Friday, June 28, 2013

Let The Party Begin

Passing Notes Today:  Mrs. Williams

Hey Girls - 

It's party time!  Today's a total flashback to last year's Carnival Birthday Party.  It was so much fun.  Actually, when I asked my oldest son what his favorite part of the party was, he said, "The best part was being with my friends."  I agree.  Here's how we celebrated with all of our friends.

Everyone entered along our side yard that we lined with balloons.
"Step right up!  Spin the Wheel of Candy!"
We made the ticket booth from a Discovery Kids lemonade stand.  The wheel of candy was filled with retro candy options like candy dots and salt water taffy.  Each kid gave the wheel a spin when they arrived.  Isn't the mark of every great party kids hyped up on sugar?

 Funny Photos

The photo station was right near the ticket booth.  Most families sat down for a photo when they arrived.  I gathered most of the hats from party stores.  I attempted to sew bow ties (not as easy as I thought) and I found the great carnival face sticks at Michael's in the dollar bins.

We printed off the family and friend photos and included them in the boys' thank you notes.

Face Painting

I recruited our teenage neighbor for the face painting station.  She drew up the face painting options (awesome!).  Then during the carnival, kids each got their face and/or arms painted.  The paints were from AC Moore.  With a coupon, they were under $5.


To be honest, the idea of feeding people kind of paralyzes me.  So, we kept the food simple, chips, burgers, hot dogs, and watermelon.  And, of course, cake.  People also munched on the popcorn when they arrived.  My father-in-law worked the grill during the party.  That was a great help!


The craft table was a last minute idea.  I saw some really cute $1 circus themed frame crafts at AC Moore.  I bought some paints and brushes at the Dollar Tree, and the craft table was ready.  Kids made some sweet and messy frames at the carnival.

Relay Races

I love me some relay races...and the kids did too.  This was a lot of fun at the party and really easy to set up.  We made relay race lanes using some really inexpensive yellow rope.  We tied knots at each rope end and secured them to the ground using golf tees.  I googled some relay race games and just used supplies from around the house.  It was so fun cheering for each of the kids.

We had a wonderful time putting together this family carnival.  I honestly thought my favorite part would be the decorating, crafting, or planning, but my son was right, the best part was when all of our friends showed up.

So fun!

Note from Mrs. Kelly:  Feeling inspired.  I love how you had a guide for the face painting...that makes it so easy!   All the prep was worth it for those sweet, grinning faces.  When are you throwing the next bash?  Ahem, I'd like to be invited.

PS Hey everyone!  Starting next week, we will be posting a little less frequently for the summer.  We hope to have at least three posts a week (maybe more) but as we are all moms with little ones, the summer becomes an incredibly busy time.  We know you can all relate!  Btw, if you're interested in being a guest poster or have an idea for a post, send us an email!  Happy Summer!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Big Top Under Your Roof?

Passing Notes Today:  Mrs. Kelly

Dear ladies,

In honor of circus/carnival week, I found some online inspiration. Check out these cool circus-themed rooms.  I think my favorite is the office.

Featured on Apartment Therapy

Every child should have a ferris wheel in his room for storage!  Mrs. Williams, I see a ferris wheel construction project in your future.

And if that wasn't enough eye candy for you go Mrs. G:

Note from Mrs. Gosling:  I get nervous time I see that clip!  "Don't let go Noah .... don't let go!"

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Carnival Party Prep and Details

Passing Notes Today:  Mrs. Williams

Hi Mrs. Kelly and Mrs. Gosling - 

As you know, I'm a details girl.  I love lists.  In fact, I love to break my lists into smaller tasks, just so I can cross more things off as I finish them (total nerd).  So, putting together the fun details (and making lots of lists) for this carnival party was my idea of a good time.  I thought I'd share some of the details and the decor from the backyard carnival today.

The bead necklaces (from Oriental Trading Co.) were given away as prizes at the games.

Carnival Signs

After all the games were completed, I got to work on the signs.  I tried to make a scalloped carnival border, inspired by this etsy artist.  Then, I got out some paints.  I’m no artist, so this was overwhelming.  I even spelled beanbag wrong on one sign, but by the time I realized it, it was late, I was tired, and I thought I could chalk it up to homemade charm. 

On another afternoon, I covered them all in clear contact paper.  Time con-sum-ing!  At least now my signs and spelling errors are preserved for life.


My neighbors kindly agreed to be the Carnies at our carnival.  Thanks guys!  They are the nicest people, confirmed even more, when they gladly wore the accessories that I purchased/made for them.

I found these skimmer hats at Party City ($.99 each).

Initially, I planned on making lots of aprons for the "workers" to wear.  However, after I made one that didn't come together as quickly as I dreamed, I called Home Depot.  I was pretty sure they had some cheap aprons.  They did...$.77 each.   Guess where my husband had to go?

When he got home, I pulled out my pile of scrap fabric again.  I cut a rough squares to cover the Home Depot logo.  Then, I printed off a star from Microsoft Word and used it as a quick pattern.  I cut out some stars and sewed along the edges with a zigzag stitch.

The tickets are from The Dollar Tree.


My son and I made the favors using popcorn boxes I found at Five Below.  We filled them with goodies we purchased at The Christmas Tree Shop:  bubbles, tic-tac-toe paper pads, fruit snacks, tootsie rolls, and in the carnival spirit - wiffle balls.

Carnival Sign

This is the very first thing we made, and by we, I mean my husband.  I was sort of the backseat-sign-maker with this one.  He did all the hard work and then I added some stars and stripes at the end.  I love it.


We borrowed two tents to combine with our one tent for the carnival.  This roll of plastic striped table cloth, that I ordered from Oriental Trading Company, was the star of the show.  On the day of the carnival I used it to decorate everything, the back of the tents, table tops, and even the cement block that steadied the carnival directional sign.

Party in progress.

At this point I crossed almost everything off of my list.  We were ready for the guests to arrive.

I'll tell you all about it tomorrow,

Note from Mrs. Kelly:  I love those aprons that were 77 cents.  The favors were amazing.  The signs made everything just so...over the top...the big top.  Get it?  Ok, seriously though, I love !it all.

Note from Mrs. Gosling:  Carnival eye-candy ... in DA' HIZOUZZ!!!!  I think that my favrotie part is the Oriental Trading striped roll or maybe the apron applique (I love a great stitch job).  No, wait!  It's totally BW in his Sunday golf gear.    Salt N' Pepper hair has never looked better! 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Mom's Circus

Welcome to my life circus.  It's a beautiful, bright, chaotic circus.  And in this show I am a star (*jazz hands*).  In fact, I think most moms could run a circus because we've mastered all the roles.

Check it out:

Ringmaster.  I'm the director.  I am joyful and proud when it all goes according to plan and I'm less joyful and less proud when the elephants break loose.

Lion Tamer.  Have you seen my lovely children at 5:30 PM when they are hungry?  I don't have a chair to keep them at bay, but I do have legos and Good Luck Charlie and a baby gate.

Clown.  My skills shine during meltdowns and photo shoots.  

Tightrope Walker.  I've never walked more gingerly than when I've tried to transfer sleeping children to their beds.  One misstep and it's all over.  Nik Wallenda thinks walking across the Grand Canyon on a tightrope is a big feat?  Puh-lease.  Try moving my toddler from our minivan to his bed without stirring him.  That, my friends, is a feat.

Fire Breather - "What, dear?  You're coming home late?"  

Magician - I put together my daughter's school Halloween costume last year in five minutes.  If that's not some serious David Copperfield wizardry, I don't know what is (check out Dr. Kelly below).

lily doctor
Hand me down scrubs, a fleece, water bottle...duh.  Doctor in between patients.  
Circus Freak - I nailed this role when my kids were all infants and slept for two hour increments.  I continue to dazzle when my husband's schedule picks up or the kids are sick or the holidays are coming.  Christmas out.  I might scare you.
This is the one picture I have from Christmas a couple years ago. Not only am I sleep deprived and wearing no makeup but my hair is inexplicably brushed (and I use that term loosely) forward.
See?!  I'm a star.  It's a circus but there's a reason it's called the greatest show on earth.  I'm learning to embrace the craziness.  Now if you'll excuse me, my crushed red velvet blazer needs tending to.

Note from Mrs. Gosling:  Did you flat iron your hair before Christmas pics?  You look pretty good for early morning present opening :)
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