Friday, June 19, 2015

Camping Birthday Party

We had a roller coaster weekend of inaccurate weather reporting. We had a birthday party planned Saturday and the rain just would not hold off! Once we cancelled and rescheduled for Sunday, it stopped of course. Then Sunday, it rained all morning until 15 minutes into the party. The good news...our friends are some troopers. It didn't slow them down from coming and we were so grateful. We didn't want our seven year old to be disappointed. This year's theme was an outdoor camp party. It was one of my favorites to plan so far! Hopefully you will find some fun camping themed birthday party ideas that will help you plan your next party.

Here was our awesome cake from our favorite cake lady Grace. I bought the life like animal figures at Toys R Us. My son loved it!

First, all the kiddos made trail mix. They filled Ziploc bags with a combination of popcorn, chex mix, pretzels, M & M's, marshmallows, peanuts, and sunflower seeds.

Then the kids grabbed a stick and a bandana and packed up their trail mix. 


We had laminated camping symbols on sticks for the fire pit for smores, boat area, and hiking trail. If you look in my son's hand we had a picture scavenger hunt. (Just in case they couldn't all read well). We just pasted the nature hunt on brown paper sacks to collect their treasures in.

Our hike took us towards our pond. I had the book Curious George Goes Camping designed as a StoryWalk. If you have never heard of this fun idea you can read more about it here.

The Storywalk took us right down to the pond to go paddle boating.

Each group had an opportunity to take the boat for a spin.

We came back to the "picnic area" and the kids gave it their all at archery. 

Here is my pitiful attempt at a home made camping themed piñata. Cardboard served up the graham cracker on this smores piñata. Lol. Most of the kids only cared about the piñata with the candy and not what it looked like.

Three generations. My husband, father-in-law, and my princess.
Luckily, the rain held off most of the party and it was a success. Each child received a rubber band shooter and flashlight to take home. Happy Trails!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Chicken Tamale Casserole

We have been enjoying several snow days in a row. My daughter got to play in the snow for the first time. After refusing her mittens the first trip out, she tumbled over in the snow and caught herself with her hands. She stood up crying not understanding what just happened to the ground. I didn't have any problems getting her to wear mittens after that!
With all this cold weather I have been cooking up a storm. This recipe is a real crowd pleaser. It has a rich flavor and the sweet aroma of fresh corn bread muffins. I enjoy making it with chicken or ground beef. It depends what I have on hand in my kitchen. It has the delicious taste of a tamale but it is much easier to make and a little sweeter.
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp chili powder
2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced
1 4 oz can green chilies, drained
1 15 oz can medium red enchilada sauce
4 cups crumbled cornbread (cooked)
1/2 cup buttermilk or 1/2 cup milk with couple splashes lemon juice
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese


1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray approximately 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Warm oil over medium heat in skillet. Add onion and pepper. Saute onion for about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and chili powder and heat for additional minute

3. Add chicken (or ground beef) and chilies. Flavor with salt and pepper. Cook until meat is cooked through. Pour in can of enchilada sauce and bring to a boil.


4. Spoon mixture into baking dish.
5. In a separate bowl combine cornbread and buttermilk.

6. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of cheese over mixture in baking dish.

7. Spread cornbread mixture evenly on top. Top with remaining cheese.

8. Bake until golden brown. About 20 min at 350 degrees.

9. Enjoy!

We actually got snow in Texas!
This is what we do in Texas if we don't have a sled when it snows...Lol
 My neighbor took us all out for a ride.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Personalized Owl Valentine Kitchen Towel

Oooh, this project was so much fun. I had our neighbor girl over to make her mom this Valentine's Day present. I think it is especially fun to make a DIY craft for Valentine's Day. Kids just really enjoy having something special to wrap up for their parents.
I looked up some online instructions on how to draw an owl, and then taught the kiddos how to draw step by step. They were 4-6 years old and did an excellent job. I found the heart kitchen towels at the dollar store so this project literally cost me $1.
The kids wrote in their own handwriting...Owl always love you!
You can see a full tutorial here. (We made Christmas towels in the past)
You might just have time to whip one of these up in time for Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Scissor Valentine...You are a cut above the rest

I'm always trying to find a new fun Valentine that is not candy oriented to send with my kiddos. Something that the other children might actually use, enjoy, and get excited about. This year after the school supplies were discounted, I picked up two packs of scissors for 50 cents a pack. Super cheap! At a quarter a Valentine per child this was a deal.
We just hot glued the scissors on and they were ready to go. As always, I am happy to share my templates. Just put your email in the comments and I will try and send it your way!
Looking for more here for 50 more ideas I found last year.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Blind Date With a Book

When I saw this idea...I fell in love. Have you ever heard of a blind date with a book? It is the very clever idea where you check out a wrapped book without knowing what you are getting. It is very similar to a blind date. Genius! I emailed my son's school librarian and asked if I could help implement this for the whole first grade. Her know there are 125 kids?!?! My response, "Yes I know I am crazy...but I think the kids will love it!" The librarian seemed to be just as excited about the idea as me.
I proceeded to wrap and decorate 125 books. I used small white stickers on the back of the books to write the number needed to check them out.
1. Open me at your HOME
2. I would love to meet your FAMILY
3. Please give me a just might fall in LOVE!
I also made up some fun cards for the kids to fill out in regards to their date.

I can't wait to hear what they have to say! I also decided to wrap one up for my sweet older friend who is like a Grandma to me. She will be receiving a book in the mail any day now. Just in time to have her blind date for Valentine's Day.
I am always happy to share what I have created. Just comment with your email address and I will try to send it your way.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Spooky Halloween Invite and Party Ideas

We had a fabulous time at our Halloween party last weekend! So I was brave this year, and we passed out invitations to all 23 kids in my son's first grade class. We also invited some additional family and friends. Of course, no one rsvp's much these days, so I was worried about how many people would actually show up. We ended up having 40 kids there!! With adults, we had almost 90 people in our back yard. I am sure glad we live in the country or we would have never fit.
Here are the invites we passed out.

Your Presence is Requested
October 18th at 6:30
Come Hither, Come Forth
To the Greene Residence
To Celebrate Halloween,
We Need Your Presence
Please Come Costumed,
To Set the Mood
Enjoy With Us
Games, Crafts, and Snack Food.
If You Happen to Feel,
Extra Brave on That Night,
We Will Go On a Hay Ride,
That Might Give You a Fright!

I used brown Kraft jewelry boxes I bought on amazon. I took some plastic fingers and tied a black ribbon around them. The top of the box said, You are invited...Don't Forget!

I cut a ghost out of plywood for a sucker pull game. If you have not played this before, you have some of the suckers marked with black dots on the back. The kids walk up and pull a sucker. If their sucker has a black dot, they win an additional prize. If not, they just win the sucker still.

I also made a simple pumpkin can toss. Who knew it would be their favorite game.
I also cut out 30 of these candy corns out of plywood, sanded, and painted them. I used a sharpie marker to write the kids names on them as they arrived. They were our party favors along with goody bags full of Halloween treats!

We had kids crawling all over our playground area.

Baseball ghost

Statue of Liberty

Precious Clown

We forgot to bob for apples at the party, so my husband showed them how to do it the next day.

My little one was soaked! Cracked me up. They both finally got an apple. I hope you all have a Happy Halloween!!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Halloween Decor Ideas and Projects

I love it when this time of year rolls around and I can decorate for the holidays. It is not even October 1st, and I already have a lot of Halloween decorations around my house. Some are DIY Halloween projects, and others I picked up at the store. We are planning a big Halloween kids party this year and my sons are going to invite their whole class. I will share our invitation soon!

Here is our mantle and fireplace.
I bought this vintage postal scale at Antique Alley in Grandview, Texas last weekend. I love it and a pumpkin fit on top of it perfectly. If you have never been to Antique Alley it is twice a year and it is AMAZING!


Some old black shutters found the perfect new home on my buffet. I found a twisty tree branch outside, painted it black, and filled a mason jar with stones to hold it.

I love to place pumpkins around the house in little spots like this chair.
If you are looking for some more Halloween inspiration, here are some ideas and projects I created in the past. Surely something will be the perfect project for you!!
Click here to see how to make this fun sign.
Pumpkin bean bag toss click here for instructions
Monster tags click here for detailed directions
Witch yard art instructions here
DIY Monster pillow link here
Halloween Felt Cookies instructions here
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