Archive for Celebrations & Entertaining

Easter fun

With Valentine’s Day behind us, we have moved on to Easter fun! I saw this idea for an Easter Bunny craft project on Facebook and knew I had to try it with Connor as he’s become very interested in any projects involving glue and pom poms lately. The project is actually made with cotton balls, but he doesn’t need to know that…

I strategically planned for us to make Connor’s foot prints last night right before bath time (and I used Pixlr to get the image to the right shade of pink since we didn’t have pink paint on hand) and then we worked on the rest this morning after breakfast as we chatted away about the Easter Bunny’s visit last year.

I was pleasantly surprised by how carefully Connor placed the cotton balls around the perimeter of the face and the pink of the ears. Unfortunately he lost interest after a while (this thing takes a lot of cotton balls!) so I ended up helping him fill out the tummy.

Easter Bunny craft project for kids

Also check out these little Easter egg cupcakes (carrot cake) I made a while back. Super quick and easy to make and fun to assemble! Will be making these with the little man this weekend, too.

Easter egg cupcakes

7 Ways to Celebrate the Lunar New Year with Kids

Check out my latest post on Boston Mamas: 7 Ways to Celebrate the Lunar New Year with Kids.

Growing up in the suburbs of Boston, I was often the only Asian student in my class, and I looked forward to the Lunar New Year as an opportunity to share our cultural traditions (and my mom’s yummy cooking) with my classmates. Although I can’t share my mom’s dumplings with all of you (sorry!), in my post I offer some ideas for celebrating the upcoming Lunar New Year (January 31), the Year of the Horse, with your kids!

Read the rest of my post on Boston Mamas.

Halloween Candy Hunt

We had family visiting this weekend so I put together some Halloween activities for C and his older (second) cousins, M and V (ages 4 and 7), including a “Ghost & Witch Hunt” which was really just a hunt for Halloween candy with little ghosts and witches taped to the front. I bought some Halloween-themed scrapbooking paper and was happy to have an excuse to use my 2-inch circle punch.

They all seemed to enjoy it, ran around outside for awhile, and got some fresh air so I considered it a success.

Both of the girls noticed that C, being a little guy, wasn’t as fast as they were at finding the goods so both of them shared some of their candy with C, without being asked by him or prompted by their mom.  Sweet, sweet girls. Loved watching the cousins interact like that.

Halloween candy hunt

 

Saw this “Boston Strong” pumpkin on my way in to work this morning and pulled over to take a quick pic.

Boston Strong pumpkin Halloween

Hope everyone has a fun, safe Halloween!

Halloween Playdate

 

It’s FRIDAY! Woo hoo! Hope you all had a superb week. By far, the highlight of our week was hosting Connor’s first Halloween playdate, a costume party with some of his very best pals (and mommy’s very best pals, too!).

Since most of the babies don’t eat solids yet, the menu of morning munchies was mostly geared towards satisfying the moms. We snacked on:
Pumpkin muffins with cream cheese filling,
Caramel pumpkin pie dip with honey graham crackers,
Apple cider from Bolton Spring Farm (the best!),
Fruit salad,
Pumpkin bread and bagels.

I made the Halloween-themed muffin toppers using The Silly Pearl’s Halloween printables and tweaked the colors a little bit to make it a bit more festive.

Halloween Playdate
Thanks to the mommies for allowing me to post the group picture of all our little ones! Have a great weekend!

Toddler Halloween Costumes

 

Toddler Halloween Costume- Pumpkin 

Toddler Halloween Costume- Tigger
C has two Halloween costumes this year and has been dressing up all month long! We bought the pumpkin costume at the end of the summer, but a few weeks later were given the Tigger costume from (some very awesome) friends. When people ask him what he’s going to be for Halloween, he tells them “punkin” but when it comes to putting one on, he always grabs for the Tigger one.

I’ll let him decide which one he’ll wear for trick-or-treating. It’ll be the perfect opportunity for toddler choice-making and encouraging autonomy and all that good stuff.

What are your little ones dressing up as for Halloween this year?

 

Shark Birthday Pool Party

Shark Birthday - Pool Party

Shark Birthday – Pool Party

 

After posting pictures from Connor’s 2nd birthday party last week, I realized that I never got around to posting any photos of Connor’s 1st birthday party last summer. It was a shark-themed pool party, with a shark cake (those are supposed to be fins around the cake border) and gummy sharks as favors.

 

Thomas the Train Birthday Party

Thomas the Train Birthday Party

Thomas the Train Birthday Party

 

As usual, I’m a little late in posting these, but just wanted to share some photos from Connor’s 2nd Birthday Party. We just did a small family party this year because he was a little (okay, a lot) overwhelmed by all of the (fabulous) people at his 1st birthday party last year and I wanted this celebration to be about him and the people and things that he loves the most. I think it was a success!

I had so much fun making the cake that I’m considering signing up for a cake decorating class (you know, with all my free time and what not).

Thomas the Train Birthday Cake

Thomas the Train Birthday Cake

 

Thomas the Train Birthday Cake with Birthday Thomas

Thomas the Train Birthday Cake with Birthday Thomas

 

My mother-in-law bought Connor an adorable Birthday Thomas train which features Thomas wearing a colorful party hat and streamers. It comes with a cargo car carrying a cake that plays the Thomas theme song when you press it! He loved it! So we ended up using that as the cake topper at the last minute instead of the standard Thomas.

A special thank you to Lisa of ExpandNg who shared her Thomas decorations and graphics from her own son’s Thomas-themed party! She even personalized the graphics with Connor’s name. So sweet and generous with her time and talents! I used them to decorate the party tables, but foolishly forgot to photograph them.

Hope everyone is having a great summer and staying cool in this crazy heat wave! It reached 100 in Boston yesterday! Eeks!

Kidville (more like KidHeaven)


This past Saturday, we attended the ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening of Kidville in Wellesley. Our schedules have been jam-packed lately, but we decided to make it a priority to check this place out as we’ve been actively looking (surprisingly without much success) for fun, new, educational activities in our community to entertain our little guy. I’m so glad we went because this is precisely the type of local family-friendly venue that we have been searching for!

Their all-in-one resource facility is quite impressive and I’m pretty sure it was the most fun-filled morning of my almost-two-year-old son’s life thus far. Afterall, it’s not every day that he gets to climb a rock wall, swing from uneven bars, bounce on a massive trampoline, construct a giant soft block tower, and dance in the front row of a live Rockin’ Railroad concert!

As usual, we arrived a few minutes early and were officially the first family to visit Kidville Wellesley! Exciting! As we waited for the rest of the families to file in (and file in they did — there must have been hundreds of people there), we were warmly welcomed by one of the co-owners, Harvard Pan. And during the ribbon cutting ceremony, we were pleasantly surprised by the thoughtful shout out to Talking Thirty by co-owner, Cathy Tai.

Kidville Wellesley Ribbon Cutting

Kidville Wellesley Ribbon Cutting


So what exactly is Kidville? Kidville Wellesley is a new play and learning space in Wellesley Center (in the location of the former Rugged Bear store in Wellesley Center) geared towards serving families like ours with active little tikes. They offer a variety of classes in music, art and gym for babies, toddlers and kids newborn through 6-years old. They also offer a preschool alternative program (Kidville University – KVU) and summer camps.

The interior of Kidville Wellesley features high-ceilings and large open spaces tastefully decorated in bright, bold colors. It contains classrooms, a retail boutique, and an awesome indoor playspace that made my toddler shout “YAY!” upon first entry. There’s even a little salon there where the wee ones can get their hair cut while sitting in an adorable tiny red airplane. How cute is this?!

Kidville Wellesley Salon


We’re always looking for new places to entertain C. Unfortunately, most of the children’s places we’ve been to lately from children’s museums to indoor playgrounds have been a bit old, run-down and just icky sticky. So, we were pleasantly surprised to find that Kidville’s facility is brand new, spacious, uncluttered, and immaculate. A germophobic mama’s dream! I really hope it stays this clean in the years to come.

We began the morning by enjoying some open gym time in the enormous indoor playspace. This place had just about everything — rock climbing wall, oversized trampoline, balance beam, uneven bars, basketball hoops, soft padded blocks, tumbling mats of all shapes and sizes, and swings hung by chains from the ceiling. My little guy was beyond thrilled to explore it all. I just wish it were socially acceptable for thirty-something adults to climb on, jump off, and swing from all the play structures, too!

 

Kidville Wellesley Playspace

 

Kidville Wellesley's Climbing Wall

 

Kidville Wellesley's Playspace

 

 

Basketball at Kidville Wellesley


By far, the highlight of our visit was the Rockin’ Railroad Concert. A live 4-piece children’s band led by a conductor and co-conductor enthusiastically played a set of upbeat toddler tunes, some familiar and some refreshingly new to us. To make it extra exciting, they even brought out a bubble maker and some special puppet friends during the show. The conductor’s genuine enthusiasm for the music and encouraging manner seemed to instill confidence in my very-shy-lil guy to get up and shake his baby booty! It was indeed a rockin’ musical adventure enjoyed by both children and parents alike.

 

Kidville Wellesley Rockin' Railroad Concert

 

Kidville Wellesley's Rockin' Railroad Concert

 

Kidville Wellesley Rockin' Railroad Concert

 

Kidville Wellesley Rockin' Railroad Concert

 

It’s hard to find words to express our enthusiasm for this place. Let me just say this: When we got home, our normally-nap- resistant little man voluntarily took an EXTRA nap because he was just that exhausted from all the festivities. That’s HUGE and pretty much guarantees that we’ll be back for more.

All too often, we visit kids’ venues only to find that Connor is too young to participate in many of the activities. What I enjoyed about Kidville was that the environment, equipment, and activities were safe and engaging for even very young toddlers and babies.

Music exploration at Kidville Wellesley

 

I’ve already decided that we are just going to HAVE to have one of Connor’s birthday parties here someday.  First, he just has to make some new little friends to invite. Maybe he’ll meet them at Kidville. ;-)

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this post; however, I did receive a complimentary goody bag from Kidville/Koop Communications and a complimentary introductory semester of a Kidville class. All thoughts and opinions in this post are my own.

10 Ways to Green Your Holidays

Check out my latest post on Boston Mamas, 10 Ways to Green Your Holidays!

And since it seems I hardly ever have time to post these days, Happy Holidays and best wishes for a really fabulous 2013!

Baby costumes

I have never really been a Halloween person. Sure, I dressed up, went trick-or-treating, and ate my fair share of KitKats as a kid, but Halloween has just never excited me in the way that it excites others. But now that I have a baby, I simply cannot wait for Halloween! My favorite thing in the whole wide world is babies in costumes. Just makes my heart melt to see their chubby little faces squished into silly little costumes. I have an entire board on Pinterest dedicated to it.

Last year, we dressed baby C up in a baby lion costume, but Halloween was officially canceled in many Massachusetts towns due to a three-day power outage. Very disappointing for his first Halloween. So we had to settle for taking a few pictures indoors in the dark.

 


This year, for h
is first REAL Halloween, we’ll be dressing him up in a baby lobster costume. As soon as we brought the costume home, I just couldn’t wait to put him in it. Here’s a sneak peek:

 

What is your little one going to be for Halloween this year? Are you dressing up, too?