Monday, April 20, 2009

Circus Party - Getting Started

So I'm throwing a Circus Birthday Party in honor of Happy Vee's FIRST year. I know what you're thinking-- Circus is so... Last Year!!! or Gosh, hasn't that been DONE already??!!! I know, I know... but aside from the Cowboy party that I threw for Smarty Pant's 1st birthday, this theme just WORKS for a large, outdoor, multi-age party. Besides, this one will be DIFFERENT & BETTER! Ah, well, I'll give it my best shot anyhow...

So instead of campy circus, I'm going for a more whimsical, light & fluffy circus theme-- maybe with a touch of retro and definitely MINUS the scary clowns (Smarty Pants insists that clowns are !SCARY! and I do have to agree with him there).

I also want to stay as economical and GREEN as possible. If anything, I'm going to try and use supplies that I already have on hand and hopefully create things that can be reused for future parties.

My Inspirations....

THE INVITATION-- I decided a while ago--you know, just minutes after Happy was born (I'm KIDDING!), that I'm going to do a Circus ticket for the invitation. While browsing Design Mom's blog I ran across a cute invite idea. Brilliant! Caroline from Armelle Jewelry did a FANTASTIC job. Check out the rest of her Circus party here. I do need to add a few more details (map, event details, etc) so I'll probably do something along these lines but turn it into a folding card.

DECOR-- I'm not going to rent a tent since the site we've reserved has a covered pavilion. Instead, I'm going to try and circus-it-up with yards & yards of flag garland using pretty scrapbook paper. I already have a large book of scrapbook paper that I've had for 3+ years that is begging to be used up. Last night I glued 60 12X12 sheets of paper together using Mod Podge and cut 300 double-sided triangles. I just need to sew it onto some rickrack (or even better, enlist the help of Grandma Tee... must call her tomorrow!).

For centerpieces I'm thinking about doing some sort of clear acrylic vase filled with colorful candy with LARGE handmade pinwheels & lollipops propped in them for a fun effect. Or maybe I'll skip the candy and just find some other sort of fun, colorful vessel... Still mulling that one over. Anyhow, I've already made a couple of test pinwheels using my scrapbook paper and I think they came out pretty darn cute... plus, they're super easy to assemble!

The photo is courtesy of the Better Homes & Garden's site, but I have to say that their pinwheel tutorial is rather lacking. I'll post an easier way to make pinwheels later.

I guess this photo is what put the flag garland and lollipop image in my head... from Parent's magazine. See more here.

This idea is cute too (also from Parents), but I don't think I want to be explaining to the kids that they can't eat the popcorn because it's covered in spray adhesive...

Oh my, it's getting late and I'm rather sleep deprived. I'll be back later with more Circus Party inspirations!

Monday, April 13, 2009

My Little Garden

I love my garden in the spring-- It's full of beautiful color with little, ahem, absolutely no effort on my part (big grin on my face). Aside from a little mow & blow and a random sprinkle of fertilizer from our gardeners, every Spring and Summer we are blessed with these beauties:

Sunny northwest side of the house- Lavender

Shady southeast side of the house- Azaleas

Playing with the zoom on my camera....

Simply Beautiful!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

We've been recovering from a rather crazy couple of weeks-- ear infection, pacifier cessation- aka: Operation Binky Removal, toddler defiance (Smarty Pants) and teething/sleeping woes (Happy Vee), so I put off even thinking about our Easter get-together until the very last moment. I'm so happy to say that our simple Easter lunch turned out perfectly and even I got to relax and enjoy spending time with our extended family.

On the Menu -
  • Honeybaked Ham from Trader Joe's- Just heat it up, add the glaze and bake for 10 minutes. They even cut it for you, so you really can't go wrong. It was so yummy and easy! I'm not a huge ham person, but something about those thinly sliced pieces with a touch of sweet just hit the spot!
  • Grandma Tee's Oyster Sauce Ribs- Already cooked and marinated, so we just fired up the grill to heat them up. They were fall-off-the-bone tender and so tasty!
  • Asparagus Straws- Asparagus wrapped in proscuitto and filo dough with a sprinkle of parmesan. So tasty and Daddy Vee's favorite appetizer.
  • A simple green salad.
  • Baklava - made with the leftover filo dough. Hands down one of my favorite desserts!
  • Fudge Crunch Cake from Baskin-Robbins, a Vee family favorite.

At the very, very last minute I put together a mini-egg hunt for Smarty Pants in our backyard. It helped curb a bad case of the whines and the Grandparents and Aunties were entertained by his antics.

I also made these easy Easter Baskets for the ladies (filled with chocolate, of course!). Pretty darn cute, eh? The instructions can be found here--