Showing posts with label birthday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label birthday. Show all posts

Barbie Movie and a Barbie Birthday Cake


Have you seen the Barbie Movie yet? For my birthday this year, Hazel and I went to a matinee. I also decided to try to make a Barbie cake for myself. It is hard to hear some of the criticism of the movie from people who refuse to see it. For example, Rex Huppke's column in USA Today shares many of the things said about the movie. Now being a liberal and having many liberal friends, I have many friends who have different opinions. But I am going to begin by sharing a bit of my own background.

Holiday Craft Fun with Jingle Stamps


Disclosure: I was sent a set of these stamps in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Now I know it is only October, but if you are going to make holiday cards, gifts, or wrapping paper, now is the time to begin! So today I am sharing a fun holiday stamp set with some different ideas for the fall, holidays, and beyond for you and/or your kids to make. The stamp set is called Jingle Stamps, and it includes 22 stamps and a duo ink pad of red and green ink.

This is 52


This past week I turned 52. Fifty-two is not one of the benchmark years. I turned 50 in the summer of 2020. It was when we were afraid to be indoors with too many people and were still wearing masks often. Yet it was one of my best birthdays ever. My sister came for the day and she and Hazel made a delicious meal topped off with a homemade birthday cake. They did all the planning, the shopping, the cooking and the cleaning. They even decorated our patio for the party. Yes, we ate outside. My sister works with newborns and their moms in a hospital setting and has taken being cautious to a new level. She wore her mask whenever she was in our house. It was truly the perfect birthday for me because I didn't have to do anything. It was small, intimate and simple. It certainly wasn't the ball my girlfriend went to for one of her friends who turned 50 this year. My girlfriend and many guests caught Covid from the ball. My girlfriend who is a nurse on a Covid unit in a local hospital. My girlfriend whose kids got Covid last summer and her oldest was truly sick for weeks. He could barely move off the couch, and she didn't get it. But she went to a 50th birthday ball and got it. No, my 50th was simple and fun and perfect and best of all we didn't get sick from the celebration!

Celebrating Becoming a Teenager


I cannot believe it!! Hazel turned 13 last month!! Thirteen is such a big year. It is often when kids become young adults, as well as of course, they become a teenager! This year I wanted it to be extra special for Hazel. I came up with the theme of butterfly for her party. I told her it was because she is transforming into a teenager/young adult. She liked the idea of butterfly but did not like my reasoning. I began searching for 13th birthday ideas. I have a Pinterest Board for it if you want different ideas! I saw a printable that says "You have been loved for 13 Years..." I saw some on Etsy as well as some free ones, but I wanted to personalize it a bit. I had planned on having it printed as a poster and hanging it on her door for when she woke up, but that plan changed. Click on it to get a pdf so you can print it out at home.

New Year's Eve Birthday Bash Ideas

Disclosure: Oriental Trading sent me these products in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Hazel and I are always talking about ideas for birthday parties. Our big plans for this year's party was to do an American Girl Beforever Party. However with her new school she wants to invite the boys so we needed to change the theme. We came up with a New Year's Eve Birthday Bash. All of our planning was basically thrown away and we started fresh. We went to check things out over at Oriental Trading in their birthday section. We had fallen in love with these Pink and Gold Birthday Party Dinner Plates and planned the party around them. (We had chosen them for the American Girl party as well.)

Fairy & Ice Cream Party Updates

Disclosure:  Some of the links are affiliate links where I will receive a small percentage of any purchases made through them at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting Crafty Moms Share!

I am finally stopping to catch up after the holidays and Hazel's birthday. Today I am going to share some of the details of her two birthday parties. First we always have a family and adult and younger kid party for her birthday. This year we decided on an ice cream theme. I made invitations with My Memories Suite.

Make Ways for Ducklings Turns 75! -- Book Review & More

Disclosure: Penguin Random House gave me a copy of these books free of charge for this review in return for an honest review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation.  As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Ducks have been very important in our lives for the last seven years. Hazel's birth announcements were duck magnets. Then there is Ducky. Who knew her lovey would be a duck? After all this she has loved ducks all of her life. She gets very excited every spring when our spring visitors return to the brook that runs along our back yard.
Hazel has been going out every morning to feed her (and now her mate) as well as check on them after school. It is really exciting for her that the classic book, Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey turns 75 this year! A special version has been put out for this anniversary. It includes the classic book, a CD and a poster.

DIY Wild Kratts Themed Birthday Party -- Product Review

Disclosure: I was sent these items to review free of charge from Oriental Trading. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to the products for your convenience but do not receive anything if you buy from them.

I have been promising a post about our Wild Kratts themed birthday party and here it is. The rest of the week I will be doing posts on New Year Resolutions and products that are helping with mine. But with New Year's come Hazel's birthday party. It is always over Christmas vacation, but this year we decided to have her party with her school friends after the vacation and we discovered many more people come when it is not on vacation!! But first our invitation.

The Perfect Gift for a Child: Personalized books

Disclosure: I See Me! Inc.  gave me a copy of this book and ornament free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Last year I had the pleasure of reviewing a personalized book from I See Me! Inc. Hazel describes Hazel Can Change the World as her favorite book ever!! She often pulls it out just to look at it and now reads it to herself as well as to my parents at story time. (She reads to my parents over the phone almost every night.)

She has literally made paper hearts for all of her classmates because there is a page in it where the brown haired girl gives out hearts to spread love.  I have to say it is one of the best things I have gotten her. Therefore I jumped at the idea of getting another personalized book for her. This year we got My Very Own Fairy Tale by Maia Haag and illustrated by Joyce Patti.

Birthday Party at American Girl Doll Store

So earlier this month Hazel was invited to a friend's birthday party at the American Girl Doll Store Boston. Since the store is at least half an hour away, parents went as well. The party included lunch in the Bistro and having each girl's doll's hair done at the Hair Salon. Hazel of course loved it!! We also thought Nonni (my mother-in-law) would love it, so we made plans for the three of us to go and we figured with my birthday coming up, it would be a fun birthday party. Nonni wanted to splurge for the birthday party option in the Bistro. 

Lunch at the Bistro includes your choice of a starter and the main meal as well as a beverage. The non-birthday party price is $7.50 for a child and $16.00 for an adult. The child gets to bring a doll (or two and they do not have to be American Girl brand) and they have high chairs for the dolls. If a child does not have a doll, they have some to borrow. The dolls get a mug and saucer which the girls get to bring home. For the birthday party, the birthday person gets a special crown and all the dolls get a crown. Plus they bring out a cake and sing to the birthday person. Then they serve the cake with vanilla ice cream. The birthday person gets the leftover cake.  Each child gets a goody bag which differ for different ages, but the young girls includes a celebration tee shirt for the doll, a balloon for the doll and a book and stickers, plus a doll size American Girl shopping bag. The prices for the birthday party are $30 for a child and $20 for an adult. We drove one of the other friends (it was all girls from Hazel's class plus the birthday girl's older sister). The friend we drove did not have an 18-inch doll yet, so we had her borrow one of Hazel's. She picked Mimi. Hazel brought her Hazel doll. 

Now the hair prices range from $10 to $25, but most of the styles are $20 or $25. Having seen what they did and heard advice a few of the stylists gave about the dolls hair, I decided this was something I could do on Hazel's dolls. Her oldest 18-inch doll, Barbie, had a mess of hair. I considered having the hair salon deal with it, but after seeing several posts about how to fix doll hair, I decided to give it a go. I used the tips from All Things with a Purpose: Fix American Girl Doll's Hair Without a Trip to the Doll Hospital. However we had bought the American Girl doll hair brush after the birthday party and I found it did not work well. It broke very easily. However I had a cat brush that was made with metal and love that one. The cats hated it so I don't use it on them. I found soaking the dolls hair when it is really messy and then brushing it out works. I had to resoak Barbie's a couple of times to get right, but it worked. Then I was able to copy the styles they would do to Hazel's dolls. I convinced Hazel that we did not need to spend $25 on a doll's hair and we could instead buy baby clothes to make doll clothes.
I took a selfie for the first time!
Well when you book a birthday party, they send you invitations and thank you notes for the number you say. (They ask you for the largest number of people who will be attending when you book it.) Needless to say, we did not use these. When we were seated they gave both Hazel and me a sticker saying "It's my special day!" and gave me the crown, which Hazel of course wanted to wear. The napkin rings are hair elastics with a pink bow. I put Hazel's and Nonni's on Hazel's pigtails and put my hair up since I forgot to bring an elastic for my hair. Hazel also insisted on bringing all four of her 18-inch dolls. (None of them are American Girl dolls and I have explained to her that all four together cost less than one American Girl doll, so she has decided she would rather have more dolls than a brand one.) 

Hazel brought Hazel and Barbie and she dressed Hazel in the Dolly & Me dress that matched her own. They actually were perfect because the matched the crowns as well. Nonni got to bring Emily a BFC, Ink doll and I got Mimi. Now Hazel and Mimi are Madam Alexander dolls (one from KMart and one from Kohl's post Christmas sale), and I actually like their faces better than the American Girl dolls' plus I love that their chest and shoulders are plastic and not cloth like the American Girl dolls (and Barbie). Hazel of course wanted pictures of her with each pair of dolls. She also was excited that she got four mugs and saucers for the dolls.
We had a lovely lunch. Then it was time for cake. While waiting for the cake, Nonni took our picture, and look I get to wear my crown! I should note that Nonni hates having her picture taken, so she will not be pictured in this post. She does not let me take one usually.

The waitress came with a friend and the cake and sang to me.

Hazel and I blew out the candles and took a picture of the top of the cake. The cake is two layers--one white and one chocolate. They then took the cake and brought us each a slice and a dish of ice cream. The dishes look like small flower pots and each one has a fake daisy in it as well.

I also asked them to give pieces of the cake to the mother and daughter eating next to us since they were not celebrating a birthday and the tables were really close together. We still came home with half the cake. Since it was good cake, we didn't mind and Steve was happy to help eat it. I didn't take a picture of the sliced cake, but here is the fruit kabob starter that Hazel got (and most of the girls at the friend's birthday party). The yogurt was served in the same flowerpot dish with daisy as the ice cream.

We stuck the daisy in Hazel's pigtails and my pony tail. Hazel did not get the yogurt due to her dairy intolerance and instead got an extra fruit kabob. They also gave her raspberry sorbet instead of vanilla ice cream.

After lunch we took a picture of Hazel with her Hazel doll and then she wanted one of me and Mimi. She took this one.

Then we went to show Nonni the Hair Salon and all the dolls and accessories. Nonni of course had to buy Hazel something. After the struggle of getting her to chose one or two things, Nonni saw the price of the two things and decided it would be better to buy just one of the expensive things Hazel loved. She bought her Isabelle's Studio. I explained to both of them that this would be Hazel's Christmas and birthday gifts from Nonni. Hopefully Nonni will stick with it though she never does.
Hazel is loving it and has her Hazel doll sewing all the time now. In fact her (the doll's) sleeping bag is next to the studio so she doesn't have to go far. The only thing Hazel thought it was missing was a pencil to go with the sketch book. This brings us to our craft for today. I made Hazel a doll pencil from a bamboo skewer. I painted the tip black and left some wood color and then painted above it yellow for the pencil. Then I cut it off. After the paint dried I glued on a dot of pink foam and tried to make it look somewhat like an eraser.

Hazel took it for her Hazel doll as soon as she saw it. Before we left the American Doll Store however we got some pictures of the two Hazels with Isabelle.

We had to do it with and without the crowns.

Tomorrow I will share some more doll crafts and some Dollar Tree doll finds. 

For more doll ideas check out:

Mei-Mei's Lucky Birthday Noodles Book Review

Have you entered my current giveaway yet?
Disclosure: Tuttle Publishing gave me a copy of these books free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.

Today I get to review a wonderful book that is being released later this summer. The book is called Mei-Mei's Lucky Birthday Noodles written by Shan-Shan Chen. The book has beautiful illustrations by Heidi Goodman. I find all the books  from Tuttle Publishing so beautifully put together in the stories, illustrations and quality. It is rare that I call books beautiful, but these books really are.

This wonderful story is about Mei-Mei and her birthday. Her day starts by her going into her parents' bedroom to wake them up. They immediately wish her a happy birthday. They both talk about how her birthday is an extra special day since it was the day they were able to bring her home from China. As parents who adopted this young girl this day meant so much to them and you can feel their love for her through the story. Mei-Mei asks her mother about making her lucky birthday noodles. Her parents have been trying to keep some of her Chinese traditions so Mei-Mei will know them. One is making lucky birthday noodles. Mei-Mei and her mother get to work chopping and cooking. There are mushrooms, green onions, carrots and bok choy to chop. The beef has to be sliced. Then the wok is pulled out to start the cooking. 

Mei-Mei asks questions about many things having to do with the noodles and her mother is able to tell her some of the Chinese cultural beliefs. As a result the reader learns them as well. This story is a wonderful book for someone wanting to learn about the Chinese culture as well as a book for any child who is adopted. The book ends with a recipe to make the lucky birthday noodles. We of course had to try the recipe. I made it for dinner the other night. Hazel was too busy enjoying her wading pool to help. (Our air conditioner was broken, so she needed to cool off anyway.) It was an easy recipe and both Steve and I loved it. Hazel thought it had too many vegetables and I think she really meant too much bok choy, which she does not like. She however loved the beef that was in it.

And yes, Hazel and I ate the noodles with chopsticks to make it truly a Chinese experience. This amazing book is being released on August 26th. You can pre-order it at Tuttle, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.

For more Chinese books, crafts, etc. check out:

Minnie Mouse Party Foods and Activities -- The Details

Since the my post the other day became so long with sharing our decorations, I thought today I would share the details of what we served and what the kids played. Let's start with the cake since every birthday party needs a cake. Our cake was the strawberry cake we have made for most of Hazel's parties. The original recipe is found at Confections of a Foodie Bride. I have made changes over the past couple of years. At some point I will have to actually write down my changes and post about them. We made an eight-inch round cake and three small round cakes. I bought these pans at Joann Fabrics with a coupon for the ears.  We bought a container of chocolate frosting since black frosting is hard to come by and has so many chemicals for colors. 

Minnie Mouse Party & Decoration Product Review

 Disclosure: I was sent the decorations to review free of charge from Oriental Trading. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I added links to the particular products for your convenience, but not for any compensation.

So yesterday was the Minnie Mouse Half Birthday Party. Hazel had a blast. Now we spent a lot of time getting ready for this party and have posted many DIY ideas already. We also received five items from Oriental Trading that we used for the party. A few weeks ago we shared our Minnie Pinata and the black streamers we used to make it.

Minnie Mouse Birthday Party--DIY Decorations

For Hazel's half birthday party, I have some store bought Minnie Mouse decorations and some from Oriental Trading to review that Hazel picked out. However, I wanted to keep costs down and make some of our own. I have seen so many fun ideas online and have been pinning them to my Minnie Mouse Party Pinterest Board. I loved the idea of making Minnie head decorations from styrafoam balls. The first time I saw this was on The NY Melrose Family's Minnie Mouse Centerpieces. We did this. I glued them and Hazel painted them black. After the paint dried, I stuck a lollipop stick into each one.

Minnie Mouse Party Food

 So the party is this weekend and we finally figured out what to serve. Our menu includes:
  • Minnie's Bow-tique Pasta
  • Mickey's Meatballs
  • Hot Diggety Dog Hot Dogs
  • Oh, Toodles! Pizza
  • Daisy's Garden Vegetables and Donald's Dips
  • Goofy's Grapes and Fruit Bow-quet
  • Minnie's Bow-tique Fruit Bows
  • Minnie's Pink Polka-Dot Punch
  • And of course a Minnie Cake!

DIY Pin The Bow On Minnie Mouse Game

We have been working on final things for the Minnie Mouse party. It is this weekend! Today among other things, I made the Pin a Bow on Minnie Mouse game. Hazel really wants to play this one! To make it, I used a piece of black poster board, a white piece of paper and some polka-dot cardstock (I found it at Target). I used a large bowl and a small/medium bowl to make the head and a yellow-green colored pencil to show up on the black poster board. On the back of the poster board I traced the large circle bowl. Then I put the small bowl roughly where I wanted an ear and I had it overlap the large circle just a bit and traced it. Then I put it on the other side for the other ear. Once I got it how I liked it, I cut it out.

DIY Easy Minnie Mouse and Mickey Mouse Cake Plates & Free Food Label Printables

So when I bought all the Minnie Mouse stuff on clearance I did not get cake plates. I had pink cake plates we could use and Hazel was willing, however I kept seeing plates with ears on them as I researched for ideas. I realized how easy it would be to make them. I bought a pack of black cake plates at the Dollar Tree. Supplies to make the Mickey Mouse plates is just a pack of plates, black construction paper (two large sheets gave me enough ears for sixteen plates), a 3-inch circle punch and a glue stick.

I decided to use glue stick instead of craft glue so there would not be excess on the plates. To make Minnie Mouse plates you also need pink polka-dot paper (I found a pack of bright polka dot paper at Target--it was the only place I could find any) and scissors. I used the free jpg of bows at The Lovebugs Blog: Lovebug's Bow-tique Birthday Party.  Since I got them as a jpg, I was able to shrink the size for the plates. I am providing the new size of bows, but go check out her site for other great printables!! Here are the bows I used.

To make the plates, just punch two ears for each plate. I folded my large construction paper in half and did both sheets at a time so I got enough for two plates each time. Take two circles and put a little glue on one edge. Then glue to plate in appropriate places. Hold for a few seconds since it takes a bit of pressure to get the glue stick to stick. Let dry and do the next one. These will give you Mickey Mouse cake plates.

Mickey Mouse Cake Plate
(Sorry for the poor quality picture. My camera is acting funny!!) To make Minnie Mouse print out the bows using the template shared above on your bow paper and then put a small amount of glue stick on the back bottom edge of the bow and hold in place on the plate. You could also glue a ribbon bow on, but this would take longer and seeing how they are cake plates that will end up being messy and thrown away, I didn't think it was worth the expense or time.

I think they look cute and Hazel loves them! Since we are talking cake plates, I thought I would share our food labels with you as well. I will explain the food that goes with them in another post. I gave Hazel the choice of two types. I am providing you with both!  Just click picture for each type.
Food Labels Using Characters and Clip Art Found On-Line
Mickey & Minnie Mouse Food Labels
To make the Minnie Food Labels, I added bows again. I used the same template, but slightly larger. You can find them here.

So that is our newest installment of our Minnie Mouse Birthday Party series! For more posts check out:

DIY Minnie Mouse Pinata & Free Party Activty Sign Printables

Disclosure: I was sent the black jumbo streamers to review free of charge from Oriental Trading. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review.

Mickey and Minnie Mouse Tote Bag Craft

So for Hazel's actual birthday party we had received these wonderful yellow tote bags from Oriental Trading for us to review. Our plan had been for guests to make handprint flamingos on them, however the guests did not want to, so we still had many of the bags. I thought they would be great favors and we could paint Mickey and Minnie Mouse heads on them. My original idea was to get a large sponge and cut it in the shape of a Mickey Mouse head, however I could not find a sponge large enough. Then I thought of the bottom of cups or plates or jars. I tried a few and asked Hazel which size she liked best.

DIY Mickey and Minnie Mouse Ears and Free Printable Party Signs

Our next craft for the Minnie Mouse themed upcoming party is ears of course. I tried to make ears last year before we went to Disney World. However they came out floppy. I decided to go back and figure out what I did wrong. I followed the tutorial at The Suburban Mom: How to Make Mickey Minnie Mouse Ears for a Party. She provides a free downloadable pattern. I used this pattern with some adjustments. I found the space between the two circles was too big for the size headband I used. I folded my pattern a bit to shrink it. This definitely helped in getting them to stand up. I also used the foam this time. I used two pieces of sticky foam and I used my 3-inch punch to make the circles instead of her pattern (which is a 3-inch circle).