Monday, April 28, 2014

Monday, March 24, 2014

Magic Party - Jacob's 8th

So Jacob turned 8 in November and I know that we are now in March but his party was so cool I had to document it! Today happens to be the anniversary of Houdini's birthday and  thus I have chosen to share this Houdini party today in Houdini's honor.

After my sister saw these pictures she said this party was theme-sanity but she is right. I choose the colors red, black, and white, and Houdini/magic as the reoccurring theme.

I found this cool glow in the dark ABRACADABRA shirt at the Children's place.


I made the below banner with cool scrap book paper from Michaels, red ribbon and images I printed and glued on to the triangles. I saw the cupcake idea here on Pinterest. I made the top hats about a month in advance. I like to leave as little as possible for the last day.

I really loved the final result of the cupcakes.


They looked so cool once they were all lined up!

On the top row on the trays below dubbed "Disappearing dippers" I had dipped marshmallows in chocolate and put them on a half of a red and white striped straw and then placed them in these cute paper liners. On the bottom tray there were Oreos, with red filling, half dipped in melted red candy wafers.

One of my favorite goodies were the "Wobbly Wands", which is an actual slight of hand magic trick. The magician that came to perform told me that he has done a lot of parties but had never seen these. These were made from chocolate licorice that I simply dipped both ends in white melted candy wafers. Behind the edible wands you can see the plastic wands in a glass jar. The wands were ordered from Oriental Trading one for each kid. 

Each kid also got a magic top hat that was also purchased from Oriental Trading. When I received them they seemed a little blah so I added a white satin ribbon on each hat with a hot glue gun. You can see some fake handcuffs scattered around that were meant for decor only but of course the kids were locking each other up. 
The giant playing cards were seriously one of my best decor items. I bought them on Amazon.

I found these awesome images of old Houdini posters, that advertised his performances, and I enlarged them to hang around my somewhat industrial looking basement. The star lights were from IKEA.


 The poster shown below was on the door of the room the party was in. The plastic chain was purchased on sale just after Halloween.

The magician we hired was really entertaining. He showed the kids how to do this neat floating matchstick trick, performed below by Joshua the birthday boy's younger brother. The kids all got to keep these. My only regret was that I had hoped he gave them more tricks to take home.

I loved this giant wand, which looked even larger because it was held by one of the littlest guests at the party.

My adorable niece got a big kick out of being chosen to assist.

I'm not sure why I pulled mustaches into the theme other than the fact that they were fun to get the kids to wear. I loved how Liam creatively used his as hairy eyebrows.

 Future State Trooper? LOL.

I still can't believe my little guy is 8!

Goody bags.


Some of the lunch foods served were:

Bessie's Bagels (Houdini's wife) - Bagels from BJ's with a multitude of cream cheese options.
Magic Mac - Annies Mac & Cheese
Alakazam Ziti - Jacob's favorite (my baked ziti)
Houdini's disguised hot dogs - pigs in a blanket.

I hope you get some ideas from this as I have gotten many of mine from Pinterest!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day 2014

I love Valentine's day! Ok I love all holidays. Pinterest makes my life so much easier! I showed the boys some ideas that I pinned then I gathered the supplies. Yesterday we found out that the Valentines Day parties were being moved to today because of another Nor-Easter. I was ready last week (maybe earlier)! I heard that many people were scrambling to get them done last night. People get on pinterest! Or get some of the ready made kits that they make now, there are many.

Joshua loves vehicles and chocolate, so he chose this dump truck with chocolate rocks:

They look so cute all together!

The tags were downloadable here at DIY Network , the chocolate rocks came in a tube from Five and Below for $2. Each tube was two servings so I split each tube into two bags.

Joshua personalized them on the back. We had time to do these thanks to a February, work from home, snow day!

This may be Jacob's last year doing Valentines with me. He's getting too cool (tears from me). Due to his supreme coolness he chose a jokey valentine "Valentine you make me Laffy" he also chose it because he loves Laffy Taffy. I didn't like the labels that people were offering so I made my own in MS Publisher.

Jacob's candies were two big bags of Laffy Taffy for about $4 - $5 each and I was able to give each kid one of each flavor. I love the look of the colors. There were a few left over too!

Each Laffy Taffy wrapper has two Jokes on the inside which appealed to Jacob.

This year I made this really cute wreath that I found on Pinterest from Craft Envy.  
I love the grey and red this year! It was easy. Yarn, felt, a wreath mold, and glue!

I always do valentines for the teachers, after school caretakers, and the bus driver. Another download that I found on Pinterest from They Are Crafty. The Brownie Bites seemed like a good idea since they are good 100 calorie treats for the teachers and they were on sale in A & P for $2.50 each! 

 I used red card stock and my paper punch to add the to & from, then tied them on with some pretty pink ribbon that I had laying around from a Benefits House Party that I hosted.

I printed a few other signs from Pinterest that I will click some pics of later as well as some cute pillow slip covers that I have to share from Pick your Plum!

I have some fun stuff planned for the long weekend too! Monster truck show and the Lego Movie at the Alamo Draft house. Can't wait!! Oh yea, Brett and I will have a date night too thanks to Uncle Jim.


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Boys room makeover... I'm done!

Now that Jacob is 7 1/2 and around 4 foot 5 inches and Joshua just turned 6 and is 4 foot 2 inches they really, really, needed to move out of their toddler beds. I started the redesign of their room last year when I had it painted Benjamin Moore "Cumulus Cloud" and got them cool "Flor" rug tiles. Some unexpected expenses put the rest of the reno on hold until this year. It took me a really long time to choose their bed. I went back and forth to the furniture store three or four times with measurements and I even taped out the silhouette on the floor of my top choices. I am thrilled with our final choice. The boys actually choose the one we ended up getting.

So here are the details:

We went from heavy sliding mirrored closet doors to these nice bi-fold wood doors in order to allow for easier access. Of course they were a non-typical size so I had to special order them from Home Depot. They came finished white but they did not match the trim in the room so I just finished painting them today!  Thanks to a much needed 4 day weekend!

The trim color is Benjamin Moore Navajo white.

I had a custom closet system installed with room to grow into. The hanging bars can be moved higher when they get older. And a whole unseen row of shelves above the viewing area holds all of their board games (they have alot).   


Because I removed the full wall of mirrored closet doors I added a simple wall mirror from Ikea.

I made my own custom cornice coverings for the windows from 1" x 10" pine, fabric batting, picture hanging hooks, and cool "Monsters on the loose" fabric from

The boys made the solar system mobile, with my Mom, from a Magic School Bus Science Kit.

I got the little Sloane leaning desks and bookcase from the Land of Nod. The desk height is 24" which is what my work desk height is so I felt like they won't out grow it too quickly. The adorable red and blue chairs were from Ikea. I covered regular cork bulletin boards with burlap and detailed them with dark upholstery tacks. I saw identical boards for $90 each in a high end catalog. Mine were around $18 each and easy to make!


These picture frames are actually artwork holders. These pictures are the boys from last school year. The front is hinged and you can change out the artwork and even store the art right in the frame.

Here is the other window with a cute chalk board poster that they can write on. The lamp is covered with The Beatles Yellow Submarines. We purchased it in my favorite boutique in Cape May, NJ last summer.

I needed somewhere for the clock and lamp so this was how this area started.


The bed is a storage dream, it has stairs with drawers, a large drawer under the full size bed, a whole set of drawers along one side of the bed. It also has this little book shelf along the left side of the bed that holds a ton of books (and Jacob's nesting doll collection).

The dark wood makes it hard to photograph but one neat feature on the stairs, besides the drawers, is a small motion sensor light on the top step. The bed is not as high as most bunks and there are safety treads on each step. The color of the bed hides the black tread.

Joshua was sold on this bed when he saw the shelf and light on his lower part of the bed.

Joshua also loves that I let him hang his Cars 2 poster on the inside of his bed.
Jacob even got his own shelf for his books, nightvision goggles, & flashlight. It is really helpful since he reads every night at bedtime for about 30 minutes.

The boys LOVE their new room and I love that I can say I am almost finished with it. ( I just have some floor repair to finish in the closet). I loved planning it, pinning my ideas, and ultimately the success of a functional good looking room with lots of hidden storage.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Joshua's Lego Star Wars 6th Birthday Party!

 Joshua turned six years old this month! He chose to have a Lego Star Wars birthday party. I had many ideas that I pinned to my pinterest board and then picked and chose what to do in the end.

We had a beautiful day. I rented some kiddie tables and red and blue kid chairs. The rest were my own tables.

I used frames from IKEA that are 99cents each to make Star Wars Lego themed food signs. I use these frames for all holidays as well they are so cute!
We had Ewok munch which was a mixture of chocolate and graham teddy grahams mixed with some rainbow marshmallows.

These guys were chomping all the marshmallows!

The adult favorites were  the "Princess Lays".

  We also had some Padawan Puffs...

The kids got Naboo nuggets and Jabba the Hutt dogs (they were devoured before I could get a picture!)... Of course there was mac and cheese on the side!

 I set up a Jedi training course for the kids...

1.) Help C-3PO find his head. I printed a giant Lego C3PO in MS Paint and then had enough heads to pin on to C3PO in a bag that had self stick foam dots on them.

2.) Defend the Earth from asteroids were pool noodle lightsabers and black balloons that the kids had to keep in the air (most of them got popped) they had a ball with this. The lightsabers were easy to make but time consuming! Everyone got to take one home.

3.) Was Cross the Mustafar Lava Field, a red table cloth and some foam pieces to jump across. Some of the older kids said it was easy so I told them true Jedi's would hop across on one foot for a challenge.

4.) Was don't drop the Stormtrooper! They were hard boiled eggs with stormtroopers drawn on them with a black sharpie.

Here is Joshua running with his Stormtrooper...

The line up waiting for the eggs to come back...

5.) Was save Princess Leia from the Storm Troopers. I printed out Lego images of Stormtroopers that I cut out and made a band out of the extra paper as a stand. The kids used Nerf guns to knock them down away from the printed Princess Leia.


I had to demo it to my helpers before the party!
 6.) Was the kids receiving a personalized Jedi certificate signed by Yoda himself...

8.) Was getting your first portrait taken as a Jedi at the photo booth. I borrowed an instant camera from my work (Fujifilm) and my sister the photographer took some amazing snapshots of the kids posing with masks I printed from the Star Wars site.

The backdrop area (black fabric from an earlier project and glow in the dark stars that I had laying around but never used)...

Some additional back drop options (Star Wars music was being piped from the ground speaker via Spotify)...

My sister-in-law painted cute pink dots on my niece's cheeks to make her look like Princess Amidala! (So cute!)

I had a table set up with "guess how many candy Lego's"...

Another random game I made was this Duplo ring toss that I built from packing materials...

Joshua had a firm idea of what he wanted his cake to look like from some pins I showed him. I learned how to make fondant from "How Does She" and it was easy! Much cheaper than the store bought kind.

The top tier was vanilla and the bottom was chocolate. There was a ton of left over cake it made plenty of servings!

Brett's music teacher buddy, Scott, has his Doctorate in Tuba and played happy birthday and the Star Wars theme during cake time!

The only picture I have of the red and blue pretzel rod light-sabers is here on the bottom right... ( I wrapped tin foil around the bases). The old Millennium Falcon was my brothers as a kid (Vinny is checking it out in the back).

Here you can see the Lego plate with the number 6 and some Star Wars Lego guys attached to it. The boys had fun making that! The R2D2 is my brothers.

The Tie Fighter idea was assembled from 100 calorie Oreo pack cookies and mini marshmallows held on by melted candy wafers.

I set up a baby play area with a flannel blanket and some Duplo blocks...

Here are the Juice choices, "Yoda Soda" (green Hawaiian Punch) and "Vader-Ade" red Gatorade.

I like to give useful favors and I lucked out when I found these ADORABLE tin banks on sale months ago at Old Navy. I bought 26 of them and it was pretty comical. I have seen them for $8 upwards since they are collectable. These were way cheaper!

I filled them with home made X-Wing fighter chocolates that I made in a silicone mold, Lego candies that I ordered in bulk and put in salad dressing containers (4pk from Christmas Tree Stores), and a glow stick (25pk from Michaels, not pictured)..

This Party was really fun to plan and I know my kids had a great time!

All of the signs were made in MS Publisher, I used a basic MS border, downloaded the Star Wars font, and used clipped images of Lego Star Wars figures that were easy to find via Google! The wooden stakes are actually going to become my cucumber trellis I got them at Home Depot. Paper supplies (tablecloths, plates, balloons) most of which were on sale at Party City since they are not making Lego Star Wars right now.

Check my Pinterset Page for more ideas that I may not have used!

Now to start planning for Jacob in November! LOL. Hey they won't be getting these parties for many more years so I might as well enjoy it!

Happy pinning and Partying! 


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