20 Terrific Teacher Gifts


Teacher gifts are one of the most difficult gifts to buy, since we don’t usually know much about their likes and dislikes. To top it off, many parents need to buy gifts for more than one teacher, so finding something cute and memorable that won’t break the bank is important. We really liked the following choices, and at the time of this writing, they were all under $15 on Amazon. Hurry, though – Amazon changes their prices frequently!

  1. Teacher Coffee Mug

2.  #1 Teacher Appreciation 20 oz. Acrylic Travel Sippy Cup with Straw

3.  “I’m A Teacher, What’s Your SuperPower?” 12oz Coffee Mug

4.  Teacher Bracelet

5.  What If There Were No Teachers?: A Gift Book for Teachers and Those Who Wish to Celebrate Them

6.  Teacher Office Desk Name Plate or Door Sign

7.  Teacher Bangle Bracelet

8.  “Best Teacher” Polymer Travel Mug

9.  Gift Boxed Teacher Wisdom Inspire Expressively Yours Bracelet

10.  It Takes a Big Heart to Teach Little Minds Keychain

11.  Teaching Is A Work Of Heart Teacher’s Coffee Mug With Gift Box

12.  Golden Apple Stress Ball

13.  Keep Calm and Teach On Journal for Teachers

14.  Teacher Basket

15.  Teacher Appreciation Gift Frame with Built in Easel

16.  From the Heart Pink Crystal Rhinestone Heart Pendant Engraved with TEACHER Gift Boxed

17.  Teacher Travel Mug with Card

18.  Teacher Stretch Charm Bracelet

19.  CafePress Teacher Appreciation Tote Bag

20. Excellent Teacher Tote Bag

How about you? Do you have a tough time coming up with teacher gifts?  What are some of your favorite ideas?

35 Upcycling Ideas for Earth Day

25 Upcycling Projects for Earth Day Blank

Happy Earth Day!

One of the easiest ways to take care of the Earth and preserve our natural resources is to recycle, or the popular variation, upcycle. I love finding new uses for old things, and so do many other bloggers! Take a look at some of these amazing upcycling ideas!

1. Build a Birdhouse
2. How to make simple Recycled CD Spinning Tops
3. Upcycled Bud Vase
4. DIY Princess Hair Tye Holder
5. Upcycled Suitcase Table
6. DIY Wine Glass Candle Holders
7. How I Made 9 Srafts From one Pair of Old Overalls
8. Upcycled Blue Jeans Bowl
9. UPCYCLED & REPURPOSED CRAFT: Mason Jar Lid Jewelry Dish
10. Cereal Box Up-cycle: DIY Magazine Holder
11. Upcycled Container Gardens
12. Simple Upcycled Centerpieces
13. DIY Easy Kids Craft Bird House from a Milk Carton
14. Upcycled Button Wall Decor
15. Wine Cork Napkin Rings
16. Repurposed Lego Earrings
17. DIY Upcycled Ring Holder (From an Air Freshener Cone)
18. Kids Decoupage Craft Idea: A teacher gift
19. Upcycled T-Shirt Strip Headband {STEP-BY-STEP TUTORIAL}
20. No Sew Toddler Shirt Upcycle: Hair Wrap & Leg Warmers
21. DIY Pallet Sign
22. Upcycle T Shirts Into Super Cute Scarfs
23. Make a Carryall for Kids With a Recycled Cereal Box
24. Upcycle DIY: No Sew, Turn An Old Tank Top Into A Little Girls Sundress
25. How to Make Your Own Bear Rug
26. DIY One of A Kind Oil & Vinegar Dispensers
27. DIY Quick & Easy Chair Upcycle {Step-by-Step Tutorial}
28. DIY Denim Flowers
29. Upcycled Mouse Pad
30. Spill Proof Dog Bowl Recycled Tire DIY
31. DIY Upcycled Twine Vase
32. Cork Character Magnets
33. Office Organizer
34. Easy Upcycled Picture Frame
35. DIY K-Cup Tissue Paper Flower

Firing up the blog again…Happy New Year!

So, I’m firing up the blog again.

Don’t ask me why. I’m not sure why I’ve been feeling the need to.

I’ve learned a few lessons over the years, though, and this blog is being totally revamped this year.

Because I don’t want to write 400 words for every post. Sometimes I can say whatever it is that I need to say in a few short sentences. (67 words so far).

Because I’m not going to write about stupid stuff I don’t care about.

Because I have a million things in my head that I really want to get out.

Because I am on a mission to be in better shape at the beginning of 2017 than I am now, and maybe blogging will help that in some way. Probably not.

Because I might want to write about Days of Our Lives sometimes. No one sings and there are no princesses involved. (You don’t have to watch DOOL to continue reading this blog for other reasons. Go watch Dr. Who Cares. To each his own.)

Because blogging is like everything else to me. Once there are a bunch of rules, it’s no longer fun. Which is why I stopped in the first place.
“If you EVER want to have a successful blog, you must do XYZ. Daily.”
Well, guess what? When it becomes work, it’s not fun. I have enough work already.

FYI Any promoting will be done by a great VA (Feel free to apply at crmvirtualassistants (at) gmail (dot) com!)

So if you’re one of the 37 readers that are left after my almost two years of non-blogging, stick around, share with your friends, take up watching Days, or whatever. Let’s have some fun!

Happy New Year!

20 Adorable Easter Treats

20 Adorable Easter Treats

Spring has sprung and Easter is just around the corner. That means lots of goodies like chocolate, jelly beans and marshmallow Peeps are popping up in stores. With a little creativity, you can turn these standard holiday candies into something really special.

Surprise and delight your family and friends with these adorable Easter treats!

Flower Pot Cookies

adorable easter treats

Cadbury Skillet Brownie

Chocolate Dipped “Carrot” Strawberries

Peanut Butter Crunch Chicks

adorable easter treats

Peep S’mores

Hidden Carrot Cupcakes

Easter Bunny Bait

Hollow Chocolate Easter Eggs

adorable easter treats

Easter Peeps Cupcakes

Jellybean Tailed Peeps Pops

adorable easter treats

Rabbit Holes

adorable easter treats

Easter Bunny Cinnamon Rolls

Easter Bunny, Chick and Nest Carrot Cake Cupcakes

adorable easter treats

Easter Egg Pudding Cups

Mini Easter Cheesecakes

adorable easter treats

Easter Bunny Racers

White Chocolate Bunny Peeps

adorable easter treats

Easter Lamb Marshmallow Pops

Easter Bunny Cupcakes

Bird’s Nest Pudding Tarts

What are your favorite Easter treats?  Share them with us in the comments!

25 Scrumptious Super Bowl Party Recipes

25 Scrumptious Super Bowl Party Recipes no url

The Super Bowl appeals to two different kinds of people – sports fans and food fans.  Those of you who are in it for the food (like me!) are going to love these recipes for some of the best Super Bowl party fare ever.  The best part is that even if your team loses, you’ll still be a winner because of your amazing party food!

Bonus if you guess the winner…in all honesty, I have NO idea who’s even playing, but I know what I’ll be eating!  And I can’t wait for the halftime show!

Wanna make a winner prediction or share your favorite party recipe?  Or at least tell me who’s playing?  Feel free to add your two cents below!

1. Chili Stuffed Potato Skins
2. Smoked Tortilla Turkey Wrap with Pepper Cheese and Southwest Sauce
3. Cranberry Chipotle BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders
4. Italian Salami Sliders
5. Olive Cheese Balls
6. Chicken and Tomato Meatballs
7. Football Krispie Treats
8. Sweet Microwave Meatballs and Pepped Up Tomato Soup Shooters
9. Copycat TGI Friday Potato Skins
10. Shredded BBQ Beef
11. Roast Beef Sliders With Onion
12. Old Bay Wings
13. Crockpot Bourbon Glazed Kielbasa Bites
14. Football Cheese Ball
15. Amazing Crab Dip Stuffed Bacon Cups
16. Zesty Ham Rollups
17. Spicy Pull-Apart Bread
18. Football Shaped Meatloaf
19. Mini Hot Wing Chicken Waffle Appetizers
20. Sweet & Sour Meatballs
21. Buffalo Mozzarella Sticks
22. Mini Taco Bowl Bites
23. Simple Football Pizza Pockets
24. Inside Out Garlic Cheese Bread Bites
25. Buffalo Chicken Biscuit Poppers

What to Do With Unwanted Holiday Gifts

When the holidays are over and you’ve got a pile of ugly Christmas sweaters and a bunch of toys you would never let your kids play with, what do you do with them?

Since they were (hopefully) given with good intentions, you’d feel bad throwing them in the garbage, but seriously, that’s where that sweater with the blinking Rudolph nose belongs.  Here’s how to tactfully get rid of them.

Donate them.  There are lots of places that you can donate to.  Churches, women’s shelters, and the Salvation Army are the first to come to mind.  Someone there may absolutely love that sweater. Those are also a great place to bring toys, especially unopened ones.  You may have a problem with your daughter playing with that Barbie because you don’t like the message she sends, but another mother may think she’s absolutely beautiful.   (Note that Goodwill is a business, not a charity.  The name “Goodwill” makes you think that they are some sort of charity, but the reality is they have tricked people into giving them things for free to sell.  The money goes right into the pocket of the owner, not toward helping anyone.)  So if you want to donate to help someone in need, do it at Salvation Army.  The money they make in their stores goes toward helping people in bad situations.

Sell them.  There are so many options for this I can’t possibly get into them in one blog post, but you can sell them to consignment shops, second hand stores, and in online venues like eBay, Craigslist, and Facebook yard sale groups.  Be careful about the online options.  Only meet people in public places to sell your things.  Don’t ever give your home address or agree to meet them at their home.  Grocery store parking lots are great places to make trades.  Also, if you go the Craigslist or Online yard sale route, be prepared for no-shows. Don’t drive a half hour to sell a $5 item.  If they don’t show, you’re out your gas and time.  The best way to do it is to plan to meet at somewhere you’re already going to be.  If you’re going grocery shopping on Friday, plan to meet on Friday at that store.  You won’t be out of time and gas, and if they don’t show up, you still have another reason to be there.

Re-gift.  This probably won’t work for the Rudolph sweater unless you want to hang on to it for a year, but if your son ended up with 3 of the same action figure, it’s perfectly acceptable to re-gift them to his friends throughout the year as birthday gifts.  The same goes for other types of gifts too.  Feel free to take that As Seen On TV grilled cheese maker and give it to your mother in law for Mother’s Day (unless she’s the one who gave it to you in the first place).

Re-use them.  This is actually the option that is the most fun.  Take that sweater and turn it into something great!  Browse Pinterest and magazines for ideas.  Cut the arms off and use them for leg warmers under boots.  Take the blinking reindeer nose off and use it for a craft.  Give the rest to your cat to make a snuggly bed.

Remember that you were given these gifts because people thought you would like them.   The only way to prevent it from happening again is to gently redirect them to gifts you may like.  Send them links to things and show them what you bought and you love throughout the year.  If you’ve already tried this and Aunt Sally still brings you a horrible sweater every single year, ask her to donate in your name to your favorite charity next year.  That’s a gift you can both feel good about.

Do you get a bunch of unwanted gifts for Christmas?  What do you do with them?

25 Mouthwatering Pie Recipes

25 Mouthwatering Pie Recipes

Christmas Dinner always includes pies, and generally we make the same ones every year. How about changing things up this year a bit?

In my search for something a little less ordinary, I came across some really great recipes I never even thought of!

Since I love to share with you guys, I’ve put together a nice little list of pie recipes for you to try out. Try a couple and let us know what your favorite is.

Happy Baking!

1. Pecan Pie
2. Old Fashioned Apple Pie
3. Caramel Apple Pie
4. Lemon Sour Cream Pie
5. Classic Southern Chocolate Pie
6. Nutella Chocolate Cream Pie – I can’t wait to try this one!
7. Homemade Baker’s Square French Silk Pie
8. Peanut Butter Pie
9. Apple Streusel Pie
10. Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie
11. Coconut Pumpkin Pudding Pie
12. Peanut Butter Banana Cream Pie – Can you believe that something so delicious even exists?
13. Upside Down Butterscotch Apple Pie
14. Dulce de Leche Apple Pie
15. Easy Plum Pie
16. Raspberry Peach Pie with Cream Cheese
17. Swedish Apple Cranberry Pie
18. Magic Cream Pie
19. Fresh Strawberry Pie – Wish I didn’t live in NY.  I know some of you still have fresh strawberries!
20. Chocolate Chess Pie
21. Shortcut Blueberry Cheesecake Pie
22. Candy Apple Pie
23. Sweet Potato Pie
24. Perfect Pumpkin Pie – Perfectly Classic.
25. Lemon Chiffon Pie

The great Santa debate – do you deliberately lie to your kids?

So today I took my daughter to see Santa at the grocery store, where the middle child works, and the middle child was helping out Santa.  How cool is that?

She wouldn't let me take her picture...can't imagine why not!

She wouldn’t let me take her picture…can’t imagine why not!

Visit With Santa 2

After visiting Santa, the kids get to go to the bakery and make their own cupcakes.

Anyway, I was talking to someone the other day who said that her son asked her not to bring presents from Santa for her granddaughter on Christmas, because she is 5 and no longer believes in him.  He doesn’t want her to think of her grandparents as liars.  He wants his daughter to know the presents are from grandma and grandpa.

I have another friend who has a son in 5th grade that still believes in Santa, as do all of his friends.

I asked my older daughters, and they said that the first year they were on a school bus they were told by other kids that there was no such thing.  Which means they were about 5.

I look at my 4 year old, and she has so much fun thinking of Santa and talking about Santa and reindeer and presents. And I think it’s really sad that next year she may not.  This may be the last Christmas I’m able to bribe her for 2 months about being good so Santa doesn’t put her on the naughty list.  This may be the last year we watch Santa feed the reindeer nightly on Reindeercam.com and order a video from pnp.com.  (If you’re not doing those, do them.  So cute and free!)  This may also be the last year we see Ana, our Elf on the Shelf.  (Okay, so I really won’t miss her at all – I think she may have an accident on her way back to the North Pole and end up in the back of a garbage truck on Dec. 26.) But since A is my last child, this may be the last Christmas Santa is even thought of in my house.  It makes me want to cry.

edited for blog 2

I don’t think telling your kids about Santa is lying.  I think it’s believing in the magic of Christmas.  My daughter goes to a bible-based preschool, so she knows the meaning behind Christmas, but we tell her that Santa brings presents to children to celebrate Jesus’ birthday because Jesus doesn’t need presents. He doesn’t, so I’m not lying about that part.

I believed in Santa till I was around 7 or 8.  Then it was over.  And that was 30 years ago.  Kids are much smarter at a much younger age now, which is probably why it’s over in Kindergarten.  Some kid on the school bus with a big mouth messes it up for the rest of them.  I remember when my oldest daughter found out, and I threatened her that if she told her sister there was no Santa, she would get nothing.  And her sister believed for 2 more years till she went to Kindergarten.  Then, it was over for her too.

So my question to all of you is this – do you do Santa in your house, or do you feel that it’s lying?

20 Big Hero 6 Gift Ideas

It’s hard not to notice Baymax – to someone my age, he’s like a cross between the marshmallow ghost from Ghostbusters and Frosty the Snowman.  But he’s cute.  I haven’t seen the movie, but thanks to advertising execs, Baymax is on A’s Christmas list.  So I put a little list together for all of you to make your Big Hero 6 (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD) shopping a little bit easier.

1. Big Hero 6 Armor-Up Baymax Action Figure

2. Big Hero 6 11″ Deluxe Flying Baymax with 4.5″ Hiro Action Figures

3. Big Hero 6 Projection Baymax Vinyl Action Figure with Sound Effects

4. Big Hero 6 Go Go Tomago Action Figure

5. Big Hero 6 Honey Lemon Action Figure

6. Big Hero 6 Fred Action Figure

7. Big Hero 6 10″ Baymax Plush Figure with Sound Effects

8. Big Hero 6 Yokai Action Figure

9. Funko- Disney Big Hero 6 Nurse Baymax, 6 Inch, Glow POP! [Amazon Exclusive]

10. Big Hero 6 Wasabi No-Ginger Action Figure

11. Big Hero 6 Baymax Rocket Fist and Mask Role Play Combo Pack

12. Big Hero 6 3DS – Nintendo 3DS

13. POP! Disney: Big Hero 6-Baymax – 6 inch POP!

14. Funko POP! Disney: Big Hero 6-Hiro Hamada Action Figure

15. Funko POP! Disney: Big Hero 6-Go Go Tomago Action Figure

16. Funko POP! Disney: Big Hero 6-Fred Action Figure

17. Disney Store Official Big Hero 6 Figure Play Set 9 Piece Deluxe

18. Funko POP! Disney: Big Hero 6-Honey Lemon Action Figure

19. Big Hero 6 Hiro Hamada Mask

20. Big Hero 6 Baymax Mask

Note:  These are my Amazon affiliate links, so if you use them, Amazon throws me a few dollars too.  Thanks for your support.

Mike Brown, #Ferguson, Riots, and Other Nonsense

mike brown, ferguson, riots, race


Let’s talk a little about Mike Brown and Ferguson.

In case you live under a rock and don’t understand what’s going on, Mike Brown was an unarmed teenager shot by Darren Wilson.  Wilson claims he punched him several times, and he shot him in a sort of self-defense, though apparently his gun was misfiring or something.  Most of it doesn’t even make sense to me.  The bottom line here is that the grand jury decided not to indict Wilson, and now the country is in an uproar.

Much like Trayvon, no one will really ever know the truth, because there is only one side of the story to be told here.  But because Wilson was white and Brown was black, there is a big deal.  And today, two days after the verdict, there are riots all over the country.  People looting, setting things on fire, fights, and every other thing you can imagine.  They even had a riot planned yesterday outside of a county jail here in NY – halfway across the country from Ferguson.  That’s the stupidest idea ever, in my opinion, but whatever.  There was a big advertisement for it online. Let’s advertise online where we’re going to riot.  And we’ll do it right outside the county jail, where there are lots of people with weapons to stop us.  Bunch of morons.

Now let me just point something out.  And keep in mind that I totally wanted Zimmerman to fry for Trayvon.  I think Zimmerman was a wannabe cop, and he should have minded his own business and went in his house when the 911 operator told him to.  Not followed the kid.  I truly believe that Trayvon probably told Zimmerman in no uncertain terms that he could go F himself, and Zimmerman was on a power trip and then killed him in “self-defense”.  For me it’s not about skin color.  It’s about acting like an a-hole, white or black.  And I believe that if Zimmerman didn’t act like an a-hole first, Trayvon wouldn’t be dead, even if he was an a-hole too.

Back to Mike Brown.  Like I said above, no one will ever know the full story, as every story has two sides and there is only one person here to tell it.  But let’s say that Mike Brown did nothing wrong and that Darren Wilson is a liar.  Do the people rioting think that this is going to make things better?   Because they’re stating that Mike Brown was targeted as a thug because of his skin color.  Okay…let’s say that’s true.  Then why are black people feeding into the stereotype?  There aren’t too many white people protesting.  If you don’t want to be thought of as a thug, don’t act like one.  And that sentence is for everyone.  It doesn’t apply to one skin color.  It’s just common sense.

Stop pointing yourselves out as different if you don’t want to be different.  Most of us (at least where I live) are way past slavery.  Stop bringing it up.  Indians don’t go around burning buildings when they’re shot by white cops.  What the white man did to them is also unforgivable.   We purposely gave them smallpox for God sakes.  There are no riots when a Jewish man is killed by a cop…why is that?  Because all of these people have moved on.  They don’t hold others responsible for things that happened a hundred years ago.  It has nothing to do with now.   Hate me if you want to, because I don’t feel the slightest bit of guilt about my German ancestors being part of the Holocaust.  I don’t feel guilty that black people were held as slaves either.  Because I had nothing to do with that.  I repeat.  I had nothing to do with that.  And neither did 99% of people who are alive today.  Yeah, my ancestors were probably a-holes.  But I’m not, and I’m not going to feel guilty for what someone I don’t even know did.

So get this straight.  If you’re an a-hole, you’re an a-hole.  I don’t care if your skin is green with pink stripes.  If Mike Brown really did nothing wrong, then God will judge Darren Wilson.  Stop the riots and act like civilized Americans.  Because that’s what we are.  Americans.  And we all bleed red.

Now, remember that Thanksgiving is tomorrow and go home and be thankful!