Princess Ballerina Party

Princess Ballerina Party

I found inspiration everywhere, from the Internet, to magazines to places like Party City. Princess decor is everywhere making parties easy to plan.

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Guests were greeted with their favors as soon as they arrived.
Girls received tutus that I found on e-Bay and wands from Target’s dollar bin. The boys received swords & shields from Oriental Trading Company. As a bonus I used stickers to put each boy’s name on the shields and gift tags for the girls tutus.

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Her Royal Highness, The Birthday Girl

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A crown fit for a King

It was important to me to make sure the kids were constantly busy and that no one got bored. We had a craft station where both boys & girls could make and decorate their own crowns.

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I repurposed things I had used for other parties for tablecloths & decorations. I tried to include snacks everyone would like. As for the main food we ordered pizzas & chicken nuggets for the kids and antipasto salad for the adults.

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As a special treat, sticking with the fairytale feel we hired Magician Tim Hall. He was AMAZING and was great with the kids. Everyone loved him.

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In addition to his magical show, Tim Hall made balloon animals for all the children.

Summer Camp

It’s that time of year again, time to think about what I’m going to do with my 4-year-old this summer. In previous years, she’s gone to camp where she went to school. Because we just moved across the country and I am trying to make things as fun for her as possible, I am trying something completely different. This year she’s going to The YMCA for camp. My daughter will have the opportunity to make arts & crafts, play sports & games and get in the pool. This is completely different from her normal school day and I think she will have so much fun and make some great friends.

She did a program at the “Y” in Towson, MD last spring and had so much fun. The kids learned all sorts of different sports, including lacrosse, soccer, basketball & football. Surprisingly, her favorite sports were football and lacrosse. I highly recommend the programs at the “Y.” The coaches took time to work with each child and make the process of learning fun.

Fairytales Don’t Last

There really aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. I don’t know how full-time working moms do it. I have so much respect for those women. Seriously anyone who says being a mom is easy, or isn’t that hard is lying. If they have found a way for it to be easy, please share and definitely write a book.

I look forward to my days when both kids are in school, just to be able to eat, uninterrupted at a table, to listen to any music I want and to be able to go to the grocery store and not constantly have to say “No we’re not getting that!” These are little things but the quiet of not having two kids running around crazy or screaming and fighting with one another has become my luxury. I love my kids and I love my time with them, but it’s important to have some quality “me” time. I look around and see that the house is a mess and needs to be cleaned or in my case since we just moved, unpacked and all I want is a magic wand or a fairy godmother to come in and say “abra cadabra” and it’s done. Unfortunately, my life is not a fairytale and I’m not a princess. I’m back in my reality and it’s back to being MOM.

1st Birthday Party – Welcome to the jungle!

For my daughter’s 1st Birthday back in January (the same day the Ravens played in the AFC Championship), I went with a monkey, jungle theme & a little bit of RAVENS pride sprinkled in. I really did not want to spend a lot of money since we were in the process of moving and the sheer fact that the party was more for my husband and I because a 1-year old won’t remember.

I found tambourines & maracas in the dollar bin at Target and bought them for the kids to play. We had a friend come and perform kids music on his guitar, and everyone played their part with their own instruments.

We had the party late in the morning so I made brunch, an egg casserole, French toast casserole, bacon, sausage and monkey bread of course. I knew around Christmas I was going to do a jungle theme and found a 45-piece bin of jungle animals the day after Christmas at Target for just $3.00. I used the animals in the food, as if it were the jungle terrain. I used the monkeys and gorillas on the monkey bread. We also made Jell-O cups for the kids.

As for the linens on the table, I went to Jo-Ann’s Fabric and purchased remnant pieces of jungle print fabric. I used them as backdrops on the windows and as tablecloths. I paid less than $20 for all of the linens.

When it came to tables and places for the children to sit, I moved my coffee table (perfect height for kids) into the kitchen and brought our outdoor picnic table inside and we had one other small kids table that we used. I have done this for all my kids parties and it has always worked great.

Instead of a cake I opted for monkey cupcakes. They weren’t that hard, but they were tedious. It was worth it though, because they turned out so cute. I used candy eyes I found at Micheal’s Craft Store, red cookie icing for the mouth, chocolate icing to frost the cupcakes and to make the 2 dots for the nose. As for the ears and mouth, this was actually the hardest part. It requires a very sharp flat blade knife. The ears are a Mini Nilla Wafer cut in half, while the other part of the face is a regular Nilla Wafer with 1/4 cut off. The sharp flat knife keeps the crumbs to a minimum. I recommend cutting all your Nilla Wafers first and then putting the face wafer on, then the 2 ear wafers. Again, these aren’t hard, just tedious. It goes much faster if you have 2 people, like an assemble line.

As for favors, we gave each child some sort of snack case with monkeys on it. I found them in the dollar bin at Micheal’s Craft Store ($20). When all was said and done, we spent no more than $120 for everything, food, favors, decorations etc.

Free Ice Cream

So here it is…one of those things I learned from another mom.

One of, if not my daughter’s most favorite places to eat by far is Chick-Fil-A. She started just being able to eat maybe 2 nuggets in the kids meal, then 4, then she graduated to the 6-piece nugget meal. However, it didn’t matter if it was 2-nuggets or 6 she wanted ice cream after. So every time I’d pull out my wallet and give-in. Little did I know there was a way to get FREE ice cream and keep toys at bay in my house. One day at lunch with my BFF she told me not to open the toy and proceeded to explain that you can turn the toy in for a FREE ice cream cone. Two years later and aside from a few instances, we have not paid for ice cream. Thanks Jo & Chick-Fil-A!

Hello world!

A little about myself…

I am a wife and a stay at home mom of two beautiful daughters. I decided to start this blog as a way for moms like myself to find ideas and tidbits in one area. It’s sort of that stuff no one ever tells you about, like how to get free ice cream at Chick-Fil-A or how to visit some of the best museums in the country for free or did you know you can just buy the McDonald’s Happy Meal toys, you don’t have to buy the Happy Meal . These are things I stumbled upon by accident or learned from other moms like myself.

I also love to plan my kids birthday parties. I think it is fun to take a theme and build upon it. I like the challenge of making the cake, and having everything “go” together, from the invitations, to the decorations, to the food and favors, I want their parties to reflect who they are. Don’t get me wrong, many 1 stop party places are great and are perfect for on the go families or those who just don’t want to have to worry about anything. My daughters love those places, but they just weren’t personal enough for me. I found myself scurrying the web looking for ideas, or going to parties and taking pictures and saving ideas that I liked for future use. I had no place to showcase those ideas or parties. So my goal for Things4Moms is to be a 1 Stop Online Idea Shop 4 Moms.

All the ideas may not be mine directly, but they’ll be ideas I love or that my 4 or 1-year-old loves or would love. Along the way I’ll probably stumble upon something that’s just fun and has nothing to with party planning or going or getting something for free, but I’ll have fun sharing it.