5 Easy and Popular Party Foods

Featured

I know I have been talking a lot about food lately, but it IS the holidays and good food is everywhere ! I just can’t help myself. I won’t be sharing any recipes today but I will be sharing some easy, fun foods that I love enjoying at any holiday party! I always have great ideas for parties and party foods, but when it comes down to it, I just procrastinate a little too long. These are some party foods that I can always turn to if I am running behind and looking for a treat that will be loved.

1.Pepper Jelly Dip.

My first pick is so easy, yet so good. Pepper Jelly Dip is perfect for when you are throwing together a quick party or forgot to make a dish for tonight’s Christmas party. All you need is a block of cream cheese, a jar of pepper jelly, and some crackers to dip in it. Go ahead and bring a serving knife or butter knife because cheap plastic knives and a cracker won’t cut through the cream cheese easily.

2. Bacon Wrapped Smokies

Need I say more? So easy & you can find the recipe online for cooking instructions. These take a little more time to prepare, but they don’t require a lot of ingredients and they are a crowd favorite at every party we serve them at. You just need bacon, a pack of smokey sausages, brown sugar, and tooth picks.

3. Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Cody’s mom always makes these around the holidays. They are great if you have a sweet tooth . I have made them for teachers as Christmas gifts and we have served them at parties. You just use chocolate chip cookie dough and a peanut butter cup and place them in a mini muffin pan & POOF!! You have a perfect sweet treat for any holiday event.

4. Deviled Eggs

Okay, so these are kind of hit or miss but my family and I love them. They are a staple at any family gathering. Once the eggs are boiled and peeled, the prepping process is so easy. They are a great finger food to have at any party.

5. Cake Balls

Homemade cakeballs are always a hit. Never fails. You almost can’t mess this one up. They have to be baked and frozen, but they are so simple. The hardest part is the chocolate coating, but even if they look bad they are still usually a hit because they taste so good.

I hope some of these holiday food ideas save you at this year’s holiday parties. We love these items at almost every party and they are usually the things that people gather around and clear out before the party ends. If something caught your eye and you do want me to make a recipe post, leave a comment. Happy holidays !

Gift Guide for Boys (8-12)

Featured

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and everyone is bustling around looking for Christmas gifts. People can be hard to shop for, especially if you are trying to find a gift they will actually like. I always have the most trouble buying for the boys and men in my life….what do they even like?! I’ve put together 5 gifts that are sure to be a hit with any 8-12 year old boy in your life.

My first gift idea is a classic…nerf gun. For real, guys never get sick of a good nerf gun. They make so many different kinds, so you can get creative and get one big one or get a set. (Maybe even one for the whole family & have a family nerf war?!)

The next idea is darts and a dart board. Get a set. The boy will like it because it’s entertaining and it looks cool in their room. It also helps with coordination if they practice. This one is under $30!

Next is a little pricier… a lazer tag set. It comes with 4 vests and 4 guns in different colors so you can play as a family or your son can have his friends over for a fun backyard game of lazer tag.

Another pricey but good gift idea for boys is an activity table. This one has 3 table tops with a different game on each one. It comes with foosball, air hockey, and pool. Its a miniature table, so it won’t take up a ton of space in their bedroom, but it will give them entertainment that will last. (I mean how cool would this have been as a kid?!)

The final gift idea is a gaming chair. These are a little pricey, but most boys like to play video games and these chairs make that time so much more fun. Gaming chairs have speakers and a space for your headphones so they can surround themselves in the game and enjoy it alot more. Perfect gift idea for any boy that loves gaming!

Other than video games, gaming consols , or phone gear I think these gifts would be great… pretty much just because most of these can be enjoyed with their friends too. I hope these ideas help when you are thinking of gifts for your son/brother/nephew.

5 mistakes I made at my Bob Ross Paint party.

Featured

For my birthday I had my sisters and some of my girl friends over to have a Bob Ross paint party. I had it complete with wine, halloween candy, pizza, and mimosas. I used Google to find which episode to use. There is a list of episodes by painting that has the picture of the finished painting next to each episode. (I thought this was so cool!) Since this was my first party like this, there were a few bumps in the road. So, today I am going to be sharing some things that I would’ve changed.

The first thing that I would have changed is time. I am so bad with procrastinating. I picked my episode, bought supplies, and food the day of. If I could do it over, I would have picked the painting at least a month before and ordered the EXACT colors online. Looking for the colors in hobby lobby the day of was ….oof!!

The next thing that I would have changed is the amount of paint that I bought. I read a blog that said to buy a small bottle of each color for each person…. I did not need that much. We had five people there and we didn’t even go through 1 small bottle of each color. (I also used 8×10 canvases…so this might be why?)

Scrapers!! Oh my goodness the scraper. Bob Ross rarely uses an actual paint brush. I bought paint brush sets for each person and in 90% of the video he was using his scraper. Figure out what exactly he is using and get it for everyone… it seriously would have saved us so much trouble. We ended up using finger nails, butter knives, or whatever else we had on hand.

Next, he talks and moves fast. You, most likely, are not going to follow along easily. We paused it, but we made a mistake. We were using acrylic paint, which dries easily, and when we would unpause we would end up having to “drag the brush across” to smear some of the paint colors. By the time we unpaused, our paint was completely dry and no smearing was happening. I suggest that if you use acrylic or fast drying paint that you wait until he is fully finished and had moved on to the next step of the painting…. if you have to pause. If not, keep it going…you got this!

Building on that, I would change the paint I used. If you have the time, use a slow drying paint or oil paint. It works alot better for this type of party so, if you have the time to let it dry…take advantage of it !

I want to leave this by saying that this party was a blast. None of our paintings looked like his, none looked the same, but we all had fun being creative. Support your friends when you have this party and let them know that it won’t look like his and that is ok.

Thanks for reading along and I hope this helps you if you have been thinking of throwing a Bob Ross party. It is so fun and can be as strategic or relaxed as you want to make it. Just have fun. Until next time, have a great week!

How to Throw a ‘Killer’ Murder Mystery Party

Featured

As you know, murder mystery parties are a favorite of ours. We love to throw them, but they take a ton of work & involvement. A murder mystery is not a party you want to throw last minute.

You’re first step when throwing a murder mystery is to make a guest list. Figure out how many people you are wanting to invite, because each murder mystery package is made to accommodate different numbers of characters. You don’t need to buy a 50+ person package if you are only going to have 10 guests.

Once you know how many people you want to invite, visit any murder mystery website. (My go-to is mymurdermysteryparty.com) Here you can skim through several different packages and you can filter the packages based on difficulty, occasion, and guest number. There are even packages themed for certain holidays (Christmas, Thanksgiving, valentines day, and so many more)

Now that you have your guest list & your party package, figure out a date & either text or mail out an invite .( I always text, but I still make a cute invitation by using the evite app) As people respond, send them a photo with the description of their character. When you assign characters make sure that you only assign the required characters to your most reliable guests. If you have a guest that is always late or cancels last minute, give them an optional part. (This ensures that all of the important people for the night to carry on will be there and things won’t fall apart if someone doesn’t show up.) Don’t forget to assign yourself a part!

If you are having a large party and run out of characters, don’t worry! You can buy extension packages with extra guests on the website, or if you are a creative with a tight budget like me, you can create your own character and character descriptions. I did this for my first murder mystery party. I typed the character descriptions up to look like the original characters so people wouldn’t know that they were made up by me. (If no one knows that you made them up, they can still qualify as the murderer. If you tell them that their part was made up, they are basically disqualified from being the murderer, so keep it fun for everyone) Only a few people found out that I had written their part… and I wrote over 15 parts, so I would say it was a success. (I also only went off of the characters descriptions and first round when writing, so i wouldn’t ruin the party for myself.) Writing your own parts is a lot of work, so if you opt for it, keep that in mind.

Once everyone has RSVPed and knows their character, all you have to do until the party date is plan. Make sure you know what you want to eat, what you are going to wear, and how you want to decorate (if that’s your thing) We usually go all out for our murder mystery parties. We try to decorate our house to look like the setting in our murder mystery package, we dress for the part that we assign ourselves the best that we can, and we usually have a home cooked meal, wine tasting bar, and dessert. Make sure that you have everyone’s envelopes and name tags ready ahead of time. There is typically one envelope per guest for each round. The envelopes have each person clues for each round. (Don’t forget to label what character the envelope is for and what round it is for…this is super important!)

You made it through planning. That’s the hardest part! The day of the party can be stressful if you procrastinate like I do. But if you followed my advise,(Do as I say, not as I do. I am trying to let you learn from my mistakes) your day will go smoothly. You should only have to worry about getting dressed, having the envelopes and name tags set up, and setting up the food now.

During the party, make sure that you have an order you want to do things in, but don’t stress too much about it. Read the room, talk to your friends, and try to relax. When guests first arrive, direct them to the name tags and let them find their character. (Having a list of everyone’s name and character is a great hack because some people might not remember the name of their character.) Let everyone hangout and snack on some appatizers and finger foods while you wait for the rest of your guests. Once everyone has made it, allow everyone to introduce their character, explain how the party works, and pass out the round one envelopes.

Once round one is over, we usually have a break where everyone gets to eat dinner. At dinner, we pass out the round 2 envelopes and get started with round two once everyone is finished eating. During the rounds you and your guests will have certain conversations and clues that you will have to share with certain characters. For the most part, everyone will be mingling and joking around, just make sure that everyone has done everything on their card before wrapping up each round.

After round two, have one more little break between. We usually let everyone get refreshments and serve dessert before round 3 starts. Round 3 will start with someone finding the victim. During this round, everyone will take time to fill out a card with who they think is the killer and why based off of the information that they gathered throughout the night. Give everyone the chance to read their card before continuing round three. Once everyone read their card and get to say who they think the killer was, allow everyone to read their statements. (The card will tell each person who goes next) At the end, the killer will be revealed. Have fun with it and see how many people guessed right, you can even do a little prize for the people that guessed correctly.

Once the mystery has been solved, you are done. Feel free to get out of character and hangout with your friends for the rest of the night. A lot of time and money goes into these parties, but we have never had anyone say anything but positive things about it. We have also been to other friend’s murder mystery parties and had just as much fun. Just remember that even if you mess something up, most of your friends only came to spend time and celebrate with you, so don’t stress too much!