Sammy’s Vintage Car Party

My boy loves cars. Any all kinds of cars. Fire trucks, trash trucks, race cars, speedsters…

Let’s just say he doesn’t discriminate when it comes to anything with wheels.

So what else could I do, but throw my baby his very own car party???

I just loved how it all came together (which, quite frankly, was a miracle this time around).

My favorite parts might have been the vintage car photo wall (a collection I scored on Ebay) and the “Vroom Vroom” cake. I love simple cakes with unique toppers, if you haven’t already noticed. ;)

And oh, how I loved the cookies. I knew just what I wanted and asked Frances at Banana Bakery if she could make them. Boy, did she exceed my expectations! If you live in the DFW area, you must look her up. Simply amazing.

I love throwing parties, especially for my babies. I’m starting to think it’s my love language.

It was such a fun day celebrating my sweet Samuel (who I STILL can’t believe is two). He was on cloud nine the entire day. Which–of course–meant Mommy was, too.

I’ve included a couple of snaps from the day (thanks to Alica Skinner Photography for capturing most of them!) If you are curious about sources, just shoot me an email. Happy to answer what I can!

And now, it’s time to start planning Isaiah’s fifth birthday party. (Seriously, I can’t even talk about it.)

Happy birthday, sweet Samuel. As always, I hope you loved your party as much as I loved throwing it for you. Just seeing you grin from ear to ear, that’s all I need in this life. I love you, baby. And your happiness is my happiness. Here’s to being two.

Love, Mommy

Vintage Car Party

CarParty3

CarParty4

CarParty5

CarParty11

CarParty7

CarParty9

CarParty8

CarParty1

CarParty6

Sammy3

Disney Movie Nights: Cars

So…fun fact: We’re Disney fanatics.

Did you know that about us?

For me, it goes waaaay back.

I can actually remember tearing up as I walked into Disneyland for the very first time. I vowed right then and there that I would come back with my children (multiple times), and that Disney would be a huge part of my life.

I was six.

And sure enough, as I  grew, my Disney obsession grew right along with me. Just as it should be.

You know those commercials? Where the family of four is sitting on the couch with a bowl of popcorn…and the lights go down while the Disney movie starts to roll???

My life-long dream was to be THAT FAMILY.

I literally thought my heart might explode the first time I piled on the couch to watch a Disney movie with my boys. And I can’t say for sure, but I might have done an ugly cry.

Fast forward to today. It’s just as thrilling for me, every single time. It will NEVER get old.

And now that they are getting older, it’s the perfect time to add a little more FUN to it.

So we’re starting a new tradition called Disney Movie Nights.

Every Friday night is “family night” around our house. And about one Friday a month we do a movie night (most always Disney).

For our Disney Movie Nights, I pick the movie a few days ahead…then plan a simple dinner menu around it. Nothing fancy, just some fun themed food, and then we roll the movie. With cuddles. And pillows. On the couch.

Cue the sound of my heart beating.

This past week was CARS.

DisneyMovieNightsCARS15

Y’all. You would have thought the boys had died and gone to heaven. We had Flo’s Fruit…

DisneyMovieNightCARS1

Mack’s Drive-In Popcorn…

DisneyMovieNightCARS8

 Fillmore’s Organic Fuel…

DisneyMovieNightCARS5

 Tow Mater’s Taters…

DisneyMovieNightCARS6

 Lightning’s Diesel Dogs…

DisneyMovieNightCARS4

And Luigi’s Tires for dessert…

DisneyMovieNightCARS2

I mean, it was so easy to put together. It maybe took thirty minutes, total? And it was well worth it, for the looks on their faces alone.

The hardest part was stealing the boys’ CARS characters to decorate with.

And as soon as Isaiah saw the set up, he INSISTED on decorating the table with the rest of his CARS.

Melt. My. Heart.

DisneyMovieNightCARS10

We’re already so excited about the next one!

Theme Months!

SportsMonth3

They’re baaaaaaack!

And we are so stinking excited to start up again.

Life got a little crazy last Fall when Isaiah went to school. His school did their own theme months of sorts, so ours went by the wayside. Sammy was also pretty little at the time.

But now? It’s Summer, and that means it’s the perfect time to start them back up. Plus, Sammy’s the perfect age to participate!

If you are unfamiliar with our theme months, you can read this post and get caught up to speed.

But long story short?

I’m a girl that needs some structure. And I love being creative with my children….in a non-complicated, EASY way. Theme months allow me to do just that.

It’s a home run for all of us. Which leads me to….

SPORTS MONTH! (See what I did there?)

We kicked off our June with a sports-filled Mystery Box.

Just a short recap: At the beginning of each month, I put out a Mystery box (got ours here) filled with clues to what that month’s theme will be. It’s usually filled with items we already have on hand. Sometimes I add a few dollar store finds to get them excited.

When they boys wake up on the first day of the month, they run SCREAMING to the box. It’s pretty epic.

SportsMonth2

From that point on, we do one themed activity every weekday (either an activity, craft, or themed meal).

It sounds like a lot, but it’s honestly SO EASY. For example, I didn’t  have anything planned today because I wasn’t feeling well yesterday (P.S. It’s okay to skip a day, life happens!). So on a whim, I said… “Load up the car! We’re going to the Athletic Store!”

And honestly, it was one of our favorite activities to date! We spent so much time wandering around the store, learning about every kind of sport. It was our very own sports crash course.

Other activities take a bit more planning, but I get to pick those days, to make sure it all doesn’t become “too much.”

We’re posting our list a few days late. For those who follow along, SORRY. I’ll always try to post at the first of the month.

But better late than never, right??? At least, that’s what I tell myself.

Anyway, here’s our list for SPORTS MONTH!

1. Play plastic cup golf (use golf clubs to shoot plastic golf balls into plastic cups set up all over the house).

2. Go to a Baseball Game!

3. Make Oreo Baseball Bites.

SportsMonth5

4. Go to your local sports store and PLAY.

5. Make a basketball snack.

6. Go swimming.

7. Make football hand prints.

8. Make up your own pep Rally (complete with stuffed animals).

9. Play touch football.

10. Go to a little-league Baseball game!

11. Play toddler tennis.

SportsMonth4

12. Play a game of basketball (indoor or outdoor).

13. Learn how to play volleyball.

14. Go bathtub fishing (or real fishing if you can!).

15. Go to your local outdoor track, and let the kids race! 

16. Learn how to play soccer.

17. Go go-cart racing!

18. Play mini-golf.

19. Learn about archery.

20. Go cheer on a 5K or marathon!

 

I also like to throw in a few creative activities of our own, so I’ll be posting those as we go (as time permits).

Until then…

Happy Sports Month, Mommas!

 

Meet Lucille (Our Vintage Camper)

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to introduce you to our newest family member.

Everyone…meet Lucille.

Lucille7

In case you didn’t know (or you don’t follow me on Pinterest)…I’ve had a love for vintage campers ever since I can remember. Heck, I have a love of all things vintage. Period.

But I’m pretty sure I can trace my camper obsession back to this little gem. Tell me you’ve seen it…

The_Long,_Long_Trailer_poster

If you haven’t seen The Long, Long Trailer with Lucille Ball…let me tell you, you’re missing out. From the moment I saw it, I just knew I was meant to travel the country in my very own camper, collecting memories. And rocks. (Watch it, and you’ll get it.)

Then I met my adventurous husband. He, too, has a love for travel. And all things vintage. But most importantly…campers.

It was a match made in heaven.

We always knew we wanted to buy one, to renovate and call our own. And when we found this one on our recent trip to Colorado, it was too good to turn down.

We spotted Lucille from the side of the road in New Mexico, and promptly pulled over to inquire about her. We met Leroy, her owner, who gave us a tour and told us all about her.

We drove away that day, vowing to “think about it.” And when we couldn’t get her off our mind, we made the return trip to bring her home.

We’ve got big plans for little Lucille. I can’t wait to fix her up, and style her out. But most importantly, we have big plans for our little family. Adventures we can’t wait to share with our boys. Camping. Traveling the country. Seeing sights that they’d never see flying from here to there.

It’s a lifelong dream, come to fruition.

I just can’t wait for the memories to begin.

A few details for those who are interested:

She’s a 1958 Play-mor. She sleeps 2 adults and 2 kids (one full bed, and one fold out). She’s got a complete kitchen with a dining nook. No bathroom (which we don’t mind–less to clean).

Here are a few “before” pictures. She’s got a long way to go, but we’re confident we can handle it. Projects like this feed our souls.

Lucille3

Lucille5

Lucille4

Lucille1

Lucille2

Lucille6

The biggest challenge? Definitely the water damage. It’s practically impossible to find a vintage trailer without water damage these days. So when we poked around and realized her’s was contained and fixable, we decided to take it on. Everything else is strictly cosmetic. The electrical is intact. The gas stove is intact. The ice box (yes, icebox!) is intact. We’ve got original hardware and lighting (be still my heart).

I mean…she makes my giddy, y’all.

Now, if only I could fast forward to the design stage. I’ve known what I want her to look like from the moment I saw her. But patience…I hear patience is a virtue (just one I don’t have).

Can’t wait to keep you updated as we go!

 

Indoor Beach Ball Games

Isaiah and Samuel were busy showing their mad beach ball skills over at Modern Parents Messy Kids this weekend.

We came up with several indoor beach ball games to play on those dreaded days when you’re stuck inside. And I have to say, we had such a BLAST doing this post. Much more fun than I ever expected, really. We laughed for hours playing these silly, simple games. And pretty much every day since, Isaiah’s asked to play them again.

Bounce on over and check it out. Especially “blanket ball.” That was boys’ favorite, by far.

Hope your week is off to a fantastic start!

aars-indoor-beach-ball-games

Happy Valentine’s Day: DIY Tablecloth

Happy Valentine’s Day to you!

Valentines Day: DIY Tablecloth

I successfully surprised the boys this morning with a Valentine’s breakfast. (Fist Bump)

Michael and I are going out this evening, so I thought a morning fiesta would be the perfect way to celebrate this day as a family.

I love making holidays special. It’s kinda my thing. There’s been years I’ve tried to “skip” the magic, when we’ve had a lot going on. And I’ve always regretted it.

Tablecloth2

Tablecloth4

This year, I knew exactly how I wanted to decorate. And when I started looking for the tablecloth, I couldn’t find it anywhere.

So I set out to make my own.

This DIY tablecloth could NOT have turned out any better. It was everything I imagined, and more. And SO STINKIN’ easy.

I just bought a white cotton fabric (enough to cover our round family table) along with a medium point black fabric marker.

Valentines Day: DIY Tablecloth

Then late last night, I started to write. I honestly didn’t even measure the spaces. I just did my best to write in a horizontal line, and made my way up the fabric. The whole project took about 45 minutes, but it was a mindless 45 minutes. In fact, I did it while watching a movie with my love.

I just love the pattern so much. And I still can’t figure out why this fabric doesn’t exist already?!?!

Tablecloth5

We had such a wonderful morning. My favorite part was the donuts and milk.

As for the boys? I think the balloons won out, by far.

Tablecloth6

I hope you are having a lovely Valentine’s Day, wherever you are. I’ve got a new dress I can’t wait to debut. I’ll be posting pics on Instagram*, because getting all dolled up deserves a picture, right?!? Especially when you’re day job means living in sweatpants.

 

*Do you follow us on Instagram? Oh, please do. It’s my favorite place to connect with you all. I’m losing interest in Facebook so quickly. Just search for @alliaars and meet me there! XOXO

Popsicle Valentines

Popsicle Valentines

Every now and then, you have an idea that you just HAVE to bring to life. Even if you don’t have much use for it.

We already made Isaiah’s classroom valentines when this idea popped into my head the other day. But I just had to make them anyway.

I’ve been loving the watercolor trend lately. It’s made me want to return to my roots in painting…if only I had the time.

But after daydreaming about these popsicle valentines, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to pull out my paintbrush.

Popsicle Valentine

First of all, these are so easy to make. Even if you’ve never painted before, don’t be afraid. If you can draw a straight line, you can paint lines in watercolor.

To make you’ll need:

  • Watercolor paper
  • Watercolor paints
  • paintbrush
  • popsicle sticks
  • hot glue gun
  • stamp letters (or a pen to hand write)

To start, just take your watercolor paper and begin to choose your colors. I wanted to keep mine in the warm family, because they remind me of Spring (and oh, how I’m longing for Spring.) You can keep your colors in the same family, or even make a rainbow. It’s your choice. Just have fun with it.

Popsicle Valentines(Can you tell Isaiah’s been here? Definitely had to give them a good cleaning.)

When you’re ready to paint, just wet your brush and create long strokes horizontally on the page. Use the water to lighten the colors where you wish, and slowly fade them into other colors. Do this across the entire page (or several pages if you are making more than a few of these valentines). Then set aside to dry.

Popsicle Valentines

Once your painting is dry, it may need some flattening. If so, just place it under some sturdy books for a few hours, then come back later to cut.

Make yourself a popsicle pattern out of regular paper (I just free-handed, doesn’t have to be perfect) and use it to cut out your popsicles.

I chose to cut my bite marks after cutting the shapes, so each bite would be a bit different.

Then you’re ready to stamp. I have a letter stamping set by Martha Stewart that I adore. I’ve used it for so many things. But if you don’t have stamps, you can just as easily hand write.

Popsicle Valentines

Popsicle Valentines

After you stamp/write, just glue the popsicle sticks onto the back and you’re done.

I wound up using mine for Valentine’s Day teacher gifts. We just attached ice cream gift certificates to make them extra special.

Popsicle Valentines

As for the rest of the batch? I think I might hang them in my office just so I can stare at them. I love them THAT MUCH.

Ooooh, or make a pretty garland! Someone has to stop my brain. I don’t have time for all these ideas…

I hope you’re having as much fun this Valentine’s week as I am. :)

LOVE to you all!