A Pink & Green 1st Birthday Party

A first birthday is a BIG deal.  It’s a year full of first for your little cutie but it’s also a year full of first for the parents.  I like to call it a congratulations parent party.  Congratulations you made it, with a lack of sleep, new routines, and milestones galore.  That all being said celebrating my daughter’s 1st birthday was pretty special.  I was lost on a good party theme so we stuck with two colors that were fun, happy, and welcomed summer; pink and green.

Shout it from the roof tops my little lady is turning ONE.  My friend Julia at the blog A Little Bee Told Me made these adorable invitations.  All I said were the colors and that I wanted a picture of the birthday girl.  We had a bit of fun with a photo shoot and Julia took it from there. Hailey1bday_webOnce I had some basic details set it became a lot of fun.  I pulled all sorts of things that are fun when you’re one, toys and bubbles etc.

I set a special place for cake time, and remembered the background.   There will be tons of cameras clicking that day, having a neutral and nice backdrop will allow the focus to be on your little one.   These photos are bound to become a special part of your memories and scrapbooks.  IMG_0291

IMG_0269Time for CAKE!  Cake it’s the best part of a 1 year old’s birthday party.  Watching them potentially smash into that much sugar, as an adult, can be hysterical.  We had two little cakes as my husband was away at work; so we celebrated once when he was home and again with family.  He melted my heart by having flowers delivered to both my daughter and I that day.

 

IMG_0262Kids and balloons, can’t go wrong with fun decorations.  I also had pre-made a little frozen treat full of toys for our two pup friends to keep them busy on the warm day. Think of it as a puppy pinata.

I was exhausted after a busy day of fun and hosting.  It was amazing to be surrounded by the people that will make up my daughter’s “village”; cause lord knows I’ll need a village.

To see my son’s 1st birthday party with an UNO theme click here.

A Girl Scout Cookie Thank You

Now everyone loves a sweet little hostess gift. It doesn’t have to be anything big or elaborate and that is why my new go-to is a box of Girl Scout thanks-a-lot cookies.  A little bow and personal note and it’s ready to roll. On each order that left our house we made sure to include a thank you note.  I will say that this served two purposes.  One side was a thank you and cute photo of my kiddo. The other side was the count and total sheet for customers for easy reference.   It worked well for us as it had the number of boxes, amount due or paid and info on how to order more. Now to thank the saints that keep this whole thing rolling.  Each troop has a cookie Mom (or Dad) that keeps everyone and everything organized. These people  have a special place in heaven.  Not only do they keep it on time and collect the money they also anwser your texts, emails and your panicked phone calls.

My daughter and I collected empty cookie boxes and took them to our local print shop where they cut and bound the cover into small notepads.  Finally we had to thank everyone that bought, packed, donated, liked, shared or visited a booth. I did do a bit of social campaigning for my daughter as it’s the new wave. When all was said and done I posted a final shoutout… at least until next year. More posts about Girl Scout Cookies coming soon

The New Season-Cookies

Cookies on the Move

Dr. Seuss 

In honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday on March 2nd.  Our play date this week took a wacky turn.  Spending a lot of time working with elementary school aged kids I’ve found that Dr. Seuss is a language that everyone understands and finds humor in.

With Dr. Seuss it’s all about the books.  Here are a few of my favorite ones.  I based the day off of some of his classics.

 We had to include a craft with our play date, cause they are a quick and easy way for the kids to have a focus.  I chose to use the book The Lorax.  These crafts came out so cute.  I had pre-cut the orange tissue paper to help little fingers.

 

In honor of the book Bartholomew and the Oobleck, we had to make some oobleck.  We got messy and loved taking them home.  We used the following supplies and this recipe thanks to Sugar, Spice and Glitter.

I started to have a bit of fun in making a Dr. Suess themed photo booth.   I took an old picture mat and glued some paint stirring sticks on the back to give it strength and make it not to heavy for the little hands to hold up.  I put out all sorts of wacky props, books, boas etc.  I placed the real camera on a tripod to make it stable and less likely to get dropped.  I also placed toy cameras so the littlest of fingers could have fun snapping pictures too.

 Check out these cuties as they pose in the photo booth.  IMG_9561.JPGTime to fill those after school bellies with fun snacks.  Each book paired up with a special food.   A yummy ham and yellow pea soup.  
We all had so much fun and it was a great way to honor such a talented man who bring so much joy to myself and my kids.

Any Excuse to wear PJs

Who doesn’t love PJs? We sure do. During school vacation week we decided to host a pj party play date. We invited some friends over required pj’s for both moms and kids and had ourselves a blast.We served a backwards dinner, cause well life is short, eat dessert first.  We served bowls of popcorn and than allowed kiddos to add their favorite candy, sprinkles, and yummies.

All the kids donned their pjs climbed into sleeping bags, a huge piles of pillows and blankets. We filled their bellies with popcorn while watching a movie. Us mommies sipped some “mommy juice”.  Dinner was served and we munched on breakfast for dinner, always a big hit, in our family; eggs, pancakes and muffins.  I had made a new crockpot breakfast recipe I’ve been dying to try.  It was delicious and I found it here thanks to A Latte with Ott A.It was a good time and the perfect way to mix up a regular play date during vacation week.  Mommy’s favorite part was everyone was almost ready for bed when they got home.

Creating a kids work station

Creating a space where kids school aged can do work and pre-school kids can be creatively and practice their skills is so important in making sure you lay the foundation for good study skills.

When tight on space the kitchen table often becomes the best option.  As parents prepare dinner; questions can be answered, daydreamers can be brought back down and the unmotivated can be re-directed.  I had to create a quick and easy solution so when it was time for homework to pause and dinner to hit the table it was a quick clean up.

In a quick afternoon project we make this colorful caddy using

  • old soup cans
  • spray paint
  • a ribbon
  • hot glue gun
  • toilet paper tubes

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Wash and clean empty tin cans.  Using a variety of sizes worked well for us.  Peal the paper labels off and get ready for painting.  Spray paint two coats of any color of your choosing.  IMG_6214

Wait until dry and place a vertical line of hot glue on one can.  Press it onto its mate joining them together.  Repeat with additional cans until all 3 cans are glued tightly together.  Place fabric ribbon around all three and glue where they touch the cans and each other.  (The ribbon is purely decorative and doesn’t really provide any structural support in holding the cans together.) I suppose you could wrap the cans in some tight fishing line if you wanted more support, before putting the ribbon over it.

Using toilet paper tubes as dividers in the larger of the cans allows you to separate pencils from pens from highlighters from colored pencils etc.

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As time goes on and you use this caddy more and more you’ll realize what you want to add.  With a first grader we ended up making sure glue and a huge eraser were added.  IMG_6201There are of course tons of other products out there that help solve this need.  I’ve seen them made with plastic shower caddies and those are nice because of the handle.  I’m sure this won’t last forever but it’s gotten 3 good years thus far.

Happy crafting, cheers.

These boots are made for walking 

We are deep into boot season and with the styles including tall boots is there a good way to store them?   

We all dream of that walk in closet devoted to just shoes or the one Tim Allen builds for his wife in the show “Home Improvement” where they rotate to the tune of “The March of the Sugarplum Fairies”.  Yeah, yeah I’m dating myself.  If you have the space a line up is good especially for those that are rigid and will stand up on their own. What do you do with the ones that flop over?  I love this one.  Take a pool noodle insert it into the base of the heal and cut it using a box cutter to be the same height as the boot.  This will hold them in place and keep them clean and in proper shape.  Now finally if you have space with poles use pants hangers and clip them together and hang them from the tops.  Maximizing space and keeping care of the boots.How do you store your boots?  

Chores for Children 

When is it too early for kids to have chores?  Now I’m no child expert but having worked in youth development for 20 years and having two kids of my own; that I haven’t killed yet I feel like I can add my own two cents.  It’s never too early to help around the house. They live there don’t they? And some day you want them to move out and have their own homes. Right?

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(keep reading for your free download link)

As soon as they show an interest is when they should begin.  Toddlers love to sort; why not let them sort plastic plates and sippy cups. When they want to help sweep the floor buy a manageable hand broom or cut the handle off an older one. I got a dust buster hand-held vacuum and my 18month old loves to do the floor after dinner

I’ve attached below the kid chore tags that we’re now using. They were easy to make and were pulled together in an evening of searching the computer.  My kids are not fully reading so I added the pictures and words to help with both sides of the learning.

Print the kids chore tags on card stock, laminate and glue a magnet to them.  I tried hot glue, and than gorilla glue, a heavy duty epoxy kept them stuck.

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We’re trying a few methods.

1. All the tags go up on the magnetic hall door and they move them from top to bottom once completed.  This method was fine but I had to remember to move them back at night as well as pull those that weren’t relevant for the day i.e. trash night.  It also was becoming overwhelming as to trying to complete all the tasks.

2. If they are on the fridge it happens every day but if they are on the freezer door they happen only once a week.  This method worked until the little sibling started pulling them down. I also thought about printing them on different colored paper depending on their frequency.  (Way to supermom for me right now)

3. I select from the bag the chores for the day.  The rest just stay in the zip lock for another day.  This seems to work the best.  It isn’t overwhelming having all the chores out and I can pick and choose the most important for the day.

Let me know what’s happening in your house and if it’s successful.  I’ll take a helping hand anyway I can get it.

Here’s your free download use and enjoy.  Kids Chore Tags