Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Minion Party Prep

Okay, well she turned 5 almost a month ago but hey I'm getting there. (She's lucky I even let her turn 5. I think I might have been happy for her to stay 4 forever.) So to catch up - here's a recap of her party.

This year she was a bit Minion crazy and everyone knows a theme makes party planning easier, erm I mean more involved, so we ran with it.

 The little love posters actually came with the Valentines we'd bought this year. Each balloon was tied to a cake pop that we sent home as favors. Oh my gosh. HATED making cake pops but did learn something. Mark husband is in love with cake pops. He'd never had one before and now often asked when I making them again. Silly man. I think I added too much oil to my melted chocolate and they would not set. The glitter sugar just kept falling off with globs of chocolate. Thankfully these do not actually have to look pretty to taste good.

 Cupcakes that looked fabulous but tasted like yuck. Box cake mix and by altering the strawberry frosting from last year without actually figuring out a way to compensate for the lack of strawberry syrup first left the taste a bit lacking. Thankfully 5 year olds aren't picky. They tasted like sugar and were thus devoured.

 My minion 5! Honestly I no idea what to do with it now that the celebrations are over. It's kinda a bit much to keep around as random decor.

 The waters! Loved these mini squirt waters. I learned my lesson from last year. These are un-spillable! I hate that the one label I cut too small was in the front row for pictures... I'm sure this bothers only me.

 PX41 Serum (grape juice) which turns the minions into purple rage monsters and the Antidote (lemonade) to change them back. The plasma ball was Mark's last minute addition. He thought it would make the kitchen more like Dr. Nefario's lab. (I was just excited he wanted to contribute to party prep!!) Apparently I didn't get a good picture of my minion cups. Aren't the cute?? I just printed minion goggles (and after a small war with my silhouette cameo) had a machine cut them out for me.

Coloring, tattoo and hat station. A party isn't a party without a bowl of m&ms somewhere.

Birthday girl had a fabulous time! Hopefully I'll get a sec to come back and write about the actual party in a few days. :D

Poor Gabriel, I may have reached my "pinterest" party threshold and might be straight back to a backyard bbq for his birthday in July.

Monday, March 9, 2015

project updates

Super quick update just to let you know what happened to my early year momentum.


It's still happening, though almost all the photos are phone pics now. They're uploading to my cloud and trapped on my phone simultaneously. I can't get to them to actually edit because my computer is out of hard drive space. Like completely. Totally. I just tried to take a screen shot to show you my hard drive capacity and current use. It would not let me because I don't even have enough space for that photo. I deleted a few pictures but virtual memory consumed every tiny megabyte I freed.

Project 52

Gabriel broke my virtually indestructible SD card so I don't have a card for my camera. I'm in contact with Samsung. I've mailed them back the bent card and they're in the process of getting me a replacement. Note: do not leave your sd card in the reader, in the usb slot in your computer, WHILST your computer is resting on the arm of the sofa. Yeaaaah. He pushed the computer off the sofa and destroyed both the card and the card reader. My super amazing 64gb Samsung Pro card! *sob sob*

Now I'm off to bake some banana bread with my little while the littlest is still asleep!  (also I'm hoping a restart will give me enough memory to open more than a web browser.)

Monday, March 2, 2015

Lactation Cookies

A couple of my friends have had babies recently. Adorable babies. So what to do? Cookie time! I lived off these lactation cookies in the weeks after Gabriel was born. Thankfully my mother can bake! In hindsight the large glasses of milk I downed with these cookies were wreaking havoc with my baby boy's dairy intolerant belly.... if only I knew then what I know now.

After we collected Jessica from school we got straight to work. 

Baking cookies with a toddler is not an easy task. To quote Jessica, "Gabriel shouldn't be baking. He's too little." 

One extremely messy kitchen later we have cookies! Now to box them up and deliver them to the new mommies. Hopefully they enjoy them as much as I did. Jessica thinks they should be dinner.

If you want to print this as a recipe card just right click, save as, resize to your preference and print. :) ps. You don't have to be lactating to enjoy these cookies! They're just packed with good for you yummies.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


One in a Minion

There's a theme in our house recently and that theme is avocados. Wait, no. That's wrong. Avocados are the new food obsession in our house (I think we've eaten one between us every day for the past week.) The prevailing theme is MINIONS. Yes. Those loud, crazy mini banana men from Despicable Me. J-Bear has requested a Minion themed 5th birthday (I'm hoping she's forgotten that she also requested a surprise party...) With all the minion prep going on in Casa de Smith it's no surprise that when it came time for preschool valentines, my little one loudly proclaimed. MINIONS! 

I may have won a convenient naptime for the cube construction but I had no such luck for rock painting. I'd hoped to distract him with something else, anything else. What I'd forgotten was that BabyBear has entered a "Everything my sister has/is doing/is looking at is amazing and I must copy her exactly or the entire world will end" phase. Same fork, same bowl, same cup.... you get the idea. Add in some paint (which is a well known form of baby crack) and there was no way I was redirecting him.

This would have made a lot more sense if we'd started this activity BEFORE their shower rather than directly after. That's the problem with impluse control. I had no intention to paint rocks, make minions or anything else of that ilk. Then G found our rocks, I asked J about Valentines and a mess was born. I mean an idea.

Who doesn't love oodles of yellow paint an almost 5 year old and a toddler? 

 Turns out the answer is.... 
The almost 5 year old!

After about a kajillion coats of paint. They were finally ready to be Minionized. Super glad we didn't start this project the night before the Valentine's party. Whoo! Win! 

J got down to work writing her name on 30 store bought Minion cards. (Hurrah for something she's interested in actually being current pop culture.) Do you have any idea how long it takes for a 4 year old to write her name on 30 valentine's cards. Yeah. Long. She got to help me glue some eyes on but little girls have bedtimes and this particular one has a tendency to lean towards grumpy in the morning. She couldn't possibly have gotten that trait from me. What are you implying? Alas we didn't start THAT far in advance, we've been painting things yellow for a few days now and the party is tomorrow so I finished up after she was asleep. Yes. I'm probably going to be that mom who you have to tie her hands behind her back to keep her from "helping." I promise I'm getting help. I'm thinking about getting help. ;) I even let her mix her playdoh colors these days, aren't you impressed?

I'm hoping she has fun passing out her Minion Army tomorrow.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Great Room Makeover.

Gabriel needs a bedroom. Playroom is a disaster. Sunroom needs painted. Jessica needs need furniture. Bathroom needs new fixtures. So where do I start? Jessica's closet of course. Oh well, I'm not going to beat myself up about it. Actually I'm going to call it a win. Why? Because I actually DID IT! (That's extremely uncommon for me. Big on talk, small on action.)

It took me a few weeks and a lot of deliberation but I finally made a decision and bought Closetmaid's 12-Cube 'Cubeicals' and some fabric bins from Room Essentials (both from Target, both shipped free to the house. Everything big needs to be shipped these days. There's no way I'm getting anything large and the two kids in my car. I get hives even thinking about trying to get it through the store with two littles in tow.)

They arrived on Friday which was perfect. That morning Gabriel had spent 2 hours playing in the lobby waiting for Jessica during her tumbling and gymnastic classes. The second hour of which he had Eli to run the halls with. In other words, he was tired! He fell asleep in the car on the way home and then actually transferred to the bed once we got home (that's pretty rare!)

After I got Gabriel settled, Jessica and I started the process of carrying pieces up the stairs. The box was a bit too heavy for me to carry up on my own. (Well... Jessica did more supervising than actual carrying. That's a skill her Papa taught her. Supervising is very important.)

She was much more helpful with the sorting process. (She gets this skill from her Daddy and Grandpa Smith who both insist on a complete inventory and sorting of all pieces before construction can begin.)

Oh yeah, I was there too. Jessica took about a billion pictures in 2 seconds. (This is just a small fraction of the photos...)


Less than an hour all in we had a perfectly respectable new closet setup. This is actually only one half of her closet but nothing is wrong with the other side. It's just two rows of hanging clothes. 

Finally some of the clutter can come off her floor. One thing it's important to learn as a parent with small kids (which is slightly counter-intuitive) is if you put the toys away they are more likely to play with them. Yeah I know, it took me a while to grasp that concept and I'm just now working on a way to actually implement it.
So two of the baskets don't fit and Gabriel sabotaged my staging by stealing the Hello Kitty plane from the top cube (see, put it away and suddenly it's the best toy ever) but I'm pretty pleased with the outcome. The bottom baskets have socks, undies, tights, pjs.

Pretty soon we'll be able to get rid of the horrible dresser that is totally out of place in a little girl's room. (Admittedly, I won't be calling it horrible once I move it to my closet. hahaha) It's bolted to the wall but I've found her dragging chairs into her room and climbing to reach things on the top more times than I'd care to. It only makes sense that she should be able to reach her clothes on her own. 

What can I say? This set of furniture came with the house. It was easy. So now we're on the hunt for some low drawers that don't cost a fortune. What I'd really love is if I suddenly became super talented and could renovate an old one into something beautiful, but baby steps here people.

Monday, February 2, 2015

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