Thursday, February 27, 2014

I showed my Disney Side during my #DisneySide Home Celebration!!

Hey guys.  Do you remember when I told you about the AWESOME opportunity I was getting through Disney and Mom's Select?  I received a  whole bunch of awesome party supplies and got to throw a super fun party full of kids and moms and even more kids! It really was a crowded house! My friend Michelle was extended the same opportunity to host, so we combined forces!  I am glad we did! We ended up with such a fun group and a great age range!

Joining the party with another host really took some of the panic out of the prep work.  I made the Hidden Mickey Cupcakes again!   This time though, I made Mickey Heads for the top.

They are super easy.  Get a bag of candy melts, melt them, and then put the melted candy in a piping bag.  Then, squirt out only parchment paper and dry!  Easy Peasy!

Don't they look darn cute on the cupcakes?

That morning V decided K needed to get in on the Disney fun. 

K was not amused. 

The house was stocked full of food and ready to go!

I love these things!  I kind of wanted to keep them up after the party....

The dining room, aka party central, was set up for the shirt making station. The kids/moms had to take turns going in there. We easily sat 4 people. More than that and it got a bit crowded.

 Shirt decorators hard at work. Some of these ladies had SKILLS.  It definitely puts my shirt decorating to shame!

Remember the posters? One guest copied it to put on her shirt!  Along with the markers supplied in the kit I had another set of fabric markers and puffy paint.  

 In the living room most of the older kids showed their Disney Side by playing, Disney Infinity.  Favorite character of the day?  Sorcerer Mickey of course!

 There you have it!  My #DisneySide seems to be expressed by food, crafts, and great friends.

 *I received free products in order to host the Disney Side @ Home Celebration.  The opinions expressed here are my own.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Disney Pirate and Princess Adventure is coming back!!!

Do you guys remember when I took V to Disney Junior Live Pirate and Princess Adventure last year?  If not, feel free to click that link up there.  I can wait.

The Pirate and Princess Adventure is coming BACK and coming to CHARLOTTE!  I am SO excited. The show was AMAZING.  You can read all about it last year up there ^^.  I am not sure if the actual show will be the same, but even if it is, I wouldn't miss it.

It is only going to be in Charlotte, NC ONE day. March 20th.  The showings are at 3:30pm and 6:30pm. If you are planning on coming I would go ahead and get your tickets early! With only one date, I am guessing these will go fast!  You can find out all the info HERE for Charlotte and other cities.

See you there!

*I am receiving tickets in exchange for my promotion. Regardless, all reviews are my own. (My original post-I did not receive those tickets for promotion. So, you know, that was all me. )

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Discussion of Death with the kids

Ugh.  I am no good with these kinds of things.  If you know me in real life, you should be aware that I am VERY awkward in these kinds of situations. I tend to be the "So sorry for your loss. Here's a joke to make this awkward situation not be so awkward resulting in more unintentional awkwardness" kind of girl. I even struggled with the name of this post. I decided blunt would be best.  Be warned.  It is about to get real in here.

Growing up I was lucky and didn't lose a grandparent until I was 16.  My Grandpa Teddy (on my dad's side) passed away from cancer.  How did I handle it?  My dad came over on our regularly scheduled night out (It was a wednesday.  Ever since the divorce he got me on Wednesdays and we typically ate Chinese) and told me. He asked if I still wanted to go out. I said "no" and went to the mall to cry with my boyfriend.  (Typical teenage girl response I guess.)

The only other people I really ever lost were my Poppy (I still miss that darn old man), a guy I worked with a Pep Boys, and my Uncle Gordon.  I was in my 20's-30's for these. So you see, I never really had to deal with it as a child.  Lucky?  Maybe. The only real losses I had were from pets.  Believe me, those can be just as hard.

So you might be wondering why I am bringing this up.  Yesterday my Stepmom died. Last year right before Aidan's birthday, I think the weekend before, she had a stroke. It was a rather large one and she wasn't herself really since.  Since I never really went through this when I was little I read a lot when we lost our cats a few years ago about how to go about explaining it. I read a lot of people saying "Don't say they went to sleep" I followed that rule and we sat the kids down to explain it. They were shockingly ok.  I mean they literally were like , ok.  Not upset at all over Boog and Sqwerl.  Aidan was REALLY little when Sqwerl passed, so that could explain that one.  

So when I found out that Teresa passed yesterday I was a wreck. I am upset for losing someone that has been in my life for over half my life.  I am SO upset for my dad.  I can't even imagine the loss he is feeling.  I was also nervous because I had no clue how the kids would take it.  Eric offered to tell them when he got home. I was totally going to do that, but then I couldn't sit there any longer without telling them.

I turned everything off and had them sit on the couch and told them.  V had no clue what was going on and just looked at me.  Nate had huge wide eyes as I was talking and then (not trying to make light of the situation at ALL here-just preparing you for the odd questions you might one day get) asked if she was going to be a zombie.  I informed him that "No. Zombies aren't real."  I once told him zombies live in Haiti.  Even after all my insisting that I was kidding, he still believes in them. Thanks video games.

Aidan, just sat there.  I asked him how he was and if he understood what I was saying. He said yes. That she died like Booger and said we won't see her anymore.  He also said he was sad and that was that.

Have video games and tv really made our kids numb to this kind of stuff?  Is this a regular reaction for kids this age?  When Booger died this was the same kind of reaction. Not really a reaction at all. Just an acceptance.  I really am at a loss as to what to say or do at this point.  

It upsets me, but I guess everyone processes everything differently.  We didn't see  her all that much.  She couldn't really come down here due to the pets(highly allergic), so we only made it up there a few times a year, if that.  Could that be why the lack of emotion?

For curiosities sake, what happened when you told a child they lost a loved one.  Did they react the same way?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Little Passports Review...Month 7 (Mexico)

For those of you that are NOT aware of what Little Passports is,it is a monthly subscription service for children. You can choose TWO options.  The world edition, appropriate for ages 5 and up, or the US edition. The US is geared towards older kids.  On my blog you can learn all about the World Edition.  I am an affiliate, so any links in this post are affiliate links.   You can learn about the previous months by clicking the "Reviews and Giveaways" link at the top.  I have all the Little Passports reviews linked up in there.

This month Sam and Sophia traveled to Mexico!   Sometimes I get so jealous of them.  lol. The kids had a lot of fun with this package.  You have your traditional stuff, the passport sticker, the map sticker, the work sheet, and a prize.

Like always the boys worked together on the worksheet.  I love how it is not only fun, but also educational.  Some tasks do require a bit more work for Aidan.

This month on the worksheet was a recipe! I think this addition was awesome!Not only do they kids get to learn about the country, they get to try some of the food as well.  I have made Mole before and am excited to try it again!  I love new recipes!

The biggest hit this month was the toy. I mean, come on.  Who doesn't like a cup and ball?

This toy was exchanged between little hands so many times and it still is being played with! 

Aidan "claims" to have got it. Magically he only gets it when no one is looking.  

So there you have it!  Month 7 of Little Passports!  Feel free to click the image below to get to the site to learn out more!  (And help support my blog...affiliate link)

Disclaimer: Little Passports provided me with this box free of charge to review.  I was under no obligation to write a positive review.  All pictures and opinions are my own.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Nate's Lego inspired party

Nate the Great turned six yesterday and we had a Lego inspired pizza party!  It was smaller than most of our birthday parties, but a lot of fun. It was odd, at one point there were 7 kids age 7 and under in the house and you couldn't tell all. It was just...quiet.  They had a blast though!

The Lego cake was made with two boxes of "butter" flavored cake for the base.  It was just a big rectangle pan.Each layer was one box.  The top  circles are made with chocolate cake.  It ended up taking half a box of mix. The rest made 12cupcakes.

The Lego's around the base are candy!  This is what I did with the other half of the set of Lego molds I got.  To see my Lego crayon tutorial click HERE.  The molds can be purchased HERE.

I wanted to make marshmallow pops that look like Lego can't add color to melted candy melts.  It causes the candy to seize up. So we ended up with red pops. They were crazy easy and a hit!  My mom even liked them.

Party favors.  Coloring book download HERE.

Nate declared he wanted a balloon with a tongue sticking out and a mustache.  Sharpie skills are strong with me....not really.

Eric made a Lego photo prop.  The kids had fun stuffing balloons in it.  I found at parties having a few non-helium filled balloons is always a necessity.  The kids love hitting them around.

Birthday boy in a box.  The box ended up being a target later on in the day.  Nate got a Nerf gun and we have two wooden bows and rubber tipped arrows that the boys got for Christmas.  Poor Lego man has seen better days at this point. One of our guests liked to shoot him in the forehead.

Pin the face on the Lego man was also a hit.  Eric painted the man on a foam board.  The face was made with cardstock.  We took the face off every time so it wasn't a competition. The kids LOVED it and I loved that no one cried over losing, because there were no winners or losers.

Uncle Chris claims he didn't cheat...he was remarkable bad though, much to the kids delight.

I WISH I got a better picture of the birthday banner.  My friend designed it for me. I got it printed at Staples, I then cut it out, glued it to card stock, cut it out again, punched holes, laminated, punched smaller holes in the holes, and strung it up.   Pretty darn cool for about $5

 Make a wish!  I LOVE having a designated "birthday chair".  Every birthday boy/girl MUST sit in this chair.  Best positioning for pictures.

What was the winning present this year?  A framed photo of the Eiffel Tower. The picture was actually taken by a friend of a friend on a recent trip.  You can check out her other amazing work HERE.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Nate turns SIX!!! SIX!!! And he wanted to share something with you. *Giveaway from Superfly Kids

Holy Moly. Where did the time go? My Natey-Naters is six.  SIX!!!  I am quickly setting up his party this morning, but had to share this with you. 

You might remember V gave away a tutu for her birthday from TutuFabulous. Here is the link if you want to refresh your memory and check out her adorableness.  CLICK ME!!

Not only does that company have an amazing selection of tutus, they also belts, pacifiers clips, plush toys, super hero accessories, and they have a huge selection of super hero capes. When I say huge, I mean HUGE. THOUSANDS.  Most are in stock and ready to go! My kind of store! I hate waiting around.  I reached out to SuperFly Kids again and they decided to let me review a cape for Nate's birthday....and give one to a lucky reader.  SCORE!

I knew I wanted to get him one with his initial on it and that meant I have to weed through about 523 capes to see which I liked.  Seriously.  Click HERE to see all the choices for the letter N.  You can also choose a different letter on the left.  Other than their shipping speed, that is probably THE next best thing about them.  They are VERY well organized.

We picked one out and here is the winner:

Nate went with the black cape,with the red emblem, and the yellow N.  I was really surprised he didn't go for the blue.  As you see, his style was exceptional the day he received this.


Super Hero PUNCH!
 Here is a close-up of the emblem.

 The cape is very well made. It is a nice satin, single layer, with the edges serged.  There is a small piece of velcro at the top to close it. Nate is a giant and it super tall.  He is wearing the next size up. 

Now...onto the Giveaway!!!

You can win ONE Sidekick Sized cape OF YOUR CHOICE by entering below.  Sidekick Size (on the website you will look for it to say "kids size")  is good for ages 2-7.  You LITERALLY have thousands to choose from.  Good luck!  Oh, as always, be super hero honest and play fair.. Come back on February the 17th to see if you are the lucky winner!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

**I was given the cape for the purpose of the review and giveaway.  All opinions are my own. :)  SuperFly Kids is responsible for mailing out the winners cape.

Friday, February 7, 2014

SEALife Charlotte-Concord Aquarium

OH MY GOSH guys.  Yesterday was AMAZING. I mean it. AH-MAZ-ING.

Through the power of Facebook and my blog I have met some amazing people and it has opened up my life to some pretty fascinating things to do.Yesterday was one of them.

My friend Michelle writes for MomsCharlotte for the Charlotte Observer. She was invited to cover the bigfish deliveries and asked if I wanted to go. Ummmmm....yeah.

We headed on over there and checked in a bit before 9am.  Let me tell you. It was COLD out there.     That morning we saw the unveiling of the "Junior Explorers" and the new mascot.  The mascots name is.....wait for it....Sharky. He is actually pretty freaking adorable.

So then the wait began.  They said we had to wait for the fish to get acclimated to their water. Could take 20 minutes, could take 2 hours. Basically they have to pump water in and out of the tanks to get the sharks use to the new water.   So they said "Go wait up there and you can get some good pictures!" It was FREEZING and V was with me.  We waited a bit.
Finally a wonderful lady came up and said we could go inside and check out everything. I am pretty sure they felt bad for us. Michelle had her little one with her as well.  Did I tell you it was FREEZING?

The first thing we got to see, and my FAVORITE part was the fish tunnel.  Hi Michelle!

It is an amazing tunnel to go through.   V was a bit freaked out at first but then loved it.  

Incase you can't tell, I liked the stingrays.

V was on the floor just STARING into this little window.

When I got down there I realized why.  This guy was HUGE!

 Since the aquarium wasn't fully opened yet, we were only allowed in one other area.   The Junior Investigators were painting a mural. V crawled through the little tunnel.

The room had a big window which looked into part of the tank which the tunnel was connected to.  We sat and watched the fish there for the longest time.   The other kids there were DYING.  A fish swam through his nose. They talked about it for 5 minutes and imagined scenarios of sharks trying to get through. It was pretty cute.

I was FINALLY time for the big drop.  They LITERALLY run the fish into the building. I missed the stingray drop off, but caught the shark delivery. Here you can see the back of the truck. The sharks are in the big tank.
They take each Blacknose Shark out of the water, put it in a stretcher, and RUN like the dickens to the tank.  Did I mention they had to do this up a flight of metal stairs in the cold,because they did.

Being media for the day, I got to go into the area where they released the sharks into the water. So once it is up the stairs and into the building they take it QUICKLY to the water.  I would be so scared I would fall in.

Here is a video of the second shark being released:

Here are just a few random shots from the top of the tank looking down.I was pretty terrified V would lose a shoe in there or get her head stuck. I did that as a kid...a few times.

I LOVE this next shot.

We went back down and looked around some more.  I could NOT get V away from these little windows. There was a lionfish that did NOT want his picture taken.

V and I actually had our picture taken for the paper! You can see them HERE.

The SEALife Charlotte-Concord Aquarium opens on February 20th. If you get a season pass and get it early you can go for an early sneak peek next weekend. You can see all kinds of information HERE.

I fully plan on being there a LOT. I bought our yearly passes this morning.  We only got to see two areas.I can't wait to see what the rest holds!