Disney on Ice: Dream Big Denver CO

We have made it a tradition to do Disney on Ice every year with Lil since she was just two. Every year the experience gets better and better! This years event was by far my favorite ever. Disney on Ice Dream Big was so much fun. 

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There are many reasons why I’ve decided to continue going year after year, but the main one is that I have found experiences to be far better than toys. Disney on Ice just happens to fall right around Lil’s birthday, so it’s been a fun tradition to make going a part of her birthday celebration. This was the first year we made it a total surprise. I packed a princess gown in my bag and as we drove up her face lit up! She couldn’t believe we were going! She excitedly put on her gown and walked proudly into the arena. It was so adorable to see how thrilled she was. 

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We also love going because we don’t have the opportunity to visit Disneyland very often. It’s so expensive to go! We love it, don’t get me wrong, but attending Disney on Ice enables us to have a “magical” night on a budget. 

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I loved this specific show because it showcased all of my favorite Disney princesses. The Ariel act was incredible! The kids were completely amazed by the Elsa and Anna portion of the show, including pyrotechnics and special effects such as snow. It was an incredible show, mesmerizing even for adults. The set was simply incredible and beautiful. Ariel, Cinderella, Belle, Jasmine and Snow White are just a few of the characters that made an appearance in the show, reminding children to “always be strong, kind and fearless.”

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My favorite part of the show, as always, is my daughter’s face. I cannot help but watch her sweet face light up every time one of her favorite characters comes out. And to watch her say goodbye and the end of the show stole my heart. I’ll always have that memory- always! 

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Visit the official website of Disney on Ice  for schedules and tickets in your area!

10 Ways Were Helping the Planet this Earth Day

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Earth day is upon us! Earth Day is Saturday, April 22nd. My family is super excited to take our daughter to a local city festival which will have tons of great ideas for ways to reduce waste and help the environment. Our household is huge on working as a family to eliminate wasteful practices and be better stewards of the earth! We’ve done our best to work as a family to create fun and simple habits to care for this beautiful world. It is really simple and fun to adopt a few habits which can really cut down on waste in landfills. Here are ten tips from our family to yours to help the planet! 

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Exploring at the local Botanic Gardens and learning about plants!

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  1. Recycle: this may seem like a no brainer but it’s amazing how many people feel overwhelmed by the idea or recycling! We picked up cheap containers from IKEA and gave a separate sorting system for our recycleables. This makes recycling a cinch and easy when guests are over. Simply check your city codes for acceptable items to recycle and toss in your new bin! It feels good to see how much waste can be reused!
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    Compost Bin from Amazon!

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    Compost Bin from Amazon!

  2. Compost: we love to compost! Again, we got a small compost container on Amazon and fill up our fruit and veggie peels right after kitchen prep. It’s always on the counter so it’s great to chop and throw away fruit and veggie parts at arms length! Plus it’s great for the environment and cuts down on ozone! We have a big compost pit in our backyard we use for gardening! 
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    Picked up some seeds the other day for our flower beds!

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    Beautiful wildflowers at the Botanic Gardens in Denver, CO

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    Lovely succulents and flowers are everywhere!

  3. Garden: speaking of gardening, teaching children to be stewards of plants is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate earth day! Perhaps plant an apple tree or start an herb planter on your windowsill! We’ve planted over 30 varieties of fruits and vegetables in our yard and love connecting with the earth via gardening! 
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    Use reuseable tumblers instead of plastic cups on a regular basis!

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    Stainless steel straws purchases on Amazon!

  4. Ditch plastic cups and straws:  we’ve invested in stainless steel straws and drinking to go cups for our daily iced tea and coffee drinking. We save thousands of wasted cups a year that would otherwise sit in a dump!
  5. Reuse scrap paper and greeting cards: did you know you can repurpose greeting cards by cutting off the pretty top and turning it into a postcard? Or reuse old scrap paper for art projects!
  6.  Tote bags: invest in 5-6 high quality tote bags for grocery shopping! Not only does it cut waste, you also get credit for bringing your own bags! Plus no more plastic bags that rip when you are hauling groceries in!

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    Our basket of grocery totes is right by the front door for easy access!

  7. DIY: try making your own Kombucha, pickles, bread, iced tea, or coffee! When you make your own products you save money and save on packaging! 
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    Bottles for our homemade Kombucha!

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    Homemade pickles!

  8. Use less water: ind creative and fun ways to use less water as a family. Make a contest to see how fast you can shower, or water your yard one day less a week! 

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    Our indoor lettuce plant!

  9. Buy used: buy clothing and goods from local consignment stores or thrift stores. Not only do you save tons of money and prevent packaging from piling in landfills, you typically support a local business or thrift charity!!

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    Great helmet picked up at Goodwill for less than $7!

  10. Try Scott® Tube-Free bath tissue!: Normal toilet paper tube is a wasteful piece! This is the greenest toilet paper out there. It unrolls just like normal toilet paper. Scott® Tube-Free bath tissue is a small, but impactful way to make a difference! (Love coupons? Save $2.50 ($2 starting April 1st) on Amazon and use Subscribe and Save to get an additional 15% off when you subscribe to 5 or more products!). Subscribe and save is so easy- we love to use it for convenience! Get your Scott® Tube-Free toilet paper on Amazon and go get your coupon!!! You can also visit the General Scott® Brand Product Page for a variety of other Scott® Brand products available on Amazon. #tossthetube
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    A screenshot of the easy purchase I made on Amazon!

     

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    Toilet paper delivered straight to my doorstep!

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    Tube free toilet paper! How cool!

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What ways has your family adopted to be environmentally friendly? How will you celebrate earth day??

 

 

 

Simply Smiles Denver Kids Birthday Party Fun!

Hosting birthday parties are one of my favorite joy’s of being a mother. I love seeing the look on my daughter’s face when she gets to blow out her candles, or opens a present she has been asking for. Birthdays and anniversaries are two holidays I love to celebrate, because they only come once a year, and mean so much to me.

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This year, I had the delight of hiring one of the best kids birthday party entertainment services I have ever come across, Simply Smiles. Simply Smiles provides Denver, CO with the best clown, balloon artists, face painters, balloon decor, and variety entertainers. I was able to have a balloon artist, magician, and face painter at my party. His name was Daniel, and he rocked!

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The entertainer showed up in a fun and bright clown costume. Now, I will be honest, I was a little worried about a clown coming to my house. My daughter is a little scared of clowns. But, this clown was super fun and happy and the kiddos all loved him! Many of the children followed him around and laughed at his witty and funny jokes. I was impressed how he interacted with the children, made them laugh, and had a very child-like spirit that put them at ease.

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The kids patiently waited for their gorgeous face paintings. I loved the variety of paintings. My daughter chose a gorgeous floral design. I wished it never came off. There were tigers and butterflies and all sorts of adorable paintings.

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Next came the balloons. Seriously, the kids were mesmerized! The adults kept commenting how grateful they were to sit back and relax and watch their children have a great time. It felt like a mini carnival in my backyard. I loved it! Daniel was wonderful at including all the kids and ensuring they all got a special balloon gift.

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Finally, he put on a fantastic magic show. It was just so cute to see all the kiddos “ooh” and “ah” as he held the magic crystal ball. They laughed and giggled when he juggled. They loved it!

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It was such a fun and memorable experience to have Simply Smiles at our party. Many parents grabbed cards, and some of the children shared with their mothers (who shared with me), “that was the BEST birthday I have ever gone to!”.

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Today I am excited to interview Daniel so he can share a little about his business, as well as give you some inside tips to throwing a great birthday for your kiddos. This industry pro has great advice, so read on!

  1. Why did you decide to become a balloon/clown/birthday party entertainer?

My first job in college was working as a balloon artist for a company that a recent alumnus had founded. At the beginning I didn’t think I would do it beyond those few years. However, as I got better at it I found that I really enjoyed working with kids and families and entertaining people. I’ve always been the type of person to enjoy making people laugh, and if I could do that while making a decent living, it was a no-brainer. Working weekends sounds tough, but it’s actually great! I get to go out and about and do fun things while everyone else is working.

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2. What services do you provide?

My favorite thing to do is to clown: while I clown I make awesome balloon animals, paint faces, juggling, and perform some illusions. I’m working on some unicycling, and I often make balloon decorations whenever I have clients that want some decor as well. I provide all of these services both as a package, or as a standalone service. I have balloon twisters and face painters that work with me as well, and we are happy to provide you multiple entertainers to handle larger events!

3. What designs do you do for facepainting?

I can do lots of designs! My style is designed with speed in mind, and animal faces are my most popular. I’m attaching an image with some of our great designs.

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4. What is the most popular balloon animals/ designs?

I make lots and lots of swords for both boys and girls, since they’re so quick, easy, and popular. I make a lot of unicorns, princess crowns, and butterflies for the girls, with some laser-guns, dinosaurs, and tigers for the boys. My favorite to make is my giraffe hat: that balloon single handedly made my father slightly less disappointed that his son is a clown!

5. How much is your deposit?

I charge a 50% deposit to hold a date. I make some exceptions, but on Saturdays it is required, since that is our busiest day.

6. How much notice do you need to book a party?

Sometimes I can make a party work the day before the event. Other times, I’m booked out three months in advance. It depends a lot on the time of the week and time of the day. Saturdays between 11am-4pm is the busiest time of the week. At the same time, my team of entertainers is often available at that time, and we have had up to six people working at one time.

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7. What number of attendees is best?

Every party is different and I can tailor my entertainment based on the number of kids, so no number is “best.” If I have 5-6 minutes per balloon, I can make very complex designs. If there are many more kids, I can make quicker balloons and spend more time with juggling/illusions, which entertains a whole group at once. My preference is a smaller party, but I have a great time no matter what.

8. Do you accept tips?

My team and I do accept tips, but we never want someone to turn down a balloon or face painting because they can’t or won’t tip. Making people smile is our first priority!

9. What kinds of acts do you do in your magic show?

I’m not much of a magician beyond my contact juggling. I’m working on some new tricks and routines, but right now I would call myself an apprentice illusionist!

10. What is your best memory from a birthday party or event?

I have two! On one occasion, I made a balloon mermaid for a family friend’s daughter at a pool party. It was adorable to watch her play with the mermaid in the water, swimming around with it and talking to it. She loved it so much that she wouldn’t even let her mom hold it.

Another time I was painting a little girl who must have been 3 or 4. She had her eyes closed as I painted her as a butterfly, and I asked: “Do you know what pink and blue make together”? “Very seriously, she opened her eyes and looked at me: “Cotton candy!”

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Simply Smiles was the perfect addition to our birthday party and made it such a special day. Thank you Daniel for sharing your business and tips with us!

Do you have any birthday party tips to share?

*I received services in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Mention this post for 15% off your party!