Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Party Planning...

Birthday season has arrived!! Miss I has gotten so many birthday invitations and we are booked every weekend with a party or gathering of some sort until the end of April!! Holy smokes! Her birthday party is on one of those weekends and I think we are all excited about it! She decided to have a Sofia the First themed party for her fourth birthday. So, with that decision made, I took to Pinterest of course! There wasn't a ton of ideas posted yet aside from the store bought items from Disney. Being the DIY type, I didn't really want the generic packaged stuff so I did a little thinking and some more Pin-searching.

If you are unfamiliar with the animated Disney show, it follows young Sofia in her journey of being a princess after her mom marries the King. "She's finding out, what being royal is all about!" (If you've seen the show, I know that you totally just sang that last line ;)

I thought about the episodes of the show that have aired already and tried to think about how I could interpret them into a party. I also tried spelling "Sofia" differently in my Pin-search. (Sofia, Sophia, Sopheea)
 **Tip- If you are ever coming up short with Pin results when searching, try a different spelling**

I came up with a few ideas for my princess's royal 4th birthday. The main party event will be the magician! In the show, there is a character named Cedric who is the Royal Sorcerer, so I thought a magician would be a great tie in so that all the little Princesses could enjoy the same kind of magic that Sofia does. 

The magic show will start about 30 minutes after the party is supposed to start, so while the kids are waiting/or waiting on all the guests to arrive, they'll be able to color some Sofia pictures that I found on Pinterest. I'll be buying a couple of boxes of crayons from the dollar store for the girlies to color with and share.


After the magic show is over, they'll be able to pet and meet the animals he used in the show (which ties in well with Sofia's animal friends!), and then the Flying Derby will commence. In one episode, Sofia tried out for the Flying Derby team at Royal Prep Academy. Its basically a horse race with obstacles, but the horses are actually pegasuses and fly through the track rather than run. I saw these noodle horses on Pinterest and thought they would be perfect for our Flying Derby! I am adding fairy wings from the dollar store so that our horses can "fly"! The winning racer will get a special prize and the other racers will get a ribbon. They'll all get take their race horse home with them as well!


We were going to make amulets, as Sofia's pretty purple necklace is a big part of the show, but Miss I and I ended up making them all already. They were easy to make, but did require parental help, so we  decided that they would just go in the goody bags for our fellow princess guests. You can check out the DIY instructions here.


I'm still working on the invitations. I'll be making those myself on the computer and Miss S has been helping with design ideas. Not sure exactly how we want them just yet. We will be sending them out 2 weeks prior to the party, so I had better decide what they'll look like quick.

My friend Amie from The Treat Retreat in Spring, TX will be making the cake. I can't wait to see the final product! Here is the Pinspiration for our Sofia cake :)


I am still planning and plotting and most likely will be right up until the party. But you can follow my plans and ideas on Pinterest and check out my Sofia the First Party board.

I can't wait to be able to show you all the finished products and end result of this party. Its going to be so much fun! And when this one is over I'll be able to jump right into planning a certain special someone's 8th birthday party!

Do you have little Princesses in your house? What was the theme of your last birthday party you planned?

 

DIY- Sofia the First Amulet

If you have Sofia the First fan in your house, like I do, then this DIY post is perfect for you! We were originally going to make these at her birthday party coming up in April, but ended up making them all ourselves. It was quick and easy!!

Materials Needed:
1 inch Bottle caps
1 inch Bottlecap Gemstones (color of your choice)
Metal Punch
Jump rings
Jewelry glue
Cord/chain/necklace of some sort



Instructions:
1. Place some jewelry glue on the inside of the bottle cap
2. Press gemstone onto glue- let dry (this won't take long!)
3. Punch small hole into the edge of the bottle cap
4. Adhere the jump ring through the hole
5. String onto a necklace

Voila!!


See? I told you this was easy!! You can make these with any colors of bottle caps or gemstones. I got all my supplies at Hobby Lobby.







Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Edible Easter Baskets - A MOPS Craft!

I absolutely love going to MOPS (Mothers Of PreschoolerS) for the fellowship and friends I have made there. They try to have a craft once a month, and this month our craft director, Krissy, came up with a super cute Easter craft!

Edible Easter Baskets

I can't get over how cute and easy these were! And the best part is that they are completely edible!

What You Need:
Sugar cones
Cake balls (your choice of flavor)
Almond Bark
Coconut
Food Coloring
Jelly Beans
Sour Punch Straws

How To:
1. Make your cake balls. Our lovely director, Krissy made ours and supplied them for us. 
2. Freeze cake balls
3. Cut the tips of the sugar cones off, so that you have a hollow and flat edged cone.
4. Dye your coconut using 2-3 drops of food coloring. We had purple, yellow, green, pink, and blue "Easter grass".  
5. Melt Almond bark (we used the white!)
  6. Dip your cake balls into the melted almond bark. Be sure to cover the cake ball completely.
7. Slide your covered cake ball into your sugar cone "basket". You can spread a little extra coating on the top afterwards.

8. Place a Sour punch straw into the cone and coating to create your basket handle.

9. Decorate your basket with your colored coconut and jelly beans (we also had Sweet Tart bunnies and chicks...you can use any candy you'd like)

10. Let dry (not very long!) and then either use them to decorate for Easter or do like I did and let your kids eat them!! Miss I thoroughly enjoyed hers!!

  Ta-dah!!!

With a little prep work from Mom (or Dad!) this would be something even the kiddos could do! A big thanks to Krissy for the instructions on how to make these!!


Friday, March 15, 2013

Giveaway! Spring Clean Your Blog!!


We have an amazing giveaway brought to you by:


We all know that with the Spring comes a lot of cleaning. Cleaning the house, the vehicles, and a need to clean our blogs. Let's face it, we've probably got more junk on our blogs than our kids have shoved in their closets. But who has the time to clean up their blogs when they have so much else to do? I know I don't. That is what makes this giveaway so awesome. Why not let someone else clean up your blog while you sit back and relax. Not only are we giving away a whole new blog design, but we are also giving away 3 books to read while you are relaxing and a set of wine glasses to sip on some juice, wine, water, whatever helps you to unwind. This is PERFECT for any blogger, even someone who is thinking about starting a blog. See below for the details on the prizes.


PRIZE: 1st Place

Custom Blog Design Package (a $250 value) by A.Kay Web Design including:

* Custom Header

* Background

* 4 Social Media Icons

* Navigation

* Blog Button with Code Box

* Post Divider/Signature

* Coordination of Fonts and Colors






3 Books from Life Well Blogged (Paperback or Ebook, Winners Choice)
No Laughing Allowed, To Bliss and Back, and Holidaze


A set of spring themed wine glasses ($60 value) from Makikis Art



2nd Place

A Pre-Made Blog Design (a $100 value) by A.Kay Web Design
Select any one of our Premade Blog Designs and receive:
Blog button
Post Divider/Signature



Now that we've got you excited about the prizes, make sure you enter the Rafflecopter below. Make sure to take advantage of all the entries to give yourself a better chance of winning. This giveaway runs 3/15-4/15 11:59pm. Winners will be announced on the Rafflecopter and via email. This giveaway is only open to the US. You must have a valid shipping address and respond to winning email within 48 hours of notification. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I did not receive compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. The Pinspired Mom is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Hey You!! Yes, YOU!!

Good, I'm glad I have your attention! I just want to say thanks. Thanks for making me feel special by reading my blog. You took time out of your busy day to stop and read about my blessed life. And all the crazy stuff that goes on in it. Maybe you can relate to me, maybe you don't. Maybe you're truly interested, or maybe you're a crazy stalker. Who knows?! But regardless of WHY you're here, you're here and that makes you pretty awesome because you obviously grasp the level of awesomeness that is me. Otherwise you wouldn't be here at all. So, thanks! You're attention has made me feel that much more awesome!

Now since you're here, I'm wondering if there's something you might be looking for? Inspiration if you will? Or, I guess in this case, PINspiration! Well, I decided to share some of my favorite inspiring, funny, motivational, and thought provoking pins. I hope one of them hits home for you and helps you in whatever struggles you may be having in your world.











Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My First Blog Award- The Liebster Award :)

Wow, I am so surprised and honored! I was nominated by The Non-Martha Momma for the Liebster Award!! Please go check her out! She has tons of awesome stuff!! 

The Liebster Award is an award given to Bloggers by other Bloggers! That makes it even more special!



Here are the Rules:


1. Each blogger should post 11 random facts about themselves.


2. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you, then create 11 new questions for the bloggers you pass the award to.


3. Choose 11 new bloggers (with less than 200 followers) to pass the award to and link them in your post.


4. Go back to their page and tell them about the award.


5. No tag backs.
My 11 Random Facts
1. I have three children, all of which are girls.
2. My birthday is in December
3. I'm what is called a, Twi-mom (Team Edward, baby!)
4. I graduated high school in 2005
5. I met my husband online
6. My favorite colors are blue, pink, green
7. I'm watching the finale of The Bachelor as I write this out
8. I love Pinterest
9. I am addicted to Facebook
10. I went to the Colorado State Championship as an Original Orator on Speech Team during my sophomore year of high school
11. I love Snickers bars.

My Questions from The Non-Martha Momma

  1. What do you do for a living (or are you a SAHM)? If you could do anything else at all, what would it be?  I am a SAHM to my wonderful girls and I love every minute of it. If I had to choose to do something else, I think I would like to do something in criminal psychology. I wanted to be an FBI Criminal Profiler for the longest time, but realized thats not an ideal profession when you have a family to take care of.
  2. Favorite ice cream flavor? Blue Bell Coffee. Yum!
  3. What's your hair color? Is it your natural color? If you were to dye it another color what color would it be? I am a blonde. I was born a blonde and I'll dye a blonde ;) I have dyed my hair various shades of blonde before, but I haven't dyed it in a very long time. Still a blonde though. If I had to choose a different color, I would probably try maybe a light red....like strawberry blonde! lol
  4. If you were an animal, what would you be and why? This question makes me think of The Notebook where Alli tells Noah "Say I'm a bird! Say I'm a bird!" lol. And no, I don't think I'd be a bird. I think I would be a bear. A Momma Bear. Who could get away with eating someone alive who tried to hurt my babies.
  5. Do you sleep with socks on or off? (I know...weird question, but my husband thinks I'm weird for always sleeping with socks, even in the dead of summer, so just curious) The only time I have ever slept with socks on is when I had Vicks Vapor Rub on the bottom of my feet in an attempt to control my horrible cough. (It totally worked, FYI!) Otherwise they're off like the horse races!
  6. Do you like board games? If so what are some of your favorites? I love board games! I like Sequence, Monopoly (but only if I'm playing with someone who pays attention), Sorry, Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, Dominoes (does that count?)
  7. What time do you normally go to bed and what time do you normally wake up? Go to bed around 9:30-10:00 if my husband is home. If he's gone on business then its closer to 11:00-11:30. I wake up at all hours of the morning thanks to Baby A, but I "get up" at 7:00 am on school mornings and around 7:30-8:00 am the rest of the time.
  8. Are you having a hard time answering my questions, coming up with 11 random facts about you, and asking 11 questions to your nominees? The random facts took a little bit of thinking, the questions asked of me are easy peasy, and I haven't thought of 11 questions for my nominees just yet. That's next.
  9. Do you have a lucky number? 7 and 9
  10. Do you have any children? If so, how many and what ages? How many children (or how many more children) do you plan/want to have? I have three girls, ages (almost) 8, (almost) 4, and (almost) 4 months. I am 99% sure that we are done having kids, but I have always said I won't make the final decision until I am 30. I have four more years so who knows what could happen in that time frame.
  11. Favorite season? Fall. It was a toss up between Spring and Fall because the weather is similar. I chose Fall though because then I will have just gotten my daughter back from her summer vacation and have a long time until I have to share again. 
 My questions for my Nominees
  1. What state do you live in?
  2. Are you married? Single? Divorced? Widowed? Engaged? In a relationship?
  3. Have you ever had any surgeries?
  4. What is your biggest phobia? (note: not FEAR...phobia...something you know is unreasonable to be afraid of)
  5.  What is you favorite flavor of cupcake?
  6. What is your least favorite household chore? Why?
  7. Do you have any pets? What are they and what are their names?
  8. If you could change your name to anything besides your current name, what would you re-name yourself?
  9. Do you own or rent your home?
  10. What is your biggest pet peeve?
  11. What's your sign?
My 11 Nominees

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Sharing sucks

As a mom, I'm supposed to teach my children to share with one another. But let's be honest. Sharing sucks. But I'm not talking about sharing toys or dessert or time on the swings. I don't mind sharing those things, especially if I like who I am sharing with. I don't like sharing my time with S. Especially sharing it with someone(s) I DON'T like.

Backstory told quick: I got pregnant with S when I was 17. I had her when I was 18. Her father and I got married and then got divorced when S was 18 months old. While The General is not S's bio dad, she does consider him Daddy since he has been around since she was almost 2 years old (so the past 6 years aka the the majority of her life).

Her bio father and I do NOT get along. Not even a little bit. Like he refuses to even speak to me. All communication is done via text or email, and the tone is not ever polite. But, he's still around regardless of our communication and ability to get along with one another. Which means that I have to share. And since I live in Houston and he lives in, Oklahoma (or maybe back in Colorado-who knows?!) the time to share has arrived with Spring Break.

We used to live close enough to one another that he had her 2 out of 3 weekends and we shared time in the summer. But since moving to Houston, that has obviously changed. And we had to go to court to change it. Talk about a stressful ordeal. Anywho- with the distance between us now, the schedule is that she lives with me during the school year and goes with him during all week long breaks (Thanksgiving, Spring break, etc.), we split Christmas break, and he gets her ALL summer.

Tomorrow is the last day of school before Spring Break and he's picking her up tomorrow at 4:00 pm. Just thinking about it puts a knot in my stomach. I hate that she is leaving. I know its only for a week(ish) and that she'll be home before I know it, but it still sucks. And in all fairness, I'm sure it sucks for him to not see her the whole time she's in school. But, in all honesty- I don't care. (I'm sure there are some out there who would say I'm a bitch for saying that, but again, I don't care. I understand that her relationship with her dad is important and I'm glad that she has one with him and that she loves him. That doesn't mean I like him or care about his feelings at all though.)

The bottom line is- sharing sucks. Period. I don't like it. I don't want to do it. But I have to. And I'm going to. Because I'm a bigger person than my feelings towards him. Even if its only a tiny bit bigger. And because I have to.

So! Since this was the last week she would be here before she left for her vacation to visit her other family. We have been doing some fun stuff every day after school.

Monday- We wrote inspiring/uplifting notes and stuck them on random cars at the Wal-Mart parking lot! (Note- this picture is a "re-enactment" picture. Yes- its on my car in my garage, but its a good visual for you so play pretend with me, ok?)

Some of the notes the girls shared said things like-
"Nice car!"
"Jesus loves you!"
"You are b-e-a-YOUtiful!"
"You matter."
"Smile. You never know who is falling in love with you."
"You are loved."
"Don't give up"
"Have a great day!"
"You have amazing potential"
"Don't worry. Be Happy!"
"You rock!"
"You can do it!"
"It's going to be ok!"
"You were made for this life!"

On Tuesday- We kept it simple and stayed home. Since The General is on a business trip, the driveway was completely clear so they had skateboard races (sitting on the skateboards and rolling down the driveway as fast as they could) and we colored the entire driveway with chalk. 

Wednesday- I conducted an interview with both of them (seperately) about The General. I'm going to print out their answers and frame them for his birthday next week (Crap- I still have NO IDEA what I am going to get him....he's sooooo hard to buy for! ugh!)

Here's the form I followed with the questions I asked. (I'll post their answers after I give him the gift...just in case he decides to read this....I doubt it but you never know!)
Thursday (today!)- S has requested that we go shopping at the mall. Ummm... ok! As if I have to be asked to do that twice! Haha! She has a Justice! gift card from Christmas that she hasn't spent yet, so I'm sure we will be making a stop in there. Afterwards I think we are going to go by the park and hide some Easter eggs and leave the basket with a note that says "Enjoy the egg hunt!" for whatever little kid happens to come across it. The girls will enjoy hiding the eggs (and the playing that will come afterwards) and another little kid will get to enjoy looking for them! Win-win!!

Friday- Well, Friday is the day S has to leave. :( Again, I say, sharing sucks. But! Sharing has made me realize that I need to make the most of my time with my girls now before I have to share them with their friends, and then boyfriends, and eventually (a long time from now eventually) *gulp* husbands. Doing these fun things didn't just benefit S either....Miss I and Baby A got to be involved too. So, even though sharing sucks- its given me some precious time and memories with all my girls. (And I get a trip to visit my Momma when I pick S up next week too!! Extra bonus!!!)

Do you have to share your kids with an ex? How do you make the most of your time with your kids, whether you share them or not?


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Spring Clean Your Blog! Blogger Op!!!


Hey Bloggers!!! We have another amazing giveaway event brought to you by:


Giveaway Information:

PRIZE: 1st Place

Custom Blog Design Package (a $250 value) by A.Kay Web Design including:

* Custom Header
* Background
* 4 Social Media Icons
* Navigation
* Blog Button with Code Box
* Post Divider/Signature
* Coordination of Fonts and Colors
3 Books from Life Well Blogged (Paperback or Ebook, Winners Choice)
No Laughing Allowed, To Bliss and Back, and Holidaze
A set of spring themed wine glasses ($60 value) from Makikis Art
2nd Place
A Pre-Made Blog Design (a $100 value) by A.Kay Web Design
Select any one of our Premade Blog Designs and receive:
Blog button
Post Divider/Signature


Giveaway Runs: March 15th-April 15th
Open only in the US

HOW TO SIGN UP

1 link(Up to 4 links) = $2 (GFC, Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter ONLY) 

CO-HOST = $15 (This includes a Host Page / 4 links in the Rafflecopter.
Repost or pay $2. Click HERE for the full HTML code to repost on your blog.




Referral prize of $50 for the most referred blogger. Make sure to have other bloggers mention you when they sign up!

Sign ups end either March 7th or when we reach maximum number of bloggers. Form will no longer be accessible if we have reached our limit.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

How do you do it??

I used to get asked this a lot, when The General worked a month on/month off in Scotland. I don't necessarily get it as much as I did then, but the question still pops up now and then. "How do you handle it?" "Wow! You drove all the way to San Antonio with your daughter by yourself?!" "You're flying alone with the baby?" "How do you handle the kids all alone?"  Or some varying degree of any of those types of questions. Someone even asked The General once who was going to be staying with me when he left for a week long business trip (after our move to Houston). He was confused and shocked that anyone would think I needed help with the kids for a week.

Well, here's the simple answer. My kids are well behaved. They know my expectations and my limitations. And sometimes if and when they forget, I remind them from time to time or before a big trip or event. No, my children are not perfect, but they are really good kids and we simply do what we need to do get things done. The question "How do you do it?" has always seemed funny to me because I've never really thought of the how....we just do it.

I'm a firm believer in mind over matter and if you make a big deal out of something, then it will probably be a big deal. But, if you don't stress about things and concentrate on enjoying the adventure, whatever it may be, it will be easy peasy. Whether its flying with 2 kids by yourself or taking a day trip to another city or simply staying home alone with your kiddos for more than a day or two. Set the limits and expectations with your kids before anything big (ie a trip, event, pictures, etc) and be sure to follow them. The expectations are just as much for me as they are for the girls. And  let me tell you, my kids aren't just well behaved, they are smart too. So I know that once I have explained what is expected of them, they will stick pretty close to that.

Will they push your limits? Yes. Will they try to get away with more than you've allowed? Probably. But here's the trick. Hold strong in what you're allowing and what you're not. Remind them of your expectations and explain them if you need to ("You have to hold Mommy's hand in the airport because there are lots of people and Mommy would hate to lose you in the crowd"). Once you have reminded them, they'll know that what you are saying is also what you mean. You can't say no and then turn around 5 minutes later and give in. Trust me it will only make it worse and stress you out.

So stop stressing! Go into any and all situations calm and relaxed. If its going to happen, it will happen whether you enjoy it or stress out about it so why start off stressed? Go into all situations with (and without) your kids with positive expectations, express those expectations- and remember its ok if reminders are needed from time to time, and come out of those situations calm, cool, and collected. If you go in with expecting negative behaviors and dreading the experience, then that's probably what you will get. The mind is a powerful thing so use it to your advantage! Before you know it, you'll have people asking you "How do you do it?!"  Well? How DO you do it? Leave your answers in the comments!



 

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