5/25/15

Truck Birthday Party for Boys

My little nephew Wyatt came to visit from California. Luckily his visit coincided with his 3rd birthday, so we got to help him celebrate. Wyatt's favorite thing right now is 'trash trucks'. How cute is that?!


I loved getting to help with his party. My sister Amanda (Wyatt's momma!) chose a local park for the party. It was the perfect place for a group of busy little people. We have had a lot of rain around here lately. But on the day of the party-the sun came out just for Wyatt!


Tonka truck plates, napkins, and table cloths.



Goodie bags filled with Tonka truck cups, toy trucks, bouncy balls, ring pops, truck stickers, punching balloons, bubbles, truck party blowers, and truck tattoos.



The little guests loved playing on the park together. 


We set out chalk and mini cars. The kiddos knew just what to do. Roads, houses, and a little town popped up along the sidewalk.  


Next, we cleared the way for this big Tonka Dump Truck Pinata. (Pinatas and toddlers--- watch out!)




Wyatt's birthday cake was made by Market Street. Amanda requested a cake that looked like a construction site. Then she added some new toy cars to the top. Those Oreo 'rocks' were so yummy!



Happy Birthday little guy. Thank you for letting us join in on all the fun that comes with being 3 years old!




Sources for the Truck Birthday Party 
-Paper Goods: Party City
-Cake: Market Street
-Goodie Bag Items: Party City
-Toy Cars: Party City
-Truck Pinata & Candy: Party City

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5/19/15

End of Season or School "Party Favors"

It's the end of everything right now. Soccer, dance, school etc. It's all wrapping up for summer. We have made so many sweet friends in these activities, I thought it would be fun to give out a little party favor as we say 'goodbye' for the summer.



 For soccer, I made these tags and attached them to ziploc bags. The girls were delighted with their "Your soccer skills blew me away this season!" bubbles.



I used a similar template for our school friends. "I hope you have a ball this summer!.



 I got the goodies for the favor bags from Party City. They have lots of fun items that are perfect for summer celebrations.


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Feel free to download and print these tags for your own use. Click to download, print and then cut.
Fold each tag in half, like a tent and staple to the top of your baggie.

-Click to Download: I hope you have a ball this summer.
-Click to Download: I hope your summer bubbles with fun. 
-Click to Download: Your soccer skills blew me away this season. 

Who is ready for summer?!

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5/15/15

DIY Crawfish Cakes

We lived in South Louisiana for a little over 4 years. And in all that time, I never developed a taste for crawfish or even seafood. Things that swim under the water just don't appeal to my tummy. My husband has tried everything to convince me otherwise. He has raved about the taste, the health benefits etc. But nothing will change my my mind about eating seafood.


Now that we live in Texas, my husband still manages to get his 'seafood fix'. My friend Kim hosts an a Crawfish Boil each spring. And I am happy to attend, knowing that there will be plenty of 'non-fishy' sides for me to enjoy. All the guests bring a dish to share and there is always a big spread of dips, appetizers, chips, and other munchies. So I decided to make a dessert. I have had this "Crawfish Cakes" photo made by Living Locurto pinned on my Pinterest board for over year. And this party was the perfect excuse to finally make them!!!

Found Here
You can see a video tutorial of how Living Locurto makes her cakes using store-bought lady fingers. I searched for lady fingers and little pre-made cakes at Target, but couldn't find anything. So I had to modify her tutorial a bit. Below is how I made my own version of "Crawfish Cakes".


Crawfish Cakes 
-Red Velvet Cake Mix (use 3 eggs so your cake will be dense and easy to cut.)
-Icing (I added red food coloring to my icing, or you can buy it already colored.)
-Twizzlers
-Wilton Candy Eyes
-Icing bag with tip
-Sprinkles or large granulated sugar


1. Using a box mix, I baked a big red velvet sheet cake. Then after letting it cool (it has to cool completely!) I flipped the cake onto a cutting board.

2. Using a serrated bread knife, I sliced the cake into small rectangles, approximately 2 inches wide and 3.5 inches long. Then I rounded the corners of each little rectangle.

3. With kitchen scissors, cut each twizzler in half and snip the ends to make a 'claw'.

4.  Cut open each little cake like a sandwich. I piped icing on the inside of each cake, laid two twizzler claws on top of the icing, added more icing on top of the twizzlers and then closed the cake sandwich.

5. Finally I piped icing on the top, added large granulated sugar and two eyes.

I did have extra cake left, so I cut those into cubes and added a little icing and sugar. These made cute bite sized cakes.


The party was a blast and the Crawfish Cakes were a hit. I can say for sure these Crawfish Cakes are the ONLY kind of crawfish I will ever eat!


  
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5/10/15

Celebrate Every Mom

Happy Mother's Day! I spent the week (yes, I said 'week'!) celebrating the moms in my life. I did a 'girls night out' with my mom friends. Where we decided to declare that from now, it should be "Mother's Week" not just "Mother's Day". After all that's how we celebrate birthdays around here. Why not Mothers? Plus  there are so many amazing mothers in my life. I need a whole week's time to celebrate them all!

Source
My mom friends are my village. We are in the trenches of mommyhood- day in and day out. They are the faces of PTA, cheer, church, soccer, and all the things that make our children's lives go round. They are behind-the-scenes making life good for all our kids. Cheers to you ladies! This job wouldn't be as much fun without you.


I owe a lot to my mother-in-law, she raised the most wonderful man I could have prayed for. She taught him how to be a good man, devoted husband, and loving father. She is a loving Mimi who plans adventures and special dates with my girls. She also makes the best chocolate chip waffles they have ever tasted.


My stepmom is a bonus in our life.  She is a delightful grandma who has patiently spent hours teaching my girls to quilt. She knows magical things like how to build fairy gardens. And she can always be counted on to have something special in her pantry.


My own mom is one in a million. God picked her just for me. My memories of her from when I was growing up are filled with hugs, patience, kindness--always kindness. She has a heart of gold. Now that I am a mom, our relationship has changed but stayed the same. She is the best listener and always seems to know how what to say. My girls adore their Grammy. She has special powers like growing a garden, making forts, and spontaneously playing softball at the park. Her house is full of treasures from the past that have turned into stories my girls will always remember. China dolls, vintage Raggedy Anne books, and Barbie dolls from the 60's. No one can replace my mom.


Today I am thankful for all the women in my life who care, nurture, and love children. Motherhood is the hardest job you will ever love.



In the past, I have made Mother's Day crafts and gifts. But this year, I went for the classic gift. Beautiful flowers delivered to each of my favorite 'mom's' front door. Thank you to ProFlowers for helping me Celebrate Every Mom!


Happy Mother's Day to you all!


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5/8/15

Staff Appreciation Week 2015: Lego Theme

Staff Appreciation Week 2015 is in the books. It was my first time to serve as Hospitality Chair for the PTA and therefore my first time hosting this special week. I wanted to make it fun for the teacher and kids. I wanted it to be like a little party- kind of crafty and with a theme :)

This would be me :) 
So I used the idea from the Lego Movie "Everything is Awesome, Everything is Cool when you're part of the Team". Because our teachers are so awesome and our kids feel cool being part of the HES team. I posted last week about how I planned the week (you can read it here).

Today I am back to show you how it all turned out!

I made Lego signs and hung them around school to remind the kids and parents about Staff Appreciation Week. 
Before the week began, I collected donated gift cards from parents to make 'gift card goodie bags' for all the teachers and staff. We had enough donations to cover everyone from the office staff to each teacher. I was so pleased with the donations! The gift cards were in amounts ranging from $10-25. Then I assembled the goodie bags so that everyone won at least $25 worth of gift cards. I put the gift cards in plastic bags, then tied them with a ribbon and tag that I made on PicMonkey. 



On Monday morning, we kicked off Staff Appreciation Week on our school's morning show (it's a live tv broadcast run by the students with the help of the librarian and principal.) I spoke about what we had planned for the week and played a little bit of the "Everything is Awesome" song. (Because a theme song makes everything better!) 

Then Afton picked the names of that day's 'gift card goodie bag winners out of this giant Lego head (it is a pretzel barrel spray painted yellow!). After the show, she and a few friends delivered the goodie bags to the winning teachers. We did this every morning for the whole week. By the end of the week, everyone was a winner! 



Following 'the Lego themed plan for the week' (see here) the kids did a little something for their teachers each day. 

On Monday, it was draw your teacher like a Lego. 

So these cute little drawings are hanging up all over the school! 

On Tuesday, it was bring your teacher an AWESOME treat. (We gave our teacher dark chocolate covered almonds- but I didn't take a photo!) 

On Wednesday, the kids all wore yellow to look like 'Lego Friends'. I made masks for my daughter's class and so did a few other home room moms. Never miss a cute photo opportunity! Printable Lego masks found here. 



On Thursday, it was bring your teacher something from her favorite list. 

My friend Megan made these for her son's teachers. Mason jars filled with their favorite candy and a Target gift card. She is so creative! 


And on Friday, since it was also Field Day-- I purchased hats (funded by PTA) for each teacher to 
wear. I bagged each hat individually and added this tag with a ribbon. 


The kids all brought buttons or 'flare' to decorate their teacher's hat. How cute is Afton's teacher with her hat all decorated on field day?! 


Besides the daily 'gift card goodie bags' and special treats from students, we also treated the staff to an 'off campus lunch ' at Rio Mambo. Parent volunteers covered the classes during lunch time so the teachers could get a little break. It took over 40 volunteers- across the span of 3 days. (I used SignUp Genius to organize it all.) We served in the classrooms, lunch room and even the art room. It was fun getting to see the kids in their element. And it made us really, really appreciate what our teachers do every day!


All in all, it was a great week. I think the staff felt 'appreciated'. And I am so grateful for the parents who gave gifts and volunteered their time to make it all happen. 


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