A Mickey Mouse-tastic Birthday

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When my daughter came to me asking for a Disney themed birthday party I was not at all surprised. We visited Disneyland for the first time a few months ago and she has literally fallen in love with anything and everything Disney. Who can blame her, after all, it is the most magical place on earth ;).

We narrowed it down to Mickey Mouse from Disney which was great because there is just so much available from party supply stores and even the dollar store with the Mickey Mouse theme.

The following are some photos of what we came up with. Hopefully this will give you a starting point or some inspiration if you are considering a Mickey Mouse party for your child.

Mickey Mouse, Mickey Mouse Birthday Party, Birthday Party Ideas, Mickey Mouse Cake, Mickey Mouse Table Decorations, Mickey Mouse Pinata, Mickey Mouse Goodie Bags, Menchies Bar Birthday, DIY Menchies PartyI painted this Mickey Mouse head on our front window. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out :).

roomIMG_5465Here’s a view from the inside. I just fell in love with these red and white polka dot balloons and bunting!

Mickey Mouse, Mickey Mouse Birthday Party, Birthday Party Ideas, Mickey Mouse Cake, Mickey Mouse Table Decorations, Mickey Mouse Pinata, Mickey Mouse Goodie Bags, Menchies Bar Birthday, DIY Menchies PartyMore polka dots! We made these Mickey Mouse serving platters by attaching two smaller black plates to a bigger one. Easy peasy and the kids thought is was awesome.

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Another angle of the window.

Mickey Mouse, Mickey Mouse Birthday Party, Birthday Party Ideas, Mickey Mouse Cake, Mickey Mouse Table Decorations, Mickey Mouse Pinata, Mickey Mouse Goodie Bags, Menchies Bar Birthday, DIY Menchies PartyThis back drop not only was amazing at helping to create the Mickey Mouse feel but I also used it for one of the party activities. We pulled the table forward and then I held a ‘photo shoot’ with Mickey, the birthday girl and all their friends. It was a lot of fun!

Finding the Magic in Everyday Finding the Magic in Everyday

For the cake, I just baked two regular eight inch rounds and then cut out two circles from one of the rounds for the ears. Simple icing and then edged the cake with these super yummy white and milk chocolate Kit Kat bars. The kids could not wait when they saw it!

Mickey Mouse, Mickey Mouse Birthday Party, Birthday Party Ideas, Mickey Mouse Cake, Mickey Mouse Table Decorations, Mickey Mouse Pinata, Mickey Mouse Goodie Bags, Menchies Bar Birthday, DIY Menchies PartyThis is a cake I did for part of the ‘family’ party we had the next day. But I wanted to show you the pinata that we used for the ‘friend’ party that is in the background. We were all so excited about the Mickey Mouse Pinata but I have to say I was really disappointed with it. As luck would have it the very first string that was pulled was the one that opened the bottom area up for all the candy to fall out. But nothing fell out! Each child had a turn and pulled the ribbons and… nothing. I finally had to grab the pinata and rip the bottom out more and dump the candy out. Then of course the chaos ensued :). I felt the pinata itself did not work as it was supposed to :(. Of course the kids still got the candy so I think they were fine with it, lol.

Mickey Mouse, Mickey Mouse Birthday Party, Birthday Party Ideas, Mickey Mouse Cake, Mickey Mouse Table Decorations, Mickey Mouse Pinata, Mickey Mouse Goodie Bags, Menchies Bar Birthday, DIY Menchies PartyFor the goodie bags I found these neat popcorn type boxes from the dollar store. The kids had the candy from the pinata and we also filled them with a Mickey Mouse themed giant eraser, Mickey and friends pencil, tape and noise maker. The kids also took home one of these Mickey and Friends note books shown in the foreground.

Mickey Mouse, Mickey Mouse Birthday Party, Birthday Party Ideas, Mickey Mouse Cake, Mickey Mouse Table Decorations, Mickey Mouse Pinata, Mickey Mouse Goodie Bags, Menchies Bar Birthday, DIY Menchies PartyOn the second day of birthday celebrating we had some family over for a Menchies Bar Party. My daughter loves Menchies! She is lactose intolerant and this is one of the ice cream/ fro-yo places she can go because they always offer a diary free option. I bot the Fro-yo, Sherbet and a couple of the harder to find toppings at Menchies and found the rest in the bulk section of my local grocery store. This was a ton of fun and I would definitely recommend it. Menchies was really helpful as well!

I hope you enjoyed this post and perhaps picked up an idea or two if you are considering a Mickey Mouse themed Party for your child. If you have any questions or comments you can leave them here or you can also find me on Instagram @theeverydayjournalista.

Hope you are having a Mouse-tastic Day! :)

 

 

Christmas Crafting: Kid Friendly Cornstarch Dough

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Christmas is fast approaching and with it all the fun traditions and activities that make it my favorite time of the year. As I type this, my home is filled with the scent of buttery whipped shortbread baking in the oven. A Christmas tradition in our family for generations and one I fully intend on passing down to my children.

Along with baking, tree decorating, the annual Christmas puzzle, and advent calendars we always end up doing some kind of craft. In the past we have made salt dough ornaments, decorated a special plate for Santa’s cookies with Sharpie and baked it, painted our windows with Christmas cheer and of course written and decorated letters to Santa.

This year my daughter convinced me that we had to make our Christmas craft not to decorate our home but the home of her Barbies in her doll world. She has built this entire town down in the toy room and it would be an understatement to say that she takes this doll ‘world’ very seriously. She spends hours down there creating just the right set up for her ‘girls’.

I partially blame YouTuber My Froggy Stuff for this ;). If you haven’t heard of My Froggy Stuff you should definitely check it out. This mom and daughter team craft up anything you could possibly imagine in doll scale. It’s really impressive.

Anyway… back to the craft at hand. Inspired by My Froggy Stuff we recently tried our hand at cornstarch dough and made some food and home accessories for my daughters’ dolls. The recipe is super simple and you can make just about anything you can think up. We had a lot of fun together making, baking, and decorating these.

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So as I mentioned before, my daughter came to me wanting to make more cornstarch dough, and this time to make some Christmas items for her dolls. She wanted to do a video for her own YouTube channel Happy Puppy and I thought this would be a great family friendly craft post for my blog. So here we are with a “collab-post” between the Happy Puppy and The Everyday Journalista.

Christmas crafts

I’m going to do a brief overview of what we did here and if you want to check out the how-to in more detail you can visit the full video Christmas Crafting with Cornstarch Dough.

 

 

What You Need:

Christmas Crafting, Christmas Craft for Kids, Cornstarch Dough, Kids Crafts, Doll Foods, DIY doll accessories, DIY doll food, The Everyday Journalista, Everyday Journalista,There are only three ingredients, which is great, and it’s stuff you likely have on hand, which again is great!

Cornstarch

Baking Soda

Water

 

What You Do:

  • Mix 1 Tbsp of Cornstarch, 2 Tbsp of Baking Soda, and 1 Tbsp of Water in a microwave safe bowl.
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  • Heat it in the microwave for about 20 seconds.
  • Kneed together into a dough when cool enough to handle.

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  • Store unused portions in a plastic bag while shaping pieces, as it tends to dry out fairly quickly. We just kept wetting our fingers a little bit if the dough started to get a bit dry.
  • Bake in a 175 degree oven for 1 hour
  • Cool
  • Paint or decorate to your hearts content. We used a variety of media to decorate our creations. Paint, nail polish, powder eye-shadow, glitter, Sharpies, ribbon and some tiny twigs. We also used a low temp glue gun to stick the Olaf together :).
Finding the Magic in Everyday Finding the Magic in Everyday
  • You can Mod Podge these at the end as well to increase their longevity. We didn’t bother as my daughter simply couldn’t wait to start playing with them.

This was such a fun and simple project that got our creative juices flowing and gave me a chance to spend some quality time with my daughter. After all, it’s that what Christmas is all about?

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I hope you get a chance to try this out with a special little person in your life this Holiday Season. If you do please share a pic to Instagram and tag me @theeverydayjournalista #everydaychristmas

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My Chalk Paint DIY project

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So excited to share this DIY project with you! It’s funny how opportunities present themselves all the time and it’s up to us to act on those opportunities. This desk project is an everyday example of just that.

One of our neighbors was moving recently and I happened to drive by as they were lugging this huge wooden desk out to the end of their driveway. As I drove past I noticed some other items along with a free sign. Needless to say I quickly turned around and went to chat with my neighbor ;).

We had been talking about moving our home office to another area of the house and just didn’t know how that would work and what we would need in the way of furniture and supplies. This opportunity presented itself and I just knew this was the answer to our home office dilemma. Love it when that happens!

After a fair amount of effort and some bumps to my walls we were able to get the silly thing downstairs in our home (the planned location for our new home office). They sure don’t make things like they used too. This desk weighs a ton!! Turns out that it is an old sewing table. That part in the middle lifts up and back to reveal a surface were the sewing machine used to be. So cool!

The Everyday Journalista, Everyday Journalista, DIY, Chalk paint, chalk paint desk, refinish desk with chalk paint, chalk paint furniture, chalk paint project, desk makeover, Once downstairs this old desk needed a really good wipe down, hence the ugly bucket. It had obviously been sitting for a while.

Finding the Magic in Everyday Finding the Magic in Everyday

As mentioned in the title I chose to use chalk paint to bring this old desk back to life. The great and amazing thing about using chalk paint is that all you have to do to prep the piece is make sure it’s clean. That’s literally it! No sanding! No priming! Before I even started painting I was thinking of all the other projects I could tackle with this incredible product.

So after the desk was wiped clean I simply opened the tin, gave it a good stir and got started with my first coat. I just used a regular paint brush, nothing fancy. The one thing I will mention though is to make sure you apply a thin coat. This paint dries quickly so completing small areas with long smooth strokes is best. The color I chose for the base of the desk is called “Old ’57”, and I absolutely love this color!

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As you can see in the pictures the first coat leaves some of the wood grain showing through. I actually really liked the way this looked… kind of a beach glass kind of look. I really thought about leaving like this but decided to see the process through by adding the second coat.

The second coat was applied in a thin layer as well and did a great job of covering any of the remaining original wood surface. I also used a tiny bit of water on the tip of my brush to smooth out the surface a little more.

Finding the Magic in Everyday Finding the Magic in Everyday

Then came the desk top. I chose to paint the top in a contrasting color called “Layered Chocolate”. My first choice would have been a grey but the room the desk will end up in has wood and brown tones so I went with brown here as well. The only tricky part here is to remember to try to use nice long strokes to keep brush marks to a minimum. The paint dries quite quickly so again tackle small areas at a time.

The final step was to seal the desk with wax. Everything I read prior to doing this project said that having the correct brush for this part is essential. So we did go ahead and purchase the waxing brush and it was very helpful. We used just a small amount of the wax on the brush and then applied that to small areas of the desk at a time. Then followed up by wiping off any access with a dry lint free cloth.  Give it 24 hours and then come back and buff the surface out with another lint free cloth.

I’m not 100% sure we buffed the surface of the desk enough as it was still kind of sticky several days later. With that said it does take almost a full month for the wax to cure so perhaps I just need to give it a bit more time ;).

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And that’s it! My first chalk paint DIY project. A special thanks goes to my hubby for not only helping me get this gigantic piece of furniture into our home but also helping me with the project itself. It was so fun to see the transformation from that old desk to the funky new work-space we now have in our home office. To avoid anything getting lost or stuck in the fold back surface from the old sewing machine we simply placed a piece of glass over it. So far it’s working out great.

Finding the Magic in Everyday Finding the Magic in Everyday
Finding the Magic in Everyday Finding the Magic in Everyday

Now that I’ve got the chalk paint bug who knows what’s next…. I’ve had my eye on my dining room table ;)

As always I would love to hear from you:) Simply click on that little pink speech bubble at the top of the post beside the date and say hello :)

Backyard Makeover – Part One

A few years ago we did a huge update to the main living area of our home. We gutted it down to the two by fours, but that’s a story for another post ;). While they were re-wiring the roof for the new lighting and surround sound they asked if we wanted to put wiring in for speakers outside on our deck. Of course at the time there was no money for speakers (in fact there still isn’t) but we did have them run the wire as they had everything opened up anyway.

This started the conversation about updating our backyard. That was three years ago. At that time we had a pirate ship fort with an anchor (made from PVC pipe) for the kids to swing on, as well as a sandbox for the kids. It was awesome! Unfortunately our neighbors gigantic pine tree overshadowed pretty much our entire backyard, and we never really used it as it was always shady and full of spiders! (yes, I have major issues with spiders).

Last June an arborist friend of ours let us know that this gigantic tree was actually not safe, as it had lost the top 15 feet in a wind storm years prior and had since grown some dangerous and very large off shoots. To make a long story short we had the tree removed and it has totally changed our backyard life!

Finding the Magic in Everyday Finding the Magic in Everyday Finding the Magic in Everyday Finding the Magic in Everyday Finding the Magic in Everyday

 

We started using our backyard and even set up a little pool last summer. It was amazing and we became excited about the possibilities of our ‘new’ backyard space.

As fall rolled around and the pool came down to reveal a huge ‘crop circle’ in our backyard, along with our barely standing fence it was getting difficult to see how we could make our backyard a space we could enjoy. But we started talking about ideas and slowly some sketches and Pinterest idea boards started to take shape.

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Financially we were not able to tackle everything we wanted to do at once so while designing our plans we kept in mind a phasing strategy that would allow us to work on the yard over the next couple of years.

We decided that there was no point in doing anything to the yard itself until we did something about the fence. Our fence was very old and had been pushed out of place in several areas by the roots of the big pine that was previously there.

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My husband along with a friend removed the old fence and then replaced and extended it with beautiful new cedar fencing. I love it! Once this fence went in we could see our vision starting to take shape. It’s so exciting to see hard work and planning pay off.

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Stay tuned more to come soon…

 

 

 

Blooms, Beans & Berries

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With the warm weather in full swing I have another full time job added to my schedule. It’s called ‘The Yard’. The grass and along with it the weeds are growing like crazy, plants need trimming, flower beds need mulching, and my veggie garden needs planting. Don’t get me wrong I love working in the yard, it’s one of those instant gratification type chores, but it’s a lot of work and seeing as everything is continually growing, it never ends!

So today I thought I would share some photos of some of the beauty I am finding around my yard right now. These make all the work worth while.

 

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I have also started the garden and I am excited for what we will create this season. I have decided to go with a patio type garden this year as we are renovating our backyard at the moment and it’s just no place for growing plants right now :)

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The top picture is spinach and radish that I planted from seed. These are great for kids to grow as these literally germinated in 4 days!

Following that is a little hodge-podge planter made up of two peppers, a little plant of alysum I had left over from the planter above and some pineapple parsley. I had never heard of this type of parsley before but as soon as my daughter smelled it she insisted that we had to bring it home. I’m thinking it could be great in some iced tea :).

Next we have our cute dog Kai hanging out beside my herb planter. I am so thrilled with this! I have already been able to use this a fair bit and I only planted it two weeks ago. It contains chives, dill, oregano, and Italian parsley. Really handy.

Finally, I have some strawberries. You can never go wrong with these and they come back year after year. My deck is large and gets lots of sun so I think my plants will be happy there. I guess only time will tell ;).

Along with all I have shown here I have also planted beans, tomatoes and a cucumber. There is just something so rewarding about growing your own food! I will keep you posted on the gardens progress.

A Frozen Birthday: Planning My 8-Year Old’s Dream Party

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Before I had children I thought of how awesome it would be to create these memorable parties for them each year. These parties would be so special and my kids would in turn feel special on their big day. So with that vision in mind, starting from their very first birthdays, my kids have always had a special birthday ‘event’. These are hosted in our home and everything is done/made by me. I started out thinking this was a more cost effective way to have a birthday, but over the years I’ve become more and more skeptical of that line of thinking, LOL.

Anyway, in January my daughter turned 8, and like almost every little girl I know right now, she wanted a Frozen themed birthday party. We have all been absolutely bombarded with merchandise from this movie but you’ve got to admit it’s a great movie!

I always start the party planning process by meeting with my client (kids usually have a very clear vision of what they would like). Of course I can’t always do everything but I do my best to create the feeling that they are looking for.

For this party my daughter wanted Elsa (because it’s all about her powers!), Anna, and Olaf. She wanted things to look icy and she wanted to have Frozen games and food and of course a cake with Elsa and her castle. No small order, but with planning and a lot of creativity I managed to put off what my daughter described as her best birthday ever! I’ll take that as a win any day <3.

Next I look for inspiration… enter Pinterest. This resource has literally changed my life and for events like this it becomes an invaluable tool. Things I found on Pinterest inspired almost everything I did for this party. Having said that I definitely added my own spin on things usually because of cost restrictions or supply issues. Check out My Pinterest Here to see my pins for this party and more!

DECORATIONS:

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I start off by painting the focus of the theme on our big front window. Now my daughter wanted Elsa but there are limits to my freehand creative abilities so she settled for Olaf :).

Next I wanted it to seem like it was snowing. I used a low heat glue gun and glued cotton balls onto fishing line and then hung them from the ceiling. I mixed those in with a bunch of other spiral and fan type white hanging decorations to create a winter wonderland feeling.

Then I stuck a blue tablecloth from the Dollar Store along one of my walls (No I didn’t mark my walls with tape or tacks I just used the natural static from the plastic, it was awesome!). In front of that I layered life-sized printed figures of Anna, Elsa, and Olaf. Finally we used some of the Frozen toys my daughter already had as little feature spots around the room along with her big Frozen castle.

FOOD:

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Kristoff’s Ice Cubes

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For the party treats I took typical kid party fare and gave it a Frozen spin by naming them various things from the movie. The kids loved it!

Olaf Noses – Cheezies

Olaf Arms – Pretzel Sticks

Kristoff’s Ice Cubes– Jello Cubes

“We Finish Each Others” Sandwiches – Tea Sandwiches (cream cheese and cucumber, PB&J)

Frozen Water – Blue Raspberry drink mix and 7Up

Anna’s Frozen Hearts – Strawberries dipped in White Chocolate

Snowballs – Powdered Timbits (little donut balls from our local coffee shops)

GAMES:

Pass Olaf: A Frozen take on hot potato. I had the kids sit in a circle then I played music and the kids passed the Olaf toy around the circle. Whoever was holding Olaf when the music stopped got a treat. Of course the music stopped for everyone ;).

Photoshoot: With Anna, Elsa, and Olaf figures. This was a blast. I took photos of each guest with the birthday girl and then the entire group. They loved it, although the spots beside Elsa were tough to get, LOL.

Wanna Build a Snowman: For this I used a sectioned bowl and filled it with chocolate chips (eyes), candy corn (nose), large marshmallows (body), small marshmallows (arms/feet), stick pretzels (arms/hair). Then I let the kids at it. They built Olaf at first and then it moved into snow dogs and snow girls. When I saw this on Pinterest and thought they would never stay together, so I included the icing and toothpicks’ for the kids, and it worked out great!

Freeze Dance: This is a classic and the kids always love it. It’s simple, I blasted the theme song form the movie; “Let it go”, and the kids danced around. When the music stopped they had to ‘freeze’. I mixed it up a bit by telling them to freeze in an animal pose or with their funniest face… the options are endless and very entertaining, LOL.

CAKE:

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I found this amazing idea for making candy that looks like ICE and then using it to decorate the cake. It wasn’t perfect, mine came out just a bit sticky but it was just fine for the purpose of decorating the cake. Then I just added an Elsa clip doll and we ended up with a great little Frozen cake.

GOODIE BAGS:

Frozen trinkets from the Dollar Store ie: lip balm, pencil, eraser, Frozen zipper pencil case. We also made GAK.

Sorry this post is so long. There was just so much I wanted to share :)

I would love to hear if you decide to try any of these ideas. When you see the magic in your children’s eyes when they see their ‘dream’ party, it makes it all worth while.

 

 

 

 

 

My Old Curling Iron Gets A Makeover

As you are sure to find out if you visit my blog regularly I am an avid follower of beauty YouTubers. Recently I was watching a video posted by Kandee Johnson. She posted a video about how to turn an old curling iron into a curling wand (insert sound of my mind being blown here!). I was so excited about this!! Yes it’s often the little things in life that bring me joy.

When I got my first straightening iron years ago my curling irons basically became obsolete overnight. But for whatever reason I could never quite part with all of them and so I have had this old curling iron kicking around for probably the last 10 years or so.

But even though I have hung onto my old iron for all this time, honestly I never expected to do anything with it. The iron Kandee used looked fairly new, so as impressed as I was with the idea and her clever transformation on it, I was skeptical that I would have the same success with my old “cheapy” iron. After going on a little hunt to track down that old iron I decided to give this re-use idea a try.

Basically it’s really quite simple:

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All you need is of course your old curling iron and a screwdriver.

 

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Remove the screw from each side of the clamp part of the iron.

 

Remove the screw from each side of the clamp part of the iron.
Remove the screw from each side of the clamp part of the iron.

 

The spring should then just slip out easily, and literally that is it.
The spring should then just slip out easily, and literally that is it.

 

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You now have a trendy new curling wand.

 

But does it work?

As I mentioned my iron was quite old and not very high end, so getting tight ringlets would be out of the question. You can see though that I managed to get some soft beachy waves and I was really quite happy with the results.

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So for me this was a win-win. I got to recycle an old item and make it new again and I have a new beauty tool for my hair. It’s all good!

If you decide to give this idea a try please let me know how you make out. I would love to hear all about itJ.

Here’s a link to Kandee’s video if you want to check it out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hz9JFik7kvs.

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