Category Archives: Parties

Adaline’s 2nd Birthday Party: Ladybug Picnic

Ladybug Picnic Party

Saturday we had Adaline’s 2nd Birthday Party. The theme was Ladybug Picnic and the colors were red, black, green, and white.

I reused Adaline’s birthday sign from last year out front again. Even though it didn’t go with this year’s theme it’s just too cute to sit in a box and not get used!

I made a balloon wreath for the front door. I decided to use multi-colors so that it can be used each year. I’m so glad that I made it…Adaline loves it!

*Coming Soon: Balloon Wreath Tutorial and Links Post

This way to the Ladybug Picnic…

Tent and Tablescape
We rented a tent for the backyard so that everyone would have a place to sit and eat. Unfortunately it was so hot that once we finished eating we all crammed inside the house for the remainder of the party. Since Adaline and her 1 year old cousin were the only kids I didn’t bother to plan any games or activities.

I thought these pinwheels and mesh butterflies really added a lot in the tent, but it’s hard to tell in the picture. It was a really windy day so Adaline had fun standing in front of the pinwheels yelling, “They’re spinning!” 🙂

I couldn’t get great pictures of the tables because it was so windy and everything kept blowing away!

I put together these centerpieces of a Ladybug having a picnic 🙂
*Coming Soon: Lady Bug Picnic Centerpiece Tutorial

Place Settings

The tissue paper flowers are actually noisemakers. Adaline loved carrying them around but every time someone would blow one (which wasn’t often) she would say, “I scared of those!”.
I added adhesive wooden ladybugs to these bamboo forks that I got at a party store.

Bug Juice
The Ladybug Lemonade is raspberry lemonade with frozen blackberries in it and the Bug Juice is iced tea. I made the little signs myself. They don’t fit quite right because I was going to set them on the table rather than attach them to the dispensers but it was so windy they kept blowing away.
*FREE Ladybug Fonts Other free fonts include butterflies, bees, and other bugs/insects.

Yay, for number 2 ice cubes!
They’re actually frozen cranberry juice, but you could use food coloring, or Kool-Aid or any red beverage 🙂
(I tried adding blueberries so that the ice cubes would have ladybug spots. Unfortunately the silicone molds were too small and the cubes would break everywhere there was a blueberry :()

Food Table

I made this Happy Birthday sign last minute (literally half and hour before the party) by using a ladybug font and printing it out onto red cardstock.
*FREE Ladybug Fonts Other free fonts include butterflies, bees, and other bugs/insects.

We kept the food really simple. Sandwiches, veggies and dip, and fruit salad. The end.
To keep the picnic theme going we put all of the food inside of baskets from The Dollar Tree and lined them with a cut up plastic gingham tablecloth from a different dollar store.

I got these cute mini bug nets with lollipops in the clearance section of Wal-Mart after Easter.

Ladybug Cake
I decorated this ladybug cake, which is why it looks like such a mess. This is only the 3rd cake that I’ve ever decorated
*Related Posts: Adaline’s Giant Cupcake Smash Cake
Cool Daddy’s Ham and Man Pig cake

Singing Happy Birthday to the Birthday Girl! 🙂

Oh no, black teeth! Too bad this is the best pic I got of her all day!

*Related Posts: Birthday Girl…2 years old: Additional photos of Adaline from her birthday and party

Nice 😉

Party Hat and Dress
This is a closer look at the hat that I made for Adaline.

Sorry, she’s stuffing her face in the first picture and the antennae are crooked in the other. Oh well.

DIY No Sew Party Hat Tutorial: Step by step instructions 🙂

This is the only picture I have where you can see Adaline’s entire dress. I loved that the dress was gingham so it tied in the picnic theme with the ladybugs…which are pockets by the way ;)! The dress is by Jenny and Me and I got it at Burlington Coat Factory for $9.99!

Photo Display
I set Adaline’s photos up the same way as last year but replaced them with pics of the last 12 months. This year I added sticky felt ladybugs above each photo 🙂

Photo “Booth”
I found a polka dot shower curtain and Wal-Mart and thought it would be perfect for a photo backdrop. We just hung it on the side of the house and put covered chairs in front 🙂

By the end of the day Adaline was not interested in getting a picture with her parents 😦

To see more pictures of Adaline at her birthday party click here.

**Disclosure: Links to contained in this post may be affiliate links in which case I might receive a very small amount of money if you make a purchase using my links**

Related Posts

*FREE Ladybug Fonts

*DIY No Sew Party Hat Tutorial

*Ribbon Topiary Video Tutorial (Centerpiece)

*Tissue Number Birthday Sign (Mini-Tutorial)

*Birthday Girl…2 years old: Photos of Adaline at her birthday party
*Ladybug Picnic: 2nd Birthday

*Pink and Green Polka Dots and Cupcakes Party: 1st Birthday

*Ham and Man Party: 30th Birthday

*Celebrating 30 years in 30 days! All of my birthdays from 1980-2009

Birthday Traditions: Personalized Birthday CD / Birthday Traditions: Knife and Cake Server / Birthday Traditions: Professional Photos / Birthday Traditions: Photo Puzzle / Happy 2nd Birthday, Adaline!


Tip Junkie handmade projects Design Dazzle

Ribbon Topiary Video Tutorial (Centerpiece)




For Adaline’s 1st Birthday Party in 2010 I made ribbon topiaries as the centerpieces. I originally saw the idea and tutorial on the Polka Dot Birthday blog. I bought all of the supplies for the topiaries at The Hobby Lobby and got the ribbon at 50% off.

While making the ribbon balls for the topiaries last year I made a video “tutorial” (if you can call it that) of how to put the ribbon ball together. The video is really unprofessional since I did it by myself on a whim while Adaline was napping. I didn’t even have any free hands to make the ribbon ball while holding the camera!

Supplies to make a ribbon ball:
-Styrofoam ball
-Straight pins
Supplies to make a topiary:
-Completed ribbon ball or floral ball
-Wooden dowel rod
-Flower pot, bucket, basket, box, etc.
-Floral foam (to hold the dowel in place)
-Curling ribbon, Easter grass, moss, shredded paper, etc. (to cover the floral foam)

Video Tutorial for Ribbon Ball:
(Click to view on YouTube)

(Note: I edited the video on 10/31/13. To watch the excruciatingly long unedited version Click to view on YouTube.)

1. Cut the ribbon into 4.5″ strips

2. Loop the ribbons

Secure with two straight pins. I angled the pins.

3. Cover the entire ball with strips of ribbon. Fill in as necessary.
4. Put the floral foam into your pot or topiary base of your choice
(If the pot needs painted…paint it first!)
5. Paint or cover your dowel rod
6. Poke the dowel rod into the floral foam and also into the completed ribbon ball
7. Cover the floral foam with curling ribbon, etc.


Below are the details for what I used to make the 3 ribbon balls.

-I used 6 inch foam balls
-I used 16 yards ribbon per ball cut into 4.5” strips (48 yards total for 3)
-I used 20-22 strips per color and used 6 different colors,
120-132 strips per ball (360-396 total for 3)
-I used 2 straight pins per ribbon, a total of 250 pins
-The topiaries cost me $20 a piece to make
-The ribbon balls took about 2 hours each to complete


This post is linked to:
Tip Junkie /Design Dazzle / Patches of Pink / The Frugal Girls: Chic and Crafty

DIY No Sew Party Hat Tutorial / Tissue Number Birthday Sign (Mini-Tutorial)

Ladybug Picnic: 2nd Birthday / Pink and Green Polka Dots and Cupcakes Party: 1st Birthday / Ham and Man Party: 30th Birthday / Celebrating 30 years in 30 days! All of my birthdays from 1980-2009 / Birthday Girl…2 years old

Birthday Traditions: Personalized Birthday CD / Birthday Traditions: Knife and Cake Server / Birthday Traditions: Professional Photos / Birthday Traditions: Photo Puzzle / Happy 2nd Birthday, Adaline!


Wordless Wednesday: Party Junk

I’ve been busy the past few weeks planning for Adaline’s Ladybug Picnic Birthday Party next Saturday. I’m not going to reveal any finished products just yet…but here’s a little sneak peak of the junk I’ve been collecting for the party. Let your imagine run wild (it can’t run too far really, I stick really close to the theme).

(Click on photos to enlarge)

If you’re into looking at parties, getting birthday party ideas/tutorials, and specifically planning a Ladybug Picnic of your very own…be sure to keep stopping back throughout August when I’ll be posting a lot of birthday stuff :)!
(Ladybug Picnic won’t be posted until 08/08 or later that week).

Lilypie Maternity tickers
Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!

Our Wedding

Today is mine and Cool Daddy’s 8th wedding anniversary.
(We were married June 21, 2003 for those of you who can’t do the math ;))
You can read more about us here:
*How I Met Cool Daddy: Part 1
*How I Met Cool Daddy: Part 2
*15 Reasons Why My Hubby is Awesome
*Colonel Mustard on a Rollercoaster with a Plastic Fork

I went all out for our wedding. Cool Daddy was perfectly happy to let me do (and spend ;)) whatever I wanted and tell him a date, time, and place to show up. While there were definitely some stressful moments, some venue mishaps, weather concerns, hair woes, and flower drama…for the most part my mom and I really enjoyed planning my wedding. I didn’t end up with absolutely everything exactly the way that I wanted it, but all-in-all I think our wedding was fabulous and I have no regrets about “going big”. I didn’t have a fairytale wedding…I had a royal wedding. Or as close to one as you can get in Beaver County, PA 😉

You’re going to see quite a few pictures of me before we even get to the one photo of my hubby…but isn’t the wedding all about the pretty girl anyway? 😉

(Click on photos to enlarge)

My sister primps my hair and then puts a sixpence penny in my shoe.
Yes, I actually wore it inside of my shoe the whole time!

I love this picture of me and my mama 🙂

Putting on my veil and showing off my pearl necklace.

On my mama’s front porch.

My hunky hubby-to-be 🙂

Me and my sister and hubby with his brother.

My cousins were the flower girl and ring bearer.
I chose the pomanders rather than a basket. The flower girl hid a bag of petals behind the pomander and this is where she drew the red rose petals from to drop.

For the ring box I chose one shaped like a carriage that was made out of two quail eggs. I didn’t realize that this was the only photo of the ring box that I had. Here it is cropped for a closer look:

I actually found a photo of the ring box online here.

I was very into the details of the wedding. The funny thing was that I was so afraid that the guys that would be handling the ring box to get the rings in and out would break the egg shells, that we actually had the best man keep the rings in a box in his pocket the whole time. So the ring box ended up just being a front anyway.

A string quartet for the ceremony.
Pachelbel’s Canon in D for the bridal party.
The traditional “Here Comes the Bride” for me.

I walked down a very long aisle.
I wasn’t even halfway down when this picture was taken.

Hubby watching me walk down the aisle realizing how very spoiled I am lucky he is.

We had an outdoor ceremony in the gardens of an extinct Utopian community, Old Economy Village.

The guests had bubbles and the wedding party threw red rose petals while our carriage with white horses awaits.

Hubby looks like he’s carting me off to prison rather than escorting me. He also sounded like he was reading me my rights during our vows…I sounded like I was reciting an eloquent graduation speech. Not a lot of heart-felt teary-eyed stuff during our vows…we are robots.

The carriage ride was awesome. We rode down the streets and everyone stopped to look at us and we waved our best royal wave. A mother was walking with her two daughters and I heard one of them yell, “Mommy, she looks like Cinderella!”
I’d love to do that about once a week 😉

This was actually the aisle that I was supposed to walk down, but I knew that my gown wouldn’t fit, so we had them set up the chairs on the other side of the garden where my gown would have more room to breath 🙂

The bridal party.

For a photo like this the photographer would usually have the bridal party jump off of a step which would put everyone at about the same height, but we didn’t have any stairs available. I couldn’t jump at all without losing my dress so hubby and I stayed put.
I love how weird this photo is.
(You’re definitely going to want to click (twice) to enlarge this and check out all the great facials expressions!)

The reception venue: The Timberhouse at Rolling Acres Golf Course

This is a view from where hubby and I sat at the head table.
Our fancy champagne glasses that form a heart when they’re pushed together 🙂
The bells were the wedding favor…more on that later.
To the right of the glasses you can see my handkerchief. My grandmother crocheted old lace onto a new handkerchief and then tied it together with my mom’s wedding handkerchief. Something old, something new, something borrowed. My something blue was a blue ribbon on the garter that my mom made for me with my great-grandmother’s lace (more old). I had plenty of new: my necklace, my earrings, my tiara, my handkerchief, my shoes, and of course my gown.

The topiaries above were the centerpieces on every other table, the remaining table had wreaths and hurricane lamps shown below. Believe it or not we’ve gotten a lot of use out of all of the topiaries and wreaths. There are a few in Adaline’s nursery, we’ve used them as centerpieces for tea parties and I sometimes use them to decorate at Christmas.

Our wedding favors were silver bells. We attached everyone’s table number to their bell along with a little poem that I wrote about how to use the bells:
We all remember traditions past, to see them kiss you clink the glass.
But new traditions work as well, to see them kiss just ring the bell!

The cookie table…’cause that’s just how we roll 😉
(Yeah, I have a big Italian family. Mangia!)

Cutting the cake. We used our wedding cake knife to cut Adaline’s 1st birthday cake and have used it for each of our birthdays since then, it’s one of my favorite new traditions.

The cake was white with raspberry filling. It was covered in fondant with gumpaste flowers.

The detail on the cake mimicked the detailed beadwork on my gown.
(Click the photo twice to enlarge it and see the detail.)

Our first dance to Nat King Cole’s “Unforgettable”.

Ironically, my husband always asks me, “What was our wedding song again?” and I always answer, “Seriously? You couldn’t be more ironic right now. Did you seriously forget? How could you forget our wedding song?!” Oh well. The song didn’t hold any special meaning for us, I’ve just always liked it.

In case you were wondering…I can still rock a mean Electric Slide in a ball gown.

My throw-away bouquet was a break-away bouquet. We’ve all seen the “America’s Funniest Home Video” clips of single ladies fighting each other for a bouquet. Mine was a bunch of single flowers tied together with one special rose in the middle with a ribbon tied around it. While my back was turned to the girls, I untied the flowers so that when I tossed the bouquet individual flowers went everywhere and several girls picked up a flower. The lucky girl to get the rose with the ribbon is the one who will get the garter.

The garter was actually caught by my then-10-year-old cousin Ben, who snatched it up using a slick slide-on-the-knee move 😉
He placed the garter on the lady’s arm rather than her leg for a more pg version!

And here are some more photos of me, just because I’m pretty 🙂

Happy 8th Anniversary, Hubby! I love you!

On a side note today at 12:15pm Cool Daddy and I are going for an ultrasound to check and see how things are progressing with our little bean and to see if there’s perhaps more than one in there 😉

Photography: Brad Allan at Redford Photography Canonsburg, PA
Cake: Carol Decanini at Carol’s Cakes Aliquippa, PA
Ceremony Venue: Old Economy Village Ambridge, PA
Reception Venue: The Timberhouse at Rolling Acres Golf Course Beaver Falls, PA
Bride’s Gown: St. Pucchi by Rani

Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!

Celebrating Seuss

During the month of March we’ve been celebrating NEA’s Read Across America. March 02 was Dr. Seuss’ birthday and we had a little “celebration” here at home.

Ideas for Celebrating Dr. Seuss Birthday

We began our day with A Splendiferous Dr. Seuss Breakfast of Green Eggs and “Ham” served with Moose Juice and our bread butterside up!
A Splendiferous Dr. Seuss Breakfast

We watched Horton Hears a Who!

Adaline and I read some Dr. Seuss books. We read the board book version of “Happy Birthday to You” then I read Adaline “Hop on Pop”, “Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?”, The Cat in the Hat, and “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish” for the first time. Hop and Pop and Mr. Brown are now favorites. When reading the Cat in the Hat she likes to point out “Sally” and “Baby” (the unnamed brother) on each page and she gets a little irritated when I don’t read fast enough for her to turn the page and find Sally again.
(After reading her Hop on Pop and Mr. Brown only two times on two different days Adaline began bringing me the books and saying “Mr. Bonk Moo” (Bonk = Brown) and “Hop Pop”. I couldn’t believe she’d remembered the names of the books when I’d only read them to her twice!)
Reading Dr. Seuss

I traced Adaline’s hand for some projects that I wanted to do. She didn’t really like getting her hand traced, but she was excited to see it after it was done. I had to trace back over them since her fingers looked crazy 😉
(That’s not some strange cryptic code…Adaline’s been into letters lately especially since Dr. Seuss’ ABC is one of her favorite books so she’s always asking me to draw O, G, or B on her coloring sheets.)
Hand Tracings
(Yes, I did a wardrobe change…I’m fancy like that.)

Next I traced Adaline’s feet on to cardstock. She seemed to like that a little better than the hands (I don’t think she likes the crayon going in between her fingers).
Foot Tracings for Foot Book

I let Adaline color her hand and foot tracings.
Celebrating Seuss

I wasn’t brave enough this year to stick her hands or feet in any paint, so the tracings will have to do.
I plan on saving this foot tracing and doing something similar each year and putting it all together as her own “Foot Book”. As she gets older maybe we’ll include some real footprints and other things. We’ll have a Dr. Seuss project that we can work on every year and have a keepsake too 🙂
(I held Adaline’s hand and together we wrote out “Foot Book” and her name.)
Dr. Seuss Foot Book

I had a different plan for the handprints. Adaline really loves Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose. She’s not interested in the story so much as she just loves the illustrations of Thidwick. She’s since replaced her love of Thidwick with the ABC book, but she still really loves to look at that moose.
I thought that I’d use Adaline’s hand tracings as Thidwick’s antlers. Using Adaline’s crayons I traced Thidwick from the book cover (I don’t have time for free hand!). I took the drawing and scanned it into the computer and printed out a copy on cardstock. I cut out Adaline’s handprints (also drawn on cardstock) and glued them over top of Thidwick’s antlers. Ta-da…
Dr. Seuss Thidwick the Big-hearted Moose
The problem is that I should’ve left Thidwick’s original antlers out of my drawing and pasted the hands coming directly out of his head. For whatever reason I drew the antlers anyway, but her hands weren’t big enough to cover them completely, so I had to move them up so that the other antlers didn’t show. This just makes it look like Thidwick is wearing gloves on his antlers. Oh well.

We had a great week celebrating Dr. Seuss. Adaline seemed to enjoy all of the activities we did and the readings that we attended (at Target and the library) and she even liked the green food that we ate. It seems as though she’s in the beginning stages of becoming quite the Dr. Seuss fan (yay!). She really has a love of books and reading and I’m so excited to encourage that and make it fun for her.

How did you celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday?
Let me know in the comments!

10 Easy Dr. Seuss SnacksFree Dr Seuss fontsSplendiferous Dr Seuss Breakfast

Seuss Fails 2011 / Dr. Seuss Celebration at the Library 2011 / Dr. Seuss Storytime at Target 2011 / Read Across America with Dr. Seuss 2011


This post is linked to…
The Ultimate Dr. Seuss Linky Party 2012 @ Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas, Ready. Set. Read!, Reading Confetti, Montessori Tidbits, Make, Do & Friend, Putti Prapancha, Kitchen Counter Chronicles, Living at the Whitehead’s Zoo, Mama Mia’s Heart2Heart, Living Montessori Now, Kindergarten for Teachers and Parents, Toddler Approved, Creativity My Passion, Rainbows Within Reach, PreK and K Sharing

A Splendiferous Dr. Seuss Breakfast

When my sister and I were young our mother used to make us green eggs and ham and we thought it was the coolest thing ever. It wasn’t for Dr. Seuss’ birthday…I’m pretty sure no one thought to celebrate it back then since he was still alive at the time. It was just a random green eggs and ham breakfast…and we loved it!

Dr. Seuss’s Birthday was on Wednesday March 02 and we celebrated with a splendiferous Green Eggs and Ham breakfast.
Splendiferous Dr Seuss Breakfast

We had green scrambled eggs and green vegetarian bacon (which we call “facon”) colored with food coloring. We had our bread butterside up and drank Moose Juice (orange juice) all foods that I mentioned here.

I set out place cards that read “Here”, “There”, and “Anywhere” that I printed out on cardstock using the Grinched font.

I put down a red tablecloth and polka dot birthday hats that I got at Target. I found the white and blue plates at Target in their Easter dinnerware section (available in store only). The lines are sort of squiggly and right away they reminded me of Thing 1 and Thing 2, so I thought they’d be perfect for our Seuss breakfast. I got the cute little Cat In The Hat cup for Adaline on Amazon using my Swagbucks so it was free 🙂

Adaline seemed to really enjoy her Seuss breakfast. She kept calling the eggs “broccoli-dot”, which is how she says “broccoli”…I’m not sure why she adds the “dot” to the end. Dot or not, she ate her green eggs 🙂 During breakfast she kept pointing to the book and saying “Ham!” and “Sammy-Sam” (Sam I Am). She seemed pretty excited about it.

The hats were actually left over from Adaline’s birthday party. I had bought them for the adults to wear, but nobody did…partypoopers 😦 Adaline didn’t leave her hat on for too long, but definitely longer than I expected!

Have you ever had Green Eggs and Ham?
Let me know in the comments!

*Links to Amazon products are Associate links and I may receive a very small payment if you purchase certain items through my link.

*FREE Dr. Seuss Fonts (Links)

*10 Easy Dr. Seuss Snacks

*A Splendiferous Dr. Seuss Breakfast

*Celebrating Seuss 2011

*Seuss Fails 2011
*Dr. Seuss Celebration at the Library 2011
*Dr. Seuss Storytime at Target 2011
*Read Across America with Dr. Seuss 2011

This post is linked to…


The Ultimate Dr. Seuss Linky Party 2012

@ Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas, Ready. Set. Read!, Reading Confetti, Montessori Tidbits, Make, Do & Friend, Putti Prapancha, Kitchen Counter Chronicles, Living at the Whitehead’s Zoo, Mama Mia’s Heart2Heart, Living Montessori Now, Kindergarten for Teachers and Parents, Toddler Approved, Creativity My Passion, Rainbows Within Reach, PreK & K Sharing

Coolest Family on the Block is committed to helping you find creative ways to have fun and make memories with your family all year-long. Don’t miss an idea, tip, or trick…subscribe and have updates sent directly to your email!

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