This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SoHoppinGood #BlueBunny #CollectiveBias
Summer is almost over and my kids are getting antsy! To beat the heat, I threw a Back to School Ice Cream Social for all the neighborhood kids!
What kid doesn’t love ice cream? I mean… what adult doesn’t love ice cream? So when Blue Bunny® reached out and asked me to throw a Back to School Ice Cream Social and said absolutely!
I didn’t want to spend a fortune on this party, so I kept my expenses under $40 and created a super fun afternoon of games and ice cream for the kids!
Ice Cream Cone Bunting
Walmart has black triangle-shaped bunting in their party section which made creating this ice cream cone bunting really simple.
Using the chalk that came with the bunting, draw lines across the triangles to make the lines of the ice cream cone.
Cut out ice cream scoop shapes using primary color construction paper.
Glue them with a glue stick to the top of the bunting triangles!
I also had some tissue paper tassels from past parties, so I strung a few together to finish off the bottom of the dessert table.
I used two pencil boxes to hold some of the party items I had for the ice cream social.
These boxes are really inexpensive at Walmart ($0.49 each) and were the perfect size to hold the sprinkles and the ice cream snacks.
To add height to the ice cream display table, I used cake stands. Cake stands are a great way to bring visual appeal to the table, add height and highlight something special on your tablescape.
Games & Activities
And ice cream social isn’t complete without games and activities!
Make Your Own Ice Cream Cone
Paper straws (optional)
Cut out triangles to create the cone shape
Cut out circles in various colors/sizes
Glue the circles onto the cone to create you ice cream cone. Add as many scoops as you like!
Using the crayons/markers add sprinkles, cherries, or anything else you want to your ice cream.
Optionally, glue your ice cream cones to the paper straw so you can hold them up on a stick!
No party is complete without a photo booth! The set up for this photo booth was super simple because Walmart sells complete kits in their party section!
The kids loved trying on the different faces, masks, and hats!
Okay… I loved it too!
Bubbles & Chalk
I always like to have some simple, easy activities for kids at parties and this almost always includes bubbles and chalk. Kids love this and you just can’t go wrong!
Now the best part of the party… the ice cream! Blue Bunny® recently came out with our new 2017 lineup of ice cream flavors and treats so I was super excited to pick out my favorite flavors!
For this Back to School Ice Cream Social I chose to serve Blue Bunny® Mint Cookie Crunch and Blue Bunny® Bunny Tracks® ice cream as well as Blue Bunny® Cookies N Cream Blue Bunny® Bunny Snacks™.
Bunny Snacks™ are the perfect bite-size treat available in four must-have flavors: Salted Caramel Pretzel, Chocolate Vanilla Twist, Chocolate Chip Cookie and Cookies ‘N Cream.
Blue Bunny® products are available at Walmart stores nationwide and include these awesome ice cream flavors: Rockin’ Rocky Road™, Monster Cookie Mash, Toffee Brownie Twist™ and Mint Cookie Crunch. Additionally, Cherrific Cheesecake, which had been a seasonal flavor, is now available year-round.
I used a baking rack designed to hold ice cream cones to make serving the ice cream easier. The kids got to add fun sprinkles to their ice cream cones and then devoured the delicious ice cream!
I hope you are inspired by my Back to School Ice Cream Social! My kids and their friends had so much fun and all asked for seconds (and thirds) of the delish ice cream!
Enjoy the remaining days of summer and have a great school year!
Treat your family to a fun summer day at the park with this Kid Friendly Picnic and Charcuterie Board!
Let me set the scene for you. It’s a beautiful summer day and you want to get the kids out of the house and setting up the Picnic Table for a fun afternoon at the state park. Food, games, and exploring. Sounds great, right? Sounds great until you realize that you’ll need to make and pack lunches and snacks and that is a lot of work when you just want a simple afternoon.
So, you decide to rummage through your kitchen to find finger foods that you and the kids can enjoy all afternoon at the picnic table of the park and the idea comes to you… Charcuterie Board (aka cheese board)!
Then you realize your kids are not about to eat stinky cheese and seed filled bread just because you like it. So you have to come up with a way to incorporate the things your kids love into a picnic & charcuterie board your kids will actually enjoy!
Here’s how I incorporated the food I love with the food my kids love too!
Let’s start with the charcuterie board first. I was given this slate board by Rock Timber to try out in exchange for the use of photos on their blog.
The black slate they sent me is a beautiful and unique hand-cut and food-safe chiseled slate, handcrafted with a smooth face and natural edge.
You can use any wood or slate board for your charcuterie, however it’s just really more fun with it’s on beautiful slate from Rock Timber!
Cheese & Fruit
As you can see in the photo above, I selected a variety of cheese and fruit to satisfy everyone. I paired milder cheese like fontina and white cheddar that I know my kids already love with stronger cheeses such as brie and goat cheese for the adults. The “stinky cheese” as my kids call it.
In my family, apples and cheddar cheese always go together so I included honeycrisp apple slices as well. A few cherries and blueberries mixed with red currants finish off the board.
Bread & Crackers
I kept it simple with the bread and crackers to go with the charcuterie board. When you make this, include your favorite breads but keep in mind what your kids like too!
I chose a whole grain bread with seeds and White Thin crackers which were perfect with the cheese.
Not only does firm cheese go well with apples, cream cheese and brown sugar do too! Accompanying the other items on the picnic table was a bowl of Fruit Dip made with cream cheese, brown sugar, and chocolate chips.
This Fruit Dip goes great with almost every fruit as well as cookies such as vanilla wafers and graham crackers!
I wanted to keep the dessert for this picnic simple so I made Muddy Buddies. Not just any recipe though, these are Lemon Blueberry Muddy Buddies made with fresh lemon and Blueberry Chex.
(Chex supplied me with the supplies to make these Muddy Buddies, but I totally would have made them myself anyway because they are delish!)
Don’t be afraid to go simple by choosing cheese you know your kids will love. Serving it on the board makes it fun and special and your kids will pick up on that.
Not everything has to be the most expensive item at the deli. Creating a delicious charcuterie board doesn’t have to break the bank. You can still serve items found in your kitchen already or at the store within your budget.
Presentation is key. Once you have the items you love… get creative! Cut the cheese into octagons, triangles or rectangles. Arrange the cheese on the board in a way that makes it look special. Do more than just stacking in piles. Spread the cheese and other food out makes it feel special.
Don’t forget dessert! Finger foods are perfect for picnic desserts.The less silverware and serving utensils you need, the better.
I really encourage you to get out there and put together a picnic and charcuterie board for your family! There are no rules when it comes to food like this… just fun!
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #DrPepperPickYourPepper
If you’re anything like me, whenever you see a unicorn your heart skips a beat and your heart fills with thoughts of rainbows and all thinks pink! Let this Backyard Unicorn Party tutorial filled with mystical must-haves show you that unicorn dreams really do come true and they come in shades of pastel cotton candy and cupcakes.
Backyard Unicorn Party
To throw your own Backyard Unicorn Party, you’ll need to start with some inspiration! My inspiration came from the limited edition Dr Pepper® “Pick your Pepper” packaging that features a unicorn on each can!
From there, everything to plan this backyard party was themed around the unicorn. All the pink. All the purple. All the teal. All the pretties! All the unicorns!
These limited edition Dr Pepper cans along with other designs can be found at your local Kroger store and from June 15 – August 15 (or while supplies last). June 21 – August 15, if you buy 3 Dr Pepper 12pk or 8pk 12oz (any variety), you get a FREE 20oz!
Make sure to scan the Snapchat code on your free 20oz bottle to receive an exclusive Pick Your Pepper Snapchat filter. Use this filter to take pictures at your party for added fun!
Defining the Space with Decorations
Since this is a Backyard Unicorn Party, I knew I wouldn’t need too many decorations to hang on walls, etc. However, I wanted to use some elements of the party to help define the space we were using.
The dessert table is always a focal point at my parties. I fill it with themed desserts and display them using texture, themed colors, cake stands and coordinating plates.
For this unicorn party, I used paper circle fans to add height to the space as well as using tassel garland to bring the table down. Doing this is an easy way to add drama to the dessert table and entire party.
The main table was so fun to set up! Each place setting featured a plate for the meal and one for dessert as well as a napkin, candy suckers and a unicorn sugar cookie! Of course, Dr Pepper Pick Your Pepper unicorn cans were included with each setting.
The centerpiece of the table was a vase filled high with balloon wands and on each side of the wands were Dr Pepper Cream Pops. Yum!
I always like to provide extra seating aside from the main table at a party. To define this space, I hung a tissue tassel garland over two chairs positioned at an angle in the corner. On the chairs sat a plush unicorn pillow and the party favor.
Dessert Table Details
One of my favorite details at a party are the sweet desserts featured on the dessert table. For this party, all the desserts were unicorn and fairytale themed!
The cupcakes were super simple to make. I used a vanilla box cake mix and baked the cupcakes in my favorite pink and white dot cupcake liners. I topped the cupcakes with purple whipped vanilla buttercream and a mix of super cute sprinkles.
Simple to make and super cute!
Cereal treats are my go-to dessert at parties. They are the simplest dessert to make because they are only 3 ingredients and take only5 minutes to put together.
For this unicorn party, I added a few drops of pink food gel coloring to the melted marshmallow before adding the cereal treats. I then added a variety of themed sprinkles to the mix and more on top. Perfect for this party!
I’ve seen candy bark on tops of cakes and have always wanted to make it myself. This unicorn party was the perfect excuse! Follow these easy steps to make Unicorn Bark:
Melt pink, purple, blue and white candy circles in separate bowls.
Immediately drop colors of melted candy onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper until it’s covered.
Pound the baking sheet flat on the counter to level out the colors.
Use a knife or spatula to swirl the colors together
Finish off with a sprinkle mix!
Allow to harden completely (3-4 hours)
Using a sharp knife on a flat surface, press into the bark until it breaks organically. Don’t force this process, the bark looks better when it breaks on its own.
To save myself some time, I also purchased a few items at the store to fill out the candy table. My kids love salt water taffy and cotton candy, so that was what I picked for this party!
You could use any candy for this that matches your colors!
Dr Pepper Cream Pops
Of course, I had to make something delicious using Dr Pepper! Being a backyard party, I created a simple, yet delicious cream pop flavored with Dr Pepper. You can see the complete recipe for the Dr Pepper Cream Pops at the bottom of this post.
Unicorn Sugar Cookies
No party would be complete for me without sugar cookies frosted with buttercream! I used my favorite recipe for the cookies and buttercream and found a unicorn cookie cutter at the craft store.
The supplies you’ll need are:
Disposable piping bags
Piping tip #3 (very small round) and #17 (small star) and #1 (tiny round)
Buttercream in white, pink, purple, and black
Edible gold dust & small paint brush (new)
To decorate the cookies:
Fill a piping bag fitted with the #3 small round tip with white frosting.
Pipe the horn on the cookie first with the white. Using the edible gold dust and the small brush, tap the dust onto the frosting horn until completely covered. Tap off the excess.
Still with the white, pipe a border around the entire cookie. Using a back and forth motion, fill in the cookie with buttercream.
Take a piping bag fitted with the #17 small star and fill it with half purple and half pink frosting. (Press the first color against the side of the bag all the way to the bottom then repeat with the second color. Squeeze the bag gently until both colors come out.)
Pipe small stars/swirls where the unicorn mane would be.
Fill a piping bag fitted with the #1 tiny round tip with black buttercream. Pipe eyes and lashes onto each cookie.
Games & Party Favors
This unicorn party had to have party favors and games! Seriously, it’d be no fun without them! Simple games and prizes are a must for my parties!
Pick Your Pepper Ball Toss
Super simple and fun game for any party is the ball toss!
Simply stack up 10 cans of Dr Pepper and toss a ball at them. First person to knock them all down on the first try, WINS!
Great thing about this game, no extra supplies needed!
Since we couldn’t ride actual unicorns at this party, the next best thing is to use our magical fairytale wands to wish for them.
To make the wands you’ll need:
Long craft sticks
To assemble the wands you’ll need to:
Fill each balloon with confetti.
Blow the balloon up with air and tie it with a knot.
Using the curing ribbon, tie the bottom of the balloon (under the knot) to the craft stick with a tight knot.
Add extra ribbon and curl.
As a prize for the game or a party favor for one lucky guest at your party, provide them with a gift! At my local craft store, I spotted this unicorn patch and coordinating clutch. For just a few dollars, I DIY’d a themed gift for the party!
Your unicorn party doesn’t have to look like mine because inspiration can come from anywhere and be anything! So, make sure to check out the Dr Pepper Pick Your Pepper 12oz cans and 20oz bottles this summer and get inspired to create a fun party for your friends and family!
Dr Pepper Cream Pops
Prep Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 12 hours
1 container of Extra Creamy Vanilla Ice Cream, softened
1 can Dr Pepper
12 ice pop molds
In a large bowl, scoop in the softened ice cream
Slowly pour the Dr Pepper in with the ice cream
Using a whisk or hand mixer/immersion blender, mix together the ice cream and Dr Pepper until smooth.
Transfer the mixture into a measuring cup that pours.
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #EnterTheWonderVault #CollectiveBias
Friends, I’m so excited for this post because it’s sponsored by two of my favorite brands, OREO and Kroger!
Best Friends Movie Night
Hosting a Best Friends Movie Night doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking. It’s really simple and doesn’t have to cost a fortune! My friend invited me to her house for a movie night and it was amazing! She told me to check out Home Cinema installation in London to get a home cinema installed and it looks great. Follow these guidelines and enjoy a Best Friends Movie Night of your own!
Call your best friend and invite her over!
Go shopping for snacks! One of my favorite stores to shop at is Kroger. There are things in Kroger that I just can’t find anywhere else… which is seriously why I love it so much! One of my favorite snacks is anything OREO! At Kroger, you can find all your favorite OREO products on cookie aisle!
For this Movie Night, I decided on two of my favorite flavors, OREO Red Velvet and OREO Birthday Cake, which I bought at the Kroger in Richmond, VA. Life wouldn’t be as “Wonderfilled” without OREO sandwich cookies. #EnterTheWonderVault However there are a variety of Wonder Vault OREO sandwich cookies to choose from including: Red Velvet 12.2 oz Cinnamon Bun 12.2 oz Birthday Cake 15.25 oz Salted Caramel 10.1oz (available 6/17/17) Find your local Kroger/Kroger Family of Stores to get your OREO sandwich cookies here!
Set Up for Movie Night I love getting things ready for parties and events. Making it all pretty is one of my favorite things.
I kept it simple for this movie night. I placed a few rows of OREO sandwich cookies on a platter, grabbed a bowl of popcorn and a pretzels, and two glasses of milk.A few fun napkins, blankets, pillows and our favorite movie is all that was left to get ready!
Enjoy! Now is the fun part! Get under those blankets, put the movie on and have fun!Whether your favorite way to eat an OREO is to dunk it or twist it, OREO sandwich cookies make the perfect snack for movie night!My favorite is dunking!! I love how soft the OREO gets when it’s soaked in milk. So yum!My second favorite way to eat an OREO… in a cupcake! (Did I mention that I have a recipe for OREO Red Velvet cupcakes? Of course I do!)
Buy One, Get One
Buy one Wonder Vault flavor OREO and get a free MILKA OREO Chocolate Candy Bar at Kroger grocers; offer valid 6/14 – 6/20.
In-store Kroger demos happening 6/15-6/18. Demos will present Kroger-exclusive recipes, information on the newest OREO flavors, Limited Edition varieties, the new MILKA OREO Chocolate Candy Bar, fun facts about the history of OREO and Kroger, and much, much more.
And let me tell you why I’m excited about this BOGO offer! MILKA is one of Europe’s leading chocolate brands, made with milk from the European Alps and the finest cocoa bans. The ALPS!!!!
Crunchy bits of OREO + Crème Filling + Rich MILKA Chocolate Candy… you can’t go wrong with this combo!
I lived in Bavaria for 5 years and grew to love all things MILKA! Seriously, I am so excited about this BOGO offer!!!!
So head over to Kroger, grab your favorite OREO sandwich cookies (don’t forget the BOGO MILKA OREO Chocolate Candy Bar) and enjoy a Best Friends Movie Night!
Have you ever hosted a child’s birthday party at home? Have you ever wondered how to stop 15 sugar-filled children running around your kitchen and climbing on your gloss dining table and chairs? Instead of hosting your child’s next birthday at home, why not bring the party to their school?! Use this How to Host a Paw Patrol Party at School guide for inspiration and recipes!
Sometimes hosting a party for your kids can be stressful! Figuring out where and when to host the party to get the greatest number of children to attend can be a chore! If your child’s school allows it, have their next party at their school. You can speak to the school about what the party will involve. If you suggest the idea of having inflatables for the kids to play on in the playground and the school agrees with it, you could get in touch with that family friend who is a kids party planner and speak to them and see if you can use the inflatables that they purchased through companies like JungleJumps. The earlier you plan this party, the more you can do to make this party so much fun for the kids! School parties mean that all your child’s friends will be there, plenty of tables and chairs, plus teachers to help! For Matty’s 5th birthday this year, we had his Paw Patrol Party at his school! It was one of the most fun parties I’ve ever hosted for him so I wanted to create a guide so that you can host a Paw Patrol Party at school too!
In this guide, you’ll get ideas for…
Table Settings & Party Decor
Dessert Table w/ Recipes
Party Games & Favors
Thank you Note/Group Photo
Let’s get started!
Having your child wear a shirt in the theme of the party just adds another simple dimension of fun to the entire look at feel of the event.
In the past, I’ve done matching shirts for my entire immediate family, but this year I decided to just get the birthday boy one shirt of his own to wear.
A few weeks before the party, I searched on ETSY for a birthday shirt in the Paw Patrol theme that Matty could wear to his party. I contacted Mending Life Together and asked if they could make Matty’s shirt and get it to me in time.
They worked with me to get it done and I had the shirt in time for the party!
Table Settings & Party Decor
I’m a firm believer in saving myself time, energy and stress. Which is exactly why I don’t stress about buying out Party City of plates, napkins, cups, balloons, and confetti in the theme of my party!
At the party store save yourself the hassle and buy the following on theme:
Plates and napkins*
Silverware & cups*
Tissue paper tassels
Get creative with the items you choose. They all don’t have to be on theme exactly, however they should all be in the same color family.
At the Paw Patrol Party, I set the table with a red table cover so that the plates and napkins would stand out against it. I choose blue cups to offset the red add another color to the table.
Simple and perfect for 5 year olds!
Planning the decor for a party for 5-year-old kids is pretty easy. They are really only impressed if their favorite characters are plastered everywhere! I only care how easy it is to clean up after the party!
Two balloon bouquets lined each side of the table to add height to the overall look and feel of the party. I also sprinkled Paw Patrol themed confetti across the center of the table & dessert table to add a little more fun!
Since this party was happening during snack time at school, I knew that my snack should be fun but also have a healthy component.
For this party, I served:
Paw Patrol fruit snacks
Paw shaped Cheetos
Every party I host always has some type of dessert table display. For this Paw Patrol Party, I kept it simple since we were at school.
I improvised with shelving and furniture that was already in the classroom to create my Dessert Table! I cut a Paw Patrol plastic table cover to fit the shelving and sprinkles confetti over the top.
To add height and dimension to the table, I placed a small box under the table cover in the center in turn creating a higher focal point for the cake which was the centerpiece of the display.
The cake is always the star of the party. Candles are put on top and the first slice is always for the birthday boy. Since I don’t work a lot with fondant or modeling chocolate, I decided to buy a Paw Patrol toy to top the cake.
Frosting the cake in a solid color and adding simple piping embellishments allowed the topper of the cake to shine and still look clean and professional!
The cake is a funfetti box cake mix with a homemade chocolate frosting and whipped vanilla buttercream tinted blue on the outside. The red balls on top are gum balls I got at in the bulk section at the party store.
The same funfetti box cake mix was used for the cupcakes. I baked the cupcakes in Paw Patrol liners I found at the party store. The cupcakes are topped with the same chocolate frosting used on the cake and cookies.
One of the easiest ways to create another dessert on theme of your party is to make roll & cut sugar cookies using a themed cookie cutter! For this Paw Patrol Party I used a dog bone shape cutter and frosted the cookies in chocolate frosting.
I displayed the dog bone cookies on a cake stand with blue ribbon to tie in more colors from the party.
The cookies were made with my tried and true sugar cookie recipe and topped with chocolate frosting (the same used in the cake & cupcakes). I used a Wilton #4 piping tip to outline and fill the cookies with frosting.
Party Games & Favors
I know how short kid’s attention spans can be so I combined the party favors and games into one activity.
I set up three stations for the kids to go to.
Paw Patrol themed small toys, games, rules, rings, etc from the party store. Small paper bags and markers. Each child will write their name on the bag then answer a fun/silly question before getting to pick out 2-3 items from each bowl.
Paw Patrol themed candy plus bulk candy in the colors of the party – all from the party store. Small paper bags and markers. Each child will write their name on the bag then answer a fun/silly question before getting to pick out 2-3 items from each bowl.
Paw Patrol temporary tattoos from the party store.
Thank You Note & Group Picture
At the conclusion of the party, arrange the children with the balloons for a fun group picture! This photo can be printed and included in the thank you notes to all the children who attended the party!
Since this party was at school and on a quick timeline (only an hour for the party), I had to be realistic about the activities I had planned. If I would have had another hour to fill, I would have included an arts/crafts project and a group game that got them up and moving.
The kids had a great time and the teachers were super happy they had an easy Friday afternoon. Really, the most important thing is that my son Matty felt special.
At the end of the party he hugged me and said, “Mom, you’re the best.” So yeah, I consider this party a success!
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