Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Elmo Breakfast Party

“I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Hasbro and Playskool. I received product samples and a party stipend to facilitate my review, as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”

We are Elmo obsessed in our house. Our little monster friend is the topic of many conversations with out little girl. She can't get enough of him and I love seeing the joy he brings into our family. We decided to hold a fun party celebrating the new Play All Day Elmo and themed it completely around Elmo. Here are all the details so you can throw your own Elmo party!

Since we had our party in the morning, I wanted most of the food to be breakfast food, with a few snacks. One side of the table had a big plate of waffles and the other side of the table I had a bowl of strawberries, raspberries and bananas to top the waffles with. In the middle of the table, I had a large plate of muffins and on the other side, waffles. For drinks I filled a pitcher with apple juice and put out red striped straws to match.

I found pinwheels, vases and bags of red sand all at our local dollar store. They made the perfect decorations for the table. I bought a package of different sized red paper lanterns at the craft store and cut out eyes and noses from construction paper and then taped them on to create Elmo lanterns.

These cute little Elmo cupcakes were so easy to make! All you need is cupcakes, red frosting in a piping bag with a star tip, candy eyes, and orange gumballs. Just make short stars all over the top of the cupcake with the frosting to give Elmo his fur and add the eyes and gumballs! Each cupcake takes just a minute or two and they are SO darling!

What would Elmo be without Dorthy? I created these little Dorthy marshmallow pops with marshmallows, sucker sticks, blue chocolate, white sprinkles and Fish Grahams.

These were the party favors for our guests! Instead of planning any party games, we used Play All Day Elmo — I mean, he's so much fun for the kids as it is! We played a hopping game and the kids favorite, Freeze Dance, with Elmo. Elmo has two different modes: toddler, which allows you to tickle and play with Elmo, and preschool mode, which has games and activities such as Pat-a-Cake, Elmo Says and Red Light, Green Light. Elmo has more than 150 responses and eight games! It also has nap-time mode where Elmo sings you a lullaby and stays quiet until you are ready for him again! My toddler LOVED nap-time mode after the party when I let her take Elmo to her nap!

Since Elmo has sensors inside, he can tell when he is in the air or upside down. The kids had a blast flipping him over all directions and watching his reaction.

Play All Day Elmo is available at nationwide retailers.

After we played with Elmo, we took a break and opened up the toys for each of the guests.

My Little Pony has a new Playskool My Little Pony Friends line that is a preschool friendly version of My Little Pony. I am SO thrilled they have started this line. My toddler loves her sister's ponies, but it drives her sister crazy when she messes up their hair. Now sister has her own ponies to play with, but let's be honest, both my girls love the new playset.

We also tested out the Jurassic World Tyrannosaurus Rex that has a chomping action with its tail.  His eye light up and he can gobble up small things that you put on the ground. Of course, my little kid thinks he makes a great pony apparently. ;)

We had so much fun celebrating Elmo and our little ones with this party! Elmo is such a fun part of our lives and I have no doubt this is not our last Elmo party!

Who would you host an Elmo party for?
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Monday, September 28, 2015

Bacon Avocado Grilled Cheese Skewers

There are few things that go together quite like lunch and grilled cheese, but a plain grilled cheese sandwich can get boring after awhile, so why not mix it up a little. We came up with these fun grilled cheese skewers. You get all the fabulous taste of grilled cheese with some extra veggies. I am never going to complain about my kids eating extra veggies without complaining. Something about putting veggies on a stick makes it fun to eat.
You will need:

First cut the crust off of the bread and butter the outside sides of it. Cut the strips of bacon into thirds and fry in a pan until crispy.
Layer creamy of jalapeno Havarti, bacon and avocado on your sandwich. We use Arla Dofino cheese because it is free from hormones and preservatives. So I feel good about giving it to my kids.
Cook your grilled cheese in a pan until golden brown. Flip over and repeat.
Cut each sandwich into four sections. Slide a quarter onto a skewer followed by a cherry tomato and slice of red bell pepper and more avocado if desired. Repeat until your skewer is full.
Stand back and watch your kids gobble up their lunch.

Right now Arla Dofino is hosting a Snack-to-School Facebook sweepstakes until October 15, 2015. One winner will receive a semesters worth of Arla Dofino cheese and a Genuine Thermos lunch kit.
Visit the Arla Dofino Facebook page at  click the Sweepstakes tab, and follow the instructions to complete the provided registration form to receive one entry.

What is your favorite kind of grilled cheese?
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Pitch Perfect 2 Movie Night!

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #ThePitchesatWMT
The Pitches are back! When Pitch Perfect 2 came out, we still hadn't seen the first one. My husband ended up going to the movie with a bunch of coworkers and then informed me that it was something that I HAD to see. We got our hands on the first one that night and laughed harder than we have in a long time. When the second one came out on video, we immediately planned a movie night to celebrate, complete with our favorite it "Crushed It," crushed candy bar dip, a fun printable and a cute CD craft to give the kiddos something to do! We bought the Special Edition set at Walmart that included the movie and a soundtrack with sounds from both movies.
This dip is hands down one of my favorite treats. Every time I am crushing the candy bars for it, I can't help but channel Fat Amy and yell "Crushed it!" It was the perfect thing for our movie night. I try to only make it when we have friends coming over because I know I can and will eat it all myself if given the opportunity. It is easy to make and perfect for serving with fruit.

You will need: 

  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup White Sugar
  • 1/2 bag of Toffee Pieces
  • 1 Brick of Cream Cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • frozen Heath bars

Mix together everything but the frozen Heath bars until the dip is smooth. I like to make mine with cold cream cheese so the dip is stiffer but you can use softened cream cheese for a smoother dip. Mix just until the dip is combined. DO NOT over mix or you will loose the crunch of the toffee.Take a hammer or other hard object and crush the candy bars still in their wrappers. Unwrap and sprinkle the crumbs on the top of the dip.

Serve with fruit. I love to serve it with Granny Smith Apples. The tart and the sweet go together perfectly.
As part of our movie night, I wanted to make this printable to celebrate our favorite line from the first movie. You can find the printable at the end of this post. I used a bottle of glue to fill in the MMM..... and then sprinkled glitter on top of it, to give it more of that Pitch Perfect feel.
My daughter was bummed when she found out that she wasn't going to get to stay up and watch the movie with us, so we created a fun craft in the beginning that left her creativity shine and was a lot of fun.

You will need: 

  • an old cd
  • craft foam
  • sequins, jewels 
  • glue
  • scissors

Help you child cut out the fins, tail and mouth from any color of craft foam and glue to the CD
Hand you child the bottle of glue and a bag of sequins and let them go crazy. We bought an assorted bag of all different kinds so my daughter could make whatever she wanted.
After they are finished gluing sequins everywhere, allow to dry and then hang up using string. My daughter loved making this and she was able to do everything pretty much on her own, which made it the perfect craft to keep her occupied during our movie night.
Head to Walmart to grab the exclusive Pitch Perfect 2 Blu-Ray/Soundtrack combo pack. Soundtrack includes some of your favorite songs from Pitch Perfect and Pitch Perfect 2 (while supplies last) to create your own fun Pitch Perfect 2 movie night.
What would you include in your movie night?

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Friday, September 25, 2015

Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus

 We just got back from the Circus and it was absolutely incredible! Even after a long day at Comic Con my girls were mesmerized. One of our favorite parts this year was that they handed out light up wrists bands to everybody before the show. The wrist bands would light up in sync to the music. It really added something amazing to the show.
 I look forward to the human cannonball every show. It is my absolute favorite part. It tickles my 6-year-old pink that the cannonball is a girl. She always cheers extra loud for her!
Some of the best parts were the

  • Xtreme Sports display featuring BMX freestyle riders, energetic parkour performers, trampoline acrobats and slack line gymnastics tricks
  • Caravan of Camels – the only act of it’s kind in the world featuring 6 twin-humped Bactrian camels
  • Bungee Skydivers aerial acro-ballet
  • World’s youngest human cannonball Gemma “The Jet” Kirby has been shot from the cannon nearly 500 times
  • Mongolian Marvels strongmen create a human pyramid with a combined weight of over 880 pounds
 The strong man part of the show and the elephants were amazing! The whole circus is breath taking with fireworks and shows. My girls had a blast. There is still time for you to make it to the circus!
Friday, September 25                         3:30 PM & 7:00 PM
Saturday, September 26                    11:30 AM, 3:30 PM & 7:00 PM
Sunday, September 27                       1:00 PM & 4:30 PM
Monday, September 28                      7:00 PM
Ticket prices range from $20, $35 (VIP) and $65-70 (Front Row)*
  • Kids (ages 2-12) tickets available for only $10 each for select seating on weekday shows
  • Save 50% on Opening Night discount tickets  (select seating only; not valid on VIP/Front Row levels)
Can’t go on opening night but still want a discount?  Buy your tickets online and use the code MOM at checkout for $5 off. You can use the code on the following shows.
  • Friday 3:30pm & 7:00pm, Saturday 11:30am, Sunday 4:30pm, Monday 7:00pm
  • $26 and $20 tickets only
  • Limit 8 per order
  • Valid online only with code
  • Good through showtime
  • Additional fees may apply
Who are you going to take to the circus with you? I had a vampire with purple teeth and a butterfly with me. Top that! ;)

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Easy Spaghetti Carbonara

Do you ever want restaurant-quality food in just a few minutes without having to leave your house? Then you will LOVE this recipe. It's delicious, fresh, and the best part? So easy. This is my favorite go-to recipe for when people come over because everybody loves it.

You will need:

  • 1 pkg spaghetti 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup fresh, grated Parmesan cheese
  • 12 slices bacon, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 Tbsp parsley
  • 1/4 cup water

  1. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions and drain. 
  2. Cook the bacon in a large pan until crispy. Stir the garlic into the the bacon and stir for about a minute.
  3. Whisk the eggs and cheese together in a small bowl. 
  4. Add the pasta to the pan and stir. 
  5. Quickly add the egg mixture, stirring continuously. Make sure to work the eggs in quickly. 
  6. Add the peas, the seasonings and water, stirring over low heat until the peas are warm.
  7. Top with more freshly shredded Parmesan and serve immediately. 

Who knew you could create something so delicious in 15 minutes? Are you a spaghetti carbonara fan?

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Terracotta Dalek Statue

This little friend came from a conversation I had with my best friend. We are both crazy Whovians and when she saw a little garden statue on another blog, she remarked that it kind of looked like a Dalek. It that moment, my dream of having a Dalek Garden statue was born. A little bit of planning and painting later and now I want a whole fleet of them. I need them to exterminate the weeds in my backyard. ;) This cute little friend is perfect for the garden of the house and is really easy to make!

You will need:

  • Two Terracotta Pots (You can make whatever size you want, just make sure you smaller one fits nicely on top of your larger one) 
  • Two Small Wood Pots (If you are making a large Dalek, you can use small Terracotta ones, since I made a medium sized one, I need smaller pots which I found in the craft wood) 
  • White Paint
  • Blue Paint
  • Black Paint
  • Black Spray Paint
  • Dalek Body Paint (Red, Blue, Gold, White) 
  • A circle stencil 
  • Craft Wire
  • A Push Pin
  • Hot Glue
  • A Rubber Toy Popper like these
  • Clear Spray Paint

Paint your terracotta Pots the color you want your Dalek body to be. In my case, I chose red because in the two times I have had my baby cosplay a Dalek she was red both times. Allow the pots to dry completely in between coats. I had to do a couple of coats to get the look right. Take your and paint black circles in rows along the bottom pot. Paint the bottom lips of your pots black as well. 

On the smaller of the two pots, paint a bigger black circle in the middle of the pot. Allow the circle to dry completely and then paint a blue smaller circle inside of it. Paint your small wooden pots white and when everything is dry, hot glue them to the top of the pots, on either side of the small terracotta pot. Push the push pin through the back of the toy popper and hot glue it. Spray the push pin and popper together and then hot glue the pin to the large pot, right under where the smaller pot rests. 

Take two pieces of craft wire and bend them into ovals. Place one oval inside the other and then bend the ends up. Add hot glue to the ends and slide them between the two pots, by the toy popper and there you have it, a Dalek, whisk and all. ;) 

Who is your your favorite Doctor Who Villain? 

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