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Kids’ Birthday Party Ideas

April 1, 2014

over 200 kids party ideas

We’ve all seen those awesome party ideas all over the internet — the ones that make us hold our breath and exclaim, “Why didn’t I think of that?!?” These are the parties that don’t have anything to do with buying plates with the latest cartoon face plastered on the bottom. These are the parties that have seemingly boring themes, but with some creativity they yield amazing results, and they teach our kids to like what they like instead of liking what’s most popular.

I’m trying to get my kids away from cartoon-based parties and more into themes that we can create ourselves (well, after this year — between my job, two weddings, moving, conferences, and curriculum planning, it’s been a bit crazy!). I’m sure all of these parties have amazing ideas and pictures on Pinterest, but I’ve yet to see a really great list of ideas all in one post. That’s why I’m posting here – to begin the list. If you think of anything that should be added, comment and I will edit the post. Ideas for each party can come later — Right now, it’s always nice just to have a list to look at for ideas. And they don’t have to just be for boys or girls — pick what your kid likes and go with it, and make it work for their gender.

PS – I will slowly be organizing them into better groupings as I have time!

  1. butterflies
  2. ladybugs
  3. caterpillars
  4. worms
  5. picnic ants
  6. elephants
  7. owls
  8. foxes
  9. birds
  10. puppies
  11. kittens
  12. lizards
  13. dragons
  14. fish
  15. sharks
  16. dolphins
  17. jungle animals
  18. farm animals
  19. forest animals
  20. sea animals
  21. swamp animals
  22. desert animals
  23. rainforest animals
  24. arctic animals
  25. *insert your favorite animal*
  26. picnic
  27. campout
  28. bonfire
  29. garden
  30. flowers
  31. race car
  32. fire truck
  33. hot air balloon
  34. airplane
  35. boat
  36. bicycle
  37. carriage
  38. wagon
  39. train
  40. garage
  41. construction vehicles
  42. tools
  43. policeman
  44. firefighter
  45. astronaut
  46. doctor
  47. clown
  48. roses
  49. mushrooms
  50. rainbow
  51. cookies and milk
  52. stars
  53. hexagons
  54. diamonds
  55. polka dots
  56. stripes
  57. chevron
  58. alphabet
  59. numbers
  60. pinwheels
  61. windmills
  62. prince
  63. princess
  64. knight
  65. ninja
  66. pirate
  67. soldier
  68. sailor
  69. ballerina
  70. magician
  71. teddy bear
  72. musical instruments
  73. county fair
  74. fruits
  75. berries
  76. lemons and limes
  77. peaches
  78. apples
  79. oranges
  80. veggies
  81. ice cream
  82. cupcakes/baking/decorating
  83. spa
  84. makeover
  85. slumber
  86. jewelry making
  87. tshirt making
  88. fashion designer
  89. painting
  90. beach
  91. ocean
  92. pool
  93. indians
  94. cowboys
  95. tea party
  96. football
  97. soccer
  98. basebol
  99. tennis
  100. karate
  101. skater
  102. ice skating
  103. roller skating
  104. skateboarding
  105. bees
  106. dolls
  107. dinosaurs
  108. nautical
  109. mermaid
  110. starfish
  111. crab/lobster
  112. lemonade
  113. angel
  114. French
  115. Asian
  116. Indian
  117. Victorian
  118. British
  119. Hawaiian
  120. Hippie
  121. Flapper
  122. Fifties
  123. down under
  124. wizards
  125. paint brushes
  126. vintage
  127. circus
  128. carnival
  129. shabby chic
  130. french country
  131. fave fairy tale (Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Goldilocks, Three Little Pigs)
  132. fave nursery rhyme (Humpty Dumpty, Hey Diddle Diddle, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Jack and Jill)
  133. bow ties
  134. mustaches
  135. color-themed (gold, silver, blue, pink, etc.)
  136. rain
  137. clouds
  138. sun
  139. umbrellas
  140. flip flops
  141. travel
  142. knitting/sewing
  143. gumball
  144. sweet shop
  145. teddy bear
  146. blocks
  147. puzzles
  148. fishing
  149. hunting
  150. aviator
  151. carousel
  152. beach ball
  153. photography
  154. kites
  155. silhouette
  156. holiday themed
  157. ribbons and bows
  158. baby animals
  159. seasons (winter, spring, summer, fall)
  160. farm
  161. city
  162. plaid
  163. monsters
  164. hairstyling
  165. paper dolls
  166. mason jars
  167. rubber duckies
  168. fireworks
  169. rockets
  170. aliens
  171. feathers
  172. lace
  173. goldfish
  174. chocolate
  175. pumpkin patch
  176. flamingo
  177. once upon a time
  178. unicorn
  179. rock star
  180. Hollywood
  181. archery
  182. fireflies
  183. stargazing
  184. neon
  185. animal prints
  186. volleyball
  187. glow in the dark
  188. bowling
  189. spy
  190. chef
  191. cooking challenge
  192. ombre
  193. dance party
  194. donuts
  195. rock (as in actual rocks)
  196. fossils/archeologist
  197. motorcycle
  198. superhero
  199. space
  200. duck
  201. turtle
  202. lamb
  203. horse
  204. secret agent
  205. zoo
  206. safari
  207. surfing



Bloglovin Verification

March 8, 2014

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On thinking…

February 3, 2014

I’ve been doing some thinking.

Maybe I’m not a home and diy blogger.

Maybe that’s why I can’t seem to make this blog stick.

Maybe I need to be a lifestyle blogger, which allows me to have some of that but mostly gives me license to do whatever and talk about whatever. Maybe that will make me feel more connected.

Maybe I’ll start collecting stories and ideas to go with crafts and photos and such. Mmm, photos. I miss taking photos with my DSLR!

Maybe you’ll hear from me more often, and soon :)


Bon’s Book Club: The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

February 2, 2014

Whaaaattttt????? I’m actually posting something????

It’s time for my first book as a part of Bon’s Book Club! When she posted about the club, I added it immediately to my personal regime as part of my resolutions for this year, and I finished the daggone thing by January 2nd. I’ve been sitting, waiting patiently impatiently to share my thoughts, and while they probably won’t be any deep insights this time around, I’m excited to share my viewpoint, nonetheless. Yes, I’m a week late. Oopsies.

Here we go.

+ The book is told from the viewpoint of three women.  Which women did you like the most and why?  Whom did you dislike the most and why?

I can sympathize with Rachel. She feels like the day Janie died sucked all of the life out of her. I can’t say that I would or would not have chosen her path. Cecilia just pisses me off. She’s definitely my least-liked character, and probably because I can relate to her in many ways, wanting to have the perfect life and such. Her moral choices, her complete trust in her husband and refusal to open the letter – those are the things that aggravate me. I couldn’t for a second make the same choices. I couldn’t sit on something so huge, knowing that someone had been wronged. Maybe it is easy to say that looking through the window into someone else’s life, and maybe I would feel differently had it been my own husband, but then again, my own husband has always been open and forthcoming about everything, so the weird behavior would’ve frustrated me from the beginning. As for Tess, I wish she would’ve just completely left Will and Felicity behind and not taken him back. Sure, her jumping straight into bed with Connor wasn’t the best choice, but at least it was an honest one.

I don’t think I have a least-liked or most-liked character. I need a second read of the book to really delve in and analyze this question, to discover their nuances a bit more.

+ What would you have done if you had found out the secret that Celia did?  Did you agree with the way she handled it?  What is the “right” thing to do in a situation like that?

Hmm…. Again, from the outside looking in, I couldn’t have possibly held in the secret. I would’ve forced John Paul’s hand to come clean, to let go of the burden. Even if he had gone to jail, at least the burden would be released and he could begin to work through the guilt. The honesty he finally shared with her could’ve created a completely different marriage scenario.

+ What was the point of the side story with Tess?  Do you excuse the way she acted during that week because of the uncertainty in her marriage?

I think Liane put those bits in there to give a bit of lightheartedness and hope to a very heavy book. What she did was wrong, and just as wrong as the emotional affair between Will and Felicity, but it was honest and realistic and cathartic for the the character. I honestly wish she would’ve dumped her marriage, which is something I wish I didn’t feel because I don’t generally believe in divorce, but Will most likely will hurt her again and that’s something that she shouldn’t have to bear again. This wasn’t an overnight thing, but a long, repeated history of emotional violation.

+ Do you believe the bike accident was adequate “penance” for what John Paul had done?

Absolutely not. Polly didn’t do anything and now she’s the victim.

+ Did you like the resolution of the book?  Did you feel there was enough closure?

If I remember correctly, I screamed out loud out of frustration, haha. The what-ifs slayed me. SLAYED ME.

Overall, even though this book was frustrating and emotionally upheaving, I loved it. Even though I had figured out the basics of the plot early on, I want to read it again to actually have a chance to analyze it more thoroughly. I also need to not finish the book an entire month before book club so I remember the details in order to have an effective discussion! If you are looking for a good read, this is it.


Resolutions for 2014

January 1, 2014

Sorry, blog that I’ve neglected again. You are going to be the vehicle for this post and then I’m going to leave you alone for awhile. Life is just a bit too full to be able to focus on you right now. We’ll see if you can get come TLC come summer.

Every year, I’m one of those people that bemoans resolutions, and every year, I’m still one of those people who jumps on the bandwagon with two feet. I hate resolutions because I, like so many others with little resolve, don’t stick with them. But upon reflection, I realize that it is because of the tremendous amount of short- and long-term goal setting I do professionally that I don’t necessarily worry about my personal resolutions.

This year is going to be the year of my personal life.

I’m sure I won’t actually stick with my resolutions, but an attempt is still progress from nothing.

  1. Leave work at 5:00 pm every night unless I have a meeting, and reserve lesson planning for Sunday mornings only.
    This is going to be hard for me because lately, it seems like I’ve been leaving three or more hours later and spending my entire weekend working. With my super long commute, this resolution will put me home at 6:30 pm and allow me to have some family time each evening (and avoid burning out). That still puts me at 50 work hours during the week (68 with the commute) but for a teacher, that’s pretty fantastic. I’ve got to really push myself to say, “Does this HAVE to be done?” before continuing to sacrifice my support system.
  2. Eat smaller portions and make smarter choices.
    I’m not going to put the cliché down because it won’t happen. But I do have an accountability buddy and work BFF that will kick my butt if she sees me making poor choices. Sure, I need to lose weight, but realistically I need to be healthier and that takes a lifestyle change, not a diet. One thing this includes (sadly) is the switch from Venti Caffe Mochas to Tall Skinny Caffe Mochas, and another is slowly switching to unsweet (or drastically less sweetened) iced tea.
  3. Up my “me” time.
    Currently, I take “me” time every Saturday morning in the form of a bath and some Pinterest on my iPhone. I want to start building in 10-15 minutes a day of just being alone and doing whatever I want.
  4. Get more spiritual.
    I’ve let my relationship with God wander a bit. Not that my faith is shaken or I am having doubts, but I am just not investing in the relationship like I used to and like all relationships without work, it’s suffering. I want to actively add more prayer (and possibly church) back into my life.
  5. Take more pictures.Of the boys. Of myself. Of stupid things I think looks cool. Of everything and anything. I used to take so many photos all the time, for multiple reasons. I miss that side of my life. My DSLR probably can’t be resurrected, but I do have an iPhone that I don’t use nearly enough.
  6. Read more books.
    Oh, I read plenty. I read scholarly journal articles and books presenting the newest teaching methods and blog posts on a variety of educational, political, and cultural topics, but I rarely read fiction anymore. I’m not up on the latest great published stories, ranging from YA up to my absolute fave, women’s fiction (please don’t confuse with romance novels!) and it flat-out sucks. I miss getting lost in a story and mourning the end of a good book and being thoroughly pissed because something was left unexplained. I’m following Bonnie’s Book Club suggestions and adding others in as I can.
  7. My ONE job-based resolution? Survive this year and prepare for the next.
    This year, I started a program that hasn’t really existed in my district before. There were a lot of variables that neither myself nor my principal could articulate when we created this program without diving in and sorting through as we went. I would still jump in head first to this job if I were being offered the position again knowing what I know now, but I have a ton of work to do to get us even remotely in the ballpark of where we need to be. The problem is that there is no way for me to possibly accomplish this during the school year with my current commute. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. Even if there were, however, I would still have no personal life and no family life, so I need to focus on doing the best I can right now and hammering out a few full 60 hour weeks of work on the program during the summer. From then on, it should be revision and resource-finding instead of this craziness I’ve been trying to maintain for the past five months.

I don’t think my resolutions could be more comprehensive. I need to get back to being me and not lose myself in my job. Happiness is an overarching concept, after all :)

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