5.19.2010

A little more birthday fun!


Since we were already having our monthly family dinner with Paul's side on Skylar's birthday, I decided to throw a little something together for Skylar and her cousins so she didn't feel like she got TOTALLY jipped on a birthday party :)

It was so lovely to not have to do invitations, tons of food, and get my house spotless, but to let Skylar celebrate her special day with her cousins. This is just worked out a lot better with our crazy life right now :) Ok, I am no professional or anything, but I thought this all came together pretty cute and was very simple:

The first thing I love to think about is the cake! I usually go with cupcakes and this time was no different. Skylar LOVES the Disney movie Princess and the Frog, so I decided to go with that for a theme. It also worked out nicely because its not TOO princess-y for the boys :) So I made half the cupcakes frogs and the other half were purple with Tiana cupcake toppers. The toppers didn't turn out that great, but hey, you get what you get :) I loved the frog cupcakes and was surprised at how easy they were. You simply frost your cupcakes with green frosting and then sprinke with green sugar. Then cut a marshmallow in half and dip the tops of the halves in water. After you have done that roll the top in green sugar to create the eyelids and then stick in a chocolate chip! I used toothpicks to keep the eyes steady and pink frosting for the mouths.




For a fun simple game I borrowed my friend Krista's darling idea :) I had Paul draw a big frog (isn't he talented?!) and then I cute out a bunch of big lips. The kids then played Pin the Kiss on the Frog. It was a hit that even the younger kids could participate in.



Finally, the party favors! I gotta say, I thought these turned out pretty cute and SO simple! I got some Princess and the Frog stickers, placed them in a cellophane bag with Haribo green gummy frogs and you guessed it....Hershey Kisses!! Get it?? :) Tied up with purple and green ribbon and there you have it!!


We had a lot of fun and Skylar felt very special :) I love my big girl and cannot believe my baby is 5! This next year is going to be so exciting for her with so many opportunities for learning and growth, I love you Skylee-Boo!!

5.17.2010

Cutting the Chaos, Week 6!

Hello everyone!! This weeks project is a little different, but turned out SO fun and cut out a lot of chaos at our house this week. My darling little Skylar had her 5th birthday yesterday!! For ever she has been dreaming up a grand birthday party with every kid she has ever met, piles of presents and cake and treats as far as the eye can see.

Well, thats great in theory, but when I really started trying to plan it, the timing was not great. We are moving in 3 weeks, trying to save every penny that we can, and in general just trying to simplify until we get into our new place. But here was the problem: How could I still do something special for my little darling without breaking the bank and throwing me into a nervous breakdown? ;)

This is where a stroke of genius came into play :) You may remember a recent post where I talked about how we eliminated enriched flour and high fructose corn syrup from our home, well the hardest thing for my kids to let go has been their breakfast cereal! They LOVE all the sugary stuff, and have been pretty sad to see it go. This is where I came up with the idea for our very own Princess Cereal Birthday Bash!! When Skylar woke up on Sunday morning this is what she saw....




I simply chose 4 of her favorite cereals, incorporated 4 of her favorite princess, and WALAHHH! A breakfast fit for a princess :)


Ariel's Underwater Treasures (Lucky Charms)


Jasmine's Royal Jewels (Trix)

Princess Aurora Puffs (Cocoa Puffs)


Cinderella's Glass Slipper Squares ( Cinnamon Toast Crunch)


Add fun glass jars, cute ribbon, and adorable chipboard cutouts of princess and there you have it!

Skylar had such a fun morning trying out all her favorite princess cereals :) She also kept saying, "Mommy, this is the best birthday ever!"

So if you are ever feeling like me and a birthday party is just too overwhelming, try something like this! Just find something simple that your child loves, tweak it to fit their personality, and instantly you have a hit!
In the coming weeks I have a feeling I will be overtaken by CHAOS!! You can expect a few posts on packing and organizing, and definitely dejunking :) Hope you're all having a wonderful week, and getting closer to being more organized so we can all enjoy the fun things in our lives!! :)

5.12.2010

Birthday Boy!!













Britton's birthday fell on the day before we came home from New York so we decided to wait to celebrate. Well you know how life goes, one thing after another came up and almost 2 weeks late we FINALLY celebrated our little man turning 1!

Today I want to write some of my favorite things about the little boy that has completely stolen my heart.

* Britton LOVES taking baths. As soon as he hears the water running he takes off for the bathroom and its all I can do to keep him from diving head first into the tub! He loves having water dumped over his head and screams like a maniac when we have to take him out :)

* Britton is all boy! As soon as he sees a ball or a car he knows just what to do with it. He loves it when we toss balls to him and is quickly learning how to throw them back.

* Britton is very....hmmm......busy :) Just like I had to do with his oldest sister, all I do is follow him around all day and make sure he is not getting into anything life-threatening. Today for the first time he opened up the front door and tried to escape, luckily the other two little mothers in the house notified me of the break-out attempt :)

* Britton gives the best kisses! We are talking open-mouth, slobbery kisses with the "mmmwwwhhawww" and everything. Even though he is pretty stingy with them, once he starts you can't stop him :)

Britton is an absolute joy in our home. Some days when I have felt overwhelmed or inedequate the BEST part of my day is going into Britton's room and seeing his face light up when I walk in. Those are the moments that are all worth it. I love you Buddy Boy, and Happy Birthday!!

5.10.2010

Cutting the Chaos, Week 5!!

Well here we are on the 5th week, and I'm still going strong :) I usually have a lot of great ideas and even better intentions, but always tend to get busy and have a hard time sticking to things. I am glad 5 weeks into this crazy thing I am still finding some ways to cut the chaos. The project for this week was not original, crafty or very cute, but oh so needed in my life!!

A few posts back I mentioned my love of couponing. It takes a little while to get into it, but once I did I went a little crazy! It was just so exciting to feel like even though I don't bring any income into our home, I can have a huge effeect on how much of that income leaves the home :) Although recently as we have tried to eat a little bit healther I haven't been using the food coupons AS much, I still love all the toiletries I get for amazing deals. Anyways, with all these coupons floating around I had to have a way to keep them organized, right?
You would think so :) This is a pic of my previous, ahem, system (if you could call it that!)



I would cut out all my coupons, group them into categories, and then paper clip them and throw them in the pile. Hmmm, see that huge pile of coupon inserts on the right? Those are all the ones I was behind on that still needed to be clipped. I loved the idea of clipping coupons, and for months was able to keep up with it, but NO MORE!! Not only did it take me hours to clip the coupons and organize them, but then to dig through the pile of paper-clipped categories and try and find the ones I needed, it was just too much!

My sister-in-law Crista introduced me to this brilliant method of organizing your coupons. If you visit different coupon sites like I do, you will notice that they always tell you where the coupon you need comes from (i.e., Red Plum 5/2). So now instead of spending hours clipping every Sunday I simply stick that weeks inserts in a plastic sheet and put in a binder I got on clearance at Walmart.

This way as I am making my grocery lists I can check the coupon blogs and ONLY cut the coupons I will actually be using that day at the store. Isn't it beautiful?! :)

I can't tell you how wonderful it feels to have these organized! Just one more way I am trying to Cut the chaos so I can enjoy all the fun things in my life!!

Do you coupon? If so, how do you organize your stash?? :)

5.04.2010

Cutting the Chaos, Week 4!!

Holy moly...what happened the last few weeks! :) I tell you people, I took on the chaos, and the chaos won! :) But never fear, it didn't keep me down for long and I am here with another project I am doing that I know will significantly cut the chaos in my life :)


The inspiration for this project came a few week ago as I was on the verge of hysteria as my insurance company was calling me, demanding Brittons social security number or else his coverage would be terminated! Only one problem, I couldn't find it anywhere! Having a hard time visualizing it? Here is what I looked like as I dug through all of our paperwork...

(I stole this pic from my awesome friend Emily's blog...hope you don't mind Em :)

It really was ridiculous! I realized I had never recieved it in the email, and not only that but to get it I needed his birth certificate....hmmmm, never got that one either. Are you seeing a trend here?? I am so completely unorganized with our important papers! Something had to change! So after doing a little research (ie, blog-hopping :) I found this amazingly ridiculous blog you MUST check out immediately:

http://www.executivehomemaker.com

This blog was created by the mastermind Laurie behind my all-time fave blog, Tip Junkie! On this blog she has an entirely FREE printable for an Executive Homemaker Binder. It was exactly what I needed to start off my pitiful attempts at organizing. I also love her motto, "Organize your life so you can get to the fun things about being a mother, wife, and woman!" Amen Sister!! I tell you, I was not having very much fun running to the vital records office, then standing in line at the Social Security Admin for 2 hours :)

Anyways, she completely lays out for you how to get organized with categories like Daily Tasks, Monthly Planner, Family info (this is where I included all our important papers and immunization records for the kids) Expense and more! It is a great starting point, and I added things that I knew would be helpful to me and left out some things that I don't need.

You can't imagine how good it feels to have all of our important info in one place! Now when I need to call someone in the ward, I go to my binder. When I need to see what this months Food Storage item to stock up on is, I go to the binder. When I leave the kids with the babysitter and they need an info sheet, you guessed it, I go to the binder! :)

Now I realize I am probably the exception to the rule and you all have already done something like this years ago. But if for some reason I am not completely alone in this and you are feeling a little overwhelmed with it all, check out the blog and get started on a binder today! Mine still needs alot of work and it will constantly be changing and needed to be updated but it is a START! Hope you all are having lots of success cutting the chaos in YOUR lives, I am slowly but surely finding some success in mine! :)