Mar 7, 2014

Tutorial: How To Make Dr Seuss Truffula Trees

In honor of Dr Seuss' birthday week, I am sharing how easy it is to make truffula trees for a birthday party or any Dr Seuss themed event.  I styled a Dr Seuss themed birthday party which was so much fun for me and the kiddos. The yard was transformed into Seussville, so truffula trees were a must have to complete the transformation. Click here to see the party in action.

Here is how I did it...

5ft PVC pipe (1 per tree)
Black duct tape
16" paper pom pom (1 per tree)
Clear tape
Ground stakes

Take a trip to your local home improvement store and request to have white PVC piping cut to your desired height. If you want the affect of varying tree heights like a forest, then request varying lengths. I had all mine cut to 5ft, which fit well into my SUV.

Cut the black duct tape into 7.5" pieces.  You will need 10 strips per 5ft of piping.

Wrap the duct tape around the pipe and repeat process until all strips are used.  Leave approximately 4" of space between each strip.

Very carefully separate the layers of tissue to make the pom pom.

Use clear tape to attach the pom pom to the top of the pipe.  Place the white string inside the pipe and use the bottom outer layers of paper to secure the pom pom to the pipe.

For installation, ground stakes are recommended.  I used stakes from the solar lighting we have, but any stakes will work.  Place the stake in the ground leaving at least half above ground to provide support for the pipe.

 Place the pipe on top of the stake and your trees will be secure and stand upright.

One of my favorite quotes from Dr Seuss is, "Don't cry because its over.  Smile because it happened." Unfortunately, all parties must come to an end, but we can always remember the good times and smile.

Mar 5, 2014

Dr Seuss Birthday Party

It's Dr Seuss week!  The kids are busy all week celebrating at school. I am having fun creating theme treats for snack time and lunch box surprises. We are also going through our Dr Seuss library with the goal of reading them all before the end of the week.

Our celebration of Dr Seuss Week has become a family tradition.  We all get involved and have so much fun learning, playing games and dressing up.

Last year, we decided to go all out and express our love for Dr Seuss with a big birthday bash.  Since I have not shared the Dr Seuss party I created for my little ones, I thought Dr Seuss week would be a great time to do so.  Our yard was converted to Seussville complete with Truffula trees.   Entertainment was covered with an inflatable, face painting, go fishing, a craft table and the big surprise of a personal visit from The Cat In The Hat himself.

One of my favorite memories from the party is the fun time we had at the photo booth.

Feb 10, 2014

Main Squeeze Class Valentines (Free Printable)

Looking for an alternative to candy for your child's class valentines?  You might like this one.  For my youngest, I created a heart tag that says, "Valentine, You're My Main Squeeze" and a heart pouch for the GoSqueeze apple sauce pouches.  My kids love applesauce and these on the go pouches are always on my grocery list.  My kids will do a happy dance just to get one of these.

I am offering a free printable tag for you to use.  Just add or have your child sign their name at the bottom.

Click here for the free printable.

To do this yourself, this is what you will need:

Card stock
Scrapbook paper
Free heart printable
Bakers twine or ribbon
Hole punch
Clear tape

Print out the tags onto card stock after downloading the free printable.  There are 6 per page.

Hand cut the hearts.  This goes rather quickly.

Measure the height of the pouch using the scrapbook paper.  Be sure to add an extra inch for folding on the bottom when making the pouch.  Using an 8.5x11 size paper is easier to work with than 12x12. Less cutting and less waste.  If you would rather measure using a ruler, the recommended size is 5" x 8.5".

Using a paper cutter or scissors cut the scrapbook paper to the desired height.

Then wrap the pouch like a present using clear tape.

Fold the bottom corners in on both sides and then fold and tape - just like wrapping a present.

Punch a hole in the tag and attach with twine or ribbon. That's it and you are done.

I had little helpers while doing this project.  Surprisingly (not really),  I noticed that I had less GoSqeezes at the end of the project than when I started.  I wonder what happened...hmmm  This is a great project to do with your kids.  Just be sure you have enough for the class and as payment for their labor.

Jan 30, 2014

A "Sweet 6" Yogurt Party

Who says you can't have an ice cream or yogurt party if you have a winter birthday?  It still taste good and kids love it regardless of the weather outside. You have heard of a Sweet 16 party, right? Well, I had so much fun designing a "Sweet 6" party for a beautifully sweet girl for her 6 birthday party. The party was held at a yogurt bar and I created a sweet dessert table to match the theme.

I knew I wanted the colors to be vibrant so I chose a rich pink and turquoise to match the lively personality of the honoree. Printables were used from That Party Chick that match the theme perfectly.  I created additional decor items, such as the banners and centerpieces, to make the table pop. A hand painted themed canvas was designed as well with the honorees name as a keepsake to hang in her room.  Unfortuately, all parties must come to an end.  So, it is nice to hold onto items that remind you of all the fun.

As the guests arrived, they enjoyed arts and crafts before moving to the yogurt bar to create their flavor combinations of choice.  With an endless number of topping choices, the kids were adventurous in their selections.  As an additional tribute to the birthday girl, she had her very own berry sorbet flavor. It was so sweet to have a sign featuring her name.

I am truly honored by the trust given by others to be a part of their special day.  Contact A Sweet Touch by Rachelle Grace to create a unique and personalized dessert table for your next party.

Jan 27, 2014

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Looking for a meal that will please even those picky eaters in your household?  How about BBQ chicken pizza in less than 30 minutes. I love this pizza because it has complex flavors to please adults and yummy enough for kids to enjoy too.  It is pizza after all.  My life is such that meals labeled "weeknight meals" are also needed on the weekends too.  With all the kids extracurricular activities and endless invitations to birthday parties, I often need quick meals most days of the week.

Taking a few short cuts make this pizza almost just as fast as preparing a frozen pizza. Control the ingredients by adding as much cheese and toppings to your taste and preference. This recipe doubles easily. You can pick up fresh dough and make one large pizza.  The flatbreads are delicious and quicker since they are already baked and seasoned.  Add a side salad and fruit for the kids for a complete meal.

Serves 2 - 3

2 Tandoor Baked NAAN Garlic Flatbreads (such as Stonefire)
Jack Daniel's Pulled Chicken (or your choice of heat and serve bbq chicken)
2 oz of shredded smoked gouda cheese
2 oz of shredded mozzarella cheese
1 small red onion
Cilantro for garnish
Drizzle of olive oil
Optional toppings (bacon and jalapeƱos)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Remove the 2 flatbreads from the package and drizzle olive oil on both sides of the flatbread. Sprinkle 2 oz of the mozzarella cheese on top and layer with the 4 ounces of pulled chicken and smoked gouda cheese.  Thinly slice the red onion (enough to garnish) and add to the top.  Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with cilantro.  Slice and enjoy while warm.

Recipe Tip: Refrigerate the remaining chicken and make pulled chicken sandwiches for lunch the next day.  Or try pulled chicken tacos with a corn salsa and cilantro.

Jan 13, 2014

New Year's Bash

As I think about how busy the holiday season was, it is nice to pause and have time to reflect on what I would like to accomplish this year both professionally and personally. I can now exhale and express my gratitude for the opportunities to spend more time last year on photography and party styling. I am excited to welcome 2014 and look forward to a year of walking out the path God has prepared for me.

To get pumped up for the season, you could often here me singing,...cel-e-bration time...come on!  I enjoyed all the celebrations including the cookie swaps, a scarf exchange, birthday parties, a holiday brunch, and dinners with family and friends. It provides me with such joy to be in a creative space and spend time with those that matter most. There were so many excuses to bake and sample my way through the holiday season. The other side of the whirlwind though is that it goes by quickly.  It would be great to savor the special moments longer. This is one of the reasons I enjoy photography so much. It can truly take you back to the emotions you felt at that time.

I take a deep breath each time I think about the fact that I was either hosting or styling a party or making desserts for dessert tables from October up until New Year's Eve. As such, there are a couple of parties that have not been added to the site yet. Today, I am sharing the New Year's Eve bash created for a client.  The dessert buffet included champagne blueberry parfaits, chocolate mousse shots, red velvet cupcakes, white chocolate, toffee, and dark chocolate carmel truffles.  In lieu of confetti, which the client appreciated since it was in her home, Midnight Kisses were a part of the New Year countdown and were given as favors to the guests.