PEEPS… they’re just not for Easter baskets anymore


Our son at Easter time many years ago.

I have very fond memories of the Easter holiday from my youth. I miss the excitement of waking up Easter morning and racing my sister to the front door where the Easter Bunny left our baskets. Each year the baskets got better and better.

One year the Easter Bunny brought me a basket made out of solid chocolate – including the handle. The only non-edible thing in that basket was the grass and the packaging for some of the treats that were inside. Sadly, when I was taking it downstairs into the playroom (where I spent most of my time) I slipped and fell down the stairs, making the basket fall on the floor and shatter into a million pieces. I never had the change to enjoy it.

Easter was no Easter without a basket that contained marshmallow PEEPS. They were a staple in every Easter basket. My husband’s Easter was the same way. He never had a basket that didn’t contain PEEPS.

PEEPS have come a long way over the years. They used to come in bunnies and chicks in just a few colors (white, pink, yellow…). Now they are available in a rainbow of colors, a variety of flavors and even ones dipped in chocolate.

PEEPS are no longer just for Easter. PEEPS are available year round for most major holidays (Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Halloween…).

Here are some fun “creations” and recipes I have made over the years using PEEPS.

Adding a PEEP to a mug of hot chocolate is SO GOOD!!!!

Christmas S’mores

Cupcake “toppers” for Halloween

Celebrating the 4th of July with PEEPS!

PEEPS as a fun addition to a floral bouquet.

I used a gel icing tube to write out “Love You” and added a lollipop stick for a marshmallow lollipop.

I made a gift basket with holiday PEEPS using the plastic “sticks” they use in floral shops to hold cards.

Summer time means S’mores time! These were made for the 4th of July.

I think most people still think of PEEPS as an Easter thing. I went so far as to create an Easter basket made out of PEEPS. I think it turned out really good. Everyone who saw it loved it.

It was so easy to make and you can make one quickly and easily too. Why spend money on a pre-made basket from the local drug store when you can create something fun (and edible!) like this.

Pick up large PEEP packages (any flavor/variety). Tape them together (using clear tape) to form a “box” shape (four sides and one on the bottom). Then fill with “grass” (I used edible grass) and other treats.

I found the cutest plastic eggs at the local dollar store that looked like chicks. I filled them with jelly beans.

The plush PEEP bunny can be purchased from the Peep store. There you can find a fun array of PEEP related products including toys, home decor and of course PEEPS you can eat. PEEPS can also be found at many retail locations around the country.

I have a special discount code for the PEEPS store too. Keep reading for the code.

Here is the basket that I made.

A fun thing you can do with the plush PEEPS toys are to use them like you would an “Elf on a Shelf.” Pick up a PEEP bunny or chick and place it in different spots around your home. Tell your child/grandchild that he (or she) is keeping their eye on them, looking for good behavior, so they can report back to the Easter Bunny.

PEEPS are not only for crafts and recipes, they can also be used as an educational and science “tool.”

I am a big fan of Pinterest and I check out the site a few times each day. I came across a lot of super cool ideas that utilize PEEPS. I even found some that are great for STEM activities.

I also found some PEEP activities on the Teachers Pay Teachers website. One in particular looked like it could be fun for the kindergarten class I work with. It involved having the kids take home a PEEP (I was going to put them in snack sized bags to protect them) and taking care of the PEEP all week and documenting things (mostly drawing since the kids can’t really write yet). It reminded me of when my daughter had to take home a fake baby for her home economics class and write a report about it.

Sadly a health issue popped up that prevented me from following through with this activity. In fact, I had planned on doing a whole post about it.

If you are interested in learning more about what I had in mind you can find it here – PEEP Day: It’s a PEEP thing. You can also do a search on the site for more PEEP activities.

PEEPS are so much more than a fun treat.

I am also truly amazed at how far PEEPS have become. They keep coming up with mouth-watering new flavors.

Years ago I would have told you that PEEPS were a “kid” treat. Not anymore! PEEPS are for anyone who loves marshmallows. PEEPS are just as much for adults as they are for children. My husband and I love them I think more than our kids to (LOL). Our kids are 17 and 20 and they still enjoy them as much as they did when they were little.

It’s hard not to love those sweet, colorful, adorable bunnies and chicks.

PEEPS are available in flavors such as Sour Watermelon, Blue Raspberry, Fruit Punch and Party Cake. They also available in “dipped” flavors such as Coconut, Orange, Lemon, Blueberry and Chocolate Mousse.

If someone wee to ask me what my favorite PEEP flavor is, it would be hard to pick just one. I like them all, but a few stand out to me the most including Party Cake, Sour Watermelon, and Orange Dipped.

If you are a fan of all things PEEPS then you’ll want to check out the PEEPS online at MarshmallowPEEPS.com. You can also check out their online store for A LOT of fun PEEPS products (pillows, plush, blankets…) and more at PEEPSandCompany.com. There you can also learn about other brands under the PEEPS “umbrella” including Mike & Ike, Hot Tamales and Peanut Chews. On both sites you can find more fun recipes and craft ideas using PEEPS.

You can save 25% off your order on the PEEPSandCompany.com website using the discount code “eastertreats.”

What is YOUR favorite PEEP? What do you like to do with them? Do you eat them, use them in recipes or something else? Feel free to share your thought in the comment section. I always love to hear from readers.


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


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Buy One, Get One (BOGO) Stampin’ Up Paper Pumpkin Monthly Craft Kits



Are you into crafts? Are you familiar with the brand Stampin’ Up?

I love doing crafts. The problem is that crafts never seem to turn out right for me. I have great ideas, it’s just that I can’t execute them the way I envisioned them.

I think the craftiest thing I have ever done was stenciling the entire dining room to make it resemble a country garden. It took me over a year to complete it (the dining room is not that big either). By the time I was done I had the entire room done including a 5′ tree on one wall. I even used 3D butterflies throughout the room to give it a bit more dimension and realism. After I was done I was so over it and had my husband re-paint the room.

I do a lot of crafts with the kids I work with. I think I enjoy children’s crafts more because it’s OK if it doesn’t turn out perfect.

One type of crafts the kids I work with enjoy is using stamps. You can do so much with them from pictures to cards and from decorating other crafts to simply stamping a project with “Good job” or “A+.”

I like using stamps made for adults too. At one point I had a lot of them. I used to like to make my own cards. They didn’t turn out amazing like most handmade cards do, but most of the time they turned out decent enough.

If you are a crafty person, or you like crafting with stamps, you are probably already familiar with the brand Stampin’ Up. Stampin’ Up not only sells a wonderful array of stamps, they also sell other craft suppiles including embellishments, paper and crafting tools.

I just found out recently that Stampin’ Up also offers a monthly crafting subscription service called Paper Pumpkin. I LOVE that name! It’s so cute.

Paper Pumpkin Logo

Each month, Paper Pumpkin subscribers receive a project kit that contains almost everything you need to complete the craft. A few other thing might be needed, but most things people already have on hand like scissors, glue and tape.

I love the idea of a monthly craft project. It’s great for people who love to craft as well as for novices like me who want to craft but is still learning how.

This subscription service would also make a great gift for the crafty person in your life.

There are two different ways you can subscribe. You can either subscribe month to month (and cancel at any time) or  you can pre-pay and save extra money.

I was sent two different Paper Pumpkin kits to check out for myself. I should make note that I have not made the craft in the boxes – YET! I’ve been busy with back to school stuff, last minute vacation days and a few other things. I haven’t had much time. I would prefer to do these crafts on a nice fall day at my leisure. I don’t want to feel rushed when I do them.

These are the two Paper Pumpkin boxes that I have received thus far.

Paper Pumpkin Box

Inside Box

Craft 1

Back of craft 1


The first craft box I received from Paper Pumpkin is a treat box kit. The package came complete with cute paper boxes pre-cut (you just need to fold and assemble them) and yarn to make colorful tassels. In addition I receive a pad of ink and a set of stamps (pictured above). The acrylic block is to use with the stamps. Everyone gets one of these blocks with their first Paper Pumpkin craft kit from Stampin’ Up. It can be reused again and again with all the stamps. The stamps peel on/off the acrylic block.

I plan on making these treat boxes for Thanksgiving. I think they would look cute at each place setting. I’m not sure what goodies/candy I would put inside. I’m thinking after dinner mints.

This is the second Paper Pumpkin monthly subscription box I received.

Inside box 2

Card Craft

Craft Craft 2 back


The second kit (August 2016) contains supplies needed to make a lot of beautiful cards. You can see from the one photo that Stampin’ Up includes EVERYTHING… right down to the tiny clothes pin.

Of the two crafts, I think I’ll be making this one first. I have a need for the Thank You cards.

This is such a fun idea!

Starting August 2016 through October 10, 2106, customers can use the special Buy One, Get One code (BOGO) to get a second kit for free. You can keep the kit for yourself, give it to a loved one or save it as a last minute gift. To purchase a Paper Pumpkin kit visit this page

For more information visit StampinUp.com. Look for the brand on social media too.

Are you a Paper Pumpkin subscriber or Stampin’ Up customer?

Do you like the monthly craft kit idea? Feel free to share your thoughts.

Stampin Up Logo


*I received free products to review. There was no compensation. The opinion expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Duct Tape Bags: 40 Projects – A New Book from Duct Tape Queen Richela Fabian Morgan


Insulating tapes

Duct tape… at one time it was used for quick repairs around the home. It was a staple in every tool box. These days duct tape is found in many crafter’s boxes and is used in creating fun crafts and ever fashions you can wear.

Instead of the gray duct tape most of us grew up with, duct tape is now available in bright colors and fun designs.

We even used colorful duct tape at work to make jump ropes. We took thick, nylon cord, cut it to fit the child, then let the child use colorful duct tape to decorate it. I wish I had a photo to show you. They turned out great.

A few years ago I attended an event at the Capri Sun factory. There were representatives there from TerraCycle who showed us how to make tote bags out of empty Capri Sun pouches and duct tape. I was shocked at how easy it was to make a tote bag out of recycled pouches and simple duct tape.

Tote Bag

Empty Capri Sun pouches and black and hot pink/zebra print duct tape.

Did you know you can make awesome handbags (and more) out of duct tape and nothing more? A new book by “Duct Tape Queen” Richela Fabian Morgan shows you how.

The book is called Duct Tape Bags: 40 Projects. It’s available NOW where ever books are sold.

From the author of the #1 best-sellers, Tape It & Make It, Tape It & Make More and Tape It & Wear It comes the fourth book in this revolutionary “duct tape craft series:” Duct Tape Bags: 40 Projects for Totes, Clutches, Messenger Bags, and Bowlers (Clarkson Potter, July 2016). With the upcoming release of her new book, Richela Fabian Morgan is continuing to take the crafting and fashion world by storm, turning the humble roll of duct tape into the trendiest craft item since glitter glue.

Everyone from trendy teens to famous fashionistas can begin exploring the infinite uses this easy-to-follow guide provides to making handbags so fashionable, you won’t actually believe they’re made of duct-tape. Part art-piece, part usable accessory, Fabian Morgan shows how each of these gorgeous handbags can be recreated one manageable section at a time.

“About eight years ago, my kids and I were in our local hardware store when we spotted duct tape with patterns and colors,” says Fabian Morgan. “Since then, duct tape has been an obsession of mine. My daughter and her friends were my excuse to break out my vast collection of tape and try out different ideas for craft projects. Out of all the projects, the bags were the biggest hit! I started making bags for myself. So, it was only natural that I turned my attention to writing a book on duct tape bags. I wrote other books on duct tape crafts with a total of 242 projects spread out over three books, everything from housewares to costumes. Duct tape bags were on my radar. I had to write this book!”

With detailed step-by-step instructions and primers on duct tape “fabric,” different types of closures from magnet snaps to jeans buttons, and bag accessories like bows and luggage tags, Fabian Morgan catapults this trend from the streets into the stratosphere. A mix of pop art and urban style photos of each project and a cool vibe throughout will make you want to immediately roll up your sleeves and rolling out the duct tape for a bag of your own!

Duct Tape bags

I was sent a copy of the book to review. As of this moment in time I have not had the opportunity to create one of the bags. I need to pick up some nice duct tape, but I haven’t been anywhere near and of the craft stores in my area (Michaels or AC Moore). HOPEFULLY one day soon I will be, but to date I have not. The only duct tape I have is the plain, gray kind my husband keeps in his tool box. The tape we used to make the jump ropes at work was purchased by a co-worker who practically lives at Michael’s (she’s there every week). Since we work for the school and school is out for the summer I haven’t seen her (or been able to ask her to pick me up some duct tape).

Inside the book you’ll find easy to follow directions to make 40 beautiful and functional bags including;

  • Clutches and wristlets
  • Hobo and Shoulder Bags
  • Satchels
  • Messenger and Flap Bags
  • Tote Bags
  • And tons of other one-of-a-kind bags!

I’m not a very crafty person. I want to be, it’s just that things never turn out the way I’d like them to. Reading the directions to make these bags seems really easy to do, even for a novice crafter like myself.

Easy to follow directions with photos

Easy to follow directions with photos

Here are just a few examples of the types of projects you can find within the pages of this book.




ALL of the totes/bags pictured above are made out of duct tape. It’s so hard to believe that when you see them.

What I love about this book is that you can find bags/totes for just about every occasion which means you can create the perfect bag to match any outfit using just duct tape.

You could also make holiday and seasonal bags using colored duct tape and duct tape with holiday/seasonal designs on them. I have seen duct tape with ghosts, spiders and candy corn on it. Use them and the directions in this book to make a trick or treat bag. How cute!

The book is published by Penguin Random House. Look for the book where ever books are sold.

Have you ever made anything out of duct tape? If so, what did you make?

What do you think about the bags you could make in this book? Do they look like something you would love to add to your wardrobe?



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

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Oriental Trading Company – Your “one stop shop” for all your summer party needs



Ahhh Summer… vacation, the beach, county fairs, lazy days by the pool… there is so much to accomplish in such a short amount of time.

Personally, I am not a fan of the heat and humidity – but I do enjoy doing fun things with my family and friends.

When I have parties or get togethers are our home, I always like to go all out and decorate based on certain themes. That means decor, party supplies and even games for the kids to play.

Whenever I am planning a big party I always visit one of my favorite places to shop for themed goodies (and more!) – Oriental Trading Company.

Oriental Trading is one of my favorite places to shop because they have products for just about every holiday, season and theme. They even carry products from unusual themes. Take for example “Zombies.” If you planning a Zombie themed party (birthday, Halloween, party for a Walking Dead fan…), you would be surprised by what you can find at Oriental Trading.

It’s summer time! I’m pretty sure Zombies are not on most people’s minds. More appropriate themes would be Luau, camping and carnivals.

I wish we had a yard because I would LOVE to host a carnival themed party for my family and friends. I think that would be a super fun party to host. I would love to do it towards the end of summer as a way to celebrate the fun summer before having to go back to work and school.

I have the party all planned out in my head. I would rent one of those popcorn carts, serve snow cones, burgers and hot dogs and ice cream.

I would love to set up games all around the yard. Oriental Trading has fun game options.

Bean Bag Toss


Disc Drop

Milk Bottle Toss

Coin Toss

Best of all, these games are budget friendly and can be used again and again. They could be used at birthday parties or even fun rainy day activities for your children/grandchildren.

Of course, when you have carnival games you need to give out prizes. Oriental Trading has you covered when it comes to prizes too. From plush toys to yo-yos, and from balls to puzzles – there are many options to choose from. You can buy assortments in bulk so that there is something for everyone to enjoy.

In addition, Oriental Trading has a lot of carnival themed decoration to really turn your backyard into an exciting carnival. The only thing missing would be rides and entertainment. I’m sure super creative people could come up with ride ideas (maybe a trip around the yard in wagon pulled by a lawn mower?) and entertainment (music, magic tricks…).




A carnival themed party is one of my “must do someday” sort of parties. Of course, without a yard that won’t be possible any time soon. Someday… (hopefully).

Oriental Trading Company has plenty of themed ideas including baby showers, bridal showers, weddings, most major holidays, graduation and more. Whether you are looking for party supplies (paper plates, cups, napkins…), decor, favors, outdoor activities or even gift ideas, Oriental Trading has plenty to choose from.

They even sell craft and hobby supplies for both children AND adults.

If you would like to check out all that Oriental Trading Company has to offer, you can visit them online at OrientalTrading.com. Be sure to check them out on social media too. All of their links are found at the bottom of their website.

Have you ever shopped at Oriental Trading Company?

Are you planning a party this summer?



*I will be receiving free products in exchange for my participation. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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How to make a beautiful sea glass wind chime inspired by Nicholas Sparks’ The Choice


The Choice

If you read my post about the Nicholas Sparks The Choice movie night I hosted you might recall that I spoke about a wind chime my guests and I were trying to make. At that time I didn’t have the directions for it, so we were confused by what we had to do. There were seven of us and none of us could agree on how it should be made. Each of us had our own ideas. Because it was getting late and we hadn’t watched the movie yet we decided to forgo the wind chime craft for the time being.

I finally received the directions and I was able to make it on my own.

The wind chime was inspired by the film The Choice, which is now available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD.

You can read my review, as well as read about our movie night experience, in this post – Nicholas Sparks’ The Choice Movie Night.


For this lovely craft you’ll need the following.

  • Embroidery Hoops in two size (one large, one small)
  • Paint (optional)
  • Sea Glass (available at most craft stores)
  • Wire (the kind you use to wrap jewelry with)
  • Clear string (like fishing line)
  • Scissors
  • Crazy Glue

And ideally, someone to help you out so that you tie the strings on correctly (a mistake that I made).

First and foremost you can get rid of (or re-purpose) the outer rings on the embroidery hoops. You only need the inner ones.

chime 1

Paint the hoop (optional) any color you want. I received white and gold. Initially I painted them gold but then I went ahead and “white washed” them with white paint. I wanted to give them a beachy/weathered look.

This is not a clear picture (I cropped it) but I wanted to show how I combined the colors to give it a washed out look.

This is not a clear picture (I cropped it) but I wanted to show how I combined the colors to give it a washed out look.

Let them dry for at least an hour and DON’T rest them on paper towels – they will stick to it (lesson learned the hard way).

While the hoop are drying take the crafting/jewelry wire and wrap it around the sea glass. Try and wrap it tightly (use a needle nose pliers if you have one). If need be you can add a dab of Crazy Glue to keep the wire in place.

I wrapped an assortment of colors, shapes and sizes.

craft 2

One you have wrapped as many piece as you want, string the clear string through the wire and tie it to the sea glass. Cut the strings in a variety of lengths.

When the hoops are fully dried (if you painted them) you’ll need to use the clear string to attach them to one another. The directions I have tell you to make the smaller hoop go on top (over) the larger hoop. I did it the opposite way because I had envisioned the wind chime to resemble a chandelier. I would think either way would work, depending on your preference.

My mistake was to do this on my own. I didn’t attach the smaller hoop to the larger one with equal length string, causing it to go more to one side than the other. I figured I could counteract that by putting heavier sea glass to the other side so it would balance out OK.

You can also use a dab of Crazy Glue on the clear string to keep it from slipping.

After I put it together I realized that I needed to re-do the hoops because they are clearly not centered properly. For that reason I haven’t put all the sea glass on it as of yet. So at this moment in time it’s a “work in progress.” This weekend I am going to assemble it a bit to do it the right way. Then I’ll attach the remaining sea glass that I had wrapped in wire and tired to the clear string.

These pictures didn’t turn out so good, but hopefully you get the idea.



I know that I can fix it so that it look a lot better.

None the less, I had fun with it and I am looking forward to the final result.

I’ll update this post with the final project once it’s completed. In the mean time, this would make a fun family activity. I could see this being done with sea shells too. I love the idea of using shells and sea glass you and/or your family finds on the beach, that way every time you look at it you’ll remember your summer by the beach.

What do you think of this craft idea? Do you think you’ll try to make one of your own?

Have you seen The Choice yet?

The Choice 2


*I received the items to make this project for free. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 


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How to Start a Craft Business and Succeed



Making the decision to put all your efforts into starting your own crafting business is exciting. While it requires hard work and dedication, you are doing something you love to do, only now it’s putting money in your pocket. A crafting business has the same chance as any other business for survival. With hard work and perseverance, you can make a living off your designs.

Putting a price tag that is favorable to both you and the customer is important. You must figure in the cost of supplies and the amount of time it takes to put each piece together. Since you will be taking orders you want to make sure that you can deliver the product on time and make money doing so. Doing a bit of research on similar products and their pricing before committing to a set rate will help you get off on the right track.

Before going live, you need to have the right resources in place. In order to successfully run a business and have it turn a profit, you must have items that a buyer wants. Keeping track of your big sellers is key to establishing a steady growth. By putting in place systems like Primary-Intel.com, you can help determine your profitability with a variety of reports that you can customize to your business needs.

In addition to your marketing strategy, you must also set yourself apart from the normal online business. This can be things such as weekly specials, a personal corner where you give tips on how to make select items or a unique packaging with a surprise in every delivery. With nearly everyone having access to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, people who purchase from you will drum up business without you having to do anything else.

Customer service is a huge part of any successful business. Even if you have the product people want, if you are lacking in this area it will hurt your bottom line. Staying on top of e-mails and responding in a professional manner even if the message in your view is not the truth will bring buyers around for repeat sales. This also means that packages must ship in a timely fashion and with the goods intact. While you certainly can’t help a mishap at the post office, you can make good on the transaction. Since this is a rarity it will not take away from your profits.

Like any business, you must set realistic goals. You shouldn’t expect it to be an instant sensation, though that would be wonderful. Having patience and the willingness to change up your product line to accommodate the majority of your sales will help you sustain a steady growth. If you see that sales are not moving, then bring fresh ideas to the table and try something new.

If you take the time to present beautiful photos of your work, have a marketing strategy in place and add a personal touch, you will enjoy the rewards of owning a successful business. The best part of all is that you are earning a nice income doing something you love to do.


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