Thursday, April 29, 2010

a "whale" of a time

The mascot for my daughter's pre-school is a whale- whose name is Orsen. Today at pre-school there was a trike-a-thon to raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and I wanted to bring a fun snack for all of the kids. I found the cutest whale shaped cheese crackers at target for $1 a box and put them in a regular beach pail. I used my alphabet stickers to write "Orsen says: have a whale of a time!" On the shovel I wrote "dig in." It was fun, easy and kind of snack!
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Monday, April 26, 2010


Today is my mom's birthday! Last year she turned 75 so I had fun putting together a variety of surprises for her. One of them was for her garden. I bought 75 impatiens plants and put them in small pots along a stone wall on her property. I typed up this quote: "Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience" by Ralph Waldo Emerson and cut out each individual word, put them on sticks, and placed them in 12 of the pots. As my mom walked passed the wall she saw all of the beautiful flowers and read the quote in its entirety. I thought this quote was perfect for the impatiens...but, this idea can be adapted by using different flowers (or even herbs), and a quote that pertains to the occasion or flowers. This idea can really work for any special occasion.
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Saturday, April 24, 2010

little red wagon & erin bell photography

Yesterday we had the wonderful opportuinty to work with Laurie from the Little Red Wagon and Erin from Erin Bell Photography. Erin got a beautiful shot of my son and captured my daughter channeling her inner hippie and enjoying a beautiful spring day while modeling some adorable hair accessories. Check out these beautiful heandbands, hats, hair clips and more at the Little Red Wagon's etsy store. To view more gorgeous photographs by the very talented Erin Belle check out her blog.

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

christening gift idea

(photo courtesy of Chasing Fireflies)
I recently received an e-mail from a reader that asked me for some suggestions for a christening gift. I love the catalog Chasing Fireflies and thought these adorable polka dot crosses would make a lovely gift along with this "First Prayers" book illustrated by one of my favorites, Tasha Tudor. I also recommended putting them in a monogrammed LL Bean Bag. What are your go to gifts for such an occasion?
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Monday, April 19, 2010

Out of Town "take-out" box

Did you know that I also offer Out of Town Baskets as a service for couples getting married in CT? I made these for a New Year's eve wedding. They were gold take out boxes filled with gummy sharks (the couple got engaged in front of a shark tank) for the "Sweet" and some sleepy time tea for the "dreams." There was also information about the weekend events tucked inside the box. I tied gold ribbon and star garland on the handles and hand stamped the message to their guests.
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Sunday, April 18, 2010

the very hungry caterpillar

Yesterday we went to the cutest birthday party that I had to share with all of you. The theme was "the very hungry caterpillar" and my friend Lauren included such fun and fabulous ideas.
When I asked her if I could share it on my blog she said she didn't mind because she found a lot of her ideas and inspiration from other blogs. There were pom pom caterpillars to find and personalized butterfly nets to catch them in. She also had a cute butterfly pinata filled with candy.

A caterpillar photo collage that had pictures of the birthday boy with friends that attended the party.

The food table was amazing. She had all of the food from the book labeled with words from the story.

Lollipop favors with personalized stickers.

And the cutest caterpillar cake! Thanks for such a fun party and for sharing your ideas, Lauren! We loved it all.
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Saturday, April 17, 2010

martini kit winner

The winner of our Martini Kit is Suzan who wrote "I've been following your blog for a few weeks and LOVE the creativity. I particularly like the party themes and am impressed by your attention to detail!" Congratulations Suzan! Please e-mail ( me with your address and I'll put it in the mail next week.
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Thursday, April 15, 2010

a pocket full of kisses

(photo courtesy of Barnes and Noble)

Here is how I turned the idea into a gift for a friend having her second boy. I used this book as the inspiration. It is about a raccoon named Chester that feels a little left out when his new brother arrives. His mother gives him extra kisses (for his pocket) and her gesture makes him feel much better. I wrapped and numbered the gifts and sent them off to my friend in CA. I told her what I had done for my daughter's visits to the hospital and let her decide when and where would be best to give these gifts to her son. Along with the book I sent a big brother t-shirt, a stuffed Chester, and a bag of Hershey kisses. The book alone, maybe with a pair of pants and some Hershey kisses tucked into the pocket, would also make a sweet gift for someone.
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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

going from 1 to 2

It seems like a lot of my friends have just had number two or are expecting their second child soon. I thought I would share what I did to help the transition of becoming a big sister for my daughter. Her birthday was two months before my son was due and she received a bitty baby (American Girl) doll as a gift. Since I was having a scheduled c-section and knew I was going to be in the hospital for 4-5 days I bought small gifts for my daughter - from her new brother- for each day that she visited me in the hospital. I put them in take out containers and labeled them each with a number. Then before she came to see us each day I pulled out the box and left it for her to open. Inside the first box was an "I'm a big sister" t-shirt that I got here. The note read "I know you are going to be a fantastic big sister! Love, Finn." For the following days I got her small things for her baby doll. The second box had a blanket for her doll. The third box had a little stuffed lambie (my daughter has a stuffed lambie that she used to carry around with her everywhere) with a note that read "because every baby needs a stuffed lambie." The fourth box had some new pj's for her baby doll. She loved the gifts from her little brother and she adores him to this day.

Another idea that is similar to the doll is to have your first born go to Build-a-Bear to make a new teddy for himself and maybe one for his new sibling too. Then the gifts could be new items for his bear. They have diapers, bibs, and even booties available for the bears! Later this week I'll share a gift I gave to a friend using this similar idea.
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Monday, April 12, 2010

paint cans

Since the children would have a few items to take home at the end of the party I stamped some plain white bags with an Eiffel Tower and attached tags with each child's initials. In each paint can I put two chocolate crayons, clay, paint, mini crayons, play doh, and (since they all were covered in paint by the end of the party) some bath gel in the shape of a crayon.

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I am thrilled that my Monet party is featured on Party Perfect today. Thanks Sara! Check it out here.
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Sunday, April 11, 2010

let them eat cake

Since this party was from 1:30-3:30 I only served snack foods. You can see my daughter running through the first picture with a handful of popcorn! I offered chips, pretzels and popcorn which I served from large white paint cans (I added some ribbon detail to the bottom with a glue gun). I kept the decorations for the cupcakes simple by making paper flags with scrapbook paper, and attempted to make Eiffel Tower shaped sugar cookies which were a challenge- but, tasted pretty good! I also had some fresh strawberries and water and lemonade.
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Saturday, April 10, 2010

"olive" a good party

Today is my 1ooth post and my daughter's birthday so I thought I would celebrate with a giveaway. I have a little martini themed party kit with 8 invitations, olive shaped foam coasters, and paper umbrellas for your drinks along with a favorite martini recipe. I was totally new to blogging when I started last summer and have really enjoyed having a place to document all of the little projects that I am working on. Many thanks to all of my friends and followers for reading and commenting. I am delighted if any of my ideas inspire you. I really enjoyed my last give away and even though I only had 7 participants, I loved reading each comment and got the sweetest thank you note from the person who won (thank you Lorelai). I have also started a facebook page if anyone is interested in becoming a fan or learning more about what is going on here behind the scenes. To enter this giveaway please comment below. You can ask me a question, tell me what else you would like to see on this blog, or become a follower. All comments must be made by midnight EST on April 16. A winner will be chosen at random and announced on Saturday, April 17.
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monet party favors

For party favors we gave our guests petite gumball machines, clear paint cans filled with art supplies, mini canvases and easels, and homemade coloring books with a small box of crayons.
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Friday, April 9, 2010

ice cream

I am sure that most of you already know this tip- but, just in case...I thought I would share. A couple of hours or even the day before your party scoop ice cream into cupcake liners and place in muffin tins to freeze. When it is time for cake and ice cream place one serving in each bowl add sprinkles and serve. It is already in perfect portions and saves time when you have hungry kids waiting for ice cream. I stamped the spoons with Bon Appetit for my daughters party tomorrow. I'll post all the details next week.
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Thursday, April 8, 2010


My daughter brought these treats to Pre-school today to share with her friends. Since I have to bake cupcakes on Sat. I thought that bringing munchkins in to school would be fun and easy.
To dress them up a little I put them in small, white cupcake liners and made round circle flags with some craft paper and a med. round hole punch. I put a "4" sticker on each one. I used the glue gun to attach the circles to toothpicks to make it easy to insert into each donut hole. I also made some chocolate covered strawberries and used the same sprinkles, cupcake liners and tray to keep everything uniform. A fun and simple treat for any occasion.

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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

eiffel tower

Instead of doing a formal photo collage of my daughter for her birthday party, I decided instead to hang pictures of her on my over sized Eiffel tower. I choose pictures of her crafting and had fun going though old pictures to find ones of her covered in finger paint or barely peaking over a child sized table experimenting with crayons for the first time. I used tiny clothespins to hang the pictures on the Eiffel tower and even added some of that scrapbook paper to add even more detail. I think I will probably have this outside of the party room with balloons attached to the top so that our guests will know where to go.

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Monday, April 5, 2010

you're invited

When I started planning my daughter's birthday party I found a wonderful place near by that offered art parties for a very reasonable price. I went to visit and saw the classroom where the party would be held. The room had one whole wall painted a lovely shade of lavender. After I left I started to think of what colors I was going to use that would compliment the lavender and still tie into my arts & crafts theme. Then I thought "Monet's Water Lilies." I am lucky enough to have seen the actual water lily painting in Paris and it has always been one of my favorites. For the invitation to the party I used craft paper printed with the water lilies to make post card style invitations. I used one of Martha Stewart's craft stamps for the "you're invited" part and then filled in the rest with a complimentary colored pen. That lavender wall was the inspiration for my daughter's party. Isn't it funny how something that simple can pull everything together.

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Saturday, April 3, 2010

easter flowers

I just wanted to share the simple flower arrangement I made for Easter this year. Fresh orange tulips in a vase surrounded by jelly beans! The bunny topiaries are actually candles that I bought from a boutique years ago. The carrots perched on teacups are also candles. Wishing you all a wonderful holiday and may the bunny bring you something sweet. Next week, I'll start posting the details of my daughter's upcoming birthday party and I am planing another giveaway for my 100th post. So stay tuned!

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Thursday, April 1, 2010

don't forget to brush

(photo courtesy of AlmaderAlley)

Last week a friend of mine asked me for suggestions for favors for an Easter party that she was hosting. One of the ideas that she loved was to give each guest a toothbrush and attach a gift certificate to a candy shop. I think this would be adorable for a child or an adult and would look darling at each guests place setting. I found this perfect jelly bean toothbrush here. A favorite source for candy and sweet gifts is Dylan's Candy Bar. But, if you are lucky to have a local candy store nearby it would be even better!
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some bunny loves you

Look at the adorable petite bunny boxes I found. They remind me of little french casserole dishes. I filled these with mini eggs- because they are delicious and they matched the colors of the bunnies perfectly! I wrapped them in cellophane and added cards that read " to some bunny I think is really great" and gave them to my daughters pre-school teachers. Since I once was a teacher, I know how much effort goes into each day and I remember receiving little gifts here and there from my students that always used to brighten my day. I hope this little gesture did too.
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