Welcome Back Party


Several weeks ago our Elf On The Shelf Isabella magically appeared with a "I Am Back Breakfast". Some families call this a North Pole Breakfast or a Welcome Back Party, I prefer my slogan better. 
Secretly I prepped my kitchen for this secret breakfast that our Elf was bringing. I secretly bought all the breakfast goodies, and the small cheap gifts. I made sure my kitchen was decorated in our Christmas decor. Then I waited patiently for my children to go to bed. 


I did not do anything over the top for this party. Some families make this party really big with pancakes and all the fixings, and tons of decorations. I wanted this breakfast to be simple and easy on me. 
To start the decorations I made sure I wrote "I Am Back" on the chalk board. I served foods I knew my children would eat. Oops..I mean our Elf Isabella served us food that she knew we would eat. We had Krispy Kreme donuts, white powder donuts, chocolate donuts, blueberry muffins, Little Debbie Santa brownies, and Little Debbie Christmas trees. Our Elf Isabella placed the food which was still in their containers on the places where she wanted each item to be. I guess that was a hint that she wanted the food to stay fresh until everyone got up and for me to take the food out of the containers and put them in their place when I got up. My children did not mind that at all and did not think anything about it. Our Elf did take the trees out of their bags so they would be standing.  I thought this was a good idea because we were able to put the left overs back into their containers and the children did not question it. I have to watch every thing I do because my daughter is questioning Santa. 

Milk was poured in the glasses when we were all at the table. I can not stand room temperature milk. The glasses were new and my kiddos had never seen them before. We all thought they were cool. I love those trees. 

Isabella the Elf brought so much stuff she had to have helpers. We had to examine the different looking elves. I had to think fast on my feet and say those elves are warehouse elves and that is why they are different. My daughter took that and ran with it. By the end of our breakfast we had named the elves, Jordan and Issiac. Our guests stayed with us for the day then they went home. Did you see the snow and snow flakes decorations? I am in love with them. 


Candy canes were brought as small gifts. The two in the middle are edible ornaments. 

These are my new milk jug glasses!! I think they helped make the party fantastic. 

I love how my small table turned out. 



My children had a wonderful time at our "I Am Back" breakfast. My daughter went to school the next day and told all of her friends that her Elf On The Shelf Isabella brought us all this free food for breakfast and told all her friends about the helpers. I am one happy mommy. Have you done a Elf On The Shelf Party? If you have I would love to see it and I would love to showcase your party. 



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Skeleton Brownies


Are you needing a quick and simple treat to take to a Halloween party this weekend? I made these cute skeleton brownies the other day for a bake sale and they all sold very fast. I recieved a ton of compliments and people thought it took me hours to do, when in fact it took me no time at all. 

Items needed:
1 bag of small pretzels
1 bag of large marshmallows
1 black edible marker
White bakers chocolate- I bought two bars of the Almond White Chocolate. Use your judgement on how much you need to buy. 
1 box brownie mix
Goodie bags with ties
(If you want to save time and not dip the pretzels in the chocolate you can buy bags of the Flipz White Chocolate Pretzels. But be warn there is not that many in a bag. If doing this you will not need the bag of pretzels and just a very small bag of Bakers White Chocolate.).     

To start, bake the brownies per the directions on the box. While they are baking start dipping your pretzels in your melted chocolate. I dipped one half then layed the pretzel down to dry on wax paper. Once the chocolate was harden I dipped the other side and layed it down to harden again. You want the pretzel to be covered all over with chocolate. While you are waiting for the chocolate to harden and the brownies to finish use your edible marker and make faces on the marshmallows. Once everything is ready melt some chocolate in a bowl, because you will use the melted chocolate as glue. Cut your bownies in squares. Once cut, take 5 to 7 pretzels and stack them together. Place some melted chocolate on the bottom of each pretzel to make them stay together. Place the stack on the brownie. Make sure to place some melted chocolate on the bottom to get the stack to stick to the brownie. Next dab some melted chocolate on the bottom of the marshmallow and place it on top of the pretzels. Finally place the brownie skeleton in a treat bag and tie it up. You can even add a cute sign. 
Happy Halloween!! Hope everyone likes your treats. 

Airbrush Perfect Legs


Do you use sunless tanner? I could not tell you how long it has been since I used sunless tanner. If I had to think back I might had used it to cover up some tan lines for my wedding, which was 9 years ago. I was given the opportunity to try Sally Hansen's Airbrush legs the other day. I received the product complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. I was excited to try this product, as a busy Mom I have found it is hard to get find the time to relax and sun bath.
Sally Hansen make two different types of this product. You can buy it in a spray or a lotion. I received the lotion to try.
I found that the lotion was easy to use. I would suggest finding a place in your home where staines can be cleaned up easy like a bathroom. This stuff can stain, so be careful. I noticed after applying the the tanner that the palms of my hands were the color of the tanner. I would recommend washing your hands asap after applying.  Check out my how to video.



I really did like this tanner. Once I use up this bottle I think I am going to try the Sally Hansen's Airbrush legs spray. Through the people that I have conversed with about this product they recommend the spray over the lotion.

12 Tips For A Great Day At Cedar Point

                                          




  1. Buy a souvenir bottle. The all season orange bottle is unlimited free refills all season long. If you only are planning a day you can due a souvenir green bottle for free refills for a day.
  2. Get a fast pass or fast pass plus. If you have driven several hours and only planning to be in the park for one day, I would suggest getting a fast pass. These are pricey, right around $100 per person. This will help shorten your wait times. This way you can ride all of the rides. Please note, that there are some rides that do not offer the fast pass entrance. But most of the bigger coasters do.  
  3.  Bring swimsuits or extra change of clothes and some flip flops for the water rides. In the park around the water rides you can actually wear your bathing suit. I wore my full piece bathing suit and a pair of shorts and my flip flops. I have never been so thankful, because I looked like I jumped into a swimming pool when I got off the water rides. 
  4. Get in the park early, and during the hottest part of the day, go enjoy splash city (additional admission required) or you can go to the beach and enjoy Lake Erie. If you are a hotel guest, go back and enjoy your pool. Then when the hot heat has passed go back into the park until it closes. 
  5. If you have little ones you must utilize the parent swap program. Swing by the guest services and get your paper work that explains the parent swap program. It is free. This program is for when you have little ones who can not ride the ride and the parents want to ride the ride. One parent will go stand in line, ride the ride, then as that parent exits the ride they give the parent swap paper to the ride worker. When the other parent exits, the other parent that was waiting, can walk up the exit and get right on the ride. A big plus for this is that if you have a child that can ride that ride, that child can ride the ride again with the parent that has not rode the ride. Its a win win for all parties. 
  6. Have a game plan before you go. Know the rides and the layout of the park. 
  7. Bring only the items that you really need. Locker rentals are expensive, but available. 
  8. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes. I like to wear my tennis shoes and a outfit that is comfortable and will keep me cool.
  9. Watch the temperatures. The wind off the lake can be cool. We went on Memorial Day and we needed long sleeves in the evenings. We also went that Fourth of July weekend and I remember having to buy long sleeves for my little one, because the first night was in the low 70's. It's better to be safe than sorry, you can always leave your long sleeves in the car or your hotel room.
  10. Drink plenty of water on a hot day. I was in line to ride one of the coasters and I saw someone pass out. Any of the food stations will give you free water in a small cup if you ask for it. 
  11. Take advantage of the early park hours. If you are a Cedar Point Hotel guest or a pass holder you can get in the park up to 1 hour earlier.
  12. Just remember to have fun.

Do you have any tips that you would like to add?

Please note that I was not compensated for this review. All views are of my own opinion. Rules and prices do change, always check with the establishment for their rules and regulations. 
This post has been updated to reflect the changes for the 2016 season.

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My First Trip To Cedar Point

                                      

In the summers my family and I love to go to theme parks. This year we decided to go to Cedar Point "The Roller Coaster Capital Of The World" in Sandusky, OH.  We upgraded our Kings Island season gold passes to platinum passes and decided to take three weekend visits for the season, since it takes us half a day to get there. If you don't know much about Cedar Fair season passes, the platinum pass gives you the option to visit all of Cedar Fair owned theme parks for free, well for the cost of the platinum pass.
Our first trip was actually a spur of the moment weekend trip, over Memorial Day weekend.  I forgot all about my husband's and mine 9th wedding anniversary and having a three day weekend due to Memorial Day, what better gift to utilize our newly upgraded season passes and take a family trip. I was able to get a reservation in the newly renovated Hotel Breakers. May I add... I loved the location and all the new amenities to this hotel. I was actually shocked that I got a reservation so close to our check in date. The big plus about this hotel is that it is steps away from the park. I enjoyed being able to go back to our hotel room at any given time. Trust me that is a blessing when you have little ones.
With this trip being a spur of the moment trip neither one of us really had a good game plan. We felt like we were lost fish in a sea of rides and people, everywhere we turned.  We stayed for two nights and 3 days and it took me that long to figure out where the front of the park was. You got to remember, when you stay at Hotel Breakers you are basically staying inside of the park. The theme park is U-shaped all around the hotel, and they provide you two entrances, one on each side of the hotel to enter the park. I learned about the second resort entrance on day two of our trip. As we were driving there our navigation took us to the front gate parking lot. I remember pulling up to the attendant with a confused look on my face. I was like, I think I missed my turn, we are going to Hotel Breakers. She laughed and said no you are at the right place. She told me to go on through and hang a left then a right and follow that road until it ends at our hotel. Driving that road with Lake Erie on one side and roller coasters on the other was just beautiful. It was hard to focus on the road because I was looking around everywhere. Watching Lake Erie splash up on the rocks, that separated it from the road, was beautiful. The workers at the park are so nice and they are good at giving directions.
                                                 

Still to this day after three visits I have yet to see the Peanut Gang. I read on a sign that they do a show at 5pm, we never have been in that part of the park at that time. I have seen Snoopy in the lobby of our hotel for breakfast and for bedtime.  I wished they walked around the park or at least have designated times to be in certain areas of the park. Who knows they actually could have, and I just don't know it.
One of the big things I learned about the park was the Parent Swap Program. I did not inquire about this until our third trip. Talk about being down about missing out on all the fun rides, I could have have been using this program along. If you don't know what the Parent Swap Program is and you have little kids, you really need to read this. You receive a pass and one of the parents goes ride the ride with one of the children and the other parent stays at the exit of the ride. When the parent and the child gets off the ride they hand that voucher to a worker on the ride and then they exit. As soon as they exit the parent that was waiting with the other child that is not tall enough can walk up the exit and ride the ride. You can even take the same child back that just got off the ride. Win win there. This is a great way that both parents can ride the ride.
I can say, I have now covered every inch of the park. I would not say I am a pro at the park, but I have learned a few tips.
Stay tuned and next week I will provide my Cedar Point Tips.

Farewell Retro Re-pin Party

We have some important news to share with you today. Retro is celebrating 1 year of re-pinning today, and this is actually going to be our last Retro Re-pin Link Party. We have absolutely LOVED connecting with you and seeing your pins each week, but running a party takes a lot of time and effort. As link party participation has slowed down the past several months, we've been taking stock, and have decided to end the party on a high note and free up some precious blogging time for other pursuits. Thank you all for everything!
That being said, we still want to see your pins each week, so we will be turning  Retro Re-Pin Pinterest board into a group board and accepting you as one of our winners. Hopefully we can have just as much fun by making the party a 24/7 group board. Follow our Pinterest Board right here on Pinterest and then send an email to retrorepinparty@gmail.com with your Pinterest email address to receive an invite!
Please stay in touch. I am hoping to do a rebranding of my website here in the several weeks. The planning and organizing has been crazy. Have you ever went through a rebranding period? Did you want to pull your hair out?
I will post my top three favorites by the end of the week. Keep your eye open to see if I feature you in a very special feature post. 

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Retro Repin

Hi everyone. It is Retro Repin Time!!!! Let's have some fun today, let's invite all of our friends to come over and share their Pinterest pins with us too! While I am talking about fun did you see my latest post about hosting a Camping Birthday Party that Featured a Gourmet S'mores Bar? Check it out right here.
                                             


                                                                  Let's get on to the party!

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is from Simple Joys for their Birthday Wreath





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A Camping Birthday Party, featuring a S'mores Bar

                      


A few weeks ago I had the pleasure to host a dual camping birthday party.  I rented a campsite for a weekend getaway.  The camping trip was my husbands birthday present. But the birthday party was for my sister-n-law and my husband. I can't believe their birthdays fall on the same day.  I chose a day to have my entire family out to the campsite for the big dual birthday party.  I decided on having a S'more theme. What better theme goes good in a campsite and around a camp fire?

I love seeing the campsite lite up with all the lights. It is much easier than having lanterns all around. I made the banner by hand. All you need is fabric, jute, and blue paint. I really thought the colors of the fabric and the letters gave it that rustic camping feel. You can't get a better background than the lake and trees.

I loved the signs. These were made from scrapbook paper.

                                             This was the S'mores bar and dessert table. 

I served a variety of candy for the s'mores. I also served camp theme sugar cookies, brownies, chocolate chip cookies and cake. I will give you a tip about the candy. Freeze the candy bars before you set them out. If it is a hot day the chocolate will melt within minutes. I had my table all set up when my guest arrived, but then I took the candy and placed it in the freezer while we ate dinner. Then when it was time for s'mores, I brought the candy back out. 

We had a Gourmet S'Mores Bar. I offered 6 different type of s'mores. Two of the s'mores were named after the birthday boy and girl and it included their favorite candy bar.  I offered different flavored marshmallows, graham crackers and ritz crackers.                                      
      
I decorated two chalk boards with moss to give it that woodsy feel. I thought each of them needed a special touch to accent their birthday.

                                   
I loved the cakes. I cheated and bought them at Sam's Club. The only thing I had to do was add the fire on the chocolate fudge cake. The blue cake came with the cute banner. 


    I ordered these adorable camping cookies from Boom Cookies. I sent the cookies home with my guests as party favors. 

                                   
I sereved lake water and sunny aide as drinks. I had placed Swedish fish in the lake water thinking they were going to float. Well they sunk. The kids enjoyed them. 

We had a wonderful weekend. Overall I think the S'mores Bar was a hit. I learned that a ritz cacker is 10X's better than a graham cracker and anything goes with a marshmallow. Don't be scared to try anything. The most favorite s'more at our party was a creation that was not on the menu, it was a brownie, white marshmallow and a reese's cup in between ritz crackers. 
What is your favorite S'more? Have you ever hosted a S'mores Bar? If so, what did you serve?




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Retro Repin #46

Hi everyone!! School is finally out. I am proud of my little one for all the accomplishments this year. I will have to say the teacher my daughter had rocked this year. My daughter really liked her. I just hope next year she will like her teacher the same. Looking back over the year, it was a great school year. How was your school year?

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Retro Repin #45

Hi everyone!!! Is your kids out of school yet? Our school system here still has a few more days left. I can't wait for my little ones to be on summer break. We have a busy summer planned. I just wished this cold snap will break and it starts warming up again, so it would feel like summer break. What is your plans for summer? I would love to see your summer plans or summer dishes you plan to serve.

                                                                  Let's get on to the party!

The Retro Re-pin Party is a quick, weekly link party where you can share some of your older (or "retro") pinned blog posts and give them some new exposure while growing your Pinterest reach through re-pins. 

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My Feature This Week:

Goes to CulinaryGinger.com for their Pinterest pin of 


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