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September 2014

August 2014

See you in September ...

Autumn leaf

My friends, summer is winding down fast and I (like many of you I'm sure) have much to do. There is much planning and preparing and packing to do ... and I hope to spend every minute I can enjoying my boys while they're home all together. Bookworm reports back to BC at the end of the month and I am aiming to start the rest of the boys on a new homeschool year roundabouts Labor Day. 

Which is in ... wow ... just about two weeks!

All this to say, I am going to take a little break from blogging until sometime in early September. Now I know I haven't been posting here all that often recently (so maybe my hiatus won't be all that noticeable, lol), but I didn't want anyone worried by my absence. I will definitely be back to blogging once we're comfortably ensconced in our September routines.

So for now, I wish you all a very pleasant and peaceful end-of-summer. It's such a great time of year ~ I hope you enjoy it! September's even better, in my opinion and there will be much to talk about I'm sure ... so I hope to see you here again in a few weeks.

Be well and take care! Blessings to you and your loved ones!

A Party for Little Bear!

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Good Monday morning evening, my friends! I hope you all had a nice weekend. :)

Today I have a GINORMOUS post for you, all about Little Bear's birthday party ... I hope you don't mind a bit of "oversharing," lol! As many of you know, Little Bear turned one back in May - but for a few reasons his party was moved to August. Luckily the day was not too hot or humid as August can be here in New England - in fact, it was just about perfect!

Our party theme was "animal crackers" because LB just LOVES animals and animal sounds of all kinds these days. Orginally I toyed with an owl theme, inspired by my boy's love for this book, but we decided animals would be A. easier and B. more fitting right now. :)

So anyhoo - here we go, on a "little" tour of Little Bear's party ...

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We were expecting a good size crowd (40ish) so we rented the tables and chairs. The price was not too bad and this way everyone had a place to sit down and eat, all together. We purchased the tent (which came with windowed sides you can lower or raise) - it was basically the same price to buy as it was to rent and it fits our patio perfectly. 

The tables were set with soft shades of green, blue, yellow and orange.

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The centerpieces were also multicolored and relatively inexpensive:

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First I laid down a small felt mat in animal stripes or spots. The vases were candy-hued mason-style jars (set of 6 on sale at AC Moore for $5) filled with sunflowers and mums purchased at Trader Joe's. The small wooden frames I found at AC Moore ($1, unfinished) and were painted by my mother. She applied colorful animal stickers once the paint was dry, and I picked out favorite pictures of LB through his first year, one for each frame. Not shown is the tiny Beech-Nut "Just Bananas" baby food jar (emptied and washed) filled with tiny asters from the garden.

Here's a look at all the frames together, six in all:

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And I found these wooden animal masks at JoAnn Fabrics for $1 - Crackerjack painted them for me and we stuck them in big pots of sunny marigolds.

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Most of the party was held outside, but I'm not a fan of serving food al fresco (bugs drive me nuts, lol) so I set the buffet tables up in the sunroom.

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(This was taken early in the day before everything was ready.)

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A small table set to the side held plates, napkins and mason jars filled with plastic cutlery ...

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Windows and walls held (more) pictures of Little Bear taken throughout his 1st year!

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Appetizers included light fare such as chips, salsa, veggies and dip, shrimp with cocktail sauce and cheese and crackers ...

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... while lunch consisted of "heartier" fare: shredded barbecue chicken and sloppy joes (served from the larger crockpots) and baked beans (in the small slowcooker). (Love this Honey-Peach bbq chicken recipe! So easy and makes a ton.) Sliced garden tomatoes and onions, assorted pickles, soft rolls, turkey and ham calzones, fruit salad, green salad, pasta salad and deviled eggs. All typical New England fare. :)

Now, the drinks we arranged outside, under a canopy ...

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Another reason I was so glad the weather was nice! 

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Bill set up a couple of tables for beverages and some comfortable seating nearby.

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Now, you might have noticed, I have a real thing for Mason jars lately! They're fun and look "vintage" but they're quite practical, too - I find so many uses for them. Here I used them for serving drinks ...

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My mum and I made little name tags from golden scrapbook paper and tied them to the jars with twine. Folks coud jot down their name and have their own glass for the afternoon.

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An old (but pretty) tea tin held paper straws ...

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... and a wooden zebra kept the napkins from flying away.

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In addition to this "Bear-y Punch" we also had pitchers of "Lion-Ade" and "Tiger Tea." (Fruit punch, lemonade and iced tea, respectively.) My new beverage jar ($20 at Paper Source) was perched on a rather old garden pot. :)

It was such a nice day for sitting and chatting ...

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... and lawn games.

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Little Bear was all over the bocce balls!

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This was supposed to be my "zebra-safari" outfit but I think, perhaps, I looked a bit like a gondolier, lol.

Next it was time for presents!

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 And then of course, it was time for CAKE!

For Little Bear's first birthday I made an assortment of "small cakes."

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I baked chocolate and "funfetti" cupcakes and made up a batch of buttercream frosting. I also had a couple of cans of "key lime" and "blue raspberry" frosting in the pantry so we used them as well. We added some colorful sprinkles and animal crackers. Fun!

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Happy Birthday, dear Little Bear!

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This was his face when we sang to him:

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 Shy boy. :)

We also served up a few tubs of ice cream from a local shop - freshly made peach, raspberry, blackberry and blueberry! All fruit was picked at farms in the area (save for the blueberries - they came from Maine where everyone knows they grow the very best blueberries). :)

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Little Bear waltzed around sampling flavors ...

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A little bit from Mama, a little bit from Nana, a little bit from Aunt Ami ...

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Hey you, cameraman? You have any ice cream for me?


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A lovely day - so nice to spend time with our loved ones ...

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It's a blessing to share Little Bear's sweetness with our family and friends. I think he had a really nice day ...


Thanks so much for taking the time to read, and look through my photos. I am now onto my next "project" which is school reports and ed. plans due this month. (How did it become August already?!)

Have yourselves a lovely evening, my friends ... see you here again very soon! 

Paper Goods in August

 Good Tuesday morning, my friends! I hope your new week's going well. :)

Does it seem to you that this summer is flying by? August is here and back-to-school sales are everywhere you look ... in the stores, on tv and in the mail pile (a la catalogs and magazines). Everyone is gearing up for another "new year" which, for us, begins in another few weeks. I certainly don't like to rush the summer off, but I do enjoy all the anticipation as we round the corner toward autumn ...

On that note, I thought I'd share a few things I purchased this past weekend, at a local paper shop where, happily, I had earned a store credit ...

Paper goods 1

Beautiful scrapbook paper - a new look for my housekeeping binders.

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I absolutely adore this soft "twine" and could have easily purchased every color.

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Some of you may remember the little wooden "star boys" I made several years back, one for each of my boys. Well, obviously I need to make one more! Only I couldn't find the same shape/size peg so I bought four new ones. A project for a rainy day (or when the baby's sleeping). :)

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Some lovely "vintage look" paper in a birthday boy theme.

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This fabric was actually purchased at a nearby fabric store. I'm working with my mother on a skirt for a table (desk) in the living room.

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And finally, have you all discovered Washi tape yet? I'm a little in love with it! A few of these rolls shown here I already had, but I added a couple more this weekend.

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Love alphabet stickers - I find so many uses for them! For instance, when sprucing up the file crate ...

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This year's folders are underway ...

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And a fresh daily diary. A page for each day. :)


Well my friends, we're busy here this week as we prepare for Little Bear's birthday celebration this weekend. Fingers crossed for good weather!! I predict I'll be somewhat scarce online until the festivities have passed ... and then I am sure I will be back with lots of photos to share. :)

But for now, I wish you all a good week and thank you for stopping by ...

See you here again very soon!

Friday Felines: Cat-in-a-Box

So, Archie heard "cats in boxes" is some kind of internet thing ...

Archie in wine box 1

Archie in wine box 2

Archie in wine box 3

(Archie's always got his paw on the pulse of things.)


How are your felines (or canines) doing these days? Both Archie and Ollie are doing well - reporting to the vet in a few weeks for their annual checkup. They are so funny around Little Bear, especially now that toddlerhood is upon us and LB is on the (constant) move. Ollie is more cautious and gives the baby wide berth, but Archie ... not so much. Let's just say I spend half my day keeping those two apart - it's like they're magnets, lol! LB constantly goes for Archie (a quick pull of the tail or a little fist-ful of fur) but Archie just refuses to move for anyone, let alone some loud little upright bald cat. For now we're working on teaching LB to be "gentle" with the kitties and keeping a close eye. The very sweet thing is though, both cats take turns sleeping outside the baby's door - during naps and at night. They are very protective of him, and when he's crying they come looking for me. :)


Well my friends, I hope you all have a nice weekend - thanks for stopping by. I'll see you here again very soon!