Friday, September 28, 2012

Yea! Our birthday party is featured online.

I'm excited - the place where we had Justin's birthday party put up a photo of our birthday party on their site!!  It only shows a little bit of the decorations, but I'm happy that they wanted to use our party as one of their example pictures!

Take a look below - or to see it live, visit the Bubbles website.

I have to give another shout out to Bubbles -- having our party there was great! Highly recommend if you live in the Chicago area!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Cupcakes: Crumbs vs. Sprinkles.

Ok, time to talk cupcakes. I love them. All kinds.  And there are so many cupcake shops, but let's go straight to the big three: Crumbs, Magnolia and Sprinkles.

Which is the best?

I unequivocally vote for Crumbs.  If you've been here before, you'll know that I have raved about the Ba Ba Booey Crumbs Cupcake. It is divine. DIVINE.

Others prefer Magnolia, which I am not a fan of - at all. And many people love Sprinkles, so the other night, I was nearby, and decided to give Sprinkles a whirl.  I knew that I've had Sprinkles in the past, but I honestly couldn't remember.

Not a great sign for a cupcake.

I ordered the Carrot Cupcake and it was good, no doubt about it.  But it's no Crumbs.

So, since it was so long ago that I had Magnolia, I'd like to knock them out of this conversation and talk a little more about Crumbs vs. Sprinkles and the reasons why Crumbs wins my cupcake war.

Friday, September 21, 2012

What is appropriate to spend on a birthday gift?

We have a number of upcoming birthday parties and - this being my first foray into the children's birthday party world - I have some questions on birthday gift related etiquette.

I have some initial thoughts, but I have no ideas if I'm on target or way off! Take a look at the questions below and please let your thoughts!

Question 1: What is an appropriate amount to spend on a child's birthday gift?
I would think between $20 - $25 for someone who isn't a relative or close close friend is a good amount, but I have no clue! Is this nice? cheap?  Do tell me please! 

Question 2:  Do you try to be an equal spender or do you stick with what you believe is appropriate, regardless of what someone spent on your child?
Hypothetical #1: Someone spends $15 on your child. You are invited to their child's birthday party soon after. Do you:
a) Spend $15 and call it a day
b) Spend $25 because you feel that's a good amount to spend
c) Split the difference and make it $20

Question 3: If you cannot attend a birthday party, do you get a gift? If so, how much do you spend? 
a) The same amount you would if you had gone to the party
b) Less, since you weren't there
c) No need to get a gift at all
d) More because you feel bad you weren't at the party

Would love love to get some input! We have a birthday tomorrow and a birthday next weekend and these answers would be super helpful!!!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Same place, new look.

I'm trying out a new look on the blog ... trying to look a bit more professional (meaning, I want to be more like the blogs that we all know and love) and seeing if any of my changes make YOU, my reader, enjoy your experience more.

Do you like the new look? Is it easier to read? Cleaner? Friendlier? Or, do you miss the original (pic below)?

Website pre-update.

Please, let me know! I'd love to hear from you.  Thanks!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Justin's Sesame Street party: part 2 (party pics).

You probably (hopefully!) already read Part 1 of Justin's Sesame Street birthday party, which was all about the planning and the decorations (if not, visit here to read).  Now here are some great pics of the birthday boy enjoying his party "so much" (his words).  And what a sweetheart he is, hugging and kissing all of his little friends! Enjoy!

Birthday boy in action!

Hugs with his "older" friend Lila.

Kisses for his friend Noah.

Tickles from his friend Colin.

Big hugs from cousin Abby.

Little friends hanging out.

Blowing out candles with some help from mom & dad.

Great big friends and great little friends.

Happy Trio.

I adore this little boy.

I can't believe my little boy is already two!  It's incredible to watch him grow and learn. And such a happy happy little boy he is. Justin brightens our lives every day! Happy Birthday little buddy!

And now it's time to start thinking about birthday #3! Will it be Thomas? Super Why? White Sox Baseball?  We shall see....

In the meantime, if anyone has any suggestions for themes or great sites for party ideas (or even better, your own), let me know! 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Justin's Sesame Street birthday party: part 1.

Last weekend was Justin's 2nd birthday party.  The party was at Bubbles, a local Chicago children's "play" venue, and the theme was Sesame Street.

When I decided to have a Sesame Street theme, I knew that I did not want it to be too overtly Sesame (think Sesame Street party kits), so I decided to focus on bright primary colors and accent with Sesame Street decor.

It turned out great and I'm excited to share with you all a look at the party.  Keep on reading and have a look!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Cute Sesame Street themed Goody Bags.

Little boy's 2nd birthday party is tomorrow, and I'm really excited.  The theme is Sesame Street, and the party is at a local play space.

I can't wait to see how much fun the little boy has, and I'm also really excited to blog about all of the details.

I'll start with a sneak peek of the goody bags! More details on these and everything else to come later.

The gift bag tags were purchased on Etsy from Twinkle Twinkle Little Crafts.  Also, I hope I will be able to get some photos of the decor and set up before the party starts - I can only go 30 minutes early!! But I've given a LOT of detailed instructions as to how I envision everything....

We shall see how it all turns out! Most important is that Buddy has a wonderful time!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Photo contest foul, part 2.

Ok, I missed Endless Summer.  I have not been diligent in keeping the blog updated lately, and now I've missed two of the weekly photo challenges.

My reason; I've been really busy, spending lots of time planning Buddy's 2nd birthday party.

So, I will have lots to share.  Hopefully that will make up for my time missing!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Photo contest foul.

For 33 weeks I religiously posted a photo for the p.52 weekly photo contest. And then last week -- I didn't post it in time, and was not able to include a photo for week 34. The theme was heat, and I just didn't have a picture. Plus, my computer was fixed, and I had to take all of my photos off of it beforehand, so didn't have ANY pictures handy - or even available.

So, I kept putting it off. And then -- too late. :(

No big deal, but I was very happy to have kept up with it weekly.  But back on the photo wagon for next week. Endless Summer ... here I come.