Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Rose's Pinterest inspired half birthday party

It's been a Pinterest summer, at our house.  Let's start at the beginning.    Last May I hurt my back, while at work and when all was said and done I was basically sent to bed until I felt better.  Sure, that included trips to physical therapy, MRI's, EMG's, epidural shots, ect....  but for the most part I was in so much pain that I could not drive myself anywhere further than 10mins, or sit or stand for much longer than that.  I work with children for a living, and I don't do "stay in bed" very well.  Luckily, with fun apps on my phone and kindle, I didn't have to "just sit there".  I was determined to give my kids a fun filled summer of learning and exploring with things we had around the house, amongst other things.   I have a Pinterest app on my phone, and belong to a garage sale site on Facebook.  
       So, here's how it goes.  I created a board on Pinterest to pin things that would be fun to do with my 7yo daughter and 10yo son, as well as an established board for projects to do with the kiddos I work with.  
First up was how to give my 7yo daughter a great half birthday.   I know what you are thinking, "spoiled little girl!", and I would agree with you.  This is the deal.  My daughter was my Christmas present, the year she was born.  She was literally delivered to me in a stocking!  She is a December 22nd baby, and I find it difficult to give her a party on her actual date.  Most people are busy with family parties, or out of town, or just don't want to add another gift to their list at that time of the year.  Sure, at home, we do a birth day and she gets a cake and a few presents and then people skip over her on Christmas because they gave her a gift.  That was something my friends, that were born on this holiday, from high school always complained of; not having separate celebrations.  This year I decided she would have a half birthday, with a party and her friends over.  Make sense now?  Alright, so here we go...
    My daughter is extremely eclectic, she gets that from me.  She loves to sing, she loves to dance, she loves to ham it up for a photo, she loves creating her own clothing to wear, she loves to cook, she loves to create art, and she loves treating people with kindness and love.  How do you pick a party theme with all of that in mind?  She kept changing the theme every day!   In the end I went with, cooking, dress up, photo shoot, and creating art.
   So now you're wondering how Pinterest fits into all of this, right?  It fits in lots of ways, not everything I did was Pinterest inspired but a good portion of it was.

So I said that Rose loves to cook.  I have a great friend (who is also a Jennifer) who sells Tastefully Simple.  If you haven't heard of it, no worries, you can reach her page with lots of products and information by clicking on Tastefully Simple.  It really is that, too!  Rose is pictured making beer bread, but during her party she and her friends also made smoothies, and dips that they shared with all the mommies who came and stayed to watch the fun.  I was inspired to add the creating yummy things to eat portion of the party when I discovered how easy it was to make these great tasting items.  You are only adding an item or two to a mix and stirring, how could I deny my little chef the opportunity to make yummy things with her friends with such easy recipes like these. They really are Tastefully Simple.

 I am a Starbucks junkie.  It's sadly true and everyone who knows me refers to this as my "crack".  The first time I told my son I had to stop at the "crack store" his eyes got huge and said "mommy, that's not good for you, you shouldn't do drugs!"   lol.  I did explain to him that it was okay, that I meant coffee, at which point he asked for some too.   ANYway...vintage milk containers are all the rage, as are mason jars.  I found cure curly straws in the clearance bin at Michaels and put them in a mason jar and added some paper and tulle that I had lying around to girly up (that's the technical term) the containers and Rose and I made "girl juice" (which is really just fruit punch and a clear fizzy drink for the bubbles).  I really like the way they turned out and the paper made it easy to label so girls knew which drink was their's.

I saw these wands on Pinterest and could not wait to make them!  I used felt, buttons and ribbon that I already had on hand and went to Home Depot and had them cut a dowel into 12in sections.  I love the way they turned out and they were a big hit in the goodie bags.

The flip flops.  Years ago, I made a few pairs of these for my nieces in school colors.  Back then I didn't have a girl of my own to spoil with cute accessories so my nieces had to put up with my antics.  This was one project I was definitely going to put in the goodie bag for Rose's friends to take home.  I am really pleased out these turned out too!  

 I found this great project making flowers out of coffee filters, and took t further when I added green streamers to make it look like the house was full of vines of flowers.

 There had to be a banner.  I like to decorate for holidays and special occassions so banners are very big in my house.  With Rose's birthday banner I decided to actually sew the letters onto each pennant and then embellish with flowers, buttons or ribbons.  She was very excited!

 It's time for a photo shoot!  I found the perfect photoboooth background on Pinterest!  It called for dollar store plastic table cloths and that's it.  The frame came from Michael's on clearance and was painted pink on one side and black on the other and then I used sparkle mod podge to make it, well, sparkle.  We also used a variety of hats, clothes,and masks and let the girls ham it up.

If you've trolled Pinterest as much as I have, I'm sure you've come across this colorful project that includes crayons and a hair dryer.  We bought 8x10 canvases and I glued the crayons on in a variety of patterns and let the girls pick which they wanted to work with.  This is a fun project, but be prepared to scrape wax off of everything.  We did this at a table with a plastic table cloth on it and I wax on my clothes, the hair dryer and the floors, as well as the table.  This is also a great teaching tool when you are teaching kids about primary colors and what happens when you mix certain colors together.  
 The cupcake station.  Rose and I kept seeing adorable cupcakes baked right into ice cream cones and decided that is how we'd do hers.  We put a variety of frostings and sprinkles into bowls and just let the girls go nuts.  They had a great time!

So there you have it, a Pinterest inspired birthday party.  Rose had a great time picking out things to try and do and everyone had a great time at the party.  What about you?  Have you ever had a party that you planned around different ideas you've found or seen other places?  How did it turn out?  
 This is just one of our Pinterest days, this past summer.  Stay tuned for a lot more.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Tooth Fairy.

My youngest lost two teeth this week, one on Monday, the second on Wednesday.  Her two top, front teeth, to be exact.  Yes, cue on "all I want for Christmas is my two front teeth", however I don't think she'll be waiting that long for them.   And they came out without any help from other kids, unlike my 2nd oldest child who went around the neighborhood asking kids to punch him so he could lose his.  What is the going rate for a tooth these days?  It was a quarter when I was little, and there are rumors that if you lose a tooth while visiting the Magic Kingdom at Disney World that Tinker Bell does the Tooth Fairy's job and leaves you $50!  Being that I go to the Magic Kingdom on a regular basis I am definitely glad that we haven't lost teeth there.  Does the Tooth Fairy hand off her job to other characters or is it a strictly fairy business?

This is our experience with the Tooth Fairy this week:
Monday:  afternoon she comes home from school wearing the coveted tooth box around her neck and sporting a one less toothy smile.
Tuesday: morning my daughter runs downstairs beyond excited about the dollar and letter the Tooth Fairy left her.  Tuesday night I come home from work to find her other front tooth hanging by a thread. 
Wednesday: I pick her up from school and she has successfully taken her tooth out at school and is wearing it in the much coveted tooth box around her neck.  Wednesday evening there is much chaos at girl scouts when her tooth is lost amongst popcorn.  Wednesday night she is tucking her tooth safely under her pillow along with a letter asking the Tooth Fairy for a Skylander toy.  
Thursday morning: she woke up very distraught that the Tooth Fairy has not met her demands.  I suggested maybe the Tooth Fairy had to do a deal with Santa to get something like that, that she's really just in the business of exchanging money for teeth not toys.  Thursday night a new letter goes under the pillow  telling the tooth fairy that she'll take whatever.   
Friday morning:  the Tooth Fairy left her a dollar and I think she learned her lesson about trying to tell the Tooth Fairy how to do her job.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

In my back yard

I've always been an outdoorsy, nature, type girl. I grew up in the Midwest and I loved going into the woods and camping and going to the state parks and enjoying all that nature had to offer. I worried that I wouldn't have that when I moved back to Florida. For all intents and purposes Florida was really foreign to me (despite the fact that I was born here and apparently wrestled alligators as a small child- or so I've been told). I knew I'd have the ocean, which is more than enough for me, but the ocean is a 45min drive away and I can't be there near as much as I'd like to be. What I do have is a lake in my back yard, as well as something I really love about this area....birds. Not the robins and cardinals and blue birds I grew up with but something that is a little more exotic for a Midwest girl.
We have a family of Sandhill Cranes in our back yard!   It's a momma, daddy and two babies.   The kids and I have been watching the babies get bigger everyday.  They come right to our back door, sometimes peck at our windows and they sound like velociraptors.

We also have other water fowl that like to stand on the bank of the lake.

And yesterday we discovered a bald eagle!

We do get an occasional alligator in the lake and there are plenty of turtles, as well as snake birds, ducks, ect..  But these are are favorites.  My 6yo has named the entire sandhill crane family -Cala, Lala, Tulla and Tallulah.  It's definitely an adventure to look out my back windows and see what new life is out there and even more fun getting the kids excited about it.  
   What about you?  What's in your back yard?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pinterest Made Me Do It.

     It happened.  I, like so many others, have succumbed to that which is Pinterest.  It started out as an innocent curiosity, as so many things do.  An example of such curiosity driven endeavors:  My oldest once asked me to give him a copy of Twilight so he could prove it sucked.  It sucked, all right, it sucked him right in and didn't spit him back out til the end of the series!   That is was Pinterest is doing to people everywhere.  I have "pinned" obsessions such as baking, cooking, books, craft ideas, ect....  Not only am I "pinning" these things but I am actually trying them at home.  
     Let me take a few steps back for anyone who lives in a peer pressure free environment or don't suffer the disease known as curiosity.  Pinterest is an internet based site that allow people to "organize" interests.  When you stumble across the site you encounter pages and pages of pictures,  most of the pictures on Pinterest are linked to other sites that explain what that pictures is about. For example:  for people getting married there are sites upon sites of wedding inspirations, ideas, crafts, ect..   What do you do with all of this?  Instead of bookmarking every single site you can "pin" them to your own board according to categories of your choosing to browse at your own leisure.   So, in short, you see something (a picture of something to be more exact) and "pin" it to your own board and can flit through everything you like at your own leisure. 
     What do I "pin"?  EVERYTHING!   I see pictures of food that look good and "pin" it, and  I've already used some of the recipes (one of which I am sharing here) I've found.  I've also found great craft ideas for holidays,  and with the kids.  One of my other obsessions are the DIY projects like making a headboard out of pool noodles (I'll blog about it when I do it), a play hut out of pvc pipe, ect...  But today I am going to block about what I made for breakfast.  

   Using just a box of yellow cake mix and a can of pumpkin.

Mix the two ingredients together in a bowl.  That is it, just those two ingredients, you don't need to add anything else.

Once mixed put it into your muffin pan.  One box and one can made 18 muffins.

Put them into an oven set at 350 for 20-25 mins.

Frost them, sprinkle them with powdered sugar, or eat them naked. There is a definite pumpkin taste to it, but it's not like eating a slice of pumpkin pie, it's just right for getting you in an autumnal mood.  There are 10 days left in August and with September just around the corner, bake sales, potlucks, family gathering, ect..this mix is just the thing to make and so easy to make (plus no eggs means you can let someone lick the bowl).

Thursday, July 8, 2010

to be continued...

It's only taken over a year, but I'm still alive and will actually be blogging again soon.
I've had a crazy year. A really, really crazy year and there is blogging fodder a plenty!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I freecycled it.

I'm moving in less than two months and have a ton of packing to do. So I've been going through boxes and deciding what gets packed and what gets tossed. This is the story of one box.

Those who know me, know that I've been engaged more than once, and have planned more than one wedding, and have more than one wedding dress. Thirteen years ago I was planning a wedding. At the same time my cousin, from Atlanta, was planning her own wedding. One autumn weekend she and her mother drove up to Missouri and we spent the weekend dress shopping. We tried on a lot of dresses, and we both found the dresses we wanted to be married in. Actually, I had already found this gorgeous Alfred Angelo dress, a few stores down, that I was in love with but as we walked into the last store there was the prettiest Mori Lee on the mannequin in the window. Everyone agreed that I had to try it on. That was how I found my first wedding dress.

In the spring of the following year my cousin had a beautiful wedding. My wedding was cancelled and I had a beautiful dress.

I kept it, in its bag for years and even tried to sell it once or twice. I even offered it to my niece to wear for her wedding and alter it all she wanted.
I just wanted it to go to someone who would love it like I did when I first bought it. So, last week, when I ran across a freecycle listing of somebody looking for wedding things (including attire) I had to ask what it was for, just to make sure it wasn't for a play or costume and that it wasn't going to be torn to shreds. Yesterday, a lovely woman who is getting married in June, came by to take a look at it and fell in love with it. My dress has finally found a home and a wedding to be a part of, and I have one less thing to pack.

Monday, April 6, 2009

It's April?

Last night we looked out our back door and saw this.

Not exactly what you'd expect for a Sunday night in April. This morning everything looked like this. Todd went to school dressed for February.

While inside Rose and Jinx looked out of the living room window at the, now snow covered, crab apple tree.

Have I mentioned that I'm moving to Florida in a few months? I'm not sure that I'll miss all of this snow, at least not for the first few winters.