Over The Top Mommy

Celebrations

Easy LEGO Brick Costumes for Halloween

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. 

Calling all LEGO fans and moms looking for a cute costume idea that’s easy to make! Last year, we put together these LEGO Brick costumes on very short notice, to wear to LEGOLAND California’s Brick or Treat night.Since it’s an event in the park and the kids still want to go on rides and wear a costume, I found these very easy to wear and also to take off and put on quickly for rides, but still look cute. We got a ton of compliments and it was fun for our whole family to have matching costumes.To make these LEGO Brick costumes you’ll need:

  • A thin wood rectangle (1 for each costume)
  • 6 thin wood circles (for each costume)
  • spongy paintbrushes
  • acrylic paint
  • craft wood glue
  • mini glue gun with glue sticks
  • 1/2″-1″ wide ribbon
  • a coordinating color of t-shirt to match your “brick”
  • newspaper or paper, for painting on
  • scissors

Directions for the costume:

  • Use a generous amount of acrylic paint to both the canvas and the 6 wooden circles. (Make sure your painting surface is covered.) Allow to dry overnight.
  • Lay circles onto painted canvas to see where you want to glue them. Use your favorite craft wood glue to fasten them to the painted canvas. Allow them to dry.
  • After the LEGO Brick is completely dry, get ribbon and measure how long you want it to hang then cut the ribbon accordingly. Use the glue gun to fasten the ribbon to the back of the LEGO brick and it’s ready to wear!

With these costumes, it’s easy to grab any kind of pants, shorts, skirt, jewelry, sunglasses, hair bow in the same hue as your “brick” to accessorize your costume. I’m thinking of making a GLITTERY PINK LEGO BRICK this year to wear for Halloween! What do you think?

 

 

Non-Candy Valentine’s Day Treats for Kids + Free Printable Pencil Flags

Although Valentine’s Day is traditionally laden with chocolates and sweet treats, there are also so many non-sweet treats available nowadays. As an elementary school teacher, I’m always looking for alternatives to candy that I can give my students either as rewards during the month of February or to put in their Valentine’s Day mailboxes.mini-heart-erasersI found a ton of cute, non-sweet treats like tiny notebooks, mini heart erasers, fun pencils, and a bunch of different Valentine’s stickers. (everyone loves stickers!) I love to give my students valentines-day-non-sweet-treatsTo make the Valentine’s pencils extra fun, I designed a set of purple, hot pink, and red printable “Happy Valentine’s Day” flags to add to them. I printed them on white cardstock so they were sturdy. (You can download these for free at the bottom of this post.)

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After printing out the pencil flags, you can cut each one with scissors or a paper cutter.

valentines-flags-1Fold them flag strips and apply pressure to the crease. Next, trim each one to a flag shape. Use a glue stick to fasten each one securely around the top of each pencil. To print out the FREE printable “Happy Valentine’s Day” flags, go here.

valentines-day-flags-3I made a non-candy “treat” bag for each of my students that included a Smile Face Valentine pencil with a flag on it, a couple of Mini Valentine Spiral Notebooks, a handful of Mini Smile Face Erasers, a couple sheets of Mini Heart Big Roll Stickers, and a Tic-Tac-Toe Valentine Sticker Card for each student. I stuck everything into a clear cellophane bag. and tied with some ribbon. I can’t wait to pass them out on Valentine’s Day! Do you send anything special for Valentine’s Day for your child’s classmates?

 

Basic Invite: Truly Custom Invitations for All Occasions + 2017 Holiday Cards

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

 

Have you heard of Basic Invite before? If not, you’re going to love this great site I recently discovered! They have a card for almost every major life moment and special occasion including weddings, showers, birth announcements, first birthdays, graduations and beautiful holiday cards. Their cards are made with premium papers and are able to be personalized to fit whatever occasion you’re shopping for. Basic Invite is truly the custom invitation company you’re looking for. basic-invite-logobasic-invite-logo-slogan@2xWith the ability to choose every part of the invitations or cards you’re ordering, you’ll be able to create the cute cards you’ve been dreaming of. (Keep reading because I have a discount code for you to use on your Basic Invite holiday cards order, to save 30%, at the bottom of this post.)basic-invite-custom-samples

  • Almost Unlimited Colors – Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers almost unlimited color options with instant previews online. Once you select a design you can change the color of each element on the card to over 180 different color options so you can make sure the card is exactly how you want it down to the littlest detail. This is what we feel sets us apart from almost any other online stationery company and is what we feel is our biggest draw.
  • Custom Samples – Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers the ability to order a printed sample of their actual invitation so they can see exactly how it will print as well as feel the paper quality before they ever have to place their final order.
  • Over 40 Different Colors of Envelopes – Basic Invite is just as colorful with our envelopes as we are with our invitations. Customers can choose from over 40 different colors when it comes to their envelopes so that they can make their invitation stand out even before it is opened. All of our envelopes are peel and seal so the envelopes can be quickly and securely closed without licking a single one.
  • Address Capturing Service – Basic Invite offers an address capturing service that allows customers to simply share a link on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other form of social media to request their friends and family’s addresses which will be stored in the customer’s account and can then be selected during the design process. Basic Invite offers recipient address printing at no cost on all Christmas card orders

With the holidays just around the corner, Basic Invite is offering over 250 Christmas card and holiday card designs to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a photo card or a beautifully illustrated card, Basic Invite will have the perfect template for you to start with and personalize.basic-invite-holiday-cards-2 It’s so hard to narrow down my choices but I’m thinking foil cards for our own 2017 Christmas cards. After browsing their Foil Cards section, I see that in addition to gold and silver foil cards, they are also offering rose gold holiday cards. Rose gold is my latest obsession! Customers ordering Basic Invite foil designs have a choice of either flat or raised foil embellishments on any area you’d like, even your names.basic-invite-2017-christmas-cards-rose-gold-1In addition to their foil 2017 Christmas cards, here are just a couple other pictures of some of the other cute Christmas cards you’ll find on their site: basic-invite-merry-holidaysbasic-invite-peace-love-joyTo check out more of their cute Christmas cards, go here. Have you ordered your 2017 Christmas cards yet? It’s never too early! Right now Basic Invite is offering 30% off your holiday cards order with coupon code: holi30 so be sure to enter it at checkout.

You can connect with Basic Invite on Facebook, Pinterest, Intagram, and Twitter, too.

Images and logo are property of Basic Invite and used with permission. 

 

Take Your Birthday Party to Blink, Inc. For a Fun Photo Shoot

I was invited as a guest of Blink, Inc. for a photo session in order to write this post. All opinions are 100% my own. 

 

As a party planning mom, I get excited when my daughter’s birthday rolls around each year because it’s another opportunity to plan a special party for her. It’s become a bit more challenging though as she’s gotten older. Gone are the days of having a big house party with characters or a bounce house. blink-inc-cardsblink-inc-birthday-buttonThis year my daughter just wanted a “Girls Day Out” at the mall with her friends. I think they’re at the age where they want to be out and be seen. She requested lunch and shopping and “just hanging out”. I thought of something super fun to add to her day….I booked a BFF birthday photo session for the girls at Blink, Inc,! (She absolutely loved it when we visited last year.) She was ecstatic when I told her about the addition to our plans for the day!blink-inc-posesBlink, Inc. is a photo studio staffed with professional photographers that are ready to photograph you the moment you walk in. It was so easy to make this fit in with our party schedule, you just go online to their site and choose a time and date at the location that works best for you, and book an appointment to go into their studio.
blink-inc-birthday-hatsBlink, Inc.studio is already set up with an all-white, blank backdrop, giving you images that look and feel like a professional, editorial fashion shoot. The lighting is set up to make everyone look their best! (They even flashed out MY wrinkles!)blink-inc-usThe photographers at the studio are experienced and will work with you ,not only to make it a fun experience but also to assure you get the images you envisioned in your head. Our photographer talked with us a little bit before we started and we showed her some of the props we brought for the shoot and gave her ideas of what I was looking for.blink-inc-confettiYou’ll want to come into the studio with an idea of what you’re going to do because shoots go by very quickly. We brought tiny party hats with us, a “Birthday Girl” button, and some confetti, to use as props in some of the pictures. Our photographer, got a lot of cute shots though, most without props. I love that the girls were just dressed as their regular, everyday tween selves because their littler personalities really showed in the photos.blink-inc-circle

blink-inc-friendsblink-inc-laughing-with-youSessions at Blink, Inc  can be scheduled for 10, 20, 30 minutes, or even longer, and start at just $25 for a 10 minute session. You’re able to see your photos as they’re shot, because Blink, Inc. offers a real-time delivery system. Pricing for images begins at $10/image with the option to purchase the entire shoot at a great “Buy All” price. Your images are delivered  almost immediately to your computer or mobile device so you can view, download to share online and even print at home.blink-inc-jumpWalk-ins are welcome but reservations are always encouraged at Blink, Inc.. To learn more  about the different types of sessions you can shoot at Blink, Inc. or to reserve your own in-studio appointment, please visit http://www.blinkinc.com.

A very special thank you to our favorite Blink, Inc. photographer at the Fashion Island location, Morgan! 

Valentine’s Day Math Patterning + Free Printable Activity Sheets

My students know that Valentine’s Day is my most favorite holiday of the year. It’s so much fun to change up some of the Math activities in my classroom each month to go along with the holidays. Patterning is one of the Math activities we work on throughout the school year. At the primary level, patterning is everywhere and there are plenty of opportunities to integrate it into a lot of areas in the classroom. My students get extra giddy when they see the hearts come out because they know it’s that time of year! hearts-with-washiTo create this fun Valentine’s Day patterning activity, I  found the most adorable mini smile face heart erasers on the Oriental Trading Company site’s Valentine section and couldn’t resist. Their little faces are so cute, and look kinda like emoji faces. I also ordered some Valentine’s Day washi tape. To make the activity even more appealing, I utilized a big, red wooden heart that I had at home. This would be something I’d use if I left the activity at an independent center.valentines-day-math-suppliesvalentines-day-math-keyStudents can also just practice the patterning at their desks. Each student gets 3 circles, each one with an “A”, a “B”, and a “C” in the center, to create their “key”. They place a different colored heart eraser in each circle after they decide which ones they want to be each letter in their patterns.valentines-day-math-pattern-key-with-heartsThen they place the rectangular pattern cards out on their desk. Each student receives about 50 heart erasers to work with and they create their own patterns. It keeps them pretty quiet for a short while, which is nice.valentines-day-math-pattern-cardsTo switch it up, they can change around which color heart they place in the key and create new patterns. They LOVE doing this patterning activity!valentines-day-math-patterns-aabbccvalentines-day-mathAs an extension activity, you can also have students draw and illustrate their patterns on a piece of paper.

To download the free printables from this activity, go here. As always, I recommend printing these out on white cardstock because it’s sturdier.

I received promotional items in order to write this post. All opinions are 100% my own. 

 

DIY Valentine’s Day Shirts

After making family shirts for Thanksgiving Day and some Christmas Pj tops, my daughter insisted I now make her a Valentine shirt! She is in love with two of the newest Valentine printable collections by Lauren McKinsey, Puppy Love and Purr-fect Love, so we designed a fabric transfer on the Avery site using some of the clip art included with these collections. I cannot tell you how easy these are to do. You literally go online to the Avery site, enter your product number, (we used #8938, for light fabrics) and then you have an option to use their online template to design whatever you want.

After you have perfected your design, just print it out, using the special fabric transfers paper in your printer. After printing, trim around the design (don’t trim too close) and place face down on your image where you want it to be.
*This is the important part: Read their directions, even watch their tutorial, about HOW to best iron the image to your shirt. This part is VERY important. I’d by lying if I didn’t admit to having had a couple of shirts before that had to be thrown out, after I completely messed them up.
I LOVE how her shirt turned out so much, that I’m definitely making one for myself too! Aside from Christmas, I think Valentine’s Day is my other favorite holiday!
To see all of Lauren McKinsey’s Valentine’s printable collections, click here.

Ring in 2017 at the Pretend City Noon Year’s Eve Confetti Countdown

noon-years-eve-cropped

Ring in the “Noon” Year at Pretend City!
Pretend City Children’s Museum invites everyone to come celebrate the New Year! Join in the fun as they we ring in 2017 in the middle of the day on Saturday, December 31, 2016 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.. The Noon Year’s Eve Confetti Countdown will celebrate the New Year four different times as midnight strikes in Bangladesh, Dubai, Athens, and London.noon-years-eve-2Children will be able to get in the spirit with crafts including DIY noise makers and party hats and a kiddie dance party, in addition to enjoying all of the regular fun at Pretend City Children’s Museum.noon-years-eve-3Join in all the family friendly fun at Pretend City this New Year’s Eve! Hope to see you there!

Connect with Pretend City on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

Simple Cheer Team Gifts (Or For ANY Team Sport) + FREE Printable Tags

This is not a sponsored post. 

 

It’s the beginning of the competitive cheer season and I’ve been trying to come up with something simple but cute to give to each of the girls on my daughter’s team. (including her coaches). Although Pinterest has some great ideas and is usually where I head straight to for ideas, I wanted to do something a little different. chalk-boxx

I’m a big supporter of small business and I try to “Shop Small” whenever possible. One of my many favorite shops to buy from is called Chalk Boxx! I originally found her on Instagram because she’s a teacher too. Her shop is a non-subsciption company that delivers specialty boxes, totes, and other fun goodies to teachers. Well, I hit her up as a “cheer mom” for this particular order.chalk-boxx-orderHow adorable are these custom #CHEERLIFE keychains I had her make for my girls? I’m in love with them! You can pretty much customize these with anything you’d like them to say.cheer-life-keychainsI wanted to attach some kind of encouraging, positive tag to the gifts as well, so I whipped up this little printable that says “The KEY to an amazing cheer season is TEAMWORK!” the-key-to-an-amazing-season-is-teamworkI also made a generic version so you can print it out here for free. I recommend printing them out on white cardstock.generic-key If you have time, you can even laminate them. I punched a hole in each one and stuck it on the actual keychain.cheer-gifts-with-skittlesI grabbed theater-size boxes of Skittles and tied each keychain onto a box, using sparkly white tulle! Simple. Cute. Unique. Exactly what I wanted! connect-with-chalk-boxx

Chalk Boxx logo is property of Chalk Boxx. 

 

Do YOU Know The Switch Witch? (She’s EVERY Parent’s BFF at Halloween)

Let me start by saying that I don’t do anything scary, especially at Halloween time. I don’t think it’s fun to scare my daughter or other children around me. With that being said, let’s talk about The Switch Witch because it’s Halloween time and you’re going to need her to come and save you! its-halloween-timeDon’t worry, The Switch Witch is a friendly witch and she will make your life so much easier. This time of year, kids everywhere are gathering way too much candy for their own good. Whether they’ve gone to Halloween parties or received goody bags from school, it’s all more candy than they should be eating. As soon as Halloween night hits, your home is going to be overthrown by even more sweet treats! lets-talk-about-the-switch-witchThe story of The Switch Witch is a fun, friendly one and a game changer for parents everywhere who are looking to get rid of their kid’s Halloween candy! It’s important to know that she is a friendly witch and a friend of The Tooth Fairy, Santa, and The Easter Bunny, so that’s how I first explained her to my daughter. She only visits during the first few nights after Halloween (including Halloween night). Halloween-treats-candyKids get to pick out 10 pieces of candy and put them away somewhere safe. Then, they leave the rest of their candy out for The Switch Witch before they go to sleep. (Some kids even write her a nice note!) Later that night, when everyone is sleeping, The Switch Witch will come in and “switch” out their candy for a surprise!the-switch-witch-brings When kids wake up the next morning, they get so excited to see what she left them! We’ve done this for every year that my daughter can remember and it really saves what could be looked at as a lot of unwanted sugary treats from being ingested by your kids. Your pediatrician and your dentist will be so pleased with you! Happy Halloween! we-love-the-switch-witch

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