Monday, January 22, 2018

An Unicorn Candy Buffet on a Budget

If you have been on Pinterest or social media in the last few years you may have noticed that candy buffets are quite the trend.  While big elaborate buffets are quite beautiful, they are also pretty expensive.  I am going to share my tips to putting one together on a budget (and with limited space) 

I am a brand ambassador for Oriental Trading.   It is a great place to buy party supplies that are inexpensive, and in several different party themes.  They did send some party supplies for me to share in this post, but all opinions of the products are 100% mine.  I have been a fan of theirs for many years, long before I became an ambassador. 

I do not have a lot of space to put a candy buffet where I live.  I had originally wanted to put it near a wall with my rectangle card table.  Unfortunately, that table seems to be MIA at the moment, so I had to change my plans.  We have another area with a makeshift room divider that my daughter likes to use when she is in the the living/dining room. I decided to use that as a backdrop for the buffet.  I decorated it with fringed crepe paper.  What is nice about this technique is you can easily customize it to your theme and color.  I used the colors I had on hand. This location would actually be even better for guests to reach the candy. I love this gold foil table covering.  There were some fold marks, but that did not bother me.  You will actually see it again very soon! 

I love these divided trays from Oriental Trading.  They hold a lot of stuff, and I can see using them for all of my parties.  

You can use all sorts of different bowls, jars, and trays for your candy buffet depending on what you are serving.  These glass ice cream bowls that I already had on hand were the perfect size to hold the ice cream flavored jelly beans.  I have found interesting party dishes at the dollar store, on clearance and thrift stores.  Oriental Trading has a nice affordable selection of serving containers as well.   I once found a very large apothecary jar for $10 at the Salvation Army. It was too big to use for this party, but I am sure I will use it for something.  

In this tray, I served Unicorn Horn Pretzels, (recipe posted shortly) Unicorn Horn suckers from Oriental Trading, and heart suckers from the dollar store. 

The fruit flavored Tootsie Rolls, rainbow pixie sticks and more unicorn horn suckers were all from Oriental Trading. 

I made this glass stemmed jar using items from the dollar store.  I glued a vase to a candlestick using heavy duty glue.  They are quite sturdy and I have used them for many parties.  This one is holding 2 lbs of purple chocolates from Oriental Trading. The chocolates were the most expensive candy on the buffet, and they were still under $10. You can choose from many different colors. I chose purple because it is my favorite color,  and one I usually think of when I think of unicorns.   I love the gold scoops that came in packs for three for only a couple of dollars.  The unicorn pick on the side of the jar was going to be used in sprinkled marshmallows, but when I went to make them, it seems the marshmallows had been eaten.  

A couple of years ago, I found several cake stands on clearance at Target for only a couple of dollars each  They have a bit of a bowl shape, so I used my red one to hold the Unicorn Party Mix that I made. (recipe posted shortly) 

I am not sure where I got this plastic jar, but it has been quite useful.  When I am not using it to hold rainbow gumballs, it holds my cupcake liners.  

Here is a close up of the Unicorn Horn Pretzels.  You can use whatever chewy candy you want to give the swirl affect to the pretzel.  I used the fruity Tootsie Rolls.  While I used rainbow sprinkles and some pink sparkle sugar, you can decorate them in all sorts of colors and make them as fancy as you like.  They actually taste really good, I may have already eaten a couple of them  

Here is a close up on the Unicorn Horn Suckers.  I love the colorful unicorn card. These would be perfect for Valentines Day.  

I think these Unicorn head bracelets are really cute.  

The other dollar store jar held these large swirl suckers. 

While writing this post, I saw pictures of these Valentine Unicorn Bags from Oriental Trading that we made last year.  They would be a great addition to an Unicorn Candy Buffet to hold all the loose candy.   (the purple flower are actually not part of the kit, but added in editing to hide names of the girls who made them) 

I hope I gave you some ideas on how to have an affordable candy buffet on a budget. 
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Saturday, January 20, 2018

Dare to Share #297

It is Friday night, and you know what that means.. 
It is time to Dare to Share!! 

This week somehow go away from me. I am not really sure how though.  Monday we were off of school.  Wednesday I got an call into work for a teacher friend with a sick baby.  (was asked to work 3 more days by other teachers just being there that day.  Yesterday I met a friend and her sister for lunch, went grocery shopping, and then this arrived.. 

It is so much fun getting boxes in the mail.  I will be working on one of three parties this weekend!! Here is a hint, the theme is something that I LOVE.. :) 

Easily make your own personalized party favors for any party theme with these easy notebook party favors.  Using these simple step by step directions, you can make a notebook out of a fun printable that's perfect for any party.

If you are interested in making your own party favors, you will want to check out this tutorial by my co-host Kim from Everyday Parties

Now it is time for this week's party.. Link up and HAVE FUN! 


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Friday, January 12, 2018

Dare to Share #296

It is Friday night, and you know what that means.. 
It is time to Dare to Share! 

I hope wherever you are located you are safe tonight.  The weather has been a bit crazy all around the country.  Today we had our 4th day called off of school because of icy/snowy/frigid temps.  I was supposed to work today, but had an unexpected day off.  It was very icy this morning, and then it snowed several inches on top of that, so it was the right call. 

This week I started a new series called The Dollar Store Challenge where I will be sharing different crafts, party projects, and home projects using items from the dollar store. In today's post I shared some of my favorite party projects.  

My co-host Kim, from has some fun ideas this week. I especially like this Troll Seeds Bag Topper Printable

Now it is time for this week's party.. 

Link up and HAVE FUN! 


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The Dollar Store Challenge

I have had an idea in my head for over a week now. If you 
have followed my blog for awhile, you will know I LOVE the dollar store.  There are just so many ways you can use things from the dollar store to save money.   

I am going to start a new series where each week where I will share a post with ways you use items from the dollar store for parties, crafts, home decor and more.  I do have a lot of posts that I will be re-sharing, in addition to a lot of new ideas as well.  The challenge part will be keeping the budget to $5 or less. 

As I was going through my old posts, I found I have hundreds of dollar store party ideas.  I thought I would share a few my favorites here today.  

A few years ago I shared a Snowman Themed Snow Day Party that could be thrown together with items you already have at home.  One of the crafts I made for the party was this Snowman Centerpiece. I can not remember if the styrofoam balls were sold in sets or individually but all of the supplies were from the dollar store.  I made him before the movie Frozen was released, he could be altered slightly to look like Olaf for a Frozen themed party.    

We have love unicorns in my family way before they were cool. Fourteen years ago, my oldest daughter wanted to have a Purple Unicorn Party for her 7th birthday.  She invited all of the girls in her 1st grade class.  One of their favorite things of the party were the unicorn headbands we made for the party.  I used headbands, yarn and felt.  There were multiple headbands in each package making them about 10-15 cents each. They occasionally have yarn at the dollar store. I believe I bought a skein of pink yarn at the craft store for about $2.  They have packages of colorful craft foam which would also work for the ears.  It cost less than $5 for 15 headbands.  

A few years back I threw a Spring Chick Garden Party for a good friend's milestone birthday.  I made a couple of  Flower Topiaries using mostly dollar store supplies.  The floral form, the flowers, the flower pot and ribbon were all found there.  The originals were made awhile back, maybe in the spring I will make some new ones with updated supplies. 


I also made a Cupcake Stand for my friend's party. I used silver platters, 2 candlesticks, and gorilla glue all at the dollar store.  What I like about this craft is you can mix and match different colors plates, dishes, and candlesticks to customize your stand.  

One of my youngest daughter's parties was her Beach Bash Birthday.  Her party goody bags were a big hit with her friends.  Instead of just giving out plastic bags with candy and small toys, she gave out beach bags with useful summer items.  Since everything was bought at the dollar store, each bag came to a total of $5.  

I have many more dollar store party posts I can share. I hope to make this Dollar Store Challenge a year long project, so I am sure that there will be more opportunities to share them.  

Do you have a favorite project that you made from the Dollar Store?  Share below in the comments.  

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Friday, January 5, 2018

Dare to Share #295 and 2018 Goals

There is nothing like the new year to get you thinking about how your life is going.  Every year people make resolutions, and declare that they are going to cold turkey make changes starting on Jan 1.  I have done that in the past, but I have gotten to realize as I get older, that I rarely stick to resolutions made that way.  I am going to do something different this year. I do have a few goals that I would like to complete, but I am doing them in baby steps, and in FAITH. There are a couple of things that I would really like to see happen this year.  I am not going to post about them here, but they are things I have been praying about for awhile.  I need to BELIEVE that they will happen while working toward my goal. While working to my goals, I also know that when things are "too big", I do much better with baby steps.  Everyone will get too busy or have a bad day from time to time, but that's okay.  I will not give up, and just try again the next day.   Here are a few of my goals that I can share with you. 

I hope to earn more "side hustle" money.  I will be honest while I love substitute teaching, it does not cover all the bills. I need to supplement my income in other ways.  I do so with varying apps, survey sites, and saving money on super deals.  I will share soon on some of the ways that help me pay the bills. 

As you saw in my last statement, buy spending a lot less, my money goes farther.  I hope to save even more this year. I follow several deal sites, and match sales and coupons with my grocery lists. I am also saving a lot with coupons (digital and paper), and savings apps. 

 I just do not have the organizing gene, and I know my limits.  I hope to take more steps in that direction though.  Each day I plan on doing a few smaller easy to do tasks to get things done.  I know what works for me, so I will play to those strengths.  

You may have seen on  Instagram , the awesome Unicorn planner super deal I got a few weeks ago.  I have been using it for 5 days now, and I LOVE it.   I plan to use it all year long.  One thing that I am going to start doing this year is be more aware of my gratitude. There is a box beside each day in this planner.  At the end of the day, I have been writing something good that happened that day.  It will only take a few seconds to do, and at the end of the year, I can look back at all the blessings I received.  

If you have followed my blog for awhile,  you may have realized I took a rather long blogging break in 2017. I have been blogging for almost 10 years, and I really needed it. I will be posting a lot more this year.  This morning I was given a fun assignment which I can't wait to get started on, and you will see in a few weeks. That assignment got my creative juices flowing, and soon my brain was on overload with a bunch of new post ideas that I will be sharing soon.  

Along those same lines, I also kind of took a social media break.  While I would post from time to time on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, and Pinterest,  I stopped posting regularly. In the last couple of months, I started posting again, and it now feels more fun, and not a chore.  I hope to continue to share a lot more in 2018.  

Do you make resolutions or goals?  I would love to hear about them.  

Now since it is Friday night, it is time for the first Dare to Share party of the new year..  

Link up and HAVE FUN!! 

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Friday, December 29, 2017

Dare to Share #294

It is Friday night, and you know what that means.. 
It is time for Dare to Share!  

Did you have a nice Christmas?  It was a quiet one here, and this past week was a week of sleeping in, and chilling out.  We have had several more inches of snow, and freezing temps perfect for for saying bundled up inside.  

Are you having a New Years Eve party this year?  Check out my co-host Kim's New Years Kiss Labels over at Everyday Parties.  

Now it is time for this week's party.   Link up and HAVE FUN! 

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Saturday, December 23, 2017

Dare to Share #293

It is Friday night, and you know what that means.. 
It is time for the almost Christmas Eve Dare to Share!! 

I am sure this is a busy week for everyone.  We had a few days of school, last minute shopping, baking lots of goodies, and wrapping presents.  There are a few more things to do but everything should be done in time..   I did have a chance to post Dollar Store Accessories for the Elf on the Shelf. I shared things I have found for the elves to use for very while they moved each day.  

I know I mentioned that I would be posting some new Woodland Ornaments this past week.  My daughter has been working on them, but has been busy with school.  They are almost done, but not quite.  Here is a sneak peek to a grumpy fox on Instagram. I think he is adorable but did tell her that some of his friends should be a little less grumpy.

Now it is time for this week's party.   Link up and HAVE FUN!! 

 " title="click to view in an external page.">An InLinkz Link-up

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Monday, December 18, 2017

Elf on the Shelf Ideas and Dollar Store Accessories

We are in the home stretch with our elves, Christmas Eve is one week from today.  If you have an Elf on the Shelf you may be running out of ideas on what to do these next few days.  My kids are now older teens, so our visit from our elf Buddy and his friend Joy is a bit different  than it used to be.  Instead of them moving at night when the kids are asleep,  my daughter helps me think of fun ideas for them to do.  We are often at the dollar store, keep our eyes open for items that are the perfect size for our elves. 

This is one of my favorite photos of our elves Buddy and Joy that I took 2 years ago. (this was also when Joy joined in the fun)    I found an adorable little guitar in the toy aisle that was perfect for a Christmas serenade.  

This year I took pictures of some of the different adventures of Buddy and Joy.   Here they are sledding on their very own elf size sleds.  

The sleds were actually ornaments found at  the dollar store.  We decided to remove the berries and greenery so the elves would fit on the sled better, but they also look very festive this way. 

This year the dollar store had mini trees for sale. They were the perfect size for the elves to decorate.  

The elf size present was also found in the ornament aisle.  

The elf size lantern is actually an ornament, and the elf size skillet was found in the toy aisle.  I was wondering what my daughter might do with them and was happily to see them camping. 

You may be wondering what is going on in this picture.  Joy is looking through candy cane binoculars made from a red and white stripped pipe cleaner at something just beyond the hedge.  

The elves came across two reindeer and colorful birds enjoying nature.  

The bird house was found in the craft aisle.   The wild birds were attached to Christmas floral picks.  

This picture was taken a few years ago, and is another one of my favorites. I found elf size easels at either the dollar store or craft store.  They were the perfect size for Buddy to do some art work.  

This is another picture taken a few years ago.  It was very easy to make some elf themed ornaments by gluing white felt on a red ball and DIY stocking ornament. 

Now is also the time to keep an eye out for accessories for next year.  When shopping the Christmas clearance be sure to think out of the box, because you just might something perfect for your elf for a fraction of the cost. 

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Friday, December 15, 2017

Dare to Share #292

It's Friday night, and you know what that means.. 
It is time to Dare to Share! 

Our has your week been going?  Ours has been interesting. It has been snowing where I live most of the week.  Mid week we were hit with a big snow storm and have had a few snow days.  I did not mind the time off though, because I was busy baking and crafting to bring you a new Christmas party post.  

You can see all of the new crafts and supplies at A Woodland Buffalo Plaid Christmas.  There are also several other new Christmas posts in the works that will be up in the next few days.. We had a lot of fun with our elves Buddy and Joy in recent days, and I will be sharing our $1 elf accessories that we found at the dollar store.  We have a few new Woodland ornaments  that have joined our favorite Snow Owl, and I made a few new crafts and Christmas treats.  (I told you I was busy)  

Are you looking for an advent idea?  My co-host Kim from Everyday Parties just recently started a sweet Nativity Advent that you can follow along.  

Now it is time for this week's party! 

Link up and HAVE FUN!! 


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A Woodland Buffalo Plaid Christmas

I am so excited about this year's buffalo plaid woodland/lodge trend in holiday decorations and party supplies.  I have had a woodland themed tree for the last several years, and this year I was able to expand on the theme with new crafts and decorations.  

I am an ambassador for Oriental Trading company, and I love the new buffalo plaid line holiday products they sent me to share with you.  I had so much fun putting together all the crafts, treats and goodies for this post.  

Underneath my tree is a stuffed moose I bought on clearance after last Christmas. His festive scarf and hat match the decor perfectly. I also found a woodland themed popcorn tin at Aldi this year for only $3.99.   The pretty bags are from Oriental Trading. 

One of my favorite pieces in the buffalo plaid line is this three tiered tray perfect for serving multiple treats at your holiday party.  It is easy to put together and take apart for storing after the party. The trays are ceramic, and hold quite a bit  We made several woodland themed Christmas treats to put on the trays. 

Years ago when my daughter had her Woodland Themed Birthday Party, I bought the Ikea woodland cookie cutters. Our hedgehog cutter seems to be temporarily missing, and we added a few new ones (the standing reindeer, the deer heads and the unicorn) to our stash.  We also tried decorating them in homemade Royal Icing instead of frosting from the can this year.  If you have been following me for awhile, you know I really love unicorn.  Technically unicorn are woodland animals, so rainbow sprinkles made it to the dessert tray. 

One of my favorite candies to make is Simple Candy Clusters. These are so addicting made with cherries and cashews.  I served them in buffalo plaid cupcake wrappers from Oriental Trading. 

We also made Reindeer Pops, and Peanut Butter Cracker Cookies.  I did not realize until editing this post that one of the reindeer pops seems to be missing.. Hmmmm. 

On the wooden buffalo plaid serving tray, I placed some of my wooden reindeer I bought some time in the last few years, and gold glitter bottle brush trees.  The decorative pail is holding the small wood slices that can be used in crafts, for ornaments and more.  

I was not sure what to do with the antlers, but my daughter had a great idea.  She place them with some of the wood slices, and turned them into moose. I think we may have to grab the glue gun and make a few new ornaments for the tree. 

Another  craft I made was this reindeer frame. I found the cute paper at the dollar spot.  It looks really cute on the wall behind the tree.  

I was inspired by a much more expensive wreath at Target.  For this super simple berry wreath, I found a wreath and pom poms at the dollar store. I have had the bows in my stash for years. 

Another easy and fun to make woodland craft is the JOY sign I put on the wall near the kitchen  I wrapped cardboard in buffalo paper and wrapped the wreath in greenery. 

There are also a few new additions to our tree this year.  One of my favorite handmade ornaments I ever made, the sweet Snow Owl has a few new friends this year. My daughter has designed a fox, raccoon, cardinal, and squirrel.  watch for them to be posted in the next few days.  

I hope you enjoyed our Woodland Christmas, and all of the fun supplies from Oriental Trading

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