Frozen Birthday Party

Anna.  Elsa.  Olaf.  My daughter, Karis, turned four a few months after Frozen hit the theaters.  Of course, she, along with every other little girl in America, wanted to have a Frozen birthday party.  Unfortunately, party decorations and “Frozen everything” had not filled the stores yet.  Perfect opportunity to get creative!  I was able to order a few things online from a party store, plates, a table cloth, cups, and stickers.  I bought two posters at Walmart and I lucked out when I found some Frozen chapsticks at TJ Maxx. The rest was up to me.  I used my Cricut a ton for this party, cutting letters out of sparkly card stock to make several banners with the phrases, “Let It Go,” “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” and “Happy Birthday!”  I also cut out circles, squares, and snowflakes to add to the decor.  My daughter wore an Anna dress that we purchased at Target, and with her long braids, she felt just like Anna on her special day. I had so much fun planning the activities for this party.    IMG_6897IMG_7643IMG_7645

Karis and I made several batches of sparkly Frozen play dough.  We collected everything needed to build our own snowmen…noses (cut pieces of orange pipe cleaner), hair and eyebrows (cut pieces of black pipe cleaner) , eyes (googly eyes), arms (small sticks gathered from our yard), tooth (white rectangles of poster board), and coal (mini black pom poms). When the girls arrived, I had them all sit around the coffee table.  I gave each a paper plate and a hunk of play dough and let them build their own Olaf.  This was the cutest activity and the snowmen were adorable.  Even my older boys participated and enjoyed themselves.  When the party was over, each child got to take their snowman home with them.

IMG_7644IMG_6938IMG_7652

We used the Olaf poster to play “Pin the Nose on Olaf.”  I wanted one more game that would be fun for 4 year olds, so I came up with this “Knock the Castle Down” game.  I printed a castle coloring page off of the computer, colored it to match the party decor, cut it in 6 pieces and taped it to clear plastic cups.  I bought a pack of 3 whiffle balls from the dollar store and set the castle on a children’s size table.  The kids lined up and took turns throwing the balls and knocking down the castle.  This game ended up being so much fun and my kids played with it many times after the party was over. IMG_6935IMG_7612

Frozen cupcakes…so many possibilities.  I decided on these beautiful snowflake cupcakes. I frosted the cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting tinted with Wilton’s food coloring gel in blue.  The day before the party, I made the snowflake toppers with Wilton’s candy melts in bright white and Wilton’s Sprinkles in Blue Sugar Pearl.  (see tutorial) After placing each snowflake on top of the blue icing, I added a couple of Wilton’s Sprinkles in White Sugar Pearl to add a bit more sparkle. 

IMG_7642IMG_7628IMG_7656

These goodie bags were just perfect to pass out at the end of the party… so girly and fun, filled with sparkly treasures for each little princess.  I already had the Frozen chapsticks I purchased early on at TJ Maxx, so I just needed a couple of small items to go with them.  I found the little blue bags in the wedding section at Michael’s and the rings and wands in the toy section. These tiny nail polishes became “Frozen” when we added a snowflake (cut from the Cricut) to each one.  I made some cute tags using Frozen sticker and threaded them through the wands to complete the look.  Karis helped me put the goodie bags together, so she was very proud to hand them out the each of her friends as she said, “goodbye and thank you for coming to my party.” 

IMG_7614IMG_7619IMG_7623IMG_7622

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Strawberries and Chocolate…the perfect combination.  When my husband asked me to come up with a dessert to pass out to the moms of our church for Mother’s Day, I knew exactly what to make.  Chocolate covered strawberries are delicious on their own, but when you add a drizzle of white chocolate across the top they are even better!  I have to admit, that I didn’t quite know what I was getting into when I said yes to dipping 500 chocolate covered strawberries for Mother’s Day at the Stirring.  I may or may not have stayed up until 2 AM finishing these tasty little treats!  Lesson learned, next time, I will ask for help 🙂

Here are a few tips to make the perfect chocolate covered strawberries.  First of all, choose berries with pretty stems.  They look much more appetizing.  Use white cupcake holders to place your dipped berries on so they each have their own holder.  Rinse your strawberries and dry them on paper towels.  Do not skip this step!  It’s essential to dry each strawberry completely before dipping or the chocolate will not set correctly.

Once your berries are dry you are ready to dip.  Melt your chocolate.  I used Wilton’s candy melts in dark cocoa for the dipping and in bright white for the drizzles.  Dip each strawberry and place on a individual cupcake holder to set.  Once your dark chocolate has hardened, you can melt the white.  I used a spoon to drizzle the white chocolate over each berry.   In no time at all, you can have a platter of delicious chocolate covered strawberries to serve at your next party, or to just enjoy with your family.

Embellished Clothes Pins

Teacher gifts can get expensive, especially when you have 3 children and each has several teachers and classroom aides.  Last school year I decided to make my own teacher gifts.  I designed these embellished clothes pins and gave each teacher about 10 of them.  I packaged them in festive mason jars with straw lids.  I loved them so much that I had to make a few for myself as well.

I used my Cricut machine to cut card stock in several shapes for the paper embellishments.  I bought patterned scrapbook paper to line the clothes pins with.  This was the most tedious part.  I had to trace the shape of the clothes pin on the back of the scrapbook paper and cut them out using my small paper cutter.  I then used Mod Podge to glue the paper to the clothespin.  After they were dry, I used an exacto knife to trim the excess off of the edges.  Then I painted a coat of Mod Podge over the surface of the paper to seal them in.  I bought a package of tiny buttons and a sheet of glittery rhinestone stickers at Michael’s to use in the center of the embellishments.  Tacky glue worked perfectly to hold all of the tiny pieces together to form each decorated clothespin.

These gifts can be used in the classroom or in the home and will certainly add a pop of color to whatever they are holding in place.  IMG_8675IMG_8668IMG_8669

Sundae Cupcakes

My oldest turned 14 this May.  Fourteen!  How is that even possible!?!  He has decided that he is now too old for themed birthday parties.  I told him that I was ok with not doing a theme this year as long as I could still make him some fun cupcakes.  We decided on Sundae Cupcakes and they were definitely a good choice for a party of teenage boys.  For these cupcakes I used Pillsbury Devil’s Food Cake mix, foil cupcake wrappers, vanilla buttercream frosting, Wilton’s light cocoa candy melts, Wilton’s rainbow jimmies sprinkles, and maraschino cherries with stems.  I have to say, these were one of the easiest cupcakes to decorate and I love how they turned out!

Glittery Christmas Silhouettes

One of our Advent Activities for this year was “make a craft.”  I decided that Glittery Christmas Silhouettes would make the perfect actvity for my kids.  I have to say, I am very happy with how they turned out and it will be fun to put them up each December for years to come.  My kids range in age from 5-13 and they were each able to do this with just a little help from me.  Here’s what you will need for your glittery silhouettes.  Four rectangular canvases, adhesive-backed vinyl, a computer, scissors, cardboard or newspaper (to cover your work area), white school glue, paintbrushes or foam brushes, and four different colors of glitter.

IMG_0993Google Christmas silhouettes online and find four that you want to use.  Size them to fit in the center of your canvas with enough space around each for the glitter.  Try and make all 4 about the same size.  Print out your silhouettes and cut them to use as templates. IMG_0992Trace your silhouettes on the back of your adhesive-backed vinyl.  Cut them out to create four stickers.  IMG_0994Place one “sticker” on each canvas.IMG_0997Paint glue evenly all over the white parts of your canvas.  It’s ok to get a bit of glue on the stickers, but try to keep it to a minimum so that you can see the outline for when you peel it off later. IMG_0998Sprinkle glitter all around your silhouette and be sure to go over the edges a bit to make sure you create a nice line all around each image.IMG_0999Wait about 45 minutes.  You will want to peel your stickers before the glue and glitter completely dry.  This will create a cleaner line.  IMG_1001Allow your canvases to dry completely.  Shake the glitter off.  Then paint over them one more time with white school glue.  This will seal the glitter in so that it doesn’t fall off everywhere when you they are hanging up on your wall.  Let them dry overnight. IMG_1037Hang up and admire your beautiful Glittery Christmas Silhouettes!

St. Patrick’s Day (Rainbow) Kabobs

I love creating fun experiences for my children.  We started this tradition about 3 years ago and my kids look forward to it every St. Patrick’s Day.  For “Rainbow Kabobs” you will need some fake gold coins from the dollar store (I couldn’t find coins, so I bought “gold metal necklaces” and pulled the ribbons off of them), fruit in the colors of the rainbow, mini marshmallows, gold wrapped candy (rolos), and some kabob sticks.  The first year we did this was the most fun.  I hid the rainbow of fruit and treats from my kids and sent them outside on a “treasure hunt.”  I told them to find all the gold coins that were hidden in the backyard.  Then I asked them where the pot of gold is usually found…at the end of the rainbow of course! I had them trade in their “pot of gold” and close their eyes.  Then I brought out their rainbow of yummy goodness as well as the marshmallow “cloud” and the edible “pot of gold.”  They absolutely loved making and eating these colorful kabobs!  Now, each year, they look forward to this simple tradition even though it is no longer a surprise.IMG_1882IMG_1869Version 2IMG_1892