Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Teacher Appreciation Week Door Decor

We are always looking for fun ideas to celebrate our wonderful teachers at school. With teacher appreciation week around the corner, here are two fun ideas we have done in the past to decorate their classroom doors. They can be used to either celebrate a teacher's birthday or just to let them know they are special.


This door was Mrs. Amend takes the cake! I wrote Because... at the top of each balloon and the children all filled it out.


This is a great idea to show your teacher they are One in a Minion! I googled minion image heart to print these out. I wrote Because... at the top again. Each child filled out why she was one in a minion.

Don't forget to celebrate the special teachers in your life!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Jurassic Lego Birthday Party

My six year old decided on a Lego themed birthday party. He has been in love with the new Jurassic World Lego sets, so I decided to combine the idea. It was a little hard to find inspiration for our made up theme, so we had to be creative. If you have followed me for very long, you know I love to build things out of cardboard. My son requested a cardboard Lego Owen from Jurassic World.
 
 
He loved showing him off to his friends and he made a great photo prop.

 
Here are a few pictures of the creation process to help you build your own.
 
 
It didn't look like much along the way.

 
The arms were a little tricky to tape tight enough.

 
Last chance before a coat of paint that makes the whole thing.

 
Now to make a real Lego head from a big cheese ball container.

 
 
We started out with a coloring contest with some Lego man crayons. We gave prizes to the winners, which I felt really encouraged the kids to participate. We always need a filler until all of the kids arrive.

 
We taped them around the bar for the birthday boy to choose from.
 
 
The winners each received a small Lego kit.

 
Our family is so lucky to have an excellent cake creator named Grace who makes all of our party cakes. She outdid herself as usual! I gave her the cake them Jurassic Lego and this is what she created...

 
She used white chocolate for the Legos and everything was edible and delicious. Our Jurassic Lego cake was to die for.

 
The dinosaur coming out of the side was my son's favorite part. Even a little scary maybe...

 
Our first game was a Lego straw game. The children had to try and move six Legos with straw suction from plate to plate. I let them practice a few minutes first, to get the hang of it, before announcing the start of the game.

 
Another favorite game of ours involves unwrapping present after present. I use a dice and the birthday boy rolls it to select the lucky number or color. For example, he rolled a yellow on a color dice. The children pass the dice around the circle attempting to roll a yellow. When they get one, they get a pair of gloves to put on and they have to attempt to unwrap the present. Their time runs out when another child rolls a yellow. The gloves are passed and the game continues until they get to the smallest box in the middle. Each step of the way I have prizes like candy hidden in the box. It always creates some excitement and fun. The box was of course wrapped to look like a Lego each step of the way.

 
Here is a close up of the piñata and the Lego present for the game. Pinata instructions for a previous pull string one I made are here.
 
 
Next, each child built their own Lego minifigure and then just built Legos.

 
Both of my boys below could probably build with Legos all day long.

 
What is a party without a piñata?! I made this one out of a cardboard box for $2.

 
One of the favors was Lego notebooks for each child. I made them out of old Lego boxes. See instructions here.
 
 
Owen, it was nice to have you come to the party.

 
Happy Jurassic Lego Birthday! I hope this can somehow help or inspire you. I know we had a fun party.

 
 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Ninja Hi-Ya Valentine

This year we decided to go with a ninja theme for our boy Valentine's. We ordered these cute bendable ninjas from Oriental Trading Company. They come in 12 packs, so it was the perfect size for an elementary class. I designed the Valentine's in Word. I just googled a grey chevron background and then typed on top. It turned out to be a quick and easy Valentine project compared to some of ours in the past!
 
 
We just hot glued the ninjas on and they were ready to go. Good luck on your Valentine's!
 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Loving 50% Off Halloween Costumes

I hope you all had a fun and safe Halloween. I just love the day after Halloween, when costumes drop to 50% off. My boys, and now my daughter, have always loved dressing up. I bought several costumes to give them for Christmas as well. It is so good for kids to dress up and play. You can read a million articles that explain why. Needless to say, this prompted an impromptu photo shoot.
 
Here is my blonde version of Snow White.
 
 
I was wishing I had a really red shiny apple, but this is as good as it gets without any planning.

 
Her cousin had a costume too so she joined in the fun. This would be an adorable pose to take with sisters!

 
That is a lot of chubby in the mirror. I love every inch of her.

 
And... the guilty face after she bit into the apple. I hope you have fun and plan your own impromptu photo shoot. Time flies so fast and I just wish I could capture every sweet moment.
 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Camping Birthday Party

We had a roller coaster weekend of inaccurate weather reporting. We had a birthday party planned Saturday and the rain just would not hold off! Once we cancelled and rescheduled for Sunday, it stopped of course. Then Sunday, it rained all morning until 15 minutes into the party. The good news...our friends are some troopers. It didn't slow them down from coming and we were so grateful. We didn't want our seven year old to be disappointed. This year's theme was an outdoor camp party. It was one of my favorites to plan so far! Hopefully you will find some fun camping themed birthday party ideas that will help you plan your next party.



Here was our awesome cake from our favorite cake lady Grace. I bought the life like animal figures at Toys R Us. My son loved it!



First, all the kiddos made trail mix. They filled Ziploc bags with a combination of popcorn, chex mix, pretzels, M & M's, marshmallows, peanuts, and sunflower seeds.
 

 
Then the kids grabbed a stick and a bandana and packed up their trail mix. 
 

 

 
We had laminated camping symbols on sticks for the fire pit for smores, boat area, and hiking trail. If you look in my son's hand we had a picture scavenger hunt. (Just in case they couldn't all read well). We just pasted the nature hunt on brown paper sacks to collect their treasures in.

 
Our hike took us towards our pond. I had the book Curious George Goes Camping designed as a StoryWalk. If you have never heard of this fun idea you can read more about it here.


The Storywalk took us right down to the pond to go paddle boating.


Each group had an opportunity to take the boat for a spin.

 
We came back to the "picnic area" and the kids gave it their all at archery. 
 
 
 
 

 
Here is my pitiful attempt at a home made camping themed piñata. Cardboard served up the graham cracker on this smores piñata. Lol. Most of the kids only cared about the piñata with the candy and not what it looked like.

 
Three generations. My husband, father-in-law, and my princess.
 
 
Luckily, the rain held off most of the party and it was a success. Each child received a rubber band shooter and flashlight to take home. Happy Trails!
 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Chicken Tamale Casserole

We have been enjoying several snow days in a row. My daughter got to play in the snow for the first time. After refusing her mittens the first trip out, she tumbled over in the snow and caught herself with her hands. She stood up crying not understanding what just happened to the ground. I didn't have any problems getting her to wear mittens after that!
 
With all this cold weather I have been cooking up a storm. This recipe is a real crowd pleaser. It has a rich flavor and the sweet aroma of fresh corn bread muffins. I enjoy making it with chicken or ground beef. It depends what I have on hand in my kitchen. It has the delicious taste of a tamale but it is much easier to make and a little sweeter.
 
 
 
Ingredients:
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp chili powder
2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced
1 4 oz can green chilies, drained
1 15 oz can medium red enchilada sauce
4 cups crumbled cornbread (cooked)
1/2 cup buttermilk or 1/2 cup milk with couple splashes lemon juice
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese

 
Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray approximately 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Warm oil over medium heat in skillet. Add onion and pepper. Saute onion for about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and chili powder and heat for additional minute

3. Add chicken (or ground beef) and chilies. Flavor with salt and pepper. Cook until meat is cooked through. Pour in can of enchilada sauce and bring to a boil.

 

4. Spoon mixture into baking dish.
5. In a separate bowl combine cornbread and buttermilk.


6. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of cheese over mixture in baking dish.



7. Spread cornbread mixture evenly on top. Top with remaining cheese.

8. Bake until golden brown. About 20 min at 350 degrees.

9. Enjoy!

 
We actually got snow in Texas!
 
 
This is what we do in Texas if we don't have a sled when it snows...Lol
 My neighbor took us all out for a ride.

 
 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Personalized Owl Valentine Kitchen Towel

Oooh, this project was so much fun. I had our neighbor girl over to make her mom this Valentine's Day present. I think it is especially fun to make a DIY craft for Valentine's Day. Kids just really enjoy having something special to wrap up for their parents.
 
I looked up some online instructions on how to draw an owl, and then taught the kiddos how to draw step by step. They were 4-6 years old and did an excellent job. I found the heart kitchen towels at the dollar store so this project literally cost me $1.
 
 
 
The kids wrote in their own handwriting...Owl always love you!
You can see a full tutorial here. (We made Christmas towels in the past)
 
 
You might just have time to whip one of these up in time for Valentine's Day!
 
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