Hi! My name is Brooke Duncan. You can usually find me over at Blissful Roots, but today I am thrilled to be here at Or So She Says. Mariel was kind enough to give me the opportunity to be her Family Time Contributor. You’ll find me here on the second Monday of every month. I can’t wait to share some of my ideas with you, and to get to know a lot of you.
Since I want to get to know you, it’s only fair I share a little bit about me. I have been married to my amazing husband for 11 years. I taught first grade for the first five years of our marriage while my husband finished school. I quit teaching when I had my twins. Three years after our twins, we had another little boy. My days are filled with the hustle and bustle of little boys (which I LOVE), and squeezing in creative time whenever I can. You can read more about me here.
So, on with my post. I thought it would be fun to share some birthday traditions with you. Birthdays are kind of a big deal at our house. My three year old was born the day after my twins’ birthday, so we have three birthdays in two days. It’s madness, but tons of fun! I love celebrating each of my boys and making them feel as special as I can on their day.
The teacher in me loves having a book (or many books) for every occasion. Birthdays are no exception. Here are a few of my favorites.
I found these darling personalized birthday books at I See Me
(they have so many versions of personalized books, go check them out!). From my days of teaching, I know kids LOVE to see their name. How fun would it be to see their own name in a birthday book? These books are going to be a new tradition at our house this year.
You can’t go wrong with Dr. Seuss. I found this cute pop-up version
of his Happy Birthday To You
at Barnes & Noble
. You know the quote, “…there is no one alive who is you-er than you!
” well, it came from this book. Dr. Seuss has the best quotes! I have a whole file of them.
Have you heard of this book? On the Day You Were Born
makes a great baby shower gift (books always make great gifts). It’s a beautifully written book about earth, nature, animals, and a baby’s birth. This is a fun book to read every year on your child’s birthday. I love remembering the days my boys were born. There’s a bit of sacredness about each one of them.
For some reason, it’s kind of hard to find a good version of the traditional ‘Happy Birthday’ song (if you have one, let me know). I’ve had the one on this CD
since my twins were two. It is a bit on the juvenile side, but it’s really cute. I did try to find some new ones on iTunes
, but this one is still my favorite. iTunes did have a Happy Birthday! 20 Birthday Songs
CD you can check out. I like to play the Happy Birthday song the second my boys wake up on their birthday. I usually just put it on repeat and let it play over and over (the song is only 42 seconds long) until they get sick of it.
I first saw the idea of birthday chairs from Alicia Bangerter
. I instantly fell in love with them. Well, I mentioned the idea to my mom (if I ever need anything,
I just need to let my mom know) and before I knew it she had found two chairs from her local thrift store that were just waiting to be transformed into birthday chairs. I had to get two because I have twins. Unless you have twins, or two members of you family share a birthday, you’ll just need one chair. I set up my boys’ presents on and around the chairs in the morning, and then they sit on the chair at every meal that day. You can make your birthday chair as plain or fancy as you’d like. I painted mine, added glitter sticker letters, and cut out a cupcake to put on the seat ( I Mod Podged it on). I also tie balloons to the chair.
And what’s a birthday chair without a birthday hat? I found these great birthday hats at Party City
. My favorite is the birthday cake with the candles. I guess I’ll be buying two of them (I’m kind of used to that now). I’m betting my boys will be a bit more excited about the birthday hat than my husband. He’ll love having a birthday picture in his new hat!
I love memory boards and have grand plans to make one for every holiday, special occasion, and even every room in my house someday. For now, I have a birthday one. I’m going to put this up for every birthday at our house. Most of the things on the board can stay the same for each birthday, but I can switch out a few names, numbers, dates, and pictures to make it more personal for each birthday.
The birthday quotes I used on my memory board can be printed here. I’m a big quote person (I post one every Tuesday at Blissful Roots). Memory boards give me a good excuse to type up cute quotes and display them in style.
I discovered another cute birthday board idea a few years back when I stopped by my neighbor’s house on her daughter’s birthday. She had the cutest large chalkboard (aren’t chalkboards and chalkboard art everywhere these days?) on her porch. It had balloons tied to it and the words, “Kate is 7 today! Happy Birthday!” on it. It made me smile. What a fun way to let your neighbors, and anyone else who might show up at you doorstep, know there’s a birthday at your house. I need to make me one of these for sure.
This darling chalkboard is from Diane at In My Own Style. She used her chalkboard as a menu, but you could easily adapt the words. She also has a great tutorial on chalkboard art.
Pictures really are worth a thousand words. My husband came up with this idea several years back, and it has become my favorite birthday tradition. He takes all the pictures of our boys from the previous year and puts them all together in a slide show with music and everything. One year he was really ambitious and even put some video of our boys in with the pictures. We always have one big party with our families for our boys’ birthday, and we play the DVD during the party. Everyone sits down to watch at one point or another during the party. Some even sit and watch it over and over. It’s always a hit, and it never fails to make me a bit teary-eyed. Pictures put to music at special occasions tend to have that affect on me. Anyone else?
We store all of our photos in iPhoto
, and my husband uses iMovie
to put the whole DVD together. I’m most familiar with iPhoto, but I’m sure most photo editing programs allow you to make slide shows. Even if you don’t burn your slide show on to a disc, you could just show the slide show from your computer during your party. There are also digital picture frames
that would work really well. You can make this as complex or simple as you want. I challenge you to come up with some way, any
way to display pictures of your child from the previous year on his/her birthday. It’s so fun to see their growth and remember good times!
My husband doesn’t like desserts (crazy, I know!). He’s a candy guy. All three of my boys have inherited his sweet tooth. I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve ever made my husband a birthday cake. I’ve made him birthday cookies and brownies, but never cake. And I have to tell you, my biggest stress with three birthdays in two days- the cakes! Making three fun and exciting, fresh cakes is slightly overwhelming for me. This last year after my boys’ birthdays, I realized I needed a change in the birthday cake department. I found this cute candy cake at Goodeelicious
(a little sweet shop in Pittsburgh) and knew all my birthday cake problems had been solved. I don’t think I’ll ever have to bake another birthday cake as long as I live. All of the boys in my house would much rather have a candy cake like this than a cake cake. I’m not sure if it will save me a whole lot of time, but I really like the idea that I can make this in advance and it will still be good on the actual birthday.
Well, I hope you found an idea or two that you’d like to add to your birthday traditions. Here’s to wishing you and your family a year full of happy, happy birthdays! We’ll see you next month.