Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Minnie Mouse Birthday Party


We had another big milestone here recently, my "baby" turned 3!  We celebrated this accomplishment with a small Minnie Mouse themed party.  The theme was an inspiration after our successful first visit to Disneyland this summer.  My youngest was especially taken by Minnie Mouse so it seemed a perfect fit (it was that or Frozen, ha!).



Since the party goers were 3 years olds and a few siblings I made the party pretty simple.   I had three games, a few snacks and of course cake!  I dressed my little birthday-girl in a Disney t-shirt, polka-dot skirt and her Minnie-Mouse ear hat (from Disneyland).  I joined in the fun with a furry pair of Minnie ears and my own polka-dot dress.  I think Minnie would have approved.  



I ordered these Minnie Mouse invitations from the Etsy shop Pinch My Cheeks.  They were perfect!  I did have the shop make a couple customizations (added #3 to the back and used pink lettering).

Now, here's what we did for the party:

Games

1. Pin the ring on Minnie - I purchased a printed poster set (party store) but you could make your own Minnie and "pin" on a bow, nose or even ears.  This is a game 2 year olds and up can do.




2. Musical Walk - I put down paper plates with numbers on them (decorated by my oldest daughter with Minnie bows).  I played the Mickey Mouse March (found on YouTube) but you could also use the Mickey cartoon theme song.  Initially I pulled numbers out of a bowl when the music stopped and picked out prizes (little Mickey/Minnie themed toys from the $ store) for who ever was on the plate.  However, I quickly realized that with 3 year olds just picking a plate would be easier (and then removed that plate).



I chose to have everyone receive a prize by the way, they were mostly 3 year olds after all!

3. Cake Plate - This last "game" was my older daughter's suggestion.  I drew Minnie Mouse ears underneath one of the cake plates.  After everyone finished their cake (an important fact to note!!) we carefully looked underneath and the child with the ears won a prize. 

Decorations




I purchased a Minnie Mouse banner at the party store to decorate the room.  I also ordered 24 helium balloons in Minnie Mouse colors (pink, black, white, red).  I used the balloons in a couple places of the house.  Then after the party they doubled as a photo prop as we've done in years past.  


I ordered an ice-cream cake (family tradition) with a Minnie Mouse theme.  Funny little side-note.  When I went to pick up the cake they showed me the one  on the left.  Yikes!  I'm not sure where the mix-up happened but that was not a Minnie cake!  



Fortunately they were able to fix it and later that day we received this lovely cake instead.  Note: I added the Minnie Mouse and blond little person (they're vintage toys).  Also I edited out my daughter's name.



I made enlargements of a couple photos from our recent trip to Disneyland to decorate the house.  I also framed the two autographed photos of Minnie and Mickey that we received from Disney (a perk for staying at the resort).

Favors



My primary favors were Mickey or Minnie mouse ears.  I purchased them from the Etsy shop Unique Boutique by Gami and was thrilled with the results.  I had extras so that some of the parents could wear them too.  



Everyone raved at how comfortable they were and fortunately my friends were good enough sports to wear them during the party.  



It was a success and now I'm preparing for my next birthday party adventure, my soon-to-be 7 year old wants a Frozen party (of course).  

For other Birthday Parties Check out:
Butterfly Theme
Pink (1st Birthday)
Fairy Princess
Vintage Fisher Price Little People

Friday, July 25, 2014

Fisher Price Friday - Huffy Puffy Train

We are big fans of vintage Fisher Price trains around here.  I can't seem to resist their clickety-clack sounds and bright colors.  I have another train to show you today the Huffy Puffy #999.  Fortunately this beauty lives at my parent's house which is good since I have about 5 more here! :)



The Huffy Puffy is arguably the coolest vintage Fisher Price train.  Made of mostly wood and a little plastic this is one sturdy train.  It includes 4 pieces and a few fun features.  The Huffy Puffy was made between 1958-1970 and had many slight variations to colors over the years on things like wheels, doors and hooks.



The cars include an Engine, gondola, cattle car and caboose.  The pieces connect with plastic hooks.  These hooks could be blue, orange, white or yellow.




The engine is my favorite because it has so much personality.  Check out those bright blue eyes, they roll as the engine moves.  The engine is wood except for the plastic hook and grill.  The rest of the pieces have either lithographs or paint to decorate them.

The wheels in the first edition (1958-1962) are yellow and the second edition (1963-1970) red as shown in my photos.  The pistons attached to the wheels pump in and out.  The engine also makes a chug-chug sound as rolled.




The cattle car has an orange roof and yellow sliding doors on both sides.  Variations of the train include white, blue or orange sliding doors.

The gondola car is bright and colorful.  It has lithographs on both sides that say "RAILROAD".  


 
Last but not least, the super cute caboose.  It includes a happy little brakeman holding a lantern. He moves back and forth as the caboose moves.  There is a wooden bead on the top connected by a spring that jauntily moves about as it drives.  

Note the solid wood bases and wheels.

So toot-toot!  We look forward to playing with the Huffy Puffy next time we visit my parents.

I wish I could take the train this weekend to the Fisher-Price Collectors Club Annual Toy Sale in Aurora, NY.  If you live in the area you should check it out! 

For more Trains check out:

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Beachcombers

Searching for treasures on the beach with my mother around 1979. 

35 years later I'm doing the same thing with my own little blondie. :)

PS - My mom still picks up treasures on the beach too!  This was last summer with my older daughter. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Vanilla Nectarine Agua Fresca Recipe

It's hot in Phoenix right now.  I'm talking hot hot.  Feels like an oven hot.  It was 120 degrees yesterday for goodness sakes!


So this is just the right time of year to try an Agua Fresca.  I've had agua fresca's in Brasil before, and although they used much more exotic fruits the formula is similar.  It's basically a chilled fruit puree/juice.  No juicer needed.

Add some sugar, a little vanilla and maybe a little wine and you're set for a nice refreshing afternoon drink.  I've tried it with nectarines but am thinking about branching out to other familiar fruits if this weather continues.  Sigh.  I have to remember that we chose to live in this hot-hot land and dream of cooler (but equally bright and lovely) winter days to come.


Vanilla Nectarine Agua Fresca 
3 nectarines, rinsed and sliced (about 3 cups) 
2 cups cold water 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1 tablespoon sugar 
Ice (optional) 

Directions
1. Combine the nectarines and 1 cup of water in a vitamix or blender. Blend on high speed until smooth. 
2. Strain and return the juice to the blender. Add the vanilla extract, sugar, and remaining water, and blend. Serve chilled or over ice.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Fisher Price Friday - Little People McDonald's


Today I've got a whopper of a set to share with you.  Sorry I couldn't resist! :)  It's the Little People McDonald's Restaurant #2552.  Made from only 1991-1992 it was the chunky people follow-up to the classic little people version produced only in 1990. 

I haven't featured many chunky sets on my blog because we haven't collected them.  We have a small basket of chunky people, but not the actual sets.  The chunky people were produced briefly in-between the original classic people and the more current larger molded little people and I've stayed pretty devoted to the classic little people.  

The classic little people McDonald's set is hard to find and can be very expensive, the chunky version is a bit more accessable and affordable.

However, I have to admit that I am not a huge fan of McDonald's (in fact, funny story my youngest asked where the farm was when I first took her around age 3-4 b/c she thought it was the place from the song Old McDonald).  Nevertheless, this set had so many fun features that I went ahead and got it for them to play with.  

So far it hasn't increased their consumption of fries but the jury is still out. ;)


The set came with 4 chunky little people, a car, trash can, McDonald's sign and a red "fry cart".  My pieces shown here are close but not a complete set.  The vehicle would look the same except in a blue color.  The four chunky people include Ronald McDonald, the Hamburgler, a black boy with blue shirt and a girl with brown hair, red freckles and a red body (I don't have her).  

The fry cart is red with the McDonald's logo on each side.  The fry cart is very similar to the cart in the original classic LP McDonald's except for the logo (not on the other cart) and this version did not include a fry insert like the classic set.

The brown trash can has a hole in the top and can be placed in different areas of the set (doesn't have one "home").  It is the same trash can as the earlier edition.

I have found a couple places for the yellow McDonald's sign to fit on the set.  Up on the roof and down int the front as seen in my photos.  The sign was the same in both editions of the set.


Now for the fun parts of the set!  The McDonald's has a tan restaurant base and a pull out green playground.  The playground includes a slide, shake shaker, gobbling burger slide and a merry-go-round.  The playground base has stepping stones and grass patches molded into the plastic.

The gobbling cheeseburger lifts open and the chunky person is "eaten" by the burger and slides out the other side.  The slide is a little path for the fry cart to ride down.  And the shake shaker wobbles all over with a chunky person on top.  Good times!

Around the back of the set is a driveway for the drive-thru window.  But first the car has to stop at to tell their order.  There are two wheel wells in the plastic to keep him from sliding back down the driveway.  Note the stones and leaves molded into the plastic too.  Love the details!

Next up the drive thru window.  The two windows open when you pull a blue handle in the base (seen in the first photograph).  The base has little wells for the car wheels to fit in while waiting for their order. 


Inside the restaurant has a table with two seats, order counter, drive thru window, front doors and rear cooking area.  The order counter includes a cash register and counter.  The drive thru space spot moves forward when the windows open (by the blue pull on the outside). The cooking space is a yellow piece that turns around.  There is a hamburger on one side and ice-cream treats on the other.



The front of the restaurant has steps leading inside and when you "step" on them the two white doors automatically open (where the Hamburgler is standing).  There is space for parking as well as the familiar brown roof and red "brick" siding.  


So there you go, a walk down memory lane.  Hopefully this toy isn't making you crave french fries or hamburgers. :)

I have a Chunky Little People McDonald's set in my Etsy shop right now if you need one of your own.

For more Chunky People check out:

Monday, July 14, 2014

Rock Art - Easy Summer Craft


We just came back from a lovely trip to visit my family in the Pacific NW.  One of the highlights for the kids was painting rocks and goodies.  I was inspired by the vintage FP book Things to Make.  We collected rocks, shells, sand dollars and clay babies from the beach to decorate.  







We used non-toxic paints and then later a grown-up sprayed them with acrylic so that they would be waterproof.  Even the grown-ups couldn't resist getting in on the fun.



The activity reminded me of summer camp and the girls LOVED it.  My almost 3 year old primarily used brown (well it started out as other colors but you know how that goes) and even painted one of the rocks....grey.  Hilarious.




I tried to be creative and ended up making a ladybug, turtle, saguaro (cactus) and bear.  I also put words on a couple stones.



My sister is a true artist and she made her husband's face out of one of the rocks.  Isn't that amazing?


 



We left most of the goodies behind for my mom to enjoy, but brought a few home for us to remember our fun summer trip.