October 8, 2012


When my mom told me about the cute sock monkeys Kohl's had for their Kohl's Cares stuffed animals,  I was inspired to throw a sock monkey themed party for my twin boys' 3rd birthday party.

Kohl's Sock Monkeys before I modified them

I added a hat tassle & monogrammed letter to the monkeys
My mom and grandma made sock monkeys for all three of my boys and they love them, so I knew it would be a party they would like. 

These are the invitations (the photo was attached to the back)

I made shirts for the boys with sock monkey sock material.

I always like doing a welcome sign

Our dancing monkey
My boys love air dancers...you know, the funny dancing blow-up tube guys that advertise oil changes and the like.  I decided I wanted to get one for their party. Of course I didn't find a sock monkey one, so I decided it was a project I could take on to make.  I was so happy with how it turned out...in looks.  When I hooked it up to our bounce house fan it didn't dance. I made adjustments, enlisted my mom and dad's help, visited an actual air dancer, but never got him to dance.  So, we just blew him up to stand straight (which also needed a little help to get him to just do that). The boys still enjoyed it, but I think I will still try and figure out the physics of it. If anyone has an brilliant ideas, please share.
Their party was at the end of September, so I thought chili would be a good and somewhat easy thing to have for over 40 people. I guess I didn't expect it to be a day of 90 degree weather, but at least it cooled down by afternoon.

We had over a dozen little ones at the party (with only 1 girl, the rest boys).  We had a little craft table where kids could decorate vests for the sock monkeys that they got to take home. We also had the kids play Pin the Tail on the Sock Monkey and break open a pinata.

For dessert we had sock monkey cake pops (chocolate), red cake pops (vanilla), and regular cupcakes. We also had a candy buffet.

Hudson blowing out his candle; both the boys with their cupcakes

Candy buffet with Hot Tamales, Whoppers, Red Vines & Twizzlers (we are a family divided),
banana chips, caramels, Werthers, Tootsie Rolls, peppermints, rootbeer barrels

I had fun making the gift bags and I loved the fact that money went to a good cause when I got the sock monkeys. Each bag just had the monkey, a barrel of monkeys game and little reusable container with Tootsie Rolls. The one little girl who came got a special little headband I made for her since she had to deal with all those boys.

Here are the birthday boys (with bad hair days) and a picture of our whole family.  It was a fun day.
And no, my husband is not touching me where it looks like he's touching me...his hand was just resting on his knee. Sadly it looked like this in every picture we had taken. Oh well.

Thank you for taking a look.  Now onto big brother's party which is only a month away.


After I make a frame for a photo of the boys, I believe their "new" room is complete.  I loved their nursery, but was excited to make my 3-year old twin boys' room more mature.  I knew I wanted to use grays, but was not coming up with much.  Then I remembered a fabric with skyscrapers I bought for a project for my living room. I remembered it came in gray, white and black. I was inspired.  It was hard to paint over the pain-staking stripes that my husband painted for our first son, but I think we are all happy with the new room.  Now if Owen and Hudson would just stay in bed at night and go to sleep.


Some info from the above collage of pictures: I painted the skyline on the wall in layers. I spent so much time trying to find a decal or make one, but one day I just went in with some blue painter's tape and started taping the outline of buildings. It ended up being much easier than I expected.

The little porcelain tealights I found online at Queen B in Australia. A bit pricier than I would normally spend on a child's room, but they're just adorable and perfect for the room. My plan is to have these be night lights in their room (with battery votives). One of the buildings is even called The Fullerton (the town where we live).


I found the lightswitch cover on Etsy (http://www.etsy.com/shop/MapMotifs). The woman made it special for us. She had one like this posted on Etsy, but had sold it.  She was quite sure she had one more vintage maps of Minneapolis and she was so wonderful to search for a couple of months until she found it. I LOVE it! And I was so grateful. I actually think of her act of kindness every time I use the switch.

The Empire State Building is like a Lego set but called Best-Lock (found at Amazon.com). It came with stickers to put on the windows, but I like the clean look of the gray. I also want to get the Lego Architectural pieces for them, but when they are a bit older.

The two teddy bears may be the most special items in the boys room, and I was double-excited that they match the room.  My mom and grandma made these little bears for all of my grandma's great-grandkids from suits that were my grandpa's.  My son Hudson's middle name is Ray, which was my grandpa's name.   

I made the nightlight with the Brooklyn Bridge on it, but we don't use it because Hudson is scared of it (he's scared of a lot of things).  I think he thinks it's some sort of mask or something. Hmmmm.

The stool looks as if it was made for this room.  It's a Kikkerland EZ Fold Short Step Stool. They come in a lot of fun colors and collapse flat. They only cost around $12 and can be found at Amazon, Kohl's and Bed, Bath & Beyond. Love them.

The chair was mine as a child.  I painted over it twice now. Once for the striped nursery and now this.  Here's the before (wish I had a before-before photo):

The paintings of the maps were inspired by some prints I saw on Etsy.  The maps are of NYC, Los Angeles and Minneapolis (three places I've lived).  These are far from perfect, but I like how they turned out. Crazy side note is that my sister's sister-in-law who also moved to L.A. from MN bought the maps from Etsy and has them in her house. I was shocked at how small world that was, but also felt great because she has the best design style of anyone I know.

I found the bathroom rug and towels at Target and did a little dance when I saw how perfect they were for the room. I also got the soap dispenser, tissue box and toothbrush holder and all the black bins from Target. Love me my Tar-jay.

The lyric painting was made by my friend Laura Hagen.  The second I saw her first piece of work like this, I knew I had to buy one...and have since bought two. I am obsessed with her work.  I have the white one in our living room.  You can see some of her work here http://pinterest.com/mamasemamasa/canvas-happy/.


Found the fabric shower curtain at Sears. There were quite a few NYC shower curtains, but I love the look of this one best and it has my favorite building (Flatiron Building) on it.  The fabric is great quality and very thick. Here's a before picture of the bathroom (done before we had 3 little boys).


Now I need to start working on bedding for full size beds, since they are not going to fit in the toddler beds for much longer.