Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Watercolor Picture Frame Gift


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Coming up with gifts for the parents and in-laws can be challenging but now that I have kids of my own it is so much easier. What parent/grandparent doesn't love a handmade gift from their child/grand-babies? This year for Christmas we gave our moms a watercolor picture frame with a picture of our children in it.  This is a super easy gift to make and is very meaningful. The watercolor picture frame is a great gift for any parent or grandparent. It is a great gift for Christmas, Mother's Day, Valentine's Day or a even a Birthday. The Watercolor Picture Frame is easy to make for those last minute gift giving people and is budget friendly. This gift is really a win win situation - the kids stay occupied painting, coloring and crafting then I turn it into an awesome gift for Grandma to have! 


Supplies


  • Cardstock
  • Watercolors, Crayons, Markers or Paint - anything that is bright the kids can use to color with
  • Scissors
  • 8x10 Picture Frame
  • 5x7 Black & White Picture
  • Kids ready to be creative
  • A cute saying - Optional




How To


1. Set your kids down at a table, give them a piece of cardstock and let them paint/color the paper. Make sure they paint/color the whole paper and only use bright colors. Let Dry.

My children used watercolors. 



2. Cut the paper to fit the frame.

3. Place the Black & White 5x7 picture in the middle of the cardstock and place it in the frame. You can tape or glue the picture to the cardstock if it won't stay in place.


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Watercolor Picture Frame Gift, Grandma Saying
4. Add a cute saying to the back of the frame to make it more meaningful. I found a cute saying about Grandmas' on the internet, printed it out and glued it to the back of the frame.

5. Wrap it up and give it to the special parent/grandparent in your life!

The Watercolor Picture Frame is an easy, cheap and meaningful gift for the parents or grandparents in your life. The contrast between the bright water colors and the black & white picture is amazing; these pictures don't do it justice. This gift is great for several occasions and truly is a special gift. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and your children enjoy making it as much as mine did!!!

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Bubble Birthday Cake

My daughter recently turned two and for her second Birthday we decided to have a Bubble themed Birthday party, a "Bubble Bash".  I made a simple, double layered, round chocolate cake and decorated the cake with Sixlets to make it look like bubbles. The Bubble Birthday Cake was super easy to make. I think the cake turned out pretty cute and it matched the bubble theme perfect! You can make this cake match any color scheme you want, it could also work for a polka-dot themed party as well.



The Cake:
I used a box cake for this cake. I replaced the water with milk and the vegetable oil with butter to make the cake taste more like a homemade cake. I baked the cake in two circle pans. Once the cakes were done baking I layered them on top of each other.

The Icing:
I melted a tub of icing in the microwave for a few seconds and poured it over the cake. This was an easy and fast way of icing the cake, plus the icing smooths out and looks a lot better than it would of if I had iced the cake using a knife. Once the cake is covered, wipe off the excess icing that will be around the edge of the plate.

The Decorations:
I used a small bag of Sixlets: purple, blue, white, and silver to decorate the cake. I placed the Sixlets all over the cake until I was satisfied. You may have to use a little extra icing on the side of the cake to help the Sixlets from sliding. I then printed off circles with the words "Lexi is 2" on them, attached them to cocktail stirs and stuck them in the cake for decorations.




I wanted my daughter to have her own special cake as well so I used some of the cake batter and made a cup cake just for her. I covered the entire cupcake with icing and decorated the cupcake with a few Sixlets as well and a candle for her to blow out.



Like I said before, the Bubble Birthday Cake was super easy to make and it matched the bubble theme perfect. I think the cake turned out pretty cute if I say so myself!

Check out my daughters Bubble Bash Birthday Party to get other food and decoration ideas for a bubble party!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Bubble Punch aka Tiffany Punch


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For my daughter's second Birthday, we threw her a Bubble Bash Birthday Party. Everything was purple, blue and round. One of the beverages we had for the party was Bubble Punch aka Tiffany Punch. This punch is super easy to make, cheap, taste good and is a very pretty Tiffany Blue color once made... who doesn't love blue drinks!!!

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Bubble Punch aka Tiffany Punch

Ingredients:


  • Berry Blue Typhoon Hawaiian Punch
  • Country Time Lemonade
  • Water

Directions:


1. Prepare the lemonade.

2. Mix the prepared lemonade with the Berry Blue Typhoon Hawaiian Punch.

3. Serve over ice and enjoy!

NOTE:  You can make as little or as much Bubble Punch aka Tiffany Punch as you'd like by equally mixing the lemonade and Hawaiian Punch (1 part prepared lemonade, 1 part Berry Blue Typhoon Hawaiian Punch).


There are several different ways to make punch and you can add other ingredients if you'd like but I kept is simple and cheap by only using the two ingredients. If you would like you can always add sherbet to the punch, 7-Up, or Pineapple Juice to give it a different taste. If you are having an adult party, this punch would mix well with Vodka, UV Blue Vodka or a Berry Rum.

For the punch pictured below, I used the entire 2 gallon jug of Hawaiian Punch mixed with 2 gallons of lemonade. 

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Feel free to check out the Bubble Bash Birthday Party here!!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

20+ Birthday Party Location Ideas


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I recently wrote a blog called Party Planning on a Budget. This blog consisted of several tips to help you throw an awesome party without breaking the bank. One of those tips was on Party Locations... 

Party Planning on a Budget Location Tip:
Look for a free or cheap location for your party. You don't have to rent out the most expensive party room in town to throw an awesome party. A party that is fun and keeps the guest entertained is more likely to be remembered than a boring party at an expensive venue. Keep in mind that your house and your backyard are a FREE location to host your party at.

You can't have a party without a location, so choosing a party location is key. Several things such as cost, number of guest, availability, and child's preference can play a role in what location you choose to host your party at. It is also always nice to have a back up location in mind incase of bad weather or an accidental double booking. There are hundreds of places you can host a party at but here are a couple location ideas to get you started. Keep in mind that location availability and locations fees are different depending on where you live. 


Cheap/Free Locations:


Your HouseYour house and your back yard are both free locations to host a party. If you want it to be more interesting you can have a themed party such as crafts galore where the guest get to make crafts or little chef where the guest get to decorate their own cupcakes. It keeps your guest entertained and is cheaper than renting out a craft place would be.

ChurchMost local churches have fellowship halls that you can book. If you are a church member it is usually free.

The Park: Rent a pavilion at your local Park or hope one is empty the day of so it's free. The children can play ball, swing, and play on the play sets. You can have a few back up games in mind to play just in case.

Local Gym: A lot of gyms have party rooms you can rent out or a court you can rent out for cheap, the cost is even cheaper if you are a member. I have also heard of schools allowing student families to use their gym for Birthday parties but it all depends on the school.

Public Pool: Most pools have picnic tables that you can use to set up at so all you have to pay is per child that wants to swim. 

Factory Tour: Most factories allow you to tour their facilities for free or super cheap. You probably can't open the gifts or eat the cake at the factory but you could always order pizza and go to your local park after the tour is over. Some factories have party rooms so make sure to check with your local factory!

Apple Orchard/Pumpkin Patch: Depending on the location and season you may have to pay but several apple orchards/pumpkin patches are free to visit and you buy what you want. The more popular ones charge an entrance fee but depending on how many children you have, it may not be to bad. A lot of apple orchards/pumpkin patches usually have several activities for children to participate in as well.

A Barn: You read that right, a barn. Several places rent out their barns for weddings and parties so it can be expensive if it's a nice venue, but if you live in the country you can usually gain access to a barn for free or cheap. What to do in a barn you may ask? Most barn parties are pretty much dance parties. Set up some lights, get a DJ, and have a dance party!

Other Locations:


Restaurants: Check to make sure they take reservations or see if they have a party room you can use. Restaurants can be expensive unless you have a small guest list. If your guest list is bigger, you may want to consider a pizza place. Restaurants like Chuck E. Cheese, Gattitown, and Dave & Busters specialize in parties and fun.

Hotel Party Room/Pool: Most hotels have party rooms you can rent that allows you access to the room and the pool. Sometimes it's cheaper to get a suite for the night if it's a non-peak day and have a party instead of renting out the room

Bowling Alley: Most bowling alleys have party rooms and game rooms that you can rent out but it is usually cheaper to rent out two or three lanes and throw your party at the tables and chairs by the lanes.

Movie Theater: Several theaters offer birthday party packages that include the movie, popcorn, a party room, etc... the cost varies depending on the theater and number of people, but it is defiantly worth looking into.

Bounce House / Trampoline Parks: A lot of cities have indoor bounce house places or trampoline parks. They are open for the public but also have party rooms you can rent out while the children run and bounce out all of their energy.

Gymnastics Gym: Several Gymnastics Gyms will allow you to book their gym for a party. The party usually consist of free mat play and playing in the pool of foam blocks.

Karate / Mixed Marshal Arts Class: A lot of Karate/Mixed Marshal Arts places offer party packages. They will teach the children a couple cool moves, play some games, cut the cake with a samurai sword, etc. Every place offers different packages to suit their company so you will have to check with your local Karate/Mixed Marshal Arts place for more information.

Dance Studio: I've heard of some dance studios offering party packages where the children get to dress up and they teach them a dance. 

Build-a-Bear: Build-a-Bear has party packages starting at $18 per guest, 5 guest minimum. The packages let each guest make their own little furry friend to keep. Each package contains different things so choose one that best suits you. You can find out more information here!

Michaels: Just incase you didn't know, Michaels is an arts and crafts store. Michaels has a craft room and allows you to book the room for birthday parties. Their package includes craft supplies, an associate to lead the craft, and much more. The craft depends on the location and the age group of the party. You can find out more information here!

Arts & Crafts Class: Several cities have classes you can book that allow you to make a craft such as pottery classes, ceramics class, painting classes, jewelry making, etc. Prices vary depending on the craft of coarse and the names of these locations vary on the city but an example is Painting with a Twist.

Museum: There are free museums out there but most of them charge an entrance fee. You can go on a tour of the museum or find a museum that offers or is specifically for children. There are several children's museums and science type museums out there; some museums offer group package deals.

Zoo / Aquarium / Botanical Garden: Take a few children to your local zoo or Botanical Garden to walk around and pack lunches or you can look into a party package. Most Zoo's have party packages. Depending on what package you choose, you may get to pet some animals, get food and beverages, go on the train, etc... You can find what party packages your local zoo offers online.


Some other places that are fun and sometimes have party rooms for rent/ party packages are:
  • Roller Skating Rink
  • Ice Skating Rink
  • Laser Tag
  • Paint Ball
  • Indoor Rock Climbing Center
  • Sport's Complex
  • Batting Cages
  • Putt Putt Golf
  • Waterpark

These are just a few basic Birthday Party Locations. There are hundreds of locations you can host your party at and every state/city has different party place and party rooms for you to rent out so you can always search party locations in your area if you are still stumped but hopefully this list helped give you an idea. Best wishes and Happy Planning!

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