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Spring “fake” Flower Cards

Looking for something to do with left over fake flowers, cute ideas for spring, creative shower and birthday party ideas? These are simple and can add a fun touch to your spring!

Spring birthdays are so fun to plan, especially for girls with flowers, animals and butterflies! Making homemade  spring cards can be a group activity for girl scouts, a center idea for teachers, mother’s day card ideas or an activity at a birthday party.  Collect and take apart silk flowers, find buttons, rhinestones and markers.

Have the child glue the flowers on along with a button on the inside of the flower. Allow to dry, and then add the stems and grass to complete the design. I always plan ahead and have this type of activity first for a party or group activity to allow time for the glue to dry. Then, at the end have them add any drawings, words to the card. Do you have a child that loves crafts? Make these cards for thank you notes or invitations.

These spring cups are perfect for parties, Easter and showers.  This is creative, inexpensive and simple. Not a bad combination for people that like to throw parties for children or adults! Prepare the week before the party to allow drying, and to leave the few days before a party for other things like food preparation and cleaning. We used these for a little girl birthday party and they all loved them. Simple enough for them to go home and make on their own. I have not tried  to glue flowers on plastic cups. It worked great on theses paper cups and no flowers fell off.

Pink Poodle Party Decorations and Cake

The decorations and food were all inspired by some great cupcake holders and decoration.

The plates that matched were adorable and can be seen on the table with the poodles cake. So far, my mom has been commissioned with the task of a birthday cake each for my daughter. They are never typical requests and she is always up for the challenge! It is so great to have a cool grandma in town. She wrapped the cake board with wrapping paper to match the theme. Many circle pans were used along with small and large marshmallows. The marshmallows were cut in half before placing on the cake.  The black licorice was used for the legs and pulled apart to use as eyes and mouth. Having marshmallows with cake were quite the excitement!

The cake had its own table with fresh flowers and a few decorations. As an afterthought I would have put a linen white or lace table cloth. We rented out a community center, so I did not have the chance to add any last details. Also, six year olds do not seem to mind these things!

Pink and white balloons were put in clusters throughout the room and entrance along with homemade and store bought streamers. We had a large eiffel tower in our home already and added twinkle lights. We also put twinkle lights on the plants that were in the room we rented.

Check out how to make the cupcake liner, coffee filter and doily garland in previous blog.


Add some color to your twinkle lights with small cupcake liners, of course use precaution with safety. We were in a small room and able to have an eye on lights at all time. Simply poke a hole through liner and place on lights.

We were fortunate to have this room to rent out. The house would have worked and just would have been a little cozy. The rooms would have been used for different activities and if weather permitted I would do the painting activity outside and allowed them to dry on the patio. I enjoy having parties at home as it gives you time before the party to decorate. But, it was nice to have it all done when we returned home that day.

To complete the party atmosphere, we had a few fun French songs mingled in with our party mix. Oui, a good time was had by all!

Pink Poodle Party Activities

These activities were designed for a six year old birthday party that was all girls, except for big brother who remained in the background until piñata time. He actually manned the snack shop and was a big hit with his popcorn and drinks.

Creative Table:

I am a big fan of having an extra space for those children that get things done quickly. Maybe it is my teacher instinct to always keep them engaged. So, every party I will have some sort of space for free time. Since we had the rented room and plenty of space, I had two activities plus paper and markers for drawing. One activity was to try and draw a poodle, there were directions on the table if they water. The other was to make a doily and cupcake liner flower. These were just ideas and the girls could do whatever they pleased at the “Creative Table.”

Flower Masterpiece:

I had them start with this project first as it takes a while to dry. I also had large pieces of cardboard, which were cut from boxes. This allowed the girls to place their finished piece on the board to carry home. Parents were thankful for the extra protection for the car ride home.

I have this activity in in detail on another post,  click here for details.

Necklace and Headbands:

I had a paper plate with each child’s name and all they would need to assemble a necklace. As they worked on these, I had a parent helper (awesome friend) call the girls two at a time to a table to make a headband. I had flowers from the art project pulled aside that were smaller along with buttons. The girls chose which colors and the parent hot glued the headband together. I wanted another favor for them to bring home that they were involved in.

Piñata:

On line there are pinatas for most themes including a pink poodle. I cannot remember who I went through, but it was about 25.00.

Snack Shop:

I took pretty scrap book paper that was black and white and rolled them into cones. We then filled them up with popcorn. During the party girls could go and be served drinks and snacks, a big hit.


Party Favors:

Each guest received a beautiful pink poodle cookie, they were scrumptious!

They also had their necklace, headband flower masterpiece and toys and candy from the piñata.

Make Your Own Garland Using Cupcake Liners

Making your own garland is fun and a great project for children. Hanging garland for birthday parties, bridal and baby showers and holidays make the home festive and add a unique touch. The garland below was made by a soon to be six year old for a “Pink Poodle in Paris” theme. But, I could easily use it for many other themes and gatherings.

Materials: In this particular garland we used large and small cupcake liners, doilies and white coffee filters. you will also need yarn, thread or string and a needle. Masking tape can be placed at the end so the materials do not fall off.

Optional sponge: The sponge was used as a pin cushion that she could place the doily on to and then press the needle through the doily into the sponge. This made it easy to make holes into the doily and materials. It also meant no pokes to the skin and a faster process.

It is just like making a super long necklace, pull out the string and tie a knot at the end. I place masking tape at the end.

Thread through the materials and carefully pull to the end of your string. Remember to place cups bottom to bottom when you can and not to have a small cupcake liner right in front of a large cupcake liner, it will get eaten right up and will not be able to be seen.

There are many great options for other celebrations. For anniversary parties there are gold or silver doilies, foil cupcake liners and small individual pie tins. Baby showers would have some great blues and pinks to use that would catch all of the guest eyes. Is someone in your office getting married, make a garland with all white or use glitter to shine it up. Hang over office door or in their work area to show your support. There are so many adorable cupcake liners available out there, the ideas are endless.

Children may enjoy coloring coffee filters with markers, spraying them with water and allowing them to dry. Then, they could string along the colorful coffee filters for their own colorful and unique garland. This would be a great classroom activity.

On a side note, if you have a boys celebration coming up such as birthday party or end of the year sports celebration, you can use plain paper instead of doilies. Use paper and cut into a circle and use in place. Enjoy.

Make it Fun Wrapping Paper

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” -Mother Teresa

Children love to be involved in making things, especially useful items that will be appreciated.  Having art projects that can be used and given have double duty for me. I love to have art on our walls, but if I can share the wealth, I am happy! When your child loves art, this is an ideal ongoing project. The art time is given and then the art is used to wrap a gift and you still have some space on your walls.

This is super easy and the possibilities are endless. Butcher paper or rolls of paper are perfect for making your own wrapping paper. You can do one large project and store to use the wrapping paper when needed or it can be done to suit the person you are giving the gift to. Please note, this can also be done with plain gift bags.

In my example, I have used paint and a few sequins found in the cupboard. This was designed by a preschooler and it was great fun.

An example of a few decorating items could be glitter glue, paint, tissue paper glued on, stamps, photographs, water color, sequins, rhinestones and more.

If you are in a pinch, stickers could also work and then there is no worry about drying time. Another cute wrapping paper is when they use the paint dotters or sponges. Teaching the art of hospitality and joy of giving is a timeless and useful lesson. The simple act of putting love and time into a gift can show much more to our children than simply buying and doing it for them.

How to Make Magic Wand Pretzels

Looking for a fun and magical afternoon with the children?  Frosting dipped pretzels is an easy and fun activity in the kitchen for little hands. These yummy snacks are also ideal for parties, celebrations and gifts. If you want to surprise a teacher or co-worker with a small token of appreciation, these little fun treats would be perfect.  We made our frosting and just dipped the pretzels right into the pan. But, frosting in the container works just fine (maybe even better). You may need to add a little water to make it a bit more smooth.

What you need:

Pretzel rods

Frosting or melted chocolate

Sprinkles to decorate

Wax paper
What to do:

Lay out the wax paper ahead of time to place the frosted pretzels on after they are decorated. I placed mine in a small pan that would fit into my freezer for a quick way to harden the frosting. Have the children swirl the pretzel into the frosting and shake off any extra frosting lumps. Sprinkle and decorate as you wish and then set onto wax paper. Place into freezer for the frosting to harden. After they harden in the freezer place them upright into a mug to serve. The extras were placed into a container and kept in the refrigerator.

A perfect kitchen activity for little hands.

The frosting can be any color to match a theme, birthday party or holiday. We made ours just for fun, so I used white frosting and whatever was in the cupboard. these would be great for football parties and decorated in your favorite team colors, birthday parties, Easter celebrations and much more. Enjoy!

Coffee Filter Spring Flowers

Coffee filters are such a great find for artists and teachers!  These simple flowers look great when a whole class puts them together on a branch or hanging from a ribbon or string.  We have not done, but you could decorate for a bridal shower, Mother’s Day or birthday party by making into a garland and using the theme of the celebration colors.

You will need:

White coffee filters

Spray bottle with watered down tempera paint (I add until watery consistency and easy to spray)

Thin wire to twist around and tie onto stick or string/pipe cleaners

String to make garland or branch/stick to decorate for home

What to do:

Prepare an area…it will be messy

Lay out coffee filter and spray

Allow to dry a few minutes and fold to look like flower

Twist tie/wire or pipe cleaner around bottom of flower.

Add to string/branch or garland!

Each child could tie to straw or stick to bring home to mom for Mother’s Day.

Little fingers at work, twisting the pipe cleaner to complete the flower.

Adding different amounts of water and how much each child sprays leads to

a unique flower amongst the garden.

Flower Masterpiece

This beautiful art project looks great on your little girl’s wall after it is all dry!  The art project is perfect for birthday parties, groups like girl scouts and as a class project during spring or Mother’s Day. Oh, and how about the grandma who has everything, a precious gift this would be to hang on her wall.

I started my shopping early to utilize coupons and watch for sales, especially on the canvas.  At any craft or art supply store you can get plain canvas wraps. I used the 11×14 for our project, but it would be beautiful on a larger canvas if you have the space.  The loose flowers were a hunt. If you have a Joann’s or craft store carrying silk flowers they may give you the flower heads that have fallen off and will be thrown away anyway. It is worth asking.  A friend of mine had a manager at Michael’s tell her no, and even said they would still be throwing them away (and mind you this was for Girl Scouts.) On the other side, Joann’s collected them and had a bag ready for pick up.  If this is not an option, buy them on sale and pull off yourself.

You will need:

canvas

glue (all-purpose like Elmers)

sponge brush (any thing to spread glue)

acrylic paint (any color)

paintbrush (I used popsicle sticks)

loose flowers/petals

First:

Prepare area with paper/cloth and write name on back.

Second:

Pour generous amount of glue and spread with sponge brush over whole canvas.

Third:

Choose paint color and spread in any design, using paintbrush or sticks.

Fourth: Add flowers and press into glue.  (The flowers need to be cut close.)

Last: Allow to dry for a day or longer if paint and glue were heavily applied.

Inspired for A Party

Chatting with my soon to be six year old, she mentions she would like her party at home. Hmmm.  What to do?  Our home does not hold as many friends as our hearts do around here. Another problem! Encouraging her to have a jumpy party or park party simply did not work.  It is her day and her personality to be intimate, so one thing down. Party at the home.  Now what?

Walking with my little girl through Sur la Table we were both inspired by beautiful plates and cupcake toppers!  Her sixth birthday is approaching and as we saw this beautiful set we both knew it was perfect. Well, maybe a little more me. You just never know what wonderful thing may happen during a day.  So, we have been working together on planning  and building ideas for the party just from finding cupcake liners. Once we have a few things down….I am working with a five year old, I will share the details.  I have to say, I am truly enjoying the moments with my daughter.

Spring Party Food Ideas and Recipes

CATERPILLAR SANDWICH

Celebrating our one year old’s birthday we used the “spring” theme for decorations and food.  It was much more for family and friends, so we ordered a submarine sandwich and shaped into a caterpillar on a green tablecloth.   For the legs, speared pickles stuck out from the body and sliced green peppers made the antennae  and as you cam see green olives were used for the eyes!

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BOWTIE PASTA RECIPE

“Butterfly Pasta”

12 ounces (340g) farfalle, (bowtie shaped pasta), uncooked
4 medium zucchini, cut into matchsticks
1 Tbsp (15mL) olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup (40g) basil leaves, coarsely chopped

Salt and Pepper, to taste
1 cup (115g) shredded lowfat mozzarella cheese*
1/4 cup (30g) Parmesan cheese*
Directions
Cook pasta in boiling water until tender. Drain pasta in a colander but reserve about 1 cup (240mL) of cooking water.
Slice zucchini lengthwise into slices about 1/4-inch (1cm) thick. Place several slices on top of each other and cut into little sticks, about 1 1/2 inches (4cm) by 1/4-inch (1cm) each. You should have about 4–6 cups (1–1.4L) of zucchini “matchsticks”.
Heat olive oil in a 12-inch (30cm) nonstick skillet and add garlic and zucchini pieces. Cook over medium heat until the zucchini pieces are tender and light brown in color. Add about half of the basil and stir for a minute or two. Add salt and pepper. Pour the cooked pasta into the skillet and stir so that the juices coat the noodles. If the mixture seems dry, add some of the reserved cooking water. Finally, add the rest of the basil and the shredded mozzarella, and stir once more. Top with Parmesan cheese.

Butterfly Pasta Recipe #2

Cold Pasta Salad

Ingredients:
1 package farfalle (bowtie) pasta

3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

3 Tbs. chopped garlic

1 sweet onion – coarsely chopped

2 Tbs. Italian seasoning

1/2 Tbs. fresh ground black pepper

1 14.5-oz. can basil, garlic & oregano diced tomatoes – lightly drained of juice

1 14.5-oz. can diced golden roma tomatoes – lightly drained of juice

1 5-oz. jar pine nuts 
1 can quartered artichoke hearts – thoroughly drained and coarsely chopped

3 Tbs. balsamic vinegar 
salt to taste
Prep. time: 30 minutes

Yield: 10 side-dish servings

Boil farfalle to al dente texture. While boiling farfalle, sauté garlic, sweet onion, olive oil, black pepper, and
Italian seasoning over medium heat in a large sauce pan. Stir frequently until garlic is slightly browned
and onions are just starting to become caramalized (clear). Then add both cans of tomatoes,
reduce heat a little, and allow to simmer over medium-low heat, stirring frequently.
After farfalle is done cooking, drain and shock (run cold water over pasta, then drain again).
Mix all remaining ingredients, farfalle, and sauteed mixture in large mixing bowl. Salt to taste. Chill.

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