Monday, August 20, 2012

First day of home-preschooling

Today was the first day of my new journey as a home pre-school teacher. I gotta admit I'm pretty stoked about spending my days with my kiddos, although it took me a while to get to the place of appreciating the blessing of being home. After considering a variety of options, I know without a doubt home is where I'm supposed to be this year.

I plan on updating the blog a bit more often now that I'll actually have cool things to share! Nothing worse than reading a blog about nothing. I'll finally share more from my wife, mother, and teacher side, rather than focusing solely on creativity.

Thank you so much for joining my family on this ride. I pray you are enlightened, encouraged, and empowered by what I share.

Today, the kids and I took it easy (a little laundry, a little water table time, a little reading...). It was day 1 and, of course, I wasn't quite ready. I had every intention on starting today and I was not about to stall so, we did do a little school work related to what we were already learning about last week. (I know myself, if I didn't start today, I would've started in September) 

A few weeks ago, I heard my 4 year old, Joa, correctly name all the money coins to a friend of ours who gave him an impromptu quiz at the ice cream shop. I was floored because I had no idea he knew money. So I did what I always do, I started setting up opportunities for him to play with money. By allowing him to engage on his own, I draw interest and curiosity without forcing a topic on him.

Last night while cleaning the counter clutter, I ran into an empty crate of Ferrero Rocher chocolates from my mom's 60th birthday party last weekend. An idea for a game popped into my head. I decided to write different cent amounts inside each opening of the crate and create a matching/sorting game.
After breakfast, Joa went to play with his money and I just laid the crate next to him. He was curious and so I explained the game to him. He could name all the coins but, I noticed that he struggled a bit with the amounts, so I made a cheat sheet for him.
Not to be left out, baby sister got an ice cube tray which she had to fill up with matching coins. She may not know which one is which, but she was exposed to the coin names.  It was also a great way to practice the concept of same and different. Toward the end of our time she was actually naming the penny correctly every time.
So there you have it. 1 down. Many more to go. I must say my favorite part is watching them engage in learning while wearing pajamas and underwear!

Hopefully, I will insert some rhyme and reason into daily schedule soon. For now, I think we're all thriving on our free spirited nature. 

Thanks for reading!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Ice Cream Party - 3 Scoops of Sweetness!

July has always been a favorite month in our household. Not only is it my birthday, but it's also National Ice Cream month. When my daughter was born the day after my birthday three years ago, I knew I wanted to have an ice cream themed party for her. 

Since her name means "one whose light cannot be hidden," I opted for a Sunshine theme for her first birthday. Then for her second, of course, I had to do something with tutus! It was only fitting that for her third, we celebrated three years of sweetness with three scoops of ice cream!

I designed the invitations inspired by Zia's personality and my love of subway art prints. I wanted them to be fun and free, just like her! I attached and hand stamped wooden spoon with some baker's twine to each invite to give it a unique touch. 
As an event stylist, details are my thing! I must admit, though, the morning of her event I woke up at 7am, the time she was born, and burst into tears. My husband went out to run some errands and the kids were asleep. That alone time got me thinking about how much I love that girl and how much our lives have changed for the better because of her. For each member of our family, the world is a brighter place because of her. If you follow my posts on Facebook you read my nostalgic messages. This party is all about the up-close and personal elements. 

When guests entered the pool area, they were greeted by a tassel garland from The Flair Exchange and a wave of satin ribbons in pinks and greens waving in the wind. Although I created these myself, you can buy them made at A to Zebra Celebrations on etsy. Just below the ribbon garland was a small table with ice cream cone bubbles and a note that read, 
"Welcome to my party, I'm happy that you're here. Grab yourself some bubbles and fill my day with cheer. but if you run out, don't pout! No need for frustration. Just bring them back to the refill station."

There's just something about kids and bubbles, we will never understand. They LOVE them! The Bubble Refill Station, set up like and ice cream stand with sprinkles-filled "bubbles"and stocked with solution, extra bubble wands, and sun screen, was the perfect way to keep the kids happy and engaged throughout the day. 

At the pool, families were wowed by a sea of over 20 pink and green floating rings covering the surface of the pool. The kids wasted no time jumping in the water and relaxing in their floaties. 
My husband and father in law brought the grill on site and cooked some healthy turkey hot dogs for us. We garnished those with home made chili, relish, peppers, and tomato toppings served in mason jars. To accompany the dogs, we had sweet potato fries and fresh fruit skewers. For dessert we enjoyed the ice cream bar complete with all of Zia's favorite toppings. 

Guests could read the whole menu on a custom board made by our friend, Kelsi Candelaria, inspired by a print from Moulage Collection on etsy.

Of course there were touches of tulle throughout the whole affair. These triple scoop tulle cones decorated the main food area. The favor display was also decorated with a tulle garland. For favors, kids took home sundae cups, with personalized wood spoons.

Of course, the best part of the day was watching the birthday girl dance ballet as we all sang the "Happy Birthday" song for her! She's such a hoot! We ADORE her!

 Thank you for reading about our event!
Check out more party pics at Catch my Party!

Special thanks to our team:
Birthday Girl's Shirt - Claudia of Tini Posh 
Polka Dot Table Runners - Nancy of A to Zebra Celebrations
Tassel garland - Carmen of The Flair Exchange
Styling, Printables and tulle poms - Debra Walters of TiTi's TuTu's
Balloons, photos, rentals and set-up assistance - Andrea from the little shop

My husband - though he's not a vendor - had his hand in everything!
Friends and family (Cristina, Sara, Ariel, Papi, Amarilis) for their hours of cutting and crafting with me.