Sweet Rexie’s

so much more than a candy store

After planning and conducting close to 800 parties, I have a few ideas for different party themes. Someone just asked me the other day for ideas for Valentine’s Day parties for kids so here are some suggestions.

A favorite for the younger crowd is the Valentine’s Day Teddy Bear Tea. For a quick invite idea – get precut heart shapes at a craft supply store and use a bear shaped cookie cutter to cut bear shapes out of colored paper. Glue the bear shape on the heart and then write your party info on the bear. Of course, suggest each guest bring their favorite stuffed bear to the party! You can also find very large hearts at the craft store or your local party shop and use these or large lace doilies for placemats.

Okay – now for the activities. Get some heart shaped temporary tattoos for when guests first arrive to keep them occupied until everyone arrives. You can also put white paper over your table covering and let the kids do heart and bear shaped stamps on the paper. (The white paper will protect your tablecloth and after you finish all crafts you can just roll up and throw out with all the mess.)

Buy store bought sugar cookie dough and roll out, then cut out bear shapes and bake ahead of time. Then let them frost and decorate the cookies with all types of theme sprinkles and heart shapes. Place them in cello bags and seal for them to take home as part of their favor.

I have also found those bear kits at craft stores where you stuff the bear shape with the kids and these kits usually come with an outfit to dress the finished bear in. Then each guest gets to take home a new friend.

Some menu suggestions: Use the bear cookie cutter to cut out bear shaped tea sandwiches with the fillings of your choice. Use a heart shaped cookie cutter to make watermelon hearts. Do veggie plates and have a small heart shaped bowl in center with ranch, or other dip. Dessert can include any of the following: a variety of different sized heart cookies displayed on a heart shaped platter, heart shaped dessert shells filled with chocolate pudding and a dallop of whipped cream with a teddy graham inserted into whipped cream, chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting and candy x’s and o’s (made by Jelly Belly) placed on top and pink/white spinkles around the edges, frosted cupcakes with teddy grahams pushed into top of frosting. (You can place chocolate chips in a baggie, melt them and snip the corner of bag to make faces on the teddy grahams before you place on the cupcakes.) Of course, pink lemonade can be the “tea” or a fruit flavored herbal tea can work and serve it in kids’ play tea sets.

Goody Bags – include the craft you made and maybe mini bags of teddy grahams, and any other novelty items you find at your local party store that fit with your theme. You can make name tags with the bear cookie cutter out of colored paper, hole punch them and tie on bags.

You can take this same “tea” theme and not do the teddy bear theme and just have a Valentine’s Day Tea for older children. You would adjust the bear crafts for other crafts – maybe ones I mentioned in a prior post – or get heart shaped containers at a craft store that can be decorated with rhinestone stickers, glitter gel pens and stickers. These containers can be used as the goody bag for end of party. If you want to put items inside for the take home gift, just make up individual cellophane bags before the party with the items you want to include and once the containers are dry, put one bag in each. You can also buy heart shaped beads and let each guest make a necklace.

You can make the menu sandwiches using a heart shaped cookie cutter or use assorted sizes and rest of menu still works. Precut hearts work well as place cards or name cards for goody bags.

Happy Planning!

I thought I would tell you about some sweet ideas I have used in the past to celebrate this holiday and help you create some fun alternatives to traditional Valentine cards! These ideas can also be embellished by your creativity, so if you like a piece of one and think of a creative way to change it, I’d love to hear from you! I always love to hear about new things. These are great ways to spend time with your children.

This is one I used last year for my daughters to give out to each classmate. It is a Valentine Fortune Cookie idea. It was a little tricky, but once I found the right things that worked, it was very easy. You take felt and cut into 6 inch circles. I prefer to use the heavier craft felt as it’s stiffer and works better for this craft. I have also found the thicker felt with glitter in the fabric already and this adds a little bling to your Valentines! Then cut a piece of florist , or craft, wire (heavy enough to hold shape but not too heavy that you can’t bend it with your hands) and glue to the center of the piece of felt using a hot glue gun. I tired several types of glue and the glue gun was easiest. Fold the circle in half along the wire line and then insert 2 chocolate kisses into the fold. Bend the wire in half now to form the firtune cookie shape. This is where the heavier felt makes a difference because the fabric is heavy enough to stay in place without the candy falling out.

Next make small tags to insert in each fortune. I did mine on my computer and it read, “You will have a sweet year. Happy Valentine’s Day XO, Name” . I then ran off copies and cut with a paper cutter. They should be rectangular in s hape and be able to be put inside the cookie shape.

Next add these to the cookie by inserting in to center and letting just the part with the name or Happy Valentine’s Day and name stick out. Once completed, use the hot glue to just put a tiny tab on edges and seal the felt. It should still be easy enough for the recipient to pull open.

My next idea is Cupids’ Arrow and is super easy. You take the long, rectangular packs of gum (regular, not super sized) and get long frilly picks. They need to be at least 6 inches long. I found ones with red curly metallic fringe on end, but I have also seen with hot pink and silver fringe or strips on end. Then push the pick through the pack of gum and just leave a small amount of the tip exposed. Push this tip into a heart shaped gummy candy. Next use assorted sizes of Valentine stickers or themed foam stickers and decorate the pack of gum. Assorted stickers work best because you can put small stickers on the sides of gum pack to hide all writing and larger on front and back of pack.

You can make hand made tags or again print something off your computer and stick under the edge of one of stickers before you press down on pack of gum. For other variations, you can hole punch and tie to the top of the arrow or put each arrow into a small cellophane bag and tie with ribbon and a tag.

I hope you enjoy making these with your little ones and enjoy some fun time together! Email me at nanci@sweetrexies.com if you ahve questions or want to share your ideas!

Most of all, Happy Valentine’s Day and take some time to enjoy all your loved ones!


Slo Pokes are back! The candies many of us grew up with are making comebacks! Including the caramelly Slo Poke. So says Marc Summers of the Food Network’s Unwrapped television show.

Even if you missed generic cialis the original airing of the program, you still can learn how one company is “taking some ‘blasts from the past’ and making them again for the kids of today” in a show excerpt posted on YouTube. Titled, “Candy Cravings,” the video clip covers a brief history of the Slo Poke and the modern day production of this rediscovered favorite.

Time has changed at least one aspect of the Slo Poke sucker. It’s now available in both the original size and as a bite-sized treat. Now that’s a comeback we all can enjoy!

There is a persistent Life Saver rumor that harkens back decades.

You’ve probably heard it yourself. It goes something like this: Wint-O-Green Life Savers give off bright sparks when bitten in a dark room. But is this an urban legend or does it have the glint of truth to it? If you answered “it’s true” you’re correct! But the mystery remains. How does it work?

For the answer, we went to the How Stuff Works web site. There we were in for a little surprise! “Actually, all hard sugar-based candies emit some degree of light when you bite them” according to their research. Usually, however, that light is very faint. “When you rip a piece of tape off the roll, it will produce a slight glow for the same reason,” the authors continue. And that reason is triboluminescence, the natural emission of light resulting from something being smashed or torn.

But there’s more to the story of Wint-O-Green Life Savers. When bitten, they shed a greater amount of visible light than other candies. And that extra spark is produced by the wintergreen flavoring. Oil of wintergreen is naturally fluorescent.

This means it absorbs the light of shorter wavelengths, in this case ultraviolet light, and then emits light of a longer wavelength in the visible spectrum. What results is a burst of blue sparks every time you crunch on a Wint-O-Green Life Saver!

To shed more light on the science behind this amazing Life Saver flavor, visit the Wint-O-Green page at How Stuff Works.

No kiss is sweeter than the chocolatey Hershey’s Kiss.

This mouth-sized morsel was first introduced in 1907 and turned 100 in July of this year! While it is uncertain how the Kiss got its name, some believe it stems from the sounds that emanated from the manufacturing process as the small drops of sweet milk chocolate were created.

In the beginning, Hershey’s Kisses were individually hand-wrapped in a silver foil, but by 1921 machines were invented that could automatically wrap greater numbers of the popular treat. Production halted from 1942 to 1949, however, due to the rationing of silver foil during and after World War II.

Since that time, Hershey Kisses have been wrapped in varied colors of foils and have been introduced with different flavor combinations!

In 1990 Kisses with almonds became popular followed by Hershey’s Hugs (with white chocolate) in 1993.

Ten years later later a caramel variation joined the Hershey Kisses line-up.

Today Hershey makes more than 80 million Kisses every day at its chocolate factories in Pennsylvania, California, and Virginia. And, according to company research, “if stranded on a desert island, more than half of Americans surveyed would rather have an unlimited supply of Hershey’s Kisses Brand Special Dark Chocolates than their favorite book!”

For more fun facts on the Hershey’s Kiss, visit the Hershey’s web site for this informative slide show.

If you haven’t taken the children to see “Polar Express” yet, there’s still time.

The holiday movie is showing at the Maritime Aquarium IMAX in Norwalk through January 3.

Based on the 1986 Caldecott Award-winning book, the animated film follows a young boy as he boards a magical train taking him and other children to Santa’s North Pole headquarters. Academy Award winning actor Tom Hanks provides the voice for the mysterious train conductor as well as four other characters. “Polar Express” also features the music of Josh Groban and the Academy Award nominated song, “Believe.” And, viewed in 3D IMAX, it’s said you’ll feel as you if can “reach out and touch the snowflakes!”

For show times visit the Maritime Aquarium website. And for more details on the movie or the book visit Warner Brother’s Polar Express site.

Your favorite candies can do double-duty during the holidays when you consider candy crafts for fun, seasonal activities with the kids! It’s easy with these tips from Martha Stewart.

Work your magic by turning a simple candy cane speech on pollution in english into a whimsical reindeer. Martha’s How To guide includes a downloadable template. All you need are a few craft materials including felt, craft pom-poms and floral wire, plus household supplies like a new canadian meds pencil and scissors.

For décor or a gift with nostalgic appeal, you might also create candy-counter-style jars. Just clean and fill an old jelly jar with your favorite candy (like gum drops or jelly beans). Layer the candies to form patterns, and then adorn each jar following a few of Martha Stewart’s suggestions.

So come on and explore your creative side! And rediscover how much fun a homespun holiday can be!