Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Surfing Mermaids

We spend a LOT of time at the pool or at the beach during the summer!  Marco Polo and Sharks Vs Minos get kind of boring after playing them on a daily basis... so we come up with new ways to keep us active at the beach and pool.

This summer the kids have tried out a few new sports and have pretty much fallen in love!  I have to admit that it makes this beach mama BEYOND happy to see them try new things that I always wished that I had done!

When my sister was visiting this summer we took the kids to Surf Camp, and they absolutely LOVED IT!  I wanted to get on a board really bad, but I feel that I should probably start on a private beach.....where there aren't hundreds of spectators cheering you on.

Collin seems to be a natural at every single sport he tries! (it is kind of sickening really) He got right up.....and just made it all look SO easy! I honestly think it is because he has had long blond hair his entire life...and looked the part of a it just came natural to him.

Next up....Kacey and my niece, Elle.  I know these pictures look like the water was flat...and maybe it was....but they strangely were catching waves all day long! 

Elle was a NATURAL!  She is a gymnast and practices 15-20 hours a week...and balancing is her thing.  Let's just say that balancing is NOT Kacey's thing!  Poor thing is so tight she can't even touch her toes! 

Time after time Collin and Elle road the waves in...posed for pictures, and made it look soooo easy!

My sister and I were cheerleaders.  We are amazing athletic supporters!

And the VERY last wave......ON THE VERY LAST RIDE.....KACEY FINALLY GOT UP....AND ROAD A WAVE IN!!!!!!!!!!!  This girl wants me to buy a surfboard so that the two of us can go out and practice without Collin or Chad.  She wants us to master the art of surfing secretly and then show up total surfer girls and WOW them! I kind of love the idea!

We have decided that some people are just awesome IN the water....and some people are awesome ON the water.  No big deal which is your thing!  So in honor of all of our IN the water girls.....we are offering a 15% off your ENTIRE purchase till Friday with the code "mermaid".  Don't miss out on our summer gear before the fall/winter goodies come in!!!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Pineapple Birthday Cake And Tween Style

I mentioned that I always make birthday cakes for the kids by myself.  I try to make them with whatever they are interested in at the time.  I NEVER make them from scratch, I NEVER plan them more than like two days in advance, and I ALWAYS keep the cake a surprise until I light the candles and bring it out to them.  

This year I was kind of at a loss as to what I was going to make for Kacey.  She is really into soccer, the beach, and I just couldn't come up with anything original that I wanted to make.  Literally two days before her big day, I realized that she is super into pineapples......eating them.....wearing them on her clothes....and decorating with them.  SCORE!  (and I have fallen in love with this shirt too)

hat, shirt, bathing suit, bag (my favorite!!!!!)

I had GREAT visions of how this cake would turn out......

What you need:
Fruit by the foot (out of an entire box...I was able to use 4 rolls in the correct colors. I would suggest buying two boxes)
Cool Whip Frosting (spreads sooo easy)
Ice Cream Sandwiches (you could totally use a cake also)

I cut (using my all time favorite kitchen scissors) the fruit by the foot into flower petal style shapes.  THIS IS STICKY so keep the paper backing on it until after you cut!

Looks like a hot mess when you are done cutting.

Kacey informed us that she wasn't really into cake right now....not cool Kacey! I tried my best to layer and cut down the ice cream sandwiches into a pineapple shape. I had to work FAST and take a lot of breaks to put it back in the freezer to harden again.

I frosted the "cake" and basically shoved the sandwiches down as much as possible into a rounded shape.  A cake would have been MUCH easier! 

I placed each little "petal" on the cake and tried my best to make it look like a pineapple.  I am still convinced that if I would have just frosted it with yellow frosting and them used a knife to carve out the shapes...I would have been better off.  

The best part is that.....SHE LOVED IT!  

If I ever made this again....I would make sure that I purchased a pineapple with a much better stem.....BUT I have to admit that as much as it does NOT look like what I had planned.....It sure did make my girl smile and laugh that I would make her a pineapple ice cream cake!  
I call that a success!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Being 10 Is Exhausting!

Yesterday was amazing!!!!!!! I love celebrating people on their birthday, especially when it happens to be my kid's birthday!!!!!

We started Kacey's big day at breakfast with my parents before they head out on their LONG annual RV trip.  She was SO excited that they stayed long enough to have breakfast with her before they drove off.  

Our dog, Kali, must have felt really left out when we didn't sign her name to the birthday card!  She seriously went in the yard, and brought in a dead frog (I am going to choose to believe that it died of old age and she didn't actually kill it) and she brought it into Kacey's room and laid it on her bed and just sat there so proud!  Kacey was such a good sport about it, and I tried to pick it up without letting it touch anything and immediately washed all the bedding.  

Kacey wanted to go to Busch Garden's to celebrate her big day (after brunch and getting her nails done).  She was in charge of whatever rides we went on....and she was BEYOND excited!  I am NOT generally a fan of water rides at theme parks because the water is just NASTY. I went on EVERY SINGLE water ride........and walked around the park SOAKING WET.......but the smile on Kacey's face was totally worth it.  

We never really play games at the parks, but for the special day....we went crazy and went for it.  Kacey was SOOOO close to the top! I was shocked!

Right after I was done telling the kids that they can totally do this game....but it it is just for fun because I am sure that nobody can actually make it to the top......... 
I look over and Collin is ringing the bell! 

We are now the proud owners of a ridiculously large Stingray!  HA! 
Collin offered this monster up to his big sister and was SO relieved when she said that he could keep it.  He walked around SO proud of himself with this thing! 

Kacey ended her special day at a great show and fireworks!  Spending the day celebrating our baby girl being 10 was amazing!  Chad and I realized that we have been parents for 10 years as well..... which is crazy and amazing all at the same time! 

Since we weren't home the entire day....we are going to do her special dinner of choice and cake tomorrow night! I can't wait to share what I came up with for her cake!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Birthday Traditions For My All Time Favorite 10 Year Old

I can honestly say that I am in SHOCK that my little Kacey is 10 today!  The kind of shock where you knew it was going to are excited with the girl that she has couldn't be more proud....BUT....your heart hurts a little bit at how fast it has all gone by!

I try to make birthdays BIG around here!  I feel like it is the one day where you truly should be celebrated ALL day long!  I have always tried to keep some traditions alive as she has grown, and now that I have these sweet pictures...I am so happy that I have!

I love taking her picture on her actual birthday and checking out how much she has grown.  I can hear her little voice in every single stage of these pictures! SOO SWEET!

Last year was the first year I truly looked at her and thought, "WOW....she is SOO grown!"  This picture is still one of my all time favorites!

This is her picture today, on her 10th Birthday!  This is one sweet, stylish, active, and amazing girl and I have to say that I feel SO lucky that I get to be her mom and share every stage with her!  She makes me a better person and it is a total blast to get to live life thru her eyes!  

Another tradition we like to keep consistent is her birthday cake!  I have made her cake every year, and I honestly enjoy it!  I make it the night before her birthday......and don't show her until it is time to blow out her candles!  She totally looks forward to this part!!!!!! (and I do too!)  I think my cakes have improved over the years! 

The Nemo Cake - 1st birthday

JoJo The Circus Clown- 2nd birthday and totally sick pregnant with collin....lets just say we are lucky that she had a cake at all that year!

Cinderella Cake- 3rd birthday. I was so proud of this cake that I didn't even want anyone to cut it! ha!

Cinderella Carriage Cake- 4th birthday. she was in LOVE with this cake!!!!! 

Ariel Cake- 5th birthday- This was the first year she actually requested a certain style cake.  She wanted "an Ariel wedding cake" and I was so nervous!  This might be my favorite cake of all!

Flower Cake- 6th Birthday- she had an outdoor tea party and I felt this went with it perfectly. (plus, I was super confident in my "wedding cake" ability 

Crystal Cake- 7th Birthday- She had a fashion show birthday party and wanted it to look BRIGHT.  

8th Birthday- We were in Maine and she just wanted to have Smores....lots of I didn't make a cake. So Sad!

Last year she wanted a "grown up cake" so this is what I came up with!  Just her favorite colors in a nice pretty cake.  (inside the cake there were 3 layers of her favorite colors)  

I have to say that I am NOT  a baker....and I have always used box cakes!  I mainly care about the look of the cake! ha! It might have something to do with the fact that I am allergic to it and the fact that it kills me not to taste the frosting or cake while I decorate....but either way....Kacey is happy!

I can't even wait to share the cake I am making for her this year.  We are heading to Busch Gardens for rides and fireworks she decided that we would do her cake tomorrow night.  Smart Smart her birthday lasts an extra day!  

Monday, July 21, 2014

Turning 10 In Style

This weekend we celebrated Kacey's 10th Birthday Party!  It was a LOT of fun to plan because she basically wanted to plan the whole thing...SCORE!  

She basically picked her favorite colors and we just went with it.  I am fully aware that the girls didn't notice any of the flowers, or matching goodies.....but Kacey and I had a blast shopping for them, and setting them that makes it ALL worth it. 

Flowers, pineapple, and super cute popcorn bags from Trader Joes and the plates, gum balls, napkins and cups were from Target.

I downloaded the Rhonna Designs App for Kacey, and she literally spent hours in her room designing this. She never had to ask how to use the app or anything.....just got right to town.  She has had a total blast making awards for everyone, designing her thank you cards, and just adding a touch of fun to every picture with this app.  
I have to say that my all time favorite part of this is the "Ps. It's a sleepover and the theme is Game Night".  I had no idea there was a theme or games were involved until she showed me invite. 

We printed out props and she made the pretzels (which were ALL eaten by Kali, our dog. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM!), and the cutest star cookies ever from Trader Joes.  

I snuck a bag of this kettle corn.....AMAZING!

We have a loft upstairs, and it is honestly the whole reason we purchased this house.  Chad and I both grew up in Virginia and the thought of not having a basement for sleepovers when the kids got older made us so sad! Our #1 requirement was to have a loft so that we could let them run free and act a fool with their friends.  

Kacey organized all of the games prior to everyone coming.  

I found these super cute glitter stickers to go over the poloroid pics at Michaels and light up bracelets from Target $1 bin.  (we don't do favors in the form of candy....I like to give a little something that they can use, and remember the party with)

Once Kacey's friends arrived....we took them up to the pool for a few hours.  This is our secret sleepover trick......WEAR THEM OUT EARLY!!!!!!  Kacey is such a water girl that it always seems to fit right in with whatever she has planned for the night.  These girls had a great time!

After the pool they came home and got dressed in their "white shirt and jean shirts so they could be matching" and all requested the same hair style.  I LOVE when they ask me to fix their hair because I swear that girls just talk and talk and talk without filter the second that you pull out the hairbrush!   I learned about their crushes, their favorite things about summer, and on and on.  BEING 10 IS THE COOLEST!

We obviously NEEDED a picture with them holding up 10 fingers!  This is getting framed for her room! I love these girls! 

Kacey always chooses smores over a cake for her birthday parties and I think it is so cool!  (except for the fact that we live in Florida and making a fire pit when it is in the 90's outside is just WRONG!)

OBVIOUSLY we needed to use a marshmallow to blow out the candle! She looks so grown here that it kind of makes my heart hurt! 

These girls are the coolest!  Nobody complained they were too hot, too many bugs, or anything.....they got right down to business and enjoyed every minute of it!

The rumor is that they stayed up until 4:00am.....played a few games.....watched a few movies (to include Girls Just Wanna Have Fun)....and loaded up on sugar!

The next morning this was the scene of our backyard.  I am dying over Collin's face!  This little boy has NO idea how lucky he is that Kacey lets him play with them and join in on everything!  He even was told by his big sister that he could invite two of his buds over for smores the night before.  I am not sure that ANY of these boys realize how lucky they are to be invited to an all girls sleepover!

The sprinkles are picked up.....the pillows are all back where they belong....and Kacey is still tired! This picture that is now sitting on her dresser holds the memories of a super fun night with her favorite buddies and 10 YEARS of an awesome life for my amazing girl! 

Her actual birthday is this Wednesday....and we have a lot of fun planned again!  Remember when birthdays used to last a week....or three?  I miss those days!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

DIY Easy Christmas Picture Ornaments - Christmas In July

I am obsessed with making crafts!  I have a closet/room FULL of amazing craft projects......that are not completed!  I also have a computer FULL of pictures.....that are never printed.  Basically....I have the BEST of intentions of making projects with and for my kids and family and just seem to always fall short on completing them.  (so hard to admit...but oh so true!)

This week has been really fun to take about 30 minutes out of each morning to tackle some of these projects.  I have only had to spend $5 on supplies so far, because I literally have every craft available in my "craft closet".

I went and purchased these little paper mache round ornaments at Michaels yesterday for under $1.50 each and I plan on going back today to buy the rest so that I can attach these to grandparent Christmas gifts this year!

Mod Podge (who knew there are now a million choices of this...I just used the original gloss)
Round Paper Mache ornaments (available in a few different shapes)
Craft Paper of your choice
Print pictures out on regular printer paper (I made mine 4.5 inches and it seemed to work well)
Foam paint brush

Step 1: Place the ornament over your picture and line it up.  I traced it lightly with a pencil and then cut INSIDE the pencil line (I didn't want the paper to hang over the edge of ornament).   Repeat on the craft paper of your choice.

Step 2:  Collin really wanted to make he just spread Mod Podge on the black ornament, and pressed the picture onto it.  Then covered the picture with mod podge to give it a glossy finish. (this BLEW HIS MIND that he would paint OVER the picture)  Repeat on the back with the craft paper....DONE!

THAT IS IT!!!! Two easy steps to completing a super fun and festive ornament!  I totally forgot to add the year (picture was actually taken a few years ago....I am still playing catch up) but I will go back and add in a Sharpie gold marker on the front.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

DIY Festive Gift Tags - Christmas In July

This is not just a Christmas craft...this is seriously a craft that I have NEEDED to do FOREVER!  Every birthday party that we go to, I am the one that says "I am so sorry, ours is the one that doesn't have a card!" RUDE!!!!!  I just never have my act together and usually end up throwing tissue paper in the gift bag on the way to the party.....without a card.  OR I spend entirely too much money on last minute cards that I don't even LOVE!  

This is a fun project that I am going to do again with my kids and let them create their own tags for the gifts that they give. 

What you need:
Card stock in whatever colors you would like
Wasabi tape
Large Needle 
Bakers Twine

Step 1: Put wasabi tape straight along the edge of the paper

Step 2: Cut the paper with a paper cutter (unless you are super skilled with scissors...which I am NOT)

Step 3: Thread the twine with your super huge needle and put it right on through the paper anywhere you would like.  I actually made a few without the twine because sometimes I enjoy just taping the card onto the middle of the package

Step 4:  Load these babies up in a plastic bag and imagine how excited you will be when you pull down the Christmas decorations this year! 

On a side note: I used to have neighborhood parents actually drop off gifts for me to wrap and I would charge per box!  Literally.....they would make some serious cash!!!!!! My best friend's parents would even double tape boxes and I would have to promise not to open them when I was wrapping.  Such a fun little job!

I am not exactly sure why I never thought of this before.....but the ikea craft paper is AMAZING wrapping paper!  I felt like I worked at the mall wrapping station as I pulled it off and cut it!!!!!

Don't forget to check out our Santa Pillows for sale this week only! 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

DIY SUPER Easy Christmas Garland

Welcome to our Christmas In July week!!!!!!!

I am the QUEEN of making a HUGE list filled with a million Christmas ideas/crafts/cookies/adventures that I want to do with my family the entire month of December and I seem to fall short every single year!  I always say that I am going to have EVERY gift wrapped perfectly, every decoration will be up, and I will be the hostess that I want to be.......yet I find myself on Christmas eve shoving gifts in gift bags, buying cookies to go to a party, and never getting around to having the party that I wanted to have.  Let's face it....December is entirely too short to get done all of the little things that I plan!

This year I am going to tackle the fun little projects that I always dream about IN JULY!  I am going to find the recipes that I want to make.....and actually put them in one place so that I don't have to search and give up in December. (preferably the no bake kind of recipes) I am going to do it all....THIS WEEK!

The first craft that I wanted to tackle was this super cute, super easy, and super festive garland.  I saw this in a boutique a few years ago and in true Katie fashion....said "oh, I am going to make that myself instead of buy it! So easy!"  It never happened!!!!!

All you need
-A few scraps of festive fabric (for any holiday or color scheme)
-Some yarn, twine, or even a strip of fabric to tie them onto
-I used tape to hold the twine in place while I tied 

Step 1: I made a one inch cut in the fabric every two inches and then just ripped the rest of the way. (totally didn't measure, this is a messy garland so you don't need to make anything exact)

Step 2: I ripped the fabric the entire width of the fabric and then just cut into even pieces (roughly 6 inches long each) 

Step 3: Tape the twine to desk (otherwise it is much harder to keep in order) and just make one knot with each piece of fabric using whatever pattern you would like. I make them loose enough to adjust them around.

Step 4:  Once you have filled up the desired length just spread the pieces of fabric out. You can make them as close or as loose as you would like.

Step 5: Hang and enjoy!!!!! I am making birthday and Halloween garland today too!  This literally took me 10 minutes and I am so mad at myself for not making it sooner! 

Don't forget.....we have our Santa shirts for preorder in our shop this week!!!!! AND PILLOWS!  These babies sold out so fast last year and I literally get one email a week asking when they will be back in stock!  Load up now!!!!!!  

shirts, pants (super clearance)

I believe there is nothing better than having a festive wardrobe, EXCEPT when your festive wardrobe matches with your kids, husband, sister, best friend, entire family! 

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