Love of the Game

A recent adventure to the city prompted a visit to my temple, the Nintendo Store. I love Nintendo.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Anyway, it got me thinking about my early days of mommyhood, and how fast my son is growing. Now, I’m crying. Babies grow fast! He’s not even three yet, but he’s already a big boy. Moving on, I love playing video games. I married a gamer. Naturally, we would love for our child to love games, too! Success!


When he was just a year old.


(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});


Present day. He’s not really playing, of course!!

While I was pregnant, I didn’t think about the sleepless nights with a nursing newborn. Instead, I was planning his birthday parties in my head. I was thinking about themes, locations, etc. I wasn’t concerned with how I would be able to get anything done. Little did I know, planning anything – even going to the store – was ten times harder with a little one to think about first.

The first party I ever planned as a first time mom was our son, Marcello’s, baptism. The party was phenomenal, as well as the day, but the creating and crafting was so stressful with a demanding nurser! I was exhausted, and so was Marcello! He slept every minute of that party!!! The planning became an obsession from every day excursions to the store to bedtime routines, so when Marcello’s first birthday started creeping up on the calendar, I knew exactly what I had to do – a ONE UP BIRTHDAY PARTY! He was turning one, and in my ridiculous mind, I literally imagined him as leveling up. I’m nuts. After the craziness that I experienced planning Marcello’s baptism by myself, I knew I had to ask for some help, so I did what I could, and sought out the very best for our boy’s big day.

My idea for his first birthday party involved inspiration from Nintendo’s iconic game, Super Mario Bros., which included a one up mushroom, a gold coin box, a goomba, the pipe plant from the game, and some other gaming elements.


My beloved Nintendo still plays – with a lot of blowing into the cartridges, and prayers.

There is no short supply of Nintendo related birthday accessories, but I wanted something different and hand made. I decided to make a gold coin box invitation, and popping out of gold box would be a one up mushroom that held the invitation information. I made a stencil of the gold box, and cut each element. I did the same with the one up mushroom. I thought I had a novel idea, but if you do a quick search online, you’ll find different variations of this type of invitation. So, like-minded moms — UNITE!

The invitation! 65lb cardstock, gold fasters, printer, word program for your text, pliers to remove the faster clips from the claws, hot glue for the fasteners, paper glue for the cardstock, stencils, pencils, patience!

I also thought it would be fun to take photos of Marcello myself. It was a disaster. I needed a “smash cake,” and thought it would be cool if Mario smashed a goomba! I decided to make a goomba smash cake, and then quickly changed my mind! I happened to be watching Good Morning America one morning, and a nice cake shop had donated a birthday cake to this sweet little boy named Colin, for his birthday. They made the most awesome cake only a little gamer could love! I contacted them, because they happened to be in Queens, NY! My ‘hood!! Heather from 8 Bit Cake Shop: I love you, and you made the most delicious goomba cake ever!


Marcello’s smash cake – Goomba cake by 8 Bit Cake Shop

For the back drop of his photos, I used a sky blue back drop, and cut some clouds to emulate the background of the game. I found some cheesy brick wrapping paper, it didn’t have that brown brick look, but it did the job. I cut some pipe shaped pipes. The backdrop looked great when it was done!


Gold coin box from I’ll post a better photo of the plant, it was nothing special – 99c plastic planter, green paint, dry floral foam, few green pipe cleaners, cardstock hand cut to mimic the plant, and glue.

I needed an outfit for Marcello, so I contacted the only person I knew who could create something for me in a flash, and that is Kiddie Kaps by Vanessa. She is an old friend of mine, and is so passionate about her craft. If you need cute things for your sons, daughters, or their American Girl dolls – contact her!


Unfortunately, Marcello didn’t want to comply.


Needless to say, he never smashed the cake, and the goomba lived for another day.

Poor kiddo.

We had two parties the same day – one for his little friends, and the other with our immediate and extended families.

We had two parties, and not one, not two, but three cakes! And what do you see above? The ultimate cake! The one up mushroom cake baked, designed with love by Ashley! The detail was unbelievable. She even added the brown brick to the cake platform.



There you have it. I learned a lot my first year as a mom, 1. It’s okay to ask for help. 2. Always give your child a nap before you want to smash a cake. 3. Don’t take on too much, and give up some control.

As tired as this may sound, they only turn one once. Well, I’m tired, so I have an excuse.


Boy, does he make the crazy, sleepless nights worth it. I would do it all again in a heartbeat.


Traveling to Disney DIY

You will quickly learn how much of a Disney fanatic I am – so much that I have finagled my way into making us take three family vacations to Disney World with our now two year old son. Yes, our son has been to Disney World more times than some older kids, but we love it, he loves it, and we’re together as a family.


Us. In all of our dorky glory.

The 90’s sitcom was right – Family Matters. There’s your pun for the year. Did I (seriously) do that? How rude?! My, lanta. Okay, sorry. I’m mixing my TGIF, but you get the point.


The incomparable Rosetta LeNoire.

Mooooving on…

My nephew is going on his first Disney trip – and not just Disney – he’s going to the mother land, Disneyland, as his very first Disney experience. So I thought I would make him some iron-on decals for some shirts I picked up. He’s a good kid.

He’s too cool for Disney Bounding. If you don’t know what that is, it’s made for people who look good wearing a garbage bag with a bow. Seriously. I couldn’t even do it if I tried. So, for frumps like me, a DIY shirt is the way to go.

I use the Cricut cutting machine, some good quality vinyl, a weeding tool (looks like a dentist plaque picker), my trusty ruler, an iron, scissors, and a nice cotton shirt.

I would like to add that I am not paid to say I use Cricut, I just like them is all! However, Cricut, if you’re out there – please send me free mats and blades, as I go through them like water.

You don’t need a fancy cutting machine, but if you want your DIY iron-ons to look less DIY, it’s necessary.

I started with a basic design, but tweeked it to my needs by using Cricut’s slice tool.

My First Visit+year

Look how cute this is!

Then I sized it by adjusting the canvas in Design Space, which was a children’s size large t-shirt.

I chose my colors to sync to the correct template. Before cutting, make sure your Cricut is set to Vinyl, which will cut the top layer, but leave the backing intact for an ideal weed. I love weed(ing)! Mirror the image. Load. Cut!

What you get after weeding. I’m sorry I didn’t photograph that part- I was sweating and tired at that point. The backing is a little sticky, but not too sticky. Place the decal on to your garment, and adjust to your desired location accordingly. Your eyes never lie – mine do, though – they’re jerks.


I should add that I purchased the t-shirt for $5 from Target – it’s by Circo  – and they had a plethora of colors to choose from. It was actually the best material I have worked with, too. Without the cost of the tools that I had (like my cricut, my weeding tools, my brain) – this project was $15 to make. Not bad!

There! Done! I’ll follow up with a photo of him wearing it in the happiest place on Earth!