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Last minute gift ideas and stocking stuffers

 

Stocking

We’re coming down to the wire. Christmas is NEXT WEEK! Can you believe it? It seems like just yesterday the kids were going back to school.

Are you done with your holiday shopping yet? Thankfully we finally are. Normally I’m done by November but this year we cut it pretty close. I’m just glad we’re done shopping. Now we just have to wrap.

I do have to pick up some stocking stuffers for my kids. They are older now so I usually get them an orange, some candy and a few small items for their stockings (earphones, lip gloss, gift card…).

This year my kids are going to find some holiday PEEPS® in their stockings.

PEEPS

There are so many holiday themed PEEPS® to choose from.

  • PEEPS® Milk Chocolate Dipped Sugar Cookie Flavored Chicks (3 ct)
  • PEEPS® Gingerbread-Flavored Marshmallow Gingerbread Men (6 ct and 3 ct)
  • PEEPS® Chocolate Dipped Candy Cane Flavored Chicks (3 ct)
  • PEEPS® Milk Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Mint Flavored Trees (individually wrapped)
  • PEEPS® Chocolate Mousse Flavored Marshmallow Reindeer (6 ct)
  • PEEPS® Marshmallow Trees (3 and 9 ct)
  • PEEPS® Marshmallow Snowmen (3 and 9 ct)
  • PEEPS® Holiday Rainbow POP (4 ct)

This year PEEPS has a few new marshmallow treats to choose from.

  • NEW PEEPS® Marshmallow Minions (6ct)
  • NEW PEEPS® Hot Cocoa & Cream Flavored Marshmallow Dipped Chicks in White Fudge (3 ct)
  • NEW PEEPS® Candy Cane Flavored Marshmallow Chicks (10 ct)
  • NEW PEEPS® Large Marshmallow Snowmen (1 ct and 3 ct)

I LOVE the PEEPS® Chocolate Dipped Candy Cane Flavored Chicks! They are like potato chips – it’s hard to stop at just one. They are the perfect combination of marshmallow, peppermint and chocolate. Mmm… I wish I had more. Now I’m craving them.

PEEPS® was kind enough to send me some holiday PEEPS® to try out.

The PEEPS® Large Marshmallow Snowmen are HUGE. I love marshmallows in my hot chocolate so I put one in a mug of hot chocolate. It was way too big. :-) It was like drinking a mug of marshmallow topped with hot chocolate. That’s OK. It was still good.

The large PEEP was a bit too big for my mug of hot chocolate - but it was still yummy!

The large PEEP was a bit too big for my mug of hot chocolate – but it was still yummy!

Recently my kids and I made “cookies” out of graham crackers. We dipped/smeared melted chocolate on graham crackers and topped them with nuts, sprinkles, candy canes and PEEPS®. In a way it was like eating a S’more because it had a graham cracker, chocolate and marshmallow.

PEEPS® make great stocking stuffers AND additions to you holiday baking and treat making.

Cookies-2

My son even put one of the treats we made into the microwave for 15 seconds to malt the PEEP so that it was mroe like a S’more.

Smore

I wanted to do something “crafty” with the PEEPS® too. Since it’s the holiday season my first thought was an ornament. PEEPS® get hard (stale) when left out in the air. I thought I could put an ornament “hanger” into a PEEP, let it go stale and hang it from the tree.

The idea was interesting… but not such a good idea when you have a dog and cats. It’s just one more temptation for them to want to get into the tree. So I nixed that idea. Maybe some day I’ll try it.

My next thought was a bouquet/centerpiece made out PEEPS®, but I wanted to keep them in the packages so they wouldn’t go stale.

It took me a bit to get it to work but I finally did it. If you follow me on Instagram you probably saw the photo already.

Peeps Basket

I thought something like this would be fun to set out at a holiday party (for adults or children) so that people can “pick” one of the packages of PEEPS® out of the bouquet and enjoy (either at the party or when they go home). It also makes a cute centerpiece.

Even our cat Bella liked the PEEPS® bouquet/centerpiece I made. So much so she was chewing on the packages trying to get them to open.

PEEP BELLA

This year PEEPS® has Minion shaped PEEPS®. I love the Minions! I had heard of the Minion PEEPS® but couldn’t find them in the store. I am thrilled that PEEPS® sent me some. They are so cute! These would make a cute gift addition for the Minion fan in your life.

Minion PEEPS

Too cute! The Minion PEEPS® are big too.

As you can see, PEEPS® can make a fun addition to your holiday, whether it’s for stocking stuffers, hot cocoa or even thinking outside of the box and creating something fun with them.

For more creative ideas using these fun and flavorful marshmallow treats visit www.MarshmallowPeeps.com. You can also check out the brand’s site, www.PeepsandCompany.com. You can also find them on social media.

Do you enjoy PEEPS®? What is your favorite flavor/shape? Have you ever used PEEPS® in a recipe or craft?

Peeps logo

Kimberly

*I received free product samples in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Ever Dream of Selling Your Own Line of DIY Projects? 

 

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Are you a crafty person? Do you love making crafts for yourself and for others? Have you ever dreamed of selling your crafts? If so then you should check out the Cricut-I Made It! Contest.

I’m a some what crafty person. I AM crafty – I just don’t have the time I’d like to get back into crafts.

I had a home business making personalized candy wrappers, personalize gift cans, buttons and more. In a way that was crafty – and I made money selling them too.

If you are totally into crafts and would love the opportunity to win an all expense paid trip, enter the Cricut – I Made It! contest today!

It’s time your creativity pays off so you can really make it.  Cricut is awarding one winner their own Make it Now™ project line to be sold in Cricut Design Space™ and a feature on The Design Network in the Cricut – I Made it! contest.

To help create your line, Cricut will fly you to their headquarters in Salt Lake City to work side-by-side with their design team.  Then you and a guest will enjoy an all-expense paid stay at the Grand America Hotel – a luxury resort in Salt Lake City, home to the best skiing in the world.

The winner we’ll be featured on Cricut.com and every time a Cricut user purchases your project, you’ll earn money.  Cricut will even help with your publicity.

Cricut is upping the fame game even more and has partnered with the The Design Network – a premier online design channel – to showcase the Cricut- I Made It! winner this fall. You’ll get a spotlight feature on a network dedicated to celebrating great designers and their creative star power.

Cricut’s judges, including DIY Diva Alison Deyette and two creative directors from Cricut, will pick 50 finalists from the best project entries based on creativity, use of materials and technique.  Who will pick the winner? You, the public, will vote online in October.

To enter the Cricut – I Made It! contest, all you need is a photo of an original project. You can upload up to five photos (which can be five individual projects or multiple photos of one project).

You have until September 30th to enter.  What are you waiting for? It’s time you Made It big!

Go to cricut.com/imadeit to enter today.

If you enter I would love to hear about your craft. I love seeing the beautiful things that people create on their own.

I also have a Cricut (I LOVE IT!!!!). I’ll be posting my review for it in the near future. Keep an eye out for that post. :-)

Cricut

Kimberly

*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the enjoyment of my site readers. Any opinions expressed are my own unless otherwise noted. 

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Stuff Your Baskets with Fun Easter Treats from Palmer

 

Our son at Easter time

Our son at Easter time

My kids are teenagers. I long for the days when they were little and were super excited about the Easter Bunny paying us a visit and leaving behind baskets full of candy, books and a small toy. I also miss watching the kids do Easter egg hunts. Those were really fun.

One year my mom put plastic Easter eggs out in the yard filled with chocolate candies. It was an especially hot day. When the kids came to do the egg hunt all the chocolates had melted. What a mess! After that my father came up with the idea of using money instead of candy – especially since all the kids were getting older. Mostly the eggs were filled with nickels, dimes and quarters but there was the “grand prize” egg which included a dollar bill. Needless to say the kids were all for that idea.

Easter, like Halloween, is not the same without candy. It’s all about the candy!

The candy makers, Palmer, know how to make the holidays fun. They always offer great seasonal and holiday themed products whether it’s the shape of the candy or the colorful foil wrapper. I love that they offer new products each year too.

New this year is a cool candy/game combination called Fun n’ Games. It’s a game board made out of chocolate. When you are done playing the game you can enjoy the sweet treat afterwards. It’s an edible maze made with Paler’s DoubleCrisp chocolate.

Palmer Fun n Games

Palmer Fun n’ Games edible maze game

I love this idea. It’s very unique. I’ve even been enjoying playing with it.

Another new product are large hollow chocolate bunnies all dressed up in a soccer uniform. Soccer, as you know, is a popular sport. The bunny’s shirt comes in different colors so you might be able to find one to match your child or grandchild’s soccer team color.

Large Soccer Bunny & Li'l Crisp Bunny

Large Soccer Bunny & Li’l Crisp Bunny

Also new this year are DoubleCrisp chocolate bunny ears. The moment I saw them I knew I wanted to make something with them. My idea was to buy those huge marshmallows, attach or insert the ears into it and then have my kids decorate the marshmallows with bunny faces.

It WAS a good idea. Who knew it would be impossible to find the giant marshmallows. I know the brands Camp Fire and Jet Puff make them. I don’t usually buy marshmallows so I ASSUMED they were available year round. Ugh!!!!

I picked up a bag of regular sized marshmallows hoping they might work. I should have brought one of the chocolate bunny ears with me. The ears and the regular sized marshmallows are about the same size and there was no way to insert the ears into the marshmallow due to it’s size.

We did try to stick two marshmallows together and put the ears in-between but it wouldn’t stay stuck together and would unstick the moment we tried to insert the bunny ears.

Oh well. It WAS a good idea. It would have been funny. I know my kids would have enjoyed making bunny faces on the marshmallows. Knowing them they probably would have got more creative and used the other marshmallows to make bodies for the bunnies too.

A variety of Palmer Easter candies. Notice the cute chocolate bunny ears. The small round things are peanut butter cups

A variety of Palmer Easter candies. Notice the cute chocolate bunny ears. The small round things are peanut butter cups

This weekend when I go food shopping I am going to look for some caramel and apples and use the Palmer Peanut Butter Cups (pictured above – the round things on top of the bunnies) to make covered candy apples. I have made them before and my family LOVES them.

You’ll need to crush up the candy. I put it in a Ziploc bag and whacked it a few times with a soup can (I also roll the soup can back and forth on top) until you get small pieces. I then put wax paper on a cookie sheet and pour the mashed up candy out of the bag and on to the cookie sheet.

Next I melt the caramel. When melted I dip a clean, dry apple (on a stick) into the caramel and then quickly roll the apple on the candy and then rest it on same wax paper until it’s cool and set.

Quick. Easy. Yummy. It can be messy too, which kids seem to love.

Apples

Palmer has A LOT of new candies on the market just in time for Easter. They are also including some old favorites too.

To learn more about the new products, or for some great recipe and craft ideas, visit www.RMPalmer.com. You can also sign up for Palmer Perks and get c0upons and special offers from Palmer. Palmer is already budget friendly, but coupons and extra savings are always get. You can find the sign up page on the website.

You can also check out the brand on Facebook and Pinterest (links found on the website).

Do you have a favorite Palmer candy treat? What fun recipe or craft would you make with Palmer candies? feel free to share your thoughts.

palmer-logo-small

Kimberly

*I received free product samples to review and create something with. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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New Label Printing Kits From Epson

 

Epson LabelWorks

Photo Source: Epson

I love to do crafts. The only thing I don’t enjoy is making sure you have all the supplies that you need on hand.

Over the years I have gone through different craft “phases”. I tried making my own soaps and candles. I did scrapbooking and card making and I tried my hand at making things out of clay.

Don’t get me wrong. I love doing crafty things. It’s just that sometimes having to purchase all the supplies – not to mention storing the supplies when not in use – can be a bit too much. That is why I enjoy things that come in a “kit”. I like knowing that everything I need to complete a project is right there for me in one handy dandy kit.

Epson has introduced four easy to use printing kits. Two are on the crafty side, one that will help keep your cables and wires neat and organized and another to provide you with a little extra safety in your home. They are known as Epson LabelWorks™.

  • Safety Kit
    • Print durable, customized labels to improve safety in the home, office, classroom or just about anywhere else
    • Add reflective tape to sports fear, ensure emergency supplies are labeled and add glow in the dark tape to flashlights in the event of a blackout
  • Cable and Wiring Kit
    • Quickly label and identify unruly electronic cables, whether at home or at the office, by isolating computer, printer, phone and router cables, AC adapters, DVR cables, TV wires, lamps and more
    • Craft and knitting enthusiasts can also use these flag and wrap labels to their goods at the local craft fair
  • Iron-On Kit
    • Easily create personalized, machine washable iron-on labels for school items, uniforms, sports jerseys – perfect for preparing your child for summer camp of back to school
    • This kit ensures that those mysteriously missing items make their way home
  • Printable Ribbon Kit
    • Print personalized satin ribbons for crafts, scrapbooks, decorations, gifts and more
    • Customize your ribbons using a wide variety of fonts, symbols and frames

I was asked if I wanted to review one of the kits. I chose the Printable Ribbon Kit because I have an anniversary party coming up for my aunt and uncle and I thought it would be fun to make personalized ribbons to adorn their gift as well as to turn into a bookmark.

Almost everything you need comes in a plastic storage case with a handle. You’ll only need to pick up six AAA batteries (not included) for your label maker.

LabelWorks

I’ve reviewed other label makers in the past. Normally they come with a huge booklet filled with instructions on how to use it. I was surprised to see the instructions for the Printable Ribbon Kit was just a few, easy to read pages. I literally made my first ribbon within minutes of popping the batteries into the label maker.

The kit came with two ribbon cartridges – a light, bone colored ribbon and a darker ribbon. Other ribbon cartridges are available. You can find the other available colors on the Epson website. Each cartridge has sixteen feet of ribbon. That’s a lot of ribbon. They retail for $19.99.

I have seen personalized ribbons on handmade cards, wrapped around party favors at weddings and showers and on crafts. I would have thought they were hard to make. I never expected it to be so easy. If you can type on a keypad you can make personalized ribbon.

Ribbon

Photo Source: Epson

After you insert the batteries and ribbon cartridge into the label maker you are ready to go. Simply type out our message or personalization and print it out. That is all there is to it. Of course you can do so much more than that.  You can change fonts, font size, add graphics, frames and more. You can see examples of the graphics and frames in the image below.

I showed my kids how to use it ONCE and that was all it took for them to start printing out their own personalized ribbons.

I gathered up a few of the ribbons that we made to take pictures of for this post. I had to cover up some of the names to protect my family. Also, the photos are not that good. They are much nicer in person. Plus they are a bone color, not white like they appear in the photos.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

I can think of a lot of uses for personalized ribbons. One thing I plan on doing it making a few for our friend’s daughter. She’s on a pee wee cheerleading team and I know the girls do up their hair in curls and ribbons on the top of their heads. I was going to make her ones with her name on it or maybe with a message like “Go (team name)” or some other sporty saying. I think that would be a cute idea.

I also like the idea of using the ribbon to hang up Christmas ornaments on the tree instead of those wire hooks (I’m thinking more for the heavy ornaments). I could type messages on the ribbon like “Ho-Ho-Ho”, “Happy Holidays”, “Seasons Greetings” or another holiday saying. I think that would be a fun idea and something my kids could help me with.

Ornaments

Photo Source: Epson

My daughter made a ribbon with our dog’s name on it and tied it on HIS ear. I don’t think our boy dog was too happy about a pretty ribbon on his ear. LOL!

You could also use them to sew inside clothing or personal items to help identify who an item belongs to. I have seen iron name tags but these are even nicer because they are made from a soft ribbon. You just need some thread and a needle to sew them on (or use an iron on adhesive backing).

The possibilities are endless, especially when it’s so easy to use.

Here are a few more ideas from the Epson website.

Photo Source: Epson

Photo Source: Epson

For more information about this or the other available Epson LabelWorks™ label makers visit the links (above) or the Epson website. The kit retails for $69.99. It’s a bit pricey but when consider all the fun things you can do with it I think it’s well worth the investment.

What would you make personalized ribbons for? Feel free to share your thoughts.

Baskets

Photo Source: Epson

Kimberly

*I received a free product sample in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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Woo Your Sweetie Pie This Valentine’s Day with Craft Ideas from Country Woman

 

Love

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner – literally!

Roses, chocolates and jewelry are all wonderful but sometimes the best gifts of all are the ones that come from your heart and are made with your hands.

One year for Valentine’s Day my husband gave me a small bottle filled with a broken up wooden ruler. I had not idea what it meant until he told me. He said he had to get rid of the ruler because it was impossible to measure the love he had for me.

Awwwwww!!!!

Another Valentine’s Day he asked me what I wanted. I told him to write me a poem. He did, and he took it one step further. He had the poem printed on a sweatshirt. I haven’t worn it in years but every time I did wear it people would compliment me on the poem. When I told them my husband wrote it they thought it was wonderful. I don’t think I ever wore that sweatshirt without getting at least one compliment. :-)

You don’t have to be a craft person to make a gift from the heart. All you need in an imagination and a good idea, plus some simple materials you can find around the house or locally.

Country Woman Magazine shared these quick and easy Valentine’s Day ideas. These would also make great crafts to make with your child or grandchild too.

Button Valentine

Cute as a Button Valentine’s Cards: Use up some buttons from  your stash in this adorable paper craft. It’s a charming way to let a crafty friend or family member know how much you care. Simply print and cut out a design of your choice and glue it to a larger square cute from colored card stock. Using a needle and thread stitch a few pretty buttons to impress your Valentine’s Day sweetie.

Hearts

Yarn Hearts: Simple yarn hearts look absolutely lovely decorating your window, wreath or Valentine’s Day gift. These crafts are so fast and easy to make you can craft them by the adorable dozens! First, cut the wire and bend it into a heart shape. Start wrapping the yarn around the wire, pulling it across the sides. Make sure when trimming the yarn you leave enough so this adorable craft is able to hang.

Fruit

Edible Arrangements: Who doesn’t love a gift that is edible? Using a pineapple and kiwi, you can give your valentine a delicious and creative gift this holiday. Cut both fruits into a heart shape using a cookie cutter. Place the kiwi in the middle of the pineapple and use a food skewer to run through the middle, holding it in place. Tie the fruit in a plastic bag, and add a personalized note for your special person.

Bananas

Banana Candy Bag Label:This fun paper craft makes a great gift for any family member or friend. Print out a downloadable label that you can find on Country Woman’s website. Fold a piece of decorative card stock horizontally and glue on the label. For a cute effect, ad a monkey sticker on the label. Lastly, fill the bag with banana candy to complete your “I’m bananas for you” gift.

Be sure to visit Country Woman Magazine online for more crafty ideas.

What is the best Valentine’s Day gift you ever received? What is the best handmade gift someone has ever given you?

Heart

Kimberly

*I was not compensated for this post. I posted these ideas with permission for the enjoyment of my site readers. Any opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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Make Valentine’s Day Sweeter with Hershey’s (giveaway ends 2/5/14)

 

Kisses

Everyone deserves a little something special on Valentine’s Day, even if you don’t have a significant other in your life.

I like to give a little something to my children to let them know that I love them on Valentine’s Day. Either I give them a goofy card or a candy heart.

My kids also like to give their friends something too (mostly my daughter – my son is too shy to give things to his friends that are girls). Since both of my kids are teenagers, Valentine’s Day cards are out of the question. That was so middle school (LOL). Even though they don’t give out cards anymore my daughter still likes to give something to her friends (both boys and girls). She currently doesn’t have a boyfriend (she “friend zones” every boy that likes her. Sigh…).

I love that Hershey’s makes individually wrapped candies especially for Valentine’s Day that have places on them where you can write “to” and “from”. They are perfect for giving out to classmates or attaching to Valentine’s Day cards. Hershey’s has even gone so far as to make the products in the shape of a heart too. Two examples would be their REESE’S Peanut Butter Cups and Twizzlers.

Twizzlers

Reeces Peanut Butter Cups

These are great for handing out to classmates (and co-workers).

Jolly Ranchers are also made into heart shapes for the holiday. As you can tell my kids have already started to help themselves to the Jolly Ranchers (my husband too!). They are a popular candy with my family.

Jolly Ranchers

I also love how they dress up their products in Valentine’s Day colors (red, pink…) like Rolo’s and Kisses. They are two products that really can’t be made heart shaped for the holiday, but at least they can get “dressed up” in holiday colors.

Kisses and Rolos

Speaking of Hershey’s Kisses I LOVE! LOVE! LOVE the new Hershey’s Kisses Milk Chocolates Rose Cane. It’s a clear plastic cylinder filled with Hershey’s Kisses and topped with a plastic rose. I love this idea! This would be a sweet gift idea for young lovers, as well as old married folk like me. I think this would look super cute in a vase with a few other Rose Canes too.

Hersheys Rose Cane

My daughter wanted to make a cake and use some of the Hershey’s products. The one she really wanted to use was the solid milk chocolate heart.

Using a heart shaped pan (a review for that will be posted soon) she created a Valentine’s Day cake topped with a Hershey’s solid milk chocolate heart and Jolly Rancher Valentine’s Day gummy hearts.

She should have removed the wrapper from the chocolate heart. Oh well. I still think she did a great job.

Hershey's Valentines Cake

If you need some Valentine’s Day inspiration check out the Celebrate with Hershey’s website, www.CelebratewithHersheys.com. There you can find some truly delectable holiday recipes including these heart brownies which look SO GOOD! They are made with Hershey’s REESE’S Peanut Butter Chips and topped with an unwrapped  REESE’S Peanut Butter Filled Hearts.

Brownie Heart

image

The Cherry White Chip Brownies look good too.

Not only is the site stuffed with mouth-watering recipes, you can also find plenty of great seasonal/holiday related craft ideas. I make it a point to check the site often, especially around the major holidays, to see what new craft ideas they have come up with.

For Valentines Day there are several great gift ideas, from the romantic to special Valentine’s Day treats for a crowd.

Bugs

Date Night

Valentine Heart

Rose Kisses

My favorite has always been the Hershey’s Kiss Roses (pictured above). I tried to make them once many years ago but goofed up. This was before the instructions were readily available. I plan on making them again some day. They are so pretty!

They would make great party and wedding favors too.

Easter is not that far away. Celebrate with Hershey’s already has some great Easter ideas for your consideration.

imageCA7NSI8Z

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imageCAPCC4G3

I keep the site bookmarked on my computer. It’s not only a great resource for recipes and crafts (including how-to videos), its also a great way to stay up to date on new Hershey’s products.

Hershey’s has generously offered to give a lucky reader an assortment of holiday candy. Thank you Hershey’s!

This giveaway is open to US residents only and will end on February 5, 2014 at 11:59 PM (EST) to make sure the candy arrives in time for the holiday. The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via e-mail and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement (I do check) or the additional entries won’t qualify. Extra entries are optional.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kimberly

*I received free product samples in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

 

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