Ridemakerz: Build Your Ride and MommyParties

Last month we were lucky enough to be chosen to host a Ridemakerz Xtreme customz party through MommyParties. It was perfect timing too because Turtle’s 7th birthday was coming up and it happened to fall during spring break!

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The boys who came (and the tomboy princess gal) who came got super excited when they learned they were all getting their very own Ridemakerz car to build. The excitement only got louder when they saw the cool selection of cars available. We were sent 10 awesome sets.

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2 of the Batman sets                                       One pretty blue MustangIMG_2389IMG_2391

2 of the Police cars                                                  One shiny green Dodge Viper

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One red Corvette with flame detail                            Two sets of Spiderman cars

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One desert camo truck

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And a partridge in a pear tree… ;-P

IMG_2388We had these amazeballz rainbow cupcakes with rainbow swirled frosting. They were almond flavored and were Turtle’s special request for his party.

As you can see all the kids had a blast building their Ridemakerz and showing off their creations. I asked them all if there were anything they’d do to improve them and not one of them could come up with any improvements. To be frank, neither could I, these sets are really cool and I can’t wait to get more of them to add to Turtle’s Batman and have a Ridemakerz collection.

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IMG_2445Check out Ridemakerz on Facebook or at their website. Also, parent friends – you too can be selected to host some awesome parties like this one. Check out MommyParties!!!

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I have the Rainbow Connection song stuck in my head now. So I’ll leave you today with the lyrics:

Why are there so many songs about rainbows
and what’s on the other side?
Rainbows are visions, but only illusions,
and rainbows have nothing to hide.
So we’ve been told and some choose to believe it.
I know they’re wrong, wait and see.
Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection.
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

Who said that every wish would be heard
and answered when wished on the morning star?
Somebody thought of that and someone believed it.
Look what it’s done so far.
What’s so amazing that keeps us star gazing
and what do we think we might see?
Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection.
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

All of us under its spell. We know that it’s probably magic.

Have you been half asleep and have you heard voices?
I’ve heard them calling my name.
Is this the sweet sound that called the young sailors.
The voice might be one and the same.
I’ve heard it too many times to ignore it.
It’s something that I’m supposed to be.
Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection.
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

***I was selected to host a Ridemakerz party through MommyParties and was sent cars and party ideas. I have not been compensated to post this blog or to promote their products.***

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Eat the World day

To counteract the clear liquid diet I’m having to start tomorrow for the colonoscopy/endoscopy I’m having done on Monday, I’ve decided that today is eat the world day. I recommend that everyone go get this done when you’re doctor recommends it. It’s a pain in the ass (literally…) but if my Mom had gotten one done when she was in the age bracket that was recommended she might still be here today. Who knows? An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. Also, I’m looking forward to being knocked out for the procedure. I can totally use the sleep. I’m so effing tired.

Breakfast included homemade scratch biscuits. Recipe courtesy of the Joy of Baking. If you’ve never made from scratch biscuits, I recommend this recipe. It’s relatively easy and pretty much foolproof. I usually sprinkle a tiny bit of kosher salt on top after I’ve egg-washed them for a flavor bump. Yum. Captain Daddy ate at least 5 of them today. Slather them with butter and strawberry jam while they are still warm from the oven and that’s pretty close to perfection.

I considered making pizza for lunch but then realized by the time the dough would be done rising it would be dinner time. ;-P So made up hummus pita tacos. Not bad at all! Pita, hummus, some leftover taco meat from dinner last night, lettuce, diced tomato, and thinly sliced banana peppers from my CSA share. Easy and yummy. Turtle whined about the hummus but I think he was hungry so he ate it anyway.

On my CSA soapbox here again, the tomatoes from the CSA taste sooooo much better than the ones from the store and they actually smell like tomatoes. Drool. I cannot recommend enough Gorman Farm in Laurel. Even if you don’t join the CSA – check out their farm stand some time. Nice area very close to Columbia. http://www.gormanproducefarm.com/all-about-csa

Marinating some skirt steak in Mexican inspired seasoning for dinner. Probably will make some knock-off Chipotle rice as the side.

Now for the pièce de résistance – Captain Daddy brought me a huge basket of Georgia peaches on his trip up. They smell amazing and I’ve been craving peach cobbler. It’s just not summer without it and a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.

Hungry yet? Hopefully I’ll survive not eating anything solid from midnight tonight until sometime in the afternoon on Monday. :-p

Happy (belated) birthday Biggest Brother

Captain Daddy’s oldest son, Biggest Brother, turned 13 last month. Captain Daddy is now the parent of a teenager!!! Ack! Today we celebrated his birthday because they are home for the summer with us now. Biggest Brother is OBSESSED with Angry Birds. Captain Daddy asked if I could make a cake for him with that as the theme. Challenge accepted!

After much research (::cough:: Google images ::cough::) I found a perfect cake to copy at Cherry’s Cakes I loved the idea of the name across the side. The site is amazing. If you live in Brisbane, Australia I can’t recommend enough Cherry’s Cakes. They are AMAZING!

Biggest Brother asked for a ‘berry’ cake. Challenge #2 – find a good fresh berry cake recipe. After more intense research (Yep, Google, again) I found what sounded like exactly what I was looking for at Confections of a Foodie Bride No jello, no food coloring. Perfect. I did sub in half blueberries for the strawberries in the batter though. The recipe is great. The cakes came out perfectly flat, I didn’t have to trim them at all. I soaked them in a little blackberry syrup so they would be super moist.

The frosting is an easy buttercream. 2 sticks of butter, 1/2 cup of vegetable shortening, 1 teaspoon, and an asston of powdered sugar whipped together.

I am pretty happy with how the cake turned out.

ImageTurtle requested that I make the Boomerang Angry Bird specifically. ImageImageImage I mixed a little bit of the extra berry puree with some of the buttercream as the filling between the layers of cake. I like the purple-y color of the cake. It was just bursting with fresh berry flavor. Yum-yum!

This was a fun cake to make. All the pigs and birds are made from Gum Paste. It’s like edible Play-Doh. I feel like a kid playing around with it when I make a cake.

 

MAMorial Child’s Play Party

Memorial Day weekend was a great one for us. Captain Daddy was home so it’s always a reason to party, but I had another reason to party too. MAM and Child’s Play Party selected me as a host for their Smile Baby, Smile Party to showcase some of MAM’s oral care products.

A lucky group of Mommy’s, Daddy’s (and a grandma) came over and we got to play party games and eat yummy food while discussing baby-toddler dental care and then they all received a huge packet ($20 value) of dental care products courtesy of MAM.

My favorite game was the word scramble. It was a hoot to see who could solve them the quickest and who could solve the most of them. The trivia game was very informative, as I don’t think anyone knew all of the answers. We all learned something.

Huge shout out to MAM and Child’s Play Party for providing such an awesome party opportunity to me to share with my friends. I received no compensation for this blog post but did receive some amazing MAM products for Giraffe in exchange for hosting this party. Giraffe LOVES chewing on toothbrushes, especially since he’s teething.

(I was about a month late on getting this party partied. BAD ME! But we finally managed to get people over despite everything going on and had a great time.)

Bottoms Up!

I love free stuff. I’m especially happy when it’s free clothes and shoes (OMG Shoes!) (link prolly NSFW or the easily offended. :-p). I was thrilled when I was chosen to host a “Bottoms Bonanza” Sample and Share through Crowdtap and Old Navy.

The Sample and Share let me invite three stylish friends to our local Old Navy store and get any pair of bottoms (jeans, pants, capris, shorts, or skirt) AND any pair of shoes in the store FREE of charge. In exchange we were to try on different styles and model them in the store. This was so much fun. I made sure to even grab some silly styles that I wouldn’t normally consider.

 

We ended up getting $210 in bottoms and shoes at a cost of $0 to us. How can you beat a deal like that?

Big thanks to my three fabulous friends who were able to make it that night.

I’d also like to thank the entire staff at the Long Gate Center Old Navy for putting up with our shenanigans so gracefully. Everybody was just welcoming and friendly; from the Store Manager to the poor dressing room attendant who had to deal with us the most. You guys rock!

Crowdtap is a great site where you give your opinions with partner companies in exchange for points toward Amazon gift cards, or other things, and a portion of all your points go toward a charitable organization of your choice.

Are you a Crowdtapper? If not, you should be. Join here: http://bit.ly/qGeGaD and get free stuff too!

Feeling a little blue…

No, not that kind of blue.

This kind: On Sunday a select group of the coolest kids in the universe came over for a Smurf Blu-Ray/DVD release party. I was chosen (with probably 10,000 others) to host a party about the movie through Crowdtap.

I had a Smurf sized budget so I went to the dollar store and bought blue decorations. Stumbled on these blue juices that were low sugar. Since it was a little kid party I went with junk food and pizza as the food theme. Unoriginal but it works. The tablecloth is blue I swear! This pic has a pink tint for some reason.We were sent a digital media kit with activities but we made our own Smurf games to play.

It was such a beautiful day for December that I just didn’t want to waste it. I dyed a bunch of eggs blue and we had a Smurf race. The kids and parents had to hold their egg in a spoon and race across the yard without dropping the egg. Here is everyone all lined up and ready to go! I was impressed with the abilities of even the smallest participants in keeping their egg on their spoon.

Look at those mad skillz! Rock on little Princess!

We also did a SmurfTossing game. 

Evil. I know. I imagine Gargamel has a similar game before he eats them. Why does he want to eat them anyway? I’ve never figured that out. I can’t imagine that a Smurf is very tasty. How many of them would you have to eat to get full? They’re tiny!

I digress, back to the game. One Mommy had the misfortune of aiding in the demise of one of our Smurf eggs. See the other poor unfortunate Smurf soul on the sidewalk. One of the little fellows at the party had the best time smashing Smurf eggs. Complete with evil cackle.

Another Smurf egg took a Kamikaze dive into the side of the house. After the games we watched the Smurf movie to wind everybody down.

Kids are amazing multi-taskers. Look at Turtle. Eating popcorn, coloring, and watching the movie. The kids enjoyed the movie and the grown-ups had fun just hanging out. Great play date! Need to do them more often. Thanks to Crowdtap and The Smurf Movie for the opportunity to have a fun time.

Here are the links to the Smurf digital media if your kids would have fun with them:

Coloring Sheets: http://flash.sonypictures.com/shared/homevideo/thesmurfs/finalprintables_digitalall.PDF
Papa Smurf Potion Commotion Game: http://www.smurfhappens.com/game/papasmurf/
Clumsy’s Central Park Dash Game: http://www.sonypictures.com/homevideo/thesmurfs/ (a bunch more games at www.smurfhappens.com)
Goldrun iPhone App: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/goldrun/id396800792?mt=8

Disclosure: I am eligible to earn rewards through Crowdtap based on my selection to host the Smurf Blu-Ray/DVD release party but as of the date of writing this post I have not received any compensation by Crowdtap or any other entity.

 

 

Gah!!!!!!!!!

I’ve been in a funk lately. Work has been busy, home has been busy. Those combined have made me a slacker-blogger.

However, today I have caught up with the laundry, went grocery shopping, and got the kiddos asleep at a reasonable hour so here I am. Speaking of grocery shopping, I’m seriously addicted to couponing. Strangers in the store were admiring my coupon binder and the guy in line behind me was amazed that printing out coups on the internet dropped my grocery bill by $104. Woot-woot! It was like getting one-third of my groceries for nothing. I’m such a dork that I get excited about that. I wish I could figure out how to buy $1000 worth of groceries for 10 bucks like those extreme couponers, but I don’t have the time (or energy) to go to 7 different stores to do my grocery shopping.

I’m looking at my receipt now and I see the cashier screwed me out of one dollar and kept my coup. Betch!

Look at this receipt though, I didn’t think it was ever going to stop printing.  I think I will wear it like a scarf to work tomorrow it’s that beautiful.

I take it back. I want to be one of those cray-cray extreme coupon bishes. I think I’m well on my way there. 😛

Hmm, probably should post some of Turtle’s lunches, right? I have to admit something here though. I let him buy school lunch. Twice. In the same week. Mom Fail. He asked to buy lunch on chicken nugget and pizza days. How could I resist this purty face?

Here’s a good lunch. I was informed by his teacher that the cheese shark was met with great approval by all the other kids in his class. I love the Pepperidge Farm Goldfish bread. It’s adorable.

This one I was trying to be “Thanksgiving-y” It’s a turkey. I promise. Use your imagination. OK?!

By the way, a sprinkling of Fruity Pebbles inside the PBJ and banana wrap = mind blown. Good stuff.

Chomp, chomp, chomp. Everybody’s favorite ghost eater.

This lunch came back completely empty. Even the grapes. I was very impressed.

And now for something completely different. Dumb employee of the week goes to 1-800-Flowers. Occasionally, I get to order flowers for the office. I put my name as the orderer of flowers and as the the person receiving said flower arrangement. I get this on my voicemail from someone at 1-800-Flowers “Hello Catherine. We’re just checking to see if you want to put a message on the card with the flowers you are sending to Catherine. You can give us a call, blah blah blah.” Note: I checked the “No card” box on the order and the billing and shipping address for the flowers is the same. That and you know, my name is the same on both places too. Le sigh.

At least the flowers were pretty.