Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cooper Turns 3!

IMG_6512 Now I’ve created an expectation. =) Not entirely..but I like to think so. That way I have an excuse to throw a big birthday bash for my son! Year 1 was pirates, Year 2 was Disney Cars, see here. Year 3…


It all starts with the invitations, right? As I was designing them, my husband kept hounding me, “Why are you spending time on something people are just going to throw away?” I have to admit, I did second guess myself. BUT…then moms began telling me how their kids had been playing with the invitations for hours, flying them around the house! Mission accomplished! My whole goal in planning my son’s parties is to make them FUN!


So, here are the invitations. I cut them out on my Silhouette. It was actually one of my first projects with it. Here’s the front, I used double sided tape to put the cute little ribbons in between the paper for the front and back pieces of paper.

Invites - front And here’s the back with the party details on it.Invites - Back - Blackout *Party Favors*

IMG_6490 Party favors doubled as part of the decorations. One side said To Infinity and Beyond! This bag is property of: and the child’s name. The other side of the bag had the following graphic (one of the 2, depending on the color of the bag): imageInside were all kinds of Toy Story goodies! I just purchased them here and there at Dollar Store, Michael’s, etc. as I found things cheap. =)

*Games & Decorations*

Cooper's 3rd Birthday 018 This welcomed people hanging from our front porch light by the front door. A floor puzzle held together in the back with duct tape. Thanks mom for the brilliant idea! And signs on the front door:Cooper's 3rd Birthday 014 I used Cooper’s toys to decorate, also a fun excuse to buy some new toys leading up to his birthday. I should probably note here that he doesn’t actually get a birthday present from us, just whatever is covered in his party. I don’t think he minds!Cooper's 3rd Birthday 008Cooper's 3rd Birthday 009Cooper's 3rd Birthday 011   We found a Slinky Dog bubble blower at Marshall’s for $7 that added some bubble fun to the party! And below is the banner my mom whipped up for us.IMG_6489

Bullseye’s Target Toss

(This was one of our “gifts” to Cooper. He does enjoy playing with it! The quality is fantastic.)IMG_6497

Cooper's 3rd Birthday 049 Parachute DropCooper's 3rd Birthday 015

I found these tangle-free toy parachutes…great idea! We also used these Toy Story Parachute Balls. They’re not super high quality, but they do fly pretty high, which is impressive when it comes to boys and parties. =)

Lasso/Ring Toss IMG_6498My goal had been to paint that cute little rocker to look like Bullseye…who was I kidding?! I now have a 7 month old daughter and am leading a MOPS program for 60 women! Ha! I’m doing good to be hosting this shindig! =) still a fun game.

The Claw Game

I found these awesome “grabbers” at Target, kind of like these, and we used them to play the Claw Game found on this website. Unfortunately, this is the best picture I got. Again, not like I was busy or anything. See the red in the corner?Cooper's 3rd Birthday 062 We also had this version out for the kids to play. It was fun while it lasted, but the “grabbers” are cheap and one broke a few days later. But, my son still enjoys playing it. Cooper's 3rd Birthday 026

 Photo BoothCooper's 3rd Birthday 015 Against the garage door (I wish I’d gone ahead and gone over the windows, too, but oh well)…blue wrapping paper and Toy Story shaped clouds cut out using my Silhouette. And, of course, some fun photo props!IMG_6483 Here are some of my faves from the day:IMG_6485 The birthday boy himself! Sooo sweet!IMG_6531Our own little Jesse herself! IMG_6532Woody & Bo Peep! I’ve got to give my husband credit for dressing up as “Woody”. His costume was da bomb though! Pull string and all, I mean, an actual PULL string!  IMG_6527 IMG_6539

IMG_6540 Some guests…good sports!IMG_6542 And last, but CERTAINLY not least…my in-laws, definitely good sports for dressing up for the occasion. Quite out of character, but very much appreciated. =) The CakeCooper's 3rd Birthday 035

I’m admittedly spoiled rotten. One of my best friends is amazing at making cakes! We obviously had to keep with the theme, but I couldn’t find anything I loved that was unique and creative. So, I came up with the idea of making the Claw Game. Originally, it was just going to be the red claw game part, but then we realized we wouldn’t have enough cake to feed our guests. So, we added the blue and clouds. I also made alien cupcakes as well. IMG_6493The cupcakes were seriously easy, so if you don’t have a cake connection, these rock! I love the details of the claw game.  Check out Buzz and Woody stuck underneath the claw inside the dome.IMG_6504AND..the blinking light at the top of the rocket?! (It’s a battery powered tea light underneath a clear, plastic easter egg half)IMG_6502  Here’s the birthday boy blowing out the candles…Cooper's 3rd Birthday 071 And one last picture of the cake, just because it’s so awesome!IMG_6499


I am certainly no seamstress! But, I got a sewing machine last Christmas, and am determined to learn how to use it. I want to be able to sew my kids’ costumes if they want me to. And costumes are the prefect practice pieces. So, the crazy woman that I am…I set out to sew my own Bo Peep costume. I couldn’t find one anywhere, and I’m picky about how my costumes look. So, I found a Simplicity pattern to follow. Not too shabby for not being a natural sewer…Bo Peep Comparison My only hiccup was purchasing the wrong size pattern. TAKE YOUR MEASUREMENTS, PEOPLE! Patterns are NOT normal US sizes. I’m normally about a 4-6, so I bought the size 6. BWHAHAHA!!! It might’ve fit my son. I ended up making almost a size 14!!! I bought my son and daughter’s costumes. Well, I added the cow print fabric I used from my husband’s vest to make little chaps for my daughter. So adorable!Cooper's 3rd Birthday 003Here’s the closest we got to a full body. You can see Allie’s little boots even!IMG_6510  Did I mention I’m picky when it comes to detail? Check out the gun holster I made for the hubs:Cooper's 3rd Birthday 066And last, but CERTAINLY not least, a picture from Halloween night capturing his pull string. I used one of those ID badge pull strings and sewed it into his shirt with a white ring. Cooper had a blast pulling it and making daddy say Woody phrases. =) What a fun memory!IMG_6566Here it is zoomed in so you can actually see it:IMG_6566Ooo..and I found his hideous yellow shirt at good will for a whoppin’ $3! Yay! 

I think that about sums up this year’s shindig! Here’s one final picture…as a reminder…that my goal is for my son to have an absolute blast! Without a doubt, success! Look at the smiles on him and his best bud’s face…IMG_6520

Monday, August 1, 2011

Adorable Invitations

IMG_5899 So, this is NOT Cool Summer Days related, but these invitations for a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) leadership retreat were too cute to not share. Remember the old school Cootie Catchers we used to make in elementary school? Well, here’s a twist to use them as an invitation! (found at Parents magazine)

You don’t have to follow these instructions to a T, but basically, I trimmed the edges of a 12x12 pieces of paper (just to be cute). Then, fold like an old school cootie catcher. Here are the instructions if you need a refresher. One side should look like this:IMG_5890 I purchased round labels and printed the words right on them, but you could just write them on (depends on how many you’re making, right?). This was the next step:IMG_5891 Then, I put the “need to knows” on the inside:IMG_5892 Then the specifics on the innermost part:IMG_5893 Fold it up, put it in the envelope, and mail away for a fun piece of mail. Who doesn’t love and appreciate that, right?

Good review for quiz type information too! As a teacher, I used to have my students make them to help study.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Blueberry Picking

Yay! Daddy joined us this time (dragging his feet a little bit at first, but then he really enjoyed the “great outdoors”). IMG_5888 Today was an example where I’m glad I put things on the calendar. I had invited some friends and quite frankly, if they hadn’t wanted to go, we probably wouldn’t have. But how cute is my family above? It was definitely worth getting off our lazy bums and getting out there! It was HOOOOT! But the blueberries were delish and hubby even found some yummy almonds, too!

Here’s our happy fam, kickin’ it in the shade (just ignore Allie’s Donald Trump comb over…it’ll be gone soon enough! hehe)IMG_5889

Friday, July 29, 2011

Dinner Delivery!

I’m getting better and better at delivering dinner for friends who have just had babies. Having received them myself, I know what a tremendous blessing they are! A few things I appreciated that were not necessary, but were FANTASTIC were…

#1. Something for the older sibling to eat. Let’s face it, while your casserole is divine, chances are, my 2 1/2 year old is not going to eat it and I will have to end up cooking for him anyway. So, included in my friends’ dinner delivery was mac ‘n cheese for her two boys:IMG_5867 #2. Include drinks! Again, totally not necessary, but certainly a fun treat. A friend of mine brought sparkling lemonade that was divine. This day, we chose to go the beer route for the dad. C’mon, they need deserve it, right?IMG_5869 #3. Include recipes. I received many dinners that were delicious and wanted to make them again! If you include the recipe, neither of you will have to hassle sending/obtaining said recipe. I know, may be a bit presumptuous, but fun nevertheless:IMG_5872 #4. Include enough for leftovers. Again, not necessary, but seriously, you’re already making enough for an army, right? ‘Cuz you’re gonna feed your own family as well (plus, you’re bringing dinner to a nursing mom! Who knows, she may gobble up the leftovers that night at midnight!) It will be appreciated. IMG_5873 #5. Just for fun, I included a “Distraction Kit” for the older siblings, so hopefully this new mom of 3 could have a peaceful moment. I included silly glasses, fun stickers, bubbles, and a few cheapy toys. IMG_5875 Again, these things are all above and beyond, please feel NO pressure if you’re delivering dinner to a friend. Know that the dinner itself is a Godsend. Even if it’s pizza! It’s a night where she doesn’t have to cook or do dishes. Hooray! But, if you haven’t done it before, consider it, it is a true blessing. =)