Friday, July 1, 2022

Dare to Share #526

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

Well I survived my move, barely! We just arrived home around 9:30 tonight.  It was a long week! On Monday we were organizing and packing what we could. My apartment was on the small side to there was no where to put the boxes and bins.   On Tuesday morning, we picked up the Uhaul, and started loading.  It look longer than planned, and we had to finish loading on Wednesday.  Wednesday afternoon we made the three hour drive to Dayton, and unloaded the truck.  Since I am moving in with my boyfriend and his grown kids, we will still  have to figure out where to put things.  Currently all off my belongings are in his garage, spare bedroom and dining room since we had to unload quickly, turn in the truck and drive back to Michigan that same night. His car was still in Michigan since he drove the truck.  We arrived at the hotel around 2 am.  Thursday was supposed to be the final day at my apartment.  We needed to figure out what to do with the rest of the items that did not make it on the truck. It was actually more than planned because we were in a hurry on Wednesday afternoon to get on the road. Some of the things I did not plan to bring ended up on the truck, and some of the things I wanted to bring did not. There were also things I did not have a chance to get to yet.    On Thursday, one of my friends was not able to help, because she just became an emergency foster for a blind dog the same day.  Another friend had another commitment and could only stay a couple of hours . One friend was able to stay several hours, but is not physically able to do heavy work. It was also in the low 90s and humid.  We worked hard all day long, but at 2 am we were still not finished and too exhausted to keep going.  I had to call my apartment office and let them know we would finish up today (Friday) and would drop off the keys as soon as we done. It still too longer than planned to finish packing, because a quick storm with heavy rain swept through. We had to wait it out, because both of us, and my belongings would have gotten soaked. We also had to clean out the apartment which was not an easy task because, it is an older apartment with a lot of issues.  Finally a little after 4 pm, we were finally finished and  it was time to turn in the keys. 

I wasn't sure how I would feel.  It is a sense of relief, but it doesn't seem real yet. I have not liked living there, but have had to for several years, because the cost of living in my part of Michigan made many places difficult to afford.  I found out from some of the neighbors that we just got new management, and many people were being asked to leave when their leases are up, because they want to raise the rent even more.  (Mine would have gone up $500 in one year for a sub par small apartment) I believe that would have happened to me too, if I had not given notice.  One of my neighbors was one of those asked to leave, but can't because she can't find a place to go.  After turning in my keys, we stopped to get a quick bite to eat and then it was the three hour drive south with two cars.

Even though there is still a lot to do, we are going to take it easy the next day or so.  We are exhausted!  We have decided to take a day to rest tomorrow. 

So before I fall asleep for the night, I better get tonight's party started.  Link up and HAVE FUN! 


 




 

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Saturday, June 25, 2022

Dare to Share #525

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

Well it's moving week, and things are a bit crazy over here.  So much sorting, packing and planning. The next few days are going to be very busy.   

Last night was a lot of fun.  One of my best friends who is like a big sister to me surprised me last fall with concert tickets for my birthday.  Well last night was the concert.  






It was the Mixed Tape Tour, with NKOTB as the headliners with Rick Astley, En Vogue and Salt and Pepa.  It was so much fun!  I literally grew up with these bands. They are all about the same age me, but still rocking on stage, which was awesome to see. By the time we got home it was 1 am, and very tired after the last few days working on moving.  

Since I need to get to back to packing, it is time to get this party started.  

Link up and HAVE FUN! 





 

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Saturday, June 18, 2022

Dare to Share #524


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

Well I made it!  The last day of school was on Wed. We had a half day with a sixth grade send off. While that sounds nice, it was almost 100 degrees that day.  Now imagine 400 sixth grade students, at least 100-200 parents, multiple teachers and volunteers all in a gymnasium.  It would be warm in there on a 90 degree + day without all the people, it was extremely warm with all the people. It was so warm, I am surprised someone did not pass out.  I was lucky though, I got to be down on the gym floor with teachers but over to the side where it was a little cooler, and I was not next more than one or two people.  Afterwards we were served ice cream sundaes.   I was able to say goodbye to many students, and wish them well in seventh grade.  I didn't have to say goodbye to the teachers that day,  because we had our staff end of the year party on Thursday night.  I am so glad that I went. Almost everyone on staff was there. We had tons of food, great company, and a lot of fun.  Two of our teachers are retiring, so there were speeches, lots of hugs and a few tears.  The party lasted until midnight, because we were having such a nice time that we didnt want the party to end.  I got to say a proper goodbye to my amazing coworkers.  I am really going to miss my school.  We are very lucky to be part of a wonderful family.  Tonight I went to the Friday night dance to spend time with some good friends.  I plan to see them again in a few weeks, so it's not goodbye, it  is see you soon.

Since it is getting late, and I really need to get some sleep since I have another big day tomorrow, I better get this party started.  

Link up and HAVE FUN! 


 

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Saturday, June 11, 2022

Dare to Share #523


 It is Saturday morning, and you know what that means.. 
It is time to Dare to Share! 

Only two more days!  While a lot of districts are out of school already, we still have 2.5 days of school left.  This last week was busy.  This was my last full week, and I was placed in the two hardest classes (behavior wise) in the school. Then yesterday morning, I was a para to one of the most challenging students in the school.  While this would have made a very difficult week, things turned around quickly.   Mid week one of the classes did make me lose my mind, but on then the next day I only had that challenging class for 45 minutes, before they went to an assembly.  Then yesterday the challenging student was on really good behavior, and left at lunch.  After lunch I was in a classroom with kids watching a movie.  During recess time I felt like a celebrity signing many yearbooks of the kids.  

Next week will go quickly, and be bittersweet.   On Monday I am in one of my favorite classes helping students I really enjoy teaching.  We are also doing an all school lip dub that we did every year until Covid hit.  We will also be having field day, and a special send off ceremony.  I am only working two of those days. and On the last day I  will be going to the ceremony to say goodbye to the students, and all of the teachers I have worked with for several years.  Its going to be an emotional day for sure.  

I did get a little bit  accomplished on Instagram this week.  A few of my Dollar Tree reels have been blowing up.  I am on track to hit 10 thousand followers this week.  Making reels is a lot of fun, and gives me an excuse to go to the Dollar Tree more often. :)     

I also added two new coordinating listings in my Etsy Shop . I am selling Father's Day questionnaires which are a lot of fun to read when  filled out by a young child.  I have received Mother's Day questionnaires from my own children in the past and their answers are priceless! I added a matching Fathers Day card to the questionnaire listing, and I also added a bundle where you can get a discount when you buy both files.  I will be adding cards to the other questionnaire listings as well.  I currently also have a BBQ theme, and a golf theme.  While I might run out of time to make them this year, I hope to add sports, gamer, and a motorcycle theme. 

Before it gets much later, I better get this party started.. 

Link up and HAVE FUN!! 

 






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Saturday, June 4, 2022

Dare to Share #522


It is Saturday morning, and you know what that means.. 
It is time to Dare to Share! 


 Hi everyone! I know today's party is a little later than normal.  I have a good reason though.  This month is going to be a month of massive changes for me.  I don't really share too much about my private life on here, but these changes will affect this blog in a good way.  

What is going on you may ask..  

Well at the end of the school year I am going to take a break from subbing/teaching. I am moving back to my home state, and moving in my with long term boyfriend. I am also going to start working full time on my Etsy Shop, Instagram  and this blog.  

You may be wondering how all of this has come about. It actually has been in the works for a long time.  Late last summer my apartment complex sent out letters.  They gave us notice that rent was going up by over $200, and we had one week to decide if we wanted to sign a new lease or we had to be out in 30 days.  My lease had just recently expired so I had to make a decision. (they were behind on paperwork because of Covid) Since I would have had to move out by the end of Sept, and the school year was just starting, I decided to resign for 9 months at the higher rate. That would allow me to get through the entire school year.  Well we are now in month 9!  Eek! There is still a lot to do in the next few weeks.   I know that I definitely made the right decision to leave.  A few weeks ago I got another letter stating that the end of my lease was coming up, and if I were to resign, they were raising rates again starting July 1.. this time it was $250 more!   In less than a year my rent on an older, not in good shape apartment, went up $500.  I was barely affording my bills at  last summer's rates, there is no way I could afford $500 more a month, with all the other living costs going up as well. 

Now you know why I am moving, now to explain the other changes.  As you may know I started an Etsy shop last fall.  I love working on it, but I have not had a lot of time to create printables, working full time and tutoring on the side.  I personally love my current school and will miss it a lot, but I have decided not to start over in a new school.  Now that I will not to have to work two jobs to pay really high bills, I will be able to work on all my other loves and creative outlets. I am super excited about the opportunity, and being with my boyfriend full time.  



Here are a couple of my recent printables added in my Etsy Shop.  I am in the process on working on many new party printables, including items from two actual parties and I am planning for my bonus kids this summer. 

If you ever thought about making your own printables and selling them, I highly recommend this course by Gold City Ventures. I took the course last year, and have been active in their Facebook group ever since.  It's such a great group to be a part of.  Julie and Cody really care about the success of their students, and have live meeting times where they really get to know everyone and answer questions.  If you are interested but not sure if you want to dive into a course, you can read their Free E Book that talks more about seasonal printables. 

If you haven't checked my Instagram page all about my Dollar Tree finds, diys and party ideas, you may want to go check it out. It has blown up in recent weeks, and I am so excited about it.  I have been finding so many new amazing items at Dollar Tree in the last few months, that you will not believe are from the Dollar Tree.  

Now that I have been rambling on about what is going on with me for a while, lets get this party started!! 

Link up and HAVE FUN! 




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Saturday, May 28, 2022

Dare to Share #521

 


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

Happy Memorial Day! Do you have any plans for this weekend?  We don't have any big plans and will just see what happens. 

But since it is a busy holiday weekend, let's get this party started.. 

Link up and HAVE FUN! 





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Saturday, May 21, 2022

Dare to Share #520

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

We made it through another week!  Just a few more weeks  to go until summer vacation.  This week was another busy one for me.  I tutor after school a  few days a week, and I had to work at getting my apartment ready for a possible inspection.  Every apartment was sent a paper stating that mandatory inspections were going to happen on Thursday, but we did not know which actual apartments would be inspected. The letter made it sound like every apartment was being inspected. We are also in the middle of  getting ready to move next month, so the timing of this possible inspection did not really come at a great time. We have boxes everywhere as we are sorting through our belongings and starting to pack.   Luckily we were not one of the apartments chosen, but we did spend several hours preparing in case we were that could have been spent on other things like my blog or my Etsy Shop.  Now this weekend I plan on working on several new listings for graduation and Father's Day since now is prime time for those items on Etsy. 

Hopefully this next week will be easier! 

It is getting late, so I want to get this party started.  Link up and HAVE FUN! 

  



 

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Saturday, May 14, 2022

Dare to Share #519

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

Is May busy for you, as it is for me?  It is crunch time at school, and at home for me right now.  There are only a few more weeks of school, but so many things going on, and many busy days for us building subs.  I am also packing getting ready for a big move when school gets out in June.  It is also a busy time of year for my Etsy Shop with Mother's Day, Father's Day, and Graduation. I'm trying to create listings for these days for my shop.  I am also planning two big age birthday parties for bonus kids for this summer.  Both of their birthdays are right after the move.  

What do you have going on in your life this time of year? I would love to hear about it in the comments.  

It's getting late, so I better get this party started.   Link up and HAVE FUN! 




 

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Saturday, May 7, 2022

Dare to Share #518


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


Happy Friday! We are beginning our final countdown of the school year.  We have less than 30 days of school left and the teachers at my school are counting down the days.   We get out lightly later than normal in mid June this year.   When does your local school get out for the summer? 




This week I was posted two new posts.  Since it is garage sale season, I thought it would be great timing to reshare my best garage sale tips. Over the years we have had several successful garage sales, and in my post I shared what things we worked for us at our sales.  




I also shared ten tips throw and amazing party on a budget.  My kids loved their birthday parties growing up, and everyone of them was thrown on a limited budget. 



If you would like to plan something special for Mother's Day, I have several Mother's Day printables in my Etsy shop.   One of the newer items is the printable Mother's Day breakfast menu


Another new item is my printable Mother's Day questionnaire
 

It is getting late, so I better get this party started.  Link up and HAVE FUN! 



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Thursday, May 5, 2022

Ten tips on how throw an amazing party on a budget

My favorite tips to throw an amazing party on a budget 




I had the opportunity to go through some older posts this morning.  Eight years ago this week I wrote a post about my tips on throwing a party on a budget. Since it has been quite awhile, and I still stand behind these tips, I thought it would be a great time to re-share the post, and update it for 2022. 


First of all I am going to share with you a little secret.  Do you sometimes see beautiful themed  parties on the blogs and Pinterest, and feel in adequate because your parties don't measure up? While those pictures of parties are beautiful to look at, many of them cost a pretty penny to put together. Now the secret...  Most kids  really do not  care about all the details. They do not even notice if things are not perfect. They just want to eat the treats that are on those perfect dessert tables. They are just as happy with a cake that is a bit crooked as they are with  a high priced perfect one.  So the next time you want to throw your child a birthday party, just do the best you can. If it makes your child happy, then you had a successful party.  

Tip #1 The Dollar Tree and Dollar Spot at Target have almost all the supplies you will need at a fraction of the cost of the party store. When I am planning a party, The Dollar Tree is always my very first stop. They carry plates, plastic table covers, napkins, cups, plastic silverware, themed items, streamers, trinkets, and so much more.  The Dollar Spot often carries many themed items that are perfect for goody bags, and they often go on clearance, so you can sometimes pay only .30 to .50 for each item. 

Tip #2  If your child has their heart set on themed tableware, compromise, and buy one or two themed items such as the plate or napkins.   Color coordinate your themed items with plain color items.  The plates will be covered with food while they are eating , and then thrown in the trash when they are done. Wouldn't you prefer to spend $1.25 for 16 plain plates, instead of $4 for 8 just because it has a picture of a princess or ninja turtle.



Tip #3 Recycle cardboard and other items, and make your own   decorations.  It may take a little bit of time, but you can make them for very little money.  My kids and their guests have always loved the unique decor we have at our parties. I used old cardboard boxes to make a Triceratops, and a six foot T-Rex for my son's dinosaur party. As you can imagine, the boys were beyond thrilled.  I used paper mache to make the Pokeballs at our Pokemon party.  All I needed was a few balloons, some old newspaper, and  some paint.  We had to make our own falling food at our Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs party, since it was such an unique theme. We used cardboard, poster board, and card stock to make the food,  and hung them from the ceiling with thread.  I recycled a few long boxes to make the life size surf boards that we used at my daughter's Beach Bash Birthday.


Tip #4  Do not bother to buy the cardboard party hats with the elastic.   The elastic hurts, and kids really do not like them very much.  Instead why not make a hat or accessory for the kids to wear.  Not only will the kids be a lot happier to wear something fun at the party, but they can use them again when they play dress up. When my oldest was three, she had a Madeline party. All of the girls loved their yellow felt Madeline hats.  I used craft foam to make Scooby Doo ears and ribbon to make the  collar for my son's Scooby party.  My youngest was so excited to wear her tulle Tinkerbell skirt and star crown at her Tinkerbell party. I remember her wearing the skirt  for days afterwards. Guests at the unicorn party loved that they got to wear their very own unicorn horns made with a dollar store headband, felt and yarn.



Tip #5  Make up your own activities using items you already have at home.   We set up stuffed animals all over the house and backyard for the Safari party.  My son really enjoyed leading all of his friends on a Safari tour.  One of the games we play at almost all of our parties, is the Pin the Tail game.  I use poster board to make a game matching the theme.  The lion in the picture was actually used twice. It was used for both our Safari, and our Zoo party. Some of the other Pin the Tail games have been pin the tail on Pikachu, pin the hat on Madeline, pin the rocket on the moon, and  pin the cherry on the top of the sundae.  The dinosaur dig was super easy to set up. We had to do it in the garage since it was raining too hard to go to the sandbox.  We hid some dinosaur skeletons in a large box of sand.  Each of the boys had a plastic shovel and paint brush, so they could  become pint sized Paleontologists.  Using a dollar store hula hoop and some rope, I put together the perfect lasso, for our cowgirls to try and lasso the foam board horse.



Tip #6  Use props, and make your own photo booth.  I have been taking photo booth type pictures years before it became a fad.  One of my favorites  has to be the year my son turned one.  The Teletubbies were very popular then, and all of the guests were three or younger.  They all happily posed as the baby in the sun. Those photos made a really cool scrapbook page.  My daughter looks teeny next to the very large T-Rex from the dinosaur party.   I made a cardboard corral for the horse party.  Each of the girls got to have their picture taken while  sitting on Buttercup the horse that my daughter got for her birthday. (I found it for 50% off the day after Christmas. Score!)  You may be wondering what is going on in the last picture.  That is the monkey cage we used at the zoo party.  A friend of ours is a rep for a blinds company, and had many long thin boxes we could use to make the cage.  The monkey in the picture was actually a great investment several years ago when I bought it for  $10.  We have used it for four different parties. It has made an appearance at both luaus, the safari and the zoo party.


Tip #7  There is no need to waste money buying those plastic themed bags and fill them with plastic trinkets that the kids are just going to lose and break.  It is possible to make a very nice goody bag that matches your theme for not much money.  We found almost all of the items in the Beach Bash tote bag at the dollar store.  The girls decorated the flip flops with fabric scraps as their craft. The frisbees were decorated with details of the party, and they were  used as paper plate holders during lunch. Also included were a bottle of bubbles and a sun visor. Total cost for this goody bag was only $4 per person.   The brown paper bag owls were from our Woodland Party.  Inside  was a notebook with deer pictures all over the cover, a necklace and a ring. The girls also got garden pad in the shape of a frog that were on clearance for .25 each.  Total cost for this goody bag was $3 per person.  I do admit to spending more on the Art themed bag from her art party. My daughter only invited a handful of girls. She wanted the bag to be filled with art supplies. The paint palette is only $1.29 at Michaels. The flip flops, colored pencils and wooden frames were all $1 each. The girls decorated their flip flops again at this party.  The paintbrushes are from Ikea, where a pack of 5 brushes in only $1.99.  The tote bags were leftover from the Beach Bash, so they did not cost anything this time around. Total cost for these goody bags were about $6.50, but every single item in it can be used again and again.  

Now some BONUS tips to use during the party 

Tip #8 One thing we did at all of our parties over the years was have the birthday child sit in a special chair.  The guests should  all sit on the ground or floor so everyone can see the opening of the gifts. 

Tip #9 To lessen hurt feelings, put the names of all of the guests in a cup. Draw their names one by one to determine which present to open next.  When their name is drawn they can go up and sit by the birthday child while the gift is being opened. Take a photo of the guest, birthday child and gift.  Doing this  makes it much easier to remember who gave which gift after the party. You can also send a copy of the photo to the guest in their thank you card. 

Tip #10 Use a sharpie to put the guests' names or initials on as many things as you can.  There will always be someone who loses their cup, hat, and even goody bag.  Doing this will cut down on the number of cups that are used, and it will make it easier to find those lost items. 




 
I am still using many of these tips to the present day.  While all my children and my bonus children are grown up, I am still putting together theme parties.  I definitely still go to the Dollar Tree for most of my items, and I still like to make decor like my Cinderella Tower Photo Booth. This summer we are throwing two birthday parties.  One will be a Victorian Halloween (yes in the summer, but it is what the birthday girl wants) and a Taco Fiesta birthday party.   I will be sharing both posts and printables for those parties soon! 



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Monday, May 2, 2022

My Best Garage Sale Tips


As the weather starts to get warmer, many people get excited because that means it is also time for garage sales to begin.  When I lived in my old subdivision we had a sub wide sale every year.  What was nice about doing it with an entire sub, we had A LOT of traffic come out and we did not have to do any advertising.   While organizing and getting ready for the sale was a lot of work, it was worth it every year.    

A few years back I wrote a series of blog posts with my best tips I learned over the years.  

In my first post of the series I talked about why it was important not to wait until the last minute, and where to find affordable tables. (tables that I am still using to this day)    

You can read the first post here.



 


In part two, of my best garage sale tips, you can read some of my favorite tips that I still use today.  I share how I kept things organized, and divided the garage into sections. 



In part three, I shared some more of my favorite tips, like what to do with all of those plastic toys from fast food restaurants.  





I also have a list of other garage sale posts from some of my blogging friends.  I am not sure how many them are still active bloggers, but the posts might still be available.  

Do you have any garage sale tips you would like to share?  Leave them in the comments below.   


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Saturday, April 30, 2022

Dare to Share #517

 


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





So I had something interesting happen this week.  A few days ago I got an email from Dollar Tree saying that my local Family Dollar was having a grand opening.  I was very confused by this, because our Family Dollar is not new, and had been open for a long time.  On Thursday evening I drove by Family Dollar on my way to my student's house.  (I tutor two evenings a week)  I was surprised to see large flags in front of the store.  Then I saw why... to my surprise there were the old $1 Dollar Tree signs on the windows of the store with the Family Dollar signs.  It is being converted into one of their hybrid stores.  On my way home from tutoring, I stopped in to see what they had.  I was very happy I did.  They had several cute items that I have not seen at the Dollar Tree, and some bonus type of items for $3 and $5.  In the pictures above, I found a couple of small patriotic gnomes for $1, and a cute summer sign for $3.  


When I first walked into the store I found these adorable bird houses for $5 each. 


In the party section they had a lot of items for $1 and #2, and these pinatas for #3. 



Here are some more $1 items that I have not seen at the Dollar Tree. 



These Patriotic campers were a very nice quality and only $3 each. 



If you like to DIY I found 3D trucks and campers perfect for painting.  I think they were $5 each. 



They had an entire endcap of graduation items, and many party supplies that they also carry at the Dollar Tree.  Do you see what I see?  It shows up better on my phone than on my computer, but it is the price.  They had many of the same party items in both stores, but at Family Dollar they are only $1. 

I did end up buy about $12 worth of items.  They had a lot of empty shelves because they were waiting on the truck to deliver this week, but I will definitely be going back soon to see what else they get in.  

Do you have a Family Dollar near you?  Are they a hybrid store?  

Well it is getting late so it is time to get this party started.  

Link Up and HAVE FUN! 



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