and help her reach more people.  A portion of her proceeds are going to go back to a local charity.  This should help her to understand that there are others that aren’t as fortunate as she is.

This little girl is pretty excited to start her first business!  But mostly I think she’s in it for the lemonade!

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I hope this encourages you to take a few minutes to add some extra details to whatever it is you do today.  Whether it be a party, just making dinner a little more special tonight, or even taking the time to chat with an old friend, adding special touches really can make an impact in someone’s life.

Be sure to check out my Instagram stories to see real time how she does running her business this weekend!  And check back next week for a recap of her flamingo themed birthday party!

 

 

 

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13 Weekly Summertime Toddler Crafts

Hi everyone!  I hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend and remembered those that gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.  Because Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer and kids being out of school I wanted to help with some ideas to keep the kids entertained all summer long.  So I rounded up 13 weekly toddler crafts that are perfect to try this summer.

More time during the summer means more time to celebrate the season and do things you maybe wouldn’t normally do during the school year. I definitely am not thinking about crafting with my toddler throughout the school year, are you?

sumemr craft ideas, toddler craft ideas, toddler crafts every weekWhile I only have a toddler and baby, my toddler still gets bored throughout the day. Without a plan, I have no ideas on how to entertain her.  There is only so much coloring she can do right?

So I decided to make a plan!  There are 13 weeks between her last week of preschool and the start of another school year.  I found 13 toddler crafts that will help to keep her occupied and give us some time to work on a project together.

I enlisted her help (and Pinterest) to find 13 toddler crafts that would be fun, age appropriate, maybe educational, and uses things we already have at home.

I definitely didn’t want to have to go to the dollar store and buy a bunch of stuff in the hope that we may use it one time for one craft.  Although the dollar store is a great place to pick up some of the items needed for these crafts.

I figure I’ll let her decide which craft she’d like to do each week and we’ll figure out a day that makes sense to sit down and do it.  And full disclosure, we’re already behind.  This is a no judgement mom zone, so if we don’t get to them all that’s totally fine.

Most are pretty easy and don’t take too much time to set up or make.  Some will need supervision while others are a do what you want kind of thing (aka, go play while I get something else done!).

13 Weekly Toddler Crafts to Last All Summer

1. Paper Plate Ring Toss

Found at A Little Learning for Two, this one is a simple set up and hopefully a game that will entertain for longer than a few minutes. Plus, my toddler could always use some help with hand eye coordination, or just coordination in general.

2. Cupcake Liner Fish

Found at I Heart Craft Things, these fish are cute and a good way to use up random cupcake liners.  I love how they are layered to give the fish dimension.

3. Pouring Station

We’ve done this pouring station before and it makes for a great activity on a hot summer day.  Learning how to stop pouring before spilling is a skill we’re still working on. Find it at Busy Toddler.

4. Painting with Pom Poms

We have so many pom poms, this will be a great way to use them up so I don’t keep finding them all over the house!  Find out how to do it at Crafty Morning.

5. Shaving Cream Colors

My daughter has been into knowing what colors mixed together make, so this is the perfect, and even better, mess free, activity to learn color mixing.  Find it at Best Toys 4 Toddlers.

6. Firework Painting with Toilet Paper Rolls

We’ve actually done this project once before and it turned out super cute!  The perfect thing to do around the 4th of July. Find it at Happiness is Homemade.

7. Sticky Paper Mural

I’m excited to see if my infant can play along with this craft.  I did have to go out and buy some contact paper. It’s a huge roll though so we’ll get to do this activity again and again! Find it at I Can Teach My Child.

8. Paper Plate Masks

These will be fun when my daughter decides she’s a scary bear, or a fast cheetah! Find it at Learn Create Love.

9. Ice Cream Math

Thought I’d throw in a purely educational craft also.  Find this one at Fun-a-Day.

10. Paper Bag Pinatas

To be honest, this craft may be more for me than it is my daughter because it just screams it’s time to party.  But she’ll get the candy once she breaks it open. Find it at Somewhat Simple.

11. Popsicle Stick Ballerinas

My daughter loves to do ballet so these little sticks are perfect to dance around with her. Find them at New Young Mum.

12. Paper Bag Jellyfish

Another paper bag craft because we already had those on hand! Find these jellyfish at No Time for Flashcards.

13. Handprint Color Mixing

Lastly, I included another color mixing craft, but this one is a lot more messy.  It uses multiple people to mix the colors, but I figure I’ll just have my daughter put one paint on one and another on her other hand then mix the paint together between her hands. Find out how to do it at The Simplicity of Learning.

There you have it!  A round up of 13 fun crafts to do all summer long.  Celebrate those slower days and fill an afternoon with a project that may just teach you or your kids something!  Which will you do first?

 

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Celebrating everyday!