Strange Magic Party Plan: Everyone Deserves to be Loved!

Just so you know, I received an early release copy of Strange Magic on DVD and some other really fun products to facilitate this party plan post from Click Communications, but all ideas, opinions, and photos are entirely my own. 

strange magic invite bracelete bright

Oh my singing stars, y’all! Strange Magic was released in stores on DVD today, 5/19/15, and I’m in love. Have I ever told you about my love of musicals, and animation, and stories of true love? No? I’ve failed you. I was in my first musical production at the age of 11 (the cut off age was 12, but they made an exception because I was SOOO close and my audition was that awesome…so they said), and well…to this day, it’s still one of the highlights of my life. I was in a few more productions over the years and was bound for the big screen (in my head), but life got in the way. Mommyhood was my destiny and I’m totally cool with that, but I’ve never lost my love for musicals, the stage, and the silver screen in general. I try to pass that love along to my children, and when a new movie musical comes out, especially if it’s animated, we’re on the case. Thankfully, Bug shares my love for this genre so my excuse to watch animated musicals continues to be justified.

When I first heard of Strange Magic, I knew I’d love it. We all know about my aversion to movie theaters because of children who act up and germs and stuff, so I often skip the theater premieres, but I anxiously await the release on DVD. That was the case with this movie. Strange Magic is a music-filled fairy tale about finding true love in the unlikeliest of places. This magical adventure features a host of colorful characters, including a princess who has sworn off love, a dubious villain, a slightly nutty Sugar Plum Fairy (my favorite), a tenacious elf, a mischievous imp, and a knight who is no “Prince Charming”. This is an enchanting tale the whole family can enjoy. So, to celebrate, we’re hosting a “Strange Magic” Party this weekend because “Everyone Deserves to be Loved”. We’re in the planning phases now and I encourage you to get your party pants on too!

Strange Magic Party Supplies

It’s important to have your party supplies in order before you actually start deciding on your party theme and filling out invites. We’ve got the coolest stuff for this party and I’m…errr…ummm…I mean Bug and her friends are going to have a ball! DVD…check! Nail polish to bring out our inner fairy…check. Electrohome Karaoke Speaker System to help us sing along…duh…check! Bracelets with party invites…check. Glow in the Dark Bracelets to make at the party…check. A menu plan fit for every fairy that shows up…check (be back to share that soon). Sounds like a fun party to me…no, I mean Bug. Of course this is her party! It’s totally HER party.

Strange Magic Party Prep

Step one: Gather your supplies and start filling out invitations. Let your little one do this to get them really excited for the party!

strange magic invite words bright
Step 2: Have the perfect invitations to set the mood for the party.

strange magic invite bracelet bright
Step 3: Add that special touch to your invites. Bug made fun bracelets to let her guests know how much she appreciates and loves their friendship! It’s a party favor before the party that they can enjoy for years to come.

strange magic invite

Step 4: Invite your party guests in person. Don’t mail the invites, deliver them. It’s so much more personal and your guests are more likely to come if they know you took the time to visit them and invite them in person.

Step 5: Get ready for your party and have a good time. Don’t stress anything. The girls will have fun and you can sing along with them (even if/when they laugh at you).

I’ll be back next week to share the actual party details with you. In the meantime, I’d love to know…have you seen Strange Magic? What did you think? We loved it and we hope you do too! If you haven’t seen it yet, head out to your favorite local retailer and purchase it today on DVD. It’s totally worth the fun!

Make Someone Smile with Baking Ideas Inspired by M&M’s

 I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and its client. As always, all opinions, ideas, and photos are entirely my own. #BakingIdeas #shop #cbias
I don’t bake. Well, I didn’t until recently. You see, everything I make from scratch when it comes to baking fails. I can cook just about any gourmet dish with ease. I can grill. I make all of my sauces from scratch. But I just can’t bake! It’s a shame because baked goods always put smiles on the faces of my family and I’d like to think I’m the kind of person that could put a smile on the faces of others with tasty homemade treats. So lately, I’ve been experimenting and I’ve found what works for me. When it comes to baking, I’m a semi-homemade chef. As in, boxed cake and cookie mixes are pretty much a fabulous invention that even I can’t mess up, PLUS I can dress them up with my babies’ favorite candy ever, M&M’s, to give them that homemade flair.
These cookie “recipes” would be perfect for your next office party, classroom parties, or to gift to family, friends, or any of the friendly service workers in your life. AND they won’t take you a million hours to bake but they still have that homemade taste and look about them. I bought chocolate cookies in a box, peppermint frosting, Plain Milk Chocolate M&M’s of course, eggs, no-salt butter, and my first ever cookie pan. Like the real deal cookie pan. No more cookies baked on tinfoil. It’s time to get serious about this.
Simply bake the cookies according to the package directions and then get ready to get creative. I promise, no cookies were burned (nor harmed in any way) during Operation OH-NO Christy’s trying to bake again. And they turned out great!
I decided to make a variety of cookies in an effort to please everyone because that’s what I do. I started with M&M Sandwich Cookies and iced cookies.
For the sandwich cookies, I just took 2 equal sized cookies, frosted the flat side of each one, then put them together and garnished with M&M’s all the way around. For the iced cookies, I spread frosting all over the top, sprinkled some peppermint for a festive flair and then topped them with M&M’s. Are you seeing a trend here?
Bubby tested one of the sandwich cookies for me and I think he might have heard the angels sing. He declared this the “best cookie EVER”. This pleased me since I will be gifting most of the cookies we made.
Next up…M&M Whoopie Pies. That’s right, everyone’s favorite. I baked half of these cookies with M&M’s placed on top then simply iced the flat end of the non-candied cookie and sandwiched them together for the perfect whoopie pie. Easy, delicious, and fun!
By the time I was done, I had plenty of varieties of cookies ready for sharing. There were of course the sandwich cookies, iced cookies, and whoopie pies. But there were Chocolate M&M Cookies, dipped cookies, and glazed cookies as well. This glazing thing was a new concept to me and I think I dig it. Simply put the frosting (directly in the container it comes in) and melt it in the microwave for about 20 seconds. It comes out very smooth and creamy. You can either dunk one side of the cookie in and garnish with your favorite toppings, or you can dip the top half of your cookie in there and do the same. The “dunk” looks like it has been dipped in milk and covered with goodness and would be a great idea to leave out for Santa this year. The glazed reminds me of a gingerbread cookie.
The key ingredient to all of our cookies was M&M’s. This is what gave it that personal touch and these are what makes these cookies taste so amazing. Bubby said so! You can find all of the M&M varieties in the candy aisle at your local Walmart. Bubby’s favorite are the Plain Milk Chocolate M&M’s and Bug loves the Peanut M&M’s best.
And in the spirit of the holidays, I made about 3 dozen cookies. Why? My family can’t eat 3 dozen cookies (OK, they can, but I won’t let them) so I packaged some up for shipping to a friend, I’m sending some to work with B, and I’ve got a Fed X package on the way so I plan on making my Fed X delivery person smile with a sweet treat of appreciation. It’s all about giving. Not just during the holidays either. Make someone smile today with the gift of #BakingIdeas inspired by M&M’s. And shhhh…don’t tell anyone my secret. Semi-homemade actually is homemade technically. I mean, I did make them at home, right?
For more baking with M&M’s inspiration, be sure to check out the Baking with M&M’s Pinterest Board. You better get your bib on though, because you’re going to be drooling!

Jake & The Never Land Pirates: Never Land Rescue Party

I really should tell you that I received the following DVD with bonus features and a party kit to facilitate this family movie night from Click Communications and their client. As always, all of the photos, ideas, and opinions are entirely my own.
Bubby loves pirates and watching Jake & the Never Land Pirates on Disney Junior every weekday is a favorite pass time. I think we all know that I’m on a mission to make Bubby’s life as happy as it can possibly be so when I told him we were going to have a Jake & the Never Land Pirates dinner party to celebrate the release of the Never Land Rescue on DVD, he was stoked. But you see, I planned to keep it simple…like I always do. But when he declared “This will be the best party EVER!”, I had to step it up. 
I was still able to keep it simple but thrill them beyond belief. All you need is a little Pinterest, a printer, the DVD of course, and some simple food supplies from your local retailer of choice. 
No pirate party would be complete without a “Catch of the Day”, right? Frozen fish sticks and shrimp (although not the healthiest choice of foods, but party calories and carbs don’t count) set the stage for the perfect dinner with a movie party.
Of course desserts and sides are a simple choice when you stick with the theme. I mean, seriously, how could you catch the fish and shrimp without bait right? Gummy worms are a snack all little ones enjoy.
While you’re in the candy aisle, you might as well pick up some shark bait too (Swedish Fish) so your kids can be ready for that next big catch.
Don’t fuss with side dishes for this. Fish (Gold Fish Puffs) and chips make a great snack food for your party plus you can mix them in an airtight container to keep for later.

As with most big celebrations in my house, this dinner and a movie party came with a message. The party kit I received included a Grow a Tree: Pinon Pine kit. When it warms up a bit again, the babies and I will be planting their pine and I explained how this will help the planet. They’re pretty excited about this part. 
Dessert? Another Pinterest-inspired idea that even I can handle. Cinnamon mini-donuts with printed “sails” placed with toothpicks in the donuts. And there ye go matey…Set Sail Delight. No mess, no fuss, just smiles. 
When everything was plated and the babies were eating, I popped in our new full-length adventure DVD with 4 bonus episodes. So what’s the movie about you ask?

“The fate of Never Land hangs in the balance as magical treasures are mysteriously vanishing: Jake’s sword, Izzy’s pixie dust – even the directions on Cubby’s map! To save the day, Jake goes on the “Forever Quest” to restore power to the source of Never Land’s magic, the legendary Forever Tree. Join him on a thrilling expedition inside an enchanted cave, under the sea, and all the way to the top of Mount Destiny! Jakes’ Never Land Rescue will make you believe in the everlasting magic of true friendship!”

The night was a big success. We had fun foods for our dinner with a movie AND there were messages on the value of friendship, team work, and the environment weaved throughout. I say that’s a win for all of us!

Be sure to head out and get your copy of this DVD today. It’s sure to be a new family favorite. Throw in a fun themed-dinner and you’ll be hero for a night. 

Don’t forget to like Disney Junior on Facebook, and follow along on Twitter to find out about all of the new releases available for holiday gifting and to get more simple party ideas.