Friday, August 21, 2015

Be College Ready with Dr Pepper!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BeReadyPlayBook #CollectiveBias

Are you, or someone you know, heading out to college?! There are probably so many questions, and feelings of being a little unprepared for the future. Don't fret! We've got some helpful tips + easy ways to help you survive the college experience. Plus, Dr Pepper and Walmart are here to help. 

We've created a "play book" that includes tips, and fun ideas. With the help of our "Study Buddy Survival Kit", we think our ideas will help get that new college-goer a helpful start. Plus, you could win $20,000 in college tuition from Dr Pepper! (Dr Pepper is an official sponsor of the College Football Playoff.) Speaking of College Football, you can Be Ready to Entertain like a Champion with Dr Pepper. Keep reading for our "Big Game Survival Kit" ideas, later in this post.

Does the thought of paying college tuition have you wishing you "paid" attention in Math class? What would you say if I told you that there's a #WinTuition giveaway?! On August 28, 2015, you can head over to the Be Ready Play Book site! Visitors will be able to play a digital football toss game (similar to the real thing at football conference champ game half time) for a chance to win $20,000 in tuition (can be used to pay off student loans!). Dr Pepper will be giving away free prizes as well as an additional $5,000 in tuition to one lucky winner in each market, in select markets at Walmart locations. Check out http://cbi.as/mhrt for the times and store listings.

Are you ready to start your college prep crash course? I've got 3 simple steps that will help get you started ...Let's go! 

Step 1: Make friends with your roommate! You'll be with them during your ups, downs, and sleepless study nights, during your first year away at school. Work on a meal plan together. Will you be heating up water for Ramen? Or will you schedule a fast food run? 

Step 2: Find a place to hold study sessions. Not only will you be needing supplies to help get you through that late night homework assignment, you'll also be craving a tasty snack solution & refreshing beverages. 

Check out our ideas for a "Study Buddy" Survival kit. Composition books, highlighters, pencils, and snacks & drinks for your study group, will help get you through!


My Abuela always told me to nibble on something crunchy before I studied. She said chewing stimulated the brain, and got all the gears working. I always went to the cupboard for Cheez-It crackers! Then she'd have me wash it down with a cold drink. One of my go-to's was Dr Pepper…Always One of a Kind. {Just like my Abuela}. I love that they've got a huge assortment of flavors. 
  • Flavors include:
    • Dr Pepper
    • Dr Pepper TEN
    • Diet Dr Pepper
    • Dr Pepper Cherry
    • Diet Dr Pepper Cherry
    • Caffeine Free Dr Pepper Diet Caffeine Free Dr Pepper 
Step 3: Make time for a little fun! There's nothing worse than feeling like you're missing out on some fun student activities, or a cool mixer. You don't want your brain to be on mental overload, do you? You've got all those exciting sporting events to attend as well!! College Football season was one of my favorite times while in school. Can't break away to a game? Tune in on TV, or the college radio station. Just Be Ready to Entertain like a Champion with Dr Pepper. 


You can find a great assortment of Dr Pepper, along with those tasty Cheez-It crackers, at your local Walmart. I've included pictures of the aisles and sections where they can be found.


The first couple weeks on campus, and being away from home, may not be easy. You may feel some stress, and homesickness. That's completely normal. {that's where your roommate can help} What helped me while I was away, was having some favorite photos of my familia, nearby. And because we're a large family, I had many letters, notes, and mementos of well wishes, that they sent me often. 
College is a great time to learn, meet new people, and create wonderful memories!

Don't forget to check out http://cbi.as/mhrt for more information on how you can #WinTuition! What would you/your child do with that tuition money?!


Laura

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Olaf's Summer Luau | Birthday Party Ideas (part 1)

Olaf is a favorite character, with my two youngest boys. What's not to love about the 'warm hugs-lovin' guy?! Both of my boys have Summer birthdays, and it just made sense to have an Olaf Summer Luau, to celebrate their 2nd & 5th Birthdays!

I have many pictures + details to share, so I've put everything into 2 posts.

One of my favorite things to do at any event I put together, is to create a party table for the younger party guests to sit at. It's so fun to watch all the kids snack, and talk about anything under the sun! 

I found some Olaf themed fabric from JoAnn fabrics, and used it as a table cover. Instead of renting a kid-sized table, I bought 3 square tables from Ikea, and put them together. They were the perfect height, for all the little guests.



Arlene from She Wears the Crown created darling Luau & Olaf themed cookies. I love how she made a number 2, and a number 5, for my birthday boys!




I created a faux cake, adorned with orange festooning, from Celebration Lane, wrapping paper, and a tiki cake topper. 

The party cupcakes looked super delicious with Olaf & Luau themed cupcake toppers from Michelle's Party Plan-it, and fun cupcake wrappers from Hoopla Events!

She Wears the Crown did such a great job on this fondant Olaf. He definitely set the tone for our Summer Luau!


I've worked with Nicole from Bella's Bakery, for a few years now. Her work always amazes me! Here she made the cutest Olaf & Luau themed cake pops for our party. Pineapples, Olaf, a tiki man, and pretty hibiscus flowers were displayed inside a pail, and set out on the kid's party table. 

I decorated mini white gable boxes, and white take-out boxes, with luau themed printables, festooning, and raffia. 


I fell in love when I saw these darling bamboo paper straws, from Oriental Trading. I added some pom-pom ribbon to our orange & glitter mason jar, from Just Add Glitter By Marla.

Bella's Bakery also created the most darling Olaf & Luau themed caramel + chocolate dipped apples! They coordinated perfectly with the cake pops, and were gobbled up super fast!

Fish crackers inside of push-up pop containers made it easy for our little guests to help themselves to a quick snack, after playing in the water.




I knew that July would be hot, so we planned for an outdoor party, that would include lots of water fun! The kids had a blast getting wet.



The dessert table was one of my favorite areas of the party. The bright colors of the backdrop & "Aloha" banner, from Michelle's Party Plan-It, the paper fans, and yummy desserts, were just waiting for our guests to enjoy!

I used a few of the cookies from She Wears The Crown, as cupcake toppers. The shade-wearing sunshine cookie was just too cute!

An Olaf Summer Luau isn't complete without an Olaf sno-cone machine! I found this guy a few months back, at Walmart, and knew he had to come home with me. 

Michelle's Party Plan-It made the perfect signage to display his frozen treats cart. We set out paper cups, and wooden spoons, and the guests were able to help themselves.



Thanks for stopping by to check out our Olaf Summer Luau party, part 1! Our next post will showcase our fun party favor section, a festive tiki bar, + lots more!


VENDOR INFO

Party Styling | Photography - LAURA'S little PARTY
Banner, party signs, cupcake toppers, vinyl backdrop - Michelle's Party Plan-It
Olaf cookies - She Wears The Crown
Olaf/Luau apples, Olaf/Luau cake pops - Bella's Bakery
Painted Mason jar - Just Add Glitter By Marla
Cupcake wrappers - Hoopla Events
Orange festooning - Celebration Lane
Blue & Green festooning - Shindigz
Bamboo straws, green leaves, paper fans, and lanterns - Oriental Trading


Laura
















Monday, August 17, 2015

Mickey Outdoor Movie Night | Party Ideas + FREE printables!

Summer is almost coming to an end, and for us, the first day of school is right around the corner. Our Mickey outdoor movie night was just what the family needed, to squeeze out the last bit of Summer fun!

We have watched countless movies outside this Summer, and it has been great! (click to see our Teen Beach 2 outdoor movie party) We light our tiki torches to create a soft glow of light. My children enjoy the calming ambiance, and I love that the torches keep any flying pests away!

For our Mickey outdoor movie night, I kept my color palette in true Mickey colors: Red, Black, and Yellow. I added some fun stripes, polka dots, and incorporated a Mickey movie reel, and some Mickey popcorn printables!

Movie snacks are a must! I served popcorn, and punch. We were all still full from dinner, so our snacking was kept to a minimum. I jumped at the chance to use our Mickey shaped bowls! I found these a few years ago, while shopping at Target

Mini cupcakes were topped with Mickey-themed circle toppers, and finished off with polka dotted cupcake wrappers.

I set out popcorn & drinks inside of fun movie snack trays, from Oriental Trading.

Polka dots are one of my favorites! Just Add Glitter By Marla created a fun painted mason jar that held our black & white paper straws, perfectly.


Themed movie nights are always fun, and I try to keep my outdoor movie set up simple. Sometimes my children bring out a huge blanket to lay on, or even some throw pillows. Towels, or chairs... it all works!
On this particular night, we set out pillows, with coordinating pillow cases. Our Mickey Pillow Pet wanted to enjoy our outdoor movie night as well.


I displayed small boxes of popcorn on a cake stand. Having snacks already prepared & set out, made for easy grabbing.

I added some circle toppers that I created, to the front of the popcorn boxes. I'm also sharing these printables as a free download!

We recently purchased this inflatable Mickey Mouse outdoor movie screen. Isn't it darling?! I found it online at Walmart. I can't tell you enough, how much we love it. It's so easy to set up, which is probably why we've had an outdoor movie night, at least once every week, for the past month. My boys get so excited when they hear the fans start to inflate the screen.

And don't forget your Mickey ears! These guys insisted on wearing their Mickey ears. Actually, it was my 5 year old that suggested it - then my 2 year old quickly followed along!

Our 'movie night' banner added a bit more color, and a little more fun to our Mickey snack bar. The movie snacks were a hit, and super easy to throw together.



Are you ready to enjoy an outdoor movie?! 

I hope we've inspired you to create your own Mickey movie night! To help get you started, I'm sharing all the printables, as a free download!
You can find everything you need, by clicking Mickey movie night printables 

Enjoy!

Laura

Friday, August 14, 2015

Spider-Man wreath tutorial | DIY Party Decor

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BDayOnBudget #CollectiveBias

Party decor doesn't have to break the bank. You can get creative, and make some inexpensive decorations that coordinate perfectly with your party theme! I'm sharing how I made this Spider-Man party wreath. It's the perfect touch to greet your guests, right at the door!

The Summer months have always been my busiest, for throwing birthday parties. All 4 of my children are Summer babies! From July through September, I not only have to be creative with my party planning, I also have to make sure I stay on budget. 

Here is the list of supplies I used to create my Spider-Man party wreath:

1 package MARVEL Spider-Man foil swirl decorations
1 wire wreath form
1 roll of wired burlap ribbon {in black} 
Scissors
Glue Gun

Step 1:
Start wrapping the burlap ribbon, all around the wreath form. You can gently pull on it as you go around, to minimize any slack that may occur. Continue wrapping, until you reach the starting point of the ribbon.

Your wreath base is now ready for the MARVEL Spider-Man foil swirl decorations!

Step 2:
Cut all the plastic tags off of the party decor where Spider-Man, and the foil swirls meet. (you can leave the top plastic tags attached to the foil swirls) Once finished, you should have a pile of foil swirls, and a pile of Spider-Man cut outs.

Step 3:
Attach a couple swirls to the back of your wreath form. This works as a good center focal point for the remaining decor that you will add.

Step 4:
Hot glue the Spider-Man cut outs to the wreath. You can place them anywhere you think they look best.

I started with a Spider-Man head cut out, and placed it at the top, center of my wreath.

Step 5:
Continue to attach the party decor, all around the wreath.

Once I finished gluing on all the pieces, I felt the wreath still needed a little "something", in one of the areas of the wreath. I ran out of decor pieces, so I cut out a couple of the small Spider-Man faces, from the party packaging!

These two little pieces worked out perfectly.

Step 6:
Take a few of the remaining foil swirls, and attach them to the back of the wreath. This will add a little more color, and the right amount of fun!

 And here it is! A simple, welcoming party wreath, to greet all of your party guests! The children will spot it right away, as they enter the door.

I love to shop at Walmart for all my party + celebration needs. I can find budget-friendly party goods, such as MARVEL-branded AMERICAN GREETINGS party supplies, and I can also grab food, drinks, candy, and even a birthday gift! 

 Have you made any simple, budget-friendly party decor for one of your child's parties? I'd love to hear about it, and maybe exchange some tips!

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Laura