Friday, January 29, 2016

Reilly's 13th Birthday--mall scavenger hunt--Jan 2106

Reilly's birthday was quickly approaching, and since turning 13 is one of those milestone years, I knew I needed to deliver on this one!

The only problem was that I got the worse case of bronchitis in the world!!
I felt like utter garbage and couldn't seem to get out of  the coughing pit.

I looked at the calender one day and realized I only had 2 weeks until the big
day and I hadn't even sent out invitations not to mention come up with a plan!  I called the mom's of the girls Reilly wanted to invite and told them to save the date and I would give them the details later.  This bought me some time.

Pinterest saved my bacon when I happened upon the idea of a mall scavenger hunt.  
I decided to tweek the idea by stepping it up a notch or two!  

My friend, Leisha, went to the mall with me the week before to get an idea of what stores would work best as well as which items in each store that would be a fun thing for the girls to buy.

My other friend, Taunya, completely blew me over by heeding to my call of distress as I was struggling to find clever wording for the "clues" and "tasks".   I literally gasped when I opened up my email the morning after speaking to her and found 15 of the most creatively cute little ditties. (I've listed them farther down in this post).  I always knew she was talented, but this just confirmed to me what I always knew to be true...that her brain needs to be cloned!

Here's are the details of how it all worked...

Each girl got a bag with a mall map, water bottle, and 2-3 envelopes containing the "clues" and "tasks" for each store.

They also got to choose from one of these darling little change purses that my sister, Katie, made!  That girl has mad skills, I'm telling you!!  There' nothing she can't do!

The purses had a few gift cards and money in them for some of the purchases that they would be making along the way.

Here they all are at the beginning of the scavenger hunt.  My phone camera is junk so sadly, this picture turned out blurry. 
(from left--Jillian, Kirsten, Reilly, Caroline, Hannah, Emily and Ria in front) 

Scavenger Hunt Riddles:  

Clue #1--Go to the most twisted restaurant in the mall, Roll out your dough--buy a knot or a ball!
Task:  Each of you enjoy a warm, salty good--Sit down on a bench while you eat your food!

Clue#2--A big department store you now must raid, It hosts each year the NYC Thanksgiving Parade!
Task:  It's time for your first kiss--so none of you peek!  Snap a pic kissing a handsome mannequin's cheek!

Clue #3--Sugar and spice make little girls nice--But jewelry and rings are teenager things!
Task:  The girl holding card #3, Will pay for a birthday button for MISS REILLY!

Clue#4--Super Bowl Sunday will be in a day--Find your favorite team jersey and make a big play!
Task:  Now, find your favorite sport's team shirt--Then, strike a pose as if you're in a cheerleader skirt!

Clue #5--Lotions and potions and liquids that smell rosy-This fragrant shop can even soothe toes-ees!
Task:  Combine all your gift cards to get the best deal--Buy two, get one free--it's such a great steal!

Clue #6-- Dazzle your feet in something that lifts to the sky--Walk the run-way in crazy shoes that are high!
Task:  Find the right size with the wackiest style--Go for a walk but under one mile!

Clue #7--Milk, dark, and white are a girl's best friend--Time for a treat to help you push to the end!
Task:  The person holding gift card #7 will pay--Each of you pick two, it's your lucky day!

Clue #8--Casual wear from these Japanese designers and makers--This UNIque store will dress you cool--not like those fakers!
Task:  Stand next to a mannequin and copy her pose--Remember not to blink, twitch or wiggle your nose!

Clue #9--Freshen your breath and give your jaw a work out--Toss in a quarter and watch the machine's silvery spout!
Task:  Breath in, blow out--the biggest one wins!  After it pops, be sure to wipe your chin!

Clue # 10--What's in? What's out?  It's always HOT to know--Fashion is a TOPIC that's constantly changing, never slow.
Task:  Search for skulls to decorate your fingers and toes--Gift card #10 will pay for each of your gifts, she knows!

Clue #11--Numbers, numbers cover the mall a bit--Find something with Reilly's age on it.
Task:  Look high, look low, just look all around.  Keep searching for the magic number 'til it's found!

Clue #12--Old fashion writing on a little white CARD--Finding a funny birthday wish shouldn't be hard.
Task:  All of you work together to find the ONE perfect fit.  Reilly holds it near her heart while the rest of you sit!

Clue# 13--Red, white, and blue plus an eagle's strong ride.  This popular store shows our country' s great pride!
Task:  Show-off something from our country strong and true--One must be red + white and the other one blue!

Clue #14--Ten plus eleven is the number to find--This store is forever one of my kind!
Task:  The summer sun will soon fill the blue skies--Find a pair of glasses to protect your eyes!

Clue #15--For your final clue on the big shopping birthday--Move from floor 1 to floor 2 in
Buddy's special way!
Task:  One by one up the escalator you must go--Go ahead flexible girls--put on a Shopping Mall show!

One of the best parts of this party was that my mom (who was in town for a visit) and I got to sit in massage chairs while the girls were on their scavenger hunt and talk about everything under the sun! 

When all the clues had been solved, we headed over to the Grub Hub for dinner.  The ironic thing is that this place is known for it's delicious burgers, and yet all 7 of the girls got... chicken fingers!

I'd definitely give this party a thumbs up!  I think all the girls had a fun time!  
I was so thrilled to see all of the details come together!!

Happy 13th Birthday, Reilly!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Trunk or Treat--Oct 2105

Our primary was in charge of organizing the ward Trunk or Treat/Chili Cook Off...

It was fun coming up with different Halloween vignettes for each table...

While this picture doesn't show it, we had the lights dimmed and just kept the pot lights on which gave it a more cozy/spooky effect...

Crows with party hats!  Nothing could be cuter!

I took a few pictures of things before the festivities began because I knew that once everyone started filing in, things would get a little crazy.  

The only thing I wouldn't do next time is have the desserts out and accessible for people/kids to grab at their leisure.  Half of the cookies were gone before dinner even began.  This was one of those times when I wish I had a little less of an um..uptight personality.  ha ha

Ellie sporting her favorite food item--mac and cheese!  Here she is with her friend/neighbor, Megan.

As a presidency, we decided to be "expressions that we often say during primary each Sunday"
"Oh deer!"    "Holy Cow!"    "Holy Guacamole!"

On Friday, the 30th, I volunteered in Ellie's classroom to help with the Halloween party.  I made my traditional "witches brew" (homemade rootbeer with dry ice).  Always a big hit!  I've only got one more year of this left!  I can't believe that she will be in 6th grade next year!!  I'n going to miss this!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Activity Day Girls--Garden Party

I've been the Activity Day leader for about 3 years now, and every June, per the girls' request, we try to have a garden party.  Unfortunately, last year, every time we tried to plan this, the weather wouldn't cooperate.

Most of these girls will soon be moving up to Young Women's so I felt like they needed a memorable send off...

I decided to have them make fairy pots--

They learned the proper way to add drainage stones at the bottom of their pots and how to check to see if a plant is root bound or not.  They also learned about the right way to water.

I wish I would have taken a close up of the final product!  Dang!

The chickens added to the ambiance with their feathery selves! 

After the pots were completed, we ended the activity with refreshments:  cream puffs, lemonade and fresh fruit...

This was our last activity before summer begins!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Spring Terrain...

My friend, Ann and I had lunch last week at my favorite store/cafe in the whole world...

...T E R R A I N!

It's a well curated garden and home store that inspires me each time I visit...(Anthropology owns it, so the home goods, stationary, dishes etc. are all a mixture of eclectic, creative and downright adorable).

While I didn't capture any of the actual food aspects of our day, (creamed mushroom soup with black truffle oil, quiche and cauliflower fritters), I did take pictures of some garden inspirations...

I love the idea of growing wheatgrass in a container and then taking it out after it gets to it's root bound stage and placing it on a cake stand...wouldn't that be cute with a few colored eggs nestled in for an Easter table?

This burst of color is exactly what these "winter logged" eyeballs needed to see...

now THIS is a gardeners sink!


I always like getting inspiration for terrariums and fairy pots...

And who wouldn't be charmed by this little visitor?...
I can almost hear him proclaiming that "Spring is Here at last"!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Jake's 14th birthday

It seems like just yesterday, Brian and I were bringing Jake home from the hospital in a NY taxi...

Now here we are, 14 years later, driving him with 4 of his friends to Lancaster, Pa for an overnight excursion.  (PS--we're not the one's in the buggy)

The drive was so beautiful. (About an hour and 20 from our house).   Everytime I take a trip to Lancaster, I act like I've never seen Amish people before.  There's something about it that feels like I'm stepping back in time.  

For the past year, Jake's dream has been to have breakfast at Shady Maple Smorgasboard in Lancaster.  (Gotta love a guy that has high aspirations!)  Because the breakfast buffet ends at 10am, it made it more convenient for us to just drive up the night before and stay over rather than have everyone meet at our house early on Saturday morning.

I booked two for the boys and one for Brian and I.

This cozy fire in the lobby was what greeted us as we walked in.  I loved this hotel!  

The location was perfect! It was right smack dab in the middle of Amish country.  The view from our hotel window, in fact, was an Amish house with a buggy parked in front.  Look at the contrast between the red convertible car and the buggy behind it.

I ordered pizzas for the boys and after they ate, they went outside to play basketball for a while.  Thankfully, the weather was mild, so no one really needed a jacket.

They then spent the next few hours yucking it up in the pool...

and then spent the rest of the evening hanging out in their room playing strategic board games and eating snacks until around midnight...

                  The next morning, we headed over to Shady Maple for the breakfast extravaganza...

It was impossible to capture the magnitude of food that was available at this buffet.  I took a few pictures but looked like a nerdy tourist doing it.  In addition to the buffet spread, you could have any breakfast thing under the sun made to order...

                                          I think this was a picture of the first round

Evidence of the second...

And onto round 3...(made to order m&m pancakes)  
They all ended their meal with creamsicle slushies

Shady Maple has a ginormous gift shop, so we hobbled  walked downstairs to browse.  The boys had fun looking at all of the knicknack toys and gadgets.

                              Brian found this hilarious bumper sticker that had us all laughing...

On the way home, I couldn't resist taking an illegal action shot of an Amish buggy as we passed by...

Granny drove up from Butler to stay with the girls while we went to Lancaster.  When we got back, she and the girls had everything decorated for our family party...

                        which was, of course, Granny's traditional..."A Mexican Dinner"....

I only chose to keep this picture because it's good of Brian...(what's up with Reilly's evil glare and Jake's awkward tongue?)  

With 14 candles, "it almost looks like the pie is on fire".  (a quote from Reilly)
Jake is the person that made me an official mother...I have a tender spot in my heart for him., and am grateful for these past 14 years we've been able to share together.