Archives for June 2013

Affordable Mickey Mouse Party

My youngest turned 2 not too long ago and we decided on a Mickey theme for her party. It took me some time to figure out what theme to go with because she’s not at the age where she drools over certain characters and has a fit because she wants the latest and greatest of a certain toy collection. I’m thankful for that, but it created some difficulty when deciding on a party theme.

Then it hit me one morning…

She brought me the remote and said “turn on Mickey Mouse Howhouse” (That’s what she calls it). She does this almost every morning. How could I have not thought of this before? That’s all it took and I began to run with the theme idea. It’s the most fun I’ve  had planning a party in a while.

Sure, she may not remember any of it, but I’ll have pictures to remind her. 😉 I put the entire thing together on a budget. I’m almost always on a budget so most store-bought party items aren’t really an option. Plus, isn’t it always better to have one-of-a-kind things? I think so anyways.

I’ll share my ideas and give you a general idea of what I did. If there are more questions, I may end up doing separate posts for those items. Here we go!

These super simple tissue pom poms cost me a whopping $3! I bought each color separately at different stores in packs of 8 or 10 sheets. The 10-sheet packages make better poms poms, but they are harder to find. For a buck, you can create a nice hanging decoration for above your table!

This could be the decor that I was most proud of. I found much inspiration for ideas on Pinterest and ended up going with this design. I bought the straw wreath at Goodwill and the red ribbon at Walmart for around $1. The black is actually an old t-shirt that I cut up and wrapped around. The buttons were $1.

The ears are circles that I cut out of a cardboard box and covered with more t-shirt. I then pinned them to the wreath.

And of course the little signs are just printed up and taped to scrapbook paper to spiff it all up!

Scrapbook paper and fancy Disney font make a cute little sign as guests exit.

A cardboard box I had on-hand made a great goodie bag container. I just printed up a cute note and attached some Mickeys that I cut out of construction paper!

The flags are simply pieces of cut out scrapbook paper. I punched holes in each of them to run some ribbon through and hung them on top of a table cloth. The big 2 you see is (believe it or not) a 2 that I cut out of cardboard and then glued CUPCAKE WRAPPERS to! Hung with a cute little ribbon over the Mickey treats and it made for a cute party backdrop.

With scrapbook paper, I cut out little Mickey heads and punched holes in them to make Mickey Garland! I hung this all over the house including the chandelier. It doesn’t get any easier (or cheaper!) than that!

No party would be complete without snacks! If you know a lot about Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, than you’ve probably seen them fishing for Gooey Fish. Swedish Fish make great substitutes for those. Using scrapbook paper, I was able to create cute little name signs for all the food.

As a side note- if you haven’t heard of Gooey Fish from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, don’t feel bad. Apparently I know WAY too much about the show! lol

Pigs in a blanket make the perfect Hot Diggity Dogs and snack for hungry kiddos at your Mickey party! Once again, this is a cheap snack that everyone will loves. Especially kids!

I threw some Bugles in a bowl and called them Oh Toodles! Bugles.

Getting a little more creative with the names of the foods, these are Meeska Mouska Marshmallow Treats. AKA Strawberry Rice Krispie Treats. Tasty!

The name of this snack wasn’t as creative, but the popcorn was DE-lish! Birthday Cake popcorn made with actual cake mix. It’s divine and costs pennies to make!

I had only just learned of the PB&J Sushi when I was gathering my menu for this party. I just had to include these. They were a HUGE hit. I found the recipe here. They were so easy, but seemed like they took a lot of work. I love those type of snacks!

These “Minnie” Pizzas were also a big hit. I started making each of them with a big pepperoni and 2 small ones on the top, but it became a little tedious and my time was running thin. I’m glad I opted out of making them all that way. They weren’t around long enough to admire!

I had these super cool milk jugs from a local dairy to put chocolate milk in. We called it Clarabelle’s Moooooooo Milk!

Whowouldathunk (yes, this is totally a word y’all) that grapes could make such a pretty presentation? Skewers did the trick to make these just right for individual servings. Must I say it? They were a hit!

The cupcakes were Cookies ‘N Cream Cupcakes and they were really tasty. Different size Oreos made for cute little Mickey heads as toppers. I hid a Oreo and a dollop of marshmallow cream inside each cupcake, too!

I printed off the little sign and attached it to one of my construction paper Mickey heads. The cupcake holder was $1 at Michael’s. Love that store.

Pluto’s Pineapple Punch was nothing more than Ginger Ale and Pineapple Juice and ice. So easy and tasty at the same time.

Mickey party success! What do you think?

Are you planning a Mickey party soon? I’d love to hear your ideas or suggestions!

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Amazon Deals For Your Kitchen 6/17

One of my most favorite places to grab deals on things for my kitchen (appliances, utensils, supplies, etc.) is Amazon. Not just because I can use my Swag Bucks to get gift cards there, but also because they usually have the lowest prices that you’ll find on most anything. I can’t tell you how many times I go out to buy something and get to a store only to say I’ll get that at Amazon instead. You just can’t deny it!

I thought it might be helpful to round up a few of my favorite deals on kitchen gadgets and things in case you’re looking for one!

This Rival Step Vacuum Sealer W/Bag Starter Kit is normally $79.99 marked down to just $29.99!

Normally $39.95, Amazon has a Chefman Rubberized Cordless Immersion Blender and Bonus Measuring Cup for $19.95! (As a side note, this picture shows cords which is odd because it’s cordless. I’m guessing they have two different versions and used pictures from the other maybe?

Or if you’re among those enjoying the mustache trend right now, check out these Fred and Friends MUST Munchstaches Cookie Cutters for $2.73. Great item to add to your order if you need to reach $25 for free shipping.

Or if you need some summer reading materials, there are tons of FREE Amazon eBooks! Check those out.

Please note that Amazon prices can change in a flash so jump on any deal that you are interested in!

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Cilantro Salsa Burgers

It’s summer time and there’s no stopping the men and their grills. Am I right? It’s a right of passage. And can we really complain? The chance to sit back and relax while watching someone else do all the cooking for once? I think I’ll take that deal.

During the summer we try to grill at least once a week. It’s nice for the whole family to get outside and enjoy summer nights playing together while daddy gets dinner ready. Memories are being made. Of course, grilling goes hand in hand with a very simple (yet taken seriously) dish, burgers. The oh-so-meaty, versatile, and flavorful burger. My husband would consider himself a connoisseur of burgers. And he has a right to. His most favorite food of all time and he’s eaten his way in burgers across the country.

One of the ingredients in most burger recipes is the binder, an egg. Have you ever used mayonnaise instead? It’s very tasty! A simple ingredient that can take your burger from boring to bam.

Hellmann’s is celebrating their 100th anniversary! Can you believe that they have been around that long? You know that a product is good when it’s been around for that many years and people still enjoy it today. As part of Hellman’s 100th celebration, they are helping to provide 1 MILLION meals to Feeding America to fight against hunger nationwide. They are also teaming up with celebrity chef Mario Batali (I’m a fan!) to showcase classic Hellmann’s recipes with a modern twist.

In fact, they have a contest going right now to give YOU a chance to win a trip to New York City with a seat at the World’s Longest Picnic Table celebrating Hellmann’s 100th anniversary. You simply have to make Mario’s twist on Hellmann’s classic recipes your own. The Create A Recipe With Mario facebook app has more details about the contest. These are simple and classic recipes, it would be a cinch to enter!

I was stoked to give it a try so I created these Cilantro Salsa Burgers.

Theses are the ingredients. I have to admit that I’ve never considered putting salsa on my burger, but I love trying new things so I was all for it. The cilantro and lime really bring a new and spin on your every day burger. This is a refreshing burger to say the least!

Getting your hands dirty is the best part! Or the worst, depending on who you are. I consider this fun and blissful. 🙂

Mario used ground chuck for his burger, but I used ground turkey to make them a tad bit more healthy.

Viola! Easy peazy lemon sqeezey. My husband gave his burger stamp of approval so you can be sure they are good. I hope that you’ll give these a try. And I also hope that you’ll enter Hellmann’s 100th Anniversary Contest to win the trip to New York City by creating your own twist.

Cilantro Salsa Burgers
Recipe Type: Burger, Main Dish
Cuisine: Grilling, Meat, American
Author: Pennywise Cook
A simple yet tasty burger recipe made with salsa, corn, and cilantro!
  • 1 lb Ground Chuck
  • 1 lb Lean Ground Turkey
  • 1/2 Onion, Peeled and Grated (makes for good juice)
  • 3 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/4 c Hellmann’s Mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1/4 c Cilantro, Chopped fine
  • 2/3 c Whole Kernel Corn
  • Zest of 1 Lime
  • Juice of 1 Lime
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • 1 c Salsa (for topping burgers)
  • 8 Hamburger Buns
  • Sliced Cheese (optional)
  1. Heat a skillet or grill to medium high heat.
  2. Combine all ingredients except for the salsa. Shape into patties.
  3. Grill to desired temperature.
  4. Top with 2 tbsp salsa each and serve!

For the corn, you can use canned if you like. Just make sure to drain it well. You could also use frozen, just be sure to thaw it. And of course, fresh will work too!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Hellmann’s and Yummly. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

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Strawberry Rice Krispie Treats

It’s only the first week out of school and I’m finding my snack stash to be a little on the low side. Sure I’ve bought the same as usual like I’ve always done throughout the year, but then it dawned on me….she’s home now.

When Addie would have been learning to spell small words, she is now asking for a Pop-Tart. When she would have been learning to add simple addition problems, she is now asking for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. And when Addie would have been out burning off energy on the playground, she is now asking for a piece of candy or popsicle. It’s a never-ending viscous cycle.

She comes to me and asks for something to eat.

I say no.

She comes back 3 minutes later.

I say no.

And the process continues. Am I the only one experiencing this? I feel bad sometimes, like I’m depriving her of her basic needs! But I have to remind myself that she just ate lunch 15 minutes ago and that her main reason for snacking is boredom. I, myself, have that same issue so I can relate. But do as I say, not as I do!

So as I’m telling you all of this, I’m realizing that it’s not exactly a great way to relate my life to these super tasty treats. But I digress and will now tell you about this awesome new discovery that I made!

So I told you earlier this week that I put together a super cool Mickey Mouse party for my now 2 year old. I had so much fun planning this party, it’s ridiculous. This idea came to me when I was figuring out the color scheme.

I wanted RED Rice Krispie Treats. I was thinking what can make things red? Food coloring? Yes, but it’s weird sometimes when things are an unexpected color, but don’t taste any different. (Anybody remember the green ketchup years ago?) Kool-Aid? Maybe. J-ELLO! That’s it!

The rest is history y’all. I whipped up a batch of the original Rice Krispie Treats, but added a box of sugar-free Strawberry J-ELLO to the melted marshmallows before adding them to the Rice Krispies! They turned out delish. They remind me of the Crunch Berries in Cap ‘N Crunch cereal!

You should have seen me when I realized the possibilities. You can make them any flavor that you’d like! Simply add the box of J-ELLO to your melted marshmallows before mixing them with the Rice Krispies. Done deal.

And for the record, I was a teensy bit saddened that they didn’t end up red. I should’ve known that red and white make pink, DUH. Either way, I was very happy with the way they turned out.

Strawberry Rice Krispie Treats
Recipe Type: Snack, Dessert
Author: Pennywise Cook
This simple trick can get you several different tasty flavors of marshmallow treats!
  • 3 Tbsp Butter
  • 4 Cups Mini Marshmallows
  • 6 Cups Krispy Rice Cereal
  • 1 Pkg Sugar-Free Strawberry J-ELLO Mix (or any flavor you like)
  1. In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Stir in marshmallows and until melted.
  2. Add package of J-ELLO and mix until disolved. Remove from heat.
  3. Add the Rice Krispies and stir until well coated.
  4. Place into a well-greased jellyroll pan or casserole dish and let set.
  5. Cut into squares and enjoy!


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