#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!! ❤

 

#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! 🙂

#Valentine’s Day 2015

Happy-Valentines-Day

from my family to yours!

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We woke up this morning to find that the Valentine fairy (aka me) had delivered some goodies to her favorite valentines!

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Then I made a very simple breakfast. I planned on getting a little more creative, but it was a late night for me & my hubby being date night & all. A few drops of red food coloring & some sprinkles added a bit of Valentine’s Day flair to a can of Pillsbury cinnamon buns, festive & easy, perfect for a tired mommy. And no Valentine’s Day breakfast is complete without some strawberry milk.

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I made a special dinner for my brother, dad, bestfriend, Liz, grandma, & the girls! My mom & hubby had to work so we had to party without them. The stuffed chicken breasts (I’ll be sharing that recipe soon), baked ziti, garlic knots, & fresh green beans were a big hit! Add some hard apple ciders, cherry cheesecake, a heart chocolate chip cookie cake, & dessert kabobs (click here for that recipe on Liz’s blog Got Cache) and you have the perfect family Valentine’s Day dinner party covered!

So that was our Valentine’s Day… I hope you had a wonderful day with your loved ones!!

 

 

#Valentine’s Puppy Chow

Hey, guys! We started February out with my youngest starting to run a 102 fever during her field trip today! Yay! So instead of the Valentine’s Day craft project I originally had planned to make & share today (don’t worry we’ll revisit that one shortly), I decided to go with an easy family favorite: Chex’s Muddy Buddies also known as Puppy Chow in this household. This is a great, inexpensive, quick, & easy recipe perfect for any occasion! Not only is it a perfect thing to bring to events (I’ve mentioned before that I can’t be invited anywhere without bringing something lol) like the Puppy Bowl party we went to this weekend (if the party’s host Got Cache doesn’t share it soon, I’ll be bringing that adorable idea to you very soon), it makes a perfectly sweet gift in a mason jar or festive tin. Ok that was not a grammatically correct sentence in any way, but anywho… While I’ve made it tons of times & know the recipe by heart, I double checked the Chex website to make sure I quote it perfectly, and oh my goodness, Chex Party Mix & Muddy Buddies have exploded into so many cool flavors, styles, & varieties! Definitely going to revisit that recipe treasure trove again soon! Can you say endless possibilities?? Check some of them out by clicking here! Gosh I’m scattered tonight… must stay on point! The traditional Muddy Buddy recipe is simple, only 6 ingredients necessary, most of which you probably have on hand. Now if you haven’t noticed, I love holidays & enjoy tailoring recipes to fit the occasion so we’ll add one more thing to … so without further ado…

♥ Valentine’s Puppy Chow ♥

 

♥ Ingredients:

  1. 9 cups Chex cereal (the recipe doesn’t specify a variety, but I use Rice Chex)
  2. 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  3. 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  4. 1/4 cup butter or margarine (normally I use margarine for cooking, but I’ve made this recipe with both options & definitely would go with the butter)
  5. 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  6. 1  1/2 cups of powdered sugar
  7. Valentine’s sprinkles &/or pink or red colored sugar

♥ Steps:

  1. Into large bowl, measure cereal; set aside.
  2. In 1-quart microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter uncovered on High 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Stir in vanilla.
  3. Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated.
  4. Pour into a 2-gallon Ziploc bag.
  5. Add powdered sugar. Seal bag; shake until well coated.
  6. Spread on waxed paper & add those festive sprinkles.
  7. Let cool then store in airtight container in refrigerator.

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So in less than 30 minutes including cooling time, you have a delicious snack perfect for a Valentine’s Day party, sweet gift for a loved one, or a special lunch box treat for the littlest valentines on your list! So that’s my Valentine’s idea of the day… hope you liked it! I’d like to challenge you to think beyond your significant other & kids this year! Remember to show everyone you care about a little extra love this Valentine’s Day! Grab a couple of your brother’s favorite candies & put them in a cute gift bag! Make your coworkers some brownies! Bring your mom some flowers or have them delivered if you live too far away! Let’s spread the love and remember, when in doubt, chocolate always works!

#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!!!