Twins Communion

Had to share these beautiful photos from our twins’ communion.  Thank you Jennifer Tippett for taking these beautiful shots.

Twins communion pose

I bought these  capelets on Amazon.

Twins communion pose

And here are some randoms shots within the church…

And with my mother’s rosary beads…

And I love the lighting here…

We had a shabby chic themed communion party- with peonies and baby’s breath.

Peony bouquet

Delicious cake & cookies by MommaZinga

Succulent favors were made with mini ball jars painted with chalk paint and tags made from the invitations by CustomInkDesigns on Etsy. I used soil specifically made for succulents.

Communion favors


Vintage Valentine’s Party

Our Valentine’s party was inspired by vintage Valentines. I found several images online that I used to create aprons, tote bags and decor.


I downloaded the images and selected some to print out on full sheet labels to decorate cups & heart decor.


I also printed them on iron-on paper and created tote bags and aprons for all our party guests.  The aprons are available on my Etsy site here.


Upon arrival, each girl was given an apron to start their cookie decorating.  Each plate was set with a large heart-shaped sugar cookie and there were about 4 dozen other heart shaped cookies in different sizes to be decorated as well.



There was quite a selection of icings, sprinkles, sparkles and writers to decorate their cookies.



The girls spent a good hour decorating cookies.


As they decorated, we put them on cookie sheets lined with wax paper & their names – to remember who made what cookie.


After the cookies were all decorated, we served pizza and pink punch.  When the icing dried, I put them in adorable cookie boxes I purchased at Target and wrote their name on each.


We served cake pops for dessert and the girls did a sewing craft (also purchased at Target), which wrapped up the second hour.


The two hours flew by!  Each girl went home with a tote bag holding their box of cookies as well as their own apron!


Nightmare Before Christmas Party

Part II to my original post- our Nightmare Before Christmas Party was a hit.

The favor bags could also serve as trick-or-treat  bags for Halloween:

Jack Skellington treat bags

I put them out on display and had the rest of them in the cauldron:

Jack Skellington treat bags

I updated our front door wreath to reflect our theme:

I also made Jack Skellington Oreo pops- I dunked Oreo’s in white candy bark and used a black edible icing pen to draw his face on each one:

We had our usual pick your own pumpkin to decorate:

And the make your own caramel apple station is always the most popular. I heat a block of Peter’s Creamy Caramel in the crock pot and then have bowls of nuts, m&ms, chocolate chips, and other goodies for our guests to dip into. I leave baking sheets lined with wax paper and have guests put their names on the Popsicle stick before putting it into the apple so that they can let their candy coated apples cool off on the wax paper and know which one is theirs when they come to eat it:

And each of my three little bees made a paper mache face mask of Lock, Shock & Barrel:

I cut up a large cardboard box to make the Nightmare Before Christmas backdrop. I dressed up like Sally and my husband was Jack. Some of our guests didn’t even recognize me with the face makeup! 😉

The Anatomy of a Nightmare Before Christmas Halloween Party – Part I

My girls have been obsessed with Jack, Sally and the gang from Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas for about 6 of the 7 years of their lives. So, it was only natural that we all agreed the theme for this year’s Halloween party would be the Nightmare Before Christmas.  Our party is set for October 22nd, and I have started party prep already.

From Jack Skellington party totes to home-made back drops and masks, I have many ideas in mind. Hopefully I don’t run out of time… or patience.

My first project was making the tote bag party favors.  I purchased the white-cotton tote bags in bulk from Oriental Trading here: White Tote Bags

Then I googled “Jack Skellington faces” to find the perfect image to use as a stencil.  I actually found a free stencil online here Stencil and printed it out on card stock paper.  Then I used fine scissors to cut the stencil out in detail.  I used black acrylic paint with a stain brush to fill in the stencil. *Before you start to paint- put a sheet of cardboard in the bag to prevent the paint from bleeding through to the back of the bag.*

Painting the stencil

Painting the stencil

And viola!  Tons of Jack totes which cost me less than $2 each!

tons of Jack totes!

tons of Jack totes!

I always like to start my Halloween parties giving each guest their special bag so that they can collect the crafts, pumpkins and goodies they get at the party.  But I always put something in it to start their adventure.

Consistent with the theme, I bought several packs of the white pumpkin notepads that are currently available in Target’s dollar section. They are 6 notepads for $3.


Then I googled “Jack Skellington faces” again and drew Jack’s face (with different expressions) on the cover of each pad.



So each Jack tote will include a Jack notepad, a Halloween themed stamper, and Little Monsters Band-Aids (also a $1 bin find at Target). I usually avoid candy- as the kids get enough and I never know who has what allergy.


And finally- another inspiration from Target’s dollar bins- I bought these two potions bottles for $3 each.


Then I found these free printables related to the Nightmare Before Christmas- specifically for Deadly Night Shade, Worm’s Wort and Frog’s Breath: NBC Labels

And attached them to the bottles using double-sided tape (printing on sticky label sheets would also work) and now we have some tempting potions…


Ever After High Raven Queen Birthday Party

My youngest insisted on having an Ever After High – Raven Queen birthday party.  I went to Pinterest for inspiration and there was not much out there.  So we had to get creative- as she was not going to be persuaded with anything else.

In a month of three birthday celebrations, I had to get creative. None of the Character Impersonators that I called had a Raven Queen character… some had not even heard of Ever After High.

Our theme colors were black, purple and silver.  My birthday girl chose a personalized Raven outfit on Etsy.


When our guests arrived, they were each given a tutu (red, purple or black) and a colored hair accessory.


I decided to make her party a two-fold craft party.  First- they each got to decorate their own wooden book box, which was personalized with each child’s first initial.


I set the table with a book at each seat and scattered jewel stickers along the table top to decorate their books.  The wooden books, the jewel stickers and the mini-frames with their initials were all purchased at Michael’s.


The girls were very artistic with their decorating.


After they were finished decorating their books, I added journals (2 for $1 at Michael’s) & Ever After High bracelets inside as a take home favor.


The girls then played Kiss the Frog


And I passed out Ever After High fortune tellers that I downloaded for free on their website. They have several fun downloads on their site.


After a quick lunch, the girls started their next project- decorate your own looking glass.

Make Your Own Looking Glass

I bought the mirrors on Amazon and used a metallic sparkle spray paint to give them the royal treatment. I also added the sparkly purple bows on each one.  I bought the skeleton key jewel stickers at Michaels, and each guest got to design their own mirror with the skeleton key sparkle stickers and other jewels.


Once all of their looking glasses were glammed out, we sang Happy Birthday to our birthday Queen!

Ever After High Raven cake


In addition to an amazing cake made by Momma Zinga, cake pops and purple rock candy were served.  I made the water bottle labels using a free template online.


A birthday fit for a royal!



Rainbow Dash Paint in Your Pajama Party

All three of my bees wanted their own themed birthday party this year. So within two weeks, we had a Harry Potter party, a Rainbow Dash Paint party and an Ever After High party.

My birthday girl is obsessed with all things rainbow and Rainbow Dash (from My Little Pony), so we went a little crazy with color!

We made it a birthday brunch, because I wanted to serve rainbow bagels with butter & various cream cheese spreads.  We also had a “Make Your Own Yogurt Parfait” bar where I had a large bowl of vanilla yogurt and smaller bowls of toppings including granola, chopped fruit, berries and chocolate chips.  Rain Dew consisted of a blue colored berry juice. And there was a coffee bar for the parents along with a pitcher of mimosas.  😉



I downloaded images of Rainbow Dash and put them on a page in Word. Then I printed the images of Rainbow Dash onto full sheets of label pages and cut each one out to make Rainbow Dash stickers which I used to decorate.


I bought Rainbow Dash fizzy drinks at Five Below and served them with bottled water with rainbow labels from Etsy.


We set up all the easels in our backyard under tents. The easels, painting supplies and art lessons were provided by Raine Art.  I bought the berets from Oriental Trading.



My birthday girl was in all her glory in her Rainbow Dash outfit with matching sneakers!


The kids learned how to paint unicorns.


While their paintings were drying, it was time to sing Happy Birthday and enjoy dessert!


We served vanilla cupcakes with rainbow toppers


Rainbow Dash cookies made by Momma Zinga


And lots of other sweet treats.  These free candy bar labels allowed me to personalize a birthday message.


I also made a (no-bake) rainbow sprinkle cheesecake which was a hit. And so easy to make!


The Birthday Girl and all her rainbows…


Everyone went home with their own fabulous work of art!



Dia de los Muertos Halloween Party 2015

For our second annual Halloween party, we decided to have a Dia de los Muertos theme.  My love for sugar skulls and Mexican culture further grew in the preparation and celebration at this party.

When guests arrived, they were given a treat bag to hold all the goodies they would gather at the party.


I also asked guests to sign our pumpkin to commemorate the party.


La Senora was there to great everyone and get photo ops.



There were lots of Dia de los Muertos craft activities for the kids. The Sugar Skull boxes were fun to decorate.  The chalkboard mugs were purchased on clearance at Michael’s for $0.70 each. I set up a station where guests could decorate their mugs using chalk markers.


The make your own caramel apple buffet is always a hit!  I use a block of Peter’s Creamy Caramel Sauce in a crock pot on the lowest setting.   Wooden popsicle sticks are in a cup which reminds guests to write their name on the sticks before adding an apple.  Usual toppings are mini chocolate chips, and assorted crushed nuts.  I lay out two cookie sheets lined with wax paper so that guests can leave their caramel dipped apples to cool off and pick them up later. (which is why naming your stick is important!)


Kids also picked their own pumpkin from our “pumpkin patch” and decorated them with Dia de los Muertos themed faces from Oriental Trading.



A large pot of chili was kept hot in a crock pot. I also made pumpkin shaped corn bread muffins, mummy hot dogs, chicken nuggets, Halloween shaped macaroni & cheese and served heroes.

Oktoberfest seasonal beer & hard apple cider were served to the adults (along with candy corn jello shots).


The kids were served apple cider, water and juice boxes.

For dessert, we put out a spread of themed cupcakes, lollipops, chocolate dipped pretzels & Oreos and goodies brought by guests.


Everyone went home will full favor bags & full bellies!


Minions Themed Birthday Party

Just in time for the Minions movie – my little bees are celebrating their birthdays together this month with one Minion celebration!  It was super easy to find Minions themed everything- as the movie is advertising out the wazoo…

We had their birthday party at a movie theater so that the kids could watch the movie together.

Here are a couple of things I did to prepare- as there was not much else required for entertaining and they were eating in a dimly lit movie theater.

For drinks- I used these free Minion water bottle labels and I bought different flavors of Motts juices that had their own Minions labels.



I also bought quite a few of the paper Minion eye masks and used them to decorate everything!  From yellow polka dot straw holders, to yellow paper plates and lanterns to plastic yellow construction hats (everyone was a Minion!).




I also bought Minion tote bags from the Target $1 section which I filled with Minion kites (again from Target $3.99) along with Minion water bottles (Target $1).

We made a Minion 3-D puzzle and it was our centerpiece (along with the Happy Meal Minion toys):


Pizza was served at the movie theater and for dessert we had Minion cupcakes (the fondant toppers were made by Momma Zinga and Minion cookies- which were sold locally.


We had a family party afterwards at the house- and the fun Minion photo props entertained the gang along with a Minion pinata.


I asked our local ice cream store Carvel to make an ice cream cake with yellow icing.  I made the Minion eyes with fondant.


And their adorable Minion pillow case dresses were made by CookieBellaCreations on Etsy.



Halloween 2014

This was our first attempt at a Halloween party. It is one of my favorite holidays and I wanted to make it a fun, non-scary event for the 3 & 4 year olds we invited, as well as entertain the adults.

For the adults, I bought Blavod Black Vodka (which came with the pumpkin top!) and made a signature drink called Black Magic. I also bought Halloween themed wine bottle labels (found on Amazon here), which transformed ordinary bottles of wine into “Spider Venom” and “Zombie Virus” among others.

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Decorations were all orange & black with a vintage vibe.


For the entertainment- aside from the kids entertaining each other- we had several stations:

Make your own caramel apples– I put a 5 lb. loaf of “creamy caramel” (found on Amazon Creamy Caramel) in a small crock pot on low to keep it warm & melted for hours. Guests could put their names on a Popsicle stick, and use it to dip the apple into the caramel and then dip it into a topping of their choice. I put out mini chocolate chips, chopped nuts, sprinkles and other toppings into festive bowls.  I also put out two large cookie trays lined with wax paper, so that guests could put their freshly dipped apples on the tray to cool and then come back later and find the one with their name.



Design your own Halloween bookmarks- A practical craft that they could take home to use later. (Bought at Oriental Trading here)


Decorate your own pumpkins- We bought mini pumpkins and let each kid pick one and decorate it with the kits also from Oriental Trading (found here).



We served heroes & salads, but also made Halloween shaped macaroni & cheese, Mummy hot dogs (wrapped with strips of crescent rolls), a huge pot of chili and lots of corn bread.  The desserts were scary!

Large marshmallows dipped in colored candy bark, witch hat cupcakes made with ice cream cones, candy corn cake pops, Franken-pretzels and Peeps ghosts in pudding graves.




Everyone left with a home-made Boo bag filled with edible skeletons and other fun Halloween treats. For the bags I used regular lunch bags and large letter stencils to mark them each with “BOO” in black acrylic paint. For the moon I used a circle paper cutter on yellow card stock. After I glued the moon on, I punched two holes in the moon to weave in black stitch witchery to look like bats.



Not so scary Halloween!

Super Girls

Super Girls



Princess Party

Our youngest Bee is obsessed with princesses… in fact she thinks she is one. So when we asked what kind of birthday party she wanted, she immediately answered “a dinosaur princess party.”  As I was contemplating how to incorporate dinosaurs & princesses, she changed her mind and decided just princesses.

I found some great princess party printables on Etsy (Amandas Parties To Go). They were absolutely adorable and so much was included. I love the ease of downloading the designs and being able to print as many as you need for multiple decorating uses.  I attached the “Happy Birthday” letters with pink ribbon and added a circular princess cutout to each of the fans.

Birthday Banner

Birthday Banner


Princess banquet

I also used the princess cutouts to create personalized favor bags. I hot glued the princess to a white gift bag and used colorful glitter fabric to make the dress 3-dimensional.  For the boys, I used frog princes.

Princess favor bags

Princess favor bags


Since my Baby Bee loves Snow White, I made a Snow White themed cake, with smaller cakes – Cinderella & Belle themed- for her sisters (who celebrate their birthday in the same month). I am not talented with fondant, so I just stick with the basics- like the appropriate princess color and a small symbol for each princess.



Cookies, candy & cake pops filled the princess banquet table.

Cake PopsDSC_0498DSC_0236DSC_0235DSC_0325DSC_0332

In addition to princess themed cakes, cookies and cake pops, we also had a make-your-own ice cream station. I printed the princess printables on round sticker labels and attached them to paper ice cream cups.  I also hand dipped ice cream cones into melted candy bark and dipped them into sprinkles for a magic touch.

Magic Cones

Magic Cones

Ice Cream Station

Ice Cream Station

In addition to a princess pinata, we also had face painting and a make-your-own-crown station which was perfect for both little girls and boys. I set up bowls of stick-on jewels, markers and glitter glue along with crowns to decorate.

Decorate your own crown

Decorate your own crown

Crown Decorating

Crown Decorating

I special ordered each of the girls princess sundresses from two separate talented dress makers. It was a magical day!

My Princesses

My Princesses

Snow White

Snow White