Friday, December 28, 2012

The Christmas Party

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We're going to do a little Christmas re-cap around here.
I managed to post a whopping 3 times this month.

Anyone else feel like they just ran a Christmas marathon?
I'll agree it was a cheerful marathon with loads of fun stops along the way
 but I'm ready for a looong nap.

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As many of you know we do a lot of Christmas baking.

I used to start at the end of October to prepare for the Christmas party in the beginning of December.
I'd bake for about 5 weeks and then freeze the cookies as I go.

This year I was a little burnt after Peanut's Monster Halloween Birthday Party.

About 3 weeks  before the party I realized I was a tad behind baking schedule....
so I procrastinated another week.

My mom did some baking and I did a few marathon days and all was well.
Who needs sleep anyway.

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Santa made an appearance at the Christmas party this year!

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Peanut was not excited.

He burst into tears and Papa had to take him into the back and it took 3 of us to calm him down.


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Judging by the death grip that Mia has on mommy, she's not too thrilled either.

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Along with all the hot food, mom had this great display.

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Santa and Ben had a little game of chess.

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According to Ben's rules, Santa always loses.

In addition to this grueling game, Ben had a great many questions for Santa in order to prove his authenticity.

Are you the real Santa?
You weren't the Santa I saw yesterday...
I didn't see your sleigh outside....
Where are the reindeer...

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Peanut's not buying it either.

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But all was proven well in the end.

Ben left a happy boy and Santa survived a killer game of chess and some brutal interrogation.

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I was told that Peanut did throw the ball to Santa once at the end of the night but this is the closest I witnessed the two of them.

Peanut is still not so sure.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Christmas Mugshot

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Merry Christmas!

The boys are just overflowing with Christmas spirit.

Yup.

Big fans of Santa, these two.

Daniel's expression is the best.

In the other Santa picture, Peanut is making a run for it.
I'll try to upload that one next.

I will say that this picture is a big improvement over last year's picture.


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This is still my favorite Santa picture to date.

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Well, it'll be another whole year until we get to traumatize the kids with an annual Santa picture.

Until then!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Discovery Science Center Giveaway!



If you've been to the Discovery Science Center before then you know just how fun it is and if you've never been.... well here is your chance to go!

The giant cube you've seen off the 5 freeway is host to so many awesome exhibits for kids of all ages.
In addition to the EcoChallenge, Dino Quest Adventure, Discover Theater, Science of Hockey, Boeing Rocket Lab and Planetary Research Station there are also rotating exhibits throughout the year.

Right now you can visit Bob the Builder's Workshop and meet all his friends as you lend them a helping hand.

Explore the Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology exhibit where you see a collection from the films and real-world artifacts from the National Geographic Society.
Dig for buried treasure and go on your own quest too!

Last but definitely not least, and perfect for the holidays, is The Science of Gingerbread where you can tour the Annual Gingerbread Competition entries, learn the science behind smelling and build and race your own candy car in the Gingerbread Derby!


The Discovery Science Center is hosting an exclusive holiday event this Wednesday 
and they are giving me tickets so you can come too!

It's going to be full of fun activities, a picture with santa and lots of exploration.
It'll be such a treat to bring your family to this outing.

For a chance to win these 
4 TICKETS TO THE EXCLUSIVE HOLIDAY EVENT
ON WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 12 FROM 6-8PM
Please:
- Leave a comment
- blog, tweet or post on Facebook about this giveaway 
- follow my blog
- like Discovery Science Center on Facebook (found as Discovery Cube)

Please leave a separate entry for each.

Good Luck!!


Friday, December 7, 2012

And there are trees!

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By Orange County standards we live pretty far out.

Growing up, I considered any city that didn't have at least one border on the beach "inland".
Of course, when I was growing up the city I now live in didn't even exist.

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Now we live in South County aaaallll the way to the East in what I call "the country".

I call it the country because (and I can hardly still believe this) there is nothing but nature on the other side of our neighborhood.
We back up to and are walking distance from O'Neil Regional Park and when you look at a map, 
you'll see that next to us is nothing but green.

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And there are trees!

I mean, trees everywhere!

They line our streets and they are gorgeous and the neighborhoods are beautiful.

We can see the mountains from our windows.

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We are a few minutes walk from this lake.

We leave the house, walk past the elementary school and find this waiting for us.
It is man-made and there is no swimming in it but it's such a perfect one mile loop.

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I'll be sure and take some pictures of the lake with the mountains in the background.

I'd take pictures of the Peanut at the lake but it's hard to hold a camera and keep him from jumping in at the same time.

It's a breathe of fresh air every time we go for a walk around the neighborhood.

Where do you go to recharge?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

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We are thankful for way too many things to list today.

Our cups are overflowing.

I'm so happy I could burst.

Which will match nicely with the top button of my pants around 7 pm tonight.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

DIY Fall Felt Tree Play Board

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I'd been seeing all these awesome felt Christmas trees on Pinterest 
and it hit me that we could (and probably will) do something similar for all the seasons.

I don't have many fall decorations, I adore trees and
 I knew Peanut would like this so it's a win for everyone.

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I took a yard of felt and held it up next to Peanut, took note of how high he could reach and cut the felt off there.  I couldn't find chalk anywhere so I sketched on the fabric with yellow highlighter.

I don't suggest it.  :)  It was hard to see and I kept drawing it over so in the end I just sort of ended cutting branches as I went.

The beauty of felt (and hot glue) is that you can do these in pieces if you need to, or you can add on if you want.  I had to do the tree in two pieces but you barely notice.

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Of course, it can be as simple or as intricate as you want.  

After you have the base of the tree cut, position it on your large felt panel and hot glue it down.

I suggest starting from the bottom and working your way up and doing so by starting at the trunk and working your way to the tip of you branches, smoothing as you go.
This prevents wrinkles in your felt.

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I glued a nice little knot hole over the seem in the middle.

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If you can, try to time the project during a visit from your family so you can have everyone help cut your fall leaves out.

I printed a maple leaf template off the internet and drew a second smaller leaf.
My in-laws and niece cut out leaves in a variety of fall colors.

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Ta da!

A fall felt play panel that is also a pretty decoration and will keep the Peanut busy while I get something truly worth while done... like read a book or pin more projects or eat chocolate.

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He thinks it's especially hilarious when he tries to put a bunch up
and half of them go falling to the floor.

Only these fall leaves make a much nicer pile on the living room floor.

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When fall is over you could roll it up and pack it away for next year
or you could set it aside and cut out some leaves in lovely greens and yellows for spring!

Shoot, you could even do snowflakes for winter and don't even get me started on other things like acorns, birds, owls, bats, spiders, webs, swings, blossoms.... oh the possibilities are endless for a variety of holidays and situations!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Peanut's 2nd Birthday!

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A few weeks have gone by and I still feel like this picture 
is an accurate portrayal of Peanut's 2nd Birthday.

It pretty much flew by in one big happy blur.

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We did a Halloween costume party (which I will continue until he one day decides he wants a birthday that has nothing to do with Halloween) with an emphasis on monsters.

With the help of my craft slaves (thank you mom, dad and B) we created a "Monster Adoption Center" with  felt monster plushies, each unique and complete with adoption papers to be filled out by our guests!  Kids decorated gift bags to take their monster's home in.

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And then monster Peanut chased Pirate Daniel through the backyard and into the house.

Can you see Pirate Daniel screaming?

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We had a kids table set up with the awesome mummy juice boxes that my mom and dad created.

Actually, they did everything except for the cupcakes and the pulled pork.
So before you all start asking how I do it all, I'd like to put it on record that I don't.

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And then Monster Peanut chased Pirate Daniel down the hall and back out into the backyard.

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Mom put together a nice display of both creepy and cute treats.

Everything tasted amazing but some people were a little freaked out by the eyeballs and spiders.

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I attempted to take a picture of the two of them together which was such a joke.

Boys!  Boys!  Pay attention!


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This was a fluke but it totally made me laugh when I was sorting pictures.

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The top right shows the adult food buffet but lets be honest, the kids always eat the adult food and vice versa.  B made some super fantastic pulled pork.

The dessert table was stocked with these unique and handcrafted monster cupcakes as well as suckers and cookies!  You know I love a good dessert table.

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My favorite part by far is getting to see all the kids in their costumes!

Super Jake up top is in a homemade costume which I am super impressed with.

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Baby Conner!  Remember my great-nephew that was born super early?

This is the same child, can you believe it?!

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Time for cake which thankfully no one ate because seriously, how toxic does that frosting look?

Next year he either gets a homemade one or a large cupcake.

Then Evan had to jump on B's lap and practice for his birthday the following week.

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Pirate Daniel and Peanut apparently found some treasure, dragged it to the other end of the backyard and dug in.

I see you two!!

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This is soooo Peanut.

In the midst of everything, with all these kids clamoring to open his presents and see whats in the next box, Peanut is going to sit and very leisurely browse this book.

Love that kid.

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Finally the big surprise.

Peanut's First Bike!!!

We got him a push bike and his little face lit up when he saw it.
He's still just a tad too small for it but he'll be perfect for it soon enough.

I don't know who was more excited... Peanut or daddy.

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I don't have many pictures of me in them but I feel like this particular monster lantern shows exactly how I felt after the party.

Thank you everyone for the birthday wishes, for joining in the party and for loving our Peanut so much.  It was a blast.

But seriously, don't ask me about next years party until at least September, OK?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Monster Cupcakes

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You know how I feel about dessert tables
and I couldn't very well have a Monster Party without Monster Cupcakes!

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I baked off 3 different types of cupcakes
and whipped up a bunch of buttercream frosting,
colored it with Wilton food coloring
and covered them in frosting.

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My friend Kelly immediately started in on the decorating.

Before she came over I collected a bunch of candy as well as Wilton's candy eyes that my mom got from Michaels and I got from Target.

We had some pictures for inspiration as a jumping off point.

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The monsters were bright and colorful and super fun to decorate.

I think the kids (and the adults) loved them.

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We used things like marshmallows, sour strips, black frosting,
dum dums, m&ms, peach rings, chewy lifesavers, jelly fruit slices
and good 'n fruity candies for all the faces.

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Some scissors, frosting and a lot of creativity and we had a whole mess of monsters!

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I think these are most of them... every single one of them different of course.
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