Monday, December 28, 2015

Pop Works & Company Popcorn and Easy New Year's Eve Favors

One thing that I love about this time of year, is all the holiday items on clearance that you can use as party favors.  You can easily find items that will work for New Year's Eve and beyond for many different types parties. (think bowl games, and Oscars too) 

At Target, I found these pink and gold polka dot pails at Target for only 50 cents each.  I thought they screamed party to me. I also found a gold charger for about $1. Gold seemed perfect for a New Year's Eve celebration,and looked really pretty with the pails.  The pails are also the perfect size to serve Pop Works & Company popcorn. 

I want to tell you about Pop Works & Company. They are launching a line of ready-to-eat 
popcorn providing hosts and gift givers an unique and novel twist to a traditional party favorite. They start with light and airy popcorn, add sweet glazes, and drizzles and sprinkle bits of sweet treats over the top resulting in three delicious flavors, Cookies and Cream, Salted Caramel & Fudge and Birthday Cake. It is sold exclusively online, and you can choose one of your favorite flavors or "Build a Box" by mixing and matching all three flavors. 

Pop Works & Company is offering an introductory price of $15.99 on its Pop Box, a colorful and versatile box which can be filled with 3 different popcorn flavors. They are also offering free 2 Day Shipping through New Year's Eve. 

A fun and easy party favor that is great for New Year's Eve, 4th of July, or pretty much any party setting is a confetti cracker.  I found the gold and silver paper on clearance at the dollar store, and the gold and silver ribbon on clearance at Target.  To make a confetti cracker, cut a small cardboard tube in half.  I found the tube easier to work with when I placed a small piece of tape on the back side holding the two halves together. Fill the tube with confetti, or if you prefer less mess, candy or small trinkets.   Wrap the tube in a piece of wrapping paper so that it looks like a piece of candy, and tie ribbons on both ends.  When it is time to for confetti,  you can either pull the cracker apart by pulling both ends or breaking the tube in half. This paper was a little bit thicker, so it was easiest to break in half.  I think they look pretty on the charger, and on the party table. 

Another easy favor that I found on clearance were these journals in the same colors as the pails.  I thought they would be perfect for Resolution Journals.  Give one to each of your guests to write down their New Year Resolutions 

What are your plans for New Year's Eve? 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas and a Party Break

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday, and spending time with your family and friends. Since Kim and I are busy with our own families tonight as well, we are going to take the night off of Dare to Share.  The party will be back next week.  We look forward to seeing all of your wonderful holiday posts then. 
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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

DIY Cardboard Fireplace Mantel

How to make a cardboard box Christmas Mantel

As you know we moved over the summer  Where we currently live (which should only be temporary) we do not have a fireplace.  We had a yearly Christmas tradition of hanging our stockings on our mantel after reading T'was the Night Before Christmas each Christmas Eve. It was something we looked forward to every year.  This year with our official stockings in the back of the storage unit, and no place for Santa to leave goodies in our stockings, I wanted a temporary mantel for he holidays.   I did see some I could buy online like this one, but not having a lot of extra money and a lot of moving boxes, I knew I could try to make my own. 

I started with four small moving boxes. You can find these at Lowes for less than $1 each. They are 16 x 12 x12.  I taped them shut and stacked them to make the fireplace columns.  I did not put anything in them but if you could if you want to weight them down. 

I bought two rolls of plain red paper at the dollar store.  Each roll wrapped two of the boxes with just a little bit left over.  I wrapped the all separately, but if you are feeling really ambitious you could tape the together and wrap in two big pieces.  I made sure that the tapes side faced the wall, so it would not be seen. 

I almost forgot to take a picture of this stage, so I apologize that the picture if so off center. The quickest and easiest way to make bricks is with a roll of masking tape also from the dollar store. I really should have measured to have more precise lines, but I had procrastinated so long in making my mantle, I was in a hurry to get it done. Uneven bricks just gives your fireplace more character. 

I then cut smaller pieces of tape and tried line up the bricks on both columns of the fireplace. I did add a few more pieces to the top section and made bricks on all of the visible sides.  

For the mantel of the fireplace, I decided to use foam board from the dollar store.  It was pretty sturdy and light enough for the cardboard boxes. I bought two pieces, because I had planned on making it a double thickness. Since we are so close to Christmas, and I do not plan to put a lot of weight on top, one was enough.  Yes, the mantel is a little off center in this picture.  I had not secured it yet. It was just laying on top to make sure it fit. We (Kara nd I)  had to cut about 6-8 inches off lengthwise, and add a 4 inch piece widthwise. Once it fit, I secured it to the boxes with masking tape underneath the foam board. 

Somewhere in storage I have a snow blanket which I think would look good on top. Since I really don't have the time to go searching, I came up with another alternative.

I found our woodland themed blanket and laid it on top. The Santa wreath I had tried to hang above the fireplace. Since we can not drill holes and the temporary hooks do not stick well to the textured walls, it would not stay put. For now it is siting on the mantel. I also found Buddy and Joy enjoying a little snuggle. Since pretty much all my supplies to make the mantel came from the dollar store, we also hung dollar store stockings.  

While it might not be the beautiful big wooden mantel we are used to, we are happy with how it turned out. It cost only a few dollars and a few hours to make.  

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Monday, December 21, 2015

A Coobie Bra and Violet Love Headband Review

Do you remember back in November when I shared how you could get 30% off Coobie Bras and Violet Love Headbands? Well I was recently sent a Coobie Bra and Violet Love Headband to try out and review.  All opinions in this post are 100% mine.  

I got my first Coobie bra in April of 2014.  I wrote about in this post here.  I have to say, what I posted in my first review is still entirely true today.  I am still wearing the two bras I received a year and a half ago.   I love them, and they are the bra I turn to 95% of the time.  On the few occasions when I have worn a traditional bra (when my Coobie bras  were in the wash, etc..) they are just not as comfortable and I go back to wearing my Coobie bra as soon as I can.  I am finding that  my new Coobie bra is a little bit tighter than my older ones.  I have lost weight since my last post, so it probably means my older ones are a little bit stretched out now.  It does make since since i  have been wearing them pretty much everyday for 20 months. They are still in good shape though, so I will continue to wear all three. One reason why they are so comfortable is they are seamless and stretchy.  You can adjust the straps to fit your own body type, and their are two one size (regular and full size) that  fit all sizes  from 32 A to 42 D.   I definitely recommend giving them a try if you are in the market for a new comfortable bra. 

I was also sent a Violet Love headband to try.  My daughter loves hair accessories, so I gave it to her.  Neither one of us wear headbands in the style that is on their website. She prefers to wear them holding her hair back on top of her head, and not over her forehead.  This headband is versatile enough you can wear it in a  multiple ways.  She liked how comfortable it was on her head. It is made from a soft stretchy fabric, and did a great job holding back her hair.. (which she has a A LOT of) There are many, many colors and prints to choose from, so you can find something for just about everyone.  I am sure we will get quite a bit of use from this headband, and recommend it for style and comfort as well. 

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Friday, December 18, 2015

Dare to Share #194

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

How are you on this Star Wars Friday?  Did you see the movie yet?  I will probably see it eventually. While I saw the originals as aa kid, and really liked them. I am not rushing to fight the movie crowds this weekend.. I have too much Christmas stuff to take care of in the next few days.  

Last Friday I went to an Ugly Sweater party, and this week I shared a post on how to DIY you own Ugly Sweater.  While mine was more festive than ugly, it did the job and I only spent around $1 to make it. 

I had two features this week. with more to come during the countdown to Christmas.  The first were these Snow Capped Cherry Filled Oreo Cookie Balls by The Rebel Chick

I just had a face palm moment with my second feature.  I wrote the feature much earlier in the day, BUT I FORGOT to hit publish.. Oops. I realized it as I logged to start this post.. This Easy 5 minute Layered  Hummus Dip by Home Cooking Memories would be great for your Christmas guests or for upcoming New Years Eve parties.  

My co-host Kim from Kandy Kreations has many Christmas printables this week. like these Christmas Stickers.  She also has some last many gift ideas for your neighbor and Superman Fan. 

Now it is time to link up to this week's party.  You are welcome to share anything that you would like to share. If you are chosen as a Dare to Share Feature of the Day, your post will be featured on the blog and my social media.  This party is also seen on Kandy Kreations for double the exposure.  Kim also chooses features from the party to share on her blog and social media. 

Link up and HAVE FUN!! 


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5 Minute Layered Hummus Dip - Dare to Share Feature of the Day

I chose today's Dare to Share Feature because my son LOVES hummus.  I like the idea of adding extra ingredients like Home Cooking Memories and turning it into a yummy dip.  This would be great dish to bring to Christmas and New Years Eve parties.   I love Greek salad so this combination looks very good to me.  Be sure to stop over at Home Cooking Memories for the full recipe

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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Snow Capped Cherry Filled Holiday Oreo Cookie Balls - Dare to Share Feature of the Day

Cherry filled Oreo Cookie Balls covered in chocolate

Are you still working on your holiday baking?  I admit I have not started mine yet. We will have time next week when the kids are out of school.  One treat that would be great to make for your  neighbors and friends are these Snow Capped Cherry Filled Oreo Cookie Balls by The Rebel Chick.  Not only are they pretty to look at, but they have a sweet cherry surprise in the middle. I know I would be very happy is someone made some of these for me.  Be sure to check out The Rebel Chick to see the full recipe.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

DIY Ugly Sweater

I was invited to an Ugly Sweater Party at my church this past weekend. While I did not really have anything to wear, I knew I did not want to spend a lot of money on a sweater that I was going to wear only a couple of hours.  Instead I found an old sweater and hit the dollar store.  I picked up some candy cane garland.  Originally I was going to attach mini candy canes al over the sweater, but changed my mind while working on it. I also bought red tape just in case.  

I knew I did not want to embellish a really good sweater.  I found the perfect one in my closet. It had a few snags and tiny sequins in the knit. I think I got it on clearance really cheap at Kohls a couple of years ago. 

You could use a hot glue gun when making your sweater, but I decided to use a needle and thread to take it in place.  That way it can easily be removed if I want to use the sweater for something else.  I formed a Peppermint tree out of the garland and also attached some around the sleeves.  It needed something more, so I found a silver ribbon in my Christmas craft stash.  I did try to add a few mini candy canes.  I did not really like the look, and I was running low on time.  I think it would have been better if I attached them all over the sweater. If you do that though, be prepared for people to want to pull them off and eat them. 

A friend of mine took a picture of me wearing the sweater at the party.  While it was more festive than ugly,  I was happy with it and it only cost $1 to make 

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Saturday, December 12, 2015

Dare to Share #193

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

What a week!  Last week my heat went out. I woke up Saturday morning with a laryngitis, and my cable box went out while I was in bundled up in front of my space heater. The furnace was finally fixed on Monday morning.  You can read more about it on my post When Real Life does Not Match Your Plans.   I also wrote about birthday party deal at Painting with a Twist. While this deal is only for southeastern Michigan, a paint class party can be a great venue or your own parties.  I will be attending a class in a few weeks, and will be sharing my review.

Something else very exciting that happened this week.. My Snow Owl Ornaments are being featured as one of Redbook Magazines 50 Christmas Tree Ornaments Made With Stuff Laying Around Your House   I am slide number 41.  

Tonight I attended an Ugly Sweater Party. We had a lot of fun, and I made my own "ugly" sweater.  While mine was more festive, than ugly, I will be sharing a post about it this weekend. In this picture, my cat decided to help by laying right on my sweater as I was working on it Silly kitty!  Also this weekend, I hope to finish up the projects I had planned on doing last week when my heat went out. 

I will be sharing multiple features throughout this week! 

My co-host Kim has a lot of great Christmas Printable like these Christmas Magnet Bookmarks, She also has some really cute Super Hero magnets that would make a nice gift for the readers in your life.  

Now it is time for this week's party. You are welcome to share anything that you would like to share.  If you are chosen as a Dare to Share Feature of the Day, your post will be featured on the blog, and on my social media.  This part is also seen on Kandy Kreations for double the exposure.  Kim also chooses features for her blog and social media.


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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Birthday Child Paints Free at Painting with a Twist

If you live in the southeast Michigan area, and are looking for an adventure there is a new place you will want to check out.  Painting with a Twist has come to Fenton.  They opened in November, and are teaching how to paint beautiful paintings in a super fun class experience. It is a great place to go with a group of friends, and discover your inner artist.  

At Painting with a Twist they love to host all kinds of private parties.  Are you looking for a venue for your birthday party, Bachelorette party, bridal shower, holiday celebration, corporate event or kids'party? To book a party just send an email to, or fill out a party request form.   They also host a special Painting with a Purpose days for a special causes.  Recently they have raised money for Special Operations Warrior Foundation and the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan.  To be part of future Painting with a Purpose days be sure to check with them on how to sign up.

They are now accepting reservations for holiday parties!  Go with friends, family or even co-workers.  Give them a call at 810-629-7928, or select the  party request tab to get started. Popular dates are filling up quickly, so don't wait! 


They love to paint and they love kids and birthday parties at Painting with a Twist. Bring the creative side out of your child in a fun party environment.  Your child picks the painting that class paints, you bring the the cake, and they bring the fun. 

Currently the Birthday Boy or Girl  Paints for Free when you book a child's birthday party of 10 or more with this coupon here--> Click for Coupon   Birthday parties where the kids do fun activity are always a lot fun, and they get to keep their paintings. 

I will be attending a class with my daughter in a few weeks.  We are very excited to spend some special mom and a daughter time being creative. Look for an upcoming post about our experience! 

You can see times of the classes and some of the paintings you can paint here.

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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

When Real Life Does Not Match your Plans

Do you ever make plans to have a nice, productive weekend, and then have nothing go according to  plan?  That is what happened to me this past weekend.  I was supposed to volunteer at the local food bank with my church small group Saturday morning,  work on Christmas projects on Saturday, and then attend church with a friend on Sunday.  Sunday afternoon, I would work on some more projects and maybe do some baking. 

Unfortunately none of that happened. 

On Friday night a friend asked me to come over to have dinner, and watch a movie on the Hallmark channel.  I went, and had a good time.  When I got home though, I noticed the temperature in the house seemed a lot cooler than when I left.   Our heat went out a couple of weeks ago as well, but that time it was an easy fix.  By the time I got home it was already almost midnight. I posted the Dare to Share party and went to bed. It was too late to call anyone. 

Saturday morning, I woke up not feeling well.  The temperature was even colder. When I tried to talk, I realized I had NO voice.   I knew something would have to be done with the heat ASAP. I texted the group leader, and said I was not going to be able to make it to the food bank.  I was feeling sick, and I needed to call someone to get our heat back on right away.   The kids were with their dad, and they were planning on coming home early afternoon.  He said he would come over and check to see if the pilot light went out again. Since I was not feeling well and bundled up from the cold, I fell asleep again.  I was woken up about an hour later when they arrived home.  It was not the pilot light this time, but something much bigger. He called the emergency maintenance number for me since I could not speak.  Minutes later, out of nowhere, they arrived with three space heaters.  They looked at the furnace, and said that a part was most likely going out since it has happened more than once.  They would come back and fix hopefully later that day, but it would probably be  on Sunday.  In the meantime we bundled up and sat in front of the heaters. I was not feeling well enough to do much crafting, and took a nap.  

Then to make things even more fun (said in a sarcastic tone!!),  the cable box in my room started acting up.  It re-booted at least 50 times. It would get close to being back online only to start rebooting again.  After a few hours, it went to the screen in the picture above.   Doing some online research, I found that was not a good sign. Pretty much every thread I found on the subject said that when the box goes to this screen, it is no longer working.  It was only 5 months old.  I left it on just in case it would download the software, but it never did.  Because it was the weekend, the service center to get a new box was closed. A lot of times I have the TV on for noise.  It drove me crazy with how quiet it was. I don't know how many times I reached for the remote to turn up the volume. 

Sunday morning I really wanted to go to church, but I was nervous to leave in case maintenance showed up while I was gone.  I did hear a little bit of noise outside early in the morning, but when I peeked out to utility door, no one was there.  We sat at home wrapped in blankets most of the day.  Finally around 3 pm, I got a phone call.  They were not going to come on Sunday after all, now they were going to come on MONDAY, and I did not have to be there.. Grrrrr! I could have gone to church without worry. I could have gone out and done some shopping. 

By that point pretty much most of my weekend was shot.  I did work a little bit on a project I am working on, and watched some Christmas specials on the living room TV.  Most of the time, my daughter complained about what I wanted to watch, she wanted to watch something else. 

Monday there were no elementary sub jobs available, and my daughter stayed home not feeling well. It was a good thing there was not a job, since I did not want my daughter home alone while they were working on the furnace   Around 10:30, I heard a lot of noise. I knew right away what it was. They were working on the furnace.. Yea!   We should be warm the rest of the winter now, they pretty much replaced the entire thing.  Three hours later we were warm again.   After picking up my son from school, I stopped by the cable service center and got my new box with no problems

Finally almost 72 hours after it all began,  I was finally warm, and watching TV again.  On the plus side from all of this, having forced rest is not necessarily a bad thing when you are not feeling well.  I took more than one nap, and a very quiet weekend.  I am starting to feel better, and can go back to the hustle and bustle of the season.  
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Saturday, December 5, 2015

Dare to Share #192

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

I am sorry to be a little bit late with the party tonight.  I was at a friends house for dinner and to watch a Hallmark movie. I got home a few hours later than planned.  This was my first Hallmark movie of the season, I am sure there will be a few more.  

This week I shared a post that I did with Betty Crocker and spreading cheer with a #SpreadCheer basket.  You can read about it here.

I also shared a gift guide post with lots of ideas for Star Wars Fans

For now I am going to go back to my old way of doing features. I know I have tried several different ways, but as this month gets busier, I think it is easier to do on feature at a time. This week I featured Christmas Candy Cookie Dough Fudge by Sweet C's Designs

and Peppermint Mocha Fudge by Home Cooking Memories

My co-host Kim from Kandy Kreations shared several Christmas printables this week. I really like the Christmas Tree Advent Calendar.  Stop over to her blog to see how to make this calendar and the other printables. 

Now it is time for this week's party. You are welcome to share anything that you would like to share.  If you are chosen as a Dare to Share Feature of the Day, you post will be featured on the blog and on my social media.  This party is also seen on Kandy Kreations for double the exposure.  Kim also chooses features to share on her blog and social media  

Link Up and HAVE FUN!! 


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Friday, December 4, 2015

Peppermint Mocha Fudge - Dare to Share Feature of the Day

Are you going to do some holiday baking this weekend?  You might want to try Peppermint Mocha Fudge by Home Cooking Memories. It is easy to make, and has several favorite flavors of the the holiday season.  The pictures make me want to take a bite right now.  Be sure to stop over to Home Cooking Memories to get the recipe.  
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Gift Guide for the Star Wars Fan

With the opening on the newest film opening up in just two weeks, it seems like the entire world has gone Star Wars crazy.  Christmas is also right around the corner, and it might be a great time to buy some of the Star Wars themed presents for it's biggest fans. (which seems to be everyone these days)   Many of the items listed  will also be great for a Star Wars themed party.   This post does contain affiliate links. If you chose to buy one of these gift ideas,  I will receive a small commission from Amazon at no extra charge to you. 

Have the coolest breakfast on the block with this Darth Vader Waffle Maker

Learn how to make Wookiee Cookies and other fun treats with this The Star Wars Cook Book: Wookiee Cookies and Other Galactic Recipes

Make your favorite Star Wars characters out of paper with Star Wars Origami: 36 Amazing Paper-folding Projects from a Galaxy Far, Far Away....

You could have a lot of fun with Jollylife Star Wars Silicone Ice Tray Set of 6   You can use these for ice cubes and candy. 

While this particular Jedi Dressing Gowns - Star Wars Bath Robe might not make it in time for Christmas,  I know many people who would love to have one.  There are also other version very similar to this one which is currently 69% off and free shipping. 

Like to play with Mr. Potato Head?  Well he likes to be Darth Vader too.  See more at 
Playskool Mr. Potato Head Star Wars: Darth Tater Toy

Want to see all of the movies?  Get Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Episodes I-VI) [Blu-ray]

For the Star Wars tech fan there is this Star Wars R2-Q5 USB HUB (4-Port)

LEGO Star Wars 75097 Advent Calendar Building Kit can help you count down to the movie and to Christmas 

Monopoly Game Star Wars is a game the whole family can play 

Does someone in the family have trouble waking up?  Get them a LEGO Star Wars Stormtrooper Figurine Alarm Clock

If dad loves Star Wars or Darth Vader he would love a Star Wars #1 Dad Darth Vader Father's Day T-Shirt 

Fan of Yoda?  Have him serve your candy in a  Star Wars Yoda Candy Holder

I am sure that I can find even more fun gifts for your Star Wars Fan, but this one is already getting a bit long.  Hopefully you see the perfect gift.  

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