Beyond Deweyville

Breeding, feeding, writing, reading, crafting, and photographing in Orange County, CA Where it has become a novelty to raise your own kids and mow your own grass (if you can afford some).

Shivohn’s 1st Birthday (now that she’s almost ten)… July 25, 2010

I always take these weird hiatuses (is it hiati), I don’t know. I’m just a sucky blogger these days.

Good thing I can get it together to throw a mean 1st birthday at the park.

The Invites


You can see the pack I bought from Target. There’s always two things I add to invites if I can–a photo and dimension. So I printed a bunch of 4×6 photos through Costco online. I used a 2ish” circle punch to make the round photos. Next I dug out some yellow scrap fabric and used my pinking shears to make circles slightly bigger than the photo. I just did it freehand. The uneven slightly odd shapes were okay with me. I glued it all together using the super fantastical Aleene’s Tacky Glue.  Lastly, I wrote all the info on the back.





Now, on to the park..

I’ve never made a birthday banner or bunting before so I thought I’d give it a shot. I have a large scrapbook store near my house that has a gazillion dies for die cutting.  For $12/year I can use them as much as my little heart desires. So I took some paper, 2/3 of my kids, and my mom (did I tell you she recently moved pretty far away). I used the machines for all the letters and the circles. The burlap you can get for super cheap at any home fabrics store. The circles are attached to the burlap using, what else, Aleene’s. The top of the triangles are simply folded over the jute cord and clothes pinned. I already owned the buckets. I sprayed painted two wood dowels from The Home Depot yellow, made a little cross out of wood, nailed it to the bottom, and filled the buckets with park sand.

For the tables I bought a mega roll of plastic lime green table cloth and cut them all to length at home. I taped the corners and sides under with small pieces of white electrical tape. Next I layed a fat strip of burlap down the entire length of the table

Burlap is your best party friend!

The park made me think of grass so I ordered some sod from the closest nursery which Brian picked up right before the party. Using his box cutter, all we had to do was cut them in half. The circles I cut out of free cardboard boxes. And the “1”s on both sides, you got it, die cut machine.

Lunch was sandwiches, fruit salad with a yummy yogurt sauce, caesar salad, and chips

Cake time!

I made Boots an age appropriate allergy-free little cake to smash (recipe below)

A huge shout-out to Brittany Egbert at One Charming Party for sharing this recipe with the world

Go check her out!

Simple Cake

2/3 cup rice milk
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup light agave nectar
1/3 cup applesauce
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 325°. Cut 2 circles from parchment paper to fit 2 six-inch round cake pans. Lightly oil and flour the round cake pans and place parchment circles in the bottom. In a large mixing bowl, combine the rice milk and apple cider vinegar. Allow to sit for 2-3 minutes to curdle. With a stand mixer or a hand mixer, beat in agave nectar, applesauce and vanilla. Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix until smooth. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of both cakes comes out clean. Let pans cool for 30 minutes and then carefully turn out onto a cooling rack. Once both cakes are completely cooled, stack (with a layer of frosting or organic jam between cake layers) and frost.


(this may contain soy, depending on your margarine):
1/2 cup non-hydrogenated shortening
1/2 cup non-hydrogenated and dairy-free margarine, like Earth Balance
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup rice milk
Beat the shortening and margarine together until well combined and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat for about 3 more minutes. Add the vanilla and rice milk. Beat for another 5 to 7 minutes until fluffy.

(Both recipes adapted from the book “Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World”)

Here’s what everyone else got. Don’t tell Shivohn.

“Miss Shivohn’s Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches”

Because they’re frozen you can make them one batch at a time over the course of the week before the party.

I used this recipe from Martha Stewart that I have tweaked a bit and used in the past. (FYI, I do NOT make my own ice cream. lol)

For the favors we handed out “Miss Shivohn’s Favorite Pancake Mix” in a jar.

I mixed all the dry ingredients, put them in the jars, and attached instructions for completing the recipe.

Now for my very favorite part!

We made these two different signs for the guests to write on with chalk and hold up for a photo.

So fun!!

Some other photos for you to enjoy

Shivohn and my mom

Yes, that’s actually me in front of the camera. I know!

Thanks for spending time here today

In love,



Amaiah’s Doll Party May 17, 2010

My girl Amaiah turned five


We decided to have a doll party

Each of the guests was asked to bring their favorite baby or pet

I realized after the party that I had more fun sitting alongside her, preparing all the details during the previous week, than I had at the actual party. lol!

I’m becoming more and more a fan of tweaking the store bought invitation rather than starting from scratch. I bought these before Amaiah was born.

I just loved them so.

We used stamps and markers to fill in the details

She got ink everywhere

For the favors

I made each girl a flannel burp cloth for her baby.

Amaiah loved helping me pick out the fabric

We also made play dough that we pretended was baby food

She decided which kind of food each color looked like, stood beside me while I made the label, and then we totally argued about who got to glue them on

We gave them to the guests in these little glitter pails

Another purchase I made a long time ago

Target $1 bin

When the friends first arrived they sat and made jewelry for their baby/pet

I bought some preemie diapers and set up a diaper changing station for them.

By my count, they all changed their dolls’ diapers about six times.

For the lunch table Amaiah picked out all the decorations from guess where…Target

Brian made her favorite, Macaroni and Cheese

After lunch we played a game

The girls had to race to do a series of mom tasks:

Put on an apron

Shove diapers and a blanket in a bag

Put their baby in a stroller

Run around

Come back and unpack it all

They were laughing so hard!

The winner got this

Next came present opening

And finally, cake!

I love you sweet baby girl!


Food Fight! July 25, 2008

Filed under: Kid Birthday Parties — mothersandothers @ 11:43 pm

The little man has officially walked into fivedom. Say it ain’t so! We had the greatest party this year. So fun in fact, he told me he wants this SAME party every year, and I just may indulge him.

This is, hands-down, the easiest, funnest, cheapest party we’ve done since adopting a back-to-basics attitude about kid parties. I was going for something every kid wants to do and never gets to do. Shazaam, play with their food, right? Better yet, mash their food into their best buddies.

Food Fight!

Okay I can’t wait any longer, here’s what they looked like when they were done.

Here are the details:

I kept the numbers small for obvious reasons. He invited his three best buddies. It took some convincing on his part that the party would still be fun if they all came with their moms and 3 year-old sisters. I told the moms up front that I was just planning for the boys to go into the Food Fight Room. It turns out the girls were totally out on it anyway. LOL.

For the invites I copied this idea.

It’s a postcard that’s about the size of a 3.5 X 5 card. There was no reason to measure each of them since I did no printing and used no envelope. I found some thick chip board in my craft stuff and cut it down. Wyatt painted a big smeary foodesque picture for me that I then cut up. Next I printed on some mailing labels I already had, sloppily did a red marker border, and wrapped it around the right edge of the invite


Note: This was Grammy’s invite. On the invites to the boys I added,”Please arrive in swim trunks and bring a clean pair of shorts.”

We took a room in our house that has very little furniture in it and pushed it all against one wall. In one of Brian’s past lives he re-textured ceilings, so he had the room completely bagged in about fifteen minutes. That big “W” is my one decoration. I was originally going to have them fling potatoes at it with spoons as a game, but then decided no games were needed.

For the favors we gave “food” splattered lunch sacks to everyone that were filled with his five favorite good-for-you snacks.

The day before the party we placed the bags on the ground in the bagged room, and the kids and I flung

our paintbrushes at them. It was so fun!

Before the fight started I gave them goggles to wear (they also took these home).

I bought the cheapest food I could find at Big Lots and Smart & Final. Here’s what they had in their arsenal:


Mashed Potatoes

Chocolate Pudding


Cooked Carrots and Peas


Canned Whipped Cream

After they were done I went around to the slider and cut a hole in the plastic to let them all out…straight into the shower.

Finally, I made them t-shirts to wear and keep. I got a multi-color pack at K-mart, found some splat images on the internet, added words, printed on transfer paper, and ironed them on. I inadvertently gave some of them that sweet worn look because I ironed them too long. Ha! The front said “You Got Food On Your Face” and the back said “I survived Wyatt’s Food Fight June 2008”

Afterwards they came in for lunch and singing and playing. Instead of the usual “no gifts” policy we’ve switched to the “bring something used from your house” policy because let’s face it, kids like to give and get gifts. As for the clean-up, we just slipped in between the plastic and the wall then pulled it down onto itself, tucked it into a ball and tossed it into the trash. No mess anywhere!

Happy Birthday Baby Boy!

I love you soooooo much!

Okay, and I just had to include this shot of one of the girls because it was too good not to share.