Enchanted Mommy

Ella’s 3rd Princess Pancake and Pajama Party

I know I’ve mentioned a million times how much I love throwing birthday parties for my girls.  This one was no exception at all!  It was so much fun!!!  In the planning process, I wanted to have a party that wouldn’t take up everyone’s Saturday or a time that would conflict with naps.  So, I had it at 9 am.  This gave me the idea to have the kids come in their pajamas and serve pancakes.  From there, her theme quickly became a Princess Pancake and Pajama Party!  I will explain how the party went because I used to be a PE teacher and I know that organized chaos is fine, but still every minute needs to be accounted for.  So, here we go!

9-9:15: People arrived and all of them had a pillowcase with their name on it (I just used puffy paint) and they were able to color on it with fabric markers!  Here are a couple of pictures of them working on their pillowcases!  I also had a banana sitting with their pillowcase just in case they came ready to eat right off.

decorating pillowcases

My mom helping Ella with her pillowcase!

Jamie's sons, Tyson and Andy decorating their pillowcases!

9:15-9:35: Everyone ate!  For the kids, we had pancakes, watermelon, bacon and juice boxes.  For the adults, I set up a refreshment table of muffins, donuts, fruit platter, juice, coffee and water.

pancake party

Look at all those yummy pancakes!

Here is a pic of the refreshment table minus the coffee:

feed the adults at your party

Refreshment Table

From about 9:35-10:05 I gave them free time with stations.  We had quite a few stations such as:

My husband making balloons:

balloon artist

My husband making a flower.

He made Ella a tiger.

Bounce house:

bounce house at birthday party

Bounce house fun!

Swing set fun:

Fun on the slide!

costco swing set

Loving the swings!

Coloring masks {I bought these from Michael’s 6 for $2}.

coloring masks

Coloring masks at the party!

perfect 3rd birthday

Ella swinging with her mask on!

(and finally) Making cereal necklaces {just buy fruit loops and apple jacks and some string, wahlaaaa}:

cereal necklace

Making cereal necklaces!

Those things really kept them busy for the 30 minutes they had to play!

10:05: We did a pillowcase race.  It was a little muddy out, so I used the extra pillowcases I had and let them race in those so they wouldn’t get theirs dirty!  This was so incredibly cute.  Pillowcases are the perfect sac for 3-5 year olds!

pillowcase party race

Pillowcase race!

10:20: Picture in front of the princesses!

princess party

Party guests and me! I wanted Anna in the pic, so I had to be too!

Picture in front of princesses

Our family!

10:30-10:45: Pinata!  The kids were SO well behaved and all waited their turn.  I let Ella go first and then the rest lined up shortest to tallest (kind of went along with their ages).  They had so much fun!

pinata

Ella swinging at her pinata.

10:45: Cookie cake and cupcakes!  I bought a cookie cake from Sam’s Club, so cheap and SO delicious and I also made red velvet cupcakes.  I did both because we had about 35 people there and I wanted to make sure there was enough.

Princess Cookie Cake - Sam's Club $15

red velvet princess cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes

This lasted until 11 and then everyone went home!  It was an incredible party and I spent WAY less than if we went somewhere to have it done.  A special thanks goes out to all of my “helpers”.  It wouldn’t have gone as smoothly, yes note to you, get lots of help!  Be creative!

Couple of related posts!

Awesome 3rd Birthday cake
1st Birthday Party Ideas
Cupcake Cake Idea
Lion Birthday Party
Super Hero Birthday Party 

 

 

Painting Shutters Can Totally Change the Look of Your House

We bought a short sale.  Enough said right?!  I mean some people luck out and find a short sale that is in great condition.  We weren’t all that lucky.  We had an HOA violation sheet with about 25 no no’s on it.  One of the items was our shutters.  We have blue siding and we had to work with that (who wants to spend all the extra dough on siding).  The shutters before were a heinous burgundy color.

2012 House Listing -- I didn't take this.

I decided to change the color to black.  Here’s the after.

The after.... shutters look much better

Much better, huh?1?!  I love simplicity, that’s why I chose black.  I had no idea where to start, so I went to Home Depot and the guy there was really helpful with what kind of paint to use.

behr exterior paint

Behr Paint that we used!

It was an exterior semi-gloss enamel, paint and primer in one. {So what if husband threw this paint can away, and I went dumpster diving to get it}.  It cost about $40.  Not bad for an exterior transformation.  So, we got 18 shutters and a front door painted for $40.

All you do is take the shutters down (some people say to leave them up and spray paint them while they are up, I beg to differ).  Here’s husband taking them down, they aren’t that hard to remove.

handy husband.

Husband taking down the shutters. Who said IT people can't be handy?!

Paint away!!!!!

I actually painted over the pegs that hold the shutters in, but you can buy them for pretty cheap too.  Then you just paint, paint and paint.  We wiped ours down really well before painting over an dust layer.  I’m SO happy we did this.  It did take a good while, but it was totally worth it!!!  Oh yeah, I also got a few cans of spray paint  and painted the backs since we have the old school shutters.  I love it now!

My Mother’s Day Gifts – – Reviewed!

I’m not writing this post to put out there my gifts, in fact I personally hate it when people do that.   I’m reviewing my gifts for you because I think they are two things that are great for moms or women in general.

I go to the gym, so what if it’s partly to get a break from the girls/life.  I have been eyeing  heart rate monitors for some time.  I wanted one.  I was talking to husband about it for months.  I sent him pics of posters at the gym that had different models on it.  I thought they looked cool on people and the instructors actually interacted with the women that wore them.  I was talking to one girl at the gym and she said hers was $200 something.  Ha, I knew I wouldn’t get one that nice for sure.  So…. I told my husband that I didn’t care about the GPS, I just wanted a good reviewed watch that could tell me my heart rate along with the calories that I burned during the workout!  This is the one I got:

heart rate monitor

Polar RS100 Heart Rate Monitor

It sells for $81.73 on Amazon (way better than the $200 something price).  It has 4/5 stars with 125 reviews.  My husband is big on reviews and usually buys something less expensive with better reviews.  I’m completely happy with it.  I for sure thought I would feel the band around my chest, but I don’t at all when it is placed under the elastic of my sports bra.  I did notice that it calculated A LOT LESS calories than the machines actually calculate for me.  Boooooo.  It was surprisingly about half the amount.  Dagger.  At least now, I know the exact amount and can plug it into my daily calculations.

So, I’d say if you’re in the market for a heart rate monitor and don’t care much about the GPS (I could care less about that because I hate hate hate running) or MP3 player, this is a great one.  I really think it’s worth the money and it helps you motivate yourself during workouts.

On to gift Number 2.

Maybe I’m the only one that notices women at the sink at the gym.  I secretly watch them putting on make-up (possibly because I’m not that good at it) or what kind of round brush they use.  Yes, call me a weirdo.  A few months back I noticed this lady scrubbing her face this this brush-like thing.  It was almost like my electric toothbrush, but for her face.  Of course, I wanted one and then began to notice them all over commercials.  I was telling my husband about it, with no hints, just that I thought they were cool.  I was actually talking about it at a wedding I was in not too long ago and one of the girls was talking about the brand she had.  I definitely didn’t remember, but I think it was expensive.  So, from the girls he got me this one:

Oil of Olay ProX

It is $21.97 on Amazon and I LOVE it!  My face feels so smooth every night.  I would definitely recommend this to everyone.  This one had 4/5 stars with 620 reviews.  There were several people saying that they had a more expensive one before and this one did just as great of a job.  It comes with a little tube of wash to get you started.  If you have the $22, seriously order it right now.  You won’t be disappointed.

I guess my gifts weren’t the sappy or some piece of jewelry (that I would probably NEVER wear), but they are something that I use almost every single day.

Thanks Brian for making me a Mama.  Love you!

Random and Funny Mommy Products!

So I am sitting here waiting for a couple students to show up for their tutoring session… wasting time on the internet as usual!  I came across some really funny products you can actually buy!

1.  Mom Spit in a bottle!  This is a no wipe cleaning spray to take with you on the go to clean off those leftover chocolate smears (and anything else) on  your little ones face or hands!  The best part is that it comes in Fig and Green Tea scents… a much better smell than your actual spit clean!  Who wouldn’t want that!  Haha!  This would make a fun baby shower gift for a good friend!  Buy it here.

2.  So I heard once that some people actually save all their kids baby teeth!  Not kidding!  I though for sure I was being teased when someone first tried to convince me of this… but no, it is actually true!  Tonight I came across these baby tooth cases to prove it!  Enough slots to keep each tooth!  Hahahahaha… sorry for laughing for all those people who actually do save baby teeth.  Eeeewwww!  Haha!  Check them out here.

3.  Wiener dog lamps!  So funny!  If you have one of these dogs, you have got to get this lamp!  You can find them in a bunch of different colors and it would make the perfect soft glow night light for your child!  Find them here.

This one might actually only be funny to me… or anyone else who has or loves Dachshunds (also knows as wiener dogs!).  I actually have a miniature Dachsund that I bought as a puppy without realizing I was buying a wiener dog!  You can imagine how bad my husband made fun of me when he realized I didn’t know!

She was just so tiny and so cute staring at me with those big eyes of hers and I just couldn’t leave her.  I actually only went in to the store to buy turtle food for a pet turtle my  little brother gave to my boys and walked out with this adorable 3lb dog that could sit in my hand.  Oh she was really so cute and didn’t look like a wiener dog at all… they just aren’t that long when they are puppies.  Anyway, I love her to pieces despite the fact that my father-in-law calls her rat dog and warns me that the eagles might eat her.

Anyway, for those who don’t have a dachshund or know of anyone who does, you should know that there is a huge dachshund community.  They have Dachshund fairs where everyone brings their wiener dog and dresses it up for the costume contest and they have wiener dog races and games.  It is seriously so fun!  I have never seen such an obsession from other dog breeds, but Dachshund owners… they love their wiener dogs!

Seriously, try to find this lamp in any other dog breed!  Only wiener dog owners are obsessed enough with their dog to buy this!  I love it!!!! Seriously, my boys would love this too and it if wasn’t $79 I would totally buy it for them!!!  I’ll just admit now… I loved the wiener dog fair!!!!

My adorable little wiener dog snuggling up with my baby! How could you not love her! She's no rat!!!!

 

Florida Here We Come!!!

It is official!  We are moving to Florida!  Everyone keeps asking me why… well why not!  Why not go live by the beach for a bit and give it a try.  We are not tied down here and have jobs that let us work anywhere… so why not!

Just as we made it official we received this little present in the mail from my sister…

Funny right!!!!?!?!  Who knew you could mail a coconut!  Just so you know the background story of why my sister sent us this coconut, you should know that my hubby lived in the Philippines for two years before we were married…  that adorable man wrote me a letter every single week for two years! He never missed!  We were engaged 3 weeks after he came home and married 3 months after that.

While living in the Philippines he drank from these young coconuts all the time.  He has been craving them since we got married, almost 10 years ago now.  Whenever we go to Florida he is always eyeing them, but is too big to climb up a tree to get them!

He tries throwing rocks at them, using a sticks to poke at them, pretty much whatever he can think of.  Now that we have a six year old who is half monkey – half boy he has encouraged him to climb up the palm trees to pick the young coconuts for him.  Don’t believe me… see pics below!

Can you believe this monkey! This was in Florida in March for our spring break visit.

 

Here he is.. making his Daddy proud!

So yes, now we are moving to Florida in one month where we can have all the young coconuts we want!

Drink it up!

Luckily he shares with the boys!

 

Thanks for the fresh coconut Bakers!

Although, here is my motivation for moving!  Starting off my day with a morning run on the beach is absolute bliss!!!!!  Florida here we come!!!!!!

Fabulous way to start your day!

Awesome 3rd Birthday Cake!

I recently went to a birthday party and my friend made this cake for her son!

3 birthday cake

All handmade by my crafty friend!

Talk about AH-MAZ-ING.  So creative.  I was asking her about it and she said it would seem that the M&Ms would have taken a long time, but they only took her about an hour!

This is what she said she did:

  • Take two bunt pans and bake your desired flavor of cake – you could even make two different kinds.
  • Cut the two cakes so they become the 3 shape (obviously, you can test this by cutting a little at the time).
  • Flatten out the two parts where they attach (she said to put a little frosting where they attach so they stick better).
  • Ice the whole cake with chocolate icing
  • Pattern the M&M’s like the picture above.
And you did it…. righhhhhhht.  I do think this cake is simple if you pay close attention to detail by taking your time.  Here’s the sweet birthday boy blowing out his candles:

Blowing out his “3” cake!

She also had something else cute at the party that I would share.  Each child had pizza to eat and one of these snack bags:
kids snack bag for party

Awesome idea for a snack bag!

Such a fun and creative party!  I might have to steal some of these ideas!  Happy party planning!

 

For other party ideas:
Ella’s 3rd Pancake and Pajama Birthday Party
1st Birthday Party Ideas
Cupcake Cake Idea
Lion Birthday Party
Super Hero Birthday Party 

Other bundt pan ideas:
 Too Much Chocolate Cake
Popcorn Cake 
Cream Cheese Monkey Bread

 

A Fun Way To Organize All Of Your Girlie Hair Clips!

hair clip organizer

Isn't this so cute for hair clips?!?!

I didn’t think of this myself.  A couple of years ago, we went to a homearama in Norfolk near my in-laws house and I saw this in a little girl’s bathroom.  If you’ve never been/heard of a homearama, you need to check out ASAP if there is one in your area anytime soon.  Basically, it’s a set up of 20 or so model homes that are for sale, but they are decorated amazing and can give you tons of fun ideas!!

I went to the Navy Exchange and found this memo board (~$15) and wahlaa.  These aren’t bows that I made in case you’re wondering, I got most of these from Target, Wal-Mart or Clarie’s.  It is a great way to organize all of the hair clips and everyone that sees it loves the idea.  It’s perfect in their bathroom.

For a couple of bow tutorials, check out my daisy hair bow and my korker bow!

Book Review Time: Matched by Ally Condie

I am an avid reader!  I love love love to read.  In fact, I don’t consider any vacation a very good one unless I have been able to devour 4 to 5 books within the week.  So, basically you could say that I read a lot!  I always have a book I am reading and always have a list of books on my “to read” list, and I AM ALWAYS LOOKING FOR GOOD BOOKS TO READ.

I figured if I come across a book I have really enjoyed I should share it with you and I hope you do the same!

I have had my eye on this book since I first saw it as a #1 New York Times Best Seller.  During a typical raid of my friend’s book shelf, I discovered that she had it!  I took it home and had it  and its sequel read within 4 days.  I loved it!  The third book is due out this November, but is already available for pre-order.

Matched, by Ally Condie is centered around a 17 year old girl living in a the future run by the “Society.”  The Society is basically the government that has complete control of every life decision, from what is eaten each day, your career, your spouse, where you live, even how you spend your free time.

The book starts out with Cassia, our 17 year old heroine, getting ready to find out who the Society has picked to be her Match for the rest of her life.  As Cassia goes about trying to be the perfect citizen, she finds out that her heart may disagree with some of the Societies choices for her and has to make a decision about what she should do about it.

This book has a very Handmaid’s Tale feel to it (another one of my very favorite books).  Basically a government taking to much power and the people learning to live with it or fight against it.

It is incredibly interesting and will have you reaching for the sequal.  I am only to sad to have to wait until November for the 3rd book.

Magna-Tiles Review: Best Toy Ever

Alright, listen up…  Everyone with kids should own Magna-Tiles!  They are great!

I like to rotate my toys every few months so that when my kids start getting bored with some I rotate in another batch they haven’t seen in a while and they get all excited to be reunited.  Magna-tiles are the only ones I don’t rotate out… and that is because they are the only toys the kids play with every single day.  They never miss a day playing with them.  They never get bored with them and they are finding new ways to play with them as they get older.

Magna-tiles are basically flat magnetized building blocks.  They come in a 100 piece set or a 32 piece set.  You can get them in solid colors or a colored translucent set.  There are five different geometrically sized shapes in the set and it is suggested for ages 3 and up.

I first got magna-tiles for my little guy’s 4th birthday almost 3 years ago.  He loved them and built the most interesting things!  His 18 month old brother also loved them.  Neighbors, friends, cousins, boys or girls come over and they always want to play with them.  Even my 10 year old nephew will play with them when he comes over.

I babysit 2 little boys full time and have 3 boys of my own.  The magna-tiles are incredibly durable! The boys often throw them around and once even went through a phase where they built towers and then jumped off the couch to land on them!  They have withstood and are still in great shape 3 years later.

Here are few of the creative things my kids have done with the Magna-tiles:

Built by a four year old!

They called this “TheTemple”

So proud of his castle!

My six year old built this before school

The boys like to make castles, towers, temples,  you name it! They like to build them up and wreck them.  They love to build super hero forts and keep their action figures in them.  My two year old builds garages to store his favorite cars.

My 18month old building

A five and six year old playing

Here is my list of pros:
Creativity, Creativity, Creativity!!!
Loved by all ages
Durable
Gives familiarity with shapes
Increases fine motor skills
Develops cognitive thinking by teaching spacial relationships, math, logic, and problem solving

And now for the Cons:
A bit expensive ($120ish for a pack of 100 or $50ish for a set of 32)
Wrecked magnet towers are often scattered across the floor!

I started by buying the 32 piece set of magna-tiles and as soon as they arrived I realized they just wouldn’t do and ordered the 100 piece set months later.  Save yourself the time and just start with the 100 piece set.  It is pricey, but I am telling you, you wont be sorry.  The cheapest place I have found to buy them is here (plus they have free shipping).  They will be back in stock this spring so keep a look out.

Had to add this one in here… This little guy is 2 1/2 years old and made this all by himself!