Cinderella Days! Let’s Party!

Cinderella Days!  Let’s Party!

Cinderella Days! www.mytributejournal.comI don’t know of too many little girls who don’t love American Girl dolls.  My daughters loved them and now my granddaughters are enjoying playing with their life-like dolls; (the new 14 1/2 inch WellieWisher dolls are darling) along with the books, movies and varied accessories, they create the best make-believe fun!

On a recent trip our local William and Sonoma kitchen store, I found out that the American Girl franchise has expanded the enchantment of their product to include party planning and baking books for even more fun with the real little girls in our lives!  I gave my two older granddaughters the party planning book for Christmas accompanied with a note that said we’d plan a few parties for family and friends throughout the year!  For our first official Cinderella Days of 2017, we threw a party a few weeks ago to celebrate all the things we love about our family!!

American Gilr party book.

The American Girl Party Book is full of fun and easy ideas for little girls who want to help plan a special party for their family!

American Girl dolls. "Lets Party!"

Of course, Makena and Marli’s American Girl dolls were included in our first big party event!  (I ordered their cute, little aprons with matching ones for their dolls from the fun Etsy shop, Sweet Apronz N Cupcakes.)

A week before their party, the girls and I got together and planned what we wanted to do and made a list of the things we’d need to buy at the store.  The anticipation and preparation for the party was almost as much fun as the actual event!

Americn Girl "Let's Party!"

There are several darling party invitation ideas included in the book, but one of the things I loved the most about our party was the cute, handmade invitations that Makena made–complete with scented stickers!  I mean seriously…how adorable is this!!!

Cinderella Days! Let's Party!

I’ve always been a firm believer that if you want your children to take a personal interest in a special project–get them involved!  These cute girls were a whirlwind of activity and culinary creativity as they helped make every detail of this special party come to life!

Makena and Marli had little menus, seated their “guests” with great decorum and served the food like well-trained maître d’s!  Their enthusiastic role-playing was simply too cute for words!

American Girl Party book food.

Food served in miniature size is always a hit at any party!  The menu included mini sloppy joes, ham rollups, veggies and chips…

Mini No-Bake Cheesecakes

…and mini no-bake raspberry cheesecakes–which were admittedly the most favorite entrée to make and eat!

Here’s the adapted version we made of the Mini No-Bake Cheesecake recipe that was in the American Girl Party book.

No-Bake Cheesecake recipe

Single mini no-bake cheesecake

My granddaughters loved garnishing the tops of the cheesecakes!  You could change out the jam and fruit for what you love best.

It tickled me so much to see how this activity sparked the spirit of camaraderie, organization and unabashed creativity with these two cute granddaughters…mostly it was just so much fun!  We’re all looking forward to planning our next party!

American Girl Party book!

“You rarely succeed in life unless you have some fun along the way!”  Vikas Runwal

This cute party book gave a lot of darling suggestions for fabulous party planning, but left plenty of room for children’s imaginations to run wild!

Any fun parties you have planned or attended lately?  We’re always looking for more fun ideas!


Cinderella Days! A Few More Of Grandma’s Favorite Things!

Cinderella Days!  A Few More Of Grandma’s Favorite Things!

Cinderella Days! www.mytributejournal.comI know as parents we all too often watch in disbelief as our children grow up too quickly…and now I’ve come to realize that this same fast forward phenomenon continues with grandchildren as well.  I have thoroughly enjoyed watching my granddaughters get older with the same wonder and awe as I did my own kids–but obviously, that means that I’ve had to do a little revamping of my playroom and some of the activities we do on our fun Cinderella Days!

First and foremost…I think we all recognize that whatever we decide to do with our children or grandchildren, they just want to know that we love them and enjoy spending time with them!

Making grandchildren feel special!

“Simple moments spent with grandchildren become priceless memories!”  Tribute Journal

Easy Bake Oven

I don’t know of too many little girls who don’t imagine themselves as the owner of a bake shop at some point in their childhood.  I know my daughters loved playing with their Easy Bake oven, but the new version of this timeless toy is streamlined, easy to use and most importantly to my two granddaughters, a delightful shade of purple!A Few More Of Grandma's Favorite Things...the new Easy Bake oven.

There’s a wide assortment of pre-made mixes you can buy to use with the Easy Bake oven, but using small amounts of your own cookie, bread or cake recipes works great too.

Grandma's Favorite Things...Easy Bake Oven

The look of joy on my granddaughter, Makena’s face whenever she uses her Easy Bake oven tickles me!

A Few More Of Grandma's Favorite things...Easy Bake Oven.

The end result is pretty tasty too…besides, eating anything in miniature size is always a lot of fun!  

“Accomplishment is a celebration of the human spirit!  Sebena White 

Kids Cookbooks

Another good way to have fun cooking with kids is with unique cookbooks geared to keeping things simple.

Cookbooks for kids.

I recently purchased this cute cookbook that also has tips on eating healthy.  The illustrations are darling and the recipes are made with fresh ingredients and are low in sugar as well.   

Caboodles Backpacks

I think it’s a fairly common habit among most kids, even if it causes some chagrin for their moms, that they seem to have an innate pension for wanting to take a few personal treasures with them wherever they go–but on the upside, these items can be a real lifesaver in helping kids from being bored or impatient when errands get delayed or sidetracked.Children's Caboodle backpack.

These backpacks are made of sturdy, colorful vinyl and are smaller than regular backpacks.  They provide a good way to keep little travel treasures contained. 

A Few More Of Grandma's Favorite Things...Caboodle backpacks.

Instead of an Easter basket this year, Makena and Marli collected all their Easter goodies in these new little backpacks; it’s been fun to see the assortment of special things they’ve put in them when they come to play at my home–my daughter says there seems to be fewer scattered toys in her car too!     

“The simplest toy, one which even the youngest child can operate, is called a grandparent!”  Sam Levensen

Real Life Dress-Ups and Grown-Up Tea Parties

Who doesn’t love to get dressed up on occasion and go out on the town–I know I do!  This year, instead of having my usual Valentine’s Tea Party  at home with my two granddaughters, I opted for a fun outing at a local hotel that hosts a fanciful English Tea Party complete with finger sandwiches and fruit-filled scones!

Grandma's Favorite Things...Tea parties.

 My granddaughters were so excited to attend this special tea party! 

Grand America Tea Party.

This fun activity gave my granddaughters a chance to practice their best grown-up manners.  I’ve found that your city’s online community calendar is a good resource for finding out about these types of activities, including children’s museums, art fairs and theater productions.

“Grandparents are good at sprinkling stardust over the lives of little children!”  Alex Haley

Fun Bean Bag Chairs

It’s always amazing to see how one item can take on such a key role in the play life of imaginative children!

Grandma's Favorite Things...Bean Bag Chairs.

Snuggling up with a good book is just one of the many uses for our big bean bag chair…it becomes a bed for an array of assorted dolls and stuffed animals when playing house, a soft place to land while doing tumbling or gymnastics, or it’s a safe boat when the carpet around it becomes a shark infested ocean, but mostly, it’s a comfy lounger when watching a good show!  I bought this particular bean bag chair online at Land of Nod and love the sturdy broadcloth fabric, but ones very similar to this one are also available at Pottery Barn Kids and Target. 

Speaking of good shows to watch…one of my very favorite things has been that my granddaughters have discovered the old TV series “Full House” thanks to Netflix!

Full House TV Series.

Listening to my granddaughters talk about the antics of Uncle Jesse or Michelle brings back a flood of memories from when my own kids loved this show.  My daughter and I laugh when the girls seem so surprised that we know so much about the show and all the characters!  Yep, this tops my favorite things list! 

“Love is the greatest gift one generation can leave to another!”  Richard Garnett

Since my youngest daughter just had a new baby, it’s still nice to know that my favorite things for younger kids will still get some good use.  You can check out that list here. 

Please share some of your favorite things that you love for your kids or grandchildren?



Christmas Cinderella Days! Holiday Activities and Goodies!

Christmas Cinderella Days!  Holiday Activities And Goodies!

My husband and I always love spending time with our two granddaughters, but it’s especially fun during the holiday season!  Lately, we have really enjoyed some neat Christmas “Cinderella Days” together!  Children always have a way of spreading a special Christmas spirit!

Special Christmas Activities And Goodies For Children.

It’s good to be children sometimes…but never better than at Christmastime!

Fun, Simple Activities And Goodies For Kids!

My husband is the ultimate tool guy, so it’s fun to see him nurturing the inner DIY personalities of our granddaughters, Makena and Marli!

Simple, fun activities with kids.

As I mentioned in this earlier journal entry, on the first Saturday of every month, Home Depot provides all the supplies for a fun kid’s craft.  It’s neat to see how excited my granddaughters are about making something with their grandpa…and the finished project makes for a fun holiday decoration for their rooms.  

One of my favorite Christmas memories with my own children was stacking up all the Christmas books and then piling on the couch to read them together.

Christmas books.

My granddaughters love doing the same thing now.  A favorite new book this year is Merry Christmas, Mr. Mouse, about a mouse family who moves into a warm spot beneath the kitchen stove of a big house one cold winter.  Soon Mr. Mouse and his family learn about a baby born long ago, and a jolly man named Santa who brings gifts to celebrate the special child’s birth on a day called Christmas!   

Although kids usually love games of any sort, funny made-up Christmas games are always a big hit!

Fun activities for kids.

My husband got these large, puff dice at a work event he attended.  I made up a Christmas game where there’s an activity associated with the number that’s shaken on the dice.  For example, sing a line or two from your favorite Christmas carol, what’s a favorite gift you’ve given, or how have you been nice this year…etc.   

(Amazon carries these dice.  They are fun to play regular games like Yatzee too.) 

I think anytime children can attend any formal Christmas programs, or better yet, participate in them, it can’t help but make them feel the spirit of Christmas!

Makena playing her violin.

A highlight for our family the last few years is being able to watch our oldest, granddaughter, Makena, play her violin at various Christmas programs around town during this special time of year.  It’s a nice reward for all the hours she practices to see how much people love seeing her perform the beautiful songs she plays!

Baking with these two, cute girls always provides a great time, but making holiday goodies doesn’t have to be too complicated to be fun!


These darling powdered-sugar donut snowmen are so easy to make!!  All you’ll need is some skewer sticks, mini chocolate chips, and a few gum drops.  Marli said it was kind of hard to eat their cute faces! 

Christmas goodies for kids

Kids love fun goodies that are served in miniature size.  I’m excited to have individual chocolate fondue plates for Christmas Eve dinner.  So yummy, and yet so easy to make!  Just heat up some ice cream hot fudge in small bowls and serve with any fruit and cake bites. 

I love seeing Christmas through the eyes of children–they have such a unique way of reminding us what this special season is really about!

Celebrating Christmas with children!

My granddaughter, Marli, has always been drawn to the little figure of Jesus in the wood nativity I have displayed in my family room at Christmastime–she tells me that she just loves Him so much!  Such a wonderful sentiment from this sweet, wise soul! 

I hope everyone takes time to really enjoy the rest of this Christmas season with all your family members–young and old alike!

What are some fun activities and goodies you enjoy with the kids in your family?