How I not only survive but enjoy Mommyhood

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I decided to make a St. Patrick’s Day art project with the girls today.  There are so many amazing ideas on Pinterest…I thought instead of just pinning things online, it was time to actually do them!

We painted using bell peppers and potatoes!  It was fun and not terribly difficult.

We used bell peppers and potatoes to create art projects!

We used bell peppers and potatoes to create art projects!

The supplies:

1 bell pepper

2 potatoes (one for each girl)

plates

paint

knife

cookie cutters

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The peppers were easy…just cut it open and paint!  We used a sponge brush at first but it was much easier to slap it on with our fingers.

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The pepper painting finished product!

The pepper painting finished product!

The potatoes were a bit more tricky, but still not too bad. First I sliced the potato long ways to create the biggest area to use.  Then I used a shamrock cookie cutter.  I pressed down pretty hard.  Then cut around the cookie cutter.  When I took the cookie cutter off, there was a perfect shamrock shape…NO artistic ability needed!  (My kind of crafting!)

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The potato finished product!

The potato finished product!

My kids had fun with it.  I didn’t spend a fortune on supplies and they thought it was SO COOL to do something a little different than plain old paining.

If  you are looking for a delicious St. Patrick’s Day cake recipe check this one out that I did last year….here is the link.

Try it out, have fun and enjoy!  I know we did.

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I went to an adorable birthday party last weekend and realized I never posted about Kailani’s second birthday party.  I have also not posted in quite a while…things have been very busy.  So here are all the details of my littlest’s ballerina birthday party.  I wanted everything to be pink and girly.  I also wanted the girls to be free to dance, giggle, and just have fun.  We asked that each girl were her favorite dance outfit and said tutus would be provided on the invitations.

Here is how we made it happen.

First the Party Favors:

Each little ballerina received a pink tutu upon arrival.  Watching those babies dane around the house in their fluffy tutus was PRECIOUS!  They also got a happy birthday tiara.  I also used these as part of the decorations for the room.  I hung them up on a pink ribbon.  It really gave the room a huge splash of color too!

Each little ballerina received a tutu and birthday tiara.

Each little ballerina received a tutu and birthday tiara.

The next big decoration was a tutu hanging from the fan in the center of the room. I took a hulahoop and tied different colored tulle around it.  Then hung it from the fan with some curling ribbon.  It was so easy and looked pretty cute.

I made a tutu that hung from the fan.

I made a tutu that hung from the fan.

I wanted the living room to look a little like a dance studio.  A friend gave me an old mirror, it was green and not so pretty. I just taped some left over Christmas silver ribbon onto the sides and covered up the green.  Plus what 2 year old girl doesn’t love looking at herself?  I also brought down the stand up mirror from my bedroom.  They loved twirling in front of them.

I attached silver ribbon to an old hand me down mirror a friend gave me.

I attached silver ribbon to an old hand me down mirror a friend gave me.

Tissue balls are my favorite cheap decoration!  They are SO easy to make and each one costs about $0.25.  I made a bunch of these and hung them up around the house.

I made tissue balls and hung them up all around.

I made tissue balls and hung them up all around.

Then of course the crepe paper!  We just streamed them from the corners of the room to the light and to the fan.  It really made the room look fantastic.

The room was decorated top to bottom with frilly pink decor!

The room was decorated top to bottom with frilly pink decor!

The next part was the entertainment.  Of course I had lots of cute music playing and running around dancing was really all the entertainment needed!  (It was entertainment for the adults too)  But I wanted something for them to do and take home.  So we made adorable handprint pictures.  The moms had to help, but they are pretty easy.  I precut the leotard part and then the girls made the tutu out of handprints.  Finally they glued on a bow.  (I premade them for a quick easy thing to do).  We hung them up to dry and it doubled as another decoration.

A little ballerina and her Mommy making the craft.

A little ballerina and her Mommy making the craft.

A closeup of the birthday girl and the ballerina craft.

A closeup of the birthday girl and the ballerina craft.

The adorable ballerina crafts all finished.

The adorable ballerina crafts all finished.

One of my favorite parts was the cake!  I made a chocolate cake and iced it with pink icing.  Then put sparkly silver sprinkles on top.  To make it fancier I create a tutu to put on the cake stand!  Again, this was SO easy.  I just tied tulle onto curling ribbon and tied it onto the cake stand.

The cake with pink icing, silver sparkle sprinkles and tutu cake stand.

The cake with pink icing, silver sparkle sprinkles and tutu cake stand.

Blowing out the candles on her frilly cake!

Blowing out the candles on her frilly cake!

When it comes to parties…you have to have food.  Kailani really wanted pizza.  So we ordered pizza and then had fresh veggies and fruit to go along with it.  I put the fruit in muffin papers.  This made it so easy to just grab what they wanted.  We had orange slices, grapes, and berries.  The veggies were on a tray.  I also made chocolate covered marshmallows.  (See my blog post about these here)  They were a big hit and looked so pretty.

Pink was everywhere...even on the food table.

Pink was everywhere…even on the food table.

Chocolate covered marshmallows with sparkle sprinkles.

Chocolate covered marshmallows with sparkle sprinkles.

Eating a chocolate covered marshmallow with sparkle sprinkles!

Eating a chocolate covered marshmallow with sparkle sprinkles!

When the party was over each girl got to leave with her very own tutu.  She also got her ballerina picture and then Kailani gave each ballerina a flower.  The flower had a ribbon on it with a note that said, “I had ‘tutu’ much fun twirling with you.”

Each of the ballerinas received a flower when leaving for a wonderful performance!

Each of the ballerinas received a flower when leaving for a wonderful performance!

All in all I think the party was a huge hit.  The little ballerinas had so much fun.  It also didn’t break the bank.  See the bottom for a cost breakdown.  Here are some other snapshots from the party!

Tiny little ballerinas all dress up!

Tiny little ballerinas all dress up!

This princess crown tiara was the perfect addition to her outfit!

This princess crown tiara was the perfect addition to her outfit!

Cost Breakdown:

Decorations:

  • Tulle (price for 3 colors)- $15
  • Curling Ribbon- (I had a big spool of pink, but new it is about $3)
  • Hulahoop- I used the girls from outside – FREE
  • Tissue Paper balls- $4 (this made 16 balls!!)

Craft:

  • Paint- Already Had
  • Construction Paper-Already had but can get it at Dollar Tree
  • Ribbon- $1 for a spool at Michaels

Party Favors

Food

  • Depends on what you want!  We kept it cheap and simple by doing Pizza and snacks.
  • Cake- Secret recipe (1/2 box, 1/2 homemade) Kept cost down low!

I posted here about our Superhero party, and here about how I kept the decorations under $12! This post is about how I kept the food in line with the superhero theme! We had over 20 kids plus their parents at the party. I knew I needed something EASY, as well as somewhat inexpensive.

The superman cake was definitely the BEST part of the food!

The cake that she insisted I make myself!

The cake that she insisted I make myself!

Kares wanted me to make her cake. I am NOT a great baker and am not so artsy when it comes to that stuff. She even helped me search the internet for inspiration. The adorable ones were all made of fondant. I was not ready to tackle that, so I searched for other ways to make it. I explained to Kares that her cake would not look like the ones she found online. I even showed her some “messed up” cakes and said it may look like this! I wanted her to be prepared when I completely messed things up.
I found these awesome sugar sheets made by Wilton. (click here for the link to this awesome product) Basically they are just a sheet much like paper of colored sugar! I was able to print out a superman symbol on regular computer paper to use as my template. Then I used an exacto knife to carefully cut. I put the paper symbol on top of the sugar sheet and just cut. I did one color at a time and then placed the cut sugar sheet on the cake. I was able to do this the night before the party. When I showed Kares the finished cake she says, “Mommy, it looks like a REAL superman symbol!” (To be honest I was surprised at how well it turned out!) Because we had so many people I made an extra cake that we decorated with yellow frosting and red, white, and blue sprinkles.

The party was at lunch time so I felt as if I had to serve something substantial and somewhat healthy. I really wanted “Hero” sandwiches catered from a sub shop. But the budget wouldn’t allow it! These were far to expensive. I gave Kares an option of pizza or pasta for the main dish and she chose pizza. Easy enough, they deliver and I do NO prepwork. This was very important to me.

I wanted to serve healthy snacks with the pizza. So I put a basket of tiny clementine oranges out. I called this “Power Packed Fruit”.

Power Packed Fruit

Power Packed Fruit

I made a vegetable tray with x-ray vision carrots, super strength broccoli, and cucumbers from Krypton. I bought the baby carrots so I didn’t have to cut them. I cut the broccoli the night before and the cucumbers that morning. I bought already made ranch dip. I just used construction paper to make a little sign for the foods.

X-Ray Vision Carrots Super Strength Broccoli Cucumbers from Krypton

X-Ray Vision Carrots
Super Strength Broccoli
Cucumbers from Krypton

I made limeade for the kids to drink. I took the easy way out and used Country Time powder mix and a little green food coloring. I then bought some green glow sticks at Dollar Tree. ($1 for 2 sticks) I put a couple of these in the pitcher of limeade. Then made a note saying it was Kryptonite.

Kryptonite (limeade) with glow sticks in it!

Kryptonite (limeade) with glow sticks in it!

I found Superman fruit snacks at the grocery store. These were a perfect addition to our food table too. Again, I am going for EASY things here! I just put them into a bucket and put them right on the table. I also found the buckets for the oranges and fruitsnacks at the Dollar tree. It was only $1 for a two pack! Great deal!

Superman fruit snacks made a great addition to the table.

Superman fruit snacks made a great addition to the table.

I pulled it all together by putting a red plastic table cloth down. I found great plastic containers at Dollar Tree to put things in. Kares saw some gold Happy Birthday garland (again at Dollar Tree) and wanted it, so I weaved that through everything. We used red paper plates and yellow napkins. Cake plates were blue. Finally I added a couple of the girls Superman toys to the table.

I tried to keep the superhero theme throughout the party.  Even the food table was superhero themed!

I tried to keep the superhero theme throughout the party. Even the food table was superhero themed!


I used toys that she already had to add just a little more detail to our food table.

I used toys that she already had to add just a little more detail to our food table.

Keep checking back for more Superhero party stuff! I am going to create another post with the party favors and how to create a superhero cape for $1. I am also going to post how we were able to entertain these children for the party! Don’t forget you can click on the follow link to the right so you don’t miss any posts. Feel free to put this on your Pinterest boards too!


My 5 year old wanted a SUPERHERO birthday party this year. We had so much fun putting everything together. I wanted to share some of the best parts of the party with you! I will then make other posts with step by step instructions so you can easily make your own party!
I did a lot of research on how to create a great party for her. I found that some of the best pictures I saw there were some VERY expensive decorations, cake, favors and whatnot. I used ideas and a budget…This party was not super expensive, wasn’t too hard, and was SO MUCH FUN!

The inside of the house was decorated!  Streamers, superman, capes, and more!

The inside of the house was decorated! Streamers, superman, capes, and more!

Each child received a superhero cape with their name on it.

Each child received a superhero cape with their name on it.


I set up a "photobooth" for the kids to pretend they were superheroes flying through the sky.

I set up a “photobooth” for the kids to pretend they were superheroes flying through the sky.

The cake that she insisted I make myself!

The cake that she insisted I make myself!

I tried to keep the superhero theme throughout the party.  Even the food table was superhero themed!

I tried to keep the superhero theme throughout the party. Even the food table was superhero themed!

I plan on posting more pictures and tutorials on how to make this stuff yourself soon! Plus how I did it on a budget.
Click on the link to the side to receive an email each time I post a new blog so you won’t miss out on anything.


I am so excited about Kailani’s 2nd birthday party. Here is a sneak peek as to what some of the decorations look like! I will be posting (once things settle down) more pictures, tutorials on how to make the stuff, and a breakdown of the cost…it was cheaper than I thought!

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Today is the last of my “Healthy Eating Series” click here for Days one and two.

I always try and have my girls help me cook dinner. We talk about the ingredients, we discuss what is healthy and how it helps your body. They know that carrots help you see, broccoli helps you fight sickness, and cookies are not healthy at all! This way they are learning good habits and I want them to know why they have to eat healthy rather than doing it because I said so.

When they do help me cook they either sit on the counter or stand on a stool. This way they can take an active part and actually help! My other motive behind them helping me cook is that they are constantly wanting to snack on what they are cooking. So they snack on healthy things before dinner. (click here to see my post on that)
They also are more likely to try new things and eat what they cook. If they made it, they want to eat it.

Here are a few of our favorite recipes that have little or no processed food or carbs in them. We don’t eat like this every night, but really try most days!

I don’t cook by exact measurements…here is a guideline. Sorry I don’t have many pictures…sometimes just cooking dinner seems like an Olympic event…I don’t even think about taking pics!
Stir Fry: I use chicken, beef, or shrimp (depending on what we have) and fry that in a wok with soy sauce and garlic.
I stir fry in vegetables (broccoli, carrots, baby corn, green beans, or whatever you like).
I take all of that out of the wok and then I make cauliflower rice.
I chop up a head of cauliflower using a cheese grater or I like my pampered chef chopper. Basically to the size of rice.
I then mix that in the wok with a cracked egg, soy sauce, sesame seeds. I mix up until the cauliflower is soft. Then serve the stir fry over it.
Crock Pot Lettuce Tacos:
In the morning I put chicken breasts, a can of corn (Or leftover cut off the cob), a can of black beans, a can of diced tomatoes, and half a packet of mild taco seasoning. (Although I put in some mango/pineapple salsa instead of taco seasoning and tomatoes the other day…it was AMAZING!)
I let that cook all day on low.
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About an hour before we are ready to eat I take the chicken out and shred it with a fork. Then put it back into the crock pot.
Then I take romaine lettuce and use it for the taco shell. I put cheese, avocado, cilantro, and lime along with the chicken mixture. We have leftovers with the mixture and it is amazing!
Spaghetti:
I chop tomato, yellow squash, and zucchini into bite size pieces. I put them in a pot with a little olive oil and fresh basil. I let it simmer for at least an hour (often 2-3). Add salt to taste (and Kris likes a little sugar) along with oregano and garlic.
I take a spaghetti squash and cut it in half. Scoop out the inside seeds and mush, kind of like a pumpkin. Then place the squash face down on a stone or cookie sheet and bake at 375 for about 40 minutes or until it feels soft. Take it out and use a fork to remove the squash insides. It will look like spaghetti. Serve your tomato mix over it and it reminds me of spaghetti! I make meatballs sometimes to go with it.
Turkey Meatloaf:
I hate hate hate meatloaf…but I really like this one!
I use lean ground turkey. Mix with 1 egg, craisins, walnuts, and feta cheese. I use a little season salt in it for a little flavor. Mix it together and put in a loaf pan. Bake at 350-375. (not sure how long…I usually cover it and keep checking on it). We eat with some kind of veggie on the side.
My girls eat these recipes and love them. Sometimes they ask for real noodles instead of squash, so I make a pot of noodles for them, but that isn’t usually too much work.
Enjoy!

 


Here is the second post about healthy eating. Click here to read the first one.

I love smoothies, and so do my kids! Here is a “recipe” for one of our very healthy, very yummy smoothies!
Now anyone who knows me well, knows I don’t cook using exact measurements, so my smoothie recipe (if you call it that) is more of a general guideline!
I first start with a blender full of baby spinach and baby kale. I don’t pack it in, just drop a bunch in.

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Next I put in a few spoonfuls of low fat Greek yogurt.

Then I add some kind of citrus like orange, clementine, or grapefruit. Something to counteract the taste of the kale. I used some pineapple today because I was all out of oranges. That was delicious!
Next I add 100% juice in. I use whatever I have in the fridge (meaning whatever kind was on sale this week). Orange, apple, cranberry, or whatever. I put enough in to make it blend and creamy. Sometimes I have to add more if it is not blending well.
Next I add in some frozen berries. Usually strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries. (when my fresh fruit is about to go bad, I stick it in the freezer. This way I don’t waste food and have frozen fruit for smoothies!)
My last ingredient is flaxseed meal. I put in two tablespoons. It is great for omega-3!

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Then I blend until it is creamy. If it is too much like ice cream, add more juice. It makes enough for my two girls and a glass for me!

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Make it how you like it. Add more berries or even a banana or an apple if that is what you like. It isn’t an exact science, have fun and enjoy. My girls certainly do!

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