Cookie Exchange 2013

Um.  Yeah.  It has taken me a bit to get around to uploading this.
The child had her annual cookie exchange with a mere 18 other girls.
We do the usual - bring several dozen and leave with new cookies YEAH!

The Cookie Exchange is never just about cookies.  There HAS to be crafts (HAS TO!)

 The first craft of this party was to create etched glasses.  Using this tutorial from The Yummy Life each girl was able to personalize a glass.  By the way the glasses were a score from a summer garage sale where we bought several dozen for $5 - whoo hoo!

Each girl also created there own 8-bit Perler bead bow clip.  So many colors.  Want a tutorial on this?  We got this idea from, and followed the instructions of the truly awesome and inspiring Cupquake.

Oh and then there were the glitter ornaments.  HA. Oh my.  Three weeks later and we are still finding glitter about the house.  I do not love the glitter.
Anyway - these ornaments are quite pretty.  And cheap.  
The tutorial for this one can be found on the The Swell Life blog.
We had the girls use the stickers from the the glass etching to personalize their ornaments.  As you can see there are several going though a bit of a Walking Dead phase.

The final bit.  The actual cookie exchange.  Yes.  Those are Dr Who cookies in the foreground.  Quite adorbs (last year there were One Direction cookies - these girls go ALL OUT!).  Because the table was still awash in glitter, the girls noshed on several cookies from the floor.  Made life easier for everyone.  The punch?  Oh that is a pocketfull of yum.  It looks like UV Blue though does it not?  This is Tiffany Punch.  Directions can be found for this punch on the MrsHappyHomemaker blog


Minecraft Party Favors

We are coming up on two years of having our daughter be Minecraft obsessed.  We have NOT had a Minecraft birthday party (much to my shock).  We have, however, used school days off to have what I, lovingly, refer to as nerdfest.  This nedfest is where her friends come over for 8 hours and they do NOTHING but play Minecraft the entire day.

Anyway.  Should we ever have ever had a Minecraft birthday party we would have been certain to include the following ideas.  Click on the images to go to the sites from where I have located these images.
Partylicious Events has an incredibly inspiring blog post on hosting a Minecraft party.  Theis Creeper candy holder is pretty adorable.

Creeper Perler Bead Pins (though you could also make barrettes) from the Magpie Kitchen
More Perler Beads!  This time combined with the ever popular rubber band bracelets. This glow in the dark version is pre-made and can be purchased from Little Shop of Pixels on Etsy.
Seriously what kid would not LOVE these Minecraft inspired cookies.These cookies can be purchased from Crows Custom Cookies on Etsy.

Easy Creeper Treat Bags, also from the Magpie Kitchen
Because I believe every party should have a t-shirt to commemorate it.  These creeper shirts from Southern Revivals is PERFECT.
Not everything is Creeper.  Sometimes it is Steve.  These are some pretty awesome Steve bags from Falling Apples.
What party favors have you done for YOUR Minecraft party?


2012 Cookie Exchange

And I am back.  I am committing myself to being better to all three of my blogs this year.  I love this blog.  This blog helped me keep my sanity between being laid off and starting my own marketing consultation.  I will focus on IRLparties, awesome invites and goodie bags and favors.....  

And with that.  Here is the 2012 Annual Cookie Exchange as hosted by my daughter.

The cookie exchange tends to be about 20 girls and craft crazy two hours.

As with any party we host with kids - there was a schedule we stuck to.

Arrival Craft

Sharpie MugsDecorating mugs with Sharpie Markers.  An idea found here.
I understand from more than a few parents that these were provided as Christmas gifts.  Super easy.  And a great excuse to buy more sharpies.

The next activity was making washer bracelets.  How I did not manage to not take one single picture of these.  No idea.  I will take a stab though and guess it was having 20 kids in my house.  The husband wound up taking each girl in the garage and pounding what ever three letters she wanted on the washer.  It was a little more difficult than I anticipated.

Graham Cracker Candy Cane SleighFrom there the girls rapidly loved onto making graham cracker candy canes sleighs.  We simply used candy canes, graham crackers and marshmallows.  Plus frosting as glue.  A little messy.  But nice and time consuming as well.
Cookie ExchangeCookie ExchangeAnd then yeah! Cooooookies!  Onto the cookie exchange itself.  Each girl was required to bring two dozen cookies so that each girl would then receive one new cookie.  It's really nice to try other people's cookies since we tend to make the same ones every year.

One Direction Gingerbread MenDid I mention this? No I did not.  One girl brought super awesome One Direction Gingerbread Cookies.  It brought a tear to my eye.  Pretty sure I have two Louis' here.
The final activity, and again, wait what? No pictures?  Was the incredibly easy Shower Curtain Ring Yarn Ornaments.  My daughter has now become obsessed with making these.  One of those easy things you can do with your hands while not paying in particular attention to it.

And then they all went home.  THE END.  Until December 2013.


Three is the Magic Number Part one

We held our Third Annual Vodka Infusion Party this weekend. And it was yummy. But let's back up shall we....
Since it was the third year of the party - we debated for a good long time about whether we were going to go with a Beyond Thunderdome theme:
Two vodkas enter - one vodka leaves....
Or A Die Hard 3 theme
Rye Hard Three - With a Vengeance

 In the end - how can one go wrong with School House Rock
or De La Soul

 You can't. That is the correct answer.

 So year one we had small trophies and last year we had foam number one fingers This year?
We found bowling trophies FOR FREE at a garage sale (five of them!!!!!). The husband took the bowling pins and bowling people off of the trophies. We (my friend Laura and I) spent Labor Day weekend drinking down tiny bottles of UV blue so we could have tiny vodka bottles to adhere to top of the trophies. The husband then spent some time spray painting the tiny vodka bottles gold.
And actually getting them on the trophies
Which was, probably, the largest amount of prep we did in advance of the party.

 Other than our own infusions
Mine was candy infused -- hence Candy-o

 The husband did Tang and Vanilla Bean.
Simply so he could name it Wu-Tang. Heh. He won the best vodka name

 Other entries?
This was the best overall vodka. And I am still not sure what was in it. But it was smooth. Lando Calrissian smooth.
Chocolate infused vodka. This won for sweetest. And it was. Even though it beat mine. WHATever.
This is Mountain Dew Infused Vodka. And it tasted exactly how you would expect Mountain Dew infused vodka to taste like. It tastes like high school.
An awesome case of pandering to the hostess. Sour grape I believe this was. I like sour. So I quite liked this.
The winner of the best label. AND ANOTHER SCHOOL HOUSE ROCK REFERENCE! Lolly lolly lolly! More pictures and whatnot tomorrow. Miss Andrea is ready to put the computer down for a tiny bit.


Three is a Magic Number

It's that time of year again. And by that time. I mean vodka infusion time. Whoo hoo!
I am wondering what sort of fantastic blends we will be trying this year. Some of the awesome previous entries include


Super Sweet Sleep Over

The child had another birthday.
We spent a good part of February debating between several options. The one the child wanted was, what I will refer to as, the rent a limo and go to the mall themed party. Erm. No.
There was also the Clue/Spy theme -- that would be too much background writing for too many girls (we had already negotiated 12). There was also the glow-in-the-dark theme. Where we landed was the universally loved theme of CANDY!

Here is the invite the husband designed

We went with the Super Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet sleepover theme.

So swinging right into it....

Upon the girls arrival we had them guess how many jellybeans were in a vase

At any of the child's parties I insist that there be an activity for the guests to do until everyone arrives. For this party it was creating bracelets and necklaces out of licorice rope and gummy life savers.

Once everyone had arrived and made their candy jewelry, we moved onto a candy bingo scavenger hunt in the backyard. We made bingo cards (alas! a good use for Publisher!) using the logos of the Wonka candies that were in the 3-pound bag of candy from Target. The candy was spread about the backyard (and thankfully the Wisconsin weather did not mess with us too much). The girls were each provided a card and an explanation of what to do. We had the girls line up and on go run! run! run! The first one to get bingo (or candy!) received a prize!

From the candy scavenger hunt we went to pizza!

For drinks, we purchased loads of sports drink (because it's so colorful!)and made a new label.

And then onto the very exciting candy stations.
We had a chocolate lollipop station

And the ever so yummy and fun candy kabob stations. Candy kabob you ask? Loads of soft candies on a stick.

Some wonderful samples of candy kabobs can be found on A Baked Creation or Halloween themed ones at Hostess with the Mostess

And the topper of it all, the one sugar item the girls were actually allowed to have during the party, cotton candy. This cotton candy maker allows you to use hard candy to make the cotton candy. We used Jolly Ranchers and allowed the girls to pick out the flavors they wanted.

That cotton candy maker is a new toy for the family. And one the child intends to use this summer to make money. The machine is not expensive and the girls all LOVED IT!

From the fun! fun! fun! stations we moved onto gifts (yeah and thanks!). And perhaps more importantly. CUPCAKES!
With the fun and bright color theme were using we decided to try out tie-dye (or rainbow) cupcakes. Fun to make and fun to look at! We used Can You Stay For Dinner as our inspiration.

To work off off the cupcake sugar energy, we played the game where you stop the music and the girls would have to freeze. You move and you're out. I will have some video of this. Eventually. For now enjoy the song the girls danced to:

The girls were able to wind down after this with the Kids Choice Awards. Did I say wind down? I meant being screamy with every announcement of a nominee. Oh Justin Bieber and Jaden Smith. How you make the 10 year olds swoon!

Thankfully one of the child's gifts was the delightful Mr. Bean. THAT mellowed the girls out. Of course. No one fell asleep during it. But ah well.

After the all donut breakfast - we broke out the promo t-shirts for the party (ironed on with love by the birthday girl's father)

This year we used fabric markers and encouraged the girls to sign each of their t-shirts. This has to be one of my favorite give aways for the child birthdays.

And with that...the girls wandered about and cleaned! yeah to another year!
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