Saturday, July 29, 2023

Join the Dare to Share Party

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

I'm sorry to be a little late to get the party started tonight. I am visiting my friends and family in Michigan again and we just got in for the night. I had something really exciting happen this week!  If you follow my blog or my Instagram you know that I share Dollar Tree reels.  Well this week one of my reels about the Barbie trend went viral.  It was such a surprise! As of the writing of this post, my reel has over 2.5 million views.. While I have had a few posts do well, I am still blown away at how fast my reel grew.  The Barbie trend is huge right now. 

Over on the blog I did add a new post.. Are you ready for Halloween?  If you have Dollar Tree Plus store, I have found some amazing things for only $3 and $5 that I have already been picking up for Spooky Season.  

I wanted to try and get a few things done on my Etsy Shop, but things were pretty busy this week.  I do have a few back to school listing and starting something really cool for Halloween. 

Well it is looking to be that time.  Now that you know what I have been up to.  I would love to see what you have been up to.  Link up and HAVE FUN!! 


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Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Are you ready for Halloween? Here are must see Halloween finds!


Are you ready for Halloween?  I am on the fence about rushing into fall, but I do love Halloween.   While it is still the middle of summer, August starts in just a couple of days. Once August is here, you start thinking of back to school and fall.  Then before you know it, BAM.. it's Spooky Season!  One reason I am posting about Halloween in July is I have been finding some amazing Halloween finds already at the Dollar Tree in both the regular aisles, and the Plus aisle.  If you are a Dollar Tree shopper you know that things sell out very quickly.  I start buying items for Halloween a week or two ago.  I want to share what I found, so you can watch for them too.  

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

I am going to start with my Plus aisle finds. I LOVE their easel signs.  I bought this one, and would have bought a few others, but they were already gone.   I am searching for the orange Hocus Pocus Candy Shop sign and maybe the white one too.  You can see all four signs available here.

These Halloween table decor signs are huge, and very cute.  This Be Our Ghost sign is  my favorite.  They also have a Magic Happens with witch hats, and a Spooktacular with skulls.  You can see all three of them here.  

I was so excited to find this Hocus Pocus tray.  It flew into my cart. :) They have this style, and two other spooky styles that you can see here.

I have been hearing a lot of good things about these large solar lanterns. They are the size of a regular lantern, and give off a lot of light.  In addition to the Halloween Lanterns, they also have a black everydat lantern that I just found for 50% off ($2.50) that will work great for Halloween.  


If you have followed me for awhile, you know that I am a big fan of gnomes.  I just happened to have been in the Dollar Tree when they were opening the boxes for these amazing Halloween gnomes.  They are huge and only $3!  I could not decide which ones I wanted the most, and bought one of each.   They available on the website, which you can see here.

I bought this Halloween projector, but have not tried it yet.  I know they work well in small dark spaces.  They have different scenes which you can see more about here.

I also bought this LED shadow light and wish I got a couple more.  I have seen a few people on YouTube show how these work and they are really cool.  I will be hopefully sharing mine on Instagram very soon! (Be sure to check over on Instagram for more Halloween and other Dollar Tree reels!)  I am not seeing the projector lights on the website yet, but keep an eye open at the stores.

Did you know that Dollar Tree has 4ft Halloween inflatables for $5.  They are a little different than the large inflatables from others stores.  They do not plug in, instead you weight it down with water then use an air pump to inflate it.  I bought the pumpkins inflatable (it's still in it's box)   They have several other versions which you can see here.

I also bought the black tiered tray/cupcake holder.  It's currently in the box in the back of my car, but will be on display soon.   If you love the look of tiered trays but not the high price of some stores, you will like the plus aisles price of $5.  You can see more information about these trays here.

While I have not seen these in my stores yet, I am excited about both versions of the Halloween solar lights. I can't decide between the black lantern style lights or the colorful tombstone lights. All I know is Dollar Tree solar lights work really well, and are a great price. 

Even if you are not in the Halloween mood yet, pick up these items as you see them, so when you are ready you will have everything on hand.  If you wait until closer to Halloween some of these item will no longer be available because things sell out quickly at the Dollar Tree.  

If you do decide you would prefer to buy online, you are in luck!  Now between the dates of July 27 and Aug 7, shipping will be 50% off with the exclusive code SCHOOL23.  You can buy anything on their website with that code, not just school supplies.    Happy Shopping! 

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Friday, July 21, 2023

Dare to Share Saturday Party

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

Well, we made it through another week  It was a busy one for me at work. One of the teachers were out for a well deserved week's vacation.  Another one of our teachers was going to be her main back up, but halfway through the week she started not feeling well. While I was going be assisting the main back up part of the time, I ended up being the back up to the back up. I worked more hours than I normally do this week. That's okay, though, it doesn't happen all the time, and now I will have a bigger check on payday.  

I was able to get a few new things accomplished on the blog and in my shop this week.  

On the blog, I wrote about the family reunion we went to last weekend, and shared the recipe for pizza pasta salad,  which I brought as our dish.  It was a hit, and I will probably be bringing it again to the next reunion.  

Are you excited about the Barbie movie?  I know I am!!  I shared my excitement over on Instagram.  I shared a reel on how to Barbie trend with items found at the Dollar Tree, and also two posts about party finds perfect for a Barbie Party.  I also have a few more Barbie  and Halloween reels in the works. 

Over in my Etsy Shop I am having a Christmas in July sale, where my entire shop is 20% off through the end of the month.   I also added a couple of new listings for the upcoming Back to School Season.  One is my Classroom Scavenger Hunt where kids find items from around the classroom. 

Another new listing is my Classmate Scavenger Hunt.  This game is a good way for kids to get to know each other at the beginning of the school year.  They find the classmates that match the clues, and write their names. As they find the classmates, they just might found out there are kids in the class who have things in common with them.  

While my Road Trip Scavenger Hunt is not new, I am sharing it because it is vacation season!  This is a great way to keep kids occupied in the car while they play different games. I wish I had this when my kids were young. 

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


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Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Family Reunion Pasta Salad

This past weekend we went to a family reunion.  We were instructed to bring a dish to pass on the invitation.  I thought of several things we could bring, but then I remembered one of my favorite dishes.  It is called Pizza Pasta Salad. I have shared this recipe in the past, but it has been a few years since I have done so.  It is very easy to make, and it always disappears fast when I serve it. 

You will need a box of your favorite pasta for this pasta salad.  I usually use rotini, but I sometimes use bowtie pasta. Both types work well.  Boil the pasta in a large pot, and then drain the water. 

I realized I forgot to take a picture of the plain cooked pasta after I had already added the tomatoes.  I used cherry tomatoes this time, but you can use regular tomatoes if you have them on hand.  I used equivalent to two or three medium tomatoes.  

The other ingredients to add in is a block of cubed cheddar cheese, and 3 ozs of sliced pepperoni.  I  occasionally also add in some Velvetta cheese cubes because of it's softer texture.  This time I only used the cheddar cheese.  If desired you can also add in some sliced green onion. I usually don't add it into mine.

Once you have ingredients in the pasta salad cut and in the bowl, it is time to make the dressing.  

You will need 3/4 c vegetable oil, 1/2 c red wine vinegar, 2/3 c grated parmesan cheese, 2 tsp dried oregano, 1tsp garlic powder, and 1 tsp salt.  Add all of the ingredients in a bowl, and then mix well. 

Once it is mixed well, you are going to pour it on the pasta.

 Mix the dressing throughout the pasta salad. Cover the bowl, and chill in the fridge for a few hours.  

Since we were going to a reunion 40 minutes away, and didn't want to mess with bringing dirty dishes home, I brought the pasta salad in a disposable pan from the Dollar Tree.  They came in a 2 pk, so I used both to make the pan a little more sturdy. 

On the way to the reunion, we had a lot of rain.  We were concerned as we were driving that the reunion might be canceled since we were in a shelter house.  As we got closer though, the weather got better, and the sun came out.  Yea!  While we did not have as many people at the reunion as last year (probably due to the rain) the pasta salad was a hit with those who were there.  I guess I will have to bring it again next year.  :)

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Saturday, July 15, 2023

Let's Dare to Share!

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

I'm sorry that I am a little bit late to get the party started tonight.  I was busy in the kitchen preparing a my pizza pasta salad for a family reunion we are going to tomorrow. I wanted to get it done tonight, because it tastes even better when it is chilled before serving.  I will post more about the salad and the reunion this week. 

I did get some really good news this week.  I thought I eluded a few weeks that something could be in the works, but looking back to past posts I am not seeing it now.   Back in early June I interviewed a journalist who wanted to write a story about the Dollar Tree.  A friend of mine who knew the journalist recommended me as a Dollar Tree expert.  Well this week the article was published.  It is quite exciting.  If you would like to read the article you can see it here.

I am currently working on some Back to School listings over in my Etsy Shop.  While it is still the middle of the summer, school will be back in session before we know it. This year feels like it is flying by! 

In fact over on Instagram, I just shared a reel about some of the Halloween items that are starting to arrive at Dollar Tree.  There is one thing in particular that will be quite popular, especially if you are a fan of the Halloween movie with the three witches who are sisters! 

Well since it is getting late, and I have an early morning, I better get this party started.   Link up and HAVE FUN! 


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Friday, July 7, 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! 

Did you have a good 4th of July weekend?  Ours was very busy.  We live near a bigger city, so we had a lot of fireworks shows in our area to choose from over several days. We went to see two of them.  I noticed this year the fireworks seemed bigger and more colorful than in years past.  

We also celebrated a birthday over the weekend. My boyfriend and I each have a child who has a birthday over the holiday weekend.  In fact they were born on almost the very same day!  We only celebrated one of their birthdays this weekend though, because I celebrated with my daughter last weekend while I was in Michigan. 

Of course, everything I used for the party was from the Dollar Tree. We had  a combination of new items, 4th of July items, and items from our recent graduation party. It was just a very casual family party. 

On the blog this week, I shared one of our very favorite bread recipes.  The post is how to make strawberry bread, which my kids really love.  

 If you follow me over on Instagram, you may have seen my reel about my dogs, and the new Hershey's themed dog toys. My golden loves hers.  She has been carrying it around for the last two days, and doesn't let it out of her sight.  Over on my Instagram page I share all of my Dollar Tree finds and deals. These toys were definitely a great deal! 

I have one last thing this week that is still in the works over on my Etsy Shop, I will be having a Christmas in July sale starting on Monday.  I have a couple of new listings that I will be adding over the weekend that I want in the sale. 

Now that you know everything I have been up to this week,  I would love for you to share what you have been up to.  Let's link up and HAVE FUN! 


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Wednesday, July 5, 2023

How to make Strawberry Bread

 One of my favorite things about summer is that so many berries  are plentiful and in season.  While I am posting this delicious bread recipe just after the peak of strawberry  season, I know they are still easily found and still on sale in many grocery stores.  

This bread recipe is one of my son's favorites.  Back when he was in middle school and early years of high school he had a cooking series on my blog. His Cooking with Kyle recipes were quite the fan favorites back in the day, and are still available in the link at the top of my blog, and in search. 

There is an affiliate link in this post 

There is a little back story on the reason why there are two different bread pictures in this post. We made the big loaf first. He was so impatient to try the bread that he talked me into cutting it before it had cooled, and it fell apart before I could get more pictures. He ate almost the entire loaf by himself. He "offered" to make more for his Cooking with Kyle series.  The second time we made the bread, we mixed things up a little bit by making mini loafs, and also adding a banana. 

I love this picture of him. He was so serious when he was cooking.  

Kyle mixed the dry ingredients first 

They are:

3/4 c flour 

2/3 c sugar 

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda 

1/4 tsp salt 

He then mixed the wet ingredients 

They are:

1 1/2 to 2 c strawberries 

1/2 c softened butter 

2 eggs

2 Tbsp milk 

1 banana (if desired) 

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with either a mixer or by hand.  

He used this mini loaf pan which makes four personal size loaves. 

If you are baking a full size loaf, bake it at 350 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes.  If you are baking mini loaves, it takes about 30 minutes at the same temp.  

If you would like to add powered sugar glaze on top, it is really easy to make.  Just add a few tablespoons of milk to powered sugar and mix until you get the consistency that you like. 

You may notice there isn't any glaze on the bread in this picture. There is a good reason for that.  Kyle was being very impatient again, and didn't want to wait to for me to make the glaze.  I was barely able to get the pictures that I did, before he made the bread disappear. :) 


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