Maura's Fairy 3rd Birthday Party: Activites and Food



Here's the last installment of Maura's birthday party trilogy. If you missed them, check out the invitations here and the decor here.

We had a "Pixie and Pirate Check In" station set up for when the kids first arrived. The girls could choose fairy wings to wear and a fairy wand and for the two boys who attended we had pirate hats and vests.  (Remember, Tinkerbell was first and foremost Peter Pan's sidekick, and her Disney Fairies show is a spin off, so adding the whole Pirate theme to this makes sense for the boys that came. As some of you suggested, I probably didn't even need to worry about this, since the boys were not nearly as into dressing up as the girls were. Oh well!)

The kids' goodie bags were here too for them to take when they left (bottom shelf). (Side note...does anyone else think the goodie bags are the most stressful part of planning a kid's party? I hate them. Couldn't all us moms just band together and say "No more goodie bags?!")

{pirate hats and vests from iparty, wands from Target and Walmart, wings from Toys R Us and Walmart}

{so cute! Maura's friends Morgan and Addie...they're sisters if you can't tell!}

The only other thing I really had planned to keep the kids busy was a "Decorate your own Fairy House" craft station.

I'd seen this idea all over Pinterest and loved it! (Check out some inspiration pins here, here and here.) The "fairy houses" are just unfinished wood bird houses from Michaels. Then I just bought a ton of washable paint, foam stickers, sticky-back jewels, etc. They really got into it and made some good looking fairy habitats.

As far as food goes, I'm more into eating food that tastes good as opposed to making food that looks cute or goes along with some theme. (We served home-made mac-n-cheese, chicken tenders with different dipping sauces, fruit salad and a green salad with green apples, toasted pecans, Craisins and gorgonzola cheese.)

Drinks, however, I feel are something you can have a little more fun with. We did make two kinds of "theme" drinks (as well as having beer and soda and juice boxes and water)..."Neverberry Punch", which was lemonade, cranberry juice and a splash of Sprite (with raspberries and cut up strawberries)...

and for the grown ups, "Pirate Island Punch", a yummy cocktail of lemonade, gin and crushed up mint.

For dessert, I made Maura the exact cake my mom used to make for us on our birthdays when we were little. Yellow cake with home-made mocha frosting. Served with ice cream. I was totally proud of myself for DIYing this little cake bunting:)

Also ordered some an assortment of yummy cupcakes from our local Cupcake Charlies. These Tinkerbell silhouette cupcake toppers from etsy seller BMine Occasion Design (I purchased all green) were the perfect addition!

It was a wonderful day! And still hard to believe that my lovie is now 3 years old!!

Maura's Fairy 3rd Birthday Party: Decor



Hi, there! I finally have some pics of Maura's fairy birthday party to share. (We had such a fun time.) I'm going to break this up into two posts because I have so many photos. This one will be all about the favorite part!

If you remember from the invitations, she wanted a Tinkerbell party. And I decided to sort of add a general fairy/woodland vibe to it, without having to have everything be official Tink colors (green and purple) and plaster her Disney face everywhere.

So, first I ran with the idea of the Tinkerbell silhouette (from the invites...I had purchased this printable silhouette file for $5 on etsy). Then I used a lot of paper, because I already had it on hand and it is so versatile. (Really I think any theme can be enhanced using paper somehow, love it.) Lastly, I wanted to display real fairies in different little scenes, so I bought a pack of 6 of the Disney Fairy dolls at Target for $35. Not bad since I knew Maura could basically just take them afterwards to play with.

Paul helped me make a "fairies welcome" wooden sign that we stuck out in the front lawn to greet the guests when they arrived (really there was only about 25 close friends and family and only actually 7 a couple of infants). If you've seen "Tinkerbell and the Great Fairy Rescue", then you will recognize this from the little fairy house that Lizzie built and Tink got stuck inside. (Inspiration for this sign from here.)

{the birthday her Tinkerbell costume that we already had}
I made and hung scrapbook paper butterflies from both the kitchen and dining room table chandeliers. I got this idea from the Tom Kat Studio's Fairy Garden Party Collection on etsy. I didn't however buy their template, I found a pack of hot pink card stock butterflies at the dollar store that were the right size and shape to use. (I just glued patterned paper to both sides and cut them out following the shape of the original dollar store butterfly so that I had a bunch of different colored, patterned butterflies instead of a million hot pink ones.)

Adding in a lot of nature related elements helped enhance the fairy theme without being to cutesy and cliche. For the gift table/dresser, I made a really simple garland of cut out green paper flowers hot glued to jute twine (original idea from here). Really simple that is, until you totally burn 2 of your fingers on the hot glue while doing the FIRST leaf at one o'clock in the morning the night before the party!!! Must.keep.gluing.even.while.injured.Vision.must.become.a.reality!

One of my friends gave me two of these pink Martha Stewart pom poms that she had leftover from a project at her house. I hung them from the ceiling in the dining room using green ribbon and added cut out green paper leaves to make them look like giant, upside down flowers. I really like how they came out and if I had had more time I would have bought and made more to fill up a whole wall for more impact.

This is the third year in a row that I used my custom birthday banner from etsy seller Cow Country Creations. I'd say that was a good investment!

One of the things that I was super excited about was using real fairy dolls to decorate. I had imagined them flying from the ceiling (using clear fishing line/filament) but I was having trouble getting this to work, so I set up little vignettes with them around the house. The nerd in me tried to match each fairy's unique characteristics to what they were doing/posed with. I put two on the mantel - here's Silvermist, a water fairy, with sea shells, sand and a paper fish.

In "Secret of the Wings", Tink meets a sister she never knew she had, Periwinkle, a frost fairy who lives in the Winter Woods.

Tinkerbell is, after all a tinker fairy. She invents and creates using lost things I collected little random objects from around the house to make it look like she was building something:)

As a centerpiece on the dining room table (where we served the food and drinks), I put together a more elaborate woodland vignette with moss and glittery butterflies (from Michaels), rocks and acorns from the yard, and super market flowers in one of my birch paper sleeves (an oldie but goodie from Pottery Barn).

Rosetta is a garden fairy, so she's standing by a galvanized metal watering can.

I wanted more of a little setting, so I shopped the house and used a bird's nest and eggs, as well as this sweet little birdhouse.

Fawn is an animal fairy, so she posed with a little bottlebrush bunny from our Easter decor.

I had so much fun making up these little scenes!!! Was definitely my favorite part of planning for the party. I'll be back "soon" (that's a relative term) with more on the food and party activities.

Hope everyone is well, miss you!!!

Headed to Brimfield Again



I've gone to the Brimfield Antique Show every year since I discovered it in 2009. One of the largest outdoor antique shows in the world, it is just about an hour and a half away, west of Boston. They hold it three times a year and I was starting to panic that I wasn't going to make it this year:( In May I was too pregnant, and in July it was too hot and Ian was too little. But, its on again this week and gosh darnit, I'm doing it!!! My friend (whose son is one of Maura's best friends and who just had her second baby, a little girl, a month ago) and I both found sitters for our toddlers and we're going to brave the drive and the full day of shopping with the newborns in tow on Friday. Its going to be awesome!!! Can't wait. So if you're headed there and are sitting in traffic on your way in and pass a mini van with 2 moms downing Dunkin Donuts with 2 screaming infants in the back and 2 strollers in the trunk, that's us:)

To get even more excited, I'm looking back at all the stuff I've found at the show in the past.  Love how it (hopefully) adds that collected look to our house. I always try to come home with some kind of ephemera or print:

{hand-colored lithographs of German flowers from the 19th century that were in Maura's nursery and now hang in her big girl room}
{a map of the US that was used in a 1950s German classroom}
{fish engravings from the 1800s that hang in our foyer}
{page from an 1898 atlas of Dublin, Ireland where my mother-in-law is framed on our mantel}

Brimfield is always a good source for cool, old "containers" like these baskets and glass jars. I think this time I'm going to try to get some vintage wooden crates.

{old school locker wire basket that now holds magazines and catalogs next to my bed}
{Huge wire basket from an old slipper factory in NY. It now holds stuffed animals in Maura's big girl room.}
{old glass apothecary bottles}
{HUGE glass jug from a winemaker in 1920s France...currently sits next to our sofa in the living room}

The show is a great place to find random objects that you can use in vignettes, as mantel decor, bookcase filler, etc. Like these:

{wood vice from the early 1900s on an estate in Pennsylvania}
{letterpress wood blocks now in Ian's courtesy of Sweet Connolly Photography}
{more letterpress printing blocks making the rounds}

As usual, I'll also be on the lookout for the rare #13 Blue ball Mason jars (most were smashed during prohibition because they were used to smuggle whiskey and were thought to be "unlucky"!) collection is now up to 3:)

Is anyone else headed to Brimfield this week? Or have you been at all? What do you always have an eye out for when you shop antiques, thrift stores, flea markets, yard sales?

Maura's 3rd Birthday Fairy Party: Invitations



Maura turns 3 next month! (How did that happen?) When she turned one and two years old, I got away with doing the party how I wanted, but this year I think she's old enough to have and deserve input. After much back and forth, she has officially now requested a Tinkerbell/fairy party. I'm going to focus less on all the trademark Tinkerbell stuff and more on a general fairy/woodland "theme". Because I didn't need that many, I went ahead and made the invitations...using paper, card stock, and envelopes (kraft paper brown, not pictured) I already had.

Apparently Disney has decided that Tink's official colors are that leafy green...and purple?! Where did that come from? Since purple isn't really my jam (yes, Maura likes it, but on this I'm being selfish!!), I'm just going to pretty much leave it out. During my shopping so far, I found some paper products and other decor items that have more pinks and oranges and yellows in them. Add that to the Tink green and all the browns found in nature and I'm much more happy:)

I did purchase this printable silhouette of Tinkerbell on etsy from MyHeartHasEars for $5. I think its a good investment...I used it here and can apply it in different ways throughout the rest of the party. I also bought some gold glitter (the Martha Stewart line) and a glue ball point pen (had never seen one of those before but it worked really well) to add "pixie dust" to Tink's wand and the number 3. I incorporated butterflies and mushrooms to hint at the "woodland" aspect and add a bit of whimsy. Mounted the invite on a thin border of green card stock and then a thick border of gold metallic card stock.

Secretly I'm kinda excited about this theme!!! Even though I'm 36, I'm pretty much a kid at heart with a wild imagination. I like to believe there are actually lovely creatures like these out there somewhere in the world:)

PS. Two of Maura's friends are boys. (Frankly a majority of the people at the party will be adults, but whatever!) Now, there are tons of male fairies in Pixie Hollow but do you think I need to add a whole pirate/Peter Pan spin to this for our boy guests or is that overthinking it too much?

Meet Ian Henry!!



Hi! It's only taken me like 2 months, but I finally want to introduce you guys to the new love in our life - Ian Henry! He was born on June 7th at 11:32pm...8lbs 3 oz and 20 inches. I went a week past my due date and had to be induced, but labor was fairly good, only 6 hours:) He is such a good little guy. He looks pretty much exactly like Paul and Maura (when she was a baby).

Here's a few of my favorite shots from a session we did (when he was just over 2 weeks old) with amazing local photographer Jannelle Connolly of Sweet Connolly Photography.  She is really talented and super nice. Stayed at our house for 5 hours to get all the pics. Even got peed on and didn't care!! If you are looking for a newborn photographer or family portraits, I highly recommend her:)

Life is sweet, but also hard...I'm finding there is little to no down time with two kids!!!  I'll try to post again soon with some pics of his nursery, but we'll see. Just trying to keep my head above water and still enjoy the is going by so fast...and he is already getting so big. Hope you are all well:)

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