Jan 15

When Toddlers Think No One is Watching

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Levana. The opinions and text are all mine.

The Stella Video Monitor by Levana comes with 2 cameras so you can see your toddler's entire room

Never in a million years did I think I would utter these words. Heck, I can’t believe I am able to write about this type of product in a way that isn’t making fun of myself for not being in touch with all things motherhood, but I am. I’m sure it has something to do with the nesting bender I decided to go on at the beginning of the year. Better late than never, right?

My official non-mommy blogger opinion is that…

You NEED a video monitor, guys!

It’s true. The past month has shown me the way things ought to be. Sure, I might have developed ‘mom ears’ the moment the oxytocin helped me heave-ho my placenta, but we aren’t quite to x-ray vision being standard issue before you leave the hospital. At least not in present day America.

The Stella Video Monitor by Levana give parents peace of mind while their children sleep

Which is why I want to introduce you to the Stella Video Monitor by Levana.

I don’t remember what life was like before I was able to enjoy my latest prime time TV obsession: When Toddlers Think No One is Watching. You guys. Listen. It is bizarre to now know what all the banging is. I now understand why some naps are 3-4 hours and some are closer to 2. I have stumbled upon the Holy Grail of motherhood and it’s freaking fantastic.

Why didn’t I get one of these newfangled contraptions sooner?!

This is where you envision me dressed in my supermom cape, hands on my hips, doing the Captain knee, with the comic book wa-bam doodles surrounding my puffy chest, while singing ‘I can see clearly now, the rain is gone’. Maybe even throw in a few trumpets for added drama.

Do more knowing your child is safe with the Stella Video Monitor from Levana

Exhibit A: Michael napping peacefully in his bed.

I’m camped out on my ‘made for a very pregnant woman’ chaise with my Levana Video Monitor being all productive and stuff. My video monitor is so dang convenient because getting up to check on him is a VERY labor intensive activity these days. Like, roll me out of bed so I can waddle my swollen ankles down the hall intensive. That in itself takes way longer than it should because there is always a pit stop on the way back to my work station to pee. I swear I’m forever peeing.

You see, I sort of made a resolution to only work when he sleeps because he spent way too much time on his iPad last month. WAY too much time watching YouTube instead of socializing with me. Yeah, yeah, I chased the dollar hard so I could take time off for the baby. Sue me.

The Stella Video Monitor by Levana allows your toddler to play safely in their room after nap time

Exhibit B: My Stella Video Monitor has a 750 foot wireless range allowing me to work downstairs while Michael watches the mail truck instead the back of his eyelids. 

The nap featured above included: 1 hour of sleep, dinosaurs in his bed, superheros in his bed, a little Dusty action, scoping out the mail truck, a few jumps on the bed, and a bunch of wall kicks in between each activity. See what I mean about being convenient? I know he is safe because I can see him on my 4.3” LCD screen, but I don’t have to stop working to remind him monkeys fall and bump their heads when they jump on the bed. Yep, there’s an intercom for that.

If you like gadgets that cater to your inner lazy girl worried mom, you can buy your own video monitor now. And be sure to check out how my girlfriend is using hers to monitor playtime. I sure can’t wait for the day the Schuplin children are able to play with EACH OTHER. That’ll be the day!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Levana. The opinions and text are all mine.

Jan 11

Fruity Mimosa Bar

I put together this fruity mimosa bar with Sweet’N Low as part of a series of sponsored posts for Socialstars. #SweetNLowStars

How to create a fruity mimosa bar for your next girls night, bridal shower, sip and see, baby shower, or birthday party #SweetNLowStars #client
Are babies not the best reason for a party? I mean, who doesn’t enjoy a chubby little person with the cutest, gummiest smile? A smile so precious you are able to look past the eau de sour milk for a few snuggles. Dirty diaper free snuggles, of course.

But a fruity mimosa bar isn’t just for baby showers, sprinkles, and sip and see parties. Not even sort of.

I might have officially reached the point in my pregnancy that is full of ‘OMG- I have 3 weeks to finish the nursery, sleep, have a baby shower, get a few maternity pictures, sleep, spend time with my toddler, spend time with my husband, plan a sip and see party, etc.’ but that doesn’t mean the rest of the world is in the same boat. There are bridal showers, birthday parties, girls night, and days ending in Y.

I may have greeted Michael with multiple fruity mimosas after work. More than once. Because I am unable to enjoy them beyond a swish and spit. He was geeked beyond belief.

The perfect fruity mimosa bar comes fully stocked with different fruit purees and plenty of sparkling wine #SweetNLowStars #client

Mimosa Bar Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of your favorite fruit, pureed (I used strawberry, blueberry, and peach.)
  • 1 cup Simple Syrup (Dissolve 8 tsp of Sweet’N Low in 1 cup of boiling water)
  • Sparkling wine
  • Optional: Fruit for garnish

Puree 1 pound of fruit and 1/3 cup of simple syrup in a food processor. Once blended, push the fruit puree through a strainer to remove any leftover fruit pieces. (Note: There was no need to strain mine.)

Add a rough 1/4 cup of puree to each cup (See picture above.) and top with your favorite bottle of bubbly before serving.

Optional: Add fruit for more fruity goodness. 

Grab the sparkling wine from the mimosa bar and top off the fruit puree in the bottom of your glass #SweetNLowStars #client
Not only is a mimosa bar perfect because it gives party guests the ability to pick their flavor, using Sweet’N Low instead of sugar helps keep the cocktails guilt free and diabetic friendly. You know, because it’s January so people are still all about their resolutions.

My resolution happens to be a child who waits until after my mom’s birthday party but arrives before February. Because that’s the way babies work…

A fruity mimosa bar is the perfect drink recipe for your next yellow and white party #SweetNLowStars #client
Shower season is upon us so be sure to pop back in early to mid February for the party plan connected with this drink recipe. It doesn’t get more springy than yellow and white with plenty of flowers!

And yes, I’m still using paper straws and chevron in 2015. Don’t hate!

Too hard.

Consider adding peach, strawberry, and blueberry purees to your fruity mimosa bar #SweetNLowStars #client

Previous Sweet’N Low Cocktails:

 

Jan 10

SEA LIFE Aquarium Opens January 29th

Stingrays swimming around the 35,000-square-foot SEA LIFE Aquarium in Auburn Hills, MI #SEALIFEMI
Let me tell you about the time I went to the SEA LIFE aquarium 36 weeks pregnant…

True story. Do you know what Braxton Hicks contractions feel like? Huh? Do ya? Oh goodness is the big day closing in! (For myself and the aquarium!) I slay myself.

Okay, so yesterday morning I strapped myself into one stylish belly brace, donned whatever winter garb I thought might protect me from the -9 degree weather, dropped the ornery cat off at the vet, took Michael to school, and trekked down to my new favorite indoor experience.

I know, I know, I’m such a meanie face. Who makes their toddler go to school when work consists of sharks, stingrays, and fish?

It wasn’t my idea. You guys know I’m the cool parent, right? Right? That I am not the reason Michael went to school that day? I sure hope so!

In case you don’t remember, I’m an ambassador for SEA LIFE Michigan. All of the images and opinions are my own.

Adding fish to the 7th SEA LIFE Aquarium in the United States #SEALIFEMI
Michael would have LOVED welcoming the Nurse shark, three Blacknose sharks, and two Bonnethead sharks to their new home. In fact, we sat together at my computer and went through the pictures I took during the event… three times. We even looked at them again before bed. Then we watched the footage from WXYZ Detroit. And then from WILX. I can’t make this stuff up, guys. His three year old self is so in love and he doesn’t even remember how much fun he had during the groundbreaking event.

He was all, “WHOA! Look at the BIG shark!”

I loved every repetitive moment of it.

Releasing sharks in the SEA LIFE Aquarium location inside Great Lakes Crossing Outlets in Auburn Hills, Michigan #SEALIFEMI
But he wasn’t the only tiny human excited for the grand opening of SEA LIFE Michigan. The winners of the Young Environmentalist contest were able to join us for starfish cookies and juice boxes.

Kidding.

I think baby Schuplin was more excited for the cookies than they were because… sharks. Real life sharks trump cookies and juice boxes every single time.

I won’t even lie and say I wasn’t totally jealous that the Young Environmentalists were front and center as the sharks were rushed inside via stretchers before swimming off into the main ocean tank. Oh, to be young again!

Shark adapting to its new home at the SEA LIFE aquarium in Auburn Hills
Opening day is getting close, guys!

Many of the other creatures, including Moray eels, seahorses, and stingrays, have already been delivered to the aquarium, with the remaining inhabitants arriving within the next week. The aquarium opens to the public at noon on January 29th, and tickets (at special pre-opening rates) are now available online.

Don’t worry, though. I will report back to you guys with a sneak peek of all the good stuff after the media preview event on the 22nd. Well. As long as I don’t go into labor early.

I had a good talk with him/her about staying put until after the 24th so we should be good. Famous last words?

AND! And. And. And! Michael is absolutely playing hooky from school that day. It’s an educational field trip, no?

The new SEA LIFE aquarium locations provides a glimpse of the diversity of marine life #SEALIFEMI
But wait, that’s not all!

I’m giving away a family 4-pack which includes: 4 tickets (for one visit), 4 behind the scenes tour tickets, 1 souvenir guidebook and 2 gifts from the retail store. (Note: The winner will receive his/her package after grand opening.)

How cool is that?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Jan 04

Groot Cupcakes

Groot cupcake tutorial for a Guardians of the Galaxy party
I am so proud of these effers! For real. Like, I wanted to share my Groot cupcakes right after the Guardians of the Galaxy party but I had to transform my house into a winter wonderland for Christmas. And put up 2 trees. And put up 10 tubs of decorations. And spend time with my family. And sleep. And work my ass off so I could take January sort of off to plan my mom’s birthday party. And make a deal with my growing fetus to refrain from playing with my cervix until after the party.

Priorities.

And since I don’t want it to come early, it will. It always does the opposite of what I tell it to do. Roll over so the tech can see your brain. Get out of my ribs. Rub my back from the inside. You know, all of the important things. I said I wanted to birth a toddler and, I shit you not, this one is a spunky little S-O-B.

Whoa! I thought this was a tutorial for badass Groot cupcakes?

How to make Groot cupcakes for a Guardians of the Galaxy party
I totally failed on the visual aspect of this tutorial, so stay with my words.

Groot Cupcakes Tutorial:

  1. Bake giant chocolate cupcakes. (I used a ‘flower pot’ cupcake tin.)
  2. Use cookie icing (NOT that Wilton garbage pictured.) to glue the arms on Groot’s body. This is the hardest part because it takes patience. So, so much patience.
  3. Cut the dome off of the cupcakes and stick the DRY Groot bodies into the center of the ‘pots’.
  4. Use the same black sparkle gel from the Gamora cupcakes to give Groot eyeballs.
  5. Use a star tip to pipe green frosting on the top of the pot.
  6. Optional: I used a leaf tip to pipe green frosting on Groot’s body because I couldn’t look at the white joints without twitching.

Make Groot cupcakes for your next Guardians of the Galaxy party
Seee? Are these not the cutest damn Groot cupcakes you ever did see?

(Ooga-chaka ooga-ooga)
(Ooga-chaka ooga-ooga)
(Ooga-chaka ooga-ooga)
(Ooga-chaka ooga-ooga)

Want more Groot goodness? My bestie has a kickass tutorial for a dancing baby Groot puppet on her site!

Follow Mallery Schuplin’s board Superhero Party on Pinterest.

 

 

Jan 01

Superhero Party Ideas

Dollar store crafts that will make your superhero party awesome- superhero capes, masks, and city buildings
This is gonna be a good one. Like, wire your jaw shut right meow because you will be shocked once I explain how dirt cheap a superhero party can be. Who would have thunk it, amirite? When I decided to throw a Guardians of the Galaxy party, I was all “How will I ever pay for this? I know, I can donate blood. Or eggs. Or become a surrogate.” Except… I’m already a host to one demanding parasite.

Okay, so what’s a party planner to do? (Crying and hooking were not options.)

We go shopping and look at the supplies available to us in a different light! For real. I shop A LOT because inspiration is lurking around every corner. Orrrrr… I have a shopping problem.

Dollar Store Superhero City Buildings:

  • Empty Cardboard Boxes
  • Plastic Tablecloth (Black and Yellow)
  • Glue (On hand)
  • Scissors (On hand)
  • Tape (On hand)

Since I clearly have a shopping problem, I saved the large cardboard boxes that showed up at my door for this superhero party project. You can always visit your local grocery store, pizza place, etc. if you are lacking in the oversize box department. Then all you do is wrap the boxes in the black tablecloth like they are giant presents and glue yellow windows to it.

Simple.

How to make dollar store superhero masks for a superhero party
And what’s a superhero party without masks? A whole lotta of no fun, that’s what.

Dollar Store Superhero Masks:

  • Foam
  • Construction Paper
  • Ribbon
  • Scissors (On hand)
  • Pen (On hand)

I free handed the mask template on the foam rectangle (about 3 to a sheet) before testing the size out on Michael’s face. You can always trim but you can’t make the mask bigger once you cut.

Tie ribbon to the foam superhero mask
Then I poked a hole through each end and attached about 24 inches of ribbon to each side.

Dollar store superhero masks for our superhero party
Simple. Simple and oh so precious. Or whatever adjective superheros prefer.

 Dollar store supplies to make superhero capes for our superhero party
And then you have superhero capes. In a perfect world I would’ve made badass capes out of fabric. Only… I’m not rich and my sewing machine is buried somewhere in my craft room throw all the things I don’t have time to deal with in room, so I got crafty. Oh so crafty.

Dollar Store Superhero Capes:

  • Plastic Tablecloths
  • Scissors (On hand)

I ended up cutting the capes into a rough 24×24 inch square because I wasn’t sure what size to go with and Michael was napping.

 Simply tie the superhero cape around the child when they arrive to the superhero party
Turns out rough cuts are A-OK because you can tie the knot and tighten it until it fits.

If the cape is way too big you can always trim the knot before sending your little superheros on their way. It doesn’t have to look professional because 1- they will wear the crap out of it and wreck it, or 2- you will cut it off of them before bed because they are still wearing the crap out of it.

Simple superhero crafts for an frugal superhero party
See? Does it get any better than their imaginations running wild? I think not. If fact, it would make my uterus hurt if it wasn’t already stretched to kingdom come.

Follow Mallery Schuplin’s board Superhero Party on Pinterest.

 

 

Dec 29

Baked Egg Bread Bowl

Quick and easy baked egg bread bowl recipe
I want you to take a minute and think about all of the possibilities a baked egg bread bowl provides. I mean really think. Embrace your imagination!

No imagination? Alright, fine.

You can serve baked egg bread bowls for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, middle of the night cravings, and any party with breakfast items on the menu. See? Homie don’t lie when it comes to a pretty dish you can serve at a party!

I created this recipe for Goldrich Eggs. All of the pictures, off the wall cravings, and ideas are all mine.

Baked Egg Bread Bowl Ingredients:

  • 4 Ciabatta rolls
  • 4 Goldrich Eggs
  • Your favorite omelet toppings (i.e. spinach, tomato, onion)
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Pepper, to taste

Recipe Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Turn the rolls into bowls by scooping out the insides.
  • Leaving a little room at the top, fill the bowl with your favorite omelet toppings.

How to make easy baked egg bread bowls for breakfast

  • Top the bowl of ingredients with an egg.
  • Optional: Add a bit of mozzarella cheese to the tops of the bowls after 15 minutes in the oven.
  • Cook for 5 additional minutes, or until the eggs reach the desired consistency.

Tip: If this is your first time making this recipe, bake the bread bowls in 5 minute increments so you don’t overcook them. I ended up with a few bad eggs (tee hee) as I was working on this experiment.

Spice up your next brunch or breakfast with this easy baked egg bread bowl recipe
Would you believe me if I said that’s it?

It sure is! And get this… Michael came up to me asking if he could eat ‘mommy’s work’! I’m talking about the kid who had decided that he no longer wanted to eat eggs. I can’t say that I blame him for digging in because Goldrich eggs are pretty freaking tasty! Their yolk is (obviously) more golden but that’s just the beginning.

How can I describe the taste? More flavorful? Richer? They taste fancy? Does that paint a picture for you? I hope so because that’s all I got. Don’t believe me? Do a comparison taste test in your own kitchen! The tongue doesn’t lie… or some other clever catch phrase.

 

Dec 22

Christmas Party with Marie Callender’s Pot Pies

This Christmas party has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #EasyAsPotPie #CollectiveBias

Easy party food for a Christmas party #EasyAsPotPie #ad

I know Christmas is a hop, skip, and a jump away but I had to share a last minute Christmas party plan with you because it’s SO easy. Would you believe me if I said this is my last party for 2014? What a year! This one is what we like to call ‘the Mouser Christmas‘. It’s always low key, full of wrestling, and so loud that sleeping babies need not come.

Easy appetizers for a Christmas party #EasyAsPotPie #ad
Have you ever noticed how people hover around the food? It’s true. I offer guests an appetizer because food seems to breaks the ice for both extroverts and introverts. It gives people something to do with their hands that doesn’t involve checking their 50 bajillion social media accounts for new likes and/or comments. Unfortunately, that’s the world we live in anymore.

Christmas Party Appetizers:

  • Cheese Ball
  • Crackers
  • Sparkling Juice

How to turn your chandelier into a festive decoration for your Christmas party #EasyAsPotPie #ad
I wanted to keep this party simple due to my ever expanding midsection and jam packed Christmas party schedule, so I dumped a package of shatterproof ornaments into a giant silver bowl and called it my centerpiece. Wham, bam, thank you, ma’am!

Totally optional if you are looking to keep things ultra simple, I made spearmint mats by melting the mints in an 8 mint x 12 mint rectangle at 300 degrees, for 8-10 minutes.

I topped the mats with a red napkin, our fancy silverware, china, and a party favor. I know, I know. I can’t help it if I think each party deserves a party favor! How could I say no to these adorable chevron gift boxes? Spoiler… I couldn’t.

To finish off the festive feel, I worked two strands of garland around our normally boring chandelier. It really added to the decor without forcing my guests to look around it to see the person in front of them.

Christmas Party Table:

  • Ornaments (Last season’s clearance, unsure of the store)
  • Gift boxes (Hobby Lobby, $1.99/each)
  • 7 Bags of Spearmints (Walmart, .98/each)
  • Big Silver Bowl (Target, $7.48 on clearance)
  • Garland (Target, $4/each)
  • White Fabric (Backdrop from the cookie party.)

Marie Callender's has a variety of sizes and flavors to serve your Christmas party guests #EasyAsPotPie #ad
But let’s be real, the boys couldn’t care less about the decorations. I decorate for me because pretty things bring me joy. The boys are all about the grub, ’bout the grub, no slackin’. (Sorry for the ear worm!) Which is why I chose a comfort food to warm us up. And holy heck, guys! Marie Callender’s Pot Pies were so dang easy to serve to the masses! They cooked while I finished prepping the decor, and even allowed me to clean up a bit. It was perfect.

Yes, I said CLEAN! Unheard of, right?

Note: I made faux cake plates by placing plates on top of red and green vases. Sometimes you have to fake it till ya make it!

Marie Callender's pot pies are an easy way to get the taste of homemade at your Christmas party without the work #EasyAsPotPie #ad
And the pot pies? Let’s just say I had never consumed a frozen pot pie before this party because I thought it would taste like week old cookies. Except… I was wrong because Marie Callender’s pot pies have a “golden flaky crust”. Like, for real. I was so shocked that I sent my mom a text saying something similar to ‘Why am I just now finding out how good pot pies are? I feel robbed.’

I live under a rock. Scratch that. I live in a cave. A cave with a rock for a door.

Also, how fitting is serving your military broski something attached to a program like Comforts From Home? It’s like I planned for it all to fit together like that. Except I didn’t.

Christmas Party Food:

  • Variety of Marie Callender’s pot pies
  • Rolls

Easy, no bake dessert ideas for your next Christmas party #EasyAsPotPie #ad
And we of course there was sugar. Christmas is all about the sugar, no?

Keep the treats simple because we all know this is the point of every Christmas party where everyone is begging to borrow a pair of maternity pants. I recommend saying yes because no pants parties should not happen in public unless you are a toddler.

Christmas Party Desserts:

  • Peanut Butter Fudge
  • No Bakes
  • Buckeyes
  • Dirt Cake

Easy, edible party favors for a Christms party #EasyAsPotPie #ad
Even though the party favors looked fancy pants, they were nothing elaborate. A few chocolates will always bring a smile to your guests’ faces because it’s a thoughtful gift. Gifts coupled with an enjoyable time will always make people feel like a million bucks.

Shopping for Marie Callendar's pot pies at Walmart #EasyAsPotPie #ad

And because Walmart carries just about everything, I picked up all of the grub when I was scheduled to pick up a few last minute toys. One stop shop for the win.

Be sure to visit Marie Callendar’s Meals to learn more about all things tasty, and visit Pot Pie Please for more recipes.

Happy holidays, guys!

 Do a girl a favor and pin this Christmas party!

Christmas party ideas- easy party food, peanut butter desserts, and simple decorations in classic Christmas colors #EasyAsPotPie #ad

Follow Mallery Schuplin’s board Christmas Party, Food, Themes, Decorations and Crafts on Pinterest.

 

Dec 18

Gamora Cupcakes

 Gamora cupcake with orb cupcake topper tutorial for a Guardians of the Galaxy party

The time has come for me to share my first Guardians of the Galaxy party idea- Gamora cupcakes with orb cupcake toppers! Hooray!

Well… if party planning or nerdy things get you off, that is. Or maybe you are experiencing a double whammy of pleasure? I do enjoy doubling your pleasure whenever the opportunity presents itself. Honest.

 Make Gamora cupcakes by starting with green cake mix and topping with black frosting

Start by adding green food coloring to some white cake mix. Yeah, what of my box mix? Homie ain’t ashamed. The only thing I was bummed about was having to use Betty Crocker instead of Duncan Hines because Target doesn’t carry Duncan Hines.

I know, right? What kind of store does that?

Next I used my Wilton Decorator Plus to add black frosting with the star tip. Black, not purple. I know there are plenty of online images floating around the interwebz where it looks like Gamora has purple hair, but she doesn’t. Buy an action figure. Watch the movie. Her hair is more like a dark brown/black with red ends.

Spray the tops of the Gamora cupcakes with a red color mist to represent Gamora's hair

Which is why I bought this red color mist. I thought it would be fun to spray a hint of red on the cupcakes since her hair has a bit of red in it. Clever? Sure. Did it get me in trouble? Abso-fucking-lutely! I didn’t put anything down when I was touching up the red tips and sprayed the counter red. My bad.

Gamora Cupcakes:

To make the orb cupcake toppers for the Gamora cupcakes, sponge black sparkle gel onto silver gumballs

The orb cupcake toppers almost didn’t happen. I had no freaking idea what I was going to use until I was cleaning up my cookie party and realized gumballs look a lot like the orb. You know, the orb? The entire reason the Guardians get together? Well… outside of Ronan being a jerk.

I had some black sparkle gel in the cupboard so I thought I would give the gumballs a quick sponge to see what would happen. I hate the sparkle gel for 99% of the reasons I purchased it for so I wasn’t holding my breath. I left them in cupcake tins to dry overnight (the stuff takes eons to dry) and moved on to something worthwhile.

I sure as hell wasn’t expecting to wake up to epic little orbs! Watch the movie, dudes. It’s like I knew this would work from the beginning. Yep. No wishful thinking from this party planner…

Yeah right.

Orb Gumball Cupcake Toppers:

Gamora cupcake with orb cupcake topper tutorial Also, I want to point out infinity stones! I was going to make sugar cookies with purple frosting, but… uhhh… I didn’t have enough time. You should totally make cookies if you don’t feel like blowing wads of cash on Jordan Almonds. You know, because Target only sells tiny bags full of MULTI-COLORED Jordan Almonds so you buy 5 billion tiny bags. Eff me.

Note: I wrapped the coolest Comic Duct Tape around my water bottles and my bestie made a dancing Groot!

Check out my superhero party board for more ideas!

Follow Mallery Schuplin’s board Superhero Party on Pinterest.
 

Dec 15

Michael’s ‘Best Mop Ever’!

Michael’s best mop Christmas gift has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.#CleanForTheHolidays #CollectiveBias

We surprised our toddler with the best mop for hardwood floor cleaning so he can help us clean for the holidays #CleanForTheHolidays #ad
Have you ever thought about the perks of being a parent? I mean, REALLY thought about why we decide to accept responsibility for another human being. Outside of the obvious refined persuasion tactics and the ability to pee and sneeze simultaneously, of course.

I have.

Pregnant mom resting and eating while my toddler uses his new O-Cedar ProMist #CleanForTheHolidays #ad
Now, let me preface this by saying that we have never once attached microfiber cloths to our crawling infant. We thought about it, but that parenting hack never made it on our ‘this is why you have children’ list. We did, however, add the infamous get out of events card and having someone to brush your hair. Getting your hair brushed is absolutely worth the penny fee and happens to be the most relaxing thing about parenting!

Well… outside of resting your cankles and throwing down on treats you are supposed to enjoy in moderation.

The O-Cedar ProMist is a great choice for hardwood floor cleaning #CleanForTheHolidays #ad
Before you whisk my child away for child labor, let me explain. I purchased Michael an O-Cedar Pro Mist and other cleaning accessories because the kid loves to clean! No joke. He even cleans without being coerced! (Procreating with Michael has benefits.) I will birth children until the end of time if they all enjoy cleaning as much as Michael does.

Don’t hold me to that statement quite yet as I am still evaluating whether or not I got lucky this time.

Rewarding my toddler with money for playing with his 'best mop ever' Christmas gift #CleanForTheHolidays #ad
Michael doesn’t drive a hard bargain when it comes to payment for his cleaning services, but I like to keep the motivation alive with a few coins here and there. Men are motivated by food, money, and companionship, right? Although, I don’t think he has quite figured out how piggy banks really work. Half the time he tosses his money in the baby’s piggy bank instead of his own. For now anyway…

Shopping for the best mop at Walmart #CleanForTheHolidays #ad

Where to buy the best mop for hardwood floor cleaning:

Because I know every parent out there is also searching for the elusive secret to getting kids (and lazy wives) into chores, you will find these O-Cedar items with the mops in the grocery section of Walmart. I didn’t want anything expensive, but I am so over the disposable types because Michael is a boy. A boy who is still working on his beast-like strength and coordination. (Think Hulk SMASH!) Also, I wanted washable microfiber pads because I never want to be caught with my pants around my ankles when he asks for his ‘best mop’ so he can clean up whatever mess he and his cousin just made. It works for us.

May the (cleaning) odds be ever in your favor!

 

Dec 15

Guardians of the Galaxy Party

This Guardians of the Galaxy party has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #OwnTheGalaxy #CollectiveBias

 Guardians of the Galaxy party ideas- Groot cupcakes, orb cupcake toppers, Gamora cupcakes, infinity stones and more #OwnTheGalaxy #ad
I don’t know if you keep up with superhero gossip but Guardians of the Galaxy is finally out on DVD, and daaaaang, Disney! Good work! I did everything from ugly pregnant cry in the beginning to laughing my tail off throughout the rest. I don’t want to let the coon out of the bag so trust me when I recommend you add it to your Christmas list, like now. Just do it.

It’s so worth the watch that I designed a superhero party to celebrate! Yes, I do enjoy my geek mom-sister-wife status.

Orb cupcake toppers, Gamora cupcakes, and infinity stones for a Guardians of the Galaxy party #OwnTheGalaxy #ad

Note: I will share the tutorials for my Guardians of the Galaxy party ideas over the next few weeks.

Let’s start with the elusive orb, mmkay? I sponged sparkle gel, in black, on silver gumballs before letting them dry overnight. They will look wet when you check on them but will be 100% dry. Also, check out the lower left corner for my Jordan Almond infinity stones! I know, right? I can’t handle how easy this movie was to design!

Just like the majority of people can’t handle the infinity stone’s power…

Wait for it…

Edit 12/18/14: The Gamora cupcake tutorial is live.

Groot cupcakes for a Guardians of the Galaxy party #OwnTheGalaxy #ad
And then you have Groot. Groot, the Guardian everyone is fawning over because his character resembles that of a giant teddy bear. I mean, what’s not to like about a giant humanoid plant?

My thoughts exactly.

Turn a superhero party into a Guardians of the Galaxy party with easy to make Groot cupcakes #OwnTheGalaxy #ad
The interwebz is full of Groot cookies if that’s the route you are looking to take, but these Groot cupcakes… are they not the coolest party food ever? Love. Love. Love! This project is way easy if you have a bit of patience. You absolutely need patience or Groot will fall apart. Literally. Groot’s limbs everywhere. Don’t do that to Groot.

Note: Be sure to check out my bestie’s dancing Groot puppet tutorial! It’s amazing.

Turn a superhero theme into a Guardians of the Galaxy party with Rocket Racoon toys #OwnTheGalaxy #ad

Guardians of the Galaxy Party Honorable Mentions:

  • Empty boxes wrapped in silver wrapping paper. (dollar store)
  • Black tablecloth. (dollar store)
  • Clear building containers. (Oriental Trading)
  • Superhero table tents. (Oriental Trading)
  • Plastic city background. (Oriental Trading)
  • Tiered building cupcake tower. (Oriental Trading)
  • Superhero duct tape, for water bottles. (Amazon)

Use Drax and Ronan action figures to create the perfect Guardians of the Galaxy party #OwnTheGalaxy #ad
I even picked up a few Guardians of the Galaxy toys! The toys that required Michael to scoot extra close to me as I was opening them because he couldn’t wait until the party was over. It was one of those immediate needs that could only be filled via touch. He was pumped.

He might not understand the relationship between Drax and Ronan yet, but he is all about the ships. “Zoom. Zoom. Pew. Pew. Ahh.”

Cheap and easy superhero craft ideas for a Guardians of the Galaxy party #OwnTheGalaxy #ad
Our fun didn’t stop at the toys! I wrapped empty boxes with plastic tablecloths, glued on yellow tablecloth windows, and used clamps to attach the superhero city background to my backdrop stand. It was an instant superhero playground for tiny humans!

The capes were also made out of plastic tablecloths, with matching foam masks, and everything was… you guessed it, ONE dollar. I was shocked once I realized how easy superheros can be on the pocketbook. Not to mention, Michael wore his cape all night long because superhero parties are the best thing EVER!

Hooray for costume parties!

Marvel superhero party favor ideas for a Guardians of the Galaxy party #OwnTheGalaxy #ad
Warning: Proud party planning mom moment!

Michael picked out the majority of the items included in our party favors! He HAD TO HAVE the watch, the Marvel candy, and the Guardians of the Galaxy cup, so I added the mini Guardians. I wanted all of our tiny party guests to go home with a new toy.

Err… or my not so tiny, superhero loving friends. You know, same thing.

Note: All of the items in our party favors can be found at Walmart.

Shopping for the Guardians of the Galaxy Blu-RayDVD for our Guardians of the Galaxy party. #OwntheGalaxy #ad
Now zip on over to Walmart and pick up your own Guardians of the Galaxy Blu-Ray/DVD before they sell out and you have the worst-Christmas-ever. Totally kidding. Guardians of the Galaxy came out on December 9th so you should be good now. (The DVD features: Exclusive Character O-sleeve and exclusive music zinepack and a 64 page magazine with cast and crew interviews, exclusive behind-the-scenes photos and trivia PLUS a custom “cassette” laptop decal.)

Also, keep your peepers peeled for the in-store stackable display because it will contain additional merchandise that you NEED to add to your collection.

Do a girl a favor and pin this Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy party!

Guardians of the Galaxy party ideas- orb cupcake toppers, infinity stones, Gamora cupcakes, Groot cupcakes, and more #ownthegalaxy #ad
 

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