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!!


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


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, 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!


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!



January Fan-dom! And December. Oops.

OK.  So I realized that I 100% forgot to make a December Fan-dom post.  Whoops.  Let’s just say-Christmas shopping!  Presents!  Happy children!  Yards of wrapping paper!  New Year’s! 2012! Woot!  Ok.  There you go. 

Moving on to January:


I’ve watched this show from the beginning, and we’ve had a love/hate relationship ever since Season 2 started.  First of all-WAY too much space between new episodes.  I know these actors rehearse like 22 hours a day to create a one hour show, but I do not care.  Want more Glee!  Gimme!  Now!  No waiting two weeks!  Now!

 Sometimes they try to run too many plots at once without really moving any forward.  Sometimes they focus too hard core on one type of song and it annoys me.  But sometimes they get it all right and then this show is just awesome.  I appreciate how they tackle issues like homosexuality and teen pregnancy.  But honestly, I watch it because I adore the music.  Yeah, I’m a Gleek.

We Found Love by Rihanna

I hated this song.  And then I kind of liked it.  And then they used it on Glee when Will proposed to Emma. (And that happened like four weeks ago, so if that’s a spoiler for you-tough.  There’s a 3 week limit on spoilers.)  And then I loved it.  So I downloaded it.  And now it is my ringtone the end.

Emma and Will Proposal


She gets to see the lights. Heh. Spoiler #2!

The more I watch this movie, the more I like it.  I love that Disney has done such an amazing job of turning its princesses from “poor me” girls waiting to be rescued into independent young women that fight for what they want.  I love it!  And the songs and animation and little in jokes are amazing.  If I ever bother to renew my vows, you’ll probably hear “I See the Light.”  Because it’s beautiful.

El Nina.  Or global warming.  Whatever.

I don’t know where exactly to assign credit, but to whatever allowed me to take my daughters outside to play several times in December and January: Thanks!  You rock!  And sun and warmth mean little to no seasonal affective disorder, which is totally cool with me.  Gotta say I’d like at least ONE snow day though!

Turning 30

It was pretty awesome.  See here.  Also here.

Kahlua K-cups


Seriously.  The only thing that could make these better is probably a little bit of actual Kahlua.  But still.  Hands down the best K-cups I have ever tried.  And I’ve tried lots!  Got a Keurig?  Go buy some!  Cuz I ain’t sharing!

Zesty Italian Chicken

Chicken breast, 2 cans cream of chicken soup, 1 bar cream cheese, 1 pack dry Italian dressing.  Throw in crockpot.  Shred chicken.  Serve over pasta.  My kind of recipe: lazy, cheap, and delicious.


November Fan-Dom

Here are some of the things I loved, discovered, or remembered that I loved in November!

My Keurig

Have I mentioned that I have a Keurig?  I can’t believe I haven’t!!  We bought it as our “Yay Tax Return!” present back in March, and I’ve loved it ever since.  I’ve got to say that if you’re a “drink two entire pots of coffee every day” person, this machine is not for you.  But, if you only drink one or two cups a day, it’s perfect!  Since it makes single cup servings, you never waste any coffee-and it takes about 3 minutes to make a fresh cup!

Plus, it makes not only coffee but teas, cocoa, cappuccino, mocha, hot apple cider and more.  You can even brew over ice and make cold beverages…yummies!  There are hundreds of varieties, although I am currently addicted to Pumpkin Spice coffee and Kahlua coffee.

As an ultra-secret hint, this machines “large cup” setting boils the perfect amount of water to instantly make Ramen Noodles-one of Corinne’s current favorites.

Break Off Cookies

Dear Cookie Gods, please forgive me for being the world’s laziest cook sometimes, but I need me some fresh cookies without the muss, fuss and mess that comes with making my own, ya know?

Honestly…nothing beats these cookies for taste and convenience, although I won’t be using them much in December once my family does their huge cookie bake-off!

Great Clips

I love Great Clips because they fixed my daughter’s hair after she CHOPPED IT OFF.  Yes, that’s right.  She was reenacting the final scene from Tangled and cut her hair off to see if it would turn brown like Rapunzel’s.  Although she then pointed out that her hair was actually “Already kinda brown.”

It's business in the front and a party in, no, we couldn't even get away with that.

Good Lord.  It could have been SO much worse though…she didn’t cut it too awfully short, she didn’t cut her sister’s hair, and there are no bald spots.  Plus, she managed to come up smelling like roses because her new haircut is just freakin’ adorable on her.

Ranalian Chicken (Ranch+Italian=Ranalian)

1 pack of dry chicken gravy
1 pack of dry ranch dressing
1 pack of dry italian dressing
1 cup water
boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Throw it all in the crock pot, set it on low, and enjoy.  I guarantee you will not be sorry.  If you want to use beef or pork, just switch to the appropriate gravy.  Mmmmmm…nomnomnom.  And virtually no work involved.  My kind of dinner.


Seriously, layaway saved our Christmas this year.  We managed to buy gifts for everyone without having to charge one.single.thing to a credit card.  AND we even got the shopping for Corinne’s birthday in February done. (It’s a notorious money crunch just due to timing.)  Thank you retailers for realizing that not everyone wants to open a new charge account! 

Now if I could figure out how to stop buying my children more stuff.  At this point, they are going to have to start in the hall and open their way into the living room over the course of several hours.

Once Upon A Time

This show is AWESOMENESS.  I am an enormous sci-fi and fantasy fan, and this show gets it right.  I’m seriously in love (which, I am sorry, means they’ll probably cancel it really soon…they usually do that when I like a show. CAMELOT…coughcough)  Set in dual worlds, one storyline tells of a town in our time locked under a curse where no one knows who they really are.  The other story tells of a world from the past full of fairy tale characters on the brink of being sent to a place void of happiness…our world.  The plot is excellent and well-paced and the costumes, acting, and special effects are all extremely well done.  There’ve only been about 5 episodes, so check it out this Sunday night!!