Travel Goody Bags for Kids

Spring break is right around the corner, so chances are, you will be traveling. After our first crazy road trips where the girls couldn't find their toys/crayons/games/etc in their respective bags, and I spent half the trip getting car sick trying to help them find and hand them their items, I decided to take action. Enter our travel goody bags!

I had an Orla Kiely weekender cosmetic bag that I haven't used for a couple of years, so I thought it'd be perfect. I went to Target and got another weekender cosmetic bag so each girl could have their own.

The first section contains coloring books, blank paper, sticker books, homemade magnets for their white board, crayons, and colored pencils1 4
The other section contains a Leap Pad and Boogie Board. (I just need to say that the boogie board is a HUGE hit. The girls love them! Highly recommended. They played with these things for hours.) 2 5
Each girl has their own dry erase board for car trips. I used to use cookie sheets, but they became too big and cumbersome (we have three kids in the middle seat, and the cookies sheets interfered with personal spaces...big no no if you want a peaceful trip!). These boards are the perfect size and can be placed in the back seat pockets. They use them as a flat surface to eat on, and they play with their magnets on them. They can play with their magnets for 20-30 minutes at a time, so bonus! 6 I hope this gives you some ideas! These bags are perfect. They are a nice all-in-one place to put their activities, and they are extremely portable. My girls love them, and it has made car trips easier for parents--which let's face it: happy parents make for happy road trips. :-)

Claire's Batman Birthday Party


If you know Claire, then you know she LOVES Batman. Obsessed. We don't really know how or why this started, but she's loved him for years. In fact, she was Batman for Halloween in 2014. Not Batgirl. Batman. She had her Frozen birthday party last year, and the morning after she declared she was going to have a Batman party this year. I had over a year to plan, and I pinned all of these cute and adorable girly Batman/Superhero parties. I had so many ideas! Then, one day while browsing the party isle at Target, Claire saw the Batman party stuff. She flipped out. She needed alllll of it. Not a Pinterest perfect, hundreds of hours spent crafting, kind of party. I was a little sad because I honestly love those kind of parties, but I was also relieved. Ain't nobody got time for that! Especially not in October...the busiest month of the year because of all of the fall activities. We must do all the activities! So, I bought all of the decorations from the store, but I couldn't resist making the cupcake toppers. I wanted some personalized touches.

My house doesn't have a blank, flat wall that I can use for backdrops for my parties. So, I have to find creative ways to decorate. I covered our china hutch with two, cheap table cloths, and bought a Batman poster as the focal piece. Easy peasy and provides a nice backdrop!


I usually make the cupcakes and cake, but I didn't really have time this year. I had five photo shoots, a girl scout meeting to plan and execute, and this party to throw. Nope, not going to bake three dozen cupcakes! So I ordered the cupcakes from Target, and it was the best decision I've made in a long time. :) All I had to do was add the cupcake toppers, and bam! Batman cupcakes! Claire's little cake (that I did make, can you tell?) wasn't the prettiest, but she loved it. And that's all that matters. batman2
I bought capes for all of her friends, and they were a big hit! You can find them here: superhero capes.

I didn't get pictures of the party favors, but it was basic stuff. Batman pencil, Batman tattoos, small blue flashlights (Bat Lights), plastic Batman cups that are found in party sections, and candy from the pinata. Oh yes, there was a pinata. It was Claire's only request. Since her party was a week before Halloween, I found a cheap bat pinata instead of an expensive legit Batman pinata.

I also didn't get pictures of the plates, napkins, etc, but again, it was the basic party stuff. I got this party package, and then I supplemented with blue and yellow cups, plates, forks, etc.

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Oh yeah, my sister got Claire this awesome Batman balloon! However, it was pretty pricey at the local party store. You can find it here for half the price! Definitely recommend it.


So there's Claire's "awesome" Batman party. She had a blast and loved everything! It was the least amount of time I had spent prepping, and she didn't care one bit. Or notice. I need to keep reminding myself that not every party has to be Pinterest perfect. :)

Back to School Pictures

It's that time of year...back to school time! This is a big year for me because my oldest started Kindergarten. Kindy! Crazy. I wanted to take some special back to school/kindergarten pictures, but I didn't have any fancy props. You know what I'm talking about: old school desks, old pencil sharpener, globe, etc. I'm not always a fan of using props anyway, so I decided to just take her over to her school early one Sunday morning and use what was there! I brought her new backpack and lunchbox, some of her favorite books, an apple, paper, and a pen. That's it! You can get great photos without a lot of props. Just explore your surroundings, and you'll find what you need. :)

If you are looking for some inspiration, then I hope this post helps!

Some tips:
  • Bring their new backpack and lunchbox--They help pick them out, and are proud of them, so let them show it off!
  • Make it fun--I let Claire play on the playground, make silly faces, eat the apple, and run around. If it's not fun, stop, play, and try again.
  • Keep it short--Kids don't have a long attention span. At all. Do a few poses at each location and move on. 
  • Bring siblings--Yes, Claire is the one starting school, but Charlotte is also affected. They are best friends and super close, so I wanted to capture their relationship....and it also helps the fun factor!
Claire loves Batman. Loves! I mean, she WAS Batman for Halloween last year. So she had to have this backpack and matching lunchbox from Pottery Barn Kids. She loves it and is crazy proud of it. Can you tell? :)

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Her pre-K teacher gave her The Night Before Kindergarten on her last day of school, and I thought it'd be a fun little prop!

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I brought paper and a pen so she could write her name. I wanted to document how she wrote her name at the beginning of the year, and I'll take another at the end of the year to see the change!

And of course, here are some pictures with Charlotte. Her best friend. They are going to miss each other during the days!


1st Birthday Pirate Paaaaarrty

My son turned one in May, and I knew almost immediately what kind of party to have. Claire and Charlotte looove Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and Peter Pan, so Owen also likes them by default. We went to Disney World a few weeks before his party and went on the Pirates and Pals Fireworks Voyage (definitely recommend! I might have to do a post on just that in the future.), so I already had a pirate outfit ready for him. It was a perfect theme!

I made a cute invite. As always, I print them at Costco using the blank card template. You can't beat the price or quality! 
Owen invite blur

I created a first year collage, like I also made for each of the girls, and again, printed it at Costco. It's 20x30 and only cost 10 bucks. Love them. I decorated the mantel with Jake toys and stuffed animals that we already had (remember, my girls are obsessed!). pirate4
Target had their pirate party stuff on clearance. Score! I got a great deal on the birthday banner, table cloth, plates, cups, and napkins. I got the pirate buckets on clearance after Easter--they were supposed to be Easter baskets. I put goldfish and chips in one, and pirate booty in the other.

I made the cupcake toppers, pirate flags for the pirate ship hot dogs, and the food signs. 
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I bought bandannas for the guests, as well as foam pirate swords--those were a big hit with the kiddos!  pirate2

I made the vest for our Disney Pirates cruise, so I'm glad he was able to wear it again! He's an adorable little pirate. I also made the girls' outfits, and hair bows, for the pirates cruise. They had cute rag skirts as well, but they took those off. :) Also, Claire is doing her best pirate impression, which is why she looks goofy! Silly girl.
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I had so much fun planning this party! Everyone had a great time, which really, is what it's all about. Because obviously the birthday boy didn't care about the theme or details. :)

Dumbo Birthday Party

My youngest daughter turned two last week, and I decided almost three months ago to throw her a Dumbo party. We were on our way home from Disney World, the girls were watching Dumbo for the second time that trip, and Charlotte was clutching her new Dumbo stuffed animal that she hadn't let go of since we bought it for her when it hit me--Dumbo party it is!

Since Dumbo isn't a popular character outside of Disney World, I couldn't find any Dumbo birthday specific items for her party. So I decided to make everything!

I made the invitation in Photoshop. I had a quick photo shoot with my daughter to get a good picture, and I put that on the side so family could cut it off the invite and put on their refrigerator if they wanted. (Banner and dress made by me...more on that later.) I printed them at Office Depot because I was short on time...and because it was super cheap.

I made the 20x30 birthday poster in Photoshop and then printed it at Costco...for only $8.99. I love making posters when they are that cheap! I bought the picture frames on the mantel at JoAnn Fabrics and Michael's and painted them to match the theme. The tent was made from rectangle table cloths from Party City. I cut each one into two, so I only used 2.5 table cloths. The fabric rag banner was made from the fabrics leftover from the dress I made.

I found a tent cookie cutter on Etsy (click here for the seller), and I found the gumball machine at Goodwill. The awesome Dumbo popcorn bucket that held the forks is from Disney World. It's a collector's popcorn bucket, so they won't be around for long! I also made the picture banner. I made the cupcake toppers and printed them at Office Depot. I also made the cupcakes and cake. I know, I know, it's hard to believe that the awesomely decorated cake wasn't bought from a store or baker. ;-) I found a pack of two Dumbo figurines on Amazon, so I put one on top of the cake....since you can't find Dumbo cake stuff anywhere!  
My husband's work has a popcorn machine, so he borrowed it for the weekend. It was a nice addition to the party decor! I found the popcorn bags at Party City (they are actually favor bags), and I glued on the labels (those were the same as the cupcake toppers). And here is my favorite decoration: the book banner. I found an old, semi beat up book from Goodwill, cut out the pages, and glued them to bias tape. Easy! I made water bottle labels to match the other decorations, and also printed them at Office Depot. See a printing theme? ;-) 
I like to dress my girls in outfits that match their parties, and since Dumbo dresses are hard to find, I made one! I bought a pattern (click here) and a Dumbo applique, and that resulted in a crazy cute dress if I do say so myself. :-) I love it!
So there is Charlotte's Dumbo party! I am going to make tutorials on how to make a lot of the stuff, so I will come back and link to those when they are done. I believe anyone can throw a great party and make most of the decorations....even if you don't have the "fancy" tools like Photoshop. So those tutorials will show you how!