Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Time to party, Rainbows

Portions of this post originally appeared on my family blog here.

A few weeks ago I posted about the rainbow birthday cake I made for Boo's fifth birthday.  Well, here is how I set the rest of the party up.  It wasn't a big party so I didn't go overboard with the decor, just enough to hint at the rainbow theme.  It also didn't help that her birthday falls just after the Christmas holidays and the entire family passed around a tummy bug that pretty much knocked us out and kept me from getting any real shopping done.  Thankfully, with the help of Pinterest, I discovered a very easy way to find inspiration that would have taken me much longer than just searching the internet.

Now, Boo knows what colors are in a rainbow and that they total seven, not six. I had to be careful in picking things so it would have all of the correct colors. For the items I couldn't, I explained it really was the best I could do and she seemed to except it. Mostly. After some grumbling.

Lets start with the cake. I found inspiration on  I knew this would be the perfect cake.  I had also seen a tutu cake stand on Pinterest.  The complete instructions to make this cake is in the rainbow cake post and the the rainbow tutu is in the rainbow tutu post, so I won't go over it again here.  Here is how they looked.

Notice the tablecloth? It is supposed to mimic the sky. I bought some white placemats to be clouds and bought cups, plates and utensils in all the rainbow colors.

My husband believes that I have OCD and bought these things to be in this particular order on purpose. Nope, my OCD had me buy them like this completely without my knowledge. I didn't even realize I had done it until I set them out.

See those Hershey Kisses? Have a closer look.

Aren't they cute? They match the invitations I made for her. I just made small images, printed them on to sticker paper and punched them out with a 3/4 inch round punch. These turned out to be a big hit and I have a lot of requests to make some for their occasions.

I also made some sky to go along with the cake.  I found the inspiration here.

I did not follow the directions posted in my source above. I made up six batches of blue jello and let it set in the refrigerator. After it was set, I stirred it up to break it into small pieces. My husband piped Cool Whip onto the sides of the cups and I just spooned the jello in. Very easy. For the piping, I just used a disposable piping bag, but I am sure a baggie would work just as well.

The thank you bags were also very simple to make. I just used brown lunch bags (I couldn't find my stash of white, bad organization skills) and cut the tops with craft scissors to give a cloud-like appearance. I then used yarn I had leftover from making Boo a rainbow scarf (see it there in the picture) to tie each bag in holes I punched with a standard hole punch.

See the rainbow at the front of the table?  It is a rainbow scarf I made for her.  The pattern can be found here.  I wish you could see the ends in this picture, there are little clouds on the ends. These bags were stored under the table until the end of the party and this table was used for gifts.  Again I used the placemats to look like clouds.

The craft I had the kids do during the party was ring with the ribbons hanging from it I saw here. I chose not to get bells, and I had a hard time trying to find the same type ribbon in each color. Finally I found a sheer ribbon at Hobby Lobby in all the right colors. This is the example I made for the kids to see. I wish I could have found a wider ribbon to fill the ring a bit more. I had already bought those rings at an earlier date from Hobby Lobby.

Boo wanted a rainbow skirt to wear during the party. I found this fabric at Hancock and with the help of a friend, made a simple little skirt. The t-shirt came from Walmart and I sewed on the buttons tat I had found at Hobby Lobby. It turned out cute. Doesn't she look happy?

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I will spare you the rest of the party photos. Oh wait! Did you see the cake as it was cut? Maybe just two more shots then. Here is Boo blowing out her candles with Daddy's help.

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And here is the cut cake!

Please check out my Link Parties page to see the blogs where I may have showcased this post.  Thank you to the bloggers who host such wonderful parties.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Today is Memorial Day in the US.  I am spending time with m family and finishing up a couple of projects I have going right now.

This photo was taken at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day 2010, but not by me.  I have had the chance to visit this cemetery along with Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis where my grandfather is buried, Punchbowl National Cemetery on Oahu, and Biloxi National Cemetery and Natchez National Cemetery both in Mississippi.  Each time I stood in awe of all the men and women who served or gave their lives in service.  This is a day where many just celebrate being off work not even knowing the true meaning today has.  Make sure your children know what today means.  Spend time with your families, cook out, go camping, or just enjoy your day off work, but don't forget why we are given this day.  Fellow Americans, please take a moment to remember those who have died in service to our country.

To family and friends who served and made it back safely, I am thankful for your service to our country.

I will be back with a book review next week.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Teacher gifts

I have a giveaway going on right now for free digital scrapbooking software here in celebration of my birthday.  It ends 5/30/12 so you still have a chance to win.

I didn't post this last week because I didn't want to ruin the surprise for my daughter's teachers.  Here are the little frames I painted and gave as the end of the year gift.

Here is a picture of what I started with.

I started with a couple of frames I got at Walmart.  I used some red and white paint I already had (our school colors).

In the end, this is what I ended up with.

I used a cotton swab to make the dots and a black paint pen to write the names.  You can see on the paper above where I wrote their names to make sure I spelled them right when I put them on the frames.  I put a picture of the entire class in it before giving it to the teachers.  The only thing I didn't do was look closely at the opening size.  It was 4.2 inches by 6.2 inches so my picture was a little small for it.

Mrs. Farris was my daughter's teacher for kindergarten and first grade.  She taught a looping class so the kids stayed together for both years.  Mrs. Myers was the student teacher for the last half of first grade.  She was really good with the kids and I hope she finds a position in our school district.  It would be a shame to lose her to somewhere else.

On the last day of school I snapped a picture of the Princess when she got in the car to mark the moment she became a second grader.  Mrs. Farris happened to walk her out that day so I got both of them.  Thanks for a great two years Mrs. Farris!

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Please check out my Link Parties page to see the blogs where I may have showcased this post.  Thank you to the bloggers who host such wonderful parties.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Birthday and a Giveaway

I have a review for you today from My Memories Suite.  Although I have not been compensated to write this post, I did receive a free copy of the My Memories Suite software for the review.  All opinions are 100% mine.

Do you know what today is?  You do?  Oh, you read the blog title.  I'll give you that, I did put it there.

Today I turn 40.  My hair is turning gray and I'm getting a few wrinkles, but I have decided to embrace this new stage in my life.  My children are young and I want to keep up with them.

In fact, I went with my oldest daughter on her field trip just this past Friday.  We went to a dairy farm and learned all about how milk comes from cows and gets to a store.  We had fun feeding a week old calf and trying fresh milk.

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We also live by a small pond that is stocked with fish.  We love going out on the island in the middle and throwing bread out into the water.  My girls love doing this.

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Those two scrapbook pages took me less than an hour to make with my new digital scrapbooking software.  I want to introduce you to My Memories Suite.

I think they would have taken even less time if I had not just opened the My Memories Suite software and started using it for the very first time.  In fact, that Dairy page took the most time.  I was playing with all the different options the software came with. I pretty much made that page on my own without using the supplied templates.  The fish page was so easy to make.  I selected a template then just popped my pictures right in.  I didn't have to do much at all with the pictures.  It took more time trying to find the fonts I wanted to use.  I also just used one of their background papers included with the software in that picture although you can use any background you have.

I used to make digital scrapbook pages all the time to document our lives.  Each page took me a long time to make and it became very time consuming.  This scrapbooking software is so easy that I can make an entire book that would be ready for printing in just a few hours.

What if you don't want to make digital scrapbook pages?  You aren't limited to just those.  In fact, I made the birthday word art at the beginning of the post with it.  I haven't even started to discover all the things possible.  And the best thing?  This software isn't pricey at all.

In fact, you can save $10 when you buy the software by cutting and pasting the following code in when you order. 


It really is that easy to start.

Want something even better?  Share the Memories is offering one of my readers their very own copy of the My Memories Suite for free!  Think of it as a birthday gift for you.

Just register using the Raffelcopter form below.  If you are not reading this on the blog, yo may have to click through to get to the form.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please check out my Link Parties page to see the blogs where I may have showcased this post.  Thank you to the bloggers who host such wonderful parties.

This post contains affiliate links to My Memories Suite.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Time to party, Jessie

First let me announce the winner of the Eclos Beauty Starter pack.

Deanna has already responded to my email so this is a done deal.  Thank you to all who participated!  I promise to make my next giveaway go more smoothly. 

Remember a few weeks ago I told you guys I was running low on cake pictures?  I still have a few, but I am saving them for the future.  I hope you like this post.

Do you guys recall the Toy Story Jessie cake I made last year for my daughter's sixth birthday?  Today I am going to tell you how I set the tables up for the party.  I pulled the color scheme from Jessie herself.  I chose red, yellow, blue and cow print (yes, I know cow print isn't a color but just hang with me on this).  I just grabbed some of those thin plastic tablecloths from a local party store and went to work.

Here is the table that greeted the guests as they arrived.  I cut a reverse scallop on the edge of the table cloth to mimic Jessie's shirt design, then used a red sharpie to mark the thread feature.  You know, that little loopy design her shirt has.  I used a strip of the red tablecloth down the center.

This was where the kids got their name tag badge to wear.

I set the table up for food in a similar manner.  I cut the yellow tablecloth the same way and ran the red strip down the middle.

I used clear red serving dishes that I bought at Target on clearance after Christmas (the party was in May so I was really planning ahead).  I gave the kids pink and yellow lemonade to drink.  The front tray has marshmallows dipped in chocolate with small bandanna flags and the other is a veggie tray.  The bowls contain chips.

At the other end of the table was the cake.  I wanted the cake to really stand out on the table so I cut a square of blue to make the cake look special.

The seating area for the kids to enjoy their food was set to look like Jessie's pants.  I started with a blue tablecloth and I cut a cow print tablecloth to run a strip down the middle.

I used yellow plates and red cups and napkins.  The table is sprinkled with small dollar store toys to keep with the Toy Story theme.  The kids were allowed to take the toys home as part of their goodie bag.

What do you think of the decor?  In a future post I will tell you about the activities the kids participated in during the party.


Please check out my Link Parties page to see the blogs where I may have showcased this post.  Thank you to the bloggers who host such wonderful parties.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Books for kids who wear glasses

I have three books for you guys today.

These reviews are completely my opinion and are not influenced in anyway by outside sources.  In regards to the children books reviewed, as a parent you are ultimately responsible for what your children read.  Please read what they read so you are informed on what they are learning.  I don't reveal plots, give spoilers or just summarize the books.  I don't enjoy reading books filled with cursing or sex so I tend to stay away from those.  This means I read very very few romance novels.  For the children's books I give the Princess' thumbs review and Boo's review (lets just say her reviews are interpretive and make more sense once you've read the book) in addition to my review rating.  My review scale can be found here or hover over the rating for a description.

My oldest daughter wears glasses.  She got them when she was two and the completely fit on the palm of my hand.

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We went through a lot in the beginning trying to get her to wear them, it wasn't easy. Here she is at three.

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Eventually she quit fighting us on them and just started wearing them.  Here she is at four.

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That is until she started school last year.  Ready for kindergarten at age five.

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You see, one of her classmates told her she looked ugly in glasses and that she didn't want to be her friend.  The child even went so far as ripping the glasses off her face, bending them and scratching her in the process.  As a mother this broke my heart and made me very angry.  I know she needs glasses in order to see and I never wanted her to be teased because of them.  Of course she told me she didn't want to wear them any more, but I had to try and convince her that she was still going to have to wear them no matter what people say.  After comforting her best I could, I scoured the library to find some books that might help.  I found two.

Luna and the Big Blur: A Story for Children Who Wear Glasses by Shirley Day

This book is about a little girl who has to wear glasses even though everyone else in her family does not.  She doesn't like her glasses and doesn't understand why she has to wear them.  After a dream that she no longer needs them she spends a day without.  Things don't go well for her.

The thing I really liked about this book is the section in the back for parents.  It has a list of common vision problems for children and how to have your children actively participate in taking care of their eyes.  It is not a short book and will have to be read to younger kids.  Older children will also be able to understand the concept of the story when reading it on their own.  I think this book is good for all ages of children.

The Princess gives it two thumbs up, and a sense of satisfaction from her glasses.  Boo says "Can I wear glasses?" (she doesn't need them).

The Snickety Things rating is

Princess Peepers by Pam Calveri

This is a really cute book about a Princess at Princess school.  She is made fun of by the other Princess' because she wears glasses.  She decides she doesn't need them and tries to go without with very humorous results.  It has a wonderful ending that shows her the glasses aren't so bad.

This book had more of an effect on my daughter because it was closer to her situation.  At the end of the book my daughter was actually thinking her glasses were really great.  As a result, the new glasses she got shortly after were pink, just like in the book.  I would give this book another half flower if I could for the way it made my daughter feel after reading it.  This book is good for all ages.

The Princess gives it two thumbs up.  Boo still "Wants glasses."

The Snickety Things rating is

As the year wore on, my daughter stood up for herself some to the bully.  She was still picked on, but she let it go instead of dwelling on it.

Here she is at six.  It is hard to tell, but those glasses are pink.

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I was very excited when I found this book last year.

Fancy Nancy Spectacular Spectacles by Jane O'Connor

If there was any question at this point on whether my daughter was upset about her glasses, this book erased them  See, she loves Fancy Nancy as you can read about here and here.  In this book Nancy is jealous of her friend Bree because Bree has new glasses.  I think it made my daughter's day to think Fancy Nancy wanted to wear glasses.

The Princes gives this two thumbs up.  Boo says "Now I can have glasses."

The Snickety Things rating is

The Princess turned seven last week.  Here she is last Friday on her school field trip.  She has now been wearing her glasses for five years.

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Check these books out at your local library or follow the links below to find them on Amazon.  I'm going to go ahead and say that if you purchase a book by using one of these links I will make a little money off of it.  Jeff says I have to start paying for this blog somehow since I spend so much time working on it.  There, you've been warned, now go buy some books!  You really don't have to, but I'm not going to stop you.  After all I've warned you and I pasted the links in...

Please check out my Link Parties page to see the blogs where I may have showcased this post.  Thank you to the bloggers who host such wonderful parties.
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