Despicable Me - Birthday Party

Got to catch up on some birthdays, this little guy is now 3 years old. so yeah I'm behind ;)



For his first birthday we did a minion theme from the movie "Despicable Me" The boys have a little stuffed minion that giggles and they LOVE it!

I didn't have much time to plan his party, we literally had it 2 days after we moved across the country.

I sent out these announcements,

Despicable Me Invite, Minion Invite


Bought a mini disco ball,

and made ugly minion cupcakes!

Despicable me Cupcake, Minion Cupcake

It was so much fun! I just love it when they are one and you give them a cupcake for the first time.... at first they don't know what to do with it, but they figure it out after a few test licks ;)

Easy Easter Service Project for kids

Last year for Easter, our sweet neighbor left this at our door...


My kids loved it so much and we decided to do it for our neighbors this year.

All you need is...

  • An Egg Carton
  • Plastic Easter eggs
  • Stuff to Fill eggs with
  • and This Printable to put on top


We chose to fill our eggs with...


  • Popcorn
  • Cereal
  • Jelly Beans
  • Little Finger Nail Polish
  • Chocolate Eggs
  • Blue Tootsie Rolls
  • Dried Fruit
  • A Easter Story (we chose a spiritual one called the empty egg)
  • Animal Crackers
  • Yogurt Pretzels
  • and Stickers


The kids helped me fill them (and eat some too of course)


And them we went and hid them on people's lawn and then rang the door bell and gave them the empty container

My kids squealed as they watched the kids find there eggs. And since my kids are still really young and don't quite understand the whole concept. They helped the neighbors find some that they hid and would shout with JOY, " OPEN, YUMMY" or " THERE IS CANDY IN THAT ONE"

{I think my kids are seeing that sometimes it is more fulfilling to make others happy instead of ourselves. And I think that is what Jesus Christ would want them to learn this Easter Season }

Happy Easter!



What convinced me to Print my Pictures

Each year (after I delete all the bad/usless pictures) I usually have taken 1000 pictures, and they just sit on my phone until I put them on the computer.... to sit on my computer.  I decided it's time to print my pictures.

Before I get to the reasons why I now print my pictures, let's talk about the reasons I didn't print my pictures...



1) Mostly cause I'm LAZY

2) It's hard getting them from my phone to the place to print- by hard I guess I don't really mean hard, more like it was too much of a hassle. I couldn't motivate my self to download the pictures to the computer and then copy them onto a hard drive or CD, or use a web browser that wasn't user friendly

3) I had to go pick them up- when you have three kids in car seats, you only want to leave the house for groceries or fun, little errands are not worth your energy anymore

4) Price- printed photos were more money then I wanted to spend, and the apps for phones that were easy to use, charged a lot for shipping

THEN  I watched Shark Tank one night and met GROOVE BOOK


Here is why I print with groove book

1) the app is so easy to use

2) they mail them to me (it took mine 2-3 weeks)



3) it is CHEAP - 100 photos for 2.99 that includes the photos and shipping....what?!

4) I like the Quality of the paper and color. The color matches what I see on my phone, and while the paper is a little bit thinner, I think it is still good quality

5) if for some reason my phone dies, or I loose my backup's or technology ceases to exist (noooo)......  I have a hard copy of my photos



6) I put a title of the book on front and call it the easy way to scrapbook....done. (But for you hard core scrapbookers the pictures are perforated, so they are easy to tear out)

7) my kids like flipping through the books way more then looking at them on the computer. There is just something about them being tangible.



8) they make great gifts as bragging books for Grandparents ;) and it is so easy to add on a copy of a book, defiantly what my mom will be getting every year for Mothers Day!

9) I can easily tear them out since the pages are perforated. Then I can put them in a picture frame or give them to family/friends



10 each picture has a Date Stamp above the picture with the date and time it was taken. Which is great for Photo Journaling

11) even my lazy self can do it in no time at all



Ok so DO YOU WANT TO TRY IT?

Your first book is on me, thats right you can print your first one for FREE with my code
CARSTENS20

If you end up not liking it you can unsubscribe, but if you are like me you will be a Huge Fan and very excited to start your next book! My next one will be baby pictures ;) 

http://www.groovebook.com

*they are printed glossy
*they only print for smart phones, so when I have pictures on my computer I want I either share them or email them from my computer to my phone
* if the are not sized 4x6 there will be little white bars printed on the top and bottom so no one/thing is cropped out of the picture, refer to picture under reason #7 why printing with GrooveBook is AWESOME











Parks and Recreation Valentines-Free Download

Who Loves the show Parks and Recreations? It is our new favorite and we are always quoting it.

 This year I made you some Parks and Rec Valentines

Parks and Rec, Parks and Recreations Valentines, Free Printables, Valentines

  Download them HERE *NOTE* on my computer they show up pixelated and very weird looking, but when you download them they look just fine.


Parks and Rec, Parks and Recreations Valentines, Free Printables, Valentines

Parks and Rec, Parks and Recreations Valentines, Free Printables, Andy Dwyer Valentine

Parks and Rec, Parks and Recreations Valentines, Free Printables, Chris Valentine

Parks and Rec, Parks and Recreations Valentines, Free Printables, Leslie Knope Valentine

Parks and Rec, Parks and Recreations Valentines, Free Printables, Tom Haverford Valentines

Parks and Rec, Parks and Recreations Valentines, Free Printables, Ron Swanson Valentines

Parks and Rec, Parks and Recreations Valentines, Free Printables, Jerry Valentines, Lerry Valentines

Parks and Rec, Parks and Recreations Valentines, Free Printables, Donna Valentines,

Parks and Rec, Parks and Recreations Valentines, Free Printables, Lil Sebastian

Parks and Rec, Parks and Recreations Valentines, Free Printables, Perd Herd

Parks and Rec, Parks and Recreations Valentines, Free Printables, Congressman Jamm

Parks and Rec, Parks and Recreations Valentines, Free Printables, April Ludgate


  Download them HERE *NOTE* on my computer they show up pixelated and very weird looking, but when you download them they look just fine.

Here are some other Valentines you can download for free. From some other fun bloggers.


These are some adorable designs form Devyn Marie Designs

Candy Bar Wrapper Valentine, Free Printables,

This candy bar wrapper is a fun idea from One Willis Family

Pencil topper Valentine, Free Printables,

These adorable pencil toppers from A Pocket Full of LDS Prints

Valentine Banner, Free Printables,

or this Valentine banner from C {dot} Love


Reindeer Ornaments

Growing up, I have memories of my mom make a bunch of ornaments for our themed tree. One of my favorites she made were these Reindeer ornaments
They were my favorite because she would hide chocolate Kisses inside 
This year I made some for my tree and some to give away. I love these little deer they fill me with Christmas memories from my childhood, and memories of my dear mother who always filled every holiday with cheer!
I used my mom's pattern but tried to put my own spin on them by adding some color...

for instructions on how to make this ornament click here

Cut plastic canvas 10x10 squares
Thread yarn back and forth top to bottom
Sew two sides of two together with the yarn
Sew two sides of the bottom one and the third one together.

There will be two sides of two squares left untouched sew around all four edges separately (don't sew them together like you did with the past sides) so there will be an opening for the mouth.

Add all the fun stuff, some antlers made from pipe cleaner, some goggly eyes, and a fuzzy nose!
Add Chocolate Kisses for extra fun!

Recommended Kid Toys - Ages 1-2


Christmas is around the corner, and so I am going to let you know what toys are a hit at our house
This is like water colors, only without the mess! The kids like this better because their little uncoordinated strokes, still make big color. I like it because it is reusable! That's right, when it dry's you can paint it again.
The kids LOVE this, they could go in circles all day through the tunnel and the Tent is also fun for them to play in. I like it because when they are done it all folds down flat for storage, no bulky toys taking up space around the house

My kids loved this toy when they were really little and just bearly learning to play with toys, and they haven't grown out of it yet, as they grow they get excited about putting the right animal in or the right color, and counting

My middle boy used to sleep with this every night, he just loved the music and the light.



You can never go wrong with their favorite toy from their favorite movie or show (which is cars in our house) Not only will you get big smiles and squeals when they open their present but they also will play with the toy every day!




8 Books My Toddlers Love

Kids for Christmas - Toddlers for Christmas
I love this guide for buying Christmas gifts. It gives me a good outline to follow, and makes it so my kids get the same amount of stuff. So if you are looking for "SOMETHING TO READ" for your adorable TODDLER, here are my suggestions...

books for toddlers - 8 books my kids love
1- Blue Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boynton
Fun and silly way to teach colors to kids.

2- Pete the Cat and His Four Groovie Buttons by Eric Litwin 
Great way to introduce kids to numbers and the idea of subtraction. My kids love the to dance and sing to the silly song.

3- Octopus Opposites by Stella Blackstone 
This is a wonderful book to introduce kids to opposites. My kids also loved the art work

4- Hello is this Grandma? by Iam Whybrow 
There are three reason my kids love this book 1) it has ANIMALS 2) it is about talking on the PHONE 3) there is a BIRTHDAY in this book. They get so excited every time

5- Thanking God for You by Alice Greenspan 
This is a lovely poem that probably sums up how much you love your child, a good book to sit down and have snuggles. You can also personalize it by adding a picture of your child at the end.

6- Beep! Beep! Beepity-Beep! 
This book has it all, a fun song, colors, counting, and TRUCKS.

7- Llama Llama Red Pajama Anna Dewdney 
This cleverly written book is my kids favorite, they love the whole llama llama series but this one if my favorite, if you haven't read it yet, give it a try!

8- Peek-a-Moo by Marie Torres Cimarusti 
Babies love the peek a boo fun of this book and toddlers love how it is interactive and they get to make all the animal sounds.


And I have them all here for you to check out on Amazon! My favorite way to shop, no screaming kids or loading and unloading them into the car and stores.