Beauty and the Beast Gifts for Women
While June is National Dairy Month, July is National Ice Cream month! For many people, ice cream is the perfect dessert for a hot summer day. But, are you getting the most out of the classic frozen treat? Here are some ice cream hacks that bring a clever twist to this yummy dessert.
- Tired of working hard to serve frozen ice cream at parties? Instead of scooping ice cream out of the container, cut the entire container in half. Next, cut each half into slices and you’re good to go!
- Another great way to make serving ice cream at parties easier is to do all of your scooping the night before. Get out a couple of cupcake pans and drop a scoop of ice cream into each cup. Keep the pans in the freezer until you’re ready to serve them.
- Want to make your own ice cream sandwiches? Buy a pint of ice cream, and cut it into slices. Sandwich each slice between two homemade cookies or brownies. If you’re feeling especially indulgent, sandwich your ice cream between two donuts or cinnamon rolls.
- Running out of peanut butter or hazelnut spread? Make use of that last bit of spread by dropping a scoop of ice cream into the jar and swirling it around. This will turn that impossible-to-reach peanut butter at the bottom of the jar into a delicious treat.
- Need to split a pint of ice cream with a friend? Instead of trusting them to only eat their half, cut the whole pint in half lengthwise and pop each half into a bowl. This will make creating perfectly even portions a breeze.
- Want to create your own colorful ice cream popsicles? Drop a handful of gummy bears into each compartment of a popsicle maker, then fill with softened ice cream and re-freeze. The end result: flavorful ice cream surrounding colorful gummy bears. What a fun-to-eat treat.
These are just a few hacks to make your relationship with ice cream easier. Remember, there’s no such thing as too much ice cream!
We thought you might like these other ice cream ideas of ours:
- 1/2 cup unsalted sweet cream butter softened
2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup of crumbled Animal crackers
- 1 c unsalted sweet cream butter
3 c powder sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp heavy whipping cream
12-18 Animal Crackers for garnish
These Oreo Pops only take about 30 minutes to make and are a treat for pretty much anyone that you decide to bless with them. Let’s face it, chocolate plus more chocolate can only be a good thing, right? This could even be a fun project to make with the kiddos so fee free to play!
- Bag of Almond Bark
- Lollipop sticks
1. Separate Oreos in half, with one half an Oreo cookie, and the other half with the cookie and frosting.
2. Melt about 1/3 of the bag of almond bark in a small sauce pan.
3. Double boil by placing the sauce pan in a large saute pan filled with water.
4. Add a tablespoon of Crisco into the almond bark, or more if needed. Almond bark can be thick!
Today, Miss Sarah turns 9.
Thank you for watching this last year with us!
It’s been fun watching you dance to your own music,
grow in your faith,
enjoy time with your friends,
and just plain old having fun at times.
I’ve been able to watch you challenge your brain,
welcome a stranger from another country with open arms,
and act well beyond your years when we are out and about.
The last 365 days have been full of amazing memories… And I wish for thousands more for you. God truly blessed us, the day we got the call, and learned that we had a daughter.
Happy Birthday Sarah!
When the little princess insisted on a mermaid birthday party I got right to work researching, brainstorming, creating, and plotting. While she had in mind a Disney Little Mermaid theme I prefer doing a general theme to specific characters. So I needed to keep in line with mermaid colors and the general feeling. Purple, hot pink, lime green, and teal flow are not only fun and bright girly colors but flow well with ocean and mermaid scheme.
The first thing I did to set the mood for our mermaid party was to hang strips of green streamers onto long lengths of twine to serve as seaweed. I put some behind the food and here and there throughout the party area. I borrowed a large fishing net that was hanging on my sons wall to drape over the purple tablecloth on the food table, further creating an ocean feel. Inexpensive bowls, and trays in party colors from Dollar Tree held the majority of food items, while sand pails and shovels were a perfect serving bowl and scoop for chips, goldfish crackers, and pretzels. Inexpensive shells can be picked up at craft stores or Dollar tree to use as table scatter. Painted wooden accents in ocean animals and mermaids shapes make a great accent for aluminum cans covered in themed paper as well as on several decorations throughout.
Goodie Bags– The goodie bags for the mermaid birthday party were fun and overall inexpensive to put together. I used sand buckets with a shovel from Dollar Tree, I made some for girls and the boys. Inside I included an individual packet of goldfish, mermaid gummy treats, girly tattoos, plastic sparkly bracelets, a small bubble (available in a case of a dozen in the wedding section of Dollar Tree) twisty straws, tiara hair combs (Wal-Mart party section), and a couple of individual wrapped candy items. For the boys I subbed the bracelets and tiaras for a pirate bandana from Hobby Lobby, and pirate tattoos in place of the girly ones.
Mermaid Wreath– I picked up all the pieces for this project, including the pretty grapevine wreath at Hobby Lobby. The wreath was available in several tropical colors and it reminded me of driftwood so I thought it would go perfectly with our theme. I wrapped 1/4” ribbon in a contrasting color.
and while it was still wet I sprinkled it in glitter- because in a girly girl world you can’t have enough sparkle.
Finally I finished it off by securing finished wood pieces on the number and directly on the wreath itself.
The project cost less than 10 dollars to make, I glued the number in such a way, with just a few dots of hot glue that I can easily remove it, replace the mermaid and still use the wreath in her bedroom indefinitely. I had paint and glitter already on hand, but you can pick them both up for $1.00 or less at craft or dollar stores.
Mermaid Birthay Party Welcome Sign- I have seen similar signs at other craft stores but again this pink metal sign was from Hobby Lobby. I hot glued on another finished wooden mermaid piece from Dollar Tree, alpha stickers for my wording and finished accenting with ocean stickers. This too cost under $10.00 and will hang in my little girls room, so while the individual cost may be a bit higher than you would normally spend on one decoration, using it double duty as home décor makes it a very frugal craft indeed!
Jellyfish Lantern- Bundle crepe streamers or strips of tissue paper in party colors to make jellyfish tentacles, wrap with tape and then attach to the bottom of a paper lantern. Make several in different colors to create a real undersea feeling.
Mermaid Birthday Party Printables– Print the attached mermaid cards on cardstock and use them to label food or as name tags on goodie bags. You could also print a set and use it as a memory match game for the birthday girl, or print a set for each party-goer and add it to the goodie bag.
Mermaid Cards –> mermaidprintable
The Mermaid’s Welcome sign would be adorable printed and placed in a brightly colored frame to great your guests.
Mermaid Sign –> Mermaid Welcome
Sandcastle Cake– While I love to bake from scratch sometimes with so much going on you just don’t have time. To save some time and stress I made a mix from the box and a homemade buttercream frosting (recipe HERE), with chocolate seashell accents.
To recreate the sandcastle that I made you will need 3 pans in graduating sizes ( I used a set of spring form pans) and a clean empty aluminum can. Prepare 3 box cake mixes according to package directions, to give them a little bit more of a homemade flavor i added a tsp. of almond extract and a tsp. of orange extract to each mix.
Use whatever combination extract flavors you like. Grease pans and can well with vegetable oil, dust lightly with flour. Fill can 2/3 of the way full and distribute remaining batter into your 3 round pans. Bake according to package directions. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. While cakes are cooling make your frosting and “sand”. Cover a large baking pan in parchment paper or brown wrapping paper. Flip and stack round cakes so that the flat, smooth bottom of cake is facing upwards, if the cake is to rounded slice off some of the cake until each side is almost flat so it lets better.
Top with cake in aluminum pan, secure with a dowel rod in the center.
Sand Coating- Spread an entire bag of coconut on baking sheet in a thin layer, toast coconut on 350° for 10-12 minutes, stirring frequently, until toasted golden.
Remove from oven and cool, place in blender or food processor with a sleeve of graham crackers, ½ cup brown sugar, and ½ cup granulated sugar., until almost smooth. Set aside.
Spread an even layer of buttercream all over cake, beginning at the top, and working your way down. ( if you like, before stacking cakes add a layer between each one).
Start at top of cake again and pat sand mixture into frosting. Repeat until cake is well covered. Spread remaining sand around pan.
Candy Accents- I found a seashell candy mold at Hobby Lobby to create edible shell decorations for the cake. Use white chocolate and butterscotch chips to fill. I did some of each as well as swirling both together to create more variations. Place 2 oz. of chips in a microwave safe dish, microwave for 20 seconds at a time, stirring between each cycle, repeat until melted and smooth. Spread chocolate into molds, pressing in well to avoid air bubbles. Allow to set and pop from mold. Scatter on and around sandcastle cake.
Top with a flag tapped onto dowel, with your child’s age, name , or initial. I used her little people Ariel mermaid as a nod toward her hero.
Additional Mermaid Birthday Party Resources:
Starfish – Real Starfish
Mermaid Pinata – Aztec Imports Mermaid Pinata
Miss Sarah wanted a Rainbow Birthday Party when she turned 7…so here is what we did and with a budget of under $50.
First we stocked up on Rainbow Birthday Party supplies…
I hit the local dollar store for lanterns, silly string, beach pails and balloons! I shopped AFTER the summer the year before, so I got some the buckets 2/$1. It was all under $30.
The Kool-Aid, Streamers, Skittles, Straws and Lip Gloss Rings came from my “stash”.
The Rainbow Birthday Party invitations were simple. Black cardstock with an embossed rainbow on the front, under the cloud. (See the DIY here)
I kept 6 buckets aside (one of each color) and used the other 12 for the party guests to take home. They were filled with white tissue, silly string, a matching color straw, lip gloss and bubble gum. We made cutesy labels for each item.
Now, the other buckets were for Kool”aid flavored popcorn — the recipe is HERE. I made it the day before and stored in 1 gallon zippy baggies. FYI – lemonade makes NASTY lemon ones…we used plain buttered popcorn.
See how cool it looked on the table? We had red/white striped popcorn bags so the kids could make their own assortment mix.
The Rainbow Birthday Party candy bouquets were easy…
I took wooden skewers and strung rainbow colored taffy. (Read about it here) Those, and the rainbow colored suckers were simply stuck into craft foam.
We made a rainbow party balloon arch (the big How-to is HERE)
You also see her cute rainbow skirt that she asked me to make…It’s mostly tulle and used up my stash! We added red ribbon to the shoulders of her white tank. (My skirt DIY is here)
Matching rainbow party hair accessory was simple:
I used one of her hair ponies and just tied rainbow ribbon colors to it.
The rainbow cupcakes were NOT a “pinterest fail”… they looked great until the temperature reached 90+. That is when the sour candy rainbows “wilted” (sigh)
I did add some healthy snacks… like rainbow fruit kabobs
It was those wooden skewers again with a strawberry, cantaloupe, pineapple, honeydew melon, blueberry and red grape. Poor Miss Sarah wanted to eat them but she couldn’t… that dang food allergy.
Miss Sarah was VERY excited for her guests to come…as you can clearly see.
The kids had a great time ripping into the rainbow buffet…
And it was time to open gifts before you knew it.
Miss Sarah LOVED her Rainbow party — thanks for letting me share!
For Birthday #8, Miss Sarah choose to have it at a movie theater birthday party and use it to bless other people (read about it here)…so, we got things off to a great start with a simple invitation. I made 92 of them that she passed out at lunch time at her school.
In hindsight, I should have used a TURKEY, not an Owl… and the movie was FREE Birds, not Wild Birds. (Wild Birds is a movie about 2 abused girls that escape into the wilderness – sigh).
We talked to the theater, had our own theater (unless the other theater filled up and they needed our theater for overflow) and could bring in party treat bags.
We prepped bags for the party — using cute popcorn bags that were 10 for $1 at the Dollar Tree! In each bag was a sucker (Post Valentine’s Clearance), a glow bracelet (15/$1 Target bin) and a Capri Sun (Free from coupons!) The bags were all ready to go!
We found these cute Birthday signs at the Dollar Tree also, and we had a few of them for the event!
I was at the front door with a sign and clipboard with all RSVPd names on it. I checked them in and handed them their ticket, then pointed them to the person in the lobby with the next sign.
They went from that sign, to Miss Sarah outside the theater that our movie was in. She had the popcorn bags and took the gift bag from them. We guessed correctly — that the kiddos would quickly put on the bracelet, pop that sucker into their mouth and take out their juice. That left an empty popcorn bag! We bought buckets of popcorn and passed them down through the kids — they simply filled up their bags and got busy.
So, the theater even thought it was pretty cool – they took a picture and popped it on Facebook
We took them home, made sure they were all complete and added tissue paper…I have this thing about stuff looking “pretty”, LOL!
Finally, it was delivery day! Here is Miss Sarah with Pastor Joe when we dropped them all off at the church’s food pantry…I can’t tell who has the bigger smile – can you?
This Monday, the first bag went out to a family!
Thanks to the 27 kids… there are kids who can celebrate a birthday they that wouldn’t have been able to before.
Now THAT makes for a great time and I’m super proud of them all!
My birthday is just around the corner and that gets me thinking about Birthday FREEBIES!
When seeking out birthday freebies you usually have to enter an email address. You are bound to get flooded with emails so, to avoid all the spam mail you should consider setting up a free email address and checking it often for money saving offers!
In addition to a free birthday gift, many of the companies below will send you a free appetizer or something similar just for joining. So be sure to keep an eye out for those offers as well!
Atlanta Bread Company VIP eClub – receive a FREE cookie on your birthday.
Applebee’s, free dessert.
Arby’s – free 12 oz. Shake with any purchase coupon. (updated 9.13.13)
Auntie Annes – Free BOGO coupon for any pretzel item. (updated 9.13.13)
Baskin Robbins, free scoop of ice cream.
Beef O Brady’s – Free Beignet with the purchase of any entree coupon. (updated 9.13.13)
Benihana – receive a $30 gift certificate to celebrate your birthday!
Bob Evans, free kids meal for children under 12. Receive a free breakfast just for signing up!
Boston Market, free kids meal with a drink and dessert.
Buca di Beppo, free appetizer for signing up and a free dessert on your birthday. Plus, money saving coupons all year round!
Buffalo Wild Wings – receive a coupon for a free dessert! (updated 9.13.13)
Burger King – grab a free kids meal on your child’s birthday!
California Pizza Kitchen Kids Club – kids 10 under will receive a FREE kids meal during their birthday month.
Carino’s Italian Restuarant – receive a FREE dessert for your birthday!
Chili’s, receive a free dessert on your birthday and free queso and chips just for signing up!
Club Mongo at bd’s Mongolian Grill – receive a coupon for a FREE birthday meal and a FREE gift just for joining!
Cold Stone Creamery – receive a free ice cream.
Culver’s eClub – receive a FREE sundae on your birthday.
Dairy Queen, free blizzard. You’ll also receive coupons for Buy 1 Blizzard Get 1 FREE!
Del Taco – Receive a FREE Premium Shake on your Birthday.
Dave and Busters – Get a $5 Dave & Buster’s Game Credit on your birthday as a Rewards member.
Dunkin Donuts – receive a coupon in the mail for a free beverage of your choice to celebrate!
Famous Dave’s – you’ll receive a voucher for a FREE meal on your birthday.
Firehouse Subs – Free medium celebratory sub with valid ID.
Fuddruckers – FREE birthday burger.
Gigi’s Cupcakes – receive a sweet treat on your birthday.
Gold Star Chili – receive a FREE Meal for your birthday!
IHOP – receive a free Rooty Tooty Fresh N Fruity (or equal value) on your birthday! (updated 9.13.13)
Jersey Mikes – Free regular sub and 22 oz. fountain drink.
Joe’s Crab Shack – free dessert.
Johnny’s Toys – children 1-10 pick a free toy. Sign up in store.
Lone Star – free dessert, but you have to ask for it.
Longhorn – receive a free dessert on your birthday. Upon initial sign up you’ll receive a free appetizer.
Marble Slab Creamery – add up to four of your kids, and you’ll receive a B1G1 FREE Tasty Creation coupon for joining! Plus FREE ice cream for your kids’ birthdays up to age 12
Max & Erma’s, receive a free dessert.
Moe’s – free burrito on your birthday!
Montgomery Inn – free appetizer or dessert!
Noodles & Company – immediately receive a coupon good for a FREE dish wyb one dish of equal or lesser value. Plus you’ll receive a coupon good for a FREE dish on your birthday
O’Charley’s – $5 off $20 Coupon. (updated 9.13.13)
Orange Julius – receive a coupon for a FREE 16-ounce fruit drink for your birthday
Outback – free dessert or bloomin onion. Free Aussie-Tizer just for joining!
Quizno’s – FREE Cookie
Red Lobster – free dessert for your birthday!
Red Robin – enjoy a free birthday burger.
Ruby Tuesday – FREE sweet treat on your birthday.
Smashburger – receive a free shake on your birthday!
Smokey Bones – Free dessert printable coupon. (updated 9.13.13)
Sonic’s Birthday Club – receive a FREE Wacky Pack Kid’s Meal on your child’s birthday!
Steak N Shake, receive a free double steak burger with cheese and fries!
Souper Salad Souper Fresh Club – receive a coupon for a FREE meal good for the week of your birthday.
Texas Roadhouse – free dessert on your birthday and a free appetizer for signing up!
Toys R Us, coupon & surprise on child’s birthday.
TGI Friday’s, free dessert or appetizer.
Uno’s– $10 off the purchase of $25+ coupon (as of 9.13.13)
Whataburger – Join the birthday club and your child will get a FREE [[;burger on their birthday.
Do you know of any other Birthday Restaurant Deals? Please do tell…
Frozen is the center of every little girl’s dream right now and you’re sure to make her birthday wishes come true with Frozen gifts!
Get the party started and ended right with these Frozen birthday party invitations and thank yous!
Check out these Frozen birthday party decorations that are sure to please!
Make the party attendees happy with these Frozen birthday party favors!