Wednesday, November 2, 2011

She's Here!

Baby sister joined our family one week ago!  She was 6 days early, but we were so ready to meet her!  Big sister is pretty sure she loves her...  most of the time...  !

I'm doing my best to figure out the juggling 2 kids thing.  We are definitely still adjusting.  This week we are happy to have Daddy home to help!  I'll let you know how things change next week, when I'm own my own here!

As promised, here are some pictures of little miss Lucca lounging on her rainbow blanket!




I made her pretty headband in the first picture, too.  Tiny headbands are too cute!  Also, I love tiny toes. 

So there's the news!  We love our tiny girl, and I'll be trying to get back to crafting as soon as I can!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Oh Sheet, it's a dress now!


I made Raina this dress, and I think it's pretty cute! 

I didn't use a pattern, I just used one of her dresses as a guide and sort of winged it.  It's made from part of a vintage butterfly sheet from the thrift store, and a yellow rose sheet that was my grandmother's before I stole it for crafting.  :)

Sidenote:  The rest of the rose sheet was attached with spray adhesive to my windowshades during college.  I thought it looked pretty artsy and vintage, but now I wish I had that big piece of sheet back to play with!  It is SO soft and worn in... and I can dream of so many things I would do with it!

Back to the dress.  I made a bodice, and a skirt piece that was about twice as wide, maybe a little bigger so it would make lots of ruffles.  I like to hand ruffle, but you could also do it on a machine.  The straps are from the butterfly sheet, as is the facric rose at the waistline.  It still didn't look done, so a added ribbon and rickrack at the bottom to fancy things up, and some flower trim at the top of the bodice. 

I wish there was enough fabric to make one in my size! 

Unfortunately, I made this lightweight sundress at the end of September.  Poor planning, Mama!  But I could always layer it, or, at the rate Raina grows, she'll probably still be able to wear it in the spring!  Of course, there's always little sister to pass it along to down the road!

I[m also thinking I might want to line it since there's a lot of stitching showing on the inside.  I've never done that before, though, so I'm not committed to it yet.  Maybe I'll do it on a practice dress first.

P.S. - This shot is courtesy of Super Why on PBS, playing behind the camera so that little miss two would actually look at me and humor me for a second while I slipped the dress on and snapped a picture.  Thanks, PBS - you've saved my blog once again!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Rainbow taggie

Wrapped up all pretty like...
I heart taggie blankets.  And ribbon.  And rainbows.  And minky dot fabric. 

Can you see where I'm going with this?

I have, uh, a pretty solid supply of ribbon.  But with my Etsy shop in a low selling season (www.rainasunshine.etsy.com), I've been looking for some new ways to use all the pretties.  They look lonely just sitting around under my craft table waiting and wishing to be wrapped around a dowel and stuck in the oven!  Answer:  taggies!  All kids love taggies.  Something about the silky ribbon, and the rubbing, and ... I'm yawning already.  It's not just kids :).

So, I thought I'd make my own taggie - pretty simple, and a beautiful result!

Minky fabric, with ribbons pinned in place for sewing

This is one yard of white minky dot, which I could cuddle in for the better part of an afternoon.  I cut ribbons in lengths of approxamately 2.5 inches, folded them in half, and pinned them facing in on the right side.  A matching one yard piece of minky gor sandwiched on top, and I sewed it up until I had about a four inch opening left.  I turned it right side out, closed the opening, then topstitched all the way around - this gives the ribbon some extra stability and also gives the whole blanket a nice finished look.

I loves it.


Some ribbon and topstitching detail

Now, in an effort to be completely honest... I'm not showing you my entire finished blanket here :).  In the center of the front, I appliqued the name of my new baby girl, who is due next week.  (Or tonight.  I'll take tonight.)  It looks beautiful if I do say so myself.  And I do.  I printed letters off the interwebs, traced them onto scraps of fabric in various colors (leftover from fat quarters used in the bonnets), and ironed them on with fusible interfacing.  For lengevity, I also handstitched around them.  BUT... you'll have to wait to see that part.  Sorry :)   Really, I'm dying to tell.  But it's the only surprise we've kept with both girls, and we're so close now...  I can't give in!

I've done a few more taggie projects lately...  more on those later...  and hopefully an update soon with the little lady lounging on her personalized taggie!

Wearing my heart on my... knees?

The first day I had Raina wear these cool kid pants, she was NOT in the mood to model.  She was feeling very 2.5.  She was interested only in the flamingoes, and was pretty annoyed that the rides at the zoo had the nerve to be shut down on a weekday on October.  Nevertheless, I managed to grab a few shots of pants in action...
She is telling me to "Shoo."  Seriously.  Does it get more two than that?!

Okay, back to the pants.  These are pretty basic pants.  I traced a pair of Raina's pants onto this fabric, which I love, and which JoAnn Fabrics is now completely sold out of.  Apparentyl a lot of other people like it too.  Fortunately, I had the foresight to buy 2 yards of it, so I'm making it last!  You may remember it from my last post, where it made an appearance on a few bonnets.  You'll likely see it again soon.  Here are some close-ups of it's loveliness:
Can't get enough of it.  Any thoughts on more projects I should use it on?

Wait.  Pants.  Wasn't I getting back to the pants?  I traced a pair of Raina's pants onto the folded fabric, right at the bottom.  No hemming!  Raina is lanky, and has a pants problem.  As in, the don't fit her.  Ever.  Pants that are the right length literally fall off her bottom, and pants that fir correctly in the waist are capris.  So I make her pants.  I love the pants I make her, and she tolerates them.  :)  I sewed the front and back pieces together, inserted an elastic waistband, closed the seam... PANTS!  But they were missing something.

When I was little, I remember my mom making (what I remember being) some pretty sweet knee patches for my pants out of iron on bonding material... those patches sold to reinforce knees, elbows, and other parts of clothing that get worn quickly (are there other parts?)  Mostly, I remember them being cat patches... which seems weird looking back since my mom is totally not a cat person, but wharever.  My point:  knee patches.  I decided these pants needed some decoration in the knee area.  The heart patches are made from heavy-ish red jersey, reclaimed from a red t-shirt that's been in my "do something with this" pile for a while now, and can finally breathe a sigh of relief, knowing it will be loved again.

Knee patches, on cute pants.


PANTS!  Displayed lovingly on my kitchen floor, because my camera is dying and that's where the light is best :)
I give these pants an A+.  They are soft, comfy, and go with lots of Raina's shirts.  I especially love that they go with the Big Sister shirt.  Raina loves that they are pink and have a heart on them, thus making them "princess pants."  Whatever works, right?

Big Sis, princess pants, and the zoo Jeep... and a SMILE!

Monday, October 24, 2011

In my fuzzy bonnet...

So.  It seems that when I start making something new, I make it to death.  Not necessarily a bad thing, just a trend I'm noticing.  Hairbows?  Yeah, we've got a few.  Now my workspace (um, kitchen table) is covered in fleece and pins and flanel in pretty little girly prints.  I figured I'm expecting a girl, and they're cute, so if I'm making one...  why not make 15 more? 



I was browsing the interwebs one day (thanks, Pinterest!) and found a super-cute baby bonnet tutorial on Prudent Baby, a blog I am completely addicted to.  I started looking into other bonnet utorials, and I was hooked.  I am a huge fan of hats on babies, but the ones I like always cost eleventy billion dollars and are sold at specialty boutiques that don't appreciate visits from a harried mom and her spirited toddler :).  SO, as always, I thought "I CAN MAKE THAT!"  (My husband's least favorite phrase by now, for realz.)  I played around with all the tutorials, gave my seam ripper a good workout, stabbed my fingers with pins a lot, tweaked, played... and ended up with, in my opinion, the most awesomely adorable and cozy reversible baby bonnets in three lovely little sizes! 


                                                       (showcasing the reversible-ness)

My first tries (and actually, one of my top fave bonnets) were made from cotton fat quarters, but since it is getting chilly here, it seemed like a good idea to try out some fabrics that would keep little heads toasty warm in the upcoming months.  I ended up making flannel/fleece bonnets in newborn and 3 month sizes, and cotton ones in a 6-ish month size.

And can I just say - I am in LOVE with these bonnets.  I donated some to my church craft fair to raise money for the Susan G. Komen foundation, and they were (to say the least) well received.  It helps that about 8 women in my church have young babies or are expecting, but seriously - the requests to make a sweet hat for all the little ladies at church were more than I expected!  Also, Raina has requested a purple hat that is "just for Meow.  No baby."  Stat.  I love that little girl! 

                                Meow, modeling a rainbow version while he waits on his purple one.

A few things about the bonnets...
1.  Each one has a piece of elastic sewn inside the two layers so that it fits better across the back of the baby's head.  Without the elastic (which was a huge headache at first!  There is NO good way to do this step, but it really is worth it) there is a funny gap at the back of the neck unless it is made to fit each individual baby. 
2.  I used ribbon for the ties.  Long pieces of ribbon.  In no way would this pass any child safety standards.  I know that.  But I also know that I'm not going to put my baby to bed in a bonnet, and I know that I keep a close watch over babes in my care.  Babies should not be left unattended with long pieces of string.
3.  Two pieces of fleece sounds cute and cozy, but in my experience it is bulky and hard to work with, especially in the tiny sizes.
4.  Fat quarters are perfect for this project.  They give you about enough fabric for 2 bonnets, or one and a ruffle if you are haphazard with your pattern placement, like I am sometimes :)  You get lots of variety without a big pricetag, and you wont get as tired of the fabric as if you had bought a yard off the bolt.  Or maybe that's just me.

I think that's it.




                             A few of the cozy reversibles...  my faves, and a holiday version!

So basically, I adapted this pattern:  http://www.prudentbaby.com/2010/01/fleece-bonnet.html
This is the pattern from prudent baby.  (Also shown on their blog in cotton in another post).  This is what is, in my research, a 6-ish month.  I scaled it down a few times to make tinier versions, leaving the length of the pattern pieces intact, but tracing in about .5 inches on the sides/top.  It was trial and error.  I'm really not a pattern maker or follower.  I made the ruffle strip longer and wider, 'cause I love me a good ruffle.  After one successful attempt at their binding and elastic method, and a few frustrating ones that left me with what I considered to be under-par results, I changed the last few steps to be as follows:
1.  After making the inside layer and outside layer, and ruffling the ruffle... I made a sandwich.  No, not PB&J!  Two layers, right sides facing, with the ruffle facing in and sandwiched neatly in the middle, and two pieces of ribbon pinned in at the bottom edges right next to the ruffle (which were inside the layers when it was sewn).  I pinned the crap out of it and sewed all the way around, leaving just enough space to turn the whole thing right side out. 
2.  Once it was right side out, I inserted a piece of elastic about half the length of the back piece and sewed it into place with some barely noticeable tiny stitches.
3.  To finish the opening, I folded the edges in and slip-stitched it closed.  No visible stitches anywhere on the outside.

(I am pretty terrible at explaining my steps.  If you have questions, feel free to ask!)

Ta-da!  Bonnets!  Lots of them.  Seriously, lots.  My baby is going to have one on at all times.


Two of the cotton versions - I loved mixing and matching the patterns for these!  Seriously, fat quarters give you so many options! 

Side view, on a wine galss.  I love the way the elastic gathers at the back!

Side view of my first (and maybe favorite), on a worm model.  That butterfly fabric.  I want it everywhere.

Embellished with felt "buttons," sewed on securely!



More details of my fave.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sigh.

I was doing so well at this blog thing for a few months there.  Then I went and got preggers again.  Suddenly, morning sickness and exhaustion took over my world... mucking with my blogging and being an awesome momma.  I think we spent most of last spring slo-mo-ing through the mornings, finalling rolling into Dunkin Donuts every day around 10 for bagels.  Bagels were all I could eat for months.  I was pretty sure when I had my first ultrasound, it was going to be a bagel on the screen instead of a baby.  Instead, it's "probably a girl," and probably due any time now!  Officially, my due date is Halloween, but I'm pretty done and would take a baby over a pumpkin in my shirt any day now. 



Lately, I've been felling pretty good... that whole nesting thing.  With Raina, my nesting was "The Three C's" ...cooking, crafting, and cleaning.  I've decided to lighten my load a little this time around, so I've decided to skip the cleaning part.  :)  I feel good about that decision.  My next few posts are going to show some of the projects I've been working on...  which currently number about 57.  Yeah.  Crafting ADD. 

Hopefully you can get some inspiration to get your own craft on, and maybe forgive me a little for my extended absence.  Because, let's face it:  I'm funny.  You missed me.  Right?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Cheese and Potatoes. Cheesy Potatoes. The best.

 This recipe is a comfort food I remember from my childhood...  and from every Christmas dinner... and from last week :).  They are seriously delicious - and seriously not a health food!  I've experimented with making a lower fat version by adding different kinds and amounts of cheeses, and by mixing in chopped veggies.  These experiments are always yummy... but the original is what I keep going back to!


I've been digging into my recipe box lately trying to find some things I can make in large batches and freeze part of to have on hand when Little Sister arrives next month... these cheesy potatoes almost jumped out of the box and into my hands.  I think they want me to make them.  Bad.  I'm sure they aren't on the "losing the baby weight" diet, but I'm willing to accept that in the name of ease and comfort and gooey cheese.



1 package Ore Ida Hash Browns
1 pint light cream
1 stick margarine or butter
8oz. Velveeta cheese

1.  Preheat to 350 degrees
2.  Melt marg/butter and cheese over med to low heat.  Mix in cream. 
3.  Take off heat.
4.  Put potatoes (still frozen) into 13x9 pammed/greased pan.
5.  Pour cheese mix over.
6.  Sprinkle with paprika and pepper.
7.  Bake covered with foil 45 mins.
8.  Uncover and bake an additional 20 mins.

YUM!!!!


Go make them.  Now.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Making a Memory

The other day, I brought Raina with me to my Dad's grave to help clean up the Christmas decorations and plant some new spring flowers.  This isn't the first time she's been with me while we do this, though this is the first time she's been so much of a participant in the activities.   She loved shopping for flowers (new favorite word?  "PAY!"  Oh boy....).  She loved digging the dirt, filling the bucket with water, washing down the stone, and patting down the fresh soil around the flowers.  She loved the pack of wild turkeys roaming the cemetary (terrifying).  She had no idea what we were really doing.  I'm okay with that, because I know that soon enough, she will, and hopefully, she'll have these memories to look back on when she's older.

I never knew my Dad's parents, my paternal Grampa and Nana.  But I have the memories that I want my own daughter to have, of visiting this special place - planting and cleaning and telling stories.  I have fond and clear memories of going with my Dad to pick out flowers (usually red geraniums), driving to the cemetary (and always parking in the same place by the water spicket), filling buckets, washing the stone, planting fresh flowers.  My Dad wasn't necessarily one to tell stories of his youth, but at the cemetary they came out.  Stories of birthdays, of youthful hijinx, of things he remembered his parents saying or doing.  I never knew my Dad's parents, but because of these rituals, of these times spent at the cemetary, I felt in some small way that I DID know them.  If nothing else, I knew for sure that my Dad knew them.  That they were real, and in his memory always.  That he loved them.  I could tell by the way he took care of the stone that he cared for them.  That there was respect and love.  There were not many times when I felt like I could see through my Dad like this.

Raina will never know my Dad.  This makes me sad, and wistful, and (somehow) nostalgic for baseball card chewing gum.  All I can do is show her the same things my Dad showed me and my sister, by bringing her here and repeating what was such an imporant part of my childhood, even if I didn't know it at the time.  We will pick out flowers together (though probably not geraniums), usually at the same store I always went to with my Dad.  We will drive to the cemetary and park in the same spot.  We will fill, wash, plant, talk.  This is where she will get to know the man that I called Daddy.  This is where I will tell her stories, and this is where we will make memories. 


Our flowers, and and oldie of me modeling my Dad's fire helmet.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Spring has sprung!

and we have the dirty fingernails to prove it!



Happy Dirt-Day to you,
Happy Dirt-Day to you!
Happy Dirt-Day to you-ooo,
Happy Dirt-Day to you!
and muddy moooooooooooore.........



This kid loves her some dirt!  She's going to be awfully sad this weekend when we plant veggies in her diggin' box and she can't go scrounging for worms anymore.  Sandbox time?  Here are some of Raina's top favorite things to do with dirt:
1.  Make dinner for Meow.  Soup or pudding?  You be the judge!
2.  Take it in handfuls from the planter to her playhouse and throw it through the windows.
3.  Use her Spongebob shovel to spread the dirt in a nice even layer on the steps.
4.  Pretend the dirt is a bandaid by dumping it on her forearm and yelling "Booboo!  Ouchie!"  When the booboo is better, she yells "happy!" then blows the dirt off her arm as if blowing out birthday candles.
5.  Wipe it on my pants.  Love it.  
  
To quote Oscar the Grouch, "I LOVE DIRT!"

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Recipe review: White Bean, Bacon, and Tomato Soup

I'm a sucker for soup.

My hubby found this soup on Jamie Oliver's "20 minute meal" app, one of the many (many) food related apps he has added to his Nook.  Should I be taking a hint here?  I'm trying to ignore it.  Anywho, I like Jamie Oliver, in general.  As much as you can like a person you've never met before, I suppose.  Last season we watched and enjoyed his show "Food Revolution," and are enjoying this season's adventures as well.  His recipes seem yummy and simple.

This one was picked out in yet another attempt at "meal planning," a concept we talk a lot about, but never actually get around to doing.  The subject usually comes up when it's been about a week since we've been grocery shopping last, and our meal choices seem to be centered around pasta or breakfast foods, yet again.  So he chose this from the "delicious soups" category, read me the ingredients, and I went shopping.  Celery, onion, garlic, cherry tomatoes, chicken broth, white beans, bacon, chives.  Easy peasy.  At the store, I buy:  a large package of celery, 3 onions, a bulb of garlic, 2 pints of cherry tomatoes, 2 boxes of chicken broth, 2 cans of white beans, a package of bacon, and a fairly large bunch of chives.

Two days later...

I find myself bored with FaceBook and JewelQuest at naptime, and decide to go give this soup a try.  COOKIES!  There are cookies in the kitchen!  OOH!  Cookies!  I get a little distracted.   Okay, soup.  For the first time, I look at the recipe, which is on the "nookie," my loving nickname for the little screen thingy with word games on it that goes to sleep and locks itself far too quickly for me.  I am shocked.  I will need the following for my soup, to feed 4:
1 stalk of celery  (1!!  1?!?!)
1 small onion
1 clove of garlic (I am suspicious of any recipe that calls for one lonely garlic clove)
4 ounces halved cherry tomatoes (I have no idea how much 4 ounces is, so I go with "most of the pint" as my measurement)
1 can white beans
1 quart chicken broth (which I decide means one box)
3 slices of bacon  (this sounds crazy.  I make it 4 and feel good about my decision)
small handfull of chives
glug of olive oil  (whatever you say, Mr.  Oliver...)
a hand pulser (naughty!)

So we begin, my small stash of ingredients and I.

I fry up my roughly chopped bacon, then spoon some some onto a plate for later.  Mr. Oliver suggests I keep my reserved bacon warm in the oven, but my oven is busy preheating for my peasant's treat - crescent rolls.  Yum!)
While the bacon fried, I busily shopped my "veg,"  the lonely foursome of celery, garlic, onion, and tomato.  Now that I have only half my bacon remaining in the pan, I add the veg, along with a "glug" of olive oil.  I channeled my inner Emeril and "glugged" away.  Measuring is for sissies!  The veg would continue to simmer for about 10 minutes, or until they were nice and soft but not mushy.  I "gave it a good old stir" once in a while to keep things even. 
In anither (far too large) pan, I got my broth simmering, and added the beans.  They simmered alongside the veg-party while I ransacked my cupboards for the hand pulser, and popped open my tube of crescent rolls.  The recipe advised me that this would be a good time to get my table looking respectable.  I should get out my cutlery and bowls, and set out sme nice drinks.  I pushed aside the playdoh tools, restacked the fruit bowl, and thought that should do it.  Respectable table and toddler don't go well together.
After roughly 10 minutes had passed (timing isn't the most important part of this recipe), the broth and beans got poured into the soft veg and bacon mixture.  It smelled good, and looked like it could even have been served like that.  But we were not done, oh no!!  We were not done. 
TIME TO HAND PULSE!  Woo-hoo!  After deciding that the low pan currently holding my soup was insufficient for the task ahead, I transferred everything back to the too-big pan and pulsed my heart out.  I left it slightly chunky for a rustic feel, which was the suggestion of the creator.

Verdict:  Delicious.  Seriously delicious.  Even more so when you are dunking crescent rolls in it.  Even Raina ate a fair amount of it (she is also now in love with crescent rolls).  We ate good sized bowls (Raina shared my bowl), and had enough left for one more.  It made more soup than I expected, and I was pleasantly surprised!

So there you have it... Jamie Oliver is the white wizard of Britain, created hearty portions of yummy soup out of what seemed like far too few ingredients.  We'll be making this again!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mom Confessions

Before Raina was born, I had spent a fair amount of time around kids.  My mom ran a home daycare, I babysat for years, and was a preschool teacher.  I figured I had seen enough to know what I was doing, at least most of the time.  The realities of having a baby (and then a toddler!) in my house 24/7 changed some things, though.  I know I am a great Mom, regardless of what others may think form time to time, and am making the best decisions for my family.  So here's a big fat PHOOEY to the lady at GAP who took one look at Raina helping me paw through the clearance rack and announced loudly and to no one in particular "I like it when MY kids sit in their stroller while I shop!"  Good for you, lady.  Here's a few other things I don't care about being judged for...
*I resort to bribery.  A tube of mini m&m's has saved my sanity more than once.  I'm also not against giving my kid toys to play with in the cart in Target, and then putting them all back in the health and beauty aisles.
*Those giant carts at the grocery store with cars on the front?  LOVE.  We would not make it past aisle 2 without them most times.
*Raina knows Dunkin Donuts by sight.  And Panera.  And Starbucks.  We like bagels and chocolate milk.  So what?
*YouTube is my friend. 
*Sometimes I let Raina play at the sink so I have a few minutes to stand next to her and read a People magazine while I drink my coffee.
*Popsicles?  A breakfast food.  They're made of fruit, right?
*Giving daily baths sounds like the worst thing ever to me.  Unless she's filthy, a few times a week is fine.
*I'm a short order cook.  Sometimes my family of 3 eats 3 different things for dinner.  Bananas, yogurt, and a string cheese count as meal options.
*I said I'd never buy a hot dog.  And I would definitely never mix it with mac and cheese.  My daughter thinks this is a gourmet feast, though, so now I stock up on weird little meat sticks.  Yum?
*I am able to step ovver piles of toys and clothes without even noticing them sometimes,  I can shut the door to the basement and immediately forget about any laundry that maight be hiding down there.  Beds are never made, counters are sometimes sticky for longer than I'd like to admit.  My day is all about having fun with my girl - housework can wait!

Yep, it's all true.  I had notions of being super housewife extroidinairre... but have learned that I'm content to just be me.  Laundry piles on the couch, pasta for dinner again, and one smiley happy girl in my arms!





Here we are at the playgound, not wearing coats and neglecting chores that need to be done at home!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Birthday Party plans

Last year, for Raina's first birthday party, here's a partial list of preparations I made:
1.  Narrow down a way-too-long list of possible places to celebrate, decide on a place that's not really convenient for anyone, but seems good anyway.
2.  Create handmade invitations, and mail them out to everyone I know.  End up spending waaaay more than expected, in time and money. 
3.  Make decorations.  Hundreds of them, all with a personal touch.
4.  Food.  Lots of food.  And make it all at home, by myself, while taking care of an almost-toddler.  This ended in TONS of leftovers.  I actually just threw out the remainder of the Costco sized box of Goldfish last month. 
5.  Bake a cake for Raina, and cupcakes for the rest of the party-goers.  Also crazy considering I was working 4 days a week then and had one day to accomplish all baking and cooking tasks.  Thanks GOODNESS for Auntie Karen!  She saved the day.)
6.  Find a special outfit for Raina to wear, head to toe
7.  Take the cupcake theme and run with it, scouring catalogs and websites to find every last perfect touch
8.  Research the best prices on helium tanks.  Seriously.
101.  Make lists.  Reorganize.  Make more lists.

Pictures?  I've got a few...


( the cupcakes... although they looked more like this in my daydreaming/wildest party planning imaginings...)






It was quite a production.  I've joked that I planned mre for Raina's first birthday party than I did for my wedding... and I'm only half joking!  (Or maybe even 25% joking)  It cost more than I expected, and it was a LOT of work.  Not that she wasn't totally and completely worth it... but for party #2, I was looking for a little less stress.


This year, my list was slightly shorter:
1.  Reserve indoor playground 4 minutes from our house

2.  Send email invites (from Pingg.com) to immediate family, Raina's little friends, and a few of her other favorite peeps.

3.  Order a cake.  Broken stove = no homemade kitty cake.  (Okay, that ended up changing.  Stove got fixed the morning before the party, so I DID manage to make a kitty cake...  Even wothout an Auntie Karen to help this year!)


4.  Convince other people to bring snacks  ("Wouldn't it be fun to have an Edible Arrangement at Raina's party??")

5.  Make cat lollipops for favors (Raina's favorite part!)


We had a blast.  ...and I'm pretty sure the guests did, too!  :)




(and just in case you were wondering... both Raina's flower clippies and my flower pin came from this shop: Murdock Design on Etsy  I love her bright designs!)