Friday, July 31, 2015

The Rebels vs The Dark Side Dessert Bar

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

When it came time to start planning my son's 8th birthday party I knew exactly what I wanted to do. He had been a fan of Star Wars Rebels for some time now and was demanding a Rebels theme this year. I like to try to steer clear of the commercialized themed parties because they tend to be too generic. But, I could not pass up the opportunity to plan a party around the Star Wars Rebels theme. Mainly because I really enjoy the show and I love watching it together with both of my boys. So, I set out to plan the best Star Wars Rebels themed 8th birthday party I could think of and with the help of Wal-Mart, I was able to make that a reality without breaking the bank.

To help celebrate my son's birthday, we decided to host a dessert bar for The Rebels and The Dark Side. We first headed to Wal-Mart to pick up all the essentials. There was so much to choose from. We grabbed all the basics and then a few extras. 

For our dessert bar, I wanted our guests to be able to choose which side they wanted to fight with, the rebels in blue or the dark side in red. I wanted to make sure our dessert bar was packed full of many delicious goodies to choose from. Ice cream with fresh fruit toppings, push pop cakes, cupcakes, birthday cake, and chocolate candies all of course in either red or in blue. 

Fresh fruit toppings like strawberries and blueberries accompanied sprinkles and candy topping for their ice cream all in coordinating colors that we placed inside bowls decorated with rebel or the dark side decals.

Strategically placed light sabers topped the rich chocolate cupcakes, just in case any of the guests needed a little extra help during their battle.

Emblem decals for the rebels and the dark side were also placed on the outside of the push pop containers that were filled with vanilla cake. The push pops sat atop of empty boxes wrapped with gold wrapping paper and ribbon.

Strawberry flavored Star Wars Rebels cake was the centerpiece and featured my son's favorite characters. I know which side he chose to fight on! We also created a poster that we had printed out at a local print shop as our backdrop for the dessert bar.

Light saber favor candy tubes were made from empty clear plastic tubes with black tape and filled with blue and red chocolate candy. Party guests were enticed to join the rebels or the dark side with their choice of vanilla and chocolate ice cream.

I love to make special pieces for both my boys parties. For this theme I completely hand made a Star Wars Rebels themed banner from felt to hang as our backdrop. I had a ton of felt scraps laying around and put them to good use. Plus, we can reuse the banner and hang up in our playroom after the party.

We placed our own Star Wars Rebels and Star Wars themed characters around the dining table and dessert bar as decorations. We had lots of them and they worked out perfectly.

When it came time to choose our sides, party guests were treated to a Star Wars Rebels reusable cup they were able to take home with them as a favor. Plus, each place setting was adorned with coordinating plates and napkins, all from Wal-Mart completing our best birthday bash ever.

Light saber wars anyone? Once our guests chose the side that wanted to fight with, they were equipped with bubble wand light sabers to help win the battle. Party guests were allowed to take home their very own light saber bubble wand as favor as well.

For a little fun, guests were able pose in front of the life size Darth Vader cardboard cutout with a fun, hand made quote bubble I made for the party.

We created all the party printables for this party including the custom water bottle labels, ice cream signs, and birthday backdrop picture.

To keep our party simple, we decided to focus on the dessert bar mainly. However, we offered up a few extra items like hot dogs and chips. Did you notice the chocolate syrup bottles with the symbols on them??? We wanted to make sure everything tied into our Star Wars Rebels theme which it did perfectly and thanks to Wal-Mart our guests had a fabulous time while stayed on budget.

Growing up, I will never forget going to the skating rink for my birthday party? Do you remember your favorite birthday party??? Let me know! 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Easy DIY Box Top Container for Home and School

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Hefty4BoxTops #CollectiveBias

I know it's still summer time and the last thing we want to stress over is back-to-school. But, I like to prepare and be organized for the year ahead. That is why this Easy DIY Box Top Container is perfect! It's simple to create in just a few easy steps, plus you can use all year long. Being a part of our school's PTO, Parent, Teacher Organization, Box Tops play an important role in our school's funding. To help bring more awareness of our school's Box Tops For Education program, I also created a simple way to collect Box Top's at school. 

To prepare for these simple collection containers, I headed to our local Kroger Marketplace and picked up a box of Hefty Trash Bags. Hefty are the only trash bags that supports Box Tops for Education and right now specially marked boxes of Hefty Trash Bags are offering 4, yes FOUR, Box Tops for a limited time. The Hefty brand has helped raise over $3 million in contributions to schools by partnering with Box Tops for Education. Plus, the boxes are perfect to complete our DIY project.

Do you save Box Tops for your school? As the Vice President of our elementary school's PTO program, I work closely with our school's Box Tops for Education Coordinator. Last school year, we helped raised over $850 towards new books for our school's library just by collecting Box Tops. Box Tops are fairly new to our school and hoping next year we can have an even bigger reward.

Create your own Box Tops for Education Container for Home


  • One Hefty Trash Bags Box, featuring 4 Box Tops, to save for your school.
  • 2 sheets of 12x12 scrapbook paper
  • ribbon
  • scissors
  • double sided tape
  • ruler
  • pencil
  • optional paper cutter

To create:

1. Open box along perforated edging and remove trash bags.

2. Measure box with ruler and cut paper to fit the width of the box.
3. Place double sided tape along the edges of the box and wrap paper around. Create creases along the edges.
4. Our paper didn't fit all the way around, so we had to cut about an 1 inch of a strip from the 2nd sheet of paper. Tape and apply to box all around on 3 sides leaving the top, with opening, clear.

5. To cut the top, we measured all sides and cut a strip to fit the top area. Using a ruler and scissors we cut out a strip about 1 inch in to create our opening for the Box Tops.

6. Apply double sided tape to the box and apply to top.

7. Apply ribbon. We wrapped the ribbon around one side of the box and attached a bow. We used a permanent double sided tape to hold. But, you can use glue or a glue gun if desired.

8. We searched the internet for a quick label to apply to our front. We simply downloaded it, printed it out, and attached to the front of our box.

9. All done! Place on your counter, desk, or where ever you would like as a reminder to save those boxes tops.

Create your own Box Tops for Education Container for School


  • Scrapbook Paper
  • Scissors
  • Double sided tape
  • Ribbon
  • Ruler
  • 6x9 yellow mailing envelope

To Create:

1. Cut down each side of the mailing envelope about 1 inch or just below the clasp and cut across to remove the upper section. 
2. Measure and cut the scrapbook paper to fit the back side of the envelope, the pocket area only. 

3. Attach with double sided tape. Make sure you are using permanent tape.

4. Attach ribbon across the top edging of the pocket, box, and label.

5. Hang on wall, bulletin board, or anywhere for students to drop off Box Tops for Education.

We are hanging ours on our PTO bulletin board in the front of the school by the front office. That way parents, students, and visitors will be able to drop in Box Tops whenever they can. 

Don't forget to stock up on Hefty Trash Bags to earn more Box Tops for your school. Visit Hefty on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

What is your favorite way to store your Box Tops through out the school year? 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Celebrate the Summer with Puppy Love

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

We are deep into the heat of summer and my boys are getting restless. It's too hot to go outside and they are bored with all their toys. So how am I supposed to keep them cool, busy, and having fun? There's no better way to get rid of the mid summer blues then with a summer celebration full of puppy love.

When planning our fun celebration we headed to Wal-Mart to pick up all the essentials for our ultimate bash. M&M's®, SNICKERS® Ice Cream Bars, Dr Pepper® Cherry, Skittles®, Pedigree Dentastix® Original (for the puppies) and more! 

We have a brand new puppy, well she is 3 months old now, but the boys are in love, Blake mostly, and I knew any party centered around puppies would be the perfect party for him. Combining adults, kids, and puppies into the party was going to be tough, but lots of fun!!! I wanted to make sure the adults were enjoying their time and the kids had plenty to keep busy, as did the puppies. Plus, since our puppy, Baylee, was so young, we wanted her to make some new friends. We invited our neighbors and friends over and encouraged them to bring their furry friends as well.

The highlight of the party was the Dr Pepper® Cherry Ice Cream Float and treat bar. M&M's® Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches paired with M&M's® Plain and Skittles® provided something sweet while the puppies treated themselves to Pedigree Dentastix® Original Flavor and homemade peanut butter dog treats. Dr Pepper® Cherry was on hand as part as our refreshments.

The puppies helped themselves to their treats throughout the party. They didn't last long as all the furry guests loved their Pedigree Dentastix® Original Flavor.

We baked up Home-Made Peanut Butter Puppy Treats for our furry guests to sample and to take home as favors to say thank you for coming to our funshine celebration. See below to create your own home-made peanut butter puppy treats and get your own free printable as well.

To keep kids busy, we provided sidewalk chalk to let them use their imagination and create beautiful masterpieces. I don't know about your kids, but mine go crazy for sidewalk chalk and can draw for hours. 

SNICKERS® Ice Cream Bars were a favorite and a huge hit!! They didn't last long! 

Another fun treat for our younger guests, special puppies to take home! We created these glittered paw print canvas bags for each of our guests to take home. Each bag contained their very own plush puppy to continue the puppy love at home. 

A summer party is not complete without a water balloon fight!!! What a great way to cool down from this summer heat!

While the kids were busy creating chalk masterpieces and dodging water balloons, the adults enjoyed some of our sweet treats including Dr Pepper® Cherry Ice Cream Float and M&M's® Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches.

We of course could not leave out our most important guests. We made sure our furry friends had a place to cool off as well! A fun splash pool, with umbrella for our puppies to play in. The kids loved it so much, they had to join them.

What an amazing summer treat this! Everyone had a blast and it was a great way to get everyone together to just have some summer fun!

Want to make your own Home-Made Peanut Butter Puppy Treats??? Check out how we made them...

What you need:

  • 2 and 1/2 Cups of Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Cup Natural Peanut Butter
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 2 TBSP Honey
  • 1 Egg

How to make:

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, and the egg. 
3. Add peanut butter, water, honey and stir until you have stiff dough.

4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough about ½ inch thick.

5. Use a cookie cutter to make fun shapes.
6. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Get our FREE PRINTABLE PUPPY TREAT TAGS we attached to our treat bags.

Click here to receive instant savings on M&M's®, SNICKERS® Ice Cream Bars, Dr Pepper® Cherry, Skittles®, Pedigree Dentastix®!

"Download the Blippar app from your Apple or Android store to scan your package and receive exclusive content."(2)

I'd love to hear your favorite ideas for cooling off and making summer FUN!

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