Host a Freezer Meal Exchange

What was the world before Pinterest… Seriously. I don’t even “Google” anything anymore. It’s right to Pinterest for me… haha. But really, that’s where I found all of the ideas for my latest girls’ night get together.

First, I saw this and thought, that would be a great way to get some new recipes and meal ideas for my family! Plus it saves yourself a ton of work and money! So I created a group on Facebook, invited my local friends that were interested and we chose a date. We used the Facebook group to have a sign up so nobody brought the same thing and we knew exactly how many meals to make.

Freezer Meal Exchange

We ended up with six girls that came, so everyone made six meals, kept one at home and brought five to the exchange. Then we each went home with five different meals to stock our freezers!

A couple things that could make things run more smoothly…

  • Everyone made a copy of their ingredients, heating instructions, etc. and attached it to their meal in some way. A couple of the girls did freezer bags and wrote the directions in Sharpie. Genius!
  • Ask everyone to bring their meals in clothes baskets! Easy carry in, easy carry out!
  • When your exchange guests arrive have them stack their meals in piles for each guest that way when it’s time to go home everyone just loads up their pile of different meals.

We had the best time just hanging out once everyone arrived. We just chatted, let our kids play and enjoyed a girls night out of the house! Well, for everyone but me. But it was nice to have guests over. 😉

I made this and served it with strawberries and apples. I also served a cheese ball and crackers, and we tried this .

Brown Sugar Fruit Dip

Yummy treats and fun times with friends! Plus now I have a fully stocked freezer with a variety of meals that I didn’t have to put together!!! Win, win, win!!!

In case you’re wondering I made this for my freezer meal to trade and we had it for dinner the other night… DELICIOUS!!!

Tell me, have you ever hosted a Freezer Meal Exchange? Have any tips for making our next one easier/more fun? What’s your go to freezer meal??

Hidden Valley Ranch Feast

Good Monday morning lovelies!!! Only two days now until Christmas! I hope you’re ready! 😉 Today I have a fun dinner party to share with you! I was invited to host a Hidden Valley Ranch Feast as a member of Crowdtap.

The plan was to invite some family and friends over, have them bring recipes made with Ranch as sort of a pot-luck dinner and then share the recipes with one another. I was sent a box of Hidden Valley Ranch goodies to use during the party that included a Team Ranch t-shirt, a bottle of ranch, samples of Hidden Valley Italian dressing, Ranch dressing and dip mix, and Ranch To Go packets.


For my main recipe I made . It’s a super simple recipe I found on Pinterest.

Hidden Valley Ranch Recipe

I also put together a huge salad bar, as requested by my husband. A big salad covered in Ranch dressing is one of his favorite things!

Salad bar party

One guest brought  a jalapeno ranch dip and another brought potato soup flavored with a Hidden Valley Ranch packet! Both recipes were delicious!!! My nephew Chancey was happy to sport the Team Ranch t-shirt as our official Ranch mascot.

Team Ranch Hidden Valley Ranch Party

My niece, Corryn was in charge of handing out samples of Ranch to Go and the Italian Dressing.

Hidden Valley Ranch Feast

Overall everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and the dinner. We each learned a few new recipes to make for our own families using Ranch as an ingredient. The salad bar was a big hit. Everyone loved being able to put together their own salads. I definitely recommend trying one for your next big dinner get together!

Your turn: What is your favorite recipe using ranch as an ingredient??

Disclosure: I received the Hidden Valley Ranch Kit as a member of Crowdtap. As always opinions shared here are 100% my own.

Rustic Mason Jar Centerpieces

Disclosure: I received the materials for this project from Consumer Crafts as part of a campaign for The Blueprint Social.

This past Saturday I hosted a bridal shower for one of my best friends. The theme? Rustic but feminine. I have several fun photos from the shower itself to show you and I will sometime next week, but today let’s focus on the centerpieces!

rustic mason jar centerpieces

To make these centerpieces you’ll need:

jar centerpieces

Step 1: Measure, cut and glue burlap ribbon around the center of each mason jar. To glue the ribbon down I drew a strip of hot glue in the center of each jar, wrapped the ribbon around and drew another strip of glue over the top of the first strip.

mason jars for bridal shower

Step 2: Measure, cut and wrap a piece of the suede lace around the center of each mason jar, centered over the burlap. Tie the ends in a knot. I didn’t glue down the suede lace so I can easily change it out for future parties. You might use white ribbon for a wedding, pink lace for a little girl’s birthday, etc…

Mason Jar Centerpieces

Step 3: Place a bandana in the center of your table, center a mason jar on the bandana and fill the mason jar with baby’s breath flowers! Viola! Centerpiece complete.

Bonus Step: Use extra mason jars to hold utensils and extra bandanas as table decorations on the food table. Utilizing the extra materials ties the rest of the bridal shower decorations together.

bandana bridal shower

I may have even used extra materials to make a ‘bridal shower mason jar wishing well’ instead of a guest book for the bride! 😉 I hope you’ll stop back by next week to see that project!

Happy crafting lovelies!!

For more fun mason jar crafting materials and ideas check out Consumer Crafts on , , , and their blog! OR check out the links below for ideas from my fellow bloggers!

Spice Up Family Nights with Mexican-Themed Bingo

This is a guest post.

Most people know about Cinco de Mayo. What some don’t realize is that it is in fact not Mexican Independence Day. Cinco de Mayo celebrates the Battle of Puebla. Mexican Independence Day is actually on September 16th, which also kicks off the Hispanic Heritage Month. Those who want to spice up their September with a bit of Mexican flavor can join in the celebrations with a Mexican-themed bingo party.

Bingo has long been one of the go-to activities for family get-togethers. Now’s the perfect time to throw a bingo party, what with the recent surge in the game’s popularity. Be it at churches, clubs, or binguez, more and more people are once again coming together for a night of bingo.

There are a lot of things you can do to make your Mexican-themed family bingo night special without breaking the bank. Most of the bingo equipment you need can be made at home. You can even have a pre-bingo night DIY day and have everyone join in. Here are a couple of great resources that you can use:

1. DIY bingo bag on Cutoutandkeep – All you need is a pattern, fabric, and some sewing tools. For extra flavor, use brightly-colored fabric printed with geometric designs.
2. DIY bingo cards on Tip Junkie – You can find a whole slew of printable bingo cards here. You can stick with the classic numbered bingo cards, but you can also substitute the numbers with Spanish words and pictures. That way everybody learns something while having fun.
3. DIY bingo ball and mixer – For the balls, all you need are ping pong balls and a marker. The cage requires a bit of work, though. Here’s a tutorial on eHow.

When your bingo equipment is done and ready to go, don’t forget to prepare some Mexican food as well. If you don’t know any taco, nachos, or enchilada recipes, don’t order take-out just yet. Stick to the DIY spirit. You can find a whole load of great recipes on the net. Just have fun with it and make sure you enjoy your Mexican-themed bingo night.

Little Cowgirl Baby Shower #1

On May 18th one of my best friends, Meghan, and my sister in law, Brianne, hosted a sweet Little Cowgirl Baby shower for me and baby girl Mortensen. Kayli took all of the photos so I’ve been waiting on her to get them sent to me, but I have them now and I am excited to share the sweet baby shower my friends and family threw!

So this is a little all over the place… Lots of photos for me to share with you but also so that I’ll have something to help me remember. 😉 Apologies…

cowgirl baby shower cake

The cake was actually made and decorated by my next door neighbor! My sister in law commissioned her to make it for the party… Until then I didn’t even know she made cakes!?! Funny how someone can have an amazing talent and you not even know! I LOVED the little Precious Moments cake topper. *Random fact, I collected Precious Moments trinkets and things when I was little!

For the food they created a nacho bar. There were tortilla chips, hot nacho cheese and just about any topping you could ever want… olives, green onions, seasoned beef, jalapeno peppers, and more! They were seriously so yummy!!! There were also some fruit trays and dip.

little girl diaper cake

Speaking of cakes, how cool is this diaper cake!?! ALSO made by my next door neighbor and her daughter! Right now I have it displayed in baby girl’s room. The diapers are size 4 so I have some time before I need to ‘use’ the cake… 😉

baby shower game

One of the games we played was the ‘What’s in your purse’ game. We were given a list and then had to go through our purses to see how many of the list items were in your bag. Jastine, my husband’s step-sister, had all kinds of goodies in her purse. We went through her change and I’m pretty sure she had every state quarter ever made in that sucker! 😉 haha.

baby shower game ideas

Another of the games we played was guessing the price of the baby items. There was a bottle, baby food, binkies, baby lotion, etc. and you had to guess what each item cost. They gave two prizes, one for the most items guessed within ten cents, and one for the overall total closest to the actual total… Guess who won? 😉 I had the most guesses correct within ten cents and Kayli won for the closest overall total! Door prizes were pretty smelling hand soaps from Bath & Body Works!! Whoop!

In that photo up above you can see one of the decoration elements was a little ‘clothes line’ with cowgirl clothes hanging on it. Of course I got to take home all of the cute little clothes AND all of the baby items from the guess the price game!

playing baby shower games

I was so blessed to have so many of my closest friends and family come to this shower. At least the ones close to the area that we live in now. We had a great turnout and it was fun to see everyone.


Sister in law, Jessie. Mom. Kassi. Kayli.

We were also blessed to receive so many adorable baby clothes, baby necessities and the like. Let’s just say baby girl’s closet is fully stocked from newborn through 12 months old now! 😉

Kassi and Meghan

Kassi and Meghan

On the invitation guests were asked to bring a signed children’s book instead of a card so we received lots of books to start baby girl’s very own little library! The guest book was even a little cowgirl book about a girl that needed a horse. All of the guests signed it for us to keep! {You can kind of see it on top of the basket in the next photo…}

cowgirl baby shower

One of the special gifts I received was a live orchid from my friend, Meghan. She just had a baby boy back in October and her mom gave her an orchid. They are supposed to be proponents of calm, peace and serenity. She said I’m supposed to put it somewhere I’ll see it often and when I get stressed (as you will with a new baby), looking at it is supposed to help me feel less overwhelmed and just better. Such a neat idea, right!?!

You can also see the party favors in the photo above. Meghan made homemade trail mix and then bagged it in cute little brown paper bags that said ‘Happy Trails’. SO fun!


The definite star of the show was little mister Reiner! Meghan’s baby boy and my godson. Such a handsome little cowboy he is already! We’ve already decided him and baby girl Mortensen will be the best of friends. 😉

Kassi and Brianne

Kassi and Brianne

While us girls were at the shower the gents all got together for a round of golf and a diaper party to celebrate Nate becoming a daddy. We received all kinds of diapers and hopefully won’t have to buy any for a really long time! I HIGHLY recommend hosting a diaper shower for your daddy to be!!! Or asking a friend to host it for you! The guys all had a good time hanging out and we raked in the diapers!


Thanks so much to Meghan and Brianne for hosting the shower and everyone that came and spent a fun afternoon with us!

DOT Girls Mocktail Party

Hey friends! This last weekend I had the opportunity to host a fun mocktail party as a member of The DOT Girls on Crowdtap.  {If you haven’t joined yet, what are you waiting for!?!} I received a party kit full of all kinds of dot goodies including a full size bottle of the new DOT by Marc Jacobs fragrance, a small travel size bottle of the fragrance, samples to share with friends, dot nail decals to share and decorations for the party!


The day of the party my sister helped me get together a few fun dot snacks and drinks. I pinned some and picked a drink and ‘dot’ snacks that I thought everyone would enjoy. To start with I made melon ‘dots’ for what seemed like hours… but wasn’t really all that long. 😉 Have you ever tried to make a decent melon ball?? It’s harder than it looks!

melon balls

Kayli helped me make some yummy spice cupcakes that she iced and I topped with polka dot sprinkles for the sweet. I also served some chips as a salty option. Since I’m 29 weeks pregnant, one friend is nursing and the rest don’t normally drink I stuck to one ‘mocktail’ for this party and made some virgin Sangria following this recipe. I served the Sangria in wine glasses and the treats on red plates with black and white polka dot napkins!

polka dot party snacks

The main table was decorated with a black table cloth, red dot confetti, a red dotted handkerchief as the centerpiece and then I displayed all the samples right in the center.

DOT by Marc Jacobs Sample Party

I also hung red dotted balloons above the table. All of the decorations came in my party packet excluding the plates and napkins that I purchased at Wal-Mart.

Polka dot party ideas

Once my guests arrived we enjoyed some snacks, visited and talked about the new DOT fragrance by Marc Jacobs. Because two of my guests had baby boys with them we opted to send the nail decals home for when everyone had some time to try them out for themselves. The babies made for some fun entertainment during the party though! 😉

Dot by Marc Jacobs


You can see my in my dot shirt here with two late party comers. 😉 My sister and her friend had a church activity to go to during the party, but they came afterwards and enjoyed some snacks and some samples.

Dot party

My thanks to Crowdtap and the DOT by Marc Jacobs fragrance for giving me a fun reason to invite my friends over to enjoy each others company, some yummy treats and a delicious smelling perfume!!! I live tweeted the party and party preparations . Or you can check out my .

If you haven’t tried the DOT fragrance yet I highly recommend it. I have been wearing it for the weeks leading up to the party and since then… My husband even likes it and he’s picky about smelly stuff… 😉

Tell me friends, what is your go to perfume???

Woolite Clothing & Accessories Exchange

Hey friends! How’s your week so far?? Today I’m sharing my recent Woolite In Home Clothing & Accessories Exchange Boutique! What a mouth full, right!?! But we had the BEST time! {Please pardon the photo overload!}

Woolite In Home Boutique

First things first, this was a sponsored party via Woolite and Crowdtap. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, if you haven’t joined Crowdtap yet, you really should get on that! You’ll have the opportunity to host fun parties, try free products and share your opinion! I received several samples of Woolite’s Everyday Laundry Detergent to share and discuss with my guests. Then I got to plan a fun party around doing so!!!


I decided to purchase my own bottle of Woolite Everyday before the party so that I could test the product and then be able to share my own opinion at the party. The verdict? I loved the scent! My clothes came out of the washer smelling fresh and clean, but not overwhelming. I really do think that with continued use my clothes will look better over all.

The party planning started with inviting several friends and family over to my house for a clothing and accessories exchange. I asked everyone to bring 3-5 items to trade and even sent out a few ideas via my Facebook page and through Instagram pics. You can check out the live tweets from before and during . Just look for the hashtags #wooliteers and #woolitewashed.

I went with a sort of bright colors and Spring theme for the party since it was held right before Easter weekend. Treats were centered around bright colors and Easter candy! {Please excuse the bad lighting, it was late evening during the party!}

Spring party

The pink punch was served in mason jars with striped paper straws. To make your own Sparkling Spring Pink Punch combine two, two liter bottles of Strawberry Lemonade and one 20 oz. bottle of club soda. Serve on ice!

Sparkling Spring Punch Recipe

Sweets included chocolate dipped Peeps on skewers, Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans {my favorite!!!} and chocolate dipped pretzels with pink sugar sprinkles!

Easter Party Treats

To offset so many sweets I also served a fruit tray and this easy two ingredient fruit dip. {It’s a party staple in my house!} And I made up my own version of the tortilla pin wheels! To make your own you’ll need:

  • 5 or so large flour tortillas
  • 2 8 oz. packages of cream cheese (room temperature for easier mixing!!)
  • A small can of chopped black olives
  • A small can of chopped green chiles (or use fresh like I did and just peel and chop about two large chiles)
  • 1 package of ranch dressing mix

Mix all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl or electric mixer, then spread on your tortillas. Roll tortillas up, wrap in plastic wrap and store in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Cut into thin slices and serve!

party treat ideas

Once my guests arrived we enjoyed some treats, visited and talked about the Woolite Everyday Laundry Detergent samples.

Woolite Washed Party

Woolite Washed Party

I decorated the boutique area with a bright striped table cloth and bright colored bags for guests to take home their goodies. I stuck a ‘Thanks for Swapping‘ message on each bag.

clothing exchange shopping bags

After treats it was time to swap!!! The table was covered with cute tops, jewelry, scarves, dresses, shoes and more! I made paper numbers and had each guest draw a number. Number one got to choose one item of clothing, then number two took her turn and so on.


Oh, and just in case you were starting to wonder if I was even there… haha. I took a turn shopping as well! I even found a few really cute items to wear with my preggo belly for the next couple of months!!!

By the time all of the items were gone from the table everyone had several new to them items to take home!

Thanks to Woolite and Crowdtap for sponsoring this fun party! As always opinions expressed on Truly Lovely are 100% my own thoughts!!!

DIY Fancy Drink Cozies

Hey there pretties! I don’t think I’ve mentioned it on the blog yet, but this September I am a bridesmaid in two different weddings for two of my closest friends. In case you missed the memo, I am also expecting our first little one this summer, in July to be specific, so around the time I’m supposed to be hosting bachelorette parties, bridal showers and the like I will also be caring for a brand new baby! My plan is to get as much done ahead of time as possible so hopefully I won’t be too stressed out when the time comes. SO today I’m sharing my first bachelorette party project!!


When I think of bachelorette parties words that come to mind are BLING, FANCY, PRETTY! So I went with that theme for my bachelorette party favors and made these fun DIY Fancy Drink Cozies.

To make your own you’ll need:

  • Foam drink cozies
  • Bling on a Roll
  • Feather boa accents
  • Glue gun and glue sticks
  • Scissors
  • Spray adhesive (not pictured below)


First you’ll want to measure how much Bling on a Roll you’ll need to wrap around your cozies, then cut it to fit using the scissors. FYI: It’s super easy to cut into any shape you’d like!!! Then spray the back of your strip with the spray adhesive and wrap it around the cozie making sure it sticks down as you go.


Once all your cozies are blinged out, measure and cut a length of feather boa to go around the top of each cozie, then glue it on using a hot glue gun.

boa topped drink cozies

Just keeping it real… crafting with feather boa makes a CRAZY mess!!! But it’s so worth it! :) OH and a quick tip, the feathers vacuum up really easy with one of those little hand vacs!

feather boa craft

I’m excited to gift each of the bachelorette party guests with their own fancy drink cozie including the bride herself!

Your turn! Know of any fun bachelorette or bridal shower ideas I should consider???

bachelorette party cozies

Bling on a Roll can be purchased in several different widths and colors! Also shown in my materials photo up above are Gemz. They are another fun option for blinging up your projects and can also be cut into any shape and size. To find more fun project ideas Become a fan of Darice on Facebook, follow @Darice_Crafts on Twitter or follow Darice on Pinterest.

Check out the links below for more ideas on crafting with Bling on a Roll and Gemz products!!!

Cowboy Baby Shower Games

Today is the final chapter in my Little Cowboy Baby Shower series!
To wrap it up, how about some baby shower games!
You can see an overview of the entire shower here, the chocolate favors that I made here, and what I wore here.

I kept the games fairly simple. You’ve seen this photo before, but what you can see here is that one of our main ‘games’ was to have each guest write their address on an envelope and put it in a bowl. From there we drew out names to win door prizes. This ‘game’ as it were,  saves Mommy to be from having to address thank you notes or hunt down addresses for her guests!

western baby shower

You can also see the cute country ‘wrapped’ door prizes on the right of the table. To see how I crafted those make sure to visit my craft contributor post on Making the World Cuter tomorrow! 😉

Another of the games we played was ‘Guess the Items for Baby Cowboy‘. I took several baby items, nine in fact, and put them in a brown paper bag, labeled them with a number and stapled them shut. Shower guests were able to pass the bags around, try to feel what was inside and then write down their guess.

ideas for a baby shower game

Once each of the nine bags had made the rounds Mommy to be opened them. If a shower guest had guessed the right item they got a point. Most points won a prize! The items I used included a bottle, pacifiers, baby socks, etc. To make things a little tougher I purchased one of those travel kits that includes baby items like shampoo, baby wash, powder, etc. Because most of the bottles were shaped alike, it was a little harder to guess which was what! As an added bonus, at the end Mommy to be got to keep all of the baby items!!!

Baby shower tip: I had a box of cheapo pens on hand so guests weren’t searching for one… You know how that goes at most showers… There’s never enough things to write with!

I also created some printables that guests could write their answers on. I printed this game and another that I’ll talk about shortly on each side of a paper. So when it came time to play we passed out the papers to each guest, they played the first game, turned their paper over and played the next game!

Because I love you, you can access all the . It’s in Google docs, so you’ll need to download the file, then re-space the items to your liking before you print them out. :) The file includes sheets for the guess the items game, numbers for the guessing bags, AND sheets for Mommy and Daddy Trivia, the third game we played.

For Mommy and Daddy Trivia, I emailed the mommy to be a set of questions to answer before the shower.
Questions I asked included; Where did Mommy/Daddy grow up? What was Mommy and Daddy’s first date? Who did Mommy tell about baby first? Who did Daddy tell first? What was Mommy/Daddy’s favorite book?
The person that answered the most correctly won a prize. Don’t forget to have a tie breaker question or two!!! We needed one and had to have Mommy to be make one up on the spot! 😉

So that’s it! The Little Cowboy Shower was SO SO much fun! Hope you find my tips and ideas helpful for YOUR next baby shower!

Before you go… What’s YOUR favorite baby shower game???

Cowboy Baby Shower Chocolate Favors

Remember last week I promised a post on the Cowboy Chocolate Favors that I made for my best friend’s baby shower?
Well here you go! 😉

cowboy baby shower guest book frame

These were so, so fun to make and I was completely pleased with how they turned out!
It just so happened that a few weeks before the baby shower Kayli and I walked into JoAnn’s to find a sale on candy supplies! I got everything I needed to make these adorable favors for about $20!
The cowboy boot and hat chocolate molds .

chocolate cowboy favors

I used Kayli’s method of melting chocolate…
A saucepan of boiling water, a pie pan on top, chocolate in the pie pan, stir until completely melted.

how to melt chocolate without an actual double broiler

Then I filled the candy squeeze bottle with the melted chocolate and then filled the candy molds. I didn’t need the squeeze bottle so much for the cowboy hats as they were a larger mold, but it was SO nice to have for filling the smaller boot molds!

candy squeeze bottle

A quick tap or two of the molds on the counter top and the chocolate smoothed right out! The molds went into the freezer for about five-eight minutes. Once I took them out they popped right out of the molds!

cowboy chocolate candy

I made both blue colored and brown chocolates. To package them I put a mix of blue and brown in a candy bag.

chocolate baby shower favors

I stamped some brown Kraft tags purchased from Pick Your Plum with a red ‘Thanks Friend’ stamp.
{Thanks to my sister in law, Brianne, for the stamp!!!}
And tied one tag around each bag of chocolates.

Cowboy Party Favors

To display the favors at the baby shower I used a rope basket from my wedding, a basket I snagged from my mom at some point {thanks mom!!} and some red paisley fabric…

favors for a cowboy baby shower

We handed one out to each guest at the end of Meghan’s baby shower to say thanks for coming.

If nothing else, Meg was impressed… She kept telling people, “Look, these are chocolate!
Her dad cracked me up… he told her, “Good… just what you need Meg.”
I couldn’t agree more… any pregnant mommy-to-be should have some chocolate!!! 😉

Linking this here and here and .

P.S. Hope you enjoyed this post! If so, we’d love if !