Party and Holiday Ideas

2017 Holiday Gift Guide

We’ve tried to curate a wide-range of quality toys, books, games, and more for all ages that have had staying power in our homes or our friends’ homes. Note: This post did have a giveaway on it, but it has expired. Note: We are a participant in the Amazon Services

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Pumpkin Dump Cake

I honestly cannot remember how I stumbled on this pumpkin dump cake recipe over 5 years ago. What I do know is that I make it multiple times each fall and winter. It is by far one of my husband’s favorite desserts I make and it serves as a great

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5 Tips for a Stress-Free Summer Party

Disclaimer: This article was created in partnership with Frigidaire. Don’t worry, the opinions are all mine! One of my favorite things to do in the summer is grill out with friends. I love the fun atmosphere of being outside, the smell of the grill, kids running around burning energy, yard

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Favorite Things Stocking Giveaway + Blog Hop! ($520+ Value!)

WE ARE PUMPED. Behold, you are experiencing our BIGGEST GIVEAWAY OF THE YEAR. Actually EVER on Thriving Home. We have put together a collection of our favorites and are giddy with excitement to pass all of these on to one super-duper-extremely-lucky reader. Wait. It gets better. And so do your

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I Heart Operation Christmas Child

Before I jump in, I wanted to remind you of our $100 Target gift card giveaway going on. Make sure you enter by commenting on this post of my review of up & up diapers and wipes! One of my favorite posts I’ve shared about on Thriving Home was about

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Apple Butter Weekend 2014

“It’s Apple butter Weekend.” Anyone who has known me for a while knows what I mean by this. For over 80 years my family has been gathering in October to make homemade apple butter. LOTS of homemade apple butter. Like 42 gallons of homemade apple butter. It is quite the

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Candy Corn Halloween Craft

For some reason I’ve been really excited about Halloween. It is a super fun holiday for kids (if you take the focus off the spooky stuff) and there are lots of great crafts little ones can do to celebrate. In light of my unexplainable excitement for Halloween, I’m kicking off

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Family Favorite Kitchen Gadgets

A few weeks ago my mom, sister and I put together a shower gift idea for our new sister in-law. We put together a basket of all of our favorite kitchen gadgets for her. It was so fun to do and hopefully a thoughtful way to welcome her into our

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Group Gift Idea for a Bridal Shower

Guess what? My brother is getting married! (By the time this post goes live, he will likely already be married). We are super excited to have a new sister in-law. Check out their killer engagement photo. Could that be any more perfect?? I wanted to share about a thoughtful gift

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Hand Print Fourth of July Shirts

I love hand print crafts. Love them. They give you a tangible snapshot of time when your little one’s hands where THAT small and remind you of how quickly they grow. In light of my intense love of anything involving hand prints,  I rounded up a few moms to to

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Easter Craft Idea: Little Bunnies

I mean, how you can you not even chuckle a little when you see this? Every time my husband and I walk past this Easter craft we have a little laugh. My two year old was more than delighted to see herself transformed into a bunny as well. I failed

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EASY Valentine Craft Idea for Toddlers and Kids

I’ve got a pretty simple Valentine’s Day craft idea for you today. My two-year easily did this with enthusiasm (for about 5 minutes) but it was enough to get it done! It takes very little prep and very little skill. Ready to get crafty? (Or at least LOOK like you’re

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Easy Cheap Science Birthday Party

Science Birthday Party: Blow Up That Balloon Experiment

As I’ve mentioned in Easy and Cheap Science Birthday Party: A Complete Guide, we did three different hands-on science experiments for my son’s 7th Science Birthday Party. All three worked well and were a huge hit with the kids (check out Experiment #2 and Experiment #3.) The first experiment we

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Easy Cheap Science Birthday Party

Science Birthday Party: Crazy Cupcake Concoctions

As I’ve been sharing in Easy and Cheap Science Birthday Party: A Complete Guide, we had so much fun at my son’s 7th Science Birthday Party. One of my favorite parts of the party, to be honest, was the easiest cake idea ever. You could do this for any birthday

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Easy Cheap Science Birthday Party

Science Birthday Party: How to Make Slime

As I’ve been sharing in Easy and Cheap Science Birthday Party: A Complete Guide, I planned three science experiments for the kids including making slime. There’s just no way around it: Slime is cool. Kids and adults alike love messing with this goo. Plus, making slime provides a hands-on way

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Easy Cheap Science Birthday Party: Mentos and Diet Coke Experiment.

Science Birthday Party: Mentos and Diet Coke Explosion

As I’ve been sharing in Easy and Cheap Science Birthday Party: A Complete Guide, I planned three science experiments for the kids including this grand finale, the Mentos and Diet Coke Explosion. It. was. pure. awesomeness. My dad captured the action well in this series of shots… I explained to

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Easy Cheap Science Birthday Party: How to make a science lab photo booth.

Science Birthday Party: Lab Photo Booth

As I mentioned in Easy and Cheap Science Birthday Party: A Complete Guide, part of our decor and activities included the Lab Photo Booth. This cute photo session helped our little scientists loosen up when they arrived at my 1st grade son’s Science Birthday Party. Near the photo booth, we

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10 Holiday Activities at Family Gatherings

6 Easy and Fun Holiday Activities at Family Gatherings

The Christmas spirit doesn’t have to stop after December 25! Here are a few easy ideas to do with family throughout the Christmas break, especially at gatherings. 1. Make a birthday cake for Jesus at Christmas. Here is our go-to Homemade Chocolate Cake recipe from Ina Garten. We make it

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The Gift of Granola: Cheap and Easy Christmas Idea!

This holiday season, I’ve come up with a super easy, budget-friendly gift idea. Homemade granola! Double the batch, divide it between 3-4 large mason jars, tie a ribbon around the top and you’ve got yourself a gift that almost anybody can appreciate. I think this could be perfect for a

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Apple Fig Walnut Tiny Tart {Pie in a Jar Recipe}

by Jessica Ellingsworth of Mayvn, Contributing Author If eating pie during the holidays is wrong, then I don’t wanna be right. Jessica here, and I, for one, love pie…but don’t like the over-richness that can accompany it. In my latest TH installment, I am giving pie a petite (and healthier!)

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Game Night: Make Your Own “Apples to Apples”

It’s no secret. I LOVE games. Especially ones that make a group laugh and make memories together, like the Rate Your Mate Game or The Question Game. Today, I’ve got another DIY oldie but goodie that my family has played time and again. Remember that popular board game Apples to

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Apple Butter Weekend: A Family Tradition

Ever made 150 pints of apple butter at once? Sounds crazy but my family does it every year. “Apple Butter Weekend” has been happening every October for as long as I can remember. It’s always something I look forward to and is the only thing besides weddings and funerals that

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pumpkin latte recipe

Crock Pot Pumpkin Spiced Latte

I am SO excited to share this recipe with you guys! I stumbled on this pumpkin spiced latte recipe and thought it’d be a great drink to serve to my small group that comes to my house each week. It was a hit! Just ask some of the girls who

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Easy Halloween Party Games

3 Easy Halloween Game Ideas: Perfect for School Parties!

Reposted from October 2012 I love thinking of and running games for kids…really people of any age. So, when I saw Katie’s awesome post at Kitchen Stewardship about Easy School Halloween Party Ideas, I put my own thinking cap on. Over the years I’ve worked with kids in various settings–camp

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How to Host a Clothing Swap

How to Host a Clothing Swap

A few nights ago, six gals accompanied with bags of clothes, shoes, and accessories gathered in my house for a clothing swap. It was SO fun! Not only did I get rid of clothes that I don’t wear but I got to exchange them for clothes that I will actually

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Mini Fruit Pizzas with Cream Cheese Frosting

I LOVE fruit. Love it. When I was pregnant with my first kid I went through a stage where all I wanted to eat was fruit salad. After a few months of that I moved into an orange-colored fruit kick. I ate tons of oranges, cantaloupe, clementines, etc. Even though

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Birthday Banner

Birthday Banner

(The following is a sponsored post by Banner Envy) This weekend was a blast. We celebrated my daughter’s second birthday along with her buddy Eleanor. The weather was perfect and the munchkins had a blast in our back yard (inexpensive) birthday party. I was fortunate enough to have one of

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Water Blob Fail

Water Blob Fail

Well friends, my grand ideas don’t always turn out like I planned. This is the case with my attempt at making a water blob for a play date we had a few days ago. First of all, you should know that we had four moms and eight kids under two

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Sneaky Valentine’s Day Treat: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

Sneaky Valentine’s Day Treat: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

Reposted from February 2012 I know there are times that a healthy treat isn’t warranted…especially on holidays. But, the deal with these Chocolate-Chip Cookie Dough Truffles is that they are decadent, delicious and healthy. So, why not make them today for your family as a special (and sneaky healthy way)

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DIY Valentine Garland

Ah yes, Valentine’s Day. The only time of the year that men will tolerate their homes to be decorated in pinks, reds, and hearts. Due to our lack of storage space, I keep the holiday decorating to a minium. However, I was feeling the itch to make a little Valentine’s

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Holiday Cookie Exchange

Holiday Cookie Exchange: A Fun Idea for Groups

Need a fun idea for a group get-together? We’ve previously shared some  fun group games such as Rate Your Mate and The Question Game. This activity isn’t so much a game though. It’s a cookie exchange! How to Organize a Cookie Exchange A few days before your event, tell all of your

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The Question Game: Fun for Small Groups

The Question Game: Fun for Small Groups

The fun group game for couples that I posted not long ago for Christmas parties has been really popular. A friend asked me, though, if I had a game that can be played with couples and singles, though. Why, yes, yes I do! The Question Game is another easy, get-to-know-you

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Fun Christmas Game for Couples

Fun Christmas Game for Couples

Re-posted from Dec. 14, 2011 Looking for a fun game for couples to play at your work, church, or family Christmas party this year? This is our go-to Christmas game with our small group Bible study groups each year. We get a nice “date night” gift card for the winners

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Recipe for Christmas Tree Water

I was reminded this week how much I love a REAL Christmas tree. Imperfect? Yep. Messy? Yep. A hassle? You bet. Worth it? Yes. The scent of a cedar tree in your house is unlike any other. The smell hits you every time you enter the room. It brought back

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Our Hand-Picked 2012 Gift Guide

The last thing we want to do is to make Christmas about the stuff. We value and celebrate Christmas because it reminds us of the greatest gift humanity has been given: Jesus. Our hope is that gifts are given as a reminder of the ultimate gift of salvation he gives

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10 Holiday Books to Read with Your Kids

10 Fantastic Holiday Books to Read to Your Kids

Guest post by Rachel Johnson from Somebody Come and Play Reading with children, especially with my daughter, is one of my ultimate favorites in life. There is nothing quite like connecting with a child over a great piece of literature. Watching their eyes light up as their eager hands turn

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Last Minute Trick or Treat Bag

Ready for Halloween? If you plan to trick or treat like we do (or as much as you can with a 17 month old) you’ll need a bag of some sort. This may seem obvious but it didn’t occur to me until yesterday. I figured it’d be pretty easy to

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Easy Halloween Party Games

Easy and Cheap Halloween Party Game Ideas (+ Free Printable)

I love thinking of and running games for kids…really people of any age. So, when I saw Katie’s awesome post at Kitchen Stewardship about Easy School Halloween Party Ideas, I put my own thinking cap on. Over the years I’ve worked with kids in various settings–camp counselor, babysitter, teacher, children’s

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Baby Shower Decoration

About a month ago, I helped throw a baby shower for a dear friend. We didn’t go too crazy with decorating for it but I did make up some of these paper onesies to scatter around the food and gift table. With my Silhouette, they were really easy to make.

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Fourth of July Wreath

Make Your Own Fourth of July Wreath

After seeing a Fourth of July fireworks stand being set up yesterday, I got really excited for the upcoming holiday! So when I stumbled on this wreath idea from Capital B, I got motivated and made one for myself! Fourth of July Wreath: A DIY Holiday Decorating Idea   Despite this project being a

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Birthday Onesie: A Silhouette Project

Birthday Onesie: A Silhouette Project

Here is just another example of what the Silhouette Machine can make. We just celebrated my daughter’s first birthday. I whipped up a special outfit for the event. Here is the front: …and here is the back. There is a lot of truth to this. Hehe. I love that with

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10 verses to pray for fathers

A Non-Traditional Father’s Day Gift: Commit to Pray for Dad

“A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.” -Billy Graham  Like many women out there, I struggle with what to get my husband for Father’s Day. Grilling tools? An iphone accessory? Gift cards? Some dads are

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Rachel’s Picks: Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Rachel’s Picks: Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Father’s Day is almost upon us! It’s not too late to make some last minute Amazon or other online orders, though. Here are a few of my picks based on what I know the men in my life like. Steve Jobs – My husband, I and many of our guy

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Wishes for the Baby: A Baby Shower Activity

Wishes for the Baby: A Baby Shower Activity

I think most people dread the cheesy games played at wedding and baby showers. Can I get an amen, friends of moms-to-be and brides-to-be?? So when it was my turn to throw a shower, I was really excited to stumble on this baby shower activity from lil sugar that was

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Homemade Card Idea: Use a Sewing Machine!

Homemade Card Idea: Use a Sewing Machine!

Here’s a simple, free way to make your own unique cards for people. You can use this for wedding cards, birthday cards, thank you cards, get well cards, etc. etc. All it takes is a sewing machine that does a few unique stitches and some plain cardstock paper (or something

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Hospitality Tips and Tricks for Hosting Groups of People

Hospitality Tips and Tricks for Hosting Groups of People

I’ve often been told that I have “the gift of hospitality.” Whether this is true or not, almost anything I learned about hosting groups most likely came from my mother. She is the queen when it comes to hosting groups of people. Growing up, it was not uncommon for there

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Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Don’t forget Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 13.  You should have plenty of time to make and receive an Amazon order for your mom or wife if you do it soon.  Here are a few of my favorite things or “I wants” to get you started thinking… (*Some of the

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An Eggcellent Easter Decorating Idea

An Eggcellent Easter Decorating Idea

I love repurposing things. In this little holiday decorating project, I repurposed these paint chips into… …an Easter garland! This project cost next to nothing (except for a few strange looks you may get by stocking up on so many different paint chips).  It could be a great craft idea

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Guest Post: Preparing Our Hearts for Easter

Guest Post: Preparing Our Hearts for Easter

Growing up, Advent and Lent were seasons that not just my church but my family observed. Both were times of anticipation and waiting. Both were times of drawing closer to the manger and to the cross. Both were opportunities my parents used to start intentional conversations about the Gospel. Lent

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Jesus' Birthday Cake

Jesus’ Birthday Cake

I mentioned last week that we’d be throwing Jesus a birthday party, like we’ve done the past few years on Christmas.  My kids seriously go nuts over this whole shindig.  Mainly, they love helping me make, decorate, and eat the cake.  Here’s the crazy delicious recipe I used once again. 

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Simple Holiday Decorating

Simple Holiday Decorating

Here’s a thrifty decorating tip: put something colorful in a vase! It can work for almost any holiday or occasion. When my blogging buddy, Rachel, offered me these decorative balls, I snatched them up with this idea in mind. I used this vase that was recycled from an arrangement of

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Monogram Gift Wrapping

Monogram Gift Wrapping

Is it bad that I’m tempted to unwrap all the presents under the tree just so I can re-wrap them to look like this? Guess I’ll just have to save this idea for upcoming birthdays. Source

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Creative Thank You Note: A Silhouette Project

Creative Thank You Note: A Silhouette Project

Don’t you love getting random packages in the mail? I do! It made my day when a family friend of ours sent my daughter this hilarious onesie. I wanted to send her a cute, festive thank you note for the gift. I’ll be honest. I hate buying cards. I think

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Fun Christmas Game for Couples (+ Free Printable)

Fun Christmas Game for Couples (+ Free Printable)

I’m known as the “game girl” around these parts.  Man alive, I love a good game or fun question in a group, especially ones that get people laughing or connecting in a social situation.  As an aside, I married a man who typically has an adverse reaction to group games

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