Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pin the Pot of Gold on the Rainbow

So it just dawned on me that I never posted the details about how to make the "Pin the Pot 'o' Gold on the Rainbow" game from Boogey's Rainbow Party (seen HERE).

Pin the Pot of Gold on the Rainbow Game

I won't claim that this was my original idea, but as mentioned in my original post about the party, I was inspired by this post over at Chickabug and decided to do my own take on it.

First thing I did was track down the same piece of foam core that I had used for SweetPea's Rock Star Party {HERE} where we played "Pin the Guitar Pick on the Guitar". Then I simply turned that {used} baby over and prepared the nice clean back side of it for this project! {Have I mentioned I'm cheap frugal?? I like to re-use and re-cycle party materials as much as possible!}

Next, I used a piece of pinned-down-string tied to a pencil to draw the perfectly shaped arcs for the different colors of the rainbow. Since I was going to enlist the kiddos for help with this project, I crudely colored in each section with the appropriate color so they didn't go too crazy with their "artistic license".

Rainbow Sections Marked Off

I happened to have this big container of pre-cut paper squares from my old scrapbooking stash so I weeded through it to find a variety of representatives for each color family. I picked out 3 patterns for each color to create a nice varied look (but you could keep them identical if you prefer).

Pre-cut Paper Squares in every color of the rainbow!

Then I gave each kid a glue stick and let them go to town gluing the squares onto the appropriate row. I didn't ask them to follow any sort of pattern and just told them to put the right color in the right row. I have to say they did a really great job keeping the squares in a nice straight arc  on their own! ("Straight Arc"? Is that an oxymoron?!? LOL)

Glue the paper pieces in the appropriate row.

Here is the rainbow after all the squares had been placed. I really like how the variety of colors and paper used for each row came out - really adds some nice visual interest!

Paper Squares form a Pretty Rainbow!

The final step was to add the clouds at the base of each end of the rainbow. I gave each kid a pile of cotton balls and some Craft Glue and, again, just let them go to town. It was interesting to watch them take different approaches with how they applied their cotton balls (again, no guidance from me) and I was surprised that they both took the opposite approach of what I would have expected for each of them. SweetPea just piled hers on in no particular order. Boogey applied hers in nice, neat, straight rows. I really expected them each to do it the opposite way! Shows how little this Mom knows about her own childrens' personalities! Shows how much your kids can always surprise you! ;)

Adding Cotton Ball Clouds to our Rainbow

Since the "pinning" area was so small, I deliberately purchased the smallest "pot of gold" stickers I could find at Michaels (using a 40% off coupon, of course). Then marked the spot with a black marker. The kids had a lot of fun making this and the guests had a lot of fun playing!

Finished Pin the Pot of Gold on the Rainbow Game for Rainbow Party

See Boogey's nice straight cotton ball lines on the left and SweetPea's big pile on the right? So funny as I totally would have expected them to do the opposite based on their normal personalities! Crazy kids! Always keep ya guessing! :)

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

My heart smiles.

You are 4 years old. It’s a Sunday in April and the weather is unexpectedly beautiful. You’re in shorts and a t-shirt and wearing your bike helmet. You run through the kitchen in a hurry not wanting to be left behind by your older sister and father. But as you open the door leading to the garage, you pause and yell to me.

I can’t see you from where I am standing, but I can picture you clearly in my mind. Your socks are uneven. Your clothes don’t match in any sense of the word “coordinated”. The 'protective' helmet on your head is terribly askew and I can just hear your cyclist grandfather saying “It’s not going to do her any good if she doesn’t wear it properly!”. And you most likely have milk or jam or some other food item smeared across your chin. And you’re desperate to hurry up and get out there on your scooter.

But... you pause at the door anyway and yell {unprompted!}

“Good-bye, Mommy! I love you!”

Then I hear the door slam.

My heart smiles.

I love you too, Boogey. I love you too.

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Cheerios Giveaway Winners!

The 2 winners of the Cheerios Giveaway are:

Jaime and Younce Fam!

Younce Fam, I've sent you an email through Kontactr - check your mailbox!

Jaime - I can't locate an email address for you! :( Please contact me within 48 hours so I can pass your info along to the giveaway sponsor. Otherwise, I will have to select a new winner.

Thanks to everyone who entered!

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Inexpensive and Easy Teacher Appreciation Gifts

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week. And even though SweetPea and Boogey are only in pre-school, I genuinely appreciate all of the love, guidance and education given to them by their many teachers. However, {MANY} is the optimal word here. There are so many folks who help care for my children throughout the day that it can make holidays and appreciation week a tough one to afford. Especially when I genuinely want to express our gratitude to each and every one of them.

So, this is one of those times that I try to subscribe to the notion that "it is the thought that counts" and "less is more". So while I can't spend a lot of money on gifts for the 10+ treachers, I try to make the gifts somewhat personal and always get the kids involved in pulling it all together. In the past I've made Hand Sanitizer Snowmen, "Fortunate" Cookie Packs, and 'Going Green' Gifts. They were all successful regardless of how much money we spent (or didn't spend for that matter).

This year, I added a few fun ideas to my Pinterest Board. But, in the end, decided to do my own simple little gift. I remembered that we had a TON of fun-colored chocolate Sixlets left over from SweetPea's ROCKSTAR Birthday party .

Leftover Sixlets

I figured they were probably starting to approach the end of their shelf life and that we would NEVER eat them all in the next few months, so why not try and use them somehow? So I bought some cute little bags at Michaels (using a 40% off coupon, of course!), had the kiddos help me fill them with some sixlets, tied them up with some ribbon from my 'stash' and attached a little tag that I designed in Powerpoint. For the tag, I tried to come up with a saying that played in to the round shape of the sixlets... "Thanks for helping me become so well-rounded". A little corny? Yes. Cute? Hope so! ;)

DIY Gift Tags

The girls wrote their names on the back of the tags so the teachers would remember who they were from. Although they are just a small token, I hope they get the message across.

Cheap and Easy Teacher Appreciation Gift 

I also brought in homemade cookies for the teachers' appreciation luncheon today. SweetPea voted for me to make THESE cake mix cookies which are always a BIG hit! YUM!

Do you have any inexpensive but crafty Teacher Appreciation Ideas?

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Monday, May 7, 2012

Cheerios Giveaway Reminder!

Seriously? No one wants free Cheerios?? You've got 2 more days to come on over and enter the giveaway to win 4 boxes of free Cheerios!

Gotta be in it to win it! :)

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Friday, May 4, 2012

Oil Bottles Re-Vamp

For Christmas, my dad gave me THIS Rachael Ray Oil and Vinegar Bottle Set.

I love the pop of color the bright yellow adds to the kitchen. And I really like the shape of the bottles and how they feel when you pick them up. The only problem was that I seemed to be the only one who could remember what was in each bottle (Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the large one and Balsamic Vinegar in the smaller one). So I knew some labels were in order.

I typed up some simple labels and printed them out on black vinyl using my Silhoutte cutter. (The white bottle was a clearance find at Target - score!)

Getting ready for some vinyl labels

I applied the vinyl...

Rub vinyl letters on well

And voila!

Vinyl lettering makes oil bottles easy to identify

And here they are on the lazy susan I keep on the counter with other frequently-used items. Don't you just love the pop of color?!

Oil bottles re-vamped with vinyl!

It's amazing what a little vinyl lettering will do!

Linking up to these parties:

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

New Cheerios 2-Pack Review and a Giveaway!

Are you a savings Club member (i.e., Costo, Sam's Club, BJs)? Personally, my family belongs to Costco and I love being able to purchase some of our heavily used items in bulk. With 2 pre-schoolers in my house, I recognized early on the value of buying Cheerios cereal at Costco. We go through it like wildfire - and not just the kids, the Heela and I love it too! But, it came in a large, oversized box with 2 plastic bags of Cheerios inside. While it was a great way to get a lot of cereal at once, it was not very practical from a storage perspective. I basically had to transfer the cereal from one of the bags into a tupperware-like container and then had to find somewhere to store the other bag/large box in the meantime. And the box was so tall, it didn't fit on my normal height shelf! Frustrating to say the least. Well... things have changed!

New 2 Box Cheerios Packaging

"While buying Cheerios at Club is already easy and affordable, new 2 box Cheerios packaging format makes Cheerios an even better purchase! You can cheer on the value by purchasing the new 2 box Cheerios packages in Club!"

That's right - new packaging! Instead of one oversized box with 2 bags, the new 2 box Cheerios contains two individual boxes which come attached at the time of purchase, but can be separated once you get home. This makes them so much easier to store and easier to pour!

And the added benefit? The new packaging is greener too! Who doesn't love that?! "By reducing the amount of air in each individual bag, these enhanced containers fit 10% more cereal than before and use less packaging. While each box contains more cereal, packaging material has been reduced by over 200,000 lbs, saving 1,000 trees and taking 130 Cheerios trucks off the road, decreasing CO2 emissions."

Check out this video for all the benefits of new 2 box Cheerios packaging :

If the embedded video doesn't work for you, see below:
Cheerios Video link:  http://bit.ly/CheeriosNew2Box

A few days ago the generous folks at General Mills and My Blog Spark sent me a prize pack to check out the new 2-box Cheerios packaging. The first thing that impressed me was the shorter stature of the package itself. It was a more "normal" size that I knew would fit much better on my pantry shelves. On the left is the new packaging. We happened to have one of the old packages in our pantry already so I compared the two...

New boxes are a more "normal" size

Next I thought it was really neat how the packages could be separated into two individual boxes of cereal. No need to transfer anything to another container (unless I wanted to)! The boxes are connected at the top and the bottom by "stickers" which have little tabs that you pull.

Stickers connect the boxes

You just pry up the tab and tear...

Tab separates easily

The boxes are also connected to each other by those "booger adhesive dots" (yes, that is the technical name) in various spots along the body of the boxes. These also pull apart easily.

Adhesive "Booger" dots keep the boxes connected until you want to separate them

A quick pull apart and you have two separate boxes!

Two separate boxes make for easier storage!

Ta-daaa! So much easier to store! But you still get the benefit and savings of buying "in bulk"!

Now for the fun stuff...


Two RACKS and Mooby readers are each going to win (2) Cheerios 2-pack Cereals (equals 4 boxes)!  To enter this giveaway, in the comment section below, let me know how the new 2 box Cheerios packaging will benefit you and your family?

This giveaway will end on May 9th at 5 pm EST. Giveaway Closed - see winners announced HERE

Note: Giveaway is limited to US residents only.

For more information feel free to visit the Cheerios website HERE.

Disclosure:  As part of my participation in this Spark from MyBlogSpark, I was provided (2) Cheerios 2-packs (4 boxes of cereal). The opinions expressed herein are my own and have not been influenced by the receipt of the cereal. The Cheerios® cereal, information, and giveaway have been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark.

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