Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Free Printable Holiday Gift Tags

Here are some holiday goodies for you... gift tags perfect for presents or homemade goodies from your holiday baking extravaganza... Yum, yum!
Free Printable Holiday Gift Tags from B.Nute productions

Instructions for Making Holiday Gift Tags
1. Select link above, and print out the gift tags on 8.5" x 11" card stock from your browser. I suggest using a heavier card stock to give the tags some weight. 
2. Cut out each tag.
3. Fill in with your recipients name, punch a hole in the top and tie on to holiday goodies!

Printable items are copyright protected, and provided free of charge by B.Nute productions for personal use only. B.Nute's printables can not be sold, altered, or provided for download on any other site. For questions or inquiries, please contact B.Nute productions.

Monday, November 29, 2010

How to Throw a Cookie Decorating Party

Holiday Cookie Decorating Party by B.Nute productions on Etsy
Kids love decorating cookies all year round! Whether it's the Holidays, Valentines, Easter or anytime of year, a Cookie Decorating Party is a great gathering, and surprisingly easy to coordinate too! Here are some simple "how to's" on having a Cookie Decorating Party, sure to please all ages!

Cookie Decorating Party Inspiration

To Pot Luck or Not, That is the Question!
Depending on the size of your gathering, and the occasion (i.e., birthday party, or holiday cookie party), you may want to do the party all by yourself or have help. I threw this party for my daughter's preschool class, and went the pot-luck route. It was quite a success! 

If you're throwing a small gathering, it's easy to make a couple batches of sugar cookies the day before the party. You can also pick up pre-made cookies at your local grocery store. If you decide to go the pot-luck route, ask guests to bring undecorated cookies and a topping/decoration to share. Tell guests to keep it simple... they can make handmade cookies, or store bought... no need to stress, since really the fun part is the icing and toppings! 

It's All About the Decorations
The more decorations for the cookies the better. It's amazing how many toppings can actually fit on one cookie when tried! Here is a list of decorations for you to get (or have people bring):
  • sprinkles (varied shapes and colors)
  • silver balls
  • red hots
  • chocolate sprinkles
  • colored sugar
  • peppermint candies
  • chocolate chips
  • mini marshmallows
  • M&M's, Skittles, and other small candies
  • colored icing
Party Set Up
Set up some large folding tables with plastic table cloths. In the center of the table, put the decorations in bowls for easy reach. Make sure to spread the different types of decorations around so all can have access. Depending on the age of the guests, chairs for each person may be optional. Many little ones will prefer to stand as they decorate their treats.

Lots and Lots of Icing
You can either purchase pre-made icing, or make up a couple batches of simple icing in your blender. Set out paper bowls in the center of your decorating table with several spoons in each bowl. You can also color the icing, and set out smaller bowls with the varied colors.

Trays of Cookies and Packaging
It's helpful to have a large counter area or extra tables set up to put the decorated cookies sit while the icing hardens. After all the decorating is done, have a station set up for packaging up the treats. You can purchase some cookie boxes, or just paper plates and wax paper will do as well! 

Drink Ideas
Decorating cookies can be hard work! Depending on the time of year, make sure to have some drink options ready for your guests. Here are some beverage ideas for different seasons:
Holiday Cookie Decorating: Hot Cocoa, Peppermint Milkshakes, Mulled Wine (for adults)
Valentines Cookie Decorating:
Easter Cookie Decorating:
Cookie Decorating Birthday Party: Lemonade, Fruit Punch or Milk, of course!

Decoration Ideas for your Cookie Decorating Party
Here are a few decorating ideas to make your space ready for cookie-fun!
Cookie Cutters - Head to an antique store, or even buy new cookie cutters, and string them up with colorful ribbon to make a cookie cutter garland.
Cooking Utensils- Set out cooking utensils in a glass jar on a buffet table or drink table to add to the cooking charm of the party.
Paper Cookie Garland - Remember the crafts you used to do in elementary school? Make some cookie shape garland (stars, hearts, gingerbread men) to fit the theme of your cookie decorating party. Here are some links to some similar crafts:

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

There are so many things I am thankful for this year. Here are just a few:

...... an amazing, supportive husband, who I love with all my heart.....
...... adorable kids who are growing up way too fast.....
...... a loving rescue dog that we welcomed in to our home 2 months ago.....
...... incredible customers who are full of enthusiasm and excitement and make my job so rewarding.....
...... the supportive and vibrant party community full of creative energy and camaraderie.....
...... and the small things; coffee, fun fonts and photoshop....

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Free Printable Holiday Cookie Recipe Card

Free Printable Holiday Cookie Recipe Card by B.Nute productions
The holiday baking season is just around the corner! Here are some free printable Gingerbread/Cookie Recipe Cards perfect to attach to your gift box of goodies, or great for setting out at your Cookie Exchange party so guests can fill out their favorite recipes.
Free Printable Holiday Cookie Recipe Cards by B.Nute productions
Instructions for Making Holiday Cookie Recipe Cards
1. Select link above, and print out the invitation on 8.5" x 11" card stock from your browser. I suggest using a heavier card stock to give the recipe cards some weight. 
2. Cut out each card.
3. Fill in with your favorite cookie recipe.

Printable items are copyright protected, and provided free of charge by B.Nute productions for personal use only. B.Nute's printables can not be sold, altered, or provided for download on any other site. For questions or inquiries, please contact B.Nute productions.

Monday, November 22, 2010

How to Throw a Holiday Cookie Exchange Party - Decoration Ideas, Printable Recipe Card and More

Holiday Gingerbread Cookie Exchange Party Invitation by B.Nute productions on Etsy
Are you looking for a way to spend a little quality time with your friends this holiday? Want to host a party, but worried it will be a lot of work. Well, stop fretting. Here's a party perfect for you -- host a Holiday Cookie Exchange Party where much of the work is done by all the guests, since everyone brings cookies to share! Here are more details on how to throw a cookie exchange party...

First off, a little inspiration-- cookies, of course!

Give Your Guests a Cookie Theme
The first thing that needs to happen for a Cookie Exchange party is to let each guest know that they need to bring some cookies to the party, of course! Have them bring about twice as many cookies as guests, so when making their cookie box to take home, each guest can take approximately 2 of each kind. You can tell your guests to make whatever type of cookie they like, or you can give them a theme. Here are some cookie theme ideas:

  • Make an old family favorite cookie recipe - perhaps from mom, grandma, or great-grandmother. Do some research on this one, and have fun!
  • Make a "retro" cookie that you remember when you were a child, or perhaps your mom used to make... you know the kinds, the cookies with potato chips added for extra crunch, or how about Hay Stacks with chow mein noodles!
  • Make a traditional cookie recipe from another country - you could assign your guests a country, or have them pick their own.
  • Make a kids favorite cookie recipe- Good ol'chocolate chip or rice krispy treats are always tasty!
  • Make only chocolate delights - This could be fudge, or chocolate dipped oreos... any recipe with chocolate will do!
Tell a Story
We all have stories to tell about cooking-- with mom, with grandmom, or perhaps with your babysitter when you were young! As an extra to the evening, ask your guests to not only bring cookies to share, but also have them prepare a story to tell why they made that specific recipe. When all are gathered, go around the room and have everyone share their stories. The stories may be funny, or touching... and it's sure to give a little insight or glimpse into the lives of the other guests.

Sample and Grade
Once the party has begun, and folks have had a chance to mingle a bit... gather everyone around the table or tables with cookies and let the sampling begin! You could have a taste test, where everyone picks their favorite cookie. Perhaps the winner could receive a prize, like a new cookie tray, or apron!

Recipe Swap
Folks will love sampling all the different cookies, and will inevitably want the recipe. Make sure to have everyone bring a copy of the recipe to the party, so they can swap after tasting. Set out a stack of blank recipe cards and pens, and let folks copy the recipe next to the cookie they like. When they leave, they may have a stack of new recipes to try at home.

Fill Your Own Cookie Box
One of the best parts of this party is everyone leaves with a delicious goodie bag! Have "take out" bags or cookie boxes ready for folks to load up and take home. I love these cookie boxes from Candy Soiree... so vintage and fun! Add some colorful bakers twine for them to wrap the box once it's full, for an old fashioned touch!

More Activity Ideas at Your Cookie Exchange Party
Still want more ideas of things to do at your cookie exchange party? Here are a few more fun activities friends will love to do!

Decorate an Apron
Head over to your local craft store and pick up a bunch of plain canvas aprons for the guests to decorate. Set out on a table a couple glue guns and loads of trimmings: pom pons, beads, ric rac, etc. Also have available fabric swatches (possibly to make patches), and fabric paints for decorating the apron. Have the cookie theme be inspiration for the designs that can be made-- or perhaps fill the apron with images of all things good to eat-- cookies, cupcakes, pies and more! Give a prize to the best decorated apron with a gift certificate at a cooking store, or possibly a dinner out (so the new apron can have a "rest")!

Make Cookie Cutter Ornaments
An easy project, with a great final look-- set out many sheets of decorative papers, and holiday cookie ornaments. Holding the ornament in place, trace the outside edge. Use scissors to cut out the paper in the cookie cutter shape. With a glue gun, attach the paper to one side of the ornament. Now dab a little glue on the top and add a ribbon to hang. A great addition to your holiday tree. Here are more detailed instructions for making a cookie cutter ornament from Martha Stewart.

Friday, November 19, 2010

...weekly roundup... an Ode to the Pumpkin

Ode to the Pumpkin
It's big and orange and quite a delight,
it helps on Halloween to give a big fright.

It's festive and gay in your front foyer,
and looks perfect as well in your dining room display.

It's delicious to eat in so many ways
from pie to soup to pumpkin beignets!

So here's to the pumpkin, my favorite autumn thing
It's mighty and versatile and definitely the fall king!

I dedicate this weekly roundup to the pumpkin!  Enjoy.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Free Printable Autumn Place Cards Perfect for Thanksgiving

Free Printable Autumn Place Cards by B.Nute productions

And now to complete your Thanksgiving table, here are some free printable Autumn inspired place cards! A perfect match to B.Nute productions other free printable items this Thanksgiving, including a printable invitation, printable menu cards, and printable Thanksgiving game!
Free Printable Autumn or Thanksgiving Place Cards by B.Nute productions

Instructions for Making Autumn Place Cards
1. Select link above, and print out the invitation on 8.5" x 11" card stock from your browser. I suggest using a heavier card stock to give the place cards some weight. 
2. Cut out each card.
3. Fill in your guests' names with a dark pen.
4. Place on the table with a colorful leaves scattered about.

Printable items are copyright protected, and provided free of charge by B.Nute productions for personal use only. B.Nute's printables can not be sold, altered, or provided for download on any other site. For questions or inquiries, please contact B.Nute productions.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Free Printable Thanksgiving Conversation Questions

Thanksgiving Conversation Gone Awry!
Worried that Grandpa might tell one of his latest jokes? Do you dread those long tirades from Uncle Bob about his problematic sceptic tank?  Set your worries aside! Here's a free printable Thanksgiving Conversation Questions sheet, sure to spark great Thanksgiving discussions for all ages at your holiday table!
Free Printable Thanksgiving Conversation Questions by B.Nute productions
Instructions to Make your Thanksgiving Conversation Questions
1. Select the above image and print out on card stock.
2. Cut out.
3. Set card on table to get the Thanksgiving table buzzing with conversation!

Printable items are copyright protected, and provided free of charge by B.Nute productions for personal use only. B.Nute's printables can not be sold, altered, or provided for download on any other site. For questions or inquiries, please contact B.Nute productions.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Free Printable Birthday Queen Crown

Free Printable Birthday Queen Crown by B.Nute productions

In honor of my birthday girl, I'm posting a free printable Birthday Queen crown filled with vintage royal charm... because, a birthday girl's special day isn't complete without a little royal treatment!

Birthday Queen Crown for the Birthday Girl!
Free Printable Birthday Queen Crown from B.Nute productions

Instructions to Make Your Birthday Queen Crown
1. Select the above image and print out on card stock. (Print in landscape mode)
2. Cut out crown.
3. Add glitter or embellishments as desired.
4. Punch holes in either end, and string with fancy ribbon.
5. Tie crown to your head, and have a royal birthday!

Printable items are copyright protected, and provided free of charge by B.Nute productions for personal use only. B.Nute's printables can not be sold, altered, or provided for download on any other site. For questions or inquiries, please contact B.Nute productions.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Classical Affair: Dinner and Classical Music Party Invitations and Ideas

A Classical Affair: Cocktail or Dinner Party Invitation by B.Nute productions on Etsy

This weekend I hosted a Classical Affair dinner party to celebrate my Dad's 75th Birthday. My dad is a lover of good food, amazing wines and more importantly classical music! I thought this theme was perfect to celebrate his milestone. Below are some of the pictures from the evening, as well as other decoration and game ideas if you'd like to host a similar party. This theme is perfect for anyone who loves music-- and can be tailored for a birthday, anniversary party, wedding shower, engagement party or any affair!

Inspiration Board
Decoration Ideas

  • Palette - This affair deserves and elegant monochromatic palette such as creams, silvers, and golds. The palette is a perfect complement to vintage sheet music.
  • Vintage Music - Head to the local antique shop, and scour the bins for old sheet music. Any will do, but the more ornate and classical, the better! Once home, use the sheet music liberally throughout the space. It can make a great table runner, and/or even place mats if you don't mind them getting soiled.
  • Flowers and Glass - Cream roses, bountiful hydrangeas, and sparkling glass will add to the overall look of elegance and grace... like a beautiful Minuet.
  • Candelabras, Chandeliers, Grandeur - An elegant evening needs some elegant accessories... make sure to pull out your candle sticks, or candelabra, and dust off your chandelier. For our party, I hung pictures of people from the orchestra to the chandelier for a little whimsy.
  • Musical Motifs - Treble clefs, musical notes, bass clefs, a music stand, and possibly a beautiful instrument or two-- these motifs and items decorated in the space will add to the classical mood. There are many glittery musical notes or glittery musical instruments that you can buy on the internet.
  • Composers and Musicians - Find some old vintage images of classical composers and print out their illustrative portraits. Put in an elegant frame and place on the buffet table or bar to greet your guests!

Game Ideas
Musical Chairs
Depending on the age of your guests, and the playfulness... a traditional game of Musical Chairs could really lively up the affair! Set chairs around a circle - one less chair than the number of people playing. Play a lively classical piece and have everyone walk around the chairs. When the music stops, everyone must find a chair. The person without a chair is out. Now remove a chair from the circle and keep playing!

Name the Instrument
Pick up the book titles, The Story of the Orchestra for a great overview about an orchestra, classical music eras, composers and instruments. This book also comes with a CD that can be used for a great game of "Name the Instrument."

Give each person a piece of paper with a list of instruments from the book.  Now play each segment from the CD (out of order) and have people write down which instrument is which. Winner could receive a classical music CD.

Classical Music Trivia
Depending on the age of your guests and knowledge of classical music, a trivia game could be a great way to get folks to not only have fun together but also possibly learn a few things! Head to the internet, and compile a list of Classical Music Trivia questions to hand out to your guests. Winner could receive another classical music CD or iTunes card.

Best Conductor Contest
Assign 2 people to be the judges, and have everyone have 1 minute to display their best conducting skills. Make sure to play a very popular and energetic classical piece while they perform! If their hair goes aray during the performance, they should earn extra points!

Classical Conversation Topics
Below is a free printable Conversation Questions with a musical theme perfect to print out, set on the table, and spark a terrific conversation.
Free Printable A Classical Affair - Conversational Questions by B.Nute productions
Instructions for Conversation Questions Cards
1. Select link above, and print out the cards on an 8.5" x 11" card stock from your browser. 
2. Cut the card out from the center.
3. Set on the table or bar to spark a classical conversation!

Printable items are copyright protected, and provided free of charge by B.Nute productions for personal use only. B.Nute's printables can not be sold, altered, or provided for download on any other site. For questions or inquiries, please contact B.Nute productions.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

...weekly roundup...

Grape Vines in Fall, Gold Country, California

Here it is... another week gone by... hard to believe. Life is busy with school parent/teacher conferences coming up, Veteran's Day Holiday, and my son loosing his first tooth yesterday! The last kid in the family to loose a first tooth... they do grow up fast. Here's a round up of goings on this week at B.Nute productions:

  • Your Thanksgiving will not be boring with the loads of game ideas I shared on Wednesday. Some of these games have even been tested on my extended family... with great success, I must add!
  • Are you in need of some holiday inspiration? Be sure to check out this amazing online magazine from Amy Powers called Inspired Ideas! It will blow you away with holiday goodness!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Free Printable Give Thanks Thanksgiving Menu Cards

Free Printable Give Thanks Menu Cards for Your Thanksgiving Buffet
by B.Nute productions
More giving coming your way... here are some matching Thanksgiving menu cards, perfect for your holiday buffet. A few have the standard, delicious Thanksgiving dishes pre-printed, and a few are blank for you to write in your home made creations. Be sure to also download the matching Give Thanks Thanksgiving Invitation to make your holiday look complete. Enjoy!

Free Printable Give Thanks Menu Cards by B.Nute productions

Instructions for Making Thanksgiving Menu Cards
1. Select link above, and print out the cards on an 8.5" x 11" card stock from your browser. I suggest using a heavier card stock to give the cards some weight.
2. Cut the cards out.
3. Fill in your handmade dish names on the blank cards with a dark pen.
4. Set up on the buffet table for a festive Autumnal look!

Printable items are copyright protected, and provided free of charge by B.Nute productions for personal use only. B.Nute's printables can not be sold, altered, or provided for download on any other site. For questions or inquiries, please contact B.Nute productions.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thanksgiving Games for the Whole Family from Preschoolers, Tweens and Teens, to Grandma!

Thanksgiving is all about family time. Given all the different generations of people, it may seem impossible to try to entertain or ensure that everyone has a good time. Well, it's time to dismiss these thoughts, and prepare for a great get together-- one that will be talked about year after year! Below are some game and activity ideas for all generations. These games may be such a hit, you may want to them to become a Thanksgiving tradition with your family!

Thanksgiving Charades
This timeless game is easy to add a Thanksgiving spin, and is fun for all ages! We even did it at our families Thanksgiving last year. Each person got to draw a slip of paper and act it out. For little ones, you can reserve a simpler list for them to act out! Here are a list of ideas for the slips of paper:
native american
the Mayflower
Plymouth rock
mashed potatoes

Put on a First Thanksgiving Play or Skit
This could be a serious play or a funny skit-- whatever suits your family spirit better! Depending on the kids and participants ages,you could preassign roles, and give a "script" or story... or you could have this be part of the fun for to come up with a skit to entertain everyone! If you make it humorous, perhaps those teens will want to participate! Here are some suggested titles or themes to a possible skit:

  • "What Happened the Day After the First Thanksgiving"
  • "Discovering Plymouth - Where on Earth Are We?"
  • "The First Thanksgiving - The Story of Who Ate Too Much"
  • "The First Thanksgiving- Who Actually Cooked the Whole Meal"

Trading Post - A Thanksgiving Gift Exchange
Before your gathering, tell everyone they need to pick out some type of gift to give someone at Thanksgiving. Preferably, this gift should be something either that they own, and are ready to part with, or is handmade. Make sure to limit the cost if it is store bought, so gifts stay in the same price range. Also, be sure to have everyone wrap the gift before they arrive. Have a little extra wrapping paper on hand in case someone forgets.

Now, once the family has gathered, conduct a good old fashioned White Elephant exchange, or in this case, call it a Pilgrim/Native American Trading Post. Start in a circle and have the first person (could be youngest or oldest or whomever you choose) to select someone's gift, and open it. Now continue with each person selecting someone's gift to open. Instead of selecting a new gift to open, someone can take a already opened gift from someone else, and they choose another gift. At the end, make sure to allow for trading as desired!

Make a Thanksgiving Playlist
A perfect activity for the tween and teen set. Kids (and adults) can work as a team or individually to come up with the perfect Thanksgiving playlist. For instance, the song lyrics may talk about being thankful (something from Kelly Clarkson's Thankful album perhaps), or being American (Lee Greenwood's "Proud to be an American", or perhaps Native American culture (Indigo Girls song "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee"). Winner of the best playlist can receive an iTunes gift card!

If I Was President - Thanksgiving Speech
How about charge the group with coming up with a speech... Pretend you are president for the day, and you need to address the nation with a Thanksgiving blessing. What would you say? What would be your message?

Family Trivia
Prior to Thanksgiving, have everyone send you one fact about themselves. For little ones, have the mom or dad send the fact. At Thanksgiving, hand out a slip of paper, and gather everyone together. Read each fact (in jumbled order) out loud, and have everyone write down who they think the fact belongs to. This is a great way to share some family stories and get to know one another better!

Pumpkin Hunt
Think of Easter time, and an Easter egg hunt... now just swap the eggs for mini-pumpkins and you have a great game for all ages (especially little ones.) This can be done indoors as well as outdoors depending on the weather. Mini-pumpkins can be found at most grocery stores as this time of year.

Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt
A little more complicated than the pumpkin hunt above, so it is perfect for grade school kids and above... preschoolers, though, will love to follow along with the excitement and the older kids! Gather a bunch of Thanksgiving themed items-- for instance: acorn, Indian corn, gourd, pumpkin, feather (i.e., from a Native American headress), a small toy ship, a rock (i.e., Plymouth rock), etc. Create clues for each of these items and where they can be found around your house, yard, and/or neighborhood. Hide the items before the party.

Once the crowd has gathered, you can have everyone work in a team or separate into groups, and have them head off on their Thanksgiving hunt!

Who Am I? Guess the Famous Thanksgiving Person or Thanksgiving Item
A fun game for all ages-- write on a small piece of paper names of famous people surrounding the first Thanksgiving and/or the Thanksgiving holiday. Tape one name to each person's back. Now everyone needs to ask yes or no questions to find out who or what is taped to their back! Here's a list of possible people/or Thanksgiving related items: Squanto, Pocahontas, Pilgrim, Native American, Mayflower ship, turkey, corn, pumpkin, pumpkin pie, Pilgrim clergy man, Christopher Columbus, President of the United States, etc.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Free Printable Sweet Treats Bag Label

Free Printable Sweet Treats Bag Label

Ooo, a yummy treat just for you! Here's is a Sweet Treats Bag Label perfect for putting on those little bags of goodies for your guests and a perfect match to B.Nute productions Sweet Treats Party items.

Free Printable Sweet Treats Bag Tag from B.Nute productions 

Instructions for Making Sweet Treats Bag Labels
1. Select link above, and print out label from your browser. I suggest using a heavier card stock to give the label some weight.
2. Trim the edges/extra paper.
3. Fill a standard sized sandwich bag with goodies.
4. Fold label in half, and staple to bag.

Printable items are copyright protected, and provided free of charge by B.Nute productions for personal use only. B.Nute's printables can not be sold, altered, or provided for download on any other site. For questions or inquiries, please contact B.Nute productions.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sweet Treats Party Ideas: Decorations, Games, Art, Free Coloring Pages and More...

Sweet Treats Personalized Party Invitation by B.Nute productions on Etsy
Who wouldn’t want to go to a party filled with sweet treats – cupcakes, candies, lollipops, cakes and more! Host a party inspired by an old time sweet shoppe or soda fountain for plenty of yummy memories! Below are a whole bunch of delicious ideas, perfect for your Sweet Treats Party! Yum, yum!

Inspiration Board

The Decorations
If it’s pink or white, it’s a sure bet it will fit into this party. Start with the basics – crepe paper and balloons. From the center of the ceiling and drape the crepe paper to the edges of the room. This will create a “big top” or tent effect. Next, hang the balloons against the walls of the room, on the backs of chairs and any other place that seems appropriate. The more the merrier.

Jars of Candies and Treats
Pull out all your clear glass vases, cups and apocathery jars (if you have any) and fill with candies. Colorful gumdrops, peppermints, and hard candies look great. Tiered serving tray filled with cupcakes and treats will also look festive and be a hit to eat!

A menu from one of my favorite old fashioned soda fountains, The Sugar Bowl in Scottsdale Arizona
Soda Fountain Menu Board
Decorate a large white poster board to look like a menu board  or menu from an old fashioned soda shoppe. Make sure to add your food items and treats to the menu! Hang on a wall where everyone can see! Check out these fun retro inspired menus at Retro Planet.

Candy Garland
There are plenty of resources online to buy pretend candy garland. This can be great to string up along a mantle, or window or anywhere the party will be! If you’re ambitious, try making one your self! By many bags of individually wrapped candies and either tie each end of the candies together with small pieces of string or use a twist tie. This is great decoration, as well as a great treat for later!

Music and Ambience
Making a CD of your child’s favorite music is always a hit, but you could also add some ambience with the “soda fountain” type music. Tunes from the 1950’s will be a great addition to the look and feel of the party

Food and Drink
Obviously sweets and treats will dominate the menu, but if you want to add some healthier options, here’s some ideas:
  • Jelly Roll Sandwiches – Could just be jelly and bread rolled up, or add some peanut butter, almond butter or Nutella for a little dash of protein.
  • Pinwheel “Aram” Sandwiches – Roll cream cheese, ham and turkey slices in a large tortilla or flat bread. Slice into small cylinders, to get the pinwheel effect.
  • Veggie Sticks in a Jelly Jar – It may not be candy sticks, but put out a couple of sauces for dipping, and possibly the veggies will pass as colorful treats.
  • Fruit Lollipops – Sear small sliced or balled fruit pieces to colored toothpicks for an easy, fun fruit lollipop.
  • Stock up on some fun flavored cream sods or fruit juices for that soda-fountain look. Some brands have great looking, “retro” labels that will add to the look of the party. Place the bottles in a large tin and fill with ice.
  • Pink Lemonade in a Pitcher – Pink lemonade will fit right in with the color scheme and be a refreshing option for the younger folks. To cut down on sugar, some brands offer sugar free mixes.

Arts  and Crafts
Play Dough Candy Factory
Set up a table and let kids young and old make pretend candies and cupcakes from play dough. There are many kits available to buy that have molds to look just like treats. Make sure to get plenty of different colors, but don’t expect them to stay pristine for long!

Jellybean Frame
Buy some inexpensive plain frames at your local craft store and have kids glue jelly beans to the front. When done, use a sealant like Modge Podge to make the jelly beans last for a long time. This is a perfect activity that also can be the “goodie bag gift” at the end of the party!

Candy Necklace
Set out some bowl of different colored life savers. Cut pieces of string to be the length of a necklace for a child. Now, have the kids make their own jewelry treat! They’re fun to wear and even better to eat.

Coloring Pages
Check out B.Nute productions’ Sweet Treats Coloring pages for some guaranteed fun! Just set up a table, put out some crayons, markers, glitter glue and whatever else suits your fancy and let the kids color away! There’s “Make Your Own Sundae,” “Decorate the  Cake,” and “Color the Candy” coloring pages, perfect to print out for the party. See below for instructions:
Make Your Own Sundae Coloring Page by B.Nute productions
Decorate the Cake Coloring Page by B.Nute productions
Color the Candy Coloring Page by B.Nute productions
 Instructions for Printing Coloring Pages
1. Select link or image above.
2. Print image from browser. Make sure to set printer to landscape mode. Coloring page is 8.5x11.
3. Now it's time to color!
(Note: Free printable coloring pages are copyright protected and for personal use only.)

Guess the Number of Candies
Those great decorations on your table could also become a good game. Have kids guess how many candies are in each jar. Closest one wins a prize. For little ones, keep the number or candies in the jar to a minimum.

I Spy in the Candy Jar
As an alternative to guessing the number of candies, you can also do an “I Spy” game. Inside your lovely jars of candies, put a few random small plastic toys. Have kids see if they can find all the toys in the candy jars just by looking at the jars!

Example Image of a Candyland Game Board
Candyland-Inspired Obstacle Course
Inspired by the popular children’s board game, create a Candyland obstacle course in your yard or house. Create stations around the space, for instance Gumdrop Alley, Peppermint Hills, Lollipop Lane, Fruit Chew Fields, etc. Write these names on a piece of poster board so kids can see each location. Have a box or bag of matching candy on a chair at each station.

Now, separate the group into two teams. Each person needs to pick up one candy from each station, then return to his team to tag the next team member to go.

This game will give the kids a chance to run around as well as stash a couple candies for their goodie bags!

Entertainment Ideas

Cookie Decorating
Set up an area with frosting, cookie decorations and let the kids make their own personal treat. To save time, store bought sugar cookies are a perfect alternative to home made, and can taste great too!

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Depending on the age of the guest (and length of your party), you could let the kids watch some or all of this candy-filled movie, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. You could also play this movie on the TV with the sound off as an ambient feature!

Treats  and Goodie Bags
Treats Galore
This party is pretty much one big treat, but there’s always room for more!
Here are some ideas to really make this party sweet!
Make Your Own Sundae Bar – Set up bowls of all types of treats: sprinkles, chocolate chips, mini-marshmallows, fruit chews, crushed candies, banana slices, strawberries pieces, etc. Have vanilla and chocolate ice cream handy and let the kids make a sundae! Don’t forget the fudge and carmel sauce!
Chocolate Dip – Set out some cut up fruit, a bowl of chocolate sauce, and some toothpicks and let the kids dip away. For an older crowd, you could make this Chocolate fondue instead of just chocolate sauce.

Goodie Bag Ideas
Many of the ideas in this guide can produce instant goodie bag treats (i.e., decorated frame, play dough candies, etc.), but here’s some more ideas if needed:
• candy scented lip balm
• candy necklaces
• candy shaped eraser (Note: this would not be advisable for small tots, since they might try to eat them!)
• extra large lollipops, like Hammond’s lollipops

Saturday, November 6, 2010

...weekly roundup...

Beautiful Fall Colors
We're heading deeper into Fall towards Thanksgiving and things are getting busy! Here's a round up of this week's activities and findings at B.Nute productions:

  • My First Blog Giveaway - Over 3 years of having a blog, and finally I held my first blog giveaway... what took me so long? It was a lot of fun to award Jacque a free Holiday Photo Card from my collection! Now that I'm getting the hang of it, I look forward to many more giveaways in the future.
  • Thanksgiving is Coming - This week on my blog I had a fun time thinking about the Thanksgiving celebrations my family has had over the years, and writing up some decoration ideas to share. I also am excited to be offering a Free Printable Thanksgiving Invitation for you to use for your gathering! Lastly, I loved making my printable Pilgrim and Indian napkin rings or finger puppets for your table. I hope you enjoy them as well.
  • Heading Down Under - This week I was also very excited to be featured on a blog down under called My Little Jedi. I love Vesna's blog filled with beautiful vintage ideas and inspiration! It's great fun to meet folks from around the globe and realize what a small place this really is!
  • Martha's Thanksgiving - Have you seen what the folks over at Martha Stewart have come up with for Thanksgiving Place Settings? Adorable, no?
Hope you are enjoying your weekend. Stay tuned for more Thanksgiving fun and other surprises Monday!

Friday, November 5, 2010

...and the Winner is: Holiday Photo Card Giveaway

I'm happy to say I have a winner for my Holiday Photo Card blog giveaway:
Jacque B.

Email me, and I'll make you your digital Holiday Photo Card!

But that's not all!
I'd love to offer all those who entered a prize too!  For those who entered, email me as well, and I'd be happy to give 50% off the price of my digital Holiday Photo Card of your choice! 

Thank you all for entering! I enjoyed the comments. I look forward to more blog giveaways in the future.