#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! 🙂

#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!! ❤

#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)

 

 

 

#First Annual Halloween Craft & Movie Night

Love crafts & Halloween? What better way to add some creativity & Halloween fun into your week then a Halloween craft & movie night! I ordered some inexpensive, easy craft kits from Oriental Trading when I placed an order for supplies for Katlyn’s upcoming pink mustache birthday party, gathered a few snacks & supplies, and recorded a selection of the family Halloween movies we watch every October to get ready. Let the Halloween fun begin…

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No party or event is complete without a few snacks!!

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After snacks were eaten & hands were washed, we turned on the Nightmare Before Christmas and started the first craft of the night: No Sew Halloween Pillows

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The girls posed with their finished pillows.

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The pillows made a perfect addition to our living-room decor!

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These were so easy to make & very cute, but we did find out this morning that the self-adhesive on the foam pieces wasn’t as strong as it seemed so added some glue & they are drying now.

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A few lollipops, some scrap white material, Halloween ribbon, & a permanent marker = Ghost Pops, perfect for giving out to trick-or-treaters or your child’s classmates!

We just did this as a family this year (plus one friend), but this would be a perfect idea for any size group! Having a large get-together? Have each family attending bring a snack to share &/or supplies for one craft. Spending time & making memories with those you love is what’s important! It’s something we all need to remember as we speed towards the season of “I want!” Just a little food for thought on this beautiful October day 😉