Nikki is a winner of Top 25 Party Planning Moms - 2013

What's the most creative dessert idea you've come up with for a party? Please share a link if you have one.

What's a cool DIY project you would recommend for party decorations?

What are some of your favorite kid-friendly party snacks that are healthy too?

What's your kids' favorite homemade popsicle or frozen treat?

Nikki

My kids absolutely LOVE making miniature ice cream sandwiches. They're just the right size for little fingers and tiny appetites. A fun, tasty treat that's big enough to satisfy, but small enough not to spoil dinner.
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What's a great theme you've done for your child's birthday? Please share a link with a photo.

Nikki

I love every party I've done, but I absolutely love the Sprinkles themed birthday party I recently threw for my 3 year old daughter. She's the one who suggested the theme, and as soon as she did, I knew it was brilliance! I love themes that are simple, accessible, whimsical--but not available at my local party store. I went nuts making sprinkle treats and crafts. Hooray for Sprinkles! Here's the link to the first post in the series, including many tutorials of the things I made for the party: http://tikkido.com/node/656
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Help us create the ultimate Western-themed birthday party! Please share an idea for a game, recipe, party favor, decoration, etc. that's perfect for a Cowboy/Cowgirl party. Include a link to a photo if you have one!

Nikki

Here's an easy sweet treat to make with old west/cowboy/gold rush flare: edible golden nuggets! Inspired by the gold mining history of the Superstition Mountains for the Gold Rush BBQ party, these edible golden nuggets were the hit of the dessert table. Serve them in a battered old pie tin for the perfect panning-for-gold touch.
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What's your best budget tip for shopping for back-to-school necessities like school supplies, backpacks, uniforms, labels and lunchboxes? Include a link to a photo if you have one!

Nikki

My best advice? Take your kid with you! while it may slow things down, the child will feel involved and important, and get excited for school. And it happens to head off the inevitable "But I didn't want *that* backpack!" battle down the road. There's not a lot of wiggle room for saving money on school supplies (the back to school sales have pretty much the same prices at all our local stores), but by keeping the child involved, at least you can avoid having to buy something twice!
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Help us create the ultimate pirate-themed birthday party! Please share an idea for a game, recipe, party favor, decoration, etc. that's perfect for a pirate party. Include a link to a photo if you have one!

Nikki

My daughter desperately wanted a Madeline-Dora the Explorer-Pirate-Princess-Pink party for her 4th birthday. All of that is a little hard to fit on one cake, but I managed to do the Pirate/Princess part! The cake, which featured a carved cake treasure chest overflowing with edible jewels was a huge hit. A treasure hunt is a must, and at ours, the kids found the treasures in an antique Korean money chest that lent just the right air of pirate authenticity. If you have something similar or can borrow one, it's worth the look on their faces when they find the aged, elaborately carved, mysterious box!
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What are your best tips for Black Friday shopping? (Please include a link if it's relevant.)

Nikki

Shop online! I'm just not willing to stand in the necessary lines to get the good deals on Black Friday, but many online retailers offer the same (or very similar) deals online the same day. Watch for the companies that open doors on Thursday evening, too. Great sales, lighter crowds, and a fun way to crown off a relaxing Thanksgiving day!
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Do you have a go-to hostess gift? Please share a link if you can.

Nikki

Flowers or wine are my standard, fallback hostess gifts. But I do try to customize it a bit for the event. A bottle of wine decorated with oak leaves, felt acorns, and twine, for example, makes a much more impressive gift than just a bare bottle, and lets the hosts know that you cared enough to put some special time and effort into the gift.
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What's your family's favorite nostalgic, silly, or practical holiday tradition? (If there's an image that goes along with your tradition, please share a link.)

Nikki

Instead of a standard advent calendar, I make a chain of small presents for each girl, one for each day of December counting down to Christmas. The girls absolutely LOVE getting to open a present each day, and being able to see the present chain get shorter and shorter is a very visual way to help my youngest count down to Christmas day.
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What helps you stay organized? Whether it's a special coupon binder, calendar app or color-coded closet, we want to know all the little tricks and products that help keep your life organized. Please share a photo if you have one.

Nikki

I found a great way to organize my cookie cutters...in the scrapbook section of the craft store. The 12x12 bins meant for holding scrapbook paper turn out to be absolutely perfect for my cookie cutters. AND they're fabulous for storing/stacking keepsakes from each school year. I buy one for each of my girls each year, label with the date, teacher, and school, and stow away keepsakes from the school year as the treasures come home. It's compact, stackable, and absolutely perfect for the purpose.
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Does your family have a special St. Patrick's Day tradition? Please also include a link to a photo, if you have one.

Nikki

I was an Irish step dancer growing up. Now my oldest daughter is one, too. Our St. Patrick's Days are always spent dashing from one performance to another, sharing a bit of the art form we love with crowds at nursing homes, shopping centers, and (of course), pubs! I'm especially looking forward to this year's performances, because I'm going to be dancing on stage *with* my daughter, performing a mother-daughter two-hand reel. What a joy to share something we both love so much!
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Spring is almost here! What's an activity you love to do with your kids in the springtime? Please include a link to a picture if you have one!

Nikki

It started out as a party game for my daughter's 2nd birthday. I needed something both my youngest daughter and the older kids at the party could enjoy together, so I invented Butterfly Badminton. It's pretty much just whacking balloons over a low net using butterfly nets as the racquets. No need to keep points, no winners or losers--just the joy of keeping a balloon up in the air. It's one of our favorite activities to do now whenever the weather turns warm!
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