Wednesday, December 26, 2012

December 26th

Back to the grind today, but the feeling that comes with the holidays is not gone just yet.  While I'm hanging on to the cheeriness of the season for as long as I can, I just wanted to share a picture from one of my favorite moments this December.   It captures a moment that makes me smile (on my face, and in my heart) everytime I see it:
We went to a holiday event downtown at Buffalo's Canalside - A once-forgotten-and-abandoned-but-now-ever-changing-for-the-better spot located right on the inner harbor of Lake Erie/Niagara River.  There were all sorts of crafts for the kiddos to make, and that included a do-it-yourself snowglobe.  I LOVE that Wesley chose twin Santa's for his (much to the Snowglobe Table Coordinator's dismay).  Nana may have been responsible for the extra snow/glitter (Thanks Ma!  Everyone needs a little extra sparkle!), but Wes picked his identical twin snowglobe fillers, himself.
Sadly, one of the Santas is now floating, (you'd think with all my years of crafting, I'd have this gluegun thing down pat by now...), but I will keep this little snowglobe til the sparkly snowflakes stop swirling about inside ;)
Hope you and yours had a wonderful Christmas!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

"Are your ears broken?"

Have you ever said something to your kids and then thought Geez, I'm starting to sound just like my mom? Well, I can assure you that my mom never had to ask me if my ears were broken, but I'm almost certain she said it a million times to my big brother!  (Sorry, Joe, but you probabaly aren't reading this anyway.)  I'm getting close to that number (well, maybe more like a quarter-million) with the boys.  As the hours pass (and the naps become extinct), their hearing seems to get worse and worse, unless, of course, the word candy comes up. Then they're all ears.  Or should I say all fully functional ears.

Apparently Elfie thinks we have a listening problem in our house, too.  That, or my husband just wanted to give me a good laugh!  Yesterday, we came home to this message (see above) on our giant basement door magnetic chalkboard.  I read it out loud to the boys, but softened the wording up a bit.  They were more interested in moving the letters around than listening (surprise, surprise).  Having them line up so nicely was not messy enough for them!  Perhaps my husband should have began his elf message with the word "candy" instead of "Hey."

Monday, December 10, 2012

Teaching To Give

Have you ever gone to a birthday party with your kids and had your kids think that the presents (for the guest-of-honor) are for them?  That's the perfect recipe for an upset birthday boy/girl, and its a guarantee that you will pack up early, just because it's too exhausting keeping your little one (or two) away from the irresistible birthday loot.

Tomorrow is the day we drop off gifts at the boys' preschool for Toys for Tots.  Toys for Tots is a toy drive that I believe was started by the Marines, where toys are collected and provided to under privileged children throughout the holiday season.  My initial intent was to take the boys to their class, then drop off the toys in the collection bin, myself.  The toys need to be new and unwrapped, and I didn't want to deal with the boys wanting the gifts for themselves and the potential meltdowns that might ensue.

Insert Christmas Lesson, here.

I had a change of heart. I decided to incorporate the gift giving with our Christmas Countdown. Tomorrow morning, the boys will wake up and run to find Elfie.  Next, they will run to our Christmas Countdown and jump up and down cheering until I pull down the next number and let them see what is inside the festive little bag.  Here is tomorrow's 'surprise':

There are no stickers, temporary tattooss or Hershey Kisses in the December 11th bag, just a sweet little poem that reads:

Today is the day you'll do a good deed.
You're sharing some gifts with families in need.
When you go to school, you'll bring a new toy,
That will bring a big smile to a good girl or boy. 

On our way to school, I will explain to the boys why we are giving these gifts in terms that they will hopefully understand. I'm thinking the more prep work I do, the easier it will be for them to drop the toys into the bin.  The more I thought about it, I felt that it was important for them to learn from an early age that they are very lucky little boys, and that not all people are as lucky as we are.  I also want them to learn that it feels good to give, and that it's important to help someone out when you can.  Wish us luck, but I have a feeling they will make me proud and they'll know they are doing a good deed.

UPDATE!  The toy drop-off was a success! Yeah! After a mere 3 seconds of mourning, Wesley finally agreed to make the donations with an, "Aw, ok."  Andrew was good with the idea from the get-go.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

My Week (give or take) on Instagram

I'm really going to try to keep this a regular thing.  I'm a few days late with this post. I hope you can forgive me ;)

From top L to R:
1.  Me and my Drewbug at the lighting of the city's Christmas tree in downtown Buffalo.  This is the 2nd year we've gone.  I think we have a new tradition here, people.
2.  LOVE THIS.  Dan and Mr. Dubs watching holiday fireworks.
3.  Vintage caroler candles that came from my mom's mom.  My Nana.  I love having these out every year not only because of their vintage look, but because of the sentimental value they bring with them each Christmas season.  The boy has melted a bit due to poor storage (hence, his lack of a neck), but I love him anyway!
4.  Elfie is back!  She is occupying lower spaces this year, too, which means one thing... The boys are learning about her message, and following the directions of not touching her. 
*they believe* 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Visit with Santa

When I saw Santa from the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade being interviewed on the local news channel early yesterday morning, I knew we had to see him.  Santa would be in town for just one night, because as we all know, he is very, very busy this time of year.  His stop in Buffalo was more than just a normal visit.  He was here to collect as many 'letters to Santa' as he could, and for every letter he collected, Macy's would donate $1 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. What a wonderful Claus.  Er... cause.

I found a cute free printable letter form online and had each of the boys sit with me and fill in the blanks.  We rolled up our letters, tied a festive striped ribbon around them and headed on our way.  I knew the line would be long, so we tried to get there early.  I just didn't realize the cold weather and slippery roads would slow everything down.

After a loooonger than usual car ride with Grandma and the boys' cousin, we finally arrived at the mall, minutes before Santa's arrival.  We found our place in line and the Big Man in Red soon came down the escalator, escorted by two adorable elves.

Next, Santa called all of the children over to read The Night before Christmas and then we all lined back up to wait our turn to see him up close.

I was impressed at how quickly things moved along. Every child got to get their photo with Santa and then put their letter in his big red mailbox.  There was no sitting on his lap for minutes trying to nervously remember what you wanted to tell him.  It was the perfect set up for the crowd that it brought in...and to top it off, Santa was absolutely beautiful.  His beard was perfect, his belly was perfect and his outfit was perfect.   Even his Ho Ho Hos were perfect.  (I have a thing for only visiting quintessential Santas.)

Macy's gave all the children little holiday ducks, pins and coloring books with crayons.  After we collected our goodies, Wesley ran back over to Santa, dodging the elves (who tried to stop him) and sadly photo-bombing some other child's photo (oops, sorry!).  I saw him quickly say something and then an elf directed him back over to me.

On the car ride home,  we discussed the exciting event and I asked Wesley what he told Santa when he ran back. (Wes is our sweet, shy twin, so his confidence when he took off was surprising).  He told me he had to run back to tell Santa that he was a good boy.  So cute.
Let the holiday season commence!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Holiday Shows

Guess what we just tried to watch?  Emmett Otter's Jugband Christmas!
Who doesn't love this show?
I'll tell you who... My kids.
I think a little part of me died inside when both of the boys said (almost in unison) that they didn't want to watch it after the first 3 minutes of the show.  The 'Ma-and-Emmett-singing-in-the-canoe' scene wasn't even over.
Clearly, they cannot be my offspring.

I just created this "Keep Calm" print.  After downloading a free "Keep Calm and Gobble On" print for Thanksgiving, I started coming up with all sorts of funny, festive, holiday ideas for these signs:  Keep Calm and Eggnog/FruitCake/Festivus/Kringle/Jingle/UglySweater/etc On.  They look so cute framed, and are so simple to make.  Sadly, I just came up with this one now, after I turned off the show.  Boo.

If you would like it, email me and I will try my best to send the adobe file and/or the JPEG.  I'm new to this digital sharing thing so bear with me.

I guess I'll just have to wait for my husband to get home from work. I know he'll watch it with me.
What holiday shows are staples in your home?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Kids Say the D-ARRRRRR-ndest Things

Pirate Santa - photo by SincereCostumes on
Me to Andrew: Do you remember what Santa Claus says?
Andrew: Yo Ho Ho! Merry Christmas!
Do you think someone has been watching too much Jake and the Neverland Pirates?
(...and seriously, how cute is that pirate santa?)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

DIY Christmas Countdown

Remember my Counting the Days post last week?  I showed some adorable chevron bags and mentioned creating an Christmas Countdown, or Advent calendar of sorts.  I'm happy to report, Mission (finally) Accomplished!  With me pinning some of my posts on Pinterest, I thought I'd not only show the finished product, but a step-by-step tutorial so you could make one of your own, or something similar.

Step One: Get some adorable bags, envelopes or whatever that you can tuck something special inside.  I plan to put tiny candies, stickers, temporary tattoos, special messages, and special holiday-related task into ours.  I used these adorably sweet, medium-sized red and green chevron favor bags from The TomKat Studio.  These ~5x7" bags are simply the perfect size for the treasures I've just mentioned.

Step Two:  Cut numbers (mine came from a friend's Cricuit, but you can easily print and cut your own, or even just write the numbers).   I also cut circles in black and white.  The black circles were 4" and the white were 3.75" in diameter (Remember, my bags were 5" wide).  I'm currently not speaking to my Martha Stuart circle cutter.  If you saw my hands, you'd know why.

Step Three:  This step is optional, but what girl doesn't love a little glitter?  (Especially one living with 3 boys!)  Using a glue pen, I tediously put glue on each number and sprinkled on glitter.  Big. Gorgeously Festive. Red. Glitter.

Step Four:  Mount the white circles onto the black using good ol' Tacky Glue and once dry, glue them onto your bag.  Then, (using a toothpick to apply, if needed), glue your sparkly numbers onto the bags.

Step Five: Fill bags with item of choice.   I'm not making every day a "goodie" or "gift" day.  Some bags will just have something nice about remembering the spirit of Christmas, or even a holiday task to complete (ex:  Call Nana and sing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer to her.)  Some bags might even have a scavenger-type clue or hint, leading us all to a family holiday event.

Step Six: Attach bags to a ribbon, framed cork board or do what I did... I found teeny-tiny clothespins at the craft store and clipped the bags to some evergreen garland in my dining room.   

Step Seven: Instagram your finished product to brag about how crafty you are! (Hehe!)

...and here it is!  A home-made Christmas countdown!   I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE how this turned out, and the best thing is, we can re-use it year after year.   We are making a new family tradition, here! Maybe next year I'll hang it a bit lower, but my 3 year old twins are still in the touch-everything-and tear-it-to-shreds phase.

How do you and your children count down the days until Christmas?  Leave your comments below.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

My week on Instagram

I got this idea from a fashion blog I follow (I know... Me? Fashion?  Don't laugh.  I try...honest, I do.)  Anyway, I thought it was a cool idea to share the details of a few of the photos I took during the past week on Instagram.  Follow me along on the blog's sidebar, or look for me on Instragram: gritty49
There is definitely an autumn-y, Thanksgiving-y theme to this weeks photo collection.   
From top L to R, then bottom L and R...

1. Delaware Park. We've had unseasonably enjoyable weather this past week.  Crisp, cool and DRY (I despise rain!)  We took the boys out a few nights in a row to get some fresh air before the sun set.  Lots of room to run here and lots of leaves shuffle our feet through!  Dan and I even enjoyed fancy Starbucks drinks while following after the boys.
2. Beaver Island State Park. An adventure from a different day this week.  It was another perfect night for running up hills and rolling down them (Andrew's new favorite thing to do.)
3.  My Thanksgiving decor, part of a gorgeous printable freebie offered a while ago guessed it, The TomKat Studio.
4.  Bird #2.  We celebrated this past Saturday with my husbands family, and this bird is for today's celebration with my family.  Brined, buttered and stuffed with sage.  Yum!

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Holiday Photo Outfits

Just another sneak peek from the boys' holiday photo shoot!   Here they are in their "holiday best" posing in front of our wood pile in the back yard.  We had the button-downs (bought a couple years ago on clearance!) and I found the ties (so tiny and so stinking cute!) for a super great deal at Gymboree.  I think they came to three bucks a piece with all the discounts I got!  How can you go wrong? (I'd never pay full price there...I wouldn't be able to if I wanted to!)  These v-neck sweaters from Gap were the perfect addition to their little outfits.  So handsome, don't you think?

{Freebie!} Treat Yourself

Treat is an exciting new greeting card brand that makes it easy for you to create and send one-of-a-kind greeting cards. Treat cards are perfect for holidays, birthdays, congrats, thank yous and every occasion in between. It’s crazy fun and it’s super easy.  It's also totally personal!  I recently had the opportunity to create, order and receive 3 of their cards.  So cool - I can't wait to send them out. Really... You can use your own photos or own wording and they print the card to make it look like it was custom made just for you (well, technically it is, I guess!)

What's in this for you... Treat is giving you the opportunity to create and send a totally personalized greeting card for FREE. (That's right, FREE!) Whether saying thanks for Thanksgiving, wishing a best friend a holiday birthday, or simply sharing the holiday cheer with a just because card, Treat will let you create a one-of-a-kind card that is sure to impress, FOR FREE!  (They even have Honey Badger cards that I can neither confirm, nor deny ordering for my sister-in-law!)

Treat is offering one free Treat card to Double the Giggles readers, good only on Monday 11/19 & Tuesday 11/20!  Take advantage of this awesome freebie by going to their site, creating and ordering your card and using the discount code TREATBLOGR at checkout.   It's that easy!  So go ahead and Treat yourself!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Counting Down the Days!

I ordered these adorable (seriously, how adorable are these!) red and green chevron favor bags from my childhood bestie over at The TomKat Studio a few months back in anticipation for a Christmas countdown of some sort and am tickled to finally be starting my project! Last year, I had the boys decorate papers, we cut them into strips and then they each made their own chain...the 25 links until Chrismas sort of chain. I'm changing it up this year with these sweet little goodie bags.
I've cut and mounted black and white circles on the bags and am having my friend Robyn over at Robyn's Little Nest  Cricut-cut me some fancy numbers (...and maybe, just maybe Santa will bring me my own Cricut so I won't have to bug her again!)  I'm thinking of adding some sparkles to the numbers before mounting them on the bags.  Then... well, then I have two different ideas that I need *your* help with!
(Pretty please!)
Should I:
1.) Make an adorable banner using ribbon to hang the numbered bags.  I'll hide goodies (stickers, m&m's, special notes, special tasks or scavenger-type messages) in each bag as we count down the days until Christmas...
2.) Before we know it, Elfie will making her grand return to our home (that is, if we didn't permanently scare her away last year!)  I'm thinking maybe she can bring a bag each day (so we would be counting up instead of down).  I'm just going to have to remember to help her find a new spot each morning before the boys see her.  Elfie kind of got lazy last year and picked a new spot in our house every four or five days. Oops!
I love the Elfie idea, but think we can utilize this project as more of a "decoration" if it is strung up for everyone to see.
Stay tuned for the completed  project, but in the meantime, which idea would you go with?  A festive banner, or our "Elfie" on the Shelf bringing a bag a day? Please leave your thoughts below!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

{Veterans Day} Shutterfly's Send a Hero a Card

Like most Americans, I'm pretty passionate about my love for this great country we live in, and and extremely thankful for the 1.5 million brave men and women who put their lives on the line every single day in honor of our freedom.  My grandfather was a proud veteran and my father is a proud veteran who is very involved in his local VFW and American Legion posts.  Myself, I'm not a veteran, however I am currently the Veterans Special Emphasis Program Manager for my federal agency's state committee (I know, it's a mouthful).  When this opportunity became available, I jumped at it in order to become more involved and to share what I've learned/conduct outreach. 

So...Just when you thought I was done proclaiming my love for Shutterfly, I'm posting about this amazing company again!  They re doing something AMAZINGLY GREAT and HEARTFELT leading up to this Veterans Day (so you must act quickly after reading this post!)

Many of our troops will be overseas, in harm’s way, and away from their families over this Veterans Day, as well as into and beyond the holiday season. Shutterfly's mission is simple—to send a thank you card to every American hero. How great is that?  To succeed they need our support. Just select a card from the 4 patriotic choices, add a personal message (and photo if desired) and click send. Now the GREAT part: Shutterfly will print and ship your card to the troops at no cost to you! 

I strongly encourage you to create a card for the troops, and if you can please share this link with your Facebook family and friends:

Also... If you come across one, remember to thank a Veteran. Not just on Veterans Day, but any day. They will surely appreicate it.
My awesome dad!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

{Guest Post} DTG at Robyn's Little Nest

Hop on over to my friend (and fellow twin-momma) Robyn's blog, Robyn's Little Nest to read my guest post on creating a yearly photo book gift for each of your kiddoes!  This simple, artistic gift is easy enough to do year after year, and it's something they can keep end enjoy forever!

{Christmas Cards} Ahead of the Game

Cheery In Plaid Holiday Card
Create custom Christmas cards this holiday at Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Seriously.  How stinking cute is this card that is in the running to be chosen as our 2012 family Christmas card?  The bad part is that there are literally a BAZILLION awesomely fun, festive and fantastic card choices on Shutterfly.   How do I decide on just one card design?  ...and how many pictures do I use?  I can go with one or up to 10 photos!  Ahhhh!  Decisions, decisions! 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Giveaway Alert!

Who doesn't like winning?  Don't forget about Double the Giggle's awesome Shutterfly Giveaway - don't worry, you still have plenty of time to enter!

Hurry over to my friend and fellow twin momma Robyn's blog,  Robyn's Little Nest.   She is also hosting an amazing giveaway from 31 (Thirty-One) (or XXXI, for those of you that really like to be different) that ends tomorrow.  (Hurry!)  Head on over to her blog, enter her giveaway, and while you're there, take a look around.  She has tons of great organizing tips, party ideas and recipes to share with you!

Good luck!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

{The Lorax} Easy Homemade Halloween Costumes

Although I bought adorable berber fleece Pooh and Eeyore Halloween costumes at a recent consignment sale (for an amazingly sweet deal), I also wanted to create costumes for the boys that they would love. Sure, they like Pooh and Eeyore, but they don't LOVE Pooh and Eeyore... and I'm not really a fan of characters, per say... Characters, schmaracters. I could almost smell the argument over who would get to be Lightening McQueen and who would be Mater if I actually let them choose who they really wanted to dress up as.

Insert crafty mom, here.

I decided to come up with an idea myself (based on something I *KNOW* they love), and make them love it as much as I did (does that make me a bad mom?) Anyway, it worked. I broke my 'no character' rule a bit, but I'm tickled with the results. Simple, easy, and cheap! We used some of what we had, and I spent less than $20 total for both costumes (Gotta love those craft store 50% and 60% coupons!). The fuschia boa (60% off) was the most expensive thing at a little over $5.00! Add some hot glue, some feathers and some felt and VOILA! The Lorax and a Truffula Tree! I love the costumes, and they love
them, too!

 We'll discuss Andrew's obsession with pink in another post! Oy....

Thursday, October 18, 2012

{GIVEAWAY!} Shutterfly Photo Cards

GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED! Congrats to our winner Michelle T! Thanks to all for entering and welcome to all the new DTG followers!

It's that time, again!
No, not halloween time, silly.
Not turkey time, either.

Then what you ask?  Well, if you know me and my passion for photography and the holidays, it should be totally obvious that it's officially time to start thinking about Christmas Cards
Christmas cards are a great way to keep in touch with the family and friends you see often, as well as those across the miles that you wish you could see more.  I love sending photo cards (see the extent I'll go through for a good christmas card photo HERE), but even more, I love receiving them!  Especially cards with pics of people I love on them. They are like tiny, flat presents that I can keep on display all year round.  Did I mention that my boys LOVE sorting through cards featuring photos of their cousins and friends?  They love recognizing a face and I love seeing them smile and hearing them shout out the names of the person who is making them smile!

If you haven't utilized Shutterfly yet, you are missing out.  Go on, head on over to and have a look around, my friends.  I'll wait... 

OK. Now that you're back, let me just tell you that Shutterfly will not only develop your digital photos, create high quality photo books and calendars, and make custom photo iphone cases (HOW FLIPPING COOL IS THAT?), but they also have an overwhelmingly (and hard-to-choose-just-one-of) large collection of beautiful holiday photo cards available.

Still need more convincing? Check out Shutterfly's special offers page.  They always have great products on sale and irresistable, hard-to-pass-up discounts are constantly being offered.  Canvas print or photo mug? Yes, please! (...and that photo iphone case is seriously calling my name!)

Now on to the fun giveaway stuff....  Shutterfly is generously offering $50 off an order to one lucky Double the Giggles reader. Yipee!  Just think of all the possibilities!! Follow the widget below to enter. You can enter several different ways.   Jack Frost may not be nipping at my nose just yet, but I'm totally in the mood to burn some delicious smelling holiday candles and throw on some twinkle lights!  Bring on the holiday season!!!

Contest begins Thursday, October 18th at 12:01am will end on Monday October 28th at 11:59pm (EST).  Entries received after this time will be considered invalid. Winner will be randomly selected and announced on this blog post on October 29th.  Winner must be in contact with blog administrator within 24 hrs and provide valid email address.  Contest open to US residents. This post is sponsored by Shutterfly, and $50 credit is off of a total order, does not include shipping costs and cannot be combined with any other promotion.  Double the Giggles may have received  products in exchange for promoting.

Friday, October 12, 2012


Updated pic of the boys, taken with my most recent freebie app from Starbucks, PocketBooth.  So cool! 

*Squeel!*  My blog just hit 50,000 views!  Now, I may be letting you in on just how much of a nerd I really am, but I think that is the coolest thing, ever! (Well, besides volcanoes.  I think those are pretty rad, too.)

Pinterest.  I have Pinterest to partially thank.  You see, I've been pinning some of my posts to make it easier for someone (who wouldn't normally come across DTG) to find what they might be looking for. The latest post of interest is my Halloween Costumes post.  ...and can you guess which photo/post gets the most re-pins?   The hairy Hooters girl pic! Imagine that!

I also have YOU to thank.  My loyal followers. (Can you feel the love?!) The ones who always read and comment on my posts, even though my posts show up once every six months (determined to fix that).  This blogging world of mom's-of-mulitples has been a life saver for me.   Please know that although I may not post often, I am always reading what YOU have to say and I'm truly grateful you like to read what I have to say, as well.

Anyway, here are some updates about what's going on here. As fall settles in, I've started challenging myself to several new things:

The first is Reading. I've joined a book club with some local gals and am forcing myself to get through at least the first book before bailing.  I despise reading (sad, I know), so this is not the easiest task for me.  I lack focus and concentration, and when I can actually get through a book, I'm always disappointed at the ending (never fails.) Good news is that our meeting is a week and a half away and I'm over half way through our selected book.  Go me!

Meeting People: After hemming and hawing it over (MOPS wasn't a real good fit for me), I've finally joined our local Mothers of Twins Club and am looking forward to the year ahead.  I already know a few of the girls and we had a great time at the last meeting (even if we were confused half the time and giggling a lot).  For some reason, I'm feeling the need to add more women into my life who understand both the ups and downs of parenting.  The "twin" thing is definitely unique, and it's good to have a circle of twin (and triplet!) moms to bounce ideas off of, vent to, and laugh with.  I'll try to keep updating you all on how that is going (*see next challenge.)

Another challenge I'm giving myself is blogging more frequently.  I've said this 100 times before, but I'm determined to make time for it again.  It seems as though things with the boys are busier than ever these days.  It's not that we are constantly scheduled to do things, it's that they are 150mph, for the 14 hours they are awake and they never seem to slow down.  I always have to be "on" with them. I need a nap.  Really badly!  Anyway, I'd like to get back into the blogging world.  For starters, I asked a friend (and fellow twin momma) if I could guest post on her blog.  If someone else is involved, I'll feel more obligated to complete it, right?  I think so! (I hope so!!)

Hey! One more thing.  (The most important thing, if you ask me!) Stay tuned for a BIG GIVEAWAY in my next post!  I'm super excited!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

{Party} Chicka Chicka Boom Boom 3rd Birthday Bash

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Invitation
Skit Skat Skoodle Doot. Flip Flop Flee.
Wesley & Andrew just turned THREE!

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom pdf/printable files are now available in my Etsy shop, 2xGiggles!

Follow this link to Chicka Chicka Boom Boom goodness:

Three years old!  I can't believe my babies are three already. No crying in this post, though (I did enough of that Sunday night after all the birthday hulabaloo was over, did I mention my "babies" are THREE? *sniffle, sniffle*)

This year we did a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom party!  Seriously fun!  I mentioned last week that the party's theme was based on the boys' favorite "again" book, meaning we've read it at least 436,728 times (every time I finish, they just keep saying"Again!")  Seriously.  I don't even need to read the words anymore.  They are forever embedded in my brain.

I admit, this party took a while to create.  I spent weeks gathering things here and there, and brainstorming clever ideas for food and decorations.  Then spent a good chunk of time (when the boys were in bed for the night) designing, decorating and baking...yes, I made everything myself, with the exception of the cut-out-letters (thanks mom!) and the royal icing cookies.  More about those cookies later ;)

I attempted to create the party under a coconut tree (aka 46 yards of green tulle stapled to my ceiling) and had a table full of sweets for the kids to enjoy after a little lunch.  I even got to use pink in the decor (along with every other color of the rainbow, but hey, it's not often a momma to twin boys gets to talk about pink, so I'm going to highlight it here!)
The ceiling looked way better than this pic, I swear.   Even if my pom "coconuts" looked more like pine cones.  Letters were dangling everywhere. Super cute!

Here are the birthday boys in custom letter tees that I made for the special day.  I initially wanted to make letter shirts for all the kids and send them out with the invites, but I knew I had to keep costs low and had limited time.  No worries, everyone showed up in their Chicka Chicka Boom Boom best for the event, anyway! 

Inspired by the the books' illustrations, I designed the brightly colored invitation and cupcake toppers/party circles and then got to work thinking of appropriately named foods to serve at the party.  Read on... I came up with some doozies!

Here is the dessert table!   I scattered magnetic alphabet letters all over the place to fill in the table and there were bright colors EVERYWHERE!

Cookie Cookie Boom Boom. I was going to attempt to make these myself, but, c'mon...  Who was I kidding?  They turned out absolutley beautiful, thanks to the COOKIExCHANGE.  Their tagline is: Forget Love. Lets Fall In Sugar.    ...Challenge accepted.  

A tropical looking faux plant with a tin base made the perfect mini coconut tree accent, complete with letter magnets!

Wiggle Jiggle Juice with adorable striped straws, courtesy of the amazing, inspiring Kim from The TomKat Studio.

Onto the cake!  One word... YUM.  I made this three layer puppy and the (crazy big) letter medallions on top.   The sprinkles were a sad attempt at something gorgeous I found on Pinterest...  sadly, my sprinkle job looks nothing like what I was aiming for, but it still tasted amazing and the leftovers didn't last long.

L-M-N-O-P Pops!   This is the first time my cake pops actually turned out good!  The trick is making the balls smaller than you think you should, then freeze the balls for at least 30 minutes before dipping  ...and add some shortening to the chocolate to thin it out.  There you have it.  Cake Pops. Boom.

Alley Oop Oreos.  You heard me.

Chicka Chicka Cupcakes. You know you want one.

Dare Double Dare Dip (I told you I came up with some doozies!) and PB&J (of course) sandwiches were served to guests on a brightly colored table.

See what I mean? Brightly colored.  Love it!

Favors were made out of these cool candy tubes from The TomKat Studio's shop.  I filled them with brown M&M's, and used craft foam and a glue gun to create palm leaves and a moon.  Foam letter stickers spelled each childs' name.  Full Moon Favors... too cute.   You'll see these with some smiling faces further down...

We sang "Happy Birthday" twice.  First for Wesley (because he was born first), and he sang along with us with a big smile on his face.  He blew out the candles like a pro - you think he's been doing this for years (like 3 years...) or something.

Andrew was a little overwhelmed with his song, and sat wide-eyed until we finished... Then just like his brother, he blew out all three candles with a few good puffs.  This ain't his first rodeo...

After eating dessert, all the kids went out back to play.  I always like to get shots of the boys and their friends together, but its always next to impossible.   You can never get everyone to stand still in the same spot. We fixed that... We quickly found the first letter to all the kids names and passed them out.  They all loved lining up and holding up their letters!  So cute! (Pardon the partial nudity on Wes... it was his birthday, after all.)

As the kids went home, they took their Full Moon Favors with them. More sugar! Yeah!
(Sorry Moms and Dads.)
Here are some of the party guests at the end of the day...

They boys had a great time playing with all their little friends, and it was so cute to see them all stuffing their faces with desserts and then burning off the sweet, sugary treats by running around in our backyard all afternoon.  Thanks to all who came to celebrate this special third birthday!! 


(Chicka Chicka Boom Boom was written by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault, and illustrated by Lois Ehlert - Thanks for creating such a fun, rhythmic story for my babies to love and learn from!)

...and special thanks goes to The TomKat Studio (Thanks Kim and Mrs. B!) for sending some serious TomKat love our way!   Whatever goodies you don't see here will be used for our Christmas party!  Get some of TomKat's 36" balloons for your next party - your kiddos will LOVE them (and your guests will know exactly where the party is!!)