Thursday, July 31, 2014

Spongebob Invitation

My oldest, a year ago, declared that his 6th birthday was going to be a Spongebob Birthday.  Your average kid would change their mind after so much time has passed but my boy like his mom is a planner.  He hasn't waivered in his decision for his party or where he wants to have it (local putt putt).  So I, being the planner that I am, decided to get ideas together asap and looking around I found lots of inspiration for DIY projects for his upcoming birthday.

So if you have a Spongebob party coming up, there are lots of projects coming up leading up to my boy's party.

So I saw some cute invitation ideas online about using a yellow sponge to make a spongebob invitation.  So using these ideas as inspiration.  I went in search of yellow sponges-this sounds like a simple task but no bueno.  So I went online determined to order some yellow sponges.  I looked at the sizes and ordered them and received 100 sponges the size of 3 inches tall!!!  Who uses 3 inch tall sponges???  Doll people???  Epic ebay ordering fail.  Unfortunately, this isn't my first ebay fail and it won't be my last.  So on to what I wound up doing for a spongebob invite.  Using my ordering fail.

SpongeBob Invitation

Items needed
Yellow Sponges
  • Item Size: Approx. 5 x 3.5 x 0.15cm (L*W*H)
Blue (water colored) Card stock
Yellow Card stock 
Green Card stock
Brown Card stock
Black Card stock
Glue Stick
Hot Glue Gun

I drew a pineapple with pencil and cut it out this is going to be your template.

Then I cut apart the leaves from the pineapple bottom

Using the leaves template I traced them onto a green sheet of card stock and cut them out.

Using the bottom part of the pineapple template I traced these on yellow card stock and cut them out.

This is the leaves and the bottom of the pineapple
Then I cut out a piece of blue card stock roughly 5x9.  Depending on the size of your pineapple you will need to adjust the size of your blue card stock
Using a glue stick I attached my bottom half of my pineapple on the blue card stock
Then with glue stick I attached the leaves onto the top of the pineapple and blue card stock
Then I took the sponge (remember those impossibly small yellow sponges) and using an image from online at  I cut out the faces for my sponges. They were all different and made each invitation unique.  Using my hot glue glue I glued the face onto the sponge
Then I attached with the glue gun spongebob next to his pineapple under the sea
I then used my computer to put in the party details and attached it onto the pineapple with a glue stick Then I added a brown door with a handle I made from my hole puncher and black card stock

Here is a sample of the party invite text I used:
Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?
Who is ready to party with me?
A party with golfing will be lots of fun
You are invited we hope you can come
(Child's Name) is turning (age)
A golfing party is his wish 

Of course we are having a putt putt party so replace golfing.  Hope you enjoy making these.  My idea evolved into something simple but my boy loved his invitation and was very excited.  

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


I love a good vacation- the time away, fun activities, relaxation.  Vacations before having children consisted of lots of relaxation time, sleeping in, and activities. This all sounds amazing. This is another instance of fun amnesia (* when you forget about the last time you did something and how exhausting, frustrating, upsetting, challenging it was the last time you did it and swearing you will never do it again)  Vacations are a little different for me now.  I normally need a vacation after returning from vacation.  Late nights and a little one who is ready to go bright and early regardless of all long he has slept, makes for a cranky baby (and a cranky mama). Most of my vacation is spent trying to keep my boys entertained and letting my husband rest in the hotel after working at night. It is nice to get away and do something different - just glad it is only for a week at a time :)

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Non Verbal Grunter

My youngest has always taken time when accomplishing things.  He took a little longer to crawl and walk.  Being the 2nd born I had an older boy to compare his progress to and in the process drove myself a little crazy with worry.  I would take out the baby book for my oldest and look at the dates and wonder why my youngest wasn't doing this or that.  It took a little longer for him to accomplish some milestones but when he started he did it like he had been doing it forever.  I think the books and info on the internet can be helpful but for a worrier, paranoid mommy like me it can be both a blessing and a curse.

Then it came time for talking.  He has always been a grunter and pointer to get his point across.  He also was not a repeater.  A lot of kids just repeat what mom and dad says.  My stubborn one would never and has never done talking when requested or on command.  Then I would occasionally get a word here and there never consistently.  So I started to worry, there were days where he rarely said anything.  I have tried the don't give them what they want until they say it and this occasionally is effective but hysterical crying ensues and traumatic feelings for a good hour following.  In all of the books and charts it says that my little almost 2 year old should be speaking at least in 2 word phrases and even sentences for some.  Some days he will surprise me with a word he hasn't said before but then I don't hear it for awhile.  As a mom it totally freaks me out-is there something wrong?  He understands and does everything I say so it isn't a hearing issue.   It has gotten better everyday so he is progressing but my impatience makes me feel like there is a problem.

I know it will all come in time but as moms I think we drive ourselves crazy with whether or not our little ones are meeting all the milestones for their age.  I have just had to remind myself that all children are different and learn in different ways and to not compare his progress to someone else.  This is hard to remember.  Have you experienced delays in speech with your little one and how did you deal with it?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Getting Into Everything

It has been awhile since I have had a toddler in the house.  At least 3 years to be exact.  My youngest is almost 2 and every time I turn around he is pulling something apart, down, or ripping something.  Even things I think are not accessible I find in his hands.  He has been getting into the snacks in the pantry and dumping them out all over the floor.  Pens unattended from my oldest have become fodder for his art projects on tables and chairs.  Toddlers are curious and boy is he...

My oldest thankfully helps me to monitor him a bit.  Every once in awhile I hear mommy he is pulling something out etc.  It is a huge help.  My oldest is learning the importance of putting away his small legos and keeping his art work projects away from his little brother.

How many of you are in the midst of toddlerhood and what are your tips for getting things done with your curious tornado of a toddler?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Road Trip Tips

I know a lot of us are taking vacations during the summer months.  We have a short road trip coming up this summer and even though it is short, I still like to have things to keep my kids busy.

Car Games
Sure you can play the classic punch buggy and I Spy, but my oldest and I like to play find the letter-going through the alphabet and find the letter in signs and license plates and something we call Rainbow Cars ROY G BIV finding each color car of the rainbow in order.

Drawing Supplies
My oldest loves to draw and he can very happily be occupied with a drawing pad and a pen or pencil.  If you have a younger child a coloring book and crayons works good too.

Surprise gifts
Go to the dollar store and get a few surprise $1 items for each child.  Wrap each one individually and every time your child needs a fun boost allow them to open one of the gifts.  It can help keep your kiddo occupied and help you keep your sanity.

Great Kid Friendly Fun Tunes
Make sure you have either some cds that your kids enjoy or an kid friendly option like Pandora.  We listen to the Disney channel, veggie tales, and occasionally spongebob.

For Longer Trips
I am not a huge fan of too much electronics but on a really long trip a little time on the iPad watching a movie helps pass the time.  I unfortunately have motion sickness so this never works for me.

Try to plan some of your trip when the kids are sleeping it makes for an easier drive.  My kids have always slept really great in the car seat and get wonderful naps in the car.

Take stretch breaks
Even if you brought your own lunch try to find somewhere a local park or nice grassy area to have an outdoor picnic and let the kids run off some energy.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Thomas the Train Favor Box

The first project I tackled for my almost 2 year old's Thomas the train party was the favor carrier.  I thought it would be cute to make luggage for the favor box.   I purchased some larger favor boxes on etsy
Then I purchased some brown ribbon at my local craft store.  My idea was to make the box look like an old school piece of luggage with leather straps and stamps showing the luggage had traveled.  I purchased some travel stamps with handle with care and fragile as the stamps I used.  

With my glue gun from the straight line on the top of the box to the other sides straight line I glued a strip of ribbon about 1/2 inch to an inch in on both sides of the longer flat side of the box.  Then I used my stamps and randomly stamped them on with my black ink pad. You can also add a luggage tag either personalized for each child or with a thank you for attending.  Inside there is a train whistle, train conductor hat, red bandana, and some Thomas party favors.   I was really happy with how they turned out.
All Aboard!!!!!

Items Needed:
Favor Boxes
Brown Ribbon 
Some Travel Stamps with Stamp Pad
Items for Luggage Tag (I used a circular sticker that said my son's name and 2nd birthday and using a card stock circle, I affixed the sticker on the circle.  With some ribbon and a hole puncher I attached the tag)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Thomas and Friends- Journey to Rewards

I have 2 little guys who love trains.  Thomas is a part of daily conversation and an occasional sleeping buddy.  I found out about a new app through Walmart to reward you for purchasing Thomas products.  All you have to do is download the app to your smartphone and it will show you how many points you can earn per item.  They have featured items that are worth more than other Thomas items.  When you make a purchase, you take a picture of your receipt at home and upload it to the app and you can earn points towards gift cards for Walmart.  This is the website that has a video that explains how the program works.

This is in no way sponsored by Walmart or Thomas and Friends and I am receiving no compensation for this posting.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Planes: Fire & Rescue

My family and I were invited to a prescreening of the new Pixar/Disney Movie Planes: Fire & Rescue.  My husband, five year old, 1 1/2 year old, and I got to experience the movie through a Disney D23 event and it was in 3D.  My kids were very excited to see the movie and for, of course, popcorn.  The screening took place at the AMC at Downtown Disney and it is a great theater with comfortable seats and tons of seating.  I have been to pre screenings in the past and they are always packed but surprising the theater was only half full.

On to the movie.... The movie begins with the characters we remember from the previous planes movie

When Dusty learns that his engine is damaged and he may never race again, he joins forces with fire and rescue helicopter Blade Ranger and his team, The Smokejumpers, to battle a massive wildfire.  You see his challenges with becoming a certified fire plane and the friendships he forges along the way.  

Our family's thoughts on the movie:  The  movie had a lot of adult humor which is a normal occurrence for a Disney/Pixar flick.  There was a lot of action throughout the movie and some really intense scenes.  My 5 year old was fully entertained and after the movie said it was great.  My 1 1/2 year old who enjoys planes was a little frightened at one of the more intense scenes but for the most part enjoyed the movie and sat and watched the majority of the time.  He refused to wear the 3d glasses so I really was surprised he watched the movie in the blurry condition.    My husband and I agreed that it was a really great movie filled with a good story, lots of action, and the disney heart.  I definitely recommend this movie to your little one who enjoys planes and fire rescue.  The movie releases on Friday July 18th.  

***This review is in no way sponsored by Disney or Planes: Fire & Rescue and I received no compensation for this review.  I only received free entry to the movie for my family as a member of D23.  

Monday, July 14, 2014

DIY Bookshelves

I love Pottery Barn Kids, and if I had endless amounts of money my kids rooms and play room would be decked out in PBK! But unfortunately, it's a little on the pricey side for me. Both my kids love books and have quite the collection and I was looking for a fun way to store them so they are able to see the books instead of pulling all of their books off of a case in search for that 1 special book! While at PBK one day I saw these bookshelves on display and knew that's just what I wanted, only problem is they were around $60, a little too much in my opinion.

Pottery Barn Kids Bookshelves
So I set off on a mission to Ikea to see if I could find something similar for cheaper. And I did, in the kitchen supplies area of all places! It's called the Bekvam Spice Rack, and at $3.99, is a great deal! It comes in a natural wood color like pictured below. I chose to spray paint mine to match my kids bedroom furniture but you could always leave it the natural color for an even easier job! 
Ikea's Bekvam Spice Rack
As you can see, there isn't a whole lot to them so they are very simple to put together, and were fairly easy to hang onto the wall, just a bit of measuring to make sure things were even and they were up! They are very sturdy and have held up to kids pulling on them and can hold up to 8 books in each depending on the size of the books. My kids both love their bookshelfs and love that they are able to see their books, and I love that they are organized! 

My daughter's finished bookshelves

Friday, July 11, 2014

Running Myself Ragged

My main goal this summer, beyond no school and some relaxation, was to keep my 5 year old from getting bored.  I am an on the go type of person, I like to stay busy and make sure my kids have lots of fun.  In anticipation for summer, I signed up my oldest for swimming lessons, karate camp, and 2 separate vacation bible schools.  It is only July and I am starting to get a little burnt out.  This week is a VBS week and swim lesson week.  My boy is having a great time at VBS which is fabulous but I have, this week especially, been doing a lot of running around.  Not to mention we had a very stressful moment with our van and some flat tires. Swim lessons have been rained out 2 times as well so I am driving to the lesson and turning around and driving back.  Gotta love the Florida storms.   I need a break!!!

Wouldn't it be great if there was a camp for mommies?  I know there are boot camps and such...but I am thinking a fun and relaxing camp-where you could take your kids there and they are having fun and taken care of and you get your "camp" time?  I am thinking a spa, some girl time, and maybe some fun activities for the more adventurous.  A girl can dream can't I?!!!!

I am going to have a low activity week next week to recover.  How do you keep your kids busy at home without too much tv or electronics?  Suggestions appreciated!!!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Galaxy Fun!

Looking for a place for the kids to play all while staying inside away from the Florida heat? Then you will definetely want to check out Galaxy Fun! It is the new indoor playground in Orlando, and reminds me of the old Discovery Zone I used to love growing up. It features 48,000 square feet of fun, including ball pits, tons of slides, tunnels, and tons more for kids to explore, my kids could spend all day here if I let them! My son's favorite area is the ball shooter area, while my daughter loves exploring through all the tunnels. There is a separate area for under 3 with mini size slide and ball pit that will keep your little ones happy, as well as an indoor soccer/basketball court for the older kids. They do have seats spread throughout the play area for parents to sit back and relax. while their children play. And if all of that wasn't enough they also have an arcade and snack bar, offering both snack and lunch options, and wine and beer for mom and dad!
Galaxy Fun Orlando is located right off of I-Drive near Wet and Wild. Prices are $9.99 for the mini area (ages 3 and under) and $19.99 for ages 4 and up. Last time we were there they did have a local Orlando resident special going on which took a few dollars off. As of now they do not have any frequent visitor passes but hopefully that is something they will do in the future. Also, be sure to like their Facebook page as they often post deals on there! Either way, go check it out, your kids will thank you!

This post is in no way affiliated or sponsored by Galaxy Fun Orlando.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Thomas the Train Invitation

I like to do a lot of projects myself for my kid's birthday parties.  I am a planner and I love parties.  For my youngest's upcoming Thomas the Train Birthday Party and with some inspiration on the internet, I made a Thomas Birthday Invitation.

Items Needed

Blue Cardstock
Red Cardstock
Yellow Cardstock
Gray Cardstock
Black Cardstock
Cream card stock

I used a template for my Thomas design which made this an easier project than others I have done in the past.  The printable template and directions I found at
These are all the cut out pieces you need to make one invitation plus your cream card stock backing.

I then cut out each piece of the template and traced them on their corresponding colors.  Then the long and time consuming cutting began. It took a really long time to do all the cutting there are tons of pieces.

Then I began to put everything together. I used a card as the backing for it.
The card is 4x7 in cream card stock

Next I glued the black top piece to the blue piece

Then I glue both to my cream card stock

Then I glued my funnel in the middle of the blue piece

Then I added the yellow circles

Then the black circles over the yellow

Then I added the gray bumper piece

Followed below that the red buffers

Then I added 2 black circles to the red buffer

Then I took the gray circle for the face

and with my sharpie drew on the face for Thomas

I then glued that just below the headlights 

Then using a ruler I used the sharpie and drew in the lines evenly spaced apart

This is the final product on the front

This is the back of the invite in the cloud I put all the info for the party and I am adding a photo of the  birthday boy below that in a conductor outfit.

Enjoy making your homemade invite for your little ones Thomas the Train Party.  I will be adding more projects leading up to my youngest's birthday.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

I love Amazon...pretty much anything you can imagine is sold there.  The best is coming home to an amazon delivery at your door.  We are striving to make our giveaways something either for moms or experiences to share with your kids.  This giveaway prize definitely fits the bill.  Share with your friends.
a Rafflecopter giveaway For our second giveaway we are having a giveaway for a $10 Amazon gift card code which can be emailed to the winner upon being randomly selected through rafflecopter. This giveaway is open to all with valid email address to send the prize.  This giveaway is in no way sponsored by Amazon.