A Crafty Superhero Party

19 Feb

As I mentioned last week, we had our very first kid birthday party for Jack over the weekend. We’ve gotten out of it for the last few years by going on a family weekend to Great Wolf Lodge, but now that Jack is in kindergarten he insisted on having a party.

Over the past few months, he’s been invited to his friend’s parties and we’ve done everything from going to a trampoline center to a place full of blow up houses. When it came time to plan Jack’s party… HOLY CRAP did I have some sticker shock. So, I did a little searching around and found a winner at Michael’s.

And before I go further, this is NOT a sponsored post. I just really enjoyed our experience at Michael’s and wanted to tell you all about it!

We have a brand new Michael’s that just opened up the road from us and they have their own craft party room available. They offer a “themed party” for $120 which covers a party for up to 8 guests and includes all the craft supplies needed, paper invitations and thank you notes, a party bag for the birthday boy, a team member to lead craft activities and use of their crafting classroom.

Of course, we wore our favorite superhero shirts…

I really liked that we could bring in our own food and paper goods without an upcharge. So, we ordered pizzas and cupcakes for everyone! And I mean EVERYONE. One of my pet peeves is when you go to a kid’s birthday party and there is only pizza for the kids – meanwhile the grownups are sadly drooling off in a corner. We got plenty of pizza for everyone to enjoy and also lots of extra cupcakes.

We went with a superhero theme and Michael’s provided the crafts: a superhero mask to conceal their true identities, as well as a cape, shield and belt!

Here are a few photos of the kid’s – masked so that their true identities are still secret:

Since it was a superhero party, I wanted to provide some superhero themed stuff for the goodie bags! We did a smaller version for Jack to take to school for his classmates, and then added in some extra candy to the version we gave out at the party.

Included in each: Superhero Sayings Bracelets, Superhero Stickers, Superhero Bubbles and Blue Treat Bags.

We had a great time at the party! Jack and the rest of the kids got all hyped up on cupcakes and basically ran around in their new superhero costumes. And the best part… I didn’t have to clean up the mess!

 

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Jack is 6!

15 Feb

Each year on Valentine’s Day when people are sharing their warm & fuzzies about their significant other, I think back to 6 years ago when I was in labor with Jack. I was at 31 ½ weeks of pregnancy and was desperately trying to keep the kid in my belly. But, my little lover boy was DONE with the whole cooking thing and wanted OUT.

So, on that Valentine’s Day I was sitting in my hospital bed waiting to get a second steroid shot in the hopes that Jack would be born with healthy lungs.

On February 15th at 5:45 am, Jack was born. He weighed 4 pounds, 15 ounces and was 18 inches long. We were able to hold him for about 5 minutes before he was moved to the NICU. You can read his birth story here.

Here we are about 2 minutes after I popped him out:

Jack stayed in the NICU until March 8th. Each day, I’d stare at him though the incubator window and hold his little hand. I was allowed to have him out for about 20 minutes a day, and I looked forward to those 20 minutes all day long.

Fast forward 6 years.

My preemie is 6 years old. So in honor of his birthday, here are 6 things about Jack:

#1 Jack loooooves his mommy. He loves to snuggle with me daily and yesterday morning asked me very formally if I would please be his Valentine.

#2 He had his first wiggly tooth and wiggled that thing daily for almost a month. It finally fell out last night, so he had his first Tooth Fairy visit on his birthday!

#3 Jack is having his very first kid’s birthday party this year. I’ll post all about it next week, but it will be a Superhero craft party and he’s super excited!

#4 Jack is OBSESSED with Legos. He has a huge bin of them on his art table and will sit there for over an hour building his inventions. His favorite TV shows to watch are Johnny Test, and Phineas and Ferb.

#5 Jack also loves pirates, treasure and traps. In fact, most days there is at least one trap somewhere in our house that Travis and I have to try not to trip over

#6 Current favorite foods are cheeseburgers, cheese-its, and marshmallows toasted over the indoor (or outdoor) fire.

Happy Birthday to my kiddo!

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A Better 2018: Stop Hoarding the Good Stuff

13 Feb

Instead of doing specific resolutions for 2018, I’m just trying to make each aspect of my life a little better.

Here’s last month’s post:
A Better 2018: Unfollow the Hate Reads

For this month, I’m going with: Stop Hoarding the Good Stuff.

I have a basket where I keep a bunch of Good Stuff. You know, the really nice hand lotions, fancy sheet masks, expensive shampoo samples, super snazzy candles, etc. I don’t use them. I just keep them and THINK about using them. Because they are fancy, and obviously it needs to be a fancy day if I’m going to spoil myself.

This is dumb.

So, this month I purposely got out the good candles and the fancy-ass face moisturizer and I’m USING IT. That’s right I’m totally USING it on normal days. And it feels so good.

Let’s spoil ourselves together this month!

As an added bonus, I now have more room in my linen closet for the important stuff. Like 865 rolls of toilet paper.

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A Flu Update, My Experience with the ThredUp Clean Out Bag & What I Got With My Payout

12 Feb

Sorry for that totally unintentional blogging break. I was struck down with the flu last Monday and both my body and my brain basically shut down. For the first three days, I pretty much just lay in bed (either overheating or shivering) and stared into space. I couldn’t even read a book. Or watch television. I tried to keep on top of work by checking in a couple times each day, but it literally would take me 20 minutes to write a short email. Jack and Travis also came down sick. It was an absolute mess

I was starting to feel better on Friday, but then suddenly felt a lot worse on Saturday afternoon/evening. So I took myself over to the Express Care for a strep test and lung x-rays, only to find out that I had somehow gotten a virus on top of my virus. Because, of course I would. I’m such an overachiever that my VIRUS is an overachiever!

I’m hopefully on the upswing now and I’m hoping to get back to feeling 100% very, very soon.

Before all this went down, I had planned to talk about my experience with ThredUp’s Clean Out Bag… so let’s get to it!

It had been a really long time since I’ve tried selling to ThredUp. A few years ago I wasn’t impressed with their payout, but I’ve been hearing that people were getting much better payouts nowadays.  I follow some clothing resellers on Instagram and they inspired me to give ThredUp one more try.

I had some donation clothes sitting around, so I decided to order one of their Clean Out kits. Basically, you click on their website to “send me a kit”, which sends you a HUGE ThredUp bag with postage already on it. When ordering there are three choices: a free donation bag for them to donate all my items to charity and give me a tax receipt, a free standard bag where they will pay you for your items, or a $16 expedited bag where they pay you and your bag will be processed within one week of arrival.

I wasn’t in a hurry, so I chose the free standard bag and waited. Once it arrived, I filled my bag with a mix of 12 items: three active hoodies, a few active t-shirts that I never wore, a Vera Bradley coin purse, a Fossil purse, etc. Honestly, nothing in there was super expensive and a couple items were ones that I thrifted.

ThredUp received my bag on January 4th and had an offer to me on January 11th. For some reason they accepted 9 of my items for a flat out payment of $34.37 and then accepted 3 items on a consignment payout. That is less than $4 an item, so I’m certainly not getting rich off this transaction. I was hoping for more, but when it comes down to it I would have donated everything anyways.

If you want to cash out your offer, you need to wait 2 weeks or you can use the money to buy yourself items off the ThredUp site immediatly. Which is totally sneaky of them… because of course you’re going to click around for any deals while you are waiting.

I rarely find anything that I want to buy on ThredUp, so my hopes were not high. However, I stumbled upon a Diane Von Furstenberg maxi wrap dress. It was 100% silk, had a pretty criss-cross back and was a size 12. I did some google sleuthing to figure out whether it fit true to size and found that it was called the Samson Batik Print Maxi Dress and originally sold for $498. ThredUp had it listed for $79.99. I used my credit, so it only cost me $45.62!

It came in soon after and OHMYGOSH, it’s like this dress was made for me. It’s not too small or too big or too long or too short. It’s perfect. At this point I would have included a photo of me in the dress. But… flu. So, here pretend it is on me instead of a skinny model:

Source: Neiman Marcus

 

I actually have a few upcoming events that this dress would be perfect for. My brother and his fiancé are getting married in September. They were sweet enough to ask me to be a bridesmaid, so there are all sorts of fun activities like the bridal shower and rehearsal dinner. Then, my sister and her fiancé are getting married with a wedding cruise in December. Once again, I was asked to be part of the wedding party (as the Matron of Honor!), so there are more bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, cruise dinner occasions on the horizon. Can. Not. Wait!

If you’d like to try ThredUp, you can save $10 off your first order with my special referral code: http://www.thredup.com/r/VE5KAH

Have you tried the ThredUp Clean Out kit? Were you impressed or disappointed with your offer?

 

Disclaimer: Not sponsored. However if you decide to use my referral code, you will receive $10 to spend at ThredUp and so will I. Thank you!

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