Last Day Surprise

The weather’s getting warmer, the kiddos are getting restless, the mommies are getting excited (at least these mommies are!).  All that can only mean one thing–Summer Vacation is just around the corner!  We plan to kick of the summer as soon as our little ones step off the bus on the last day of school.  Here are a few ways to get the party started!  There is quite a range, from mild to wild.  Make sure you tailor to fit your youngsters.

Greet Your Kids at the Bus Stop With:

  • water guns
  • water balloons
  • silly string
  • bubbles
  • a greeting written on the pavement in sidewalk chalk
  • a tray of goodies and/or drinks (perhaps with little umbrellas)
  • whipped cream pie in the face
  • popsiclessummer

Happy Summer!

Sunshine Cupcakes

Whether you are celebrating the end of the school year or the start of summer (or like us, BOTH) these cupcakes are perfect.Sunshine Cupcakes 1What you’ll need:

  • Lemon Cake Mix and the ingredients to prepare according to the directions on the box
  • Lemon Icing (I added a little more food coloring to make them really yellow)
  • Small Pretzel Sticks (you will need to break them in half to be “rays”)
  • Sour Gummies shaped like semi-circles
  • Sour Fruit Strings (cut in approx. 1 inch lengths for mouths)

Sunshine Cupcakes 2Assemble according to our pictures.  Here’s to the best season EVER!!  Yeah, Summer!!!Sunshine Cupcakes 3

I “DIG” having you as a teacher!

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week I made these little treats.  They aren’t much compared to all the hard work the teachers my children have this year put in to teach my kiddos.  But, at least they will know we appreciate them.I DIG you 1

Whatcha need:

  • Sand shovels (I scored these little babies at the end of the summer for 0.48 cents each)
  • desired candy (I used M&Ms and Peanut Butter M&Ms)
  • cellophane bags
  • ribbon

Simply assemble the bags as shown and attach a tag using the play on words,

“I DIG having you as my teacher!”I DIG you 2

Carnival Themed Bake Sale

One of our followers contacted us about helping with her charity bake sale.  She wanted a carnival theme and we delivered a small but cute bake sale that kept up with our other super bake sales.Carnival Bake Sale 1Carnival Bake Sale 4Carnival Bake Sale 5Since this event was held outside we had more baked goods wrapped in plastic than we have at previous bake sales.  Wrapping tickets around hurricanes filled with chocolate covered pretzels added to the theme.Carnival Bake SAle 8Carnival Bake Sale 6Using popcorn boxes gave store bought cookies more appeal. Carnival Bake Sale 2These donated Rice Krispies Treats were cut in a flower shape, adorned with rainbow sprinkles and placed on a stick.  Very fun!Carnival Bake Sale 7Vegetable cans wrapped in striped paper make perfect containers for treats on sticks.  Let us know how your next bake sale goes.

Oz the Great and Powerful Party under $50

My daughter read the book, Oz the Great and Powerful and wanted to see the movie.  She decided that a themed 10th birthday party would be a great time to debut the film at our house.  My goal? – Throw a party my daughter enjoyed AND keep everything under $50.

I borrowed this sign from my cousin and hung it on the door to greet our guests.Oz the Great and Poweful party - signOz the Great and Powerful Party - tableThe table was set as the Emerald City with Dollar Store paper goods.  A basket adorned with balloons made a nice “hot-air balloon ride” centerpiece.

Emily wanted the food to go from black and white to technicolor and I made a banner with the phrase, “You are capable of more than you know.” -OzOz the Great and Powerful party - buffetOz the Great and Powerful party - black and whiteOz the Great and Powerful party - colorsWith the use of a stem of fake flowers from Walmart, I turned ordinary cupcakes into a field of poppies.Oz the Great and Powerful Party - poppy cupcakesThe bulk of the party was spent watching the movie in our basement.  I had recorded it on DVR, but it got deleted.  So, despite that fact that I had to buy it for $14, the party was still put on for less than $50.  Oz the Great and Powerful party - movieEmily enjoyed her party and all the little efforts made to carry out the feel of Oz.


Star Wars Party Under $50

My son wanted a Star Wars party for his 7th birthday.  My efforts to pull off the theme met my little man’s expectations and that’s the most important thing (oh yeah, and that I was able to entertain for less than $50).Star Wars Party light saber wars 3The cake was simple.  Just a good old boxed cake mix, frosting and some clip art.  Also, adding Popems around the perimeter made all the kids salivate. Who knew?Stars Wars Party CakeThe rest of the food was simple.  A few munchies and some Star Wars gummies I scored at the grocery store.Star Wars Party buffetStar Wars Party gummiesThe best part of the party was definitely the Light Saber Battle using light sabers I made out of pool noodles.  I bought pool noodles from the Dollar Store and cut them in half.  I wrapped duck tape and black electrical tape about one end of each of the noodles to look like a handle.  The kids had a ball and there were very few casualties.  Star Wars Party light saber warStar Wars Party light saber war 2At the end of the night the kids watched Return of the Jedi.  Voila! A Star Wars party.  One little guest was quoted as saying, “It was the best party EVER!”

Party Balloon Headband

You loved our Fun and Fancy Flip Flops for less than $2, now love (and “LIKE” and by all means “PIN”) our Party Balloon Headband.Party Balloon Headband Olive 2

This head band was made for less than $2 and is so cute.  I used water balloons and a wire headband (all from the $1 store of course).  Balloon HeadbandSimply tie the balloons in knots around the headband until desired look is reached and voila – an adorable headband for the birthday girl (or a super-fun birthday party guest!).Party Balloon Headband Olive 1

Sock Wreath for Valentine’s Day

This wreath cost about $7 to create and was made in less than 20 minutes.


  • 1 wicker wreath (this one is 13 inches)
  • 5 pairs of socks (in honor of Valentine’s Day I used red, pink and heart-adorned socks)
  • scissors
  • snips for cutting the wreath
  • a small piece of chenille for a hanger
  • packing tape or other heavy duty tape
  • coordinating ribbon if desired

Step One – Using the snips, cut the wreath to make it possible to slip the socks on.  At the opposite end of the cut, attach the chenille as a hanger.

Step Two – Using scissors, cut the toe out of each sock to form a tube.

Step Three – Slide the socks onto the wreath in your desired pattern.  Use the top of the following sock to cover the cut edge of the sock before it so that the cut edges to not hang out of the finished product.

Step Four – Tape the cut portion of the wreath with tape and adjust the socks as necessary.

Step Five – Add a bow if you wish and display your creation for all to see!

While this wreath has a Valentine’s Day theme, but you can modify it for any holiday or special occasion by finding the perfect footies.

Popcorn Recipes

Hold onto your hat, we don’t have a microwave.  That’s right, no microwave.  So, my husband is king of the good-old-fashioned-popcorn-on-the-stove popcorn and we love it!  Usually we enjoy our popcorn with a little salt and a smidgen of melted butter.  However, during yesterday’s snow day I had my kids experiment with toppings to kick our favorite snack right in the kernel.   Here are a few of the winners.Popcorn Recipes 4 varietiesFor the basic popcorn, place 6 tbsp in a large pot and add 2 kernels of corn made for popcorn.  Cover and heat on medium heat.  Once the 2 kernels pop, add 2/3 cup of kernels to the pot and cover.  Leave on the heat and shake the pot occasionally.  Listen for popping to cease and remove from heat quickly.

Drizzle popcorn with soy saucePopcorn Recipes popcorn & soy sauceSprinkle popcorn with dry Hidden Valley Ranch seasoningPopcorn Recipes popcorn and ranch seasoningSprinkle with The BEST Hot Cocoa Mix and add M&MsPopcorn Recipes popcorn and chocolateFor Muddy Popcorn:

  • 5 cups of prepared popcorn
  • 1/4 c peanut butter
  • 1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Melt peanut butter, butter and chocolate chips.  Pour over popcorn and toss gently.  Then add powdered sugar and toss gently again.Popcorn Recipes muddy popcornAnd now for some of the gross toppings and combinations my kiddos tried out:

  • squeezed clementine juice and peanut butter
  • 1 huge marshmallow
  • powdered butter – ugh!

I declined their generous offer to let me try their concoctions.