Friday Favourites: DIY Crafts to Celebrate Earth Day

Hello Lovely,

Earth Day is just 2 days away, and I'm so excited! Why? Because it's an excellent reason to share with you my favorite crafts: Upcycled Crafts! There are many different household items you can recycle or repurpose to give your space an eco-friendly flair! Today we're looking at crafts using easy to find items such as cardboard boxes and tin cans. Cardboard is one of my favorite items to upcycle, and it's a great way to feel a little less guilty about all of those Amazon boxes that arrive at your front door. Looking to get organised? Well there is no need to buy more organizing or craft supplies, when all you need to do is look to your kitchen. Put those empty tin cans to use with a beautiful upcycling project.

How To Make 3D Faux Metal Letters – From Cardboard!

HOW-TO-MAKE-FAUX-METAL-LETTERS.jpg

Are you a sucker for all things industrial? Well that's what drew me into this project! I think if I try to make this my mother would officially kick me out, but if you have space for something like this on your wall, I would 100% recommend it! I mean think about how much money you would save! Thanks to Chip and Joanne, EVERYONE is on the farmhouse/galvanized/industrial home décor trend so these are not cheap! But if you make it yourself, that's something you can brag about!

DIY FABRIC-COVERED UPCYCLE CARDBOARD BOXES

DIY-Fabric-Covered-Storage-Cardboard-Box-Upccyle-565x1024.jpg

With a few supplies, you can easily upcycle cardboard boxes and make beautiful custom storage and organizing boxes for your home. I already know which room I want to put these in!

Cardboard box shelves

An easy step-by-step DIY project for cardboard box shelves from homes+ magazine - make it yourself and transform everyday objects into something special for your home. I'm thinking of making one of these to hold my shoes in.

DIY Paint Can Herb Garden

DIY-Paint-Can-Herb-Garden.jpg

If you’re a serial DIY-er like myself, I’m sure you’ve been stumped when it comes to dealing with old empty paint cans.  Try a hanging garden!

Make Your Own Reusable Dryer Sheets

How to Make Reusable Dryer Sheets.jpg

Making your own reusable dryer sheets is a no-brainer way to save money AND the environment! This method is so simple you'll never BUY dryer sheets again!

What To Do When You're Not Feeling So Confident

Hello Lovely,

Are you a confident woman? Do you keep pushing in the face of adversity? Do you wake up every morning ready to rock? And then it happens. Every confident woman has a weakness somewhere. There's always something that can hurt our pride or put a thorn in our confident stride. Maybe it's when someone lets you down and you now have to fend for yourself? Maybe it's when you realise that you have no reliable or authentic friends at work, and no matter how hard you try to ignore it and just focus on the job, you can't deny that it gets a little lonely. And maybe even uncomfortable if you know they don't like you. It's hard to maintain your confidence when you have to interact with the very thing that tries to tear you down. I'm sure we all have our methods for breaking through, but after so much fighting, do you ever just get tired?

I know I do. I'm on a positive vibes only right now but I'm surrounded by negativity every day. No matter how hard I try to compartmentalise and distance myself from the drama, it really only does one thing: Leaves me alone. You brush it off as haters and a sign that you're clearly doing something worth watching. You also remind yourself that comparison is the thief of joy and it's never good to second guess yourself because of what someone else is doing. And sure for awhile being alone is nice, because I'm confident in myself and what I have to offer. However, after so much alone time, sometimes I do start to think, Is it me? Am I the problem? And just like that, my confident is shattered. So what do you do when you're not feeling so confident? Here are just a few ways to pick yourself back up.

1. Call your person

Everyone should know that episode of Grey's Anatomy where Christina told Meredith (or was it the other way around) that she is her person (if you don't, I literally just provided the clip for you, watch it, don't be lazy). It quickly became a thing that we all started saying. Everyone should have a "person" or maybe more than just one person. I have two people. Two people that no matter what, I know they won't judge me, they will understand, and depending on my mood will automatically know if I need sound, logical advise, or just an ear to vent to so that I feel right. And yes these are the people I would call if I just murdered someone, if they weren't already there when it happened.

2. Dance It Out

Or whatever your thing is. What is it that soothes you? Dancing? Singing? Video Games? Cooking? And it doesn't even have to be something you're good at. God knows I am not the best singer, but that doesn't stop me from building karaoke playlists that I belt out in my car while not letting people out of corners (eye of the tiger baby - not literally the song, that's just how it makes me feel when a song I really enjoy singing along to comes on).

3. Stop trying

Who gives a damn any way? So what if your coworkers don't like you, so what if you messed up that recipe? Give yourself a break. Literally, stop trying. Whatever it is, walk away from it. Do not let that moment define who you are. You, awesome you. You'll get it next time, or maybe never at all; and that's okay. Whatever it is you can't do (after trying everything you could to do it) simply wasn't meant for you to do. Stop trying, and find something else you can do!

We're not perfect. We cheat on diets, we skip gym days (for months on end) but we're not failures. It's okay to not be confident 100% of the time. It's okay to not have all the answers. Give yourself credit for the things you can do and know that tomorrow is a brand new chapter waiting to be written.

Olivia name.jpg

How to Make Mindful Purchases

How to Make Mindful Purchases

Living a life with intention means being more thoughtful when it comes to making decisions. Making mindful purchases can mean less buyers remorse. I can't tell you how many things I bought on a whim that I really didn't need but in my impulsive moment, thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. So recently, I made a more conscious effort to make more mindful purchases. I’m going to do this by following these 3 steps:

Read More

The Tye Dye Mini Cake

Hello Lovely,

The day of The Elevation Awards, I was pretty nervous. Depiste covering it last year, I didn't know what to expect this year because instead of being media, I was now a nominee. Win or lose, I couldn't believe I am now Elevation Award Nominee Life By Olivia. And if I had won....OMG! I don't know what I would do with myself. So to fill the seemingly endless hours before show time I tried to relax in front of the TV. Problem was, none of my usual shows were on. I ended up watching an hour of Antiques Roadshow (super boring could not get into it) before stumbling upon a show on The Food Network called, The Kitchen. I had never heard of the show before (I don't know where I've been) but I AM HOOKED!!!! I happened to catch the birthday episode with a ton of birthday recipes. Even though I don't eat steak, I was really impressed with the Cast-Iron Skillet Porterhouse Steak but what really blew me away was the The Tie Dye Cake .

I instantly looked up Melissa's cookbook on Amazon and just had to try the tye dye cake. Now I've never been good with decorating cakes because icing confuses the hell out of me, so I decided to make a two layered mini cake instead (even though the batter was enough for four layers). If this didn't work out, it wouldn't hurt me as much because it wasn't a lot of batter wasted.

Bear in mind I was nervous AF so I was randomly throwing together ingredients. My thought process was literally whatever I could get my hands on (hence the combination of coffee and orange zest). But you couldn't tell me I wasn't a celebrity chef while I combined everything. While mixing the food colouring to get just the right colour, I felt like a chemist! It was just so much fun! I was so nervous I forgot to spray the pans before pouring the batter and then I had to pull the pans out of the oven because I forgot to take a skewer to the middle to create a pattern with the colors.

Then it was time for the moment of truth. This is where I always mess up, but I learned where I was going wrong. I found an old bread knife in the drawer that we never use and that was perfect for levelling the cake. For once, I had an even layered cake. Decorating was starting to look, well, like a piece of cake! (Sorry I just had to do it). When I was done, I had finally successfully frosted a cake! I swear this is one of the biggest accomplishments of my baking career thus far! I was a little disappointed in how the colours inside the cake turned out, but now I know better for next time how to make pink to brighten up the mix. The orange zest is brilliant and you really can't taste the coffee, which I was afraid would overpower or compete with the zest. Here's the recipe!

DSC_0040 (1).jpg

The Tye Dye Mini Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 1/2 cup chilled coffee
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup diary free milk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Red, yellow, blue and green food colouring

Cake Decorating

  • 4 tablespoons vanilla frosting
  • pastel coloured sprinkles
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 2 5 inch baking pans. Set aside.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients for the cake except the cake colouring. Do not overmix.
  3. Divide cake batter evenly amongst four ramekin dishes. Add food coloring to each bowl--1 drop at a time--until the desired intensity of each color is reached. Scoop each color into a disposable pastry bag and snip the tip of the bag. I didn't want to waste pastry bags so I carefully scooped it into the prepared pans.
  4. Pipe the batter into the first pan, one color at a time, one over the next. (Remember you could also use a spoon, but the pastry bags might make this much easier.) Repeat until all the batter is gone.
  5. To make the tie dye effect, carefully drag a skewer completely through the batter from the center out to create a pattern with the colors. Don't overmix the colors.
  6. Bake until the middle of the cake feels springy when you gently press your finger against it, 15 to 20 minutes. Set the cakes aside to cool completely before icing.
  7. Level the cakes with a serrated knife. Place one layer on a cake turntable and frost the top with the Vanilla Icing. Add the second cake layer and frost the top. From watching the show, I learned how to fully frost the cake. Continue to pipe icing in between the layers, then with the knife, go around the cake, smoothing out the frosting until the cake is completely covered.
  8. Mix the glaze (combine the powdered sugar and milk) then add pink food colouring or only two drops of red (it will make pink). Working with an offset spatula, spread pink glaze over the top of the cake and let it drip down the sides. Work quickly before the glaze starts to dry. Then top with sprinkles and serve!

The last time I made something so complex was my Cookies n Milk Cake (boy that was stressful). I usually shy away from recipes with too many steps, but I'm glad I challenged myself to this one. I ate my slice with a scoop of strawberry cheesecake ice cream (because cake and ice cream are the perfect couple) and it didn't feel too sweet. 

How to Wear a Sleeveless Duster

Hello Lovely,

I love the duster trend! I love it so much I could help but continue it into the Spring! It's really hot now so it's not practically to wear the long flowy dusters. I need to be cool and comfortable. Introducing: The Sleeveless Duster! Today I'm sharing how I paired a sleeveless duster with jeans and a t-shirt for a casual, yet chic outfit perfect for running errands or catching up with friends.

  • Duster: Primark £12
  • Blouse: Wal-Mart $1
  • Jeans: Body Beautiful (Under $20)
  • Shoes: Random shoe store in London £10

5 Easy Moves For Strong and Sexy Abs

5 Easy Moves For Strong and Sexy Abs

When we set out to lose weight, many of us focus on getting a toned, flat stomach first. After all, it's motivating when you find yourself slipping into jeans that haven't fit you in years, and the compliments that come flying your way can help you stick to your healthy eating and exercise routines. Sure, a more toned midsection can ease your bathing-suit anxiety. But it can also protect you from injury: Research shows that a strong transversus abdominis—the muscle that wraps around the torso—stabilizes your back, which makes it easier to lift anything, whether it’s kids or grocery bags. To work this tricky-to-target area, try these 5 easy moves that you can do at home.

Read More

How to Avoid The Toxic Trap of Social Media

Hello Lovely,

I wanted to start this post by stating I wrote this an entire week before The Elevation Awards. Win or lose I knew this one something I needed to talk about. Even though blogging relies heavily on social media, social media hasn't exactly been a good thing for society. It's great for keeping in touch with long distance family and friends, and it's also great for connecting with people you otherwise would never have met. But there's also a dark side to social media; a toxic trap so to speak. It happens when we start comparing our lives to those of the people we follow on social media.

DSC_0335-01.jpeg

It's something I struggled with for years and sometimes still find myself doing. I see all these social media accounts that just look so perfect, and I can’t help but think, “why am I not doing that? Why don’t I look like that?” I go through stages where I have so much confidence in myself and what I am doing, and then I go through stages where I freak out and go on a social media blackout because I feel like I’m not growing as fast as well as I should. I compare myself to other bloggers who are killing it, but when I don’t see my follower count growing, I feel like I am failing. Online, people have to keep up an image. We have to get the likes. We have to gain the followers. But why?

Social media, as much as I love it, I’ve learned can be toxic. We always post about living our best lives and looking our finest. When we aren’t doing that, we can feel like we’re failing in some way. We have to be conscious of what we are seeing and remind ourselves that the online world is not what reality looks like. So here are three ways you can avoid the toxic trap of social media.

DSC_0332-01.jpeg

1. It's All Fake

Social media is all about showing your best side. You wear your best outfit, find the best lighting on the best location and show your best side. You're not going to show that pouch, cellulite or dress with the rip. You're not going to use the corner of your house that's always a mess, in fact, there even be a designated "pretty" part of the house that gets used, or props that come out just for the photos. Who would want to follow you if they saw your mismatched outdated furniture or your actual, "I woke up like this face"? A lot of people don't really live how they portray their lives on social media and it's starting to cost a lot of money for people to keep up.

2. The Cliché, Why Fit In When You Were Born To Stand Out is Actually True

I look at the local elite social circle and I will never fit into that. I've got way too much general anxiety to be bar hopping, popping bottles and always wearing the trendiest clothes. Sure I do some of that now, but it's with a group of people who get me and have a weird sense of humour like me. They don't care for flashy things and we're always thinking about maintaining a healthy adult bank balance, so no splurging for us. Don't go broke trying to impress people you may not even like. Stay in your own lane and do what feels right to you.

3. Check The Paper

College isn't for everyone, but always remember this: In the world of Social Media, you are replaceable. People just want someone who's cute and acceptably quirky to promote whatever brand or ideal they're selling. So when your 15 minutes of fame are up, you'll need something to fall back on. I love blogging and want to go into full time, but until I'm ready, I'm glad I have my degrees and certifications to get me by. Because of my degrees and skills, my options are far from limited and I will always have a source of revenue.

The 2018 Elevation Awards

Hello Lovely,

This past weekend was the much anticipated 2018 Elevation Awards. Artists from all genres flocked to the New Providence Ballroom in the BahaMar Convention Centre for the 2nd Annual Award Show. Last year I attended the show as media, but this year I attended the show as a nominee. I was nominated for Blog of The Year and this was also the first year for the category. I was grateful for this addition because while the world was quickly accepting vloggers and recognising them, there weren't really awards for bloggers. Going into it, I simply new I was not going to win because I was going against Ianthia Smith (fiancé of Farreno Ferguson of F.Dot Photography) and of course she won. I was excited for her to win. Honestly I don't know what I would've done or how I would've felt had I won, so I really think it's for the best. Simply being nominated and recognised for six years of hard work was enough for me. I went with my mum and one of my best friends Krista because they are two of my biggest supporters.

I've always thought that the Elevation Awards has the potential to be a local MTV Music Awards in terms of nominees walking the red carpet in wearable art made by local fashion designers and musical performances that are concert worthy. While the fashion was gorgeous, very little was Bahamian designed, HOWEVER, the performances were amazing! 

Possibly the most outstanding performance of the night was by Judah the Lion who gave us an a riveting steampunk drama. A very close second was a group of young Christian rappers called Christ Gang who brought a lot of energy to the Pre-Show. And of course I loved the performances by Bodine, Wendi (who opened the show) and Duchess who made her stage debut as a solo artist last night singing her new hit single, "Mr. Lover."

Here's the Complete List of Winners:

  • Best Short Film of The Year: Cinemorphesis
  • Best TV Show of The Year: On The Record
  • Photographer of The Year: Stanlo Photography
  • Blog of The Year: Mini Skirts & Microphones - Ianthia Smith
  • Vlog of The Year: Who Dat?
  • Visual Artist of The Year: Jamaal Rolle
  • New Artist: Sanjardo B
  • Bahamian Song of The Year: Qpid - Gimmie My Culture
  • Community Development: Get Fit With Smith
  • Gospel Song of The Year: Jonathan Farrington & Grace Generation - Free
  • Male Artist of The Year: Julien Believe
  • Music Video of The Year: Wendi - I ain't Missing It
  • Entertainer of The Year: Naughty
  • Contemporary Song of The Year: Sammi Star - I Iz What I Iz
  • Video Producer of The Year: Kyle Ferguson
  • Female Artist of The Year: Bodine
  • People's Choice Award: DJ Ovadose

It was interesting to hear so many new names, but of course they were really only new to me. In the moment, I thought some artists were snubbed or overlooked. For example, Who Dat? winning consecutively, Naughty winning entertainer of the year when literally anyone else in the category was a better option and Julien Believe winning Best Male Artist over Judah. The room was eerily quiet when Julien won and I'm not sure anyone really knew how to react. So I spoke to an organiser, to get some answers. Apparently, during the vetting process, nominees are asked to submit a complete portfolio along with a few other requirements; without this the nominee would not even be considered.

Of course no one likes to lose so there were mixed reactions to the award show. Some left before it was over, and some didn't bother to show at all. Then there were the ones that took to social media to throw digs. No one wants to think that awards and recognition are only for an elite circle in society, but when it's the "elite circle" mocking the establishment, you kind of begin to wonder what more could they want? I learned last night that Bahamians would rather diss your work or event before they support it. And they're really only happy to see their friends win. The tasteless comments were rather unfortunate. Sure this year was NOWHERE as good as last year's, with far more technical glitches and a lack of organisation, but the entertainment made up for it. I stayed up until the People's Choice Award because it was really late and I had to get my mother home. But something incredible last night happened that cannot be overlooked.

There was a very touching moment during the show when the host realised that a young 10 year old girl he had used as a part of a bit and buried her mother that same day. As a show of good faith and support, Demetrius not only gave the girl a brand new cellphone courtesy of BTC, $100 and offered to pay her next semester tuition, but he also encouraged the entire audience to donate to her. And the ENTIRE audience got up and gave something. It was very touching. I genuinely hope that the donations are put to good use for the girl.

DSC_0728.jpg

FINAL VERDICT: Last year's award show was much better, but it could also be that we were so enamoured by the fact that it was something new. I have a lot of ideas for how the entire experience can be improved on next year that I will sit down with the organisers and discuss. I believe in what Elevation Media is trying to do. Bahamians work hard and we really have to learn to celebrate one another. There are so many creatives in this country, maybe next year artists from the various family islands can be recognised as well. I don't take any part of this experience for granted and look forward to watching the show grow and expand to become a force to be reckoned with. See you next year!

10 (Almost) Free Ways to Have a Social Life On a Budget

Hello Lovely,

Can you believe we're already in April? Are you sticking to your New Year's Resolutions and commitments so far? I know one of my resolutions is to have more of a social life. Now that I've finished paying for school and I now drive a car I'm not ashamed to be seen in, I feel like the world is my oyster! I started doing more things last year for my birthday, and since then I've been slowly filling up my social calendar with a variety of events; but I had to get really creative with it, because some days I just couldn't. I'm sure you've been there before: “Can’t hang this weekend, I’m broke,” is probably one of the most tragic texts that you’ve probably sent before. You stay home on a Friday night, covered in Dorito crumbs scrolling through Instagram stories with hard-core FOMO; reminiscing on the days when you could afford to do things like ‘socialising’, or ‘leaving the house’.

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen some photos of me sipping champagne and jet-setting. Would you believe me if I told you I almost never paid for most of those nights? You probably think having a social life can be really expensive, right? Well, it doesn't have to be. Remember when I told you how I saved for my European trip? Well now I'm back with 10 (almost) free ways to get creative with your social life so you too can be "balling on a budget".

10 Almost Free Ways to Have a Social Life on a Budget.jpg
DSC_0051.JPG

1. Eat Cheap at Restaurants

People were surprised when I took my BFF on a bestie date to Baha Mar for only $30 (both of us). How? When eating out, choose appetisers or desserts. Or you can even fill up on sides. They're the cheapest things on the menu that can leave you feeling just as full as a main entree.

DSC_0069.JPG

2. Happy Hour

I was so happy when Senor Frogs offered a Ladies Night, where ladies can drink 3 house drinks FOR FREE! If you choose to do this, try to go early as the bar fills up pretty quickly with women who all demand the bartenders attention. Find happy hours and hop between them. The good thing about happy hour is BOGO or discounted drinks and foods. Once you've had the cheaper drinks, you're fuelled for a night of partying or at least liquored up enough to feel like you did something fun, without the late night struggles. Besides, 6 PM is totally the new 11 PM.

3. Movie Night

Do you and your friends like to watch movies? Whether it's Wonder Woman, Black Panther or Star Wars, there's been a lot of blockbusters hitting the big screen recently; so of course you're going to want to watch them in a comfy environment with your favourite snacks. So what's the best way to so this? Throw a movie night at home, complete with “stadium seating” (bar chairs behind a couch behind a layer of pillow seats) and popcorn. You can serve frozen pizzas, hot dogs or your other favourite appetiser. Save money by screening movies you already own, or use an Android Box, Chromecast or Amazon Fire Stick.

181928_10150156948736579_3708771_n.jpg

4. Get Your Kicks as a Volunteer

Instead of paying full price to attend major events and festivals, look into group volunteer activities such as Hands for Hunger or the Rotary Club. No matter how expensive the face value of the ticket, it’s very likely that the event management team is looking for volunteers to help with the day-of celebration. So if you volunteer with an organisation for an event, you're able to attend it for free and still enjoy it as if you paid for a ticket.

841092_10152467147725416_1064151318_o.jpg

5. Dinner Parties are my Best Friend

I love when my friend's have a "potluck" because it's the easiest way to get fed with minimal effort. Dinner parties are one of the best ways to see mates without spending too much money. If you encourage everyone to bring a plate or some wine, you’ll have a whole table of food without that awkward “are we splitting it or just paying for what we had?” conversation at the end.

Themed nights (Mexican night, breakfast foods, a meal starting with the first letter of your name), or as cheesy as it sounds, playing some dinner party games can be ridiculously fun. And if there's leftovers, don't be ashamed to tote (I've recently upped my toting game by bringing my own lunch container).

DSC_0219.jpg

6. Let's Go to The Beach!

One of the best perks of living in The Bahamas is the fact that we don't have to pay a dime to go to the beach. A lot of cities charge parking for beaches or entrance and I think that's ridiculous. So if you didn't know that, I suggest you grab a friend, a towel and a beer and head on down to the beach to catch some FREE sun, sand and waves!

DSC_0028 - Copy.JPG

7. Wine Tasting Events

I LOVE wine tasting events. Even if I don't like the wine served, it's still FREE wine! Are you kidding me? Of course I'm going! Every month Young's Fine Wine and Mahogany House each host a wine tasting event where you can sample at least 6 different wines for FREE. And the wines offered are always discounted for that night only. Young's Fine Wine is always themed so all the wines will be from a particular region or similar in other areas; whereas Mahogany House usually has 6 white wines and 6 red wines. Follow them on Facebook to stay up to date so that you can know when the next wine tasting is.

10881623_10204352607869115_2630823298602178406_n.jpg

8. Sip and Shop

Here's the thing, most stores know that at least 90% of the people at their sip and shop event are only there to sip. Don't worry about offending them. Sip and shop's are great ways to sip expensive champagne while marvelling over who in their right mind would actually buy those expensive items.

9. Salsa and Latin Dancing

If you don't know, now you know. You can learn how to dance Salsa, Meringue and Bachata for FREE if you go to VIA Cafe on Thursdays and Melia Hotel Lobby on Saturdays. It's SOOOOO much fun! Everyone there has been dancing for quite some time but don't let that intimidate you. There's often a few choreographed group dances (similar to Zumba) that you can easily join. So put on your flats or kitten heels and get ready to sweat!

10. Start a Fitness Group

Speaking of sweating, why not get together with your girlfriends and start a fitness group. Not only is it easier to work out in front of your peers because there's less judgement, but you'll have a support system that will keep you motivated and excited about meeting your goal. In fact that's how I got closer to the ladies in my church. We didn't really know what we were doing but we had a good time laughing and helping each other. So work hard or hardly work; as long as you're together. you're bound to have some fun with it!

*This post originally appeared on Life By Olivia*

Going out with your friends to enjoy fine dining, drinking and entertainment doesn’t have to traumatise your budget. Just plan it out in advance and get creative with your choices and your wallet and reputation will both thank you! What's your favourite way to "Ball on a Budget"? Share your tips and reactions to this post in the comment section below!

Look Who's 2!

Hello Lovely,

Can you believe that Ariana is already TWO?! Ariana is my little pumpkin because I joke that she's so orange. She looks exactly like her big brother and follows him everywhere he goes! I love following her growth. Little Ariana loves Laugh & Learn Puppy and tells great stories (even if she doesn't get the details quite right). I found that Ariana did not smile if she was sitting but if she got to run around and chase her brother, she was all smiles and giggles! Mom wanted a spring/nature theme so I took advantage of the Farmer's Market at The Island House on the second day of shooting and the kids really had a blast! Happy Birthday sweetheart!