children

Mother’s Day DIY gift, a cute Popsicle Puzzle from the heart…

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Mother’s Day is almost here and we have the perfect DIY gift idea. A Popsicle Puzzle…. Personally I don’t want my kids spending money for a present or need a big gift. The perfect present would be a long nap by myself followed by something small and meaningful from the heart that is cheap or free.

My kids love to color and paint. A couple weeks ago I had asked my 8 year old and 11 year old to draw something nice for our art wall. Both of my kids were not sure what to draw, so I gave them some inspiration. Paint something special for me, Mami. Something that I would like or has something to do with me. The result was two beautiful drawings that mean so much to me.

We decided to use these paintings as inspiration for our puzzle and Eva drew a third picture as a free template to use. But it could be anything, a coupon for a nap for example, a photograph, a card or a copy of a ticket (don’t use the original).

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We copied the original pictures because they were part of the art wall, but you could also use the original masterpieces. Other than that you only need popsicle sticks or craft sticks, pencil, ruler, scissor, glue and an envelope.

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We used 17 popsicle sticks which measured:

6 3/4 inches x 4 1/2 inches or 17.5 centimeter x 11.5 centimeter

We measured in centimeter and cut the masterpieces in 1 cm stripes (make sure that your craft sticks also measure 1 cm or change accordingly)

We glued the paper stripes on the sticks and let them dry overnight.

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Happy Mother’s Day to all the amazing Moms everywhere. Not just one day a year, let’s celebrate every day.

Here is our free template for you:

mothersday3

 

Categories: children, crafting, crafty friday, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The time we celebrated the birthday of one of our favorite plush animals… or a Teddy Bear picnic with DIY template

This is a throwback post from 2013 when we had a plush animal birthday party…

So actually it is much better than a Teddy Bear Picnic…. Drumroll please: we celebrated the 4th birthday of one of our most favorite stuffed animal, Billy the Squirl.

billynew1

Luca had the idea, because shortly before, we were celebrating the birthday of my husband and had a huge casino poker party. Luca had helped in some preparation for this party and saw us crafting, baking, making….. So about 5 days after the birthday bash for Chris, he announced that Billy was celebrating his birthday the following Saturday. I asked him what a great birthday party needs and he came up with (in his order)

1. Invitations

2. Cake

3. Party Hats

4. Presents

5. Balloons and a banner/decoration

P1020147

We created a guest list, which included Mickey Mouse, Schafi, Hippo and some other friends, but was limited to 12 guests. We also invited a real friend and his stuffed animal to make the party even more fun.

birthdaybilly

Luca started to make the invitations. It was so much fun to see the enthusiasm he had making them. Because the Teddy Bear Picnic was part of the Summer Bucket List, it was the perfect match.  Eva and I created a template for a garland, party hats, party signs and miniature cupcake topper, which is available for downloading. We wanted to make it simple enough that Luca could either make the decoration almost by himself or at least be able to help, since it was his party. The next several days, we worked on the party. One day, we made garlands, the next day wrapped presents and the day before the party we baked the cake. It was perfect, because the anticipation grew with each day and the projects were short enough to not lose interest after a while. We wrapped a small box of peanuts and Eva made some presents like an outfit, a backpack,  a miniature notepad, a necklace (I think Billy is ready for school now) and wrapped them all in several little gifts. They looked so cute… Another great idea was the trail mix from Kian and doggy, Luca’s friend. The day of the party, Luca woke up extra early and could not wait to get started… He helped us to decorate and together with his brother, they brought all the birthday guests, the cake and the presents outside. It was time to get the party started…

billynew2billynew3

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

You need:

Templates – cut out

colorful paper – we used different scrapbook paper in different colors and different patterns

scissors, glue

stapler or tape

stretch cord for party hats

toothpicks for cupcake topper

colorful balloons – we used water balloons, streamers and ribbons, colorful fabric samples, etc…

Direction:

How to make the garland:

Trace the template on different colors of paper and cut out. As more colors and patterns as more fun the garland will be  You should have a nice stack. Take both ends of a strip and form a circle. Staple or glue the ends together. Take the next strip of paper through the first circle to connect them and form another circle. Tape or staple the ends together. Continue to get a long and pretty garland.

billynew8billynew4

 

How to make the party pats:

P1020095

Depending on the size of the stuffed animal or doll, trace one of the larger circle templates on colorful paper and cut out. Cut straight into the circle until the middle. Repeat and cut off about 1/3 of the circle (sorry, maybe the pics are clearer than my instructions 🙂 ) Take the ends and form a party hat, secure with tape or glue. The stuffed animal gets his first fitting. To secure the strap, we hot glued a stretch cord to one side of the hat. Once it is dried, fit it again to get the correct size for the strap and hot glue the other end. Let it dry completely.

billynew5billynew6

 

How to make the cake topper:

Trace the small circle template on colorful paper and cut out. You could also use a small circle punch. We cut a toothpick in half and glued them on the back of the circle. Stick them in frosted cupcakes or in small tea sandwiches.

P1020253

How to make the birthday signs:

Trace both templates on different colored paper and cut them out. Glue the smaller square on top of the larger square and let them dry. We handwrote the signs, but I think it would be even cuter to use a spectacular font from your computer.  If your children are big enough, they could write something inside as well.

billy9

 

Cake and More:

We used half a recipe for a small cake and had some leftovers, which I baked in a miniature muffin tin to serve as cupcakes.

billy10

 

To make it more festive, we blew up water balloons (which was too hard for Luca), and tied them together to make a garland. Luca helped us by taping them on the umbrella behind the picnic area. We first used a towel or a picnic blanket and covered it with colorful fabric samples to keep with the theme. We brought the guests, miniature cups and plates, the cake and cupcakes, the presents and extra balloons for the blanket outside and we were ready to party…

birthday template

Categories: children, crafting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

crafty Friday and the first post for the bucket list – a Teddy Bear picnic

craftyfriday

Actually it is much better than a Teddy Bear Picnic…. Drumroll please: we celebrated the 4th birthday of one of our most favorite stuffed animal, Billy the Squirl.

birthdaybillycollage2

Luca had the idea, because shortly before, we were celebrating the birthday of my husband and had a huge casino poker party. Luca had helped in some preparation for this party and saw us crafting, baking, making….. So about 5 days after the birthday bash for Chris, he announced that Billy was celebrating his birthday the following Saturday. I asked him what a great birthday party needs and he came up with (in his order)

1. Invitations

2. Cake

3. Party Hats

4. Presents

5. Balloons and a banner/decoration

P1020147

We created a guest list, which included Mickey Mouse, Schafi, Hippo and some other friends, but was limited to 12 guests. We also invited a real friend and his stuffed animal to make the party even more fun.

birthdaybilly

Luca started to make the invitations. It was so much fun to see the enthusiasm he had making them. Because the Teddy Bear Picknick was part of the Summer Bucket List, it was the perfect match.  Eva and I created a template for a garland, party hats, party signs and miniature cupcake topper, which is available for downloading. We wanted to make it simple enough that Luca could either make the decoration almost by himself or at least be able to help, because it was his party. The next several days, we worked on the party. One day, we made garlands, the next day packed presents and the day before the party we baked the cake. It was perfect, because the anticipation grew with each day and the projects were short enough to not lose interest after a while. We wrapped a small box of peanuts and Eva made some presents like an outfit, a backpack,  a miniature notepad, a necklace (I think Billy is ready for school now) and wrapped them all in several little gifts. They looked so cute… Another great idea was the trail mix from Kian and doggy, Luca’s friend. The day of the party, Luca woke up extra early and could not wait to get started… He helped us to decorate and together with his brother, they brought all the birthday guests, the cake and the presents outside. It was time to get the party started…

birthdaybillycollage3

INSTRUCTIONS:

You need:

Templates – cut out

colorful paper – we used different scrapbook paper in different colors and different patterns

scissors, glue

stapler or tape

stretch cord for party hats

toothpicks for cupcake topper

colorful balloons – we used water balloons, streamers and ribbons, colorful fabric samples, etc…

Direction:

How to make the garland:

Trace the template on different colors of paper and cut out. As more colors and patterns as more fun the garland will be  You should have a nice stack. Take both ends of a strip and form a circle. Staple or glue the ends together. Take the next strip of paper through the first circle to connect them and form another circle. Tape or staple the ends together. Continue to get a long and pretty garland.

birthdaygarland

How to make the party pats:

P1020095

Depending on the size of the stuffed animal or doll, trace one of the larger circle templates on colorful paper and cut out. Cut straight into the circle until the middle. Repeat and cut off about 1/3 of the circle (sorry, maybe the pics are clearer than my instructions 🙂 ) Take the ends and form a party hat, secure with tape or glue. The stuffed animal gets his first fitting. To secure the strap, we hot glued a stretch cord to one side of the hat. Once it is dried, fit it again to get the correct size for the strap and hot glue the other end. Let it dry completely.

birthdaypartyhats

How to make the cake topper:

Trace the small circle template on colorful paper and cut out. You could also use a small circle punch. We cut a toothpick in half and glued them on the back of the circle. Stick them in frosted cupcakes or in small tea sandwiches.

P1020253

How to make the birthday signs:

Trace both templates on different colored paper and cut them out. Glue the smaller square on top of the larger square and let them dry. We handwrote the signs, but I think it would be even cuter to use a spectacular font from your computer.  If your children are big enough, they could write something inside as well.

birthdaysigncollage

Cake and More:

We used half a recipe for a small cake and had some leftovers, which I baked in a miniature muffin tin to serve as cupcakes.

cakebaking

To make it more festive, we blew up water balloons (which was too hard for Luca), and tied them together to make a garland. Luca helped us by taping them on the umbrella behind the picnic area. We first used a towel or a picnic blanket and covered it with colorful fabric samples to keep with the theme. We brought the guests, miniature cups and plates, the cake and cupcakes, the presents and extra balloons for the blanket outside and we were ready to party…

birthday template

Categories: children, crafting | 1 Comment

Happy Halloween from The Party Event

 

Yesterday we had the best time getting ready for trick or treating and Halloween fun. I love to dress the boys in the same theme (I still can without getting complaints), but this year we went out all the way with a castle theme. We not only included my husband and me, my sister and another friend were part of the group as well. We had a blast!!!!!

We had Luca the knight and Giorgio the dragon, I was the princess, my sister was the evil queen and my husband and our friend were two more knights. We looked really funny…. Of course getting ready was already a lot of fun, since this time it was the real thing. (We also got dressed up for Halloween photo shoots in August and I was sad to remove it right away) Lots of armour, a green dragon costume, glitter, rhinestones and some tulle later, we were ready for Trick or Treating. It was the first active Halloween for Giorgio and he got it right away. He was so happy holding his little bucket and getting candy. What a trooper, not one complaint! The knight got a little moody after a while, but nothing a sugar rush couldn’t fix. 🙂

After the kids part, we also went to Lincoln Road to be part of the Freak Show Halloween that South beach offers and met more friends…. It was a great evening, but today I am tired…

There was another important reason why this Halloween was really special, because we got a big order of  ready-made sets of Halloween photo booth props from a major restaurant on Ocean Drive in South Beach.

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bloody or slime Halloween candles – an easy, fast and very spooky craft

I usually post crafts I do with my kids, but I love to do projects just for me too… I recently posted about the spectacular Halloween Table we did a couple of years back. If you haven’t read about it, check it out here:

https://thepartyevent.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/the-best-and-creepiest-halloween-dessert-table-ever/

The bloody candles were a last-minute extra creepy idea we had. You need white candles, red candle wax (for blood) or green candle wax (for slime), a lighter, some newspaper to cover the working area and a candle holder or something to hold the candle in place. Easy peasy…

We accidentally bought a red candle which had white wax inside. I double checked before, but somehow grabbed the wrong candle in the end. Thankfully I still had some candles at home. We used a dark fuchsia red in the end and it still looks nice and authentic.  As candle holders, we used styrofoam bowls, which we turned around and made holes inside to hold the candles. We put the white candles in the candle holders, used an extra candle to make first the red and later the green wax hot and poured the liquid carefully over the white candles. Because the wax hardens pretty fast, we had to work fast, but still be careful to not get burned.

Categories: children, crafting, DIY, Party | 1 Comment

scary pumpkin monsters

Yesterday night my sister and I carved pumpkins. This was only part 1, because tonight Luca, my husband and I will carve some more. Let me present to you: the pumpkin eater and the evil grinner: 

They came out really cute or should I rather say scary 🙂 For a more dramatic results, we carved out some parts and only scraped others. The evil grinner was also marked with a black sharpie and the pumpkin eater got to eat a little pumpkin. Maybe I will still carve a face for the little guy.

We first draw a design on the pumpkins which looked like this:

We then cut off the top off, cleaned out the insides and started to carve. It is a lot of fun, but really messy and I expect tonight to get even messier. I will keep you updated.

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decorating the house for the holidays with children

Since we live in Florida, we don’t get the typical seasons outside of our house. But not inside! I love to decorate for each season and holiday. Right now our house smells like a big pumpkin pie and we have leafs, nuts, pumpkins, straw, berries and other fall decoration all over. This makes me feel so good and I love to share or pass on this love of the different seasons to my kids. Of course we go to the pumpkin patch and do fall crafts, but I also like to include them in the decorating. We have a fireplace where they can go wild. They are allowed to decorate it for each holiday.  I have to check to see, if I have pictures throughout the year, but now it is covered completely for autumn. We use different things (from streamers, stickers, drawings, crafts to leafs, nuts, flowers, buttons or whatever I can find in the house that matches the theme). I bought foam leaf and pumpkin stickers for a craft project and Luca decided the fireplace was the perfect place to display theme. We also used hazelnuts to make a border on top of the mantel. I mean the boys did it all by themselves and I only took pictures. The fireplace looks beautiful and perfect and I could have not done it better. Plus Luca was really proud of him and feels very important. I think every house should dedicate a corner, a door, a fireplace, a corkboard or big frame to let the kids decorate for a holiday, birthday or just because…. and I don’t mean to just hang art from school… I think you will be amazed what your kids come up with – at least I am with mine and I think the hazelnuts idea was genius…

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A bucket list update… no, actually it’s a wrap… goodbye summer… hello fall

We had a lot of fun with our summer bucket list and were crossing off things left and right…. but we didn’t do all… which is kind of ok. I am happy with the things we did (a lot of stuff wasn’t even on there) and the day just has a certain amount of hours. ( I need to clone myself to do all the things I want to do) 😉 Also we have  already a start for next year ) Unfortunately I was also  too busy posting about everything…. I could do at least 5 posts, but let me see what I can fit in here to wrap up the summer bucket list 2012. I will still write some “how to” posts in the future and link them back, but this is the official end of summer – school is back on – and my last official post about it 😦 ok, I am also sad about it…. at the same time I am super excited about the fall, the upcoming holidays, the birthdays of my boys and all the new exciting things we have planned. No time for sadness…. here are some of the things we did this summer:

Played in the yard

Visited the Miami Children Museum

Had a picknick in the park and played some soccer

Build a tent in the living room on a rainy day

Stamp summer flowers with potatoes

Visited the butterfly museum

Thanks for stopping by… I hope you liked our adventures as much we did….

Categories: children, crafting, DIY, summer bucket list | Leave a comment

How to prepare you and your kids for a vacation…. a special cruise calendar to count the days until our next trip

The ruins of Ancient Carthage in Tunis – August 2011

Vacation time is the best and we are always looking forward to spend an amazing time in a different country, learning about new cultures and just being with family (not that you cannot have a great time in your own country:) ) Our trips are most of the time to Europe to combine time with extended family members and travel from there to different countries and new adventures. As I mentioned before, last year we went to a wedding in Germany, visited family in Italy and went on an amazing trip to Spain, Tunisia and France. Here we were in the back of a bus in Mallorca:

We always travel with the kids and Luca has been already on some big trips with long flights or even longer car trips like a  road trip from Germany through Switzerland to Italy, another road trip from North Italy to South Italy and his first flight was with 5 weeks… still I enjoy taking the kids and show them different parts of the world. It is the best thing for me to travel with my family. My parents did the same thing with my sister and me and I think they are the reason why we love traveling today… It can be stressful, yes, but much less with lots of preparation. I thought, I share some tips how we got through long flights, but more important I wanted to share our cruise calendar to get the kids as excited as we are for our next vacation to the Caribbean….

Yes, we are going on a cruise all together with my husband, the kids, my parents and my sister. I am sooooooooooooo excited. I love cruising….And we are prepared, get ready for some cool cruise and nautical props…. yeahhhh

To bring the vacation closer, I made Luca and Giorgio a cruise calendar to count the days until the cruise. Both the kids have been on cruises before with us, but Luca being 4 1/2 years old, understands much more and I love to see him getting excited too. It’s a lot of fun to watch the big cruise ships exit the port of Miami and we love to waive to the passengers. From this I got the idea of painting a big ship with windows for the days until the cruise. Instead of crossing the days off, Luca draws a face inside the window for each day. The calendar turned out huge and is standing in front of the fireplace for everybody to see it, meaning we are constantly reminded that we are going on vacation soon. Yeah…. The first thing after he wakes up in the morning is to run to the calendar, paint a little face and we count the days left together. Because of that, the cruise is usually the topic over breakfast. We go on with the day and the next morning he is all over excited to mark the calendar. I think this is a great way to prepare the kids for a vacation and also makes me feel like a kid counting the days down. Can you feel how excited I am????? But let me show you how the calendar looks:

For the vacation I will prepare an entertainment bag for the boys, which will include crayons, activity book, stickers, coloring pages, little surprises wrapped in tissue paper and secured with a little tape for unwrapping, glue sticks, bandages (they are great for opening and sticking them all over a plane) , extra paper, a light book, paper bag animals etc.  I had a package like this in the plane last summer and it kept Luca occupied in the plane, a train ride from Germany to Italy and in between other stops). Stickers are perfect. The coolest thing was the activity set which requires some preparation. He had to glue different fish on an ocean page, salami and olives on a pizza page, legs on a spider page, put different parts of a face and body together and so on… I had to pre cut these things, because we couldn’t take scissors on the plane, but it was totally worth it. Because he is older this year, I think I will make it more about math, but I am not sure yet what it will be. My Mom bought two mini chalk boards which can be used at the dinner table. I don’t need to prepare a lot, because we don’t have a long flight and there is plenty to do at a cruise, but it is always good to have a little care package.

Another thing I have learned through our trips is to relax . I was really nervous flying with my baby in the beginning and he felt my tension. Children mirror the parents and if we are unhappy, they will be too and show it… Even if I don’t like a place, I would never show my children, instead I would still try to make it cool for them.

I hope, if you are reading this, you will also go on a vacation soon…. Have fun! Soon we will too….

Categories: children, crafting, DIY | Leave a comment

making homemade ziplock ice cream or frozen yoghurt

A week ago, we made ice cream in a ziplock bag. It was a lot of fun and is very easy.

You need:

1 large ziplock bag (gallon)    

1 small ziplock bag (pint)

2 tablespoons sugar 

1/2 cup half and half plus 1/2 cup heavy cream or 1 cup yoghurt  

1/2 teaspoon almond extract   

1/2 cup rock salt   

ice cubes                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

lots of different toppings 

(we used m&ms, mini marshmallows,crumbled brownies, chocolate morsels, almonds and different kind of sprinkles) 

 After the ice cream, Luca suggest to make cupcakes (seriously!!!!???) We had a lot of leftover toppings, so I let him make his own cupcakes. I gave him a couple more ingredients like cherios, other themed sprinkles and toppings I had in the house, as well as a cupcake pan and cupcake liners and he started to mix and bake…. It was a nice way to entertain him a little longer…. Giorgio did not care for any more sugar and had left the table after his ice cream…

Categories: Baking, children, chocolate, DIY, summer bucket list | 1 Comment

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