Tobins' Tastes

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Birthday Party

A Not So Scary Party for an October birthday. We combined his love of Disney & Halloween for the perfect spooktacular celebration. Scroll down for links to mentioned items.

I cannot believe my big boy is three! The past few months Easton has taken his love of all things Halloween and Disney to a new level (which might have something to do with him seeing the Halloween decorations up at Magic Kingdom while it was still August). So when I asked him what kind of party he wanted for his third birthday he told me a "Spooky Mickey Party". While it might seem random to some, Easton has been watching the Haunted Monster Musical episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on repeat since June so I wasn't surprised in the least bit.

I've always been a sucker for a good theme and I may or may not have gone a little bit overboard when it came to planning his party. I had to talk myself off the Amazon ledge a few times to keep myself from ordering 10 foot tall Mickey Halloween inflatables.

We went with an afternoon party and served light finger foods including Mickey Chicken Nuggets, Spooky Spinach Dip, Peanut Butter & Jelly Bones and a haunted cheese platter. I used my Sharpie skills to turn mandarin orange cups into pumpkins which served as both a snack for the kids and a great table decoration.

I decided to go with the traditional Not So Scary colorway using black, orange, neon green and purple for most of our decorations and tableware. There is a real lack Disney branded Halloween party supplies so I mostly stuck with solid colors or basic seasonal decor with small Mickey accents where I could. I used a black plastic table cloth to cover up our usual dining room canvas to create the perfect backdrop for additional party decorations.

For Easton's cake, I did go all out and ordered a custom sprinkle mix made to match the Magic Kingdom's Not So Scary Halloween Party theme and I'm pretty sure it was the best $8 I've spent in a long time. His cupcakes were from Sam's Club and I just had them made with the solid colored icing and added my own Wilton sprinkle mix when I picked them up.

I wanted something simple looking for the boys' outfits so I ordered them solid black shirts off Amazon and then ironed on Mickey pumpkin patches and paired them with shorts from our favorite- June & January.

I set out some basic Halloween crafts for the kids to do on the back porch and had a color your own "Club Candy Corn" cardboard haunted play house for them as well. These cardboard play houses have become a bit of a tradition at our parties and the kids never seem to tire of playing with them. For favors I was able to find the perfect Disney Halloween sticker books at Micheal's for each kid to take home with them.

A huge thank you to my aunt, Maria, for making Easton's birthday banner and name sign. And to Justin for putting up with my party insanity and not asking questions when I gave him a list of things I wanted to do for the party.

Boys' Outfits:
Wasabi shorts: June & January (get 20% off your first order!)
Iron on patches: Ebay

Custom sprinkle mix on the cake: Sweet Treat Stencils

Decorations & Tableware
Glitter pumpkin stack
Halloween sectional party trays
Halloween Napkins
Table coverings
Solid colored tableware
Beverage tub: Target past season

Mickey Chicken Nuggets: Sam's Club
Cupcakes: Sam's Club
Halloween food picks
Bone cookie cutter

Playhouse and crafts: Micheal's in store only

Some of the above may be affiliate links. Nothing in the contents of this post was sponsored. All opinions and ideas are always my own. 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cookies

 These Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cookies are the perfect thing to ease you into Thanksgiving overload. Light, fluffy, sweet and just a hint of pumpkin- it's just enough fall to get you through until October rolls around. 

Do you have pumpkin whiplash yet? I know I do. I can barely open my laptop or turn on my iPad without being smacked in the face with pumpkin overload. Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Pumpkin Cupcakes, Pumpkin Candles: I have even seen Pumpkin Twinkies on Pinterest.

Whatever happen to easing into the holidays? It's still 85 degrees out. We plan on going in the pool this weekend. I can't start eating pumpkin pie right now. I want to get into the seasonal spirit but I can't justify opening a can of pumpkin puree just yet. So I made you a pumpkin spice fill in the blank dessert with just a hint of the good stuff.

When I saw this Limited Edition Philadelphia Pumpkin Cream Cheese I knew exactly what I would be making with it. Seriously, stock up on this stuff. It is like crack. I want to spread it on everything, no really, everything. And now that I have tried it, I have visions of frostings, bagels, donuts, breakfast foods and more. I am pretty sure I will be buying this about 957 times between now and late November.

It has a distinct pumpkin taste on its own but once you add it to chocolate chip cookie recipe you have a heavenly cloud of subtle pumpkin goodness. These cookies are just what the doctor ordered when it comes to curing your holiday themed food hangover.

Because really, it's not even October yet. And if Pinterest keeps it up with the pumpkin madness, I highly doubt anyone in my family will feel like a pumpkin spice anything by the time we finally make it to Thanksgiving dinner. So make these cookies and give your taste buds (and your can opener) a little break.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cookies
  • 10 tablespoons of butter
  • 8oz. of Philadelphia Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips
1.) Beat together butter, cream cheese, egg, sugar and vanilla until smooth.

2.) Mix together the rest of the dry ingredients (except chocolate chips).

3.) Slowly add and beat in dry ingredients mixing only until fully incorporated. 

4.) Stir in chocolate chips.

5.) Using a rounded cookie scoop, place scoops of dough onto a lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. 


Need more pumpkin in your life? Check our my Pumpkin Desserts Round Up for 40+ more recipes!

Friday, September 7, 2018

Snickers Bar Fudge

Easy three ingredient Snickers Bar Fudge- the perfect game day treat!

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Football season is a big deal in our family. With college football gearing up, we are already planning where we will be watching Notre Dame games this year. To say my family is a bunch of avid Notre Dame fans would be an understatement. 

We are third generation, brainwashed from birth, came home from the hospital in a leprechaun outfit, not allowed to get married during football season obsessed. As a kid we knew that football Saturdays were sacred and now as adults, our family members each pick a game to host a game watch for and the entire family plus friends we force to watch have converted make Notre Dame games the highlight of our Saturdays.

Something almost as important to my family as Notre Dame football would be dessert. It is not a game watch without a least a few different types of desserts. We usually all eat during halftime with dessert served after the meal, but in our family people have been known to sneak into the kitchen and steal desserts well before meal time. 

And when the game is over, my family also likes to fight over politely discuss who gets to take home the leftover desserts. And with 10-25 people in attendance at every game watch, we need a lot of desserts. 

With the happiness and mental stability of multiple family members on the line (especially when the game gets stressful or goes badly, which with Notre Dame is always a very real possibility), I try to plan ahead an provide plenty of dessert options when it's our turn to host. With as much dessert as we make in this house, those will be gone faster than you think. 

When it comes to game day desserts, I need recipes that can be made ahead of time and eaten while standing around the tv screaming at the refs. I am always looking for treats that are easy to make and easy to clean up after, especially since I have a few family members who tend to get a little heated during a game (here's looking at you Dad).  These two recipes more than fit the bill. 

This Snickers Bar Fudge is the perfect hand held dessert. I make it the night before and the morning of the game I cut it into squares and leave it already arranged on a plate in the fridge to pull out at half time. It needs no utensils and guests don't even need a plate (although if they used a napkin that would be nice). The chopped pieces of Snickers Bar sort of melt into the fudge when they are first mixed together so every bite has a little bit of gooey caramel and creamy nougat. The peanuts add a little crunch and with only three total ingredients, you can't find a much easier recipe to make. 

Have a family member who's not that into chocolate (that doesn't exist in my family but maybe yours is different)? Candy Bar Trifles are just the thing. I let my guests "do it themselves" on these. I just put out plastic cups, cake pieces, whipped cream and candy pieces and them them make their own.These can be eaten anywhere and with a plastic cup and plastic utensils, people can just throw them away when they are done which means no extra dishes for me. 

The only thing I will have to worry about with these desserts is if I made enough for everyone to not only eat during the game but to take home with them afterwards too. Unless my aunt decides to do one of her cheerleading jumps with a dessert in her hand, then I might need to worry about my carpet too. What your family doesn't randomly recreate cheerleading scenes from 1979 in your living room during intense plays? No? Just us? Maybe if you focus on the dessert photos you will be able to forget I said that. All family weirdness aside, here's hoping for a successful and not so stressful football season with plenty of desserts. GO IRISH! 

Snickers Bar Fudge
  • 3 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups of chopped Snickers Bars

1.) In a saucepan or in a double boiler combine the chocolate chips and the condensed milk. 

2.) Stir on medium heat until chocolate chips are completely melted and combined. 

3.) Turn off the heat and pour half of the mixture into a 9x9 pan lined with tin foil. Scatter the about a cup of the chopped Snickers Bar over the first layer of fudge.

4.) Top with the second cup of chopped Snickers. You may need to press them down into the fudge so that they stick. 

5.) Refrigerate overnight or for at least 8 hours. 

6.) Pull the foil edges up and use the foil to remove the fudge from the pan. Cut into squares to serve. Be sure to store leftover fudge in the fridge so it doesn't get melty. 

Candy Bar Trifles
  • 1 inch pieces of cake, I used yellow cake but you can use any type you like
  • Whipped Cream
  • variety of chopped candies, I used Milky Ways, Snickers, 3 Musketeers, Twix and M&M's
1.) In a small cup, layer cake pieces, whipped cream, candy and more cake pieces. Top with more whipped cream and crushed candy. Enjoy!

Happy Game Day!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Big Announcement/Where I've Been

You may have noticed it's been a little quiet around here the last few months. And that is because our family is very excited to be welcoming Baby Boy #2 early this November. We are overjoyed and feeling so blessed to be able to give Easton a sibling.

We really wanted to build on Easton's Disney pregnancy announcement but by the time we felt ready to take photos the weather had already gotten a little warm for a pregnant lady and toddler to try and take pictures in front of the castle so we decided to take some photos on the beach locally and incorporate a little bit of Disney for good measure. 

I designed the sign in PicMonkey (basic version is FREE) and had it printed up on card stock at Staples. We attached it to wooden dowels to get it to stay up in the sand. 

While taking these photos seems like it would be easy it was a disaster. Every time we tried to go to the beach to take them it would either rain or winds would be blowing 20 MPH. And to top it all off, Easton decided to be a true toddler and refuse to cooperate. I had grand plans of different styles of pictures but these were the best we got so we rolled with it. Such is life. 

I was excited that we got to use Easton's June & January anchor tank shorty for the photos. I actually found J&J but seeing images of their original anchor print from when they were formally Little Hip Squeaks. I followed the image from Pinterest to their new website only to find out it had been discontinued. So naturally I spend weeks on the BST pages tracking down old LHS anchor items and when they announced that anchors would be re-released this summer I made sure to grab a few things in Easton's size. New to June & January? Use this link and the code it takes you to for 15% off your first purchase. And Easton's outfit is on sale which is even better! 

We've had an amazing summer as a family of 3.5 and I can't wait to start blogging again after a relaxing break. Hope you have all enjoyed relaxing and restful summers too!

Check out of first Disney Pregnancy Announcement below!


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Toddler Beach & Pool Bag Must Haves

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BlueLizardSummer #CollectiveBias

Being a Florida baby, Easton has been going to the beach and pool since he was about six months old. For years Justin and I got used to being able to throw a few towels and chairs in the car and head down to the beach for a full day of relaxing. Now that we are parents our beach prep has changed quite a bit. To say we need more than a few towels and a cooler would be an understatement. 

The first few times we brought Easton to the beach we brought WAY too much stuff- 3 outfits, 5 diapers, multiple bottles and snacks. Then we went through a phase where we brought not enough with us and would end up having to leave way earlier than planned due to a hungry baby or a lack of extra diapers. 

I would like to think that over the last year we've gotten pretty good a packing a baby/toddler for the beach or pool and we have a pretty good checklist of our must haves to make getting ready for a day of fun in the sun easier for everyone. 

Our Toddler Beach & Pool Bag Must Haves

  • Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen - Baby: Sunscreen is our #1 must have for a day in the sun with Easton. I love Blue Lizard® products because they have a unique zinc oxide formulation and provide broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection. The Baby formula is SPF 30+ and paraben-free and fragrance-free
  • Long sleeved rash guard top: Even though we always apply sunscreen the long sleeves are great for longer days in the sun.
  • Dry change of shirt: Sometimes the rash guard can make Easton cold so I always pack a dry shirt in case he wants to take a nap or relax under the umbrella
  • Sippy cup with water: We learned the hard way that trying to keep your toddler hydrated with only bottles of water ends up with a lot more water spilled than consumed. Bringing his own zippy cup means he stays hydrated a lot easier. 
  • Beach & pool toys: We have set of beach/sand toys that always stay together for beach trips and a few smaller toys that we bring with us for the pool. This way he is entertained no matter where we are. 
  • Snacks: Even though Justin and I bring our own snacks, I always pack Easton's in his own separate snack cup. This way his sandy hands stay out of my pretzel bag. 
  • Pre-cut fruit: I love packing a little container of pre-cut fruit. I always make sure to prep it before hand so it is as easy as possible for Easton to snack on without bringing along utensils. 
  • Extra swim diaper: We learned the hard way that one swim diaper isn't always enough for a trip to beach or pool (believe me you don't want the details). Having an extra with us means our time in the water doesn't have to be cut short when unexpected accidents happen. 
  • Hooded towel- I always bring Easton his own sized, hooded towel. It cuts down on the bulk of bringing an extra regular sized towel and the hooded one stays on him better when we are drying off and getting ready to pack up. 

Getting ready for summer with your toddlers? Be sure to stop by your local Walmart and stock up on  Blue Lizard®.  I purchased mine at Walmart and was able to find it in the dedicated sunscreen display. Also be sure to check out Blue Lizard® Sunscreen's Patented Smart Bottle™ technology. The bottle changes color when exposed to l UV sunlight and can be used as a great teaching tool for kids on when to re-apply sunscreen. As will all things be sure to consult with your pediatrician before using sunscreen on a child younger than 6 months old. 

Even better? Right now you can earn $4 cash back when you join iBotta and purchase Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen - Baby, 5 oz. bottle only. iBotta is one of my favorite cash back apps so I was thrilled to see Blue Lizard® products included in their most recent cash back offers. 

Do you frequent the beach and pool with your babies and/or toddlers? What are you beach/pool bag must haves for summer? I would love to get some new ideas from your suggestions!

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