You Are Priceless Gift Idea Tutorial

January 9, 2014 in Christmas, Christmas Creations, Creating, Easter, Easter Creations, For Fun, Fun, Kids, Mother's Day, Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Creations, Valentine Creations, Valentine's Day

“You Are Priceless” Gift Idea Tutorial

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You see what I did there?  Gold wrapping on a candy bar, gold coins, and a gold gift card with a personalized $100 bill message?  Get it?  “You are Priceless”?  Yeah, it’s pretty cute.  I actually used these as gifts for friends and co-workers at Christmas, but this is a great idea for any occasion, birthdays, teacher appreciation, or valentines day.  It’s everything I love about being creative…inexpensive, adorable, and QUICK!  I have to say, it’s also really fun to print 100 dollar bills from your printer.  😉  

What You Need:

Gold wrapped candy bars

Chocolate gold coins

Gold colored gift card (mine was just $5 to Starbucks)

Small cellophane bags or gold wrap *I found both of these products at Joann.com

Gold packaging string

Fake $100 dollar bill

The Method:

Let’s start with the candy bars.  If you can find some that are already wrapped in gold, all the better.  Mine are a sugar-free chocolate bar I bought on sale from Costco, but Rolos and Hershey’s Nuggets are also wrapped in gold.  If you have a certain candy bar in mind then get yourself some gold wrapping paper and wrap it up.  I did this with Toblerones and it looked like a mini gold bar.  So cute!

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Now put your junk in your packaging.  I did some in clear plastic baggies and some wrapped up in gold cellophane.  I really couldn’t decide which I liked better.  Use what you have!  It’s going to be adorable regardless.  Inside I did one candy bar, a handful of chocolate gold coins (I love to get these in the bulk section from your grocery store), and the gold colored gift card.  Tie the whole thing up with yellow ribbon or gold curling ribbon.

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Now for the $100 dollar bills.  I have a color printer, but you can always have a few printed off for you at a copy store for super cheap.  I just did a search on the web for images of $100 dollar bills.  Here is the one I used.

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I simply copied the image, pasted it into a word program, and adjusted the size.  I was able to fit 3 on a page.  I used regular printer paper, but card stock would have been better (just thought of that).  I printed one side with the 3 bills then created a new document with my message, making sure to line up the words with the $100 bills.  I loved this because I could personalize each one but it was printed so it still looked really nice.  Mine said, “You are priceless!  Happy Holidays! Love, Sharla” .  I turned the printed $100 bill paper over and then printed the message on the back of each dollar.  Then I cut them out, used a hole punch and tied them to the package.  

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You know you love it!

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<3, Sharla

Class Carnival

December 30, 2013 in Christmas, Easter, For Fun, Fun, Halloween, Halloween, Kids, Parties, Valentine's Day

Class Carnival!

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Ok, best party ever!  Have you ever tried to put together a class party for a bunch of 3rd graders?  It’s super hard!  They are too old for stories and simple crafts, too cool to do anything cute or silly, yet too young for spin the bottle (just kidding).  Seriously, this is a hard age to please, but this party went over with a bang.

I call it The Christmas Carnival, but had to make it a bit more PC and changed it to The Class Carnival.  The kids didn’t care a bit about the title, they just cared about the fun.  These games and activities would work for any holiday or event for kids.  Come get some ideas!

Station 1:  Ball Toss

Remember The Bozo the Clown Show?  It’s on the cusp of my memory as a kid, but one game always stood out to me…the Ball Toss Game.  I just knew I would rock it!  And the prizes were legit.  Turns out, kids don’t need a prize to have fun.  These guys loved the challenge.

You need:

5-6 buckets (I got mine at the dollar store) 

Pingpong balls (again, dollar store)

It’s as easy as it looks; line the buckets up in a long line and give the kids a ball to toss.  They have to make it in the buckets starting with the first going all the way to the end.  If you want to make it more complicated you can limit the number of balls they throw, or add small prizes for each bucket.  If they make the bucket they get the prize inside.  These guys were more than happy to just try. 

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Station 2:  Gingerbread Fred Decorating

The class spent the month of December working on their “Gingerbread Fred”.  They made their own gingerbread man then created a journal with stories and pictures of what they did with their gingerbread men during the month.  Decorating and eating a gingerbread man was the perfect treat for this party.

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Gingerbread men that aren’t home made are hard to come by!  I ended up buying tubes of Pillsbury gingerbread dough, then I rolled them out and baked them at home.  This was a great product, tasty and easy to work with, just make sure to flour the edges of the dough generously.  Want a festive way to keep cookie mess from getting all over the class room?  Cover the cookie area with wrapping paper.  Easy clean up and festive!

You Need:

Frosting

Candy

Wrapping Paper

Gingerbread Cookies

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Station 3:  Reindeer Antler Decorating

I bought these from Oriental Trading Company in a packet of 12.  It came complete with everything you need to make your antlers adorable.  It was also very affordable.  The kids loved it. 

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Station 4:  Cookie Face

This is a classic Minute-to-Win-It game.  You tilt your head back, place an animal cookie on your forehead then you have to work the cookie to your mouth without using your hands.  We made the rule that if the cookie fell on the floor you were out.  If it fell but you caught it, you could try again (that way we don’t have nasty germs getting in their mouths).  We were a little stingy with the cookies, they only got one shot, but so many come in a bag, next time I would let them try more.

You need:

Frosted Animal Cookies (easy)

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Station 4:  Kisses Match Game

This is straight off of Pinterest.  Simple, fun, easy, and they get to keep their winnings.  This game was a huge success.  Click here or the picture below to see the link.  Or click the Pinterest icon on the side of the blog to visit my boards.  :)

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Station 5:  Face Painting

No, shut up.  This really happened.  I know a company called Changing Faces and Balloons and they are done a ton of events that I’ve been to.  They are top notch.  Their face painting, balloon animals and clowns are amazing.  Since the party was a carnival, face painting seemed like a magical and fun touch.  So I got in touch with the owner, Sharon Neilson, and she agreed to donate her time to come to the class and paint faces!  This was the highlight of the party.  She worried that some kids might be a little too cool to do it, but when you have two college rivalries in town, the kids were more than willing to plaster their favorite team’s logo on their face.  Some were whimsical, some were silly.  My own son opted for a historical feel, yes, he asked to have the Titanic.  Sharon can do just about anything and she proved it!  She has has own amazing story that is worth checking out.  Click here to learn more about how her company came to be or visit her Facebook page and see more of her masterpieces.

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The thing is, you don’t have to have a pro do something perfect for the kids to love it.  Get some stencils and have a mom volunteer.  This was a fun addition to the party.  Even Mrs. Florez, the teacher had hers done!  It really created a festive feeling.

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Some other fun additions were balloons on a stick.  These were my gift to the class.  I purchased the balloons and sticks at a local party supply store and for 25 balloons and sticks it was about $5.00.  It was and impressive and fun addition that was low cost.

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Finally, I just couldn’t help myself.  Between the reindeer antlers and carnival theme I had to have a carnival take home gift.  I bought these “party invitations” in a set of 12 from Oriental Trading Company.  The boxes were beautiful and sturdy and included a party blower and clown nose (to double as Rudolph’s).  I added inexpensive sticky mittens, a chocolate gold coin and a few Hi Chew (because every kids I know is obsessed with them).  It was a hit.

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As far as parties go, this could go any direction you want.  Christmas, birthday, Valentines, Halloween, New Years, Easter or even summer fun.  Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

<3, Sharla

Daily Doable 11/26/13

November 26, 2013 in Daily Doable

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Blog Post:  DIY Gum Ball Necklaces – Check out How to Make Them!

Click here or the picture to watch the Daily Doable.

DIY Gum Ball Necklaces

November 19, 2013 in Christmas, Cooking, Creating, Deserts, Easter, For Fun, Fun, Halloween, Halloween, Holdiay Cooking, Kids, Parties, Valentine's Day

DIY Gum Ball Necklaces

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Are you ready?  Are you ready for the cutest, easiest gift/activity you can possibly do?  Here it is…string gum balls on wrapping string like beads.  Wear.  Eat.  It’s that simple.  This tutorial is actually included in my Kids Halloween Party post but it’s worth pointing out how applicable it is to every single holiday.

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You Need:

Gum Balls

Curling Ribbon (you know, the ribbon you put around presents and then use the edge of scissors to run along the string to make it curl).  I usually buy the big spools of this from Joann.com, if you use a 40% off coupon you have a ton of ribbon for just a couple of dollars.

Exacto Knife

Large Needles

Ok, this one is way worth it but takes a little more prep work.  First, you need gum balls (shocking, I know).  Next you need to make the holes on either side.  I did this with an Exacto knife.  I just poked the tip of the knife into the gum ball and then twirled it around while applying pressure to make the hole on each side.  A little time consuming but easier than you might think.  What’s less time consuming is my husband washed and fitted his drill with a small drill bit and drilled the holes for me.  This was so much quicker and easier.  He drilled 200 gum balls in about an hour.

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Next, use a large needle and a long piece of curling ribbon (you know, the ribbon you wrap presents with that curl when you run the edge of scissors along it’s edge) just like a needle and thread.  String each gum ball onto the curling ribbon, and tie on.  Winner, winner, gum ball dinner!

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<3, Sharla

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Daily Doable 8/19/13

September 5, 2013 in Daily Doable

Have a Birthday “Yes” Day!

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Ninja/Ninjago Costume

August 5, 2013 in Kids, Parties, Sewing, Sewing for Kids

NINJAGO/NINJA COSTUME

 
Ninjago Costumes and Birthday Party
Ok, when my little guy turned 7 he was in love with Ninjago on TV.  Of course he has to have the party to match!  Click here to check out the entire party or visit the Kid’s link at the top of the page.  But the real winner of the party were the ninja costumes I made for each boy.  I am so excited about this project because it is as simple as you can get, with a BIG pay off.  So let’s get started!
 
Here’s what you need: 
  • 1 Yard non fraying fabric per costume (I used a crushed velvet from Jo Ann.  Check the side bar on this blog and there is a link to Jo Ann Fabric’s 40% off coupon.  What every fabric you choose, just make sure it won’t fray and has good weight and stretch, other wise you will have more sewing to do.)
  • 1/4 Yard black cotton per costume (or buy some sort of black tie in the ribbon section and cut the belt step out completely)
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Ruler

*All seam allowances are 1/4″ or edge of presser foot.

With your yard of fabric folded wrong sides together and salvage edge to salvage edge measure over about 13 inches and cut straight up the fabric.  I just folded and cut, a little quicker and easier.  The big piece is for the body of the costume, the skinny piece if for the hood.  If you can believe it, the body is half done at this point!
 
Now, up at the folded top, start from center and measure across 7-8 inches, centered on the fold.  This is going to be the head hole.  I have to admit, I cut the head hole for my 7-year-old a little too large in this pic.  Even still, it looked great.  Once you’ve got the head hole centered cut out a crescent that is about 3 inches deep at the lowest level.  Don’t stress this step!  It’s a little eyeballing, but once it’s on, you won’t even notice a little mess up.
 
Your body piece should now look like this.  And, FYI, it’s done!!!  Just put their little heads through the head hole and the sides are open for arms and lots of karate movement.
 
So, as I said earlier, you could take this step out completely by just buying a black rope or something like that to tie around their waist.  You for sure need something that ties the costume snug and adds to the karate look.  I went with a yard of black cotton because it’s cheap and I needed 4 belts, so I just cut it into 1/4 yard strips width of fabric (so folded salvage edge to salvage edge, I like this because then you don’t have to finish the salvaged edge, it’s already finished for you).
 
Sorry for the sideways picture here, I can’t figure out how to turn it 😉  Anyway, sew the strip, right sides together the length of the fabric.  DO NOT SEW THE ENDS SHUT!  Remember the salvaged edges?  Already finished, no need to do anything, besides, once its sewn you need to…
 
Turn it right side out.  Just reach you hand down through the tube like you’re putting on a sleeve, grab the end and pull the whole thing out.  This pic shows what it looks like when it’s half way done.
 
Then, of course, iron it flat.  Looks much nicer.  Belt, DONE!
 
Once again, sorry for the turn on the photo, but get out your piece of fabric you cut off from the body.  Fold it in half, right sides together with salvage edges together.  You just took that long piece and folded it right in the center.  You want the hood to be 24 inches long, so measure from the fold down 24 inches and then cut straight across the bottom.  Now, round the top.  Again, you are going to eyeball it, but no worries, once it’s on their little heads, it will look great.  While staying as close to the fold as possible cut the top round.
 

Now, measure from the bottom up 10 inches on both sides and pin it.  You want to leave the bottom 10 inches on both sides open, it makes it easier to get the hood on and off and is more comfortable to wear, plus the extra flap tucks into the neck hole of the body piece.  Once it’s pinned and marked, sew it up.  Ignore the hole in the middle, we’ll get to that in a minute.

 

All that’s left is the eye hole.  All you need to do is center an oval on the face.  It measured 5 inches from the top of the hood and about 4 inches across. I actually put he hood on my son and marked on the hood how wide across his eyes needed to make a big enough hole. I took it off and folded in the center of the two marks, then cut a half oval that opened up to look like this…

This was just how it worked in my head to do it, if you have a better idea, please go for it.  In the end you just need an oval that is big enough for them to see out of.  
 
 
And, you’re done!!!Don’t have the time or confidence to make your own costume?  Click here to go to our Etsy store and order one!
 
<3, Sharla

Kids Birthday Party/Mario Party

August 3, 2013 in Guest Blogger

Cassie Walker Throws a Party!

 So, I have some pretty cool friends around here, and they do some pretty amazing things.  Cassie Walker is one of those amazing people.  She’s a good friend to me and a great supporter.  Well, she’s also crazy talented, so I bullied her into doing a guest blog spot for me (I’m sure this won’t be the only one).  So, without further adieu, here is Cassie and her amazing parties.

Birthdays are HUGE in our family.  My kids know that one day a year, the world is theirs.  They each have a ‘yes’ day. (inspired by the book, YES DAY!)  My kids start planning their ‘yes day’ months in advance, knowing that some things require a little more orchestration than a simple, “Can I watch TV all day?”  Along with this comes their parties and cakes. I love to bake and my kids love to design their cakes.  They get inspiration from books, cartoons, the internet, and sometimes they just draw something up and bring it to me as a custom order (like my son did this year with his Mario Cake).  I’m hardly a gourmet and my artistic skills max out at copying.  But with the internet as my ally, I’ve been able to create some pretty fun cakes.  Some of them are downright not awesome. But to my kid, at that time, they were perfect. Enjoy!

1st year  Heart Carrot Cake: This was my first child’s first birthday cake.  While I don’t still have the recipe, I know exactly where it came from… What to Expect the first Year. That book was my baby bible. This cake is filled with vegetables and has no sugar-not kidding.  I make the letter ‘D’ out of grapes.  My son freaked out when everyone sang him happy birthday so he never even really tried the cake.  I did later and it was alright. It is a pretty sweet, simple first year cake. 

Airplane Runway:  This was from my son’s imagination. It’s a box cake with a watch tower made out of an ice cream cone. I used canned frosting that I dyed with Wilton Icing colors (concentrated paste).  The planes were actual di-cast toys that he got to keep. They cost about the same as the cheap cake decorations but lasted longer.  As you’ll soon see, I’m a fan of putting real toys on cakes instead of cheap, plastic decorations. For the words, I put the frosting in a quart sized bag (the sandwich ones are too flimsy), cut a small hole…practiced to make sure I liked the size (always start with a small cut) and then piped on the words.

I used to get the Kraft magazine in the mail a while back and one time, just before my two boys’ birthdays (which are both in the summer), they featured this cake.  They were sold the minute they saw it.  The actual cake however, sacrifices taste in favor of looking more authentic (black licorice tracks, really?)  So, we improved on the cake (Kit Kat tracks) and added train cars filled with my kids favorite candies.  My oldest son had a Spiderman themed party that year, so Spiderman got to ride on the train as well (this time it was a candle, not a toy).  I even covered the cardboard with foil this time!

This was an ambitious effort.  It was my first attempt at fondant.  I used a box cake mix and played around with different sized round pans in my kitchen until I thought the dimensions were right. I ended up using ramekins for the ears. I used a marshmallow fondant recipe.  It was really easy to work with. I used Wilton concentrated paste for the dye and just played around  with shapes and cutouts until it looked like I wanted.  I cut all the shapes with these cookie cutters.  I did first frost the cake with canned frosting, and also used the frosting as glue to hold on my shapes.   Toddles toys were really expensive at the time, so the topper is an actual cake topper. (This was 3 years ago, and I actually can’t find the topper online anymore. 

This was a lazy year (new house, new baby).  Both my sons got cupcakes.  For the second birthday my mom brought a cupcake stand, to add a little something extra.  My kids chose their flavor and toppings.  The first chose rings so that everyone could have a prize in their cupcake.  The second chose his favorite candy, M&M’s and chocolate covered pretzels. 

My daughter only specified Tinkerbell, so I got to use my own creative juices for this one (meaning, the internet).  I just did a google image search and designed a cake around the things that I saw that I liked the most-that looked within my skill set.  The cake is a boxed cake (shocker!) made in a bundt pan.  Why? I don’t know, except I thought that seemed fancy.  It’s frosted with canned frosting and then covered with leaves made from marshmallow fondant. Again, I used Wilton Concentrated paste for the dye. Then I played around and made some dots and flowers.  The flowers actually looked quite awful themselves, but on the cake they sort of blended in.  And when they didn’t, I stuck a fairy on them (actual toys).  Then I made a bunch of chocolate dipped strawberries and filled the bundt cake with them and added them around the edges, since my daughter loves them.

For this cake I did actually buy the cake pan.  My son wanted a volcano cake the next month, so I figured I could justify it. I used a 40% off coupon from Joann’s.   I didn’t, however, want to buy the weird little half dolls that they sell in the cake aisle to go with it. They creeped me out for some reason.  So I just used a real doll (Tinkerbell), and jammed her legs in the cake.  A little messy, but she cleaned up just fine. Of course I washed her thoroughly before jamming her into the cake.  I used a strawberry flavored boxed cake and canned vanilla icing dyed pink.  No fancy details, just big loping swirls that I thought made her dress look ‘billowy.’  It also looks better to be messy on purpose than to try to be all nice and smooth and only sort of accomplish it.  For the top I just put frosting in a quart sized bag (sandwich bags are too flimsy) and swirled on the frosting until she was fully clothed.  I piped a belt, name, and detailing along the bottom and topped each with a raspberry.  Then I surrounded her with lots of fruits.  She’s a fruit fairy after all. (No, she’s a tinker fairy, come on, Cassie.  Just kidding, this is from Sharla).

This cake came straight from  Nick Jr.  I made the cake just like the directions stated and if I did it again, I would just buy a pre-made pound cake.  Box mix for pound cake isn’t as moist or as good as just buying it already made.  Even the way they have you shape the cake I think would be easier to accomplish by cutting a rectangular pound cake.  Mine was uneven and as a result a little unstable.  I melted the frosting, but was worried because it was a little hot that day and I worried about the frosting being too runny, so as a result my finished boat wasn’t the smoothest.  I wanted the wonder pets to ride on the boat, so instead of the paper sail I just disassembled the fly boat toy my daughter got for her birthday and added the pets and the toy sail to the cake. I also couldn’t find the purple ring candy, so I cut my leftover donuts I used for the wheels into the relative shape and then frosted them. This cake was pretty cute, but none of the kids actually liked eating more than the frosting and the little sweet tart balls 

For the wonder pets party each child was given a cape and hopped in the fly boat. I made the capes following the pattern here.  With the leftover material we made capes for the animals they ‘rescued.’ (small stuffed animals my older kids “donated” to the party.) We hid them in the yard and they got to keep the animal they found.  We used craft glue and it was messy and didn’t dry quickly.  Perhaps an instant spray glue would have been better…

I could not get a picture cute enough to do this cake justice. It really was the cutest cake I have ever made.  For Mother’s Day, my mom gave me the book, “Cupcakes, Cookies and Pie, Oh My!” I usually don’t like books because the internet has everything, but this book is chock full of brilliant cake ideas. Even if the actual cakes don’t float your boat, the tips, tricks, and recipes are extremely versatile.  The author’s website has tips and tutorials also.  This is the only cake I’m not going to lay out step by step. Although the instructions weren’t hard, it was 4 pages long. And I do believe in giving credit where credit is due. The book is newish, so if you don’t want to buy it, the library would probably have it for full details.

Here’s the gist:

He was made from one 1 lb. frozen pound cake (most stores sell the smaller one, so I had to search several stores before I found it. Of course it was Walmart).  The frosting is canned vanilla and chocolate, melted and then poured to look smooth. This is an incredible trick!  Melted vanilla tinted yellow is also how I made the dog bowls, which are mini strawberry shortcake bowls.  The ‘water’ is blue tinted frosting melted and poured in.  The dog food is cocoa puffs.   The dog was assembled and held in place using straws and toothpicks and his feet are brownie bites.

When making a cake like this, it can get incredibly expensive to buy all the little parts (I needed one gum drop for his nose, for instance).  This is where the bulk bins at Winco are your best friend.  Saved me a ton!  For the fur to look like fur I scooped frosting into quart sized bags and then piped on little vertical lines in brown and white.  The last trick is the ears.  They are marshmallows cut diagonally.  Dip the sticky inside in sprinkles, secure with toothpicks, frost and voila! 

This cake was awesome and gross. I used my strawberry shortcake recipe for this cake.  I have the best strawberry shortcake recipe EVER for 2 simple reasons. It’s the easiest thing ever to make and it tastes better than anything else I’ve tried.  Obviously there’s a little bit of subjectivity here, so you can try it for yourselves.

Cassie’s Strawberry Short Cake:

1 box store brand yellow cake

Fresh Strawberries (Costco is always the winner here in terms of taste and price)

Heavy Whipping Cream

Sugar

Vanilla

Directions:

Make the cake according to package directions. While cooling, cut and sugar your strawberries to your preference.  Once done, whip up a batch of homemade whipped cream. Easiest thing ever and always a HUGE hit.  Everyone always makes these gourmet, homemade, hard as rock shortcakes and then just gets whipped cream in a tub or can.  That is backwards!  Cheat on the cake, people!, not the topping.  Makes all the difference.

Back to the volcano cake.  I used the same cake pan as I did for the fruit fairy cake because it turns out princess skirts look a lot like volcanoes.  I used the whipped cream for the snow and pureed the strawberries for the lava.  Some kids wouldn’t even touch it, it looked so gross.  Those who did were rewarded for their bravery.

Here are the extras for the landscape:  Canned vanilla frosting tinted green with concentrated food paste.  Spread over entire pan and then going over the entire surface lay your knife down and quickly pull up to create the grass.  I used candy rocks from the bulk bins, blue tinted frosting for the lake, crushed up graham crackers for the beach, and at the last minute, lots of tiny Pokemon figures got stuck everywhere.

This wouldn’t be a complete post if we didn’t give you set-by-step instructions of pulling off a magnificent party, so here it is, the Mario party to end all Mario parties…

 

Mario Cake instructions:  

I doctored a box cake (funfetti) by substituting buttermilk for the water and using 4 eggs instead of whatever the box said. (recipe from the most awesome cake book EVER: Cupcakes, cookies and pie, oh, my!) I used 3 different size cake pans borrowed from the lovely Amy M., and then baked me up some cakes.  The layers are two eight inch rounds, two 5 ½ inch rounds, and 1 ramekin.  The key to getting the cakes to fall out of the pans is to line the bottom of the pan with waxed paper to fit and then to spray it all with nonstick cooking spray.  Cool in pan for 15 minutes, invert and lift pan off cake.

Frosting: From a  can, colored blue. 

Vines and Clouds: Made from Candy Clay:

-one 12 oz bag of white chocolate chips, melted in microwave). 

-1/3 cup light corn syrup added and stirred until well combined.  

Wrap in plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature.  It needs at least 3 hours to firm up and can be made up to 4 days in advance.  When ready to use, knead until smooth, add coloring and knead to blend in.  Then shape into whatever.

Bottom Stripe: Fruit Leather

Sprinkles: Included with the funfetti frosting

 

Mario Party Ideas:

I ordered the invitations from here and it was the best $7 I spent.  I worked with the seller to customize it and she very timely sent me the JPEG file that I then printed myself at Costco.  So cute and so worth it!

We set up Mario Kart on the Wii for the kids to play as they arrived.

There was also a table set up of Mario pictures to color to decorate their bags.   The kids then used the bags to collect “Star Coins” (I couldn’t actually find star coins, so I used these)

 We had the kids perform an obstacle course that they collected star coins at. Some of the stations were Mario related, others had nothing to do with Mario. The kids didn’t mind one bit. The stations were:

1.       1-grab a balloon and carry it through a tunnel. 

2.       Then walk on a balance beam while ducking under _______ (enter the name of your favorite flying Mario villain here). 

3.       Jump on the balloon to pop and collect the coin that was inside the balloon (getting them in there was tricky, but doable).

4.       Climb a vine to collect the star coin on the ceiling

5.       Throw a ring to knock over a water bottle and collect the coin under the water bottle

 6.       Find a star coin buried under every pillow and blanket in our house that were all piled into the spare room

7.       Scale the over sized Love Sac and then dig for a star coin in a bucket of balls on the other side.

 Once they had all their coins, they could redeem them for prizes at the Mario Store, which included:

·         Nerds Ropes

·         Wii-mote crayons, ordered from Etsy These were SUPER CUTE, but the kids didn’t really dig them.  They’re obviously not that practical and most of the kids wanted something else and not these. 

·         Toad’s Trail Mix (made from Swedish fish, chocolate molded stars, pretzels and whoppers). Huge hit.

·         Mario Galaxy Glitter Play dough.  The recipe came from here and I just put them in little jars with a Mario Sticker on them.  AWESOME!!! The play dough feels like the real deal and 3 months later, it’s JUST AS SOFT!

·         Glow sticks

 We also set out a big table with all of our play dough supplies and let the kids go crazy.  And to top it off, we build plastic cup towers that the kids shot down with Nerf guns.  Again, not related to anything, but a huge hit that was FREE J

 As an aside, our son also got Mario related items for his birthday and we were very pleased with all of them so I thought I’d pass them along. Click on the item and the link will take you to where we bought them from.

Mario Blanket-cute little thing that my son loves

Yoshi-He’s smallish, but we’ve been pleased

Wall Decals-This is the real winner and on his wall, it looks awesome. It took 3 weeks to get here however, so plan accordingly (shipped from Israel). My son has very dark paint on his walls and it still looked fantastic.

-Cassie

And there you have it.  Cassie, you are really and truly amazing.  Your cakes are fabulous but the love you poured into them is really what is inspirational.  Big thanks for this amazing post.  We here at All Things Fabulous know that you, my friend, are FABULOUS!

<3, Sharla