nate's second birthday

Different sources served as inspiration for the colors of Nate's party: a post from Scouts Honor Co.Dwell Studio's beautiful color stories and some napkins we found at IKEA.  (Sometimes inspiration comes in little packages.)  The pennants were crafted using blue and white twine and Paper Source paper.  The paper used to wrap the gifts was also from Paper Source.  I wanted the party to reflect Nate's world as a two-year-old: his toys, playthings and favorite treats.  Nate's name was spelled out using Land of Nod's whimsical Nod Blocks.  The party nosh included animal cookies, chocolate-covered Cheerios and chocolate-dipped Speculoos cookies. Nate's Kid O Stack and Nest cups held some of his favorite snacks.  There were also miniature vanilla cupcakes with lemon frosting (delivered in Nate's Kid O Tip Truck) and a whoopie pie from Susiecakes.  The favors were vending machine capsules from Shop Sweet Lulu and contained little things for Nate to shake, explore and examine: bits of ribbon, big buttons, finger puppets, wooden toys and a rubber duck, to name a few.  The huge "2" balloon was from a local Party City.  Later, Avery galloped around on the balloon like a horse, which was a riot!  It was a fun afternoon of opening gifts, nibbling on snacks, studying and shaking the different capsule favors, bobbing the huge balloon up and down and general merrymaking.  Happy birthday, Nate!  We thank God for the joy and blessing you are.


an amble through the lemon groves

It's definitely spring here in Southern California.  Here we are, spending time in the lemon groves at a local park for Polarn O. Pyret's Every Day a Play Day Week!  Thanks to Polarn O. Pyret for sending us these cheerful shirts.  They are perfect for playing!


nod blocks

Every child needs a block set or two. Blocks are one toy that my kids return to again and again.  They are wonderful for constructing, but they are also good for creative play.  There are many benefits to creative play.  Creativity helps contribute to good problem-solving skills.  Creativity is an outlet for energy.  Creative opportunities allow children to test out their ideas by trial and error.  They experiment and learn by doing.

Here are Land of Nod's Nod blocks being used as food, an example of symbolic play (one aspect of symbolic play is when a child uses an object to represent another object, e.g., pretending to use a banana as a phone).

A road of blocks.

Nod Blocks are great because on the face of each block is one of the following: an upper case letter, lower case letter, number and a word that begins with the letter showcased on the block and an illustration to go with each, e.g., whale, wrench and Walt.  Blocks like these are a versatile toy that provide opportunities for play and learning!  Thanks to Land of Nod for sending us Nod Blocks to try out.


boat-themed baby shower

These photos were from a baby shower given for a good friend a while ago. There were many loving hands that prepared a delicious menu, folded a fleet of paper boats, hung up decorations, etc., in order to set the stage for a fun afternoon. The colors and nautical theme were inspired by posts by Scouts Honor Co., Dozi Design and Once Wed. The spread include egg salad sandwiches, fruit salad, mini spinach and mushroom quichecrostini with sundried tomato jam, Asian noodle saladblueberry mochi mini cakes and panini, buttered and filled with provolone, prosciutto and arugula. The striped navy flags atop the egg salad sandwiches were courtesy of Hank and Hunt. The favors were sugar cookies with swirled royal icing designs packaged in little blue chevron bags. It was a wonderful time and lovely way to welcome a little one into the world!


every day a play day week

This is a reminder to join us for Polarn O. Pyret's fourth Every Day a Play Day week.  Playing and exploring outside is important (and enjoyable) for children and families!  Polarn O. Pyret's goal is to "get families out enjoying the outdoors no matter what the weather."  Read more details about it and how to win a $50 gift certificate on their blog, The Playful Life.  Get out and have fun!