November 22, 2010

Giving Pre-Thanks

We had a mini-pre-Thanksgiving party with our dear friends on Saturday. It was super fun and delightful in every way! I love having people over.

This party rocked at least in part because I got to vicariously relive the glory of the kids' table. Do you guys remember sitting at the kids' table? It was easily the highlight of every boring adult party I went to. And I was so, so deeply thrilled that most of the kiddos were old enough to sit at their own little table. Really, way more thrilled than they were. We set it up under our fall decor - the Kraft paper and fabric tree:



I gave each little place setting a teeny pumpkin and some markers for drawing on it. That went over like gangbusters and I felt all warm and hostessy inside.



The grownups sat here:



All stops were pulled out - turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, butternut squash soup, Olivier (a Russian potato salad), cabbage slaw, and of course, some cookies. Alas, no evidence of said food is extant because of course in the hubbub of four kids running to and fro, I didn't bust out the camera. But here's Jakey enjoying a post-dinner apple:

November 16, 2010

Yellow

yellow tree

It is so beautiful outside right now. In front of our door is a massive maple that each night carpets our steps and street with a uniformly golden yellow mass of leaves. It's kind of magical, this moment before the leaves dry up, turn beige, and crunch underfoot. Every time I look at them I have the irresistible urge to collect them, armfuls of them, and spread them inside the house like runners and garlands. Sometimes, I do just that, and it is amazing to me that to this day, even though I know full well that one or two days later they will lose that soft malleability and turn brittle and crumbly in my fingers, I am still so, so disappointed every time it happens.

fall leaves

The children, of course, have the opposite response. The love the crash and hiss and crackle of dessicated leaf piles, running through at top speed to get the full effect. In a few days, I will take the camera outside again, this time to try to capture the boundless glee on their faces as they smash their way through yet another bank of noise.

November 10, 2010

New hat for Jakey

white hat for Jakey

Made from the neck of a turtleneck and a gray knit cord. Handsewn because I cannot figure out how to machine-sew knits without getting a lettuce leaf edge (any tips?). I love it so much I'm making myself a matching one from the body of the same turtleneck!

November 9, 2010

Birthday Sweets

Lara's party was a moon bounce extravaganza, and we farmed out most of the parts and labor (hey, listen, we're human - and BounceU is fantastic at doing this kind of 20-kid blowout). There were a few handmade touches though that I thought I'd share!

Lara and I baked, frosted, and sprinkled some mini vanilla and chocolate cupcakes for her to bring to school:

Mini vanilla cupcakes

The vanilla ones are from a Martha Stewart iPhone app recipe. They were super-easy and came out great. The chocolate ones are actually a Trader Joe's brownie mix that I spooned into the tiny cupcake cups. Delicious.

Mini chocolate cupcakes

The frosting is also from Martha, but at 1 stick of butter to 3.5 cups of sugar was way, way oversweet! Not that the kids complained, of course. Next time, I'm going to try 2.5 cups of sugar and see that how goes.

I put the frosting into a Ziplock freezer bag and cut a tiny piece off of one of its corners... et voila, an improvised cake decorator. I have to say I have a newfound respect for bakers - doing the frosting in some kind of premeditated design is crazy hard!



I also made a poster of Lara through the ages. Each picture is six months older than the next. I love being able to see how she's grown! It's amazing!



Lara with her professional cake. She requested rainbow flowers, and was totally thrilled with the beautiful multi-color roses. Sometimes it pays to get a pro to do the job right.

November 8, 2010

November 3, 2010

Cute, cute, cute!

Check out this adorable Little Kitchen from Heather:

Heather's kitchen

I love that green! And that industrial-chic PVC pipe faucet totally rocks!

November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween!

During the day, as always, the kids raided a couple of offices near their school for the annual candy distribution... ahem, trick or treat fest.



One office goes all out for the decor. Not only do they turn out all the lights and deck out the whole space with a witch zone, a skeleton zone, a pirate zone, and a creepy critters zone - but many of the people who work dress up in costume too! Totally awesome.



But, on the other hand, with each passing year, the treats they hand out are less and less treat-y. Yes, obesity, yes, child-onset diabetes, I know, I know... but somewhere in the core of my being I can't help thinking that stickers do not a Halloween treat make.



No, worries, though, because the second office is all business. All lights on, no decor, no costumes - just straight up candy, candy, CANDY!!! The funniest part? The first office does exterior and interior architecture and design. The second office - accounting. Way to live up to stereotype, dudes!

At night, we walked around the neighborhood. Lara was a little freaked out by the walking-up-to-strangers aspect of the thing, but I think seeing the candy results helped steel her nerves. She was ever so carefully inspecting her haul... which Misha and I raided later that night.



And what greeted visitors to our door while we were out and about? The replacements: