Super Ones Birthday Party

15 Sep

Three friends and I recently hosted a “Super Ones” 1st birthday party for our four peanuts who just turned one.  In deciding to go with a Super Heroes theme, we wanted to go a little more pop art and keep the design pretty simple.  We also wanted to personalize the event, so we came up with superhero personas for each of the four birthday kids.

Invite (with address blacked out):

Food Set-Up:  We labeled everything using the Super Ones theme and had fun names for all the different foods–Strength Activator (Fiesta Salad), Energy Injector (Chips & Salsa), Laser Vision Boosters (Veggies & Dips), etc. Link to printable files below.


Activities included a Super Quackers Water Table, Superhero Transformation Station (Capes, sunglasses, stickers, throwing stars, etc.), Defy Gravity Bounce Zone (Bounce House), Color Me Super coloring and comic books and Superhero cutouts.

 

I also created Super Stat sheets for each of the kids with some cute facts about each of them along with photos.

We had so much fun with this theme and you can really personalize it for your kids. Here’s a complete guide to the printables I created for the party.   If anyone is interested, I can also customize these for you to help you save your own little one’s birthday.

 

Please Support #Moms4Moms

27 Apr

I haven’t been the best about posting recently, mostly because I use this blog as a creative outlet and I’ve been writing from my parental perspective over at It Builds Character and other Parenting Cliches, but this post was easy to write.

I’m extremely fortunate. I have two amazing young children, a loving husband and a good support system.  I also had excellent care and support during childbirth: My husband, my doula Jeanette and OB plus the Good Samaritan Hospital staff. I was able to deliver naturally for both births and they were relatively uncomplicated–some hemorrhaging during my first delivery, but it was easily managed by the doctor and nurses.  This post is for those who aren’t as fortunate.  Take a look at these stats:

  • One maternal death every 90 seconds — in the U.S.
  • 15% of all pregnancies result in complications during labor and delivery and sometimes are fatal.
  • Pregnancy is the biggest killer of girls ages 15-19.
  • For every woman who dies in childbirth, 20 more suffer from debilitating complications.
  • We have the knowledge to prevent 90% of all maternal deaths.
  • The U.S. is 50th in maternal care–49 other countries do a better job than we do here.

To raise awareness of the above stats and the issue of PREVENTABLE maternal deaths, an amazing group of moms and bloggers came together to form the #Moms4Moms movement.  The powerful group includes: Holly PavlikaKatrina CarefootNirasha (Niri) JaganathJulie ColeLinda GrantKatja PresnalErica DiamondKelly LoubetAudrey Couto McClellandMolly Gold,Beth FeldmanDagmar Bleasdale and Ted Rubin.  They’ve partnered with Christy Turlington’s organization: Every Mother Counts to raise awareness and funds by asking what if 1% of the $14.6 billion spent on Mother’s Day gifts could be given to this cause.  That would be over $140 million for good!

I’m getting involved by posting about this issue here, on my personal blog and on ItBuildsCharacter.com. I participated in the #Moms4Moms awareness Twitter party this past Monday. I’m holding a cell phone drive for Hope Phones and our family is making a donation to EveryMotherCounts.org.

If you want to get involved, here are a few things you can do:

My wish for this Mother’s Day is to reduce maternal deaths. I hope you’ll support this cause.

Mom 2.0 Bound

14 Apr

Baby mia and I are off to Mom 2.0 in NOLA. Hoping for lots of inspiration. Lots of posts to come. For those attending, I hope to meet you there. for those at home, please let me know if you have questions you’d like me to get answered at the conference.

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March Baby/Toddler Book Club: Alphabet

10 Mar

The theme for this month’s Baby/Toddler Book Club was the Alphabet.  Everyone brought their favorite Alphabet/Letters books and we had a terrific selection.  We actually even finished three of them this time and that’s an accomplishment for 10 kids ages 3 and under.  Though I did hide most of the toys this time, which helped secure their attention and made things a little less chaotic.

This month’s selections that were actually read: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, A You’re Adorable, and B is for Bear.

We also had some simple paint crafts set up for the kids to create their own “A is for Apple,” “F is for Fish” and “H is for Hands” sheets.  Those were the letters I had stuff readily available to create, and I thought three was enough for one sitting.  I’m hoping to complete the rest of the alphabet over the next couple weeks on days we’re stuck indoors and then hang it on one of the basement walls.  To make the apple I had an apple sliced in two for them to dip in paint and then stamp the paper.  Once the paint dries, I think we’ll add a little green stem to help make it look more like an apple.  For the fish, we took one of the fish bathtub toys and used it to stamp the paper and for the hands, they simply dipped their hands in paint and stamped the paper.  It was a lot of fun, and while there were no “in-depth” discussions about the books, we didn’t expect anything other than fun!

Til next month, happy reading!

Fat Tuesday Party Toddler Style

9 Mar

My Mardi Gras celebrations are definitely not what they used to be (circa the late 90s), but I actually remember them these days so there’s something to be said for that.  I didn’t want to let the day pass without some fun, so we hosted an afternoon Fat Tuesday celebration for one of our mom’s groups.  We of course had traditional items like puczkis and added jello shots (virgin), “coins” made from gingerbread cake and beaded necklaces (of the traditional and cheerios variety, given with no flashing required).   I originally wanted to make beaded necklaces out of tiny cake pops, but ran out of time (cue the cheerios necklaces as I wanted their to be an edible option and that was all i had time for)– definitely going in the idea box for use at a future gathering.  I also had posterboard for the kids to make masks, crowns and hats –super simple and economical craft  that’s lots of fun.  All in all, get a bunch of friends together and fun is sure to be had.  Cheers!

Valentine’s Day Bookmarks w/ Printables

14 Feb

Valentine’s Day is almost here and since lil man goes to school on Mondays, Valentine’s Day cards are a necessity this year.  I decided to skip the store bought variety and I didn’t want to go the food route b/c of allergy issues, so I created custom bookmarks (perfect for school!).  I downloaded the animal images from iStockPhoto.com and created four designs in Adobe Illustrator, but you could also use PowerPoint, Publisher or any word processing software.

Once I had the design created and printed, I gathered my supplies:

  • Laminating sheets
  • Red & white yarn
  • Scissors (note, I originally used a paper cutter, but scissors were easier on the laminated paper)
  • Hole puncher
  • Corner punch

I started by laminating the printed sheets–each sheet had four bookmarks on it.  Then I cut out the individual bookmarks, rounded the corners and punched a hole to tie the yarn through.  A couple photos of the finished product:

The messages are:

Lion: Have a roaring Valentine’s Day!  Love, Evan

Elephant: Don’t forget to be my Valentine.  Love, Evan

Ladybug: Will you be my love bug? Happy V-Day!  Love, Evan

Giraffe: Gee, You’re Cute! Happy V-Day! Love, Evan

Font is Actionls (downloaded for free from dafont.com).

Here are the templates with my son’s name removed so you can print and sign your child(ren’s) name.

TMC 2011 VDay Printable Bookmarks 1

TMC 2011 VDay Printable Bookmarks 2

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Custom Cookbook

12 Feb

I’m back!! And, I’m going to try and stay back!  This past week, a few friends from my moms group and I got together to “shower” a friend having her second baby next week.  As I’ve been trying to cook more lately, but it’s a challenge with two little ones, I was inspired to create a zero fuss cookbook to give to the mom of two to be and for the other moms in our group to use.  The criteria was simple–easy recipes that should take 15-20 minutes or less to prepare.  Everyone turned in recipes and I’m excited to try some of the new ones.  In preparing the booklet, I also was inspired to finally learn how to create step-and-repeat rows in Adobe Illustrator and I went a little crazy with them though i think the result turned out pretty cute.  Here’s the cover, table of contents and a sample inside page:

I printed it double-sided and turned it into a booklet–here’s a low quality photo.  I punched holes and tied it with pink ribbon to bind it.  Also rounded the corners to make it a little more fun.

Tip: When printing booklets, it helps to map out on paper how the pages will flow before creating it all electronically as it won’t be in chronological order.  Also, you’ll need to create pages in multiples of 4–for example, this booklet was 20 pages–5 sheets printed 2-up double-sided.

Off to cook now!