The Cookie Exchange

I know it feels like a lot of work in the middle of December,
but this year's Christmas Cookie exchange saved me!

The idea (though it may never work like this)
12 friends
12 DOZEN cookies EACH, pre packaged for you to take home

You take home 144 cookies (12 different types) and make plates for your neighbors!

How fun is that!

This year I made

Orange Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies
½ cup butter (1 cube)
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
½ tsp. vanilla
3 tsp. grated orange rind
½ package semisweet chocolate chips
½ tsp soda
2/3 cup flour
½ tsp salt
1 ½ cup whole oats
½ cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients in order. Spoon into 1 inch dough balls onto an un-greased cookie sheet. Bake for 9-10 minutes. *Remember these are not your normal cake-like cookie, they are a lacey looking cookie that will be pretty flat.

Makes around 2 dozen.

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Elle was inspired by her party!

Elle can be found in her own mini beauty parlor doing her sisters hair and makeup!
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Elle's Beauty Party (Makeup!!!)

We knew a Makeup party was in store for Elle at some point...who knew it would be at 4 years old! 
This was such a fun party for me to plan, but also for the little girls who attended!


Each envelope was tied with this cute ribbon, and inside could be found...
...the invitation (my sister Miranda turned Elle's picture into this 50's beauty queen...it became the theme of the party!) and...
a beauty mask!

boy did I have fun sewing 10 of these!  At first they seemed easy, but I used a stripe fabric, then the batting, the lace and minkie...I think I sewed around each one 3-4 times!


Ok, so decorations were quite simple! I made a couple different fabric buntings to hang various places, and then signs with Elle's picture. The makeup and nail polish helped me decorate!


I made a little schedule up, to make sure we had time for everything...it looked a little something like this:
10-10:15 coloring make up on faces
10:15-10:45 brunch
10:45-11:00 makeup/hair (divide group in 2)
11:00-11:15 hair/makeup (divide group in 2)
11:15-11:45 manicure/pedicure (altogether)
11:45-12:00 presents & cake and icecream
So they started by coloring until they all arrived:

Brunch was SUPER simple...fresh fruit cups, mini quiches, raspberry lemonade & pastries.
Then they went to their stations.

Hair Salon
(I made them each a cute fabric headband, so doing their hair wouldnt be too hard!)



Then of course we took pictures of the little Beauties!


I decided to make all the makeup out of fondant, but use real mirrors!  So, after a couple hours of work...Voila!


Each little girl went home with her own set of "Elle" beauty products!

I ordered the bottles online, and filled them with bath and body works lotion, bubble bath, shampoo and conditioner (in pink colors) Then I made labels to match the theme.

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Inspiration for Elle's 4th Birthday

On our recent trip to San Francisco, my Mom, sisters and I came across the cutest little beauty boutique called the "benefit brow bar." This lovely lady is there advertisement and became my inspiration for Elle's makeup party...
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Super Girl Costumes...

I definitely have not been doing a lot of projects (as you've probably noticed) over the past 7 months...being pregnant, sick, with 3 kids at home has finally done me in!   So, here and there I try to do something a little fun...or of course, necessary.  This time it was the girls halloween costumes.

I had the skirts, and Elle's shoes...so I had to make their shirts, capes, accessories, and Jane's boot covers.

It was fun picking out fabric, for this project and I think they came together nicely!  I found the symbols online, enlarged and printed them and then used them as a pattern for their super symbols (and Jane's hairclip)  I made the capes button on, so they could be reversible. 

They looked cute and had fun wearing them on Halloween...did I mention I am glad that Halloween is over?
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Halloween Party...why change a good thing?

Well, this year we had another fun Halloween Party...and seriously didnt change much!

Changed invites and fonts etc...

But serving a lot of the same food and drinks made it very easy to plan this year (which is what very pregnant people need!)

We had some Hot Pop icons stop in...Katie Perry, Rhianna, Lady Gaga, shnookie...


bobbing for apples, doughnuts on a string, dancing, prizes for best costume...
oldies but goodies!

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Baby Cowboy Quilt

Paying tribute to Texas (and trying to match this little boy's bedding)

I never thought Id like fabric with characters on it...but I love this lil cowboy print
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Back Yard Art Projects for Summer!

My friend/photographer, Allison of English Photography, is doing the COOLEST backyard art projects this summer with her kids and friends.  I have loved reading about it...and hope to get the energy to do some of the projects with my own kids soon.  She has been doing them all at her house each week...maybe you could get together with some friends, and take turns hosting.
Click here for more information & more detailed instructions.


They discussed how Eric Carle makes pictures...and then learned how to marble paper.  After it was dry, they used it to make ice cream collages.


They used all different colors and patterns of tissue paper between wax paper to make beautiful aquariums.


They used glue and colored sand to make these flags.


These were the tools they used:

Then they used a faster drying ink instead of paint to make fun faces!

I think this is such a fun way to add creativity to our little ones lives!!!