JAWsome Party!

What is it about summer time that seems to send life into warped speed? It seriously feels like the kiddos just got out of school yet it is already the Middle of July!!! Where did the time go? Seriously!?! I told my son we would start planning his b-day party over a month ago due to the fact that his b-day was a month ago. So we discussed various themes he wanted. First it was Ghost Busters and I have to admit I was pretty psyched to get away from the typical super hero party. But then he changed his mind. He wanted a Power Ranger party, more specifically the green Power Ranger party. What? I have to be honest that just sounded like way too much work! So I put the entire party planning thing on the backburner for a few days. Well, days turned to weeks and weeks turned to our trip to Disney. We got back and he asked if he was EVER going to have his party. So July 11th after being consumed with 100% organic mommy guilt I planned a birthday party and five days later we had a party….that is seriously a record for me. In the past I would take weeks planning stuff…what a fool I was. Haha!

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I called Fun Factory to rent an inflatable water slide (can you say awesome?) and they were so kind. They worked with me on the date and time and helped answer all 1000 of my questions….I think, no, I know I can be annoying at times. Shocker!! Haha! Then I went to Walmart to grab some Bake and Make pizzas for family movie night that evening and we happened to walk past the party isle. All the Shark themed items were on sale! Score! We got ourselves a theme for the party!! Then I thought about ordering a cake. And I thought about it some more. And the day of the party I ran to Costco to grab a cake. After that I grabbed some balloons and then we had ourselves a party!!

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One would think that after everything so smoothly came together I would be out of the woods (oh, and I forgot to tell you, all but one child could attend…what are the chances, right!?!) I would feel some relief and that 100% organic mommy guilt would dwindle but it didn’t. Nope! It was the gosh darn forecast that had me all concerned. The forecast indicated that it would only reach a high of 72 if we were lucky. 72!! Now that is chilly for the middle of July!!  Thus I stressed out over the weather. Let me repeat that, I stressed out over the weather!! Something I literally have no control over. But I felt guilty…what if I had the party closer to his actual b-day? Perhaps the weather would have been perfect? What is wrong with me? Why was I looking for something to worry about?  Perhaps it was because everything was going so smoothly?  But alas, I worried for nothing!

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Day of party!!! It was cold…I wore jeans and really wants to wear a sweater but felt guilty since the kids would be in their bathing suits. But guess what? The kids didn’t care AT ALL!!! They were climbing up and sliding down that cold water for 3 hours, practically straight! There were a few breaks for cake, gifts, and the piece de resistance, the piñata!!

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And this is what really smothered that 100% mommy guilt flame…a portion of the kids stayed till 8pm!! They were on that slide for 6 hours!!! What chilly weather? Haha!

 

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It was definitely a JAWsome party!! And our little birthday boy asked if we could do the same thing next year! And of course I said yes knowing full well that he will change his mind a dozen times over the course of the next twelve months.

 

Do you ask your children what kind of party they would like or do you inform them on what kind of party they are having? Do you ever find yourself looking for something to worry about? (Crazy, right!?!) What is the shortest amount of time that you have pulled a party together? (This is your time to shine!!)

Blog Link Up Parties!

Okay, so who doesn’t love a party, right!? I know I love parties but unfortunately these days my party attendance seems to be limited to children’s birthday parties. And the rare occasion of one of our friends hitting a huge milestone b-day like the big 3-0 or, dare I type it, 4-0!!   Thus, every decade or so I am at least guaranteed a few adult parties, so what gets me through the other remaining years?  I mean besides Ford’s firefighter 5th birthday on Friday and Sally’s 6th birthday party on Saturday, link up parties!!

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Link up parties are my guilty pleasure. There, I said it! I have confessed.  I know some people think they are just a cop-out to get more followers and to those people I say…you might be right? Hmm…clever! They are so darn addicting.  Having all those blog post at your fingertips is awesome, it is truly hard to stop…I always want to click just one more! I so enjoy having the opportunity to read another mom’s perspective on a topic, read about their awesome tip, learn a new cool recipe, and get to know them, like at a party. So grab yourself a coffee, glass of wine, what-have-you, and let’s get this party started!

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I have narrowed down a few of my favs by categories…ENJOY! And remember, type responsibly…do not drink and type! (Or at least don’t drink a lot and type…that is never good, ever!)

Children/Homeschooling

Hip Homeschool Hop

Tactile Tuesday

Collage Friday

Works for me Wednesday

Story + Art (stART)

Preschool and Kindergarten Community

Homeschool Mother’s Journal

Weekly Wrap-up

What my Child is Reading

Link & Learn weekly kids crafts

 

Go green

Tuesday Greens

Nifty Thrifty

Eco-Kids

Waste Not Want Not  

Whole Food Wednesdays’

Natural Living Linkup

Your Green Resource Thursday

Small Footprint Friday

 

Foodies

Tempt my Tummy

Melt in your Mouth Mondays   

On the Menu Monday

My Meatless Mondays

Recipe Sharing Monday

Homemade Mondays

Made with Love Linkup

The Weekly Creative Linky Party

Ridemakerz Extreme Customz party!

soccer_cars 008We started off the fun with each child receiving their very own Xtreme Customz starter kit! There were so many awesome cars to choose from including, Dodge Viper, Chevy corvettes, and “Hero” Ridez like Spider-Man and Batman, Extreme Customz clearly has a favorite for everyone!

The boys had so much fun putting their cars together, the moms on the other hand, not as much. But thankfully we did have a dad in the crowd to help out. I personally feel that the Xtreme Customz Cars are the perfect bonding experience for Dads and Sons; dads simply seem to speak the “car language” better than most moms.

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Seconds after the boys assembled their Ridez they had them on the hardwood floor racing. As they raced the children started to take note of each other’s cars and the cool features each car had.  To add to the fun the kiddos then had the opportunity to make Xtreme Scenez!

Each child created their very own scene for their Ride. It was adorable watching these little boys let their imaginations run wild. Each was given a shoe box, construction paper, glue stick, markers, etc. and what they created from those components included a speedway track, a city scene, a couple of junk yards, and more. After working so hard on creating their Xtreme Scenez the boys were parched so we ended the evening with a sweet treat, Xtreme Punch and Off-road Dirt cups, tasty!

I thought about having the snacks ready to go but where is the fun in that? So, instead the boys used their cars to help mash-up the dirt to place in their pudding, they had a blast! Here is a clip from the evening….

 

 

 

We had such a wonderful time. A special thank you to MommyParties for presenting this fun opportunity and to Ridemakerz Extreme Customz for sponsoring the fun!

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If you are in search of the perfect gift for a boy age 5-8 I highly recommend these, you can check out Xtreme Customz line website and also sold in Target and Toys R Us stores, Xtreme Customz is only $9.99!

Also, moms make certain you take a second to sign up at MomSelect to host rad MommyParties like this one!

Disclosure: We were given 10 Ridemakerz Extreme Custmz cars to share with our party guests.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Brunch Play Date sampling Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Blue Agave

A couple of weeks ago we hosted our first EVER Brunch play date. But it wasn’t just any play date Brunch. This play date Brunch was made extra special because we were sampling Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Blue Agave and all the amazing flavors of agave they offer, including, strawberry, vanilla, maple, and cinnamon!

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I was a little apprehensive at first just because I have never hosted a Brunch play date; I mean what kind of toddler does brunch? Then, after contemplating the concept for a while I had a classic Oprah ‘aha moment’, every toddler loves brunch! I mean, let’s face it what do you typically eat at brunch? French toast, waffles, breakfast casseroles, eggs, etc. we’re talking about breakfast food that you can eat with your fingers, who wouldn’t like that?

So the night before our brunch I prepared the French toast bake and breakfast casserole.  The kiddos and I sanitized the toys (vinegar, lemon, and water spray) and we cleaned out the couch, removed the cushions from the couch and vacuumed (I prefer to be traumatized by the random things located, lost, and growing under my cushions and not have my guest endure such a sight to memory).  The morning of the play date we set up the tables, put the food in the oven, and then threw all the crap that I didn’t want anyone to see in the bedrooms and shut the doors (though a clever move, make certain you set the ground rules before doing this…there is nothing worse than just having received numerous complements on the neatness of your home only to have the children expose your dirty secret when they flood the rooms to play).

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As our guests arrived the toddlers and kiddos played while the casserole and French toast bake cooled on the stove top. Then Brunch was served, or rather they served themselves but you get the gist. I had substituted the Wholesome organic blue agave in place of the sugar in the French toast bake so I was quite eager to bite into it and see if you can actually substitute agave in place of sugar. 

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In hindsight it probably would have been wise to test this method prior to the Brunch but I had so much faith in Wholesome sweeteners that I just knew it was going to be amazing, is what I would love to say but it is rubbish. Truth is I had no idea. So I did what any good host would do, I let my guest take a bite first and then carefully watched their reactions. There were no grim expressions on their faces, perhaps Wholesome sweeteners delivered on taste? But like any control freak I was going to be the judge of that one.

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So I took a bite and booyah went the agave on my taste buds! It tasted just as good, no, better than with the regular sugar. I kid you not. Cooking with agave instead of sugar is easy, it taste as good, if not better, and is low on the glycemic index (it is slowly absorbed into the body thus reducing spikes in blood sugar). Onto the next test, the packets of flavored agave, which the children clearly loved based upon the packets left behind.

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The maple that I drizzled over a waffle tasted just like maple syrup, the strawberry flavor was the perfect pairing with strawberries and Greek yogurt, and the cinnamon tasted superb over the breakfast casserole. Oh, and the best part, they came in little convenient packets that you can place in your car, purse, diaper bag, etc. I asked the other moms to share their thoughts and they also thought the flavors tasted delicious. The only thing myself and another mom detected was a slight after taste but that might just be because we added too much agave. Each individual’s taste buds are different so I suppose a case of trial and error is in order in order to receive the preferred amount of sweetness. Talking about sweet, isn’t he just the sweetest…he is clearly a fan.

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Oh, and I almost forgot to tell you the best part, Wholesome sweetener organic blue agave is the World’s first Fairtrade agave! Wholesome sweeteners have helped bring clean water, health clinics, and schools to villages in Brazil, Mexico, and Africa. How awesome is that!

Just to review, Wholesome Sweeteners organic blue agave is awesome because:

  • Low on the glycemic index
  • Worlds’ first Fairtrade Agave
  • Convenient, especially in those individually wrapped packet, genius!
  • Can easily be substituted in place of sugar, and use less
  • Flavors taste amazing

But don’t let me be the judge, grab your purse, buy a bottle, and you be the judge!  Or maybe you have tried it, what did you think? Got any great recipes to share?

I would like to send out a special thank you to all the moms that attended the Brunch as well as Moms Meet and Wholesome Sweeteners for allowing us to sample their products.

Disclosure: I was supplied with the package of items illustrated in the photo for sampling purposes. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

PinyPon Party (vlog)

Guess what we did? Here are a few hints….

We hosted a Mommy Party! Sponsored by PinyPon and it was a blast! Watch the clip to learn more (oh, and just to warn you when I recorded this I was extremely tired so, enjoy!).

Here are a few pics of the masterpieces the girls made…

The girls had so much fun playing with the PinyPons. Each guest went home with their very own PinyPon, PinyPon and Nenuco coupons to give their parents, Fall Fashion show certificate of participation, and any jewelry that wasn’t eaten. And two lucky winners went home with an additional treat! We had a raffle and pulled two girls names, one for the Nenuco baby and one for the PinyPon Caravan (we also received each of these for hosting, talk about awesome!). It was a fabulous night, thank you MommyParties, PinyPon, and Nenuco!

For all you out there who are looking for the perfect Christmas gift for a little girl between 3 and 7 yrs old this is it! The Nenuco Baby was also a huge hit with our toddler, she is excited to start using the potty just like her Nenuco baby!

By publishing this post, I received free products as part of a promotional program with MomSelect. All opinions are my own.

Mega Bloks Lil’Princess Party (vlog)

The faux chandelier was hung from the dining room ceiling with delight. Our toddler was trying to hold in her excitement with all her might. She snuck a cookie, or two, but mommy did exclaim only have a few. She knew that before too long the tots would flock to play Mega Bloks.

Click on the video below….

Thank you Mommyparties and Mega Bloks!

 

Moms liked the Mega Bloks Lil’ Princess because they do not contain a lot of small pieces but just enough to keep the kiddos occupied, interested, and utilizing their imaginations.

The girls liked the Mega Blok Lil’ Princess because they have glitter and have pretty wings that are interchangeable. They also enjoyed rearranging the castle and taking turns having their ponies pull the carriage.

By publishing this post, I received free products as part of a promotional program with MomSelect. All opinions are my own

Splash Birthday Party!

The invitations went out over a month ago.

 

Then HFMD occurred and we had to postpone the party. There were a few tears but for the most part our little man understood. The day of his initial party past and the weather was gorgeous. Thus, we included the following in our evening prayers…that it wouldn’t rain on the postponed date of his party and that his friends would stay healthy and be able to attend.

 

Sure enough our prayers were answered all but one child was able to attend the party (the one was not due to illness but travels, thank GOD) and while it threatened rain it never actually rained. So, let the Splash Party Commence….

 

 

Given the fact that we had two extra weeks beyond the initial party date I found that I was adding things to the party. More time equals more stuff, right!?! Like our trip to Boyd’s Candy Store, the intricacy of the Happy Birthday banner I made, and the number of Chocolate Power Ranger suckers I made. Now that I think about it I might have been experiencing mommy guilt due to the fact that the party was postponed. Oh well, mommy guilt or not the kiddos seemed to have fun.

We started off the party with a game of Sink or Float…..

 

Each kiddo received a bag with 8 items in it and two signs, one stated Sink, and the other Float. They then each had a turn of deciding which item we would test.

 

Next we did gifts……

 

Any mother who has thrown a birthday party or has attended a young child’s birthday party can vouch for the fact that one of the main issues with opening birthday gifts is the crowding around the birthday child. They’re all so eager to see what the birthday child will open and of course the anticipation and excited is intensified when the birthday child is opening their gift.

 

So in an attempt to minimize the crowding, as to not resemble a mosh pit with the gifts surfing across the crowd of kiddos, we encouraged a circle formation with the birthday boy in the middle. We then had him stand with his eyes closed and arm extended while I spun him twice around the circle and whichever child his arm extended towards when he stopped was the child whose gift he would open next. He then opened that child’s gift and in return gave that child their goody bag.  It seemed to work nicely.

Time to sing Happy Birthday….and raid the food table. Again, this is another area where crowding can be anticipated.  So instead of allowing all the kiddos to get food at once we had them take turns two at a time. Those two kiddos at a time were determined by the first initial of their names. Again, it seemed to work nicely. I am not sure if it was the technique or the fact that the kiddos he invited exhibit such wonderful manners, I think it might be the latter. Next, outdoor activities….

Sidewalk Fizzy Paint….

The kiddos really seemed to enjoy this activity. One of the moms reminded me that the children are old enough for us to incorporate the science behind this activity. Well, they might not be ready for, NaHCO3 + CH3COOH –> CO2 + H2O + CH3COONa.  But what they can comprehend is, mixing an acid and base equals a chemical reaction and a whole lot of fun!

Next….Water balloons…

The kiddos paired up and played catch with the water balloons.  They all seemed to enjoy the water balloons except for one poor little kiddo whose water balloon was impaled by the corner of their glasses and the water slashed in their face. I felt so horrible. But they recovered quickly once we moved onto the next and final activity, water slide!

It was unfortunate that the kiddos contracted HFMD and in a way I guess that was the lemons we were dealt.  As the saying goes, “When life gives you lemons… make lemonade”. And that is precisely what we did…..

Off to help our little man with his thank you notes. What is your rule when it comes to thank you notes? Do you enforce a hand written thank you note? Do you, as the parent send an email with a thank you enclosed? Do you not send thank you notes? Is it a dying practice? What is your thought on the thank you note?