Thursday, January 29, 2009



And you'll never guess who is set to release this lovely spring collection - Liz Claiborne! No, I'm not kidding. With two of my favorite people on board, Tim Gunn and my BFF Isaac Mizrahi, Liz Claiborne is introducing a spring line that is fresh and flirty and fun! (say that 3X fast). They totally made it work.

ETA: I'm working on a school Valentine post as we speak, including a fun pdf download. Hoping to have it all set to go by later today, so check back!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


If you're looking down the barrel of a snow day (like me!), here are some fun Valentine crafts to keep the kids busy and make you feel oh-so-organized for getting a jump on Valentine's Day before February 1st! 

These cute little birdies are so clever. Made with just paper and paper clips! We're planning on making an entire flock.

Felt food is all the rage and you likely have some felt scraps and a needle and thread lying around.   These would make the most adorable classroom Valentines; something to be cherished forever. Just attach a tag with your valentine message and your child will have the most heartfelt handout in the class! (sorry - I had to say it)

This is just the best idea ever! So sweet and charming; the perfect little gift for teachers, grandmas, aunties. Head over to Sweet Tidings' beautiful blog for a template and complete tutorial. 

Monday, January 26, 2009


{photo via Labor of Love}

Thinking about Valentine's Day? Me too! I'm planning an entire week of Valentine ideas including some fun downloads and diy projects. To get us all geared up for the week, I thought I'd provide some inspiration. Check out Our Labor of Love's blog for a photo journal of the truest love on earth - a child and their lovie. Be warned: the awwwww factor is as intense as the photography is beautiful.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wiiiiiiiiiiii! Party Recap and Free Downloads

We celebrated Pumpkin's tenth birthday this Saturday with a Wii Bowling Tournament for the entire family! This was such a fun party and super easy to put together. The best part about Wii is that adults enjoy it just as much as the kids, so not only did all of the cousins participate, but the adults did too!

The decor for the party was based on the colors of the Wii brand - flourescent lime green, gray and white. For my fellow color geeks, I found that pantone 376 M was the best match to the green for my printer. Using this color scheme and Mii graphics, decorating for the party was a snap. We started with a Happy Birthday banner using the Wii font (continuum) and a bowling ball graphic that I created by layering a vintage-inspired bowling ball clipart with simple shapes for a bolder look. I am working on making this banner available as a free download. In the meantime, you can contact me by email and I will send you the pdf file of the banner. 

As an fun little surprise in the decor, I replaced a framed picture hanging on the wall with our Mii family portrait and waited to see if our party guests would notice. (and they did, slowly as the party progressed. such fun to see the reaction!)

As each guest arrived, they were given a lanyard with their tournament badge featuring their own personalized Mii. Badges were easily laminated using Avery lamination paper.

Hanging on the door leading to the play room (the venue for the tournament) was a chart containing cards for each person's Mii. This was used to create brackets for the tournament. The bracket cards were held in a classroom chart purchased in Target's dollar spot. (dear Target, how did I ever live without you?). 

During a break between rounds, we sang to the birthday boy and enjoyed cupcakes adorned with his Mii, of course. Then back to the tournament. At this point, it was getting really intense!

When the tournament concluded and the winner was crowned (congratualations Petunia!), the guests left with their own Wiimote filled with treats. The wiimotes were made from paper using a pattern found here {via mumbojumbo}. I printed the pattern on 100 lb. cardstock and they were very sturdy, but did take some extra time to fold. Be prepared to spend some time cutting and folding, about 4 minutes per wiimote. 

At first, I thought I would use double-sided tape to assemble these, but quickly decided that hot glue worked much better. To fill the remotes, I put gummy lifesavers (about 14 per remote) in cellophane bags and then sealed the open end of the remote with tape. Ziploc snack bags would work just as well and the long shape would fit nicely into the wiimotes. No significance to the gummy savers, just a safe choice given food allergy concerns in our family.

Reading this over, it seems like this party was a lot of work, but it really wasn't! The party came together very quickly and easily with the most time-consuming task being the Wiimote favors. If you're short on time, Wiimote candy dispensers are available on Amazon and at Walgreens {found via hwtm}.

Now on to the thank you notes - I'll be back with those tomorrow!  {invites were sent via evite due to holiday card season burnout}

ETA: Thanks so much to everyone for all of your enthusiastic emails and comments. You can make Miis at several sites online including

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


While everyone is talking about the fashion choices of our new first family, I thought I would take a moment to talk about what they didn't wear. Not that I am questioning their choices because honestly, I think our new first lady is absolutely stunning and I loved everything that she and the girls wore yesterday. Actually, I loved everything about yesterday: a gorgeous day filled with hope and seriousness and a call to action for the entire nation. And let's face it: Dr. Jill Biden can rock a pair of boots like nobody's business!

But I feel that I would be cheating on my best friend, I think you may know him - Isaac Mizrahi, if I didn't give a nod to his designs for the first family. These designs are signature Isaac with their beautiful and feminine lines and wonderfully bold colors. And if he didn't have my heart before, the peter pan collar on little Sasha's dress really sealed the deal. I am a sucker for a peter pan collar!

Given that Michelle Obama loves to wear color and does so beautifully, I really thought that Isaac had a good chance of being the one. But in the end, I do love that Michelle chose ivory. It was a departure from her typically colorful wardrobe and she looked absolutely beautiful. Seeing the way her husband looked at her, I am sure she has no doubt that it was the right choice.

Sorry Isaac. But I still love ya!

ETA: Be sure to check back tomorrow for full details of this weekend's Wii Birthday Party!

Monday, January 19, 2009


The  inauguration of President Obama will surely be one of those "where were you when..." moments in history, so don't let history pass you by! Here are some ideas to help you mark the occasion in style. 

Alpha Mom has a download of printable cupcake toppers, flags and stickers. These could also be used to make buttons/badges if you have a buttonmaker. In addition to using them as cupcake toppers, we'll also be printing them on sticker paper to wear as stickers. (Yet another instance where I wish I bought the buttonmaker. I think that purchase is moving to the top of my wish list!)

Family Fun has printable paper airplanes and pinwheels to make. 

And the jackpot of Inaugural Day information can be found here, including an official timeline of the days events, biographies, photos, historic facts, menus and recipes. Thanks Carmen!

We still haven't decided how we'll spend the day. I would love to have the whole family together at home to watch, but I also would like the kids to watch with their classmates and be part of the discussion at school. Either way, we'll be having an inaugural dinner of our own tomorrow night, followed by cupcakes all dressed up for the occasion!

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Check back later this week for full party details, tutorials and downloads.

Friday, January 16, 2009


I'm spending the day getting ready for the big birthday bash tomorrow. It's Pumpkin's 10th birthday and the whole family is coming over to celebrate! Can you guess the theme? Be sure to check back next week for a full recap, tons of party ideas and definitely a free download or two.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, January 12, 2009


No, that's not a typo - British Designer Orla Kiely has put together an affordable home accessories line for Target! The line is set to launch early February and I can assure you that I will be waiting at the door. Maybe I'll line up at midnight like the techies do when a new operating system launches. Nothing against the techies, of course, I used to be one. Although, I have never been moved to line up for anything before. Wait, I take that back - Sox playoff tix in '86. But that's a story for another day. 

See, I'm so excited, I'm rambling! The line for Target will feature Orla Kiely's signature style of bold colors and beautiful repeat designs and will include tableware and serving pieces, linens, closet organization and storage and even an adorable apron. There is definitely a party to be planned around these beautiful pieces. 

Fingers crossed that there's a summer line that features her gorgeous bags. Oh, dare to dream!


Can you guess who's designing for Target? Have to pick up the kids at school so no time to elaborate,  but I am so excited I just had to post. Back later with the deets!

Friday, January 9, 2009


Oh how I wish I learned about Zoobie Pets before Christmas. Luckily we have some birthdays coming up because these adorable little pets are too much to resist. What is a Zoobie Pet, you ask? 

It's a plushie...

a soft snuggly pillow... 

AND a blanket. Check it out!

Lucky for us, Vanessa over at I Never Grew Up is having a fantastic Zoobie Pet giveaway. Hurry over before it's too late! On second thought, take your time...I don't want too much competition. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Life is still a bit crazy here, even with the kids back to school and the holidays behind us. Playing catch up after the holidays is proving to be as busy as preparing for the holidays themselves. But I do have high hopes of getting life under control by Friday. (How's that for a firm deadline?)

Until then, I thought I'd give you a few little snippets of my life this past week.

Pumpkin turned 10 on Monday. It really is unbelievable to me that a full decade has past since my first baby was born, and he still is just that, my baby. He of course hates for me to refer to him as such, but I correct myself and say he's my oldest baby and that seems to appease him. He was quite pleased with himself Monday night, having entered the double-digits and all, and went to bed with a smile on his face after a great day. About ten minutes after he was all tucked in, he came into my bedroom where I was doing a bit of organizing and handed me both his ipod and his Nintendo DS and said "Here mummy, take these from me, I don't want to be tempted." Meaning he didn't want to be tempted to play them when he was supposed to be sleeping. This having a ten year old may not be so bad after all. We'll see how long it lasts!

Petunia is very much a girly girl. She loves all things pretty and stylish and she really loves dolls. Specifically, American Girl dolls. She loves the books and the outfits, primping their hair, accessorizing - everything about them. Lucky for her, she has two aunties who are more than willing to indulge this love affair with all things American Girl. A day or two after Christmas, Petunia was playing with her newest American Girl doll and all of her accompanying accessories when I sat down next to her to take a peek at the new stuff. As I was fussing with the new doll, Petunia's face changed. She didn't quite look sad, but I couldn't identify the expression so I asked her what was up. At first she resisted answering, but then she said that she felt a little guilty for having so many American Girl dolls when some children don't have any. This, of course, prompted a discussion about how she is definitely very lucky for all the things that she has, but she doesn't need to feel guilty that the people who love her take great joy in buying her presents sometimes and as long as she doesn't expect or demand things, she has nothing to feel badly about. She was very happy to hear that she could play guilt-free, but she still had that look. I wondered if she would like to buy an American Girl doll for a little girl that was not lucky enough to afford one and her face immediately brightened. So, the plan is that she has 10 months to save $100 (not the exact amount, but I wanted her to be able to do the math on her own) and by November 1st she will have enough to buy a doll for a girl in need. We now have a decorated jar on our kitchen counter that already contains about $30. Seems that my girl is not only a saver, but also quite the fundraiser as well. We have told her that most of the money needs to be saved by her, but if family members want to make small donations, that is fine too. Fueled by this early success, she has now set her sights on buying dolls for two little girls!

As you may have guessed, the final snippet is about my little Peanut. A story that perfectly illustrates the personality of this spirited and silly little girl. 

After days of dragging on the inevitable de-Christmasing of the house, I finally finished packing everything up yesterday and was ready to put the big rubbermaid containers into storage. I'm sorry, did I say big containers? Because what I really meant was huge, ginormous, red and green containers filled to the brim with surprisingly heavy decorations. Add to the equation that I am only five feet tall and this is about to turn into an I Love Lucy episode. Lucky for Peanut, she was here to witness all of the fun. I dragged the first container over to the stairs with a plan to gently guide it down one stair at a time. Of course, with carpeted stairs, molded plastic and gravity, the physics of the situation were not in my favor and the container zoomed down the stairs dragging me along as I tried to avoid a crash landing and broken ornaments. Peanut shrieked with delight over the ride I had just taken and stood by waiting for the next show. Determined to finally be rid of these boxes (read: I refused to wait for my husband to get home to do this for me), I went back upstairs and started rolling the next box toward the stairs. Thrilled to see that I was going to provide an encore performance, Peanut began to chant: "Go Mama Go! Go Mama Go!" and continued her chant until the box was somewhat safely down the stairs and I came back up giggling and hugging her for cheering me on. Who knew motherhood came with it's own cheering section?

Monday, January 5, 2009


A new year is about hope. And inspiration. I dare you to watch this and not feel overcome with both. A great way to start off the new year, courtesy of PS 22 in Staten Island.

Hot, baby!