Celebrating a couple of anniversaries on vacation

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

We’re back from vacation again.  This time around we invited our family members to join us for a week at a Massanutten resort http://www.massresort.com/v.php?pg=2 in McGaheysville, VA.  The place was lovely and the condo we stayed in was spectacular, but your wallet takes a beating if you want to do several of their activities.  We mainly stuck to the playgrounds and the pool, which were free.  The one activity we decided to pay for was going on a pony/horse ride along with petting and feeding the farm animals.

My daughters and I rode on a horse for the first time ever.  This was pretty exciting and the smiles on their faces filled my heart with sheer joy, especially my youngest who we thought was going to bail, but instead her grin extended from one ear to the other and it stayed put from the moment she got on the horse until we said goodbye to “the horsie”.  I was very proud of them because when you’re far away from the horse and just looking at them, it seems like it’s not such a big deal, but once you’re up close and about to get on, it’s a different story.  The ride wasn’t long, but it was definitely a great introduction and there are a couple of riding schools where we live that I’m going to be looking into.  Hey, you never know and the more experiences they get out of life, the better.

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 My cowgirls!

We also had fun at the feeding/petting farm.  I was definitely hovering over my youngest because she was getting a little bit too close to the animals and I was afraid of them biting her.  There were ducks, a turkey (who looked pretty mean so we stayed away from its cage), goats, donkeys, a camel, alpacas (my youngest, Sophia, couldn’t stop feeding these guys and she giggled the whole time with them), pigs, rabbits, and a zebra.  Yes, a zebra.

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Olivia was fortunate to be able to feed a baby camel named Clyde.  She also had a lot of fun feeding the donkey who was eating up a storm.  Sophia’s faved animal was the alpaca and she also enjoyed feeding the zebra.

During our vacation I celebrated my blog’s first year anniversary.  It sort of crept up on me and I was shocked that a year had gone by even though it’s around the same time as my wedding anniversary, which I also celebrated.  My sweetheart husband and I have been happily married for twelve years now.  Our family members made a special dinner and we enjoyed it together.  We didn’t need to go out by ourselves because we wanted to be with our family and to make things less stressful we decided to not give gifts, just celebrate together and enjoy being on vacation.  By the end of the week, Olivia desperately wanted us to stay for another day and my four-year old nephew was not happy that we were leaving.  In fact, he was down right mad and didn’t want to say goodbye, but I still kissed him on the forehead real fast.  🙂  The kids not wanting to leave just showed me that they had a wonderful time together and we will definitely be doing this again come next year.  I told my sister-in-law, “Let’s make this family vacation a tradition because we all had a great time.”  I just need a calendar for 2014 so I can jot it down asap.

Take good care all.

Until next time…

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Celebration Recap

Hello everybody!  I hope you guys are well.

My youngest daughter is officially three and we had a birthday week-end celebration with friends and family.  We broke things down by celebrating her actual birthday on Friday, just us in the house.  I wanted to make a small (I like the Jiffy cake mix), funfetti cake

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and it was the perfect time to try out these Bake-Even Cake Strips (Wilton) that I’ve seen online and found on sale at AC Moore craft store.

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I didn’t realize I went overboard on the sprinkles until…

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…the cake was done and I flipped it out of the baking pan.

As you can see the cake strip (around the pan) worked, but there were noticeable differences other than the cake dome that appears when you don’t use this strip.  The cake sticks to the side of the pan more and the bottom was moist when I took it out.  I like that it baked even, but I don’t know if I’m going to use the strip again.  We’ll see.

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I melted a little bit of the Betty Crocker Rich & Creamy Chocolate frosting (15 seconds in the microwave) in a glass bowl and this made things easy to spread on the cake.  I really don’t like when the cake crumbs combine with the frosting.  I threw a little bit more of sprinkles, yes more, on the frosting and then…

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…the #3 candle.  My daughter loved her funfetti cake.

I chose the theme of the cartoon Bubble Guppies featured on Nickelodeon.  I decorated with free printables from nickjr.com and purchased a huge #3 balloon.  Balloons are always a huge hit.

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The banner, poster, and pin the tail game were cute, easy, and fun to put together.  Just go to nickjr.com and click on birthdays and you’ll see all of the themes and projects available for each.

The following day was Saturday and we invited friends and family with kids to join us at an indoor playground/arcade (funtopiausa.com).  We paid for the kids admission, tokens for them to play the arcade games, and food (pizza, popcorn, and drinks).  We stayed for about two hours and when it was time to go I gave each invited guest a goody box filled with candy, toys and stickers.

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My aunt had given me these boxes about a year ago and I was so happy to finally have a reason to use them.  I glued the images of the Bubble Guppies, which I printed out at nickjr.com, and made the middle image with my daughter’s name.  I then took the glitter glue in blue and green and made swirl lines like waves on the boxes.  I then filled the boxes with candy (skittles, smarties, Tootsie rolls, lollipop, rose ring pop, candy bracelet, and sixlets) from orientaltrading.com along with little toys like a mushroom spinning top (not shown) and Easter Pop-Ups, which are a lot of fun for children and adults.

We ended the day with my husband’s homemade piñata, which he made with a balloon, scraps of paper, and modge podge.

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My husband had fun making this and the kids had a lot more fun whacking the heck out of it.

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On our last day of celebration (Sunday), my family came over and we sang happy birthday once again with another cake (Oreo No Bake Dessert), chocolate lollipops (vanilla, dark mint, & peanut butter), and great, homemade food.  Thanks Mom and my aunt Aida!

I was pretty happy with this plan of action for celebrating my daughter’s birthday.  Many people get really stressed out planning birthdays and end up spending a lot of money.  I didn’t want the headaches or the empty wallet.  No offense to anyone who goes big, because of course, if I had space and extra money, I would be singing a different tune, but at this moment minimal is the way to go.  So one birthday down, one more to go.

Take good care all and thanks for visiting.

Until next time…

A celebration for Dr. Seuss!

Hello everybody!  I hope you guys are well.

Did you know that it’s Dr. Seuss’s birthday tomorrow?  It’s also my mom’s!  She’s going to be 61 years young, but she’s reversing things and saying she’s going to be 16!  🙂  More on that celebration later on.  My daughter’s school is having a celebration today for Dr. Seuss and she was super excited.  Last night, I gave her some time on my computer so she could explore www.seussville.com while secretly I was making her a little pin with the hat from the Cat in the Hat for her school shirt.  I thought about this so last minute so I was hustling around the house trying to figure out how to make a pin.  This is what I came up with.

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I found this image of the hat on AOL search, then printed it out.  I taped it onto card stock to make it sturdier and the tape gave it a laminated look.  I found the smallest safety-pin I could find in my house and taped it to the back of the hat and pinned it onto the collar of her shirt.  I surprised her in the morning by helping her into her shirt and saying, “go take a look in the mirror.”  She instantly saw it and loved it.

I also printed out several of the hats because I wanted to tape them onto her lunch containers and give her another surprise when she had lunch at school.

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I taped the hat onto her water bottle, fork, sandwich container (not shown), and veggie, fruit, and snack containers!

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I found this coloring page also on AOL search, but it’s offered by twistynoodle.com.  I printed out several pages for my daughter’s teacher to offer her students.  Did I mention that my daughter was super excited?  Super duper excited!

I’m hoping that my daughter is currently having a wonderful day at school celebrating a great author’s birthday.  Here’s to you Dr. Seuss and thanks for all the lessons!

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Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Take good care all.

Until next time…