Sunday, September 30, 2012

1 Month Bloggiversary and One Lovely Blog Award

Yay, it is my 1 month bloggiversary! What can I say? I'll take any reason to celebrate. :)

One  month ago I wrote my first blog post: The Present Mother. Since then, I have written 21 posts including this one, and I have had so much fun sharing my thoughts with you! There have been so many supportive ladies through my first month. One of them is Chewilicious who has nominated me for another award! Thank you so much lady! You are such a sweetie and a wonderful writer. It's always an honor to receive an award from you. :)


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

No Gifts Please!


I know that many of you read about The Princess' Candyland Birthday Party. What I didn't write about in that post was how amazingly precious and sweet my little girl is. Maybe my calling her "The Princess" makes her sound a little spoiled? And some people might argue that she is, but her gift request this year was truly selfless and I think I can honestly say that she may be a Princess, but she's not spoiled!

Monday, September 24, 2012

New Blog Design!

I had a custom blog design created and installed by Span Tag Designs. I love it so much!! It definitely suits me much better than the template I was using through blogger. If you are looking for a new look for your blog, I definitely recommend Span Tag Designs

Candyland Birthday Party

For The Princess' 7th birthday, we decided that we needed an especially sweet theme. Naturally we went with a Candyland theme! The board game Candyland has been bringing fun into the homes of families for generations. It's the game that my mother played growing up, I played it with her when I was a child, and now I play it with My Princess. It was so fun to bring the game to life with a party!


Cake

When I throw a birthday party, the cake is always one of the most important things to me. Not only does it have to be delicious, but it has to be beautiful! The Candyland theme was very fun to work with. The Princess helped me pick the design, which was inspired by the 2012 Wilton Yearbook cover. I modified it because we didn't need a cake that big, but all of The Princess' favorite parts of the cake were used.


The Princess wanted the inside of the cake be colorful. I made white cake batter and used gel coloring to color it because it is much more vibrant than liquid food coloring.


Decorations

At the front entrance, I put out a photo collage of The Princess in a gumdrop frame between two Dum Dum plants. There was a path of colored square card stock through the house and around the back yard.




I painted signs for each of the Candyland areas and placed them by the activities that they were related to.


I bough colored paper lanterns and covered them in cellophane to look like wrapped hard candies. We hung these from our wood patio cover.


I made gumdrops out of plastic planters that I purchased at home depot. I sprayed them with glue then covered them in colored sand. Then to top it off I sprinkled them with glitter to so that they would look nice and sugary.


I cut gingerbread men and candy canes out of cardboard and painted them, and placed them along the back fence.

I made giant lollipops using wrapping paper rolls covered in white poster paper, balloons, & cellophane.. These were placed throughout the yard. At the end of the party, the kids had a lollipop war with these. This was not planned, but the kids had a blast!


Activities

With a large guest list, I thought it would be a good idea to split the children into groups. I had 6 Candyland inspired stations set up. I split the children up into groups and told them which station to start at. After 15 minutes all of the children would go on the colored path and move to the next station.

Gumdrop Towers
At the gumdrop mountain station there was a gumdrop tower contest. I had a bin full of gumdrops and a bowl of toothpicks. The children used the toothpicks and gumdrops to build towers. Whoever had the tallest tower without holding it at the end of the 15 minutes won a prize. The kids got very creative with this.



Gingerbread foam notebooks
For the gingerbread station I ordered these craft kits at Oriental Trading. They were only $7 per dozen and were very easy for the children to do on their own.


 Snowflakes
For Snowflake Lake I set up a snowflake craft.

Prep:
For each snowflake I cut 6 pipe cleaners in half. I took two of them and wrapped them around the other 10 pipe cleaner halfs. I set out bowls full of white beads and clear ones that looked like crystals.

Instructions for children:
Spread pipe cleaners out and thread 5 or more beads on each pipe cleaner half.


Peppermint picture frames
For the peppermint station I ordered a picture frame magnet set at Oriental Trading. These were $9.50 per dozen. They were also very easy for the children to do on their own. Some of the stickers didn't stick very well, but this could easily be fixed with craft glue.


Chocolate covered bananas
For the chocolate station I set up a chocolate banana activity.

Prep:
I cut a bunch of bananas in half and put 4" lollipop sticks in them, then froze them overnight.

I set out the frozen bananas, Hershey's shell topping (chocolate that hardens when poured on ice cream), and colorful sprinkles. The children drizzled the chocolate over the frozen bananas then added sprinkles. This was the yummiest activity of all!


Bouncy house
I borrowed a small bouncy house from a friend to be the Candy Castle. The kids had a blast bouncing!


Refreshments

Drinks
My go to party drink is almost always raspberry sherbet punch. It's delicious and so easy to make! To make: Scoop a half gallon of raspberry sherbet ice cream into a large punch bowl and add 2 two liters of 7up.

Snacks
I tried to put out a few healthy options as well as sweets. I put out cut fruit, yogurt covered pretzels, chocolate covered strawberries, rainbow goldfish, chocolate muffins, & frosted cookies.

Party Favors

Rather than doing a party bag like I normally do, I put out empty colorful bags for children to decorate at the beginning of the party. They were able to put all of their crafts in this as they made them. Then at the end of the party there was a treat table with bowls of candy! There was a huge variety of lollipops (giant round ones, twisty, heart shaped), marshmallows, licorice, peppermint hard candies, & toothbrushes because after all of those sweets they were going to need to brush! The children stocked up their bags as a party favor.


*The party was a lot of work, but it was totally worth it because The Princess and her friends had a great time! This may sound crazy, but I am already brainstorming for next year! Hope you enjoyed reading. I hope some of you have gotten a couple ideas for your little one's big bash! If you would like some more inspiration you can see my post Ultimate Princess Birthday Party, which is all about The Princess' 6th birthday party!


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Friday, September 21, 2012

The Versatile Blogger Award & Sunshine Award

I hope it's okay to combine these two awards in one post. I am so honored that such amazingly talented bloggers thought of me for these awards. I am very new at this and still figuring it out, so this is very encouraging! Thanks ladies!!

How I started cake decorating... but it's not a Jasmine cake!

I have always loved to bake, but it had never crossed my mind to decorate my own cakes. My mother wasn't a baker and when she did make a box of cake mix the most we ever did to decorate a cake was slap some frosting on it. NOT knocking it, I loved those cakes!

For The Princess' 4th birthday party (she's now 7), I had planned a big carnival party. I looked in the books at the bakeries and just could not find a cake design that I liked. So, I decided why not decorate one myself. After googling carnival cake images for hours, I realized that this was going to be a much bigger project than I had thought. I had never even heard of fondant, but I was determined to give it a try.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Why I Love Being A Preschool Teacher



I start my day with 10 amazing little hugs. They aren't one handed half hugs. They are tight embraces that say, "I love you". The amazing thing about kids is that they love unconditionally. Most adults have conditions. I love you if... But not kids. They love with their whole hearts and they don't hold back

Ketchup With Us Prompt #2: Childhood Celebrity Crush

I read a lot of the other posts and wanted to join the fun! Rules say it has to be in 57 words or less, which was much harder than I thought it would be. So here you go, my childhood celebrity crush is....

Monday, September 17, 2012

Candyland Cake!

Last week helped me realize why I only have one child. I really don't think I would have the energy to do more than one birthday party a year! Haha! No, I really love birthday parties and all of the planning that I put into them, but I do get a bit stressed the week of. The kids had a blast with all of the activities I set up, and I will be posting more about it in a couple days when I get all of my pictures together. For now, here is a photo of the cake

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Party Planning Panic Mode

Wow... it has been such a crazy busy week! I have been terrible about blogging. The Princess' birthday party is this Sunday and I am in full party planning panic mode. My week has consisted of work, shopping at Micheal's for supplies (a lot!), painting signs, and making decorations. I have to start working on fondant decorations for the cake tonight. I'm really nervous about it because it looks harder than any cake I have done before. Wish me luck!!

Here is a peek of what I have been up to...



Signs for the different parts of Candyland
The Princess helped paint

Dum Dum Wreath
Dum Dum Plants!

Giant Lollipops!
And so much more.. I will post photos after the party.  

 I really do love planning parties, but the week of is insane! Can't wait for it to be done. Guess I better get back to work.... I'll be better about posting after the big event! 

Take care and God bless!! :) 

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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Liebster Award


 Wow! I have been blogging for just over a week and I just received my first award! Thank you so much Chewy-licious for nominating me for the Liebster Award. I am so honored that you thought of me for this. :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Still lapping the everybody on the couch!


Love this quote. It's on the wall at my gym. I honestly thought it was lame when I first saw it, but that's probably because I was that person on the couch who went to the gym once in a blue moon....

This past March I stepped on the scale. To my horror, I was only 5 lbs away from my full term baby weight!! YIKES!!!!

Princess Birthday Party

With this year's birthday party coming up I thought I would write about a couple of The Princess' past birthday parties.

Last year for her 6th birthday party we went with a princess party! I knew that if we were going to do a princess party, it had to be The Ultimate Princess Party! The Princess had a blast, so I like to think that I succeeded! :)



Invitation

I decided to go the easy route and did an evite. I am really particular about the guest count and the easiest way to keep track is evite. Plus, it seems like no one ever RSVPs when you mail them out which drives me insane!

Here is the wording I used:


Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Princesses, Princes, Knights, & Jesters,

Her Royal Highness Princess name, is turning six years old! In celebration of this joyous occasion, the princess requests the honor of your presence at the royal gala marking her sixth year. Come one, come all, in your finest royal attire (costume) to The last name Castle in the Kingdom of city on Saturday date and time.

Costumes

On the invite we invited all guests to dress up as Princes, Princesses, or knights. The Princess picked out her dress at a bridal shop. It reminded her of the dress that the mice and birds fixed up for Cinderella. You know, the one that the step sisters ruined... My Fiance and I dressed up as a Prince and Princess. It took a lot to convince him, but he eventually came around. I'm so glad he did because it was a major hit!



Decorations

To greet guests, I had one life sized cardboard Knight hung on each side of the front door. I purchased these at Shindigz.com.


In the back yard we built a cardboard castle and carriage. The kids loved playing in them!  Getting cardboard boxes wasn't easy. I called all over looking for an appliance store that would hold refrigerator boxes. None of the big companies would do it. Finally a small appliance store saved some. If you ever need to get your hands on boxes, I would suggest starting with small local businesses. 



To build them we purchased box rivets at Mr. Mcgroovy's. The rivets connect the boxes together. We also purchased building plans from them. The website makes it seem really simple, but it does take a while. 4 men built the castle and carriage and it took close to 4 hours. We stapled wallpaper purchased at www.shindigz.com to the front of the castle and spray painted the carriage.



We also used a lot of tulle inside and outside. The Princess said it looked like a wedding. 


I set up a banquet table by putting long tables side by side and set it with golden plates and cups for all of the royal guests. I put goody bags at every chair. I bought the colorful bags at Michael's and filled them with princess themed goodies from www.orientaltrading.com. The girls bags had candy, tattoos, stickers, and jewelry. The boys treat bags had candy, tattoos, stickers, and inflatable swords. I wrote the names of each child on the bags and use them as place settings so that I could seat the children that knew each other together.


The Birthday Princess had a special throne seat at the end of the table of course!


Food

For lunch I made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I used princess cookie cutters to cut them into crowns, princess shoes, and carriages. I also served fruit and pink princess punch (7up with raspberry sherbet ice cream).

Activities

As guests arrived, I had a child table set up in a room by the front door with a craft to make crowns. I purchased the craft kits at Oriental Trading. I used the Festive Crowns for boys and the Fabulous Princess Crowns for girls because they looked more like tiaras. They each came in kits that make 12 including stickers for under $10.



We also played Kiss The Frog. It is just a princess twist on the good old fashioned game Pin The Tail on The Donkey. With so many children, I purchased 3 games for only 1.99 a piece at Shindigz.com. I asked 2 mothers to be in charge of 2 of the games, while I was in charge of the third. Before playing we wrote the names of each child on the lips that they were going to pin. The children lined up and took turns trying to pin the lips on the frog. They got a kick out of where the lips were when they took off the masks. Whoever had the closest lips in each line got a small candy prize.



The last activity was pony rides! A local company does them for birthday parties and we had them bring out two ponies for an hour. We requested the white pony of course because every Prince Charming has a white horse! All of the kids had a blast riding them. I think this was probably the party favorite!


 Cake

When The Princess told me that she wanted a princess party, I have to admit that I was most excited about making a princess cake.  She and I got online and searched different design ideas and this is what we came up with.


It was pink strawberry cake with strawberry filling and pink vanilla frosting. Judging by how long the kids sat down to eat, I would say it was pretty yummy!


I hope that I'm not forgetting anything. The party was so fun for me to plan, and I think all of the kiddos had a blast, especially My Princess! Hopefully I've given some of you a couple fun ideas for your own princess party! Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks for reading! Take care and God bless!

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Birthday Party Planning Mode

I am a little bit obsessive when it comes to birthday parties. I want everything to be perfect, so I start planning them way in advance. The princess and I picked out this years theme, Candyland, about 6 months ago. Since then I have been researching ideas online and picking up odds and ends at the store. There are only 11 days left

Back to School

The craziness of the school year begins. No more sleeping in, no more lazy days, and no more lounging around the house till noon in our jammies, I'm ashamed to admit that happened quite a bit. Welcome back morning rush, packing lunches, helping with homework, & after school activities. It's going to be a busy

Monday, September 3, 2012

Banana Cream Pie Recipe

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Labor Day! We had some good friends over for a BBQ. For dessert, I went with my go to: banana cream pie, Yum! It's a no bake pie and very easy to make. It's always a big hit, so I thought I would share an easy step by step recipe

My Chlid A Hoarder???

The Dreaded Messy Room Battle got me thinking about something.... Hoarding. This is something that has gotten more attention in the public eye than ever before. With reality shows, we get a glimpse of what the life of a hoarder is like. My question is, where does that start?

Earlier today I came across a couple old tooth brushes in The Princess' bathroom. I asked her why she still had them. Her response was that they are part of her "toothbrush collection"

The Dreaded Messy Room Battle and A 6 Step Plan To Avoid It

I am so tired of the messy room battle!! I call it a battle because when it comes time for The Princess to clean her room, it begins to feel a bit like a war zone...

I start out very calm, "Okay honey, It's time to clean your room." The response is usually something like, "I don't want to clean my room. It's too haaaard" in the winiest voice possible. Still trying to be patient

Summer Vacation

I was raised in So Cal, and I am a sunshine girl. Nothing makes me happier than waking up to sunshine creeping in my room in the morning. 7years ago, 3 days after the Princess was born my husband at the time moved us to the rainy state of Oregon. It is gray and rainy for 9 months of the year with a couple sunny days thrown in if we are lucky. I have grown to love it here, but the rain and lack of sun