Saturday, May 17, 2014

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Party



thought I'd take a minute to finally post a few pictures from my son's TMNT party that we had WAY back in October (yes, that's how sporadically I blog). I thought I could give some of you planners out there a few ideas for your upcoming party. Enjoy! 

A few of the decorations: 




Some of the games and activities:

                (Knock out Shredder)

      
                    (Dig for prizes)

                  (Pizza frisbee toss)

            (Make your own nunchucks)

Cupcakes:


Water:


Goody Bags:











Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Washing Easter Eggs

I don't know about your Easter eggs, but after being hidden outside and then manhandled by my kid's candy-laden hands, our plastic Easter eggs get NASTY! I save the eggs year after year and some get filled with jokes, some get filled with money, but some get filled with candy...and I don't want that unwrapped candy touching those nasty eggs, especially perhaps the ones that have perhaps been filled with the world's filthiest item...MONEY! 

Having the work smarter not harder philosophy, I figured out the easiest way to wash our Easter eggs...in the washing machine! My sister asked me why not the dishwasher, but I figured the washing mashine would be best for two reasons. One, I thought the eggs might fall through the racks and melt on the washer coils. Two, if you put them in a mesh bag to prevent this, they nest together. The spinning of a washing machine will be sure to slosh them around and ensure all the eggs get washed. 


I purchased a mesh laundry bag at the dollar store (my favorite place on earth), put all of the opened eggs inside, and knotted the end so it wouldn't come open. I set the water on warm (I figured hot might ruin some of the paint on the eggs) and set it on the gentle cycle).

 All the eggs came out perfectly clean with all the candy goo and dirt washed off! 


I then laid out a large towel and spread out the eggs so they could dry....you want to make sure you don't store anything even the slightest bit wet at all! It will destroy everything in your storage bin with mildew! I've learned that the hard way unfortunately! 

VoilĂ ! Perfectly clean eggs that are all set for filling next year...the EASY way! 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Math game - Decomposing Numbers

Here's a game I've created that you can easily make at home with just index cards and 2 dice. My son and I play all the time and he LOVES it, but what he doesn't realize is that it's also a game that is great for practicing number decomposition. 



Set out cards labeled 1-9. Roll 2 dice. Add the numbers of the dice together. Whatever the total of the die are, you must flip over cards in the same total in whatever variation works. For example, in this picture, I rolled 12 so I flipped over the 8 and 4. The goal of the game is to flip over as many cards as possible. Your turn ends when you roll a total in which you can not flip over any combination of cards that will amount to your rolled total. The numbers on your cards are then added up as points and then the next player begins their turn. The player with the least number of points wins. 


My son and I will honestly play this over and over and play "winner of 5 rounds" or "first to 100 loses". It's a fantastic way to reinforce both addition as well as number decomposition in a fun and positive atmosphere. 


Give it a try and let me know how it goes! 






Saturday, January 18, 2014

I'm A Plumber Too!



Anyone who knows me knows that I'm all about efficiency. I absolutely LIVE by the motto "work smarter not harder". In doing so, I've created numerous ways to easily problem solve. One of my most favorite solutions I've come up with over the years is how to easily unclog a slow or clogged bathtub drain. My bathtub drain ALWAYS gets completely clogged due to having long, thin hair. I absolutely REFUSE to a) call a plumber or b) use Liquid Plumber (or any other variation of such). It barely works, but more importantly, it is 100% lethal if swallowed. Having 2 little ones in the house, I'm completely unwilling to take that risk. So, in my many attempts to unclog drains, I've figured out that a simple hemostat will completely unclog a drain that is filled with hair. If you don't know what a hemostat is, it's a metal pair of scissor looking things that are used by medical professionals to put in sutures. They have dull ends (unlike scissors) that have ridges for gripping and also have a locking handle so they don't open up and can maintain their grip while pulling. So, if you or someone you know works in a medical office, make sure to snag yourself a pair. Otherwise, you can purchase them on Amazon for a few dollars. 

Take your hemostat, stick it down the drain, close it, and then pull up. You will be ASTONISHED at how much hair you pull up. Set the clump of nasty hair to the side and repeat the process until you can feel all the hair is gone. Use a paper towel to clean up all the hair that you pulled out and throw it away. Simple as that! Try not to get too depressed at how much hair you have lost in the shower, LOL! Anytime I see that my drain is draining water slowly, usually ever couple of months or so, I do this and it completely works like new again.

Try it out and leave a comment if it fixed your problematic drain! Good luck! 




Thursday, December 5, 2013

Elf on the Shelf Mischief


We all love our elf on the shelf and there's nothing more fun and rewarding for our late night's of elf mischief than the smile and excitement on the faces of our children in the morning. 

I'll be posting some of our silly elf shenanigans periodically to perhaps give you some new ideas. 

Here's one that my kids loved!

Here's another idea, have them enjoy some breakfast with their favorite scout elf! 

Kids always love a scavenger hunt too! Create clues for them to search for throughout the house with the final clue leading to a small gift from your elf! 

***Be sure to check back soon for a template of scavenger hunt cards for you to write your clues on!***


This next use may be my favorite in my 3 years of elfing...I found an elf hat, vest, and boots at Target in their $3 bins and it just came right to me. Sneak your elf costume into your room and quickly don your new apparel just before your kids wake up. Pretend to be sleeping when they come in to discover your new elf attire. When they "wake" you, you'll be completely mistified as to how you got such a silly costume on! I added a note to our elf's hand saying she had played a joke on Mommy just to add to the fun. My boys were in disbelief and could not stop laughing hysterically! What a great start to a morning! 

Here's another idea I LOVE that my friend Kendall shared, giving credit to her wonderful nanny for dreaming it up. Absolutely perfect for the evening of  December 20th!


As always, keep checking back for more fun ideas and happy elfing!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Containing those stuffed monsters!

Stuffed animals taking over your house? Here's a simple (and inexpensive) solution...purchase a bean bag chair cover (cover only). They sell them all sorts of places, I think I've seen them at WalMart for $10. I got our dragon at Ikea for $10. Then, instead of using the bean bag chair insert, fill with your child's stuffed animals! It contains them into one place AND doubles as a comfy place for them to sit in their bedroom! Voila! Problem solved! 
I stuffed 27 stuffed animals in this dragon as it's only about half the size of a standard bean bag chair. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Helping a 6 Year Old's Self Esteem


I was tucking my beautiful 6 year old into bed tonight and he said something that caught me off guard. He had just gotten a hair cut and he told me he liked his hair cut, but he didn't like his face. This devastated me. Every single day, I make it a point to tell him how handsome he is, how well mannered he is, how intelligent he is, how kind he is, how generous he is, how loving he is, how kind he is, and how he is just a perfect person both inside and out. Somehow though, something seeped through his young, impressionable mind and impacted his self esteem. It made him doubt everything I have ever taught him to believe about himself. I am so troubled by this. How could this low self esteem start so young when he comes from such a loving family?

I reached out to my family and friends on Facebook for some self esteem boosting and they came out in droves. I posted a picture of him and comment after comment was made about what a handsome young man he has become...even a few remarks of a resemblance to Justin Bieber (he'll LOVE those!). This outpouring of support to help my little boy stand a little taller filled my heart with joy that just can't be put into words. I cannot wait for him to wake up in the morning and see all of the wonderful comments. This is what we need all the time, not just when called upon. We need this encouragement and love from the world to be shown upon all of our children every single day to ensure they are walking with their heads held high. There's just no excuse for a child to be feeling any other way. 

This was a huge wake up call to me this evening. I thought I was doing enough. I'm not though. I need to be doing more. I need to be doing whatever it takes to ensure my baby feels good about himself and can walk confidently through his school hallway when he faces others who may not be the kindest to him. He needs to KNOW he is an absolutely beautiful person on the inside AND outside and it does not matter what anyone else says, he is a courageous, intelligent, talented, strong little boy who had faced challenges in his life that no little boy should ever have to face and he has persevered and done so with humility and dignity and for that he is truly remarkable. I love him more than anything on the planet and my mission has always been to make sure he knows that. My new mission will be to make sure he loves himself as well.