Why I am not a “Pinterest Mom”

I am creative. I can bake, cook, sew, paint, craft, do calligraphy, garden, and decorate a home on a budget, however, I am not a “Pinterest Mom”.   I have a Pinterest account, but I use it more as a link repository for stuff that’s cool. I do not make Pinterest worthy stuff.  I don’t take Pinterest worthy photos. And, ya know what? I am more than ok with it.

I know there are a lot of people (not just moms) who pour over Pinterest and try to emulate the stuff they see, thinking that you need 5 craft stations, a candy bar (which is a buffet of nothing but candy), a full themed catered meal, and designer goody bags for an event. I hate to break it to you- Little kids don’t care! A lot of the stuff you see on Pinterest has been done by party professionals- Not your average mom with kids running around, a busy schedule, a house to take care of, errands to run, appointments and rehearsals/practices to shuffle kids to…..

Bitty’s third birthday is today, and yesterday was her birthday party.

Screen Shot 2018-06-10 at 3.14.41 PM.pngAbout a week ago, she saw the purse cakes at Baskin-Robbins. She asked for one, but she doesn’t really like ice cream.

I looked at it for a few minutes and figured I could make her one out of regular cake and frosting.

I am no means a professional baker, and I hate fondant (it tastes so gross to me and the kids). So I used cream cheese frosting, some decorator frosting, sprinkles, and icing roses.

And the handles were made from licorice. She was so happy, and the cake was delicious. My only tip is not to try and frost a cake when it’s 90+ degrees in your kitchen.  The cake was cold, but the white decorator icing did not want to cooperate.  The cake was pink inside, I made a butter cake and added pink gel food coloring to the batter.

Screen Shot 2018-06-10 at 3.13.19 PM.pngIn addition, I also made cupcakes! Henry helped make the cupcakes, and Margaret helped decorate them. I figured the cake wouldn’t be enough for the hungry little faces I was going to feed.

No candy bar- Instead I took a lucite bowl that I had painted with faux stained glass paint and filled it with Ring Pops.

And no goody bags- Bitty picked out these cute little Frozen necklaces to give to all her friends who came to the party.

Oh, and no catered fancy meal! We ordered 2 Giant pizzas.  We had bottles water and Honest Juice Pouches.  And because we has a loose Frozen theme, we also had little red apples (because we all know that Sven eats apples- Margaret told me).

I know that there are people out there who love putting out a perfect party that looks great on Facebook and Instagram, but if that’s not in your heart (or budget), BREATHE… Give Yourself some GRACE. Do what you can, what you love, what is in your heart and what is good for your family.  

And I want to especially thank Christine Boyce from Clicks by Christine for taking some incredible candid shots of the party. Her littlest is BFF’s with Bitty.

 

 

Talk Back: Are you a Pinterest Mom? Why or why not? What is your greatest crafting strength?

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Holiday and Game Day Fun with Hormel Gatherings Party Trays!

I received free product in exchange for my honest review. I love this time of year- We go to and host so many events: Holiday Parties, Craft Play Dates, College Football and NFL Watching Parties, and of course Coupon Meet Ups!

Snacks are a huge part of any event, so I was stoked when Social Insider and Hormel asked me to review Hormel Gatherings Party Trays. If you’ve never heard of them before, it’s basically a party in a tray! They are an easy, stress-free appetizer option.

IMG_7110.jpgThere are three varieties: Hard Salami & Pepperoni Party Tray, Honey Ham and Turkey Party Tray, and Supreme Party Tray. They all contain Sargento Cheeses and Hormel Meats.

I chose the Honey Ham and Turkey Party Tray for our recent dinner party. We got together to play games and hang out.

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The tray is super sturdy, which is definitely a plus. Each component is packed up in the tray. All you do is open each sealed bag, and arrange the tray in a manner that suits you. Because of the tray and great snap-on lid, I think this would be a great addition to any tail gating event or potluck! Super easy to transport and store any leftovers- But who am I kidding… There won’t be any leftovers.

If you are feeling fancy, you can set out condiments that would go with the meats and cheeses. I mixed up some honey mustard and opened a jar of spicy stone ground mustard.

IMG_7116.jpgHere is the plate that Henry made for one of our guests. For a 6 year old, I’m impressed- He also took the picture with my phone. I love having the kids help with holiday events. It helps them get into the spirit too, and reminds me that these kind of events should be low stress.

Bitty Bird “helped” by stacking up paper napkins and announcing when guests arrived (“Mommy and Daddy, Peoples is in our HOOUSSSEEEE!!”), and Henry helped me by picking up the toys in the living room, taking coats, and getting drinks. He pretended he was a waiter. It was pretty funny. He refused to let me take his picture, but at one point he had a kitchen towel draped over his arm. He has asked that we serve PB Sushi at our next “fancy grown up party”.

Hormel Gatherings Party Trays are available at Walmart, so you can pick one up on your next visit while gathering other party supplies.

I’m giving one reader a chance to share Hormel Gatherings Party Trays at their next get together! One lucky reader will win a coupon for $15 off the purchase of any one Hormel Gatherings Party Tray 28 oz. or larger.

Entering is easy: Just leave a comment with your favorite holiday beverage to serve at parties. I’ll choose one winner on December 5, 2017.

Ring in the New Years at LEGOLAND!

Ya’ll know how much our family LOVES Legoland, right? Well if you are looking for a family friendly way to ring in the new year and have the kids to bed before the real big ball drops, consider spending the day at Legoland!

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The grand finale of Holidays at LEGOLAND® California Resort is the annual Kids’ New Year’s Eve party! This lively party begins with special musical performances from kid favorite groups Twinkle Time and Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band on Fun Town Stage and in Heartlake City.

Then, for the first time, the party moves to San Francisco in Miniland U.S.A. where like the famous Times Square party, guests gather for the countdown followed by a huge LEGO® brick dropping 22 feet into 2017 and spectacular fireworks at 6 p.m. to end the night(with plenty of time to spare to get home for bed!).

And right now, the deal gets sweeter!!

LEGOLAND California Resort is offering a gift for holiday guests: From Nov. 21, 2016 through Jan. 1, 2017, buy a one day admission to LEGOLAND California and return a second day to LEGOLAND California and SEA LIFE® Aquarium for free between Jan. 2, 2017 and March 1, 2017.

All Holidays at LEGOLAND California Resort activities located inside the Park are included with regular Park admission (Kids 3–12 $89; Adults $95; Parking $15).

For more Holidays information, visit www.LEGOLAND.com or call (760) 918-LEGO (5346).

I’ve had such a great year being a Legoland Blogger, and I hope to continue next year, bringing you great promotions and sharing news straight from Legoland!  I’ll be sharing some tips on how to save money when planning your Legoland trip in the next few days, just in time for NYE!

Our Rockin’ Party at Rockin’ Jump!

Me and Bitty Bird getting our jump on!
Me and Bitty Bird getting our jump on!

Lil’ Man’s Birthday is in March and Itty Bittums turned one mid-June, but I’m never one to turn down a party! When Rockin’ Jump offered me a party for 10 jumpers in exchange for a review, well, I jumped at the chance!

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 4.58.31 PMThe party was so much fun! We had 9 jumpers, and we bounced, jumped, and played for 90 minutes. In addition to the Open Bounce area, There is the X-Beam, Dodgeball, basketball, Stunt Bag Arena,Vertical OPS Climbing Wall, and mini golf! Mini Golf wasn’t included in the party package, but you can add it for an extra cost.Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 5.00.33 PM

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YUM!!
YUM!!

Then we retired to our private party room for pizza and drinks. The parents enjoyed a pitcher of Diet Pepsi, and the kids had Capri Sun’s. You can bring in your own cake, so not one to pass up a chance to eat cake, Lil’ Man asked if I could bring one. So I did. It was soooo good. It was from the nearby Gaemme Bake shop.

The kids had an AMAZING time. I got lots of texts and messages via Facebook afterwards letting me know that the kids took naps in the car or spoke of nothing else but the fun time they had bouncing.

Having done a lot of research for party venues, I am completely impressed with the value that Rockin’ Jump offers! It’s clean, well-maintained, and the party package is perfect for any busy family! You even get an editable email invitation to email out for your party!

No clean up, no food to prepare (other than the cake you bring), no games or prizes to think about, in other words: no hassle! You even get your own party host (ours was Stevie- he was super nice!).

There are discounts off the Ultimate Birthday Package, Jump Time and Jump and Mini-Golf combo’s! Find all the great deals here.

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PIZZA!!! Even Bitty loves it!

I received this party for free from Rockin’  Jump and USFG in order to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own, and all of the photos are courtesy of Christine Boyce at Clicks by Christine!

Jump into Fun at Rockin’ Jump San Diego!

With summer coming, I know moms and dads will be on the hunt for fun, frugal stuff to do with the kids. I was stoked to learn about Rockin’ Tots at Rockin’ Jump San Diego!

Henry LOVES trampolines! It’s a great way to burn off energy and get some wiggles out. Rockin’ Jump San Diego– is the Ultimate Trampoline Park! Fun for kids of all ages! Rockin Jump has a massive main trampoline jump arena and slam dunk zone. The trampoline dodgeball arena provides something for everyone along with more fun attractions! Rockin Jump also offers the perfect Birthday Party Venue and a healthy family activity!  I can’t wait to take him!

Right now there are some special Deals at Rockin’ Jump – Come jump, flip, bounce and climb at Rockin’ Jump, San Diego’s Ultimate Indoor Trampoline park. Not only do they have a huge trampoline arena, we have dodgeball, a stunt air-bag, Joisting, rock climbing, basketball slam-dunk, a tots-only arena, mini-golf and a cafe’.  There are discounts off the Ultimate Birthday Package, Jump Time and Jump and Mini-Golf combo’s! Find all the great deals here.

We’ll be visiting soon to check out all of the fun and the party package! I’ll be sure to report back with details and tons of pictures!

@usfg