Holiday Party Idea: Eggnog Soda Bar

One of my favorite things about the holidays is figuring out what new party I will throw! This year we will be hosting a few parties: gingerbread house decorating for the kids, holiday brunch, and a holiday open house. I am already planning out the themes, decor, and menu for each. One thing that I like to do for parties is to set up a self-serve beverage station. It’s a lot of fun for the guests and allows me to relax instead of having to serve everyone a drink. We’ve done everything from a cocktail station with a signature drink, a hot cocoa bar complete with all the toppings and a homemade soda bar that includes a variety of SodaStream soda flavors. This year we are putting a twist on the homemade soda bar by offering a holiday-inspired Eggnog Soda Bar.

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For our festive Eggnog Soda Bar we made root beer, cola, and ginger ale. And of course, we had plenty of egg nog.

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Plus, a few seasonal toppings. Whipped cream (which I wrapped in a piece of cardstock and added a cute chalkboard label to make it look nicer), cinnamon, nutmeg, and candy canes. You could even include sprinkles, cherries, shaved chocolate, and more.

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A cute chalkboard sign lets guests know how to make their festive drink. Make sure to tell your guests to pour their soda in before the eggnog or else it will fizz too much.

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The result? Delicious! These kind of taste like a root beer float with a twist!

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Setting the Eggnog Soda Bar up was very easy with the SodaStream Play! We have been using a SodaStream for years now and love it. It’s a much healthier alternative to store-bought soda. It has less sugar and little-to-no caffeine (depending on the flavor). Over the years, Sodastream has also added a huge variety of soda flavors and they even offer natural sodas made with pure cane sugar. Both the kids and adults love it!

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Another cool feature? The SodaStream Play now has removable skins in a variety of colors, patterns, and even designs to match your personality, home decor or party theme. I chose red for the holidays! Putting the skin is effortless as it is vinyl and is easy to lift up and reposition if you don’t get it lined up correctly. Right now you can get a code for a FREE skin when you purchase a SodaStream Play.

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As you can see from the video below, using the SodaStream Play is so simple!

Additional Info:

The SodaStream Play would make a fantastic gift for the holidays. It would be perfect to give to a family, a foodie, cook, or anyone who wants a healthier way to enjoy soda. For additional information on the SodaStream Play, please visit SodaStreamUSA.com.

Baseball Coaches and Team Mom Gift Ideas

Disclosure 1

Lucas has been playing baseball since he was 4 years old. He started in the Peanut League and has played every season, including both spring and fall, since then.

Lucas up to bat with coach "daddy"

Lucas up to bat with coach “daddy”

He is now in Tee Ball and loves the game! We all do! Spring baseball season has just started here in Georgia and we are super excited to be at the ball park again!

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Since spring season has officially started, I wanted to share with you a few coaches and team mom gift ideas. As you probably know, Team Mom and coaches are volunteers. They volunteer their time and oftentimes their own money for the team. And, it’s not just Team Moms and coaches – many of the parents have to help throughout the season. On our teams, we usually have a Team Mom, Dugout Moms (among other things, these are fabulous moms who keep the kids from hitting each other with the bats in the dugout) a coach, and several assistant coaches who help at practice and are on the field with the kids during the games. It takes a village.

The 2013 Oriole's Team

The 2013 Oriole’s Team

In fact, I have been a Team Mom or co-Team Mom every single one of those seasons. Well, except one and that was last year’s spring season because I was weeks away from giving birth to Amelia. Good excuse, right?! Mike has always been an assistant coach until last year when he was asked to be a head coach. Last year, we were on the Oriole’s T-Ball Team and we had a fabulous end of year party where we got to celebrate the players and thank all of the parents who volunteered their time to the team.

I made the players personalized water bottles and bag tags, which they loved!

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The AMAZING Dugout Moms received a bath set from Philosophy and these very cute personalized makeup bags from Personal Creations. The Dugout Moms loved their gifts – both raved about the makeup bags. They loved that they were personalized! Can you believe these are priced between $14.99 – $19.99 – depending on the size. That includes personalization. Super cute!

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The coaches and assistant coaches all received a baseball that was signed by all of the players and these personalized wooden Rawlings baseball bats from Personal Creations.

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OMG. Honestly, the guys went NUTS. They were literally beaming ear to ear. They all laughed and joked that no one would ever be able to top the gifts lol.

 

All the coaches with their gifts

All the coaches with their gifts

With good reason too! The bats are gorgeous. These are full-sized adult bats that can be used. Mike has his on our bookshelf in the family room.

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As you probably noticed, we love Personal Creations! They are the perfect place to shop for coaches and Team Mom gifts because people love to receive a personalized gift. It makes the gift more special and unique. And, honestly – that’s what gifting is all about – making the recipient feel special, appreciated, and loved.

To check out additional coaches and Team Mom gift ideas, make sure to visit PersonalCreations.com. And, use coupon code JollyMom at checkout to get 20% off your entire order!

Olympic Party Treats & Crafts for Kids

Disclosure 1

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia officially kicked off this past Friday, February 7th. We are so excited to watch the games with our family and cheer on Team USA and Team Kellogg’s! To make it fun and festive, we decide to throw a little Olympic party complete with a few simple, but delicious treats!

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Olympic Torches made with Kellogg’s Corn Pops Cereal

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Ingredients:

7 cups corn pops cereal
1 10 oz. bag of large marshmallows
6 tbsp. unsalted butter
Ice cream cones (cake cones – with flat bottom)
Cooking spray

Directions:

In a large pot, melt 6 tbsp. of butter over medium high heat then add the 10 oz. bag of marshmallows. Stir until the marshmallows have all melted. Remove pot from heat and add the corn pops cereal. Mix until all the corn pops are covered in the marshmallow mixture. Using your hands, pack the cones with the corn pop treat mixture. It’s a good idea to butter or spray your hands with cooking spray while packing the cones.

Olympic colors Rice Krispies Treats – get the recipe HERE.


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We also decided to do a fun Olympic craft!

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Olympic Gold Medal Froot Loop Necklaces

Supplies:

Froot Loops
Gold medals
Yarn, Twine or Ribbon String
Scissors
Tape

Instructions:
Precut yarn, twine, or ribbon in the length of a long necklace. Tie a Froot Loop to one end so that when your child goes to thread the necklace the cereal doesn’t fall off the string and wrap the other end with a small piece of tape so that it’s easier for your child to thread.

Have your child thread the necklace until it is halfway full of Froot Loops and then thread through the gold medal. Continue adding Froot Loops until full and tie together to form a necklace.

Now we’re ready to cheer on our favorites, including Team Kellogg’s listed below!

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Watch Team Kellogg’s Start Stories:

Amy Purdy – Snowboarder

Meryl Davis & Charlie White – Figure Skating

Maggie Voisin — Freeskiing Slopestyle

Noelle Pikus-Pace – Skeleton

Gretchen Bleiler – Snowboarder

Torin Yater-Wallace – Freeskiing

Ted Ligety – Alpine Skiing

Sarah Hendrickson – Ski Jumping

Heath Calhoun – Alpine Skiing

 

Bowling Birthday Party FREE Invitation & Party Printables

As promised, today I want to share with you all of the printables I designed for Lucas’ bowling birthday party. Just follow the directions to download!

Bowling Birthday Party Invitation

Bowling Birthday Party Invitation

I wanted you to be able to customize the invitation and I’ve had trouble sharing as a editable doc because not everyone has the same software that I used to create. I decided the easiest way was to provide the file as a jpeg image. All you do to personalize and add your specific child’s party information is:

  1. Upload the image to PicMonkey (it’s FREE – you don’t even need an account).
  2. Click on the Text option on the left.
  3. Click Add Text, choose your font (see font information below), and simply type in the party information.
    — Font #1: (Color) 7f7f7f (Type) Quicksand
    — Font #2: (Color) Black (Type) Budmo Jiggler
  4. Save the image in the highest resolution.
  5. Open from your computer and print either 5×7 or 4×6. Easy peasy!

Download the Invitation by right-clicking on the image below and saving to your computer:

Bowling Birthday Party Invitation

 

Bowling Birthday Party Centerpieces 

To make these centerpieces, print and cut out the templates. Using simple scotch tape, attach a wooden dowel (or skewer) on the back of the cut-out template. I wanted these to have a pretty backside as well so I backed the “Strike” template with red card stock. With the bowling pins (because the shape is symmetrical) I was able to just glue another bowling pin on the back.

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Strike Callout Sign – click HERE to download

Bowling Pin – click HERE to download

Bowling Happy Birthday Party Sign – We enlarged the sign up to 18 x 24 and had it printed on vinyl at Kinko’s for $23, but you can enlarge as needed.

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Click HERE to download

Bowling Birthday Party Thank You Labels 

Goody Bags

Click HERE to download

 

Bowling Birthday Party Cupcake Toppers  (I actually glued these to red paper cups, but they can also be used as cupcake toppers. Use a 2-inch circular punch to cut out.)

Bowling Birthday Party

Click HERE to download

 

Lucas’ 6th Birthday! A Bowling Birthday Party

On our way home from Lucas’ 5th birthday party at the farm, it was decided that his 6th birthday would be a bowling birthday party. I was relieved. An indoor party! I wouldn’t have to stress about rain! Well, this past weekend – the big day finally arrived. My baby – my first baby – turned 6 years old and we threw a big bowling birthday bash for him. It was a blast!

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We chose to have the party at our local Stars and Strikes. This is such a great bowling alley for kids. It has a huge arcade, laser tag, and even bumper cars! We reserved a couple of the VIP Lanes, which have couches and big TVs and just has a cool vibe to it. Our colors? Red, black and light blue – kind of retro bowling colors. We set up a table in the corner with a light blue backdrop and a Happy Birthday sign that I designed. This table greeted the kids as they walked in. They grabbed their “bowling bag”, which contained a t-shirt that said, “This is how I roll” and signed Lucas’ bowling pin.

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The bowling bag labels said, “Thanks for rolling with us”. We made the t-shirts using an iron-on transfer that we purchased from Etsy. The design was only a few bucks and the t-shirts were less than $4 at Walmart. Super affordable and it’s a party favor that will actually be used and not tossed in the trash!

Even little Amelia got her own bowling shirt!

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Then, it was time to bowl! The bowling alley was decorated with lots of red and black polk-a-dot balloons and homemade centerpieces.

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While the kids were whisked away to play laser tag and bumper cars, Mike and I set up the party room.

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Thanks to Shari’s Berries, the dessert table was stocked full of yummy deliciousness!

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Birthday Cake Pops…so cute, right?! And, you can really light the candles!

Birthday Cake Pops

Birthday Chocolate Covered Strawberries…aren’t these pretty?!

Birthday Chocolate Covered Strawberries

and, Cupcakes. Vanilla Bean. Red Velvet. Chocolate. All handmade and divine!

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Seriously, you guys know that I bake. A lot. However, I have been traveling so much recently that I needed all the help I could get. These goodies were a life saver! The best part? They may have been convenient, but they tasted homemade and everyone loved them!

I actually added a homemade fondant bowling pin and ball to each cupcake to keep with our theme. Mike made these!

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Then, it was time to sing Happy Birthday and open presents!

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The kids ended the night playing video games at the arcade. They had a great time! Lucas kept telling us that “This was the best birthday party EVER!” All in all, I would say that it was a success!

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Stay tuned for all the bowling party printables that I designed in the coming weeks!

Thanks to Shari’s Berries for sending me complimentary goodies for Lucas’ birthday. However, all opinions are 100% my own. Please see this site’s Terms of Use for additional details. 

Free Birthday Printables! Cowboy Cupcake Toppers

As promised (albeit VERY late), today I’m sharing the Cowboy Cupcake Toppers that I created for Lucas’ 5th birthday party.

 

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The file that I’m sharing has three different types – a cowboy, a horseshoe, and a star. I used a 1 3/4 inch punch for the toppers and then I backed them on another piece of coordinating cardstock and used a 2 inch punch for that. Hope you like them!

 

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To download the cupcake toppers, click HERE.

For additional Cowboy Themed inspiration and FREE PRINTABLES, read the posts below:

Free Cowboy Invitation

Cowboy Birthday Ideas

 

 

 

FREE Printable Cowboy Birthday Invitation

As you guys know, Lucas just recently had his 5th birthday and it was cowboy themed! I designed his birthday invitation and wanted to share it with you today. It is in Word format, editable, and FREE to download – just make sure to only use for personal use and not for sale, etc. As you can see, I printed the invitation on a khaki cardstock and then glued the invitation on to red cardstock so it would pop. Hope you like it!

 

 

Download the FREE Printable Invitation HERE.

Important Notes:

  • The invitation preview before you download looks odd and jumbled, but the download is working correctly. I’ve checked it several times. 
  • Make sure to choose the DOC download in order to be able to EDIT the invitation.

Lucas Turns 5 Years Old – Kid’s Cowboy Themed Birthday Party!

On August 16th, my baby turned five years old. Five. I honestly cannot believe it. Time just zips on by in a flash. For his 5th birthday, we decided to go with a Cowboy theme and let me tell you – it was such a huge hit! We held the part at Rancho Alegre Farm, which I must recommend to anyone in the Metro Atlanta area – they were amazing!

For decor, we used red and blue balloons and homemade birthday banners…

The kids’ tables were decorated with tan tablecloths, gingham runners, and wildflowers and sunflowers in old milk bottles and tin cans. We used disposable pie tins for the plates, wooden forks and knives, and mason jars for the glasses.

The kids ate hot dogs, chips, and lemonade…

These were the adult food and beverage tables…

We grilled chorizos for the adults and there were also plenty of salads and sides as well… it was delish!

OK, so as the guests arrived they visited the photo booth for their “mug shot”, but first they had to get their gear! All the kids got cowboy hats and sherrif badges.

Plus, we had bandanas and mustaches to use at the photo booth.

The photo booth was a lot of fun!

From there, the kids were able to hit the playground or bounce house…

And then, they each got to go on a pony ride!

Then, it was time to for a hayride around the farm…

and then we headed over to pet the goats and the kids also got to milk a goat…

Whew! After all that activity –  it was time for cake – cupcakes, that is! We made “campfire cupcakes” (s’mores cupcakes), “yankee cakes”  (these were a play on boston cream pie), and “gaucho cakes” (made with dulce de leche frosting).

The birthday boy got to blow out the candles…

and, open presents…

Before the guests went home, everyone got to take home some goodies!

The kids all got a “mugshot” that we’d put together with pictures before the party and they also got gold nugget bubble gum.

Over the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing many cowboy goodies from the party – everything from FREE printable invitations, cupcake toppers and birthday banner to photo booth tutorials and where to get many of the items pictured above. Stay tuned, partner!

FREE Printables! Superhero Cupcake Toppers (Superman, Spiderman & Batman)

For Lucas’ Superhero birthday party, I made 75 cupcakes topped with Spiderman, Superman, and Batman toppers that I designed. Lucas literally squealed when he saw them LOL!

I actually printed extra and was able to use them throughout the party for the napkins…

and to decorate the mason jar cups for the kids…

It was an easy way to add an extra little touch and tie all of the decor together. Super cute and very affordable since the only cost is really paper, ink, and the lolli sticks for the cupcake toppers.

Of course, I am sharing these cute cupcake toppers with you guys! You can download them HERE for FREE! I’ll be sharing the cupcake recipes next week so stay tuned for those…

No Sew Superhero Capes (FREE Template)

For Lucas’ superhero birthday party, I made all of the kids their very own superhero capes. There’s no sewing involved in making these capes either so they are extremely easy to make and at about $2 per cape, they are also very affordable.



What You’ll Need:
Felt
Hot glue or spray glue
Velcro iron on strips
Download superhero cape template.

Instructions:

Once you have your cape cut out, then you will need to attach Velcro to the neck. I used the iron on Velcro, but if you have time — it is better to attach them with a few stitches by hand. The last thing is to decorate the back! Lucas got a spider for his favorite superhero–Spiderman!

For the rest of the kids, we simply cut out shields and stars from felt and attached them with spray glue. Easy peasy!