Over the past couple of weeks I have given directions to the gifts I am making for my grandchildren, this owl purse, and this scrappy snake. It is getting to be time to mail them off, so I started looking around for little treats to fill them with. I found some little cards with stickers at one store, and some conversation hearts at another store, then I went to Dollar Tree and found everything I needed! Why didn't I go there first? Look at all of this stuff!
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For those of you with kids in school who are giving classroom Valentines, this is the place to go. Your child will be able to give the most awesome Valentines ever for very little money. For my grandchildren, I went a little overboard, but I did it without breaking the budget! I had so much fun picking out things they will love. There are both candy gifts and non-candy gifts available. Here are a few of my favorites. Each photo will be a link to where you can order each item..
There are also boxes of chocolates for teachers and dear friends. There are animal shaped chocolates, (they even have an owl!) and so many more options. If you need a bunch for classrooms or as PTA gifts, ordering online from Dollar Tree is the way to go!
Dollar Tree also has really cute Valentines and non-candy treats as well!
Both of these sticker sheets have owls on them, so my grandkids will know that they are from me! Also, when you put together a teacher gift, stickers are great things that she will be able to use in her classroom!
These are some of my favoriteValentine's Day cards that they offer! I know my grandchildren will love getting these little animals attached to their cards! They also havecards with stickers, buttons and candy, many with licensed characters.
One other thing that you might consider as a classroom gift is facial tissue, or in other words, Kleenex. This is cold season and let me tell you from experience that classrooms go through a lot of tissues during this time of year and usually start running out of the stash that they had at the beginning of the year. A case from Dollar Tree would really be appreciated!
I could go on and on about my finds at Dollar Tree! These are just a few of them. Shopping for everything was a lot of fun, but the real fun started when I began to put the gifts together! Here is how they came out!
Have you found some favorite deals at the Dollar Tree? Be sure to share them with us!
Remember if you do order online, you can ship to your local Dollar Tree Store for free to pick up!
It's Madalynn here with a super quick DIY for you guys today. I'm sure a lot of you guys have seen these super cute agate coasters floating around at places like Pottery Barn and Home Goods. They are super cute and fun and pretty, but the price tag is usually a no go for me. So today I'll be showing you how to make your own agate coasters for literally just a few cents.
For your supplies you're going to want to gather the following items:
The first thing you're going to do is trace the outline of your agate slices onto your cardboard and cut it out. You're going to want two of each one.
Next, take the painter's tape and tape the matching pieces of cardboard together. When I traced them, I made little marks on them so I would be able to match them up better. When I taped them, I used short pieces of tape. You also want to make sure that the top and bottom are as flat as possible, so if there are any flappy bits, go ahead and tape them flat.
At this point, I did two coats of paint on the cardboard. Pretty much I just painted wherever there was tape.
Then you mod podge the agate photos onto either side of the cardboard. There were a few places where the photos hung over a bit, so I just trimmed them. It's okay to have uneven edges and painted tape showing because it just makes it look more like a natural rock. Just be sure to get out as many air bubbles as possible.
After those were dried on there, I applied the copper dust around the trim of the coasters. If you arent using the copper dust or glitter, I would suggest using another coat of paint. Doing this step after applying the photos helps hide the edges of the paper.
Finally, go to a well ventilated area and apply the acrylic spray. You can do a couple coats of this to really make sure everything is covered well. After that dries, you are finished!
I seriously think these are the cutest things in the world. I ran into a lot of problems while I was doing this (I had to mix my own paint because the colors I had didn't match perfectly, I forgot to use card stock, but then we ran out of colored ink so I couldn't print more, etc etc...) but I still think they came out pretty stinkin okay! Try this out and let me know what you think! If you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask!
Alicia here! Each month I'm going to be sharing with you an idea I have for a fun party with options to make it kid friendly or a date!
My first idea came to me as I thought of how it seems a lot of people now-a-days aren't that into Valentine's Day. I get it. So I decided to see what other holidays or events fall on February 14th. And there are quite a few.
Just to name a few:
I thought then that we could celebrate these other things instead of Valentine's and it's a win-win-win!
I have decided to focus on a few of these events/holidays for the party. This won't be a typical UnValentine's Day Party, because instead of being full of things like broken hearts, Valentine's just gets ignored altogether. I guess it's more of a "It's More Than Just Valentine's Day Party."
First you'll need invitations. I have designed these ones for the occasion, but you could make your own too! Make sure to let us know if you do.
Food: Inspiration, Oregon and Arizona statehood, National Ferris Wheel Day and ET Culture Day.
From Arizona we have two famous foods that are so easy to put together: Sonoran Hot Dogs, and Cheese Crisp.
I suggest a Sonoran Hot Dog Bar if you want to serve dinner at your party (or lunch). If you're unfamiliar with what a Sonoran Hotdog is, this article in Boston Magazine explains it well. If you don't want to serve dinner and just have appetizers, try making these into bites with tomatillo dipping sauce.
A Cheese Crisp is a tortilla with cheese. (But wait, isn't that a quesadilla? No cheese crisps are open faced and quesadillas are folded over). Make mini ones by using a round cookie cutter to cut out small rounds out of regular flour tortillas (or just buy little flour tortillas). Lay them on a foil covered cookie sheet. Sprinkle each tortilla with cheese, and bake at 350 until the cheese has melted. Alternatively, Just make a large Cheese Crisp and cut it into triangles with your pizza cutter. You could add toppings as Gaby did over at Tasty Kitchen. Look how delicious her's are!
From Oregon, I thought we would try making quick and easy Voodoo Donuts. If you live close to VooDoo Donuts, it might be worth just buying them to have at your party. Click through the gallery to get instructions and ideas for what I did!
Another famous food from Oregon is Tillamook Cheese. I have two options to include this. One is to just have little cubes cut up and out for people to eat. Or use it as the cheese for the Cheese Crisp!
You could put the cheese or other snacks in cups on a Ferris wheel. Like this one they made over at Oh Happy Day! Or they have this cool one on amazon that you can buy. I attempted to make one. Mine does actually spin, but is still a prototype.
For drinks a bit of ET Punch seems to be in order. Just mix Sprite, green sherbet, green Hawaiian Punch and pineapple juice together to taste. For an added flair try floating a UFO in the punch. They have these cool UFO ice molds on amazon.
Inspired by YouTube, International Book Giving Day, & the "Pale Blue Dot" photo
Used Book White Elephant- Everyone brings a book they love to exchange. Set a limit on how much guests can spend so there's no disparity and hurt feelings. Browsing used book stores is one of my favorite activities, but if you don't have any good one's near by, Amazon has a ton.
Pale Blue Darts- If you don't know what the picture of "Pale Blue Dot" is, this page from NASA can fill you in. I love space so I had to include this. My idea is that you have the photo up on a dart board and see how close people can get to hitting Earth. Each person can have their own dart picture or everyone can use the same. I made a dart board with the picture as the background. Click below to get the image. If you need a dart board, my brother used to have a dart board similar to this one and it was pretty fun! Or for a safer route there are magnetic dart boards.
Viral Video Charades- A nod to YouTube, this game will be loads of fun. Especially with the right group of people, Charades is a great party game. Maybe I'm biased because I LOVED Charades growing up (so much so that I got Guestures one year for Christmas and forced my family to play it every chance I got). But this version each team puts the title or description of their favorite viral videos in a 'hat' (container, bag, whatevs). Play continues like normal. Just think wouldn't it be hilarious to see your friends act out Charlie Bit Me, Gangham Style, or Potter Puppet Pals?
Decorations- Inspiration from Oregon and Arizona Statehood, International Book Giving Day, & National Ferris Wheel Day
Here's a general list of the party supplies:
I hope you all got your shopping lists ready to make Renny's Healthy Zucchini Lasagna, if you haven't, click the link and get ready because it is time for this week's...
5 Friday Faves!
This is our weekly event when I ask, "What's your favorite_______?" and then we give you our answers! We have a lot of fun with it and hope you will, too as you consider what your answer would be. When you think of your answer, please share it with us in the comments! We would love to hear it.
So, here is this week's question: "What is your favorite comfort food on a cold, rainy or snowy day?" The weather all over the country has been pretty unpredictable and even in Phoenix we have had some chilly days. All of the answers given this week really work for me!
Alicia got to cheat last week, so this week we will start with her favorite. Alicia actually lives where it is pretty cool and rainy year round. When I asked her the question, she immediately gave this answer: Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.
Alicia's grilled cheese has come a long way since I was a kid! We used to butter bread and stick it in a pan to toast it as the cheese melted on the inside. Alicia uses her panini maker to get those nice toasty grill lines on her bread. (I gave my kids panini makers for Christmas last year, but failed to get one for myself. I may need to rectify that situation.) And that isn't any old slice of cheese either. You could use Provolone, Havarti or Gruyere, like Alicia used here. Just looking at this picture makes me want to take that sandwich and dip it in the soup and bite it. The cheese would stretch out of it and it would be so warm and delicious! Yum! Good choice Alicia!
The second Fave comes from Lindsey. On a cold day, she likes to snuggle up and enjoy a big bowl of Chili and a slice of Cornbread!
You know Lindsey tries to be the super healthy eater, so her chili is usually made with turkey. She makes it in a crock pot. One of her specialties is Pumpkin Chili, which I am sure we can get her to give us the recipe for one of these days on Renny's Recipes. Also for the amazing Cornbread that she invented herself! This makes me feel warm just thinking about eating it!
Madalynn is eating pretty healthy lately as well. She is limiting her meat intake and going for a lot of vegan options.. Remember these amazing chocolate cookies? She still has a sweet tooth, but is finding healthier ways to satisfy it. When I asked her for her favorite cold weather comfort food, she said, "Cinnamon Rolls!". Then she proceeded to make these vegan, yeast free ones! She has even given you the recipe!
Now for my choice! When I was a little girl, we lived out in the country. We had a long driveway to walk down when the weather was cold after we got off of the school bus. Many times, my mom would have warm butterscotch pudding waiting for us to have as a snack when we got in from the cold. The pudding was still a little warm but soft set. It was delicious and it also warmed my heart, so whenever I think of comfort food, I think of Butterscotch Pudding.
Now, if you make Butterscotch Pudding from a box, that is okay, but make sure it is the cook and serve kind, not instant! Yuck! The cooked kind is so much better. This time, I used my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook recipe for Butterscotch Pudding from scratch. That link goes to the edition I have. Here is a newer edition. This cookbook has been a go to for me throughout my married life. We received it as a wedding gift. When you make pudding from scratch, you use the egg yolks and not the whites. So, I made a little meringue with the egg whites, and browned them with my creme brulee torch. Then, I drizzled a little caramel sauce over the top. They were delicious, if I say so myself. The bonus was that I got to use the torch, it is so much fun to use. This set comes with little ramekins for your creme brulee!
That was 4! Are you ready for #5? This week our special guest is Jessica Reynolds, my DIL and genealogy buff extraordinaire! She has a blog called "Do As I'm Doing" where she teaches some fabulous things about finding your ancestors and making a book like this one that she gave to my husband for Christmas. She spells out so clearly how to do it and includes things in the book that you may have never thought of including or even how to do it.
So, I asked Jessica what her favorite cold weather comfort food is and she said that when it rains her mom would always say it was time to make cookies! So, that is when she bakes cookies! Chocolate Chip Cookies and she uses the recipe on the back of the bag.
So, that is our Five Friday Faves! I hope we have warmed you up a little just reading our selections and maybe you can find some comfort from all of the cold weather out there! Let us know if you have a fave that we should know about!
Come back tomorrow and read about Alicia's Non Valentine's Day Party and Date ideas! She always has fun plans to share. You won't want to miss them!
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to eleven! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!