Kid’s Birthday Banner DIY

Make a wall-sized birthday card for your kids.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comSo here’s the deal.  I know there is a typo in this banner.  And no, I didn’t want to go back to the print store just to have them reprint it.  I’m lazy and cheap.  Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, isn’t this kid’s birthday banner DIY SO cute!  My oldest guy just turned 8, can you believe it!  I decided that such a special occasion needed a super special card.  So I took a photo of my son against a blank wall and then added the text in Illustrator.  I saved the image to a file and took it to my local Kinko’s/Fed Ex store to have them print out a blueprint copy.  This size is 4′ x 3′ and cost $9.  They printed out some smaller sized ones for me as well (I think the 3′ x 2′ option was only $4 and still perfectly large enough to hang on a wall.)

DIY birthday card for kid's birthdays.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comWe all signed the card and then I used Scotch tape to hang it on the wall.  I found that super cute paper garland at Target to frame it with.  Is it just me or is Target killing it lately with their Spritz line of party goods?! 

Fun ideas for kid's birthdays.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comThen we waited around for my son to get home from school and so he could see his big surprise.  We were all pretty excited about this wall card. 

Giant birthday card DIY for your kid's birthday parties.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comHe loved it!!  But really who wouldn’t love seeing their face this large on a wall in their house?  ;) We put this up a few days before his birthday but would also have been great to put up after he had gone to sleep the night before his actual big day.  This would also be a really great way to acknowledge a big accomplishment for a kid like a great grade on a test or listening to their parents for the first time…Gosh dang it I love that sweet little face.



Baby Poncho for Cinco de Mayo

Baby Poncho out of a place mat for Cinco de Mayo.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comYOU GUYS!  How rad is this little baby poncho!?!  Our friends threw their kid’s a fiesta themed party a month ago and I thought this was SO great and perfect for those of you that have babies or little kids and are planning to celebrate Cinco de Mayo!  They made this adorable little pullover out of a placemat!  Genius, right?!  They nailed this theme and the entire party was amazing.  I wish I had saved the invitation because it was adorable.  It was essentially 3 cards sewn together to look like papel picado.  Which really isn’t that surprising considering that our friends run a custom invitation company.  So if you have a little one, then you need to make them a poncho.  That is all there is to it!


DIY Minecraft Birthday Banner

A DIY Minecraft birthday banner.  That decidedly is not very Minecraft-y at all.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI freaking love those pre-made banners they sell in the stores.  You know, the ones with mostly primary colors and they say the generic terms like, “happy birthday” or “happy anniversary” and are held together with brads?  Urban Outfitters sometimes carries them that have profanity in them too, but my kids don’t know what all those words are yet and I’m not going to teach them on a special ocassion.  For years I have been making my own custom banners, using the same simple idea and brads.  I have no idea why I haven’t shared them before.  But you simply have to start making these for anything and everything.  My oldest son requested a Minecraft party this year.  I didn’t want to have a real party.  I billed it more as a playdate and invited just a few school friends over.  That being said, he still expected some decorating.  Turns out Party City doesn’t sell Minecraft stuff.  2 days before the party is not the time you want to be finding this out.  So I decided to make my own DIY Minecraft Birthday Banner.

Use online templates to create custom birthday banners.  //  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI found Quality Kids Crafts around my youngest son’s 2nd birthday.  I made one of these brad banners that said “Miles is Awesome. And 2.”  To make it easy, this site has a few ready made sayings that you can just print out and cut.  But they also have each letter of the alphabet and numbers too.  Which is perfect for making your own signs.  I’m not going to lie.  These take some time.  Especially if you are crazy like I am and want to add your own patterns to the letters.  But if you are just printing and cutting, they really don’t take all that long.  Most of my crafts can be done while watching Naked and Afraid (my new favorite show) or another show of your choosing.

Entertaining with Mason Jars from Aladdin

*I was sent product by Aladdin, via Mom Trends, to show how entertaining with mason jars can be easy and fun.  They weren’t wrong.  Plus, I had a blast.  All opinions are mine. Throw a pajama picnic for your best gals with gossip mags, drinks and yummy food. I think I am about to commit blogger blasphemy.  Are you ready for this?  I am not a fan of Mason jars.  What?!  I know.  I can hardly believe it myself.  There is nothing wrong with mason jars.  They just aren’t my cup of tea.  I was apprehensive, to say the least, when I opened up a big box from Aladdin filled with their newest Mason jar entertaining collection.  But as I started to peruse all their products, I found myself excited.  For the most part, these jars are plastic (which is huge considering we are currently building an outdoor space for my family to hang out this summer) and the colors are bright and fantastic.  Aladdin wants people to know that they can entertain with ease with this new collection, found at Wal-Mart.  So I decided to gather some girlfriends for a relaxing girl’s night in.  A pajama picnic is what we would have.  What the heck is that?  We all wear pajamas, we order in dinner, and the host provides yummy drinks and a dessert.  Easy.

A super simple girl's night in: pajama party picnic.I can certainly get carried away when it comes to entertaining.  But I made sure to keep it simple this time.  I set up the one table I would need early on in the day so that I wouldn’t be rushing during homework and bath time for my kids before my friends arrived.  I didn’t leave that fruit water out all day but wanted to take a photo in better light for the purposes of showing the set up to you.  From this shot you can see three of the different products Aladdin has out right now.  The beverage dispenser is SO fantastic!  The jar on this one is glass, which I really prefer in a dispenser.  And that teal color is going to be perfect for all my summer entertaining.  You can see the mason jar drinking glasses and reusable acrylic straws and then the extra-large, hot pink mason jar that I decided to use for flowers.  There were a ton of other great products but in an effort to keep it simple, I decided to not use them all.  My favorite product, however is a double walled mason jar cup with a handle and lid.  It is now my cup of choice for my ever-present ice water.  It doesn’t leave water rings!  Its genius.

Land of Nod at South Coast Plaza

*This is a sponsored post on behalf of Land of Nod.  I was provided compensation.  All opinions, and I have lots of them, are mine.

land of nod front counterThe Land of Nod is now open to the public at South Coast Plaza!  I was invited to their private Grand Opening party last week to check out the store and all the amazing things it has to offer.  To start, the store is GORGEOUS!  It is styled and merchandised amazingly well and there are rad details every where you look.  Land of Nod had shared the process of painting the wall behind the counter leading up to the event on their instagram and I think it turned out so cool.  I’m trying to convince my husband that our brick fireplace needs to look like that.  If you are in Orange County, go check it out for yourself:

Land of Nod at South Coast Plaza

3333 S. Bristol St., Costa Mesa, CA  92626

3rd floor of Crystal Court in the Crate and Barrel/Anthropologie wing

me and amy at the land of nod opening partyThis was my first time using my new 30 mm lens for my new camera so I was really nervous about how the photos would come out.  And in the midst of trying to take photos and instagram the party (follow #NodinCA to see all the photos!), the photos I took pretty much make it look like there is no one else in the store.  But the party was SO fun with lots of blogging friends and local creatives.  I finally got to meet some awesome ladies in person and there was a little celebrity sight seeing to be had with Joy and Emily.  My friend Amy came with me to check out the store and was so forgiving, as always, as I chatted with people all over the store.

brass pig at land of nod storeI heard from several other guests that they wanted to also purchase some of the props used to style the store.  While not every single thing in the store might be for sale, the props give you amazing ideas on how to style your new finds.  Their attention to detail is like no other and the decor is inspiring and welcoming.

land of nod opens at south coast plazaThe store is filled with great gift ideas in a range of price points, like the Spy Kit and Presidents Puzzle (how did this not come home with me?) so it is important to know that the store is much more than just decor.  My kids love to dress up and the store has a bunch of different ways to encourage this type of imaginative play, like this bin of felt glasses in fun styles.  And they have got storage covered with tons of sizes and colors of boxes and bins to help you organize your home.  What I loved the most is getting to check out the quality in person.  Land of Nod is a name you can trust but it is still sometimes nice to hold something in your own hands and feel great about the purchase.

artist collab with the land of nodLand of Nod looks for new artists to create amazing and unique art for the store decor and products. I love that they are willing to give an unknown a chance to be part of a large project.

lately lily custom illustrationAnd I was delighted to find a custom illustration done by the artist from local fave, Lately Lily, in the goodie bag!

checking out childrens books at land of nodThe Land of Nod staff opens their arms to children.  What better way to check out the play tables than to have them set up for kid’s to color at?  The displays are created knowing that children will be shopping in the store with their parents and the store is laid out accordingly.  Amy took a break from the party to check out some of the kid’s books.

gummy bear night lightI’m sure you have heard that terribly catchy “Gummy Bear” song.  My boys love it.  So I knew when I saw these gummy bear night lights that I had to get them for them.  My youngest son keeps his as close to his bed as possible at the very corner of his bookshelf.  They REALLY love them.  After I put the batteries in, they ran around the neighborhood showing them to all the neighbor kids.

gummy bear night light and death starMy older son keeps his on top of his armoire across the room from his bed.  Or at least he starts there.  I often find him in bed with my son in the morning.  We have had trouble in the past with night lights not being bright enough.  These are awesome!  Super bright and they shine a little bit of colored light up on the ceiling above them.  I think these would also make a great gift item.

binoculars from land of nodMy older son is and has been in full spy mode for a few months now.  So I had to bring home these binoculars from the party.  He keeps them on his bedroom door so he can quickly grab them should he need to go investigate something.  You know, like the little girl’s house down the street.  These spy games provide great teaching moments for all of us…

wooden fishing gameMy youngest son is a little bit more patient during play than my older son so I knew he would love this wooden, magnetic fishing game.  It is funny to see how while this is a pretty basic toy, his video gaming experience has carried over.  We played this before he headed off to preschool this morning and every time we caught a fish, he told me what kind of fish it was ie water, fire, earth etc. like in Skylanders.  Well, except when we caught an orange fish and I asked him what type of fish that was and he thought for a second and said “orange juice.”  Maybe he doesn’t know Skylanders that well after all…

stuffed chicken at land of nodThere are a few more things I have my eye on at the store.  Luckily it is super close to my house and I can pop in and browse whenever I want.  How darling is this stuffed chicken?  I stinking love it.  You can always buy online if you do not live close to a store, but if you are in Orange County, you should definitely drop by.

wall art at land of nod costa mesaAnd while we already own a ton of artwork that we are currently framing and getting ready to hang, there is something magical about a 3-D piece of art.  It adds so much whimsy and interest to a wall.  I may be in the market for this giraffe head.

Don’t forget to follow Land of Nod on Facebook for in-store events, sale info and lots of inspiring content.

“This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Land of Nod, but all my opinions are my own. #PMedia #NODinCA”


4 Cakes for 4th Birthday

miles on prodigy scooterTwo days after Christmas we held a birthday party for my son at Pump it Up.  Two days after THAT was his actual birthday.  We always have family over on the actual day for cake and ice cream.  But this year, you know, on account of because I am crazy (we’ve already established this right?  I don’t need to keep saying it.) I decided that since it was his 4th birthday, he needed to have 4 cakes.  So this happy little guy got to ride around the house on his new Envy Prodigy scooter.  I had cakes in the oven.  I had no time for discipline.

minted banner at homeI used the rest of the Minted party decor I had ordered for his party at the house.  This is our banner wall.  True story, this banner is still up.  As I type this, in February, the banner is on the wall behind me.  It just looks so cute!  And it was super easy.  The Minted items come printed and ready to string.  They are printed on really nice quality paper and make decorating super simple.  Here are 3/4 of the cakes.  One was still in the oven at this point.  We had a yummy cherry chip cake, a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, an angel cake with meyer lemon glaze, and a dump cake.   Yes, a dump cake.  If you have never had one, you need to.  I’m going to share the recipe with you next week.  It is super simple and everyone always goes crazy for it.  And kids (and my husband) laugh when they hear the word “dump.”

minted cakeasaurus party itemsAnd oh yeah.  I had made the cake toppers from the Minted party stuff before Christmas.  And then found them a few weeks after the party, unused.  How cute would these have been on the cakes?  Total fail.  I am not a baker so trying to get all four cakes done really through me off my game.  But I will just have to save these for another time.

birthday boy on tableDo you want to know how to make the birthday boy extra happy?  Let him walk around on the dinner table.  It was hilarious.  Pure joy.

blowing out the candlesSo there you have it.  4 cakes for a 4th birthday.  For 8 adults and 4 kids.  We had a lot of leftover cake.  And since my other son is turning 7 this year I figured that if I wanted to do a party with one cake for each year I better do it now.  Even my crazy has limits.

*This is not a sponsored post for Minted.  I had a credit with them and decided to try out their party decor.  I am so glad that I did.  It saved me a ton of time and everything was still super cute.