Category Archives: Parties

The Ultimate Roll-Out Sugar Cookie Recipe


| DIYs, Parties

I finally bit the bullet and purchased this beauty over the weekend:
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I’ve always wanted a stand mixer but couldn’t justify the expense. However since recently I have trouble using a hand mixer, I figured now was as good a time as any. I love this color (they carry it at Target so save yourself shipping). Even my husband said it was nice looking, which is a good thing since it takes up a lot of counter real-estate and he had to rearrange several things to make a spot for it (I’m chalking it up to his love for baked goods).
image One of my favorite things to bake are custom decorated sugar cookies.

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image They’re definitely time consuming but a nice touch for special occasions.

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I decided to start teaching myself how to decorate three years ago so I’ve been thru my fair share of recipes trying to find one with the qualities I like (good flavor, minimal spreading during baking), for chocolate roll outs I use LilaLoa’s recipe for sugar I use my own:
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ROLL OUT SUGAR COOKIES

Makes approx. 28 (depending on your cutter size) 
3 egg yolks
2 eggs
1 cups butter, softened
1 1/4 cups white sugar
3.5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 teaspoons almond extract
(Sub 1/2 cup almond paste for flavoring)

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Add vanilla and almond extract. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the sugar mixture. Cover dough and chill for at least one hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets. On a floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/2 inch thick and cut into desired shapes using cookie cutters. Place 2 inches apart on to the prepared baking sheets.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
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Hopefully once I get thru my physical therapy I’ll be able to bake everyone a batch of beautifully decorated “Thank You” cookies (although they may end up being Christmas cookies by the time I can pipe steadily again).
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E turns Three – A Dinomite Celebration


| Baby, Bliss, DIYs, Parties

Evan turned three this past week. It seems like not that long ago that I was writing this, and this. I can hardly believe he’s going to be a preschooler next year. Two was a great age, he learned so much (like numbers to 50!) and can do so much more for himself now (which also means occasionally climbing things he shouldn’t). He’s still one of the best behaved kids ever, and I’m not just saying that because I’m his mom, because little brother could not be more different. So glad he’s a rule follower (and regularly rats his little brother). I wouldn’t hesitate to leave him alone with a box full of markers…he’d probably put them in color order.
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It was a much needed distraction since earlier in the week this happened:
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On our way to a play date a car pulled out directly in front of me and we T-boned it. Both boys were in the car and suffered only minor bruising. Evan got a burn from the seatbelt which looked awful but it cleared up completely in a few days.

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Unfortunately, I broke and dislocated my right wrist and will be one-handed for the next 7 weeks…so guess that kind of slows down my DIY projects. :)

I started planning his birthday party about 4 months ago, mostly because I tend to leave things to the last minute, but I also wanted to get myself plenty of time since I had two birthday parties to plan this year instead of just one. Now I’m grateful I did so much ahead of time.
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Evan loved dinosaurs so I figured that’d be an easy theme and I started buying up dinosaur items every time I saw them. So about a month ago when family would ask him about his party he tell them with absolute certainty, “I’m going to have a truck party”. Of course he did (at least he didn’t ask for a pirate/kitty party…true story). I chose to just not talk about it anymore and pray that he would forget by the time the party rolled around.

I designed his invitations. The stamps just happened to work well with them.

 

Dino Dig Invitation

For favors I grabbed a few dino toys from the Dollar Store along with some play-dough & dino shaped fruit snacks.
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The handled kraft paper boxes were from Pick Your Plum, I tend to pick up cute packaging because it comes in handy for last minute gifts throughout the year.

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These cute Dino hats were from the Dollar Store. Evan loved them when he saw them and promptly asked me to put one on and roar with him.
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My sister did our chalk art since if I would have done it it would have looked like Evan wrote it.
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The dinosaur models were from eBay. Evan help me put them together then we spray-painted them orange. I just wrapped some storage boxes (left-handed) with Kraft paper and hot glued the models down to keep them from getting knocked over.
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I found the foam 3D puzzles also at the Dollar Store (they were my back up activity in case of bad weather).
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Lastly I created our Dig Site. We’d recently gotten a Little Tykes Turtle Sandbox for free but I thought it might be a bit small for 8 preschoolers. So I created this instead.
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It was just a couple of 1x6x8s from Home Depot. I had the cut in half at the store, then I measured and pre-drilled holes. I screwed everything together to make a frame.

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I figured it was bad enough I was inviting kids to play in sand (and their parents may not enjoy having sand tracked into their cars post-party) plus I wanted to use the sand in our sandbox after the party (and it would have taken more to fill the dig site than we needed)…so I created a faux boulder for the center of the box. Problem solved!
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It was just a few diaper and wipe boxes that I taped together. Then I wrapped them all a big piece of kraft paper and spray painted the whole thing with white and black spray paint (spray painting is super easy to do left handed if it doesn’t really matter what it looks like).
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I lined and wrapped the frame in a cheap tan sheet from Walmart. I think it was $3.50, I don’t think I could have found cheaper fabric. Then I taped the edges so it wouldn’t pull loose.
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The shovels were from the Target Dollar Spot and the basket another Dollar Store find. I found the Dino skeletons on eBay.

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They were a huge hit (although a little “scary”). The kids dug them up, then buried them, then dug them up again.
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Evan absolutely loved it and spent most of the party there.
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Our cake topper was just a toy dinosaur I painted with non-toxic paint and stuck a candle in.
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I created the cupcake wrappers and toppers on my Cameo (which came in handy since I couldn’t hold a pair of scissors).
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I’m so glad we didn’t postpone his party. The weather was beautiful and we all needed a day of fun with family and friends.
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Happy 2nd Birthday to my sweet boy!


| Baby, Bliss, Parties

 

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We celebrated E’s second birthday a few weeks ago. Now that he’s two and also a big brother I think it’s time to drop the “Baby” part of his name.

Splashbashinvite

Since he’s a summer baby I decided on a Splash Bash theme. Finding Nemo is pretty much his favorite movie ever, especially the part with the whale so I thought he’d love a whale one his cake and invitation. Invitations were printed on cardstock, then the whale and edge were die cut on my Silhouette Cameo.

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Splash Bash Cake

For the cake I was inspired by some adorable cake toppers I found on etsy. They were actually wedding cake toppers but definitely fit party the party theme, unfortunately they were also around $70. So I did a little research on Sculpey clay (food safe, easy to use and bake in a conventional oven to set) then I headed to Michael’s and picked up a few blocks for around $0.80 each (MUCH cheaper than $70). It’s been a few years since my sculpture class but I think they turned out pretty cute.

SplashBash

This was our first birthday with friends invited and we had 4 kids and their parents along with family in for the celebration.

Food included Pirate’s Booty in treat cones…

Pirates Booty

Whale shaped cheddar bites…

Whale Bites

Mini fruit tarts…

MiniTarts

And of course, cupcakes.  My husband always complains that cupcakes are messy and hard to eat, so I found the mini plastic cups at Big Lots and filled each with a cupcake and a half, then provided guests with spoons. They were much easier to eat!

Cupcakes in cups

I found blue raspberry Kool-aid to play the part of Ocean Water and added some reusable sea creature ice cubes I found at Target.

Ocean Water

Fresh Water

Favors were bottles of bubbles with custom labels.

SplashBashFavors

E got a biggest bag of bubbles ever from his great grandmother. We are well stocked for the summer!

Bubbles!

I’d found this awesome Intex Rainbow pool on Amazon and we were suppose to be outside but unfortunately the forecast called for severe thunderstorms all day.

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Luckily I was able to set up the bounce house and the bubble machine for a little bit before the rain came, but the kids had a great time playing inside with balloons. We were able to have some friends over on E’s actual birthday to play in the pool so it all worked out.

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I can’t believe I have a two year old! He’s so much fun now. He remembers everything and talks all the time. He knows all his shapes and colors, most of the alphabet and can count from 1-9 (although he omits 8). His favorite phrase right now is “I NEED that”…I think we need to explain the difference between a need and a want. He’s such an amazing little person. Happy Birthday E! Mommy loves you so much!

Complete printable set NOW available in the SHOP!

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