Sunday, September 7, 2014

Zoey's Lemonade Stand

At the beginning of the year Zoey, Pazely, the Mr. & I each wrote down something we wanted to accomplish in 2014– like a goal or wish. Zoey chose "Have a lemonade stand" as hers. She has never had one. Shocking, I know. The girl is almost 12 years old & has never sold lemonade on the corner of a neighborhood street. 
*hangs head in shame*

I knew the perfect place & time for Zoey to set up shop would be at the upcoming yard sale my mother & I were planning. And I wanted it to be big. You know, to make up for all those lemonade stand-less years. The bigger the lemonade stand, the better I felt. (Notreallyyesreally.) 

Since the yard sale would start out in the chilly morning, we thought we needed more than just lemonade. So we added hot chocolate to the scene. 
The night before the big event, we baked chocolate chip cookies, & mini coffee cake muffins. Do you want seriously delicious choco chip cookies? I just use recipe on the back of the NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® bag of mini chocolate chips. And then I substitute shortening for the butter. (1 CUP of butter = 1 CUP of shortening + 2 TABLESPOONS water)
Oh, & here's the recipe pin I found from Serious Eats for the coffee cake muffins. (We made them "mini", so we reduced the baking time to only 10 minutes.)

Zoey had a roller coaster of emotions in the days leading up to her lemonade/hot chocolate stand. She was excited at first. And then she didn't even want to do it at all because she realized she'd have to buy all the supplies to set it up. But then after I gave her the "Sometimes you have to spend money to make money" pep talk, she was fine.

Though this was not a Pinterest-worthy lemonade stand, it was definitely in our style: We used what we had, borrowed what we didn't have, & made + baked what we had time for. (Being busy helping to set up the yard sale made me a tired mama with not a lot of time on her hands.)
Borrowed: chalkboard, vintage tablecloth, carafe for hot chocolate, fancy pitcher for strawberry lemonade.
Handmade: "Refreshment" banner, pinwheels.
Everything else was ours, gathered from closets & cupboards– pretty much all those things that are saved for special occasions & not used very often.

Sandwiched between the cashier station at the yard sale (which consisted of my mom, sister, or I wearing a leather fanny pack + sitting behind a TV tray) & tables full of low-priced knick-knacks, was Zoey's "Refreshement" stand.

She sold out of her treats at 11 am & started giving away free lemonade at 2 pm. She was giddy the whole day & even received several tips. When all was said & done, she took in $41.75, with a net profit of $27.75. (Math on the weekend?! Woot! Woot!)

One of my favorite details of the whole thing was the banner. I printed the word REFRESHMENTS onto pages from an old, discarded dictionary. Before printing, I cut the pages to 5" x 7", then set my page size in Microsoft Office Word to the same size. I used Baskerville Old Face font in size 400. (Well, except for the letter "M", which was too wide– so I lowered it to size 350.) I fed the pages through the printer one at a time & I LOVE how it turned out! I had always wanted to try printing onto pages from a book.

Zoey's favorite part of the refreshment stand?
That, & serving people.

In the picture above, little Miss Pazely is Zoey's first customer. (In fact, she bought the first & last chocolate chip cookie of the day.)

 Pazely & I made the {non-functioning} pinwheels from scrap paper, fun colored brads, & striped paper straws leftover from her S'mores Birthday Party. She sold a few pinwheels throughout the day, which was quite fun for her. 

I even found a horrible sketch I drew of the refreshment stand in its planning stages. It's fun to see your ideas come to life from paper to reality!

Goal achieved. 
Dreams made. 
Mission accomplished.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Give a kid some cardboard.

All summer my girls have been making cardboard houses. Miniature getaways for their dolls & tiny toys. The tiniest house (in the very last photo) is only 4 inches tall. 
One home came complete with a safety pin chain-link ladder. Another has yarn "ropes" to climb to the top, with encouraging words written along the wall: "If you climb to the top, you're awesome." & then: "You're almost there."
Oodles of  hot glue sticks were harmed in the making of these cardboard houses. Markers, paint, craft foam, magazine cutouts, colored paper, stickers, duct tape...the girls used anything they could get their hands on.
New splotches of permanent paint on the tabletop prove their creative efforts all season long. 
No instructions needed. In fact, no rules allowed.
Without hesitation they create. Invent. Build.
They made magic from scraps.  

Give a kid some cardboard...

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

First Day of School: 2014

ME: Ok, girls! Annual "first day of school" photos! Here we go!
*girls slowly put backpacks on*

ZOEY: Cheeeese!
PAZELY: Shinyyyyyyy!
ME: Yeah, you're right Paze. The light is so bright on your face. It's like your body is all normal-like, & then you have this giant glowing orb on the top of your neck. Maybe we should sit on the steps.

PAZELY: Maybe I could just move over to this side.
ME: Nope, that's not working. Your head is still glowing.

ZOEY: Mom! Are my teeth shiny?! Are they glowing?! Look how white my teeth are!
ME: They look awesome, Zoey.
PAZELY: What about my head? Does my head look awesome?
ME: *eye roll* Yes, your head looks awesome, Pazely.

PAZELY: Well, maybe I should stand over there.

ME: Well, if you stand over there, you won't be in the picture.
ZOEY: Your luminous noggin is out of frame, little one. And, somewhat ironically, I currently take the spotlight. 
ba-DUM cha!!

ZOEY: If you were taller, you wouldn't be having this problem right now.
PAZELY: Stop being so mean to me, Zoey! If I wanted to, I could probably throw fireballs at you with my fiery glowing face.

PAZELY: Maybe we should sit on the stairs, mom.
ME: (sarcastically) Great idea, Pazely. We've only got about 5 minutes left, so we need to hustle!

PAZELY: I cannot be bothered with people named "Zoey" right now. She has insulted my head & she must be stopped!

ME: You girls are sitting kind of far apart. Can you squeeze in together?

*both girls scoot together a wee fraction of a tiny bit closer together.*

ME: *sigh* Please, I need you to cooperate.

ZOEY: MOM! Do you realize that there is someone already sitting here?! This is Jenny. She's my imaginary friend. You remember her, don't you?
ME: ZOEY! Scoot over. Now.

ZOEY: I hope you're happy, mom. You just made me kill Jenny.

ZOEY: I can't do this anymore. This is so depressing. 6th grade awaits, mother.

PAZELY: MY turn! 
ME: I like how your hands are on your knees, Pazely.

PAZELY: And, now they're not! Woah...woah...woah! No gravity! My hands are floating!!!

PAZELY: Aaaand, now gravity is back.

PAZELY: And now they're floating again! They're floating!!!! Mom! Look! They're floating!
ME: I see that.

PAZELY: Just kidding, mom! That was just an illusion.
ME: I wondered what that was.

PAZELY: *looks to her left* What is Zoey doing, mom?


PAZELY: My. Sister. Is. So. Weird. But. What. Is. Weirder. Is. I. Think. I. See. Jenny.

ME: Let's come together as a happy family unit & take one last set of pictures, OK?
Aw, that looks so sweet.
Oh, that's funny! Zoey's hair is falling across your forehead, Pazely. It looks like you have blond bangs. haha!

PAZELY: *looks up*

PAZELY: Oh my gosh! I LOVE it! And....I'm pretty sure I have cooties now.

ME: Last picture of the day! This is our "first day of school" JUMPY photo!! 
♫I say JUMPY, you say PHOTO... 
ZOEY & PAZELY: *silence*
ME: ♫JUMPY!!!...
ZOEY & PAZELY: *silence*

ME: Get ready to jump.....
OK, pause. 
I'm only going to say this because I can't help it: It looks like you're pooping.

ME: 1-2-3....Blast off!!!!

ME: Zoey?...Pazely?
*crickets chirping*

To view all the First Day of School photo shoots, click HERE.