¡Juntxs podemos tener las escuelas que los niñxs de Chicago se merecen! Please feel to download, print, color, share, display, and join the picket line with these 11X17 CTU solidarity posters.
Last weekend we celebrated my wonderful little man's 4th Bday, Elephant and Piggie style! The birthday boy requested that we use his party to promote families belonging together. So we used Gerald, Piggie, Duckling, and Pigeon to tell the story of family togetherness. The beautiful photos were taken by Tequila Graphics.
It’s become a tradition that every year I make a garish 4th of July cake. This year the kids and I decided to make our most important cake thus far.This year we made a close the camps cake.[wpvideo 9UE26wB1 ]The cake has since been consumed, but the conversations remain strong!
Anyone who knows me, knows that I'm obsessed with Frida Kahlo. But the last two months haven given me such unexpected Frida Kahlo magic... that I'm still in disbelief.
Last month I got to attend Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving, the largest U.S. exhibition of Frida's work in the last ten years.
And just yesterday... for the first time ever I got to hear Frida's voice.
[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/635647917" params="color=#ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&show_teaser=true&visual=true" width="100%" height="300" iframe="true" /]
El Gobierno mexicano ha mostrado el hallazgo con cautela asegurando que los estudios apuntan a que se trata de la voz de Kahlo, pero reconociendo que no han logrado confirmarlo totalmente. “Es un hallazgo que tiene muchos elementos que pueden identificarse como la probable voz de Frida Kahlo, sin darlo como cierto al 100%”, ha explicado la secretaria de Cultura, Alejandra Frausto. - El País
Cray... wonder if it's really her voice. But as always, I'm obsessed with the obsession.
Two years ago, I threw my son Elías a Thomas the Train themed birthday party.
I've shared images from some of my kid's birthday parties in the past, but I've never done a full breakdown of all of the pieces involved in making the event happen. So for the first time, I'm giving this a try.
Let me know what you think and if there are other areas you'd like me to cover in future posts.
Pick a theme that matters.
For me, the party theme is key, as it is an indicator of the overall event experience. So, I never want to get stuck with a theme that I can't stand behind (like a kid's theme with characters that involve guns or swords). Additionally, I always try to choose themes that are more timeless. That way, components can be reused again,
Luckily, Thomas the Train was an easy theme to get behind. Thomas is definitely a classic. I have very fond memories of growing up watching Ringo Star on Shining Time Station and both of my kids and their friends are huge Thomas fans.
Take some me time.
Like most working moms, my time is very limited, and every moment is precious. Whenever I'm going to put all of this effort into one of these parties, not only do I need it to be a theme that I can stand behind, but I always use it as an opportunity to learn a new skill or a new set of skills. Really party planning is my secret me-time.
Learn a new skill that you can replicate in the future.
In my case, I wanted to learn how to make professional looking cakes for kid's parties. I used fondant for the first time to make a soccer ball shaped cake for Adán's 3rd Messi birthday. And this time around I wanted to learn how to make fondant cake toppers.
Tips, and tricks for making your own Thomas the Train party.
I make the majority of items (decorations and baked goods), order a few things (that usually can be repurposed either for future parties or as toys for the kids), and reuse things from past parties.
Here are the items I made:
Thomas the Train birthday banner, Thomas the Train and friends cut outs, and rail signs - I made these out of cardstock on my Cricut Explore die cutter. (I have since upgraded to the Cricut Maker, but still recommend the Explore, as it is has a lot of capabilities and is about $100 cheaper.)
Paper fans and clouds - hand cut these out of cardstock as a last min addition. (Bottom left image in the gridded image)
Thomas the Train photo backdrop - made this out of cardboard and painted it with acrylic paints.
Railroad cake and train tunnel cakes - chocolate and vanilla cakes with buttercream icing, topped in Satin Ice fondant.
Chocolate covered pretzels - These pretzels are 100% my go-to for all parties. Super easy to make, people love them, and they are a great addition to any tablescape.
Thomas the Train royal icing cookies - I bought a cookie cutter on Etsy and frosted the cookies with royal icing, which I make with meringue powder. (Learned a MAJOR lesson with this batch of royal icing, I usually use Americolor food gels to die my icing, and this time I mixed it with a Chefmates food gel, and boy was that a mistake. I had to throw out the majority of the cookies... I'll write about that in a future post.)
Thomas the Train chocolate covered double stuffed Oreos - dipped Oreos in melting chocolate then while still wet added Thomas the Train candy toppers that I picked up at Party City.
Here are the items I bought:
3 Thomas the Train felt masks - bought these super cute masks on Etsy. We still use these as dress-up items.
Thomas the Train chocolate lollipops - I was planning on making these, as I've made Elmo and soccer ball lollipops for past bday parties, but I was getting down to the last minute and I ended up finding these on Etsy while looking for the felt masks (listing is no longer live).
Conductor outfit for the birthday boy - bought this on Amazon. We also still use this today as a dress-up item.
Sunflowers - picked these up at the Farmer's Market right before the party. Whenever possible, I love having living plants as part of the tablescape.
Thomas the Train plastic toys- got these used on the local parent swap resale FB page.
Vintage Thomas the Trains- bought a lot of trains on eBay (listing no longer active) and this was essentially Elías's bday gift, but also served as the activity for the kids to play with during the party on top of our train table. I actually ended up selling the train table on that same FB group after the party.
Thomas the train popup tent- we have really long Chicago hallways, so I put this train in the hallway during the party and the kids took turns being the train. Note that when I purchased this on Amazon it was $21 but the price at that same listing went up like crazy, so I linked to another one I found for $30.
Here are the things I reused from other parties:
The blue, red, and yellow cake stands and wooden letters that I made for Elías's Elmo birthday.
Red Converse Allstars from Adan's Daniel Tiger party bday.
Final pieces of advice.
If you have a good friend that is a photographer, or can afford to pay a photographer, it's worth the investment. If you are anything like me, you're running around the whole time, making sure everything is in place, everyone is happy, safe and has been fed, which leaves you with zero time to take a single photo. That was the case with this party, I didn't stop for a moment or get any single photo.
Don't beat yourself up. Being the perfectionist that I am, I was hesitant to share this party because I didn't have good enough photos. But I finally decided I that needed to get over myself and share. Not everything needs to be perfect (this is something I need to remind myself of every day.)
So while the documentation isn't perfect, you see enough to get a sense of the experience, and how happy the birthday boy was, which is ultimately the most important part.
If any of you go on to make a similar party, I'd love to hear how it turns out. And if you can't get a photographer DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT, enjoy the moment and the memories.
I'll be back soon with documentation of:
Adán's 4th Paw Patrol birthday, Elías's 3rd Babar birthday, Adán's 5th Lego birthday, Adán's 6th Keith Haring birthday, and Elías's upcoming 4th Lion King birthday.
Here are some photos from Elí's first Elmo birthday. I guess Elmo is becoming a trend :).Party prep: Elías Sesame Street Crayons and Dorthy royal icing cookiesThe birthday boy and his abuelitoThe birthday tableRainbow pound cake with Italian buttercream frostingBirthday brother eating cakeThe Sesame Street birthday familyChocolate Elmo lollipopsRoyal icing Elmo cookiesDiecut Sesame Street BannersSesame Street Fruit and Vegetable traysWatermelon cake for the birthday boyParty prep: Chocolate covered crayons pretzelsAwesome El Mundo de Elías birthday sign made by NicoParty prep: Sesame Street diecut bunting flagsParty prep: Sesame Street diecutsParty prep: Cakestands
As many of you know I am obsessed with Frida Kahlo. So are my sons. Today we celebrate this magnificent woman's bday.https://www.instagram.com/p/-7RsjmngBkhttps://www.instagram.com/p/40Cfh3HgBehttps://www.instagram.com/p/BHitKJdhCLk
This year we celebrated 'Murica to the fullest with a Fourth of July Buttercream Ombré Piñata Cake.Truth be told, after last year's massive flag cake I wasn't planning on making anything too crazy. But my family seemed so disappointed and I ended up caving. I'm happy though that I went for it. I had a lot of fun playing with my my new Russian Icing tips for the first time. Many lessons learned here so next time I think they'll come out much better.And I want to give a BIG thanks to my mother-in-law for all of her help watching the kids and killing it with the clean up!View of the cake from above. Flowers created with Russian piping tips.Here is the cake after we cut it open. I had my husband cut it open so that I could record a little video, but he ruined it when he decided to eat a piece of cake mid-recording :(These are the ombré layers. I use Americolor gels to get super vibrant colors.And here is my little man :) He and I also made American flag chocolate covered pretzels But we will debut those later today...
Last fourth of July I was SUPER pregnant. And like any rational minded soon to be mami of two, I decided that I should spend my last days of freedom on my feet, for hours, baking a flag cake.I started by making a 5 layer red test-cake with buttercream filling. But I wasn't happy enough with the height ratio of the red to white, so I ended up with this monstrosity pictured below.Really this cake didn't reach it's full height potential. But that is only because I reached the max height of our freezer, where I was storing the layers, and I literally couldn't stand on my feet any longer. That being said, it still irks me when I look at the picture above and wish, wish, wish that there was a the very least another top red layer.The most delicious part of the cake was actually the lemon curd filling, which you can't see here. I chose it because it wouldn't detract from the colored layers.These are the royal icing cookies I made with toddler. This was the first time I let him roll out his own cookies and decorate them. He was DELIGHTED!Here is my happy boy with his abuelito.Here he is again with his abuelito and grandma.
Since my second son's birthday is coming up next month my plan was to hold off from making a cake this year. But my family seemed so disappointed that it looks like I'll be baking a cake after all. And I am actually really excited to use my new Russian icing tips. So I think the plan will be to make a red white and blue pinata cake with my toddler.
I'll keep you guys posted...
Welcome to Messi Madness aka my son's third birthday. I was a year behind in posting last year's pictures, so this year I am getting on it right away.My little man is absolutely crazy about soccer and of course Lionel Messi. He runs through our home yelling "Mama soy Messi y mi hermano es Neymar Jr." When we asked him what theme he wanted for his birthday he had many ideas. But in the end he narrowed it down to FC Barcelona and Frida Kahlo. While we didn't end up with the Frida theme this year, he did insist on leaving the Frida Kahlo painting up in the kitchen so that everyone the party would see it.Some of the highlights of the party included: a chocolate fondant soccer ball cake, royal icing soccer jersey and soccer ball cookies, chocolate soccer ball lollipops, lots of FCB diecuts (made on the Cricut Explore), chocolate covered Oreos with soccer toppers, a FCB fruit platter, and of course FCB gear for the whole family.My little boy delighted that we FINALLY allowed him to eat a royal icing cookie.The desert table.The chocolate fondant soccer ball cake.Chocolate soccer ball lollipops.Royal icing cookies.Our family in full FC Barcelona gear.The epic FCB fruit platter made by my dear friend Lamia.Custom plates for the birthday boy.Our awesome photographer also wore FCB gear.Chocolate soccer balls.I wish I had more time to decorate the porch, but with two small children I had to pick my "battles" and decided to focus my energy on the inside. However my wonderful papi made the impossible happen and somehow magically jerry rigged this flag into place. And I would be remiss if I didn't mention the DELICIOUS tacos from Cafe Catedral- hands down the best party food ever.And of course my little Messi periodically stopped partying and got in some serious kicks.Stay tuned for photos of my second son's first birthday coming in August. This will be our second Elmo themed birthday, as my first son also celebrated his first birthday in Elmo style.Photos by Nick Cartwright
He LOVES Daniel Tiger and this was his last rendezvous as an only child*, so I figured we'd celebrate him to the max. And celebrate we did...I went way overboard on all the little details and decorations but I was so busy chasing around my toddler and making sure everyone was having a good time that I didn't get any photos of the actual event itself. But at least I had some photos pre-party of some of my prep work.*An entire year has passed and I just realized I never published this post. My son (pictured here) turned three two weeks ago and the other one is almost a year old.Daniel Tiger Royal Icing CookiesO the Owl Royal Icing CookiesDaniel Tiger CakeTiger Cake InsidePrince Wednesday, Katerina Kitty Cat, Miss Elaina and Daniel Tiger DiecutsPlaying with the diecutsDaniel Tiger Crayons
Adán loves Elmo and I love Adán. So needless to say, his 1st birthday had to be an Elmo/Sesame Street extravaganza. And believe me, I worked my butt off to make it happen.I know I am 4 months behind, but here are some photos of his big day. My only regret is that I don't have better images of the party, as I was running around like a crazy lady making sure everything was in order. Lesson learned... hire a photographer (aka barter with a photographer friend) to take pics of the next one.http://instagram.com/p/o0kgPUngF6http://instagram.com/p/pAe6gengCN/http://instagram.com/p/odojh6ngMShttp://instagram.com/p/pAfKQLHgCn/http://instagram.com/p/pAecttHgBf/http://instagram.com/p/pAd4G0ngAj/http://instagram.com/p/pAeF41ngBA/http://instagram.com/p/pACIaUHgDj/http://instagram.com/p/pAB6L6HgDO/
Yo Soy Oro is a state of mind, a feeling and a destination. I Am Gold means as good as it gets, the best that money can buy, constantly increasing in value. El Centro de Oro is all that and more. Third generation family owned businesses thrive, while new investments bring change to the streets. Lovely long haired ladies in shiny gold outfits stride confidently down clean sidewalks where bright yellow big bellies on every corner keep trash where it belongs. Taste the rich flavors of tropical dishes and rock to the sounds of solid gold hits from the best of Latin music.
He is crawling around like crazy, just got his first tooth, still prefers breast milk as his drug of choice, and LOVES art!http://instagram.com/p/iPd6noHgMrhttp://instagram.com/p/jZn0q5ngEw/http://instagram.com/p/jPrWKbngMV/http://instagram.com/p/iPPeldHgFf/
As many of you know, I am obsessed with our collective obsession with Frida Kahlo. And with all of the never discovered before photos, writings, and found artifacts, the internet is a playing field for all new things Frida. I try to catalog as many of these things as well as Frida inspired art, photos as Frida, Frida tattoos, and Frida products on obsessedwithfridakahlo.tumblr.com.
Nursing day and night is no joke. But hey don't take it from me.
I'm just providing sustenance to a human being.
After two weeks of wonderful fist sucking delight, the baby finally found his thumbs!Other huge milestones of this week include:* making constant eye contact with his mami and daddy* recognizing (and loving) his reflection in the mirror* holding his head up on his belly and while sitting up* making splashes of joy in the bathtubhttp://instagram.com/p/dnZnqzngOQWhat can I say? I love being a mami.
Do you love nursing your baby? Does your little one "perform" every time he or she is at your breast? I am working on new breastfeeding series that will include the sounds of nursing babies. I am looking for moms to contribute audio recordings of babies feeding. If you are interested in having the sounds of your baby feeding included in the piece please let me know.