Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich Bar

In honor of July being national ice cream month, I had to throw an ice cream themed party. This ice cream cookie sandwich bar is a great way to bring the best of both worlds (ice cream & cookies) together in one yummy dessert bar!

  Ice cream cookie sandwich bar ideas from playpartypin.com 

One of my favorite ways to eat ice cream is sandwiched between two cookies. And one of my favorite ways to serve food at a party is with a "make your own" bar, so I combined those two favorites with this make your own ice cream cookie sandwich bar.

  Cookie sandwich bar ideas

This is seriously one of the easiest things to put together. And it's one that everyone loves because pretty much everyone I know likes ice cream, cookies, or both. All you need to do is buy (or make) a couple of types of cookies and a few flavors of ice cream. I like to choose a variety of colors and flavors and for this particular setup, I bought mint chocolate chip, cookies and cream, vanilla, and rocky road ice cream - a little something for everyone. And for the cookies, I just went with standard chocolate chip, sugar, and M&M. Again, just trying to include a variety so that everyone can find something they like.

  Ice cream cups and flavors

   Stacked cookies for a cookie sandwich bar

A couple of hours before the party, I like to put individual scoops of ice cream into little cups so that I'm not scrambling around last minute scooping ice cream for everyone. To make it easier to store the scooped ice cream in the fridge until party time, I just put all of the little cups into muffin tins and put the muffin tin directly into my freezer.

  Ice cream in muffin tins

Once guests arrive, or a few minutes beforehand, you can just pull out the muffin tin full of ice cream cups and put them on the table along with your selection of cookies.

  Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich Tower 

 And don't forget to include some cute spoons and plenty of napkins! Ice cream cookie sandwiches are almost as messy as they are delicious, especially in the summertime when they melt fast.

  Pink glittery spoons

Ice cream cookie sandwich

The last thing I love about this idea is that it really works for everyone. If someone doesn't like cookies, they can just eat ice cream and vice versa. Or they can just eat the cookie with the ice cream, not sandwiched in between. You really can't go wrong with letting someone build their own dessert.

  Ice cream cookie sandwich cup  

  Ice cream cookie sandwich bar ideas

If you liked this idea, you'll love my tips for creating a make your own mini pie bar! And while you're at it, check out this delicious recipe for my most favorite soft molasses cookies ever. They would be delicious with some caramel flavored ice cream sandwiched in between.
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Monday, July 21, 2014

Young Women's Activity Idea: YW Value Minute to Win It Games

If you've read my blog for long, you'll know that I absolutely love the game show Minute to Win It. One of the things I love most about it is that you can incorporate the overall game idea (quick games using household items) into pretty much any theme you want like I did with my Lego Minute to Win It Games. I was in charge of putting together some games for girls camp and thought it would be fun to play young women's Minute to Win It, using games I put together using the eight young women values. These could also just be fun and silly party games as well.

Such fun ideas for a young women's activity, minute to win it games based on the YW values from playpartypin.com

The way we set these games up was to split up our group of 75 young women into teams of 7-8 girls. Each of those teams competed at the same time to see who would come in first, second, etc. in each of the games. We kept track of the winners of each game and gave our prizes for each individual game at the end of the night. If you only had say 10 girls and wanted to play these things individually, you can easily adapt most of them to work for an individual rather than team.

YW Value Minute to Win It Games

<< Download a Printable List of these Games >>

Blind Faith Toss (White) 
Supplies Needed (1 per team):

  • Bucket
  • Bag of mini marshmallows
  • Blindfold 
Play: Blindfold one team member and give them the bucket. Have the rest of the team line up across from the blindfolded team member and gave the first person in line the bag of mini marshmallows. When the time starts, have the first person in the line toss mini marshmallows to the blindfolded team member until the blindfolded member catches a marshmallow in their bucket. Once they catch a marshmallow, have the team member who threw the marshmallow switch places with the person who caught it (don't forget to switch the blindfold!). Continue until the team has caught three total marshmallows. 

Prize: Bag of marshmallows 

Discovering your divine nature (Blue)
Supplies Needed (1 per team)

  • Definition of divine nature printed out from here. 
  • One balloon per word in the definition (10). I recommend doing different colored balloons for each team, but you can just make sure they keep them separate as well.
Prep: Cut out each individual word of the definition and stuff each individual word into a different balloon. 

Play: Give each team a set of balloons (that are stuffed with the definitions). Tell them when you say go that they must blow up the balloons, pop them, find the words inside, and unscramble the sentence. The first team to unscramble the definition wins. 

Prize: Blue Pop Rocks 

Remember Your Individual Worth (Red)
Supplies Needed (1 per team):
  • 1 leader
  • A confusing phrase, definition, scripture, etc. - make sure this is the exact same for each of the teams 
Play: Have each team sit in a circle with the leader at the head of the circle. When you say go, the leader should whisper the phrase to the first person in the circle. That person will then whisper the phrase to the next person in the circle and so on, just like in an old-school game of telephone. The first team that can pass the entire phrase around the circle from the leader at the beginning all the way to the leader at the end wins. 

Prize: Mini 100 Grand Bars 

Words of Knowledge (Green)
Supplies Needed (1 per team):
  • Figure out 10 scriptures that all have the same unique word in them (so not a, the, and, etc.). If you'd like my list of scriptures, email me. Once you've determined your scriptures, print or write out the scripture reference for each of those scriptures, one copy for each of the teams. 
  • Scriptures (enough for each person or every other person on the team)
Play: Give teams the list of scriptures. Have them look them up as quickly as possible and determine what the shared word is among all of the scriptures. The first team to come up with the shared word wins. 

Prize: Bag of Smarties 

Choose the Right Choice or Accountability (Orange)
Supplies Needed: 
  • Plastic cups (enough so that there are 10+ per team)
  • Each slips of paper to put one in each of the plastic cups 
  • A table or flat surface area
Prep: Take about 1/10 of the slips of paper and right the words "The Right Choice" on them. Or if you want to make it easier, just print out a sheet of paper with those words copied on it. On the rest of the slips of paper, write silly things for the girls to do that will take 15-30 seconds such as singing I'm a little teapot, doing 10 jumping jacks, hopping in place for 15 seconds, etc. Once you've finished writing out the silly tasks, put them with "The Right Choice" papers and mix them up. Line all of the plastic cups up on the flat surface area and underneath each of the cups, put one of the slips of paper. 

Play: Teams should line up in a straight line about 100 yards from the table of prepared cups. When you say go, the first person on the team should run to the table and choose a cup. If the slip of paper in their cup says, "The Right Choice," they are done. If it has an "accountability task," like singing I'm a little teapot, they have to do the task before running back to their team to tag their next teammate. The next teammate then runs to the cups, chooses a cup, and performs the task. Repeat until each of the teams has picked the right choice.

Prize: Pack of gum for "chews-ing" the right. 

Keep Up the Good Works (Yellow)
  • A set of yellow balloons for each team, the number of balloons depends on the numbers of people you'll have playing. You'll want at least the # of team members + 2 balloons. 
  • Sharpie marker 
Prep: Blow up the balloons. Once blown up, write "Good Works," on them. 

Play: Each team will be given a bag of blown up balloons. Teams must keep ALL of their balloons in the air as long as possible. Once one of the balloons drops, the team is out. The team to keep all of their good works balloons up the longest wins.

Prize: Mr. Goodbars 

Hold Tight To Your Integrity (Purple)
Supplies Needed: None

Play: Tell each team to get in a circle. Once they are in a circle, have each team member put out their hands and grab the hands of two different teammates, other than the person directly across from them and the person directly next to them. Once all teams have grabbed hands, say go. Teams must work together to untangle themselves. The first team to untangle into a circle wins. 

Prize: Purple chocolates or candies 

Stay on the Path to Virtue (Gold) 
Supplies Needed: Enough paper plates for each person playing + 1 additional plate per team (i.e., if a team has 8 players, you'll want 9 plates for the team). 

Prep: Setup a start and finish line, approximately 100 yards away from each other. Have teams line up in a straight line with the first person in the line right behind the starting line.

Play: Teams must get their entire team from the starting line (every player must cross it) to the finish line and then back again to the starting line (everyone must cross it on the way back as well). The catch is that after they pass the starting line at the beginning of the game, they must ALWAYS be on a paper plate. They can get as creative as they want in terms of doing piggy back rides, etc. (don't tell them this), but no one can ever touch the ground. The fastest team to get their team from start to finish and back to start wins.

Prize: Gold candies such as Rolos, Reeses, etc.

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Sparkle On and #SparkleWithDasani

I love Dasani and was so excited to be asked to tell you all about their awesome #SparkleWithDasani contest going on right now! While I am being compensated for this post, all content and opinions are 100% honest and my own. 

Right now Dasani is hosting a #SparkleWithDasani contest asking people to share on Twitter or Instagram what makes them sparkle to celebrate Dasani Sparkling Water!

You can find out more about the contest toward the bottom of this post, but that question really got me thinking. The first thing I thought of when I heard the word sparkle was the scene from Twilight where Edward goes into the sun for the first time and his skin starts sparkling. I hate how they made him sparkle in the first movie by the way. Once I got over the Twilight imagery, the next thing that came to mind was Tierra from the Bachelor who talked about her sparkle all the time on the show. And then once I laughed my head off remembering what a train wreck she was, I started really truly thinking about what makes me sparkle.

When I was working full-time, I knew my role, what I was doing, and that I was doing a pretty great job. Work gave me that sense of accomplishment and really fulfilled the human need we all have to feel needed and wanted. I was put on large projects, brought in to help out when things were going poorly, and went home every night feeling like I did something that day. And on top of that, because I was going into an office, I had to get ready each morning. A little mascara makes everything seem better.

Then I had a baby and slowly but surely that sense of feeling needed and wanted disappeared. I knew that I was needed by K, but it just wasn't the same as being needed for something other than food and snuggles. I lost that sense of pride I'd had while I was working because getting through one groundhog day after another just didn't seem quite the same accomplishment as managing a million dollar project. Don't get me wrong, I love K and don't regret my decision one bit; I just needed something else as well. So I started this blog.

When I originally started this blog, I started it with the intent to share my creativity and ideas with other people. I had no idea you could make money blogging and had no intentions to really grow my blog or gain tons of followers. I really just wanted a place to share my ideas so other people could find them. For the first few months it was great and exactly what I was looking for. I was motivated to be creative, excited about when I got featured on other people's blogs, and pumped when I landed my first sponsored post. It seemed like I'd finally found the perfect job, one that made me feel good about myself again and one that I could do from home with K.

And then reality hit. Somewhere in the last six months, I started letting my blog dictate my worth as a person. I allowed my value to be defined by how many people liked my most recent Facebook post or how many pins today's post got. If something flopped big time, I took it personally. Because you know if something doesn't get pinned, it means that you're not very creative or you personally were stupid for thinking it was a good idea right? Wrong. But for some reason, I couldn't get those comparisons out of my head and even worse, out of my heart.

Comparison is the thief of joy quote and free printable from playpartypin.com

Last week I unplugged for the entire week to go to girls camp. Any posts, social media promotion, comments, etc. were done by my lovely VA. While I was at camp, I wanted to be at camp. And I wanted to be a positive role model and leader to the girls I was with. I couldn't do that if I was checking out how many people pinned my birthday printable and getting down on myself when it wasn't as many as I'd hoped. By unplugging, not only did I have the chance to connect with many of the girls on a more personal level, but I found my sparkle again.

The girls loved me for who I was, not because I can throw a fun party. They loved me for my smile, my hugs, the fact that I know and will sing Disney songs, and okay my creative pillow treats. These girls couldn't care less about whether I'm a blogger or a project manager or a mom; they just care that I care about them. When I am my best self, I sparkle. And the things that make me sparkle? Lifting and helping others, using my creativity and talents for good, being around people that I love, and last but not least, my faith and testimony.

So that's it. My sparkle has nothing to do with the number of people who comment on, or even read, this post. Blogging no longer dictates how I feel and what I'm worth, I do. So in the words of my friend Gretchen, I'm going to sparkle on.

What makes you sparkle? 

Share what makes you sparkle on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #SparkleWithDasani and you could win a sparkling getaway to the Westin  Diplomat in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The getaway includes airfare, hotel stay, and spa treatments for four. That is one vacation you don't want to miss out on! I mean seriously, look at these gorgeous pictures. That could be you enjoying the lovely scenery.

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Weekend re-Treat Link Party #76

Welcome to this week's Weekend re-Treat Link Party! Thanks for coming by and linking up your ideas each week. I was leading a camp all last week for 100 12-18 year old young women and while it was awesome and life-changing, it was also exhausting. This week I've been recapping my experience and the cute handouts and games that I put together for camp.


Brittany's Favorites

Ice Cream Sundae Bars from I want Crazy Blog | Mexican Ranch Chicken Salad from The Seasoned Mom

Britni's Favorites


Shannon's Favorites

My Front Porch Makeover Reveal from A pretty Life | A Super Quick and Easy Ikea Step Stool Makeover from Making it in the Mountain

Shauna's Favorites

Four-Ingredient Blueberry Frozen Yogurt from Healthy Nibble and Bits | "Summer is Here" Brunch from Lambert's Lately



Congrats to all this week’s features. If you were featured, grab a button here.

Featured Blogger

Each week we are featuring a new blogger to help introduce you to the different bloggers that link up with us! We choose bloggers that we personally love and think you will too so make sure to stop by, check them out, and say hi while you’re there!

This week’s featured bloggers are Kathleen and Samantha, the mother daughter duo behind Fearlessly Creative Mamas. Not only do they have all sorts of fantastic recipes and craft ideas, they are some of the sweetest bloggers out there. Definitely mamas that you want to know!

Party Time!

Now on to the party! Remember the only rule is to make sure your links are family friendly and we highly encourage you to click on a couple of links to check out all of the awesome ideas people share. I'll be sharing my favorites on my social media pages all weekend long so make sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter,  Instagram, and Pinterest to see all the great ideas other people have posted.

TBBR small

Mommy On Demand
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