Tag Archives: house

Flip Flop Fiestas ~ Activities & Favors

Happy Friday, floppers!


We’re getting closer and closer to putting together the perfect, budget-friendly birthday party…let’s chat about what we’re going to do at the party and what our friends will take home with them.

Part 5 ~ Activites & Favors

I think it’s important to keep the party flowing so that the guests don’t get bored. A good length for a party is 2 hours when the kids are 5 and under, I think. Having some simple games or crafts that go with the theme is fun and gives the little ones something to take home to remember the party. For preschoolers, just some coloring pages {that can be downloaded from the internet} and fat crayons displayed in a small tin bucket is enough. Pin the _________ on the _________ is a good old-fashioned party game. Grab some poster board and freehand a picture. Cut out the part that the kids will {pin on}. Use a bandana as a blindfold, spin them around and see who gets the closest. The older kids think this is fun! We have a small game of rubber horseshoes that I picked up at Home Goods for Elliott’s 2nd Western themed party. The little cowboys and cowgirls had a great time tossing! Bubble machines always provide hours of fun for the younger party goers, too!

I swore I would never do this, but we finally caved and rented a bounce house for Elliott’s 4th birthday. It had a basketball hoop inside so that added a new dimension for the older kids. I bought several small balls at the dollar store and threw them inside. Little Tikes makes a small jump house, too, that I borrowed from a friend. These are great because they fit in the garage if rain or cold weather decides to come to the party!

If you have a pirate party, you can do a treasure hunt and have small trinkets waiting in a treasure chest for the partygoers at the end of the hunt. If your little rockstar or girly girl is having a spa party, pick up a few fun nail polishes and have them soak their piggies in little plastic wash bins from the dollar store and do quick pedis. {you could embellish some inexpensive flip flops for them to put on after they’re all polished and those could be the favors. But we’ll get to favors in a minute.}

Bake some sugar cookies and have the kids frost and sprinkle them. Or do the same with cupcakes…this can be both an activity to fill time and their birthday treat! Put frosting and sprinkles in little bowls around the table and give each child a knife and let them go to town {remind them to not lick the knife until they’re done frosting ~ no double dipping! ;-)}

Pick up some pizza dough at your local pizzeria or even Trader Joe’s and separate it out into individual size balls. Let the kids roll out their dough, add sauce and toppings and watch it bake in the oven. Again, this will give them a little cooking lesson AND also be their lunch.

The Dollar Tree has some foam door hangers that are really cute. Pick up some {puffy paint} or foam stickers, Elmers glue and some glitter or glitter glue and have them create a personalized sign for their bedroom door.

If your fiesta is in the warmer months, pick up a slip and slide and you can be guaranteed lots of laughs, giggles and screams of delight. If you’re having a Hawaiian inspired luau, teach the little {keikis} to hula or have a contest to see who can hula hoop the longest.

I would say that one or two quick games and/or crafts is sufficient. You don’t want to pack too much into the party! Again, if you Google it, chances are that you can find oodles of ideas for games and activites to suite your theme.

I have found, too, that opening the gifts with all the guests there is overwhelming and can get out of control. I prefer to wait until all the guest have gone, take a breath and then tackle the gift pile. It makes it much easier to write down who gave what for the thank yous!


Last but definitely not least are the favors or goodie bags…

I LOVE putting together the favors. I wish I could send every kid home with an awesome schwag bag, but the budget steps in and brings me back down to reality! I like to pick up little things here and there when I see them on sale or clearance. Generally, I like to keep the favors useful…like a little t-shirt or hat. I keep my eyes peeled for clearance rack goodness at Target or Children’s Place. I’ve been known to give little swimsuits as favors, too! Hey, when they’re $2.48 at Target and they’re adorable, why not?

In the past I’ve gotten small colorful paper shopping bags at either Wal-mart or Michael’s, printed labels, stuffed them and had them serve as part of the decor!

I always include a little note to thank the guests for coming in the goodie bag.

Candy leis are the perfect favor for your luau party.

If you’re having a wide range of ages and both girls and boys attending your party, you may just want to skip goodie bags and do a {candy bar} instead. What kid wouldn’t love to select their own mixture of confections and take it home to enjoy for days {or weeks} after the party. Get some toothbrushes and tie a {thanks for coming} note around them to go with their sweet treats.

To save time and money on the bags, just display the trinkets in a glass vase or jar and have the guests take one as they leave.

Again, if you do a craft, that can easily serve as the party favor, too! If you have lots of balloons, tie one around their wrists as they walk out the door. Because a red balloon is a sure sign of a good time!


This is the final part of Flip Flop Fiestas…I hope you’ve enjoyed reading. I could look at party & wedding blogs all day! I love to pull inspiration from different places and see what I come up with. Get a composition book or journal and jot down ideas as you see them. If you see some cute decorations or favors somewhere and aren’t quite ready to buy them, scribble down the store so you can check back down the road ~ who knows, your items may even be on clearance. {insert *happy dance* here!}

Happy planning!

All Hallow’s Eve 2010


Halloween was lots of fun, but I am pumpkin’d, witch’d, goblin’d and candied out!

I’m so glad I decided to dress up this year…it added so much to the night. I spent a grand total of $8 on our costumes this year ~ Elliott reused her dance recital costume, Holden borrowed his and I spent $5 on handcuffs and $3 on a cheetah print beanie that I fancied up with some orange rosettes to match my inmate threads!

A gal stopped me on the street and commented on my rosettes…why thank you! She asked me if I sell them…well, no I don’t, but maybe I should. Which got me thinking….stay tuned!

Getting back to trick-or-treating…we decided to go to our friends’ neighborhood this year as they have a street that goes all out and has haunted houses and stuff. There were swarms of people, my goodness!

Holden was finished before we even started:

10 minutes before we were to leave!

He rallied and we were on our way…

Perpetual mouthful of candy!

LOVE, love, love the red door on this house…

Holdy was always about 3 houses behind the group, but would catch up every now and then…

We had a great time and all was well and good until we got separated and Elliott began to worry about me {she was with her friends and my mom and Jay and I were with Holden}. Apparently she thought I was “lost” and then saw a Sheriff’s car and thought that maybe I’d gotten picked up since I told her I was an escaped inmate! Oops!

We had our annual Halloween chili and cornbread for dinner and enjoyed cobbler with the fresh peaches we picked a couple weeks ago. The cobbler was a breeze to make and turned out much better than I thought it would. Here is the recipe I followed.

This year’s ghoulish cocktail was “swamp water“…


We kept ours green, but you can add a touch of grenadine or blue curaçao to change up the color {as seen in the above pic}. Personally, I thought it was just fine the way it was. This is the perfect group cocktail to make in a big bowl with lots of ice and a ladle and people can serve themselves.

Already looking forward to next year and planning my costume! I’ve been missing out all these years…


I’ll let you decide if our haunted gingerbread house was or was not built to code…


While our house was a hot mess, my toes are just plain HAUTE!

Gramma treated to pedis this afternoon….I chose OPI’s “Suzi Skis In The Pyrenees”…

{Image source}

I tend to be right in the middle of trendy and traditional, but had to go {almost black} for October’s Sin City trip, the “BIG” birthday and Halloween.


Thanks, Mom!


Pumpkin Patch wrap-up mañana!

A House You Can’t Get Locked Out Of

{If the title of this post makes no sense, please read my previous post ;-)}


How cute is this?


A gingerbread haunted house kit.

I’ve never, ever seen one in all my shopping travels.

Saw something similar to this Wilton one over the weekend at Albertson’s, but the penny pinching side of me kept walking.

However, Gramma K picked one up for us without even knowing that I’d been admiring it.

Thanks, Mom!

Anywhoo, I just thought it looked like a fun project for the kids and something cute to have up for the month of October.

This Little House

March ’03 was a big month for Jay and me…

We made an offer on our first house.

It was a darling mid-30s Craftsman in an old neighborhood of San Diego called Talmadge. This little, almost 1500 square foot house was full of character & charm and had LOTS of potential…Jay and I were both working full-time and all we had time to do was some interior painting and tile the entry way. We lived here for 2.5 years before Jay took a job in the Bay Area and we put it on the market.

This little house is still very special, though….it was our first place together, we got engaged in it, celebrated many holidays in it, and brought our first born daughter home here.

This little house enabled us to get into a brand new, upgraded home in the Bay Area.

This little house holds a lot of memories.

We figured we’d get more “lookers” (and more offers!) if we painted it a more neutral color on the outside. Whoever bought it must’ve not been afraid of a little color on the inside!

Our time on 46th Street was short lived, but the memories are fOrEvEr happy in this quirky little “turquoise” house!