father’s day 2019

Father’s Day and Russ’ birthday have become huge deals over the years because Russ just doesn’t buy himself things. He very rarely spoils himself, so we take it upon ourselves to spoil him when we have the excuse! We got him a Traeger grill this year and I know it’s not going to be a purchase for everyone but, this is the one we got from them! It’s a smart smoker meaning that you can control most things right from your phone. Check temperature, timers, recipes, all right from the app. SO rad and I couldn’t wait til June to give it to him so we’ve been smoking every week and he’s in heaven. This DIY from years ago still reigns supreme on Pinterest, so a DIY idea that your kids can do for him, too! 

Here are some other gift ideas that he’d be so excited about as well!

Father's Day Ideas


If your man has a team he loves, chances are he has for awhile and takes a lot of pride in being their fan. Vintage sports tees, hats and memorabilia prove he’s no fair weather fan! I always start a search on Etsy and eBay simply typing in the team + vintage!

This store Vintage Sports has a curated collection of vintage, replicas and remakes. Their baseball hat section is huge and would be rad to wear or display in their office. We got him this hat! Love their gym bag collection and their black sports balls, too.

I’ve shared my love of Le Labo colognes before but I’ll say it again. They also have perfume oils, grooming kits, candles and more so you can try out a scent without committing to the price. We love Noir 29 or Santal!

Quip – We love these toothbrushes, not only do they clean better but their brush replacements are automated so it’s one less thing to have to remember at the store (or lets be honest, forget completely and use a less than effective brush head.)

Iniki’s are an Adidas classic and I think one of the most versatile sneakers. We have friends from all walks of life, with different styles, and the Iniki is a common denominator for all of them!

Airpods – If you haven’t yet, do it. This is Russ’ most used gift I’ve ever given him! Its supposedly coming soon in black, so keep your eye out for that.

Mother’s Day DIY

Is it just me or do you love getting spoiled by your significant other AND then something handmade from your kids? I think it’s the perfect combination for a lovely Mother’s Day. Rounded up some pretty DIY ideas your kids could pull off!

My very favorite thing to get and super easy to print off and send to grandma’s (Grandma version here!) far away — SURVEYS! This one is the cleanest style but you can find a million options on Pinterest that fit your aesthetic! Like this pretty floral one.

This one would get some funny responses, too!

DIY Mother's Day

A raw, assembled bath soak! Have bowls of ingredients out and let the kids concoct away!Mother's Day DIY

Bath Soak //

Bath bombs — with the correct molds these are actually pretty easy to make!Mother's Day DIY

Bath Bomb //

Isn’t this gorgeous? I’d love to have this out on my desk!DIYs for Mother's Day

Pressed Flower Art //

My kids love a good craft and this is super easy! Paper towel rolls cute and folded down and then painted!

DIY Mother's Day

Paper Bouquet //

Got really little kids? Any age can participate in this! Fingerpainted stems and leaves, too!

DIY Mother's Day

Handprint Flower //

As much as I love a cold waffle soaked in syrup, I wouldn’t say no to açaí! Have kids cut up the fruit to help and then bring an ingredient list to choose from and mama can order her own!

DIY Mother's Day

Acai Bowl Bar //

dinosaur party ROARRR!

Zurchers Party Store (one of three stores that Small Fry basically runs on) is working with us this Summer on bringing some of their beloved party themes to life! First up, a ROARRR party fit for all your dinosaur lovers! Zurchers has made it super easy to recreate this theme or find products and elements you love from today’s party by housing them all in one place — find them all here!
Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 4.15.35 PMThey have this incredible cardboard line of brightly colored dinosaur party accessories from Meri Meri that instantly adds that festive flair. The Dinosaur Cardboard Centerpiece is so rad and looks great even as nursery room decor post-party. They come with Dino Party Hats seen below:Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 4.28.19 PMAnd then of course we whipped some up with their standard party hat, too. We like the idea of the birthday boy or girl getting a special hat and these razor sharp party toppers are super easy to make!Dino Party!Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 4.15.07 PMThe food is always super important and for this party we decided to go healthy as can be. All in the name of those veggie-sauruses!Dino Party!A party activity that the we and the boys died laughing over was “Eat like a T-Rex!” Slip their arms into the shirt sleeves and watch as they eat their party food with their stubby T-Rex arms.Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 4.13.26 PMOnce they were convinced that dinosaurs eat all manner of leafy greens they didn’t even ask where the donuts were. We also had green smoothies (dino juice), easy sandwiches and more veggies! (Milk Jars + Straws // Plastic Dinos + Plates)Dino Party! Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 4.14.35 PMWe didn’t skip ALL sweets though, we had a cake and cupcakes, too!Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 4.16.24 PMThese toppers from the Cupcake Kit match the hats and we love the origami folded paper look!Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 4.16.05 PM Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 4.15.44 PMWe love that Zurchers carries these mini balloon letters. They have them in several colors and even though they’re crazy inexpensive they’re reusable so you can get quiet a collection going!Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 4.15.16 PMThis line also has a ton of wall decals which are great for more color and interest at the party, we turned them into a Feed the Dino (Pin the Tail on the Donkey) game.Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 4.14.57 PMAnother easy party game is to make your own Dino paleontologist style.Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 4.12.52 PMThey have a million party favors so sending each guest home with something ferocious like these Dino Grabbers was a breeze and so fun to pick out!Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 4.13.44 PMWe’re so happy to be recreating these themes with Zurchers and if you have any parties you want to see brought to life Small Fry style, let us know!


Dinosaur Cardboard Centerpiece // Silver Letter Balloons (find all available colors right here) // Plastic Dinosaurs // Dino Party Hats + Basic Party Hat // Party Favor Bags // Dino Cupcake Kit // Dinosaur Piñata // Glass Milk Bottles + Orange Striped Straws // Dinosaur Tablecloth // Roarrr Invitations // Dino Grabbers // Dino Plates

halloween class party ideas

Who’s signed up for class Halloween party volunteering? I signed up for the “book/treat”, not sure what that means, but I am bringing both just to be sure! I asked Cal what treat would be fun and he requested Spaghetti. Can you imagine a worse snack for 25 kids?Monster Spaghetti

Here are the MOST checked out Halloween books according to an Elementary Librarian! Halloween Class Party ReadsThere Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat // Clifford’s Halloween // Room on the Braaoom // Little Old Lady Not Afraid of Anything // In a Dark Dark Room (scary stories) // All the Lovely Bad asOnes (scary stories)

Chocolate Covered Pumpkin Pretzels

Halloween Treat DIYMonster Bark – there are 1,000 versions of this online but I love that this one used multi colored chocolate! Such messy fun.Halloween Treat DIYPudding Cup Bats – I’ve seen this with juice boxes (covered in white cheese cloth for a ghost), apple sauce pouches (wrapped in crepe paper like a mummy), String Cheese with eyes and a mouth for a ghost, faces on Clementine Oranges like jack-o-lanterns. I like these ideas because it doubles as a craft and isn’t opened so it’s less germy as they handle their food.Halloween Treat DIYScary Donut Ideas Scary Donut IdeasAnd a few cute treat ideas to add to these 8 we found a couple years ago! Also still stand so hard behind this Healthy Halloween Lunch I posted 6 years ago, ha!

And if you’re in charge of activities here’s a few easy ideas! ALL of My Mind’s Eye Halloween Decor is on sale! For smaller groups, rotations or maybe a fun price to win this Monster Magic book would be awesome to have them each do a drawing.

Print off one of these nine Ad-libs! // Sheets of stickers to make faces on small pumpkins! // Spider Ring Toss 

buy or diy: easter

BUY OR DIY? THE EASTER EDITION! Where I scan the web and filter out the nonsensee to give you the best in DIYs and what you should probably just BUY.



Best Easter DIYs

POTTED EGG PLANTS (I can’t link to this site because the ads displaying are freaking sketchy. But it’s called Godfather Style)EASTER DIY IDEASMODERN DECORATED COOKIESBest Easter DIYs SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMERSBest Easter DIYs BUNNY EGGSBest Easter DIYsSCANDI EASTER TREEBest Easter DIYs Best Easter DIYs RICE KRISPY NESTS (swap those eggs out for Cadbury stat!)Best Easter DIYsPOM POM WALL HANGING / WREATH – Spring Wreaths are rough for me. It’s hard to find something youthful but still sophisticated. It’s either great grandma style or too juvenile. Ya feel? Best Easter DIYsBUNNY BUM GARLAND Target sells this banner (in the carousel below) but if you’re color palette picky or want a fun craft to do together this post is awesome!Best Easter DIYs


And now for the BUYS!easter buys

Easter Themed Dessert Sprinkles (on sale today!) // Egg Molds // Easter Color Palette Fans // Speckled Egg Wreath // Olive Leaf Wreath

And a few more options!



letters to santa party

Sponsored by The Elf on the Shelf.

I am SO glad our friends at the Elf on the Shelf launched this darling Letters to Santa activity because I am officially making it a family tradition and am sad I wasn’t able to start sooner! Now that I got my love for this out of the way, let me tell you about it!Letters to Santa - Shrunk down to an ornament!We had our cousins in on the fun and made it little party! We gifted them with their own box which comes with everything you need to get your letters ready and a sweet little book to explain it. Your kids may wonder how to get their letter to Santa AND if he actually reads it, I know mine do at least. First, you write your letter to Santa. Then our Elf Max P. (named “Maximum Presents” – my son is SO seven years old right now) needs to get it to the big guy but it’s a little large for his tiny elf hands. Letters to Santa Next you need to shrink your letter so your Scout Elf can deliver it! Put it in Mrs. Claus’ magic press and voila! It will be perfectly shrunken down so Max P. can deliver it.Letters to Santa - Shrunk down to an ornament!Then the big day was here – Max P. arrived! So we threw him a little welcome to the family party (this fun kit is filled with games, party favors, decor and more!) and that night donned him with the official Christmas Lists! Sure enough the next day Santa sent it back with him so you KNOW he read it and then you can keep it as a keepsake ornament!   I will be doing this every year and can’t wait to see the ornaments all together over the years and how my boys’ interests change as they grow. Letters to Santa - Shrunk down to an ornament!I really love this idea, way to go Elf on the Shelf!

Find your own Letters to Santa kit here!

modern kid party ideas

Such good party ideas from around the web lately! I’ve got parties on the brain with my soon to be 6 year olds birthday tomorrow! You can catch all Small Fry’s original party ideas in our Party tab but here are some of my favorites: Dinosaur Party // Big Hero 6 // Cal’s Favorite Foods.

This Party Animal party is perfection. Layered to perfection and graphic pops galore! Via Project Nursery.Modern Kid Party Ideas From the hand lettered banner, to the animal balloons, the “tails” on the chairs…Modern Kid Party Ideas This random mix of sprinkles is such an easy hack to make it feel extra special. You can buy these sprinkle mixes on Etsy or at local party stores!Modern Kid Party Ideas Dead over this Modern Super Hero slash David Bowie vibes party via 100 Layer Cakelet.Modern Kid Party IdeasMy favorite detail are these acrylic cake and cupcake toppers! Its got my head spinning with ideas. You can buy them at Creative Muster on Etsy Modern Kid Party Ideas Another amazing layering job. If you can get the table scape right you’re basically there for a beautiful party. Via Catch My PartyModern Kid Party Ideas

Modern Lego Party – I love all the details and shapes! Via Style Me Pretty5416a1ed5c3b3$!900x

City Kid Party

Our girl Mari Spiker (@marispiker) is living the NYC dream with her husband and two kids on the Upper West Side – follow her and be prepared to drool! She threw THE most darling party for her 4 year old Will (hi Nora and Will!!) and we begged her to let us post it. It’s our lucky day!! City Kid PartyReady to check it out?

Invitations:City Kid PartyMari is a stylist and made this incredible cardboard city scape with boxes and spray paint, so you’re on your own for that amazingness, but she’s sharing all her purchasable sources with us too, which is so kind!City Kid BirthdayThe backdrop banner and poster design are by @laurenashleyclementswill Turns 4-10This custom Piñata by @tinipinatas:City Kid PartyThey had such a quintessential City Kid Party with pretzels and graphic lettering everywhere you turn. Face Painting which always reminds me of You’ve Got Mail. 😉 She did such a good job creating a theme simply by compounding elements of ABCs throughout! Details like the most mini ABC Sprinkles for the cake found here:City Kid BirthdayThe cutest Letter Sandwiches using these cookie cutters:City Kid BirthdayThis ABC Chalk she bagged up as favors from Etsy Shop LSCreationStation:City Kid PartyABC cookies found at Trader Joe’sScreen Shot 2017-06-15 at 8.31.52 AMThiBe sure and follow her on Instagram @marispiker and check out her site here. If you have any questions for her she can be reached at  hello@marispiker.com She has even more info and images from the party from her blog post here as well.


gift guide: first birthday

Raleigh’s first birthday is on SAT-UR-DAY! Just wipe me up off the floor cause I can’t get up. It hurts, but it is also such a freaking pleasure to celebrate him so I’ll be alright. He has been nothing but joy the last 12 months and I will give him all the things to help lessen my heartache at how fast he’s grown. Time is a thief! But here are some amazing options for a first birthday gift! Something to help develop those fine and gross motor skills. Music and bath time fun. Next steps in feeding time. And books galore! first birthday ideasTOUCH & FEEL BOOKS

TouchThinkLearn series is incredible! Grab Opposites // Shapes // Animals // Numbers // This Touch and Feel ABC book by Petit Collage is a must! // I have yet to find a milestone book that I can keep up on, its so challneging for me!  But a letter? I can write a letter! This is so cute and I had to show it close-up so you can see just howwww cute. It comes with stickers and everything. // If you’re gonna teach colors do it with the Pantone pros! Comes with six board books and their epic graphic talents. // This unfolding counting book via Petit Collage is so darling and they gradually get bigger as you go along! // Paris via Shapes. We’ll never get over you, Paris.Letters to Baby


Training Cup from Skip Hop that is no spill, easy to use and of course transitions right to a regular cup. // We met the EZPZ team a few years ago at the ABC Expo and they had so much freaking energy and passion for this mat. So happy to see it doing so well and well-loved and reviewed. It doesn’t budge and its all one piece so they can’t throw it when they’re “all done.”


Pull and Go Monkey Submarine // Skip Hop’s Waterfall Rinser has a forehead flap to keep water out of their eyes. GENIUS! // Make it rain with this pretty cloud! // Another fountain option in a darling bee form.


Three melody makers that are perfect for those 1 year old hands to grip. // I love that this is a music activity center with a few options. No need to pull out the box o’ instruments!


This modern little shape sorting house is so cute! // Kid O kills it in the modern toy arena. Love this three size stacker. // These Alphabet blocks are some of the prettiest blocks Ive seen and I’ve seen my fair share! // Trains are a must for boys or girls and this circus set just happens to be the most darling. // A modern bunny stacker that has so many cute possibilities! // This fox stacker has such a refreshing color palette. If you’re over primary colors or need a more muted tone for your nursery, try this one! // Looping stacker set but again in that awesome color palette! // Cute woodland creature animals that wobble to help with that hand eye coordination!


I like that this Fox ride-on turns to give them a little bit more to work on then a standard straight line ride-on // This Vespa look alike ride-on kills me. // Pull toys are pretty much the cutest for new toddlers. Theres a million cute options but we love this doggy and this elephant. // We’re always digging Nutcase Helmets for boys of course but how amazing is this floral?! // A bike seat for all your adventures together and of course for that floral helmet! This one is top rated, light weight and grows as tall as you need it to!

Modern Pokemon Birthday

By Emily.

Hayes is going strong with his love for Pokemon! To put it nicely, it’s not my favorite thing. So this theme was a stretch but thanks to Zurchers Party Store I was able to find so many great options to make it a little bit more minimal and graphically pleasing. Modern Pokemon PartyIt was a beautiful day so we did Pokemon Training outside. It was basically teams and relay races. We did one legged races like Spoink, crab walks like Kraby, Running sumo squats like Jigglypuff and they learned to trap their Pokemon by running with a balloon and then sitting on it to pop. We got creative, and as I said, I don’t know much about Pokemon so I got a lot of looks from these kids. They were onto my ignorance.Modern Pokemon PartySo after the relays we had them come in for pizza and Pika-Juice. This free printable kills me and you can find it here.Modern Pokemon PartyAfter eating we had them make their own favor bags. I have found that I can never fully plan for favor bags. I either have way too much or not enough and it stresses me out! So this year I had enough of these favor kits from Zurchers on hand to ensure every kid got plenty, but then once everyone arrived I did quick math and figured out just how many items they could pick. Then they walked the table and picked their very favorite 5 items!Modern Pokemon PartyI had enough of these paper bags as well but they were in colors and prints that I like every day so I can reuse the extras! Red, red stripe, yellow.Make Your Own Party Favor Bar | Pokemon Party I loved the look of these Pokeball honeycomb decor! We just strung them to the ceiling and alternated lengths and depths. Super easy!Modern Pokemon PartyThey also have great Mylar Pokeballs and Pikachu, which we used to show the guests where to come and now are constant sources of entertainment for baby Raleigh!Modern Pokemon Party

Pokeball Orbz Balloons // Pikachu Pajamas


Pokeball Orbz Balloons // Rubber Pokemon Bracelets // Honeycomb Pokeballs // Mega Party Favor Bag Mix // Pikachu Mylar Balloon // Yellow Forks // Red Tablecloth // Paper Gift Bags