Ninja Party, Part 2!

Onto the details of this amazing birthday shindig! Everything had such an awesome visual impact. I learned from my last Halloween party that lighting is also a very important detail. So, while unfortunately my photography skills are sadly lacking, you can see in a few of the pictures what the room looked like with just the mood lighting on.

And now I present  – The great Ninja sleepover birthday!Ninjapartytopper

10990009_10205742562217523_3290692376684037999_n I found red globe lights in the dollar spot at Target! Then I hung the lanterns with LED color changing lights ( I’ve used those lights many times for parties ).  Inside the water jug was also a water proof LED color changing light. IMG_5006 I have an old door that I placed on two storage bins and it was a perfect Japanese style table. These kids are young, so sitting on the floor was no problem.  Red plastic table cloths and a table runner from Oriental Trading Company and you’d never know it was just an old door under there! IMG_5052 IMG_5027 You’d never guess that this is just our garage! A few rolls of plastic table sheeting from Party City can transform it into anything you need it to be! We also have a really awesome plastic foldable mat that we placed on the floor to soften the concrete floor a little. IMG_5046 When I first ordered this huge Tori Gate, I wasn’t sure exactly where it was going to go, but as soon as I realized that the beverage table was small enough for it to fit around – its purpose was clear! This was perfect! I also have an awesome husband that I suckered into putting it together for me. It’s all made out of cardboard that required a wee bit of folding and a whole heck of a lot of patience. I added the circle ninja printable to the center of it to incorporate it into the theme a little better as well. IMG_5040 Another awesome find on Oriental Trading Company.com was the huge black Pagoda cutout. I added another ninja circle printable and covered the gold boring windows with silver glitter cardstock. Because glitter. IMG_5062 The silver sequined table runners are one of my favorite party stash items I now own. I used them for my silver spider Halloween party this past fall as well! They can be found for cheap on Amazon.com The red mesh is just from Michael’s and can be easily re used as well! I’m thinking come 4th of July, the silver runner with the red mesh would look awesome over a blue table-cloth! IMG_5089 IMG_5098 Very popular on Pinterest were the Rice Krispy treat “sushi”. I totally cheated on these and just bought a box of the pre-made ones from Costco. A box of fruit rollups and swedish fish are all you need to complete them. This was also the perfect thing for Teddy to help with! He is the one who made them all! The gummy ninjas were another Oriental Trading company find! The clear trays are one of my reusable items. I change out cardstock on them to fit the current theme. This time i found gorgeous red foil paper and just cut it to size. IMG_5083 Mini chocolate cupcakes were topped with the Ninja star confetti that I found through OTC ( Oriental Trading Company ) One of my favorite things are foil cupcake wrappers as they look the best after baking and no fancy “wrap” is needed to be added. IMG_5093 IMG_5085 The cupcake holder was from OTC and the toppers are from the printables set from Etsy mentioned in the previous post. I made a booboo tho when I sent my order to be printed at Costco! I had forgotten to add the page with the circle toppers! However, I had chosen the drink flags to be printed out larger at 11×14 size and they ended up being the perfect substitute for my cupcake topper! I actually think I would do this on purpose next time! Loved the look of the giant flags! I use black coffee stirrers for the sticks. The cupcakes here were another cheat! Costco had a special tray of mini pound cakes. I frosted them with my home-made icing that is Teddy’s favorite and then just wrapped them in silver glitter cardstock! ( because glitter of course haha! see – even boy parties can have the glittah! ) IMG_5086 IMG_5096 My silver tins are always part of my table scape and this time I balanced out the sugar by filling them up with lots of fruit! Gummy ninja stars tho were a must 😉 IMG_5103 In keeping in the theme, we did Panda Express for dinner. This was a huge hit! And it just happens to be Teddy’s favorite fast food place so he was of course thrilled. We sure did end up eating leftovers all weekend! That was a lot of food!! 10-year-old boys did not eat as much as I thought they would. I love doing one big table for all of my food and dessert. It worked great for the space I had to use and the humongous pagoda was more than big enough to be an adequate backdrop! I’m all about the big impact! Those are the things that make a party pop! IMG_5095 IMG_5022 The whole theme really was just gorgeous all together! IMG_5136 IMG_5135 The look on his face! Even though I know he’d be just as happy just running around with his friends and blowing out candles,  I can’t help but want to go overboard just for him. 10446348_10205730986768144_5029073793260994384_n We didn’t have any set games this time. I set up the badminton set in the backyard and found a birdie for it that had a red LED light in it! and then I loaded them all up with lots of red glowing things and with their foam swords and a few Nerf guns they had a blast just having free play for part of the night! 11391457_10205731171892772_1628017144303978082_n We then turned the garage into sleep over central and my husband set up our projector and screen in there! They watched Beverly Hills Ninja and had popcorn. Somehow they still had the stamina to stay up until 130 am 0_o and…. then were up with the sun at 530am. We put on Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles for them at that point and some of them drifted back off to sleep. I did not. Hence that whole loathing of sleep-overs I have! haha. IMG_5170 Breakfast was super simple. Muffins and donuts from Costco. I cut them in half so that they would go further with less waste and a cut up watermelon balanced them out a bit 😉 The party ended at 9am and was a huge success! Teddy was so happy with everything and had so much fun. From playing bloody Mary in the bathroom ( I can remember doing that at my 3rd grade sleepover lol ) to running around in the dark to all the little details – He had a very happy birthday. And that is all that mattered. IMG_5171 and in case you love a good dubsmash CLICKHERE  😉 ~ Ninja Mom Rhonda 

Ninja Birthday party for my 10 year old! Part 1

What boy doesn’t love ninjas! This was an amazing theme to tackle. There were so many ideas popping out of my brain that I couldn’t wait to put it all together. We recently had our spring break trip to Japan in April so the inspiration definitely came from that! And now that I had my theme, I had to decide what the details of this shindig would be. Teddy’s always always always begging for sleep overs, and while I loathe them ( I value sleep pretty highly ) he for some reason thinks they are super fun. So – a ninja sleep over it would be. Next up was keeping the number a bit smaller for this type of party. Two years ago when I did an army themed party for him I ended up with over twenty five kids. NO WAY was this going to be a sleep over with that many haha. Im crazy, but not that crazy! So we ended up with 11 boys, plus Teddy which was perfect. The damage done by this number to my house was within reason. 😉

Next up was deciding what kind of ninja party. Since he was turning 10, I couldn’t go too cutesy, and he didnt want ninja turtles, so in keeping with the Japan trip as my inspiration, I kept to a more asian theme. Red is Teddy’s favorite color. So that is what I started with.

The first thing I do — is head to Pinterest! I start months ahead of time adding all kinds of inspiration and then I build from that. You can find my Ninja Pinterest board HERE. If only I had even better time management skills, I might have even used more of the amazing ideas I have pinned there. Then my favorite part…  the shopping. Between Amazon and Oriental trading company and Party City, most of my needs were easily met. I also have accumulated quite the party and craft stash… so that does come in handy! I’ll share what I am able to reuse in the next blog entry.

I searched Etsy for what kind of printable party pack would set the tone and I found this awesome seller HERE. She was great and even accommodated a few special requests I needed. I’d highly recommend her! I did adjust the invite just a little as I was having trouble with my home printer and couldn’t get the red right, so I added the sepia effect to it using picmonkey.com. The rest of the printables were used as they were created by her and I used Costco to print those all out.

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Every kid loves getting party favors! I hate sending them home with plastic junk that just gets thrown away so I like to give them things that add to the party itself. This time around I scored at Walmart with Ninja T-shirts! These were even more than awesome as they glowed in the dark!

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I also had pinned tons and tons of ideas for what kind of head gear I would do when I stumbled upon this genius idea. As I mentioned already, I am lacking time management skills so I needed something quick and easy. There was no time to get the sewing machine out this week. All I needed for these were 1 and a half inch wide white satin ribbon, a black sharpie and the Shanghai font. I printed out their names with the font and then just traced onto the ribbon with a sharpie. I heat sealed the ends ( just take a flame and carefully melt the ends so they won’t fray ) and be careful as the sharpie will bleed a bit. You can find the link to the original idea HERE. I seriously appreciated her blog!

Amazon was a score with these awesome foam swords, and the dollar store provided the blow up ninja shields. However, the dollar store wasn’t even worth the dollar as the blow up shields were crap and broke immediately. I was very please to find that the foam swords held up great and the boys spent a huge amount of time running around with them in the backyard.

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I got the goodie boxes and filled them with  tattoos, a dragon ring and squeezable ninja guy all from Oriental Trading Company and also candy from big mixed bags from Costco.

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They also got a Ninja sippy cup and chopsticks to take home. These looked awesome on the table and cut down on wasted drinks as I put my big drink container out with water that they were able to fill up their cups with on their own all night. They loved this.

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Once they all arrived, I had them change into their t-shirts and put on their bandanas and then it was time to eat!

Food and decor to be continued on the next entry!! Thanks for reading!

~ Ninja Mom Rhonda

Halloween Princess Pumpkins

When I have a million things to get done I tend to procrastinate and get a million other things done instead. Which led to the idea that I needed to do this craft this weekend. On Fridays I take my 3 yr old Julia and our neighbor’s daughter Olivia to their violin lessons. We take a route that goes past the awesome Sauvie Island in Oregon where the farms and pumpkin patches are. Now that fall is here I’ve had the itch to stop there on the way home. There’s no way we could stop and not get pumpkins! And when you have two little girls with, those white pumpkins are just way too tempting to pass up.

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The girls were so excited! But after a morning of school for Julia and an afternoon of violin lessons and then the pumpkin patch and then the long drive home ( we drive an hour each way ) … I made the wise choice of pushing this craft off until Saturday.

So Saturday morning Olivia popped back over and I dove head first into the task of turning those two pumpkins into Cinderella coaches… Or something of that sort. Of course a 3 and 4 yr old are not quite up to the task of cleaning out two big pumpkins so I needed something to occupy them and keep them happy while I did that part. So they got to paint the wheels. I had also picked up eight little pumpkins at the farm just for that purpose.

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I’m not completely crazy so acrylic paint is what they are using. It cleans up easily with soap and water. While they drenched those suckers in white, I began the carving and cleaning out part. Those white pumpkins smell weird. However, after carving Olivia’s up, I discovered something extra stinky lurking inside Julia’s. Hers was moldy! Oh ick!! Now of course I couldn’t not carve it as I had to have two pumpkins for two little girls. Like I said, I’m not crazy!

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Mother of the year am I. I carved that bad boy up and then rinsed it out with bleach. Too bad I couldn’t rinse my eyeballs and nose out too. I did a door in the center with two small windows on each side and then a back end window. I kept the door piece and chopped off the curved end and then used that as a bench inside for Cindy to plop on.

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All carved up and cleaned out, they were ready for the girls to attack them. I armed them with glitter and gems and set them to task. Piece of advice – make sure your glitter glue sticks aren’t all dried out. Then make sure to have a bottle for each of them of the silver glitter glue so they don’t have to share. Though they did do a very good job of sharing.

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I used a brad shoved into the pumpkin for a door handle and then sprinkled some silver star glitter I had in my stash on top of the globs of silver glitter glue they had painted all over the things. A few gems stuck into the glue and boom – Cinderella eat your heart out!

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But wait! We needed the wheels! I took wooden skewers and jabbed them into the little pumpkins and then jabbed them into the pumpkins and we were all set!

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They came out great and I think the girls were thrilled! They loved making them! It was the perfect pumpkin decorating idea for their age. They aren’t quite up to the task of cutting up and carving pumpkins yet so this idea really got them hands on in creating them!
I think these would be a perfect addition to a frozen or princess party too! Either used on the dessert table or as a craft for the girls to do!

Thanks for looking! Don’t forget to give my facebook page a like and share with your friends if you enjoyed this!
And of course pin away!

Xoxo
Rhonda

My First Annual Halloween Party 2011

Halloween is upon us!! This is my favorite time of the year! I am already planning for this years party which will be my fourth one. Before I start blogging all about what I’ve been up to for it however, I wanted to go back to the beginning of my madness. 2011. My son was in 1st grade and my daughter was 10 months old. Madness took over my brain. What was the cause of this? Well… I had just discovered this new thing called Pinterest. It gave me this false sense of being able to accomplish anything. There were all these ideas just bombarding me and I needed an outlet for them! So… I decided to have a party. It will be simple I told my husband. HAHAHAHA. I started by Pinning all kinds of ideas to my brand spanking new Halloween board. That board has come a long way since then. You can find it HERE.
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I wanted to cram every single idea I saw into one big party. My brain was on overload! The first important detail was coordinating my costume with my daughter. I was Strawberry Shortcake and she was my little strawberry. Then it was on to the decor. I lucked out and found fabric for really cheap in a sale bin and used that as table runners. Looking back now, I’ve improved upon my tables. It drives me nuts to see that I didn’t drap the table-cloth all the way around the front of my tables. You can see I only did around the tops. Rookie mistake of course haha. I picked up the rolls of plastic tablecloth from Party City. They come in oodles of different colors and are a cheap and easy way to dress things up. I do drap it all the way to the floor in the following years parties. My husband has also improved upon his job, which is to hang the plastic from the ceiling providing the backdrop. A search on Pinterest will find tons of different ways of using those rolls of plastic to decorate up your parties.

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Then I had all these food ideas. I had picked up several magazines from the checkout lines at the grocery store and I had made my lists of all the ideas I liked and then I wanted to do them all. I had the mad idea of feeding all these kids dinner. This year will be my fourth annual party. I’ve only done dinner at this very first one. We had over 30 kids at this first party. Last year at our 3rd party we had over 50. Did I mention I’ve only done dinner once?  So, what do you feed 30 kids and an unknown amount of adults, and still keep it Halloween themed? I was inspired at the time by the iCarly show. There was an episode where spaghetti was served in Taco shells. So, I drew pumpkin faces on the taco shells with purple frosting and filled them with brains, or rather with spaghetti! Then I went with grapes for spider eggs, and finally in my ongoing madness I made ~from scratch~ breadsticks that I dyed green and sprinkled with shaved parmesan and stuck slivered almonds at the tips and they were the hairy witch fingers. Madness. That was also one GIANT pot of spaghetti! I made the breadsticks all up early that morning and had them all on trays ready to pop in the oven just before the party. Grapes were the smartest thing as they were healthy and super duper duper duper easy!  I had rented a huge ginormous tent and tables and chairs and everyone was able to sit down and eat. They did actually eat too. The spaghetti tacos were a huge hit. We made up the plates in the kitchen and I had helpers serve all the kids as they were seated.  I also made up a dump truck load of taco salad for the adults. It was a cold salad that I made all the ingredients for ahead of time and just had to assemble together right before serving. Super simple and easy and very yummy.

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Then the very best part! What kind of deserts to make! So, back in 2011 these things called Cake Pops had just started becoming a hot new thing. Of course I had to make them! Madness took over once again and for some reason… I thought I needed to make 100 of them. I have no idea where I came up with that number but 100 sounded just about right. Madness.

So, if you’ve never made cake pops before, don’t do 100 on your first try. If you have made them before, you’re laughing at me. Its ok, I’m laughing at myself now too. haha. I haven’t made cake pops at a party since. They are so very tasty tho. Especially these as they were made with Oreos and cream cheese and then dipped in white chocolate and then sprinkled with sugar and are like a bazillion calories each. They needed to be frozen before I could dip them in chocolate ( or sort of chilled or something ) so I had to run them across the street to my neighbor’s house who thankfully just happened to have an industrial sized freezer in their garage that was mostly empty! So, if you are about to make 100 cake pops, search your  neighbors for one of those suckers!

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It’s probably a good thing I over made them. If they are too cold then after you dip them in the chocolate the chocolate coating will crack.  I ate a lot of cracked pops that night. I think that may be how I got everything all done. Did I mention they are really good but loaded with sugar? MMMMMmmmmm cake pops. Pinterest is now chock full of all kinds of them! Next on the agenda was cupcakes. I was so excited about printables! Printables are things you can download and print out and then spend way too much time having to cut out and assemble and stick on black coffee stirrers and then shove into cupcakes. I was all about the printables. I still am, but I learned to plan ahead of time for the assemblage part. I may have been cutting them out the day of the party for this one. These are the little things that are best done weeks ahead of time when printables are super fun and a craft you can do while watching a favorite show. Not! the night before the party when you are already deep into the madness. Also, I for some reason decided that I needed to make a bajillion cupcakes to go along with the cake pops.

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To continue on the theme of enough sugar for an army, I made chocolate dipped pretzels and sugar cookies in finger shapes which I then made to look like boogers were hanging off them. AKA Monster munchies and Naughty fingers. There were of course one Bajillion made of all of those as well. We were well stocked for the Halloween apocalypse! These kids could have survived for months on the load of sugar I had provided! PicMonkey Collage

One of my favorite memories of the evening was the drink station. I had two black cauldrons on each side of the table that I filled with dry ice and water. All night long I was so frustrated that I couldn’t keep the dry ice fogging up. I kept going back into the kitchen every 20-30 minutes and filling up a big thing of water to come pour into each of them. Later that night my husband says to me, I can’t figure out where the water is coming from on this table, I keep mopping it all up, and then its a big mess again… about 20-30 mins later.  Those black cauldrons, well they each had a little hole in the bottom of them.  Oops!
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I discovered solo makes cups with lids!! So the kids were able to fill their glass and then have a lid on it. However with that many kids, drinks still ended up everywhere and nobody remembered what cup was theirs. Markers on the table for them to put their names on the cups is a good idea I’ve done ever since. The silver drink dispensers were from Target that year and have been one of my favorite party items ever since. I did witches brew ( apple cider ) in one and Vampires blood ( fruit punch  ) in the other.  The soda was too much. I’ve found that just the juice and water is plenty.

Our goodie we passed out is our music CD! Its loaded with lots of great Halloween tunes and is the perfect thing to have the kids take home! I’ll have to come back and do a post of all the play lists we’ve now done for the past 3 years.

So by that point I had over 30 kids loaded up with lots of carbs and sugar and I had to give them something to do! Time for party games! Bobbing for apples was a huge hit. The kids even ate the apples! Then I had also found Halloween themed bozo buckets at Target. We nailed them onto a piece of wood which kept them stable and easy to pull out when we were ready to play. Target also had a pin the nose on the pumpkin game which worked out great! I enlisted the help of a few of the moms and the games worked out great.  Then…. the mummy game was up. It was a rainy night, so everything was a little damp. The mummy game is where you break up into teams and then wrap your partner up in toilet paper as quick as you can to make them into a mummy. This was so much fun and the kids just loved doing it. However, my driveway took a long time to recover from the bits of wet toilet paper that were ground into it. Toilet paper was EVERY WHERE after they were done. Rewards for the games were glow sticks and glow necklaces.

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Somehow I pulled off my first party successfully! I was very very very fortunate to have some of the best neighbors ever. Rachel and Amy in particular saved me from the madness that day. They stepped in and helped me so much that we have really bonded in friendship ever since. They have even helped again for the other Halloween parties! So they must really love me! Amy made these beautiful cookies and I’ve recruited her as the Halloween cookie diva ever since! The other smart thing I did that year was hire two babysitter girls to help out. While they did help quite a bit with my 10 month old, they did have some fun of their own as you can see them participating in the mummy game. They were worth every penny as they did all the dishes afterwards and helped with clean up. That was awesome!  The table was trashed by the end of the night and everything was almost all eaten up! 2011hallow008

It was so much fun that I’m now onto my fourth Halloween party this year! I can’t wait to get to share with you 2012, 2013 and soon to be 2014’s party!  What I learned that first year is to stick to just a dessert table. Chips and dips and too many veggie tray type things aren’t necessary. Serving dinner was over kill. I still haven’t learned how to simplify, but I have toned down the madness a little!

Thanks for looking!

~ Rhonda

What is a Disney Fish Extender?

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What is a Disney Fish extender?

That was a question I was figuring out just a few short months ago.

We just got back from our very first cruise – and it happened to be a Disney one at that! My husband and 2 kids and I were on the Disney Fantasy 7 night cruise to the western Caribbean. We sailed on March 29, 2014 out of Port Canaveral. I am excited to blog all about it, but! I want to first start at the very beginning. Which was preparing for the cruise! I of course shopped for new outfits and what not… but on a Disney cruise you can join in something extra special called the Fish Extenders.

What the heck is a Disney Fish Extender? Well, it got started in 2005 for the first magical sailing on the Panama Canal by a Disboard.com member named Epcotkilterfan ( Debbie ). She thought it would be a fun way for Disboard members to exchange gifts. And hence the phenomenon of the Fish Extender gift exchange was born. Disboards is the biggest Disney online fandom. From there you can find a group for your particular sailing that may only be on Disboards.com or you might also be able to find a group for your dates on Facebook as well. I was fortunate to find someone had started our sailing dates on both. That’s the first step. Once you’ve either started the group for your sailing or joined one already started, you’ve now found the people you can participate with. Now, if you don’t want to participate in the FE’s ( that’s the abbreviation of course ) you can still join your group and make friends and be excited to count down to your trip together! Its also a great way to help your kids find other kids their age ahead of time. We even had a big mixology class scheduled together with several of our group members!

So once you’ve found your cruise, see if there is a Fish Extender group started. If not, feel free to start one or ask if someone would like to. Its a bit of a responsibility. I was blown away by the family who took charge that were on our cruise and did an amazing job of making a spreadsheet that had everyone’s info on it. Info on it? Spreadsheet? Just what all is involved here you might be asking?!

Fish Extenders is a gift exchange. There are no rules really. This link on the Disboards is the best place for a description of what it is. You can do one gift for each cabin you sign up with, or you can do something for each individual or kids or whatever you prefer. You can spend a lot, or a little. You can hand make every little detail or just shop for each thing. Its all up to whatever makes you happy to participate and give.  I did a mix. I did one main gift per cabin and then something specific for each child.  I bought some things and made some things. I did what I liked, and I really enjoyed the whole process.  This is why the person organizing it will need your info. That way you will know who is in each room and if there are boys and girls and what ages.  And kids aren’t mandatory for being able to participate! This is Disney after all, where age doesn’t matter!

Your next step is deciding what kind of Fish extender you will have. Are you good with the sewing machine or duct tape? Or is clicking on Paypal more your thing. I went the Paypal route. I found an excellent seller on Etsy.com  called Magical Dreams Boutique. She made our Fish Extender, pillowcases and place holder. ( More on the pillow cases and place holder in my next blog post! ) She had a ton of ideas to chose from and did a great job! That’s one option. On Pinterest you can view my Disney Cruise board where I pinned a ton of other ideas for a Fish Extender. Really – it just needs to be something that you hang from the fish hook that is outside your cabin stateroom door. Its a hook – that is a fish. And the thing you hang from it extends down…. and so its called a Fish Extender. Get it? 😉   You’ll find ideas on Pinterest for making them out of duct tape even! There even is a holder at Ikea that can be converted into one as well for a less expensive way to go. Its called the Pysslingar wall pocket and is only $4.99. Then all you have to do is decorate it to your liking. My advice is to have one pocket per child. Then its up to you as to whether you want one pocket for mom and dad or one for each. It doesn’t make any difference, its just a matter of preference! Even Gramma can have her own pocket if she’s traveling with too!

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For me, it was all about decorating the door and making my Fish Extender and door match! So after I picked out my Fish Extender, I ordered a Mickey Captain Hook magnet. I found mine on Etsy and this seller has endless possibilities.  Your cabin door is metal and Disney allows only magnets on the doors. I do advise heavy duty magnets to ensure a good stick. I’ve heard the newly painted doors on the Magic are having even more trouble if the magnets aren’t super strong.  As we started to receive our gifts, our decor started to grow! I just loved all the magnets that were gifted to us!! We got bottle cap ones, and painted cloths pins and even a sign saying Keep calm and wish upon a star. I have them all saved together so that they will one day be used again on our next cruise!

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In order to receive Fish Extender gifts, you have to give some too! Our cruise ended up broken into 4 groups. I joined in on the first 2 groups and ended up with a total of 26 cabins. In those cabins were 26 girls and 27 boys. We had a grand total of about 150 people in all 4 groups! I could have joined all of them if I had wanted to, but seeing as this was my first time I’m glad I didn’t as it can easily get overwhelming.

After searching through Pinterest and on Facebook’s fish extender groups for Fish Extender ideas, I decided to do a sand removal kit. I ordered the brushes off of Amazon in bulk. Then I painted them and hot glued them and got them all sparkled up and voila – a sand removal brush was created! I made a label for the travel size baby powder in photoshop and turned it into Mickey’s magical sand removal powder. Then I bagged and tagged them and they were good to go. I did wonder what a TSA agent would have thought if they saw 26 bottles of baby powder! I mean Mickey’s magical powder! I also searched Pinterest for tags made for these brushes and then copied the wording from one of them. I got the ribbon and paint from Michaels and used my Mickey punch to cut out the blue Mickey head from glittery card stock.

Now it was on to the kids… I broke it up into ages for the boys.

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On Amazon I was able to order a pack of pirate inflatable beach balls. I had 3 little boys under the age of 3 and lucky for me the package was a set of 3! I made a sign and put them in a clear cellophane bag.

 

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For the next age group of boys, I again turned to Amazon. I was able to find these felt bags with pirate coins inside for even cheaper then Oriental Trading Company. I came up with a saying that turned hiding the coins into a game and then added in a glow stick and a couple pirate themed tattoos.

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And then for my older boys, I found these flash lights in the dollar spot at Target. I wrapped them in a pirate themed note and they were perfect. The batteries cost more then the flashlights! Flashlights are a great idea that can also be Disneyfied up by adding a Mickey head to or the cruise date or all kinds of possibilities. Those cabins are super duper dark at night! And the inside cabins are pitch black if the lights are turned off at any time. So flash lights are a nice practical idea.

I found this template free on Pinterest! Feel free to use it as well for your future projects!

pirateNow on to the girls!

I am fortunate to have a hair bow making guru/friend who I enlisted help from. I purchased the clips and ribbon and gems all at Michaels. A little hot glue and wire and time and I had hair bows! I also found Princess glow wands and plastic Easter eggs filled with trinkets like lip gloss and plastic rings in the Easter section at Target. I also got the Ariel and Princess notepads and pencils from Target’s dollar spot. A clear cellophane bag and Minnieish red polka dot tissue paper and they were good to go! I separated things by age a little such as the littler ones got the plastic easter eggs and bows, the middle ages got the wands and bows and note pads and the older girls ( like 16 and 18 ) just got notepads and pencils.

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It took me just under 2 hours to deliver everything to the 26 different cabins. I went floor by floor and organized it as best I could. Seeing as I had a sand removal kit, I wanted to get my gifts out before our first port day. However – there is no set time that you have to deliver them nor do you get an assigned day. I will say though that most were received by the end of our first full day at sea. The other day we received the most was on our Pirate day. I think as long as you have them delivered before the afternoon of the last day, you can chose to do it as you like.

Now that you’ve seen all the goodies we gave out, lets take a peek at the avalanche of goodies we got in return!! It was overwhelming! All the work that went into this was returned tenfold. I was blown away by the generosity of the good folks that all participated. This was one of the highlights of our trip. Seeing my kids get excited to run back to the room and check for “mail” was awesome. They were constantly getting presents and it cut down big time on any desire for having to go to the gift shops. Both kids made out like bandits! I couldn’t even keep up with taking pictures of everything and I know I missed some. My son was already tearing into things before I could say wait! So many things were used during the trip. Pirate eye patches were a huge hit with all 4 of us. My daughter spent a lot of time with her new crayons and markers and coloring books and note pads and stickers. They made down time in our cabin so nice. They were also all welcome new goodies for the plane ride home and when we stopped for a few days to visit at Gramma’s house afterwards. Our door was decorated with the new special magnets. We had a special “light card” for keeping our room cool and lights working without the need of our KTTW ( key to the world ) card. Glow sticks and Flash lights and flashing Mickey necklaces! Luggage tags and a back pack! And one of the coolest things in my 8 yr old’s eyes – was the Lego cruise ship!

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One of our fellow cruise families was from Australia and gifted us with a fun Tasmania cloth bag full of chocolates and candies from there! ( I might not have shared it all with the kids as much as I should have! ) Laminated bookmarks and sunglasses and giant pens and the neatest personalized snack bag for Julia – which we ended up using to hold all her crayons and markers. We received Mickey ear bud headphones both in white with black polka dots and black with white polka dots! The kids got Mickey Slap bracelet watches! I especially loved the gift of pineapple juice w Coconut rum! We also got mini bottles of vodka that I didn’t even get a chance to snap a pic of!

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Julia got 2 other sets of hair bows that got used through out the rest of the trip. Teddy got a wallet made out of Mickey Mouse Duct tape! How cool is that?! Those were for sure some of my favorite things. A lot of effort went into those.  We used the dry erase boards right away and they now hang at home. The Music CD will forever be in our car to remind us of our trip.

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And blessed is the family who gave out the poo-pouri!! HAHA! that was hilarious! Especially with the laminated beautified note that came with it. Simple helpful things are the best! Like I would have never thought to use the cloths pins to pin the curtains closed! They wrote it right on the cloths pin and I happily used them every night. The luggage tags already adorn my luggage and always will remind me of this trip. I know I’m forgetting things as there was so much! But for sure – joining in on doing the fish extender gift exchange was well worth it. I’m grateful to every family that participated with us! I will be looking forward to my next Disney cruise and joining in again.

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Cub Scouts Cake Auction!

One of my son’s favorite things is being a cub scout. And while I’m super proud of this fact, It’s a little daunting as it involves a lot of involvement! However this weeks task was right up my alley. Teddy was also super excited as it included sugar! The challenge was to create a cake together using the scouting theme. So whats the first thing I do? Search Pinterest of course!! I currently have a Scouts board that you can check out where I saved all my ideas. This is a prime example of how I use Pinterest for inspiration. I love to take several ideas I find there and then squish them together to come up with something of my own. Teddy of course was my inspiration for this cake – which he totally loved as he is a Teddy. I originally had liked the idea of a paw pan using the colors of the blue and gold ( boy scouts colors ) and how they used the star tip for the icing. But I didn’t want to have to go buy a pan. Looking at the pans I already possess ( and there are a lot of them in my stash ) I saw my Wilton 3D pan sitting up on the shelf in the pantry! Teddy was thrilled! a 3D cake! That sounded good to him! Fortunatly I have a plethora of Wilton dyes in the stash as well. A quick trip to the store and we were on our way to our creation. The instructions for the pan advised using a heavier cake mix. So per the instructions I picked up a pound cake mix and a devils food cake mix.

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These are the two cake mixes I purchased. Those are the 2 colors of dye that I later used in the icing. Wilton’s gel dyes in golden-yellow and royal blue.

I mixed the cake mixes up according to the instructions on their boxes. Then I gently swirled them together… or rather I dumped one in the same bowl as the other and sort of let them swirl together as I dumped the whole thing inside the pan. The 3D bear pan has a but plug insert. ( what else should I call it?!? ) You fill part of the bottom insert thing about half full with the cake mix and then it gets inserted into the bottom of the bear.  This whole cake pan gets held together with just clips. This here folks is the reason that you need a thicker cake mix. That pan will not be solidly closed. So as quick as you can, you fill the pan up, add the bottom insert thing filled with cake mix in the opening of it, have it sit upside down ( per the instructions ) on top of a pan to catch whats about to seep out, and shove that whole sucker in the pre heated oven at 350.   This is of course the moment you realize that this cake pan is tall and you have to set it back down to take out one of the oven racks. Then you carefully place it into the oven and set your timer for 60 minutes. I forgot to add that I had a huge moment of OH sh#t as the two boxes of cake mix didn’t quite fill up the whole blasted bear pan. Have no fear – cake mix expands! And the bottom insert thing of cake mix also helped to fill it up.

Heres what the pan looks like. ( but plug and all )

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And this here is what it looks like when you take it out and open it up!

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It came out perfectly! It will take a bit of time to cool down. So while it cooled down, the son came home from school to step in and help out with the rest. He loves to help me. I love to let him clean up the vanilla he spilled all over the floor, my leg and my foot that didn’t quite make it into the icing as he was measuring it. He likes to help me smell nice. My icing is what my gramma taught my mom who taught me.

Homemade Icing –

2 sticks of butter at room temp ( cream this up good with your hand-held blender thingy )

add about 1 tsp vanilla

Then add 2 lbs of powdered sugar.

2% milk added to desired consistency.

food dye. An important note that I’ve learned about the hard way in the past – go less on the milk if you are adding dye as that will also change the consistency of your icing.  Teddy learned a new vocabulary word – consistency.

Let the children lick beaters clean. Keep an eye on them tho as they may take the beaters to other parts of the house and you might end up stepping on them in the hallway in the dark in the middle of the night. Of course then I actually wash them in the dishwasher! I think. 😉

Now the fun part. I used my Wilton piping bags and tips and we attempted to ice this baby up. Teddy was thrilled with the way the colors came out and even more thrilled at just eating the icing. IMG_0932

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This little guy was a hit! He’s a bear because Teddy is a Bear in the cub scout/boy scout world right now, and he’s blue and gold to represent the scouting colors. I was just glad he wasn’t too scary looking haha! The next challenge was to drive the 3 minutes over to the school without wrecking him. We made it just fine and this little guy went for 23$

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Our scout troop had a great idea of doing a cake auction. The boys were given a bidding limit set by their parents and each cake went up for a live auction in front of the whole group. I think we had over 25 cakes total! And each one averaged about 15$ so this was a great fundraiser for our scouts. Teddy was so excited he bid early on and got the 3rd cake for 20$ I think he then learned a good lesson about how sometimes its better to wait a bit then to spend all your money right away. I think this was a really great lesson for all the boys over all on how bidding and auctions work. Our troop leader Melissa is just fantastic and she helped this whole thing go super smooth and the boys all had a blast!

I almost didn’t get a picture of the cake teddy bid on – he liked it because the description said it was a triple chocolate. I liked it because I think this mom let her son do more of the work then Teddy’s did. We started eating it before I remembered to take a picture of it. Teddy requested the sunshine that was in the corner that is now missing. Julia ate the sprinkled clouds. I think the blue squiggles are a river and the gum drops are a fire pit. A lot of the cakes had awesome camping/nature scenes.  We had a giant blue bear!

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All the cakes were really fun and this was a great event!

Happy scouting!

Disney vacation countdown the sequel.

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So when a favorite friend of mine asks if it would be possible to get a Disney countdown for their upcoming trip…

I couldn’t help but want to make something awesome! Finally I am putting my lifetime supply of my scrapbooking hoard to good use. I got the Cricut fired up and whipped out a cute Disney sign with super sparkly silver glitter paper. I used the Cricut Mickey Mouse Font for the other words and I used the Cricut Mickey head shape for where I wrote the numbers on. Last time I made one I ended up stamping on the numbers. This time I decided to just hand do them as I had a silver paint pen that I wanted to use to match the rest of the silver theme I had going on. As soon as I started to do them tho I was having anxiety as my Mz perfectionist side flared up. Getting the numbers to look totally perfect was not going to happen. But I think they ended up coming out pretty good and I got the neat silver effect that I really wanted. And that made me very happy overall with how the whole thing looked.

I used scrapbook paper, glue sticks, a silver paint pen and my Cricut.

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The colors and ideas are endless for coming up with the Disney countdown for your family! Searching Pinterest for Disney Countdown will show you a whole bunch of them. I also found that searching for both Disney world and Disneyland brought up a lot more ideas.

You can see the ones I liked best pinned to my Disney Board

here —-> Pinterest Disney Board

You can see the other blog entry i did on my first attempt at a countdown

here —>  Disney Cruise Countdown

Happy counting!

Disney Cruise Countdown Project!

In 31 days we are taking off on our first ever cruise! Of course, if you know me – you’re totally not surprised to hear that its a Disney one! I love to keep the kids involved in my excitement. So today I created a count down. Whats the first thing I do? Go to Pinterest of course!

I began by searching simply for Disney cruise countdown and then just Disney count down. Another idea was to search disney cruise printables. Finally I was searching for Captain Mickey images. Now my ideas were on track. You can find what inspirations I found in my Disney Cruise board on Pinterest.

Find it here — >   http://www.pinterest.com/shepinsalot/disney-cruise

Next I brought out my Cricut expressions. My 3 yr old Julia was thrilled. This was starting to look pretty interesting to her. I printed out from the computer my 2 images I liked for our banner and then layered them onto blue glitter card stock. Julia insisted on blue ( due to her current Elsa obsession everything in the whole world should be blue according to her ). Both images are pinned on my board.

 Then we used my Mickey font cartridge in the Cricut and cut out 3 inch Red Mickey heads. I used my stamping UP! stamp set called Headline Numbers and navy ink to stamp the numbers on each head.

A little double stick tape on the back of each number will make removing one each day super easy!

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And we have a Disney Cruise Countdown!

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I decided that something very visual would be a lot easier for Julia to understand. She can now actually see how many days we have until our trip. Every night she asks when are we going on our cruise and now she will really know! If this had been a project just for my son Teddy ( who is 8 ) I might have done a chalk board where he could write a new number on each day as he is old enough to understand the numbers being counted down. However, I think this  works for both of them and he will be thrilled to see it when he gets home from school today!

This was simple to do and Julia even got to help. She’s now an expert on pushing the buttons on the Cricut.

Some other ideas you might like to do are calendars, paper chains ( one chain for each day ) chalkboards, or ?! =)  I pinned several ideas on my board before I decided on this one.

What I used for this project –

My computer { Pinterest and google image search } and printer.

My Cricut and Stamps and Ink.

Paper trimmer and Double stick tape.

Blue glitter and Red card stock.

Patience for letting a 3 yr old help 😉

Thanks for looking! feel free to pin it and share it

~ Rhonda

A preview of things to come!

Hello and welcome!

I couldn’t decide on what to feature first so I figured I’d wet your whistle and highlight a few of my favorite parties that I’ve done. This is in order to give you an idea of what I will be blogging about as I go along. Then I’ll start digging into the details and sharing those with you along with offering good deals on selling a few of the party left overs that I used in them! That whole over doing it part comes in handy when putting a party together… but then what? Well – then you my favorite new blog follower will score when I start to clean out my stash!  So enjoy this preview of all to come!

May 2012. Avengers birthday party for my son.

This was too much fun. There was an abundance of food dye used for sure!

This was also one of my first real attempts at a dessert table. But what an awesome theme! There was a lot to work with. All food was made by me. and lots of food dye. ( which I only advocate for parties! or holidays… or to make something really cute! )

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Halloween 2013.

This was my 3rd annual Halloween party. If you’re looking for a crazy Halloween party lady, I’m your gal. I’m already planning the 2014 one!  ( or rather I’m already stockpiling supplies for it. ) In case it’s not shockingly overwhelmingly clear…

It was a candy corn theme. I’m kinda into that whole ‘theme’ thing. Just a little.

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January 2014. 3rd birthday Tea Party.

This was just this past month for my daughter Julia’s 3rd birthday party. I can’t wait to start sharing all the details about this one! I went way way way overboard with this one. Because pink. and tea party. and girly. Most of it is still decorating my house… I’m using Valentine’s Day coming up as the excuse… because its pink and romantic and I like to sit in the room with the just the twinkly lights on. Come over and sit with me and you would understand not wanting to take it all down either.

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So there you have it. I get better with each party as any one would hope to do. I’ve learned a lot as Ive attempted new themes or even just the same theme like with Halloween. I had over 50 kids this past Halloween party and I hope to have even more this next year. I hope to simply just become part of the moms out there that enjoy doing this simply for the act of doing it. I don’t have a business. I don’t do other people’s parties. I just love to have the most fun with my kid’s parties and Halloween has become my big thang. So  – by bloggin about them, I get to re live them! The details are what gets me excited. This is what brought my idea back to incorporating Pinterest into this blog.

When I first started doing my kid’s parties like the above Avengers party, I had never heard of Pinterest yet. I had seen sites like Catchmyparty.com and had an awesome friend named Kellie who was/is amazing at parties as my inspiration. Then I found Pinterest. This is where I got the idea to do a Halloween party. I couldn’t not use all the amazing things that I was pinning! I needed an outlet for them. So the first Halloween party was born in 2011. Suddenly my pin board started getting nice and filled up. If you scroll down to the bottom of my Halloween board, there are the first pins that were the inspiration for that very party. We’ll dive into the Halloween parties later this year as I get ready for the next one.  So then as each party came about, I discovered that Pinterest was a treasure trove of ideas and inspiration. Now I hope to contribute back to that community. I hope you’ll feel free to help in doing so by wanting to pin my pictures and blog posts as much as you want! ( please just don’t crop off my water mark and please make sure to have it link back to my website )

Happy Pinning and Partying!

~ Rhonda xoxo

 

Welcome!

Hi!

I’m Rhonda and I’m a 37-year-old stay at home mom  of an 8 yr old boy and 3 yr old daughter. I’ve been married for 15 years now to that awesome guy of mine.

I love to apply Pinterest finds to my every day life.

I love to go overboard in regards to that. So much so that I thought I could fill up a blog about that going overboard part.  As of today I have a little over 5600 pins and 75 boards. I’ve made good use out of them with my Halloween and birthday parties and preparing for vacations and life and just whatever crazy pin peaks my interest! Hopefully my over abundance of creativity will help you forgive my lack of grammerability and my making up of words whenever I feel like it and lots and lots of run on sentences.

Welcome to my world of fun parties and family life. Welcome to my world of making my husband, kids and those around me happy. I do this by sharing my passion and visions that I put together from the many pins that come from Pinterest and my own crazy brain. ( If only I could organize the inside of my head like I do on Pinterest! )  I LOVE throwing parties and crafting and everything Disney and traveling and all that jazz! Last summer I road-tripped by my self for 24 days with my then 2-year-old and 8-year-old. We visited 12 different states in that one trip. I’m also a certifiable Disney nut having been to both parks many times. We are also about to embark upon our first Disney cruise in March!

I’m also very thankful for the other creative and passionate people who share those very things on Pinterest every day with all of us. I will do my very best to always give due credit to where I find those ideas. I fear that this will be a bit of a learning curve as I navigate through this new world of blogging as I have never attempted this before. However,  I have enjoyed reading the blogs of so many others and getting ideas for myself for years now. That makes me very excited to join on in! Let the party begin!

Thanks for reading!

xoxo, Rhonda

Victoria Elizabeth Barnes

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