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a Calico Critters birthday party for Livie

The days are long, but the years are short.  That is one of my favorite sayings.  I keep it in my heart and I even have it embroidered in my studio.  It is so true and nothing reminds me more than birthday celebrations.

It seems that since we left Florida I have not gotten much done in the way of a birthday party and they used to be such a common thing for us.  The last proper birthday party we have truly celebrated was Mateo’s right before we moved.  We have had a few sleepover birthdays here for the bigger girls but nothing like what I have done in the past,  you can see a few of her others here and here.   I have given up I guess on the complicated and super planned celebrations in favor of something smaller and more intimate.  However, when my sweet little 6 year old comes a calling with the message that she would love to have a cake and party, this mommas heart flutters a little and then it shall be done but perhaps something small and simple.

So, we made out a list of a few friends to invite and talked about a theme.   In the past year, she has fallen head over heals for these cute little forrest animal toys called Calico Critters.  The first one was given to her by Grandma Yoli on a trip to Miami about 2 years ago.  I have quite a dislike of plastic toys but oh my, these toys make me feel little again and they are just so adorable.  So I made a mental note and invited her friends over that weekend.

It just so happens that we are also in the middle of a kitchen remodel (I was going to tell you, I promise) and every corner of this house seems to contain everything we had to take out of the kitchen.  So I did not really have any time at all to plan this little critter party and the internet was no help since I guess no one has really had a party with this theme much yet.

Simple would have to do and fits so well with these simple feeling little toys.  The night before the party, my procrastination finally jolted me into my studio to begin to make everything and really plan what I was going to do.  One night.  Everything in this party was made in one night.  Why I do this to myself?  No idea but  dare I say that after making these little critters a boat out of an egg carton and setting them up,  I feel like buying all the sets for myself and I envision making them little sweaters and accessories.  Olivia loves this thought and I will make time for it once all this remodeling craziness is over with.

On the day of the party, most of the kitchen looked almost done, with the exception of the new concrete countertops and the finishing touches but we got it all cleaned up just in time for the first guests to arrive.  You might catch a glimpse or two of the new kitchen details in some of the pics and I can’t wait to show you the whole thing!

Food was very simple, tea sandwiches, Livie’s favorite snack (bell peppers) with homemade dip, cookies and milk and of course cake.  She also wanted something animal related and sweet so we went with the organic bunny gummies.  She insisted on helping make the cake and explained that was old enough to mix the batter and help with the cupcakes.  Scooping the batter in the cupcakes was her favorite part and I realized I really did have one more kitchen helper to add to the roster.

As we all stood together singing her happy birthday I quietly ran through her past birthdays in my mind and it is hard to believe she is 7.  My pretty little chubby baby who is now all of a young little missy, busy with the business of being a girl, running around with the chickens and anything else that moves.  Climbing trees and playing in the creek. Everyone’s tag along and always the loudest noise in this very busy house.  She has never met a food she didn’t like and I can always count on glowing reports from her on any meal I serve.  Our little ball of laughs and drama rolled into a curly haired girl and presently with 2 missing teeth.

She loved everything I made and approved of every detail of her party.  Her one special day to be the queen of this castle and we all loved being her subjects.

Calico Critters birthday party

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a birthday and goodbye party

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Friends are the spice of life and we were lucky enough to have many of them come to spend the day with us on Saturday.  We spent the first half of the day celebrating Matthew’s 1st birthday.  A whole year of kisses to this sweet little boy we have been given and laughs at all the funny things he does that make our life even better than before he came to us. A year that started (at least for me) with his birth and enveloped the marriage of our oldest beauty, welcoming our first grandchild and finding out that we would be leaving our homestead.  I can’t think of a fuller year…ever.

The second half of the day was spent with friends and family remembering good times we have shared here, enjoying each other’s company and saying goodbye.  We have had so many parties here.  It was sad to think that this would be the last.  Of course we will spend New Years here together but it will no longer be OUR house, it will be Lewis and Alex’s house.

If your remember by this celebration, Matthew (Mateo as we call him) turned a year old on the 11th but with Alexandra having baby Lewis just 4 days prior, we decided to wait until she was up to partying with us and then we realized there would not be enough time to have a birthday party and a goodbye party.  Poppa had the idea to do it all in one day.  One long but good day.

I again made his honey cake, as I made this his recipe.  With still so much basil in the garden, the frosting was extra lemony and basil-y.  This is by far the simplest party I have ever done.  With everything being packed away and so little time, simple was better and since I had so little to make for the birthday, I woke up with the idea to make him a special birthday outfit…again.

Another pair of Farmer Boy pants were in order.  Made again from another one of Poppa’s torn suit shirts.  I remembered that I have had a piece of fabric with candles on it and quickly found the box of fabric in the garage.  I added the pockets to the pants like I usually do but also had Poppa pick him up a new tshirt and added a pocket to that too.  It took about 30 minutes and he was wearing a new birthday outfit.

I made him a little people candle holder, I think the hair should have been darker, but to me it looks like my little Matthew.  The hand dipped beeswax candle his siblings made on his birthday was used and it completed once again, the honey cake.  On the table is the painting I made right before he was born from our favorite bedtime story and we pulled out some of his favorite vintage Little People toys.

Friends brought food to bless us with and my beautiful friend Peggy brought flowers too 🙂  We are lucky to have these people in our lives.  They have enriched us with their love and knowledge and we will miss them.

Nate and Charlie spent the whole day and night with us in our last official sleepover which could not have made the kids any happier.  Charlie brought her camera and the following pictures are the party through her camera lense.


To all of our friends and family who spent Saturday with us, thank you!  You are part of the fabric of our family.

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