On the 4th Day of Christmas…

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It is always nice to give a loved one in your life a meaningful, handmade gift at Christmastime. But, where do you start? First, take a Mason jar (different sizes or types of jars can also work) and think about what kind of present you want to give. Is it a birthday present? Is it an anniversary present? However, the jar doesn’t have to be used as a gift. It can be a jar full of ideas for your family, spouse, or children. Below are a few ways to use a Mason jar as a gift, or in other ways.

Date Night: In need of some date-night ideas? Fill your jar with strips of paper with ideas for you and your loved one to do. Some paper strips can be for game nights, movie nights, or having a meal together. The purpose of a date-night jar is that all of the ideas are inexpensive, yet meaningful. Create enough ideas to last a year. Another take on the date-night jar is to write reasons why you love your special someone. Give it to them on Valentine’s Day, their birthday, or your anniversary.

Boredom Busters: Keep your kids entertained during the summer and school breaks. Take Popsicle sticks or strips of paper and write fun, creative ideas for your children to do. Whenever they are bored, have them pull out an idea and have a ball. Also, include activities for your whole family to do together. Maybe a family game night, places to visit throughout your town or elsewhere.

Mixes: This type of jar is great for Christmas presents, especially if you need to make something in bulk. Prepare the dry ingredients of your favorite recipe for cookies, brownies, hot chocolate, etc. Attach the recipe’s instructions and be sure to mention liquid ingredients that need to be added.

Movie Lovers: We all have someone in our lives that is a die-hard movie lover. They are always the first ones to see the latest blockbuster hit. The next time you are looking to give them a present, think about a movie lover’s jar. This jar can contain popcorn, candy, and gift cards to the movie theater. You can also package it with a few bottles of soda or a DVD.

Spa Night: A spa in a jar is the perfect gift for a friend, mom, sister or aunt. Give it to them for their birthday, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, or “just because.” All you need to do is include a face mask, hand-and-foot scrub, lip scrub, massage oil, bath salts, hand cream, foot lotion, and an eye mask. Also, add in a pair of socks and pieces of candy.

Survival Kit: Jars are quick and convenient ways to hold and carry needed supplies. Survival kits can be used for college, a new parent, the first day on the job, and more. Think about the items a person needs the most when starting a new occasion or life event. They can also be used for holidays. For example, a bridesmaid survival kit could include a mini-sewing kit, safety pins, breath mints, lip balm, lint roller, polish remover, stain remover, nail polish, pain reliever, tissues, and bobby pins.

Housewarming Gift: When a new family moves into the neighborhood, they will soon be greeted with welcome baskets, pies, cakes, and other gifts. But, do you know what will be a unique gift? Give them a housewarming jar full of items such as mini-champagne bottles, kitchen utensils, soap, colorful napkins, clothespins, Magic Erasers, and other cleaning supplies. You can also include local restaurants or helpful phone numbers on a strip of paper. Another example is creating a sangria jar with the ingredients to make the popular drink.

Color-Coded: Think of a person’s favorite color, then make a jar of items of that color. For example, if your friend loves purple, think of only purple things to include. This idea can be used for any type of present, whether it’s going off to college, a housewarming present, a birthday gift, and more.

With any type of jar you choose, throw in as many items as you would like. Just remember to get creative and have fun!

xoxo,

Megan

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Halloween Extravaganza

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Happy Halloween!

I LOVE this holiday. The decorations, costumes, and candy — what’s not to love? To help celebrate today, I’ve gathered my favorite Halloween recipe, craft project, and movies for you and your family to enjoy!

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Witch Hat Cookies

Ingredients:

Keebler Fudge Stripe cookies

Orange frosting

Hershey’s kisses

Directions:

1: Turn a Keebler Fudge Stripe cookie upside. On the bottom of a Hershey’s kiss, squeeze a drop of orange frosting.

2: Place the Hershey’s kiss over the cookie’s hole and trace around the bottom with orange frosting.

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Ghost Bowling

Supplies:

2 rubber orange bouncy balls

10 rolls of toilet paper

Black permanent marker

Directions:

1. Draw spooky faces onto the toilet paper and balls with the black permanent marker.

2. Set up like a game of bowling and all bets are off!

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Movies You Don’t Want to Miss

1: Hocus Pocus

2: Halloweentown

3: Ghostbusters

4: Practical Magic

5: The Addams Family

xoxo,

Megan

DIY Halloween Costumes

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Every year on October 31st, people celebrate a day and night of trick-or-treating, eating candy, and wearing fun or scary costumes. This day, commonly known as Halloween, dates back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. The Celts, who lived in current-day Ireland 2,000 years ago, celebrated their new year on November 1st. On the night of October 31st, they celebrated Samhain, a night when they believed the ghosts returned to earth and marked the end of summer. During these festivals, sacred bonfires were held by priests, and people would burn crops and sacrifice animals to the Celtic deities. Typically, the Celts wore costumes of animal heads and skins and tried to tell each other’s fortunes. The wearing of the costume during these festivals began the now common Halloween tradition.

Weeks before the big day, people will spend time and money finding the perfect Halloween costume. However, sometimes the price of your outfit can get expensive, when all the pieces and parts start adding up. Never fear, there are ways to create your wanted look without breaking the bank.

DIY Halloween costumes can be inexpensively made using common household and craft items. Think about materials that you already have, such as boxes, fabrics, buttons, pipe cleaners, cardstock, and clothing. Only buy the missing items at discount or craft stores. Need some ideas for DIY Halloween costumes? Take a look below for some creative and fun outfits.

Rosie the Riveter: Only a few items are needed to form this iconic look. All this costume requires are jeans, a denim shirt, and a red and white polka dot bandana.

Bumble Bee: This costume is great for adults and kids. Wear a black T-shirt and black leggings. Use elastic and yellow and black tulle for a skirt over the leggings. Tie the tulle, alternating the colors, to the elastic. Lastly, purchase a bee headband from Amazon or create one yourself. Take a plain headband, black or yellow, and four pipe cleaners, two black and two yellow. Twist a black and yellow pipe cleaner together and then twist to the headband on one side. Do the same with the remaining materials. Glue a yellow pom-pom to each set of pipe cleaners at the top.

Lion: You’ll be the king or queen of the jungle with this animal look. Begin with a yellow shirt, yarn, and brown eyeliner. Using the yarn, make the lion’s mane. First, wrap yarn around three of your fingers, circling as you go. Then, tie a piece of yarn through the hole around the rounds of yarn to secure. On the opposite side from where you just tied, cut across and fluff. This should make smaller threads, and a pom-pom look. Repeat until you have plenty of yarn pom-poms. This will serve as the main part of the mane. Braid six strings of yarn together to create a headband. Be sure it is long enough to tie around your head and tie off at each end. Start from the middle of the cord and attach the pom-poms by tying them to the braided headband. Add a nose and whiskers with the eyeliner, and you’re done.

1980s Outfit: The 1980s were a decade known for their fashion—good and bad. Grab some leg warmers, bright-colored accessories, blocky shapes on clothing, velvet, lace, and some teased big hair, and you’ll be able to create a Halloween costume straight from the ‘80s.

Bubble Bath: This outfit is so simple, you can make it on October 31st. Wear a white shirt and pants or leggings underneath balloons. Blow up clear, white, and pink balloons and safety pin the end of the balloon that’s been tied all over your clothing. Then, safety pin balloons to a white headband for your headpiece. Lastly, glue a rubber duck to one of the balloons for an added effect. You can also include sponges, loofahs, and other bubble bath accessories to your outfit.

Halloween costumes don’t need to be expensive. Start with your outfit and make a list of the materials you’ll need. Think about what you have and what you need to buy. Need some more ideas? A quick Google or Pinterest search will open up a door of Halloween costume possibilities.

xoxo,

Megan

Article written for Forsyth Family Magazine.