A Knock-Out Nine year old!

As hard as I fought and cried and pulled out my hair to make time stand still, my little BB has turned another year older. I have often referred to her as a ray of sunshine in our family, and she still is that – but she is much more. In celebration of my BB turning 9, here are 9 things I love about this little monkey of mine!

Continue reading “A Knock-Out Nine year old!”

Throw A Mad Hatter Tea Party!

Happy Monday! Today I’m excited to welcome a special guest, Scott Grayson, who is sharing a FANTASTIC idea for that special little one in your life. This will be an event to remember! Take it away, Scott!
Princesses often get the spotlight at little girls’ birthday parties, but you can create a fantasy land without the pink dresses and tutus by hosting a party based in a different world. Host an Alice in Wonderland Mad Hatter tea party for your daughter and wish her a very merry unbirthday.

Basic Essentials

For a sophisticated yet whimsical party, use bright blues, yellows and pinks when decorating. Invitations, table cloths and streamers should be covered in flowers and chevron stripes. Easy extras include colorfully bound books, ornately shaped glass candy holders, fabric wreathes and bouquets of flowers.
Instead of using fresh or silk flowers, make a bouquet out of eight circle cutouts of crepe paper or cupcake liners. Flatten the circles in your hand and poke two holes side by side in the middle of the circle. Run a pipe cleaner through the holes and wrap the short end around the top of the long end of the pipe cleaner that will serve as the stem. Puff out the paper to make it a flower.


Obviously, the party must include several tea sets, colorful costumes for the girls to wear and a Mad Hatter birthday cake. If using ceramic or glass sets aren’t an option, consider using ones made of tin or brass. Dollar stores generally sell inexpensive sets you could lightly coat in pink, yellow or blue spray paint. Other birthday supplies and party must-haves include girly top hats for the guests to wear, “potions” in whimsical bottles for them to drink and hanging clocks wildly ticking along the way.

Party Highlights

Before sitting down to enjoy a nice cup of tea, the guests need to dress in the proper attire and have goodies to munch on. Set up a transformation station where the girls can decorate paper accordion style hats with stickers, glitter, buttons and glue. Once they have their hats, help them decorate cupcakes and cookies. Make hardened frosting decorations ahead of time so the girls can top their goodies with small tea cups, hearts, flowers, hats, clovers, clubs or spades. Using a toothpick and white and black frosting, help the girls make clock faces on their cakes or even spell out the words “EAT ME.”

Great Giveaways

Goody bags filled with playing cards, little bottles of potion and raspberry tarts will allow the guests to take a bit of the party’s fantasy world home with them. If you aren’t planning on using them for something else, give each girl a paper flower you made for decoration. For an activity and take-home souvenir, help the guests paint a tea cup of their own.

Memorable Moments

What they wear and what they eat will be party highlights, but the memorable moments will come from the activities in which the guests participate. Set up a scavenger hunt for the girls to complete or have them play croquet and a version of “Who stole the hearts?” For more active parties, design a tea-cup relay where the guests run back and forth trying to fill a teapot with a plastic tea cup filled with water. Instead of playing Duck, Duck, Goose, let the girls chase each other during Hat, Hat, Hatter. With the right sense of adventure, you can turn your Mad Hatter party into a wonderland.

Thanks to my guest, Scott Grayson, for sharing this fun and unique idea for a birthday party! We held a sort of impromptu tea party of our own, which was SO much fun! I’ll be posting photos soon! Have a great week!


Celebrating Six! A Piratey Party!

She is six! My baby is six years old. When I look at her every day, she is my baby. But then I see her next to a two or three year old and I see how tall she has grown and how mature she is beginning to look. Scary realization that I would love to back track and NOT have! 
But, the fact is, they do grow up and my children are no exception. Believe me, I have an almost-teenager in the house and I am reminded daily of how fast they grow.
Back to my sassy six year old! Happy Birthday, JJ!
As you can see, she completely surprised me by asking for a Pirate themed birthday party. Now, keep in mind, this girl is my girliest of girls. She is all about pink, lace, ribbons, bling, ruffles, and all things feminine. However, if you have ever listened in on her Barbie play sessions – she is also apparently all about peril. Her dolls are forever in life threatening situations, and maybe pirates play into that somehow. Yeah, we’ll go with that. Now, how to throw a pirate party for a girl? Hmmm….
First things first…you have to pull together a pirate-y outfit. She put most of this together herself. She had a vision and I let her roll with it. Convincing, no?

See that T-shirt? The pic is a little glare-y, but we took an old, stained white T-shirt, created a graphic with her name on the computer, flipped the image, printed it out on an iron-on sheet, and voila! A ready made pirate-flag T-shirt with a pink skull and cross bones. Perfect for your princess pirate! Oh, and a fake gold earring always  helps.
Her vest was made for a previous school musical by taking an old, second-hand brown T-shirt, cutting off the sleeves, cutting it down the middle of the front, and cutting some fringes into the bottom. Instant raggedy pirate vest. And just wait until you see the back! But first…some pirate mischief!
As you can see, when our kids disagree, we let them loose on each other….with weapons. They usually work things out on their own, eventually…and with minimal casualties.
BB’s pants were made from some old thrift store pants that we cut up. It’s so fun to go scissor happy on clothes. It makes me feel…naughty 🙂
Okay, see the back of the vest, now? A cute fuzzy vinyl iron on shape using my Silhouette machine! Love.
You also need some pirate grub. I figured that chocolate cupcakes with red icing would do the trick. Not exactly sure why, but red really works for pirates 🙂 I added some SAWEET cupcake toppers from this awesome website “Tattered And Inked” (hello, free download!)
After saving the free download, I opened the file in Photoshop and personalized them with her name and her age. So fun!

So, the preparations were completed and our scurvy pirate had to wait patiently for her pirate friends to arrive. Um, have I mentioned that “patient” isn’t in her vocabulary?

Eventually the cutie patooties arrive and the real partying (or pirate-ing) can begin!
The party started out with a Pirate’s favorite thing ever….a treasure hunt! TJ planned the entire thing, starting with the first clue and a back story of the evil queen who has too much gold. We planned to rid her of her excess riches 🙂

The first clue was found in the kitchen and the hunt was on! Each clue  led to a piece of a treasure map. So clever!

After all of the clues were found, they put together the pieces of the treasure map and followed its instructions implicitly!
Time to count paces!
I think they are getting closer! Wait! One of the pirates spotted something behind the bushes….what could it be?
It’s a treasure chest. Is it the queen’s?
Hooray!! It’s gold, gold, gold! Quick, fill up your bags before her soldiers come!
Way too much fun. They went crazy!

Next we had to see what “loot” the pirates brought for their pirate queen! First, she got the much-coveted “Merida” doll from “Brave”. She was beyond thrilled!
The gifts kept coming! She really loved this fluffy puppy that you can style her hair. So cute.

It’s a tradition to snap a photo with each guest after she opens their gift. The idea is to include the photo in a thank you card (when I remember to get them made) as well as a reminder to our girls as to who came to their party!
She got a wonderful array of gifts – most of which involved making, crafting, or creating! Love that!
Oh, and you can’t have a pirate party without a new pirate-y movie!
So, was her 6th birthday a smashing success? Absolutely. She loved it, the kids had fun, and we all felt satisfied afterward. Now, it’s time to make a wish, baby girl!

We sure love our six year old and can’t wait to be there to enjoy the rest of your birthdays!