My Little Monster’s 3rd Birthday

My first baby girl adores monsters. At the age of two we let her watch Monsters Inc. Now, I know that to some of you that immediately puts us in the category of bad parents but you don’t know our Little Duck. So deciding the theme for her 3rd birthday was easy. I didn’t want to just do Monsters Inc. Both because it would have been impossible to find the decorations but also because Little Duck asked for a pink party with monsters. As always I hit up Pinterest and found everything I needed and more. I’ll go through each picture of the party we threw but here is a link to my board. http://pinterest.com/bittyboptoppers/little-monster-birthday-party/

The hardest part about planning this birthday party was realizing I didn’t have the time or the funds to do everything. So many wonderful ideas, so little time/space/money/skills….you get the idea. So I started with something I knew I could do. The birthday girl’s hat. I searched tsy for the perfect pattern and found one on RAKJ patterns. I love the bobbles and I could immediately picture it in pink. Plus it uses cotton yarn which I absolutely adore working with (this may make me a leper in the crochet community, but I don’t care! I love how clean, crisp and bright it can look). You should be able to get to her Etsy shop by clicking on the picture..

Jovie's 3rd Birthday 065Little Duck modeling her birthday hat. This actually a fantastic picture of her. Like her father, she seldom poses for real.

For decorations I kept with a pink and green theme. I covered the playroom floor with plastic table clothes and taped them down to the carpet. We had a water play table and allowed the kids to eat in there so this made for SUPER easy clean up later. I stole borrowed some white roll paper from my work and taped it to the wall. I then drew random monsters for the kids to colour in later. What kid wouldn’t love being given permission to draw on the wall! my deepest apologies to the parents whose children attended if this created confusion when the children returned home. My husband works at a small college so I guilted had two college students generously volunteer to come do games with the kids while I was getting food ready for everyone. They played simple easy games like Monster Says.

This part was so much Fun!

This part was so much Fun!

The playroom decorations

The playroom decorations

My favourite part about executing this party was the food. The kids and adults both loved it. From the Monster punch drank out of cups with googly eyes (Green Monster Margaritas for mommies and daddies) to the fingers and toes, everything was tasty and fun to eat. My personal favourite were the Monster eyeballs-especially the cookie dough ball ones!

Food break down: Monster Punch-Orange pop/vanilla icecream float in a punch bowl; Monster fingers-mini corndogs; Monster Toes-chicken nuggets; Monster Eyes- Chocolate chip cookie dough balls, m&m kisses pretzels, two bite brownies with pink icing; Fruit bowl-watermelon cut out with teeth, orange halves and grapes for eyes.

Jovie's 3rd Birthday 006                  Jovie's 3rd Birthday 035

                  

For party favours I crocheted each guest their own little monster and then included some monster eyes, stickers etc. For the photo op we made a little booth with a monster picture and a hole making it look like the kids were in the monster’s mouth. This was not exactly how I had wanted it to turn out. I unfortunately threw it together last minute and it turned out smaller than I wanted it to be. But the kids still had fun so that’s really what matters!

Roar!

Roar!

I had fun making each of these little guys for the guests to take home.

I had fun making each of these little guys for the guests to take home.

Little Duck talked about this party for months! She had so much fun and it was a proud mommy moment when she thanked me making her feel like “the best girl in the whole city!” As much as she loved all the elements of the party, the most memorable was the cake. I wish I could take credit for it but my hubby’s co-worker made it. She did an amazing job and I’m glad I chose to buy one instead of tackling it myself. It will definitely be hard to top this cake!

What do you think 3 year olds wish for on their birthday?

What do you think 3 year olds wish for on their birthday?

Amazing job by hubby's co-worker, Ellen
Amazing job by hubby’s co-worker, Ellen

If You Believe It- and ask for it for it for your birthday and christmas for eight years- You Can Achieve It!

For eight years straight when my birthday or Christmas would roll around, I would ask for one thing: a sewing Machine. Any sewing machine! As long as it could sew two pieces of fabric together I didn’t really care about the bells and whistles.

I started for it asking when I was in college. That was near the end of my bohemian phase and I was starting to look for another outlet for creativity besides decorating my room with scarves and beads. Maybe my mother thought that since we always had access to my grandmother’s sewing machine then I didn’t need my own. For whatever reason I did not receive a sewing machine during my college years. I suppose I could have bought one but I was saving for a wedding so it seemed sort of low on the list of things I needed to buy.

After I was married I asked my husband for a sewing machine. He had no desire for me to spend my time making curtains and throw pillows for our small apartment so when Christmas rolled around I did not find a sewing machine under my tree. I suppose at this point I should have bought a sewing machine but it seemed like there was always something else that we needed; a car engine, a freezer, a bed, a couch set. Then when we bought our first house and any extra funds seemed to disappear into the everyday costs of home ownership.

When we had our daughter I imagined becoming that mom. The one that sews Halloween costumes and makes beautiful spring dresses. Maybe it was only a dream. Then I found Pinterest. The wonderful beautiful things I could make using Pinterest…if I only had a sewing machine.

I have often heard about people who believe in something so much that they will it to happen. They plan and live their life as though what they want to happen is guaranteed to take place. So using this knowledge I created a board on Pinterest filled with all of the sewing projects that I WAS going to do WHEN I got my sewing machine. http://pinterest.com/bittyboptoppers/oh-sew-easy/

My birthday came and went but there was still Christmas. Christmas is a time when all things are possible. When the celebration of the birth of our Saviour inspires people to believe that anything can happen. So I believed that I would get a sewing machine this year. I may have also specifically told my mother that I wanted a sewing machine even if that meant not getting my husband anything…..

And so do to the power of positive thinking I present to you…..

My new best friend. Let the good times begin!

….

Shades of Grey on a Budget

It was that time of year again. Time for family pictures. This year we had decided to get a professional photographer to capture our image as the Foreman Family 2011. In the past we would just ask a friend to take them with our camera but I’ve been increasingly envious of the beautiful pictures I see on Facebook and Pinterest so we were doing it right this time.

I was pretty excited about it. Especially since we have never had our pictures professionally done. Not even for our wedding. Big mistake. A friend of ours took pretty good pictures and had a pretty good camera and so we just asked her. With no editing experience, that was exactly what we got. Pretty good. Not great, not amazing. Hindsight is 20/20 and I’ve learned my lesson. But I’m still pretty cheap frugal. I was going to have to find an affordable photographer and get us all outfitted for very little money since I’m still on mat leave.

Now to decide who to hire and what to wear. The hiring part ended up taking care of itself. Without even knowing about the contest, I won a free session with Phancy Pants Photography! I love anything free! I knew Aila took great pictures and I had actually just arranged a product swap with her. I made photo props for her and she’s going to take pictures of the hats I make at Bittybop Toppers for me to display on my Facebook page. You can find Aila’s page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Phancy-Pants-Photography/122170961136174 and my page at http://www.facebook.com/BittybopToppers .

With who to hire was taken care I was left with decision of what to wear. It’s hard enough to get everyone dressed and out the door, never mind dressed in coordinating outfits! After hours of scouring the closet I finally decided on black and grey. Ben had a grey and black sweater so he was taken care of. I had black bowtie onsie for The Boy. I thought a grey hat would look sweet with it so I whipped up a newsboy hat using an easy pattern.I wish I could take credit for this adorable hat but the pattern is by Bonnie Potter at http://www.sunsetchochet.com

Little Duck had a longsleeve black t-shirt but her grey sweater was a little short in the sleeves so I tucked them under to model a style of a women’s sweater I had seen at Gap. Her headband was so easy. Old Navy has fleece blankets for sale every Christmas and one year the were held together with a silver stretchy elastic band I also had a black rose that I had taken off of a dress a few years ago. Combine those with an extra black button from a winter coat and a hot glue gun and you have a headband. So easy!

Now everyone had something with black and grey to wear. Except me! I had black t-shirts and black maternity clothes but nothing for me to wear for a fall family picture. I also had promised myself that I would stop wearing maternity clothes just because they were comfortable. The day before our pictures I ducked into Old Navy to grab a black long sleeve basic tee. They were on sale for $9 and with my discount I only paid about $7 after tax. I knew I had grey yarn so I thought I’d do up a scarf to wear. I looked all over for a free (and quick!) cowl type scarf pattern. I found plenty of patterns but they all required chunky yarn and I only had medium worsted. So I decided to wing it and come up with something on my own. Considering how easy and fast it was I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. I’ll share the pattern with you next post! It will be my first attempt at publishing a crochet pattern.

It ended up being a very cold day and we couldn’t stay out for too long. I wasn’t sure if we had gotten enough pictures but I was impressed with what Aila was able to get. Overall, I was very happy about how it all turned out Especially considering the whole thing only cost $7 total!

 

 

-UPDATE- This blog post was written and named prior to the eplosion of the 50 Shades of Grey phenomenon. My apologies if you were expecting this be about something else! 🙂

Getting Started

I have always enjoyed the process of creating. My favorite part of all would have to be brainstorming. I thoroughly enjoy dreaming up ideas of things I could make or do.
My second favorite would be completion. Seeing that which you have dreamt of come to be. It’s somewhere in the middle that I get stuck. I can usually start the project but then life happens and I slowly drift away before I can reach the end. When things settle down, instead of going back to the unfinished business, I start a new project. I am forever walking around with all of this “creative baggage.” I guess you could say I’m in love with being in love with a new idea.
I’m grown up now, with a husband and two kids. It’s time to settle down and start finishing what I’ve started!
I’m going to start small. I promise to blog as often as I can. I will commit myself to posting about at least one project a week for one year. That means by this time next year I will have posted at least 52 DIY craft/crochet or creative projects. I can do this! Starting now.