Book Birthday Party!

I have certainly been falling behind when is comes to the blog this week!  What a crazy few weeks it has been!    In an attempt to get catch you up on what I have been up to,  I will start off with my son's 4 th birthday party!

Since our house is already overflowing with toys, I wanted to find an alternative way for him to invite all of his friends, yet minimize the gifts.  He already receives so many toys from his doting grandparents and parents.  Plus he is at the perfect age (4) where he does not know any better - he just wants to have fun with his friends.  After doing some looking on my beloved Pinterest,  I decided to throw him a Book Party.    In lieu of gifts each child would bring a favorite book, wrapped.     You put all of the wrapped books in a pile.  Then you write down numbers on paper and have each child pick a number.    Each child gets to pick a book in order of their chosen number.   I added an extra book to the pile so that the last child gets the choice between two books.   All kids were not only excited to receive a new book, but were even more excited to see who received the special book that they brought!  

Here is the image of the invite : 



We had a few books lying around that had been subject to a brutal dog chewing that I didn't have the heart to get rid of.  I was able to take those books and salvage them and turn them into decoration for the party!  Decoration cost = $0 !   All of the decorations were incredibly easy to make that even our son helped!   A little glue stick, and an old book and you can easily make a bunch of book decorations.   All of the decorations were made in two days during the boys nap time.

This quickly turned to this at cake time :



I came up with a bunch of book themed games, however many of them were not used as the kids were having such a wonderful time jumping on the trampoline!   We lucked out and had a beautiful day in the 60's which after a long winter, both kids and parents relished.   

Strung above the trampoline, I had printed out popular book characters that I attached to ribbon with clothes pin.  The kids could then jump to get their favorite character.  Also known as sheer chaos.  

Inspired by one our favorite books, The Giving Tree, we had a fun game of musical stumps.   I had my husband cut some of our firewood into 10 stumps and we put them around a tree in our back yard.  Add some music and voila!

Goldbug Treasure Hunt:  My son is OBSESSED with Richard Scarry's - Cars and Trucks and Things That Go.   He spends a good 30 minutes or more every morning searching for Goldbug on every page.  (This also allows my husband and I a good extra 30 minutes to sleep in, so we love this book just as much as him).  I decided to print out about 20 Goldbugs, tape some candy on the back and hide them around the yard.  

Pin the Tail on Max from Where the Wild Wild Things Are.   We did not get to this activity, but have it already to go for next year!

I also had purple chalk for Harold and the Purple Crayon.

The biggest hit though was the pinata.   There was no book inspiration for this.  Kids just love pinatas! 



Since it was a brunch party we had mini quiches, scones, muffins, sandwiches,  a yogurt bar, rainbow fruit kabobs and of course cake!     The only thing our son, Huck, wanted for his birthday was a car birthday cake.    So far this has been a tradition and every year we do a different car design.   This year I stumbled upon a fun cake design in a magazine that looked incredibly easy!  Just bake a 9" circle pan cake, cut it in half and sandwich the two halves together. Make a little notch  for the windshield and hood.  Ice and decorate with candy!  Since they were small cakes, we made 3.    A tradition in our family is 'money cake'.   We are now onto the 3rd generation of 'money cake'.   Before you decorate the cake you wrap up some change in wax paper, make little slits in the cake and stick it in.   If you do this, make sure the kids know there is money in there!  The kids love it and its one of my favorite birthday memories as a child.  Its like a treasure hunt within the piece of cake!   ( Although I would not recommend this under the age of 4, as it could be a choking hazard! )


Instead of a goody bag, each child also when home with a copy of  "Go Huckle Go!" .    Just could't resist.


Do you have any special birthday traditions in your family?


Outdoor Furniture Finds

Despite the two feet of snow still outside (Oh! life in Maine),  I find myself dreaming of Spring and Summer.  I wanted to do a quick round up of awesome furniture finds for the season.  I am impressed by how far outdoor furniture  has come.  We are no longer relegated to adirondeck chairs and picnic tables.   The ability to express your style now through outdoor furniture is exciting!   What is your outdoor style?

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Welcome to my first official blog post and joining me while I hop on the blog bandwagon!    Like most design blogs, we too just bought a new house.  We recently moved our young family across country from Denver, Colorado to of all random places... Falmouth, Maine (right outside Portland).   I grew up in New England, but had been living in Colorado for the past 10 years.  My husband had been there for almost 20 as he moved out there for high school from Pittsburgh.    Pre kids and marriage, I was working as an Urban Planner in the private sector.   Now with two young and VERY active boys  Huck, almost 4 and Parker 1.5, my design mind desperately needed to be fulfilled.  I am pretty sure that if I paint one more room in our house my husband may loose it (he is not one for living in a construction zone,  but then again who is :-)  )   So here I am ready to offer my design services to others!  

We moved into our house at the end of July (we have now been in the house for 7 months).  Our goal before the movers came was to at least have the master bedroom and the boys bedrooms painted.  One of the most unsightly rooms was the master.  I am kicking myself now, because we did not take a ton of before shots.  However, my husband did manage to take a few with his I Pad during the inspection.  Here is a glimpse of the before:  


I told you it was bad!  Living in a pink/ salmon color room was out of the question.  I don't know if you can tell in the pictures, but all the trim was also a yucky beige color, which took about 5 coats of white to cover (we totally should have primed it first and it would have only needed 3).     Since the ceiling height in the main part of the home is only 8 feet high, and the room is north facing, I wanted to brighten it up with a bright white ceiling and trim and a light, almost white  green/ blue color for the walls.  I settled on Benjamin Moore's Silver Crest.   Here is the after:


We debated about hanging the moose head above the fireplace, or over the bed.  The over the bed won out and he makes me chuckle whenever I see him.   

What is the worse color that you had to paint over?