My Favorite Things Spa Party with NIVEA

My Favorite Things Spa Party

As a mother, one thing we often forget to do is pamper ourselves. We spend so much time making sure everyone else is being taken care of that we forget to take a few moments for us.

This weekend I decided to take a few moments for myself. And invite a few friends over to enjoy themselves as well.

One of my favorite types of parties to throw is a My Favorite Things party. Each guest brings their favorite item to share with the others; 5 of the same thing $6 or under in value. Since we’ve already shared our favorite thing, our favorite baby item, and our favorite children’s activity, I thought that we could spin the theme a little differently this time.

A My Favorite Things Spa Party!

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DIY Football Field Table Runner

DIY Football Table Runner

As I mentioned before, it’s football season! And that means one thing… my husband will not respond to a thing I say on Sundays unless we’re coming out of church or it’s during a commercial. So I do what I do best when I have no one to talk to… I craft! And this weekend I made this awesome football field table runner for our dining room table.

Not only is this a festive and fun piece for the house, it can also be brought to the game to spice up a boring folding table or a truck bed. Why not make tailgating fun with a little crafty decor, right?

This table runner is quick, easy, and the best part is there’s no sewing involved! So grab your glue, get some felt, and lets make a table runner! Then grab the scraps and make the football coasters to go along with it.

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How to Make Football Coasters

Football Coasters

 

Everyone in America knows that football season is upon us. Why not make watching the game a little more enjoyable with these fun DIY football coasters? With a little bit of felt, corkboard, and glue you can create these awesome coasters that are perfect for protecting your tables and properly holding your beer as you watch the game.

What’s even more awesome about these coasters is the fact that they take less than 10 minutes to make. No… seriously. All you do is cut, glue, and use!

We used these coasters for our tailgating party this weekend to go along with the football field table runner I made. Both paired perfectly together and made our game-time meal more enjoyable. These would also be perfect to pack up and take to the game for a proper tailgating party.

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Lego Duplo Party Playdate with HouseParty #LegoDuploParty

Our HouseParty Lego Duplo Playdate was an absolute blast!

I had so much fun figuring out what foods to serve, how to decorate, and how to keep the little ones entertained. Now normally when we have a playdate I grab whatever’s in the fridge and whip it up into something appealing for both the mamas and little ones.

HouseParty was kind enough to send along 4 of Lego Duplo’s new Read & Build Kits for us to play with!

2 of the 4 Read & Build kits were raffled off to my guests to take home with them so they could continue the fun. The other guests assured me they’d be picking up a few kids of their own because the kids had so much fun!

For this party I wanted to get a bit creative and really play on the Lego theme.

Lego Duplo Read & Build HouseParty

The Lego Party Food

I started by creating a Lego Duplo Pinterest Board. I was able to find amazing ideas and creations from other pinners, bloggers, online articles, and sites.  I had grand plans of cookies, skewers, and more detailed goodies but when it came down to it, I stuck with the basics. Foods my 1-4 year olds would love AND eat.

You can read all about the food I served here.

The Lego Party Decor 

Then I started thinking about the decorations I wanted to use. There were plenty of ideas for using the legos in the design of the party so I started with the basics, a simple lego brick, and built on that. I absolutely LOVED the fun use of lego-themed garland most of the sites posted but a majority of them were birthday themed.

Lego Duplo Read & Build HouseParty

So instead of going the wording route, I simply stuck to construction paper, scissors, and tape.

From there I decided to add a few more touches to the food decorations by turning the cups into lego heads, adding a lego head in between my two platters to serve the lego brick foods, and made a few empty boxes into legos to go with the theme.

You can read all about the decorations I made here.

Lego Duplo Read & Build 

I wanted to make sure that the Lego Duplo Read & Build kits were front and center throughout the party so I included them on the bar area of my kitchen right at eye level so that as people served themselves they’d see the boxes.

Alongside the Read & Build storybook kits were the Lego red plates and Duplo napkins that came in my HouseParty kit. I also was excited to pass out Lego Duplo play guides, magnets, and stickers to each of my guests.

Lego Duplo Read & Build HouseParty

Two of the sets were opened for the kids to play with on the table. I filled up a vase with some extra bricks we had lying around (shhh… don’t tell, these aren’t LEGO brand). The rest of our collection of Lego Duplo blocks were kept in the playroom on our train table so the kids could build and create as they pleased.

Lego Duplo Read & Build HouseParty

Play Time

Because I had two areas set up for the kids, the adults were able to converse and chit chat as the kids played around us. I loved having the playroom set up for the majority of the Lego fun. It made clean up a breeze and allowed a great space to build and create.

Lego Duplo Read & Build HouseParty

Although a few of my other toys were quite appealing and the kids quickly spread throughout the house with more than just Legos in hand.

I’m sure if I had a bit more time, help, and money I could have done more but the simplicity of this party was perfect. The kids had an absolute blast playing, building, and reading. 

Disclaimer: I received a HouseParty Lego Duplo Party Kit in exchange for hosting a Lego Duplo Party. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Lego Duplo Party {The Food}

As I mentioned in my party post, I wanted to keep this party focused on the basics. With a few simple decorations and some doctored up fun foods our party was the perfect Lego Duplo

To show off the drink cups a bit more I covered them in yellow paper and drew little faces on each of the cups to represent a different Lego guy. If you look closely you can see that each face actually matches the Lego on top of (and hanging from) the cups.

Munchies were also Lego themed. We went with peanut butter and honey sandwiches and cheese and crackers.

The peanut butter and honey sandwiches were super simple and fun! I made the sandwiches, cut off the crust (and ate them!), and cut the sandwiches in half.

Then I used my smallest round biscuit cutter to cut out small holes out of another slice of bread. I used some more peanut butter to adhere the bread to the top of the sandwiches. Two for each rectangle.

If you have a peanut allergy you can easily use sunflower butter instead. Or make the sandwiches with meat and use cream cheese to adhere the bread dots to the top. I was also considering making cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches as well. There are endless possibilities!

The cheese and crackers used the same techniques. I slathered two crackers with cream cheese and sandwiched in a piece of cheese in the middle. Then I used the cream cheese to adhere some cheese circles to the tops of the cracker sandwiches.

I had all intentions to coat these rectangle sandwich cookies with red, green, and blue chocolate and cover them with little m&m dots but time got away from me so I simply served them as is. Not as exciting but still fit the theme! And the kids couldn’t get enough of them.

As a play on the Lego guy’s head shape I made some watermelon & feta skewers for the mamas. This is my latest favorite combo and adding a bit of basil makes this a super tasty bite on a stick. You can also cube up the watermelon, toss with feta and basil, and serve as you would a salad!

In order to satisfy the mamas at the party I decided to throw together a simple quiche. Honestly, there’s nothing special about it. And really… it’s more of an egg bake in a pre-made frozen pie crust. I simply combined cooked sausage, spinach, 6 eggs, a cup of cheese, a cup of cottage cheese, some salt and pepper and poured it into the crust. I then baked until it smelled done (maybe 35 minutes?) and pulled it out.

And the color is yellow like a Lego head, right? Haha… might be too much of a stretch.

Yum!

If you were planning a Lego Duplo party what would you serve?

A Few of my Favorite Things

One of the best parts about running a playgroup is that the women I meet become more than just “other moms” they be come friends as well. And sometimes these friends come up with awesome ideas. Recently an idea was posted on our meetup page about having a My Favorite Things party. I wasn’t quite sold on it until I found out what it was.

Don’t know what a My Favorite Things party is? Well channel your inner Oprah and read on!

My guests’ favorite things

A My Favorite Things party is a night in (or out) where each guest shares their favorite item under a certain dollar amount with their friends. For our party we chose a dollar limit of $6 per item. Each guest brings 5 of the same item under that $6 limit to share and gift to the others at the party.

When you get to the party, write your name on 5 pieces of paper. Each guest will choose 5 different people to give their favorite thing to (make sure to do this in advance to avoid duplicates or drawing your own name). Once the names are drawn, go around the room and explain why the item is your favorite and then announce who the lucky girls are to receive your item The party can be general, like our first one was, or themed!

My favorite thing – Earth Mama Angel Baby!

We each brought one of our favorite dishes to share and our favorite bottle of wine so that before we jumped into the fun of exchanging our favorite things we were able to eat and mingle together. Since each dish was a favorite I made little signs to go along with them. The party can also be hosted at a restaurant or other location outside of the home but since we all didn’t have childcare this was the best option for us. Dads watched the kids outside while the moms enjoyed some time to chat and talk.

Once everyone had a bite to eat we got to sharing! And boy was this part fun.

When the kids heard that presents were involved they quickly came in to help pass out the favorites. Once they realized what was inside the presents, they weren’t too excited about helping. Ignore my son, spiderman… he just got home from a birthday party.

Here’s the favorites from our party:

  • My Favorite – Earth Mama Angel Baby Happy Mama Hand to Toe Wash
  • Elizabeth’s Favorite – Krispy Kreme gift cards
  • Clarissa’s Favorite – Muir Glen Organic marinara sauce
  • Jen’s Favorite – Tresemme dry shampoo
  • Kari’s Favorite – Lush Bubble Bar in Dorothy
  • Sophia’s Favorite – Yellowtail wine
  • Nikki’s Favorite – Bath & Body Works CO Bigelow Mentha Lip Tint

In addition to these awesome favorites, Chobani was kind enough to send each of my guests Family 4 Pack tickets to Kidsfest AND 2 free product coupons.  Boy were these mamas excited about yogurt!

I also included my Lipton Tea & Honey Klout perk samples and some Hot Dog on a Stick temporary tattoos for the kiddos that I received in a prize package I won at the SD Mom’s Night Out Tweetup. What fun is it to keep all these fun goodies to myself, right? Gotta spread the love!

Each mama went home with five new and fun items. I was so excited to see what each person brought and was surprised to find how diverse each of our items were. We’re already planning our next My Favorite Things party and this time we’re going with a theme: Baby/Kid’s Favorite Thing!

I gave a little bonus to my guests courtesy of Earth Mama Angel Baby and shared my Baby/Kid item, Angel Baby Bottom Balm. I’ve blogged about it before and can’t say enough about how awesome it really is. And EMAB was kind enough to also send samples of their awesome Monthly Comfort and Milkmaid teas (both of which I needed!). So stay tuned for our next party and what new favorites we come up with!

Check out more photos of my party on Facebook and G+!

What would you bring to the My Favorite Things party?

Disclaimer: I was given a free product or sample. I was under no obligation to receive the sample or talk about this company. I get no additional benefits for talking about the product or company.

How to Make Dinosaur Party Hats

Find out how easy it is to make a dinosaur party hat with this template and some paper.

When planning my son’s Dinosaur Train birthday party I stumbled upon an Etsy store with printables for everything Dinosaur (you can check them out in detail on her blog). One of the things included in the kit was a dinosaur party hat. 

Since I wanted to make my party unique I opted out of purchasing the kit but I did find a way to make those adorable party hats! I used a template I found from Oh Happy Day for the base of the hat, picked up some cute cardstock from Michaels and got cutting and piecing together. 

Here’s what I came up with! 

This post contains affiliate links. 

Dinosaur Party Hats

What you’ll need:

What you do:

1. Print template onto cardstock (save 1-2 colors for the spikes).

2. Cut out the template by following the solid black lines.

3. Cut out the slit on the template.

4. Roll hat together and place tab into the slit. You may have to bend the top tab a bit to get it to fit. Once the tab is in, lift the top tab again so it doesn’t slide out. 

5. Cut out spikes leaving a 1/4″ space at the bottom of each spike row. 

6. Bend spike row on the bottom at the 1/4″ mark and cut the middle of the spikes to slide into the slot.

7. Tape spikes down from the outside and inside of the hat.

8. Using the X-Acto knife, make a small X on either side of the hat.

9. Place the ribbon or string in each hole and knot on the inside.

10. Decorate the hat more from here or leave as is for the perfect Dinosaur Party hat.

Do you have more ideas to make a party hat perfect?

Love this idea? Here’s some more dino party inspiration: 

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Make DIY Dinosaur Fossils for Your Dinosaur Party

Find out how easy it is to make DIY dinosaur fossils for your next dinosaur birthday party or activity!

When I started planning activities to do at my son’s dinosaur themed 3rd birthday party I knew I had to have something fun that both the boys and girls would like. Since his party was a dinosaur train theme I started scouring the internet for great ideas on crafts my son and I could create together for the party.

After searching around a bit we found a great recipe for do-it-yourself dinosaur fossils! As soon as I showed my son the fossils he was all aboard. And then when I told him he’d have to help make them he quickly ran to grab the measuring cups and flour.

The fossils were a big hit at the party and the kids took turns finding them all over the indoor play place we were at. Then they took all of the fossils to two buckets we had set out and started opening their fossils to reveal tiny plastic dinos inside.

DIY Dinosaur Fossils

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup dirt
  • 1/2 cup sand (play sand works the best)
  • 1 cup water
  • 12 tiny plastic dinosaurs
  • Plastic wrap-lined cookie tray

What you do:

1. Dump the flour, dirt, and sand into a bowl.

2. Pour the water over the dirt mixture.

3. Stir the mixture together until it’s a thick muddy batter-like consistency.

4. Add more dirt, sand, and flour as needed if too liquidy.

5. Let your kids dip in the dinos and coat them well.

5. Place on plastic wrap-lined cookie tray and cover with a little more of the mixture to make sure it’s coated very well. Cover up any parts that may be sticking out.

6. Let the mixture sit out in the sun for a few hours to dry. Once the top side is dry flip each fossil over and let the other side dry completely.

7. Let the kids have fun breaking the fossils apart!

Have you made DIY dinosaur fossils you can break open before? 

Love this idea? Here are some more dino-fun crafts: 

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How to Make a Chocolate Lava Volcano Cake

This easy tutorial on how to make a chocolate lava volcano cake will help you create the perfect dino-themed cake.


As you know, my son is OBSESSED with Dinosaur Train. It’s pretty much the best TV show ever according to him. So when we were planning his Dinosaur Train party, we knew we had to have a volcano cake. 

Not only does this incorporate some of his favorite things (chocolate and volcanoes), it was the perfect centerpiece for our dessert table! Plus it was so easy to make. Just use our delicious devil’s food cake and bake up in a bundt pan then follow the instructions below. 

You’re a few steps away from your own chocolate lava volcano cake! 

Chocolate Lava Volcano Cake

Devil’s Food Cake

  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature 
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Butter and sprinkle the pan with cocoa powder (make sure you get every nook and cranny).

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In another large bowl, using an electric mixer beat the butter on medium speed until smooth. Gradually add the brown sugar and continue beating until fluffy. Beat in the vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk and beginning and ending with the flour, beating after each addition.

Divide the batter between the prepared liners. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. Transfer the cake and let cool for 15 minutes. Turn the cake out onto a wire rack and let cool completely before frosting and decorating.

Chocolate Glaze

  • 1/4 cup chocolate pieces, semisweet
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons milk

In a small saucepan, melt chocolate with butter. Remove from heat and beat in powdered sugar adding milk gradually until mixture is a pourable consistency. Immediately pour onto cake once it’s done.

To Assemble the Cake

  • 1 cup large marshmallows
  • 1 bag red chocolate candy melts
  • 1 bag orange chocolate candy melts 
  • red and/or orange glitter sprinkles
  • 3 round lollipop sticks
  • piping bags or plastic bag

 Move the bundt cake onto a cake plate and fill the center with marshmallows. Top the marshmallows with chocolate glaze and allow glaze to drizzle over the sides of the cake.

Melt 1/2 of the red chocolates and pour over the chocolate glaze to create the lava. Allow to drizzle over the sides of the cake and make sure to coat the middle where the marshmallows are. Let set.

While the chocolate is setting melt remaining red chocolates. Line your counter with wax paper and tape it down. Set the three lollipop sticks down spaced apart. These will be the flames of your cake. You can either free-hand the flames or print out a template and put the template under your wax paper.

When the chocolate is melted pour or scoop it into a piping bag and cut off the tip. Draw your flames around the lollipop sticks and make sure to coat the stick well. Leave about an inch at the end to stick into your cake. Top chocolate with some sprinkles to make them pop while the chocolate is still melted. Repeat with the orange candy melts until you get the desired look you want for your flames.

Once the chocolate has set (I waited about 1/2 an hour) you can stick the flames into the middle of your cake. Ta-Da! A chocolate lava volcano cake worthy of any prehistoric party.   

Have you hosted a dino themed party? What was your favorite part? 

Love what you read? Find more great dino-themed ideas below: 

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A Dinosaur Train Celebration {Birthday Party Ideas}

When my son mentioned having a Dinosaur Train themed party a few months back I was happy to start planning out all of the details. I searched through Google and Pinterest and even created a board of inspiration to go off of.

But I was surprised to find very little in the form of ideas and details. Most of the posts I came across linked back to the same two designs and I didn’t quite love them. So I decided to pick and choose design elements from various sources and pieced them together to form my son’s Dinosaur Train birthday.

The Cake

Any dinosaur themed birthday has to have a volcano cake. It’s a must. And my kid is kind of obsessed with any thing that explodes. We recently purchased a mini volcano set from Lakeshore Learning Center that allows you to add baking soda and vinegar to watch the volcano erupt over and over again. It’s one of the only toys that he asks repeatedly for every night when daddy gets home!

I had great visions of multi-tiered, fondant covered cakes with tunnels and trains but just couldn’t come up with the money and lacked the talent to make one myself.

So this easy-to-do volcano cake was my go-to. And boy did it give me trouble! The bundt cake stuck in the pan not once, but twice, the day before the party. But I just went with the flow and pieced the second failed cake together to create my final product.

To read more about the volcano cake check out my post here with recipe and design details.

The Cupcakes

In addition to the volcano cake, I also made cupckaes for the kids. They’re much easier to deal with when feeding 3 year olds and the kids love them for the frosting.

When I searched for ideas for cake toppers I knew my friend, Jeanna, over at the Sweets Fairy Bakeshop would know just what to do. She created these darling toothpick cupcake toppers with dinosaur train images on them and even created some decorative dinos and train fondant pieces to go along with the theme.

We placed the dinos and trains around the cupcakes and sprinkled the tray with the first bundt cake crumbs (way to reuse, right!?) to give the illusion of the cupcakes laying on dirt. Half of the cupcakes had the cute toothpick tags on them and half had whopper eggs on them to make dinosaur nests.

The recipe I used for the cupcakes is from Glorious Treats.

The Place Settings

Yes, I know it seems silly to have place settings for a kids birthday but I thought this added a special touch.

My husband’s aunt surprised my son on the morning of his birthday by dropping off some dinosaur cookies. These cookies were absolutely adorable so I asked if she wouldn’t mind making a few for his party too.

She packaged a few of them up for each kid and put them in a plastic bag with ribbon to make cute favors for the table. I also made some dinosaur and train paper hats for each of the kids as well and set them next to each plate, napkin and cookie.

To read more about how to make your own dinosaur party hats check out my post here.

The Food

In staying with the Dinosaur theme we created fun food names for each of the snacks we offered. Since the party started at 10am we stuck with a brunch menu. Here’s what our menu looked like:


Sweetivore Grub
Rip Apart Raptor Bread – Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread
Ceratops Cookies – sugar cookies
Cephalosaurus Cupcakes – vanilla cupcakes
Chocolate Lava Volcano Cake – devils food cake with chocolate frosting


Herbivore Grub
Brontosaurus Burritos – potato, egg & cheese, and bean, egg & cheese
Herbivore Delight – fresh fruit with fruit dip
Dinosaur Bones – pretzel sticks


Carnivore Grub
Brontosaurus Burritos – ham, egg & cheese, and bacon, egg & cheese

I was amazed at how much the kids (and adults) loved the breakfast burritos. They were seriously the easiest thing I’ve ever done besides ordering pizzas and pleased everyone. And since we live in So Cal everyone loves Mexican food! We also served some hot carrots and had salsa on hand. We also had Jurrasic Juice for the kids and coffee & tea for hte adults. Since the party was held at a place with a cafe there was no lack of caffeine.


Here are some photos of the grub: 

Herbivore Grub
Carnivore Grub

Paper Goods
For the food and drink labels I simply designed a template in Word that included the name of the food and the dinosaur train image. I played around with the fonts and downloaded a Jurrasic Park font from FontSpace.After playing around with the fonts, sizes and picture I decided to add a thick orange line around the wording and picture. After I printed the pages out I cut them to size and layered them with blue cardstock.

I did the same with the favor bag tags but used a different layout and orange and blue cardstock (without the orange line). I absolutely loved how the signs turned out. They were perfect for the party.
 Snacks
Jurassic Juice to drink
My son blowing out his number 3 candle

The Party Favors

We tried to include some fun goodies for the kids to take home in their favor bags. It all started with the wooden train whistles I found in the dollar section of Target. My son and I painted and personalized the whistles for each of his guests.

He had so much fun in the process and was so excited to give each bag to his friends (later at the party when he found out he didn’t get to hand them out he was a little upset but we remedied that by showing him all of the presents he received!).

Here’s what else we included in the favor bag:

All in all I’d consider this party a big success. I loved talking with my son about what he wanted to include and how he wanted to celebrate.

And seeing the joy in his face every time he talked about his “Dinosaur Train party at Kid Ventures” was more than enough reward for us. I’ll be posting more about my experience with KidVentures and their party packages soon!

I hope the guests had as much fun attending the party as we did throwing it!

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