Look Whoo’s Turning Two

This year’s party evolved because of some fabric I found on one of my crafting hunts.  I wanted to make a fun tutu kinda skirt as my little lady would wear a tutu every day of the week if I let her.  We had to narrow it down to Tutu Tuesdays a day when she wasn’t going to be playing in the mud or on the playground at school nor have to ask others to deal with all that tulle.  The fabric I found had owls and sweet girlie colors all over it.  I made it into a tutu for my birthday girl to wear.IMG_2212My good friend Julia at the blog A Little Bee Told Me came thru for me yet again with adorable invitations.

Time to set the tables.  A quick trips thru Michael’s craft stores for wooden owls and stickers were perfect to be sprinkled around the table.  I like to have a special area for the cake to be displayed before we get to dessert.  People love to take a quick peek at the design, as well as it gives me a place to make sure all items are out at ready like plates, candle, knife etc.  My sister was away for the party this year but she found and sent along a special owl plate that the birthday girl used.  IMG_2078IMG_2083Did a little set up of fun activities around the yard for the kids and adults to keep all entertained.  Made the sweet little owls out of paper lanterns and construction paper and a flag for the top of the swing set in the same fabric as the birthday girl’s tutu.  Let say it was a lesson in sewing triangles and took a few tries.  IMG_2080IMG_2079

Playing with Uncle Steve at the sand table is so much fun.  The sand table was also filled with purple glitter to match our theme.

Time for cake!  Thanks to Audra at Mad Hatter Bakery the cake and cupcakes looked adorable and oh so yummy.

Everyone left the party with giant bouncy ball (pictured above) and owl loot bag.   It made for tons of fun all party long in the yard, and it was a gift that would get used by a kid of any size.  IMG_2077

A wonderful time with wonderful weather.  Until next time, a year that will surly fly by.  Enjoy being 2 little lady.


To read blogs about my daughter’s other birthdays click below…

A Pink & Green 1st Birthday Party

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.


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

Kindergarten Tissues, Cheers & Tea

Hello Kindergarten and hello new friends.  Did you realize that as your little peanut gets ready to start the journey of education you’re about to begin the journey as “so in so’s mom/dad”. Not only will your little one be making friends that may last the next 13 years and maybe beyond but you are too.

My oldest started last year on this journey and I figured I needed some new people in my village and tribe.  Ones who can talk shop with me when it comes to school politics, policy, and scoop.  I kept my ears open in August kinda hoping that the school, PTG, or 1st grade parents might host something like this. But with no avail I set out to do it on my own.

It was pretty easy. Picked a local coffee shop that was between all the elementary schools, had parking and an area to sit. I wanted to include all the elementary schools as my town has more than one. It made sense because as our kids grow the schools merge; plus the more the merrier. I made a public Facebook event grabbed as many emails as I could from school correspondences and Pre-K friends and hit invite.

I decided hosting it at a local coffee shop was the easiest.  It would have been awkward for people to come to my house. What I really liked is that it was no stress for me. I didn’t have to buy supplies for coffee and food. I left purchase up to each person and they could keep whatever time table they wanted.

The event invitation was worded as so…”Do you have a child entering Kindergarten this fall at insert school names here? Doesn’t matter if it is your first, last, or one in-between. Join other parents in a quick sip before you head to work or start the day. Consider it a chance to meet others who will be walking the same path of school for the next 13 years.  Tissues will be provided but Tea & Coffee will be up to you. Tell your friends and share the invite.”  Set the invite for 10-15 min pass the school bell which allows those that put kids on the bus to get there first; those that drop off to get out of the parking lot, and those of us that followed the bus just to sneak a peak time to drive by.

I did call the coffee shop ahead of time to see if they could do something special for us and to let them know we were coming.  Honestly, I had no idea how many people would come. I also made special tissue boxes figuring it could be an ice breaker and let those arriving know where all the Kindergarten parents were. FREE download below.

It worked out great. We had a good group; some came and left on their way to work, some stayed for over an hour and had breakfast. Doing it at school would have been crazy as our schools don’t have tons of parking and teachers and parents are already a bit on edge taking care of our kids and teaching them the ropes.

So now as a first grade mom; I’ll keep my eyes pealed on the first day, for those taking a few extra pictures, giving a few extra hugs and extend a tissue and an invite to coffee.

Have a great school year!

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If you are interested in a FREE tissue box wrap download them here..  You only need to print 2 pages per box so pick your favorite color combos.  Print them on regular paper and trim the edges.  A little scotch tape and you’re done.  These tags are designed for the square boxes not individual packets nor rectangular boxes.

Looking for other back to school ideas and tips?  Try reading Back to School.  Which is all about how to be prepared in the AM and for the year.

Laundry, laundry everywhere.

It’s been a long time coming but I finally have pictures of my laundry room.  One of my initial post on my Facebook group highlighted a few special touches that I just can’t live without and how this small room to which I spend so much time in was so boring.

The plain white walls one window and no personality all began it’s journey in the middle of a snow storm.  There were never big plans to re-do this space as it was not high on the priority list but thanks to a good husband and a crazy color choice for paint we began.

In the middle of the snow storm with a best friend we witnessed the falling of 3 over head cabinets from the wall.  Comical to say the least.  Imagine 4 kids 2 guys out shoveling snow during a blizzard and me and a girlfriend holding up cabinets half connected to the wall.  Poor installation was ultimately the reason for their demise.  This than opened a conversation and a week of Pintrest dreaming of re-doing the space.  Now don’t confuse me with having a great budget and access to a total re-do, but rather create a better layout and some paint colors.

Some items that I already had and knew I wanted to keep included my lost sock board.  Which is available to purchase thru my Etsy store. This re-purposed board holds the single socks that are looking for their “solemates”.

Lost Sock Board

A cleaning how to list which I reference while trying to act like a detective and figure out what is it and how to remove stains from kids clothes.  This list is cut from magazines, online searches and my own mother’s suggestions.

And some sorting for bleach, hand washing and storage so I didn’t have to see bottles and supplies.  This room provides the most amount of light to our second floor so the door is almost always open.  I needed this space to look bright, tidy and function all the time.

So we began…  The joy of prep work and set up

I picked a crazy color, I know but the orange was such a contrast from the rest of our house which is coastal with blues, yellow, greens and whites.  This room could fill my need of vibrant color.  I was only doing an accent wall and it wasn’t the living room so my husband agreed.  Now for a mariner all he could say it that it was international orange. I think life raft or home depot orange is accurate for us lay people.  In any form it is bright, keeps the light reflecting into the hall bright and can show off my crazier side.  Behr Premium Plus – Flame 210B-7.

wall orange I wanted to add some baskets for sorting that were wall mounted.  My floor space was limited so anything I could hang up was key.  Found these baskets at Home Depot made some tags and they work perfect.  The basket is removable so I can dump the load in as they are full and really weren’t too expensive.  I knew I wanted to add to this space some of my kids artwork.  Figured if I’m spending so much time here the artwork with the crazy colors would fit right in and make me smile.  My daughter painted this hot pink mermaid and it’s by far one of my favorites.

Drum roll please.  The after photos…    Now I’m very thankful for a second floor laundry room; a true room not a closet and not in the basement.  I’ve hauled my share of baskets from basements to laundry mats and all the way back to mom’s house.  Use the space you have and make it work for you.  Possibilities are truly endless.

St Patrick’s Day

I sure love a holiday where drinking is the norm, and the food is simple and yummy.  This blog follows a week of festive fun from a play date at a friends house to a local weekend parade event.

Let’s get festive. Made these legging super quick last year.  Got orange leggings, took green scrap material and used my shamrock cookie cutter to trace.  Hand sewed the patches on so when the holiday is done and over I can remove them and have the basic orange back again.  I think she looked adorable as it was a chilly day and she needed the warmth.

Time to get the house festive this pot of shamrocks set the mood all month long at my friend’s house.  My March mantel exploded with festive fun.  Full post here.
IMG_3763 The tables look nice but let’s bring out the food.  Breakfast is served on parade day morning and my husband loves being in his “lab” making unbelievable food.    We eat like kings and queens.  Keeping even the fruit festive makes little fingers want to reach for more at the play date. IMG_3812pan cakes
The food continued all day long with festive pasta for our little people and a traditional Irish dinner with corn beef and cabbage for the adults.  Let’s top it off with dessert and delicious it was.  An Oreo dream so pretty as it was yummy. 

Happy New Year It’s 9pm!

New Year’s with kids just isn’t the same.  Granted now I don’t have to wear high heals and wait at the bar for a drink, but partying with the mini pack can still be fun especially if you can celebrate the ball dropping at 9pm!

We start with some sparkle cause who doesn’t like to wear a little sparkle to a party? If age appropriate once the sparkle has worn off it is time to don our baby new year suits.  The pictures get funnier and funnier each year.  Toss in the props and in our case see which kid cries first.

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This has become a hit or miss in our family but is still so easy and so fun.  Place bags with small goodies in them for each half hour as you count down to “midnight”  The bags are not filled with anything overexciting, as a parent, but for the kids are like gold.  We make sure we fill the bags according to what we’ll be able to handle.  For example the candy usually goes as to what will be right after dinner and the horns don’t make an appearance till the very end.

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Some winners for us include…

  • Candy (such as ring pops to ring in the new year)
  • Party Beads
  • New Year’s Crowns
  • New Year’s Horns
  • Gold Coins
  • Play dough Cans
  • Princess Wands
  • Bubbles
  • Stickers & Stamps

I’ve seen people that do some amazing things like make pizza with the dough in the shape of the year, balloon drops off the celling fan, and hourly party games and activities.  I’m not sure even for me if I’m into it that much.  Honestly I feel like New Year’s Eve unless you have a rockin’ party to go to like a wedding or an epic event is like prom; all hype and no big delivery.  Not to say I didn’t have fun at my proms but the getting ready was the exciting part.

Thanks to Netflix, they again will be streaming It’s Almost Midnight- Netflix 2016 Kids New Year’s Eve Countdown.  This 5 minute countdown which can feature characters of their choice is free for subscribers.  Don’t forget the bubbly juice in “fancy” glasses and let your countdown begin.

My girlfriends and I try these every year.  We even get them into bed by 9:15 but some how the girls wake up around 11:45pm.  Go figure, so we let them celebrate.  Hope your New Year is filled with sunshine, love and seashells.


Share what fun kids stuff you do for New Year’s Eve.

Princess Party Time


So I just couldn’t do an Elsa party… I just couldn’t.  My daughter wanted one and I couldn’t swallow hosting or attending another Queen Elsa party.  I was able to talk her into Frozen but with a twist.  I was able to get her to name her favorite colors, she said  “pink and gold”.  With a little twisting we arrived at a Frozen Lemonade Stand.

I can’t begin party planning for anything without this amazing find thanks to my friends at Childhood 101.  This KIDS PARTY PLANNER is my first printout, I use to do it on scrap paper, but why do that, when Christie has laid it out so much nicer.party image

Now that’s she’s older an evite will do.  Nothing over the top just used pink and yellow to tell friends to come and play.

I hunted around the house for any pink, yellow and some “Elsa” blue items that we already had.  (It really helps that my company colors are blue and yellow)  Came up with some lanterns, parasols, tissue puffs, and a few great free print outs from Melissa at DesignEatRepeat.

The hard part was building an actual lemonade stand.  We spent an afternoon with the internet and picked out a bunch she liked.  I wanted something that would have more than one purpose.  It is made to be a general stand so it can go in the playroom to be a store counter, grocery store, or anything they can imagine.  It is also small enough that it fits in the truck so when they are older they can actually use it as a lemonade stand curb side. The stand is now available for rent, check out details by clicking here.


I channeled my inner Pre-K want-to-be-teacher and we filled the lemonade stand with a full stock of pretend goodies, lemons, ice cubes, pitchers filled with duplos and foam to be lemonade, wooden spoons, and a cash register.  This became the entertainment for the afternoon with friends.

Centerpieces were easy and will find another life after this weekend.  I bought lemons and dumped them into clear vases.  This whole thing makes me giggle as all I can think of is Jennifer Aniston in the movie “The Breakup” when she wants to make a 12 lemon centerpieces and her dear boyfriend only buys 4.  Again my sister came thru for me and made some rocking flower arrangements too.


What’s a party without cake?  This is where Elsa comes into play.  Because we can never have just one event there are a few variations of cake.  We hosted a small family party, the day of, and a friends party.

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Of course we served lemonade in both flavors.  We also hit our our local Del’s Lemonade for some frozen yumminess.  After the kid’s party ended we added some adult versions of Del’s for those that stayed for the afternoon.

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 Some of my favorite party details included.  Table settings and decorations.  At this point I’m past party favors that hit the trash once you get to the car.  These will hopefully be used, enjoyed and than no longer kicked around our friends home.

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Again another wonderful party, weather, friends and family.  I do love a good party but golly they can be a lot of work.  Until next year.

Rocks vs Shells 

We picked some amazing shells while on vacation this winter.  I hate to toss the mass quantiles that we have so we decided to get creative. This year my daughter and I painted a tick tack toe board on her swing set. Hung a little pail and now she and her friends can play rocks vs shells.  It’s cute, it’s easy and will provide instant entertainment for any age.  

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I originally wanted to do it with pavers in the ground but it was so hard to find the right size.  This worked out much better.


Ohm… a well needed vacation, sun, sand, pool, surf and family time.  Spent a week in Ft. Myers with amazing accommodations.  I won’t lie it took me a week to pack and prep this family to make a week long trek to the sun, but so worth it.  Here is my cheat sheets.

A well laid out packing list.  I couldn’t survive without it.  I’ve used it and edited it year after year, trip after trip.  So i know it will come thru when I forget something obvious.  Packing List Grid

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Space saver packing bags are gods gift to families.  I only buy the clear ones and pack and label everything.  When were arrive we just lay them out and don’t bother unpacking them into drawers.  (Unless I’m setting up shop for a good long time)  Don’t get the vacuum ones as you can’t depend on access to one while away from home.IMG_4238

Kids beaded ID bracelets live in the bottom of my purse for field trips, family adventures and of course airplane rides.  These gems have no problem going thru metal detectors and have our phone numbers just in case.  We’ve taught our kids to find another parent and state their name and say “I’m lost can you please call my mom” lifting up their arm with the bracelet.  Note these don’t work so well at water parks but a ball point pen with some liquid bandaid over it do the trick for a day of fun. Click here to purchase your own custom bracelets.

On Wrist

Laundry, it will never end as a mom.  I use this laundry trick each time we travel.  I’ve shared this before on my facebook group .  Pack an old pillow case one that will stand out, so the housekeepers don’t scoop it up. (This was mine from when I was a kid at summer camp, such a classic). When you get to your hotel pin it up between some hangers and just fill away. When you come home it’s all in one place.  P.S. you can also toss the whole bag in a space saver bag for the trip home.

Dirty Laundry

Airplane munchies?  Thankfully when traveling with kids you usually get a side smile from the people at TSA when you roll thru with a bag that looks like your pantry and fridge on a hot date.  But just know that every bit they munch on, is less for you to carry and one melt down avoided.  I’ve seen this before and golly so smart.  I didn’t have to chase any Cheerios across the gate at the airport.

It was a wonderful trip.  Time away, in the sun with friends and family.  I couldn’t ask for anything more.  Spent time pool side and sitting at the beach.  Ate ice cream cones with the kids and walked around town to do some sightseeing.  Truly my kind of vacation.

Do you have any summer adventures coming up?  What will your tricks be?  Have you tried any of the above, if so which worked best?

¿Dónde está el baño

Ever go to a party at someone’s house and the bathroom has been occupied for what seems like an eternity?   Graciously the host(ess) says “oh just use the one upstairs.”

Sure we’ve all been there. You think cool they like me enough to let me venture upstairs into their private quarters.  Now granted it’s not the White House and you’ve not been given an all access pass to our nation’s secrets. But let’s face it, when you’re hosting a party; upstairs is where you “hide/dump” all your stuff.

You’ve discreetly pee-pee danced thru a crowd of people and found the stairs. Up you go checking out the family pictures on the wall thinking, you should do something at your own house like this but that would require time. You arrive at the second floor only to be met by a hall of closed doors.  You now feel like Alice in Alice In Wonderland and you must choose wisely as who knows what is behind each door.

I figured I’d throw my guests a clue and for $5.00 make this little helper.  Now it’s not what I’ve been hunting for but will do just fine this weekend’s gathering.

 A chalkboard door hanger, computer printout, white marker, and box cutter.

Use the box cutter to score and cut out the black ink of your printout to make a stencil. Make sure you’re doing this on top of an appropriate surface.  Thick cardboard or if you’re like me make one with the floor and use the office chair pad.  Tape your stencil to the door hanger and trace.  This little goodie is good to go. I did do 2 coats of the marker just to thicken it up.


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