Saturday, September 24, 2022

It's Time to Dare to Share

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

Happy Fall everyone!  It definitely feels like fall around here.  We were in the 90s on the last day of summer, and then the last two days it was barely 70.  I am back in Michigan this weekend, and actually wore my fall boots again for the first time in months. While I love the fall season, it means the cold and snow is not too far behind, and I'm not sure that I am ready for that. 

Last week I mentioned that I had a busy weekend planned visiting with my childhood best friend and family members who lived out of state.   It was a wonderful weekend! I met my friend for dinner on Saturday. We ended up talking for five hours, and made plans to see each other again soon.  She has a lot going on in her life right now, so it is perfect timing that we have been able to reconnect.  I also spent a great day with my mom, brother and some extended family members on Sunday.  This weekend I am visiting with my college age kids, and a few other close friends.  It is times like this that I feel really blessed.  

I did not write a blog post this week, because I have been working a lot on my Etsy Shop . I am working on new holiday listings for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I currently have a sale going on in my shop this weekend is you are interested in checking it out.  

Well it is getting late, so it is time to get this party started.  
Link up yours posts, and have fun! 

 

 

 

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Saturday, September 17, 2022

It's the Dare to Share Saturday Party

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

Do you have any big plans this weekend? This is going to be a family reunion weekend for me of sorts.  My mom is having her high school reunion, and will be visiting Ohio in the town she grew up in. I will be able to visit with her and my brother again, since she will be not too far away for her reunion.  Being able to visit with my mom two times in only two months is very unusual, since we live so far apart.  I also have plans to reunite with my best friend from my high school/college days this weekend.  She was like a sister to me, but once we got married, had kids, and lived in different states we kind of lost touch with each other.  I ran into her younger brother a month ago, and I was able to reconnect with her.  We have not seen each other in person since when were pregnant with our children who are now 21.  I am sure we will have a lot to catch up on. I am so excited to see her again. 

What are your plans this weekend?

My other update is about my new job tutoring online.  I finished my certification process, and I am now just waiting for my background check to go through.  Since I will be teaching again, and I know there are readers who are also teachers, I wanted to some something really cool that I just found out today.  Have  you ever heard of the website Creative Fabrica?  I may have mentioned it a time or two on my blog.  LOL!  Well I found out today that they have a teachers program where you can have access to their teacher resources (lessons, worksheets, games, holiday items, clipart and more) If you get a Teacher Club Card for $2.99 a YEAR, you can download 5 teaching resources per week.  If you upgrade your membership to access the entire site (clipart, svgs, patterns, templates and more)  you have access to all of the teacher resources on their site, and there is A LOT.   They also have a teacher selling program where you can sell your items (like on TPT) and you get 100% of the profit. I wish I knew of this earlier.  

I have been busy writing posts this week and working on my Etsy shop, while waiting on my tutor job to start.   

On my post Beautiful Dinnerware Perfect for a Party  I shared the about the gorgeous pumpkin dinnerware (both real and paper) that Dollar Tree has available on their website and in their stores (if you can find them) They truly are gorgeous and would be a pretty table setting for Thanksgiving this year.  At only $1.25 a dish, affordable as well.   

My other post this week is also Dollar Tree related. On Instagram (you can find me at PamsPartyPlanning) I have a rather large following of people who want to see what is new at the Dollar Tree. Pretty much daily, I get messages from people who are complaining that they can't find anything at their store,  or my store is so much better than theirs.  The truth is it is just an average store, so I decided to share my Best Dollar Tree Secrets.   By using these tips, I am able to find great finds at all Dollar Trees I visit, and I am teaching others how they can to. 



One last thing, and then I will get this party started.  We are getting close to October and Spooky Season. Have you ever Booed your neighbors?  It is a lot of fun, and we looked forward to it every year when my kids were growing up. I have several "You've Been Booed Bundles" available in my Etsy Shop which you can see by searching DancingUnicornbyPam on Etsy or here,   if you would like to check them out.  It is a great way for  you and your neighbors or friends can join in the fun of the season too.  


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Thursday, September 15, 2022

My Best Dollar Tree Shopping Secrets

 If you follow me on this blog or over at Instagram, you know that I love the Dollar Tree.  It truly is one of my very favorite stores to shop in.   




On Instagram , I share what's new at the Dollar Tree in my reels and posts.  Almost daily I will get a comment of someone saying that they can't find anything, or that my store is so much better than theirs.   The thing is my local store is not any better than other stores.  It is just an average Dollar Tree. The reason why I find so many great finds to share is because there are secrets to finding the best items. I have been shopping at the Dollar Tree for years, and I found out these secrets on my own, but I am going to share them with you so you can find great finds too.  


Using these secrets, I can find great stuff in literally every single Dollar Tree I go to and you can too.


There are a few things you need to know before I share my secrets though, Dollar Tree stores are NOT all the same. What your store gets in inventory is based on location, population demographics, volume of merchandise sold, and the size of store.  This is why you may notice if you go to stores in different areas, that one might have a bigger craft section, one might have more groceries, and one might have more beauty supplies. 

Another important thing is if you like to shop for seasonal items they come out in three waves.  The early wave is two, sometimes three months before the holiday.  Example of an early wave is Halloween items starting to  appear in late July, and Christmas items starting to hit shelves in late September.  I have heard people complain that is too early, but if you wait until a few weeks before the holiday, you might not find what you are looking for because things are already sold out.  A few weeks after the early wave, is the middle wave, and the last wave is about a month to six weeks before the holiday.    

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


Now onto my list of my BEST DOLLAR TREE SHOPPING SECRETS 

1. The best day of the week to shop is one to two days after the truck arrives.  If the truck arrives on Monday (like it did at my old store) the best days to shop for the new items were on Tuesday and Wednesday. If your store has a decent number of associates, they will start to put things on the shelves that first day, but if there is a lot of new stuff, it may take a day or two to get most of it on the floor.  If you have a smaller store with not a lot of staff, it will take a bit longer since associates ring up customers, and put out stock while they are not at the register.    

2. Go to the Dollar Tree more than once a week. If you are just an occasional shopper, you might not see something, because it is has already been on the shelf and sold out.   If you go two times a week, you have a greater chance of finding something you are looking for.  

3.  Go to multiple  Dollar Tree stores if possible. Not all stores get the same items, so if you don't see what you want at your store, go to another, because they might have it there.  When I lived in Michigan I had five different stores I liked to visit.  Now in Ohio, I have two near me that I go to the most, and then I visit others when I'm out and about.  Sometimes you find the best stuff when you stop by a Dollar Tree you do not normally shop at. 

4. Don't rule out going to a smaller store, just because it is small.   I have found hard to find items many times at the smaller less shopped at stores, because not as many people see them, and they do not sell out right away. 

5. When you are in the store, there are also some secrets to finding the best finds.  You need to go up and down every single aisle, and look at all of the display racks.  You never know where you might find an item.  Some of my best finds have been when another shopper changed their mind on it, and left it on a random shelf in another part of the store. 




6. Also, when you are going up and down those aisles, make  sure you are looking up to the top shelves, and down to the lowest shelves.  I have found many hidden treasures on those shelves. Make sure to also look at all the hanging strips and endcaps as well.   As you can see in the picture above, had I not looked down I would not have seen the football themed containers on the bottom shelf.  


7.  Bonus Tip - to find what new items are coming to the Dollar Tree look at their paper ads, on their website DollarTree.com, and follow Dollar Tree YouTubers online.  You can keep your eyes out for some fantastic deals, full size brand name finds, and can't miss items if you know what is available.   If you do not find something in store that you really want, you can also buy it on their website and have it sent FREE to your local store for pick up.  


I hope my tips help you to find those amazing finds! Happy Shopping.  





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Monday, September 12, 2022

Beautiful Pumpkin Dinnerware Perfect for a Party

 

Are you planning a fall themed party, or hosting Thanksgiving this year? 

If you have been to the Dollar Tree lately, you know that they have seasonal dinnerware, that come in gorgeous prints.  At $1.25 a piece those plates, cups, and bowls often make for a great looking tablescape  for your guests at all kinds of parties.  

 

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

New this year are these gorgeous paper plates with teal pumpkins. (above)  They can be difficult to find in store, so when you do see them scoop them up. 



The Royal Norfolk 10.5 inch Pumpkin Dinner Plates are definitely colorful, and would easily be the star of the table.  It would not be too difficult to accessorize with the different colors in this design.


The 7.5 inch salad plates compliment the dinner plates with a variation of the design and the word gather that helps set the tone of the Fall/Thanksgiving season.  I know it is a time for gathering around with my family and friends this time of year. 




The pumpkin bowls are a nice size at 6 inches and could be used all throughout the season. 





Also available at Dollar Tree are pumpkins and different prints coordinating prints of pumpkin paper napkins.  I can't decide which one of these is my favorite.    

The pumpkin dinnerware is only available for a limited time and once it is gone, it's gone until next year. (Christmas designs will be hitting the shelves soon!) 


If you would like to find these plates and can not find them in your local Dollar Tree,  today and running though Sept 14th, the has a special shipping deal. They have a $5.99 Flat-Rate Shipping w/ Exclusive Code: HARVEST .  (some restrictions may apply)   Another option that I like to use is I have my items shipped for free to my local Dollar Tree and I pick them up there.  

I would love to hear how you decorate your fall themed party.  Let me know in the comments! 


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Saturday, September 10, 2022

Dare to Share Saturday #536


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

Last week I mentioned that I had an interview for a new job.  I had the interview on Tuesday, and was offered the job on Wednesday.  Yea!  I am currently working on my paperwork and training. I should be starting to tutor again real soon. It is weird not being back in school this year. 


 While I did not write a new blog post this week, I have been busying working on my Etsy Shop.  I have been seeing an uptick in traffic for Halloween and holiday items this month.  Now that September is here, I know I am very excited about Halloween.  






I am in the process of adding several Halloween Party Planners to my shop.  I got the first one up in the shop today, and the others will be uploaded in the next few days.  They will have similar pages in the planners but will be various Halloween themes.  

If you have ever thought of using graphics and clip art for your own creations, craft projects, or been looking for SVGs for your Cricut machine,  I highly recommend checking out Creative Fabrica. It is where I go to get most of my graphics that I use in my designs. 

Well it is getting late, so I better get the party started.  Link up your links and HAVE FUN! 





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Saturday, September 3, 2022

Dare to Share #535



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

Happy Labor Day Weekend! It's hard to believe that the unofficial end of summer is here.   Do you have any plans for this holiday weekend?  We have a few things in mind, but nothing set in stone. 

I have been very busy this past week.  I recently applied for an online teaching job.  They would like me to interview, which I will do next week.  I have been busy working on my Instagram, because the Dollar Tree got in so many amazing Halloween items this week that are definitely share worthy. (stop by and follow me over there, if you  would like to see all the new finds).  I have also been busy on the blog.  The start of September makes me think of scarecrows.   This week I posted two Scarecrow themed posts.. 


The first post is my Scarecrow and Crow Pumpkins.  You may have seen them before, but I recently reshared them with an updated post on how to make them.  


I also shared a post Tips for a Fall Harvest Scarecrow Party, I made these cute Scarecrow Cookie Pops years ago, which are great treats for a fall party. 




Also since it is Labor Day weekend, it's the perfect time for a sale.  I put my entire Etsy Shop on sale for the weekend.   I would love for you to stop by, and take a look.  

Well it is after midnight, so it is time to get this party starte. Link Up and HAVE FUN! 




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Thursday, September 1, 2022

Tips for a Fall Harvest Scarecrow Party



Happy September! It's getting to be that time of year.. nights are getting chillier, sunflowers are in full bloom,  and stores are filled with all things fall and Halloween.   

One thing that I always associate with fall is scarecrows.  I am not really a fan of the scary type of the scarecrow, but I love a cute one.    Over the years some of my favorite fall crafts have actually been cute scarecrows.  

Pictured above are my scarecrow and crow pumpkins which are part of my Dollar Tree Pumpkin Gang

A few years back on my blog I share a post Scarecrow Party Ideas. It was definitely a fun post to write, but since some time has passed, I wanted to give it an update. 



One thing you definitely need to have at a party is food.  A fun way to serve the food, is by allowing the kids to make it themselves.   When a child makes their own food, they actually enjoy it more.   One thing nice about making scarecrow snacks, you can make them with whatever your want.  Every scarecrow is a put together with pieces of things, so why not your snack.  We made this scarecrow snack from an English muffin, a cream cheese and mayo mix (like on a veggie pizza), veggies and a cheese hat.   You don't have to use only English muffins, instead you could use tortillas, biscuits, or even  bread cut in a circle, which ever your guests prefer.

Here are some other food items you could serve 




This Scarecrow Party mix is the perfect mix of sweet and salty.  You can see the full list of ingredients we used here.




These Scarecrow Cookie Pops are not that difficult to make and definitely have the cuteness factor. The full recipe on how to make these can be seen here.  

Some other items you might like to serve can be found on these websites. 

Scarecrow Veggie Pizza from Taste of Home
Scarecrow Taco Dip from Betty Crocker
Scarecrow Cookies from Betty Crocker
Easy Scarecrow Cake from Betty Crocker




You also need some decor for you Scarecrow Party.  I love using all the usual fall colors of yellow, orange, red and brown.  




Another favorite fall craft of mine is my Pringles Can Scarecrow. I like to set it out every year.  It is really cute and can be used as both as a treat box and decor. The post will the full instructions can be found here.

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

Oriental Trading had some Scarecrow craft kits perfect for a party. 


When hosting a party I like to have something that can made at the party, and then taken home as a party favor. These Scarecrow wreath kits come in a set of 12 and would make a great party favor. You can find out more about them here.



If you prefer cute crows to scarecrows, the crow magnet kit may be more your style.  You can see more about them here.



Of course there is always my favorite standby for party items, the Dollar Tree, which has many types of scarecrows and supplies at both the regular and plus stores, in store and online.






 How cute is this Scarecrow Inflatable from Amazon?!  It would definitely get lots of attention and your Scarecrow party and into the Halloween Season. 


 

I hope this post has given you some fun ideas for your Fall Harvest Pary! 
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Wednesday, August 31, 2022

How to make Scarecrow and Crow Pumpkins (using Dollar Tree items)



One of my favorite fall crafts that I have made is my Scarecrow and Crow Pumpkins.  I have been making different pumpkins over the years, and have so many now, I call them my Pumpkin Gang.  You can see many of the pumpkins in Pumpkin Gang here.




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

To start my pumpkins, I painted one of them tan, and one of them black.  Dollar Tree has pumpkins in three colors now, orange,   white, and black.   If you do not want to paint one of the pumpkins, buy one that is already black.   I have linked them to DollarTree.com if you can not find them in stores.  You can currently buy the pumpkins in small quantities.  



Of the two pumpkins, the crow is the easiest to make.  You will just need some google eyes, black and orange craft foam, and some black feathers, all of which you can find at Dollar Tree.


I used the largest google eyes in the package on both the crow in the scarecrow.  I then painted the triangle nose, and the cheeks.  I watered down the red paint a bit so it would seem a bit muted. I used a sharpie to make the smile.  



I made the hat out of some burlap I had on hand, but the Dollar Tree has some of the cutest autumn, and Halloween fabrics.  I especially love their sunflower fabric.  I cut two half circles out of the fabric, after making sure they were wide enough to cover the top of the pumpkin. I did a quick whip stitch around the curves to hold the pieces together. 



To make the hat fit a little better, I rolled the edges up a couple of times.  


I found it was easier to add the straw/raffia after that hat was on the scarecrow. I stuffed it under the hat, and glued where it was needed.  



The final touch was to add a Dollar Tree sunflower!  



These two are so easy to make, and a perfect addition to your fall decor. 
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Saturday, August 27, 2022

Dare to Share #534


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

Sorry, I am a little late with the party tonight.  I am visiting a friends house for the night. We just got home from the dance we like to go to on Friday nights.  This weekend my son is moving to his college apartment so we are going to be busy spending time doing that too.





This week I finally posted about Our Visit to Red Oak, a small community in Missouri that feels like you are back in time.  It was a really cool place where you should try to visit, if you are ever in the area.  

 



Did you know that Dollar Tree has already started adding their Christmas items online such as their limited edition Winter Wonderland Fairy Garden Set? (that includes mini gnomes!)  I bought the Halloween Fairy Garden Set online last year and love it. You see more of their Christmas items at DollarTree.com.


Well it is time to get this party started. Link Up and HAVE FUN! 






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Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Our visit to Red Oak, a step back in time


Earlier this month we visited family in southern Missouri. One day we were wondering what to do, when we saw a small article about Red Oak II. It sounded really interesting as a place we might like to visit. Seeing that it was not that far away, and open until 9 p.m., we decided to go check it out. 

We pull up to this tiny community in the middle of the country near Carthage, Missouri. It was very warm the week we were visiting, so there were not many people there.  We parked our car, and it immediately felt like we went back in time.  

After our visit, I did some more research about Red Oaks and what we saw. Now that I know the full story, I definitely want to go back, and see some more.   There was just so much to see. 


The artist Lowell Davis was born nearby in the original Red Oak, Missouri, near Rte 66 in 1937.  He was famous for his paintings, sculptures and metal work.   After high school he joined the military and left Missouri for awhile, but never forgot his fond memories of his childhood and tiny home town.  After being medically discharged after a plane accident, he decided to go home to Missouri.  Since there was not much left of the original Red Oak, he had an idea to start a new community called Red Oak II with rescued abandoned buildings that he relocated to Carthage, Missouri. One of the first buildings in the new location was the General Store.  He grew up living in the back of the store.  




This was the sign to the Red Oak Cafe. It was no longer open. I found doing my research that it was once a very popular eatery. I can understand why, it was such a cute, quaint building. 



This sculpture was one of the first things we saw when we got out of the car.  It is just one of the many pieces of artwork Lowell has in the community. 


There are about a dozen families living in Red Oak II in historically homes, and surrounded by artwork. We were allowed to wander freely around the grounds, and most of the buildings.  The homes where people lived there are signs posted that it is a private residence. 




Yes, that really is a old time plane just sitting in the driveway.  My boyfriend worked on planes in the Air Force, so he was quite interested in this. We were allowed to go up to it to get a closer look.  





Do you see the chicken in the road? It is actually a funny story.  This hen and her sister escaped their enclosure from across the street, and decided to go visit the Marshall's Office.  The woman who owned them drove up just as they came up to greet us. She is one of the permanent residents in the community. She shared a lot of fun facts about the history of the area, and told us she found her home on sale on the internet a few years ago. We were very glad we ran into her.  She told us that her hens were probably excited to see us, because they love people and were probably hoping for a treat. 

There is fascinating thing I found out after we visited.  One of the homes in the community is called the Belle Star House, because she once lived in the home.  You might not have heard of Belle Star, but her story is very interesting. She was born Myra Belle Shirley.  She had a well to do upbringing, and spent some of her years as a teacher.  When the Kansas - Missouri border war broke out everything changed.  Her brother was killed in that war. She became involved with an outlaw, was friendly with Jessie and Frank James (yes, that Jesse James) and started a life of crime. She went on to become known as one of the most famous woman outlaws of that time, with a string of husbands, lovers and crimes.  Her story would make for a great movie, if there isn't one already.  



This building was called the Iron Pony.  I'm not sure what this building was for, but we liked the sculptures around it. 


I believe this house was called the Mother In Law's house. We were allowed to go in it, but it was so hot that evening, that it was just too warm inside to look around. It reminded me of the Old Lady in a Shoe house from poem. 


There is a small church in the community.  Lowell brought it there, so he would have a place close by to attend church.  Lowell Davis died in November of 2020. There was a little graveyard close the house of the women we met. She told me that the grave stones in the cematary did not actually have graves. There was only person buried there, and it was Lowell Davis himself. This cat had been following us for a bit, and decided to rest on his gravesite. 



This barn and my favorite type of farm truck was across the street.  It looked so beautiful and peaceful, I just had to take a pic.  

If you ae ever in southern Missouri near Joplin, you will definitely want to stop by and check out Red Oaks II. 










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