Friday, June 30, 2023

It's Dare to Share Saturday!

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

Happy almost 4th of July! 

Where did June go?  This weekend wraps up our crazy last few weeks with graduation, grad parties, and a few birthdays thrown in. While I really love 4th of July festivities, or two doggies are already feeling a little stressed. Hopefully the next few days will be okay for them. 

While I had planned on sharing a new blog post this week, there was a lot going on at work and I just did not have chance.  I do though want to share one of my favorite 4th of July recipes.  It is called 4th of July Strawberry pie and you can see how to make it here.

I did have the chance to add two new listings to the shop this week.  4th of July Trivia Games


and this 4th of July Scavenger Hunt, that the entire family can play. Just for the fun of it, I printed out a few copies so my family can play this weekend. :) 

Now that you have seen what I have been up to, I would love to see what you have been doing. 

Link up and HAVE FUN!! 

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Saturday, June 24, 2023

It's Dare to Share Saturday

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

Well we had the graduation party last Sunday, and it was a success.  There were a few minor things that happened, but overall everyone was happy, and said it was a great party.  You can read all about it in my post How to plan a graduation party on a budget.

On the Monday after graduation I had to spend the day doing training for work, and did not have time to get anything new posted in the shop this week.  I have a few things that I hope to get listed in the next few days though.  

This weekend I am celebrating my daughter's birthday and hope to have fun with my friends and family in Michigan.  Tonight I spent time with some of my friends at the dance we like to go to, which is why the party is going up just a little late tonight. 

That being said, it is time to get the party started.  Link up and HAVE FUN! 


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Wednesday, June 21, 2023

How to plan a graduation party on a budget

This past weekend, we held a graduation party for my bonus son. I was so excited about this party, because my own kids did not want to have one when they graduated,  which was such a bummer for this party planning mama.  I have been planning this party for the last three or four months, and almost everything used this party was from the Dollar Tree.  Buying the party supplies from the Dollar Tree definitely helped me stay on budget.  

There were only a couple of minor things that did not go the way I hoped, but over all it turned out to be a great party anyway.  It was too windy for some of our decorations.  I planned on having two balloon towers in front of the shelter house, and balloon sticks on the tables. The wind kept blowing the balloons over.  We also ran a bit late getting everything set up, because the graduate went to the wrong location when he was supposed to be picking up items for the party.  Oops!  The last thing did not go the way it was supposed to was when I pulled out the cupcakes to put on the cupcake tower, several of them had fallen over and were unusable.  Thankfully I brought some extra ones, so all was well. We just did not have as many cupcakes as originally planned.  

 ** This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

The cupcake tower was one of just a few things not from Dollar Tree.  I found it at Target for $5.  It is really sturdy cardboard, and trimmed in gold.  Thankfully it did not blow over in the wind.  We are thinking of using it again at my bonus daughter's wedding in a few months. 


The original plan was to put our food on tables under a canopy, so everyone could sit to eat and talk at the picnic tables in the shelter house.  We ended up setting out the food inside the shelter, because of the wind. All the serving trays and utensils that we used for our food are from Dollar Tree.  You can find many of the trays here, and many of them are currently available in small quantities.  

One of the biggest hits of the party were our fruit and veggie cups with graduation picks in tumbler cups  The reason why servings were put into cups is, it was easier for the party attendees to grab and go.  l did not want to have all the fruits and veggies on a tray where they could be touched by multiple people. I had several people tell me that they really liked having the individual cups.

I did something similar for the kids.  Instead of everyone putting their hands inside the chip bags to get the chips, we displayed them in a large party tray from the Dollar Tree.  I found this white on in the party aisle, but they have a few other variations here.

There were green and white party plates, napkins, cups and plastic utensils to eat with.  I thought I took a picture of them, but I must have missed it, because I am not finding it in my pictures.  

At one end the shelter house I set up the party favors, games  and card box.  I LOVE my scalloped tray that I bought a few years ago from the Dollar Tree. I used it to hold our candy bar favors.  While I have not seen these trays in one of my stores yet, they are bringing them back!  They are available now on the Dollar Tree website here. They were very hard to come by a few years ago.  I had a lot of good comments about them at this party, we are now considering using them for the wedding.

Almost all of the favors on the table were from the Dollar Tree.  The bubbles and favor boxes are available in the store. The candy jars  and trays, are available in store and online. 

I bought this card box a couple of years ago for a graduation party that did not happen during Covid. It is really big, easy to put together.  I bought the graduation cap this year.  

We did not have a photo booth set up with the wind, but we did have photo props available for the graduate to take photos with his friends.  Both the sign and the photo props are from the Dollar Tree.  

I did take a photo of the balloon tower stand after the party, and when the wind died down.  It was so easy to put together and can easily be used again, and again.  

I did make a few printables for his party, a few of which are available in my Etsy shop.  

The graduation games were a big hit.  

While I customized our candy bar wrappers with the graduate's school colors, I have printable wrappers available in the shop. 

We also wrapped all the water bottles with printable wrappers as well.  They are not in the shop yet, but are coming soon. 

Everyone left full, and happy.  The graduate had a great day with his friends and family, which made it a fun and successful party.     



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Saturday, June 17, 2023

It's Party Time! Let's Dare to Share!

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

It's party time in more ways than one this weekend.  Our graduation party for my bonus son, that I have been planning for weeks, is happening this weekend.  I am really excited about it, and we are supposed to have great weather.  I will be sharing posts about the party. Almost everything I am using for the party I bought from Dollar Tree.  You can see just a small portion of what I will be using  here on my post graduation party ideas.  I also customized several printables with his school colors for the party.  I have similar graduation items to what I will be using in my Etsy shop.  

This week I added a few new listings to my shop. I added a new All About My Dad, and Fun Facts about Dad Bundle just in time for Father's Day.  (I also have a fun Father's Day Treasure Hunt, where you read clues to dad so he can find his gift. You can find that listing here.)

 I also added a Summer Bucket List  this week.  It includes a page with pre-printed ideas, and blank page to add your own.  I printed myself a copy, and we have already done a couple of things on the list. :) 

Since it is strawberry season right now,  I posted my grandma's homemade strawberry jam recipe here on the blog.  My entire family looked forward to receiving a few jars of this jam every year, and now that she is gone, I am grateful to have the recipe.   

Now that I have shared what is new with me this week, I would love to hear from you!  Link up and HAVE FUN! 

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Tuesday, June 13, 2023

How to Make Homemade Strawberry Jam

It is strawberry season, and strawberries happen to be one of my favorite fruits.  I picked this batch at a U pick farm a few years back in Michigan.  

We also recently had a large strawberry festival in Ohio, which was a lot of fun.   Since I have shared many strawberry recipes over the years,  I thought now might be the perfect time to reshare them. 

Every year my grandma would make everyone in the family several jars of strawberry jam.  We looked forward to it every year.   I loved her jam, but had no idea who to make it until after she passed. 

I had no idea how easy her recipe actually was until my mom told me.  All you need is 4 cups of sliced strawberries, 4 cups of sugar, and a box of Sure-Jell  (Sure-Jell is not paying me for this post, it really was  my grandma's preferred brand)    I smashed the berries in a large bowl using a potato masher. As I smashed them, they began to turn into strawberry juice.  


I added the sugar to the strawberries one cup at a time, stirring each time to make sure the sugar dissolves.  Once all the sugar is added to the bowl, allow the mixture to sit for about 10 minutes. While the strawberries sit, it is time to make the pectin.  Add one box of Sure-jell to 3/4 cups of water and boil on high, while stirring constantly.  Allow it to boil for one minute, and then remove from heat.

Pour the boiled pectin into the bowl with the fruit, and stir until all of the pectin has been dissolved.  It is now ready to pour into your jars.   This recipe will make 5 cup size jars of jam. Cover the jars, and allow them to stand at room temperature for 24 hours.  The jam will keep in the refrigerator for up to three weeks, or in the freezer for one year.  

Writing this post is making me hungry.  I think I will have to make some jam this weekend!  

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Friday, June 9, 2023

It's Time to Dare to Share!

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

This is the only weekend we do not have anything planned in all of May and June.  While we will still run a few errands getting ready for our graduation party next weekend, we do not have anything on the calendar that we have to do.   The weather is suppose to be okay most of the weekend, so maybe we will do something fun outside. 

Speaking of outside, have you been affected but the heavy smoke from the Canadian wild fires?  Where I used to live in Michigan has had to deal with some smoke.  In Ohio, where I am now, has been under an air alert but hasn't been that bad.  I could definitely smell the smoke a few days ago, but I haven't noticed it the last couple of days.  I do have a friend who lives in NYC, and she was posting some scary looking pictures on Instagram. 


Now that summer break has begun, I thought I would share a post with some our favorite Ideas for Summer Fun. In this picture is a water blob we made out of plastic drop cloths. They had a blast, and it is a great memory.

When the kids were younger we used to make a summer bucket list, and tried to do as many things as we could that were on the list.  I created a Summer Bucket List this week, and added it to my Etsy shop. It comes with two pages, one pre-filled with ideas, and one blank for families to add their own.   

Now that you know what I have been up to this week, I would love to see what you have been up to.  Link Up and HAVE FUN! 

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Thursday, June 8, 2023

Ideas for Summer Fun

By now most people have finished school, or are just about to in the next few days.  The school year flew by for me this year. It is probably, because I was not teaching full time, and we had a Senior in school.   We have a lot of fun things planned for this summer, I could not help but reminisce about the things the kids and I did when they were younger.

One thing they really enjoyed was the time we made a water blob using plastic drop cloths. You can see how we made it here.  

** This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

A fun way to cool off is to make water bombs out of sponges from the Dollar Tree.  We made them by cutting several sponges in to strips and then fastening four of five strips together with a rubber band. They were softer than water balloons and you could use them over and over.  

Another easy water fun toy that we enjoyed making was the pool noodle sprinkler.  I covered one end with duct tape, securing it as tight as possible.  I then a skewer to make the holes in the pool noodle. Once you are ready attach the pool noodle to the end of a garden hose. 

An as and useful craft you do make is to decorate flip flops with strips of colorful fabric.  You can find both items at the Dollar Tree.  

Here is one of the pairs the girls made. 

Another favorite summer craft we made was the year I made cardboard surfboards for my daughter's 10th birthday.  I used large pieces of cardboard and some of the decals. They were the hit of the party and only a few dollars to make. You can see how they were made here.

Watch for more summer fun ideas soon! 

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Saturday, June 3, 2023

Dare to Share Saturday

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

Welcome to June!  Our busy May has now turned into our busier June.  There are a LOT of birthdays and special days for us in June.   We have three birthdays to celebrate, a graduation party to throw, a concert to go to, and at least one festival to attend.  The first of the three birthdays was tonight.  We are currently visiting Michigan.  We celebrated a good friend's birthday at the Friday night dance. It was a lot of fun, and I think she had a great time too.  We have to head back to Ohio in the morning for the concert Saturday night, and the festival on Sunday.  

Preschool graduation was this week. It was a very warm morning, and we had a little extra excitement.  One of our parents went into labor. She did not want to miss her older child's special day.  She stayed as long as she could and then they rushed off to the hospital.  I was not at work today, so I don't know any of the details yet.  

I was not able to write a new blog post, but there were a few other things going on.  

Over Labor Day weekend we had a date night at the drive in.  On Instagram , I shared a reel called Date Night at the Drive In on a Dollar Tree Budget, and another one called My Store is now a Dollar Tree Plus. 

I may also have some more exciting news about something in the works, but it is too early to share.  

Well it is very late, and I need to get this party started.  I would love to see what you want to share this week. Link Up and HAVE FUN! 



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