Her Royal FIVEness MAT!

Hello World!! So it has been almost a year since our last blog post and I honestly can’t believe it’s been that long. For those that do not know us personally our family is growing by one more person in December (if I can make it). This has been a tough pregnancy for all of us, but The Empress Sisters are handling it like CHAMPS! They are already awesome big sisters to this little Royal baby. With that being said, we figured that MAT has been deserving of having her 5th birthday party request fulfilled! I never had a chance to share MAT’s 4th Birthday Party or KAT’s 3rd so be on the lookout for for that post hopefully before the year is out. Let’s go ahead and dive in to last weekend’s event!

Now where did “Her Royal FIVEness” theme come from? Last year we attended a Princess Ball in our area that I shared with you all and MAT & KAT loved it. They asked about it again this year, but this mama wasn’t feeling the repeat. When we asked MAT what she wanted to do for her birthday she said she wanted her own Princess Ball where everyone would get dressed up. I really liked the idea however, I really didn’t want to have the cliché Disney princess party pack. Actually, I didn’t envision any specific Disney princesses being present at this ball at all.

MAT’s favorite color is Red. Always has been! Originally all I could think of was Red, Gold, and White for a color scheme, but every idea on Pinterest showed me that those colors may come across too mature or too bridal. I gave in and started looking up specific Disney princess parties on Pinterest. Belle and Snow White color schemes fit perfectly. All I had to add was a little Navy or Royal Blue to the mix.

My mom does event decorating so most of what we used for decor was already in her inventory. Score for this mama! Although I’ve had this party vision since the spring, being sick this entire pregnancy really took a toll on me that this party wasn’t going to happen anymore until about a month ago. My mom coming off of a super busy season made it clear that we HAD TO make this party happen. All of that included finding a venue and securing a cake which are the hardest things to do last minute (especially going into the holidays). We managed to get both done!

For the adult table centerpieces we used miniature trees that my mom usually hangs strings of crystals from. This time we figured most princess stories involve them roaming through a forest and Belle is known for the iconic rose. Viola! We made the forest trees bloom roses. The napkins were also rolled into cute little Navy roses.

For the kids table we didn’t have much room to add a ton of decoration and we were also nervous about them possibly knocking things down. Hobby Lobby has these cute little flower shaped charger plates (available in several color options) and I had a family member ship these adorable child sized silverware sets from a hidden treasures store in New York. I knew about them because we use them at home. The night before the party I remembered an apple detail was going to come to play in the party design so I quickly glittered some real apples to place under each tree on the adult tables. As the set up began, they became perfect for incorporating red into the kids table. My mom also sprayed this once black candelabra gold. In a rush all of the crystals didn’t make it back on in time, but the effect sure was there. Lol!

For the backdrop I made my usual paper flowers. I am not a fan of making them because they are way too time consuming for me, but MAT knew what she wanted. She sees the things her GG and I do for other events and she wanted us to share a taste of that for her. That’s what we did! And the food was prepared by mom and mother-in-law so yeah! Work was definitely put in!

Ok now lets talk about the cake! When I tell you all that my Cake Lady Brie and her team at Cake Couture Boutique are the absolute best I mean it! They are all so sweet and always come through! When I went to see Brie I did not have the slightest clue on what I wanted MAT’s cake to look like. At the time I just told her the colors were red and gold, but I didn’t want it to look mature. As she scrolled through my room set up ideas on Pinterest she stopped and said “I got you! I’ll work something out”. I pretty much left the idea and concept all up to her and she was spot on! The only thing I knew that she wanted to try was the apple on the top. The cake was perfectly executed and the rose detail was BEAUTIFUL! Thanks again CAKE COUTURE!!

Oh I almost forgot about the favors! I’ll be honest that I did not want to blow the bank on a candy/treat table. People don’t realize how expensive it can be to really make your treat table full. Coming off of Halloween and trick or treating the last thing I wanted to do was load these kids down with more candy. You are welcome parents. I went to my local Ollie’s discount store where I love to get books for The Empress Sisters. I managed to find books of all the same style of the classic royalty themed stories for each child to take home. Those stores included Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Rapunzel, & The Princess and The Pea for the little ladies. For the little gentlemen we had The Emperor’s New Clothes and Rumpelstiltskin. The babies and big kids weren’t excluded. They had book options as well.

In addition to the books I found some Oriental Trading plastic Goblet cups on Amazon. They can also be found on the Oriental Trading website. We only filled them with a little confetti and a few chocolate gold coins. Lastly, each child had a paper crown courtesy of my favorite place, Target! I enjoyed the non-candy option maybe a little too much. I may be trying to find candy alternatives more often.

All in all Her Royal FIVEness was beyond pleased with her day! Pulling out of the venue parking lot she shouted “This was the best party ever!”. Isn’t that what every parent wants to hear? I get sensitive when it comes to planning parties for MAT. This time of year is always the hardest because everyone is planning for the holidays or they get sick. I always get on edge about not enough kids showing up. Of course that was the case again this year, but we still had a good turn out! The children were dressed up and sat at the table for their Royal dinner like the royalty they are. It was beautiful!

Thank you to all that contributed to and participated in MAT’s birthday celebration! Thank you to all that sent their well wishes that wanted to be there, but couldn’t! We love and appreciate you all!

One last thought… We often joke about how similar HER ROYAL FIVENESS MAT is to my grandmother! Here is proof! My grandmother is just as particular about what she likes/wants and her favorite color is RED!

 

Fall in Full Effect!

Hey Beautiful People! On today many of you may be celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday and enjoying some much needed family time. From the Empress Sisters to you all Happy Holidays!

The chill in the air is definitely an indication that the seasons have changed, but for some reason it doesn’t quite feel like fall until Thanksgiving. We just want to share some of our tips for staying warm and fashionable. This goes for little people and grown-ups as well. Throughout this fall and upcoming winter season you will notice our wardrobe will feature lots of outerwear that we will layer in different ways.

Here in North Carolina we still get pretty nice weather especially when the sun is out.  Earlier this week MAT had her 4 year doctor’s appointment and the weather was perfect for…

ponchos and sunglasses!

I want to be like these 2 when I grow up. #Perched #PartedLips

Sunglasses are a must accessory all year long. (Janie and Jack)

I purchased these ponchos at the end of the last winter season from Old Navy for  FIVE FREAKING DOLLARS a piece. It is hard for me to add links to a lot of the items The Empress Sisters wear because I really do shop Clearance in preparation for the following year. What is so great about this look was that it was super chic yet so basic. Underneath they both wore all black basic pieces.

She’s not comfortable unless her sleeves are rolled up. Literally. It’s her signature.

 

First time with this hairstyle! We love!

As you can see MAT was feeling herself in this H&M number. The sweater has fringe details down the arms (cowgirl style). These leggings have edgy faux leather knee patches that look like it could be an accent on her knee-high boots purchased at Marshalls.

KAT had on a GAP top and bottom that once belonged to big sister.  Her Tahari boots, also from Marshalls was gently loved by big sister. The thing I love about the GAP is the quality of their clothes. I was quite surprised when rearranging their closets and drawers to see how great the black still looked. Black is my go-to so I know MAT wore those pants A LOT.

Ok another fun option that I swear by is to throw a vest on top of a jacket. I can’t remember if I mentioned this in a previous post, but I do not believe style has to be sacrificed for warmth.  Not to mention all parents should know that we CANNOT strap our kids in their car seats with puffy coats. Also, the girls wear undershirts or tank tops under everything during the cold months.

Here is an example from a year ago. Same faux fur vest KAT is wearing this year (below).

MAT’s Vest: Target (boys section) MAT’s Jacket: Gymboree (compliments of a big cousin)

KAT’s Vest: Target (2 years old) KAT’s Jacket: H&M ($7 on clearance)

KAT is the Empress of mischief. LOL

Having daughters is so much fun. We can get creative with outfits and hairstyles however we want. I love that they see the fun in it!

Halloween 2017! “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”

HAPPY DAY AFTER HALLOWEEN! I hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable day for those who celebrate the holiday and also for those that do not. Growing up, I have never gone trick-or-treating. I got to wear costumes and go to a family member’s annual halloween party, but never door to door. My first trick-or-treat experience was as MAT had her first trick-or-treat experience. Sad I know. Luckily I had one of my besties showing us the ropes and the following year we tagged along with my sister-in-law.

Every year so far we have kept MAT and KAT in the Disney Princess theme.  Last Halloween The Empress Sisters were Beauty and The Beast. I spent hours making MAT’s Beast costume and realized then that the effort put into creating your own costumes makes a great impact not only on Halloween, but it builds up the kids excitement seeing their costumes come to life. This year I was bored with the princess idea because they dress up in that stuff ALL YEAR ROUND now.

MAT’s first Halloween 2014: Princess Snow White-Black!

KAT’s first Halloween 2015: Princess Jasmine & Princess Tiana!

Halloween 2016: Beauty and the Beast!

Knowing we wanted to do something different we were still STUMPED; especially when layering clothes for warmth is a must for us. We couldn’t make up our minds and was all over the place with ideas. One of my oldest friends from elementary school reached out and asked if the girls would be interested in some Halloween stuff that her nieces were too old for. Of course I said YES not knowing all she had, but keeping in mind the girls would enjoy seeing a box of Halloween goodies arrive on their doorstep. A box came with brand new pumkin carving and decorating kits, giant stickers, a game, and a Dorothy of Wizard of Oz costume. 

I was happy just having another option in their dress-up collection, but I didn’t think that would end up being the theme of this year’s Halloween costumes. When we reached the weekend leading into Halloween I gave up trying to figure it out and decided we are going to use what we got. After MAT let me know she was all in as Dorothy I had to quickly plan KAT’s co-star costume. Toto the dog was never an option. Call me a strange cat (pun intended), but I don’t even like them to play around as dogs in their normal play.

It would have been nice if we all could have had a family theme like I have been planning for years. Unfortunately when it boils down to it we wait until the final hours to execute a plan that we only have time to focus on the kids. Anyway, since I did not want KAT to be just one member of the posse Dorothy rounded up on her journey I figured I’ll make her the rainbow Dorothy sings about in the iconic song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. I sent my husband to a pool supply store for pool noodles and everyone thought I lost my mind this time. They couldnt see my vision. Being that it definitely isn’t pool season anymore our color selection of pool noodles were limited. So what does one do when the clock is ticking? You buy what they have and paint those suckers.

I was impressing myself with how cost effective my plan was and it was actually inspiring my creative process. I get a high on spending the least amount of money possible. I remembered we had extra cotton stuffing left over from KAT’s duvet and figured it would be dope to make little clouds at the ends of the rainbow. There was JUST ENOUGH stuffing. Whew?!  

Ok now how would a 2 year old carry a pool noodle rainbow? On a backpack! That was another project in itself. I wasn’t sure how I would attatch it to the backpack so I wanted to use an older and less expensive bag in case it needed to be sacrificed for the sake of completing the look. In the process I had to cover up the fox design on the bag. It had a good run, but there were juice stains that werent coming out anyway and it didn’t match the theme. In The Empress Mommy fashion I threw some glitter on it and brought new life to a bag that would have otherwise been tossed. Don’t worry I sealed the glitter.

Inside the backack was a Bluetooth speaker. It played “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Judy Garland on repeat the entire evening. It was funny seeing the neighbors trying to figure out where the music was coming from. And that my friends is how the story of the rainbow went. Press play below to see and hear how it played out live.

 

 

Dorothy was pretty easy. However, Dorothy was known for putting on those sparkly ruby shoes and making her statement down the yellow brick road. I had to bring those shoes to life for MAT. We went to Wal-Mart to get a few art supplies and MAT spotted these adorable silver shoes. She noticed it had a heel on it just like Dorothy. My soon to be four year old saw the vision and it only cost me $14. I couldn’t have been more proud. So there I was buying my baby her first pair of heels (that hurt her feet by the end of the night… welcome to the club my child). She helped me craft these already good pair of shoes into ruby beauties. 

The down side to having your kids grow up is that the photos aren’t as easy to capture anymore. MAT had her Daddn’ wrapped around her finger and they zoomed from house to house. She wasnt waiting for her Rainbow sister to figure out how she was going to get her huge contraption on and off the neighbor’s doorsteps. Oops! lol.

I do have one final thought. Sometimes I get my feelings hurt because people think I “do the most”. I get the “I should have known you would do something like that” and it catches me off guard. I get in a zone when it comes to planning for my children and making beautiful things for them. They inspire me! They motivate me! If I am not pouring into my own children who will? I have talents that allow me to teach my children to be creative. Listen, you can buy all kinds of things these days (education included), but if it is NOT what you want then work hard to CREATE it. A cardboard box can become many things. #PeaceLoveAndSparkle

Fairytale Ball

HEEEEEEEEY LADIES AND GENTS!!!!

It has been a fast 2 months time, but I’m not going to lie I get writer’s block. I have been like that all of my life. I have a lot of pieces that I’ve never completed because I just couldn’t get my words right or I simply wasn’t feeling it anymore. Week after week I have opened my laptop to write and I felt like I was typing just to be typing. Nothing made sense to me. That happens sometimes. Trust me bloggers have a tough job, especially those that have sponsors. When I get there oh I will have loads of material. Now that I got that off of my fingertips I am ready to dive into the most recent Empress adventure. The Empress Sisters went to a Fairytale Ball!

For the last few months I have seen photos of children’s parties where a team of familiar Princesses are the highlight of the event. I doubt that they could advertise that they are Disney Princesses due to copyright laws, but hey I’m not mad at it. Pretty Princess Parties are a children’s entertainment company based out of Minneapolis. This was a FUN, FUN, FUN event however, I couldn’t help noticing that the princesses at the ball did not all resemble the princesses I saw on their website. Maybe they have a rotation. Maybe they hire local princesses in the states they travel to. I have not confirmed either, but they were um… different.

Going into this I just knew we (my mom and I) were going to get a ton of great shots. I set myself up for failure. For one I waited until the last minute, as in the night before (2 hours until closing) to get wardrobe in order. That was a BAD IDEA for this time of year because hardly anywhere had formal wear for children. I kept getting “We should be getting some soon for the holidays”… excuse me? Many children do go to church throughout the year. Are you telling me they can only buy formal wear at the end of the year? As usual Macy’s saved the day, but I was so disappointed with their toddler selection. In terms of size there were only 4 dresses to choose from. We purchased all four and two went straight back the next morning!

Rare Editions – Cap Sleeve Special Occassion Dress (Sorry guys I could not find KAT’s dress online.)

Now Pretty Princess Parties encouraged that parents dress their children as their favorite characters, but I wasn’t doing that. The Empress Sisters dress up in their princess dresses at home and this was an opportunity for them to get a little fancier than usual. I found myself also being disappointed with the lack of formal footwear. I ended up grabbing 2 pairs of sparkly numbers from Rack Room Shoes. Major shout-out to The Emperor Daddn’ because he drove back to Rack Room THREE times after my original purchase exchanging sizes. Dress shoes can be freaking tricky so I advise you all not to wait like I did.

We started the morning with Daddn’ making his girls a princess breakfast on princess themed dishware. After breakfast I was playing the role of hairdresser which is an all day affair when it comes to these curly divas. Even with all the preparation for the day and Daddn’ running the streets to get shoes and washing the car (making sure they had a clean ride), The Empress Sisters had no idea they were about to attend this magical Fairytale Ball.

That entire day I felt like we were all dragging and doing the most for no reason. The girls were cranky as usual and I was over my laundry list of tasks before even getting to it. Finally we were all dressed and ready to hit the ball! The Emperor Daddn’ was going, but being the sweet man that he is, he figured my mom would enjoy the evening. I think it is safe to say that she loved sharing this experience with GG’s girls.

Hola, GG!

Ok so remember I said we could only imagine how great these photos were going to be, right? I took a day or two to finally go through them and I had a few surprises that made me literally laugh out loud. To be honest those shots were the best I got. My kids are socially awkward as many children are, but the photos and videos I have captured exactly how awkward they are. See MAT is our shy child. Although she is the oldest, KAT is the protector and encourager.

KAT noticed that MAT was slowly moving back to where I was. She came back and put her arm behind MAT as if to say “I got you sissie”. When I tell you it melted my heart I almost didn’t get the photo. After about a minute or two KAT began to give her sister a little tug toward the dance floor. So they get to the dance floor and MAT just stands there. KAT started to let go just a tad bit and progressively opened up. As she began to come out of her shell MAT stayed 2 levels behind making sure not to be too free. My poor Empresses don’t do crowds too well. Take a look below to see their anxiety go through different phases after being thrown into the pack of wild princesses.

Phase 1: “Sissie we are really out here. In the middle. Now what?”

Phase 2: “If this little girl bumps into me one more time I’m going to scream like a kettle!”

Phase 3: “OMG I DON’T KNOW HOW TO HOKEY POKEY!!!”

Phase 4 was the final phase the girls went through during the ball. This phase was the awkward/tired/forced smile phase as MAT & KAT made their rounds to take photos with each princess. This was quite interesting because MAT is very observant and particular in her quietness. She took note of body type, accents, voices, and other distinctions of each princess that wasn’t sitting too well with her spirit. Earlier this summer we actually saw Belle at a mall event and MAT kept asking when the other Belle was going to show up. As beautiful as the Belle of the Fairytale Ball was, she just wasn’t adding up.

            

One highlight for this mama is the package for the event included professional shots with the leading lady of the evening… Belle 2.0.

Ana and Elsa made a cool Sister Sister moment.

           

Elena was actually MAT’s favorite. Hello Ariel!

           

MAT wanted no parts of Tiana because her accent wasn’t accurate. Cinderella was nice!

           

Jasmine and Snow White were super sweet!

           

Rapunzel and Moana’s hair definitely made us do a double take.  

Needless to say we had a great time. It was a great experience for the kids. In the moment I described it as a mini trip to Disney without the rides.  I have to acknowledge a few AMAZING fathers dressed all out in suit and tie to bring their daughters on a date to a ball. Way to go dads!!

It was getting close to bedtime, but this place didn’t serve food. Womp, womp! The Empress Sisters were tired and hungry. I could only recall my childhood days growing up in New York. I lived in Queens so our outings back then were spent in the city of Manhattan. Those late night train rides all dressed up were a struggle, but we were just glad to be out enjoying just a piece of what the world had to offer in our spiffy outfits! I wanted to allow my children to enjoy the late night struggle. Where did we go? According to MAT & KAT it was the biggest building EVER…

The Cheesecake Factory

We ate, we chatted, and we laughed at The Empress Sisters’ recap of the Fairytale Ball.

           

            

Lastly, we made it home safely and realized THE STRUGGLE WAS ABOUT TO GET SUPER REAL! Getting from the car to the house then from downstair to upstairs for our bedtime routine there were a whole new set of phases to go through. Considering The Emperor Daddn’ had spent the past five hours chillin’ on the couch you can guess which child he got to assist with.

MAN DOWN! I mean EMPRESS DOWN!

Just chill and let the world fix itself.

The End

 

1995 Barbie Pink ‘N Pretty House!!

Welcome To Barbieland!

My granny is an organized hoarder! My mom (GG) is an organized hoarder! I am a strangely over-the-top-organized hoarder! We are hoarders in a good way if there is a such thing. We keep things to be able to say “This was mine when I was your age” or “I got this for (insert special occasion here followed by a long beautiful story)”. Well one thing my mom was crazy about was Barbie and all things Barbie! The weird thing was that I was such a tomboy that I didn’t care for it too much. I mean I played with this stuff, but there were some things that I wasn’t even allowed to take out of the box. It was more of my mom’s thing. It is only right that this Barbie house is set up in the girls’ room at GG & Papa’s house.

Now that The Empress Sisters are around it is time to pass the baton. Just a heads up though, you may or may not see a few rigged pieces (*cough,cough* the roof) being held together by tape. Part of the hoarding means not throwing away things that are broken, but finding ways to keep them because they hold sentimental value. I am on the hunt for exact replacements of a few items and room additions to the Pink ‘N Pretty mansion.

A portion of the clothes are temporarily being hidden in the roof.

Slowly, but surely dolls were coming out of the attic, then outfits, then a few rooms, and then all of this. We finally decided it was time to give all of the dolls a bath and clean everything. I must say we were not prepared for the task at hand. There were so many clothes and so many dolls that I felt like I was doing laundry for real humans. The dolls pictured are maybe a third of the inventory (we have more skin tones than brown; I promise). I had to force myself to call it a night on all things Barbie because I WAS SORE! Oh and there are still 2 large containers in the attic that haven’t even been cracked open with things like a dentist office, food court, grocery store, a pool (maybe 2 pools), and some more professional and recreational settings. Below is a video of the last time we had one of the pools out.

 

Lets move on to take a mini tour shall we?

Looking at this I am realizing we set this up like my granny’s house lol

Barbie’s in-house gym is coming along!

Here is the box for the gym equipment. We are still looking for the standing contraption portion.

After a workout Barbie likes to do a little laundry.

This was a chandelier for the living room I made as a kid with pipe cleaners and beads! *Bling Bling*

What a nursery!

Let me just say I have been discovering a lot of things about myself in this project. I have always wanted a big family, but I am starting to believe that Barbie having 900 children had something to do with it. There are about 6 toddlers and a set of triplets not pictured. They have carriers for baby wearing, toy baby food, and yes that is a pack of diapers on the night stand. There are a bunch of other tiny baby paraphernalia that we decided to keep put away just because they are so tiny for a 2 and 3 year old to play with.

Welcome to Stacey’s teen room! She is indeed wearing a satin bonnet.

Ok here comes another sidebar! I am really laughing at myself. In college I learned sometimes it is necessary for a lady to give a guy a fake name. Mine was… you guessed it! Stacey!!! I only use it at Starbucks now. Nobody can mess that up.

The Rides!

We have a vehicle that fits each family need like any “normal” family. We have a blue sports car. That’s for Ken (dad) to still feel like a man since he lives in a giant pepto-pink house. It is also there for Barbie (mom) when she’s feeling spicy and tired of pushing the soccer mom van. Shoot Barbie feels like a new woman when her shirt isn’t stained and she’s wearing pants that actually shows she has a booty. Finally, who doesn’t have a horse and carriage at their disposal? We have used it for every special occasion such as weddings, funerals, quinceaneras, you know, the “normal” stuff.

Although I was wiped out after getting into all of this cool stuff, it was a fun trip down memory lane. I couldn’t even predict when everything would be completely sorted through and on display. I was so excited that I couldn’t wait to share it with you guys. I hope you all enjoyed it and maybe some of you saw some things you had or still have. Now toast to a great day with your pick of doll cognac!

Don’t worry these are hidden VERY FAR away from The Empress Sisters. I am not so sure, however if my mom realized I had these as a child. Explains A LOT now lol. 

That’s Me, The Empress Mommy!

Despicable Me 3!!!!!

OMG people our family is in love with this entire series! I have shared recently to my family and friends on the “Book of Faces” that MAT was actually born to Discpicable Me and although I had an unexpected C-section with KAT I labored to Despicable Me 2! Since we heard the news of a third film coming out I continuously joke in a serious tone to my love that we may need to pop out another bambino by the time it hits Blu-Ray and digital 😕.

 

We like that we sometimes get to see movies the day before the premier date so check your local theater next time there is a movie you want to see. Our family literally is in the theater for almost every kids movie it seems like. Our theater that we are loyal to has the little pull in trays, reclining leather love seats, and high wall for privacy. Our 3 and 2 year old definitely know the movie theater drill, but sometimes they get antsy. This style of movie watching is perfect for us to be comfortable.

How else do we make these trips comfortable? We pack our own snacks in my purse. Don’t pretend that you don’t or that your parents didn’t do it when you were a kid. I hate those kids boxes that has the popcorn, drink, and a fruit snack. We have tons of fruit snacks at home and we don’t care for giving the girls fountain drinks. Not only that, but that crap is expensive. So here is what we do. 

We buy one large popcorn and occasionally a nice cold fizzy Coke for daddy and I. I have these clear plastic cups with dome lids that I bought for our personal popcorn machine at home. It keeps the popcorn from ending up all over the place. We also don’t have to keep passing the one popcorn bag back and forth. The kettle corn seasoning is for me! I also pack our own fruit snacks and drinks. Instead of candy they can have animal crackers. Some may say we are cheating them out of the full movie theater experience, but I say the opposite. I’m carrying on a family tradition of having good ol’ cheap fun. Is that illegal? 🤷🏽‍♀️

I WON’T GO INTO DETAIL ABOUT THE MOVIE! However, I will say you all have gotten the vibe from me by now that The Empress Sisters and The Empress Mommy are unicorn freaks. Leading up to the big day that Dispicable Me 3 hit theaters there have been merchandise galore centered around Agnus and her stuffed unicorn that she got in the first film. It might be a little too late for some of you, but don’t go Agnus or unicorn crazy with the idea that they will be the star of the show. They are not. Luckily majority of our toys are from McDonald’s (they come with the Happy Meals, but daddy just buys the toys and stashes them in his car until movie day)

 

As far as the overall vibe of Despicable Me 3… I loved it, my husband loved it, and most importantly MAT and KAT loved it. It started off getting the adult audience locked in with some seriously cool throwback music and nostalgia. Your kids may ask “what is that?” with a screw face or they may just laugh with you thinking that’s what they are supposed to do in that moment. Either way SCHOOL THESE LITTLE TATER TOTS! It ended with the potential to have a follow up, but viewers definitely won’t be disappointed if the train stopped here. At least I won’t because people would think I’m crazy keeping a child count based on a movie. My husband might too 🤔. And NO the Minions movie does not count. Maybe we’ll get a pet for that one. Anyway, take the kiddies today for a movie treat! It’s a good one!

Victoria Beckham for Target

Alright people it is time for a little Empress fashion fun. I am going to let you all in on a little secret. I do a lot of my shopping for kids clothes at one of my favorite places on the planet and that place is TARGET! This time I was shopping specifically for the Victoria Beckham line for Target. It started off with just getting two pieces from the line; one for each empress, but I walked into another Target and saw more pieces that I absolutely liked. Of course I had to get them. Click the captions below the pictures to check out each item.

One thing I loved about this VB line was that there were items in Women and Children that made perfect “mommy and me” sets. For all that know The Empress Sisters and The Empress Mommy personally know that we love to match or color coordinate. It sometimes happens without trying.

Unfortunately due to only finding pieces here and there and not really trying to go too crazy by caving in to shopping online I didn’t find pieces for all 3 of us to wear at the same time. On the bright side it gave me an idea that would create individual moments for myself with each empress. The girls are never apart, but one morning it made sense for my husband to stay home with KAT while I took MAT to a doctor’s appointment. We had breakfast just the two of us, went to the doctor, went store to store, and really BONDED!

How does this relate to the clothing line? Well I bought one item to match a piece for each empress. I figured I will now start having a few hours every now and then where I take just one of them to spend one-on-one mother/daughter time and why not match my babies while doing it? Cute right? Ok maybe a little obnoxious, but that’s how we roll!

Empress Mommy x Empress MAT – Shirt NOT by VB or TARGET

Here was my one issue with Victoria Beckham for Target. I prewash, hang dry, and hand steam ALL clothing items before MAT and KAT wear them. I washed them all together because I assumed none of the items I purchased would bleed onto the other. I was wrong. This black and white number for KAT bled (mainly on itself) and a little on another dress for her. Now if you purchased any of these items you would see on your receipt that there is a return deadline much earlier than the 90 days you would normally have. I realized that I was a few days beyond the date and called Target to see what could be done seeing as though I followed the care instructions AND my daughter never got to wear the dress. I had no luck with the local Target customer service nor with their main customer service line because of that stupid date. So I got smart. I won’t reveal my secret on how I got a new dress at no additional cost to me, but just know I got my way.

Although I was completely dissatisfied with how that situation was handled it won’t stop me from shopping there just yet. I mean seriously look at how chic they look in these Genuine Kids from OshKosh dresses.

The Sass Is REAL!

Now these aren’t from the Victoria Beckham line, but their dresses combined were under $15!

As often as I go I can keep an eye on when some items that I really like, but don’t want to pay full price for goes on clearance. After I see it goes on clearance I may wait a little longer for the price to drop again (only if I feel think they won’t sell out). Usually I pay between $2 and $12. The amount of pieces I can get at those prices they don’t wear them as often. Id hate to spend a ton of money for it to sit in the closet then in a bin next season.

With that being said you may still find a few Victoria Beckham pieces at a Target near you for a steal! Happy Shopping!

Quick Catch-Up!

HELLO WORLD!

I know it has been a while, but we have been on the go and honestly enjoying some quality family time! Between being a wife, a  stay-at-home-mommy (SAHM), and a momprenuer these days have been exhausting for myself and The Empress Sisters. I’ve done the whole stare at the computer screen for hours in college that now if I am tired, 5 minutes in front of this screen puts me to sleep even faster. So to keep this family in sync with each other we HAVE to hit the reset button… a few times.

One of my favorite things that we have gotten into was putting together my old Barbie Dream House at my parents’ house!!! We still have 2 storage containers of Barbie stuff to go through! I can’t wait to complete that project on our next trip to GG and Papa’s house so that we can share it with you all.

  

Last weekend was about Gardening 101 with GG! GG is my mom by the way. I do NOT  have a green thumb at all and I actually took these photos from the back door. The New Yorker in me never left. I DON’T LIKE OUTSIDE… unless it is bug free, spider web free, lizard free, rodent free and so on and so on and so on. About 3 weeks ago I was outside spray painting some paper flowers that I made and a not so lovely spider thought my foot was breakfast. Lets just say the antibiotics I got made me worse. My foot got bigger and I broke out in hives. So now you can laugh with GG at me tucking the girls pants into their socks to go on the back porch. LOL!

Moving on. My mom, aunt and I sometimes decorate for local events which lately I’ve had to make A LOT of paper flowers for. Not really a relaxing craft for me as it is very time consuming, but the outcome is usually rewarding. I had a few left over from a banquet and here is a glimpse of what I did with them to get them off of my dining room floor.

MAT’s Room

The girls say this prayer every night and I found this artwork at Hobby Lobby for $11 before Christmas!!!! I bought two and painted the wood frame gold for MAT and silver for KAT.

We always felt that  the wall needed more and couldn’t figure out what we wanted to put there. I am going to add a couple of green leaves in between, but so far I am pleased with the direction this is going. Guess I need to get some silver flowers going for KAT’s room now.

Here is another repurposed set of flowers that was done for a high school prom. We decorated the venue and also created a selfie backdrop for the students to take their own freestyle pictures in front of. After the prom some of the teachers got to take some home, but here is what one teacher made of her batch!

Prom Backdrop

Teacher’s Living Room Wall! Photo credit goes to her!

 

 

KAT’s Unicorn Party

Hi guys! Today I am starting with a heads-up note. Having a house party things got a little hectic. Please excuse any photos with blurred faces due to me not having time to take pre-guest arrival shots. I was still in my sweats and socks with coffee stains as guests began to trickle in. The crazy thing is when you tell people a time they usually arrive late. This time I told everyone 30 minutes earlier than the real party time and everyone came AT THAT TIME! On the bright side the kids were able to use all of the unicorn time that we had. Thanks to my personal photographer BB and my new friend Reggie for capturing these pictures!

Last year our family had a few obstacles to overcome. Some required us moving to 3 different cities abruptly all within 5 months. One of those moves was right at KAT’s first birthday and we had to cancel our party plans. So many people said “she won’t remember anyway” not realizing that only made my blood boil. Our children felt our stress. They too had to make adjustments. So this year we were determined to make some kind of magic.

In a later post I will share my handy work that I did to personalize the party decor and favors.  For now scroll down and experience the party too!

The goal was to find individually wrapped candies for the dessert table to keep the bugs away. It worked!

Unicorn Cake – Cake Couture Boutique

Unicorn Cookies – Bailey Lane Bakery

Cake Couture Boutique located in Raleigh, NC and Bailey Lane Bakery also located in Raleigh, NC provided the beautiful cake and sugar cookies. These vendors were so easy to deal with and reasonably priced. It was nice to just say “I would like some unicorns please” and get the response “No problem! I can do that”. All I had to do was pay and pick up. Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezie! (Weirdest saying)

Anywho, you already know every event has its hiccups right? Aside from guests being on time (who does that?) the backdrop fell 2 or 3 times as I was getting ready. Leave it to my mother to try to rig it and not tell me. As for my amazing father who picked up the cake had to drive over approximately one thousand and one speed bumps in my neighborhood. The poor unicorn had ruffled her buttercream curls in her stable getting to us. Click on the family photo below to see a video clip of how KAT felt about Uni ( I secretly named the cake) . Oh and that cute stupid cake stand wasn’t sturdy enough for the cake. Refund please.

On to the UNICOOOOOOOOOORNS!!!

“ITS SOO FLUFFY IM GONNA DIE”- DESPICABLE ME

Many thanks to Pony Spot for providing such beautiful and sweet ponies as well as great service!

Yes it is a REAL unicorn!

Ok its a decorated horse. Use your imagination.

Meet Katy! That was my college roommate’s name… … … um I love you Katie lol (I did not name the unicorn)

The Empress KAT on her noble steed!

Intense grooming session.

80’s Prom here you come!

Considering the fact that The Empress Sisters had no nap, no real food of substance, and pretty much babysat themselves for the first half of the day I think they thoroughly enjoyed this party. Their brother-friend (friend who is like a brother) actually went home saying “we had a unicorn party and it was awesome!”. That right there folks was all the confirmation I needed to tell me that it was a success. Whether or not the adults enjoyed it (which they were considered and treated as well) , if their kids go home and harass them about unicorns then I have done my job.

Unicorn Fluff anyone?

Leotard – BeanPlantCo (Etsy), Skirt – The Children’s Place

Shirt- Marshalls, Skirt – Old Navy

Plotting her first task in her Tot-Nager Two’s

Thank You to everyone who celebrated with us and those that sent their love! We appreciate you all!

Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino

HERE WE GO!

 

 

Our family and friends know that we have a thing for mythical creatures… particularly the UNICORN. Needless to say this mama who is a Starbucks junkie was ecstatic to hear rumours of a unicorn inspired beverage in the works. The Unicorn Frappuccino made its debut on Wednesday and I simply wasn’t in the mood for it. The day was gloomy and gross outside and I envisioned my experience with this magical drink to be nothing less than MAGICAL.

Haha! Guess what? Yesterday was a beautiful day. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and people were driving me insane with their cutsie Instagram posts of MY DRINK. Well enough of your reviews. The Empress Sisters and I tried it for ourselves and here is what we thought.

 

FIRST LET ME START HERE! Starbucks had a HUGE buzz about this drink and was not prepared to meet the demand. This mama is not usually prepared to go anywhere until after nap time and I have two daughters. Im going to type that again. I have TWO daughters that require outfits, hair, outfit changes, drama, and more drama. I didn’t get out of the house until 4:30ish. I finally arrive at Starbucks and the barista twiddling her fingers says “uuuuuuh, yea, no we don’t have that here. We aren’t even supposed to serve cream based drinks and our district manager and some other guy was here and said thats all of it that we are gonna get. I can get you some other coffee if you want… womp, womp, womp”.

Wait, WHAT?

That conversation didn’t go too much further as I declined her offer and left. I called Starbucks after Starbucks because any parent knows the struggle is real getting in and out of the car; strapping and unstrapping car seats. Each location pretty much had the same response “We JUST ran out”.

How?

I wait one day… ok one day and three quarters and I almost miss out?! ON MY DRINK?! But the unicorns saved a little joy in a cup just for my babies and I. We found a Starbucks that still had the potion and went straight to it.

 

We got these pretty little masterpieces and they were GROSS! It tasted like Milk of Magnesia with a hint of sugar and whip cream. Seriously! I cried a little on the inside. I kept drinking because I wanted to like it so badly. The girls kept chanting “Unicorn Shake” and I kept a smile on my face, but one by one they started hitting the trash. MAT dropped hers and I couldn’t have been happier. KAT didn’t want anymore so I figured “this is going to be easier than I thought”, until MAT claimed the rights to her sister’s unfinished drink. Shoot!

She drank most of it. We went on our way to the At Home store to make mommy feel better and judging by the wind the girls were passing through the aisles, they were making themselves feel better too.

  

Dear Starbeez,

You have let me down. You have let these innocent unicorns down. Thank you however, for a great adventure.

Sincerely,

One Disappointed Mama

 

P.S. –  I came home to a card in the mail that let me know these “adventures” aren’t just for me. They are for my little empresses. May they always remember that their mommy does the absolute freaking most for them.  I hope they have nothing less than strangely amazing memories and stories to tell for the rest of their magical lives.

 

 

MAT:

KAT: