Favorite Disney Cruise Keepsake-Signed Photo Mat

2/11/2013 11:33:00 AM Posted by mommy2twincesses

Before our first family Disney cruise I did tons of research looking for the best tips and secrets of DCL passengers. I compiled a list here-Disney Cruise Insider Tips and Secrets-and this post is dedicated to my favorite one, taking items to guest services for signing!

Before we left I had several different ideas of things for the characters to sign. I had a hard time deciding between t-shirts, autograph bears, pillow cases, and a photo frame/mat. I ultimately chose the photo mat and I’m SO glad I did! 

Here’s my thinking: t-shirts would be too small in no time and I really didn’t want them to wear and possibly ruin them, autograph bears would take up too much room in our luggage, a pillow case would get dirty because I’m sure mine would want to sleep on it and I’m afraid of it ruining after several washes, and I never found an actual signable photo frame that I liked-so, photo mat it was!

The photo mat was virtually flat and weightless which made packing it a piece of cake, it’s not something that we’ll outgrow, will wear out, or take up too much room, so for us, it was the perfect choice!

Along with the photo frame I took a Ziplock bag full of brightly colored Sharpie markers and a little “thank you” gift for the crew to guest services the first night on board. They gave me a slip of paper to fill out which just asked our basic information including cabin number so it could be returned to us the last night of our trip.

This is what we got back! We LOVE it!

I printed out pictures of us with the different characters and will change the photo out from time to time. It’s hands down our favorite keepsake from our Disney cruise and will be treasured forever!

Valentine’s Day Cards to Make with Children

2/10/2013 01:09:00 PM Posted by mommy2twincesses

Nothing says “I love you” like a homemade gift or card, so this year for Valentine’s Day we’re going as “homemade” as possible.

While cruising around Pinterest I saw the cutest Valentine’s Day cards to make and knew immediately that these would be the ones we’d put together for our favorite people this year! (Check out my Valentine’s Day board here!)

All I needed was:

*Construction paper
*Glue stick
*Markers and stickers to decorate

I started by simply tracing the girls’ hands onto the cardstock and then cutting them out.

Next, I printed out the words “We love you this much!” I used a cute font from the Pinterest board :o)

I cut out the words “We love you….” and glued them to the front of a hand.

I glued the words “this much!” on strips of construction paper, folded them accordion style and glued the ends to the inside of the hands.

To finish them off I let the girls decorate them with markers and stickers.

If you’ve been looking for adorable Valentine’s Day cards to make these couldn’t be more sweet or easy!

I’d love to see your creations so feel free to link up in the comment section!

Most Meaningful Valentine Gift-Heart Attacks!

2/04/2013 10:25:00 AM Posted by mommy2twincesses

Not only is “heart attacking” super meaningful ; it’s also free of charge, sugar, fat, and calories! Sound too good to be true? It’s not, I promise! You’ll want to start “heart attacking” someone special today!

I browse Pinterest all the time (follow me here) and am constantly finding ideas that I LOVE! Heart attacking totally came from Pinterest, I’ve just put my own spin on it as usual :o)

“Heart attacking” is simply telling a loved one something different you love about them every day (or most days) of February! See, I told you it was easy and free! It’s HOW you go about telling them that lets you personalize it.

This year I decided to “heart attack” my children, husband, and mother!

 My girls can’t read well yet (cut ‘em some slack, they’re only 4) so no matter what I wanted to do, I’d have to read it to them. Since theirs’ would have to be verbal anyway, I’m simply writing a “love note” a day on the dry erase board in the breakfast nook and read it to them during breakfast. I LOVE watching them light up as I confess my favorite things about them <3

My husband is attached to his cell phone 24-7 (partly for work and partly because he’s a phone addict :oP) so texting him his “heart attacks” just makes sense. He’s not impressed by time spent on “silly things” like paper hearts, so I chose to cut right to the chase and simply text him my daily dotes. I like the fact that these little reminders are actually in his pocket all day, every day, and if he has a less than stellar moment he can whip out his phone and read some encouragement from me.

My mom is getting a FULL BLOWN heart attack! I used my Cricut machine to cut out paper hearts and hand wrote things that we love about her on each one. She lives in the same town as us, so we’re sneaking over while she’s at work and sticking a new heart on her door each day. I haven’t witnessed her finding them, but I have no doubt it brings a HUGE smile to her face!

Everyone loves to know they’re loved and sometimes it’s hard to verbalize all the things we enjoy about someone. Over the 28 days of February my closest loved ones will truly see what they mean to me!

And if you like this idea, it’s not too late! You can start “heart attacking” someone today, or even just the week of Valentine’s Day. Don’t wait around-you never know how much time you have to love!

Girly Pirate Birthday Party

2/04/2013 09:14:00 AM Posted by mommy2twincesses

For the twins’ 4th birthday they chose a pirate theme for their party. I was pleasantly surprised at all the inexpensive and creative ideas I both came up with and found online, as well as adorable low cost decorations!

When the girls firmly decided on the pirate theme I jumped on Etsy.com to see what I could find that would fit their criteria of “pirate”, “girly”, “not scary”, and most importantly, “PINK”. I was pleased as punch when I came across “Party So Perfect” as they had exactly what we were looking for and her mini-packages were perfectly priced! The transaction was smooth and seamless and I’d highly recommend her for all your party printable needs :o)

After I secured a visual of the theme via the printables, I began to scour the internet for pirate party ideas in general. I hit the jackpot when I found The Notable Nest! This mom blog was chock full of great ideas so all I had to do was put a girly spin on things :o)

Here is the precious invitation:

I found a blank pink foam sign at the Dollar Tree and personalized it to welcome our mates:

The food was prepared and set out when our guests arrived and consisted of:
Cannon Balls (aka meatballs), Parrot Wings (aka hot wings), Peg Legs (aka lil smokies), Polly’s Crackers (aka Ritz crackers), Shark Bait (aka Goldfish crackers), and chips and dip (which I failed at coming up with a clever name for).

The table was strewn with Dollar Tree beads, plastic gold coins, and left over trinkets from the goody bags.

The drinks were in a cooler close by with a sticker above them that said, “Drink up me hearties, yo ho!”

After everyone had their tummies full, I gathered the children in the kitchen to start the adventures of the day! 

We began by drawing new “pirate” names out of a crumpled paper sack that I had written “Pick ye pirate name” on. Along with the name came a number, and this is the order we used (or tried to at least) for the other games. Our pirate names included (you put your real name in the blank): Land Lubber _____, Red Beard _____, Captain _____, Deck Swabber _____, Salty Dog _____, Boney ______ Maroney, Gold Tooth _____, Peg Leg _____, and our only diaper wearer was Poopdeck _____ :o) We ALL got a kick out the pirate names! LOL

After receiving their new names, the crew got “Pirate Loot” bags filled with eye patches, tattoos, a telescope, and an inflatable sword-you know, all the pirate adventure “must haves” (I totally PLANNED on doing bandanas too, but waited too long and it just slipped my mind-I would’ve just purchased a yard or two of skull and cross bone material and cut it in squares).

Now that the gang had appropriate pirate names and garb (which some came decked in to start with) we played our first game-Shark Infested Waters. I simply filled one side of the sink with water and scattered “treasure” (small random sea life toys and mermaids all found at the Dollar Tree) about and tossed in a larger shark to “guard” it. I swirled the water around and the kids took turns reaching in to retrieve treasure while trying to avoid getting “bitten” by the shark. This was surprisingly enough a HUGE hit! 

After everyone had defeated the shark and scored some treasure, I gave them a homemade treasure map to follow! 
The big kids were the ring leaders here and eventually they DID find more treasure, but this time it was “buried”. I filled a plastic shoe box with uncooked rice and hid shells and dismembered yard sale jewelry underneath it. They all had a blast “digging” and the rice stayed outside and didn’t stick to their skin or clothes the way sand would.

Now that they had plenty of treasure, we came back inside and they placed the loot in “oceans in a jar” that I had made up the night before. It’s simply a little vegetable oil and colored water! I would’ve done bottles, but the toys were too big to fit and I had these small jars handy, so I went with what I had. 

With activities and crafts complete we moved on to cake and presents, the kids free played for a bit, and then our guests started to file out.

 Whew! That was FUN!!!!

Happy 4th birrrrrrrthday to my sweet girls!