Saturday, May 30, 2015

Cheap & Easy Carnival Party

I am the president of the kids' program at my local church. My birthday fell on the same day as our semimonthly activity night, so I decided to throw a carnival party for the kids. There is no one I'd rather spend my birthday with here than with the unpretentious, fun children I serve.

I found this free image online to make the invitations.

I found a free printable set at We Heart Parties for signs and decorations.

I used the cupcake toppers to make a different banner. I found more game signs at Mama Bub Blog and matching blank signs online for other games. The games we had were a pool noodle ring toss, pin-the-nose-on-the-clown, two bean bag tosses, a marshmallow toss, and nerf gun target shooting (unfortunately, in my haste, I forgot the bowling game and circus tent). The kids earned tickets they could redeem for dollar-store prizes.

There was a photo booth too with lots of fun props, and classic American folk and kids' songs playing in the background.

I dressed up in my new clown costume ("Raggedy Fran") and painted the kids' faces.

Once the kids lost interest in the stations, we snacked on popcorn, chips, cupcakes, and apple juice.

I had planned to tell everyone it was my birthday at the end, but my friend surprised me with a candle in one of the cupcakes, which I stuffed into my mouth whole to everyone's astonishment.

We played some more party games--hot potato, red-light green-light, and tag--and ended with balloon animals, or more like a huge balloon-sword fight.

Everyone had a lot of fun, which means it was a success in my book!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Summer Garden Veggie Omelet

What I love most about summer is all the delicious, colorful produce. Whether you grow your own or buy from the store or farmer's markets (my favorite!), enjoy eating them in this summer garden veggie omelet.

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup chopped garden veggies (I used onion, tomato, orange bell pepper, and spinach; other options include mushrooms, broccoli, and celery leaves)
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese of your choice
  • 1-2 slices chopped lunch meat (I used ham)
  • butter
  • seasonings to taste: salt, pepper, garlic powder
  1. Saute the veggies and meat in butter until slightly cooked through. 
  2. Scramble the eggs in a bowl and pour over the veggies. 
  3. Top with shredded cheese and seasonings.
  4. Once the edges are cooked, swirl the pan to move the raw part in the middle to the edges. Cook for another minute and fold or flip to make the omelet. Having trouble? Just scramble instead!
  5. Serve with buttered toast and orange juice and enjoy it outside.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

How to Shop for a Swimsuit

photo from Modcloth

Looking for the perfect swimsuit can be very daunting and frustrating. But it doesn't have to be with these tips on how to shop for a swimsuit and keep your sanity.

Know Your Needs
Before leaving home, consider the purpose of your swimsuit. Will you be swimming in it or just lounging? Will you be playing beach sports or just splashing with the kids? Are you wearing it to a party, on a vacation, or in your own backyard? Does it need to cover certain areas of your body? Also, take your body measurements and determine your budget, allowing yourself a range of flexibility.

Think Outside the Box
Be brave and open minded when picking out which swimsuits to try on. Choose one or two styles you normally wouldn't. You may end up being pleasantly surprised! Also, mix and match patterns and colors for a unique look.

Do a Fit Check
Move around to make sure your swimsuit fits all areas of your body properly and stays in place. You don't want to be uncomfortable or have a wardrobe malfunction.

Compliment Yourself
Most important, talk positively to yourself about your body. If something doesn't fit or look good on you, it's a reflection on the swimsuit, not on you. Swimsuit shopping is just a matter of finding the right piece that reflects your inherent beauty and helps you feel confident.

Now that you are mentally prepared on how to shop for a swimsuit, start looking today and enjoy the experience!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

3 Quick Cooking Tips

photo by Vangelis Thomaidis
  1. Brush olive oil on sweet potatoes before baking them, and the skin will peel off effortlessly once cooked.
  2. Rinse quinoa easily in a mesh strainer and cook it in chicken broth for a better flavor.
  3. Avoid future tears and cleanup (and cut fingers in my case!) by chopping or slicing an entire onion at once and refrigerating what you don't use for next time. 
What are some tricks you use in the kitchen? You can read more of my cooking tips here.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

More When Being Short Stinks

photo by Cop Richard
Recently I wrote a post about how being short can be frustrating. Well, I've remembered more times that my height--or lack thereof--can be problematic.

I love to wear my babies and for as long as possible. My first was done by the time he could walk (10 months). Although my second learned to walk a month earlier, he still lets me wear him at 20 months old. But he takes up over half my body and his head gets in the way of my vision or smacks my chin--ouch! People comment on how big he is, until they see him next to other kids and adults and realize he's actually pretty small, just like his mama!

Of course, I have to sit really close to the wheel. It's even more fun (and dangerous) when I'm pregnant and have to work around my protruding belly. Thank goodness for better seat adjustments these days! The icing on the cake is that the sun visor does absolutely nothing for me most of the time.

Grocery Shopping
I hate when I need something on the top shelf, and even worse, when the front-row products are all taken. I wait for the aisle to clear of other shoppers and then step onto the bottom shelf to help me reach. If I still can't, then I wait for someone to come again and embarrassedly ask for assistance. If no one comes, well, if it's not urgent, then I just don't buy it.

Clothes Shopping
Last time I specifically mentioned pants, but they're not the only clothing item that presents difficulty. Many fashions I can't wear because of my short stature. Maxi skirts and dresses, palazzo pants, and floor-length evening wear are always way too long, and hemming them costs more money and ruins the cut/look. I only have one maxi dress and was ecstatic when I tried it on and it was the perfect length. Also, I can't wear mid-calf pencil skirts (which are really in right now, especially at my favorite store, New York & Company) and capris or tunic shirts because they make my legs look even shorter than they already are.

Honestly, I don't really mind being short. I love myself just the way I am and think I'm beautiful. But that doesn't mean I don't have my whiny moments! What's a physical characteristic you have that you sometimes find irritating?

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

More Clean Pregnancy Jokes

Did you hear about the pregnant woman who went to Egypt on vacation? She came home a mummy.


A little boy went up to a pregnant woman and asked, "Why is your tummy so fat?" "There's a baby growing in there," she cheerfully replied. The boy digested the information for a few seconds, then asked, "So, what's growing in your backside?"


3 fatal things to say to a pregnant woman:
  1. "I finished the ice cream."
  2. "Fred at the office passed a stone the size of a pea. Boy, that's gotta hurt."
  3. "That rose tattoo on your hip is the size of Madagascar!"

    It would be funny to actually play this while you're pregnant!

    Saturday, May 2, 2015

    Baby K'tan Active Baby Carrier Review & Giveaway

    I grew up watching my mom carry my premature little sister in a ring sling, and since then have always loved seeing mothers hold their babies close and thought it natural. I knew I would do the same once I had children. When I got pregnant, my friends introduced me to various carriers, and I chose the Moby wrap. It worked and my baby liked it, but I had some issues with it: it was too long for a petite woman like me, it was too hot for Arizona, it got stretched out, and it was impossible to put back into the pouch!

    my 8-week-old in the original Baby K'tan

    When I was pregnant again, I searched around for baby carrier giveaways and saw an ad for Baby K'tan on a blog. I checked it out and was immediately impressed. It was like the Moby in style (but not design), came in different sizes to ensure fit, and was much simpler to put on. I followed their Facebook page, entered one of their giveaways, and won! I was not disappointed. Every time I wear my Baby K'tan carrier I receive compliments and I rave about it in return. And because both my baby and I are satisfied, I have worn him much more than I did my first child.

    10 months old

    I asked Baby K'tan to team up with me for a giveaway, and not only did they agree, but they also gave me a different style to review! I chose the active carrier in coral for summer babywearing.

    20 months and still likes to be worn!

    *Comfortable for both the wearer and the baby.
    *Easy to put on and take off.
    *Fabric support band in back allows for easy adjustment.
    *Sash doubles as a pouch and is very easy to put away.
    *Comes in different sizes to ensure proper fit.
    *Shrinks back to normal in the dryer instead of remaining stretched out.
    *Different carrying positions possible, with the newborn kangaroo hold not requiring the sash. Instruction booklet with easy to follow-directions included as well.
    *Original: Tight, secure fit.
    *Active: Very lightweight and airy! Wish I had this style in Arizona. I love the color, too.
    *Excellent customer service!

    *Hard to unravel in the back by yourself (you want the fabric stretched open for more even support). I try to untangle and spread it open as much as I can before putting it on to avoid this issue, but it doesn't always work.
    *Active: Feels much looser than the original although the sizing is the same, and the fabric is slippery, so it doesn't stay in place as well.

    Overall, I love Baby K'tan carriers so much and will continue to recommend them to everyone! One of you lucky readers will win the active carrier in the size and color of your choice. This giveaway is open to the U.S. only.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway
    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...