Wednesday, January 5, 2011

'Magical' Brownies In A Jar As Party Favors

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Zebra's golden birthday is today.  Her party was shared with her best friend, who is also turning five.  In an attempt to curb the size, we opted for the last weekend during our Holiday break.  We still managed to beat the record for largest party at the Jump Jump party location.  Apparently that's what happens when you invite the entire class at the end of two long snowy weeks.  Needless to say, my daughter was thrilled to party with 38 of her closest friends (and their siblings).

This is a hard time of year to figure a guest list to help with preparing party favors.  I looked into buying magical beans.  Have you heard of these?  They like grow seedlings with words on them.  SO cool.  Check them out (BTW, I'm not endorsing this company, and have not ordered from them).  Estimating the number of beans we would need was hard since I'd hate to leave out siblings who also attended the party.  Sometimes **** can hit the fan when they aren't presented with a goodie bag, too.  And come on, would I really have wanted to assemble 38 goodie bags that so many times are filled with red lead from china?

So my plan?  A family gift of brownie mix in a jar.  I came across this gift idea from my friend, photographer Ari from Amen Photography (and builder o' candy cane trees). My friend and co-host of the party, suggested we use the recipe from Allrecipes.com.  We added on the suggested changes in our jars' recipe and replaced nuts with a colorful mint candy I found in the bins at Winco.
Filling the jars was really no easy task.  Ours were definitally not clear cut layers as can be seen if you google images of brownies in jar.  But ours were made with love and deemed magical.  (Magic five year old style, not Grateful Dead fan style).  For some reason the ingredients placed in our jar left no extra room for the top layer of candy.  We decided to put these in a bag on the side, which is probably a good thing for those who decide to hold off on their daily dose of artificial additives.

Our labels are a photograph of the birthday girls photoshopped on top of a photo of the attached candy next to the instructions under the title..(didja get that?)  I used three strips of packaging tape to adhere the photo to the outside of the jar.  All ingredients were bought from bulk bins at Winco.  The total price including jars, excluding fabric and photos was $70.  That's about three bucks a pop and in my experience, a pretty good price for a fun party favor.
The favors have received a very positive response, including the final brownies.


Christmas cards are still rolling in.  I love this time of year for even the mail alone!  I did a little something different with my card display then I have in the past.  Last year's was cute but a little too much work for a busy time of year, and a little too destructive to the cards I wanted to keep on my garage fridge.

Clothes pins were perfect to attach to ribbon that I taped to the inside of my bookshelf door.  Don't open the doors though, I can't guarantee they won't all fall.  Perhaps next year I'll actually staple gun them to the inside.  In fact towards the bottom I actually ran out of ribbon and just pinned card to card.

How adorable would this look if each clothes pin were made into Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer (as I'm sure you probably made in school when you were little).  So someday when I have four extra hours I'll get right on that!  And since my time estimation is usually far from accurate, that's probably more like four extra days.  BUT....it would be cute.

January for me now means auction art project time.  Remember last years Vase With Flowers?
This year I'm helping Zebra's class AND Ryder's class so I'll soon have lot's to share.  Until then I'll leave you with a couple teasers.....

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