#Mad Scientist Day

One of the perks of private school is the class parties & hands on learning. This year (actually the end of last year but I’m a bit behind) my daughter’s 4th grade teacher combined a science project & party into a super cool mad scientist day. The children were each required make up a fake scientist name, come up with 5 to 10 minute science experiment they could easily preform, and write a quick summary introducing themselves & explaining their experiment. This was Destiny’s…

My name is Dr. Spikenstein. Monsters don’t often go to college, but I loved science so I worked really hard and was accepted into Hogwart’s University. I aced my classes and graduated with a master’s degree in Monsterology. I also got my bachelor’s degree in Scientific Potions. I liked using science to make magical things happen so much that after graduation I started teaching Potions 101 at the university. One of my favorite experiments we did in my potions class was the self-inflating balloon. Mixing vinegar & baking soda creates a chemical reaction that produces carbon dioxide. Once the carbon dioxide fills up the bottle, it needs more room so it expands the balloon. It looks like the balloon is magically blowing itself up. Unlike helium that is often used to fill balloons, carbon dioxide is a heavier gas than the air so instead of floating around, the balloon will fall straight to the ground. Want to try this experiment out for yourself? Here is how…
 
Supplies:
·       Vinegar
·       Baking soda
·       Plastic funnel
·       balloon
·       Tablespoon
·       glass measuring cup with a spout
·       bottle with a narrow top (example: a plastic water bottle)
Instructions:
1.   Use your funnel to put 3 Tablespoons of baking soda into your balloon.
2.   Using your measuring cup, pour ½ cup of vinegar into your bottle.
3.   Stretch the open end of the balloon over the neck of the bottle making sure the balloon is on securely.
4.   Pick up the balloon so that all the baking soda falls into the vinegar at the bottom of the bottle.
5.   Sit back and watch the balloon magically expand!
It is a great experiment to try with the kiddos, & I thought the scientist she created was very imaginative too! Anyways, after the kids demonstrated their experiments in front of the class, the teacher & room-mom gave them this wonderfully themed party. I was impressed. Destiny was too so we might even steal the idea for a birthday party theme some time. I’ll let the pictures tell the story…
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The classroom was decorated with all sorts of “sciency” things…
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The kids each got safety glasses, science lab badges, & Biohazard goodie bags.

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No mad scientist party is complete without a nice cauliflower “brain” in a jar!

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And then they had snacks…

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Petrie Dish Jello… Click here for Pinterest links for this idea… These used gummy worms, but other good options were Nerds & sprinkles for fake bacteria & cells. PS The kiddos weren’t a huge fan of the lime jello so you might want to skip that flavor.

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Frankenstein Treat Cups – Click here for these.

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Green Punch – Just mix some green Hawaiian Punch, lime sherbet, & Sprite for a quick & easy drink.

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Eye Ball Cake Balls – Click here for this creepy recipe.

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Monster Cookies – These were my contribution for the party. I found the recipe on Pinterest here. I was a little nervous when making them since the dough was a bit hard to work with, but they were a huge hit. I found the candy eye balls at Target though you can find them online as well.

Anyways, while looking on Pinterest I found so many other cool ideas you could add to these. It was definitely a theme you could just run with, a wonderful way to mix learning & fun. You could even use it for Halloween. Hope you enjoyed this party idea! And HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

#Pink Zebra Party #Happy Birthday Destiny 2015

Happy hump day, ya’ll! If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I have been absent for a while & am playing a little catch-up on all the posts I’ve been planning on doing for months! My baby turned 9 in June this year! We celebrate every year with a huge family & friend cook-out. The month before I we started talking themes… it’s a summer party so we’ve pretty much covered the beach, summer, ocean animals, luau, etc parties in past years… Destiny is pretty easy going so she was all for doing yet another dolphin party & beach balls & sand buckets are cheap & plentiful that time of year, but I wanted to think outside of our usual themes. We usually get most of our themed party supplies online and then supplement those with Dollar Store & other local store finds. I always love getting a couple cute themed items then using a matching color scheme to tie everything together to bring it home. Not a fan of those pricey birthday in a box type things, I mean does the plates, napkins, cups, & party hats all have to match exactly…. why do you really even need party hats? lol Ok I’m getting off track… Anyways, Destiny & I decided to check out Amazon for party invitations… figured that was a good way to start brainstorming. She fell in love with some pink zebra postcard style invites, and while I was hooked on some cute owl ones, I couldn’t help but think pink, black, & zebra print… simple, girly, fun… and ideas just started popping into my head! Once she had picked the theme, she scampered off to do “funner” stuff & left me to do the planning. I mean I rock at party planning & she knows it so we’ll take that as a compliment. She did make sure I knew she must have a zebra pinata so with that as my only criteria, it was time to get ordering. A friend had recently gave me a black cupcake stand so I decided on ordering some hot-pink cupcakes from work aka Publix because they are delicious & is just one less thing I have to do. Since we were skipping a cake this year, I didn’t have to worry about a cake topper & opted for some pink zebra striped candles & a 9 candle. I quickly found that Amazon has tons of pink zebra party stuff, way more then I needed, but I couldn’t pass up adding some zebra stripe plastic table covers, confetti, & some pink & black zebra balloons. At home  we TRY to stay away from candy, but it’s a party & I always think “candy bars” are so cute so we decided to so a little one… on hind-sight we ended up with a lot of left-overs we pawned off on guest as they left so we probably could have skipped or just scaled that down, but it was so cute! So the last thing I got from Amazon were some pink unicorn pops because they are striped & it’s a zebra party… it just made sense. I got a cute plastic candy dish with a lid, pink & black gumballs, and pink sixlets in my local Target’s party section, though you can always get those on Amazon as well. I had some small pink plastic buckets & glass candle holders from a past event (Dollar Tree) to use, but decided to see what Oriental Trading had to offer in the pink zebra party department & came across some absolutely perfect pink zebra containers… couldn’t have been more perfect for the diy decorating/ candy holder idea I’ll show you in a bit! I love Oriental Trading… super cheap, large quantity items perfect for party planning, large group activities, & craft projects! Ok… I think I’ve rambled on about what I bought long enough, but I wanted you to have all the links if you like how this party turned out & were interested in using this theme yourself. Anyways… let’s get this party started…

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This is a super easy lollipop holder that you could customize to fit any party theme… all you need: lollipops of your choice (unicorn pops from Amazon), a bucket type container (got these zebra ones from Oriental Trading), floral foam (Dollar Store – available at any craft store), & paper shreds (Dollar Store – gift wrapping section of lots of other stores)… super easy to make… place foam inside container (may need to cut a bit to fit), stick your lollipops in far enough to be secure, and cover the visible foam with the paper shreds… done 🙂 This would be a cute way to display cake pops, cookies-on-a-stick, or chocolate dipped marshmallow pops… basically anything on a stick! lol

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We used some zebra duct tape (Wal-Mart) to add a little party flair to everyday water bottles.

Now some pictures of the actual party…

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I honestly didn’t get as many pictures as I’d hoped because I was busy hosting &, well, enjoying the party, but hopefully you got some great party ideas! As you can see the kids all had a blast beating the pinata, playing on the park playground, getting their faces painted, playing with balls & bubbles, & especially eating those hot pink cupcakes! While they ran wild, the adults spent time laughing, talking, talking, & stuffing our faces with way to much delicious food! Perfect way to spend any summer day…a  great party for the best 9 year old around! Happy birthday, Destiny!! ❤

#USA Plaque

I can’t seem to get back into the habit of blogging like I once was. With school starting back, things have been super crazy around here. My daughter, Destiny, decided to kick off the 2nd week of school by getting sick & sharing those elementary school germs with her mom. After almost 3 days of doing nothing but sleeping & resting on the couch, we are finally feeling a bit better. It’s back to school for her tomorrow so she’s in bed, but due to all the extra rest, my sleep schedule is completely out of whack & when I should be getting to bed myself, I am WIDE AWAKE!! I figure I’ll wind down while I share a craft project I did for the 4th of July this year, once again better late that never! I’m not exactly sure what to call this creation… I used for the front-door but it would make a super cute wall plaque as well.

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The finished product – a super simple, country-style decoration perfect for Independence Day or all year long to show your support for this great country 🙂

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Supplies: *red, white, & blue paint *painters’ tape *paint brushes *wood plaque (I planned on making my own from an old pallet, but came across a pre-made one in the Wal-Mart craft section that looked exactly like I wanted which already had a rope attached for hanging & couldn’t pass it up – saved a bunch of time) *U, S, & A letters (wanted wood, but they only had pressed cardboard ones in stock so I settled for those – you’ll also notice that the S is smaller, not an artistic choice, I was just too inpatient to wait for them to get the bigger ones in lol) *E-6000 (definitely a good all-purpose permanent crafting glue)

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Tape along the slats for nice clean stripes.

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Paint your red stripes & allow to dry.

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Remove the tape.

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After you protect your red slats with painters’ tape, it’s time to paint the white stripes.

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Remove the painters’ tape & let your plaque dry completely. It’s time to paint your letters a nice shade of blue. I painted the front, back, & sides of these in different stages, allowing them to dry completely in between sides. Not only did I want to cover the cardboard completely for aesthetic purposes, I also wanted them to hold up in the humid Florida weather & used the paint to keep out unwanted moisture & keep this decoration in good condition for years to come.

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After all the letters were dry, I attached them to the front of my plaque with E-6000.

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I forgot to mention that I also painted the edges of the slats because, well, it just looks better that way… you might have noticed I had taped them off, but I thought it would be easier to show you the effect in this close-up.

I love craft projects & was super-thrilled with how this one turned out. I had originally planned on incorporating stars into it someway, but kind of like how simple it turned out. I’m always telling the kids that sometimes adding too many details can end up looking gaudy so I decided to take my own advice. I would love to hear what ya’ll think of this project! I know I’m a month behind, but did your family make any patriotic crafts or recipes this year? I’d love to hear about them!

#Happy 4th of July 2015 #Patriotic Star Candleholders

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Happy belated 4th of July!!

Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays. From fireworks to family cookouts while celebrating our country’s freedom, what’s not to love? What better to start my blogging come-back with than some super easy patriotic star candleholders? As with all my craft projects, decorating ideas, & party planning, I’m all about creating masterpieces without spending a fortune. Simple, easy, & inexpensive is the way to go!

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Patriotic Star Candleholders

I made a set of 4 of these candleholders for under $10 last year & added a cute table runner from Target this year to complete the look. Ok, let’s get started…

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Supplies:

  • glass candle holders (Dollar Tree – I used square ones.)
  • small white pillar or votive candles (Dollar Tree)
  • red & blue tissue paper
  • small paint brush
  • scissors
  • pen or pencil
  • Elmer’s glue or any craft glue that dries clear

The process is as simple as the supply list! Lightly draw draw stars on your tissue paper & cut out. I free-handed my shapes so each star varied in size & shape slightly, but if that is too difficult, you could use a stencil for more uniform stars though if you do this I’d have at least 2 size stars for some variety. I used 12 stars, 3 stars on each size, half blue & half red, but this is purely an artistic choice. I wanted just a few simple stars though more stars covering the candleholder more thoroughly & overlapping would be another cool look. Once you have your star shapes cut out, use your paint brush to simply apply a thin coat of glue to one side of your star & press on your candleholder in the desired location. Repeat til all stars are in place. Make sure corners are coated well so they don’t peal up though if this happens you can also go back & paint this corners down with a bit more glue. While the stars are damp they tear really easy so be careful, but the good thing is tissue paper is cheap & the wet glue comes off easily with a damp cloth so any mishap can be quickly fixed. Once you have added all your stars, simply allow glue to dry & add the candle of your choice. Basically it took me longer to type this than your whole project & probably even gathering the supplies did (LOL), but as you can see adding a little holiday flair doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive. This idea could be easily changed up to fit any holiday. You could even give your candleholders a hot soapy water soak to remove the glue & tissue paper & reuse them. You could cut out some green shamrocks for St. Patrick’s Day, egg shapes for Easter, fall leaves, & maybe some holly & berries for Christmas… the possibilities are endless! Stay tuned for some other 4th of July decorating ideas & maybe a recipe or 2! 🙂

#Tie-dyed Easter Eggs #Easter 2015

 

I’m still getting over being sick & just haven’t had the energy to do half of the things I wanted to do, make, or bake for Easter, but my kids weren’t going to let us skip dyeing eggs this year. It ended up being a blast (other than having to use a ton of bleach to get rid of all the dye that ended up on everyone’s hands and my counters lol) so I’m glad they didn’t let me be lazy. We tried a new way this year which resulted in the same “have I been doing everything the wrong way all my life” epiphany that I described in my Oven-Baked Bacon post. We’ve tried a couple ways of dying eggs throughout the years usually resulting in less than spectacular results. We’ve tried wrapping them with string or rubberbands to make stripes or adding stickers for a stenciled effect before dipping them but it usually resulted in the bands coming off mid dip or the stickers refusing to stick to our eggs, basically more frustration than fun. We’ve bought different egg dyeing kits some we’ve liked like & others were just a waste of money. Last year’s eggs turned out ok, kinda 50/50, liked some but on some of the eggs others the dye adhere well & came off in weird patches. The kids still enjoy it, but after this year experience, I think dipping our eggs is a thing of the past.

2014 easter eggs

2014 Easter Eggs

So after a little Pinterest-ing, I ran across this pin for Tie Dyed Easter eggs & was instantly intrigued. It is super easy & the results were so cool!

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Here are some of this year’s Easter eggs… there are a few traditionally dipped ones in the mix & a few that my youngest did by just setting her eggs in a strainer in the sink, dumping the food coloring on them, & spinning them around (those also turned out pretty cool lol) but we are going to focus on the Tie Dyed ones.

Ok so on to how you make these beauties…

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Here is a quick overview of our process before we get into detail…

Tie-Dyed Easter eggs

Supplies:

  • paper towels
  • ziploc bags
  • boiled eggs
  • vinegar
  • food coloring
  • plates (we used our regular dinner plates though plastic disposable plates would have been nice for easier clean up)

 Steps:

  • Dip your paper towel in vinegar & wring out excess.
  • Lay your paper towel out on your plate.
  • Add drops of food coloring until the colors pretty much cover the whole area *This is something where I told the kids not to put too much, but the ones that I believed were too “colorful” & would turn out looking black actually turned out better. Obviously their overzealous food coloring was perfectly fine. lol
  • Sit your boiled egg in the middle of your colored paper towel & wrap it completely.
  • Squish the paper towel around your egg & put the whole bundle into a plastic bag.
  • Let the eggs sit for about 30 minutes *The longer they are in there the brighter the colors got we did about 30 minutes, but some probably could have used longer. The original directions says anywhere from 5 minutes to a couple hours. Might just have to play with it at first to see what works best for your eggs.
  • Remove from bag & paper towel & sit your eggs out to dry.

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Here are some of our completed Tie-Dyed Easter eggs. Unfortuantely the pictures really don’t do them justice, such beautiful colors & intricate designs that you’d have to see in person to truly enjoy!

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Got a basket all ready to decorate our dinner table when we go over to Mema’s later 🙂

I hope you enjoyed this Easter egg decorating idea! Need some last minute ideas? Check out my Easter Pinterest board for inspiration! 🙂

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Hope the Easter bunny brought you a bounty of goodies & that you have a blessed Easter with those you love!

 

 

#Bunny Buckets #Easter Egg Wreath Idea

I like to make little gifts for Destiny’s classmates a couple times a year. With Easter right around the corner, I looked on Pinterest for inspiration & found some really cute ideas. You can see some of my favorites on my Easter board by clicking here. I originally saw an adorable mason jar idea that I thought looked like a nice option but would need to do it with smaller jars since I have to make 18 & buy enough candy to fill them. I’ve been super sick for about a week now & not feeling well as that was coming on so after not being able to quickly locate the size & shape jars I was searching for, I abandoned that idea & started looking for alternate options. I often do just traditional “goodie bags” so I was trying to find something a little different this time. I have seen cute bunny buckets & saw some similar things on Pinterest, but still wasn’t finding exactly what I wanted so I started looking at the Oriental Trading website to see if I could locate something quick & easy to make since I didn’t feel like hand cutting bunny ears, noses, etc. in my current state.  What I love about Oriental Trading is that usually the craft kits & supplies as well as party supplies aren’t super expensive & they come in large quantities. I grabbed some 3″ white metal pails with handles & started looking through the Easter craft supplies to find something to easily make them into bunny buckets. I was tired & didn’t feel good so almost gave up when I happened across a Easter Bunny Picture Frame Craft kit. It wasn’t too expensive & had twelve kits just like the bucket quantity, and I felt that I could easily repurpose the supplies to fit my needs. Anyway enough of my tired ramblings, let me just show you what I came up with…

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Here are my supplies… I only used the precut foam bunny parts & ribbon bows which already had peel & stick adhesive strips… yay… adorable & super easy to assemble. My only complaint about Oriental Trading foam craft kits in the past was that the self adhesive wasn’t as permanent as it should be, and unfortunately, while the majority of the bunnies held together fine, some of the front paws came loose in the night so I went through & added some Elmers glue to all the parts just to be safe. Even still I recommend this websites’ craft kits because they are adorable, inexpensive, easy to put together, come all individually wrapped making them perfect for large group events, & usually come with a few spare parts just in case. Only keep in mind that you might want to save the extra step when using ones with self-adhesive strips & just go straight for your glue during assembly for longer lasting, sturdier creations. I ended up with 24 foam frames, frame backs, magnets, & tons of foam circle stickers that I didn’t use, but I definitely will be able to add these to my craft supply stock for a future project! They won’t go to waste in this household. you might even see them in a future blog post! lol

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They say a picture is worth a thousand words… so I’m gonna skip lengthy, step-by-step directions and just show you how we put these bunny buckets together. Destiny has 9 girls & 9 boys in her class so she wanted to only add the bows to the girl bunnies.

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I think they turned out just perfect… just like I pictured them in my head! Since the buckets are quite small, I didn’t have to buy a lot of candy to fill them up either, just a pack of fun size Easter M&Ms & 3 small pieces of candy & they are ready to go!

It’s been a rough month so far for me… first a back injury & then 2 weeks later I was down with bronchitis & an upper respiratory infection… so I am awfully bummed I haven’t gotten to the many Easter craft & recipes I planned to make & share with you. That’s life though, doesn’t always go as planned. It seems like the older I get, the faster time flies by or maybe it’s just because we are busier. I’m not even sure when I will fit dying eggs in or helping the Easter Bunny fill the baskets so this might be my only Easter related post this year. :/

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Here is another one of my past Easter projects I wanted to share. I’ve made Easter Egg Wreaths since then for family members. It was one of my all time favorite Pinterest projects & probably one of the first ones I actually saw & made. It just takes a few supplies: ribbon, hot glue, a foam wreath, & lots & lots of plastic Easter eggs.  I’ve had this one for years… still looks just as bright & festive every time I put it out & if, heaven forbid, I loose an egg or 2 in storage, a little hot glue puts it good as new! If you like this idea but your busy schedule keeps you from creating it in time, wait & take advantage of the 50% off Easter eggs that are always abundant afterwards. That’s what I did. Honestly most of my holiday decorations have been picked up for dirt cheap after that holiday is over & then I use them for the next year. Click here for detailed instructions. I believe this is the site I found through Pinterest when I made my first wreath.

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Throwback to last Easter… I love this picture!!

In case life gets too crazy, I’ll just wish you a Happy Easter now, from my family to yours! ❤

 

 

 

 

#Charlotte’s Web Party #Pig Cupcakes

My 3rd grader, Destiny, just finished reading Charlotte’s Web with her class. To celebrate, her teacher, with the help from us parents, threw a little party to help them celebrate their reading achievement. It’s a perfect idea for a classroom setting, nursery or preschool group, summer kid’s book club, or just a themed play date. On to the best part of any blog post… the PICTURES!!

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The party started out with a “veritable smorgasbord” that Templeton the rat (a character in the book) could only dream of. Pigs-in-a-blanket, mounds of fruits & veggies, & plentiful juice boxes were displayed among adorable little stuffed Charlotte’s Web characters & served on adorable pig plates. (I looked online & had no luck locating these pig plates but sent an email to the teacher to see if I can find where they were purchased. I’ll let you know when I find out!)

Charlotte's Web

While the kids enjoyed their snacks, they watched the movie. I can’t believe how many kids have never seen this adorable (though sad in parts) classic! I found the DVD on Amazon.com for only $4.99! Just click here if you’d like to add it to your collection or if you think this party idea seems like a TERRIFIC idea. I’m not sure if ya’ll are catching my book references, but for those of you who haven’t caught on yet, that is one of the words that Charlotte the spider (I’m sure she was named after me lol) writes about Wilbur in her web.

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And to finish off this party right, PIG CUPCAKES!! Some marshmallows, pink frosting, pipe cleaners, pink & black gel icing, &  candy eyeballs (or chocolate chips if you can’t find the others) turned plain old cupcakes into adorable Wilburs. They were even displayed in a cardboard “pig pen” along with Charlotte & her web & a fair metal… just brilliant! Kinda bummed I can’t take credit for this creativity!

While the kids had to wrap things up so they could do that actual school stuff like spelling tests :/ I found a blog post with a links to tons of Charlotte’s Web coloring sheets that might be a fun addition to your party. Just click here to check those out. My personal favorite is Salutations – Chapter 5! Need some more Charlotte’s Web party inspiration? Check out the Charlotte’s Web Pinterest board I just threw together for some craft, recipe, & party favor ideas. Hope you enjoyed this cute party idea! :O)