Monday, January 27, 2014

Dollar store deals

They just built a Dollar Tree near me, so I had to check it out. I was honestly very amazed at the great selection and wonder bargains to be had!

And, all for $1 each!

Foam forms for flowers
 
Great selection of paint supplies


 
Tape!

 
Office supplies, mailing prodcts that would cost $2-5 at WalMart or Target



Name brand toothbrushes
 
Great place to get dress up costumes




Clothes pins!

Ear buds
 
And, they are a great source for party supplies, they carry a huge selection of solid color plates, silverware, tablecloths.
 
Definitely worth the trip!

Loose park

I'm always hearing about how fabulous Loose Park in Kansas City is. I happened to be near the plaza one summer day and finally made the time to take the boys and check it out.

What a beautiful park! I know see why it's a top choice for photographers.

This is in the rose garden area


LOVE all the walking trails!
And, the flowers are gorgeous!


Plenty of places for kids to run and play
 
Some interesting fountains

 
And, a kids fun filled park to explore



 
 
 
And, a HUGE shaded picnic shelter
 

Wizard of Oz party






Chili, aka Tinman's heartburn

Bobbin for Apples
 
 
Photo booth-
We totally lucked out that Joann's had these wizard of oz masks, AND they were on sale for 60% off so they rang up $1.10 each!
 

 
TinWOMAN aka the birthday girl!
Happy Birthday Gracie!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Minecraft Birthday

If you have a boy at all in your home, chances are you've heard of Minecraft. I'm sure girls play the game too, but if I mention Minecraft around any boy, they immediately know what I'm talking about. Girls are 50/50. It's a videogame that has been described to me as virtual lego building. You get to build houses and things, but everything is a square block shape. Even, the animals. Just think SQUARES, SQUARES, and more SQUARES! Then, you mine by using a pick axe to open certain blocks and look for gems, dynamite.

So, not exactly sure how to plan this very much asked for party for my 11 year old son, I did some online research for ideas.

The stone wall backdrop is from Oriental Trading. It's actually part of the mad scientist party stuff. Bonus, I only used half the roll for this party!

I printed some Minecraft pictures online to glue onto a banner.

The Minecraft poster is from Wal-Mart. I glued it onto a trifold poster, but it was super windy this day, so we had to change my original table set up idea.

 
I got flatbread pizzas from Hy-Vee since they were the square shape.

 
Hobby Lobby has these square shaped cardboard pieces, 25 for $9.99. Then, I cut hundreds of squares out of construction paper so the kids could design a Minecraft version of themselves.


 
Since it was fall, we had a S'mores station. Again, square shaped food.


 
And, our cake lady did an excellent job designing the cake. This was her first Minecraft sheet cake. She just looked at the picture I gave her and created this masterpiece. Since this party, she's had many, many, many calls for Minecraft cakes now! And, she is even making the "creeper" cookies, which is the green square guy.

 
Minecraft tee was found at Target.

 
Gosh, I can't believe my first born is now 11! Eeck!!!! I'm thankful he is still letting me throw him a birthday party and that he loves having his cousins over more than school friends.
 
Happy Birthday Alex!


Jungle themed baby shower

Recently, I was thrilled to be a part of planning and hosting a jungle themed baby shower. We chose 2 main colors: green and brown, but chose different variations of each color. It went together beautifully.
 
I made the banner out of giraffe scrap book paper and then found a downloadable template for palm leaves to trace out of dark forest green paper.
 
Sadly, I am not gifted with the tissue paper balls. So, those are NOT my handiwork. Aren't they adorable though?
 
 
We also had giraffe water bottle labels printed out.

 
And, what party isn't complete without cute straws?! I was ecstatic to find these giraffe metal pails at Wal-Mart for .97!

 
And, we had a milk bar. Since the expected bundle of joy was a boy, we had lots of the blue Shatto cotton candy milk

 
Yummy, Shatto chocolate milk!

 
And, these cute jungle animal cupcake toppers were at Hobby Lobby.

 
We also played a game called name the baby animal. You'd be shocked what animals you do NOT know!
 
Overall, a super adorable shower for a super adorable pregnant mommy. She loved it all and took many of the decorations home for her baby boy's nursery.
 
Welcome to the world baby Kian, God has BIG plans for you!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Geocaching, a modern day treasure hunt

I've been hearing about "Geocaching" and how much fun it is for families. I wasn't sure what it was except I was told it's similar to following a map to find a treasure.

After researching I found out there are caches placed all over the city. You pick an area, such as a park, that you want to hunt in. Then the app pulls up coordinates for you to follow, such as a latitude and longitude with a compass. The treasure can be under logs, in a tree, etc. Some are just a scroll you sign stating you were there. Others can be an army box with a treasure. They always have a scroll to sign, which is fun to see how many people have found the same one you did. Or, to see if the list has anyone you know! Also, you can track them online.
 
What a great way to get the family outside doing an activity together.
 
You can also find "trackable" treasures. These treasures have a serial number that you enter online and then you have to move it to a new cache. I'd LOVE to find one of these!

There are a list of etiquette rules to read through.
1. Don't give the location away if you run into another person seeking
2. After you log your name into the book, put everything back as it was
3. If you take a treasure, leave a new treasure (by treasure, they mean something VERY small. I've heard friends say they've found marbels, tiny dolls, coins, a toy car)
 
There are many free apps out there for it. I've heard the ones that you purchase are far better, but we tried out this free one by Garmin.

 
When you tap the icon for "Find Cache" it immediately does a search around you for local caches. We happened to be by a soccer field when we decided to try it out.

 
You then tap the one you want to find. It tells you the name, details, how far you are from it, difficulty level, and a hint.

 
Our hint was "just hanging around" So, we were assuming it was hanging up high like from a tree. Notice I said ASSUMED!

 
Since we weren't sure how to follow the compass ( I know, terrible, just terrible :-) we just followed the feet and walked around until it got down to 0.

 
We then looked around trees, up high at light poles. We honestly made it harder than it was meant to be. My husband even climbed over the barbed fence! Reminder, this was our FIRST geocaching search.
 
Suddenly, I looked down and saw this little metal canister looking thing. Surely, it wasn't THIS easy! I should have realized the difficulty level was only 1.5 before we hopped the fence. Hindsight!


My husband (notice he's on the opposite side of the fence :-) opened it to see if this was the cache.
 
SCORE, we found it! Inside was this tiny rolled up scroll.

NOTE: Make sure you have a pen so you can write your name down.
 
After we found this one, we noticed the other 8 listed on this cache were along this same trail. The excitement of having found this first one caused us to continue down and find the others along this route.
 
Timmy was excited to find the next one. It then became a race as each boy wanted to find it first.

 
It was definitely a fun family activity. We logged our finds into my app so we can look back over all the ones we find. It has now become a fun hobby when we are at a park or different part of the city to quickly check to see if there is a cache nearby. We even drag friends into it if we are out with them.
 
Last weekend, we were out of town and thought it would be fun to geocache. I'm hoping the app logs our caches for years so we can look back as the boys get older.
 
I definitely recommend you try it out!