April Loves

black and white pennant banner from @Target  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comApril is a busy month for birthdays in my family.  I try to make my party decor but sometimes you just have to outsource.  I flipped out over this black and white pennant banner at Target.  I mean, it sort of the coolest ever.  I will be reusing this one for sure!

I tried out the zebra cake mix from Duff Goldman.  It was super cool.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comFor one of the birthdays I decided to try my hand at one of those zebra cake mixes by Duff.  I totally pulled a Sharon (this is a thing, my mom even says it to me) and didn’t read the recipe ahead of time.  Come to find out that you basically make two separate cake batters and then layer them.  Luckily it didn’t add in that much more time or energy.  And it came out really fun!

The best tag in a kid's sweatshirt award goes to @prefresh  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI’m in love with the tag inside my son’s Prefresh sweatshirt.  You can’t get a true sense of the color from this photo but it is a great neon orange.  My son swears the symbol means “I love you.”  Even though I’ve shown him the correct way to say I love you he doesn’t believe me.  He goes to a church based preschool so I told him to ask his teacher.  I’m sure she’ll be pleased to discuss the devil horns…

These barstools from Ikea have changed my life.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comThese cheapo Ikea chairs are not great to look at but they have totally changed our lives.  For a year we have lived in this house and not utilized this half of our kitchen.  But they have opened up a whole new world.  I can now have people in here when I’m cooking.  The kids eat breakfast in here most days.  And this is now my favorite work spot in the house.  The kitchen is our brightest room and I love being in this bright and airy space.  I can’t believe I didn’t have chairs here sooner.  At some point we will upgrade but for now these are absolutely perfect.

Haim at the Fox Theater Pomona  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comIt has been a while since I have gotten to see live music and last week I got to see one of my favorite bands, Haim perform.  You guys!  There album is awesome but they effing ROCKED live.  I mean, totally shredded on the guitars, pounded the shit out of those drums and put on a great show although I felt it was over way too soon.  When they were younger (they are all sisters) they were part of a family band and they totally brought out their parents to play with them onstage.  So cool.  It seems like not a lot of people know about them which I think is crazy.  Target is actually using one of their songs in their commercials at the moment.  So if you don’t know them, go check them out.  They have this really 80′s feel and it just makes you feel good.  My husband and I left and decided we are going to start a band because it just looked like they were having so much fun out there.  Neither of us play instruments but I just know we can work that out.  Now go watch the video for “If I could change your mind” it is so good.  But they do not dance like this in their live show…promise.


Birthday T-Shirt Tradition

Every year I buy the boys a higher end t-shirt to wear to their party.  This year was @prefresh.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comWhile I love the super cool, well designed t-shirts that you can find online I can’t usually justify the $30-$40 price tag.  So what I started doing was adding that cost in to their birthday present budget.  Shhhhh, don’t tell them that.  I am sure they don’t really care about a special t-shirt and would much rather have a toy.  But it has become a fun tradition and I love when they wear their shirts through out the rest of the year.  It reminds me of their birthday and how much they are growing up.  My oldest is super particular about what he wears so I can no longer choose for him.  This year I gave him a few options and this is the one he chose.  Prefresh makes very cool stuff and I’m super glad it is part of his wardrobe.  A note on sizing:  buy the next size up.  This is a size 10 and he usually wears a size 7/8.

Every year I buy my son's a cool t-shirt for their birthday.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comFor my youngest, we went with this one from Tiny Whales (although it looks like it might be sold out). I mean, how can you not have this shirt!  I usually try to save them for them to wear to their party if they are having one.  This year, my oldest didn’t want to wait so I let him wear it to school a few days early.  It is a really great way to get some cool shirts in to their rotation without breaking the bank.  Do you have any special birthday traditions?



cutest kids everThere are no amazing posts today.  You can see why here.  So in the absence of exceptional content I thought the least I could do was share a photo with you of the cutest kids ever.  You’re welcome.


2013 Gift Guide for the Kids

Welcome to day 2 of my gift guides! I love to put these gift guides together and share the things I think are cool. None of these are sponsored and they are truly things that I would love to give or get!

Amazon is a great resource for gift shopping for the holidays and any time of the year.  Did you know that you can choose a charity to give back to while you shop?  I’ve chosen to link up my Amazon account with Operation Shower to help them raise money that they need to keep the organization going.  Simply head to Amazon Smile and search for Operation Shower (based in St. Louis, MO) and then shop as usual.
for-the-kids-2013-graphicgift guide for kids1: Outside the Lines 2:  Gold Lightening Bolt Shwings  3:  Ninja Champ Shirt  4:  Dude – Hi 5 SetIce Cream Truck Play House  6:  Beanie with Gems  7:  Neon Pink Heart Shwings

My youngest really likes to do activity books.  He gets them out and does them as “homework” right along with his older brother.  He especially likes the ones with shapes and more artistic images.  I’ve ordered (#1) for him and know he will love it!  And how amazing is that Ice Cream Truck Play House(#5)?!   While it is almost as big as our main living room, I can just imagine the imaginative play that the kids would have with it!

2013 holiday gift guide for kids8:  Crystal Saguaro Kit  9:  Owl Hat  10: Make Your Own Chewing Gum Kit 11: Draw Inspire Create 12: Lego Crazy Action Contraptions Kit 13:  Silver Sparkle Jacket  14:  Cool Blocks Set  15: Melissa & Doug Smarty Pants Card Set

I adore this owl hat (#9) from Krochet Kids.  Find out why I love them here.  A friend of mine told me about that Lego book (#12) and my oldest will be getting it.  The small set of Legos that comes with the book can be used to make a bunch of contraptions.  It is a nice change from the huge sets of Legos we have and seems just as fun.

See last year’s Kid’s Gift Guide and Books.

*This post contains affiliate links.  Read more about my editorial policies here.

Krochet Kids Launches Kids Hats with a Party

*Disclosure: My family was invited to a launch party event for the new children’s collection by Krochet Kids and given product.  All opinions are mine.
krochet-kids-hats-youth-for-empowermentThis past weekend my family was invited to view the new children’s collection from Krochet Kids.  Although I had heard of the brand before, I didn’t know the story behind it.  What I thought would be a fun afternoon filled with kid friendly activities turned out to be so much more.

krochet-kids-family-launch-partyFor sure, the kids had an AMAZING time with the activities the Krochet Kids team put together.  The bounce house alone would have kept them entertained but there were a bunch of other stations for the kids to experience.  Who doesn’t love drawing on the floor with chalk! (Does this drawing remind anyone else of ovaries?  No?  Just me then?  He said it was a chicken…) The boys got to make their own homemade play dough and bring it home with them.  And although he made up his own rules, my oldest was deemed hopscotch champion of the world.

activity passportsUpon arrival, the boys were handed paper passports to have stamped as they made their way through the party.  I thought that was such a great idea and I’m probably going to steal this idea for a future birthday party.  It kept them engaged and prompted them to try new things in a fun way.

krochet-kids-headquartersAfter a short video, we heard from Kohl Crecelius of Krochet Kids and Kristen Howerton, the blogger behind Rage Against the Minivan.  This is where the party turned around for me.  The video showed just how the products get made in Uganda and Peru.  It chronicled the process of making the hates and featured some of the women that do the work.  Kohl spoke of how the company got started and you got a true sense of the passion he has for helping others.  Kristen spoke of a recent trip she and her family took to one of the facilities where they got to witness, first hand, the hats being made.  In short, Krochet Kids is doing great things.  They are providing jobs, and a better way of life to so many women who would not otherwise have the opportunity.  Consider me a huge fan.

krochet-kids-m-in-photo-boothNo party is complete without a photo booth.  How absolutely darling is this owl hat?!

krochet-kids-thank-you-stationWhen the kids were done taking their photos, they were brought over to the “thank you” station.  Inside each hat is the signature of the women who made it.  I LOVE this!  You can find profiles of each of the women on the Krochet Kids site and write them a personal note.  How awesome is that.  Not only do these women get a huge sense of pride being able to put their name on their work, but they get appreciated for it too.  The notes are printed out at each facility and the women get to read the kind words from people experiencing their work first hand around the world.  It’s a small thing but means so much.  And I love that it is a super important part of the Krochet Kids process.

cool-kids-beanies-from-krochet-kidsWe were sent home with a few samples and the boys are in love.  These hats are so cute!



I’m not sure if he realizes that his beanie has hearts all over it.  But I think he can kind of pull it off.



M loves his hat too.  I found him wearing it under his helmet the other day.  I can’t wait to wear mine too!

And they don’t just make cool hats for kids and babies.  They make booties too!  The hats and booties would make great gifts for the winter months ahead.  And guess what else?!  They make other products too.  How rad is this Pike Bag?!  And my head would look super cute with The Alice headband.

Thank you for having us, Krochet Kids!  And for sharing your story with my family.  I look forward to following along with your company and the great work that you do.

*Disclosure: My family was invited to a launch party and given samples of product.  Delicious food and use of a bounce house too.  All opinions are my own.