March 25, 2019

Spring Things

Today I thought I'd share a few spring things that we've been collecting for our little girls' Easter basket along with a few wish list items... She is three and is extremely practical. She doesn't usually ask for a lot, so we sometimes have trouble figuring out what to get her! These are the things she is loving right now.

Llama Llama Easter Egg & I Spy Little Bunnies
Our daughter LOVES to read! She takes two books with her to bed every night and will lay in bed "reading" until we tell her lights out. Some of her favorites are the Llama Llama board book series and the I Spy Little Series. These were no brainers for us.

Yum Earth Gummy Fruits
She received some of these Yum Earth gummy fruits from a friend for Valentine's day and has been wanting them ever since. We found a big bag of bunny shaped ones and thought they were perfect!

We love a cute little suit like this one. We'll probably gift her some swim lessons too.

Our daughter adores "zippy jammas," as she calls them. I adore the way these short sleeve ones look like a little rash guard swim suit. 

Our girl has wild hair that falls right into her face. I haven't tried these Ryan and Wren clips yet, but I've heard good things about them and they look so well made. We got her a few of her favorite colors.

Piggy Paint
"Painty nails" has been frequently requested around our house. This will be our first brave attempt at trying out nail polish!

Jump rope
Our little girl recently told us she wants to jump rope and then proceeded to use my husband's belt to attempt to show us how. We're not sure where she picked this up, but we're game for a simple toy, especially if it keeps her from whipping dad's belt around. Yikes.

Disney Princess Band-Aids
Because what three-year-old doesn't love Band-aids?
PS. If your child ever puts bandages on a stuffed animal friend and it gets completely stuck in their fur, rub lotion in it to get it off then wash as directed. Trust me. We've tried it and it works!

What are you adding into your Easter Basket? I'd love to hear!

March 18, 2019

A Practically Perfect Party

How embarrassing... I never posted this LAST YEAR!!! Oops!
I guess it's better late (really late) than never!
Back in January of 2018, we celebrated our sweet daughter's second birthday with a little party.

We were all pretty excited, since this would actually be her first birthday party... Two years ago, we had a fun "One-derland" themed party prepared and hubby and I both started throwing up the night before the party. Yuck! So when she turned two, we were determined to celebrate! We loved our "One-derland" theme, but wanted something different for her second birthday. I still managed to re-purpose quite a bit from the party that never was...

Being the crazy Disney fanatic that I am, we chose Mary Poppins as our theme. Hubby and I like to choose a theme that is meaningful to us, but has a bit of Disney whimsy. Every evening at our house, we read a little bit of classic children's literature and the story by P.L. Travers was one that we read last year. We love combining Disney and the original classic (which is what sparked the theme for the first birthday as well). 

This easel was a birthday gift from my parents. I decided to add a bit of chalk art and a nod to Bert's chalk paintings.

We served a spread of tasty desserts for her "Spoonful of Sugar" celebration:
Admiral Boom's Cannon Balls - melon balls
Mrs. Brill's Vegetables - veggie tray
Spoonfuls of Sugar - chocolate spoons dipped in sprinkles
Bert's Chimney Sweeps - chocolate dipped marshmallows on sticks
Mrs. Cory's Stars - shortbread cookies
Michael's Strawberry Ice - Italian ice
East Wind Jell-o - blue Jell-o with whipped topping, topped with an umbrella
Jolly Holiday Penguins - penguin shaped gummies
Mary Poppins Corn - kettle corn
Cheese Umbrellas - Babybel Cheese with straw umbrella handles
Uncle Albert's Cherry Cheesecakes - mini cheesecakes
Jane's Lemon-Lime Tarts - mini lemon and lime desserts

The funny thing is that our daughter didn't even eat sweets at the time! But we sure enjoyed sugaring up all the other kids! Hahaha!

Above the drink station were some adorable paper kites, but I completely forgot to get a photo of them! The fun labels say "Something is Brewing," "Rum Punch (but without the rum, so just plain punch)" and "Barley Water". The glass bottles and straws are from my dedication to Starbucks coffee, and recycled from the first party. My mom tied a different red bow to each bottle so people could keep track of their drinks. We also brought out an assortment of beautiful and dainty tea cups that my grandmother passed down to our daughter.

For dessert, my hubby made Merry-Go-Round cupcakes and a special cake for the Birthday Girl.
I re-purposed some of the giant flowers from the "One-derland" party and added some daisies in the spirit of Mary Poppins.

This cake stand belongs to my dear friend. It's actually one of those three-tiered cupcake stands. I took it apart, and configured it to use just the bottom and top tiers, then added some paper and ribbon embellishments. 

I'm not sure what we were thinking when we decided to have black icing for our daughter's first bite of cake, but she did really well with it - she's a very neat little eater! Also, are we evil parents for depriving her of sugar for so long?! It wasn't even a real cake - it's banana bread under there. My hubby added chocolate covered blueberries and a candy daisy in the fashion of the famous hat.

Other decorations included a giant silhouette of our daughter in our entryway. It sat above the present table alongside framed silhouettes from our trips to Disneyland at 8 months old and Tokyo Disneyland when she was 18 months old. We may be crazy for taking an 18 month old on a 24 hour trip to Japan, but that's a story for another day...

We set out a little mailbox where guests could write a birthday wish for our little girl. These adorable cards were from a time capsule gift from a sweet friend of mine for her first birthday. We didn't make much use of it for the original intention, but the bird cards were perfect for this theme! 

Also, I am so terrible about taking photos and forgot to take a photo of our hallway lined with a city skyline to resemble the rooftops of London. Or the frame on the bathroom mirror to resemble Mary constantly checking out her reflection. I love adding little details in unexpected places!

I made this mini hat headband for the birthday girl, with some random supplies I had in my craft room. She was pretty excited when I let her wear it! It was so fun to make... I secretly wish I could make tiny hats for tons of other occasions too!

I also re-created the famous parrot umbrella! I used a dowel rod, handkerchief, felt, ribbon, paint, and hot glue. It sat in our window with the cardboard carpet bag that I saved from my first trip to New York when I went to see Mary Poppins on Broadway many years ago (scroll to the top to see)!

For favors, I had these berry baskets, leftover from the first party, and added some tuppence (chocolate coins), a handmade bird feeder ornament, since our daughter loves birds, some sidewalk chalk, and a giant balloon, all references to either the original story or the Disney version. Of course I forgot to photograph the final product... (this is the lame, late night photo I took when I was asking my friend, Naki what else I should add to the baskets!)

I hope you enjoyed this very belated post and the very haphazard photos. I never claimed to be a photographer! Haha. I'm hoping to be back soon with details from this year's party! 
TTFN (ta ta for now!)

March 11, 2019


I did it! Finally!

It's not very exciting, but I promised to post an update, so here it is...

One of my goals last year was to complete an ASCA U course. I told you that I was still working on completing my 18 for 2018 list (see #13) and I've kept my word. 

The truth is, I'm a little embarrassed to tell you that what I started last year actually expired (Eeks!) and I had to start from the beginning again. But I did it! I hunkered down and completed the training! I am now an official Trauma and Crisis Management Specialist. Sounds fancy, doesn't it?

Feels good to have another thing checked off the list! 

The crazy thing is now that I completed one of these, I kind of want to do another one... Hmm... It's interesting how these lists are making me want to accomplish more! 

How about you? Is there anything that you've been wanting to do? Today is the day to start! I'm cheering you on!

March 4, 2019

Currently... March 2019

How have you been, friend? Here's what's new with me!

WATCHING: Ralph Breaks the Internet
As you may know, we are huge Disney fans around here. Our daughter was so excited to see this movie because she wanted to see the princesses in different clothes. She cracks us up. I'll have to admit that there are some parts that I wasn't sure about for her, but she loved it all the same. I'm still in awe that Disney was able to figure out a way to animate what the internet is like on the inside! 

READING: As Old as Time by Liz Braswell
I recently shared that I'm reading the third book in the Twisted Tales series. I just finished it and loved it! What should I read next?

LISTENING: to Cultivate a Good Life
I only just discovered this podcast and am just a few episodes in. You guys, it is SO good. It has given me much to think about. My favorite episodes so far? Episode 004: Kids + Technology and Episode 006: Check Your Marriage Temperature.

EATING: waffles
My daughter gifted my her daddy a mini waffle maker for Christmas (she makes me laugh so much) and he has been spoiling us with waffles on special mornings. At first he thought it was a totally lame gift, but I think he secretly loves it. It makes her smile to get waffles, which she claims is one of her favorite foods (along with donuts and soup) and it makes him smile to see her eat her breakfast with such enthusiasm. 

I shared this just last week that I'm enjoying tea in the evenings to relax after a long day of work. Currently, I'm enjoying this English Rose Tea from Republic of Tea.

WEARING: Dr. Seuss inspired outfits
Last week our school celebrated Read Across America and we have been wearing some fun outfits. I love spirit weeks. It seems strange to think of it this way, but it is kind of a no-brainer for when it comes to outfit planning if it is spirit week. The photo above is my fellow school counselor and I twinning on Thing 1 Thing 2 day.

MAKING: time to read
I just recently blogged about how I'm not a reader... Since then, I've been reading up a storm! I've already finished 3 books within two months and am halfway into another! I think I'm going to try out these Villains books next...

PLANNING: a trip to Japan
We're heading to Japan this fall and we are so excited. We are going to celebrate the Shichi-Go-San festival with our daughter. I know it's a while away, but we are starting to make our plans!

TRYING: to keep up with blogging! 
I know I haven't been very good at blogging (for several years...) and I'm trying to get back into the habit. I hope that one day I will have more inspiring and encouraging content for you... For now, I'm just trying to keep up with my life!

WANTING: a good night's sleep
Our little girl has recently been waking up a lot in the middle of the night. We're trying to figure out the best formula to get her to sleep soundly through the night. 

FEELING: a little tired...
see above

ENJOYING: lots of puzzles
Our daughter is on a huge puzzle kick right now and we are having so much fun! We recently got this 4 in 1 box of Thomas Kinkade Disney puzzles. After completing a 750 Dumbo puzzle, these smaller ones seem much more do-able! 

So... what's new with you? 

March 1, 2019

Friday Favorites: Snow Day

I know it's March, but last week, we enjoyed a snow day here. Outside it was wet and yucky with snow, followed by freezing rain, followed by rain, so we spent the day indoors. I thought I would share some of my favorites for a lazy day at home on the blog today...

1. Cozy Pajamas. I feel like this one is kind of a no-brainer, but staying in pajamas all day is my favorite thing to do on a lazy day! Our daughter even requests to stay in her "jammas" regularly. I really like the loungewear from Uniqlo - they are comfy and a good price point.

2. Our three-year-old daughter is obsessed with puzzles and has been begging us to do a "big puzzle with tiny pieces." We realized that we only have two sizes of puzzles in our house - 24 pieces and 1000 pieces. We pulled out this puzzle that I got at Disneyland a few years ago when we went for their 60th Anniversary Celebration. It was a ton a fun for our family to do together! I'm also a big fan of the Disney Fine Art puzzles. The Toby Bluth ones my favorite, although his puzzles are hard to find! Since completing this puzzle, we've been searching for a more reasonable sized puzzle to do with a three-year-old. I think we will try our hand at 300 pieces...

3. We also love to spend some time reading. On this particular snow day, we all snuggled up in our bed with a book. My husband is currently re-reading the Hobbit, I'm halfway into the third book in the Twisted Tales series, and our daughter sat with a stack of her favorite Llama Llama board books (she loves these and these). It's so nice to cuddle up together and sweet to see our little girl enjoy "reading" independently.

4. A snuggly blanket is a must for a cold day indoors. My hubby gifted me a weighted blanket for Christmas and it is lovely to sit under while reading or lounging on the sofa. The one we have is 12 pounds, which I really like since most that we have seen are 15lbs. One not so great thing is that it isn't machine washable... We haven't found a cover for it that we like yet, so we are just careful and usually have a thin blanket underneath it. I've been considering getting a smaller and lighter one for our daughter as well.

5. Recently my hubby and I have been enjoying a cup of tea in the evenings. It's especially nice on a cold day indoors! My current favorite is this Downton Abbey English Rose Tea. It's beautiful to watch as it steeps and has a lovely rich flavor.

So there you have it! Five of our favorites for a cozy day indoors. What are your must haves? Hope you are staying warm!