Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Dive into Disney Store's Toy Box!


Lucky that Rey has all the makings of the Last Jedi, or at least lucky for our Elf on a Shelf, Sazwop! We woke up yesterday morning to find Sazy kidnapped by a stormtrooper and none other than Kylo Ren himself! Rey was there to save the day as this morning we found her and Sazy tucked away in the kitchen reading our Christmas cards! 

Lucky for our Elf that Stormtroopers are terrible shots!

Kylo and Rey are designed for real world play with 14 points of articulation, a signature accessory as well as a universal hand grip so that accessories can be swapped between characters! 

Lucky for all of us that Star Wars isn't the only Disney fandom with ToyBox figures! You can snag Hulk, Iron Man, and Thor from the Marvel collection...
 ...and Woody, Jessie, and Buzz from Toy Story!




Find ToyBox figures on ShopDisney and at Disney Stores this holiday season! 
And be sure to follow ShopDisney on social media:


Friday, December 15, 2017

Don't miss out on Donna Wilson for LeSportSac this Holiday season!


LeSportSac is one of my all-time favorite brands and I have been lucky enough to be able to continue reviewing for them with my new endeavor here on Step Musings! 
The adorable collaboration with Donna Wilson is creative, unique, and utterly fantastic! Pictured above is the Panda Tote, which may just be my very favorite of the new products. If Ms. Pia Panda doesn't tickle your fancy- check out the Freddie Fox and Ziggy Cat totes instead! I think my favorite part is how the back pattern is different than the front and features little tails. ><





 I was super stoked to get to test out a Voyager Backpack as well (pictured above)! I have had my eyes on this style for a while and wasn't sure if I could make it work as a replacement for my teacher bag! I could not be happier (and neither could my aching shoulders) about all the pockets this baby features! There is zipper pocket and not one, but TWO clip lock pockets on the outside! The inside features three net pockets as well as an inside pouch that is a 2-in-1 with a zipper on the outside. I was able to fit my laptop, lunch, attendance binder, and papers to grade neatly inside with my water bottles and thanks to the outside pockets have organized places for my classroom key and ID, chargers, and makeup bag essentials! 


The adorable main pattern from the Donna Wilson collaboration, Singing in the Woods, is available in the Cruising Backpack and Basic Backpack! Both of these are tested and approved by my youngest who is very rough on her bags! They made it through entire school years unscathed and we still use them for vacations and sleepovers whenever she has to pack a bag! 

Whether you give one of these as a gift of treat yourself, LeSportSac and Donna Wilson are the perfect gift this holiday season! Be sure to check out LeSportSac on social media:

 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Birthday Magic

Birthdays are downright magical if you let them be. As we grow older we become more self critical and sometimes I think this leads to just simply fearing age. I am not one who denies my age (I look younger than I am thanks to good genes and laziness in my 20s where I never wore makeup or processed my hair), I do fear time though. I am sad thinking about a time that I maybe grow to be old and lonely, that I could lose someone so special and important to me, that I know deep in my heart that right now I am living the "good ole days" of the future of my life. One of my greatest joys is celebrating my children. And our littlest little loves all things bright and sparkly and happy. So today, on her birthday, I want to share some of our birthday cake-creations over the years!


 The first picture are the Rainbow Connection cupcakes from Picturing Disney, complete with flying TARDISes (that's my girl). We found two years of unicorn cake ideas on Pinterest, which I love as a parent but simultaneously find that when people tell me my creations are "pinterest-worthy" it sometimes feels like a back-handed compliment. And the bottom cake, my favorite birthday picture of our girl, is a Frozen themed cake (this cake and the unicorn head were both made by my amazing mother) to go with a Princess Yoga party. The Frozen cake came complete with candy glass and edible snowflakes!


Happy Birthday, beautiful girl. 
I taught you how to shampoo your hair and brush out all the knots, how to tie your shoes and buckle your seatbelt, how to read and write your alphabet, how to tread water and treat people how you want to be treated, how scared is a superpower and history can be amazing, but you taught me the most sincere thing about life and love: that when we love someone unconditionally nothing else matters and everything will always be okay. Even though you will never see this, I love you littlest little since the first time you met me and asked if your Dad got married since last week. You are filled with more magic than you realize and I will give all my love and time trying to show you all the wonder you fill the world with.  :)


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

This is Halloween


I love holidays.
One of my favorite childhood memories is decorating the house each season with my mom and siblings. I loved decorating day when we would surprise my dad with decorations after work and hang everything up to transform the house. 
I have tried to impart this on the kids but its slow going. Halloween and Christmas are the exceptions-- we band together and decorate the house most years.
My husband and I also LOVE to make holiday-themed food. Above pictured is an awesome skeleton egg mold I got a few years back (with a lovely Mickey spatula from Walt Disney World that my dog promptly stole from the counter and destroyed a few hours after taking that picture).
And below are Pumpkin pancakes (our kids don't live the pumpkin spice life so we just used food coloring for breakfast last Halloween). 



And our favorite trick to getting the kids to eat an entire pepper?
We cut orange sweet peppers into Jack-o-lanterns, fill them with a homemade version of hamburger helper cheeseburger macaroni, and tell them they can't have seconds until they finish their peppers! Voila! lol!


We love Halloween and I hope you enjoyed our little take on the holidays and our tradition round-up!
While I do not love sharing too many pictures of my littles, here is a little Happy Halloween from me and my man this year...
 
xoxo Bob and Linda Belcher (Bob's Burgers)

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Officially a Step Mama


My heart grew so much yesterday I do not even have words. 
Our wedding was a perfect adventure.
I know where I stand with some people and in the most extraordinary ways I know who I am more because I found my heart and soulmate(s).
I married the right person yesterday and to get to that place I had to make a lot of mistakes, tumble backwards on uphill journeys, and even marry the wrong person. 
I am not just a wife I am officially a mother. I am so many things I thought I would never be because of love and taking chances. Swiping right was the best and most romantic thing I have ever done. 

Here's the only sneak peak I am willing to share! Once my pictures are in I will write a full post and link to vendors and ideas and etsy shops for anyone who might want to give them a try! 

xoxox


Friday, October 20, 2017

Hawaiian Rehearsal Dinner Roller Coaster Ride

 The time is here!!!!
I am getting married tomorrow! I can hardly believe it! 

Everything I think of to write about I keep deciding to save for when I have pictures but we did throw a rehearsal dinner at our house. We went with a Hawaiian theme since we are (1) going to Hawaii for our honeymoon next summer and (2) going to walk down the aisle to the sweet sounds of the theme from the Pixar short, Lava, played on cello and ukulele. 


I went with yellow and green and put out some Disney Hawaiian touches (some cute Stitch, Maui, and Moana toys). We had some Ecto Cooler (yes you read that right) in pitchers along with Mai Tais, and the main course was slow-cooked sweet Hawaiian pulled pork tacos. I cooked the pork all day as we did last minute wedding prep and prepared the toppings the night before: a fresh salad slaw, mango pineapple salsa, black beans heated with pineapple (also used as a vegetarian option to pork), an array of shredded cheeses, and some fresh veggies chopped up. We also had potato salads and macaroni salads and some Hawaiian sweet rolls. 

Our Dinner Party Playlist was a modified version of the one I had made for our Housewarming/Engagement Party last year:
Lava theme
When I'm Married - Wilder Atkins
Humble & Kind - Tim McGraw
Mango Tree - Zac Brown Band
Falling Slowly - Once broadway musical soundtrack
Laundry Room - The Avett Brothers
Thinking Out Loud - Ed Sheeran
You & Me - Dave Matthews Band
Ghosts That We Knew - Mumford & Sons
Flowers in Your Hair - The Lumineers
Dog Days are Over - Florence + the Machine
I Need Never Get Old - Nathanial Rateliff & the Night Sweats 
Three Little Birds - Bob Marley
How Far I'll Go - Moana
California - Phantom Planet 
Cake by the Ocean - DNCE 
Hello Sunshine - Langhorne Slim
Whole Wide World - Cage the Elephant
Work Song - Hozier  
Reptiles (We Woke Up) - Flogging Molly
Wildflowers - Tom Petty 
It Had to be You - Cliff Edwards 
Wonderful World - IZ

 



Friday, October 6, 2017

Wedding Fever!

I made this sign because as you walk inside the winery there is a staircase that goes up a half flight and then opens up to half flights leading left and right. This sign will be placed on the landing and incorporates our styling, colors, themes, and love.

Wedding planning has been amazing and also bittersweet for me. I have had to re-deal with some issues from my past, which of course, lead to more transformations of self. I also had to deal with the realization that the visions I had of excitedly planning with my soon-to-be-stepkids was not going to be allowed to happen because of the guilt from their birth mother. I had to reconcile my expectations were about double what my reality would allow. I also had to take on the planning and budgeting (as I am writing this after final payments have been due, I can assure you all I am still terrible at budgeting appropriately) and the accomplishment (hopefully) of creating a day that was all about us. 

I have been dying to share some of my favorite details and shout out my vendors so here I go! 

Our Engagement announcements, Housewarming/Engagement Party invites, and Wedding stationary was all created by the talented Monique at Only One Mark Inc

As we have been getting replies I have been saving them in a homemade RSVP box, which was just a small shipping box I had covered in washi tape and then some chalkboard tape! I took Monique's advice and numbered invites as well as writing in all names so that there was no confusion or awkwardness!

We decided to go with one big long "viking" table for our meal. We are having white table cloths with burlap table linens and navy blue napkins. Our plates are shaped like petals and lanterns that will be placed along the aisle during out ceremony will double as center pieces (we have no aisle runner but instead have white lanterns with rose petals going down the aisle). We had place card holders set up which had been made of chopped wood and decided to put them at each seat, but that meant I needed to create a map for seating. I used chalkpaint on plywood with white acrylic paints on top instead of chalk to draw out a map. I purposely roughly painted to edges to go with our rustic craftsman theme and we placed the huge map on our guestbook table.



Bridesmaid hair styles found on Pinterest, which I thought would be where I found most of my ideas but besides style I ended up already knowing what I wanted and then searching for things to add to my pin board. I guess when you give yourself time and confidence, we all already know what our style is we just need to find someone that empowers us to figure it out! 


I did have a hard time finding pictures of some of the things I wanted and this picture end up being the Bridal Hair inpsiration I came across (found on Pinterest but with no tutorial links or even side or back views).

We were able to score knock-offs of the designer bridesmaid dresses I saw in a Wedding magazine on Amazon that fit better and cost under $40! (They also had them on Ebay but Amazon Prime shipping won the day!)
The men are rocking 3 piece navy blue suits with these adorable ties and for boutonnieres, Grape Soda pins a la Disney-Pixar's Up (they are part of a club now). My gown is tea length and lace that will look good with the girls style and the retro feel of the men's suits. I am wearing navy shoes to pull all the colors together.
So many more details and pictures to come with playlists and vendor links! 
I am so excited to celebrate our love!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Apples to Apples


For a girl whose birthday is on Pi Day, I am not a pie girl. I prefer my crusts on things that are savory, I have never been a fan of the big ole pie thing. I am an excellent baker and certainly could whip one up with confidence but I prefer crustless or graham cracker crusts so I tend to stick to my divine fall baking staple: apple crisp.

Each year, at least once, as summer whips away in the wind and we begin to pull out hoodies and jeans again, I also pull out my vegetable/fruit peeler and go to town making my specialty. I have yet to meet a boxed package or recipe in general that rivals my own. I am confident in my skills at making downright delightful apple crisp. Each year when we apple and pumpkin pick, me and the kids make some together (although it's mostly me and the youngest little making and everyone else eating).

I found that the kids at the school I teach at were not eating their lunch apples... they were leaving them to go bad and get tossed or worse throwing them around and wasting them. I decided to keep some in my classroom and found a few kids enjoyed having them as class snacks, then when Friday rolled around and they were going to get tossed I brought them home grabbed some more apples from the farm market and my topping supplies and whipped up trays for school and home. I even, for the first time, taught my littlest little how to peel apples herself.  It was a great treat for work and home! My family devoured them! They even had them for Monday morning breakfast with my fiance as a treat. 

They were then at their mother's house for two days before coming back home and low and behold guess what she had made? 😐
Apple Crisp "from a package with vanilla ice cream" (quote from my eldest)
The kids were excited that mom made something kinda like I do
The kids all separately told me, one admitting that she mentioned to her mother how much she loved having apple crisp over here that weekend, one admitting that he was excited to see mom do something momish, and one telling me with an eye roll as she told me "another thing mom copied"

Although they were the sweet kids they always are about it, although they didn't really hype up the mom making it thing, although they all asked me to make more... the copycat apple crisp ate at me (pun intended). 

Why can't this woman just come up with her own dang ideas?

I let it simmer for me for a little while, and at bedtime talked to my almost-husband about it. Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery afterall, right?

I can't pinpoint why these repeated moments get to me but I think that I can without a doubt conclude that in the long list of things I need to let go, this is both #1 and easiest to do. I have learned the hard way to let a lot of shit go. My fiance and I have found a niche to talk to this high conflict ex, we have found a formula that works with helping the kids both retain their self esteem and set expectations for her. We have used open communication with all of our children and their mother to create an atmosphere in our home that fosters love and growth. 

So why am I acting like her copycat behavior is intimidating? Particularly when her constant need to copy me superficially just shows she is not just intimidated by me but also far more concerned with looking like a good parent than putting in the hard work to be one? Because I am bringing my own insecurities to the table. My kids are not babies, and even though the littlest is in a little bit of denial, she is smart and I know that deep down she "gets it". So I need to leave the space I was in a few years ago where the kids were brainwashed by her and didn't see what was going on and never look back. 
But how?

I am going to keep on keeping on. 
I am going to bake apple crisp again when we go to the orchard.
I am going to stop leaving certain baking traditions out of our home to "be fair".
I am going to take a deep breath the next time I hear about a way she copied us and remind myself that it's better for the kids to be with her copying us than to be with her belittling them or us
I am going to carefully and lovingly remind them when I need to about how I feel
But mostly I am simply going to love my children
I am going to love them and my fiance
And with my love, let it go.



Saturday, August 26, 2017

Last Day of Summer Breakfast!

With the way my fiance's custody is split we don't ever have the kids for lazy Sunday afternoons, but we always have them on sunshiney Sunday mornings! This is awesome because we can get up and hike or walk or bike or enjoy the Easter Bunny! It is also awesome because we can start sweet traditions like the LAST DAY OF SUMMER BREAKFAST EXTRAVAGANZA! We have come to love this! 

The picture above is last year, with the awesome Cinnamon Roll Cake I found on, you guessed it, Pinterest! I added sprinkles and icing that said "Happy Last Day of Summer". We also used cookie cutter letters to spell out the kids names in cantaloupe and made melon kabobs (we are a family that love kabobs)!

This year we have farm fresh peach pie, apple turnovers, bananas, and pineapple on the menu!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Hurt People Hurt People

I guess in a lot of ways, sharing my experiences require me to air out some dirty laundry. I have been candid (I think) and try to avoid judgement (I think this shows). However, how do you really see what my situation is like without looking at more than the current moving parts? I think it is appropriate, to put things in perspective and hop in a time machine.

This is not a blame game. This is not a way for me to ask you to cast judgement as you look at my experiences. I consider myself an empath, I have a good handle on objectively viewing things and seeing who people truly could be at their best, not just punishing them for their worst. 

I fell in love when I was 18 years old. I was mad for this guy. He was handsome and funny and he loved me right back. I had just graduated high school and he was still finishing up, as he was two years my junior. He'd had a hard childhood. I say hard because I know that it was hard for him not in an relational way to anyone else. He struggled with his parents divorce, with not seeing his father, with loving and accepting his stepfather in ways his sister never did, with inadequacy issues stemming from a family who had anxiety disorders. I thought that coming from a family that was well intact (of my parents siblings-- 5 brothers and 2 sisters-- only one had ever been divorced and all have loving families who welcomed another member with open arms) and kind we could right the wrongs of his past. In a lot of ways, we did. In a lot of ways his problems were bigger than that. 

He had these telltale signs of sociopathy or a narcissitic personality disorder that I ignored for a long time: manipulation, lack of remorse, constant envy, arrogance, anger, recklessness, emotional detachment, exploitative entitlement. I ignored these because I was in the revolving door of a psychologically and emotionally abusive relationship from the start and had no idea. To this day, I can't break my own small cycle of depression and anxiety that is onset when I feel very overwhelmed.

There were occasional bouts of physical abuse. I don't like to focus on this. I spent a great deal of time during my divorce telling people what they needed to hear when it came to manifesting an image for them of my relationship. I don't think any bruise on my body would ever have been as bad as the emotional scars and no one really understands that. It's like a twisted version of E.E. Cummings "I carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart)" but for me it is "I carry your pain with me (I carry it in my heart)". I don't have another effective way to articulate that but I lived in that place for 13 years and sometimes I can't help but end up back there. Simultaneously, however, I was very happy! I was in love! I was young and thought this was what the "for better or for worse, in sickness and in health" meant. I loved my life. We had a dog who died when he was 8 and to this day he is the best friend I have ever had in my entire life and the time I had them my heart was so filled up. 

I carried guilt with me for not fixing my ex and not saving my dog for a long time. I actually had to really think hard about that sentence to decide if I wanted to say "carried" or "carry". I know that this is not particularly healthy but it is also something that I know I do and have worked hard to get over. I have done this same thing to my stepchildren. Somewhere deep down I decided that it had to be me that fixed everything that their birth mother broke in their lives and as an extension of that I even felt like if I tried hard enough I could fix her. 

I left that relationship with pity and I find myself in that same place of pity with my kid's birth mom. He was not as good of a person as people believed. He had been grouped with my kindnesses. He had found ways to be poetic but I saw through them now. I remember telling him over and over "when you are feeling low if you keep telling me you are incapable of love, if you keep telling me you want the world to burn, one day I will believe it because every single time you say those things I start to believe them a teeny tiny bit more". He continued and I did too. I believed it all and in this one instant that I don't think I want to share the specifics of I realized that our marriage was over. 

When I woke up from my old life that is exactly what happened, I woke up. Everything inside me that stopped growing because I was so busy giving away all of my sunshine suddenly began to sprout and then blossom. I was suddenly the person that I had always known was there. I resented my ex for not being willing to let me shine, to help me shine, to have shined himself because of all the glorious rays of light I had given away to him. How precious is our own sunshine? How often are people willing to work so hard so that you shine? And how dare he have rejected it for his own feelings of insecurity. 

I think in a lot of ways, my situation can be likened to my fiance's past. His ex-wife had traumas in her own childhood that made her feel less than. Though it is not my place to share her life story, I can leave it at that. They also met as teenagers and she was also two years his junior. She has the same narcissistic tendencies, same anxiety, same entitlement, same anger, envy, and arrogance. They were dating for a matter of months before she got pregnant. They had a shotgun wedding. They moved out of their parents homes for the first time, had the excitement of a new family, and before they knew it they had two babies!

My fiance is a wonderful Dad. He was born for that role. But she stole his sunshine. Their life together was filled with staged pictures, arguments with no rules of engagement, and her blaming him for all the problems of her past. When her father died and she became a different person, as I think we always do when we lose someone we love, it was the beginning of the end. Having been together barely over 5 years they had 3 kids and she was only 22 years old. Do you remember what it was like to be 22? I graduated college and spent all my graduation money on a trip to Disney World. I was a baby! I was Jon Snow in a pack of wildlings. I knew nothing of this world.

She had multiple affairs. When my fiance found out about the first one and they had some semblance of a conversation/argument they eventually decided to try and stay together. She wanted an open marriage, he wanted a real one but already knew it wouldn't work out with her. Finally after a decade together they called it quits for real. Except for their eldest child together, the kids do not even have memories of their parents married. A few pictures exist but thats all they have seen. And even with the oldest it is fleeting. They remember things they did with Dad when Mom & Dad were still together but few memories exist in their children's lives of happy times with the whole lot of them. 

In a lot of ways when my fiance left this relationship he was like I was in my own marriage. Only I remembered what it felt like to feel warm sunshine on my face and he had been giving his away to his family for so long I think he got sunburned a few times. In both these scenarios you can hope the exes would rise up, rise above their pasts, move on and move forward with experience behind them, forgiveness in their hearts, and an open mind about what life can be like if you get some real help and really try to change. 

I think it is a testament to my own faith in people and the empath in me that I still hope that for both of them. I cannot stress enough the need to not lose faith and hope in the human race in these situations. Hurt people hurt people. And we forget that when someone has hurt us. The exes in my life have given me no reason to believe that they are trying to be better people. Neither of them have shown me much by way of a glimmer of hope but I can see it there if I look hard enough past the asshole who responds to my emails or the bitch who talks shit about me to our kids. My ex-husband still tries to peacock when he has reason to speak to me, still tries to act like I am overly sympathetic of someone who does not need sympathy, but deep down he is broken still and I hope working on it. My fiance's ex-wife still lashes out and acts like a teenager, and although after two years I have given up on asking her to sit down and have talks with me and stopped giving her the satisfaction of arguing back, I did send some cookies back to her house with the kids and she did text us to say "thanks". 

Monday, August 7, 2017

A Disney-worthy Engagement Anniversary!

On the one year anniversary of my engagement I want to share with you a post I wrote up for the website I founded, Picturing Disney! The article below was published in August 2016. Enjoy!


I am many things.  Three of those many things are: someone who life has broken in the past, a true believer in fairytales (and the heroines that rule them), and a cynical optimist (yes, you read that correctly, I both doubt it will come and believe in happy endings at the same exact time).  So there you have it. I am for all intents and purposes a typical middle American: a hard-worker who loves her job teaching, a dreamer of impossible things, and a lover of love. I will come right out with it: I got engaged in Disney World this summer.  There are lovely details to this story, but they are for me and my family and friends, not the entire internet.  I will share this:


So you may know of me if you have followed Picturing Disney from when I started it (and we were still located at blogspot.com lol) and you may have figured out my personality from the way I write, review, share, and photograph.  Whether this is your first read or you figured this out long ago, let me say... this was the single best moment of my life thus far. 

We came home from Disney World and bought a house! While, I know that seems simple... anyone who is reading this who has bought a house can vouch for me that it has not.  It was the single most stressful process of my life so far (and I am previously divorced and have lost people I love dearly).  I am not demeaning other people or my own pain.  This was just such immediate stress and such a long process that it really was not as simple as "and then we bought a house" might make it seems and I wanted to attest to that. 

Newly Engaged + New House = Party Time

I was immediately in touch with my girl, Monique, at her company Only One Mark Inc! She designed and printed announcements and invites for our celebration!


I used a Shutterfly code for 10 Free Magnets and used the 4 mini square design, ended up with 40 two inch by two inch magnets, used adhesive circles to attach them to the announcements and VOILA! If you enjoy that idea, the magnet coupon has long since expired but you can get a Free Photo Book with this link!

Monique and I designed the cards together, my fiance and I are huge fans of "Up" for many reasons, some are personal and private, others are the same as the reasons you love Carl and Ellie. We went with an Up theme for our announcements and invites and really our whole party (and probably our wedding)! I added a touch of Doctor Who to the back of our announcements because... well, anyone who has watched any 10th Doctor episodes knows I do not need to finish that sentence! Also, the party invites were not flawed at all- they are and were perfect! I just had to block out our phone numbers so haters and trolls won't hate and troll. lol. 

In any case, onward! We moved in and love our home! We were truly a couple that is meant to be. Every happy line from every sappy country song literally describes us.  One of our first projects together was the purchase of a white mailbox so we could do this:


Sigh. 
It's even cute when I look at the pictures again! 

Onto the big PARTY! Because that's why you are here! I tried to photo document as well as I could so enjoy my captions and shoot us a message or comment if you are planning and have any questions! We tried to keep it DIY and personal.  Homemade, but with so much love that was the key to our planning. 
The metal ampersand light up ($7 on clearance at Target) and the Hello frame ($5 on clearance at A.C. Moore) are both are battery operated and switch on and off.  I had them at one end of our drink table which was also on the porch when people walked in.
I handpainted "Paradise Falls" on a mason jar then filled it with change.  We put Sharpies for labeling drink cups in the jar as well!

Another awesome frame find was this kickass photobox frame in Target! It was only $7 and has 4 mini shadowboxes on the sides and is a pin board.  I put our magicbands and buttons from our trip in the shadowboxes and other trinkets. Then I used a Carl & Ellie pin we had bought on the trip and a Walt Disney World one I'd had to pin our engagement photo up and put it in the middle of our food table!

I handpainted a big mason jar with a likeness of the Up house and then used cookie pops shaped as balloons to fill it up so that we had our own mini (and edible) Up house at the party!

We served some chips before dinner and fresh made popcorn from a home popper! We got the machine plus the popcorn boxes plus kits to make about 200 cups of popcorn for about $200 on Amazon.  I think that most people end up shelling out around $50 for party snacks, and this is only an investment once.  The next time we have a party, for about $20 or so we can feed everyone awesome popcorn snacks! an investment, yes, but a good one! 

We got popcorn and cookies and of course had dinner... but what do we all love best? CAKE! My mom made us this awesome book! It was perfect and beautiful and delicious (I am literally eating leftovers as I type)!

Favors? ELLIE BADGES of course! I attached a soda cap pin (made with printouts and epoxy on metal) to a piece of white cardstock and then glued a black backing piece of cardstock to secure it and neaten it up.  The Highest Honor We Could Bestow was a huge hit.  

Almost as big of a hit as the "balloons out front marking the house" :)
We couldn't have an Up themed party without balloons on our chimney! 

What's next? Happily Ever After, I think. 

Party Playlist
Up theme
Mango Tree - Zac Brown Band
Falling Slowly - Once broadway musical soundtrack
Laundry Room - The Avett Brothers
Thinking Out Loud - Ed Sheeran
You & Me - Dave Matthews Band
Ghosts That We Knew - Mumford & Sons
Flowers in Your Hair - The Lumineers
Dog Days are Over - Florence + the Machine
Some Nights - Fun.
Sound of Sunshine - Michael Franti & Spearhead
Lava theme
Margarita - Great Big Sea
Wanderlust - Flogging Molly
I and Love and You - The Avett Brothers
Work Song - Hozier
As We Are Now - Saint Raymond
She Got the Honey - Mat Kearney
I Need Never Get Old - Nathanial Rateliff & the Night Sweats 
Marry You - Bruno Mars
XO - John Mayer




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