Do You Want to Build a Snowman? Lucy Turns 5!

Oh, how I love to plan my daughter’s birthday parties, and this year was no different. Since Lucy, along with pretty much other young girl, is obsessed with Frozen, it was pretty obvious what the theme of her party was going to be. And, boy, did I have fun with it!

This year, I went all out with the decor. A friend of a friend makes party props, so we had an ice castle and a large blue castle, along with Olaf and some snowflakes, for the kids to pose with for pictures! Everyone just loved the decor which, of course, made me SO happy!

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After everyone arrived, we chit-chatted and ate. I had prepared Frozen-themed foods – Kristoff’s Ice Blocks (blue Jell-O), Elsa’s Snowflakes (snowflake cookies courtesy of my MIL), Sven’s Noses (baby carrots), Olaf’s Arms (pretzel sticks), Anna’s Snowballs (popcorn balls) and Hans’ Frozen Hearts (white chocolate covered pretzels). The food was crazy popular, and we didn’t have any left!

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And, of course, there was CAKE!

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By the time everyone had finished eating, the guest of honor arrived. Since Princess Belle came to her party last year, she was hoping that Elsa would come this year, and we didn’t disappoint! Seeing her face when she saw Elsa walk into the cafe brought tears to my eyes!

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Elsa was pretty much mobbed by little girls the entire time she was there, and I could tell she loved every second of it. I loved seeing the girls (and boys) so excited! In between visiting with Elsa, we had a craft set up, and all the kids go to make an Olaf Snowstorm in a Bottle! It was super easy, and the kids all seemed to have a blast with it!

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Toward the end of the party, a friend of ours arrived to do face painting! The kids were SO excited! She did some fantastic Frozen-themed paintings on their faces. My favorites were the Elsa swirls and Sven faces!

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We had so much fun celebrating our little girl and making her dreams come true! Now, it’s time to start planning her 6th birthday party (and, yes, she already knows what she wants)!

And, We Begin Again

family hanukkah

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. Live has been crazy busy with my freelance and virtual assistant work, and raising a crazy 5-year-old! I feel like it’s been so long since I’ve posted that I don’t even know where to begin!

Lucy has started “real” school at my church’s elementary school. She’s in Pre-K and doing fantastic. In fact, while she can’t skip a grade at this point, her teacher has moved her up to doing work with the Kindergarten students, and next year she’ll be spending half of her day in the 1st/2nd grade classroom doing work with the 1st graders. We’re  beyond proud of her!

At the school’s recent Variety Show, Lucy and her friend sang “Let it Go” from Frozen, and no one could hold a candle to their performance. And by that, I mean Lucy’s performance because she pretty much took over the microphone. I felt bad for her friend. The girls got the most applause of anyone, and the principal said he gave them a standing ovation. Lucy has no fear, and I’m so envious of that. I hope that continues.

Christmas break is finishing up, and Lucy returns to school tomorrow. We’re all pretty excited about that. I’ve loved having her home, but it’s hard to get work done with her here all day, and she’s really been missing her friends, so we’re all ready to get back to our normal routines.

 

Sing for Hope is Going to Change the World

Art has long been considered an outlet for emotions of all kinds, both positive and negative. The effects it has on stress reduction and overall wellness are thoroughly documented. Many people have engaged in the arts to improve their own lives and to put emotions they don’t know how to express into a creative form. However, never before has it been used in an effort to reach out and heal – until now.

Sing for Hope is a nonprofit organization dedicated to allowing people to explore their creative side, no matter the conditions they live in. Working with underprivileged children, elderly adults, and other groups that are not normally considered artistic, the organization aims to make the world a better place one painting, song, and story at a time.

They invite anyone with a talent and passion for helping others to join them and volunteer. There never seem to be enough people to meet the ever growing need – and the need is definitely growing. Once one person discovers the effect art has on their life, they tell their friends and family, inviting them to join. The love of art and creativity grows from there. However, as more and more people try to get involved, it becomes harder to find enough members to support them all.

The United States has always suffered from an under appreciation of the arts, making them tough to access for everyone. Sing for Hope aims to change this. If you’re interested, do some research and find out how you can help in your community. Even a single person can make a difference if they’re dedicated enough. Don’t feel like you’re unable to change anything because you’re all alone – even an avalanche starts as just a single snowflake.

Click here to find out how to volunteer and to learn more about the group’s work. Can you imagine a world where everyone was free to express themselves through whatever creative outlet they could imagine? Crime rates would go down. Murder and violence would no longer exist. Depression rates would plummet. The world would be a much better place if everyone had a voice. It’s not an impossible dream; numerous groups all over the world are already working towards that reality, one person at a time. Now is your chance to help out, too.

Rambles

Boy, my plan to start blogging here again regularly sure fell through, didn’t it? I have had such a hard time lately balancing work and being a mom lately that this blog has fallen by the wayside. With work, driving Lucy to and from school every day, and spending half the day out for ballet on Mondays, I feel like I have no time!

We’ve been doing well. Lucy is loving school, and we’re excited to move her to our church’s school next year when she will start going to school for the entire day. That will be an adjustment, but it will make life easier since I won’t have to go get her only 3 hours after dropping her off.

I’ve been trying to get back into couponing, and I’ve already got almost all of my Christmas gifts bought for this year. Yay! I’m already starting to think about Father’s Day because Joe is so hard to buy for. I always end up getting him an Amazon gift card, which he loves, but it would be nice to do something different. This year, I’m thinking about looking for a G-shock watch deal for him. He needs a new watch, and these look really nice. :) Surely, I can find a good deal, right??

Hopefully, I’ll be back blogging on a regular basis soon!

Welcome, 2014!

Here we are, four days into a new year, and I’m just so excited to see how things work out for our family this year. My husband started a new job the week of Christmas that will be a big financial boost for us and, if things go according to plan, this is our year to knock out almost all of our credit card debt. What a huge burden that will lift off our shoulders.

My new blog is officially mine! I can’t wait to see what the year has in store for it. Make sure you head over and “like” it on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/GotGiveaways!

It’s also the year the Lucy will start full-day school when she moves to Pre-K in the fall. I’m actually looking forward to this. I get SO much more done on the work-front when she’s not here. It’s amazing what a difference it makes. Until then, she’ll be going to preschool 1/2 a day, five days a week.

So, I’m excited about what this year has in store for our little family. I can’t wait to see how it unfolds!

Now, onto how we finished out 2013 – fun family time at home. Next year, we may host a party for our (and Lucy’s) friends, but this year, we kept it low-key. We ate some snacks, made Shrinky Dinks, watched some TV and then rang in the new year with ball drop and some sparkling grape juice. Perfect!

Shrinky Dinks with Daddy

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Failed “perfect selfie”

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A better selfie

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Funny faces!

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Quick cat nap

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Partying with AJ

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What are you looking forward to this year?

Turning 4 – Princess-Style!

Wow. How has it been more than 2 months since I last posted?? I have been so completely busy with work (which is a good thing since I work for myself now) and parenting my spunky 4-year-old. I have really missed my blog, though, so my goal for the new year is to make sure I take time to keep my space on the Internets updated regularly!

I don’t even know where to begin to catch up, so I’ll start with my daughter’s fabulously fun 4th birthday party! Lucy wanted a princess party and, since I love to do parties up big, I started pinning ideas to my Pinterest board last year (yes, right after her 3rd birthday party was over!)! We have a friend who used to play Belle at Disney World, and she was thrilled to reprise her role and be the special guest at Lucy’s birthday bash!

And, since we also have a friend who makes costumes (she made the Belle dress you will be seeing – ah-maz-ing), she provided Joe with a prince costume to be Lucy’s prince. The funniest thing was when Lucy entered the room – instead of gasping at Belle, she yelled, “Oh, Daddy! You’re such a goofball!”

I’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves:

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