Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Balloon Wreath Tutorial

Okay so remember Munchkin's Awesome Disney Cars party.  Well as promised here is the first tutorial from that party.  When I was in my party planning stage, I was scouring the web for anything cool and these wreaths kept popping up (no pun intended).  See for yourself... do a google image search for balloon wreath.  Anyway... this is how I made mine.

 Things I used:

300 Floral pins  (I got mine from Walmart) You may want more or less depending on how puffy you want it, or if you want to add any extra fun things.  (Note.. I did not put balloons all the way around.. just the front and sides.)

Balloons (I suppose close to 300)

14in Straw Wreath.. I had intended to get a bigger one but that was the only size at Joann's (that day?) I am so glad I didn't go bigger... I'd have never finished.

Pipe Cleaners (or chenille stems for you fancy folks)

Here's What To Do:

Put the kids to sleep and turn on your favorite show.

Then use the pins to push the balloons into the wreath.  So this is the first time I've worked with straw wreaths and I began to take the plastic off and it started falling apart so... learn from my mistake if your a newby... DON'T TAKE THE PLASTIC OFF!!

Repeat this step until your thumb hurts... put it away, start again tomorrow.

Continue.. until the kids wake up.. Put it away.

Take it out for the third time and finally finish.  I suppose you could be all super mom and do it in one day... but I didn't... hehehe.

Please note... this is not finished... lol.

To complete add fun spirally pipe cleaners.   To make those just wrap around a pen or pencil... 

slide it off...

bend it in half and voila'... Stick them where ever! 


After I finished I thought of other fun things to do.. like adding some of the theme characters or small numbers for age.  You could get really creative with this.  By the way, I threw that bow together.. and couldn't do it again if I tried.

Hang in on the birthday honorees door for the week leading up to their birthday for a fun tradition.  Munchkin loved waking up to find it hanging there.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Stuck In A Slump

I'm guilty.. of being a total lazy bum.  I have been stuck in a slump, just can't get motivated and moving.  During the last few months my husband and I experienced something I wouldn't wish on anyone and I've been pretty down because of it.  I mean eating junk, watching TV, and barely keeping up with household chores.  I wish I could sleep the days (hurt?) away.   I've been forcing myself to do Tot School with the boys but because my heart isn't in it... neither is Munchkin's and he's been totally acting out.  I've even done a few fun things like fun family Valentine's Day... but, during nap time, when I usually try and be some what productive.. this has been my view.


I need to get up!  Life must go on, and letting myself go and turning into a slob is not the kind of example I want to be to my boys.   I must get up!   So this morning I did... at 5:15am.  I went to the gym came home and started what is turning out to be a very productive day.  My home already looks better and I wouldn't be totally humiliated if we had an unannounced visitor.  

And almost as if she was reading my mind or knows what I needed... a bloggy friend of mind is posting about time management... making the most of your days.  Please check out Latoya's awesome blog.. 

I'm not sure that everyday will be easy but I know what I need to do for me... and my family.  I need to get up.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Family Valentine's Day

Long ago when my hubby and I were just a pair, the romance between hubby and I was never ending (mostly because I arranged it that way).  On special occasions.. birthday's, anniversaries, and V-day.. I'd do it up... and inexpensively.  I'd rush home from work and prepare some special dinner, wine, and candles were a must.  I'd spend hours making the perfect playlist, dim lights, some type of chocolate covered fruit, and of course there'd be a special trip to Victoria's Secret.  Alas... those special days don't happen as frequently.  

Do I mind? 


I've traded those evenings for fun family dinners, snuggles in bed with all 3 of my loves, and my playlist now includes The Wiggles.  Yes my hubs and I do get away sometimes but our life and relationship have evolved and I love how it's grown.  Last, year was the first time I consciously planned and executed a Family Valentine's Day Dinner.  This year I will do the same.  Valentine's Day is a special day for emphasizing your love for your loved ones, why shouldn't the kiddos be involved?!?

This year Munchkin is older and will help me prepare for our special day.  We will make heart decorations, bake red velvet brownies (and use cookie cutters to make them into hearts).  We will put on our nicest outfits (no yoga pants for mommy), we'll brake out the sparkling cider and toast to the love we all share.  If you work outside the home, how about a family dinner out 
(yes , even on a week night... gasp!!)

Whats on the menu?  Now typically I am opposed to preparing 2 dinners.  My kids eat what I make, or they wait until the next meal (unless my softy of a husband makes them something else... smh).  However, on special occasions I make exceptions.  My Husband and I will dine on Sicilian shrimp scampi (Olive Garden style) for an appetizer, and salmon with kale and garlic smashed potatoes for dinner.  The kiddos will have heart shaped pizza.  For dessert we will all enjoy a large cup (or sippy cup) of milk and a heart shaped red velvet brownie.  If I can get to the store I may even splurge on some fun V-day plates and placemats.

Of course when the kids go to bed (and yes they will be in bed by 8 and asleep by 8:30) the hubs and I will enjoy some grown up time (I never said I wasn't taking a trip to Victoria's Secret... blushes).  

This year I encourage everyone to include the kiddos in this special night.  If your a stickler get a babysitter and go out on Saturday... that's what we're doing ;)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Munchkin's Disney Cars Birthday Party

Get ready for a photo overload!  I am so excited to share my uum.. Munchkin's party.  All of the hard fun work paid off.  The Munchkin had an awesome time.  I tried to take pics of everything but that didn't work out.  I also plan on doing tutorials for most of the DIY projects I did, so stay tuned.  Alright, enough of the chit chat... on to the party!!

The decorations!

I was trying to not go totally commercial with the decor.  We did purchase some balloons, a scene setter, and a few other items (like plates for the littles).  Mostly though, I attempted to make the decorations, starting with this balloon wreath.

I read some where (forgive me because I don't remember where) that it could be a cute tradition of hanging it on the door of the birthday honoree for the week of their birthday.  Munchkin loved it!!  Tutorial to come!!

I added traffic lights, and tissue puffs around too.  Those puffs are super easy to make and they add fun and color.  The Traffic lights are just spray painted orange juice boxes (tip: just wrap in black paper, it took too many coats of paint to cover them).  I also shopped around the house for Cars things we already owned (like the mini lunchbox).  

What's a Cars party with out Lightning McQueen!?!?! We had Mater too on the other side.

Blurry much?

The Food!

I tried to tie everything to Disney Cars, We of course dinned at Flo's V8 cafe.   

The Menu:

Chick's Chicken Nuggets, 
Mater's Taters, 
Holly's Hot Dogs, 
Mack's Mac n' cheese, 
A Champion Chili Bar with Finn's Fixens'
Chili bars are great for parties because you can make the chili ahead (and freeze), keep it warm in a crock pot and people can customize the way they like - Chili dogs, Chili fries etc... I add toppings like chopped onions, bacon, cheddar cheese, and sour cream (I meant to add chives, but totally forgot).  Yesterday we had chili mac for dinner with... you guessed it, left over chili.
Guest also got to munch on Cozy Cone Motel Munchies.

I made all of the food labels using MS word since we don't have photoshop.  Hind sight... It would have saved tons of time buying everything pre-made and time is money right? (but whats the fun in that?!?).

For the drinks we had Filmore's Organic Fuel (green lemonade), Rusteeze Bumper Oil ( Coke), I also made labels for the water bottles.  The little guests (and some of the grown ones) drank from cone cups.

The Sweets!
What's a party without sweets, and boy oh boy did I go crazy with the sweets.  It's 4 days later and the Munch is still coming down off his high.  There is just so much great inspiration out there, I couldn't help myself.  I encourage anyone party planning to do a google images search and just scan.  I usually don't even go onto the websites... I just look at pictures and get inspiration.

I didn't get pics of everything, but here's the dessert buffet run-down!!

Candy Dipped Marshmallows

White Chocolate Covered Oreo Pops
Traffic Light Rice Krispies and Racing Stix (Chocolate covered pretzels using a race car mold)
Birthday Cake and Cupcakes of course.  I made the everything myself from scratch.  I think I've mentioned before that I was not a big fan of cake with icing... until I started making my own.  There is such a huge difference in taste when you make things from scratch.  (tip: make batches of the dry ingredients before hand, then you just have to add the wet ingredients when your ready).  The cake was chocolate with white chocolate buttercream (recipes to come).  I colored some of the frosting blue for cupcakes, and green to make grass and bushes.  I set the cupcakes up on a Cars Racetrack which doubled as a gift to Munchkin after the party.  Sorry I didn't get a great pic of the cupcake set up... but trust me it was cool.

   I also had tons of red or blue candy and cars fruit snacks. 

There were more than one cupcakes with finger swoops through them by the time guests arrived, Munchkin just couldn't help himself.

I tried my hardest to get a good pic of the completed table, but it was a gray day and nothing I tried worked : (.
The Activities:
Last year I spent a week of late nights and no sleep making this huge cardboard train for Munchkin's Train Party.  I thought for a second of making Cars characters out of cardboard... but decided I'd rather have sleep.  Turns out I ended up staying up until at least 2 the week before the party anyway.  When they arrived they all got to put on VIP Pit Passes with their names (the adults had pit passes too, but not personalized).  
The kids were able to color and get temporary tattoos at Ramone's House of Body Art.
My niece posing for a pic... lol!

I also transformed the reading tent into the cozy cone motel with some orange fabric from Walmart... of course I have no pic!!, and it was so cute... No sewing either!

We also played Tractor Tipping (pics of the tractors taped to empty water bottles) the kids loved it.
Of course this pic was taken before little hands got a hold of the bean bags.
I had a little play area set up, with a Cars rug and all of the Cars toys the boys have.

The Scene setter was 3D, Munchkin tried so hard to get the glasses on himself.

Before leaving the kids took home a goody bag filled with sweets from the dessert buffet, cars crayons, a hot wheels car, stickers, and a cars puzzle, along with their Cone cup.  All in all this party was a huge success.  The kids (especially Munchkin) had a blast!  This is what makes all of the time and effort I put into his parties worth it.  Happy 3rd Birthday Little Man, Mommy Loves you!!

The signage for Flo's V8 cafe, Filmore's Organic Fuel, and Ramone's - So Wonderful, So Marvelous
Lot's of Great ideas! - The Jolly Mom and Mad In Craft