Sunday, February 24, 2013

a woodland fairy adventure

My youngest, who recently turned six requested
a woodland fairy hiking party.

You all may not know me that well yet, but I love
making parties happen for my kids.  I love themes,
and I love when they come up with something we can have fun putting together.
I treasure the chance to revel in the magic of childhood.
I also know my window of time where they really
are into these cute girly themes is probably drawing to
a close in the next few years.  So I'll eat it up as long as I can.

This year something evolved with both of their parties.
I decided why worry about the decorations and too many activities.

Instead, let the beauty of God's creation be the focus.
And again, He blessed us with amazing clear skies and warm temperatures on this February day.

But first, let me back up.
As a friend pointed out, you can't
really find a woodland fairy hiking party plan at party city.

So I did some brain storming and let my mind wander.
A trip to Michael's and Target's dollar bin helped too.
Oh and I can't forget the lovely Stephanie Fizer Coleman of
 the fox and the teacup for her lovely stickers. 
And so was born the girl's woodland adventure kit.
Thanks to Target's dollar bin I found this cool bug catching locket with a magnifying glass.
It carried a flower lip gloss, just until a bug was found.
For a short time, they studied this butterfly, but don't worry it was set free.
I wanted to give the girls something that would look very woodland fairy-ish that they could wear.
The wired feather looking base for the headbands were sold in sets, on clearance
in the flower arranging section.  Most chose to keep them safe, so not to lose them on the hike.
But that meant I could borrow one, cause well, I wanted to feel fairy-ish to you know.
The one planned activity would be a hunt to find items in nature that
match each color.  The fact that we've been saving cartons for when our chickens begin laying eggs
was handy.  I remembered this activity from a guided nature hike back when my son was much younger.  You'll see below, they were really into it.  And I loved seeing them looking for matching treasures.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.   Do you know what else has evolved?  I have little helpers who are truly helpful.  They're productive and fast and just as excited about party planning as me.  
So I decided to make fondant mushrooms for the cupcakes.  I didn't want to cover the top with red food dye.  So fondant mushrooms it was.  Only I've never touched fondant and have very little confidence when it comes to baking.  But I decided we'd try.
And again, the assembly line began.
The polka dots, they were a bit time consuming and I was up a tad
late into the night finishing them off.  But it was worth it.
I carefully packed them in their lunch sacks in these protective containers found here, with prime shipping on amazon.  Love prime shipping!  I was determined to try to pack everything we'd need.
These were just the right size, back packs from Oriental Trading Company.
And the day, it couldn't have been more perfect.
And the girls couldn't have been any more adorable.
I said they could dress as fairies if they wished.  My own decided the wings weren't comfortable.
But I love this one sweet winged girl who kept them on the whole day.
No one complained, and they were all ready for the adventure.
We hiked to the tallest peak to stop for lunch, overlooking all sides of the city.
Just as our birthday girl wished.
And it was just so much fun celebrating her, in exactly the way she wanted.
The best part was, the adventure continued all the way back.
With a game of follow the leader.
And she said, it was the best day.
Complete with the chocolate frosting smile to prove it.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

happy love day

Oh I really had wanted to make a series of Valentines for the shop.
I got about this far.

And never finished.  Perhaps I can work towards next year?  But for now I just wanted to wish you all a happy love day.

And I love this watercolor painted Valentine my six year old came up with all by herself.

She pretty much has it all figured out doesn't she.  We're making copies and giving them out at a big park playdate with our science co-op and other homeschool families...very, very soon.  Which is why I'm writing this ever so quickly.

And also ever so quickly I wanted to share.  I think my love language is art supplies.
So that is what I gifted my kids, who were equally happy to wake up to this amazing set of oil pastels and love notes.  They free from paper coterie if you want to use them too.  I printed a whole sheet and made a whole bunch of notes to each of them.  Because well, it's so much more fun that way.

love, sweet love.

I hope you feel loved today too!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

a beautiful day

A mermaid party in the winter.
That is what my middle child wanted.
And I took a leap of faith that the weather would permit.
And we'd head to the tide pools to explore.
I know how very unpredictable California weather can be.
Sunny and 70's one day, and 32 in the morning with wind and rain another.
And it literally can flip flop like that from one day to the next.

But I just trusted.

And then we all got sick...FOREVER.
So her party was delayed.

And this past week it rained.
And moms asked, so what's your plan?
And I said well the weather keeps showing full sun on Saturday.
So I'm moving forward in faith.  Despite those grey clouds and rain we have today.
And do you know.

It was a beautiful day.
Even in the morning when we woke to ice on our cars and lawns.
My husband said, "If I didn't know you, and someone said
lets plan a beach party in February, I'd think they were crazy."

And I said, "It'll be ok.  Just wait.  It'll be ok."

It was more than ok.

It was a perfect day.
And though I used many ideas from the amazing One Charming Party,
that I purchased during a sale probably two years ago.
I didn't need to do much.
Because God's beauty and creation provided all the activity.
A brown California Sea Hare after I touched it, giving off ink in defense.
Ochre sea star

Excuse this very photo heavy post.
Consider it a photo journal of the Leo Carrillo tide pools.
Which by the way I think are way better this time of year.
The low tide was lower than I've ever seen it and we could easily walk around
areas normally filled with water.  OH, and just in case you were wondering. We did not keep anything we studied.  We only held them or put them in buckets of water to observe.  But they went right back to their proper homes.

Pisaster Ochraceus sea star
Muscles, that the sea stars feed on.
A little tid-bit from this interesting website.
"Each ochre sea star can eat up to 80 adult mussels each year and thousands of barnacles."
They are voracious omnivores.
Do you see that little purple shore crab hiding between the rocks.  He's green and a reddish/purple hue.
And the starburst (Sunburst) sea anemone were everywhere.
Do you see the sea lion among the birds, bathing in the sun?

My friend and a favorite babysitter took this of me spotting dolphins playing in the sea.
A big thank you to Miss Nicole for making it to celebrate and hang with the kids.
The best part is, I got to explore and play too!
Thanks to Miss Nicole for capturing that.  Ah hem.
And for capturing our family...both posed and goofy.
A most happy, happy 8th birthday to our sweet big girl!