Superhero Nursery-Assembled!

We wanted to re-do the nursery for our upcoming new arrival (which is only about 3 1/2 weeks away…wow and yikes and a whole lot of other interjections!)

When we found out he was a boy, we knew that it was time to change up the neutral green and yellow, since this room will remain his for life.  We chose to do it in a blue gray color (called steel blue) with dark red trim and white accents.  This can then be easily adjusted to lots of interests or themes-nautical, USA, whatever as he grows without having to repaint constantly.

When we moved furniture, we found this astonishing, tiny footprint on the wall.  I outlined it and wouldn’t let my husband paint over it.  I have no idea how an infant that tiny had such dirty feet, but I’m so glad they did!  <—-sentimental preggo woman, right here

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Anyway, here is how the room looked once painted:

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Cubicles courtesy of a Target sale.  Sigh.  I love Target.

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Light switch plate from Walmart and my dad handmade the Batman symbol!

Now, we had to find some superhero decorations.  Wow, was that hard to do.  There is plenty of superhero stuff, but it is all for older boys.  Scary villains, overwhelming big scenes, twin sheet sets.  It was time to get creative!!

We decided we didn’t want it to be over the top superhero-he will be tiny and we just didn’t want it to be “too much” or “overdone.”  So we skipped the movie posters and the fathead stickers and all that stuff.  We also decided on a mix of DC and Marvel-no easy task.

First, we started to collect eclectic little hero figures whenever we found them.  We wanted them to be varied and different.  After painting, we hung a few white shelves and added them.  Super cute and effective.  I especially love the stuffed Wolverine…he has an Elvis sneer!

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But we still wanted to feature specific superheroes and their awesome costumes, but how?

Then, I got an idea!  What if we put black and white pictures on the wall of heroes, and then painted the frames to coordinate with their costumes?  It would highlight the superheroes, go well with the colors of the room, and give a “pop” of color without being overstated.  What the hey, we figured we’d try it!  I found frames with fairly thick edges at Pat Catan’s for about $3.50 each and spent $1 a bottle on acrylic paints.  Here’s how they turned out:

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Top row: Iron man-red sides, gold top and bottom and Green Lantern-hunter green with black side accents

Middle row: Wolverine-yellow with slashes and the X-men logo and Spiderman red with black webbing

Bottom row: Hulk with green sides, black top, purple bottom and Batman with black sides, yellow top and bottom, and the Bat Symbol

We were going to just google some black and white sketches of each hero, but my husband has a friend who is an excellent graphic designer, and he offered to hand-draw original sketches for the baby!  How cool is that?!  Check these bad boys out: (And they are all boys, although I plan on sneaking Wonder Woman or Storm or something in there somehow-strong female role models are nifty.)

Here’s how they looked once we had them up on the wall above our brand-spanking new crib (thanks, product recalls):

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We thought things looked a little uneven over by the light switch, so we added one more Avenger to the mix…

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What’s hap’n, Cap’n?

So here’s the final layout…not bad considering we spent a grand total of about $30 on the whole idea.  That’s the other thing about superhero stuff…it is pr-ice-y!!

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Let me know what you think and feel free to pin, link, or re-post.  Hopefully others out there planning hero nurseries find this because I know we had a lot of trouble locating good ideas even on the big old world wide web!

Hopefully I’ll have the chance to update at least once or twice more before our little guy arrives to enjoy his awesome new room!

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The Rapunzel (Tangled) Party

On February 15, my oldest daughter turned five years old.  Or, as she likes to say-a whole hand!  When we decided to have children, we thought we’d never have to have a super “big” party, we’d just invite family and close friends over, and on the “big” birthdays (5, 10, 13, 16, etc.), we’d throw the kids parties for their friends. 

We 100% failed to take into account that when you add up our family and close friends, the total tops thirty.  And I adore our home, but a banquet hall it is not.

So we have to be creative and find a different venue for Corinne’s parties, since she was born in the middle of winter.  (For all the details of her birth, click here for Part 1 and here for Part 2.)  Ashlynn’s parties can be outside in June!

And, of course, there always has to be a theme to the parties!  I adore party planning and organization, so I never really mind.

So far, we’ve had two “My First” parties, puppies and kitties, Minnie Mouse, Tinkerbell, and Cinderella.  Looks like we may be heading toward Scooby Doo for this June.  But for her big #5, Corinne wanted Rapunzel from the new(er) Disney movie Tangled.

That newness was the kicker.  There’s pretty much nothing out there for Rapunzel yet.  A few decorations, no balloons, no cakes.  Crud.

So I got creative!  Using Pinterest, my Cricut, and my own brain, I created virtually all of Corinne’s party decorations.  It was SO much fun!!

Decorations:

Sun Banners

First, we needed sun banners.  I used paper placemats from Pat Catan’s and cut them into triangles.  I cut a sun stencil from a pattern I downloaded from Google images, and dabbed it on with yellow paint.  Then I simply folded and stapled them over twine.  Total cost: about $5 for ten banners!

Paper Lanterns

I also found simple paper lanterns at Pat Catan’s.  Since lanterns are such a focal point of the movie, I bought five and hung them from the ceiling.  Total cost: $5

Picture Collage

This is something I do at almost every one of my girl’s parties.  I love to take a picture from each one of their birthdays and display them to show how they’ve grown.  It’s always a favorite!  This year I put them on purple cardstock and cut out a yellow sun with my cricut, as well as placing the age inside the sun.  (The “sun” was actually the outline of a flower from my Tinkerbell cartridge, which made perfect sense because of the flower in the movie!) Total cost: $1-2

Balloons

A sure-fire hit for an indoor party is to blow up a few balloons and toss them around.  The kids (and sometimes adults) love playing with them and it’s pretty much zero work! Total cost: $3

The Cake

There are no Rapunzel cakes!!  Since we didn’t have the extra cash for a customized one, we just went with purple and yellow to match the party colors.  Corinne loved it and it tasted yummy! 🙂

Treats and Games

Party Hats

Party hats look just like old-fashioned princess hats!  We bought a pack of plain colored ones, and then I braided lengths of yellow yarn and stapled them to the back of the hat.  Everyone got to be Rapunzel!  These were adorable and a fantastic hit! Total cost: $6

Pascal Blowers

Corinne loves the scene when Pascal wakes up Flynn by sticking his tongue in his ear!  We got regular party blowers and sticky back craft foam.  Cut simple trapezoid shapes and add googly eyes and a sharpie smile and Ta-Dah! Pascal!! Total cost: $5-6

Paper Lantern Craft

I try to always do a craft at Corinne’s parties since they are indoors.  It gives the kiddos something to do while waiting for everyone to arrive.  This year we made paper Chinese lanterns!  Fold construction paper in half horizontally, decorate, then roll vertically and staple!  Just like Rapunzel’s!  We placed out markers, crayons, and stickers to decorate.  Total cost: $4

Pin the Nose on Flynn

Ok, I have to admit this was my favorite.  I found the template on disneyfamily.com, blew it up, and had it laminated.  Then the kiddos were blind-folded, spun and pinned the nose on!  (I found random noses on Google images) So much fun and hilarious!!  Total cost: $12 because I had to go to OfficeMax to get it laminated and they charge WAY too much!

Pinata

We also had just a general cupcake pinata.  I used the pullstring kind because quite frankly I did not want small children swinging sticks. Total cost: $20 (candy and pinata)

It was a fantastic party and everyone had loads of fun!  I hope you grabbed a few ideas, and if you need any more details, don’t hesitate to comment and I’ll get back to you!

 

In Which I Answer an Age-Old Question

There are a lot of big questions in life and not quite so many big answers.  What is the meaning of life?  Why am I here?  Why aren’t I over there?  Where did I leave my sock?  Who stole my pen?  Why does that guy think running me off the road will not result in my kicking his ass?

Deep questions, folks, deep questions.

Yeah.  I’m not answering any of those today.

What I have managed to do is answer one persistent question in our house with the help of my good friend Pinterest and my old friends Glue Gun and Cricut.

And that question is…

What’s for dinner?

The bane of every mother’s existence.  Several things can happen at dinner at my house:

-I do not feel like cooking

-I do not have the ingredients to make what I want

-The children do not want what I am cooking

-We are eating the same thing we ate two days ago.  Again.

But no more!

I have created this menu board, and it has fixed all those problems!

Just an 11×14 frame, all purtied up!
I took an idea I got from Pinterest and adapted it my own way.  It’s an 11×14 frame, and I filled it with two trimmed sheets of 12×12 scrapbook paper that matches our kitchen.  I put the black strip over the seam of the papers.
 
 
I bought plain old clothespins and painted them with some regular acrylic paint, then hot glued them to the edge of the frame.
 
The recipe cards are the genius of the whole thing.  We grocery shop two weeks at a time, so we pick out about 12 cards we will be interested in eating over the next two weeks.  (There’s a “Dinner Out” card, too, also known as “Get Out of Dinner Free-ish” card.  But there’s only one!  That keeps us healthier AND saves us money!)

Hey look! It's a Pinterest recipe. Me? Obsessed? Nah.

I made about 50 cards.  I had no clue we had 50 different favorite recipes.  That means we have no excuse to eat the same thing more than once every month or two or so.  I made a two column Word document and typed the recipe name on one side and the ingredients on the other.  Then when I printed them on colored cardstock, I simply folded them in half and used a glue stick to stick them together.  I plan on getting them laminated in the near future.
 
 
Once we choose 12 cards, I turn them over for the ingredients list.  Ta-dah!  Instant grocery list!  No more digging through the recipe box or a million cookbooks!  If it is a cookbook recipe, I put the name of the book and the page # for easy reference.
 
Two recipes get clipped to each pin, and we can look through to see what we’d like for dinner any given night.  We know we’ll always have the ingredients we need, because our grocery list was pretty much made for us.  After we use the recipe, it gets moved to the bottom box as “used.”  Once the top box starts getting low, we just move the bottom box recipes up and start over!

The word "menu" is cut from vinyl cuz I love my Cricut and my new Gypsy, but any sticky letters would work!

The boxes are simply empty 24 packs of crayons.  I cut off one long side and wrapped them in coordinating scrapbook paper, then hot glued the boxes to the frame.
 
 
Just to show how easy this really is, I made one for my parents, too!  For a twist, theirs is more ocean themed to go with their new kitchen remodel, and I used white for their cards instead of colored stock.
 
Honestly, the longest part was the typing of the cards.  But now that it’s done, I know the time and frustration it saves me will be so worth it.
 
I am an organization nut.  And a craft nut.  How could I not try this idea?  I hope this inspires someone to answer the age-old question “What’s for dinner?!”  with “Go check out the menu board!”