Oh, hi. I just turned fourteen.
Ok, so maybe she actually turned four. But come one, how old does she look?! If you have children I don’t need to tell you how quickly it seems they grow up and turn into real people capable of their own song parodies and silly game creations. Of course some days it feels like the kids will be this age forever. They scream, they sass, they poop all over themselves and I think I’ll never have a moment of quiet or a glass of wine again in my whole life. I need to cherish these moments (well maybe not those moments, but the good ones).
Lola had a hard time choosing a theme for her birthday. She said yes to everything I showed her rather than choosing between them. Even the day of her party she saw me making cupcakes and said, “But maybe I want a cake…” Uffdah.
We ended up going with a “Charlie and Lola” theme. If you’re unfamiliar, Charlie and Lola is an adorable, wholesome British cartoon. We originally heard about it from a friend of a friend when he found out our daughter’s name was Lola and her favorite stuffed animal was a teddy bear named Charlie. The cartoon is about a little girl and her big brother. We were thrilled to find it at our local library and the kids latched on in no time.
We got a few decorations from Paper Cow again and they were so beautiful. I used their new Tea Party theme and it was a great match to Charlie and Lola. I ended up using the cupcake toppers as wall decorations amidst some Charlie and Lola butterflies that I cut out scrapbook paper. Paper Cow still has a deal going on where you can get 40% off your order of printable PDFs if you place your order before September 1, 2013 and mention The Live-In Kitchen at the time of ordering!
The one thing Lola insisted she wanted for her birthday was a Charlie and Lola dollhouse. Unfortunately, no such thing exists. I scoured Pinterest for ideas before deciding that the cheapest, best looking option would be to make her one out of an old bookcase we had sitting around.
I started by “wallpapering” the shelves with scrapbook paper and double sided tape. A better crafter would have purchased scrapbook paper to better fit the shelves. Whoops. I also taped on some little curtains (to cover the gaps in wallpaper) as well as a few pictures I cut out of magazines. My favorite was this picture of a bookshelf featuring many of the books we already own. That way Charlie and Lola can read some of real-life-Lola’s favorite books.
I made the dolls by printing the image onto iron-on transfer paper and then transferring them onto a heavy cotton fabric. I cut them out, sewed them together, and stuffed them with doll stuffing. In an attempt to get the soft dolls to stand up I sewed a magnet into the bottom and glued another magnet to the outside. The weight of the magnets holds them upright and the dolls can “hug” when the magnets stick to each other.
The hardest part about making the dollhouse was definitely the furniture. I can not believe how expensive dollhouse furniture is! I found this furniture on Overstock.com and thought I had hit the jackpot until it arrived and I realized I would have to put it all together myself. I ended up just doing the essential pieces and making them beds and pillows from materials I had lying around.
All in all, I’m really happy with how the house turned out. Lola literally squealed with delight when she opened it, wouldn’t stop playing with it, and would randomly thank me all day for “giving me exactly what I wanted.” A few of the pieces have already broken (my craftsmanship leaves something to be desired) but I think they will be easy to fix now that I’ve tried it and learned a few things.
In lieu of an elaborate cake Lola chose cupcakes set up to look like balloons. I used the same from Casper’s birthday last year. It’s a really great recipe and I would be lying if I didn’t say one of the biggest draws is that we can eat tons of batter worry-free. My kids live to lick the bowl and this vegan recipe is perfect for that.
Cartoon Lola loves to drink pink milk. I recreated it with a little natural food coloring and swirly straws. The perfect cupcake accompaniment.
I love celebrating my kids, telling them their birth story, and creating special details just for them. I can’t wait until next time!