straw necklaces

If you have leftover straws from a party, you can make necklaces with them, which is also a great fine motor activity for preschoolers.  The original idea can be found at Real Simple.  All you need are a few paper or plastic straws and twine or string.  Cut up the straws into little pieces and string them onto your twine to make a necklace or bracelet.  My daughter Avery had fun choosing different colors for her necklace that ended up being a wreath for her hair.  You can also use the straw bits to practice letter formation and talk about letter names and sounds.  This post was originally published in my summer series for Mom*tog.


alice in wonderland party: the menu

My übercreative cousin Amy put together this brilliant Alice in Wonderland birthday party for her daughter Audrey over the summer.  I'll be sharing the fantastic wonderland that Amy dreamt up in three different posts.  Today's post is all about the whimsical menu: Mad Hatter tea sandwiches, Jabberwocky salt & pepper wings, caterpillar kabobs, mini "eat me" cakes, The Queen of Hearts raspberry tarts, Cheshire Cat tails, wushrooms (Audrey's favorite!), snacks served in flower cups and more toothsome edibles befitting a delightful tea party.


making necklaces

This wooden bead set from The Land of Nod is perfect for many things: a morning of crafting necklaces, making bracelets at a play date or as a fun activity at a birthday party--guests can string together beads to make their own personalized necklace or bracelet and then take it home as a favor.  The alphabet beads provide extra practice with letter names and sounds, too!  Thanks to The Land of Nod for sending this lovely bead set.


sailboat favors

I didn't get a chance to post these sailboat snack cups that I made last month for a church event and later, a play date.  They were inspired by this Paper Source nautical sailboat kit.  I tried to make sure that each step was photographed and visually represented, but feel free to leave a comment if there are any questions.  These cups can spruce up the nosh table at your next play date, or they can serve as favors and/or place cards at your next birthday party.  Just add a tiny flag at the top of the mast where you can write each child's name--I used the adhesive part of super sticky post-it notes to make it a snap.


coffee + pie night

Coffee and pie night took place last weekend.  We had a few good friends over to share some savory appetizers and of course, pie--the perfect fall dessert.  We had two pies--an apple crumble pie from Susiecakes and a maple custard pie from The Pie Hole.  Both were sublime in their own ways.  Susiecakes' apples were seasoned perfectly and topped with a crisp, sweet crumble.  The Pie Hole's maple custard had an amazing and rich eggy custard and a beautifully sweet maple caramelization.  Both pies had buttery flaky crusts.  The drink of the night was pour-over coffee with beans from Portola Coffee Lab, thoughtfully brewed by our friend Joel.  The wonderful food, dessert and drink paired with familiar and enjoyable conversation made it a simple and relaxed evening.

This gathering is the third in our Noshing with Friends series.  Be sure to check out the first in the series, an afternoon of honey and cheese, and the second, a summer party.