This was the year of snow clothes purchases. LOL I always order the kids snow clothes two sizes up so they last for a couple winters. Last year was borderline to small on them. So, this year, I hit up Amazon for new snow clothes and joined in on the fun. Here is what we got and LOVE.
Me: To be honest, I never really wear snow pants or boots. Jackets, yes. But pants and boots I normally just tough it out in a pair of leggings and rain boots and hope for the best. I haven't boarded in years, so for sledding and snow play, it wasn't to bad. However, now that the kids are a little older and we spend more time in the snow, pants and a good pair of snow boots were definitely necessary. The ones I found on Amazon are AMAZING. The pants weren't to baggy and they were fleece lined. So kept me super warm and dry. Boots as well, but also OOO so cute! My jacket I got to match Charlee. You know how much I love twinning LOL It is not a super thick, fleece lined, cozy jacket. But....it did keep me dry. We do all of our snow play in Big Bear Lake, CA. So something lighter was actually better for me. I figured I could always throw a long john shirt or even sweatshirt underneath if I needed to bundle up more.
Charlee and Mason: Charlee's outfit is the REAL deal. I remember as a kid getting wet and being miserable. Especially my butt. When learning to ski or snowboard, falling is going to happen. The kids did learn this trip, so I made sure to order jackets for them that were long and covered their booty's. It seriously makes all of the difference in the world. Neither one of them complained about being wet or cold the entire week. And for the prices, I think the clothes are completely legit.
And some more pictures and videos from our trip.....we had so much fun!
If you follow me on social media, you know, Mason's love for Spiderman is NO secret. I am actually a huge fan of Marvel movies. Iron Man happens to be my FAV. But to be honest, trying to cue in what happened in a past movie with one that was just released was a little challenging. I knew I missed stuff! So....Mark, Mason and I decided to watch all of the Marvel movies in the order of events. It gives you a WHOLE new perspective of how fantastic they all are. To be honest, I had not even seen all of them until we started doing this. But of course, with the movies, comes festivities. So I am put together this blog post filled with TONS of fun Marvel Movie Night ideas. 16 down, and 7 to go so far! Everything will be up by the time we finish watching! In the meantime, if you want to join us, here is the order of Marvel movies based on sequence of events:
Captain America: The First Avenger
The Incredible Hulk
Iron Man 2
Iron Man 3
Thor: The Dark World
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Guardians of the Galaxy
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Captain America: Civil War
Ant-Man and the Wasp
Avengers: Infinity War
Spider-Man: Far from Home
Marybeth over at BabySavers blog put together this Marvel Mix and boy does it look YUM! Click here for the recipe!
Jesse with ArtfulLifeByJesse Etsy shop gifted Mason the coolest Marvel poster! As we watched the movies, we would post it them on the canvas "Watched It!" It has been such a great element to add to the decor of his room. He has SO many different art pieces from Marvel, Star Wars, etc. And he has offered my readers and followers a discount code
FAVORITESTORE10 to save 10%
My mornings are always better when my kids are in a good mood! Don't you agree?!? In fact, a bad day can quickly turn into a good day when they do exactly what they are supposed to be doing! There were a couple of things that were in need of tackling with the kids in order to, well, make my life a little easier. So I created these star charts and they work GREAT!
Here is how they work!
1. I laminated my star charts so the kids can color in their stars with dry erase markers and wipe them clean each week.
2. Each day, the kids are expected to complete a certain number of star tasks from their star chart. I leave the number open ended because I feel like the older they get, the more they should be expected to complete. For example, as you can see below...my daughter Charlee, is having a hard time potty training while she is asleep. She had a straddle accident about 6 months ago and was fully potty trained at the time, but now has accidents more than I would like her to. Because this is a little bit of a harder task, I only require her to get five stars a day as opposed to 6 so she has a better opportunity to get a prize star!
3. When the kids earn the amount of daily stars they are supposed to, they receive a prize star! I think it is important that they earn a prize star as regularly as possible. That way, they stay engaged with the tasks of the chart. Charlee is 4 years old and has to complete 5 out of the 6 star tasks in order to get 1 prize star. I did not want to throw the day out if she happened to have an accident in her pull up over night. She rarely has an accident both at night and nap time in one day. So still has a pretty good chance of earning a prize star each day even if she doesn't start the day off with a dry diaper. Mason is 6 years old, and in my opinion, more than capable of earning all 6 star tasks per day. So, he has to complete all 6 before he gets a prize star.
4. After the kids earn 10 prize stars, they get a prize! All of the prizes I give the kids are around $10 in value. So if you think about it, 10 prize stars would be 10 good days of your child completing all of their star tasks. Ultimately, would you pay $1 a day for your kid to be on their very best behavior?!?!?! I know I would!
There are so many awesome $10 toys on Amazon Prime. A lot of which, Mason asks for and eagerly tries to earn through his star chart. If he comes across a toy he REALLY wants (thank you YouTube) and it happens to cost more....$20-$30 normally....I usually offer him to earn as many stars as the dollar amount that toy is worth. I admittedly cave at times for the big prizes once he earns the first 10 prize stars LOL
I also plan the "star tasks' based on the week ahead. So if I know there is something in particular I need the kids to do on their own without begging for them to do it, I put it as a star task on the chart.
Below I have attached a couple of different charts in PDF form as well as some Amazon links to toys for boys and girls in the $20 and under range that my kids personally love. I added Spiderman to Masons and Unicorns to Charlee's.....just to decorate them up a little. The other Star Chart has blank sides, so you can easily add whatever character your child happens to be into at that time. I hope you all enjoy! Please tag me on Instagram in any star chart prints @love.marriage.babycarriages
I have to say, I was pretty excited while piecing together these outfits. It all started with these adorable hats and than just went from there! They have adjustable strings on the inside so when tied it fits Charlee's head perfectly and I am a fan of the semi loose fit which totally worked for me as well. And for the price.....can't be beat!
Its my favorite fashion season.....cardigans, leggings, comfy boots and beanies! This has quickly become Charlee and I's go to look as things have cooled down here in sunny southern CA. She is OBSESSED with leggings. Refuses to wear anything else, and if I finally get her to wear jeans or another style of pant, she is quick to change right back into her leggings as soon as she gets home. Her cardigan has little sparkles in it that you cant see very well in the pictures but she is in love with them.....yes, them, we bought in multiple colors LOL. Shop our look and other favorites down below.
Who doesn't love an everyday spa day?!?!? I can not believe the positive changes in my skin after using HelloBody for just a few months. Creeping into my mid 30s over here, and no clue what was going on but my complexion started looking like a high school kid in their prime of puberty. NOT CUTE! After using HelloBody for just a couple of weeks, I could already see and feel great changes in my skin. So when the opportunity to be an ambassador came about, it was a NO brainer. A few months using their products now and I am so much more confident with my complexion. So I thought I would share my morning and night time routine with you all as well as my 30% OFF Code = GLAM52
4 Different Skin Care Lines: They offer four different skin care lines to choose from based on your skin type.
1. Coco Pure Moisture for Normal to Dry Skin (this is the one I use)
2. ALOE Hydra Glow for Normal and Dehydrated Skin
3. Rose Pure Balance for Combination to Oily Skin
4. Cara Strength and Protection for Normal and Sensitive Skin
I am in LOVE with the Coco line. My mother in law drinks a lot of coffee with coconut creamer and that is exactly what it smells like!
1. Coco Pure Face Scrub (I use this every other day)
2. Coco Fresh Face Foam
3. COCO Day Daily Face Lotion
4. Coco Prime Shimmering Face Fluid (can also be used as a primer for your foundation or to highlight your face on top of you makeup)
5. Hope & Joy Lip Scrub (this stuff is worth every penny!!! Check out the change in Masons lips just after 3 days!)
6. Hope & Joy Lip Balm
This is not fake news! LOL If you follow me on Instagram, you would have seen me post a video using the scrub and balm on Mason for the first time with the left picture as a screenshot from zooming in on the video, and then three days later videoing his progress with the picture on the right. I WAS IN SHOCK!
1. Coco Fresh Face Foam
2. Coco Calm Soothing Face Toner
3. Coco Soft Night Face Lotion
5. Hope & Joy Lip Scrub (this stuff is worth every penny!!! Check out the change in Masons lips just after 3 uses!)
6. Hope & Joy Lip Balm
About once a week I put on the Coco Clear Mud Mask for about 10-15 minutes. It makes your skin feel SO good. Everyone deserves some self care in their life! Treat yourself!
30% Discount Code: GLAM52
Elf on the shelf is one of the very many traditions our family partakes in during the holidays. I mean, who doesn't want to say , "Your elves are watching", and have your kids shape up IMMEDIATELY and listen to you?!?!?! I wish we had a form of these guys to us year round HA. This year, our original elf, Buddy, brought his friend Sparkle to join in on the fun. The kids get so excited to come downstairs everyday and see where the elves are hiding and what they have gotten into the night before. If you want to see more of them dressed up as their two favorite elves, check out this blog post!
I wish I could take all of the credit for most of the scenes, but my husband is the mastermind behind the elves! Our elves make their magical appearance the day after Thanksgiving. (I know, I know, December 1st is the official date!) I let the kids cuddle and snuggle with them until the 31st....and then off to the North
My four year old was "helping" decorate the stair case the night before I had come up with this one. She took all of my extra ribbons and one by one knotted them on every single one of our stair banisters. She did NOT want me to take them down LOL. So I left them, and the elves took them down to use as props. It was a perfect plan!
Hands down the kids get MOST excited when the elves use their toys to create little scenes. This scenes credit goes to daddy. I had forgotten to move the elves and texted him to do so when he got home (LA City Fire Fighter...so he works 24 hour shifts). He surprised ALL of us with this adorable setup! Barbie table and chairs, LOL cups, and a couple of half eaten donut wholes!
The Quarantine Elf. Because it's not quite 2020 without one. I actually thoroughly enjoy creating these little magical scenes....and I think my husband does even MORE! I could not bare the thought of having our elves in quarantine for a set amount of days. Although, it is a great idea if you need to buy yourself some time lol. But, my kids do get irritated with the restrictions the pandemic has on them. So I decided to put a little positive spin on it and "isolate" the elves in lamp shades with little face mask gifts and a note telling the kids to stay safe and hang in there!
Day 6, 7 and 8:
This was a fun one.....and got the BIGGEST reaction out of the kids so far. Pictures speak a thousand words. Those pesky elves. AND in the middle of a pandemic #wortheveryroll
Ok ok...this one got me in a little bit of trouble! So I had an elf on the shelf mom fail....
I overheard Charlee (my 4 year old) tell Mason (my 6 year old) yesterday morning when they had seen the elves had moved the night before, that she touched the elves and they didn't lose their magic. Mason yelled at her and said she couldn't do that but neither of them knew I heard the conversation. So....this morning I set the elves up with medicine and things and wrote a note. First line....
We're not feeling so well, I think someone touched us and we're losing our magic.
Both of the kids jaws dropped. Mason said, "Mom, I did NOT touch those elves!" He hesitated to say, "but I think I know who did." Points to Charlee behind her back so she can't see him. Charlee immediately starts balling her eyes out. Mason started tearing up and asked me if the elves were going to die or stay at the North Pole and never come back. It was a disaster.
Last line on the note said if your extra good today, our magic may come back. We were already in full blown crisis mode for that to happen. Lol Not a good way to start the morning with those two!
Notice the sock sleeping bags, medicine, and thermometer. I even put pink lip gloss on their cheeks to make it look like they were really sick. I honestly thought I was setting myself up to get a couple of REALLY good kids that morning.
Mason is OBSESSED with dinosaurs. I was pretty proud of this one and he was so impressed he had to call grandma and tell her all about it that morning.
The kids play "The Floor is Lava" ALL the time and got a huge kick out of this one! Immediately jumped on the couches as soon as I read the note. Although, I would suggest revealing them closer to the front door....it took us a bit longer to get to school that morning bouncing from object to object.
This one had my husband and kids rolling.....Dinosaurs for Mason, Barbie's for Charlee, it was the perfect scene!
Masons room is a totally decked out Jurassic World. We have netting and vines hanging from his ceilings. He took it upon himself to hang helicopters and all of the different flying dinosaurs as well. So naturally, I had to utilize the decor for a fun elf scene! The note said they took the helicopter to the North Pole that night. I could just see the kids imaginations running wild!
Hubs came up with this one. His family has a tradition of making Worscterbroils (no idea how you spell it, but kind of like pigs in a blanket). They get together about a week before Christmas every year and all make them together....guys and kids too! So the day we were going to do that....the kids and I woke up to this elf scene!
The kids baby cousin came over for dinner the night before and left the high chair behind for the holidays. Those silly elves had to try it out! Eating maple syrup and writing love notes in M&Ms.
Ok this one got some MAJOR stuff done! I told the kids that if they ate all of their vegetable soup (they eat NO veggies) that I would write a letter to the elves that they were extra good. Soooo....as a double wammy, the elves wrote back that they were so proud of them...but if they also slept in their own beds without crawling into mommy or daddys before it was time for school....they would bring them something comfy and cozy. After much success two nights in a row, they brought back matching pajamas!
Barbie bed, them holding the note we wrote them, and a blanket made of kleenex was a big hit with the kids.
The naughty little elves getting into the booze!
Day 20 and 21:
I lumped these two together because they were pretty much the same idea. I have to say, Charlee's favorite was the writing in lipstick on the floor. Spa day, dress up, and makeup with the elves.
This one got a good laugh and was so quick and easy to do!
Toothpaste on the mirror.....sounded like a great idea.....but 10 days later....I still have toothpaste on the mirror LOL Next time I will probably hang a note or piece of paper with the toothpaste on it.
Credit to dad on this one! Christmas Eve = a day of cooking! No idea HOW he comes up with this stuff LOL
The Christmas morning surprise!!!! As we were putting the kids down for bed, we read them the Night Before Christmas and told them we were going downstairs to watch a holiday movie before we went to bed ourselves. Mason replied, "If Santa comes when you are still awake, can you get a picture with him?" So....those little elves tried to catch him for a picture, but were left only with his boots!
Tips On Keeping the Magic Real:
I am always looking for new and fresh ideas! Please share if you have put together any epic Elf scenes for your little ones!
When I told the kids we should dress them up like their elves on a shelf...stoked was a total understatement! Mason kind of looks like him don't you think? HAHA Super simple, even for a Halloween costume! Cut the felt into an 18 inch circle. Cut the jagged edges into it. And voila! I also stuffed their Santa hats so they would spike up like the actual elves!
No matter how hard we try.....these days we're all absolutely dependent on tablets and computers. Remember when we used to restrict the kids to a certain amount of time a day on their tablet or computers?!?! Well now that they are learning through them with school, the hours that they spend in front of the blue light is astronomical compared to before the pandemic hit! A blue light glasses company called, Gaoye, reached out to me for a collaboration. After doing a little research on the product and harmful effects of blue lights, I knew this was a product my family would use and stand by. Not only are they a super cute accessory, but I feel better knowing my kids eyes are not being harmed by the blue light of their devices and TVs.
What Are Blue-Light Glasses?
Blue light is found in cell phones, tablets, computers, some light bulbs and sunshine. It can severely damage your retina, which could lead to vision impairment. Blue-light glasses feature lenses that limit exposure to blue light.
There are quite a few benefits to wearing blue-light glasses:
They can relieve eye discomfort.
Excess device usage can lead to computer vision syndrome or digital eye strain. Glasses with blue light filtering technology can enhance your focus and reduce eye strain, resulting in making your eyes feel less tired and improving productivity. Another way to reduce eye strain is to make sure you take regular breaks from the screen.
Many believe people sleep better when they use blue-light blocking glasses.
Exposures to screen can negatively effect sleeping habits. Blue light has a high energy frequency that can increase alertness. Many say we should avoid using blue-light devices one to two hours before sleep. (As I lay here in bed....at 11:00pm...typing this blog...LOL) This is where the blue light blocking glasses come in quite handy. (And yes...I have mine on LOL)
This time of year calls for cooking, decorating, Hallmark movie binging, and doing it all in your pajamas! My 4 year old HAS to get dressed every morning. She loves picking out outfits and changing twice a day (sometimes more). My 6 year old son, Mason, and myself....prefer to lounge ALL day long! We go from day time pajamas to night time pajamas. Its the best time of year! So I have put together some of our favorite pajama sets to share with you all!
Sweater Pajama Look
This is my new FAVORITE look! Cute, comfortable, and transfers so easy from a lounge outfit to a going out outfit. Loose comfy sweaters and cable knit socks. So nice to decorate or to do's around the house in, yet not embarrassing when a girlfriend pops by unexpectedly for a glass of wine! LOL I even got some for Charlee. HOW CUTE IS THIS LOOK! Check out my Oversized Sweater blog post to see how these adorable sweaters can transform!
Satin Pajama Sets
Who doesn't love a comfortable satin pajama??? I know I do! And so do my kids! This particular set comes in all sorts of styles and colors.
We had too much fun creating this little clip :-)
I am ALL about the family pajamas! We get at least two sets for the four of us every year! They make Christmas morning pictures that much cuter! I am definitely into the more fall/winter sets then the straight Christmas sets....only because I feel like you can get more of a wear out of them.
And now its time to get cozy and pass out! LOL
FUN!WRAP reached out to me a couple of weeks ago to introduce their product line. They sent the kids each a package, Mason the dinosaur theme and Charlee the princess theme. They colored their little hearts out, wrapped up a couple of Christmas gifts for dad, and put them under the tree. How CUTE is this idea! Not only did it entertain them for hours.....but I just know it will bring a little bit of extra appreciation to daddy's gifts when he opens them up on Christmas morning. Made with love!
Some notes from their website on the product:
Welcome to LolliLiNK and thank you for visiting our store. Fun!Wrap is themed wrapping paper developed by LolliLiNK that lets kids personalize their gift for that special someone, such as a grandparent, parent or sibling. Anyone can go to the store and buy wrapping paper, but with Fun!Wrap kids get to create! Fun!Wrap paper becomes a unique work of art and makes a heartwarming statement for the receiver, created by a beloved grandchild, son, daughter, niece, nephew, or friend. Fun!Wrap is fun work and uses creative energy. Fun!Wrap gives children a sense of accomplishment and pride in what they have created. Matching gift tags let kids create a personal note to accompany their specially wrapped gift. Fun!Wrap is printed high quality paper stock to withstand lots of paint, glitter glue, markers, and whatever else your little Picassos imaginative minds can find around the house. Fun!Wrap can be a keepsake for grandparents, relatives, and friends. Our papers are designed with love and completely manufactured in the USA. This was important to us as we wanted LolliLiNK to be firmly grounded in the US. Put a smile on your gift and on a special someone’s face with a gift wrapped with Fun!Wrap!
It is just a few days before Thanksgiving and Christmas is in FULL swing at the Chavez house! The kids asked us if they could have their own trees in their rooms this year. This is something that my parents did for me and my siblings. So to carry on the tradition, and to just make my heart even happier during this holiday season, we hit up Amazon for the cutest starter kits for each of their trees!
This was our first flocked tree. Although it is a little messy, it cleaned up easy and overall.....I am just obsessed! It looks SO pretty in person and I am super impressed with the quality of this particular one for the price. What a steal! When I posted to Instagram, I got SEVERAL inquiries on the mesh that I add to both my trees and garland. Here it all is linked below. I also linked some other mesh colors at the bottom of this post that I have used in the past and love as well.
What can I say about Mason.....the boy knows what he likes. This year, from his Halloween Costume to his Christmas Tree, was all about Spiderman. Tree, mesh, ornaments, and Spiderman Ribbons Linked below!
And finally, requested by popular demand....here are some of the mesh decor I have used in the past! They come in all different colors than just the ones shown so click through the links to check them out!
This years trip to the Deluca Farm's Pumpkin Patch was awesome. Inflatable bounce houses, hay rides, pumpkin picking, and some great shots with these cuties. My dress and shoes listed below are similar but not exactly what I was wearing. Unfortunately, they are no longer available. The scarf was SUPER thick when I got it, so I cut it in half so both Charlee and I had matching ones. Shop our look at the bottom of the blog!
Monster Mash Margarita
The Perfect Apple Pie Martini
Pumpkin Pie Shots
Bloody Shirley Temple
Halloween Activity Kit
Masons FAVORITE Halloween Movie is Mickey's House of Villains. You can download it on Prime video for $9.99. This has been a hit at our house the last three years. So this year, I put together a Disney Halloween Activity Kit for the kids to work on while they watched. Download this PDF to share with your little one! Filled with plenty of spooky activities to keep them occupied for an afternoon! It started with putting together some simple learning games into a PDF, to creating my own Mickey Halloween Art on the ProCreate App to add some character to the packet. Don't forget to subscribe to my newsletter at the bottom of the blog to get email updates when new kits hit the blog!
Simple enough.....and the kids LOVE it! Before any pumpkin related activities, have the kids give them a good scrub! Throw some baby bubble bath in the sink, some scrub brushes, and let them go to town on their pumpkins! Charlee washed her pumpkin for almost an hour! She loved it!
Paint, paint, and more paint!
What kid doesn't like to paint?!?! Mine do! And there are so many different things to paint for Halloween.
1. Ghost Foot: Trick or Treat Smell My Feet
2. Potato Stamp: Carve out a pumpkin stamp into half of a potato, paint, and stamp away.
3. Apple Stamp: Cut the apple in half, paint, and stamp into the shape of a pumpkin
4. The classic pumpkin painting!
This is a good one and got SO many laughs! Put on the timer and grab a roll of toilet paper. They have to wrap someone up in the TP for one minute. The person with the best mummy look wins! I folded the TP back up and use it as kleenex. LOL Not like were in the middle of a pandemic right?!?!?! HAHAHA
Climb Through Mummy Maze
Before you fold that TP up, create a maze for the kids to crawl through. If they rip any of the TP then they have to start over and try again. Time them until they make it from one part of the room to the other.
Spider Web Climb
Create a spider web out of tape on the floor. Sprinkle some fake spider all over the web and have the kids collect them all without stepping off of the tape. You can add a timer to make it more of a competition. I put little skeletons on the web that they had to avoid touching. If they touched a skeleton, they got an extra 5 seconds on their time. Best time is the winner!
Since we are all kids at heart, this should be a fun one. Having kids in or at your ceremony can be a blast, both for you and for them. Don’t even get me started on the hype that they bring to your reception, it’s better than any DJ that you could hire. While this may seem like a daunting part of the day I promise that, if done right, kids can easily be one of the best parts and bring so much fun and joy to your wedding.
As someone who is always thinking about every little detail, it’s important that I think of how to make the day great for everyone. Depending on the age range and how many kids will be in attendance, here are a few cute and super fun ideas :)
During the Ceremony…
If you decide to have kids in the ceremony, there are a lot of different and special ways to do this.
1. As a ring bearer
I mean c’mon…
2. As a flower girl
Pretty self explanatory and always a show stopper.
3. As a junior bridesmaid or groomsmen
This is a great option for kids who are a little older and/or have a very special connection to the wedding. The junior bridesmaid or groomsman can also be a part of other wedding festivities like a bachelor or bachelorette outing depending on the wholesomeness of your wedding festivities (or lack thereof ;)
4. Include them in a first look
One of my favorite and unique touches in any wedding is including the little ones in a first look with the bride or groom. The reactions are priceless.
5. Have them do a reading or performance at the wedding
Whether they are reading a poem, a bible verse, an old love note or singing a song, adding this touch at any wedding will make for a very sentimental memory.
Other ideas for entertainment include;
- Board games
- Hiring entertainers like face painters, magicians and more!
Don’t want the party to stop, but have a few kids still around? A “No adults allowed zone” or a “Kids only” area/table is a great way to put aside some space for the kids for toys, activities and for a few pillows just in case they get a little sleepy.
And just like that....our little boy was 6!
Despite the craziness of quarantine, we managed to celebrate in a BIG way! Mason's current obsession, Ryan's World, made the perfect theme for his virtual birthday party! The beauty of this party, is that once the quarantine lifts, it can also be super fun to do in person as well! The kids seemed to love all of the little surprises we had in store for them. We started by dropping off goodie bags to each house the day before, a scavenger hunt for each of the kiddos the day of, a surprise car rally drive by for the birthday boy, and to finish a virtual zoom gift opening and cookie decorating session! It was an amazing celebration for a very excited little boy!
The Treasure Hunt Instructions and Clues: These included a set of 10 clues to be hidden by the parents around the house. I also included 10 party favors so that with each clue found, came a little surprise. The parents were so awesome hide the clues and gifts for us! We requested the kids finished their hunt before they signed on for the zoom meeting in the afternoon. That way, they could talk and share their findings. I printed out the treasure hunt instructions and burnt the edges of the paper over the stove top so it looked more like an old treasure map. You can see the outcome in the overview picture above
The Cookie Kits: These were one of the prizes on the treasure hunt. I asked the parents to have the kids decorate their cookies while they watched Mason open presents on the zoom meeting. A few of them sent us pictures of their masterpieces as the meeting was going on. So fun! The kits were created by Courtney's Creations and included two cookies, a frosting pack, and 2 sprinkle packets each. She picked cookie cut outs that matched the characters in Ryan's World. They were as tasty as they looked!!!
I sent out an email to everyone involved that we would be playing outside for the couple of hours before the zoom party started. Since we could not throw flow blown parties for the kids this year, we decided to get them a bouncer with a slide. This thing is awesome!!! They use it almost everyday! If guests wanted to stop by and wave while the kids played, they were welcome too. Boy, did people go all out and make our little boy feel SO loved!!! And even though we requested no gifts....a lot of people dropped off the BEST presents!
When it was time to zoom, we logged on a little early and gave the kids a few minutes to chat and catch up. Then it was time to open presents. I set up a box wall as Ryan does on some of his toy review and hid Mason's presents that we got him in each of the boxes. I placed a different Ryan's World character picture on each box and we let each of the kids pick which picture Mason would punch in and reveal the next present! It was so much fun for him! It did not take to long to get through...but just in case, the kids did have their cookies to decorate during the process.
Finally, we cut the cake with everyone still on Zoom and sang Happy Birthday! Gina and the Bean did a fantastic job of making the perfect cake and it was absolutely delicious! The perfect ending to a perfect birthday celebration!
Well...Charlee is officially 3 and I threw her the cutest Disney Princess Tea Party! I LOVE details....and so does Charlee! She notices every time I change my nail color, every piece of jewelry I have on, and every time I spend a little extra time doing my hair and makeup! Charlee loves to compliment peoples outfits, hair styles, and fashion accessories!
"Remember, you're the only one that can fill the world with sunshine." - Snow White
I also made a coloring book area. Thank you DOLLAR TREE! Different Disney coloring books, crayons, paints, etc. a little $20 touch that was a huge hit at the party for the kids!
Gina with Gina and the Bean and her daughter, Kelly, did such a fabulous job with the treats, food, and tea. The kids and adults both had a little different menu.
What adult doesn’t love pairing their food with wine? Just a fun spin I added in for the ladies....I wrote out which wines paired best with each food item so we could make a little wine tasting experience out of it! So fun!!!! And SO delicious!"
We laughed, we ate, we played, we opened presents. It truly was a party fit for a princess.
Desserts, food, tea party accessories: Gina and the Bean
Charlee's Outfit, Mom's Outfit, and Decor: Amazon Baby! Message Us for Specific Links
Coloring Books, Activities Center: Dollar Tree
A lot of us had to quickly adjust to a distance learning system back in March. I must admit, when we went online at the end of last years school year, we did not develop much of a routine. We signed on in bed some mornings, in the car if we were driving somewhere, sprawled out across the living room floor. The goal was to get through the zooms and lesson plans as quickly as possible so we could enjoy the rest of the day on the lake in Big Bear at our vacation home. Then, I had no idea how long we would be online.
Now that it is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, which I (like most of you I am sure) was not happy about at first, I must admit setting up a good learning space for Mason (my 6 year old) at the start of this school year has made a WORLD of difference. So I turned my home office space into our 1st grade classroom/office space for both Mason and myself. Mason's school, Mary Star of the Sea Elementary, has done a fabulous job zooming with the kids and training them to do everything on their own. I pretty much need to sign him on in the morning and that is it. Which is AWESOME!!!! At the end of last year I literally had to sit with him the entire time and help him maneuver through the school day. Now, he does it all on his own LIVE with his teacher everyday from 8:30am until 1:30pm. She even leaves the zoom on for break time and lunch so he can walk away, play, eat, and then she sets a timer and rings a bell when he needs to be back in front of the camera. His schedule is
8:30-8:45 Morning Announcements with the Principal and Entire School
8:45 -10:00 Math (Live ZOOM)
10:00-10:20 Break Time
10:20-12:00 Language Arts and Religion (Live Zoom)
12:30-1:30 Science and Social Studies (Live Zoom)
This schedule gives me plenty of time to answer emails, respond to inquiries, and put together blogs like this one :-) After he signs off at 1:30, I do my best to work out and get the kids outside and active. Were jumping into the second week of school and I feel really good about it. This is definitely a schedule we can stick to and also one that is legitimately the next best thing to him physically being in class.
I think one of the biggest game changers, was getting his iPad Screen mirrored to a Big Screen. It took a little bit of googling to find out how to do it without an extra device like an Apple TV or Roku, but I found an app called AirScreen. It downloaded directly to our Samsung Smart TV. If you swipe down from the top corner of your iPad or device, (where the flashlight is located) you simply click "Screen Mirroring" and then select AS-AFTKMST12[Airplay] and you are all set. Different brands of smart TVs have different screen mirroring apps to download (for example; this app is not offered on my LG Smart TV). Google your TV brand and it should pop up.
My little work area is so cute and cozy. I find myself at my desk each day until 6:00pm or 7:00pm just working away. My desk was gifted to me from a friend, but I believe she got it at IKEA.
My daily planner sheets are great. I get a huge satisfaction of checking to-do items off a list. These sheets allow me to time out our day (I normally fill them all out on Sundays for the entire week), make to do lists, plan work outs, meals, etc. They keep me super organized and I love it! I also have Mason on a Star system that he is really into. On my daily planner I mark stars throughout the day when he is good during that zoom. He gets a star for:
Language Arts/Religion Zoom
Science/Social Studies Zoom
Completion of All Seasaw Activities
As soon as each subject is finished, he runs over and asks, "Do I get a star for that one?" It is the cutest thing. 5 stars means he gets to put one big star up on the monthly calendar board. Once he gets 10 big stars (so essentially it will take him two weeks), he gets to pick out a prize. He hits 10 this Friday (if all goes according to plan) and has already picked out a Spiderman toy on Amazon. Well worth the $1 a day to have a well behaved child.
I display his spelling words on a black dry erase board. Anytime I over hear something I think he should practice outside of his zoom class I throw it up on the board. I love that it is black and framed in wood. Goes more with my rustic vibe than a regular white dry erase board. He uses it to draw on during his breaks as well.
I definitely knew I wanted to set up a little reading corner. The chair I had in my office before, so I repurposed that. There are jewels on mine. I purchased those on Amazon as well and stuck them into the buttons myself to add some bling. Mason was so excited to see the circle rug. "Mom, is this where we do criss cross apple sauce and read stories?" It sure is buddy! I got the white tubs and plastic bins from Dollar Tree.
The block letters we use when were practicing spelling and reading. It came with several copies of each letter. Mason loved punching them all out. We have them all stored in one of the Dollar Tree bins. I figured I can even use them for spelling words and things on his dry erase board.
If you know me or have been following me for some time now, you know I am ALL about ambiance. So of course, I had to set us up a space that was organized, practical, and pretty. I have linked several of the products that I ordered on Amazon below. The rest of the items shown I had around the house and reused.
By far the most special part of the room is his art door. His teacher taught him how to draw an American flag on zoom and then gave them a history lesson on a few other patriotic things. Mason came running upstairs telling us we needed to come look at what he did. He not only did his assigned flag but also drew The Liberty Bell, an American Eagle, Mount Rushmore, and the Statue of Liberty. I was thoroughly impressed!
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Everything about this wedding was a spitting image of this beautiful bride and her amazing personality! How do I know?!?!?! Well, she happens to be one of my oldest friends. Nicole and I met in grade school and have remained friends ever since. I have had the pleasure of growing with her, laughing with her, crying with her, attending her epic Bachelorette party in Nashville. And witnessing her fall in love and marry the most perfect man for her, Darin. Now, I regularly get to watch her beautiful family grow and flourish on social media and witness her slay the #momtreprenuer world. And though they don't happen often enough, I thoroughly enjoy our life chats over dinner and cocktails.
Before we dive into their wedding details, lets take a look at how cute their save the date music video was!
Bandy Canyon Ranch is an awesome venue. They have multiple cabins to rent out on the property that you and your family or bridal party can stay in. It has a very country feel to it, which is totally Nicole and Darin....also known as Sweets and Studs!
I love it when couples write each other letters to read right before the ceremony. One last time to tell the other how much you love them before the biggest moment in your relationship. When there is gifts along with the letters....its even an extra bonus! And the bride and groom gifted their groomsmen with the cutest selfie bobble heads. LOL Classic!
The ceremony was perfect. Her adorable pooch Bentley strutted down the aisle right in to dads arms. Her brother walked her down the aisle. The moms gave short speeches. They personalized their vows. It was just perfect!
You know I am ALL about the details! Nicole's mom did a fabulous job crafting different display areas. They were all so unique, beautiful, and fitting to the theme. My ALL time favorite Photobooth, the VW bus, pulled right up tot he reception spot and acted like a decor element as well as a fun activity for the guests.
Walter with Walter Wilsons Studios did an amazing job capturing the most beautiful pictures.
In the Ceremony: Seeing a pet strut down the aisle is a guaranteed way to make your guests smile. You run the risk of being out shined by a fur ball, but I think it’s pretty worth it. Using a pup as a groomsman, bridesmaid or ring bearer is a common trend in weddings these days and for good reason. Ever thought about having a “Dog of Honor” because well, you should. Better yet, dressing them up or having them carry something down the aisle is an added bonus and a perfect photo opportunity.
Photos, Photos and more Photos! Speaking of photos…If including your pet in the ceremony is not an option, photos outside of the ceremony are always a great way to savor the memories with your pets. Depending on how well behaved your pet is, you can include them in the getting ready process, first look photos, and so much more. Remember not all photos have to be picture perfect and sometimes the most candid ones end up being our favorites.
Consider the Decorations: Maybe the venue doesn’t allow for pets or your animal does not do well with crowds of people....well, fret not! Tying your fur baby into your decorations, favors, and stationary is still a very cute and viable option. Maybe name a cocktail or two after them. Include them in your cake topper or send your guests home with some treats in their honor.
Reception Entertainment: As much as you would like everyone to get off of their feet and dance at the end of the day, not everyone is confident enough to bust a move. Luckily, dogs are a great alternative source of entertainment for anyone not willing to hit the dance floor. On the other hand, if people take in enough liquid courage and the dance floor is filled, dogs love to shake their tails too. If you have kids at the event a sure fire way to keep them occupied is with an animal. I like to think of it as free childcare and pet sitting all in one.
I’m sure the pictures have spoken for themselves and you have a little bit more of an idea on how to share some of your special day with your pet. If you have decided to have your pet in your wedding, make sure you consider the following:
Does your venue allow for animals? And if so, at what cost?
Is the venue big enough for your furry friend(s)? Remember, they will need a place to do their business.
Let your photographer know in advance so they can think of cute photo-ops.
Who will be watching your pet during the day? Do you need to hire a pet sitter?
How many squirrels will your pet try to chase on the big day?
What is your pet’s personality like? Will they be behaved or is there a chance they will bark for the whole ceremony?
How will your guests feel about animals? If you are going to bring your lil loved ones to the big day make sure to let your guests know in advance… allergies could get crazy.
Do you need to train your dog on how to walk down an aisle?
The most important question of them all… what will they wear?
Check out this wedding that we had the pleasure of coordinating at The Portofino Hotel in Redondo Beach. Christina and Ray have the cutest little fur child named Baby and did such an amazing job of incorporating her into their big day. If you as obsessed with this little bundle of cuteness as we are, you can follow her on her Instagram @furbabybaby . Her mom and dad are always taking her on the best adventures!
And our All American Wedding we were so happy to be a part of at Bandy Canyon Ranch. How adorable is this little pooch Bentley?!?!?! For more details on this fabulous day, check out our All American Wedding Blog Post.
And we can't sign off without a throwback to Desiree Carol's wedding in 2010 and her little yorki-poo, Martini Joy, being walked down the aisle by her flower girl <3
Thanks for reading!
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