Building Our Story

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Teagan 2 Year Old Stats & Pictures

This month has been nothing but busy however the last week or so has been all about this girl!! 


This sweet sweet girl - okay, not always sweet.  This sweet spitfire named Teagan who just turned 2!!  How is that possible?  I have no idea.  The last year has gone so fast and has been full of fun with Teagan.  

Things I do not want to forget:
  • You adore Jude, you want to do everything he does.
  • You wear size 2T clothes
  • You wear size 6 shoes
  • We have started potty training - you are getting the hang of it SOME days
  • You love your Daddy, cuddle time is important for both of you
  • You love meatballs and pizza.
  • You pass on any fruit!  Weirdo!!  
  • Milk - Teagan loves her milk!!!  
  • Tinkerbell is your favorite.
  • Sleeping....yeah, that is hit and miss still!!  
  • You can JUMP off the ground with both feet!
  • You are a climber!
  • You are so independent!  Everything "I do"!!  
  • You are now forward facing in your car seat!  Fun!!
  • You seem to love to draw and color.  
  • Reading is something you do every day.  
  • You are wild!  You are a spitfire. You can be bossy!
  • You like some night time cuddles. You are polite.  You are sweet.

Official 2 Year Stats:
25 pounds = 38%
35 inches tall = 96%

She is tall just like her brother!! So big!



We headed to our local Target Portrait Store and man our photographer was spot on.  Teagan was such a ham but she did so well.  These pictures warm my heart and make me think we are in trouble for her teenage years.  Yikes!  She does not look like she is just TWO!!  

Oh and to answer everyone's question - HECK no I did not do her hair, I paid some one 6 dollars to have her hair look nice.  We are in the middle of growing some of her bangs out which means most of the time her hair is in her face and she looks crazy!  For these pictures I wanted to see her eyes and the lady did the perfect french braid headband.  Maybe one day she will sit still and I can learn how to do this!  

Also, while I am not a girly #girlmom - I must say, I LOVE dressing her now!  The styles that are around for her age are so fun!!  Also, I wish I had her boots and sweater dress in my size!  So cute!!


Happy 2 years old Teagan!  I cannot wait to see what this year brings us all!!  

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Lorax Birthday for Teagan

Last weekend was full of crazy but it was all crazy fun with the Lorax and Teagan.  Because her birthday is in October and we live in Colorado, we had to be prepared so we rented a room for the party at our rec center.  It worked out great - however, it was 80 degrees so we so could have had it in our backyard!  You just never know in Colorado though!  



Teagan has been in love with the movie The Lorax for about a year now.  I think it is the colors and the music that she loves the most but as she has gotten older she is also really understanding the plot, which honestly, it is a GREAT story!  Time for some fun pictures!  It was a fantastic day and she loved all of the "Lorax Trees", colors, candy and friends.  Happy Birthday little lady!! 


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To have the perfect Lorax party you must have the Lorax show up!  Thanks to my very best friend Lauren, who is now living in Colorado with us, we had him right in the room!  He was Teagan sized too!!  He was so perfect and she did an amazing paint job!  

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When Teagan walked into her party she saw him and ran towards him,  She was so excited!!  I found a perfect Lorax t-shirt with her age and name personalized at a great etsy shop called Maryah Designs.  This shirt is well made and fit our theme perfectly!!  

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One of the first things I do after deciding on a party theme is buy the invitation.  This is what drives all of my decor once this is decided.  I found this PERFECT invitation on etsy I had to buy it.  Larissa Kay Designs helped me find the perfect colors for the invite and it was sent to me with in one day of buying so easy!  We got so many complements on the invite too.  I am old school, I love sending REAL snail mail for parties.  

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Oh the cake table.  The centerpiece of the party right?  Okay, maybe not but it is a very important part of the party and theme!  My good friend who is a cake genus took The Lorax theme and made something right out of the book.  The perfect Truffula Trees and Lorax decorations looked just like the illustrations from the book.  

To add to the cake table I got crafty!  I made the cutest and easy Lorax Wreath for the wall.  I will be posting a DIY tutorial soon!  Stay tuned!

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One of my very talented bloggy friends who also creates great party favors, invites, and decor, Shannon of The Baby Noogle, helped me add to the cake decor by creating the perfect printable with our favorite quote from the Lorax.  It was the perfect touch and now it is in Teagan's room.  

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It's not.”

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I feel like I reached a new level of party planning this year with this theme and totally got with my creative side.  I even made Truffula Tree centerpieces!  Another tutorial that I look forward to sharing with you soon!  ;)  These trees made the theme come together.  The bright colors worked perfectly with all of the other decorations, tablecloths, napkins and plates.  Thankfully Oriental Trading Company helps me find all of my party essentials easily.  I placed one order with all of our yellow and white tablecloths and also decided on Orange, Blue and Green napkins and plates.  I loved all these colors!  

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I usually do some take home treat for the kids but this year I decided to have a Candy Bar.  There is something about the bright fun colors and story of the Lorax that made me think having a Candy Bar would be perfect.  This was a hit with the kids and the adults.  People enjoyed some of the candy through out the party but then also filled up treat bags before they left the party.  Perfect take home treat!  

I channeled my inner candy maker to create cotton candy truffula trees using paper straws and already made cotton candy.  While they didn't turn out perfect, they were really fun and a great touch to the Candy Bar.  

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It turned out so cute, especially with the Truffula Tree centerpieces.  For our Candy Bar we had Cotton Candy Truffula Trees, Gummy Bears, Skitlets, Cinnamon Bears, M&Ms, Marshmallows, Gummy Fish, Rock Candy, Jelly Beans, and Banana Runts!  Yum!!  Simple yet full of lots of fan favorites!  

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With the fun Lorax table tents the Candy Bar was set!  

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One of Teagan's gifts from us was The Lorax in hard cover.  We used this book as a decoration for the party and after the party we let her read her very favorite story.  She loves this book and honestly, I love the message!  

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When you have a party inside you have to have some sort of activity or craft to keep the kids entertained.  To go along with the theme of the environment and keeping the trees happy I decided to have the kids make their own Lorax Flowerpots and then plant special Sunflowers in those newly decorated pots. 

To make these flowerpots all you need is the orange pots, googly eyes, orange poof balls, yarn to make mustaches, seeds, dirt and glue.   This was a relatively cheap activity and it was so worth the mess!  

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Aren't they adorable?  Seriously!!  This craft was a hit and the kids loved creating their own Lorax and when it was time to plant the Sunflowers they were all wondering if the Lorax would help them grow nice and big!  Too cute.  

Heather from Terrell Family Fun helped me create the cutest thank you printable cards to put in each flowerpot.  She is so creative and she needs to be charging me for these great items!  Hint Hint Heather!!  

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Once our lunch and craft were finished we sang happy birthday to our little lady and then she jumped right into her gifts.  It was such a perfect day and perfect party.  Some people think I go overboard but it is what I do for my kids.  Birthday party planning is one of my favorite things to do and I cannot wait to start on next years!  Ideas are flowing already!  The decorations, the theme, the food, the fun and the treats were perfect.  Party planning can be fun, it doesn't have to be exhausting. Finding your theme and committing to it will only make it easier.  


This girl is so loved by so many people.  It warms my heart to see people celebrate her.  Our big 2 year old!!!  How is that even possible!!!


It seems like everyone had a fantastic time.  I know we did and Teagan is still talking about her Lorax Party!!  Thank you to everyone that celebrated with us!!  



Like this party idea?  Pin the collage for the future!  

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Disclosure:  This review is based strictly on my opinion. Others may have a different opinion or experience with the product listed above. I was provided the sample free of charge by the company or PR agency and I provided my honest opinion. No other type of compensation was received for this review.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Bring the Magic of the NorthPole Home with Hallmark

Disclosure:  This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias #NorthPoleFun


Bring the Magic of the NorthPole Home with Hallmark Hallmark book.  Once upon a northpole Christmas book from Hallmark. Hallmark Northpole, Northpole toys, Northpole gifts, Christmas gifts.

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year!  Seriously, it is - for adults but especially for kids. Once we eat the turkey on turkey day, my family is in the Christmas mode.  So much of the Christmas traditions that we do as a family have been around both Jeremy and my family for many years.  It is important to me to continue those holiday traditions but I also enjoy bringing new traditions to Jude and Teagan.  

I know I have said it before, Jude is smart.  Like, Oh.MY.GOSH. how did he know that smart.  This means it is hard to keep the magic of Santa, the NorthPole and Reindeer alive with Jude.  He is only four!  Yikes!  Some people think that the magic isn't important but as I want to continue some of our family traditions the magic must stay in our home!  I am not ready for him to grow up!  

Bring the Magic of the NorthPole Home with Hallmark Hallmark book.  Once upon a northpole Christmas book from Hallmark. Hallmark Northpole, Northpole toys, Northpole gifts, Christmas gifts.

To do this we decided to add something to our Christmas traditions this year.  Hallmark has something this year that will totally get your kids ready for Christmas and help you tell the story of how Santa will find your home every Christmas!  Introducing the Once Upon A NorthPole story from Hallmark. 

Summary of book:  Read this heartwarming Northpole tale and then hang this lighted snowflake in a window, doorknob, or wherever you like to ensure that Santa finds you. On Christmas Eve, the snowflake will glow for four hours until the jolly guy arrives. Perfect for families with small children awaiting Santa, whether at home or when traveling. 

Bring the Magic of the NorthPole Home with Hallmark Hallmark book.  Once upon a northpole Christmas book from Hallmark. Hallmark Northpole, Northpole toys, Northpole gifts, Christmas gifts.

I cannot wait to have Jude and Teagan hang the snowflake beacon on our doorknob before bed on Christmas Eve.  The whole idea is some concrete for Jude.  He questions how Santa knows where he is.  THIS simple story and snowflake will light the magic again!  I love it. 

Not only did I buy the book and the snowflake but we found this really fun  Hallmark Northpole Communicator!  This is the coolest thing!  I cannot wait until December 1st to show this to Jude and Teagan.  

Bring the Magic of the NorthPole Home with Hallmark Hallmark book.  Once upon a northpole Christmas book from Hallmark. Hallmark Northpole, Northpole toys, Northpole gifts, Christmas gifts.

My plan is to show this book, snowflake and communicator to the kids on December 1st.  On December 1st we will "set time" to the NorthPole and start our communication every day!  So fun!  Magic made!  Stay connected to the who's and what's of Northpole all season long. Every day December 1 through Christmas, push the button and turn the knob to have a conversation with Santa or one of his Northpole friends. A fun way for your family to connect with Santa and Northpole. 

Bring the Magic of the NorthPole Home with Hallmark Hallmark book.  Once upon a northpole Christmas book from Hallmark. Hallmark Northpole, Northpole toys, Northpole gifts, Christmas gifts.

It is hard to believe that we are already thinking about Christmas and fun holiday activities around here but I cannot wait.  Our Christmas season is always kicked off on the day after Thanksgiving by heading to a local town and watch the street lighting and seeing Santa turn on the giant tree.  This is a tradition that Jeremy's family had since he was little.  I love that we continue it.  

Through out the month of December we visit Santa at the mall, go to our city's big holiday festival and of course have our Elf on the Shelf join our family.  To add to the fun we will make sure we communicate to the NorthPole as well with the help of the Hallmark NorthPole toys!  

Once Christmas Eve comes we are totally in the Christmas spirit.  We head to my favorite church service of the year; candlelight Christmas Eve service and then dinner with the family and of course we put out our special Santa plate, cup and reindeer treats!  So fun!  I cannot wait!!  

Bring the Magic of the NorthPole Home with Hallmark Hallmark book.  Once upon a northpole Christmas book from Hallmark. Hallmark Northpole, Northpole toys, Northpole gifts, Christmas gifts.

You can pick up the Hallmark Northpole Communicator  ($24.88  - exclusively at Walmart ) and the Hallmark Book and Beacon ($19.97 - exclusively at Walmart.)  I hope you start some new traditions with this beautiful book and fun Northpole toys.  


Giveaway time!!!

Rafflecopter Form:




What are your favorite Family Christmas or Holiday traditions?


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Creative Halloween Snacks and Crafts

Disclosure:  This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias #SpookySnacks



Our house is all things Halloween right now - including all kinds of fun Halloween snacks and crafts. We have had a lot of small get-togethers recently that have had a Halloween theme, which means I have found myself with a lot of left overs so I decided to do something fun with the Fanta Orange and Grape soda that I had left over and also got a little "green" in the DIY department for Jude!  Oh so much fun.  


I have a secret love for Orange soda.  Yum!  It brings back childhood memories of birthday parties.  Seems like that was the drink of choice growing up and Fanta Orange is by far the best orange!  Yum!  I wanted to dress up my orange favorite by making a "Pop To The Party Orange Mocktail".  

Pop To The Party Orange Mocktail Recipe



Ingredients:
 
Fanta Orange Soda
Orange and Green Popping Candy
Light Corn Syrup
Fun straw of course



Directions:

1.  Pour some Light Corn Syrup into a dish that your glass will fit into.  Turn the glass upside down and coat the rim of the glass with corn syrup.

2.  Pour all of the popping candy into a dish.  Mixing the colors well.  Dip the coated rim of the glass into the popping candy.  Coat well!  


3.  Using a pitcher or spouted measuring cup, carefully pour the Fanta Orange into the glass.  

4.  Enjoy the POP and the extra fun in the glass!  


Now I know everyone isn't in love with Fanta Orange like me.  My husband being one of those people.  BUT hand him a pretty purple glass of Fanta Grape and he is happy!  I decided to get a little daring with this drink.  Also, a lot of people forget how much the color purple can complement all of the Orange and Black Halloween decor!  Add some purple for a boost of color and fun when decorating and planning your upcoming Halloween snacks and parties.  

Grape Mummy Berry Cotton Candy Fizzy Drink Recipe



Ingredients:

Fanta Grape Soda
Orange and Purple Cotton Candy
Gummy Mummy
Fun Paper Straw


Directions:  

1.  Pour the Fanta into the glass. 

2.  For garnish add a hunk of cotton candy and the gummy mummy.  So fun and festive!!  

3.  Enjoy!  TIP:  Let the cotton candy "disappear" into the soda - this will add a berry flavor to the drink.  Yum!!  


I absolutely love this holiday!  So many great opportunities for some creative Halloween Snacks.  Now it is time to get creative in the crafting room.  Recently, Jude has been really into playing the game "I Spy".  We play it almost every morning while I drive him to school.  This has helped him learn what certain words begin with.  Perfect teachable moments and fun!  

I have seen so many DIY tutorials on Discovery Bottles and I really wanted to try to make my own.  I had a ton of Dasani 12 ounce bottles left over from Teagan's birthday party and I instantly decided I would make a couple Halloween Discovery Bottles for Jude!!  


I love it!  It was super easy and it was a hit when I showed Jude!  Here is what you will need to be able to make your own Discovery Bottles. 

Halloween Discovery Bottles  



Materials Needed:

Empty and DRY Dasani 12 ounce bottles
Halloween Trinkets - hit the dollar sections of stores right now!  Great deals and prices!
Dry White Rice
Hot Glue

Directions:

1.  First you must make sure you keep the lids to these bottles and let them completely dry before filling them with the rice.  
2.  Take off the label.  

3.  Fill the bottle half way with white rice.  Insert all of the Halloween trinkets.  

4.  Fill the rest of the bottle with rice, leaving about an inch from the lid.  

5.  Glue the lid on!  Please!  ;)  Shake the bottle to mix all of the trinkets around!  

6.  Let your child search and spy all of the great surprises!  


We had a great time enjoying our Halloween Snacks and drinks and discovering the Halloween Discovery Bottle.  Just a tip when using Discovery Bottles - sure it is fun for your child to just look at the trinkets but try engaging with him.  Ask if he can find something in the bottle that begins with "S".  Hopefully he will find the SPIDER.  Just an example.  This will build his sounding skills!  


Make sure you stop by Walmart before the Halloween season is over - these products are perfect for Halloween!  I know we will be taking our Dasani 12 ounce bottles to all of our Halloween Day activities.  Trick or Treating depends on hydration!  You know, it is serious stuff!!  ;)



Have you made any yummy Halloween Snacks this year?  Did you get creative with some fun crafts?

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Loaded Mashed Potato Cups #recipe with Idahoan® Foods Steakhouse® Mashed Potatoes #giveaway

Disclosure:   Idahoan® Foods sent me products to taste and use in my own recipes. All Opinions are my own.





Recently, the very well known Idahoan Foods released a new line of mashed products to Colorado.  Lucky us!!  Since having children we have been big purchasers of Idahoan products because as busy working parents it is hard work to get a good potato mash done before bath and bed time.  Thanks to Idahoan, our kids get mashed potatoes a lot with their dinners and they certainly do not mind!  Yum!  

The brand new product only available in the Denver area (and Des Moines) is called Steakhouse® Mashed Baby Reds®.  It is a premium line of mashed potatoes similar to what you would enjoy in a high end steakhouse restaurant. Look, I know, you are probably saying, yeah right! BUT just like the potatoes in a high end restaurant are made with real potatoes...these are as well!  The only difference is that Idahoan has taken the water out of the potatoes so they can be packaged and prepared at any time. This product is prepared in less than 4 minutes, so for busy moms, these are a huge help in the kitchen!  


Steakhouse Mashed Baby Reds are available in four flavors: Real Butter, Cheddar & Parmesan, Roasted Garlic and Twice Baked. The new Steakhouse line starts with Baby Reds grown in Idaho, combines them with rich dairy ingredients and delivers a product that has the texture of a hand-mashed, restaurant-quality potato.  

Idahoan Foods added Steakhouse Mashed to its extensive product line of tasty, quality, quick fix potato products due to feedback from families across the country. Potato lovers said they were interested and enthusiastic about seeing something more upscale in the category – something “tasty, convenient and innovative.”

Not only are these great to add to your dinners for a simple and easy side dish BUT you can also surprise your guests and family with some cute treats!  Creative in the kitchen is always easier when the prep time isn't longer than minutes!  


Loaded Mashed Potato Cup Recipe

Free Printable Recipe Here. 


Ingredients:
One Package of Idahoan Steakhouse Potatoes, prepared as directed
Shredded cheese
Sour cream
bacon; optional 
onions; optional

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare a muffin tin by spraying with cooking spray.  
2.  Prepare Idahoan Steakhouse Potatoes as directed.  


3.  Once the mashed potatoes are made, simply fill the muffin tins with mashed potatoes.  

4.  Make the potatoes into cups - using a spoon.  

5.  Bake the potatoes for 20 minutes.  

6.  Once lightly browned, let cool for 10 minutes.  Once they are cooled, carefully take the potatoes cups out of the tin.  

7. Now you and your guests can top your cups with potato favorites!  Enjoy!!  



I want you to try these yummy additions to the Idahoan product line too!  
Enter this giveaway for a chance to win your own price pack from Idahoan Foods!!  All you have to do is enter the Rafflecopter form below!  Good luck!!  

Giveaway is open to US addresses only.  


Rafflecopter Form:



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Friday, October 24, 2014

Strawberry Muffins with TruMoo Strawberry Milk #Recipe

Disclosure:  This post brought to you by TruMoo. All opinions are 100% mine.

You have heard me talk about TruMoo milk before and this time I am here to introduce you to the idea of bringing yummy flavored TruMoo milk into your baking ingredients for your kiddos.  Look, parenting is hard, especially when trying to think of healthy food options for those early mornings.  Thankfully, my kids have both always loved milk.  I started to let them have treats of chocolate or strawberry milk a couple times a week for breakfast.  I started to think about that and figured that all that sugary syrup probably was not good for them.  This is when I found TruMoo.  

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Every glass of TruMoo starts with fresh, pure milk from a trusted dairy.  This means that the drink that your child is enjoying is full of 8 essential nutrients AND even though it is a sweetened milk it is sweetened with just enough sugar and NO high fructose corn syrup.

Strawberry Muffins with TruMoo Strawberry Milk #Recipe Strawberry muffin recipe.  easy muffin recipe.  Strawberry milk muffins

I love that I give my kids this special treat but still be giving their body some great nutrients as well.  I decided to try to get creative with my kids' favorite flavor of TruMoo milk - Strawberry.  I wanted to make something for Teagan's birthday breakfast but knew I wouldn't have time to whip something up before work and school so I made some muffins that freeze perfectly and can be made ahead of time.  

Strawberry Muffins with TruMoo Strawberry Milk #Recipe Strawberry muffin recipe.  easy muffin recipe.  Strawberry milk muffins

Strawberry Milk Muffins

Free Printable Recipe here. 

Ingredients:  
1/4 cup Oil
1/2 cup TruMoo Strawberry Milk
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 3/4 flour
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
pink food coloring (optional)


Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line muffin tin with fun muffin liners!  

2.  Combine in a small bowl the liquid ingredients; oil, milk, and egg.  Mix well!

3.  In a large mixing bowl add the salt, baking powder, sugar, and flour.  Mix well.  

4.  Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture.  Using an electric hand mixer, mix well!

5.  I added pink food coloring for some extra pink fun but this is optional!  

6.  Pour batter evenly into the muffin liners.  

7.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Serve warm OR freeze for later!  Enjoy!!

Strawberry Muffins with TruMoo Strawberry Milk #Recipe Strawberry muffin recipe.  easy muffin recipe.  Strawberry milk muffins

Make sure that you visit TruMoo for more information on their great products and flavors and find a way to incorporate them into your daily cooking and baking!  


On Monday morning for Teagan's birthday I put these muffins in the microwave for 35 seconds and breakfast was served!  A perfect pink muffin full of protein, vitamins and fruit!  Mom for the win!  Not to mention she loved the color!  Such a princess!  


GIVEAWAY TIME!!  
Want to try TruMoo now?  Time to enter this giveaway - 1 winner will get 5 -  $0.75 off coupons for any TruMoo product!  To enter all you have to do is comment on this post and answer the question below!  Good Luck!  Giveaway will end on 10/31/2014 at 10:00pm MST.  Open to US Addresses only.

What TruMoo Flavor are you most excited to try?

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