How to Throw a Watermelon Party

How to Throw a Watermelon Party from StampinFool.com

Hello, Sweet melon lovers! I am so excited to share this watermelon party with you. I was brainstorming summer themed birthday parties for Helen’s first birthday and Watermelon hit the sweet spot. Today I will show you how to throw a DIY Watermelon party. 

You can throw a Beverly Hills style party on a SAHM budget by picking elements to best show off your theme. Are you ready to plan? Grab a pen and take notes!

 

STEP 1. PAPER PRODUCTS

Starting with the Invitations and a welcome Watermelon sign, let your guests know what the party is all about. Keep with the watermelon theme by making thank you cards and guest party favors to coordinate.

How to Throw a Watermelon Party from StampinFool.com

How to Throw a Watermelon Party from StampinFool.com

 

STEP 4. THE SWEETS

Sweeten the theme by coordinating the cake or cupcakes with pink and green buttercream. 

I love this recipe for making two 6 inch cakes and cutting them to make four layers. {Lemon Cake Recipe from MyCakeSchool.com} Only fill the 6″ cake pans half way; you’ll have left over batter as the recipe makes more than two six inch cakes. 

Speed it up by using store bought cream cheese frosting and tinting it with Americolor Food Gel.

*Tinting Tip* A little goes a long way. Split icing into two bowls. Mix the color gel in two separate prep bowls before adding color to the icing. Squeeze one drop of each color and mix with a mini spatula. Swipe a small amount of the mixed color onto the mini spatula and stir into one bowl until well mixed.  Add more color to your preference.

*Americolor Mixing Guide* Watermelon-: 1 Deep Pink, 1 Red; Rind: 2 Leaf Green, 1 Sky Blue

How to Throw a Watermelon Party from StampinFool.com

STEP 5. COORDINATED OUTFITS

DIY plain white T-shirt’s with RIT DYE in Kelly Green and Fuchsia to coordinate with your party theme. For this Watermelon Birthday Party, we dyed tee’s from H&M (@hm #handm) to match Helen’s outfit.  {Bubble romper from @melissasmithdesigns and rose gold bow moccasins @freshlypicked}

How to Throw a Watermelon Party from StampinFool.com

Are you ready to throw a sweet, summer watermelon party?

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How to Throw a Watermelon Party from StampinFool.com

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STEP 2. DIY PARTY BACKDROP

A great way to brighten the walls is with a photo banner, pink and green tassel garland, watermelon painted number or letter.

To best display the watermelon party theme, your feature wall should be above the buffet table. You can create additional zones like a photo booth area or photo wall on the path guests will use to flow to the food.

How to Throw a Watermelon Party from StampinFool.com

How to Throw a Watermelon Party from StampinFool.com

 

STEP 3. TABLESCAPE

Set the table with watermelon paper plates, cups, pink and green utensils, and napkins. Add confetti or paper watermelon cutouts to the a solid color tablecloth to pump up the color. Pre-pour watermelon punch; add a straw and watermelon garnish to set the scene.

How to Throw a Watermelon Party from StampinFool.com

How to Throw a Watermelon Party from StampinFool.com

 

STEP 4. THE SWEETS

Sweeten the theme by coordinating the cake or cupcakes with pink and green buttercream. 

I love this recipe for making two 6 inch cakes and cutting them to make four layers. {Lemon Cake Recipe from MyCakeSchool.com} Only fill the 6″ cake pans half way; you’ll have left over batter as the recipe makes more than two six inch cakes. 

Speed it up by using store bought cream cheese frosting and tinting it with Americolor Food Gel.

*Tinting Tip* A little goes a long way. Split icing into two bowls. Mix the color gel in two separate prep bowls before adding color to the icing. Squeeze one drop of each color and mix with a mini spatula. Swipe a small amount of the mixed color onto the mini spatula and stir into one bowl until well mixed.  Add more color to your preference.

*Americolor Mixing Guide* Watermelon-: 1 Deep Pink, 1 Red; Rind: 2 Leaf Green, 1 Sky Blue

How to Throw a Watermelon Party from StampinFool.com

STEP 5. COORDINATED OUTFITS

DIY plain white T-shirt’s with RIT DYE in Kelly Green and Fuchsia to coordinate with your party theme. For this Watermelon Birthday Party, we dyed tee’s from H&M (@hm #handm) to match Helen’s outfit.  {Bubble romper from @melissasmithdesigns and rose gold bow moccasins @freshlypicked}

How to Throw a Watermelon Party from StampinFool.com

Are you ready to throw a sweet, summer watermelon party?

LOVE IT, PIN IT!

How to Throw a Watermelon Party from StampinFool.com

SaveSave

Colonial Williamsburg With Kids: Governor’s Palace

Colonial Williamsburg: Children's Tour of the Palace Travel Tips

If your next vacation includes passing though Colonial Williamsburg or you are a local Hampton Roads resident, seeing Colonial Williamsburg is a must. It is rich in history and education. While you’ll enjoy the beauty of the Colony any time of year, the guided tours are a real treat. As a Williamsburg local, our weekends are spent at the Farmer’s Market downtown and walking the streets of Colonial Williamsburg with the kids to run off their energy. We eat lunch on the lawn, play frisbee and then head over to the bookstore to grab Starbucks.

Summer hit and the kids were bored. I knew we had an awesome resource at our hands, but had never ventured out for a tour. I called to book a Children’s Tour of the Governor’s Palace and here’s what I learned.

The Children’s Tour of the Governor’s Palace (it’s FREE, but you must reserve your spots) is unforgettable! The guided tour is geared towards elementary aged kids, but as an adult I was fascinated. You’ll start out in the maid’s quarters and work your way through the Palace discussing what it was like to live in the palace before the Revolution, how the palace events honored the King and Queen of England, and what the rooms were typically used for. The educational value is woven throughout the tour in a way that makes it interesting and fun, but doesn’t bore little ones. We walked, we learned how to dance in the ballroom, and we wandered the hedge maze in the gardens.

Our tour guide was fantastic at engaging the kids and adults, and answered period questions as well as teaching our group customary etiquette of the 1770’s.

Colonial Williamsburg: Children's Tour of the Palace Travel Tips

To best prepare for your Colonial Williamsburg visit, I’ll leave you with these tips so that you don’t miss out on the Governor’s Palace fun.

Things to know:

  • You must have an admission ticket for Colonial Williamsburg or a Williamsburg Good Neighbor pass to register for the tour.
  • Book early. The tours are small groups and fill up quickly.
  • Collect your tickets from the Visitor’s Center or the Ticket booth in Merchant’s Square.
  • Arrive AT LEAST 15 minutes early to find parking and walk to the West Entrance of the Palace (the left side). That was cutting it close for me to grab tickets and book it to the palace while dragging the kids.
  • The tour is approx 25 minutes. We spent 30 minutes outside in the gardens after the tour.
  • Bring water! The summers are hot and humid here and your kids will need water while wandering the garden maze behind the palace.
  • Bathrooms are right outside the Palace.
  • Pack a lunch and enjoy a picnic on the tree lined Palace Green while you watch the horse drawn carriages pass by.
  • Or grab lunch at the famous Cheese Shop in Merchant’s Square.
  • Infants in arms. I can’t say for certain that strollers aren’t permitted, but there are stairs in the tour and it wouldn’t be manageable. I carried my 11 month old throughout the tour. A wrap or infant carrier would have worked well too. The tour was short enough that carrying her wasn’t unbearable, but it would have been easier with two hands free.
  • The craftsmanship is stunning. And the colors are vivid, which surprised me since it is 18th century accurate.

Colonial Williamsburg: Children's Tour of the Palace Travel Tips

The rear exit of the Colonial Williamsburg Governor’s Palace.

 

Colonial Williamsburg: Children's Tour of the Palace Travel Tips

The marble Palace entrance floors were stunning.

Colonial Williamsburg: Children's Tour of the Palace Travel Tips

 

Colonial Williamsburg: Children's Tour of the Palace Travel Tips

 

How to Freeze Green Beans from the Garden

How to Freeze Green Beans from the Garden from StampinFool.com

How to Freeze Green Beans from the Garden

This summer our garden has kind of been a flop. While the cucumbers and squash didn’t grow as well as they usually do, the green beans flourished. We picked and ate them multiple times with our dinner and decided to pluck and freeze the rest for later use. I am going to share a quick and easy way to freeze green beans from your garden so that you can enjoy them all year long.

Why freeze green beans? Well, you have three choices: eat them, freeze them, or can them. I prefer frozen vegetables to canned because they remain firm. I have been lucky enough to cook mostly fresh vegetables for the majority of my adult life and really prefer them firm and bright green over slightly soft. I also like to control the saltiness, which can be overpowering when canned. It is total preference here. If you love canned green beans, let me know in the comments and give me your secrets!!

Here is a photo of one of the eight raised garden beds we grew veggies in this year. Silas is hard at work picking the beans so that I can cook them. (This particular variety is Yellow Wax bush bean, which tastes like green beans even though they are yellow. They have a very earthy flavor).

How to Freeze Green Beans from the Garden from StampinFool.com

Alright, grab your supplies and let’s get started.

What you’ll need to freeze green beans:

How to Freeze Green Beans from the Garden

  1. Wash beans. Trim or snap off ends.
  2. Boil water in large dutch oven.
  3. Once boiling, drop beans and boil for 2 minutes.
  4. Remove beans from water and place in ice cold water bowl to stop the cooking process. I do this in the sink.
  5. Pat green beans dry.
  6. Place beans single layer on a cookie sheet and place in freezer until frozen. Place desired serving size in ziplock freezer bags.
  7. Don’t forget to date the frozen green beans before placing them in the freezer. *Best eaten within 6 months.

How I cook them:

Boil water, drop in frozen beans, boil for 3 minutes until bright green, drain and add grass fed butter and salt.

What do you think? Pretty easy isn’t it! Will you and your family try freezing green beans this year? Lastly, I’ll share this sweet green bean face?

Happy Gardening, friends!

How to Freeze Green Beans from the Garden from StampinFool.com

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Life with Helen: DOCKATOT REVIEW

When baby number two was on the way I was still struggling to get preschooler one to stay in his bed all night. Would the revered baby product DockATot be the answer? (Hint, YES it would & this post contains affiliate links- you buy, I receive a percentage).

It’s no secret that new moms don’t get much sleep. (Prego moms don’t get much sleep either, making the start even rougher). Mom fears are the worst!

Helen loves her DockATot

Enter Helen. She is the sweetest. But, she wouldn’t sleep anywhere except on my chest. When you’re exhausted and your baby eats ever two hours and she won’t sleep ANYWHERE you start to go a little crazy. We tried it all- the bassinet, the crib, the swing, the bouncer during the day to practice. It didn’t work. Although she never cries at any other time and is a happy baby, she refused to sleep anywhere and I am very serious about safe sleep. I was too scared to have her sleep in the swing or rock and play type toy unsupervised (aka while I was sleeping). So we resorted to my husband sleeping on a mattress on the floor of my son’s room and me and baby camping out, sleeping sitting up in our king size bed, with no blankets or pillows.

By the four month mark I was getting desperate. Most nights she was still waking herself up every two hours. I had seen posts about the DockATot on Instagram before Helen was born. They have two sizes, the for babies 8 months and younger and the Grand for older babies to use into their toddler years. The online reviews seemed to all be unanimous – the DockATot is a must have! I have to admit I was a little reluctant to make the purchase. This gift from above comes with a price tag between $175-290, depending on the size and design you choose (click here to check out the variety of options they have to offer). I didn’t know if I would need it and didn’t want to buy it before she was born. But she was here now and the need was great. I decided that I needed to commit.

PS they have this new banana leaf pattern cover and I LOVE it!

Helen loves her DockATot

We are using the Dock-A-Tot to transition Helen to sleeping on her own, though it is important to note that DockATot does NOT recommend the use of the DockATot in the crib – Helen is always supervised – in our own bed for co-sleeping so that I can feed her as needed.

While its best quality is the quality of sleep I am now getting knowing she is both safe and sleeping longer at night, I also tote it around the house for Helen to play in while I do laundry, dishes or work.

It is definitely our favorite household thing!

Finally, because we are friends, I’d love to help you save a couple bucks for your own purchase of the Dock-A-Tot.  Click here for a sweet $10 discount!

Swede dreams (get it, it is made in Sweden), friends!

 

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