Vintage Toy Birthday Party

PicMonkey Collage

Our beautiful baby boy turned 1 last week. The past year has flown by faster than I could have ever expected. It’s amazing when you look back after your child’s first year how much joy such a little person can bring in such a short amount of time. In all honesty, having him turn 1 has been very hard on this momma. I know that he will be our last child and with our daughter being so close in age, I’ve always felt like I needed to be split in two when it comes to bonding with him. I sort of want to turn back time and hold him a bit tighter and longer as a newborn just to remember it a little bit better. As they say though, time goes on and all I can do is give him all I can in this moment and pray it is enough.

To celebrate his first year I wanted to throw him a party that was just as special as he is. However, coming up with a theme proved to be quite a bit more difficult than it was for my daughter’s first birthday. Her love for Mickey and Minnie was very strong very early on so it was natural that her party be all about the Mouse. However, my son hasn’t had that strong of an attachment to any particular item. I went through all sorts of ideas in my head and on Pinterest, but nothing seemed to fit quite right. Then it hit me that what he loves most is to play with all his toys. On top of that, one of our gifts to him was a tricycle. Therefore, the theme of vintage toys was born.

For the invitations, I used my Photoshop elements software and played around with different fonts and colors before I came up with something that I loved. At first, I wanted the background to be a chevron pattern, however, I am incredibly new to the software and I’ve done a lot of chevron things with his stuff already so I wanted to change it up a bit with basic diagonal stripes.

Jaden 1st Bday Invite Final

The next step was the favors and my husband was the real brain behind a lot of this. At first, he really wanted to get wooden toys for all the kids, but after looking at cost and availability we ended up going the plastic route with a little variety that matched our personalities. The favor bags we used were actually on clearance on Target and matched the color scheme we already had. Score!!


The decorations we used were pretty standard. We got some blue and red balloons and I made a banner for the wall behind the cake and for his high chair. Instructions on how to make the banner can be found by clicking here.

banner   Highchair

The guest book was a Pinterest inspired idea of using a book that goes along with the event and having everyone sign it. I LOVE these book ideas as I really believe in fostering a live for reading in our kids at a very early age. Our daughter can often be found with a book in her bed and I could not be more proud of that fact. I just love it and hope we are teaching him the same habits.guest book

The food….can I just say YUM!! We went with a party time of noon, so that meant a full lunch spread was on the agenda. Normally, for parties we go with the BBQ hot dog and hamburger route, but since this was the middle of March in Montana, the weather could not be depended on for that. Therefore, we went for our next standby of pulled pork. It feeds a lot of people, doesn’t require constant attention at the time of the event, and is a pretty universal crowd pleaser. The recipe we used can be found here. It was so delicious that any description that I could try to write would not give it justice. The sides we had included my dad’s potato salad, my husband’s macaroni salad, and a fruit salad that I make. The drinks we decided on to go with our nostalgic kid theme were the barrel juice drinks that takes me back to my younger years.


Finally, the cake and sweets table. I found some cute tins at the dollar section of Target and filled them with a small assortment of candy to have available for all the kids at the party and to take home with them in their goodie bags. The most popular item was the little red fish, but I think the adults ate most of those. When I make cakes, I have a hard time visualizing what it will turn into when I’m done. With these cakes, I wanted to keep with the blue and red theme, but didn’t want it to look like a superhero cake. For the guest cake, I did a two tiered cake. The bottom layer was covered with blue fondant with the words Happy Birthday using the pre-made alphabet sugar sheet. The top layer was covered with white fondant and accented with red fondant stripes. The cake topper was made using the Boys Will Be Boys cricut cartridge and toothpicks. I love how it came together even though I didn’t have a set plan going in. The smash cake I tried to make look like one of those old drum toys. The coloring was off, but I still enjoyed how it turned out. However, our boy was not feeling great the day of the party and did not want a lot to do with any of the food and much to our dismay did not smash the cake like we hoped he would. Our daughter did the same thing. Probably a good thing for us, but slightly disappointing at the time.

Candy Tin    cake    smash cake

I hope you all enjoyed reading about our fun first birthday party for our boy and got a few cute ideas along the way. I certainly enjoyed planning it out and putting it on and look forward to many more to come. Have a happy day!

Preschool Board

Done Board

I enrolled our little lady in preschool this week. Why is it that since we have had our kids, time can’t just slow down a little bit? It seems like yesterday we found out we were having our first baby and now she will be getting ready to start her many years of school life. I’m in a little bit of disbelief and not really ready for this step. However, time goes on and it’s our job as parents to let our littles grow up and become the people they are destined to be. She will do fantastic and even though it will be hard, I’m excited at the same time to watch what she does.

Anyway, now that I have gotten my sentimental rambling out of the way, this week I have been making a board for us to get ready for this next adventure. At first I was going to use foam board as the backing, although I didn’t really think that the Velcro was a good option to get the pieces that we would be using on and off of it. Then I remembered that automotive stores have those really large metal drip pans for changing oil and I thought it would be fun to make this board with magnetic pieces. However, I was not in love with the metal look the drip pan had, so I decided to spray paint it black to match the rest of the Mickey Mouse type décor that we have in the kids’ playroom.Board

Next, I had to decide what sort of things we should work on that would be age appropriate. I finally decided on date, time, weather, and season and proceeded to cut out colorful labels for each are using my Cricut and Xyron sticker maker. For the date area of the board, I found some school type practice writing sheets at the dollar store and wrote out each day of the week, each month, and the year on them. For the actual day of the month, I thought a postage note would work well and she could easily change that out on a daily basis. For the rest of the areas that we will work on, I decided to find clip art images and laminate them. Since she is only two at the moment I am using images of morning, afternoon, and night for the time area of the board. However, I did purchase a small open and close sign and cut the clock out and will use that with her when she is old enough to start telling time. I then attached magnets to all of my items and our board was ready to go! I attached it to the wall in the playroom using command strips and put all of our pieces in a basket that I found in the dollar section at Target. I am thrilled with the way it turned out and am happy to report that she loves playing with it and learning as she goes!Pieces

Thanks for reading and as always have a happy day!

Weekly Funnies

Weekly Funnies

Lately, I’ve noticed a lot of things that I am either doing, thinking, or saying are things I never would have said or done before I had kids. Probably extremely comical to the outside ear, but none the less they are regular happenings in our house and many others (I hope) with children. With that being said, I’ve decided to start a weekly post listing my funniest moments of the week as a parent.

Let’s get started

  1. A microfiber couch cushion cover is indeed machine washable on the gentle cycle…….I won’t go into details here, let me just say Yuck.
  2. As I was trying on a recently purchased shirt, I walked out to the living room where my TWO year old daughter was watching TV and asked her in all seriousness if she thought it was cute….and I really did care and value her opinion on it.
  3. When you are trying to keep up with an almost one year old crawler and a potty training toddler the phrase “Do Not Touch Your Sister’s Pee!” will come out way more often than it should.

Please share with me some of the things that you have discovered/said/did that you never dreamed of before kids.

Hope you all have had a great weekend and as always have a happy day!!

The Chore Store

Chore Store Image
In my last post, I shared my daughter’s new chore chart that we started using to introduce tasks that she needs to help with on a daily basis. Today, I am going to share the fun way my husband and I decided to reward her and teach her a little bit about money management.

A long time ago I saw a post on Pinterest about a basket that a parent had put together in which their children could “shop” from, and my husband and I fell in love with the idea and stored it in the back of our brains till the time came that our daughter would start earning some money. When I told him I was going to start making the chore chart, we started discussing items that would go into our chore store and how we would reward her for the chores that she completed.

The terms of her monetary reward are pretty simple. For every task she completes, she earns ten cents. She has nine tasks each day and if she has a dot on each item at the end of the day she gets a ten cent “bonus”. Therefore, she has the potential for $1 a day. At the end of the week we are going to take out her “store” and let her spend whatever money she has whichever way she wants.

The basket of items are pretty much all things that we have found at the dollar store, dollar section of target, “gift certificates” I have made for her for things that she loves, and some treats that she really enjoys. All the items are priced from $.50 to $15 with the higher items being things that we know she will REALLY want, such as a Starbucks “coffee”. The purpose here is to show her that sometimes you need to save for items that you really want and work hard for it.Items

On top of this we want her to really earn money to put in her savings account. Therefore, I thought that since all of the items in the basket are priced above what they actually cost, I would use the extra money that she gives us for “buying” her items and put that in a special piggy bank that will eventually go into her account.

Hope you enjoy this idea and have a happy day!

Toddler Chore Chart


As my little lady gets to be a big girl, she has started to really want to help mommy a lot. Therefore, I decided that I would put together her first chore chart so that she can feel like she is really being a big helper and she can also earn a few rewards along the way.

The actual “work” that I decided would go on this chart is very toddler friendly stuff that she can, and has, done without a lot of supervision. These items include:

  • Get dressed
  • Brush teeth
  • Make bed
  • Helping with the dishes (age appropriately as in handing mommy forks and spoons and putting away her plates and such)
  • Put away toys
  • Feed the dogs

Along with these items, I also wanted to include some behavioral things that we need to practice on and have a little motivation sometimes to do so. These items include:

  • Staying in her bed throughout the night
  • Be kind & listen (my husband and I decide at the end of the day if she has followed this one)
  • No potty accidents

Making this chart was very simple and did not take much time to complete. I used foam board from the dollar store as my backing and washi tape and a sharpie for my lines.

Foam Board  Sharpie and Washi

After that I printed out the chores and the days of the week on plain paper and used double stick tape to attach them to the board. Next I wanted to do the heading using letters cut from my cricut and made them into stickers using my Xyron sticker maker.

IMG_0674  Heading

The most difficult thing for me to decide on this project was what to use to keep track of her progress throughout the week. I didn’t want to use a checkmark system as I don’t want to make a new one every week. Stickers or things that could be taped to the board were also not a good option as the foam board tears a little when you peel things off of it. Then I came up with the idea of using Velcro to attach small shapes that we can put on and take off easily. I used my Cricut again to cut out some fun shapes that she would like and used some laminating sheets to make sure they stay durable over time.

As she gets older the chores will be changed out to grow with her. I’m hoping it is something that she finds is fun and rewarding along with helping to remind us what an awesome girl we always have.

Thanks for reading and have a happy day!

Potty Training Success

Potty Training Cover

My little girl is potty trained! The excitement and pride that my husband and I have are beyond words. This moment is one that has been a very long time coming. In fact, this has been our third attempt at getting it done. Our first attempt came after I dreamily hoped that we could get her out of diapers before our son was born. Pinterest and the magic book about potty training an 18 month old helped those dreams. Alas, for us, it was not meant to be. She simply was not ready. The second time around is a different story. I fully believe that physically she was capable of doing it. However, she is a strong willed child (not sure where that come from….lol) and she decided that she wasn’t going to do it. End of story. However, as preschool is coming closer and closer we knew that this was something that needed to happen and so we brainstormed for quite some time about how to get there. Therefore, I am coming at you today on how we got our girl ready for the potty and what was learned along the way.

In all honesty the only thing that was really learned along the way was to absolutely use your gut and know that YOU know your child best and what is right for them. I’ll admit that with our first potty training attempt I really wanted it to work. I was not looking forward to having two children in diapers. In reality though, I knew she wasn’t quite there and we were attempting it way to close to having our son. Even if she would have taken to the potty, I’m pretty sure we would have had to deal with some regression issues that I don’t think will be a problem now. The second time around I thought we could get it done and if we would have pushed her we probably would have. However, again, it wasn’t a good time for her and I think we would have done more harm than good had we kept at it.

This time, however, was different. We prepped her for it well in advance instead of springing it on her suddenly. We had told her that only kids that use the potty can go to school with the other kids. We even told her that she needed to be able to use the potty before we could go see the castle at Disneyland. In fact, one thing that we did that I believe helped tremendously was when we bought the last set of diapers we told her that those were the last ones we were buying and after that it was time to start wearing her undies.

Before we started this time I also prepped myself a little bit more with things I knew would help her out. Again, this is where my advice of knowing who your child is and throwing everyone else’s advice out the window comes into play. A very happy coincidence that occurred before we started was when I went out to buy diapers and wipes for my son. It just so happened that the wipes container that came in the box that time was a Frozen theme. My daughter immediately wanted it. I also happened to get flushable wipes while I was out that time and I told her that the Frozen container was only used with the wipes that were for when she used the potty. I’m pretty sure that triggered something for her at that point. Also, I’ve heard to not “reward” or “bribe” them with things and normally I’m all about it. However, potty training is not easy on a kid. It is not something that comes naturally to most children and it is a learned process. Therefore, in my opinion, as it is being taught it should be rewarded. What works best for my daughter is snacks and money. Therefore, we implemented an M&M rewarded (two for pee and five for poop) along with a little monetary incentive (a couple cents for pee and a dollar for poop).IMG_0690

The morning we started this time she was completely fine with it. She knew her diapers had run out and was ok with what was next. After breakfast that morning she and I went into her room and said goodbye to her changing pad and diaper holder and carried them out. The first day she had quite a few accidents. The second day she went a couple times on the potty and saw what she could get by doing that. Ever since then she’s been pretty good to go. I also want to make note here that we have only been at this for two weeks and she already doesn’t ask for the rewards that we implemented at the beginning. She just knows that she goes on the potty now and is ok with that.

We do have a few accidents here and there and again each kid is different and you just need to know their trigger.   For my daughter it is in the morning if we don’t take her night time undies (a pull up) off right away and put her regular underwear on. The pull up feels too much like a diaper and she knows if she has it on it won’t be a big deal if she goes potty in them. Before we started, we decided to use one at night as we use a baby gate on her doorway and were worried that she might not be able to wake us up in time to go. However, as long as she doesn’t have a cup of water in her room at night (which we needed to put in with her again this week as she has been sick) she always wakes up dry. Therefore, after the package that we bought is gone we won’t be buying another one.

Hope this advice helps some of you and as always have a happy day!

Sensory Board


Here is another project that I completed for Christmas    Again, this was something that I had wanted to do for quite a while that I never got around to. I love that this blog is keeping me busy doing things that I always wanted to!

When I first set my sights on doing this I had a huge list of things that I wanted to put on the board, but then I thought that it would get far too expensive and it would also defeat the purpose and become too much of a sensory overload. Therefore, I thought quite a bit about what I really wanted to achieve with the board and decided on a few mechanical items and a few textural items. For the mechanical items he could play with, I decided to go with a chain lock, a Velcro patch, a light switch, a wheel, and a tiny “door” to open. For the textural items I attached a carpet sample, a wooden letter, and a couple embroidery hoops with minky and silk fabrics in them. Another item we put on was a small mirror so he can smile and make faces at himself. We searched for a while to find the right board to use for this project and finally came up with a wooden shelf that my husband had made a few years ago and never got put up. It ended up being the perfect size for the items we chose! We decided not to mount it on anything so if could be portable and we didn’t want the hazard of it tipping over if it were attached to an easel type setup.

My son loves playing with his board and his sister likes sitting next to him and helping him discover all the activities on it. The best part of this project was that the majority of the items were things we already had in the house, so it was definitely budget friendly!

Have a happy day!