#ReesesCupcakes 

Can I get a TGIF?! The kiddos have plans, my SO is headed to work, & this momma is heading out with her bestie for a girls’ night out in a few! While I wait, I wanted to share a recipe we tried this week. Chef Des & I have been working with a ministry called “Under the Bridge” for almost a year now, & it has been an awesome experience! Every Monday night the people of this awesome group help prepare & serve a meal to about 75 homeless & low income individuals. Not only is it a greatway to teach Des to help others, it’s been a fun way to use my love of cooking & seeing people enjoy what I make has always blessed me! This week we signed up to bring desserts & wanted to try something different. After looking on my favorite idea hub, Pinterest, I decided on Reese’s Cupcakes because seriously what goes better together than peanut butter & chocolate! We picked a super easy version that uses a boxed cake mix so I was able to quickly pull together a double batch. I can’t tell you how much everyone loved them… lots of compliments & requests for seconds! I love a recipe that isn’t hard but looks & tastes like you slaved in the kitchen over it!! On to the recipe…


Reese’s Cupcakes (makes 24)

Supplies:

  • 1 box of chocolate cake mix + ingredients it requires
  • 48 mini Reese’s cups (unwrapped)
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 3 Tablespoons milk
  • 2 cups powdered sugar 


Directions:o

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Line cupcake pan with paper liners.
  3. Prepare batter according to box directions.
  4. Fill liners about 1/2 full with batter.
  5. Place a Reese’s into each and gently press in place.
  6. Bake 15-18 minutes.
  7. Allow cupcakes to cool completely.
  8. Cream together the butter and peanut butter.
  9. Slowly adding in the sugar,it gets too thick then adding a little milk to thin.
  10. Continue until all of the sugar is in and the frosting blended and right consistency.
  11. Transfer to piping bag and pipe onto each cupcake.
  12. Decorate each cupcake with one unwrapped Reese’s cup (original recipe calls for chopped Reese’s to be sprinkled on top, but I liked how the whole one looked.) 

Anyways, it’s time for me to finish getting ready. I hope you & your family have a fun-filled weekend!!

#Valentine’s Day Tea

As you can probably tell by my posts, I love parties. There is nothing better than spending time with loved ones. Add in some delicious food & beautiful decorations and you have a perfect day! A very close family friend hosted an absolute gorgeous garden Valentine’s tea party this past weekend for the littles in our circle. Nothing like seeing our sweet kiddos all dressed up & sipping their pink lemonade out of fancy tea cups. Of course I think some of the beautiful, sophisticated decor was lost on them since all of the kiddos ended up playing in the ditch (so funny how things like that always make them happiest), but as parents we can appreciate the pretty event & enjoy sharing “grown-up” things with them. Anyways, on to the pictures…

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Each table was beautifully decorated and had its own tea pot & selection of kid-approved lunch snacks.

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There was a table set up for the kids to decorate their own bags for the Valentines exchange. *Side note: We had this party right after Valentine’s Day so everything was at least half off! Score!

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Arts & crafts are a good idea for every party!

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Destiny made heart crayons for her valentines. Click here for a link to that idea.

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Photo booths are the perfect way to get a great shot to remember the event.  A nice back drop & a few simple props are all you need. Kids are more likely to do a photo shoot when they get to play dress-up! Who wouldn’t be?

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Destiny & I ❤

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Such a cutie!

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L O V E this!

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Dessert table… cause isn’t this the best part of any party? lol

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Notice those little chocolate pinwheels… cut up a few Little Debbie’s for a quick & easy dessert!

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Rice crispy treats are always an easy crowd-pleaser & they can easily be transformed to fit any theme. A heart shaped cookie cutter, melted chocolate, & pink frosting gave these a sophisticated look.

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Marshmallow pops are super easy to make. Grab some paper straws from your local Target & sprinkles to match your theme, and you have an easy yet beautiful dessert to brighten any table. I talked about these before here.

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Getting a group shot is always a challenge, but as you can tell these kiddos had a blast!

Hoped you enjoyed this party idea as much as I did, and I hope you & your loved ones had a wonderful Valentine’s Day!! ❤

 

#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!!

#Happy Birthday Frozen Style #Frost Bites

I went to an adorable Frozen birthday party this weekend. My friend, Christy, always throws the cutest parties! I shared her backyard barnyard birthday party idea last year so if you missed that one definitely check it out now! Now I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I was asked to make some Frozen marshmallow pops aka Frost Bites (lol) and they turned out spectacular. I’ll share that idea first before I move on to party pics & ideas.

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Frost Bites

Supplies:

  • marshmallows
  • sprinkles (I used blue, purple, silver, & snowflakes to go with the Frozen theme.)
  • paper straws (You can find some adorable ones in a variety of colors @ Target.) or cake pop sticks
  • candy melts (White candy melts allowed the sprinkles to be more visible plus better matched the Frozen color scheme. Also one 12 oz bag of candy melts, Ghirardelli in my case, was enough to coat over 45 marshmallows. Just a FYI so you don’t over-buy like I did.)
  • mason jars (You could use any container, but the mason jars worked perfectly.)

Directions:

  • Stick your marshmallows on your sticks.
  • Melt candy melts according to package directions. You can use the microwave, but I had better luck with a double boiler. I kept the stove on the lowest setting after the candy melted so it didn’t start cooling & thickening while I dipped the marshmallows.
  • Tap the coated marshmallow off on the edge of your boiler to remove excess candy coating. If you don’t, the sprinkles like to slide off with the candy coating as they cool.
  • Dip the candy coated marshmallows into sprinkles turning to make sure the sides are coated. Again, don’t leave too much candy coating on your marshmallows or you’ll end up with a mess. I used muffin tins to the sprinkles easily accessible as I worked. Also, while the snowflake sprinkles were adorable heavier sprinkles tried to fall off as the coating cools. Colored sugar & nonpareils worked the best.
  • Refrigerate the pops as you go to harden the candy coating.

Anyways, these are obviously pure sugar & the kiddos will be on a sugar-high for hours, but so cute, everyone loved them (except me & my dad who think marshmallows are gross) and they can be easily geared toward any theme, occasion, or holiday. I think they would be super cute for a Valentine’s Day party with pink & red sugar & some heart confetti sprinkles. Now for some Frozen party cuteness…

Food (with cute little Frozen theme names):

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Food table – it’s covered with snow flake confetti & has cute Frozen napkins & plates (If you can’t find them locally, click on the words for links to the items on Amazon.)

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This wasn’t a wonderful picture, but these cupcake toppers can be found on Amazon here.

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I think I have a picture of this cutie with her cupcake from every single birthday party her mom & I both attend. lol

Activities:

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Photo area / backyard decorations

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Elsa’s Snow Play Table (white glitter playdough)

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Kristoff’s Ice Mine (huge colored blocks of ice with little treasures (ex plastic bracelets & bouncy balls) for the kiddos to chisel out – absolutely brilliant idea especially in this hot Florida weather- we were surprised how entertained even the older kids were with this)

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Some craft fun for when the kiddos needed a break from the sun

Add a trampoline & a swing-set to the mix… and you’ve got some happy & soon worn-out kiddos!

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Instead of the traditional “goodie bag”, the kids could pick from an array of Frozen items to take home as they left. Most of these cute items can be found at your local Target’s dollar section. Sorry the picture is blurry… didn’t notice until I put it on here. :/

Hoped you liked this party theme! 🙂