MonthSeptember 2013

Welcome Printable

This weekend, my family is visiting. As a kid, we always made welcome signs for visitors, coloring elaborate images or printing out multiple page banners and taping them together. A few times recently, I’ve busted out the sidewalk chalk and made block letter welcome signs (even for my hubby returning from a trip). In honor of that tradition, I made a simple sign for my front door for this visit, and I thought I’d share it. You’re welcome print your own copy.

Welcome Sign jpeg, 8.5 x 11

Welcome Sign jpeg, 8.5 x 11

Welcome Sign PDF, 8.5 x 11

My designer takeaway: Simple is good.

A Pink Farm Party

We just celebrated my little girl’s second birthday. Since she’s not quite into the “girly” things yet like princesses, Dora or Tinkerbell, I went for something she is into and that is more gender neutral, a farm party. However, I did add a lot of pink to our farm party.

I always start with the invitations since those have to go out first. I found a cute rhyming line on a Pinterest search that I used on the invite. Then I began looking at all the adorable farm animal cupcakes people have done. I made my three animal drawings in Illustrator based on the cupcakes. I love the simplicity of them. I also planned to make pink pig cupcakes with marshmallow snouts and ears. My daughter loves marshmallows!

Pink farm party invitation I made.

Pink farm party invitation I made.

This is crazy for a two-year-old’s party, but we’re all crazy sometimes… The second thing I did was rent a bounce house. She has played in several over the summer, and she just adores them. Plus, most of the kids who attended are older than her. They needed some energy-burning entertainment!

The bounce house, play area and tables.

The bounce house, play area and tables.

The bounce house fit in our barn! Yay!

The bounce house fit in our barn! Yay!

Then I went on a search for other farm party activities. I wanted simple things in case the kids ignored them and just jumped the whole time, but I felt like I should at least have something else to do. I found it much easier to find ideas for decorating than activities this time. So, I stole one from a local event we recently attended. They had a large pit with dry beans for digging in, like a sandbox. My kids loved digging in the beans. So, we bought some large bags of beans from Sams, used our old wagon, put some small farm animals in the bottom to find, and filled it up with beans. Add some shovels and buckets, and voila, an easy activity.

The second thing I stumbled on were some some farm animal ducks. We have an old water table from my son. I filled it up and added some ducks and cups. Who doesn’t love to play in the water?

For my decor, I kept it simple. I found some cow print plates and balloons. I did pink tablecloths with darker pink bandanas on them. I printed out some larger versions of my cow, pig and sheep drawings to hang up. For the most part, I tried to keep it simple. I always feel like the biggest impact is a colored tablecloth. Once you add that, it really starts to look like a party (maybe this is because we keep holding the parties in our pole barn).

I also like to keep food simple. We love grilling, but it usually means my hubby can’t socialize as much as he’d like. I had a bad experience with sandwich platters. So now, we just stick with pizza (even if it doesn’t fit our farm theme). I always add some fruit, like watermelon and grapes, and some raw veggies and dip. At one of the parties my son went to this year, I learned that Cheetos are a huge hit with the kiddos (probably because none of us ever buy them). I’ve added that to my party table as well. We made the cute pig cupcakes I found, and we served them with ice cream cups.

Birthday girl with her pig cupcake.

Birthday girl with her pig cupcake.

Pig cupcakes made with pink marshmallows.

Pig cupcakes made with pink marshmallows.

My designer takeaway: For every event, you can build from the basics that you know work well and just add elements that make each one unique.

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