Just Heather

As our oldest approaches the teen years, it has been fascinating to see her interest in some of the same things I was into as a preteen. Today, she is wearing this little number—way too reminiscent of the 80s clothing I donned at her age. It doesn’t stop there, not by a long shot. In her room, you’ll find posters starring her favorite pop idols. Joey McIntyre may have been replaced by Zac Efron and the 90210 crew has been ousted in favor of High School Musical, but the theme is the same!

How cool would it be to have a poster printed of her & her friends, maybe even a collage, to add to her collection? At Digital Room, you can upload your favorite photos to create poster prints. If I can find an awesome photo or come up with a good design, this will be her “something you need” gift under the tree. With the free one I’m receiving for sharing this review, it’s yet another way to lower our Christmas budget. If you could use a poster-sized holiday gift, maybe I can lower your holiday budget a bit too!

To enter for your chance to win, simply leave a comment here sharing what you would like to have printed. You can earn additional entries by:

  • Following me on Twitter
  • Blogging about this giveaway
  • Tweeting about this giveaway: Win a free custom poster print from @JustHeather! http://bit.ly/2BY21Q

For your extra entries to be counted, be sure to leave an additional comment directing me to your entry. Only one additional entry per method (i.e. While multiple tweets are appreciated it, only one will count as a drawing entry.) The contest runs until November 20th at 11:59pm edt. One winner will be notified by email on November 21st (as selected by Random.org) and must submit their mailing information within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen. Open only to residents of the U.S. and cannot be shipped to PO boxes.

posters_drYour prize (18×24 poster print on High Gloss or Semi Gloss paper with free UPS shipping) will be awarded in the form of a custom coupon code, redeemable at Digital Room. Prize includes free UPS shipping in the U.S.


I was offered this giveaway from Digital Room, through the U-Printing blog sponsorship program. I am receiving a free poster print in addition to the free product for my readers for hosting this giveaways, but the opinion is 100% real and honest.

“Today is my birthday, and I got a box!”

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Happy Wordless Wednesday!

img_3610-largeWhen Lorelai first announced she wanted a Marshmallow Party, I blew it off as a toddler whim. However, the idea never went away and she started telling everyone she was “having a marshmallow birthday.” I realized I’d better get creative. Of course, the first thing I thought of was roasting marshmallows. The entire party surrounded the food, but I think I managed to pull everything together into one thematic event. Yes, that’s right, I hosted a Marshmallow Party. How many of you can say that?

The Food

We had rice crispy treats (my first gluten free attempt—yum!), marshmallow roasting and a chocolate fountain (for dipping the marshmallows, among other things). We also had bowls of pretty, fruit-flavored marshmallows. That becomes important later.
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The Cake

img_3608-largeI was clueless about how to do a cake, all the way up until last week. At first, I thought about just frosting a giant rice crispy treat. It certainly would have been cheaper than a gluten free cake, but I just couldn’t let go of the cake idea. I toyed with the idea of putting a roasting marshmallow on a sheet cake. I considered ways to make the cake look like a marshmallow—white frosting isn’t that hard! In the end, I went with an idea given to me by a pastry-chef friend. I frosted a 2-layer round and added marshmallows to look like a polka-dot cake. Well, I hope that’s what it looked like anyway. Polka dots or alien space ship? You decide!

The Gifts

img_3647-largeNow that we use the present poem, buying gifts for holiday and birthday is pretty easy. Fitting our “traditional” bike for a 4-year-old into something you need was a bit of a stretch, I’ll admit. She did open the helmet, though, and that’s a definite necessity! She opened most of her gifts on her actual birthday, but I purchased wrapping paper to match her theme anyway. I found pastel polka dot paper (say that 3 times fast!) in the baby shower section. The colors almost exactly matched the fruity marshmallows!

The Decorations

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How do you decorate with marshmallows? Again, I sprung off the idea of marshmallow polka dots. We picked paper goods and balloons in matching colors, but that was about it. If I’d had an unlimited budget, I could have covered much of the house with gossamer or fluffy cotton. I decided pink tablecloths were good enough. Besides, we had a chocolate fountain! What more did I really need?

 

The Marshmallow Princess

No birthday party is complete in our household without a costume. The tradition began in the age of princess parties—Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and Jasmine have all celebrated their birthdays in our home. We have reused Halloween outfits, bridal gowns and recital costumes. This year was no exception. Lorelai’s Halloween butterfly costume became a Marshmallow Princess outfit by simply removing the wings and adding a crown—decked out with marshmallows, of course.
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The next morning, Lorelai told me “Lasterday was my best party ever!” The princess has spoken. Best. Party. Ever.

The New York Times says “firstborns are smarter” in a new scientific study on the relationship between birth order and I.Q. This is good news for me, as the oldest child of four. I’m just not really convinced. I have 3 girls, and while they’re all smart as a whip, I don’t know that I’d say one is smarter than the other. (Not that I’ve ever had their I.Q. tested.)

I think Stacia was our earliest (and best) talker, but I always chalked that up to spending 5 years of her life almost exclusively around grownups. Of course, maybe that’s the crux of it all—children who hear only adults speaking, who are talked to frequently and who get more attention may grow up with an advantage.

I don’t know, but it probably won’t stop me from letting my siblings know that I’m the smartest. It was in the New York Times! Check out the article through Juicebox widget on my sidebar, and let me know what you think!

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How did that happen?

When Sarah first announced that this week’s Show & Tell theme was Things That Go, my thoughts went immediately to my youngest daughter. Lorelai is a big fan of all things that go—trucks and trains, especially. She even chose a train theme for her bedroom—no frilly butterflies or fairies for my little girl!
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Last year’s birthday was a construction truck theme. This year, she has her sights set on a marshmallow party. I’m not 100% sure what that means, but I do know there will be s’mores. Inspiration for the cake and decorations still eludes me. Her 3rd birthday was much easier to plan. Yellow and black balloons tied to orange cones from the soccer equipment along with trucks we already had (The cupcakes were housed in the back of a Tonka dump truck.) spruced up the place.
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For her cake, I went super simple. Wilton was not at all involved! Dirt mounds should be messy so I didn’t even have to try that hard to smooth the chocolate frosting. Just add toy trucks and our construction scene was complete. I bought the construction hats at a party store, added a truck sticker and wrote each child’s name on it. Kids love dressing up so it’s always fun to find a way to work that into a birthday party.
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The kids played some digging games to unearth a truck in a tub of birdseed. They raced their trucks in the next game, then got to take them home in lieu of goody bags. The trucks from the cake, and the leftovers from the digging game, were Lorelai’s to keep. She still plays with them to this day. The set I bought had even come with a toolbox carrying case for storage. (At the party, we used it to hold the napkins and silverware!) It was one of the easiest and least expensive parties we’ve had in a long time. I should have anticipated this kind of payback. A marshmallow party! Seriously?

Planning birthday parties is kind of my thing. I’ll just have to get a bit more creative this time around.


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This post is part of Show and Tell Tuesday at Mom’s Marbles. Join us every Tuesday for a new topic and link up with smart moms sharing even more great ideas! (Also, don’t forget to stop by on Monday when I contribute Money Saving Mondays—ideas for living your life Inexpensively.)

Today was an epiphany surrounded by laundry, wrapped with a 3-year-old in nothing but underwear and a shirt half over her head. “Help me!” was her muffled cry, but as I made my way to her she was suddenly freed of the tangle. Proudly pulling the shirt down over her head, she announced, “I got it! I don’t need you.” My heart broke just a little bit.

I was taken back to the night several years ago when my oldest declared that she was not a baby and did not need to be tucked in. She marched up to bed all on her own. I curled up on my own bed with tears welling in my eyes. My little baby didn’t need me anymore. Gone were the days of cuddles and kisses, Goodnight Moon and the insistence that it wasn’t bedtime until Mommy pulled the covers over her body.

The tears were ready to flow when I heard a tiny voice call out, “Mommy? Can you come tuck me in?” We both went to bed a little more peaceful that night, me knowing my little girl still needed me (just a little bit) and her knowing I would always be there when she did. For her, that will always be true, but isn’t the point of parenting to raise your children so they won’t need you anymore? One day, all three of my girls will grow up and away – needing me less and less as the years go on. My heart will hurt, but it will mean I was successful.

I don’t think it will happen all at once. Slowly they’ll just need me less and less. One by one, they’ll begin to lean on one another or friends. Or a spouse. Until suddenly I’m not the one they think of first when they struggle, and they have to pencil in “call mom” on the calendar. They’ll probably still think of me when they want to cook their childhood favorites and I’m the one with the recipe in her head. I hope I’m first on the list when they want a night away from their own children.

Most of all, though, I hope they always know that even when they no longer need me daily, I’ll always be here when they do.

Wordless Wednesday: Lorelai had 9 inches cut off in June for Locks of Love. Since I have never gotten around to blogging her 1st haircut, this will have to do. Besides, if a picture is worth a 1000 words, then 27 pictures is almost a whole novel!