Showing posts with label Party. Show all posts

The Best Halloween Party Activities

Last year right before Halloween I let Kyle and Kinsley have a few friends over from school for a Halloween party. Since our kids have summer birthdays that don't translate well to birthday parties with everyone being out of town on vacation, an annual Halloween party has been a bit of our substitute. 

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I'm not one for getting too fancy with parties and making anything super extravagant, but this party was so easy to put together literally anyone could do it. A tray of Halloween candy from Amazon, some Halloween themed snacks from the grocery store, and and a few Halloween party activities made this party super easy to throw together. 

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If you're planning a party this fall and need some Halloween party activities for the occasion, I've got you four easy Halloween party activities you can do with minimal prep work on your end. 

Four Halloween Party Activities:

A Halloween Snack Time: 

If you're looking to kill time at a party until parents get back, never underestimate the power of a nice long snack time. Turns out kids love to eat. For this party we served some basic snacks all kids like: pretzels, veggie straws, and crackers. Than I bought a tray of Halloween candy on Amazon which was super festive and almost no work on my end. I finished things off with some Halloween themed Kool-Aid, and Dollar Tree plates and napkins and our Halloween snack time was complete. 

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Halloween Themed Painting Kits:

I found these wooden Halloween painting kits at the craft store for about 75 cents and purchased one for each of the kids at the party. I've also seen them at Dollar Tree and Target, so keep an eye out and you're sure to find them. The idea of having seven kids painting in my house all at once was a little nerve wracking, but it honestly wasn't that bad and they all loved getting to paint their craft!

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Halloween Bingo:

This is my go-to for basically any Halloween party. Class party: bingo. House party: bingo. Family party... you get the idea. I love these free Halloween Bingo Printables from Crazy Little Projects, and have used them several times over the years! We used the candy from the candy tray as our markers, which made it all the more fun for our participants! 

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Pin the Bat on the Web:

One of our Halloween traditions is making a big spider web on the wall of our house. I do this using black painters tape and it's super easy to put together. For a full tutorial, you can see this Halloween Tablescape blog post. For this game I traced and cut out black bats with construction paper, wrote each child's name on the bat, and then they got to put a blindfold on, spin around, and see how close to the center of the web they could get their bat. 

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These are some of our go-to Halloween party activities, but I'd love to know if there are other things you love doing with your kids in the comments!

If you loved this post, The Best Halloween Party Activities, you might also like:

Be sure to follow along on Instagram @thehappyflammily to stay up-to-date on all the latests posts and projects!

A Minimal Valentine's Party for Kids

Last year I really wanted to make Valentine's Day a fun and special day for our kids. It felt like we were going through a lot at the time- Kyle had recently had eye surgery, Kinsley had her first hospital stay a couple months prior, we'd just adopted a dog and were adjusting to all of that, and Kinsley had just recently been put on this huge sensory program that was taking over our lives... I wanted my kids to know that I loved them and wanted to make Valentine's a special day just for them.

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So I ran out to Michael's and Target the day before Valentine's Day and bought whatever clearance decorations they had left. Some $1 balloons that we hung on our fireplace, a couple boxes of chocolate, party plates, and then made due with other things that we had around the house. It wound up being super perfect, and the kids had a great time celebrating when they got home from school.

If you're needing some kid friendly Valentine's Day party ideas this year, here are some easy ideas to make it special.

Hearts with Affirmations on their Bedroom Doors:

I saw this idea running around on Facebook last year. The idea was to put one affirmation on their door everyday leading up to Valentine's Day. I'm not that much of a forward thinker, so I just did this the night before. I made some construction paper hearts, wrote the messages, and taped them to their door. Kyle especially LOVED this, and it's something I'm planning on repeating again this year.

You could also make this into a fun heart garland to hang in their bedroom. I loved doing this though because it was an easy way to pawn it off as a Valentine Card from me as well.

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Simple Valentine's Day Decor:

We didn't go all out on decor. (But I do have some Valentine's Day Crafts here if you're up to it!) The only decor we really had were these balloons we bought for a dollar the day before on clearance at the craft store. It was just enough to make the house look festive, and allowed for a fun photo-op before school.

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An Easy Valentine's Tablescape:

We always have a roll of kraft paper on hand. I decided to cut two long strips, and tape it to the table, and then I took the kids crayons and decorated it the night before. I put fun little Valentine's messages on the paper, wrote everyones names by their places at the table, and colored some conversation hearts. It was a perfect work of art! We already had the placemats that we bought on amazon, and then layered our festive paper plates on top.

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Simple Little Kid Valentines:

Lastly, the kids got little Valentine's from Derek and I. Again, these were clearance finds the day before Valentine's at the craft store, but we got little sticker books, little llamas they could color with markers, and a little heart shaped box of chocolates (you could also do those little candy hearts if your kids like those!). We probably spent under $3 per kid, but it kept them entertained, and was a fun little afternoon activity. For a little snack, we bought a half dozen pink donuts from the bakery, and the kids each got one when they got home.

Valentine party theme names. Valentine gala ideas. Valentines day party games. Valentines day party themes college. Valentines day event names ideas. Valentine dinner theme names. Love themed party ideas. Valentine party decorations. Valentines for minimalists.

Valentine party theme names. Valentine gala ideas. Valentines day party games. Valentines day party themes college. Valentines day event names ideas. Valentine dinner theme names. Love themed party ideas. Valentine party decorations. Valentines for minimalists.


How do you celebrate Valentine's Day with your kids? I'd love to know in the comments below!

If you liked this post, A Minimal Valentine's Party for Kids, You might also like:

Be sure to follow along on Instagram @thehappyflammily to stay up-to-date on all the latest posts and projects.

4 Annual Birthday Traditions

Yesterday Kyle turned seven! It was such a fun day watching him have a day dedicated completely to him. Now that we've done the birthday thing quite a few times, we've finally gotten into a rhythm with how we like to celebrate birthdays, and what works best for our family. We typically do these four things when our kids celebrate a birthday, and they've come to look forward to it every year!



Pick The Meals:
We let our kids pick the meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, no matter how crazy they are. Kyle asked for mac n cheese for breakfast, scrambled eggs for lunch, and pizza for dinner, and we totally honored that request. Until he changed his mind to french toast, tacos, and pizza at the last minute... but we totally go whatever their heart desires!

Birthday Decorations:
I am not a pinterest mom that will be up for 12 hours making DIY decorations for every birthday, but I've found that there are some amazing and affordable options on Amazon that pack a big punch. All these Mario balloons that we bought for Kyle's birthday were only $12 and worth every penny! We just blew them up with air instead of helium and taped them to the wall with masking tape, and they totally stayed up all day long!


Pick a Cake:
Know that binder of cakes at the grocery store with all the characters and fun designs on them? We definitely let our kids pick one of those for their birthday and it's so much fun! They're only $20 for a double layer round cake, and totally worth it when the alternative is trying to DIY it myself and becoming the next viral meme from pinterest fail blog. Bonus, they decorate them with real toys that the kids can keep afterwards too!



Pick an Activity:
We always let our kids pick what they want to do each year on their birthday. Some years we've gone to the aquarium, or a trampoline gym. Yesterday Kyle wanted to go to the fire station to see the fire trucks, so we did that and let all his firefighter dreams come true! 

What traditions do you do for birthdays at your house? I'd love to hear about them in the comments below!


Be sure to stay up-to-date on all of the latest things in our lives by following along in instagram @thehappyflammily!

DIY Summertime Soda Bar| Our Favorite Torani Drink Combos


This post is sponsored by Torani.

Summer is one of my very favorite seasons. Not only do we celebrate Kyle and Kinsley's birthdays, but it's also an awesome time to get together with friends and neighbors, and catchup on all the events from the school year with one another. 


We love hosting little parties for friends at our house, and thought it would be fun to kick off summer with a DIY soda and snow cone bar with some friends when school got out. Here where we live, soda shops are literally on every corner. You drive through, order a soda with whatever version of Torani syrup you like best, and go about the rest of your day. I definitely think this is something that is unique to where we live, but I seriously love it! 


Torani syrups are great because they're crafted to bring the best out in your drinks or dessert, so you can make something your own in a delicious way. I love that they're made with real and simple ingredients like pure cane sugar and natural flavors. They're also incredibly easy to use, simply pour a little into your drink, or on top of shaved ice to create a delicious and refreshing summer drink or treat. 


For this soda and snow cone bar, I gathered up some of my favorite Torani Flavors from World Market: Watermelon, Peach, Mango, Lime, and Coconut. Then I gathered together some of our favorite sodas, and a large bowl of shaved ice for the kids to make snow cones, and let everyone have fun making their favorite treat. 

Our kids and their friends were so delighted over this little party that they've been begging to have a "soda stand" this summer to make a little money. It's such a fun and cute idea that I totally think we might have to oblige them and make it happen! 

Watermelon Peach Mountain Dew:
12oz Mountain Dew
1 tbsp Torani Watermelon Syrup
1 tbsp Torani Peach Syrup
Ice

Crazy Coke Zero:
1 tbsp Torani Coconut Syrup
1 tbsp Torani Lime Syrup
12 oz Coke Zero
Ice

DIY Snow Cones:
Put a bunch of ice into a food processor and blend until it resembles a fine snow consistency. Top with your favorite Torani flavored syrups for the perfect summer treat your kids will love! Bonus points if you find some snow cone cups!

Sources: 
Soda Sign (file download and then did engineer print at local print shop)
Cake Stand


Be sure to stay up-to-date on all of the latest things in our lives by following along in instagram @thehappyflammily!

A Flammily Halloween Party

Over the weekend we went up to Idaho for our oldest nephew's birthday. He is the oldest of 17 grandchildren, and was turning 12 and getting ordained as a deacon at church on Sunday, so we went up to celebrate his big day, and since everyone was all there at the same time, we threw a Halloween party for the nieces and nephews too! 













This party was basically a pinterest explosion with all the fun things we've seen on the internet since the dawn of the beloved social media platform in 2012. We had everything from apple monsters, homemade root beer, a pumpkin made of carrots and black olives, string cheeses with ghost faces drawn on the wrappers, and so many other fun things!








We also did several minute to win it games, like carrying a plastic eye ball on a spoon and seeing who could cross the finish line first, and who could blow a spider ring across a sheet pan while only blowing through a straw the fastest. I made a fun ping pong ball game where I painted some mason jars orange and black and then we had ping pong balls and you got a prize every time you got the ball into a jar. One of my sister-in-laws made a fun pumpkin poke game where they hid tricks (toothpaste or floss), or treats (candy) inside some solo cups wrapped with tissue paper and you had to blindly poke through one and see what you got! My super talented niece made the pin the hat on the pumpkin game, which turned out so cute! I can't believe she is only 11 and can draw like that!










I come from a super small family with zero first cousins and so I love that we get to live relatively close to all of Derek's siblings so that we can do fun things like this from time to time. One of Derek's older sisters is usually the one that takes the wheel for the big gatherings like this and she always knocks it out of the park. Reasons like this are such a huge reason why we moved back to Utah, and I'm so grateful our kids get to grow up having moments like this in their life.

A Summer S'mores Party

This post was sponsored by Nabisco as part of an Influencer Activation with Influencer Central. All opinions expressed in my post are my own. 



When Derek and I were in college, his roommate, and my neighbor started dating each other right around the same time that Derek and I started dating. Since we were both coupled off with each other, we spent a lot of time hanging out with each other the summer before Derek and I got married. They got married about a year after we did, and even though we've both moved many times, and to different states here and there, we've always made our friendship with one another a priority throughout the years, and always see each other whenever we get the chance.


Evan and Fernanda were in town last week, so we decided that it would be fun to have a mini outdoor s'mores party with them after we all put our babies to bed. I knew we wanted to have a s'mores party with them before they got here, but we didn't have outdoor furniture, or a fire pit, which both seemed to be eliminating factors to my plan. We wound up borrowing a table from our neighbors, chairs from a different neighbor, and then I saw this DIY on Pinterest where you could make mini fire pits from a terracotta pot, and some charcoal wrapped in tin foil, and all of a sudden we each had our own mini fire pits to roast our marshmallows. 


When choosing snacks for our s'mores party, we headed to Walmart to pickup everything we needed. I've found that I love shopping at Walmart because I can pick up everything I need from food, refreshments, and serving dishes all in one location without having to make multiple trips to different stores when I'm getting ready for a party.


We wanted to do a little "s'mores bar", so we got a lot of varying NABISCO treats from Walmart to make it all the more fun. We had a large selection of Family Size Oreo Cookies, Family Size Chip's Ahoy Cookies, and Family Size Honey Maid Grahams. This was a fun way to give a little variety to the traditional s'mores treat, and we even had some Swedish Fish to snack on, should anyone not be in the mood for a s'more (but really, who doesn't love s'mores?!)


NABISCO has launched a Summer Snack N' Share sweepstakes. When you share an image of your friends and family enjoying their favorite NABISCO products, they can enter to win $10,000 and other daily prizes. Shop for your favorite NABISCO snacks at Walmart all summer long. 


NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to residents of the 50 United States, D.C., Puerto Rico, 18 and older. Sponsor, related entities, their families, and those living in the same household are ineligible. Ends 11:59 pm ET on 9/5/18. Void where prohibited. Visit www.nabiscosnacknshare.com to play and f or details including free method of entry. 

My New Go-To Place for Stationary

This post is in partnership with Basic Invite, my new go-to source for invitations and stationary, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

This year when the kids started school I found myself in this situation where I would need to send in notes with the kids for various reasons, and then I wouldn't have any good paper to write the notes on. A huge sheet of printer paper looked odd, and the free stationary I keep getting from St. Jude's is nice, but certainly not ideal. There were several moments where I found myself saying, "I really need to get some good stationary."



A few weeks ago I learned about a new-to-me company called, Basic Invite. They have a wide variety of cards available to customize from wedding invites, birth announcements, graduations, and more. They also have a large collection of stationary that you can personalize to your needs and desires as well. So if you're looking for invitations for a baby shower for a boy, or elephant baby shower invitations, or stationary for any occasion, Basic Invite has your back!



All their stationary is printed on high quality paper, and they have a design for anything you need. I love having something that has both my name and phone number on it, especially when I'm handing in something to one of my kid's teachers. That way if there are any issues on their end with whatever was in the note, they can call me for more details or information as needed.


I feel like custom, personalized stationary would make for an awesome birthday gift for anyone in your life because it's such a practical gift that will get used. Often times I feel like I'll get gifts, but then never have an ideal time to use them, but stationary is something that everyone needs, and when it's cute and personalized with watercolor, or gold foil designs, I feel like you're all the more excited to put it to good use.


Another item they have that I love is their thank you cards. I feel like all to often we're sent a random gift in the mail and then I never have thank you cards on hand to write them back. Basic Invite has a large collection of almost 2,000 thank you card designs so there is something for every taste and preference. The best part about their entire site though is that you can order samples of any and all designs you choose among all of their products, and then see how you like one before you go and order 500 of them. It's the perfect way to try before you buy! Right now you can also get 15% off your total purchase with the code: 15FF51 at checkout, and can even be used on samples too! 

An Easy Football Tablescape + 2 Game Day Recipes



I'm going to be a little honest. Derek loves watching football when he gets the chance throughout the fall and winter months. Me on the other hand, I could really care less. However, tell me to invite a bunch of friends over for a football game and let me turn it into a party for a small crowd? I'm all in. 


I used to get really stressed out about throwing parties and making sure everything was just right and worrying about all the details, but I've got it down to such an easy science at this point that I can go from, "the house is a disaster", to "party in the basement!" in about one hour of work. 


Once I've gone through the house and have straightened up the messes, I hop onto my computer and print off some cute and easy printables, 100% of the time found on Pinterest. I put my kids to work cutting them out, and then have Derek tape them together. While they're busy doing that, I get work done in the kitchen.



I find parties are really easy to do if you have a few key entertaining essentials on hand. My cake stand, serving trays, burlap table runner, and glass water dispenser are workhorses for us in terms of throwing a party. I also find keeping the food simple is an easy way to not feel stressed out either. 



For this game day spread I decided to keep things really easy by just letting everyone do a DIY sandwich bar with Hillshire Farm® Turkey, and Ham lunch meats from Walmart, and then I also cooked up some Buffalo Chicken Tyson® Any’tizers® Snacks, and served them along side a large selection of vegetables, and my favorite ranch dressing. And because kids are a part of every single thing, I like to keep some quick and easy Ball Park® Hot Dogs on hand along with some Ball Park® Hot Dog Buns as an easy option that will keep everyone happy. If you have just a little bit more time on your hands, two of my favorite game day recipes are shown below:


Grilled Ham and Cheese with Chipotle Infused Gouda:
This recipe is a favorite that I fell in love with a couple years ago. It's a great and flavorful way to use up some Hillshire Farm® Smoked Ham that you have sitting in your fridge, and it the perfect blend of sweet and smoky flavors working together for one amazing sandwich. 

Ingredients:(Yields 1 sandwich)
2 slices Bread
2 oz Chipotle Gouda
4 thinly sliced pieces of smoked ham
3 tbsp chopped parsley
3 tbsp caramelized onions

Directions:
Caramelize your onions by sautéing them on medium low heat in olive oil for thirty minutes. When onions are done, butter one side of each slice of bread. Put the butter side down in a pan on medium low heat, and then quickly layer the cheese, ham, parsley, and onions. Cook for two minutes, or until first side is golden brown, then flip and cook the other side for two minutes. If needed cover the pan to help the cheese melt. 

BBQ BAKED BEANS:
This is one of my all-time favorite crowd pleasing recipes! I made this for the first time for a fourth of July party a few years ago and everyone told me they were the best beans they ever had. No surprise that six years later I'm still making them. Most of the ingredients can be found in your pantry, and then top them off with some Wright Brand® Bacon and you're good to go! 

Ingredients:
8 slices bacon (the thick kind), halved
1 medium onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
3 28oz cans Pork and Beans
3/4 cup BBQ sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tbsp dijon mustard

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 325°F In a large pot render the fat out of the bacon (don't cook it all the way, just enough that the fat comes off, but not cooked enough that you would want to eat it). Remove the bacon from the pan, and set on paper towels to get rid of the excess fat.

Sauté, the onions and peppers together in the drippings from the bacon until soft. About five minutes. Remove the peppers and onions from the pot, and drain on paper towels as well. Drain the remaining bacon grease out of the pot. 

Put the pot back on the stove over medium heat and add the peppers, onions, beans, BBQ sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, and mustard. Bring the mixture up to a simmer, and let simmer for 5 minutes.

Transfer the entire bean mixture into a 9x13 dish and then place the bacon slices on top. Bake low and slow in your preheated oven for 2 hours.

When the beans are done cooking, there will be a lot of liquid in your pan. Remove the bacon slices carefully from the top, and place them on a plate for a minute. Take a slotted spoon and transfer the beans to another 9x13 pan, draining off as much of the excess liquid as possible. Then arrange the bacon slices back on the top of the beans, and place under the broiler for 5 minutes. At this point you can either cover them with foil, hop in the car and head to your BBQ, or grab a fork and dig in!

What are your favorite game day recipes? Be sure to share all your good ideas in the comments below!

Printables: