Archive for the ‘Celebrations’ Category

Easy Hostess Gift: How to Make Paint-Dipped Spoon Sets

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Neon_Paint_Dipped_Spoon_Set_4

With summer comes many summer parties and opportunities to share those warm days with friends. Today I wanted to showcase an easy hostess gift that you could create to show your appreciation for those hosting your family at their next party.

Paint-dipped anything is quite the trend this year and so are those vibrant shades of neon. It was with those color trends in mind that I created this easy paint-dipped spoon set that embraces those fun colors and I also have found a fun way to package it that any hostess would flip for.

Neon_Paint_Dipped_Spoon_Set_5

Head on over to the Kenmore blog to find out how I created this adorable hostess gift today!

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Chocolate Snickerdoodle Cake

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

Chocolate Snickerdoodle CakeIf there is one flavor we love around here it is snickerdoodle. Today I wanted to share an easy recipe for a chocolate snickerdoodle cake that you will flip for. This chocolate snickerdoodle cake is coated in a delicious chocolate cream cheese frosting and adorned in a dusting of dark chocolate candy that adds that perfect finishing touch.

Chocolate Snickerdoodle CakeThis week we celebrated my son’s 11th birthday. In lieu of an elaborate themed dinner and event, he had a sleepover with his best friend and we invited our family over for this cake and for a red, white, & blue trifle to celebrate.

I am the worst cake decorator known to man and produce some of the ugliest, most lopsided, and crumbiest looking cakes ever. I finally found the trick for me was to buy two 8″ Wilton pans (affiliate)  (instead of those 9″ pans that produced flat layers for me) and a good spatula (affiliate). This cake was put together in an hour and the prettiest cake I’ve ever made (if I do say so myself!). It is amazing what a little investment in tools can produce.

Chocolate Snickerdoodle CakeAs is tradition, the birthday kid gets to pick their cake from my cookbooks every year. When Ethan selected this cake, I just knew it would be a hit. This cake is moist, rich, and laced in cinnamon. What makes the cake really taste delightful though is the light cream cheese frosting that it is coated in.

Chocolate Snickerdoodle Cake

Chocolate Snickerdoodle Cake
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
A rich chocolate cake laced with that snickerdoodle cinnamon flavor that our family loves!
Ingredients
  • 1 package (18.25 ounces) plain dark chocolate fudge cake mix
  • ¾ cup skim milk
  • ¾ cup canola oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For frosting: 1 package low-fat cream cheese (8 ounces), at room temperature
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3½ cups confectioners's sugar
  • Dark chocolate candy bar for grating on top (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8" pans and set aside.
  2. Place the cake mix, oil, eggs, cinnamon, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and blend for three minutes, or until well-blended.
  3. Pour evenly into two pans, smoothing with spatula.
  4. Bake for 28-32 minutes or until the cake springs back when lightly pressed with your finger. Remove and allow to cool for ten minutes. Remove from pans & then cool for another 30 minutes.
  5. Place the cream cheese & butter in a mix bowl. Blend until combined. Add sifted cocoa powder, cinnamon, and confectioners sugar, and finally vanilla. Blend until combined and icing looks fluffy. Add an additional ¼-1/2 cup confectioners' sugar if needed.
  6. Ice cake and dust with dark chocolate candy bar shavings to finish.

Adapted from Chocolate from the Cake Mix Doctor (affiliate)

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Summer Party Fun: How to Host a S’more Toppings Bar Party

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

How to Host a S'more Toppings Bar Party from MomAdvice.com.

If there is one thing we love about summer, it is our s’mores. Today I wanted to showcase a s’more toppings bar that you can create for a summer party and share some unexpected s’more flavor combinations you can try on your s’more toppings bar.

Walmart challenged me to create a summer party that anyone could replicate with just $25 in supplies. I wanted to host an evening for my girlfriends with a s’more toppings bar.

I love that this idea is easy, requires no cooking, and you can even encourage each of your friends to bring their own favorite topping or a drink to share. I displayed my toppings in inexpensive ice cream bowls that you can find over in the seasonal section of the store for a buck each!

S’more Toppings Bar Ideas & Combinations

 

Marshmallow, Strawberries, & Nutella

Marshmallow, Strawberries, & Dark Chocolate

Marshmallow, Strawberries, With Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt Bars

Marshmallow, Bananas, & Nutella

Marshmallow, Strawberry, Banana, & Nutella

Marshmallow & Reese’s Cups

Flavored Marshmallows (Butterscotch, Vanilla & Chocolate Swirl, or Key Lime)

Andes Mints With Marshmallow

Lemon Curd & Marshmallows (hellooo, lemon meringue pie!!)

Marshmallow, Apple Slices, & Cinnamon

Marshmallow, Biscoff Spread, & Apples

Marshmallow & Biscoff Spread

Chocolate Graham Crackers, Marshmallow, & Strawberries

How to Host a S'more Toppings Bar Party from MomAdvice.com.

It was such a fun night and everyone walked away with a new favorite s’more combination.  If you have a load of toppings, you can write titles next to them or give your guests a helpful cheat sheet of suggestions to put together after roasting their marshmallows. Kraft paper can be found over in the shipping & home office supplies section of the store along with Sharpie pens for writing your own cheat sheet of notes.

How to Host a S'more Toppings Bar Party from MomAdvice.com.

How to Host a S'more Toppings Bar Party from MomAdvice.com.

How to Host a S'more Toppings Bar Party from MomAdvice.com.I had planned to host this at my own home, but a powerful gust of storms moved in and left us without power for several days. My dear friend graciously stepped up to the plate to host the evening and allowed me to setup my s’more topping bar at her house.

How awesome is this setup? I know, SO awesome!

I am so thankful for great friends, great times, and great food! I hope this inspires you for a get together with your own friends this summer or even a fun birthday party idea in the summer months!

This s’mores party was such a hit and I can’t wait to do it again and to do something this fantastic for less than $25? Absolutely priceless!

walmart_mom_disclaimer

What is your favorite s’more combination?

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4th of July Flag Cupcake Pick Wreath & Easy Flag Bunting

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

4th of July Cupcake Pick Wreath from MomAdvice.com.4th of July happens to be one of my favorite decorating seasons and today I want to show you how to make an easy 4th of July wreath from flag cupcake picks. This 4th of July wreath idea and easy flag bunting were inspired by a picture from a magazine that I found.

Good Housekeeping Magazine This picture from Good Housekeeping magazine caught my eye and I knew I wanted to decorate my front door just like it. Unfortunately, there were no directions on how to create this wreath, what supplies to buy, or how to execute this project. When Walmart challenged me to come up with a 4th of July project for their customers, I just knew that I had to recreate this door.

My husband said I couldn’t do it. His doubt fueled this wreath into its amazing flag glory…even when a little voice in my head wasn’t too sure it would look like the picture. If I can make a wreath out of yarn, out of coffee filters, out of Peeps for goodness sake, how could I fail at  a simple cupcake pick wreath?

If you are not crafty this is the project for you. It requires no sewing, gluing, cutting, or any other crafty-type behavior. I think that is why I am most excited about it because it is just so easy to do! 

Let’s get started with what you need to tackle this fun patriotic project!

4th of July Cupcake Pick Wreath from MomAdvice.com. 4th of July Cupcake Pick Wreath from MomAdvice.com. 4th of July Cupcake Pick Wreath from MomAdvice.com. 4th of July Cupcake Pick Wreath from MomAdvice.com.

Supplies List

Above are some pictures of the supplies you will need (for visual learners, like myself!) Prices listed are what they are listed at currently at the store!

  • 1- 16″ foam wreath form (that is flat on the back)- $6.99
  • 6 packages of 120 count flag cupcake picks (Note: These are NOT available at Walmart stores. You can find these, however, at your local party supply store)- $2.99 per box (approximately)
  • Jute Rope- $3.24
  • 12- 4×6 US Flags (found on the ends of the aisles in the office supplies)- $.68 each
  • 2- 20 count packages of mini clothespins (over in the office supplies)- $2.48 each

4th of July Cupcake Pick Wreath from MomAdvice.com.

  1. Take your flag cupcakes and insert them on a slight angle into your foam wreath form. These will not slide in and out easily so you will have to put a little oomph behind it.
  2. Continue filling them in, around and around until you can no longer see your wreath form peeking through. About a box of the flag cupcake picks (120 of them) filled one quarter of my wreath.
  3. Once the front is filled, build up the behind it, but with a thinner layer, just to camouflage the back of the wreath a bit. Make sure not to stack these too deep so that the wreath can still lay flush against your door.
  4. You can fill in the center of the wreath as well with flags, again adding a thinner layer just to hide any of your wreath form, until all you can see is a sea of little flags. It took 720 flags to fill this wreath form. Yes, your fingers will hurt, but you will be so happy about your wreath, you will forget all about the pain!

4th of July Cupcake Pick Wreath from MomAdvice.com.

Easy Flag Bunting from MomAdvice.com.Now that you have your wreath done, we can create our adorable flag bunting to go around the outside of your door, to frame your wreath!

Easy Flag Bunting from MomAdvice.com.

  1. Disassemble your flags from their mini poles. These are stapled on so I just pulled them off, or you can use a staple remover to remove the staples from the flags.
  2. Take two mini clothespins and clip the flags to the jute twine, spacing them evenly, until all twelve have been attached.
  3. Leaving a little bit of length, clip the end of the twine to finish your bunting.

Easy Flag Bunting from MomAdvice.com.This easy bunting could be added to a doorway, dress up a mantle, to frame out your patio doors, or to decorate a ledge for the holiday. I love that it is so sweet and so simple to create.

4th of July Cupcake Pick Wreath from MomAdvice.com.Here is a side-by-side comparison of my door and the door I spotted in the magazine. I am so proud how this turned out and I love that these decorations can be used year after year for the holiday!

I look forward to sharing more fun patriotic projects in the next few weeks with you! I hope you enjoyed today’s easy 4th of July craft projects!

walmart_mom_disclaimer

 

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Cool DIY Father’s Day Gifts

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Cool-DIY-Father's-Day-Gifts

Father’s Day is only a couple weeks away and whether celebrating my awesome Dad or my husband who is an incredible dad to our kids, I think it’s so meaningful to give handmade gifts, especially if they can be made by kids – or at least with their help. Those seem to be the gifts that are saved and cherished through the years (though hopefully any edible parts of the gift won’t be saved for years!).

Like I did for Mother’s Day (turnabout is fair play!), I’ve combed the Mom Advice archives to bring you some fun and easy gifts for dad that don’t take a lot of money or time and I’m also including two new projects from this year because, well, I love them!

To round out our list of gift ideas, I found a few more sweet and memorable projects from other creative bloggers that you might want to make – just please be sure to pin from the original source I’ve provided if you’d like to add one to a Pinterest board. Thanks!

How_To_Make_A_Candy_Bouquet

Our newest Father’s Day idea: a sweet Candy Bouquet!

Monster_Printables

Fun Mom Advice Monster Printables & Monster Bars

microwave_peanut_brittle

Mom Advice’s Easy Microwave Peanut Brittle

DIY_Chalkboard_Cookie_Jars

Our DIY Chalkboard Conversation Bubble Cookie Jars

Dad's movie-basket

A favorite gift for dad: a Movie Basket complete with photo card

sugar_and_spice_nuts

How about Mom Advice’s Sugar and Spice Nut Mix for a sweet dad?

Power-dad-gift-basket

And this Mom Advice classic Power Pack for Super Dad Gift Basket would be a terrific tie-in combined with tickets to see the new superman movie!

scrabble frame

Scrabble Tile Frame @ Zitzman Fam

fathers' day photo collage

Chalkboard Thought Bubbles Photo Collage @ Positively Splendid

instagram photo coasters

Instagram Photo Coasters @ White House Black Shutters

pat-on-the-back-shirt

‘Pat On The Back’ Father’s Day Shirt @ Sugar Bee Crafts

painted golf tees

Painted Golf Tees + Packaging @ Reading Confetti

Father's Day apron

‘Caution’ Man’s Apron @ I Heart Naptime

DIY Tool_Tub_Tote

DIY Too Tub Tote @ Sew 4 Home

Kids handprint craft

Kids Handprint Tracing Craft @ Mom Always Finds Out

fathers_day_footprint

Walk In Your Shoes Art @ JDaniel4sMom

A-Nuts-Bolts-Frame

Nuts-and-Bolts Frame @ B-Inspired Mama

Here’s to a fun Father’s Day!

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How to Make a Candy Bouquet Gift for Father’s Day

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

How to Make a Candy Bouquet

I don’t mean to brag, but my kids are so blessed to have such an incredible Dad. He is the ultimate go-to guy from helping the kids with their homework, to kicking around the soccer ball, to indulging my daughter in her fancy tea parties, to the ultimate bedtime storyteller.

This Father’s Day we wanted to make a gift that we just knew he would love to show just how special he is to us. Our Dad happens to have a sweet tooth so we decided to make him a candy bouquet that he could place on his desk at work when those sweet tooth cravings strike!

The best part about this gift though is that it only takes fifteen minutes to create, costs about $20 in supplies, and can be created with your kids in honor of their favorite Dad.

To find out how to make this easy craft, head on over to the Kenmore Blog to get the supplies list and directions for making these sweet candy bouquet gift for Father’s Day.

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A Monster of a Father’s Day Gift: Monster Cookie Bars & Monster Printable Cards For Dad

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

Monster Cookie Bars & Printables from MomAdvice.com.Father’s Day is just around the corner & today we wanted to share a monster of a Father’s Day gift with a cute spin on the monster theme with easy monster cookie bars and printable monster cards for a special Dad in your life.

Monster Cookie Bars & Printables from MomAdvice.com.

This week’s challenge from Walmart was to create an inexpensive Father’s Day gift that would wow your Dad. Well, if your dad is anything like our Dad, he is certainly wowed with homemade treats and funny cards with a great sense of humor. Our idea was to mix up a batch of thick and delicious Monster Cookie Bars made with rolled oats, peanut butter, mini M&M’s (found over in their candy aisle), and chocolate chips.

Monster Cookies can be a bit of a monster to create as a drop cookie because of their monster size. I choose to echo the words of an amazing woman I once heard speak these wise words…

“Ain’t nobody got time for that.”

Wise, right?

Bar cookies get a big fist pump from this busy mom and if a celebration requires a cookie, I often rely on these chocolate chip cookie bars to get us through whatever baking requirements are made for those occasions. These Monster Cookie Bars are equally delicious and offer that crusty exterior with that soft interior that makes, in my humble opinion, the perfect cookie.

Monster Cookie Bars & Printables from MomAdvice.com.

Monster Cookie Bars & Printables from MomAdvice.com.Monster Cookie Bars & Printables from MomAdvice.com.

What Father’s Day would be complete without a card to accompany your sweet gift? We are so excited to debut these adorable Monster cards that you can print out to attach with your Monster Cookie Bars for your favorite Dad. We have included three fun printable cards for Father’s Day and then 1 that could be used for any occasion to accompany your sweet treat. Print these printables out on white card stock  and you will be all set for this Father’s Day!

Monster Cookie Bars & Printables from MomAdvice.com.Monster Cookie Bars & Printables from MomAdvice.com.



Printable Monster Cards from MomAdvice.com.

Download Your FREE Monster Card Printables HERE:

Happy Father’s Day From Your Monster FREE printable card

Your Gift is a Monster! FREE printable card

Eat All the Cookies FREE printable card

We Are Your Spawn FREE printable card

Monster Cookie Bars & Printables from MomAdvice.com.

I can admit that this family has had Monsters on our brain after getting a sneak peek at the Monsters University movie that is set to hit theaters on June 21st. While our family was at the Disney Social Media Moms conference, we got an exclusive sneak peek at the film. It is FANTASTIC, and dare I say it, even funnier than the first one. I have no doubt that your family will love it!

Our Monster Cookie Bars would really pull together a fun family night out to see this fantastic film and you can find loads of fun Monsters supplies in the party favors aisle of your Walmart store including fun cups, plates, and other party favors for an inexpensive night to enjoy while tackling your summer bucket list or our 100 Days of Summer Pinterest Board.

Now that you have the printables, here is the deliciously easy and tasty recipe for these Monster Cookie Bars. We recommend preparing these in a metal 9×13 pan for best results!

Monster Cookie Bars & Printables from MomAdvice.com.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Monster Cookie Bars
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 15
 
Monster cookies made easy in a bar cookie. Be sure to pair these easy cookies with our free Monster printables.
Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups creamy peanut buter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup mini M&M's (approximately half a bag)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x13 pan with nonstick spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and peanut butter until smooth. Add the sugars and beat until blended. Add the vanilla and eggs and mix until light and fluffy.
  4. Gradually add the flour mixture until just combined.
  5. Mix in oats until well combined.
  6. Stir in chocolate chips and mini M&M's
  7. Press dough evenly into prepared baking dish. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until lightly golden brown and set in the middle. Let cool completely in baking dish then cut into bars. Store in an airtight container.

 Happy Father’s Day to all of our Dad readers (I know you’re out there!) and here’s hoping you get spoiled by a few of your favorite monsters!

Be sure to check back this week for more great Father’s Day gifts on a budget!

 

walmart_mom_disclaimer

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100 Days of Summer Pinterest Board- 2013 Edition!

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

100 Days of Summer 2013

Summer is just around the corner and I am so excited to share with you that I have gathered another 100 Days of Summer activities for you to do with your kids in the summer months. These are 100 activities that are all low to no cost, screen-free, and a fun way to build truly memorable moments with your kids in the summer months.

I had the best time creating our very first 100 days of summer activities board for our family to do and share with you and then last year’s 100 Days of Summer was another huge hit. It was so huge that I just knew I had to repeat it all again this year for you.

100 Days of Summer 2013

I am looking forward to tackling our own summer list and will be documenting our projects through mobile pictures.You can catch me on Instagram, where I am documenting our summer. Just search for the username momadvice and you will find me there. Just as a side note, I try to always answer all the comments on my pictures if I can. If you have questions about projects we are doing or just want to say hello, I will do my best to respond!

If you are on Instagram, you can join in on the fun by taking pictures and sharing all of your summer adventures through there. Let’s use the hashtag #100summerdays again like we did last year.

By tagging your photos, it will make it easy to find each other in the group and share the projects we are tackling together. You can add the tags to your caption or you can add them as a comment later. In either scenario, the tag will pull it into our summer group.

I still will be sharing our apron full of giveaways and our notebook of inspiration each week. I will also have fresh content through my freelance writing jobs this summer with Kenmore, Goodwill, Jack’s Pizza, & Walmart that will keep our site fully loaded with great ideas for your summer.

For the rest of my entries, I will be sharing what we are working on from our summer list through mobile pictures and quick notes on what fun activities we are doing at our house. I am hoping it will be an inspiration to you to get out and enjoy the summer with your children. I can’t say we will tackle a hundred activities, but I will be awfully proud if we do one cool activity a week.

100 Days of Summer 2013

This year’s list is AMAZING and my favorite so far from making chevron friendship bracelets, to building race tracks, to painting techniques on rain days, to creating popsicle light sabers. There really is something for EVERY age group this year.

Be sure to follow me on Pinterest for inspiration for your meal planning, home, reading, wardrobe and more! I am one happy little pinner!

Happy summer to each of you!

xo,
Amy

 

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Quick & Easy Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

Quick and Easy Mothers Day Ideas Here it is the week before Mother’s Day already! Are you all set or are you still looking for some special, and more importantly – meaningful, gifts for your moms and grandmas? You probably know that around here we think that gifts we make ourselves are the most meaningful, as they truly have a little bit of us in every gift we give.

Along these lines, I’ve searched the archives of Mom Adivce to bring you some of our quickest and easiest DIY projects that would be perfect for the women in your life! I’ve grouped them into four categories that moms are guaranteed to love:

DIY Flowers - who says you need to buy traditional flowers that last only a little while? Try crafting a bouquet or floral jewelry that will last much longer…maybe forever!

Fun Breakfasts – whether for a special breakfast-in-bed or a family brunch, any of these favorite recipes will help celebrate mom.

Pampering Gifts – these easy to make projects will make mom feel special – just make sure she gets the time to use them!

Special Confections – not your everyday sweets, these are certain to show mom your the extra care you took to shower her with love…and sugar!

Finally, these tips on how to use Goodwill items for your gift wrapping may spark some ideas to make even the presentation special:
Creative_Gift_Giving

I hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day – either giving or receiving!

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19 Awesome Ways to Show Teacher Appreciation

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

19 Teacher Appreciation Ideas
As you may have guessed by now, we love our teachers and we love letting them know how thankful we are for all the time, energy, and love they put into educating our children! I look forward to Teacher Appreciation Week each year (May 6-10 this year) as a time I can really let them know how we feel (though of course telling them all through the school year is allowed, too!).

Today I’m excited to share with you 19 of our best teacher appreciation ideas – all pulled from the archives of MomAdvice! Some years I have more time and some years less, so there are ideas for gifts that can be created in minutes like Oreo Cookie Biscotti:

oreo biscotti

Or if you have more time there are some super special ideas that are guaranteed to knock their socks off like a Rosette Bib Necklace:

Rosette_Bib_Necklace

Need a few more ideas…how about 17 more? These are some of the best projects I’ve come up with over the years – and I found them to be a great way to show love to the awesome teachers in our lives!

1. DIY Book Page Flower Bouquet (this year’s teacher appreciation idea!)

2.  Teacher School Supplies Cake

3.  Raise Your Hand If You Mustache a Question Printable & Mustache Mug

4.  Rolled Rosette Pins

5. Light & Fluffy Baked Cake Donuts

6.  No-Slip Bookmarks (3rd project in the post)

7.  Oatmeal Cookies & Milk Bath Soak

8.  Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt Brownies

9.  Easy Felt Fabric Brooches

10. Light Snickerdoodle Biscotti

11. Rolled Rosette Ribbon Rings

12. Fabric Flower Pins

13. Honey Nut Granola

14. Knitted Coffee Cozies

15 DIY Monogrammed Wine Glasses

16. Six Stitch Knitted Ruffled Scarf

17. Easy Microwave Peanut Brittle

What are some ways you’ve found to say thanks to teachers?

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