Buzzfeed Recipe Reviews!

We love Buzzfeed Recipes! And while I don't have pictures of the amazing bacon-wrapped tatter tots we made or the pizza ring... I do have some pictures of two of our favorites! 
Smores Dip (below)!

Rainbow Grilled Cheese

While I am working on a post about our adventures in some Buzzfeed Recipes, I had to share this great one from Pop Sugar! Rainbow Grilled cheese just requires a little more than you would have to get together for regular grilled cheese and our family just LOVED it! Here is the original recipe, and if you tilt the video below you can see my snapstory about our grillventure! 

St. Patrick's Day Shenanigans!

I woke up a little early with some insomnia on St. Patrick's Day so I took to google and pinterest for some leprechaun inspiration!!
First I took all the leftover Valentines candy and "stole" everything except the green (M&Ms and Skittles) and hid them in everything that would hold candy in the living room and sitting room. Then I took sprinkles I had gotten on clearance for less than fifty cents after Christmas and dumped it in a pile on the table and wrote "You can't catch me!" from the Leprechaun!

I also took some window markers (well, just the green one) and drew Leprechaun footprints all over the counters and some shamrocks too! I also drew a mustache, beard, and top hat just about exactly where the kids faces would line up looking in the mirror! 

They LOVED this! Our twelve year old literally went running looking for candy!

Once I made a vanity from a gun rack...

Some people make mountains out of molehills. I am not really sure I have ever been like this although I can be dramatic, I hate drama. My conversations with my fiance's ex-wife are filled with her projecting on me and me ignoring that. I can be very straightforward and, particularly in writing, I am very articulate.

I used to hide all of this from the kids. I used to swallow all the feelings I had of her nastiness. I used to think shielding them was important. Then I realized that part of why our relationship was so trying was because (1) they were hearing negativity from their mother and then (2) no one was explaining that she was trying to manipulate them and that they do have permission to love us. So my fiance and I started to be more honest with them.

It helps them a lot. They "confess" things to us that she has said and it makes them feel better, our oldest is confident enough to argue with her and shut it down, and I think in some ways it makes them feel validated in their feelings that they love everyone. It can be hard to determine what is too much. However, we just try to answer questions they have and meaningfully help them move forward. We are not reactionary. I have written them letters in my journal and read them to the kids, they have written down their feelings and read them to us.

There will always be guilt when their mother says things like "wouldn't it be great if it was just us and Joe and you never had to go to Dad's house?" or "you can not love her the way you love me". Those things will not go away. They just won't.

However, I take solace in knowing that if through all this, if I can make a gun rack into a vanity for my lotions, jewelry, perfumes, makeup, mirrors, and journals, maybe I can find a way to make a narcissist work with us as parents. The gun rack is still a gun rack and a narcissist is still a narcissist, but my beauty supplies (and the kids) don't need to know that.

Ask Your Kids 15 Questions About You

1.  What is something I always say?
-Teamwork makes the dream work
-heyyyy girlies!

2.  What makes me happy?
-People... Dad, me, Autumn, Soph, Grammy, Lenore... I could go on forever
-When the dogs aren't barking and pajamas

3.  What makes me sad?
-When the dogs eat your slippers
-When the dogs are barking and when dad farts

4.  What do I do that makes you laugh?
-When you told dad that his fart smelled like burnt ketchup and eggs

5.  What was I like as a kid?
-Like Sophia
-A mermaid

6.  How old am I?

7.  How tall am I?
-500 and 90-10 feet
-4 feet
-5 feet

8.  What do I like to do?
-Make crafts
-You like to do activities like this

9.  What do I do when I'm not with you?
-You and dad stay up all night watching TV like Spongebob and eating ice cream and wondering what I'm going to be like when I grow up
-Play Smash Bros all day

10.  What am I good at?
-Making art, reading books, and telling dad to pull up his pants
-Making people smile and cooking
-At being awesome

11.  What am I not good at?
-Falling in puddles
-Destroying things

12.  What is my job?

13. What is my favorite food?
-Potatoes and Candy
-Hawaiian Pizza

14. What's your favorite thing to do with me?
-Make crafts, have fun, celebrate holidays
-Go to Disney World, everything we do together... life is my favorite thing to do with you
-Watch movies, go on trips, bake

15.  If I was a cartoon character, who would I be?
-Minnie Mouse
-Belle, Thumper
-Princess Leia

Life is the Bubbles when you have a Mermaid Party!

The following is a post that I first wrote for the blog I founded: Picturing Disney
 My stepgirls and I made a whole lot of awesome under-the-sea-ness for their Uncle's girlfriend's baby shower!
Pictured above, is another great recipes me and the girls tried for one of their birthdays! It's so easy! Make some rice krispy treats, cut them into stars and while they are still gooey, coat them with crushed graham crackers! Add some fun candy eyes and boom! Don't miss the post below for more easy and adorable!

 Like most people party planning, when we found out we would be throwing a baby shower for my sister-in-law my tween daughter and I took it to Pinterest for some pinspiration! We nearly immediately decided on a mermaid theme! We pinned our hearts out and here is the result! 

Fisherman's netting is sold in most craft stores and paired with some color themed balloons made a great backdrop for our main table (used for food and favors
I took some of the netting, cut and glued it around mason jars, and then wrapped the tops with hemp (also hot glued on). Then I made tiny signs for forks (dinglehoppers), knives (whosits) and spoons (whatsits).
My daughter painted a mermaid with no scale details on her tail for the guest book. We put it out on our main table with ink and wipes so people could "sign in".  It filled her tail with beautiful scales and was a great keepsake for mama.
Party favors were mini bubbles. I tied a card on them with a beautiful image I found on Pinterest that says "We got no troubles, life is the bubbles under the sea" on one side, and on the other I put the date and shower information. I printed everything on card stock and tied the bubbles on with hemp.
Another awesome Pinterest find was this easy to make octopus! We decorated the living room (where gifting was planned) with under the sea touches like this. All we needed was a balloon, some cardstock, and pink streamers. We also used constructions paper to make fish swimming around the room (below) and green ribbon and streamers and twisted them up by the fireplace to create seaweed!
For our cake we had a small layer cake and some cupcakes. I followed this recipe for the turtles and my daughter found the cute crabbies on, but of course, Pinterest.
We also had sugar cookies (not pictures) with 5 sliced almonds placed on top to look like sand dollars and these little clams which only required Nilla Wafers, icing, and candy eyes to create!

Party Playlist
To the Sea - Jack Johnson
For the Summer - Ray Lamontagne
Pink Moon - Nick Drake
Kiss the Girl - The Little Mermaid
God Only Knows - The Beach Boys
A Drop in the Ocean - Ron Pope
Wonderful World - Iz
How Far I'll Go - Moana
Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride - Lilo & Stitch
Lava Theme - Lava
High Tide or Low Tide - Ben Harper
Bubble Toes - Jack Johnson
Bubbly - Colbie Caillat
Chasing the Sun - Hilary Duff
Sunshine - Matt Costa
Part of Your World - The Little Mermaid
Wouldn't it be Nice - The Beach Boys
Knee Deep - Zac Brown Band
Three Little Birds - Bob Marley
That's How You Know - Enchanted
Under the Sea - The Little Mermaid

Disney Pin Display Boards!

If you have never noticed, I (and we) are huge Disney fans! Thanks to an awesome Instagram post from the owner of Happily Ever Tees we were able to grab up these great heart boards that are just PERFECT for the girls for displaying pins when not in the parks! 
Another reason to always keep your eye on that Target Dollar Deal area!