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Thursday, July 31, 2014

{ Happy Birthday, Harry! }

It's Harry Potter's birthday!

It's also Jo Rowling's birthday! Happy Birthday, Jo!

Now, I have a *small* amount of experience in throwing HP parties. I've had 3 pretty big ones. One was long before I had a blog. Bean's 8th birthday party, circa 2005.

I'm actively planning my 2014 party. I can't wait! Til then though, please celebrate Harry's birthday with a butterbeer while reading my posts. Consider having a Harry Potter party.

Harry Potter Party (2012)

Harry Potter Party the Second (2013)

Also, click to see all of my Potter posts (there's a lot!).

It's more fun than a Filibuster Firework.

Happy Birthday, Harry!


Sunday, July 27, 2014

{ Budget Friendly Disney Party }

So, we've had a BIG secret for the last couple of months! We are taking Bean's girlfriend, a HUGE Disney fan and an EXTREME Potter fan, with us to Florida! Her birthday is Monday, but last night, I had her party. We started off with this video, made by my awesomely talented friend Darla and her hubster.

Forgive my shaky camera work on this. (Video doesn't seem to be available on mobile, sorry :( )

 I own no copyrights, all logos and music belong to the original owners. This was for personal entertainment use only.

She came into the house blindfolded so she wouldn't see the theme until after we'd watched the video. I told her it was a movie and it was going to show her the theme for her party. In reality, it was just over a minute long and told her she was going to Disney World and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

Happy Birthday to her, right?!

The themed I decided to go with was Casey's Corner/Mickey Mouse. Casey's Corner is a hot dog restaurant on Main Street, USA in the Magic Kingdom, and we are planning to eat there the day we go.

I used a Casey's logo I found on google images and made up a menu. (Note, these items are not all available at the real Casey's Corner).

This party is mostly brought to you buy the Dollar Tree (an everything's $1 store). I bought the little baskets in packs of 3 for $1, which I lined with red napkins (from the Dollar Tree), and chevron treat bags, just for color (from Pick Your Plum).

The hot dogs/sloppy joes were served in these.

You can see the Oreo pops right in front. Those are simple. Just use Double Stuf Oreos, dip a little chocolate on the lolly stick, poke it into the Oreo and allow to dry. Then use the mini Oreos for the ears. I only use the non cream side. Dip the edge of them in chocolate as well, and insert.

The hats came in packs of 8, but also had green in them. I only used the red, gold, and silver.

I added the ears and accents. Tutorial coming soon!

Her hat was individual and cost a whole $1 itself. I added the crown to it.

Behind the hats you can see the tiny, adorable cans of Coca Cola!

It's great for Disney parties because, one, it's the right color, and two, they serve Coca Cola at Disney World! I had planned to get the glass bottles of Coke, but ran into issues finding them. Then I saw the tiny cans (7.5 oz) and decided they were perfect (and, hello, cheaper! score!). I cut down my dotty straws a bit, and tied them on with bakers twine.

I have the old fashioned look tabletop popcorn machine. It just fit right in the theme. I found a Main Street USA sign on google and used it on the front of the machine.

I bought red, yellow, and white boxes to put the popcorn in, because, well, Mickey colors! You can see them here in the cupcake photo and also in the Coca Cola photo.

For the cupcakes, I did her favorite, chocolate chip cookie dough. Then I added the creamless side of the mini Oreos again (basically, I have a ton of cream sides still in the bag. Like that's a bad thing? Nope). These are SO cute and so easy! Any cupcake, swirl of buttercream, and Oreo ears. Bam. Done. I had a little tragedy when a couple fell off the stand. Don't look for them, ok? Ok.

I made this cute little centerpiece out of a mug I found for a few bucks, a $1 store Mickey, a Mickey hand I found and printed, little flags and a balloon I cut out, and ribbon. All of the objects are on a bamboo skewer inserted into a piece of styrofoam. I covered the skewers with paper straws.

I bought two sizes of black plates at the Dollar Tree. I just laid them out like this. They are not glued together or anything.

For wall decor, I just used bakers twine and scrap pieces of cardstock and paper I had. I cut out little pennants, and taped them on with Washi tape. I also stuck some stars on the wall (from Walmart, but still only $2 for 5).

That's pretty much it! A Disney Party on a budget. Including the food, I spent under $50 on this party. Can't complain about that.

And the birthday girl? Well, I *think* she liked it. ;)

Happy Birthday, Sid!

Love, Tina

See my other Disney posts here!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

{ Cherry Limeade }

We are just three weeks away from the unfathomable now.

Bean will start his senior year of high school. I can't even, folks. I. Can't. Even.

For years he's wanted to be a History teacher, high school or college level. Now that push comes to shove, he's decided IT is where it's at. I can't even complain about this. Someone to fix my computer issues for  free? Uh, yeah. I'm all in.

I'm not prepared for his 'lasts' though. I'm fully prepared to be THAT mom. The one that cries at all the events. I can't even help it. He's my widdo baby boy!

I know the world is wide open to him after this, and so many fantastic things are about to happen for him, but, gosh dern it, I'm sad. And if anyone doesn't like that, well, they can go suck a lemon.

Or, how 'bout some lime instead? (How cheesy was that segue?)

I've done several lemonade recipes, but, never a limeade. Of course, cherry limeade is the first that pops to mind!

I love the tart lemon limeyness of this paired with the cherry. I do add sugar. You can omit this if you wish. Your drink will be slightly tarter.

Today it is over 90 degrees and drippingly humid. Yes, I totally drank this WHILE I shot these photos.
I'm the only one here that likes it though, so there's still one up for grabs. Any takers?


Frozen Strawberry Lemonade

Cherry Limeade for Two

For two glasses:

4 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoon sugar*
4 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice
1/4 cup cherry juice (I used Juicy Juice)
2 cups lemon lime soda

In a liquid measuring cup add the lime juice, sugar, and cherry jucies. Stir together. 

Add crushed or shaved ice (I prefer shaved) to glasses and fill 1/2-2/3 way full. Add soda. Pour 1/2 of the juice mix into each glass and swirl with spoon or straw. Garnish with maraschino cherries and lime slices/wedges.

*omit or use less for tarter drink

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Sunday, July 13, 2014

{ Easy Peanut Butter Cupcakes }

In under two months I will be in Orlando.

This long planned, long saved for, long awaited trip is under two months away. I can't even believe it.

Soon, I will walk down Diagon Alley. I will stop at Florean Fortescue's and have a bit of ice cream. Peanut Butter & Strawberry? Um. Probably not. I'm liking the sound of Butterbeer or Clotted Cream though!

Minus two months until the Magic Kingdom and Mickey Mouse. -2 until Epcot. Hollywood Studios. Animal Kingdom. And Darla! Under two months until I meet my geek mate IRL!! Exciting times, my friends.

Until then... I give you, PB cupcakes. Because why the heck not?

These are the eassssssssssiest PB cupcakes ever. You need a box mix, ingredients listed on the back, and peanut butter. That's IT.

You're welcome.

These are great topped with peanut butter buttercream, with PB buttercream and a dab of jelly for PB&J cupcakes, with vanilla buttercream, or, as Bean likes them, with chocolate buttercream. Obviously.

Whip up a batch today!

I will eat one and dream of hot Orlando days and fireworks filled nights.

I. Can't. Wait.


Easy Peanut Butter Cupcakes
by Tina @ Sugar Bean Bakers

Preheat oven to 350 F
Line cupcake tins with cupcake papers

1 box white cake mix & ingredients listed on back
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter

Mix cake according to back of box, then beat in peanut butter.

Scoop into prepared liners & bake according to back of box

Top with Peanut Butter Buttercream, Vanilla Buttercream, or Chocolate Buttercream


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