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How to Make Emoji Rice Krispies Treats

13 Aug

Hi all! I’m back with some more creativity in the kitchen. Emoji Rice Krispies Treats! (Just look at how good they came out. Believe me, I’m more shocked than you are!)

Sue at Home Emoji Rice Krispie Treats main

Before we get started, I need to give major props to Mister Krisp who is the one-and-only inspiration for this project. If you don’t know about her — and yes, this Mister is a her — Jessica Siskin is a NYC-based writer who just happens to make amazing dessert art with Rice Krispies treats. She has a huge following on Instagram and one of her most famous projects is her emojis. (While you’re checking out her Instagram, be sure to note her Rice Krispies tacos,  her Rice Krispies burger and oh yeah, her Rice Krispies Drake. I figured the emojis would be a great project for me and the girls to make to take to a barbeque today. (Shout out to Kelli and Rob!)

Sue at Home Emoji Rice Krispie Treats ingredients

The ingredients you’ll need are: 6 cups of Rice Krispies cereal, 3 tablespoons of butter, a 10 ounce bag of marshmallows, yellow food coloring, Pam cooking spray and frosting in the following colors: black, white, blue, red and pink. I bought tubes of Wilton decorating icing in black and red and then made a quick mini batch of white icing and used food coloring to make the other colors. (Note: I do NOT recommend the Wilton Ready-to-decorate cans. The frosting comes out too fast and it’s very hard to control.) For supplies, you’ll need a round cookie cutter and a Wilton #3 round piping tip. (If you want blush on some of the blushing emojis, you’ll also need red food coloring and a foam brush.)

The Rice Krispies treat directions are right on the cereal box: you melt the butter in a big saucepan on low, then add the marshmallows. As they melted, I added about 5-6 drops of yellow liquid food coloring to get the emoji color.

Sue at Home Emoji Rice Krispie Treats melting

Then you remove it from the heat and stir in the Rice Krispies. We laid wax paper on cookie sheets (just to protect the table) and dumped the mixture in the middle. Then I used a spatula coated in Pam to spread it out and press it down so it was flat. They should be somewhere between 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch high. I kind of like how fat this one in the front came out and it’s about a 1/2 inch.

Sue at Home emoji rice krispie treats close up

After you’ve got the mixture all spread out (you might need more than one cookie sheet), use the cookie cutter to cut circles. (You can spray it with Pam so it doesn’t stick.) You’ll want to use a flat spatula coated in Pam to lift them. Do not underestimate the stickiness of melted marshmallows! Pam is your friend. Pam is sort of like the most important ingredient in this whole recipe. Use her wisely! In fact, Mister Krisp even advises spraying it on your hands to mold Rice Krispies treats. We did just that and reworked the leftovers into a new layer of Rice Krispies treats to cut from. (Like those pictures behind Sophia? You can read all about our photo wall in this post.)

Sue at Home emoji rice krispie treats cutting

Sidenote: On the first batch, I completely forgot the food coloring! We decided to still use some of them (I mean, they taste the same!) even though they looked more like rice cakes. Oops. You can see the difference here.

Sue at Home Emoji rice krispie treats 2 colors

All you have to do after you cut them is pipe on the frosting. I know this may sound daunting but if you’ve ever piped “Happy Birthday Whoever” onto a cake, you can do this. It’s just a series of little half circles and lines, plus some hearts, tongues and teardrops. (I kept this image from Mister Krisp up on my laptop as I worked.)  I don’t have any shots of me actually piping it because my assistants were totally over me at this point but here’s my advise: keep the piping tip close to the Rice Krispies treats, move slowly, and squeeze hard. As long as you stay close and go slow, you can’t screw it up.  If I ever make this again, I’ll invest some more tips because the biggest annoyance was taking the tip off and washing it before starting the next color. Here’s a process shot with just black and white icing.

Sue at Home Emoji Rice Krispie Treats black piping

But they really come to life once the other colors are added!

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Some of them, like the little guy on the bottom left below, call for blush. I couldn’t find a tutorial from Mister Krisp so I just figured it out on my own.

Sue at Home Emoji Rice Krispies 4.2

I used some blood — just kidding! — but seriously, doesn’t it look like blood? It’s actually red gel food coloring. I put a little on a plate and used a foam brush to just dab a little color onto his cheeks. Just be sure to blot it A LOT on the paper plate before putting it on the emoji. I think it worked out pretty well for those little shy guys!

Sue at Home Emoji Rice Krispie Treats blush collage

It was an easy, though somewhat time-consuming, project that looks a lot more impressive than I thought it would!

So, tell me…what’s your favorite emoji? I probably use the smooch lips the most because I “speak emoji” with my kids more than anyone else but I am partial to the wink and the heart eyes too!

Hope you’ll try this fun project!

XO

Sue at Home

Sue at Home Emoji Rice Krispies Treats Pin

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The Only Guacamole Recipe You’ll Ever Need

8 Aug

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Okay, maybe not just three people but I do admit I have a pretty serious obsession with guacamole. In fact, I’ve made it my life’s work to perfect my guac recipe. And today I’m here to share it with you beautiful people. (By the way, that print above is a poster from a site called Dormify and I might have ordered it if it wasn’t from a site called Dormify.)

Sue at Home Guacamole with chip

Now don’t think you’re going to get some secret ingredient here because my recipe is pretty basic. But with the right ratios of those basic ingredients, I think you’ll agree that this guacamole is pretty special.

I know I sound like I’m tooting my guacamole horn but I get requests to make guac for just about every party I go to but I recently had such a nice compliment that I figured this post was far past due. It all started when I made it for Sophia’s end-of-the-season soccer party and a bunch of people at the party asked for the recipe. Then a few weeks into the summer, I got this text from one of my fellow soccer moms: “Huge shout out to you for the guacamole recipe. I have made it 4 times for different events/people and everyone LOVES it. Thank you!!!” (So you can all thank Donna for her compliment because it made me finally get around to writing this post.)

Sue at Home guacamole ingredients

I meant to share this recipe with the Sue at Home readers years ago but…I ate it. No — seriously. Back in 2012, I photographed every step of the chopping process but then once it was in the bowl, it disappeared so quickly that I never got a shot of the actual finished product. Oops. Luckily, I got some shots this time before I inhaled it so let’s get down to business, shall we?

First off, you’ll need 5-6 ripe avocados. Don’t even attempt this recipe if your avocados aren’t ripe because you’ll waste your time and end up with crappy guacamole. (And it won’t be my fault.) I get mine at Whole Foods because I like to bleed money  they always have ripe ones. The rock-hard avocados that most stores sell won’t be ripe for about 6 days…and who wants to wait that long for guacamole?

Sue at Home Guacamole avocado and knife

You’ll need 1 or 2 vine-ripe tomatoes. I usually take most of the guts out but I leave a little to keep it juicy. Chop ’em up but don’t worry about getting them too small.

Sue at Home guacamole tomato

Most guacamole recipes call for red onions but since they’re disgusting and they repeat on me, I use spanish or vidala onions. Just a half an onion chopped up should do it. Now is a good time to mention that I use one bowl for the good stuff and one bowl for the junk because it makes me feel like I have my own cooking show. Oh — and my bowls are from Anthropologie (similar here) but you probably already knew that because I used them in the rainbow cake post.

Sue at Home Guacamole onion

Next up is the divisive cilantro. I know some people don’t like it. (In fact some people are even genetically predisposed to think that it tastes like soap. If you think I’m kidding, you’ve got to read this article in the New York Times. Apparently, even Julia Child hated the stuff.) But the recipe isn’t quite the same without it so just hope that you don’t have any of those cilantro haters in your audience. Grab a big handful off the bunch and chop it up. Technically, you’re supposed to pull the leaves off the stems but I never do and I’ve never had a complaint.

Sue at Home Guacamole cilantro

To give your guacamole a little kick without lighting your guest’s mouths on fire, a few jalapeno peppers should do the trick. This is one part of the recipe that has evolved over the years. I used to use one jalapeno, then two. Now I’m up to three or four. As long as you take the seeds out, the jalapenos will just add some nice flavor without too much heat. Just be sure to really mince them so your guac doesn’t have huge chunks of jalapeno. A couple tips: Cut the top off and then make a few little slices down the side with your paring knife. (See below) Then you can slide the knife in and separate the guts from the outside without getting seeds all over the place. And also — scrub your hands like crazy after handling jalapenos because if you don’t and you’re a contact lens wearer like me, your fingertips will burn your eyeballs like the depths of hell. (You’ve been warned.)

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Sue at Home Guacamole jalapeno

I like my guacamole nice and citrusy so I use the juice of a whole lime. Can’t you practically hear Tom Colicchio saying that my guacamole has “good acid”?

Sue at Home Guacamole lime

Two more things — which just might be the most important ingredients of all — salt and pepper. I’ve never measured the amount I put in but I can tell you that I’m very generous with the salt. Go ahead and mix everything up and then add salt and pepper to taste. I just keep adding salt until I think it’s perfect. (And to those eagle-eyed readers out there — yes, that’s the pepper shaker from the set of shakers we gave out as wedding favors 14 years ago! More on those here.)

Sue at Home Guacamole pepper

Some people slice up the avocados before they scoop them out but I find that they mush up nicely without doing that. Just scoop them out with a spoon!

Sue at Home Guacamole avocado scoop

Of course, this is just a personal preference but I like to serve my guac with Tostitos Bite Size chips. If you use a bigger chip then you end up eating more chip and less guacamole and really…isn’t the guacamole the star, here?

Sue at Home Guacamole bowl with chips

You’ll definitely want to make this fresh right before you serve it or your guacamole will turn brown. But if you need to, go ahead and combine all of the ingredients (except for the avocados!) a day in advance and keep them in a closed container in the fridge so all the flavors can party and get to know each other.

Sue At Home’s Only Guacamole Recipe You’ll Ever Need

5-6 ripe avocados 

1/2 spanish onion, chopped

1-2 vine-ripe tomatoes, chopped 

1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped 

3-4 jalapeno peppers, minced

Juice from a whole lime

Salt and Pepper to taste 

**Serve with Tostitos Bite Size chips

Chop all of the ingredients and stir until mashed and combined. It makes a nice, big, party-size portion but it’ll go fast. (One time my friends ate the whole bowl while I was busy making mojitos. True story.)

Happy Guacamole Making!

XO

Sue at Home

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A Lalaloopsy Party for Lalalily

1 Aug

I’m back today with a belated post about Lily’s Lalaloopsy-themed birthday party. You might remember back in May, I showed you the DIY invitations I made using cardstock, washi tape, some Picmonkey layouts, and a custom Lalalily logo that my awesome sister-in-law made. (Lily says thanks Aunt Paola!)

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We lucked out with the weather once again for Lily’s party which was good because it was at our house. 

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A sign on the door with the custom Lalalily logo greeted guests and let them know they were at the right house. (FYI: That’s a Lalaloopsy doll. And a Lalalily.)lalloopsy party 034

We hired a face painter from Bella Faccia who worked on all of the kids. She came early to do Lily and Sophia and when kids arrived they got a numbered sticker on their hand so they wouldn’t have to stand in line. Ann did an amazing job and all the kids were thrilled! 

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Note to local friends: They’re the ones that are always at the Westfield streetfair on the corner of East Broad and Prospect. They’re not cheap but they were worth it!face paint collage

We also “hired” Sophia and her friend to do temporary tattoos for all the kids. We used an old Discovery Kids lemonade stand as a tattoo booth and I let the kids decorate it with neon signs I bought at the Dollar Store. They took their job very seriously and even made sure all the dads and grandpas were covered in tattoos!

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As for the desserts, I made two cakes and some chocolate covered pretzels which were so ridiculously delicious they were the surprise hit of the party.  Details coming soon. (Actually that’s a lie. The real surprise hit was my pomegranate margaritas. The kids loved them! Kidding. But they were awesome and you’ll get the recipe for those soon, too.)

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I decorated the pretzels with some rainbow colored sugars that I already had. (I mean, doesn’t everyone have decorative sugars in every color of the rainbow like I do?)

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I decorated one of the cakes with button lollipops from Oriental Trading. (It’s a Lalaloopsy thing. Don’t ask.)

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The other cake got a two-sided sign with that custom Lalalily logo. I made it by making two prints on cardstock, using a plate to trace a round shape on the top, cutting it, and then attaching the prints onto three skewers with tape. That makes it sound complicated but it really was very simple. And certainly simpler than writing the logo in frosting or crafting it out of fondant (which is far past my cake making skill set).

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Lily was not very excited about her mini Lalaloopsys being on the cake but after I promised that I’d clean them up, she allowed it. (I starting having flashbacks to a similar glue and Polly Pocket situation with Soph’s school project that strangly is my most read post. I guess a lot of people need to build wigwams.)

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If you know me, you know I like some colored cake (Exhibit A: Lily’s rainbow cake!)  so it may come as no surprise to see that the cakes were pink and turquoise inside. (Bonus: Duncan Hines has made it just too easy with pre-colored Blue Velvet and Pink Velvet vanilla flavored box mixes!)  

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For favors, I filled bags from Oriental Trading with Lalaloopsy art kits for the girls and Batman Lego sets for the boys…

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…and then used washi tape to attach labels to each bag. 

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Lil had a great time and we were so happy to have my parents with us to celebrate! (Note to self and anyone considering having a face painter at your kid’s birthday party: Just remember that your kids will look like this in any nice family pictures from the soiree. As long as you’re cool with that, paint away!)

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Check out some other birthday parties here:

Lily’s Rainbow Birthday Party

Lily’s Luau Birthday Party

Sophia’s Glamtastic Birthday Party

 

Hope you’re all enjoying your summer!

XO

Sue At Home

 

 

 

 

Easy Party Invitations

6 May

Lily’s 6th birthday is coming up (how did she get so big?!?!) and I decided to go the DIY route for her invitations again. The theme is “Lalaloopsy/Carnival” so I wanted the invitations to be bright, fun, and Lalalily!

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The first step was to turn to my resident graphic designer (that would be my sister-in-law Paola) to create a custom Lalalily logo to be used all over the party. As per ushe, Paola rocked her assignment (even with her newborn baby on her hip). Check!

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Next I chose a fun picture of Lily that I took in Aruba this year and added some text to it with the help of PicMonkey. FYI: The font I used–which features hearts over the i’s if you’re into that sorta thing (and why wouldn’t you be?)–is called Emily’s Candy.

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Don’t mind the reflection of the photographer in her lens. Note to self: no more mirrored glasses for the girls.

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I knew I could have just printed the text on the back of the picture (I printed them at home on cardstock) but I figured to make it more interesting I’d print separate sheets and then tie them together with a ribbon. But when I went to look for my hole punch, I was greeted with this: washi tape heaven!

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And that’s when I decided that it would far more Lalaloopsy-ish if I used random washi tape to attached the image to the party info page.

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Isn’t it so pretty? Now I’m totally inspired to use washi tape all over her party!

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Stay tuned for more Lalalily details as the party date approaches! And if you just can’t wait, check out these other awesome party posts on Sue at Home:

Lily’s Luau Birthday party

How to Throw A Glamtastic Kids’ Party

Lily’s Rainbow Birthday Party

XO

Sue at Home

Spooky Decor

23 Oct

Just in time for our annual Halloween soiree, I finally got the house all spooked out and ready. I started with spiders in the light fixture and a black scarf draped over my painting to make it look a little less pink.

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A lot of the decorations were left over from last year, like the little spiders, the tablecloth and the cobwebs. This year, I added lots of Martha Stewart Crafts that another editor gave me at my day job.
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All of the wine bottle decorations are from Martha Stewart. You can find them here.  The little owl papers just stick on the front of the bottle. Sophia said they all reminded her of Harry Potter.

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For the witchy wine, I combined the sticker from this kit with the witch’s hat from this kit.  My pumpkins are fake ones from Target that I spray painted and glued glitter onto.  (You know I’ll never spray paint a real one again after what happened last year!)

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The girls made the creepy hands at an event at Sophia’s school. They’re just medical gloves filled with flour.

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My favorite of the wine bottle decorations was this awesome vampire collar. We added fangs from the photo decor kit too.

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Sophia made the striped planter at the Y.

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Those ghosts in the back are the party favors for the kids. I just trimmed plain white lunch bags to have a ghost shape on top and Soph drew on the eyes.

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My glitter skull from last year is sitting on the front windowsill surrounded by brass candlesticks. (And of course, some pretty carnations. They’re my go-to party flower because they’re cheap, pretty and they last a loooooong time.)

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The girls colored pumpkins with metallic paint pens in lieu of carving.

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Our front foyer table holds this little glass pumpkin (another Target find) filled with lots of essential Halloween toys like glow-in-the-dark teeth and spider rings. (Because you can never have enough spider rings!)

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A little ghost that Lily made in pre-K last year hangs out in the den on top of a bowl of shells. Sometime between last Halloween and now, he lost an eye. But I think it’s a good look for him so we’re going with it!

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I also did a couple of the Halloween crafts featured in the October issue of Ladies’ Home Journal so I can talk about them for an upcoming TV appearance on Better TV. This is all day job stuff but I’ll let you know when it’s airing. (Follow Sue at Home on Facebook to hear all about it!)

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Up in Sophia’s room, she had a blast spookifying her place with this photo kit from Martha Stewart.

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Of course, that was before she switched her costume a few minutes before the party. As I told her the first time she changed her mind about her costume, “You can be whatever you want as long as you can put it together from things in this house.” I’m happy to help buy/build/hunt for costumes but not when she changes her mind two days before Halloween! (BTW: She’s a cat–obviously–and Lily is Chee Chee from Teen Beach Movie. When I posted this picture on Instagram, I tagged Chrissie Fit, the actress that plays Chee Chee, and she liked my picture! It’s scary how excited that makes me but you need to understand that this movie is like an Oscar-caliber film in my house and Chrissie Fit is like our Meryl. I don’t even think the girls understand how cool it is!)

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And when they’re not being as cute as can be, they can turn up the spook and scare the crap out of you too!

Halloween 2013 BLOG

XO

Sue at Home

A Nautical Party for Leo

30 Jul

No no. I don’t have a mystery son that I’ve never told you about. This post is about an adorable party that our friends threw for their son Leo’s first birthday. Leo’s mom, Carrie, did such a great job curating lots of fun nautical themed details (mostly from Etsy sellers!) that I just had to snap a few pics on my phone and create a post for you. You’ll find all of Carrie’s resources throughout.

The party was held in the cutest (and yummiest) pizzeria in Hoboken, Dozzino.

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Carrie got the pennant from Etsy seller Subway Party. It’s an instant download so she had to print, cut and string it.

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Dozzino has long farmhouse tables where guests sit family style (ie: When you go there, you’re sitting with strangers. Embrace it.) but since Mike and Carrie rented the whole restaurant, Carrie used one of the tables as a dessert display.

Happy Birthday Banner: Etsy seller Cutie Putti Paperie

Chevron runner: Etsy seller Fantasy Vintage Bridal

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My kids may or may not have OD’d on those swedish fish in the candy jar!

Candy jars: Michael’s

Picture frame: Oriental Trading

Smash cake: Lovingly made by grandma!

Pennant on the smash cake: Same download as the big one above! Etsy seller Subway Party

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Aren’t these simple plates and napkins just perfect?

Plates and napkins: Oriental Trading

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Little picks from Etsy seller Chelsea Lee Designs decorated the cupcakes from Hudson Cakery.

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Of course, Leo had his own personal birthday hat from Etsy seller Prop Shop Boutique.

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The cake (also from Hudson Cakery) was so cute…

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and totally delish! (Hello, fresh strawberries!)

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Carrie’s been taking monthly (or probably more like hourly!) pics of Leo since he was born so of course, they had to display the whole year. She found the banner, which came assembled, from Etsy seller Stampin Fanatic.

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The party favors didn’t disappoint. Can you believe she got the great bags from Oriental Trading?

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The bag tags were another printable from yet another Etsy seller: Jen Leonardini.

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 Lily did not like me swiping her party favor just to take a still life shot but I did it for you, people. Don’t worry, she got to eat her gummies and Goldfish.

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I would be missing part of the story if I didn’t mention the delicious food we ate for lunch. Dozzino served simple green salads, bruschetta and “spesto” (spinach pesto) crostini.

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And the pizza. Ohhhhhhh the pizza. Of course, there was the classic margarita pie but this white spinach version was quite possibly the most delicious pizza I’ve ever eaten. (Disclaimer: I should note that I am currently on Weight Watchers so maybe I was just so crazy about it by comparison. But don’t knock my beloved Weight Watchers. I get to eat just about anything I want as long as it’s in moderation. And believe me, watching my intact of this pizza was hard!)

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Carrie and Mike did such an amazing job with the party but the cutest, most adorable, and totally delicious thing there was Leo himself! Is it any surprise my girls are obsessed with him?

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Carrie made the highchair sign herself using Powerpoint! But you don’t need to be a DIY expert to pull off a party like this. As long as you don’t mind printing, cutting, punching holes, and stringing, then Etsy sellers can help you create a totally unique party.

Happy Birthday Leo!

XO

Sue at Home

Fill-in Thank You Notes

30 Jun

I showed you Lily’s adorable luau party earlier this month but now it’s time for the part of the celebration that really sucks; the thank you notes.

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Lily is only 5 so she’s at that in-between age where she’s old enough to write a few words but not old enough to handle an entire thank you note on her own. Sure, I could write them all myself but I figured it would be good practice for her if we did it together. So, in keeping with the “beachy” theme of her party, I made her a custom fill-in thank you note with the help of PicMonkey, a free website that’s super easy and fun. If you don’t have Photoshop, this is the site for you.

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I just uploaded a silly picture of Lily, then added some text, a “comic bubble” which I faded so you could still see the landscape through it and some opaque white rectangles so Lily would know where to write. I left spaces for the gift givers’ name, the gift, and a nice sentiment. The last sentence simply says “You are (blank)!” so she could write “so cool”, “super awesome”, “my BFF”, or whatever else she wanted to say.

Then I printed a bunch on 8 1/2 x 11 printer paper  and let her get to work.

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Obviously, they are all her BFFs!

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She’s doing such a great job with them (notice that’s in the present tense, as in “we’re not done with them yet”).

Combined with the invitation (seen here in the frame)….

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…and the goody bag tags…

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…it’s almost like a legit “stationary suite”! All for the cost of printing!

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XO 

Sue at Home

Lily’s Luau Birthday Party

17 Jun

We recently celebrated Lily’s 5th Birthday with a luau at our house. Let’s take a peek at how we put it all together.

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As you saw in last week’s post, I created an umbrella wreath for the front door out of paper parasols.

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 I bought two hibiscus plants that I put in some pots that I had painted last year.

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They added the perfect tropical touch.

luau-126In the foyer, I put tons of leis in a bucket and displayed the invitation that I made on PicMonkey.

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I made it with a picture of Lily from Aruba and a great font called Luckiest Guy.

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For the favors, I got sunglasses from The Children’s Place, some Swedish Fish (Lily loves “sweetest fish”!) a hibiscus tattoo, and either a Hello Kitty necklace for the girls or a foam plane of the boys (both from the One Spot at Target).

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I just put all the goodies into white paper bags and added a little tag–that said “Thanks for coming to Lily’s Luau”– thanks to Picmonkey again. (I “borrowed” some of Sophia’s fun tape to attach them to the bags.)

luau-111Some grass skirts for the girls were laid out the back of the couch so kids could grab them as they came in.

luau-122I usually don’t like a matching set of paper plates but when I saw these at Ikea, I had to have them. I got the straws eons ago at Pottery Barn outlet and they’ve been sitting in a party bin in the attic just waiting for a luau!

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I kept the food pretty simple: pizza for dinner, tortilla chips and homemade guacamole, and lots of fruit. I had to include some pineapple, of course! (more cute napkins from Ikea)

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As for the cupcakes, I made them at home and used blue frosting to represent water, crunched up graham crackers for sand, gummy flip flops and a paper parasol.

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I pulled out all my cake stands and decorated some of them to look like they had grass skirts on.  I just cut up a piece of green craft paper and taped it all the way around. Then I cut apart one of the leis and glued flowers around the paper with fabric glue.

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I also wrapped one of the cake stands with a lei.

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The little tissue paper decorations are from Oriental Trading –where I got just about everything I needed–and they came in really handy to give some height to the cupcake displays. (I just stuck them on top of a plastic cup turned upside down.)

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As for activities, we kinda just winged it. I was nervous because we don’t have a swingset anymore (remember how I told you that Hurricane Sandy took it out?) But we just put out all of our frisbees, wiffle balls and bats, and bubbles and let the kids have fun in the yard.  They loved it and there wasn’t a dull moment. (Sidenote: Check out the nice lattice that Pablo just put up under the deck! A post about that is coming soon.)

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Of course, we had to do the limbo but there wasn’t much else that we tried to organize.

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Lily was totally happy just being with her friends.

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And all the kids loved their sunglasses in the goody bags. (I can’t help but picture these kids in the same kind of pose, 11 or 12 years from now, heading off to their prom!)

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It was a perfect day with lots of good friends, good food and drinks, and good times!

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Happy 5th Birthday Lily!

If you’d like to read all about Lily’s 4th Bday party last year, check out this post: Lily’s Rainbow Birthday Party.

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XO

Sue at Home

P.S. UPDATE: Check out the follow-up post that shows the matching fill-in thank you notes I made here.

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Umbrella Wreath for a Luau

10 Jun

We threw a Luau Birthday party for Lily’s 5th and I know I owe you all the pics and details but let’s start out with one simple mood-setting craft: an umbrella wreath.

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I was inspired by a few different umbrella wreaths I saw on Pinterest  but I didn’t follow any specific tutorials. I started out with a box of paper umbrellas from Oriental Trading, a styrofoam wreath, some glue, some craft paint and a brush.

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I painted the wreath in case you could see it through the umbrellas. (You could certainly skip this step. As long as the umbrellas are placed close enough together, you won’t see the styrofoam.)

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Before I added the umbrellas, I had to snip off about half of the toothpick so they wouldn’t stick out too much. Each tip got a touch of glue before it went in.

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Next I started placing the umbrellas around the edge with a little overlap.

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Another line on the inside and it was starting to get filled in.

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The finished wreath!

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I hung it on the front door and bought a couple hibiscus plants to create the tropical theme. And, of course, the birthday girl had to give out hula lessons!

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Stay tuned for a full party recap!

XO

Sue at Home

40 Envelopes with 40 Memories for a 40th Birthday

7 May

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Yup. It’s that time again…the Pinterest Challenge. For those not in the know, here are the deets. Sherry from Young House Love, Katie from Bower Power, Emily from Sparkle Meets Pop, and Renee from Red Bird Blue are the hosts for this 4-way link party. The challenge is to simply pick something creative that you’ve pinned on Pinterest and finally get around to doing it.

Last time around, I opted for two quick updates: a free printable in Lily’s room…

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…and some new gilded frames in Sophia’s room.

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And this time, I created a project for Pablo’s 40th celebration. (Maybe next time, I’ll do something for myself!) When I had seen this birthday envelope surprise on Oh Happy Day I knew it was the perfect way to present Pablo with the sweet notes that I was planning for his birthday.

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The first step was to get the memories. Lucky for me, Pablo is very loved so even though I started this the day before his birthday (!), all I had to do was send one group message on Facebook and one group email for the non-Facebookers and the memories came flooding in. There were a few people I couldn’t find but I managed to get over 35 messages. (I simply asked everyone to send me a memory of a time they spent with Pablo. I filled in the last few from me and the girls.) Once I got them all, I cut and pasted them into a word document, formatted them, and printed them on bright colored paper. Some were long and some were short but that worked perfectly for my purposes.

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Next I found some random envelopes in my stationary stash and laid them out to spell 40. First on the floor (to get a layout I liked) and then up on the wall of the dining room.

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The girls helped me stuff the envelopes…
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…until each envelope – all 40 of them! – had a personal note from a friend or relative.

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When he came home and we surprised him with it, he was a little perplexed at first. (I think he may have been wondering if this was a permanent installation!)

birthday-417But once he started reading through all the memories with the girls (with a little bit of editing to take out any mature subjects!), he loved it.

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I think it was a perfect gift for him (because he loves reminiscing) and for this year (because with me working part time now, there are no extra funds for a grand gift so I needed to make a grand gesture instead.)

We did get him a few little goodies, though, because everyone needs to open some gifts on their birthday.

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As you can see, he had a great time. Thanks to everyone who contributed memories to this project. I couldn’t have done it without you.

On Wednesday, don’t forget to check back in with Sherry from Young House Love, Katie from Bower Power, Emily from Sparkle Meets Pop, and Renee from Red Bird Blue to see all the amazing projects that everyone made – plus all the linked ones!

XO

Sue at Home

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