We Got the FUNK

Friday, October 20, 2017

Shopkins, World Vacation Family Sweets Movie Night!

Disclosure: I was provided the Shopkins movie for free, I was not asked to write anything.  All opinions are my own. 

Last week the new Shopkins World Vacation movie arrived on our doorstep a week earlier then it was being released to the public!  My little girl loves Shopkins so I knew that I had to do something a little special for our weekly family movie night.  Enter, the quick and easy sweets table!

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Quick and Easy was key.  This week is busy for us, and making a bunch of snacks from scratch was just not happening, but family movie night always does and is something our kids look forward to.  I swung by the grocery store, grabbed some Shopkins party supplies, bakery cupcakes with Shopkin rings, chewy cookies and some sprinkled donuts.

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While the kids were doing homework, I laid out the sweets table and surprised the kids with our fun family movie night!  Both kids were super excited and could hardly keep it together to choose their sweet of choice!

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I decided on the cupcakes, donuts and cookies because some of the most recognizable characters on Shopkins are made from these little foods! The cookies were a must have because this new movie, Shopkins, World Vacation is all about Kooky Cookie and her adventures!

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I also just could not pass up cupcakes.  These were just calling my name, and screamed easy since the bakery just happened to have them decorated and in a small enough packaging for our family.  Super cute and very easy!

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It was time to get into the movie and boy were we ready to follow the long awaited sequel, Shopkins, World Vacation.  This follows Kooky Cookie as she wins the trip of a lifetime to London, however, things get a little crazy and Kooky and her Shopkins pals end up on an adventure hopping from Paris to New York and even Tokyo!  My kids loved the little Kooky Cookie Shopkins that were sent with our package and I had to use them in the little family night sweets table for decoration.  The were super excited that they got to have doubles of her!

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We opened the movie and to our surprise we had a little Biscuit Bandit Shopkin inside the movie! I decided that since we only had one, I would keep this one as "mine".  The kids seemed ok with this and each of them picked their sweet of choice and sat to watch the movie.

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The kids really liked the storyline and were particularly into the music.  There were several upbeat and fun songs and at the end of the movie, both kids were up and dancing to the music.  I wish I would have videoed it, but we have a no technology rule for movie night.

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Shopkins, World Vacation was definitely a fun movie with a cute little storyline!  It made both our kids want to grab their backpacks, and set out on an adventure of their own.  If you want to get your hands on this fun little movie, it is out on DVD now.  You can also stream it ON Demand too!

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

6 Tips To Take the BEST Care of Your Children's Teeth

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post with the Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation. All opinions are my own. 

Dental health is very important to your well-being.  As a parent, it is a priority that I am advocating, modeling and teaching my kids how to take good care of their teeth.  This is also why I want to share some of the tips I have learned along the way to take care of those teeth!

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Two years ago, we learned the hard way that practicing good dental hygiene and finding a great pediatric dentist are critical to dental health.  I pride myself in taking care of my teeth and my children's teeth.  I was the mom that took my 6 month old with 2 tiny teeth barely poking through, to the dentist to have them checked.  My kids never missed a check up and we brushed all the time. When my son turned 5 we went for his normal 6 month cleaning.  Everything seemed to be going well, until we noticed a little break on one of his molars.  That was the point that our family dentist told us that he had a cavity and would need to see a pediatric dentist to get that fixed.

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Mind. Blown. After careful searching, I found our pediatric dentist and learned how extensive the dental issues actually were.  I was naturally upset because I felt like I had done everything right and we were still dealing with major issues.  Our new dentist calmed me and we worked out a plan to make sure that my child's dental health was top priority and that he was well taken care of.  Our dentist was wonderful at explaining the procedures, offering preventative measures, and sharing tips to help us in the future.  As we approach our two-year anniversary of my son's dental surgery, I thought it would be a great time to share some tips on how to take the best care of your child's teeth.

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1. Remember Baby Teeth Matter:  Often there is a perception that baby teeth do not matter because they fall out anyway.  Well that is far from the truth and it was interesting to learn that the reason for this is because cavities can pass from baby teeth to adult teeth.

2. Establish a Routine: The enamel on baby teeth is very thin and easy for those pesky sugar bugs to create cavities in.  Brushing twice a day and flossing sets the tone for good dental hygiene habits and lowers your child's risk of developing cavities in both their baby teeth and their adult teeth.

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3. Drink Less Juice: Juice is typically very acidic and it sticks to teeth.  This means that it can eat through the enamel of the tooth and allow cavities to form.  Avoiding sugary drinks like juice is a great way to keep those teeth healthy.

4. Drink More Water: Water is life. I teach my students this constantly.  Water is also a great solvent and drinking it constantly helps to remove the sugar sitting on teeth from food and drinks.  Even better is if you drink water from the tap because it has fluoride in it, which helps build strong teeth and enamel!

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5. Visit a Dentist: I cannot stress this enough!  They have the equipment, patience and knowledge to make sure your child is well taken care of.

6. Model Good Dental Hygiene: Your kids watch you. Set the example.  In our house, we all get ready for bed at the same time.  Everyone changes, we all brush and floss our teeth and then we settle in for the evening.  Seeing mom and dad practice good dental hygiene helps them make those habits and see the importance.

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I hope these tips help you and your children continue to practice good dental hygiene!  For more information and tips, check out the Cavities Get Around website.  They have a ton of awesome resources for parents from helping you find a dentist, to overall facts about teeth and dental health!

Do your kids love to brush their teeth? 

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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Team Up with me to Raise $50,000 for ALS! #WhatWouldYouGive #EndALS



I remember sitting in Cell Biology nearly 15 years ago at the University of Northern Colorado, and my professor, gently stroking his beard as he described a neuron.  He told us that there are 3 kinds of neurons in the body; motor, sensory and interneurons.  Motor neurons control mainly the muscles and glands and connect directly to the spinal cord.  Sensory neurons respond to outside stimuli and signal the interneurons to make a plan and have the motor neurons carry that plan out.  Does this sound a bit difficult?  For a healthy person it is, for someone suffering from a disease like ALS, it is nearly impossible.

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ALS stands for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and is better known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, after the famed baseball player who suffered from this debilitating disease.  ALS is a progressive neuromuscular disorder, which means that the neurons in the brain and spinal cord that are used to keep us going, are attacked and degenerate.  A person who is diagnosed with ALS will become weaker and weaker, eventually losing the ability to move themselves, talk, eat and eventually breath. ALS steals beautiful lives away daily, and those diagnosed with this disease have a lifespan of about 2-5 years, however, some survive longer.

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Up until recently, there was little hope for those diagnosed with ALS.  A patient would be placed on the lone drug available to alleviate symptoms and then wait out their time as their body stopped working.  There is still no cure for ALS, however, scientists are working diligently to develop therapies for this disease.  From clinical trials, to new drugs to protein therapies, a lot is being done to help those that are afflicted with ALS.

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So, why am I sharing all this information.  Well, because I am a scientist.  I believe in science and I believe in helping people with science.  ALS is extremely underfunded in part because it is fatal and up until recently scientists did not think that neurons could regenerate.  This thinking has changed and laboratories around the world are having amazing success with neurogenesis!  The ALS Therapy Development Institute is a non-profit that is working to raise $50,000 to put directly into research and specifically into the AT-1501 drug that could potentially change the trajectory of this horrid disease! Every single penny counts and you can donate yours here.

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I am teaming up with the ALS Therapy Institute to do my part to share this campaign and hope that we can raise the $50,000 needed to move the AT-1501 drug into clinical trials and save some lives! Take a moment, click on the links and donate whatever you can.  Each donation is being matched up to $25,000, so lets come together to make ALS a thing of the past!


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Monday, October 16, 2017

Elegant & Affordable Costumes For All Occasions

Disclosure: We received the beautiful dress you see below, no compensation was given and all opinions are my own. 

In just a few days we set sail on the Disney Wonder for a much needed family vacation!  It is actually our first real family vacation with just our little group of four!  We cannot wait, however, preparing for the cruise has been a lot of work.  I was so glad when Great Pretenders said YES to the Dress for our amazing Disney Getaway!

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One of the things we have scheduled for the kids is the Bippity Boppity Boutique! We looked at all of the packages and decided on the crown package, which is pretty much all the fun hair, make up and a little sparkle without an expensive Disney Dress.  I knew exactly where I wanted to get our little girl's dress for that special day and without hesitation Great Pretenders sent us this gorgeous tea length Snow White inspired dress.

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When we opened the box, our daughter shrieked with excitement and then ran upstairs to get her high heels and headband.  She just had to put it on and I had to take some photos.  The dress has some gorgeous but simple details.  A little tulle on the bottom, some gold rick rack a pretty little jewel and of course quality satin material.

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We had to test how "spinny" the dress was and it definitely passed.  The dress flows and fits great. She is about a size 4 now so that is what we ordered and it fit exactly as we had hoped.  We have never been disappointed and the quality of the materials that they use are great.  This is exactly why I keep going back to Great Pretenders.

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I cannot wait to see and share photos of our families experience at the Bippity Boppity Boutique aboard the Disney Wonder and you can bet that our princess will be happily, spinning, singing, dancing and laughing in this amazing dress.

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Great Pretenders also has a ton of costumes for both girls and boys.  Although their princess themed costumes are amazing, we have purchased many other costumes and accessories through their website.  From swords and shields, to wigs and jewelry, Great Pretenders has everything you need at a great price.   

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Make sure to head over to their site, check out what they have for your Halloween needs and if you are like us and are looking to purchase stunning, durable, well made and quality princess dress up outfits, this is the place to go!

Who is your favorite princess?
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Monday, October 9, 2017

Easy, Kid-Friendly Creamy Chicken & Rice Broccoli Tot Casserole

Disclosure:  This post is written in partnership with Green Giant.  All opinions are my own. 

I have been back in school for nearly 2 months.  This means that the exhaustion is real and that the fight to cook meals at home that are quick and easy are a necessity.  I am also struggling to get my kids to eat anything with veggies lately, so I decided to improvise and sneak in some tasty veggies to a super simple recipe.
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Yup, you read that right, Chicken and Rice BROCCOLI Tot Casserole.  Totally kid friendly and really yummy too!  The ingredients are simple, because I am a simple mom that needs easy.  Grab some chicken broth, cream of mushroom condensed soup, instant rice, shredded chicken breast and Green Giant Veggie Tots.

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To make this creamy and delicious casserole, start with a casserole dish.  I like to grease mine a bit, but you do not have to.  I use cooking spray and just put a light coat on the inside of the dish.  Then pour 1 cup of chicken broth into the casserole dish.

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Add the entire can of cream of mushroom soup and whisk until blended.  Next, pour in 1 cup of instant rice and mix it in evenly.  At this point I like to add another 1/2 cup of chicken broth to make the mixture just a bit more watery so that my rice can soften up easier.

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Next place about 2 cups of cooked, shredded chicken breast meat on top of the soupy rice mixture.  I like to make this recipe when I have leftover chicken or I will purchase pre-cooked shredded chicken that you can find in your local grocers freezer section.

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Finally, place the Green Giant broccoli cheese tots on top of the mixture and bake at 425º for 13-15 minutes covered.  It is very important that you cover it, or the rice will dry out and be crunchy.  I will say that if you forget, you can also add another 1/2 cup of water or chicken broth and then cover and let it sit to absorb the liquid and soften the rice.  I have had to do this before, because lets be real, Mom Brain.

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Once the casserole has baked, broil on high for 3-5 minutes to crisp up those Green Giant broccoli tots and then sprinkle with cheese.  Season lightly with salt and pepper and viola!  You have a creamy, easy, kid-friendly, Chicken and Rice Broccoli Tot Casserole.  My kids love this casserole and I do too.  I was nervous at first because tater tots are life, but as a diabetic, moving away from those sugary potatoes is a necessity and as a mom it is so important that I am introducing more healthy foods to my kids.  They both had 2 helpings of this last week and have already asked for me to make it again.  The Green Giant broccoli tots are a genius creation, and are definitely something I have stocked up on!

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I put together an easy video for you to follow that you can see below and please if you have any questions or ideas to add even more tasty flavor (and veggies), I would love a comment on the post.  I am always looking for ways to get in more greens with my family.



Also feel free to print the recipe below!  I know I love to do that and your family will thank you later for having this on hand when the craving strikes!



print recipe

Chicken and Rice Broccoli Tot Casserole
A quick & easy recipe that kids will love for chicken & rice broccoli tot casserole
Ingredients
  • 1.5 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 can Condensed Creme of Mushroom Soup
  • 1 cup Instant Rice
  • 2 Cups Shredded Chicken Breast
  • 1 Bag Green Giant Broccoli Tots
  • 1 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • To taste Salt and Pepper
Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 425º
2. In a casserole dish, mix together 1 cup of chicken broth & the can of cream of mushroom soup.
3. Add in the cup of rice to the soup mixture and mix well.
4. Add the last 1/2 of chicken broth to the mixture.
5. Place the shredded chicken breasts on top of the rice-soup mixture.
6. Spread the broccoli tots out on top of the chicken.
7. Bake covered for 13-15 minutes.
8. Broil on high for 3-5 minutes, until the tots are golden brown.
9. Sprinkle on the cheese and salt and pepper and enjoy!
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 9x13 casserole dish

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What do you think? Would your kids enjoy this?


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Friday, October 6, 2017

My Little Pony Out in Theaters TODAY & My Review

My daughter about flipped when I told her we were going to see My Little Pony this past weekend.  It was a very cute movie and one that I know other girls her age will totally love. 

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Growing up, I was a My Little Pony fan.  I had several ponies that were scented and loved that you could brush their manes and play pretend for hours on end.  I am not going to lie, I was pretty excited for this movie as well.  The husband and son were just excited to get out of the house. 

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When the Storm King invades Ponyville and threatens to destroy everything wonderful, Twilight Sparkle and her friends embark on an unforgettable journey beyond Equestria where they meet new friends and exciting challenges on a quest to use the magic of friendship to save their home.

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I personally thought the storyline was very cute and fun.  The animation was awesome and my daughter and I totally loved the movie.  I loved that various characters from different backgrounds came together to support friendship and Ponyland and that the overall theme of the movie was very positive.  My son also liked the movie but told me that it was not his favorite.  My husband may have fallen asleep.  This movie is definitely great for the My Little Pony fan and pretty much all little kids, but I am not so sure that sleepy husbands are the target audience for this one 😁.

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My Little Pony is in theaters everywhere starting today.  Get out there and see it!

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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Check Out Newk's Eatery with Me! #Giveaway

Disclosure: My family and I received a gift card, but were not asked to write a review. 

Over the weekend we decided to get out of this flu ridden house and grab dinner at a cute little eatery that just opened in Arvada, Colorado.  Newk's Eatery is a modern and trendy deli style restaurant and it hit the spot after the rough week we have had!

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Finally ready to put something in our bodies that was full of flavor we eagerly examined the menu and picked out our dinner options.  I really liked the set up of the restaurant.  Walking in you are greeted happily and guided to the menu that is both displayed and available as a handout.  The employees are amazing at answering any questions and are very helpful.  I also really liked that there was an employee at each register and that although the restaurant was busy, you could not tell.

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The prices were very affordable.  For the adult meals we paid $9.00 a piece and the kids meals (including drink) were $4.20.  You could mix and match menu items and everything is made fresh, right in front of your eyes.

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Once you place your order, you pick out your table, place your order number on the table placard and wait a short time for your food to be brought to you. 

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Our kids were very hungry so I was nervous about the wait time, but by the time we picked out our table, grabbed our drinks and munched on a couple complimentary breadsticks the food was right in front of us.

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I ordered the choose 2 pairing with mac n' cheese and the turkey avocado sandwich.  I am very particular about my mac n' cheese.  This mac n' cheese was flavorful with a crisp texture and was very good.  I will say that it was not as creamy as I would have liked, but I would order it again.

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Now the turkey avocado sandwich was super yummy and it made me regret not ordering the full sandwich.  I am not sure what sort of magic is in their bread but whatever it is, I will gladly eat all of the sandwiches from there.

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My husband went with the chicken tortilla soup and the grilled steak sandwich.  He could not stop talking about the soup throughout dinner and after.  He too really felt like the bread made the sandwiches taste amazing.  He was however, not as big of a fan of the sandwich.

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What he was a fan of was their pizza.  This is what the kids ordered and they loved.  Newk's eatery makes the pizza from scratch and you can clearly tell.  We both tasted a slice of the kids pizza and were blown away.  It was by far our favorite food of the evening and we all agreed that our next visit everyone will eat pizza.  It pretty much outshines everything else, and everything was good.

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One thing that I absolutely loved was that you could see the employees making all the food fresh and in front of you.  In addition, they have this super tasty round table with toppings and seasonings that were too good to pass up.  My family enjoyed the bread and butter pickles, breadsticks and cheese!

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Right above where we were sitting was the statement you see in the photo.  I didn't get a chance to check out their catering menu, but I will say that we enjoyed the food, the restaurant was very clean, the employees were amazingly helpful and nice and I would bet their catering is just as awesome.

Don't believe me?  Want to try it?  Enter to win a $25.00 gift card to Newk's Eatery in Arvada or Lone Tree in the Rafflecopter below.



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Monday, October 2, 2017

Ghosted...Flu-mageddon 2017

I usually pop in on social media or on here to leave a little note to my readers that I am not going to be posting.  However, last week I just ghosted completely and whoa did I get a little kick in the immune system. Flu-mageddon 2017 hit our house hard and I was the lucky first contender to battle it.

It all started last Saturday when I just could not for the life of me keep my eyes open.  I had gotten a great nights sleep the night before, but the entire day, I was fighting to stay awake.  I fell asleep at breakfast, in the car driving mid-conversation, while my son was reading to me for his schoolwork and slept nearly the entire day.  I thought nothing of it, but I did not eat or drink much, if anything that day and went to sleep that evening just assuming that my body was tired.

Whoa, no, not tired...infected.  At 3:00 AM I woke up violently ill and was praising the porcelain gods for 12 straight hours.  I thought that maybe my gall bladder decided to give out on me, so naturally, I consulted Dr. Google and the people of Facebook.  Seemed logical that what I was instantly dealing with was my gall bladder...never mind the fact that I cannot get the flu shot, so I could potentially have contracted it.

At 4:00 PM I headed into the hospital for a firm diagnosis.  I was really hoping for the flu, because we do not need to deal with yet another surgery this year.  The docs checked me out, started and IV, did an ultrasound and ran some blood work.  All checked out fine...except the flu business.  Not fine, not even a little.  So they hooked me up with some good anti-nausea drugs in my IV and more fluids and then sent me on my way.

The IV was the way to go, because although I still felt miserable, it was tolerable.  I attempted to go to work the next morning only to go home after an hour because of course I was still a vomiting mess.  Then the boy child started puking. Then the husband, then the little one and then the boy again and somewhere in there the dog also decided to start throwing up.

FLU-MAGEDDON!  It was horrendous and seriously no one felt good, no one wanted to deal with anyone else and everyone was struggling.  Needless to say, I dropped off the map and took the week and the weekend to get my strength back up, start eating foods, and clean every surface I possibly could of the flu.  I still have more cleaning to go, but so far, I think we are on the upswing.  I won't jinx it though because I am sure that this flu could have a round 2 and if I say that I got it all, then I am sure that I have not and we will again get infected.  Tomorrow after work I will clean more and more and hopefully we can knock this out completely.

Until then, hopefully all will get back to normal!  Have a great Monday!

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Everything You Need for a Little Man Mustache Birthday Party!

Disclosure: This post is written in partnership with Oriental Trading.  All opinions are my own. 

Just a little over a month ago, my sweet nephew turned one and we had a mustache-tacular first birthday for him! I love to share our party themes and ideas with my readers, so let's break down this "Little Man's" birthday!

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The Guest of Honor:

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The on the move typical toddler is sporting a Carters onesie with the iron on design by yours truly.  "If you ::mustache:: I am one", with an adorable pinned on bowtie and suspenders.  He was less than thrilled to take any photos and really just wanted to play and eat and play and eat.

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If you are interested in the SVG file for the onesie design, click here to download.  I made it in Silhouette studio and used heat transfer vinyl on the shirt.

The Decorations: 

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The theme was little man and mustaches.  You can never have too many mustaches people.  We ordered a large majority of the decor from Oriental Trading.  Their selection is always good quality with a wide variety of items.

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Each table had a base table cloth color of either red or blue that we then covered with the mustache tablecloth.  The mustache centerpieces were easy to put together, however, they were very lightweight so we had to tape the base to the table because the small breeze we got that day kept knocking them over.

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We also sprinkled mustache confetti and these fun sticky hairy mustaches that guests could stick on.  It was a crack up watching all the little kids and adults rock these mustaches.  Definitely a great item to purchase for easy entertainment!

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The plates we ordered for Oriental Trading set the color scheme for the day.  Light blues, reds, blacks, greens, whites and yellows were all over the house!  I always love the plates that I get from Oriental Trading because they are so incredibly sturdy!

Favors:
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My sister went very simple for favors, there were these adorable mustache straws, the stick on mustaches mentioned above, a piñata with candy and then some simple treat bags with a few little mustache themed items.  I like that it was understated and easy and everyone really had a great time rockin their 'staches.

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The Cake:

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We love us some Target cake with the whipped buttercreme frosting.  I mean it would be easy to bake the cakes ourselves and I am pretty artistic when it comes to frosting cakes, but lets just leave this detail to the professionals.  What we love about Target is that for the 1st birthday they automatically gift you a small smash cake and they can match any theme you want!  We gave them the plates and they went to town, matching the cake perfectly!

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No first birthday is complete without a little cake smash and you have to dress the part!  The Little Man mustache hat and bib were an easy choice and although my nephew was less than interested in keeping the hat on, I did get a super funny picture of him.

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My sister made the little ties that are on his high chair out of some scrapbooking paper and card stock.  Girl hand cut all of this out and it looked very cute.

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Our little man was less than interested in the cake (even though he will go to town on sweets).  I love my dad in this photo trying to get him to eat just a little bit.  Baby D looks so mortified!

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I think he just was not interested in being dirty and he was so tired from just playing all day with so many awesome friends and family.  He really did have a great first birthday, was spoiled beyond belief and ended up eating the cake later when everyone was gone!

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This Little Man Mustache Birthday was super easy to put together and very fun for all involved.  I hope you check out Oriental Trading for all your party needs!

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Friday, September 22, 2017

Free Printable COCO Activity Sheets!

Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away, which also means that Disney-PIXAR's COCO will be in theaters soon.  Our family loves the trailer and because we are Disney-Aholics, this is at the top of our must see movies coming out soon!  Disney just released some activity sheets that you can do with your family for fun, use for a birthday party or print off to create activity books!

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COCO is about a little boy, Miguel, who grows up in a family that has banned music for generations.  His dream is to become an accomplished musician even though it is forbidden by his family.  Through a crazy chain of events, Miguel ends up in the land of the dead with his deceased relatives and goes on an amazing adventure which helps him to discover the real reasons behind his family history!

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The coloring sheets of Miguel, Hector, Ernesto and Dante from the movie have been released and are beautiful.  I know that we will be printing and coloring these beautiful pictures.  You can find the rest of the coloring sheets and print yours off here.

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The activity sheets are always a favorite of mine.  They are fun and easy and so colorful!  I love the maze above, which help kids work on their fine motor and problem solving skills.   Another activity that I have already printed out are the hexaflexagons!  These are foldable mathematical shapes that you can flip inside out to reveal different images from the movie!  There are 4 pieces of these and the directions and you can print both the maze and the series of hexaflexagons out here!

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Don't forget to check out the movie trailer here and pin, pin, pin these images for later use!  This movie is going to be a huge hit, I am sure!  The cast is awesome with newcomer Anthony Gonzalez, Benjamin Bratt and Gael Garcia Bernal lending their voices to these great characters.



COCO opens in theaters November 22nd, and is sure to be the talk of the nation when it hits!  What excites you most about the movie?

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