First Birthday Smash Cake Recipes

cheerios smash cake

(Disclosure: This is a compensated post but all thoughts are my own.)

Above is one of my favorite pictures of Lucas. It’s him enjoying his cake on his first birthday. He loved smashing it and squishing it between his hands and it was fun to watch his face as he tasted the sweetness of the cake.

Betty Crocker, America’s baking expert, surveyed moms and found that the most memorable part of a first birthday party is the birthday cake itself. To help make the moment extra special with a homemade touch, Betty Crocker has created a line-up of easy-to-make birthday smash cake recipes that babies can’t wait to get their hands on. Here are some of my favorites:

Confetti Smash Cake

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#1 Cutout Smash Cake

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Cheerios Smash Cake

Aren’t those the cutest!? You can find more great smash cake recipes here. Also, check out the infographic from Betty Crocker below to see how easy it is to make your child’s smash cake for their first birthday!

What did you do for your child’s first birthday? I’d love to hear :)

Birthday Celebration 2013 {Pictures}

bday party 12

Both of my boys have birthdays in June and my brother has two kids with birthdays in May and July. This year, instead of two or three different parties, we decided to do one family celebration. We wanted to find somewhere that wasn’t too expensive, fun for the 3-6 age range, and that had room for the adults to sit and chat. We decided on Chuck E. Cheese’s. Here are some of my favorite pictures from their party.

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(Disclosure: This is not a compensated post. My mom and dad ended up paying for the kid’s party this year. We are so blessed!)

Pump It Up’s “Save Childhood, Support Imagination” Campaign {Giveaway}

pump it up

(Disclosure: I received passes from Pump It Up but all thoughts are my own.)

I believe children learn best through play so I’m excited to share about Pump It Up’s “Save Childhood, Support Imagination” campaign. With all of the tv watching and video games, our children are spending less time than ever playing and using their imaginations. Pump It Up’s campaign urges moms to commit to increased imaginative playtime and provides tools to help them accomplish this goal. 

To kick off the national initiative, Pump It Up is encouraging Moms to sign an “Imagination Declaration,” in which they commit to 1 hour each day engaging in imaginative playtime with their children in an effort to result in lifestyle changes for families across the country. To pump up parents for the challenge, the company has also created a fun “Imagination Evaluation”, a quiz to help Moms and their kids measure their imaginations.

As an added resource, Moms who sign the pledge can opt-in to receive a monthly email with helpful tips to keep their pledge to Support Imagination at home. Moms are also encouraged to visit the Support Imagination blog for additional creative ideas.

Pump It Up has also made some changes in its private parties to encourage imaginative play. Children who choose to have their birthday parties at Pump It Up can now have “Adventure Parties,” which take children through imaginary journeys as Pirates and Superheroes with new experiences added each year .

As a side note, one thing I really love about Pump It Up is their support of Autism awareness. As a parent of a child who has Autism I was happy to see a special jump night where some of the proceeds are donated to a cause I am passionate about :)

 GIVEAWAY

Pump It Up is offering 4 Pop-in-Playtime passes to one Making Time For Mommy reader. The passes are redeemable at any of the 150 locations across the country.

HOW TO ENTER

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Leave a comment telling me why you want to win

2) Share on a social network and leave the link below

3) Comment on another one of my posts

Giveaway ends July 20, 2013 at 11:59pm central time. Must be a US resident aged 18 and older to enter.

Buzz Lightyear {Glow-In-The-Dark} Themed Party

buzz collage

(Disclosure: Compensation and products for review were provided by Glidden via MomTrends. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Glidden.)

After spending a month or so redecorating the boys room, we were really excited to host a small party and show it off. Since the theme of the room was Buzz Lightyear and we had used the Glidden glow-in-the-dark paint I wanted to have a Buzz Lightyear themed party. It was so fun!

Before it started we had to decorate. Here are some pictures of the decor:

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We did a lot of themed activities. Here are some pictures of all the fun we had:

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We made Buzz Lightyear themed candy necklaces.

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We painted white t-shirts with glow-in-the-dark puffy paint. Not my best idea ever apparently since all of the children loaded the paint on and I had to keep all of the shirts to dry.

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They played an alien game, grabbing aliens with “the claw” like in Toy Story.

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We also painted figurines. I bought a box of Toy Story ones, a box of Disney Princess ones and a box of Disney Cars ones.

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Once it started getting darker we had some glow-in-the dark fun. To start, each child got some glow-in-the-dark bracelets. We also had balloons that glowed in the dark. The kids built a tent with a blanket to sit in so that all the items could shine to their fullest in the pitch black.

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Of course checking out the walls in Jake and Luke’s room was a must. Since their walls are a light color the glow-in-the-dark paint was kind of camouflaged with the lights on (unless you looked closely) so it was a huge surprise when the lights were turned off. With the lights off, the designs on the walls along with the stars on the ceiling glowed.

I was a little disappointed that the big Buzz Lightyear decal I had bought for the wall didn’t glow but it was still cool to have to add to the theme of the room.

Everyone loved the walls. Every night when their light goes off, Jake still says, “Look mom!”. I’m not sure the novelty will ever go away since every night he seems to be amazed that his walls are glowing.

As for my thoughts on the paint, I thought it added some uniqueness to the room. Sinisa thought the paint went on easily and spread evenly. I’d recommend using a sponge tipped brush if using stencils. We originally tried a small roller and that did not work at all and paintbrushes worked okay but I didn’t think they were the best tool we could have used and some of the paint smeared a bit under the stencil and dripped a bit. For stencils we used a cluster of stars, two planets, and a space shuttle.

When it comes to the paint glowing, it should be noted that it only lasts for a short period of time (like 5 minutes). It’s advertised to have a short glowing period so that time frame was expected but I would have liked for it to last a bit longer. The lights also need to be turned on ahead of time for the paint to glow (I’d recommend half an hour or so). Overall, I was pleased with the paint and would use it again in the future.
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Birthday Party Inspiration {Giveaway}

birthday party themes

Though it’s only March I’m already thinking about the boys birthday parties. Both have birthdays in June so we normally do a joint party. Thankfully both of them like similar things since they are only a year apart in age and a joint party works for us still. I don’t see it happening for many more years as even this year, at ages 3 and 4, they are starting to grow apart. Jacob says he wants an “Avengers” party and Lucas wants a “pink cake” (though I know he would be happy with an Avengers party as well). I don’t see a pink cake fitting in with the Avengers theme.

So of course there are the themes that the boys want and then there are the themes that this mom would choose if she had her choice. I was browsing Minted.com which is a site that has everything from birthday card invites to wedding invitations to birth announcements to Holiday cards and has inspiration boards with themed party ideas. Here are some of my favorites birthday party ones:

 

Robot Party by Gina, see more Minted

Robot Party board by Gina. See more Minted

Rainbow Theme by Gina, see more Minted.com

Rainbow Theme board by Gina. See more Minted.com

And just because I couldn’t resist posting this adorable little theme for girls (though Lucas would LOVE this as well….)

Tea Party by Gina, see more www.minted.com

Tea Party board by Gina. See more www.minted.com

Aren’t these fabulous party ideas!? I love that the inspiration boards cover everything from the invites to decorations to snacks. Any reason you can think to throw a party, Minted is there to provide the cards and inspiration you need!

Are you planning a party soon? One lucky reader is going to win $50 to Minted.com!

HOW TO ENTER:

{Do any or all of the following, leave a separate comment for each you do}

1) Tell me what special occasion you need invites or announcements for

2) Tell me which birthday party invite is your favorite

3) Like Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

4) Like Minted on Facebook

5) Comment on another post

6) Subscribe to this blog via email

Giveaway ends 3/26 at 11:59pm Central time.

(Disclosure: I received a credit to Minted.com for posting but all thoughts are my own. This post is not associated with Facebook in any way.)

The Amazing Spider-Man Themed Party

spiderman27

With The Amazing Spider-Man movie’s upcoming release on November 9th the stores have been full of Spider-man mania and infected our house! The kids and I wanted to throw a Spider-Man party for our extended family so we headed to Walmart to get our food and decorations.

We got Spider-Man tableware, party favors, and themed activities to do during the party. It was then time to head to the grocery side and stock up on food.

I was excited to find The Amazing Spider-Man pizza boxes that Walmart had out for the movie release. Closer to the movie launch, Walmart will be releasing Amazing Spider-Man themed Augmented Reality triggers that will be included on the pizza box & display pallet, triggering special Amazing Spider-Man experiences on shoppers’ iPhone, iPad or Android in-store.We also got boxes of cheese-it’s and fruit snacks that had Spider-Man packaging. And what party would be complete without some kind of dessert? We got a package of cupcakes that had Spider-Man rings on top of them.

I decided to host the party at my mom’s house since it’s larger than mine. My brother’s family came over for the party and the kids are always excited to see their cousins. Each of them wore a Spider-Man shirt for the occasion. While the pizzas cooked and I set the table the kids watched Spider-Man cartoons.

I kept the table-settings easy. I used disposable Spider-Man plates and plain napkins. I was going to get disposable cups too but Walmart had kid’s reusable cups for less than a dollar each so I chose to get them and then each child could have one to take home. I loved the masks because they were an inexpensive way for the kids to pretend to be Spider-Man. They were a hit with the adults, too! My brother put one on and was a good sport and let me take his picture!

After we ate pizza the children enjoyed doing a variety of activities. They colored Spider-Man pages, made sticker books, and played with Spider-Man character figures.

Before leaving everyone enjoyed the Spider-Man cupcakes.

At the end of the party each child took home a goodie bag with Spider-Man figures, fruit snacks, stickers, sticker books, rings, masks, and cups.

Are you a Spider-Man fan? Did you know that you can view the movie before it comes out on the 9th?! Since we bought the pre-purchase case we were able to watch the movie on October 30th and will get the hard copy mailed to us when it’s released. If you get The Amazing Spider-Man Pre-Purchase from Walmart you can watch the movie on VUDU now along with being able to access special features. You can get all of the details by reading my post from last month. This is a must buy for any Spider-Man fan!

(Disclosure: I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment #CBias #SocialFabric #SpiderManWMT )

A TCBY Tropical Birthday Celebration

tcby and smarties

I wanted to do something special to celebrate Luke’s birthday and first day of preschool so I put together a little tropical luau themed celebration for him. The first thing I did was head to the store last night and buy the decor and groceries I needed. You can see my whole shopping trip in my Google+ album.

We got three different flavors of TCBY Frozen Yogurt because I couldn’t decide on just one!

This morning I sent Lucas to school, did a bit of cleaning, and got started on some special treats for the party. I first wanted to try my hand at making dipped ice cream cones.

I decided to use smarties instead of sprinkles around the cone. I used a rolling pin to break them into tiny pieces. Once I was done with that I dumped them out on a plate.

I then melted a bar of vanilla candy coating. I really liked using this product because I could stick it in the microwave to melt it and it had easy to follow directions so I couldn’t really mess it up.

After melting and stirring the vanilla candy coating I carefully dipped my cones into the dish. I lifted them and let them drip upside down for a few seconds before rolling them in crushed smarties.

I used the same process for waffle bowls and also decided to make candy coated stirring spoons. I put everything in the fridge for about 20 minutes to harden the candy coating.

I covered the table with a bright table cloth and set everything up for our guests. I couldn’t wait until everyone arrived.

I provided a variety of frozen yogurt toppings and some cookies I thought went well with the frozen treats.

I found fun beach themed napkins and plates. The kids also loved drinking a tropical punch from a cup with a silly straw.

Some friends arrived before Lucas got home. They had fun making a craft, playing in the water table, and ate peanut butter sandwiches for lunch.

The birthday boy was home from his first day of preschool! It was time to enjoy some TCBY frozen yogurt!!

Most of the children chose the TCBY vanilla bean frozen yogurt in a plain cone. With sprinkles of course!!

The moms all chose to eat the English Toffee flavor. This one is my favorite out of all the TCBY Frozen Yogurt flavors (and yes, I have tried every one of their products!) It is so delicious and I love the toffee pieces and the caramel in it is so sweet.

The frozen yogurt is even a hit with toddlers! My friend said that TCBY could stand for “Toddlers Best Choice of frozen Yogurt” :)

I had fun getting together with friends to celebrate Luke’s birthday. I also love that I could share TCBY frozen yogurt with them.

Want to try TCBY’s Frozen Yogurt? Head to your local Walmart’s freezer section because select Walmart’s have these delicious treats! You can also win Walmart gift cards at the upcoming TCBY Twitter Party!

TCBY Twitter Party:
Date:  Thursday, June 28, 2012 from 1pm – 2pm EST
Hashtag: #TCBYGrocery
Prizes:   3 – $25 Walmart Gift Cards and 1 – $100 Walmart Gift Card

Connect with TCBY and Smarties:

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(Disclosure: I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and TCBY #CBias #SocialFabric #TCBYGrocery)

Disney Cars Themed Birthday Party Ideas

CARS BIRTHDAY PARTY IDEAS

The boys had a blast at their Disney Cars themed birthday party.

Below are some of the Cars decorations, treats, and fun themed activities we did:

Indoor Fun: Car mat w/ cars

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Jacob colored a Lightning McQueen cutout and then we had smaller cars as well to decorate the living room

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The cake table was setup with balloons, some cars cutouts, and the goodie bags

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Dessert #1: Rice Krispie Treat Stoplights- I had planned to dip the rice krispie treats in chocolate before putting the m&m’s on them but we were short on time.

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Dessert #2: Cars cake

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The boys LOVED this huge Cars mural. It was over 5 feet tall. I got it from Party City and plan on finding a permanent home for it in the boys room.

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I found this trophy and thought it would be perfect for the party. I told them it was the Piston Cup, just like the Cars try to win in the movie. They are still carrying it around days later :)

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The kids enjoyed doing a Cars sand art project. It was really messy so I was happy that I’d chosen to do it outside!

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All of the children had fun breaking apart the pinata. I liked this one because all they had to do was pull strings for it to open. The ones that need to be broken open with a bat are not so easy for my young kids to do.

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I bought Mater party hats but we found them hard to put together. The kids didn’t like them because the hats covered their eyes. This was the one party item I bought that I wish I wouldn’t have.

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At the end of the party the kids got Cars themed goodie buckets overflowing with Cars themed fun.

Overall it was a great party! :)

‘The Avengers’ Superhero Birthday Party Ideas

avengers super hero party

With the success of ‘The Avengers’ movie I think there will be a lot of children wanting superhero birthday parties. Here are some great ideas from Ms. Ricky Eisen, Founder and President of Events and Celebrations by Between the Bread on how to throw a superhero party worthy of ‘The Avengers’.

Invitations: Start your party off right with the perfect invitation. You can make your own postcard invitations with cardboard cut-outs of bright blue painted stars, and include the details about your party in a thin black marker. Decorate the front of each with classic comic book words like POW!, ZAP! And WAM!

Décor: The Avengers bring together 6 epic superheroes. Create your own easy decorations with cardboard cutouts of spiders and paint them black, neon green head’s of The Hulk and classic American flags for Captain America and, throughout the party, use bold colored streamers, which will add some mystery to the room.

Centerpieces: Choose your favorite Avenger and decorate the table around that character. Use lots of primary colors, since comic strips are usually blue, yellow and red. Print outs of comic book pages covered in contact paper make great placemats. Blanket your tables with these to tie the décor together and include stars, spiders and Hawkeye cut-outs on wooden sticks around the table with silver confetti.

Music: Keep the music simple but fun. “Live to Rise,” the original song written for and appearing in the film is the first single from the Marvel Music/Hollywood Records release Avengers Assemble.  The epic and cinematic video, featuring a searing live performance with film footage, was directed by Robert Hales (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Janet Jackson, Kings of Leon, Justin Timberlake).  View “Live To Rise”:  http://www.vevo.com/watch/soundgarden/live-to-rise-from-marvels-the-avengers/USH5V1221447 or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3ZNtOcY_1A

Menu: Mini snacks such as cut-out tea-sandwiches make great finger food. Look for cookie cutters in shields, stars and spiders to create these treats. For Incredible Hulk themed beverages, create trays of green ice cubes by freezing water with green food color, and WOW! guests as their clear citrusy beverages transform color before their very eyes.

Party Favors: As a parting gift, place a few Avenger designed cookies in a cellophane bag and close with a gold twist-tie – your guests can enjoy the party for days to follow with these treats!”

RECIPE

 1.    Whip up a batch of your favorite sugar cookie recipe and use a cookie cutter to make character cookies.  They make Superhero cookie cutters in the shape of many Avengers heroes.  You can also use any oval shaped cookie cutter and instead fill in the details with your decorating.  Once your cookies are baked and cooled, you are ready to begin decorating.

2.    You can make your own royal icing (See:  How to Make Your Own Royal Icing included below) or use store-bought.  Color with food coloring to achieve the various colors you want for decorating.  We recommend green (for the Hulk), yellow, blue, black, white, and brown.  Place each color in a piping bag.

3.    Begin by outlining the cookie in your base color.  (If you were starting with The Hulk, outline the entire shape in green.  Color in your outline with green icing and cover the entire cookie.  (You can actually use a paintbrush to “paint” your cookie.)  Give the base a few minutes to dry and choose your next color.  For The Hulk’s hair, outline his hairline in black and proceed to fill in with black icing.  You can continue to draw features in and watch your character come to life.

How to Make Your Own Royal Icing

  • 3 egg whites, at room temperature.  We prefer dehydrated egg whites, available at most supermarkets.
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • food coloring (optional)

Mix above ingredients with a little warm water until smooth.  Add food coloring.

(Disclosure: All information courtesy of Disney. I was not compensated for this post.)

Firetruck Themed Birthday Party

firefighter themed birthday party

My boys’ birthdays are in June. It’s February and I am just now sharing pictures of the great firetruck themed birthday party we had to celebrate Luke’s 2nd and Jake’s 3rd birthdays. What can I say? I’ve been busy. lol. Enjoy these pictures that show the fun of the day :)

Jacob before the party. He was really excited to see everything that had been set up while he napped. He is wearing his “big brother” firetruck shirt and Lucas had a matching one that said “little brother”.

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The cake table

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The cake (made by Renee of Caketastic)

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Appetizers- “fire” colored fruits and veggies

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The little firefighters loved playing in the water

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For a craft they decorated firetrucks

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Firetruck vehicles and firefighters were available for the kids to play with

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I got this board (from Oriental Trading) for the kids to get their pictures taken

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This firefighter themed Brio set kept the kids busy (and Grandpa too)

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I got a firetruck bubble blower and some games for outdoor fun

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Time to blow out the candles!

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The boys thought the cake was delicious!

To eat we grilled HOT dogs and enjoyed WATERmelon to keep with the “fire” theme. We also had a firetruck pinata and other firetruck themed decorations. For party favors we gave each child a firefighter hat and a bag of treats and firetruck themed items.

It was a great party and everyone had a lot of fun! :)

Throw A Birthday Party For Jesus {10 Ideas}

birthday party for jesus

This year for Christmas we will be staying home. The children will be getting Christmas gifts but we will also be celebrating Jesus’ birthday. I wanted to share 10 ideas for throwing a birthday party for Jesus:

1) Along with “Happy Birthday Jesus” you can sing Christmas Carols like “Joy To The World” and “Away In A Manger”

2) Bake Him a birthday cake (find a cake recipe with symbolism here)

3) Have your children make a birthday card for Jesus

4) No birthday party is complete without gifts. Look through a gift catalog, like World Vision’s, that gives gifts to those in need and choose a gift to give.

5) Have everyone wear birthday “cone” hats (find a printable here)

6) Make birthday party decorations by creating paper chains with all the names of Jesus on them

{click to be taken to Spell Outloud blog for directions on making this paper chain}

7) Make a CHRISTmas craft (I have ideas here)

8) Bake cookies together and package them to give to friends.

9) Read about Jesus’ birth to focus on the reason you are celebrating.

10) Invite friends. If you do it on a day other than Christmas you can make it a true birthday party by inviting your friends to celebrate with you.

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This post is linked up at Oh Amanda