Category Archives: girls

Summer’s Mermaid Birthday Party

Last weekend my little girl turned FIVE years old!

We went back and forth a little on what type of party she wanted, but ultimately settled on a “Mermaid  Birthday Party”.

Thankfully Pinterest is always my friend and guides me to the best of the best crafters with awesome ideas to create a great party.  Here are some shots from the day. And by “some” shots, I mean, I am sorry for an extremely picture heavy post.

Welcome Mermaid sign for the front door.

Summer helped me “design” her very own birthday shirt. She did a pretty good job.

One of my favorite things in our house has always been our chalkboard wall. The kids play on it all the time and it always gets used for birthdays and holidays.

Our party was mid day so we just did some finger sandwiches, and snacks.

I was going to make my own rock candy, but for real, after reading how to do it and that it can take a couple of weeks for the crystals to grow I decided to bag it and just buy them!

How fun are these marshmallow pops? They are super cute and the were really delicious!

The clam shells were also a big hit. It is just frosting in between two nilla wafers and a sugar bead for the “pearl”

Love my sweet birthday girl!

Everyone loves mermaids– What is your mermaid name? Mine is Mara Aqua Rain

I got these hula hoops on clearance a while back so I grabbed them for “party gifts” for the girls!

Last minutes I decided I didn’t want to make cupcakes myself. I was swamped with other things and was just running out of time. Walmart to the rescue and the colors were exactly what I wanted. I made these adorable little cake toppers to go with them.

A pinata was really the only “game” I planned and the kids all left with bags of candy!

Look at all these sweet girls (and one boy!)! I am so grateful for all of our amazing friends that gathered around my girl to celebrate!

After presents and some cake and lots of playing with friends it was time to wrap up our day of fun!

This little Mermaid was as happy as a clam! Happy Birthday sweet girl!

10 Ways to get Mom Time during the Summer

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.  #CraftYourCool #CollectiveBias

School is out, kids are home and your “mom time” just went out the door. Am I right?

Today I put together 10 Ways to get Mom Time during the Summer. I’ll be sharing everything from my Starbucks® Bottled Dulce de Leche Frappuccino® Coffee Drink 13.7 oz Single Serve item only (not available in 4-pack) to Bubble Baths. 
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I think sometimes people have a preconceived notion that because I am a stay at home mom it means I have all the down time in the world. I recently have a friend say to me, “I’d love a month of not doing anything.” when I said I was looking forward to summertime.  Now don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of time for sun bathing and binge watching my favorite shows, but I am running to swim lessons, play dates, sports and mall drop offs.

So having mom time has to be carved in just like the kid’s events. And that is why I wanted to share a little of what I am doing to share a little of what I am doing to still get some time to myself.

  1. Wake up Early
    Getting up early isn’t something I love to do. I consider myself an early bird but that is still 7 am. And getting up before my kids rarely happens. So I like to grab some coffee and head out to the back deck and enjoy a little bit of quiet before we start out day.
  2. Go for a Walk
    In one way I am pretty spoiled. With Zach being 15 now he has become a pretty reliable babysitting source. So it doesn’t take much for me to grab my shoes and head out on a walk. Which leads me to my next one….
  3. Go to an exercise class.
    Maybe you don’t have a built in teenage babysitter, but even if you don’t, recruit a friend to watch the kids for an hour so you can hit the elliptical or do some Zumba.  Still not workable? Grab an exercise DVD and hide in your room to do it!
  4. Get yourself an Adult Coloring Book.
    I won’t lie, I am not a good colorer. I don’t stay in the lines well. But I was surprised at how relaxing is was. You could even print off some pages from online and enjoy the time.
  5. Read a book or magazine.
    I’ve always been a reader. I got that from my mom and ever since I was a kid, reading is something I have done a lot of. This year is the first year I have actually set a goal for myself, which was 30 books. And so far I have done pretty well, despite an couple of them dragging on and on.
  6. Relax in the sunshine.
    Nothing makes me happier than a beautiful day full of sunshine. And taking my current book and a blanket out to relax in the sun is one of my all time favorite things to do.
  7. Put on your favorite music.
    Lounging in the sun, hanging out at the river…. it all goes hand in hand with music. Turn it up and belt out those tunes.
  8. Spa Day.
    To me a spa day doesn’t have to mean some expensive, fancy place. For me it means relaxing, getting my nails done, toes painted, a facial… All things I can do in the comfort of my own home.
  9. Bubble Bath.
    I am not really a bath person. Maybe because growing up we never had a bath tub, only a shower. But every so often a bath just sounds so nice and relaxing. And it is always accompanied by my current book.
  10. Schedule some girl time.
    Grab your bestie and hit up a current chick flick, or have a coffee date. When it comes to you and your best friend I’m sure it doesn’t take a lot to have a fun and relaxing time. It is great to have play dates and all but don’t forget adult time too!

One sure way for me to relax is to grab a nice cold drink and sit back for a few minutes. Luckily I can get the new Starbucks® Bottled Dulce de Leche Frappuccino® Coffee Drinks at Walmart and they are the perfect size. These single serve drinks are perfect for our on the go nature, ready for me to drink right from the bottle with the pop of a cap and come in other flavors.

Also if you Buy 3 Ready to Drink products get 35 stars, which if you are a Starbucks Rewards member you know how fast those stars can add up and that makes for more Mom Time!

What are your favorite ways to sneak in Mom Time during the Summer when your kids are home?

American Girl Doll Closet

There was a time when my life only knew boys. I had two sons and we didn’t find out what we were having with baby number 3. We were going to be done after 3 no matter if we had a girl or a boy and while I was secretly thinking I was having a girl I told everyone I thought I was having a boy. I think I was trying to convince myself I was having a boy so that when I had another boy, I was mentally prepared.

I wasn’t sure if a girl was in my future. But luckily that day I had Summer my life changed for the good. There are so many fun things I get to do with Summer, like painting our nails, doing fun hair styles and playing with dolls.

For Christmas, Reese joined our family. Summer was so excited to get Reese and plays with her every single day. She has lots of clothes for her, but that hasn’t stopped me from buying more fabric than I need to make matching outfits for Summer and Reese.

It has also opened up so many opportunities to make fun things like this doll closet.

It couldn’t have been easier. I bought one of these crates for $10, a rod for .29 and the plank for $2. And I also just used some paint that I already had from DecoArt and some hot glue!

Because it was a little rough I did use a piece of sand paper to sand down my box a little, but it only took a few minutes.

These were Summer’s paint choices! Bubblegum and Purple Cow!

She wanted the inside to be pink, so that is just what we did!

Then the outside was purple! And I used a glossy clear coat to give it a shine!

I cut a couple pieces of the peg off and painted them pink, and one longer piece purple. Then, using the hot glue I put the “rod” in to hang the hangers on, and the smaller pegs I used to prop up the board on the side for a shelf.

I’m thinking of grabbing another piece of wood to put up above the rod because that might be a better place for the shoes to go. What do you think?

Look how happy this girl is to have Reese’s closet finished? She was so in love!

I also grabbed this mirror from the dollar store. It has the suction cups on the back, but I just filled them with hot glue and stuck it on!

I have so many more projects that I want to do for Reese and Summer. What would you like to see me make?

2016 Year in Review

You guys, January isn’t getting off to a very good start as far as blogging going. I have every intention to blog and I have many posts semi ready to share, however, I just cant seem to make/find time do actually do it. So here we are.

I thought I’d start with a quick 2016 recap.

January we spent a lot of time inside because it was soo old outside! We we to Trav’s work dinner, so I had to go before hand to try on dresses and we spent time with friends. Oh, and worked out.

February warmed up a little and we hit the park several times. I turned 33, We attended friend’s birthday parties, we grew grass just because we can, we did math and I won tickets to a Justin Bieber concert. (And Yes, I was super excited) #noshameinmygame

March we headed to Grandpa’s house for a long weekend, saw a HUGE herd of elk along the way. We went fishing and enjoyed the sunshine, but didn’t really enjoy the crazy wind! We picked buttercups at Papa’s house, we celebrated Daddy’s birthday, celebrated Easter, and I took my niece to Justin Bieber. And yes, I took pictures of him shirtless. (See above hashtag.)

In April we attended Zachary’s track meets, Summer and I had a girls weekend while the boys went to Montana, we spent a lot of time at the park, celebrated Zachary’s birthday, and went to a fun day at Daddy’s work.

May was spent outside a lot! We played at the park with friends, lunch dates with friends, Tyler played T-ball, Zachary ran track, we sent birthday balloons to Grandma in heaven, celebrated Papa’s birthday, ran through the sprinklers and Tyler graduated preschool.

June I got to have a girls night with my best friend, kid less, which never happens! We had a play date with cousins from Seattle, we picked strawberries, we finished up the school year, Summer caught her first fish, I made “best friend” shirts for Summer and I. We celebrated our bestie Haidyn’s birthday, Summer got her ears pierced, We celebrated father’s day, we had a huge storm make it’s way through and we watched my sweet niece Kaylee graduate from high school. We played outside on the slip n slide, saw Finding Dory, we swam in the river a ton, and had a big BBQ with our friends.

July was spent almost entirely at the lake, river or pool. Sometimes with friends, always with family. We watched fireworks with our besties, celebrated a sweet girls first birthday, watched many beautiful sunsets, colored Zach’s hair green, went fishing, picked and canned an insane amount of cherries, went to the local theme park and took a fun ride on a boat with friends.

August was another month outside. Lots of time at a beautiful lake, sprinklers and water fights in the back yard, we make bird feeders, we visited the sunflowers, went to the movies with friends, and spent a ton of time at the park. Tyler got to go to his Kindergarten open house and meet his teacher! Zach and I went to Watershed, which is a big Country music festival. We saw some of our favorites, like Chris Janson, Travis Tritt, Brothers Osborne, Jason Aldean, Eric Church and Keith Urban. It was three days for of amazing music, fun food, rides and interesting people!

September was another busy month. Zach started high school. Tyler started Kindergarten. Summer started preschool.

That’s enough for any mom, right?

We also celebrated Summer’s 4th birthday with a fun tea party full of fun girls. We finally got a new dishwasher after ours went belly up, so we changed out our stove and put in a new microwave while we were at it. We went to the fair, where we rode the rides, ate fun food and fed the animals. Plus, Tyler rode a sheep!

In October Summer and I got to have another girls weekend while the boys went to Montana. (where they caught some huge fish!) Summer went on her first field trip to the pumpkin patch, then Tyler had his first field trip to the pumpkin patch. Zach went to his first high school dance and my little Batman and Cowgirl enjoyed Halloween. Tyler turned 6 and we celebrated by having an awesome Batman birthday party. No superhero party is complete with out capes and masks, right?

In November Summer had career day where a Dr and Cop both came to speak in her class. She loved both and now wants to be both. Papa took Tyler to Dad’s and Donuts at school and taught Summer about birds. We did lots of crafts, celebrated Thanksgiving and Travis did a lot of fishing. He also found this awesome arrowhead! Plus the green in Zach’s hair is just about gone. (yeah, that is something to celebrate!)

December was a cold month! We got a new fridge to match our other new appliances, we went to Tyler’s school friends birthday party, enjoyed Summer’s preschool Christmas concert, had a wonderful long weekend at Christmas and rung in the new year with friends.

We had a wonderful year and I look forward to the amazing memories we are already making in 2017!

Fun Fall Activities with Pepperidge Farm Goldfish

It is no secret that we are Goldfish cracker eaters in this house. So when I have a chance to combine them with Fun Fall Activities for the kids it makes for a happy family.

fun-fall-activities

Because of the time of the year it felt obvious that we should make something geared toward Halloween. There are so many Fun Fall Activities that we could have made. I thought about making many different crafts. Maybe a spider out of an egg carton and pipe cleaners, or handprint Frankensteins, Tin can ghosts, but we decided on these fun popsicle stick spider webs.

I ran to the store and grabbed our favorite snacks! Who doesn’t love Pepperidge Farm Goldfish? I actually don’t know anyone who doesn’t love them! And my kids will pick Goldfish crackers over just about any other option! And I love the new Goldfish Baked with Whole Grain.

A few things I love about Goldfish crackers:

  1. Always Baked with Real Cheese
  2. No Artificial Flavors or Preservatives
  3. Colors Sourced from Plants, such annatto extracted from the reddish seeds of the Achiote Tree
  4. Baked with Whole Grain Cheddar has 12 g of WG per serving
  5. And ultimately, it is a snack I feel comfortable giving to my kids

pepperidge-farm-goldfish

Then we got to work on our fun fall activities, which was making a popsicle spider web.

Of course, before hand I used my hot glue gun and put together the popsicle sticks because I didn’t want little hands touching the hot glue! But then it was all up to them. I made one and showed them how I was doing it then it was up to them how they wanted to make a spider web!

All I used was some yarn, popsicle sticks and hot glue (not shown). Then if you want to add a spider to make it a little more fun, you’ll need one of those too!

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Check out Tyler making his awesome spider web!

We had a fun time full of smiles making our fun fall crafts and snacking on Goldfish Colors while we were at it!

Fun Fall Activities

I went and dug into our Halloween decorations and found these plastic spiders that were the perfect touch for our new creative spider webs!

Fun Fall Activities

What do you think? Is this a craft your kids would love?

Visit the campaign landing page to get inspired and learn how to enter the Goldfish Tales promotion for a chance to win $1000 plus lots of other fun prizes!