New Traditions To Try For Memorial Day

Posted on May 26th, 2016 by Uncategorized

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Memorial day is coming up; it’s Monday the 30th of this month. (Where on earth did May go? I cannot believe we are almost into June!) Though it’s not a huge holiday that gets a whole section of the grocery store filled with specific candies and gifts, it is still a very important holiday that should be celebrated in some form or another. I have a few ideas below of simple things you can do this upcoming Memorial Day to remember your loved ones and show appreciation to our soldiers and veterans.

Share fond memories

Have everyone write up their favorite memory of a loved one who has passed and go around the table at dinnertime, or take turns as you stand by the grave to read them aloud. This puts the focus on the happy times each person had with that individual, and allows others to share in the joyful memories as well.

Take a special gift to the graves

Collect a few flowers from your garden or stop by the store to pick up a special bouquet or gift to leave at the gravesites. It doesn’t need to be extravagant, just something that is meaningful.

Write a letter to a soldier/veteran

Have the kids write letters to soldiers thanking them for their service. You should write one aswell! Memorial Day is meant to memorialize lost loved ones and family members and for remembering the brave veterans who gave their lives to serve. There are so many great organizations that get the letters sent out to troops, and there are likely a few drop-off locations in your area!

Be Patriotic

Wear red, white and blue, and decorate the house with a few patriotic decorations as well. Whip out the American flags and other decorations that you usually only set up for the 4th of July; they’re perfect for Memorial Day.

Have a barbeque

In standard Memorial Day fashion, dust off the grill and have a barbeque! It doesn’t need to be a large event and you don’t even need to invite anyone extra. Just grill up some dinner with the family and eat outside!

 

It doesn’t take much to make Memorial Day more than just a day off from work. Spend time together as a family and try out a few of the above suggestions, or make some new traditions of your own this year!

 

Do you have any Memorial Day traditions? Let us know in the comments below!


Create A Candy Bouquet!

Posted on May 24th, 2016 by Uncategorized

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Do you want to be the coolest person in the world to the next performer you go to see? Then try your hand at crafting a candy bouquet. It’s actually very simple, doesn’t take much time, and honestly doesn’t cost much either!

This bouquet is super easy to make, and only requires a few supplies:

  • Wooden sticks/skewers (I used 12 in bamboo skewers and cut a few of them down so that the candies would be at varying heights)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Rubber bands
  • Wrapped candies
  • Tissue paper
  • Ribbon
  1. Plan out the different heights of each candy on each stick before gluing them to make sure that they will all look nice together.  Trim a few of the sticks down if you have smaller candies that would look best in the front below others.
  2. Whip out the glue gun and apply a generous amount to the stick, then press it onto the candy and add more glue if necessary.
  3. Once the candies are securely hot glued, hold the sticks all together and use a rubber band and a little more hot glue to hold them where you want them.
  4. Wrap it all up with a few pieces of tissue paper, secure that down with another rubber band, and hide the rubber band with a decorative ribbon. I added a small iron-on butterfly that I had on hand with another dab of hot glue.

That’s it! If you use the rubber bands and hot glue appropriately, you’ll find that you have a sturdy bouquet of candy to gift to that lucky performer. They’ll love how creative it is among the fields of flowers they receive, and the extra work that you put into assembling it and choosing their favorite candies will just show them how much you mean to them.

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Celebrate The Graduate In Your Life!

Posted on May 22nd, 2016 by Uncategorized

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Finally, it’s time for graduation! For many, graduating is a very big deal. Whether it’s the end of Preschool, High School or College for your child, it’s a huge milestone and should be celebrated accordingly! There are so many simple and inexpensive ways that you can show that person just how excited you are for them!

 

Decorate their car on the day of the graduation ceremony

If you feel like they’d appreciate it, grab some washable window makers and a few balloons and decorate their car! Drawing some caps and tassels, their graduating year, and other graduation-esque pictures on their windows will make them smile when they head out for the day. Adding a few balloons in their school colors to the inside of their car would also be a nice touch.

Make a personalized lei

There is so much room to get creative with this one. Whether you fill the lei with their favorite candies, trinkets, or even origami shaped money, they’ll be sure to love it.

Decorate the top of their cap

This is a trend that I didn’t even know existed until I graduated just a bit ago. Depending on the school rules (and whether or not they’re renting the cap) you may be able to decorate it! Just stickers, a funny quote, or something pertaining to their major, it would all be a fun surprise and something that will make them stand out from the herds of other students all wearing the same thing.

Give a gift

It doesn’t have to be much, even just a bouquet of flowers or a meaningful card! If you do want to gift them with something more, and you’re not sure of what they’d want, gift cards work perfectly! Enclosing cash in a card can be a good idea, but it will often just end up paying for boring things like groceries or gas. Get them a gift card that is specific to their favorite restaurant or store and they’ll be forced to treat themselves.

 

There are so many fun ideas for letting your graduate know just how proud of them you are. You can go all out, or keep it simple, but as long as you put some thought into it, you’re sure to make their day.

 

Have any cool ideas for celebrating your graduate? Anything gift ideas that they loved? Feel free to mention it in the comments below!


How To Get Both An Arm Workout And Ice Cream In Less Than 10 Minutes

Posted on May 21st, 2016 by Uncategorized

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Homemade ice cream makes me think of my grandmother. Every Summer she’d haul her big ice cream machine out onto the back porch, pour a creamy concoction into the large metal tin, and a few hours later we’d have the yummiest ice cream ever. I loved that it was so rich and creamy, and had a similar consistency to soft-serve. She’d have all kinds of syrups and toppings set up for us to customize our sundaes. It was heaven.

Today, I have an easy recipe that I learned a few years ago in school to make your own homemade ice cream. While it may not taste exactly like grandma’s, it comes very close! And the best part is it doesn’t require an expensive ice cream machine, you can use ingredients you already have on hand, and you don’t have to wait for hours for the creamy deliciousness!

Go raid your fridge and pantry and grab these items:

  • 1/2 cup Half and Half (Milk works too, though it isn’t as rich)
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 gallon sized Ziplock bag
  • 2 sandwich sized Ziplock bags
  • About 3 cups crushed ice
  • 1/3 cup salt (rock salt works best, but table salt will work fine)

Put ingredients into one of the small bags, and then double bag it by enclosing it in the other small bag. (This will keep the mixture from leaking during the process.) Add ice and salt to the large bag, then put the small bag with the mixture inside as well. Seal the large bag. Now shake it, shake it! Continue for about 5 minutes, or until the ice cream is as frozen as you’d like it. You’ll notice your arm burning a bit, but just think of it as the work before the ice cream reward!

In no time, and at hardly any expense, you’ll have exercised biceps and triceps, and a yummy ice cream treat!


Tipsy-Turvy Flower Planter

Posted on May 20th, 2016 by Uncategorized

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All you need for this easy and fun craft are:

  • 3 Pots of small, medium, and large size that have holes on the bottom of them (plain work fine, but you can always find colorful ones or paint them yourself to make it extra vibrant)
  • a plastic planting stake
  • potting soil
  • flowers

Take the stake and stick it into the largest pot, then string the other two pots through the stake and hold them where you like them (you may need an extra set of hands to help you with this), imagining how they will tilt in the finished product. Measure out the length you’d need the stake to be in order to be hidden in the smallest pot, and trim accordingly. Fill up the largest pot about halfway with soil, adding more soil underneath where the second pot will be until it sits as you like it. Tip: Adding a few rocks along with the soil can help to keep it in place. While you are doing this, you should be adding flowers and more soil to the rest of the pot as well.

Once you have the second pot sitting where you’d like it and the flowers are all planted and arranged, add a little soil to the medium pot and repeat the steps with the smallest one on top.

The stake does a good job of keeping them together, but it will really be up to you adding the right amount of soil and rocks underneath each pot to keep it in the tilted position that you like.

Keep going until all of the pots have flowers, and make any adjustments you need. In no time you should have a beautiful and unique tilted flowering masterpiece!

 

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This is the plant stake that I bought. I found it was really easy to cut with a pair of  gardening clippers.

This is the plant stake that I bought. I found it was really easy to cut with a pair of gardening clippers.

 

 

 

 


Don’t Just Spring-Clean The Inside Of Your Home!

Posted on May 14th, 2016 by Uncategorized

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No matter where you live, your front yard can always use some touching up. Spring cleaning season is upon us, and that doesn’t just apply to the inside of your residence. Even small things can make a huge difference in your home’s appearance, making it look fresh and pretty. Take a few of these simple ideas into consideration to kick your curb appeal up a notch.

 

1. Switch out your hardware. Knobs like this fun modern one can spice up your front door a lot. Door knobs, especially ones that you use frequently, tend to fade and discolor. Change them up every few years to keep up appearances.

2. Pick out new house numbers. Just changing out the metal numbers you have on your house for fresh new ones can have a big impact on your home’s appearance. There are so many cute ones that you can buy, and there a lot of DIY’s as well that play around with different colors and styles.

3. Pull your weeds! Nothing detracts from your house’s beauty like unruly landscaping. As annoying as it may be, spend a day pulling out those weeds and spraying your yard to keep them from coming back. You’ll feel so accomplished afterwards when you see how drastically it improves your yard. Also, be sure to keep on top of mowing your lawn. Grass can quickly grow out of control and really diminish your curb appeal.

4. Plant some flowers! Head to the store and pick up a few plants. Some bushes and shrubs to fill up space and some flowers for pops of color. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to spruce up your yard with some pretty plants. You can even string up a hanging basket by your front door for an easy improvement project.

5. Spread some fresh bark or rocks. When paired with flowering plants in particular, bark or rocks really look amazing. Pick up a couple bags from your local home improvement store and spread it in-between your plants. The rich color will bring out the color in your flowers, and it hides the not-so-pretty rocks and dirt below.

6. Spray off your front porch and driveway. Whether you pick up a nozzle attachment for your hose or not, spray down all of your concrete areas. Winter usually leaves behind lots of dirt and grime. Spraying down your steps and porch and sweeping away dead leaves will help a lot. It also doesn’t hurt to give your sidewall (and any other area that picks up a lot of dirt) a nice spray as well

7. Paint your front door! Colorful front doors are all the rage right now, particularly a blue shade. A fresh coat of paint will give your house an instant facelift, especially if your current paint is boring and faded.

8. Buy a new doormat. The cheekier the saying, the better. I’m sure your current mat is looking pretty worn down, so replace it with a new one today. Extra points for picking out a mat with some personality.

Those are all super simple and relatively inexpensive ideas to keep your home looking pretty this Spring. Be sure to give a few of them a try, and comment below if you have any other tips and tricks for keeping your yard and home looking well-maintained as we head out of those harsh Winter months and into the Summer!


How To Keep Kids Happy At The Happiest Place On Earth (And Save Money, Too!)

Posted on May 13th, 2016 by Uncategorized

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There is no doubt that Disneyland is The Happiest Place On Earth. But tired kids who have sore feet are not happy, and they’re not likely to make it feel like such a happy place. I’ve made a list of 5 easy ideas parents can try to make their Disney experience even better! The first 3 deal with making the most of your time in the parks, as tickets can be pretty pricey, and you’ll want your money’s worth.

1. Get to the park before it opens!

If you have kids, waking up early to make it to the park entrance by 7:30 am when the park opens at 8:00 may sound insane. You have to trust me on this, though. The park will allow people to get in usually about 30 minutes before the park is scheduled to open that day, so you’ll have time to get through the check-stands and be ready to go as soon as they officially open the park. The first 30 minutes to an hour in the park is golden. You can practically walk on most rides as people are trickling in. This is the perfect time to head to rides with notoriously long wait-times (like my personal favorite, Peter Pan’s Flight). Within that first hour you can already have a handful of rides crossed off your list! A lot of people believe that being on vacation means sleeping in. But if you’re on a Disney vacation sleeping in means you could be missing out on some great riding time.

2. Leave during the mid-day chaos!

You know all those people I mentioned that like to sleep-in during their Disney Vacation? Well, it’s about 1 o’clock and they’ve all meandered into the park by now. The temperature for the next couple of hours is at it’s hottest, there are hoards of people everywhere and the wait times have just increased, possibly by a lot. It’s time to leave the park. Grab the kids and head back to your hotel for some napping or swimming (or both!). You can also save a lot of money by grabbing lunch outside of the park, and stocking up on water bottles. Giving your kids even an hour to cool off in the pool while you pick up your feet will make a huge difference for the rest of the day. During the mid-day madness you’re not likely to get on many rides anyways, and once you head back in you’re going to feel rejuvenated enough to hit a bunch of rides because no whining kids = more rides!

3. Stay until the park closes for the night!

Lots of people with kids tend to head out a couple hours before the park closes, usually because they’re all very tired and have sore feet. If you avoided mistake #3 though, you’re more likely to still have some energy to spare! Use that to stay until closing. Just as the first hour usually has shorter wait times, the last hour does as well. Take advantage of that to finish off the night with a few of your favorite rides, and be sure to stay for the firework show. Disney puts on an incredible show that is sure to be the perfect end to a magical day in the park.

4. Stock up on snacks to bring into the park!

Disney allows you to bring food in, so take advantage of that and bring in some fun food to save quite a bit of money. Bonus points if you bring in Disney-themed snacks! Just make sure that whatever you bring in doesn’t melt.

5. Know where to get free water!

You can go up to lots of the restaurants in the park to get a cup of ice water, and it’s totally free! It’s absolutely beats forking up lots of cash for a single water bottle. With all of the excitement of Disney, and the rush to get to all the rides, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water. Just remember that hydrated kids are happy kids.

Going on a Disney Vacation can be expensive, but it’s absolutely worth it when you see just how much fun everyone has. Use these tips to maximize your Disney experience and save a few bucks.

Have fun, and be sure to say “hi” to Mickey for me!

 


Root Beer Float Party Favors

Posted on May 8th, 2016 by Uncategorized

 

 

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Need a simple and unique favor idea for your next party? This root beer float mug idea is perfect. Not only is it inexpensive, it’s really clever and fun, too! Everyone will appreciate it, from kids to adults.

All you need for the assembly of each is

  • a miniature carton of ice cream
  • an 8 fl oz root beer can
  • a large mug
  • (optional) stickers and ribbon to decorate in your party colors
  • (optional) a straw to tie on to the handle

I bought all of the mugs from the Dollar Tree. For such a nice and sturdy glass mug, a dollar is a great deal! Be sure to check a few different stores and try their website if you can’t find any. They often have a good selection online.

This is a great idea for birthday parties to go along with, or in lieu of, the cake. It’s sure to be a hit with just about everyone. I mean, who can turn down an absolutely adorable root beer float?

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