Disney Princess Birthday Party #DisneySide

Saturday, March 7, 2015

My daughter turned four years old last month (holy moly) and she's been begging me for a princess party. I, personally, am not one for "princesses", so I needed some help. #DisneySide sent me a bunch of awesome Disney Princess themed stuff, and Birthday in a Box also supplied some great decor, tableware, and favor items.

It was a pretty short-notice shindig, so I had less than a week or so to put it all together. I decided on a color scheme much like Sophia the First and Doc McStuffins, going along with the #DisneySide theme, and picked an overall "look". From there, I used a ridiculous amount of tape, (which, this bugs me, because I bought a whole stack of sticky-tab command strip things, and I totally lost them) tissue paper, printables, and tablecloths to create this fun (but not overly sparkly) princess party. Take a look!

Princess Party

Princess Party

That crown sign I did completely freehand, and boy it was difficult for me. I used about 1 1/2 gold sharpies to make it, and, if given another chance to do a sign like this, I would definitely use paint. The tissue paper pom poms are always easy to make, and are also a "must" for all of my parties.  

Sophia the First Birthday Party

The favor boxes were one of my favorite part of the party. I got most of the favor items from Birthday in a Box, along with the tablecloths that I used to create the curtains and backdrop. It was SO easy. I used the regular plastic tablecloths, and tied some extra fabric remnants I found at Michaels in the clearance section. 

Princess Party favors

Princess Party Favors

And, the curtains! These were something I'd totally do in the future. They frame the table so well, and look great without breaking the bank.

Plastic Tablecloth curtains for Princess party

Super easy. Tacked them up, and just tied gold trim on them to make curtains. So easy, cheap, and give you a great look for just $1.00 a piece! If I was really feeling it, I would've made a tablecloth valance, but alas, time got away from me.

Plastic tablecloth curtains for princess party

Plastic tablecloth curtains

The food I had was pretty basic, but made a huge splash with the kids! I did candy melt-dipped marshmallows on lollipop sticks, in a mason jar embellished with adhesive trims. 

Princess Party

The DisneySide kit came with table decor, but I hacked one up and just used the glitter fringe to put on my "Princess Punch" dispenser. 

Princess Party

These rice krispie treat crowns were the worst part of the whole thing. It took so much force to cut these out - it was terrible. But the end result was way cute.

Princess Party Food

The biggest hit was the jello in champagne glasses. These were SO much fun! I ended up making about 6 trays of jello in different colors. I then took plastic champagne classes from Birthday in a Box and dipped the tops in corn syrup, and then rolled them in gold sprinkles. I then sliced up the jello and layered it in the champagne classes. Everyone loved these, and they were super simple.

Jello champagne glass

These were so cute. I will definitely do this again - super easy to modify with colors/fruit add-ins to customize for any party! 

Jello champagne glass

Jello champagne glass

Michaels is a great place for finding clearance little stuff. I look through those boxes CONSTANTLY. I found the trim for the mason jars, along with the trim for the curtains, and these crown letter holders which were perfect for securing my garland for the front of the table. 

Princess Party

 I'm still trying to find a source for cool plastic straws, or paper straws that don't fall apart. These were another Michael's find, and I just attached the printables (from homeketeers and cardstock.blog) I downloaded for the party onto them.

Princess Party

I was really happy with how this party turned out with such short planning time. :)

Princess Party

The princess and all her friends enjoyed it tremendously! If I can do this, YOU can do this. Promise.

*Disclaimer: I received some of the products pictured above free from my sponsors. All opinions expressed belong to the author.  

How To Make a Galaxy Apple

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

How to Make a Galaxy Apple

 I have seen this pin all over Pinterest. It's a beautiful, ethereal-looking candied apple called the "Galaxy Apple".

When I saw it, I KNEW I just had to do it. I had no idea what it took to make it, I didn't know if I would like it, it was just calling to me -- and like a moth to the flame, I had to do it.
I watched a video in which a gentleman when through hoops to make his, and I read a blog post about another blogger making some, but I wanted to try it with what I had. I ended up doing it two ways. First, the way the pin suggests -- with Jolly Ranchers, and the second way, with a candy coating made from scratch.

I didn't even take a picture of the Jolly Rancher Galaxy Apple. It was just too bad. First and foremost, the pin suggests you bake the Jolly Ranchers for 5 minutes at 250 degrees.

That doesn't work. It just leaves you with hot Jolly Ranchers.

I cranked my oven up to 350, and I had molten Jolly Ranchers. I dipped my apple, and it just didn't give the apple much color. I brushed the glitter on anyway, and just wasn't impressed. So, I decided to start the candy coated galaxy apples, and as you can see from the pictures, the apples turned a little bit more spooky than galaxy, but they are definitely amazing to look at.

 Galaxy Apple Recipe:

3 cups sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 cup water
Food coloring (I used black...what I had on hand)
Pearl dust or other edible glitter

Prepare apples and workspace. Mix ingredients in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Using a candy thermometer, get it up to 300 degrees (or a very thick boil). Mix in food coloring. Dip apples, and place on a non-stick surface. Using a paintbrush and water, paint on edible glitter.

Now, making these candy-coated apples is messy. I, at one point, was completely overwhelmed with the amount of concrete hard sugar coating I'd somehow gotten all over everything. Whatever you put your apples on, make sure it's coated in non-stick spray, or be prepared for apples adhered to your surfaces. I actually broke a plate while doing this. So, concrete shards + molten hot sugar = not such a great situation. 

I've never eaten a candy apple, so I'm not sure how they taste. They are really interesting visually, and would definitely make an awesome "poison" apple or Halloween/Harvest party food. You could definitely use other food colors, and other glitter colors to co-ordinate your Galaxy Apple with your event.

Satin Robes: AnyzA Review and Robe Giveaway!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I know you've seen those adorable robes sweeping Pinterest boards. From girl's spa days to bachelorette parties and birthday gifts, satin robes are IN. And for good reason. They're not heavy to wear, and are perfect for lounging around.

When I decided to take my trip to Playa Del Carmen, I figured that having a light robe to wear would be nice, and AnyzA's robes on etsy were a perfect fit.

I wore my robe almost every single day. Whether it was after a shower or as a swimsuit cover-up, the robe came in very handy. It was light enough to be comfortable, and short enough to be wearable and cute. I got one for the friend I traveled with, along with one for Annabelle. 

Let me tell you - a kiddo in a robe is just about the most precious thing ever. It also doubles as a costume.

And of course, dressing up in matching robes is always fun. Even if it does involve a Steak N Shake hat and an Ale8One.

AnyzA has given me the opportunity to give away a beautiful hot pink adult robe that looks just like this one!

With the height of wedding booking season coming, along with Christmas, these would make great gifts - even for yourself! Enter below!

Playa Del Carmen: A Visitors Guide - to come!

Monday, September 15, 2014



Late August I headed off to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. About 45 minutes away from Cancun, it's a secluded place right on the coast.

While most tourists enjoy the all-inclusives, my friend and I stayed in a hotel and sampled local fare. We also visited some cool nearby places - one of which I will never forget. One very cool thing is that food in Playa is incredibly affordable, which makes things pretty easy on the budget when it comes to filling your belly. You just gotta know where to go, and know some basic Spanish.

I'm going to be dishing out details and pics on some of my favorite places I visited in Playa Del Carmen, along with an awesome giveaway, so stay tuned!

(And while I love touched-up shots, all of these are SOOC so you can see how incredibly blue and beautiful the beaches are!)

Live Happy Magazine Review + Giveaway

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

So, my family rarely watches the news. Why? Because it's nothing but negativity. Rarely, if ever, do large news programs show positive segments that last longer than 2-3 minutes. When it comes to the books I choose to read, I try to keep them uplifting and positive, because really - there's enough bad stuff going on without media just cementing the negativity.

When I heard about the publication Live Happy, I was chomping at the bit to give it a try. I received the May/June issue, and it is packed with positive reinforcements. From mood-boosting foods, to tips on how to heighten your compassion for others (and yourself), and even a calendar of tips for the theme of the month - compassion - with simple things you can do every day to show more compassion.

This issue also had an incredible interview with the Dalai Lama, and some great recipes.

When you flip through this magazine, or sit down and read it cover to cover, you'll not only be taking in positives, but you'll walk away feeling happier, have concrete ways to help yourself and your community, and you'll leave feeling more hopeful about the future - and that's an amazing statement to make about a publication.

Live Happy is joining with me to give away an entire year's subscription to one lucky reader!  This is a beautiful full color magazine that's a breath of fresh air compared to the typical mags. See below for details!

S'mores Brownies

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Seriously, I have a problem with S'mores. No joke. I'd eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if I could get away with it. I've tried many recipes for S'mores brownies, but I've always ended up with a mushy or crumbly graham cracker crust, a too-dry of a chocolate middle, and not much of a toasty marshmellow on top. But I can proudly say I've found MY perfect S'more brownie recipe.

 These didn't last a full 24 hours in my house, and they were super easy:

You'll need:
Brownie mix (Plus whatever ingredients are needed on box) or your own brownie recipe
Milk chocolate chips
Graham crackers

First, take a regular brownie mix, or make them from scratch. Add a few handfuls of chocolate chunks or MILK chocolate chips (Seriously. ALWAYS use milk chocolate chips. Semi-sweet? no thanks. Go big or go home, I say). Bake brownies according to package directions. Once they are done, preheat your oven to broil, and add marshmallows on top. Sprinkle some graham cracker pieces on top, and throw in that hot oven and watch it like a hawk until those marshmallows are toasty. Pull out, and enjoy.

These brownies are a definite hit with whomever happens to come over while these are out, so whip up a quick batch of these, and take them to a party, friend's house, whatever. I promise you won't leave with any left!

Shoplet Review + Date Night

I love Shoplet. They have some of the coolest products. This month, I got to review the SlimMate Storage Clipboard, a recycled clipboard, a Uhu glue stic, and a glue style pen. These products came just in time, because my husband and I have started doing weekly dates - and these tools came quite in handy for my latest date, a drive-in night. I got this idea from the Dating Divas, and used their drive-in printables to create a "treasure hunt" in my hubby's truck. I hid the clues with the help of the glue stic and style pen, and surprised him on date day with it. I've been using the clipboard to keep all my dating stuff in order and ready. Take a peek:

I ended up breaking out our inflatable mattress, and airing it up. Throwing it in the back of the truck, along with pillows, blankets, and my laptop, and we had a movie night. It was super fun! Dating is something I've missed, and I love being able to look forward to a date night with my hubby. If you're looking for some fresh date ideas, The Dating Divas have you covered!