A Mermaid Party ~ Caroline’s 6th Birthday

A Mermaid Party ~ Caroline's 6th Birthday ~ The Way to His Heart #kidsparties #rachaelscraftshack

Caroline turned six this year. Six!?! I still can’t wrap my head around it. I feel like only yesterday I was pipping that little 3D duck cake for her first birthday and helping her slowly unwrap her first presents. She’s grown into a wonderful, kind and funny young girl and I couldn’t be prouder of her. This year we went back and forth on where to have her party and what kind of theme she wanted. We decided on a mermaid theme because she has loved mermaids (and fairies) for the longest time. I’ve been surprised actually that this party hasn’t happened sooner.

So, with our mermaid theme we needed to decide on a location. My husband and I liked the ease of having it out of the house so we started looking around and I found a resort around here that rents their pool out in the winter fr birthday parties. Swimming for the mermaids? Perfect! We kept it small since the only lifeguard on duty was dad and it went swimmingly well. Our little guy, George, had lots of fun splashing around with the girls, as he was the only boy allowed.

After the swimming we headed upstairs for a light lunch and some cake. Since we didn’t have it at home and there was a slight drive to the location I really had to reign in my decor and food designs which was actually lovely. I’ve learned through the years and a lot of my projects have become easy for me, but it was nice trying a few new things this time around and keeping things simple.

A Mermaid Party ~ Caroline's 6th Birthday ~ The Way to His Heart #kidsparties #rachaelscraftshack

So, to set the stage I had these incredible invitations made by Rachael’s Craft Shack. These invitations were beautiful and the craftsmanship was amazing. I joked that Caroline may have had nicer invitations than my wedding invitations! I printed the map of the resort on card stock and cut that out with a short note regarding some details on the back and off they went to our guests.

For the favor bags, we decided to keep it simple but sincere. During our February Florida vacation we found a bunch of small shells that had perfectly round holes that would make adorable necklaces for the girls. We added some glitter and a gemstone and voila! I made some of this beautiful and easy Sea Glass Rock Candy as well. Add some ribbon and a adorable favor tag and the favor bags were completed!

For the menu I wanted to keep things simple. Feed the kids with foods I knew they would enjoy, would fill their bellies after some swimming, but also realizing that all they really cared about was getting to the cake. I made some cute sandwiches, some adorable cookies, and a few snacks and called it good.

A Mermaid Party ~ Caroline's 6th Birthday ~ The Way to His Heart #kidsparties #rachaelscraftshack

The main attraction was the cake of course! This cake was a lot of fun to make and I think it came out so nice. Caroline wanted a three tier cake after last year’s two tier but I told her no way! We traveled with that last year and I gained a few gray hairs because of it! She was very happy with how the cake turned out in the end and that’s all that really mattered. It was probably one of my most fun cakes to make since it was relatively easy and I could have fun with a few embellishments, but it was a lot less stressful compared to others. I added some purple edible glitter to the darker purple scales but it doesn’t show up in pictures very well. I made some chocolate shells to adorn the cake and then it was topped with an absolutely adorably cake topper by Rachael’s Craft Shack. Caroline loves this cake topper, which is actually two pieces, and has it in a plant in her room now.

The party was a success and lots of fun. The mermaid theme really has endless possibilities. There was so much I could have done, but we loved the results and how everything came together.

One last detail was saved for her classmates at school on her actual birthday. We brought in some Sea Glass Jello for the kids. The girls who were at the party loved it since they received the Sea Glass Rock Candy as well and the boys thought it was supposed to be Mine Craft so they thought it was cool as well. I’ve listed recipes and sources below and if you have any questions or want to chat kids parties or mermaid themes, leave a comment below! If there is interest, I believe I have enough pictures to do a tutorial on the cake process as well.

A Mermaid Party ~ Caroline's 6th Birthday ~ The Way to His Heart #kidsparties #rachaelscraftshack

Menu

Peanut Butter & Jelly Fish Sandwiches

Ham & Cheese Hermit Crab Croissants

Seaweed Grapes

Shell Cookies ~ Shortbread cookies with raspberry buttercream and white M&M’s

Pirate Booty

Goldfish

Cheese sticks

Watermelon

Veggie Platter with Ranch Dressing

Mermaid Cake ~ Three layer Chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream frosting covered in marshmallow fondant

Favor Bags

Shell necklaces ~ Shells we found on vacation with some glitter and jewels attached

Sea Glass Rock Candy

Invitations, Happy Birthday banner, Favor Tags, and Cake Topper made by the incredibly talented Rachael’s Craft Shack

Classroom Treat 

Sea Glass Jello

 

Chamomile Strawberry Orange Cold-Brewed Tea ~ The Way to His Heart

Spring is here and summer will be here soon enough, right? It’s time to put those mugs away and bring out tall glasses, tumblers for the beach, and mason jars for super cold and tasty beverages. This doesn’t mean you have to put your tea away though. Try this cold brewed method and toss in some fruit and honey as a natural sweetener and you have a delicious and cheerful drink. I simply can’t be grumpy when I am drinking out of a mason jar, drinking tea, or around this much fruit. It’s impossible. This also holds true for a mug of hot chocolate, but I’m putting that out of my mind for a while.

This is super easy to make you can whip up a large batch for the week or a party or break it down and only make one or two for you. That’s what I do since they are easy to make and I’d rather have the fruit as fresh as possible. Just remember to put some water out and let it get to room temperature before you get ready to actually prepare this. Enjoy!

Chamomile Strawberry Orange Cold-Brewed Tea ~ The Way to His Heart

Chamomile Strawberry Orange Cold-Brewed Tea

Ingredients

  • 8 chamomile tea bags
  • 12 cups filtered water, at room temperature
  • 2 small juice oranges (thin skinned), peeled, cut into slices, and seeded
  • 24 large strawberries, halved
  • 4 tsp honey
  • 4 tsp hot water

Place 1 tea bag and 1 1/2 cups water in each of 8 pint-size canning jars with lids. Place 2 orange slices and 6 strawberry halves in each jar. Cover with lids; refrigerate 12 to 24 hours.

Remove tea bags from jars. Combine honey and hot water. Divide honey mixture evenly among jars, about 1 scant teaspoon in each.

Serves 8

Source: Cooking Light May 2016

Buttery, Crispy Egg Noodles

 

Buttery, Crispy Egg Noodles ~ A great side dish that is easy to whip up and brings comfort food to side dishes ~ The Way to His Heart

Some recipes go way back and this is one of them. I have hesitated for years about posting this side dish because it was so simple and easy and then I realized that that was what makes it great. Why shouldn’t I share it? This isn’t some revolutionary idea, but I’ve never met anyone else who has made egg noodles like this so I thought I should share.

These noodles were one of the side dishes in my mom’s arsenal. Growing up I loved when she made these buttery, crispy noodles and would always vi for the crispiest ones. We never even had a name for them. They were just “egg noodles” to us. If a bag of egg noodles were in the cupboards then this is how they were served. I’m not sure where my mom got the idea for these, but I’m so glad she did. When I met my husband I made these and as he did with much of my cooking, he hesitantly looked on. One spoonful though and he was sold. The kids love these noodles as well. Caroline and my husband enjoy the softer noodles while I now have competition for the crunchy ones with George.

What I love about these noodles is that they are easy to make yet are a comfort food side dish. A lot easier than mashed potatoes, but serve that same warm, buttery comfort goodness purpose. I serve these with any kind of protein. No sauce is meant for these noodles, just a little sprinkle of salt and eat them just as they are.

Buttery, Crispy Egg Noodles

Ingredients

  • 12 oz package of egg noodles, I prefer Extra Broad
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with salt. Add egg noodles and cook according to directions on package. Drain.

Add noodles and butter to a large nonstick skillet and cook on medium-high until about half of the noodles are crispy, about 10 minutes. Stirring only occasionally so that the noodles set on the bottom and will crisp up.

Serve warm. I love sprinkling just a bit of salt on top for a great buttery, salty flavor.

The Way to His Heart

Sea Glass Rock Candy

Sea Glass Rock Candy ~ A pretty favor gift for showers and weddings and a cute idea for kid's birthday parties! ~ The Way to His Heart #kids

When I was looking for ideas for Caroline’s Mermaid birthday party I found a slew of great sweet treat ideas. I wanted to work smarter and not harder this year since a lot has been going on around these parts. While I’ve gotten better at making large batches of cupcakes, cake pops, and decorated sugar cookies, I wanted to do something different. Now that the kids are older and can handle a little bit more sugar I decided that making straight candy would be okay. Everything in moderation, right? When I happened upon this adorable sea glass rock candy I knew I wanted to make it for the girls favor bags. I asked Caroline and got her stamp of approval! The best part is since its candy it can be made in advance and have one less thing out of the way for the days leading up to the party. I love having favor bags basically assembled and practically done at least a week before the party.

Sea Glass Rock Candy ~ A pretty favor gift for showers and weddings and a cute idea for kid's birthday parties! ~ The Way to His Heart #kids

This candy was so easy to make and a lot of fun. While it’s difficult to mess up and even if you did, you’re going to smash it anyways so looks aren’t everything here. You can use any flavor you want to and any color so you can really mix it up and personalize it. Toss it in a cellophane bag, add an adorable favor tag and ribbon, and you’re done! I saw some where people put brown sugar as sand on the bottom before placing the candy inside but since I was making these for kids I figured I’d save the parents sanity of not having brown sugar go all over the place! I think they are adorable just the way they are. Since I made some cute seashell chocolate candies for the cake I decided to throw the extras in the favor bag for a little extra.

Sea Glass Rock Candy ~ A pretty favor gift for showers and weddings and a cute idea for kid's birthday parties! ~ The Way to His Heart #kids

Sea Glass Rock Candy

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 or 2 drops food coloring (I used teal and blue)
  • 1/4 tsp candy flavoring (I used cotton candy)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar for coating

Lightly spray a 9×13″ baking sheet with cooking spray.

Add sugar, corn syrup, and water to a saucepan. Bring up to a boil, while stirring to dissolve sugar. Once boiling, stop stirring and let it bubble away until it reaches 300F on a candy thermometer. As it gets close to 300F, add in the drops of food coloring, but don’t stir, it will mix itself in.

When it reaches 300F remove from heat immediately. Stir in candy flavoring and immediately pour out onto the baking sheet. Allow to cool and harden.

Flip baking sheet over and remove the candy. Using a hammer, or something sturdy, break the candy into desired sized pieces.

Working in batches, place the candy pieces into the powdered sugar and coat well. Using a dish cloth, rub the powdered sugar off of the candy, which will leave you with a dulled, sea glass look.

Store the candy in an airtight container.

Source: The View From Great Island, Mermaid Favor Bag Tags by Rachael’s Craft Shack