Dec 22

Christmas Party with Marie Callender’s Pot Pies

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

Easy party food for a Christmas party #EasyAsPotPie #ad

I know Christmas is a hop, skip, and a jump away but I had to share a last minute Christmas party plan with you because it’s SO easy. Would you believe me if I said this is my last party for 2014? What a year! This one is what we like to call ‘the Mouser Christmas‘. It’s always low key, full of wrestling, and so loud that sleeping babies need not come.

Easy appetizers for a Christmas party #EasyAsPotPie #ad
Have you ever noticed how people hover around the food? It’s true. I offer guests an appetizer because food seems to breaks the ice for both extroverts and introverts. It gives people something to do with their hands that doesn’t involve checking their 50 bajillion social media accounts for new likes and/or comments. Unfortunately, that’s the world we live in anymore.

Christmas Party Appetizers:

  • Cheese Ball
  • Crackers
  • Sparkling Juice

How to turn your chandelier into a festive decoration for your Christmas party #EasyAsPotPie #ad
I wanted to keep this party simple due to my ever expanding midsection and jam packed Christmas party schedule, so I dumped a package of shatterproof ornaments into a giant silver bowl and called it my centerpiece. Wham, bam, thank you, ma’am!

Totally optional if you are looking to keep things ultra simple, I made spearmint mats by melting the mints in an 8 mint x 12 mint rectangle at 300 degrees, for 8-10 minutes.

I topped the mats with a red napkin, our fancy silverware, china, and a party favor. I know, I know. I can’t help it if I think each party deserves a party favor! How could I say no to these adorable chevron gift boxes? Spoiler… I couldn’t.

To finish off the festive feel, I worked two strands of garland around our normally boring chandelier. It really added to the decor without forcing my guests to look around it to see the person in front of them.

Christmas Party Table:

  • Ornaments (Last season’s clearance, unsure of the store)
  • Gift boxes (Hobby Lobby, $1.99/each)
  • 7 Bags of Spearmints (Walmart, .98/each)
  • Big Silver Bowl (Target, $7.48 on clearance)
  • Garland (Target, $4/each)
  • White Fabric (Backdrop from the cookie party.)

Marie Callender's has a variety of sizes and flavors to serve your Christmas party guests #EasyAsPotPie #ad
But let’s be real, the boys couldn’t care less about the decorations. I decorate for me because pretty things bring me joy. The boys are all about the grub, ’bout the grub, no slackin’. (Sorry for the ear worm!) Which is why I chose a comfort food to warm us up. And holy heck, guys! Marie Callender’s Pot Pies were so dang easy to serve to the masses! They cooked while I finished prepping the decor, and even allowed me to clean up a bit. It was perfect.

Yes, I said CLEAN! Unheard of, right?

Note: I made faux cake plates by placing plates on top of red and green vases. Sometimes you have to fake it till ya make it!

Marie Callender's pot pies are an easy way to get the taste of homemade at your Christmas party without the work #EasyAsPotPie #ad
And the pot pies? Let’s just say I had never consumed a frozen pot pie before this party because I thought it would taste like week old cookies. Except… I was wrong because Marie Callender’s pot pies have a “golden flaky crust”. Like, for real. I was so shocked that I sent my mom a text saying something similar to ‘Why am I just now finding out how good pot pies are? I feel robbed.’

I live under a rock. Scratch that. I live in a cave. A cave with a rock for a door.

Also, how fitting is serving your military broski something attached to a program like Comforts From Home? It’s like I planned for it all to fit together like that. Except I didn’t.

Christmas Party Food:

  • Variety of Marie Callender’s pot pies
  • Rolls

Easy, no bake dessert ideas for your next Christmas party #EasyAsPotPie #ad
And we of course there was sugar. Christmas is all about the sugar, no?

Keep the treats simple because we all know this is the point of every Christmas party where everyone is begging to borrow a pair of maternity pants. I recommend saying yes because no pants parties should not happen in public unless you are a toddler.

Christmas Party Desserts:

  • Peanut Butter Fudge
  • No Bakes
  • Buckeyes
  • Dirt Cake

Easy, edible party favors for a Christms party #EasyAsPotPie #ad
Even though the party favors looked fancy pants, they were nothing elaborate. A few chocolates will always bring a smile to your guests’ faces because it’s a thoughtful gift. Gifts coupled with an enjoyable time will always make people feel like a million bucks.

Shopping for Marie Callendar's pot pies at Walmart #EasyAsPotPie #ad

And because Walmart carries just about everything, I picked up all of the grub when I was scheduled to pick up a few last minute toys. One stop shop for the win.

Be sure to visit Marie Callendar’s Meals to learn more about all things tasty, and visit Pot Pies Please for more recipes.

Happy holidays, guys!

 Do a girl a favor and pin this Christmas party!

Christmas party ideas- easy party food, peanut butter desserts, and simple decorations in classic Christmas colors #EasyAsPotPie #ad

Follow Mallery Schuplin’s board Christmas Party, Food, Themes, Decorations and Crafts on Pinterest.


Dec 18

Gamora Cupcakes

 Gamora cupcake with orb cupcake topper tutorial for a Guardians of the Galaxy party

The time has come for me to share my first Guardians of the Galaxy party idea- Gamora cupcakes with orb cupcake toppers! Hooray!

Well… if party planning or nerdy things get you off, that is. Or maybe you are experiencing a double whammy of pleasure? I do enjoy doubling your pleasure whenever the opportunity presents itself. Honest.

 Make Gamora cupcakes by starting with green cake mix and topping with black frosting

Start by adding green food coloring to some white cake mix. Yeah, what of my box mix? Homie ain’t ashamed. The only thing I was bummed about was having to use Betty Crocker instead of Duncan Hines because Target doesn’t carry Duncan Hines.

I know, right? What kind of store does that?

Next I used my Wilton Decorator Plus to add black frosting with the star tip. Black, not purple. I know there are plenty of online images floating around the interwebz where it looks like Gamora has purple hair, but she doesn’t. Buy an action figure. Watch the movie. Her hair is more like a dark brown/black with red ends.

Spray the tops of the Gamora cupcakes with a red color mist to represent Gamora's hair

Which is why I bought this red color mist. I thought it would be fun to spray a hint of red on the cupcakes since her hair has a bit of red in it. Clever? Sure. Did it get me in trouble? Abso-fucking-lutely! I didn’t put anything down when I was touching up the red tips and sprayed the counter red. My bad.

Gamora Cupcakes:

To make the orb cupcake toppers for the Gamora cupcakes, sponge black sparkle gel onto silver gumballs

The orb cupcake toppers almost didn’t happen. I had no freaking idea what I was going to use until I was cleaning up my cookie party and realized gumballs look a lot like the orb. You know, the orb? The entire reason the Guardians get together? Well… outside of Ronan being a jerk.

I had some black sparkle gel in the cupboard so I thought I would give the gumballs a quick sponge to see what would happen. I hate the sparkle gel for 99% of the reasons I purchased it for so I wasn’t holding my breath. I left them in cupcake tins to dry overnight (the stuff takes eons to dry) and moved on to something worthwhile.

I sure as hell wasn’t expecting to wake up to epic little orbs! Watch the movie, dudes. It’s like I knew this would work from the beginning. Yep. No wishful thinking from this party planner…

Yeah right.

Orb Gumball Cupcake Toppers:

Gamora cupcake with orb cupcake topper tutorial Also, I want to point out infinity stones! I was going to make sugar cookies with purple frosting, but… uhhh… I didn’t have enough time. You should totally make cookies if you don’t feel like blowing wads of cash on Jordan Almonds. You know, because Target only sells tiny bags full of MULTI-COLORED Jordan Almonds so you buy 5 billion tiny bags. Eff me.

Note: I wrapped the coolest Comic Duct Tape around my water bottles and my bestie made a dancing Groot!

Check out my superhero party board for more ideas!

Follow Mallery Schuplin’s board Superhero Party on Pinterest.

Dec 15

Michael’s ‘Best Mop Ever’!

Michael’s best mop Christmas gift has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.#CleanForTheHolidays #CollectiveBias

We surprised our toddler with the best mop for hardwood floor cleaning so he can help us clean for the holidays #CleanForTheHolidays #ad
Have you ever thought about the perks of being a parent? I mean, REALLY thought about why we decide to accept responsibility for another human being. Outside of the obvious refined persuasion tactics and the ability to pee and sneeze simultaneously, of course.

I have.

Pregnant mom resting and eating while my toddler uses his new O-Cedar ProMist #CleanForTheHolidays #ad
Now, let me preface this by saying that we have never once attached microfiber cloths to our crawling infant. We thought about it, but that parenting hack never made it on our ‘this is why you have children’ list. We did, however, add the infamous get out of events card and having someone to brush your hair. Getting your hair brushed is absolutely worth the penny fee and happens to be the most relaxing thing about parenting!

Well… outside of resting your cankles and throwing down on treats you are supposed to enjoy in moderation.

The O-Cedar ProMist is a great choice for hardwood floor cleaning #CleanForTheHolidays #ad
Before you whisk my child away for child labor, let me explain. I purchased Michael an O-Cedar Pro Mist and other cleaning accessories because the kid loves to clean! No joke. He even cleans without being coerced! (Procreating with Michael has benefits.) I will birth children until the end of time if they all enjoy cleaning as much as Michael does.

Don’t hold me to that statement quite yet as I am still evaluating whether or not I got lucky this time.

Rewarding my toddler with money for playing with his 'best mop ever' Christmas gift #CleanForTheHolidays #ad
Michael doesn’t drive a hard bargain when it comes to payment for his cleaning services, but I like to keep the motivation alive with a few coins here and there. Men are motivated by food, money, and companionship, right? Although, I don’t think he has quite figured out how piggy banks really work. Half the time he tosses his money in the baby’s piggy bank instead of his own. For now anyway…

Shopping for the best mop at Walmart #CleanForTheHolidays #ad

Where to buy the best mop for hardwood floor cleaning:

Because I know every parent out there is also searching for the elusive secret to getting kids (and lazy wives) into chores, you will find these O-Cedar items with the mops in the grocery section of Walmart. I didn’t want anything expensive, but I am so over the disposable types because Michael is a boy. A boy who is still working on his beast-like strength and coordination. (Think Hulk SMASH!) Also, I wanted washable microfiber pads because I never want to be caught with my pants around my ankles when he asks for his ‘best mop’ so he can clean up whatever mess he and his cousin just made. It works for us.

May the (cleaning) odds be ever in your favor!


Dec 15

Guardians of the Galaxy Party

This Guardians of the Galaxy party has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #OwnTheGalaxy #CollectiveBias

 Guardians of the Galaxy party ideas- Groot cupcakes, orb cupcake toppers, Gamora cupcakes, infinity stones and more #OwnTheGalaxy #ad
I don’t know if you keep up with superhero gossip but Guardians of the Galaxy is finally out on DVD, and daaaaang, Disney! Good work! I did everything from ugly pregnant cry in the beginning to laughing my tail off throughout the rest. I don’t want to let the coon out of the bag so trust me when I recommend you add it to your Christmas list, like now. Just do it.

It’s so worth the watch that I designed a superhero party to celebrate! Yes, I do enjoy my geek mom-sister-wife status.

Orb cupcake toppers, Gamora cupcakes, and infinity stones for a Guardians of the Galaxy party #OwnTheGalaxy #ad

Note: I will share the tutorials for my Guardians of the Galaxy party ideas over the next few weeks.

Let’s start with the elusive orb, mmkay? I sponged sparkle gel, in black, on silver gumballs before letting them dry overnight. They will look wet when you check on them but will be 100% dry. Also, check out the lower left corner for my Jordan Almond infinity stones! I know, right? I can’t handle how easy this movie was to design!

Just like the majority of people can’t handle the infinity stone’s power…

Wait for it…

Edit 12/18/14: The Gamora cupcake tutorial is live.

Groot cupcakes for a Guardians of the Galaxy party #OwnTheGalaxy #ad
And then you have Groot. Groot, the Guardian everyone is fawning over because his character resembles that of a giant teddy bear. I mean, what’s not to like about a giant humanoid plant?

My thoughts exactly.

Turn a superhero party into a Guardians of the Galaxy party with easy to make Groot cupcakes #OwnTheGalaxy #ad
The interwebz is full of Groot cookies if that’s the route you are looking to take, but these Groot cupcakes… are they not the coolest party food ever? Love. Love. Love! This project is way easy if you have a bit of patience. You absolutely need patience or Groot will fall apart. Literally. Groot’s limbs everywhere. Don’t do that to Groot.

Note: Be sure to check out my bestie’s dancing Groot puppet tutorial! It’s amazing.

Turn a superhero theme into a Guardians of the Galaxy party with Rocket Racoon toys #OwnTheGalaxy #ad

Guardians of the Galaxy Party Honorable Mentions:

  • Empty boxes wrapped in silver wrapping paper. (dollar store)
  • Black tablecloth. (dollar store)
  • Clear building containers. (Oriental Trading)
  • Superhero table tents. (Oriental Trading)
  • Plastic city background. (Oriental Trading)
  • Tiered building cupcake tower. (Oriental Trading)
  • Superhero duct tape, for water bottles. (Amazon)

Use Drax and Ronan action figures to create the perfect Guardians of the Galaxy party #OwnTheGalaxy #ad
I even picked up a few Guardians of the Galaxy toys! The toys that required Michael to scoot extra close to me as I was opening them because he couldn’t wait until the party was over. It was one of those immediate needs that could only be filled via touch. He was pumped.

He might not understand the relationship between Drax and Ronan yet, but he is all about the ships. “Zoom. Zoom. Pew. Pew. Ahh.”

Cheap and easy superhero craft ideas for a Guardians of the Galaxy party #OwnTheGalaxy #ad
Our fun didn’t stop at the toys! I wrapped empty boxes with plastic tablecloths, glued on yellow tablecloth windows, and used clamps to attach the superhero city background to my backdrop stand. It was an instant superhero playground for tiny humans!

The capes were also made out of plastic tablecloths, with matching foam masks, and everything was… you guessed it, ONE dollar. I was shocked once I realized how easy superheros can be on the pocketbook. Not to mention, Michael wore his cape all night long because superhero parties are the best thing EVER!

Hooray for costume parties!

Marvel superhero party favor ideas for a Guardians of the Galaxy party #OwnTheGalaxy #ad
Warning: Proud party planning mom moment!

Michael picked out the majority of the items included in our party favors! He HAD TO HAVE the watch, the Marvel candy, and the Guardians of the Galaxy cup, so I added the mini Guardians. I wanted all of our tiny party guests to go home with a new toy.

Err… or my not so tiny, superhero loving friends. You know, same thing.

Note: All of the items in our party favors can be found at Walmart.

Shopping for the Guardians of the Galaxy Blu-RayDVD for our Guardians of the Galaxy party. #OwntheGalaxy #ad
Now zip on over to Walmart and pick up your own Guardians of the Galaxy Blu-Ray/DVD before they sell out and you have the worst-Christmas-ever. Totally kidding. Guardians of the Galaxy came out on December 9th so you should be good now. (The DVD features: Exclusive Character O-sleeve and exclusive music zinepack and a 64 page magazine with cast and crew interviews, exclusive behind-the-scenes photos and trivia PLUS a custom “cassette” laptop decal.)

Also, keep your peepers peeled for the in-store stackable display because it will contain additional merchandise that you NEED to add to your collection.

Do a girl a favor and pin this Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy party!

Guardians of the Galaxy party ideas- orb cupcake toppers, infinity stones, Gamora cupcakes, Groot cupcakes, and more #ownthegalaxy #ad

Dec 11

Snickerdoodle Cocktail

I made this snickerdoodle cocktail with Sweet’N Low as part of a series of sponsored posts for Socialstars. #SweetNLowStars

Snickerdoodle cocktail recipe- perfect for Christmas morning coffee! #SweetNLowStars #client

I have a confession to make…

I am capable of full blown toddler tantrums when it comes to Christmas morning. When I was younger I would sleep in my brother’s bed on Christmas Eve because his room was on the first floor- AKA closer to the action. As the years went on, each family member picked a color for their wrapping paper. (Mine is purple, duh!) When I met Michael… ohhhh man was he ever a trooper!

“Umm, babe? I hope you are okay with staying at my mom’s on Christmas Eve because we are. It’s sort of required that I wake up with the family on Christmas. And no, this is not up for discussion.” 

True story. I also need 5 pounds of bacon to go with my pancakes and/or french toast because that’s what we have always done. I live for traditions!

The ingredients for a snickerdoodle cocktail are simple #SweetNLowStars #client

Snickerdoodle Cocktail Ingredients:

  • 8oz Snickerdoodle Coffee
  • 1oz Irish Cream
  • .5oz Cinnamon Simple Syrup (Dissolve 8 tsp of Sweet’N Low in 1 cup of boiling water with 3-4 cinnamon sticks.)
  • (Optional) Snickerdoodle crumbs, for garnish
  • (Optional) Snickerdoodle cookies, for eating and dipping

Stop smelling your coffee grounds for two seconds and brew a pot of delicious goodness. (Snickerdoodle coffee smells AH-mazing!) Next, add the boozy goodness and simple syrup. We decided that 1 ounce of booze to 8 ounces of coffee was a great balance of flavor without the side effects that can come from drinking all day.

Note: Feel free to adjust the amount of simple syrup based on how sweet you take your coffee. Michael is a big black coffee guy so .5 was as sweet as he was willing to go. Now, when I take this recipe to my mom’s for Christmas? I have a feeling the family will throw down on some sweet coffee!

A snickerdoodle cocktail is a great way to make Christmas morning coffee special #SweetNLowStars #client
But let’s not forget about last month’s festive cocktail, mmmkay? My cranberry cinnamon cocktail was mind blowing and just as appropriate for Christmas gatherings.

Which means…

Between the snickerdoodle cocktail and cranberry cocktail, you will be serving the best guilt free drinks all day long. Drink recipes that also happen to be diabetic friendly so the entire family can enjoy them. You’re welcome.

Serve a warm batch of snickerdoodles with your snickerdoodle drink recipe so your family can dip their cookies #SweetNLowStars #client

Oh, and I know I said the cookies are optional, but I highly recommend a side of cookies so the tiny humans and tiny human hosts are able to enjoy a special Christmas morning somethin’ somethin’ too. Fair is fair, guys!

 This snickerdoodle drink recipe is perfect for Christmas morning #SweetNLowStars #client

Now raise your glass to matching pajamas, gizmos and gadgets, and time spent with family that doesn’t require a shower! Hooray!

Previous Sweet’N Low Cocktails:


Dec 10

I Hate Facebook

I hate Facebook notifications
I hate just about everything about Facebook.

  • I hate notifications.
  • I hated hearing “Mommy, put your phone down”.
  • I hate the instant gratification monsters it has created.
  • I hate how sensitive it has made people because so much context is lost in a status update.
  • I hated reading about dying babies and ebola.
  • I hate the endless quizzes and the lists upon lists being shared because they do nothing but waste time.
  • I really fucking hate Facebook messages. Like, super fucking hate them. I downloaded the new messaging app at one point… it lasted ONE day. The bubble that popped up on my phone? The additional notification? Oh HELL NO!

In fact, the only reason I get on Facebook right now is for work.There might be a chance that I find something intriguing when I pop in for a gig, but I sure as hell don’t seek out conversations like I once did. I don’t have the time for Facebook and I’m okay with it.

  • Remember when people still received handwritten letters? Yeah, not many people do. I do because I thoroughly enjoy sending party invitations.
  • Remember when people met up for hot toddies so they could catch up and gossip? I do because I thrive on throwing parties for my friends and family. Hell, I would rather jump on a video chat instead of Facebook because I know we are devoting most, if not all, of our attention to each other. None of this half ass bullshit.

I should note, my relationship with Facebook has nothing to do with the people of Facebook. It is, however, about my new priorities: my health, my family, my job. End of story. This pregnancy has forced me to really think about how I spend my time. With sleep playing such a big role in whether or not I wake up with a migraine, I always put my needs first. My phone has a 12 hour window of silence for overnight sleep and goes silent for close to 4 hours so we can nap. That’s 16 hours of potential sleep time, people!

I love my friends and family but times are trying. Try sending me an email (with an actual call to action: what you need, when you need it by, etc.) so I can mark it important and add it to my calendar. Clinical? Yes. What I need right now? Absolutely.

It won’t be like this forever, though. I will rekindle my many lost neglected friendships once I am no longer terrified. Once I get off of this roller coaster of a pregnancy. Once I feel confident I am past the point of relapsing. I can’t afford a relapse with this baby. Michael is old enough to understand when something is wrong, so I will make whatever sacrifice I can to protect him from the scary part of Multiple Sclerosis. I don’t want him to see me like that yet. I can’t…

Sorry, not sorry.


Dec 09

What Does Your Christmas Card Say about You?

Staying up late addressing our Christmas cards from Snapfish

I swear, October and November are all “Call the photographer!” “We need to go shopping!” “OMG, we will never get our Christmas cards out in time!”. So much goes into a card that who the heck knows if the recipients even keep! (I totally keep the ones with pictures. Because, pictures.)

Don’t get me wrong, I once made my 6 month old rock an elf hat for a photo shoot (back when I had NO CLUE how to use a camera- poor kid) so I could scurry around last minute in an attempt to fulfill my ‘house manager’ duties. Why? Society norms? It was my first braggy mom moment? All of the above?

Not this year, dudes! This year I took a different approach and my experience so far has been pain free. No stress and minimal planning. Me likey.

This post was created in partnership with Snapfish. All opinions are my own. #snapfishblogger

Picking the quirkiest picture for our Christmas card

The journey to the perfect Christmas card began with a single, goofy picture from Leah’s photo booth. We aren’t wearing matching outfits. We don’t look well rested. Heck, some might even call it a hot mess!

Because it is. It’s perfect in all of its hot mess glory! Ha!

It screams ‘The Schuplins’!

Using Snapfish to design our Christmas cards

But, as I was browsing, I found a card design I liked with space for two images. Wahhh! Do I use the perfect family picture from one of the weddings? Nah. Did I find ANY pictures from this autumn that I wasn’t behind the camera for? Puhleeze.

Except for one picture. One picture that sums up everything.

Showing our nerdy personality on our Christmas card.

I doesn’t get much better than a pregnant Yoshi with her crew now does it? It’s my absolute favorite picture! Our cards are perfect for our quirky family and, as long as I don’t drop the ball on getting them to the post office, they will go out WEEKS before Christmas. Color me shocked. It’s like I have nothing better to do than sit in bed and watch TV as my 4 pound fetus uses my bladder as a trampoline.

Oh wait…

Don’t forget to:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Dec 07

Holiday Party Favors

Steps on how to create a delicious chocolate peanut butter holiday party favor using Peanut Hottie and baby food jars
I have a holiday party favor that knows exactly how to push your oh so precious, knee buckling button. It starts with a bit of peanut butter. (Yes!) Then it teases you with some chocolate. (Mmhmmm!) And finally, it leaves you feeling youthful with gooey marshmallows. (Oh myy!)

Chocolate. Peanut butter. Chocolate. Chocolate. Marshmallow. Peanut butter. Peanut butter. Peanut butter!

Go sit in the corner if you don’t understand what just happened.

I had no idea Peanut Hottie was a thing until I was sent some to feature. It just so worked out that I needed to whip together a few party favors for an upcoming holiday party. You know, because my life is one big party.

Baby food jar craft idea for the holiday party favors filled with Peanut Hottie, marshmallows, and chocolate chips
The inspiration for my holiday party favors stemmed from baby food jars and my newly formed chocolate peanut butter obsession. I always try to utilize baby food jars because I have 50 bajillion sitting in my basement. I am a true craft hoarder. All the jars, everywhere!

Holiday Party Favor Supplies:

Glitter the tops of baby food jars using school glue instead of spray adhesive
I really love spray adhesive but my unborn fetus isn’t a fan, so I went with school glue for this project. The only difference I found was the length of time it took the glittery lids to dry. No big deal unless you are throwing these together moments before your guests arrive.

Pssshh! Who does that? Certainly not me. Never.

Attach mini ornaments to the top of the glittered baby food jar with tacky glue
I switched to tacky glue for the mini bulbs because I’m … paranoid? Yes, that. I don’t work with school glue enough for me to trust it with my balls errr bulbs.

Make the perfect holiday party favor by filling a baby food jar with 5 teaspoons of Peanut Hottie, a handful of chocolate chips, and marshmallows
Now for the tasty part! I started with the recommended 5 scoops of Peanut Hottie, added a handful of chocolate chips, and filled the remaining head space with mini marshmallows. So. Much. Yes!

Chocolate peanut butter Peanut Hottie baby food jar holiday party favors
There you have it, folks! This holiday party favor is super frugal and so dang good. Michael (little, not big) threw an epic tantrum because I told him he couldn’t have the marshmallows without the drink. And then he tasted the drink. Boy did that stop him in his whiny tracks!

And big Michael? He ordered his with a shot of marshmallow vodka because he’s a burly man. I’d say the Schuplins are fans!

Psstt… if your guest list is more of a grown up crowd, tie a tiny bottle of vodka to the baby food jar with some festive ribbon!


Dec 05

Easy Christmas Dinner Entertaining

Christmas entertaining ideas for the hostess with minimal time
The Schuplins have big plans for Christmas dinner this year! Yippee! This is the first year we are implementing our own holiday traditions in an effort to reduce our holiday stress. Gone are the days of traveling to 3 parties on Christmas day. I’m over it.

I know some people truly enjoy party jumping, but that’s way too much work with a toddler. Not to mention, I will be 34 weeks pregnant with serious cankle action, tiny bladder syndrome, and don’t test my patience sleep deprivation goin’ on! Nobody wants in on that… unless they helped put me in this joyous position. *cough* Michael *cough*

So how ’bout I show you how I’m making Christmas just as special for Michael’s parents without the stress that once came with our Christmas?

You guessed it, I’m using my secret weapon AKA HoneyBaked Ham again! They might have sponsored this post but the ideas for Christmas dinner are all mine because I developed this plan last year.

Setting the table for a simple Christmas dinner
There is something about layering that really gets my hormones going so I dressed my table in traditional colors.

Note: Everything featured in my place setting was picked up during last season’s Christmas clearance.

Easy to make cheese ball recipe for Christmas entertaining
I accented the ham, side dishes, and cake I picked up from the Flint, MI location with two simple appetizers in festive serving dishes.

Easy Cheese Ball Recipe:

  • 16 ounces of cream cheese
  • 1.5 c shredded cheddar cheese
  • .5-1 tsp garlic powder
  • Optional- green onion

Melt the cream cheese, mix in the extras, and put it in the fridge until firm.

Vegetables and dip served with Christmas dinner
See? There was little to no work involved with the appetizers and yet it still looks all fancy.

Tips for removing the hard work from Christmas dinner
Okay, so you obviously know HoneyBaked Ham carries ham and turkey, right? Remember… I served ham and turkey at my Thanksgiving party? Did you know they also carry side dishes and desserts? Like, don’t take your man child with you unless you are willing to forfeit the dessert decision making process. I didn’t even get a say and I was craving me some coffee cake.

Christmas dinner essentials for the hostess who want to enjoy the holiday
So I made up for it by picking out the side dishes I wanted. Life is one big compromise, isn’t it?

Delicious carrot cake for Christmas dinner
I personally prefer to keep centerpieces low but the little tree I purchased for Michael last year made the table so festive! I couldn’t take it down once I tested it out.

Oh, and… you NEED a lazy Susan table if you enjoy entertaining! For real. My table is beautiful and we don’t have to play pass the potatoes. They must have been invented by a woman. That’s the only logical explanation.

Festive drink station for a low maintenance Christmas dinner

And drinks? What’s a party without some sort of beverage?

The drinks for our Christmas dinner match the food in the ‘easy on the host’ with high impact department. The reindeer waters are festive, and I’m able to serve something less snazzy to the grown ups because of my cute Christmas glasses.

Tips for hosting a beautiful Christmas dinner that allows you to enjoy the day with your friends and family
Keep in mind that you don’t have to decorate your entire home to make your Christmas dinner special. Also, you don’t have to cook, but you really need to feed your guests. You know, dinner? And if you are anything like me then this reminder will serve you well- the most important thing for any Christmas dinner celebration is to simply be present. And possibly taking a shower. People seem to appreciate when you shower.

From now until 1/11/15 you can enter to win a $25,000 HoneyBaked Kitchen Makeover when you buy a Ham and Turkey Breast bundle.

Check out this amazing limited time coupon for $8.00 off any Bone-in Ham and Turkey Breast or Boneless Ham and Turkey Breast from HoneyBaked Ham to help you make your holiday dinner easy and delicious!  (This offer is valid only at the following locations: Rolling Meadows, Orland Park, Villa Park, Morton Grove, Naperville, Chicago, Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Plano, Mesquite, Hurst, Lewisville, Houston, Austin, Spring, Clear Lake, Sugar Land, Indianapolis, Ferndale, Grand Rapids, Roseville, Birmingham, Troy, West Bloomfield, Livonia, Flint, Dearborn Heights, Sterling Heights, Taylor, Ann Arbor, Canton Township, Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh, Mechanicsburg, Monroeville, San Antonio, Bellevue, and Lynnwood.  For store addresses click here.)

Donate $1.00 to Feeding America during checkout at the register of any HoneyBaked store. $1.00=10 Meals!


Dec 01

OREO Cookie Party

This OREO cookie party has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias #OREOCookieBalls

OREO cookie party ideas- cookie decorating tips, OREO cookie recipes, dollar store decor, and more #OREOCookieBalls #ad

It’s the most wonderful time of the year
It’s the hap-happiest season of all

One of my strongest desires is to create holiday magic for Michael. I want him to grow up with fond memories of decorating cookies to the jingle jangle of Christmas music as I listen to tiny feet trot throughout the house. And, one day, I hope those tiny feet are replaced with the man-child sized sneakers of teenagers. Teenagers who still find joy in the holiday season. Teenagers who look forward to holiday traditions.

Or… teenagers who at least humor my sappy traditions. I’ll take what I can get!

Note: This party plan includes dessert ideas, tips for frugal decor, and simple tricks for hosting a cookie decorating party.

OREO Cookie Party: OREO Desserts

OREO cookie party ideas- 3 types of winter wonderland themed OREO Cookie Balls #OREOCookieBalls #ad
I started my day of baking prep with 3 types of OREO Cookie Balls: caramel cream cheese with original OREO Cookies, berry cream cheese with berry OREO Cookies, and original cream cheese with peanut butter OREO Cookies. The caramel snowball won the taste test, but the peanut butter snowman was the clear winner in the visual contest.

Note: OREO Cookie Balls only look complicated. The recipe is simple enough that I had no problem whipping out balls upon balls for this party. After chilling, be sure to allow the balls time to warm slightly so the chocolate doesn’t crack. Also, I recommend investing in a chocolate dipping spoon.

Official OREO Cookie Ball recipe

  • Ingredients:
    • 1 pkg (8 oz.) brick cream cheese, softened
    • 36 OREO Cookies, finely crushed (about 3 cups)
    • 4 pkg. (4 oz. each) semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted
  • Make it!
    • MIX cream cheese and cookie crumbs until blended.
    • SHAPE into 48 (1-inch) balls. Freeze 10 min. Dip balls in melted chocolate; place in single layer in shallow waxed paper-lined pan.
    • CUSTOMIZE it with your own ingredient additions or decorative skills.
    • REFRIGERATE 1 hour or until firm.
  • Share and enjoy!

OREO cookie party ideas- Chocolate chip OREO cookies #OREOCookieBalls #ad
Keeping with my OREO theme, I made chocolate chip cookies with OREO Cookies…

OREO cookie party ideas- OREO Cookie Balls made to look like snowballs and OREO fudge #OREOCookieBalls #ad
And OREO Cookie fudge.

OREO cookie party ideas- Peppermint OREO cookies #OREOCookieBalls #ad
Heck, I even made cookies with OREO Cookies and peppermints! (My favorite!)

OREO cookie party ideas- Turn dollar store platters into cookie servers #OREOCookieBalls #ad
And when I deviated from my OREO desserts, I ended with a turtle flop. Meh. At least they looked pretty?

OREO Cookie Party: Budget Friendly Decorations

OREO cookie party ideas- Use clear tape and fishing line to suspend dollar store snowflakes from the ceiling #OREOCookieBalls #ad
The good thing about a winter wonderland theme is how cheap most of the decorations are this close to Christmas. I scored a ton of goodies using a 10% off coupon for my local dollar store!

Decor featured above:

  • 2 rolls of silver wrapping paper for the backdrop. (Dollar store)
  • 3 pack of large snowflakes for the backdrop. (Dollar store)
  • 3 pack of medium snowflakes, suspended from the ceiling with fishing line and clear tape. (Dollar store)

OREO cookie party ideas- Dollar store snowflakes #OREOCookieBalls #ad
But don’t feel like you are limited to dollar store decorations! I stocked up on oodles of silver Christmas items last season for 75-90% off because I love stuff. Like… I have 8 totes for Christmas. 1, 2, 3… EIGHT!

I hung a different type of dollar store snowflake from the oh so pretty glitter branches from last season, added some white pebbles, and accented the branches with more silver glitter goodies! (See below)

OREO cookie party ideas- Stock up on clearance Christmas decor for your party #OREOCookieBalls #ad
Gorgeous, right?

Note: In case you are new to this party joint, the silver boxes are empty cardboard boxes wrapped in last season’s wrapping paper. PLEASE do NOT feel like you need to purchase multiple types of cake plates and/or stands to create multi-level interest when free boxes work just fine.

OREO cookie party ideas- White and silver utensils and paper straws #OREOCookieBalls #ad
Rounding out my winter wonderland decor:

  • Silver utensils, wrapped in white napkins, and tied with silver curling ribbon. (Dollar store)
  • White cups. (From my party stash.)
  • White plates with silver accents. (Dollar store)
  • White napkins. (Dollar store)
  • White and silver paper straws. (eBay for .99?)

OREO Cookie Party: Cookie Decorating

OREO cookie party ideas- Give your guests their own cookie decorating station with parchment paper, sprinkles, and sugar cookies #OREOCookieBalls #ad
But enough with the food and decor, it’s time for the good stuff!

I prepared each cookie decorating table with bottles of icing, a cupcake tin with various sprinkles, and parchment paper mats. Clean up was a breeze because all you needed to do was fold up the plastic tablecloth and pitch the mess! Genius, I tell ya!

Note: Pay attention to the clearance at your grocery store because you will find they mark down decorating supplies after each holiday. (e.g: You will find pink after breast cancer awareness and orange after Halloween.) I purchase my sprinkles and icing all year because buying something for 50% off is much nicer than paying full retail. Especially the way tiny people plow through sprinkles!

OREO cookie party ideas- Make cleaning up after the party a breeze with plastic tablecloths #OREOCookieBalls #ad

I honestly don’t know who had more fun. The kids kicked off the cookie decorating, and the grown ups wrapped things up with a cookie competition. It was perfect. I couldn’t have asked for anything more. My house was full of pitter patter, Christmas music, laughter, and memories were made. It really was the best way to kick off the holiday season!

OREO Cookie Party: Party Favors

OREO cookie party ideas- These nutcracker boxes were the perfect size to send one OREO Cookie Ball home with each guest #OREOCookieBalls #ad
Outside of the puddle on the floor that was my heart, the most important responsibility for me as the cookie party hostess was providing my guests some way to get their goodies home. These adorable boxes were the perfect size for one OREO Cookie Ball and I had plastic treat bags for their cookies. The beauty of a cookie decorating party is knowing that you don’t have to spend time on additional party favors because everyone goes home with their cookies!

Shopping at Walmart for OREO Cookies #OREOCookieBalls #ad

I won’t even admit how many packages of OREO Cookies I purchase for this party. Ha! I’m sure the cashier thought the tiny human using my womb as a home was the reason for my shopping trip. You know, because normal people leave cookies on the shelf for the next shopper.


I left a few…

Note: Mark your calendars because the #OREOCookieBall Pinterest party is taking place on Saturday, December 6 at 12pm ET.

Do a girl a favor and pin this OREO cookie party collage!

Learn more about these OREO cookie party ideas at #OREOCookieBalls #ad

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