Tag Archives: candy

Under The Mistletoe

Just wanted to pop in and share a cute holiday gift that I’ve been working on ~ Mistletoe Survival Kits.

I’ve been hoarding all things candy cane & peppermint for the past couple months.

Last year I saw this cute idea and wanted to put my own spin on it to give as gifts this year.


Each kit will include about 4 of the goodies shown and will be nestled in a small gift bag.

The majority of these things were only about a dollar so this makes a nice, inexpensive little gift.

1. Candy Cane Green Tea ~ Trader Joe’s

2. Socks ~ Target

3. Mug on the left ~ 99¢ Only

4. Mint Chocolate Chip mask ~ Wal-mart

5. “Pur” gum ~ Albertson’s

6. Mug on lower right ~ Dollar Tree

7. Ghiradelli peppermint hot chocolate mix ~ Wal-mart

8. Minta soda ~ Ralphs

9. Peppermint hot cocoa spoon ~ Wal-mart

10. Candy Cane Chapstick ~ Wal-mart

11. Candy Cane mini Oreos ~ Wal-mart

12. Peppermint tissue paper ~ Dollar Tree

Not pictured: EOS sweet mint lip balm and LUNA minis in Chocolate Peppermint Stick {both from Target}.


These will make sweet gifts for teachers, aides, hairstylists, babysitters, etc.

Now off to make my Thanksgiving shopping list ~ less than a week away.

Happy Friday!

Jumpstart To The Holidays ~ Candy Cane Vodka {Recipe}

Daily I find myself penciling things into my planner from now until the end of he year…yes, I am old skool and still write stuff down on a calendar!

With each reminder, time and date that I enter, I become more and more aware of how fast the holidays come and go. Each year I try to do better at being more organized and less stressed.



Last week I came across these gorgeous Threshold decanters at Target for 70% off.

Unfortunately they only had two and unfortunately they’re only sold online, but I snatched them up and thought I could fill them with homemade infused vodka for Christmas.

Enter this…..



2 ingredients.


Full instructions here.

I love the festive color. Going to pour it into these decanters & mason jars and pair it with a nice hot cocoa mix for a couple friends and neighbors to help with burning the holiday midnight oil.

Also going to add a recipe for this holiday martini…

Candy Cane Snowtini

Substitute “parts” for “ounces,” and this will make 1 cocktail.

2 parts Candy Cane Vodka
1 part simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water, boiled until sugar dissolves)
1/2 part heavy cream


mini candy cane to hang off the rim of your martini glass

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice (or leak-proof water bottle, if you’re resourceful like me), mix Candy Cane Vodka, simple syrup and cream together. Shake vigorously for about 30 seconds.


I tell you, after Halloween it’s all downhill to December 31st.

Don’t you agree?

Happy Tuesday!


Splash ~ A Mermaid Party


Another birthday party down in the books…this makes party number twelve between the two kiddos. I LOVE planning their little parties ~ this year for Elliott we decided to do a small sleepover to celebrate turning SEVEN.

She decided on a mermaid theme and I was immediately on board! Give this mama a theme and she’s immediately in action…scouting out little goodies, trinkets and treasures.

I found the invites at Marshall’s for $3.99! They came with 8 invites and 8 thank you notes…since we were keeping party small this year, these totally worked.

Elliott wanted to go to the pool with her friends which totally made sense. The weather here had been HOT for weeks, but the day of her party was supposed to be in the high 60s/low 70s! I thought about canceling the pool, but the mermaids suited up and spent about 2 hours swimming, jumping, splashing and diving.

{Matching nightgowns from Target for 50% off were part of their goody bag…they showered, shampooed and got in their jammies before we headed home}

{I also found some cute shell bracelets at our local drug store for 75% off months ago}

{The seahorse bowls and plates were from a random Kmart visit ~ 75% off before Christmas. These also went home with each guest}

{Above the table, on a big branch, I hung some Dollar Tree paper lanterns and a few jellyfish made and handed down from my friend, Mia}

{my mom made these seashell jars last summer and I filled them with Dum Dums}

The food was fun and easy…

{eating sushi after the pool}

{my four-legged [octodogs] didn’t quite look like the ones on Pinterest}

I invited the mamas over for drinks and appetizers, too. I threw together a quick 7-layer dip and picked up a sushi platter at Trader Joe’s. My neighbor, Sun, brought some Korean BBQ on a skewer ~ yum!

The mama mermaids sipped what I called Mermaid Tail Martinis ~ Vodka, Malibu, pineapple juice, blue curacao {shake that in a cocktail shaker and pour into a martini glass} add a splash of Sprite and float a mango mochi on top. I premixed a pitcher of the drink and then shook it with ice as needed. Do not add the Sprite before shaking because of the carbonation. Ratio: 2 cups vodka, 2 cups Malibu, 2 8.45 ounce cans {or the equivalent} pineapple juice, 1 ounce blue curacao. Makes 8-10 servings. The mochi can be found at Trader Joe’s and is like a little ball of ice cream.

The mochi sort of melts into the drink and makes it creamy. One mochi lasts for about two drinks…there are only six mochi to a pack so I needed to stretch them out and it worked perfectly for each guest to have one.

The cake was just a four layer cake with vanilla cream cheese buttercream. The girls also had Elliott’s favorite cotton candy push pops.

{candy sushi made with halved powdered donuts and rice krispie treats topped with a Swedish fish and then wrapped with a strip of fruit by the foot [I used Market Pantry brand from Target]}

{they drank blue lemonade out of little plastic coconuts from Dollar Tree}

The mamas left around 9:00 or so and then we were on our own to get the girls to bed! I cleaned up the kitchen while they watched their favorite Disney Channel shows and all four were asleep by 11:00pm ~ I was shocked.

7:00am wake up call courtesy of Holden!

I told Elliott she could choose any cereal she wanted and she decided on Fruit Loops…a special birthday treat. She also wanted monkey bread, but wanted to call it {mermaid bread}.

After breakfast, they lined up and I did glitter nails with polish from her friend, Emilie…

I also borrowed a mermaid cardboard cutout that my friend Mia also did for her twins’ recent mermaid luau party and we took some fun pics before the girls headed home…


Not gonna lie…I was exhausted at 11:00am Sunday morning when the little mermaids swam back to their mamas!

But it was the perfect little homespun birthday celebration and I loved every minute of the planning.

Screaming/giggling/singing/dancing first graders are lots of fun.

Jay & I survived our first sleepover!

Tomorrow is the REAL birthday for my {almost} Memorial Day baby.

Where do the years go?

How Sweet It Is

It’s Saturday and that means another fun {Hello, I Love You} link up with Heather @ Angel Face Designs.

This week’s prompt is :CANDY:

Have a seat…

let’s chat confections!


This beauty automatically makes me think of striped ribbon candy…gorgeous!

Vintage Candy Dish


Chic candy buffet


Hello, homemade York peppermint patties!


I adore these gumball necklaces…



Nothing better than old fashioned candies in apothecary or mason jars.



Visit today’s {Hello, I Love You} for more sugary sweetness!

Flip Flop Fiestas ~ Food & Drink

So, we’ve decided on a theme, delivered our invitations and thought about how we’re going to decorate…now we need to think about what we’re going to eat and drink!

Part 4 ~ Food & Drink

I love to cook & bake and put menus together so this MAY be my favorite part of party planning. I have learned to keep the food simple, but delicious. It’s better to serve less, great tasting food than to have oodles of store bought or less quality food in my opinion.

You can tailor the type of foods and how much you want to serve to the time of day your party will take place. I have been to a couple mid-morning parties where brunch-type food was served and it was fabulous. Quiche, fruit, bagels & cream cheese…this can also be a little more cost effective. Have a pajama party and serve pancakes or waffles. There is nothing wrong with having an early morning party and serving muffins, donuts, milk & coffee! Make the cake out of donuts like this one made out of Krispy Kremes:


Our parties are usually right around lunch time. In the past I have done lots of {make-your-own bars} at my kids’ parties…homemade sloppy joe’stacos and chili. I make a big pot of meat, set out the mini buns, tortillas and toppings and the guests help themselves. I always have at least one other side dish that can be made ahead of time. I served potato salad and baked beans with the sloppy joe’s, chips & guac with the tacos and cornbread muffins with the chili.

Have your party mid-afternoon and you just have to serve cake & ice cream. Or host a {Milk & Cookies} party around 2-3pm and just serve an assortment of homemade cookies and chocolate milk as an afternoon snack! {be sure and mention on the invite breifly what food will be served so the guests can plan accordingly}

Again, once I have a theme I go all out. I like to print up a menu and frame it so that the guests know what I’m serving up. Come up with clever names for your dishes, type them up, print out and place in a frame!

I like to have some kid-friendly options, too, obviously. I have found time after time that piggies in a blanket are a HIT! Partygoers of all ages LOVE these and they are so easy and cheap! Just take a package of hot dogs, cut them in half, roll them in crescent rolls and bake as directed on package. Serve with ketchup & mustard for dipping and you’re good to go! I never make enough of these….

Kids love picnic lunches. If you’re doing something at a park or the beach {or even at home}, pick up some of the frozen Smucker’s peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, some individual bags of chips, applesauces and a juice box to put together little picnic lunches in paper bags or take out containers that can be found at places like Smart & Final. Tie with a fun ribbon and serve.

You can doctor up a cheese and cracker platter by finding some small cookie cutters and cutting out pre-sliced cheese in shapes. Make some tea sandwiches, cut off the crusts and then cut into small triangles. They can be as simple as cream cheese and cucumber or tuna salad. Finger foods are great for parties since people prefer to graze while they mingle. I like to keep lots of small cocktail plates handy.

I’ve also just served heavy appetizers like dips and pasta salads. Artichoke dip is always a crowd pleaser ~ your guests will hit you up for the recipe on the way out! Everyone loves a 7-layer dip with refried beans, taco meat, tomatoes, green onions, sour cream, guacamole and cilantro {you can also add corn and/or olives}. Serve with tortilla chips of Fritos Scoops. Order some hot wings or make some potato skins for some fun pub-style eats.

And believe me, there is nothing wrong with having good ‘ol Costco pizzas and cesar salad in you mom’s garage and letting the kids run amok outside…we did that for Holden’s 2nd birthday!

Other options: fondue, spaghetti & garlic bread, catered Panda Express {did this for Elliott’s 1st!}, crock pot bbq pork for sliders on Hawaiian sweet rolls! All these are great for a crowd and perfect for leftovers…if there are any!


You need something to wash down all this good food…

I always keep it simple for the kids with Capri Suns or juice boxes. Have a Sharpie handy to write names on the drinks.

Fill a glass pitcher with water, ice and lemon or lime slices for those who want to get their 8 glasses of H2O a day. 😉

Since the parents always stay for our parties at this point, I always have a signature cocktail. Make a batch of sangria or  big pitcher of a pre-mixed drink like a martini or margarita and add ice when ready to serve {pre-mix martinis, but add to a martini shaker with ice just before serving}. Again, put on your creative hat and come up with a fun name for your {adult beverage}.

My mom bought us a glass beverage dispenser and it’s been the best gift ever. It gets pulled out every time we have a party or a crowd. Great for iced tea, lemonade, or punch. From TJ Maxx for under $20.

We always have the usual soda suspects of Diet Pepsi and it’s cousins, but it’s also fun to pick up some Izze sodas or some old-fashioned root beer. While you’re at it, pick up some hand crafted beers, too. Grab a couple big tubs from the dollar store, pack with ice and cradle your beverages to keep them cold.


Now let’s talk about cake!

I have ordered expensive cakes, cheap cakes, cupcakes, cupcake cakes, ice cream cakes, done homemade cakes, you name it! I’ve made a cake AND had cupcakes, too! Make it easy…pick one and be happy with that. Make cupcakes and let the kids decorate them…did that, too! Cupcakes-in-a-jar are all the rage and something that I have not yet tried, but how fun are these?


If you want to make a theme cake, let Google do the work for you! There are tons of ideas and tutorials out there to help build the perfect cake. Be creative, but don’t get overwhelmed…if your cake doesn’t look so hot, it will still taste great. I learned this firsthand recently with Holden’s {caketastrophe}!

Have a milk & cookies party and you can totally forgo the cake and serve cuties like these:


Serve some store bought ice cream sandwiches and dip them in sprinkles on the sides or make these:


Just pop some candles on top and call it a cake!

For Elliott’s 4th birthday she had an Ice Cream Social. I just picked up those giant Costco cupcakes and cut them in quarters and the kids had fun making a mess…I mean making their own ice cream masterpieces!

{I picked up the soda fountain hats at Smart and Final and the kiddos decorated them}


I think that’s it for food & drink! The key is to make the food SIMPLE, but DELICIOUS! Bottom line…try not to stress out…plan ahead, shop ahead and see what you can do a day or two beforehand. Believe me, I still need to work on this. The less scrambling around you do the day of the party, the more fun you’ll have!

Last, but not least…coming up tomorrow: Part 5: Activites & Favors

Eye Candy

I am loving all these {candy bars} at parties and weddings these days!

Piñatas are fun, but I love the twist of setting all the sweet treats out and letting the guests stash them away in fun little containers as their favors.

When we were planning our wedding about 7 years ago, I spotted this article in Martha Stewart Living and had it in mind for our reception:

Apparently I dropped the ball on the full-on bar, but our favors ended up being Reese’s Pieces {because of the fall colors} in a frosted clear Chinese take-out container tied with a chocolate brown grosgrain ribbon and adorned with a piece of dried flower.

I think a candy bar or dessert table adds so much fun and color to a celebration. Both children and adults alike can get excited about the thought of {being a kid in a candy store}!

I am {already} in semi-full swing with planning Elliott’s May birthday festivities. Picking up little things here and there. There are going to be tons of kids invited as we’re extending the invitation to all of her classmates as well as other friends outside of school. That is the beauty of having it at a venue other than our house!

I always stress about the goodie bags. I try to find things that go with the theme yet are useful and not going to end up on the floor and in the trash within hours or days of the party. In the past I have found inexpensive tees for the guests which I think make the perfect parting gift. With about 40 kiddos on the guest list, t-shirts are not an option unfortunately. I figured the best way to cater to all ages and both genders is to have a full blown candy bar! They will get to fill their bags or containers with confections before leaving the party. Even though his was on a much smaller scale, Holden’s guests LOVED {duh!} this idea at his recent party.

I am envisioning something like this at E’s party:


Simple, low-lying jars for easy reach and about 10-12 options to choose from.

I die for apothecary jars. Going to visit my local Goodwill and see if I can find any…I also love the old timey ones with the silver lids. All the different sizes and shapes of glass containers filled with a rainbow of sweet treats can’t help but turn a party into a P-A-R-T-Y!

I see Ring Pops, Pop Rocks, Pixie Stix, gummie caterpillars, bubble gum, sour stuff, rainbow goldfish, candy necklaces, etc. I think I will even have a glass vase filled with tooth brushes and every child MUST leave the party with one!


I will leave you with this eye candy…





I could browse the internet all day and find oodles of inspiration! These are just the tip of the candy iceberg!

Wishing you a sugary sweet Friday!

To Scentsy Or Not To Scentsy…That Is The Question

**Update: I have become mildly obsessed with my not-so-Scentsy wax warmer! Last night during another trip to Wal-mart I picked up {Crisp Linens & Black Raspberry Vanilla} waxes….I used the candy cane one yesterday and the whole house smelled so pepperminty fresh ~ not overpowering at all. Loving my new purchase. Check out all the yumminess here!**

I walked into my friend Hollie’s house the other day and it smelled like Christmas! She had, what I thought was a Scentsy, burner going and her place felt so festive and warm. Come to find out it’s the same thing as Scentsy, but she got it at Wal-mart of all places.

I decided, while I was strolling through the aisles of Wally World this weekend that I was going to treat the household {read: me} to one. Afterall, we’re having several guests here for Christmas and I need the house to feel welcoming. I chose one that I thought could stay out year round ~ lime{ish} green. Get this, the burners are $15 and the wax cubes are only $2! I got gingerbread, oatmeal cookie and candy cane….mmmmm.

This would make a great last minute gift.

5 more days……..

Leis For The Graduating Keikis

I wanted to come up with a simple little gesture to present Elliott’s graduating preschool class with this evening at the big commencement ceremony.

What better way than with…..candy!

Parents, you can thank me later.

I remembered back 10 years ago when two friends and co-workers of mine, Kim & Deb, would make candy leis for special celebrations in her kids’ lives.

I think it’s the perfect thing for Miss Linda and all her Tuesday/Thursday friends!

1 adult-sized & 10 pint-sized candy leis, comin’ up.

I got this brainy idea late last night so off I was to Wal-mart at the crack of dawn (so happy they open at 6am!) to gather some confections and more ribbon (along with a bathing suit top, lighters for the grill and some organic potting soil).

Time to get started…

I had NO idea what I was doing, but figured it’s wasn’t rocket science.

You will need the following:

Plastic wrap, scissors, some candy and fun ribbon.

I found that the ironing board makes a great work space! Since I don’t use it to iron, why not make some candy leis on it.

1. Roll out about 4 feet of plastic wrap and cut.

2. Place about 6 candies or groups of smaller candies about 2 inches apart from each other down the middle of the plastic wrap.

3. Fold the bottom edge of the wrap to meet the top edge.

4. Roll the candies until you have a “rope” and all plastic wrap is rolled into itself (does that make sense?)

5. Tie off in between each candy with about 4 inches (totally estimating) of ribbon.

(You can use curly ribbon and curl with scissors after you tie your double knot, but I used some leftover zebra ribbon and picked up a roll of cheetah to keep with the fun animal print theme for the kids. I ran out and had to use some striped, wired ribbon for Miss Linda’s…didn’t want to use it for the little ones in case anyone got scratched or poked, but hers turned out cute as well.)

6. Take the 2 ends and join them together overlapping a bit and then tie off with another piece of your cute ribbon.

You’re done!

Super quick & easy ~ I was done by 8:30am.

Next time I will select some different, more diverse candies. Perhaps some Laffy Taffy, Air Heads, sugar-free gum & Dum Dums. In the interest of time, I just grabbed a big bag of Tootsie Roll candies.

We’re not supposed to send candy to school, but she can’t get in trouble or kicked out, she’s graduating!