40 New Year’s Eve Party Ideas for Kids

Keep kids entertained this holiday with these 40 Fun New Year’s Eve party ideas! Family Friendly New Year’s Eve Party Ideas for Kids! Celebrating the new year is always a highlight in our house. A New Years Eve Party can be a wild fun time spent with family and friends or a quiet night at home […]

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Tips for New Year’s Eve at Magic Kingdom

Tips for visiting Disney World’s Magic Kingdom on New Year’s Eve. Find out about the crowds, how you can get into the park when it closes and the best place to watch the fireworks. Tips for New Year’s Eve at Disney’s Magic Kingdom I surprised by daughter with tickets to Disney World’s Magic Kingdom on […]

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5 Things You Can Make with Puff Pastry

The holidays and all of the delicious eating that goes with them are upon us!  In preparation I’ve been playing with a few recipes and rounded up my favorite uses for puff pastry.  These 5 things you can make with puff pastry met my criteria by being easy, yummy and quick to make!  Some are for grown-up tastebuds (no sharing) and some are perfect for kids.  All of them perfectly go along with any holiday dinner and can be made ahead of time or use leftovers for the afterparty.

1. The Kids Favorite:

quick and easy appetizers for thanksgiving and christmas

These Parmesan Puff Stars  will easily make you the favorite mom/dad/aunt/uncle/grandma/grandpa at Thanksgiving.  These are kid-tested and approved and are not only fun to eat but fun to make!  If you’re looking for an appetizer that your 8 year old can be in charge of, this is it!

You’ll need:

  • 1 puff pastry sheet
  • 1 egg
  • 5 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

1. Preheat your oven to 360°F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2. Roll out the puff pastry sheet onto a floured surface. Use a star shaped cookie cutter to cut out individual pastry stars and place half of them them on the baking sheet. Add parmesan cheese and top with another puff pastry star. Using the beaten egg, apply a thin layer of egg wash to the top of each pastry star. You can sprinkle a little cheese on top if you want.
3. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes, until the stars are puffed and golden. Serve immediately or keep in an airtight container for up to 2 days.


2. The Fancy Appetizer

quick and easy appetizers for thanksgiving and christmas

If you’re having a more formal family get-together these Meatball Wellington‘s are so easy to make and so pretty to put on a plate!  They are also kid-approved and would make the perfect appetizer to a multiple course dinner.  I could not believe how easily they came together and how impressive they look when they’re done!

You’ll need:

  • Thawed puff pastry, cut into 4-inch squares
  • Meatballs (link includes meatball recipe, or Costco’s work great!)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Tomato sauce, for serving
  • Fresh parsley, for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Flour your work surface. Place puff pastry squares onto surface.

3. Add a heaping tablespoon of shredded mozzarella onto center of pastry square. Place meatball on top of the cheese.

4. Wrap puff pastry around meatball. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet, seam side down. Brush with egg wash.

5. Bake for 25 minutes.

6. Serve atop tomato sauce, and garnish with parsley.


See More: Easy 3 Ingredient Appetizers


3. The Standard Favorite:

quick and easy appetizers for thanksgiving and christmas

What is a party without spinach dip?  I opted to make these Creamy Spinach Roll-Ups with pre-made spinach and artichoke dip but the recipe links back to a homemade version.  

You’ll need:

1 Box of Puff Pastry Sheets (2 Sheets)
1 Egg
1 Tub Spinach + Artichoke Dip (link has homemade recipe)
1. Unroll Puff Pastry Sheets and Brush both sides with Egg.
2. Spread Cream Cheese and Spinach Mixture over one side of the Puff Pastry.
3. Roll Up the Puff Pastry and Slice with a sharp Knife.
4. Place rolls on a Baking Sheet and bake at 400 Degrees for 20 Minutes or until the Puff Pastry turns a golden color.

The Spicy Favorite:

quick and easy appetizers for thanksgiving and christmas
I love a good jalepeno popper and these are exactly that!  These JALAPEÑO POPPER PIES blend cream cheese, pepper jack and jalepeno perfectly with the fluffy crispy puff pastry.  So yummy and the kids don’t usually love them (spicy) so more for me!
You’ll need:
  • egg
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup shredded pepper Jack cheese (about 4 ounces)
  • large jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 package Puff Pastry Sheets, thawed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

1. Heat the oven to 400°F.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Stir the cream cheese, pepper Jack cheese and jalapeño peppers in a medium bowl. 

2. Unfold 1 pastry sheet on the work surface.  Using a round cutter, cut the pastry sheet into 12 (2-inch) circles.  Repeat with the remaining pastry sheet.

3. Spoon about 1 tablespoon cream cheese mixture in the center of each of 12 pastry circles.  Brush the edges of the pastry circles with the egg.  Place the remaining pastry circles over the filling.  Crimp the edges with a fork to seal.  Brush the filled pastries with the egg and sprinkle with the salt.  Using a sharp knife, cut small slits in the tops of the pastries.  Place the pastries on the baking sheets.

4. Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown.  Let the pastries cool on the baking sheets on wire racks for 10 minutes.


See More: 5 Easy Appetizers For New Year’s Eve


5.  Perfect for Leftovers

quick and easy appetizers for thanksgiving and christmas

If you never know what to do with leftover cranberry sauce, this recipe is for you.  These 3-Ingredient Cranberry Brie Bites make the yummiest little appetizers and quickly use up any leftover cranberry sauce you might have after a big Thanksgiving dinner.  If you know you won’t possibly eat what you have, you could even make them along with your dinner.  And if you’ve never made cranberry sauce from scratch check out this recipe-it’s impossibly easy and so delicious!

You’ll need:

  • 1 package frozen Puff Pastry, thawed
  • 1/2 lb Brie cheese
  • 1 cup Cranberry Sauce (purchased or homemade)

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the sheets into approximately 3 inch x 3 inch squares. Press each square into a muffin cavity.

2. Cube the cheese – about a 3/4 inch cube for each. Place a cube of brie in the center of each puff pastry square. Top the brie with a small dollop (about 2 tsp) of cranberry sauce.

3. Bake 10 minutes or until puff pastry corners are toasted lightly brown.

4. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.


Have any other favorite puff pasty appetizers?  Share with us below!

See More at TodaysMama.com!

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This Is The Harsh Reality Of New Year’s Eve When You Have Kids

New Year’s Eve — once upon a time it was my favorite night of the year. That was before two kids. Now I secretly dread it. At least the traditional pre-kid party all-night version that most of us are accustomed to.

This is New Year’s Eve with kids…

Finding a sitter. Unless you booked one in July, you might as well ask the Pope or Oprah to watch your kids because you might have a better chance than finding any high-schooler or college coed to commit to this night. And even if you do find a sitter, she will most likely triple her rates after smelling your desperation.

Looking through your closet and wondering if you can wear that sequined top with yoga pants. Because no one will ever know they’re yoga pants, right? Wrong.

Being exhausted by 9 p.m. but realizing you must stay up for at least three more hours, while simultaneously looking like you actually want to stay up for three more hours. Trying to maintain this entertaining, engaging, and energetic persona all night is far more exhausting than giving birth.

Annoying people asking you what your New Year’s resolution will be, and you secretly wonder if “survival” is really your only goal. Our other top New Year’s resolutions we would rather not share with the general public: 1) lose the baby weight that I put on 12 years ago; 2) be nicer to my husband, at least for the first part of the day; and 3) organize my entire life, which is the polite way of saying “finally get my shit together.”

Learning the “Rule of 120” the hard way. Here’s what New Year’s Eve will cost you: $120 for a sitter, $120 for the fixed menu for two, $120 bar tab for two, and $47 at Pizza Shuttle for you and your eight new best friends at 2:07 a.m. Then realizing all of the responsible things you could have purchased with this money the following day.

Going out with people who don’t have kids and realizing how much more damn energy they have and being secretly resentful they can sleep in till 1 p.m. if they want.

Going out with people who do have kids, and one of two things will happen: 1) You will talk about your kids the entire evening, quickly realizing you should have just stayed home with them; or 2) it will be like an episode of Moms Gone Wild with you making up for having not gone out since last year and your husband quickly realizing he should have left you at home.

Hearing fireworks at midnight and telling your husband if they wake up your sleeping children, you will hunt down the perpetrators and go a little “mom crazy” on them.

Realizing that the 12:03 a.m. selfies on Facebook were a really, really poor decision.

Waking up at 5:45 a.m. no matter how late you stayed up or how much champagne you drank. Oh, you didn’t want to pay the sitter through New Year’s Day and chuck over fistfuls of money for a hotel? Then be ready for your painful wakeup call. And all kids wake up extra early this day. It’s like a sixth sense they have.

Needing lots of coffee and aspirin in the morning, but quickly realizing you are out of one, if not both, of these magical lifelines. Then thinking you would trade your firstborn for a large Dunkin Donuts coffee. Extra cream, extra sugar, extra survival.

Experiencing mom guilt. You will realize the next morning, after all the money you spent and how shitty you feel, you would have preferred to snuggle up with the little ones and watch Disney Junior, drink sparkling cider, and call it a night at 9:15 p.m.

Having your kids play with the annoying New Year’s noisemakers for months and months until you throw them all away in a fit of rage in April.

Formulating your excuse for next New Year’s Eve in your head 364 days in advance that will be along the lines of, “Sorry, we will be staying in. We couldn’t find a sitter. But have fun. I am so jealous!”

And here’s the best thing about New Year’s Eve after having kids: Realizing that the coolest place to be is wherever you feel most comfortable. And you might even think there is no better place in the world than at home with your family in your yoga pants.

Here’s to a happy 2017 filled with surviving parenthood, loving these beautiful bodies that built our babies, being a little kinder to our husbands (at least in the morning), and maybe just maybe getting our shit together (whatever that means). And if not, realizing there’s always next year.

New Year’s Eve Party Printables

Make your New Year’s Eve sparkle this year with gold and black New Year’s Eve Party Printables! Enjoy a free printable 2021 Happy New Year Coloring Sheet for the kids. 2021 New Year’s Eve Party Printables I’m looking forward to celebrating New Year’s Eve at home this year with my family. Don’t miss out on […]

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How to Make a Mercury Glass Coke Bottle Centerpiece

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How to Make a Mercury Glass Coke Bottle Centerpiece. Easy DIY Craft with Free Printables for a 2016 New Year's Eve Party!

Holiday season is my favorite time to entertain! I love making homemade crafts and decorations with items I already have around the house. I’ve been partnering with Coca-Cola this year, sharing some fun holiday DIY Party Ideas and I’m loving how pretty these Mercury Glass Coke Bottles turned out!

We’re already planning for our New Year’s Eve party. Since I’m always a last minute party planner, this year I’m trying to actually do things ahead of time. Coke bottles are such a fun thing to turn into an eye catching centerpiece that you can use for holidays or anytime of the year!

In about 20-30 minutes, you can turn your regular glass Coke bottles (everyone’s favorite bottle right!?) into gorgeous mercury bottles! I don’t know why I haven’t done this before, because it was so easy!

Start stocking up on Coke and get my New Year’s Eve printables and directions below for how to make your own fabulous DIY centerpiece with Mercury Glass Coke Bottles!

How to Make a Mercury Glass Coke Bottle Centerpiece


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