Despicable Me 2 Party Favors

Despicable Me Party Favors -


The Evil Minions from the movie Despicable Me 2 are the perfect party theme. They have such strong characteristics, and you can have so much fun with them! I’ve loved all the Despicable Me birthday party ideas I’ve seen over the last few years, but wanted to put this out there as well. I found these FREE PRINTABLE treat boxes (there are lots of free Despicable Me printables on this site) and they were BEGGING to have some cotton candy hair!! Now they really do look like the Purple Minions. They’d make a perfect Despicable Me 2 party favor!!

Despicable Me Party Favors -

My only wish, is that the purple cotton candy color isn’t more intense. But, I guess that goes with cotton candy, it is pastel no matter what color you’re spinning. 

Despicable Me Party Favors -

Don’t have a cotton candy machine? This is the one I have and I LOVE IT!!  – Commercial Quality Cotton Candy Machine

Spring Cleaning Hacks: Party Supplies

Organizing my party supplies has been at the top of my list for Spring Cleaning, so when SNICKERS®, Family Dollar and Collective Bias, Inc. offered to sponsor my post about it I jumped at the chance! #WhenImHungry #CollectiveBias

Spring Cleaning Hacks - #WhenImHungry #ad

I happen to have a large collection of supplies on hand at any given time “just in case”. You never know when you’ll need to throw a party! Aside from that, I have a bunch left over supplies from the parties I’ve done that have all somehow ended up in three different locations throughout my house – all stored (embarrassingly) in old cardboard boxes. They’re jammed so full that finding something in them is not possible unless you dump the whole thing out, so I usually just buy all new supplies for each party and have amassed a pile up. It was time to organize them a bit. Spring Cleaning To The Rescue!

I headed to Family Dollar to purchase some organization bins and grabbed some SNICKERS® Almond, Extreme and Peanut Butter Squares to make a Spring Cleaning incentive jar. Cleaning and organizing makes me HANGRY (Hungry+Angry) – so these are just as necessary as the organization bins.  I figure I’ll treat myself to one each time I cross one project off my Spring cleaning list. They’re that motivating to me. 

Spring Cleaning Hacks

Paper Goods Organization

Here are the Paper Goods all spread out. See what I mean? I have like 6 boxes of utensils that are all 1/2 full.

Spring Cleaning Hacks - Events To Celebrate

Spring Cleaning Hack: Pencil Boxes for Storing Utensils

My favorite find at Family Dollar was actually in the school section – I used pencil boxes to organize my plastic utensils. I put spoons in one, forks in another and knives in a third. Genius right?! No more digging through crappy boxes that have a mixture of all three inside!  Spring Cleaning Hacks - Events To Celebrate

I also put all of my napkins in plastic storage containers. They seem to always get spread around the box and crumpled up so having them in a sturdy container will help a lot!Spring Cleaning Hacks - Events To Celebrate

 I also folded all of the plastic table cover remnants I have (left over from projects like this, and this). I love finding non traditional ways to use them and for $.97 each, I get a lot of bang for my buck!

Everything fit neatly into a large storage bin and it is ready to go on the shelf in my pantry! I know many won’t understand this, but it gives my mind great peace to have it so organized! I love it!Spring Cleaning Hacks - Events To Celebrate

 Party Supply Organization

Streamers and balloons may be my party nemesis. Inside the box they’ve been kept in they seem to unwind and wander all throughout the box. It was time for a Spring Cleaning solution! 

Spring Cleaning Hacks - Events To Celebrate

Spring Cleaning Hack: Store Balloons According To Color

I used to keep all of my balloons in one large plastic bag. No good. I sorted them by color and stored each color in it’s own zip top bag. Then, I placed all of the individual bags into a larger zip top bag. Ah, my zen is returning!

Spring Cleaning Hacks - Events To Celebrate

To keep them from unraveling I also stored each individual roll of streamers in a plastic zip top bag. I know these things are simple, but they are going to help me stay organized and I may actually know what is inside my storage bin instead of just going and buying all new because I don’t want to untangle a mess each time. Spring Cleaning Hacks - Events To Celebrate

 See, all of the party supplies snug as a bug in a cute plastic storage bin. Spring Cleaning Hacks - Events To Celebrate

Baking Supply Organization

Because I access my baking supplies frequently, I decided to store them in an open basket for easier access. 

Spring Cleaning Hacks - Events To Celebrate

Spring Cleaning Hack: Use a Tackle Box for Piping Tips and Food Dye

I have had this small tackle box for a few years, and it made the perfect organization bin for all of my food dye and piping supplies. In the bottom I have all of my piping tips stored in the little cubicles.

Spring Cleaning Hacks - Events To Celebrate

 Once the little pieces were all contained I just stacked things into open baskets to keep in my pantry. 

Spring Cleaning Hacks - Events To Celebrate

I felt so satisfied after I was finished! It was definitely worthy of a SNICKERS® Almond to reward my efforts. Now, to tackle the next project (so I can have another SNICKERS®) – the mess that we call our play room!

Headed to Family Dollar to get your Spring Cleaning supplies? Stop in the treat aisle for the snack size SNICKERS®  Almond in a 6-pack and find the full size bars at the check-out stand to put in your Spring Cleaning Incentive Jar!

Spring Cleaning Hacks - Events To CelebrateEnter the SNICKERS® “Who are you when you’re hungry?” contest by uploading a personal photo or video from your Computer, Facebook, Instagram or use the SNICKERS® Meme Generator to create something new! Voting begins at Noon on 5/11/15 and ends at 11:59:59AM ET on 7/15/15.

See more great SNICKERS® recipes and fun stories on the SNICKERS® social hub.

Birthday Cake Alternatives

I recently posted about the Brownie Dessert Pizza I made for my husbands birthday. If you’ve got a birthday headed your way and the person you’re celebrating doesn’t care for cake or can’t have it because of dietary restrictions, I’ve got some really great birthday cake alternatives they’ll be sure to love!

I think you’ll find that they won’t feel like an “alternative” at all, and you may just find yourself a new tradition!

10 Birthday Cake Alternatives

1- Dessert Pizza

I made this decadent brownie dessert pizza for my husbands birthday and it was amazing. It had a homemade chocolate buttercream, homemade quick caramel sauce and M&M’s® Crispy on top. It was awesome! You could do a sugar cookie base, cream cheese frosting and lots of fresh berries for a fruit pizza too – that’d be perfect for spring!

10 Birthday Cake Alternatives - eventstocelebrate.netBrownie Dessert Pizza by Events To Celebrate

2 – Waffle Cake

If you’re hosting a slumber party for your birthday boy or girl, this would be the ultimate way to wake them up! I love that Rachel at Eazy Peazy Meals used a boxed cake mix in hers. Genius!  

10 Birthday Cake Alternatives - eventstocelebrate.netWaffle Cake from Eazy Peazy Meals

3- Cookie Tower

Whether your favorite cookie is an Oreo, Chips Ahoy or something else, pile them up and call it good! Serve with ice cold milk and you’ve really got a party going. The Birthday Cake Oreo Cookies would be perfect for this! 10 Birthday Cake Alternatives - eventstocelebrate.netOreo Cookie Tower from Fab You Bliss

4- Ice Cream Sandwiches

These homemade peanut butter cookies are only made better by one thing – the homemade strawberry ice cream sandwiched between them. Perfect for any size party because you can make the cookies large or small and pre-scoop the ice cream and keep them in muffin tins until you’re ready to use them!  

10 Birthday Cake Alternatives - eventstocelebrate.netPeanut Butter Sandwich Cookies by Events To Celebrate

5- Dipped Fruit

This is the perfect solution for kids with allergies or even if your looking for a healthier alternative. Set up a chocolate fondu station with lots of fruit options to dip or make chocolate (or yogurt) dipped bananas with lots of topping choices. 

10 Birthday Cake Alternatives - eventstocelebrate.netChocolate Dipped Bananas by Super Healthy Kids

6- Ice Cream Bar

I absolutely love this option. It let’s guests customize their own dessert. Simply offer a few ice cream flavors and lots of topping and sauce options and you’re all set! 

10 Birthday Cake Alternatives - eventstocelebrate.netIce Cream Bar by Events To Celebrate

7- Cookie Cake

I still remember when I saw Kelsey Nixon post this on Instagram when she made it for her son’s birthday. It’s brilliant, and she has step by step instructions on her website so yours can look (and taste) just as good! I love that you could totally customize this by using chopped candy bars instead of chocolate chips. 

10 Birthday Cake Alternatives - eventstocelebrate.netChocolate Chip Cookie Cake by Kelsey Nixon

 8- Build Your Own Pie

I’ve seen this idea done at showers, but using the snack packs really makes it kid friendly! 

10 Birthday Cake Alternatives - eventstocelebrate.netPie Bar from Play Party Pin

9 – Rice Krispie Cake

I happen to be one of those people that can eat an entire pan of rice krispie treats. So, for me, this “cake” would be heaven! Layers of treats are sandwiched with lots of frosting and sprinkles!

Rice Krispy Sprinkle Cake Sprinkle Bakes 5
Rice Krispie Cake by Sprinkle Bakes

 10 – Donut Tower 

II agree with them, that it is more striking when you have one type of donut, but mixing it up will make the most guests happy. No time to bake? Just pick up some donuts at the grocery store bakery. This would be the perfect solution to the no-cake-conundrum. 

10 Birthday Cake Alternatives -

Donut Tower by Talkin Chow Playin House

And since these ideas look so much better, especially for a birthday party, served on a cake stand, I thought I would link you to my favorite. Its a simple white porcelain cake stand that is super versatile! You can buy it here: Porcelain Round Cake Stand

Homemade Almond Joy

This recipe for homemade Almond Joy is super simple and they turn out amazing! Almond Joy happens to be one of my favorite candy bars and so to have a homemade version is a little bit dangerous because I want to eat the entire recipe! It’s got some versatility so you can add more of the things you love (like I did). I adapted the recipe from this one I used for my Big Hero 6 party and they are divine!

Homemade Almond Joy - Events To Celebrate

For some reason when it is spring I want anything with coconut in it. I have visions of dyed shredded coconut mimicking the grass in Easter desserts. These add three of my favorite things: almonds, chocolate and coconut. There’s not too far you can go wrong with that!

Step 1: 
Follow the recipe below and scoop 1-2 tablespoons at a time onto a Parchment Paper lined baking sheet. You can form them into whatever shape you want, but I “tried” to get them into the shape of an oval. If you’re really particular about it, you could pack them into a small cookie cutter. Allow to chill in the freezer for 45 minutes. You want them really firm and cold when you dip them. 

(side note: I add sliced almonds to the recipe because I like almond in every bite. If you want to be more authentic, you can omit them from the recipe and place a whole almond on top of each mound before you chill them)

Homemade Almond Joy - Events To Celebrate

Step 2:
Melt 1/2 cup of milk chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring every 20 seconds until fully melted. Dip the bottom of each coconut mound and return to the baking sheet. Chill in the freezer for an additional 30 minutes.

Homemade Almond Joy - Events To Celebrate

Step 3: 
Melt an additional 1/2 cup of chocolate chips  and dip the top half of the coconut mounds to cover the entire surface. Return to baking sheet and chill until you are ready to serve. 

Homemade Almond Joy - Events To Celebrate


Homemade Almond Joy
Yields 12
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  1. 2 Tbsp Salted Butter
  2. 2 Tbsp Milk
  3. 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  4. Pinch of Salt
  5. 1 cup Confectioners Sugar
  6. 1 1/2 cup Shredded Coconut (sweetened)
  7. 1/4 cup sliced Almonds
  8. 1 cup Milk Chocolate Chips - divided
  1. In a dry pan on medium heat, toast the almonds until they just start to get a nice tan color. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool while you proceed.
  2. In a saucepan, melt the butter on low heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the milk and vanilla and a pinch of salt (to counter all the sweetness). Add the confectioners sugar in three batches stirring until smooth each time. Add in the coconut and almonds and mix well to combine.
  3. Scoop onto a parchment lined baking sheet and chill in the freezer for 45 minutes. Dip the bottom half of each mound in 1/2 cup of the melted chocolate chips. Chill an additional 20 - 30 minutes. Dip the top half of each mound in the other 1/2 cup of melted chocolate chips and chill until ready to serve.
events to CELEBRATE!

Disney Planes Party Favor

Disney Planes Party Favor -

Disney Planes Party Favors

The Disney movie Planes and Planes Fire & Rescue are so dang cute. When I got my cotton candy machine I knew the Blue Raspberry would be the perfect clouds for a Planes birthday party favor. When I was at the movie theater with my daughter (who was 3 at the time) to see Planes Fire & Rescue, about 20 minutes in she turned to me and with a puzzled look said, “Mom, there aren’t any princesses in this movie.” I laughed, she was so right, no princesses in that one, but super cute just the same!

You know I am a huge fan of free party printables on the internet. There are several really great websites out there that offer them – SO USE THEM! These Planes Bag Toppers were a free printable from Homeketeers. In fact, they come with a whole package of Planes themed free printables. It’s so easy to just download them and print them. 

I paired the pouf of blue cotton candy with a cute little airplane I made using a clothespin and Popsicle stick. I tried to get the paint to mimic Dusty Crophopper. This would also be a really fun party craft if you had kids that were at the age that they could handle painting without making a horrible mess. Just glue the pieces together ahead of time and let them paint them at the party!

To make the clothespin airplane:

– Paint a wood clothespin with white craft paint using a foam brush and allow to dry

– Paint the top surface of the clothespin and the entire Popsicle stick orange and allow to dry

– Paint a turquoise stripe on both sides at the top of the white on either side of the clothespin. 

– Using a serrated knife, cut the ends off of the Popsicle stick and glue it to the front of the plane. Use one of the cut off ends to glue upright on the back of the airplane. 

Disney Planes Party Craft -

Hot Air Balloon Baby Shower Decorations

Hot Air Balloon Baby Shower Decorations -

Are you planning a Hot Air Balloon baby shower with an “Up, Up and Away” theme? This is a fun and inexpensive decoration or centerpiece that your guests will love! I’ve been on a little kick with my new Cotton Candy machine and when I was making some the other day I saw a hot air balloon, so I turned it into one. 

Hot Air Balloon Baby Shower Decorations

Hot Air Balloon Base: Round Tin, Chinese Take-out Box, Small box or basket
Floral Foam
String or ribbon
Cotton Candy
Tissue Paper
Accent Ribbon

I started by wrapping some yellow paper around the base of a leftover Christmas tin (they always go on sale for like 4 for $1 after the holiday). Then I cut a cube of floral foam and fit that inside the tin (and added a few rocks to give the base some extra weight).Hot Air Balloon Baby Shower Decorations -

I added a piece of ribbon around the tin and tied it in a bow. Then I cut two squares of yellow tissue paper and used my scissors to puncture a hole in the top of them and through the floral foam. I then inserted my cotton candy. Lastly, I followed this tutorial on You Tube on how to make the netting to go around the cotton candy. Next time, I will use more strings for the netting and tie the knots closer together, but I still think it turned out pretty cute!

These can be made a day or two in advance which is always a bonus when planning a party! 

Pink and Gold Decorations: Girls Night

It’s been much too long since my last Girls Night and I was craving a fun night with my friends. I was elated to have our Girls Night sponsored by Collective Bias, Inc. and WalMart to feature the new DOVE® Fruit. #LoveDoveFruits #CollectiveBias I think as women the desire to socialize and connect with one another is inherent. I am lucky to be surrounded by really amazing women and was so excited to invite them all to my Girls Night! 

Girls Night Food:

Salad Bar Display - #LoveDoveFruits #ad

I have been working hard for the last 4 months to get back to my pre-baby body. But, those who know me well, and those who have seen any of my latest posts, know that sweets are just something that has to be balanced into my life. I can’t go without them. So, I’ve done all that I can to practice moderation and to make smart choices. In hosting the girls night, it was important to carry that balance through our fun night together as well. 

I think serving food/drinks/dessert at any event as a “build-your-own” bar is the best way to go. It is easy for the host, and you can please a lot of personal tastes that way. For dinner I served a salad bar with dinner rolls. I also served a soda bar and for dessert, I had a build-your-own party mix bar featuring the Cranberry DOVE® Fruit.

Salad Bar:

Salad Bar Display - #LoveDoveFruits #ad

– Romaine Lettuce
– Spinach
– Grilled Chicken
– Blueberries
– Strawberries
– Dried Cranberries
– Feta Cheese
– Sliced Almonds
– Green Onions
– Poppyseed Dressing
– Cranberry Dressing

I’ll be sharing my recipes for the two salad dressings on my Instagram account, so be sure to follow me there! I got them both from a friend of mine that went to culinary school and they are DELICIOUS!

Soda Bar:

Dirty Diet Coke and Lime Rickey - #LoveDoveFruits #ad

– Soda options (mine included lemon-lime soda and 2 different cola’s)
– Syrup options (mine included coconut and cherry)
– Garnishments (mine included marachino cherries and lime wedges)

DIY Drink Stirrers - #LoveDoveFruits #ad

Now, you can’t have a drink with out something to stir it with. These super simple drink stirrers were one of my most favorite little details of the whole party. I just took a small piece of gold tissue paper, cut it into fringe leaving about 1/2″ uncut, ran a little bit of glue along the 1/2″ portion and rolled it around the end of a bamboo skewer. Super cute, right?!

DOVE® Fruit Party Mix:

DOVE® Fruits Party Mix Bar - #LoveDoveFruits #ad

 Here’s what I included:
– Plain Popcorn
– Cranberry DOVE® Fruit
– Pistachios
– Coconut
– Peanuts
– Pretzels

DOVE® Fruit Party Mix - #LoveDoveFruits #ad

Mmmm, let me just say, this was the perfect treat for the games we played. Each of us filled a cute popcorn cup with all the delicious options we wanted and it was so great to get a crunchy bite of this, a salty bite of that and a chewy bite of a Cranberry DOVE® Fruit. It really was the perfect flavor combination.

#LoveDoveFruits #Ad

Pink and Gold Decorations:

Let me take you through the simple, but really cute decorations I did for the party:

Pink and Gold Party Decorations - #LoveDoveFruits #ad

- Gold Striped Backdrop: I took a piece of white craft paper and painted the diagonal stripes using metallic gold paint.

- Tulle Pom Pom Garland: I took 5″ lengths of tulle and tied them in the middle and strung them with a piece of clear fishing line. The draped the backdrop and the food table.

- Food Signs: I didn’t just want the standard signs, so I used a fun font and used the delicious words: Nosh, Sip and Indulge to draw my guests to the table. 

- Popcorn Boxes: for the DOVE® Fruit Party Mix, I used my electronic cutting machine to cut out popcorn boxes and painted a diagonal gold stripe across the front.

- Food Labels: Using the same font as the food signs, I made individual labels for each item served and painted a gold stripe on the top and bottom edges to tie them into the party design. 

- Confetti: I cut gold tissue paper into confetti and accented the food table as well as the dining table with them. 

- Tissue Pom Poms: Made from gold tissue paper, I adorned the dining table with four small 1/2 pom poms. (shown below)

Pink and Gold Party Table Decor - #LoveDoveFruits #ad

Party Favors:  

Pink and Gold Party Table - #LoveDoveFruits #ad

I love any excuse to put together a party favor. I painted gable boxes with the metallic gold paint stripes used throughout the party and filled them with things each of us need a little more of in our lives: chocolate and a chance to make our nails look pretty. 

DOVE® Fruits Party Favor - #LoveDoveFruits #ad

Hollywood Game Night Games:

One of my favorite shows is Hollywood Game Night, so I put the girls into teams of three and we played the following rounds:

Hollywood Game Night - #LoveDoveFruits#ad

Take The Hint: One player stands up at the front and the host shows a card to the other players on their team. Each player gets to say one word to describe the item on the card until the player at the front guesses it.  The timer is set for 90 seconds. The number they guess in that time is the number of points they get.

Written on cards were: ET, Paris, Diet Coke, Tiger, Disneyland, George Washington, McDonalds, Superman, Earthquake, Earrings, New York, Mickey Mouse, Cat, The Beatles, Pocahontas, Freezer, Tulips, Nutella, Thrift Store, Cinderella

How Do You Do?: Each team has 2 minutes to guess as many songs as possible. One player goes up and draws a song title from the bowl and can only use the word “do” to sing the tune. Once a teammate guesses the song they must perform the next one. You can pass on a song you don’t know. (this was by far the hardest round)

These are the songs we used: Pretty Woman, Stop In The Name of Love, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Row, Row, Row your Boat, Single Ladies (Put a Ring on it), Stayin’ Alive, Let it Be, Wake Me Up Before You Go Go, YMCA, It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, Let It Go, Firework – Katy Perry, Empire State of Mind, Take Me Out To The Ballgame, You Are My Sunshine

Celebrity Name Game: One Player sits at the front. The other players take turns pulling a celebrity name out of a bowl. They describe the celebrity trying to get the player at the front to guess who it is. They can pass and the name goes back into the bowl.  90 seconds are on the clock.

Here are the celebrities we used: Clint Eastwood, Matt Damon, Johnny Depp, Charlie Sheen, Jenifer Aniston, Tom Hanks, Sally Fields, Will Farrell, Robert Downy Jr., Scarlett Johansen, Taylor Swift, Mike Tyson, Bruce Jenner, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Beyonce, Jimmy Fallon, Kieth Urban, Bruno Mars, Kanye West, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Jenifer Lopez, Jim Bob Duggar, Jim Parsons, Idina Menzel, Anderson Cooper, Ina Garten, Mark Zuckerberg, Lady GaGa

Pass The Bowl: One player from each team comes to the front. A bowl is placed between them with Tom Hanks movie titles. The timer is set and one begins by drawing a paper and trying to get their team to guess the movie. Once ot has been guessed, the bowl is passed and the other player/team has a turn. A back-and-forth continues until the timer runs out. The team guessing when the timer runs out gets zero points.

Here are the movie titles we used: Big, You’ve Got Mail, Forest Gump, Captain Phillips, Saving Private Ryan, Cast Away, Saving Mr. Banks, The Green Mile, The DaVinci Code, The Terminal, Turner and Hooch, The Burbs

We had such a great time together! If you’re at Walmart looking for the DOVE® Fruit, you’ll find it in a display like this, not down the candy or snack aisle:

DOVE® Fruit - #LoveDoveFruits #ad

For lots more DOVE® Fruit recipes and ideas, go HERE.

I’ve got a coupon for you! Just click the image below and you can print one out for your own DOVE® Fruit purchase!



MARS DOVE coupon

No Candy Easter Ideas: Easter Rewards Printable

No Candy Easter Ideas: Easter Rewards -

No Candy Easter Reward Printable

You can use this Easter Rewards printable to minimize or completely eliminate the candy during the egg hunt this Easter. My husband and I were talking over the weekend about how October kind of starts a “candy season” and it goes through Halloween, Christmas, Valentines Day and Easter. I’m tired of all the candy in our house and so I’ll be using these along with other fun toys from the dollar store (puzzles, jump rope, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, etc.) instead of candy for our Easter Egg Hunt this year. I know our kids will get plenty of candy at Grandma’s Easter Egg hunt, so they won’t feel the dent, but I’d much rather encourage active play and fun outdoors, than eating more candy. 

I hope you find them helpful too! You could print one set for your entire family and hide them with the other eggs, or print one set for each child and mark the eggs with the first letter of their name – or hide their eggs according to color (Susan finds all the yellow eggs, Steven finds all the green). 

If you’re looking for even more fun ways to shake up your Easter Egg Hunt, check out this post I did. It has lots of fun ways to switch things up and have a hunt your kids will remember! 

Print your own set of Easter Rewards:  Easter Rewards –

Rules for use:
– My free printables are for personal use only.
– They may not be modified, sold or used for profit in any way.
– If you feature or repost them, please give Events to Celebrate proper credit with a link back to this post.

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