Thursday, April 25, 2019

Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas

Teacher Appreciation Week is in early May for most of the United States. However, if you live in Texas, it is this week. The PTA (Parent, Teacher, Association) sent a letter home suggesting a sweet or salty treat to bring your child's teacher this past Tuesday. That day also happened to be National Picnic Day, and I had these adorable mini picnic baskets I ordered from EcoPartyTime, an idea was formed!

I put a cupcake liner in the baskets and filled with a variety of fudge from a local candy shop. I also decided to add these mini chocolate hamburgers (which are fun for kid's lunches too) and chocolate Pocky Sticks. 
I made the tag with my Cricut machine and good old fashion glue, paper, and scissors when I realized the original tag I made on the Cricut was too big for the favor. 

How cute are these?!

The pink fudge is Dr. Pepper flavored! Which is a big deal if you are a native Texan.

The next day, my kids brought in a homemade card and I attached this eco-friendly gift to the back of the card. On the package, I wrote Thank you for helping me GROW and included a handful of flower Seed Confetti, also from EcoPartyTime. You simply cover the paper confetti with soil in a sunny spot and water, then watch the wildflowers bloom! My kids planted the rest of the confetti in the backyard and we are patiently waiting for them to grow in our butterfly garden.

For the rest of the week, we brought teachers some items from their class wish lists (items they needed for the classroom) and a gift card to one of their favorite places as a little treat and way to say thank you for all they do! From my own experience working in an elementary school, witnessing the extra effort teachers put in to help students when they struggle, and seeing all the creative and fun ways teachers help kids learn, they deserve a week to be spoiled! Thank a teacher today! And a little good humor since summer break is coming up fast....

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Monday, April 22, 2019

Earth Day Party Ideas

*Earth Day was started in the United States on April 22, 1970 in order to support environmental protections. It is now a worldwide event that is celebrated in more than 193 nations. This year, the Earth Day Network is asking people to join in the campaign to Protect Our Species  (NBPostGazette, 4/21/2019).

* "Extinction is a natural phenomenon, it occurs at a natural "background" rate of about 1 to 5 species per year. Scientists estimate we're now losing species at 1,000 to 10,000 times the background rate, with literally dozens going extinct EVERYDAY" (Center for Biological Diversity, 2008).

*The number of animals living on the land has decreased by 40% since 1970 (

*Marine animal populations have also decreased by 40% (

*About a quarter of the world's coral reefs have already been damaged beyond repair (

* It is estimated that humans have modified more than 50% of Earth's land surface, which has affected many ecosystems as well as the range in which specific species of wildlife used to exist (

So what can you do to help protect our species and our Earth? It's very simple. Help raise awareness. Support and get involved in Earth Day activities near you. If there aren't any, start a simple clean up. Share your support for Earth Day on social media. Celebrate Earth Day in school or host your own Earth Day Party. Here's some easy and fun ideas the kids can help with too.....

My girls and I made the Earth with bleeding tissue paper and blue and green watercolors to fill in some areas. 

The Earth Day banner is made from a paper shopping bag cut into pennants and adored with sticks, flower petals, leaves, and grass that we found in our backyard. My girls made this banner all by themselves with just a little help from me.

Organic herb container made from recycled materials
An easy and cute kid's craft idea is this organic herb container. I love having fresh basil nearby for a basil, mozzarella, tomato, and balsamic salad in the summer. We simply cleaned an aluminum can, added paper eyeballs and a bottle cap with glue. I purchased the fresh organic basil plant at a local grocery store. 

You can't have an Earth Day party without treats! My kids went bonkers for these healthy creature treats. A giraffe made from a banana with sliced almonds and cocoa dusted almonds (cocoa dusted almonds are amazing! You can purchase them here from Amazon.) Butterfly apples, veggie insects, kiwi and tomato sea turtles, and earth cookies completed our snack buffet. The earth cookies are so easy to make and turn out great! You can find the recipe here. However, you simply separate the sugar cookie dough into two sections and add blue food coloring to one section and green food coloring to the other. Then pinch a little dough from each section and roll together. Bake for desired time. Usually 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees. 

If you are going to have an Earth Day Party, you want to make sure you are using eco-friendly products. I used un-waxed butcher paper for the table covering (you can get a large roll cheap from Home Depot). Place mats were colored paper which will be reused and eventually recycled.

I searched all over for the cutest, Earth friendly partyware that was also reasonably priced. And I'm happy to report that I found it! Ecopartytime has a great selection of plastic free and Earth friendly party supplies. They have colorful, recycled napkins, sturdy bamboo palm leaf, and sugarcane tableware that are all biodegradable. Decorations, invites, favors, and gifts for every occasion and holiday! And the best part, if you would like to see and hold some of the products before ordering a large quantity for your party, you can order a sample request. For five dollars, which helps cover the cost of shipping, you can pick five items to test for yourself. Just in case you have questions as to whether or not the bamboo cutlery will hold up and not taste like wood. And I can tell you from experience, it does hold up and does NOT taste like wood! I was very satisfied with the quality of these products. And this is not an ad or sponsored post.

Plates, cutlery, and cup all from EcoPartyTime.
 Another item I found from EcoPartyTime, is the adorable plantable flower confetti. Once planted, they will grow into wildflowers. I chose to spread them on the table for decor before the kids planted them in the backyard, however, these would be super cute incorporated into a gift. Say for the upcoming Teacher Appreciation Week?! Stay tuned for that!

Finally, these adorable little animal erasers from Amazon are non-toxic and earth-friendly. They made the perfect little favor for this years Earth Day campaign: Protecting Our Species. 

Through the years, I have learned simple things that I can do to help the environment. I remember receiving a tree to plant from elementary school every Earth Day and planting them in our back yard.
Here are some things you can do this Earth Day and everyday to help keep our earth beautiful.

1. Turn off lights and fans when not using them
2. Unplug phone chargers from the wall when not in use (not only does this save energy, but it also can prevent a possible fire)
3. Plant trees and native plants that will attract pollinating bees and butterflies
4. Turn off the water when brushing your teeth 
5. Skip plastic straws if you don't physically need them
6. Use reusable shopping bags (they cost about a $1 per bag and last a long time) Did you know that you can't recycle plastic shopping bags at home? They end up in landfills and our oceans, causing animals to suffocate when they mistake them for food, or get stuck in them. However, places like Target and other grocery stores do have bins at the front of the store where you can bring your plastic bags, including Ziploc brand bags to recycle. 
7. Recycle! If you don't have a recycle bin at your house, ask your trash provider or city for one. We have a dedicated recycle bin in our kitchen along with a garbage can. You can recycle aluminum cans, glass, plastic bottles, milk jugs, yogurt cups, cardboard, and paper. Please rinse your items from any food debris before placing in recycling.
8. Lower your thermostat by just a couple degrees. When you lower your thermostat, it helps your system so it doesn't have to work so hard and it saves you money!
9. If you haven't already switched to LED light bulbs do it now. They use 25-85% less energy, last almost 25% longer, and are much better for the environment. 
10. Donate clothes you don't wear anymore or other household items instead of throwing them away.
11. Try eating less meat and dairy. Domestic meat and dairy products require a lot of natural resources. Try abiding by meatless Monday. It helps the environment and its good for your health.

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Happy Earth Day!!! What are you doing to celebrate Earth Day?!


For more of my party ideas, home decorating, favorite recipes, twin activities x 2, and all things

"Mrs.Party Planner" please check me out on facebook and "like" the page. New blog posts will appear in your news feed.You can also follow me on, on Instagram and Pinterest

Monday, April 1, 2019

April Fools' Day Fun

In years past, I didn't do anything for April Fools' Day. I was usually in survival mode during my children's early years. However, now that my kids are older, it is so much fun! No diapers, no naps (needed), they love exploring and traveling, and I have a couple pranksters! Hiding behind corners and trying to scare each other is a daily occurrence here. One of my boys received a prank kit last Christmas and it's been nonstop ever since. Shocking pens, whoopee cushions, fake injuries, itching powder, you name it! 

This year I decided to pull a few pranks of my own on them. First up, was their lunches. They had "moldy" bread, bugs, and olives disguised as chocolate covered almonds. They all despise olives so this was a great one. However, only one out of four was brave enough to investigate the olives. The others didn't even touch them. 

When they returned home from school, they were greeted with a surprise junk food dinner. Lemonade was served. However, as they quickly realized it wasn't really lemonade. Lemon jello looks an awful lot like lemonade when presented in a cup with lemons and a straw!

One of their favorite junk foods, corn dogs were also served. Although, these aren't ordinary corn dogs, these are actually cake pops! I found this recipe on Hungry Happenings. Beth has an amazing blog filled with all kinds of fun food creations. My corn dogs didn't turn out as pretty as hers did, but the kids said they tasted great!

Cake Pop Corn Dogs from Happy Happenings
You can't serve junk food without burgers! These were a hit with even my husband who was my official taste tester last night. I made vanilla cupcakes and cut them in half for the burger buns. Tinted vanilla frosting with red and yellow food coloring for the ketchup and mustard. Dyed shredded coconut green for the lettuce. And then added a Keebler Grasshopper cookie for the meat and sesame seeds to top it all off.

I hope you didn't get fooled today! And if you did, please share it. I would love to hear what your favorite pranks to pull are?


For more of my party ideas, home decorating, favorite recipes, twin activities x 2, and all things
"Mrs.Party Planner" please check me out on facebook and "like" the page. New blog posts will appear in your news feed.You can also follow me on, on Instagram and Pinterest