Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fall List O' Fun

I LOVE fall. It's my favorite season (that and spring). It's just so warm and fuzzy, it smells good, and it dresses pretty :).
Our summer list was a hit so we've prepared a sequel.

The Fall List O' Fun
It consists of the following:
Leaf pile jumping
Decorating our house for fall
Bake pumpkin bread
Go on a hay ride
See a high school football game
Hocus Pocus movie night
Pumpkin decorating
Firepit smores
Popcorn balls
Dinner picnic
Pumpkin picking
Trick or Treating
Soup night
Make caramel apples
Elgin pumpkin fest
Fall craft
Pick out a fall scented candle
Fall mani/pedi's
Make our Halloween costumes
Buy new scarves
Have a Halloween party
Paint Faces
Take a bike ride
Corn maze
Make a fall wreath

Hope our list inspires you to make yours! Happy fall to you!

Monday, September 26, 2011


This could possibly be the most difficult, but most fun I've ever had planning a party for one of my girls. We decided on this theme right after her messy party last year. (I didn't have a blog then but my friend keitha blogged about it here.)
We're cleaning streamers from trees, and scraping silly string from door frames, and she says "hey Mom, what about a glow in the dark party?" I thought it was genius, and it was a done deal.

Fast forward to one year later...the procrastinator in me that I try to bury deep within my uber organized, type a, alphabetising personality found her way out and decided she would wait until the month before to start planning. I mean, how hard could it be right? I'll have you know there is not one glow in the dark party on the internet for an elementary age kid. NOT ONE! There are ideas here and there and some "black light" parties for teens, but nothing "little" kid friendly. So I started my pinning, late night surfing, quest to put together ideas.

The party was last weekend and I'm still having people text me, or stop me while picking up my girls to tell me that it was the "coolest" party ever, and not to toot my own horn, but I have to agree it was pretty awesome! (thank you to my sissy who helped a ton in the kitchen. I would have been running around like a headless chicken without you.)

So here is the deets...in pictures. Enjoy! (I will say the only downfall to the awesomeness that is the glow in the dark party is it's very hard to capture in pictures...so just know that the coolness is magnified x 100)

The cake was iced white and sprinkled with glow in the dark glow beads I found at party city. Her shirt I appliqued for the party with a pink and white 6 that glowed perfect in the black light.


For entertainment we did two activities. First we made glow in the dark slime (the recipe can be found here) I set out each ingredient in kid friendly pour containers and marked each cup with how much and what should go in them. The kids loved it, and the slime was actually pretty clean. (bonus: It really did glow!)


and, a glow in the dark scavenger hunt that sent them on a wild goose chase around the house looking for glowing eggs with hidden clues inside that read things like: you are getting close aren't you glad...some may call this person "Dad" (notice the poor Dad in the bottom right picture that was quickly regretting he volunteered to "help".) To make the eggs glow I found glow in the dark necklaces for Halloween at Party City, and just snipped the cord to make the beads individual..they worked perfect.


The invitations were simple...I sewed a neon colored mini bunting onto each one and outlined them in glow glitter, then snipped 2 slits on the side to slide in a glow stick (or 2 or 3 for children with siblings)It really got people excited for the party. Also some random decorations that actually "glow"...neon tissue poms, glow sticks in lanterns, neon colored bunting.


I also made my own glow splatter table cloths with neon paint and glow in the dark paint I found at Michaels. The party favors: A glowing bubble bath. I filled individual containers with kid bubble bath and added a few glow sticks so they could throw them in the water and turn out the lights. Fun fun!


Inside I had 10 black lights, neon colored stars I cut out of poster board, a disco ball borrowed from a neighbor, and some lava lamps. I sewed ruffle streamers in white and hung them from the ceiling with the tissue poms in the center.I covered the floor with 200 neon mini water balloons I blew up. (found at the dollar tree 50 for $1) I also set out a table right as people walked in with glow sticks (about 250 of them) *Michaels is the best place to get them...only $1 and you get 15 (even cheaper than dollar tree), glow in the dark face paint crayons, fluorescent hair spray in pink and green, and 75 neon and white pipe cleaners. (they can make crowns, bracelets, necklaces or whatever and they glow perfect under the black light)The kids were really creative and I wish I would have gotten more pictures of their creations.


It was a glowin' good time!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Birthdays are special

We have a long standing tradition in this family to make birthdays extra special. For me the day isn't just for them...it's also the day I brought them into this world. For that one day the whole world stood still and I witnessed the miracle that is their birth, and for that reason alone it is something to be celebrated in a special way.

My middle little turned 6 this week. She's so spunky and full of charisma and attitude. She brings the biggest smile to every one's face and says the most witty things like..."Mom if you are going to make Grandmas grilled cheese tonight, please make sure you use the fake butter." or "mommy, I think grown-ups can't see very good, and that is why they think they look fat when they look in the mirror." She truly is a child after my own heart.


What says special more than a hallway full of colorful balloons to greet you first thing in the morning?


I saw this on what other than my favorite inspiration site ever and knew I needed to adopt this tradition. Note to self though: use paper and stamps that your kids won't recognize or you may be called out and have to come up with some ridiculous story to save the magic. Without further ado...the birthday beans.


We used spree candy as the beans and because I COULD NOT for the life of me find a big circle lollipop I had to go the "how old you are is how many lollipops grow" route. Of course, I go to the Dollar Tree Friday and they have a ton...so if you ever find yourself in a big lollipop pickle know you can go there and get one. It worked though...and they are organic. (to me organic lollipop sounds like an oxymoron, but whatever)She loved it, and it was so fun to watch her run out to the yard all excited wondering what grew in place of her "beans."

I found the tutorial for her pipe cleaner birthday crown here. I whipped that sucker up so fast before she went off to school...it will make an appearance to other birthday special days I'm sure.(i adjusted the tutorial a little to make it fit over her entire head and I secured it with bobby pins for the day)

Our other tradition is you get to pick what you want to do on your "actual" birthday. She was dead set on ice skating. She had a blast...and lasted a whopping 45minutes on the ice.


It was a special day indeed. I retold her the story of the night she was born. How she wanted to trick Mommy into thinking she was coming booty first, and three days later, hours before being born decided the joke was up and flipped back the right way. How she took forever according to the doctor, and it being my second birth, and almost made me have a c section. Then to progress from a 5 to a 10 in only 45 minutes after i begged the doctor to give me one more hour. How I wore my hair in two french braids and circled complicated words on a crossword puzzle while listening to Daddy,Grandma and her two auntie's play cards in the corner of my room. The moment I remember most vividly though is her tiny body slipping out of mine, and the nurses laying her on my belly...i kissed her sweet sticky head, and knew she was going to be such a special addition to our family...that she is. She made her sister a sister, and she made me a mother of 2.

Love you, love you, love you, Ashy loo!

Birthday party details to come. My crazy, creative, full of spunk girl requested a glow in the dark party...Mama delivered.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The big sister secret

There is this big sister secret. Only big sisters know about it, and although they hate it sometimes...it comes with it's perks.

We secretly LOVE to be needed.

I love my sister dearly. She's my best friend in the world. I don't know what I'd do without her. I love to teach her things,give her advice, spoil her babies, and most of all I love for her to "need" me. So when I see these two interact it fills my heart with the most indescribable joy.
I get their relationship, and I feel so blessed to be able to witness their sisterhood.

She is the best of the best of big sisters. She hardly complains. She usually is not the one to start an argument (they almost never fight). She is a giver, and has no problem sharing her money, or food, or time, but what gets me the most is she loves that her little sisters need her. In the past few weeks she has done some amazing big sister-ing.
The pictures speak for themselves:



I desperately (call me crazy) wanted a third girl.I just knew the dynamic of a trio of sisters was going to be so fun to watch. I'll never forget leaving my friends baby shower with only the littlest in tow and turning around to ask her mother whom also has three girls if she had any advice for me... she said, "enjoy your life" "they will always be there to take care of you". It still makes me smile.

Enjoying my life indeed...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

No heat curls

I turned this



into this!


with no heat, no dryer, no damage (perfect for my sweet girls)
and for the record...she is a super straighty.
I saw this pin.

Which led to this video...that has all the deets.(plus she has a super cute accent.)

Do it! It works. Not to mention it's easy.

I see a lot more Shirley Temple in my girls' future.