4th of July Resources: Part III

Happy Friday MABW readers! We hope you had a fantastic week, and are getting super excited for celebrating our Nation’s independence next week! To continue with our previous two installments we have some more great (but simple) recipes and ideas for planning and executing your Independence Day bash! These recipes would also be perfect for a summer birthday party 🙂

No Bake Cheesecake Trifles – This recipe from Hoosier Homemade looks decadent, but only requires 6 ingredients, and did we mention NO BAKING. Which is perfect since the 4th doesn’t fall on a weekend.

No Bake Cheesecake Trifle – Image & Recipe from Hoosier Homemade

Fourth of July Fruit & Yogurt Popsicles – Who doesn’t love popsicles in the summertime? The perfect refreshing treat for any summer afternoon, but with this color combo these popsicles are perfect for the 4th!

4th of July Fruit & Yogurt Popsicles – Image & Recipe from Daily Dish Recipes

Blueberry, Strawberry & Jicama Salsa – How beautiful is this salsa? Great with regular tortilla chips or cinnamon sugar pita chips, this salsa from Two Peas & Their Pod  won’t disappoint. 

Blueberry, Strawberry & Jicama Salad – Image & recipe from Two Peas & Their Pod

How does your family celebrate the 4th of July?

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2 Places to Shop Sustainable Party Supplies – Great for Weddings Too!

Upcycled Birthday Banner – $64.95 from Green Planet Parties!

Hello there! At Make A Birthday Wish we try to do our part by sharing  DIY, healthy, and sustainable ideas for

everything from planning daily lunches to your families birthday parties and celebrations. Today we’ve got two great places to shop for sustainable, fair trade, and eco-friendly party supplies that are perfect for your next birthday, anniversary, or even wedding! Each site features handmade goods and supplies made from eco-friendly materials. And in case you are wondering, does going green mean you have to sacrifice style? Not at all. Check out some of our favorite goods from each site!

Green Planet Parties – The goods on this site are more suited to birthdays, but ther eare still lots of ideas for other celebrations as well. We especially love this recycled burlap birthday banner loaded with crafty rustic charm!

 

 

The other place to shop sustainable party supplies both online and in some Whole Foods Stores is:

Susty Party – They have so many options for cups, plates, straws, napkins, and party kits available in some well-designed prints and colors. Their cups are now being carried in select Whole Foods Stores! Check out these whimsical compostable paper straws?

Susty Party Paper Straws – $6.99 per Pack of 50.

And how about these cups you can find in Whole Foods? Love the prints, and these are completely non-toxic, compostable, and manufactured with 75% blind labor in partnership with Clovernook Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Clovernook is a non-profit that aims to empower people who are visually impaired. How awesome is that?

10 oz Compostable Cups by Susty Party- $4.99 per pack of 12.

Do you try to make smart choices that are good for people and planet when planning your events?

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Valentines Day Ideas for Single Gals & Guys

As you may have noticed we didn’t post on Tuesday and Thursday like we normally do. We’ve decided to shake things up a little and just post once a week. So look for new posts full of great tutorials, recipes, and party planning essentials on Fridays!

Last week we posted recipes and gift ideas for Valentine’s Day. But not everyone thinks Valentines Day is that great… especially if they are not seeing somebody. But remember it’s a day to show the people you love how much you love them. So forget having a boyfriend or girlfriend and celebrate with friends or family instead. Here are some great ideas from around the web for celebrating and gifting on Valentines Day, even if you don’t have a boo!

Single Ladies Valentine’s Day Brunch – this tutorial from Design Love Fest is amazing. Heart-shaped waffles with prosciutto? Yum! She even gives tips on how to set the table and a “single ladies” playlist to play while you and your friends nosh away on a delicious brunch. This recipe and idea would honestly be great for a girls birthday party! Check out the tutorial and the blog.

Image & tutorial from Design Love Fest.

Valentine’s Day Date Ideas for the Single & Unattached – This collection of ideas from Lovely Undergrad is great! We love the ideas of manis/pedis on Valentine’s Day! Check out her list if you are in a new relationship too!

Image from paulie-nka.

More Ideas for Single Ladies – Jenesequa has even more ideas for girls that want to celebrate without a guy. Some require you to be 21, but the ideas could easily be adapted for younger girls too. Maybe your daughter and her friends could get together and host a sparkling drink tasting party instead of a wine party, or have a little co-ed get together? Either way, younger or older, these ideas are perfect for Valentine’s Day or any special girls night out (like birthdays! 🙂 ).

 

Image from Jenesequa.

Are you doing anything special for Valentine’s Day?

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Happy New Year! Looking Back to the Best of 2012!

Image from the Huffington Post.

Happy New Year to all our readers and supporters out there! It was a fantastic year in 2012, we were able to help bring joy and relief to hundreds of kids in San Jose during their birthday months. And in 2013 we hope to reach even more :). With 2012 behind us it is important to reflect back on what was good, so today we have our top 5 posts from this past year! You guys really like to craft don’t you ;)!

Make A Birthday Wishes Top 5 Posts in 2012:

  1. DIY Decorations: Paper Stars – A great tutorial for handmade paper stars perfect for a party or just because!
  2. DIY Party Decorations: Pennant Banner – Both fabric and paper options abound in this post!
  3. DIY Owl Crafts: Part 1 – Seriously adorable owl crafts at a variety of difficulty levels! Who doesn’t love owls?
  4. DIY Crafts: Button Bracelets – So simple and so cute. These make great little gifts or packaging additions.
  5. 3 Party Favor Packing Ideas We Love – And apparently you love these unique ideas too!

What was your favorite post this past year? And what would you like to see more of in 2013?

If you are interested in supporting what we do at Make A Birthday Wish or learning more you can go to our website by clicking here. Have a great New Year’s Day!

DIY Gift Ideas: Homemade Coupon Books

Holiday Coupons Image from One Artsy Mama

Christmas is just around the corner… no seriously it’s next week! And we at Make a Birthday Wish are extremely excited for all the love and giving that takes place this time of year. If you are still lost for gift ideas, then have no fear, we’ve got a collection of great resources to help you make a great gift for just about anyone on your list (even the person that has everything!). The best part about this gift idea, it is practically free (except for the paper it’s printed on) or close to it.

DIY coupon books are the perfect solution for someone that is difficult to buy for, or if you want to give something more meaningful and personal this year. You generally are giving your time (a foot rub, scrubbing the shower, etc.) , or maybe entitling a friend to a cup of coffee, dinner, or a movie. One of our favorite things about DIY coupon books is they let you be as creative as you want to be. You can completely hand-make your book, or use a free online site to generate a clean-looking book that you can print out. To get started think about the person you are giving the coupons to. What do they enjoy doing, what do they need more of in their life (maybe time, or quiet), what do they hate to do (clean, laundry)? Then make a list of possible coupons:

  • Back massage
  • Cleaning the bathroom
  • Organizing the closet
  • A cup of coffee & good conversation
  • Their favorite dinner
  • A trip to the bookstore
  • A night of babysitting
  • An at home spa day… the list could go on forever

Once you have your list you can use MS Word, PowerPoint, Keynote, Photoshop, Online tools, or old fashioned paper, glue, and scissors to create a coupon book. Here are some of our favorite resources:

Have you ever made your own coupons or vouchers before? What kind of coupons did you come up with?

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Gluten Free Brownies

Image from Comfy Belly

Today we’ve got a recipe for delicious, cakey gluten-free brownies adapted from the book Gluten Free Baking Classics! These are so tasty nobody will even notice they don’t contain any wheat. We whipped up a batch of these for a joint birthday party this past weekend (but forgot to snap pictures), and they were a hit. These are great for birthday parties, pot lucks, or the holidays. You can add mix-ins according to your preferences. Chopped walnuts, chocolate chips, or caramel sauce make nice additions! Oh and did we mention we seriously cut the sugar on these too by using stevia in place of sugar.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All-Purpose Baking Mix
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 2 ozs. unsweetened chocolate
  • 4 ozs. semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cup stevia in the raw
  • 2 tsps. pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • Optional: 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, or chocolate chips, or dried fruit, or a combination.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Farenheit, 350 if you are at altitude. Position rack in lower-middle oven, and grease an 8-inch square pan.
  2. Mix flour, salt, baking powder, and xanthan gum in a bowl, then set aside.
  3. Over low heat, melt chocolate and butter in a heavy sauce pan. Once melted, remove the pan from heat and whisk in stevia and vanilla.
  4. Whisk in eggs, one at a time until mixture becomes smooth and glossy.Add the flour mixture and whisk until incorporated. If you are adding nuts or chocolate chips add them and stir to combine.
  5. Pour batter into prepared 8-inch square pan and place in the oven for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the brownies to cool completely, then cut & serve!

What is your favorite brownie recipe? And do you like dense or cakey brownies? We can’t make up our minds.

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Don’t Forget Your Pets This Holiday Season: DIY Pet Treats & Sweets

Birthdays and holidays usually revolve around people. But our canine and feline friends are also an important and special part of our lives and memories. So while your making plans, buying gifts, and baking goodies this holiday season don’t forget to share the love with your pet! Today we’ve got a few recipes for our favorite dog and cat treats that you can bake with love & simple ingredients at home. Enjoy, we know your pets will!

Peanut Butter & Pumpkin Dog Treats – this recipe from All Recipes is a delicious way to let your pet enjoy the flavors of the season. And what dog doesn’t love peanut butter?

Peanut Butter & Pumpkin Dog Treats from All Recipes

Apple Cheddar Dog Biscuits – the perfect blend of sweet and savory! This tasty (for dogs that is) recipe comes from Martha Steward and is sure to have your pooch begging for more.

Apple Cheddar Dog Biscuits from Martha Stewart

Chewy Cat Treats – This beautifully written post and recipe comes from the delightful blog Joy The Baker. She whipped up a batch of these special treats to celebrate 2 years with her adorable feline friend. Check out the recipe if there is a special cat in your life!

Chewy Cat Treats from Joy The Baker

Have you ever thrown a “party” or whipped up something special for the family pet? Do you include them in holiday celebrations? If you try out a recipe let us know what your pet thinks!

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