Archive of ‘home and hostess’ category

Our 2014 Cookie + Whiskey Exchange Party!

I’ve thrown a couple cookie exchange parties over the years.. (2010. 2011.)
and my husband and I said that the next one I do should be a couples one!
He said we should do a whiskey exchange for the guys. BRILLIANT.
Everyone we talked too loved the idea and we decided to try and fit it in
before Christmas came this year! It was so fun!thebusybudgetingmama-whiskeycookieexchange1

HOW IT WORKS:
All the girls were told to bring 6 dozen cookies and the guys bring a bottle of whiskey.
They had to text ben a photo of what they got so they didn’t have duplicates. We weren’t so serious about the cookie exchange part. I let everyone bring whatever they felt like making and we ended up with no duplicates! Some couldn’t bring 6 dozen and some made more..so we just winged it and it ended up being great! this was a no stress cookie exchange…
only rule was to bring some cookies and a bottle of whiskey.
I love baking and cookie dough probably more than I like the cookies themselves ;)
I couldn’t live without my scooper though! Makes making cookes so much easier.
Everyone needs this tool in their kitchen!
I didn’t have much time to decorate or plan a big party so I focused on the food…
and printed out my printables that I made for a party a few years ago… just a different color.
Instantly made the party feel festive and put together!
I made Oatmeal Scotchies. :)thebusybudgetingmama-whiskeycookieexchange2
For the table I put out the prizes on a cake stand and our little plates for the girls to put their “sample” cookies on. Each of them put 6 cookies down and marked on the card a number. On the inside they put the name of their cookie and how many they brought.
We cut the cookies up on the plate so everyone could sample a bit of each!
I loved seeing the table fill up with all the cookies!thebusybudgetingmama-whiskeycookieexchange3

For the Whiskey Exchange, ben had gotten a bunch of
mason jars and lined them up on the table. The guys lined up their whiskey
and each jar got 100ml . 7 jars per bottle, with 50ml left in bottle for sampling .
thebusybudgetingmama-whiskeycookieexchange7
They did the exchange via fantasy football draft style and
picked in order of beard length with longest beard first haha!
We were surrounded by a lot of beards, plaid and whiskey.
thebusybudgetingmama-whiskeycookieexchange4

Everyone started sampling the cookies and casting their votes using my ballot cards!
It’s fun seeing everyone get into it. focus.. serious decision making going on.
thebusybudgetingmama-whiskeycookieexchange5

Lots of chatting, snacking and cookie eating going on!
I made some dips: buffallo chick dip..spinach dip. We had french onion dip ranch dip and all sorts of things to dip with! bread pretzels carrots peppers pita chips and wavy chips and tostitos chips. and pigs in a blanket. a classic holiday food in our house ;)
I’m a fan of snacking and talking!thebusybudgetingmama-whiskeycookieexchange10Here are the four winners! They won for Most Creative,
Best Looking, Most Unique and Best Tasting.
Everyone won in the end because we all got trays of cookies though!
The prize was a cute mug filled with treats and a whiskey flavored chocolate bar.
Saw it at target and had to have it. haha.thebusybudgetingmama-whiskeycookieexchange9I usually get trays but couldn’t find any cute ones this year that were big enough!
So instead we used these big paper platters from Walmart to load up cookies on!
Used the CLING saran wrap to send them home!  it’s amazing.
why did I ever buy the other kind???
thebusybudgetingmama-whiskeycookieexchange6

I loved the variety of cookies we ended up with!
Thankful for a night of friendship and fun.
Thanks for stopping by! :)

Throw your own party!!
Doesn’t have to take a lot of time or money to pull together something fun
for your friends and family to enjoy!
my instant download cookie exchange printable package

Our New Mattress- Comfortaire

Ben and I have been married for 7 years. we got pregnant 3 months after we tied the knot. the days of sleeping ended 9 months after that. officially ended. Our babies have never been the best sleepers…thus making our nights of sleep always chopped up. I think they had better success of sleep training me then them! We’ve hit a point now where our kids 6,4 and 2 sleep better at night…but I was still waking up consistently. I tossed and turned all night long. our mattress didn’t help at all. sliding into the center wasn’t exactly the comfort level I was needing to fall asleep and STAY asleep. When you have kids keeping you active all day… kids sleeping through the night is gold.
But you want to sleep when they sleep! Our mattress was so wonky that I tossed and turned all night in it. fail.
comfortaire-thebusybudgetingmama5

When Comfortaire contacted me about trying out their product……
I said umm. Yes. a big old fat YESSS PLEASEEEEE!
My husband might have texted all the emojis when I told him.
comfortaire-thebusybudgetingmama2

It arrived. and looked like heaven.
I wasn’t home when it came and my husband called me
multiple times letting me know how it felt. haha.
The Comfortaire mattress uses air to provide adjustable support.
You have remotes for each side where you can choose your support level.
I like having the mattress a little more firm.. but I’ve been loving
having the option to change it up!
comfortaire-thebusybudgetingmama1
Ben loves his remote. :) And now if we could only figure
out a way to use this to make micah slow down……
comfortaire-thebusybudgetingmama3

It’s incredible. I’m not even exaggerating.
For the first time in years, I’m actually sleeping straight through the night.
I don’t wake up until a kid wakes me up. I call that a win.
comfortaire-thebusybudgetingmama4

Our kiddos are active, cute little bundles of energy.
I need sleep to handle motherhood.
If you are looking for a mattress, you need to seriously consider making this investment
because it is a game changer.
Sleep better. Feel better. Live better!
comfortaire-thebusybudgetingmama7

A well rested mommy is a happy mommy.
It’s been great having more energy with these littles.
I am a night person..but I went to bed early the first few weeks we
had the mattress because I was so excited about sleeping on it haha.
comfortaire-thebusybudgetingmama6

Connect with Comfortaire on Facebook Twitter and Instagram!
They have some great sales going on now so take advantage!
comfortaire-thebusybudgetingmama8

Thank you to Comfortaire for sponsoring this post and helping me sleep better!
My whole family thanks you ;) #notamorningperson #bettersleepbettermommy

Micah’s Modern IRON MAN Party

Suddenly I realized Micah was turning two in a week!
I texted some friends to come over monday night for cake!
Life was too crazy that week to plan anything..but when it hit the weekend I knew
I wanted to try and throw together something fun! Micah loves IRON MAN. It’s probably the second thing he says after “baba” in the morning… and one of the last things he says before he goes to bed. When I tuck him in he’ll randomly look up at me and say iron man?
to which I reply.. yes iron man is sleeping too….zzzzzz.
So I knew that was the perfect party theme for our micah man!
Sunday came and I finally had a chance to work up
some fun details for the party monday night. This is my love language..and how I relax.
So it was fun working on some DIY’s after a busy week.
iron man party-thebusybudgetingmama1

All of these things are super easy and quick DIY’s or party details you can make as well
if you are in a time crunch! I didn’t want to spend a lot either.. I would have loved to have an iron man costume and iron man favors.. but nope. we didn’t have time and we wanted to keep it simple. I used a lot of what we had to make it come together and did party shopping in my craft box. :) The key to a modern licensed character party is to come up with a few basic elements that represent the character and then go in the direction you want! I don’t like red. but.. I love black and white and gold and HAD some things that could make that color scheme work. I incorporated the red into the table with the candy and iron man mask wrapped around the popcorn jar! I HAD wanted maroon balloons..but accidentally ordered magenta balloons..haha.
We tied the pink balloons outside our door. ;)
iron man party-thebusybudgetingmama2I knew I wanted to do a dessert table only. (We had some chips/hummus and
carrots out as well.) I made up an Iron Man sign to put on the table.
I wanted to keep it simple and bake with my girls to add to the fun.
I let them stay up late the night before baking with me and they were giddy as can be.
It took about 50 times longer but it was worth it. They loved it.
I bought store bought popcorn and cupcakes.
And then twizzlers and swedish fish for the candy jars. (they are from target)
Micah’s present from us was a pack of marvel comic heroes…
And we used them around the party table decor :)
I bought one iron man mask from party city. (It was a couple bucks!)
Ben had the great idea to put it around the popcorn jar!
Micah kept pointing and saying, “Iron Mannnnnn!”iron man party-thebusybudgetingmama20

If there is one thing I know about super heroes, they like to fly through city skylines!
I had a big piece of thick poster board from our HAPPY MOMMY BOX one year party.
(it was $15 at Office Max) I used a pencil to doodle a city skyline…
not trying to have it be perfectly straight because that just wasn’t gonna happen.
Then I used an angled thick sharpie to fill in the lines! SO easy. and it comes
together pretty fast. I had a hunk of black and white strip
fabric from IKEA that I used as the table cloth.iron man party-thebusybudgetingmama18

I had some lollipop sticks in my craft bin… so I made up some cupcake toppers
(made in photoshop… printed on card stock… taped to back of sticks.)
The Micah cake topper was made with our magnet letters spray painted gold!
I love how they turned out so similar to the Iron Man font!
iron man party-thebusybudgetingmama3

It was hilarious how Micah passed out a cookie to
EVERY SINGLE person who walked into our house.
He started doing it and then just kept on being the hostess with
the mostess the whole party! I’m so glad I made cookies because it ended up
being so him. mister social passing them out. all the superheroes were thrilled.
iron man party-thebusybudgetingmama10
iron man party-thebusybudgetingmama8

told you… I wasn’t exaggerating about the cookies….
serious peanut blossom deliveries going on.
Micah to the rescue.
iron man party-thebusybudgetingmama19
Micah was pretty proud of himself
and showing off the cookies.
iron man party-thebusybudgetingmama9

We only had one super hero costume in the house for the girls. and it’s kinda too small. haha.
But Sienna wanted to rock it and Sophia threw her cat ears on and was bat girl! ;)
total goofballs.
iron man party-thebusybudgetingmama16

Cake time!! I picked up a chocolate cake from the Harris Teeter grocery store
and randomly found the #2 candle in my pantry from an old party pack! score!
I got the Avengers Balloon from Party City. it was $8 including helium.
Worth it because it’s still going strong here! That was considered a present
from us too.. Micah loves balloons!iron man party-thebusybudgetingmama6

Micah was pretty pumped about the blowing out the candle part.
He ate two bites and was done with the cake itself.
The rest of us devoured the cake. It was so good!!
iron man party-thebusybudgetingmama7

noo let’s not stab mommy.iron man party-thebusybudgetingmama11this sweet boy…can’t believe he is two!iron man party-thebusybudgetingmama14

Sienna is a snuggler at parties. we cash in on it.iron man party-thebusybudgetingmam5

The iron mask randomly made the rounds.
Loved looking over and seeing micah put it on. He was in iron man heaven.iron man party-thebusybudgetingmama4iron man party-thebusybudgetingmama13

Micah was pretty excited about the communal plate of cookies.
(All the ones he had gifted and people couldn’t eat fast enough.)
Micah and Ben had their bromances at the party.
iron man party-thebusybudgetingmama15

Gift time! Micah had lots of “help” from his cousins and sisters.
Thankful for everyone who came and for the gifts!
He loved everything and it’s been awesome having BOY TOYS in the house.
slowly he is making his mark on this girl house. ;)
iron man party-thebusybudgetingmama17
Thanks for checking out our Micah man’s IRON MAN Party!
It was a quick DIY throw together but so fun celebrating our guy
and making some special memories!

iPhone Home Tour- Charlotte Townhouse Edition

We moved to Charlotte this past spring.
We loveee it and even though this townhouse isn’t our forever home it’s been
great for us and HAPPY MOMMY BOX! (The first floor is all for storage and
the packing team!) We’ve only painted one wall but I
like the white walls in the space too..
Thought I would share, via phone photos, our space and how
we made this place home for us!
No time for fancy photos and staging…
Here’s real life minus the shoes I kicked out of the way + piles of clean laundry
I need to fold upstairs. that’s a whole’nother day ;)

Come on in!
I hung frames we had and got a “tv stand” from IKEA for the kids to sit on for shoes.
The key chain/prek tote bag/purse hooks are super handy. (target)
IPHONEHOMETOUR14-THEBUSYBUDGETINGMAMA

The most lived in space of our house is the family/dining room space.
Kids rule this place. (cousin party below) I decorate my house using a lot of stuff that was in other rooms in old houses… mix it all together…
add in one or two new things and make it work!
IKEA: sofa, pillows, banner, picture ledges, curtains, curtain rod
light fixture, table and chairs, kid table and chairs, place mats. high chair.
TARGET: light blue pillows.
TRASH: Coffee Table
AMAZON: Map (38 bucks or something crazy) eventually want to DIY frame it.
PAINT: tidewater?? lowes.IPHONEHOMETOUR9-THEBUSYBUDGETINGMAMA

Sometimes it’s clean….and sometimes it’s not.
IPHONEHOMETOUR7-THEBUSYBUDGETINGMAMA

Best seat in the house is the dumpster dive coffee table.
Couches are regularly the doctor’s office for Doc McStuffins.IPHONEHOMETOUR8-THEBUSYBUDGETINGMAMA

Doesn’t everyone have a play kitchen in their dining area??
IKEA: Frames. Shelves. Tables. Light fixture. play kitchen. pots
LOWES: Plant pots
PIKE’S: succulents
Dishes are a mix of Pottery Barn Wedding Gifts + Marshalls + IKEA.
IPHONEHOMETOUR5-THEBUSYBUDGETINGMAMA
IPHONEHOMETOUR10-THEBUSYBUDGETINGMAMA

I hung some frames in our hallway that we used from our last house!
They were part of a basement makeover I did with IKEA PIttsburgh.
SO CHEAP.  I did a whole gallery wall with 6 of them for $40 DETAILS HERE.IPHONEHOMETOUR13-THEBUSYBUDGETINGMAMA

This is my “office space” in our family room!
There is usually a feast of play food next to me. mmm felt donuts.
FROM IKEA: Shelf, desk, magnet board.
Cute tote from US! ;) HAPPY MOMMY TOTE.
IPHONEHOMETOUR12-THEBUSYBUDGETINGMAMA

One of the most functional spaces in our house is the kitchen nook turned headquarters.
IKEA: Shelving unit, kid table, magnet boards. bulletin board.
white boxes. paper holders. shelves.
TARGET: cream bins
NAPTIME DIARIES – Canvas Print
IPHONEHOMETOUR6-THEBUSYBUDGETINGMAMA
Right is the kitchen area… but left is the kid’s room. I’ll share more of that space another day!
Used the flowers from the girls’ Fairy Birthday Party. VIDEO Tutorial here.
IPHONEHOMETOUR11-THEBUSYBUDGETINGMAMA

I turned an old estate sale frame into a chalkboard for our family room.
Working on my chalk art skills……lol.
IPHONEHOMETOUR4-THEBUSYBUDGETINGMAMA
We have a picture ledge across one of our walls in the family room and I love mixing up the prints and art! I made the map art using a $3 map from Target discount bin area..going to add some stars to our fav cities (atlanta pittsburgh philly and charlotte)
IPHONEHOMETOUR3-THEBUSYBUDGETINGMAMA
The Love others well print was from one of our past HAPPY MOMMY BOXES. love it! IPHONEHOMETOUR2-THEBUSYBUDGETINGMAMA

Our house is not perfectly decorated…and I’m constantly changing it up.. but it’s lived in and loved and bright and cheery for our kids. Thankful for this roof over our heads and being all together. Love the memories we are creating here in Charlotte! 
IPHONEHOMETOUR-THEBUSYBUDGETINGMAMA
With HMB needing more space.. our rental/office isn’t as ideal. So we will be moving and trading in more bedrooms instead of the connected office space come next year!
We are loving this rental right now though and it’s bright open floor plan!
Thanks for stopping by :) I’ll share more spaces another day.

1 2 3 70