Thursday, July 21, 2011

Rapunzel Birthday Party

There was no discussion, no himming or hawwing, about what type of birthday party my long-haired little girl wanted.  Rapunzel's Tangled.  Period.  Done.

We stuck to the purple and gold theme like the film, with splashes of pale pink.  Above, the entry to our home with a homemade banner that mimics the one in Rapunzel's towne square, with a note on our wreath directing little guests to our backyard.  I made a coordinating "Happy Birthday" banner that hung between our garage and back porch, but I don't have a good photo of it.  We hung pale yellow rectangular lanterns from purple ribbons on our tree in front  and the porch in back.

One of the great elements of Tangled is the artwork, so we tried to inject that into the party.  As guests arrived, they covered our driveway with their sidewalk chalk creations, much like the little girls at the local celebration in the show.  They got really into it!  

Three of my gorgeous nieces, who I swear could pass for Disney princesses themselves, traveled to the party to braid and decorate every girl's hair.

For the hair station, I set out plenty of bobby pins and rubber bands plus a tulle and ribbon hair flower for each guest as a favor.  I also picked up purple brushes at the dollar store so each girl could take one home, plus I wanted to avoid brush sharing between girls.  After braids, every girl got a plastic tiara similar to the one made famous in Tangled, all piled in one of my handbags that amazingly resembles Flynn Rider's leather satchel in the film.

Naturally, during all of this, the guys were beyond giddy.

Actually, we did have a token few little boy buddies who came, so instead of tiaras they went home with foam swords I'd like to think the ruffians might have carried.

Purple frosted cupcakes were displayed in iron skillets.  Get it?!  They were flanked by vases with floating golden day lillies from our garden that resembled the famous flower from the show.  I don't have a great shot of the actual birthday cake, frosted in purple with a yellow frosting braid that wove across the top.

I like a little "calm" time at a kids party.  The kids had art time, with coloring pages I printed from Disney.  Rapunzel herself even showed up to read the girls "Rapunzel's Amazing Hair," a cute rhyming picture book.  To be honest, Megan in a kid's Tangled wig was stretching it as Rapunzel, but the kids totally bought it, all competing to wiggle next to her for the photos.  

Another hit with the littles was this game we made up -- Pin the Nose on Flynn Rider.

So, um, that's it.  Blog little Boo's birthday party:  check!  Kiddo was so totally happy with her day, and I think her friends were, too.  I'd do it all over again (and probably will) for such a great little girl!

BTW, anyone want this stuff?  I paid good money and spent lots of time for the lanterns and ribbons and Flynn Rider poster and the banners and stuff, I'd hate for it to go to waste.  Contact me if you're interested.  I'd love for it to go to a good home and make more little girls very happy.

Quite Contrary

Some people have a back forty; I've got a back decimal point.  But it doesn't matter how big or small, it is what you do with the space.  I love my back decimal point, a plot of land tucked between the back of our garage and the wood fence that separates us from neighbors on two sides.  This is my patch of country in the city.  This is my garden.

Here, my mid-summer journal with some hastily snapped iPhone photos.

Last year was our very first attempt at gardening edibles, and I've decided I need to keep track of growth, successes and failures.  Besides occasional questions to my gardening friends and a google search every once in a while, I'm just figuring it out as I go.  I should get more studious about this.  Mister and Sophie made three great raised beds measuring 4x6, and I've used surrounding earth for overflow and larger plants.

Last year I ordered three varieties of pumpkins (Fairytale, a white Casper, and a grey/green Jarrahdale) from one of Martha Stewart's favorites, Homestead Seeds.  Only the Jarrahdale produced last year, but I planted quite late.  This year, because they're heirlooms, I tried them again.  Jarrahdale was a bust, but one of the Caspers and two of the Fairytales are winding through the empty dirt paths.  I planted a whole month earlier this year, in mid-May.

I tried broccoli this year, experimenting with both seed and seedlings, because my family loves to eat it so much.  Survey says... probably not a repeat.  Why?  This is silly, but it is hard to clean all the little grooves, so I'm paranoid we're eating invisible bugs.

Herbs:  I've planted thyme, rosemary, green onions, dill and chives.  I love the funky purple flowers and soft spikes on the chives so much, I may just add them to my flower beds instead next time.  Mister has his own Chimichurri garden in containers on the back porch with two types of parsley, rosemary, thyme and basil.  We have two pretty purple sage in our flower beds.

 Our new favorite:  Peas!  I accidentally overseeded, which was fortunate, because the girls and I snap these off as snacks every day!  Next year -- MORE!

The strawberries are back with a fury again this year.  So sweet, and constantly bearing.  These are also integrated in our flower beds, and the plant keeps expanding.  The only trouble is we toss half to the birds, because the slugs have beaten us to the berries.

We ended up with three zucchini plants last year, so I've pared down to one.  My California friends are already haughtily posting their huge zuke pictures on facebook, but we're so much further behind with a shorter season due to the cold, all I have to show so far is a blossom or two.  There's a spaghetti squash creeping behind, my only two squash this year (besides the pumpkins, of course).

I tried corn this year!  I have about 8 plants in a patch of dirt, and about 8 more in a box.  They're fun to watch, and we're getting little tufts from the ears.  I want to try to plant earlier next year, then protect the little guys from snow and frost with milk cartons.  I like this photo, because there's an abandoned kid's shovel sitting haphazardly in the corner, documenting all the hard "work" my girls contribute to the garden, namely digging dirt and making mud and crawling on the rocks.  

My favorite addition this year is a home for the girls.  We moved Millie's playhouse to the garden area, so they can play while I work.  The house is surrounded by sunflowers, which have grown taller than the girls themselves!


  • potatoes
  • carrots
  • beets
  • peas
  • broccoli
  • artichoke
  • tomatoes
  • radishes
  • dill
  • rosemary
  • thyme
  • green onions
  • corn
  • eggplants
  • spaghetti squash
  • zucchini
  • pumpkins
  • strawberries

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mini Royalty


Last weekend, Sophie was crowned Mini Royalty for the Days of '47.  The girls and boys were chosen in three age groups through a casual interview with the official royalty.  Sophie was shy and adorable, swinging her cowboy boots under the chair and twirling her curls with her fingers.  She was thrilled to get an autographed promo portrait of the royalty.  They asked her what she liked to do in the summertime with her family and what was a good safety rule.  When asked how she might help a friend, she said she'd get them a band-aid if they were hurt.  And when they asked her about pioneers... silence, even though she had been singing "Pioneer children sang as they walked and walked and walked and walked" the whole car ride down to the fairgrounds!

As the winner of the 5-7 year old division, she earns the title of 2nd attendant to the queen, the winner of the oldest category.  She was a little reserved when she went up to get her crown (bestowed by Megan).  After, she whispered "Mom, I'm so happy I won!"  She gets to ride on a fire truck in the Youth Parade in downtown SLC on Saturday (televised on KUTV2).  She also won some goodies from Radio Disney, including the advance screening tickets to Winnie the Pooh, which we enjoyed as a family before Michael left for scout camp.

On the way home, it was just the two of us.  "Mom, I have a great idea!" she said so innocently.  "I could get pictures of myself, and since I know how to write my name, I could sign them and give them to kids just like the big royalty!"  I just about snort-laughed.  Love that kid.

I'll post more pics after the parade.  Here is the Salt Lake Tribune piece, including a really cute little video, in which you see a snip of Sophie's interview and her little highness's royal coronation. 

P.S.  While we're talking princesses, I'm sorry -- I love Kate Middleton's style.  The three-quarter sleeves, nude pumps, lace embellishments in cream and navy.  I don't consider myself a "royal watcher."  I haven't followed the events or interviews.  BUT, I happened upon the What Kate Wore blog, which details her divinely preppy/classic/feminine outfits, and I've decided I fancy her modern fairytale look.  So much more relatable to my own personal leanings than anything some crazy tinseltown celeb might be half-wearing at the moment.