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Posted by on Jan 19, 2016 | 1 comment

Three Boys, One Big Birthday Bash

Three Boys, One Big Birthday Bash

A few weeks ago when I was talking to a couple other parents about what we were all planning for our kids’ birthdays (three boys born within a month of each other), we agreed to pool our resources and host a group party. Our kids all share the same friends after all, so one big party just made sense, financially and logistically. We decided to throw the party at Alexandria Country Day School’s gym with the school’s athletic director Peter Baroody organizing various indoor games and activities. The idea to host the party at ACDS came from my friend Catherine (who heard about it from another friend). She has hosted her son’s party at ACDS the past few years and it has always been a hit with the kids. Most of the guests were age 7 like the birthday boys, but there were a few older siblings (and sisters) invited as well. Peter turned pool “noodles” into lightsabers, organized a massive rock-paper-scissor competition and devised a twist on bowling...

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Posted by on May 14, 2015 | 2 comments

DIY Kids: A Kentucky Derby Hat-Making Party

DIY Kids: A Kentucky Derby Hat-Making Party

On Kentucky Derby Day, without fail, Sarah and her husband Phil polish their silver mint julep cups, make bourbon balls and other Kentucky-themed appetizers, and host a party to celebrate “the most exciting 2 minutes in sports.” Sarah is a tried-and-true Kentucky girl and life-long horse racing fan, as evidenced by the front room of her house dedicated to all things Kentucky. Many of their friends dress the part when they arrive. This year, Sarah and Phil combined their traditional grown-up party with an afternoon birthday bash for their daughter Bea – a Derby Day Dance Birthday Party. Since one of the best parts of the Derby tradition for women is donning a frilly hat, Sarah organized a hat-making activity. The girls had their pick of items – feathers, ribbon, flowers – to weave or glue onto a fascinator or straw hat. Fascinators are the small round base that you see here, being held by one the girls while she glues various embellishments onto it. Sarah ordered the fascinators online...

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Posted by on Apr 27, 2015 | 1 comment

A Rainbow-Themed Birthday Party

A Rainbow-Themed Birthday Party

For her 7th birthday, my daughter Nadja decided on a rainbow theme for her party. It was easy enough to find plenty of inspiration for the party on Pinterest and other websites — rainbow snacks, rainbow crafts, rainbow decor, even a 7-layer rainbow cake. For starters, Nadja’s older sister Ana and and her friend Gigi drew a rainbow path from the front sidewalk to the back with chalk and created a cheer that my brother-in-law caught on video. Ana found a rainbow cake recipe that she made with the help of my husband Matt. They made individual layers in aluminum pans in all of the rainbow colors (except indigo, which Ana decided was too hard to create with food coloring). Matt added homemade buttercream frosting between the layers with rainbow sprinkles as the final flourish. Ana, Gigi and Nadja cut fruit in the colors of the rainbow and shaped them into a rainbow (of sorts) on a big platter that the kids could slide onto skewers for a party snack. We...

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Posted by on Dec 4, 2014 | 1 comment

DIY Kids: Easy Handmade Christmas Tree Ornaments

DIY Kids: Easy Handmade Christmas Tree Ornaments

I’m excited to co-host a kids handmade ornament workshop today with Bellies & Babies consignment boutique. My kids love making new ornaments each year for our tree and Nadja was happy to help craft some prototypes. The workshop is today, December 4 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the shop on 1913 Mt. Vernon Avenue. Upcycled Sweater Wreaths We first made a tiny wreath from felted sweaters cut into postage-stamp sized squares. I threaded some twine – about 15 inches long – onto an embroidery needle and tied a knot in the end. Then, Nadja poked pieces of the felt one by one onto the thread until there were enough to form a circle, or felt wreath. I tied off the twine at the top and that was it! God’s Eye You may remember this craft from your childhood. In the workshop, we’ll use popsicle sticks, but Nadja and I chose to use sticks from the yard for our prototype, crossing two over a strand of yarn, still connected...

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Posted by on Jun 30, 2014 | 1 comment

Hot Hula: An Evening Lesson with Fire and Lights

Hot Hula: An Evening Lesson with Fire and Lights

After missing out twice on the hula hooping workshop for beginners at our local yoga studio, it occurred to me to see if our former nanny, Madison, a professional hula hooping performer, might teach me and some friends how to hoop in a private lesson. She said she’d love to and so we planned an evening lesson taught by Madison (below right) and her hooping partner Carla (below left) followed by a highly anticipated LED and fire performance in the dark. Madison and Carla strolled up carrying dozens of their own custom-made hoops, in all sizes. They answered many questions comparing the chintzy discount store-variety of hoop with the heavier, more evenly balanced custom hoop. They encouraged us to try different diameters of hoop to see which ones felt better. As beginners, you’d think we’d catch on more quickly with a smaller hoop, but we actually had an easier time with the larger hoops. To begin, Madison and Carla said to keep our feet close together and to move...

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