April 7, 2014

April 6, 2014

Little Ballerinas: Baby Tutus, Embroidered Dance Bag & Recital Costumes

Winter ballet sessions (always a challenge to bundle up enough over those tights & leotards!) are over, we enjoyed Baby Cozy's little baby ballet! 
Painfully cute toddlers stuffed like little sausages into frilly pink numbers! :)
Teeny weeny ballet slippers that fit into the palm of my hand (she loved wearing), a pretty ballet bag (Etsy) for her slippers, a lovey and sippy cup :), and some cute leotards -- the skirted one above is from Amazon (toddler size) and the pretty pink butterfly sleeve one from Etsy (her sister has one in black to match!) 
And in Miss Cozy's classes...
...our veteran performer has been blowing us away in this intensive ballet class! 
We are already excited for her upcoming recital; her recital costumes, two this year (minus heels, eek! examples above) will look so cute. Also, we've been loving personalizing her leotards with a monogram, which you can find nearly everywhere on Etsy now.
Next up: Bon voyage party for a grand adventure...

April 5, 2014

Baby Ballet Booties

Coming up next, Baby Cozy's baby ballet fun, and the smallest pair of ballet slippers I have ever seen...

March 31, 2014

Matching Mondays: St. Patrick's Day Outfits, Dessert Tray & Class Treats!

More holiday catch up, a quick run down of some more festivities, first the St. Patty's dessert tray, assembled for our corned beef & cabbage dinner hosted by my brother and sister in law (fave meal of the year!!) 
Includes: Toffee crusted pretzels, shamrock petit four, mini cinnamon rolls, shortbread shamrocks, butter cookies, apricot jam cookies, chocolate gold coins, "Irish potatoes" and meringues! All store bought in this case for speedy assembly :)
Next up, the girls' pretty holiday outfits; both dresses will fit next year as well! For Miss Cozy, a shamrock embroidered gingham smocked dress from Best Dressed Child, coupled with green cardigan (freeeezing St. Patty's!), her green velvet headband from Christmas and black patent leather mary janes, from PediPed.
For the baby, a puff-sleeved shamrock dotted smocking dress, available here.  I also coupled her dress with a green cardigan (Old Navy), black mary janes (pediped) and a great bib from Carter's which we are still using!!
The girls wore their dresses for a sisters' holiday portrait (which I'll display every year during the holiday), to dinner and for our tea.
And last, fun St. Patrick's Day cups & treats for Miss Cozy's class and friends. Each contains: Sour apple pop rocks, green swirl lollipops, a Lucky Charms bar, shamrock stickers, gold chocolate coins, green Hershey Kisses, a shamrock stretch bracelet, little spiky leprechaun and shamrock rubber ball.
Next up: adorable baby ballet & Miss Cozy recital update!

Tutorial: Semi-Homemade Shamrock Bread

I have absolute loads to catch up on, but before I proceed, the promised shamrock bread tutorial from St. Patrick's Day! You can apply this to any holiday/shape/color scheme ... think a heart, star, flower, even letter of the alphabet ... anything you have a cutter for!
I used a shamrock shape for our St. Patrick's Day tea, and found a little short cut; our grocery store had a loaf of green pistachio bread for sale, so I used slices from that loaf, about an inch and a half thick, and cut out the center of each with my shamrock cutter.  
Otherwise, make a second loaf of your favorite bread and dye it your preferred color with 4-5 drops of food color.
See below:

I lined up each of the cut outs in a row in a buttered and floured loaf pan and carefully spooned my favorite banana bread recipe batter around it, keeping the row in place:
And covered the top, surrounding the cut outs completely...and baked according to recipe...
And within each slice was a shamrock! 
It was a pretty addition to our St. Patrick's Day tea table :)
Next up: Matching Mondays, what Miss and Baby Cozy wore for our tea, family dinner and cute portraits, as well as the dessert tray we assembled to bring to dinner!

March 18, 2014

It's a Parade! St. Patty's Parade, Washington, D.C.

Washington's St. Patrick's Day parade highlights the cutest little Irish dancers, family floats, marching bands and honors our armed services -- it's a wonderful afternoon, with a grandstand full of families.
 Everyone has their bit of green on -- the girls had these fantastic kelly green coats (they wear them year round) and knit shamrock hats I had made on Etsy. I also ordered green fleece blankets on Amazon this year as no matter the weather, the wind seems to find us in the grandstand!
 We packed up our diaper bag with snacks, a St. Patrick's Day snack mix (mix Target monster trail mix with Lucky charms cereal) and leprechaun cookie (Balduccis) for Miss Cozy in these cute orange polka dot baggies I found last Halloween at Michael's, and for the baby, squeeze applesauce & goldfish crackers :)
 The girls waved their little Irish flags and while Miss Cozy unsurprisingly loved the dancers, the baby stopped in her tracks for the drummers :)
 That night we enjoyed a delicious corned beef, potato & cabbage meal at my brother and sister in law's home, and got home just in time before this piled up -- EIGHT inches of snow, can you believe it? Mid March? Are we done yet DC??
Next Up: St. Patrick's Day dessert tray & Cozy girls' festive dinner outfits!

St. Patrick's Day Breakfast 2014

Hope you enjoyed your St. Patrick's Day, here's what was on our simple breakfast menu:
St. Patrick's Day Breakfast 
Irish Coffee or Tea
Orange Juice
Shamrock Doughnut Tree
Fruit Rainbow
(Strawberries, Cantaloupe, Pineapple, Green Grapes, Blueberries, Purple Grapes)
The girls adored our breakfast decorations (and enjoyed them all day -- we got 8 inches of snow, no school!). I hung three tissue paper poofs and strung tulle from each in each of the rainbow colors -- four strands per color.
Next up: Washington's St. Patrick's Day parade!

March 14, 2014

Zoo Birthday Party: Cheap & Cheerful Floral Arrangements, Take-Home Bags & Walking Tour

 The kids at Miss Cozy's ninth zoo birthday party loved their take home bags; I purchased the gift bags (they came in packs of five) from Hobby Lobby, and tied a hot pink tulle bow on the "girl" bags to differentiate them, but didn't personalize each as I've done in the past. 
 Each bag contained:
--Inflatable jungle animal, Amazon.
--Bag of zoo animal crackers, Amazon.
--Animal Planet fact cards, poster & pad of paper, Amazon.
--Animal-print slap bracelet (boys), Amazon.
--Rose ring lip balm & leopard charm bracelet (girls), Gymboree, no longer available.
--Zebra-stripe candy stick & hot pink sugar crystal pop, Party City.
--Animal-print mechanical pencil, Hobby Lobby.
--Zebra-strip sunglasses (girls), similar here.
 For the floral arrangements (one on the center of each table, cake table and displayed with gift bags) were cheap and cheerful -- inexpensive carnation mix bouquets (3) with additional large lilies added, 2 or 3 per vase. Around each round vase is leopard-print burlap ribbon (on sale right now) which came from here, 2 1/2-inch wide, secured around the vase with glue dots.
 The flower colors & tropical-looking lilies finished off each table beautifully!
 And reflected the colors of the gift bags...!
 After a snack and zoo staff-led trivia game, the 16 kids went out for a tour of specific exhibits. I had a box of binoculars waiting, each child picked one out on their way out of the party room.
 They spied a mother tiger playing with her baby in the winter sunshine...

 And held their noses as they enjoyed some big apes up close in the smelly but cool ape house!
 Once back in the party room, we had a pizza lunch and these juice boxes -- I decorated them beforehand with animal-print scrapbook paper, zoo stickers & glue dots!
 Hot pink chevron plates & leopard-print napkins...
 And best of all this wonderful cake, made by two-time Cupcake War Food Network winner Cake Dreams, styled by Miss Cozy :)  Their cakes are as delicious as they are pretty!
Happy Birthday kiddo, we had such a fun time celebrating with you!
Next Up: February and early March photo round up & St. Patrick's Day prep!

March 5, 2014

Zoo Birthday Invites & Stationary

All stationary found on Etsy, Miss Cozy's invite (which also doubled as part of the centerpiece table decor) was a nice mix of pink (her proclaimed signature color) and animal print. We popped a zoo map in the envelope and party details on the back...
 The invite looked cute on the photo holder & matched the flowers!
 Our return address labels were zebra & pink, and she used them on both her invites & thank you notes...
 We adore, adore the thank you notes which by now have all been mailed, a linen note with soft pink and blue with black text. That is one cute zebra :)
Next up: Flowers, party treats & the walking tour!

February 27, 2014

Matching Mondays: Zoo Birthday Party Edition!

Matching Mondays is popping up on a Thursday this week; I'm posting the girls' cute outfits from Miss Cozy's ninth birthday party at the National Zoo!
Now if you've read this blog for a while, you'll know that I lean more to the traditional when it comes to childrenswear... but really, a zoo party called out for animal print!! 
 Birthday girl Miss Cozy wore this fleece dress and matching accessories from Gymboree bought on sale last Fall. I paired it with thick brown tights and these suede boots from Pediped. She also had a matching red coat with faux fur trim for the outdoors portion of the party.
Miss Cozy was seriously excited to show off Toddler Cozy in this one piece leopard snow suit from Crazy 8, it looked a bit like a Halloween costume, and funny when she toddled around :) I paired it with matching knit hat and bow, and these red mary janes from Pediped.
Next Up: Invitation & thank you stationary, party fun, the cake & party accessories!

February 24, 2014

National Zoo Ninth Birthday Party: Cake & Decorations

One of my favorite parties yet! Miss Cozy's ninth birthday party at the National Zoo in Washington, it was the most fun venue to date!
Now I will not lie, major strategic maneuvers were required to pull off this particular celebration: First the weather, a zoo party in February? Well, luck shined on Miss Cozy that day as our beautiful, 50 degree day was flanked by two snowstorms and below freezing weather! 
Next, the mobilization of party supplies from car to private party room -- a hike even when parking in the closest lot. This contraption saved our bacon -- our beach cart!! Only two trips with a full cart and full arms were required!
We set up the room quickly and between our decorations (floral arrangements, cake, large inflatable animals & tulle bows in party colors for chairs) and the zoo's (safari hats & honeycomb centerpieces), the room was awesome.
We lined up the party take-home bags on a ledge to keep our animal theme going and the kids arrived, started with games and snacks and then followed a zoo guide on a personal tour of the ape house, big cats & science center.
Next up: Miss Cozy & Baby Cozy's coordinating zoo party outfits!!

February 6, 2014

Found! Talking Tables Cake Decorating Set

The evening of Miss Cozy's birthday, when family would be together, we wanted to have a birthday cake -- but with little time during the day, and juggling an acting class and school project that evening, I opted for a store bought cake for convenience -- but dressed it up specially!
 I found this beautiful cake decorating set from the UK company Talking Tables on Amazon and was wary at first that it wouldn't look like the photo, but look -- it's turned out beautifully!
The thick cardboard graphics are covered in a greaseproof film, so they can even be re-used ... and they stand up beautifully in my beloved vintage birthday colors.
I also bought coordinating vintage birthday napkins. I have enough leftover to use again next year. 
Happy Birthday Miss Cozy!
She wore this cute T-shirt (Gymboree) to her acting class that evening, complete with jeans & pink sparkly mary janes :) 
Next up: Miss Cozy's birthday party with friends at the National Zoo!