Candy Bar S’mores

candy bar s'mores

We had A TON of candy leftover from Halloween. This was our first Halloween in our new house, and we had no idea that only one group of kids would ring our doorbell for candy. Two weeks later and we still have bags of candy in our cupboards. So when I was assembling a s’mores bar for a party we had this weekend, an idea hit me: candybar s’mores! The mini Hershey’s bars are obviously perfect for this, but I also added peanut butter cups, Crunch bars and Kit Kats.

I completely failed to take any pictures at our party, but here are a few pre-party shots of the set-up. I think the Reese’s peanut butter cups were the party favorite. We’ll definitely be trying this again … especially since we still haven’t eaten all of our candy.

candy bar s'mores

Jason’s Legoland Birthday Party

legoland birthday party

This weekend, we celebrated Jason’s 7th birthday with his friends at Legoland Discovery Center, probably one of his favorite places in the whole world. I love throwing birthday parties for Jason and Jenna, but this one was almost entirely handled by the nice people of Lego. In fact, both my husband and I had trouble leaving the house because we felt like we were forgetting something.  This was by far the easiest of all of our kids’ birthday parties so far, and while I miss the fun of planning and creating, I also know that Jason could not have been happier with his party.

legoland birthday partyMy only two additions to an otherwise ‘store-bought’ party were the very cute Lego-themed invitations from Tiny Prints and the party favors.

legoland birthday party invitations by Tiny Prints

For the favors, I ordered a Lego stamp and created Lego-themed notebooks and carrying cases to hold the notebooks and a few other goodies. I’m not a big fan of giving (or receiving) favors that will just be thrown away, so I usually try to create something with a longer shelf life. Jason and Jenna are always packing up cases, bags and other containers with toys to take on the go, so when I saw these little suitcases at Target, I knew they’d be a perfect favor box.

legoland birthday party

The cake was provided by Legoland and Jason wasn’t too pleased when I wiped all of the dye-filled frosting off his piece. Sorry, Jason.

legoland birthday party

Our friend Dustin’s handmade gift-wrap has become a tradition at Jason’s birthdays, and this year’s design didn’t disappoint.

legoland birthday party

Happy Birthday, Jason!

A Haunted Dollhouse Mansion

turn a dollhouse into a haunted mansion for halloween

One of the things that continues to amaze me about my kids is how they integrate seemingly unrelated elements into their games. At times it’s intentional – like when Jason told Jenna that they could play Star Wars birthday party in order to combine his interests (Star Wars) with hers (parties and cupcakes). Other times it’s seems more natural, like when Minions, Angry Birds and other characters inhabit Lego structures and drive Lego vehicles. My favorite combinations are those that involve the interpretation of a digital game in a non-digital format – like when Jason was grounded from the iPad and decided to make his own tablet … out of Legos.

Seeing their imaginations at work is pretty awesome, and every once in awhile, I like to attempt a toy mash-up of my own. So this Halloween, I converted Jenna’s dollhouse into a haunted house using toys and crafting supplies I had on hand. Jenna was pretty excited when she came home from school to find her dollhouse had been taken over by evil spirits. But she also requested that as soon as Halloween is over, we decorate her dollhouse for Christmas. Oh dear.

a halloween dollhouse

halloween dollhouse detail

a halloween dollhouse

halloween dollhouse

An Autumn Apple Cider Stand

autumn apple cider stand for kids

I’ve always wanted to have a lemonade stand with Jason and Jenna. Now that we live at the end of a cul-de-sac, our chances of having customers for such a venture seemed pretty slim. Yesterday, however, we participated in a neighborhood-wide garage sale, so we took the opportunity to set up a drink stand for passersby. Lemonade didn’t seem appropriate for the brisk autumn morning. Instead, we served a choice of hot or cold apple cider. Jenna was quite a trooper sitting outside with us in 40 and 50 degree temperatures and serving cider to everyone she could. I think our first stand was definitely a success.

working the apple cider stand

autumn apple cider stand

autumn apple cider stand

autumn apple cider stand

autumn apple cider stand

apple cider stand

Perfectly Good Packing Supplies

It started with just a few toys disappearing from their rooms. Before putting our home on the market, we were advised to store some of the toys in our children’s rooms and playroom in order to make our home appear to have ample space. So a few boxes of Legos, stuffed animals and other treasured belongings were hidden away in a storage unit. Now we’re one week from moving into our new home, packing is well underway and the lack of toys has grown to epic proportions. As a result, J+J have taken to co-opting our packing supplies to suit their purposes. No toys? No problem, but clearly the playing must go on.

playing packing supplies

Weekend Snapshot

We had an amazing couple of days and I couldn’t seem to sum it up in a single ‘snapshot,’ so I’m posting two: the first covers our stay at the Gaylord Texan, where we spent the Fourth of July holiday, and the second covers some highlights from our downtown Dallas adventures. Hope you had a wonderful Fourth of July weekend too!

Fourth of July

weekend snapshot - fourth of july

Downtown Dallasweekend snapshot - downtown dallas

DFW Staycation: A Wish List

With Independence Day just a few days away, we decided to plan a little staycation to keep our family entertained across the four-day stretch.  Once I started researching things to do, I realized just how how many amazing places we’ve never been in the metroplex we call home.

Here’s a list of activities on our wish list, and while we certainly won’t visit them all over the upcoming holiday weekend, we’re going to try our best!

family friendly things to do in the DFW metroplex

Sources:

Simple/Fun: Volcano Experiment

volcano experiement

By far the most popular outdoor activity I planned for the past weekend was a volcano experiment. By combining baking soda and food coloring and then adding vinegar, Jason and Jenna were able to create  bubbling, overflowing cauldrons of “lava.” Who knew a few pantry staples could provide so much fun?

volcano experiment

volcano experiment