This year with all the extra work I’m doing I can’t handcraft each costume so step one was the thrift store for all 3 girls. We scored on 2 (Amazon took care of 3) and here is my incredibly easy Jasmine costume.
- We got lucky at the store to find a women’s skirt in the right color and with gorgeous Indian beading. I was really just looking for a skirt in the correct color and gauzy fabric so I think that even if you don’t find something beaded you can find something ‘right’ I took some ribbon and stitched it onto the top to make two straps. We were lucky that the fit was pretty good otherwise but my plan was to make a few tucks if it was too big. The extra perk is that the length lets us get away with normal leggings, not poofy pants, and, since it is so pretty she doesn’t notice that it isn’t the belly showing style that Jasmine actually wears. This works much better for a 5 year old.
2. For the iconic hair, I got a simple black wig and some foldover elastic in the right color. It was easy to tie 3 spots to make just the right hairdo for Jasmine. Foldover elastic is easier than ribbon since it won’t slip.
3. The key to costumes is getting some details right and for Jasmine, the headband with the jewel is the most memorable. I used Sculpey clay and got a pack of ‘gems’ that had a big one in the right blue. The only trick I did was in order of operations;
- make the round piece of clay and press the jewel into it to make an imprint. Remove jewel and poke 4 holes in the imprint like buttonholes
- bake Sculpey clay
- sew the gold onto a length of foldover elastic, just like a button
- glue gem into its spot, covering the sewing
- position the headband onto the wig and pin/sew
We tried to make the gold necklace and hoop earrings also out of Sculpey clay. The earrings worked but I’m not sure they are worth it since the hair covers her ears and the clips hurt her after 10 min. The necklace was a failure, broke in 5 min so we scratched that and just used the pretty chunky necklace in the right color (also a thrift find).
This entire thing had about 10min of hand sewing, some creative shopping, preschool level sculpting, and hot glue. I won’t be winning any cosplay prizes but I think she captures the spirit of the princess and she loves it. It cost about $15 total and I think she will actually wear the dress again and NOT look like a costume.
Yesterday was Monday, my well-documented love of Monday persists. It is the day to put things back together or start new things. The kids happily went off to school because, for them, this is a 3 day week. They have Thursday through Monday off for Minnesota’s best made up holiday – MEA (?) weekend. It is a conference, I think, maybe hunting opens? I’m not even sure but I am just glad that random school vacations don’t mean career limiting moves.
I’m cramming what I normally do all week into 3 days but I’m also plotting what we can all do together. Sometimes they are fantastic at helping, sometimes I don’t get anything done. We will have to see… I can say my goal is to get all the winter and summer stuff swapped and maybe, just maybe, make it so a car could park in our garage. Aim high you know.
The title works a little for last weekend too. While not actually a week long, Lars left for an event in way far away South Dakota (11 hours and an entire time zone away) on Friday morning. I had Friday solo and decided to take the opportunity to do one of the local hikes that I had been meaning to do for years. There was a set of difficult people on facebook (politics.. ugh) so a few hours outside taking pictures of fall leaves was just what I needed. I did try and do something responsible by replacing the lightbulbs in my laundry room fixture and I say try because while I did get them replaced I did it wrong and actually broke the fixture… oops put that problem on the shelf for Monday…
My solo weekend was well planned to NOT be particularly solo. Friday we had a long wished for sleepover with one of Zoe’s friends. It was more work than it should have been, who thinks bringing logs from the backyard into the bedroom is a good idea? Saturday morning was not up to par for sleepover fun because we all had early things to do, she had a soccer game and we had a vote yes event. The event went well, there was a great playground but don’t you know it Fiona fell and smashed her face. Not the best exit queue but gets the others going.
The kids were a bit terrible with fighting on Saturday after we got home and my nerves were on edge from dealing with yahoo trolls on the internet, so I was a bit shouty and separated them all but had a light at the end of the tunnel – we had an afternoon outing planned with our old daycare friends. They arrived after lunch and we all went out to the girlscout haunted camp event and it was really fun. The kids pulled it together and were happy and cooperative and Jon is one of those friends that it feels like no time passes. We left the camp due to rain but had been there for 4 hours already! They stayed for some pizza and it was a fun cap to the day.
Sunday everyone actually slept in, making up a bit of sleepover sleep debt. They also played together like it was their job. So well that I called a friend to watch them so I could grocery shop because they didn’t want to leave their game. I needed to tidy and shop because Lars’s cousin was coming to town and we have not seen her (in person) for 6 years or more. Vacation Mom also saved the day by whisking in and talking them all swimming so I could get in a quick workout and finish the cleaning. Everyone needs an extra mom friend on hand! Lars got home just after his cousin arrived and the visit was fantastic. We got all the family info and played a game and had a lovely dinner. She even showed us how to use snapchat, I can’t wait to totally figure it out but it really works well as a kid distractor. The kids were good and while they ducked a few of their standard Sunday chores I’ll take it for their generally great behavior.
It was a long 3 days, I needed my Monday yesterday. Instead of just getting ahead though I decided it was time to fix all the lighting issues in the house. That is a story for tomorrow where hopefully I have a happy ending to the saga but let’s just say if you want some customer service, just drop a giant fluorescent bulb in the store.
I should actually put that the other way around since the Birthday party was 3 days before Easter but either way I’m about a week past due to post about either so I’m not sweating the details. (This is a long post so settle down or hide in the bathroom)
Today I finished the thankyou cards, usually, I do them faster but I have been in a fight with my computer and phone and pictures talking nicely to each other but I finally got it done. I know I like my thank you collages, but, I now have proof that the kids (at least one) likes it too since when I was snapping pictures and asking each kid to pose with their birdhouse the two that have been guests before actually mentioned ‘knowing why I take so many pictures’. Anyway, this 9th birthday was a bit of a turn in the road for us in birthday planning because instead of a BIG party with MANY people invited this was a tiny party with very few invited because it was a sleepover. I like both styles, but, I’m glad we went small this time because I was able to do some cool things with them.
- First is something I think is pretty clever and not an absolute Pinterest thing (but inspired by) – I made envelopes that had each activity on a paper inside. I had the stack displayed on the table and it instantly drew in the kids. The first one was opened when everyone had arrived – it made a bunch of activities really feel like they had a ‘theme’ and it was so easy, I just wrote on plain printer paper and folded it into an envelope and numbered the envelopes. Took me about 5 minutes and very worth it
- Activity #1; We made our own pizza! This is the easiest thing ever if you even have the most basic knowledge of dough. I made enough dough for 2 full pizza’s and that was plenty for 6 personal pizza’s and 1 pretty big one (mine!). I suggest just buying a jar of pasta sauce pre-seasoned with basil and/or garlic, it is WAY better than the ‘pizza’ sauce they sell in the store. I made the dough in advance and they had the fun of shaping and adding sauce, cheese, and toppings. There were some very creative designs in the end.
- While the Pizza cooked the next envelope pointed them downstairs to decorate some bird houses. Paint and glitter stickers are a universal love of all and they happily created while I got the next batch of things ready.
- Everyone totally enjoyed their pizza, something about making it custom makes it taste better. Once the pizza was done we moved on to the very important cake portion of the event and as the sun was going down they devoured the rainbow cake.
- The setting sun was actually a closely noted thing for me because it was key for my next activity – we took a little drive to a local park and I broke out 100 glow sticks for their entertainment. You would think that 100 might be excessive but it was about perfect and it indulged all their creative building of things that glowed.
- Then a small road trip to bring one of our guests home, this was actually her first party altogether and a sleepover was totally pushing it with her parents. I hope they let her come to future parties because she had so much fun!
- Home again and another envelope. While they were reading it I actually pulled out a premade basket that was full of face masks, soda, snacks, and a movie. The note had a minor treasure hunt to find the basket and that was icing on the cake. They gladly tucked in to snacks and floats and I painted their faces with gack that they could peel off (peel off is more fun than wash off) while they watched Moana. It was a bit late but they were all good and ready for bed at 10:30 when they all brushed and crashed.
With just 2 extra kids I was able to have cozy mattresses for them made of our big pillows and our tot bed mattresses (those things come in handy so often). I also went to bed because I was beat too and as I read for a half hour I could hear some giggles but they all drifted off.
The next morning we had pancakes and hanging out until parents came and all declared it a total success.
The next two days were rather a low after the party high. Lars had a trip so he was gone, the overtired kids got in a cycle of arguments and not listening, and at a particularly low point, I listesd them for sale on Facebook. We managed to do the two things that were necessary for holiday prep; easter egg dyeing and Figoli decorating. They were bright points actually, surrounded by lots of breaks and deep breathing and attempting to keep it all together. My mom called me when I listed them for sale, knowing that I was probably at the end of the road, and I’m glad that I have a good mom. She isn’t close enough to come over and help but she is intouch enough to know when to call and what to say.
I created easter baskets in relative peace as the kids were put to bed, exhausted, and fell asleep well.
Our easter bunny tradition is to put puzzle pieces in each plastic egg that the easter bunny leaves with us. It is a fun way to fill the eggs that is not full of candy or some other thing that would be unequal unless egg finding is too closely supervised. I have well over 100 eggs so they get to find tons and then they are all combined to make the puzzle. This year I also added a few geode eggs, both in their baskets so they would figure out what they were before they found rocks in their hunt and dump them in the yard. I got the geodes from Oriental Trading ages ago and it was worth the wait to hear “I got a rock?!?” from Zoe as she opened eggs of candy and toys in her basket.
The day was bright and pretty and it was a very Easter rebirth type of day. They enjoyed the hunt and smashing geodes and doing the puzzle and friends came over and it was a very nice day. I suppose without the low the high does not feel as good… I just closed my eyes to the mess and decided to deal with it all on Monday and enjoyed the evening with everyone.
That is our birthday easter adventure weekend. It feels like a month ago given all that we have done since. I have posts coming out my ears so much is going on so get ready for some long reading over the next few weeks!
My dear husband, who I promise is an adult and contributing member of society, loves to play D&D with his guy friends. It is his ‘guys night’ and a bunch of his friends go off and have very creative adventures in the comfort of the livingroom **major bonus of being an adult, they don’t have to be banished to the basement**. I’ve played occasionally and it is fun enough, but I prefer to have the nice solo night at home where I get to eat a quiet dinner and watch whatever I like on tv.
Anyway, like all hobbies, there are tons of things marketed directly at them. There are the books and stuff, but then there are the extras and we are the proud owners of a very nice set of spell templates. They are nicely done truly – you put them on the playing board to show how far your fire ball or ice stream goes. They came on a giant piece of thin plastic so my first contribution to this was my ability to cut very nicely.
The issue becomes how to carry all these bits… For scale, that Capt America/Iron Man box is the length of a pencil (and is full of guess what; pencils!). Some of the spells are wide, some are long, some are very very small…. How to keep them all safe?
I happened to have a yard of super hero fabric and my machines were all set up so instead of folding laundry last night I made this;
Not just a bag! Imagine how big a fail it would be just put them all in a tote. The tiny ones would be gone, the long ones would be bent, and one can’t let an opportunity to make tiny pockets pass by.
First of all, I made the side and half the bottom open for easy access. Husband has big bear paws and if the chaos he leaves looking for a spatula in the drawer is any indication, he needs the ability to see all the pockets. There are snaps up the side of the bag and velcro on the bottom (wraps up and around so there is a more secure bottom). The pocket on the left is for the long thing things, across the bottom are all the large triangles and circles, and the wee little pocket on the top are for the little bits. There is also room for the dice and pencil box and probably a book or 3.
Do you notice more snaps? I decided that based on the variety of sizes, small things would get lost in each pocket and to indulge more crafting energy; all the pockets open up for easy access
So other than an oddly unfortunate fabric placement that makes all the small spells seem to be stored in The Hulks armpit, and, it isn’t lined, I’m very happy with it and more importantly so is he.
This took less that a yard and if I was starting again I would integrate the velcro better by just making the back longer than the front so it could fold up neatly. I thought of the velcro after when snaps were not really making it on the bottom once he asked to store more things.
The day I’m confused about my culture more than normal because I’m not ‘allowed’ to do or like things NOT in my culture of birth but everyone can be Irish if they feel like it. I also don’t especially know if I’m all that Irish. However, based on my research from my Irish cousins and FancyPaperBlog there is very little difference beyond some vocabulary from my life here and their lives there. (except for the president… I can’t guess the current president of Ireland and I can only name one; Mary Robenson, and our presidents seem to get more international notoriety) So I am Irish and so are you, unless you super identify with some other culture.
American Irish, mixed with Pinterest and hallmark, creates a bit of a crazy little holiday focused on green and rainbows. School lunch today was desirable so no cute lunches to pack but I did break out the special ‘rainbow’ cereal for snacks. They left an entire beer * and some soda bread for our resident leprechaun, Mr McCabbage, who ate and drank it all, leaving a spill of gold wrapped chocolate for them to find. The tricky guy also dyed the milk green and also poured some on the floor **
Tonight we are having soda bread and soup, good for lent and all that. When the kids asked why we didn’t celebrate more since this was ‘our’ holiday I gave them my dad’s answer that this is day to go to church in Ireland…
Still like celebrating things that have no more sress then what you personally choose. I celebrated by doing my part of the tax prep and taking a short nap all while looking like an Irish Ari flight attendant.
*Lars thought someone loved him since that ‘door’ is right above his office so he drank it
**Lars also accidently spilled a dish of cereal and Niamh saw him cleaning it up and deduced that the tricky leprechaun had made a mess.
Edit – I googled the president of Ireland and he is also on twitter. To support my Irish side, I’m following him now. You also get to be president of Ireland for 7 years, thats a long time…
This year, I’m not sure if because it is a Tuesday or what, I’m not doing as much as usual. I’m actually not even going to see Lars because tonight is the SCA kids practice and also my PTO meeting so we will be in opposite directions until about 8:30. After that we plan on a nice take out sushi dinner but really, I don’t doubt his love in general.
I did have fun with valentines for the kids. I took a cue from all the cute photo strips we have as favors from recent weddings and decided to DIY one. The internet is full of other people who thought of this first but this is how I did it;
- Took a ton of pictures of each girl holding a dry erase board where they wrote each part of the message. Take A LOT because half of them will be too silly or full of frowns
- cropped them to be square in my computer
- used the collage option to line up the 4 pictures in a strip. I choose to have white borders on a pink background. You can also do this in excel, sometimes it is easier in excel!
- Sent the image to our local UPS store and then talked to them so they knew what I wanted, and, printing is one of those things personal attention is worth doing.
- Paid a whole $10 for 35 strips (2×8 if you are looking for dimensions) for each of the kids. That is $10 for 105 strips total.
- Cut up some pretty washi tape so the kids could tape on pencils (totally optional)
- They wrote names and taped pencils no problem and it only took about 20min
I love that getting them printed is so economical because I figure I would have spent $3 per ‘kit’ at walmart and I would have needed 4 at least since they are usually only 24 so I’m saving money, and, it is something I get to keep and love. I know, there is a ton of time involved between taking pictures and edits but for me, that is the fun part. This didn’t even need hot glue so I consider it an easy one.
Finally, I must add a new addition to the valentines traditions. Apparently, as they get older, the valentines box becomes homework, and Niamh had her heart set on a Giraffe valentines mailbox. It is a STEM school and I like that they described this as a building project and include the design-refine-spend time method. I talked her out of having the mouth be the mail slot because… engineering… but I do like the final result. It could be better but she procrastinated until yesterday afternoon to even start and I refused to do it without her (because I wanted her to do it over the weekend when we had time).
So I hope you all have nice days and nights and a pleasant February 14th in general.