Sesame Street Birthday Party Fun

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My sweet Hannah turned 2 last month! How can this even be possible?! To celebrate, we had a Sesame Street birthday party. She absolutely loves Elmo, and the other Sesame Street characters are also pretty near and dear to her heart.

To get ideas, I scoured the internet and created a Pinterest board. With so many adorable ideas out there, why reinvent the wheel? The bulk of the party planning was focused on the activities. I came across so many great character themed station ideas, which I thought would be perfect for a toddler birthday party. I settled on 9 sations:

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Abby Cadabby’s Magical Art Station: I filled an art caddy with markers and crayons and provided a bowl of Sesame Street stickers and a folder with Sesame Street birthday coloring pages ripped out of a coloring book.

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Elmo and Dorothy’s Fishbowl Toss Station: A Sesame Street version of a classic carnival game. Simply toss the ping pong balls into the fishbowls. Inside the “fishbowls” (vases from Dollar Tree) I used plastic goldfish party favors. I wrapped an empty box with Elmo wrapping paper to use as a base. It was actually really hard to get the ping pong balls into the fishbowls, but the kids had a lot of fun trying and then watching the ping pong balls fly all over the place after hitting the rims of the vases. To make it easier, I would suggest “fishbowls” with larger openings, although the harder version is a lot of fun too.

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Cookie Monster’s Cookie Dough Creation Station: I made some homemade play dough (my first time!) and bought some vintage Sesame Street cookie cutters on ebay.

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Big Bird’s Big Bubbles Station: This station was super easy, just a plastic bin with bubble solution and a bunch of little bubble wands inside (all from Dollar Tree). The other bubble accessories were gifts from my mom for Hannah’s first birthday.

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The Count’s Counting Station: This station was a guess how many game. The older kids guessed how many jelly beans they thought were in the jar and then wrote their guess on a little piece of paper and then placed it inside the repurposed baby shoe box. The person with the closest guess won the jar and all the jelly beans. I wrapped an empty box for a platform.

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Ernie’s Rubby Ducky Pond Station: This station didn’t go according to plan because the rubber duckies I bought wouldn’t float upright. The idea was that the kids would use the nets to scoop up one duck and the number on the bottom (I numbered them using a sharpee) would be how many prizes they could choose from the prize bin. The kids, especially the little ones, had more fun splashing in the water, scooping as many ducks as they could, and then eventually mixing up the duck pond and fishbowl toss toys—putting duckies in the fishbowls and the ping pong balls and goldfish in the duck pond. It was great fun for all!

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Oscar’s Trash Toss Station: This station ending up being a really fun one, especially for the dads. I almost scrapped this idea because I kept forgetting to save cans. Thankfully I had just enough. In keeping with the trash theme for Oscar, I wrapped an empty box with supermarket ads.

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Bert’s Sidewalk Chalk Station: Another super easy station. Just a bunch of sidewalk chalk we already had laying around the apartment.

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Super Grover’s Super Games Station: This station didn’t actually get used because the kiddos at the party were too young and too interested in the other stations to try any of the games. It was intended more  for some much older kids that I thought may have been coming but didn’t end up coming to the party. Just a bunch of classic card games I found at Dollar Tree in packs of three.

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For each station, I made a printable with a Sesame Street character and the name of the station. The frames were 99 cents each from Ikea. I got the idea from this post.

Overall, the stations were a huge hit. Even though they didn’t all go according to plan and the kids didn’t play all of the games in the way they were necessarily intended, it was so much fun to watch kids of all ages run around from station to station having a great time. It warmed my heart to see Hannah go to each station, except the games one, a number of times and to see how much fun she was having playing with all of her friends!


Oliver + S Obsessed!

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Over the past 6 months or so I’ve come across countless blog posts about Oliver + S patterns. I wanted to see what the fuss was all about and so I went to their website and immediately fell in love. Although their patterns are pretty pricey, I decided to treat myself to two of my favorites as a gift for Christmas–the Family Reunion Dress and the Ice Cream Dress. Since I was definitely not sewing much at the time due to holiday travels and third trimester tiredness mixed with an energetic toddler, it took me awhile to get sewing.

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I started with the Family Reunion Dress, which I absolutely adore! There is so much attention to detail in Oliver + S patterns that I decided to take my time and just do a few steps each night. I started the dress while I was still pregnant in hopes that it would be an 18 month picture dress for Hannah but I got busy getting ready for the baby and so I didn’t end up finishing it until well after Katie was born and 18 months had come and gone. Oh well! I finally finished it a couple of weeks ago and I’m glad I did because it turned out to be my very favorite dress that I’ve ever made. And that is how my current Oliver + S pattern obsession began.

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So after going on and on to my poor husband about how much I love Oliver + S patterns and how excited I am to have two more (I spent some of my birthday money (thank you in-laws!) on two more), I decided to dedicate an entire month to sewing only Oliver + S patterns! Hopefully this will keep me inspired to post regularly again…fingers crossed.

(Hannah is wearing the Family Reunion Dress and Katie is wearing a circle skirt. The bows are a free pattern from the Oliver + S website.)


Welcome, Baby Katie!

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On March 11th, we welcomed our beautiful little Katie into the world. She has been such a dream baby and I’ve enjoyed every minute since she arrived! I can’t believe that she is already 7 weeks old today.

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My biggest worry was how the adjustment would be for Hannah. After all, it is a big change to go from almost two years of uninterrupted mommy time to suddenly having to share mommy with a newborn who needs to be fed, changed, and held round the clock. But Hannah has been an amazing big sister and absolutely loves little Katie.

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It’s been such a smooth transition that I’ve actually started to sew again! Throughout the later part of my pregnancy I was just too tired and unmotivated to sew most of the time, and when I had the energy and the desire to sew, I was too lazy to take pictures and write up a post.

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This dress was the first outfit that I sewed for Katie. I used the Geranium Dress pattern from the blog made bye rae. It was so much fun to work on this dress (one of the best patterns I have ever used!) not long before she arrived and to think about what it would look like on her. Thankfully I did get this dress sewn up before she arrived, otherwise I’m not sure what she would have worn for her one month pictures!


Burp Cloths for Baby Sis

We’re having another girl! I’m so excited to go further overboard with the pink and the frilly. Hannah has barely anything that isn’t entirely pink or where pink is not a prominent color. At least my husband adjusted quickly and jumped on the girly bandwagon right away with Hannah. Now he’s really starting to get outnumbered! The funny thing is, he’s the youngest of three boys. He’s a quick learner, though, and a wonderful dad for daughters.

Now that we know what we’re having, I’ve caught the sewing bug! I can’t stop pinning baby tutorials on Pinterest. I’m obsessed! But the good thing is, that means new posts! The first thing I decided to make were these super cute burp cloths using this tutorial at Made. Love that blog! Instead of using regular fabric for the backing, I decided to use snuggle flannel instead. That way they are nice and soft on both sides.

Originally I planned to use white chenille like the photos in the tutorial but all they had at Joann’s was pink. I think the burp cloths turned out great with the pink, though, and it definitely complements all of the snuggle flannel prints I used. One of the great things about this project was that I was able to use some large flannel scraps and small cuts that I already had on hand but that were too small to make new pj pants for Hannah. So if you have some flannel lying around needing to be used up and you have a baby on the way or a friend or family member with a baby on the way, this is the scrap buster project for you!

We’ll see how well they work in action in just a few short months, but for now I just admire the girly cuteness!


It’s a Girl!

I’m so excited for my pastor and his wife who are expecting their first granddaughter this December! Their daughter already has two sons and was convinced that she was having another boy, but surprise, it’s a girl!

With some leftover fabric from Hannah’s birthday dress, I made my very first Janey Jumper to give to my pastor and his wife as a gift. I bought this Cottage Mama pattern forever ago and have been meaning to make one of these adorable dresses for so long but have never gotten around to it until now. And honestly, it was the perfect excuse to test out the sizing to see what would fit Hannah, since I’m thinking a Christmas themed Janey Jumper would be really cute.

The ruffle down the front is different than the one in the pattern since I only had one coordinating fabric to go with the main print. I figured out approximately how wide I wanted my ruffle to be, cut my fabric double that and added seam allowances, sewed the raw ends together with rights sides facing, flipped the fabric tube right side out, and then ironed my fabric with the seam in the center back of the tube. After running a quick gathering stitch up the middle and then gathering the fabric, I sewed it to the front of the dress following the pattern instructions.

The dress was pretty quick and easy. The only difficult part was figuring out how to sew the bottom hem. That took me a little while to wrap my mind around, but I figured it out and had no problems in the end. The  reason it was a little tricky is because the Janey Jumper is completely lined, there are no exposed seams. And so to be able to sew the bottom hem and turn the dress right side out without it getting twisted, takes some creative maneuvering. I’m glad that I read the pattern carefully and only sewed when I was convinced I had completely understood the step. Anything to avoid the dreaded seam ripper!!! Anyway, I highly recommend this pattern. Such a cute dress and it comes with a variety of different embellishments so that you can make endless Janey Jumpers for the same girl and she’ll have a variety of different looks.


Happy Halloween 2012!

So…it’s been a very long time since I last posted. But I have very good reason to be neglectful. We are expecting our second child in March! I have been so so tired that I can barely manage any sewing, but with Halloween upon us, I luckily got a little bit of energy and inspiration.

When Hannah and I were perusing at Joann’s recently, we were looking at Halloween prints and Hannah absolutely fell in love with this purple Halloween kitties print. Since she was smiling and hugging the bolt of fabric, I figured I might as well whip up a little Halloween skirt for her. She’s actually worn it quite a few times since I made it a couple of weeks ago and seems pleased as can be every time she wears it. It’s just a simple elastic waistband skirt with a rolled hem ruffle.

The most important Halloween item is obviously the costume! This year was my turn to pick since last year my husband picked (so glad that we’ve moved beyond the receding hairline of last year, lol!). I decided on a poodle skirt getup, which is one of my all time favorite costumes. I’ve been dragging my feet on finally making it, having trouble deciding on a poodle silhouette, until my husband, in a very sweet way, finally told me to go with the one I had already cut out and be done with it. Thankfully I followed his advice or I’d be having a panic attack today still trying to decide!

I used Dana’s tutorial on Made to make a simple felt circle skirt (before attaching the elastic waistband, I put all of my embellishments on the skirt). I laid out my string of sequins, used a fabric marker to trace my layout for a guide while sewing, pinned in a few places, and then sewed the sequins on. Not as hard as you’d think! Finally, I fused the poodle onto the skirt and then glue gunned some rhinestones onto it for a collar.

For the glasses (which she wore for only a little while), I used some dollar toddler sunglasses from Target. I simply popped out the lenses and glue gunned three rhinestones onto each side. Gluing the rhinestones was actually the hardest part of the whole costume! They are so tiny and hard to handle while working with hot glue!

The onesie and shoes were awesome thrift store finds! I wasn’t sure what I’d find at the Goodwill up the street. It’s new and pretty small. I’ve never found anything good there before the few times I’ve popped in for a look, but this time I hit the jackpot! Originally I was really hoping to find a top with a peter pan collar for that classic, old fashioned look but I didn’t think I would be able to, so I was willing to settle for a plain white onesie from the closet…until I stumbled across this adorable and brand new, tags still on onesie. It’s a little big but works perfectly for her costume and she’ll have time to grow into it for future use. The shoes are practically brand new and for $3.99, you can’t beat it. I’m thinking they’ll get some use this holiday season as well.

And there you have it, a very easy and quick costume. Just the kind of thing this pregnant mommy needed!


Baby Doll Circle Skirts

Taking a break from Christmas sewing, which I promise to share soon, I sewed up some quick circle skirts for Hannah’s baby doll. I used a fat quarter from my fabric stash and a scrap piece of elastic and in something like 30 minutes, I had a new circle skirt! I used this tutorial from the amazing blog, Made.

This quickie project was actually a test run for Hannah’s Halloween costume. Last year she was Wonder Woman and this year she is going to be a 50’s girl. I absolutely adore poodle skirts! My mom made one for me to wear to my elementary sockhop dance and I’ve been in love ever since.

And since Hannah is going to be a 50’s girl, I figured it was entirely necessary to make her baby doll a cute little skirt as well. I used some felt from my stash and some fabric paint I also had on hand. (It’s my goal to start making a sizable dent in my sewing supplies. My little cart is already stuffed to the brim!)

Instead of cutting out and sewing on appliques (which I’ll do for Hannah’s skirt), I traced clipart images from Microsoft Word onto some cheap wrapping paper, cut it into a stencil, ironed it onto the skirt, and painted my design. So much easier than fiddling around with such small appliques! I’m going to touch up the black with a sharpie where it needs it. Now I just need to get started on Hannah’s outfit…oh yeah, and baby needs a shirt!!!


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