#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!!

#Valentine’s Day Give-away

Hey guys! Sorry that you haven’t heard from me as much lately! With Valentine’s Day (another one of my favorite holidays) coming up in a few short weeks, that is about to change! I’ve been doing research aka looking on Pinterest for some new ideas & recipes and will be sharing them with you soon along with some of my old favorites! Not only is Valentine’s a special time to remind your significant other how much you love them, it’s also a good time to spend some extra crafting & baking time with your little Valentines! The girls & I always make beautiful heart sugar cookies, but this year I plan to throw some new desserts into the mix! Anyways, while you wait for all the Valentine’s Day fun to begin, let’s get ready for the big day with a give-away! Interested in a box full of Valentine’s Day goodies? Entering is easy… just comment below & tell me one way you show your loved ones how much they mean to you this time of year or even a link to a favorite Valentine’s Day recipe or craft (always looking for new ideas for my family)! On February 1st, I will pick a random winner from the commenters (is that even a word?) & request the winner’s mailing address at that time! Good luck! I can’t wait to see all your good ideas!

valentine's day sugar cookies

Here are some of those Valentine’s Day sugar cookies I was telling you about… I shared the recipe in my Boo-tiful Sugar Cookies post.

 

#Christmas Cookie Cups

So I’ve posted some from-scratch cupcake recipes from my friend’s blog, Got Cache?, that are absolutely delicious & sure to please, but if your family is anything like mine sometimes a quick & easy Christmas treat is all you can find time for between work, getting ready for Christmas day, & all the wonderful holiday celebrations with friends & family! While I love to bake & never go anywhere without bringing food or a baked good (guess that’s the southern breeding in me), often I go back to that semi-homemade concept I am such a fan of! You can make a tasty treat & put love & thoughtfulness into it without stressing yourself out & wasting the hours that seem in such short supply even more so this time of year! So my easy, festive, & yummy recipe of the day…

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Christmas Cookie Cups

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Supplies needed: refrigerated cookie dough, chocolate chips, sprinkles, baking spray, & a mini muffin/cupcake pan

*Quick side note before we get down to business: You’ll notice I didn’t specify a specific flavor of cookie dough or chocolate chip. Here’s why… it doesn’t matter lol That’s part of what I love about this recipe, endless possibilities! Just this week I have made: chocolate chip cookie dough with mint & dark chocolate chips (seasonal Nestle variety), peanut butter dough with semi-sweet chips & sprinkles, & chocolate chip dough with milk chocolate chips & sprinkles. So grab your favorite refrigerated dough and whatever chips your heart desires & lets get cooking!

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Preheat your oven to 350 degrees & spray your pan with baking spray. Fill the cups about 3/4 of the way full with your dough. Bake for about 13 minutes. Peanut butter ones take less cooking time… if you are unsure of how long to leave them in the oven, consult the refrigerated dough’s packaging.

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As soon as they are cooked, I use the back of a serving spoon to make the cups a little deeper so more chips will fit!

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While the cookies are still in the pan, fill your cups with your chips & add some sprinkles if you want! Important tip: let your cookies cool COMPLETELY for easy, break free removal!! I’ve learned the hard way on this one… don’t want the bottoms left in the pan! After they are cool, spinning them a bit as you are taking them out helps too!

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And in less than 20 minutes from start to finish, you have your cookie cups all ready to go!

Another thing I love about this recipe idea is one tube of refrigerated dough makes between 20 – 24 cookie cups (depending on how full you fill them) so you can quickly make lots of perfectly bite size goodies for any party or get-together! Let me know if you give these a try! And in case I don’t have the time to post again today… Merry Christmas Eve!!!

Christmas Giveaway :)

Check out my friend’s blog! She’s doing a Christmas giveaway!

Got Cache?

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year and even though i’m 27 there is still one family tradition that has continued to honored…baking day! Each year we pick one day a few days out before Christmas to do all of our holiday baking..cookies, fudge, gingerbread houses, cheesecakes, peanut brittle..you name it and we probably make some form of it. At first it was my Ohma, mom, brother, and myself..then Ohma passsed away and my brother grew out of wanting to bake and now 15+ years later it is always my mom and I. I look forward to it every year and now i’m passing on my tradition to you with my Christmas giveaway!

For my giveaway you will receive a few things to help jump start a baking day, including a cookie mix, whisk, decorative tray, sprinkles, cookie cutters, and maybe even a surprise or two! Whether…

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#MerryKissmas #VoxBox #Peanut Butter Blossoms #Easy Gift Ideas

Hello, everyone! I am so excited that my very first Influenster box has come in the mail! I was selected to receive the #MerryKissmas VoxBox! I absolutely love Hershey’s Kisses! From candy dishes stocked with perfect seasonally-wrapped kisses to quick & easy chocolate gifts to the infinite variations of Hershey’s Kisses blossom cookies, Hershey’s Kisses sweeten every holiday celebration!! Did I mention they are just delicious? Anyways, on to the rest of the #MerryKissmas fun…

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My 1st Influenster VoxBox 🙂

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My holiday KISSSSSSES!! Can you tell I’m excited?!

We’ve gotten our Hershey’s Kisses… now what to do with them?? First idea… how about some Peanut Butter Blossom Christmas cookies!

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Now these were just the quick version… refrigerated peanut butter cookie dough made into balls & rolled in festive green & red sugar, cooked according to the package directions, plop an unwrapped Hershey’s Kiss in the middle of the warm cookies, & let cool! Looking for one of the fancier or from-scratch versions, the possibilities are endless, check out the Hershey’s Kisses website, Facebook page, or my personal favorite idea hub, Pinterest!!

Next up… Gift Ideas!

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Need a sweet way to gift-wrap a gift card… skip the tissue paper & use Hershey’s Kisses instead! Now there are 2 gifts in one!

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Need a small gift in a hurry? Yep you guessed it, Hershey’s Kisses! Cute holiday container + a “We wish you a Merry Kissmas!” tag = perfection! Who couldn’t use a bit more chocolate in their life? They won’t be regifting this present!!

Hershey’s Kisses come in so many unique flavors that there is one for every special person in your life! Love those traditional red & white stripes? How about some Candy Cane Hershey’s Kisses? Got a mint & chocolate lover? They’ve got Dark Chocolate Kisses filled with Mint Truffle for you! Have some friends & family who are a bit nuts? Hershey Kisses with almonds are a must! Those are my personal favorite though I have no idea why? lol 😉 So grab yourself a bag of Hershey’s Kisses today & get gifting, crafting, baking, & making your holidays even sweeter!!! Still need ideas to get you started? Check out the Hershey’s Kisses website or Facebook page & good old Pinterest! Interested in receiving free products to review? Check out Influenster! Don’t wait; sign up through this link before January 5th, & you could earn some epic holiday rewards!

Happy 25 Days of Merry Kissmas!! 

“I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.”

#Boo-tiful Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookie Dough Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine (softened)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Directions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, cream softened butter (or margarine) & sugar together.
  2. Mix in egg & vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the remaining dry ingredients.
  4. Slowly add flour mixture to the mixing bowl a little at a time.
  5. Divide into 2 balls & refrigerate at least one hour.
  6. Use a rolling pin to out one ball on a floured surface & cut with cookie cutters. (Keep the other ball & dough scraps in the fridge between batches because the dough is much easier to work with chilled!)
  7. Bake cookies on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 8 -10 minutes.
  8. Let cookies cool for a minute or two on the cookie sheet then move to a cooling rack.

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Now that your cookies are cooled, it’s time to decorate! While any canned frosting will do, I make a simple powdered sugar icing for my sugar cookies! All you do is pour powered sugar in a bowl & SLOWLY stir in little amounts or water or milk until you reach the desired consistency. Then use food coloring to dye your frosting whatever color suits your needs. I accidentally burnt the first batch of my cookies (guess I can’t hear that timer from the other room),used large cookie cutters, & might have “sampled” some of the raw cookie dough so let the girls decorate all of the 10 cookies we ended up with lol. I laid out some parchment paper with cooling racks on top, made white & orange frosting, dug out our large sprinkle collection, & let the girls get creative! We ended up with some tasty Halloween sugar cookies, just BOO-tiful!

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