February 28, 2012

Food Dyes Suspected Of Causing Behavioral Problems In Kids. Read the article HERE.

February 24, 2012

wall of o

hi my name is debbie and i'm a flea/antique/vintage/junk aholic! ok cheesy but i am truly addicted to junking lately. when i came home from a twice annual vintage market with 6 metal, 1 wood, 1 cork and 20 letterpress o's, oscar thought i lost my mind but i had a vision. my life, afterall, is all about o.

most made it up on the dining room wall.

makes me smile every time i walk past it.

February 23, 2012

olivia's winter wonderland

from the moment we found out we were having a girl, i knew olivia's first birthday would be a winter wonderland. partially because it gave me an excuse to keep my birch bark tubes out past christmas; although, thanks to pinterest, now i know i can keep the tubes out all year long and just change the flowers seasonally. on a side note, pinterest really is the website that is changing all of our lives for the better. now we are expressing our inner most thoughts through cleverly designed subway art, attempting whole new levels of diy with endless tutorials, trying new recipes for quinoa, chick peas and kale weekly, redecorating and reorganizing our homes with free labels and printables, and even getting fashion, hair and beauty help to get us out of our ruts- all from this fantastic new website. yay pinterest! which, by the way, i still pronounce PIN INTEREST because even though i'm addicted and on the site daily, my mind can not combine the two words.

but i digress, the second and more important reason for olivia's winter wonderland is natalie merchant's song wonder. i was in my early twenties when her album tiger lily was released and the minute i heard wonder i knew it would be my anthem to my future daughter. i knew i would play it and sing it to her often, especially on her birthdays. so naturally when olivia was born in the winter, my mind began dreaming of her first birthday as a winter wonderland.

first were the invitations. invitations have always been important to me. remember ozzie's first and second birthdays? i truly believe they properly introduce the theme to your guests while creating fun anticipation of the party decor. an old friend from elementary school offered to help create her invitations seen below. she did such a beautiful job. please contact meredith at meredith magnusson for your own design needs.

olivia's birthday colors were white, shades of brown and a touch of purple. i used the background of the invitation to create the wrap around mailing labels. now comes the decorations-did i get some use out of my birch tubes!

i wanted to set the stage from the get go so i set up an antique sled, filled a vintage wood crate with birch logs and added some snowey branches to a galvanized vase. i kept our christmas wreath and removed all of the decorations before flocking it- amazingly it stayed alive! our please knock sign hung on mossy branches- i do have a fascination for tree branches, the mossier the better.

a tablescape of birch tubes, birds and furry owls, dried cotton bolls and pods from kansas cotton girls on etsy and two coconut cakes. snow flakes hung from the ceiling and a vintage white christmas tree.

the over done personalized water bottle, happy birthday garland, sign for the cake smashing, birthday cakes with mini snowflake garlands and homemade playdough shaped into glittery snowballs as the birthday favors. i used the same recipe as ozzie's train playdough favor but added peppermint extract. after the dough cooled, i sprinkled it with martha stewart's white glitter and also rolled each ball into more glitter. i tied two snowballs in a clear plastic bags with jute, added a favor tag and viola easy peasy birthday favors. the mini snowflake garland was made with a cricut snowflake cartridge. i glued the snowflakes to a white sewing thread and tied it to the wood skewers.

the favor tag i made using the background of the invitation. this is really easy. i used microsoft publisher and chose a blank label then added the background and text boxes. i used the same file for the water bottle labels.

hot cocoa bar with cake pops, marshmallows, cookies, peppermint marshmallow pops, caramel sauce and homemade sugar cubes. my friends live on a large property and cut up some small logs for me. after cleaning the logs with deck cleaner, i painted one side with chalkboard paint and used them as food labels for both the cocoa bar and the food table. i made vignettes with vintage ball jars filled with vintage christmas trees, miniature deer and fake snow. the deer were actually old candles i found at a flea market. too cute!

almost all of these ideas came from pinterest- here are the links:
cake pops- peppermint flavored but dipped in chocolate and white chocolate with purple sprinkles

as i mentioned earlier, the song wonder was my main inspiration for olivia's birthday. since my goal is to always sing the song to her on her birthday, i thought it would be nice if all of her guests read the chorus along with me. again i used the background of her invitation but reduced the brown to 60% to make reading easier and created a small quote sheet for guests to read. oscar caught the whole thing along with my speech behind the song on video and i am tickled that olivia will have this for the rest of her life. my goal is to eventually cross stitch the chorus onto muslin to hang in olivia's bedroom.

my darling olivia. while all of her pictures are adorable, i am particularly loving the second to the bottom right where she looks completely terrified of the burning candle coming towards her. i didn't get a good picture of her birthday outfit but i ironed on the number one in rhinestones, you can barely see this in the upper right picture. gotta love a bedazzled first birthday shirt!

when all is said and done, olivia's first birthday was a success but just like ozzie's birthdays, there aren't enough pictures of our guests, not one picture of the birthday girl with mom and dad, and so many other things i forgot to do since i am always running around like a chicken with my head cut off. when will i ever learn to keep the parties small and easy? probably never!

in the spirit of pinterest (still pronouncing it PIN INTEREST), i created blank wrap around mailing labels in two colors if anyone would like to print them. the first is the original purple and the second in dark brown. just click on the picture to save the jpeg file to your computer. enjoy!

just sayin'

February 22, 2012

rainy days

making volcanoes is our current rainy day sanity saver.

February 16, 2012


oscar took the kids out to a local children's museum and i got a well needed day alone. luckily he snapped a few photos for me.

baby leaf sensory area

water sensory tables

adventures with a pulley system and making friends

beautiful girl


last month mother nature surprised us with a snow storm. after snow and ice for days, it turned ugly but luckily these pictures are from the first few hours of new snow. ozzie loved every minute of it, miss olivia loved about five minutes of it!

the next day things began to freeze and it got a little crazy in seattle; we are not prepared for this breed of cold and ice.

just a side note about this last picture. oscar and ozzie are imitating a picture of my dad and i building my first snow man at about the same age as ozzie is now. someday i will scan it and do a comparison. too cute!

February 15, 2012


last week's craft is sponsored by costco. thanks for providing us with boxes large enough to make a robot.

plugging in a keyboard because as he said, "the robot needs to follow my commands!"

it was all fun and games until his arm fell off

livs wants in on the action

and so it begins...

sibling rivalry.

February 14, 2012

valentine's crafts

my friend brooke has the best little etsy shop, little retreats, and recently hosted a make and take event at her office. super fun, i went home with lots of valentine treats and really enjoyed spreading the love all over my house.

thank you little retreats!