Friday, March 16, 2018

Shoe Storage for the Laundry Room (and inexpensive too)

Hi there!

After my last post about our daughter's birthday party, I wasn't sure what I would blog about next. A lot of the spaces in our home are "done" and I don't have any big reveals planned. I do have a few ideas of posts for the future of little projects, but after over 3 years of living in our home, there won't be any huge reveals (unless we hit the lottery or something...haha).  

However, today I do want to share a good shoe storage option we recently have been using in our laundry room.

To really appreciate the organization, I'll share what we were using as shoe storage before all this.

Our old cube storage was clearly not functional anymore (it had been a good 7 year run) and was breaking in a few spots. 
I originally thought I would just get another one and ended up buying Target's Room Essential storage brand, thinking we would use it. BUT...

then my oldest daughter and I, one afternoon after dance class, ran some errands at Wal-Mart next door. We decided to peruse the storage section and stumbled upon their Better Homes and Garden line. Now, I don't know about you, but I have actually been pretty impressed with their stuff. We've bought a few home items from that line and once I saw their shoe storage options, I thought we'd give it a try.

Good bye old broken shoe storage!!

We ended up buying 2 of these BH&G's boxes for 3 reasons:

1. We wanted plenty of storage for our shoes (preferably more than what we had before)
2. They are stackable which gives added height to this space and more cubbies to place our shoes. 
3. The price ($20 each)

Even in buying two of these guys, we saved $20 over Target's cubbies, so I ended up returning that one.

Our laundry room is now looking a bit more organized!

Our girls boots even fit in the cubbies which ended up being an added bonus! 

So I'd say if you are on the hunt for some shoe storage that not only looks nice but it pretty inexpensive, take a look at BH&G's selection at Wal-Mart. It won't disappoint! 

FYI- in no way am I being paid by Wal-Mart for this post. I just wanted to happily share an inexpensive option for shoe storage. :)

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

A Mario & Princess Peach Birthday Party

Two weeks ago, our Lydia turned 5! To celebrate with friends, we threw her a themed birthday party last weekend at her request- A Mario and Princess Peach Party! Our girl loves games and playing Mario with Daddy, so it seemed fitting that she would choose that as the theme for her party.

We had quite the corral of kids in attendance, so I tried to be careful with how I posted pictures of folks. Regardless, we wanted to make this a special celebration for her to share with friends and it was fun to watch her and her little friends enjoy themselves.
I didn't want to go overboard with the decor, but I did want to have fun with it. After all, this was the first birthday party we've done for her. In the past, we always just celebrated at home as a family. But this year, we wanted to invite her friends over to share this special day.

To keep costs down, we bought inexpensive paper plates in coordinating colors for the theme- red, pink, and yellow. 

The "ice power" food = marshmallows. The "fireballs" = Utz cheeseballs. Both were a huge hit with the kids. We also had "Princess Peach Punch" which was just lemonade and we ordered 5 large pizzas.

The centerpieces were made with faux flowers Lydia picked out at Wal-Mart along with felt Mario and Luigi mustaches we made on a wooden stick. Those were fun!
The Mario coins were purchased at Party City and each kid got to take one home. The tablecloth ended up being a good idea for all the spills and crumbs we had! ;)

Big sis, Tess, drew the characters from Mario. I was impressed with her drawings and she proudly displayed them in the dining room herself.

The yellow question box was made out of a basic cardboard box simply wrapped in yellow streamers (one packet of that stuff goes a long way for sure). The girls helped me add question marks to the box to complete the look.

 Princess Peach :)

Can you spot Princess Peach? At first, it was tough finding Princess Peach anything to decorate for the party. A week before the party date, my husband and Lydia were out at Wal-Mart and found (of all places) a Princess Peach magnet. She was pretty thrilled with that, so we were able to use it to decorate her cupcakes.
The mushroom cupcakes didn't turn out as I expected, but the kids didn't seem to mind at all! Phew! We added white chocolate chips to the top and pictures of Lydia to almost every one. :)

Each party bag had a little something extra along with the candy from the pinata inside.
The mushroom clothespins were fun to make! Lydia helped me glue each mushroom to the clothespin. It was such a fun little detail!
And the little white circles were created using left-over paper from our 3-ring hole punch.

I let the girls decorate the balloons to make them look like the ghosts in the Mario game. 

Ah the pinata! So fun to make and always such a big hit with the kids. Everyone who wanted a turn got one and the last kid to hit it knocked all the candy out! Awesome!!

I didn't take many pictures of the other game, which was "Find Yoshi's Eggs." I hid 30 plastic eggs in our backyard along with ONE golden "Yoshi" egg. Whomever found the golden egg got a little prize at the end (a Mario Pez with candy and a mini bubblegum dispenser key chain). Both of those gifts can be found at 5 Below near the check-out aisle, in case anyone wants to know. ;)

Big sis taking her turn with the pinata while little brother hangs with Ms. Sue :)

Before the party came to an end, Lydia opened her gifts from our guests. Kids love to crowd around each other during this time. I bet it's fun for them to see what she got!

As far as costs go, here is an idea of how we saved:
We re-used most of the streamers from big sis' birthday as well as other decor items, bought most of our supplies at Dollar Tree and Wal-Mart and kept the theme simple by using solid colors. Decor was about $50, which at first I thought was a bit too much. But then when I looked up the cost of having a birthday party somewhere else- it was $150 just to book a place (and that was on the cheaper end of things)! When you add food and decor on top of all that, some of the prices sky-rocketed to $275. For some, paying that high cost is fine because they don't have to worry about set-up and clean-up, but I'm glad we chose to celebrate at our house. Plus, we will be able to re-use some of the decor to decorate our home, like the flowers we purchased.

Overall, this was such a fun day! The weather was good with clear skies and sun. Even though it was cold outside, the kids were still able to play games and run around.

So happy we got to celebrate this special day for you, Lydi-bug! You are a joy to many!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Happy Birthday, Lydibug!! The Big 5!!!

Little Lady,

Happy 5th birthday to you! 

You are the girl with a bubbly personality who loves big. You inspire me to be a better person and mother because of this and because of the way you view life and relationships. 

You have this God-given gift to see people the way they want to be seen. You greet everyone with a smile and a "hello!" which makes people feel like they've known you for a while. It's a gift that I admire about you and I love to watch you use it to make others feel loved. 

You are a Daddy's girl at heart and enjoy spending precious time with him when you can. I love watching the two of you interact. It brings me great joy knowing you look up to him because he is a great man.

You dearly love your sister and brother. And although little brother shows little patience with you sometimes, you barely let it upset you.  You give him space when he needs it and forgive fiercely.

I really admire how you love big, Lydibug. I have this strong feeling that once you start kindergarten, you will have no trouble at all forming fast friendships with your peers and being the girl that some will look up to. And while I'm not wishing that time to go quickly, I do look forward to watching you grow, learn, love God and love people. 

Happy, happy birthday sweet one! You are an amazing gift!!

I love you!

Here's a throwback picture of you with some of the people you love the most. Too sweet not to share. 

Oh how time flies!