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ice-cream!

I can’t believe it’s already the end of July. I spent February and March anticipating May and June, and as usual they flew by leaving in their wake our first preschool graduate, first soccer season, two third birthdays, and a few other less glamorous firsts that involved time outs on stairs.  I still can’t wrap my head around the phenomenon that happens when you have kids.  The minutes – they can sometimes last for painfully long periods of time – but the moments – my god do they fly by.

When I get home from work, I have a mental list of the things that *must*  be done. Making the most of the precious few minutes with our family each evening: Change. Make sure girls have gone potty. Make dinner. Exercise or activity to make me feel like a semi-good mom. Baths. Stories. Lay out everything for tomorrow. Epic bedtime routine. Clean up. Work.  Sometimes the weight of all the things I should be doing comes down around my ears and I literally fall asleep while I’m playing with them.  Today was one of those days. Awake and playing, and then about 10 minutes later… awake again. Awesome. The best part was seeing that Cam had passed out beside me on the floor and we both had cushions put on top of us and tiny toys tucked in beside us … we were at the peak of our parenting skills in that moment.

I always feel like it’s fun to involve the kids in making dinner to make the most of those precious little minutes, or involving them in something even more exciting, like making dessert… That way they know what to look forward to if they eat their dinner!  One of the many favorites in our household is icecream, and it’s a great one to make together because everyone can have a job in the process.

ice cream 3We have a great little ice-cream maker by Cuisinart – you just keep the bucket in the freezer and pull it out when you want to make ice-cream.  Put in all your ingredients and then turn it on for 25 minutes and it magically makes icecream…and completely ignore the fact that you just used cream and full fat milk, and sugar, and m&ms in the process of making your ‘pure’ homemade delicious icecream…  So yummy on a hot evening! We found these awesome thermos containers by Zak that keep the ice-cream frozen – even on a picnic for a few hours.

mmm- okay – gotta go back for some chocolate – have a great night!

xo

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Pixie Hollow: the great pixie dust hunt

The forecast called for rain, but right around 4pm the sun starting shining … just in time for 15 pirates and fairies to come visit for K & C’s birthday.

As much as my husband might disagree – I’d say that I’m not a crazy crafter; I don’t have a scrapbook addiction or a closet full of material or cake making supplies, I don’t even have a craft room – just a table in the kids play room.  But I do enjoy making things.  It’s my way of saying I care, and I think you’re wonderful and important.  Important enough to spend 3 tries getting the spacing right on homemade labels, or sitting up making tutus, or painting old headboards into magical signs…. Because I work so much, and feel I have so little time to show them in the little ways some people get to every day, I love to make our kids birthdays something fun they’ll remember – and to show our friends and family a good time for making the effort in their busy lives to come and celebrate with us.

So for me, the fact that the sun came out yesterday… that was fabulous.

I showed you a few “before” shots in my last post… the old headboard I got clearance from an antique shop (That Cam had to re-assemble) – turned into a “welcome to Pixie Hollow” sign.  I got the drawers that I put the tutus and swords in from the same place for a couple of dollars – a few ‘lost things’ to add to the Tinker bell flavour.

vintage bed posts1welcome to pixie 1tutus and wings

The wire hangers that started to look like wings… turned into great little wings with some tights and glitter glue and elastic for arm bands. Every little fairy got a tutu and wings and each little pirate got a sword and eye patch.

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Everyone was invited to make their own magic wand or pirate hat and colour pictures from pixie hollow with the incentive of winning gold coins that they could later add to their treasure.

1colouring1pirate hat1making wands1making wands better 1fairy wands

The flowers that our kids made dressed up the yard in Rosetta fashion, and the bunting I sewed from old felt hung over our back porch.

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A few other fun touches included pixie dust (sprinkles) in little velum bags that I made labels for and sewed shut (just rip off the top and sprinkle on cupcakes) – and some surprisingly easy to make meringue mushrooms that might be found in Neverland.

1pixie dust sprinklescupcake toppers1pixie sprinkles charlie 1so many sprinkles

We ordered magic wand cookies from a favorite baker in our old hood ‘geek sweets‘ – that were a hit, and made chocolate and coconut puddings alla the July Martha Stewart  mag for the adults.

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My favorite part of the party was the treasure hunt to find the lost pixie dust.  Matty led the charge and all the kids were thrilled to find hidden fairy doors and sparkling pixie dust… and finally the treasure chest – filled with gems and coins and a gold pouch for each little one filled with magic pixie dust.  The looks on their little faces were priceless.  It was magic in motion. THAT is why I stay up late making things.

treasure map1 pixie door 1pixie door better1treasure!1fairy with treasure

The night ended with big hugs and big smiles.  Everyone went home with a goody bag with pixie/pirate goodies and some fairy dust pillow spray made that we made from distilled water, lavender and chamomile essential oils and witch hazel … we’re told it helps little minds to calm and sleep … but for our little fairies the idea of spraying it around the room was too intoxicating (in more than one way) to help with sleep.

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Today my little fairies turned three.  A lot of twin parents say that the first six months of their childs’ lives were a blur… not for me – I remember this day three years ago very well – and most of the days in between.  There is always a pull at my heart to spend one extra minute with that one, or help this one out with that one extra little thing.  I never feel like any of our kids get enough of our time, and yet I know they are incredibly happy and feel very loved.  There are just so many competing factors for time, that it seems the ones who deserve it the most often don’t yet it in my world… I was so happy that this weekend they did.  And Kate and Charlie – in case you read this one day long after I’ve let go of the notion of writing about our life’s adventures – I want you to know that I am proud beyond words of who you are, and excited by each new piece of who you’ll become as it is revealed.  My heart is so full with love for you and your brother that sometimes I am paralyzed by it – the urge to hug you and never let go, and not miss a moment of your precious little lives and the amazing people you are becoming is overwhelming.  Cured only by the joy I see in your faces when you learn something new, discover something you didn’t know existed, or walk, climb, bike, soar on your own … you are incredible little girls and I love you all the way to the moon.  And back.

birthday hug funny daddy birthday tackles

There’s a party brewing at Pixie Hollow (part one)

I’ve been a little quiet lately. It’s thanks mostly to this gorgeous sunshine and my unhealthy addiction to spending every minute I’m not working basking in it with our family… but I did promise that my next post would involve crafts – so I thought I would share a bit of progress on some projects for our twins’ three-year-old birthday.

There is something magical about a little child’s face when they believe in things they can’t understand.  I love it.  I find it to be the perfect place between innocence and imagination… and I want to nurture it in our kids whenever we can.  That’s why we’re building Pixie Hollow in our back yard this weekend….

From the minute they saw Tinkerbell and Rosetta our girls just knew they were meant to be fairies. We rolled with it and read stories about Peter Pan and the fairy crew each evening. The kids loved each of the tales and started making up their own play stories about their special land and their special roles as ‘tinker fairy’ and ‘flower fairy’ and sprinkling pixie dust so that they could fly and save the treasure.   So when it came time to plan their special day – we knew it would need to take place far away … to get there you just have to follow the second star on the right and go straight on until morning.

invitations

We started with emailing save the dates that looked like this. Then I made tiny scrolls that told a story about lost pixie dust and a great treasure hunt, and filled tiny vials with a little bit of glitter – noting in the invitation that there was just enough here to fly over to Pixie Hollow on the special day.  I wrapped the glitter filled vials with the scroll invite and finished off the look with star tags that had each child’s name on them.  Truth be told; I dislike evites.  I love writing personal notes.  But as time has gone on, I’ve come to realize that busy lives are not conducive to hand delivering special packages like these – so many of our little friends are yet to receive their treasure hunt and pixie dust … which leaves me thinking … thank goodness for the evite.

tutus final

Next I started making tutus for each of the fairies to receive when they come to Pixie Hollow.  So far we have 8 done and 2 left to go!  They are super easy (but a little time consuming – thanks mom and cam for the help!) and there are tutorials all over the web – but here is my super simple 3 step process:

1. measure the waist of your pixie and sew elastic about an inch smaller into circles tutu making2

2. measure the waist to knee of your pixie  – and cut strips of tulle  double that length – for us it was 16 -17 inches total (you’ll need at least 50 strips per skirt)

tutu making1

3. tie knots around the elastic by folding the tulle in half and pulling the ends through the hole (around the elastic). One tip is to make sure you always tie the knots in the same direction so that it looks consistent… like this

tutumaking3

 

Then, while watching Jimmy Fallon one night (he’s so talented!), I cut a bunch of triangles out of felt we had around from felt board projects and sewed it to a vine like ribbon to make colourful bunting to welcome people to pixie hollow…

bunting

We have had the kids involved pretty much the whole way through as well.  They love to paint and make crafts so when I visited Urban Source on Main street and found giant white cardboard flowers I knew which little fingers would paint them up for us to put on the trees and set the scene!

painting flowers finger painting flowers

 

Those same little pixies made giant tissue paper flowers yesterday and had a blast scrunching paper and gluing it in place.  I think I’m going to use these to create a similar scene to what I made for Matthew’s super hero party last winter – but instead of flying superman over the city of Metropolis it’ll be faeries over Pixie Hollow…we’ll see.  They might just decorate the tree trunks outside too.

tissue flowers

I’ll leave you with a few little teasers for things I’m making over the next couple of days …

I found this antique headboard at Farmhouse Furniture in the clearance area – don’t you think it might make a great sign?vintage bed posts

Cam has also been hard at work transforming hangers and the girls old tights into teenie tiny faerie wings.wings part one

 

…and what better way to re-use old little cupboard doors than to make magical fairy doors out of them? old cupboards

 

We’ll see what projects we actually get through and what will remain as good ideas for another time … but I wanted to keep you in the loop and inspired in case something crafty is brewing in your house this week.  More to come in a couple of days… have a great day!

 

PS – those Tink and Rosetta costumes on Kate and Charlie in the feature photo were hand made by my mother in law – aren’t they awesome?  This pic was taken the day poor Brazil lost in the world cup – but Matty still proudly wore his shirt in support of his favorite team 🙂