Hi friends! Happy summer! We celebrated Max and Phoebe this weekend as they turned 12 and 4 on Friday and Saturday. My July babies. It's always a bit of a whirlwind and I was thankful that Max just wanted to go play paint ball with friends this year. He's truly 12...dubstep music and cat videos and perfecting the art of wearing socks with sandals. He's such a light-hearted blessing of a guy and we're going to soak up this last year of him being just a kid. No teenagers yet!

Phoebe girl was all about birthdaying this year. She knew back in February that she wanted a Rainbow Sparkle Unicorn birthday and didn't budge until the day before her birthday when she decided she wanted to scrap the whole thing and just have a balloon party. We did both. Everyone came over Saturday and we ate food and listened to funny music and doted on our girl. And there were ponies. Ponies! It's one of those things I've always wanted to try for a party and it ended up being hilarious and awkward and totally making the kid's day.

Phoebe at 4 is sugar and spice with a disdain for underwear and a flair for the dramatic. She sings with conviction and wears heels and a purse before leaving the house. She's confident and funny with a preternatural love for horses and marshmallows and lemonade. She's kind and giving and tells me that we're best friends and I know it to be true.

I hope you all are having a nice and simple summer. My heart is heavy with the world right now. It's been good to hunker down with my family and show them love and take these moments to teach our little ones about hope and goodness and action. Everyday action.


Most decorations were found at Sweet Lulu, Fawne Shoppe, boxes and tablecloth from IKEA, Unicorn head from Target, Phoebe's dress is from Alice and Ames. Unicorn birthday invitations at Bonjour Berry, organic cotton candy found here, the pink punch flavor is so good!!

Ice Cream Party

Our Phoebe girl is bonkers for ice cream...with sprinkles...always with sprinkles. For her birthday this year we threw her a little afternoon ice cream party at home with family. Loads of ice cream and sweet things to put on top, with soda floats and malt shop music on the side. It was a nice way to celebrate our beautiful growing girl...3 going on 13.

birthday circus sideshow

max and bee had a big circus sideshow to celebrate their birthdays this year! i was originally planning on two separate parties, but max wanted to celebrate together and who can argue with that? we had it at the roundhouse in the park...which is built just like a circus tent. we scattered the place with bouncy balls and hula hoops. there were lots of popcorn and cotton candy and calliope music, peanut shells and corn dogs and kids running around in funny hats and clown noses. bee ate a million and a half cupcakes and both kids conquered their fear of clowns when matt's mama hired mr. funny bones to come and do magic tricks and make balloon animals. most non-threatening/non-"keep you up at night" clown ever!

we photo-boothed and danced and made one big spectacle for these two crazies, it was a true circus...

helpful links + shopping sources- roundhouse information here // vintage circus mural image found here. i painted it on 2 4x8 sheets of lightweight insulation bought at home depot. // balloon wall inspired by you are my fave! // invitations are homemade, stamps available at the USPS // clown toppers and napkins found at shop sweet lulu // hula hoops from the dollar store (my favorite place to shop for party stuff!) // party hats are homemade with pom poms hot-glued on // stilts diy found here // peanut bags here // bozo the clown inflatable, candle sparklers found on amazon, here and here // marquee numbers made my max's stepmother sara, edison-bulb string lights found at hobby lobby// circus calliope music playlist here //

once upon a time- bee has a 1st birthday party

sis's first birthday party was saturday! our house and hearts had never been fuller for that girl on her special much family and friends there to celebrate. everyone brought books and books for bee and her library. so many amazing books to curl up and read to together! we had lots of sweets and fizzy things to character masks and a table set up to write a special note to bee in her books. (i'm a firm believer in writing notes in books!)
all in all the day was hot and hectic and funny and sweet...just like our phoebe! my oh my it's been a year...and i can't wait to see what happens next...

shopping list:  floral paper straws // bookplate stamp // alphabet plates // napkins from target // bee's dress-vintage // book props and character masks and garland and bee's party hat are homemade //

camp max

saturday we all gathered up together in the rain to celebrate max and his birthday...summer camp-style. we made a nice fire and lit up lanterns while the little ones ran wild in the woods. food was grilled and sweets were had and i couldn't think of a better way to ring in max's 9th year. 

today is max's official day! this time last year we were celebrating him in between my contractions with phoebe. she's never one to miss a party! 
happy happy birthday, my boy. mama loves you wide as the widest moon. you're my favorite friend and forever're my max. 

shopping list:  post card and notepads from sideshow press // ice cream cups bought here locally but you can find some here // A-frame tents made following a little bit of these instructions ( i used 9x12 painters dropcloth to cover them...and painted the yellow stripe) // birch paper straws bought here // large craft paper food trays from here // s'more cupcakes and merit badge instructions from MARTHA (i designed my own badges)  // invitations and canvas bags and camp t-shirts are homemade ( iron on's for the t-shirts)  // much thanks to max's 2nd mama sara for some of the photos!

cinco de mayo

yesterday we celebrated cinco de mayo at our house with lots of sweet friends and a collection of good food and a healthy dose of mariachi music. i love how this holiday always seems to feel like the introduction to the summer...with twinkle lights strewn across the backyard and punch in jars and little ones running around with grass-stained toes. 

life has been so heavy here was nice having a good excuse to cut a rug and stay up late! friends and guacamole are a cure all for sure.

wishing you all the a happy monday! i'll be back tomorrow with a small but special mother's day project!

surprise partying

my guy and sweetest sister pulled off the best surprise birthday party for me this weekend! all i knew was to get gussied up to go out...and after a car ride with my eyes closed we ended up at a warehouse studio space filled with my friends and family...indian food and cheese pizza and millions of cupcakes...and a disco ball for dancing and a pinata and one of my favorite local bands for good measure. it was a real party...and good grief, am i ever thankful for the village of people in my life!

turning 30 has been sweet as can be...

hoping you all had a wonderful weekend!

apple of their eye

my beautiful sister amy and her two guys are expecting a little baby boy come early decemeber. a christmas baby!
amy and i had always talked about wanting to be pregnant together...or to have babies close in age who could get into trouble and mischief together like we did. so this little fella is a real treat!
(and amy and i got to be woefully pregnant together for a few months)

sunday we all gathered up together to celebrate amy and nate and their austin and baby on the way. 
there is something really amazing about sharing a meal with a community of people that love you the most...about celebrating life in all its richness and fullness and lovely surprises.

plus there were whoopie pies and rootbeer floats...

i cant tell you how excited i am for excited all us girls are!
this little guy is loved and loved already. and there's nothing quite as special as getting to be an aunt...getting to see your sisters as mamas and watching your babies grow up together. 

every bit is a gift...

a boy turns 8

yesterday we celebrated our little max...who woke up a new man of 8! 8!?
it's been a tradition the past few years to have a donut cake breakfast party on his day...and i was so worried this one wouldn't happen.
(before bed saturday night i started having major contractions, which have yet to leave me. they're coming inconsistently (5 minutes then 7 then 10 minutes apart) so aren't considered "real" labor just yet. but good grief do they ever feel real!)

so our breakfast party for max came with a bit of dancing and donuts and presents with a side of stops for contractions and crumpled over, breathing exercises. and while sis never ended up showing up yesterday, i'm so happy we got the chance to honor our guy in true "us" fashion...

happy happy birthday, my guy!
you proved yourself yesterday to be a real big kid..selfless and caring and sweet as pie. and i can't wait to get to know 8 year old max...see who he becomes...what he likes! because he's already the most interesting guy on the block! 

splish splash

max's messy paint party was a real splash! lots of washable paint and silly string and water balloons being hurled about.
it's not everyday you're allowed to make a big mess...max was in his glory!

party details
for decorations we just hung up an old sheet and splattered it with paint and water...added more oh happy day dot garland...and laid out goggles and paint cans and sweets and towels.

i bought large containers of washable paint (dumped into spray bottles with water and metal paint buckets) and hung a 10x12 white drop cloth from the clothes line for the little ones to splatter. after they were covered in paint we pulled out the slip n slide and more water balloons so they could clean off the dried paint.


oh how i love throwing funny parties for my little guy...only he's becoming not so little these days.
i wonder if he'll still let me do these things when he's 16?

Splish Splash by Bobby Darin on Grooveshark

very merry unbirthday

today we're throwing max a happy 8th unbirthday party!
with my due date being 2 days before his actual birthday (july 8th) we thought we would throw a raucous party now just in case sis decides to come a little early. 
max wanted a paint ball party but he's still a tad young yet for the pellets and we're having a messy paint party instead. it's going to be a big wonderful mess and i can't wait to start celebrating my growing guy! 
now if only i could wrap my head around him turning 8. sigh.

three cheers for early birthdays and my max and a happy weekend!


cinco de mayo for one

happy cinco de mayo!
i love this day and all of its celebrating and happy colors and good food. i look forward to it every year...

La Bamba by Mariachi Vargas on Grooveshark 

 i'm getting festive today with frozen limeade and party poppers (that seem to give mimi the dog a terrible fright) and mariachi music for one. alone time well spent!
max is usually my main cinco de mayo party friend...but he's away with his dad this weekend. i packed him a little box filled with odds and ends and the tiniest pinata you'll ever see stuffed with small sweets. if only i could have found a small bat to go along with it.

 hoping your weekend is going swell! 
¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo!


planted firmly on the ground

no matter how many times i try to set up a traditional work space for myself i always end up using the floor!
there's just something about the ability to sprawl out and sit cross-legged, or lay on my back and stare at the ceiling when stuck, that has always got my mind going and ready to work. i'm a cheap paint//loud music//bum on the floor kind of painter!
(although my baby bump has definitely made reaching forward and getting up off said floor a funny task...there may be some rocking to gain momentum involved.)

today i'm working on some rifle-inspired flowers for baby shower invitations!
there are so many little boys in our family, it's a real treat to get to be having a girly and sweets and gobs of color...i can't wait!

happy monday and last day of april! 
good grief, where is the time going?

thirteen shmirteen

my sweetest (and 1st) nephew is turning 13 this week! i told him he wasn't allowed to but he seems to be doing it anyhow. 
i can't believe how quickly the time goes! our guy at 13 is quick as a whip and the funniest kid on the block... i'm a forever proud aunt!

 amy and nate are throwing austin a party tonight! i made him weird masks, like party nosferatu, party lemonhead from adventure time, party sloth in a suit, and party mr. meowgi (austin's cat), so all his favorite friends could come along. 

i've always wanted to try making a surprise ball for someone after seeing it on heidi's blog a few years ago...this seemed like the perfect occasion! lots of sweets and funny odds and ends and some money rolled up into a crate paper ball.

oh to be 13 again! 
ugh...or maybe not. haha. 

hoping your weekend is going real swell! 

in a pinch party hats

i love making these funny, tall, elf-like party hats...they're the perfect way to make a party a tad more special or silly and they stash away well...making it great for when you're in a pinch. i use lots of different patterns and colors and reuse mine over and over...because almost every occasion calls for a party hat! 

here's how i make them!

supplies: you need a square of scrap booking paper, a hot glue gun or tacky glue, pom poms (found at the craft store), scissors, and ribbon or twine or elastic.

start by turning the paper over, pattern-side down. taking the right corner, start curling it in toward the center...
keep rolling, keeping the top at a point, and making sure the bottom is staying wide open. keep your hands on the left hand corner and get ready to glue!

put a little dab of hot glue or tacky glue on the inside of the left corner tab and press it to the hat...hold until it's set.
next you'll need your scissors...
trim off the bottom of the hat however you'd can make the hats short or tall depending on how much you cut off!

to finish off the top, lay a line of glue along the top of the hat and squeeze the pom pom over the glue, hold until set!

hot glue any sort of ribbon or twine (cut into two pieces and long enough to tie around the head...or one piece if using elastic) on two opposite sides of the hat. if you're using thin twine or elastic, i usually take a small piece of paper to lay over the glue and twine to keep it sturdy and sealed and from burning my fingers. ack!

and that's it!
hooray for funny party hats!