Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Teddy Bear Picnic

Parties shouldn't be saved for birthdays, anniversaries,
and graduations...
Every day should be a special occasion...
Just like grabbing your camera for a photo op.,
one should seize the moment for life ops!

We love picnics.
Whether it's a backyard campfire, BBQ, or a snack at the picnic table
at home or somewhere out and about...
eating outdoors in beautiful weather is one of life's great joys.

And who doesn't love teddy bears?!
The children's classic Teddy Bears Picnic is a fav of ours.

My 4-yr. old son loves it, too.
He grabs his favorite stuffed animals,
his little play picnic basket and felt food,
and he and his stuffed animals have a pretend picnic.

So I decided to seize the moment
(because they're only little for so long)
and have a special Teddy Bear Picnic!

He gathered up his stuffed animals and all of his special picnic play things
and I gathered up supplies for us to have our own REAL picnic :)

I whipped up some luscious little treats,
some cute table decor,
a few of my favorite bears,
and voila!

An adorable, woodsy bear picnic!

The Menu:

Tiny little cheesy bite herb sandwiches
Toad stool hard-boiled eggs topped with tomatoes
Sunflower oreo cupcakes
Crunchy peanut butter stuffed celery sticks
Baby carrots in ranch dressing
Bear claw cookies
Chocolate cupcakes with whipped buttercream frosting
Maple acorn cakelets with maple frosting
Mixed berry salsa
Sweet bear sugar cookies
Baby Bel cheese
Red little Hug juices
Beary good trail mix

Beary good trail mix in snack-size cups

Maple acorn cakelets with maple frosting
Imagine a little one's joy after an active day of playing at the park and bike riding, coming home to find a bounty of sweet snacks ~ and all of your favorite playthings!

Bear Claw Cookies

While we enjoyed our picnic...
his stuffed animals had their own felt food feast!

Cupcakes galore at this rustic woodsy picnic!

With handmade flag picks for added cuteness :)

Cute little sunflowers made from Oreo cookies (with teeny little ladybugs)

Not all treats have to be sweet to be adorable!
Healthy fruit salsa and cute toad stool eggs with tomato caps add plenty of color
and cuteness, too!

These tiny wooden picnic baskets add charm galore and hide a hidden treat -
mini Babybel cheeses!

What's a Teddy Bear Picnic without more bears? 
These sweet, 3-dimensional bear face sugar cookies are too cute!

Enjoying the day.

Traditional picnic "red and white" tied the theme together...

and lots of adorable stuffed bears and friends, of course!

A fun and delightful way to make an ordinary meal magical and memorable!

Happy Picnicking :)


This post is part of


and Making the World Cuter

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Words of Advice from Susan Branch

If you haven't discovered Susan Branch yet,
you simply don't know what you've been missing!

I've been a HUGE fan of hers for many, many years!

I don't know which of her delightful books that I love the most...
all of them useful, charming, and inspirational!

And all of them chock full of recipes and her adorable watercolor illustrations!

I had to pass along her sage advice for finding happiness ~
after all, life really is all about the simple pleasures :)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

No More Pencils, No More Books

Today is my son's last day of preschool for the year! This was a monumental year of firsts for him. He really thrived having more educational structure. Just one month into the new school year and he learned to recite the entire Pledge of Allegiance!

But it seems like just yesterday it was his very first day of school...clutching his backpack, ready to burst through the doors! And now that first year is just a memory now...

Last night he made each of his teachers a handmade card (sorry, but I'm an old-fashioned kinda gal that still believes in a handwritten note of thanks and appreciation) ...and we stopped at the dollar store to get some supplies to make each of them a little gift.

Gift checklist:
6 packs of colored pencils, some double stick tape, leftover ribbon from other projects, two empty soup cans, and some flowers from our yard and the grocery store and we made these:

I wanted them to be able to remove the pencils
if they actually wanted to use them at some point,
so I affixed them with double stick tape and a rubber band
the ribbon hides the rubber band!

Little gifts to say "Thank You" in really big ways :)
And now we look ahead to a sun-filled summer of fun!

This post is part of Tutorial Tuesdays on Hopestudios.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Love & Appreciation

We all have a need to feel appreciated

It'd be nice if we took the time every day to let those we love,
 and those that work so hard to make our lives easier,
know that they're valued.

Then maybe we wouldn't need the greeting card companies to nudge us
to make time once a year to say,
"Thank You."

I'm so grateful to have a very special little boy that loves me almost as much as I love him!

Now that he's 4, he has a much better comprehension of special occasions. 
This year, he took great pains to hide the Mother's Day presents that he had worked so hard on at school so he could give them to me on the actual day. 

He made his dad carry them behind his back
so I wouldn't see them when they came out of the school. 
And he announced that he was putting something in the spare room,
and I wasn't allowed to go in there for a few days.

So come Mother's Day morning,
this is what I awoke to:

Beautiful gifts of appreciation & love!
Handmade (from my son) and store bought (from my hubby!)

followed by a Mother's Day brunch together...

an afternoon of bike riding,
followed by a BBQ...

but most importantly,
time spent as a family,

lots of hugs and kisses

surrounded by
love & appreciation.

Happy Mother's Day!!

I hope all of you were treated like queens for a day
and recognized for all of your many sacrifices
for everything you do!