Saturday, July 13, 2013

Hello Kitty Ladybug Mantle

Our house has this odd extra room that was originally built to repair marching band equipment.  It's a super fun space for parties.  Part of the charm is the fireplace so the birthday girl and I decided it needed to be decorated for her Hello Kitty Ladybug Party.  Here's what we did for next to no money and very little time.  

We printed a picture of the birthday girl on the day she was born and then a picture for each year.  Since she turned 4, using 4 pictures would have been logical...but there are 5 hooks!

The cost:  The boards were leftover from her 1st birthday party, so I didn't have to buy anything new there.  The red & black scrapbook paper was part of my collection so that was free too.  Colored ink can be costly, but I printed them at grandpa's house (score!!!).  

On either side of the mantle I placed spray painted flower pots with flowers I cut out on my Cricut.  The flower pots were leftovers too, but I did have to buy the red spray paint.  But since I begged grandpa to paint them for me, it saved me time (double score!!!).  

Harper was super happy looking at pictures of herself.  She made me transfer the newborn picture to her room, but she carried it around for a few days talking about how cute she was.  This momma agrees!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Build-A-Bear is like HGTV

For her birthday, Harper received gift cards for Build-A-Bear, a workshop where guests stuff and accessorize their own cuddly best friends.  There's one located at Downtown Disney, and every time we go to Disneyland Harper asks if we can go into Build-A-Bear.  She was super stoked to have the answer be "yes."

Watching your child pick out a bear is like watching House Hunters.  How?  Build-A-Bear is like House Hunters for three reasons:  the least desirable option is picked, there's edited info, and the audience is hooked.

You Picked What???  Once you see all of the options, you're confident you know the one they'll pick.  Build-A-Bear had a Hello Kitty bear, a My Little Pony, a Minnie Mouse, the list of perfect options for her goes on.  What does she pick?  The white bear with hearts & peace signs that wasn't even on our radar.

What?  Why?  I've perfected my House Hunters guessing.  If the most logical choice is #2, I know that won't be picked.  If #3 seems absolutely insane, that'll be the one the hunters purchase.  I'm sure it's all in the editing.  HGTV editors are cutting out the scene of the couple gushing about the house reminds them of Grandma's house or how they could imagine spending the rest of their lives there.

So what's up with Build-A-Bear?  Why does the birthday girl pick the bear that seems the least likely?  An unknown factor (well, forgotten factor) was that the last time we went to Build-A-Bear, Harper made an almost identical bear.  This is the HGTV editing, but done by my overly-stretched mom-brain.  She picked the bear that reminded her of the bear she loved (and then totally forgot about).

Let's Try This Again I don't doubt my real estate wisdom when watching House Hunters.  Even if my choice doesn't match the new homeowners, I picked the best choice based on the information provided by the show.  Perhaps it's a ploy to get me to keep watching...producers hoping that I'll improve my accuracy.  Who knows...maybe that's what my daughter is doing.  She's picking the worst bear (in my opinion) so that I'll keep bringing her back until she picks a good one.

It's all a good ploy on her part.  After seeing how happy the day made her and how sweetly she cares for the bear, maybe I will bring her back sooner rather than later...right after I'm done watching House Hunters.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Pros & Cons of Goodie Bags

We celebrated Harper's 4th birthday over the weekend (pictures coming soon), and I decided to forego goodie bags this time around.  I didn't send guests home empty-handed, of course.  Since the birthday girl is obsessed with flowers, we decorated terra cotta flower pots and allowed our little gardeners a chance to plant their own flowers.

As each of my tiny guests was departing, it felt strange not to hand them a bag full of goodies to take home.  It got me thinking.  Are goodie bags necessary for kids' birthday parties?  Then I started thinking of the pros and cons of goodie bags.

  • Everybody Feels Special It's hard to understand, as a child, that there's only one star of the show.  Why does the birthday girl get all of the presents?  I know that this is an important life lesson, but I feel like it's one that can be eased into.  The birthday girl received piles of presents, and everybody else gets one smaller gift bag.  
  • Fight the Birthday Beast  On a day where the birthday girl or boy is being showered with attention and gifts, it can be easy to turn into a birthday beast.  Goodie bags allow an opportunity to stop, say thank you, and give (rather than just keep getting).
  • Expectations  Isn't going to a party enough?  We have gotten to a point where kiddos expect to get something every time they go somewhere.  We go to Target, they want an icee.  We go to the doctor, they want lollipops.  Every errand ends in a reward for not making me pull my hair out.  But at a birthday party with fun activities and yummy treats, do they really need more?
  • I Don't Need Any More Junk in my House  I'm sure you put together fantastic goodie bags.  Mine, however, are normally full of things like candy and novelty toys.  The kids play with them for two minutes, and then they break.  I've got buckets full of tiny, assorted toys that we just don't need.  So save the money and skip it.

As you can see, I'm torn.  What are your thoughts?  Are goodie bags necessary?