Christmas time fun…

I love love love Christmas time. Let me tell you! Because of my upbringing, I never celebrated holidays as a kid. So being able to enjoy these special family times, as an adult, with my own kids is something I cherish and love making special. 

My daughter throws a Christmas party with her friends every year at our house. It’s such a fun tradition. It’s such a great thing to see these girls (some the same, some new) year after year and their friendships grow. We have a party with our friends each year as well. So December is a crazy fun month of planning and party throwing. It’s great if I can throw the parties back to back so that I can use the decor for both. Two birds one stone. 🙂

So here’s both parties back to back. First my daughters and then ours.


My daughter always gives out invitations – whereas our friends party, we just let everyone know the date and times without an official invite. As always, I had Red Barn Design Studio create the invitations. They were perfect. 



I found this awesome string of MERRY balloons in the Target Bullseye (Dollar Spot). It was the perfect little touch.


Love these Christmas crackers from Target. The girls loved these as party favors.


The table setting for my daughters party was simple. We bought these Santa chair covers from Dollar Tree. Then just some paper place settings. They sell those chair covers year after year at our Dollar Tree. Hopefully you can find them too if you are looking next year.


Overall view of our party. Grown up table, kid table, hot cocoa bar. 


Our table settings were set per couple. So that each couple got an ornament and a cracker. 


We made Yule Mules that were SO good. You can find the recipe here:


Every year at Costco they sell this beer – in the year it is – and it’s our tradition to get one to share at our annual Christmas party. 

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Hot cocoa bar! Oh my goodness this was a hit. If you’ve seen my previous blog posts, you’ve seen all the ways we’ve used this stand. We stained it a dark color and it turned out gorgeous.


If you are as in love with that Hot Chocolate Bar sign as we are.. then you should definitely grab one too! Emmy & Bo makes custom signs. I’m planning on getting more – like one for a lemonade stand and others so that I can just switch them out for whatever we are using the stand for. The glass jars are from Michaels Craft Store and the mini Torani syrups are from World Market.


This white distressed 3 tier stand is amazing. I’ve already used it for so many different things. Hop on over to Amazon to pick this up or one like it. It was perfect to hold these mugs from Dollar Tree. 

Always love coming up with fun, creative ways to celebrate the holidays with friends and family.

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Fall Decorating

I am normally not a big fan of fall. I know…. crazy. I love spring and summer and Christmas. But, this summer has been so hot and there have been so many fires and crazy stuff happening. So I am ready for the cooler weather and a change in the season.

I pulled out my fall decor and decided I wanted a change this year. Less oranges and more whites. I found some amazing things at Target. If you need a change too, get out and see what you can find.  I’m all for selling the old to pay for the new.   🙂

Luckily I found all of these items in the Dollar Spot at Target, so everything I found ranged in price from $1-$5. LOVE it all.

Happy Fall!


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Minecraft Birthday (again)

Minecraft’s popularity never seems to go away. All ages love it and it’s such a fun birthday theme. I wanted to do a different version of the Minecraft party I’ve thrown before, yet some things similar. Here’s what we came up with for a 6 year old’s party.


Invites custom made by Red Barn Studios:


Jana from Red Barn Studios is great. She makes all my invitations but can also do all kinds of other customized items. She made these lanyards for the party. We thought it would be fun to have VIP passes for all the kids to be able to play video games.


Love Pinterest and all the free printables you can find there. Here’s a link to the free printable for this banner:

We had two tables for pizza/cake. I purchased a Steve and Creeper head from online (but party stores have them too especially during Halloween time). The “grass” we got from Amazon. The brown plastic table cloths and the plates and napkins were from Party City.


I found these life like characters kind of by accident. They popped up on a local FB swap site and I jumped at buying them. They were such a great touch at the party.


There’s a local lady here who  makes pinatas and they are amazing. She made the Darth Vader one for me that you can find in the Star Wars blog post. She made this awesome, huge TNT one for me. It was great as party decor until we used it as well. The party gift bags were from Oriental Trading (


In each bag was sun glasses, mini fidget spinners and yo yo’s, all from Oriental Trading. At the end of the party, the kids each got to fill the rest of their party bag with the candy from the decor/below.


The kids loved this table set up. Lots of Minecraft treats. The stone & bats, is to make it look like a cave where the gems are mined. The glass jars/containers are from Ikea. The labels were a free printable from Pinterest (



Diamonds: Blue Raspberry rock candy from


Gold: Hershey’s Almond Chocolate bars from Target


Emereld: Green Apple Drops from


TNT: Red licorice from Target

Cake!! I had Whole Foods make this cake. They were able to use frosting instead of fondant and it was delicious. I bought the light up #6 candle from Walmart and had the white cake stand from Target Dollar Spot.


I realized after the party, that I didn’t get any pictures of all the balloons we had either. We had a TON. I bought a whole Minecraft balloon lot on Amazon that had all different Minecraft characters/things.

All in all the party was a success. The kids jumped on the trampoline, did the pinata, ate cake, did presents and then played Minecraft of course. Thanks for checking this party out!



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Ice Cream Social

This party was FUN FUN FUN.

The little girl that this party was for, had recently found out that she is allergic to wheat, eggs and nuts. Eek! So we knew if we did a cake that it would need to be a vegan cake. Price was the only real issue with that (spendy).

A couple weeks before, my daughter and I had been at Target and in the Dollar Spot we had seen some items to use for an Ice Cream Social/Party. We just had to buy them since they were so cute and we knew that we’d use them at some point. So as soon as I knew the allergies of this little one, I knew we had to do an Ice Cream Social. I purchased Breyers Ice Cream. The only ingredients were: Milk, cream, sugar, tara gum, vanilla beans, natural vanilla flavor and natural flavor. WIN! I got both chocolate and vanilla in that brand. I was so excited to plan all the details and then the coolest thing happened! I posted on a social media site that I was looking for a wooden lemonade type stand that I could use for this party, but didn’t want to spend too much. Everyone who posted, just kept telling me how expensive it would be to have one made. I got a private message from someone though asking me why I wanted one built. I told them what I was going to do with it – ice cream social party, but that my kids would use it a lot and we’d use it for neighborhood get together’s too. The guy told me that he would make it for me for FREE!! What? Seriously? Who does that? Let me tell you how that made my day… my week… my year. Honestly. My family had been having a lot of struggles with work problems, health problems, etc. and this was just something amazing to me. This person didn’t know me or my family at all and yet offered to do this for us. It still blows my mind. So that amazing stand became the centerpiece to this party. I’ll do another post on all the ways that stand has been used since.

Here’s the party:


This 11×14 print is amazing. Red Barn Studios will add your custom info and then print this out on heavy cardstock. It was a perfect touch to this party.


Another great Target find was this from the Dollar Spot. SO PERFECT! 


Just for a little fun, I added this pool float. I found it at Walmart and it was the perfect for the little kids to climb around on.


LOVE LOVE LOVE! Here is the custom made stand I talked about earlier. I also found this high chair on craigslist for free and painted it. The banners are from Target too. 


All the banners here (top and bottom) are from Target, as well as the chalkboard and the sprinkle cups. The mini jars are from Dollar Tree. Random toppings from Target & Walmart. The large glass jar is from Walmart as well. 




Paper runner and party bags are from Target Dollar Spot.


I was lucky enough to have a friend make me these cupcakes for the party. They are beautiful! 

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13th Birthday Parties

My twins are 13! Mind blown. I just can’t believe how quickly time has started to go by. Looking at old pictures and it seems just like yesterday that they were babies and I was just trying to “survive” with having three kids under three. Flash forward to today and I have two amazing, smart, talented, kind, beautiful teenagers. 

As always, my daughter chose her birthday theme. She has been talking for a while about wanting to do a party at a Hotel. So that’s what we did. Figured it was a special way to celebrate becoming a teen.

My son only wanted a few friends to go to PlayLive. That’s a local place here in our mall that is all about gaming. Xbox, PS4, etc, you name it they have it.  Sadly, all the kids that had said they were coming cancelled, with the exception of one. Ho hum. So he took the one friend and they had a great time. They went to PlayLive and then off to do some Go Karts. He wants to have some more friends over next weekend and maybe just have a low key sleepover or something.

Only got a couple pics from his birthday, but they are good ones. My ex husband normally does my son’s birthday and I do my daughters. What that really means, is that I plan everything for both parties, and he just executes and pays for one. LOL.


My daughter has some great friends. One of the hard things about choosing a hotel stay for your birthday party, is the amount of people you can invite. She knew that the room slept 6, so after accounting for her and me, that left 4 friends to invite. She didn’t want to mix groups of friends because she wanted everyone to be comfortable and have a good time. So she invited some of her “cheer” friends. Some of her school friends knew this, and got together to throw her a surprise birthday party at a local bowling alley. These friends planned and executed the whole thing (with the exception of having me get her there and me bringing the cupcakes). How sweet and mature of these friends! She truly had a great birthday all around. Made me a little sad for my son and how things didn’t quite go his way. Hard to share a birthday and to not compare of feel sad/jealous. But he was great and never made her feel bad about any of it.

The hotel party was a lot of work. Honestly. Every time I throw a party like this, I say “I’m NOT doing that again.” But then the next year comes and I get roped into it again. Ridiculous. Ha. So here we go. Let’s just cheers to next years right now. LOL.

First off, we looked for a hotel that was not too far away and that had some amenities that would be fun for the girls. As well as something that wasn’t crazy expensive. We settled on Embassy Suites. We’ve stayed at this hotel chain in other cities before, when we’ve had to travel for Cheer, but never at the one close to our hometown. A couple of the reasons we chose this hotel: they have a large enough pool and hot tub, they offer complimentary reception in the evening of check in, and they offer a complimentary made to order breakfast in the morning. I knew the breakfast especially would help cut down on cost, since we could just wake up and go down and have the same breakfast (for free) that we would have at a restaurant. For dinner that night, we just ordered pizza from a local place and had it delivered to the hotel. That was cheap and easy.

My daughter and I got to the hotel as soon as our room was ready. She wanted us to have the room decorated before her friends got there. So we set up all the decor we had planned and dropped off our bags and the food we had packed. Then we headed to pick up each of her friends. Everyone had such a great time. This party was definitely one for the books. Hope you think it was great too!

Hotel door hanger invitations. Red Barn Studio always brings my ideas to fruition. You can visit her shop here: . I LOVE these invites. The girls could use them (instead of just throwing them away) since they have the back side…. great for teenagers wanting to keep people out of their rooms. 😉

Next up are some touches for the party….


Custom cookies. I love local anything. One of the mom’s of my son’s classmate makes custom cookies. She made them perfectly to fit our theme. These went into each of the girls’ gift bags.


More custom cookies. These were for the girls to eat – and table decor. They were sooo good. Seriously one of the best cookies I’ve had in a while.


My daughter wanted the theme of this hotel party to be PINK (as in Victoria Secret PINK). So we got a few shopping bags from there and added some great things for the girls. LUSH bath bomb, VS eye mask, face mask & shampoo, conditioner and lotion (had custom labels made along with the invitations).


Large number 13 balloons for decor.


Pano of the hotel room. This room was great. It was two separate rooms (main with pull out couch, table, etc and this one with beds). 


We got each of the girls a gift bag (above) and a pink bathrobe. My daughter from the beginning of planning wanted to do bathrobes, but they were so expensive. But then, randomly one day on I found a huge sale. These bathrobes were $49.50 each .. and they were $9.95 for one day only. WHAT???!!!! Although it was still just under $50 for the 5 of them, it was an awesome deal and something the girls will be able to use over and over. And let me tell you – they pretty much wore them the entire hotel stay; to and from the pool, around the hotel, to breakfast, etc. 


Desserts for the night and while the girls watched a movie.


Here’s a close up of the gift bags and bathrobes.


First thing the girls did after checking out the room and gift bags, was do a scavenger hunt thru the hotel.

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Here’s some proof of how much they loved the bathrobes. Haha. They even wore them outside. 


And in the elevators as they ran around the hotel.

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… and to breakfast. Haha.

They swam and ran around and had the best time. Overall it was a success. Off to thinking about next year. 😉

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To be honest, I’m not a big fan of Valentines Day. Why? I guess I just feel like it’s kind of a retail, money making holiday. I’d rather try to celebrate my love randomly and more than once a year. 🙂  But I do know that my kids love this holiday. They get to have school parties and give their friends Valentines. We’ve done all kinds of gifts to give in the classrooms. From Dollar Tree boxed cards to handmade. Thinking about the holiday coming up, I figured maybe I’d do a post about a couple Valentines that we’ve done that were super fun and their friends raved about.

Minecraft themed Valentines. We found blue rock candy at a local store and separated it into little clear bags from Michael’s Craft Store. Then I found an awesome blog that had a free printable for the card. I just printed, had my son sign his name and attached. Here’s the link to that blog/printable:

Minion themed Valentines. Soooo easy. Buy some twinkies and then print the minion picture and tape it around the twinkie. We then put a sticker on the back that had the To and From on it.


This one was great. Sadly, the blog where I got the card portion from is no longer up. But it could be something easily done in a Word document and printed out. Just some Pop Rocks in a clear plastic bag with a label stapled.


Now… my FAVORITE Valentines we have done. We went to Michael’s Craft Store and bought mustache candy molds (with a 50% off coupon of course). Then we bought pink and black candy melts and made the mustaches, using cake pop sticks. Then just found a mustache image and put into Word with a pink background and the wording we wanted. My daughters friends LOVED this.


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