Motherhood In Progress

Exploring the growth, learning and progress of motherhood

Motherhood In Progress - Exploring the growth, learning and progress of motherhood

Circus Birthday Party

Please note that some links included in this post are affiliate links, so if you make a purchase I may receive payment (which then helps support this blog)

circus
Recently I threw my little one a circus birthday party. Since most of her little friends are actually boys I decided to keep away from the princess theme party ideas and do something that could appeal to everyone. It actually turned out to be a pretty party to plan since I could purchase a few key accessories, food and decor items, carry the theme throughout the party with primary colors of red, yellow and blue (and of course red and white circus stripes), and the food was super easy to prepare since I went with carnival style food. I will admit, going with carnival food is definitely not the healthiest of options though.

The menu consisted of:

  • Hot dogs (served in carnival style paper trays)
  • Pop corn (served in red and white carnival style boxes)
  • Soft Pretzels
  • Nachos and cheese
  • Sliced apples and caramel dipping sauce (in lieu of giant caramel apples)
  • A veggie tray since I felt like I HAD to have something healthy still.

For dessert and take home treats:

  • Small individually bagged cotton candy
  • Animal crackers in circus theme boxes
  • Homemade vanilla cake (decorating instructions below) plus a polka dot smash cake for the little one!

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I did a lot of shopping to try and find a bakery with a cute circus style cake but didn’t find anything that was quite what I wanted so I decided to do my own decorating.  Now, I’m not the best at cake frosting so I kept the actual frosting simple with plain white.  To decorate I added polka dot candy confetti.  I created a circus tent and flags out of scrapbook paper.  The flag banner was made by gluing the smaller flags to string and tying between two wood skewers (like you find to make kabobs) A few plastic figurines of animals you might find at a circus completed the look.

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Decorating was a snap once I discovered IKEA sells small play tents.  They’re only priced around $19 (I actually found one in an open package so it only cost me $12)  I figured a decoration that could actually be kept after the party as a creative play item made a terrific centerpiece!

A few other theme ideas

  • I bought red and white striped tablecloth covers and hung a large strip on the wall for a photo booth backdrop.  I placed a bin of props like clowns wigs, funny glasses and more for a fun photo booth area.
  • Large blow up circus animals served as decorations and could be taken home by kids as party favors.
  • Since this party had plenty of toddlers we kept the games simple. An easy bean bag toss game was set up that even the tiniest baby could waddle up to and knock over.  The older boys however still had fun whipping bean bags at the cans from as far across the room as they could. Punch balloons served as decorations and a fun toy for some of the kids too.
  • Other game ideas might be a ring toss, carnival style rubber ducky pond, balloon burst, or a good old fashioned cornhole toss.  Make the games even more fun by having participants win tickets they can cash in for little prizes.

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Here’s a few other shopping ideas to carry out the circus party theme:

Paper Carnival Photo Booth Stick Props

Red/White Striped Tablecloth Roll

6 Inflatable ZOO ANIMALS/JUNGLE/Safari PARTY DECOR/Elephant/TIGER/LION/ZEBRA/MONKEY/GIRAFFE/INFLATES/DECORATIONS/PARTY FAVORS

Fisher Price Circus 1st Birthday High Chair Decorating Kit First Party Supplies

Welcome Sign Banner Party Accessory

Barnum’s Animals Crackers, 2.125 Oz (Packaging May Vary)

Plastic Carnival Can Bean Bag Toss Game (6 pc)
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Halloween Party Decorating Ideas

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links

It’s one of my favorite times of year to celebrate.  One of my suggestions to make party planning easy, yet still time incredibly visually effective is to set a specific scheme and color coordinate! Haunted house tour, favorite murder mystery re-enactment, pumpkin party…there are so many exciting possibilities and Celebrate Express has what it takes to supply them all!

The following party idea pairs orange and black, with small touches of white. Carrying the theme across the paper products, food and more really makes everything pop visually.
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There’s a great deal going on right now which can give you some savings on all that Halloween Decorating (then you can spend it on some extra candy, right?)


Other themes party looks:
Black Orange Halloween Party Supplies
Frightfully Fancy Halloween Party Supplies
Halloween Spooky Boots Party Supplies

 

Superheroes vs. Villains Halloween Costume Ideas at BuyCostumes

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links

When you were little did you love to play the hero for Halloween or the Villian?  This Halloween, you can choose to do either with costumes and accessories at BuyCostumes.

BuyCostumes has everything a family needs to bring out the best (or the worst) for Halloween. s! Or have a little fun and pair up with the family next door and duke it out on the streets of your neighborhood—one family good, the other the ultimate clan of evil.

Dark or light, hero or scoundrel… whichever calls your name, BuyCostumes has got you covered. Here are a few ideas from both sides to give you some inspiration:
BuyCostumes Halloween Costumes

My idea for a fun costume pairing…You could always pair up with your favorite pal to show both sides of the force!
Star Wars Yoda Deluxe Child CostumeStar Wars Darth Vader Dog Costume

Fall in to Green Living

Thank you to e-cloth® for allowing me to try their new Flexi-Edge Floor and Wall Duster and Deep Clean Mop to facilitate this review and giveaway and solving one of my household dilemmas!

My daughter has reached the crawling stage and is majorly on the move all over the house.  This is exciting, but I fight a daily battle getting the floors and house clean enough that I feel comfortable with our daughter crawling around everywhere.  So many mops and systems I’ve used just don’t seem to clean deep enough or leave a grimy film on the floor.  I also refuse to use harsh chemicals to clean my floors, walls and other surfaces of my home.  I was on the lookout for a green cleaning idea that actually got the job done.

I was contacted by e-cloth® to see if I wanted to review their e-cloth for pets line.  I was told their “aim is to supply the most effective, healthiest and most environmentally-friendly cleaning system available at a good value to the consumer.”  They instantly had me intrigued by those words “environmentally friendly”  After checking out their product line I realized they had an entire range of cleaning products and was immediately excited that I might have found a solution to  my cleaning problems.   I let the representative I was communicating with know about my dilemma and instead of the products for pets they sent me the brand new Flexi-Edge Floor and Wall Duster and Deep Clean Mop.  I waited for the mail crossing my fingers that I could finally have a house I thought was actually, truly clean.  I was so glad they came quickly!

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On top of the normal dirt and grime that floors collect, we happen to have two cats and we also live right near the woods.  This means we have an incredibly excessive amount of pine needles, leaves, dirt and other woodsy tidbits that sneak into our house no matter how many doormats and rugs I leave at the entry ways. (You don’t even want to know about spiders and the webs they like to weave way up high out of reach).  So, I typically have had to do A LOT of cleaning.  I was looking forward to trying out this mop and duster combo and my home was definitely a good test subject.

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Most exciting is that these products are chemical free cleaning.  The company says they’re proven to remove over 99% of all bacteria (including e-coli and listeria) from hard surfaces with just water.  Yes, WATER! This means I could rest easy while my little one crawled the floor knowing she wasn’t crawling through dirt and grime OR chemical residue.

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When I tested out the Deep Clean Mop I noticed it really did have a lot of grip.  As opposed to other mops where I felt like I was just pushing dirt around on the floor, I really felt like the Deep Clean mop was gripping the dirt and picking it up. Both the mop and duster had super easy to connect telescopic handles.  They were very easy to adjust to whichever length was most comfortable for me.  I was so excited that the Flexi-Edge Floor and Wall Duster was long enough to finally get some cobwebs I could never reach before without a ladder, and also allowed me to clean baseboards without having to constantly bend down.

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You save money with these too as well as help the environment because they’re both reusable and washable.  Simply machine wash in warm water with regular detergent (no bleach of fabric softener) and hang to air dry. Both have a large surface size so I was able to get in a lot of cleaning before I reached a point where I thought the heads needed to be laundered.

I’m pleased to tell you that e-cloth® is giving my readers a chance to win their own Flexi-Edge Floor and Wall Duster (which retails for $24.99) and Deep Clean Mop (which retails for $39.99). Just enter in the rafflecopter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

There’s more though…I’m participating in the Fall In to Green Living Blog Giveaway hop so you have a chance to visit other blogs and enter to win more “green” and earth friendly prizes. Check out the details below:

Welcome to the “Fall In To Green Living” Giveaway Hop hosted by Heather from Mommy’s Favorite Things and Michelle from Mama’s Baby Cupcakes. This hop is focused on items that are green/natural! Each blog has a minimum prize package of $25 per winner and after visiting my giveaway, make sure you use the linky below to take a look at the other blogs to see what they have to offer for you!
This hop has two Grand Prizes. 1st Prize is from Cariloha for one set of Bamboo Sheets worth $179-$199. You can check out Heather’s review to learn more about them and what they carry. The Kid’s Prize pack offers wins from Re-Play, EweBGreen, Jungle Roo Cloth Diapers, Piggy Paint, and AloeTree worth around $186. Our list of reviews are below, and I encourage you to check them all out to learn more about each great company and their green products. Re-Play Review, EweBGreen Review, Jungle Roo Review, Piggy Paint Review, and AloeTree Review.

Linky:

End of Summer Sales Roundup!

Note: These are affiliate links, Making a purchase through them supports this blog monetarily.  Thank you.

 

You’ve probably spent a fortune on summer activities, home projects, back to school and more the past few months.  Now it’s time to take advantage of some savings!

Here’s a few excellent end of summer and labor day sales going on right now to help you keep a few dollars actually in the bank!

 



Shutterfly Labor Day 40% Off - 728x90
Stella & Dot Sale
Save 10%-30% at ISeeMe. Use code MYSTERY
Plus a few more great deals:

Save up to 60% on all Disney’s Frozen apparel, toys and gear at zulily

Ultimate Jewelry Giveaway

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Miscellanea by Valerie Tyler is nearing over 3000 sales on Etsy and wants to celebrate this milestone!  The shop is sponsoring a HUGE jewelry giveaway in which ONE lucky winner will receive an entire jewelry collection valued over $300! The prize pack includes over 15 of some of the shop’s most popular styles including several pairs of earrings, necklaces, rings and a bracelet plus more goodies!

jewelryprizes

Just a few of the prizes will include (see photos above):

Bohemian Feather Necklace
Chevron Stars Ring
Disc Chain Earrings

Plus lots more!

In addition Miscellanea by Valerie Tyler is offering all customers 10% off any purchase over $30  (use the code CELEBRATE10) OR 30% off any purchase over $100  (Use the code ALMOST3000 ) for a limited time. Plus, to add to the excitement there will be random prizes included with some purchases, special flash sales on individual items listed on the Miscellanea facebook page and lots more surprises, so be sure to follow Miscellanea on facebook and twitter!
RULES: This contest is only open to residents of the US, 18+  Winner will be randomly chosen and notified by the e-mail they provide with entry and will have 48 hours to respond before a runner up is chosen. Contest Friday Aug 29th, 2014 (midnight) – Monday September 15, 2014 (midnight)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: Facebook, Twitter, & Pinterest or any social media channels are in no way associated with this giveaway. Prize fulfillment and shipping will be handled by the Sponsor. Contest is open to residents of the US, 18+ only. No purchase is necessary. Void where prohibited by law.

Party Planning: Bow or Bow Tie Gender Reveal Party

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links

Gender reveal parties to celebrate the coming of a new baby are getting quite popular! If you’re looking for a simple, stylish way to surprise party goers with the baby’s gender I’ve got a sweet theme for you! Boy or girl? Bow or bow tie? You can keep your guest guessing, but decorating with both blue and pink. Color coordinate treats like pink gum balls or blue sixlets. Pink and blue balloons are an inexpensive, yet eye-catching way to decorate.

Gender Reveal Baby Shower Party Supplies
Gender Reveal Baby Shower Party Supplies
The Bow or Bow Tie Deluxe Party Pack comes with all sorts of party necessities that coordinate to carry the theme across the party.

When it’s time for the big reveal here’s a few ways to make the announcement:

  • Balloon release – Fill a giant bag or box with blue or pink balloons, then open for the surprise.
  • Balloon pop – Fill an opaque balloon with pink or blue confetti then pop with a pin the release!
  • Have surprise cake, cupcakes or chocolates – Have a dessert treat made up with a special blue or pink center that can only be discovered by biting or cutting into the treat.
  • Silly string spray party – Purchase silly string in blue or pink.  Decorate the spray cans to hide the color then when the time comes to announce let the guest get a little silly to find out the answer.
  • Have a scratch off ticket that announces boy or girl.

Win an All in One Diaper Clutch

clutchpromoWhen I first had my child I packed this gigantic diaper bag full of everything I thought I’d need. It was a relief to know that I was totally prepared. Of course, once my shoulders started hurting, and the bag seemed to always get in the way and take up so much room everywhere I went I quickly realized that more experienced moms pare things down a bit. A simple changing clutch is a GREAT way to do this and you have an opportunity to win a super stylish one today.
The All in One Changing Clutch from Sweet Jay’s Place is a more convenient way to take the essentials for baby along on trips to the grocery, restaurants or other errands.

clutch
Here’s a few details about the clutch:

  • It has two large pockets big enough to comfortably hold 3+ diapers, a travel wipe case and rash cream OR a couple diapers, wipe case, and a change of clothes for your little one.
  • This clutch is made from 100% cotton and super soft minky with a layer of batting between the two to keep baby comfy.
  • It is topstitched for durability and features an easy and secure snap closure, with a snap handle (and the handle can even double as a strap to secure a baby toy!)
  • Approximate measurements: 12”x7” closed & 24”x22” open.

It normally retails for $28, but if you’d like the chance to win one just enter the rafflectoper contest below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
You can enter to win even more in the 3rd Annual Accessorize Your Stash in August Giveaway Hop, hosted by the Blogging Mamas Network. Hasthtag: #accessorizeaugust   

accessorizeaugustNEW If you’re ready to accessorize your cloth diaper stash, you’ve come to the perfect Event! A fabulous group of bloggers have come together to help you do just that – with Cloth Diaper Accessory Giveaways! If you love cloth diapering, then you’ll love hopping around to see what each blog has in store for you and your Fluffy Stash! Don’t miss the Grand Prize which includes 2 Cloth Diaper Stash Must-Haves: a Hanging Wet/Dry Bag and a Diaper Sprayer!

DISCLOSURE

So Easy Being Green, Viva Veltoro, the Blogging Mamas Network, Motherhood in Progress and the Accessorize Your Stash in August participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.

The Body Shop is Giving away $1000! #ad

The Body Shop is giving away $25 gift cards to 40…yes, 40 winners! Plus, Everyone who enters the giveaway will receive an EXCLUSIVE 24 hour coupon code for The Body Shop, emailed Tuesday, August 19th.

For your chance to win you can enter by clicking the enter to win in pink below:
TheBodyShopGIVEAWAY

Bring the Family to the Cleveland Flea!

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It’s taken me far too long to write about my love for the Cleveland Flea.  If you have not attended one yet you simply shouldn’t wait any longer.  There literally is something for every individual there from singles and groups looking for a social afternoon out, to serious shoppers on the hunt for the perfect treasures, to entire families (you’ll see plenty of strollers and baby carriers there!) Yes, you can take the kids, and the dog (if he’s friendly), and just about whoever else you’d like and it will be an entertaining day for everyone.

It’s been called “Part urban treasure hunt, part culinary adventure, part maker center” and the event certainly lives up to that.  What began with 20 vendors has most recently moved to Tyler Village on Superior in Asia Town and now has well over 125+ vendors!  There is simply so much to do and see (and eat!) at the Cleveland Flea.

Cleveland Flea Vendors sell anything from some pretty amazing vintage finds that include higher end furniture and art, along with clothing and less expensive knick knacks, collectibles and trinkets.  You’ll find plenty of handmade artisans too selling jewelry, pottery, clothing, accessories, candles and cosmetic products and some rather unique items that range anywhere from $1-$400 or more, so there are also items for every budget and taste.  You can even shop out of mobile boutiques like the Wandering Wardrobe.

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20140614_090355 (Pictured above Terra Verde Handmade and Valerie Tyler Jewelry)

There are plenty of little touches that make these events extra special too like live music, changing rooms for vintage clothing, places to sit and chill, or eat and drink. This past Flea also featured a pop up pinball arcade and there was even a visit from Genevieve Gorder!  (Yes, THAT Genevieve from HGTV!!! **starstruck**) There’s lots of Cleveland love going around too, so it’s  a perfect place to find a tee, poster or piece of jewelry to proclaim your love for the city.

cleveland ringsRings from Valerie Tyler Designs

The handcrafted sculptures from The Republic of Cute are a perfect example of how unique some of the art you can find is.  Made by Karly West you might find anything from a pink narwhal to a french bulldog. While kids all over the city are probably beginning growing collections, she also make cake toppers too and her pieces are so quirky they’d be perfect to brighten up the office desk.

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There are rows of food trucks and booths with delicious treats like popsicles, macaroons, ice cream, coffee, doughtnuts, pierogies, burritos and so many other tasty treats.   My personal favorite treat is Mason’s Creamery (top 2 pictures below) partially because they are simply so darn friendly, and also because they make some super tasty ice cream with really imaginative flavors! Kids will also love the ever popular donut lab (not pictured) since they can actually watch the donuts be made through a little window right before their very eyes.  This past Flea I discovered a new love when we tried pierogies from the Pierogi Lady for lunch. Chorizo and pulled pork pierogies….yes please!! The food trucks and vendors have long lines all day though and often sell out before the day is over so you want to get there early.

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This past Flea even had a return of boozy snowcones, so while the little tikes could have their popsicles, the grown-up kids could have a treat too.

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The Cleveland Flea is held the Second Saturday of the month.  In addition they host a sister event known as the Sunday Market at Hingetown on the 3rd Sunday of the month, which has a Parisian Market theme.

**In the interest of full disclosure I should mention I am often a vendor myself at the Flea, but even if I wasn’t I would completely still love this event!