Monday, January 25, 2010

 Down The Rabbit Hole...

I was talking (well I guess texting) with a friend the other day and we came up
with a plan.

Most women have their Twilight Vampire midnight showing parties.
We too would like to have a little party.
But not for Twilight...
Sorry Rob, but you don't hold a candle to my Johnny.
And I have a bit of a thing for Mr. Tim Burton.  (As evident with my Halloween Decor). Not in a I think he's cute kind of way (eeww) but in a wow you are a visual artist genius, kind of way. Yup... I'm a NERD!
So we are planning a soiree for this...
The midnight showing of Alice in Wonderland!
I love Alice in Wonderland as well.  So this is a win win win!
So freakin excited!  If you are in the area and you would like to mingle with
us for a midnight tea party and movie let me know!  
The more the MAdDeR!

As I've been thinking about this shindig I reflected back on Scooters birthday party last year.  We did an Alice in Wonderland theme.
I love birthday parties.  And really with kids I've got until there about 12ish to make them special.  So I have a ball.  Here is the proof...
The Invitation
I carefully cut around the face of the watch so it would fold back and reveal the inside.
On the inside...
If you're feeling quite Mad! We'll make you right glad! 
It's a mad tea party for
So don't be late for this very important date!!!
Date and Time
Please join us down the rabbit hole 
Our address

The Decor
I'm a star at taking paraphernalia from around my house and making it work for other events and holidays. We also did Alice in Wonderland for halloween that year, so I had a few things from that.  It also comes in handy that I can paint. And the dollar store is my friend... flowers, face cards and more came from there.
The Games
After crawling through the rabbit hole,(the front door) the kids gathered in the office. On there way into the office I hung a curtain that blocked their view of "wonderland" there was a small door drawn on a piece of cardboard between the curtains.  Once in the office they watched the movie while we waited for everyone to come.  We shut the office doors and talked about how we needed "shrink" in order to fit through the door.  (We drank Nik-L-Nip Wax Bottle Candy).  While we did this J turned the cardboard around outside (on the other side I painted the door big). Then with a key in hand we headed out.  Now that the door was bigger it appeared we had shrunk.  (I don't know if I explained that too well).  Once in wonderland we played a game of pin the smile on the Cheshire cat. Following that we had a relay race.  It started with Flamingo croquet (we hit the koosh balls through playing cards I had painted on poster board), then a sugar cube tea cup toss and ended with switching the white roses to red roses on the tree (not pictured).
The Food
After the games is was time for the tea party.
We had homemade cherry cream soda's in the tea cups.  And tea party finger foods.  (Mini hamburgers, meat and cheese filled crossants, cupcakes, cookies, etc...). 
On the cupcakes I made the Cheshire cat smile out of white and dark chocolate.  If you like to make cupcakes then you must get the book Hello Cupcake.  Not optional!  It will illustrate how to make details like that. In short... draw your smile on a paper, place wax paper on top.  Melt chocolate in zip lock bag. Clip the tip of the bag and trace the drawing with the chocolate.  Let cool and harden.  Peel off of wax paper. Ta-da.... cheshire smile... or what ever else you decide.  I did Cat in the Hat, hats for Momo's first birthday... I'll post it sometime.

The Goodie Bag
Filled with chocolate face cards, heart shaped face cards, a caterpiller/butterfly sucker, and Koolaid with a drink me sticker on it.  You can download illustrations from the book free at, if you use photoshop, you can turn them into brushes.  You can also download a Lewis Carroll font here too. Oh, I forgot to mention that we made charm necklaces.  After each game they earned a new charm.  I made scrabble tile pendants and tiny drink me vials.  I found super cheap tea cup charms, keys and white rabbits.  They were cute.
So it was loads of FUN work.  
I've saved everything... Ride will be having a mad hatter tea party birthday as well one day. 
We're all mad here!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

 There's always money in the Lemonade Stand

The whole thing started when Scooter announced that she wanted a Snow Cone machine for christmas.  I was a slightly shocked at the request.  However I was tickled that it wasn't one of the million trinkets being advertised on the telly.  I was quite proud of her for resisting the persuasiveness of marketing. (Although she is convinced that I need to get the Your Baby Can Read program.  That Momo, with this product, will be able to release his inner baby genius). 
Additionally I can't stand toys.  I remember when I was young and Na├»ve (Scooter is our oldest), Christmas meant I was helping Toys R Us hit their yearly sales goals.  I observed a week following the holiday nearly all of the pieces of the plethora of toys were lost or broken.  Furthermore her interest in them had perished .  It seemed foreordained that when spring cleaning rolled around, we'd end up throwing out most everything the big red man brought. Urrgggh. Stupid toys.

So I started looking into snow cone machines.  Wow... not cheap.  As I stared at my computer, searching through amazon, a question arose.  What in the devil is she going to do with a snow cone machine?  And in my mind an answer came and it looked a little something like this...
I drew up plans of what I wanted the snow cone/lemonade stand to look like.  My handy neighbor Adam put it together for me.  And then I painted it all pretty.

I also made aprons and head scarves.
It was so rewarding.  Actually making their christmas present.
And then their faces Christmas morning... pure glee.
And no... this gift was not from Mr. Claus.  He is not getting the credit for this one.
Side note: See Rides glasses.  I mentioned them here.  She had to wear them christmas morning.
So the lemonade stand is going to be stored in the garage.  It's on wheels, so the girls can scoot their little enterprise out onto the driveway and push their chilled refreshments.  And if J's new occupational adventure doesn't pan out...we now have a plan B.

Oh and as far as the snow cone machine goes... I found this little beauty. (We let Santa take credit for this one).
It's the Hamilton Beach Icy Treats maker. (I got it for 30 bucks).  If only I had known earlier! Those that know me well, also know that I would take a popsicle, snow cone or slushy anything over a baked goodie. HEAVEN. I have a snow cone (or two) everyday.  All thanks to Scooters christmas petition and the gallon of Tigers Blood in my pantry.

Frames Jennifer Pepples

Monday, January 18, 2010

 Christmas gifts

This year for christmas neighbor gifts 
we made these...
Corn pillows.
You can find instructions here...
They are great little gifts.
Something you could make and keep
on hand for when you might 
suddenly need a
little something for 
a neighbor or friend.
They cost me $2.50 each.
Only problem...
I didn't make enough.

Last year we collected cans
as our gift to neighbors.
I know this isn't a new idea.
In fact the more we talked
to people, the more stories
we heard about others who
had done it before.
I was chatting with 
some of the ladies
from the "hood"
and they said that in
their former neighborhood
they got together for
a potluck of treats.
You're ticket in was to bring cans to be
donated to the food bank
& a treat to share.
And the whole neighborhood
jointly decided that this would
be their gift to each other.
I think that is brilliant!
I'm going to try for it next year.
Here is the poem we used last year...
(Be forgiving... we are not poetic folk)
I think that means a lot more
than a bag of corn.

Tag on warmer made with house of three brushes

Friday, January 15, 2010


We took a little trip to Disneyland.
We left Momo home... best idea ever.  
No diaper changes, 
no nap times, 
no crying, 
no chasing a 20 month old.
Every time I saw a toddler, 
who looked Momo's size, 
squirming and writhing in their parents arms.
I laughed.

It was a blast.
Weather was perfect.
Hotel was across the street.
And it wasn't busy.

The girls were up for trying every ride.
(Only Ride wasn't tall enough for Indiana Jones, 
and we were smart enough to 
spare them California Screamin). 
We had a couple of our favorite neighbors with us.  
A 15 year old and a 22(ish) year old.  
They were great sports and 
even braved the teacups with us.  
And took the girls on the carousel 
so we could ride California Screamin.  
Plus they both provided a fair amount of comedy.  
We decided that our families 
both need to get season passes. 
Then we can jet off to Disneyland on a whim.  
We just need to win a lottery and we're good.
Hmmm... Idaho has the Hot Lotto Sizzler...

The kiddo's had a blast.
We went on Rides birthday.
She got loads of attention.
Scooter took awhile to warm up to the roller coasters.  
But she wanted to keep going on them. 
I think it might have been the fact her 
little sister had no problems with them. 
Ride got a little spooked by the 
rides that had "robotic" people.  
They creeped her out... can't say I blame her.  

So here is a bunch of pics.

That place is magic!
We drove.
 Kids in the very back.
Teenage angst in the middle.
 "Adults" up front.
We stopped in vegas on our ride home.
HIGHLY recommend.
It was delish.
And they make a pancake
the size of a small child.

Tape frames from kitchy digitals

Thursday, January 14, 2010

 Miss Ride turns 5

She is very creative.
She leaves little drawings scattered 
around our house.
She is also very good at cutting paper,
which leaves small bits of paper everywhere.
She sings when she's using the bathroom.
She will eat anything that has sugar in it.
And usually too much of it.
She is a daydreamer.
She tells great stories.
She is obsessed with Pirates of the Caribbean.
At World's End is her favorite.
She also has a crush on Orlando Bloom.
(But she refers to him as Will Turner).
She is shy.
It takes her time to warm up to people.
But once you've been accepted by her you're BFF's for life.
She is emotional & sensitive.
Her favorite color is orange.
She doesn't like salad.
She loves broccoli & mushrooms.
She asked Santa for a machine that would
dispense glitter balls. 
She also asked for a robot.
She has a pair of pink sunglasses.  
The lenses are long gone.
She still wears them everywhere.
Once she got upset when I told her 
she couldn't wear them to dance.
She has the best giggle in the world.
She just turned 5!
We celebrated at disneyland.
She liked meeting Pluto more than the Princesses.
Love this girl!

Vintage hanging flowers from Kitschy Digitals

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

 Music Snob

I promised myself..
I will not add a playlist to my blog.
Why, why, why... did I give in?

Here is my opinion about music on blogs.
It tends to be annoying.  
Not always... sometimes I like playlists.  
But generally there are two reasons I find them irritating.

Sometimes it can make a blog sluggish.

And the biggest reason...
I think I might be a music snob.
Here is a scenerio.
I open a blog, unknowing and unprepared to be suddenly 
serenaded by...
Hansen performing Mmmbop.
I turn down the volume with haste, but it's too late.  Damage done.
And then I look at the photo of whoever this little miss blogger is, 
and think to myself...
You've got to be kidding... HANSON?  Really? 
Does she really like Hanson?  
Did she really pay .99 cents on itunes for Mmmbop?
Or even (gulp) worse... purchase the whole album?

I understand guilty pleasures, especially musically speaking.
I have a few of my own. 
For example Justin Timberlake.  
Ahem...hello, he brought sexy back.
(I must clarify... Backstreet boys... oh wait, I mean NSYNC is NOT a guilty pleasure of mine.
That last statement belongs only to J.T.)
So yes I will give a little leeway for guilty pleasures.
But Hanson... sorry, I just can't grasp it.

So then my opinion of this well meaning person is completly scewed.
If I see her, if I interact with her...
all I see is Hanson.
And the soundtrack of her life is Mmmbop.

So why do I have a playlist?
I have no idea.  I started playing around with a new playlist on my itunes.
This was created. 
I have cleaning playlists.  
Creative playlists (for painting or crafting or whatever).
And now... a blog playlist.
I'll probably take it down in a week or so.

 Another reason I might be a music snob.  
The other night there was a commerical on TV for a new program.
Parenthood I believe it is called.
And they used Lenka, The Show 
(first on the playlist)
as the music in the background.
(I almost didn't put it on the blog playlist just because of said commercial).
I was upset.
I wanted the show to fail.
That way no one will buy the soundtrack.
That way I don't have to change the ringtone on my cell phone.
(That I've had for almost a year now).
Except when J calls me... 
He put a ringtone in my phone for when he calls...
I guess Mr. Timberlake isn't the only one bringing sexy back.

Back to Lenka...
It's a catchy little number, and therefore is prone to becoming popular.
And if it hits the radio...
Oh dear, I'm making myself upset.
Remember Feists 1234 song...
enough said.

Post Script
For those of you who use google reader. 
You get to partake of my blog music-less!
Isn't google reader dreamy?
I enjoy it every morning with my cereal.

Post Post Script
For those of you who now have Mmmbop unrelentingly playing over and over in your apologies. 
I too now have a headache.