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Trace’s Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 2nd Birthday Party

Posted in Home/DIY by
Mickey_mouse_party_cake ideas

It’s hard to believe that my little monkey is now officially a toddler!  Trace turned two last week and we celebrated his birthday with a Mickey Mouse Birthday Party. I love all things Disney so this was definitely a fun party to plan.  Since we were just coming back from our vacation, I needed to plan something that was simple but perfect for my little man.  This was probably one of my most simple but favorite parties that I’ve done for the kids. Thanks to Pinterest, I found some really cute and fun Mickey Mouse Birthday Party Ideas!

I wish I had a blog back when Gianna was younger so I could document what she was into. I may just have to pull those pictures together and create a separate post for each theme. I just remember being sad when the princess phase was over.

When it comes to parties, I tend to completely fall down the dark rabbit hole, commonly known as Pinterest. My daughters first 3 or 4 birthdays were a crazy but beautiful testimony of that. The pressure to have the best looking or unique party favors has (somewhat) subsided. Truth is, I love to do these for my kids. Some may think they are too young to understand. I don’t believe that. They are too young to remember, but my son completely understood the Mickey Mouse decorations and amazing layered cake.

His eyes lit up when he first walked into the room. Which was then followed by him shouting a cluster of words that I couldn’t quite fully understand. I did hear, Mickey some where in there!  His party was perfect and while I felt completely flustered for a couple of hours leading up to it, I would totally do it all over again.

 

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission.                            

 

Shop all these cute Mickey Mouse Birthday Party Ideas:

This is an easy and inexpensive  theme to do.  I think I spent under $100 and this includes balloons, table covers (3), Mickey Mouse cookie cutter, happy birthday banner, Mickey Mouse silicone mold and supplies for my DIY decorations.

 

Cute Mickey_Mouse_Birthday_Party Ideas

 

 Cookie Cutter: Amazon, $8.90  | Kitchen Tongs: Amazon | Black & White Polka Dot Table Cover: Amazon, $5.15

Brown Party Favor Bags: Amazon, $14.99 | Polka Dot Straws & Black Vinyl Mickey’s: Amazon, $12.99

  Happy Birthday Sign: Etsy, $15 | Streamers & Balloons: Amazon, $11.90

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TRACE MICHAEL! 

Mickey_Mouse_Birthday_Party

Favorite Foods:
Blueberries
Popsicles
My moms’ rice & beans (and sometimes mine)
Dried cranberries
Annie’s fruit snacks

Silly things:
Hides in a corner to do his business,
If you’re not listening or looking to him then he will take his hands and put them on your check, turning your head towards his

Makes funny noises with his mouth to make us laugh
LOVES a good Happy Birthday song

Favorite things:
Pacifier
Soft plush blankets
Mickey Mouse
Any tools (but prefers the real deal)
Loves to be outside
Water Hose
Bubbles

Recent Milestones:
Makes 3-word sentences
Can now climb on our dining room chairs (yay)
Brings his shoes to us when he wants to go outside
Trys to puts our shoes on when he wants to go outside

mickey-mouse-party-ideas-cheap

Getting a Mickey Mouse cookie cutter is an inexpensive way to carryout the theme in different areas.  I got this one from Amazon. Get it here.

Do you have any other cute Mickey Mouse Birthday Party Ideas to share?

Read:  My Family of Four is Now Complete

August 6, 2017
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5 Ways Moms Can Fight Blah Days

fight-blah-days

Do you ever have one of those days where you feel zero energy. Days when mentally you feel like your emotions have flatlined? For me, going to work at the office usually helped that blah feeling.  However, now that I’m working at home with two little humans who I don’t have to fake it for,  its been much harder to get out of my mental funk. Thankfully, I have 5 ways  that Moms can fight blah days. This list could definitely be longer, but sometimes my attention span gets in the way of my writing.

5 Ways Moms (or anyone!) Can Fight Blah Days

Get showered and dressed.

If you know its going to be one of those days, don’t marinate in it! It’s much harder to pull yourself out of a funk when it’s 1pm and you’ve accomplished absolutely zero while lounging in your pjs. On these days, at the very least, take a shower and put some cute clothes on.

Play uplift music or listen to a podcast. 

I can’t say that this always does the trick, but it helps in conjunction with other things. My music choices that get me moving range from Hillsong to Britney to Little Wayne. Lately, I’ve been listening to podcasts that are specifically geared towards women, entrepreneurs and overall personal development.

Play with the kids or do some silly dances. 

There are times when playing with the kiddos seems like a tiring and daunting effort. Acting silly with them or playing their favorite game, often times lifts me out of my mental slump. My daughter who is 8, knows when I’m in one of my moods and bless her heart, she is the sweetest little thing when she tries to lift my spirits.

Watch YouTube – yes, you read that right. 

Getting someTHING accomplished is a start to a better mood.  Somedays I’ll settle for the dishes and cleaning the floors. Call me crazy but watching other people clean or organize their home really works. YouTube is filled with fun organizing and cleaning motivational videos. Based on the hundreds of thousand of views, there are obviously many of us who enjoy watching these videos.

Notice I said YouTube only. Jumping on Facebook or Instagram and seeing the perfect pictures and suspecting, my life is perfect posts… is the last thing you should do.

Shop, shop or shopping cart.

I’m not saying to self-medicate  by spending hundreds of dollars every time you’re feeling depressed. But there is something to be said about an impromptu shopping trip with a friend. Not only does it get you out of the house but it occupies your mind. On days when I don’t want to deal with strollers and tantrums, I’ll settle for online shopping trips. I’m known to add stuff to the shopping cart and walking away. It’s almost like shopping, just without the monetary commitment.

There it is – 5 ways you can fight blah days. As I’m finishing this post up I realized that I missed one very important thing – sunshine! If all out fails, take a walk outside for 10 minutes.

Busy Moms want to know – What am I missing that has worked for you?

 

 

5_waysto_fight_blah_days

 

OTHER POSTS YOU MAY LIKE:

My First Month as a Stay-at-Home Mom 

 

June 26, 2017
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My First Month as a Stay-at-Home Mom

Posted in Family, Life, Parenting by
My first Month as a stay at home mom

Being a stay at home parent was something I never considered. That was up until last year. In my 20’s I saw nothing exciting nor fulfilling in the Stay At Home Mom role. I was never the one jumping in line to “hold the baby” and even though my daughter was the love of my life, there was no way I was trading in my heels for an all day affair of baby talk and diapers.

Then at 31 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. From that point it was all about treatments, surgery and simply surviving for the next two years. The emotional dust from everything started to settle around three years after my cancer treatments and after having my little miracle man.  I started to feel a mis-alignment with what I was doing and what was bringing me true joy.

Right around the same time, the company I was working for started going through some changes. These changes started seeping into my department towards the end of last year and unless you’re completely disconnected from your own reality, you pretty much know what’s going on. You just don’t know exactly when. My position was one of those, “not part of the re-alignment” and in March, this mama was home with her babies (16 months and 8 yrs).

While the title of this post says  Stay-at-Home, it should be more like Work-At-Home. Thankfully, I started doing some freelance work last year so when I left the company, I immediately started working on creating my own company.

I just don’t know how much work was actually done during my first month at home to warrant the work-at-home title.

 

Week 1 of my first month as a stay at home Mom went something like:

 

via GIPHY

No really, this is what I felt like! Plus, it was  Spring Break (lucky me). We visited some friends out of state and for once it was great coming home and not stress about preparing for the week ahead. Lunches? Nah, I’ll do those in the morning.

Positives this week: Everything

Negatives: Nada.

Week 2:

Still in the honeymoon phase, I was eagerly happy to be fulfilling all the house duties that I would otherwise be neglecting had I been working my 8-5.

 I’m not sure where the week went, but I only managed to do half of what I set out to do! Whatever! It’s early in my new role and I was still in the honeymoon phase. So I tell myself , “ It’s my first week, I’ll find my groove.”

The hardest decision for me this week was figuring out what to make for dinner.

Positives this week:

Waking up at 6am for some Mommy time, meditation, coffee and email check (ie. Facebook).

I spent time with my little man and I did school drop-offs and pick-ups. Some of you reading this probably loaf these duties but I’m new here, remember!?

The fact that I wasn’t coming home after 5pm also meant that the evenings were more enjoyable and my kitchen actually looked presentable the next morning.

Negatives:

Morning meditations ended here.

I wore workout gear almost everyday and while it appeared that I was headed to the gym after school drop-off,  I wasn’t.

I haven’t gone to the gym – even once.

Week 3:

I’m still kickin’ it with my little man and chillin’ in my workout wear.

By week three I remember that I actually have work to do. At least now I have a good reason for going to Starbucks almost everyday – Mommy gotta work!

Dinner time and evenings were a piece of cake.

Positives: EVERYTHING! THIS IS AMAZING!

Negatives: I missed a submission deadline for a site I contribute to and I can’t recall why.

Another week passed without me me practicing my morning meditations. Sigh.

Week 4:

Husband says, you need to come up with some sort of schedule.

Me  (completely on the defense):  I am! This is about the time when I find myself on YouTube watching routines of other Moms who stay at home and work. Don’t judge me! Some of those videos get hundred-thousand views, so I know I’m not alone in this.

In my YouTube ventures I find that many times their little one naps for 2 hours. I haven’t seen a 2-hour nap from my wild 19-month old the entire time I’ve been home!

I’m hearing it can take me as much as 4-6 months to find my schedule. Yes, I Googled that too.

Positives:  I’m alive and everyone is happy that I’m home more. However, this is starting to translate to: Mommy can do it all.

I’m making progress on my business and establishing a client base.

Negatives:

Little man now goes to Grandma’s 2 days a week so Mommy can actually get some work done. Is this a negative? I’m not so sure right now.

I’m on YouTube way too much.

My early 6am morning rise is starting to look more like 6:45 am or 7 am.

This month was everything and nothing that I had expected.

I quickly came to realize that staying at home with kids is much harder than any 8-5 job. At the same time, I realize that I never (ever) want to go back to the corporate world. It will take some major mojo, self-discipline and hustle for me to be able to stay home as I grow my business.

The second month gets even more interesting.  I had my first Mommy breakdown, started second guessing my decisions and my self-assurance was tanking. Stay tuned.

First month as a stay home Mom

I share tons more stories about my imperfect parenting here!

June 14, 2017
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35 Lessons I’ve Learned in 35 Years

Posted in Inspiration, Life by
35 Life Lessons

Last week I turned 35. Thirty-five. That means I will now be checking the 35-40 box. With that new check mark comes many experiences and lessons. I decided to write about these lessons so I can look back a few years from now and either laugh or roll my eyes.

For now, these are my 35 lessons I’ve learned in 35 years.

  1. The misfits, troublemakers, square pegs, weirdos and creative kids can change the world. I’ve been called “weird” many times growing up and even into my adult years. My husband still calls me weird from time to time. It’s the best compliment he can give me.
  2. Family is always first. I spent too much time in my teens arguing with my parents. Then in my 20’s I was consumed in my relationship, college antics and partying. If your parents are still alive – spend time with them. Call them often and don’t hold grudges.
  3. Self-love and acceptance do get stronger as we get older.
  4. Don’t just take the pictures, get in front of the camera. Mom’s don’t have many pictures of themselves with their kids. I was trying to find a picture of myself with the kids and I had to go back almost a year! Pretty sad considering how many pictures I take.
  5. Get in the pool, swim in the ocean and play, play, play. While you are busy trying to cover up, your kids are having fun. They won’t remember your stretch marks or jiggly arms. Stop hiding and go make some memories!
  6. Not everyone who is in an executive position is a leader. The words vice-president, senior vice-president or even manager do not make someone a leader.
  7. Qualities of a good leader – visionary, listens, motivates, speaks with conviction and has contagious energy.
  8. If it doesn’t scare you or make you uncomfortable, then it’s too easy. Pick the harder class. Find another job if you’re not being challenged. Be the first to present.
  9. The world is a much cooler and happier place when you view it through the eyes of a child.
  10. Your parents are always right. This once annoying quote proves itself to be true more times than you care to ever admit.
  11. Confidence and kindness is always sexier.
  12. Your health isn’t always in your control. Control what you can – don’t smoke, limit drinking, exercise and limit stress. I can’t tell you how many health conscious women I’ve meet that got a devastating diagnosis. Do what you can and leave the rest to God.
  13. Guys are awful at mind-reading. If you want something, tell them. PS. I still haven’t mastered this at 35.
  14. When in doubt, always wear black.
  15. The biggest learning opportunities come from failures.
  16. Invest in a good mascara, foundation and face cream.
  17. Adopt a pet versus “buying” one or getting one from a breeder.  There thousands of animals that are homeless.
  18. Say yes today because tomorrow is never promised.
  19. You know that whole thing about starting to save early? I hate to say it, but it’s true. Thank goodness for early 401k options at work.
  20. Performing acts of kindness boost your mood and ultimately makes you happier.
  21. Viewing the world through the eyes of a child brings kindness and creativity into the soul.
  22. I have yet to see a perfect relationship or marriage. Every relationship has their secret battles and comparing     your relationship to others is a detriment
  23. 22. Gossip. It’s easy to fall into and it can be just as easy to kindly walk away.
  24. It’s ok to not belong to any one group. The more you try, the more disappointed you will be. Welcome to the land of the misfits!
  25. If someone you love is struggling with a hardship, addiction, or mental illness, approach them with love and compassion. Disappointment and anger are imminent so do your best to control the bad energy.
  26. God always provides.
  27. No one thinks about you more than yourself.
  28. Gratefulness brings peace and happiness to life.
  29. Every hard-working girl needs to buy an expensive pair of jeans and handbag.
  30. Moms really do love to talk about their kids.  I’m one of them.
  31. Say one thing you are grateful for, every day. The car, house, family, and clothes on your back are things we take for granted.
  32. You really can marry your best friend.
  33. Being diagnosed with a disease or illness will make some people around you uncomfortable. Many will pull back and disappear. That’s OK.
  34. You can never kiss, hug or cuddle with your kids enough.
  35. Being open to experiences, people and philosophies allow you to grow mentally and emotionally. It makes you someone who people actually want to be around.

 

35 Life_Lessons

            Viewing the world through the eyes of a child brings kindness and creativity into the soul (Lesson #21)

April 28, 2017
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Easy and Fun Easter Crafts for Kids

Posted in Life, Parenting by
Easy_crafts_cross_easter

If you’re looking for easy Easter crafts to do with the kids, you’re in luck. I’ve compiled a list of my favorite Pinterest craft ideas. While I love creating fun artwork with the kids, I don’t like anything complicated or too time-consuming. Well, I trolled Pinterest and found some really great easy and fun Easter crafts for kids that I wanted to share.

The 5 Easy Easter Craft ideas below been approved for the following criteria:

1- Must be good for toddlers as well as older kids – I have a almost 2yr old and an 8yr old. Both must be equally entertained with the same craft.

2- Minimal mess required – Even the most minimal activity can turn your table into a hotness express, so nothing here involves water, lots of small objects or more than 4 materials

3- For the love of unicorns, it MUST be fun for kids

4- Common household items – We have no time for impromptu store runs.

Most of these crafts require the same materials, which makes it easier. Let me add that there are some honorable mention links at the bottom of the page. Ok, let’s get to it!

Five Easy and Fun Easter Crafts for Kids

Easter Egg Collage

I really liked this idea from Toddler Approved – You can use practically anything to make this Easter egg collage.  We had tons of puffy stickers and fabric scraps to use up. You can also use stamps, feathers or buttons. Both my 8 and 20month old liked this one. I like setting aside a small amount of stickers, buttons, and fabric scraps for them to choose from. It’s super simple and you can “control” the mess.

Get instructions: Easter egg Collage 

Easy_Easter_crafts_toddlers

 

Pom Pom Easter Egg

This next one from Crafty Morning has to be one of my favorites! It’s Pom Pom Easter egg painting and it’s easy-peasy. If you don’t have Pom Pom’s you can use, cotton balls or cut up a sponge. Use bright paints and even add some sparkle with glitter. The glitter  does violate rule #4, but who doesn’t like a little sparkle?

Get instructions:   Pom Pom Easter Egg Painting

 

fun easter craft idea

   Picture Via: Crafty Morning

 

Q-Tip Painted Easter Eggs

I love this next one from No Time for Flash Cards. It’s a great opportunity for toddlers to discover colors and develop motor skills. I love this since it’s a quick yet interactive activity for kids of all ages. We are learning colors, so I stick with the basic red, blue, green, etc.  As they older you can incorporate different colors and even incorporate numbers into the egg design.

 

Get instructions:  Q-Tip Painted Easter Eggs

Easy_Easter_crafts

 

 

Easter Cross Craft

Here is another easy and fun Easter craft for kids from Happy Home Fairy that is super simple. This one uses paint but you can use crayons or chalk. However,  it will require you to make sure your little one fills the page completely so that the cross really stands out. Get the older kids involved and have them share what the cross symbolizes with their siblings.

Get instructions: Easter Cross Craft 

Fun_easter_crafts_kids_easter

All these crafts are simple and fun. These Easter crafts can make a great gift for the Grandparents or other family members.  I’m the one who usually throws the craft play dates for the kids so I enjoyed creating this post. These crafts can be an opportunity of learning, exploring, and getting messy (a little).

 

If you enjoyed these ideas, you may want to check out my Home/DIY posts for more fun!

 

April 10, 2017
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