Friday, December 30

{Customer Shindig} Firetruck Party

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Hello Everyone! I'm so happy to be back after a wonderful holiday with my family. I hope you all had a fabulous holiday season, too. Although I've still been super busy with my shop and orders, I took a bit of a break from blogging for the last week or so. 

Today I wanted to share a sweet firetruck party my customer, Rachael, sent in of her son Nolan's 1st birthday party. Rachael is one lucky girl.... having not one but TWO photographers in the family! Oooh how I would LOVE that! 

Rachael wanted to create a special FIRETRUCK PARTY for her little boy's
big celebration, complete with Amanda's Parties To Go's
and a real firetruck, too.
What little one wouldn't want that!

 I think this is such a beautiful photo.... the party sign in the foreground
with the fire engine in the background.

 Rachael put together a beautiful spread for the party table including lots of colorful cupcakes, candies and lots of polka dots and stripes in all the party decor. And that tablecloth... spectacular!

 That little Nolan is one adorable sweetie pie!

Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful party photos, Rachael.
It looks like Nolan had a wonderful first birthday!


If you'd like the Firetruck Printables Collection for your own little one's party, you can find them in my SHOP HERE.

Thursday, December 22

{Guest Post} Christmas Frame Wreath

Hi there SHINDIG readers!
It's Kristyn, from Lil' Luna!
Wanted to share with you this Christmas Frame Wreath Tutorial that I hope you LOVE!

One thing you may find all over my blog is WREATHS.
I'm kinda addicted!

I DID NOT like my Christmas Wreath from last year so I decided to make a new one this year.
I loved my Valentine's Wreath so much that I decided to do something similar for Christmas.

Do you like it??
I totally copied my own creation from earlier this year and then also found the
 inspiration for the Tree HERE {so cute!}

If you would like to make one too, here is what you'll need....

-Berry Wreath {I always get mine after Christmas when they are 75% off}
-8x10 Frame {Got mine for. .50 at Goodwill}
-Spray Paint
-Sand Paper
-Christmas Song Printable
-Scrapbook Paper {of various colors}
-Hot Glue

1. Begin by spray painting your frame and then letting it dry. Distress when you are done if you like that look.

2. Print out your Christmas Song Printable {from Altered Artifacts} to 8x10 size. Cut off excess and set aside.

3. You will then want to make your tree. To do this I made 5 two-inch strips of varying lengths. I made mine 12 inches, 10.5 inches, 9 inches, 7.5 inches and 5 inches long. I zig-zagged them back and forth and I also cut along the strip with my scalloped scissors for an added touch. Then I hot glued them to my sheet music starting with the bottom strip first. 

4. Continue gluing strips on to the sheet music. At the top you will add your star. I cut mine out of some glitter paper and added it to the top.

5. From there, I stuck the page into my spray painted 8x10 and then added some ribbon to the back. I hung my wreath on the hook and then tied the ribbon from the frame around the hook so the frame laid on top. 

I {heart} it!

I hope you like it too!!
Be sure to come on over to Lil' Luna to say hi!


XO - Kristyn

Thank you, Kristyn! You always come up with the cutest ideas. I've been wanting to make one of those accordion fold Christmas trees myself so I love the idea of putting it on the door in a wreath. Just a few more days everyone.... are you ready??

Wednesday, December 21

Peppermint Swirl Icing from Edible Details

Hi everyone!
Brittany from Edible Details here to share my
personal trick to making the perfect
"Peppermint Swirl Icing"
for any last minute holiday cupcakes this week.

This tutorial shows the use of a white icing with red stripes, however it would also be really cute done with red stripes and pink icing for either Christmas or Valentines Day.

With the addition of just a hint of peppermint extract to your icing, you'll really get the wow factor from your guests. Try it on a chocolate cupcake, or perhaps a peppermint flavored white cake.

Mix together approximately 1 tsp red GEL food coloring and 1 tsp white royal icing. (This will thicken it enough to paint with and make the dye less concentrated for eating)

Using a paint brush, paint the mixture in streaks inside your piping bag, no wider than 1/4".

Fill your painted bag with your favorite white icing that has been infused with a bit of peppermint extract. My personal favorite is "Italian Buttercream", however any recipe will work.

Pipe icing onto cupcakes, trying to keep at 2 swirls per cupcake.

To add a little more detail (and cuteness) Top with a shiny red candy,
such as a large "cherry Sour"

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas with your family!

Thank you, Brittany! I've always wondered how the experts make this work. Great trick!

Be sure to visit Edible Details for the most amazing
fondant creations to coordinate with any party theme.

Tuesday, December 20

FREE Merry Christmas Tags and Gift Idea

Over the weekend I was busy finishing up gift projects for neighbors, friends, and my kids' teachers and friends. Always on the lookout for fun, homemade gift ideas, I sometimes make my own Chex Mix in large batches to give away at the holidays. With the baking involved in making Chex Mix, however, it was going to take a bit more time than I had to give this year. 

Instead, I came up with a new, no-bake version that actually turned out really yummy. I packaged the mix into quart size mason jars and used Amanda's Parties To Go's latest FREEBIE MERRY CHRISTMAS TAGS to make stickers for the front of the jars. You can grab the FREEBIE HERE.

The freebie set includes a page of 2" circles and a page of 3" circles. You may use circle craft punches to punch the designs out or you may carefully cut with scissors if you don't have access to the punches.

Print these onto 8.5"x11" full sheet adhesive paper. I like glossy sheets but you can find Avery adhesive paper at just about any office store. After printing, cut close to the designs with scissors and then punch each one out with your circle craft punch.

Once you've got your labels printed and cut, it's time to make your
No-Bake Chocolate Chex Mix.

- Chex Mix Muddy Buddies (I found large size bags at Sams Club)
- Box of Chocolate Chex cereal (I found mine at Walmart)
- Bag of Mini Pretzel Twists
- Bag of Christmas M&Ms

I LOVE that you can find Muddy Buddies already made up this time of year. If you can't find the mixture, here is a recipe for this part of the mix: MUDDY BUDDY RECIPE

Pour the contents of all your store bought ingredients into
two large bowls and mix together.

1. Use Quart size mason jars. I found a dozen at Walmart for about $11. Fill each jar with your Chocolate Chex Mix
2. Place the circle lid on the top of the jar
3. Cut circles from a Christmas fabric approximately 5 1/4" in diameter. Use pinking shears for a fun edging if you have a pair. Screw on the jar lid over the fabric circle.
4. Using hot glue, adhere an approximately 3/4" wide ribbon to the side of the jar lid.
5. Wrap some red & white bakers twine around the jar lid a few times and tie into a bow.
6. Add a candy cane under the bow for a sweet embellishment.

You can make jars and jars of these in just a few hours.
No excuses.... go spread some cheer through the neighborhood!

You can grab the FREEBIE HERE.

Monday, December 19

Customer's Classroom Christmas Party

 What a wonderful CLASSROOM CHRISTMAS PARTY my Facebook friend, Kristi, sent over to me. She and her mom worked to put this adorably sweet party together for her daughter's third grade class using the CANDY CHRISTMAS printables set.

 Kristi used polka dot plates from Target to make clean up easy but just look at how perfectly they coordinate. Great find! She also incorporated some red and white dot wrapping paper into the party which is such a smart idea. Wrapping boxes as cake pop tiers and also using the wrap to make placemats for each girl is fabulous.

I love that Kristi downloaded the FREE REINDEER FOOD printables set and created some great favors for the girls to take home with them, too.

 The sweets included Hershey Kisses, chocolate covered peppermint sticks, marshmallow pops, candy canes and some cute chocolate covered pretzels.

 Wrapping bottles of whipping cream with the printable paper is a good way to make the "not so pretty" tie in with the rest of the table display. These small but thoughtful touches mean so much and turn the ordinary get together into something special for the kids.

And I'm sure the girls had a ball with all of the toppings for their hot chocolate, too. Small ramekins filled with add-ins such as m&m's, chocolate chips, sprinkles and more would make any child happy.

Thank you, Kristi, for sharing your hard work and adorable party with us! 

Friday, December 16

Gift Wrapping with Printables

My new blogging friend, Stacy, from She's Kinda Crafty shared a sweet idea
yesterday on her blog using Amanda's Parties To Go's CANDY CHRISTMAS printables set.
I love how creative mamas like Stacy find new uses for printables. 

Stacy took the 2" logos from the set normally used for cupcake toppers
and made some adorable gift tags for Christmas presents. 

Looks like a cupcake topper.....

 But no.... look! Cupcake topper turned gift topper.... how cute!

Maybe you can find some new and different uses for your printables, too. Place the printable circles on top of bows.... make garlands from them to string on your mantels or party tables.... or use them as tags for classroom favors.

Be sure to visit Stacy over at She's Kinda Crafty. This girl is an
amazing source for fabulous Christmas crafts.... and they are easy, too! 
Just take a look at a few of her fun creations.

Stacy's become a bit "internet famous" for her absolutely adorable ribbon wreaths like this Christmas version. She even sells the kits in her Etsy shop for those of us who don't want to find all that ribbon ourselves.

If you have a ribbon wreath, you must have a sweet ribbon Christmas tree, too.

what a fantastic gift this would make for a friend.

And how about this super cute 15 MINUTE STOCKING idea with a full tutorial.

Thanks, Stacy, for your wonderful holiday inspirations!

Thursday, December 15

FREE Reindeer Food Tags

Reindeer food is certainly not a new idea but my kids have loved it each and every Christmas. It's become a Christmas tradition to go outside before bed on Christmas Eve and pour the reindeer food out on the lawn.... waiting, waiting, waiting for those reindeer to come!

This year I decided to create a sweet little tag and poem for my kindergartner to make gifts for his classroom friends. And I've decided to give it away FREE to anyone signing up for our mailing list! I hope it will help you with those last minute treats for your kids' class parties this holiday season.

To make the gifts, you'll need to gather your supplies to make the reindeer food....
no worries... it's easy, peasy!


- Oatmeal (I used the whole can for 21 kids)
- Bottles of Christmas colored sugars
- Christmas sprinkles
- Glitter

Pour everything together in a big bowl and stir to mix.

Employ your best helpers to spoon the mixture into small plastic bags. I found these in a pack of 100 on the wedding supplies aisle at Walmart. To keep the bag open for my little one, I used a toilet paper roll inside the bag and had him spoon the reindeer food over a plastic bowl. This caught much of the spills so that I won't find glitter and oatmeal under every crevice for the next 3 months.

Once you get your bags filled, punch holes in your printed reindeer food tags and string some ribbon or tulle through to seal off the bags and make them pretty.

The tags will explain to your child's friends just how this reindeer food works....

Here's our basket full and all ready to go.

Grab your Reindeer Food FREEBIE
by joining our mailing list - It's Easy!
Just enter your name and email below and then verify your email address.
We'll send you these adorable Reindeer Food Tags!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

PLEASE NOTE: After signing up with your name and email, a confirmation email will be sent to you with an activation link. You must click this link to then receive your newsletter email with the FREEBIE DOWNLOAD. With the hundreds of daily emails I receive through the shop, I will not be able to answer personal emails about the freebie downloads.