A Homemade Birthday


IMG_6190
I wasn’t going to do anything major this year for Z’s birthday because of the baby on the way and all that. So I kept his party pretty low key… kind of. I mean, I didn’t have a theme so that should be proof that I did use some restraint! I did however get a bit crafty with certain aspects of the party and I think it went really well. Z was so happy and his reaction to all of the surprises that I made for him was totally worth the effort!

He said his favorite part was the piñata.

IMG_6028

This is the third Piñata I have made for his birthday and it was pretty simple because it was just a box made to look like a  Minecraft Creeper. Everything in Minecraft is made up of pixels so cutting tissue paper out in squares may have been tedious, but the design was very basic.

minecraft-creeper

Everyone got a turn to whack and smack the creeper with a plastic bat.

IMG_6093

Even after all the candy flew out they continued to play with it and the boys got to be boys as they tore the Minecraft enemy to bits. They made it look so fun I thought I might need to take up piñata fighting as a hobby.

IMG_6133

The funny thing is all of my “art work” for the party are things that are meant to be devoured or destroyed, but I don’t mind. I prefer to get a picture before hand, but I am totally cool with how temporary it all is. The memories are what last.

Z also had a big cake with Mario popping out of the top.

IMG_6203

I cheated with this cake because I bought the chocolate fudge cake pre made from Kroger and then just made a confetti bunt cake and stacked it on top. I covered the whole thing with store bought chocolate frosting and stuck Mario in the middle of the bundt cake. It was far from pretty or perfect, but Z loved it. The kids ate the bundt cake in a matter of minutes and our family has been snacking on the leftover fudge cake which everyone agrees is capital D-licious. I definitely considered this cake a success!

Lastly, Z really loves fruit pizza and we have had some fun creations in the past, so I knew I wanted celebrate this occasion by making one of his favorite characters out of fruit.

IMG_5943

Emmet from the Lego movie was a natural choice. Z loves Legos and it’s kind of like the Minecraft character because when you are working with things made from cubes (or Lego bricks in this case) the shapes are way easier to replicate than with something found in nature. The fruit pizza was not only super fun to make and to surprise Z with, but it really is so yummy! Seriously, everyone always goes on and on about how amazing these simple sugar cookie fruit creations taste. I have the recipe here.

IMG_6176

So that was pretty much the party other than lots of food and 14 children ages 1-8 running around slipping and sliding for two hours. It was a perfectly chaotic, wild, and messy time. I love having some family traditions like these. Casual, frugal, homemade fun. Next up Ezie’s birthday!

By | September 8th, 2015|Crafts, Creativity, Parties, Projects, Uncategorized|3 Comments

Fruity Fun Ice Drink

fruityfunicedrink

I have definitely been in back-to-school mode, and I’m the first to admit that fall is my favorite season. However, the weather is still warm, we have a pool party to go to tonight, and summer isn’t over yet. So let’s SQUEEZE some last minute fun out of what we have left of this season. This is a very simple way to jazz up your drinks in a sweet and tropical way.

IMG_4463

Really all you need is some frozen fruit and beverage o choice. You can make your own lemonade if you choose.

IMG_4478

I am pregnant and sadly also anemic, which causes me to crave ice in a MAJOR way, but by adding fruit to the ice it infuses a bit of nutrients to my habit.

IMG_4485

The kids love to help with this recipe including squeezing the lemons. When children are involved in cooking and creating healthy things it makes them more inclined to want to try it rather than just going for the junk food.

IMG_4495

All I have are these cutesy Ikea molds, this project would be a little easier with just a standard ice tray, but any ice tray will work. If the fruit is frozen and the ice cubes are small it will only take a couple hours to freeze and then you can distribute it into the glasses.

IMG_4500

 

We love lemonade here and I use a really low sugar recipe. Or if there is no time our own juicing we just buy Simply Lemonade and dilute half with water. So it’s more of a lemon flavored water, but it’s still so yummy and less sugar!

IMG_4528

You could use any kind of tropical drink including something carbonated. The fruity ice is so flavorful though you don’t need to go overboard with whatever concoction you choose.

 

IMG_4502

The kids and I love this drink and it would be perfect for a pool party. Or you could do strawberries and blueberries for 4th of July, or just the strawberry heart ice for Valentine’s day. It’s so festive the fruity ice makes any occasion a little more fun!

I hope everyone is enjoying what’s left of summer! What’s your favorite summer time drink?

By | August 14th, 2015|Creativity, Parties|10 Comments

Free Donuts!?

I have been working hard to cut back sugar for our family this year. Each month another sweet treat is eliminated from the menu in our home and will no longer be restocked, but one thing I don’t think I will ever make completely off limits is donuts.

Did you know that National Donut Day is TOMORROW!? I didn’t, but it turns out it’s a thing.

national-donut-day

 

 Be sure to stop by your local Krispy Kreme or Dunkin’ Donuts to get a free donut Friday June 5th!

I know that Dunkin’ Donuts will require a drink purchase, but they have excellent coffee. I will be ordering my favorite, which is the cool and sweet Iced Caramel Latte with Whipped cream.

dunkin-donuts-iced-latte

There is a party in my tummy. So yummy. So yummy…

 Speaking of parties, a lot of the party ideas that we implemented SJ’s 4th birthday would be perfect for donut day or a variety of occasions.

Pinata

Check out the party post HERE to see how my DIY donut invitations, donut hole fruit kabobs, and donut piñata turned out.

DonutTable-731x1024

You can also head over to my donut party pinterest board for even Donut fun like:

Donuts for elves (they are actually cheerios). So cute!

donutbos

Or stamping colorful thumbprints for donut sprinkles.

7ef0bee95d9a0f2bc718fbbfa680891a

“If You Give a Dog a Donut”  might be fun reading material for your kids this weekend.

WceGgDUNlCA8RPHOz66AbHHs4RI12Vqg+OoBRGBrKx0gjMb1TSGn63!P3!BaM61Ycim7TPw2yzIaTKEqk4wNnPi0KqNZzE1wNbi6ssfXykdQ5iDKyCBWtzAWMsmQ+7PK

There are so many possibilities! I realize we have a health epidimec in our society so maybe I shouldn’t be promoting a day that celebrates what is possibly the least nutritious snack of all time disguised as a breakfast food. But there are actually a lot of alternative recipes out there for vegan, gluten free, paleo, and keto donuts. Because regardless of your dietary needs I think every one deserves something sweet from time to time, “donut you think? “

Do you have a favorite donut?

By | June 4th, 2015|Crafts, Creativity, Frugal Living, Parties|5 Comments

My Little Girl’s Birthday Parties

SJ’s birthday is two weeks away and I am in full blown party mode. When I get going with party planning you have to use the emergency brakes just to get me to stop talking about cake and decorations.

 The theme this year is Tea Party. There maybe a sneak peak coming soon to share a little bit of what I am dreaming up, but until then let’s look back at some of SJ’s other parties.

I never would have thought of myself as “That Mom“. The big pinterest party type. But for the record, half of my children’s theme parties where pinned onto pinterest long before I had an account or even knew it existed. I just enjoy celebrating and creating, so birthday parties allow me to do both.

SJ’s first birthday was a cupcake theme

You have to visit the link to get the full effect with some close up photos, but thanks to my BFF who is a professional baker we had 70 GORGEOUS cupcakes that tasted insanely delicious. I want to recreate this for my birthday! Anyway, when I was pregnant with SJ we had announced to the entire church that we were having a girl by bringing pink cupcakes to a fellowship dinner. So that is what inspired this party.

The following year I was all pinked out, so I went a completely opposite direction with this Green Eggs and Ham party.

 This is my second most popular party on the pinterest circuit.  Again, you have to see the original post, but there are so many fun tiny details like green deviled eggs and green beverages. It was such an awesome party.

Then last year we went with a donut theme. I don’t know why all the themes are food related, but HEY it works. 

Click the link to see the incredible brunch spread with donut hole fruit kabobs, and a SJ’s adorable donut invitations. SJ’s offscreen name is Sedona and when she was just a tiny baby her two year old brother thought her name was donut. Sometimes we still call her our little donut so that is where the inspiration for her 4th birthday party came from.

Besides each party being food related there was also a bit of a book theme.

For the 1st birthday we gave her “If You Give a Cat a Cupcake” 

Then her 2nd birthday the book was “Green Eggs and Ham” of course.

 And lastly the 4th party was “If You Give a Dog a Donut” 

So this year I need to find a Tea Party Children’s Book. Let me know if you have any suggestions. I am so excited for the whimsical tea party that is just around the corner. It’s going to be in our teeny tiny apartment this year so that will be a challenge, but I’ve got some tricks up my sleeve. I think SJ and her guests will be delighted!

By | February 22nd, 2015|Parties, Uncategorized|13 Comments

Embracing Your Child’s Mistakes

I pray you’ll get caught
doing things wrong—before they get too big
I pray you’ll fail—in
things that don’t matter

I pray you’ll have to say
you’re sorry—and get really good at it, so that when the time’s right, you can
always find the courage to say the words

I pray you’ll cry, really
hard—so you feel free to express both tears of anguish and tears of joy

I pray you’ll get
lost—and discover you have the Compass within to help you find your way
The above lines are
excerpts from Lisa T. Bergrens Upside-Down Prayers for Parents. She wrote a devotional
series based on these upside down prayers in which she explains, 
“It’s our instinct as parents to shield our children from harm.
But our true responsibility is to raise children equipped to live well for God
even in the midst of struggle. Upside-Down Prayers for Parents encourages
us to pray for our children in ways we may never have before”
YES! That is exactly what
Teachable Parenting is all about. The book Love and Logic even states
“How do Love and Logic parents look upon their children’s mistakes? With great joy! Rather than get angry or frustrated they see mistakes as opportunities for their kids to think. They ask questions, wait for answers, and make heavy deposits into their children’s wisdom accounts.”
Can you imagine embracing your child’s mistakes to the point that you prayed for these learning opportunities? Can you imagine being joyful about your child coloring on your walls so that you can train them to respect property and prevent them from being destructive elsewhere? The idea behind Love and Logic and Teachable Parenting is to turn misbehavior into wisdom when the price tag is low. That means having your son lie to you about washing his hands is bad, but aren’t you glad you get to teach him the importance of honesty before it turns into something that gets him in trouble with the law or causes him to loose his job? Dr. Faye says the road to wisdom is paved with mistakes. That means that the more your child is pushing the envelope, or testing boundaries, the more opportunity you have for teachable moments. 
So how do you turn these mistakes into teachable moments? We’ll talk more about this as we continue on in this series, but these are the basic steps as shown in Love and Logic:
1. Offer empathy, understanding, and unconditional love first and foremost
2. Allow them to struggle and solve their own problems
3. Encourage children to learn to succeed through personal thinking and
learning
I’ll give a couple real life examples for you. My 4 year old stole a candy bar from the store.
It’s no big deal, we had never really discussed theft, but he knew he was being
sneaking so I hauled him to the store manager. Then I winked at the big bad police and said that my son would like to return the
candy and hopefully you won’t have to call the police this time. That was a
low price mistake. Does that mean he will never steal in his life, I can’t guarantee that, but so far he hasn’t been a repeat offender. Does that mean a
child that doesn’t get caught in a robbery can never learn? No. I think you get
the point though.
Another lesson. Some of you have heard the story about when I tried
to set up a date in middle school and my my mom listened in on the phone call
and called me out for lying (the story is here if you are curious). That could
be devastating for a parent. Your precious goody-two shoes daughter was going
to sneak out with a boy behind your back and then lied to your face about it!
The truth is though, it was a low cost mistake and I always tell people that
story because I am glad I didn’t start dating that young. I could have run to
high cost mistakes in the boy department had my life taken a different turn at
that point.
Now, maybe you are thinking you feel like your three year old has
made enough mistakes this week and you are tired and you don’t care if the
mistakes are rock bottom clearance prices you don’t want to deal with anymore.
All I can say is hang in there. This too shall pass (I’ll talk more about that
later). Or maybe you have a 13 year old and he/she is getting into trouble in a
serious way. Forget the low price tag these mistakes are costing you monetarily
and emotionally! My advice since I have never been in your shoes yet, is to
check out the books I’ve mentioned because they have a lot of great
strategies for situations like yours.

So, the next time your child makes a mistake smile and thank the Lord for the teachable moment. I dare you.
This is Day 7 of a 31 day series. For the rest of the days click HERE.
By | October 6th, 2014|Parties, Uncategorized|3 Comments