Unicorn Birthday

Unicorn Birthday!

Happy birthday to my September girls!

We celebrated our daughters’ birthdays Saturday with an Unicorn theme party.  Our daughters are obsessed with unicorns and rainbows, so when I suggested some options for a birthday theme this year (between a unicorn theme, Just Add Magic theme, or an emoji theme) they jumped at the idea of an unicorn party.

So.. where to begin with creating such a colorful party?..

 

The Invitation

Making the invitation ourselves is always a fun part of the party brainstorming.  As I have mentioned before, having an artist in the family makes creating things like invitations or decorations a lot easier.  I have a lot of ideas swirling in my mind but am not talented enough to do them on my own, so something that would take me days or cost me a lot, ends up being made in an hour and basically costs pennies using our printer.

We knew this invite had to have at least one unicorn on it and the kids caricatures.  I always like to incorporate them into the invite, it brings me joy and giggles. So this is what we came up with. The kids LOVED IT!

 

The Cake and Sweets Table

The first thing I bought for the party was the Unicorns are Real cake topper by Meri Meri.  Their designs are swoon worthy.  So when I found the cake topper at Marshall’s for $3.99 at the beginning of the Summer, it was just too good to pass up and became the theme of the party.  It was a huge score because that brand is uber expensive.   The pack was perfect, it had two unicorns, a rainbow and a sunshine, it was literally the party theme all in one packet.  The best was the following week when I swooped up the same theme Meri Meri party supplies at Homegoods…cupcake kit ($5.99), paper dinner plates ($3.99ea) and dessert plates ($3), gift bags ($5.99 for 8) and lunch napkins (2.99) and dessert napkins (same).  I had looked online to see if anything else was part of this collection and bought the I Believe in Unicorns banner to match off Ebay for $15.  I paired everything with coral/orange colored paper cups and rainbow striped table covers.

The cake itself was real pretty with the theme.  I ordered the cake from our go to bakery, Modern Pastry in Boston, and had it shipped to Medford to pick it up easily.  I ordered a chocolate cake with chantilly cream center draped in a light yellow whipped cream frosting that had a lavender ganache drip.  It matched the cake topper kit perfectly.  I did use the sunshine pick from the kit for the cupcake holder, it all worked out great.

Along with the cake, I had made some unicorn colored chocolate pretzels, fudge and ordered colorful donuts for those with food allergies. After we served cake (I don’t have any photos of it) I set up the table full of colorful candies.  You can see a few of them behind the cake, but the table was insanely stacked with candy.  I think I went a bit overboard with the candy this year.  Noted not to do that for the next one.

The girls (and their friends) loved it all.  The tables were wrecked in minutes, and snacked off of for a long time.

 

 

 

 

The Craft

The party craft idea came to me when my kids were watching YouTube videos on making slime at the start of Summer.  It made sense to incorporate that into the birthday, it’s glittery, colorful and can be played with over and over.

The girls and I started by making sample slimes to see what recipe made the best one in a group setting. We tried the fluffy kind with shaving cream (smelled great but the color wasn’t pretty), the adding glitter to white glue kind (the glitter kept flaking off during play), and the glitter glue kind (color was vibrant). We found that the simplest one using three ingredients (glitter glue, baking soda and contact solution) was the best one to make.  And once I saw how much slime we would be making per child, I got to work on what type of container could cart it home…jelly jars!

 

Decorations and Photo Background

For some reason when they decided on the party theme fluffy clouds were on my mind.  Idk why.  But I ran with it and started crafting fluffy cotton clouds for the main entrance and the photo booth/background.  Making the clouds was so much fun and so easy.  I bought foam boards from my local dollar store, along with cotton and crafting paper.  The clouds were drawn free hand (by me) and then cut out with a utility knife.  While watching some TV one night I glued on all the cotton balls in as uniform a way as possible..starting at the outside and lining them up and down on the inside.  After it dried, I cut out some fun Kawaii inspired faces to glue on top.

For the photo background I wanted it to be shiny and cheerful, and I also wanted to make one unicorn because I didn’t have one anywhere yet!  My husband traced out the unicorn form for me on foam board and I took the reigns for the transformation. With various paints, glitter and tissue paper the unicorn turned out pretty cute.  I bought two lavender plastic table covers and two opalescent door curtains for the background.  Then I painted a foam board with a rainbow and their names. My husband assisted me in tacking up a huge scrap bead-board panel to the fence.  We adorned it with the covers and screwed it all together, which worked out real great.

This annual birthday bash is a pretty big one. With it celebrating two kids at once, it has to be!  It is an all day affair with a ton of food, drinks and alcohol, foods and sweets, AND PEOPLE.  This year we had 24 kids and 21 adults, which can be overwhelming at times, especially with all those little hands and feet everywhere.

My top recommendations for parties large like this is:

  • set up variety of hands on food and drinks; things they can grab and go and can easily dispose
  • stage the party as spread out as you possibly can; space out games or jumpy house locations so there is a clear grouping around each activity
  • play games or activities that are easy to make and fun for all age groups
  • remember people roam around your house and yard when they are free to, so remove anything you cherish from around the house/yard that you don’t want broken or are easy to grab with tiny hands
  • plan for anything and everything; have band aids on hand, ice packs too, and make sure there are boundaries for the kids..like no wee lil ones in the bouncy house at the same time as the bigger kids
  • lastly, JUST HAVE FUN!

Having fun is key! 🙂

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We had a wonderful day celebrating these two cute kids Saturday, and I am so thankful the weather cooperated better than we had figured, the food was super good and the cake was delicious.  I’d say that it all went off without a hitch.  Which is always a good time!

Here are some random photos of the day!

 

I still can’t believe I now have a ten and almost twelve-year-old here. These girls are the best part of my life, and I love them more than anything in this world.   Happy Birthday, girls!  🙂

 

Thank you for reading!

xoxoxox

What a Fun Weekend!

Hey Everyone!

What a fun weekend!  So much fun!  Started off Friday evening with a fantastic date night; which was like a part 2 of our anniversary celebration.  As I mentioned last time, my husband got tickets to see Arcade Fire for our anniversary, but he also made surprise reservations for dinner beforehand, so we set up a sleep over for the kids with my parents and hit the town.  It was stormy when we left my parents, but it was looking promising as we drove down the highway, and then it soon looked worse.  But weather was not bringing us down. He took me to the Tip Tap Room by Beacon Hill, which was super fun and sooooOooo good…and a few minute walk from the concert venue.  The place was a buzz, super busy, but we had great service.  And great apps and dinner …and four drinks later, we walked down to the Garden. The rain magically stopped for us, which was great in my outfit and shoes haha, and we made it in time to see friends there.

As soon as we got caught up, which was super fast, we heard the band was starting to come out on stage.  WHAT A SHOW> so we saw them in 2014 when they were touring Reflekktor..and this show just blew that away, and that was pretty amazing to beat.  They played all the best tracks from Everything Now, peppered with Neon Bible (best album ever), The Suburbs and The Funeral.  When Regine sang Electric Blue the place blew up.  She is such a talent.  I love her. BUT the best was their encore of Wake Up.  It just blew me away and the whole place was a blaze during it.  SUCH A GREAT TIME, and I danced my behind off the whole time.  Sorry to the couple behind me! haha

 

^this is what I recorded of Wake Up.

Yesterday started as a crazy mess of picking up the kids, grabbing my car and getting who to dance and what to the recycling event in our town, all before having to go to our bffs son’s first birthday party. It was such a great time.  I can’t believe he is already one.  This year went by way too fast.   The crew had such a great time that I invited them over afterwards for drinks.  They brought a super fun game about memes, we never laughed so hard.  It was a pretty great Saturday..

Now today..I am trying to squeeze in some time for slime creating, caramel apple making and house deep cleaning because the girls’ big birthday bash is next weekend!  WOO!  Birthday party time..my fav time :).  I have a big week ahead of prepping!

Well, I am sad this weekend is already coming to an end, but I am super excited for next weekend.

Hope you are having a great weekend!
xoxoxoxxo

Mommy Chronicles.. Middle School already?

Hey everyone!

Well, I thought turning forty was my embarkation into my older self but…it isn’t. I actually love how I feel at this age. Forty rocks! (at this moment at least haha). But, it isn’t my age, it’s having a child starting middle school!!

Yep, middle school.

Ugh. This town starts Middle School at 6th grade.  Isn’t that too young!??  Hah

Whether I am ready for this or not, it is happening. Last month, as Summer was winding down, I was explaining the school year changes to my youngest daughter.  Where they were moving up in school. Basically about her sister’s big adventure ahead going off to middle school, a new school further away as she will be going onto fourth grade…so without her.

As I was talking through the situation, I started bawling my eyes out. Idk why either, I am so happy to see her growing up, and how she is growing, but the thought of her moving up to middle school so far away without her sister just made me feel how much she is actually …growing.  Up. She is growing up. 😦

I can’t believe my bubbly blue-eyed baby who once needed me to show her how to spell is now a blooming young lady. I can’t believe this FOR REAL.  How?  When? Where did all this time go?

Do my parent friends remember when they were knee deep in diaper changes, feedings, splashy baths, crazy defiant bedtimes and running after them thinking like that was the longest day of your life!?!  Now, blink an eye and they’re asking about interpreting dreams and growing out their hair.  0.0

So, here I am, forty, with a middle schooler who turns 12yrs in a few weeks and her baby sister who recently turned 10yrs. Which means I will have tweens by the end of the month.  The fact that she is a super bright, beautiful, wonderfully sweet, kind girl makes the thought of her growing up hurt less, but it hurts nonetheless. This is the first step of her moving into her own self, her first bits of her identity start now. It’s beautiful because it is pivotal in her preteen life to step further step by step, and  though watching her grow over these years have been some of the best moments in my life, it’s somewhat sad too. I just didn’t think the years would be passing by this fast.   I guess I just wish I could make time slow down.

But I can’t. 😦

Ok ok, no more moping over this.  I have a lot to look forward to…like tween GIRLS.

God help me!

Thanks for reading!

xoxoxox

Sun and Buns 2017

That is the official name I gave to our long Labor Day Weekend.  Because.. beach and bread.

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Ok, before I get into pictures of our weekend, I have to start with Friday. My husband and I celebrated 16 years of wedded bliss!  Yay!  We didn’t plan a lot around this Anniversary because we had originally planned to go up early Friday to Ipswich for Labor Day Weekend fun, but the temps were just too chilly for this sun lover to be anywhere near a beach, so we switched it last-minute to go up Saturday.

My husband wanted to surprise me with reservations somewhere since our plans changed. Success! He took us out to Fugakyu in Lynnfield. Which, btw, is one of my favorite local sushi places, and their drinks, well, let’s just say their scorpion bowl rocks. I was hung-over Saturday from just TWO!  Yes! Two!  Crazy tipsy ..but it was fun. Haha.

Before dinner the kids gave us gifts because they are my children, which means celebratory anticipation makes them itchy crazy.  They gave us two hand drawn portraits of us from our wedding photos, which were beautiful. They’re such good kids, and were so proud of their works.  My husband always surprises me, not one hint, and this year he surpassed my surprise by giving me the most beautiful colorful bouquet of roses and two envelopes.

…..Which had tickets inside….to two shows! Arcade Fire and Saint Motel!!!  He knows me too well! I was totally surprised cause I had been talking about going for like four months!  Yeeeeeeeeee.   We are going to have an insane time (we saw AF a few years ago and it was awesome!)

Yay! Sometimes I think about how long we have known one another, 21 years, and it only feels like five at times. Just crazy to realize that is just a fraction of our time. Like they say, time flies when you’re having fun. :))

Happy Anniversary to my greatest adventure!  :)))

 

Ok, so, Labor Day Weekend…  sun n’buns.  Sun.  Buns. SunBuns. This is still funny to me now! 

We got up to the house early Saturday afternoon, after grabbing more bread…of course. So glad we all communicate because next year I am bringing more bread. Smh. But seriously, bread is life.

Ok no more bread talk. But just to circle back to get you all in the loop if you didn’t get it, everyone brought up a ridiculous amount of bread for just three days.

Everyone was already up there when we arrived, which was great to make an entrance.  I had made jello shots beforehand, so we all cheered to an awesome weekend right before hitting the beach.  Which was fun.  (and a few on the beach)  The weekend officially kicked off…and away we go.

This has been a long weekend tradition for six years now. Our friends have a family beachfront house on Little Neck in Ipswich, and it is AWESOME. The whole house is literally on the beach, and the views from every room are spectacular of the Atlantic Ocean and Ipswich River.  We always have so much fun but this year was a tad extra special…our bff who had always missed out on the fun finally came up with his kids.  Long story short, he recently finalized his divorce from a ten-year fun-stifling marriage, so there you have it, we got our bff back.

Yay!

Here is the photo run down.

 

The Big Man’s 4-0!

Ice Cream Cake from Mad Maggies

Hey Everyone

Sunday was my husband’s birthday.. the big FOUR OHHH!  

Still can’t believe it.  We met 21 years ago on the eve of his 19th birthday, and here we are now both 40 year olds.  Craziness.  

So my husband. Here are some fun things you need to know about him… he is a real nice man, loves traveling and making me laugh, hardworking, great father, always level headed, extremely talented yet humble, which also means he is not big into being showered with gifts.  Especially for his bday or anything. It can be frustrating for me at times, cause I am all about the hoopla of gifts and birthdays..uhm, especially my own.  Does that make me narcissistic or festive?  idk haha I just like to celebrate everything because life is too short not to.

Ok, so as I was stealthily starting to plan a party for him he casually asked not to have a surprise bday during dinner… two months ago. Actually said, he didn’t want a party at all this year.    *frown face*  (I had thrown him a surprise bday for his 30th; I was 9 months pregnant with our youngest then..what a time!) After a week of moping, because it really did depress me for some reason, I think he saw how bummed out I was about that decision and he started coming around talking about having a get together. He kept stating he wanted no surprise and only his family and closest friends.  Ok I can live with that!  *happy face*

You ask and you shall receive, my love!

Some of the deets…

The cake.  So I got an ice cream cake on the sly, he may have asked for no surprise party but some things are better a surprise, right?  I ordered the cake from our fav ice cream place, Mad Maggie’s in North Andover.  The cake was one layer Coffee & Cookies and one layer Chocolate Chip.  Uhm, if you need to get an ice cream cake, I highly recommend Mad Maggie’s.  IT WAS THE BEST CAKE EVER!  And the staff was so great to work with.  Especially, if you have nut allergies.  They treat their cakes in the same manner as when they scoop it fresh..new clean scoops, they use the gallons of ice cream from the back and their cookie/fudge center is all made on premises, so there’s no cross contamination.  Which was a big bonus for us with our oldest daughter.

The restaurant. My husband picked Tulip in Stoneham because he really enjoyed it when we went two years ago. They have a big Sunday buffet set up, and its variety is quite good..plus it has a teppanyaki section so I liked it, too.  We had a great experience with the food Sunday.  We ended up in the smaller function room, and aside from the bad lighting in that space, it worked out great.  Everything from the buffet was fresh and delicious, and the drinks were pretty awesome, too.  I drank single scorpion bowls that were big enough for three ppl..which I had two because scorpion bowls, annnd I didn’t share.  haha Their Mai Tais were real good too, and I saw a lot of you with the tall versions, so I know you were happy hahah.  

What I am saying is we all were having a reaaaaal good time.  🙂 

During our drive home, he told me he loved every bit of his day.  He loves his family and best friends more than anything and his happiness is all I could ever ask for after all that he does for us.

Here are pix from Sunday.   

xooxoxoxoo

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Happy Birthday love!!

Thanks for reading!

Cape Cod – August 2017

Hey Everyone!
So.. our August trip down the Cape has come and gone.  Wow, this trip absolutely flew by…  super womp.  We tried our best to soak up as much fun as possible, seeing as this is the last big Summer trip.  For me that means to sunbath and drink by the ocean…  ahh yeas, my vacation style is pretty simple.  
Our time together was great; the kids had a lot of fun being kids swimming, collecting fish and shells, and we had a lot of fun relaxing, laughing and being on vacation mode. My parents came down for the day, which was fun and a nice way to end our trip.  On that same day my in laws, who were staying close by, came to visit too.  The kids were super happy about them all together to see them swim and do their pool tricks.  I was sort of nervous, cause we have never had anyone visit us over the past 6 years of going to that resort.  They are pretty strict about that stuff, but it was pretty great.  My parents loved it and talked about renting a room next year…  which would be a lot of fun. I love my family so much, you can see it on my face in the below pics.
The one snag this trip is that we had to change rooms..TWICE.  I know, it sounds like a huge pain but it wasn’t a huge issue because the rooms we ended up in were dreamy.   I honestly have no idea what happened, but the short of it is that our original room (ocean view) was booked that Sunday, so they hooked us up with beachfront view that first night.  Sick right?  Then for some reason that last night they contacted us to say they were moving us to a beach/river side view because someone had a complaint and wanted their old room,which is where we were staying (when? I have no idea).  Uhm, a free upgrade again?  Sure I am game!  We don’t spend that much time in the rooms anyways, and they moved our stuff for us while we were at the beach, so that didn’t hurt much either.  I loved everything about each move, so none of us were complaining.  (Ok, I may have bitched a tiny bit till I got to that sick room that last day haha)  
So here is our trip in photos.. each one is captioned.  
Thanks for reading!  
First Day
Day two
Day Three
Day four
Last Day

Weekend Getaway

Hey Everyone!
What a great weekend!
We took a drive up North to see friends who invited us up for the weekend; Well, we left after my husband’s job Saturday night and returned home last night around 7PM. This friend is my husband’s bestie from HS, and his family house is up in Weld, Maine, about 3.5 hours away, which isn’t such a bad ride. This was our third time together up there, once when our kids were 3yr and 1yr, and then last year.  We had such a great time last year, our kids especially. So much so, that we had to make this trip this Summer for the kids.
This trip was great.  I never relaxed so much in such a short amount of time ever.  Never.  My only goal this weekend was to enjoy some downtime with friends, eat and drink like I was 26, and maybe, maybe, get a tan.  We spent one full day there flanked by the two nights, and that one full day was literally the best Summer day!  It started off cool but then progressively got warmer and sunnier, till it felt like 85 by 11 AM(though it was only 76~).  Their house is right on Webb Lake, literally.  You walk out the back porch to a ten foot patch of grass then boom there is the sandy beach overlooking this massively beautiful lake and mountains-scape.  There were times Sunday that I was alone on the beach,  just getting lost looking at the view; watching an eagle fly by or listening to a family of loons squawking in the distance.    I’d then realize where I was and just get lost again looking at the sun glimmering off the water.  JUST PERFECT

Here is a slide show of the weekend.  You can click through or let it stream, that is up to you!  🙂  

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Next time you hear from me here I will be back to the Cape for one last Summer week away, ending the week with my husband’s big 40th bday party!  Wooo! Then it is our last Summer weekend with Labor Day and then IT’S BACK TO SCHOOL!  The girls go back September 7 this year.  We haven’t had an after Labor Day start since my oldest started Kindergarten.  Which is great!  Except it’s my baby’s big tenth birthday on the first day, which she keeps groaning about.  So I am going to try my best to make it the greatest first day of school ever for her.  On the flip side, my oldest is going into her first year at the middle school, and she can’t contain her excitement.  We literally haven’t had a day go by where she hasn’t talked about starting school- I had to take her supply shopping already!!  (She is an academically inclined kid, very smart, so she keeps telling me in a sweet way how much she likes Summer, but can’t wait for school to start cause she LOOOOOOOVES school.  Yes, she is my child!! tyvm).  
I can’t believe I just talked about back to school, it’s still Summer here!! No more jumping ahead.  
And.. Yup, I married a young one. :)~ 
Ok, tty all real soon!  xxoxoxoxo