Category Archives: out doors

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!

Redneck BBQ

A while back we were sitting around with friends, talking about the summer months ahead and somehow we got on the subject of a Redneck BBQ. Travis and I had talked about how fun something like that might be, so when we were talking with friends we decided we needed to do it!

I headed to Pinterest and did some google searching and found tons of fun ideas. I took ideas from several invitations and made one of our own to fit what we were looking for.  How fun is this invite??

We wanted to make a fun photo booth but was struggling on what exactly I wanted. I thought about making a “mugshot” back ground so people could each hold their own sign for why they went to jail. We also thought about using a piece of plywood and stringing up tin cans, etc. But ultimately just decided to use a backdrop that looks like wood and make some fun signs. Cardboard signs and sharpies make everything a little more redneck.

No redneck party would be complete without “Redneck Win Chimes” and a “Redneck Dream Catcher”

Games really keep a party going so I made “drinko” which is a fun drinking game. Who doesn’t want to Take a Shot or Give a Shot? I also did a Ping Pong toss, an antler ring toss (not shown but we did attach actual antlers to the side of our house and threw rings at them) and a toilet paper toss (also not shown but we used a toilet seat that was attached to a metal bar and we tossed toilet paper rolls  into it.)

When we first decided to do a Redneck BBQ we started talking about what we were going to wear. I immediately knew I wanted to have a “pregnant belly”, cans in my hair, a black eye and a fake cigarette. I also wanted to get a fake ankle monitor but they were $20 on amazon and I didn’t want to spend that much on it!

We found Travis’ wig right away and knew he was going to do cut off shorts, an armband tattoo and another tattoo with names crossed out, but the shirt was a late edition the week before the party. We just had a do it! Thanks Pinterest for that one!

We really weren’t sure if our friends were going to dress up, or to what extent, but when they started showing up at our house it confirmed why these people are our friends!

These three ladies here with me are some of the best of the best. And this picture makes me laugh every time I see it.

Almost everyone dressed up! And it was 95 degrees that day so we were all on fire. That belly I was wearing was a heat magnet!! And my beer can rollers weren’t staying in after a while so I finally had to just take them out!

How awesome does my husband look!?! I can’t stop laughing over his look!

When my friend and her husband showed up we couldn’t believe it. Travis and DJ had never met, but they dressed almost identical! We told no one what we were wearing so it was awesome that they were twinning. Right down to the same wig, cutoff shorts, arm band tattoo and a tattoo with names crossed off. One of the funniest parts was that on their name tattoo, DJ had the name “Daisy” crossed off and Travis had Daisy as his uncrossed off name!

It was such a fun day! Even though it was so darn hot we all had a great time!

Everyone voted on the King and Queen of trash. And Dalton and Faith won! Dalton won a “weener kleaner” and a back scratcher made with beer bottle tops. and Faith won dual back scratchers!

I think everyone had a pretty great time! We eat a ridiculous amount of food, ate twinkies, ding dongs and zingers for dessert, drank Coors light, margaritas and juice for the kids, of course! And visited and played antler ring toss late into the night.  It was a party for the books!

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?

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!

DIY Bird Feeder

Every Spring I say I am going to have the kids help me make bird feeders. Every. Single. Year.

But this year, I actually did it. Quick, easy, and surprisingly, not even messy DIY Bird Feeders.

DIY Bird Feeder

All you need is 4 items.

Bird Seed
Peanut Butter or Almond Butter
String
Toilet Paper roll

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First, I put the string through and tied a knot in it.

Use a spoon or plastic knife and spread on the peanut butter. You don’t want it to be too thin because you need something for the seeds to stick to.

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Then set your toilet paper roll on the plate of seeds and roll

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The kids LOVED rolling in the bird seed. Except Zach. But he is 14 and wasn’t super excited to do the project with us! Darn teenagers!

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These bird feeders are really that easy! Then we went out to our backyard and hung them on a tree, ready for little birdies to come have a snack on their new bird feeder!