Liv will be TWO in less than one week! I forget how quickly her little birthday comes following the holidays (I suppose it will become old habit once we’ve done this a few years in a row ) but I have kept a Pinterest board with her name on it for the last few months to bookmark any favorite ideas.
The invites are finished and went out with our Christmas cards. Just a few close family and friends. The decor awaits final decisions, but this is always the best part!
My theme is pink. Simple, easy, full of potential.
This next week will be filled with late night craft projects and a little bit of prep. We are laid back folks over here – hardly a menu planning list in site, though I’ll probably make a special dessert (I’m even thinking strawberry shortcake) a day or so in advance.
I love to plan little parties, it may be one of my favorite extracurricular activities all year and I’m already seeing tissue paper and striped straws and paper flags in my near future… will keep you posted!
PS please forgive my terrible rush with this post, today has been pouring over with back-from-the-holidays make up work. To find the credits for all of the above gorgeous photos, head over to Liv’s 2nd Birthday Pinterest board.
Tags: Kids Party
Posted in Family & Friends, Inspiration Board, Olivia | 3 Comments »
I haven’t had much time to blog about the different types of handmade gifts I’ve been working on, but just in case you’re scrambling for a certain someone on your list, here are four more semi-DIY gift ideas that ended up under our tree for family and friends.
I put this kit together for three special toddler-aged boys and I hope that it’s something that will inspire fun living room camping (a favorite past time of mine!). All of the above was placed in a muslin bag and labeled with ‘Fort Kit’ in stamped letters (similar to the Felt Town Kit below).
This was so easy to assemble and while I relied on Amazon (my best Christmas friend) for many of the above components, you could find most of these goodies around the house, at the Dollar Store or local home improvement center. My kit included: a flannel blanket to build the ‘fort’, rope and little suction cups to keep it assembled, a camping book to snuggle up with, a mini lantern to read and play by, glow-in-the-dark stars for star gazing, glow bracelets for fun and a chalkboard sign to post outside. You could also include: clothespins, zip ties, rubber bands, twine and a flashlight or head lamp (instead of a lantern).
Cocktail Kit (French 75)
This little semi-DIY project could really be for any favorite cocktail. It’s all about assembling each piece of the chosen drink (including garnishments and maybe even tools or glasses) in one sweet presentation so that the giftee might even be able to enjoy their drink when opening. Perfect for a hard-to-shop-for guy in the family, for the novice bartender or as a hostess gift. I created a Bloody Mary Kit one year for Kevin (complete with unique pickled oddities that are only for the true connoisseur) and discovered that a Cocktail Kit can be pretty easy and fun to assemble and create – even last minute.
A girlfriend and I attended a cooking class together where we learned how to make a delicious lemon, rosemary and gin French 75. To remember the night, I assembled a ‘French 75 Kit’ and went ahead and premade some of the more intricate ingredients for her. This included lemon-infused gin (I used a bottle from this project and added lemon rind directly to gin from our own bar) and rosemary-infused simple syrup (same style of bottle, but to make the simple syrup boil 1 part sugar and 1 part water with your herbs, voila). Extra ingredients like sugar for the rim (used an extra jar from this project) and lemons for garnish were thrown in for fun. The final ingredient? Champagne.
The label on the front of the box offered the recipe and a list of the contents inside.
Personable and unique!
Here is an easy kit that involves assembly only. I have an Aunt who is an avid letter writer with a recently engaged daughter, and I thought that a self-inking address stamp and cute stationary would be the perfect combo for her to stay on top of pre-wedding notes, invites and thank you cards. The stationary is from Paperie and the address label from this Etsy seller (love the cute little bag they provide, too).
I dressed it up in a brown box and twine! My favorite wrapping combo this Christmas.
Felt Car Kit
Liv pulled her buddy Isaac’s name for our annual gift exchange amongst friends. We made him a little felt town and car kit – complete with what I hope looks like a firehouse, Church and pond – for him to play with while on the go (running errands, doctor’s office, appointments, etc).
The only permanent pieces are the below road sections:
The houses, big sun, fishies, trees and other decor are all movable to build different ‘towns’, though the small little pieces that make up each of the buildings are glued together as well. Bonus part? Felt has become a staple in our household (since this felt Christmas tree project) and most of the materials needed were already on hand.
Melissa & Doug wooden cars help bring the town to life:
and a muslin bag makes carrying around and storing the felt car kit easy.
There you have it! Four more ideas that will hopefully make last-minute gift giving fun and easy this year. You can also check out the Cupcake Kit, Rosemary-Infused Olive Oil and Lavender & Lemon Sea Salt projects that we tackled in early December for a few more ideas.
Tags: Christmas, DIY, Kids Party, Parties & Entertaining, Recipes, Tutorial
Posted in Crafty Solutions, DIY, Gift Guides, Handmade Gifts, Holidays, Parties & Entertaining | 5 Comments »
And they’re gluten free. But don’t let that deter you my wheat-eating comrades, these guys are amazing.
My good friend Anna recently threw a party for her son’s 2nd birthday and featured these chocolate treats as the dessert.
They were so delicious. Rich, moist, flavorful and – dare I say, healthy? okay not quite, but with ingredients ranging from your traditional sugar and eggs to mashed ripe bananas and nay a stick of butter in sight, I’m counting it.
After discovering hers and her son’s intolerance to gluten and dairy, Anna has found ways to substitute key ingredients in delicious recipes to create yummy meals. The secret behind these doughtnuts? A fabulous cookbook that she recently lent me by Silvana Nardone, editor-in-chief of Everyday with Rachel Ray and author of Cooking for Isaiah (check out Silvana’s daily blog here):
Other than the unique flour blend that Silvana has created (which I’m thinking I can substitute with white flour – funny that I’m trying to re-gluten a gluten-free recipe?), the ingredients are basic: eggs, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, baking powder, ground cinnamon, salt and bananas.
Banana Doughnuts (from here)
Makes: 12, Prep Time: 15 minutes, Bake Time: 15 minutes
1¼ cups Silvana′s Gluten-Free Flour Blend
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1½ cups mashed ripe bananas (3 bananas)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ cup vegetable oil
Preheat the oven to 350 °. Grease 2 nonstick, 6-count doughnut pans. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon. In a small bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, eggs, 1 ¼ cups mashed bananas, 2 teaspoons vanilla and the oil. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined. Spoon the batter about three-quarters full into the prepared pans. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted comes out dry, 12 to 15 minutes; let cool completely on a rack.
¼ cup boiling water
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chopped (about 1 cup)
2¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
1½ tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Stir together the boiling water and chocolate until melted. Sift in the confectioners’ sugar and add the corn syrup and vanilla; stir until smooth.
Set doughnuts on a rack over a baking sheet. Dip the doughnuts in glaze and set on the prepared rack; top with sprinkles. Enjoy!
Yum. And more photos from the adorable birthday party!
Favorite details include paper lantern hot air balloons (holding little dinosaurs who are each peering over the edge) hung up in the trees and a scrabble mat that doubled as a brightly colored tablecloth (above).
Happy Birthday Mr. Gavin!
PS he’s Kevin and my’s godson, which gives me even more bragging rights.
So handsome. This is my favorite picture from the day.
Have you been surprised by any alternative ingredient recipes lately? I must try these doughnuts again soon.
Tags: Decorating, Desserts, Green, Kids Party, Parties & Entertaining, Red, Yellow
Posted in Family & Friends, Weekend Fun | 4 Comments »