Tag: diy

An Out of This World Birthday Party

I try not to be the type of parent that tries to ‘keep up with the Jones’ but Mike’s first ‘non-family’ birthday party gave me a stomachache. I wanted it to be fun for the kids (most of whom I only knew by sight) and not a horrible experience for the parents. Turns out I had nothing to worry about! Mike and his friends had an awesome time at his astronaut birthday party.

Anyone who knows me knows I love a good theme. Thanks to Amazon, Etsy and Pinterest we were able to dive into Mike’s chosen theme – Astronauts. Our menu was simple:

  • Asteroids: Chick-Fil-A nuggets
  • Rockets: Fruit Kabobs
  • Energy Packs: Single serving chips
  • Sunbeams: Mini-Corn dogs
  • Space Salad: Macaroni Salad with space pasta
  • Space Ice Cream
  • Rocket Fuel – Water bottle/Lemonade

We decided to jump on the ‘no present’ bandwagon. Of course that doesn’t mean no gifts from family, but there is no need to ask his friends to bring a gift. Instead, we asked them to bring diapers for the 12 For 1 Diaper Drive. I wasn’t sure how this would go over with Mike, but we didn’t hear a peep about it. He was plenty spoiled by his family and that’s okay!

For activities we had a craft table with space themed stickers and paper plates to decorate. I also discovered an awesome Etsy seller, Unusuaisle, who makes personalized coloring pages. She made one for Mike that was space and birthday themed. It was a great way to make a regular craft table a little special. 

We also had an idea ‘fail’ that turned out okay in the long run. We wanted to make one of the small closets a ‘planetarium‘ with a constellation nightlight and glow in the dark beach balls. The nightlight wasn’t as vivid as we hoped (but I HIGHLY recommend it for a bedroom), but the kids liked kicking the beach balls to each other (or playing a very intense game of dodge ball).

The biggest hit, I think, was the two boxes of moon sand. Even the parents liked feeling the soft ‘sand’ and using the space figures to move it around. It was worth the mess and the last minute hunt the night before for baby oil.

Another Etsy win was printable photo booth props from PaperBuiltShop- space themed of course! I just printed, cut and then taped them to thin dowels. We bought a cheap (and very LONG) roll of galaxy background and we instantly had a photo booth!

In keeping with theme, I had to make sure we were dressed appropriately. Which is easy for the boys, both Mike and S. got t-shirts from Amazon. I hemmed and hawed because finding a plus sized themed shirt (that was truly plus sized) is a struggle. BUT, TwoStringJane pulled a miracle shipped me a shirt just in time (despite the typical timeline). We are pretty fabulous space people, right?

There you have it folks, an out of this world 4th birthday party!

Kindness Rocks – Literally


I try not to be political on my blog, but stick with me here, there’s a purpose.

Trump just completed his first 100 days in office (which, for the record, was the longest 100 days of my life). And I feel like since the election so many people are looking for ways to counteract the negativity and hate. Whether they are giving money to organizations that the administration speaks out against or national non-profits that have a budget on the chopping block. I will say, despite the reasoning, I love all the local social justice and action going on.

I am pretty active on a local mom’s Facebook group and out of that group an idea for a spin off group was born – Crofton is Kind. The mission is simple, ‘We are a group of parents and community members seeking to foster kindness in our children and our communities’ children. Whether you’re Christian, Jewish, Muslim or Atheist, Black or White, Gay or Straight, immigrant or native born, Republican or Democrat, a Mom or Dad, Aunt, Uncle, Grandparent, or neighbor…as long as you support KINDNESS then we support YOU!’

Someone posted in this group about this really cool initiative going on in Ohio where people paint average rocks and hide them around the community. When they are found, they are shared with others as a way to spread beauty. I really liked the idea because it spans all ages. Here’s the video for some background.

My creative mind was popping and I decided to head to Michaels, take Mikey on a rock hunt, and spread some rock love. Turns out, it was stupid simple and not very expensive (we spent about $12) You need:

  • Rocks (duh) – we found them in our neighborhood, but you can also buy them at a home improvement store or the like
  • Acrylic paint – make sure it has outside use and NOT washable (because, rain)
  • Paint brushes – or sponges, q-tips or fingers!
  • Modge Podge – or something to seal the paint afterwards
  • A note – you can include a note on the rock about what to do next or why you they got the rock. I did our hashtag on a handwritten piece of paper

Now that we have our supplies, let’s rock! (See what I did there?)

If you collected your rocks outside, they need a good scrubbing. Tip: use rocks that are a smooth as possible. Lots of bumps are hard to paint and seal. 

Paint! Make sure if you are doing multiple layers each one is dry before starting the next. You can paint anything that moves you. We did a mix of phrases, shapes and designs. One thing I learned, depending on the age of the kids participating, you might want to paint a bunch of rocks a solid color first, then let them decorate. Getting set up, painting one coat and watching it dry can be excruciating for little ones.

Once you are done painting and your rock is dry, it’s time to seal it. I will be honest, this made me so nervous because I didn’t want to mess up our hard work. BUT – it’s important and if you are 110% sure your rock is dry, you are golden. With the Modge Podge, I just painted a thin layer over the entire rock. When that layer was dry I ‘Modge Podged’ the paper hashtag over the bottom.

Now the other fun part – ‘plant them’! You can leave them on fences, by trees, trashcans, on benches and around playgrounds. Mike REALLY loved this part. He laid them under trees JUST SO. We talked on our walk about how when people find them it will make them smile.

If you paint some rocks or find some, share a picture in the comments!

Sand is So Last Year

I’ve been pretty quiet lately, mainly because my blog is going through a branding upgrade thanks to a fabulous friend of mine! Once that is in place, I will be back to my regular posting and updates. HOWEVER, it has been gorgeous out and since everyone is working on their backyards, I wanted to share Mike’s Rock Box.

I found this idea when I suggested getting Mike a sandbox. S. couldn’t stand the thought of sand EVERYWHERE and it didn’t take much convincing for me to agree. I cruised alternatives and Mike’s Rock Box was born! A few people asked how I made it and guys? It’s stupid simple.

Here’s what you need:

  • A hard plastic pool
  • pea gravel (I used 2 bags)
  • A drill
  • Toys

Use the drill to pop a few small holes in the bottom so when it rain, it will drain and not give you a pool with rocks (though that might be fun too). Toss the rocks in the pool with a few toys and let your little construction worker at it!

rock box