Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words may be encouragement to them. Ephesians 4:29b

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A "Veg-Double" Bouncy Birthday

Candoozy #1:
My kiddos are exactly two years and one week apart. So, basically, we are broke every March. :) To lessen the load of time and financial burden a bit, we've doubled up on their birthdays the last 2 years. This year they miraculously agreed on a theme: Veggie Tales! The whole family enjoys Larry, Bob and Gang, and the kids can't get enough of them. Good Christian values injected with fun and humor makes for great TV in the Baker household!

Last year's Mouska-Party at home took a lot of time and energy, so this year I opted to take it easy and reserve the nearby bouncy house. With 8 energetic 5 to 7-year-old boys and 10+ under 3's running and crawling around, the bouncy spot was definitely worth it! (also good for rain or cold)

The Invite...
Based on the venue and theme, this is the invitation I came up with. The first lines must be sung to the Veggie Tales theme song, of course! I was so excited after I wrote it - I'm such dork sometimes! :) I printed these on cardstock and glued them to red, orange, green or yellow pieces of 5x7 foam paper. I bought lime green envelopes.

The Outfit...
I took it easy this year after stitching last year's mouska-shirts and ordered from VeggieTales.com my son's purple shirt of LarryBoy's face embroidered. LarryBoy is Larry the Cucumber in superhero form - my son's favorite character. My daughter chose Laura Carrot, which I thought was cute since most gals would choose Princess Pea, not the little blonde carrot girl. Perfect for my blondie. Big Idea had no Laura shirts, so I bought a peach one for (no plain orange out there!) and printed out a Laura image on iron-on paper. Embroidering would've turned out cuter for hers, but digitizing is expensive and my daughter didn't mind the iron-on at all. :) It was definitely simple to do! Here are their shirts amidst Birthday Heaven:

The Cakes...
Cakes were a big decision for me. I was teetering between making and purchasing. In the end I opted to create my vision and make them myself, the cheaper option for two cakes. :) By the way, I may be a "Baker," but I am no BAKER! Duncan Hines and Wilton are now very close friends of mine. I simplified things by making them the shape of the cake pan,which provided the most servings. Like the shirts, the heads and faces were my focus. I would like to give a shout-out to my childhood best bud and super cake-baker Kelly B. for her tips and advice along the way. You CO Springs folks need her number!  Below are some cake shots. Most are of the Laura cake since Mom was nearby with the Nikon. 

Laura Carrot cake: Strawberry cake, peach icing (more girly to me than orange), orange gum ball for the nose, black jelly beans halved for eyeballs and Peep red hearts and yellow chicks for the hairdo. Black & white icing tubes made the eyes/mouth and I used stencils to help me with their shapes.

LarryBoy cake: Chocolate fudge cake, Oreo for the nose, jelly bean halves for eyeballs, halved mini marshmallow for the tooth and food-sprayed ice cream cones for his plungers. Larry shoots them from his head, similar to spiderman shooting his web, if you were wondering. Icing tubes made the eyes/mouth and I used stencils to help me with their shapes.

The Decor...
The venue kept decor a bit simpler than I normally go. Solid vegetable colors of red, orange, yellow and green were easy to find. I got dollar store plates, napkins, tablecloth and party hats. I used some $2 glass containers for candy (see favors), plastic Easter egg halves for pops of color, plastic vegetables in a large vase and Veggie Tale playset characters as a finishing touch! I decided I needed a cake table backdrop, so I thought up a circle idea and my mom cut out veggie color cardstock circles and glued along 6' of curling ribbon to hang behind the table. Balloons were provided (in colors desired) by the venue. I would like to give credit to Jennifer of MyLilGuy.com for the cute balloon idea from her son's Veggie Tales party! I printed out some Veggie Tales face printables I found online and a little tape - wa-la!. Here's the finished party room. Thanks to my mom Jan and bud Kelly M for helping speed-decorate in the 10-minute window they gave us!

The Favors...
So the favors were probably my favorite thing about the party. More props to MyLilGuy.com for the idea of cute candy veggies! I came up with this veggie mix for the bigger kids' party favors:
  • Tomatoes - cherry sours
  • Carrots - Reeses Pieces
  • Corn - Lemon Heads
  • Peas - fruit-flavored Lemon Heads (green only)
  • Green Beans - green Twizzlers and Sour Straws, cut to 1"
Toddler snack favor inspiration below. If you've seen The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything (VT Movie), you'll definitely get it.

Yup - Cheese Curls!! In the movie, Sedgewick (above) is obsessed with cheese curls and discovers a mob of them. Cheetos Natural Cheese Puffs were my choice. The complete party favor bag was filled with veggie candy mix or cheese curls, in addition to VT Fruit Snacks, an official "God Made You Special" wrist band from VeggieTales.com and a character sticker. I wrapped the goods in green tissue paper, put them in cellophane treat bags and tied them with red ribbon and a foam tag for the kids' names. On hand I had the bags, foam paper (from invites) and ribbon (I have a lot)! I made sticker tags for the treats and bags by printing an image and text on address labels. Here are shots of the treats and the packaged favors:

The Fun...
I couldn't post this without giving a (very) small glimpse of the joy had by all! There were many more blessed friends and family and we thank all of those who celebrated with us.

The Thank-You's...
The kids were very blessed with many wonderful gifts. To thank everyone, I made these simple thank-you cards for the kids my son to sign . A simple way to make a cute thank-you card is with blank card, a stamp and a sticker! I spent a few bucks on a box of blank cards to use for various note-sending occasions, a dollar on a stamp and free the stickers with my VeggieTales.com purchase!

Well, if you have a Veggie Tales-obsessed child, feel free to take these simple ideas and create them an easy, fun and affordable shin-dig this year! If you do, I'd love to see and hear about it! You can add some things like Veggie Tales music (we played some in the party room) or a DVD in the background, games and fun wall decor. I've seen some great stuff out there! My final shout-out goes to my best friend and hubby Todd for his support in all of this and for taking some of the amazing photos you see in this post! He and I are slowly getting handy with the Nikon so hopefully the photos continue to get better! Thanks, Babe!

I hope you enjoyed my very first party post! I see it as a blessing to be able to share it with all of you. If you have any questions feel free to comment or email me directly at clearlycandace@gmail.com. And remember....God made you special and he loves you very much!

With Him in mind,

Tip Junkie handmade projectsThe Girl CreativeJoin  us Saturdays at tatertotsandjello.com for the weekend wrap 
 up           party!
Get Your Craft On Tuesday

Monday, March 28, 2011

And We're OFF!

Welcome to Clearly Candace!
It's about time, right? I had no clue it would be so hard finding the "right look" for this blog. And HTML? Geesh! Yep it looks naked, but it's a work in progress and you can be assured that I'll be adding and changing as I go (and learn). Suggestions are always welcome!

I would like to start by thanking everyone who give input on the blog name! Clearly Candace won by a large margin, which was awesome given my lack of big decision making. Candoozy was the runner-up, so I also took that Blogspot name (just in case). ;) This adorable font for the logo also sold me, in addition to the ribbon background since I kind of have a thing for ribbon. (You'll see why soon enough.)

About Me...
My name is Candace Baker. I'm a native Texan in love with Jesus, my family and friends, the Fightin' Texas Aggies and "my little passions." I am...
  • the wife of a wonderful, amazing husband dedicated to his family,
  • a busy and proud SAHM of two precious preschoolers,
  • a part-time Program Manager for a local non-profit org,
  • a resident and citizen of Cedar Park, TX (NW of Austin) in the best neighborhood ever,
  • and the all-around "Baker Family Coordinator," for lack of a better term.

Simply Compelled...
This was yet another blog name idea and with good reason! I have found that sharing my "little passions" with others is a rewarding thing for me. Blessing and helping bring me joy - that joy comes from my Lord and Savior and the provider of the things I give. Without Him, I am nothing, so I was compelled to help and encourage others by using my "little passions" in hopes of glorifying Him along the way. So, here I am. We'll just have to see where He takes me. A few tips and ideas may not seem like much, but sometimes a little love and help can truly bless others. My prayer is that a little help and encouragement be the purpose (see also the Scripture in my blog title) that provide a little joy and simplicity as a result. :)

My "little passions" currently include simple, affordable party ideas (kid parties, baby showers, and other small celebrations), home organization (one of my nerdy loves) and expectant mommy and baby gifts! I imagine new interesting thoughts and topics will be added to the mix as we go.

Since I didn't choose Candoozy as the blog name, I'll make it a Clearly Candace term. My first Candoozy will be my simple celebration for some special kiddos this month. :) It was less detail than usual for me because of the party venue, but it sure was nice to sit back and enjoy more time with family and friends this year!
In the meantime, it'd be great if you could Follow Me (Google/Twitter-to-be), Like Me (FB) and help spread the word by recommending Clearly Candace to others out there who might enjoy it (email, blog, website, etc). Without an audience, I don't really have a mission! :) With that, I thank each of you for reading and caring and I appreciate your interest, love, friendship and support!

With Him in mind,