Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tea & Slime Party

Spring in Chicago tests your patience. 

One day it can be 70 degrees and all of us hibernators flood the streets with joy.  The next day will be 40 degrees with sideways rain. 

Just when you think warm weather is here to stay, Mother Nature kicks you in the shins with a couple of inches of wet snow. 

Such was this past weekend.  The sun shone, but it was too cold to play outdoors.....

Torture for kids, but more like a stint in a Turkish prison for parents. 

Cabin fever is at an all time high.....what to do with this can of worms in my house? 

Why a tea party, of course! 

Kate got a new breakable tea party set for her recent 4th birthday and we road tested it (and broke a teapot lid) in the process. 

"Tea", sandwiches and cherry topped desserts were on the menu... 

Kate was more into the dainty ceremony of tea;

Jack was ready for more manly pursuits - slime!

This is so flippin' easy to do and the gratification is instant! 

A couple of bowls of water, glue and borax are about all it takes. 

Note Kate's enjoyment of all things slimy...
Here is the link with the instructions: 

The kids loved it and all was peaceful for at least a good 20  minutes. 

Thank goodness for little miracles...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

It's Good to be 4...

"What kind of party would you like this year?"  "A Cinderella party..."  What else would a typical four year old girl want?  Princesses, of course, LOTS of them....

So I asked mom friends for advice, Googled the heck out of princess parties.  Man, there are some crazy moms out there with TOO MUCH time on their hands.  Makes us average moms look like schleps.  I did glean some pretty cool ideas, though, and set to work to create a memorable party.  Not sure how much a four year old retains.  Sorry, mom, but I have no idea what you did for me on my 4th birthday! 

Princess cake:  I bought one last year and the dang thing cost $100.00!  Don't get me tasted great and looked pretty good, but a hundred bucks?!  So I Googled doll cakes, and sure enough, they aren't too tricky.  A couple of round layers, a Pyrex bowl, a few cans of frosting and  voila!  Cindy in a cake!  Make sure to wrap the doll in plastic wrap to keep icing out of certain crevices.  She will like the wrap....might reduce cellulite!  Yeah, as if Barbie ever had those pesky bumps on her backside...Anyway...I added some roses and royal icing additions and my cake rivaled last years, hands down!

I am totally addicted to brownie pops!  Talk about bang for the buck!  They are so easy to make and your friends will think you went to some ridiculously over-priced bakery in a chic part of town to get them.  These I made to resemble the poison apple from Snow White.  For sure, the "poison" is sugar shock.  One bite of these and your little party guests will be taking off like a rocket.  They are pretty tasty, too....

So, the big day arrives and it is time to Cinderellify Kate.  That cartoon hairdo is no small task, given a fidgety toddler with super slippery hair.  Hot rollers must come into play, but how? 

So I tell her, "We are going to use "warm" rollers on your hair."  "Not the HOT rollers, Mom???!!!"  "Well, yeah, Kate, we need to use them if we want your hair to look like Cinderella."  "Will it hurt, Mom?!"  "Not too much....." I say.  After the rollers came out with little protest, I teased her hair up and it looked like a washed up Vegas show girl.   Then wrangled the mess to look like Cindy's do.  The results speak for themselves... The pouf in front strangely resembles the daily updo of certain strict Christian religions or Michelle Duggar, but I digress.   Once she donned the lovely acetate and practically carcinogenic plastic dress, she looked the picture of Cinderellic loveliness.  She felt pretty and I beamed!

So, the girlies arrived and were treated to instant makeovers of nail polish, face painting, "jewelry"

 and a paparazzi photo in front of a green screen. They sort of look like mug shots here, but the finished photos were really cool.   Tom generated their photo in front of Cinderella's castle.  Looks like we piled all the kids on a private jet and flew them to Disney for the party.  Tongues will be wagging for sure!  haha! 

Next were party games like "Freeze Dance" and "Pass the Slipper", which are pretty easy and fun for the PreK set.

"High Tea" was served in the castle drawing room....heart shaped sandwiches, strawberries dipped in pink whipped cream, carrots and pretzels....simple and non controversial.  Parents sipped mimosas and enjoyed lunch from Pompeii.

Then the Cake! 
 The best part of the day was when I tucked Kate into bed and she said the best part of her party was the cake....

You are only 4 once.  Might as well be the princess, I say!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Never Work with Kids & Animals...

Finally.... spring skirts are blooming in my "state of the art" production facility (kitchen)!!  It's time to send them into the Etsy shop to meet the risk of a sale..

The Etsy gurus say a good shot is the most important element for a successful shop.  My photography skills are marginal at best, but I am willing to learn and practice.  Other bloggers recommend Photoshop, but it is expensive and my husband says it's a whole learning world unto itself. 

So, it's me, my humble camera and a low cost model, my daughter. 

I bribed her with some snacks and a promised trip to Dad's office and off we went on our Spring 2010 fashion shoot. 

My past involved plenty of fashion shows/shoots where I was behind the scenes more than in front of the camera.  Either way, you learn there is a lot of stuff that needs to go along to make the sesssion successful. 

 You need lots of clothing options, accessories, props, iron, snacks, music and good lighting. 

Kate was very cooperative and she had some fun dancing to Will Smith....We tossed fairy wings on Kate to accessorize the  Mac & Fitz lilac skirt. 

 She ran around the shop like she was Tinkerbelle or something....

 Next was the blue, chocolate and yellow Mac & Fitz daisy skirt.  There was just general hopping around and working the camera to my pleading..."Jump! Again! 

No, on the blue mark on the floor!" 

I felt like Austin Powers...."Yeah, Baby, Yeah!!"

How about this saucy hat I found in the dollar section at Target?  Awesome prop!  She ran in a sunny area of the shop and the colors of the Mac & Fitz fuschia and orange skirt popped!

Another great find at Target....cheesy plastic St. Patrick's Day hats!  The green looked wonderful with the bright blues and apple greens on my newest Mac & Fitz spring skirt.  The oversize navy rick rack trim is so cute, too. 
Kate is hamming it up next to Dad's big rig...What a prop!

Kate is striking a pose on the ever popular prop, a yellow forklift truck....

A  great background to the sugar & spice Mac & Fitz skirt she is modeling....

As long as the treats keep coming, the model will cooperate.  Kinda like working with animals...
Check out the new Mac & Fitz spring styles at: