Thursday, April 16, 2015

Puppy Paw-ty (Easy Birthday Party idea)

We had a Puppy Paw-ty.  This weekend.  I have done some big themed parties at my home (Buzz Lightyear and Princess Party to name a few) but this year I just didn't have it in me to put on a big production.  So, we went to an indoor play park.  That way all the kid entertainment was taken care of.  But I do love a theme.  2 of my kids have birthday's in April (and so is my birthday!).  It gets to be busy.  So this year we combined the party to include both kids.  And both of my kids LOVE puppies, so that was the theme!  

Here is our invite.  I created it in PicMonkey and I just emailed it out to family.  But I could have had it printed out as a photo.  This is my favorite, cheapest way to make customized invitations. 

The Food
I got a little carried away with the food

Puppy Chow 
I made 2 kinds

Pup Corn
Cheese and Caramal 

Hot Dogs and Cheese and Lunch Meat
I used cookie cutters to cut the cheese and meat into bones and puppy paws

I just ordered from my grocery store

Fruit Kibble

For the decorations I kept it ever simple with a Puppy "Happy Birthday sign" that I got from the party store and added some small stuffed puppies that I got from the thrift store.  Most of them still had the tags on them!  As the party favor, I let each kid pick out a puppy to adopt.  I printed out pet adoption certificates to make it seem more official and I decorated a brown gift bag with a dog bone with the kids name on it. 

We kept the party pretty simple in the fact that the activities were just playing at the indoor park.  I did not plan and puppy crafts or games.  But I did find some cute ones that I am sharing with you! 

Here are some other fun Puppy ideas/crafts you could do too: 

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Best Artichoke Dip Recipe

I have the best artichoke dip for your next party, get together, office potluck, night at home... whatever excuse you have to make this- it is so good.  Every time I make everyone asks me for the recipe.  So I am sharing it with the world! 

1 cup Mayo (I like Miracle Whip)
1 -8oz package cream cheese (soften works best)
1- 8 oz package sour cream
2 -14oz cans of Artichoke hearts (diced)
2 cups Parmesan cheese 
optional: Substitute out 1 cup of parmesan for 1 cup Mozzarella cheese
2 tsp Dill weed
2 tsp Garlic

Oven- Combine all ingredients in a glass (oven safe) bowl and cook for 30 min. or until all the cheese has melted.  Check and stir at 15 minutes.
Crockpot- Combine all ingredients into crockpot and cook on low for 4-6 hours, or high 2-4 hours.  Stirring occasionally.

Serve with crackers and bread and it will disappear! 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

DIY Coasters (15 minute Craft: Teacher Appreciation Gift)

I love my kids teachers. They work hard and do a fantastic job!  I am a teacher too, so I know how much they put into it.  So I always like to get them something to show our appreciation.  Teacher Appreciation week is May 4-8th so you have time to make this! 

Here is an easy DIY for you to do to show teachers that you appreciate them.  DIY Coasters paired with a cute glass, some straws and a fun beverage... to show that you know they deserve a break for all the hard work they have done.  This gift uses Oil Cloth since it is water resistant.  You can find it at Joann's (by the home decor fabrics- you may need to ask someone) but they have a limited selection.  I got this print from Oil Cloth By the Yard.  Lots of cute patterns! 

Here is what you will need to do:
1. Gather supplies: 1/4 yard Oil Cloth,  1/4 yard Felt, Sewing machine and other sewing tools.
2. Trace out the coasters.  I used a coaster I had as a template but you could also use a cup.
3. Cut out 4 of each out of the felt and the oil cloth (or more if you want).
4. Use a zigzag stitch and sew around the edge as close to the edge as you can get.  Since the oil cloth and felt do not fry you can leave unfinished edges out.  

And your done!  I got this cute glass much from the Dollar Tree and the Paper straws from Target.  I added lemonade mix to complete the gift! 
Here is a printable you can add to the gift! Just right click and save the image.  

Joining in the fun with:

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Things are always changing (#StreamTeam #Netflix)

Thank you to Netflix for sponsoring this post! 

So with three kids, it seems that as soon as I think we are settling into a pattern the kids change, their sleep patterns change, their eating patterns change, their preferences change, their activities change.  Life is always changing, and in most ways I welcome the change.  I have always thought I was a flexible person generally.  But some days I just want to soak it all up and have everything stay the same.  But, with change comes the chance to reinvent ourselves... a chance to better ourselves.  That is this month's Stream Team Theme... reinvent yourself.  It is never too late.

It doesn't have to be a whole new makeover, maybe there is something little that you want to change. This weekend my husband and I were talking and he said that he thought it was time for me to go back to work next year.  I was a teacher before I took up the full time mom gig.  So I emailed a few of my teacher contacts in the district I worked in and the next day they emailed back with some jobs openings.... in one day I went from maybe I will think about going back to work to almost having a job... it was exciting and scary all at once.  Going back to work will mean that I will be a working (outside the home) mom, something I have not done yet.  I am excited to go back to teaching because I love it, but also anxious about the changes it will mean for the kids.  So, I am reinventing myself as a working mom.

I will leave you with a video of my son, who used to not say a word... now belting out Let It Go.

Here are some great movies/tv show to stream on Netflix to motivate you to reinvent yourself!

*Disclosure: I am part of the Netflix Stream team.  However all opinions are 100% honest! 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Easy Minecraft Party Decor

We always decorate the house for each kid's birthday. Even though this year was the "small" birthday party (i.e. take a friend to a movie and that's it!) we still decorated the house with my son's latest infatuation: Minecraft.  If you have a boy between the ages 5-12 you know what I am talking about!  But I also wanted to keep it simple!  So here is what I did to make a big impact with little effort.  I am also including the Minecraft faces at the bottom as a free printable so it will be super easy for you! 

I got this party banner at the dollar store and taped Minecraft faces to it.

These swirly decorations used to be angry bird decorations :
I saved them from the angry birds party we had last year, and just removed the angry bird part and taped 2 minecraft faces to the bottom back-to-back. 

My hubby came up with this idea and it turned out so cute.  We taped Steve's face to the school pictures of the kids to turn them into minecraft characters.  My kid LOVED it!

I got some paper plates from the dollar store, (I wanted the green ones to be a square too but they only had circles and it worked out fine) and taped the Minecraft faces to them.  For the spider I draw the face with metallic Bic permanent markers, cut out the legs out of another paper plate and taped them to the back.

I also made this super easy Creeper Shirt.  Just some heat transfer vinyl cut in the creeper face shape onto a green shirt.  I used my silhouette but you could totally cut this out by hand too.   

Here are the Minecraft faces for you to use (PERSONAL USE ONLY!!!))
Just right click and download.

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