Archive for the Event Category

Sharing our #DisneySide with friends

I have always liked Disney. I mean even before kids. I actually owned Disney’s Cars movie (and a few others) before I had those two cuties. I also visited both Disney World and Disneyland, before kiddos. For a long time I have wanted to take S to Disney World. It is such a great experience that I wanted to share with him, but then came kids, and the idea to wait until they are old enough to remember it. Well, this year will be “the year.” I couldn’t be more excited. So you can imagine how excited I was to be selected to host not just a Disney Side @Home Celebration, but a Cars themed party too! What a great way to pre-celebrate our upcoming trip with local friends! I received free products in order to host a Disney Side @Home Celebration. The opinions expressed here are my own.



I had a great time checking out recipes and activities on, and Pinterest. Feel free to check out my #DisneySide board here! I will continue adding to it because this party was so much fun, I hope to do another one in the future. DSC_0082

I decided these apple and grape cars looked the most like Lightning McQueen, and luckily my kids agreed. I had a hard time finding healthy Cars themed snack options even on Pinterest. I was intentionally avoiding the “spare tire” doughnuts because I didn’t want to sugar my kids up too much.  I think in the end we did well for a late morning play date, and had something for everyone.


Apple slices, red grapes, and toothpicks. If this was for an older age group I might have trimmed the toothpicks so that they fit perfectly, but … 1. That would be a lot of extra work and, 2. It would have made the toothpicks invisible to the 3-5 year old’s, and therefore dangerous.



Francesco anyone? No? Well I tried.


Celery, grape tomatoes, and toothpicks. You’re welcome.


We also had a try from Chick-fil-a and those cute little Lightning buckets, became “chicken buckets.” The kids liked having a little to-go bucket to carry around with them. It work out better than plates.


Carrot and bell pepper dip-sticks. Because I know you are dying to know the carrots were straight from our garden.


I also grabbed Cars and Princess pretzels (you can see them hiding in the back) that were available at Target for Valentines day. They fit perfectly with our theme.


These “stop lights” were everyone’s favorite, and they were gone before the afternoon was over.  They were also the most time-consuming because of all.those.little.balls. I used a melon baller, on watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew melon. Then I used skewers. I made all the balls the night before and assembled the stop lights the morning of our party. Both of my kiddos, ages four and three, helped me assemble these. They both wanted to help, so I figured why not? So round-up the troops and get them to help you with your next party preparation, they might think it’s fun.


No party is complete with out some sort of cake. My daughter especially loves cup cakes. “Cone cakes,” perfect for the “pit stop.” I’m completely corny, I know. I am also okay with this.


I used Duff’s tye dye cake mix, but instead of tye dye I made rainbows. They were really fun to eat. Top with rainbow sprinkles, and it was the perfect lure for the three year old boy in my life. He successfully licked the frosting, and sprinkles, off of 4 cupcakes before he was stopped.


Our guests had a chance to view the latest Disney Parks DVD, in between snacks, games, and Frozen sing-a-longs. Seriously I couldn’t have planned the Disney magic that happened all on its own. Four girls randomly singing Let it Go, and requesting to watch Frozen, in Spanish. You know, you got to change things up every now and then. Sorry Lightning, but you did take a slight backseat to Anna and Elsa.


One part of this party that was exciting for me as a parent was watching the kids play games. In this preschool age group they are just learning about party games. What they are, and how they work, why they are fun, all that jazz. I had two games planned, and 2 craf-tivities. That was too much for the little cuties.


With the addition of a partial Frozen viewing we played one game, colored, and did one craf-tivity. You can see our “Planting Maters” activity , and it’s tutorial here. I was pretty proud of myself for coming up with it, and I love sharing it with you.


Everyone had a great time with “pin the smile on Mickey.” They each took a few turns, some more than others. It was everyone first time playing this type of game. Well everyone under 30 anyway. How awesome is that! Mickey, in my opinion, is much better than a donkey.


I really enjoyed that everyone was all dressed in their favorite Disney. The moments when I felt that I was too corny, I realized everyone else was too! It was a great time.  Our guests left with some swag too. Adults left with HP Photo Paper, Chore Charts for their kiddos, and Disney luggage tags. Kiddos got coloring pages, stickers, Cars pencils, and their living craft (plus whatever goodies they grabbed when no one was looking).


How do you show your #DisneySide? Have you been to a Disney themed party? What was your favorite part?


I received free products in the @ Home Celebration kit in order to host a Disney Side @Home Celebration thanks to Disney Parks and MomSelect. The opinions expressed here, as usual, are my own.

What is the Great Cloth Diaper Change?

The Gemini Mama cloth diaper series

If you started reading this blog in the last year, then you may or may not know that we cloth diaper in our house. Just a short bit to bring you up to speed; We, like most Americans (certainly not all), started out using disposable diapers on my daughter when she was born. I didn’t know cloth diapers were an option. When she was 8 months old we tried a few out, and ultimately made the switch. We have used cloth diapers on both of our children, and my son is still using the diapers his sister used today.


We went 8 months into my daughters life without even knowing there was an option other than disposable diapers. For this reason I like to do what I can here and there to be sure that people know that there are options. I try to do what I can to teach and advocate cloth diapering. For a bit of education mixed with fun, I will have a series on cloth diapers, and cloth diapering here on the blog for the next several weeks. It will include tips, washing advice, reviews, and a few giveaways! I’m excited, I hope you are too.


So by now if you don’t know already I imagine you are wondering what is the GCDC?


Image used with permission

The Great Cloth Diaper Change is an event where everyone is challenged to beat the previous Guinness world record for number of simultaneous cloth diapers changed.


The real focus behind this is to create awareness about cloth diapering. It is also nice for people who already use cloth diapers to meet others who do also. Occasionally with cloth diapering there are questions that arise that not just anyone can answer, and having a friend in cloth is handy.


Are you a parent who is 18 or older? Do you have a child in diapers under 39″ tall? If you said yes and yes then you should plan to attend an event near you! You can use this page to find an even near you, and be available April 26th at 11 AM local time.


Did you notice that I didn’t say you had to have your own cloth diaper? This is an exciting event, and you can borrow a diaper to change your baby or child into. You could borrow one from a friend, or I am sure you can borrow one once you arrive, but you can always contact the site host prior to arrival to be sure.


At the 2012 GCDC that we attended the host who put it together made the whole event lots of fun. There was a babywearing demonstration, as well as a Hot mama yoga demonstration, there were even door prizes and vendors on site.


If you have already checked it out, and there is no location near you become an event host! It doesn’t cost you anything to host or attend. You don’t have to put on a big production to be a host. You can simply be a place for everyone to come and participate together.


I hope that some of my you will mark the date on your calendar and plan to attend, or host, and spread the word!


Are you planning to attend the GCDC? Have you attended a GCDC previously?

Wedding Planning is in Full

Did you think that I forgot about the whole us getting married business? Well I didn’t. I did however, put it on hold indefinitely. S over here is ready. Really he just wants to wear his ring. So he would like to just go down to the court house and “git’r done.”


Well, somewhere in the last two days I decided to start planning.

The Gemini Mama wedding photo site


That rock under the tree is very large. I would love for S and I to have a picture taken together there. Also a family shot there too. Either on our wedding day, or just for a photo session.


Yesterday we went to 3 possible wedding sites. The location the above photo was taken in, is our back up plan. The side of the park that faces the mountain is beautiful, but the rest of the park is pretty flat. That means that on a busy Saturday it will feel like all the park goers are part of our event. It is a large park, but there was also no ideal location for the size of our event.


I’m not sure if you can tell, but I am saving the best pictures for last. Also just a note, these photo’s were just taken with my camera phone. I didn’t realize that in going to check out sites I would want to take any photo’s. Turns out I wasn’t prepared. So you know I kept the photo’s raw, and did zero photo editing. These are some beautiful places.


This photo is from our second choice location. This would be the walk that my bridesmaid and I would walk down to a gazebo for the ceremony.


I loved the little rock bench. It could be a great place for guests to take pictures!



When you do a 180 from the previous photo, this is the view you are greeted with.


Now the next photo, is what actually got us all out of the car to look around.



My initial thought was “I wanna get married on that bridge, with our guests standing down here on either side of the creek.” I thought it was so picturesque S, myself, and the wedding officiant. Event with our modest guest list there wouldn’t realistically be room for everyone down below the bridge. Which cut this idea out, but how pretty. If for some reason this ends up to be our wedding location I will for sure have a whole photo session on this bridge. Even if it’s just my phone and I.


With all the wedding talk the last two days K1 decided to inform me the number of guests I may invite. She told me, that I am allowed to invite 31 people because I am 31. At first she said 21, and I was gonna let it go, but I felt we weren’t going to get up to enough guests for our party, so I reminded her of my age. K1 also said we could invite 3 people for her, because she is three, and two for K2. After asking me for Scarlet our dogs age, she said we could invite 7 people for her. She’s so sweet, isn’t she? Too bad Scarlet will not likely be attending. Then K1 remembered daddy and said we could invite 30 people for him. Good thing, cause we would have had to cut some people off our guest list.


K1 is most excited because she know’s it’s a “party.” This girl. I love her, and her sweet little heart.


Well for two days planning, pretty sure we have our site selected, and it is available for the date we are considering. We are going back tomorrow to verify the location will work for us. We have selected a caterer, and they are also available on our tentative date. Once we have validation on our date we will book the caterer. I am fairly set on a dress, but will go try on a few next Thursday, if things (read “life”) all go well. Our rings were purchased several months ago, so we are off to a great start!


Next thing to tackle will be invitations

You Guys Rock

No seriously. You do. I have the best readers ever.


Last week I wrote about a current fundraiser going on at our local YMCA, and you answered.


Ms. Trish is only $134 away from her fundraising goal! A big thank you to all who donated. Every dollar counts. If you haven’t donated your $1 yet, there is still time.


When I took K1 and K2 to gymnastics this morning Ms. Trish ran out to hand deliver her hand made thank you to us. It was really, really sweet. I had to share it with you, because I didn’t donate alone. You helped, and thank you.


Her thank you card says,


You are so awesome! Lol! Thank you sooooo much for your donation! Just so you know your money is going [to] help a low income family, children & seniors. To help them participate in sports and stay healthy. We are non-profil therefore, we are a tool for the community-it works if you work it! I love watching the kids, they’ve gotten so BIG! and chatty haha! Thank you for teaming up with me to help others.

Ms. Trish

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Ms. Trish also posted a thank you comment to you all on my original post. Feel free to read it. Her comment really made me smile, because it means that she noticed what we did.


So basically thank you again. To everyone else go give your $1 ….. see they really do add up! Let’s have one more push to help Ms. Trish get to her fundraising goal!

Annual Giving Program

We are members of our local YMCA.


This membership has only been made possible for us thanks to their open doors scholarship program which I blogged about before.


Today I was approached by one of their great employees, who informed me that our local East County YMCA is currently looking for individuals to make an impact, and a difference by giving. Patricia Madison works with my kids when S or I go to the gym. She is with them frequently while they are in child watch. They like her, and have lot’s of fun together. So when she told me about her goal I wanted to do what I can to help.


Patricia has set a goal to raise $575 to support low income families in their use of the YMCA. Today she has already raised $176 and is 30% of the way there. This is where you come in. I am asking you to help. I am asking you to donate $1. That is all, no need to go crazy just $1. There aren’t any fee’s through their site, so your $1 will go directly toward helping family’s like ours afford services at the YMCA.


I can attest that their scholarship program has made a difference for our family. Through their classes, here and here, and their free events here and here. Realistically these are just the few times that I decided to write about the benefits we have received. That is not including all those days that I went to the gym just to get a break from my kids.


I have already made my donation today, and I am asking you to also. When you head over to her donation page here if you feel like listing The Gemini Mama as your “company” so that she will know how you found out about it, you can, but don’t feel that you must. It is not about recognition, it’s about helping.


PS every $1 counts. I know, first hand.


This is in no way sponsored post. No one asked me to write about this, I chose to do this on my own because I also want to help.

Crafty Round Up For Kids


If you are a regular reader here then you know that I very recently adjusted my 2014 goals to include more crafts for my kids. It is always lots of fun for them and they are learning at the same time! This year we are trying to do at least one crafty project a month, besides your normal coloring or watercolor painting. Often times the best of us hit a slump and run out of ideas. With that in mind a few of my friends and I have put together a round-up of our most popular kid’s crafts. This way you can easy find a new to you project to complete with your little ones! We hope you enjoy. Oh, and feel free to let us know which one’s are your favorites!


If you would like to add your kid’s craft ideas, please feel free to use the linky form below.


Christmas Season Traditions

Every family it seems has their own set of holiday traditions. Some have been handed down for years, and some will be started this year. When your family expands from two adults, to the addition of a child it seems the best time to find new things that will be your family’s traditions for years to come. Even though this is our fourth Christmas as a family with children, we are still finding what our traditions will be. We have some that we do already, but each year as the kids are better able to participate, and express opinions things change.

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Bitty K1


Things we do that I consider to be traditions;

I word it that way, because it is possible that you already do some of these things, but do not consider them traditions.


Decorate the house – This is not a requirement in order to enjoy and celebrate the holiday season, but for us it is. We do more than just put up a tree, and I do not enjoy it alone. The kids love it. They love all the extra lights, garland, stars, and trinkets everywhere. In past years, as in every year since I was 18, I had to put up at least one Christmas decoration on Thanksgiving. Now that there is an early December birthday in our immediate family I decided to wait until after K2’s birthday to decorate. When he is old enough to know how he feels about it, maybe we will change it back, but for now immediately after his birthday we decorate.

When the time comes that we decorate the tree, we MUST listen to Christmas music. The whole time.


The ladies go to the Nutcracker Ballet – I just posted about this years trip to the ballet so I won’t go into huge detail. We go, we enjoy, we get a new ornament. Done


We get a new children’s Christmas book each year – I didn’t realize until this year that there are TON’s of Christmas book tradition suggestions popping up everywhere. Our tradition was created by me, from my brain. Not Pinterest, not a friend, not facebook. I started it K1’s first Christmas. We do just what I said, get a new book each year, to read, over and over and over again the whole month of December. Starting on December first, regardless of the December birthday.

I realized this year that in the future this may become a problem. Right now at 3 and 2 my kids love whatever book I give them, but as they grow and mature that may not remain the same. There most likely will come a day when they want to pick out their own Christmas Book, and I am already inclined to let them. I am okay sitting back and just watching how this works out in the future. I did run the idea by daddy of letting them each get a new book each year that we would hold for them for when they have kids or move out. Daddy is convinced they won’t want them. Either way we will see.


I hang a Christmas Pickle – My children were still a little young for this to really make sense to them last year, but this year should be better. K1 will find it, K2 will have no idea what is going on for one more year. For those of you who are scratching their heads right now, it is a tradition that is from Germany. The Christmas pickle ornament is hung on the tree on Christmas Eve. Christmas morning who ever finds it first get’s a special gift. This year I am thinking that gift will be a pack of stickers. I just think this is a very easy fun thing to do, so why not?


We go see lights – I know lots and lots of family’s do this, and you should. It’s free! Besides we hang lights for others to enjoy too, that is kind of the point. Just don’t be creepy about it or anything. Last year we did most of our Christmas light viewing bike riding. We packed up the kids in the bike trailer and headed out. If you live in an area where this is an option, do it! You can see so much better from a bicycle than you can from a car. We even went to a neighborhood parked our car and walked to see the lights. Also nice and I recommend it. It make a small neighborhood seem much larger taking up more time. Also the kids and stand and stare at their favorite display even longer without the added pressure of the car behind you.

Just so you know how serious we are about lights, S proposed to me while we were viewing lights bike riding.

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Everyone get’s new pajamas they open on Christmas Eve – This tradition came from S’s family. I guess we do it a little differently, but it was his family’s tradition. Mommy and daddy get each other a new pair of pajamas, and the kids get a new pair of pajamas for each other. This could get really entertaining in the future.


We do lot’s of other things throughout December, but I wouldn’t call them tradition. It isn’t make or break for me if they get done or not. I like it that way. I would hate to have so many traditions that one busy year they will overwhelm me and therefore be a hindrance.


You’ll notice that decorating sugar cookies is not on this list. No way. They are a disaster and I am an adult, never mind kids. I hate making sugar cookies, all that rolling and rolling and more rolling. We will bake and eat cookies all season long, just not crazy decorated ones.


You will also notice gingerbread house making does not make the list. Yes we did one the last two years, but it’s not critical. I also love not making this a tradition because if someone else is crazy enough to do this with the kids, I will let them.


What are some of your family’s holiday traditions? Or which is your favorite holiday tradition?

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