Save on Gift Giving with Groupon Coupons

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post for Groupon.  All opinions are my own and I’m excited to help you save money on gifts.

Are you familiar with Groupon?  It is a website I have used many times to score great deals on local and online activities and products.  But did you know that Groupon also offer coupons to over 9,000 retailers?  That’s over 70,000 coupons, promo codes and deals.  Not to mention, many of these places are great for buying gifts.

Here are some examples:

 

Edible Arrangements – I love the wonderful gift possibilities of Edible Arrangements.  I have sent (and received) the most delicious gifts of fresh fruit with Edible Arrangement’s beautiful presentation.  While the arrangements are great anytime, I think they are especially thoughtful gifts when the recipient is celebrating a new baby, new home or going through a difficult time, such as crisis or grief.  On Groupon, you’ll find a current coupon for 20% off your Edible Arrangement purchase of $65 or more.

1-800-Flowers – There are so many occasions for sending flowers!  Check out the current specials on Groupon, including a code for 15% off sitewide.

Things Remembered – When I think of quality, engraved or etched gifts that last a lifetime, I think of Things Remembered.  Don’t tell my son, but the gift in his baby box that he will be able to open when he turns 16 is from this store.  Groupon currently has a coupon that is 25% Off + Extra 20% Off + Free Shipping With Code.  Not bad!

Shutterfly – Whether you’re making a photo book for the grandparents or a personalized gift for the home, office, or kitchen, I love what you can do with a favorite photo at Shutterfly.  Check out the 40% off coupon on Groupon now!

Personalization Mall – Wow!  Have you seen the variety of fun gifts available at this store?  From back-to-school items and wedding party favors to grandparent gifts and pet products, there is something for every need.  Score a $10 off coupon through Groupon when you spend $50 at the Personalization Mall.

 

Awesome College Send Off Party Ideas

College Send Off Party Ideas

Are you sending a kid (yours or a niece or nephew) off to college this fall?  I am dreading the day.  But least I have 10 years to go and I am hoping those years go slow.  And when the time comes, I’ll be referring back to this awesome College Send Off Party Idea.  It comes from my cousin, Jody.  Her family planned this great night for her nephew last summer before he went off to school.

I love not only that it gets the whole extended family involved, but it also shows the college student how much they are loved and supported as they start a new chapter in their life.

This College Send Off Party Idea has three parts:

 

Story time!

Have aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins and siblings email a personal story about the college student to the party organizer before the night of the party.  Then at dinner, read the stories and have the guest of honor try to guess who wrote each story.  Impose a penalty for incorrect answers.  Jody’s nephew had to lick a dollop of ketchup each time he guessed wrong.

And the Answer Is…

Let family members answer questions about the college student, from serious to silly.  Some of the questions Jody’s family asked were:  how many instruments her talented nephew could play, what was his first girlfriend’s name, what is the mascot of his college, what is his favorite music album, how old was he when he started walking, or what was his record for number of pancakes eaten…

Advice for the Journey Ahead

Every family member wrote one to two lines of advice for the college student on a note card and put them in a decorative jar.  Each day at school, Jody’s nephew was to pull out a card to read and enjoy.

Entries included Bible verses and words of wisdom as well as jokes and fun statements like, “May the Force be with you” and “Nephew, You’ve got to know when to hold them and know when to fold them.”

college send off party ideas -

Don’t you just love this supportive way to send off a student to college?  This was the first of among Jody’s nieces and nephews to head off to school.  What a wonderful family tradition to keep through the years!

What do you think about this college send off?  

Farmer Carts for Children’s Gifts

Farmer Cart Gift Idea 2

I don’t know what it is about twins’ birthday parties that make me feel creative, but this is the second birthday party for twins that I’ve given more than just a cool toy off a shelf (and I do that quite often).  See my No-Sew Fort Kits for Kate & Jack last year here.

 

This year’s birthday gifts for Daphne & Grant were inspired during my walk through WalMart’s toy aisle.  My eye caught glimpse of these cute child carts and knowing that the kids’ family had just bought a farm, inspiration was born.  I love the thought of children playing out in the dirt, having fun and growing things.  So, I started collecting various “farming” items from a couple different stores, created a little vinyl shape and lettering with my Silhouette Cameo and began assembling.

 

When you are filling deep containers or gift baskets, a box is a great way to fill space and raise your display area.  This box happens to be from Aldi (we love their Benita 99 cent tortillas).  Aldi always has boxes around and you can find pretty much any size you need.  It just so happened that I had two of these for another project that fell through.  Since they are open on top, I just flipped them upside down, sliced off a little for a good fit and poked holes for my upright items.

 farmer cart collage 1a

Straws held up the kid-size gloves and I used brown paper bags to cover the box.  I wanted a neutral base and paper bags tend to be stiff and hold their shape well.  This is also more important if your filling isn’t as compact like in Grant’s cart.

farmer cart collage 2a

I added the filling and nestled all my items in.  Glue dots helped keep the spray bottle stuck to the box . . . that is until Grant’s entire cart took a dump in my car.  {Be sure to secure the cars when driving to party!} 

I found some great shapes at the online Silhouette Store for 99 cents each.  (One of the reasons I love my Silhouette Cameo over a Cricut!)  I chose fonts from my computer and began cutting vinyl.  This stuff is seriously addictive!

Farmer Cart collage 3a

 

Farmer Cart Contents: Kid’s Garden Gloves, Shovel/Rake, Mini Starter Pots, Flower Seeds, Vegetable Seeds, Garden Kneeler Pad and a Squirt Bottle (because what kid doesn’t love to walk around and squirt stuff)

 

And now, I’m left to picture those two cuties filling their carts with stones, weeds and all kinds of other fun collectibles from their new property.

 

farmer cart gift 2

DIY Trail Mix Love & Encouragement


Do you know someone who is on a long, tough journey?
 Send a little encouragement their way with this trail mix love.It is simple to do!  Raid your pantry or stop at the store.  Surprisingly, all I had to buy were the pineapple chunks and sesame sticks.  We had mini-marshmallows, corn chips (for the salty ingredient), almonds, craisins, M&M’s and goldfish.  Whatever you choose to use in your trail mix, keep in mind the sweet and salty for taste and the texture, size and color for appeal to the eye.

 

I already had plastic favor bags on hand, but you could use sandwich bags or resealable bags, cutting the zipper off if you want more of a “gift” look.

 

Be sure to add encouraging words.  You can make your own tag or use my Trail Mix Love Free Printable.

 

 

 

Not sure who to give it to?  Think of who may be experiencing a rough time due to a difficult situation, illness, death or challenge.

This is a great opportunity for your kids to reach out and serve, as well.  They can help you (with clean hands, of course) make the bags of trail mix.  When you’re done, you may want to let them make a cup for themselves as well.

Speaking of teaching kids to serve, I have an exciting announcement coming later this week.  Stay tuned!

 

The No-Sew Fort Kit

When we recently had a twins’ birthday party to celebrate, I began thinking of what I wanted to get the kids.  They are very close to my son and I was planning on heading to the store to find some cool toys.  But that was when I remembered this idea.

I had pinned this idea on my Gifts Board on Pinterest and when you follow all the bloggers linking back to where they found it, it started with Meg and Andy, but eventually led to a guest post from Mrs. B on Bloom.

As I read through the various tutorials, all of them involved sewing.  Ugh!  I wish I could sew.  I would like to sew.  But I don’t have a sewing machine, nor the time to learn.  Maybe someday . . . [wishful sigh.]

So after much thought and a couple trips to the craft stores.  Here is what I’ve got for you non-sewers!

* * THE NO-SEW FORT KIT * * 


Fort Kit Contents:

* 2 Flat Sheets (Many of the bloggers pointed out that they saved money by buying thrift store sheets.  But because this is a gift, I couldn’t bring myself to buy used sheets.  So I picked up a couple at Walmart for only $4.47 each.)
*Rope (I chose the 70′ clothes line from the Dollar Tree.  All the items below except the last one are available at the Dollar Tree.  I love that store!)
* Flashlight
* Clothespins
* Clips or clamps
* Suction Cups
* Glow Sticks
* T-Shirt Ties (made myself)

How To Make it “No-Sew”:

All the other fort kits have ties sewn to the four corners and centered on the long sides of the sheets.  This is where I got stuck being the non-sewer and not interested in doing it by hand.  So I bought grommets.  If you buy the 1/4″ ones, you can also buy a little tool to assemble for only $1.50 compared to the $25 one needed for larger sized grommets.

You will need –
* Zippered Pillow Protector
* Ribbon and Cardstock for tag
* 12 – 1/4″ grommets
* Tool to assemble grommets (the cheap one!)

Follow the simple instructions for inserting grommets.  And FYI – I am suddenly addicted to grommets and looking for anything else I can grommet-grommet!

Make a tag!  I made this tag with my Silhouette Cameo, laminated it and added some ribbon.  I did pin the tag’s ribbon to the bag so that when the fancy, tied ribbon is lost and the bag is just being zipped,  the contents tag will remain.

I also made a third kit for my son’s upcoming birthday (shhh!)  I had a blast making this fort and so badly wanted to share it with my kids! . . . patience. . .

I see lots of fun forts in our future and plenty of imagination for each one!

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“Thanks for Helping Me Grow” Teacher Gift Idea

The end of school is here!  This Friday is my son’s last day of his first year in preschool.  He has grown so much this year and I love it.  But at the same time, he is one year closer to kindergarten, fifth grade, middle school, high school and (gasp) college.  It really is starting!

How I have loved our time at home together and will miss our freedom as school becomes more time consuming.  And before you go grab me a box of kleenex, I will remind myself that he still has one year of preschool left . . . thankfully!

I am also so very thankful for my son’s teacher.  He is blessed to have her both this year and next year.  What a difference a great teacher makes!  Even though our school just celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week not too long ago, I still wanted to show our gratitude at the end of the school year with a simple gift.

 

Ladybug Chalkboard Garden Sign

 

What You’ll Need:
Ladybug Wood Craft (I bought mine at Walmart)
Dowel
Red Acryllic Paint
Sponge and/or Foam Brushes
Chalkboard Paint

 

 

 

Paint a couple coats of the red paint onto the ladybug followed by the black chalkboard paint as shown.  Paint the dowel and then using wood glue, attach the two pieces.  So simple!

 

Write a message and insert into a hanging basket or potted plant and deliver to your favorite teacher!

 

 

Happy Summer Break!

Letter & Wall Art for Your Child’s Room

Today, I’m sharing about a fun craft I recently did.  Please know that I am not super duper crafty.  I enjoy doing crafts, but let’s just say when I share about a craft, I will definitely be sharing what I wish I would have done differently!  So sit back, take some notes if you want . . . and check out this fun wall-hanging.  I think it is a great gift for a baby’s room, especially if you know the color scheme.

I found the original concept on Pinterest done with fabric, but here is my twist on it.

What You Will Need:

A Bulletin Board (found this at a discount store for $3)
Mod Podge (oooh, love this stuff!)
Wrapping Paper
Paint Brush
Plastic Putty Knife
Scissors
Junk Plastic Tablecloth
Colored or White Buttons
Rit Dye (to get the button color I wanted)
Styrofoam Cup
Hot Glue Gun
Glue Sticks

Instructions:


1.  Dye the Buttons.  I wanted purple buttons, but couldn’t find enough in the sizes I wanted.  So through Pinterest, I found out that you could die buttons with Rit Dye!  Go to their site for detailed instructions.  (#1 Do Differently: search harder for the button color you want.  The dye does come off on your fingers as you handle them, even when dry….and I really didn’t like the smell of the hot dyed water!)  But nonetheless, it did the job.

 

2.  Size the Wrapping Paper.  Leave appropriate amounts to fold around to the back.

3.  Spread Mod Podge on the bulletin board and apply wrapping paper.  I did the face first, then the sides and back.  Gently use the putty knife to flatten.  I did all this on my junk plastic tablecloth to keep the mess to a minimum.

 

 

 

4.  Apply a coat of Mod Podge to the wrapping paper and more as needed.  (Follow bottle instructions.)

5.  Place Your Buttons.  Arrange the buttons on the board then hot glue each one.  (Do Differently #2:  Have a template or outline of the letter so it looks balanced and straight!)

6.  Take a hair dryer to the little strings of hot glue.  It will make them easier to pull them off.

 

(Do Differently #3:  Don’t leave where little hands can touch and pull off buttons.  The result is colored finger tips and missing buttons!)

(Do Differently #4:  Handle the dyed buttons as little as possible.  They left purple marks on the wrapping paper as I played with the placement.  No one else really even notices the marks given the wrapping paper I chose.  Again, a template or outline would have come in handy.)
(Do Differently #5:  If you aren’t super duper crafty, consider buying the fabric Etsy one on Pinterest!)
Even with everything I could have done differently, I am happy with the finished project and I really enjoyed making something!
Linked up with:  Seven Thirty Three

Little Touches for Gift Wrapping

My (new!) sister-in-law recently gave me this gift with adorable wrapping.  So simple and so lovely!

Accordian the paper edge and close the seam on the top of the gift.  And since she was traveling and bows get crushed so easily, this little tri-circle bow is easily done at the last minute.  Make one long oval and a circle, then secure with tape.

And if you’re curious what was inside…it was a beautiful silver locket.