Let’s Sleep Under the Stars–Summer Party Ideas

Tis the season for summer barbecues, birthdays and outdoor parties. Since the time has come to break out the paper lanterns, lawn chairs and s’mores to enjoy the awesomeness that is summer I wanted to post a few ideas we are throwing around for summer celebrations.
estee-camping-party-slides-01
Right now we are really excited because as we wait for our summer baby to arrive we are planning our other summer baby’s THIRD birthday. Stellan has an August birthday which is perfect for a camping-themed summer party. We’re leaning towards a camping/star gazing celebration in our backyard with DIY A-frame tents, an ice cream bar, fire pit for roasting marshmallows and a short movie on the projector. Perfection.
thepartyhop-stargazing-15
This star gazing party from Confetti Sunshine makes my heart race with excitement and inspired the theme for our little guy’s “Let’s Sleep Under the Stars” birthday.
I promised Marshal we weren’t going to do a big party this year since it’s a busy summer and we celebrated big last year for Stellan’s second birthday. I had every intention of ordering pizzas and ice cream cake plus throwing in a few balloons and calling it good. But then Pinterest happened and I’ve never met a party pin I didn’t like. So, with about six weeks until I cry my eyes out yet again over my son turning another year older I started on ‘phase one’: party invitations!
pritable invite
Since it’s such a festive-summery (COULD even be fall!) gender-neutral all-ages-friendly theme I wanted to share a printable generic version of the invite. The invitation is 5 x 7 and can be printed from your home computer using heavy white cardstock. Use a metallic Sharpie or pen to fill in the details and you’re finished.
star party printable

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Ice Cream Garland

stellan turns 2
For Stellan’s second birthday last summer we had an ice cream buffet/dessert table for our little monkey instead of a traditional birthday cake. The theme was Curious Stellan turns two so of course a banana split buffet was necessary. I made ice cream cone streamers/garlands to hang above the dessert table. They were super last minute so I needed something fast, simple, and doable with supplies I already had. All you need is cardstock in desired colors, a circle punch (any size works depending on how large or small or you want your “scoops of ice cream” to be), scissors, a glue stick and some ribbon/twin/fishing line.
ice cream diy

1. Punch circles from cardstock

2. Using scissors cut triangular shapes with the widest portion of the triangle being at least the same width as your circles.

3. Arrange 7-8 circles in a row vertically, with each circle slightly overlapping the one above.

4. Using glue stick apply a thin strip of glue to the top of each circle and paste to the circle above. Do the same for your triangular piece, which should be glued to the top of the bottom circle to replicate an ice cream cone effect.

5. With a push pin poke a hole at the top of first circle and string fishing line/ribbon/twine through for hanging.

6. Hang and enjoy.

Also, I have two quick tips for hosting an outdoor ice cream party. One, ours was in August so heat was a factor and to further complicate things the party was at a park about 25 minutes from our house. To keep the ice cream frozen we packed a few coolers with dry ice and even in August that kept it solid and frozen. Secondly, it really helped to have the ice cream pre-scooped. We used muffin pans (and made the mistake of lining them with cupcake liners but the ice cream stuck to the liners so skip cupcake wrappers or use sturdy cardboard wrappers) and scooped a large spoonful of ice cream into each spot so that when it came time to serve everyone we just transferred each scoop to a dish. It was fast so people could grab their bowls and start dishing up toppings.

Creamy Greek Yogurt Popsicles

photo (15)
What do you do with two hungry toddlers craving a sugar high? Let them eat cake! Or, you could try “tricking” them into eating something somewhat healthy, somewhat not and consider it a win for all. Stelli is in a stage right now. He pretty much only wants milkoos (milk) and Cheetos. Not that we allow this. But sometimes….eh. Let’s just say he wins. So today we made fruit pops and I consider them a success because the boys love them, they are kind of healthy and very pretty.
raspberry cream pops
Ingredients
•1 cup vanilla greek yogurt (can be fat-free)
•½ cup milk (half and half or heavy cream will result in a creamier popsicle
•1/3 cup Pineapple Juice
• 1 TBSP Honey
•1 cup frozen raspberries
photo 5 (7)
Instructions
1. Whisk together greek yogurt, milk, pineapple juice and honey.
2.Puree raspberries in a blender or food processor.
3.Combine with creamy yogurt mixture.
4.Pour mixture into popsicle molds until frozen.
photo 3 (20)
OR! You could spoon between two graham crackers and freeze for ice cream sandwiches. We had leftover batter or yogurt mixture or whatever you want to call it and we all took turns spooning it out of the bowl but now I’m really wishing we would have turned it into graham goodie sandwiches. With sprinkles around the edges! Next time that will be happening.

Midsummer

nordic summer

Midsummer in Norway and other Scandinavian countries is celebrated right around the summer solstice, June 21, when days are at their longest. Our Midsummer celebration this year will be special. Because we’re expecting an addition to the family very soon, our third son Haakon, we’ve been doing a lot of work around the house to get things ready. We have been painting the downstairs bedroom that Nolan and Stellan will move into very soon, trying to organize the upstairs room that will be the nursery, and trying to organize our own room which has become a dumping ground for a random assortment of items. With all the work occurring inside the house, we’ve sort of neglected the backyard, which looks like a jungle. So this weekend Jamie’s parents are coming over to help us cut the grass, prune some trees, put together the swing set from grandma Bonnie and build a fire pit. Hopefully, when we’re done with everything, we will have a new area for the boys to play, and a fire pit for our midsummer dinner and bonfire. Midsummer starts with flowers, and ends with fire!
We’ll set out a “smorgasbord” of smoked salmon, Jarslberg cheese, pickled beets, flatbread and other Scandinavian food.
NORDIC SMORGASBORD
Here are some recipes for some of what we’ll be eating.
CUCUMBER SALAD
Pickled Cucumber Salad (with optional red onion)
2 fresh cucumbers
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 -2 teaspoon rough ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons white distilled vinegar
Cut cucumbers into the thinnest possible slices.
Arrange slices in a bowl.
Whisk together the white distilled vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper and parsley.
Pour over the cucumbers.
SKAAGEN TOAST
“Skagenrøre”, or “Skagen Toast”
1 lbs cooked shrimp (small)
1 1/2 cups sour cream
3 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp chives, chopped fine
3 tbsp dill, chopped fine
1/2 small red onion, dicEd fine
2 eggs, hard boiled and chopped
salt and pepper to taste
mix together and put on top of flatbread or toasted bread slices
Cheers!
NORDIC SUMMER1
Hopefully we will be enjoying some version of this on the Solstice.

Trending Now: Midnight navy, seafoam mint green and coral nursery

midnight coral board
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Modern Aviator Nursery/Little Boys Bedroom

MODERNAVIATOR

1. Bed: http://www.landofnod.com/jenny-lind-bed-azure/f9692
2: AIRPLANE FABRIC: http://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/764780
3. AIRPLANE SHEETS: http://www.potterybarnkids.com/products/airplane-sheeting/?pkey=dboys-sheeting&
4.Blue and orange rug: http://www.landofnod.com/kids-all-rugs/kids-room-decor/bold-stripe-rug-blue-orange/f4900
5. Airplane wallpaper: http://phonewallpaperideas.blogspot.com/2013/08/god-gives-miracles-to-those-who-believe.html
6. AIRPLANE PILLOWS: https://www.etsy.com/listing/155304244/orange-and-blue-airplane-nursery-kid
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8. AIRPLANE MOBILE: https://www.etsy.com/shop/merakiandco?ref=si_shop
9. Airplane Knob: http://www.landofnod.com/blue-cant-miss-plane-knob/s565806