Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Buggy Table

One of the reasons I choose themes for the girls' parties as far ahead as possible is that I can collect little treasures along the way... affordable, little treasures at that. M's "Buggy Bash" was no exception (especially nice this time because I did a lot of the finding before her newest sister came along!)

I found bumblebee wings for she and her older sister at the Dollar Store... scored sweet knit butterfly clippies for a next to nothing sale off Etsy... found ADORABLE butterfly visors as favors for 15 CENTS a piece at The Children's Place (for the girls) along with grow bug capsules out of the Target Dollar Spot (for the boys)... made bug catchers from throw away tupperware on the cheap (just stuck some moss in the bottoms) and sent the littles on their way to look for scads of bugs collected from Michaels and Target dollar aisles.

It's all just part of the fun, which is exactly what I had when decorating the main table for the birthday girl and 17 small guests!
We were at your standard picnic shelter, so I simply pulled two long tables to the middle. My "tablecloth" was nothing more than a roll of wrapping paper ($2.99 at Target), which just so happened to match the invites (dressed up blank note cards from Target as well). I secured the paper with black duct tape, which we definitely needed on what turned out to be an atypical breezy July morning.
The centerpieces were glass jars straight out of my recycling bin! The party's main colors were black and white accented by lots of primary colors, so I found the perfect buggy paper at the Hobby Lobby.
I wrapped the paper around each glass jar and hot glued it in place. There was a gap between the paper and the jar's opening, so I filled it with more black and white tissue paper ($1.99 from, you guessed it, Target). I stuffed these great bug pinwheels ($1.50 at the Family Dollar) in the two taller ones and some fake gerbera daisies (from home) in the others.

They still needed a little something extra so I stamped "M's" on paper and used tiny clothespins to keep them in place. I have one of these letter stamps for each of the girls, which I found at a scrapbook discount store, and I can't tell you how many times I use them for a cheap way to personalize stationary and the like.
Lately I've been in the mood to "invest" in some essentials that can be used party after party like the red hamburger baskets found here ($1.00 for four from the Target Dollar Spot).
A little more of the tissue paper allowed me to fill them with snacks of the buggiest variety! :) Some coconut dyed green for grass, an oreo and pretzel spider, butterfly and flower crackers, fruit salad, ants on a log, and fruit leather. Some lemonade "nectar" with twirly straws ($1.00 for twelve at the Target Dollar Spot) finished off the set-up along with some primary colored napkins (right now 50% off at Target making them like 75 cents).

Once the guests arrived they went to play at the park next to our shelter. It was fun to call them over and have each little place all set up and ready to go as they climbed up to the tables. I did the same thing once they finished the bug hunt with their "dirt cup" desserts. The cups with lids were another "investment" at $1.50 for four from Big Lots... I'll for sure use these for parties, playdates, and all kinds of other gatherings.
Simply layer chocolate pudding, then crushed Oreos, then a gummy worm on top... easy and fun to eat!

Best of all, this bug-loving birthday girl had a blast.

And I admit that I did too, even if it means she really is (sigh) TWO years old already!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Buggy Bash

We're BUGGIN' out... cause M is turning TWO!

These were the words on our recently turned two year old's party invites that asked her friends to join in for a BUGGY bash at the park. They were told they would munch on and hunt for some cutie, creepy crawlies.

And so...

...that's just what we did! :)

Details to come,

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Watermelon Days

It just isn't summer to me without enjoying many upon many big, red, juicy slices.
And one of my favorite summer experiments so far has been a combination of watermelon and lime. An unbeatable duo.

Watermelon Limeade:
8 cups cubed watermelon (seeds removed) or 1 qt. watermelon juice
1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup sugar

Put half of the watermelon cubes in a blender and pulse until smooth. Strain through a mesh sieve over a large bowl and get rid of the solid stuff. Keep going until you have finished all the cubes. Add lime juice and sugar and stir until all the sugar is dissolved. You may need to add more sugar to taste. Best when nice and chilled.

Which means that it's good for drinking...

And good for homemade popsicles, especially after a long evening walk...

I'm going to miss these watermelon days when they're gone!

Friday, July 16, 2010

And the winner is...

...drumroll, please...

Congratulations, Meg! Please e-mail me at whattacutebaby@gmail.com to get started on your free baby chic set!

Thank you to everyone who entered! Don't forget that you can get 15% off of any order at whattacutebaby.blogspot.com through August!


Berry Good

I can't help it, but strawberries combined with the love two of our girls have for a particular red headed little girl... well, it makes me describe this muffin recipe as good. Berry, berry good!

With all the fresh berries in season this time of year-- blueberries, blackberries, strawberries-- I went on a hunt for the perfect, easy muffin recipe. I tweaked a little here and added a little there until... mmm. I think I've made these just about every week.

1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp. aluminum free baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla

And the stars...
1 1/2 cups fresh berries

Mix all ingredients together... gently folding in the berries last. Bake at 350 degrees in a greased muffin tin for about 20 minutes (make approximately 1 dozen muffins). For a little something extra, sprinkle a pinch of extra sugar on the tops BEFORE baking... Sugar in the Raw works great for this!

Don't be surprised if those Strawberry Shortcake loving girls turn princess on you and decide the muffins make the perfect main course for a picnic/tea party/lunch.

Yep... berry good. :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Giveaway Ends Tomorrow!!

Hello friends!

Don't forget...the Whatta Cute Baby Giveaway ends tonight at midnight! Go here for details and to enter.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Magic of Mother Nature

See that adorable onesie on my sweet little six-week old??? You know it has to be courtesy of our own Whatta Cute Baby! creator herself. It's adorableness just screams it at you, right? :)

Well, wanna know what is NOT adorable? When it gets stained by one of those poop-up-the-back numbers. Nope, not cute at all!

For all those who may not know this sunshiny trick, have I got some glorious news for you! To get out poop stains simply rinse the soiled garment in water and then put it in the sun to dry. Somehow miraculously Mother Nature gets rid of the stain better than any commercial brand stuff ever thought about.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway below for your whatta cuteness. I know you'll love the sweet baby line as much as I do!


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Don't forget about our giveaway!!

The Whatta Cute Baby! giveaway is still open! Check out the details and enter to win here.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Fruit Salsa

This is the perfect summer fruit salsa. You can fix it as a dessert for a cookout or just to have on hand for a quick snack. Either way, it certainly doesn't disappoint!

Fruit Salsa

*1 large Granny Smith apple, cored and cut into 1/8ths

*2 kiwis, peeled

*10-12 strawberries, hulled

*1 tsp. apple jelly

*1 tsp. strawberry jelly

*Graham crackers, for serving

(I always make this recipe with my Tupperware Quick Chef. If you don't own that product or something like it, you can create this dish in a food processor.)

1. Chop apple in Tupperware Quick Chef.

2. Add strawberries and kiwis; chop.

3. Add jellies; mix well.

4. Serve with graham crackers.

That's some sweet summery goodness, right there!


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Yumm-O Black Bean Salsa

With summer comes picnics and cookouts and dinners and parties. With those events comes the need to throw something together...something that requires little time, effort and money but yields high marks on the yumm-o chart.

Well, friends, I've got just the recipe for you! This simple Black Bean Salsa is sweet and tangy and EXTRMELY addictive (consider yourself warned!).

Black Bean Salsa

*1 container basil and tomato feta cheese

*1 can black beans, drained

*1 can yellow corn, drained

*1 red onion, chopped

*1 green onion, chopped

*Tostito Scoops, for serving

For dressing:

*1/2 cup EVOO

*1/2 cup white vinegar

*1/2 cup Splenda

1. Mix dressing ingredients in small sauce pan; heat to boil, then set aside to cool.

2. Mix salsa ingredients in large bowl.

3. Pour cooled dressing over salsa.

4. Serve with Tostito Scoops.

Want a salsa of a sweeter variety? Check back later this week for a super easy Fruit Salsa!


Friday, July 2, 2010

the Whatta Cute Baby! collection (and a GIVEAWAY!!!)

Welcome friends from Kelly's Korner!!

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you've heard all about the Whatta Cute Baby! collection. I started this business a few years ago as a way to express some creativity. Over the past few years, and since the birth of my niece last October (who seems to be my biggest inspiration for cuteness!), I've changed a few things and am glad to still have this creative outlet.

To view my full product line, go here: whattacutebaby.blogspot.com .

All items are handmade and custom. I don't keep pre-made items in stock, so every order can be created to your specifications.

The Cuddly Set is being discontinued and is currently marked down to $12/set (set includes 1 bib, 1 burp cloth and 1 fleece blanket). Colors and quantities are limited.

And now for the giveaway! The winner will receive a Baby Chic Set, which includes a burpie, bib and onesie in coordinating fabrics. The winner will choose the color combination as well as the monogram/embellishment. Here's how to enter:

*Visit Whatta Cute Baby! then leave a comment here telling us what your favorite item is.

*Become a follower or subscriber of Three Simple Girls and leave a comment telling us that you've done so. If you're already a follower or subscriber, comment with that information to be entered as well.

*Post about this giveaway on your blog and leave a link in a comment to that post.

This giveaway will be closed at 12:00am, Friday, July 16th. That gives you 2 weeks to enter, so tell all your friends! (Giveaway only available to US residents.)

For the entire months of July and August, all you simple gals (and even you simple guys!) can get 15% off any order you place at Whatta Cute Baby! Just be sure to include the code KELLYSKORNER when you order. Any orders left in the comment box below will not be processed. To place your order, e-mail me at whattacutebaby@gmail.com.

And because I can't resist, here's that little bit of inspiration I was telling you about.

See, she's full of all kinds of cuteness :)


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Red, White, and Blue

These days I'm trying to keep it simple indeed for my two little, but older girls (3 and almost 2) while I have to do lots of newbornish things. That's why in preparation for all the July 4th excitement this weekend, we have two easy but fun (& yummy!) things you could do... probably today since they don't require a lot of ingredients.

We talked a little about our country and one thing we learned was that our colors are you know... red, white, and blue. What better way to imprint this forever in little brains than with marshmallow pops!
Simply insert a popsicle or lollipop sticks into a marshmallow... heat about a 1/4 cup chocolate chips in the microwave until soft and able to be stirred... dip the pop in the chocolate and then in some patriotic sprinkles (got ours out of the Target dollar bin!) A messy success...

When they woke up from naps one afternoon they were quite excited to see another red, white, and blue display... sliced strawberries, blueberries, and some whipped cream. They were free to make any kind of "art" they wanted with the supplies. Told you... EASY!

Counting her blueberries

Hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend filled with family, friends, sparklers, good food, and all things... red, white, and blue!

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