November 2014 archive

Ninjago Birthday Party

One of the first things my mom said when I found out I was having January baby was “Oh, it’s tough to figure out birthday parties during the winter!” She was right, and for the last few years we’ve had smaller parties at the house, really done up the theme that Taylor chooses with the decorations, and tried to think of a good activity to hold the kids’ attention. For his 5th birthday party, he really REALLY wanted a Ninjago theme. We didn’t have the characters at home at the time, so I had no idea what he was talking about, but he was so excited at the possibility that I happily agreed. My first stop was to the party store, where I struck out big time. Note to the licensing agent(s) for Ninjago: you’re missing the boat, people. So, I went to work online, trying to figure out what exactly these little characters are and do, and how to creatively decorate with it as a theme for a little kid’s birthday party (in other words, nix the swords). What in the world did people do before the internet and more specifically, Pinterest?  I’ll tell you now, this link will be your friend. Print off more masks that you think you’ll need, and you should be set to tackle the various projects below.


When the kids walked into the house, this was the first thing they saw – the sign for the birthday boy, the cake and treat boxes, and their personalized ninja headbands. I used the medium to large sized masks and a glue stick to adhere to inexpensive paper lanterns hung throughout the house. I used the smaller cutouts for the take-home treat boxes, which are available in many colors at party supply or craft stores. For the headbands I used cotton t-shirt fabric, cut into long strips. The stretchy fabric helped the headbands stay secure. I used stickers for the names. The kids loved having the headbands, and it was a good way for the parents to be able to identify all of the kids by name.


Holiday Travel Day

Happy Thanksgiving! For travel to my mom and dad’s house yesterday, I took my usual approach – take as little as I can, in as few bags as I can. The building blocks for the holiday weekend are what you see here – basic black pants, black sweater, a little color in the accessories, a great overnight bag, and Sorel boots (we are always prepared for outdoor winter activities, though we rarely choose them over, say, watching a movie).


Banana Republic sweater, pants and tank (old) | Sorel boots (other colors here) | Target hat | Longchamp bag | Silver Cocoon necklace | J Crew earrings | Kate Spade sunglasses (70% off)


Thanksgiving – Spectacular and Stress-free: Post 3 of 3

For many of us the end of this week is the true kick-off for a busy and bustling Christmas season. But first, Thanksgiving Day. That wonderful precursor where you treat yourself to great food and drink, and are able relax and enjoy the day with family and friends without the pressure of shopping or gift-giving. In the third of three Thanksgiving posts (see #1 (prep) here and #2 (recipes) here), I’ll review some of the “finishing touches” that will add a little something extra to your holiday guests’ experience.
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