Saturday, December 31, 2011

Top 12 Pinwhirl Posts of 2011

As we wrap up 2011, we're excited about what the New Year will bring. We're also proud of what we've accomplished in the last 12 months, and we're so thankful for all of our Pinwhirls customers and supporters out there.

Cupcake Toppers
So much happened this year, and October was a particularly great month for us. Pinwhirls was featured on Martha Stewart's Dreamers Into Doers and we hosted a fun giveaway at Catch My Party. Plus, we've grown to more than 200 fans on our Facebook page. It's been a fantastic year!

Wedding Pinwhirls
Before we take the plunge into 2012, here's a look back at some of our top posts on the Pinwhirl Parties Blog from 2011.

The Party Is Right Here!

Party Invitations

From our house to yours, we wish you a safe and happy 2012!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Year's Eve Activities for Kids

Do you have plans for the family this New Year's Eve? It's fun to stay up late and watch the ball drop from Time's Square, but kids need lots of fun activities to keep them occupied while they wait to ring in the New Year. We've compiled a list of great activities that are fun for the whole family and great for getting school aged kiddos excited about celebrating a fun new year. So put on your party hats and get ready to celebrate!

Write Your New Year's Resolutions Together

Coming up with New Year's resolutions can be fun. The trick is to make sure you keep everything simple and light-hearted. For starters, scrap the long and tedious lists and promises to get in better shape. Instead have each member of the family come up with just one or two small resolutions. Then make sure your resolutions are all about having fun! For example, you could commit to visiting 5 different local parks in the upcoming year or make plans to play board games together a couple of times each month. 

Make Predictions for the New Year 

As a family, write down your prediction for the next 365 days, then keep track of them throughout the year to see how many things actually happen. Here are a few questions that might help you get started with a fun list of predictions:
  • How many soccer games will Sarah's team win next year?
  • How many different kinds of vegetables will you harvest from the family garden?
  • How many parties will the family attend?
  • How many jars of peanut butter will the family buy next year?
Celebrate the New Year in Every Time Zone

Okay, so staying awake for every time zone might be hard to pull off. You can still track the New Year across the globe in several different time zones. This activity is a great way to learn about science and geography while you party. For extra fun, see if you can say "Happy New Year" in the languages of the different countries as you make the count down. (Hint: use this cheat sheet for help.)

More Game and Activity Resources

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Favorite Family Christmas Traditions

One of the best ways to make Christmas meaningful this year and every year is to establish thought family Christmas traditions. There are so many things we can do together as families to celebrate the warmth and love of the holiday season.

Tell Stories

It might be difficult to recreate the holidays exactly as you experienced them at your grandmother's house when you were a small child. However, you can borrow from the inspiration of Christmases past to start new holiday traditions with your own family. One of our favorite ways to do this is to pass on cherished stories of Christmases past. While you make holiday treats, decorate the tree, or open gifts, share your memories of loved ones and friends with your own children.

Make it a DIY Christmas

Get the children involved in the holiday festivities and work on a handmade project together. It can be something as simple as making a new family ornament for the Christmas tree (we have some DIY pinwhirls in festive holiday colors to adorn your tree) or baking and decorating cookies together. (By the way, don't miss our previous post, Favorite Holiday Cookie Recipes!)

Help a Needy Family

If you're able, you might want to consider adopting a family this Christmas. Many local charities are willing to pair you with a family that needs helping this holiday season. Your family can buy groceries and select and wrap gifts for each member of the family. It's a great way to spread holiday cheer and be reminded of how blessed you are to have each other as well as your material blessings.

Read Together

Every night before bed leading up to Christmas, read a treasured holiday story. From The Night Before Christmas to the nativity story, everyone gets a chance to hear their favorite Christmas classic read aloud. If you're children are old enough, they can read to the family too. That way everyone gets a chance to participate.

What are your favorite Christmas traditions? 
Which traditions have been in your family the longest?

Photo Credit: MeiTeng

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Top Holiday Cookie Recipes

It's that time of year again! Time for holiday baking and sweet treats. Not only are Christmas cookies the stuff Christmas is made of, they are great gifts for teachers, neighbors, coworkers, and sitters.

If you are tired of the same old sugar cookie and chocolate chip cookie recipes, we think you might enjoy baking these delicious recipes we've compiled from one of our favorite sites - Pinterest!

Honey Cookies: These cookies from the Pastry Affair look delicious and are made with honey, brown sugar, and a blend of holiday spices. If you're looking for a soft  Christmas cookie that's elegant in its simplicity, we think you'll want to click over and copy down the recipe.

Hot Cocoa Cookies: Pip & Ebby did their take on a recipe from EveryDay with Rachael Ray magazine. And these hot cocoa cookies look like the perfect sweet treat for chocolate lovers—so delicious! Who doesn't love a little cocoa and marshmallow?

Source: via Emily
Refrigerator Cookies: We all know the holidays are busy. Wouldn't it be nice to have something on hand you could bake up as you needed them? These recipes from the Charlotte Observer include:
  • chocolate chip refrigerator cookies
  • pinwheel refrigerator cookies (our favorite!)
  • refrigerator shortbread cookies
Mix things up with nuts, candies, sprinkles, frosting and more to bake the perfect holidays cookies for your family or as gifts for neighbors, teachers, and friends.