Saturday, October 20, 2012
I don't really have my kids model the shop clothes all that often. Not because I don't want to, but because I don't have the patience to do it! I was able to wrangle Iris into a few dresses the other day and had to do it all in the five minutes she was willing to stand still(ish). I know there are many shops that have willing models (like Salvage House, one of my all-time favorites) and I am so envious. Maybe bribery is the answer? I think next time I'll give it a shot.
Friday, October 5, 2012
I found this awesome light bulb lamp last weekend at a local thrift store. It's about 14" long and totally, ridiculously amazing. We're going to put it up in our basement, I think, after we get it all repainted.
And speaking of amazing, my parents just returned from a European vacation and brought me an armful of incredible vintage dresses they found at a flea market in Paris. There are four dresses and each one is just adorable, plus they are in mint, mint condition. Only one really fits Iris, so I'll hang onto that one for a bit but the others will be in the shop soon. Oh, they are just beautiful!
The one she's wearing in that picture will go into the shop. It technically fits her but I know within a few months she'll burst out of it like the Hulk. Drat! (For me, not you!)
Sunday, September 30, 2012
Arlo will be two on Oct. 2 so we threw a fun little golden birthday party for him over the weekend. I had a good time making and gathering things to decorate the house. I made a Pinterest board for all the golden birthday ideas I could find and that made everything easier.
How cute is Arlo's bowtie?? Oh man, it killed me. Surprisingly, he kept it on all night. I bought it from this Etsy seller. Iris decided to wear her old American Apparel gold lame leggings to keep with the gold theme. They are 2T but still fit her at age 4!
Inspired by one of the many tutorials available online, I took two old Ikea vases that I ruined years ago with candle wax and covered them in gold glitter and now I am in LOVE with them. Almost so in love with them that I can ignore all the glitter they sprinkle everywhere. :)
I made a big gold two (using this tutorial) to hang in our living room. I'll pop it onto a bookshelf in the kids' room soon and probably repurpose it for New Year's, too.
Two is not really a "game" age, but I wanted to have at least one activity for the kids. Arlo and Iris are super, super into finding Goldbug in Richard Scarry books right now, so I thought they would get a kick out of looking for him in our yard.
I scanned a picture from Cars and Trucks and Things That Go, enlarged it a bit (not very well—thankfully kids don't care) and printed it out on cardstock. I taped chocolate gold coins to the backs of the cards to make it extra fun. None of the two-year-olds played the game after they each had found one card, but the older kids were into it.
I made two kinds of cupcakes: pumpkin with chai cream cheese frosting and chocolate with peanut butter frosting. That pumpkin cupcake recipe is AMAZING. I frosted a dozen of them and we ate the rest unfrosted last week and they were incredible as muffins, too. The chocolate cake recipe might be my new standard chocolate cupcake recipe from now on, and that peanut butter frosting recipe is super good but rich. Which is not a bad thing. I used gold foil wrappers, gold sugar sprinkled on top and stuck two gold candles into Arlo's (first) cupcake.
I baked both batches of cupcakes a week before the party and froze them. Come Saturday morning I was so glad I did that! The cream cheese frosting does really well in the fridge so I made that the night before. I made the peanut butter frosting recipe the morning of the party and frosted both batches of cupcakes in my pajamas. :)
The birthday boy had THREE pumpkin cupcakes over the course of the afternoon.
I tried to stick to a semi-golden theme with the food: pineapple, deviled eggs, mini quiches, cheese and crackers, trail mix, Teddy Grahams, goldfish crackers and cocktail meatballs. For a main course, I made this huge batch of mac and cheese, plus sub sandwiches for the adults and pb&j sandwiches for the kids (cut into cute shapes).
For the grown-ups, Aaron made an amazing punch with rum, lemon juice, St. Germain and other tasty stuff. We also had wine, beer, lemonade, apple juice and sparkling water out in a tub of ice on the patio. Oh, and yellow and white striped straws, too, of course.
I hung some gold foil door curtains behind the food table to keep it festive. To my surprise, Arlo didn't try to pull them down once. That tablecloth is an old Ikea duvet cover!
Inspired by this party, I bought a roll of heavy-weight butcher paper from Blick Art Materials and we hung sheets of it on the wall in our breezeway. I set out baskets of stickers and markers and let the kids go to town. I'm pretty sure that paper will be up there all winter.
I still can't believe not one kid took a marker to my rug or furniture. Nice job, kiddos!
One more picture of my vase...so sparkly! It made my cheap Costco flowers look great.
And of course we had a lot of gold balloons all over. Arlo popped one in the car on the way home from the store (nice!) and another halfway through the party, but the rest survived.
And of course I totally made a gold-themed playlist for our musical delight: "Gold Dust Woman" by Fleetwood Mac, "Golden" by My Morning Jacket, ""Gold Teeth" by Little Wings, "Heart of Gold" by Neil Young, "Fools Gold" by the Stone Roses, "The Golden Age" by Beck, etc.
Whew! It was a fun party that lasted well into the evening with s'mores around the firepit. I can't believe my little dude is (almost) two! He is awesome and I love him so much. Happy birthday, kiddo!
Thursday, September 27, 2012
I love this stage. I have so many ideas and there's still time to make it all happen!
Of course, I know the stage after this one is "OMG, the party starts in three hours and I'm not dressed and the food isn't done and the house isn't cleaned and OMG OMG OMG!"
I'm not looking forward to that stage.
But! Living in the moment, I'm very excited for the party. It's his golden birthday! This is the first party I've ever thrown with a theme.
Um, holy cow, themes are AWESOME! They make all your decisions so easy! In this case, when I see something cool that could be fun for the party, my first question is, "Is it gold?"
The second question is, "Can I make it gold?"
Followed by all the boring questions of money and necessity, heh.
I'm going to try to wrestle Arlo into a cute little yellow bowtie for the party—we'll see how that goes!
Monday, August 13, 2012
sponge balls (so easy!) (and so easy for my almost 2-year-old to dismantle).
Aaron and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary a few days ago and did it up right with a hotel stay downtown and some of the best food and drinks I've had in a looong time.
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Sometimes I find something so cute and so perfectly sized for my own kiddos that I explode with excitement. Like that romper above. How adorable is that?!
I've had that romper for MONTHS and have been unable to let Arlo wear it for more than five minutes because I was afraid he would irreparably stain it.
So it just sat in a drawer, not ready for my kid but not ready for the shop. Vintage clothing limbo! Painful.
Yesterday I decided to just exhale and let Arlo wear it all afternoon. He kept it clean, I got some sweet pictures of him wearing it and I can finally let it go. :)
Now to make peace with the rest of my limbo drawer...
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Because I live in Minnesota, when you say you are going to "the fair" you are likely only talking about one thing: the Minnesota State Fair. But there are tons of other little fairs all over the state all summer long that tide us over until the big show at the end of August.
Last summer we hit a nearby county fair, which was modest but fun, and last weekend we tried out a city fair just north of us. It was tiny and the sun was brutally hot but the kids didn't mind a bit. Arlo rode his first ride (epic fail—they had to stop the ride so we could rescue him!) and Iris had the awesome carousel almost all to herself. We chatted up some carnies, drank a blue slushie, stopped Arlo from eating cigarette butts off the ground, took tons of pictures and all left exhausted. Success!
Monday, July 9, 2012
Hello, friends! It's kind of hard to wrap my brain around this regular ol' Monday. We had a five-day family staycation last week and despite the heat, it was really pretty awesome! Lots of kiddie pools, splash pads, picnic, parks, mint juleps, sprinklers, sidewalk chalk, frisbee, ice cream, creek wading, bocce, patio lunches, ice cream and grilling. Aaron and I even squeezed in an adults-only night with friends! It truly was a great week.
I never made one of those popular summertime fun activity checklists, but honestly, after this week I feel like we've already done just about everything I could possibly think of doing in the summer.
Plus, it started off with our annual 4th of July beer tasting party!
It was 101 degrees that day, but we still had a great time. We have a lot more fun stuff planned for the rest of the summer, too. I can't wait!
Oh, and keep an eye on the shop this week. I squeezed in one perfect thrifting trip over the weekend and am slowly adding things to Potato Cake Vintage.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
For the last four years, we've hosted a beer tasting on the 4th of July. The first two years we taste-tested different cheap canned beers, but now we're moving into more specific themes. This year we're tasting Minnesota beers!
I've built up quite a few red, white and blue party decorations over the years. We use a few 36" red balloons, flag cupcake toppers and patriotic knick-knicks I pick up at the thrift store. Last year I made a cute paper globe garland a la this one from Sally Shim, but it only lasted a day before the intense humidity made all the balls droop. [Insert drooping-ball-joke-of-your-choice here.] It survived the party, though, which was all that mattered! I'm going to try to squish them back into shape, but I'm not optimistic.
I also made a bunch of these paper straw sparklers from Say Yes to Hoboken, which started out as centerpieces in vases until the kids discovered them. This weekend I'll probably make a few of these 3-D star decorations from Martha, but that might be the most of my craftiness this year.
For food, Aaron makes a ton of pulled pork, which we serve with buns, coleslaw and chips. Guests bring appetizers and sides to share. If the weather cooperates this year, I want to make a big s'mores spread for people to eat around the campfire, but I am also well aware that I cannot resist any occasion to make cupcakes so I'll probably do that, too.
Aaron also makes a boozy punch of some sort for folks who don't want to drink beer all night (whaaat?) (just kidding, that's me), and of course we have water and such available for nondrinkers/kids.
Speaking of kids—you might think that kids have no place at a beer tasting, but you would be wrong! We hosted our first tasting just a few months after Iris was born—she floated around the party in a red wagon most of the night, when she wasn't being passed from arm to arm. As she and her friends have grown up, sprinklers played a big role in the kiddo entertainment. And sparklers, of course!
And I always, always make sure the kiddos are decked out in their finest red, white and blue vintage outfits. Sailor suits are very popular!