Quinn’s Birthday Party at McDonald’s

Ronald McDonald

FTC disclosure: This post is sponsored by McDonald’s of Central Arkansas. I am one of their brand ambassadors, this site
but all opinions here are my own.

Birthday parties are so much fun for kids. They really lose their minds over bounce houses, dosage
presents and cupcakes. But it’s a whole different kind of crazy for mommas…especially now in the world of Pinterest-inspired birthday parties. My good friend Carol creates the most enviable birthday parties ever. I would love to throw my daughters beautifully-themed princess parties complete with homemade tiaras and a horse drawn carriage ride around the neighborhood, but I honestly do not have the time, the money, nor the inclination.

birthday girlFor Quinn’s 2nd birthday party this year, I outsourced it all to my friends at McDonald’s in North Little Rock. The Indian Hills McDonald’s has a separate playroom for the kids, and we reserved the whole thing for a couple of hours. The wonderful McDonald’s staff decorated the room for us and provided the cake and goodie bags. All I had to do was invite a few friends and family, show up with my brood and order lunch for everyone (because McDonald’s fries and nuggets are so incredibly yummy AND is was lunchtime).

But the pièce de résistance was Ronald McDonald himself there for the entire party! Quinn met Ronald at the grand opening of the new McDonald’s location on McCain Boulevard back in July, and she was completely enamored. At her party, Ronald greeted the kids as they entered the playroom and interacted with them all. Then he put on a 30 minute magic show that even boggled the mind of my 17-year-old who is a wanna-be magician herself. I have to hand it to Ronald McDonald; the clown knows how to keep the attention of kids of all ages. His show was fantastic — even the adults enjoyed it.Ronald McDonald

Ronald McDonald show

Ronald McDonald

I couldn’t have asked for an easier birthday party set up. Life has been super busy lately, so this really did take a huge burden off my shoulders, and I am so appreciative of the McDonald’s crew. Quinn and the other children laughed and played and ate cake. I mean, what more could you want? Plus I didn’t have to clean up my house afterwards!birthday cake

McDonald’s has their parties down to a science. If you want to have a stress-free birthday party for your child, just talk to the manager of your neighborhood McDonald’s. You can use this handy-dandy Restaurant Locator to find one near you with a PlayPlace.Ronald McDonald

 

Pinterest Generation

Ladies, adiposity just STOP IT. Unless you already have loads of free time and money, please stop with all the trying to out-shine your friends and enemies (and frienemies) with all the over-the-top weddings, kids’ birthday parties, and oh-so-perfect front porch decor. I totally blame Pinterest for this obsession. Yes, I love to dream and pin photos of projects that I will NEVER accomplish, but there is a balance with reality.

My reality cannot live up to the hype.

I wanted a magical HGTV-episode-worthy wedding. But I also wanted to pay my mortgage. Guess what won out — HOUSE. So I had a potluck dessert bar and wore a $20 TJ MAXX dress. But you know what, Anthony and I are just as married now as we would be if we had spent thousands of dollars on a wedding. IMG_9424I wanted Maya’s superhero birthday party to have really awesome homemade capes for each kid. Instead the kids had really crappy homemade capes, and they LIKED IT.

I wanted to decorate my front porch with colorful plants and flowers, but I managed to KILL most of them. I have a few strong-willed plants holding on. Let’s hear it for IVY for the win! IMG_1456For all you mommas who manage to keep a clean house AND create Pinterest masterpieces, I applaud you. I’m not sure how you do it. So for now, I’ll make peace with my toy-filled living room and half-dead/half-alive hanging plant, and try to stay off Pinterest for the rest of the day. IMG_1458

Planning a Nail Salon Birthday Party

My daughter Maya will be six years old later this month, allergist and I’m planning her birthday party at a local nail salon. I visited the salon this morning and discussed the idea with the salon owner. They don’t normally do this sort of thing, bronchi but she was open to the idea, medicine so we got it on her calendar.

Here are some of my inspiration ideas from Pinterest:

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Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 3.08.16 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 3.07.37 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 3.07.30 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 3.08.04 PM

Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 3.07.46 PMThe party will be in the morning, so for food, I will have fruit & cheese kabobs and yogurt parfaits, along with a cake. I haven’t decided yet if I’ll just have bottled water or make fancy little bubbly drinks. For party favors, I think I’ll do little bags with an emery board, a nail polish and maybe a pair of flip flops (I really like that idea from above!).

I’m not very good at “cutesy”, so I’ll keep you posted on how it turns out. Maybe I’ll create one of those Pinterest disaster posts with the perfect Pinterest photo on one side and my “fail” on the other side. Stay tuned…

More Superhero Birthday Party Pics

IMG_3277Before the guests arrive, sales M is super excited!

IMG_3294I’ve got the superhero decorations out — I really just raided her toy box.

IMG_3305The kids enjoyed decorating their superhero capes. M even made a headband out of one of the sleeves.

IMG_3325Blowing out the birthday candle.

IMG_3328My mom holds this cutie-pie baby boy.

My original post is here.

Superhero Birthday Party

My little one turns five in a few days. It really has gone by so fast. I remember the cold, online rainy February night that I got a call from DHS asking if I could foster a baby girl. I calmly said yes, then immediately called my mom — “Get over here NOW. WE’RE GETTING A BABY!” I didn’t know how long this little wide-eyed pumpkin would live with me, so I just cherished every moment. She was such a good baby. Now here we are almost five years later, and I’m her forever mommy. I cry happy tears thinking about how lucky I am. So as I prepare for birthday party #5, here is a look back at the first four.

1st BIRTHDAY
1stbday1stbday21stbday3

2nd BIRTHDAY
2ndbday2ndbday22ndbday3
3rd BIRTHDAY
3rdbday23rdbday1
4th BIRTHDAY
4thbdaycupcakes4thbday24thbday

This year will be a superhero theme. Stay tuned!

FREE SHIPPING
photoLittle M had her 5th birthday party yesterday. It was a Superhero themed-party. She wore her pink Power Ranger costumephoto 1(2).

The menu:
* Flourless chocolate cupcakes served with mint chocolate chip ice cream
* Grapes & strawberry cups
* Star-shaped peanut butter and chocolate hazelnut spread sandwiches
* Snowball clusters from the Plain Chicken blog (hey Stephanie!)
* Bottled water (the small ones)
* Pita chips and hummus (for the adults)
* Tortilla chips and cheese dip (also for the adults)

When the kids arrived, therapist
they were directed the playroom to decorate their capes. I made the capes very simply from old t-shirts and iron on Velcro. They seemed to enjoy coloring them, rubella
but then nobody wore them except Maya and my mom.

photo 2(2)
photo 3(1)After the cape decorating, apoplexy
the kids ate, then played some. Finally it was time to open presents. M loved all her gifts, but especially the remote-control car.

photo 5(1)photo 4(1)After about two hours, everyone had gone home, and Momma took a much-needed nap. So overall, I give the day an A+.

photo

photo 1(2)

Birthdays Remembered

My little one turns five in a few days. It really has gone by so fast. I remember the cold, online rainy February night that I got a call from DHS asking if I could foster a baby girl. I calmly said yes, then immediately called my mom — “Get over here NOW. WE’RE GETTING A BABY!” I didn’t know how long this little wide-eyed pumpkin would live with me, so I just cherished every moment. She was such a good baby. Now here we are almost five years later, and I’m her forever mommy. I cry happy tears thinking about how lucky I am. So as I prepare for birthday party #5, here is a look back at the first four.

1st BIRTHDAY
1stbday1stbday21stbday3

2nd BIRTHDAY
2ndbday2ndbday22ndbday3
3rd BIRTHDAY
3rdbday23rdbday1
4th BIRTHDAY
4thbdaycupcakes4thbday24thbday

This year will be a superhero theme. Stay tuned!

FREE SHIPPING

Labor Day Weekend in Photos

One of the things that makes being a part of a CSA (community supported agriculture) so much fun (and educational) is getting introduced to new vegetables. Here is this week’s basket: csa eggplant, viagra sale watermelon, buy butternut squash, adiposity various tomatoes, and two flyer-saucer-looking squash. Thank goodness for Google Images, I was able to determine that these are pattypan squash, a form of summer squash (so you can eat the skin). I found this recipe for roasted pattypan squash soup.

2013-08-31 14.23.06-2Here are the ingredients — including curry powder, cilantro and other Indian spices. The kitchen smelled so good while it was simmering. I was proud of my new-found pattypan squash skills and the final product. All but one of my kids liked it. Not sure if it was the spices or the fact that it’s a vegetable that turned her off.  Step-parenting is interesting like that. My kiddo pops cherry tomatoes like they’re candy. But Anthony’s two have completely different tastes. They are good sports though and humor me by trying new things. But I guess curry and flyer-saucer-looking squash is pushing it too a bit far.

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2013-08-31 20.57.50-1 Anthony and I attended the third night of screenings for the Little Rock 48 Hour Film Project. We found out last night that our film, ed Last Chance Romance, recipe
made it to the “Best Of” night — meaning it was one of the top 10 audience favorites. So proud!

 

2013-09-01 15.21.53I did A LOT of baking this weekend which means a lot of spoons and bowls and pans that needed licking. I had several helpers with that.

 

 

 

 

Then my cute little nephew turned four years old, remedy and he had a fun birthday party with bounce pit, pinata, and a light saber cake!

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