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Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!!

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So it is a little after 9 p.m. on New Year's Eve and I'm the only one up in my house. It is amazing how my perspective on New Year's Eve changed having a child and especially having a New Year's Eve baby. Pre-Hazel we would host a New Year's Eve party for a few friends (a tradition I started long before I met Steve). It stopped when I had Hazel since that first New Year's Eve I was in the hospital. 
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Now with our schedules and such, we often don't even stay up until midnight. In the past four years I think the only time I stayed up until midnight is when her birthday party was on New Year's Day so my mother and I stayed up preparing for the party and watched the ball drop at midnight. Last year her party was on New Year's Eve so I did not stay up until midnight and since we had a bad night last night (someone woke up from a scary dream around 11 and was up for at least an hour), I will be going to bed soon. I should add with Hazel up by 6 if not earlier most days and Steve up at 4:30 for work most mornings our schedules are just much earlier than they once were.


Have A Wonderful New Year
DesiComments |

What are you doing to ring in 2013? I hope you will share your family's adventures tomorrow at Happy Family Times!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Princess Party Food & Free Printable Signs

My Superhero Princess
So yesterday I shared some pictures from Hazel's Princess Birthday Party. Today Hazel enjoyed several of her gifts. She ran around in her new tutu, cape and waving her wand plus a crown from the party and a bag with her bell in it yelling "Here comes Superhero Princess." She rang the bell to let people know she was coming. So much fun!! (She also dressed herself today and her outfit showed it. Nothing matched, oh, well!)

 Today I am going to share our Royal Menu with you. (Well besides the cakes since I shared them yesterday--well I'll share some pictures and then you can check out how to make them and recipes, etc. in yesterday's post.)
We also bought some cold cut platters and roll platters to make the party a bit easier for me. Of course we have lots left over so we will be eating sandwiches for quite awhile. As for the rest of our food and beverages we did a princess theme. And I made signs to go along with them and shared information about the princess and/or princess story. All the information came from wikipedia unless otherwise stated on the cards. And yes, I saved the signs as pdf's so I could share them with you. I made them on Print Shop as quarter fold cards, so  the real-life princesses' information was continued on the inside of the card.
Front of Beverage Cards
For beverages, we had Princess Belle's Tea (sorry I seemed to miss taking a picture of it), Princess Aurora's Coffee, Snow White's Apple Cider, Princess Ariel's Spring Water and some Pink Princess Punch (sparkling and non-sparkling). (Note: Click on each link to get that sign for yourself.) Sorry I didn't save the Pink Princess Punch sign since I did it quickly the day of the party.
Back of Beverage Cards
For appetizers/snacks we had some vegetables and Princess Kalina of Bulgaria's roasted garlic dip (Princess Kalina is a vegetarian) and Princess Jasmine's and Queen Raina's hummus.
Then we had Princess Letizia's Chips and Salsa and crackers with three types of cheese (and yes, I picked the cheese by where there are princesses). We had Princess Mafalda of Savoy's Toscano Cheese, Princess Diana's Cheddar Cheese (I used Diana since Kate is not officially a princess),  and Princess Maxima of the Netherlands Gouda Cheese.

Then to go with the sandwiches we had Princess and the Pea's Vegetable Soup (vegetarian). I based the soup from a recipe from one of my mother's cookbooks by Jane Brody. I'm pretty sure it is Jane Brody's Good Food Cook Book. My mother has had it forever and always uses it. The recipe was simple and I did it in my slow cooker. I just chopped some onions and celery. Added some Italian seasoning and vegetable broth. A can of diced tomatoes and then lots of frozen vegetables. I included frozen diced potatoes in case there were any vegetarians. I wanted it to be filling. Plus of course I made sure to include some peas. Then I poured more broth on and added some ground pepper a small amount of salt (since I use low sodium everything). Everyone who tried it loved it and raved about it.
I was going to make Rapunzel's Chicken and Broccoli Braid, but ran out of time. We will have to have it another time since I have the ingredients to make two of them. I was going to use this recipe at Taste of Home.

So that is our princess themed royal party menu. What do you think? We had fun and have plenty of delicious leftovers. Unfortunately, my father got a cold (either from me or my nephew at Christmas) and they will not be visiting for Hazel's actual birthday, so we are going to have to eat the leftovers ourselves. Hopefully he will get better soon.


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Hazel's Princess Birthday Party

Sharing Saturday is still open! Please come share your child-oriented crafts, activities, ideas and inspire us all!!

Today was Hazel's birthday party. I am happy to say it was a success. I shared our invitation and what we will be giving her on her actual birthday this past week. She announced to me about a week after last year's party that she wanted a princess theme. Now I knew a princess party would happen sooner or later, so I have been buying princess things when I seem them on clearance. I also went to a couple of stores and got boxes. I made this cut out castle that you saw when you walked in and decorated it with crepe paper/streamers and star shaped lights. Then we bought some princess balloons and the manager at Rite Aid (who was not able to come to the party) blew up our balloons and gave us the mylar ones (one for inside and one for the mailbox). Not that you can tell, but the latex balloons have the Disney princesses on them.

 I also made a photo arch and covered it in sparkly snowflake paper. (Sorry I blocked out faces of other children so you could see the decorations but not the kids.)
Hazel really wanted a pinata as well, so we found a princess one. I cut the bottom so we would not break it open or hang it since it was an indoor party. We also made a beeswax castle which I saw in some magazine but have not been able to find since. I bought this jasmine plant so we put it in the castle and used it as a centerpiece.

Oh, and Hazel had her hair done at the hairdresser this morning and of course wore her princess dress from Halloween. She also wore a rhinestone necklace of mine that I wore in some wedding.
We still have a large mixed age party, so we had several crafts. There were crowns and tiaras to decorate. The tiaras were foam crowns I found on clearance a couple of years ago hot glued onto headbands I bought at the Dollar Tree. There were wands to make. I cut paper stars out and gave them lollipop sticks (8 inch long) and ribbons and glue. There were shields to decorate. Steve cut up shirt boxes in the shield shape and then stapled a strip on the back for a handle. There were also beads and stretchy string to make bracelets and coloring books and markers and crayons. I have to say the older children, teenagers and some adults really had fun at the craft table. Hazel did a couple after the majority of the people had left.
Yellow cake

We had planned a couple of games, but they did not happen. It was a bit too hectic with the 30+ people. We were expecting close to possibly 60, but the kids all went straight for the family room and toys and played. Many did not break for food until the cake time. Speaking of cake, Hazel insisted on having a strawberry cake and a vanilla (well we did yellow) cake. So we made two cakes. Since a couple of her friends have nut allergies, we made the cakes from scratch. The yellow cake was made in a crown pan that I bought on clearance or at Christmas Tree Shoppe. We used this recipe from Allrecipes. It was very good and we do not have much left.
Strawberry Castle Cake
The strawberry cake was a castle. I saw the idea at Betty Crocker . I also added two princesses near the castle. I used this recipe from Confections of a Foodie Bride. I tried a recipe for strawberry frosting, but it never quite formed and was more of a glaze. I made the recipe twice, but did not have success and was out of powdered sugar so I went with the glaze. The neat thing about it was it was a pink cake and pink frosting and I did not use food coloring. The wafer cookies however fell apart over night so the doors and windows were a bit broken. Overall everyone liked the cakes though.
Oh, did I mention I pulled out my wedding tiara for the day. The hairdresser pinned it in for me this morning as well. Now I am glad it is over. I still need to pull together Hazel's gift and wrap it and wrap the one from my sister, but her actual birthday is still a few days away. She has already decided what next year's theme will be. I'll see if she sticks with it. It will be easy if she does. She is thinking snow fairy.

Now to get some sleep!! Have a good night!!



Friday, December 28, 2012

Sharing Saturday #52

First an apology, I have been missing in action due to the holidays as well as preparing for Hazel's birthday party (tomorrow). I did not get a chance to check out all the great ideas shared last week, but I will. If you haven't, please do so as well. As a result of my being busy, I will only have the most clicked today. I will share features when I have a chance to look at them all.


Most Clicked this week was  Happy Whimsical Hearts' Christmas Bells!


Thank you to everyone who shared last week!! I hope you will join us and share again!! If you are featured here or earlier this week, please feel free to grab a featured button to display proudly on your blog.
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From Your Hostess:
After the Storm: a book for young children dealing with loss due to a storm





Now for This Week's Party A Few Simple Guidelines:
1)  Please follow both hosts via GFC (or one of the other ways that work for you).  
Hosts are Crafty Moms Share and Mama Mia's Heart2Heart. A reminder: Mia is taking a blogging break. Hopefully she will be back soon to host again!!

2)  Link any kid-friendly, child-centered post. Please no etsy shops or giveaways, etc.  Remember to link to your actual post. 

3) Post the button on your sidebar or somewhere on your blog to help spread the word.
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4) We would love it if you would follow us on Facebook and Google+
Disclaimer: By sharing here, you are giving Crafty Moms Share and Mama Mia's Heart2Heart permission to use your photos for features and to pin your craft at Pinterest

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Hazel's birthday is coming up fast!

Now that Christmas is over I need to focus on Hazel's fourth birthday! One of the major problems of having a birthday so close to Christmas is the change in focus so quickly. We decided to try having her birthday on Saturday instead of New Year's Day. I don't know what I was thinking in giving myself less time to prepare. Oh, well. Hazel asked for a princess theme. Here is the invitation that I emailed to family and friends who live further away. The wording on our homemade ones were the same, but we used glittery paper and decorated it with stickers and stamps.
Now I need to do all the preparation of our royal castle. More posts on that soon!

I made most of her gift. She has been so into her baby dolls lately so I decided to make her a changing station play set. I saw this idea somewhere (my guess is Little Wonders' Days), but I cannot seem to find it and for some reason did not pin it.
I made her some flannel wipes and used an old wipe case. I used fleece and PUL for the pad and made her three cloth diapers (more to come) from PUL and flannel. I made two different sizes for her dolls. Many are smaller than most of the clothes you can buy so I also made a few outfits for her dolls and on for Ducky.


I think she will love them! What do you think?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

After the Storm--Book Review

On Sunday I heard about this great children's book in church. The author is also a member of the United Church of Christ at a different church than mine. She is a board certified clinical nurse specialist in child psychology and mental health nursing. When she joined a group from her church to go on a mission trip to New Orleans, she was asked to do a puppet show for the children who were trying to deal with the loss after Katrina. This story is what she came up with for the puppet show. She performed it for five elementary schools there. Someone suggested she write the story as a book so she could help even more children. She decided to do so and the first issue she ran into was finding an illustrator. She happened to read a UCC newsletter where my church was mentioned involving a couple of artist members doing a project. She contacted my church and was put in touch with Alexandra Parker who is a nursing student at Drexel University. Our church was celebrating their accomplishment.

Now Wendy Parker, self-published this book. It is available at Amazon. Her goal is to reach as many people who need it that can use it. So if you have connections with schools, churches, etc. in any area that has been hit by a severe storm, please pass them this information.

This story is about a group of animals who find one another after they all lose their homes and friends in a storm. They decide it is better to work together than to be mad, sad, etc. by themselves. Together they help one another and become a family of sorts. It is an adorable story and is perfect for anyone who may have lost a house, friend, etc. It is intended for ages four to six years-old.

Please help me spread the word about this amazing resource for young children going through a crisis. Pass on the name, the link, etc. to anyone who may be in need of it. Thank you!!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!!

I will be taking some time to spend with my family, but wanted to wish you a very Merry Christmas! Here are our Christmas cards this year:
The top one was done at Sears when we went for Hazel's photo shoot. The package we chose came with 10 cards. We used them to send to our non-Christian friends. The bottom one we used the finger print light idea that I saw on Pinterest and of course cannot find the pin to give proper credit, so if it was your idea, please let me know so I can give you credit!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Prep

So I just finished wrapping all of the gifts. Mostly it was just the gifts from Santa. Sorry I have not been too active on posting, but we are trying to get ready for Christmas and more importantly getting the house ready for Hazel's birthday party. Our cleaning people come tomorrow so everything needs to be picked up for them. Here are some of the things I have been up to though. 

We have made our gingerbread house. I bought a kit at AC Moore this week. Hazel has been asking to do it. Here are a few more views of it.

Today Hazel and I baked cookies. We have to have some to leave for Santa plus we will bring some to both grandparents' houses. We made thumbprints using our blueberry jam and some peanut butter cup cookies using mini peanut butter cups from Trader Joe's and mini Hershey kisses.

While we were baking my dear husband took my car to Sears to be repaired. Apparently my tire had a slow leak and being Sunday the only place to get it fixed is at Sears at the mall. Ugh!! What a time for that to happen.

I also made Hazel some new Christmas pajamas. I bought this flannel at Joann's and if they still have some on clearance I will buy it all. It is the softest and warmest flannel I have seen in a long time. I used McCall's pattern number 5965. It is the easiest pair of pajamas ever. The only thing I didn't like is the neck band needs to be a stretchy knit, but it sews up so quickly.

I also discovered HP Create via Pinterest. And have been making some of their holiday projects. I am using this star box to "wrap" a gift card for Steve's stocking. Then I made a bird ornament and a holiday frame.

They have some neat projects to check out! Enjoy!!

FYI: Happy Family Times will not be happening this week due to the holidays. Kelly and I decided we all should be enjoying some time with our family and not posting it. Enjoy!!



Friday, December 21, 2012

Sharing Saturday #51

Wow, it is hard to believe there is only one more Sharing Saturday left after this for 2012!! Last week's was very inspiring!! If you have not had a chance to check out all the great ideas shared, please do so and leave some comment love! This week there was a five-way tie for the most clicked so I am just featuring some of my favorites.

1) From Like Mama ~Like Daughter: Enchanted Childhood Playschool Week-- Lots of great Christmas books and activities to go with them!
2) From The Good Long Road:  Things That Go! Christmas Edition-- A great round-up of Christmas things that involve movement!
3) From Hey Mommy, Chocolate Milk: Snowflake Authority--Bentley -- A book to check out and some great snowflake crafts!
4) From Family Home and Life: Christmas Garland -- A wonderful tutorial on cutting garland of different shapes!
5) From Keitha's Chaos: Sneaky Elf on the Shelf Learning Activities --Keitha's Elf almost makes me want to get my own. What great ideas and her elf is so cute!!
6) From Blog Me Mom: Santa Role Play -- A wonderful way to help kids giveaway their old toys and learn charity!
7) From Learning & Growing the Piwi Way: Christmas Science -- Using some Christmas traditions to teach a little science.
8) From De Gulle Aarde: Hummels -- So adorable!!
9) From Earning My Cape: Traveling with Kids--Milestone Packs -- Great idea for those long car rides (which many of us may be making this week). 

Thank you to everyone who shared last week!! I hope you will join us and share again!! If you are featured here or earlier this week, please feel free to grab a featured button to display proudly on your blog.
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Button Code:




From Your Hostess:
Simple Christmas Decorations and Ornaments Part 1 and Part 2

Best wishes for a very Merry Christmas to all who are celebrating!!



Now for This Week's Party A Few Simple Guidelines:
1)  Please follow both hosts via GFC (or one of the other ways that work for you).  
Hosts are Crafty Moms Share and Mama Mia's Heart2Heart. A reminder: Mia is taking a blogging break. Hopefully she will be back soon to host again!!

2)  Link any kid-friendly, child-centered post. Please no etsy shops or giveaways, etc.  Remember to link to your actual post. 

3) Post the button on your sidebar or somewhere on your blog to help spread the word.
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4) We would love it if you would follow us on Facebook and Google+
Disclaimer: By sharing here, you are giving Crafty Moms Share and Mama Mia's Heart2Heart permission to use your photos for features and to pin your craft at Pinterest

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Coffee Cup Christmas Tree & More

Do you remember the coffee cup angel I shared last week? This wee we made a coffee cup Christmas tree. Well, I made mine out of a Starbucks Venti cup and Hazel used a styrafoam cone that I had. Our first step was to cover it with green construction paper. I did this so if we missed any spots it would not be obvious. Then I made the top into a point for both of us since neither the cup nor the "cone" went to a point.
Then we glued on some green squares of tissue paper and we also used red, yellow and white ones as decorations. Hazel and I had different ideas of this. Here is how hers came out without any help from me on the decorating.
However when she saw my yellow star, she asked me to make her one as well. So I did. 
We also painted the wooden ornaments today and she painted the other side of the stars.
My favorite one that she painted is this star. Maybe I can get her to give it to me for Christmas.


I also made some more felt ornaments. Very simple ones really. I cut felt circles out (tracing the top of a container) and then decorated with more felt cut as holly leaves, poinsettia petals, and the nativity. For the dots I used a hole punch on my felt.
Well that is some of what we have been up to today. What have you been doing?