Thursday, January 31, 2013

Bottle Pop Party Co. - GET Party Prepped!


This is it guys! The GET Party Prepped package is my way to help all of you that happen to live so darn far away with planning your events. This is an affordable way to get a plan in place. No more staring at your Pinterest boards and wondering how the hell you're going to get every single adorable detail done. No more not knowing where to start. If you're throwing a party and need some direction to really bring a theme to life, this is for you.

I vow to scour the intrawebs AND my brain to give you the cutest & most specific ideas with a clear, cohesive vision. There will be no Pinterest-Fails at your party! People will be impressed with your craftiness and creativity and best part? You take all the credit. Unless you want to share me with your friends too, that's cool with me ;)

Feel free to email me at bottlepopparty (at) gmail.com for pricing and sample packages. And please share and share alike. Mama needs some buzz on Bottle Pop! Thanks friends :)

Monday, January 28, 2013

February's Menu Plan

I'm back after another two month hiatus of posting menu plans, during which time, we won some weeks, we failed miserably the others. The siren song of Panera, a two minute drive from our house, is so strong. SO strong. And it doesn't help that of the 6 things on my toddler's self-appointed diet, Panera's mac and cheese is one of them.  But I vow to do better next month...join me?

1. Baby Chimichangas and Mexican Street Corn
17. Homemade Alphabet Soup & Grilled Cheese
28. Chicken Spiedi Sandwiches

I also wanted to tell you about another tool that makes meal planning easier, Ziplist. It's a sweet little tool that clips your recipes from around the web, loads them into a recipe box, adds them to a meal plan and makes a grocery list. It's sort of amazing. I'm still making my way around the website but I think I'm gonna like it and you probably will too!

Oh and word up, I added some things to my Closet Sale, check it out here!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Head Wounds Produce A Lot of Blood

Or so my mom told me when I called her in a panic yesterday morning, describing the scene that was unraveling before me. Gabe took a spill off of our bed and smacked the back of his head onto the corner of the nightstand. There was blood. A lot of it. But since Gabe has such a luscious mop of hair, I could barely see the wound itself. And remember how he has a sensitive head anyway and hates all head-contact? And remember that he's a toddler? Yeah.

I started panicking, which is always a good idea. I start thinking of having to go to the hospital and the fact that neither John or I had showered yet and man, we really needed to. So I called my mom, who attempted to calm me down by asking all the right questions. Was he conscious? Did he cry right away? That sort of thing. She ordered me to go get him a popsicle and calm the freak down.

Once Gabe settled down, we took showers (you're welcome ER staff. And I'm sorry no one else there took that step prior to coming) and headed to A.I. Dupont, a fantastic pediatric hospital in our area. It was our first time ever stepping foot inside and man, they were awesome. Even though we later heard that Sundays and Mondays are the busiest, we were in and out under 3 hours and everyone was super polite and accommodating. Here's how it unfolded...


Gabe was in a pretty good mood for suffering a little head wound and spent the first few minutes playing one of his favorite games, "What's that Mom/Dad?"


He points, we tell him what it is. Door, computer, chair and so on and so on.


Ooo TV!


He did a bit of coloring in between getting weighed, getting his vitals taken and random people poking around the back of his head. But then the fun ended.


Then they applied the numbing gel that would allow them to check it out later. So we waited for that to start working...


He tried escaping multiple times.


Finally the exhaustion and frustration kicked in and he let his daddy hod him for a bit while we watched Lady and the Tramp.


This old timey head wrap thing was keeping the gel on but it also managed to crack me up. He looked like he belonged in Band of Brothers or something...

Anyway, after the numbing was complete, the doctors came in to check it out. They had to wrap him up and hold him down so they could clean it out and put in two staples. There were so many tears...mostly him but a few from me too. It was so so sad to watch. Luckily I could sit there and hold the little hand that snuck out and tell him it would be over soon. And it was. They did quick work and then produced a big purple popsicle. Gabe quickly forgave them for all of their transgressions.

Then he got the mother of all kiddie-cheer-ups, a Happy Meal lunch.


He was back to normal super quick and running around like usual. Of course, we have to head to the doc in 10 days to have the staples removed. That should be fun. But this is our first trip to the ER and had to be documented as such. Yet for some reason my mom also keeps telling me that there will most likely be many more to come. It's like she knows who his accident prone mother is...


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Sass Not Crass

The internet has been chock full of New Year's resolutions lately. Promises to quit doing this or that. One big one that I see all the time is that people want to "unplug". They want to cut the cord...the phone cord, the internet cord, all of it. They want to stop staring at screens and "live life". I think that's awesome but I want nothing to do with it. I actually want more screen-time.

Okay, maybe that's not totally true. I spend enough time online. But I want more meaningful screen time. Less reading news story comments and refreshing Facebook. More focusing on my business. A little work smarter, not harder action if you will. Let's face it, this blog (which I love like a snuggly pet) has been around for about 5 years. It's making me neither a career, a paycheck nor fame. And I need at least 2 out of 3 of those in my future. So it's time to switch my focus from Shannanigans to Bottle Pop.

Here's the deal. I won't be quitting blogging. Posts may be a little more few and far between because I'm also hitting a blogging wall but they'll still be here. It's just my other online homes that will be getting the shaft.  I'll be tweeting from @bottlepopparty instead of @ohshannanigans. I'll also be transitioning @ohshannanigans on Instagram over to @bottlepopparty. Things everywhere will be taking on a slightly more polished approach (hopefully!).  My mantra is sass, not crass. I figured you guys have been with me on this journey so far, and as I learn what works and what doesn't, I feel like you should be in the loop. 

Sound good? Good.

And just in case you saw me on Instagram over the weekend and thought I looked a bit off, here's an explanation. We went to see The Legwarmers show again. 80's cover band, everyone in costume, shenanigans ensue. It was a fantastic time seeing them again and my glasses were totally bitchin.




Friday, January 11, 2013

That Time We Went to Sesame Place

Well, it was right before Christmas. My friend Bryn had told me about a Groupon for Sesame Place's Very Furry Christmas. Basically they open the place up in the winter with much cheaper admission because half the park is a waterpark. Throw in a Groupon and it was almost stupid not to go. Sesame Place is about an hour from us and while we've wanted to take Gabe before, they're prices are ridic. I don't mind paying a big ticket fee for kids but for adults who don't do anything but stand around? F that. So we found a reasonably warm December day and headed on up.


We got there when it opened, right in the middle of nap time of course, and spent a few minutes checking out Cookie Monster and Zoe, who were the first characters we saw wandering the park. Gabe was fascinated by them. No interest in saying hi but still fascinated.


Luckily Bryn had been there before so she knew Elmo's secret hiding spot in the way back. We made our way there and found both Elmo and Big Bird. Very affectionate monsters. But you know who wanted nothing to do with them up close.


We found some things much more Gabe's speed. Like a giant bouncy floor. Unfortch, they give the kids like 4 minutes each on it then tell them they have to get off. Kinda sucks. This is why Gabe is the only one on there. We had to go in and get him. Kid loves a bouncy floor. He was none too happy about having to leave.


We hoped an actual ride would make him smile so we hopped on the teacups. He was confused at first.


then once we started spinning, he got into it! And I got nauseous. How do kids handle it without puking all the time??


hi Bryn!


Then John took Gabe up in the Big Bird balloon ride. I sat on a bench and listening to a piped in Big Bird narrate the whole thing, at least 6 times. It was riveting!



After some very expensive, albeit meh lunch, we headed down to the parade route. We were at the very end so maybe we missed stuff? I dunno, it seemed pretty lame. But then again, I'm not their target audience am I?


Gabe's face here cracks me up.





After the parade we headed over to the clamshell for a show. It was a lot of waiting around then some monsters singing Christmas songs. Mostly "Murray" Christmas. Get it? Murray? The monster? Oy.




Gabe loved every second of it, spent most of it dancing in the aisles until he refused to behave and he got banished to mama's lap with a deathgrip. He still liked it then too.


So yeah, it got dark. And effing freezing. So we admired the billion lights around the park and made our way out of there.



So while the lack of nap probably didn't help anyone's mood, we actually did have fun. Of course, he'll never remember we went and I'm sure at some point, we'll go back again (God help me if I pay full price) but I'm just happy we crossed it off the list. Although at some point during his little tantrum, I just wanted to yell at him "Hey! Knock it off! We're here for you, ya know! This doesn't interest us! We're being awesome parents here! Appreciate it!" But no, toddlers and logic just don't go together. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Hey 2013, Let's Start Over

We haven't really had the best start to 2013 and as evidenced by the pictures from my Instagram, I've chosen to band-aid those issues with shopping. Here's what's been going on...

1) My last party of the year went awesomely. It was a vintage travel theme for a one year old who flew in from Germany for the celebration. My clients were dreams to work with but that didn't stop Mother Nature as well as Karma from trying to screw with me. Our first snowstorm came down that day which caused half the guests to be stuck at home as well as a major component of our dessert table to take a wayward trip to North Carolina, courtesy of the USPS. I also had to raise my voice at a bakery to get them to fix a mistake they made. It wasn't my finest moment but it had to be done. Stress to the FULL.

2) We made plans with our neighbors to hit up the bowling alley on NYE. Unfortch, toddlers with no naps don't mix well with loud music and games they don't understand. Gabe fussed, we got frustrated with each other and left long before the souvenir noisemakers made any noise. We went home and sulked on the couch. NYE sucked. 

In fact, a lot of nights have been sucking because of Gabe's bedtime shenanigans. We had it good for so long but shortly before the crib/bed switch, he decided that stories weren't good enough. He wanted to do laps in his room, jump up and down on things and basically *not* calm the eff down. So while the big boy bed switch has gone well (meaning he doesn't get up in the middle of the night or anything), we're struggling to find a new routine where he's chill before bed. Any ideas?

3) I scored this blue necklace at Targ's 70% clearance after Christmas. 7 bucks y'all. Woot!

4) I took Gabe to one of those indoor playground places by myself for the first time. For some reason, it didn't occur to me that when he'd crawl all the way up in there, through the tubes, up the rope ladders and through the foam obstacles, he'd decide he needed his mama. Every other time we've done these things, he was fine. Or John went with him. So I went a crawlin'. When I would finally reach Gabe at the top this 3 story obstacle course, he'd laugh and head down a slide. It was a nightmare. There were times I didn't think I'd get out. Seriously. Not really but sort of. It was pretty scary.

5) To make myself feel better, I went to Marshalls and  I got a new everyday bag. The studs make me feel tough and edgy. Tough enough to scale a children's obstacle course. 

6) With the aforementioned snow came the chance to whip out last year's snowsuit (used once) and pray it fit. And it did! The neighbors knocked up to see if Gabe could go sledding down their hill so John took Gabe down for a few hours. Those two. I can't take how cute they are together.

And to finish up the first week of the year, I've been mollywopped by the flu, which is why I'm phoning it in with an Instagram post (sorry!).  A sore throat led to full on moaning on the couch in pain about everything down to my knuckles hurting. I've been a waste of life for a few days now and for the millionth time in the past 2.5 years, I'd like to lodge a complaint that this job doesn't come with any sick days. Who do I see about that??

Friday, January 4, 2013

From Tiny to Small British Gentleman

The big boy room. You knew it was coming. John knew it was coming. Neither of you can blame this on me. There are necessary changes that need to be made to Gabe's room and for once, it's not just because I'm on a decorating whim. (Ok, maybe I am a little bit, whatev). Remember my decorating plans?

Anyway, the catalyst for the change was the introduction of the big boy bed. We had found it used for $15 and it is an adorable red metal toddler bed. So with that, we needed some new bed linens because face it, little minky baby blankets aren't cutting it anymore. So about a week ago, we asked Gabe if he was interested in sleeping in it and he was all gung ho. He had never tried to escape from the crib but it felt like the right time. Plus, with John off work for the week, it would be a good time to lose sleep if someone felt like raising hell in the middle of the night, know what I'm saying?

In addition to the big boy bed, we also picked up a new rug for his room. If you want to check out the one we had in there, it was way too small and was merely a filler. We found this awesome shag rug from Target on sale then adding in a big coupon and our 5% debit card, we bit the bullet and got a 9' x 13' rug for less than $150. It's soft and plush and makes the room instantly cozy.

Then came Christmas. John's parents generously offered to buy some new furniture for Gabe's big boy room so we took them up on it. As much as I'd love to go buy some real deal, heavy wood furniture to last so long Gabe can take it to Notre Dame (holla T-Mac!), we know my tastes change with the wind. So even though there's no reviews of this stuff online, I ordered it anyway. It's on it's way. Pray I don't hate it.

Here's the plan...don't adjust your glasses, the pic is blurry. You get the idea.


You'll also notice I changed out the curtains. The cheap navy blue curtains we currently have just aren't cutting it. They're just too thin and crappily made. Get what you pay for, eh? I found these heavy, lined gray velveteen curtains at Lowe's of all places so I'm waiting to see if they are too much gray for the room. Although, I'm not sure that's technically possible. 

I'm excited for it all to come together and the fact that it will be happening soon? Yay! Oh and here's a little glimpse of the big boy bed. It's presh.


And guys? This was my first blog post on my new Mac! And I didn't cry! 

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