Category Archives: Parties

DIY Fabric Banner

DIY

You can all now call me Dr. Prasil.

Or Professor Prasil.

Or Professor.

Or just Ruthie, I don’t care, but I prefer Dr. Prasil.

What I’m saying is that I’m teaching a blogging class at our local college all about blogging and one thing we did was a DIY post. Enjoy!

 

Here’s what you need:

Photo Apr 14, 6 27 54 PM

 

Cut the fabric into 1″ strips.Photo Apr 14, 6 34 18 PM

 

Oh, hello, lovely class.Photo Apr 14, 6 34 54 PM

Fold the strips in half…like so.Photo Apr 14, 6 39 10 PM

 

At the end of the strip with the fold, fold it down again only about 1″ down.Photo Apr 14, 6 39 24 PM

 

Cut a slit about 1/2″ long on that fold (so that when you unfold it, it’s an inch long, Einstein)Photo Apr 14, 6 39 36 PM

There’s your slit.Photo Apr 14, 6 39 47 PMPhoto Apr 14, 6 39 59 PM

Lay it on top of the jute cord like this:Photo Apr 14, 6 46 26 PM

 

Pull the ‘free ends’ around the back side of the jute cord and through the slit.Photo Apr 14, 6 46 43 PM

 

Tighten that baby up.Photo Apr 14, 6 47 00 PM

 

Now, go create a petition and present it to your dean of nursing, proposing a change in carpet pattern.

 

You’re done!

Advertisements

Read Across America

Have I mentioned before how nervous I was to send my kids to a *gasp* public school?

Oh, does that sound super stupid? Yeah, because it is. But when I’m being stupid and ridiculous I’m okay admitting it.

I’m only admitting this part because honesty is probably one of my best traits and it’s dumb to have a blog and then only tell about the best things you say or do. So here’s my confession: I was afraid that the kids wouldn’t experience any of the fun ‘extras’ they did at CHMS. The polar express day was my favorite part of the year at CHMS. The staff went above and beyond in making it a fun day, doing things out of the ordinary and creating an experience. I have friends who teach at public schools and I know how much they love their jobs and how much effort is put into it — I must have thought I only knew the very best teachers. Don’t worry, I’m covering my face right now in shame. To be precise, I look like that monkey emoji. This one:

monkey

I learned the very first week at Asotin that the teachers there absolutely love their jobs. They love the kids and they absolutely go above and beyond to give them experiences. The communication between staff and parents is incredible and the support staff has done more than I would have ever expected they would do to make our transition smooth and enjoyable. I’ve been living in this ridiculous bubble and while it’s completely dumb, in my defense, I’ve never had any experience with public elementary school. Like…at all. I went to All Saints and my kids went to Children’s House. This is our first time. So I’m hoping I’m a bit forgiven because of it.

This week was “Read Across America” week where Dr. Seuss is celebrated in a variety of ways. They made it somewhat of a spirit week with each day being something fun: hat day, crazy sock day, pajama day, etc. Parents have been invited to come eat donuts and read with their kids, there was a book swap, and tomorrow they’re serving cake for lunch and parents are invited to that as well. The teachers have put in so much effort to this week and so have other staff members. What better way to thank them than with cake pops?

12767245_618932932320_1630199593_n

Obviously decorated like a Dr. Seuss character or something similar.

How thankful am I for Asotin Elementary and their staff? Cake-Pop making thankful. And that’s a lot.

How does one make the most delicious dessert on a stick? For really good instructions, head over to Bakerella. She’s the master. She teaches you how to make really adorable characters and shapes and she just rocks. Below is my very easy and not-as-cute way:

Bake a box cake as directed. Let it cool for an hour.

Crumble it up and mix (with your hands) with 3/4 a can of frosting.

Refrigerate the mixture for 1/2 hour or so then roll into balls (whatever size you want). Freeze for an hour.

Melt “candy melts” (you can find them at JoAnns or Walmart) in 30 second increments in a microwave safe mug.

Dip the end of a candy stick into the melted candy melts and stick it in the semi-frozen balls 3/4 of the way in and dip it completely into the mug of melted candy melts.

Tap it against the rim of the mug a few times to let the excess drip off and then stick in an empty mug until it hardens. (Before it hardens, of course, you can put sprinkles on it).

My brain hurt reading those horribly written directions, but it’s really very simple.

Enjoy!

 

(whiskers on kittens)

Every year I host a party around the holidays with my friends and it goes like this:

 

favoritethings_edited-1

 

It’s so much fun. Mostly because people stress about if their gift is good enough or cool enough or worth enough and it makes me laugh because it would be just fine if someone chose five ticonderoga pencils.

Ya know what makes a party? Your favorite peeps and good food and drink. Boom. Party on.

santa-4592

santa-4588

My favorite thing this year was a party pack.

 

Ruthie loves to party (that should be very clear at this point).

Ban.Do is the go-to for fun, silly, quirky, totally unnecessary party items. Throw in some tattoos and some mini champagne and you can take your party anywhere.

santa-4578

What else was a favorite item by my guests?

  • hair products
  • cute colored pencils and coloring books
  • lip gloss
  • blue cheese spread
  • scarf
  • starbucks

and lots more. My friends are the greatest. We had a great time and I’m 100% sure I’ll do it again next year.

(but maybe not on a Nutcracker weekend and a time when Daddy is out of town….

 

santa-4580 santa-4582

…Nutcracker prep was done during the party and this little monster (kidding) runs the show)

Fashion Forward

Let’s be very honest with one another, okay? I’ll start. I had high hopes for homeschooling this year and I fell short. I thought I’d be SO GOOD at it. I was fine. Maria did her work, she completed 4th grade, but it was nothing like I’d envisioned it’d be. We took very few adventure field trips and there was a lot of “free read” time. Towards the end of the year, I accepted this, but wanted to go out with a bang so I told her I wanted her to do a big project. Something that required her to use all the subjects she had worked on over the course of her 4th grade year: Math, English, Art, all of that.

“Ooooooh. A fashion show. A fashion show for charity.” (if you don’t know this already, I want to tell you about the size of Maria’s heart. It’s giant. It doesn’t fit into one home, it spills out into many homes and covers all the people who need it)

She began by doing research on charities in our area. She had already done a lemonade stand for Willow Center, gone through all her clothes for House of Hope and raised awareness for animal rights (hilarious). I told her about Jackson’s Pay it Forward Foundation and she decided right away that this Jackson kid sounded like a pretty solid guy and she wanted to follow in his footsteps and pay it forward, too. So she came up with:

PIFFheader

She knew right away she wanted to showcase fashion because if you don’t already know this (in addition to what you didn’t already know before), Maria is pretty fashion. Let’s just say….she gets it. This is where I stepped in. I emailed my favorite instagram, Etsy, and other online shops and told them what we were doing and requested a donation for the fashion show. You guys, people are good. And the people who are the best are usually the ones who aren’t quite as large and don’t make gobs of money like the big, huge businesses. Our most generous donations came from tiny little businesses. Moms who opened up their own little shops, selling their (really amazing) goods.

One of my favorites?

Screen Shot 2015-06-27 at 9.50.51 PM

Anna Rice. She owns Mina Loves Bows and I could not be more thrilled to have met her through this. Go to her shop RIGHT NOW. (1) Her bows are out of this world beautiful. The leather ones are my very favorite. (2) I think she has a heart comparable to Maria’s. She not only donated TONS of bows, she asked some of her friends if they might be able to help, too.

We got such an incredible response from that first go-around of emails and soon the donations came in. We had friends ask their friends for donations (Idahome anyone? Jackie Weibler contacted them for us without us even asking and they sent some of the best shirts and stickers!) and friends just offer up donations of their own. Danny’s downstairs workshop was full of children’s clothing and accessories with mama stuff thrown in there, too.

There was months of planning involved. We took a few trips to Costco to see what they had as far as food and how much it would cost. Maria recorded a couple videos telling about the event and asking for donations. She met with people to ask for money in person and she wrote to people, too.

Have you ever solicited for donations? It’s awful. Asking people for money is hard and can be nerve wracking and make you feel embarrassed (WHY IS THAT?!) but Maria did it like a champ.

She spent HOURS making thank you cards and reeled in some friends to help her, too. She painted fashion art that we used for posters and ads and colored banners and posters.

We decided a month or so ago that we were going to switch things up and do the auction for the clothes 100% online so that the items would be seen by a larger audience and we could get the most money out of them. SUCCESS.

And after I added up all the bids, contacted bid winners and organized clothes into bags (stuff that had to be done by me), it was finally the day.

piff-3104

Maria was so excited and only got more and more excited as the day went on. We got down to the event site at 11:00am to find all the chairs already put in place by the amazing Angie so we started unloading bags and getting decor set up.

piff-3013 piff-3014

And then models started arriving. Our little friends are our favorites.

piff-3033 piff-3035

piff-3112piff-3038 piff-3046 piff-3047 piff-3114

While some models helped with food prep…

piff-3017

…others got their hair and makeup done.

piff-3020

[I have one word to say about this child and her hair: potential. Dude, that hair had POTENTIAL!!! Avant garde, high-fashion, super totes rad potential. But what did she do when she saw that poof? She threw a fit. I mean…crying, mascara running, a little feet stomping fit. She’s not a girly-girl and she does NOT like being the center of attention. That hair DEFINITELY would have been the center of attention. We tamed it, but it could have been AMAZING. It was just incredible.]

piff-3025

Makeup was done by the fabulous Natalie. She did just enough so the girls felt pampered and looked beautiful (they already were, obviously) but made sure they didn’t look too done up. Perfection.piff-3027 piff-3043

Hair was headed up (see what I did there?) by Whitney. Our friend Whitney is a hair stylist…like that’s her profession. Our friend Whitney gave up a Saturday and came down THE ENTIRE DAY to help us out. I’m not sure if you know this, but it’s wedding season. She could have really made some good money today but instead…she helped us. That’s a generous heart, too.

piff-3118

We set food out.

piff-3012 piff-3028

Oh, the food? Provided by none other than Papa and Lala. Oh, you don’t know them? They’re from Awesome-ville. It’s a suburb of Support City, on the way to BestEverton.

Then it was 3:00.

piff-3097 piff-3039

Everyone was seated and Maria began.

piff-3052

I’m not sure where she came from. She was incredible. When I get up to speak, my voice cracks. I make the dumbest jokes, laugh really awkwardly, and I stutter. I stutter every other word and I get super sweaty.

Maria spoke like she does it for a living. She was loud and her voice was clear and what she had prepared was perfect. I was so proud of her.

Our models were pretty great themselves.

piff-3058 piff-3067 piff-3070 piff-3077 piff-3078 piff-3089 piff-3095

And by the end of the show, we had raised over $5,000.

FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS!!!

I almost can’t believe it. And then I remember how much work was put into this. Not only by me and Maria, but by Papa and Lala. Tara, our very favorite who ran the front table the entire time while also wrangling small children. Danny who was our errand boy. Whitney and Natalie and Megan. Nina and Rachel and Jessica and Ellen and Lindsey and Witney and Liz and Katie and Kami and Abbi who let their kids model for us. Angie and Debi at the CAH who donated the space and got it all set up for us. All the shops who donated and all our lovely people who came to watch.

Thank you for all of your support. Sometimes it’s exhausting to know someone who is always doing something. Always has a cause they are raising money for, always asking you to either come to a party or come to an event or come help/give/donate. But we appreciate you. We appreciate you more than you could ever know!

F.O.U.R., S.I.X. and a little Stampy Cat

Charlotte is four.

SundayFunday-105

She loves her deedee more than anything on Earth. She loves spaghetti and meatballs and going to Dawn’s house. She loves B and riding scooters and bikes and wearing pretty dresses with accessories. She loves Disney Jr and cuddling in bed. Oh, we are so lucky to have Charlotte.

This weekend we combined both her party and Alice’s party with friends. It was such a good time!

bestday-177

It’s so hard to navigate the party thing when you have so many kids. I mean, it’s hard no matter how many kids you have…but harder when you have many. Here’s why: there are, what, 20 kids to each class (approximately)? If we invited all the kids from each class, that’s 40 kids. Add in friends that don’t go to school with us (about 5 each) and you’re up to 50 kids. Plus the siblings that come. And parents. That is just way too many people for any space! So I let the kids each choose 6 kids to invite then our family friend kids…and that just about maxes us out. And I feel so badly each time for our friends who weren’t invited, but I know that we have the best friends who understand…we love you even though you weren’t there!!

The current obsession in our home? Stampy Cat. Sometimes, you like your kids so much that you decide that they definitely don’t have the party sense you have (which is on point, I must say) and if they want to have a damn Stampy Cat party, they can have it.

bestday-86 SundayFunday-281

Stampy Cat is a Minecraft character run by this British guy. I’m sure he’s a millionaire. He literally just records himself playing Minecraft and has a YouTube channel and millions of kids are obsessed with his character and his friends. I mean, there’s Stampy, Squaishy, Lee Bear, Amy Lee, Rosie, Duncan the dog, Mittens, so many. And Alice is in love with Stampy. So a Stampy-themed party it was.

We had it at As You Like it Cakes and each child got a cupcake to decorate.

bestday-126 SundayFunday-74 SundayFunday-162 SundayFunday-174

There were some definite masterpieces.

bestday-147 bestday-151 bestday-218 SundayFunday-169 SundayFunday-182

We played pin the cake on Stampy (he eats cake for breakfast every morning) and opened gifts from our incredibly generous friends. We really are quite lucky.

bestday-68 bestday-74 SundayFunday-240

After the party we went home and had a pretty wonderful afternoon playing with our friends.

bestday-97 bestday-157 bestday-175 bestday-194 bestday-209

Don’t we have the most beautiful friends who happen to be neighbors? We love them.

After a quick rest and a dinner of Fazzari’s pizza and pasta, we had even more friends and family over for dessert. These girls are both loved and spoiled. Cowboy hats and boots and Jasmine costumes and Doc Mobiles and clothes (mine craft!!!) and toys and gift cards. Ah, so much wonderful stuff.

Parties and Holidays and Holiday Parties

Last week was Spring Break for the kids and it also happened to be my birthday week.

Let me back up to a couple months ago (maybe a month?) when I realized Danny was in the beginning stages of planning a surprise party for me. As sweet and thoughtful as that was, the mere thought of a surprise party for me sent me into panic mode. I shut that down. Quickly.

Instead, I decided to plan my own party. Now, you can haha all you want, but planning parties is my favorite thing in the world and 30 is a big birthday and I figured that if there’s any time to be bossy about your birthday, it’s a milestone birthday. And I count 30 as a milestone.

I didn’t want to plan my party because I was afraid Danny would do a bad job on his own. Not at all. I wanted to plan it because details are my very favorite. I love planning everything from what the food will be served on, to the lighting, to the musical playlist to party favors. I just love it. In a past life, I think maybe I was an event planner in NYC or LA or someplace busy and fun like that.

So I planned my party.

Truth: it was pretty great.

30-103

I started Friday with a trip to Costco where we got chicken and beef and tulips. Such a great trio.

Food and decor.

I gathered up all our vintage Pepsi and 7-Up bottles and put the tulips in. They looked so cute.

30-61

On Saturday I made the champagne cake with champagne frosting thanks to the book that Lily and Pat got me. I had a little help, too.

30-63

(it eventually turned into this):

30-99

While I was doing that, Danny finished up the table.

HE FINISHED UP THE TABLE. Wait till you see what he made with some help from Kelly in the shop.

Are you ready?  Look:

30-70

It is amazing. It can seat 12-14 people and is pretty to look at. He distressed and stained the boards then added really awesome nails. It looks like something straight out of Restoration Hardware. Ah, I’m so lucky.

Then we set up the tables. I got little clay planters from a store in Moscow (The Storm Cellar) and added $2 flowers to them.

30-74

Along with the tulips and some candles, it was perfect.

Then I put together the plates which were actually boxes from Shop Sweet Lulu:

30-72 30-75

The drinks? Oh, nothing too special….

PSYCH!

We love our cocktails over here.

30-79 30-82 30-83

The first is a blackberry cocktail, the second a whiskey/sour cocktail. Both = delicious.

We also made shrubs (they are my new favorite) and had beer and wine and mixers.

They were enjoyed.

30-84 30-98

And the food was enjoyed, too! Because….tacos.

Okay, in San Francisco, Lily and Pat took us to a place called Milagros that served the most delicious coconut shrimp tacos. While ours weren’t as good as those, they were still pretty good.

And when people plate their food (haley) like they are professionals, it makes it on the blog.

30-87

And it also makes it on the blog if you make plates that look like this:30-89

I mean, to each their own.

We made aioli (chipotle and pineapple) and had homemade guacamole, salsa fresca and flavored salts.

30-86

And while I think I have pretty spot-on judgement when it comes to food and drink, I happen to be even better at choosing friends and company. Because it was the best time ever.

30-101 30-102

30-9530-105

I’m convinced I have the best friends in the universe.

And how do I show my friends I love them? Gifts.

30-77 30-78

Canned sparkling wine, hanging plant, tiny notebook and Tattly’s. That’s a solid gift. I also threw in some chardonnay blondies I made. Because, ya know, I make boozy desserts.

I have a hard time being mushy in real life, but it’s easy on the internet, so here it goes:

To my friends, thank you. Thank you for being friends with someone who isn’t always easy to take. Who can sometimes be crazy and anxious over ridiculous and annoying things. Who does things like plans her own birthday parties when you try and do something nice like surprise her. Thank you for bringing gifts even though it said “NO GIFTS” on the invite. You’re nice. Thank you for hanging out with us and for making me feel like the luckiest 30 year old in the entire world.

You’re basically the best.

tarachristiansadiejustinhaileyhaleybrookmarkaliciatobesuzannejenbrandonpaullizwhitneyjason you’re the bee’s knees.

And we finished the weekend off with even more celebrating.

30-107 30-108 30-113

I broke down and was the mom who bought character shoes for her kids.

I say that like it’s the first time. Oh, silly Ruthie, there are character shoes in every freaking room in this house. This is my life.

30-114 30-116 30-120

Alice might be the most fun at the moment when it comes to celebrating. She’s all in and loves every second.

30-119 30-122

The Easter bunny who visits our house is not the most creative. But, I will say, Easter is easiest in a home that is generally cluttered because it’s easy to hide eggs. So, I mean, there’s that.

30-126

Eggs on the diffuser. Boom.

Out of all the baskets, of course Francescas was my favorite. Take a look.

30-127 30-128 30-129 30-130 30-131

The others? Full of crap. Seriously. With the exception of reading books for Alice and a cool lyre for Jamie, it was mostly just a lot of candy and plastic stuff. Whatever.

And then, an Easter miracle happened. All 8 of us went to church. It may have been crazy and it may have been loud, but we were there.

Then we skedaddled to Grandma and Grandpa’s for an egg hunt with the cousins.

30-136 30-139 30-143 30-145 30-147 30-172

And champagne with raspberries is certainly a plus, huh?

30-159

And while eggs were torn open (money!!!) and cousins played, Miss Franci just took it all in.

30-164 30-162 30-156 30-176

I forget how busy holidays are.

After grandma and grandpa’s, we went to Liz and Pauls which was basically the best time ever.

eastersan-72 eastersan-76 eastersan-83 eastersan-90 eastersan-98 eastersan-101 eastersan-121 eastersan-145 eastersan-159 eastersan-165

Liz and Paul are the type of people who aren’t rattled by anything. Your kids could be running wild in the house, making a giant mess, yelling, being naughty, etc, and they will be calm and smiling. They don’t think twice about grabbing your baby from your arms or helping your kids get food or drinks, and they are the easiest people to just sit and talk with. They are interesting and smart and kind and generous and are pretty incredible parents.

Their kids are just the best.

eastersan-67 eastersan-68 eastersan-69 eastersan-70

Celebrating Easter with them couldn’t have been a happier time!

Mostly because of this (puff cigarette, leather jacket and ray bans??):

eastersan-172 eastersan-178 eastersan-182

Hope you all had a really fantastic Easter!

Easter Prep and Surprises

One of my girls’ favorite things in the world is having friends over for an activity. Yes, an activity. Yeah, over to play is fun and great, but when there’s an activity involved, it’s even better.

easterprep-61

I made some Easter cookies (egg and rabbit shaped of course) and some frosting and thought maybe some friends would like to come and decorate with us. I was right, they did.

easterprep-63 easterprep-67

Have you guys checked out Alison’s Cookie Party? Alison is great. She’s so fun and creative and doesn’t care if she looks silly — she does what she wants and I love that. She also is good at making and decorating cookies and her instruction booklet (in pdf format) is awesome. Easy, quick, and delicious.

easterprep-64 easterprep-65

Of course we invited our girls next door

easterprep-69 easterprep-76 easterprep-80

And obviously our kindred spirit family (Liz and the kids) and we went to town.

easterprep-70 easterprep-72 easterprep-100 easterprep-104

It’s easier not to do these types of things. To just sit and watch tv or make the kids play outside or let them have video games on. But it’s so much more fun to watch them with their friends and see how happy they are. And I like my grown up friend time, too.

Jamie decorated and ate his “abstract art” cookie, but then quickly switched gears to snap circuit building.

easterprep-102

Alice was very busy — going between cookie making and roller blading and Stampy Cat watching and baby playing. She’s hard to catch.

After everyone went home, I cleaned up. You guys, disposable table cloths are the best things everrrrrr.

easterprep-106

And then Suzanne came by.

I cried today.

She had this made for me:

easterprep-107

That’s us. It’s my clan. Here’s some close ups:

You guys…I’m holding a camera, my hair is green, I’m wearing skinnies and flats, and I’m drinking a Starbucks. Franci is wearing moccasins, Danny is drinking a Pepsi, there are snowboards in the background and look…he’s wearing a Gorilla Skate shirt!!

easterprep-108

Maria is eating an ice cream cone (newsflash, she loves ice cream), has ballet slippers draped over her arm, is on roller blades, and there are chickens at her feet. And Jamie!! Wearing my favorite shirt (from Passive Juice Motel), reading books about Greek Myths, and his hair is perfection. And little Ollie…holding on to a big pink balloon, wearing Hello Apparel shirt, and 2 perfect piggies.

And a pumpkin for Clay.

easterprep-109

Look at Charlotte’s Belle dress!!! And that tiara. And holy  heck, her deedee. And Miss Alice. Fairy wings, that backpack (she packs EVERYTHING AROUND), and a little skateboard. easterprep-110

This gift took a crazy amount of time. Suzanne had to send this artist my instagram feeds, my blog, and then answer a ton of questions to get us looking like this. And like this, I mean perfect.

I CRIED!!! Effort and thoughtfulness and friendship always gets me. *sigh* what beautiful friends I have.