Star Wars Printable Valentines

I don't know about you but I struggle with Valentines for my little boy. I just feel strange about my kindergarten sending out valentines with a cutesy little message. When I came across a site that had a Star Wars valentine with a pencil for a light saber, I loved the idea. Unfortunately, it wasn't a printable. I decided to make some of my own and oh my goodness I am so excited to share them with you.
I totally lucked out and I found some light saber cupcake picks at my local cake supply shop, ABC Cake Decorating Supplies. I literally started giggling with glee at the store.

I have pictures with the cupcake picks or the pencils so you can do either. I also looked up online and found the cupcake picks on sale at Amazon in case you wanted to purchase some.

Okay, okay, here they are... Star Wars the Clone Wars Printable Valentines

Now for some Close-ups...


Anakin Skywalker:

Obi wan Kenobi:


Now here is what the look like with the pencils. I love them just as much as the picks.

 There are two different yoda examples because I couldn't decide which one I liked better. In the original picture, Yoda has a light saber in his back hand, but I liked it in the front too!

These Valentine's are so easy. You just print on card stock, cut, and add two slits for your pencils or cupcake picks! I had these printed on card stock at my local Office Max and they look amazing! If you can manage it, I would recommend having them printed, but they look great at home too. I would bump up your printer quality to the best so they really look great.

Here is the link to download the valentines:
You can print and download the Star Wars the Clone Wars Valentines from Google Drive, by clicking on the link.
The file is a 4 page PDF document. Each page has several valentines with the same character on it.

I hope you like and use these Valentines. If you do, I would love to know about it. Leave a comment or drop me an email. You can also shoot me an email if you have any problems downloading the file, I would be happy to mail you the file.
Please do not repost the PDF somewhere else. You are welcome to share the link to my blog though. Thanks!

$100 Arizona Air Bounce Giveaway

Several months ago I entered to win a $100 gift certificate to Arizona Air Bounce over at Lil Luna. I was over the moon when I won. I saved the certificate for months to use at the big Winter Birthday Party. The kids had the best time in it and I didn't really need to plan activities. They bounced the WHOLE time. We rented the 4-in-1 combo unit which has a large bounce area, a basketball hoop, and a wall climb that leads up to a slide. Here are a few pictures so you can get a better idea.

The basketball hoop

Side View of the 4 in 1 Combo

Facing the slide in the 4-in-1 combo

I love that look of sheer joy on my little girl's face.

Arizona Air Bounce has lots of different units to choose from like the regular bounce house to the big tall water slides. We had so much fun in the 4-in-1 combo though, that we would probably pick it again.

I think I have established that we loved the Air bounce well enough. So let me tell you that I was very happy with the service we received as well. Arizona Air Bounce is run by a very nice family and it was an enjoyable experience all the way around. What really gave them the gold star is that they delivered the bouncer exactly on time, and same goes for the pick-up. Punctuality earns high marks in my book!

Arizona Air Bounce serves the East Valley of Arizona. Including the cities of: Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, and Tempe. You can find a map of their delivery area: HERE. One thing you should keep in mind, if you are planning a party at a city park, Arizona Air Bounce is currently only set-up to operate at Gilbert parks.

I have some good news for all of my Arizona readers. Arizona Air Bounce has offered a $100 gift certificate to one of you!

I am trying out a new way to do giveaways. Enter the required information below. Please contact me if you have any questions regarding how to enter. I would be happy to help.

The giveaway is open only to Arizona residents willing to have use the certificate within the stated delivery area.  The giveaway ends February 6, 2012 at midnight EST. Good luck to everyone!

Carnival Party in the Party Party

Every year Me and My Insanity throws a big linky party for parties to celebrate her blogiversary. I participated last year and it is really a lot of fun. This year I am entering my Carnival Birthday party that I threw back in January of 2011. I decided to put this in the budget party category, since I worked hard to stay frugal and make every dollar count! Here's my entry to the:

Carnival Party

To get everyone in on the theme, I made invitations in the shape of tickets.

The first thing guests saw when they drove up to the party was this carnival sign. I made it by freezer paper stenciling onto a clearance furniture cover I cut up from Ikea. The whole sign cost about $1 to make, as I had the paint and ribbon on hand!

The Dessert Table:

I have never done a display table like this before and I was happy with my first try. I had to convince the husband that I couldn't just set everything on the counter, I needed a whole table! I stayed up until 3am assembling things and trying to get everything just right.

Here's a run down of everything on the table:

  • 1 Large popcorn "bowl" $1 from Dollar Tree (I used two other popcorn bowl for popcorn on tables)
  • Iridescent shred from Dollar Tree
  • 3 large lollipops from Walmart Christmas Clearance. The two smaller ones were $1 each(50% off) and the bigger one was $.75(75% off)
  • I made some salt water taffy skewers.
  • The bowl is weighted down with some pinto beans and I stuck the lollipops and skewers into styrofoam from Dollar Tree.

  • Here is a post about theBig Top Cupcake and Cookie, as well as the cupcake stand, HERE
We also had some fun snacks to munch on
  • I got the popcorn containers from Dollar Tree for 2/$1
  • They were filled with licorice, red/white striped candy sticks, pixie sticks, Circus Animal crackers, some marshmallow poles(10/$1 at Dollar Tree), and some heart marshmallow skewers.
  • I found different flavors of yogurt dipped pretzels in the bulk section of the local farmers market type grocery story(Sunflower market) I liked that they were yogurt tipped instead of candy and they had some great flavors.

The cotton candy board was a foam board from the dollar store that I wrapped in Christmas wrap. I packaged the cotton candy myself from big containers of cotton candy I found in the Walmart Christmas clearance.

Here is a close up of the skewers.

I found some cute heart shaped marshmallows at Dollar Tree and so I skewered them with white and pink taffy. Some were just marshmallows and some were a mix.

If you want more information on the cotton candy board, you can find that post HERE.
The Ferris Wheel filled with Taffy, I talked about HERE

The whole thing one more time:
I am really happy that I was able to do a dessert table on a budget. Everything I bought was on clearance, on sale, or from Dollar Tree. That makes me happy!

Party Activities:

I made a big top pinata out of crepe paper and a hat box. Tutorial HERE. 

I asked my sister in law to do some Face painting with dollar store brushes and some Hobby Lobby face paint(40% off of course!) ;) .

We had a fun photobooth set-up for everyone to monkey around in. It came from Hobby Lobby for about $7 after coupon.

Photo props, came from the Dollar store too.

Sticking with the carnival theme,  I scoured Dollar Stores and Christmas clearance to come up with a good assortment of prizes for a prize booth. The most expensive item on the table cost only $1.

After a great party, you can't forgot to thank your guests. I took pictures of the guests in the photobooth and sent everyone a personalized photo thank you card. The photo cards were clearance in the Target Dollar spot.

This post was a compilation of about 5 different party posts I did back at the beginning of 2011. If you want more information, you can find all of the original posts here:

Winter Party: Penguin Jello w/ Download

It has taken me nearly a week to get this post done mostly because I wasn't sure the best way to approach it. I learned a lot of things with this technique. So... I will tell you the best way to make it and at the end I will tell you the missteps I took on this first attempt. That way you don't have to make them yourself!

I saw this really cute penguin and polar bears party that really inspired me. You can see it here at Giggles Galore. That's also the place we got the idea for the cute snow globe cake. Giggles Galore had individual cups of jello and each had a penguin fishing on it. I decided it would be really fun to up-size the whole thing and make a big jello "lake" for some penguin fishing!

2 - 1 ounce boxes of Knox gelatin (8 - 1/4 oz packets)
2 liter Lemon Lime Soda
Blue Food coloring
Swedish fish - I found mini swedish fish at my local candy store
Trifle Bowl

  1. Heat 6 cups of lemon-lime soda to boiling.
  2. Sprinkle gelatin over 2 cups of cold lemon lime soda in a large bowl. Let stand 1 minute.
  3. Add the hot juice to the gelatin mixture and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved. About 5 minutes.
  4. Add a few drops of blue food coloring to get a nice shade of blue for the water
  5. Pour the gelatin mixture into the trifle bowl and refrigerate until firm.
  6. Prior to serving, cut a slit in the jello and slide the swedish fish in. The fish will soggy and liquify if left in the jello for too long. Serve the jello within 6 hours of inserting the fish. I focused on the perimeter of the bowl, for the best visual effect.
Fishing Penguin
  • Penguin Image

    Right Click on the penguin you want, select View Image, and then save to your computer or print.
  • Lollipop Stick
  • Bakers twine, string
  • toothpick
  • hot glue
  • 1 Swedish fish
  1. Print the penguin on white card stock and cut out. (I used a glitter card stock. I should have kept it on plain white to back the colors pop more) I am also including an SVG file if you want to cut and piece the penguin yourself with your personal cutting machine.You can download the SVG file here: - See Important note at the bottom
  2. Wrap your twine around the end of the lollipop stick a few time and secure with glue. I used tissue paper yarn because that is what I had on hand. 
  3. Use a toothpick to poke a hole through the Swedish fish and insert the other end of the twine through the fishes head. Note: It might take a bit of adjusting to figure out how long the twine should be. It all depends on where you put the fish in the jello lake. 
  4. Cut a shallow slit on the surface of your jello and insert half of the "hooked" Swedish fish
  5. Glue the penguin on the slide of the trifle dish. I used hot glue and it came off just fine at the end of the party. 
  6. Glue the lollipop stick fishing pole so that it looks like the penguin is holding the pole. The pole is secured to the back of the penguin. You may need to trim the lollipop stick as well.

This post is getting long but I have to include the big mistakes I made.
  1. I used a blue gatorade instead of Sprite and food coloring. Result: It was just nasty tasting. Poor judgement on my part I guess.
  2. I made the whole thing the night before. The fish got all soggy and weird. When I went to serve it, it just didn't look so appetizing.
  3. I tried to insert the fish as the jello was setting up. It actually worked okay, but that meant the fish were in the jello a long time. See #2 above.
Important: The Penguin image was created by me to be shared by me for FREE. Do not redistribute the image or SVG file without prior consent and without linking back to Under no circumstances is this image to be sold.

Thanks for the cooperation. I think we have one or two more Penguin Party posts! 

Special thanks to Vanessa for the pictures in this post. She is a lifesaver.
Vanessa also did a post about the cakes she made, in case you missed them:

Winter Party: Cake

I mentioned it a lot on Facebook, but I think it barely got a mention here. Last weekend, I had a joint birthday party for my kids. My daughter's birthday is December 5, and my sons birthday is January 7. They are close enough together and then when you throw Christmas in the middle of it, it just makes sense to have a joint party.
This year I was trying to keep it simple. I'm not sure how successful I was with that. I think all that really meant was that I didn't make decorations and we had an extremely reduced guest list. I do have to say this, my parents offered their home for the party and it was a huge help. They did a lot of work before and at the party, and I am so grateful for their generosity.
I wasn't going to have a theme for the party, until the after Christmas clearance sort of picked it for me. A winter themed party with lots of penguins and snowmen.

First I want to show you the cakes. The cakes were made by the amazing Vanessa of The Sew-er, The Caker, The Copycat Maker. I have been coveting her cakes for quite some time, so I was really excited to finally have her make two for me.  I told her I wanted two small cakes, mostly for blowing out the candles with. She totally delivered and then some. I loved them so much.

Here is a close-up of the snowman cake.

A super  close-up of the snow globe on top. I love the snowflake buttons glues on top of wire. It is so stinkin cute. 

The kids were totally fighting over the fondant lollipops. Oh and check out the details on the webbed feet. Everyone was seriously awed. I am amazed every time I see Vanessa's work. She is an artist.

Check out the inside of the cakes too. Vanessa did a zebra stripe technique in both of them that was really cute. Vanessa really knows how to go for the wow factor!

Here is the whole dessert table. We will be talking about the penguin fishing jello and the cupcake ball fondue in the next post! 

Guac off Recipe Contest

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Avocados from Mexico for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
The cowboy caviar with avocados recipe that I posted a while back seemed to be a pretty big hit. Today I will be sharing with you the recipe I submitted for the Avocados from Mexico Guac Off Recipe Contest.
First let me explain what the contest is all about. Avocadoes from Mexico is hosting a contest to find the ultimate guacamole recipe. There are some really great prizes you can win too. Three winners will receive an iPad 2 and autographed cookbook by Celebrity Chef Roberto SantibaƱez. Seven runners-up will receive a $200 grocery gift card and autographed cookbook by Celebrity Chef Roberto SantibaƱez. On top of that, there will be 10 random drawings for a $100 grocery gift card. So really there is no reason not to enter your best guacamole recipe.
How to enter:
Head over to  Avocados from Mexico on Facebook and submit your recipe between now and January 20, 2012. Click on the "Guac Off" link to enter your recipe. Once you enter your recipe, you can share with all your friends.

Here is the recipe I submitted for Ranch Guacamole. I am a ranch-a-holic so this is perfect recipe for me. Not to mention that guacamole is the perfect party food.
Ranch Guacamole
3 large avocados, halved, pitted, and peeled
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 large Anaheim chile, diced
3 plum tomatoes, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 (1 ounce) package Ranch Seasoning Mix
Salt and pepper to taste

In a bowl, mash the avocados until chunky with a fork. Add in the cilantro and chile. In another bowl, combine the lime juice and ranch mix. Add to the avocado mixture along with the tomato. Salt and pepper to taste and stir gently. Serve at room temperature.
If you need some inspiration, you can check out Avocados from Mexico recipes. I hope you get inspired to create a delicious guacamole recipe. Don't forget to enter by 1/20/12 for your chance to win!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Top posts of 2011

I think it is a lot of fun to take a look back at the most popular posts on the blog last year. Funny enough, a lot of the posts were actually written in 2010. Hopefully some of my newer readers, will see something new. We are doing it countdown style, the most popular most of the year is down at the bottom. Enjoy!
#10 - Diaper Bassinet Tutorial

#9 - Mario Themed Birthday Party

#8 - Hand-sewn Fabric Flowers

#7 - Washcloth Candy Rolls

#6 - Baby Gift Cupcakes Version 2.0

#5 - Rice Krispies Ice Cream Cones

#4 - Blanket Lollipop Tutorial

#3 - Baby Shoe Favor Template

#2 - Burp Cloth and Baby Sock cupcakes

#1 - No Sew Ribbon Rosette

I have come to the conclusion that for 2012 I should make more baby gifts! They are very popular indeed. I hope everyone had a wonderful new years. I am getting ready for the kids birthday party on Saturday, so I suspect I will be a busy bee until next week!