Sunday, October 31, 2010

"the leaves by hundreds came"

Our front door autumn wreath, hung by a big ribbon

Fall is my favorite season. The months of September and October are by far the best of the dozen. Seeing the daily changes in leaf colors is like watching art in motion as it's being created. We live in a place peppered with big trees that show off their new colors. Last year, I shared a post, Color it Pretty, showing some of the rugged Colorado trees.

This year I want to share some of the fall color in our neighborhood. This massive tree, right around the corner from our house, is one of the most amazing trees I've ever seen! It is the same tree we used to hide Skyler's birthday bike.

If I was a tree hugger, this would be my tree.

It serves as the ideal climbing tree
for my boys (including my husband).

This tree reminds me of how small we are in a great big world.
It feels so majestic,
the master of our neighborhood.

Through our back windows,
we love to watch this cluster of trees change throughout the year.

A closer look...
A park in our yard is the perfect description of how it feels
to be encircled by trees
(however, yard work is SO not fun).

Directly behind our house
this row of trees breaks up the open land.

For every place we've lived, I like to choose a handful of unique qualities that captivate me about our home. The treasures I've discovered here are the big, free spaces, while still being cozily nestled with neighbors. And we also enjoy the serene landscapes of the lazy country just minutes away from the buzz of life.

To close,
one of my favorite poems:

October Gave a Party

October gave a party
the leaves by hundreds came
The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
And the leaves of every name.
The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band.

-George Cooper

Enjoy your enchanted weekend.
To read my thoughts on Halloween,
see this post from last year: CandyCorn Sunshine.

This post is linked to: Outdoor Wednesday

Monday, October 25, 2010

Build-a-Snack LEGO BUFFET (party part 2)

This is PART TWO of the LEGO Birthday Party. For more details on this party please see PART ONE.

A LEGO build -your-snack BUFFET
In the previous post I shared all the fun secrets of our LEGO Build a Birthday I hosted for our oldest son's 10th birthday. This post is dedicated to the SNACK BUFFET part of the party.

I like doing different things to normal stuff. Tablecloths lend to creative ideas. It's easy to add a splash of personality to them by layering them, spreading them over a table with different angles, or bunching and tying them in new places. With this white tablecloth I tied off the corners with twine bows.

Veggie sticks with LEGO tags that I made.
After I found the real LEGO font,
I went crazy making decorations with it...

I also used green LEGO mats in place of serving trays.

Meat and Potato Sticks for hungry little men.
These were cheddar tater tots and bratwursts.

I mentioned in the original post that my goal was to add muted and neutral tones to compliment the traditional bold LEGO colors. The purpose of this was to add maturity to the party for a 10 year old.

To maintain the natural tones,
I used snacks in muted colors like peanuts.

Chris and Skyler created the banner together.

More muted colored snacks in baby cups
tied with baker's twine.

I used a LEGO brick mold
to make these yellow and white CHOCOLATE treats!

The baby brownies I made
with chocolate cream cheese frosting
were topped with LEGO candy...Mmmm.

This idea was super fun.
I took mini cereals in boxes
and turned them into LEGO bricks.

One last look like this....

Before this...

Where are the veggie sticks? *wink*
For more details on this LEGO Birthday Party, please see PART ONE.

This post is linked to: Making the World Cuter*, Motivate Me Mondays, Market Yourself Mondays, It's So Very Creative, Tasty Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy, Tuesdays at the Table, Topsy Turvy Tuesday, Tuesdays Unwrapped, Toot Your Horn Tuesday, Get Your Craft On, We're Organized Wednesday, Outdoor Wednesday, Works for Me Wednesday, Show and Tell, Whatever Goes Wednesday, Tablescape Thursday, Spotlight Yourself, Show off Your Stuff, Strut Your Stuff, Friday Favorites, Show and Share Day, Foodie Friday, I'm Lovin It, Funky Junk Interiors, Fabulous Friday Finds, Tickled Pink, Be Different Act Normal, Weekend Wrap Up

Thursday, October 21, 2010

LEGO: Build a Birthday

This is PART ONE of a two part post. Please see PART TWO for more details.

Our oldest son turned 10 this October. I am pretty confident that LEGO sets are the BEST toys ever for boys, with Hot Wheels taking a close second. A LEGO theme was what Skyler asked for this year for his party. I shared the invites in a previous blog post. Last year, we did a Secret Agent Spy Party theme. I have ALL boys, so it requires a lot of creativity to keep thinking of unique party ideas (ohhh the girl party themes run through my head but I need to focus on little boys!). ;)

Here's the Down Low on the Details...

I wanted to create a big, exciting statement to set the scene as the guests arrived. Chris and I made this Giant Lego out of a cardboard box one evening. Chris called it "our arts and crafts date night"...because really...that's the type of dates we have at this life stage.

The gift topper of this present was a BIG LEGO crayon!

Dakotah set up a collection of LEGO racers to display at the party.
And Skyler anxiously sits in his new bean bag ready to open gifts.

One of the most exciting details for me were these ADORABLE customized LEGO shirts I ordered from etsy. Jodi, at I SPOT YOU was super kind and excellent to work with! She sells custom shirts for any occasion. My order came quickly, everything was perfect! I was able to custom pick the shirt colors, the round circle colors, and the colors of the names on the shirts. Their names are spelled with LEGO bricks! And the LEGO men are adorable.

Two of my Squeezable Loves
in their new shirts.
To kick off the party, we had a contest.
Who could build the tallest LEGO tower
in 90 seconds?

Get set...

And the HAPPY winner...Dakotah.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

For the table I wanted some of the bright, classic LEGO colors subdued in order to bring some maturity and current trends to the party decor. Since this party was for a 10 year old and not a 4 year old, I thought the neutral tones were an appropriate accent to the bold colors.

I maintained the natural tone and neutral palate
by using a craft paper table cloth,
recycled plate trays,
and the wooden flatware.
Most of my partyware was purchased from GARNISH.
They have truly endless possibilities with their products.
I was so excited to shop there for this party.

The wooden flatware was my absolute
FAVORITE thing about the party!

I used Green LEGO pads for placemats,
and each boy took home his place mat as a party favor.

For place cards,
each boy had their name in real LEGO font on a disc
with a LEGO sticker,
tied with baker's twine.

For the cups,
I added a single puffy LEGO brick sticker to the front
and dropped in swirly blue straws.

I painted with LEGO pieces on the craft paper,
thanks to the genius idea from MamaLibrarian blog.

Chris and I surprised Skyler
with a special LEGO-ware set to use for his snacks.

The table had engaging snacks for the boys...
LEGO candy that really was able to connect!

And Cheese and Crackers ready for the boys to assemble into LEGO bricks.
We used kool-aid LEGO ice cubes popped into 7-up for a fizzy treat.

LEGO pieces filled pails and were hung from above with twine
as the table centerpiece.
The boys helped me choose little LEGO men to stand on each pail.

I order {nearly} every cake from a local cake shop,
the Cake Cottage. I adore their work!
This cake was stacked LEGO bricks of course in colors of Skyler's choice.

~ ~ ~ ~ The highlight of the party ~ ~ ~ ~
This party was sweet and intimate with only 2 of Skyler's friends because we were taking all the boys to the local LEGO store in our town! Each boy was able to create and build their own little LEGO set there and take it home with them as a party treat.

But....BEFORE we left we did a mini "school" lesson. I taught them some LEGO facts and quizzed them before they were able to enter the LEGO store. Each boy had to tell me a LEGO fact before he could build his set.

Waiting to be quizzed so they could run inside...

I grabbed these LEGO facts directly
from the official LEGO website's company profile.
The inside of the store was little boy
{and big boy} LEGO heaven.

Huge LEGO sets were on display throughout the store.
The store owner showed the boys a giant project he was currently working on
that has over 8,000 LEGO pieces.

Dig in and build.

Kotah deciding what to create.

It was a very Happy 10th Birthday for Skyler,
building LEGO sets and building memories.

We also had a festive snack buffet that will be featured in a new post.
Please see PART TWO for full details

or click photo below.

This post is linked to: Making the World Cuter, Motivate Me Mondays, Market Yourself Mondays, It's So Very Creative, Tasty Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy, Tuesdays at the Table, Topsy Turvy Tuesday, Tuesdays Unwrapped, Toot Your Horn Tuesday, Get Your Craft On, We're Organized Wednesday, Outdoor Wednesday, Works for Me Wednesday, Show and Tell, Whatever Goes Wednesday, Tablescape Thursday, Spotlight Yourself, Show off Your Stuff, Strut Your Stuff, Friday Favorites*, Show and Share Day, Foodie Friday*, I'm Lovin It*, Funky Junk Interiors*, Fabulous Friday Finds*, Tickled Pink*, Be Different Act Normal, Weekend Wrap Up