Archive | Summer

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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Festive End of School Summer Party

Well, my first born has officially completed her first year of Preschool!  Now it’s time to celebrate summer!  I’m equally excited for the freedom, and nervous to have her home all the time, haha!

I wanted to do a little end of year celebration and thought you might want to incorporate it into your end of year chaos too.  Why is it that there is always so much going on in the month of May?  School events, graduations, beginning of summer, vacations start, it’s never ending!

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End of School Summer Themed Party

It’s always a good idea to throw a party!  Why not one for the end of the school year?

It doesn’t take much to make kids happy.  I mean they’re already not having to go to school anymore.

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For my little party, I set up a station that I think all kiddos would love.  I included some summer essentials.  You know, water to hydrate, sunscreen to keep the burns at bay, and sunglasses mostly for the cool factor.

Doing a little station like this doesn’t have to cost you much at all.  Use things from around your home that are summer related.  Or do what I did and hit up the dollar store.  I probably spent $4 for all of this.

Making a fun, decorated station will make the simplicity of the get together more exciting.  Kids will think everything looks so fun, they’ll be playing for a long time.  Read, out of your hair for awhile 😉

I found this cute palm print melamine tray at the dollar store and it’s perfect for corralling a bunch of summer stuff.  Or you can use it to serve some festive refreshing drinks or snacks from. Plus it matches the fun palm print wrapping paper backdrop.

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The best sunscreen!

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Summer Party Snacks and Activities

As evident from our recent road trip, my daughter is a snack queen.  Literally every time she was in the car she was asking for a snack.  She could have just eaten the largest meal of her life, but required a snack once we were on the road.  She just kept saying, “but I’m supposed to have a snack!”  I guess we should have told her it wasn’t a requirement just because we were in the car.

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I think most kids love snacks more than meals, especially at a toddler age.  So you can’t go wrong including some snacks in your summer party.  I used some popsicles we had in the freezer since last summer.  Other great options would be fresh fruit, ice cream, cracker jacks, or popcorn.

I also spent a couple dollars at the dollar store to replenish our water guns that have broken.  My daughter calls them “shooting things” but loves using them in the summer.

Invite classmates or neighbors over and have them squirt each other.  Or give the kids instructions to squirt the plants and you’ll get your watering done by someone else.

For only a couple dollars the kids will be entertained and cooled off for hours.

I hope this summer party has inspired you to put a few things together for your kids to help kick off summer.  When are you done with school?  Or are you already enjoying the freedom of summer?

 

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How to Keep Bugs Away from Your Summer BBQ

I recently asked my Facebook followers what they needed help with when it came to hosting a summer bbq.  An overwhelming number of people wanted help with how to keep bugs away while enjoying your bbq outdoors.

This response kind of surprised me. Since living in Colorado I don’t feel like we have too many bugs, so it’s not usually a concern for me.  However, I thought I’d help to tackle this problem and give you all some great outdoor summer bbq tips for keeping the bugs away.

I did a little research and came up with six ideas on how to keep the bugs away from you, your food, and the area of your bbq.

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1. Make a DIY Bug Spray

I tend to stray away from the typical aerosol bug spray and sunscreen because of a lot of toxic ingredients.  The good news is it’s easy to make your own versions that are just as effective.  We use Young Living essential oils and they make some great ingredients to make your own bug spray.

Here’s a simple recipe to try:

  • 50 ml witch hazel
  • 50 ml water
  • 10 drops peppermint
  • 15 drops citronella
  • 10 drops lemongrass
  • 10 drops tea tree

Just mix them all up in a spray bottle and you’re set.

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This is all of the oils I had on hand, so it looks like I may need some more before summer starts!

This is a great blend to spray on yourself.  But I love the idea of spraying it on your outdoor furniture as well.  The strong scent of the oils will help to keep the bugs away.

2. Herbs will Deter the Bugs

Another way to keep the bugs away from the area of your bar-b-que is by planting or using herbs.  The smell of the herbs detracts the bugs.

outdoor party ideas, bug free bbq, how to keep bugs away from food, outdoor dining ideas, summer bbqIf you already have an herb garden, try incorporating it into the decor of  your summer bbq.  Or if you have a mobile herb garden in pots or jars, move them to the area where people and food will be to deter the bugs.

Some great herbs to help deter the bugs are: lavender, basil, lemongrass, and lemon thyme.  These would all make great decor around your food platters or on your food buffet.

3. Keep Bugs Out of Your Food with Containers

I love the idea of re-purposing a large drink dispenser as a food container.  The best part about using them is that they have a lid.  The lid will keep bugs from flying right into and landing on your food.

Try putting salads, slaw, fruit, or any other cold side dish in a large drink dispenser and pop the lid on top.

4. Food Covers are Great at Keeping Bugs Away

For the items that can’t go into a large jar, use a food cover to place over the entire platter or dish.  This method may not be foolproof, but it will help keep some bugs away.

I really like using these large food covers because they fold up and are easy to store when you’re not using them.

5. Cover Your Drink Too

Food isn’t the only thing that attracts bugs, but sweet drinks do as well.

I vividly remember dealing with this when I was younger.  I was drinking a soda outdoors at an event when I was about 12 and took a drink of my soda. Before I swallowed I felt something odd in my mouth.  I spit my drink out and low and behold but a bee had flown into my soda and was just swimming around in my mouth.  Thank goodness it didn’t sting me and I’m not allergic, but can you imagine if I were?

So, all that to say to cover your drink!

Adding a colorful muffin liner to your straw is a great way to cover any glass, can, or bottle.  Plus it will help you distinguish whose glass is whose.

Or you can buy these mason jars that have lids that allow a straw to go through the lid.

6. Cover the Trash Can

Another place that draws bugs is the trash can.  Half eaten food, sweet drink containers, and lots of smells makes this area a bugs dream.

The two biggest pieces of advice I can give you on this topic is to keep the trash can in a location further away from where people are congregating.  Not only to help keep the bugs away, but also because your guests probably don’t want to smell that either.

Also, use a trash can with a lid.  Doing so will help to keep the smells in and the bugs away.  Plus, when the lid no longer closes you know it’s time to empty the trash!

I hope some of these tips were useful in getting you prepared to have a bug free summer bbq this summer.  If all else fails, there is always the option to have your bar-b-que indoors too, haha!

*Affiliate links used throughout this post.  By clicking on the links I may make a small commission from your purchase with no additional cost to you.

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Celebrating everyday!