Farris’ Fifth – a Halloween-themed birthday party

Farris' Fantastically Frightful Fifth | the Maypop | Halloween themed birthday party inspiration

Do you remember Farris, my Carnival Party muse? Well, I had the pleasure of planning a spooky soiree for her fifth birthday recently, and I’m excited to share the details with you today.

Let’s start with the invitations. The three images below served as my inspiration…

Farris' Fantastically Frightful Fifth | the Maypop | Halloween themed birthday party inspiration

Michele Purner Designs /  Groovy Graphics / Stamp and Seal

 

I especially loved the image in the center from Groovy Graphics., and it was the one that got the wheels in my head really turning. Farris’ mommy, Gray, is an amazing children’s photographer. With my vision and her talent, I knew we could create something really special, something unique and personal, and something that would make a wonderful keepsake. It took me a while to convince Gray that she had the time and that she could do this, but I’m so glad I pushed her.

So, with four kids between us and no sitter to help, we spent a (crazy) afternoon posing Farris. I had a list of poses that I wanted her to fake – holding a pumpkin, flipping through a spellbook, looking at a raven on her finger, and flying on a broom. She nailed flying on a broom, with a little help from a very pregnant me holding her cape.

Farris' Fantastically Frightful Fifth | the Maypop | Halloween themed birthday party inspiration

 

After a little photoediting magic from Gray, this is what we came up with….

 

FRONT:

Farris' Fantastically Frightful Fifth | the Maypop | Halloween themed birthday party inspiration

 BACK:

Farris' Fantastically Frightful Fifth | the Maypop | Halloween themed birthday party inspiration

 

SIDE BY SIDE:

Farris' Fantastically Frightful Fifth | the Maypop | Halloween themed birthday party inspiration

I made the keys with my Silhouette Cameo, attached them with twine, and then we sent the invitations in black envelopes. The birthday girl herself even addressed a few. Sentimental me couldn’t resist including this picture.

Farris' Fantastically Frightful Fifth | the Maypop | Halloween themed birthday party inspiration

 

For the decor, I thought it was more important to have a few special vignettes than it was to decorate the whole house. So I focused on staging a few key areas in the foyer, entry hall, and dining area. I had so much fun staging this party and was able to use several things that Gray already owned. Everything else was purchased from Amazon, Michaels, WalMart, and various dollar stores.

 

Farris' Fantastically Frightful Fifth | the Maypop | Halloween themed birthday party inspiration

Farris' Fantastically Frightful Fifth | the Maypop | Halloween themed birthday party inspiration

Farris' Fantastically Frightful Fifth | the Maypop | Halloween themed birthday party inspiration

Farris' Fantastically Frightful Fifth | the Maypop | Halloween themed birthday party inspiration

Farris' Fantastically Frightful Fifth | the Maypop | Halloween themed birthday party inspiration

Farris' Fantastically Frightful Fifth | the Maypop | Halloween themed birthday party inspiration

We made sure the kids had fun too, planning several fall festivities.

Apple bobbing.

Farris' Fantastically Frightful Fifth | the Maypop | Halloween themed birthday party inspiration

Farris' Fantastically Frightful Fifth | the Maypop | Halloween themed birthday party inspiration

Potion mixing (my personal favorite).

Farris' Fantastically Frightful Fifth | the Maypop | Halloween themed birthday party inspiration

Farris' Fantastically Frightful Fifth | the Maypop | Halloween themed birthday party inspiration

And a donut eating contest.

Farris' Fantastically Frightful Fifth | the Maypop | Halloween themed birthday party inspiration

Farris' Fantastically Frightful Fifth | the Maypop | Halloween themed birthday party inspiration

I’d say a good time was had by all.

Farris' Fantastically Frightful Fifth | the Maypop | Halloween themed birthday party inspiration

Happy birthday, Farris. I can’t believe the tiny five-pound baby I remember holding is now five years old. It was a joy to plan your party and to be part of this special celebration. I love you, sweet girl!

Farris' Fantastically Frightful Fifth | the Maypop | Halloween themed birthday party inspiration

 

Beautiful photos by Gray Benko.

 

 



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Lindsay Letters: Christmas in July Sale

Hello friends. Just popping in to share a little Christmas in July sale from Lindsay Letters.

Calligraphy is a long time passion of mine, and I love anything hand lettered, so naturally I’m smitten with Lindsay Letters. Her instagram images are especially lovely! When I saw this O Holy Night print on sale for $10, I couldn’t resist snatching it up for Christmas. This is my favorite Christmas hymn, and I am immediately transported to the Christmas Eve candlelight service at my hometown church when I read it. Closing my eyes now, I can almost hear the choir singing it.

Lindsay Letters O Holy Night Print

The print nailed several loves for me – it’s hand lettered and sentimental. I can’t wait to frame and display it for Christmas, and I hope the boys grow to treasure this song and its meaning as much as I do.

If we didn’t have the television mounted over the fireplace, then I would have ordered it in a large canvas, as Holly Mathis did.

Lindsay Letters O Holy Night Holly Mathis

 

The Nester used another line from this song in her house, and Lindsay printed it up too. I think it would be lovely to pair the two O Holy Night prints together in different sizes, one leaning in front of the other.

Lindsay Letters Weary World Rejoices the Nester

Navy is my go-to color, and the idea of “calm and bright” seems like such a balm to my spirit, especially as a mom of two boisterous boys. I really loved this one. Maybe I should order it for the boys’ room…you know, as a subtle hint? 😉

Lindsay Letters All is Calm

This hot pink is adorable too. It would be such a fun gift!

LL2-Baby-Its-Cold-Pink_1024x1024

 

Hurry and pick one up for yourself or for a gift while they’re still on sale through the end of the month. Merry Christmas in July!



Elf on the Shelf Gets His Own Door

One of my goals this year has been to keep Christmas all year. Mostly, I set this intention with the idea that “random acts of kindness” would happen more often, that we would give more generously, help more often, and forgive more easily, in the way that we all do “because it’s Christmas”. It was the essence of the Christmas spirit that I was (and am still) hoping to capture all year long.

Many of my own childhood memories of Christmas are wrapped up in the magic and fun of the season. My parents always made a really big deal of Santa and of encouraging us to Believe. For example, I have a distinct memory of my Dad calling my brother and me to the front door one Christmas Eve. “Hurry,” he said. “Look! See that flashing red light? It’s Rudolph, flying across the sky! Listen. Can you hear Santa’s sleigh bells?” Another time, I remember Santa Claus calling us on the phone at home to make sure we were being good. I can remember asking him about Rudolph and Mrs. Claus. My Dad has continued that tradition, making certain Santa Claus calls my own little boys.

So, in addition to keeping the Christmas spirit all year, it was (and is) important for me to capture some of the magic and fun of the season too. And friends, that’s just what we did Sunday night.

Our little Elf of the Shelf, Seymour, made an impromptu mid-year return visit. The boys quickly and excitedly spotted him perched on top of the table on Daddy’s Yeti.

Elf on the Shelf | Christmas in July | the Maypop

 

After carefully removing him from the cooler with kitchen tongs (so as not to touch him), the boys were excited to see that Seymour had delivered a treasure of CapriSuns and popsicles. I let the kids drink and eat this stuff at parties, but I have never bought either for the house. So trust me, this was an exciting moment and very in line with Christmas magic and fun. (Plus CapriSuns were $.79/box at Publix this week!)

Elf on the Shelf | Christmas in July | the Maypop

 

Then, the kids immediately noticed the new door. Harrison, ever sharp, immediately knew that “Seymour had built his own door!”

Elf on the Shelf Door | Christmas in July | the Maypop

 

With this post from Modern Mrs. Darcy as my inspiration, I picked up two of these little MDF doors at Michaels for under $3/each. They measure ten inches tall; the perfect Elf size.

Unfinished MDF Craft Door for Elf on the Shelf, from Michaels | the Maypop

I painted them white to match the trim in our house (which clearly also needs to be repainted. And, I’d like to paint our walls something other than this manila envelope shade the builder chose, but we’re digressing deeply into not-in-the-Christmas-spirit territory.).

Back to the Elf doors – I then added an old large faux-pearl stud earring to each door for doorknobs. Eric pre-drilled tiny holes in the doors for the earring studs, and then we used super glue to attach the earrings. I’d planned to paint the doorknobs too, but I didn’t mind the pearl color once they were attached. Using 3M strips, we hung one door inside and the other door on the outside of the house. I don’t like that you can see the little 3M tabs, though, so I may end up cutting these off and just chance a little peeling paint when we remove them.

Here’s another shot of Seymour, our Elf on the Shelf, with his door. I think he likes it.

 

Elf on the Shelf Door | the Maypop

He even came back this morning! This time we found him indulging in a little frozen treat of his own. (Cue Olaf with “What Frozen Things Do in Summer”).

Elf on the Shelf Ideas |Christmas in July |the Maypop

My boys have been so excited to have Seymour return, especially unexpectedly and out of season. Magic and fun are in the air around here, for sure, and that’s really what I wanted. I hope they look back and remember these sweet summer days.

Friends, bring your elves back too! Let’s make the rest of July as magical and fun as Christmastime. Tag me on Instagram (@mrsmaypop) or post a link to your blog in the comments. Facebook is great, but it is harder to look back on it for inspiration. And, that’s what I want – to inspire and to be inspired by you.

So, please help me make this post an amazing resource by sharing your Elf on the Shelf ideas in the comments. I will do a round up of Seymour’s visit at the end of the month and link back here too.

Merry Christmas, in July!

PS – When I asked Eric to get in the attic to get our elf, he admitted that he was so relieved to see my labels and said finding him was a snap. He thought it was ridiculous when I was labeling each box at the end of the season, and he didn’t hesitate to roll his eyes at every label. My OCD feels so redeemed!