Friday, October 30, 2009

Blue's Party Final Installment



This was a really fun party to throw. Here is what we did for the party--

Welcome and wait for all the kids to arrive with coloring pages of blue.

Took pictures of each kid with Joe in front of (plastic table cloth) Blue's house. Talked about Blue's Clue and that we needed to use Blue's Clues to find out what Blue's favorite part of Jack's bday is.

First Activity Built Tickety the Clock from paper plates and paper...lead to finding first clue on a paper plate.

Got handy dandy notebooks from side table drawer and drew first clue.

Second Activity played musical paw prints. Each child stood on a paw print with a number on it. There were matching numbers in a bag. Music started kids walked around. Music stopped and so did kids. I pulled a number out of the hat, whichever child was standing on that number got a piece of candy. Went as many times as all kids got two turns....lead to second clue on a number candle.

Drew second clue.

Third Activity was mail time. We sang the mail song. Each child had their own envelope with Shovel inside. Then we matched up Shovel to a giant Pail that was on the wall (a little like pin the tail on the donkey). At the end of this activity it lead to third clue on a yellow fork.

Drew third clue.

Now that we had all three clues we sat in thinking chair and figured out that Blue's favorite thing at Jack's birthday party was Eating Birthday Cake.

Had birthday cake.

Opened presents.

Handed out goodie bags (light blue bags with dark blue spots), which had

     Blue cake pops
     felt finger puppets
     3 coloring pages of Blue
     4 crayons

Said our "thank yous" and "good byes"

Mom promptly collapsed on couch.

I am super happy to share any and all details on how to pull all of these ideas off. If you want more detail on any part of this party feel free to email me see side of blog.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Little Love My Way

My friend (who makes awesome cakes, way more awesomer totally a word than me) told me to submit my Blue's Clue's cake to http://www.easy-birthday-cakes.com/. I debated, most of you know my inability to do something with out getting all twisted up about it not being good enough to do that...yes I am working on it.

So in working on it I totally submitted it to this site. Yay it was accepted and even more yay it totally already has some comments, totally sweet to have a little love sent my way from complete strangers. Don't get me wrong friends and fam...I love your comments and positive reinforcement, but you have to say it, you love me because you are my friends and fam.

Here is the site link.

http://www.easy-birthday-cakes.com/blues-house-cake.html

More party pics to come soon.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Party Reveal Numero Uno

Short on time...and wits...these days. Taking a smidgen of a break from costume "throwing together" to gather my mind and decided to do that with blogging...the smartest idea...not sure. Maybe next time I will put up my feet and sip some crystal light.

Crystal light next time. This time I will post a wee bit of Jack's party.

Will say it again, plastic table cloths can be made into anything!

Blue's House




Thinking Chair
...with appearance from Side Table Drawer





Spencer...I mean Joe
so not everything can be made out of plastic table cloths


Thursday, October 22, 2009

33 Minutes Left of Recipe Thursday

Today...okay so the last 3 days have been recipes for disaster kind of days. Blame it on all the stuff on the to-do list. Blame it on rotating sickness that is not the swine flu (anyone tired of hearing about this?). Blame it on a serious lack of sleep. Blame it on realizing out of three Halloween costumes I am making, I have -oh wait- NONE done.

So tonight after an hour of shuffling between kiddos rooms trying to get them all to sleep (hubby had a mtg), not eating dinner until after 8, and reflecting on all left to do (yes I know of my own doing)...my RECIPE for not tasting the crazies was tasting the rainbow.




Now no one fret about the state of my emotions...I am really just dandy...see skittles working already. So here is my actual recipe. Here is my "Fall I Embrace Thee" soup...aka Baked Potato Soup.



2-3 potatoes, baked
3 T butter
1 cup onion, chopped
2 T flour
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cups instant mashed potatoes
1 t salt
3/4 t pepper
1/8 t thyme
1/2 t basil
1 cup half-and-half

Melt butter in stock pot, saute onions until light brown. Add flour to onions and cook 1-2 minutes. Add broth, water, cornstarch, mashed potatoes and spices. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.

Cut baked potatoes in half, scoring into cubes and then scoop out the cubes into soup. Add the half-and-half. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.

Top with shredded cheese, green onions, bacon and sour cream.

Here is to tomorrow.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Drum Roll Please

Introducing the cake o' birthday for Mister Jack...


Homemade fondant, 9+ different dye colors, 3 batches of cake, and unmentionable amount of hours spent later here is what I came up with for Jack's bday cake.

It didn't turn out quite like I had imagined in my head, but it'll do donkey it'll do (yeah I quote Shrek quoting Babe).

Jack loved it and that is all that matters.


He knew that he got the whole house part to himself...but after a couple attempts to break through the fondant, he gave the house to Cole and settled for a normal piece of cake.



On a much bigger side note-- today three years ago our little man Jack came into this world. It was the easiest labor I have had. He seemed in a rush to get here...and he hasn't stopped rushing since. Here are some things we love about Jack...

his impish grin
his 90 (or so) different facial expressions
"yes or no?"
how much he loves daddy
how hard he tries to be like Cole
how much he loves Case
drawing on his back
listening to him speak..."pwoppers (ploppers), pway (play), wunch (lunch)"
plays on his own
so active
how easily he says "thank you"
how much more easily he says "i love you mommy"


So corny, but time really does fly.

party picture maybe tomorrow

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Potpourri

Ya know how in Jeopardy Potpourri is the category that is full of randomness...welcome to the post of randomness. A little what I am doing now and what we did recently...oh and don't forget a wee bit of crazy.


What we have done
Young's Dairy/Pumpkin Patch

Went to this farm about an hour away...it was initiated because it was a nice day to dabble in the whole photography thing...photography thing trumped by farm fun and BLUE ice cream.

       



Wanna Be Photog

I still did manage to get some cool photo shots amidst our farm fun and impromptu trip to the Air Force Museum. Again...notice the absence of Jack. He is just not having this whole photography thing.



Air Force Museum

Spencer has wanted to take the kids here for awhile. It is by the farm AND it is free so as in the words of Spencer, "That is a great price" so we went. The boys LOVED it.




What we (I) am doing

Living in a Hot Mess

Oh the mess. The humanity of it all. I live in filth for a good cause, right? That is what I tell myself to make myself feel better. I am pretty sure we haven't eaten a meal at the dinning room table for a week. Gasp! Slowly but surely all my plans are coming to fruition. Goodies bag- 90% done. Thinking chair- DONE (now hopefully I can keep the boys off it). Joe's shirt- done. Mailbox- done.

Side note...see what I mean about the plastic table cloths. Sure the thinking chair would have been a little neater with fabric...but that would have cost an arm and a leg. Two red plastic table cloths and some black duct tape...oh and don't forget the packing tape, does the job just marvelously.




Monday, October 12, 2009

Good Idea for Party Goodie Bag

Finger Puppets!! I came across an idea from Family Fun for finger puppets. I didn't really care for theirs, but I LOVED the idea. So I created these little guys from some cheap felt squares from the craft store.

It was really easy.

Then I realized this really could be done for any party. All you need is the characters, some felt in colors that fit your characters, and felt glue.


Have I already said that I LOVE it...I did didn't I. Well I do.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Hawaiian Chicken Stir Fry

Aloha!




I stumbled across the recipe for this sauce a couple of weeks ago. The original recipe actually goes with homemade meatballs...also delightful. So here is my adaptation of Hawaiian Meatballs ala Chicken and Asian noodles for a little Hawaiian Stir Fry.

Star of the Show: The Sauce

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar (regular works too)
1 T soy sauce
3/4 cups pineapple juice
2 T cornstarch

diced green pepper
canned pineapple (juice used above)

Mix everything in first set of ingredients, except the cornstarch, in a small sauce pan. Then whisk in corn starch until completely dissolved. Heat over med/high heat until boiling. Stir constantly. Remove from heat when sauce begins to thickening. This sauce is great with all different kinds of meat or just as a dipping sauce. So go and experiment with it.

Add pineapple and peppers just before adding to stir fry mixture*.

*Stir Fry Mixture:

Cook up 2-3 chicken breast cut up, seasoned with salt and pepper. Once chicken is cooked add store bought Asian noodles (these were bought from an actual Asian supermarket. Pick your favorite kind of noodle, lo mien, stir fry etc.). Noodles should have been cooked according to package. Pour sauce, with pineapple and peppers in it, over the noodles. Stir to coat. Continue to heat until warmed through.

Sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds before serving.

Okay so yummy.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

For Him



I am a human pacifier.

I have never been a great nurser. I have never enjoyed nursing. I am a bad judge at whether the little one is hungry or just working me. Alas, I think I am easily worked. For it can be recorded that I am sleeping less now than when he was a couple of months old.

Blame it on "teething". Blame it on his lingering cough. Blame it on one too many fall-asleep-40-minute-nursing sessions. Blame it on my soft pushover heart. Blame it on my exhaustion. Blame it on my lack of discipline this time around.

I will become the boss eventually, and then perhaps I will sleep again.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Here You Come Again...Birthday 101

Here you come again October, just when I'm about to pull myself together. You walk right in the door just like you've done before...okay you get it (I guess I am assuming everyone knows the repertoire of Dolly Pardon). Even though I have made lyrical reference to October returning like a lousy boyfriend...in truth I look forward in a crazy masochistic way to October coming.

The beginning of October marks the start of party/hostess season in the Zitzman household, and it is a long season folks, especially now that we have extended our season from ending in the middle of February to the end of March. To put the chaos into some perspective--from October through March we have (implied drum roll)
Jack's birthday, Halloween, thanksgiving, Christmas, valentines day, Cole's birthday, my birthday, and now Case's birthday. That doesn't sound like much...but oh the little tidbits of fun and planning that I psychotically put into each one.

What I enjoy best is my kids' birthday parties. I have learned to do it somewhat cheaply. I have learned to take a little idea and brainstorm the heck out of it. My mind pretty much goes from end of current birthday to the next one planning and brainstorming the whole time. Sometimes the party revolves around the idea for the cake. Sometimes it revolves around an activity. There is always a theme.

As said earlier, October starts the fun off with Jack's birthday. After last year's dinosaur party, I actually wasn't sure what I was going to do. And then shock of shocks I actually took into account the idea that came out of the birthday boys mouth. He chose a Blue's Clues party. Well immediately my brain started coming up with activity options, decoration options, the invitation, the treats...oh the pistons in my brain were firing.

So now with only two weeks (way behind my normal schedule), I have started production of all my ideas.
Gather materials will craft.



The notebooks are the invites. They open up to show a different drawing on each of three pages (the three clues). One of Jack, one of balloons, and one of cake. The back page says, "we have all three clues" and then goes into the invite information. Made simply made from card stock, and a template that I drew, and red pipe cleaners twisted like binding.

The orange sweatshirt and fabric are for the making of Joe. Ahh yes Spencer that discussion we had on you maybe being Joe...there isn't a maybe anymore. Love ya.

The plastic table cloths are my go to, the main kernel of wisdom in my birthday 101. I use them in every party I do. They are CHEAP and they can be turned into almost anything. This party we are using them to make a mini life sized wall mural of Blue and Joe's House. A red one will also lead to the creation of a Thinking Chair.

Phase 1 in full swing. Phase 2-50 soon to follow. Can you just feel the excitement? I bet you can!
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