It’s time to break out the red, white and blue because no summer celebration is complete without a little extra sparkle and a few patriotic party hacks. For Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day, or any festive summer day–Here’s my latest from TLC!
Trading Spaces Premiere and I’m Hosting a “Swatch Party”
Hello, my name is Amanda and I’m a Trading Spaces Super Fan. What exactly does this mean? Well, for most of the show’s run on TLC, I was either glued to the TV to watch two sets of neighbors redecorate a room in each other’s houses, or was DIY inspired and constantly attempting new home projects because they made it look so easy each week. And just like many of the reveals on Trading Spaces that went over well, the few that bombed felt much like my failed DIYs. RIP broken plate tile mosaic–Genevieve made it look so easy. Fast forward a few years and now I’m the luckiest lady to work for TLC as their life hacks expert. So as I prepare for the premiere of the new season, of course I needed to throw together a quick party to celebrate my favorite show’s return.
Click right here to see the video!
Birthday Party Hacks: Saving Money & Throwing a Fab Party
Your kids birthday parties can get elaborate real quick, right? So if you are looking to throw an amazing and fun party that doesn’t break the bank, check out my latest life hacks vlog from TLCme. has birthday party hacks that will save you time and money, while still throwing an awesome bash!
Super Bowl Party Hacks: DIY on a Budget
It’s almost time for Super Bowl Sunday and no matter which team you are cheering for (or if you’re like me and just watching for the commercials and halftime show) you can still put together an amazing Super Bowl party without breaking the bank. Today I was visiting my pals at Good Morning Washington and I shared some football-friendly party hacks that will help you score big during the Big Game. See the segment here!
Click right here to see the segment!
Game Day Mason Jar and Mug
I love how these mason jars turned out, and they were SO easy to make. Just a little craft paint and a few sponge brushes and you have the perfect silverware and straw holders for your party. These mason jars were such a hit, my husband has already claimed them for next football season when he hosts tailgates.
If you’re serving up beer, soda, or cocktails, skip the plastic cups and grab a few mason jars with handles. I used a little white tape and turned them into football mugs that are perfect for any pigskin party.
I’ve been obsessed with these dip stadiums ever since they started popping up on Pinterest. Even though they look super impressive, turns out, they’re easy to make. The trick is in the tin foil wall. Just grab two tin rectangle containers–one large and one small. In the smaller container, build two tin foil “walls” and place them inside the container. Pour the guacamole in the center and the salsa and queso on either side. Now you have the field and two end zones. Put sour cream inside a plastic bag and cut off one end. Draw lines to mimic the field and the tin foil walls. Place the smaller container inside the larger container and fill with chips and crackers. Boom–you’ve got an entire stadium!
Field Goal Drink Station
For this fun centerpiece and drink station, it’s time to head to your favorite hardware store. With a few pieces of PVC piping and connector pieces and an indoor/outdoor carpet wrapped around a plastic container, you have the perfect place to keep all your drinks cold for the Big Game. When the party is over, this would make the perfect addition for your game room or as a laundry basket for your favorite young football fan’s bathroom. You can ask to have the PVC piping cut at the store or grab a small piping cutter if you want to cut the PVC at home.
DIY Field Tablecloth and Turn Bunting
I grabbed this green table cloth from the dollar store, added white duct tape to look like the lines on the field, and white paint for the numbers. That’s it! So easy and so cute.
For the bunting use leftover pieces from the indoor/outdoor carpet into trianlges, white paint or tape and hot glue to attach to white ribbon.
Football Brownie Bites
No need to make these brownie from scratch! Grab the brownie bites from the bakery and with a little white icing, add the laces for a bite size yummy treat.
Little Life Hacks for BIG Birthday Surprises
I’m a firm believer that if your Mamma doesn’t make a HUGE fuss over your birthday, then who will? Now I’m not saying break the bank on every single birthday for over-the-top parties, gifts galore, and food better than what you had at your wedding, but here’s a few super special traditions that let your birthday boy or girl know you think they’re the bees’ knees and some easy Mom Hacks to take the stress out of throwing a birthday party.
The Big Day Hacks
Decorate Their Door– More than any party or gift, my kids are beyond ecstatic when they wake up on their birthday to find their bedroom doors covered in balloons, crepe paper, and a birthday sign. Decorating the birthday boy or girl’s door while they sleep is inexpensive, super easy, and so worth the payoff when they wake up to see their surprise. Decorated doors are now expected in this house and this year my kids decorated my door for my birthday—seriously, how sweet is that?
Cupcake Breakfast- Around here, if it’s someone’s birthday, you can bet there will be cupcakes for breakfast. Is it over the top, yes. Is a cupcake a good food choice for the morning, absolutely not. Is it a special treat your kids will love, you betcha. I have grand visions of sending cupcakes to my kids when they grow up and are off at college. Maybe it will be a reminder to call their Mom Every Single Day.
Birthday Present Scavenger Hunt– Make their birthday morning an adventure by leaving clues so the birthday kiddo has to go on a scavenger hunt in your house to find their present. The first clue can be waiting on their decorated door.
Birthday Party Hacks
Use What You’ve Got- If the party theme is also your child’s favorite toy, use those toys as part of the décor! Put those Octonauts in the punch bowl and let them go for a swim. Create a Hulk Smash cake with a Hulk action figure. Got a Minions crazed kiddo? Use their Minion figures to decorate the food table.
Pain Free Piñata– Confession: I loathe piñatas at parties. I know, I know, that’s a major kid party foul. Bring out a piñata and the kids get all Hunger Games and that paper candy holder usually isn’t the only fallen tribute. Save everyone a few black eyes and tears by filling your piñata with goodie bags rather than individual candy. When the piñata breaks, everyone grabs a bag and I can breathe a sigh of relief the piñata part is over.
Ice Cream Hack- Don’t get mobbed by ice cream hungry kids at your next party. Pre-scoop ice cream into cupcake liners, place them on a cookie sheet or metal baking tray and pop them in the freezer. When it’s time to serve cake and ice cream, you won’t be up to your elbows in the dessert.
Jazz Up The Balloons– Don’t spend a fortune on decor when you can grab bags of balloons from the Dollar Store and get a little crafty by:
- Adding tiny pom poms to the balloons
- Putting glow sticks inside for a glow-in-the-dark surprise
- Attaching the balloon strings to golf tees and lining the yard or driveway for a grand entrance.
Give Store Bought Cakes a Facelift– Save yourself a lot of money by using these tricks to turn ordinary store bought cakes into extraordinary birthday treats
- Make Glitter Sprinkles with ¼ cup sugar and 2 teaspoon of food coloring. Bake on a cookie sheet for 10 minutes on 350 degree and you will get Glitter Sprinkles! Yes, glitter sprinkles! Cover cakes, cupcakes, and cookies with this sparklely treat.
- Make fun designs on the cake using a cookie cutter or a Play-Doh Cutter as a stencil. Lay the cutter on the cake and fill the inside with colorful sprinkles. So cute!
- Add Jell-O to white frosting to change the flavor and add a rainbow of colors to your next cake
- Make your own cake topper by finding free images online and printing them on cardstock. Cut the images out, attach tiny skewers, and place the skewers in the cake for a special 3-D look
Balloon Drop- Want to hear the sounds of sheer joy? Create a balloon drop by taping two a plastic table clothes together with painter’s tape (the kind that is sticky but not too sticky). Attach a few long strings on the end of the seam. Attach the table clothes to the ceiling or a ceiling fan and fill with balloons. When you are ready for the drop, one good pull on the strings will make it rain balloons. Yay balloons!
Birthdays should just be really, really, really fun. After all, you’re a mom and that means you probably won’t get to blow your own candles out ever again. And, I’m OK with that.
This post originally ran on my other blog AmandaMushro.com