Month

June 2016

Lego Minifigure Organizer & Display Case

My son is obsessed with all things Lego, especially the Lego Minifigures.  It’s been a challenge to try to organize them.  I have purchased and tried it all!  How do I keep the pieces and accessories together?  Group them together as a collection?  Display them so that he can appreciate it?  Create less clutter?  I searched all over and finally came up with a great find!

I found this great case on eBay.  What’s nice about this is that you can fit about 99 Lego Minifigures on this rack.  You do have to alternate a few of the arms forward and backwards so that they fit.  You can barely notice.  The rack does not have a backing as it rests against the wall. It’s light enough to hang on your wall with a few nails or screws.  So I don’t anticipate that this will fall off the wall, even with it filled as it is still pretty light.  I found this to be a good buy, especially if it frees up storage space and looks this cool!  My son loves this as he can’t wait to show this off to his friends.

Click here for the link to the eBay store where I purchased this unit.

Here are a few more views of the case so that you can see if this might work for you.  Happy organizing!

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I love the fact that each row has  a Lego bump or stud (as they call it) on it so that you can easily place each Minifigure so that it doesn’t pop off.

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Here is a view of one of his sets.  It makes it really easy to see which character he has.  In addition, I can easy keep each accessory attached to the Minifigure without placing this in another case.

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This worked for me!  Do you have any Lego organizing tips that work for you?

Posted on 6/27/16

Chores for Kids = Practical Skills for Life & Professional Success

I came across a really insightful parenting article that made me pause and really think.  This makes a lot of sense.  Bottom line, chores for kids are more important that you think!  I am sure that your kids will have a hard time processing this, but someday they may appreciate it in retrospect.  In this article it says,

Research shows that doing chores as a child is a predictor of professional success. If we don’t teach children that life requires a willingness to do crummy stuff, we are not giving them the tools it takes to thrive,” says Julie Lythcott-Haims, the author of How to Raise an Adult, who, as Stanford University’s dean of freshmen, started noticing that her incoming students were lacking in practical skills. She discovered that parents—like her—who failed to teach their kids to pitch in were partly to blame.”

There are some other best practices along with helpful tips and tricks.  You can find the original article here in the Real Simple April 2016 magazine.  Here is a full version which also includes tips for younger kids: realsimple-april2016

Artwork extracted from the Real Simple article, by Gwen Keraval

Posted 6/24/16

Hello Kitty Sushi Promo

Calling all Hello Kitty fans!

Head over to your nearest Safeway grocery store where AFC has partnered with Hello Kitty for this special promotion.  If your Safeway has an in-house sushi counter, you can take advantage of grabbing a few of these cute soy sauce packets and chopsticks.

TIP: If you are able to get a hold of a freshly made roll that they set out, it makes a huge difference in flavor.  Sometimes you can ask them as it doesn’t hurt!

Hello Kitty Sushi 3

See?  Freshly made California roll sushi.  The avocados are NOT brown and they don’t look mushy either.  Yum.

Hello Kitty Sushi 2

Posted 6/20/16

 

Marvel Spider-Man K-Cup Daily Bugle Breakfast Blend Coffee

Look-out! Here’s comes the Spider-Man… k-cup coffee!  Want to rev up your “spidey senses” in the morning?  Check out this novel new k-cup offering which includes a few Marvel characters including: Spider-Man Daily Bugle breakfast blend, Hulk espresso dark roast, as well as Captain America hazelnut medium roast.  The 10-count pack is going for roughly the $6.00 mark at Walmart.  Such a fun idea to add to your Keurig for an action-packed morning.Marvel k-cup coffee

I purchased the Spider-Man blend to see what this was all about.  The packaging is super-duper cute.

Spider-Man Coffee K-Cups

Might be a cute idea small gift idea to pair with other Marvel character items.  The pods itself outside of the box aren’t that super attractive.  I was hoping to see Spider-Man’s face, but no.  Just the Marvel logo and k-cup blend name.

Spider-Man K-Cup

Ok, now for the taste test.  My first thought was that this is a breakfast blend.  It doesn’t have a lot of acidity and is very easy to drink.  Then, I noticed that the blend seems a bit more like a light-medium blend vs. a true medium blend.  I personally was hoping for something a little bit stronger, but could probably adjust on my side and use 6 vs. 8 ounces of water in my Keurig.

OH!  If you have a non-coffee drinker or have kids, then I also saw that they have a hot chocolate version.  Personally, I am a fan of drinks made with REAL sugar vs. artificial sugar that are commonly found in k-cups.  However, if you don’t mind, then this looks like it could be a good substitute for you to try.  Marvel Avengers Hot Chocolate Single Serve Cups

Marvel Cocoa

Posted 6/10/16

 

Crayola Crayon Birthday Party

Who doesn’t love a fresh new box of Crayola crayons?!

For my son’s second birthday party, I thought that it would be fun for him to enjoy a colorful themed Crayola crayon themed birthday party!  Here is what I did to make it come together and included a few photos, links and a download for you to be able to replicate for your little one.

Watermark Template Portrait CRAYOLA

DECOR
For starters, I tried to focus on four colors to use as the party color theme: blue, red, green and yellow.  Those were pretty easy colors to find and really POP.  I also had tons of matching colored balloons hanging and tape throughout the house.

For the cake table set-up, I personalized my son’s name onto banners which I made.  I also used my Cricut and simply cut out generic HAPPY BIRTHDAY pieces so that I could carefully tape onto the walls.

Next, I went to Toys R Us and purchased these cute colorful crayon banks which stand about 43″ tall.  I was able to use these on the main table as well as throughout the house.  Talk about a focal point!  Here is the link to the crayon banks.  I was lucky enough to scour a few of the stores in my area.  Be sure to check carefully for any cracks or defects.

Lastly, I was able to use a tiered cake stand to hold the colorful cupcakes.

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FOOD
For the food, I wanted to keep with the colorful theme.  I tried to offer both sweets and healthier options for our guests.  It was really hard since these party colors just scream candy!  🙂

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Here I made faux crayons.  Yes, they are edible!!  They are pretzels which I cut down to size, dipped each end (not the whole thing) in Wilton candy melts and then wrapped them in faux crayon wrappers and secure with tape.

I created my own wrapper which I am happy to share for your own personal use.  Just click here for my chocolate crayon wrapper template: Crayola Pretzels template  I would suggest printing the template out on colored paper since the colors will look richer and won’t bleed onto the food nor will it crack if you are using a laser printer.  Plus, colored paper is usually a tad thicker, but you will NOT want to use cardstock.   That would be too thick.

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I managed to incorporate some really colorful, kid-friendly fresh fruits: green and purple grapes, bananas along with strawberries!  Yum.  And yes, there are some colored mini-M&m’s that I added as well to the mix.

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I also found these oversized carnival type lollipops.  These were more for decor than anything else.  I found these at Smart & Final, but also have seen them at the Dollar Tree.  I also found a box of crayon candy and used a few for decor.

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Candied popcorn which I made myself.  This took a bit of time as I had to make three separate batches to achieve this look: green, yellow and red.  First, I used mushroom popcorn for this recipe as I like how they look vs. the butterfly ones that you get at the store.  I love to keep these on hand as they look so pretty and ideal for making chocolate popcorn as well.  I purchase my popcorn from Just Poppin and just toss the kernels in an air popper.  Voila.  Commercial looking popcorn!  As for the recipe for candy popcorn, that was super easy as it’s Jell-O based.  Here is the recipe: JELLO-O Rainbow Popcorn For easier cleaning, I spread the coated popcorn onto parchment paper vs. a baking pan.

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CAKE
For this party, I decided to make my own cupcakes.  Not sure that I would do that again since I think that for the cost and time, it probably would have been cheaper to go to grocery store and purchase plain ones that I could dress up myself.  In any case, I purchased these Crayola cake toppers on eBay and even found Crayon candles.  Yes!  They are actual crayon candles!!  Then I got a few small tubes of icing down the baked good aisle and drizzled them on top so they looked like scribbles.

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PINATA
Who doesn’t love a pinata?  I went to Etsy and had this custom made just for our party.  Super cute!!

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FAVORS
I purchased a few green gable boxes and then filled them with various crayon theme candies and items.  For the outside of the box, I used my Cricut to die-cut each faux crayon box using the Simply Charmed cartridge by Cricut.  I also personalized each box with the child’s name on a crayon at the top.

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INVITE
I personally designed the invite so that it would look like the outside of a Crayola box.  I thought that it turned out pretty cute and tried to incorporate fonts that looked the part.Crayola Invite

Hope that you enjoyed getting inspired by my Crayola themed birthday party.

Posted: 6/9/16