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Entries in kids (40)


summer plan: a s'mores party

// photo: Jennifer Dery

We’re planning a little backyard get together this Saturday for the neighborhood kids … just ‘cause. S’mores will be the star ingredient to the shindig. When I told my 7yo he got so excited he started clapping his hands and jumping up and down with pure joy in his eyes.


amazing treehouses

photos: TreeHouse Workshop

Photos: Barbara Butler

For Father’s day, my dad got a new chainsaw. Having trimmed all the bushes and trees on the property, he decided to move on to a fun new project: building a treehouse for my son! John and my dad put in the floor over the weekend, built a rope ladder, and the all-imporant dumbwaiter (for loading snacks up to the fort). 

I’m feeling inspired by these beautiful treehouses by TreeHouse Workshop and Barbara Butler. After seeing these, I think we may need to revisit the original blueprint for the treehouse:

Alexander drew a plan for his treehouse. Note the fun slide! 

photo: Erika Firm


lessons from first graders

I’m in New York for the National Stationery Show (I promise to report trands and scenes from the show soon here and on my other gig, Creative-SoCal), but meanwhile just had to post these pictures from my son’s first grade classroom. The class read the book “It’s Okay to be Different” and then had the idea to write additional “pages” to the book. I love what they came up with! 


impromptu celebration: surprise 7th birthday boys party

A few months ago my son’s (twin) friends turned seven but didn’t have a party (they had a private family weekend getaway instead). My son still wanted to celebrate his best buddies’ birthday, so he asked me if it was okay to have a surprise party after school one day. I picked up yummy cupcakes from Cupcake Love in the morning, then COMPLETELY FORGOT about the big plan. Whoops. While John went out to pick up the kids from school I dashed around the house and pulled together the party.

After they finished the cupcakes, the kids actually ate the healthy snacks I put out! 

I used markers to decorate “place mats” on kraft paper with each child’s name & a big “7,” put the cupcakes on a stand, fished some colorful striped napkins out of our party drawer, threw some stripy straws in a cup, tossed some colorful carrots and apple slices in bright bowls, and voila: instant party. The boys were TOTALLY surprised, then devoured two giant cupcakes each. 

SUPPLIES: kraft paper on a roll from our shipping department, markers, cupcake stand (my most recent cake stand purchase is a wire one from Target, which I spray painted pink), colorful stripy straws, a couple of candles, and cupcakes

TIP: Keep a drawer in your kitchen for party supplies. We keep one stocked with birthday candles, cute napkins, sprinkles for cake and cookie decorating, and doilies. One can never have too many doilies ; )


crafting with kids: valentines

photos: Erika Firm

One of my most treasured childhood memories is making Valentines with my best friend in first grade. I can still visualize the pink construction paper hearts and the pots of paste.

This year my son is in first grade, and his class is planning a “friendship day” Valentine’s Day party, complete with exchanging of cards. I was super thrilled about the idea, and set aside an entire afternoon to make all the cards with him. I wrote all about it on Mom Inc. Daily, so please head over there to see more photos and read all about the process.

Left: my son making Valentines. Right: one of his masterpieces.

For the whole scoop and more photos, please read my post on Mom Inc. Daily.


week in review: january 24 2011

I can’t believe it’s Friday already. The week was a bit of a blur, as I’m recovering from a double whammie of a painful kidney infection AND a cold (and allergies to my beloved mimosas, which are in bloom on our property now … so I guess technically it’s a triple whammie). But work in the studio went on …

In case you missed it, here’s what happened on the blog this week:

• I shared the final post about our son’s Root Beer Kegger 7th Birthday party (promise I’m done chatting about that now). 

• Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and I laid out the perfect Valentine’s Day date outfit (now if only I could convince  my husband to take me on a date!)

• I shared images of one of my very favorite graphic design projects of all time: seed packet packaging designs for Isabella Smith. This project was a joy to work on!

• Christian Dior inspired me with some truly fantabulous gowns. So dreamy!

• Kathy and I started working on plans for North County Graphic Design (NCGD) for 2011. I’m super excited about what we have in store for the year! If you’re interested in helping out, joining, or just have suggestions please comment or contact me directly : )

This weekend there will be mad work done on the Delphine website, so if something is buggy please let us know. We’re adding new designs all the time — to spot them first check out the Save the Date section of the site. I’m most excited about making Valentine’s Day cards with my first grader. He’s not fired up about it, even though I promised glitter, glue, scissors, pretty papers and doilies. I have a feeling I will be doing all the crafting. Any ideas on how to get a 7 year old boy excited about Valentine’s Day? He’s supposed to make 20 cards for his classmates, and I have a feeling I may need to resort to bribery (candy).


root beer kegger part 6: 7th birthday party!

Our son just turned 7 and we had a Root Beer Kegger! See part 1 for the inspiration; part 2 for the color palette; part 3 for party decorations/inspiration; part 4 for root beer kegger food ideas; and part 5 for root beer party prep.

The Root Beer Kegger was super fun! The kids got all sugared up, played Legos until the entire city was destroyed (all in good fun), ran around the house like maniacs and had a great time. Of course I did the typical party host thing, and totally forgot to take photos. Many thanks to all our guests, who picked up my camera and snapped nearly all of these shots for me!

I know it sounds a little nutso, but we made two cakes. The chocolate frosted one at left is a gluten free vanilla cake with fresh strawberry filling (several of the guests have wheat allergies); the Bûche de Noël at right is my mom’s masterpiece. She used Grand Marnier to flavor the mascarpone frosting. Delicious!



The buffet table. The big empty plate at front is where the Paninis were placed. It’s crazy, but all of these props (the wood stump boxes, the cardboard 3-d stars, the owl, the acorns, the faux moss) I already had in my collection, props from my trade show days.


Favors for the kids: I found cute glass mugs, filled them with root beer barrel candies, and also gave each kid a bottle of root beer to take home. I tied a green and white striped paper straw, with their initial on the tag. Tip when preparing candy bags for kids: make sure each bag has EXACTLY the same number of candies in each bag, or tears may ensue. Photo at right is my breakfast treat day after the party: a root beer float. I was so busy chatting at the party I forgot to make myself one!


I created these custom root beer kegger birthday party invitations, along with the matching coasters, tags, place cards, flags, cake toppers, stickers, favor bag labels, etc. Lets just say I get carried away with paper stuff. Of course I forgot to take photos of most of these things! Whoopsie!


The kids, getting a heavy dose of sugar with root beer floats, before tackling the cake.


Morning after the kegger, he had the breakfast of champions: leftover root beer from the keg, and day old cake.

Overall, it was a great party. A few problems: invites got lost in the mail, took us a while to figure out how to operate the keg (stop snickering… it’s different from the ones we had in college. I swear), and I totally forgot to take photos. But everyone had a good time, especially the birthday boy, so this root beer kegger was a smashing success!


root beer kegger part 5: party preparation

Our son is turning 7 and we’re having a Root Beer Kegger! See part 1 for the inspiration; part 2 for the color palette; part 3 for party decorations/inspiration; and part 4 for root beer kegger food ideas.

Tomorrow is the big party! Last night I freaked out a little because I realized that only people who live out of town rsvpd (no) to the party but nobody local had responded. After a few calls I found out that most locals had not received their invitations!!! I have no idea what happened, because I sent them all on the same day. I’m glad I sent email save the dates, so most everyone is able to come even though they didn’t receive invitations. 

To keep the stress level down, and to make it easy for friends and family to help set up, today I began the party preparation. 1. I made a shopping list for the food I need to pick up this afternoon   2. I pulled out all the dishes and serving bowls that match the décor and stacked them in one spot to make it easier when I start setting the buffet   3. I bought all the party favors (tiny root beer barrel candies) and will package them up for favors later tonight while I watch tv  4. I assembled the “fancy” party favors for the kids   5. I stacked up extra invitations so I can use the paper to cut up and use for display tags   6. I set out all the glasses and paper straws (I had some green and white paper straws left over from an old photo shoot!)   7. I pulled out all the fancy cheese knives   8/9. I put sticky notes on all the serving pieces I plan to use tomorrow with the name of the food item that goes on it. Then I placed everything on the table in the correct spot. This will really help out tomorrow, so I a. remember what food item goes where and b. other people can help without too much supervision. Later today I will go out to pick up the food, bake a cake, and make the goodie bags. Tomorrow I’ll just have to assemble the sandwiches, salad, put out the cheese, pick up ice and party!


sweet custom kids valentines cards

How cute are these custom kids valentines from I love the cute owl one, and I know my son will love the train! What a cute touch to add your child’s photo to make it more personal?

*note the top right elephant valentine card is designed by Delphine : )


root beer kegger part 4: food and cake

Our son is turning 7 and we’re having a Root Beer Kegger! See part 1 for the inspiration; part 2 for the color palette; and part 3 for party decorations/inspiration.

No party is complete without yummy treats! Besides root beer floats, of course, I’m planning some of our son’s favorite foods: paninis, bread sticks, cupckakes, and cake. For the grown ups, I think I’ll also bust out some stinky cheese, bread and dried fruit.

Every holiday season my mom makes a Bûche de Noël. This year she promised to make it for the birthday party, as it will tie in perfectly with the theme. I’m so excited — even more than the cake, I love the meringue mushrooms that go with the yule log!

Here are some things that are inspiring me as I plan the food for the Root Beer Kegger: 1. Faux bois cake  2. Paninis  3. Meringue Mushrooms  4. Bûche de Noël  5. Yummy molten chocolate cupcakes  6. Bread sticks


root beer kegger part 1: inspiration

Our little one is turning seven in a few days. I can’t believe it! Seems like just yesterday he was crawling around the studio playing with packing boxes and peanuts. Sigh.

Anyway, a birthday means a birthday party! We have a tradition of having a pretty low-key party, with just family and a few close friends. This year, I took inspiration for the party planning from two Christmas gifts. Our son bought John a keg of root beer for Christmas. By coincidence, Santa brought our son a keg as well. Soooo, we’re having a Root Beer Kegger 7th Birthday Party! Yay. Later today I’ll post some inspiration for the party décor, which is going in a wood grain, brown and green direction.


wish list: ipad

I know, I know, it’s not a very original wish list item. But I really do wish I had an iPad (and a cute iPad cozy to carry it around, like the felt one above by ccommeca).

Sorry I haven’t had time to work on cool gift guides for the blog this year. I have been busy trying to track down items from my son’s own wish list. This year he assembled a BOOK of items he’d like Santa to bring to him. Topping his list this year: Legos and Hexbugs.


renovation: plaid for the big boy bedroom

photos by DELPHINE

FINALLY! The plaid dresser is done and put in A’s bedroom. To be fair, I must admit that the dresser started with light blue and white stripes, so we had a head start.

Ever since we finished the room the cat has started hanging out in there.


color palette: puppy love

I pulled inspiration for this soothing autumnal color palette (full of soft taupes, pinks and greens) from one of my favorite photos of all time: a portrait of a toddler with her puppy. Photo by the extraordinarily talented kids photographer Jessica Davis Photography.


renovation: big boy room update

Thought I’d give you a little update on A’s room. All his furniture has been painted. The step stool used to be pink, with white sponge painted details (it was in my bedroom circa 1985). I also painted a boring white shelf from Target — it is now painted grey and is stenciled with meaninful numbers and letters. I WISH I had thought to take a before photo of the bookshelf. It was in really super bad shape. We bought the bookshelf, the paint and the stencils for less than $20. It took a few hours, but stenciling was fun, and totally worth the effort.

A has been sleeping in his “new” room for a week now and he loves it. We have yet to hang the shelves and the curtains (which means he is in OUR room at dawn now, to report “it’s dawn.”) On the agenda for today: hang the curtains!!! Once everything is placed and cleaned up I’ll post some after photos, along with photos of the plaid dresser. Yes, I said plaid. Trust me, it’s cool.

If you have any questions or comments about the room re-do please leave a note. I’d love to hear what you think so far.