Chocolate Peppermint Italian Soda #StreamTeam

New Year's Eve Kids Treat. Chocolate Peppermint Italian Sodas  #spon #StreamTeamThis post is brought to you in partnership with Netflix. All opinions are my own. I’m part of their #StreamTeam and it’s awesome.

My kids love Christmas, of course. But they LOVE New Year’s Eve. As they’ve gotten older, my husband and I have been enjoying spending New Year’s Eve with them too. Getting to stay up and “rage” until midnight is one of the coolest things ever to them. And for some reason, they are really well-behaved and super fun to be around (if you are a parent, you know how those days go where you just can’t wait for them to get to bed…). This holiday is no longer about being out on the town in sparkly clothes and drinking too much. For us, we stay at home, spend time together, enjoy the TV broadcasts where they are freezing their buns off in New York, and indulge in several treats throughout the night. This year we’ll be having these Chocolate Peppermint Italian Sodas.

Chocolate Peppermint Italian Sodas  #spon #StreamTeamYou only need a few things to make these and they take just a second. The basics for any Italian soda are the same, milk (or cream), syrup and club soda. But you can change-up the flavors to make them in a ton of flavors. This year, my kids are super in to peppermint so I decided to create one last treat for the holiday season with it. I know you can use peppermint in January but it just feels so wrong!

Chocolate Peppermint Italian Sodas  #spon #StreamTeamMix them up, top with club soda, spray on a little whipped cream and top with some crushed candy cane. Done.

Chocolate Peppermint Italian Sodas  #spon #StreamTeamThis may look like a lot but it is mostly club soda. My ratio may have been off a little bit in this size jar. I would say to add some soda, give a little stir and do a taste test to see if you need more. And since this is the blogging world, I needed this to be all the way to the top so the whipped cream could be seen better…

Chocolate Peppermint Italian Sodas  #spon #StreamTeamFor sure use a straw. Straws are festive.

Chocolate Peppermint Italian Sodas. A fun New Year's Eve treat for kids.  #spon #StreamTeamThe rest of our New Year’s celebrating is pretty low-key. Of course there will be party hats, some balloons (because I don’t know about you but my kids can be entertained for HOURS with balloons!) and special candy. These chocolate peppermint italian sodas are perfect for the whole family. I don’t even drink at all on New Year’s Eve any more. It makes me too tired. I don’t want to be the party pooper! But if you wanted something a little more “festive” you could absolutely add vodka.

Chocolate Peppermint Italian Sodas  #spon #StreamTeamNew Year’s Eve is the perfect time to try a new treat. But not all of our night is based around food…We do these countdown bags every year as well. It is a really great way to keep the kids entertained and looking forward to the next hour. There is nothing worse than a bored, tired kid, am I right? Pick up little activities while you are out finishing up your stocking stuffers and you will be all set!

Thank you for supporting the brands that let me create and share with you, like Netflix!

Viewing party for #KingJulien the new show on Netflix #StreamTeamOn December 19th, Netflix is debuting a new, original series called, All Hail King Julien, of Madagascar fame (watch the trailer!). We got the chance to preview a few episodes this past weekend and brought the cousins along for some extra fun. The show is really funny! I heard the adults and kids laughing through out. Your kids will love this!

Craft time at #KingJulien. #StreamTeamThe Netflix team put on a really fun event with all kinds of activities that enhanced the King Julien experience. The kids learned a dance to the theme song of the show which was super amazing to watch (and my kids have continued to perform it at home for me). And there was a craft table to create your own crown or hat similar to the one King Julien wears.

Netflix will probably be part of our New Year’s Eve festivities. We’ll probably watch more King Julien episodes, especially since a really fun New Year’s Eve party kit just arrived – thank you Netflix! But as I was browsing around looking for a few shows to recommend, my youngest son and I became enthralled with this series called The Adventures of Figaro Pho. It’s about an odd little boy who has tons of phobias. This is definitely boy’s club stuff. Lots of farts. No talking, but great music to enhance the moods. And the subtitles are of the funny noises the characters make. So if you have little boys, check it out. And if you are still in the market for holiday movies, check out the top 20 movies to stream on Netflix this holiday season. And tonight we will be watching the original Annie. My boys want to see the updated version on the big screen so we decided we should watch the original so we can compare and contrast. I can’t wait to sing all the songs! Bet your bottom dollar it will annoy the kids!

Chocolate Peppermint Italian Soda #StreamTeam
 
These yummy chocolate peppermint sodas are the perfect treat during the holiday season. These are made for my kids but you can make these more "fun" by adding some vodka (to yours...)!
Recipe type: Beverage
Ingredients
  • 3 TBSP chocolate syrup
  • ⅛ tsp peppermint extract (it is VERY strong - I'd start with a few drops and get to the flavor you prefer)
  • ¼ cup milk
  • Club Soda
  • whipped cream (optional)
  • crushed candy cane (optional but super cute)
Instructions
  1. In a glass, mix together the chocolate syrup, peppermint and milk.
  2. Add ice.
  3. Top with Club Soda to taste
  4. Top with whipped cream and crushed candy cane.

 

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Happy New Year!

happy-new-yearWishing you all an amazing 2014!!!  Tomorrow my family and I will stay in our pajamas all day long.  We will watch a lot of HGTV and ignore the fact that school will be starting up very soon.

Best Cheese Ball Ever Appetizer

Perfect for holiday entertainingWith all the family gatherings that are bound to happen this holiday season I thought I would share with you one of my favorite appetizer recipes.  This Cheese Ball recipe is super easy to make, transport and shovel in your mouth hole.  I didn’t invent this recipe.  I’ve looked at the internet and seen this and variations of this all over the place.  But this is the one that I like the best so it is what I wanted to share with you.

Best Cheese Ball RecipeThere are not many ingredients so make sure that you use good quality items.  I think the blue cheese makes it for me but I understand that there are some people who think it tastes like feet so if that is you, just leave it out.

add-all-the-cheeses-and-green-onion-600Make sure your cream cheese is softened and then just mush it all together.

Best Cheese Ball Appetizer Recipe EverRoll it in a ball (or don’t) roll it in some nuts (or don’t) and eat it with Wheat Thins (I’m sure other crackers would work too but tradition states that you eat it with Wheat Thins.  You don’t want to eff with that do you?)

Cheese Ball and Champagne for holiday entertainingYou know when this cheese ball would work best?  New Year’s Eve.  It can sit out for a while without making all your guests totally sick.  Edible gold stars are like the jazz hands of the food world and really make this cheese ball next level.  Serve with some bubbles and party on.

Best Cheese Ball Ever Appetizer

Ingredients

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese (softened)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I like to go with sharp cheddar)
  • 1 TBSP chopped green onion
  • 1 TBSP Blue Cheese (crumbled)
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Finely chopped pecans (optional)
  • Wheat Thins

Instructions

  1. Combine softened cream cheese until well blended.
  2. Add remaining ingredients.
  3. Mix well and chill.
  4. Shape in to a ball and roll in pecan pieces.
  5. Serve with Wheat Thins
http://www.cupcakesandcutlery.com/best-cheese-ball-ever-appetizer/

New Year’s Eve Countdown Craft for Kids

New Years Countdown craftI had this idea for New Year’s Eve Countdown Surprise Bags for Kids (yup, that title IS too long).  I wanted to share it with you as New Year’s Eve will be here before you know it.  So this is what I call a “Nap Time Tutorial.”  While my kids don’t nap, I can often find bits and pieces of quiet time that I can use to shoot a tutorial.  But sometimes in the middle, things go haywire and I have to scramble to finish.  Such as the case with this craft, but you get the idea and can totally cuten it up.

The idea behind this is that you choose a time that you want to start this on New Year’s Eve and each hour you hand your kids a new bag.  Inside the bag are fun treats, activities, etc. to keep them entertained and excited until midnight.  Candy works too, but they still get cranky when they start to come off that sugar high.

New Years Eve Countdown CalendarI’ve created a few examples of things to include in the bags.  For this one, I would also include a card that tells them to get dressed up like a business man and create a character.  Then they need to pretend they have to finish up one last job before the clock strikes midnight.  I don’t know about your kids but mine are great with impressions and accents.  They will use their imagination and put on a fun little show for the whole family.  When they get bored with that, the watch (found in the favor section of Party City) is a puzzle that they have to try to get the silver balls in to the holes.  But you know Dad will end up with the mustache on and a fake French accent…

New Years Eve Countdown Calendar for kidsThis next bag would include some “party animals” and a cd of our favorite dance songs.  It would tell them to get their dance on. Then we would try to guess, if animals danced, which animal would be the best dancer.  Come on, this is good for at least 10 minutes, right?

Easy New Years activity for kidsOf course you can change this one up if your family doesn’t use the word suck.  With this bag I would say something about how waiting for midnight sucks and then we would drink root beer floats.  I get it.  Totally unclassy use of the word suck.  But its a play on words.  If I can turn it in to a teaching moment, doesn’t that trump class?

Decorate the BagsAdd a little pizzazz with some silver tassels (I made these for my son’s upcoming birthday party so they were already on hand to zhuszh these up.  Anything will work.  Get as carried away as you want.

countdown calendar for kidsSo there you have it.  A quick and easy idea to keep you family entertained on New Year’s Eve.

Best of: New Year’s Eve Party

Since New Year’s Eve is less than a week away I thought I would start out with last year’s New Year’s Eve shoot that I did with Lauren.  Shot by Ed of Up Imagery, the party was full of pink, girly, glittery fun where the party decor was created using almost exclusively the pages of a Real Simple Magazine.

There were several posts for this party!  Here (just the sneak peek but a really cool photo), Here, Here, and Here.

Sharon